Long time friends, Bruce and Christine Senchesen, who are new Multi-Etch users sent us the following questions.
My start setup will be the crock pot deal. How critical is the temperature if it varies within the 120–160°F range?
Answer: “The temperature range is not critical. In fact, you really do not need a thermometer at all if you're using fresh etchant. Upon heating the solution you'll notice, as it heats up, a fine bloom of bubbles. Use that as an indicator of when to etch. But you won't see the bubbles if you reheat the same bath so it would be helpful to time the heating when you're using fresh etchant so you will know how long to heat if you reheat the same bath.”
Also, your instructions call for a non-metallic thermometer. I can't seem to find one.
Answer: “I actually use a metal probe type thermometer, Ashcroft 0°F - 220°F, available at Hardware stores. I use it for spot checking the temperature and it's OK that it's metal if you are just spot checking. Some companies leave thermometers in their bath all the time and in those cases, a non-metallic probe is required.”
I loved the bite from HF to erase scratches and was wondering if I took the pieces to be sandblasted, what material would be best to get similar finish before Multi-Etching?
Answer: “The bite is not like Hf--it will maintain whatever finish is on there unless you etch more than 3 minutes. Blasting with glass beads, wire brushing, belt sanding (which makes the ti resemble nb in brightness,) scotch pads, etc. will all be helpful. I've never tried blasting with ‘sand’ so, not sure about that. I like the coarse glass beads, 40-60 mesh.”
Added note: Do not blast with aluminum oxide; it will prevent good color. Similarly, if you use wire brushing, be sure to thoroughly clean with Simple Green before etching.