View Full Version : Drypoint question

01-13-2002, 06:00 PM
Since I've taken up learning about printmaking, my hubby has started bringing me little tokens of affections...like scraps of wood and pieces of metal... :D

He brought me some scrap sheets of aluminum, the kind that is used for heating and cooling ducts. Anybody know if this is ok to use for drypoint? It's about 1/48th of an inch thick.


Tony Perrotta
01-13-2002, 07:25 PM
Hi Gisela, I don't know much about drypoint, but I did work with metals at work for 18 yrs. You have to make sure it's alum. see if a magnet sticks. If it does it's steel and ductwork is almost always galvanized. I don't thing you could use it. If you scrape or cut it, the galvinazation will come off. As far as alum goes it is pretty soft,(easy to cut) might be easy for drypoint,don't know really.

Not sure but trying to help, I'm sure Sas will know.

01-14-2002, 09:22 PM
Tony is right about the galvanized steel. But, steel plates made specifically for etching is fine. Some people prefer steel to copper or zinc. I buy aluminum plates all the time. I love doing dry point on them. They produce a nice burr that holds the ink well, and they print up lovely. The ICU bird I did was on aluminum. I also have two other plates ready to go that are drypoint on aluminum. You can pick these plates up at a very decent price, much cheaper than copper or zinc. There is only one draw back with them. You can't do huge editions because they wear down after awhile. I usually keep my editions at 25 or less, so it has never been a problem for me.

01-15-2002, 01:03 AM
Thanks for the help with this.

Unfortunately, the magnet stuck and it looks like all this stuff is steel. :(
Some one, somewhere (can't remember where I heard this) told me you can buy copper from a roofing supplier for using in etching. The price varies, but, if I remember correctly, they got a 3' x 8' sheet for about $45.00. Has anyone used this?


01-15-2002, 05:22 PM
Yes, I have used it. You just have to clean the plates up really well. If you have a small sander using a minimum of 600 grit sand paper you should be fine. Also make sure you buff the plate well to get out any little scratches. I use a metal polish and that works great. I use my burnisher to get those hard little scratches that the buffing misses. Afterwards use a degreaser, Dawn dishwashing liquid is great for that and non toxic. Then wipe with a clean rag with a bit of denatured alcohol and you are ready to go.

One more thing........lol (Isn't there always with me?) Bevel those edges good! That will protect your pads. Otherwise you risk cutting the pads and you know how costly they are.

01-15-2002, 05:34 PM
Thanks, Sassy.

I think there's something about printmaking that just is 'one more thing.' Everytime I think I've got everything, it turns out I'm missing 'one more thing' and it's back to the catalogs...(sigh)

Ok, now I'm off to find my neighbor, who's a builder, to see if he can hook me up... :D