Metal Marking Dye (Engineers Blue)

Metal Marking Dye (Engineers Blue)

Postby cam_hardiman » Thu May 18, 2017 7:47 am

In the middle of laying out the design for Tsuba Tutorial 1, I realised that some of you may be interested in a cheaper alternative to Engineers Blue, if you use the stuff. The real deal is expensive and it has a nasty habit of evaporating into nothing right before your eyes if you are like me and forget to screw the lid on tight.

I make my own now, and I have never looked back. It only requires a glass jar with an airtight lid, and three ingredients:

- 200 ml of Methylated Spirits, or for those in the US, denatured alcohol;
- a large Sharpie marker (A thick one. If you can't get a thick marker, just use two thin ones), colour is your choice; and
- a handful of shellac flakes, any kind.

Cut the top off the marker and remove the ink loaded felt cartridge (not with your fingers!). The cartridge is housed inside a clear plastic sleeve, you can leave this on. Place the cartridge into a jar containing the methylated spirits, screw the lid on and let it infuse overnight. The next day you can remove the felt cartridge and throw in the shellac flakes. Once the shellac flakes have dissolved, its ready to use.

You can brush in on, or dab it onto metal with a paper towel or cloth. It dries in a few seconds, and is then ready to scribe. It can be removed with methylated sprits.

Cam
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Re: Metal Marking Dye (Engineers Blue)

Postby Mac » Thu May 18, 2017 9:07 am

That's very useful, Mr. Hardiman.
Myself, I use a fine dusting on Automotive 'sanding' primer. Just the budget, grey spray can stuff. I will hold a crisp, scribed line and also has the advantage of taking a pencil, which can be removed with a a tissue and water without affecting the paint coat. This is handy if your designing on the job itself before scribing it out.
A thicker coat will also act as an etchant resist should you need it.
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Re: Metal Marking Dye (Engineers Blue)

Postby Ford » Thu May 18, 2017 9:21 am

Cheers for that Cam, I like these DIY solutions, pun intended.

Funny enough I bought some blue layout fluid recently, not that it's something I would typically use. I tend to dab a thin wash of China white paint on metal if I'm roughing out a design or composition. A trick I learned from chasing specialist extraordiare Henry Spencer. :biggrin:
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Re: Metal Marking Dye (Engineers Blue)

Postby cam_hardiman » Thu May 18, 2017 10:31 am

Ford wrote:Cheers for that Cam, I like these DIY solutions, pun intended.

I tend to dab a thin wash of China white paint on metal if I'm roughing out a design or composition. [/url] :biggrin:


Thanks Ford,

You have just provided me with a use for all the artists paint tubes I have left over from my 'art' phase......

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Re: Metal Marking Dye (Engineers Blue)

Postby cam_hardiman » Thu May 18, 2017 10:33 am

Mac wrote: A thicker coat will also act as an etchant resist should you need it.


Mac,

That beats the resist pens I have used in the past. It would cover a greater area a lot quicker.

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Re: Metal Marking Dye (Engineers Blue)

Postby Glen G » Sat May 27, 2017 12:21 am

Thanks Cam, great idea!
An old machinists trick is to super-saturate 4oz of distilled water with copper sulphate. Then add 10 drops of sulphuric acid. Applied with a swab this will flash plate ferrous metal with an even coat of copper which will contrast any lines scribed into it. Not an end all but traditional and easy. Personally I do like the color and smell of Dy-Kem first thing in the morning :-)
-G
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Re: Metal Marking Dye (Engineers Blue)

Postby cam_hardiman » Sat May 27, 2017 6:04 am

Glen G wrote:Personally I do like the color and smell of Dy-Kem first thing in the morning -G


Must be the alcohol content. :biggrin:
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Re: Metal Marking Dye (Engineers Blue)

Postby Ford » Sat May 27, 2017 8:29 am

:cheerleader:
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Re: Metal Marking Dye (Engineers Blue)

Postby Glen G » Mon May 29, 2017 5:06 pm

cam_hardiman wrote:
Glen G wrote:Personally I do like the color and smell of Dy-Kem first thing in the morning -G


Must be the alcohol content. :biggrin:



:dizzy: I think it contains N-Propyl alcohol which has a somewhat sweet scent.
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