Brother where art thou?

Goldjockey

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A couple of years ago (nearly) I came back to my workshop with a GRS basic engraving course under my belt. Upon returning home, I was determined to put my new skills to work. There was hitch though... I found out that my Brother printer/copier/ fax pretty much refused to deliver transfers the way the Canon printer/copier in my GRS classroom had.

Bearing in mind that I'd bought my Brother 'swiss army knife', multi function, do everything, color/black and white machine for desktop publishing - back when, that for years it was fully capable of everything I'd previously asked it to do, when it refused to deliver a basic acetone transfer in 100% black and white mode, I was steamed!

I spent plenty on that machine, didn't want to gamble on a new purchase, and sometimes, when fate was smiling, and the stars were in alignment , every once in a while, I'd get a really good acetone transfer. Just often enough that I put off looking at something else.

After a fair amount of experimentation with solvent/paper combinations, I really thought I had it licked. I found that with a combination of brake/carb cleaner as the solvent, and a fairly expensive layout paper, about 1/2 of the time, I could get a workable transfer from the Brother output.... until I couldn't.

Don't know if its humidity, or changing weather, plain bad luck, or just trying to make a silk purse out of a sows ear, but when I set about to do a fairly small 1.5" x 2" transfer to a nickel money clip, no matter what I tried, I could not get it to take.

After looking at a pile of failed transfers, enough was enough. That Brother printer was great at what it was designed to do, but it was obvious consistent Acetone transfers were abosultely not in that printer's capabilities. I hate, absolutely despise admitting defeat, but there is just no way my Brother printer was going yield consistently transferable output.

No way around it, I can't cut what I can't get to transfer, so this week I threw in the towel. I called GRS to find out exactly what printers they were using so I could just buy whatever it was that worked for them.

Torrell Flickinger at GRS was extremely helpful and had a list of printer/copiers that would work. Almost all were Canon or HP printers, and as luck would have it, mostly older generation machines with limited connectivity, Not that that's bad, but I wanted a multi function (Printer/Copier/Scanner/Fax) machine with good Wifi functionality.

I did some research, found a Canon D1620 on sale at Staples for $300 and change. Not cheap, but considering the machine's capabilities, reasonably priced for my purposes.

On sale the D1620 was actually quite a bit less than the excellent Canon D1120 printer at GRS. No Wifi capability for the older D1120 (around $400 - $500 street price, if you can find one). The cartridges appear to be analogous. The D1120 uses a Canon 120 Cartridge, and the newer D1620 a Canon 121 Cartridge.

Pulled the trigger on on the newer Canon D1620 . it arrived today, and I was not disappointed. After setting the machine up, I printed the money clip layout, taped it on to the workpiece, swabbed it, and it transferred perfectly, First time,

Spent the evening cutting instead of monkeying around trying to get the transfer to print. Really pleased!
 
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Sam

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I have the same Canon GRS has in the classrooms. Still going strong after ten years. The T120 or T121 seems to be a good toner for acetone transfers.
 

John B.

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Glad you got your transfer problem fixed, Michael.
This info might be some help for other looking for an older or used laser printer.
My Canon black and white printer, Image Class MF 229 DW has worked for many years and it does acetone transfers just fine. Uses toner cartridge #137.
If buying a new printer get the store to print you a sample to test at home before buying.
 

monk

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i'm still usin an ancient hp with a 92 black carteidge. should have bit the dust 5 years ago, but still worx. i got a brand new brother, given to me by a friend that didn't like it. no good deed goes unpunished, i , too, gave the thing to another unsuspectting friend ! the brother i had used 4 or 5 cartridges. one was always going low, so i gave it away
 

Goldjockey

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May 17, 2018
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jockey: how long did it take you to type all that? just curious.
Didn't keep track of time, Monk. It took a while.

Hoping I can save someone else some of the time I invested in researching all this, and maybe some $$$ as well.

Really hate to think about all the time I spent with my old Brother printer before I wised up, and just bought something that worked right out of the box.
 

Goldjockey

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May 17, 2018
Messages
225
Glad you got your transfer problem fixed, Michael.
This info might be some help for other looking for an older or used laser printer.
My Canon black and white printer, Image Class MF 229 DW has worked for many years and it does acetone transfers just fine. Uses toner cartridge #137.
If buying a new printer get the store to print you a sample to test at home before buying.

That's good advice, John. If the staff hadn't been running away from me (and everyone else in there) as fast as they could, I'd have done exactly that!

Fortunately there were some very good and very detailed posts here on the forum (yours included), so I was able to figure out what type of machine, and cartridges I needed beforehand. I ended up ordering the machine online, and having it delivered to my doorstep, so it all worked out :)
 

rweigel

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Dec 22, 2017
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Location
France (north of Alsace, close to Germany)
I‘m using a Brother B/W Laser / Scanner since 2006 and could confirm that direct transfer from paper to metal with acetone sometimes works, most of the time doesn‘t. I‘ve tried other solvents to no avail.

For practice plates and low detail pictures I print on „Backpapier“, a brown stiff paper that might be called pan liner or baking parchment, the dictionary was not too specific which translation belongs to wich region. The metal is covered with a thin layer of Dammar varnish with a good shot of white oil paint mixed in. The black does not stick much to the paper and transfers well to the varnish.

So as long as cartridges are available for „my Brother“, I would stick to it.
 
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