Laser Toners that work with acetone to transfer engraving designs

AllenClapp

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1. In the summer of 2019, I tried every solvent I could with the output of all three of my Brother laser printers with no success, so I bought a low-end HP that works well (see #2 below). It made no sense to me that there would not be a solvent that worked with the Brother toner, so this year I finally contacted Brother to ask what solvent would work with their toner. The question apparently stumped them. They got with their technical gurus and said that there is no solvent that will work with their toner. I have no clue if that is the answer that some attorney said to give, out of fear of someone using a solvent with adequate ventilation. I went back to them with that question and got stonewalled.
2. In the summer of 2019, I went to office supply stores and got sample sheets printed out from their low-end laser printers. I found that all the low-end Canon and HP printer output made a good transfer with acetone. I heartily recommend doing that if you are in the market for a laser printer to use for design transfers. Because printer designs and toners do change over time, it would be best to get a sample page printout from each printer of interest to see how well they work.
3. I have heard several engravers say that you need the black-only cartridge from low-end printers, NOT the color cartridge. IS THIS TRUE? Does anyone have a color laser printer that has color toner that works with acetone? Have you tried some that did NOT work?
 

tdelewis

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I just experimented with my printer an HP LaserJet PRO CM1415. I printed out a quick transfer using red, green, blue, yellow, and black. I have not had any trouble with an acetone transfer using all black. The black, green and blue transferred because they are dark colors. The yellow transferred but you could hardly see it. To my surprise the red transferred very well and was just as easy to see as black. I don't think it is necessary to take out color cartridges when using a laser, but it certainly will help if your using an inkjet for printing on a transparency to use a varnish transfer. I have always used black and my black cartridge is almost done so I will try red for a while. Depending on which red you select to print will also include some black toner with it because the printer actually will blend colors to get a particular shade.
 

AllenClapp

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Thanks for info on the color HP. I was hoping that was the case. Your comment about using only black for inkjet copies may be the source of what I had heard about not using color. I have been thinking about using color at overlap points as a warning for me to stop and NOT to cut through, and maybe separating main scroll lines from others, etc. You made my day.
 

pmace

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My Canon laser printer MF4890 toner dissolves in acetone. I use Apollo overhead transparency film and dip the image in acetone then let it dry. I use bow string rosin dissolved in denatured alcohol on the work and let it dry also. Place the art on the work image side down and burnish. Works every time for me.
One film that delivers a much better image than the overhead transparency film is the film that screen printers use for image transfer to their sensitized screens. The only problem is I can't find a solvent that loosens the toner from the film.
 

Tim Wells

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I just went through several printers trying to compare the quality and transferability of their toner with acetone. I did this at Office Depot and made photos of sample transfers on a copper practice plate. As soon as I can get time to come up for air I'll post those photos and write a mini article on the whole shebang and put it on this forum for those that need it complete with brand and model numbers and current price here.
 

Imageraj

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I have a Samsung color laser printer with separate CMYK cartridges but acetone transfer is very poor (it transfers wax from the print but not the black ink!). I tried different papers and different printer settings but no luck so far. Any suggestions? Thanks
 

mitch

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i must have missed this thread first time around. i have a Canon 230 that works fine with acetone.
 

Sam

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Brother printers have always been the most troublesome (or impossible) for acetone transfers.
However, Arno in Belgium reported that lacquer thinner worked as a transfer solution for his.

My old Canon D1100 series still produces crisp acetone transfers and it uses a 120 toner cartridge, so I would assume any canon model that uses the 120 cartridge will produce similar results.

When I was teaching in Australia a couple of years ago literally none of the monochrome lasers we tried would work, so apparently there's a difference in toner in different countries. Sounds crazy but appears to be true.
 

Imageraj

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I have Samsung C48x series color laser and it doesn’t work for acetone transfer by the regular method that everyone is using. After some research and numerous experiments I have found a workaround and my initial trials give excellent results- I am going to try replicating it today before widely sharing my new method but so far it’s very encouraging! Thanks
 

Goldjockey

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Was able to get decent transfers using Oreilly Auto Brake and Carb cleaner as a solvent, but it often took several tries. Metal has to be absolutely clean. Not worth the time and aggravation though. Finally gave up on using the Brother for transfers and ended up buying a Canon Copier.
 

Sam

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Was able to get decent transfers using Oreilly Auto Brake and Carb cleaner as a solvent, but it often took several tries. Metal has to be absolutely clean. Not worth the time and aggravation though. Finally gave up on using the Brother for transfers and ended up buying a Canon Copier.

We used to use brake cleaner in the GRS classrooms some 20 odd years ago. It worked quite well.
 

mitch

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"When I was teaching in Australia a couple of years ago literally none of the monochrome lasers we tried would work, so apparently there's a difference in toner in different countries. Sounds crazy but appears to be true."

It wasn't the toner, Sam, it was the Coriolis Effect. It's the same reason the water swirls in the opposite direction when you flush. Or it might have been because you were all standing upside down.
 

T.G.III

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And if you have the ability to purchase your toner from an office supplier pushing aftermarket toners (Rapid Refill is such a supplier) then it doesn't matter which brand of printer you use, my Brother HL-2140 works flawlessly with acetone.
 

Sam

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"When I was teaching in Australia a couple of years ago literally none of the monochrome lasers we tried would work, so apparently there's a difference in toner in different countries. Sounds crazy but appears to be true."

It wasn't the toner, Sam, it was the Coriolis Effect. It's the same reason the water swirls in the opposite direction when you flush. Or it might have been because you were all standing upside down.

While there I read an article by a flat earther who said that Australia doesn't exist. The whole thing is a charade and even airline pilots are in on it. They fly you around for several hours and you deplane thinking you're in Australia, but you're actually somewhere else and all the people you see are paid actors. They probably change the printer toner to convince you that you really are there.
 

Grayson

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If you get grass stains on your pants, water won't remove them, but alcohol will. You need to match the polarity of the stain (ink) with the polarity of the solvent. Water is most polar, acetone less, isopropyl alcohol still less. As you test various solvents, choose safe ones (!!!) with differing polarity. Acetone and methanol have very similar polarity; if one fails, so will the other, I think. Here is an incomplete list of polarities: https://people.chem.umass.edu/xray/solvent.html
Others could be searched on line. For the love of God, check the safety of the solvent before you try it, and always use adequate ventilation. Ethyl Methyl Ketone's nickname is Ethyl Methyl Death, for example.
One vast improvement in my ink-jet transfers came when I made a Damar Varnish spot apart from the image target and tested it with my finger for proper stickiness (tacky, not dry, not slimy). I have recently read (here?) that because Xerographic printers use heat to transfer the ink, better transfers can be made by pressing with a hot iron. I haven't tried that yet, but I love to hear about it fom this group.
 

Trilabite

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Brother printers have always been the most troublesome (or impossible) for acetone transfers.
However, Arno in Belgium reported that lacquer thinner worked as a transfer solution for his.

My old Canon D1100 series still produces crisp acetone transfers and it uses a 120 toner cartridge, so I would assume any canon model that uses the 120 cartridge will produce similar results.

When I was teaching in Australia a couple of years ago literally none of the monochrome lasers we tried would work, so apparently there's a difference in toner in different countries. Sounds crazy but appears to be true.
You can't trust toner in a country where the water flushes in reverse XD
 

John B.

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It looks like most are using Canon multi-function lasers. Anybody know if cheapo Canon lasers work?

Something like this for example.

Amazon.com: Canon ImageCLASS LBP6030w (8468B003) Monochrome Wireless Laser Printer, Compact Design: Office Products
To be sure, request a sample sheet printed on this machine before you spend money.
I have an older version of Canon laser, Image Class MF227dw and it works like a charm using acetone.
Best of luck with that model, please share your results here.
 

Bob Savage

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To be sure, request a sample sheet printed on this machine before you spend money.
I have an older version of Canon laser, Image Class MF227dw and it works like a charm using acetone.
Best of luck with that model, please share your results here.

Thank you, that's a great idea. There's an Office Depot nearby so I'll bring something to print and just let them know I'll be back to buy it if it works.
 

Ryan138

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HP Laser Jet Pro M15w is the smallest monochrome laser printer on the market and it is amazing for the price. Colors are printed in a gray shade.
 

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