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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#2
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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#4
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.
 
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