Workable Fixative

mdengraver

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Apr 10, 2007
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Rockville, MD
Workable Fixative
Does anyone use workable fixative to stabilize drawings on the metal prior to engraving to prevent your lines from disappearing or smudging due to accidental contact with your hands while engraving?
 

mitch

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Jul 23, 2007
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Yeah, many years ago and never thought it worked very well. As I remember, it tended to flake and take the drawing with it. Went back to the occasional use of Chinese White and in recent years have had some luck with damar varnish. It's hard to apply in a smooth coat, but takes a good pencil line and holds up under some rubbing.
 

tdelewis

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Oct 10, 2010
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Volant, PA 60 miles north of Pittsburgh
I use laser printer on parchment paper. Prismacolor marker to coat the metal. After the transfer is burnished on the metal I use a heat gun to make the transfer more permanent. When you use a laser printer the toner is baked on the paper in the printer. Using parchment for baking causes the toner to come off on the metal just like the cookies come off easily after they are baked. The reheating of the toner on the metal with the heat gun will bake the toner on the metal. When you are finished cutting the toner can be removed with acetone.

When using parchment paper you first must print on plain paper. Then you will tape the parchment over the image you just printed and put it back in the printer making sure it is put in correctly so the edge that is taped over the image will feed without causing a paper jam.

It is very important to also understand that the silicon coating on the parchment will not allow the tape to stick to it. I sand the strip where the tape is placed with 220 sand paper to remove the silicon. If you don't do this the printer will pull the parchment from under the tape and cause a paper jam. When you tape the image on the metal for burnishing you will also need to sand where the tape is placed.

If there is anyone out there that knows of a tape that will hold without the sanding step I'd like to hear from you
 

DKanger

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Sep 30, 2007
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West TN
Spritz it with hair spray.....just a couple of light passes. Most hair spray has some lacquer in it dissolved in an alcohol base. It's easily removed when your finished.
 

tdelewis

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Oct 10, 2010
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Volant, PA 60 miles north of Pittsburgh
I hope my explanation was easily understood. If not, ask. I don't have the prismacolor marker in my hand now to tell you which one to use beacuse they don't all work, but it is the one that Tira Mitchell has on her website. The transfer of the toner is 100% and because of this the vector image can be printed as low as .1 point mostly I print .25 point.
 

AJB

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Oct 27, 2020
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6
I am just beginning to try my hand at engraving, so I am as far from an expert as anyone can be. However, hairspray is what I use as a base for transfer. I spray practice plates, then let them dry to slightly tacky. I then stick plain paper laser copied images on the tacky paper and lightly dampen the back of the paper with brake cleaner. After about a minute, I peel off the paper and have a perfect transfer that is really durable. More hairspray can be added on top of the transfer for even more durability.
 
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