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Acid etching a replacement MGA VIN plate. Need better mask material

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pinkyponk Avatar
pinkyponk Gold Member Adrian Page
Berwick, NS, Canada   CAN
My MGA came without a VIN plate so I've been working on a replacement. The painted ones just don't do it for me. I have been experimenting with acid etching and the actual etching is pretty easy. It's the mask that's giving me trouble.

The plate pictured was done by laser engraving away a thin coat of Krylon Fusion spray paint. It's ok but I'd like to do better. I tried the laser toner transfer bit and I also tried some photo resist material. The laser is the best so far.

I'd be keen to hear of any masking methods the group might be aware of... particularly anything laser friendly.

Adrian



Home built Eaton M62 Supercharger with 9psi boost, "stock" high ratio rocker arms, 8:1 compression, Piper 270 cam, ported head, matched manifolds, CB Performance computerized ignition.

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Attachments:
MGA VIN plate 001.JPG    50 KB
MGA VIN plate 001.JPG

Aridgerunner Avatar
Aridgerunner Silver Member Bill Bussler
Montoursville, PA, USA   USA
1956 MG MGA 1500 "The A"
1959 Triumph TR3A "The Mistress"
I don't know if you can do this but it would be more correct to laser away the background leaving all of the lettering raised. That is how the originals were done. By that I mean the lettering is raised.

You've got some seriously good skills. Can't wait to see you final iteration.

Bill

pinkyponk Avatar
pinkyponk Gold Member Adrian Page
Berwick, NS, Canada   CAN
Must be an optical illusion, Bill. The letters are raised on the sample in the photo.

Only the masking was cut by the laser. The etching was done with a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and hydrochloric acid.

The computer file I drew is much better than the etching I've been able to achieve so far. The lettering should be a little bolder in the finished product. I might try the photo etch mask but cut it with the laser... see if that works better.
I think you need a lab setup to do decent photo etching... but maybe I just don't have the patience or instruction reading ability required. grinning smiley

I've got the thing painted now so I'm going to try the number stamping...

Adrian



Home built Eaton M62 Supercharger with 9psi boost, "stock" high ratio rocker arms, 8:1 compression, Piper 270 cam, ported head, matched manifolds, CB Performance computerized ignition.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-06-13 11:30 AM by pinkyponk.

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Steve S Avatar
Abingdon West, Southern California, USA   USA
If you etch too deep, you will lose sharpness. Excellent results can be obtained from an ink transfer. Here's one my neighbor made recently:


Attachments:
plate.jpg    51.4 KB
plate.jpg

copernicus Avatar
copernicus Nick Kopernik
Summer in, CT, USA   USA
As of a few years ago there was a vendor in Belgium who was producing a high quality replica of the original plate; his name is Serge Vliegen. Here's his website so you can see his handiwork:

http://www.car-identification-plate.eu/

The site is still up so he still may be making these plates.

mgaex189 Avatar
mgaex189 Platinum Member Giovanni Delicio
Obrigheim, Rheinpfalz, Germany   DEU
1955 MG MGA 1500 "C2"
1955 MG MGA 1500
1955 MG MGA 1500 "C1"
1960 MG MGA 1600 Coupe    & more
I do confirm Serge is "still on spot" and he has the best VIN plates available.

Gio

pinkyponk Avatar
pinkyponk Gold Member Adrian Page
Berwick, NS, Canada   CAN
In reply to # 3755067 by mgaex189 I do confirm Serge is "still on spot" and he has the best VIN plates available.

Gio

Those are nice. I wonder how he does it?

Here's where I'm at so far. I need better masking.

Getting the letters stamped nice and straight is going to be a challenge too. The car number is supposed to be a little squiffy but "SEE ENGINE" should be very straight.

Adrian



Home built Eaton M62 Supercharger with 9psi boost, "stock" high ratio rocker arms, 8:1 compression, Piper 270 cam, ported head, matched manifolds, CB Performance computerized ignition.

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Attachments:
mga 001.JPG    36.6 KB
mga 001.JPG

ohmite Avatar
ohmite Eric O
Wilson, NY, USA   USA
These look great. Unfortunately the 'ORDER' link does nothing. Is he still offering them?
Thanks,
Eric

In reply to # 3755052 by copernicus As of a few years ago there was a vendor in Belgium who was producing a high quality replica of the original plate; his name is Serge Vliegen. Here's his website so you can see his handiwork:

http://www.car-identification-plate.eu/

The site is still up so he still may be making these plates.

copernicus Avatar
copernicus Nick Kopernik
Summer in, CT, USA   USA
Here's Serge's e-mail address, give it a try:

info@car-identification-plate.eu

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pinkyponk Avatar
pinkyponk Gold Member Adrian Page
Berwick, NS, Canada   CAN
In reply to # 3755019 by Steve S If you etch too deep, you will lose sharpness. Excellent results can be obtained from an ink transfer. Here's one my neighbor made recently:

That looks great Steve. I had no luck with toner transfer. Since your post I did another search and found references to toners not all being alike. I also found references to printing the toner on the backing from vinyl sticker backing material. I have bags of backing going to the dump every two weeks. I'll see if I can try a few different copy machines around town.

Adrian



Home built Eaton M62 Supercharger with 9psi boost, "stock" high ratio rocker arms, 8:1 compression, Piper 270 cam, ported head, matched manifolds, CB Performance computerized ignition.

mgaex189 Avatar
mgaex189 Platinum Member Giovanni Delicio
Obrigheim, Rheinpfalz, Germany   DEU
1955 MG MGA 1500 "C2"
1955 MG MGA 1500
1955 MG MGA 1500 "C1"
1960 MG MGA 1600 Coupe    & more
Hi Adrian,

it's a pitty you don't have the correct font for the numbers. The number "3" should not have rounded edges on the top but a straight lline.

If you buy a VIN plate from Serge, tell him to send it to me and I'll do the stamping for you, FOC smileys with beer

Gio

Twofin Avatar
Twofin David T
Bedworth, Warwickshire, UK   GBR
Ferric chloride for the etch, if you want a real fast etch you can put a very small amount of copper off a pipe into the ferric then add citric acid to it to sharped the etch up... this is known as the Edinburgh Etch.

For the mask when you have transferred the laser toner to the workpiece with the transfer paper ,and remover the paper , you need to the set/fix the toner ink by heating the plate up over your gas ring , you will see the ink change colour slightly and go smooth and shiny, then you go ahead and etch the part, 10 to 15 seconds max in ferric it’s get very quick and very hot, exothermic reaction, then remove soot carefully and black anodise the etched surface, seal it and then get solvent to wipe away the ink, Jobs a gud un,

tjt77 timothy Trevithick
Grass Valley, CA, USA   USA
Ive used the ones offered by Serge in Belgium as replacements for faded or damaged vin plates.... they are very good quality and he will also engrave your numbers on them if required.. why re-invent the wheel when they are available already ?

pinkyponk Avatar
pinkyponk Gold Member Adrian Page
Berwick, NS, Canada   CAN
In reply to # 3755761 by tjt77 Ive used the ones offered by Serge in Belgium as replacements for faded or damaged vin plates.... they are very good quality and he will also engrave your numbers on them if required.. why re-invent the wheel when they are available already ?

One of my hobbies is figuring out how things are done... and then doing them. I learned how to buy things years ago... I've moved on to more complex tasks. cool smiley

Adrian



Home built Eaton M62 Supercharger with 9psi boost, "stock" high ratio rocker arms, 8:1 compression, Piper 270 cam, ported head, matched manifolds, CB Performance computerized ignition.

tjt77 timothy Trevithick
Grass Valley, CA, USA   USA
Adrian,
likely this is likely an 'age related' issue.. they are not making any more time.. I'll be long dead before 1/2 of my projects are completed.. hence I try and be as efficient with use of time as is possible with this highly time consuming hobby.. in my situation, the economics of producing something that is already done right and easily available do not pen out when there's cars to get finished..

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