In this video tutorial from Switch & Lever, we are shown how relatively easy it is to create your own etched brass plates using ferric chloride and brass stock. In the video, 3 different methods for creating the mask for etching the brass are experimented with: the laser printer toner transfer method, using black spray paint and a laser cutter, and using a commercial spray mask and a laser cutter. Once the masking is done, it’s simply a question of using an etching solution and then cleaning and finishing however you desire.

The experiment with the three different masking methods is really interesting. Surprisingly, the least high-tech method, the good old laser printer toner transfer method, worked the best. The commercial masking spray with a complete fail. Along the way, we even get a little chemistry lesson in what’s going on during the etching process.