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Armor/AFV: Techniques
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Embossing Photo Etch Details
Belt_Fed
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: February 02, 2008
KitMaker: 1,376 posts
AeroScale: 42 posts
Posted: Friday, December 14, 2018 - 09:44 AM UTC
What's the best way to emboss details, like bolt heads and strengthening ribs, on photo etch parts? Ballpoint pens are often do not leave enough detail on bolt heads, and the part usually gets badly warped and uneven when embossing details.
retiredyank
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Arkansas, United States
Joined: June 29, 2009
KitMaker: 11,610 posts
AeroScale: 79 posts
Posted: Friday, December 14, 2018 - 10:53 AM UTC
I use Squadron's glue applicator and a piece of latex rubber.
panzerbob01
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Louisiana, United States
Joined: March 06, 2010
KitMaker: 2,986 posts
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Posted: Saturday, December 15, 2018 - 05:11 AM UTC

Quoted Text

What's the best way to emboss details, like bolt heads and strengthening ribs, on photo etch parts? Ballpoint pens are often do not leave enough detail on bolt heads, and the part usually gets badly warped and uneven when embossing details.



Basically, you have two very different things here - lines, and shaped dimples or points. Perhaps the lines are easier to address; a firmer backboard - solid rubber blocks and mats are great, because they are dense, firm, but yield over minute areas - yields crisper or sharper bends and forms for any scribing device - a nail, back edge of knife blade, ball-pen, or whatever - you use to indent the linear form.

Things like bolt-heads are a very different matter... To get a nice hex or square head, you need a good "die" with the requisite detail. Otherwise, what you'll always get is a rounded shape of the tool that you used to emboss the bolt-head with...

The tool you use to push the PE out matters. A ball-pen "point" is a round ball. It will only exert force over a hemispherical surface. Means that it will produce a rounded bubble or "groove" when pressed thru PE into even hard rubber matting. To get a sharper indentation, use something with a squared face... small screwdriver blades do well for creating sharper bends in the metal. Small, flat-ended metal punches do OK for pushing out rivets and bolt-heads fairly sharply into rubber mats. IF you have a small "hex-key / Allen key" or hex-rod of the desired size, using this will yield a pretty nice embossed bolt-head.

Embossing and indenting will always try to curl the metal. I just flip my embossed part over and squeeze it flat on the rubber mat - either by using a small metal flat or a roller to re-bend (counter-bend) the embossed item.

Just a suggestion!

Bob