For my first blog post on my website I would like to share a custom etched plate for the top of a walking cane.
My fiancé's dad found a stick in the woods, one day, and thought it would make a great cane. So he stripped the bark off of it, sanded it down, and sealed the wood. I will admit, this is a pretty great cane, but he wanted to make it even more personal so he asked me to etch him a custom plate for it.
The pattern was designed in my Cricut Software and printed onto thermal paper using a laser jet printer. The Cricut software is very versatile and you can pretty much design whatever you want, I love it! I purchased a cheaper laser printer on eBay for printing onto thermal paper specifically for etching. Once it was printed on the thermal paper (which is a yellow color) it was transferred to the metal using heat, whether iron, laminator, or t-shirt press, either one of these will work to transfer the pattern.
The piece was then etched using Ferric chloride solution, pre-made. Depending on the strength of your solution will determine how long it takes to etch. Below is the final etch, which took about 2 hours with agitation but no heat.
The last step was to shape the piece to fit the cane. I decided to go with an oval shape rather then try and match the shape exactly. The plate was polished before placing the plate on the cane. The plate was attached to the cane by drilling tiny holes in the plate and cane and using tiny finishing nails to attach it to the wood. I opted out of using something like Gorilla Glue. I don't like using glue if I can avoid it. The finished product is below.
Needless to say he absolutely loved it!!