Table of contents
Etchers And Engravers
Etchers and Engravers engrave or etch metal, wood, rubber, or other materials. Includes such workers as etcher-circuit processors, pantograph engravers, and silk screen etchers.
What they do
- Inspect etched work for depth of etching, uniformity, and defects, using calibrated microscopes, gauges, fingers, or magnifying lenses.
- Prepare workpieces for etching or engraving by cutting, sanding, cleaning, polishing, or treating them with wax, acid resist, lime, etching powder, or light-sensitive enamel.
- Engrave and print patterns, designs, etchings, trademarks, or lettering onto flat or curved surfaces of a wide variety of metal, glass, plastic, or paper items, using hand tools or hand-held power tools.
- Prepare etching chemicals according to formulas, diluting acid with water to obtain solutions of specified concentration.
On a daily basis, Etchers and Engravers determine machine settings and move bars or levers to reproduce designs on rollers or plates. They expose workpieces to acid to develop etch patterns such as designs, lettering, or figures.
A typical day for an Etcher and Engraver will also include:
- Adjust depths and sizes of cuts by adjusting heights of worktables, or by adjusting machine-arm gauges.
- Use computer software to design patterns for engraving.
- Set reduction scales to attain specified sizes of reproduction on workpieces, and set pantograph controls for required heights, depths, and widths of cuts.
- Remove completed workpieces and place them in trays.
- Observe actions of cutting tools through microscopes and adjust stylus movement to ensure accurate reproduction.
Besides their typical day, Etchers and Engravers also carve designs and letters onto metal for transfer to other surfaces. They may also observe the actions of cutting tools through microscopes and adjust stylus movement to ensure accurate reproduction.
On a weekly to monthly basis, Etchers and Engravers start machines and lower cutting tools to beginning points on patterns. They might also insert cutting tools or bits into machines and secure them with wrenches.
In addition, they fill etched characters with opaque paste to improve readability.
Although specific duties may vary, many of them prepare etching chemicals according to formulas, diluting acid with water to obtain solutions of specified concentration.
To some Etchers and Engravers, it is also their responsibility to sandblast exposed areas of glass to cut designs in surfaces, using spray guns.
What is it like working as one
Suitable for people who like practical and hands-on work.
Suitable for people who want to work in a supportive work environment.
It is easy to get into this career. Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required to get started.
Normal working hours (40 hours per week).
Not suitable for people who likes to solve problems mentally.
One of the lowest paying jobs.
Demand for this career is declining.
Should you become one
People who are suitable for this job tend to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
They also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.