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Details for Etchers and Engravers


Description

Engrave or etch metal, wood, rubber, or other materials for identification or decorative purposes. Includes such workers as etcher-circuit processors, pantograph engravers, and silk screen etchers.

Tasks

  • Measure and compute dimensions of lettering, designs, or patterns to be engraved.
  • Neutralize workpieces to remove acid, wax, or enamel, using water, solvents, brushes, or specialized machines.
  • Observe actions of cutting tools through microscopes and adjust stylus movement to ensure accurate reproduction.
  • Position and clamp workpieces, plates, or rollers in holding fixtures.
  • Prepare etching chemicals according to formulas, diluting acid with water to obtain solutions of specified concentration.
  • Adjust depths and sizes of cuts by adjusting heights of worktables, or by adjusting machine-arm gauges.
  • Determine machine settings, and move bars or levers to reproduce designs on rollers or plates.
  • 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.
  • Examine engraving for quality of cut, burrs, rough spots, and irregular or incomplete engraving.
  • Examine sketches, diagrams, samples, blueprints, or photographs to decide how designs are to be etched, cut, or engraved onto workpieces.
  • Expose workpieces to acid to develop etch patterns such as designs, lettering, or figures.
  • Guide stylus over template, causing cutting tool to duplicate design or letters on workpiece.
  • Insert cutting tools or bits into machines and secure them with wrenches.
  • 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.
  • Print proofs or examine designs to verify accuracy of engraving, and rework engraving as required.
  • Remove completed workpieces and place them in trays.
  • Select and insert required templates into pattern frames beneath the stylus of a machine cutting tool or router.
  • Select and mount wheels and miters on lathes, and equip lathes with water to cool wheels and prevent dust when grinding glass.
  • Set reduction scales to attain specified sizes of reproduction on workpieces, and set pantograph controls for required heights, depths, and widths of cuts.
  • Sketch, trace, or scribe layout lines and designs on workpieces, plates, dies, or rollers, using compasses, scribers, gravers, or pencils.
  • Start machines and lower cutting tools to beginning points on patterns.
  • Brush or smear abrasives on cutting wheels.
  • Brush or wipe acid over engraving to darken or highlight inscriptions.
  • Carve designs and letters onto metal for transfer to other surfaces.
  • Clean and polish engraved areas.
  • Clean rollers prior to etching, using sponges, cleaning chemicals, and water.
  • Cut outlines of impressions with gravers, and remove excess material with knives.
  • Dress and shape cutting wheels by holding dressing stones against rotating wheels.
  • Fill etched characters with opaque paste to improve readability.
  • Position patterns against waxed or taped ware and spray ink through patterns to transfer designs to wax or tape.
  • Reduce artwork to be used, using reduction cameras.
  • Remove wax or tape from etched glassware by using a stylus or knife, or by immersing ware in hot water.
  • Sandblast exposed areas of glass to cut designs in surfaces, using spray guns.
  • Start lathes and hold glass or glassware against outer edges of wheels, twisting and turning articles so that wheels will grind glass according to marked designs.
  • Turn valves to agitate acid solutions with compressed air and start machines to rotate rollers in solutions.
  • Transfer image to workpiece, using contact printer, pantograph stylus, silkscreen printing device, or stamp pad.

Interests

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.

Knowledge

  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Skills

Related Careers

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  • Jewelers
  • Molding and Casting Workers
  • Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians
  • Photographic Process Workers
  • Potters, Manufacturing
  • Precious Metal Workers
  • Prepress Technicians and Workers
  • Printing Machine Operators
  • Sewing Machine Operators
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