Yes - I like to use a square tipped blade and a hammer (a jeweler's technique) but you can also use a rounded blade and rock it through. Which technique you use may depend on the metal the etch is made from - either works nicely on brass, but if the metal is a bit harder the hammer technique is not only more precise, but also faster.
I use a needle file - and only forward strokes...pulling back on a snage can cause an unwanted bend...
Yes...mostly. Depends on how bad the kink is. Sometimes you can roll ot out with a hunk of dowel and a hard, flat plate - glass, plexi, or a counter top.
I have a scrap chunk of 1/4" clear plexi sheet that I use for a lot of stuff - that works best, and I can move it around on my bench. You need something hard, that won't chip but yet will give a bit under the blade.
My fav etch cutting tool is a #17 X-Acto blade without the handle, and a small hammer. Put the part under a fingertip to keep it from flying, then nibble the fret away with the blade. Very precise, and fery fast once you get the hang of it.
Musicman59 wrote: : : and can the rough area from the cut be smoothed out with a sanding : stick? : I like to use a small chisel stone. It is smooth, so it will not grab the PE on the tree connector, which is a problem with a Dremel abrasive wheel stone.
A few strokes with the part parallel to the longetudinal axis should clean up the PE quite nicely. : : and I guess I am screwed if I bend on of them, right? If memory : serves, its next to impossible to get a kink out of metal like this. : You can remove the kink, but typically you wind up stretching the metal. That is the real problem.