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Topic: Looking for Engraving advice
Message: Posted by: eSamuels (May 14, 2014 01:15PM)
I'm looking at getting some kind of engraving tool, its primary purpose will be to engrave numbers into relatively dense metal.
There seems to be a huge gap between the cheap pens (the ones I've tested look more like scratches than engravings) and the large professional machines (laser, mechanical, etc.) which are very expensive.

Curious if anyone has a suggestion for something that is not too expensive and effective and creating clean and relatively deep-looking engravings?

Message: Posted by: george1953 (May 14, 2014 01:38PM)
I used to engrave on glass and used a dremel drill with a diamond tip, but it was no good for metal. I asked a local engraver who said the cheapest solution was to stamp the metal, but I only ever found letter punches that looked quite crude.
Message: Posted by: eSamuels (May 14, 2014 05:18PM)
I do have a set of number punches, which I've experimented with.
When compared to laser engraving, they are less than ideal.

Message: Posted by: pabloinus (May 15, 2014 09:51AM)
Maybe using those places at the malls that sell stuff and engrave them (do not recall the name?)
Message: Posted by: magicwatcher2005 (May 15, 2014 11:51AM)
Your question is too broad. Are you seeking to engrave the metal for unseen (by spectators) serial number purposes, or is it decorative? The two needs are so different as to suggest entirely different methods.
Message: Posted by: eSamuels (May 15, 2014 01:14PM)
Engravings are on coin and need to be large and obvious.
In response to earlier suggestion, mall or other commercial engravers are what I am trying to avoid. Seeking a high quality DIY solution.

Message: Posted by: Wizzard (May 15, 2014 01:16PM)
Without knowing the type of metal you are trying to engrave it is hard to give you a suggestion.
You might try a "Trophy" Shop as they do engraving on plastic as well as metal, at least here in the States.
This can save a great deal of frustration in learning how to do "deep-looking engravings".
Acid etching may be another alternative. Fairly inexpensive, but caution is advised.
Good luck!

Message: Posted by: The Baldini (May 15, 2014 08:51PM)
You could buy a laser cutting machine for about two grand, then sell it for almost what you paid for it.
Google laser cutting.
Message: Posted by: magicwatcher2005 (May 15, 2014 10:01PM)
Good luck doing decent"engraving" on metal with a $2000 laser.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (May 15, 2014 10:46PM)
ESamuels, I believe you are looking in the wrong area. It is not engraving you are looking for, but metal stamping. Stamping hits the coin quick and leaves a deep impression, depending on the force of the stamp process. The cheapest method would be to get a metal stamp made, then make a hard wood block cut to hold the coin, then clamp it down with a lever clamp, when the stamp is hit it with a hammer it will leave the impression of a number.

I looked into having a finger ring engraved with deep initials many years ago, and found the same results you did. They are light lines only. The deep initials you see on such things as finger rings have been made by the jewelry company. It is not engraved, but stamped during manufacturer.

To verify, simply go to the oldest jeweler in your city that is not a chain operation. Usually not the prettiest store around, but the jeweler usually is very friendly and will take the time to discuss what you are trying to accomplish.
Message: Posted by: eSamuels (May 16, 2014 11:37AM)
Thanks, Bill.

The original samples I have, according to the manufacturer, were laser engraved.
I will have to confirm this to be accurate (there may have been a language issue).

I did test out a mall engraving shop.
After showing them the original, which they said they could not replicate, their result was a much thinner engraving.

I've used the metal stamp process and while it works, it just doesn't look nearly as good as the original.

Appreciate all the suggestions!

Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (May 16, 2014 11:53AM)
Yah, that was my same experience at a Mall Engraving Store I had. I think it best not to just stop their, a professional Jeweler will have more knowledge then a Mall store. If it could be carved deep impressions, it would be very expensive, unless it is a one time engraving. If I were you, I would do some more local enquiries. I stopped when another Jeweler told me they could not do the deep cuts, so I went with the lighter scroll work.
Message: Posted by: The Baldini (May 16, 2014 08:02PM)
Here is a company I have used many times. The customer service and turnaround time is amazing. They can engrave anything even non flat surfaces.
Message: Posted by: chill (May 17, 2014 07:52AM)
Acid etch? a lot more work though.