Engraving aluminum

discussion of design changes / improvements / suggestions
Shook
Posts: 139
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Re: Engraving aluminum

Post by Shook » Mon Jan 04, 2016 2:31 pm

Another option if anyone has a vinyl cutter is to cut a vinyl mask and use saltwater etching to permanently etch the metal.
http://www.instructables.com/id/Salt-Wa ... l-Etching/

I used this technique (masked with just electrical tape and cut with an x-acto) to put my initials on a titanium spork. (No more losing my mess kit components when I'm on Boy Scout campouts with my son!)
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madhatter
Posts: 164
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:33 am
Location: WA, USA

Re: Engraving aluminum

Post by madhatter » Fri Feb 12, 2016 2:37 am

Well, I have been wanting to get a diamond drag bit for a while, but I could not bring myself to drop the ~$180.00 for the WidgetWorks bit. That, and the fact that it is so long I know there had to be some flex in the body. I finally found a diamond drag bit that is small and fits in my 1/4" collet DeWalt router.

Homann Designs makes nice small diamond drag bits. I bought the 1/4" bit, which comes with a 120deg bit, as well as a 90deg bit. I was not paying attention or I would have bought the 60deg and 75deg bits as well. I mean, why not? Save on shipping from down under.

Anyway, the bit is great. I mean, I have never had another to compare it to, but it is small, and the knurled collar can be seated right up next to the locking nut on your router, sot here is almost no flex in the bit itself. The knurled end that looks like a collar you would remove to change diamond bits is actually nothing more than a heavy collar that I assume is for strength from side loads when engraving.

I have engraved a steel knife handle (it was my first time engraving anything, go easy on me) and I engraved it 4-5 times, each time increasing the pressure on the diamond - looking for the right amount of pressure. I think I need to use the 60deg or 75 deg bit on the stainless steel, since the 90 did not impress very deep at all, even at 0.22" compression of the bit.

Also, after engraving the knife, I found that the allen set screw can also pre-load the diamond bit so you don't have to compress it with the router as much. I guess I could do some research and find out what would work best if I weren't so lazy.

I also cut a mirror, and it worked out really well. I am not sure if I should have cut the front or back, but I cut the front and I think it looks nice. I mean, there is a doubling of the image, so maybe I will try the back next time I pick up a mirror. If anyone had a "Michaels" craft store, I picked up a 12" x 20" mirror with a beveled edge for ~$8.00. Not bad.
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madhatter
Posts: 164
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:33 am
Location: WA, USA

Re: Engraving aluminum

Post by madhatter » Fri Feb 12, 2016 2:40 am

Aaaaand a second post because of the three mage limit.
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Atonwa
Posts: 238
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Location: Corning, NY

Re: Engraving aluminum

Post by Atonwa » Fri Feb 12, 2016 2:59 am

Those look great for your first engravings. I really like this set up better and the price is great. With the Widgetworks your stuck with two different springs and right now I'm in the need for stiffer than either of them.

Thanks for sharing, how long did it take to receive after ordering?
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AnonymousPerson
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Re: Engraving aluminum

Post by AnonymousPerson » Fri Feb 12, 2016 3:00 am

Looks pretty good. The seeing disability quote is my kind of thing too. :)
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madhatter
Posts: 164
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:33 am
Location: WA, USA

Re: Engraving aluminum

Post by madhatter » Fri Feb 12, 2016 3:11 am

Atonwa wrote:Those look great for your first engravings. I really like this set up better and the price is great. With the Widgetworks your stuck with two different springs and right now I'm in the need for stiffer than either of them.

Thanks for sharing, how long did it take to receive after ordering?

January 2nd - Ordered the bits. Apparently they were on new years' holiday.
January 12th - received an email stating they were back from holiday and were catching up on orders.
January 15th - received email that my stuff had shipped.
January 28th-ish? Received my bits. That is the only thing that is not date stamped in my inbox, soooo. That is about right though.

They provided an Australia Post tracking number, but it didn't actually track. I was supposed to get a USPS tracking number when it reached 'merica. I did not get a tracking number for that. It just showed up one day. I was still happy.
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madhatter
Posts: 164
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:33 am
Location: WA, USA

Re: Engraving aluminum

Post by madhatter » Fri Feb 12, 2016 3:59 am

AnonymousPerson wrote:Looks pretty good. The seeing disability quote is my kind of thing too. :)
Thanks, me too.
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