Engraving question

Hi all,
A client for whom I've made a 24" x 30" stainless steel plaque would like to get it engraved with about 110 words worth of a Teddy Roosevelt speech and
present it to her beau. The letters would need be about .500" to .750" tall. The plaque is made out of 10 gauge SS and the engraving would need to be deep enough to hold some paint - I'm thinking .080 or so. It's easy to find folks that do trophy engraving, but only one outfit I could find does deeper/bigger stuff, but they're limited to a 15" x 20" surface.
Anybody have any suggestions about where I should go or what type of engraving capability I should be looking for?
Peter
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Peter Grey wrote:

Looks like your and/or your client did a classic case of READY->FIRE->AIM. Why commission a custom plaque with no idea of how to get it engraved in a cost-effective manner? Looks to me like you're going to have to tell her to bite the bullet and pay for manual engraving, and something that big is going to really cost.
Ouch.
GWE
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That IS the truth. She asked me make this thing and after it was done told me she wasn't sure how she was going to have it engraved. She's now looking for someone to paint the words on since she hasn't been able to find anyone to engrave it... I'm trying to help her do it properly.
Peter
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In a pinch you might try the following:
1. Line up a good Calligrapher 2. Coat the display surface with an etchant-resistant substance 3. Have the Calligrapher use a sharp stylus and/or loop [as is used to model clay] to do the lettering by the *removal* of the etchant-resistant substance 4. Apply the etchant.
This would be a variant of an old art-form that consists of scratching through a dark surface to expose a lighter surface underneath.
In this case, the removal of the coating would be the step prior to etching - and the etching would be the step prior to filling in the etched lettering with an appropriate paint.
A "quick-and-dirty" approach would be to apply stick-on letters, coat with an etchant-resistant, remove the stick-ons, etch, and apply paint.
The calligraphy would be "prettier", though...
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Peter Grey wrote:

I don't know what chemicals eat stainless, but have you looked into etching it?
An aquaintance who makes metal art goods has shown me some pretty deep engraving she makes using some kind of "resist paper" she runs through a photocopy machine to transfer images she draws on paper, then sticks the photocopied stuff onto her metal objects and plops them in a tray of etchant..
HTH,
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia

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Jeff Wisnia wrote:

Ferric Chloride, for one.
Ted
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What you really want is not engraving but routing in order to get the depth necessary to make colorfilling the characters doable. I have done hundreds of items that way. Look for someone who has a cnc router table like a Gerber. Piece of cake for one of those machines as opposed to an engraving machine which are small and really meant for brass and aluminum. You will have a limitation of fonts that will work (look good)due to the cutter diameter. Option B would be to have it screened using epoxy ink and baked. Very permanent. If you have it routed make sure it is very flat or the depth will vary and the letters will look crappy. If they use some coolant or oil that will need to be completely off. Use ink or paint that will not stick to the surface of the metal. Laquer works good and can be baked. Do sections not the whole thing. Brush the laquer into the the letters and don't worry if it overflows. Before it even dries a little bit take a fresh sheet of newsprint and blot off the excess. do it until there is a slight haze only. Let dry overnight at least. Take Scotch tape and press it down over the ink haze. peel it up and should be clean. What is left clean of with auto wax like J wax Kit. It'll look great
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How about an etching ? - Etch the words in. Maybe a different company type is needed. Laser CNC could do it also. Might not be to much since it is 'simple'.
Martin Martin Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net NRA LOH, NRA Life NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder
Peter Grey wrote:

-
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Peter Grey wrote:

Have you looked into laser marking (also called laser engraving). It is not as deep as what you are looking for, and it cannot be filled with paint. However, it is very clear, i.e. black on stainless and very durable. I have used it to great satisfaction. Here are some examples.
http://www.abrasha.com/slideshow/judaica/menorah%20of%20talmudic%20era.htm http://www.abrasha.com/slideshow/judaica/kiddush_cup_on_stainless_base.htm http://www.abrasha.com/slideshow/judaica/kiddush_cup_on_stainless_base_2.htm
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Abrasha,
That looks like it would work very well. Anybody local to San Francisco that'll do it?
Peter

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Peter Grey wrote:

No. But give me the exact specs, size and thickness of the plate and the exact text with layout that you want on it, and I will give you a price quote.
Since the letters are rather large (.50 to .75" tall on a 24" x 30" plate), there will be quite some heat development from the laser, which means that the plate should have a certain thickness to make sure that it does not warp.
It will not be cheap, that I can tell you. This job cost me $500.00 http://www.abrasha.com/slideshow/judaica/megillath_esther.htm
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Abrasha
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Thanks. Turns out I found a laser engraving outfit near my client's home that'll do the job for about $100. I'm going to ship it to her and let her deal with it.
Peter
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snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net wrote:

Great. If it does not work out, I am perfectly happy to turn you on to the people who do it for me. They are in Sunnyvale, and do a lot of work for companies like Intel and Apple.
Whenever I send have them do some of my pieces I always have to wait patiently until they have some shop time for me, and don't need their machines for their regular customers who give them a great deal more work then I do.
The wait has always been worthwhile though.
Remember, that the thickness of the plate you are going to send your customer is going to be crucial, because 110 words, so probably well over 500 characters) with characters between .50 and .75 in height, are going to generate a lot of heat from the laser.
Abrasha http://www.abrasha.com
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Abrasha wrote:

As usuall with your stuff, beautiful work.
Ted
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On Sat, 10 Sep 2005 15:34:34 GMT, Ted Edwards

Main Entry: idiot savant Pronunciation: 'E-"dyO-s-'vn, or same as IDIOT and savant for respective singular and plural forms Function: noun Inflected Form(s): plural idiots savants /-"dyO-s-'vn(z)/; or idiot savants /-'vn(z)/ Etymology: French, literally, learned idiot Date: 1927 1 : a mentally defective person who exhibits exceptional skill or brilliance in some limited field 2 : a person who is highly knowledgeable about one subject but knows little about anything else
heh
Gunner
"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire. Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us) off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you for torturing the cat." Gunner
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wrote:

C'mon Gunner - despite the political differences between you and Abrasha, can't you just acknowledge his obvious skill in the work above and let it go at that, at least in this thread?
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Abrasha wrote:

I did a lot of diamond drag on small stainless tags for classs 8 trucks. We messed with various engraving techniques including laser, but none looked as good as the diamond drag work because of the "glisten" it leaves behind. Some of how your taller letters end up looking would depend on the font used.
.5 to .75 tall letters would require a little experimentation as to which milti-line font would look best. Engraving guys with programs like casmate or signlab usually have at least 100 "stick fonts' that have what you need. Typically, smaller lettering looks better, but with some experimentation, I bet something would work. (true type fonts will likely not give you what you are looking for or what you would need to make a letter that tall look "full" enough unless you run a simple fill )
I have a machine bed large enough, but am in Wisconsin. You should be able to find someone out there with an engraving head on an engraver or cnc router with a table big enough.
I will say that my machines bed size of 28 x 49 DOES attract a lot of work because others only have much smaller machines. I am never 'looking' for work.... It just finds me.
Grummy
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Peter Grey wrote:

Some CNC machines have Engraving options built right into them (Haas comes to mind, but only because we one and I've done it) others don't but you can have a Mastercam make a program for it or there are programs out there for each letter (but pasting it togeather would be a bitch). The size of the lettering can be set as well as the depth though I wonder what type of tooling you would use for letters that big (ball nose endmill maybe). Try contacting a bunch of local CNC or Tool and Die shops. Ken
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Peter Grey wrote:

I used to work for a company that sold electrical supplies and I ran an engraving department that would engrave words on legend plates (allen bradley switches was a big seller). Besides engraving those we would engrave various metals and phenolic plates for signs and plaques. There were two styles of engraving machines. One was a manual machine that used a small router type bit that was powered by a small motor. The machine held large letters that were traced and the cutter would engrave the piece of material. These machines are still used in jewelry stores here and there (like this:http://www.able-engravers.com/m_s_r_t_engraver.htm ) . We also had a computerized engraver (like this:http://www.able-engravers.com/egx30.htm ). This was back in the early '80's so anything with a computer was really high tech. It works on an X and Y axis platform that would move to the piece of material and then (as per your command) engrave a letter in a specific font and size. These worked very similar to the computerized lasers used in some steel fabricated shops. I would recommend taking the blank piece of ss to a place that engraves plaques for trophys. Some of the legend plates would use an acid to darken the engraved letters. It seemed interesting in the beginning but became a drag once i realized it was a job. Good luck Walt
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I'd check the big engraving machine out and see if you can do it in several passes. They may have the clearance on the outside to where you can do a bit of the lettering and then move the plaque an exact distance and do more. They'll also probalby have to so part of it upside down but that shouldn't be a problem with the templates in the machine.
-- Why do penguins walk so far to get to their nesting grounds?
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