This is an art type project. I have a 4" (1/4 inch thick) piece or art
metal that I cut in the shape or a Lauburu. This is the Basque national
symbol. Sort of a swastika but with rounded lobes instead of sharp right
Anyway, I need to put three initials on it, about 3/4 inch high. Stick
welding it on would be too crude, especially considering my lack of
technique. Stamping it would not work since the biggest stamp set I own is
3/8 inch high.
Here is one thought. Print the letters (fancy font) on paper, glue to metal
and coat the rest of the metal with some form of resist. Peel off paper and
either solder or melt lead onto the un-resistant lettered areas. When done
I could either brush it so the letters are bright, or, gild it with gold.
Need help with resist and flux to use.
Not at all married to the above technique. ANY OTHER IDEAS would be greatly
Have your letters or symbol cut by someone with a CNC plasma or laser table,
drill a hole though your piece and spotweld from the back or epoxy in place.
I found this symbol online and digitized it and saved it as a .dxf file. If
you need a copy let me know or I could cut it for you.
I am not sure that you will be able to get the solder or lead into the
spaces left by the peeled-ff letters accurately.
I have tried similar method when making sundials:
I got a set of stick-on letters, stuck them on the face of the dial, sprayed
the whole thing with paint and then peeled off the numbers. I then etched
the whole thing with Ferric Chloride. The big problem was that whatever glue
there is left behind from the stick-on letters it acts as an effective
resist and screws up the results. Cleaning up the glue with acetone is
difficult - sometimes you cannot see it, sometimes you remove the paint with
I then tried the opposite: Stick on the letters (the face is sanded to 400
grit first) and use them as a resist, etch away all the rest. This produces
an interesting effect on steel. The letters are shiny and the rest looks
sand-blasted. There are few issues with this which I am working on.
If you only have 3 letters to do it is not unreasonable to cut them out from
whatever metal you choose and stick them on with JB Weld. This holds really
well particularly if there is no structural load. I have learned to do this
as heat from soldering/brazing/welding has a rather unpredictable effect on
the final appearance of the piece.
Hope this helps,
I'll go look for letters. This could work. Of course, for a mere three
letters, I could also cut them out of thing metal sheet, be it copper, brass
or stainless. I have a die filer and could file to shape.
Iggy, I always wondered how much dexterity it would take on a mill (I do
have one) to slowly operate both handwheels and do, say for example, a
letter "O". This is where CNC would be wonderful! I will experiment.
Thanks speter! I already made a dxf. file of this over a year ago. I
already made one out of sheet metal, 2 feet across and 3-4 inches thick. I
made two sets of 'blades' two feet across, distressed and gave them a slight
twist on an english wheel, positioned them opposite each other and welded on
'edging', 3-4 inches thick. This became the main graphic on a decorative
iron gate for a friend. I am now making a latch assembly and the smaller
Lauburu's in questions will become the doornobs.
I will try and see how much somebody with a CNC would charge to cut the
John, are you suggesting that the metal engraving field has special
typefaces? Didn't know.
Can I make my own engraving tools out of HSP? I do have some pieces that
are way too big to ever become a lathe tool for my size lathe.
What if I tried just the opposite. Glue on a mask (after all this is only
4± inches) wherein the three initials would be holes within the mask. Holes
would not have any glue or other stuff on them. Would that allow me to add
flux and then solder?
I will be trying to cut the letters from brass.
Thanks Michael, good ideas.