making dog tags

I am marking a bunch of trees with some aluminum "dog tags" with three or four lines of words (all the same) and a unique number.
I have been stamping these out, words and numbers with a Harbor Freight 1/4" stamp set and a ball pein hammer. Now the problem is how to mass produce 200 of these blanks -- I can't do the verbiage all letter by letter, (although I will still be stamping in the unique number).
How can I make a stamp with whole words or sentences? Can I use a 2-ton arbor press and some kind of dye? I would need a plate about the size of a business card, or maybe a little bigger. Where would I even go to find something like this? How are dog tags done?
Can I etch or anodize the info onto surface of these tags instead of stamping? Even engraving would be faster than the whack, whack, whack of my hammer...
__ "All it took was all I had..."
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Emmo wrote:

Nice new equipment:
http://www.datatechsys.net/C380.htm
Nice cheap equipment:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category &251&item833723139&rd=1
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You make a handle to hold the lettering. you can only do one line at a time though. Just mill a slot in some steel stock so the numbers/letters fit in sideways. then cut it to width put a couple of pieces on the sides and a setscrew in one side to hold the letters/numbers tight. then you can stamp a whole row at once. you can buy stamp holders for about 60.00 too. the letters and numbers for them get spendy.
http://www.knight-toolworks.com/web_temp_pics/toolholder.jpg
I have several for 2 numbers and for dates and such. I have been getting the letters and numbers from msc but at 2.00 each they do add up.
--
Knight-Toolworks & Custom Planes
Custom made wooden planes at reasonable prices
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Why only one line? Well, other than the cost of the letters ($12.99 per set - I hope the text is light on "e"s!). Surely one could make a holder for a few lines.
Tim
--
Google is not the only search engine.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Don Foreman" wrote: How about having them screen-printed? ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Or screen printing with a resist, and then etching.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Another solution would be to print the labels using a laser printer and special label paper. Look at www.rippedsheets.com (no, it's not a dirty site! The ripped sheets phrase is the act of cutting label cut outs onto a 8-1/2 x 11 sheet of label paper). I use one of their products to make nameplate on our equipment that is left outdoors. They have a label that was designed to be put on 55 gallon drums of waste material left out in the weather. I don't have the specific product number with me now, but if you can't find it after contacting them, let me know and I will look up the number.
If this seems OK to you, then all you have to do is print up your labels with incremental numbers and then apply the stickers to your dog tags and forget about stamping them.
Hope this helps.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Emmo wrote:

http://www.mscdirect.com/PDF.process?pdf&10&Keyword=Y This is a pdf on MSC's catalog - it is PRYOR - one does a line of type - lock it in a handle and either hammer or Press.
Dog tags are engraved with a high speed semi-pointed D shaped carbide or HSS cutter - almost CNC like. Mechanical cnc if you will.
Think of the tokens one punches at parks or such - These are made in Sheffield England.
Martin
--
Martin Eastburn, Barbara Eastburn
@ home at Lion's Lair with our computer snipped-for-privacy@pacbell.net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Don't know about now, but back in the old days <G>, the dogtags were made on a typewriter type of machine where the tag was placed in a holder, and as each letter was "typed" the character was stamped into the metal (I ran one of these for a few days in boot camp only because I was able to type). Ken.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ken Sterling wrote:

You mean human dog tag. Those are pressed. Yes I know.
Canine dog tags today are typically engraved.
Martin
--
Martin Eastburn, Barbara Eastburn
@ home at Lion's Lair with our computer snipped-for-privacy@pacbell.net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ken Sterling wrote: Don't know about now, but back in the old days <G>, the dogtags were made on a typewriter type of machine where the tag was placed in a holder, and as each letter was "typed" the character was stamped into the metal (I ran one of these for a few days in boot camp only because I was able to type). ^^^^^^^^^^^^^ I'll carry you back even further than that! Prior to WWII, the Addressograph company had a machine that stamped out metal plates that were used for addressing mail. During the "BIG" war, this company made a fortune selling the same machine to the government for making dog tags. Those machines are probably all scrapped by now, except for a few that may be in museums, but, if by chance you could find one, you would be able to make the tags as fast as you can type--provided you could also find the blanks.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:
|| ||Ken Sterling wrote: Don't know about now, but back in the old days <G>, the ||dogtags were made on a typewriter type of machine where the tag was placed ||in a || holder, and as each letter was "typed" the character was stamped into the ||metal (I ran one of these for a few days in boot camp only because I was ||able to type). ||^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ||I'll carry you back even further than that! Prior to WWII, the ||Addressograph company had a machine that stamped out metal plates that were ||used for addressing mail. During the "BIG" war, this company made a fortune ||selling the same machine to the government for making dog tags. Those ||machines are probably all scrapped by now, except for a few that may be in ||museums, but, if by chance you could find one, you would be able to make the ||tags as fast as you can type--provided you could also find the blanks.
We haveone of those stored in the back of this uilding. It's probably for sale, probably pretty cheap. Last I looked it had some blank plates with it. Fort Worth TX
Texas Parts Guy
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
replying to Rex B, Hope wrote: How much? I?m trying to do the same thing.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Probably the same machine.... Ken.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Do these tags have to be in metal? I used to make ID tags for my cat by simply printing the text out on plain paper, embedding the paper in clear resin, cutting out the tag with a band saw, and finishing the edges. At the time I ran a shop that concentrated on transparent resin casting, but I used normal "two-ton epoxy" for this purpose. The tags were quite permanent, and one could make up a large number of different ones at one time for almost nothing using this method. But, for decent visual quality, you would need access to either a strong vacuum pump with bell jar, or a small pressure vessel.
Method: 1. You set up a tray of polished metal or plexi. You can use plasticine clay for the walls. 2. Spritz with some "mold release" or whatever dry silicone spray is handy. 3. Mix up the epoxy. Vacuum the mix if possible. 4. Spread onto the back of the paper and lay it onto the tray without leaving bubbles. If you screw up, repeat from step 2. No harm done, almost no money lost. 5. If this went quickly and the pot is still fresh, pour the rest over the top of the paper. If not, quickly mix and vacuum a new pot. Make sure the tray is level. Put it in a pressure vessel if you have one. 6. Wait for it to cure. Add gentle heat if you've got it.
This method will yield extremely durable labels, but I must concede several shortcomings: 1. If you do not have an effective vacuum pump or pressure vessel small air bubbles will form during cure. 2. If you use standard hardware store "two ton epoxy" it will yellow over time. If you want resin that will stay clear, research "casting resins". 3. It is impossible to keep the paper evenly spaced between the top and bottom layers of resin. The best plan is to make several trials and throw away the worst results. This is a very cheap process afterall. Hope this was useful. Contact me if you have any questions.
Robobass

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"robobass" wrote: .(clip) 3. Mix up the epoxy. Vacuum the mix if possible.(clip) mix and vacuum a new pot. Make sure the tray is level. Put it in a pressure vessel if you have one(clip) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^ I have heard of using vacuum to pull bubbles out of a resin mix before it cures, but the idea of using pressure is new to me. Is the purpose of pressure to make the residual bubbles smaller while the resin cures? Why didn't I think of that?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Leo Lichtman wrote:

It makes bubbles smaller (or disappears them) but I think the main intent is to more-completely fill the mold. Note, vacuum bagging (for fiberglass) is a way of applying atmospheric pressure to a molding, to prevent voids and holes and tighten the structure.

Probably for the usual reasons.
-jiw
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
James Waldby wrote: [on using pressure during resin casting] ... I think the main

If the mold is completely within the pressure vessel the pressure will have no effect on filling the mold.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Do these tags have to be in metal? I used to make ID tags for my cat by simply printing the text out on plain paper, embedding the paper in clear resin, cutting out the tag with a band saw, and finishing the edges. At the time I ran a shop that concentrated on transparent resin casting, but I used normal "two-ton epoxy" for this purpose. The tags were quite permanent, and one could make up a large number of different ones at one time for almost nothing using this method. But, for decent visual quality, you would need access to either a strong vacuum pump with bell jar, or a small pressure vessel.
Method: 1. You set up a tray of polished metal or plexi. You can use plasticine clay for the walls. 2. Spritz with some "mold release" or whatever dry silicone spray is handy. 3. Mix up the epoxy. Vacuum the mix if possible. 4. Spread onto the back of the paper and lay it onto the tray without leaving bubbles. If you screw up, repeat from step 2. No harm done, almost no money lost. 5. If this went quickly and the pot is still fresh, pour the rest over the top of the paper. If not, quickly mix and vacuum a new pot. Make sure the tray is level. Put it in a pressure vessel if you have one. 6. Wait for it to cure. Add gentle heat if you've got it.
This method will yield extremely durable labels, but I must concede several shortcomings: 1. If you do not have an effective vacuum pump or pressure vessel small air bubbles will form during cure. 2. If you use standard hardware store "two ton epoxy" it will yellow over time. If you want resin that will stay clear, research "casting resins". 3. It is impossible to keep the paper evenly spaced between the top and bottom layers of resin. The best plan is to make several trials and throw away the worst results. This is a very cheap process afterall. Hope this was useful. Contact me if you have any questions.
Robobass

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanx to all responders. Since I didn't even know that the right word was embossing, I really needed all the help.
I especially appreciate the wide range of answers, from 'here is a machine on ebay' to 'here's how to do it in your shop' to 'do it differently'.
At this point, I think I am going to screen print the static info onto a 2" x 5" tag, leaving open areas for the numbers, my model being a nameplate on a motor or pump. A big reason for this is that this allows me to dress up the tag with a logo, red ink, and so on.
I'm now off to find the basic kit for screen printing... How much ink will I need to cover 2000 sq in. I wonder ?
Thanx again
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If you want brass nametags without stamping them out by hand, you can get the basic information machine engraved on the blank tags. Hermes makes the machines primarily for plastic engraving (you see them all the time as License Plate Rims: "Mom's Final Score: Boys 2, Girls 1") but they do brass with the right engraving cutters.
They have computerized machines where you can load the text file in once, tell it how many copies you want made (it decrements the serial number count automatically) and just keep popping in blank brass plates as it completes them. Will even do filigree around the borders, custom logos, or double-strike the letters (drop-shadow or balloon effects) depending on how good the programmer is.
If you want them curved, bend them to shape over a buck AFTER engraving - and pad the front surface well to avoid scratches or marring the grooves. If you want the engraving to really stand out on the brass, you take some silkscreen ink (or thick paint) and wipe it into the grooves.
For Onesies Twosies jobs, I just go see our local engraving shop in Thousand Oaks and have Max Herstein make what I need - I think he has a CNC machine too, but the one-off jobs are easier to do on a manual machine... Perfect shop for a retiree to run.

Doesn't much matter how much it will take, the smallest cans you can buy of commercial printing inks is usually one pound. That should easily do 20,000 square inches, even if you goof up a lot.
(I spent a portion of my misbegotten youth in Print Shop, including setting cold and hot type and photo-compositing. There's logic behind the phrase "Mind your p's and q's..." Proofreading galleys of set type [upside down and backwards] is great training for reading printed matter upside down across the table.) ;-)
When you are done for the day, be sure to put the waxed paper back on the top of the ink in the can, to keep it from skinning over between uses.
--<< Bruce >>--
--
Bruce L. Bergman, Woodland Hills (Los Angeles) CA - Desktop
Electrician for Westend Electric - CA726700
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.