Metal engraving was always popular among artists for centuries. Engraving is a common practice used to print images on different metals. Smart techniques of engraving help print beautiful arts. Without engraving, metal pieces appear to be plain. Metal engraving turns dull and plain metal pieces into precious objects. It is often used on plates and decorated pieces. Let’s discuss how to engrave metals in detail.
How to engrave metal?
The term engraving means cutting intricate details onto a solid surface. The surface chosen is usually hard and flat. The design that is engraved is an impression of the surface itself. Examples include the images and texts on a coin. The engraving has existed since the first century. Metal casting is still widely used today.
Metals are the most common material used for engraving. They are used for their rigidity and durability. Metals that are popular for engraving are copper and brass. These metals are softer and easy to work with. Other malleable and ductile metals are also used for engraving.
Tools required for engraving
To engrave metals, it is first important to know the tools required. It is important to identify the working of each tool. The main tool to cut metal is called a burin. It can be termed as graver.
A graver is usually built of steel or other harder alloys. The material should be harder than the metal plate available for cutting. This tool comes in different shapes and sizes too. Different types of tools are used to produce different lines.
Depending on your design, you might need to have several types of gravers. More intricate designs require more tools.
Metals used for engraving
You must also know different types of metals. Some metals are more ideal for engraving than others. Metals should be soft so that tools can cut them easily. It should be easy for machines to work on.
The tool might break if your metals are not soft enough. If a tool breaks, it will be hard to control. It should not break even on a microscopic level.
So, it would help if you chose metals that are easy to engrave. These metals are titanium, nickel, brass, gold, steel, and silver.
It requires a lot of skill and creativity to engrave designs. You must be careful while engraving metals. You can end up with cuts and bruises if engraving is not done carefully. Engraving requires absolute accuracy and precision.
It isn’t easy to engrave without enough experience and training. It is important to control the exact amount of pressure for perfect engraving. It requires a lot of practice. It isn’t easy to do, even with automatic hand tools. Choosing metal plates also requires experience.
Gathering the material
It would help if you had a tool for engraving. A pneumatic graver is a good tool for beginners. It is affordable and handy. You can use a square ‘V’ cut point graver. It is versatile. It is a good point to start engraving.
You can also use craft knives. They are only used for soft metals. They are also very difficult to control. Hammer and a chisel are also used. It is the cheapest option, but it is comparatively slower. It also requires more precision.
Preparing the metal base
Use metals like coppers and some other brass alloys. They are easier for engraving. You will also finish cutting faster with such metals. It would help if you always cleaned the metal before working.
Use a wet or damp cloth to clean the area. It is necessary to make sure that the metal is completely dry before working. You should remove the moisture completely. You can also scrub it with soap water.
Engraving the design
Then, prepare an engraving design. It is better to start with simpler designs. You can directly draw the design on the metal. You can also take a printout and transfer it on the metal.
Clamp the metal properly in place. It will prevent the metal from slipping. It makes engraving much easier. It is better to clamp the metal to a table or any other stable surface.
Now you can start engraving. You should keep the end of the graver at one angle. It should be at the same angle for the entire process. Now you can add polish if required. You can also clean it up to give it a finished look. With this, your engraving project is done.
Types of engraving:
There are three different types of engraving:
- Rotary engraving: This engraving is usually done on metals such as gold, silver, aluminum, and copper. It is possible to engrave logos and letters using this refined engraving process. It is used for knives, plates, and trophies.
- Laser engraving: Laser ensures perfect engraving on materials such as stone, wood, and metal. Fine engraving can be ensured using a laser. Laser engraving is an advanced procedure of engraving that uses a beam of light. The light beams melt the metal in laser engraving to print the perfect design. The engraving done using a laser is permanent and smooth.
- Hand Graving: Hand graving is a traditional approach of engraving which is used for ages. This technique uses specific instruments to ensure fine engraving.
Learn more about engrave metal with a Dremel
What is hand engraving?
This process of engraving involves steel cutters mounted with a wooden handle. Such instruments have sharp edges to provide the best engraving. The cutters are available for extra-long cutting and engraving. They are efficient to cut as per suitability.
Hand engraving is a traditional yet perfect process to achieve fine metal engraving. This process is used for engraving plates, knives, jewelry, trophies, decorated items, etc. It can engrave fine metals accurately. Hand engraving is perfect for detailed and precise metal engraving.
Engraving is a popular technique to add a personalized touch to metals. It is an advanced process that changes the complete appearance of the metal. Whether a simple alloy or an artistic metal piece, engraving can add beauty to metals. It is important to achieve preciseness in engraving so that metals look exceptionally well.
There are various methods used to engrave metals. It is the particular choice of artist whether he chooses hand methods for engraving or smart laser engraving techniques. When the right engraving techniques are used in the most precise manner, it could achieve attractiveness on metals. Engraving is an effective way to customize the appearance of metals.