Awards & Engraving

March '19

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42 • A&E MARCH 2019 it comes to rotary machines, there are so many options in terms of substrates avail- able to decorate as well as applications that it's important not to limit yourself. For best execution, Houser advises to once again start at the beginning. "It is always important to think about the end product at the beginning of any new engraving project," he states. "Taking this into consideration can save you time and money by eliminating unexpected results." For example, rotary machines are capable of engraving on substrates such as steel, aluminum, wood, plastics, glass, granite, ceramic, and even foam. Taking time to familiarize yourself with the sub- strate you're working with benefits your final outcome. "With such a wide range of cutting tools available, it all comes down to picking the correct tool and adjusting the machine's feeds and speeds for the mate- rial," Houser offers. And because there is such a wide range of substrates available, awards shops should not limit themselves. "Be sure to challenge your- self and start thinking 'outside the box,'" states Jones. "Be creative and push the engraver to its limit." Doing so not only serves to improve a decorator's skills, but also leads to more profit. He adds that this point is particularly crucial to remember if you've been using this equip- ment for a while. "It's important to realize that, while engravers haven't changed much over the last decade, the market or environ- ment for profit has evolved." DIVERSITY AND PROFIT Beyond being a versatile piece of equip- ment by itself, a rotary machine also works well with other technologies. Users who understand both what it can do that other machines can't as well as what it can do coupled with other equipment are sure to sharpen their techniques. Touching on the point that rotary machines are capable of decorating on so many items, Schwartz mentions there are some things a rotary can do that other 8 Pieces of Real-Life Advice By Fred Schwartz, Quality One Engravers 1. If you do metal engraving, get a cutter sharpener. 2. I only use outdoor material, so I stock only the expensive material. Double stock is a killer. 3. Plastic engraving is very profitable. 4. Custom engraving is not for the faint of heart. 5. Have a full array of cutter tip sizes. 6. Set up standards for standard sizes; for example, 1-by-3-inch tags, name badges, plaques, etc. 7. Save your work and print out job copies. 8. If you're busy enough, have more than one engraver and schedule things you can do while the machine engraves. One person can run four to five engravers or other machines. Most machines have general settings for common materials that can be adjusted for job speed and overall performance. IMAGE COURTESY VISION ENGRAVING & ROUTING SYSTEMS ROTARY ENGRAVING TIPS AND TECHNIQUES

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