Awards & Engraving

March '20

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NEED TO KNOW Let's take a closer look at those sub- strates that pair well with a rotary engraver and what it takes to personalize them. Just because a substrate lends itself well to the technology doesn't mean there won't be challenges. "I receive about 50 calls per week to assist in engraving, software, computer, and controller setting and issues," states Fred Schwartz, Quality One Engravers. In his experience, the number one combined issue is a new engraving person and inconsistent depth of engraving. Spector starts by discussing metal. "It is necessary to know what kind of metal you are engraving," she advises. She believes that making sure that the diamond will mark the metal is the biggest challenge. The good news is, practice makes per- fect. "Practicing with different diamond tips on different metals before engraving the final products helps with this process," Spector says. Or let's say you're working with glass. Spector has some advice with that, as well. "Glass is not a tricky as people think — having the correct burnishing diamond is the key," she states. "The only real challenge is that some glass cannot be cut by normal burnishing diamonds — sometimes you'll need to switch to a drag diamond (rotated) in order to cut the surface." Harris jumps into the conversation, adding his advice when it comes to wood substrates. "Carbide cutters work nicely; however, no lubrication is needed, and cutter downforce can be much lighter," he says. "When engraving wood with a rotary engraving system, it is common to apply masking to the wood and engrave with a nose cone to control depth." If you aren't quite sure what a nose is, Schwartz dives into some details, noting that most engravers utilize a nose to accom- plish consistent engraving. "A nose attaches to the lower micrometer of your spindle and is held in by a collar nut," he elaborates. "It is designed to ride on the engraving surface with a cutter extending slightly beyond the nose bottom to penetrate the engraving material." But like anything, users will also experi- ence challenges surrounding this. Schwartz lists shadowing/ghosting, nose interference with clamps and edge rulers, and that they can be expensive and cumbersome among There's so much to learn when it comes to rotary engraving. To continue reading on the topic, check out the article by Chris West, Rowmark, featured in the January 2020 issue of A&E, page 60. 48 a-e-mag.com • A&E MARCH 2020 Having a set of cutters as well as a variety of other tools such as various-sized tips, cutter sharpeners, and others ensures successful rotary engraving practices. IMAGE COURTESY JDS INDUSTRIES/ANTARES IMAGE COURTESY VISION ENGRAVING & ROUTING

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