2D mill job help/engrave names in metal

Is anyone able to help me with a simple 2D engraving job? I need to engrave a name in a metal spike, but I know the mill is very protected and I haven’t got the training completed to utilize it myself. Would love some help,

Colby Sherman

Which mill? What kind of “metal spike”? If it’s a railroad spike just use our letter punches. Railroad spikes aren’t supposed be machined. They are uneven, hard to hold, hard on tooling, rusty, cheap steel, why spend $100 on end mill damage for a $.50 railroad spike?

Railroad spike is not a bad idea! I will need the name machined though. It might be in cursive. But if it wasn’t, what is the letter punch like? Any particular San serif font?

Letter punch will be block lettering. We really don’t have a mill that would be practical to do this with. I mean with enough dedication and time you could theoretically do it manually. If I were to guess it take maybe 80 man hours to do manually. Best suggestion I have would to create a mask and chemically etch it.

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Hand engraving with a Dremel tool is probably the way to go:

DMS small metals/jewelry committee likely has the Dremel tooling and diamond bits used for engraving, not only that, the committee would have members familiar with this process.


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I’d like to chemically etch it, but the surface won’t be smooth, so I’m unsure if I will get a clean etch on it. But I’ve never chemically etched before. You have any opinions on whether etching is possible for rough surfaces?

If you search ChrisFix on YT he had a really simple video on etching on tools a number of years back, among other videos. Depending on the surface and any kind of corrosion or surface oxidation, it may or may not work so well. If you’re looking for a really nice and gift-worthy presentation, it might be challenging and require a fair bit of experimentation. Unfortunately, it is starting to seem like you might need you might need to compromise and modify the scope of the project in some way given the options you have available. With some planning, your inquiry about the fiber laser would likely be the best option to get as close as possible, but I’ve never used one so I don’t know for sure.

Smoothness isn’t really an issue if you can mask it. What really matters is initial cleanliness.

You can get dry film mask pretty cheap. It’s pretty good resolution- it will do good 8 pt type. Your surface roughness will probably be more of a factor

If you provide more details like material, dimensions (of engraving and substrate) and anything else you can think of, you’ll probably get better suggestions.

I’m planning on doing stainless steel luggage tags that are fairly deeply etched with ferric chloride and then blackened with what amounts to cold blue. 10 pt type and larger and a simple logo.

You still haven’t told us what you are trying to engrave. My assumption at this point is a rusty old railroad spike. But you haven’t actually confirmed that. Sendcutsend will probably laser anything you want in new steel. If it’s rusty, you should be asking the blacksmiths. They would probably heat and chisel it in or use a diamond burr dremel.