How to Engrave Initials in Metal

Written by c.l. rease
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The surface of metal is harder than most surfaces, and you will need a specialised tool to engrave your initials onto the metal's surface. Carbide-tipped tools will easily carve into the surface of the metal and when coupled with a vibrating engraving tool, you can quickly create a legible set of initials on the surface of the metal. You will need to use the proper safety equipment to ensure that you do not receive an injury from the engraving tool or get a metal particle lodged into your eyes.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Safety glasses
  • Metal to test engraver
  • Work table
  • Carbide-engraving tip
  • Engraving tool
  • Hand-operated air bulb

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Put on your safety glasses.

  2. 2

    Place the metal that you are going to engrave on the work table.

  3. 3

    Insert the carbide-engraving tip into the engraving tool per the engraving tools operating instructions.

  4. 4

    Turn on the engraver and place the tip onto the surface of the metal.

  5. 5

    Apply pressure on the engraving tool toward the surface of the metal and pull the engraving tool across the metal's surface. Pushing the tool is acceptable, but is harder to control the first time you use an engraving tool.

  6. 6

    Examine the line created by the engraver. The line should be at least 1/64 of an inch deep. If the line is not deep, refer to the engraving tool operating manual to adjust the speed of the engraving tool.

  7. 7

    Adjust the engraving tool to increase the speed of the engraving tool, re-perform step five, and reinspect the engraved line for the proper depth.

  8. 8

    Switch to the item you are going to engrave your initials after you have the engraving tool set properly and you feel comfortable using the engraving tool.

  9. 9

    Blow the metal shavings from the surface of the hand-operated air bulb after you have finished the engraving process to avoid scuffing the metal's surface.

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