Engraving material: find the medium for your personalized creations
Whatever the occasion may be, there is always a way to find a unique approach to engraving. If you want to digress from the usual objects that are often seen as prime candidates as being personalized by engraving them (rings, clocks, Bibles, coffee mugs, plaques, bottles, pens) perhaps the most logical solution would be to start look at materials that can be engraved using modern equipment and proper technology. That’s because today you can engrave a whole lot more than it used to be possible in the old days of hand-engraving! Let’s have a look at some of the materials, noting their specific properties and the technological nuances.
This ancient material is often used due to its relative softness and ease in handling. It is affordable, in fact even the most expensive woods are can be very easily acquired in the amounts that one might need for a simple engraved object. Wood is probably the simplest choice if you intend to make an engraving yourself, without resorting to the help of a specialist. However, apart from hand-engraving wood responds well to laser-engraving tools. “Burning” images on wood demands the choice of hardwoods, such as walnut, mahogany, oak and maple.
It is obvious that metals (gold, silver, bronze) are good candidates for serving as engraving surfaces. A variation of this type of material can be found in coated metals. They are sometimes specifically manufactured for this exact purpose and provide a high level of contrast between the engraving and the background.
Plastics come in a great number of varieties. While some are manufactured specifically to be engraved, many common plastic objects are not suited for this purpose. Often it is necessary to fill in the engraved area with paint and generally the effect cannot be compared with the more “noble” materials.
Glass can be engraved using sandblasting, diamond bits and lasers. A process called “multi-stage glass sandblasting” can produce particularly stunning results. Glass engraving is often used in combination with glass staining.