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Gift Engraving

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Can it be engraved?

Many metal, plastic and wood items can be engraved. Many items you thought couldn't be engraved, really can be engraved. Here is a little list: Hammers, Ipads, toasters, crow bars, wooden coat racks, laptop computers. The list goes on and on.

Can you engrave a calculator or camera for ID purposes?

Yes, usually on these pieces only an indent is done on the surface of the item.  The engraving usually has no contrast with the surface material, but is permanently in the metal, which is what you want. The lastest rage is engraving Ipads with a corporate logo or name and phone number. Most of these items can be personalized in one or two business days.

I can't see the engraving on the surface of the metal, why?

Engraving is the process where the metal is either plowed to each side using a diamond drag engraving tool or a rotating carbide cutter to cut into the surface.   No color is used to fill in the letters to give contrast.  Some people expect engraving to be like printing - very visible.   Engraving is more subtle in appearance as light reflects differently off of the engraving as compared to the metal surface.  Silver items are the hardest to see the engraving because of the highly reflective nature of silver or chrome metals.  Also, the harder the metal the less depth to the engraving, also making less contrast to the engraving.  Gold surfaces show the engraving better.

Can you engrave cylindrical objects like cups and pewter tankards?

Yes, many engraving operations can only engrave on flat surfaces.  We have specialized engraving equipment to handle cylindrical objects up to 20" in diameter.

I have a Mag-Lite.  Can it be engraved?

We use an etching or engraving process for Mag Lights.  Most Mag Lights are black, when we engrave the contracting aluminum comes through with excellent results.  Company logos and names can easily be engraved on Mag Lights as well as most flashlights. Mag Lite Engraving

My wedding band has a slight curve on the inside, can it be engraved?

Yes, our equipment allows for some variation in the ring thickness. We also have the ability to engrave symbols as well as lettering. Most engravers have just two font choices. We have tons to choose from. Maybe you have a specific font you are using for your wedding. If it's a True Type Font, we can convert it so we can engrave your wedding band. Wedding Band Engraving

Can photographs be engraved?

In the past the answer was no.  Today laser engravers are on the market that can engrave photographs with some limitation.  Photos with high contrast give the best results.  Also some engraving surfaces work better than others.

I have a logo with a half tone in it.   How well can I expect something like that to turn out?

Many half tones don't work well and have to be modified to work with engraving.  Today more and more half tones can be made to work.

Can you engrave glass?

Yes, but in recent years we have switched to etching.  The reason: more smooth lettering and less chance of breakage. We can etch crystal frames, toasting flutes, all sorts of things.

Can you have engraved letters on an arc?

Yes, we use arc engraving usually on the backs of watches where the manufacturer's markings are right in the center.  Once in awhile we arc letters on a plaque to highlight the award's name.

I have a custom made charm and the back is not finished. Can you engrave the back?

The back must be buffed and smoothed out, only then will the engraving be visible.

Can puffed hearts be engraved?

Yes, but at a high risk.  Puffed hearts are hollow and to keep the price down jewelers make the gold as thin as possible.  The engraver has to engrave very lightly in order to not break through the thin gold.  At best the engraving is light with no dimples where the gold was too thin. Rather than engrave puffed hearts, we etch them. This way we avoid dimples.

How small can you engrave?

To the point where you can't read it with the naked eye.  Some engraving surfaces may be too rough to allow engraving to go that small.

Can a wood picture frame be engraved?

Yes, we suggest lighter color woods for best results.  One possible problem is oak frames.  Make sure the oak is not too grainy as this conflicts with the laser engraving. Maple Frames and Cherry Frames laser engrave great.
Laser Engraving Wood Frames

Can wine bottles be engraved?

Yes, we etch the bottles and then put in a gold fill to give contrast.    We suggest wine bottles that are dark in color for best results. If the label has silver in it we color fill in silver fill. etched wine bottles make a great anniversary gift or retirement gift.
Wine Bottle Etching

Can ball shaped items be engraved?

Yes, but we are limited in what we can do.  The biggest problem is holding the item and not having it move during the engraving process.  One example: the Reed & Barton round Christmas bell can be engraved. We can even engrave a bowling ball.

Can vinyl portfolios be engraved?

No, but brass name plates can be attached, or gold lettering can be put on using a hot stamping machine.  Hot stamping - you run the risk of melting the vinyl.   Brass plates require a rigid cover to stay attached. Engraving Plates

I've seen acrylic awards and I can't feel the engraving, why?

Most acrylic awards are reversed engraved from the back side.    This gives a 3-D effect and enhances the appearance of the acrylic award .Acrylic Awards

I took a silver plated baby cup to an engraver and the plating flaked up around the engraving.  What happened?

A lot of inexpensive silver plated baby gifts come from the pacific rim countries.  Many of these products do not have a good quality control in the silver plating process.  What happens is the base metal is prepared for the silver plating process.  If any oils or impurities are not properly cleaned before plating, the silver will not properly bond to the base metal.  As the engraving tool passes over a bad area, the plating flakes up.  To look at the cup, it is impossible for the engraver or you, to spot this defect.  The responsible party is the store that bought it and the original manufacture. I suggest brand name suppliers like Reed & Barton for baby cup engraving.
Reed and Barton Baby Cup Engraving

Do you engrave Swords?

Yes, we can engrave swords. Most of the time we engrave on the blade. You usually find a space down from the guard that is made for engraving. U.S. Military swords have this spot. We also engrave Medieval Swords. These are usually a lower quality sword made of softer metals and we can engrave deeper. Most guards are not a good location for engraving. Remember most swords are tempered steel - this means they are a very hard metal making the engraving somewhat light. We usually etch the swords. It gives a better look and we can get a better image on the harden steel. In a normal year, we engrave about 35 or more swords. Sword Engraving

Commonly Asked Engraving Questions Engraving Humor Engraving Fonts
Owner – Past President of ARA Engraving Processes ARA Certification
How to Send Corporate Logos Got a Problem? Need Answers?
Brand Names We Carry Ice Carving Business History

Call us Toll Free!

1-8778-AWARDS
1-877-829-2737
1205 S. Main St.
Plymouth, MI  48170   
Phone 734-459-3180
FAX 734-455-6040