Question: Engraving Brass

Thread starter #1
I have to engrave a brass oar cage thats to be taken up Mount Everest and laid to rest next to a fallen climber . I haven’t cut much in brass and when I have I found that the cut was not bright and the engraver seemed to get coated in a layer of brass. Can any one give any advice on how to resolve this as it is rather a special piece and I would like it to look as good as it can for the client.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
If the part is cast it is likely to be somewhat crumbly to cut.
May a little oil on the graver would help keep it clean. Polish your graver faces to make a polished cut.
Not all brass is created equally.
I brought some brass to do some pave setting practice. It was way to tough to cut by hand.

You need brass for engraving. It has more zinc. Making it easier and nicer to cut.

There are loads of different types of brass. Some are made for lathe turning work. Others for mechanical work.

I now have some brass that is for engraving. I tried to short lines. It was way better to cut than the brass I initially brought.

This is engraving brass: "Ms 58" if I am correct.
Material code (as per DIN EN Standard) CuZn39Pb3

Material number (as per DIN EN) CW614N
Last edited:


Active Member
I found cutting aluminum sticks to the graver much like you mention the brass coating the tool face. I started using a good anti-seize lube and now really like cutting aluminum. I can burnish it really smooth without galling using the lube...otherwise forget it.

Try it.
Last edited:
What Sam W said besides use Carbide. It won'e be as sticky. there are many types of brass. Order some jewelers brass sheet. It is a dream to cut and looks more like gold
Thread starter #8
Thank you all for your help , much appreciated . The brass did cut better than i thought , however the customer wanted to leave all the dents and scratches in the brass which made life quite difficult.
hopefully they will like it and take it up the mountain to bury it with the gentleman .