Help, please: Massive Steel Background Removing

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Thread starter #1
Hi my engraving Friends, i have to engrave an Axe. Customer wants a celtic Nidhogg. Engraving this Motive is not the Problem but... removing the Background from the Axe is quite difficult and extreme time consuming. I ordered for this job an GRS 720, but still hard to remove. I´ve tried to precut with an 120 degree graver and finish it with an 2mm flat carbide. Doesn´t really help. Depth should be about 0,5>1,0mm. Someone have a few tips for me?, to get this job finally done. It´s quite annoying at this moment :/ Thx Tom
 

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sam

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#4
Axes are typically hardened steel which makes them nearly impossible to hand engrave. As SamW said, acid etching might be your only option. Personally, I would never attempt this unless I knew for certain the steel was a mild, engravable steel.
 

jerrywh

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Robert Evans uses Acid for background removal all the time BUT I notice the background is very shallow on his. I tried acid method but had problems with undercutting the design when going deeper than about .007. I never figured out how to solve that. The only sure way I know to do this is to anneal the axe and then engrave it. Harden and temper it again. If you have an oven that goes to about 1500°F you can do that. That will double the price at least.
 
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Thread starter #6
Thank you all for the answers, etching sounds interesting but the thing is, the axe is not hardend, i can file this thing on any point of the axe but the steel is nevertheless very tough. Maybe a special sort of steel. Once again, thank you for the reply.
 

Leonardo

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#7
Rokkn, I think for the look of your drawing that you have the design digitalized.

You may have the background removed by a CNC milling machine in any workshop around you. It is a very simple 2.5D milling work that will save you a lot of hours. Then you can make all the fancy and artistic things that you want to complete a real work of art.
 
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Hi Leonardo, thx for this idea. Fortuitously i know a miller, i´ll ask him if this would be possible, even if it does not have much to do with engraving. Sad but true :/
 

Leonardo

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#9
Oh man, do not feel sad for that. Machines are done precisely for this kind of jobs!

There are many great engravers that take advantage on the machines. Anyway you have created the design and engraved it. Then, after mechanized, you will have to do all the shading and so on....

No one will pay you anything for investing 100 hours removing such amount of background. It will be much better to reserve your time to make what a machine cannot do.

I do not know what software have you used to make the design but you will need to save it in a DXF format that any machine intended software will be able to open and use. You will not have any problem to have your piece mechanized.
 
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Thread starter #10
Thx Leonardo, i´ll give this a try. Hope my Milling Friend can help me :) I usually use Adobe Illustrator. Don´t know if there is an DFX Export, i´ll check this as soon im back at Home.
 

monk

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#11
acid etching works. but must be done with much care to prevent under cutting. or you can leave a bit of "room" on the etch mask, then go in by hand and cut up to the actual positive part of the image. i've a lso done this electrolitically, but the technique requires variable power supplies, etching tanks, and good ventilation. the procedure can and will release hydrogen-- explosion possibility. also chlorine gas--- corroded lung possibility. all this dependent upon the electrolyte used.
 

davidshe

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#12
If it is not hardened and you can cut the outlines with your graver then you should certainly be able to remove the background with an NSK rotary. Air powered and turns about 400K RPM. You can order larger size carbide burrs if you need them. Removing background takes time. That axe looks large but no larger than a motorcycle case and I have done a couple of those.
 

monk

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the nice thing about this forum, you get sevaral ways to solve a given problem. the choice is the way an individual feels most comfy with.
 

Martin Strolz

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#15
Hi Tom,
Here is how a similar design can look like, if it is CNC-engraved properly. This was student work done in really tough, inoxidable steel. The handle is about 5mm thick, engraving depth 1mm. Hand work: Filing and polishing of the blade, surface line engraving and matting of the backgrounds.
 

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