Substituting ink for enamel/others

beginnerEngraver

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May 4, 2022
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2
Hello everyone!

I was wondering something...when dealing with fine work, the shaded cuts are inked which enhances the shading. However the entire piece is of the same ink color.

I wanted to add some color to this process. What can I do? Is it possible to add enamel to such fine spaces? What about different kinds of inks? Any recommendations?

Thank you.
 

tdelewis

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Oct 10, 2010
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Volant, PA 60 miles north of Pittsburgh
I have used colored epoxy to fill spaces with color. I got it from Reo Grande. It is not something I do often but it did work quite well. You can sand and polish it just like enamel. Reo Grande has a video on their site that shows how to mix it and how to cure it. It does take some heat. I used a heat lamp and place temperature gauge under the light and adjusted the distance the light was from the surface to get the correct temperature. It worked well. I don't know if it will work for such fine lines but if your rub the excess off like you do with ink it might. You would need to experiment. Remember it can be sanded and polished when it is fully cured.
 

AllenClapp

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Aug 7, 2019
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Raleigh, NC
Depending upon what you are doing, you could also use colors of Rustoleum flat paint with a fine line brush to put it where you wanted. Cotton swabs also come with a pointed tip and could be thrown away.
 

John B.

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Speedball printers ink comes in a variety of colors.
The colors can be mixed for any required, custom colors.
Though I have small experience using anything but black ink on engraving, I have used color extensively for scrimshaw.
Very easy to apply and to clean up.
Speedball printers ink can give you the color in the shading cuts.
But not the glassy effect of jewelers enamel.
 
Last edited:

farmer57

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Feb 8, 2017
Messages
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Location
Ontario, Canada
Yes, you can add enamel (as in real glass enamel) to engraved spaces but there are limits what you can work with in terms of metals. Gold, silver, copper and the so called gilding metal are your options - also specifically prepared steel. Just bear in mind that your item will have to be heated to around 1450º F in the enameling process (and usually done more than once). Also, items made in high K gold or fine silver will be fine but all others will develop firescale and will need to be cleaned (usually in pickle bath). You have to plan for this specifically and adjust your entire work flow.
For enamel-like effect, what others mentioned above will work. From my experience, 330 Jeweler's Epoxy is a good choice, mix in various pigment powders or alcohol based transparent dyes for desired colour and it will set in couple of hours - can be sanded when fully cured. Application to fine lines is not easy and will require practice but the choice of colours is much greater than anything you will purchase pre-mixed. This epoxy is quite hard and resistant to wear when fully cured. I have used it a lot and on various metals.
 

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