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engravingThe art of engraving dates back centuries. Engraved patterns were created on drinking containers in ancient times. The Egyptians also used to do this as well as making inscriptions on their now famous architecture. Throughout history and up until the modern day engraving has been a constant. Whilst the printed press saw it fall out of favour in terms of a medium of recording information it has still seen decorative use throughout. History aside, have you ever wanted to do it? Whilst it is a craft which can take years to perfect it is quite possible to be done for more simplistic designs or just for personalising items with your name etc. So how can you do it yourself? Here’s a quick rundown of how you could have a go at engraving on a metal surface.

Get a Tool

engraving toolIf you’re going to have a go at engraving then you’re going to need an engraving tool. I’d recommend a pneumatic graver but it is possible to use a Dremel, craft knife or hammer and chisel at a push. I would like to point out though that it will probably look a bit ropey with any of these. If you do get a pneumatic graver you will probably want one with a ‘V’ shaped point.

Select an Item to Engrave

Obviously you are going to need something metal to engrave on. If possible find something made of a reasonably soft type of metal because this will make your life easier. Having chosen the item on which you want to engrave something you are going to need to give it a thorough cleaning. Before doing this wash your own hands. When cleaning the metal object use detergent because a lot of items, particularly after being handled, will accumulate grease and grime. Make sure to dry it afterwards and you are ready to apply your design.

Sketch Out What You Want to Engrave

Being the first time you will have done any sort of engraving you should sketch out the pattern or outline of the name etc. This will need to be the exact size of the finished inscription so either bear this in mind when drawing it or print it out at the relevant size afterwards.

Firmly Clamp the Object Down

You will need to secure the item you wish to engrave on. If you don’t do this your design will never end up looking anything like what you want. All your hard work making the pattern or design will have been a waste of time.

Get Engraving

Stick your design onto the metal object and trace over it with your pneumatic graver. Be mindful of the angle at which you are holding the tip. It needs to be the same across the whole design else it may end up looking lop-sided. Do multiple light traces and you will develop a line which you can use as a guide for future passes. Continue to repeat this until you end up with something you are happy with. Don’t be disheartened if it’s a little messy this time round. Keep practicing and you will be able to play with the angle you hold the point and your lines will become much steadier. If you were looking to practice it to inscribe something for yourself or friend but you really don’t get any better you can avail of the services of a professional such as Millenium Engraving. But do keep at it. You never know you might discover that after being a slow starter you’ve unearthed a hidden talent.