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Getting into engraving…


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We get asked to do pet tags quite often but we’ve never done this.

would also be interested in doing laser ‘engraving’ (pyrography?) into leather and onto devices

any tips? Is there a steep learning curve? I realise it would be two different bits of kit.

we started doing laser/dimple keys about five years ago and it felt like it took about a year to be fairly confident - mostly because the specific Yale Superior lock we did all our practicing on must have been INCREDIBLY fussy as we couldn’t cut keys for it that worked….only to find we can cut keys for any other Yale Superior lock without an issue !

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For general pet tags (which are mostly metal) you'll need a router (mechanical) engraving machine. A general CO2 laser is no good for metal... you'll need a fibre laser and the cheapest are around £15k to £20. A good one (Trotec Flexx) will cost over £50k (plus vat). We use U-Marq GEM FX5's which have a flatbed as well as a centre-vice. Excellent machines. Now that U-Marq areback in business, you should consider the FX5. Smaller machines are only marginally less expensive, but limit the engravable area. With a larger flatbed, you can do bulk engraving. The VISION engraving machines from CSI-ONLINE are also very good.

Cheap "pettag" machines are a waste of time (eg: Petscribe, and other "toys"... avoid them. Get a machine that can do centre-vice and flatbed stuff. You can then expand your services to include bulk engraving such as valve tags, key tags for transport companies, etc...

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  • 2 months later...
On 7/1/2021 at 3:58 PM, tagmakers said:

For general pet tags (which are mostly metal) you'll need a router (mechanical) engraving machine. A general CO2 laser is no good for metal... you'll need a fibre laser and the cheapest are around £15k to £20. A good one (Trotec Flexx) will cost over £50k (plus vat). We use U-Marq GEM FX5's which have a flatbed as well as a centre-vice. Excellent machines. Now that U-Marq areback in business, you should consider the FX5. Smaller machines are only marginally less expensive, but limit the engravable area. With a larger flatbed, you can do bulk engraving. The VISION engraving machines from CSI-ONLINE are also very good.

Cheap "pettag" machines are a waste of time (eg: Petscribe, and other "toys"... avoid them. Get a machine that can do centre-vice and flatbed stuff. You can then expand your services to include bulk engraving such as valve tags, key tags for transport companies, etc...

What set up are you using? 

What is your method of engraving? 

I myself have not done metal yet so I would like some pointers if you don't mind

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