He showed me some fishing rod butt ends, the metal discs that fit over the handle ends. They were made from anodised aluminium in silver and black, just like the fishing reels that engraved so well. Being flat and smooth, they would probably engrave well. It was worth a try! And if it worked, he told me he had more that he could post down to me.
Test engraving a fishing rod end
While Simon was visiting my the workshop, we decided to test engrave one of them. They’re only about 15mm in diameter, so the engravings would be very small.
First, I resized the logo to fit the diameter of the but ends. I did this in vector format to ensure that the quality of the artwork would remain high. Pixellation in small logos engraved on metal looks terrible.
The next challenge was to hold the butt ends in place whilst engraving them. They are so small that they have to be secured to make sure they don’t move during engraving.
BluTac is a wonderful thing. I put a lump on a slate piece and pushed the butt end in gently until it was secure. Then I lined it up with the laser and pressed the start button with my fingers crossed!
It worked first time. Although small, the logo came out perfectly. Simon was delighted. He’d wanted to find a way to brand his rods as well as the reels, and now he had a way.
First production run
When Simon got home, he packaged up the sixty butt ends in his workshop and posted them to me. There was a mixture of black and silver anodised aluminium pieces like the one I test engraved, and some other domed metal ones.
All the 49 anodised aluminium ones engraved well. You can see one of the black ones after engraving in the picture above.
Unfortunately, the other metal parts didn’t take the engraving at all, with or without Thermark metal marking paste, so they were returned unmarked and undamaged by the attempts. Metals are very sensitive and can behave differently due to their composition and impurity profiles, but it’s always worth a try just in case.
I sent the ends back to Simon within a day. He had some rods that he was about to post to customers abroad and he wanted to put his new butt ends on them.