engraving reached A customer asked if I could personalise a hammer by engraving it. He bought a good quality one as a present for a friend who had started his own joinery business, and wanted to personalise it with his initials. Could I help?
What materials ?
This Estwing hammer is cast in metal as one unit and has a lovely leather binding around the handle. My customer wanted the leather handle engraved. As leather engraves well, we arranged a time for him to pop round with it.
With jobs like this, I like it if the customer’s present. We can set up the artwork together to make sure it’s what they want. I can also check the best options for locations where items can be engraved. And customers love watching their items in production.
Where to engrave the hammer?
First, we had to decide where to engrave it to best effect. We chose the top part of the handle near the head. It wouldn’t be handled much and the area is always visible to the user. His friend is right handed, so we settled on the left side of the handle as it always faces the user.
Setting up the artwork
Firstly, we decided what area we had available. Secondly, I set up the artwork. My customer liked Times New Roman, and we scaled the letters to that they were 28 x 8mm.
Finally, I set up the hammer in the machine. The hammer’s handle tapered in the area we wanted to engrave, but the area was still flat rather than curved. This is important to help the laser maintain focus whilst engraving and this delivers best results.
Can you see the slates I used to prop up the hammer head in the photo? I did that so that the tapered part of the handle would be at 90 degrees to the laser head. I’d also engrave in the middle of the handle where the surface is flattest.
Personalising the hammer
After the first engraving, we saw white dust around the initials. I realised that the leather was varnished or coated for protection and the engraving had just gone into that. You can still see some of the white dust in the photo.
After the second pass, the engraving reached the leather itself and the mark was darker and clearer. My customer loved it and couldn’t wait to give his friend such a thoughtful gift.