A customer asked if I could engrave a clock for his girlfriend’s birthday. He said it was made of wood and that there would be flat areas where I could engrave. It all sounded pretty straightforward, so when it arrived, he brought the clock round to the workshop.
A few surprises
Connor’s girfriend is Mr Cogsworth mad, so he’d bought her a Mr Cogsworth Dysney clock! When we had a closer look, it became clear that it wasn’t made of wood, but resin.
I know that I can get good engraving results with wood. I’ve engraved a resin items like sunglasses before, but this resin looked different.
The only way to see what results I’d get would be to test a spot.
Avoiding expensive mistakes
I asked Connor how much the clock was. It was much more than I’d expected! The last thing I wanted to do was engrave it, cause damage and have to pay for it. Connor understood by dilemma, but wasn’t quite ready to give up.
All I could suggest was to find a place where I could engrave a small, simple shape like a star where it would be hidden. If it worked, it could add to the message. If it failed, Connor wouldn’t hold me responsible.
A test engrave
We realised that the chamber for batteries and time adjustment was a flat panel held onto the back of the clock with magnets. This was perfect. It would be easy to remove and place flat in the machine for engraving. And I could engrave on the inside of the panel where it would be hidden.
I set up artwork for a small star and engraved it at the top of the panel. It worked! The star looked creamy in comparison with the orange background. There was a slight indentation too. Connor was delighted.
Engraving a message
We set up the text that Connor wanted. Then we had to decide where to engrave it!
There were two options.
- We could engrave the outside of the panel where it would be seen but wouldn’t be noticed so much at the back of the clock.
- We could engrave on the inside of the panel under the star I’d engraved.
Connor loved the second idea and thought it would be fun to give his girlfriend the battery separately. She’d have to put it in herself and then she’d see the message in a secret place.
Feeling very pleased with ourselves, I engraved the text below the star with a heart beneath. We were both so relieved that everything turned out well!