Monday, February 22, 2010

Fun new Material?!

Have you ever paid much attention to the sign boards/trophy plaques that sign/trophy engravers use?  Well i have any have always found myself quite envious of that beautiful 2-tone look you can get.

And while I can get gold coated silver to achieve that awesome 2-toned look when you engrave, it is ridiculously expensive.

The majority of these 2-tone trophy materials are plastic...but there are coated metals out there.

So, after calling, and calling.....and calling.  I finally found a trophy engraving supply place that was willing to mail me some metal samples.  and turns out I can purchase the metals in sheets large enough for crowns (just need to have them cut down into strips like I have all my other metals cut). 

So here are some test pix of these samples.  What you are seeing are various colors of lacquered aluminum.  I can also get lacquered brass.  I was most interested in the "metal" coated aluminum, copper coated.  But I also got a "color"....white.

Pretty good "metal" finishes, huh??!  I was very pleasantly surprised!

Close-ups of the "copper"

Shiny Gold, Matte Gold

white and shiny "silver".  The shiny silver differs from just plain solid aluminum (like what I normally use) in that you get a much more uniform grain to the metal...and it's more reflective/shinier as well.  

The white coated aluminum was actually really difficult to engrave.  I have to use a cutter first, and then i go back over it with a 90 degree bit to kind of emboss/shine up the aluminum, so you don't see rough cuts.  The diamond tip bits I use on everything else just can't get through the plastic uniformly (see that really messed section on the white??!).  But doing an initial pass with a cutter, and then putting on the diamond bit works really well. a little extra work, but it's worth it for that pretty of a result.

So..I think I'm going to have to order in several sheets of this material in a variety of colors and start making crowns out of it!!!  so be on the look out for some really awesome 2-tone metal crowns! (no, I haven't set a price, yet.)

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