The process of engraving involves the cutting of words or pictures into hard surfaces, such as metal or glass. Many arts and crafts stores offer engraving for a reasonable price, and while it is possible to have things engraved professionally, do-it-yourselfers may be interested in learning about the engraving supplies necessary to do a project own their own at home. Engraving supplies fall into two basic categories: machines and tools for hand engraving.
Using machines is easier than hand engraving, but the machines themselves can be costly, and it can take time to become familiarized with the different types of equipment. The two principal types of engraving machines are rotary engraving machines and laser engraving machines. Rotary engraving machines function by using a small cutting tool that is directed by a computer program that comes with the machine. This type of engraving machine can cut a large variety of substances, from glass to plastic, with different types of cuts.
The laser engraving machine is more efficient than the rotary engraving machine or hand engraving supplies, but it does tend to cost a good bit more. This machine can also cut a number of substances and in more precise detail, but metals must be treated with certain chemicals before the laser engraver is used on them. It functions with a complex system of mirrors and laser beams. Both the laser engraving machine and the rotary engraving machine might be purchased from engraving supply shops.
While using machinery may be the most popular method today, people looking to save a little bit of money and experience the traditional process are still engraving by hand. There are numerous engraving supplies necessary for this method. The main tool is the graver. This is a sharp, chisel-like tool that consists of a handle for holding it and a long sharp point that looks similar to an ice pick. Numerous types of gravers that are used for different purposes, some with square tips, some with points, and some which are flat or slanted.
Bits and engraving guns are also common among engraving supplies. The engraving gun is a tool that is hand-held, and bits, which come in different shapes and attach to the end of the engraving gun, are used for different types of cuts and materials. Air engravers are the most common type of engraving guns. A lubricant may be helpful in using an engraving gun on some materials, especially metals.