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Dan Ashlin
11-22-2010, 12:55 PM
I have a customer that wants me to engrave some memorials on 105 mm shell casings from a gun ship (super cool!!) but cermark just seems to rub off. Does cermark not work on brass? I thought it did and im running 100 power/1 speed and still nothing. any suggestions? I had also thought about using a ferric chloride etch method on it, but i'm a little rust. Does anyone have some instructions on how to do that?

Dan Hintz
11-22-2010, 1:07 PM
Brass isn't a problem, but you need to make sure it's bare brass and not coated to keep it shiny. If you have any cutting oil or grease on it, that will prevent a good bond, too.

How much power do you have to work with (put it in your sig for later reference by the rest of us)? 1 is pretty slow, even for low-power machines, and you can end up overpowering it.

How thick is your coating, and how is it applied?

kyle bonnell
11-22-2010, 1:44 PM
I've lasered rifle brass for a while so I can keep track of what I shoot. This brass you have could have a coating on it to keep it shiny as it seems to be a piece to look at in a case or something. Get it down to bare metal, engrave, then recoat with clear varnish.

Kenneth Hertzog
11-22-2010, 2:00 PM
I just did a 50 cal casing for a pen
with cermark with no problems
engraved perfect and didn't rub off
so it must be coated with something
ken

Dan Ashlin
11-22-2010, 2:13 PM
I doubt its coated with anything special, they were live fired rounds from Iraq. Im using a 25 watt trotec, but its 10+ years old and im guessing its not producing that much wattage anymore. Im coating with a foam brush, three thin coats to where the cermark just becomes barely translucent.

Viktor Voroncov
11-22-2010, 2:48 PM
Dan, to keep Cermark working well you need AT LEAST 17-18 Wt. As your laser is not young, I think power is problem.

Dan Ashlin
11-22-2010, 3:09 PM
Dan, to keep Cermark working well you need AT LEAST 17-18 Wt. As your laser is not young, I think power is problem.

Thats my guess too. It works great on stainless steel though, just did a whole batch of knives that came out great. Im guessing etching will be the way to go. If my thinking is correct, i would just spray it with some acrylic paint, laser away the design, etch with ferric chloride and then somehow remove the remaining paint, correct?

Viktor Voroncov
11-22-2010, 3:16 PM
May be here you will find proper info
etch-o-matic.com
But be honestly - I have sent them three e-mails and never have answers :(

AL Ursich
11-22-2010, 3:28 PM
I talked to them about the etch-0-matic on brass and they said it would only leave a light mark.

I do have a etch-0-matic on my used shopping list.... Wonder if you could laser engrave the laser mask and use it for detail work...? The film they sell has a screen printing type of internal mesh so the center of the e's don't wash out.

AL

Randy Walker
11-22-2010, 10:11 PM
Hi Dan
Iíve been engraving 308 shells to make pens for several months. I donít use fancy engraving products. I use plane old cold galvanizing spray. Just sprits it on evenly and laser (on my 30w I use 6s 100p 1000ppi). I do have to use acetone to clean them with though, and the mark is slightly grey but a little black rub-n-buff makes the mark a perfect black that doesnít seem to come off even with heavy use. Thatís my brass process for you.

Randy Walker

Dan Ashlin
11-23-2010, 9:58 AM
Hi Dan
Iíve been engraving 308 shells to make pens for several months. I donít use fancy engraving products. I use plane old cold galvanizing spray. Just sprits it on evenly and laser (on my 30w I use 6s 100p 1000ppi). I do have to use acetone to clean them with though, and the mark is slightly grey but a little black rub-n-buff makes the mark a perfect black that doesnít seem to come off even with heavy use. Thatís my brass process for you.

Randy Walker

Huh, so you just spray it on and laser? That seems like a pretty cheap and innovative solution. I see a trip to lowes in my future.

Aaron Bostic
06-27-2017, 5:37 PM
Hi Dan
Iíve been engraving 308 shells to make pens for several months. I donít use fancy engraving products. I use plane old cold galvanizing spray. Just sprits it on evenly and laser (on my 30w I use 6s 100p 1000ppi). I do have to use acetone to clean them with though, and the mark is slightly grey but a little black rub-n-buff makes the mark a perfect black that doesnít seem to come off even with heavy use. Thatís my brass process for you.

Randy Walker

You have any pictures of this?

John Lifer
06-27-2017, 7:13 PM
I've played played with small casings with cermark and got varied results. I'm guessing too little power too. But even with my fiber, some cases engraved well, some didn't. There are different grades of brass for sure even in gun cases.

Tim Bateson
06-27-2017, 8:27 PM
These are Cermarked. They could have used a bit of polishing.
362833

Bill George
06-27-2017, 8:30 PM
I've played played with small casings with cermark and got varied results. I'm guessing too little power too. But even with my fiber, some cases engraved well, some didn't. There are different grades of brass for sure even in gun cases.

I did some 223 (live) rounds with my fiber and they came out perfect. I would post a picture but they are not PC so I don't want to cause problems.

Kev Williams
06-28-2017, 1:17 AM
These may not look like bullet casings, but -- they kinda are!
The brass used is to plate them comes from the Norwegian Army, the shell casings used during practice shooting...
Cermark works pretty good, but I WILL say, you need some serious wattage...

362842362843362844

-- My 40w LS900 would give me varied results, and usually the Cermark wasn't fused very well.
--that's part of the reason for the clearcoat. (the other part is, it looks good!)

Enter my 80w Triumph, and I've had no problem with Cermark fusing. The Triumph did these bells.
Focus can be an issue because power is an issue...

AJ Chabot
03-18-2019, 7:50 PM
Bumping an old thread... I need help. I have been reading up and I'm still having issues. I just ran my last test run and I can still scrap the CerMark off. 30w Explorer II. I have sanded the Brass down, I'm 98% sure there is nothing on it. This was 100% power and the speed was at 2. I have done stainless Steel with 90%/25 speed and no issues. Would that Cold Galvanizing spray work any different? I'll upload a photo as soon as I can get it off my phone.

Thank you
AJ

AJ Chabot
03-18-2019, 7:55 PM
This is the Piece I'm trying to mark.
405962

Randy Walker
03-18-2019, 9:33 PM
Hey Al
I haven't used that process since 2010 when I posted it. I wish I could give you some additional insite but I don't have any. I would tell you to just give it a try. The cold galvanize spray isn't terrably expensive, and it realy did do a good job for me.

Randy Walker

Kev Williams
03-18-2019, 11:59 PM
30 watts won't reliably fuse Cermark to brass. I have the same machine you have (only older), it won't do the cowbells above. My 40 watt machine will, but so slowly that it's counterproductive. My LS100's tube tested at 47 watts, it does pretty good. My 80 watt Chinese machine fuses Cermark to brass like gangbusters. With brass, it's a power thing...

AJ Chabot
03-19-2019, 1:59 AM
Hey Al
I haven't used that process since 2010 when I posted it. I wish I could give you some additional insite but I don't have any. I would tell you to just give it a try. The cold galvanize spray isn't terrably expensive, and it realy did do a good job for me.

Randy Walker
Thank you.


30 watts won't reliably fuse Cermark to brass. I have the same machine you have (only older), it won't do the cowbells above. My 40 watt machine will, but so slowly that it's counterproductive. My LS100's tube tested at 47 watts, it does pretty good. My 80 watt Chinese machine fuses Cermark to brass like gangbusters. With brass, it's a power thing...

Thank you. Think the galvanized spray will work? Or just slap it on the cnc and use the drag bit?

Randy Walker
03-19-2019, 9:58 AM
Yes power is my biggest problem too. When I do any of these chemical marking compounds I must run sllloooowwww, like below 5% speed and at 1000ppi. I try to steer away from that kind of work if I can.

Randy Walker

Chris DeGerolamo
03-19-2019, 8:31 PM
Ditto on the laser power on Brass. 30W won't do it. You *may* be able to vector the snot out of it to fuse better...YMMV