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Jeff Chumbley
05-11-2011, 1:04 AM
I have a customer requesting nylon electrical plates be engraved and filled black. I only have a laser engraver.

Will the laser work on the nylon without melting?

How involved is the paint fill portion?

I appreciate any suggestions.

Jeff

Clyde Baumwell
05-12-2011, 10:23 AM
Hi Jeff
It is easy to do. Firstly use a white or ivory switch plate that has a matte finish not a gloss finish. Cooper manufactures a good one - i got them at Lowes or HD. Engrave with a very low power setting-you can test this. The next part really works. Get one of those wipe off black markers (I use Expo brand) and cover the wall plate with the black marker. Then wipe off the black. I tried attaching a photo

Dee Gallo
05-12-2011, 11:41 AM
Clyde, those are really neat! Doesn't the Expo marker come off when cleaning, like when you have a white board and spray with window cleaner to remove the ink?

~ dee

Jeff Chumbley
05-12-2011, 11:49 AM
Those are very cool. Like Dee asked, do you seal them with anything to keep from washing out?

Clyde Baumwell
05-12-2011, 12:09 PM
Dee---Cleaning???? What's that? But no it doesn't come off when cleaning-I don't spray the household cleaner on switchplates anyway and the ink stays in the groove when wiped. I use the same method with white tile.

Dan Hintz
05-12-2011, 12:31 PM
No it doesn't come off when cleaning-I don't spray the household cleaner on switchplates anyway and the ink stays in the groove when wiped.
But others might... customers have a nasty habit of wanting remakes when they screw up a product. If the marker is affected by standard cleaning chemicals, expect return customers (and not the good kind).

I would clear coat if you plan to sell these made as described, Jeff...

Dee Gallo
05-12-2011, 1:32 PM
I would just switch to a different paint, either acrylic or model paint for plastics. People DO clean switch plates, since they get a lot of finger dirt on them.... especially ones that look that cool, people will want to feel them.

Nestor Fernandez
05-12-2011, 1:46 PM
Those look amazing!! Never thought of that. But, I agree with all the comments. I would think that one squirt of Windex will have a "runny make-up" look running down the wall if the plates aren't sealed. Not sure if this would work, but how about using a spray can after etching and then something like GOOF OFF to remove everything but the etched areas.

Clyde Baumwell
05-12-2011, 3:14 PM
FYI yall...they have been on the wall for over 3 years and sprayed and cleaned many times. I originally used a sharpie successfully.

But hey Dan you can overthink this or make it as complicated as you want.

dave hensley
05-12-2011, 3:20 PM
Could you just mask these and then use any paint/marker you wanted?

Dan Hintz
05-12-2011, 3:38 PM
FYI yall...they have been on the wall for over 3 years and sprayed and cleaned many times. I originally used a sharpie successfully.

But hey Dan you can overthink this or make it as complicated as you want.
I don't believe I'm overthinking it, I'm considering the potential result of a very common activity by customers. You may not use chemicals during your cleaning activities, but I doubt that's true for many, so I didn't want Jeff heading down a path that might have customers returning his work for a refund without mentioning more tests or precautions might be needed.

What if the client is an architect working on a hospital? Hospitals demand permanence in the markings on their outlet plates, and considering some of the chemicals they use there, I would be leery using a marker designed to be removed with a tissue without further testing.

Chuck Stone
05-12-2011, 3:58 PM
194450
just tested the nylon using my avatar from another forum.
Works great!
Lowe's has 10 packs for $1.98

Dan Hintz
05-12-2011, 4:20 PM
Chuck, did you test the Expo markers against typical cleaning chemicals? How did it hold up?

Conrad Fiore
05-12-2011, 4:47 PM
To fill our mechanically engraved switch plates in any material, we use a wipe-in filler by PPG/Keeler and Long. We have used this material for over 50 years and there is nothing better on the planet. It will meet any spec. military or otherwise for resistance to water, steam, solvents or anything else you can throw at it. Only downside is, it's $175.00 a quart.

Chuck Stone
05-12-2011, 4:51 PM
no, just the Laserbits color fill.

Dan Hintz
05-13-2011, 7:30 AM
It will meet any spec. military or otherwise... it's $175.00 a quart.
The mere mention of "military spec" means the price tag doesn't surprise me ;)

Mark Ross
05-13-2011, 11:54 AM
Anything alcohol based will make permanent markers run no matter how long they have been on. We use sharpies all day long on stuff and one wipe with alcohol removes anything we mark. We use the sharpies as a temporary permanent marker for certain jobs in the shop.

I have done similiar wall plates and just use a good acrylic paint to backfill.

Josiah Gallo
05-27-2011, 1:15 PM
I tried this out yesterday and got great results. Testing with windex and durability seems to be fine. Engraved with light settings and then covered area with Expo dry erase! Magic marker seemed to be too hard to get off of unengraved areas. Thanks for tip! I think these were actually gloss finish, I didn't pay attention when buying

196030196031

Rodne Gold
05-27-2011, 1:58 PM
The great thing with laser engraving is that is does not leave a smooth surface in the groove , its actually pretty rough and most paints will be impossible to remove as they key to the rough surface , we use automotive duco type paints , flood fill and use meths or thinners to remove excess and have had great results without any coatings in some pretty rough environments and with some pretty vigorous cleaning

Dan Hintz
05-27-2011, 2:25 PM
Love the two-tone lighthouse, Josiah...