View Full Version : Perpetual Plaques Plates

Jeff Belany
07-03-2014, 2:51 PM
I'm sure most of you have had a customer bring in a Perpetual Plaques, many years old, that needs more plates engraved. Most always I end up sending them to the local jeweler who engraves a plate for them. Yesterday someone brought in a plaque with shiny brass plates that were marked in black. Not sure if they were done with Cermark (I seem to remember that Cermark doesn't work real well on brass) or could they have been Dye Sub? First time I have seen a plates marked like this. Any one do shiny brass plates with a laser?

Jeff in northern Wisconsin

Mark Sipes
07-03-2014, 6:13 PM
Most of the Dye Sub plates are Gold aluminum. was is real solid brass.. could it have been rotary engraved and then oxidized black........ did you get a chance to look at it under a loop? you can tell the process real fast that way.....

Mike Null
07-04-2014, 8:38 AM
I do brass with laser sublimation which leaves a smooth shiny surface. If I use the diamond and oxidize them there will be some roughness you can feel.

Bill Stearns
07-04-2014, 10:59 AM
Mike -
You may recall, I have been at laser engraving for 'bout eight years; forever learning something "new"! (Laser sublimation?) For years, I have flipped thru the sublimation section of JDS's catalog, thinking, far as I cared to know, that sublimation was a printing process of some sort. And, now you introduce me to the term "laser sublimation" ? Also, when you say "use the diamond and oxidize them" - [name plates] - you're talking 'bout equipment other than my 35 W Epilog, right? Maybe, it's the word "laser" that's throwing me off. ? Just wanting 'little lengthier explanation.

Long as I've got you: I mentioned Cermark didn't work on a thermos I tried for 'customer 'other day. (sure looked like stainless; didn't say. Seems I've read posts suggesting using alcohol to clean off any finish or coating the item may have? But, not regular alcohol - what's the other type called, and would I find it at Home Depot, or where? (worth a try 'fore I lose the sale entirely.) Hope you have 'safe 'n wonderful 4th of July Holiday - thanks for all!


Dan Hintz
07-04-2014, 1:48 PM
And, now you introduce me to the term "laser printer sublimation" ?

I clarified that for you, Bill, so you don't think it's a process for the CO2 laser.

Mike Null
07-04-2014, 2:51 PM

To expand a bit on Dan's post the laser sub that I do is with an old HP 4000 and a black sublimation toner cartridge. The advantage of this is that it uses plain paper and is ready to go when you are even if you've allowed it to sit idle for months.

The diamond is a stylus in my Newing Hall machine that scratches the surface of engravers brass or aluminum removing the lacquer coating and allowing the metal to be oxidized (blackened) using a chemical available from JDS or Johnson Plastics.

Jeff Belany
07-07-2014, 2:43 PM
Thanks for the responses. Still not sure what it was. You could feel the image above, not into, the brass. But, it feel thicker than other Cermark items I have made.

Jeff in northern Wisconsin

Kev Williams
07-07-2014, 3:57 PM
It may have been done this way:

You start with black brass (or aluminum) then you engrave away everything BUT the text.

I do this all the time. It's a bit of a pain, because you have to offset the lettering to compensate for the width of the laser, the laser settings must be just right or you end up with streaks, banding or rainbow's... you need to sweep the entire plate which is time-consuming, and to compensate for the edge-power issues of lasering I always over-sweep the plate by 1/8" on each side. The plate needs to be polished afterward with something like Mothers or Raindance carwax (both are ever so slightly abrasive).

I have no printing equipment, and this is the best way I've found to do dark text on brass or aluminum backgrounds.

Mike Null
07-07-2014, 4:39 PM
Here are a couple of examples of laser sublimation. I wish I were a better photographer.

The first is on brass, the second on brushed aluminum. The skulls is a drawing by the art director of one of my customers. I printed a number of them which he framed a gave as gifts.

Kev Williams
07-07-2014, 6:42 PM
Here's one of my 'full sweeps', this plate started out all black-


Bill Cunningham
07-12-2014, 8:38 AM
Gold Alumamark works well. Nice solid black on the gold background