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Harry Radaza
07-29-2006, 6:32 AM
I have a client that wants their logo marked on spoon handles with GOLD color. Cermark makes a black color and is unacceptable to them. has to be in gold. any ideas ?

is it true Thermark makes different colors ?

Wil Lambert
07-29-2006, 6:43 AM
From what I read about Thermark it only does black on metal like Cermark.

http://www.thermark.com/markingmaterials.htm

Wil

Mike Null
07-29-2006, 7:16 AM
These are the same product. Some time back there was a patent infringement issue and Ferro the Cermark company came away as the owner of the product. As I recall Thermark is a marketing only operation now.

Keith Outten
07-29-2006, 9:10 AM
TherMark in fact does have a few colors to choose from. I have used their bronze Thermark to engrave glass and although it worked it was difficult to obtain the same color every time.

I haven't used TherMark on metal yet.

.

Mike Null
07-29-2006, 1:15 PM
Some time ago I used the same type of products under the Cermark label for glass. I didn't have much call and I wasn't really impressed so I didn't follow up with any marketing effort.

As I recall the glass colors are for automotive applications but don't bet any money on that.

They do make more than one black for metal applications.

Dave Jones
07-29-2006, 1:28 PM
There are hand held gold electroplating kits. Perhaps you could apply a plastic mask and laser away the mask as needed. Then use a gold electroplating system to add gold through the opening in the mask.

Mitchell Andrus
07-29-2006, 5:09 PM
Laser through the mask and apply gold leaf. ?

Mitch

Harry Radaza
07-29-2006, 10:00 PM
ELECTROPLATING ??? can someone please explain the process to a newbie?

Mentioning of masks, I thought, maybe it might work if I put a mask after the application on cermark. I would laser through the mask and the cermark would turn black. Then, without removing the mask, I can paint gold color on to the engraved (cermarked blackened) area. And once this is dry give it a shot of clear top coat to seal the paint in.

You think this will work?

question is... what kind of gold paint to use and what kind of clear top coat to use?

Dave Jones
07-29-2006, 11:38 PM
The basic process for electroplating is simple. A power source (battery, power supply, etc...) has one end connected to the metal being electroplated and the other end connected to an electrode. A solution is placed between the two and the current from the power source flows through the solution depositing the material onto the item being electroplated.

That process is the same for all electroplating. The electrode material and the solution used are different for each material being plated. Having control over the voltage and current of the power source can control the speed and thickness of the electroplating.

There are a few different ways to do gold, but the most common ways involve a cleaning process, plating first with nickel, then plating with gold. The nickel sticks to most metals and the gold sticks real well to nickel. That makes it last for a very long time.

In industrial electroplating systems you use tanks filled with solutions. But since the 60s there have been hand held systems called "brush elecroplating" where the electrode is basically metal bristles (or a brillo pad type bundle) on the end of a handle and the solution is simply dripped through the brush onto the object being plated.

I looked into doing this back in the 80s and the hand held systems came from one or two companies and were about $100. I just did a google and today there seem to be hundreds of systems, but most of them seem to be in the $300-$1500 range.

The bigest markets seem to be jewelers and automotive detailers (ie: to gold plate a Cadilac emblem)

You could check with a local jeweler to see if they have the equipment. If so, maybe you could mask the spoons and they could electroplate them.

Joe Pelonio
07-30-2006, 11:47 AM
ELECTROPLATING ??? can someone please explain the process to a newbie?

Mentioning of masks, I thought, maybe it might work if I put a mask after the application on cermark. I would laser through the mask and the cermark would turn black. Then, without removing the mask, I can paint gold color on to the engraved (cermarked blackened) area. And once this is dry give it a shot of clear top coat to seal the paint in.

You think this will work?

question is... what kind of gold paint to use and what kind of clear top coat to use?
That would work but it's not really permanent. Especially if the spoons are to be being used and end up in a dishwasher. If you are going to do that better to just use the paint. Create a jig for the spoons, to align in th right place every time. Mask the whole spoon handle. On the computer create a rectangle with the words inside. Vector cut the box, remove it from the spoon with tweezers. Spray paint onto the box area. Remove the rest of the masking. On the file make the box black, letters white, and a 5 point outline on the box to make it slightly larger. Place back in the jig and rastor the box in black/lettering white. The paint will be removed from all but the letters.

As for the paint I've had good luck on metal and stone with Rustoleum
Specialty Metallic spray paint.

Harry Radaza
07-30-2006, 1:13 PM
jo,

thanx for that ! I will try it out tomorow. It's so simple and I never thought of that.

But I will still have to use cermark first right so the paint will be on top of the black cermark? Or can I just spray paint directly on the spoon?

In any case, I will always have to use a clear top coat right ?

Dave Jones
07-30-2006, 1:20 PM
That would work but it's not really permanent.

That depends on the method and thickness. If you just electroplate a thin layer of gold directly on the spoon (gold flash is typically .1 micron), then yes it will rub or wash off relatively fast. If you nickel plate first and then gold plate a reasonably thick layer of gold (3+ microns of 18k or higher) it will last for decades of use, including in a dishwasher. The gold bonds with the nickel making it very hard to remove.

Joe Pelonio
07-30-2006, 1:36 PM
jo,

thanx for that ! I will try it out tomorow. It's so simple and I never thought of that.

But I will still have to use cermark first right so the paint will be on top of the black cermark? Or can I just spray paint directly on the spoon?

In any case, I will always have to use a clear top coat right ?
I have no idea how paint sticks to cermark, if at all, and that adds an extra step plus will require absolutely perfect registration. As for clearcoat, it's not likely to be any more durable than the paint.
Just use the paint only. Let it dry several hours or overnight and
hand wash in dishsoap, see what happens.

Harry Radaza
07-30-2006, 11:35 PM
the spoons are real shiny.

do i run the risk of the laser bouncing back and damaging the lens ?

Joe Pelonio
07-31-2006, 10:41 AM
Even shiny stainless steel is not going to bounce the beam back like a mirror. People with Yag lasers cut stainless with it. Also, you don't need much power to burn off paint. As with any new material keep an eye on it the first time, though, just in case I'm wrong.