View Full Version : Continued Help w/Brass

Tracey Bakewell
02-25-2007, 11:51 AM
So, anyone who's been following my continued trials and tribulations with Brass. I am making progress, however, some of it I am not understanding.

Attached are 2 examples of Name Plates I'm trying to do (for Horses owners to put on their horse's halter)... Anyway, Here are my settings...

100% Power
2% Speed
1000 PPI
1000 DPI

I'm just not getting the nice solid quality I've seen others get with the Brass. Am I just being too agressive now with my settings? Am I trying to go too small with my font? I'm using about a 16 to 18 size font. I know in one of the threads though this one user had a very small perfect engraving on brass with his laser so I'm sure it's something I'm doing.

Also, Universal told me this is possible as long as I get a thin thin coating of Cermark. I bought a Preval Sprayer and mixed a 50/50 mix (with high E alcohol). The ABC example I had to go back to painting on the Cermark because something happened with my Preval sprayer (after 2 uses, maybe it's empty already?). Anyway, you can see how un-even the ABC example is as I've left it on the brass for more uses.

Anyone who can kind of see what's going on would be great!


Gary Hair
02-25-2007, 1:18 PM
Your preval sprayer probably clogged up - cermark isn't the easiest stuff to spray. I have to thin it quite a bit to go through my airbrush.

It looks to me like you are applying it too thick. This could be they way you are applying it and/or the consistency of the cermark.

Thinning it to 50/50 may not be enough. I don't worry so much about the ratio as much as I do the consistency. I put about a 1/2 teaspoon in a glass bottle that came with my airbrush. I put in enough denatured alcohol to thin it to the consistency of milk, very thin! When I apply it to the metal you can still see the metal through the cermark. It is a complete coat of cermark but so thin you can practically see through it.

Wait a couple of minutes for it to dry, it doesn't take more than that when it's this thin, and laser. I use 100P, 10S with my 40ips, 30 watt GCC Explorer. I have crisp enough edges on text that you would think it is printed with a laser printer - I guess it is, in effect.

The image attached is a small multi-knife given to me by a client. You can see the rotary engraving through the layer of cermark. This should give you an idea of how thin I apply it, and this was done with a pretty small paint brush.

I'll engrave it later and post a picture of how it turned out.


Mark Plotkin
02-25-2007, 1:23 PM

I do not have experiance with brass, but did do a run of stainless that took awhile to get to work. Here is what I found. The material needs to be totally cleaned before the cermark is applied. An airbrush is best and the "thinner" the coat the better. For a 45w I used the following settings (after much trial and a lot of errors!)
Speed 9% Power 100% at 600dpi.
These were multi tools and the font was pretty large (30pt or so)

hope this helps.

Gary Hair
02-25-2007, 1:38 PM
I forgot to attach the first image and decided to wait until I had it engraved. The font you see is 12 point, it's pretty small. I use 500 DPI and 400PPI for mine.

James Stokes
02-25-2007, 7:07 PM
I laser a lot of stainless and aluminum, For stainless I use the cermark and for the aluminum I use Thermark. There is a big differance between the two materials. If I try to use the Cermark on aluminum I can not get it to mark at all. This is using a 100 watt laser. The tags I do, I use a 10pt text and 400 DPI 65 speed 100% power

Tracey Bakewell
02-25-2007, 8:47 PM
I've read all of the feedback here and it seems my main problem is the application of the Cermark. I've got my Preval sprayer working again and got the Cermark pretty well thinned out. I'll take more pics tomorrow as the flash is ruining my image reflecting off the brass. I'm not having any trouble with stainless steel (for whatever reason) just the brass.

I'm just not getting a crisp image. When the Cermark is a perfect thin sheet, my image is not as rich as when I have a little thicker coat. From there, the settings are just not giving me consistent results. Sooo, I think it's still a mix of the two. I'm going to call Universal tomorrow and find out what the settings should be so that I'm only fighting with one variable, the application of the Cermark.

Thanks all!

Dave Jones
02-26-2007, 1:14 AM
Try going with the thinner coat and experiment with the power/speed. Maybe you're going too slow. From what I've read, if you give it too much power it starts going the other way and gives less contrast. There's a certain point where the mark is dark. Too much or too little power won't work as well.

From everything the folks at Cermark have said, a thin coat is very important. So it's probably best to start there and play with the laser settings to get the dark mark.

Tracey Bakewell
02-26-2007, 9:50 PM
Looks like I'm getting better results! I'll post more pics tomorrow hopefully! I'm now trying to engrave a template for my brass name plates out of 1/8" clear acrylic. Having new issues. I'll post a new thread!

Here are my settings that are giving me much better results...

Power: 100%
Speed: 15%
PPI: 1000
DPI: 6 (Max)

This came after talking with Universal and he said I'm just hitting it too hard. The Cermark mix I have seems good and I actually had it too thin. Once I got better at applying it evenly things started looking better. I just trashed the Preval cans, they were causing me more grief than necessary so I annyed up the money and bought an airbrush sprayer. Haven't hooked it up yet and will hopefully do it tomorrw. In the meantime, needed a change of pace to the templates for these brass name plates. Any help there would be great (see new thread)!

Thanks! Tracey

Gary Hair
03-03-2007, 11:30 PM
If I try to use the Cermark on aluminum I can not get it to mark at all. This is using a 100 watt laser.

I wonder why that is... I have a 30 watt laser and have been very successful in lasering aluminum, stainless, chrome and steel. I wonder if it was just luck or if there is something else?