View Full Version : Marking Chrome with a Laser???

Mark Koenig
07-06-2007, 10:50 AM
Guess you would need Cermark but can you do it??? Has any one tried it???

Have some Harley Parts that a customer wants some logo work on his bike...

Thanks Mark.

Bruce Volden
07-06-2007, 11:02 AM
I have had mixed success and because of that I shy away from it. For whatever reason (metal/coating make-up) it would quite often wash right off after marking, other times turned out perfect :confused: Now when I hear chromed parts I RUN (away) :D


Mike Null
07-06-2007, 12:12 PM
It might be worth a call to the people at Cermark. They have more than one type and one might work better for chrome than another.

Mark Koenig
07-06-2007, 1:24 PM
I took both of yours advice...

Called Cermark and they said it should work but could not guarantee the marking without knowing the quality of the chrome... Can't blame them...

Going to shy away unless this guy wants to take the risk on a sample piece... I'll pay the $60.00 for the learning experience...:rolleyes:

Thanks Mark...

Mark Winlund
07-06-2007, 1:38 PM
I have had the same problem with chrome.... sometimes it works, sometimes not. BTW, I have also marked steel... also variable. Once, to get it to work, I sprayed a very thin coat of lacquer, and put the cermark on top of that. It came out great. (Yes, I know cermark says to put it directly on the metal.)


James Stokes
07-06-2007, 2:52 PM
I have tried to do chrome quite a few times. I have had it work a couple, I have also cut the chrome off to. Not good

Bill Cunningham
07-06-2007, 4:53 PM
There is a 'vast' difference in the quality of chrome.. The better the coating the better the mark.. Harley's 'should' have decent chrome.. Does Harley chrome rust? If your in your 50's or older, think back to the bicycles of your day!.. It was always common knowledge that the chrome on your bike (back then) would NEVER rust.. Compair that to todays chrome.. It's usually the first thing 'to' rust.. It's all in the quality...

Dave Jones
07-06-2007, 4:56 PM
From what I've read on this and EngravingEtc, parts that are chromed in the far east are likely to have problems, while parts that are chromed in the US are less likely to have problems. Of course that's not an absolute rule, but more of a general guide.

Several people have said they had good success with real Harley parts made in the US, and had big problems with aftermarket Harley parts from the far east.

I suspect the base metal as well as the thickness of chrome and the type of chrome plating used are all factors.

Garry McKinney
07-06-2007, 7:29 PM
Chrome is a funny animal , mostly because there are 100's of chromes. The thickness can be from a few mils thick to 60 - 80 mils, depending upon the process use and the requirements of the end product.

All chrome ages normal expected life is seven years, before deteration begans to show. Hitting chrome with a laser may or may not mark. May or may not cause it to blister. The base metal can be anything from Zinc to lead and steel including plastic. If your using a Co2 laser I think it will be strickly hit or miss. Black chrome will laser eaisly. But high polished chrome is like lasering a mirror. The beam will bounce.

You might try carbon blacking before you try the laser, but the chrome was added for material protection, if you do get a burn make sure you reseal the piece or natural aging is going to cause early rusting or aging .

Good Luck

James Rambo
07-07-2007, 12:35 PM
About a year ago I used cermark to mark a Harley part for my older brother. I think it was the transmission cover. It worked terrific. I am trying to look for the picture I took of it , but, I think it was lost with the computer crash. And my brother lives in N.Y., I live in Florida so no new pics to be taken now.