View Full Version : Engraving Ebonite

Paul Proffitt
03-24-2008, 5:15 PM
For those who don't know (I just looked it up), ebonite is a trade name for a hard rubber compound often used to make bowling balls.

A potential customer is making a product (not a bowling ball) from this material and wants it engraved with a design and logo that will likely be color filled.

Anyone have experience or suggestions to share on this material? Information I found says it smokes a lot when burned. This product would also have to be done on a rotary attachment, not that it matters with regard to settings.

Paul Proffitt
Suwanee, GA - Epilog Legend 24TT 45 Watt

Paul Proffitt
03-30-2008, 7:16 PM
OK, so nobody has much interest in engraving ebonite. I got my first chance to try it this weekend on a sample piece of material. I started off with a suggested 600 DPI, 100% Power, and 7% speed (this is a 45 watt Legend 24TT). That did a really good job of engraving about 1/16" deep and leaving a tremendous amount of sticky goo on the surface.

What I ended up with was 600 DPI, 60% speed and 100% power. I tried 400 and 1200 DPI and a range of speed / power combinations. This was the best result. It was done with transfer tape over the area to be engraved.

Turns out there is so much residue produced by the vaporized rubber that the transfer tape is the only way to keep it clean.

The test blank (and likely all production blanks) will come to the engraver basically with a finished polish. If the sticky goo gets all over the surface you'll never be able to get it off without having to re-polish the surface which will likely affect the engraving.

So for those who always wanted to engrave an ebonite bowling ball or something else made from ebonite I hope this helps.

Paul Proffitt
Suwanee, GA

Kayne Gill
03-30-2008, 8:33 PM
Thanks Paul that will hopefully save me time if I have to do it.

Peck Sidara
03-30-2008, 9:10 PM
Thanks for sharing that info Paul. I'll remember it next time someone asks.

Angus Hines
03-30-2008, 10:00 PM
If I ever get a bowling ball job I'll remeber this.