Author Topic: darkening engraved letters  (Read 1286 times)

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Offline HowardH

  • Posts: 1339
darkening engraved letters
« on: December 09, 2020, 10:17 AM »
I have a project where I am using the Shaper Origin to engrave recipe's on maple, flat grained, cutting boards.  I want to darken the letters so they stand out. I have a burning tool but I think that would be a bit tedious. Would a sharp-tipped Sharpie work where I could sand off any spillage, so to speak?  Any other ideas? 
Howard H
The Dallas Texas Festool Fanatic!

Mark Twain:  "I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a letter approving of it." "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything."

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Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8739
Re: darkening engraved letters
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2020, 10:41 AM »
Are these cutting boards going to be used for cutting or for display only?

A Sharpie will probably easily penetrate the surface and stain the wood so sanding away any spillage may be difficult/impossible.

I'd try clear coating the letters and adjacent areas, then fill the letters in with black paint and then sand the board back down to bare wood. The clear coat will be a barrier between the black paint and the wood and prevent the black paint from staining the wood.

Offline HowardH

  • Posts: 1339
Re: darkening engraved letters
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2020, 10:51 AM »
Great idea!  I should have thought of that.  Should I use a regular primer or something like Zinsser shellac primer?   

Zinsser primer
Howard H
The Dallas Texas Festool Fanatic!

Mark Twain:  "I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a letter approving of it." "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything."

mft1080, P1cc, MFT/3, T15, TID-18, RO150FEQ, MT55cc, RTS400, CT22, CT36E, 800, 1080, 1400, 1900 rails, OF 2200, OF1400, CSX, C18, VacSys, Vecturo, Qwas dogs, Parf Dogs, Zobo's, Syslite Uni, CMS GE. Mafell DDF40, Sawstop contractor, PM 1500, Shaper Origin. Felder AF-14

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8739
Re: darkening engraved letters
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2020, 11:00 AM »
I wouldn't use anything with a pigment in it so that's the reason for a clear coat. You want to make sure there is nothing that may color the bare wood. I'm not really familiar with shellac so that's a call better made by someone who has used the stuff.

PS...love your sleeping dog avatar. [big grin]

Here's ours.

« Last Edit: December 09, 2020, 11:04 AM by Cheese »

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: darkening engraved letters
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2020, 11:27 AM »
Hi Howard @HowardH

I have found that just darkening the sides of engraved lettering does not stand the test of time. However, you can fill the lettering with a dark epoxy and the effect is stunning. I will try and find a photo of an example but in the meantime do look at the way that I filled a defect in a piece of oak:



Peter

Offline HowardH

  • Posts: 1339
Re: darkening engraved letters
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2020, 11:29 AM »
I wouldn't use anything with a pigment in it so that's the reason for a clear coat. You want to make sure there is nothing that may color the bare wood. I'm not really familiar with shellac so that's a call better made by someone who has used the stuff.

PS...love your sleeping dog avatar. [big grin]

Here's ours.

(Attachment Link)

Goldens are the best dogs!  We have had 3 of them.  Unfortunately, they seem to have a propensity for getting cancer which happened to all three of ours.  This new, little guy, was a bit of an fluke as he was at eye level one day when we were touring our local shelter.  He's a pistol! 
Howard H
The Dallas Texas Festool Fanatic!

Mark Twain:  "I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a letter approving of it." "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything."

mft1080, P1cc, MFT/3, T15, TID-18, RO150FEQ, MT55cc, RTS400, CT22, CT36E, 800, 1080, 1400, 1900 rails, OF 2200, OF1400, CSX, C18, VacSys, Vecturo, Qwas dogs, Parf Dogs, Zobo's, Syslite Uni, CMS GE. Mafell DDF40, Sawstop contractor, PM 1500, Shaper Origin. Felder AF-14

Offline HowardH

  • Posts: 1339
Re: darkening engraved letters
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2020, 11:32 AM »
Hi Howard @HowardH

I have found that just darkening the sides of engraved lettering does not stand the test of time. However, you can fill the lettering with a dark epoxy and the effect is stunning. I will try and find a photo of an example but in the meantime do look at the way that I filled a defect in a piece of oak:



Peter

Thanks Peter!  These letters are going to be very small (.5" high) and only .02" deep.  Would that mixed epoxy work in that example? 

Howard 
« Last Edit: December 09, 2020, 11:35 AM by HowardH »
Howard H
The Dallas Texas Festool Fanatic!

Mark Twain:  "I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a letter approving of it." "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything."

mft1080, P1cc, MFT/3, T15, TID-18, RO150FEQ, MT55cc, RTS400, CT22, CT36E, 800, 1080, 1400, 1900 rails, OF 2200, OF1400, CSX, C18, VacSys, Vecturo, Qwas dogs, Parf Dogs, Zobo's, Syslite Uni, CMS GE. Mafell DDF40, Sawstop contractor, PM 1500, Shaper Origin. Felder AF-14

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8739
Re: darkening engraved letters
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2020, 11:50 AM »
I really like Peter's suggestion...you can over fill the letters with epoxy and then sand the board and everything will be smooth and at the same level.  [smile]

Offline HowardH

  • Posts: 1339
Re: darkening engraved letters
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2020, 11:51 AM »
I really like Peter's suggestion...you can over fill the letters with epoxy and then sand the board and everything will be smooth and at the same level.  [smile]

I was thinking the same thing, especially since it's going to be a cutting board.  I don't think people will actually cut on them but you never know. 
Howard H
The Dallas Texas Festool Fanatic!

Mark Twain:  "I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a letter approving of it." "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything."

mft1080, P1cc, MFT/3, T15, TID-18, RO150FEQ, MT55cc, RTS400, CT22, CT36E, 800, 1080, 1400, 1900 rails, OF 2200, OF1400, CSX, C18, VacSys, Vecturo, Qwas dogs, Parf Dogs, Zobo's, Syslite Uni, CMS GE. Mafell DDF40, Sawstop contractor, PM 1500, Shaper Origin. Felder AF-14

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 545
Re: darkening engraved letters
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2020, 12:00 PM »
I have a project where I am using the Shaper Origin to engrave recipe's on maple, flat grained, cutting boards.  I want to darken the letters so they stand out. I have a burning tool but I think that would be a bit tedious. Would a sharp-tipped Sharpie work where I could sand off any spillage, so to speak?  Any other ideas?

Sharpie ink is not permanent and the inks that are permanent will bleed.  There are "paint pens" that use enamel paint.  I use them frequently for the gold finish.  But they would be very slow to use for engravings.

I would use One Shot Lettering paint.  It is a professional's sign painter paint.  Use a fine tipped brush and work slowly.  Wait for it to fully dry and then sand the surface to "erase" any mistakes.  Do not sand the paint until it is dried fully hard or you will make a mess.

http://www.1shot.com/One-Shot/Products.aspx

Offline Oldwood

  • Posts: 480
  • Alberta, Canada
Re: darkening engraved letters
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2020, 12:15 PM »
We have used a product called knock down glaze, some people call it dust.

The way you use it is you first carve then clear coat then spray the graze into the relief then sand the flat face to remove the glaze. You can wipe with solvent to get it very clean.

Then you spray another coat of clear to lock in in.

It would not give you the flat surface like epoxy but is faster to do.

We have used products from ML Campbell and Chemcraft but I am sure there are others that work as well.
Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.
Confucius

Offline Peter Parfitt

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Re: darkening engraved letters
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2020, 01:43 PM »

Thanks Peter!  These letters are going to be very small (.5" high) and only .02" deep.  Would that mixed epoxy work in that example? 

Howard

I think that it will work fine although it would help if you could cut the letter depth a little deeper.

I tried to find a picture of a shoe horn that I made in maple with black lettering of "Parf" but it has escaped and is probably exiting the internet right now on its way to Pluto and perhaps out of the solar system for good.

Peter

Offline Bernmc

  • Posts: 78
Re: darkening engraved letters
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2020, 02:28 PM »
You can also use something like Oramask stencil film - sold by ToolsToday - to make crisp painting easier. Not sure how it'd work with the shaper's tracks, but looks like it'd be ok.




Offline Alanbach

  • Posts: 674
Re: darkening engraved letters
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2020, 04:23 PM »
Way back in the day I made a few wooden signs with an old Craftsman sign makers template set for the router. I would use black spray paint to spray the letters then send the sign through the drum sander. Then a light stain on the body of the sign and spray lacquer to finish. The good news is that it works great. The bad news is that it is definitely NOT food safe for a cutting board.

Offline HowardH

  • Posts: 1339
Re: darkening engraved letters
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2020, 04:29 PM »
That seems to be consensus.  If I go the black lacquer route, there would so little of it on the board I don't think it would matter.  More likely than not, it will be used as a decorative item in someone's kitchen rather than an everyday cutting board.  I'll make who ever gets one understands that. 
Howard H
The Dallas Texas Festool Fanatic!

Mark Twain:  "I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a letter approving of it." "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything."

mft1080, P1cc, MFT/3, T15, TID-18, RO150FEQ, MT55cc, RTS400, CT22, CT36E, 800, 1080, 1400, 1900 rails, OF 2200, OF1400, CSX, C18, VacSys, Vecturo, Qwas dogs, Parf Dogs, Zobo's, Syslite Uni, CMS GE. Mafell DDF40, Sawstop contractor, PM 1500, Shaper Origin. Felder AF-14

Offline neilc

  • Posts: 3040
Re: darkening engraved letters
« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2020, 05:56 PM »
Howard - I’d suggest you use a spray shellac on the raw wood before filling with the epoxy.  I have used trans tint die in two part epoxy and the shellac will help to prevent bleed.  I’d suggest finish sand before you you spray to minimize grain soaking up much.  Maple should help.