In ancient times, wood engraving referred to the manual process of carving indentations into wood using hand tools. Till date, this trade is still being practiced in parts of Singapore, mainly for the Chinese market’s signage requirements. What we have above, however, is done via our CNC engraving machine and filled with gold paint, to join Balestier Hill Primary School’s PSLE wall of achievements plaque.
1. Types of engravable wood
In General, wood with finer grains would have no problems being engraved or printed onto. Teak and plywood are common wood materials used. Woods with larger grains will experience chipping of the grains in the process of engraving, and would also not turn out nice if printed on due to the uneven surface.
2. Engraving vs Uv-Printing
At Brighten, we have the option to either engrave or print directly onto the wood. They are very different in terms of the end product, as seen above. Uv-printing on wood is able to achieve complex layouts such as photos, with the advantage of a full color finishing. As we mostly perform rotary engraving, our wood engravings are restricted by various constraints such as complexity and size.
3. Gold Paint-fill
Traditionally done with the use of gold leaves, we use water-based gold paint instead to keep the cost low. The process, however, is just as tedious as the former. The filling of the ink has to be done with extreme care and at a very slow pace to ensure the gold paint do not overflow from the engraved grooves.
4. Engraving Restrictions
As mentioned above, this is especially so for wood engravings which requires gold paint-fill. The layout has to be of a minimal size (15mm in height for texts) in order for the engraved grooves to be wide enough for the paint filling process to take place. Also, if the texts are too small, positions of the engraved alphabets might chip off, such as the middle parts of letters like “o” and “e”.