How to Engrave Custom Artwork onto an Instrument Using the Dremel Micro

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21380032774810.IhfFI5Vao3L85dlpIvGa_height640At World Maker Faire New York, I had a chance to hang out with artists Jaime Locke and Hank Robinson. Both were at the event showing off their skills in the Dremel booth. Their engravings are quite inspiring and during conversation, they convinced me to give it a try. After getting to know the Dremel Micro by wandering around my yard and workshop, grinding on various scrap materials to see what works, I decided to give a real project a try. Custom engraving my ukulele seemed like a perfect fit and I’d easily recommend this to any beginner looking for a place to start.



What you’ll need:

  • A Dremel — I used the Micro, it has plenty of power but it is much lighter and more convenient than my old corded one. That little light at the toolhead is nice as well.
  • A pattern — Either draw something yourself or download something. I found a neat octopus to use and traced it.
  • The media — A ukulele is a great entry point because they are extremely cheap. I believe mine was under $30 brand new. As you can see I had previously scratched some designs into it with a pocket knife, so I painted them black before beginning this project.
  • Eye Protection – Tiny bits of wood are being ground off of this thing at high speed. Why risk your eyes? Toss some protective glasses on there so you can get nice and close and see what is going on.

All together it only took about 20-30 minutes. It is an easy process. Some things to keep in mind are that the bit may want to “run away,” where it bites into the surface and pulls your hand, resulting in a line. Keep a firm grip and expect it to jerk a tiny bit and you’ll be fine. The wood on these ukuleles is pretty thin too, so you have to be careful not to grind in one spot for too long or you’ll punch all the way through!


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