Polishing laser engravings and ano (like on the Wolf Canvas)

I did a quick search and didn’t see this, so…

Tips needed on polishing a laser engraving, please. Basically I’d like to get the same result as seen on the Wolf Canvas and don’t want to screw it up.

What I have is the Minty Mint Canvas with the Smokey engraving of a woman/man and the engraving is difficult to see. I think the problem is that it is a light-colored yoyo with a detailed engraving. I want to polish the cups so that the engraving “pops” more and stands out. It could look awesome or be a disaster and I want to avoid the latter! My concern is that the detail on the engraving will get lost in the polishing and/or the result will be that the engraving still does not stand out even with polish.

I’ve got wet and dry sandpaper of different grits. What grit should I use to get the best result and should I do this wet or dry? And/or should I use metal polish?

Thanks in advance…

If it’s still anodized, just rub the engraving with some 0000 grade steel wool.

Wouldn’t that affect the surrounding areas as well?

This would be risky. I’d be careful doing this.

I think it would hard to get the engravings to pop like on the wolf canvas. Anodizing removes the silvery mirror finish. I suspect the wolf was masked either prior to ano or it was stencil stripped post ano and carefully polished by hand.

It was polished by hand. I remember seeing an Instagram post by Chris that the wolf engraving was polished by Jensens elbow…haha :slight_smile:

I’d tell you how to do it but then I’d have to kill ya. :wink:

I’ll take that chance. 8)

Seriously, I just looked at your polish work. Looks very nice but how does it turn out if you polish it shiny but don’t remove all the anodization? Do engravings get rubbed out or is it possible to get a polished ano + mirrored engraving by using high grade grit (say… 1500) and not polishing too long?

I’d stay away from paper all together. First and foremost you must have complete confidence in yourself that your gonna be able to do it. Steady hand and calm nerves along with some compounds will get you where you need to go. Shoot me a pm and I can get ya rolling.

I’m not familiar with the yo-yo you’re referring to… but if you’re just trying to turn the actual laser etching into a polished surface, it’s very easy.

Laser etching cuts through the anodizing down to the base metal, which it then builds a white oxide on. That white layer is rather soft… it can be removed with any decent car polish and a few minutes with a rag.

Car polishes work well because they are designed not to damage the surface (in this case the anodizing), but remove all the junk stuck to them (in this case the residue from the etching laser)


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I stand corrected, perhaps it’s easier than I thought! :slight_smile:

Although it may be bare metal under the oxidation the surface of it is not going to be as apt to shine like that of a preped aluminium surface. A simple rub down is going to leave a lack luster shine.

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I remembered that I had a photo of the yoyo in question (see below), a Smokey Canvas. In glare the engraving is hard to see.

I did polish up one side a bit and it had no effect on the visibility of the engraving.

Also, since it is a beadblasted then anodized finish, then using a car polish or equivalent would still leave the beadblast texture to the engraving. Realizing that no matter which way it’s done, this engraving will be hard to see.

I think I’ll just polish the cups a little more then stop. Really this is an engraving that should have been on a dark anodization background. Black ano, for example, would’ve been much better for this design.

Thanks, y’all, the responses were actually helpful even though this particular case is sort of a lost cause.

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Not really from what I’ve done. Anodize is tougher than you would think.

If only you were using a polish of some kind that could shine the surface of the metal…

The exception would be something like a beadblasted surface… not much you can do about that without risking damage to the anodizing. I was speaking of a normal yoyo with no pre-process to the anodizing.