Engraving Brass tags for jewelry making

Hi. not sure if allowed or where to post this…but here goes nothing

Can anyone guide me or help me? Not sure where else to go or do. I have gotten my glowforge for exactly this, to make name necklaces. So far I have spent like 3 to 4 months on my quest and nothing I do seems to do the trick.

I got these small blanks:

NOTHING I have done seems to make what I want to happen happen. I would love to get these engraved but so far no luck. These are the things I have tried in no particular order:

  1. placed paper on the bed and placed item to be engraved onto paper after spraying with Cermarx

  2. taken the paper off taped item to bed

  3. used regular engrave

  4. Used IPHONE settings

  5. Tried to engrave without the coating

  6. cried…

  7. a lot

  8. scored paper in the 20 lb paper setting and put my little tags in the “template” because the Glowforge has a mind of it’s own and will put the initial anywhere but in the center of the tag.

can anyone help me?

this is what I have wanted to do in like forever and I see people’s success story but they seem reticent to help a fellow maker out ( and I do ask nicely)


I think I need all the settings.

PS: I have been pretty good at figuring out things on my own but this one? it’s stumping the heck out of me…

Thank you.

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It seems to me that you are describing a couple of separate problems. First, have you ever achieved success with CerMark or any other marking agent? Until you get that dialed in, the fact that you struggle with alignment is irrelevant.


Not sure I can help much, but I have used a marking medium. I’ve used LaserBond which is just a different brand name than Cermark. My first thought is make sure brass is one of the listed metals that the Cermark you bought can mark. Sometimes people just assume that it can do it on any kind of metal they have. My only other thought is that you really just need to do some testing. Sacrifice some of your brass tags and some of your Cermark to do that. As you know, you cannot actually engrave ANY metal with the Glowforge. Engraving actually removes metal…and the Glowforge is not powerful enough to do that. I hope some other owners will be able to give you more advice. Best of luck.


Since we may discuss Cermark and other settings this should probably be moved to Beyond the Manual.

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So per their website: “CerMark LMM 14 for copper and brass. Items often have a clear lacquer coating on them to prevent tarnishing. This clear coating will prevent the CerMark from sticking correctly to the metal. Soft metals suck the heat away from the laser area very fast and require slow speed and high power to properly make a mark.”

A) are you using LMM14?
B) it’s likely your items have a clear coating, are you scraping that off?
C) “regular engave” is not a thing, you always have to pick a setting. The iPhone setting is for removing a painted coating to reveal the metal underneath. Per CerMark you want to go slowly with high power, which isn’t going to be any of the defaults - try starting here: Laser engrave everything

Now, once you get it working come back and we can work on your alignment questions - there are multiple ways to get perfect alignment every time, but focus on getting your settings first so you’re not frustrated :slight_smile:


Also, for metal tips and tricks in general, check out #11:


I started using the alignment tools that are now offered by Glowforge as soon as they came out as I am visually impaired and have learned how to use any and all tools at my disposal. I was actually making and marking jigs to use at the start. To make sure everything was nice and straight for me.

Going to check out what type of CerMark I’m using, I have also seen a great deal of success with BRILIANCE , will try that one next.

Also will go to the site you recommended and see what I’m doing wrong with this, hopefully I can catch a clue.

Thank you!


Thank you.

I have been using the alignment tool offered by Glowforge to get the acrylic and wood text engraving right.

It was such a relief for someone like me to have that option.

Is there something more I should be paying attention to?

I have been buying the metal tags that other makers post a link to, the actual ones they are using, it just doesn’t seem to work for me.

but nothing wrong with doing a “reset” and trying everything from the start again.

Thank you

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Frustration breeds disappointment, keep after it!
I haven’t failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work. - Edison regarding his lightbulb.

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