Engraving a Dog Tag on a KNK

After a near scare with our beloved 12 year old Llasa-Bichon, Chibi, we decided we needed a little more info on her dog tag. Chibi had wandered off one Saturday morning and the man who found her was responsive and dialed the number on the county-registered tag on Chibi’s collar. However, the number had been discontinued! Fortunately, my husband found a web site called Lost My Doggie and was able to have their automatic service call every home phone within a two mile range of our home. One of our neighbors received the call and knew right away that this must be the dog HER next door neighbor had found earlier that morning. Within a short time, Chibi was reunited with her family.

Needless to say, we were quite unhappy that the phone number on her collar had been discontinued by the government agency which issued it! My husband suggested we get her tag engraved with our home phone number. Bingo! A perfect application for my KNK Maxx!

The first step was to measure the tag. It was 1-1/8″ in diameter, so I created a circle in KNK Studio, just slightly larger – 1.15″. I wanted it large enough so that when I cut out that circle in chipboard, the tag would fit within the hole I cut. You’ll later see why.

Next, I designed the text I wanted to engrave. KNK Studio comes with a selection of single line and multi-line engraving fonts. I selected one that I felt would create easy-to-read text. I made sure the text was positioned so that it would be engraved exactly where I wanted it to be on the tag. The following screen shots show the text with both the fill turned on and the fill turned off:

I needed to make sure the engraving would be made in the exact place on the tag I needed. I set the cutting mode in KNK Studio to Sign Blank. Then, I taped a sheet of chipboard to the cutting mat. After doing a test cut to make sure I had the correct blade length and cutting force, I set the origin and cut out the circle only from the chipboard:

Important… right after the circle was cut, I did NOT lift the pinch wheel levers. Instead, I went Offline and used the lower “-” key to move the mat forward until I could lift out the cut circle with a paper piercer. I then placed the tag into the hole and put small pieces of tape along the very top and bottom to hold the tag in place during the engraving. I’m not sure that’s absolute necessary but I didn’t want the tag to shift during the engraving process, so it seemed like good insurance:

Then, I pressed the Online button so that the blade carriage would return to the same origin. I then switched out the blade for the engraving tool, set the cutting force to 150, and the number of passes to 3. I then sent the text only to the cutting window and the text was engraved EXACTLY where I needed it:

So, having our dog’s name and home phone number on her dog tag gives us a lot more reassurance that if she were to wander off again, anyone finding her would be able to contact us directly.

My thanks to Michelle Hessler for posting on one of the KNK Yahoo groups this method of aligning an engraving. It worked great and is perfect for non-rectangular shapes, such as this circular dog tag.

22 thoughts on “Engraving a Dog Tag on a KNK

      • Well, in this case, we already owned the dog tag. 😛 But you can buy trophy tags to engrave. Or basically anything. I took a charm off of a charm bracelet and was able to engrave on it, as well. I wanted to make sure it would work before I told a prospective KNK buyer that he would be able to engrave on charms.

        • I am sooo glad Chibi was found safe and sound. I can feel your pain when you went through that. I did some phone networking of my own to try to find her, by calling ppl I knew on the blacktop behind us, and they gave me other names/numbers to call of ppl they knew. It is really nice to know that our community can bond together at a time like that. I have had a few strays up here and managed to find their owners and got them returned safely. Well, one I couldn’t read the tag because he would not stay off me..he stood as tall as my husband and weighed as much as I did, and would not let me see his collar and tags at all…he was scared because he was lost, but my neighbor realized who he belonged to and they went down to notify her. Now, today, there are still pets missing, injured, etc. from Monday’s F4 tornado, and they still are not letting pet rescuers into Gaskin City (a section of Harrisburg, IL) or up by the projects to look for them due to downed power lines and gas leaks. It breaks my heart…there was one big dog chained to his doghouse, he and the doghouse survived w/o damage. Ok I just wanted to say this is a really nifty idea, and to let others with skittish pets know there IS now a tracking device available. 🙂

  1. So glad Chibi was found! Great idea to have your own personalized tag. Think I would have been afraid to try to engrave metal.

  2. Our little Molly, a 6 yr old shih tzu who is afraid of EVERYthing..noises, storms, people and other animals, went missing Christmas day for 36 hours. I had previously put her rabies tags on her, but she always chewed them up so bad you couldn’t read them. I then had her chipped, but she chewed that one up also. 2 years ago, came across a booth at a flea market in Bradenton FL that sold dog tags made of steel,(just very similar to army dog tags) not lightweight aluminum. So I decided ok, I will have that engraved with her name, my #, my neighbors # and the words I’m chipt (space was too small for spelling it correctly. I thought ok, I’m set. Then when she disappeared for those 36 hours, it dawned on me…nobody could get close enough to her to catch her TO read the tags, unless she were dead or seriously injured or unconcscious. How then would anyone be able to read her tags? Happily for her and for us she found her way back home after almost 36 hours. She was covered in cockle burrs etc..matted and embedded into her skin, but other than that & extreme hunger and thirst, she was basically fine. Since then, I have noticed they now have a GPS device just for pets! IT is $100 to purchase the device. First month is free, then it’s like 8 dollars a month after that. You can set perimiters with it where she is allowed to “roam’ (we;re way out in the country on a dead end road, and she does not roam in any direction except to my BIL’s slop pit across the road, or to his SIL’s house to visit her 2 dogs….one of which is her litter mate. If I had had that device that day I could have located her MUCH faster. Having said all this, for those who have pets who will go to anyone or even almost any animal, this tag engraving you’ve done is a very very neat idea. Hmmm can you engrave STEEL??? LOL

  3. What a great use of our glorious machines. I am also glad you were able to find your dog too! It is a sick feeling when you realize they have wandered and can not find them. I lost an indoor kitty for a week. he was spotted randomly around the neighborhood but was so scared we couldn’t catch him. I ended up using a cat trap. I was never so happy the night I woke to the trap door snapping shut! My poor baby was skinny but home safe. He has plumped in now.

  4. I know how worried Bob was about losing Chibi. What a great way to deal with this issue. These machines are often worth their weight in gold. People who love their pets should LOVE this way of helping to find them, if they “run away from home.”

  5. Sandy,
    I wouldn’t think that you could engrave on metal that thick. Would this work on the Zing also? Great use of your KNK!

    • Yes… you definitely should be able to engrave on the Zing. There’s an engraver available for it, although I believe KNK USA is currently out of stock. But some of the other KNK dealers have it available.

      I do recommend multiple passes as it will give you a deeper engraving and it will show up better.

  6. Very cool! I love the “jig” you used for the circular shaped tag. that same method could be used for multiple’s if you were doing an engraving job on more than one plate.

    Thanks for sharing, Sandy! 🙂

  7. Pingback: Engraving a Dog Tag on a KNK « TeamKNK - KNKUSA.COM :: KNKUSA.COM

  8. I knew I picked the right machine to buy when I bought my Maxx!!! This is another outstanding idea to put on my long list! 😉
    Thanks Sandy…and great big {{Hugs}} to you! 🙂

  9. where were you back in my engraving days? The chipboard holder would have been a perfect “jig” (as Chad called it) for round tags. We used to have to take the table off (it had a rubber mat that didn’t move, the engraver moved instead) and use the vice to engrave stuff like that.

    Looks great! Glad your fur kid was found safe and sound. I engraved my two older dogs’ tags years ago and they are still wearing them! The two newer ones I bought at Walmart (but that was before KNK!)

  10. Sandy, this is pretty amazing. I never would have thought of using this machine for that purpose. But, it works! And I have to say, my blond friend Heidi most likely needs one of these tags! Thanks!

  11. WAooW Sandy, what TERRIFIC Idea. You know that I never have try engraving on metal, this will be on my list of things to do. Thank you for sharing, I love the results.

  12. Thank you for telling us how to do it, and thank you for the link to “lost my doggie”. Hopefully she is chipped, as well!

  13. This is an awesome idea! I want to try this sometime. I think using the back side of a rabies tag would be a good idea, so you don’t have two tags that clink together and make that irritating noise.
    Great idea!

  14. I agree about the clinking! lol Definitely engrave on the reverse side, which is what I did in this case, as well. In fact, we just registered Chibi for the next year, so I’ll be doing this once again in a week or two!

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