V carving a hammer handle

I’ve been asked to carve an inscription on a claw hammer handle. Is there a way to make this work? I doubt there is much flat surface to work with.

Thank you,

Options (from good to better to best):

  • Use a probe to determine the surface and conform a traditional V-carve to it — bCNC has an automated tool for doing the latter, the former are covered at: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Upgrade_Overview#Probe (easiest thing is to use a suitable point and cover the piece in aluminum foil clipped to ground)
  • Probe the surface, import it into a 3D modeling program, map an engraving to that — I believe this will give one more control
  • add a 4th axis, probe the surface using it, then do the engraving using the surface data and 4th axis rotation (EDIT: info on an additional axis here: http://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Upgrade_Overview#Additional_Axis )

Thank you Will. It might be more than I can handle right now in terms of the learning curve to make all that happen. Might have to send her on to someone else.

As always, thank you for all your help.

Alternately, if the tool is not to be used, face a flat onto it, V-carve the flat? Optional improvement mill a piece of plexiglass to cover it?

Or, why engrave the ephemeral / replaceable handle — why not engrave the side of the hammer itself (aside from folks such as Tom Silva, it’s unused and the engraving won’t get damaged / dinged).

Very good idea, I think I’m going to push for the flat milling! She sent me a pic of one she had seen on Etsy with the engraved handle so I’m sure that’s what she will want.