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Another question for tinkerers/hobbyists
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Mike Harrison
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 2:27 pm    Post subject: Another question for tinkerers/hobbyists Reply with quote

Roughly 50 years ago, while I was still living at home, the township recommended residents engrave their valuables with their social security number to enable identification should they ever be stolen and recovered. As a young geek, enthralled with the technology of tape cartridges (the lifeblood of Top 40 radio broadcasting), I'd bought a used machine and dutifully engraved it as suggested.

Now, no longer having a use for the machine (it still plays and recues) and tired of it taking up space, I've found someone interested in taking it off my hands. Obviously, I want to obliterate my social security number.

But HOW? Any ideas?


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todd ellis
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


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George
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

a metal file would probably work too. the grinder is way more fun though.
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todd ellis
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

use a dremel and subtly change 2 or 3 of the numbers.

Ninja
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Mike Harrison
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Uhhh yes, that would certainly do it! cool
Although, what needs obliterating measures no more than 1/4" x 1.5" I was hoping I wouldn't have to rent such a big piece of equipment. But you've put me on what might be a good track: if I were to buy a small grinder wheel (is that what they're called?), might that work if I attach it to my power drill?

Thanks, Todd.
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todd ellis
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes. you should be able to get something at lowes or home depot for a few bucks that will do the job.
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Mike Harrison
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great. And I don't EXPECT you to know, although you do seem very knowledgeable in this stuff: The surface engraved is stainless steel, and I don't want to butcher it too badly. What do you think I should look for in the way of coarseness/fineness?
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todd ellis
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i don't imagine the metal is more than thin sheet metal - so the engraving can't be that deep. you might be able to get a set of wheels of varying grit. you might even get it with a wire wheel. you're going to want as high speed as you can get.

good luck.
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Mike Harrison
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's close to 1/8-inch stainless steel, but the engraving doesn't appear to be very deep.

Thanks much, Todd.
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Bruce
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just engrave other numbers over the old ones. Turn 5s and 6s into 8s, and 1s and 7s into 4s. Then play the resulting numbers in the next lottery. Just remember you heard that here first from your old pal.


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Lee Gordon
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you still have access to the engraving tool you used originally, just use that. If you don't, some 60 or 80 grit sandpaper should do the trick. Use a sanding block or buy a sanding sponge (Home Depot carries one that has 60 grit on one side and 150 grit on the other). Mask the area around the number with tape to confine your sanding to just the number. If you do get a multiple grit sponge, use the coarser grit first and then switch to the finer grit.
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Mike Harrison
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Bruce. My original idea was to rent an electric engraver to do exactly what you suggested but, apparently, hand-held electric engravers are either extinct or no one rents them anymore. Plenty of places are eager to sell me a laser engraver, though.

Lee, I think I'm going to try your suggestion first. While I don't want to mar the surface too badly, the machine IS over 50 years old and I'm sure the new owner will understand. Thanks for the suggestion... AND the instructions!
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Bruce
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Engraver pens run $8.00 and up on the web. Police and fire stations used to loan them for free. Still today?



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Mike Harrison
The Gates of Troy


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Engraving pens! Who knew?

HUZZAH! (found just now on Amazon)

Thanks, Bruce!
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Mike
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Mike Harrison
The Gates of Troy


Joined: 03 Nov 2007
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Location: Equidistant from New York City and Philadelphia, along the NJ Shore

PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apologies to George and Todd for not seeing until just now a couple of posts that were made yesterday within minutes of one or two of mine.

Thanks, though!
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