Engraving Machine

Electrochemical engraving seems to be pretty easy: you order micro-screen masks from tustech [tus] and they appear remarkably quickly. I sent them a large PDF of the badger logo Ieva did for me and they had the masks in my mailbox 5 days later.

The chemistry is easy (I have plenty of ferric chloride) and I know that an engraving machine is really just a battery charger. But I was searching around for “electro engraving” on ebay, trying to see if anyone offers pre-mixed nickel plating chemicals, and stumbled across a Chinese-made engraving machine that was so cool-looking that I had to have it. I am a sucker for VU meters and switches and stuff like that.

My bench is busy

I was sitting there thinking “I wish the label on the TIAMEADJ went to 11, so it was more powerful,” when I noticed the brand. I swear I only noticed it after I had been playing with it for a bit.

Presumably, “STING TL” and “HAND CO” are the wossname, and the red button looks like a reset.

You cannot beat that.

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Cross-cultural technology challenges are interesting and fun. I know a guy in the 90s who went to Akihabara in Tokyo and bought what he thought was a really cool mini-laptop. It turned out to be a phone, that depended on docomo’s data service; i.e.: it was unusable in the US with its primitive cell networks. I’m sure there are US-made appliances that are just as mysterious – the difference is that most of the rest of the world is, at a minimum, bilingual. We Americans seem to feel that you should understand us, if we just shout louder at you.


  1. jazzlet says

    Love it, just perfect.

    There was a cigarette launched in the UK called More, with elegant packaging, very much aimed at people who cnsidered themselves sophisticated and it did pretty well. Funnily enough it bombed in France.

    I dont know whether you Americans got the shouting louder thing from the British or whether it’s a thing people from all powerful (or once powerful) nations do, but we are guilty of it too.

  2. Owlmirror says


    My Google-translate enabled phone says that the Chinese text above “The metal tits the sign machine” says “high-precision metal marker”.

    Although it also says “you the accuracy of several gold play” if I move it in too close. Sometimes “towel the accuracy of several gold play”. There are other things it throws up besides that, but I’m not going to type them all out.

  3. jrkrideau says

    @ 2 Owlmirror
    If that thing has a Chinese/English manual Marcus might want to consider having someone who fluently reads Chinese standing by for the first test run.

  4. says

    I was wondering how the lampshade and the anal beads were involved – perhaps the documentation is not translating correctly.

    Actually, the seller was very helpful and sent me links to some videos of how the thing is used. It’s pretty straightforward.

  5. kestrel says

    LOL. This reminds me of a wonderful game board I have from… I think… Bali? I can not remember. It is a game that pits two tigers against a bunch of goats. The board is made of brass and so are the playing pieces… but the best part is the directions, which I have invited many people to explain to me. Much hilarity has resulted! I am sure that in the original language the directions make perfect sense but translated to English (a truly weird language) it is a sense of wonder. As in, “I wonder what the hell this means?””.

  6. A. Noyd says

    I don’t speak Chinese, but I think the red button says 定时触发 which apparently translates to “timing trigger,” if that makes any sense. And the 定时 (STING TI.)* vs 手控 (HAND CO.) seems to be “timed” (automatic?) vs “manual control.”

  7. komarov says

    I’m curious about the “Indicas”, too. How did those come about? While shorthands aren’t always obvious in a foreign language, shortening “indicator” to the above seems rather pointless, and obviously so. Obvious at least for someone not coming from a chinese background, where the rules for shorthands may differ dramatically for all I know. And even that’s assuming those were meant to be shorthands in the first place.

  8. says

    shortening “indicator” to the above seems rather pointless, and obviously so

    And here I was wondering why the front wasn’t engraved stainless steel.

  9. says

    Ok, I must admit that metal tits are something new to me. I am at a loss as to how one should use them.

    Apparently they can be used to engrave signs. Who knew?

  10. cvoinescu says

    A tell-tale mistake is a letter confused for another one. I and L are often swapped, but a handwritten L can look like C (or vice-versa) for someone who’s not even familiar with the alphabet. Hence VOCTAGEADJ, a mistake you can only make if you have no recognition of Latin characters at all, in any language.

  11. jrkrideau says

    @ 7 Charly
    I must admit that metal tits are something new to me.
    We had them on several farm machines.

    The hay mower and hay bailer come to mind. It may just be local terminology but one fitted the nozzle of the grease gun onto the tit when, well, greasing something.

    The grease gun reminds me of a story from Saudi Arabia. The English manager of a Mercedes dealership put in a requisition for 6 new grease guns. It was refused with a note saying only Saudi citizens could own guns.

  12. says

    I may have found work by the same translator or at least from the same school of translation.

    That’s very impressive indeed. Who knew that god could be influenced by an electric motor and a solar panel, too?

    I have a buddhist pray-o-tronic device I got back on Lantau in the late 90s – it’s like a little radio that plays a chant in an endless loop. I used to patch it into my mixing deck so it became background noise. Kinda cool, actually.