Machine Engraver

Set up and operate engraving machines.
picture of Machine Engraver

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$20,000 – $54,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Machine Engravers do?

Sets up and operates engraving machine to transfer designs from mills to copper printing rollers used in color-printing cloth: Lifts printing roller into position on machine with aid of another worker. Places truing I roller in fixture on head of machine and lowers machine head until truing roller rests on surface of printing roller. Starts machine to rotate truing roller against printing roller and turns setscrews until truing roller rotates without horizontal motion to align head of machine with printing roller. Divides register wheel on machine into divisions, according to number of times design is to be repeated around printing roller, and marks divisions on wheel, using chalk. Inserts stud in specified slot on register wheel, replaces truing roller with mill, and moves pitch finger against stop on head of machine to set mill in register for engraving. Lowers mill to surface of printing roller, releases catch on weight lever to apply pressure on mill, and rotates mill one revolution to transfer one repeat of pattern to roller. Repeats procedure until design has been repeated around circumference of printing roller. Examines impression of design on roller to detect repeats of pattern that are out of register. Replaces mill with burnishing roller and works burnishing roller against printing roller to erase defective impressions. Increases pressure on mill if design is in register and starts machine that works mill against printing roller to increase depth of impression. Measures depth of engraving, using depth gauge. Measures width of embossed design on mill, using divider, and converts measurement into number of teeth on side-shift gear, using conversion tables. Releases pressure on mill and turns gear specified number of teeth to move mill into position for engraving design adjacent to first impression and repeats procedure as above until design has been engraved across length of roller. Engages dog in teeth of gear and pitches design in register. Repeats procedure until design has been engraved across length of roller. Mounts engraved roller on mandrel of polishing lathe and operates lathe to remove burrs and smooth roller [PRINTING-ROLLER POLISHER].


Should I be a Machine Engraver?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • How to become a Machine Engraver

    Machine Engravers generally graduate from high school and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate’s degree to increase your chances of finding a good job. Check out these schools offering Machine Engraver-related education!
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