Handcrafted Wooden Dog Tag

Inspired by Hachi: A Dog's Tale

Published on: Wednesday, February 14th 2024, 12:16 am

Aki and his new tag!


We got a metal tag made for my dog, Aki when he was young, and he's been wearing it ever since. It's going through the usual wear and tear so when I saw the poster for Hachi: A Dog's Tale, I knew I had to get one for Aki.

Now, Aki is an Akita just like Hachi! Since his Chinese name is 毛毛, I decided to have the tag read 毛 (pronounced "mao").

Just to be clear, Aki is not short for Akita - kinda. The original idea was to name him Aki, meaning Autumn in Japanese. Turns out the 'Aki' in 'Akita' is the same aki (秋) that means Autumn.

Anyways, while I took inspiration from the movie, I'm not trying to copy it exactly (if you've seen the movie, you probably know why). I think it turned out pretty well though!

Build Log

I wanted a calligraphy style character for the carving. It'd be impossible to do by hand, so I decided to CNC it. I chose the font Ma Shan Zheng. It has a traditional, handwritten feel to it.

I modelled it in Fusion360 as simply a box with text cut into it.

Next, I experimented with the depth and bit sizes. I found that the 90° Vbit worked best for wide, but shallow strokes. I'm using the Genmitsu 3018-PRO which is a popular starter CNC.

It was really hard to get the paint into the carving without bleeding onto the surface. The technique that I found worked the best is to embrace the bleed and then sand the surface after.


Carved and sanded:


I then applied teak oil, painted, and sanded again.


Honestly, it's looking pretty good. I might make one for myself...