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Thread: What could you do with this (Deckel)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2003

    Post What could you do with this (Deckel)

    I can't stand it anymore...I have to know what these are used for.
    I don't get it!!! The major part of the machine is very stout but the overarm is sorta flimsy.
    What the heck where these used for anyway?
    No...I don't want to buy it (well...ok..I do but...)
    I'm just curious what these are all about.
    I have tools I don't even know I own...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005


    Primarily they are used for engraving letters and the like, they used to be used for mold work a lot, a pattern maker would make a scaled up version of the mold, and the Deckel could be used to make a 'real size' one in the steel. Some of the guys that really knew how to use them were almost like artists in the day, but 3D CNC milling and edm have pretty much eliminated them.

    We still have one at work, we use it for lettering Cavity I.D. pins, date pins and the like, sometimes we have to engrave part numbers into the mold at customer's request, we usually use the Deckel for that.

    However, to use them for that, requires rails to mount the letters in, and all the letters. In our case, we most often use reverse sets, if you are doing stuff that will be read directly, then you use standard sets. Every different font requires another set of letters/numerals, they aren't very cheap either.

    Just out of curiousity, I've sent a question to the seller asking if they have any of the character sets. I've always thought I'd like one of these for myself, but without the character sets, I really wouldn't have a use for it.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2002


    dictionary says
    " An instrument for copying a plane figure to a desired scale, consisting of styluses for tracing and copying mounted on four jointed rods in the form of a parallelogram with extended sides."

    Probably not a lot of stress on the upper parts if you are doing lettering or engraving. Small cutter at fairly high speed and a little looser tolerances than some kinds of machining. Don't know for sure but that's how I'd interpret it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Edison Washington


    I have a US made version of this, a Gorton, which is generally thought to be a little lower in quality than a deckel.
    Mine is a 2d machine, so it is only good for engraving things like lettering. The 3d machines can be used for moldmaking, and for making things like stamping dies for commemorative coins.

    I was lucky enough to get mine with about a pickup truck load of tooling, including about 25 typestyles, both regular and reverse. New, these fonts of brass type run almost a thousand dollars each now from Gorton!!

    I engrave plaques from time to time, put text on metal or plastic parts, and oddball stuff like that. While it looks something like a milling machine, it is not.
    It is more like a big industrial version of the Hermes engraver they use to make those woodgrain signs on office doors.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Prestatyn, North-Wales


    The main section of the panto arms are suported on double bearings top and bottom
    so i would hardly descibe it as flimsy..

    all the best.mark

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2003


    Flimsy is not a word I would use to describe a Deckel Pantograph. I ran one for many years building mold cavity's. I have run one with a 3/8-1/2" ball nose endmill in the spindle for hours on end. The machines are very very capable and very stout. We would make a model for say a pot handle cavity at 2X size and then mount it to the tracing table. You then make a stylus to trace the pattern at 2x the size of your chosen cutter, line up the cutter and stylus, free the 3rd axis and begin to trace the pattern and raise the Z axis knee up and it will cut the material from the cavity. These machine are very fast and in some instances are still faster than a good modern CNC at duplicating a bunch of cavity's. The hand is very senstive compared to the spindle of a CNC and the CNC never knows when to slow down like you do when running a machine by hand. The machine I ran was a Deckel GK12 also. If the scales (machined on top of the arms) on the upper arms are wore off the machine is useless. As far as accuracy I could hold tolerances as tight as any standard mill could. If the cavity comes out small change your stylus ratio and retrace the part. These machines are very, very good at what they do, never underestimate them. I would love to own one. I also made many electrodes for our EDM machines on them along with tons of engraving.
    We used to build molds and do Logos for a company in Sarasota florida (Suncoast Plastics) that manufactured jar lids in plastic. I have engraved Kodak, IBM, Xerox, Peter Pan, GM, Ford, Chryler, Polaroid, Colt, Texas Instruments and many other logos into molds and stamps over the years that I ran one.

    [This message has been edited by Mcruff (edited 01-29-2006).]

    [This message has been edited by Mcruff (edited 01-29-2006).]

    [This message has been edited by Mcruff (edited 01-29-2006).]

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