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Thread: Is this possible

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Bloomingdale,Ohio
    Posts
    6

    Default Is this possible

    I'm not a gunsmith, I'm a gun engraver. I do a lot of metal-on-metal inlay and was thinking if there's anyway a small CNC mill would be able to cut fancy patterns into (flat) gun parts for inlay purposes.
    I'd attach a picture, but I guess I'm not allowed to do so.
    You could go to my website and see what I've done: http://www.powleyengraving.com

    Any thoughts?
    Brian
    Last edited by BrianPowley; 04-05-2009 at 10:46 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Toledo, Ohio
    Posts
    8,979

    Default

    Welcome to the forum.

    There are several different engraving programs available for use with mini-mills and engravers such as the New Hermes. I see no reason they cannot be used for anything, guns included. You might take a look on some of the engraving machine manufacturers sites.

    I believe some can be used in three dimensions as well, as for curved surfaces. The only downside, is that they would possibly be too perfect, losing some of the individuality of hand engraved art.

    The examples on your site are very well done. I see you are nearby, do you attend any of the local shows?
    Jim H.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Bloomingdale,Ohio
    Posts
    6

    Default

    JC...Thanks for the info.
    I realize that a perfect cavity for inlay would possibly take away from the individuality of the hand engraved art, but my intentions are to produce a different type of artwork that isn't really engraving at all.
    I'm kinda thinkin' outside the box, if you get my drift. I got this idea/vision in my head and I can see what I want. Now I'm trying to figure out how to do it.

    I can cut a darn near perfect circle in steel, undercut and inlay all by hand and it won't look any better than using an end mill for the circle and tapping in an undercut and inlay----But it sure will take longer by hand.

    As far as attending local shows, unfortunately I really don't...unless it's Ohio Gun Collectors and that is rare.
    The reason is because they have never really produced any type of financial return. I usually just go to them as a "looker".

    On the national scene, I attend the American Custom Gunmakers/Firearms Engravers Guild Exhibition in Reno, NV.
    Thanks for the Kudos on the pieces on my website also.

    FWIT---I just had the American Pistolsmiths Guild "2009 Guns of the Year" published in the May/June issue of the American Handgunner Magazine.
    Last edited by BrianPowley; 04-05-2009 at 02:38 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Montezuma, IA
    Posts
    938

    Default

    Brian, it's just another tool to save the donkey work and get you to the point where your individual skills will show up. When you're doing inlays, it's no different than using a hand held jackhammer (Gravermeister) to cut out the bulk of material rather than a chasing hammer and flat graver. Might get the job done a couple of days sooner, which in turn means you'll have time to do more work and make more happy customers during the year! Who knows, when I get filthy rich (instead of just filthy) I might just be one of them...I've got this Schuetzen rifle built on a Ruger No. 3...with raised panels on each side rather than just plain flat sides...

    David
    Montezuma, IA

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Bloomingdale,Ohio
    Posts
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    Default

    David. You're right....inlay is a procedure and not necessarily considered engraving.
    I use hammer/chisel, push,NgraveR,GraverMax,acid etch and I'm a full time engraver. That means time is money.

    I'm looking for a neat little setup to cut some standard inlay patterns in gun steel and then work my hand magic around it.

  6. #6

    Default

    Fantastic work!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Dakotas
    Posts
    301

    Default

    Brian

    If I understand you right, removing the background for a inlay with a CNC mill, it should not be any problem. Nor should the programming for doing it be any problem.

    I had a firearms engraver who worked full time for me for about ten years, we had discussed doing just what I think you are asking about.

    You donít plan to engrave with the CNC, just make a pocket for a inlay, right?

    I am NOT a engraver nor am I any kind of expert on CNC but if I can be of any help I will.



    Tinker2

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Nazareth, PA
    Posts
    2,399

    Thumbs up

    Brian,

    i can't help you with your questions, but i can say without any hesitation, EXCELLENT work! the bear head engraving looks like a pencil drawing. very nice!

    andy b.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Bloomingdale,Ohio
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Tinker2, you are correct---I'm planning on using CNC for just the pocket,or "cavity" work. Thanks for the help. Next thing will be deciding what machine needs to be purchased to suit my needs.
    I need a lathe (not necessarily a CNC) and a CNC mill, but they don't have to be big...and that is the newbie dilemma------don't need a big one, but you know the advantages of "a little more than you need" equipment.
    I have no desire and no time to get into gunsmith maching, i.e, barrel threading, chambering, tapering,etc.,etc. I'm a one man operation and guns are only about a third of my business. I engrave jewelry and musical instruments and I restore the factory stampings on antique car parts. The equipment I need will see very limited use.

    andy b....Thanks for Kudos. (I can teach you everything I know in 8 hours----can't teach you the hand/eye skills. Took me almost 30 years. Your results may vary. LOL!)
    Last edited by BrianPowley; 04-07-2009 at 05:54 AM.

  10. #10

    Default Check out Tormac CNC mill

    http://www.tormach.com/Product_PCNC_main.html

    I've read lot about this mill, and it seems like a good buy. There are other, even smaller ones nowadays also. Check out http://www.cnczone.com/forums/

    There is lots of good info there, and some very knowledgable people who will glad to help you I'm sure.

    Best of luck! Joe

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