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Thread: Engraving options

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default Engraving options

    I need to engrave some aluminium parts with text etc

    Needs to be fast and easy, does anyone here use drag engraving, if so does it work ok??

    Any drawbacks?

    Any preference in tool - carbide/diamond etc??



    Thanks


    Dave

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    I frequently use drag engraving with my manual New Hermes floor model pantograph. I use diamond point tools as suppplied by New Hermes. The depth. Of engraving is controlled by hand pressure on the stylus. On aluminum you should get a good depth of engraving and you will probably be satisfied with the results. My New Hermes has a spindle drive arrangement providing a greater variety of engraving line depth and width. The engraving produced by the single lip rotary cutters is more satisfactory in my opinion, and requires only a little more time than drag engraving.

  3. #3
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    Thanks,

    one of my biggest issues with the single tip/rotary method is that the metal is not machined so not 100% flat, there is no option to machine a flat area either.

    I'll try and find a diamond spring-loaded tool and have a go.

  4. #4
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    Oct 2008
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    Canton, Ga
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    On a manual engraver the spindle nose maintains a consistent depth when rotary engraving. My business was
    using New Hermes equipment until switching to CNC machines. Either way an absolutely flat surface was not
    necessary. Retired now and still engraving.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davek0974 View Post
    I'll try and find a diamond spring-loaded tool and have a go.
    Dave, it's fairly easy to make a spring loaded cartridge for an off the shelf 1/8" shaft diamond drag tool.
    If you benefit from the Dunning-Kruger Effect you may not even know it ;-)

  6. #6
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    Definition: Racecar - a device that turns money into noise.

  7. #7
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    Nice, thanks

  8. #8
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    Tried the diamond drag tool tonight - 100% perfect for the job, nice clear lines, no burr etc

    Is there a recommended speed for drag engraving?

    I did the test at 250mm/min but no idea if too fast or slow???

    Its a 120deg tool, from what i read it seems thats the universal angle?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davek0974 View Post
    Is there a recommended speed for drag engraving?
    I'm running mine at 750mm/min. But you're scratching aluminum, I'm scratching paint. That might make a difference.
    Last edited by browne92; 02-22-2018 at 02:53 PM.
    Definition: Racecar - a device that turns money into noise.

  10. #10
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    Spring loaded drag engravers can leave a burr in brass or aluminum. They do work. If you can polish it off afterwards or if you are one of those magical people who always says, "not for me," when somebody raises an issue then you are golden. I prefer to use a small ball end mill and mill the engraving instead. For thin brass name plates I'll make a hold down plate out of aluminum where its milled flat in place, and then holes are drilled and tapped to hold the edges of the plates down with button head machine screws. I can usually get close enough to do half a dozen (or more plates) in a setup. I usually mill (DEPENDING ON CHARACTER SIZE) about .003 inches deep with a .0625 ball end mill. If not all the letters show up as well as I would like I'll take a second pass at .006 inches deep. If the plates are very irregular or I am milling smaller characters I'll sometimes go to a smaller ball mill, but .0625 seems to work fairly well. Font and character spacing are also a factor.

    I do it with CNC of course. Speed and feed depends on the machine, but because of the shallow DOC you can run pretty fast even on a low speed spindle if you have a stub flute mill.

    I really like the 9 Stick fonts Mr Race developed for use with CamBam. They are true type fonts, but the second loop exactly overlaps the first. They will work with any software that uses the system fonts.
    *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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