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  #1  
Old 08-16-2018, 10:31 AM
javaduke javaduke is offline
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Default CNC Engraving Machine?

Folks, this is probably a wishful thinking but I thought I'd ask anyway. What I'm looking for is a relatively compact bench top engraving machine that can do simple engraving jobs, such as put a line or two of text on a slide or frame. No need for an ATF-required depth, and doesn't have to be super fast. I tried to do a little bit of research and it seems like there's a gap between what's available on eBay or Amazon (and apparently is not capable of doing this kind of jobs) and an industrial grade machines that cost several thousands. I'm wondering if there's a solution in a price range, of, say, up to $600.
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Old 08-16-2018, 12:07 PM
kcstott kcstott is offline
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You need to add a zero to your budget.
A dedicated engraver, a laser or even a bench top CNC mill with enough accuracy and rigidity to produce quality work is going to cost a few grand minimum.
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Old 08-16-2018, 12:32 PM
javaduke javaduke is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcstott View Post
You need to add a zero to your budget.
A dedicated engraver, a laser or even a bench top CNC mill with enough accuracy and rigidity to produce quality work is going to cost a few grand minimum.
Funny, I knew one of the replies would be yours and along these lines. And I don't disagree, if I was looking to produce a quality engraving jobs for others and charge money for that, I would definitely seek to purchase an industrial grade machine. That's not my goal, however. I'm looking for something, well, analogous to point-and-shoot camera, so to speak. Some of those cheaper cameras still produce decent results, but they are not as good as professional Hasselblads, Mamiya and such, I know that. Still, I'm looking for a minimal viable solution that can engrave carbon and stainless steel.
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Old 08-16-2018, 12:41 PM
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Ok

Since cheap alpha numeric stamps are out-

Many gunsmiths use a tool like this

You print out a label that is a mask

You use electrolysis to etch names- numbers - logo- etc into steel

https://www.amazon.com/Variable-Elec.../dp/B01927G294
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Old 08-16-2018, 12:44 PM
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Not sure if this would work for you or not

http://www.penntoolco.com/centroid-cnc-engraving-10740/


Or this

http://www.penntoolco.com/27-106/
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Old 08-16-2018, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hermosabeach View Post
Ok

Since cheap alpha numeric stamps are out-

Many gunsmiths use a tool like this

You print out a label that is a mask

You use electrolysis to etch names- numbers - logo- etc into steel

https://www.amazon.com/Variable-Elec.../dp/B01927G294
Hm, that is actually not a bad idea. Any examples of what this machine can make?
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Old 08-16-2018, 12:48 PM
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A friend used this for years until getting a WW2 era engraver that weighs 6,000 pounds

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PF7AZPw8wtU

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Old 08-16-2018, 12:50 PM
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They make a printer that can take most images and print them as a stencil.

Again- works on steel as it conducts electricity

Raw Aluminum does conduct electricity. I don’t know how or if this would work on AL or not
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Old 08-16-2018, 12:53 PM
kcstott kcstott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by javaduke View Post
Funny, I knew one of the replies would be yours and along these lines. And I don't disagree, if I was looking to produce a quality engraving jobs for others and charge money for that, I would definitely seek to purchase an industrial grade machine. That's not my goal, however. I'm looking for something, well, analogous to point-and-shoot camera, so to speak. Some of those cheaper cameras still produce decent results, but they are not as good as professional Hasselblads, Mamiya and such, I know that. Still, I'm looking for a minimal viable solution that can engrave carbon and stainless steel.
See you didn’t say that so that changes things.

Look at an etch o matic you should be able to get set up for less than $300
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Old 08-16-2018, 12:54 PM
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http://www.markingmethods.com/store/pc/home.asp
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Old 08-16-2018, 12:55 PM
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OK, thanks everyone, I guess I'll explore the etching route.
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Old 08-16-2018, 12:56 PM
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http://www.markingmethods.com/store/...3&idcategory=2


Mark300ADE, Electro-Chemical Metal Marking Kit
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Old 08-16-2018, 1:02 PM
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If you search you tube you can find a variety of videos on the kit

Knife making forums might be a better place to search to see what people are using and tips for a clean etch

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qm6Zjtj0nzw
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Old 08-16-2018, 1:06 PM
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This is my electro-chemical etcher:
https://m.harborfreight.com/10250-am...art-60653.html

Works great on aluminum. I did all my raw 80s to ATF spec. Text and logo/designs. Get you own vinyl stencil cutter and youre good to go.

I got my stencils here: http://www.dogfightink.com/stencilsmisc.html


Last edited by mnichols; 08-16-2018 at 1:11 PM..
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Old 08-16-2018, 5:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hermosabeach View Post
Not sure if this would work for you or not

http://www.penntoolco.com/centroid-cnc-engraving-10740/
That link is to a $500 software package for engraving.
That does NOT include a CNC router that he would also need before the software will be useful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hermosabeach View Post
That manual engraver would likely do what he needs with some tweaking to make more workspace room for larger parts to fit into it.
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Old 08-31-2018, 7:40 PM
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another route is using a Chinese cnc machine/engraver that you can get off of eBay for a few hundred bucks.

I don’t have experience with this or using the programming to code the engraving. It may be more effort than it’s worth to play around with what may be low quality and crudely put together.

Last edited by pensiveape; 08-31-2018 at 7:42 PM..
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