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  #1  
Old 05-07-2018, 12:36 PM
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Default Laser Engraving in Sacramento

Hi All.
I've recently been looking to have a receiver (or 2) engraved. I'm surprised to see the prices ($50.00 for just the text, $110.00 for 4 areas marked, $90.00 for multiple receivers)), but understand these folks are in business, and have things like employees, and shop overhead to pay for.

I thought I could do better.

I'm kicking around the idea of buying a fiber laser to do engraving for the local building community. My thoughts were to shoot for around 50-60% of what the commercial guys would do it for. I'm Semi-retired, and looking for another hobby.

Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome. It would take a few weeks to obtain the device if I decide to go ahead with it.
I'm not an FFL, so any work would have to be while you wait if there was any work started on an 80%, or complete firearm.

Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 05-07-2018, 2:17 PM
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Lower prices are a win for everyone.

just food for thought, though, most of the engraving rush will be before July 1 of this year. You might miss a bulk of orders if you get the machine in June or later
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  #3  
Old 05-08-2018, 7:40 AM
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Looking to receive it before Memorial Day weekend.
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Old 05-08-2018, 11:37 AM
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What wattage are you consider buying? Most Laser Units that I have paid to have done are in the neighborhood of 50 watts. Very expensive units at that wattage.
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Old 05-08-2018, 12:29 PM
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While I wouldn't be a high-volume customer by any means, if you are talking occasional walk-in by appointment business, I can think of a few small projects to send your way. Good luck with the idea!
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  #6  
Old 05-08-2018, 2:27 PM
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Why not try Daniel at Franks' pro shop on Fulton Ave? He does bowling balls and done AR-15 receivers in the past. he is a nice guy so don't be a jerk.
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Old 05-09-2018, 6:51 AM
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Thanks for the info Red. I'll give Franks a call.

Dan, The unit I'm looking at would be on the lower end of the needed power, more than adequate for deep engraving on aluminum, steel, or stainless.
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Old 05-09-2018, 5:53 PM
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I talked to Daniel today and they can do it for you to your specs and will help you out. he said they have done a number of them in the past by word of mouth and never had a problem or comeback. Daniel is a bowler by profession but he might be able to help you locate equipment if you need it. This is how we help each other survive.
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Old 05-10-2018, 11:43 AM
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I'd be interested in some engraving as well. Can they do a group discount? I know this is my first post, no intro. TISK TISK, Mr. Steel....
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  #10  
Old 05-14-2018, 9:11 PM
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Thumbs up

Just an update, the machine should be here by the end of the week.
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  #11  
Old 05-14-2018, 9:29 PM
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All i can say is call and talk to Daniel and work something out with him. His previous work on guns had not had any problems meeting specs. Something to think about. It's Frank's pro shop on Fulton.
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Old 05-14-2018, 9:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fty View Post
Just an update, the machine should be here by the end of the week.
I am interested, have 5 - 7 jobs I need done.
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  #13  
Old 05-15-2018, 8:31 AM
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Tagged, I am interested in this as well, as soon as your machine is up and running I've got about 8 lowers that are ready to be engraved ASAP, and probably more later too.
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Old 05-15-2018, 1:23 PM
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Sounds interesting. Do you have a appointment list going yet?
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Old 05-16-2018, 9:47 PM
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Laser will be here tomorrow. I'll need a day to play with it.
Deep engraving text will be no problem. I'm working on some selector markings, so hopefully that wont take too long to set up.

Graphics on the mag well - probably best to send that ahead of time via email, so I can see how much work it will be to import.

No appointment list going at this time. I'm available most of the time, so send a PM for what day / time works for you and I'll send my contact info.
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Old 05-16-2018, 10:11 PM
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PM sent

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
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  #17  
Old 05-16-2018, 11:14 PM
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Think you could do some engraving on a face plate of a Henry silver boy?
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  #18  
Old 05-17-2018, 10:32 AM
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Here's a couple quick examples.
Text is around 0.0085 to 0.0095 deep.
Images are on the surface - probably around 1-2 thousandths.

20180517_111329.jpg
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  #19  
Old 05-17-2018, 11:29 AM
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Wow, that was fast!

The hardest part of getting set up will be making jig to hold the lowers in the exact same position every time, to ensure everything is always lined up.

If you make a jig with a 3/8" diameter rod sticking out of it, you could use that rod to position the safety selector hole in exactly the same place on the table every time.
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Old 05-17-2018, 12:04 PM
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Lasers are freakin awesome
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  #21  
Old 05-17-2018, 2:36 PM
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What kind of laser did you buy?
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  #22  
Old 05-17-2018, 8:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cockedandglocked View Post
Wow, that was fast!

The hardest part of getting set up will be making jig to hold the lowers in the exact same position every time, to ensure everything is always lined up.

If you make a jig with a 3/8" diameter rod sticking out of it, you could use that rod to position the safety selector hole in exactly the same place on the table every time.
I'm just using a TM jig - good idea about the selector hole, and I'll have to make a dowel for it.
The only problem I see is an 80% doesn't have a selector hole unless completed.
Not a problem, the owner will have to stay with it.
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  #23  
Old 05-17-2018, 8:31 PM
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Quote:
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What kind of laser did you buy?
30 Watt MOPA (about 1200 watt peak).
It vaporizes metal.
Also removes tattoos
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  #24  
Old 05-17-2018, 8:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fty View Post
I'm just using a TM jig - good idea about the selector hole, and I'll have to make a dowel for it.
The only problem I see is an 80% doesn't have a selector hole unless completed.
Not a problem, the owner will have to stay with it.
TM jig is great.

If you get a wonky lower that doesn't fit the TM jig, you could also use the takedown and pivot holes on dowels pegged into a board.

What about Polymer, can you turn it down a tad for that? I can bring some kydex sheets to practice on first, so we don't set the receivers on fire

Also if you have not seen this laser engraving video on a Magpul mag, it is worth a look.
https://instagram.com/p/Bi0avwrnNC1/
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Last edited by SkyHawk; 05-17-2018 at 8:47 PM..
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  #25  
Old 05-17-2018, 8:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyHawk View Post
TM jig is great.

If you get a wonky lower that doesn't fit the TM jig, you could also use the takedown and pivot holes, and dowels pegged into a board.

What about Polymer, can you turn it down a tad for that? I can bring some kydex sheets to practice on first, so we don't set the receivers on fire
Thanks for the reminder.

If anyone has a "non repairable" polymer lower available, I could use it. I'm picturing one that the drill bit dug into, and got flung around the drill press a few times.

The power is adjustable between "vaporize bulldozer" and "delicate eye surgery". Shouldn't be a problem, but will require a little experimentation.
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  #26  
Old 05-18-2018, 8:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fty View Post
Hi All.
I've recently been looking to have a receiver (or 2) engraved. I'm surprised to see the prices ($50.00 for just the text, $110.00 for 4 areas marked, $90.00 for multiple receivers)), but understand these folks are in business, and have things like employees, and shop overhead to pay for.

I thought I could do better.

I'm kicking around the idea of buying a fiber laser to do engraving for the local building community. My thoughts were to shoot for around 50-60% of what the commercial guys would do it for. I'm Semi-retired, and looking for another hobby.
My prices have always been about 50% of the prices you listed, with no up-sell for complicated artwork.

The engraving is the easy part and if you stick to text and simple art you can keep your prices down.

Start adding hours manipulating/hand drawing artwork, un-packing, re-packing, printing labels, trips to the post office for shipping, boxes, tape and packing materials and it's gets a little harder.
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Check out my engraving gallery on my website, Thanks
http://vadertactical.com/engraving-gallery
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Old 05-18-2018, 8:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fty View Post
Thanks for the reminder.

If anyone has a "non repairable" polymer lower available, I could use it. I'm picturing one that the drill bit dug into, and got flung around the drill press a few times.
Be careful not to illegally transfer a firearm. Once ANY work has been started it could be considered a firearm.

EPArmory was giving away polymer lowers with other purchases for awhile. I know I have a stack of them I'll never use, other may as well???
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Old 05-18-2018, 8:52 AM
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And maybe check into vendor status here on Calguns.

Become a contributor?

I trust you have your resale license? Hobby or not the state will want their cut. They need the money to take away your rights.
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Old 05-18-2018, 11:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VaderSpade View Post
My prices have always been about 50% of the prices you listed, with no up-sell for complicated artwork.

The engraving is the easy part and if you stick to text and simple art you can keep your prices down.

Start adding hours manipulating/hand drawing artwork, un-packing, re-packing, printing labels, trips to the post office for shipping, boxes, tape and packing materials and it's gets a little harder.
I'm quickly figuring that out. Spent a day converting a few generic jpeg art, and setting up a template for selector markings - not to mention, finding about a dozen different pictograms for selectors. just need to focus on a couple.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VaderSpade View Post
Be careful not to illegally transfer a firearm. Once ANY work has been started it could be considered a firearm.

EPArmory was giving away polymer lowers with other purchases for awhile. I know I have a stack of them I'll never use, other may as well???
Good point. I just need a couple scraps of the polymer to test various settings. If approached with one, I would split it down the middle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VaderSpade View Post
And maybe check into vendor status here on Calguns.

Become a contributor?

I trust you have your resale license? Hobby or not the state will want their cut. They need the money to take away your rights.
I currently run another business from my house - not reselling anything - don't want the hassles.
I've been a CGN Contributor in the past. Probably expired now. I don't think it shows up on your title unless you're a recurring contributor?

Thanks for all of the input Randy. I've always wanted to say Thank you to you for all of the contributions you have made to the community via your build, etching, and anodizing videos. You videos are one of the reasons I wanted to try home building.
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  #30  
Old 05-19-2018, 5:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fty View Post
not reselling anything - don't want the hassles.
If you're adding value to new items (80% lowers) the state requires that you charge tax.

If you're engraving an old hunting gun that has been together and used, no tax.

This state is crazy and they ride me like a cheap mule.
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  #31  
Old 05-21-2018, 1:16 PM
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Just had OP do a couple lowers for me this afternoon, they turned out great! Thanks!
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Old 05-21-2018, 9:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fty View Post
Thanks for the reminder.

If anyone has a "non repairable" polymer lower available, I could use it. I'm picturing one that the drill bit dug into, and got flung around the drill press a few times.

The power is adjustable between "vaporize bulldozer" and "delicate eye surgery". Shouldn't be a problem, but will require a little experimentation.
Unfortunately I do have a donor, one of the very first P80 lowers. I also have some items to engrave. I have a couple of hour drive so we'll have set up a time.
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  #33  
Old 05-22-2018, 8:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyHawk View Post
Also if you have not seen this laser engraving video on a Magpul mag, it is worth a look.
https://instagram.com/p/Bi0avwrnNC1/
Just watched - That is awesome.
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