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Thread: Engraving equipment

  1. #1
    Supporting Member rendoman's Avatar
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    rendoman's Tools

    Engraving equipment

    Hi all!
    I just received the pack with the engravers. Different profiles, HSS material, a second pack with diamond wheels will arrive soon.
    I'm thinking for the future to buy (or build) a pneumatic engraver, for now I would like to start the classic way with hammer.

    I would ask you kindly, if someone has experience in engraving, which kind of holder and chasing hammer are good.

    For the holder I saw the common wooden short mushroom handle, or a long stick (12\15cm lenght), I remember someone used golf balls also, like file.

    Talking about chasing hammers, do you think a stainless or normal steel not hardened should be fine for the work? I noticed the hammers are from 30 to 40 gram (1- 1,5 oz). I saw even something in brass, Maybe could be a right choice? One face round ball and the other flat but round (I don't remember the eng name of curved surface).
    I have to think a good way also for a vice, I found some interesting project here!

    Any advice welcome Thanks!


    Engraving equipment-dsc05109_1600x1200.jpg Engraving equipment-dsc05110_1600x1200.jpg Engraving equipment-dsc05111_1600x1200.jpg
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  3. #2
    Supporting Member Christophe Mineau's Avatar
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    Christophe Mineau's Tools
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    Look at my engraving tools on my builder page. I really like the hammer and burin technique, the burin or chisel can have a wooden handle, the strock may be slightly lighter than metal. On the other hand , the hand pushed chisels (with mushroom shape as you said) are really hard to master. You end up with big deep scratchs you cannot erase...
    I am planning to build a pneumatic version, there are two options, the push and pull piston compressor, or the regular compressor. I think I will try both.
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    Supporting Member rendoman's Avatar
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    rendoman's Tools
    Thanks for the advices!
    I didn't know you built so many tools, that's amazing!
    Question for you: brass could be a good material for an hammer (with burin) or should I use steel or something able to take tempering? I suppose the use of hammer is related to light and fast, instead of slow and powerful strokes.
    Talking about pneumatic engraver, do you know a good way to build one that runs with normal air comrpessor? I tried a funny prototype with 10mm piston and a too heavy spring but it didn't work at all

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    experienced engraver here

    Quote Originally Posted by rendoman View Post
    Hi all!
    I just received the pack with the engravers. Different profiles, HSS material, a second pack with diamond wheels will arrive soon.
    I'm thinking for the future to buy (or build) a pneumatic engraver, for now I would like to start the classic way with hammer.

    I would ask you kindly, if someone has experience in engraving, which kind of holder and chasing hammer are good.

    For the holder I saw the common wooden short mushroom handle, or a long stick (12\15cm lenght), I remember someone used golf balls also, like file.

    Talking about chasing hammers, do you think a stainless or normal steel not hardened should be fine for the work? I noticed the hammers are from 30 to 40 gram (1- 1,5 oz). I saw even something in brass, Maybe could be a right choice? One face round ball and the other flat but round (I don't remember the eng name of curved surface).
    I have to think a good way also for a vice, I found some interesting project here!

    Any advice welcome Thanks!


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    hi: i've been in the engraving pursuit for a bit over 40 years. by hand, pantograph, cnc, as well as laser. i can answer a bookload of questions about all the disciplines one needs to master to become proficient in the art. one can succeed with almost no money, or one can spend a truckload on a pursuit they may soon forget due to the difficulties encountered by a newbie. suprizingly, with little outlay, one can make most of what is needed with goodies layin around your shop. if you're a machinist that's a plus.' once i learn how to upload fotos, i have a lot to share with a newbie. to efficiently help you , i'd need a bit of info on you. are you a machinist, woodworker, artist, etc, etc. i'm not up to speed yet here on the rules of engagement. once i am, i have some fotos that would give you ideas to work on.

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  8. #5
    Supporting Member Christophe Mineau's Avatar
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    Christophe Mineau's Tools
    Quote Originally Posted by rendoman View Post
    Thanks for the advices!
    Question for you: brass could be a good material for an hammer (with burin) or should I use steel or something able to take tempering? I suppose the use of hammer is related to light and fast, instead of slow and powerful strokes.
    Yes , right, that's not a hammer for blacksmithing, and personally, as my tools are for myself, I don't bother with hardenning, if they got worn (and so far they don't), I'd simply rebuild them, that's not a big deal.
    One of my Craftsman and Artist Guru Youtuber is Uri Tuchman, look at this video for instance :


    He also uses a lightweight aluminum head hammer.

    Quote Originally Posted by rendoman View Post
    Talking about pneumatic engraver, do you know a good way to build one that runs with normal air comrpessor? I tried a funny prototype with 10mm piston and a too heavy spring but it didn't work at all
    Yes, there is a way, but the commercial version is much much more expensive, and the hobbyist version is also more difficult to build, compared to the push/pull version.
    There is a Russian guy who explains how he built his, and over all shows clearly on the screen his detailed drawings.
    See this video :

    I don't understand much Russian and the google subtitles are sometimes strange, but as far as I understand, the building challenge is much higher.

    Quote Originally Posted by anamostis450 View Post
    suprizingly, with little outlay, one can make most of what is needed with goodies layin around your shop. if you're a machinist that's a plus
    Yes , it's really true ! and for rendoman, no need to go the pneumatic way before you already appreciate your work with the hammer and burin. There are really some basics to learn, the first being sharpening, then the tilt angles, and so on, without talking of the design layout.
    And with the hammer and chisel, the enormous advantage is that you are doing everything in a slowww motion, and you don't risk to mess your work at every second, and you have much time to think about what works and what doesn't work.

    I would say, however, about tooling, that the tool that is really useful is the bowl vise. You can try to build one, like I did (and I'm very happy with it), or simply by a cheap one from Alibaba, as I saw you already found your way to it.
    Personally, I don't find the blades too difficult to make, I never purchased the blades, you can make them from HSS rods, 2mm or 3mm, round or square. And I use also some HSS jigsaw blades reground.


    Quote Originally Posted by anamostis450 View Post
    once i learn how to upload fotos, i have a lot to share with a newbie. to efficiently help you , i'd need a bit of info on you. are you a machinist, woodworker, artist, etc, etc. i'm not up to speed yet here on the rules of engagement. once i am, i have some fotos that would give you ideas to work on.
    Yes, we would be very happy to see your work and hear your advices !
    I think there is a fine tutorial for the photos by Jon :
    yes, found it, it's a video from Ken (missing you Ken)
    http://www.homemadetools.net/forum/h...d-photos-18931
    Last edited by Christophe Mineau; 01-24-2019 at 11:38 PM.
    Cheers !
    Christophe
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    All my personal works, unless explicitly specified, are released under
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  10. #6
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    rendoman's Tools
    Thank you all!
    Lots of video and good material to watch.

    I can't call myself a machinist, but a good DIYer, I have a little garage with some good old tools and the desire of use them


    list of things to do:
    - learn about drawing, angles and way to keep sharp the blades-
    - build the body of burin, a chasing light hammer
    Need also to find parts for a bowl vise, I saw the one you built, it's wonderful!


    I will study the video about the pneumatic engraver, it seems not impossible to build at first sight.
    Talking about Hss rod, as usual, here it's quite hard to find, normal specialized shop has only basic tools, if you're lucky enough you can find some big square bar for lathe, 100% old unsold. Since it's the first time for me, I decided to buy ready to use gravers this time, but for the future I will try sharpening a rod.

    I am also happy to see your works!

    That's my little garage

    Engraving equipment-31925122_10215929563454669_8740861241725026304_o.jpg

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    rendoman's Tools
    Just tried to build an hammer and an handle from scraps I had.
    I decided for brass because I needed a soft little hammer for lathe centering and other "light" works in the garage.
    The handle is very thin, the control seems quite good (as normal hammer), I don't know if it will be good for engraving. In case, I will modify

    Engraving equipment-dsc05117_1600x1200.jpg

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    Thanks rendoman! We've added your Hammer to our Hammers category,
    as well as to your builder page: rendoman's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:





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