View Full Version : Does anyone have any advice?

Leigh Costello
07-29-2007, 2:43 PM
We are considering adding a metal engraving service to our business line. I have info from Newing-Hall and others. Does anyone have any words of wisdom for us? This service would be in addition to our laser engraving services. I have found that some of our customers don't care for the Cermark applications. Any suggestions?

Thanks for any help offered.

Larry Alles
07-29-2007, 4:42 PM

Make sure the engraving machine that you are thinking of buying can cut stainless steel plates. Most of my customers prefer stainless . I have two computerized engraving machines but still find that my pantographs do a better job. You should use carbide cutters when cutting stainless steel.

Mike Null
07-29-2007, 10:08 PM

If you're considering a new machine have a look at Xenetech, Vision and New Hermes.

I have a pantograph which is old technology but will do some things you can't do with the computerized machines. If I had had the money I would have bought a computerized version though.

Leigh Costello
07-29-2007, 10:11 PM
Do you recommend one brand of machine over another? And, if I may ask, what is entailed in learning to use a pantograph or a computer driven engraver? We are laser savvy (I am, anyway) and have learned a lot. I have always been intrigued by pantographs. Thank you for your reply.

Leigh Costello
07-29-2007, 10:13 PM
Is there a huge demand for a pantograph over a computer driven engraver? Is there a "comparison" somewhere that will help us decide what will best serve our needs?

Larry Alles
07-29-2007, 10:50 PM
With a pantograph you are limited to size of characters by the size of your pattern letters. With a computerized machine you only need different fonts and you can cut letters from 1/32" to as large as the table size. I use Deckel 3-D pantographs. I also have Gorton 2-D pantographs. I would only cut plastic, aluminum or brass with the computerized machines. Just like any software program, the more you use the computerized machine the quicker you learn and remember how to use it. I make patterns on the computerized machine for use on the pantograph when cutting in steel or hard material. Vision and Xenetech are good machines. I use Miestergram which is no longer made.

Mike Null
07-30-2007, 8:29 AM
More than 95% of my work is done on the laser. I bought the pantograph last year to handle those things that I could not do with the laser.

One of the reasons I chose the pantograph, besides the low cost, was a really easy learning curve. The pantograph must have a pattern so for text you must buy various font sets which normally cost $100-150 used.

If you want to do something unique you can make a pattern with your laser to use on the pantograph. Many of the pantographs on the used market are diamond drag machines which use a diamond stylus to mark various things, usually metal, jewelry etc.

I have a motor as well and a number of different size cutters. Here's a picture.

The simple answer to your question is: if you can afford it buy a computerized engraver and you won't have to use brass fonts or patterns.

You're welcome to come over and have a look.

Bill Cunningham
07-31-2007, 10:58 PM
If anyone is interested, I have a small scripta motorized pantograph with LOTS of accessories for sale. Carbides, Diamond point, new hermes incremental numbering machine, fixed and adjustable type holders, full double sets of brass type and a oval monogram font,

Leigh Costello
07-31-2007, 11:09 PM
I have no idea what half of that stuff is. Why are you selling it? Just curious since I don't know what the pantagraph set up is like as compared to other rotary engravers.

Bill Cunningham
08-01-2007, 12:05 AM
Hi Leigh; A pantograph is a manually operated engraver. It uses a jointed arm, and a stylis to follow a brass/plastic, or even a paper template to reproduce the master onto brass, plastic, etc.. I have even printed out a line drawing 7" high, taped it to the table, and used the stylis to trace the outline while a diamond drag engraved the reduced image into a silver plate.. I'm selling it, because I don't use it much any more.. I used to set up at Amateur Radio Flea markets, and engrave simple two line name badges.. It does the job well, and the setup is simple.. I would walk out of the average 3-4 hour flea market, with a easy 300-400 dollars in my pocket.. Just don't have the time anymore..
It's ideal for simple trophy plates, name badges, and cutting text and designs into brass or other metal plates.. Brass belt buckles for example. The tool bits are all carbides, and the master type is all brass..


Jerry O'Brien
08-01-2007, 8:32 PM
I went to an ARA show in Galveston, Tx over the weekend. There was a fellow there named Fred Swartz. He put on a seminar about care and feeding of the rotary machine. He also talked about 101 tips for using a rotary machine. It is one of the very best seminars I have ever attended. It was very well written. It was presented very well and it was on time, both starting and finishing.

His company is Quality One engraving. Both of the seminar notes are on the net. Here are the addresses to links.
His home page is : http://www.q1engravers.com/engraving.htm

His 101 tips is:

His care seminar notes are:

He also sell machines and other stuff. . He is very good at what he does. He is originally an mechanical engineer. He has been in the business for quite awhile.

HE was very helpful and quite easy to talk with. This guy realy knows his stuff.

Best of luck

Jerry O'Brien