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Thread: Diamond Drag Bit Recommendations

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
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    Titusville, FL
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    Diamond Drag Bit Recommendations

    Been doing some Plexiglas signs and mostly use a tapered ball nose bit to etch the surface. I have seen some video's of people using a diamond drag bit.

    Something along the lines of the Widgetworks Unlimited Diamond Drag Engraving Bit. It is 179.00 on their web site.

    If anyone has any experience with this can you answer the following:

    I have Camaster Signpro with ATC

    1. How long do the bits last if I were to solely use them on plexi?
    2. I believe they are spring loaded? Will this work with the ATC option of a Camaster?
    3. 120 deg vs 90 deg bit: which do you prefer?
    4. How deep do you set the z axis to apply enough pressure on the material?

    I know there are cheaper diamond drag bits, throw away so to speak. Does the spring action and replaceable tips make this a smart choice?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    Subscribing...because one of this is on my list for acquisition, too. Strangely enough...or not so strangely...available on Amazon.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Titusville, FL
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    Hey Jim,

    Yea I saw they are avail on Amazon as well. Same price as their own website! Looks like their entire product line is avail...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    Yea, there's not much you can't get from Amazon, although it's important to always compare prices anyway. I did just score the Donek Drag Knife from Southeast on sale less the Camaster owner discount...but I believe you already have that function on your SignPro, if I'm not mistaken. I can see a need for the diamond drag for some "award" type things I'm contemplating offering.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Hayes, Virginia
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    I purchased a WidgetWorks Diamond Drag Engraving Bit about 8 years ago at a ShopBot event. It appears to be a 90 degree bit but there aren't any specifications on the direction sheet. I have only used it twice to engrave small brass labels for some portrait paintings.

    1. I don't know how long it will last as I haven't used it enough to determine its lifespan.
    2. Mine is spring loaded but I don't have an ATC.
    3. Since this is the only drag bit I have ever used I have no comparison information to share.
    4. The instructions say to start your test depth at 0.125" and increase/decrease the depth as needed up to 0.500" max depth. Starting feed rate is suggested to be at 0.5 inches per second.

    Its been many years since I used this bit so I can't remember what settings I used. I can say that even though it took a long time to engrave the small brass labels the quality was pretty good but I wouldn't want to use it very often because it was so slow and using a CNC machine with a gantry is a far cry from using a rotary engraver which is the preferred machine for this kind of work. For acrylic materials I use my laser engraver.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Titusville, FL
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    Well, does not appear too many people use this bit...

    One of my concerns when using a standard drag bit, is the spindle.

    My CNC did not come with a touch plate, and from what I've gleaned this is because of the ceramic bushing in the spindle might have an issue with the pressure... Hence applying pressure with my spindle and not using a spring loaded drag bit might be an issue!

  7. #7
    I got one from this guy on ebay, don't remember the angle, it was only $40 back then.

    I use it to scratch layout lines on pearl inlay for hand engraving, works great for me.

    I think all these tools are going to be spring loaded, they would never survive the cutting forces as part thickness varies. The axial pressure on mine is minimal, can't imagine it damaging spindle bearings.
    Last edited by Keith Outten; 07-12-2018 at 9:35 AM. Reason: Removed link to ebay

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