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Help with an idea.

Discussion in 'General Talk' started by GrandpawB, Jun 22, 2014.

  1. GrandpawB

    GrandpawB Veteran
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    My son was just promoted to SSgt. (USAF) My idea was to use my CNC router and VCarve Pro to engrave his name and new rank into a pen blank and and then turn it on my lathe.(The idea sounded good in my head - in practical use not so much) The blank is 3/4 X 3/4 X 2.(bottom half) I need the engraving to go deep enough so that when I turn it down to the guides I still have engraving left over. I played around with the ides but my engraving isn't going deep enough and my letters are too small. Maybe this won't work but has anybody else tried/done this? I could use some help. Ideas? :banghead:
     
  2. andrew

    andrew Journeyman
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    Turn it first, then engrave?
     
  3. steelspinner

    steelspinner Well-Known
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    About the only way that you are going to be able to get consistent letter depth is either with a 4th axis on your engraver or with live tooling C axis control on your lathe. The 4th axis on your engraver will be the cheapest and easiest.
     
  4. GrandpawB

    GrandpawB Veteran
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    I didn't think that would work at first, for the most part because of how to hold it firmly in place. Perhaps I could try making it longer than needed and holding it in place with cable clamps. Engraving it then cutting it to length.Worth a try. Thanks.
     
  5. GrandpawB

    GrandpawB Veteran
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    I'm sorry but as a CNC newbie I have no idea what either of those are. Either way they sound expensive. Thanks for you reply.
     
  6. andrew

    andrew Journeyman
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    Yeah, I bet you can rig something up to hold it in place. The engraving won't generate a whole lot of force.
    A fourth axis would turn the piece as it is engraved. Would give the nicest result, but I don't think it necessary for this.
     
  7. Tweakie

    Tweakie OpenBuilds Team
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    @GrandpawB,

    A fourth axis is the way to go but, I think, you would need to be doing more than just one pen engraving to justify the expense. Essentially it is the A axis but used as the Y axis would be used - this way the curved surface (at the point of the cutter) is always a constant distance from the work and engraving depth is therefore constant.
    There is a free 'wrapper' function for Mach3 which automatically converts a conventional X - Y engraving toolpath into an X - A toolpath and this is just one of the test runs I made with my homebuilt rotary axis and laser.

    Tweakie.


    DSC01386b.jpg
     
  8. GrayUK

    GrayUK Master
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    Hey Tweakie.
    You've just about done everything in the CNC world!! :jawdrop:

    Just when did your interest start in this CNC World? :)

    Gray
    P.S. That's my 100th Post!!
    :thumbsup:
     
  9. Tweakie

    Tweakie OpenBuilds Team
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    Hi Gray,

    I don't think I have even scratched the surface of the CNC world yet.
    Built my CNC machine about 10 Years ago and it's still not finished.
    Perhaps like all things, the more I learn about CNC I realise that there is a whole lot more that I don't actually know - it is never ending.

    Congrats on doing the ton :thumbsup:

    Tweakie.
     
  10. GrayUK

    GrayUK Master
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    Thanks. Most of them were between you and me anyway. :)

    1o Years ago!!!!! :eek: And I thought you were joking about the Posidrive!!
    So you needed it to write on stone or clay then! :ROFL: Did it run on steam! :ROFL:
    I'll work on some more.


    Anyhow. You know that thing about using a saw instead of a router, well I was thinking about that today, as I was driving around, as you do, and I wondered, what reference point would you use on the blade? Would you use the leading edge each time, and change it when the cutter reversed direction. The size being the determinant. Or, use a centre point and feed the size of the blade into Mach3. Would it be interested in the size? :confused: Would Zero be the centre point, or the leading edge?
    Mmmmm, need to think on that one.:rolleyes:

    Cheers
    Gray
     
  11. Tweakie

    Tweakie OpenBuilds Team
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    Hi Gray,

    I think you would have to take the centre point as reference zero.
    Mach3 does have tool radius compensation (although I never use it) but because of the saw drive spindle you would never get the whole diameter of the blade into the work.
    Perhaps a mini chain saw, mounted vertically, would plunge and cut OK. (The emergency exit at the RAF North Weald secret nuclear bunker was cut through 2 metre thick concrete, reinforced with 50mm diameter cobalt rods, using a diamond coated chain - took best part of 4 weeks though :) ).

    Tweakie.
     
  12. Brian Slee

    Brian Slee Veteran
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    Have you considered using a band saw arrangement with a movable bed?
     
  13. GrayUK

    GrayUK Master
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    No. No I hadn't. Wouldn't that cut through the table? LOL

    Gray
     
  14. GrayUK

    GrayUK Master
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    Tweakie! Now you're being silly. :banghead: I can't afford to wait 2 weeks for each job. :D:ROFL:

    I think you could cut quite deep before worrying about the nose of the saw body.

    It's on the back burner for now though.

    Gray
     
  15. Brian Slee

    Brian Slee Veteran
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    A bandsaw will cut just about anything you put through it. May I suggest that you don't cut up the robot in the process ;)

    Check this out.


     
    #15 Brian Slee, Jun 24, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
    Mark Carew likes this.
  16. GrayUK

    GrayUK Master
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    That is sooooo clever, sooooo expensive and sooooo spookie! :jawdrop:

    I'll just go down to my basement workshop, and bang my head against the wall for a bit! :banghead:

    Gray
     

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