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Jim K Jordan

Making DIY pneumatic engraving tools.

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Lets see if this can start some comments.

I have been getting deeper into engraving the last year or so, I have a Magnagraver setup on a foredom flexshaft.

It works okay, just a little stiff and awkward for tiny detail.

And my handpiece was getting long in the tooth and probably due for a rebuild.

Buying a GRS system is way out of my budget, a low end Lindsay classic is a stretch (someday....)

Looking online there are some good videos by Shaun Hughes on making your own pneumatic hand engravers.

Years ago I picked up a dental tool that was used to compress gold foil into cavities for fillings.

It was a simple motor and reciprocal piston pump that pushed/pulled air thru a small tube to tap on the rear of a punch tip.

Runs off of a sewing machine motor and foot pedal.

I took that and made a handpiece from an automatic center punch, an old Dremel spindle and collet nut.

I made a couple different handpiece with different weight pistols for heavy or light use.

I bought some of Steve Lindsay's sharpening templates ( fantastic tools, highly recommended)

started back engraving and forgot all about the Magnagraver.

Yeah, they probably aren't up to professional quality, but I spent maybe $30 all told.

I have engraved stainless,  crs, titanium aluminium etc with better results than the flexshaft.

Since then I've made up a couple of other setups using small air compressor pumps modified to push/pull air.

I haven't done much wood carving with them, more fun to carve by hand with razor sharp tools.

You can see some of my stuff on my intro page, greeting from the Pacific Northwest.

I think I posted pics in too large of format, ill try to figure out how to fix it, and throw up some more.

Speak up, yell at me, tell me I'm a fool for spending time making tools, whatever, just make some noise to keep this forum alive!

I only just now found out about it.

Jim

 

 

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Hi JIm,

I am constantly amazed at the ways that resourceful minds work when solving problems, such as the tool you created from a variety of parts that were not meant at first to work together!  Well done, I must say.

Janel

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Thanks Janel, once I have time to figure out how to properly size files for pics I'll post some.
Just to prove I could do it I also hooked up a salvaged pump to an old treadle sewing machine base.
I can run my handpiece totally off foot power, for as long as my legs hold out.
More work, but very steampunk looking.

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Thanks Janel,

So here is a pic, resized to, I hope a correct size.

The brass pieces are the handpiece bits, assembled and apart so you can see how simple they are.

All told probably less than a couple hours of work.

Did everything work out?

Size wise? 

P_20170427_183034_opt.jpg

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Hi Jim,

How does it work? 

Yes, the image size is fine.  It could actually be a bit larger dimension:

- 72 dpi

- JPEG works great

- around 640 x 480 pixel dimension

- and around 50-100 kb file size

(this info is found at or near the top of each forum area)

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Hi Jim,

When I asked "how does it work" I should have been more specific.  Is this a rotary tool or an impact chisel sort of tool?  Is this a flex shaft sort of connection to the base?  Questions like that about what I cannot see from the image.

I am glad that it works for you!

Janel

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It is a pneumatic impact chisel, the black pump motor pulses air thru the tube.

The air pushes a small piston that taps on the back of the chisel holder.

It is similar to the Lindsay Airgraver/GRS tools.

The yellow tube on the left is just rubber fuel line for lawnmowers.

I can change out the chisels for different cuts.

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Cool!  Thank you for explaining that to me.  I met an impact chisel a few years ago, but was too nervous to study how it was made.  I was given the demo and then was handed the tool and some copper, and loved the experience but did not do really well with it. 

 

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