DIY engraving setup

Joined
Jun 17, 2016
Messages
16
Location
NM
Thread starter #1
So I am fairly new to engraving. I have been using hammer and chisel for about a year and I want to upgrade to to air assisted hand engraving.
I am working off a very slim budget so just going out and buying an $800 system is not an option right now. My solution is to use a pancake compressor I have as my air source, buy a foot pedal on ebay (found one for about $30), pick up the filter regulator and 2 way valve as a shutoff from a big box store and then buy a hand piece. Without the hand piece I'm looking at around a $50 start up. The hand piece from Rio grande is a little over $300 after tax which is still going to be hard but I can make it happen. Or I may make one based on a YouTube video of a diy engraving machine.
The problem I'm running into is understanding the use of a dual regulator system for the idle speed setting. Can anyone direct me to an explanation or help clear up the confusion? I'm basing my design off the Lindsay model for hooking up to an air conpressor.
Thank you in advance!
 
Joined
Nov 10, 2006
Messages
4,969
Location
Christchurch, New Zealand
#2
The hand piece from Rio grande
Not sure what you are getting at here.

The GRS and Enset system both require a control box that you have to run the handpiece through. You can't run it through just a compressor only. The control box is what regulates the speed and foot control.

The Lindsay system has the dual regulator but you need the Lindsay handpiece for that as it runs differently from the GRS and Enset. I don't think you can buy the Lindsay from Rio Grande. You have to buy one second hand or directly from Lindsay.

The compressor is almost irrelevant as just about any compressor will do the trick on all systems. The decision you have to make is based around the amount of noise that you are willing to put up with.

Cheers
Andrew
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 17, 2016
Messages
16
Location
NM
Thread starter #3
No, you can not buy Lindsay tools from Rio Grande. I'm not looking to buy, I'm making my own using off the shelf parts. The handpiece I am buying I can hook up to my design and it is from Rio grande. The one from Lindsay has two regulators on it and I am trying to understand the purpose behind it.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 17, 2016
Messages
16
Location
NM
Thread starter #5
I should add that I do not plan on using the dual regulator design I'm just trying to understand it. Sometimes what is in my head does not necessarily exit so others can understand it. Lol Sorry
 

Mike Fennell

Elite Cafe Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2007
Messages
672
Location
Matteson, a south suburb of Chicago.
#6
The Lindsay only needs one regulator. You want to run the handpiece at about 30 psi up to a max of about 70 psi. It could probably take more pressure, but this is all you will need. You can put as many filters as you wish between the compressor and the handpiece to ensure that there is no moisture or oil in the air that reaches the handpiece.

As Andrew stated, GRS and others require a pulse air delivery system between the compressor and the handpiece, to control length and speed of piston stroke.
 
Last edited:

Mike_Morgan

Elite Cafe Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2016
Messages
359
Location
Spencerport, NY
#9
But there is a setup with two regulators. Why does it have 2?
The first regulator brings the air pressure down to what could be called the "system pressure"... The idle control valve taps out between the "system pressure" and the second regulator which controls the "drive pressure". This way, you can set your idle and have it remain steady while changing your drive pressure as needed. Technically, only one regulator is needed... you can use the regulator on your compressor to bring it down to the "System pressure" and tap your idle from right there, then a freestanding single regulator can set the drive pressure.

The entire thing can be done for about 15 bucks worth of Harbor Freight parts.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 17, 2016
Messages
16
Location
NM
Thread starter #12
So then can I still use a pedal with one regulator? I have a regulator just not the handpiece, or pedal yet. If I make a handpiece I won't need the foot pedal due to the design I'm using.
 

Mike_Morgan

Elite Cafe Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2016
Messages
359
Location
Spencerport, NY
#13
So then can I still use a pedal with one regulator? I have a regulator just not the handpiece, or pedal yet. If I make a handpiece I won't need the foot pedal due to the design I'm using.
It can all be done with a single regulator if you have a built-in one on your compressor as well. Tap the idle control before the outboard regulator and the footpedal and tool goes after the regulator... good luck with this! Many have gone before you, and ended up buying professional grade tools later. I'm one of them!

In the long run, if I may add my 2¢, I realized I needed to be focusing on developing my engraving skills, not tweaking my tools so they would function properly. I was able to cob together a system that actually worked to a degree... but the very first time I got to try a commercially available tool, I realized that all the time I had spent was wasted, because the home-brew rig was NEVER going to work as well as that "real" tool...

Once I decided to bite the bullet and buy the real deal, things started coming together for me. I was able to find a GREAT deal on eBay for some fantastic used tools that simply KILLED the one I had made. And as an aside, I'll add that I own a machine shop, with the ability to fabricate pretty much anything. There is no way I would have figured out how to make one of these run correctly until I had the real thing in my hand... peeking at patent drawings will only get you so far, and surprise, they don't have any dimensions.

I don't want to discourage you, if you can pull this off, then by all means, go for it! At the end of the day, you ultimately have to decide if you want to learn engraving, or learn engraver tool design.
 
Joined
Jun 17, 2016
Messages
16
Location
NM
Thread starter #15
Well, what's your opinion of the Gravermate that goes inline with the compressor. I can get one for 196 and it comes with a handpiece and pedal. I asked the seller if the grs quick change bits will work with the handpiece but I've gotten no answer.
 

fegarex

~ Elite 1000 Member ~
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
2,061
Location
Ludington, MI
#16
Be very careful of the "GraverMate" on places like EBay. Most of them are knock offs and are junk. There may be used ones out there but the knock off ones are nowhere near the quality.
 
Joined
Jun 17, 2016
Messages
16
Location
NM
Thread starter #17
Any tips for being sure it's not a knock off or sights to go to that I will know for sure it's not a knock off? I didnt see one at Rio Grande. I may just need to look again.
 

Mike_Morgan

Elite Cafe Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2016
Messages
359
Location
Spencerport, NY
#18
Any tips for being sure it's not a knock off or sights to go to that I will know for sure it's not a knock off? I didnt see one at Rio Grande. I may just need to look again.
If it is brand new and it's 196 bucks, it's a knock-off. And while I have no experience with these knock-offs, there are numerous experts in this field that have strongly advised against them. I completely trust that opinion, having experienced the thrill of trying to make low quality tools do the job of higher precision ones.

The GRS tools website is a great source of information on the real ones.

http://www.grstools.com/
 

fegarex

~ Elite 1000 Member ~
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
2,061
Location
Ludington, MI
#20
The GraverMate is no longer made so if it is new it is probably a knock off. There are others that look like older model GRS tools with different names as well like this. You wouldn't have an issue with Rio Grande. Most of them are on Ebay and the majority of them are not US based sellers.
 

Latest posts

Sponsors

Top