Millgrain tool for steel???

AllenClapp

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Does anyone know of a millgrain tool that will work on steel using a GraverMax? There are lots that are intended to work on softer metals, but I haven't found one available that will work on steel. Is this the unicorn of the engraving world?
 
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#2
Buy or make a beading tool. Then grind to sides off. So instead off a round shape it will be more like a oval with 2 flatsides. But dont grind to much away. Only the extra metal on the edges around the hole. This can be used in stead of a millgrain wheel. You will have much more control. The flat sides are so you can get the beads close together.
 

monk

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mine is fine on copper, silver, and to a limited degree, brass. i wouldn't even consider using it on steel. but who knows, it may work. give it a try.
 

Dave London

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They used to make that tool for use in a lathe, might work
Also I use the Jewelry beading tool for back ground in steel. Sometimes theylast a long time Sometimes not I consider the expendable . The one I use I get from Gesswein by the 100 packs,just pick the size dot you want MTC
 
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MikieDu

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I use the traditional jewelers Millgraine Wheels on firerams.

Case-in-point are three SAA Ejector Rod Housings from a set of three Colts that I have in from the Custom Shop. These are to be Exhibition Grade, so I want to add as much decorative work as possible. The three attached photos are of the Colt Housings and the Millgraine Wheels as I have them set up for use...and notice the Millgraine pattern at the very edge of the Housing where it sits against the barrel. I like prefer the Swiss wheels, i.e., they last longer.

I suggest six things to consider when cutting millgraine on gun metal:

1) shorten the length of the shaft - make's them much easier to control
2) use the larger wheeks - I like #14 - this is firearms art, not jewlery work.
3) use cutting fluid liberally
4) set the hand piece impact to a lower speed (1400 SPM)
5) cut the Millgraine using reasonable down pressure - rely more on multiple passes
6) once you start the millgraine process, try not to lift the wheel off the metal until the pattern is fully cut to the desired depth.
 

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AllenClapp

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Thank you very much, Mike. You made my day! That is exactly the information I was seeking.
Do you try to get each little place completed before rolling forward, or do you roll back and forth over a few to get them finished before moving on to new ones, like 3 beads forward, two back, etc.?
 

MikieDu

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I work back-and-forth as you suggested - it's easier for me to control the wheel that way...and without doing so on a curved line, it is even more difficult. Millgraine is a slow and calculated engraving skill to be developed. Anyone who I have ever watched cutting millgraine does it slowly and by working back-and-forth as they continually move forward tothe end of the line.

You probably know this already, but for those who have not used the millgraine before, the overriding issue in creating a clean, uninterupted line of millgraine dots. If you remove the wheel from the metal surface before completing the line, it's difficult to get the wheel registered/aligned with the dots you have already created when you try to pick up the original dots and start again, i.e., the tendency is to leave a bad spot in the line of milled dots. I can tell yiou from years of experinece - that little interruption in the series of millgraine dots will stand out like the prioverbial Sore Thumb!
 
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AllenClapp

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I figured that there would be no way to know that you had fully formed a bead without moving forward enough to see it and moving back and forth until finished before moving further forward to the next few.
I found the #1150 series of ASIC SA of Switzerland Millgrain tools in their online catalog, but have been unable to find a source to purchase them. Do you happen to remember where you got yours? This sounds like a perfect use of COVID downtime to learn how to use them properly.
Thank you again for your time; this is a great help.
 

MikieDu

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Otto Frei and Rio Grande both have Millgraine tools - on every millgraine tool I've ever had the country of origin is listed as France...so, even though my Otto Frei tools say "of Switzerland", it's likely a product of France ??? If you look at the ASICSA packet it has "Origin: FR" in the top right corner. The Rio Grande tools are also good.

Experiment with the Millgraine - in my live classes I demonstrate the use of the tool, and I also ask the students to "LISTEN TO WHAT I DO." I start lightly and power in as I move forward, then I relax the pressure, back up, power in lightly and press down harder as I move forward again.

NOTE: as much as one writes, and writes, and writes on these Furums there is no good substitute for a live demo by a competent engraver in a formal class setting. If we were in class I could show the group how to use the millgraine: demonstrate and explain it's use, and students could hear and see the tool work...it's so easy to show someone how to do something correcty.

BTW: since I was first taught jewelry work at the bench in 1978, the operative spelling for this tool word was always MILLGRAINE - I think that's French. "Millgrain" must be jobber terminology for French Millgraine tools?
 

AllenClapp

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Great info. Sounds like it is time for a Mike Dubber Tips & Tricks DVD on miscellaneous good things that make engravers use their noggin. I hope that you will consider doing that.
Do you have any classes scheduled in the foreseeable future?
 

MikieDu

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I have a class scheduled at the Marc Adams School in Indianapolis, IN in October. Also condidering a Colt class in Houston in November.
 

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