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 Post subject: Laser engravers
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:22 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 5:56 pm
Posts: 417
Location: Warren R.I.
Has anyone have any experience wit laser engraver? Last time I saw one they were as much as 11 thousand
For a desktop model.The I saw one on eBay while looking at pipes and it was like $200- can this be right have they come down that much?I know the is vast difference in quality but wow if this would work on pipes I might just try but if not I wouldn't waste the money on crap :?:

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 Post subject: Re: Laser engravers
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:59 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:49 pm
Posts: 1840
Location: Zimmerman, MN
I was just looking into laser cutters and was shocked at what the Chinese models say they can do. I suppose it seems reasonable that they can be that cheap. Lasers themselves aren’t all that expensive, and once the manufacturing process is in place, the cost of materials isn’t all that high. Then factor in that the technology itself isn’t far off from a basic printer, just using a laser instead of ink. I may be in the market to buy one soon, not because I’ll use it to replace pipe stamps, but maybe for inlays and such.

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 Post subject: Re: Laser engravers
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:11 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:14 pm
Posts: 1003
I have an American made Epilog. Expensive? yes Worth it? It depends on what you are going to do with it. If all you are going to do is mark a logo on pipes then go the Chicom route. There are some of those that are pretty good if the sales are set up similar to how Precision-Matthews does its lathes. That is to say they are thoroughly checked out upon arrival in the US prior to being shipped to the end user. Another way is to assemble them here is the US from foreign components. Epilog and Universal use air-cooled laser tubes where the low-end units use an aquarium pump in a bucket of water to provide cooling. Software is another issue. US machines are way ahead of the Chicom units in that respect. Watch out for Z-axis clearance. Some of the low-end units don't have enough clearance to be useful. Then there is service after the sale. Good luck with that. If I were going to buy a low-end unit it would only be thru a US distributor that has been around for a while, never direct from China.


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 Post subject: Re: Laser engravers
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:14 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2012 1:56 pm
Posts: 124
Location: NC
Here's what got me pretty excited about these:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BYsXhhTjep7 ... ermakpipes
I looked at the ~$80 desktop lasers all over Amazon and they wouldn't work for pipes (they move the workpiece and not the laser, as far as I can tell, so pipes of varying sizes/shapes/weights would be a no-go), but one of the 40w co2 ones looks like it'd work pretty well.

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 Post subject: Re: Laser engravers
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:54 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2012 1:56 pm
Posts: 124
Location: NC
And as an addendum, I was looking at getting a stamp done soon (currently using individual cheap letters that look like garbage), and the cost (plus shipping) is looking like nearly half the price of a 40w co2 engraver - and I'd be having to simplify my design to make it work. The idea of a 1000dpi engraver that I can easily adjust the design of (or easily modify year/number/etc.) versus a stamp that's another $140 if I want it updated is extremely appealing.

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Chronicling my general ineptitude and misadventures in learning pipe making here: https://www.instagram.com/rustynailbriars/


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 Post subject: Re: Laser engravers
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:39 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:44 am
Posts: 541
You can go another route and find someone who already does this commercially.
I have not tried it, but I know someone who does and the cost per unit is modest.
I think that Briar Lab used to do this, but I believe they no longer offer the service.
DocAitch

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 Post subject: Re: Laser engravers
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:59 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:14 pm
Posts: 1003
A critical factor is the size and design of the logo and/or text that is to be applied (and where it will be applied). I have a rotary fixture with mine that allows the image to be wrapped with no distortion. Bottom of a poker: no problemo. Placement on the shank: problematic inre size. Fixturing requires some ingenuity.
CO2 lasers do a fantastic job on glass. I've made a number of sets of shot glasses with pipe maker's logos on them. I also cut some complex finger-jointed boxes to put the shot glasses in with engraving on the lid. The laser will custom cut foam inserts to go inside fancy finger-jointed boxes for high-end presentation. I made a bunch of drink coasters as give-aways for Tyler's pipe maker meet last year. The list of things you can do with one is endless.
Be prepared to purchase and learn how to use Corel Draw or AI. Epilog's control software seamlessly integrates with Corel or Adobe Illustrator files.


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 Post subject: Re: Laser engravers
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 4:58 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:40 am
Posts: 117
Location: Abilene TX or Ruidoso NM
If you are looking at the Chinese cheapies, I suggest reading the comments of this thread from the International Association of Penturners.
http://www.penturners.org/forum/f30/chi ... er-140404/
There are 30 pages of comments of the "good, the bad and the ugly".


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 Post subject: Re: Laser engravers
PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:21 am 
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Joined: Sat May 12, 2012 9:07 pm
Posts: 177
Location: Manitoba, Canada
i got one of the cheap K40 laser engravers off ebay this spring, after reading all of the message board comments, I went for it anyway and overall couldn't be more happy with the machine. by now if it wore out I would just replace parts or get another one, probably put 100 hours on it with no issues. Keep in mind this is a 40W unit, and it takes up about 3' of bench space..not the small 1500mw DIY kits. I use it daily, its replaced any branding or stamps use on anything made in the shop, looks very professional and you can easily change a date or number. for engraving on a shank the only consideration would be a make a rest to get your focal depth right, there's a tight range maybe 1/8" window to keep your lines sharp.


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