Big Wheel Engraving Info Needed

Big Wheel Engraving Info Needed

Post by James P. Ris » Mon, 06 Jul 1998 04:00:00


>  I am doing a large engraving into 8mm glass panels but am finding
>the Foredom engraving unit a bit too delicate. I need something with
>4" wheels, or in that size range.
>  Can anyone recommend, and recount experiences, with larger equipment
>such as Flextol machines or some of the air driven equipment. I was
>wondering if it was possible to build a large air driven unit and use
>the compressor for a sandblasting unit as well.
>  Just to put this in perspective -these are two glass walls about 8
>feet high and 16 feet long, using the same techniques that John Hutton
>used on Coventry cathedral and the Royal Shakespeare Centre.
>  I just want to get more art bigger and faster than I'm getting now.
>        Thank you in advance for your advice,
>                        Gerry

>Toronto, Ontario, Canada
>Remove buffer from address to reply.

John Hutton utilized a very heavy duty flexible shaft for those windows.  
Please note that the wheels were water cooled (plus kept dust down).  As I
recall, his was a three speed (pulley drive unit).  Wheels suitable for fine
artistic engraving are rather expensive.  Depending upon thickness, a four
inch wheel could easily cost more than $20.  This type of work can really chew
up such wheels.  The last time I had wheels made for me by Norton, the minimum
order was $1,000!!!!  And that was around 20 years ago.  I'd hate to think
what it would cost today.  I know that Norton had trouble making several of
the wheels I wanted.   You could get by with "off the shelf" wheels for
lapidary work for some types of window carvings.  You will probably want no
coarser than 120 grit (very white cuts).  The wheels will need to be dressed
to run true or they will bounce all over the glass giving poor cuts and
perhaps breaking the glass.

In addition to the stone wheels, Mr. Hutton utilized abrasive embedded ***
wheels, too.  These were similar to Craytex wheels.  These also must be
carefully dressed.

I hope this helps.

Jim Riser