I was working on a hobby project when I came across an electronic hand engraver on the internet. I have a pneumatic hand engraver for engraving jewelry, but mine currently sets off the compressor every few minutes and even though I have a fairly quiet compressor it does seem too loud for studio mates.
The design was by Alastair-Duncan and I ordered the parts he recommended. As the parts trickled in I drafted up components to be printed on the 3D printer. This is not my first DIY hand engraver. I have made one that runs off a car compressor. One thing I truly love is the design process and trouble shooting how to best make the design, with the materials at hand.
My studio mate was doing a casting run so I had him cast the plastic parts in copper as I had scrap available. The casting process leaves a lot of work - cleaning up the parts and cutting off sprues where the hot metal flows as well as filing and sanding to get a smooth finish and remove where the sprues were cut off.
The next step involves fitting parts together and designing spacers for the solenoid (the heart of the engraver). It is an electronic coil that when powered on and off sends a piston to strike the tool end creating a powered chiselling effect.
Wanting to be able to disassemble the engraver in case parts need replacing, I tried hot glue. However the solenoid gets quite warm so this broke the glue bond, no longer holding it together. I have decided to use silicone, a great adhesive that can withstand temperatures. This should be enough to keep it together for use and be removable if ever needed in the future.
I have always been fascinated by the engraving process (essentially drawing in metal) and I am excited to offer this detail in new jewelry designs in the coming months.