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Old 02-18-13, 08:38 AM   #1
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How is pantographing done?

Curios about this thing, regarding steel bicycles, how do different builders engrave their logos or letters into the frame or fork?

Chemical process? Masking, then etching with Ferric Chloride???
Or Mechanical process of some sort?

Are these things doable DIY way?


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Old 02-18-13, 09:01 AM   #2
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most of the logos on frame parts are cast in. However, you can use a pantograph. I have seen some that appear to be done on a 4 axis cnc, but I have no way of knowing if that is true. I'm sure there are also 4 axis pantographs. I guess it depends on your definition of 'diy', I don't know of any low-cost methods of engraving. Obviously, many things can be done by drilling/filing.
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Old 02-18-13, 07:57 PM   #3
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All I can say is make a stencil and use a dremel or something. Or pay good money for it and hope it doesnt stress the frame. Or do the opposite of engrave.
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Old 02-19-13, 09:06 PM   #4
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Pantographing machines show up from time to time units that can follow a contour are more expensive than those that just cut into a flat section of stock, say a seat stay top eye or top of a fork crown. It is going to be easiest to do before any brazing. the "master" art for low volume stuff can be made with an etched magnesium plate as used in the old style printing press industry. When I was in school if you had the film it would cost $15 to 25. for a plate. The plates are usually .063 or .100" thick to start.

Pantographing is a dying art, the methods of identifying parts have gone digital. On any of the methods the tooling to hold the part to be engraved cost. The creativity of the guy running the engraving unit is key to cheap and fast or expensive and slow.

I have been looking for a machine and a complete unit in good shape seem to go for $1,000 to $1,500, usually with a font or two. Shipping is the rub. That is why I don't own one yet.

If you only want a small run or fewer, I would look up an industrial engraving service and hope you connect with a business that has some old equipment and a grey haired guy who can get things done.
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