Gunsmiths with pantograph question (Hermes)

Discussion in 'Gun Project Questions & Gunsmithing' started by pdhntr, May 6, 2013.

  1. pdhntr

    pdhntr Site $$ Contributor

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    I have been considering getting a pantograph for engraving.

    I don't have any experience with one. In fact, I have never seen one in person. Don't have the slightest clue what to get, so any help would be appreciated.

    Jim
     
  2. Eddie Harren

    Eddie Harren Site $$ Contributor

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    Re: Gunsmiths with pantograph question

    http://www.google.com/search?q=hermes+pantograph&hl=en&qscrl=1&rlz=1T4TSNO_enUS504US505&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=lveHUYPyBtLh0wHZjYHoBA&sqi=2&ved=0CDcQsAQ&biw=1280&bih=547

    Or, look up "Hermes Pantograph" on your own personal Google Machine.
     
  3. pdhntr

    pdhntr Site $$ Contributor

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    Re: Gunsmiths with pantograph question

    Thanks Doc Ed.

    I should probably narrow the question a little. I am interested in a Hermes motorized version.

    Anyone using one of those?

    Jim
     
  4. butchlambert

    butchlambert Site $$ Sponsor

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    It is not the best for barrels.
     
  5. pdhntr

    pdhntr Site $$ Contributor

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    I don't need the best. I'm sure I can't afford the best. :'(

    I am looking at a basic Hermes table top machine, and wondering if it can be adapted to give a reasonably deep, and straight caliber marking on the barrel. I need something deep enough that something like Duracoat will not fill the marking.

    And I have proven to myself beyond any doubt that I cannot use the stamps to do a professional looking job.

    Thanks.

    Jim
     
  6. clowdis

    clowdis

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    I've got a New Hermes motorized version for doing caliber engraving and name. It seems to work pretty well but as Butch said it's kind of light duty. If you keep your engraving to a depth of .003-.005 in. and have someone who can grind a good D bit cutter for you, the machine will work a lot better. You'll need to put some jack screws on the front so you can raise it up to clear a barrel, but it's the only reasonably priced alternative out there. Look on E-bay for a machine but be sure it comes with fonts. Fonts are expensive.
     
  7. pdhntr

    pdhntr Site $$ Contributor

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    Thanks Clowdis. PM headed your way.

    Jim
     
  8. RJ

    RJ

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    Pdhntr,
    Have you ever looked at the chemical etching systems? I have been using one for over 15 years. They are alot more versatile than the Hermes I used to use. Look at the Etch O Matic website they are very affordable or you you want to go top drawer go to the Marking Methods site.

    Richard Hilts
    Hilts Custom Rifles
     
  9. Sighter

    Sighter Site $$ Contributor

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    Due to the radius on the barrel, most home gunsmith users will opt to just use a diamond engraving insert without the motor. This insert can be used on both manual and motorized machines. The bits last a long time and work well. I was able to get a non motorized unit and 3 sets of fonts for about $150 shipped on ebay. It has been used on dozens of barrels.

    The only drawback to the manual diamond engraver is that the cut will not be real deep. Setting the unit up is not too hard, it takes some practice getting things centered and using spacers for the best look.

    The fonts that I like best are radiused at the corners allowing them to be easily inserted and removed from the font tray. The older rectangular fonts without radius require insertion from the end of the font holding tray and are somewhat of a pain. There are dozens of font styles out there including script.
     
  10. Jim See

    Jim See

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    What really works well is a Gorton or fam-co p1-2, or a dekel gk-21. these are pantographs that are like little milling machines (500-700 lbs)and will do AAA+ engraving via a small single point tool bit.

    I have owned 2 Fam-co's that I have delivered to other smiths in WI and one GK-21 which I currently use. I like the GK-21, it is a bigger machine and you don't need to bend over to use it, top spindle speed of 20,000 rpm.

    I at one time I had the motorized new hermes and it worked but did not do the quality job of the bigger machines and honestly I paid $300 for it when I had been paying about $500 for the fam-co's

    The Dekel I bought for $1600 with 8 sets of font. The lowest I seen a quality machine go for at auction was $600 and I tried to get Brux to bid on it since they said they were looking. They didn't and I would have bought that one if i had known they were going to pass it up.

    I still have a jewlers/trophy new-hermes and I bought it from an at home engraver for $275 with font, off of craigslist. It is a great little machine that I will probably never sell. I use that on all barrels that do not get a coating.
     
  11. butchlambert

    butchlambert Site $$ Sponsor

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    I bought a Gorton and started to disassemble it to clean and paint. I believe it has 3 or 4 sets of fonts. I gave the machine to my Uncle Bill. He has so many machines that he is working on now that I think he might just donate it. Jim See is right. If you don't have a CNC with a program to do lettering and numbering, the Gorton is almost unbeatable. It is a very large and precise machine. I have the largest New Hermes and also have a motor kit for it. Motorized does not work well with radius of the barrel
     

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