|Forum topic by Fridgecritter||posted 08-05-2014 11:06 PM||1176 views||0 times favorited||5 replies|
08-05-2014 11:06 PM
I have been turning fountain pens on the lathe, and while the wood portion is very nice, the lower end pen kits leave a bit to be desired. I have been looking into getting a laser engraver to do some filagree designs or something nice in the side of the pens, and recently a customer asked for names engraved in the clips of her pens for a wedding for all of her groomsmen, and offered to pay a premium for the engraving.
I started by looking into how much outsourcing the engraving would cost, the nearest low cost engraving service being about 20 miles from my house. With fuel and service cost it would be a minimum of 12 dollars in gas for the round trip and 10 to 15 dollars for each item engraved. Not to mention the limited creativity I could ask for from the vendor.
I am at the point where I am ready to integrate the service into my business model with an estimated time to black of around 6 to 8 months including the Christmas rush, but that’s with the Chinese machines
I have looked at many Youtube videos, read many reviews on Amazon and forums, and for pen engraving, I think I will be OK with a simple 40 watt engraver with a desktop footprint.
My question is, does anyone think they can add some insight into these machines, and tell me if they have already walked this path? I don’t think I need the axis turner for bottles and such, only because of the cost difference. For pens, I could see it being really valuable, but the machine is just WAY over what I can budget in for my business.
I have always lived by the mettle, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” so I am exhausting every avenue before making a large purchase like this. The Chinese machines are around 500 to 700 dollars, and have a 10 by 8 inch work surface. Anything above that, and they start at around 5 grand from what I can see. I am hoping someone has a better solution that’s sort of in between.
Thanks in advance.
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