Does anyone know of an affordable ¼" diamond drag tool?
I’d love to buy this one
But the price is way too high for home DIY projects.
Ideally, I’d like a spring-loaded version to allow for errors in mounting, my table or surface imperfections.
Make your own using a Dremel diamond point meant for their engraver. If you have access to a lathe its a pretty simple turning process. Just make sure you have enough bearing contact in the sliding sleeves, otherwise the point will cockle over during direction change. No doubt someone will post a drawing of sorts, I make mine without drawings.
That’s the problem, I don’t have access to any decent machinery. I need to buy one, but I cannot afford several hundred dollars…
I have this one:
I originally found him via an ebay search. There are also others on ebay that are less expensive and a few that are more expensive. If I remember correctly, the deciding factor for me was the price (I think it may have gone up $5 since I got mine) and the fact that it was readily apparent that he had tips other than 90 degrees, which ended up being useful, as I now use a 120 degree tip to get a little bit bolder line.
What kind of feedrate can you engrave at with one of these? Also, I know its diamond tipped (and they are super hard and all), but how hard is it to break the tip of one of these?
I can check the settings in VCarve when I get home but I’m pretty sure I run at 60 in/min. I run a tinyG and have my jerk settings pretty high (probably too high), but I think there’s still room to run it faster, if I wanted to. I just usually engrave fairly small details and would rather run it a little slower to get a cleaner engraving. This conversation reminds me that I need to go in there and do some tweaking to get my circles a little cleaner.
As for the tips, I have definitely broken one off. The diamond is super hard but it’s a little tiny piece of diamond glued (or something) to the end of a piece of steel. It is pretty robust but I have run my bit too “deep” (it’s spring-loaded, so depth is used to set pressure) and also run it across some hold-downs, and eventually it chipped off the diamond part. It’s easy enough to get a new tip (another reason I bought the one I did, you can just order new tips off his website), and you’re back in business.
Hey, that’s a rather neat tool. Might have to pick myself up one of those, I like the idea of being able to engrave with a drag, but don’t have the tools to make my own.
The dremel diamond tip tools by them selves are pretty inexpensive. If the surface being engraved is flat do you need the spring tension mount? Can I just load the diamond tip tool like any any other bit and engrave with it (with spindle turned off)?
I don’t think that would work. I think it would be impractically difficult to get the plunge depth exactly right, and if there was any inconsistency in the thickness or flatness of the material you’d go from not engraving at all to digging the tip into the material and breaking the diamond off. Everything from your zero to the depth of cut to the consistency of the gantry height would have to be perfect.
I am going to see if I can make one.
OMG just had a brainstorm. I think I can make one of these out of cheaper bits.
I will post my findings and if it works then I can share it with people here.
These are $49 on ebay now with free shipping
Sadly thats what I payed for mine. The tips are $9 so if you can get someone to mill the body you could use a pen spring and have one.
I just ordered one from DonnaZ on ebay. Will report back what happens…