New 07 Smith Machine Tooling Help
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  1. #1
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    Default New 07 Smith Machine Tooling Help

    Hi Folks-

    I am new to manufacturing, having worked on guns for years and years, I finally decided to up it a notch and get my 07 license this month.

    I would appreciate some direction into a CNC late and laser engraver machine, nothing high end commercial at this point, but more entry level. Second hand is welcome as well. I already work with a mill/drill/lathe combination which is good for small stuff and barrels, receivers, etc. albeit much more manual and slower. Since I am manufacturing, I would like to go to something I can manage both aluminum and steel for manufacturing receivers for both modern sporting rifles and bolt actions. I'd like to be able to thread as well. Either or both need to be able to do ATF compliant engraving at .003" deep by 1/16" or larger print.

    I've taken interest in the APSX Spider machine here [ Tabletop Metal CNC Milling Machine Affordable CNC Prototyping ] as an entry level CNC machine. I also found Trotec lasers for engraving, but I think they are too advanced for me at this point. If the CNC can do the ATF compliant engraving, the laser will only need to etch anodizing or light etching on metal work.

    Currently, my initial production will be less than 24 a year as I have a full time gig on top of this and intend on quality over quantity initially. As far as the space requirements, both machines need to stay close to a footprint [not working footprint] of 48 by 36 but I have some negotiating room. I have compressed air and ventilation available already, Its just a really small space to start working in.

    Thanks for your help.

    GodSpeed.

  2. #2
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    Have you had a cnc machine yet?

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    For the cost of a laser you can buy a Tormach. Plus if the tube goes on a laser think 1.5k to 3k for replacements. Do you know CNC any experience with that. The learning curve on a 3 axis machine is relatively low with the software. A Bit of CAD experience would help too.

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    The laser shines on uneven surfaces where a mill has troubles engraving


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  5. #5
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    Have you considered electro etching since your volume is low?

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CedarGrove357 View Post
    Hi Folks-

    I am new to manufacturing, having worked on guns for years and years, I finally decided to up it a notch and get my 07 license this month.

    I would appreciate some direction into a CNC late and laser engraver machine, nothing high end commercial at this point, but more entry level. Second hand is welcome as well. I already work with a mill/drill/lathe combination which is good for small stuff and barrels, receivers, etc. albeit much more manual and slower. Since I am manufacturing, I would like to go to something I can manage both aluminum and steel for manufacturing receivers for both modern sporting rifles and bolt actions. I'd like to be able to thread as well. Either or both need to be able to do ATF compliant engraving at .003" deep by 1/16" or larger print.

    I've taken interest in the APSX Spider machine here [ Tabletop Metal CNC Milling Machine Affordable CNC Prototyping ] as an entry level CNC machine. I also found Trotec lasers for engraving, but I think they are too advanced for me at this point. If the CNC can do the ATF compliant engraving, the laser will only need to etch anodizing or light etching on metal work.

    Currently, my initial production will be less than 24 a year as I have a full time gig on top of this and intend on quality over quantity initially. As far as the space requirements, both machines need to stay close to a footprint [not working footprint] of 48 by 36 but I have some negotiating room. I have compressed air and ventilation available already, Its just a really small space to start working in.

    Thanks for your help.

    GodSpeed.
    Are you going to actually try to make a receiver on that thing? if you are just going to engrave with it I can see that working ok. as far as doing real machine work, moving metal in any quantity forget it, it's a toy.

  7. #7
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    My advice on a small mill of good quality would be the Taig CNC Ready mill. I purchased one about 6 years ago and added all the CNC controls to it. Best thing I ever did. I to got my 07 a while ago and started out using a New Hermes VB pantograph style engraver. Worked great and still using it on occasion but the little Taig can be a money maker once you get used to the CNC programming. I've got a 4th axis on mine and use it to flute bolts also. Bolt fluting is about as much as I would want to do on mine. Good company, super nice people, all made in house here in the Phoenix area by a family owned buisness. I probably have about $2800 in mine as it sits. Only problem I've had was a drive belt for the spindle finally started cracking last year.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cl5man View Post
    My advice on a small mill of good quality would be the Taig CNC Ready mill. I purchased one about 6 years ago and added all the CNC controls to it. Best thing I ever did. I to got my 07 a while ago and started out using a New Hermes VB pantograph style engraver. Worked great and still using it on occasion but the little Taig can be a money maker once you get used to the CNC programming. I've got a 4th axis on mine and use it to flute bolts also. Bolt fluting is about as much as I would want to do on mine. Good company, super nice people, all made in house here in the Phoenix area by a family owned buisness. I probably have about $2800 in mine as it sits. Only problem I've had was a drive belt for the spindle finally started cracking last year.
    Dang that sounds sweet wish I knew how to run CNC equipment. That's exactly what I would do with that little mill.

  9. #9
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    Looking to improve on the steel stamps (shop-made jig) myself. Believe it or not, there is no laser engraving shop in the Tampa metro area with a laser engraver (for hire, anyway) that can handle the length of a rifle barrel.

    Learning more about chemical etching, probably going this route, you can make your own stencils with logo, etc

    Etch O Matic


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