The pantograph engraving machine is not difficult to learn to use.
Basically it is a matter of coordination between both hands - the
one guiding the stylus in your copy, and the one exerting the
pressure needed to drag/scratch (or mill) the workpiece. Kinda hard
to describe, much easier to explain when you have one in front of
you. Most machines are set up for right handers. Right hand on the
stylus, left on the cutter.
I doubt you'll find an old computerized model in the price range you
are mentioning, but there is nothing wrong with using a New Hermes,
Kantograph, or other older model designed for the work you need to
do. It just takes longer...
Yes, they can be found for $500, sometimes even less... I got an old
functioning Hermes industrisl model for $50 not long ago! Cleaned it
up, and had it working the same afternoon. Still have it. Could've
bought another one last year in Mexico City for $150, but right
after 911, I just didn't want to got through the hassle.
Finding good used copy (the letters & numbers) is another matter.
The best of the brass copy is getting hard to find. New plastic copy
is cheaper, but doesn't last as long. If you are just lettering, get
a couple styles of copy - one block, and one script to start
I have some clients that need the same logo or monogram/crest year
after year. You can make plastic "masters" with a hand graver for
Find a machine first, then I'll walk you through the rest if you'd
Brian P. Marshall
Stockton Jewelry Arts