The art of wood engraving has progressed from the hand-held knives and chisels of ancestral whittlers to the highly productive machines of today. Although many people choose to uphold tradition, many others choose to quickly produce beautifully detailed wood products for pleasure as well as profit. Professionals and crafters alike use a variety of high-speed wood engraving machines for engraving items such as rifle stocks, picture frames and wooden miniatures.
Computer Numerical Control (CNC)
High-speed computer numerical control wood engraving machines are designed for industrial use but are enjoyed by diehard hobbyists, too. Equipped with an intelligent computerised control system and three axis linear linkage, they offer fast, smooth 3-D engraving, cutting and machining capabilities. A backup memory allows you to accurately return where you left off when needed. This type of machine is commonly used in the furniture industry.
A wide variety of air turbine, pen-like engravers has flooded the market, but a quality machine should operate at high speeds without much vibration. It should be lightweight with an ergonomic grip for comfort and safety. This type of engraver is commonly used for fine engravings on eggshells, so you can imagine the design capabilities for other materials, such as wood. Newer models with sealed, lubricated bearing construction are preferred by some crafters over the older and messy mist-fog oiler types.
Laser wood engraving machines work for nearly all types of wood, including exotic hardwoods. Laser engraving machines are similar to printers and function with your choice of graphic software. The engraving table holds wood sizes from 16-by-24 inches to 36-by-24 inches and is capable of etching the image from a photo directly onto the wood. Laser engraving machines are widely used for inlays, knife handles, walking canes, jewellery boxes, bird houses, clocks and countless other items. If a piece of wood can fit in the engraving table, it can be engraved.
When you need to make exact duplicate copies of a carved wood item, a carving duplicator machine is exactly what you need. A specially designed router and tips are used to quickly and accurately duplicate complex carvings. The light-touch control of the router and a handbrake mechanism stabilises and controls the cutting motions. Carving arms ride along smooth steel rails for accuracy and rigidity during operation.
Multi-spindle wood carving machines are typically used for mass production of identical pieces or for repeatedly engraving the same object in several locations across a long piece of wood. The required carving knives within the spindles spin at high speeds while an operator manoeuvres the master spindle along the lines of a drawn pattern. All adjoining spindles precisely match the movements of the master spindle.