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  #1  
Old 07-31-2009, 12:15 PM
Guy Lautard Guy Lautard is offline
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Default Ruling Machines

I saw some traffic on the Forum a few nights ago about rose engines etc., and thought the following might be of interest.

The Cronite Company, in NJ, still makes a Ruling Machine. It can rule up to 1800 lines per inch, and can handle plates up to 7-1/2" x 12-7/8", or disks up to about 12-1/2" diameter. These machines were used for doing the wiggly line patterns you see on stock certificates etc. (The purpose of the wiggly lines is to make it hard to forge such papers.) You would use it to scribe the design on a copper or steel printing plate through a waxy resist. You would then etch the design into the metal, and then print from it.

There was another machine, similar but larger, under the name HOPE, which would handle plates up to 10" x 16", or disks up to just under 16" diameter.

These machines could be used to make spectacular clock dials.

This same type of work can be done with a Cronite Engraving Machine, but the Ruling Machine is likely the better choice for clock dials, as it is made for the purpose, and is well adapted to doing circles, and dividing them into however many divisions you might wish. Cronite can still furnish their Ruling Machines; current price is $3,300.

I missed a Hope Ruling Machine in Vancouver about 15 years ago - it went to the scrap yard, although it was probably in perfect condition. However, I did get the Cronite Ruling Machine (plus a Cronite Zero engraving machine) that the same shop had, complete with all tools and papers in the original box, looking as though it had been made this morning.

(see attached photos, taken without permission from Cronite's "Engraved Stationery Handbook")
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Cronite Ruling Machine.JPG (70.3 KB, 219 views)
File Type: jpg Hope Ruling Machine.JPG (57.1 KB, 182 views)
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  #2  
Old 07-31-2009, 02:24 PM
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jlseymour jlseymour is offline
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Default Re: Ruling Machines

That's almost hand engraving with gears...
Never seen one so cool...
Jerry
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  #3  
Old 07-31-2009, 03:28 PM
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SVD SVD is offline
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Default Re: Ruling Machines

Hey Leonardo!

Got any more pictures of this kind of work done with your marvelous machine?

(Leonardo is working on a computer controlled system that does actual engraving. Among other things it can do Rose Engine type patterns. Pretty cool.)
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  #4  
Old 08-01-2009, 07:07 PM
Dakota Kid Dakota Kid is offline
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Default Re: Ruling Machines

Hello Mr Lautard,

I purchased a used ruling machine a while back, I havn't had time to work much with it but it seems like it will be a very handy tool to lay-out patterns, and fine lines on certain projects. I also have a cronite universal machine and I am truly amazed at the degree of accuracy that it will reduce my horrible renderings with . The folks at cronite are sure nice to deal with also.

Thanks for the information.
Take Care
Chris
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  #5  
Old 08-01-2009, 10:08 PM
Guy Lautard Guy Lautard is offline
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Default Re: Ruling Machines

Hi Chris,

Yes on all you said.

As you likely know, you can make your own templates for your Ruling Machine by filing a curving/wavy edge on a strip of thin brass sheet. The machine stylus then follows this wavy edge, and reproduces it as a wavy line on your workpiece. You can make as many such templates as you wish. You could run a pattern of wavy lines from one template on a clock dial, then change to a different template, and repeat, so as to have two overlapping sets of lines - I think this could be spectacular.

As you no doubt know, the Cronite Universal Engraving Machine can produce sloping letters from straight up and down masters. The Zero Engraver cannot do this, but it can do infinite reduction (hence the name Zero).

You can see a picture of mine here: http://www.lautard.com/engraver.html

And yes, the Cronite people are very nice to deal with.

As for making masters for your engraving machine, I was told to use a #52 graver. I later made a similar tool from 1/4" drill rod, which gave a wider surface for my index finger to press on - this is much easier on your finger.

I have made some masters in copper, but more of them in 1/16" thick white styrene plastic sheet. It is dirt cheap, cuts easily, and makes good masters - no doubt not as long-lived as copper ones, but fine for most things.

Having your material up on a leather engraver's pad is an ENORMOUS aid in making masters.

After you have hand cut the lines into your master, rub it over with fine steel wool, and it will look/feel a lot nicer.

Fun toys, eh?

Guy
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  #6  
Old 08-02-2009, 11:18 PM
Dakota Kid Dakota Kid is offline
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Default Re: Ruling Machines

Hi Guy.

Thanks for the reply, I didn't know that the universal machine would produce slanted lettering, thanks for mentioning that. I didn't have the brass guide for my ruling machine so i was going to fabricate one,and like you said it would be fun to experiment with different styles so a person could pattern backgrounds and such.

I have been engraving blank plates, kind of creating a small "morgue" of designs, this is where these machines really shine in the ability to size and resize your patterns. I am very impressed with the design and function of the cronite machines.

I really like your website, a lot of helpful information on there.

Thank you for the information!
Sincerely
Chris
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  #7  
Old 08-03-2009, 12:15 AM
Guy Lautard Guy Lautard is offline
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Default Re: Ruling Machines

Chris,

One more thing re size of output from a Crontite Engraver: In using these machines, it is common to engrave, on a single piece of sheet metal, the letter E with the machine's gimbal slide set at different positions up and down the tracing stylus' column, and then engrave next to each particular E the number where the gimbal was set to produce that size of output. If you do this, and then etch these markings into the metal, you will have a most useful reference thereafter. In many fonts, the height of the letter E is easily measured, and if you also note the height of the master E that was used in this exercise, you will thereafter be able to get very close to any size of lettering you want from the machine with any set of masters, with just a little figuring.

Guy

PS: Thanks for your comments re my website.
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  #8  
Old 08-03-2009, 06:34 PM
Dakota Kid Dakota Kid is offline
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Default Re: Ruling Machines

Hi Guy,

Thanks for the great tip!!! I have been sizing the output mainly by slapdash technique. I think the using the letter E and etching and recording the results that you suggested is a foolproof system to achieve the end result. I thought before, that I should be recording the settings on the mast but just left it up to "next time"

I want to thank you for the time and sharing of your knowledge of the traits of this machine, it is of great benefit. These are truly the tricks that can't be found in manuals, they have to be learned and enjoyed.

Thanks for your effort and care
Sincerely
Chris
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  #9  
Old 08-07-2009, 11:33 PM
Guy Lautard Guy Lautard is offline
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Default Re: Ruling Machines

Hi all,

A further note re Ruling Machines:

I was talking to Bob Steffens of the Crontie Company today, and he said that they currently have a number of used Ruling Machines, which would be priced at about half the cost of a new one. He also has one other larger Ruling Machine for sale, on its own cast iron legs, with a "rose engine" type of mechanism on the carriage that carries the scribing point. This would be good for doing unusual patterns around the edges of a rectangular item.

And they do from time to time have used Engraving Machines for sale, which may be sold as used machines (i.e. pretty well ok to use as they are), or they can be fully factory refurbished prior to sale.

He said if anybody from the Engraving Forum contacts him re either type of machine, that they should say they learned about them from Guy Lautard's post on the Engraving Forum, and they will get better attention/treatment that way. That might be strechin' things a little, but it can't hurt.

Best, Guy
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  #10  
Old 08-08-2009, 04:48 PM
Eric Watson Eric Watson is offline
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Default Re: Ruling Machines

Used machines at cronite are priced at $2000.to $2500 as per an e-mail from about a month ago. Refurbished units approx. about $1000. more.
As a question what is the big differance between a cronite universal or zero and a new hermies unit the one I have is a free standing unit could not find a model # but the serial starts in TX. Have heard a lot about a cronite but would like to now how similar these two units are. Don't use this one much but is handy for trophy plates never tried it for any other purpose.
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  #11  
Old 08-08-2009, 05:35 PM
Dakota Kid Dakota Kid is offline
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Default Re: Ruling Machines

Mr Watson.

I can't answer for the other cronite machines that are out there, but I have a cronite universal machine, from what I can gather the main difference between the universal and the zero is the bearing system that they use, the zero was the later machine and the zero machine means just that it can take a rendition and reduce it to zero, and to add further the universal machine I use, will reduce it to well... smaller than I can engrave.
I don't know anything on the specifications of the Hermes machine so sorry, but I can't comment on them. I am sure that they are very useful for their intended purpose also.

Take Care
Chris
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  #12  
Old 08-08-2009, 09:53 PM
Guy Lautard Guy Lautard is offline
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Default Re: Ruling Machines

Eric,

I know very little about the New Hermes machines, so I'm not in a postion to comment on the differences between them and Cronite engravers.

You can read some about Cronite engravers on my website via the link I gave in my post (above) on August 1st.

The Cronite machines use a diamond point to cut down through a waxy resist to expose bare metal. The work is then etched, to produce the desired final markings. Or a person could use the lines produced by the Cronite machine as his layout, and proceed to hand engrave the design into the work.

Guy
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  #13  
Old 08-09-2009, 06:53 AM
Eric Watson Eric Watson is offline
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Default Re: Ruling Machines

Thanks for the reply's I will do some more reading. Been to your site many times Guy over the years. Keep finding new goodies each visit
Eric
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