Hand Engraving Tools by Steve Lindsay

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High Speed Rotary Handpieces

High speed rotary type dentist drills are sometimes helpful for engravers.  They can be used in metal to remove background or prepare a pocket that has been outlined with an AirGraver.   They are helpful for sculpturing in miniature in metal.  They can also be useful when working in wood.  Other uses are for engraving or sculpturing glass, stone or jade when using a diamond diamond bur and for egg shell carving. 

The Presto NSK and Presto Aqua fit burs are called "friction grip burs".  They are 1/16" diameter shank burs and are the most common size used by dentists.  If you are friends with a dentist, ask him to save some for you.  Dentists go through them quickly, throwing them out long before they are too dull for the purpose engravers require.  CAUTION: make sure they are sterilized before you begin using them. Since used burs have been used on human teeth and bone they may carry health hazards.  Ask your dentist and health provider what they would recommend to sterilize them.  If they are not sterilized properly your health WILL be at risk of being exposed to AIDS or other life threatening disease.

If you desire to purchase new burs or would like to see what is available, here is a company that carries them: www.lascodiamond.com/Dental. Here is a search on Google.  Generally, the carbide burs are used for wood, ivory, metal, etc.  The diamond burs will work on harder materials like glass, stone and hardened steel. 

Use a foot control for operating a rotary handpiece.  

NSK has an industrial division as well as dental division and the Presto rotary is sold through both.  The dental divisions also have a large variety of dental hand pieces made specially for dentists but probably not as useful for engravers as the Presto or Presto Aqua handpieces. 

NOTE: The NSK Presto is now available from NSK America's distributor Brasseler USA (A dental instruments company).  Brasseler USA phone number is 800-841-4522 ex. 4675. The price of the Presto alone is $365.  It comes in a plastic case with owners manual, soft tubing and wrenches.  Be sure to ask for only the handpiece itself and not the controller they usually sell with it if using it with the AirGraver controller.  You will need the AirGraver optional disc foot control if using with the AirGraver controller ($69; look for it order form page).

Presto Ultra High-Speed Air Turbine Handpiece
AirGraver_rotary_highspeed.jpg (40535 bytes)


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