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Old 09-05-2017, 03:56 PM
TRH TRH is offline
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Arlington VA
Posts: 1
Default Re: Antique Ruling Machine

I have a couple of these machines and have made use of them for over 40 years. Mine do not have all the bells and whistles that yours does, but they are better and much larger than the Cronite machines that are currently available. One came from the Security-Columbian Engraving business when it was scrapped in the 1960's and one was bought from a retired American banknote letter engraver in the 70's. I also owned an old indexing type ruling machine in the 80's which I sold to an apprentice. Each of these machines was hand built by master machinists in the 1800's and each has been completely different in design. They were all well-used and tinkered with before I got them. They do not engrave into the metal. They scribe lines through an acid resist ground on the surface of the plate and the lines are created by etching. Drypoint surface marks can be made for layout, but they are very shallow. The link to the Smithsonian site is a different sort of machine, being a medal engraver, but your machine carriage could be adapted for this as well. I would happily trade one of my machines for a good air graver set-up. I have been engraving for intaglio printing for nearly 50 years by hand and have never tried a power-assisted graver. Operating these ruling machines is very very tedious and exacting, but the results achieved in using them can be extraordinary.
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