Sensibly Armed

Engraving everything but the kitchen sink... however, we could if we wanted to.

In today’s society, your success is dependent upon finding your niche, and here at Sensibly Armed, we are refusing to end the pursuit. From what began as a six lane indoor range has rapidly expanded into a one stop shop for firearms, accessories, and private instruction. While we were pleased with the development of the business, we had higher aspirations. We entered the realm of firearms manufacturing (there will be a blog post coming shortly for that) and, while successful, it just wasn't enough. Continuing our search for options Mike, the man who cracks the whip, acquired a CO2 laser engraver and got his creative juices flowing!

In true Sensibly Armed fashion, Mike wasn’t done there. While still pleased with the work his new toy was producing, he wanted better. He wanted a sharp, clean image, no matter the material of the product. Consequently, he refused to settle with what he had and began the search for a new machine. He made a few phone calls, talked to a couple people, met with a guy who knows a guy who was friends with a guy that... well, you get the idea, Mike did his research. 

Fast forward to the middle of January, 2015, and I’m meeting Mike in front of the shop with a couple of co-workers unloading his much-anticipated, newest acquisition; a fiber optic laser engraver. All week long he was venting his frustration that it was arriving on a flatbed truck, weighing 150+ lbs, with no lift gate and that it was our responsibility to get it inside. Well, come to find out, it didn't weigh anything close to what we originally expected, and to be honest, it was very anti-climactic. We removed all of its packaging and got it off the skid to find what looked like an oversized conventional oven. It had the door with the window to see your food heating up and everything, minus the buttons to set the time. 

Once we discovered a home for it, Mike had it assembled, plugged in, software running and was eager to get to work. The only issue was he wasn’t content with what he had. (To give you guys and girls a little background on the whole laser engraving deal, this new laser is so powerful that looking directly at the laser as it cuts, without appropriate eye protection, will cause permanent damage.) The focal point of the laser is about eight inches from the object, and our issue was that the laser head had to be manually slid up and down depending on the canvas height. Well, Mike wasn’t too happy with this considering the price tag that came with it, (which I am still not sure if his wife even knows) so he immediately went to the drawing board to come up with a solution to the problem. He constructed and wired a linear axis that allows the operator to move the laser unit up or down with the flip of a switch, adjusting the focal point to ensure a precise and clean cut.

After a month of experimenting with the settings and a wide variety of materials, we are confident in saying we’ve got the hang of it. Mike has engraved anything from stainless steel to cork, aluminum to wood, Damascus steel to polymer, and, of course, all things tactical. Thanks to a tedious trial and error period, we now have the skills and knowledge to continually produce a reputable product. Each day, products are created, inventory is photographed, images are edited, and merchandise is added to the website. With that being said, we can almost guarantee you will find something from our online store that will make you want to spend that money you've been “saving”. 

 

- Ryan

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