Ive got all the major ones, but there has to be a better one out there somewhere. Ive watched youtube videos etc. Mine do not want to sharpen right.
what things are you using to sharpen?
what issues are you having?
which gravers are you having issues with?
India and Arizona stones.
Take a look at Steve Lindsay’s website https://www.airgraver.com and then go to the specific page about sharpening. sharpening He has a system that works well and is a lot less expensive than other systems. It is built around his 3/32 square graver stock, but it can be adapted to other size materials. Steve, the other artist on his website and his website itself offer a wealth of knowledge about engraving. Good luck…Rob
I think Gerry Lewy have some excellent videos on this too.
Gerry took at least 2 hours showing me how to shape and sharpen gravers. He even gave me a couple of his. His essays are very descriptive and worth your time. Do check them out.
do you have this book?
Yes, i was trying to understand it this morning
Wow, great info on his site.
I have looked at this website before. And there were so much on there. That I got completely confused. I couldn’t figure out if you had to buy a separate thing for every single and graver type that you wanted, or if there was one thing, you could get to sharpen different kinds.
I do have the book…I think if I had to hook up the graver in some kind of contraption every time it got dull, I would just do something else and not use it. I don’t do much with gravers, but it’s on my list of things to learn, along with sharpening them by hand. Remember that you have to sharpen them every few cuts. AFAIK, the old timers did not use graver sharpeners. Maybe Gerry will chime in. -royjohn
The website is a chore to work through, but there is a lot of good information there. I started with Steve’s hand engraving set, a couple carbalt blanks, a set of diamond sharpening stones and the 116 degree sharpening templet. After I figured out the basics of hand engraving, I bought a Lindsay air graver. I had an air compressor, but eventually bought a California Air quiet air compressor. You also need a graver ball of some sort. I use all of this equipment often…Rob
One really important piece of info is to know what do you want to do with gravers? Do you want to engrave or do you want to stone set with gravers?
Gravers often are set up differently for stonesetting than they are for engraving.
You are right! It’s a complicated topic! Many different graver shapes, face angles, heels, and low and high tech sharpening solutions. On top of that some graver sharpening equipment is extremely expensive, which makes it be even harder to decide what’s best.
I’m a big fan of Sam Alfano who is an engraver (vs stonesetter).
Sam has a website with lots of engraving tutorials including how to sharpen gravers.
Here’s a short Sal Alfano video that shows hand sharpening a graver for engraving.
For about 15 years, one of my side gigs was doing silver work for a high end custom saddle company. Because of that it made sense for me to go to engraving school at GRS headquarters in Kansas and buy a bunch of GRS equipment. Learning to sharpen gravers properly is probably the most important thing I learned at GRS.
Personally, I strive to keep it simple. I keep all of my gravers (no matter what shape) sharpened with a 45 degree face. Then I adjust the heel depending on whether I’m stone setting or engraving.
Gerry Lewy and Sam Alfano have lots of great advice for you.
Those Lindsay sharpening holders look pretty cool! They didn’t exist when I got started.
Hope all that helps!
Thank you! I got overwhelmed at so much. Lol
I may look into the classes if they still do them. I want to learn both.
As others have written, you need to be clear about what type of engraving you want to do. Gravers used to set stones are different from those used to create artful lines. I have mentioned Steve Lindsay. His graver system covers both applications with more of an emphasis on artful lines. Sam Alfano and Gerry Lewy are also great resources. Becoming really good at engraving takes a long time and requires an investment in tools and equipment that you probably don’t already have for making jewelry. It’s lots of fun and occasionally really frustrating. Learning to sharpen gravers is one of the basic skills that will help you have more fun than frustration. Good luck…Rob
Yes, GRS still offers classes. Like pretty much everything though, they’re way more expensive now than they used to be.
One thing that is kind of exceptional about the GRS classes is that each student’s workbench has a complete GRS set up with pretty much everything that they make. It’s a fantastic opportunity to try out and get to know $1000’s of dollars of GRS equipment.
Another thing is that every class includes a GRS factory tour. I thought that they were going to just try to sell us stuff and I didn’t want to go. I’m so glad that I did go though! It was amazing to see how they make all of that equipment. I especially liked seeing how they cut up and machine their gravers balls out of extremely long, huge, round bars of solid steel.
i am thinking…maybe focus on one at a time…what technique are you trying to do? and with which graver?
it is good to understand the anatomy of a graver, how the different face and heel sharpening angles behave, and shaping the front end too…so that when you are using it, you can understand why it is doing what it is doing…and what you might need to do to modify it, to get it to do what you want it to do…
an option that is between the cost of hand sharpening the face and heel on stones, with or without angle fixtures, and a power hone and angle fixtures, is to use diamond wheels on a flexshaft (kind of the same concept as a powerhone, but in miniature and hand held (no angle fixture
they run about $45-55…you use them on their sides, like a lap…
for grinding and polishing the face and heel (not shaping the graver)
Julie & Kimberly,
Great idea, though to use the Diamond Wheels in your Flexshaft on Gravers takes a pretty steady hand, it can be done, you just have to be careful, as you can change the Angle of the Face ever so slightly, thus changing how the Graver Cuts… Make sure that you have both hands (the one Holding the Handpiece and the one Holding the Graver) anchored to your Bench Pin, the Corner or Edge of the Bench or something else, that way you will minimize your Movement and can Focus on putting the Correct Angle of your Graver onto the Diamond Wheel - if you have a way to Mount your Handpiece into a Stand or Clamp of some sort, this will help you a lot, that way you can have both hands controlling the Graver… This will be Faster than using Stones, but can also get you and your Graver in trouble faster, you just need to have Slow Deliberate Movements and Always Pay Attention to the Angle of the Face… Good luck!