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Correct angle to sharpen gravers


#1

I received a set of gravers for the holidays. I want to use them for
bead setting stones and clean-up work, not engraving, per se. Does
anyone know of any resources that would help me figure out the
correct angle to sharpen these at and the procedure for this?

BBR - Sandi Graves, Beadin’ Up A Storm
Stormcloud Trading Co
"Beads, Leather and Metalworking Supplies"
St Paul, Minnesota (USA)
651-645-0343


#2

Check out Ganoksin’s Video Library for Blaine Lewis’ Full clip from
’The Art of Setting Princess Cuts with Fancy Cut Applications’. It
shows how to sharpen gravers.

hth
hanuman


#3
Does anyone know of any resources that would help me figure out the
correct angle to sharpen these at and the procedure for this?

I know the angle by eye. I could look it up, but I don’t stick with
one angle.

You can sharpen them with a grinder being careful not to heat them
up to much, later you can invest in a wheel with diamond grit. I
finish off with an oil stone but that for bright cutting.

To lift grains I use an angle closer to square then for engraving,
but I have a few shapes that are over 45’ (mainly to clean up with),
certain shapes suit sharper angles. If you use a pneumatic tool you
can have very sharp angles, which makes it easier. I just imagine
what shape I’d like way down there.

If you are starting out it is probably best not to go as far as 45’,
you might break the end and not realise, leaving a piece of steel in
your work and struggling with a chipped point.

Whatever you decide, make it easy. You’ll do much better if you
sharpen often.


#4

Gravers
By: Mark B. Mann

Gravers are small cutting tools used for stone setting, texturing,
de-burring and applying decorative embellishments and traditional
hand engraving. Steps required to prepare new gravers include
mounting, sizing, shaping, sharpening and proper storage. Gravers
are among the most useful tools at a jeweler’s bench. Failure to
properly prepare and maintain gravers not only presents a hazard,
but also affects quality of work, proper technique and time
efficiency. Here are some steps for preparing gravers for
utilization with hand techniques…


#5

Sandi Graves

I have a CD on “How to Sharpen Gravers”, also many articles just on
this topic. Including how to prepare and maintain gravers for future
usage. If you are interested, send me via email your home address and
I’ll send out this package directly to you…N/C !!! BTW all
articles come with their own diagrams, too…

Gerry!


#6

Stuller Inc. tool catalog has a page on graver angles and shapes and
their uses. Page 294 in their tool catalog.

Frank Goss


#7

Gerald,

I have a CD on "How to Sharpen Gravers", also many articles just
on this topic. Including how to prepare and maintain gravers for
future usage. 

Is this CD available for sale to the rest of us? If so, how can I
purchase it?

Thanks,
Stacy


#8

Thanx to all of you who helped answer my question about sharpening
my gravers. You were all very helpful - a trend that I see time and
time again on Ganoksin.

BBR - Sandi Graves, Beadin’ Up A Storm
Stormcloud Trading Co
"Beads, Leather and Metalworking Supplies"
St Paul, Minnesota (USA)
651-645-0343


#9

I am a little confused at this question. Surely gravers are for
engraving purposes and are ground to suit the engravers hand size and
purpose, I have gravers ground at different shapes for different
purposes. Over here in the UK a graver is a square or lozenge shaped
cutting tool. If you are referring to tools used for carving settings
and texturing then we call these tools “Scorpers” not gravers. These
also are ground in various ways to suit different purposes. I have
about fifty different shaped scorpers, these are all ground for
different purposed. One tip I would give is that I never use a
scorper in the form as it is sold to me. Firstly everybody has
different shaped and sized hands so it is wise to adjust the scorper
length to suit your hand. Then I always anneal soften the scorper,
then grind and shape it for my purpose, then harden (anneal to red
hot and quench in water) then I temper the tool, ( I polish off the
oxide after hardening, then play a small flame about one inch behind
the cutting edge and watch for a light straw colour to reach the tip
then quench quickly. this gives me my prefered hardness, then I
sharpen the cutting edge to about 30 degrees on a hard Arkansas
oilstone Stone or its equivalent.

I hope this may be of help to someone. I include an attachment
showing one of my prepared skorpers.

Peace to all. James Miller


#10

Hello Mr. Miller, In the u.s.a. a scorper is also called a graver.

Tom Arnold


#11

Stacy

Is this CD available for sale to the rest of us? If so, how can
I purchase it? 

If you send me your mailing address, I’ll do the rest. Like sending
you the necessary by slow mail service (10 day’s
maximum!). Purchase? Give me a break, I just want you to send Orchid
some money on my behalf and thats it!!!

Gerry Lewy!..:>)


#12
I am a little confused at this question. Surely gravers are for
engraving purposes and are ground to suit the engravers hand size
and purpose, 

Even though Sandi already said thanks for the info, today, I almost
said what James says above, but I thought it would be too confusing.
That being that the way to sharpen a graver (or scorper) is however
you want it, but of course it must always be wickedly sharp. The old
fashioned way to test is to drop it on your thumbnail and if it grabs
instantly, it’s sharp - there’s even instant and MORE instant,
though, but you get a feel for it. For beginners, though, the angle
that the graver is ground to when you buy it is probably good,
usually 45 deg, I think - that’s to regrind to after you snap it to
length. Grinding a setback on the belly is beyond this little bit,
but setters don’t do that anyway. The thing to understand though is
about edged tools. They are always ground to a medium between
sharpness and durability. You can grind a graver (it’s your tool…)
to a 10 deg angle, and it will be laser sharp for about 3 seconds
until it snaps off. I put some of mine to a 25 or 30 deg angle,
though

  • they are incredibly sharp for tiny work, but they take a real
    touch. The point being that they’re your tools. As you use them and
    learn them you’ll find an angle YOU like, often different with
    different tools. A big ol’ square graver will need a shallow angle
    for rough work, but a tiny onglette might be 15 deg. different, for
    very delicate work. It will come with time…

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#13

James Miller -

you said - “I have about fifty different shaped scorpers, these are
all ground for different purposes.”

and my question is - can you give any guidance for what grinding or
shaping is effective for different purposes? I have the traditional
square and lozenge gravers/scorpers, as well as U shaped ones - but
they are all just cut to fit my hand size, and then sharpened to
whatever angle I end up with, approximating the angle provided when
purchased.

The main things I use them for are cleaning up bezels and carving /
engraving lines, (altho not engraving names, etc.) or carving a
design into sheet or a block of metal.

…hoping to improve my graver usage…

Ivy


#14
Hello Mr. Miller, In the u.s.a. a scorper is also called a graver. 

Hello Mr. Arnold, if you’re interested see “Engraving on Precious
metals”. A scorper is a specific shaped graver.


#15

Gravers/scorpers are for hand engraving of precious metals.
Mechanical tools that vibrate on the surface are not engraving tools.
They are a very poor substitute for hand engraving.Gravers should be
sharpened to a specific angle otherwise they will either dig in to
deep or slip over the surface. If the angle of cut is to deep, there
is a risk when exerting too much pressure and the graver slipping out
of the cut and finding itself embedded in your hand. This will also
happen if the angle of cut is to shallow. Most gravers are supplied
too long, so if you snap it off it must be heat hardened. To red heat
and plunge in cold water and then heat the tip to blue and plunge in
cold water. If the tip is not heat hardened it will lose it’s edge
very quickly. The best sharpening stone if Arkansas stone.
Carborundum stones are to coarse. The handle should rest in the palm
of the hand with the blade guided by the first finger of the hand.
Secure you work on a pitch block, holding it down firmly with the
other hand. Obviously, there is the risk of serious injury, so use
extreme care when using a graver…

Richard Whitehouse
www.richard-whitehouse.co.uk


#16

Hello Ivy,

You ask what I use my many shaped scorpers for, so I will try to
explain. If you take a look at my flowers on my Orchid gallery
http://www.ganoksin.com/orchid/jmdesign.htm

Particulary the rose you will see I use transparent enamels for
colour, take a close look at the rose petals and you will see that I
bright cut a texture under the enamel. For this type of texture
cutting I use half round or what you might call U shaped scorpers, I
have these in eight widths, when cutting flat or domed surfaces I can
use a straight bladed scorper, but when cutting this texture inside a
dome ( imagine cutting inside the bowl of a small spoon),I will heat
and bend the scorper tip to an arc before grinding and sharpening it,
this enables me to cut inside a bowl shape, which is not possible
with a straight scorper/graver. I use different width half round
scorpers to cut different under enamel textures, the U shaped cutting
edge must be polished to give a mirror finish cut in the metal. All
of my flower petals are cut this way, I use flat scorpers to cutan
edge around each petal when required and also the leaves when they
are to be enamelled, so I have many sized and shaped flat scorpers
also. If you take a close look at the leaves on my Lily of the Valley
flower you will see that I have cut a texture pattern, with a U
shaped scorper,under the green transparent enamel.

I can not take credit for the textures under all of the enamelling
as some is Guilloche engine turning, done by a skilled engine turner,
such as the pale blue base on the egg. I also have many gravers for
line engraving, these are ground with a “Whet” that allows me to
hand engrave monograms and pictures I would reccommendthis book,as
mentioned by someone else on Orchid.The book istitled “Engraving on
Precious metals” writtenby A Brittain,S Wolpert and P.Morton. This
bookis a must for any budding engraver, it shows you how to shape and
grind scorpers and gravers and explains the process better than I
can.

I think that using a scorper or graver should be high on anyones
list of skills to conquer,

If you needany further please feel free to ask.

Regards James Miller FIPG.


#17
For this type of texture cutting I use half round or what you might
call U shaped scorpers, I have these in eight widths, when cutting
flat or domed surface 

And there are other things you can do with gravers, too. The typical
use of a graver is to put the handle in the palm of your hand and get
behind it. For something like bottoming I’ll get a flat graver and
hold it nearly perpendicular and pull it towards me - a very
effective scraper. You can also get something like a point graver
(onglette) or a small flat, hold it like a paring knife and use the
bottom, long edge like a scraper on wax or other things. It’s not
sharp enough to be a knife (use a knife graver if you want that) -
it’s more a scraping and burnishing action. And for tiny, ultra fine
textures - on a level of dollar bill engraving, hold the tool like a
pencil and scribble with the point, leaving very fine lines.

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#18

James -

Thanks very much for your explanation! I’ve looked over your
wonderful work many times, but in regards to under-engraved textures

  • well, I guess I didn’t know what I was seeing, so thanks for
    explaining. The technique really adds a lot of life to the pieces.

Also thanks for the reference to the book - I’ve ordered it - too
bad they will not ship 'till the middle of next month! Oh well, at
least I’ve got the Tucson Gem Fest to keep me occupied in the mean
time. Unfortunately I’m going to the early end and will not be able
to get to the Orchid dinner - didn’t make my hotel reservations in
time!

I did a series of brooches and earrings this fall that were engraved
(scorped?) with simple lines, but I am not happy with the quality of
the lines - the edges are not crisp - that is, I guess I was using
the graver/scorper to excavate the line which left me with slightly
ragged edges where I missed lining up with the previous cut…, so I
can see I will be sitting down and practicing once I get the book. I
keep buying more gravers, so I think there must be an innate appeal
for me there. So far I find them a little intimidating tho,
especially in regards to fitting them. The only one I shortened
myself made a huge gouge out of my thumb when I whacked it off!

For anyone who is interested - I found an interesting web page on
Guilloche engine turning. They have videos of the process, but so
far my machine is declining to play them…

http://www.rgmwatches.com/engine.html

Ivy


#19
keep buying more gravers, so I think there must be an innate
appeal for me there. So far I find them a little intimidating tho,
especially in regards to fitting them. The only one I shortened
myself made a huge gouge out of my thumb when I whacked it off! 

Me, I consider engraving to be the most difficult skill of all - to
excel at, anyway. I’ve engraved for years - like Ivy I’m just drawn
to it - and although some people say I’m good at it, I consider
myself to be a mediocre engraver at best. It’s just you and a tiny
bit
of steel, and a dauntingly fresh piece of metal. Practice, and really
well honed tools, does make perfect, though. The engine turning vids
worked fine for me - #1, anyway. If they don’t for you, you can right
click, save, and then play - should work.

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#20

Hi, Ivy,

So far I find them a little intimidating tho, especially in regards
to fitting them. The only one I shortened myself made a huge gouge
out of my thumb when I whacked it off! 

I feel your pain…

In an effort to demystify gravers, I went to New Approach School and
took Stone Setting with Blaine Lewis. I don’t use most of the styles
of setting, and I still have trouble sharpening my gravers really
properly, but the class was fabulous, well worth the trip, and I do
use gravers now, some. They are a really basic tool, though with a
flexshaft and a variety of burs you can do must things without them
(heresy?)

I think it is difficult to really learn how to use gravers without a
face-to-face teacher, so if you can manage it, I urge you to find a
class. And Blaine Lewis is a really excellent and devoted teacher
(though, to me, Virginia Beach is a wasteland).

Noel