Engraving Advice

One of my goals for 2021, other than to be able stop wearing a mask and maybe go out to dinner, is to learn a bit more about engraving. I don’t set faceted stones so I don’t need to learn that aspect of engraving. I do move heavy bezels fairly well with a brass or steel pusher and a brass hammer and am beginning to add graver type embellishments to my pendants and earrings. Right now I do that with just about any pointed object I can make and sharpen or drive with my flexshaft hammer attachment. Obviously, I need a bit more precision. As a tool junkie I am really craving one of Steve Lindsay’s airgraver systems. They are works of art. My head tells me that I better learn a bit more about manual hand engraving first. I have a large GRS ball, machinists vises, pitch bowls and lead blocks. I also have the ability to shape and sharpen gravers with the diamond laps in my lapidary shop. They cover 600, 1200 and 3000 grit. I have a 6" grinding lathe and a 1" belt grinder, so initial shaping of the graver is covered, but I might buy a set of diamond stones anyway. I like the simplicity of Steve’s sharpening templates and they work for both hand as well as air gravers as do his 3/32 square graver points. There isn’t a lot in the archives that is current on this subject, so I am looking for guidance from the ganoksin audience. I am also interested in hammer and chisel engraving and what type of pneumatic hand piece, if any, will allow me to move heavy bezels as well as engrave. Please feel free to pass on any thoughts, ideas, suggestions and advice as it will be appreciated. Happy Holidays and stay safe…Rob

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I did a 1 week level 1 hand engraving course at GRS in KS, with Rick Eaton (Custom Knife engraver, an amazing tallent!) and although I still do not hand engrave ( just too busy to keep at it), i use the tools all the time. I can do simple touch up to designs, and i use the skill set for stone setting continually

After well over 10 years of hard use though, my GRS Gravermax SC gave up the ghost @ 3 weeks ago. Even if it can be fixed, i do not have time for it right now, so i cried a bit ($$), and I purchased the newer GraverMax G8.
It is Christmas, and I need my tools up and running NOW!
You certainly can move a heavy bezel with this kind of power, that the GM G8 puts out! I am impressed by the newer machine!

Following. I also want to dive into the technique in 2021.

Try engraverscafe.com They have a lot of information there, and, for every level of engravers. There are a lot of resources at that site.

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Thanks! Already a member…Rob

Although I don’t engrave now, some years ago I took a 3 month class from a gentleman named Shep Waldman, a master setter, in Denver, His approach was hand engraving, oriented towards decoration, and fancy and hidden setting of faceted stones. He had us spend 2 days doing nothing but making and sharpening our own gravers fromblank tool steel stock, using a bench grinder and whetstones. Very frustrating at first, why are we spending so much time on this, then the light bulb went off, if you understand how to work tool steel properly then you can make the exact edge you need at the moment, and then modify it 20 seconds later as you need. Shep had an interesting story, after surviving the Normandy Invasion in the first wave of D Day, after world war 2 he came back to Denver, and had been doing nothing but setting for 55 years. When I met him he had bad arthritis, and could only use 2 or 3 fingers on each hand; he could get more done with his two fingers in 90 seconds than I could with all 10 fingers in an hour.
Now I have a full lapidary shop, jewelers bench and CNC mill; the tool I reach for most often when working on almost any metal piece, precious or not, is that whetstone. Each time I do, I think of Shep and what he taught me 20 years ago.