Engraving Problem

Marco, An onglette graver can be modified to increase the lift or
approach angle of the cutting face. You add a secondary bevel to
the tip, and increase the length of the keel of the graver for
straight cuts, decrease the length for curved cuts. You can make an
onglette cut almost perpendicular to the base metal. A square graver
can be made to perform the same task. Tool control is better, the
lower the graver is to the work. On curved surfaces, the secondary
bevel should be minimal, just a slight rounding actually. If you can
find a way to mount your work on a block of wood or a steel plate,
you can dispense with pins altogether. I’ve used 2-way tape, hot
glue, and home-made jigs to hold work without damage to the object.
The pressure of the vise jaws are on the block, not the work. The
engraving bits that are available are not the end-all when it comes
to tool selection. They’re just sizes that have been standardized
within this industry. Most engravers select and modify their tools
as a need arises. The “secret tool” is the one you are most
comfortable with using at the time.

Tim Adlam - Engraver

Marco, I have been engraving for 25 years. I can’t say that I have
ever seen a bent onglette graver though I agree that it would be a
handy item. I prefer a square graver with a heel cut at the corner to
10 degrees. If I want fine lines I narrow the corner to a finer
point. I also break the point less on this than the onglette. Try Jet
set for holding items instead of the pins that come with your
engraving block. It is wonderful stuff and you don’t have to worry
about clearing any pins or scatching and denting the item you are


Hi John Thank you for your advice.I still havesome questions.When
you wrote: “I prefer a square graver with a heel cut at the corner to
10 degrees.” were you talking about to grind the lower twoface
configuration of the square belly to a 10 degree curvature without
affecting the original square shape of the graver? this is easily
achieved on a flat graver cause it has a single flat belly, Can you
please be more specific how to do this and what size of square graver
is necessary? Sorry, All this questions Might sound stupid but I am a
beginner learning by
myself. Marco