Graver pre-form service

I have not previously used hand gravers but, recently purchased a
Fordom power graver primarily for raising beads and creating some
different textures. What I did not know is that the gravers need to
be initially formed to specific angles and sharpened. I believe I
can keep them sharp but, getting them there is more than a challange
for me. Does anyone know where I can buy pre-sharpened gravers that
will fit the Fordom power graver? Any help would be appreciated. tx,

Gravers are typically sold unsharpened for several reasons. The
angles may vary depending on the metal you are cutting, and the type
of cutting that you are doing. You may also alter the length of the
tool and basic angles to suit your personal technique and preferences.
I don’t know about the Fordom power graver, but as a hand engraver,
and goldsmith, I can speak to sharpening. If your primary purpose is
for stone-setting, I would recommend high-speed steel gravers. They
are very hard, and hold an edge well, but they are hard to sharpen. I
use a diamond wheel on a GRS power hone, but they can be sharpened
with a graver crocker ( a definite advantage in maintaining angles
while sharpening) and sharpening stones. For raising beads, I put a
face angle of about 65-70 degrees on a round or onglette tool. For
flat tools used in brite-cutting, the angles are trickier. I
recommend you look at videos from GRS on stone-setting, or check out
other videos on the same subject. Check out or for more info on gravers and setting. > can keep them
sharp but, getting them there is more than a challange > for me.

It is to your advantage to understand and work with your gravers.
The suckers will break a tip and become dull just because it is their
perverse nature to do so. There isn’t a setter or engraver out there
who hasn’t had a tip break at the most inopportune moment. You must
be in charge, or they can make you crazy :slight_smile: Sharpening is the hardest
part to understand about gravers, but once you understand that, you
can make them do just about anything. Good Luck!

Melissa Veres

Hi Regis

I’d suggest purchasing a lead center 3" or 4" grinding wheel that
will form to your polishing spindle for grinding your gravers. Seat it
on the spindle so it runs evenly and doesn’t fly off when you turn off
the machine. I usually grind a slope about 1" long down to the point,
so as to reduce the size of the point to a manageable size for
resharpening, and for easier use. The grinding wheel will round off
during use, and that’s okay, I prefer a well rounded grinding wheel
for shaping gravers. Almost all users of gravers shorten them before
using them (at least those who are not working with a chasing hammer),
they are simply too long to use appropriately. To shorten the graver,
clamp it into a vice exposing the length you wish to remove, and break
it off with a hammer, one good whack, (do I need to mention to
protect your eyes?) Anyway, it easily breaks off, and I’ve never hurt
myself doing this. Using gravers usually involves continuously
reshaping and regrinding them, on a daily basis depending on how much
you use them. Keep a small bowl of water under the wheel, and keep
dipping the graver to keep it cool. Allow the color to go beyond straw
and the graver will become soft so that it rounds after a little use,
requiring rehardening and resharpening. Personally, I like to grind a
nice curve down to the point, and to round off any sharp edges (except
on the front cutting edges, and along the bottom length) which are
hard on your soft fingertips. Trying to sharpen the full height
(unground) of a graver is horribly time consuming, and is to be
avoided. Good luck, and have fun. Oh, you might consider picking up a
book on hand engraving. You’ll find many pages of extremely useful
about using gravers.

Jeffrey Everett

When breaking the graver to shorten, a safety thought is to hold it
in the vice, with a towel covering the setup to confine the
projectile. This way, when you smack the protruding excess, it won’t
shoot across the room and break the glass in your favorite
painting!–That never happened to me. :wink:

Must learn to sharpen them yourself.

–Brooks Burt, engraver