Graver sharpening and making

Hi all: I gather from all this info on graver tempering, bending and
sharpening that I could make my own gravers from tool steel if I keep
all the angles right as I grind, and then harden and temper. Is this
correct?? Advisable?? I need flat, onglette and knife gravers for
stone setting. TIA, Roy

Hi Jess,

Sure you can. But why bother, unless you’re interested in expanding
your skill base. If you consider the cost of time involved in forming
the round or flat tool steel shapes into the graver shapes you want,
you’ll have some tools that are much more expensive than the ones you
can buy.

If special shaped gravers are required, why not try modifying an
existing graver shape to the required shape? If that’s not possible,
then go for the ‘roll your own’ using tool steel or some other
hardenable steel.

However you do it, it should be FUN!


Hi Roy, regarding your question about making your own scorpers:
(“scorpers” for setting, “gravers” for engraving - don’t ask me why -
ain’t language grand?)

Part of my setting classes is to have my students make a simple “bull
stick” for hand cutting bearings in bezels. They get a piece of 3mm
tool steel rod and a handle and grind and file the rod into the right
shape then harden and temper it. While I recommend the commercial high
speed steel scorpers, the experience of making at least one tool gives
them valuable insights into the whole tradition. It also leaves them
with the confidence to alter existing tools where needed. I also have
them make their own pushing tools because of the variations of purpose
in the use of these tools as well.

So if you want the experience of making your own, go for it. But you
can buy perfectly good ones.

Kind regards, Rex from Oz

Hi Roy, The price of a graver is quite low. Buy them and spend the
time you save working on the jewelry. Have fun. Tom Arnold

Hi Rex Don’t hear of many people using a bull stick I make mine out of
an oval scorper. But the one I use the most is a small version made
from a round edge scorper ground at a slight angle and then sharpened
to resemble a bull stick. It comes in very useful for setting those
small old cut diamonds.

Chris Hackett