Graver Sharpening tools

Thank you all so much for your input and incredibly detailed
suggestions, on and off-line. It was most illuminating to hear that
the crosswise motion would yield a brighter cut than front-to-back.
These amazing insights!

The GRS really does not make sense for me, so being a bit of an
old-schooler I’m tempted to just practice the manual sharpening
techniques outlined so well. The Crocker is sitting on my desk,
packed for return but still waiting. One additional issue I have with
it is that I have small hands and therefore short gravers. Once
they’re in their handles they barely clear the clamping mechanism. On
the other hand, I’ll probably grind away less at each sharpening if
it’s done right the first time. I also have only been using an
Arkansas stone, which may be slowing the process tremendously.

Meanwhile I’ll pull out my permanent marker, practice manually on
one of my longer gravers, and then decide on whether to keep the

Thanks again everyone. I’ll give feedback if any new insights pop


Hello All on Orchid!

One of my many articles in my book on setting, is displayed here as
an attachment. It shows with the aid of pictures, how an Onglette #2
graver is sharpened and polished prior to diamond setting.I use all
the time 4 kinds of Emery and Polishing papers Emery #1 & #2. Then
Polishing papers #2/0 & #4/0 and with the aid of a pencil on the #4/0
transporting this fine paper to a to a finely tuned #6/0…I think I
could use my graver for NASA, its that finely polished.

For my method of “re-shaping”, I use ONLY a side to side motion with
my hand, this way I CAN SEE AT ALL TIMES how the graver is seated on
the oil stone…at a 45degree backward agngle. If you are holding it
in a forward layout your arm will tire and tend to lower the blade
and the result will be a lower shallow angle and not suitable for

I will not dispute other grinding methods listed here, but my method
is another option to correctly using the 8" Arkansas, oil-stone with
the 4 papers just described. I find now that I can grind completely a
new onglette graver to a proper cutting shape, in less than 6
minutes. Not too mention allowing the “full paper polishing” for
another 4 minutes. After a few thousand of these gravers over my
life-time, this job does seem to get a bit faster…:>)…Gerry!

Grinding and Shaping " Onglette " Gravers

Where do we start? Well after donning your safety glasses, and
sitting at a comfortable chair level and having a small container of
water used for cooling at easy reach. We will now start! Beware of
the rotating center of the grinding wheel while in motion, your
graver MUST be placed below the center axis of the rotating wheel.
With the edge of the rotating wheel, remove half a length of the
"root" or end of the blade. The next item on my agenda, is to remove
or shave off the very front corner of the graver. Why? As we will in
a moment start shaping, there will be increased heat to the front of
the blade, no matter what the graver shape. If the blade over-heats,
this new blade will get “soft” or turn a shade of blue and will not
allow you to achieve superior cutting in diamond setting.


When you remove half of the =91root’, you should shape this blade into
a tapered “spear-shape”. Why? We will heat this end up to "red hot"
with the help of a torch and burn a seat into your prepared wooden
handle hole for your new blade.

Once we “burn the graver” into the handle, be very sure that the
graver is sitting “perpendicular with the axis of the handle”. Or in
other words, absolutely straight in the handle. As the hot graver is
slowly entering the handle with the help of a pair of pliers, force
it into the handle and maintain this pressure for a few moments. At
this time, then quickly immerse it into the small container of
water. I suggest that you have an assistant help you with holding
the torch and the hot graver along with the wooden handle. The
length of the “inserted graver” with the wooden handle must not
exceed the length of the first joint of your middle finger. This is
to accommodate easy holding and give semblance of balance while you
are actually doing the cutting.

Now that the blade is securely positioned, and ready to start the
actual shaping sequence. We can now start. Holding the handle in
your right hand and have the tool blade resting on your left
forefinger, this will now act as a “tool-rest”. Apply direct
pressure from the left side of the grinding wheel edge and start to
remove the metal from the blade, as shown in the videotape. The
"initial cut" must occur on either side of front of the downward
angle, in the front of the Onglette #2 blade. Please make sure that
all grinding cuts are water-soaked to a ratio of 2-3 “cuts” to one
dunking of water. If you don’t “water-soak”, there might be a build
up of heat and subsequently softening of the metal. To feel the heat,
lightly touch the blade front whenever possible. The actual grinding
area must not be longer than one inch from point front to the back
of the shaping section. The reason is that if the cutting area is
too long the front of the blade will definitely break off or bend in
constant heavy use. What I do, is to start shaping each side of the
originally angled face. I shave off the sides equally, methodically
and with great care. I cannot overstate the constant need of help of
using “safety glasses”. If these are never used, a particle of metal
can hit your retina or eyeball, and cause severe long-term damage.

Proceed with these steps of “contouring the cutting angles” to
achieve a desired point to the front of the blade. This “graver
point” should be almost a “triangular shaped” in design. If the
front of the blade is thick or heavy, there is too much effort into
the sculpturing or cutting INTO the gold. There is a tendency to
make the blade front long and thin, this must not be done. Why? If
during the cutting process, the blade will bend eventually and
break. So what do we do? From the direct “front” to the top of the
blade, there must be gentle curve all the way through. Without
"burning, or softening". Now comes the “emery and polishing” paper
schedule of events. The needed papers are Emery paper #1, Emery
paper #2, Polishing paper #2/0 and #4/0. These papers must be
wrapped around a wooden stick similar to the wooden sticks used for
stirring paints. As you wrap them up, try and maintain a “flat
working” edge. This is very important. You cannot expect a smooth
finishing of the blade if the paper has no flat surface. Start to
use the “Emery Paper #1” ( courser grit) and try and remove much of
the lines on the side of he blade nearest to the front and along the
side nearest to the bottom of the curve near the bottom.

Holding the wooden handle with the graver, apply a continuous
forward action and emery much of the angled sides nearest the bottom
of the graver approaching the edge the of the blade. Once you are
satisfied with the removal of lines, now proceed to use the finer
Emery Paper 2. You can again using the same technique in sanding off
any marks made by graver manufacturer. At this time, emery but with
lighter applied pressure onto the steel blade=85

As we have now finished using the emery paper we can use the
"Polishing Paper" Numbers #2/0 and #4/0. For the first of these
series, I will use the #2/0, this paper has a “rougher grit” which
the pores of the paper are actually have a closer knit. We are now
"rubbing" the metal to a finer sheen on the surface, hence the
name=85.“polishing paper”. We must at this juncture, be absolutely
sure that there are no little marks or gouges left on the metals’
cutting area, nearest to the pointed bottom edge of the blade. We
should now start to put more downward pressure onto the blade while
rubbing with the #2/0 paper, after every few forward strokes, look
at the blade, examine the results. Remembering that the graver has a
gradual role or slight barrel shape, we should like to keep this
design at ALL TIMES and to maintain this gradual shape. This is very
important in “bright-cutting”, this particular area of the graver is
the most needed part for the whole process. Now comes the very final
step, I like to call this stage the “closest graver to the Hubble
telescope” why? The resulting mirror like shine is almost as bright,
free of marks, clean, very reflective. After all, it is here that
many marks can be transmitted to the Gold or Platinum, so we must
remove any marks prior to this stage. I prefer to emphasize the
polishing on the right side of the blade, if you are right-handed!
Once you are sure that any defects are not visible, now comes the
polishing. I separate this “Polishing Paper” into 2 different papers,
#4/0 and a “soft penciled” rubbing which will give you a rated #6/0
on the same paperboard. I would have you use a pencil that can be
bought in any “arts *n craft” store, but request only a soft cored
pencil. This method was shown to me by my “mentor-teacher”, some 40
years ago. So now I am showing you this little finishing trick, but
first, rub the graver on the #4/0 paper and make sure that you are
having great results.

Examine every few seconds the fantastic results you are having=85now
comes the penciled area. Apply the pencil rubbing to this specific
area, and make fully sure that the lead has completely covered all
of the #4/0 paper section you wish to use as the #6/0 area. With
little downward pressure, rub lightly and with little effort, on
this rubbing section. You will now see a remarkable sight, highly
polished steel, and brightly contoured piece of steel that has been
achieved with very careful and definite hand cleaning. You are now
about to embark upon a very new aspect of stone setting, which will
involve Bright- Cutting.

Your results will be far greater in knowing that you have achieved
that was have been almost first impossible. As long as you maintain
these graver shaping and highly polished surfaces on the sides of
this Onglette, you will have no problem in producing a fine cutting
in the precious metal of your choice.

“Gemz Diamond Setting” is donating much of this sale to the Mt. Sinai
Hospital in Toronto, Canada for the research and finding a cure for
"Crohn’s and Colitus" Contact me at @Gerald As my daughter has
Crohn’s, any donations for this incurable disease would greatly
appreciated=85Gerry, the Cyber-Setter!