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Hammer Handpiece --- and $$$

Regarding the hammer handpieces, several people highly recommended
the Gravermeister, etc., esp. for bright cutting and engraving. I
looked in my catalogs and those systems are $1000. What I’d like
to know is whether a regular hammer handpiece can be successfully
adapted to gravers (the catalog says you can put gravers in the
handpieces — I gather you have to grind the end down to fit).
Such would be a whole lot cheaper. Or are there other

Since the rep for these tools is on the list now, I would give the
feedback that the price point for these tools keeps a significant
segment of the market away from them.

My $.02
Roy (Jess)

I remember seeing someone demonstrating a flexshaft driven
engraving handpiece at the Las Vegas show a couple years ago. The
guy was doing very nice engraving with it. I think it was the

Dick Caverly

  What I'd like to know is whether a regular hammer handpiece can
be successfully adapted to gravers (the catalog says you can put
gravers in the handpieces --- I gather you have to grind the end
down to fit). 

An ecnonomical way to try might be to get a piece (usually 36"
long) of 3/32" diameter drill rod from a local industrial supplier.
The business end can be ground to the graver shape required & then
the tool can be hardened & put in the hammer handpiece.

FWIW: Drill rod is available in lots of sizes. It comes in water,
oil & air hardening; get the cheapest.


Foredom makes a hammer handpiece set up for about $400. It is run
by a special motor and foot pedal, with a rheostat controlled exact
setting for the speed of impact. I own one for about two years
now, and use it mainly for bezel and channel setting, but it also
works for bright cutting and bead raising, and they claim excellent
for engraving.

Because i’m not an engraver, or full time setter, it really was
adequate for my purposes. However, the air powered gravermeister
machine seemed vastly superior, although one has to purchase a very
fine compressor to run it.If money was no object, I’d definetly go
with the gravermeister.

hope this helps
allan freilich

Hi Jess, what an interesting idea - to use the hammer handpiece as
a holder for an engraving tool!

I have an older Kavo hammer that I’ve only ever used for bezel
setting and rivetting and impact-type texturing. It has insertable
heads which screw in via a 3mm thread. I bought a matching tap and
die set so that I could make up my own points, but never thought to
apply it to a graver.

The more I think about it, the more I like it. It will be easy
enough to soften the tang of a short (read almost worn-out) scorper
or graver, adjust it to take the 3mm thread, re-harden and temper,
and voila! My Kavo has four settings and my guess is that the
lightest setting at fairly high revs would be sufficient to drive
the graver nicely through the metal.

Gosh! I hope you haven’t patented the idea (bad joke). I’ll trial
it before someone tries to lock the concept away from the rest of
us and let you know how it works. 'Donya Jess! Regards, Rex from Oz.

Dear ROY(Jess), I too, have been interested in this “hammer
handpiece alternative” problem. Here is what I’ve found out;
Currently, Foredom Electric makes an engraving system known as the
"Power Graver". This set basically consists of the"15D" hammer
handpiece ( the domestically produced hand piece that Foredom has
been selling for years) modified to have a “set screw” type collet
(to hold the graver) and a ball shaped handle to approximate the
shape of a convetional graver handle. The Quick Disconnect sleeve
has an extended tab to prevent its use with any other flex shaft
other than the permanent magnet dc motor that is part of the
system. This extended tab is, however, easily removed with a
jeweler’s saw to make it compatible with another flexshaft. But,
as with all Hammer handpieces, should be used with a high torque,
lower speed motor such as the Foredom EE reduction drive motor or
the new Foredom permanent magnet dc motor known as the model “L”.
In fact the EE has been discontinued by Foredom in favor of the
more expensive L… The dc motor supplied with the system has a
modified flexshaft outer sheath to allow it to accept the
previously described modified Hammer handpiece. This supplied dc
motor bears an uncanny resemblence (could it be the same unit?!!)
to the new series L… This “Power Graver” system currently costs
around US$ 450 -500. All these descriptipns make me think that one
could obtain an “extra” Power Graver hand piece (known according to
the Gesswein catalogue as the “#9D”) , remove its limiting
"extended tab" and with reasonable prudence (i.e., at low speeds)
use it with any other flex shaft. However, this is purely
conjecture on my part, and is definitely NOT recommended by
Foredom. (Gee, I wonder why, Ya think Foredom has a hidden agenda
or what?!!) To add further confusion to this inquiry, there is
another product available designed to fit on any regular flexshaft
(although recommended to be used only with a series EE or L or any
high torque/low speed facsimile thereof) known as the Magna graver.
I have not handled nor seen this unit up close and, therefore, am
most interested in any input or comments from other Orchid members
about this unit. The unit appears to use non-conventional graver
blades, so that may be its own particular drawback. Thanks for
patiently reading through my somewhat long winded musings on the
subject of Hammer handpieces. Eben Lenz

Eben- There is one thing that you should be considering about these
hammer handpieces- What are you going to use it for? If for setting
work, the badeco etc. type are great and economical, but they are
to my opinion not really suited for engraving. I have tried about
all of the graver-whatevers out there, and have been at this about
23 years after learning originally with hand gravers and chasing
hammers. Two things for you to consider…For engraving you need
a hammer with a lot of control as your graver points tend to break.
No point, no cutting. This is why the better systems have hammers
with a high amount of strokes/min. and variable force behind the
blows. A hammer that is not good will cause these tools to break
constantly and is generally a pain to use as they get hot, etc.
Try engraving with a chasing hammer and you will understand what I
mean about tools breaking because of bad hammer blows, believe me.
Secondly, if you’re going to invest $400-500 in a system, or even
$200-300 in a good hammer handpiece to use for engraving, you would
be better off locating a used Gravermeister and Gravermax. (I
picked up one for $200. barely used) A really good place to look
for them is if they have gun and hunting shows in your area. I used
to work this type of show and was always being offered them that
people had bought expecting to become an overnight expert at it and
make millions. I could usually pick them up in new condition for
under half price- they are of no use to people who don’t know how
to use them. And by the way- I am in no way connected with
GRS/Glendo, and get no consideration for my opinion from them. I
use their tools because I do this professionally and they have the
best tools made for this work. They are expensive, but they are
very well made and last forever. Good luck! Rick in Houston,Texas