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Learning engraving

I am interested in learning engraving. Most of the engraving sites
use an Air Graver or something similar. Since I already have a
foredom, I noticed they have two hand pieces: a hammer hand piece
and a chisel hand piece. For those of you who do engraving, what is
your suggestion? Thanks


I have been a jeweler for 35 years and I just decided to try some
engraving work myself. I have a N-graver and Hammer hand piece both
and neither measures up to the Air graver systems. I recently
acquired an older model Gravermeister trough the generosity of a
colleague, and believe me there is no comparison. You do not have to
have any power assisted engraving tool to start to learn. You can
begin with hand engravers, which I used to bead and bright cut and
pave’ for years. The learning begins in the layout and design of
your engraving as well. I suggest you check out

a great engraving site full of You might also want to
rent or buy some engraving videos, I know I have learned a great
deal about engraving from such videos. If you are serious about
wanting a power assist engraver contact me off list and we can talk
about the N-Graver system I do not use.



If you really want to engrave I wouldn’t persevere with the Foredom
and if you don’t want to invest in an air powered engraver I would
suggest looking at the traditional hand gravers or hammer and
chisel. Depending on where you are there are teachers who could
instruct in these methods. I’ll try and find some links for you but
you could also check the archives for earlier threads.


Talk to Hratch Nargizian
At Rhyton Studio.

Call him, a very nice man and one of the best hand engravers. You can
check his work,
(415) 433-9645

Hello Rick,

There have been alot of discussions on this forum about hand
engraving (search the Archives), and there are a number of forums
dedicated to the art of engraving. There has been quite a resurgence
of interest, and many new students willing to give it a try. You
don’t need much to get started, but it’s not easy to learn on your
own. You can buy hand gravers from any tool catalogue, and with a
sharpening stone and a few copper plates you can start to practice.
The gravers you buy will have to fitted into handles, and fitted to
the length of your hand. Then you have to sharpen and polish them
correctly so that they will cut properly. Then you will have to hold
your plates securely, and begin to make practice cuts. Posture,
patience, practice and time is what is really needed.

There are several schools and many teachers out there willing to
help you. The reason most new students (and many of us who have been
engraving for many years) use the GraverMax or Air Gravers is the
pneumatic assist will give you a greater degree of control over the
tools since you are mostly controlling the cut and not applying the
force required to cut at the same time. There is a legitimate
argument to be made that you will not get the “feel” of the metal
when you learn with the pneumatic assist since the gravers will cut
through just about anything, even with points that are damaged, but
you won’t be trying to learn how much force to apply while you are
trying to control the graver at the same time. It really cuts down
on the learning curve, but a bit of a shortcut that takes away some
of the nuances of the engraving process.

Take a look at Steve Lindsey’s website, and Sam Alfano’s site for
useful videos. GRS offers classes year round if you are able to
travel. There are many others who offer classes, and individual
instruction if you look around on the net. The most important part
of learning the art of engraving is practice, practice, practice.
Your learning curve will be greatly diminished if you can get
someone nearby who can help you figure out what your problems are
(is the tool sharpened right or too long for me, or am I holding the
graver correctly, etc.) and give constructive criticism along the

Best of luck, and happy cutting
Melissa Veres, engraver

Engravers cafe forum of steve lindsays website will answer all of
your questions.

I just came back from the New Approach School For Jewelers and I
took an Ornamental Hand Engraving Class. It was very well taught.

Here is a link to the school.

And a link to the engraving I did that week:

Good luck!
Valerie Heck Esmont


True and wise words you’ve written Melisa, very well explained !

have fun and enjoy