Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Pencil lead and lava sculptures


#1

was: Making irregular silver beads during melting phase

Have you ever watched those PBS programs about volcano's in Hawaii
where they show people dipping into the molten lava to measure the
temperature or whatever they do? Every time I see that I think,
wouldn't it be cool to take molds out there and cast sculptures
with molten lava? It would be hot, but I bet it could be done. 

Hi Mark,

This has been done in Iceland, and Hawaii, there are a few
documentaries on Youtube that show some sculpture being made.

When I was young I saw a documentary about a couple in Iceland who
would make lava sculptures. made me want to do it. I’m yet to realise
this dream.

BTW pencil lead is awesome, I use it when I’m aligning chennier for
hinges, works every time, and you don’t waste silver :wink:

Regards Charles A.


#2
BTW pencil lead is awesome, I use it when I'm aligning chennier
for hinges, works every time, and you don't waste silver ;-) 

The repair instructor at Revere Academy Nancy Wintrup uses a wooden
HB pencil stripped at the tip to expose about 1" of the graphite for
her solder pick. She says it takes heat well and doesn’t stick to the
solder. I watched her use it in class but have never tried it
personally.

I use the old standard trick of “charging” emery paper with pencil
graphite to produce a finer grit, such as for polishing gravers on
4/0 paper.


#3

Joshua, and everyone!

At least someone is using an old suggestion that I still use. If you
use a soft graphite pencil lead on a #4/0 polishing paper stick, then
rub or “charge” that paper.

I suggest that the “run of the pencil lead” over that section of
paper it now becomes equivalent to #6/0 paper!

What actually happens is that the pores of the #6/0 paper are now
being clogged with the pencil lead. What happens next, is that the
graver steel becomes more of a mirror, than just shiny steel. I call
this having an astronomical telescope sheen on your graver, you can
almost see your face on it as well.

Another use of this #6/0 is to give a greater shine to your
hammer-head that is used on Bezel or Flush/Gypsy settings. The
possibilities and uses are endless.

Gerry!
https://ganoksin.com/blog/gerrylewy


#4
At least someone is using an old suggestion that I still use. If
you use a soft graphite pencil lead on a #4/0 polishing paper
stick, then rub or "charge" that paper. I suggest that the "run of
the pencil lead" over that section of paper it now becomes
equivalent to #6/0 paper! 

Help me understand this. Since the abrasive granules on 4/0 paper
are larger than those on 6/0 paper how does filling the 4/0 paper
with graphite make it be equivalent to 6/0 paper? Seems to me that
the scratches left by the 4/0 granules (even if most of the paper was
filled with graphite) would be more noticeable than scratches from
using ‘real’ 6/0 paper.

Thanks.

alonzo


#5
BTW pencil lead is awesome, I use it when I'm aligning chennier
for hinges, works every time, and you don't waste silver.-) 

Too cool!!! I could see graphite pencil leads used for the silver to
poll around as it melts then solidify. I want to try this! But what
brand of mechanical pencil lead is pure graphite, which could
withstand the heat? Most pencil lead is actually clay!

Andrew Jonathan Fine


#6
Most pencil lead is actually clay! 

Actually, I have read that most mechanical pencil lead is mostly
plastic.

Noel


#7
Actually, I have read that most mechanical pencil lead is mostly
plastic. 

I use Staedtler Mars carbon and Mars micro carbon 90% natural raw
materials, basically graphite and a binder.

Regards Charles A.


#8

Pencils to use in conjunction with #4/0 Polishing paper, here is my
reply! I just went into my little collection of pencils and I see
that the only one I prefer is of “HB” softness. These can be bought
at any convenience store or “Staples"or"Office Depot(Canada)”. Its
really not where to buy them, but which one you really need.

You are only gently rubbing ‘some’ of the graphite into the pores of
the #4/0 paper. Don’t grind the paper with the pencil lead, only
allow some of the graphite to stay in the #4/0 paper.

The results will be phenomenal in the preparation in the steel
surface of the Onglette Graver. have fun!

Gerry!
https://ganoksin.com/blog/gerrylewy


#9
You are only gently rubbing 'some' of the graphite into the pores
of the #4/0 paper. Don't grind the paper with the pencil lead, only
allow some of the graphite to stay *in* the #4/0 paper. 

I do not like this method. It is a shortcut to mask that graver was
not prepared correctly. If surface of a graver is relatively rough,
graphite enters surface irregularities and thereby reduces friction.
That is the reason for doing it. If someone is interested in the
gimmick free was of doing it, proceed to my blog
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep7zze and read toolmaking articles,
all of them. Reading just one would not make sense. Proper graver
preparation is of extreme importance.

It is not easy and cannot be described in couple of paragraphs, but
if someone would take time to understand it, the benefits are well
worth it.

Leonid Surpin
Studioarete.com


#10

hello my good friend Leonid!

I do not like this method. It is a shortcut to mask that graver
was not prepared correctly. If surface of a graver is relatively
rough, graphite enters surface irregularities and thereby reduces
friction. That is the reason for doing it. 

Pencil graphite does not and cannot enter any steel graver. It is
’the combination’ of both the polishing paper and a soft pencil
graphite upon the graver that gives it a smoother steel finish.
Graphite does not enter the actual cutting equation! I am only
refining the semi-rough texture of the steel after being bought.

Under closer scrutiny with a 10x loupe the roughness can be seen. No
"Bright-Cutting" can be then achieved without any tool modification.

If I was to attempt any bright-cutting with a new graver steel, all
I would get are striations along the metal cuts.

That method would not be aceptable in any professional
"Bright-Cutting" from any manufacturer… thank you for your
attention to my post on this topic!..Gerry!


#11
You are only gently rubbing 'some' of the graphite into the pores
of the #4/0 paper. Don't grind the paper with the pencil lead, only
allow some of the graphite to stay *in* the #4/0 paper. 

Hold on a sec. this thought just popped into my mind.

Could the graphite be simply acting as a lubricant?

Could you do the same with sewing machine oil on a piece of wet and
dry?

Could be totally wrong, but had to say it.

Regards Charles A.


#12

Dear Orchidians

Lets go back to the time in Hatton Gardens, (jewellery center) in
London, England, circa 1930’s where a fellow was being taught how to
set diamonds.

He learned his craft well, now 10 years later (1940’s) another
diamond setting apprentice took on the task of making use of steel
gravers to cut around “Mein-cut” and “Rose-cut” diamonds.

This same setter came to Canada (1950) and was asked by my Father to
teach me his craft, now circa late 1960’s.

Well after 9 years of apprenticing, he taught me all of the nuiances
of Bright-Cutting. This skill was handed down from the first fellow
back in 1930’s.

Now I am now the fourth generation setter from 1930’s, to keep on
teaching this skill in using polishing-paper mixed with graphite.

Remember that in those earlier days we used leather strips mixed
with a polishing compund to improve the surface of the steel graver.

Foredom-type motors were not invented until mid-1940’s and each
singular hole was cut out by a graver. these were called “Bull
Sticks”. Can you imagine how long it would have taken to set 30
odd-shaped diamonds in an Eternity ring? If you had no idea on how to
use a graver in those days, you were in deep trouble!

All of these generations of setters listed above made lives easier
for the next generations following. I too, am attempting to do the
same for everyone on Orchid who are interested.

Enjoy “Bright-Cutting” as it is a definite skill and art!
Gerry!
https://ganoksin.com/blog/gerrylewy


#13
Could the graphite be simply acting as a lubricant? 

not as a lubricant per se, but as a “smoother” of the fine paper. It
only is used to make the mini-granules be closer together while in
contact with the #4/0 paper and the graver steel!

Gerry!
https://ganoksin.com/blog/gerrylewy