Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Polishing gravers

To J. Morley,

I use carbide gravers and the only way to sharpen and polish them is
with diamond. They chip easier but stay sharp much longer and they
get a higher polish on them than steel. I had an old faceting
machine and the 1200 grit lap works perfectly for sharpening. Then I
use a plastic lap sprayed with 50,000 mesh diamond spray to get a
mirror finish. I see no reason why this would not work just as well
on steel.

John Wade
Wade Designs

Orchid and all !

Back in the good olde days of long tyme ago. We, the diamond setters
were taught how to use Emery and Polishing papers. I use Emery paper
of #1 and then a #2, then use Polishing paper 2/0 and then
#4/0…Then, not too mention using a rubbing of a lead #2 pencil
stylus and burnish the steel once again (equivalent to a #6/0 paper)
so the steel is bright. In this method its a whole new skill and
craft…I can make ordinary rough looking steel look lke a mirror,
enough that I can see an image of my face in the steel. “Hubble
Telescope” reflecting steel !!

No offence to other posted methods, some people may not have the
contacts to acquire such modern technology as “diamond paste”. But to
buy these two styles of papers and their grades can be had just
anywhere, even in this city of Toronto…:>)

I have written a whole article for the “Bench” trade magazine just
on this topic some time ago, if any one wishes to read it, just ask
for it @Gerald


Hi Gerald,

Just a coment on your coment. I bet I have been polishing gravers
about as long as you have because I learned much the same process
off polishing paper and pencil lead. But I have to say that the “
good olde days” weren’t always that good. Diamond paste and spray is
easily available through most of the jewelry and lapidary tool
companys. And a 25.00 dollar bottle of it will last for a couple of
years of daily use. Plus it is fast, you can eliminate some of the
in between steps. Many of the modern tools and equipment are a
godsend in saving time and effort. That means you can do a better,
faster and more profitable job. Win Win Win.

I am not the least bit nostalgic for those good old days when we
worked harder and made less money. As long as the quality of the
work remains or improves. In the this buisness the ends often
justify the means.

John Wade
Wade Designs

Hello all.

I have been watching some incredible stone setting, engraving,
bright cutting videos on YouTube. In a few of them the goldsmith
puts a mirrorpolish on the graver using a flex shaft and some kind
of wheel that looks to be about a 1" wheel (silicone, probably
something harder). It’s quick and looks easy. I have a power hone
but don’t get any results even close to the finish in the videos.
Any help is appreciated. Thanks.

Hello Paul,

I had been looking for this same polisher and found it here:

It indeed gives a brilliant finish and razor-sharp cutting edge to
gravers. I also use it to sharpen small drill bits. Since this is
Jura’s finest wheel, I’ll be purchasing their medium grit for

Well worth the $40 price since it’s long-lasting.

Jeff Herman

Hi Paul,

That is the method I use.

The wheel is called Cera Gloss HP

This method is far superior and much easier than emery paper.

Here is a link to the supplier.

I would post a picture but I have just never figured out how to do
that on Orchid.


How can I share files and pictures with the list?

Or… send the files to the attention of and
we will upload them for you…


Thank you Jeffery and Hans for your replies. Yesterday I found and
ordered the Cera Gloss wheels from Otto Frei. Thank you Hans and
Jeffery for your help.

Orchid has to approve them first but you can put them on other sites
and post a link to that site.

Just to add a few points on polishing gravers with the Cera wheel.

Also, I am saying how I do it and in no way discarding the use of
emery paper.

Whatever works for you, as long as you get the result you want.

I shape and sharpen my gravers using a diamond wheel on the left of
the picture in the link.

Explore cunt face

SuperMax 9007.22 OHP.

It’s quite aggressive and rough so you got to gentle

From there I go straight to the Cera wheel and I can bring up a
mirror polish in seconds, 

using the flat side of the wheel.

One thing is to keep the wheel absolutely clean of swarf, which
shows up as black marks on the wheel

I do this with a Q tip and turpentine whilst spinning the wheel in a
hand piece.

I do all my shaping and sharpening under a microscope.

As I have said before, along with the various advances made in the
jewellery industry like the PUK and CAD/CAM and lasers,

the days of the old hand working craftsman such as myself are fast
drawing to a close.

That is not to say hand skills won’t still be important, but rather
that they will be enhanced by the various machines available.

So it is also in setting, and these days it is pretty much essential
that any professional setter

have a microscope, and air assisted graver machine and the
sharpening methodology mentioned above.

If you have the money, a set of DVD’s by the Berlin setter Vitalji
Kricuk are well worth the money, even though

they are an eye watering EU200 each, and there are three of them.

Check out

One last thing.

Those folk that were looking for a fine emery paper, there is a
company in Germany who sell a wet or dry paper at
5000 grit.

I bought some to test out and it is a very good product.

Thank you again for more tips on polishing Hans, especially the tip
on keeping the wheels clean. I totally agree that there will always
be a need for work that is done by hand. I hand make about 90% of my
work (the other 10% is wax/cast work). I have purchased both a
microscope and Lidsay classic engraver system within the last year
and they have increased the quality and speed which I get my work
done. I have watched (and am already subscribed on You Tube) to the
stone setter you recommended. Another one that I have found on
YouTube is Alexandre school in Belgium. His work is absolutely
stunning especially ALEXANDRE @ WORK #1. If I was 20 or so years
younger I would travel to Belgium to take his classes.