As you are finding out, the IQ level you have to write the precise
computer code you can do, doesnt automatically equip you to be a
However what your IQ does prepare you for is the ability to think
through your problems.
As many of us here have tried to advise you, dont try to do the real
work until you have run many test trials on base or softer metals.
So lets look ist of all at cutting edge tools.
Craftsmen use many sorts, from wood workers to lathe machinists to
engravers, we all have to sharpen tools.
different work requires different cutting edge angles.
Now as many metal apprentices have found out, trying to file metal
flat as in level, is in fact very difficult. you need a convex file
to do this.
the same applies to sharpening cutting tools.
thats why Stanley and others make a clamp to put your plane iron
into ,to ensure the cutting angle is correct AND flat.
the same applies to sharpening any cutting tool. when for example
grinding a lathe tool use a circular grinding wheel, not a flat
because the rake will be truly flat or even slightly concave.
Why do you think a wood plane is made the way it is? so you can
control the thickness of the shaving.
It was a development on from the adze, to get wood truly flat.
likewise it should be possible to make an engraving plane? to cut
into metal by just the right amount.
Ideal for long strait lines with the plane up against a guide like
apiece of metal. clamped to the work.
Such a machine does exist but on an industrial scale. its called a
Having sharpened your graver so the rake is truly flat, try to
engrave a simple cut, making a chip curl out from the graver front in
LEAD! nothing softer, bar wood of course. What your trying to do is
what a plane does with out the control of the plane adjustment.
When you can get a repeatable graved line in this metal, then move
up to aluminiun, repeat, then progress to copper, and finally to
Many yrs ago I was reading about money printing dies. These used to
be all engraved by hand, and the master engraver would come in to his
workshop and practice for an hour or so, to get his hand in, only
then would he take his graver to the steel he was working on.
Engraving to this standard takes a 7 yr apprenticeship assuming you
have the talent.
So despite your efforts the lack of results is quite normal.
Its good for you to explore all the different skills that are used
in this trade, you will eventually find one that your happy with to
get your production time down to a normal level.
Your wife and daughter would be very proud of you if you made a real
success of this new venture. Theres no reason why not!.
If you were my apprentice, after you had learned how to make my tea,
and clean up the w/shop id let you start with the simplest of tasks.
That would be using a hammer with a piece of 1/4in copper rod, anneal
it, quench, then forge it on a simple anvil into a celtic torque
shape. and yes id show you how I would do it first.
then have you repeat it. simple hand /eye coordination is the ist
lesson to learn. An easy task that shouldnt take longer than 20
minites. When you can do this well!! then id let you repeat it in
silver. As the technique is no different, forging is in fact a much
easier way of making things.
some of my products are make entirely with a hammer, and cold.
Quick, simple and profitable.
kind regards as always, Ted.