Saboian- Properly setting up, shaping and polishing a graver can
make your work so much easier. Just remember that the heel or the
bottom of your graver should be just as polished as the cutting edge.
No matter how sharp and polished your cutting edge is, the heel drags
along behind it. Like cutting with a scalpel and then dragging a
rusty nail behind it.
I just finished setting up and polishing and shaping 1/2 dozen
gravers for my next setting class. I start my students out with a 42
flat. I find that the blades when fresh from the factory have some
pretty deep grooves in them. For what they cost you’d think that
they’d come with a finer finish.
It takes me a longer time to get the heels perfectly polished out
than it does to attach them to the handles, shorten to my hand,
shape, polish and sharpen.
I use two sharpening blocks. One is two sided with a coarse side and
a finer side. I then go to an Arkansas stone and then crocus paper
taped down on a flat surface. I then punch the tip of the freshly
polished graver into my wooden bench pin to take any burr off the
For polishing the heel I use successively finer emery then arkansas
stone then crocus paper. I do this after shaping and shortening and
before I start sharpening.
Have fun and make lots of jewelry.