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Fine Embellishment Everything from hand engraving and scrimshaw to filework and carving. The fine art end of the knifemaker's craft.

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  #1  
Old 01-31-2004, 11:37 AM
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Don Cowles Don Cowles is offline
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Noobie struggling

Gents, I am having a very hard time keeping the graver "in the groove" - it keeps popping out and skating across the work, leaving those unsightly scratches.

Is this likely to be a question of tool sharpness? I am stumped and frustrated.


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Old 01-31-2004, 01:03 PM
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Don:
The first thing that came to my mind is that you probably do have a problem with the tool sharpness. Is it dull? does it have a micro chip on the tip? Have you been keeping your angles consistent when sharpening? The materials might come into play as well, is it harder then usual material for you, if working with harder materials you might give the face alittle steeper angle. If your using power assist gravers make sure you let the tool do the work, don't try to push real hard. Hope this helps alittle,
If I where there and could see what you where doing we'd get it fixed up in no time. There a number of things that might be wrong,
Metal cold welding to the heel ect.....

Help me out here guys

Darren


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  #3  
Old 01-31-2004, 01:18 PM
fitzo fitzo is offline
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Don,

I have a full GRS setup and am absolutley terrible at engraving, so my advice is of the poorest sort...

However, when I encountered this problem (often, and aggravating), I started playing with the face angle and heel length of my sharpening and had a significant reduction of this particular tragedy.

I think Darren is right on with his suggestions.
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  #4  
Old 01-31-2004, 01:34 PM
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Tim Adlam Tim Adlam is offline
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Darren nailed it with the best areas to consider first.

One thing that might help is using your thumb and forefinger as balancing aids.

Dial down your rate of strokes a bit and see if that helps with control.

If you're getting raised burs on your cuts...that's a good indicator that you're pushing too much.

Tim
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Old 01-31-2004, 02:57 PM
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Jeremy Krammes Jeremy Krammes is offline
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I am a novis, but when I slip I find that usually I was pushing the handpiece. Another thought, maybe your heel is to "flat", not letting you go deep enough. I use a 50deg face with a 20deg heel.

Jeremy


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  #6  
Old 01-31-2004, 08:00 PM
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Tool sharpness would be my first concern also. Don, let the tool do the work and dont "push" it just guide it along. What are your shapening angles? Heel shape and length? When I was first learning it was hard to keep the tool at the proper cutting angle as the heel and pushing downward on the handle, would lift it out of the cutting groove. But most problems come from that little rounded broken tip of the graver. What gravers are you using? Are you using the standard 90 degree square graver? After learning much from good friend Steve Lindsay, I dont use a 90 degree square anymore at all. A wider angled graver has so many advantages over the 90, one being they stay sharper longer as the wider angle adds strength to the point.
So much of engraving relies on the "feel" of things that only comes with practice. If I can help at all please give me a call.
BTW, this little knife you sent for me to engrave is very nice! I will start on it next week.


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Old 01-31-2004, 09:56 PM
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You guys are great, and thanks for all of your suggestions. The offending graver is a relieved square graver with a 110 degree angle, and a short radiused heel. The real problem is, of course, the operator. Since I have never seen anyone else engrave, I am awash in ignorance - and I *was* pushing the tool too hard.

Thanks again!


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Old 02-01-2004, 07:37 PM
ron p. nott ron p. nott is offline
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Hey Don .... You are in the same state that Chris lives . He is at Travis City Mi . If it is not too far he would be a great person to teach you some engraving tricks .. or you can jump into your car a drive to my shop and I will teach you every thing that I know ..


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Old 02-01-2004, 07:48 PM
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Please pardon my intrusion, but these 110 degree gravers... are they commercial, or does one create them from a square graver blank?
Thanks...
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  #10  
Old 02-01-2004, 10:24 PM
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Mike,

The 110 degree graver is ground from a square blank.
You're basically widening the cutting ability of the blank while strengthening the tip.

The tip can be further strengthened with a very slight rounding of the heel.

A final stropping polishes it up nicely and removes any micro-burs.

The heel varies in length and lift angle.
The higher the lift and shorter heel make for a tight turning graver.

Longer heels with a low lift angle allow more control and straighter cutting.
Great for border lines and shading cuts.

I vary my lift angle to suit the task.

My basic face angle on the graver is 45 degrees...switching to about 50 degrees for harder material.

Tim
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  #11  
Old 02-01-2004, 11:19 PM
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Thanks, Tim. I appreciate it. I'll try it tomorrow..I'm good at damaging tips.

I am trying to get more time learning engraving again on those days when working in the shop is not in the cards. It'll be a very slow process, but if i can "engrave just one piece decent someday"...

I'm glad you guys are here..... thanks.
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  #12  
Old 02-02-2004, 01:03 AM
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Mike and Don,

I like the term "keel" over heel...but who cares.

Linton McKenzie said it best...

"Picture trying to steer a battleship down a creek".

With that in mind...you understand that the shorter the keel that you can use and control...
...the less chance of hitting the bank.

The deeper you cut...the higher the lift...but the trade off is less control of the graver.

You find that balance of depth of cut and control with practice, but when it all comes together for you...

...celebrate it here!...

Tim
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