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C Craft

Where to buy hand engraving tools for steel?

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I must profess I know nothing when it comes to engraving except that it can really compliment a knife! I want to acquire a few engravers and a hammer and see what I can accomplish and if I like doing it! Having said that I am not looking to get into a great investment but would like to have something worth bring home!

 

 

Thinking along those lines is this set any good?????

 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000RB78R0/...SIN=B000RB78R0

 

For right now I am just looking for a set that will give me a chance to see if I really like engraving or if I have any natural talent. How ever I know sometimes there are things just not worth bringing to the house, so to speak!

 

Anyone have any advice here?

 

 

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I must profess I know nothing when it comes to engraving except that it can really compliment a knife! I want to acquire a few engravers and a hammer and see what I can accomplish and if I like doing it! Having said that I am not looking to get into a great investment but would like to have something worth bring home!

 

 

Thinking along those lines is this set any good?????

 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000RB78R0/...SIN=B000RB78R0

 

For right now I am just looking for a set that will give me a chance to see if I really like engraving or if I have any natural talent. How ever I know sometimes there are things just not worth bringing to the house, so to speak!

 

Anyone have any advice here?

i got mine from Saign Charlestein here on this site.

 

http://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?showtopic=23542

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C Craft, on 06 Oct 2013 - 06:17, said:

Thinking along those lines is this set any good?????

 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000RB78R0/...SIN=B000RB78R0

Short answer: No.

 

Those are push gravers, not used with a hammer. To use those in the materials commonly used making knives requires a truly manly man. And MANY years of learning.

 

Read through this topic (Simple Engraving for Knifemakers) for many of the answers you are looking for, as well as an inexpensive way of trying engraving (it's not for everyone!): http://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?showtopic=24166&hl=

 

Then, (if you haven't been scared off!) try asking more narrowly focused questions. My answer here is not intended to be mean spirited or flippant, but engraving is a demanding path, and you can waste a huge amount of time, effort, and money and have nothing to show for it at the end but disappointment. That being said, we are currently in the "Golden Age" of engraving, and modern methods available today can cut many years off the learning curve, alllowing beginners to reach early successes many years in advance of traditional engraving methods.

 

Best of luck in your search!

 

Tom

Edited by tsterling

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What Tom said. That "set" is just a few onglette (oval) and knife (sharp V) gravers for jewelry work. The vast majority of engraving is done with a square graver sharpened on one corner to make an angle of 110-135 degrees. Jantz will sell you a bunch of #4 square gravers and a chasing hammer to get you started, but hammer engraving is indeed a steep learning curve, one that is probably insurmountable without a little in-person class time to figure it out. I took a one-week class in hand engraving back in 2001, and you see how bad I still am. :lol: Then again, the class was for 18th-century methods, and I'm about okay at those. The modern stuff is far beyond my skill level with simple tools. A $4000 microscope and a $1600 Lindsey AirGraver system along with a month or two of classroom training ($$$$) might help with that...

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The modern stuff is far beyond my skill level with simple tools. A $4000 microscope and a $1600 Lindsey AirGraver system along with a month or two of classroom training ($$$$) might help with that...

Hi Alan,

 

There's better news than that! A nice Meiji microscope and GRS Acrobat stand will run about $2100, and Lindsay has a nice entry level air graver, the Artisan, with foot control/regulators for $850 (you supply the compressor). Add an engraver's ball vise for $500ish and a few hundred more for graver blanks and simple sharpening system, and you can have a decent setup for around 4 grand.

 

Take a week long beginner class (an excellent one by Ray Cover, $900 for 5 days in beautiful Kansas) and you're set to begin practicing. In a month's time you should be able to engrave something Mom would display on the fridge door, and in a year's time you should be able to engrave a pretty nice looking salable-quality set of knife bolsters or folder scales.

 

Your mileage might vary...

 

Tom

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Guys I do appreciate the info, and I don't scare easily! I have learned from the school of hard knocks all my life. I am not looking to be able to do something like you see in the opening of this site. http://lindsayengraving.com/ However I would love to be able to add a simple design to one of my knives! I saw the air gravers but I don't want to get into a great investment. Who knows I may be just fooling myself. I have been doing carpenter work since I was 14 yrs. of age and have done a little carving with wood chisels. So I know it's not as easy as it looks. Finally thanks for all the info! I have been feeling poorly all day so will sit down tomorrow and try to go thru all of it a little more in depth! So far I ain't scared just more intrigued!!

Edited by C Craft

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OK I am back amongst the living this morning and started reading through all this info! The piece by tsterling

 

http://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?showtopic=24166&hl=

 

has a wealth of info and even though I have read it I need to go back and reread there is so much packed into it! I realize that sharpening gravers is like sharpening a wood chisel, done incorrectly it can render the chisel useless. And I also get that without some hands on instruction I am up against a very steep learning curve. I have no intention of going into the engraving business but right now I am looking for the basics that I might sign a knife by engraving or perhaps add a few lines to embellish a piece with!

 

So I ain't scared off yet! :P Just more intrigued!

Edited by C Craft

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Until you find someone willing to do some hands-on work with you, find a copy of "The Art of Engraving" by James B. Meeks. He was pretty old-school in the way he worked, and while the book can't teach you how to do it it will give you a better idea of what's going on at the point of the graver.

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an option for lower-end startup is to get a used Magnagraver hammer handpiece made by NGRAVER. I got mine off of ebay for $80. Then, get a low speed, high-torque foredom to drive it. It is the best of the hammer handpieces, and close to air assist (according to people who know... not me). Then, get a large round shaft cutoff, flat. Put either pitch or hot glue on it. You can grab it and rotate freely but it is too massive to let your work move when engraving. For less than $400, you will have power assist and a good approximation of a vise.

 

You need:1. power engraver (also learn with chisels, ala Tom's thread)

2. foredom to power it.

3. shaft cutoff for heavy but easy to grasp and rotate with one hand to approximate engraver's vise.

4. hot glue or pitch

5. good sharpening stone with a medium and a fine grit, plus a bit of hard leather with green chrome buffing compound on it

6. Crocker-style graver sharpener system, because the truly hardest part of getting started is putting the final form on and then sharpening the graver blank.

7. Go to Rio Grande jewelry supply, and get several 120deg graver blanks and several flat blanks. Get ones that are about 1/8" square so you can grind them down a bit to make a round tang that fits into the Magnagraver.

8. Get an Optivisor or equivalent.

9. Block aside about 6 months and don't do anything but practice with hand work and with reading.

 

All of this will get you started. It doesn't cost as much as the other routes. I have done all of these, and I can engrave more than I could after a year of trying with hand chisels. Still not free, but a good way to start.

 

I plan to buy a stereoscope pretty soon, and there are some pretty reliable ones in the $300 range. At least I have been told that.

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Another option is purchasing Japanese style tools from Patrick Hastings. www.taganearts.com He also teaches classes. I will tell you, if you go this route, don't choke the chisels. Hold them lightly. I've given myself a nasty case of tennis elbow from squeezing them too hard. The learning curve is STEEP.

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