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Thread: Hand Engraving - the cut

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    Default Hand Engraving - the cut

    Hi, I'm reading the The Jewelry Engravers Manual (Dover Craft Books) and I'm trying to work out how the graver and the hand should interact to make the cut which it describes very quickly (I'm afraid I don't have the book with me so I can quote it)

    Try as I might I can't find any videos that show hand engravers doing or describing this. They all seem to be air driven hand engravers! Can anyone point me in the right direction? I'd like to see the engraver preforming a cut "manually" and see how the graver is driven to make the cut. Do they push from the shoulder, or press the heel of the palm in.

    I've just realised how hard it is to describe which is why I was hoping to find a video that isn't through a microscope (as wonderful as they are)

    When I get home from work I'll add the quote from the book, but in the meantime if anyone has any videos that will help that would be great.

    Thanks

    Edit: here's the description from the book

    "All the action is in sliding the graver past the thumb which remains stationary. To cut perfectly straight lines, hold the block steady with the left hand and rest the thumb of the right hand on the top of the block. The right thumb must not move. The graver slides past the thumb in a continuous smooth motion. The tip of the forefinger must be placed on the graver at least an inch from the tip of the thumb. This is necessary to execute a long straight cut in one stroke. If the graver is in perfect condition, it will glide through the metal smoothly and with little resistance."

    Now, to me that sounds like how you hold a potato peeler to peel, is that right?
    Last edited by SteveCairney; 23-02-2015 at 05:16 PM. Reason: Added the extract

  2. #2
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    You push from the shoulder, keeping the elbow a little raised to make that connection , ir that is what I was taught anyway

  3. #3
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    Feb 2015
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    Ah well that makes more sense I suppose! I wish there was a video I could watch too, there aren't any engraving courses near me

  4. #4
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    I think there are some on here:
    http://www.engraverscafe.com
    Its still difficult to get the angles exactly right even watching vid though, my instructor would actually place his hand on my arm to give me the angle needed.
    Its good to practise doing ladders and circles/spirals on copper so you get the feel of how much pressure to use without slipping or getting stuck.
    Im still not very good though, there are others on here that are waaay better so hopefully they will comment too
    Do you know about cutting the 'heel' on your gravers?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    Yeah the book describes graver prep really well. I'm actually a bladesmith who moonlights in silver and gold so getting a hairsplitting edge isn't new ground for me (excuse the pun)

    I've set myself quite the task, I'm getting married in July and while I've made the engagement ring and wedding rings I'd like to engrave the wedding rings. No pressure then. Hah!

  6. #6
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    Sep 2014
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    Yikes! rather you than me! rings are so hard! especially getting the curved letters.
    Still, if you practise enough first Im sure you will do it

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Finland
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    Is this any help? or maybe some other videos by the same chap.
    Join or search the engraverscafe for proper sharpening, it`s the most important thing to get right otherwise you`ll never get the result you want & you`ll just waste time getting frustrated.
    Lyndsay sharpening templates are probably the easiest idiot proof way of getting things right every time.


    http://youtu.be/tHvKRSFsRrw
    Last edited by Gemsetterchris; 24-02-2015 at 07:16 AM.

  8. #8
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    I don't understand a word of it, but that's a really good video - shows loads. Note that with curves, the work is moved into the graver and the graver stays stationary.

    There's an event with the Hand Engravers Association coming up in Clerkenwell in a week or so.

    (Scratch that - I'm getting my ear in and following more of the dialogue...)
    Last edited by ps_bond; 24-02-2015 at 08:46 AM.

  9. #9
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    Feb 2015
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    Those videos are great! I especially like that he uses a sandbag and a block of wood. I like that. Thanks for digging them up, and I'll polish up my Spanish!

  10. #10
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    An alternative to using setters wax like that is just to tape a flat sheet to a piece of 12-18mm plywood with masking tape. Holds surprisingly well.

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