Are you a full-time hand engraver, hobbyist, jeweler?

What best describes you and your engraving?

  • I'm a full time gun engraver.

    Votes: 8 4.1%
  • I'm a full time knife engraver.

    Votes: 2 1.0%
  • I'm a full time jewelry engraver.

    Votes: 3 1.5%
  • I'm a full time hobo coin carver.

    Votes: 2 1.0%
  • I'm a full time engraver who engraves many things (hobo nickels, guns, knives, jewelry, etc).

    Votes: 32 16.2%
  • I'm a jeweler who also does hand engraving.

    Votes: 43 21.8%
  • I'm a hobbyist and do engraving for pleasure and do not seek paid jobs.

    Votes: 58 29.4%
  • I'm a hobbyist and get paid for my engraving.

    Votes: 26 13.2%
  • I'm a knifemaker and engrave my own knives.

    Votes: 14 7.1%
  • I'm a gunmaker and engrave the guns I build.

    Votes: 9 4.6%

  • Total voters
    197

sam

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Thread starter #1
It'll be interesting to see a cross section of the Cafe membership. Select the one that's best describes you, and feel free to comment if you wish. Your poll choice is not made public.
 

mtgraver

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#2
Sam, interesting poll. I wonder how many folks make the item to be engraved. I primarily will build an item just so I can engrave or carve it. Even though a little outside engraving work comes in the door I would venture to say building is more than half of my time.
Mark
 
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#4
At this time I mostly fit "I'm a hobbyist and do engraving for pleasure and do not seek paid jobs." But also "I'm a knifemaker and engrave my own knives." If I retire this year, I will fit "I'm a hobbyist and desparately need to get paid for my engraving." ;{ )
 
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#5
Not voting as there's one important factor missing ( sorry Sam :) ).

Anyone can be a "full time" engraver and it is EASY to be one if engraving is NOT the only source of income.

There's a difference between a full time engraver who has to engrave to pay all of the bills and one who does not. I'd be curious to know how many of those people are out there and how many are technically retired or moonlight.
 
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sam

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Not voting as there's one important factor missing Sam.

Anyone can be a "full time" engraver and it is EASY to be one if engraving is NOT the only source of income.

There's a difference between a full time engraver who has to engrave to pay all of the bills and one who doesn't.
I know what you mean, Chris. This isn't a serious study. Just something casual that I thought of this morning.
 

BJREBUCK

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#10
I don't fit into any of these catagories. I am primarily a restorator of firearms, usually old ones, and repairing damage to the engraving is a required part of
the task. I don't consider myself an engraver per se, as I am as yet not skilled enough IMO to comfortably address the really high end engraving. I usually send
this work off to one of the pros, if i can find one willing to do the work. It seems very few of the masters are willing to do it.
 

Ray Cover

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#13
Interesting thread Sam.

My full income is from my engraving. Either from the work that comes off my bench or from teaching engraving in one of my classes.

It would be nice to have an outside income (that's why I keep buying powerball tickets;) ). Granted my wife has a job but most guys wives do have jobs and if I weren't married I would still be supporting myself solely from my engraving.

Most of the work is on objects for customers. However, the jobs that are the most fun for me are the jobs where I get to make the object and then engrave it. I really like to make the knife and engrave it or build the fly rod and engrave it, etc.

Chris' comment brings up another point about people's perceptions. If someday I do win that powerball and don't have to work for a living. I wonder if the perception would be that I was less of an engraver because I engraved for the sole enjoyment of it rather than having to make a living with it.

Ray

Ray
 
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#14
Chris' comment brings up another point about people's perceptions. If someday I do win that powerball and don't have to work for a living. I wonder if the perception would be that I was less of an engraver because I engraved for the sole enjoyment of it rather than having to make a living with it.

Ray

Ray

Perception comes from quality and price. Price mostly I think. Simply from observation, it seems that in the "craftsman" type fields of service, working for necessity rather than for luxury leaves very little time for the epic stuff. I would probably have a lot more cool stuff to work on and post if I wasn't so pressed to make money LOL!!

How many questions have we helped answer with respect to "engraving full time" or specifically "Is it possible to make money in engraving?"

When it comes to learning how to prosper in this business, I would be more inclined to listen to the guy who has had his feet held to the fire at one time or another with engraving as his only source of income. He's figured out things with respect to working efficiently and intelligently that the guy living off his lottery winnings doesn't have to.

I'm curious to know why so many engravers live in Mayberry RFD and not in Manhattan. 100+ years ago, full time engravers were wealthy celebrities .... like Hollywood producers today, they traveled in private coaches and had the finest commercial space on the city's most exclusive block. What happened? In another 100 years, will engraving be relegated as a hobby entirely? ... maybe a dead art altogether?

Let's take a lesson from our esteemed jeweler friends and take the intrinsic value, add labor, then double the price (called "profit" ladies and gentlemen) and not have to play the lottery, teach, flip burgers or drive a cab.


This is always a touchy subject and there's always someone with thin skin so as usual, I'll apologize for any offense given, not given or about to be given. I gotta run ................ have fun :)

P.S. I did vote and I wish I could have checked "hobby". It's always an enjoyable place to be. I'm planning a move to much higher cost of living area soon and wonder if it can be accomplished without the need to supplement income or a higher percentage of jewelry engraving. It's fun engraving all sorts of stuff and giving up or doing less of any one would be a bummer ... Sorry Ray, no-one believes anyone would be less of an engraver for whatever reason. Just curious as to the earning potential of one guy at a bench.
 
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Ray Cover

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#15
For me living in Mayberry RFD has more to do with personality than economics. If I had Donald Trumps money I wouldn't live in Manhattan. Two years of living in Manhattan would turn me into a psychopathic homicidal maniac.:mad: It may be for some folks but that would be the end of me.

I need to stay out where the air is fresh and I can stay mellow:cool:
 

Dulltool

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#18
I am a full time firearms engraver :handpiece:...... My families only income comes from engraving guns with a few pocket knives thrown in for fun. I live in Mayberry RFD (Orcas Island WA). My Grandfather was a jewelry engraver :graver: in Chicago (1930) then in Los Angeles (1940-50's) his work depended on jewelry stores in those big cities...... Because of the invention of the computer I can live anywhere. :biggrin:

P.S. I will be getting Social Security starting the first of the year.:happyvise:
 

diandwill

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#19
Full time, self employed Jeweler with a small retail shop. Hand Engraving, mostly on the things I make, is what seperates us from the rest. Wish it was as easy as "take the intrinsic value, add labor, then double the price (called "profit" ladies and gentlemen) and not have to play the lottery". I can't afford to buy the lottery tickets, and much of the time am having a sale. Just started a new radio campaign, got a custom Celtic bracelet order from a Google search, so maybe things are starting to turn. Just finishing our second full year in this wonderful economic climate! Cheers!

p.s. Start geting SS next month! The business is in the wifes name, and we can use the money. I don't get paid anyway! LOL
 

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