Bank note portrait graver.

jerrywh

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I have been buying and studying bank note portraits. The cuts on bank note style engraving seems t ohave been done with some sort of onglet as apposed t oa square graver. Can anybody enlighten me on this. I read a discussion involving Berry Lee Hands about this but it was never decided. Bank note is very different than Bolino.
 

John B.

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Hello Jerry.
Can't speak for all but the late, great Bob Swartley used a square graver for his portraits and for his printing plates.
As you know, Bob also cut very fine detailed plates for printing fine wine labels as well as his art prints. For most things Bob used a square with a very short heel.
 

Mike Dubber

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I still have the gravers we made in Bob Swartley's class at Trinidad State Jr. College, Colorado, during the circa 2000 NRA Summer Program. They are square, no heel...and I still use them.
 

jerrywh

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Yes. some of the cuts look like they may have been done with a square graver. I really admired Bob Swartley's work. I have done some etching and have seen some very fine examples but so far I am not convinced the t the banknote stuff is etched. I think it is cut.
I have as many or more examples than was shown so far. I'm going to learn this if I live long enough. It's a race against time.
Thanks Mike. Your a treasure. By the way I found a great desk lamp. 10 different intensities and three different colors it is much better than a ring lamp.
Rodger. I got your books and will look some of them up. Thanks.
 

Mike Dubber

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I agree - I just bought two new LED Lamps for my workstations - expensive, but wonderful. These Luxors have 270 LED bulbs with a diffuser screen, and the intensity is adjustable from light to BRIGHT!
 

Stefan

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Bob Swartley and his works are featured in my first two books, American Engravers (1980) and American Engravers-The 21st Century (2010).
Thank you! I'll go to the bookstore.
They know that the literature on engraving art interests me.
 

JJ Roberts

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The Story of American Bank Note Company by William H. Griffiths will explain everything you want to know about bank note engraving & printing,Paul Revere engraved & printed the Sword Hand Money thirty six-shilling.Paul Revere was the bank note engraver 1775. J.J.
 

John B.

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Just a follow up.
Bob Swartley liked to make his gravers from 3/32 inch MoMax blanks.
He shaped and sharpened his gravers using a GRS Power Hone and diamond laps.
His power hone was modified by attaching a flat steel strip to each long side of the case.
The top of the strips were at the same height as the top of the diamond lap.
Bob did not use a graver sharpening fixture. He used a piece of 1/8 inch drill rod that spanned the steel strips. He projected the graver out over the drill rod far enough and at the desired angle to contact the lap surface. This way he could very easily vary the grind angles without needing to take the graver blade out of the push handle for a quick touch up.
Later, Bob had Ray LaTournoue (sp) make him push handles with a V-groove and set screw.
 
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jerrywh

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J.J. I have that book but it does not give info on the engraving techniques or details such as graver geometry. I doubt if anybody who knows is going to give up that info. It would have to be some engraver that works doing bank note style. This may be something that one must teach themselves. If anybody progresses far enough in any field thay come to a point when they must teach themselves I think.
JB. Thanks for the info. I think McKenzie sharpened something like that. Only someone like you would know things like that
 

JJ Roberts

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Jerry,I thought the history of the Bank Note Company would be interesting to members of the forum,but do know someone who worked at the Bureau of Printing & Engraving and will try to find the geometry,I remember she told me the graver she used to do the portraits had no heel. J.J.
 

Dave London

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Jerry
As a side note Mr Madden told us the apprenticeship the bureau of engraving was 10 years. And I thought 6 to be a master plumber was long.
 
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