Does the act of engraving harden the metal

Nucrona

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May 4, 2022
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I am new to engraving but I have noticed that widening a groove is harder than engraving it.
maybe I am doing something wrong, I have been reading about engraving, sharpening, heat treating, etc but it still seems more difficult to widen a groove than to engrave it the first time.
 

AllenClapp

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Aug 7, 2019
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If you are cutting deeper to widen the groove, you are cutting longer sides on each side, so you should expect more resistance. If you are cutting only one side (and deeper), it will probably feel like more resistance due to the effort to keep the graver only on that side. If you are laying the graver over to make a wide cut on one side, you will often feel more resistance than a simple cut. In theory, the graver hits would ever so slightly harden the metal beneath the cut, but most of the energy is used breaking the chip away from the base metal and not impacting the metal underneath. The energy from the graver hits is mostly directed forward; only a little is directed downward.
 

mitch

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What material are you engraving? The only metal I’ve ever noticed work hardens on the first pass is some types of stainless steel and it’s usually hardly noticeable.
 

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