Question: Graver heels

S&w right

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Feb 14, 2021
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Ok, newby question
What angle and length should the heel be on gravers. I’ve read where longer heels for straight lines and short for non-straight lines. Is there a general consensus on an average length?
thanks in advance
 

Antipop.piercings

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I am brand spanking new to this but I have read a few books, watched hours of videos and called Rex Pedersen to ask about heel function myself. I will do my best as I've just conquered graver sharpening and not much more.
On a fresh face about 4 swipes across each side on 600g diamond at 15 degree is good starting point. It can be blunter/higher like 20deg to strengthen tip n harder metal or lower for preference. You could do more than 4 swipes (back&forth) to achieve longer heel. The length is good for straight lines as mentioned by you but could tear trailing edge when turning past certain tolerance/depth. Onglette are used for cutting straight lines too but I've no practical experience with application on jobs. Rex said a final face on the very tip is important to preserve the tip strength. ith graver handle up at about 60 to 80deg lightly brush across plate. If you youtube "GRS Rex" you'll see episode with him. He's open to calls from scratchers like me and will also refer you back here. Hope this isn't a burden but not quite a blessing.
 

Daniel29

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I use around 1/4 mm and i think this is considered a good length. But i bet no one is measuring how long they have made their heels. It is more the experience what works best for you. With the time you wont look at it anymore. I use the same heel length for curves and lines and it works well for me. To be honest, i cant imagine that any engraver have different gravers with heels for straight lines or curves laying on the bench.

The heel angle is somewhere between 15 to 20 degree. But there are different sharpening templates and fixtures that will make things a lot easier for you. GRS sells them as well as Steve Lindsay. Dont ask which one is better, they both will guide you to a perfect shaped graver each time you need it. They work different but the result is basically the same.
 

S&w right

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Thank you both for your replies. I’m sure I’ll have more newby questions lol
 

Chujybear

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I am brand spanking new to this but I have read a few books, watched hours of videos and called Rex Pedersen to ask about heel function myself. I will do my best as I've just conquered graver sharpening and not much more.
On a fresh face about 4 swipes across each side on 600g diamond at 15 degree is good starting point. It can be blunter/higher like 20deg to strengthen tip n harder metal or lower for preference. You could do more than 4 swipes (back&forth) to achieve longer heel. The length is good for straight lines as mentioned by you but could tear trailing edge when turning past certain tolerance/depth. Onglette are used for cutting straight lines too but I've no practical experience with application on jobs. Rex said a final face on the very tip is important to preserve the tip strength. ith graver handle up at about 60 to 80deg lightly brush across plate. If you youtube "GRS Rex" you'll see episode with him. He's open to calls from scratchers like me and will also refer you back here. Hope this isn't a burden but not quite a blessing.
I’ll do a fair cry less than four swipes... i’ll Travel about 1/2” to 1” on 2000 grit, to a porcelain Lapp.. and that’s lots for me.
A little more if i am cutting strictly straight lines for a bit
 

MariaB

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Jan 26, 2021
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I am also at the beginner stage and trying to figure much of this out. So grateful for this forum!! Can someone recommend a way to put a design on a blue gun? More specifically - a design prior to beginning the engraving process? With Gratitude, MariaB
 

ByrnBucks

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I am also at the beginner stage and trying to figure much of this out. So grateful for this forum!! Can someone recommend a way to put a design on a blue gun? More specifically - a design prior to beginning the engraving process? With Gratitude, MariaB
Welcome MariaB, Sam Alfano “our benevolent dictator“ sells a magical concoction called “transfer wax”. I’m a beginner as well and it seems to be the most versatile and user friendly product out there. Used in conjunction with tracing paper, a reverse image of your design and pencil lead you can rub a well drawn layout onto anything you wish. Hope this helps, you will find plethora of helpful people and archived information on this forum.
 

jerrywh

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Some of the best engravers in the world don't use any heal at all. But I know this for sure. You can't cut a small curve with a long heal but you can cut any line with a short one. Most of the heels on my gravers are neatly imperceptible. They are rarely longer than .015 and mostly shorter.
 

monk

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that's one thing i learned on this forum. when a beginner, i gave little thought to heels. i did some really junky work as well. the last heel touchup i did-- don't really know. i found nearly invisible was the best for me.
 

dcurrie911

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I was curious so I measured mine. 0.010 was long/big. Typical was 0.006. Bulino was 0.003.

Dan
 

MariaB

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Welcome MariaB, Sam Alfano “our benevolent dictator“ sells a magical concoction called “transfer wax”. I’m a beginner as well and it seems to be the most versatile and user friendly product out there. Used in conjunction with tracing paper, a reverse image of your design and pencil lead you can rub a well drawn layout onto anything you wish. Hope this helps, you will find plethora of helpful people and archived information on this forum.
Thanks a million! This is very helpful! Warmest thanks, Maria
 

Dave London

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Maria
The usual practice is to take the gun apart and remove the blueing before engraving. This may sound strange to you but I use a toilet bowl cleaned brand name the Works that will remove the bluing. Enjoy your engraving adventure
 
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