Hand push engraving demonstration video by Sam


Chief Administrator & Benevolent Dictator
Staff member
Nov 6, 2006
Covington, Louisiana
I’ve completed a short video demonstration of hand-push engraving for those interested. This is not an instructional or how-to video. It’s simply a demonstration but you can certainly learn from it.

The Cafe gets a fair amount of members who are looking for an inexpensive way to start engraving, and this was the main reason for the video. For a relatively small investment you can get a sharpening fixture, a graver or two, a graver handle, and a bench stone, and start cutting. If you prefer to hand sharpen then it’s even less costly.

For my graver I used the GRS EasyGraver fixture to produce the face and 2-3mm heel or lift angle on a 1.8mm carbide graver blank. The fixture makes it a no-brainer as there’s nothing to adjust and it’s extremely accurate. If you use a 3/32” square graver blank then the heel/lift angle can extend quite a bit farther back because the graver is thicker. If you prefer to hand sharpen without the aid of a fixture or use an adjustable fixture that’s fine too. Whatever floats your boat. Just keep in mind that hand sharpening requires considerable practice.

Many people have started with a practice plate attached to a wooden block with is rotated with the fingers or turning on a sandbag. This works, but an engraver’s vise or block is really hard to beat, and that’s what I use in the video.

Ask 50 engravers an engraving related question and you’ll likely get 50 different answers. There is no best geometry or best method for every engraver. What I show is simply what works for me. Your mileage may vary, and no doubt some of you will get better results than I have.

I’d also like to stress that I use a handpiece for 99% of my engraving and I’m pretty rusty with hand pushing of this nature. Back in the day I would have cut this design with hammer & chisel and used a push graver for the shading, but not the main cuts.