Help, please: Help a newb starting his journey from blank

Fetzi_DLL

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Dec 13, 2020
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Good evening everyone, i need your help with.. well, it feels like everything.
After suffering from burnout last year i want to reorientate my profession. Next year i will have an internship as a goldsmith - coming from IT - and since then i am following videos about engraving and kinda felt in love with the craftmanship. And i do not want to sit down and do nothing until this internship, i would like to learn and gain engraving skills.
So i was studying forums and inhaling other information but it kind of felt like there are two opinions: Go with GRS or go with Lindsay. The voices screaming Lindsay were louder and i was kinda sure it would be either Foot or Palmcontrol. But then i joined this forum and found out about Ngraver, Enset and Pulsegraver and was lost again.
Is there anything "superior" i what i should invest if i start new? Pulsegraver seems like the "next generation stuff", Lindsay looks nice for its simplicity and portability (with my Paintballtank for example).
Also which kind of control to go: foot or PC? I am a little worried that the risk of slipping and do unwanted engraving is higher with the PC, but when i learn with this technique from beginning it may not get that much of a problem. + comfort.

Also about vises: I would like to engrave gun replicas, rings, knifes, coins etc. Just go with a cheap one for around 120$? The GRS Ballvise or are there other bang for buck type vises?

Sharpening system: I like the lindsay templates with sharpening stones, so if there is nothing to say about them i think i will go with them.

Microscope: The leica A60 gets recommendet much, but its pretty pricey. My thought would be to start with a cheaper stereomicroscope with a mount that its oriented to the grs mount. But for 300$. Just for the start.

Do you have any other recommendations, things that i need to know or other must haves? For the most part i like to start with good equipment, but i do not have infinite money so i try to prioritise.

To me: I live in germany, so most things are going to be importet, which adds up around 12% and on the sum of that another 16% customs. If there a things to get from Europe, i'll save those taxes. Or if i buy used equipment.

Thanks y'all for reading and have a nice day.
 

monk

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dont start spending money. cash will bring lotsa toys. a saying that has rang thruout the forum. " it's not the tool, rather the hand that guides and controls it. the least expensive tool, the common pencil, is as important as all the toys put together. there's tons of info here and on the net. i'd suggest looking at th top of the page. lots of guidance there for beginners. now that i may have scared you a bit, welcome to the forum. be persistent, and ggod luck in our new journey.
 

Sam

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All the tools made will serve the engraver quite well. There are always tradeoffs, and no system has every feature. I'm a biased GRS guy and have been using their gear for over 30 years. Their systems are proven and on the benches of tens of thousands of engravers, diamond setters, and jewelers around the world. Lindsay's system is far more portable and requires no box on the bench. Like GRS tools, it enjoys a dedicated following, and in the hands of the experience engraver both systems can be used to produce the world's finest work.

The Enset and Pulse systems are the new kids on the block. Talk to their owners and get some feedback. I don't know much about them.

Sharpening systems: GRS is a toolpost sharpener, which to me is very important. Toolpost fixtures can sharpen any graver regardless of length. Template systems require the graver be mounted so it extends out the right amount in order to correctly sharpen. The classic Dual Angle can sharpen gravers and chisels mounted in their wooden handles.

Template systems are quick and easy and you must have a separate one for each graver geometry you wish to sharpen. Adjustable fixtures can dial-in nearly any geometry you can dream of, and you're not locked into one face and heel angle, but they are slightly slower in use. The GRS EasyGraver fixtures are extremely quick and require no adjustment, plus they're toolpost fixtures and can sharpen any length of graver. GRS sharpeners are probably best paired with GRS engraving systems that utilize their QuickChange plug-n-play graver holders. They are made for each other.

GRS tools are available in Germany.

Microscope: Leica is the best and it's expensive. If it breaks the budget, hold off until you can find a used Meiji EMZ-5 which has been the standard of the industry for decades. Japanese made and it's a lifetime microscope. Chinese scopes are hit and miss, have little resale value, and oftentimes very poor optics compared to Meiji, Leica, Zeiss. Consider the fact that you'll be using it for hours on end and your eyes deserve quality optics that won't cause headaches and eye strain.
 

Fetzi_DLL

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Dec 13, 2020
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Thank you very much Sam!

After thinking about everything (again and again) i feel like i would like to go with the Lindsay PC. Just because of the simplicity and the Paintball adapter, so my neighbours won't be upset with compressor noise.
Just one question regarding palm control: I like the Bulino style a lot and this would definetly be one of my (further away) goals to do. Is this also doable with PC or shoud somebody go for a foot pedal in this case?

Regarding the sharpeners: Thanks, this lights up everything a bit. To be more flexible with the toolpost solution.
am i able to combine Lindsay Engraver and GRS sharpener? Will the mount hold the graver and just not the quick change piece so that i have to put in every graver separately?
These are two cheap items i found, has anyone experience or thoughts on them?
Power Hone & Toolpost sharpener.

Regarding the microscope i think i will start without one, learning the lines, curves and so on and add one when i feel comfortable enough.

What can you say about vises? There are cheap ones for 120$, vises for 250$ which have exaclty the same look and perperties like the 120$ just with another pricetag. Then ther's GRS and the others. Should i plan around 600$ to buy one?
 

monk

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the lindsay sharpening system is compatable withthe grs engraving sstems. i own both. the lindsay is good, but the grs dual angle system is better. it allows any geometry to created. the lindsay requires a seperate template for each geometry wanted. i feel grs is a better buy, as it is a "one size fits all" in a single package. jmho
 

Sam

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You get what you pay for. I can't advise buying a Chinese copy of a GRS engraving vise. When you want a proper vise later, it will have no resale value. Buy once, cry once, and you'll have a world class tool.

The PC should work fine for bulino. I don't own one, but the GRS Airtact, which is palm actuated, can certain do it. You might want to check and see how long you can engrave with a paintball tank. I know it can be done but I don't know anyone who actually uses it. Perhaps a scuba tank is a better option?

As far as compatibility of sharpening system between GRS and Lindsay, you'll have to get feedback from those who do this. The way the GRS system works best, is for the gravers to spend their lives in the QC adapters and never be removed after they've been setup and sharpened. QC graver holders plug into the EasyGraver and Apex sharpening fixtures. Removing the graver from the QC holder after sharpening and then replacing it into the QC holder later to resharpen, will most likely result in it being out of zero, especially if it's a round shank graver.
 

Daniel29

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I use the Lindsay PC and really like that tool. Before i was engraving several years with hammer and chisel. I cant tell you if GRS or Lindsay is the better choice since i never compared them. But judging by the work done with both systems there seems to be no real difference. Those tools are designed to support you while doing your work. Without a hand who knows how to work with them, either system does nothing alone - besides some noise maybe ;)

You can run the Lindsay tools with the paintball adapter. But you need a big tank to rund them for a longer time. Do you have a source to refill them everytime you need it? Especially when you want to stipple for a longer time the paintball tank is empty qiuet fast. I think the paintball tank might be a solution for smaller tasks. But as your only source i have my doubts.

Sharpening wise i use the Templates from Steve. But they are designed with a certain length of the blanks in mind. After they become to short it wont work anymore and you need a new blank. Thats a point i keen over to GRS. Their fixtures work even with short blanks. But on the other hand, i engrave since two years with my palm control and i dont have a single blank that comes even close to be to short.

Regarding bulino, i do all my work with a normal push graver when it comes to fine line banknote engraving or dots. You can do this with the Lindsy or GRS tools. But i prefer hand pushing for this task.
 

Sam

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My gravers are all different lengths, and I would not like the limitation of them all having to be the same length in order to sharpen them, and that my sharpening stone must be an exact height in order to do so. But that's just one guy's opinion, so take it for whatever it's worth. Anything can work once you get used to it. As long as the graver's sharp and you have good hand-eye coordination and some artistic sensibilities, the sky is the limit :)
 

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Fetzi_DLL

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Dec 13, 2020
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the lindsay sharpening system is compatable withthe grs engraving sstems. i own both. the lindsay is good, but the grs dual angle system is better. it allows any geometry to created. the lindsay requires a seperate template for each geometry wanted. i feel grs is a better buy, as it is a "one size fits all" in a single package. jmho
Sorry, i am no native english speaker, does this mean that i can use the Lindsay quick change holders and put it in the GRS sharpening system? https://www.horbachtechnik.de/shop/product_info.php?products_id=33891 This one is available in germany. Then i'd buy this and sharpening stones because a power hone form GRS would add up another 1200$ and save that investment for the future.

Okay, thank you all for clearing this up :)

I have a 300bar compressor to fill up my paintball tanks. That one is 1.5l at 300bar/4500psi big. So i could easily refill the tank withing 15 minutes. And if i have 15 minutes of noise for 5 hours of engraving, i am okay with that. addidtionally i could buy a compressor later.
 

Memorymaker

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I have the best of GRS and Lindsay as well as the Pulsegraver. Anyone of these are excellent choices but I really like the Pulsegraver best and you don’t need a compresso.
 

monk

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i'm not sure if the lindsay and grs qc holders are the same. i don't use them. i just use the gravers directly in the sharpener, then to the graver holder. the lindsay tool requires a compressor or a tank of carbon dioxide. i think a paintball tank would soon run out of air. a special regulator is needed to operate with carbon dioxide.
 

CMaddox

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I have the best of GRS and Lindsay as well as the Pulsegraver. Anyone of these are excellent choices but I really like the Pulsegraver best and you don’t need a compresso.
I am trying to decide the same thing currently. Since you have experience with all three, can you tell me why you prefer the pulsegraver? Pros and cons for all three? Thank you
 

Frank P

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hello
as Monk said…..
in my opinion the most important tool ,in the beginning especially, is a simple pencil.
if I was you I should get a try in drawing designs first , and only after you get the taste of it, you can start thinking about other tools.. in the buy and sell section on the forum you often see complete set ups for sale of people who thought becoming good engravers because they bought the best gear… only want to save from another burn out, when you come from a total different profession… not knowing if you have drawing skills, learning engraving is a nice journey, but often a very long one.. and knowing how to put your ideas on paper is the first step..
 
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oniemarc

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If you are going with the Lindsay...and don't want anyone complaining about the compressor noise, get yourself a nice silair 20A to go with it. Your graver will be making way more noise than that compressor will. Mine lasted me 20 years when doing airbrushing. Solid machine for sure. Also saves you on filling up your tanks every so hours.
 

allan621

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1. papermate sharpwriter pencil. I love this because you can advance and retract the lead with just a twist of the point.
2. canson sketchbook.
3.westcott see through transparent ruler
4. eraser because you will have to start over or make adjustments.
5. Sam Alfano's Beginners Guide to Modern Engraving. Available on instant download. Watch a master engrave and get a better understanding of what engraving entails.
6.Start really looking at engravings online. Sometimes it takes the eyes a bit of time before they can discern the really good from the ok good from the almost good to this needs a lot more practice. I give you one of my recent engravings. Its all hand drawn lettering and it looks good to everyone. But - can you see the mistakes? Look at it periodically and the mistakes will be apparent.
7. Don't rush into spending money. And keep this advice in mine. From Monk - start with just drawing. From Sam - buy from reputable manufacturers.
 

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