Help needed, any advice and suggestions, please help.

Jgokey85

New Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2020
Messages
1
Hello All. My name is Jessica. I am an artist, I do Native American beadwork, graphic design, and drawing. I have recently wanted to expand my artist medium and decided on engraving. I recently got funding to purchase supplies and tool. My main objective is to teach myself how to hand push engrave. I would like to use copper and silvers to engrave into. Small things at first, small copper discs, silver discs, etc. I have no idea what to purchase. I have seen a lot of tools and it’s overwhelming. I would to know what you all suggest to purchase to get started. I don’t want to uses any type of machines, although I have seen some fancy sharpening set-ups. Anyways any advice or suggestions would be great. I have looked on many websites but not really knowing what I need it’s very confusing. I appreciate your time.
 

Leonardo

:::Pledge Member:::
::::Pledge Member::::
Joined
Jan 9, 2008
Messages
618
Location
Cordoba - Argentina
Hi Jessica, welcome to the Cafe!

Perhaps your best first inversion would be to get some classes. You will have the opportunity to know the tools and what they are intended for.
Then you will be able to decide what tools suit your needs best.
All the best on your new and fascinating endeavor!
 

John B.

:::Pledge Member:::
::::Pledge Member::::
Joined
Nov 9, 2006
Messages
3,625
Location
Los Angeles area, California.
Welcome to the Cafe Forum Jessica, and the wonderful word of engraving.
You might add your general location to your forum bio and maybe a near by engraver will invite you and give some help you some help with your questions.
A search of the forum will bring up info on metal suppliers. You might start with Rio Grande in N.M.
They have a big catalog. Precision Metals is another online source.
 
Last edited:

DanM

Elite Cafe Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2006
Messages
186
Location
Minnesota
Hello All. My name is Jessica. I am an artist, I do Native American beadwork, graphic design, and drawing. I have recently wanted to expand my artist medium and decided on engraving. I recently got funding to purchase supplies and tool. My main objective is to teach myself how to hand push engrave. I would like to use copper and silvers to engrave into. Small things at first, small copper discs, silver discs, etc. I have no idea what to purchase. I have seen a lot of tools and it’s overwhelming. I would to know what you all suggest to purchase to get started. I don’t want to uses any type of machines, although I have seen some fancy sharpening set-ups. Anyways any advice or suggestions would be great. I have looked on many websites but not really knowing what I need it’s very confusing. I appreciate your time.
It depends on what designs you want to engrave. A few simple accent lines or a complicated design? 2 or 3 engraver shapes will do almost everything,maybe post a design you would like to try. Example with flat and square graver used.
ts01b.jpg
 

Chujybear

Elite Cafe Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2011
Messages
985
Location
Haida Gwaii
I would suggest hammer and chisel.. i tried it a few years back when my hand was injured and was amazed at how easy it was.. not to give false expectations, i had already been push graving and doing reppouse for years, so my perspective on easy is worth questioning.. but in other words, it seemed like it offered up an amount of safety and control that is difficult at first with push.. the difference is that your lines are not absolutely smooth. But its not like they are choppy either, they are exactly correspondent to how hard you tap your hammer.. and it is a look that, if you intend to bring what you know from beading into your engraving, might suite your aesthetic.
If you do prefer the smoother aesthetic of the pushed lines, you can do a pass over your work after you have hammered it out..
all that said, i barely ever use hammmer and chisel these days, but i do wish somebody would have showed me early on.
I feel like i am hard selling hammer and chisel.. don’t get me wrong, i love to push grave.
If you want to push, you probably just need a 90 graver.. take the time to really teach yourself to sharpen it, and you will need a proper ball vise. If there is a place to really spend money early on, it would be on a good quality, moderately heavy (i would not suggest one of the mini vises, if you are going to have just one vise.. a victor, or GRS vise would be a good choice... the mini vise is still an option if you think you will be carving and travelling a lot.... tho when i do i just drop my work to a dowel). If you do go with a hammer and chisel option, you don’t necessarily need a ball vise right away, just a regular vise will provide you.. you can look up how the guys who specialize in hammer and chisel do it, but basically they put a vise up high on a pedestal and walk around their work as the chase their lines.. bisedes a static vise, you will want (probably) a chasers hammer... you van shape your gravers out of files, which is great.. you can also get square profile graver blanks , which seems to be the industry standard these days, and most of the characters in this forum (myself among them) use those. For hammer and chisel, you can then fix those square blanks, either permanently in a wooden handle of your own making, or there are commercial handles available where you can easily switch out tips. (Note: i can actually see an ad on my page as i type for sam alfanos hammer and chisel kit.. i haven’t seen it before, but it being from sam Alano, it’s probably about as good a setup as you can hope to find)
I f you’ve got the money tho, it will serve you sooner or later to have a proper engraving ball...
 

dogcatcher

Elite Cafe Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2013
Messages
481
Location
Abilene TX Ruidoso NM
These 3 links, study them, the more you know about the process of sharpening, the easier this trip will be. First one is a basic knifemkaers engraving course, that gives you the basics of engraving in a simplified format. The second is Sam's I Graver series on on sharpening, again sharpening is a big percentage of getting there on this trail. The third, another link about sharpening. The other drawing, I assume by your background you have that skill.

Simple Engraving for Knifemakers - Fit and Finish - Bladesmith's Forum Board
Sam Alfano's Tips & Tricks for Hand Engravers - Graver Sharpening (igraver.com)
Graver Sharpening – Antique Firearms Restoration Blog (cablesfarm.co.uk)

My suggestion, do not buy anything until you have the understanding of sharpening down and the basics of how engraving is done. I found I bought stuff I did not need, I used it, but it was not needed.
 

monk

Moderator
Staff member
::::Pledge Member::::
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
10,169
Location
washington, pa
welcome, jessica. please show your first few attempts. if any boo boos show, some of us surely will attempt to set you on the right path. the advice on spending is spot on. you likely will need very little money to achieve your goal. good luck
 

John B.

:::Pledge Member:::
::::Pledge Member::::
Joined
Nov 9, 2006
Messages
3,625
Location
Los Angeles area, California.
Thank you for posting your Los Angeles general location Jessica.
I'm in Gardena, CA. and maybe able to help you.
Will private message you through the forum.
 
Top