I'm just a beginner....

alwayslearning2012

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Well, Kinda.

I'm getting better with control of the handpiece, but still not where I want to be. If anyone can recommend a graver material that will stand up better than C-Max to Pure Stainless, I'd like to know.

I procured this tag from my current work place. (with the owner's permission, of course. It was the wrong label, and he was going to throw it out)

I had just got my handpiece back from GRS, so I thought I would give it a spin.

My initial plan was to take a V-graver and just remove the laser work. It didn't take long, (seconds, actually) to know my C-max 105, was no match for this tag. But I was determined.

After much sharpening, and little time under the scope, this is the final result.

For the reverse, I had carefully prepared 3 105's to finish it to the end. Needless to say, they didn't quite make it.

The line at the bottom (which I started from the right) got me through until you get to that "mess". That is where I could see the graver had no life left. So I got one of the used ones, and finished it up.

P.S. Layne was right. It IS difficult to photograph engraving work, So if anyone has suggestions for that, as well,
that would be a bonus.
 

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T.G.III

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For the hard stainless I use HSS, still spend a lot of time sharpening, difference between HSS and Cobalt type hard gravers is that HSS gets dull versus the hard gravers fracturing, it actually reduces cutting time.

Also have read that increasing the face angle helps as well as dubbing the point.

I don't muck with the rest, just HSS gravers for the hard stainless.

YMMV
 

alwayslearning2012

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For the hard stainless I use HSS, still spend a lot of time sharpening, difference between HSS and Cobalt type hard gravers is that HSS gets dull versus the hard gravers fracturing, it actually reduces cutting time.

Also have read that increasing the face angle helps as well as dubbing the point.

I don't muck with the rest, just HSS gravers for the hard stainless.

YMMV
Thanks for replying. Since I have time, or at least think I do, I'll run point and "muck with the rest"

I'll let you know how it turns out. And BTW, any advice for photography?
 

dhall

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T.G.III called it correctly; a steeper face angle, 50 or even 55 degrees will hold up better, and dubbing the point of the graver will help. Plenty of threads describe techniques for dubbing the point.

Unless you've eliminated the vast majority of the ability for the work piece to vibrate, it's an open invitation for carbide to crumble/fracture. The tougher, less brittle HSS can be a better choice.

Best regards,
Doug
 

T.G.III

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I would offer a small tidbit of advise, looking at that practice plate that you have pictured it looks as though you are trying to push the handpiece through the work, relax and let the tool do the work.

Some threads on photography that helped me tremendously

 

Meshach

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I feel that "pure stainless" is perhaps not the best term here as stainless steel is an alloy metal and there are several blends that could be referred to, although that's a topic for someone with more knowledge of metallurgy than myself.

you can have a piece with near soft properties in one section that has other sections that are work hardened to a point that is nearly unworkable.

I am working on a Ruger Mk II pistol that is stainless, the barrel was a dream to cut and I don't think I had to sharpen my tools more than a couple of times in 30+ hours of cutting time, I switched over to the action and I was lucky to get 5-10 mins out of a tool and was unfortunate enough to have tips break on the first cut, dubbing points did result in longer life of the tool (maybe as far as 15 min but it also had a different feel and a less purchase in light cuts, that is to say in some cases it would almost slip until I had enough cut depth, for part of the process that wasn't a horrible problem because I was doing relief cutting of background but when it came to the line shading I went back to the sharp point and just accepted the need to resharpen more often. I am now working on the frame which is softer than the action was but still harder than the barrel..
Another option that I have started doing in place of dubbing the point is to create a small flat cutting edge on the bottom of the tool, just a tiny thing or the flat cut becomes noticable in the bottom of the cut, I started doing this after making a larger flat on the bottom of the angled tool to do background relief.


I have tried 5 different tool steels they are ( in my opinion..)
Listed by sharpness of cut

M-40 cobalt
Lindsay's carbalt
C-max
Lindsay's HSS
Glensteel

Listed by brittleness
M-40
C-max
Lindsay's Carbalt
Lindsay's HSS
Glensteel

The M-40 is almost too brittle for my taste at least for use in stainless and in honesty is something I got early on in my engraving devers as it was inexpensive and I could make a variety of different gravers to get the knack for sharpening and see what I liked and didnt like.. however it does give clean cuts.
The Carbalt is nice cut but has a similar problem of being brittle although not as bad, but due to the added cost when I order with the handpiece I only have a couple to play around with.

The glensteel Is my preferred choice for most of my general shaping for my background removal right now as it doesn't chip very ofter even when cutting a tight radius (which admittedly is where most of, but not all of, my tips chip..) it does dull rather quickly, but it's a lot faster to re sharpen the cutting edges than to recut a chipped point.

I have nothing against the C-max cut on the stainless but everything I have used besides the glensteel chips *shrugs* part of the nature of the beast I guess.

All that being said
I have been continuing to use all or at least most of them because with the fixture I use it takes only a couple minutes to resharpen each while I'm at it and it's less frustrating then resharpening every time a tool chips or goes dull. Plus you get a feel for what and where you can and can't make different gravers work..

I am working with 90 and 120 degree cutting edges and approximately 15 deg lift and 45 face angles.. I don't really have a good reason that I have not changed my face angle except that is the way I built my fixtures.. but it is easy enough to change that so maybe I will throw that wrench into the cogs right now as I am about to sharpen tools...

Man, when I start rambling... Sorry for the lengthy post.
 

oniemarc

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For stainless...your control needs to be as perfect as you can get it. Your gravers will not be able to stand even the slightest wobble of your hand, it will simply break/chip the tip of your graver. The lines you cut on the mountains should be no problem whatsoever in stainless. Or...at least not in the right stainless. Some are just horrible to cut as stated above.
As a beginner, I would try and stay away from stainless untill you have a solid control of your handmovements. Gradually move up in hardness of the material you are engraving. And..be prepared to be de-motivated every time you get to a harder metal

Marc
 

alwayslearning2012

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Thanks all for replying. Firstly, I know I can make better cuts the those. I just thought I'd place some really embarrassing work out there from the start. That way it will make anything look like progression. :)

I'm not gonna quote all the seemingly great advice I've been given. So I'll take them one at a time;

To: T.G III- Thanks for the photography link, It gave me inspiration for something to try out. You are a keen observer. I was forcing the handpiece. Every time I cut I try to remind myself to relax. I don't really know if it's
natural instinct that makes one want to add force. I'm still battling.

To: Doug; (if I may call you that). I don't think I'm at this stage of my journey, I might want to try out different face angles. Although.... I have some C-max 1.8 mm blanks. (ten actually). I think it was a Ken Hunt video that showed the narrower the angle, the darker the reflection of the cut to the un-aided human eye. I plan to sharpen these to 80, 70, 60, 50 and 45. There are 2 each. I was toying with the idea of 2 different face angles. like maybe 50 and 60. Just to see how they cut. But since I'm sharpening by hand, this is going to be quite the challenge. And I want to experience the effort that it took those engravers so long ago to create a working graver. One like Aegidius Sadeler, for example.

To: Meshach: I didn't think you were rambling. Quite the contrary. I found your advice to be enlightening.
I do have some glensteel gravers. One is a 90 blank, and the other I made on my first attempt at sharpening with an Apex fixture, but didn't really know what I was doing. Int the end, I did think I might have a better result using Glensteel on stainless.

And Lastly,

To: Oniemarc: It took a lot of time for me to get those gravers in usable condition. So I will be staying
away from stainless for sometime.

Thanks all for taking the time.

AL12
 

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