Introduction & Gravermeister question

Joined
Oct 11, 2010
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Canada
Thread starter #1
Hi! I am a knifemaker (well a beginning one anyway) that wants to give this engraving thing you guys seem to like so much a try. ;)

I bought a used Gravermeister and small vise from a friend. The vise needs a base and some jaws as you can see. Concerning the Gravermeister, since it hasn't run in a while (how long I have no idea), should I do anything to it like overall cleaning and oiling and changing those old hoses?
Or just leave it alone and run it as is? You know, if it ain't broke don't fix it!





Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

Sam

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#2
Hi Patrice, and welcome to the Cafe.

Contact JB Taylor at GRS about the Gravermeister. He's probably the best person to advise you on this. There are also manuals at GRStools.com if you don't have one. You can reach JB at 800-835-3519.

Cheers / ~Sam
 

BrianPowley

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#3
....and at your local hardware store, you can probably find a solid rubber replacement tire (or wheel) for a push mower that will serve as a base for the vise. They sell them in various diameters...one of 'em gotta fit.
 

mitch

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#4
Hi Patrice-

First of all, speaking for some of us, we don't so much "like" engraving- it's more of a sickness or addiction. I'd recommend avoiding it much like I'd steer a good friend away from any other dangerous substances & activities, but you're gonna to do whatever you're gonna to do, regardless of my sage advice. It's kinda like golf, but without the fresh air, sunshine, exercise, social interaction & other healthy benefits...

With that caveat in mind, the GraverMeister is a sturdy workhorse that with a little regular maintenance will run practically forever. I used one myself for almost 20 yrs. They are an 'oil-lubricated*' system, so you'll need to get in the habit of cleaning the rotary valve, handpiece(s), foot pedal, etc., maybe once a month depending on how often you use it. It's not a big deal- maybe a half hour and a handful of Q-Tips- but it will need done to keep things running smoothly.

*the GraverMax and its evolutionary offspring are dry, 'air-lubricated' systems.

Judging by the picture, I'd suggest having your machine overhauled at the factory if that's not cost prohibitive (I don't know what they charge for that service). Otherwise, just give it a good going over- disassembly of the external stuff, cleaning, oiling/greasing, reassembly (with no parts left over, preferably), maybe replace some tubing, and see how she runs. If you didn't get a manual, GRS has one online here:
http://www.grstools.com/PDF/001-080-GraverMeister_OTM.pdf

Have fun- and don't say I didn't warn you!
 
Joined
Oct 11, 2010
Messages
61
Location
Canada
Thread starter #5
Thanks for the welcome and the tips. I will give the GM a good once over then. Sending it to the factory is not an option as I am in Canada. I'll also go take a look at those mower wheels.

And thanks for the warning Mitch. I tell the same thing to beginners about knifemaking on a few forums. ;) But I think I am already mildly infected by the engraving bug unless things go really bad and it turns out I am totally inapt. :(

Thanks again, glad to be here.
 
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#6
Hi Patrice-

First of all, speaking for some of us, we don't so much "like" engraving- it's more of a sickness or addiction. I'd recommend avoiding it much like I'd steer a good friend away from any other dangerous substances & activities, but you're gonna to do whatever you're gonna to do, regardless of my sage advice. It's kinda like golf, but without the fresh air, sunshine, exercise, social interaction & other healthy benefits...

With that caveat in mind, the GraverMeister is a sturdy workhorse that with a little regular maintenance will run practically forever. I used one myself for almost 20 yrs. They are an 'oil-lubricated*' system, so you'll need to get in the habit of cleaning the rotary valve, handpiece(s), foot pedal, etc., maybe once a month depending on how often you use it. It's not a big deal- maybe a half hour and a handful of Q-Tips- but it will need done to keep things running smoothly.

*the GraverMax and its evolutionary offspring are dry, 'air-lubricated' systems.

Judging by the picture, I'd suggest having your machine overhauled at the factory if that's not cost prohibitive (I don't know what they charge for that service). Otherwise, just give it a good going over- disassembly of the external stuff, cleaning, oiling/greasing, reassembly (with no parts left over, preferably), maybe replace some tubing, and see how she runs. If you didn't get a manual, GRS has one online here:
http://www.grstools.com/PDF/001-080-GraverMeister_OTM.pdf

Have fun- and don't say I didn't warn you!
LOL
 

tdelewis

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#7
I am using a Gravermeister I purchased in 1975. It was updated with a unit to increase the strokes, and the belts have been replaced. The filters need to be replaced if working in a dusty area. Still running as it did 45 years ago.
 

Mattymo

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#8
Hi Patrice-

First of all, speaking for some of us, we don't so much "like" engraving- it's more of a sickness or addiction. I'd recommend avoiding it much like I'd steer a good friend away from any other dangerous substances & activities, but you're gonna to do whatever you're gonna to do, regardless of my sage advice. It's kinda like golf, but without the fresh air, sunshine, exercise, social interaction & other healthy benefits...
Have fun- and don't say I didn't warn you!
Why does that hit so close to home lol. Dont take the red pill otherwise youll walk around towns showing your significant other scrolls and getting the eye roll for the thousandth time.
 

mitch

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#10
"It's kinda like golf, but without the fresh air, sunshine, exercise, social interaction & other healthy benefits..."

I wrote that almost ten years ago and in the last couple days I've considered how accurate the analogy is. Like golf, it's not difficult for a reasonably coordinated beginner to show a little promise at engraving. Hit the occasionally straight shot, cut the straight line, and you get to thinking you can do this! The hook sets a little deeper with every hint of success and failures are cursed but quickly shrugged off.

Here's where the analogy holds especially true- It's pretty easy to reach a 'recreational' level of competence in golf or engraving, but it's really, really hard to get really, really good at either one. But you see the pros do what we do and you can't help wanting to keep trying...
 

monk

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#12
it is an addiction. i do all sorts of commercial engraving, signmaking, oil painting, sculpture, & bla,bla, bla. per unit of time, the commercial work brings in better bucks for me. the hand engraving soothes my soul far better than the comercial dollars. the hand engraving would be the last thing i would give up if i had to slow down.
 
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