Liners are good but high quality engraving is usually done with a regular graver one line at a time. Using liners is generally considered an inferior kind of engraving. Engraving Individual lines from regular gravers allows the engraver greater control of line width and depth, and spacing between lines. Lines executed with a regular graver are more precise and time consuming, and can reveal a greater richness, and variety in line quality in an experienced and capable engravers hands. Thick and thin lines in an experienced engravers hands as the graver is rolled and and straightened along the way can achieve lighting effects, shading, perception of depth and perspective. I'd like to hear from the experienced engravers their opinion of using liners in their work and if they use them judiciously. The lines from liners don't wear as well but for certain types of engraving they are necessary where line depth should be minimal such as plated items where the base metal changes under the plated surface. Also liners are good where the metal is thin and depth of cut should be minimal. The bent liners can be used inside curved objects such as bowls to create a lift that allows the graver to move through the curved surface. In some instances liners can be used to create a decorative effect, texture, and as a filler in lettering. Interesting wriggle effects can achieved with liners by walking and rocking the liner at high or low angles to the surface of the engraved object, creating tight or loose textured line patterning. Wriggling is also generally considered a cheaper form of engraving but when done well is quite masterful. The liner tool may be used on musical instruments where depth of cut on thin instrument metal isn't advantageous. Florentine liners are flat-bottomed tools with multiple lines incised into them, used to do fill work on larger areas. For a Florentine finish, the most popular liner is #18/10 graver used for making parallel lines in backgrounds or to achieve a florentine finish. Specified by widths of cutting edges and number of lines graver will cut in one stroke. Also available in bent styles. https://engraverscafe.com/threads/liner-graver-advice.21093/
Liners are used in western brightcut engraving for very specific cuts and must be learned as part of a very methodical process to achieve the desired result. Viewing tutorials from masters such as Diane Scalese will reveal its unique secrets and beauty.
This is an example of wriggling a liner tool to create background for flare cut scroll. In this example I have wriggled the tool in one direction then wriggled a second time 90 degrees to the first pass.
I agree with Mr. Roberts, NgraveR Co. makes great Liner Gravers.
I would not agree that the Liner Graver is no longer acceptable in modern engraving, or that they are used for inferior work. Much of my work is done on Colt Firearms following the traditional and accepted style of the Old Masters - and they definitely used Liners to embellish their scrolls. I use them for all the applications listed in the commentary above. I used them to detail the scrolls on the Ancranthrosaurus flooplate shown in my recent thread - and I used one today to add matching lettering to a very old trophy sent to me for restoration.
Recently I taught a class at the Marc Adams School and a student brought in a selection of ancient gravers found at a yard sale. He had paid $5 for the lot (and the cigar box they came in). As I picked through them one caught my eye. It was a liner, and it was unique in its design and construction; I had never seen one like this before. This liner had 9 teeth, it is 2mm wide, and it has a triangular body that is bent through its entire length. My fascination must have shown, because the student said, "Go ahead, please, pick one out for yourself." I thanked him and walked back to my desk with this special little Liner.
I sharpened it in my traditional manner, a 45 degree slightly rounded face with the teeth blunted at 0 degrees at the end. I found this tool to be very hard, and under close examination, appears to have been hand-worked into its triangular configuration. It is English made, and I love the way it cuts fine delicate lines. Although I've I have used it over the past few months, I did change out the wooden handle and now use it with air power. It's one my favorite gravers !
I had bought these needle files when i started my apprenticeship some 35 years ago.
They are of excellent quality. I almost cried when i snapped
one, they are hard and still almost like new.
I hope the pictures come out
I have many old gravers from all over,Studs,Vautier,John Sellers & Son's,Brand,Renard,Ezra F. Bowman & Co. and Johnson.I bought three box's of gravers from a clock repair shop in old town Manassas Virginia years ago. J.J.
i agree. i used to buy old graver lots on the bay. many were just barely usable, but of the good ones, it allowed me to have many different geometries/shapes/sizes that i otherwise may never have acquired. except for n-graver liners, all mine came from the lots on the bay.