Question: n-graver Magnagraver for Pave / Stone Setting

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Oct 16, 2014
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Thread starter #1
Hi Folks,

I should probably do a quick intoduction as this is my first post having just joined the forum. I'm a hobbyist jeweler based in Melbourne Australia and I've been looking at purchasing a setup for stone setting, specifically channel setting and pave. I'm pretty clear on the techniques but every example I've seen is of people using a pneumatic engraver of some sort with classic shaped handpiece (Lyndsay/GRS/EnSet). Unfortunately these don't fit into my budget as being in Australia it seems everything is double the price!

My question would be has anyone used a Magnagraver for pave setting and does the handpiece shape make it more awkward in that it's not a classic shape that fits into the palm, it seems more of a hammer handpiece shape? I've scoured Google but can't find any video or pictorial examples of cutting these types of settings so thought I'd ask in the forum.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks!

Andrew.
 

monk

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#2
no mistake about the magnagraver, it is a good tool. for your needs, i don't think hand slippage would be a problem. i used one for some time to engrave steel, brass , and other metals as well. never having set but one stone,it was done with a gravermeister. i'd suggest you contact ray phillips. i think he would give you the total capabilities of this tool. i sold mine as i found no favor with the tool being attached to a flexshaft. other than that, i might still have the tool.
 

Jan Hendrik

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#3
I can't give you advice on the magna graver as I have never used one myself. The handle shape may be why you can't find any examples or videos of people using it for pave and channel setting. My suggestion is to first learn pave setting with hand push gravers before you bite the bullet and buy a power assist graver of any brand. This will give you an in depth understanding of setting techniques of pave and channel. There are some things that youtube videos cant give you such as the feel of the graver in your hand, the angle of attack, resistance of different types of metal, how hard to push, control of the tool etc. This all comes with practise, lots and lots of practise. The Lyndsay, GRS and Enset systems are all quality tools and worth their price in my opinion. While you practise with hand push tools you can save up for a pneumatic graver. I have a tutorial available on the Lyndsay site of star pave and I am working on another tutorial on shared bead pave which takes through the steps of doing these types of settings with both hand push as well as pneumatic engravers.
 
Joined
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Thread starter #4
Thanks for the feedback, that sounds like some good advice that I start with some hand push tools. I think I've been spoilt watching all the examples on youtube of setting with the pneumatic systems. There's literally no second hand market for engraving gear in Australia which is a shame but on the upside a set of new gravers and some handles won't break the bank. It's been hard to find any example footage of hand push pave (other than star) so I'll have to keep an eye out for your shared bead video Jan.
 

Haraga.com

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#5
Andrew, your best friend setting stones will be sharp gravers no matter if you are doing it by hand or using a machine.
 
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#6
Andrew , Haraga gave you some of the best advice I have heard given on this forum. When it comes to engraving stone setting having a graver that is sharp and shaped properly is the most important thing anyone can do. I think once we become proficient we forget to stress the importance of the properly sharpened tool.

If the graver isn't done correctly and not sharp it will not matter what tool you use it isn't going to work well. this holds true for many other forms of work from stone to wood.

Haraga I like your no nonsense approach when it comes to giving advice you are always spot on.

Chris
 

Southern Custom

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#8
My humble opinion that the magna graver, while it might serve fine for general engraving, is not the ideal tool for stone setting. Your money would be better spent on a Standard GRS engraving vise with a ring holding fixture. That and some good sharp gravers are all you need. I used the magna graver around 20 years ago for a bit and the flex shaft limits mobility too much in this application. It could help with some of the initial roughing out but when it comes to setting and trimming, a sharp graver and your hands are all you need.
 

Gemsetterchris

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#9
You can do all setting styles by hand to a great standard.
Just takes abit longer cutting bits several times rather than once or twice with airpower.
 

Jan Hendrik

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#10
You can do all setting styles by hand to a great standard.
Just takes abit longer cutting bits several times rather than once or twice with airpower.
That is very true! I have a Lindsay classic graver system and I still prefer to do most of my setting work with regular hand push gravers. 19 year old habits die hard I guess. Lol!
 
Joined
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Thread starter #11
Thanks for the additional input folks. Haraga: that sounds like some key advice there. I've seen several videos of hand sharpening gravers and was assuming I'd opt for a jig of some sort + Arkansas stone as I'm not sure I trust the angles I'd get by hand alone! It's encouraging to hear that many of you are still hand pushing and favor it for many tasks. I have a ball vice so that's a start and plan to get a ring clamp. I'm sure there'll be plenty of trial and error!
 
Joined
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#12
My first exposure to engraving was with the N-Graver, and a fellow bench jeweler had one for the shop. I could never make it obey (I lack experience and skills). When I started to be more serious with graver setting of gems I got the basic kit from Gesswein with a sample brass plate and 4-5 gravers. I managed OK, but when I took a class from Sam and learned in that 5 days at GRS how to use the GraverMax (he called my gravers - "chisels") a whole new approach to engraving occurred. I have been engraving now for about 10 years, and still have a long way to go to be up to the level of most of the folks on this forum. Air assisted engraving and a microscope has opened the book for me on a whole new medium. Find someone who has a GRS system or Lindsay, and try it. You'll save every penny up to purchase what you'll need, and you will not regret it - EVER.
 

Gemsetterchris

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#13
If you have ball vise, you won't need a ring clamp (maybe some inside holders). Also I'd put a microscope before a airtool ( if you don't already have).

Any of the airtools will be a good investment, they'll speed up the cutting & keep it neat alot more easily, but other than that you can still do it by hand..apart from the cutting bit I never use power ( besides occasional hammering).
 

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