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TheSterlingFox

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I work in Sterling Silver and have decided I can go no further in my craft without engraving. I have the opportunity to receive a $4,000.00 bonus for purchasing tooling and supplies to expand my business. I am very impressed with the Lindsay line of graving tools and accessories. I have learned from several blogs not to purchase prior to training for beginners but the $4G would cover what I want and it has to be spent on the tools or it gets rescinded. What is the best place to start for beginning instruction?
 

Sam

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I work in Sterling Silver and have decided I can go no further in my craft without engraving. I have the opportunity to receive a $4,000.00 bonus for purchasing tooling and supplies to expand my business. I am very impressed with the Lindsay line of graving tools and accessories. I have learned from several blogs not to purchase prior to training for beginners but the $4G would cover what I want and it has to be spent on the tools or it gets rescinded. What is the best place to start for beginning instruction?

Welcome to the Cafe.

I'm a totally biased GRS user and instructor, and I will say that GRS offers the highest quality of training that you can find anywhere. They will begin taking registrations on Dec 3rd for beginner's classes.

As for purchasing tools before training - regardless of who teaches you - it's easy to make expensive mistakes so if you can hold off until afterward is often a much safer bet. Right now you don't really know what you need.
 

Jonathan.Silas

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Either the Lindsey or the GRS tools will serve you in good stead. I purchased my tooling first before I knew what I was doing and have had time to regret that decision.
Grs training center has been on my have to do list for ages, I purchased Diane Scalese western bright cut video and I've been aching to take a class from her ever since.

If you absolutely must use the funds before years end absolutely do so. Get your big ticket items, like your vice and pneumatic equipment, possibly silent compressor, then you can buy gravers and sharpening equipment when you find out what you like best. So long as you stick with a good brand you will not be to horribly astray
 

Doctorslava

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I think there are some tools everybody should have no matter what kind of engraving they do. I mean sharpening setup is absolutely crucial. Add to this a Leica microscope and you may not have left enough from $4K for other components. And I even not started with a size and type of engraving vise, gravers, compressor etc. Just a thought.
 

SamW

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I don't know what kind of vision support you use...at 77 I still find an optivisor more than adequate for my engraving which is fairly detailed. I find a 'scope too confining as I like to put a little body English into the cutting.

While I do use an airgraver classic from Steve, I have used both his and GRS equipment (gravermeister for 30 years) and their latest equipment and either will serve wonderfully!

Take the classes first...no better place than GRS for that.
 

monk

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one thing to note about grs goodies, they last, and last, well you get the picture don't be fooled on ebay by foreign-made knockoffs. most of this stuff will bring more grief than joy !
 
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papart1

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Sam......to elaborate on the "body english" I use it to jerk my scope around to follow my cuts due to the fact I have no centering device yet.
 

TheSterlingFox

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I don't know what kind of vision support you use...at 77 I still find an optivisor more than adequate for my engraving which is fairly detailed. I find a 'scope too confining as I like to put a little body English into the cutting.

While I do use an airgraver classic from Steve, I have used both his and GRS equipment (gravermeister for 30 years) and their latest equipment and either will serve wonderfully!

Take the classes first...no better place than GRS for that.
Thank you SamW, Most of my work is done with just my readers but my optivisor is close at hand! 75 in Jan.
 

John B.

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I became a slave to the microscope in 1982 and I'm not saying that's a good thing. SamW does amazing work with his headset magnifier and so does Winston Churchill and a slew of European engravers. Me, I can't work without the dang thing.
Well said and reasoned Sam, it's a personal need thing.
 

JJ Roberts

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I had a microscope and found it hard to engrave using it and use an optivisor also stand while engraving. J.J.
 
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SamW

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Fox...the optivisors are diopters same as reading glasses...not true magnifiers but allow closer focus. I use the #10 lens Optivisor which is (I think) 3.75 dioter and focuses at about 4 inches...so yes, I get right into my work as commented by Alain Lovingberg when I took his 2012 Master class at GRS. Everyone else had 'scope setups but GRS adjusted my station so the vise was high enough for me to work without bending over. Positioning is very important no matter which method you use.
 

mitch

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IIRC, Lynton McKenzie once said that if his microscope was ever lost, broke, or stolen, he wouldn't engrave anything until it was replaced. I'm of a very like mind. Occasionally I'm forced to work without it if an object is too large or awkward to get in my vise under the scope, or maybe requires too much working over & around the curve, like filing checkering, but I DO NOT LIKE TO.
 

allan621

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I was curious what you're going to be engraving. If you're working in sterling silver jewelry then your needs might be different from someone working on larger sterling silver horse or rodeo pieces. If you are going to be doing lettering you will need different tools than doing western or scroll engraving.

There are two key things to the process of getting good engraving equipment. The first is to buy good quality basic parts. I have a GRS block, a lindsay foot pedal airgraver, a TW white power hone, and a leica a60 microscope with the acrobat stand. All high quality pieces and haven't had a lick of problems with any of them. Don't be tempted to buy knock off merchandise. It usually isn't worth it.

But it is worth it to keep an eye on the classifides, buy and sell forum on the cafe. You can usually save a bit of money on good equipment that will continue to preform well. Might not look shiny but you just need pieces that work. Kind of like buying a decent car with 40,000 miles on it. It may not look great but if it comes from a good manufacturer and had decent maintenance it should keep going for a while.

The other thing is asking a lot of questions. Everyone has opinions but do they have a reason for their opinions? I bought the Lindsay tool for one great reason. I didn't have room on my bench where I worked for the gravermeister box. That simple. When I started engraving I bought the GRS block when I realized it had better weight and shape than my borrowed Victor engraving block and have been using it for over thirty years. I may have oiled it once, but that's it.

Four thousand dollars is a lot of money. Its costs too much to buy things on a whim. Let people know what you are planning to engrave and they can give you more specific suggestions based on their experience.

If you are going to be doing jewelery, send me a private message. That's the only thing I engrave.

Allan
 

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