Newbie Vise question

Joined
Apr 12, 2018
Messages
3
Location
East Tennessee
Thread starter #1
Hi all!
New here, I'm a hobbyist jeweler who started engraving this year and I'm using a grs microblock and a #4 optivisor. I find myself tilting the vise to odd/extreme angles often while cutting. I know some of this is to allow me to see whats being cut but I'm not sure that its a great habit to form. Should I be trying to keep the work surface (strictly practice plates for now) relatively level while cutting? At this early stage in my learning I would like to prevent any bad habits from creeping in. Thanks in advance!
~wjp
 

wowilson

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#2
The more of this type of work you do the more you will have to work in strange positions so it doesn't hurt anything to learn it now. It's good to know how to cut uphill and downhill. I do wonder why you would have to tilt a flat piece to engrave it.
 
Joined
Apr 12, 2018
Messages
3
Location
East Tennessee
Thread starter #3
Wow! I feel a bit silly but your reply made me question if something was wrong with my ergonomics and I've figured it out. My light source was slightly behind me on my left side and I engrave with my left hand leaving a shadow on the bits of work I'm trying to see when the piece is sitting flat. Funny how my brain would just tilt the work rather than comprehend I have a light issue. Whelp I guess I got some good uphill/downhill practice.
Cheer!
~Wjp
 

SamW

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#4
I have had my light source, a 4 foot 3 bulb fluorescent fixture, 2 1/2 ft. above and about 1/2 ft. behind my vise and it has served me very well for over 40 years. I recently converted the fixture to LED bulbs and it was an improvement. I do tilt the vise as needed and use a #10 Optivisor.
 

gcleaker

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Jan 24, 2015
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jefferson city Missouri
#5
My 0.02 cents are that I found myself doing this very same thing with the very same vise when I started and asked the very same question. I started with a micro vise just like you and found that it was simply not heavy enough for steal engraving, so as I cut the practice plate I was pushing the vise over to one side getting the extreme angle that you speak of, this is counterproductive to the learning process. You first must cut flat work consistently (width and depth) before you can progress. I will advise that you get a new vise or build a bowling ball vise. There are chinse knock off copy of the grs and linsey vises for about $200.00 I or anyone else here at the café will not advise you to buy one of them. Do a search for bowling ball vise plans. And save up for a good vise it will make all the difference in the world now and later as your ability’s grow.
Skill comes from diligence.
 

sam

Chief Administrator & Benevolent Dictator
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Nov 6, 2006
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Covington, Louisiana
#7
I would also advise getting a larger vise. There's no way I could do my work with a micro ball. Stone setters use and love them, but for engraving? Not me.
 

monk

Moderator
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
9,040
Location
washington, pa
#8
ergonomics ?? just as important as anything else imho. no fun with neck pain, back pain, and a host of other problems. the only way i'd ever work with the vise strictly parallel to the floor was with h&c whilst standing up.
without tilting the vise, even to extremes at times, will drive you nuts and make quality far less achievable.
 

Chujybear

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Joined
Nov 3, 2011
Messages
819
Location
Haida Gwaii
#9
when i use an optivisor i raise my vise up high and tip it as you do.. just shy of running the rotating part into my leather ring. so im not looking down on it.
 

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