The crocker sharpening fixture is a quirky little beastie but with a bit of patience is quite usable. They are not very accurate. However........... with a bit of patience and experimantation you can re-mark the specific angles to accurate enough. You may have to problem solve a bit to get it to work properley. I used one for a few months and it drove me nearly mad but it did do the job.
One thing it did teach me was that close enough was good enough. So if you want a face angle of 45 degrees then plus or minus a few degrees dosn't matter. The heel angles need to be slightly better and as close to accurate as possible without getting to pedantic about it.
There are two rotating heads. One is for lift (up and down) which normally is roughly around 15 degrees. You use this for your face angles as well. The other is for rotation (left to right) This gives you your heel angles.
I woud add one thing on the crocker instructions: It helps if you slide the crocker on a smooth surface such as a piece of glass while you move your tool along the sharpening stone.
One of the problems I've found with the crocker sharpener is that sometimes while your sharpening it can go out of adjustment. Make sure to tighten all thumbscrews real tight. Don't exert excessive pressure while sharpening or the graver will get loose.
understand, when the crocker was made-- that was hi tech !! think about that one. the crocker probably started a "tool war" in its' day ! eventually, it seems everything we humans invent gets replaced by something that's better than what it replaced. a couple hundred yes from now, the great little "hand-held-power-gravers" we all love, will be replaced by devices with built in micochips. these devices will cut using combined variably controlled bursts of laser light, ultra sound, rf radiation, sub-micron blasting media propelled by magnetic pulses, and willl do continuosly variable metallic electroplating after the cut is made.
i have such a unit near ready for production. all i need is a corporate sponsor with vision and cash !
What gets to me about the Crocker is that the photos and drawings always look so much better than the real thing (a bit like some of the fast food pictures) I thought I had the one in one million dud one. As it turns out they are all like that.
Now, for the DIY crowd out there that like making their own tools .............there was a really excellent article by Les Brooks in issue #76 of the FEGA Engraver magazine on how to make your own sharpening tool. He gives complete instructions how to make and use it.
As it so happens that issue just happens to be the free download on the home page of the FEGA web site at www.fega.com
And Monk...........I have the vision but no cash..........the being around for 200 years part may be a bit tricky!!!
Monk, when you get that device ready for shipment, send me one and I'll try if for you for FREE and can report back on how easy it works for someone with no talent for engraving. Should be a great testimonial for you.
I am am trying to use a crocker fixture right now. Ive read this thread and the pdf's attached have been helpful. I havve some templates I usually use to sharpen gravers. I have a crocker and finally decided to try it, especially because I don't have a way right now to sharpen gravers with attached handles. It's been finicky and tricky, as expected, but I've got it to work okay all things considered, but I can't quite figure out how to sharpen a heel with this. I saw the link Sam posted, but it seems long expired. I'm sure it's an easy answer, but can anyone lend me some help? Thanks!
An easy way to heel a graver without a sharpening fixture.
Use a piece of round drill rod as a base.
Usually 1/8" or 3/16" round works best.
Pinch the graver between thumb and forefinger while extending it about 3/4 or one inch beyond the drill rod.
Touch the bottom edge of the graver to the stone or lap and drag the graver sideways.
Keeping the same extension, rotate the graver to the other bottom edge and repeat the drag.
Check the "keel"of the graver and adjust the two heels to be the same length where they meet on the bottom "keel."
Works for me..... YRMV.