Question: ---------Straight Lines ------------

monk

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I will tell you one other thing that helped me a lot. When your looking at the graver always try to look a the face of the graver. In other words do not look down over the graver from the back. I hope I have made this understandable.

like brian, for me-- looking a bit ahead of the graver works best for me
 

Ishokenmei

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Thanks everyone for the tips! I think my problem may have been that I am using a 120 degree graver. As mentioned earlier I am going to switch to a 90 degree square graver and see how that works out. Appreciate all of the tips and I'll keep you posted!
 

monk

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Thanks everyone for the tips! I think my problem may have been that I am using a 120 degree graver. As mentioned earlier I am going to switch to a 90 degree square graver and see how that works out. Appreciate all of the tips and I'll keep you posted!

i think it matters little how experienced one is. it remains a given that different gravers are going to require minor adjustments of the wrist to make the geometry work just right. it is wise to experiment with diverse gravers/geometries. it allows one to find the "perfect tool" for the job.
 

Big-Un

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I find that when cutting straight lines, especially long ones, breath control is paramount to cutting. I take a breath (after preparing myself mentally), let out about halfway and hold it there. Realize you don't actually "hold" it in the traditional sense but just let it stay there, taking very shallow breaths, almost breathing but not exactly. It's hard to explain, but its the same as when shooting. This, along with all the other tips here should help you cut correctly.
 

CHOUKIN

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Ground out a 90 degree graver this evening and was able to get about eight two inches lines cut, before daddy duty called me out. I understand what you are saying about angles and playing around with different gravers. The more I practice, the better I will be able to get a handle on knowing what my graver is going to do. As far as the 90 degree graver goes, I found it cut deeper, and I was able to keep fairly equal size lines. Still not perfect, but I am still on plate three. Overall, there is a vast difference between plates one and three, so I am very optimistic for toppling the straight line task I've set out on. :graver:

 

Dave London

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MTC learn to use one graver , master the control. Doesn't not matter which one, worry about the other tools afterward .
 

Chujybear

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That 90 will be a big help. The logic behind it, is the more acute your tip, the more forgiveness there is in terms of line width, if your line depth happens to wander slightly up and down.
The flip side of this is a more obtuse point might be better suited for beauty cuts, and you can get a lot of variation and weighting out of quite fine lines. Mind, you can do both with both geometries.. with practice;)
 

Ishokenmei

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So I finally inked up one of my castings that I have had lying around on the bench.....surprise surprise. I am engraving way too deep. I can't believe I didn't catch that! I suspect its going to get a lot easier from here due to this "critical" observation. Shaking my head...shaking my head.....
 

Big-Un

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From what I've seen of my own practice and other beginners along with comments here I'd say going too deep is one of the most common characteristics of beginners.
Jeremy

That, and the "death" grip!
 

monk

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Quick question..."How long did it take you before you could engrave a perfectly straight line, depth, width, ect? over the length of 2 inches. Did two practice plates last night and I was not happy with the results.

I'm going back to the basics and plan on spending the next 100 or so practice plates just on mastering the fundamentals of the graver. Such as straight lines, curved lines, and the basic movements of Script lettering.

With my hectic schedule, I found I was all over the place, and most likely failed to master key movements. I think the desire to go back to the basics was sparked by Andrew's post where he said, "we all are busy and we all have full time jobs" or something like that. That was an awakening moment for me as I have accumulated all of the tools, I just always find reasons not to practice ;(.

Hoping to start fresh, and slowly accumulate my skills each day. I've got it stuck in my head I'll attempt to cut one practice plate a day. Going to be interesting to see what my 100th plate looks like.....I'll post the 1st and last, when I get there.... ;)

maybe 40 or so years. ymmv
 

Brian Marshall

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Engrave your name, initials or hallmark? AND the date and time it took - onto each of your practice plates. Maybe even number the plate?

It not only gives you practice lettering - it gives you ALL the information you need down the road.

You will not regret having that record someday... and it will keep you humble.


Brian
 

monk

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I find that when cutting straight lines, especially long ones, breath control is paramount to cutting. I take a breath (after preparing myself mentally), let out about halfway and hold it there. Realize you don't actually "hold" it in the traditional sense but just let it stay there, taking very shallow breaths, almost breathing but not exactly. It's hard to explain, but its the same as when shooting. This, along with all the other tips here should help you cut correctly.

i dang near died of asfixeashun when i was a competition shooter. not sure if holdin the breath actually worked. combat shooting-- it never worked for me. there was no time to bother holding the breath
 

Crossbolt

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MTC learn to use one graver , master the control. Doesn't not matter which one, worry about the other tools afterward .

There's a lot to be said for this advice.

I'll risk presenting the advantages of the multiple experiment view as well though.

As a beginner (2 classes, coming up on 1 year of hobby spare time practice) I have found that at the very start it was useful to focus on one graver, but for me that rapidly hit limitations. I was getting frustrated at being unable to produce the right kind of cuts. Large were too large in some applications (border lines). Small were too thin in others (plunge cuts on fine scroll). Others proved to be much better at particular cuts (flats for nick and dot border). It wasn't until I switched to using a different graver for different cuts that I felt I started making progress on getting the right form. I'm still far from that and maybe I'm making things more difficult for myself but I don't think so. Although they're messy I can see a better general form to what I'm cutting when I use a particular graver for a particular cut and I feel like I'm making much better progress. Perhaps the key is to have a consistent graver shape more than what or how many graver types you're using? At any rate, I've found the Lindsay templates useful in this regard; they eliminate another source of variation for beginners.
Just another perspective that there's sometimes advantages to "poor practices" :)
Jeremy
 
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dlilazteca

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Just wanted to add a little visual.

I bought the satellite stand from grs. Ask for Aaron in Sales. Great salesman and friend.


Hahaha just saw the video, keep your elbow close to your hand? Well it was not practiced, just decided to to it spontaneously.


https://youtu.be/kCttXy-VOnE


Sent from my SM-N920T using Tapatalk
 
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Hobie

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I agree with John B about cutting next to the line & not directly on top of it.
In addition, Here's something I tell my students:
Scribe two parallel lines that are the width of the line you want to engrave
Simply Make your cut while staying between the lines..... kinda like driving a car.
Correct body posture; focus; then, before you begin, imagining yourself cutting the line are helpful as well.

Weldon
I know this is an old thread, so I hope it is OK to reply here. I just wanted to give a shout out to Weldon for posting this tip about scribing parallel lines. I am a beginner and found this has really helped me. Perhaps someday I will develop enough muscle memory and control to only need one line and cut next to it, but for now this tip helps, especially given I don't have a stereo microscope, seeing two lines is easier.

~David
 

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