Tameing the 120

Cody

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Nov 10, 2006
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Thread starter #1
Sam, I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for your efforts in putting together your site and now this forum. I browsed your site a month or so ago (read every word on it) and in it found the desire to try a 120deg graver. Have been toying with it for a bit now and it has quickly become my graver of choice. For the style of engraving that I do it works very well. Initially I found it to be very unforgiving (and humbling) but the more i use it, the more I understand it and the more I like it. Without your site I likely never would have tried one.

Thanks
Cody
 

Santo

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Nov 11, 2006
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Minneapolis, MN
#2
Sam, I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for your efforts in putting together your site and now this forum. I browsed your site a month or so ago (read every word on it) and in it found the desire to try a 120deg graver. Have been toying with it for a bit now and it has quickly become my graver of choice. For the style of engraving that I do it works very well. Initially I found it to be very unforgiving (and humbling) but the more i use it, the more I understand it and the more I like it. Without your site I likely never would have tried one.

Thanks
Cody
Cody -- I need to know your secret. Unforgiving and humbling are understatements. I have a love hate with my 120's (I have 3 cause I don't want to spend most of my time sharpening_ -- They make me crazy but I can't stop working with them. Maybe, if I keep toying with I'll get to understand also. Are there tricks or hints or -- anything . . . . Take care

Santo
 

sam

Chief Administrator & Benevolent Dictator
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#3
Cody: Glad you're enjoying the site and the Cafe. As for the 120, I struggled with it at first...in fact hated it at first, but once i got 'in the zone' with it, it became my graver of choice as well. For my work, the 120 imparts a character to designs that I have to work harder to achieve with square gravers. I choose it for its ability to add sparkle and life to cuts, and the bonus is that the point is substantially stronger than a square graver. / ~Sam
 

Cody

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Thread starter #4
For my work, the 120 imparts a character to designs that I have to work harder to achieve with square gravers. I choose it for its ability to add sparkle and life to cuts, and the bonus is that the point is substantially stronger than a square graver. / ~Sam
That's EXACTLY what i am finding. I also find that for whatever reason, it seems to cut mild steel as if I was engraving firm cheese. It cuts with far less effort than the square even when both are sharpened exactly the same and are both glensteel.

Santo, I don't use it for long straight lines or any line where consistent line width is required (except on practice plates). I just don't have enough control of it yet. However, when useing it to cut a leaf for example where the widtrh of the cut is varied to add dimension, I find that, rather than leaning the graver to gain effect (like I would with the square), I lean the 120 ever so slightly (maybe 1/10th of what i would lean the 90) and go just a touch deeper. For the style of engraving I do I find the effect to be very good and quite controlable. It's important to note that I am self taught and therefore was taught by someone that didn't/doesn't know what they were/are doing so you may want to take what i say with a block of salt:) . I feel if i can master the 120 on long straight lines, I will have great control of the 90, I just won't want to use it much:D

Cody
 

Brian Hochstrat

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Nov 9, 2006
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Midvale, Id
#5
Its funny, people hate what is different. I am the oppossite, I learned with a 120 and I personally dislike a 90. I can't seem to keep a point on them and you really have to roll the 90 over to get any action out of it. Even for background removal I use a 100. It does not seem like much of a difference, but, its more durable, and I don't have to pitch it over so far when removing material around my scroll work, only in very small tight spots to I resort to a 90. However my point is, we compare new things to what we first learned with and have gotten used to, and as engravers we should be able to use any style graver and use it confidently, but in reality, all tools have their benefits and drawbacks, and I think the best tool for the job, is the one you personally can get the best results with, even though we all have our favorites.
 

pilkguns

~ Elite 1000 Member ~
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Nov 14, 2006
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in the land of Scrolls,
#6
What a difference a few degrees make. It think the hardest thing to get when switching from a 90to a 120 is the different means of controlling it. With a 90, you normally add width to the cut by rolling the graver, which of course means that you have different reflections of light, depending on which direction you are flaring the graver. With the 120, rolling the graver is disasterous, the way to get a wider cut is going ever so slightly deeper so this means basically all your reflections are neutral throughout the pattern, giving the engraving a mored defined look.

But its still not my favorite graver. I'm a 110 guy myself.
 

Peter E

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Nov 9, 2006
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Canton CT
#7
This thread answered a couple of questions to problems i'd experienced.

I am still learning to engrave and began with a 90. I was used to rolling it to bevel cuts. After trying a 110, 115 and 120, I was getting poor results and damaging my smooth cuts when trying to roll the 115 or 120. Now I know why. I had just thought it was due to lack of skill!

Thanks for the information,
Peter
 

Cody

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Nov 10, 2006
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Thread starter #8
So, where do you get 100's and 115's?. Do you make them or can they be bought somewhere?.

Cody
 

Peter E

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Nov 9, 2006
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Canton CT
#9
You can buy gravers pre-made but I make them from square stock. You can see a good representation if you look at what GRS has to offer. I have the Dual Angle Sharpening fixture for use on their Power Hone.

There is a lot of good information available for sharpening techniques and Sam Alfano's (not just trying to promote it on his forum but it was great for me to learn the basics) DVD will give you a great foundation of what you need to know.

Peter
 
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