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  1. #1
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    Default Beginner's tool list

    This thread is copied from the Tips Archive and put here for your convenience. The Tips Archive is a vast resource of hand engraving information and you are encouraged to use it.

    TOOL LIST FOR BEGINNERS

    Many Cafe members who are experienced engravers contributed to the tool lists below which can serve as a guide as to what's needed to setup a basic workbench for hand engraving. You can spend a little by using traditional hand tools, or spend considerably more if you prefer the latest and greatest pneumatic handpieces. Most will agree that the learning curve is steeper engraving with hammer & chisel and push gravers, but much of the finest engraving in the world is still being done with traditional hand tools, so keep that in mind.

    There are endless combinations of tool choices, and every engraver has his or her favorites and recommendations. Hopefully the information below will point you in the right direction and give you a place to start. If you're serious about our art, spend time reading our forum. It contains a tremendous wealth of information contributed by the rock stars of the engraving world. You'll undoubtedly have questions, and you are welcome and encouraged to post them in our main forum. We're here to help.

    ---------------------
    • Each of the startup lists below should include a workbench, lighting, and a proper chair. See our WORKBENCH THREAD for ideas and to see what our members use. Twin bulb fluorescent task lights with flexible arms have been used by engravers for many years.
    • An engraving class will greatly reduce the learning curve and get you up to speed very quickly.
    • Spend some time browsing The Engraving Glossary for photos and detailed explanations on most things pertaining to our art.

    The following books and video are recommended by our members:

    Art of Engraving by JB Meek - It was the springboard for many of today's hand engravers. Some of its information may be a bit outdated, but it's still worth having.
    Engraving Historic Firearms By John Schippers - Modern book containing many how-tos. Highly recommended by many members.
    Design books by Ron Smith and Lee Griffiths
    Video on hand sharpening gravers
    TOOL LIST FOR BEGINNERS[/SIZE]

    Many Cafe members who are experienced engravers contributed to the tool lists below which can serve as a guide as to what's needed to setup a basic workbench for hand engraving. You can spend a little by using traditional hand tools, or spend considerably more if you prefer the latest and greatest pneumatic handpieces. Most will agree that the learning curve is steeper engraving with hammer & chisel and push gravers, but much of the finest engraving in the world is still being done with traditional hand tools, so keep that in mind.

    There are endless combinations of tool choices, and every engraver has her or her favorites and recommendations. Hopefully the information below will point you in the right direction and give you a place to start. If you're serious about our art, spend time reading our forum. It contains a tremendous wealth of information contributed by the rock stars of the engraving world. You'll undoubtedly have questions, and you are welcome and encouraged to post them in our main forum. We're here to help.

    ---------------------
    • An engraving class will greatly reduce the learning curve and get you up to speed very quickly.
    • Spend some time browsing The Engraving Glossary for photos and detailed explanations on most things pertaining to our art.

    The following books and video are recommended by our members:

    Art of Engraving by JB Meek - It was the springboard for many of today's hand engravers. Some of its information may be a bit outdated, but it's still worth having.
    Engraving Historic Firearms By John Schippers - Modern book containing many how-tos. Highly recommended by many members.
    Design books by Ron Smith and Lee Griffiths
    Video on hand sharpening gravers
    Hammer & chisel and sharpening demo - Learn to engrave with minimum startup costs.

    ---------------------

    HAND TOOLS STARTUP

    Sketch pad & pencils
    Chasing hammer
    2 square graver blanks
    1 wooden or steel chisel handle
    1 mushroom type hand graver handle
    Medium and fine whetstone combo
    Copper, steel, and brass practice plates
    Bench vise


    UPGRADES: Rotating engraver's vise, Optivisor, stereo microscope, sharpening fixture or template

    ---------------------

    LOW BUDGET POWER ASSIST STARTUP

    Sketch pad & pencils
    Ngraver flex shaft handpiece (requires Foredom type motor) or GRS System 3 (requires air compressor)
    2 square graver blanks
    Medium and fine whetstone combo
    Copper, steel, and brass practice plates
    Bench vise

    UPGRADES: Rotating engraver's vise, Optivisor or stereo microscope, sharpening system or templates

    ----------------------

    BETTER POWER ASSIST STARTUP

    Sketch pad & pencils
    Basic system by GRS, Lindsay, or Enset (see their websites for basic models and prices)
    Air compressor
    2 square graver blanks
    #40 flat graver
    Rotating engraver's vise
    Sharpening system or templates
    Copper, steel, and brass practice plates
    Stereo microscope w/ring light

    UPGRADES: Centering vise or turntable base, silent air compressor, additional square graver blanks and additional flat graver sizes"]Hammer & chisel and sharpening demo[/B] - Learn to engrave with minimum startup costs.

    ---------------------

    HAND TOOLS STARTUP

    Sketch pad & pencils
    Chasing hammer
    2 square graver blanks
    1 wooden or steel chisel handle
    1 mushroom type hand graver handle
    Medium and fine whetstone combo
    Copper, steel, and brass practice plates
    Bench vise


    UPGRADES: Rotating engraver's vise, Optivisor, stereo microscope, sharpening fixture or template

    ---------------------

    LOW BUDGET POWER ASSIST STARTUP

    Sketch pad & pencils
    Ngraver flex shaft handpiece (requires Foredom type motor) or GRS System 3 (requires air compressor)
    2 square graver blanks
    Medium and fine whetstone combo
    Copper, steel, and brass practice plates
    Bench vise

    UPGRADES: Rotating engraver's vise, Optivisor or stereo microscope, sharpening system or templates

    ----------------------

    BETTER POWER ASSIST STARTUP

    Sketch pad & pencils
    Basic system by GRS, Lindsay, or Enset (see their websites for basic models and prices)
    Air compressor
    2 square graver blanks
    #40 flat graver
    Rotating engraver's vise
    Sharpening system or templates
    Copper, steel, and brass practice plates
    Stereo microscope w/ring light

    UPGRADES: Centering vise or turntable base, silent air compressor, additional square graver blanks and additional flat graver sizes

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  3. #2
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    May 2017
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    North Beach, SF
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    Default

    Thank you so much for this post, it is very useful!

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Windsor, CA.
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    1
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    Default

    Thanks for your post! I have a GRS gravermax right now, but am looking to upgrade. I mainly use it for stone setting and ring engraving. I noticed you recommended for the engraving system GRS, Lindsay or Enset. Could you elaborate on the Pros/cons between the different systems? Is there a system you would recommend above else and why?

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Eastern, Washington State
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by obgow View Post
    Thanks for your post! I have a GRS gravermax right now, but am looking to upgrade. I mainly use it for stone setting and ring engraving. I noticed you recommended for the engraving system GRS, Lindsay or Enset. Could you elaborate on the Pros/cons between the different systems? Is there a system you would recommend above else and why?
    I also have a gravermax, and use it for all my engraving needs.

    The enset has the capability to hit a single strike, which would be a real help in stone setting. I haven't used one, but that single feature would be nice.

    If I were younger and willing to engrave at shows, the portability of the Lindsay would be great. Able to run off of a tank of compressed air, an engraver could pre-cut bracelets etc., and personalize them on the spot. That is a great selling point.

    I am, however, old enough that I don't want to personalize at shows, and can get by without the single strike. My old Gravermax is more than capable of doing everything I need a pneumatic system to do.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
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    1
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    Default

    Is a foot control harder then hand push control for a beginner? This is what I was told

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