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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Safety Harbor, Florida
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    5
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    Default Need advice in several areas... this is my 1st post

    I have been "lurking" for a few years now... and this is my 1st post

    This is long…but I need some advice.

    I don't know where to begin.

    I'm not sure if I should take a "hands on" class or will Sam Alvano’s DVDs be sufficient for now (I ordered an entire set earlier today). - I am a metalsmith, bench jeweler; but I stopped to raise my children a few years back. I am setting up a new studio in my home now. Although I have several push engravers. I “attempted” engraving, however, never really engraved. I did have lots of slips and stabs into my hand when I tried, which made me realize that push engraving too difficult for me so I am assuming that I need some type of power assist. I have read that sharpening is the key to make it easy...but honestly, I'm not convinced that even that would make it easy enough for me. Ha, ha. Plus I have a little arthritis in one joint of one hand... -So, I am wanting to get some type of power graver. I don't really know what power assist I should get which makes me think I should take a class, but not sure if there will be a variety of options that students would be able to try out and see what they like best while in a class. I don't need to tell you that an engraving setup is expensive...and I don't want to make a mistake when purchasing. - When I get Sam’s DVDs I won't even have a way to practice what I learn from them, so it may be a waste initially....but I just HAD to get them. For the past couple of years, I have watched SO MANY online videos and that I have been watching repeat videos now… and the same ones over and over... and it's boring and frustrating me because all I am doing is watching and not doing.

    I am considering taking a course; but airline ticket, lodging as well as a course will deplete my funds. –I will do that if I need to; however, then I would not have any funds for engraving equipment.

    I live in Florida; the Tampa Bay area and have limited funds, so I want to explore all viable options. I'm scared ... "What if I'm really awful at engraving or I hate it." I don't think I'll hate it because for decades I have loved just the visual beauty of engraving; particularly relief engraving, but I'm still scared. I used to have a calligraphy business so I think I’ll be able to do it…I’m just still really uncertain… and then where to begin.

    I wish someone would teach a course or two in Florida or somewhere in the southeast which would save on a plane ticket. -- I missed the opportunity back in 2014 when Ray Cover came to Orlando and taught. I didn’t even see posts about it back then until it was over. :’(

    Also, in classes, are there a variety of power assist tools that students get to use and try out or are the classes typically just stocked with the newest and top of the line equipment. I have saved enough that I can either take a course or buy equipment...so I want to make the right decision.

    Thanks so much! - I know that I write long emails (and texts for that matter), so I appreciate you taking the time to read this, and hopefully will provide some information and/or some advice.

    Also, can I just use my optivisors while I am practicing and get a scope later? – When I get a scope… how much power will it need? Up to 30x or 45x or higher?

    Signed… Long winded and intimidated Sheri

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Los Angeles area, California.
    Posts
    2,731
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    Default

    Sheri,
    Welcome to the engraving world and the Cafe. Look at Sam's hammer and chisel engraving as well as his power work.
    You might consider starting engraving with a hammer, chisels and optivisor.
    Much of the finest engraving in the world is done that way.
    This way you could save money to take a class later.
    Brian Marshall in California teaches using H&C and also exposes and teaches his students with most of the various power systems.
    Just a thought.
    John B.


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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Safety Harbor, Florida
    Posts
    5
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    Default

    Oh John B., thank you so very much! -- I had not heard of Brian Marshall school or considered going to California for a class.... however, I just looked him up and his classes and equipment. Wowza! -- It would be a paradise for me because of all of his extensive equipment collection available for students to try! - I'll contact them about their course schedules and then check on flights. This could "kill" all my birds with one stone, which is what I was wanting, but really had no expectations that it was possible! However with the class costing $800, and the exposure to all the tool options... this seems like an exceptional bargain to me! The only drawback is I wish it were closer to Florida...still, it is doable! I cannot thank you enough, Mr. John B! :D

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  6. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Abilene TX Ruidoso NM
    Posts
    397
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    Default

    Check with Ray Cover, he used to do traveling classes. See if he is planning any classes in Florida. http://learningtoengrave.com/

  7. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    washington, pa
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    8,788
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    Default

    power assist surely saves time . in the hands of an arthritic, perhaps a bit more user friendly. no reason to not practice push work. propper sharpening will reduce slips, but not eliminate them entirely. with practice ( a must), slips will also be reduced. to reduce the pain when they do occur, hold the ball top somewhat below the top surface. that way, the errant graver will simply sail off into space without inflicting puncture wounds. it's also desirable to have the graver tip to extend just a bit beyond the finger tips. this increases control. control is easier to achieve when one cuts a few milimeters at a time. rather than trying to make a very long cut in just one push. relax, take your time. no reason to hurry.

  8. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Eastern, Washington State
    Posts
    865
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    Default

    http://www.engravingclasses.com/JJ%2...0Engraving.htm

    JJ Roberts also teaches H&C, as well as air assist, and is in Virginia. That would save the airfare.

    I do recommend a class. I also am a jeweler, and tried to learn push engraving for 15 years. My work was rudimentary and crude. Meeks book just didn't do it for me. I took the 1 week basic engraving class at GRS and suddenly the light came on. I bought a used gravermax, and could produce acceptable work within a short time.

    I also suggest looking into western style engraving. Much of the traditional jewelry engraving, seen on pocket watches etc., has a lot in common with western style. It is quick, attractive and can make you money.

    Good luck, Will

  9. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Panama City FL. / Afghanistan
    Posts
    39
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    Default

    I live in Panama City, Im no teacher but i do have a lot of equipment i could let you see and try.

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