Hello folks, quick question for my fellow engravers. I'm cutting a knife made of 416 stainless, I'm using a 96 degree graver from the lindsay tempates and am breaking tips in carbalt quickly and dulling glensteel pretty quick. My question is how much better will the new cmax gravers hold up? I know the 116 and 120 geometry holds up better in carbide but I want to keep on w the 96, I prefer the deeper cuts. THANK YOU KINDLY...
I'm convinced that a lot of this is in your own technique. I have had a really bad time with the carbalt gravers in both the Lindsay and regular configurations. It just breaks too quickly and seems to take half the graver with it at the tip.............and yet others love those gravers.
For me personally, Glensteel seems to really work well and always has done. I've also had great success with the N-Graver Cobolt gravers.
The C-Max works very well for engraving watch rotors that are as hard as hell. But don't like the watch cases. For the best result you polish the heel.
So what I'm getting at is there dosn't seem to be universal definative answer about this. It still comes back to different strokes for different folks. It's a real hard question to answer and you probabley won't know till you try.
Last edited by Andrew Biggs; 03-07-2010 at 08:18 AM.
I have had good results using gravers made from carbide aircraft drills. Not sure how they compare to C-max but they seem to cut hard steel better than the Glensteel gravers.
You didn't mention what "face" angle you are using. If 45, perhaps try 50. Another technique is where your facets meet and form the sharpest point, put a tiny flat there.
I agree a lot with Andrew on what he said. What works for one may not for another. I have found if you have a really hard item that nothing will work much better. I have used a Cmax 105 degree with fantastic results but it is important to put a high polish on the face and a micro radius on the heel. It seems to last forever but if you are looking for bulino type graver the radius might not work well. For regular cutting you really don't notice the radius however. By the way, this works for any graver to add strength.
Also, like Peter said, go to a 50, 55 or even a 60 degree face.
Jeff: As others have said, what works for one doesn't necessarily work for another. The luck I've had with using carbide on 416 has been marginal, but that does not mean that carbide is not a good choice. It just doesn't work as well for me. I would say that a good high speed steel graver should perform very well for you in 416 stainless. My experience with C-Max in stainless steel is limited, so I can't offer much on that.
I can't comment on a 96 degree tool because I've never used one, and as far as heels go, I'm quite happy with the conventional type and never found a benefit to a parallel heel for my engraving. As always, you mileage may vary.
Cheers / ~Sam
Sometimes what we think should work, won't. I did one of those William Henry knives that is made from 6AL4V titanium. It is tough stuff and naturally the harder the parent metal I'm cutting I go for the harder graver material, seems a no brainer right?
Well, the key words here are HARD and TOUGH and they are two different things. The titanium isn't all that Hard but it is Tough to the inth degree. I broke carbalt tips, as well as some other stuff made from milling cutter blanks that had a lot of carbde in them. So obviously hard and brittle tooling wasn't the answer.
I thought backward for a moment and tried a graver that wasn't so hard which was an M42 Cobalt blank and it worked a lot better with seldom a broken tip and kept its edge. I also tried HSS polished well it did as good as the M42 as far as cutting the metal but dulled much more quickly.
Like someone else said, if you like that particular v angle then just steepen the face and maybe dub the tip a hair on a ceramic stone and see how that does. On those templates to steepen the face you shorten the length of the graver sticking out but you have to do all the angles, not just the face angle otherwise the heel will not be parallel. By the way, you don't need a material as hard as carbalt or carbide to cut 416 stainless.
If you ever go to a show somewhere and GRS is there, if DJ is with them and you can get him to sit still long enough to offer him a cup of coffee or something, ask him about graver materials and their properties and just hang on and try to keep up... bring a note book.
It isn't your job as a leader to make others follow you, it is to be worth following.
Tim brought up some good pointa about the hard/tough issue. I have tried going to a HSS tool and had sucess as well.
Another issue you may have is vibration. Make SURE you have the knife secured so there is no vibration. That will bust a point in a heartbeat.
If you are using a Gravermax as I do, I simply reduce the stroke rate if that doesnt work I look at angles then graver material as others have mentioned.
Thanks guys. After reading all of your posts I think I might have a vibration issue. I might need to adjust or work out a better way to hold this steel. I also think I'll keep on w the glensteel for now.
Jeff, I only use the C-Max using Chris DeCamillis geometry on a 110 - 105°. Face 55° and a heel of 20.
Works perfect for me. The Glensteel is much to soft for me, the hardest one I ever used was the HSSx7, but it takes two or tree days to sharp it the geometry I like. It takes a much longer time on the diamond wheel than the C-Max.
In my opinion the Glensteel is good for soft steel and brass, the C-Max is the best and the only one I use, but you have to polich it very high, if there is one little scratch on the cutting edge, it will break.
I use the Blue diamond spray as it polish much finer.
Hope to be at any help, arnaud