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  #1  
Old 07-18-2007, 10:09 PM
Zernike Au's Avatar
Zernike Au Zernike Au is offline
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Default Lettering Engraving-Shaded line, need help.

I practice the shaded line everyday and still have some problems. First is I cannot maintain a uniform width. I am left hand user, I cut the line from the bottom with the graver's point at the left hand side, roll it to the right hand side to make the shaded line. I found when I dig the graver into the plate, I need to first roll the graver and then increase the angle of attack by rise my hand a little bit, so as to get the desire wide, then I need to lower the graver so as to prevent it from digging too deep. This results in uneven cut and the line looks wavy! Is this "double action" of the hand is correct?

When the cutter reach the end of the line, I "throw out" the graver in upward direction but the chip still there! After the chip is removed, a heavy blur is left at the end of the line. Any suggestion? (the width of the shaded line is around 1mm)


The other problem is the square of the end of the line. I follow the method by adding a small triangle like horizontal cut but the end of this short cut do have a chip which cannot be "flow away", leave a heavy blur too! The red arrow shows where the square cut is made but it looks very ugly. The blue arrow shows the heavy blur appear at the end of the cut. I use a square graver, follow Steve's grinding method at 110 degree. I don't know if I am doing anything wrong or if it is o.k. as the photo you see is enlarged in large ratio.



Then comes the problem for the other end of the shaded line-the curve, I try to cut it by two cut,i..e first the shaded line with a flat graver and then use a square graver to cut the thin curvy line, it looks rather rough, is it o.k. (the blue arrow)

I also try to cut it in one continue action with a flat graver (the red arrow), it looks good but the shade line become very uneven!

I would like hear your comments and would like to know if I am going wrong or going to the right direction. Many thanks in advance.

Zernike

Last edited by Zernike Au; 07-18-2007 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 07-18-2007, 11:36 PM
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Steve Lindsay Steve Lindsay is offline
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Default Re: Lettering Engraving-Shaded line, need help.

To hold the uniform width/depth of cut will come with just more practice. Yes, at first dive in steeper and then level out to hold a width.

The size of chip that you're trying to throw out at the end looks pretty big... and would be tough to throw. And if you did end the cut at that depth by throwing the chip, it wouldn't be the best looking. If I can get out of it, I generally try not to end a single cut at that depth abruptly because it is hard to make it look good. However, a way to do this easier is to take several light cuts to get to the depth/width desired.

There were two wide cuts that ended similar on Straubinger flute logo (S), however there was a fine line at the end that I could use to end at. If this cross was not there I would of still used a fine line but not extended it past the size of the wide cut. Does that make sense? Below is the S from the logo. The cut was at the two ends of the S. Place the fine line in first and then come up to it with the wide cut and throw the chip, or leave the chip and go back over your fine line to cut if off.

I was never very happy using a flat graver to make wide cuts with. (too wavy and the inside edge not very clean). With the wide bright cuts in the flutes and also the lettering I was using around a 123 - 124 width. With these kind of example cuts, you may want to try grinding a wider V and see if you like that better for the wider cuts. A wider graver can help end a wider cut easier too, since the cut is more wide than deep.

To make those wide cuts you did with a flat that are wavy and even the ones with the wide V look better, make a small V cut on the outside of the flare. It can true up the uneven parts, plus gives a little extra nice touch look.

I have to say, your cutting looks very advanced for just starting out.

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Old 07-20-2007, 03:46 AM
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Unhappy Re: Lettering Engraving-Shaded line, need help.

Dear Steve,
Thanks for your advise. Today I re-sharp the flat graver (10-20 round heel) to try again, everything is out of control, the line getting more wavy!!!



Your suggestion of having a fine line to the end of the wide cut is very useful but from the above photo you can see, there is a "triangle area" left not cut at the end of the stroke, add a fine line can only level the top but the un-cut triangle is still there?

About the flat graver and square graver, I understand that why a 120V graver is better than a square graver because the "twist" angle when cutting is less.




But I found when use the 120V graver to make the wide cut, I need to rise the handle a bit more so as to get the cut wider and this make the cut very deep, otherwise, the graver just slip! I have difficult in using the pre-shaped graver that comes with the palm control airgraver, I found the attack angle is great that I use before and it is very difficult for me to roll the graver to make the wide cut.

I also try your suggestion of make several light cut so as to make the deeper and wider cut but never success. The second cut always slip on top of the first cut and if I increase the attack angle, the graver goes very deep into the plate.

For the S logo you show, I would like to know how you handle the wide cut as they are wider than the width of the graver.



I would also like to know how you cut the small circle at the end of the fine line.

Anyway, I draw another smaller one and have a try. oh......



Maybe this is the most ugly engraving even show in this forum, Sorry!

Below is another exercise trying to have wider strokes, not so good!



Thanks again.

Zernike
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  #4  
Old 07-20-2007, 10:43 AM
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Default Re: Lettering Engraving-Shaded line, need help.

Thank you Zernike for the engraved thanks!

The S logo for the flute I was cutting is .300" (7.6mm) high. Did you cut yours larger?
I'll cut the S later today or over the weekend and upload a pic.

I don't know of a perfect way of ending a wide flare cut completely abrupt so it is squared off without using an extra cut at the end. What you did with the triangle cut can work or cutting a line where it will end before hand and then throwing out the flare cut chip right there where it intersects is a way, but even then I don't think it is a perfect clean ending.

Watch the lettering portion of the flute video. First I'm going in with a flat graver without a heel to stab it in at the ends where it would be tough otherwise to have a nice squared off end. After that I go in with the wide V and cut the letter, and at the ends pop the chip out as it enters the stab cut. Before I started using a flat this way to square off ends, I was making a small cut at the ends with the wide V graver before hand. This works too, but I can get the ends deeper with the plunge/stab cut using a flat without a heel. The extra depth helps make it easier when I connect the stab cuts with the wide V. Again, though they still aren't perfect because we have a flat cut meeting a V cut or laid over V cut.

Because of the abrupt ends, block lettering doesn't lend itself to engraving with a V or laid over V. Script lettering is more fun and easier as long as there isn't a place in it that ends abrupt with a laid over cut, like in that S logo.

When taking several smaller cuts instead of one large one especially for these laid over cuts it is good to still take enough of a cut to get a pretty good continuous chip. If light skimming cuts are made the graver may or may not stay in the cut and when it doesn't the cut isn't as even and doesn't look perfect. So try taking the light cuts to make a wide one in two or three passes, but so that each cut is taking out a pretty good chip each time. Later as you get braver, just one big cut works too, but for ending the graver laid way over it might be easier in several passes.

Steve

PS.. I'm not sure I understand why your 120 is slipping on you. If the graver edge isn't sharp it will do this and you'll need to increase the depth to keep it from slipping like you mentioned. Something else that will make a graver slip, is if you are engraving on a thin plate that does not have backing behind it. If your practice plate is thin, make sure it is backed up with something so that it can not flex or vibrate from the impacts of the tool. Try hot glueing it down on a thicker piece of steel. Having the plate solid and ridged can make engraving much easier.
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  #5  
Old 07-21-2007, 10:21 AM
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Zernike Au Zernike Au is offline
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Default Re: Lettering Engraving-Shaded line, need help.

Steve,
I cut my ugly S logo at a height of 9mm. However, if I want to cut a bigger one, maybe 1cm or 1.5 cm, how can I handle the wide cut? or I have to treat it as background and remove it or add some pattern to it? I look forwards to see how you cut the logo, I am really appreciated.

Actually I have save your excellent video to my computer and I see it again and again for this month. Thanks for your explanation and now I know more about how you make the cuts. I also try to have the wide cut in more than one pass as you suggested so as to make it wider or correct the imperfection. Below is my today's practice with most beginner's mistake-wrong spelling, I can't realise it until I upload the images to the internet. It seems the wide cut is better, I use your pre-grind graver for both the wide cut and hairline. I have cut the beauty stem of B and H from bottom to top. I found it is more comfortable to my left hand and it looks more better than have the cut from top to bottom, is this up to the engraver or there is some rules ? As I am still at the beginning, I can (and I want to) correct any bad-habbit easily if there is any.



I must say thank you again as you point out my big mistake in my previous engraving works. You are absolutely correct that I have use a thin 1mm brass plate and the plate is not flat. I will buy a hot glue gun later. This period I don't want to go out, my hand don't want to put down the graver...

Thanks again.

Zernike

Last edited by Zernike Au; 07-21-2007 at 10:27 AM.
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  #6  
Old 07-22-2007, 12:48 PM
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Default Re: Lettering Engraving-Shaded line, need help.

Zernike,

Yes, if cutting the logo larger than the width of the graver, either use a larger graver or cut it with a different strategy by adding a pattern, ect..


Yes, whatever works for each person and is most comfortable. I probably would have cut the B and H beauty stem in the same direction as you did. Either way should work well for those cuts though.

I cut that sample S logo. For the two laid over cuts to end abruptly, I first cut the smaller intersection cut where they are to end. Then when cutting the bright cut, don't let the deeper part of the cut go any deeper or very much deeper than the depth of the intersection cut. This will allow the chip to break off easy at the end. I used a 115 degree graver for cutting this, which is similar to the presharpened point included with the AirGravers. If the point was polished the cuts would be brighter. I used the point right off the 1200 lap.

Steve

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  #7  
Old 07-23-2007, 08:45 AM
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Zernike Au Zernike Au is offline
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Default Re: Lettering Engraving-Shaded line, need help.

Steve,
Thank you so much for all your information and showing me how to cut the S-logo. I really learn a lot from you.
What I need now is practice more and more, especially the wide cut.
I will show you my progress later if you don't mind.

Thanks again.

Zernike
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  #8  
Old 07-23-2007, 10:08 AM
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Default Re: Lettering Engraving-Shaded line, need help.

You're welcome!! Yes, please post your progress and practice.
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  #9  
Old 07-23-2007, 06:20 PM
Dave P Dave P is offline
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Default Re: Lettering Engraving-Shaded line, need help.

Zernike,

My Dad is left-handed and he taught me how to engrave. I feel your pain! He always cuts beauty stems bottom to top. I like to say he does a lot of stuff bottom side first. But he also taught me to look at every design up-side down to see if it looks right. That works left or right-handed.

The last plate you did with "Baby" on it is really pretty good. Steve did teach you well! Thanks for sharing the not-so-good S - logo with us. I never get to see other people's not-so-good stuff, although I have about 50 pounds of practice plates of my own, and I guarantee there's stuff in there that makes your S logo look great.

Maybe a thread for work you wouldn't even show your dog would be in order? I'm new here so I don't want to start out on that foot!

Dave
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Old 07-23-2007, 10:29 PM
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Default Re: Lettering Engraving-Shaded line, need help.

Steve: Thanks for the fantastic lettering video on the 14K flute. I watched the entire thing with my 4-1/2 year old daughter on my lap, and both of us learned tons. I especially like the way you pick out the ends og the block letters before doing the main strokes (giving the strokes a good place to end into). Thanks a million!
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Old 07-24-2007, 12:43 AM
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Default Re: Lettering Engraving-Shaded line, need help.

your practice plate with the word baby is looking very nice to my eye. you wont need too much more tinkering there and you will have that script in your bag of tricks before you know it. :thumbsup: lots of practice will always overcome the frustrations one experiences. you're learning to do something that's extremely difficult to do.
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  #12  
Old 07-24-2007, 10:09 AM
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Zernike Au Zernike Au is offline
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Default Re: Lettering Engraving-Shaded line, need help.

Dave and Monk,
Thanks for your encouragement! I really learn a lot from Steve and from this forum. :yesnod:


Zernike
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Old 07-24-2007, 02:59 PM
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Default Re: Lettering Engraving-Shaded line, need help.

Zernike the engraving would look good on your camera's. Keep working at it.:thumbsup:
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  #14  
Old 07-30-2007, 08:51 AM
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Zernike Au Zernike Au is offline
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Default Re: Lettering Engraving-Shaded line, need help.

Hi all,
Last saturday I spend more than 7 hours in trying engrave a plate of German Text. There are a lot of "S" strokes which is good for practice. I spend more than 4 hours in trying the laser print transfer methods. I still don't have satisfy result, I will try with another varnish and nail polisher remover. If I still fail, I will post for help.
For this practise, I use 120 v with 15degree heel for both the wide cut and hairline. I use a 5 x 6 cm brass plate, 1mm in thickness.



I still cannot get the cut "wide" enough, once roll the graver more, the "width" of the stroke become too wide suddenly, I think must be doing something wrong with the movement of my hand.



Let me know your suggestions and comments.

I have one more question, after you finish the engraving, how you treat the plate, from one of the Steve's video, it seems he use a cloth to wipe and clean the plate (Flute). I found there are some bur here and there. Is it becasue the cut is not clear or it is normal? How you handle it? I use sanding paper but it will lighten some hariline! Your help will be appreciated.

***Oh! I didn't realise that all the post this peroid is for the Artisan competition, I already have the Palm control and very happy with it. I am not intend to join the contest so please come back later after the contest and send me some feedback as I really need some helps. Thanks***

Zernike

Last edited by Zernike Au; 07-30-2007 at 05:16 PM.
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Old 07-31-2007, 04:53 PM
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Default Re: Lettering Engraving-Shaded line, need help.

Hi Zernike,

To keep the engraving crisp try not to sand or polish after engraving, especially after shading or lettering. Use a tissue to wipe over the engraving to help find where the burs are. The tissue fuzz will catch on the burs. Then go in and remove the burs with the graver.

Your engraved plate with the lettering and designs is beautiful!

Steve
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Old 08-04-2007, 04:23 AM
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Default Re: Lettering Engraving-Shaded line, need help.

Hello Steve,
Thanks for your advise. I try another outlined Old-English with a 120 v, 15 degree, 0.3mm heel. the letter is small, 4.6mm height. I found there are lot of heel drag especially those on the "cloud-shape" at middle of every stem of the letters. I cannot use smaller heel as I cannot control the deep of cut. Such drag is not easy to see by naked eyes, is it acceptable or I have to do something to improve it?


Some engraving books talkabout using 2 flat graver for Old-English, is such information is still update? (all those grinding method from these books are out date?!) Or now most engravers using only square graver? What other people use when engraving the Old-English?

I found when using the graver that comes with your engraver, I need to raise my hand a bit more than most of my 15 degree heel gravers, what is the heel angle of it?
Your mentioned that your graver is 116.68 degree point, I would like to know if there is any big different between it with a 120 degree point, there is just 3.32 degree in different?



Zernike

Last edited by Zernike Au; 08-04-2007 at 04:26 AM.
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Old 08-04-2007, 07:11 AM
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Default Re: Lettering Engraving-Shaded line, need help.

Hi Zernike,
The 116.7 degrees is what Paul and I used for the universal point. The graver I use for flute lettering is slightly wider than 120. It is 123 and that is what Paul and I used for the calligraphy point. A few degrees one way or the other is not a lot of difference, however after using a certain point for a long time and then changing it a few degrees it will take a little time to readapt. The loft angle on the presharpened gravers is 16.

The old books... and old-english: I don't know if other engravers are still using flats for it. I would rather lay over a wide V instead of using a flat for those cuts. I feel like I can control the cut better.

Heel drag: If your heels are already very short what will help for less drag is raise the loft angle higher (i.e. 16 or 17 degrees), or decrease the long relief grinds to one or even 0 degrees.

The lettering on the plate looks wonderful! Nice job!!
Steve
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Old 08-09-2007, 09:34 AM
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Zernike Au Zernike Au is offline
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Default Re: Lettering Engraving-Shaded line, need help.

Steve, thanks for your patience and time to explain everything to me. I know some of my questions are already posted before, I just can't find them by that time! Thanks.

I would like to show you my progress so you know your time is not wasted. Actually I got a bit shame to show my works here when I see many other's works are so beautiful and excellent. Anyway, I think you may happy to see my progress with your excellent tools and your excellent advise.


This is the practise plate that I just finished today, brass, 5cm x 7cm, I use 120 v, 15 degree heel, seems I can roll my hand more and sometimes got an "accident"-Too wide cut! I enjoy so much when rolling the graver for the wide cut, also so exciting, I have to hold the graver harder when arrive the widest portion of the stem and this cause the graver move faster and I have to rotate the vise faster....and then release slowly... wow...
My ball vise is the smallest one from xxx, sometimes it tilt and move when deep cute is needed. I have to hold it tight with my right and and this made the rotatation not smooth and result in a not smooth cut...Maybe I need a bigger and more stable vise??? The salesman told me the smallest vise is a new design specially for works under microscope and the large one are for jewellry making but I found most you works under microscope with the large ball vise!!!

Any of your comments and advise for improvement are welcomed. Thanks again.

Zernike
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Old 08-09-2007, 11:57 AM
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Default Re: Lettering Engraving-Shaded line, need help.

Your lettering is very impressive. I personally like to cut letters as it is demanding and precise work. Not many people are familiar with artistic scrolls and such, but everyone knows letters and can pick out a mistake or miscue almost instantly. If you can master letters, you can cut any design and be good.
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Old 08-09-2007, 03:27 PM
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Default Re: Lettering Engraving-Shaded line, need help.

I wish I had your control over the width of the cut. To me, the lettering looks excellent. I have a lot of respect for those who do a lot of lettering and monograms... the slightest mistake just leaps out and is so obvious, whereas with more extensive scrollwork, it seems you can hide stuff a bit more.
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Old 08-09-2007, 06:23 PM
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Default Re: Lettering Engraving-Shaded line, need help.

Zernike
This Wow you speak of
the rolling of the vise and the hand and graver is what I have been trying to teach people is a necessity for carving and expressive cuts especially on lettering and dimensional images. I think if you move to a heavier vise you will gain stability but past 19lbs they get hard to move quickly and you will loose spontinaity and get the mechanical look.

Each has his own style. When you cut lettering the tool has to be somewhat proportional to the type. Wider lines call for wider gravers or more cuts with narrow ones. It all depends whats in your tool box!!

The flats of old were not the flats of today. They were more of a knife style blade. Flat bottom High V sides. Sharp all the way around. You can really lay them over.

can you do a close up drawing of the shape of your flat graver and email it to me or post it here
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Old 08-10-2007, 12:42 AM
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Zernike Au Zernike Au is offline
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Default Re: Lettering Engraving-Shaded line, need help.

Thanks Big-un and KurtB.

Thanks Steve,
I have no idea what is the shape of the flats of the old...


Here is the drawing of my two flat gravers (I have only two and plan to buy more with different size).

Here is a photo of the two gravers:



Thanks.

Zernike

Last edited by Zernike Au; 08-10-2007 at 12:44 AM.
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