Punchcutting tools: gravers

Ramiro EspinozaRamiro Espinoza Posts: 564
edited May 27 in Punchcutting
Gravers are an essential punchcutting tool. So far I've experimented with two brands: Vallorbe and Lyons.
Vallorbe gravers are considered to be the best available and are made of two different kind of steel: WS (tool steel) and HSS (high speed steel). As far as I know Lyons gravers are only made out WS steel. 
HSS gravers are very hard and difficult to customise but carve tool steel very well. However, my experience with WS Lyons gravers is positive as well, they are softer and need more resharpening but you can work well with them anyway.
I haven't found an European seller for Lyons' gravers. Vallorbe gravers, on the other hand, are much more easier to get in Europe.
There is another European manufacturer that I haven't tried yet and seems to be good: Dick (http://www.dick.de/en/special-tools/products/gravers-and-punches).
I am purchasing my gravers and files in this 2 web stores: www.bijoumoderne.nl and www.cousinsuk.com (many other useful stuff can also be found there).
So far I have very limited experience with gravers, so contributions are very welcomed. I am specially interested in how to customise them to reach or work on special details. This seems to be fundamental in punchcutting.

See also:
David MacMillian's TXT entry for gravers:
Gravers: Glardon / Vallorbe
         Otto Frei.  www.ottofrei.com
Champagne corks (for graver handles)
   - Amazon
     (But make sure they're champagne corks specifically, not just
      wine bottle corks.)
BTW, there are inexpensive books on metal engraving that have valuable information to work with gravers and even manufacture them. I found this one concise but good: The Jewelry Engravers Manual (Dover) > http://store.doverpublications.com/048628154x.html


  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 1,228
    This may be of interest: a graver that Christian Paput used at the IN that I happen to own (he donated it to the ATypI 2003 fundraising auction). The mark indicates that the blade originated in Germany. The shape seems the same as some artists gravers that I have seen. The lettering on the handle — quite difficult to read in the photo — says 'Paput'.

  • Ramiro EspinozaRamiro Espinoza Posts: 564
    The tip of a graver must be perfectly shaped and very sharp for it to cut steel in a clean way.
    Regarding this, there are a number of youtube videos that I found very useful to learn how to prepare and sharp gravers:

  • Ramiro EspinozaRamiro Espinoza Posts: 564
    I've also found valuable advice coming from the metal engraving community: http://www.engraverscafe.com/forumdisplay.php?1-Hand-Engraving-Forum
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