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Yes VERY quiet.
Thanks for the infusion!
I don’t know what my favorite type would be but I know that I use square much more than lozenge (diamond shape) gravers. Having both types is a must for me though. I find that the lozenge shape allows for an easy undercut for things like rivets etc. A trick that works well is to make or use a second t-rest and put a 90% notch in it. This will allow you to turn a square graver and use the underside (the diamond shape) whenever you need it. You won’t be able to move along the surface of the t-rest as the notch will prevent that but it works great for plunge cuts like making an undercut.
As for handles…yes you should use them. I don’t use them much but that’s a bad and dangerious habit I have. My reasoning is that I believe I have better control over them without handles. I’ve also had handles come loose on me in the past. If I would have put the handles on correctly that probably wouldn’t have been a problem. One good way to put a wooden lathe handle on is to “burn it in”.(high carbon tool steels only..not carbide!) You do this by heating the end tang of the graver to a cherry red and then drive the handle with several lite taps rather then one or two hard hammer blows. Once on they tend to stay rigid. If you do burn it in here are few words of caution. It’s important not to allow the graver to get too hot much beyond the tang as this can draw the temper (soften) out of the rest of the graver. You can do this by grabbing the graver in a large vise with the tang sticking out of the top. The vise jaws will absorb most of the heat beyond the tang and no annealing will take place in the working area of the graver.
For watch work the common gravers are about 2 1/2 to 3 mm square and about 5 1/2 to 6 inches long. I also have lot’s of gravers that are smaller than that for doing unusual jobs. I use high carbon tool steel gravers almost exclusively. Carbide gravers can be VERY brittle and a real pain to sharpen if you get a decent sized chip in them. It takes a LONG time to grind a chip out of carbide as you don’t want to get them too hot while grinding. One way to grind them is to have a cup of water sitting next to the grinder and every few seconds dip THE OTHER END of the graver into the cup to cool it down. Never dip the end that you’re grinding as they can shatter. Of course I do use carbide gravers occasionally if the steel being machined is just too hard. They will often cut like butter when the tool steel graver can’t even make a dent! When sharpening Carbide remember to use a wheel especially made for carbide.
I love the subject of lathes and anything to do with them. I’ll try to think of some more stuff tonight and add more to the discussion if I can.