Friday, September 23, 2016

Making mine smaller

Here's the reground tip with the piece I broke off.

The shortened tool, ready to go to work.
As I learned from David Sander's book on engraving, and as I've heard from a couple of full-time engravers, the tools I got from Lyons (via McClain's) as well many of the tools that came from my recent  Ebay purchase are too long.
For proper engraving the "mushroom" handle fits in the palm of the hand (and is the driving force) and the point of the tool should be at or just beyond the ball of the thumb for control and leverage.
Many tools were sold much too long and had to be shortened.  That was left to the engraver, but usually the tool would be put in a vise, and a sharp rap with a hammer would break off the tip, and a new point had to be sharpened (or the shank end was reground to fit in the handle).

It's hard to get up the courage to break off 1/3 of the working edge of the tool you just bought.
It feels wasteful and I wasn't sure I was up to proper sharpening.
BUT, I want tools I can use, and several of these; a couple of angle tints and scorpers are missing from my tool kit and needed on the block I'm currently carving.

So I've been doing 1-2 at a time, snapping them off, and then grinding them down with water stones to 30-40degree bevels and taking the time to get them really sharp.

I'm cutting the legs of a mosquito, so I need very sharp tools that I can control (and decent magnification).
More soon. 

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