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Frequently Asked Questions





Q.) Isn't hand engraving a dying art that's extremely difficult to learn?

A.) The art of hand engraving is alive and well, and there are three things which make it possible for anyone to learn. Those things are 1.) the GRS sharpening system, which makes graver sharpening fast, perfect, and easy, 2.) the GraverMach which eliminates pushing gravers by hand pressure (which is very difficult to master), and 3.) engraving classes, which get you over the hurdles and pitfalls and enables you to start engraving designs in steel, brass, and copper the first day. The best engraving the world has ever known is being done TODAY, and there has never been a better time to learn.

Q.) Is it still considered hand engraving if I use the GraverMach?

A.) Of course! Aside from today's superior alloys, the graver itself hasn't changed in 200 years. What's changed is the method we use to move the graver through the metal. Instead of pushing by hand pressure or driving it with a hammer, the graver is inserted into a pneumatic handpiece which is still guided freehand. This gives the user superior control and enables beginners to start engraving immediately. Remember, it's the end result that counts, not how the chips get on the floor.

Q.) Can I learn to engrave even if I have no experience? What's required to attend your classes?

A.) My beginners course assumes students have no experience whatsoever.  Everything is clearly explained and demonstrated for you via a microscope camera output to large screen monitors. You'll clearly see every detail of every cut I make, and you'll have your own fully equipped workbench which is yours for the week. All that's required is that you show up on Monday morning and to be prepared for five days of fun.

Q.) I can't draw. How can I learn to engrave beautiful designs in your engraving class?

A.) We work with either copyright-free patterns from pattern books or custom designs I create for class use. I teach you how to transfer the patterns to your practice plates so you can start engraving beautiful designs the first day. I don't force anyone to struggle with drawing.

Q.) But won't I eventually have to draw things?

A.) That's up to you. Far more musicians buy sheet music to play than those who compose their own songs. Some engravers practice and develop their drawing skills while others are content to use designs from books, and I also demonstrate how to use a computer to help with lettering design.

Q.) What are the ages of your students?

A.) I've had students from age 16 to age 82. You're never too old or young to learn. Don't forget, we'll be using cutting edge technology to train you. This slashes the learning curve and gets you engraving immediately.

Q.) My eyes aren't what they used to be. I'm not sure I can see well enough to be an engraver.

A.) Each student's bench is equipped with a stereo microscope system which makes engraving much easier. Just wait until you try it! 

Q.) Will using a microscope hurt my eyes or cause eye strain?

A.) Absolutely not! When using a microscope, your eyes are focused at infinity, so the eye muscles are relaxed. Working without a microscope is what causes eye strain and headaches.

Q.) I'm not used to working with a microscope and not sure if I'm going to like it. Will I have to use it in your classroom?

A.) No. It's a tool for you to use if you choose to. Your bench is also equipped with an Optivisor if that's what you prefer. I've been using a microscope for over 30 years and I can tell you it's a godsend. But you're not forced to use it.

Q.) What types of engraving does your course cover?

A.) The beginners course covers basic engraving which is the foundation for all types, from jewelry to gun engraving. If a student is more interested in jewelry engraving for instance, I will work with that student and focus on what he or she is most interested in. The same with gun or knife engraving. You get plenty of personalized instruction.

Q.) How many students are in a class?

A.) No more than twelve.

Q.) Is there a demand for hand engraving?

A.) Yes. For instance, in the jewelry trade, some of the older engravers have retired or passed away, and in some cities there aren't enough hand engravers to do all of the work. If you're one of the few hand engravers in your area, you have a great opportunity. There has always been a demand for gun and knife engraving, too. Sportsmen love to have their guns decorated and knife collectors are drawn to custom engraved knives. The future for hand engraving is a bright one, and the internet is your marketplace.