|Important Facts About Diamonds
By Mike Clarke
Apr 28, 2003, 23:39
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Important Facts about Diamond Tools
Engravers Express supplies diamond drag engraving tools in 6 standard angles in all shank diameters and lengths, also glass engravers, diamond burnishing tools and a large variety of custom diamond tools. These tools are manufactured in the US utilizing only natural diamonds permanently bonded to stainless steel shanks.
The Characteristics of Various Angles of Diamond Drag Engraving Tools.
1. The Sharp Angles (90 degree diamonds)
The 90 degree diamond graver has the sharpest angle of the available engraving tools and was designed to produce very fine lines, small and delicate engraving, “and is the tool of choice for coated pens”. It also provides additional reach around a small diameter curved piece such as a pen.
Some caution must be exercised when using the sharp angle tools. They should not be used for general-purpose engraving. The sharper angle allows the tool to cut deeper and pressure must be correspondingly adjusted. Deep cuts are not desirable as there is a tendency to build up a berm on the sides of the engraved lines. Damage to the work can also result.
2. The Standard Angles (120 degree diamonds)
These are the most popular of the angled diamonds and are designed for general purpose engraving. Most machines come with one of these angles. There is very little effective difference in the performance between the two.
3. The Wide Angle Tools (150 degree angles)
These engravers are for soft metal such as gold and pewter. They produce the widest lines and have the least tendency to dig into the soft material. Again there is little difference between the two angles. The 150 will cut a slightly wider line.
Polish is the Key to an Excellent Diamond Graver
Proper diamond engraving tools are first cut and shaped to a perfect cone, then polished and lapped to a mirror like finish. The mirror finish at the very tip of the diamond gives the high quality brilliant engraving work. It is easy to inspect diamond tools for polish with a jeweler’s loupe. There is a remarkable difference between a polished and non-polished stone. This will also become noticeable in your work. Rough tools have higher friction and tend to rip, and leave tracings of their roughness in the engraved lines.
A highly polished graver can only obtain the highest quality luster.
The Right Tool for The Job
In order to be able to select the right tool for the job every engraver should have one graver from each angle group (Sharp Angle, Standard Angle, and Wide Angle) end a backup for the tools that he uses most often. Worn Tools Can Damage Work and place excessive strain on your machine.
Diamonds last a long time. They are the hardest substance know to man and have abrasion resistance qualities that are superior to all other materials.
But Diamonds Do Not Last Forever!
Periodically inspect your diamond gravers and your work. If your work begins to loose brilliance when compared with work done with a sharp diamond, replacement will bring back the quality. When you change your diamond compare the last work done with the old, and the first with the new. The new diamond will cut a sharp “V”. The old will dig a furrow with a rounded bottom, more like a “U”. More pressure is required with a dull diamond and excess material will be pushed up on the sides of the groove. This excess pressure can damage your work, and your machine.
Change your old diamond to a fresh new diamond tool.
How to judge when a diamond tool needs to be replaced.
It is difficult to exactly estimate the life expectancy of a diamond graver because there are so many variables: amount of use, types of materials, experience of the operator etc. Further, the tools wear slowly and the decline in quality is so gradual that it is difficult to notice.
Changing Tools by the Calendar
The best approach is to evaluate the amount of work you do and the types of material that you engrave. Then establish a schedule by following these general rules of thumb. Note the dates on your calendar. Here are some suggestions:
Low Volume Shops – General Purpose Engraving – Change Annually
Note: Occasional engravers can stretch that if their work on close inspection remains good, but when you hear of tools lasting for several years quality is suffering.
Moderate Volume Shops Change Semi-annually to Quarterly – depending on the nature of work and previously mentioned variables. These dates should beset by your seasonal demands and actually marked on the calendar.
High Volume Shops – can change as often as weekly. Industrial engravers doing both high volume and hard materials like stainless or abrasive materials may be changing daily.
Survey of Engravers A survey by “Engravers Journal” estimated an average period of 8 weeks for busy engravers and trophy shops.
Remember your work can not be good if your tool is worn or is of poor quality.
The most elaborate and expensive engraving machine or the most talented engraver is only as good as the tool that is being used.
Burnishing will solve a number of your engraving problems and expand your business horizons. Diamond Burnishing can cut you’re engraving time in half and at the same time give you a superior product. Burnishing can do the job in one pass where two or more passes may have been necessary using diamond drag techniques.
The diamond burnishers are engraving tools that can be used in all manual and computer operated machines with rotating spindles. It is advisable to use an “EZ Rider” spring-loaded cutter knob to replace the standard brass knob. This attachment will allow the constant light touch that burnishing requires.
Diamond burnishing vastly improves the appearance of the many coated or anodized metals. Drag engraving will not produce the brilliant and polished effect on materials such as “Black Brass”, nor is it possible to produce wide lines with the drag engravers.
Diamond Burnishing Tools will _do it all. Standard diamond burnishing tools are available with tip sizes of: .003″, .005″, .010″, .015″, .020″, .025″, .030″, .040″, .050″, and .060″. Custom tools are also available to solve unique applications. A .015″ or a .020″ tool would be an excellent first choice.
Note: Your diamond burnishers also double as glass engraving tools!
Why Diamond for your Burnisher?
Diamond is the hardest substance and the most abrasive resistant. It lasts and lasts.
The unique geometry of the diamond tool will provide a very highly polished engraving line. The diamond edge is sharpened to micro precision tolerances and will last and last.
Attractive burnishing of aluminum is now possible! The diamond produces a polished, brilliant silver line.
ENGRAVERS EXPRESS’S NEW Rotating Pen Engraver
The new rotating pen engraver opens up new engraving possibilities. It brings the highest quality engraving to coated pens and will engrave many pens that were previously deemed unengravable. It is available for rotating spindles utilizing the 1/8″, 11/64″ and 1/4″ diameter shanks in all lengths. A featherweight cutter knob is recommended.
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