Sharpening a Graver

So I have been practising, I promise. I’m a bit of a perfectionist and so I dislike sharing my seriously flawed practice pieces to date. I will, eventually. 

Since I have been using my gravers, they need to be sharpened. The first set of tools I bought were unshaped and I had a difficult time shaping them for my use. My wonderful husband bought me a few gravers for my birthday and these came pre-shaped. They are definitely my new favourites! 

Onglette graver shaped by me on the left and pre-shaped square graver on the right

Even though my favourite came pre-shaped, I do need to sharpen it. I found this video by Sam Alfano on YouTube and it was quite useful. 

Sam Alfano shows the tools he uses to hand sharpen, I don’t have the exact same but I do have similar pieces. 

He goes into detail, showing the viewer how to hold the graver while sharpening and explains why it is important to check and see if you are sharpening the sides even. 

A few things that I found difficult are: it is hard to see the angle of graver on the stone in his video. He uses a piece of steel as a guide (I don’t know the width of said piece) and he clearly says that hand sharpening is a lot of trial and error. 

And another obstacle I’ve encountered is that my ceramic stone is not flat, but has an angled surface. I’m really going to have to play with sharpening to get the hand of it, especially with the tools I have on hand. 

My angled ceramic sharpening stone

He also recommends a sharpening fixture which is currently out of my budget, but definitely on my wish list!

Overall, it is a pretty good source and I subscribed to Sam’s YouTube channel so I can learn more about engraving. 

My graver, sharpeners, notes and inspiration on my work table!

So after sharpening, here is a video of my graver. I think it’s slightly uneven, and I will have to keep working on my sharpening skills! 


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