Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Gravers, Spiders and Balances.


I do a lot of burr work, whether that is carving, drilling or setting.

And I keep most of my burrs, I can’t throw them away.

I blame my mother.

She went through the second world war and she was very hungry then.


And afterwards, she always used to keep this giant cupboard of tinned food, “just in case” things go wrong.

Periodically, there would be a muffled explosion in the cupboard as one of the tins went three or four years past it’s ‘sell by date’ and exploded.

Then she would reluctantly throw out all the ones that were shaped like a soccer ball and buy new square ones.

I’m the same with burrs.

Except mine rust instead of exploding.

Anyway, something I have been wanting to do for some time is to make a graver holder that can utilize all that cool tool steel just lying there.

And integrate it with my Imahashi gem cutting machines.



So I drilled a 2.3mm hole in a piece of stainless steel and tapped a 3mm lock screw in the front.


I ground a flat onto the front of the old burr.

Now it was removable and locks into a given position.


Then I fitted a 4mm rare earth magnet in the back.

Just epoxied it in.


Then I turned out a female part that has a locking groove in it and a piece of steel in the back so the magnet clicks/holds it in place.


So the whole thingy looks like this.



The front part clicks out and another can be inserted

So I am going to make a couple of them with all different shaped gravers already in them.


So now I can fit the front part into my gem cutting machine and shape the graver point on a fine diamond lap to precisely the correct angles.



And once I have the angles perfect, I polish it like a mirror finish with a cerium oxide lap.



Then I keep up the polish with a CeraGloss wheel.

This is probably one of the most important pieces of any setters repertoire.

It makes all that ‘getting a bright cut’ shit go away.

One of the most difficult things to learn is to get a  graver that is both sharp and cuts leaving a mirror image on the metal.


This wheel does that and keeps the anal German jewellers happy with my work.

That says much.



  Anyway, to get back to the using old gravers bit, because I was setting this ring for a local goldsmith, I needed a small pusher shaped specifically to handle the claws. ( front claw is just out of focus, nothing wrong)

Which I made from an old burr.

Talk about making a tool in the morning and using it in the arvie.




Autumn has arrived with a vengeance.

I was watching my pet spider for a long time.

Naturally I called her Mrs. Boris.

All my pet spiders are called Boris, from the old Who song.




We had a long conversation one morning.

She told me she just had sex with her husband and then she ate him.

No, not that way.

For dinner.


And the next day, she just left without another word.

Spiders can be so rude sometimes.



State of our finances.

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