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Using a Graver

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Buffer02/08/2020 17:30:18
164 forum posts
46 photos

I need to turn a part that has lots of curves on it. I dont particularly want to make lots of form tools and I think I might need to use a graver. I have never used one so can anyone put up a few pics and a bit of advice on what the tools are like and how you do it.



IanT02/08/2020 18:28:00
1579 forum posts
145 photos

You don't mention the size of the part you want to turn Buffer - but for graver tools/methods the Sherline website is useful

Sherline Graver Tool

If the work is larger - then perhaps something like the Eccentric 'Turnado' system might be better. I've considered making a simplified version of this device for a particular job where I need to make a few awkward items all the same and the use of a template would be useful.



Buffer02/08/2020 18:46:14
164 forum posts
46 photos


That's some useful info. Thanks for that.


roy entwistle02/08/2020 20:21:29
1223 forum posts

If I can add my twopennyworth There's nothing like practise smiley

Andy Carlson02/08/2020 20:48:16
289 forum posts
123 photos

These two videos are a good intro to graver honing and their use

RobCox02/08/2020 23:15:29
30 forum posts
19 photos

I think the first video makes a right meal of things there.

I've turned brass on my woodturning lathe (I spent 25 years woodturning before getting a metal lathe). Treat the metal like a hard wood that you use a scraper on. The tool has a rounded profile viewed from the top. The front clearance is about 30 degrees. You need a toolrest that puts the cutting edge about centre height. The tool needs a handle and it should be raised above the axis of rotation. That way, if you get a catch/ dig in or whatever you want to call it, the cutting edge gets pulled down out of the cut. So no drama. The toolrest needs to be smooth to permit a smooth action to achieve the shape you want. Then nibble away gently at the workpiece to shape it as desired.

I've used this technique on steel to make a profiled handle for a machine without any problems. HSS woodturning scrapers are remarkably efficient at cutting metal as they are at wood. It comes down to practise and the skill of the operator to get a flowing curve on the workpiece.


Paul Lousick02/08/2020 23:27:52
1491 forum posts
568 photos

An option is to make/buy a tool like the "Turnado" made by Eccentric Engineering. (advertised here on MEW)




Chris Evans 603/08/2020 08:54:43
1723 forum posts

I made a radius/ball turning attachment loosely based on the design by the late Steve Bedair. Works well and I think if you google the plans are still available. I used odd scrap cast iron for the majority of parts and no sign of wear in 7 plus years use.

ega03/08/2020 11:35:38
1780 forum posts
152 photos


Plus one to your post although you are describing scraping and I believe the graver is used in a different way.

Like you, I came to metal turning via wood.

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