Tooling/How to Sharpen a Graver by Hand

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How to Sharpen a Graver by Hand

The following is a method used to sharpen a graver freehand, without the aid of a device such as a crocker.

  1. Hold the graver firmly between your fingers, allowing the length of it to hold snugly in the cradle of your thumb and forefinger.
  2. Apply the face of the graver to a relatively coarse sharpening stone to start, followed by a smooth stone to finish
  3. Work the graver around in a circular motion until the desired angle on the face is achieved (typically 45 degrees or so)
  4. Continue to work the graver, steadily around in a circular motion until you find its "flat" position, when the face of the graver is in full contact with the stone. (You should be able to feel, quite easily, when the graver is running flat against the stone. The graver will make a "chirping" sound against the stone when not grinding on the flat.)
  5. Proceed to polish the face of the graver by working its flat on a smooth stone
  6. Once a perfectly flat and polished face has been achieved on the graver, lay the graver down on the smooth stone and run it against the stone in a motion that is parallel with the angle of the face of the graver. This final step will remove any straight graining in the high speed steel and should yield a clean, bright, cutting edge