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  #1  
Old 08-25-2006, 02:07 PM
Deland Deland is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Mankato, Minnesota
Posts: 31
Question Push graver vs Palm Control Airgraver

Can any one tell me what percent of labor time is saved by using the Palm Control Airgraver vs. a push graver? I work for a small printing shop and my boss is open to getting me an PCA but he needs some justification in saved labor percentage. I've been engraving for a few years and mostly self taught and have never used a power engraver. What would you say the learning time curve would be for me on the palm control?
I do all my cutting in steel at a depth of .002" to about .012" with knife and round gravers, very little with square gravers. I make ink dies as well as embossing dies. I know most of you use square gravers but hopefully someone has tried round gravers in the PCA and can tell me how well they work.
Thanks!
P.S. I'm new to this forum and have learned a lot just from reading all your comments.
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  #2  
Old 08-25-2006, 02:55 PM
Ray Cover Ray Cover is offline
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Default Re: Push graver vs Palm Control Airgraver

Deland,

The time savings is going to vary from person to person. For me I can cut a line with an airgraver in about 25% - 30% of the time I can push the same line.

The time savings is not the only thing you need to consider.

Fewer mistakes is a big one. As you know, with a push graver you are always on egg shells because when that point gives way you have to get the thing up to keep it from scooting across your work leaving a nice trail scare along the way. With an airgraver the amount of push you are applying is minimal. When a point breaks the tool just starts acting dull. It is not nearly as likely to scoot and scare because you are not having to control applied force from your arm. The mini impacts from the air hammer (piston) is providing the force to drive the graver through the metal.

You will also find it more forgiving on odd curves that you may need to cut.

Since you are already an experienced engraver the learning curve will be very short. I would say that within a day for sure you will be comfrotable enough with it to use it on work. It took me about 15 minutes to make the transition from a foot pedal airgraver to a palm control. It may take you a bit longer due to getting used to the power assist as well as the palm control.

Another factor is your physical fatigue. You will not have to use nearly as much muscle and fatigue will drop way way down.

Training new guys??? The air assited gravers have a much shorter learning curve than a traditional push graver since you are not having to train near as much muscle memory to get the same job done.


J.C. used to be a push graver guy. I am sure he can give you a lot of good insights into why you want to switch.


Steve, you owe me a big gulp :D

Ray
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  #3  
Old 08-25-2006, 05:18 PM
Allan Allan is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Baltimore. MD
Posts: 98
Default Re: Push graver vs Palm Control Airgraver

Well since we're now getting paid in big gulps to answer questions.....


After using traditional gravers for about twenty five years the transition to the Lindsay tool was about half an hour. Most of it spent it playing around the air pressure controls on the regulators. Everything else flowed very naturally.

I use quite a few different sized round tools, but no matter the width the cutting is done with a great deal of control and the power is adjustable from very fine cutting to brute force removal of metal.

In doing my general jewelry engraving there isn't a whole lot of time saved over traditional tools. That's just as far as the cutting is concerned.

This is where the time actually gets saved. Like Ray said you save a ton of time in not having to do repairs caused by broken points. As long as you are not helping the tool cut by pushing excessively the most you will get is light scratching as the tool dances in place. In five years of constant use we have not had to repair any pieces due to tool breakage. And I work in soft metals where the surface is easily marred.

If you cut long lines you save a lot of time in just letting the tool keep cutting instead of having to stop, flick off the metal and start cutting. I have a trophy with complicated lettering that used to take four hours with traditional tools that now takes a little over two and a half.

Another time saving is in bulk removal of metal. Again this is in soft metal but when I have to take out lots of metal around an image I crank the classic up to about 45PSI, open the holes up and the metal flies out. There's not a lot of fine control under these conditons but I'm not looking for any either. I usually use flat tools for this.

I work in a store that bought my tools for me. I'm not sure that the store would have gone for the price of the palm control, but the classic with the foot pedal was an easy sell. Tell your boss that we probably paid for ours in saved time and not replacing merchandise in about three months if that. We have three in our shop and they are as reliable as any tool can get. Five years of service, fifty hours a week with no repairs. The only thing we have to replace on a regular basis are some rubber o-rings, the screw that tightens the graver into place and the allen wrench that tightens the screw into place. And the only reason we replace those on a regular basis is because we change tools, literally every few minutes. Even with that, Steve supplies enough with the intial purchase to last for a while. I think that in the last five years I have spent maybe ten dollars for those three parts, and only because I insisited that I pay for them. Steve wanted to send them out for free.

If you do any kind of engraving, the purchase of a classic airgraver is a complete no-brainer.

If your boss wants to talk to me about send me a private message and we can work out a time.

I'll have the diet coke big gulp with the cherry flavoring.

Allan
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  #4  
Old 08-25-2006, 07:47 PM
j.c. j.c. is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Spokane Valley, WA
Posts: 52
Default

Deland,

The time savings is going to vary from person to person. For me I can cut a line with an airgraver in about 25% - 30% of the time I can push the same line.

The time savings is not the only thing you need to consider.

Fewer mistakes is a big one. As you know, with a push graver you are always on egg shells because when that point gives way you have to get the thing up to keep it from scooting across your work leaving a nice trail scare along the way. With an airgraver the amount of push you are applying is minimal. When a point breaks the tool just starts acting dull. It is not nearly as likely to scoot and scare because you are not having to control applied force from your arm. The mini impacts from the air hammer (piston) is providing the force to drive the graver through the metal.

You will also find it more forgiving on odd curves that you may need to cut.

Since you are already an experienced engraver the learning curve will be very short. I would say that within a day for sure you will be comfrotable enough with it to use it on work. It took me about 15 minutes to make the transition from a foot pedal airgraver to a palm control. It may take you a bit longer due to getting used to the power assist as well as the palm control.

Another factor is your physical fatigue. You will not have to use nearly as much muscle and fatigue will drop way way down.

Training new guys??? The air assited gravers have a much shorter learning curve than a traditional push graver since you are not having to train near as much muscle memory to get the same job done.


J.C. used to be a push graver guy. I am sure he can give you a lot of good insights into why you want to switch.


Steve, you owe me a big gulp :D
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  #5  
Old 08-25-2006, 09:49 PM
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Steve Lindsay Steve Lindsay is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2006
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Default Re: Push graver vs Palm Control Airgraver

Thank you Ray, Allan and JC for answering and helping with the question. Next show I see you at... big gulps and dinner too!

Steve
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  #6  
Old 08-26-2006, 05:15 AM
acsimmons acsimmons is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 22
Default Re: Push graver vs Palm Control Airgraver

Hey, thanks for starting this thread. Not only was this interesting, but it just makes me want to get a air graver even sooner.
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  #7  
Old 08-26-2006, 05:43 PM
Allan Allan is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Baltimore. MD
Posts: 98
Default Re: Push graver vs Palm Control Airgraver

There is one thing that I wanted to emphasize that I forgot to put in my post. There may be a perception that with the airgraver it is a little harder to make fine short lines because of the power behind the tool. I heard that from a friend of mine who I finally convinced to buy an airgraver.

In fact the opposite is true. You have much more control with an airgraver than you could possibly have with a traditional graver, especially when matched with a microscope. Today I was engraving an inscription with letters of less than one half millimeter, or centimeter (my brain is freezing on which is smaller). Because of the amount of control you can literally start and even more importantly stop at precise points. The lettering came out very precise and fairly deep on one pass, and with a small return squaring cut at the end of intial cut it was very clean and kind of impressive.

You can't do that kind of work with a traditional graver and a an optivisor. I've tried, and I know some incredibly great jewelry engravers who have tried and it just can't be done, at least not to the level of precision I was able to acheive today. And you can't do it with a traditional graver and a microscope either. You need a microscope and an airgraver.

Allan
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  #8  
Old 08-26-2006, 08:58 PM
Deland Deland is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Mankato, Minnesota
Posts: 31
Default Re: Push graver vs Palm Control Airgraver

Thanks for all the great information. Hopefully with this information as well as all the different ways the airgraver can help my engraving (some of which I never thought of) Steve may be sending me an airgraver soon.:D
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  #9  
Old 09-13-2006, 09:19 PM
Deland Deland is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Mankato, Minnesota
Posts: 31
Talking Re: Push graver vs Palm Control Airgraver

A Big Thanks goes out to everone who gave me information on why a Palm control airgraver is worth having over traditional push gravers. My boss told me today that the airgraver has been approved and he will be ordering me one. Hope you have one sitting on the shelf Steve! I can wait to give it a try, even if it's only half as great you guys say it is I know I will enjoy it.
Again thanks for all your input and knowledge that you guys take the time to give out on this forum, it's much appreciated!!

Deland
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  #10  
Old 04-04-2017, 06:58 PM
JayHow JayHow is offline
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Location: riverbank, ca
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Default Re: Push graver vs Palm Control Airgraver

Where do you work that allows you to engrave all day?
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