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Old 12-24-2012, 05:59 AM
D-boy's Avatar
D-boy D-boy is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Eindhoven, the Netherlands, Europe
Posts: 22
Default D-boy says hi

My 1st year in the engraving world.

Hi my name is Robert and i live in the Netherlands, europe. Im finally introducing myself here on this forum, because i think its time.....;-) I saw that you could introduce yourself in this section with a few details, but i wrote this longer introduction already and hope its ok like this.

Im 37 years old, married, no kids, 4 pigs and some chickens, a lot of other interests like motorcycles, old cars, tattoos, visiting the USA on holidays, doing sports (fitness, soccer, tennis), i work in a prison as a group counceler/therapist and now theres engraving this last year.

Ive been following this forum for over a year now and i must say im pretty pleased to see and say that there are so many great artists around in this world of engraving. And especially people i can learn a great deal from.

Let me begin at the beginning. Over the years ive been looking into doing something that would give me more gratification then my day job is doing. But i didnt know what. I really like old cars and motorcycles, and i still own or have owned them, but i know im not that tecnical to do something in that area, so that wasnt it.
Then one day somewhere around oktober/november 2011 i was on an dutch motorcycle forum and someone asked if we knew an engraver in the Netherlands who was doing motorcyle parts. Nobody knew one.
Then i had a revelation, i would want to be that one. But easier said then done.
I knew i liked engraved parts on motorcycles and cars before, but never did i ever think of the idea to do it myself. But it all sounded great, you can work from your own home, i could work alone, (because i work with people every day for over 12 years now i sometimes dont like it), its something that you can do with your hands, its good for your creative side, and you could even make some money while doing it.....

On holiday with my wife i talked to here about my idea and she was supportive of my idea/dream/wish and encouraged me to go ahead.
So the idea was great, but i soon found out that engraving in the Netherlands is not that big and the engravers that are around are usually people who work in the jeweler business/goldsmith and do it as part of the greater jeweler/goldsmith work.
On the internet i soon found this forum and this was a great source of information, but most of the best engravers live across the big pond and so it wasnt easy to learn more or so i thought. I had no idea were to start. I saw on this forum that there were a few dutch people working with lindsay equipment. So i got in touch with Daniel Houwer through this forum (his name came up the most ;-). Some of you might know him.
He told me that he is using lindsay equipment and even better he has an extra set wich he loans to people to try there hand at it. It was already januari 2012 and Daniel agread to lend me a complete set so that i could work at home. A palmcontrol, gravers, small compressor, also a footcontrol so that i could see/feel the difference (but i liked the palmcontrol over the footcontrol), ballvise and whatnot.
Normally he would lend you the set for a week or 2, but at the time i was using it, nobody else wanted it, so i was able to use it for 2 months. Then i sadly had to give it back ;-)
Im thankfull to Daniel though for giving me the chance to get acquainted with the great lindsay palmgraver. What a machine and how quickly your learning curve is going.
The other good thing was that it felt good using it, and i felt i had a feel for it. But that was just my opinion. Daniel also said i had something going here, but he also warned me that it was going to be a long road before i could reach higher levels of work. Working with the palmcontrol also gave me a beter understanding of how much work is going into one piece of work.
But still i didnt have my own equipement and i still needed (and still need ;-) to learn more.

At the end of March Daniel organized a weekend with David Riccardo. Who was visiting the Netherlands and was willing to give a couple of people the opportunity to learn more about engraving and working with Lindsay equipment. I grabbed this chance with both hands as we say in Holland. I had a great day and learned more in that one day then what i had learned before. David was very complimentary of my progress. Especially because i was only doing it for a month or 2 at that time. Not that i was any good, but i showed improvement working with the palmgraver, i could listen, and i was eager to learn. (And still am ;-)

After this day i really wanted my own equipment and start for real. But i also saw the prices on the webshop of Steve, and i knew that if i really wanted to start good i would have to spend a lot of serious money. David and Daniel both told me that if i was really serious and if i could affort it, start with the best there is, and that was a palmgraver. So with no kids, having a good paying job, and having a good grip over my finances, i was able/lucky to buy everything that i needed from the getgo.

I made a list of things i would have to have/wanted to have and started ordering things, this was around April i think. At the end of May everything was here in the Netherlands.
I bought a palmcontrol, jun air compressor, microscope, gravers, regulator, the lindsay sharpening systeem, templates etc, extra graver blancs hss, m42 and carbalt, a ball vise, a second hand worktable and i got me the book set (dvd and book) from Roland Baptiste and Lee r. Griffiths.
Steve was very nice in working with me getting the stuff al the way over here to europe.
So a couple of thousand euro's lighter i turned the smallest room in our house into my new workstation. I put my old computer in there to, for working the designs, a copier/scanner and i bought a second hand printer for the transfer copies. I had learned this trick from Daniel.
So at the end of May/beginning of June i was set. (i still need a JW power hone, because my wrist is killing me after a afternoon of sharpening by hand ;-)

I got me some steel plates from my job and i started to get designs from all over the internet. I just looked for scroll excersises and different tattoo designs etc. I used Steves “cut together” design, i used one of Sam alfano etc. I did this for a couple of months to get the hang of it.
I still kept in touch with David and he told me that drawing is the base, not the cutting persé. I also read this in Lee's book, your pencil is your best friend. And David told me that i should use other items to engrave. For example use old spoons, or go to a second hand store and buy some small stuff you can do a design on. If it fails you can trow it away and if it succeeds you have a nice spoon to eat of.
So i started to draw more and more and especially at boring meetings at my job ;-) And i bought me some small metal items from the second hand store. I also went to this guy i knew from the motorcycle forum, he was the one who asked for an engraver in the beginning. I told him i was trying to learn this craft and if he would lend me some small motorcyle stuff i would make something for him. He gets a piece of engraving and i get a good excersise. And thats where im at right now.

In the future i would like to primarely work on motorcycle and custom car parts, but i wouldnt mind doing other stuff. For getting beter, i need to do a lot of different styles and materials. I do know there is a market for engraved stuff here in this part of Europe, but i dont know if people are willing to pay (a lot) for it. On the other hand i dont want to make engraving my fulltime dayjob, i would like to do it next to my dayjob. Im affraid if i do engraving as a dayjob, i wont like it after a while. I do know that if this engraving is going well enough i can work fewer hours at the prison and spend more time on engraving. So 50-50 in the future sounds nice to me. But we ll see how it goes. For all i know im doing fulltime engraving in a couple of years, or on the other hand it stays just a hobby.

I still have a lot to learn, i still consider myself a beginner, i try to visit this forum every day, i try to read as much as i can, (but with a fulltime dayjob, time is sometimes very short. Daniel warned me for this too ;-) i know i have a long road a head of me, but im doing something that feels good and gives me satisfaction. And for now its a great hobby.

I would like to thank, Daniel for helping me get started, David for also being a nice person and giving me information if i ask for it, Lee and Roland for writing good understandable books, and Steve for making nice equipment and for helping a lot of people get into engraving with this forum. (and staying at it of course ;-)

One thing i wanted to mention through my experience on other forums, surfing the internet and learning more about the engraving community is that everybody is very nice to each other and also to new people like me. I was happy to see that this is also possible. No big ego's, no big talk, no secrets etc, just good people doing what they do best and helping where ever they can.

Grts Robert

ps i attached some pictures of my workspace, my work and excersises and one of our 2 house pigs ;-), and any feedback is welcome.
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Old 12-24-2012, 10:03 AM
SEngraver SEngraver is offline
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: UK.
Posts: 3,484
Default Re: D-boy says hi


Welcome to The Engraving Forum and Merry Christmas too!
What a start you have had,keep up the good work and I must say you got one of the best man in Daniel to support and guide you through.

All the best for the future.
Learn from those who know more than you do and teach those who know less than you do. - I.M.
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Old 12-24-2012, 11:33 AM
Roger Bleile's Avatar
Roger Bleile Roger Bleile is offline
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 1,709
Default Re: D-boy says hi

It sounds like you are making good progress and have the dedication and tools to succeed. David Riccardo is a top engraver and designer so you received instruction from one who knows what he is doing.

Since you will eventually be working on car and MC parts I would suggest you concentrate on styles of ornament that are best adapted to the large surfaces you will be working on. Some of the scroll styles are best adapted to jewelry, guns, and knives.

Best wishes, let us know how you are doing from time to time.

C. Roger Bleile
Author of: American Engravers series of books. FEGA Historian and Founding Charter Member
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Old 12-25-2012, 01:13 AM
rbaptiste's Avatar
rbaptiste rbaptiste is offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Modave (Belgium)
Posts: 1,133
Default Re: D-boy says hi

HI Gerts, You are welcome.
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