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Old 12-08-2012, 04:25 PM
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MikeDubber MikeDubber is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Evansville, Indiana
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Default Re: Mike Dubber "Speitzer" Graver Point Template set

Hello All

I've drafted a brief summary of the history and use of the Speitzer from my perspective.


The Speitzer Graver


The story of the Speitzer Graver represents a brief study of FEGA history. It was first introduced to the members of FEGA at the 1987 Show in Las Vegas, Nevada at the very first FEGA Seminar, presented by Frank Hendricks. Frank – also our first FEGA President - brought nearly his entire engraving studio from Dripping Springs, Texas to Las Vegas in his horse trailer to present the Seminar. Among the many engraving revelations he presented to the group that weekend was the idea of the “Speitzer Graver.” The Speitzer, according to Frank, was the preferred graver of the Germans. It was easy to make, easy to sharpen, and it was a workhorse of the German engravers…where Frank had learned to engrave.

The idea stuck with me, and spent the next ten years or so with my hammer and chisel and a stack of Speitzers of various shapes and sizes. I still use them today, but now I drive them with air gravers, and they still work just the way Frank explained. I recently discovered that I was using the Speitzer less and less, preferring instead to use the more contemporary 120’s and 90’s of Uniform Parallel geometry – mostly because I had this quick and easy way to make and sharpen them with a Lindsay Template. In the early days we ground a blank on our bench grinder and did the final shaping and re-sharpening with our oil stone. My efforts turned to creating a Lindsay Template for the Speitzer.

Speitzer Geometry: the Speitzer would be recognized by most engravers as nothing more than an Onglette, but there are differences in the two just as there are major differences between the Germans and the French. If you analyze the shape and dynamics of the Speitzer Graver, you’ll quickly understand that the shape of the point is what makes it strong. Instead of a rather fragile “V” shaped point, the Speitzer has more mass at the tip, increasing in width and breadth from the tip through the body of the tool, affording it an increased level of resistance to breakage.

The Speitzer Template: well that’s a bit of a problem because the Speitzer can be made in a variety of shapes from narrow to wide, from graceful to fat, and most of the Templates we see today take the novice or the master through three distinct and repeatable steps, finally arriving at a predictable Geometry. The Speitzer Template, however, requires some individual skill and experimentation, and it allows the engraver to create a range of shapes. The photo illustrates some of this range, and the final point is made to fit the job the engraver is preparing to do. If I’m cutting deep and bright in stainless I want a Speitzer that is rather fat, wide and heavy. But if I’m cutting English scrolls, I‘ll want my Speitzer to be small, graceful and narrow in its geometry. The photo in the Steve Lindsay's opening Thread illustrates a typical range of point shapes and styles that can be made with this Template

The Contemporary Speitzer: After many years had passed, and with the advent of air gravers, Templates and Power Hones, I thought I was the only one who listened to Frank, and that I was the only one who used a Speitzer! My remorse was lifted when I enrolled in several of the the GRS Grand Masters Classes. These classes were designed for advanced engravers, and there was little time or need to discuss graver geometry. However, when I examined the gravers of the Masters like Winston Churchill, Phillip Grifnee’ and Alain Lovenberg, I found that most of their gravers were of various Speitzer Geometry – even if they didn’t call them Speitzers!

"What great thing would you try if you knew you could not fail" Robert Fuller
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