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What Are the Best Tips for Engraving Granite?

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  • Written By: Patrick Lynch
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 13 July 2014
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Granite is a popular material for headstones and other memorials because of its durability. When engraving granite, a diamond tipped engraver should be used. One of the best tips for this type of engraving is for the engraver to design the project in full before finding a suitable piece of granite, washing it, and placing it on a strong table. The design should then be drawn on the granite and the engraving should start slowly, with the engraver taking great care not to dig the tip into the stone. Any pieces of granite cut away during the project should be removed, and the stone rinsed comprehensively when completed.

Engraving granite is a challenge even for professionals because of its extremely hard surface. The plus side is that the sturdy surface of granite ensures a long life span; this is why granite is preferred for memorials that are to be placed outdoors. Engraving granite requires a list of items including an electric engraver with diamond tips, safety equipment, a wax pencil, and graph paper.

Before starting the actual engraving, a clear plan should be made of what is to be engraved on the granite. The project should be planned on a sheet of graph paper first to reduce the likelihood of careless mistakes. Once this is completed, a suitable piece of granite must be found and thoroughly washed with hot water and soap. The granite should then be put on a clean surface and allowed to dry fully.

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The engraver will then need to copy the design from the paper onto the surface of the rock. It's a good tip at this point for the engraver to ensure that a strong table is used to hold the granite during the engraving, and that it's covered with old newspaper. A wax pencil can be used to draw the design on the granite.

An important tip for engraving granite or any other similar project is for the engraver to wear a pair of goggles to stop pieces of rock getting into the eyes. A diamond tip should be used to carve the main elements of the design; these should be the first to be engraved. Another important tip is for the person to not press down on the engraver; only a moderate amount of pressure is needed, and it should be allowed to gradually cut into the surface.

When engraving granite, pieces of rock can remain lodged in the gaps created by the engraver. These should be removed with a dry towel or else they could interfere with the carving process. The engraving should be done in 15 minute increments, and the engraver shut down each time. This ensures that the motor of the engraver does not get damaged from the stress it experiences. Once the design is completed, the granite should be washed again with hot water to remove any debris.

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