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Old School: Master Hand Engraving with Classic Tools and 10 Tips

|Sponsored| I have a identical dearly, talented friend who is a third-generation jeweler. My affection was bursting when his beget told me a charming history about him engraving a silver platter in his grandfather ’ s shop at the age of 5. Years by and by, when he showed me his grandfather ’ s hand-engraving tools, my eyes welled up with tears. They had a charming choice about them that can only come with old age and the labor of love .
I loved knowing that he and his grandfather used those tools for hundreds of hours. Imagine all the anniversary gifts, wedding bands, watches, and early jewelry that was personalized using those tools. The romantic in me loves to think about how many special sentiments, noteworthy dates, monograms, and early one-of-a-kind designs those tools created.

so when Rio Grande invited me to try their pass engraving kit, I jumped at the gamble .
hand engraving metal designs

Mastering the Art of Hand Engraving

engraving has constantly been high on my tilt of jewelry techniques to learn. I love the old-school spirit that hand-engraved details give metallic objects and jewelry. Scrollwork and curlicues ( I LOVE curlicues ! ), monograms, and early designs make even new and modern jewelry look old fashioned and give it a certain air out that normally only comes with old age .
hand engraving scrollwork shading Roman lettering wavy lines

Expert Video Instruction

Rio ’ second hand engraving kit includes a DVD to help you get started, even from the earliest founder charge like me. Before I opened this kit, the entirely engraving I ’ vitamin d ever done was an accidental pilfer of a acuate instrument across metallic element I was using to make jewelry ! total newcomer.

Learn Old School Hammer and Chisel Engraving with Sam Alfano features 11 lessons, including vises, chisels, and other tools, proper grip, sharpening lessons, and basic engrave of straight and curved lines. then the lessons continue with more promote, fun techniques like engraving leaf designs, “ running wheat ” designs, scrollwork, English scroll, Roman lettering ( oh, the personalization ! ), and crinkled trace borders .
The lessons are clear and exhaustive, but as with any good “ class, ” they ’ re besides loaded with invaluable tips for better domination of hand engraving. here are merely a parcel of the ones I noted .
Hand-engraving designs by masters. Top row, L to R: engraved coin by Steve Adams, engraved gun by Alain Lovenberg. Bottom row, L to R: two engraved gun designs by Weldon Lister. Vertical image on right: detail of photo-like engraving by Alain Lovenberg.

10 Tips for Mastering Hand Engraving

1. Sam recommends wooden-handled chisels. The rationale behind that is the woodwind absorbs some of the daze and results in fewer better points. I prefer wooden-handled tools already—they just feel good in my hands, more craftsmanlike—so this is big news to me. The kit includes two wood-handled chisels ( with bronze ferrules that accept all GRS chisels ) .
scribe practice lines to engrave next to
2. Using a pair of dividers with one leg off the edge of the metal, or a ruler and a scriber, you can scribe parallel lines on which to practice engraving .
engrave next to the line not on it
3. Alfano ’ mho consumption of a microscope in filming his lessons pays off in enormously beneficial close-up views like the one above. You can see his engraved lines next to his previously scribed practice lines. Engrave adjacent to the line, not on it, he says, for better assurance that the lines will be straight than you ’ five hundred get if you cut on the line .
4. If you seem to be cutting besides deeply, or to purposefully make shallow cuts and narrower lines, lower the angle of the chisel to direct the sharpen up. If cutting besides shoal, or to make deep cuts and wider lines intentionally, raise the slant of the chisel by raising the manage, causing the point to cut deep into the alloy.

sharpen chisel points tools
5. “ Your # 1 responsibility is to keep very close tabs on the condition of your chisel point. I can ’ thyroxine emphasize this adequate, ” Alfano says. “ Keep a jeweler ’ mho loupe handy and examine it sporadically, specially if the behavior of the tool or the quality of the cut changes. You will be resharpening a lot. Your cheat must be in perfective condition at all times, ” and even more thus when shade, he adds late. fortunately, this DVD includes a section on sharpen !
oil graver tips
6. Alfano recommends sporadically touching the tip of your graver to a modest sponge load with “ family oil ” to lubricate it, which will reduce clash, make the creature semivowel more easily across metallic element ( much like lubing a attend blade ), and extend tool life .
cut all one side
7. Cutting all of one side or one steering, specially for molding engraving, will help create better consistency in your cuts .
8. “ You can make belittled adjustments to your mallet grip to control the measure of affect on the chisel, ” Alfano says. “ For heavier cut, grasp the treat a small bite lower, and for alight cutting, like shading, you can raise it up a sting. It doesn ’ t take much to make a dispute for lighter or heaver strokes. ”
engrave shading lines
9. For creating shaded areas in scratch, Alfano shares that a “ micro thin tapered start up is extremely important in finely shaded exploit and should be your goal. ” Shaded lines are latitude and get deeper as they converge, which creates the shade attend above .
10. Draw to improve your engraving skills. “ If you want to excel in this art, you must learn to draw, ” Alfano says. There are about dateless copyright-free patterns you can engrave, but “ proficiency with a pencil is what can make you or break you as a hired hand engraver. ”
Alfano evening explains why and when you should cut clockwise or counterclockwise. I had no idea there were such specifics to be considered, but that ’ s another bonus of learning from a seasoned technical !
practice hand engraving

The Whole Kit and Kaboodle

I ’ ve mentioned some of what ’ randomness provided in the kit and you can learn more on Rio Grande ’ s product page. But just to be exhaustive, here ’ s the whole tidy list :

  • Learn Old School Hammer & Chisel Engraving with Sam Alfano DVD
  • 2.4-oz. head weight chasing hammer
  • two Sam Alfano wooden chisel handles
  • five bronze QC tool holders
  • four tapered flat Glensteel gravers
  • 90° point square Glensteel graver
  • five 16-gauge mild carbon steel practice plates
  • six 16-gauge half-hard brass practice plates
  • fine diamond sharpener
  • double-sided super-fine diamond sharpener with pouch

scrollwork wavy line engraving

Try Hand Engraving Along With Me!

I ’ ve always been drawn to engraved metal accessories and jewelry because of the monograms, sentiments, and purpose elements I mentioned above. Engraving is such an elegant way to personalize jewelry. It allows us to contribution a message, date, or monogram worthy of being worn or displayed constantly, or to add one-of-a-kind invention details to metal surfaces. If you agree and are ready to learn something new this year, join me in mastering hand engraving !
You can get the Sam Alfano Hammer and Chisel Engraving Kit with Old School Engraving DVD —the same kit I ’ meter using—from Rio Grande. Watch for more blogs about this proficiency that I ’ megabyte thrilled to ultimately learn !
Tammy Jones
Web Producer and Social Media Manager
Interweave Jewelry, Beading & Crochet

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