Thursday, February 2, 2017

Hammer and Chisel Engraving - A Traditional Craft

Engraving is the cutting of various lines into metal that form decorative patterns. “Hammer and Chisel” is the traditional form of metal engraving done with a small chasing hammer and chisels of various forms. For my personal engraving hammer and chisel handles, I chose to make them myself on a metal lathe. The chisel that goes into the handle is ground by hand from a 1/8 micro grain carbide blank to various shapes depending on the desired cut. In the first video on this post, I do a basic demonstration without explanation just to show the process. I take a “pull” from an engraved firearm by putting black chalk in the cut lines. I then transfer this design with tape to a pull plate that has been waxed so that the chalk adheres. Once the image is in place, I select a tool and begin cutting the main lines, followed up with single point shading and a punched background. Again, this is a simple demonstration and I am by no means an expert. I am still learning the craft of engraving from a seasoned engraver with the goal of doing it both for personal projects and professionally for an additional source of income. In the future I would like to engrave the knives that I am making for a fully executed project as well as engraving jewelry and inlays in wood. Professionally I would engrave firearms for the most part which offers many challenges such as various metal types and uneven surfaces.

A selection of hand engraving tools.

Hammer and Chisel Hand Engraving is fairly simple as far as equipment goes, you need a hammer, chisels and a way to hold your work piece. My vice is a traditional engravers block, which is a ball shaped vice that you can position freely to make your cuts. There are of course many other accessories that you can gain from such as dividers, sharpening stones, optics and more. The more modern form of engraving uses pneumatic hand pieces and powerful magnification. It is a faster and easier method to learn and quite popular. While both forms of engraving can create beautiful works of art, hammer and chisel is still prized as the traditional form.

Featured Video

Hand engraved rifle.

Thank you for taking the time to view my video and read this short piece. Below are several other videos I have posted on the topic with more to come in the future.

Here's some links for engraving tools on Amazon, Associate links help support the channel and website.

Headband Maginifer-
My Engraving Vice-
Engraving Hammer-
Swing Arm Engraving Lamp-
Pneumatic Engraving-
Assortment of Gravers-

The Art of Engraving-
Engraving on Precious Metals-
The Jewelry Engravers Manuel-
Fantastic Ornament-
Steel Canvas: The Art of American Arms-

Making Engraving Chisel Handles

Engraving Tools and Work Space

Getting Started - What to Cut First

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Thanks for all of this information. I really appreciate it.