View Single Post
Old 09-21-2009, 07:35 PM
WVEngraver's Avatar
WVEngraver WVEngraver is offline
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 1,656
Default Re: Gold inlay script and block lettering on a custom rifle

I'm really happy I posted this. I almost didn't because I didn't think I took enough photos to actually make it informative. There's a lot of informative info and contributions made to this site, but I couldn't find any that actually addressed inlaid letters. Much of what I've learned has been freely passed on to me, so I have combined the best of that knowledge and have passed it on here.


Dan, it's good to know there are folks that find humor in my hopeless cynicism ... I'm a born & bred city guy livin' deep in the country - every day is load of laughs. If it ain't, then there's something really wrong.

Thank-you Dave and Barry ....

Hi JJ .. The undercutting tool is the same tool (and technique) that Ron Nott uses. I'm pretty sure it is similar to the tool that Roland already has a template for. I'll check with Steve to make sure we wouldn't be duplicating the same geometry. I think it's a great idea because without this type of undercutting tool, there's no way I could inlay the same fine lines that Ron does. The M42 graver is perfect for this because it can handle the tough arsenal grade steel of an action without bending or breaking as HSS or Carbide (respectively) would do under such conditions.

btw ... this is a Remington 700 action. No annealing necessary.

Jeff, there are a number of ways to undercut & inlay gold. The small cuts in the script are "V" cuts made with a square graver. In a very narrow inlay (-.2mm) , undercutting the sides is really the only way to go. When getting into the wider inlays, you have a couple of choices. On the block letters here, I chose to undercut the sides and smooth out the bottom flat. This allowed the wire to spread out across the bottom and grab the undercuts. I could have made undercuts in the bottom only and used gold sheet or flattened wire to achieve the same result. The size of your inlay will dictate what method you finally decide you use. As gold work hardens, I prefer the method that I illustrate here for wire which has been drawn down to around .5mm. The other thing to consider on a project is if you have the luxury of stoning flat the raised edges. On some projects, you may not be able to raise edges so raising burrs on the bottom is your only option.

In choosing the method I used here, I drew out 1 inch of .39 inch diameter wire to .45 millimeters. That was enough wire to inlay the caliber on the barrel and I still had about 1/2 inch of that drawn out wire left. Minimal waste/scrap.

Hi Eric, thank-you ... I'll be back at Steve's gun shop tomorrow and I'll snap a few pictures of the rifle and the progress it has made so far. The customer is a pastor here from West Virginia. In the mid 90's, he made a pilgrimage to Turkey where he was able to appropriate some beautiful Circasian walnut. I figure the project will be completed about 2 more months.

Here in the forum we have the privileged to see a lot of work by already established gun makers and engravers. I think it is really something special to see work produced by a regular guy, today, who (I believe) will someday take the place of one of the big guys. That goes for everyone in the forum here who is producing such outstanding engraving work and making every effort to be the best he/she can be.

Hey Jerry ... I sure wish I could get outta here!!! There's a bunch of great people I still need to visit .... long over due too. Gotta get the work while it's hot.

Kevin, it's all in the stones!!!! The Moldmaker and Moldmaker Plus stones conform/wear to the shape of the object being stoned. (thank Jason M. for that priceless tip)

Hi Ron ... you're the man!! The inlay tool and undercutting is all your tutoring my friend.

Hey Tim, you're not kidding. Good thing my chair has wheels so I can slide out and in when the muzzle swings by.


Catch ya'll later ... time to go get a Big Mac and take my Lipitor.
Reply With Quote