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Old 09-21-2009, 02:44 PM
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Location: Tennessee
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Default Gold inlay script and block lettering on a custom rifle

Hey guys ... just finished this. Figured I would turn it into a brief tutorial and make a "constructive" forum contribution today (for a change ).

This is 24k gold lettering in a custom rifle action and barrel being built by Steven Cale of Scott Depot, West Virginia. This rifle will be one of three that Steve will be using to present to the ACGG for acceptance as full member. I am happy and honored that he asked me to come to his shop and help out.

It's a left handed action. Here, the lettering and flourishes have been cut. Some inlay has been done.

A scope shot of the next inlay to be performed .... undercut and ready.

Below is the undercutting tool which I have fabricated ... is basically a bulino graver with the bottom and top edges of the graver knocked off. It tapers to a small, offset, flat point. The offset allows you to get under the edge and displace the metal without damaging the opposite edge. For very very small inlay channels ... this is kinda important.

Below are two pieces of steel, polished, which I use to roll out the gold smaller after it has been drawn out to .26mm which is the smallest my drawplate goes. Rolling it out to approx. .20mm or under as necessary.

After pounding it in with a brass punch, shaving off excess gold with a #40 flat (with the corners dubbed off), I continue the process for the rest of letters. Some letters requiring multiple pieces as the thickness varies ...

These are Gesswein Moldmaker stones ... in 600 and 1200 grit.

The stones are used in lieu of sandpaper or a draw file as they achieve the desired level of polish while removing gold and steel at the same rate. Something sandpaper can not do. A final quick polish with 1500 grit paper and it is done ...


For the barrel .... I used block letters for the caliber ... some computer font ... which was layed out just above the wood line.

Cut and undercut the letters and the whole process begins as before ... this time with wire drawn out to .45mm.

Stoning in progress .......

Final polish with 1500 grit paper wrapped around a block .... and it's done:

Hope that was helpful ... gotta shovel mass quantities of aluminum for M/C parts now. I think I like doing this gold work a little more!!
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