March 27, 2003, 01:54 AM
Did a search and could not find the answer to this question...does anyone know how to do jewelling? Any sites one can check out?

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March 27, 2003, 04:23 AM
Brownell sells tools for it.

They are not that expensive IIRC 30 bucks or so.

You would need a drill press or lathe.

Matt G
March 27, 2003, 06:16 AM
Although I've never seen it done, my father states that as a part time assistant gunsmith, (read: kick-butt college job) he regularly used to do it with a pencil eraser chocked up in a Dremel MotoTool. I've no reason to doubt hiim.

But I'm interested in hearing from the professional gunsmiths on the board on this subject, so I'm going to move this to the Gunsmithing forum here on THR.


March 27, 2003, 09:09 AM
I have not done jewelling on a gun part, but have "jewelled" small front panels where control switches were to be mounted. I used a 3/8" dia. ink eraser chucked in a mill drill and dipped in valve grinding compound. I used the mill to step and repeat the pattern. If the pattern is accurately positioned the results are striking, like an overlapping fish scales, and provide that little extra touch of craftsmanship.
The tools used for doing this on a bolt allow one to again accurately position the bolt.

4 eyed six shooter
March 27, 2003, 07:22 PM
I like to use the small wire brushes that Brownells sells. You will need a drill press or mill and a jeweling fixture (such as made by B-Square) and a cross sliding vice. It can be done with just a cross slide vice but is harder to do. Put the stripped bolt in the fixture and the fixture in the vice. Make sure the the vice is set up so that you can move the brush from the front of the bolt to the rear of the bolt. The idea is to make overlapping circles with the brush on the bolt, overlapping by 50%. You will have to figure out how much of a turn on the screw handle it takes to move the brush over 50% and turn the screw the same amout for each new circle.
Coat the bolt with 240 or 400 grit Clover compound, running the brush at medium speed lower the brush down until it touches the bolt just enought to slightly spread out the brush. It helps to put a rubber "O" ring on the brush to keep it from spreading out too much. I hold it for a count of 5 then move onto the next position. You make one compleat row of circles along the bolt body, then turn the bolt to make the next row of circles, overlapping the row above by 50%. Start the next row with the circle inbetween two of the circles and 50% into the row of circles above it. You do this until the entire bolt is covered with the overlapping circles. You have to pay attention to what you are doing. It will take 45 - 75 Min. to do a bolt. Start your first row on the bottom of the bolt ( the part that faces the magazine when the bolt is in the firearm) It would be far easier to show you then to describe the process. I hope this gives you an idea of the process. The depth of the jeweling is controlled by the grit and the time the brush is held against the bolt.
Hope this helps - John K

Standing Wolf
March 27, 2003, 09:04 PM
I've had a couple hammers and triggers jewelled by the good folks at

They do good work—and I'm partial to their bead blasting for stainless firearms, too.

Jim K
March 27, 2003, 10:27 PM
The brushes won't work too well by themselves; they need to be dipped in a cutting compound, like grinding compound. A pencil eraser will work, but the cuts will be very shallow.

Without some kind of guide to keep the jewelling straight and to give even spacing, the job will not generally work out very well.
(Matt G, I don't doubt your father, but he must have had a lot steadier hand than I have.)

The idea of jeweling was originally to hold oil on interior surfaces; later the idea caught on of doing it on the outside for decoration as sort of a cheap engraving. The problem is that it is very shallow and part of it will soon be worn away on a moving part (like a rifle bolt) that has any contact with another surface (like the inside of the receiver). The almost inevitable scratching and scoring result, IMHO, in a surface that is worse looking than a plain bolt.


March 27, 2003, 11:59 PM
Thanks all for the info...John, thanks for the step by step. I ordered the cutting paste, brushes, and a brush holder with shrink wrap and o-rings from Brownells. The only vise they had for it was $188.! I must now confess that this is not for a bolt, it is for the inside of the frame on a folding knife I am making. I also do not have a drill press...anyone think I will be able to do it with a hand held power drill? Think I can rig up a way to secure the drill and was thinking of freehanding the frame against it. Any place to get an inexpensive adjstable vise?

4 eyed six shooter
March 28, 2003, 02:43 AM
Buzz, You can get a cross slide vise and bench top drill press inexpensively from harbor freight ( They offer free shipping on orders over $50.00. The results would not be good if you tried to do it by hand. It would be best to get a jeweling fixture but, you can do without one just putting the bolt in the vise and carefully turning it the right amount for each row. It is not hard to do, if you take your time. The first bolt I ever jeweled was in gunsmithing school. My instructor told me the best grade he could give for the project was a 3.0 due to the fact that it was not a difficult job. The job came out so good he gave me a 3.5. If I can do that good on my first one, you should have no trouble turning out a good job also.
Good luck with your project, John K

4 eyed six shooter
March 28, 2003, 02:49 AM
Buzz, after reading you post a second time I see it is just going to be on a flat surface (it's really late). The cross slide vise will do the job just fine. I think the price on the bench top drill press is about $40.00 and the vise is $20. - 25.00. Practice on a piece of scrap metal first to get a feel for it. It doesn't require much pressure or time to get a good swirl mark.
Best to you, JK

Jim K
March 28, 2003, 09:19 PM
The cross-side vise will do fine. All you need is a way to keep the line of circles straight, and move the work a fixed amount each time, so each circle overlaps the previous one. This is done by turning the handle a certain number of turns each time. When done with one line, move the other handle a certain number of turns to start a new line, again overlapping the previous line. You will want to keep the circles staggered, like bricks in a wall, for a nicer effect.

As to that "certain number of turns" it depends on the vise and the size of the cutting, so I can't give an exact figure. You better practice on some old metal first; like a lot of simple jobs, there are many ways to louse it up.


September 20, 2003, 11:51 AM
Rather than start a new post, I'll revive this one.
Wanted the bolt on the 10/22 I'm building jeweled, like to do things myself if possible.

Got most of the information I needed from this website
Since the article deals with Mauser bolts I had to come up with a way to hold a 10/22 bolt and keep the lines straight. That was the hardest part.

I clamped the bolt in a drill press vice, padded the jaws with rubber gasket material held in place with magnetic strips.

In order to get proper spacing while moving the bolt horizontally I made marks on the drill press plate every 1/8". (The brush diameter is 1/4", used 1/8" for consistant overlap.)

To keep the vice going straight as I moved it I clamped a piece of scrap wood trim to the press to use as a guide. When It was time to make another row I would move the guide back 1/8".

I got the brushes from Brownells. MidwayUSA has them too, but you get three from Brownells for the same price as one from Midway. Good thing I had an extra, while practicing on the vice jaws I put too much pressure on one and spread the bristles out.
The Permatex valve grinding compound is 400 grit.

Finished project.

Did my Sons Ruger too, it came out a little better than mine. Should have used his for practice! :D

Think I'll do the chamber on my 1911 barrel this afternoon as soon as I figure out a way to hold and index it.

Ed Kay
September 21, 2003, 02:12 PM
Bruz, you have a lot of help already. I use the abrasive rods from Brownells and a Dremmel in a small drill press. It's a lot less mess and works great.
Good luck

December 18, 2003, 04:14 PM who wants to do this to my 1911?? :D


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