engraving


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dclevinger
February 10, 2008, 12:59 AM
Hey guys. Here is a double rifle in 470 Nitro that I'm putting some English scroll work on. Thought some of you might get a kick out of it.

David
www.dcengraving.com

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dirtyjim
February 10, 2008, 08:26 AM
very nice work. i'll keep you in mind for two of my projects i'm working on

kir_kenix
February 10, 2008, 08:35 AM
wow, that looks really good. i dont know much (or anything) about engraving, but its sure nicer then anything ill probably ever own.

good work dclevinger

dclevinger
February 10, 2008, 12:24 PM
Thanks guys.

kir_kenix....I'm happy to answer questions about engraving. It's one of the few things I really enjoy talking about so ask away if you want.

David
www.dcengraving.com

Bones11b
February 10, 2008, 12:39 PM
Very nice work. I also don't know much about engraving, but have seen enough to be impressed by yours.

kir_kenix
February 10, 2008, 02:44 PM
so if somebody wanted something engraved, how would one go about getting the work commissioned? is it like a paint store where u get a book full of different scrolls and choose the one u like? do ppl just turn the work over to u and say "have at it?" i imagine most ppl who have an engraved rifle know very, very little of the process, so if there was a picture book it would really help a guy along.

im putting together a big game rifle this summer on a montana 99 action, and i started thinking about some personal touches. what kind of material (4140 chrome, 415 stainless, etc) are optimal for an engravers work? I know price is totally dependent on the type/level of engraving, but how much does something such as ur picture above run a guy?

sorry for all the questions, but i am totally and absolutley out of my field here. i dont know if something like this would be feasable for a guy like me, but if u dont mind sharing id sure be interested in hearing about it. checked out ur site, and i can tell u are very talented by what little i have seen engraved. thanks.

dclevinger
February 10, 2008, 03:56 PM
Thank you very much Bones

kir_kenix....You're pretty close. There are basically nine "styles" of sroll work to chose from that can be found in many books. Of course, each engraver will have his own version of the various styles. As well, most engravers will have one or two styles that they specialize in. Mine happens to be English and Anerican scroll but I work in all of the styles.

Some clients have an idea what style they want and where they want it. I've had several that sent me a gun with the ares they wanted covered mark with a sharpie. I have a couple of old shotguns in right now that are getting my version of an original factory pattern. The client sent the gun and pictures of the original pattern and said "Put this on it." Still others just send the gun, give me a budget and let me go to town. R.L. Wilson's book "Steel Canvas" is great reference material to see different styles and learn a little of the history of engraving. You can also go to www.fega.com (Firearms Engravers Guild of America) and click on "Members Photos" to see more modern examples.

Most of the chromoly and 400 seires stainless alloys are engravable. 300 series stainless is not fun to cut but luckily isn't used in guns very often. The biggest issue is the hardness of the metal. Modern American guns are very hard and while most can be engraved, some are just too hard.

The rifle above would cost about $1000. All of the metal parts have some scroll on them and there is a fair amount of lettering as well. The coverage can be adjusted to suit the clients budget. Price also has to do with the engravers skill and reputation. I have friends that would charge $5000 for a job that I charge $2000 to do. There are others that can charge $20000 or $30000 for the same thing. A couple of my instructors can get commissions for $60000 or more. And yes, you can tell the difference. It takes a trained eye but the difference is there.

Hope this helps a little. Let me know if there are any other questions.

David
www.dcengraving.com

Dionysusigma
February 10, 2008, 07:19 PM
How is it done? No need to go into trade-secret specifics, but is it with a static tool like chisel, a rotary tool of some kind, or... ?

dirtyjim
February 10, 2008, 07:34 PM
david, how hard is it for you to engrave german mauser receivers? i have two that i'm going to want a small amount of engraving on the receiver, bottom metal, the top flat on the octagon barrels & the mauser banners on the front ring touched up. i'm going to have the receivers re-heat treated so would it help out very much on your engraving to have the receivers annealed before i send them to you?

dclevinger
February 10, 2008, 08:44 PM
No trade secrets here. Most of the professional gun engravers are 50 or older and at 34, I'm one of the young bucks. So the way I see, the more people I can educate about engraving the better off we all are.

My engraving is done with a very small chisel called a graver. Most of my gravers are made of .090" square stock and are HSS, cobalt or carbide. I grind the square stock into whatever shape and size I need. When I started engraving, I used the hammer and chisel method. The graver is held is a handle of some type and driven along with a chasing hammer which has a very light steel head and thin shaft. The thin shaft allows it to flex and spring a bit which helps with control. I now use a Gravermax, an air assisted tool, made by GRS. Think of it as a miniature jack hammer. The graver is held in a hand piece that contains a small piston. The piston provides the impact force rather than a hammer. One of the big advantages is that the tool is held with one hand and the work is turned into the graver. www.grstools had some great pictures of the equipment I use. The work is held in an ball vise that can spin and be tilted depending on what is being engraved.

dirtyjim....it would depend on the Rockwell after hardening but working on it after annealing would be easy. The issue with hardening after engraving is that some of the detail could be lost if the polisher gets too aggressive when removing the scale.

David
www.dcengraving.com

kir_kenix
February 11, 2008, 12:40 AM
thanks for answering my questions dclevinger. i checked out fega, and wow, some of that work is amazing. a little to gaudy for me maybe, but fantastic.

ordered a book on engraving because i found it so interesting. cant wait to do some reading so ill know more about the techniques, styles, and get to look at some work. i dont think at this time id be ready to commission any work, but ill see what the wife says.

once again, thanks for answering my questions and getting my interest in a new form of art (to me). ill certainly keep u in mind if i decide to get some work commissioned.

ColdChili
February 12, 2008, 02:11 PM
dclevinger,
I hope you don't find my question insulting, but Is there anytime you would recommend someone have their firearm laser engraved versus hand engraved? Say for instance if someone wanted more of a 'logo' type design versus fancy scroll work done?

dclevinger
February 12, 2008, 02:57 PM
kir_kenix.... very good. please let me know if you have any other questions.

ColdChili....yes, actually I suggest that someone use a laser engraver. Logos can very difficult to make an exact copy by hand and wanted it precise. Also, some gun parts are to hard to be cut with hand tools. Glock slides are a good example.

The problem with using a laser for scroll work is that it doesn't have the "life" that hand cut work does. As I go along I will lay my graver over one way or the other to change the thickness of the line. This creates a flare cut and is tough if not impossible to do with a laser.

David
www.dcengraving.com

If you enjoyed reading about "engraving" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!