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Old 06-20-2019, 01:15 PM
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Matt Shade Matt Shade is offline
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Default More spurs, I decided to try some engraving.

I made my own gravers out of some drill rod I had laying around. One is a square tip, used to make border lines, and one is a "wriggler" used to put shading in

In hindsight I should have tried to practice on some flat stock instead of going right to a pair of spurs, but you can't really solder the overlays on after engraving without taking a chance of having to buff the engraving back off and I decided to just go for it.

Both tools cut well and are fairly easy to control. The real struggle was learning how big of a cut to try and take, and trying to find a method to lay my pattern out that wouldn't rub back off as I was working.

I think I will have to come up with some sort of engraving vise before I do anymore work like this. It is very hard to keep the tool at the proper angle, and see where it is going, when the work piece is trapped in one fixed position. The flags came out a little rough, but most people will see them from 10 ft away. I'm happy that the tools worked, and I can continue experimenting.
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Old 06-20-2019, 01:57 PM
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What are you using for pushing the graver? Wood hammer?

I'm sure you know you could buy something new from a catalog but maybe you could mount a vise on a Lazy Susan?

I wonder if a tat gun could be repurposed somehow. Always seem to see them for sale around here for cheap...

Not a bad first effort!

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Old 06-20-2019, 02:18 PM
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For the square point I started with a small ball peen hammer and then switched to the maul I use on my leather tools. That worked pretty well. The bigger problem was the flex in how I had it clamped, than what I was driving it with.

The wriggler you push by hand and use a rocking motion, a little bit like walking a tig cup.

Engraving vises seem to start out around $600, so I will be making whatever I end up with. I am kicking around some ideas but a lot of it will depend on what I have in the resource pile on the day I decide to build it
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Old 06-20-2019, 07:32 PM
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Nice job Matt. all the engravers I have ever seen are pretty small and the grip fits inside the palm using the pointer and the thumb to guide the cutting edge..

One of the engravers vices or one of the pitch holders that swivels works very well.

Just adding my 0.02.. Nice work for sure.

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Old 06-20-2019, 10:13 PM
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I watched a couple videos where people used short tools they just held with their thumb and finger but most of the diagrams I looked at for grind angles and stuff showed longer shanks, or pin vise style handles.

I have to experiment with the grind angle but the square tip has to be tapped with a hammer, and with the low angle you have to hold it at above the work it needs to be that long to keep from hitting my knuckles with the mallet. If I change the grind angle a little where it can be held more upright I may be able to trim it some but so far it works pretty well, I just need to get the work at a more comfortable angle and held more rigidly.

The wriggler, you push by hand and I have it sized so that when the back is against the heel of my hand, my index finger is back from the tip far enough it doesn't block my view of the cutting edge. I wear an XL or XXL glove though.

I did look at some engraving vises and they are way too expensive for the budget I'm working with. I'm sure I can make something that works similarly.
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Old 06-23-2019, 08:35 PM
Steeveedee Steeveedee is offline
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That's some nice work! I think with a little time and effort and sales, you could afford to buy that vise.
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Old 06-23-2019, 09:10 PM
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Keep it up Matt, Soon you'll find your self/i.e. your talent in making Spurs "Wanted"/orders to a point you can't fill
Nice Job Matt...

I new a spur maker down in Saragosa who started making spurs he made spurs his entire life and to think he started out only getting 2 and 3 bucks a pair when he was young. by the early 90's none sold for less than 1k a pair, he also found he could never of fill the orders for them. he has since passed on but his spurs still tickle the sides of great horses. and somewhere down the line many many years later... never would make another pair that would cut a horse up.

Mine have long since been stolen, but they were beautiful Mexican spurs.
made the mistake of wearing them on a large roundup and took em off and hung them from my saddle for chow and went back to be back to work and well there was a thief among us. somewhere in all the pics from those days I have a pic of me on horseback wearing them... I was a younger and more fit man back then... when life was good.
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Old 06-25-2019, 08:04 PM
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Thanks guys!
I don't see myself making it into the art category that pulls the big prices but I'd really happy if I could sell some more elaborate work here and there where things get a little more profitable. At the very least this kind of stuff keeps it interesting.
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Old 06-26-2019, 11:11 AM
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Bowling ball engraving vises ...
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Old 06-26-2019, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by USMCPOP View Post
Bowling ball engraving vises ...
Ha! I can see a motorized version of that being useful as a small items welding vise too.
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