“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
First of all, let me say what hand engraving is not. Hand engraving is not “etching”. Hand engraving is not done with a rotary tool. It is not done with a laser.
Hand engraving is the art of carving, by hand, a pattern into – in my work – metal.
Hand engraving is done with a tool called a “graver”. It is much like a miniature chisel. My gravers, made of High Speed Steel, Carbide, or a Cobalt/Carbide mix and hand sharpened to various points depending upon the cuts to be made. Most of my gravers are sharpened with nine to ten different angles to achieve the proper point.
Engraving is done by either pushing the graver through the metal or chasing – tapping – the graver through the metal with a small chase hammer or with a pneumatic hand piece that works as a tiny hammer.
Hand engraving requires a lifetime of study in artwork, drawing, transferring methods, a hefty amount of metallurgy, machining, math, and related knowledge.
I do most of my work though a scope – as much to ensure I have good posture as to to see in great detail. As with any “art” type trade, years of money, study, practice, blood, and sweat have been poured into my work. It can be tedious, very time intensive, and hard on the body, eyes, and hands. And I love it!