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Is this one of the ways we are headed?

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I feel fairly sure that this will not kill the engravers business. It is just a simple way to tart up something like colorfilling the engraving on an AR-15 lower. If you want a knife a MORA will do. If you love a well proportioned forged blade with an distal taper, burl handle and convex edge you won't be happy with anything else.


North Carolina is home to an NRA approved engraving class at Montgomery Community College. The class is always full and the grads get hired. I can't say I've met many engravers who were sitting around waiting for work.


Bronze is not gold! It may do for a quick glance but that is going to look ugly when it starts chipping out.

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Steel impregnated epoxy, meet bronze impregnated epoxy.


It still requires an engraved or stamped grove to fill so the engraver's job is safe enough.

Besides, if I were taking the trouble and effort (customer perspective = the expense) to engrave something, I sure as heck wouldn't be cutting corners with the material I apply to highlight the engraving.

Which is basically what others have already said... :rolleyes:



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I chalk that stuff up to the 21st century version of the old mail order "become a master gunsmith ( or engraver, woodcarver, outhouse cleaner, etc.)" ads in the back of Field & Stream and such when I was in school. Dopey then, dopey now.

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Ric. Chill.


First time we met was when, down at schwarzer's?

Long time ago. Nobody " needed" anything we were making way back then.

Nobody " needs" anything we do now, any of the skills we have developed, any of the knowledge that we have pried loose with out sweaty, bloody, dirty hands.


Yet here we are.


These things will only ever appeal to the masses who want, or need, cheap, and fast. Fine. They never were our patrons, they never will be. Some of them we will sway and get the attention of, perhaps. Certainly as some of them get mired in the mountains of lowest bidder made stuff and age a little, poke their heads out, and look for things a little nicer.


I don't think that stuff will change anything for us. What we do, what all of us here do, is put our spirits into things.

That machine, and any other machine, cannot do that. The folks that patronize us and support us already know that.

That's why we are still here.


Don't even look at stuff like that. That is not our world. It makes no difference.

Just do what you do. Nobody else can do what Ric's spirit can do.

No machine will ever make what Ric makes. Not ever.


Besides, they are gonna need cool stuff to copy.



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It still comes down to the quality of the artwork going on to the piece right? One of the things I've been learning about things like engraving and inlay is that the actual physical techniques are not THAT hard. It's more the vision of the art and getting that art ONTO the work piece in a way that is proportional and goes with the flow.. if you know what I mean.


So to me... no matter what the actual technique is... the voice and vision of the artist will always be what is most important. Does this make sense?

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Well... after watching the video... I guess that it is pretty cheesy. When I first saw the topic and preview picture of the video I thought it was a variation of using eutectic powders to fill the engravings. But I see now that it's just epoxy with gold dust in it... and no heat.

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I wouldn't sweat it, Ric. I watched you forge an Ulfberht sword, and there is no cheap, easy way to do that, period!


Unfortunately, we are living in an age where many people want to take the easy route. But, mastery of a craft can't be faked. The younger generations, i.e. my generation on forward, do have a bad habit of being decieved. I don't know how many frustrating conversations I've had with young men in their teens or twenties about koshirae, hada, and hamon characteristics,as well as what a sword can and can't do. Misinformation abounds, particularly with regards to japanese blades.


But, while our culture wallows in mass production and cut corners, it does give us a backdrop against which we can shine. There will always be a market for both works of great quality, and craptastic knock-offs. Just as there is a market for bottom shelf booze and top shelf liqours so expensive and rare, you'd hardly dare touch the stuff. While the market is flooded with cheap imitations, discerning collectors will continue to seek out craftsmen who have put in the time and effort to hone their skills. A replica blade can only decrease in value with time, whereas a well crafted blade from a known maker can only increase in value.


So, I say let those folks waste their time and money if they want to take the easy road. It only serves to seperate the real craftsmen from cheap opportunists. Personally, I probably have another three years ahead of me before I can even start some of the insane things I dream about doing, and a lifetime of refinement beyond that. But, I look forward to those challenges and want nothing to do with short cuts.


Real craftsmen pursue their art with passion. Their labor is never in vain.

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  • 3 weeks later...

glitter and glue for adults. oh boy

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