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Silver inlay


Geoff Keyes

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I'm thinking about doing some silver inlay in an integral bolster piece.  How deep do I need to make the grooves in the steel?

 

Geoff

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"The worst day smithing is better than the best day working for someone else."

 

I said that.

 

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.

- - -G. K. Chesterton

 

So, just for the record: the fact that it does work still should not be taken as definitive proof that you are not crazy.

 

Grant Sarver

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I only have experience inlaying using a pitch bowl, Japanese style chisels, and a chasing hammer. The key thing is preparation of the metal and the inlay. When you carve the edges, the chisel only goes in so far. The other important part is carving out the inside where the inlay will sit, and filing the inlay side so it has a slope on the edge. This is so it grips in the inlay better. Ford Hallam has a nice series of videos on the process. 

 

 

Maybe there's an easier way, but this is the way I know!

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Are you doing wire inlay or sheet, and do you want it flush or relief?  For flush you go about 3/4 the thickness of the material so there's some left over to file off after you hammer it to fill the undercuts.  For relief, about half the thickness so there's enough to hold it in place while having enough standing proud to sculpt.  

 

Wire is harder for me than sheet, but only because the undercuts are more difficult to get to.

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I was thinking sheet and flush finished.  I would like to do some simple line and dot designs, I've got some space to work in.  I don't know how I would undercut a dot, however.  I think I have heard that you should leave the surface fairly rough so that the silver can be hammered into it, is that correct?  I think there is a hawk tutorial with some silver work.  I'll have to look for that.

 

Geoff

"The worst day smithing is better than the best day working for someone else."

 

I said that.

 

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.

- - -G. K. Chesterton

 

So, just for the record: the fact that it does work still should not be taken as definitive proof that you are not crazy.

 

Grant Sarver

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42 minutes ago, Geoff Keyes said:

I was thinking sheet and flush finished.  I would like to do some simple line and dot designs, I've got some space to work in.  I don't know how I would undercut a dot, however.  I think I have heard that you should leave the surface fairly rough so that the silver can be hammered into it, is that correct?  I think there is a hawk tutorial with some silver work.  I'll have to look for that.

 

Geoff

Ford Hallam has a raised dot video,the flush is inserted and the raised portion is filed off......

 

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50 minutes ago, Geoff Keyes said:

how I would undercut a dot

 

This is where a tiny inverted cone bit on a dremel comes in handy, it is indeed hard to undercut with gravers once your dot gets below around 1mm.  

 

53 minutes ago, Geoff Keyes said:

hawk tutorial with some silver work.

 

I've done two, but I do pretty rough work.  

 

https://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?/topic/37778-this-is-why-im-always-recommending-files-to-people/

 

https://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?/topic/11614-silver-inlay-into-steel/

 

Ford is a true artist, and if someday I ever aspire to work in the Japanese style he'll be my go-to.

 

 

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