Dot punch backgrounds opinions

AO84

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does anyone else think dot punch backgrounds tend to look like lowbudget work? I am trying to like them and was practicing with different size beading punches to see the differences, but just can't convince myself it looks good. Anyone share the same opinion? Anyone think that dot punch backgrounds look great? Just curious what the differing thoughts are out there. Thanks
 
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JJ Roberts

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A084,Dot punch look great on firearms as long as you don't over lap them you must work away from your self that way you'll be able place the punch right next to the dot with no over lapping very simple. J.J.
 

AllenClapp

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For me, it depends upon what item and with what layout the dot punch background is used AND how well it was executed. I have a factory engraved Colt SAA with Level C engraving that has a dot punch background. The execution of dot placement is uniformly applied and absolutely delightful. The care taken by the engraver is evident and the result is stunning.

For Colt SAAs, a dot punch background is a historic engraving background and not out of place. However, I have seen some dot punch backgrounds on some other items that DID appear to be out of place, at least to me. I have also seen otherwise nicely engraved pistols butchered by a badly executed dot punch background. To me, the big key is the execution of the background. A punch dot background is tough to do well.

A nicely applied dot punch background can take less time than excavating, flattening, and stippling or matting a background and thus, for the same budget, allow more or a more intricate engraving (or gold inlay) on the piece. That can be a great trade-off.

Several of the folks on this forum are certified Colt Master Engravers and/or FEGA Master Engravers. I suspect that one or more will chime in with some good comments on the relative merit of dot punch backgrounds. Please forgive my early comments, but this question hit home for me. I just spent almost an hour studying the engraving patterns and how the dot punch background was integrated with them on that Colt .44-40, wiped it down and put it up, and then saw your question.
 

AO84

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Thanks for the thoughtful replies. So far, what I'm gleaning is that to look good and convey a high-quality visual: a) dot punch must be done flawlessly, with each dot touching and not overlapping and b) it is mostly suitable for firearms and looks out of place on other pieces (usually but not always).
 

AllenClapp

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I didn't mean to imply that it only looks good on firearms. I have seen Zippo lighters, commemorative coins, and jewelry that used it to good effect. For some items, two or more dot sizes are used to gradate dots into sharp corners and small spaces--and that can look much better than trying to use the same size dot everywhere. Dots can work well where the space to be filled is not uniformly shaped (square, rectangle, etc.) and where a pattern would not look very good. Also, scabbing onto another discussion I saw today about engraving on a lighter, the engraver didn't realize that the item was thickly plated and got through the plating into the brass with the excavated background. Dots would not have had that problem.
 

AO84

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Thanks Allan. Using two sizes sounds interesting...makes sense as well since tighter corners might call for that . Might have to do some more experimenting
 

WSammut

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Thanks Allan. Using two sizes sounds interesting...makes sense as well since tighter corners might call for that . Might have to do some more experimenting
Im no master but I think I do a halfway decent job with the punch dots I do on my jewelry work. I typically use 3 different sizes, the largest size does most of it and the smaller are just to get in those small areas where the scroll slowly approaches the boarder. Im also very careful to not overlap or miss any space. I do this by placing the edge of the beading tool in the edge of the previous dot. Ive seen plenty that are not carefully done though. Hope this helps.
Also, I may be the one mentioned above who cut through plating on a zippo, lol
 

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AllenClapp

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Im no master but I think I do a halfway decent job with the punch dots I do on my jewelry work. I typically use 3 different sizes, the largest size does most of it and the smaller are just to get in those small areas where the scroll slowly approaches the boarder. Im also very careful to not overlap or miss any space. I do this by placing the edge of the beading tool in the edge of the previous dot. Ive seen plenty that are not carefully done though. Hope this helps.
Also, I may be the one mentioned above who cut through plating on a zippo, lol
Thanks for posting that photo. This is a good illustration of BOTH how well a dot punch background can look on jewelry, key fobs, and other non-firearm items AND how using 2 or 3 dot sizes can make the dot punch background look uniformly applied to nonuniform areas with tight spaces.
 

AO84

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Curious if others have more photos to share. I really like the look with multiple dot sizes. Thanks for sharing WSammut
 
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