Finally done with my first gun.


Elite Cafe Member
Sep 16, 2013
Thread starter #1
Ok guys, I'm a little hesitant to even post this. A few months ago I posted the first pic of my butt plate I started engraving and one of the replies was to throw it away and start over ! Well some other advise was to keep going and learn from my work. Boy did I learn a lot .This is my 10/22 I've had for some 40 years. I bought it from a fellow soldier used. I never was really very happy with it. I decided to make it a shooter for my new backyard range and things just progressed from there. I did some major work to the standard stock and some self done performance and cosmetic work and ended up doing a lot of engraving too .
I did learn a lot from engraving this first gun. Some things were.
Aluminum is gummy to cut. It seems to tear away more than cut away.
I'm not an artist. I have reasonable control of my tools but sometimes the piece would sit on my turntable for weeks with me looking at it several times a day trying to figure out what to do in a particular spot. I definitely need to draw more. And I need to have the whole job planned out on paper before I start cutting.
Endless ,never ending background removing gives you plenty of time to think. I did a lot of thinking. I think I've decided to engrave all my guns that I can. While my work may not be great work, I think my kids would like to have some items they knew I enjoyed owning and will think of me when they shoot ,handle or prop a door open with them. I will, try to do better and better work.
My next project I think I'll go for a simpler flare cut engraving style. No deep relief and with punch dot background.
My biggest screwup is also the work I'm happiest with. On the left side of the receiver, the starter scroll to the right of the word" carbine" was the Ruger insignia and trademark. I thought " I'll make a starter scroll out of it. Those guys on EngraversCafe will be impressed with my ingenuity ! ". It turned out to be a train wreck. I didn't know what to do. It was too big an area to just cut out for background. I stewed on it for a few days and finally peened and burnished the metal out flat. It was dished out because I removed some metal. I cut in a new starter scroll and relieved the background deeper than the rest and it seemed to turn out ok.
The finish is a both a blessing and a curse. It's that spray on bluing you see in the back of gun magazines. It's really just an epoxy coating. It went on very thin, running to one side of my engraving and filling in a lot of my shading. I did have one leaf that had some terrible, embarrassing shading and it filled that in, whew ! If I ever do another 10/22, I'll use a stainless barrel and leave the receiver in the white.
Thank you to all that have helped me on this and in the past and the future too.

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Staff member
::::Pledge Member::::
Feb 11, 2007
washington, pa
not a cliche, but the first one is the most scarry. with time, at least for me, the fright factor became less and less. if not a problem, could you please do a couple closeups of the receiver sides ?

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