Hello members! What is your favorite tool for cutting the main channel for gold inlay (not the undercutting tool). There are many ways to accomplish the same job, but it would be interesting to see what we are using.
I am assuming you mean for a border, not a cavity? For long borders I use a flat of the width I need. This WON'T work on tight curves but will on a gentle radius. You need to keep the heel short to keep from tearing as well. It might not work for everyone but I like it as it keeps the width uniform and the channel is easier to prepare for an undercut.
For tight turns and curves, I just use a square.
Yes, Rex - just for borders or small line type work. Cavities are a different animal... Do you knock the corners off the flat so it tracks around slight curves or do you find it doesn't matter?
I've come across many people who do excellent work and each seems to use a different tool which is why I asked the question. I know people who uses an onglette, a flat (now 2 people), a square, a round, and a 120. Interesting to see how many ways to accomplish the same thing.
I have knocked of the corners but didn't find it made much difference. I just use a short heel. If I need to do a LONG straight line such as on a floorplate of a rifle I will use a flat with a longer heel for just the long part however. It will track a bit better.
I also will add that I will kick up "teeth" in the bottom of the cut if the line is wide. Maybe not needed but can't hurt. Also, it keeps the gold from "walking" as you set it.
Again, this is how I do it but doesn't mean it is the only way. I just learned this way and it works for me in most cases.
I use a flat too but I don't knock the corners off for two reasons:
1. It takes too much time---I'm constantly touching up the face for cutting consistency.
2. I want that razor sharp corner when cutting the line.
I don't use a flat for most curves. Shallow curves can be OK, but I always seem to get some kind of heel drag
And if you use my method, those corners seem to get knocked off all by themselves...ha,ha.
Scott, great advice. I'm going to try that.
Just grind the sides parallel and to the width of your inlay.
I bet the control is so much better than a flat.
(Those flat fellas can get kinda "squirrelly"----if you know what I mean)
I use a 90Â° for gold lines because it is esier to control but for harder inlay material I go back and flatten the bottom with a flat. My theory is that gold and silver are soft enough to take the undercut well in any shape of cavity. Iron and other harder materials require a cavity with a vertical wall to insure a good anchor.
I use a scorper which is a flat made from a square graver. Because the sides are ground in a "reverse" fashion (which means whatever size flat you decide on remains parallel) they give any remaining metal somewhere to flow to and give a neater cut than a standard flat graver. It's a very old fashioned tool but sometimes the old ways are hard to beat.
Joe, Do you have a parallel heel on the 120 degree bottom, or a traditional heel? If you get deep do the sides throw up a burr? I've been trying an onglette and the sides seem to be throwing up a burr.
Marcus, I'm with Andrew - please show us the scorper.
Tira, I use a traditional heal. I make the tool out of flats that are close to the size needed. I keep the heal very small to help with the burr problem on very tight curves and there is always a burr on those real tiny loops. On large curves the cuts are clean in 416. On the softer materials using more cuts to get the depth helps. I use a 25 degree heal on these and that also helps.
I don't think you could have a parallel heal. It is too small. After the tool is cut to the width you just put a heal on it. The heal go all the way to the edge of the tool. The heal is the only shaping of the point needed.
Sorry guys, I've been a bit busy the past few days to photograph one of my scorpers. Thanks for postin that Kevin. What I use is basically the same thing.
If you want to try one out the geometry for a sharpening fixture is 60Âº for the heel with a 15Âº lift/post. Then the flat is put on at 15Âº lift also. The 60Âº sides make the flat parallel whatever the width. Get this wrong and you'll get a tapered flat which won't work or rather, it will to a certain degree but the first time you resharpen you'll get a different sized flat.
I've always cut a V-channel with a square and then flatten the bottom with a flat graver. I don't claim it's the best method but it's worked for me. I think I'll try some of the various gravers suggested in this excellent thread! :thumbs up:
I use a square graver ground to the width of the line I want to inlay.
Marcus, I make all my flats up on one corner like that. I never knew there was a real name for that.
I use a flat made that way except with sides vertical to relieve background. I usually put a 55 degree face on it and about a 30 degree heel. Gives great clearance to dig out a hole.
Marcus, "the geometry for a sharpening fixture is 60Âº for the heel with a 15Âº lift/post" and "The 60Âº sides make the flat parallel whatever the width." It seems counter-intuitive that this would produce parallel sides. I'm missing something here.
If one starts with a square blank at 0Â° do you rotate to 60Â° with the post at 15Â° and then mirror that? I would think that one would rotate the head to 90Â° to get parallel sides?
Could you clarify?