Ken Hunt thread - engraving and artwork

Marrinan

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I have read in "The Art of Engraving" By Gaier and Sabatti That the origin of the Rose and Scroll Came about for two main reasons, one being the use of jewelry engravers in the gun trade do to higher demand at the time of it's origin. Not enough Traditionally trained gun engravers to keep up with the demand from the colonies. A two, the rose and scroll put a "mate texture" as Lynton Mackenzie referred to small delicate engraving as his personal favorite on the hunting guns to cut the reflection of bare metal as many sporting guns were not blacked at the time in history.

Perhaps Roger has more insight into this statement of may in fact prove it to be false. Fred
 
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Sam

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Articles on Ken Hunt. Sorry the resolution is not that great.
 

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Sam

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"I made this , it is crude ,but I have always been fascinated by ancient Etruscan gold Egyptian too , so I experimented using their technique that even the great Cellini didn't know . There is no solder as is used by jewelers but it is limited to only pure 24ct gold or Electrum .the bits of enamel over heated & flooded"

Solder simple mix copper sulphate with fish glue or animal glue paint on surface & heat the glue carbonizes the copper turns to a 9 carat solder that is invisible
kenhunt78Or heat copper till red plunge in water collect scale crush to powder mix with glue & do the same"

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"Here are true gunmakers when an action was milled out on a hand operated machine then it was filed to precision each man was known for his work 2is Morris Timbers any one with action is lucky ,today most are made on computerized machines and just lightly filed up ,not completely hand made .1 is Dan o' Brien case hardener & polisher charcoal bluer .3 Brian Frost barrel maker,4barrel lapping #5 Jack Alders 6 Alf Harvey 7George Woods I recall all these from 60 years ago . That is how then you lived and died for the family firm ;not now Cooperates take over & not many feel recognized many leave disgruntled .

All these men stamped their work with their initials ,if there was a fault they owned up ,but hardly had to ."
 

Sam

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"All the guns in the past in England were hardened & the case hardening colored kept & varnished it gave a tortoise shell effect ,only it did make the fine scroll & animal engraving lose its true quality ,until with use the color wore off to reveille the original . During my time we persuaded the makers to give the gun a coin finish ,inThe transition some used emery to take off the color thereby destroying some of the finer detail , a lot of my work suffered this treatment ."

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"J . Purdey & Sons # .1950 # just look at that machine out of the Ark , but the men produced the best gun in the world then .

No1 Dan O' Brien case hardening at the furnace .using bonemeal or old pieces of#leather# the gun action was placed in a metal pot filled with the mentioned put into the furnace , when heated the reaction was to place a thin coat of hardness ,a skin , inThe outside while the inside stayed soft ,so that it could withstand shock without fracturing .

It's the cyanide in it that causes the reaction & burning leather stinks!


Another gun making story ; Bill Carver was being splashes by rainwater leaking in through the roof making his feet wet , so taking a brace & bit drilled hole in the floorboard , letting it through to the guy inThe lower floor"
 

Crazy Horse

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Looks like a vertical mill (Belt driven) and the man is using an indexing head with tailstock to machine what might be the barrel lug.
 

Sam

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"To creat a print to engrave from another piece . Rub Damar Varnish onto piece for engraving , Smokeblack the original piece. If you haven't a kerosine lamp try a candle ,take Cellotape or like tape place over smoked piece rub lightly to get an impression ,place on varnished plate & do the same , lift off & there is the print to mark over .to get a reverse stick tape over sticky sides together the using the talc marking method you can scribe over careful not to move it , tape to hold in place , you will see the out lines of scribed lines.

I used to make up pine resin in turpentine to use for marking out this I picked up from a diesinker. So every trade can pass on good tips .Lynton & I swopped methods those were primitive times ; tools that could stand up to hard steels was our main concern .forever looking for the ideal ones . The highspeedsteel gravers are great .but while in the sport of fencing ,I turned my broken sword blades not into plough shears but gravers . They were like the Victorian engravers used because the foil blades were made to flex , so the steel didn't become too brittle , oil hardened Ok"
 

silverchip

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Another gun making story ; Bill Carver was being splashes by rainwater leaking in through the roof making his feet wet , so taking a brace & bit drilled hole in the floorboard , letting it through to the guy inThe lower floor"

That would be something I would have got in trouble for.



Thanks for all the great information Sam. I have read some of these before and still find the old school ways fascinating.
 

Marrinan

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Somewhere I have a picture of a very old Italian man and forging gravers for those in the engraving department . The caption says he was the last graver forger in the world. Looked like a foot long chisel drawn to a very fine point. When he was happy with the shape he just cut it on a hardy and went on with the next. Hardened by the batch. If I remember correctly he ways using a car axel for the steel. Fred
 

Sam

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"This is the Long Room at James Purdey & Sons 1980 left Harry Lawrence Rt Hon Richard Beaumont Lawrie Salter family lines. Larwrie is Harry's nephew who took over the managership from Harry . Harry was an action maker so too was Lawrie both later promoted to manager . Richard Beaumont was the queens cousin , he owned Purdeys after the last of the Purdeys died . A true aristocratic gentleman who respected his workmen . Lawrence being a craftsman knew all about guns as he had worked at the bench .Later management lacked this expertise . The families of generations dwindled so there was no continuum . The long room has a history where generals made plans for the invasions during WW2."
 

bram ramon

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Thank you Sam for sharing these pictures of Master engraver Ken Hunt! I already was a fan but now thanks to you i discover even more and appriciate even more the work of Mr Hunt! When i look at al his drawings, angain we can't go around the absolute fact to become a great engraver you first need to be able to draw! And create a good eye for the right proportions and a good line!
 

Sam

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Thank you Sam for sharing these pictures of Master engraver Ken Hunt! I already was a fan but now thanks to you i discover even more and appriciate even more the work of Mr Hunt! When i look at al his drawings, angain we can't go around the absolute fact to become a great engraver you first need to be able to draw! And create a good eye for the right proportions and a good line!

Yes indeed, Bram. Drawing is extremely important as you say. I'm enjoying re-discovering Ken's work as much of it I've never seen before. I'm grateful for his enthusiasm in sharing it for all to see.
 

Sam

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Photo of Gustav Young a legend in American gunengraving 19th century ;with his sons who too became engravers.

"To expose past engravers to the novices who wish to take up engraving who haven't the opportunity to see the collections us oldies have accumulated . So many different styles to aspire to .Young style is Germanic ;Yunge : was Americanized ."
 

Roger Bleile

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Ken mentioned in one of the articles that he enjoyed looking at the gun collection at the Victoria & Albert museum during the war. I also enjoyed the arms and armor section very much but on my most recent trip, I could only find a small bit of what they previously had. A guard told me that it was all moved to the Royal Armories museum in Leeds. I found the same situation at the White Tower in the Tower of London several years ago. Nevertheless, for folks like us, the V&A museum is a must see if you are in London. In fact, go to London just to go there. The V&A is dedicated to the decorative arts of all kinds and you will be amazed at what you see there. The jewelry collection is fantastic!

I have added three pictures from the V&A. One is the ornate facade, another is a small statue of St. George and the other shows the bomb damage to the outside as a reminder of the blitz as Ken mentioned. Before I thought about where I was and what I was seeing, I said to my wife "Look at that! Some vandal has taken a sledge hammer and damaged the building!"
 

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Sam

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ACID ETCHING BACKGROUND REMOVAL

"Here is a piece for demo , it took as long drawing this with a pen & resist 1/2 hour in acid to do this all round . Not one graver touched this .

It is like drawing with pen & ink Dipping your pen into a small pot or container eggcup size .a steel nib writing pen , it may take a little getting used too , but try."

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"Same method ; can be carved up took less than 2 hours gold can be put into the back ground , or shaded with a graver .I don't like etched shading though."
 

mitch

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"This is the Long Room at James Purdey & Sons ...

I've had the rare privilege of spending some time in the hallowed Long Room (thanks, Nigel!) and can attest to the feeling of being in a shrine, or at the risk of blaspheming, something approaching a holy site for those in our line of work. It's a special place...
 

LVVP

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Thank you Sam and Roger, for a very interesting information.
 

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