Neil Hartliep engraved Winchester 21

Clayton

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I have a Winchester model 21 that was upgraded to a grade 6 w/gold pattern by Neil Hartliep. I did a google search on his name which lead me to this site. Can anyone tell me about the engraver? Thanx - Clayton.
 

Roger Bleile

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The late Neil Hartliep was born in Iowa and raised on a farm. He was a self taught engraver who began his engraving experience in 1948 and simultaneously owned and operated a sporting goods store in Cherokee, Iowa. In 1953 he sold his retail business and began work as the manager of the chamber of commerce which gave him more time to engrave.

In 1964, Neil became a full time engraver, By 1979 he had become a guest instructor of gun engraving at Trinadad State College. He also wrote a book of instruction for beginning engravers which is still in print. I first met Neil in the late 70's while he was working at the Grand American trapshoot in Vandalia, Ohio and I would subsequently visit with him annually at the grand for years afterward.

I, unfortunatly do not have his date of birth or death though I am aware that he passed away quite a while ago. You can probably find this information through the Firearms Engravers Guild of America or perhaps the guild president, Rex Pederson will see this thread and provide that information.

A more complete biography with photos of Neil and his works can be found in my book "American Engravers." The book is long out of print but is occasionally found on eBay and is in many libraries.

Neil was a fine gentleman and was well liked by others in the trade. He was always helpful to beginning engravers and mentored many including his son Glen who also became an accomplished engraver.

CRB
 

Glenn

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Thank you Roger for being a member of this forum. I really enjoy your input. And yes I did find a copy of your book on ebay.
Thanks Again
 

JJ Roberts

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Roger...I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Neil at an NRA convention in Philadelphia many years ago, and you are right he was a real gentleman. I sat there watching him engrave, in that Asian style with the hammer and chisel, and he said, "JJ you have to try this when you get home". Well I did try it, but after a couple of slips I figured I'd better go back to my old way before I stabbed myself. Working with a hammer and chisel towards yourself wasn't for me..couldn't master it..but admire anyone who can.
 

John B.

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Neil passed away on May 13, 1995 in the Corondelet Hospice in Tucson, Arizona.
He is fondly remembered and missed by his many friends.

Best to all, John B.
 

Roger Bleile

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Neil Hartliep photo

Here is a photo of Neil Hartliep at his engraving bench taken in the late 1970's. Note his use of the foot wheel controlled vise and his technique of cutting in the "Asian" method. With the "Asian" method the engraver cuts with the point toward himself as opposed to the "European" or 'Side hand" method.
 

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pilkguns

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Roger,
do you know anything about how this Asian style developed or came to be named?

I am familiar with Chinese Chip engraving, but not this
 

Roger Bleile

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Roger,
do you know anything about how this Asian style developed or came to be named?

I am familiar with Chinese Chip engraving, but not this

Scott,

John B. and I call it "Asian" for lack of a better name. I used to call it "Japaneese" style until I noticed that engravers all over Asia including India seem to use this way of cutting. I have never uncovered why engravers in Asia work in a different way than Europeans and most Americans. It is kind of like the difference between Japaneese hand saws and the ones we use. Ours cut on the push and theirs cut on the pull and are shaped differently.

I suspect that, like many things in Asia, that engravers in ancient China began engraving toward themselves and the practice spread all over Asia in the same way as martial arts and design arts. Meanwhile in early Europe things were developing along their own lines with no direct contact with Asia.

In Neil Hartliep's case, he was completely self taught and with no one to show him the side hand method he began using the Asian method without knowing how other engravers did anything. I also understand that Cole Agee used the Asian method.

Due to Neil's teaching at Trinadad there are probably numerous engravers who learned to cut toward themselves but most, if still practicing the trade, have probably switched to power tools. One I know of for sure still cutting H&C toward himself is Larry Parker in up state New York. Do you know of others that engrave toward themselves?


Roger
 

Ron Smith

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That is the way I do it.......... but I learned to do it the traditional firearms way too, because I thought I was wrong. But I can round a curve quite far before I have to move the vise, so I went back to doing it "my way". I occasionally use the traditional style it seems to work a little better for straight lines and deeper cutting. The firearms style might have originally come from the stone carvers methods. That is a very old art.

It probably came about because no one knew how to use the chisel correctly or they were going by engraving done with punches (re pose). That is the way I learned to do it because I didn't know any better. I never saw an engraver work until I was about 15 years into my career. It seemed the most natural way since that is sort of the way you hold punches etc. Also, since I was a jewelry engraver too, I thought you would engrave with a chisel sitting down like you do a palm tool.

So...........It is the Asian style?...........that is probably correct.

Ron S
 

John B.

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Roger and Ron,

I believe the Asian method, engraving towards yourself, came about because many early engravers in those countries sat at ground level and held or turned the work with their feet.
Many bowls, jugs and vases were engraved or repoussed in this manner in India, China and also Japan.
There are several pictures showing this method in the late and great Oppi Untracht fine book "Metal Techniques for Craftsmen."
Because of copyright I can not scan and post an example picture but this book should be available at the library.
It was published by Doubleday and this is the ISBN 0-385-03027-4 if you are interested.
Great book and full of useful information on so many areas of metalworking.

Neil told me that he got the idea for a foot bench from watching a potter at work.
I have had and used a foot bench for many years and still use it for many things.
It works like an extra set of hands when doing inlay. Especially scroll or lettering.
And is a great aid in H&C work when cutting scroll either Asian style or European side hand.

Best regards, John B.
 
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Roger Bleile

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Hit and run

I have to say that I am dissapointed that after all of the time and effort expended by all of us to answer Clayton's question that he has not seen fit to respond to our efforts in any way. This is an example of why I usually do not respond to questions from people who have nothing about themselves in their profile or therad then ask some question involving an in depth answer on their first post. I call it a "mystery hit and run poster."

In this case I chose to give a detailed answer because even though Clayton fit the profile of someone I usually don't respond to, I feel that the rest of you would be enriched somewhat by learning something about a fine gentleman and engraver, Neil Hartleip. I still think it was worth the effort even if we don't hear from Clayton again.

Just my opinion. I will dismount the soapbox now:(

CRB
 

Big-Un

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Thank you Roger for your input. I have your book from many years ago and am always interested in the pioneers of engraving, even the "modern era" pioneers such as yourself. I also have Neil's book which I bought when I first started engraving in the mid eighties and still refer to it for help. I know it takes a huge effort on someone's part, but I would like to see each engraver, no matter how big or small they make think they are, do a biography for those just getting into engraving to see how diverse a group we are when it comes to how we got started and what prompted us to start, plus some of the hurdles that were overcome and how. Eack of us has something that would interest others and I would hate to see our stories just vanish.

Thanks again for you input in the forum and I for one really appreciate it.

Bill
 

richard hall

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Thank you Roger for your input. I have your book from many years ago and am always interested in the pioneers of engraving, even the "modern era" pioneers such as yourself. I also have Neil's book which I bought when I first started engraving in the mid eighties and still refer to it for help. I know it takes a huge effort on someone's part, but I would like to see each engraver, no matter how big or small they make think they are, do a biography for those just getting into engraving to see how diverse a group we are when it comes to how we got started and what prompted us to start, plus some of the hurdles that were overcome and how. Eack of us has something that would interest others and I would hate to see our stories just vanish.

Thanks again for you input in the forum and I for one really appreciate it.

Bill

I agree about the biographys, a good background also helps us to relate to others whom might follow our paths, and it makes the other person look more human to us, for lack of a better term.
 

BrianPowley

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Roger, yes it does raise questions about the "hit and run poster", but I certainly appreciate the info.
I have the beginners book written by Neil Hartliep. Wished I could've met him.

You mentioned Larry Parker from upstate New York and I thought that was interesting, because I know a Larry Parker in Belmont, Ohio (South East,Ohio) that cuts H&C toward himself.
I think Neil called that technique "Face of hand" or something like that.
 

Roger Bleile

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Brian,

I think you've got the right location for Larry. I met him at the Pittsburgh and Louisville NRA conventions. I should have looked in my reference materials instead of going from memory.

Roger
 

bronc

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Roger,
I understand your frustration with the "hit and run posters", but I'm sure glad you have taken the time to share so much of your knowledge and experience. For someone like me who is trying to learn all I can your posts have been great--both educational and entertaining. Thanks so much. For every one of these stealth posters, there are also a whole bunch of people like myself who are getting a world of good out of what you are doing here. The fact that all you masters of the trade are so willing to share on here is priceless to all of us who are trying to learn and improve.

Best wishes,
Stewart
 
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Ron Smith

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Hey Roger,

Don't step back buddy, we treasure your input, as I think it is important for engravers to know engraving's history, and I don't think anyone is offended by that, and truly enjoy it. I know I do, in order to fill in what I might not know myself. We have a rich history of dedication and commitment.

I understand your feelings too, and I also remember how we cherished the book you wrote.(one of the first books published for our time) It was one of the first things that sort of connected us all together. This is too precious a skill to let it die, and you stand on the front lines of our evolution. Our modern engravers, students realize the value of the pioneers of the revival of this art.

Keep on inputtin'...........your statements reflect your passion, and many of us understand, and if they don't, they will some day when they have paid the lifelong price of the master engraver.

Rock on !

Ron S
 

SpiderCurt

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Hi Roger

I agree with you on this subject. Sadly, it seems that the etiquette established by the pioneers of the Internet is quickly sliding into oblivion.

Along with the others that have responded, I thank you for your input. How else would newbies to engraving, such as myself, ever learn with out the efforts of you and other knowledgeable engravers?
 

JannAZ

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This post is so old I don't know if anyone is looking at it any more. But having found it, I just had to add a few lines of my own. I was born in Cherokee, Iowa. My father knew Neil Hartliep!!! They were friends and business associates, and possibly hunting cronies, as my father loved to hunt. I have just passed along to my son-in-law a Hartleip-engraved Browning shotgun, which I am reasonably certain my father bought from Mr Hartliep's sporting goods store. I can vaguely remember accompanying my father on occasion to this store. I didn't like it--the place smelled "funny" (probably gun oil) and there weren't any toys or anything else that interested a little (under 7 years old) girl.

Thanks so much for posting this info on Mr. Hartliep, which I will forward to my son-in-law.

JannAz
 

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