Question: removing background from silver vs steel?

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Jun 26, 2017
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Thread starter #1
I am going to start engraving morgan dollar coins and silver bullion, but before I get to that I have only engraved with steel practice plates and want to know if you do anything different with background removal of the two as I know silver is a lot softer than steel, but I am only asking in case people do some specific background removal different depending on the metal.
I appreciate any info or tips on how you remove background on different metals.
 

sam

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#2
Steel is crisp and nice for relief engraving. Silver can be gummy and it's much easier to get heel drag in the process. Here's a sterling silver loupe I engraved in relief, and getting the background out cleanly without tearing up the design was tricky. I got it done for the most part, but it's not as clean as if I'd done it in steel.
 

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Sep 12, 2007
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Kansas
#3
Sam,
Is the loupe in the photo something that was fabricated out of silver sheet, or is this a "stock" item from the manufacture? I have been looking for better quality loupe cases for engraving without much luck.

Very nice design and execution, very well done.

Dave
 

sam

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#5
Sam,
Is the loupe in the photo something that was fabricated out of silver sheet, or is this a "stock" item from the manufacture? I have been looking for better quality loupe cases for engraving without much luck.

Very nice design and execution, very well done.

Dave
It was a loupe GRS used to carry is no longer available. It’s made from sheet silver and not cast.
 
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Nov 7, 2013
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West Virginia
#8
Sam is right about the silver being "gummy". The Morgan dollars are actually 90% silver as opposed to the silver bullion that will more than likely be 99.9% silver. You will be able to tell the difference once you start engraving them. One good thing about the silver when it comes to the background is that it takes stippling real well. The profile of your stippling tool shows up nicely in the silver. I even sometimes use a blunt ended stippling tool to smooth out small lines and imperfections in the background or design. The silver is soft enough that it can be slightly manipulated.
 
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Sep 12, 2007
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#9
Thank you for the responses. I have been searching for better quality loupe cases for quite a while. I find it surprising how difficult it is to find silver, stainless steel, brass etc.. loupes without having to manufacture it yourself. This seems like a no-brainer for GRS to manufacture a quality loupe with stainless steel, brass etc.. panels for projects, classes. It could be a great project for beginners or advanced skill levels. Everything I find is plated.
 

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