Help, please: Trying to teach myself engraving while at home

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20200417_205143[1].jpg

Discovered u/calebkraft's pile of practice coins on Reddit (ref: https://www.reddit.com/r/engraving/comments/eq7p76 ) and thought, yeah I've got a bunch of pennies and that gives me some space constraints to work around and fiddle with. So I've been poking at them.

After making a couple of gravers out of broken m2 drills and reamers I decided it would be nice if I had uniform material to work with and dug up a box of old fluted concrete nails to use as stock(1050-1075 steel usually, so good enough I think, can harden at home too). I happen to have a cheap pin vise that fits these nails very well and has been a reasonable handle for push engraving for the time being.

I made a pitch pot and it came out well, weighs a good bit and the chasing pitch I made stands up very well. Leaves a touch of residue on the back side, but that's easy to clean up with turpentine.


So that's where I am now, but I've come across a wrinkle I'm trying to think through. What would be the best way to represent and lay out my design prior to going in with the gravers? Conversely, whats a good practice for representing and scaling up the space to create a design?
I'd also appreciate any design suggestions that would be a reasonable skill builder.
Youtube links and suggestions welcome.
Stay safe folks.
 

monk

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i'v done coin templates to be used on my pantograph for repeat work. the other best way for me-- do a large dwg on paper of yer idea. then use it for reference when redy to begin cutting. it's easier to draw than fiddle with transfers on such a small item. ymmv
 
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i'v done coin templates to be used on my pantograph for repeat work. the other best way for me-- do a large dwg on paper of yer idea. then use it for reference when redy to begin cutting. it's easier to draw than fiddle with transfers on such a small item. ymmv
Hmm, I take your meaning there. I'll see what I can do to scale up the negative space I'm working with and design around it that way. Still been plinking at it off and on all day, nothing that looks too good yet, but I'm having a good time.
 

monk

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photograph the coin you're going to carve. take the jpeg and enlarge it on paper. then, using a seperate sheet, do your idea, this can save u time as well as a botched job.
 
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#5
Oh brother, you're in for it now... Hooked like a big ol bass. What you need to do is buy some expensive drawing software, learn how to use it, print your designs on cookie sheets with your new laser printer, transfer it to your coin with varnish, coat that with hairspray, and then you will have a perfect art transfer on your coin. Then buy a good ball vise, and a good microscope with stand, a jewelers bench, a pneumatic graver system, sharpening jig, power hone, flex shaft grinder, lots of ball burs and graver blanks. Once you do all that, you will be able to make lots of Christmas presents for your family, because they don't know any better, and they won't critique you because they love you. Then, after about five years, you can maybe take some orders... Never had so much fun, and I started out just like you...
 

monk

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befriend a dentist. those that no longer serve the dentist make excellent tools for coin work. most dentists just toss them in the trash. not my dentist, he knows i can use them. he even gave me a brand new junn-air compressor. i love my dentist !!
i never discourage a person from making their own tools. on the bay there's loads of used gravers for sale. even the oldest are great for doing hobos. it helps to get yerself a scope and a good sharpening system. hot melt glue is also less messy, and way faster for gluing the blanks to a chunk of wood.
 

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