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Thread: New and eager to learn

  1. #1

    New and eager to learn

    Hi all, My name is Tim and I live in Topeka KS. I have been involved in working on, coating and repairing firearms for many years now.

    I have just begun to recently really look into engraving and the art of engraving. i never imagined such beautiful work could be done by hand! I now have gotten the bug and want to start out on an adventure into engraving and hope to add it to my list of services.

    I am a Disabled Vet and had a 4 1/2 month leave from work last year that really screwed the home income up for family of 4! I don't have thousands of dollars to put into equipment, as i have been looking around at equipment and pricing. Honestly has kind of put me off a bit in making me think this is an achievable goal, but i don't want to give up before even getting a start.

    One question i would have for others that have started out with no tools or mentor, is what would be a good start to getting tools collected up and getting into practice? Is there somewhere that tools and equipment could be rented for a period of time?

    I will continue to look through this forum and Engravers Cafe and any other sources i can come across to start this learning phase.

    Thanks in advance for any input!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Los Angeles area, California.
    Hello Tim and welcome to the world of engraving and the Fega forum.
    You have come to the right place for some help in getting started.
    I don't know what your disablement is but a good way to get a start without great expense is with hammer and chisel and/or push engraving.
    The NRA puts on short engraving summer classes at fairly low cost or you may find a close by fellow engraver who will mentor you. I had the privilege of teaching the NRA classes at two colleges for 27 years and had many retired, disabled military and police officer students. They all started with Hammer and chisel and push tools to keep the cost of tools down so I can tell you that it works. Some used their early earnings to buy power assisted engraving tools but many stayed with their hammer and chisel. Most of the fine engraving coming out of Europe, Spain and Italy is done without power assist. Best of luck on your engraving journey and remember.....a basic engraving tool is a pencil and paper. Practice drawing. Also look in on the
    Best regards and thank you for your service.
    John Barraclough.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Eden, NC
    Welcome to the forum and FEGA.

    Thank you for your service and sacrifice from a former Marine.

    I started my career years ago (around 30+) with a hammer and chisel and, although I've procured air assisted tools since then, I still use H&C occasionally. My suggestion is to get some good books on engraving, study them until you think your eyeballs will fall out, practice drawing scrolls and proper design and begin cutting simple lines and curves, using good gravers properly sharpened. My first vise was an old bowling ball with the top cut off and a machinists vise screwed onto it, sitting in an old lawnmower tire. This is about as cheap as it gets and it definitely works.

    Good luck with your engraving endeavor and I hope to see some progress posts here and at some other engraving sites.


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