Jump to content
I Forge Iron

carved and inlayed


Recommended Posts

This is my latest completion after having been in a hospital bed for 32 days, and 3 months following in recovery. I fortunately have a very patient customer that was very understanding. Damascus is 1084 and 52100, guard is n/s, and the handle is fancy walnut ith carving and silver wire inlay. Didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped, especially the wire inlaying as I was a bit rusty after the layup.Wes


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that is quite lovely. Its a very 'balanced' piece. The carving is inspiring me to have a go at it! (ive got some scraps of ironwood, and recently bought a little 'dremmel' grinder with a flexy shaft, which will allow me to make some dust :)

The steel almost has a 'wrought iron' look to it which I like with the blend of high and low layers :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How do you get the inlay to stay in place? With firearms you cut a dovetailed slot that you tap the inlay into, but I figure that would split the wood.

I believe your thinking about inlaying into metal, when you inlay this wire( which is actually a flat ribbon) into wood, a straight down groove is impressed into the wood following the pencil line drawing of your design, and the wire, which has been abraided on the flats with either a file or sand paper, is set into the groove edgewise and tapped down. The wood is then swelled with a drop of water and dried with heat( I use a small hobby heat gun), and the wood swells up tight locking the wire in place, which is then filed flush with the surface of the wood. there are a few more detail steps in getting it to look right, but this is just the basic desciption of the process. Wes
Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK , I gotcha now. Kind of like a clicker press ribbon die.

What I do find confusing is how it is locked in place. I can see the wood swelling with water, but wouldn't heat just shrink the wood, opening up the slots again? I was thinking that it may be glued in place.

Actually, wood is made up of fibers, made up of wood cells, and when they absorb the water and it is heated the heat causes steam, which swells the cells and at the same time drying the water out so the cells stay bloated. Now, when you soak the handle in sealer and then finish, and this finish dries in each cell it locks everything up. If the handle is not properly finished, the environmental conditions will over time shrink and swell over and over again eventually pushing the wire out. The wood should be pretty dry when you inlay, and when you make a slot for the wire, you are actually parting the wood rather than removing any, so you are actually wedging wire in and the wood will try to go back to size when wetted and if your wire has roughness to it the wood locks it up. I've actually destroyed handles trying to remove a piece already swelled in. I have seen some guys use thinned down wood glue to get the wire to stay, but I've never found it neccessary myself.Wes
Link to comment
Share on other sites

do you use chisels to carve or powered tooling. i have done low relief carving on the scabbards for my blades, but they are all convex and i don't need to use gouges, just a skew and a straight chisel. it looks to me like you need a few different radii of gouges for the carving as well as the inlay.

I have a collection of Lamp brand carving tools, about 30 of them in all ranges of radii,flats,skewers, and a few miniatures made for carving stick faces. All "very" sharp as I do alot of scraping on my carvings as well.It's been awhile since I've posted pics of this knife, but it too shows some of my carving and inlays. Wes

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...