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I Forge Iron

custom chisels for engraving text in steel

Jacob s

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I will throw some stuff out and see what sticks. Maybe someone who knows more about it will tell you the real way.

If you are making dies, where you hit the end to impress the letter into the metal, one would likely be either casting the steel into forms with the letters you want to use, or you machine the letters out of the steel you select.

If on the other hand, you are doing actual chizeling, removing stock, most letters in some alphabets are made from a limited number of shapes. One would use selected steel, such as tool steel, same for the dies by the way, and make shapes similar as a wood worker would use, different radii and different widths.

Basically hard edge on the marker and soft metal being marked.
either that or use engravers or other power.

Let me know if anything touches even close and I might be able to fill in, or tell us where I missed entirely.

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Bentiron1946 gave you very sound advice on another thread but I suspect you didn't see or neglected to read it because you would not be asking this question. I'll repost his words so you can read them:

The engraving of letters, designs and other such things is routinely done by gunsmiths on cold steel for guns, knives and swords. They use a set of tools called gravers. These are not your every day ordinary chisels. You can make your own by buying tool steel but it is usually easier to buy your own as the price ranges between $7 to $16 for each graver plus you need to buy a handle and a chasing hammer. It does take some practice to do a decent job of engraving so don't expect to get it done right the first time.

But before you do that, I might suggest you make a study what you want are attempting to do. Find a book on the subject at your local library. If they don't have one you can request something through an inter-library loan. The research librarians are your friend. Google

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Have a friend who is an engraver by trade. He turned me on to a couple of websites about it.

Hand Engraving Tools and Hand Engraving for Jewelers and Artists ~ Steve Lindsay -check out the forum there, there is plenty about gravers, sharpening angles, etc.

Sam Alfano's Tip & Tricks for Hand Engravers -check out the engraver's cafe there, also the tutorials on the main page

Be advised, it takes many months of practice and study to become proficient at engraving.

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Your right Steve, just the geometry of a graver point is mind boggling. Somewhere on one of those sites I linked to is a good explanation, but I can't remember where. Also, there's lots of discussion about the "heel" angle, which can be different for different needs, even if the point may be sharpened at the same angle. I know for fact that many engravers will spend a good deal of time just learning proper sharpening of the graver, although there are templates available for some of the different grinds that help.

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