28Jul/13

Engraved watch

It’s been a while since my last “serious” engraving project and I needed something to practice on. Recently I ordered a cheap watch from Mini In The Box specially for this purpose. On the site it was said that the case is made from stainless steel, but unfortunately it isn’t. It is some kind of soft alloy, probably pewter, and very soft. Which also means that it doesn’t take on very fine detail. Fortunately it wasn’t too bad either.

As this wasn’t too serious project and I didn’t want to spend much time on it, I drew the design directly on the watch using China White (fancy name for white watercolor) and 0.3mm pencil. Usually I take the contours for the design and then draw the scrollwork “offline” on the paper. Here are the main backbones drawn.

Watch engraving start

Watch engraving start

Bottom part contours are completed and shading is started.

Partially shaded watch engraving

Partially shaded

Bottom completely done, top part background is cut away.

Almost finished hand engraved watch

50% finished

Finished.

Hand engraved wrist watch-

Engraving finished

Looks quite good on the wrist, doesn’t it?

Wearing hand engraved watch

Wearing the work

This watch has also quite large sides and bevel. Maybe at some point will engrave these too.

03May/13

Computer speakers – uFonken

It’s been awfully quiet here, so an update is in order. I haven’t done much engraving in the meantime, but some other interesting stuff is in progress. More on that at later time.

But now I can present my new computer speakers – wonderful little uFonkens from Planet 10 HiFi Fonken family. Speaker elements in these are Fostex fullrange FF85WK‘s.

Enclosure is made of birch plywood and veneered with walnut burl. Looking wonderful and sounding very good with vocal music. But they do need additional sub, can’t beat physics, small speakers just don’t play low.

Cutting veneer for uFonken

Cutting veneer for uFonken

Cutting veneer for uFonken

Cutting veneer for uFonken

After correct pieces are cut and matched for the sides, it’s time to glue them. Quite easy process if you have press with heat plates. Fortunately our press was just big enough for these tiny speakers.

Gluing veneer under press

Gluing veneer under press

And here they are, ready for listening.

Finished uFonken speakers

Finished uFonken speakers

Not quite sure what to do with the ports, though. Paint them brown, maybe?

15Jul/12

Heat blued and stainless amplifier knobs

It’s been a while since I made my last amplifier knobs and it was nice to come back making them. This time I had interesting challenge ahead – I had to heat blue 3 knobs. Material was regular mild steel, which blues to very nice deep black. In the past I’ve had several projects, where bluing worked out fine, but also sometimes it didn’t. Let’s just say the process wasn’t quite worked out yet.

Long story short – I had to reblue these knobs about 10 times, before I got it perfect. Fortunately it seems that I got the process worked out and with next projects I wouldn’t have to mess around so much.

Heat blued amplifier knobs

The other lot of knobs was 7 stainless ones, but also with a quirk. The top part of knob had to be concave. Not having CNC lathe and making them by hand was quite an interesting challenge. Fortunately client didn’t need them as 100% identical and slight variation was OK.

The result is here:

Stainless amplifier knobs

Stainless amplifier knobs

Stainless amplifier knobs

24Feb/12

Signet ring engraving

A project I’ve been wanting to do a long time – to engrave a signet ring. So finally one client came along who wanted exactly that and I was more than happy to do it.

Ring itself is 925 sterling silver one and was very nicely engrave-able. As this was my first such project, it was learn-as-you-go process, and learn I did.

First thing is that the engraving has to be rather deep, so the wax impression has enough contour and relief. Too much fine detail isn’t needed, because it wouldn’t be transferred to wax anyway. Of course the fine detail doesn’t hurt, because then the ring itself looks good.

Here is the final result:

Engraved signet ring

Engraved signet ring

Wax impression close-up. The stars not having sharp and deep edges is because the wax doesn’t transfer all the fine detail in the engraving – it looks fine there.

Wax impression from signet ring

Wax impression from signet ring

Here are the checks I did during engraving to see what and where needs to be changed on the ring:

Signet ring and wax impressions

Signet ring and wax impressions

All in all a very interesting and educating project.

10Nov/11

Two kitchen knives

A project that I’ve been wanting to do for a long-long time – make few kitchen knives for myself. I got really tired of the cheap crap knives that needed to be sharpened every other day and they would still be dull after cutting only sausage and butter.

So I looked up which was best steel locally available and it turned out to be Uddeholm Elmax. High purity powder steel with good wear resistance and other nice properties. I ordered steel at the beginning of 2011, but turned out that factory was going to make thin enough sheets in a few months. So I waited… and waited. Finally received the steel sometime in summer.

Actually I finished the knives quite a while ago and been using them ever since. They are just a joy to use, but as these are my first kitchen knives, they’re not without flaws. Many of them. But it’s a start. I wanted to get practical experience with them, before doing any others. Also it turned out, that I need to make some changes to grinder, because right now I can’t get really good flat grinds.

Anyway, here are the knives:

Kitchen knives

Kitchen knives

Knives are 24cm and 13 long, blades are 13cm and 7cm respectively. Handle is of stabilized burl. Blade is heat treated to 60 HRC.

Long kitchen knife

Long kitchen knife

Short kitchen knife

Short kitchen knife

29Aug/11

Nude Zippos

Some time ago I was commissioned to engrave 2 nude Zippos. Customer sent me the photos he wanted engraved and I was to translate this to the metal. As I just came back from Italy and saw what was possible, I wanted to see what I could do.

Here they are.

Zippo w nude engraving

Zippo w nude engraving

Nude engraving on Zippo

Nude engraving on Zippo

As it has been with all my projects, it’s possible to do better, but it was a really good learning experience.

11Aug/11

Visiting Italian Masters, Day 4 and 5

Here’s the last installment on my Italian Engravers tour posts.

Day 4 – Visiting Venice

On Thursday we visited Venice, but as this isn’t engraving related, then I won’t spend too much about on it. The city was nice, glass factory and shops in Murano were just fabulous. I’ve never seen glass art at this level and there I really started to like it. But of course I couldn’t afford 60000 EUR mirror.

Day 5

Final day of my trip and few rather fun things were waiting…

  • Frederique Lepinois
Visiting Frederique was a blast. I hadn’t heard anything about her before, so I was in for a surprise. After seeing few of her works, she became my favorite engraver of the whole trip. She studied engraving in Belgium and its influence was clearly seen on the design.  For my taste this worked very well – kind of symmetrical with very-very nice scenes. Check out the gallery at her own website – Frederique Lepinois.

  • S.I.A.C.E. factory

A family owned gun factory. When Zoli had a nice and big CNC park, S.I.A.C.E was basically all handmade. Some parts were outsourced, but most of the things were made there by few workers. Very cool place. And I got two gun stocks for practicing checkering. What more could I want?

  • Ugo the stocker

Last visit of the trip was stockmaker and his son. They were making some real nice high-end gun stocks and the ones that I saw there were really-really nice.

Gun stock makers table

Gun stock makers table

For the conclusion all I can say, is that this was a really awesome trip. I saw a lot, learned quite a few things and met very passionate, artistic and skilled people. Absolutely worth the while.

After that week in Gardone ValTrompia I spend two more days in Rome and then 2 in Florence. Again, very nice and interesting experience.