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Old 07-24-2008, 01:22 AM
KatherinePlumer's Avatar
KatherinePlumer KatherinePlumer is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Oak Run, California
Posts: 233
Default Re: Katherine's Contest Submission (Scrimshaw woo hoo!)

Okay, let's talk tools! It's blissfully simple in my world. I figured after poking holes in things for a year now I would have amassed a collection of scrimshaw tools, but nope, I still am just using two of them. It's kind of refreshing, since over at the other drafting table there are about 300 colored pencils to pick from!

I don't have any air powered tools. That's not for lack of wanting one. When I have to put in a large area of solid dark scrimshaw, omg do I want one. Doing all that one dot at a time, well, it's tedious to put it mildly. But for now, I'll take tedious.

I started with this one, a double ended pin vise. It came with a steel needle and a carbide tipped needle. I quickly decided I preferred the carbide tip for some reason, but holding this skinny little pin vise in the right position didn't agree with my hand:

So I beefed it up a bit with some leather, and I keep the steel needle in there full time:

This helps, and if I'm making lines this is the tool I use. I also use this when doing the image transfer through paper (see previous post). For some reason the steel needle just seems to accomplish that better.

But I still wasn't thrilled with trying to use that for stippling, so with a hacksaw and some aluminum tape I cobbled up this little thing:

Won't win a beauty contest but I really like it and it's comfy to hold. It's part pen, part pin vise, and part carbide tipped etching needle. I use this one for stippling, though sometimes just for kicks I'm known to switch back and forth a bit.

Both tools have a very very fine point. Why not have something more coarse? Just my style of working, I guess. I get pretty aggressive when making dark areas, but otherwise like to have the dots very fine.

Here's my view sitting at the table (oh, just in case anyone's curious this is all set up at a drafting table, I don't have an engraving bench persay.)

I hold the tool just as I would hold a pencil, and as long as I pay attention to what I'm doing it's upright enough that I get round dots and not sideways dots. I really don't like it when I end up dots that have "tails"!

Last edited by KatherinePlumer; 07-24-2008 at 01:34 AM. Reason: adding a photo