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  #1  
Old 04-22-2006, 09:29 AM
Versillee Versillee is offline
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Default How to make a punch for gold inlay?

Hello everyone. I would like to make a proper punch for gold inlay but I have a few questions. Should I shape a square steel blank graver? Or should I start from a 1.5 mm round? What is the appropriate tip for a punch that causes the least amount of texture? As you offer your advice, please keep in mind that all honing and sharpening will be done by hand using diamond stones.

I also had a second question not quite related: What is the maximum mm circumference that can fit into the Classic AirGraver's nose?

Thank you.

~V~

Last edited by Versillee; 04-22-2006 at 09:33 AM.
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  #2  
Old 04-22-2006, 10:19 AM
Steve Lindsay's Avatar
Steve Lindsay Steve Lindsay is offline
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Default Re: How to make a punch for gold inlay?

I use brass for a gold inlay punch. I have two larger ones used with a hammer and a smaller one used in the airgraver. Attached is a picture of the smaller one. It is 3/32" dia. x 1-1/16" long and tapered down to 0.40" on the working end.

Also in the picture is a stipple tool used in the airgraver. It is brass tubing, 3/32"od x 1/16"id. The 1/16"id fits the dental burs. Squish the back end of the tubing a little with pliers and then jam in a cut off shank from a bur. This is just to fill the void in the back end of the tubing. The front end is then use to slip the dental burs in and out. I'm sharpening the burs into a stipple point by spinning the bur in the NSK handpiece while holding the bur against a diamond lap on the power hone. Use the stippling point to help out with bulino dotting. The working end of the stippling point can be sharpened with a round point (similar to a needle) or ground with 3 flats on it to make up a triangle point. With this in the airgraver it is used the more open places in the bulino scenes to lay a lot of dots down quick. For the more critical areas of a scene, I use a 45 degree face square graver without a heel in an old palm wood handle along with another bur shaped similar to the stipple point bur but used in a pin vise.

The hole in the nose of the AirGraver is .133" diameter which is the size of a 3/32" square measure across the corners. Anything under this size will fit. (1/8 rod will fit, 1/8 = 0.125") To get a shank past the oring in the nose chamfer the end edge of whatever shank you're pushing in or it will tear up the o-ring. This goes for the 3/32" square gravers too. If the o-ring gets torn up after time it can be replaced.

Steve

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Old 04-22-2006, 10:47 AM
Versillee Versillee is offline
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Default Re: How to make a punch for gold inlay?

Thank you Steve
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  #4  
Old 04-22-2006, 04:20 PM
Ray Cover Ray Cover is offline
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Default Re: How to make a punch for gold inlay?

I ususally make my brass punches from 3/16 dia, brass rod. cut it 6" in length. chuck it up in a drill or drill press and spin it. While it is spinning take a file and shape the taper on the end.

Then using my hammer I strike the face of the punch on a file while turning the punch to texture the face. Having a textured face really helps the punch bite the gold which helps avoid creeping down the channel. I also prefer to hammer my gold in rather than using an airgraver. You get a more controlled and solid seating into the footing and it frankly is just as fast.

Ray
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  #5  
Old 04-22-2006, 05:41 PM
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Steve Lindsay Steve Lindsay is offline
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Default Re: How to make a punch for gold inlay?

Ray, do you use a hammer and punch for even the small wire work? Seems like it would be slower... although like you say if you use a larger 3/16" punch you wouldn't have to hit it too many times and it would be fast. The .040 dia. faced punch I've been using almost has to be used in the airgraver because it is such a small surface area that it would take forever to hit it that many times to hit it evenly everywhere. I get the tool running with the punch under the scope and just run it down a gold wire and it is in. For texturing the little punch, I hold it against 220 sandpaper and run the airgraver.

I use an xacto knife to cut the wire off at the ends. When cutting the end of the wire with an xacto, hold the wire down with the blade and raise and lower the tail end of the wire. This works better than trying to push down hard with the knife to cut it.

For positioning a larger chunk of gold I'm using scotch tape to hold it in place. I hit it with a hammer and punch (or a sheet of brass for even a larger piece of gold) to set the gold in well. I then pull the tape off and use the airgraver with the little brass punch under the microscope to go around the edges to make sure they are seated at the edges and everywhere... and let it mushroom out all over. Although, I should say this is for a flush inlay. For raised gold I'll only use a larger punch to try not to let it mushroom it out so bad.

Something to watch out for when using a hammer and punch is that we have to use more force with the larger inlays to get the gold to seat. When inlaying on a folding knife, if it is hit too hard it will lock up (the blade won't move or is tight). Since the smaller punch has a smaller surface area, we don't have to hit it so hard but we have to hit it a lot of times to cover a given area. On the other hand, in order to seat a larger inlay we have to use a large punch and bigger hammer. If the gold doesn't seat almost right away it will squish, work harden, change shape and won't physically fit the pocket it was cut out for.

Steve
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Old 04-22-2006, 07:42 PM
Ray Cover Ray Cover is offline
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Default Re: How to make a punch for gold inlay?

I've tried using power to inlay gold before and did not like it. I usually taper that 3/16 brass rod till it has a face that is about 1/16 or a little smaller.

Some guys might like the powertools for seating gold and I certainly would not discourage anyone from trying it.

For me one swift rap from the hammer seats fully and solidly. Its also easier for me to control. The gold also has no time to work harden when you seat it in one hit. On the other hand if it takes 100 micro hits it does have the chance to get hard before it is seated. Line inlay also has less chance to creep or walk down the channel when seated with one quick tap.

JMHO
Ray
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  #7  
Old 04-22-2006, 09:42 PM
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Steve Lindsay Steve Lindsay is offline
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Default Re: How to make a punch for gold inlay?

Ray, You're right that creep or walk is something that is happening when using the tool to hammer the wire... as you hammer in the wire with power it will creep down the channel. I have to make sure I start out with wire that is thick enough because if it is too thin and it walks too much there isn't enough gold there to over fill the channel like it should. To prevent too much walk I don't seat the wire completely but just partially... and then after that piece of wire is cut off, I'll go over it again and really work it in. It doesn't have a place to creep this way.

I'm using the left hand to hold the roll of wire and the right hand has the airgraver with a punch in it. Once a piece is in, I'm setting down the airgraver and picking up the xacto and cutting off the wire by moving the wire up and down along with light pressure from the knife. When two pieces of wire are butted up to each other, I'll cut it off before it is all hammered in and start hammering at where the butt is and work back to where I left off.

I find it efficient for me and I have better control to use the airgraver with one hand while holding the wire with the other while inlaying under the scope that is set off at about a 45 degree angle. I'm thinking about the job pictured below with all the small inlays. I don't cut the wire until it is inlayed just enough to hold itself, then cut and squish down the cut end and go over that whole wire again. When there are a lot of little inlays all butted together, I'll do it in a similar way, by seating each one lightly, cutting off, and when they are all in, go over all of them together as a whole to make sure the edges of the inlays are all filled and so hopefully there won't be a void next to an edge when it is sanded flush.

With the larger inlays I'll use a bigger punch with a hammer without the scope and after it is set go in with the airgraver under the scope and go over the edges more. With the smaller wire work though, it is just the airgraver with the small punch under the scope.

Ray, thanks again for your help and input with getting the forum up and all going! Steve

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  #8  
Old 12-10-2010, 06:05 AM
Rasmus Rasmus is offline
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Default Re: How to make a punch for gold inlay?

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  #9  
Old 06-12-2015, 07:27 AM
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plugnickle plugnickle is offline
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Default Re: How to make a punch for gold inlay?

Hi Ray,
You mention texturing the face of your inlay punch with a file. What is the purpose of the texture? Is it to prevent your tool from slipping on a round surface, such as a firearm barrel or pistol cylinder, or does it cause the inlay metal to take hold on the underside more aggressively?
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  #10  
Old 06-12-2015, 04:15 PM
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Tim Wells Tim Wells is offline
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Default Re: How to make a punch for gold inlay?

It gives the punch face a better grip on the gold or whatever softer metal you're inlaying. It'll help seat the metal under the punch more than smearing the metal and loosing a bit of your striking force.

I texture mine on a diamond hone 600 grit. Just hold it straight up over the hone or lap (not spinning) and tap it lightly with a hammer to frost the face a little. It doesn't need to look like a matting punch on the end.
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  #11  
Old 06-12-2015, 04:26 PM
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Dave London Dave London is offline
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Default Re: How to make a punch for gold inlay?

Also you can dent the metal you are inlaying in to with the punch, even brass punches. Don't ask how I know this
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  #12  
Old 06-13-2015, 05:31 AM
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joseph engraver joseph engraver is offline
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Default Re: How to make a punch for gold inlay?

Wire setting tool.
This tool is one that I have found to be quite useful in cutting wire that is to be inlayed to length, setting it and speeding up the work.(Time is money) It has a heavy shank made of lead, but brass or copper will do just as well. Press the wire into channel with flat part of tool point. Cut wire to size with tool’s corner in tight areas or use wide part of blade on long runs. Reverse the tool and set wire with shank with a smart tap. The tool has enough weight to drive the wire into the channel and set it. The softer shank will not mar the polished surface of the work. Hope this tool will be of some value to you.
Have a great day
Joseph
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  #13  
Old 06-13-2015, 09:33 AM
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Dave London Dave London is offline
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Default Re: How to make a punch for gold inlay?

Thanks Joseph
I will have to make one and try it
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  #14  
Old 10-02-2015, 07:02 PM
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plugnickle plugnickle is offline
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Default Re: How to make a punch for gold inlay?

I know that this is a late reply, but thank you for the information. Life has happened and postponed my practice with my wonderful graver. I've finally gotten about ten hours of time in and am getting addicted.
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