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Old March 7, 2013, 07:48 AM   #1
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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How's that done?

How hard is it to do yellow brass or silver inlay work on a stock? Tips or techniques anyone?

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Old March 7, 2013, 08:33 AM   #2
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Machete and a ball peen hammer....

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Old March 7, 2013, 08:45 AM   #3
ketland
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Wire inlay, just as carving, or engraving, is a craft unto itself. I can explain to you how it is done though. First, draw your art on the stock, it is a lot easier if the wood is in the white. cut the groove the wire will fit into. I cut the grooves using little tools I make, the shape of which I would have to show in a picture, but really I am punching the wood in, rather than cutting. Place ribbon (I say ribbon because the wire is actually a flat piece of strip about an 1/8th of an inch wide) roughly shape the ribbon to your design, press or tap it into your groove, and then wet the wood a bit to get the wood to close back in on any loose spots.
As with engraving or carving, sometimes the wire must be thinned at junction points to give a good flow to the artwork, and as with all artwork it takes time to learn to do it and make it look as it should. Also, there are a few tricks to getting the ribbon to set and stay in place, one of which is to raise a wire edge on the inner edge of the ribbon so once the wood compresses back it will trap the bottom edge. There are a few other tricks in the book on doing this work well, but that takes time and experience. I use no glue though to do this work.

Last edited by ketland; March 7, 2013 at 08:51 AM.
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Old March 7, 2013, 11:20 AM   #4
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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Ketland Sir. I can see how it would be easier with wood in the white. Simply sanding would expose the wire or brass inlay. But on a pre-finished stock. It sounds like tedious work with one needing a lot of patients and a big good magnifying glass for detailed work. You have said you made your own punches. But are similar punches commercially made? Appreciate your input Sir.


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Old March 7, 2013, 01:29 PM   #5
ketland
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I do not use sand paper. If the edge of the ribbon is sticking up I cut it carefully with a razor sharp very slender blade (you could use an x-acto) and you must be very careful when tapping the ribbon in not to upset (widen) the ribbon at the top as that will ruin the appearance. The traditional way to finish is to lightly burnish all the work evenly and one of the tricks is to use the burnishing tool to upset ever so slightly those areas you wish to widen as with engraving turning your chisel graver on side to carve the correct shapes into your lines or lettering. I have never seen a beginner do good work, or work worthy of putting on a rifle, so use a try stock to practice on for a few months before doing inlay on a valuable rifle. I can put inlay into a finished rifle but that takes experience, and the ability to see your art in the wood, and work with the existing circumstances. I make the tools out of bits of old scrap hacksaw blades which is about the right thickness. The edges must be tapered so that you can walk your pencil lines, wider for the straights and very narrow for the tigher curves and volutes. Poorly executed wire inlay like poorly executed engraving can ruin an otherwise fine rifle.
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Old March 7, 2013, 04:50 PM   #6
RonR6
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After you draw out your design, cut the groove for the brass/silver ribbon and then file the ribbon to a knife type edge on the bottom and then gently pound the wire ribbon into the slot. Let it stick up slightly and then draw file the metal ribbon down to the surface of the wood. As noted above wood should be unfinished.
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Old March 7, 2013, 05:09 PM   #7
woodnbow
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There's a pretty impressive knowledge base here fella's...
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Old March 7, 2013, 05:13 PM   #8
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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Have a question Gentlemen. Just where does one buy these kind of supplies? i.e. Sterling silver (ribbon) wire, drawing patterns, literature? (The usual things a novice would require to start out with.)
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Old March 7, 2013, 05:25 PM   #9
ketland
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I have seen wire creep out when placed with the knife edge, so I stay away from that method. Filing is kept to a minimum and then only draw filing with the length carefully so as not to distort the wires line by smearing it from side to side. I make my own ribbon in a little jewelers roll, but I would guess you could buy it from the muzzleloader suppliers like track of the wolf? I make the tools and anybody can do so easily.

Last edited by ketland; March 7, 2013 at 05:33 PM.
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Old March 7, 2013, 05:42 PM   #10
RonR6
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Try Dixie or Dixon's Muzzleloading Shop.
http://www.dixiegunworks.com/advance...r+wire&x=0&y=0
http://www.dixonmuzzleloading.com/in...zleloadingshop
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Old March 8, 2013, 08:37 AM   #11
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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There is mention of using a tool to burnish. I googled the word burnish and it means: to polish or buff. So my question is : Just what does a burnishing tool look like?

There is also mention. There is a need of thinning the wire at junction places. How is that preformed? (by filing is it done? )
How far up from the end of the wire would one start that procedure usually?
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Old March 8, 2013, 08:56 AM   #12
ketland
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You can use files to taper the ribbon. A burnishing tool is a piece of very polished very hard steel the you gently rub on the material to polish it. I have others use sand paper to do this, I use scrapers and burnishers . the shape is usually round or oval. Also I tend to sink the wire right to the depth of the wood surface, leaving very little work to be done to the exposed face. Once you start to work with the ribbon, you will understand how easy it is to distort. Many years ago I know that the NMLRA used to do classes on rifle building at Western Kentucky University, and I think Wallace Gussler did an inlay class that covered wire, and demonstrated how to make the tools. Taking a class or finding an experienced hand to work with would help you understand the ins and outs.
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Old March 8, 2013, 08:57 AM   #13
4V50 Gary
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Place the inlay on the stock.

Scratch a line with a sharp tool.

Carve out within the line.

Apply lamp black to the back of the inlay. place it into the cut out area and hit lightly with a mallet (not metal).

Remove area where black is transfered.

Repeat until finished.
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