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Hobo Nickels/Coin carving

Marcus Hunt

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Hi folks, I'm a newbie to this forum and although I'm a full time engraver who is occassionally called upon for a little bit of carving (usually leaves on the detonating of a shotgun or double rifle) I am in awe of a lot of you guys!


The one thing that I really find fascinating though is coin carving, especially hobo nickels. I think they're fantastic and I fell in love with them the first time I set eyes on one. I'm keen to have a go and have purchased some buffalo nickels on Ebay (waiting for them to arrive).


I was wondering if any of you kind folks out there could give any hints or tips (indeed, a tutorial if possible) as to how to start or go about carving these miniature works of art? I'm sure I could figure I all out in time as cupra-nickel is nice and soft but it is always easier with a bit of guidance from the experts.


Many thanks, Marcus

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Have an appreciation of your skills after attempting to master hand gravers way back in my youth when working with my parents in their jewellery business. Too much for me.


From the pic on your site I see you are using an air graver ????


Luv the quote!


Great to see this work... welcome.



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Thanks Dan, what a great website/tutorial, There are some fantastic carvers out there!


Donn, yes I do indeed use a Gravermax nowadays. I was taught in the old way with push graver and hammer and chisel but air gravers do indeed take away a lot of the donkey work and help avoid RSI's due to hard steels. I still cut entirely by push graver though when it comes to Fine English Rose & Scroll; it's just the way I was taught and I find it by far the quickest way of cutting it. I haven't yet tried Lindsay's 'Palm Control' but I think this may be a way to cut fine scroll naturally with air assistance. All I know is that if, God forbid, the Gravermax broke down I could still engrave as I have the know how to resort to the old ways.

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