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Scraper & stone finishing


Jim Kelso

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One of the most demanding things I have had to do is finish up around a high inlay where the background is polished flat and smooth. It's much easier if you are going to texture the background as a lot of sins can be hidden and refined by the texture. I've tried different combinations of files, gravers, scrapers, stones, rotary tools and sandpaper. I had to really get it on this piece as it's representing a chrysanthemum leaf(and bud) floating in water. Unfortunately, I didn't take photos early on :angry: but I'll pick it up after the initial chiseling and filing of the burr remnant that's holding the inlay. For reference, that burr looks like the one in the owl inlay of yore.

 

Here are the owl(showing the type of burr to be finished down flat) and the leaf(with most of the burr chiseled and filed). The leaf photo shows the scraper I have developed from a half onglette graver which is flat on one side. You can see some of the burr remains along the bottom of the leaf.

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This pic shows the scraper/graver from the front. As you can see, it's flat on the right side. I've turned this flat into a scraper so it works as both a graver and a scraper. There is a palm handle on the other end. In this view, toward the top of the flat, I have dulled the edge. This allows me to run the dull part along the flat surface of the ground metal, acting as a guide, without cutting. The sharp edge toward the point does the scraping/cutting. I found this way I can get quite accurate removal with no chatter. The dulled part of the flat edge gives stability and accuracy. Let me know if this doesn't make sense, because this is the best scraper I have ever used.

 

In the 2nd photo, after carving the leaf(15% shibuichi in 40%shibuichi "water"), I'm further refining the scraped area around the leaf with stones, first a 900grit then this 1200 grit soft stone(both from Gesswein). This soft stone creates a nice little slurry.

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I'm posting a photo of the nearly finished piece, so this maybe makes more sense. It represents a stone(made from Vera wood) with chrysanthemum leaf and bud floating in water.

 

Shibuichi is an alloy of copper and silver(sometimes with bits of other non-ferrous metals) in varying percentages which patinates to grey in the traditional Japanese irotsuke solution. The more copper the darker grey. Here the leaf is 15% silver/85% copper and the "water" is 40% silver/60% copper(from Phillip Baldwin).

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After stoning I brought all the "water" up to 1200 grit with paper. I then gave it an overall polish using 800 g silicon carbide powder and water in the Japanese migaki-bake(horsehair brush). It may seem pointless to use paper to get it to 1200 and then back down to 800 but I find if I don't go that far with the paper it takes forever to get the brush to get the polish I want. I paper from 600 to 1200 in one jump and it seems to work OK.

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thanks very much for that tutorial. The finished piece is simply elegant. I'll keep your tool in mind for applications such as Janel suggests. In the past I've used a small chisel with strokes perpendicular to the vertical 'wall', but will try using a scraper parallel to it.

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Hello jim, I've really enjoyed watching the progress shots on this lovely piece.

 

I'm still digesting as much information as I can on the various tools and techniques; Do you have a pic or two of the inlay process itself before you polish around it? I'm finding it hard to visualize how the cavity for the inlay should be executed and more importantly, the technique used to secure it in the base metal. Its a very different mood altogether once the patination set-in. Really Nice :)

 

Paolo

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Hi Paolo. Unfortunately I didn't photograph the inlay sequence on this piece. There is a thread on a different piece that shows some of what you are asking about. You can see that HERE

 

I have some other photos of that owl piece that I will post here later that show the sequence clearly.

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Yes, thats it! I was trying to remember which project you had shown this technique. Wonderful stuff. :)

 

I think I understand. After the cavity/channel is cut, a burr is raised along the inside edge which in effect makes it somewhat undercut, then the the burr is flattened against the inlay sitting in the cavity to lock it in...The inlay bottom is ever so slightly bigger than its face. Yes?

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Thanks guys. Here's a shot from the other side.

 

Hi Jim,

 

I have always admired your work, but this one is exceptional! It came with a very useful tutorial. Thank you!

 

To burnish my work mostly I dull and polish my gravers, especially the flat gravers, but flattening one side of an onglette is a great idea. Now it will be possible to get in and arround very tight and triangular and concave areas.

 

By the way, what is that little grove right on top edge of the onglette?

 

Here is a picture of an antique Sterling Silver Tea spoon from my collection. I saw your picture in your webpage "And the fondness for Nature". Please look at the fine carving on the handle, and see how similar it is to your picture! I hope you enjoy it!

 

Best regards,

 

dagistanli

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Yes, thats it! I was trying to remember which project you had shown this technique. Wonderful stuff. :)

 

I think I understand. After the cavity/channel is cut, a burr is raised along the inside edge which in effect makes it somewhat undercut, then the the burr is flattened against the inlay sitting in the cavity to lock it in...The inlay bottom is ever so slightly bigger than its face. Yes?

 

Hi Paolo. Sorry for my slowness. It relies on the burr pushing against the very slightly beveled edge of the inlay(as you say," The inlay bottom is ever so slightly bigger than it's face). Undercutting isn't necessary here, although you end up with the same effect: the inlay held in by the base metal. There are two ways of getting there: pushing the inlay into an undercut, or as here, pushing the base metal against the slightly beveled inlay.

 

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By the way, what is that little grove right on top edge of the onglette?

 

Here is a picture of an antique Sterling Silver Tea spoon from my collection. I saw your picture in your webpage "And the fondness for Nature". Please look at the fine carving on the handle, and see how similar it is to your picture! I hope you enjoy it!

 

Best regards,

 

dagistanli

 

Hi Dagistanli,

 

Very nice little spoon. Thank you.

 

The little groove can be disregarded. I'm not sure why it's there! :)

The front face of the tool is hollowed to make sharpening a little easier.

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Hello Dagistanli! I know where Minnehaha falls in Minneapolis is! I've been there and lived within miles of it! Nice old spoon! Now I live an hour away from that location! Click here to see the old photos of the falls. Now, lets get back to Jim's topic. :)

 

 

Hello again Janel,

 

Up until now, I kept on wondering if that carved picture was from a real scenery or from the artists imagination, the artist who carved the original die for the cast spoon. Thank you for the information, most apreciated!. Could that brave little lady you, a few years back? It takes a lot of courage to sit on that wall, which I think is quite high and steep from the water below.

 

Hello again Janel,

 

Up until now, I kept on wondering if that carved picture on the spoon was from a real scenery or from the artists imagination, the artist who carved the original die for casting those spoons. Thank you for the information, most apreciated!. Could that brave little be lady you, a few years back maybe? It takes a lot of courage to sit on that wall, which I think is quite high above and steep from the water below. The view is magnificent, I certainly would love to live in an environment like that.

 

The figure among the leaves is a multi cell fungus, atleast that's what they told me. You can post the pictures I've sent you if you like, maybe there are other people on the list who may know better. The reason I sent them to you was that, in one of your earlier posts you mentioned your interest on fungus if I remember right.

 

Now here are some more pics. I took from the same place.

 

Hope everybody enjoyes.

 

Best regards

 

ekrem.

 

 

Hi Paolo. Sorry for my slowness. It relies on the burr pushing against the very slightly beveled edge of the inlay(as you say," The inlay bottom is ever so slightly bigger than it's face). Undercutting isn't necessary here, although you end up with the same effect: the inlay held in by the base metal. There are two ways of getting there: pushing the inlay into an undercut, or as here, pushing the base metal against the slightly beveled inlay.

Hi Dagistanli,

 

Very nice little spoon. Thank you.

 

The little groove can be disregarded. I'm not sure why it's there! :)

The front face of the tool is hollowed to make sharpening a little easier.

 

 

Hi Jim,

 

Thank you, how do you polish your onglette gravers?

 

Best regards

 

ekrem.

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I usually shape with small grinding wheels and rubberized abrasive in the flex-shaft. I then stone with two grades of synthetic ruby stones(from Gesswein).

 

Cheers, Jim

 

 

Thank you Jim :)

 

Best regards.

 

ekrem.

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