By continuing your navigation on this site, you accept the use of cookies to offer you contents and adapted services. Legal Notice.
You are here :   Welcome » Engraving tools
Find La Belle Note on FacebookJoin me on

Engraving tools

Metal engraving tools

In this article, I propose an overview of the main tools used for metal engraving.

I must precise that I am not an expert in the art of engraving, I feel however attracted by this craftsmanship and my wish is to go further into it. For doing so, I had to start by making my tools.

I have been inspired by the French Web site  Gravures et Couteaux by Jean Santos,  and all the tools I am presenting here have been made following the guidelines that can be read on his pages. I take the opportunity to warmly thank him for sharing his art and knowledge.

The bowl vise

The bowl vise, named in French "boulet" after the cannonball from where they were made in the past, is a vise mounted on a  kneecap that allows the craftsman to position and tilt his work so that he works as comfortable as possible.

The top plate, where the actual vise is, can freely rotate, but rotation can also be locked.

The bowl is very heavy, so that to keep stable and sturdy.

The detailed making of that vise is described in l this article.


The palm chisels

The "échopes" are little palm chisels used to cut a  nice little shaving in metal. Their blades are made of HSS steel, the handle is made of cherry wood.

The sharpenings are different following the tool, depending on the shape of the trace they leave on metal. See the site Gravures et Couteaux on the topic of sharpening.

This tool, appearing to be very simple, is actually the one that requires the highest level of skill and experience from the craftsman.



The hammer

The engraver hammer is very specific. It is designed to be used with the burin. The engraver hits frequent tiny blows on the burin, each blow delivering a small quantity of energy to the blade.

The tool must be comfortable and well balanced. It is quite light (88g). The handle is made of ash, and the head is made of  XC35 steel.

The hammer and burin work is easier than the work with the palm chisel. The risk of scratching your workpiece by accident is lower.


The burins

The  burins are the chisels used with the hammer above. I made two kinds of them, one with HSS blades (a jig saw blade reground), and one with a carbide blade (a broken carbide bit, reground with a diamond wheel).

HSS blades



Carbide blades


Here it is, I hope to be able to present some work done with this tools very soon.

Feel free to comment here below, or on Facebook,  or on HomemadeTools.

Happy engraving !


Associated keywords

Unless explicitly specified, all works presented on this page are released under a
Creative Commons BY-NC-SA International License.
Licence Creative Commons
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Creation date : 17/03/2015 : 10:54
Category : - Metal working
Page read 15162 times