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  1. #1
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    Default Tutorial: Transition Cut tutorial by Roger Bleile

    I will begin with a brief recap of what this tutorial is about and how it came to be. Back in early June at Scott's Engrave-In I showed some pieces that were cut in what I usually refer to my "double bevel" style. One of the engravers indicated that it was something also called "transition style scroll" he heard about at GRS.

    Next, Steve Teichman started a thread here entitled "Transition Cut Rossi" where he showed a uniquely engraved and blued revolver done in what he called "Transition style." If you go back to that thread you will also see a J.P. Sauer shotgun cut by Ron Smith and a S&W 442 I engraved.

    Ron started another thread entitled "Transition Style Revisited" where he showed his version of this style on a floor plate and some practice plates. I added work that I did on a buckle; practice plate and SxS shotgun then Paul Lantuch showed us a Ruger Red Label in his version of the style. This thread generated requests for a tutorial and that is how I came to this point. There are also more examples of Ron's "Transition Style" in the thread "Piddle, Piddle, Piddle."

    Let me say here that I prefer to call the style in question "double bevel" or "inside sculpted scroll." This is purely for commercial reasons. I believe patrons will relate to and desire something beveled or sculpted rather than transitional. Would you rather buy a Bowie knife or a transitional knife? How about a Pontiac Grand Prix or a Pontiac Transitional model? The name transition style, as I understand it comes from a transition between western bright cut and traditional gun scroll. That's fine for us engravers but not very commercial. Just my opinion of course.
    Note: I think we have settled on the name "flare cut" to describe this style of engraving (12/08).

    Now let's get to the tools. As I mentioned in one of the other threads, I cut this with a 90 degree square, sharpened with a 65 degree face and 15 degree short heel. The face is finished with a 1200 grit GRS Power Hone wheel as is the heel. I do not polish the graver on a ceramic lap. You can try a more polished face. It probably couldn't hurt but I don't have a ceramic lap. I believe others primarily use a flat to cut this. I use a square because it is easier to control. This style is not complex as there is no backgrounding or shading however it requires the engraver to have good tool control. You must be able to roll the graver in and out and gradually change angles smoothly and each cut is best made continuously without stopping and restarting.

    I use an old Gravermeister with the cylindrical hand pieces. The impact is set on 600 strokes per minute. I don't see any reason that this style couldn't be done with a Graver Max, Graver Mach, Lindsay or NgraveR. Except for the NgraveR none of these tools impact as slowly as my Gravermeister but I doubt that matters much so don't rush out and buy a Gravermeister to do this (sorry GRS). It can probably be done by H&C but I have never tried it. It could probably be hand pushed in soft metals like pewter or silver.

    Note: Since doing this tutorial, I have switched to a Lindsay Palm Control air impact system. I am also engraving with gravers sharpened with the Lindsay parrellel point using Lindsay templates. I find this combination does a fine job for flare cut scroll but I am still convinced that any power assisted graver will do fine. Success is in the technique not the particular tools as long as the gravers are well sharpened.

    The way I do it is to draw the spirals for the scrollwork on the work surface. Normally, I don't draw anything else. I position and cut all of the inner and outer leaves by "eyeballing" them. As Ron said in another thread, an experienced engraver instinctively knows where to put them. You can draw in the leaves if that helps but don't actually draw a leaf. Just draw a curved line where the leaf goes. Here is a picture of how I start. The plate is sandblasted and colored with a blue sharpie to help contrast the cuts for this exercise.
    Attached Images
    Last edited by Roger Bleile; 12-10-2008 at 06:37 PM. Reason: Updated information
    C. Roger Bleile
    Author of American Engravers series of books.
    http://www.engravingglossary.com/
    FEGA Historian
    NRA Benefactor Life Member


    Without craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed shaken in the wind. Johannes Brahms

  2. #2
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    Default Step by step

    The first picture below shows the first cut. I start on the inside and cut toward the base of the pencil drawn spiral. When starting the cut I position the graver almost perpendicular to the plate then apply power as I lower my hand with the face tilted to the left or outside of the cut. Then I gradually taper the cut to a point where it joins the line.

    The next picture shows the second cut of the leaf. I start back at the same point as the first cut but this time I lean the graver to the right and follow the back edge of the first cut. This creates the bevel in the center of the two cuts.

    The third and fourth pictures show the second leaf formed by the same two cuts.
    Attached Images
    C. Roger Bleile
    Author of American Engravers series of books.
    http://www.engravingglossary.com/
    FEGA Historian
    NRA Benefactor Life Member


    Without craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed shaken in the wind. Johannes Brahms

  3. #3
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    Default Step by step 2

    The next picture on the left below shows how I have added the additional leaves around the spiral.

    The next picture to the right shows that I have cut the final spiral on the inside. This time I actually cut on the line of the spiral that I drew. You can leave it at this if you wish or...

    In the next picture I have made the double bevel on the inside finial.

    The last picture on the right shows the origination spiral cut like the one on the inside.
    Attached Images
    C. Roger Bleile
    Author of American Engravers series of books.
    http://www.engravingglossary.com/
    FEGA Historian
    NRA Benefactor Life Member


    Without craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed shaken in the wind. Johannes Brahms

  4. #4
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    Default Step by step 3

    The first picture on the left below shows that I have added little whip-like tendrals to the ends of each leaf. These flourishes are, of course optinal.

    The next picture to the right shows that I have begun my outside leaves in the same way as the inside leaves.

    The third picture shows how I have doubled up on a leaf to give it more body or weight. Again this is optional but I added it as an example of variation on the theme.

    The fourth picture shows the first spiral completed.
    Attached Images
    C. Roger Bleile
    Author of American Engravers series of books.
    http://www.engravingglossary.com/
    FEGA Historian
    NRA Benefactor Life Member


    Without craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed shaken in the wind. Johannes Brahms

  5. Likes Eugene Carkoski liked this post
  6. #5
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    Default Step by step 4

    The first picture on the left below shows the first two leaves of the second spiral cut. This time I will bring the head of each leaf closer to the inside spiral because I'm not going to add the whip tendrals so you can see another variation.

    The next picture shows all of the inside and outside leaves of the second spiral cut.

    The third picture shows that I have added whip tendrals to all the outside leaves of the first spiral. Again optional.

    The last picture shows that I have added simple leaves between each double bevel leaf if you wish to add more mass to the scroll. I don't usually do this because I think this style's beauty is in it's more elegant open nature. I just wanted to show you that you can add your own variations as you wish.
    Attached Images
    C. Roger Bleile
    Author of American Engravers series of books.
    http://www.engravingglossary.com/
    FEGA Historian
    NRA Benefactor Life Member


    Without craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed shaken in the wind. Johannes Brahms

  7. #6
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    Default Step by step 5

    The last picture shows my trusty Gravermeister hand piece and the graver I used for all of the cuts. It took me about an hour and a half to cut everything including the time it took me to stop and take all of the pictures between the cutting steps. I did this a little rushed to get on with it but I think you will get the idea. Keep in mind that I used some variations for examples but I would not cut this design this way on real work. I would keep everything consistant.

    There are lots of things I like about this style but I must warn that it is somewhat unforgiving since any slips will be very obvious and due to the depth and width of the cuts you can't do much correction. If you sharpen your graver correctly this method leaves very little burr if any so it is ideal for cutting where you cant polish over it. It also looks good blued or plated or nearly any other finish.

    I hope I have been able to give you a good explanation of how I do it. I would love to see the way Ron does it as his is more elaborate and varied than what I have shown and he uses different tooling.

    Let the questions begin...

    C. Roger Bleile
    Attached Images
    C. Roger Bleile
    Author of American Engravers series of books.
    http://www.engravingglossary.com/
    FEGA Historian
    NRA Benefactor Life Member


    Without craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed shaken in the wind. Johannes Brahms

  8. Likes Eugene Carkoski liked this post
  9. #7
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    Default

    back to the top
    Saludos,
    Carlos

    www.gunengraver.com

    "strive to produce work that the very best engravers do, set your mark high, aim for it, but don't be disappointed when you don't get to 100%, you will have done your best and that's what counts" - Phil Coggan


  10. #8
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    Default

    Wow, thank you Roger, this is very well done.
    Answers a lot of my questions.
    Gracias Carlos for bringing it back to the top.
    There are so many amazing threads and heaps of information hidden away on the forums.
    It takes a while to read them all.

  11. Likes Roger Bleile liked this post
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