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  1. #1
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    Default checkering bolt knobs

    Has anyone checkered a bolt knob with a graver instead of a file? What v graver angle works best...spacing, layout and any other great information on how to stay out of trouble. I've done a couple in the past but was never satisfied and now it's time to rely on the wise and learned to help me get better results. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Lee,
    You might pm mail Marcus Hunt. He has recently done some bolt knobs and felt good about how they turned out. If Marcus felt good about the finished product, then you know it's a winner.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Glenn,

  4. #4
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    Lee,
    The first picture was taken of a Rigby which I have not engraved myself. This seems to be an easy way to checker a knob. But there are more options.
    I like to have gold inlays on the knob, please see two variations. Unfortunately, quite often these bolts are extremely hard.

    Some hints for the engraving procedure: It is most important to the find the correct "South Pole" and have accurate scribed lines of the layout all around the bolt. If these are misaligned the whole work will look terrible. Bolt handles often are bent and it is difficult find the correct alignment.
    In the next pictures it can be seen, what accurate cutting and undercutting of the lines look like. The scribed lines are still visible for control purposes. After inlaying and polishing I cut the checkering with an onglette chisel with almost flat facets. Great care is needed to not ruin the small steel edge around the gold inlays with the belly of the chisel. Cut the lines back and in any case avoid checkering at 90°! It is extremely important to hold the round bolt end firmly and secure in the ball. It is well worth the time to make special holders. Finally, help lines for the second layer are needed or you end up with misaligned checkering.

    You can go to the webpage of the excellent Austrian engraver Florian Güllert. He does these bolts in a special style. He works with a chisel and a very heavy hammer. He varies depth and with of the cuts. The result is quite grippy and looks nice. http://www.handgraveur.at/gallery_ornament/index.html

    Hope that this helped. And don't forget to show your results!
    Martin
    Attached Images
    Last edited by Martin Strolz; 12-07-2009 at 09:06 PM.

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  6. #5
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    These bolts look like a Fly or Dragon fly head.

    Thanks for the great infromation.

  7. #6
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    Lee,

    That's funny timing. I'm getting ready to start playing around with doing bolt knobs. I've done quite a few pistol frames using actual checkering files and cleaning everything up with a riffler. My plan was to lay out the lines on the knob with a checkering file and them deepen them with a 60 degree graver.

    Martin...thank you for the wonderful information.

    David
    David Clevinger
    www.dcengraving.com

  8. #7
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    Default Bolt Knob Layout.

    Hi Lee and David,
    Maybe I told you about this at Trinidad, David. Forgive me if it's a repeat.
    An easy way to lay them out is to take a large washer and file out the center hole to the size and shape you want the panels to be.
    The washers are self centering when placed on the round knob.
    Coat the knob with Chinese white or magic marker and lightly scribe the pattern.
    Not too much layout time involved if you have to re-position the design.
    Give this a try, Lee. It's kind of a farm fix but it works.
    Makes it easy to transfer a flue-de-lei and to get them all the same size.

    Martin,
    Outstanding work and pictures, thanks for sharing them.

    Best regards.
    John B.


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  10. #8
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    Great info and pictures Martin...
    Jeff Parke

  11. #9
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    Thank you Martin and John B for that information it will come in handy.

    Mike

  12. #10
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    Hi Lee, bolt handles huh? One of the loves and banes of my life. When they cut well the look great but sometimes they're as hard as glass or you find one spot that just won't cut. Fortunately, a lot of custom riflemakers (after much complaining from engravers) will now cut the stock knob from the stem and weld on a new, better shaped knob which hasn't been heat treated in any way.

    But often the shape isn't a perfect sphere and you have to eyeball the design as best you can. Martin's layout info is great and is extremely useful especially if you are chequering a spherical knob. Some knobs are more of a pear shape though and you may have to treat them slightly differently. The dividers are still essential to get the dimensions of your panels the same.

    The shapes and number of the panels are dependent on differing factors e.g. cost/budget and often the engraver him/herself. They can almost become signature pieces in their own right. Personally, my favourite is five teardrop shaped panels which works great on a pear shaped knob.

    Regarding graver geometry, unlike Martin's onglette, I prefer a 115º. The face needs to be quite large as you're going to be cutting deep. The edge of the second (and consequent lines needs to just touch the previous line. so that when you start cutting across your first set of lines you get perfect pyramids. These cross cuts need to be cut lighter than the first set or you'll mangle the pyramid, and try not to leave them with white/flat tops.

    I agree with Martin that you mustn't cut at exactly 90º to the first set of lines, however, my preference is for a much squarer diamond than Martin's lozenge shaped diamonds. The wider cut lines along with a slightly squarer diamond gives the shooter grip but also enables the bolt to revolve more easily in the hand as it opens an closes. Riflemakers I know will actually polish off the tops of the diamonds if they think they're too sharp or grippy so the combination I use I know they like but it doesn't look quite as fancy as Martin's.

    The only other problem is gripping the bloody thing! For nearly 3 decades I struggled until some very kind people made and sent me jigs to grip them. What a godsend!!! Gripping a bolt isn't too much of a problem until you get to the back, then it points directly downwards and bottoms out every time you tilt the vice. This is one reason I like 5 panel handles, it reduces this problem slightly. If I have to do a 4 panel job then I tend to put the panels on the diagonal (unlike Martin's lovely example where the front panel directly faces you. The jigs, to a greater extent, have virtually eliminated this problem now though.

    I hope these tips help, as the saying goes "There's more than one way to skin a cat!"

    Good luck
    Last edited by Marcus Hunt; 12-08-2009 at 12:45 PM.
    cheers,
    Marcus




    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten."

    www.hunt-engraving.co.uk

    www.kindlerthorpe.com

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