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  #1  
Old 02-21-2016, 04:21 PM
Mark Diorio Mark Diorio is offline
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Location: Vineland, NJ
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Default New to engraving.

Hello, my name is Mark. As the adopted son of a dentist and an art intsructor, I was taught to appreciate both the arts and sciences. Also, coming from Italy and being a left handed dyslexic, I gravitated towards Leonardo. I've worked in many media, from drawing and painting to wood working and sculpture. My last endeavor was glass blowing and like with most things I've tried, I did tons of research and put in hours of time to become extremely proficient.


I learned how to shoot at a very young age and even shot competitively while in the military and as a civilian. Recently I was looking for a new outlet for my artistic urges. It just so happened that I ran across a YouTube video about Hobo nickels. Something just clicked and I started doing what I do......research. Unfortunately, being recently divorced, I did not have the money to start engraving, even with the cheapest power assisted unit.

I began to study and draw for hours on end. I started with a box of masonry nails and a bench grinder and a four sided diamond knife hone that had grits ranging from 200-800. I made handles out of old fallen limbs on my property and also used some of that same wood for rudimentary grinding templates.

Being a lover of the southwestern part of the United States, my first actual attempt at engraving anything, I chose "Delicate Arch" in Arches National Park. Below are pictures of the tools that I have made so far and my first engraving. I know that it is very crude and I need lots of work. I welcome any and all corrective criticism.

Thank you all in advance. I am very much enjoying this site and forum.
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Last edited by Mark Diorio; 02-21-2016 at 04:43 PM. Reason: Spelling error and can not get pic to upload.
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  #2  
Old 02-21-2016, 05:42 PM
redgreen redgreen is offline
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Default Re: New to engraving.

Hello Mark,

You seem to be determined, what type of engraving are you interested in?


Bob
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  #3  
Old 02-22-2016, 12:14 AM
SEngraver SEngraver is offline
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Default Re: New to engraving.

Hi
Determined and talented.
Welcome to The Engraving Forum Mark.
SE
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  #4  
Old 02-22-2016, 12:30 PM
Mark Diorio Mark Diorio is offline
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Default Re: New to engraving.

Thank you SE.
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  #5  
Old 02-22-2016, 12:35 PM
Mark Diorio Mark Diorio is offline
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Default Re: New to engraving.

Bob,
I would like to engrave mostly guns and knives. I've really fallen in love with the beautiful bulino works that I've seem. But once I get good enough to actually charge for my art, I don't think I'd turn down any jewelry. I am also a motorcycle enthusiast, so motorcycle parts would not be out of the question either.

Just realized that the pic of the coin was before it was finished. I'm trying to post the finished coin now. Lol
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  #6  
Old 02-22-2016, 04:09 PM
redgreen redgreen is offline
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Default Re: New to engraving.

Hey Mark,

Well, at least you will not be constrained for an application to apply your efforts on. What are your immediate plans for engraving?

Bob
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  #7  
Old 02-23-2016, 11:58 AM
Mark Diorio Mark Diorio is offline
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Default Re: New to engraving.

Well Bob, my immediate plans are to continue to learn the different cut motifs and to practice, practice, practice, draw, draw, draw. I'll be working mostly on coinage because of the easy availability. But once I feel confident enough and have gotten some cobalt blanks to sharpen, I start by engraving some of my own guns. I own over 90 pistols, 60 rifles and 120 or so shotguns. So no lack of "canvases" to engrave on. Lol

But ultimately I'd love to be able to make a living as a firearms engraver.
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  #8  
Old 02-23-2016, 03:11 PM
redgreen redgreen is offline
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Default Re: New to engraving.

Hey Mark,

That's quite a number of weapons, you'd better start saving for a PalmControl if your intending to scratch all of them in your lifetime. Cobalt is not magic, it has its uses, however; I would start with some HSS, even if you decide you need to use a larger practice plate you will find HSS will hold up just fine with mild steel, copper or other practice metal. Do you intend to sharpen without the use of commercial shaping equipment?

I noticed you have made your own templates, how are they working for you? I followed the same path when I started, but decided I was detouring myself from the real task of engraving. I was spending far too much time making tools and not engraving, much like what I've been doing for the last few months, I like making tools. There is a great deal to learn to become a professional gun engraver, I believe you're on your way. Whose scrollwork do you find attractive, do you intend to design your efforts using their work as inspiration?

Bob
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  #9  
Old 02-24-2016, 05:37 AM
Mark Diorio Mark Diorio is offline
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Default Re: New to engraving.

Bob,
Yes, I've got a lot of guns to work with. Lol. As for graver material, my current ground down masonry nails are plenty hard to practice on most US coinage while only needing to resharpen the face and heels every 2 hours or so (which is a lot). However, this material can't touch most any forms of steel. Hence putting money aside for cobalt or C-max blanks.

My handmade wooden templates are fairly good. Meaning, my 120 degree graver gives me a 120 degree angle 70% of the time. The other 30% it can vary by 1-3 degrees. I have been putting some money aside to get some of the Linsay templates and have already gotten the standard 116 degree graver template along with the 4 diamond hones. I di have to recut my current gravers down to 3/32" so that the universal arbor would accept them but once that was done..... Wow! What a difference. Steve's templates a the bees knees.

As for scroll work, there are just so darn many. Scroll work is tough because there are not an infinite number of ways to draw an acanthus leaf. But the way you put them together and fill the space you need to cover is where the artistry comes into play. But to answer your question, I love Lindsay and Alfano but I mostly look at very old books that were written before these guys were born. I would much rather study the basics of the scroll forms and build my own style from there.
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  #10  
Old 03-02-2016, 09:02 PM
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Roger Bleile Roger Bleile is offline
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Default Re: New to engraving.

Numerous times in the past erstwhile engravers get on this forum and want to get started cutting for less than $50. I have explained how to get started with a concrete nail and a small rock for a hammer then glue their workpiece to a round bottom rock as a vise. Some of those people thought I was having them on or making fun of them. As you have proven, it can be done with determination and some background in crafts and art.

Good luck in your progress but leave those guns alone until you have worked your way up to it. There is nothing more sad than a butchered gun because someone was too eager.
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  #11  
Old 03-03-2016, 02:19 AM
Mark Diorio Mark Diorio is offline
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Default Re: New to engraving.

Thank you Roger. Yes, I am very determined and yes, you can get started in this art form with some very inexpensive and rudimentary tools. Most people would have no idea what the thing is on the far right of the picture of my tools. It is a dental material called "green stick". We use it to melt along the edge of an impression tray and then while it is still warm and soft, we place the tray in the patient's mouth and form the soft plastic to the shape of their gums.

Well, I cut 3 holes on a small block of wool, melted the green stick into the holes and come red the top of the wood block with about a 1/4" of the material. Now all I have to do is to reheat the top of the compound, embed the piece (in my case, coins), and let it cool. Now I can hold the block of wood or put it into my bench vise. Later, after watching a few European YouTube videos, I found that a lot of engravers use shellac in the same manner. Lol.

Yes, I will not be putting a graver to any of my guns until I have a lot more experience under my belt and only after I take a few classes from an experienced teacher/gun engraver. I value my guns too much to ruin them with my childlike scratching a. Lmao
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  #12  
Old 03-03-2016, 02:27 AM
Mark Diorio Mark Diorio is offline
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Default Re: New to engraving.

I actually noticed that looking at the picture I posted for my first coin, it was one of the progress pics that I had taken. Lol. I was wondering why I couldn't see the mountains in the background.
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  #13  
Old 03-03-2016, 10:58 AM
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Steve Lindsay Steve Lindsay is offline
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Default Re: New to engraving.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Diorio View Post
Most people would have no idea what the thing is on the far right of the picture of my tools. It is a dental material called "green stick". We use it to melt along the edge of an impression tray and then while it is still warm and soft, we place the tray in the patient's mouth and form the soft plastic to the shape of their gums.

Well, I cut 3 holes on a small block of wool, melted the green stick into the holes and come red the top of the wood block with about a 1/4" of the material. Now all I have to do is to reheat the top of the compound, embed the piece (in my case, coins), and let it cool. Now I can hold the block of wood or put it into my bench vise. Later, after watching a few European YouTube videos, I found that a lot of engravers use shellac in the same manner. Lol.
Hi Mark,
That sounds like a thermoplastic. In '98 Tyler Teague came out with a product called Jettsett that is a thermoplastic. Recently he improved it by adding Kevlar. It icalled Jett Ballistic.
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  #14  
Old 03-04-2016, 06:17 AM
Mark Diorio Mark Diorio is offline
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Default Re: New to engraving.

Steve,
Very cool. I'll definitely try that out once SSI run out of my boxes of green stick.
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