View Full Version : A big Bulino cat

Barry Lee Hands
03-05-2008, 04:06 PM
I am putting a Mountain Lion on a project and thought you may like to see how I go about it. The primary lines are lightly scribed, and I am just starting to put some dots in. The eyes are one of the first things I locate. Then I do the edges, and darkest places.


Zernike Au
03-05-2008, 04:51 PM
Barry, Wow! Thanks for the post. You are the best:hurray:
I especially like the scrolls of this engraving...I was fasinated by your style of scrolls since the first time I saw your works. Your this engraving just like it is "un-plugged", I mean a bit "raw", such "raw" is the highest level in all kind of arts. Such "raw" is quite different from "imperfection", which people used to described the quality of some earlier (ancient) engraving! Congratulations!

I noticed that there no transfer image for the cat, just a very light line drawing, did you make the bulino "free-hand"? Until now, do you make the dots in one direction or you make it in many direction? How long have you spend in making this bulino cat (until this stage)? You use Lindsay's PM for the bulino for you just you hand push......Sorry for having too much questions.

Again, Thanks for the post, your contributions and thanks for your great works.


Dave London
03-05-2008, 05:00 PM
Looking good the scroll is beautiful also. Thanks for the photos Dave:cheers2:

Barry Lee Hands
03-05-2008, 06:27 PM
Zern, I scribed the design on from a drawing made from a photo. I used a cronite pantograph to do the reduction. An acetone transfer from a photocopied drawing would be fine also, many ways to skin a cat, so to say.
Thanks for the comments Dave :)
At the stage it's in here I probably have two hours design and two hours engraving into it.
I am using the new 70 degree Lindsay bulino tool template to sharpen the graver, and using it in a ordinary tool handle without power.

03-05-2008, 06:45 PM
I'm looking forward to watching this cat grow.

Barry Lee Hands
03-05-2008, 09:29 PM
well, thanks blue, here are the next two in the series, I am callin it a night. . . . .

03-06-2008, 12:08 AM
Oh boy, Barry!

These short step-by-step lessons are so good to study, thanks once more for documenting them so clearly!

It was fun spending a few moments looking at the real thing with you when I was in Reno, and here is a snap shot for memory lane!



03-06-2008, 06:32 AM
Thank you for the lesson, are you working from a photo, a drawing or memory? It is great watching it come to life.

Barry Lee Hands
03-06-2008, 03:19 PM
Thanks guys, I am working from a drawing from a photo, this is what its looking like this afternoon.

Barry Lee Hands
03-06-2008, 07:22 PM
I was emailed some questions, here are the answers:
The dots are actually tiny triangular , or when done properly rhombus or diamond shaped cuts. They are put in one at a time, by hand with a single point 70 degree side angle graver.
Each dot is placed VERY carefully, but i can place 4 or five in a second.
A dark area is made by placing more dots, the size does vary, but in theory, really should not. The blackness of each dot is determined by the sharpness of the engraving tool, as when sharp, it leaves a mark that traps light, and will not reflect it.
The mountain lion is Bulino, the leaves and scroll around it are chiseled, or, chased.

03-07-2008, 05:25 AM
Another great tutorial Barry. Your work is ALWAYS a pleasure to see.

One question I have about the bulino: Are the dots/cuts depressions, or are you also flicking out that small bit of material? It seems like it would be extremely more difficult to remove the material vs. make a small depression.


Barry Lee Hands
03-07-2008, 04:35 PM
Peter, I flick out a chip, it has a much darker look than simply making a depression.
Here is the finished work:


Zernike Au
03-07-2008, 06:53 PM
Barry, I have already use all the English words that I know to praise you!!!
Don't know what else can I say???




Ray Cover
03-07-2008, 07:12 PM

Did you do the background around the cat with acid?


Barry Lee Hands
03-07-2008, 07:45 PM
Thank you Zern, and yes Ray, I sure did, two etches, one for depth and one for the clouds.

03-07-2008, 07:50 PM
Barry thanks for another great tutorial. This is some really awsome work.

Barry Lee Hands
03-07-2008, 07:59 PM
Here they are all together:

Dave London
03-07-2008, 08:36 PM
What to say Fantastic:whoo: Thank You Dave

03-08-2008, 07:16 AM
What to say Fantastic:whoo: Thank You Dave

Absolutely...and thanks again for the tutorial Barry.


03-08-2008, 07:25 AM
Very nice Barry, You do such great work, Hope to have the time to spend some time with you in the future for a learning experence...
Thanks Jerry

03-08-2008, 02:06 PM
Hey Barry,
Truly inspiring! And not just the obvious talent you show in your world class engraving but the un-selfish character you show in taking the time to show us the "mechanics" of the process.
I am just getting ready to start engraving a Browning BPS (first gun) which will have a similar amount of coverage and bulino panels. I have the gun prepped to a 600 grit finish. Could you briefly describe the surface prep to final finish you used (or will use) on this piece?
Barry Burger
Sitka, Alaska

Barry Lee Hands
03-10-2008, 10:51 AM
Thanks Dave, and Peter.
Jerry, I look forward to seeing you here anytime.
Mr. Burger, on most things I prep to a 600 finish, then run it over some grey scotch brite to blend it. After that I may hit it wirh fine steel wool, but sometimes not. The grey scotchbrite is the real key to the prep.
After the bulino is finished you should avoid touching it with anything, to quote Fracassi when I asked him if he used anything, abrasives or ink when he was finished-
"Only oil".

03-12-2008, 12:40 AM
Thank you for the reply and the good advice Mr. Hands. Another tip that I have learned on my own is to choose a "new" gun to engrave for ease of finish. I bought this gun in 1989(ish) and in that time it has been used for an emergency paddle and run over by a pickup truck. It has killed many ducks and geese over several great dogs ... since gone. It is amazing the memories and emotions that come forth upon sanding a cold piece of steel back through all the dings, scratches and great memories that they represent. This gun has taken a good 8-10 hours to file and sand back to a 600 finish. But so far it has been worth it, and I hope that I am worthy of the task of further embelishment of this "ole buddy"
Thanks again

Herman Knives
09-30-2009, 01:02 PM
Barry, I figured as many times you have been to Italy you would use a burin ground like they all use. The Lindsay 70 degree point is exactly the same as his other v angle tools with the patented parallel heel grind, where as the Italians use the burins ground from the belly like the Phil Coggan burin to a very small face with no heel. And you are right about the face being rhomboid/lozenge shape rather then square. And most are ground to 80 degrees but a surprising number are 90 degree v grinds from the belly up to a very small face. And again in a rhomboid shap rather than square.

09-30-2009, 01:14 PM
Don't know if you remember when we met at the fega show in the hospitality room (many moons ago)or not, you showed me a Colt S/A you just finished.
You were just a young man then (not that you arn't still.) I'm proud of the progress you've made over the years. You have become a fine craftsman and I really enjoy seeing your work and comments.
best regards, J.R.French

10-01-2009, 04:02 AM
Thank you Barry Lee.I have been trying to learn bulino and have been reading up.Your tutorial was very informative and I must say the it is a beautiful piece of work !
Thanks for sharing it with us.

11-25-2009, 05:28 AM
I can only join the others saying thank you for posting this!
Really nice scrollwork. And very good to get a realistic impression on bulino, haven's tried that yet. Should like to spend some time over that piece, just with a hugely magnifying microscope and a glass of wine, enjoying the sight :-) Hanne