Tag Archives: Engraving

Engraving Class for Beginners…

So you like guns and you have always wanted to try engraving.  Here is a chance to learn from one of the best.DianeScalese100

Basic hand Engraving,  Instructed by:  Diane Scalese

One week long non-credit class  Monday-Friday, May 18-22

 This course is designed for the beginner engraver or for anyone who would like to review the basics of engraving in steel.  Starting with proper tool preparation, learn the basic steps to single point engraving.  Topics include:

*Proper tool preparation                  *Graver shaping and sharpening

*Shading                                                    *Background treatments

*Metal inlays                                            *Business practices

*Transferring patterns                         *Basic lettering

*Basic scroll design and discussion of the most popular styles

Engrave on steel practice plates.  You will need to supply your own equipment.  The course is designed for using air-assisted equipment and power hones.

Instructor, Diane Scalese is a full-time engraver and has been engraving trophy belt buckles, saddle silver, bits, spurs, jewelry and firearms for nearly 30 years.  She was named Engraver of the Year in 2003 by the Academy of Western Artists.  She resides in Big Sandy, Montana.

sweetw_frgr_spur Monday-Friday                     May 18-22                 8 a.m.-5 p.m.               $495      

For more information or to register,

call the Continuing Education Center @ FVCC (406) 756-3832

This class is part of the NRA Short Term Gunsmithing Program.  For a full listing of classes for 2015 click here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Firearms, Gunsmithing, How To, tools

Life is Too Short for Ugly Bolt Handles

Ugly Bolt HandleUgly Bolt handles are common on “sporterized” rifles from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.  Fewer gunsmiths forge bolt handles these days than they used to.  Forging is the process of heating and bending a military bolt handle to create something more like a commercial gun for sporting use might have. 

The main reason for forging a bolt handle is to make it work with a scope.  Military bolt handles are often straight or have a 90º downward bend.  This works fine for a military rifle with iron sights, not so great with a scope.

Once the bolt handle is forged into the new shape it must be filed and cleaned up to have an aesthetically pleasing look.  However, many hobby smiths or guys who are new to the business are not clear on how to do this work and make it look nice.

Some military bolt handles are a little short for forging.  A good gunsmith will notice this and will either weld in an extension to make the handle longer, or replace the handle with a better design.

There are several choices for bolt handles in the market place, some are easier to work with than others but they can all produce a nice functional handle with an attractive appearance.  Some require more shaping and forming than others.

Dakota bolt handles are the easiest I have found to work with and consistently get an attractive finished product with a reasonable amount of work.  They are available in 5 different styles.

  • 2 raised panelDakota Bolt Handles
  • 3 raised panel
  • Universal/Mauser
  • Winchester
  • Remington

Raised panel bolt handles are used by engravers or gunsmiths who want checker the knob of the bolt handle. The raised area makes it easier to checker the knob.

The Universal/Mauser handle is designed to weld onto the square root of a military bolt after the original handle has been cut off.  These are very popular and produce a nice looking finished product when the welds are cleaned up and all the lines are blended. 

Winchester style knobs emulate the pre-64 Winchester style bolt handle.  They have a large flat base that can be adapted to many types of bolts.

Remington style knobs have a base the can be silver soldered onto a Remington bolt to replace the factory knobs that many shooters would prefer to replace.  The styling of the knob on these handles is more round with a straight shaft, as apposed to the factory design which is oval and has a dog leg in the shaft.  These knobs are not checkered.

Mauser Bolt Handles Finished

All styles arrive “as cast”.  They are made from good quality steel that blues nicely when finished.  They can also be polished to a nice bright finish if that is your preference.

Jig for bolt welding

How to hold the bolt handle for welding. Notice the heat sink in the back of the bolt used to protect the threads during welding.

 

Since forged handles are often a little short the welded replacement also solves this problem.  Anyone practiced at both methods c

ould probably do either in the same amount of time, but the for my money the welded replacement just seems like less work for the result you get.

Dakota bolt knobs are available from http://www.4-dproducts.com.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Firearms, Gunsmithing, How To, Rifles