I doubt if much attention is ever given to the small gold inlaid word SAFE positioned at the front of the safety catch.This sequence shows how this can be achieved on a Westley Richards gun.
3. Next, each letter is undercut so that the bottom of the cut is wider than the top.This is necessary so that the gold will ‘key’ into the cuts and be held firm.Without this step, the gold would not be secure and may well fall out at a later date.Good deep undercuts are absolutely essential.
4. The gold is then hammered in with a punch. Often various diameters of 24 carat gold wire is used. The punches can be brass or nickel silver, which being softer than steel will not mark the steel surrounding the inlay.
6.Using progressively finer grades of abrasive paper, the excess gold is removed and the whole area smoothed until free of any blemishes. This is the point that the engraver holds his or her breath as it is only now that the quality of the job can be assessed.
8.The steel around the area of the inlay is gently relieved to improve contrast and also to remove the possibility of unsightly wear underneath the safety catch when in use.After a little final fettling and polishing, the job is done !
Next time you handle a gun , why not pause for a moment to consider the work involved in this this tiny work of art under your thumb.
A Guest Post by Peter Spode. Peter has been engraving Westley Richards for 27 years. Please vote for Peter to win the deluxe book by posting a comment below!
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