Hand Engraving a Sample Plate- Episode 1 Engraving Basics


good morning y'all welcome back to the

studio I'm lanes okie and this is master

engraver TV I want to thank everyone who

has subscribed so far I really did not

expect the channel to be this successful

this fast we hit 5,000 subscribers


and to celebrate that I wanted to do a

little series of videos for y'all now

I've been looking at the comments below

the videos to see what you wanted to see

and I've gone up a practice play here

with several of those suggestions a lot

of you want to see some more gold inlay

and some scroll design so I've got a

bunch of those things included on one

plate we'll do this as a series of

videos we'll break it up into about

eight different parts and let's take a

look at what that looks like

all right so here's our Mazda steel

practise plate and here's what we've got

scribed on it in the center here we've

got a section of three Scrolls and we're

going to use that as a way to show off

pneumatic engraving and then in a second

episode we're going to show hammer and

chisel and hand push from there we're

gonna move on to some gold borders I've

got basically four sides here so I can

show off four different techniques for

setting in Gold Line border here we've

got a large gold leaf it's gonna allow

me to show you a gold overlay and this

little gold square here is going to be a

method for setting gold into the

background using a stipple tool next to

that we've got some American scroll and

some fine English scroll now off to the

left here we've got some really loose

vine scroll and above it this is going

to be a flare cut that I do using a

round graver and 120s for the sides now

above that we've got some borders this

is a running wheat border on the right

side we have a single leaf on the left


we've got a double leaf now here we've

got a couple of backbones with nothing

in them so I'm open to suggestions as to

what you might want to see we've also

got some borders here with nothing in

them so if you like leave it in the

comments below which you might want to

see put in those borders and we'll see

what we can do so let's get this chucked

up in the vise and see what it looks

like under the scope alright we are

ready to get started we've got our plate

chucked up in the vise

we've got sharp ravers and best of all

we've got this funny-looking contraption

here now engraving is notoriously hard

to photograph and hard to film and we

are using iPhones which makes it doubly

hard so I had to come up with a system

that was going to show off the engraving

to allow you to see it as I'm cutting it

and I think we've got a solution here so

we're gonna start cutting we're gonna

cut the first section of scroll here

we're gonna be using the graver max

pneumatic hand pieces for this one then

we'll move on to hammer and chisel and

hand push but for this first segment

let's get started

time to cut it before I start I thought

I would show you a quick tip if you got

your first vise and you're just starting

to work with practice plates like this

notice the way I've got this chucked in

the vise now a lot of people when they

first start one of the things that

they'll do is set their practice plates

in like this and what this is is a

trampoline and vibration is one of the

worst enemies of good engraving so turn

your plate diagonally if you can so

let's go ahead and start on our first

scroll here I'll take you two through

start to finish we're going to do this

with the pneumatic and peace see if we

can zoom in here

you know crank up the gravy Maxon get

started this is the C scroll and it's

one of the ways that you start a scroll

section if you're starting in the middle

of a space as opposed to starting off of

a border like this leading in and it's

one of the most common ways to start out

a scroll

now as you're rotating you want to make

sure that you stop the graver whenever

you stop rotating don't push it any

further than you can push your hand and

then I'll start the graver again and



and there's our main backbone so let's

start our first leaf section here

and mild steel practice plates are like

butter they're wonderful to cut but

they're also a little bit sticky you can

see right there so let's come back in




as I reach the end of my cut up here at

the tip of the leaf I'm gonna roll my

graver hard left and create a flare at

the tip of that leaf it'll give it some



we come here


one of the things you'll notice about

this piece is the consistent backbone


zoom in a little closer for you as I cut

I'm maintaining a consistent width here

we don't want to get closer and further




all right go ahead and cut the outside

leaves here



alright there's the outline of our


now let's start shading

this is where we create depth in the

piece I'm going to start from the top

here everybody shades their own pieces a

little differently

everybody's leaves or shapes a little

bit differently if you're just starting

you'll probably sort of mimic somebody

else's work a little bit and it's okay

to mimic people's of work at first

eventually your life will I mean your

work will start to take on a life of its

own and that's the goal

to have something that people recognize

as being cut by you

I forgot to mention we're cutting with a

105 parallel point graver this one all

my 105's are marked with an orange ring

and this one is a carbide graver and I

could tell that because it's marked with

a grey ring on top that way I don't have

to wonder what a point geometry is


I want consistent even spacing here

and I'm on a very gradual taper


and the start to the pan


now something to consider as you watch

me work if you choose to go with a

pneumatic graver like this it still

occasionally happens that somebody will

claim that your your machine engraving

are cheating oh that you're not really

hand engraving and I always tell people

the same thing if I put this down

without my hand the machine won't do a

thing the only thing that this machine

does is drive a little piston inside the

handpiece which helps drive it forward

and that just saves me from having to

push and granted it is easier it saves

wear and tear on my shoulder in my elbow

my hand but

I'm still controlling the gravy with my


this is not a machine that I can program

to be the work for me

in other words

and when people ask me why does hand

engraving cost so much I just let them

watch one of these videos




a little better angle for you here


there's our first section now normally I

would remove my background first and

then I would do my shading but I got a

little excited to show you all how this

works and did the shading first so let's

go ahead and remove the background I'll

tell you what let's do a different type

of background here let's do a line

background that way we don't have to

drop it all the way down and we'll show

you background removal on another video

some people will put layout lines ahead

of time but we're just going to eyeball

this one




and there we go that's our first section

and it's a good little example of using

the a pneumatic handpiece I hope you

enjoyed it I'm looking forward to doing

the rest of it with you I add one little

leaf here just for some balance on the



one of the main goals of a scroll design

like this is to keep a balance of

positive and negative space as you go

through the piece I think we've done a

pretty good job of that here

so I hope you enjoyed it we've got a lot

of stuff planned on this plate y'all

stick around for the rest of it will do

this in a multi-part series and I will

see y'all next time

well I'm really happy with in your film

and rig and the images we're getting

from that I'm also really excited about

the rest of this practice plate and

where we're going with it for the next

episode we're going to be shooting a

hammer and chisel and hand push and if

things go the way I expect them to will

probably also be filming the tutorial on

fixing slips because I haven't used the

hand push waver in nearly 15 years so

until next time you can find me on

instagram at lanes okie you can also

find me online at

like and subscribe please leave a

comment below if you have a suggestion

for the channel and until next time keep

your gravis sharp and have fun at the

bench thank you