Montana Artisan’s Corkscrews

Starting the lettering on these excellent corkscrew/knives.

These three knives will be Christmas presents. Only Mother’s think this far ahead for Christmas presents. I usually get stuff like this on Christmas Eve and they need it for Christmas. I love it when people plan ahead. Now I can do this lettering in-between other projects.

This is some nice carbon steel and smooth to cut. I’m using a 105 degree graver with a 50 degree face. My usual hammer is working fine, not too heavy. Just the right “tap” per stroke.

Hammer & chisel time.

Hammer & chisel time.

I really love when I have nice “soft” steel to engrave. It allows me to use the hammer and chisel technique for very cool finish to the engraving.

A well trained eye can distinguish the hammer strokes in the steel. Very “old school” but with an old fashioned corkscrew it just seems like the proper was to cut the steel.

The air assist hand piece would be a bit faster but I still decided to go H&C.


Overview of cutting the steel.

Overview of cutting the steel.


Here’s what it looks like while I engrave. The graver is held in my left hand and the hammer is in the right. I watch the cutting through a Meiji microscope. With the scope I can see very fine detailed lines and make accurate cuts.

The knife is held in a 50 pound vise that rotates. I hold the graver steady and rotate the knife into the cut using my feet to turn the vise, while making light taps with the hammer.

Sounds like a coordination nightmare but after a few years I have gotten it perfected.

Top knife engraved, bottom knife ready to engrave.

Top knife engraved, bottom knife ready to engrave.

The bottom knife is mounted in the vise and design is on, all ready to engrave. The top knife is all finished. Just need to put a polish on it and package it for delivery.

I’ll try to get a photo of all three knives side-by-side when I’m done so you can see how they turned out.

Very nice burl wood make these real beauties.


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