Spent the past few days hand engraving this brass belt buckle. Aaron is finishing his probation year and getting a nice buckle as a gift from a mentor.
Matt did the design and I loved that. He has a great eye for design and style, made it really easy for me.
However, the cast brass was miserable to cut. I was very surprised at how the metal was so very different to cut. Some areas were very soft and then quickly turned into glass hard. Made for a very challenging engraving.
I used a #52 round graver for the top script. Wanted it to be bolder than the rest of the lettering. The belt keeper and the post seem to always be in the way when I needed to turn but I was able to make all the cuts by starting each from the bottom and cutting upward.
The Maltese cross and dates were cut with a #50 round graver for a more delicate look. It was in the cross area that I found the softest areas. Graver wanted to plunge deep for part of a letter then slipped right off the brass for the next letter. A bit maddening at times.
I engraved the quote with a 90 degree square graver, 50 degree face. I wanted the quote to look different than the rest of the lettering and this looks perfect to me. Also the font selected for this lettering really lent itself to the square graver.
The grind marks on the back of this buckle are manufacture marks and not mine. I polished out a few marks to make the engraving area as free from marks as possible. None of the remaining grinding marks were in my way, so I just polished the entire area.
Total engraving time about three hours. I’d wanted to add some scrolls to frame the lettering but must stay within the budget. Maybe Aaron will want to add some more decoration later…