Sweet 16 – UPDATE

Sweet 16 design on practice silver.

Sweet 16 design on practice silver.

Hand engraving Sweet 16 Pendant

For this project I am hand engraving a silver pendant and the silver is only 26 gauge thick. In layman’s terms – very thin.

So I have set up a piece of scrap silver, 26 gauge and laid out the script to practice and get the feel for cutting such a delicate piece.

In the photo you can see my fat fingertips holding a graver. I manufactured a new graver just for this work. A 45 degree face angle on a 90 degree square graver. Put a nice diamond polish on it so it will cut smoothly and leave a nice bright cut.

The practice is to assure me that I can use enough pressure to engrave the silver without damaging the front side of the pendant.

Practice plate showing fine hand engraving.

Practice plate showing fine hand engraving.

In the second photo I have cut a few of the words and the capital G.

The graver is the perfect size. I do have to loosen up the vise so it will turn easier and smoother. This is held in a 50 pound vise and I turn it by hand. When holding a large firearm to engrave I like the vise to be stiff and turn slowly while I cut.

This delicate piece needs a much faster spin. I didn’t think of it until I started to cut the curly S in Sweet. After I lightened the tension on the vise the rest of the lettering cut much smoother.

The other lesson learned was that I can easily cut the silver without damaging the design on the other side of the thin silver.

Now I just need Judy to email me that she likes the layout and script design and I’ll be ready to start the actual pendant. Also on the pendant along the top of the silver will be engraved 2015 to help generations to come remember when Lindsay turned Sweet 16.


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