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Gold Overlay

To produce a raised gold design, the engraver has two choices: an inlay or an overlay. While inlays are extremely strong, they can be very time consuming to produce. Overlays, on the other hand, can be much quicker, but lack the holding power of an inlay. I reserve overlays for pieces that will not receive shock, impact, or wear, such as custom knives that spend their lives treated as art objects. While a properly attached overlay is still quite durable, it might not be the best choice for a field gun.

This tutorial will show you how to attach a sheet of gold to a steel surface and remove the background areas to produce a raised gold pattern. You should practice this technique and develop a feel for making the teeth the correct size to minimize the chance of them coming through the gold.

A square was scribed using a plastic template and the border cut with a 120° graver.
Using clear tape, a transfer wax impression is lifted from the steel and transferred to .008" (0.2mm) gold sheet and trimmed with scissors. A jeweler's saw is normally used, but for straight cuts on thin gold scissors work well.
The gold is checked and trimmed to size. Care should be taken to fit gold as close as possible to the area inside the borders.
A #42 flat graver in a GRS 901 handpiece cuts steel rows. These rows will become razor sharp teeth during the next step.

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