Engraving Brass: 3 Quick Tips to Help Beginners Create Works of Art

More and more people are starting to pick up the hobby of metalworking, creating backyard foundries that are capable of tackling a variety of projects. It isn’t uncommon to see enthusiasts crafting everyday items such as doorknobs or even medieval replicas like broadswords. What you might not see too often, however, are people engraving their works.

Engraving brass and other metals is a great way to add extra flair to a completed work. From floral patterns to something as simple as a signature, engraving metal is an art in and of itself. In some works, such as a brass globe paperweight, engraving even completes a design.

As enjoyable as engraving brass may sound like, the practice can be intimidating for many people, especially for first-timers. If you are interested in getting into engraving as part of your metalwork hobby, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Engraving Brass Makes a Perfect Project for Anyone Who Likes Metals

Practice Your Design

When creating more intricate patterns, it’s always best to practice your design on grid paper or carbon paper. After all, once you’ve started engraving a piece, there’s no turning back. Pay close attention to the shape of the brass object you’ll be working with as well since this will dictate your design. Flat plaques can accommodate almost any design, but more spherical object will require more swooping circular patterns to assure even distribution.

Right Tool for the Right Job

Most engravers prefer to work with modern handheld chisels that use a small striking mechanism to replace the use of a hammer. This provides an engraver with better control over the pattern and avoid accidental chipping. Of course, there are still those who like to have a hammered chisel on-hand in case a particular section requires more careful work. Once you’ve accrued more experience, you may decide to switch over to a high-speed rotary tool. Although it is harder to use, it allows for more even and faster engraving.

The Type of Brass You Use

You should also pay close attention to the type of brass you use when engraving. Brass is a strong and resilient alloy, but that doesn’t mean that all brass products are the same. If you choose the wrong type of brass, there is a possibility of cracking your project or even piercing straight through it. Projects that you wish to finish off with an engraved pattern should make use of engraving brass. As its name implies, this type of brass is specifically designed for engraving projects and are readily available from respected brass suppliers like Rotax Metals.


Brass instrument manufacturing: How metal makes music, thefabricator.com

All About Brass Instruments, fineartsatthebeach.com

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