Most of you probably already know, but I started engraving motorcycle parts last year and I'm truly happy I took the plunge into this world. It has been challenging, exciting and fun to get to know the parts, the bikes they'll go on and the guys and gals who ride these icons of freedom.
To the right is a sketch of the original design I was commissioned to do for a handlebar clamp on a 2002 Heritage Softail. We needed to add something to the front of the bike to grab attention at motorcycle shows and this was a great starter piece.
I worked on this piece for roughly 6 hours and I think it turned out really well. I am happy with the overall engraving and design.
The following images show you a small portion of the progression of the work on this piece. As you can see, it's a time consuming process, but the results are so worth all of the work.
The tools I use are as follows:
- Lindsay Artisan Air Graver - to cut through the metal.
- GRS Engraving Block - to hold the part.
- Presto Turbine hand piece - to remove the background.
- AmScope Microscope - to see the minute details in the shading work.
I adore my Lindsay Air Graver combined with the GRS block and Presto turbine. I can do just about anything with these tools: jewelry and any other metal I can get my graver on. For this piece I didn't need to use the microscope, but I use it when adding the shading details to make sure I get them positioned correctly and to see if I need to "clean up" any areas around the background removal.
The last step to this project was to paint the background and lines to protect them from corrosion. I used high temperature BBQ grill paint. It's a matte black and gives the final piece a lot of dimension. The great thing about using this paint is that riding out in the sun will "cure" the paint and make it extra durable.
This is the bike before and after my work.
If you're interested in knowing more about my process or having work done, please feel free to use the "envelope" icon below and send me a message. I'd love to work with you on a custom design for your own bike. Heck, if it's made of metal I'll cut it. Classic cars, motorcycles, knives, firearms... anything!