Metalwork Latest Topicshttp:// Latest TopicsenRokusho palette and processeshttp:// Being fairly new to irogane and rokusho patination, I'm trying to get some understanding of the basic color palette that is available to me when planning a composition. Although I have been able to find some good information here and on other sites, I was hoping that people with more experience could fill in some of the gaps in my understanding (or correct it if it is wrong!).

I only have (limited) experience with copper, 20/80 shibuichi, fine silver and 24k gold. My current notes have the following:

- Copper will shift color from orange to brown and eventually to red given enough time (~8/10h). I have gotten good orange with as little as 30m, and a (still orange-ish but) decent brown after 1h. I have not chased after the elusive red just yet.

- Shibuichi will give light grey to dark grey depending on copper/silver ratio, and takes about 25/30m. I have only used 20% silver so far, and gotten quite a dark shade. My understanding is that increasing the silver content yields a lighter color. In addition, Jim Kelso details here a process of silver enrichment, which can achieve gradients between light and dark areas on shibuichi.

- Fine silver will not change color, but may develop a yellow film on the surface after some time. A pinch of alum can help avoid this according to some sources, though I have at least once seen this film form regardless (as I said, I'm new at this, and so is my copper pot!)

- 24K gold will not change color, I do not know about lower karat.

- Shakudo (no personal experience) will go black with a deep purple hue at around 1h.

I have found little information about rokusho on brass or bronze. I plan on experimenting some (including non-traditional alloys such as nickel-silver), but an idea of what to expect would be useful as a point of comparison. I have heard that one should use a separate niage batch to patinate brass, but I have not heard why (I imagine this is due to the Zn and also applies to other Zn-containing alloys, but I don't know what that actually does to the solution and why it should be a separate batch). In addition, this would seem to preclude patinating a multi-alloy piece (say, shibuichi + copper + brass); is this simply not done?

I'm also quite intrigued by the silver enrichment process for shibuichi, though it's unclear to me how the enriched layer is preserved given that the patination process begins with polishing the entire piece (abrasive powders, and/or charcoal). I am guessing that the polishing step can leave enough of the enriched layer alone to still achieve the desired result, and that experience teaches how deep that layer goes for a given amount of heating/pickling cycles (and I suppose for a given silver/copper ratio). I'm also wondering if a similar process can be used on other copper alloys: if oxidation mostly affects copper, then brass/bronze, and even shakudo may also be affected in a similar way, perhaps yielding useful color gradients?

Finally, am I missing some of the basic colors in the palette? For instance, I really really wish I could achieve some form of green (i believe I could with different chemicals than rokusho, but combining that with rokusho-based colors would seem extremely challenging if not downright impossible)

Any information/correction on any of the above would be immensely appreciated.


4292Sat, 12 Jun 2021 07:00:52 +0000
Polishing Inside Cornershttp:// Hello everyone,

I am fairly new to tosogu and currently working on a tsuba. Part of the design calls for carving out some of the background, and I am practicing polishing a smooth slope and its transition with the foreground features.


As you can tell, the closer I get to a border or to a tight corner, the more I am struggling, and I am looking for advice on how to effectively cleanup and polish close to details that need to be preserved. The tight inside corners are particularly challenging. I do have small stones, but nothing that small. A small piece of sandpaper wrapped around a toothbrush just about gets in there, but lasts about 2 seconds and I'm thinking there has got to be a better way :P or is there?

I have read Jim Kelso's turorial on file and stone finishing, and that has been helpful in dealing with larger areas (thank you Jim!). I can see how I could eventually get the surface next to those details cleaned up with just a bit more patience, which I'm more than willing to exercise, but I'm doubtful that I can effectively deal with the tight inside corners that I'm currently struggling to even reach.

Hopefully someone can point at an element of answer, thank you!

4248Sun, 04 Apr 2021 04:49:06 +0000
Gravershttp:// the Scrapers topic, Robert Weinstock and Janel were beginning to discuss gravers:



I am very short on knowing the vernacular for metal working tools. I can guess what a graver is, but would like to know for sure what it is and its intended use, and what do you mean "gravers with no heel", what is a heel? Do they have varying kinds of shapes, uses and attributes?



Gravers are a push type tool for cutting metal. I'll post some photos when I get some taken. They come in many shapes and sizes, and I make many of my own. Most engravers will talk about putting a heel on their gravers. It refers to the way the point is sharpened. My gravers have no heel. In other words, The bottom side of the tool is flat or staight to the point. Having a heel would mean that the bottom of the tool has a bevel sharpened on it. Not have a heel on my gravers forces me to angle the tool lower. A heel allows the engraver to hold his graver at a higher angle. I get around the angle problem with a tool that I rest my graver on and use it as a fulcrum (I'll send pictures). For me, it wouldn't be practical to sharpen a heel on every graver, because I have more than a hundred gravers in different shapes and sizes, and it would be impractical to sharpen a heel on them each time I sharpen them. An engraver might use a single tool for most of his work, so it's a little different.



Have you made your gravers? What sort of metal do you use? Do you add handles?...



I hope to have more discussion and contributions from the carvers about this family of tools. If possible, please support your messages with images.





35Sat, 29 Jan 2005 13:29:10 +0000
Motorcycle Handlebar Six Gun Cylinder End Capshttp:// brass. Rotates to boot! Fits Honda VTX1300Cpost-4189-0-78121400-1460411124.jpgpost-4189-0-43701800-1460411154.jpgpost-4189-0-80934100-1460411180.jpg

3637Mon, 11 Apr 2016 21:47:46 +0000
Motor Cycle Rear Signal Visorhttp:// for my ride.

3 pc. hinged visor.

Native American Indian Chief styled after Pontiac car emblem.

Shaped on lens housing in wax/clay.

Note 3-d flames and feathers .

It works for me!

Cast, finished in 2-tone brass.




3635Mon, 11 Apr 2016 16:36:35 +0000
Motor Cycle Rear Signal Visorhttp:// pc. hinged skull visor.

Shaped on lens housing in wax.

Cast, finished in 2-tone brass.

3634Mon, 11 Apr 2016 16:33:23 +0000
Sterling Silver.925 Chalicehttp:// part sterling silver chalice .

Fiftieth wedding anniversary for my in laws in Poland.

Made over 17 years ago in 3 parts in wax, Cast assembled in metal.

Originally Gold plated inner.High polish antiqued ,outer.


3633Mon, 11 Apr 2016 16:22:12 +0000
King Tutankamun Silver 10K Chalice Renditionhttp:// project to date 10 years back.

Sterling silver .925 with 10k yellow gold enameled collar.

Made in five sections in textured wax.

Organic finish exterior/polished inner.

Top and collar turned on lathe.

Bottom shaped 1/mm wax sheet,shaped on clay master.

Cast, assembled and chased/finished.



overall height:178/mm

top ID opening : 40.8/mm

narrowest point on neck:34.5/mm

width, bottom:77.9/mm



3632Mon, 11 Apr 2016 13:04:39 +0000
Starlingearhttp:// everyone, I recently purchased a ring made by Ryk Maverick of Starlingear. I did a little research and came up with a few videos of some behind the scenes of his work. Also a nice promo video of his company. I do not have any stake or rights to his company, I just thought the video`s were well put together and a nice story of a still Made in the USA product. I enjoyed the videos and thought maybe some of you would also Peace...............D






3595Fri, 23 Oct 2015 15:49:34 +0000
Iron Patina (sabitsuke) has enquired about how I developed the patina on the recent iron tsuba.


Iron work is significantly different from kinko (soft-metal) work in the approach to finish and patina. The kinko work generally has a much more polished and refined look whereas a large motive of doing a work in iron is to develop a surface finish and patina that looks unselfconsciously organic, wabi and sabi. (sabi literally means rust). The surface look is a combination of the surface finish and the sabitsuke (rust making). It may appear to a casual or even somewhat trained eye that the texture of iron tsuba is mostly created by the rusting patina. This is actually not the case in the Natsuo and similarly finished works, where the texture is largely developed by controlled chasing, in combination with a controlled rust patina. This can be verified by looking closely at work. There are several Natsuo tsuba in the Kiyomizu-Sannenzaka Museum that I was fortunate to be able to handle and photograph. In one piece in particular it is clear that a fairly dramatic finish texture was chased, as it is present except in very specific areas where, because of the design it was clearly a choice to moderate it or not have it at all.


Once one is convinced of how these textures were produced largely by chasing, every other iron work makes sense in that context. This is not to suggest that the controlled rusting (sabitsuke) patina is never part of the texturing process. Iron finishes can vary from very textured to quite smooth. I suggest that the finish is always a combination of chasing and rusting, in different proportions, according to what the craftsman/artist is aiming for. Iron mokume (pattern welded wood-grain) pieces indicate that acid etching was also employed, but I have no information on this practically, in the Japanese tradition, only my experience with modern pattern-welded blades.


This organic look should not be thought of as any less demanding than the polished, refined look of the soft-metal work. In fact I think it's more demanding in a way to achieve in that it must look "natural" and uncontrived, whereas part of the charm of the kinko (non-ferrous) work is the almost super-human finish.


Anyway, I need a break and will return with details of the tsuba patina.

1952Mon, 16 Nov 2009 15:45:46 +0000
Shibuichi And Silver Chasaji (Tea-Scoop) and snow in general are a particular fascination of mine and I've wanted to use that theme in these materials for a number of years.


"How full of the creative genius is the air in which these are generated! I should hardly admire them more if real stars fell and lodged on my coat." H.D. Thoreau, Journal, 1856


The main piece is 50/50 (copper/silver) shibuichi from Phil Baldwin. Two snowflake inlays in fine (pure) silver and one small inlay of 70/30 (copper/silver) shibuichi. Also a bunch of inlayed and chased fine-silver wire bits using five sizes of wire from 22g to 30g.


This piece has been one of my most demanding both in design and technique. It's the most abstract work I've done. I decided to make the snowflakes mostly of the "plate" type as I thought that more solid form would contribute to the layering effect I wanted. Also the more feathery type of flake would be beyond my capability to render at this scale! The hexagons also had to be very convincingly symmetrical.


Although I took design hints from a silver vase by Nakagawa Joeki in the catalogue Flowers Of The Chisel from Malcolm Fairley Gallery, I had to make many decisions about materials, placement, depth etc. relating to this form. The Shadow-Master (wife Jean) was indispensable as usual, especially in the placement and size of elements.


Here is a link to more photos:


And a tutorial showing the inlaying of a silver crystal:



3170Mon, 01 Jul 2013 18:57:49 +0000
Mokume Ganehttp://,


I am "drop kicking" (American football term) this thread to continue our discussion on mokume. Though it is not usually my way to do things, I feel a critical mass building. (Besides, the epoxy piece took some stuffing out of me.) I am not any kind of expert, but with new members like Sjoerd coming aboard, I expect we can have a great discussion. I'll just parrot a few words from the recently mentioned texts on the subject so that viewers new to the subject can get a foothold.


Mokume gane refers to a metals technique from Japan with possible earlier origins on mainland Asia. It translates to "eye of the wood grain metal", or something like that. Developed 300 or so years ago, it is associated with Japanese swords in it's early form. Other forms developed later, such as document cases and spectacular vases.

Basically, layers of non-ferrous metals (pure and alloyed) are fused into a single layer. Subsequently, various layers are exposed to create unique patterns and textures. Besides the traditional methods of making this material (which suffered from poorly researched accounts early on), newer "high tech" methods are being used to incorporate metals like platinum, aluminum and stainless steel.



962Tue, 05 Jun 2007 22:06:40 +0000
Metal carving chiselshttp:// gang ;)


I'm still working on getting all the ( clearly focused! ) images and details of chisels together but in the meantime I thought you might be interested to see these 2 views of the angle of cutting using a 'V' shaped kebori chisel. It's moved with a hammer. I'd previously said ( in response to a query from Greg Obach) there were no heels on this chisel, sorry Greg!, I lied :) I didn't think of it but there is a slight heel on this one. The next batch of images will reveal all. Also, do you think the black and white images are sufficient? I though they'd make a relief from all the full colour we're constantly exposed to.





regards, Ford

964Thu, 07 Jun 2007 17:46:36 +0000
Question About Nunome-Zouganhttp://'m beginning to practice nunome-zougan but I don't remember if I should anneal the metal (shibuichi, brass, shakudo) before making the tiny groove texture with the chisel. I will start with brass to practice and after I will try with shibuichi.

I made also two pieces on iron in Tokyo and I'm sure I annealed the iron plate before making the texture but I don't remember about other softer metals....

Do somebody can give this information? I'm am really impatient to start!!! Thanks in advaaaance!! :)

2725Tue, 06 Mar 2012 12:15:16 +0000
Wax Carving Casting Silverhttp:// the other served as master of my wax model

height 25 mm weight in silver is about 80 grams



2815Thu, 14 Jun 2012 11:45:18 +0000
Need Help With Attaching Silver Jewelry Parts To Mammoth Ivory Jewelryhttp:// there

I've designed a jewelry collection of mammoth ivory and I found an amazing carver to carve up my designs that he turns into reality but I wanted to see if you guys have advice on attaching silver jewelry findings, hinges, etc. to ivory. My plan was to do this...

1. drill a hole into the ivory

2. glue the jewelry parts into place (dont know which glue)

3. then screw in the tiny screws into the holes that I drilled


Does that sound about right or what do u guys think?


Its been 2 years and Im still looking for a jewelry mfg that can make my jewelry parts, we'll see if I ever find one!

2750Thu, 29 Mar 2012 23:57:35 +0000
Coin Cuttinghttp://,


I’m looking to give coin cutting a try, it seems very interesting and I’ve seen lots of great designs. The thing is I can’t find any websites that give you a ‘how to’ on coin cutting.


From what I’ve gathered:


1. You drill through the coin but with what kind of drill and what size drill bits?

2. Then using a piercing saw, cut what you don’t want out. Again what size saw blades are used?

3. Using needle files (again what size?) you tidy the job up


A few problem with this simple run through I have is – I’ve seen coins where the detail of the cut is so small, like around the writing of a coin and a whole is cut through the centre of an ‘o’ it’s just so fine a detail. I just don’t understand how that can be done with just the tools I’ve written about above.


Also you’ve got the option to grind the coin down and then polish it up to make a blank coin before you cut out your design. What sort of grinder and polisher would be best for this job?


Any advice would be great,


Thank you.



1830Fri, 03 Jul 2009 18:02:33 +0000
Lindsay AirGraverhttp:// Lindsay has been threatening for a while to send me one of his AirGravers to try out. I had a hunch that it would be very dangerous in terms of getting hooked on it and that has proven out.


He sent one the Classic Handpieces with PalmControl. I'll post a photo, but you can see all the info



It's not my intent to comment on any other power graver available, in this thread, so I'm going to restrict my comments just to Steve's.


The action of the PalmControl and the control possible are truely amazing. The absence of the foot pedal took remarkably little getting used to. The ability to adjust the cutting action by the amount of palm pressure becomes second nature. Because of the mechanics, the tool uses MUCH less air than I'm used to, so my compressor was on much less. I didn't time it, but I would guess 1/5 the time. Also the tool is virtually silent when idling, the only sound being the hammer blows when actually cutting.


Pricewise, the foot controlled version(which I will try out soon, hopefully) is more in my range at this time and I suspect offers the same control, only requiring foot and hand coordination.


After a few test cuts, I felt comfortable to dive into the Maidenhair Fern Pin engraving which is posted elsewhere. All the engraving on this piece was done with this handpiece, from fairly heavy relief chiseling to the delicate veining. I was under time pressure so did not take it to the limit on heavy going, but was very impressed with the range of power available. Here is the pin finished and I will post some pics of work in progress. It measures 2.5 inches across.


386Tue, 20 Dec 2005 00:25:32 +0000
Small Diameter Ring Making? anyone suggest a process for making small rings like the ones shown?


i need to make three of them as replacements for a missing piccollo

ring set.


They are needed as they protect the endgrain from splitting.



2440Sun, 24 Apr 2011 03:29:18 +0000
"modern Marvels" Question About Miniature Kniveshttp:// received this message and am posting it because more than one member of TCP creates miniature knives. Contact information has been provided.





I am a producer for Half Yard Productions and am working on a new episode of "Modern Marvels" entitled 'Tiny Weapons'. We want to look at miniature knives in this episode and are hoping you could give us some pointers on manufacturers and collectors. Does anyone still make miniature knives that are functional? Could you suggest any collectors who would be open to showing their miniature knife collection on television? Please email or call me at 240-223-3440. Thank you for your help and consideration!


Best Regards,

Philip R. Cloutier


Philip R. Cloutier

Associate Producer, Half Yard Productions

4922 Fairmont Avenue, Ste. 300

Bethesda, MD 20814

t) 240.223.3440

m) 323.810.6369

2501Tue, 12 Jul 2011 18:36:16 +0000
Help Identifying old Chinese markingshttp:// ther anyone that can help with identifying an old makers mark on these vases I have










2263Fri, 29 Oct 2010 15:23:11 +0000
Antique Netsuke and Ojimehttp:// ,


I tried to post this in resources but the forum wouldn't let me , don't know why? Anyway a link to some very comprehensive photos, particularly of Ojime. A great resource!



regards Tim.

2187Sun, 25 Jul 2010 18:04:54 +0000
Free tsuba making filmhttp:// Holidays to everybody here.


I bring a gift from the guys on Following the Iron Brush forum ;)


It's easier if I quote;


Utsushi - the search for Katsuhira's tiger


Some of you have already seen this short documentary film but I've just uploaded a High Definition version with Japanese subtitles onto YouTube.


You'll find details about the film maker and links to alternative text translations of the audio in the description below the film screen.


You'll find



You'll see the default quality setting on the play bar is usually 360p (on the right just below the screen). The film can be viewed in higher quality (up to 1080 High Definition ) by selecting a higher resolution setting. At the higher settings you can watch it in an expanded view to fill the screen.


Please feel free to download the files for your own use. You'll need to use RealPlayer software to do this. It's available for free here.



If you're interested you can read more about the project the film follows and how it came about here, on my blogsite.

I hope you enjoy it.


best regards,


Ford Hallam


thank you,


remo :)

2300Mon, 20 Dec 2010 11:06:17 +0000
Pallasite......has anyone worked with ithttp:// is a meteorite that has a kind of yellow stone in it.

very irregular but beautiful.


im not sure what the best way to shape it would be.


has anyone worked with it as a material? what method did you use to shape it?

2264Sun, 31 Oct 2010 04:46:48 +0000
Identifying some Japanese vaseshttp:// wonder if anyone can identify this craftsmans mark, I presume they are Japanese, and as I cant understand Japanese I expect I may have it upside down, but if anyone can tell me anything about the vases I would be forever grateful.





2244Thu, 07 Oct 2010 23:49:58 +0000