Silver Wire Inlay In Wood

Silver Wire Inlay In Wood

Hello, I’m Alan Newbury and today we’re going to take the hook knife for making wooden spoons and We are going to do some silver wire inlay into the wooden handle This is a fun process and it’s really not that difficult But it requires some specialized tools and you’ll see me using them here in this video So let’s go ahead and take a look and see how that’s done. I Like to start off by putting on the pattern and usually what I do is just draw it on with a pencil I can erase it if I don’t get it just right and Then I can redraw it to how I like it you can also see that I have a little bit of a thinner wire that’s already been inlaid in there and I just for the interest of time didn’t do both parts here I have a thicker wire that is dead soft and On a thicker wire you can use dead soft on the thinner wire. You’re gonna want to have half-hard Because if it was dead soft It would want to fold over really easy It being thicker kind of helps that to not happen as much but it’s still something to look out for the different types of wire are Are kind of work better in different circumstances a nice thin wire can look pretty and then a thick wire can Provide a nice contrast and the softer wires can go around the curves the curvature of your handle better so here I’m just pushing the blade in and kind of rocking it a little bit there and just kind of starting it in the previous hole and Then I’ll kind of go through and make sure that I’ve got any like kind of little bits that that’s all pushed down to the same debt and This handle is just a jewelers handle that has had an exacto knife with the handle kind of shortened and then insert it into the jeweler’s handle and then the blade is reshaped to Have kind of a flat portion of different widths because those nice thin bits are Are good for going around corners? And then if you have a straight spot a nice wide blade is good So here I’m just cutting the silver wire which I had already sand and you just saw it. I do I’m using the same sample 220 grit just to kind of rough up the sides of the st. Of the silver wire so that it’ll want to grip the wood a little better than if it was just perfectly smooth and Then I’m just inserting it in there all of these Pieces of silver wire in this particular design are all straight and they’re all small So I’m cutting them out beforehand if you watch my previous video on Silver wire inlay, I do more curves because I’m in laying a snake So snakes got a lot of curves and it also has a lot of long pieces. These are all short little pieces So I do it a little bit different here. So you may want to go back and take a look at that and see the Equipment a little bit better in that video as well And so right here, I’m going to do the same thing. I kind of Insert it in the previous hole a little bit just start it in there and then rock it over Until I’m starting the new cut and it’s all just pushed straight down. You’re not removing any wood You’re you’re just kind of poking a slit into it. Later We’re going to swell that wood back up so that it will kind of close that hole and grab onto the silver So there you go another little piece just getting hammered in there and it went in nice Now what you may not see is sometimes it doesn’t work as well Sometimes maybe the wire starts folding over and you can kind of push it back straight maybe once or twice if it keeps doing it, you’re probably gonna be better off just putting in a new wire cuz it may break in half or Have a kink in it or something like that There we go And we’ll put in another little piece if you try to put in a piece and it looks a little too short well Just throw it off and you can melt it later and make something else if you have it a little long, then you can just trim it a little more and In this case, I’m using these tweezers to help me get it in there. You can push it down in with your tweezers maybe or You can push it in with your finger some just to get it started it’s kind of tricky with these little tiny pieces because there isn’t really much to hold on to if it was a long piece you might just start one end with your hammer and then keep holding on to it and kind of tap your way down the line but with these little Tiny guys, it kind of all has to go in at once But It’s a pretty cool little design here. This is actually a design based off of Burmese star tortoise I’m going to talk more about those in a subsequent video and probably a little bit more at the end of the video as well Now I’ll talk a little bit about The wire with the wire there are different sizes I the really thin stuff is Kind of tricky and it’s real easy for it to fold over so you’re gonna want to have a half hard type wire and even then it’s it’s really tricky and Then a little bit thicker you can have the half hard and then half hard is really nice and that it’s kind of springy and resists kinking and Getting like little little bins in the wire so you can make a nice smooth curve real easily So I think it’s really cool for scrolls. If you have a nice kind of flattish surface, it’s really good for that But it doesn’t really like going around the curvature of your handle So if you’re going from like a the flattest part there Like in this star and then maybe if you try to go a little bit more around the corner there it’s it’s gonna be kind of a steep angle and that Wires not going to want to bend around that angle as much so if you use a dead soft wire it will want to go around the curvature of your handle a little better and that Dead soft wire though. You’re gonna want to have a little bit thicker wire and that will help to resist it folding over because it’s a little bit wider and So I’m kind of starting to like that thicker dead soft wire as opposed to the thinner half hard wire But it really comes down to like what what are you putting it in if it was in a flat surface? I probably used the half-hard slightly thinner wire all the time but on knife handles I tend to at some point have to kind of go around a little bit of a curve on my handle and Having having the dead soft wire is is really a benefit for that So that’s kind of something. I’ve I’ve been experimenting a little bit with different Sizes and thicknesses and hardnesses of wire and that’s just something I’ve kind of picked up lately If you see here what I’m using for Underneath that. It’s just a little lead shot bag In leather, and it just helps me to to have a nice firm Spot to rest the knife some people will use a Graver ball or a jeweler’s vise you see those kind of rotating vices and if you look at Joe Keesler, he kind of popularized a making a One of those rotary type vices. They’re a ball of ice out of a bowling ball with a vise attached to it And then you set that into a lawnmower Tire and It makes for a pretty cool multi positioning type vise but I find for the knife handles that just kind of resting it on a bag or even Propping up a few has worked. Well for me. I’m not doing a whole lot of real fast Scroll turns, you know, it’s I can I can position myself a little more easily on this work. It’s not super Superfast I’m not having to follow a curve as I’m making a scroll like you would when you’re engraving But here it is sped up so you can see the rest of this wire going in and This this is a pretty cool pattern. I mentioned that it was on Burmese star tortoise has this six pointed star is kind of the reference shape for the geometric pattern that is on a Burmese star tortoise, which is a critically endangered tortoise from Myanmar and it’s it’s actually a type of tortoise that I keep and I’m Really enjoying the pattern that they have and here you can see that pattern right there it’s a lovely pattern and I’m planning on making some knives and Selling them I probably gonna make one knife and do a YouTube video and Sell it with the proceeds going to that to Tortoises and turtles as there were some of the more endangered animals out there Anyway, so right here, what I’m doing is I’m wetting the wood And that helps that grain That you kind of split apart with the tool To kind of close back up and the heat also helps with that process helps to swell that That grain back up. I’ve used a hairdryer and this is a heat gun, but I’m not using it on its hottest setting and least or if I do use the hottest sitting I make sure I don’t do it too long because you can burn the wood and Then after you do that you sand that back down. I’m just using a 220 grit sandpaper that I was using earlier and then you just sand that down flat and You will have basically finished your Silver wire inlay after you’ve done that but you know That’s not like a really great finish for the wood or even a great finish for the silver because 220 grit still While it’s smooth to the hand, it does show scratches and it’s not as nice of finishes. I like to have So then what you’d want to use is maybe some true loyal or @ tung oil I’m using a form B’s product here and so I like to To raise the wood grain first. So I put a little water on there and raise the wood grain everywhere So not just on the one half I do the whole side, but I actually am Going to do some more silver wire inlay on the other side So I’m only kind of giving an example on the finish and then I use some triple lot Stained steel wool to remove the grain that has been raised with the water And then now I am implying some finishing product. In this case. It’s form bees. You could use true oil some sort of a tung oil type product and then you’ll want to get on a nice thin layer and Then you let that dry So just get in make sure you get it everywhere, but don’t put too much if you put too much It’ll take forever for it to dry And this is a type of product where you really need to put on several coats the more coats you look the shinier It’s gonna get so there’s my first coat then after that I’m going to take some more of that steel wool and Then I’m going to rub it again. And this is going to help to kind of scuff up that previous Application so that some stuff will stick on top of that and it help Doing this kind of repeatedly fills the pores of the wood to help get a nice shinier finish so the more times you do this the shinier, it’s gonna get I Think for this one. It’s a carving type tool signle Did it a couple times then we have a tortoise that I inlaid on the other side I mentioned that this design was based off of a Burmese star tortoise in the future what I am going to do is make a knife and Include one or more of these two designs probably may just be the six point star and Then I’m going to sell that with proceeds going to tortoise and turtle conservation So thanks for watching and look forward to more of these videos on that knife sometime in the future I still have to design and make that knife and then If you enjoy the silver wire inlay Please check out my other silver wire inlay book and if you like this knife check out my knife making video of this knife spoon carving hook knife It’s gonna show you how it was all done without using any forging all stock removal and thanks for watching You


  1. Amazing that you just happened to upload this hours before I searched for this. I want to start practicing this on rifle stocks and pistol grips and this is a very approachable way to start. Thanks!

  2. Excellent! I don't think you mentioned it in the video, but it sort of looked like you were cutting the silver wire into small trapezoidal shapes with the long end being on top (the presentation side). Is this the case or am I just seeing things? It would make sense that it would go in the slot easier with the ends tapered a bit, but I'm just wondering if that's actually what you did here? I also just did a quick search on the Burmese Star Tortoise out of curiosity and they are really neat. I've love the way their shells also have little pyramid-shaped humps giving the Starr's a 3D look, kinda reminds me of little Bowsers lol. Thanks for sharing 🙂 🐢🐢🐢

  3. G'day ! I am from Australia and am keen to start on some silver inlay in wood. I have watched all the youtube videos and they are very helpful in terms of technique . BUT i have been trying to buy some of the silver wire to start and for the life of me I cannot find a supplier having spent hours on the internet searching . I'm hoping someone can help me by advising on the specifications of the silver wire and contacts for a supplier . Thanks -Sydney

  4. Thank you so much to share your great work. I'm just beginning the wood inlay. Could you tell me what kind of oil you use on the last step? Thank you again.

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