Ants Miseretto part 14

I’m back in the saddle again!
I’ve installed the dagger in my engraver’s vise and used my three “ant punches” to lightly punch three ants in the shibuichi handle scale.

Here’s a closer view, just lightly punched.  I wouldn’t be doing this if the handle scales were steel or titanium, that would probably ruin my punches.

Above, I’ve begun cutting the inlay pocket using my Lindsay Palm Control Airgraver and a small 90 degree graver.

Here I’ve excavated the pocket with the 90 degree graver and small carbide burs.  I’m striving to keep the bottom as flat as I can.

 Above are all three pockets excavated, both an overall view and a  close up.

I decided to try something new here by using a punch in my airgraver and punching the bottom of the inlay pocket flat.  I’m hoping to work harden the area locally so as to proved a better ground for the next step, cutting a forest of small burs in the bottom to help trap the inlaid gold.

Here are the tiny little lines cut into the bottom of the inlay pocket to make the forest of little burs.  I’ve also punched undercuts around the bottom edges of the inlay pocket.  If you look closely, you can see where the metal has been displaced upwards around the upper edges.  You can see more about this particular process here:  
Tomorrow, I’ll begin inlaying the gold…

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