Stag Beetle Tavern Ring Tutorial

Starting a “Tavern Ring” (with thanks to for the name I blatantly stole from him…), in tellurium copper. I’m planning to add a stainless steel inlay using my hare-brained scheme technique. Hope it works…

Marking out and cutting the blank to size. The little walnut doodad on the left is a mockup of the tavern ring.

Above, I’m CNC milling the teeth into the front side of the tellurium copper blank, using 1/8 inch diameter carbide square end mill and a 1/16 inch diameter carbide ball nose end mill, no coolant.


, the CNC is milling out the finger hole.

Here are the teeth seen from from the edge. I’m going to have to cut the cusps into these things…a dentist friend of mine took a look at these and remarked that the original teeth scanned for the computer model must have belonged to a pretty old person.

Carving the cusps with carbide burs.

Doing a little dental work on the CNC’d teeth on the tellurium copper Tavern Ring. Notice the 24 karat gold filling…

The finished tellurium copper blank can be seen in the above two images.

Starting to add a 1/8 inch thick 416 stainless steel stag beetle to the tellurium copper Tavern Ring. I’ll use a laser printer transfer to put my design on the steel

buy generic levitra

, then engrave those lines with my Lindsay Airgraver. The engraved lines will help my jeweler’s saw blade track better as I saw out the beetle.

Sawing with a 2/0 Rio Grande Laser Gold jeweler’s saw blade…a lot of sawing.

Above is the beetle completely separated from the parent metal, and laid in place on the tavern ring. About 2 hours with a jeweler’s saw…

Work holding small parts is always a problem. I often find my little antique pin vise useful for holding tiny things while I clean them up with a jeweler’s file.

Two 20 ton pressings installed the stainless steel stag beetle in the tellurium copper Tavern Ring.

Moving that much metal deformed the copper, and in hammering it back into shape, the beetle popped out. I used that as an opportunity to slip in some silver solder, then punched the copper sides in flush with the steel. That puppy ain’t going anywhere now… Compare how close the copper is pushed up against the sides of the steel in this image with the previous image.

Starting to hand engrave and carve the stainless steel stag beetle in the tellurium copper Tavern Ring. Above, I’ve engraved the body part separations in a lot deeper.

Above, I’m using a carbide bur to begin sculpting the beetle jaws.

Most of what you see here has been done with carbide burs in my NSK micromotor grinder.

Above, I’ve used a tiny scraper to begin cleaning up the striations left by the little carbide burs.

Here’s the head being sculpted and smoothed with tiny punches.



, the steel parts of the beetle have been completed, and I’ve added some patina ‘cause I’m impatient and I want to see how it will look when finished.

Above, engraving the legs of the stainless steel stag beetle in the tellurium copper Tavern Ring. A bit fiddly, but it’s necessary….and there are six of them…

Above, I’ve excavated the background with carbide burs. the legs are still flat and square at this point.

Above, I’ve used a tiny punch to round over the tops of a leg. You can see the difference between the top leg and the square/flat bottom leg. You can see the tiny punch I made from an old grinding bur that did the sculpting.

Finished the right side legs of the stainless steel stag beetle in the tellurium copper Tavern Ring. See the difference between the finished legs on the right side and the unfinished left side legs?

I’ve had a request to see the Stag Beetle Tavern Ring in hand to get a sense of the actual size. Ask and ye shall receive…

The Stag Beetle Tavern Ring is a single finger knuck (SFK).  2 7/8 inches long by 1 1/2 inches wide by 1/4 inches thick (51.7mm x 38.1mm x 6.35mm), the body is machined and hand carved and hand engraved by Tom Sterling of tellurium copper. The finger hole is 1 inch in diameter (25.4mm).  The hand carved and hand engraved stag beetle is created from 416 stainless steel.

Thanks for Looking!

Tom Sterling

This entry was posted in Carving, CNC and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *