Dried Sardine Scalpel and Reliquary – Part 5

Above, I’ve transferred my detailed pattern to the sardines on the lid, ready to begin detailing.

I’ve begun detailing by engraving the eye, gill and fin details just like on the shibuichi scalpel scales.

Continuing with the detailing by using a flat graver to lower the areas behind the engraved gills, and around the fins.

Above, I’m using a small scraper to remove some of the tool marks left by my NSK micromotor grinder and carbide burs.  It is a metal scraper, the idea for which I stole from Clive Hallam (a famous netsuke carver).  You can see the start of his instructions for how to make one here:  Netsuke Knife Making Tutorial Part 1

And here is a link to a tutorial by me about pretty much the same thing, but from an engraving and metalwork viewpoint:  Clive’s “Shirley Temple” Scrapers for Contemporary Engravers

Above, I’ve used the same little circular punch I used on the shibuichi scales to texture the head area of the top sardine.  That looks a little bland to me, so I’ll add in the muscle striations you would see on a cooked and canned sardine.

Since these sardines aren’t dried, I’ve decided to use a little different method to delineate the muscle striations.  I used a round graver to carve in long depressions between the muscles (see the top sardine).

Above, I used the circular punch to retexture the area.  Much better!

The rest of the sardines carved with the round graver.

And here they all are with their finished texture, and the fins detailed with the same round graver.  I’ve also trimmed a little here and there with files and abrasive ScotchBrite™ pads.

Now it’s time to solder on the silver lid and rolled up key.  You can see my cobbled together soldering rig above.  I’ve used a ceramic fiber soldering pad

, a piece of firebrick, and a charcoal block to lift the steel top up so I can get the torch flame underneath it.  I’ve also pressed into service my little copper and lead soldering hold downs.  I’m using low temp (400 degree F) silver-bearing paste solder for this task, since it will be difficult to get this much metal up to silver soldering temperatures.

And, here’s the soldering finished.  Notice the faint oxidation colors on the stainless steel fish.  Now, I need to clean all this up.  I can’t use my normal pickling method, since the iron will cause an electrochemical reaction and plate everything with copper.  I’ll just use mechanical methods for the clean up.

Thanks for Looking!


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

Leave a Reply

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