Author Topic: Wire Inlay  (Read 4372 times)

Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: Wire Inlay
« Reply #25 on: December 12, 2023, 06:46:54 AM »
Hi Mike,
Yeah, that chinoiserie fashion was so peculiar and ill fitting.   Here is one by Bailes.   I am sure he did not do the wire work but he sure had a skilled tradesman on contract.



dave
Yep, that's one of them. Way out there for the time, but very cool in my book.
 It seems in one of those British books there is a paid bill payment to a shop that specialized in wire decoration. Or maybe it was some documentation I got from Lynton MacKenzie, I don't recall now. Anyway much of this very specialized work was farmed out to experts. Even the engraving etc.
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Offline Pukka Bundook

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Re: Wire Inlay
« Reply #26 on: December 12, 2023, 05:56:35 PM »
That  gun in the above photo I always took as a use up the parts  sort of project.
It is "far out" for W'm Bailes.

I don't know if it was made with those great odd looking cocks, or whether they got changes over time, but I always feel this is the most unbalanced, and  my least favourite  work of Bailes.

It Appears Mary used the same outworker for silver wire after William's death, but the rest of the work fell far short.

No 62 of about 1760 has long been my favourite of Bailes work.

The other picture is a relic that sold some time ago back home in the UK.
Its balanced though, even if it seems a bit strange!









« Last Edit: December 12, 2023, 06:08:04 PM by Pukka Bundook »

Offline Blacksmoke

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Re: Wire Inlay
« Reply #27 on: December 12, 2023, 07:23:05 PM »
Long Ears:  Thanks for the compliment!  When I teach wire inlay I encourage anyone who says that it is too difficult to do.  Can you write your name?
If yes than you can do wire inlay too! It is really not that difficult.  The very first gun I built in 1972 I incorporated wire inlay!  I used brass wire as I could not afford silver.  So if you are reading this and have a hankering to try it - Go ahead you might surprise your self.  Hugh Toenjes
H.T.

Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: Wire Inlay
« Reply #28 on: December 12, 2023, 07:32:29 PM »
That relic is incredible. Love it!
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Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: Wire Inlay
« Reply #29 on: December 12, 2023, 08:45:51 PM »
Quote
That  gun in the above photo I always took as a use up the parts  sort of project.
It is "far out" for W'm Bailes.

I don't know if it was made with those great odd looking cocks, or whether they got changes over time, but I always feel this is the most unbalanced, and  my least favourite  work of Bailes.
I just unburied my copy of the Bailes book and it says the cocks are replacements. The lock plates have two different styles of Baile signatures, the left it in a cartouche and the right is engraved with a foliar surround. The author speculates this is a "use up the spare parts" as you suggest. It has a great set of barrels in 20 bore that are a whopping 39" long. It's a fairly early gun for a SXS, 1765.
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Offline Pukka Bundook

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Re: Wire Inlay
« Reply #30 on: December 13, 2023, 07:35:51 AM »
Thanks Mike, I'd forgotten about the locks and not dug my book out.
I didn't like the overall looks of that one. It seemed a bit crippled in my mind.

I had more pictures of that relic but may have deleted them.
I have one, showing silver wire forward of the T guard.
Furniture was all silver.

Offline Dr. Tim-Boone

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Re: Wire Inlay
« Reply #31 on: December 13, 2023, 03:09:57 PM »
Amazing thread! And a nice bit of some of the highly talented and accomplished artisans who the rest of us get to appreciate and learn from on ALR!
De Oppresso Liber
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Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: Wire Inlay
« Reply #32 on: December 13, 2023, 05:47:31 PM »
Thanks Mike, I'd forgotten about the locks and not dug my book out.
I didn't like the overall looks of that one. It seemed a bit crippled in my mind.

I had more pictures of that relic but may have deleted them.
I have one, showing silver wire forward of the T guard.
Furniture was all silver.
That particular Bailes gun has an odd drop in the stock, probably hired a different stocker than usual.
 I'd love to see some more pics of that relic. I'm inspired enough to give it a try....maybe when kibler gets his fowling gun kit ready for sale!
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Offline Pukka Bundook

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Re: Wire Inlay
« Reply #33 on: December 13, 2023, 06:19:48 PM »

Mike,

So Pleased  this one inspires you!

 I will do what I can, but as I watched most sales back home years ago, ("Flintlock" was my search)  I can't say where to start.

This is the only other picture I have at present.

best,
R.







Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: Wire Inlay
« Reply #34 on: December 13, 2023, 06:43:12 PM »
Quote
So Pleased  this one inspires you!
All of that wire bundling gives me pause, might have to actually practice that instead of my usual method of "winging it". ;D
 Mark Silver did an excellent wired fowler some years ago, anybody have a picture of that? i'm sure people would enjoy seeing how a real pro does wire. Exceptional gun.
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Offline Jim Kibler

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Re: Wire Inlay
« Reply #35 on: December 13, 2023, 06:50:59 PM »
Yes, I recall this gun by Mark.  Is it in the Three Centuries book?  I can't check right now, but will look later.  Delicacy and wire weight variation is a big part of good English styled work.  I think this gun was also shown on the front of a NMLRA brochure.

Jim

Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: Wire Inlay
« Reply #36 on: December 13, 2023, 06:59:23 PM »
Yes, I recall this gun by Mark.  Is it in the Three Centuries book?  I can't check right now, but will look later.  Delicacy and wire weight variation is a big part of good English styled work.  I think this gun was also shown on the front of a NMLRA brochure.

Jim
I think it's on the front cover of muzzloader......or was it blasts? Not only does it look good but it handles well too. LIVELY!
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Offline axelp

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Re: Wire Inlay
« Reply #37 on: December 13, 2023, 07:23:38 PM »
As an artist of a different sort, Having appropriate thick and thin variations in silver wire inlay really hits an all cylinders for me. It resembles calligraphy and adds so much to the work. I would imagine it to be quite challenging though. Ink and even carving to an extent lends itself to thick and thin line weights, but wire is a whole different critter I would imagine. When I see wire inlay that is of the same width--especially the thicker variety, it seems clunky-- similar to some computer generated vector work. It is the thick and thin variations that create a feeling of dimension, movement and flow. I have no clue as to how that is done in wire, but it's truly wonderful.

Can anyone that knows how that is done explain it here?

My guess would be that the groove in the wood is carved thick & thin and has slight undercuts. The annealed wire (which is slightly larger than the largest spaces) is gently hammered into the carving to mold to and fill the voids. Much easier to write than to do!

K
« Last Edit: December 13, 2023, 07:37:52 PM by Ken Prather »
Galations 2:20

Offline Pukka Bundook

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Re: Wire Inlay
« Reply #38 on: December 13, 2023, 07:37:39 PM »
No answers fom me Ken, all I can say is I know if it looks good to me!

Here is another I found whilst looking for photos of the relic up page;



 Just found on web. no info.

Offline axelp

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Re: Wire Inlay
« Reply #39 on: December 13, 2023, 07:41:41 PM »
I wonder if one method is to use multiple wires in the areas that are thicker. As they are hammered in, they meld somewhat together to appear as one thicker wire? that image sample seems it could be that-- to my untrained eye. I would imagine that part of the process is the careful cutting or sanding away of the excess wire that sits proud?

Beautiful.

K
« Last Edit: December 13, 2023, 07:46:06 PM by Ken Prather »
Galations 2:20

Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: Wire Inlay
« Reply #40 on: December 13, 2023, 08:01:18 PM »
I used to be Mark's next door booth neighbor for years at f-ship. We discussed the bundled wire technique but of course all of that info is pretty foggy 20 years later. Wire isn't really "hammered" in, more tike tapped. The tool I use is the same or slightly wider than the wire. The wetting of the wood once the wire is in place is what holds the wire in place, hopefully never to come out again!
 from what I remember he said bundling is done by continuing to add wire next to the previous one. Some of his bundles may have approached 1/8" wide. I really don't know if he removed any extra wood or not for the width of the bundle. He did however file a taper on the wires in the bundle. In fact he filed taper on wires all over in the design. I usually hammered my wire to taper it....with varying results.
 i'm sure smart dog could add volumes to my commentary. Jim Kibler too.
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Offline JH Ehlers

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Re: Wire Inlay
« Reply #41 on: December 13, 2023, 09:03:36 PM »
That got me thinking as well, what happens to all that wood when you keep squeezing wire in to it next to each other. I would think that wood would have to be removed if the wire mass becomes too much, maybe even have a dovetailing effect like when inlaying in metal. Never done wire inlay before but sounds interesting.

Offline JTR

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Re: Wire Inlay
« Reply #42 on: December 13, 2023, 09:26:30 PM »
No answers fom me Ken, all I can say is I know if it looks good to me!

Here is another I found whilst looking for photos of the relic up page;



 Just found on web. no info.

Here is a link to more images of the gun above. Smart Dog reposted these images. Scroll up to the top of the page, then go down to his post, 2nd one down from the top.

Mr no gold bought the gun in 2009, and I took these pics of it.

https://americanlongrifles.org/forum/index.php?topic=51434.msg511335#msg511335
John Robbins

Offline JH Ehlers

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Re: Wire Inlay
« Reply #43 on: December 13, 2023, 10:12:35 PM »
Some more thinking, or the wire in the middle has to be deeper inlayed, and shallower as you move to the outside.
Anyway, designing some beautifull wirework looks like it will be less fun than doing the work.

Offline Jim Kibler

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Re: Wire Inlay
« Reply #44 on: December 13, 2023, 11:38:37 PM »
That got me thinking as well, what happens to all that wood when you keep squeezing wire in to it next to each other. I would think that wood would have to be removed if the wire mass becomes too much, maybe even have a dovetailing effect like when inlaying in metal. Never done wire inlay before but sounds interesting.

I don't think there is anyone who can wire inlay as well as Wallace Gusler.  His rifle for Gordon is a testament to this.  His techniques are significantly different than most and do rely on a "dovetail" technique to ensure the wire is well anchored.  This may be a bit tedious to describe the basic process is this:  Use a chisel shaped tool to create the first part of the groove.  Follow this up with a parallel sided tool with a square face to make the groove slightly oversized and rectangular in cross section.  Next get your ribbon cut to the proper width, length and bend to shape.  After this, use a small wood chisel and tap the bottom side of the wire to slightly upset it and create some teeth.  Think of a slight foot at the bottom of the ribbon.  Next, this is inserted into the groove and then the wood is wet to swell it back up on the wire.  This pretty much permanently affixes the wire in the wood.  There are some more intricacies to his techniques, but this is the basic idea.  He would use this same process when layering wire as well.

I've done work using this technique and although more effort, the wire is there to stay.  You can't say this with other techniques.  Just look at some English pieces and how poorly they have weathered time.

As mentioned, really good wire work offers quite a variation of weight and width, diverging segments should be tapered into the adjacent element, trailing tendrils should be tapered in thickness towards the end etc.  All this plus exceptional design (likely based on original work) can create amazing results.

Offline axelp

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Re: Wire Inlay
« Reply #45 on: December 14, 2023, 12:50:25 AM »
Wow. great explanations guys. I see how it's done now at least the basic concept. It seems to be a very detailed and painstaking process, and it makes me appreciate the art even more. Getting the thick and thins to look right is impressive work. Thank you for taking the time to share.

Ken
Galations 2:20

Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: Wire Inlay
« Reply #46 on: December 14, 2023, 12:51:06 AM »
That is an interesting technique and seems very permanent. I have always put my length of ribbon between a flat bastard file and the edge of my vise and pulled the ribbon through creating parallel grooves in the side of the ribbon which (in theory) the wood would swell around to hold the wire. Guslers method sounds far more permanent. I have heard of fellows using things like a diluted solution of Elmers to swell the wood....never thought that was for me. "So far", all my wire has stayed put.
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Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: Wire Inlay
« Reply #47 on: December 14, 2023, 12:53:03 AM »
Wow. great explanations guys. I see how it's done now at least the basic concept. It seems to be a very detailed and painstaking process, and it makes me appreciate the art even more. Getting the thick and thins to look right is impressive work. Thank you for taking the time to share.

Ken
I don't dislike doing wire, but after a couple hours I have to go find something else to do. AND, I think bundling may cut my work time to about an hour.. ;D
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Offline Blacksmoke

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Re: Wire Inlay
« Reply #48 on: December 14, 2023, 03:21:47 AM »
Earlier in this thread I posted a photo of the stock of a 1760 English fowler which was profusely decorated in silver wire.
When I took possession of that gun over half of the original wire work was missing or falling out.  I can tell you that who ever did the original work, did not take any anchoring steps to secure his wire. And it did not stand the test of time.  So when I did the restoration of wire I employed my anchoring techniques as best I could with out removing any wood to do so. I stabbed in much deeper than what was done before and added parallel scoring on the  sides of the tapered ribbon. In some places I micro soldered with Tix to make a joint. These are all techniques that I use for contemporary wire including silver pins for the ends of my volutes.  The other old originals pictured in this thread look like their wire work has held up very well for the age that is on them!   Hugh Toenjes 
H.T.

Offline rich pierce

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Re: Wire Inlay
« Reply #49 on: December 14, 2023, 03:50:09 AM »







17th century, Germanic. No other info known; picked up off the interwebs.
Andover, Vermont