David Wade Harris
Master Engraver
320 County Road 1405 Jacksonville Texas 75766


Site Map


....engravers gun, engrave colt single action, deep cattlebrands, custom firearms engraving........


Watch my recent work
thru paypal




All gun engraver Firearm engraving work is still done by hand. Gun, knife and Firearm engraving with a hammer and chisel. David is one of the few Gun engravers that still engraves the old fashion way






News Paper Article:

"A pool of light bathes the gun engraver David Wade Harris in his unique workshop. He's a solitary figure steeped in tradition as he uses handmade tools to make elaborate engravings on firearms. Using the same style tools that have been in use for over 300 years, Harris elevates an ordinary firearm into the sphere of fine art by the skill that only a true gun engraver possesses.

Harris' Firearm engraving include a gambling theme with dice and poker hands, and a Civil War gun engraver theme with Gen. Lee and the Confederate flag on one side and Abraham Lincoln and the Union flag on the other. Originally, the gun engraver and engraved firearms were popular with titled and wealthy gentlemen. The Gun Engraver employed by firearms manufacturers became so famous that guns engraved by them held more value.

the Gun engraver David wade Harris uses several gun engraver books filled with photos of their work for research. Harris estimates that about half of his work is firearm engraving duplications of factory gun engraving, but says it's up to the customer to determine what he or she wants engraved on the gun. Gun engraver Harris uses pictures for ideas and draws his on artwork. " I don't pick up a hammer and chisel and start right in," gun engraver Harris said. I draw everything first."

As the gun is held tightly in a vice, Harris rubs beeswax on the area he'll be engraving. Then he brushes talcum powder onto the beeswax. The powder sticks, making a slightly whitened area that he draws on. " When I'm satisfied with it, I use a chisel and hammer to work in the design."

Harris learned his firearm engraving craft in the early 1980's from, the late, renowned Fort Worth gun engraver Weldon Bledsoe. He had to prove he was seriously interested in keeping the legendary firearm engraving style alive before Bledsoe would take him on as a student. Harris takes pride in the traditional method and tools he uses. He knows of only one or two other gun engravers who still make their own tools. " I try to keep the tradition alive that Weldon taught me," Harris said. " I still do it all by hand with a hammer and chisel.

There are a lot of easier ways of doing it, but easier isn't always better". Harris is well-known for his unique craft. Gun collectors from Alaska to Arizona and New York to California find their way to his rural home in far southeastern Hood County. " The more well-known I get, the more it increases the value of the gun," Harris said. "I sign D.W. Harris on each gun." Harris laughs and adds, "Actually, an artist becomes more famous and his work more valuable after he dies. I guess a lot of my customers are looking forward to that." "Hood County News"

Back to top