Monday, January 7, 2013

Carve Hobo Nickels

How to Make Hobo Nickels

Click to view enlargment.
The United States minted buffalo nickels from 1913 through 1938.
During this time period and beyond, folk artists used hand tools to
alter the distinguished Indian head on the front of these coins.
Famous hobo nickels show the Indian's head accentuated with
details such as beards and hats or fully transformed into a famous
personality or comical character. Some artists would even transform
the buffalo on the back of the nickel into a different animal.
With a few engraving tools and a steady hand, you can alter
your own buffalo nickels or use your imagination to carve modern coins.
Moderately Easy


Things You'll Need

  • Fine-tipped marker
  • Hand engraving tool with nail and carbide tip
  • Craft knife
  • Hammer
  • Nail
  • Metal polish
  • Polishing cloth
    • 1
      Draw your desired shape and details on the surface of the nickel,
      using a fine-tipped marker. Try to work with the details and contours
      of the original nickel to make your finished nickel look authentic.
    • 2
      Smooth and carve away away large areas of metal with your hand
      engraving tool and a carbide tip.
    • 3
      Engrave fine lines on the metal surface with the hand engraving
      tool and a nail tip or a craft knife.
    • 4
      Hammer a nail into the coin to create stippling or small, rough
      details such as pockmarks.
    • 5
      Polish the finished nickel with metal polish and a polishing cloth.