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Metal Engraving Certificate Program

Since 1984

Montgomery Community College, Troy NC


What is Metal Engraving? The Metal Engraving program at Montgomery Community College trains students in hand-eye coordination, artistic vision, and technology necessary to embellish metals using a variety of methods. Metal Engraving offers basic and advanced certificates for which students earn college credit. Metal Engraving is frequently paired with the Associate in Applied Science degree program in Gunsmithing to enhance student skills in finishing fine firearms. However, Metal Engraving may be taken as a stand-alone certificate program.

When are classes offered? Metal Engraving is offered on a weekend/evening schedule: Friday nights and Saturdays. Classes start each year in August. The Basic Certificate takes one year to complete. The Advanced Certificate also takes one year. Students are encouraged to take the basic classes first, but may enroll in any class without a prerequisite. Students are strongly encouraged to take the Tools and Procedures course first, or they should at least become familiar with tools and terms during their first class.

Will I need my own tools? Students will need to purchase some of their own tools. Students have access to a variety of engraving tools in class including PalmControl® AirGraver®, foot control air tools, sharpening tools, engraving vices, etc. Students will be able to use the tools to determine their preferences prior to purchasing their own. Please contact the instructor, Jesse Houser, at 910-975-3984 to determine which tools will be needed for a specific class.

For general information about registration, local living accommodations, tuition and fees, etc., please contact the college Admissions Office at 910-898-9620.

Basic Certificate

MEG 110 Tools, Terms and Procedures

This course covers tools, equipment, terminology, and materials used for metal engraving. Topics include basic tool geometry, basic tool design and construction, basic engraving cuts, and the care and maintenance of tools and equipment. Upon completion, students should be able to design and construct basic engraving tools and make basic engraving cuts in metals.


MEG 111 A & B Scroll Cutting and Design (two separate classes)

This course introduces the techniques of drawing and engraving basic bias scroll designs. Topics include elements of scroll design, drawing techniques, and basic scroll engraving skills. Upon completion, students should be able to engrave a product suitable for the metal engraving marketplace.


MEG 115 Lettering and Calligraphy

This course covers the anatomy, layouts, and cutting of the four basic letter types. Emphasis is placed on lettering anatomy, balanced lettering layout, hammer chisel methods, and the use of a paragraph. Upon completion, students should be able to form a responsive layout using a combination of letter styles.


Advanced Certificate


MEG 114 Bulino

This course introduces the bulino method of push engraving in ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Emphasis is placed on making basic tools, lettering, fine-line engraving, printing plates, various scrolls, and the use of microscopes. Upon completion, students should be able to apply a variety of bulino engravings to ferrous and non-ferrous metals.


MEG 116 Flush and Raised Inlay

This course introduces different applications of inlay techniques. Topics include flush inlay, overlay inlay, sculptured inlay, wire inlay, die sculpture, oak leaves, and gravermox engraving. Upon completion, students should be able to apply a variety of inlay techniques to a metal object.


MEG 117 Metal Engraving Applications

This course is designed to simulate real-life marketplace experiences for the metal engraver. Emphasis is placed on the independent applications of production and custom engravings according to simulated work orders. Upon completion, students should be able to apply engraving skills and knowledge competently in the marketplace.


MEG 118 Advanced Scroll Drawing

This course provides the opportunity to develop personal application of the elements of design into scroll drawings. Emphasis is placed on design elements, creativity, advanced scroll anatomy, and developing personal styles. Upon completion, students should be able to incorporate their own unique style of scroll drawings into complex geometric shapes.


NRA Short-Term Engraving Classes

What are NRA short-term classes? Montgomery Community College has been operating a very successful NRA short-term gunsmithing school since 1993, offering a variety of beginning- to advanced-level classes in shooting, reloading, finishing, customization, armorer’s courses and more.

When is the NRA Metal Engraving class offered? The NRA Metal Engraving class is held for two weeks at the end of July/beginning of August. The class limit is 10 students.

Do I need to know how to engrave to take the class? Beginners and advanced engravers take this class. More experienced engravers work on live projects and receive more in-depth instruction. Beginners receive separate instruction with more attention from the instructor during each step of the process. Prior to class, students receive a letter or email requesting information regarding areas of interest and level of engraving skill. The instructor uses this information to tailor his instruction according to students’ skills and interests.

Will I need my own tools? Students have access to PalmControl® AirGraver® tools, foot controls, various sharpening tools, hammers, various types of chisels, and other engraving tools as well as instructional videos and handouts.

For any questions about the Metal Engraving program or NRA class, or about tools you wish to purchase prior to class, please feel free to contact the instructor, Jesse Houser at 910-975-3984 for information and guidance.

For general questions about registering for an NRA Engraving class please contact the college Continuing Education Office at 910-898-9672 or visit our website at