Hobo Nickels

Early Works


Why and How I Got Started.

I first ran across hobo nickels quite by accident on eBay during my renewed interest in coin collecting. I decided to look further into these fascinating pieces. In searching the internet, I found some amazing modern carved hobo nickels.  Most of the high quality pieces were already sold, so I returned to watching eBay.  After watching eBay for a while, I was disappointed with the quality (10 minute Dremel productions), and I said to myself, "I can do at least that good" -- and that's how it started.


I have only been carving since august 2004 and I'm still experimenting with different techniques. I've had no formal training but have always had some innate artistic ability.  My first creations took between five and six hours with more recent creations taking between three to five hours.  I've ended up using mainly a Dremel as my main carving tool.  I find carving nickels to be relaxing -- a sort of escape.

Well I've been carving for almost a year and a half now.  I still like it.  I've switched from the Dremel to push gravers.  I've joined the OHNS and have talked to alot of interesting people along the way. I've seen many new carvers pop up - I'm no longer the "new kid on the block".  Most of all  I've seen some amazing works of art produced.  I can't wait to see what 2006 brings.


First Ever Carving. August 2004.


This was my first ever attempt at carving a coin.  I picked a 1964 Lincoln cent, to be honest, because it was sitting there.  A clown was the only thing I could think to carve at the time.  The carving was done mainly with sharpened finishing nails.  I already had a stereo microscope which was a considerable help in carving the details. Although, at that magnification; nothing ever looked right to me.  I decided the carving wasn't awful and would move onto my second piece.

Second Ever Carving.


After my first carving, I decided to do a second carving on a wheat cent.  With the thought of putting the carving on eBay, I changed the date to 1943 and listed it as a 1943 copper cent carving, with the modified date being a "joke" to go along with the clown. I received a positive response and decided to try my hand at a nickel.

First Ever Buffalo Nickel Carving.


I don't remember how I came up with the idea of doing a football player however, very little material needed to be removed and it ended up being a good subject for a first attempt.  The carving was done almost entirely with sharpened finishing nails. I did use a Dremel for removing bulk material however, the thought of putting a large gash in the nickel scared the bageebers out of me.

Second Ever Buffalo Nickel Carving.


On this carving, I decided to try to get a little more fancy (at least for me at this time).  Adding the brim in front of the hat was actually a difficult thing for me to do and have it look acceptable. This was also my first attempt at hair.  As you can see, I made no attempt at carving an ear yet.



By this time I was hooked, and off I went...








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