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A hole punch, or hole punching pliers, is an essential tool when working with metal in jewelry designs. It creates a perfectly uniform hole every time and is ideal if you work with rivets, screws or other cold connection techniques. The hole punch you want to use depends on the thickness, or gauge, of the metal that you are using. The higher the gauge number, the thinner the metal.
The charm of hand stamping is its random organic look, not precise or machine made. However, there are mistakes that can take you from organic to ruined, so here are a few tips to help.
- Here are some examples of what not to do:
- Holding the stamp the wrong way can result in upside down images. Pay special attention to the 6 and 9 stamp.
- Not holding the stamp firm enough can cause the stamp to move.
- Not holding the stamp straight can cause incomplete images.
- Hitting the stamp too soft can cause incomplete images.
- Hitting the stamp too hard can dent the tag along with the impression.
- Hitting the stamp twice will leave a shadow impression.
A texture hammer is a great way to introduce texture into your metal designs. This texture hammer provides nine interchangeable faces that are securely attached to the hammer by a threaded collar.
A rivet looks much like a two-headed nail. The use of rivets provides an easy and inexpensive way to create pieces that are multi-dimensional and also moveable if you so desire.
When working with metal, one of the most helpful tools is a die and punch. This tool comes with a six-sided die with circular indents on each surface that vary in size, as well as punch indents. The use of this tool is called dapping, which means to dome metal. There are lots of materials that can be dapped such as sheet metal, coins, bottle caps, tokens, gears and charms. Dapping is a great way to make one of-a-kind jewelry components such as beads and bead caps, but it's also an easy way to add some visual appeal to a charm or pendant. This is because a curved surface reflects more light than a flat surface, which results in a more captivating piece. A wood dapping set is ideal in jewelry making because it is gentler when curving the metal and will not scratch or mar precious metals. Here we will provide a few guidelines to follow when using the wood dapping set. Please note that safety should be your primary concern. Always wear eye protection!
Note: All stamping, texturing and holes should be completed prior to doming. Holes may need to be perfected after the dapping process. You can do this with a bead reamer, hole punch or re-drilling the hole site.