Monday, March 22, 2010

How to Use Metal Stamps

So you want to learn how to stamp on metal? Stamping on metal is easy and fun. You will need metal stamps, a hammer, a steel block or anvil and a metal blank to stamp. The tools can be purchased at most hardware stores, local bead store and jewelry supply houses. You do get what you pay for BUT you may not want to invest in expensive equipment until you are sure you love stamping. We recommend purchasing a basic set of metal stamps to start and then purchase steel jewelry stamps with specialized fonts and sizes as you develop your skill.

You can use a basic ball pein hammer to hit the metal stamps, but a brass ball pein hammer is a LOT nicer to work with. Brass is softer and has "give" that will make stamping easier and more precise.

Most beginners prefer to purchase metal blanks for stamping. You can make your jewelry more interesting by making your own blanks. Discs and washers are easy to make using a disc cutter. Here is how:
How to Use a Disc Cutter
Make Your Own Discs

Other shapes can be made using a jewelry saw, blades and a bench pin. Here is how:
How to Use a Jewelry Saw
How to Transfer a Design

Whether you purchase your blanks or fabricate them yourself, you will need files and sand paper to remove tool marks from your blanks BEFORE you stamp them. We like Swiss needle files, but you can buy basic needle files for only a few bucks.Wet/dry sand paper can be purchased at most hardware stores and jewelry supply houses. These tutorials explain how to sand and file metal in preparation for stamping:
How to Use Sand Paper
How to Use a File for Jewelry Making

After preparing the metal, you may want to anneal it so that it is soft. You can use almost any torch to anneal your metal, including a common butane torch sold in hardware stores and kitchen stores. Whether or not you anneal will depend on the gauge of the metal and how work hardened the metal has become preparing the metal. Here is how:
How to Anneal Metal for Jewelry Making

Last you will need a steel block or anvil. You put the metal blank on the block or anvil and then hit the blank with the stamp using your ball pein hammer. We prefer a block to an anvil, but the anvil can be useful for wire wrapping and forming metal.

Here are some stamping  projects that you may enjoy: 
How to Make a Sterling Silver Stamped Cuff Bracelet
How to Make a Copper Stamped Bracelet
How to Make a Stamped "Best Mom" Pendant

3 comments:

katrinna louise said...

Thank you for posting these helpful tips and hints. I'm just considering starting metal stamping. Your post will be great!

stan said...

Hi, Where do you buy the thin metal to metal stamp on?

William Jones said...

Thanks a lot for sharing such an useful tips and tricks about using metal stamps. The metal stamping is one of the major processes to create metal stamps. The process is by means of special stamping equipment, where the sheet metal is moulded with the equipment to obtain respective shapes and sizes. Metal Stamping