Free metalsmithing video tutorial:

Metalsmithing Techniques for Metal Jewelry Making:
Watch Basic Mandrel Use, Dapping, and Doming

How do you turn a piece of flat silver sheet or other jewelry metal into the rounded forms common in making metal jewelry? How do you make jump rings? What metalworking tools are used for forming metal into a ring? What are the dos and don’ts of metal jewelry making? In this informative free metalsmithing instructional video, goldsmith Helen Driggs demonstrates working with some of the most basic jewelry making tools used in shaping metal into rings, bracelets, neckpieces and more. See how to form metal around a mandrel, how to use dapping punches with dapping blocks to create domed or hemispheric forms, and how to use those techniques to master the art of making metal jewelry.

Free metalsmithing video tutorial from Jewelry Making Daily
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Basic Techniques for Metal Jewelry Making

Access this FREE Metalsmithing Video Tutorial
Watch Basic Mandrel Use, Dapping, and Doming!

Watch as Helen shows you how to work more efficiently by demonstrating proper placement of your metalworking tools and metal. Hear her describe how the right punch or hammer strikes feel as they move your metal sheet. Learn what work hardening is, how you can use it to your advantage, and how to tell when your metal has become overly work hardened. This tutorial will help you understand the principles of metal forming the first time you watch it -- and will be your go-to resource every time you form metal with a mandrel or dapping set. So clear off your jewelers bench or other workspace, pick up your hammers, mandrels, dapping block, and dapping punches, and get started bending metal to make your own metal jewelry designs.


This amazing video guide to basic goldsmithing techniques is available for free!

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Bending metal to make rings

Moving Metal with a Mandrel

Free Metalsmithing Video Tutorial – part 1

Using a Mandrel to Move Metal

In the first section of this free metalsmithing video tutorial, Helen shows you how to move metal with a mandrel. A mandrel can be anything, any object – wood or metal – that you can push metal against: steel rod, transfer punch, hammer handle, knitting needles, or even pens. Helen walks you through the old school way of efficiently bending metal, creating rings without specialized expensive metal forming tools.


Metal Work Hardening

Start with the easiest use of a mandrel, something every jewelry maker will want to do: make some jump rings with wire. Securely place a steel rod in your bench vise. Pick up a piece of wire, make a 90 degree bend, and tuck the bend in the vise jaw next to the mandrel. Keeping an even tension on the wire, create coils as perpendicular to the mandrel as you can. Once you’re done coiling, Helen demonstrates how to saw the rings apart. That’s how you make jump rings with a mandrel!

You will notice that the process of forming metal with a mandrel becomes harder as the metal becomes work hardened. Helen explains what work hardening is and how to work with it.


Free Metalsmithing Video Tutorial – part 2

Using a Dapping Block for Doming

In this section you will learn to dome a flat metal disc with a dapping block and dapping punches. Doming metal adds dimension, depth and strength to your bead and jewelry designs. Helen walks you through the entire doming process, from what to look for when buying a dapping set to how to finalize your piece to create your metal jewelry making project.


Dapping block and dapping punches

When working with a dapping block, Helen always starts by putting the disc in a slightly larger hole than the diameter of the disc. Dapping punches correspond with different holes on the block. The rule of thumb is to always use a dapping punch that is smaller than the hole because you don’t want to cut your dapping punch against the edge of the steel once the disc is inside. When your metal disc is ready, take a couple of strikes and work progressively. It’s easy to go too far when doming metal. Helen also recommends dapping around to smooth the surfaces and avoid dimples once your disc is compressed down to the bottom of the dapping block hole.

That’s how you use the dapping block! Your domed piece of metal is now ready to be made into fun earrings. It can also be soldered to a flat piece of metal sheet. Or you can use 2 domed pieces; solder them together to make beads, or a pendant. You can weave wire inside, use different textures, metal shapes. Any shape or jewelry sheet metal can be dapped. Let your creativity take you down a whole new metal jewelry making journey!

Doming metal with dapping block and punches

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This amazing free video is a complete introduction to the basic goldsmithing techniques!

Join expert metalsmith Helen Driggs, as she demonstrates basic metalworking techniques and describes traditional metal jewelry supplies. Whether you’re an accomplished goldsmith or have just started making metal jewelry, you will find Helen’s free metalsmithing video tutorial very practical and easy to follow. From personal tips on which metalworking tools are necessary and which you can do without, to detailed instructions on doming, dapping, bending metal, and forming metal with a mandrel, we have you covered.

Basic Goldsmithing Techniques Free Video

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Metal Forming Tutorial

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Using a mandrel, doming and dapping

Grab your tools and start making metal jewelry today!

Realize your creative goals and let the expert jewelry designers help you along the way!

Whether you are an experienced goldsmith and need a refresher, or a beginner at metal jewelry making, we are here to inspire you to use your metal jewelry supplies in creative new ways.

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