I do a lot of etching of copper and brass. Often times I want to put just a slight dome to my pieces.
I have a wooden dapping block, but it is too small for most of my pieces. I also was given a piece of wood with a dish shappen depression.
Besides size issues both of the above were designed for forming spheres and raising vessels.
Any suggestions for what to use to make a slightly domed shape?
I would prefer to have a convex form to lay the metal over,since I am starting to think about setting stones in some of them.
I keep a tall, round block of wood in my shop. I recently needed to dome a 2 inch or so piece of brass plate so I used the flex shaft with a round burr to cut a concave depression in the top of the block. I then used a ballpeen hammer to form the brass in the depression. Good luck.....Bob
Gathering dust in Montana.
Thanks Bob. I'll give it a try.
Several years ago, actually a really long time ago, when I trimmed some large dead branches off a mulberry tree I cut them into about 30" lengths and since they were all about 18" in diameter I carved some different shaped depression in the top of them. I have four of these "stumps" in the studio with round shapes of various diameters and depths, ovals and groves of different widths. I would be lost with these sections of what would have once been fire wood but are now very useful additions to my shop.
It looks like I have another project to do.
I have often noticed with the Ojibwe making 'crafts' is not just a skill, it is a way of life. To make a birch bark basket it is this bark gathered at this time of year, that root gathered only at a different time of year, this fiber gathered and processed last year (in itself a 3-4 week project) all come together to form a basket.
I had not looked at my metalsmithing in that way, but it is becoming more clear. It is not just this tool and that one bought when I had the money, but this one and that one gathered in the right season (Spring for crockpots and irons), and a slow accumulation of the necessary 'tools' made and gathered. I need to go out and look at my wood pile!
Your right about that, it is a slow process in gathering your tools. If my house burned down I'd be lost! Many of my tools are true antiques and my insurance doesn't even begin to cover them, oh yes they will be replaced with new tools but these tools have been gathered over a life time from older retired jewelers that wanted to pass them on. Some tools I made when I had no money to buy expensive ones made in Italy, Germany Switzerland or any of a number of other fine tool making centers but I have had them in use for so long I'd be lost without my old friends. Tools gathered over the many seasons of my life. Now that I'm looking ahead I sometime fear what will happen to my friends, who will get to use them when I'm gone? Keep you tools close and love them dearly they will serve you for years upon years.
What do you use to form the metal into the wood depressions?
I have an old broken baseball bat that I made into a hammer for the bigger dished objects, one end of the bat I left round like it already was, just made it smoother, the other end of this head I rounded off into a smaller rounded end. This way I had to different diameters to work with. Next I took the "handle" end of the bat which wasn't cracked and made a hammer handle out of it cutting it about 16" long and the cut end I shaped rectangular and then cut a kerf in it to accept a wooden wedge. Now in the hammer head I drilled to holes right next to each other and with a wood chisel cut it our rough to match the rectangle on the handle and then with a rasp I made a tight fit and set the handle with a wood wedge to hold it all tight to gather. This is my "big" wood mallet for shaping copper disks in my stumps. I also have so store bought plastic mallets such as these http://www.ottofrei.com/Nylon-Forming-Hammers/ however there are none on this page that you can't make from good hard wood like ash, walnut, hickory or the like.
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