“Will Write Tutorial For Tools….”

5 05 2010

Fun with Forming Block!!

Last month, I was thrilled to be selected as a “tools for tutorial” match… basically, a great vendor on Etsy who sells tools (Evie’s Tool Emporium) was looking for someone to show folks how to use one of their new tools by writing up a brief tutorial. A wonderful blog called Totally Tutorials acts as the go-between, and I am pleased to now post this “Simple Formed Pendant” tutorial using a very cool metal mini-forming steel block. I tried to keep the project simple so that if you are unfamiliar with metalworking, you’ll find this to be a fun to make, but even experienced metalsmiths will enjoy using the forming block, and adding this technique to their skillset.

Project Tools

These are the tools I used: sponge block and green scrubbie (to clean the disc), a spring-loaded center punch, the forming block, a twist hole punch, a hammer and a mallet, and some punches (shown are a transfer punch, a nail, and a doming punch). You will also need a metal disc for the pendant – for this project I am using a 15/16 inch diameter circle in 24g copper. Please note that 24g – 26g works well with this tool!

Pendent Disc on Forming Block

Clean the disc with the sanding block or green scrubbie, and place it over one of the valleys in the forming block, laying a punch over it. I am using a doming punch, but if you don’t have one, you can use a regular steel nail, as long as it fits easily into the valley.

Hammering a Fold into the Disc

Hold the punch firmly in place, and hammer it on the disc, into the valley, forming the metal (repeat to get a good crease).

Flattening the Disc Edges

Remove the punch, and flatten the disc edges using a wood or rawhide mallet. If you don’t have a mallet, lay a piece of leather over the disc, and use the hammer.

Formed Disc - See How Easy!!

Making the Hole for the Bail

Make a hole in the disc using a twist hole puncher or a drill. If you don’t have a hole puncher of a drill, you can lay the disc on a block of wood, and hammer a sharp nail into the disc. This can cause the disc to warp, so you will need to flatten it out.

Adding some Texture

Lay the disc onto the forming block, laying the crease into a valley, as shown. Use the center punch to create a pattern (you can mark the pattern on the disc with a Sharpie, like I did). I like to file the tip of my punch, and punch on the BACK, so that the pattern is in relief on the front, but you can create a pattern however you like! If you don’t have a spring-loaded center punch, you can hammer the pattern with a regular center punch or nail

Adding the Finishing Touches

Add a bail (I used a simple jumpring), and antique/buff to highlight the details, and voila! You have a cool metal formed pendant!

Another Pendent - This One in Silver

After I made a few in copper, I decided to make one in silver, using the same basic steps. You can also add some other techniques, such as stamping in a word or design, or adding some beads or dangles. It takes a little practice, but just have fun with it!




10 responses

5 05 2010

This tutorial is wonderful! Thank you for sharing your skills with the steel forming block!

5 05 2010

You are most welcome Michelle! I love tools, and this is really a fun one to play with…. thanks for participating in the “Tuts for Tools” program!

5 05 2010

great tutorial, and fun pendants!

6 05 2010
Miss Jeanne

Wow! I love these! Thanks so much for sharing!

6 05 2010

This tutorial was great. I love the pendants. And I love copper. I may just have to get me one of these blocks and some punches and try it myself to add to my glasswork. And you made it so simple, I feel like I could do it very easily.
Thanks, Kay

8 05 2010

Interesting tutorial, I’ve never tried metal working but it looks like fun

18 05 2010
Bleubeard and Elizabeth

What a wonderful tutorial. I see you got a lot of good from your steel forming block, too. I had so much fun playing with mine, but your results put mine to shame.

8 01 2015
Gloria Borrero

Please tell me where to buy this disc forming block. I have looked in many places but cannot find it.

10 01 2015

Hi Gloria,
I got the disc forming block from “Evie’s Tool Emporium” on Etsy… you can check out her Etsy store to see i she still has them: https://www.etsy.com/shop/eviestoolemporium

9 04 2015
Linda Moore

How did you make the bail for the silver pendant on the write for tools tutorial? Can you make a tutorial for that? It was very pretty as were the pendants you made. Thanks.

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