All about sheet metal!
Sheet metal, sheet metal. It is thinner than a metal plate (0.25 “and thicker) but thicker than aluminum foil (0.006” and thinner). Most of the time, it is made of steel and aluminum of various sizes (strengths). It is available with different coatings for corrosion protection or surface treatment. A veneer is made by rolling a large ingot into a long strip of the desired thickness. This long, flat piece of metal is rolled and shipped directly or cut from sheet metal before shipping to the machine shop Sheet metal is one of the most versatile materials in jewelry making. Whether you’re making bracelets, your own rings, or designing pendants, sheet metal is ideal for all jewelry types.
Essential tools for sheet metal
Let us begin. What sheet metal tools should you choose before your project?
Below we list all the necessary equipment to work the sheet:
Smooth lip clip
Rinse the dishwasher
Set of thorns
Sawmill and jewelry blades
One of the most important decisions when working with sheet metal is deciding how thick you need. As with wire, the foil’s thickness is measured in gauges, with a higher number indicating a thinner foil. To measure thickness, you can use sheet metal thickness, which is the thickness in quantities and thousandths of an inch. Important Note: Black and non-ferrous sheets of the same gauge have different thicknesses so that you will need one meter for ferrous metals and one for non-ferrous metals.
Bending sheet metal can be challenging, but it’s easy with the right tool. Those who use it regularly will probably have a veneer press in their shop, but this tool can be a bit pricey for the hobbyist. Fortunately, there are wallet-friendly options that you can use to get the job done.
You can use the edge of your workbench, a piece of wood, two pliers, and a hammer to make a rudimentary flex brake. Mark a fold line and place a sheet of metal on the edge of the bench. Then lay the wood parallel to and slightly behind the fold line. Secure a wooden surface to the metal on a workbench. Finally, manually bend the blade to the desired angle. If you need a clean 90 ° bend, hit the bend with a hammer.
To get started, you need to learn how to cut sheet metal if you want to use it in your projects. And there are two methods: cutting with a jewelry saw or cutting with a Dremel tool. To get started with a saw, mark where you want to make the first cut and draw the shape’s rest. Start slowly, make the first cut, first make a small notch, and gradually increase the pressure to cut the shape’s rest. Is the sheet still hanging? Use some lubricant to rinse it off again.
Or, if you’re already own a piece of professional jewelry saw, why not use a Dremel tool? This speeds up the process so you can focus on adjusting the design to the highest standards. For more information on cutting metal with the Dremel 300, visit our blog on using the Dremel 3000 rotary tool.
Anyone who works with sheet metal knows that one of the best ways to use material is to texture it. For a truly rustic natural look, try creating a patina with the sulfur liver. Or you can create a texture by indentation of the metal, and you can already do this with your workshop tools. For example, repeatedly striking metal with a jewelry hammer’s flat edge creates a linear effect ideal for more rectangular or square designs. Another popular technique is to use the rounded edge of a reputation hammer for a smoother waffle effect.
There are many different stamps that you can use if you want to give your jewelry a specific shape or design. Find letter, number, and shape stamp sets at your local dealer or online that are perfect if you want to add your work personality.
And there you go! Are you more comfortable with the veneer? If you’re inspired to buy new veneer tools or try a different technique, get all the jewelry and veneer tools you need from the Accessory Consultant!