It’s *Hammer Time! Hooray! Today we’re taking a look at four basic metal stamping hammers that will help you take your stamping to a higher level of professionalism and overall fabulosity. You don’t need all of these to get started, but you’ll be glad you have them! Trust us, we know about these things. First up, possibly our favorite of the bunch, the one pound brass hammer with the ergonomic handle.
ImpressArt debuted this fabulous ImpressArt 1 Pound Metal Stamping Hammer two years ago. It’s got a lot going for it in terms of reasons why it’s the best choice for metal stamping. First of all, the hammer head is made of solid brass. Brass is softer than steel (your household hammer is probably steel.) The softness of the brass allows the impact of your hit to be transferred directly into your metal blank. When you hit with a steel hammer, the energy bounces back up the handle and into the hammer. By stamping on a solid block of steel and using this hammer, all of the energy of every hit goes into your blank creating deep, crisp impressions. Because only one good hit is needed with this hammer it lessons the risk of skipped or ghost impressions. The handle is short, stubby and covered in a soft textured rubber, this makes it easy for smaller and larger hands to get a firm grip and again, helps transfer that stamping energy into your blanks. This hammer also helps prolong the life of your metal stamps, another bonus! If we could hand this to you through the computer screen, you’d immediately feel how yummy it is to grip and how heavy it is, yet completely balanced. Yes, you can start out with a regular steel hammer, but if you want to up your chances of success, try this one. It may take a little practice to get used to the feeling of one pound of brass heading towards your other hand, but we truly believe you will come to love this hammer as much as we do. ImpressArt recently debuted an 8 ounce version of this hammer for use with their new softer stamping blanks. We like the smaller hammer, but personally, this is the one we use most of the time. TOOL TIP: This hammer requires a little maintenance, you can use a heavy grit sandpaper or a metal grinding wheel to smooth the surface as it becomes dented over time with regular use.
Last year, ImpressArt upped the ante with their Ergo-Angle Metal Stamping Hammer. This hammer represents the evolution of the original brass hammer, with an angled head designed for ease of use and precision stamping, a replaceable brass head, comfortable grips for varied finger placement, and an ergonomic design to prevent fatigue. The weight, the ease, the softness of the brass are all still there, but upgraded to make it even easier to make a great impression!
In case you have not yet met, let us introduce you to the wonderful multi-purpose ImpressArt Face Chasing Hammer. This is a tool useful for metal stampers, wire workers, crafters and jewelry makers. The ball pein hammer has two sides. The round end is used to add texture to wire or metal by repeatedly striking as you move across the surface of the material. The flat end is used to flatten wire or metal out. The motion of striking your metal creates molecular changes in the material making it harder and less flexible. Too much striking can result in brittleness, so it’s important to not overdo it. This process is called work hardening. We use this tool on a regular basis, it’s fabulous for making earring wires, findings and of course, works great for metal stamping when you want to add texture around the edges of a piece, harden or flatten your blanks.
Texture Hammers add a variety of textures to your metal blanks and wires. They come in a variety of surfaces, some even have replaceable heads. By varying the placement of the hammer as you hit, you can create beautiful designer one of a kind pieces. We recommend you create texture first, then stamp into the textured metal. Try using more than one on different areas of your blanks. Add texture to the edges or along portions of the pieces leave some smooth. Hit along the edges to give the blanks a more organic appeal. As with the other hammers, you need to be careful not to overdo things. The process of adding texture is also work hardening your materials.
Finally, we give you the Nylon Hammer. This will protect the material from being scratched or marred while flattening. Thinner and softer materials may start to curve or curl in around the edges while being stamped. Use this hammer with your bench block to flatten them back out. Works great for wire and metal blanks. After all, you don’t want your beautiful stamped metal pieces to get unintended dents or dings or be curved when they’re not supposed to be!
As with all tools, practice helps you perfect your technique. Don’t be afraid to make “mistakes”, that’s how you learn. Sometimes those mistakes become pathways for new design ideas and fresh techniques. Do you have any of these basic metal stamping hammers in your tool box? If so, do you have a favorite? Let us know in the comments!
Hammer images courtesy of ImpressArt.
Margot and Avalon
(*FTC DISCLOSURE: Post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, we get a small percentage of the sale. Blogger works part time for ImpressArt, but all opinions in this post are 100% her own. That is all.)