Dot Punches Leave Dents

Thread starter #1
I'm starting to use dot punches on my nickel belt buckles. I dome them and attach the backplates before engraving. The first few left visible dents on the front. I covered the back with Thermolock and set that on top of clay. I'm getting a nice impression on front but getting tiny bumps on the back.

Is is just my hammering technique or is there something I can do?
 

Brian Marshall

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#2
Use thicker material? Never had occasion to use dot punches on buckles in 45 years... but if I did, I'd consider using 12 gauge or even 1/8' thick material.

If I had no choice but to use the material provided by a customer - that I judged to be too light for that treatment, there are other ways to secure the piece and support the back.


Brian
 
#3
iv'e done well over a thousand buckles. not all got dots. the ones that did, only silver and copper gave problems. soft vs. thicknes. i found doing a bit of creative fiddling on the backs would render the bumps way less noticeable. i rarely did a buckle less than .o62. i have done miniature buckles for newborn babies. these were thin, but obviously no problem on those.
 
Thread starter #4
Use thicker material? Never had occasion to use dot punches on buckles in 45 years... but if I did, I'd consider using 12 gauge or even 1/8' thick material.

Brian, I bought 16g nickel stock from Rio years ago, now I can make them into buckles so I'm going for it, about 14 more to go. Does anyone sell nickel thicker than 16g? I'll buy some. As always I'm working on a budget, is there an acceptable substitute? I'm hoping to move up to sterling after the nickel is done but that's another thing I have no experience with, maybe some time with Stockton's finest jewelry teacher would be proper preparation?
 

Brian Marshall

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#5
I will be teaching another hydraulic press forming and a fabrication workshop within the next 2 months....

Fabrication includes soldering. You furnish the silver sheet and we'll make the stuff outta that.


Brian
 
Thread starter #6
I wan't to have a lot of finished pieces for critique and advice. I'm expecting another shipment of aluminum guitar parts soon (last month), I've had some trouble with that stuff on occasion , maybe a private day or so?

I am interested in your class schedule, there's a lot more I want to learn and I don't have enough years left to learn the way you did.
 
#9
Use thicker material? Never had occasion to use dot punches on buckles in 45 years... but if I did, I'd consider using 12 gauge or even 1/8' thick material.

Brian, I bought 16g nickel stock from Rio years ago, now I can make them into buckles so I'm going for it, about 14 more to go. Does anyone sell nickel thicker than 16g? I'll buy some. As always I'm working on a budget, is there an acceptable substitute? I'm hoping to move up to sterling after the nickel is done but that's another thing I have no experience with, maybe some time with Stockton's finest jewelry teacher would be proper preparation?
dave: have you considered using brass ? it's available in quite a few alloys. some are quite easy to engrave. some not so. my local scrapyard sells me quality stuff at very reasonable prices. they do have to be sheared or cut to size. i got a sheet about a year ago. it was about.075", 2 x4' in area the stuff i get is scratch free or 600 grit will bring it up to useful condition. pm yyer snail address. i'll send you a couple pieces to fiddle with.
 
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