I had planned to visit the Future Makers exhibition in the Wandesford Quay gallery yesterday and tell you all about it but when I got there I discovered they only open from Wednesday to Saturday.
Anyway instead of going to the exhibition I came back to the workshop and began adapting some tools.
I got some punches in Aldi last month and they’ve been sitting patiently at the back of the bench waiting for me to customize them. I plan to adapt them into different shaped chasing punches. Chasing punches are used when chasing metal. This technique involves detailing the front surface of a piece by hammer striking these punches onto the metal.
The ones I got from Aldi are a bit bigger and heavier than you would normally use in silversmithing but at €8 a set I was willing to compromise!
I started by turning one of these flat punches into a curved punch. I have a set of old files that I use for this type of work so I began by filing the rough shaped curve into the punch. It’s a good idea to mark it out first but I won’t pretend I was that organised!
I used the side of my bench peg and some emery paper to take out the file marks. The curve on the side of my peg sat perfectly into the curve I had filed out. It was great for getting into the curve without distorting it.
As I was working I used a scrap piece of copper to test how the punch was turning out. Here’s a picture of the test piece. You can see how the curve is going from think and clumsy to more even and refined.
And here’s what it looked like before I gave it a final polish..