Blocks, Cubes, Punches - Dapping

Our variety of dapping blocks, cubes, punches & sets makes forming and doming sheet metal into shapes adding dimensions and depth to designs simple. Made in various materials metal, brass, rubber and wood, we cater for all types of working material and practices.

These hardened and machined manufactured tools meet thorough quality standards for consistent quality results. Additionally we have a quality economic range which offers excellent quality products at low prices. The metal grades are of exceptional quality matched with a high-quality finish.

Cousins top tip: Punches should be stored in dry areas to avoid rusting and pitting, also use WD40 lubricant (code C32757) to maintain longevity.

Which punch and die combinations?

The thickness of the sheet determines the punch and dies size to be used to shape sheet metal. For thin gauge metals a punch and die with similar diameters works better together for a close fit.

For doming, cut the desired shape out of the sheet metal and anneal it. Using a dapping punch and die to firstly press the sheet into a large, shallow die, then into deeper dies, annealing as needed. As you work the entire surface, the metal will take on a curve. Don’t try to complete the dome in one step unless you need a very shallow curvature. Practice on scrap metal to develop this practice.

The process of heating and cooling metal to make it softer/pliable so it will be easier to work with. The required temperature for annealing, the duration of heating and the rate of cooling vary according to the metal used. When you heat the metal ensure red cherry colour is achieved. Let the item naturally cool down rather than immersing the item in water immediately. Put on a metal planishing (P5202) block to help cool quicker. Wait for the red cherry colour to disappear then place in cold water. If the heated metal is submerged too quickly in water the piece may become distorted; however metal becomes hard when subjected to mechanical working. This effect is called 'work hardening; as soon as the metal becomes difficult to move, re-anneal it. Annealing will not damage the metal, but trying to bend work-hardened metal may cause it to crack or buckle.

Here are some annealing temperatures and guidelines.

  • Fine gold annealing not required
  • 18ct yellow and red gold anneals at 650°C while white anneals at 750°C
  • 14ct yellow and red gold anneals at 650°C while white anneals at 750°C
  • 9ct gold anneals at 650°C
  • Sterling Silver anneals between 600-650°C
  • Platinum anneals between 900-1000°C
  • Copper anneals at 650° C
  • Brass anneals at between 600-650° C
  • Nickel Silver (German silver) anneals at 650-680°C
  • Aluminium anneals at 300-350°C

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