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Chasing tools set for beginner

Hi all~

I could use some recommendations on a decent set of chasing and
repousse tools for a beginner. (My apologies if this has been one of
those topics that repeatedly pops up on the Digest–I searched and
didn’t find this query in the archives) So, I’ve looked at the
Nechamkin set on Otto Frei’s page and they look perfect but alas,
they have been out of stock indefinitely. Valentin Yakov’s tools are
surely amazing but they are well beyond my budget. I’m on a deadline
and can wait no longer so a purchase has to be made. Can anyone tell
me where to get a better than “economy” but not top of the line set?
I thinking around $200-250.00 tops.

Also, I’ve seen different lengths of tools i.e. 3 1/2" and 4 1/2".
Can anyone tell me how to know what length I will require (I have
smallish hands.) Lastly, I tend to work small. Many of the tools I’ve
seen seem for use in larger scale pieces. How can I figure out the
sizes (and shapes) I’ll need since I won’t be using these on vessels
or anything larger than approx. 2" x 2"? Thank you for any
direction/advice you can give.

Sherri Strandberg
Aeterna Metals


We make our own out of stainless steel drill rod and rectangular key
stock. It’s available at any really good hardware store in 1 ft.
lengths. The last bunch we bought was something like 9 bucks for 12
pieces at Winks Hardware in Portland Or. We cut and grind our own
shapes as necessary.

Try a few mock ups in wood dowels to choose the length you need for
the size of your hands.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.

Jo Haemer

Valentin Yakov's tools are surely amazing but they are well beyond
my budget. I'm on a deadline and can wait no longer so a purchase
has to be made. Can anyone tell me where to get a better than
"economy" but not top of the line set? I thinking around
$200-250.00 tops. 

First of all chasing and repousse are two different disciplines, and
each require different tools.

Repousse tools design to stretch metal, without leaving marks, while
chasing tools compress metal, leaving sharply defined traces.

Repousse tools can be purchased or made if on the budget. Starting
set of repousse tools is 5 to 7 punches and will cover 95% of all
situation for the rest of one’s life.

Number of chasing tools are in hundreds and every new project would
require new ones to be made.

What separates good punch from a bad one is how controllable it is.
The bad news is that cheap tools almost impossible to control and
very frustrating to use. Good ones have to forged individually to a
specific shape and that is expensive process. It takes about an hour
or longer to make a simple punch. It should give an idea of what one
should expect to pay for a set of tools.

Leonid Surpin


I bought a beginning set from Gene Olson:

He sells a beginner’s set which is excellent. You can always add to
your collection later as he has many shapes/sizes to choose from. The
length is fine (I have smallish hands, too) so it’s good to try them
first to see what works for you. They can always be cut down if need

I also found this set on ebay:
[eBay link removed - Sorry, No eBay links on Orchid]

Rene lives in Argentina and makes beautiful tools. Also a great
starting set.

Joe Rollins also sells some great tools, more stamps though than
forming tools:

Good luck and have fun!
Dana Evans

Try Victoria Lansford’s set - you can get a discount if you buy it
with her DVD on chasing and repousse’ which is also excellent.

No affiliation, just a VERY satisfied return customer!

Beth Wicker
Three Cats and a Dog Design Studio

contact Gene Olson


Jesse recommended contact Gene Olson for chasing tool set
for beginners. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that
mettleworks is only about 20 miles from my house. I’ll have to check
them out after the new year.

Pat Gebes

I custom make chasing tools as well as other tools for a living a
beginners set is not that costly and i notice in the advice given
you on making your own no one said anything about tempering your
tools this is very important if you want them to last.i have a few
tractor who knows what part he used point is they are the same as
the day they where made because they were tempered right.

keep that in mind if you make your own or buy from who ever. but i am
here if you wish to have them custom made [chasingtool at yahoo dot

best of luck

Hi Sherry,

I have recently started some chasing and repouse and I purchased my
tools from Mettleworks, Gene Olson for only 109.00 for a fair
assortment of tools and am quite happy with them… however I think
you will find most people make their own tools… which for a
beginner can be quite imntimidating,… At least with a beginner set
you get an idea of what is needed… though I would recommend you
take your first opportunity to learn to make your own. I took a
class with Tim McCeight which was outstanding. The process is not
that hard and if you have the space to work with harding and
tempering the steel you will be be able to get just the right tool or
scale down the ones you have. Here is a link to Gene’s site!

Best Regards, Ann