Chasing Tools

Hello -

I was wondering if anyone had a good resource for chasing tools.
When I learned how to work with them we made them in class, but I was
not very good at it. I have purchased some commercially but have
found them to be too big and cumbersome with poor impressions. I’m
not sure if there is someone who makes them well?!?! Any help would
be greatly appreciated.



i have found that when commercial chasing tools are offered for
sale, they still need finishing work. the edges are always to rough
and not smooth.

and commercial stamping tools are usually not very well made either.
i have had to file the imprints down to sharpen the stamping
capability and then re-harden and temper. i have found that these
tools bought commerically are not even properly hardened and
temerped in the 1st place!

therefore, i find it best to make my own stamps and chasing tools.
you can look up this how-to info again in several books, including
my own, “the art and craft of making jewelry”. :slight_smile: with a little
practice, you will soon be wuite goo dta making your won tools and
will find them much more satisfying to use!

metalliferous does have a very large selection of used chasing tools
with many good ones in there, but you have to go to their store on
46th in NYC in order to look through them for yourself.

i have also found that with many stamps, you have to “rock” the tool
while hammering in order to get the best impression. i make sure to
rock the tool in 4 different directions, setting a hammer blow each
time i rock the tool.


Check out They are not inexpensive, but I’ve good
things from a number of people. I have not purchased from him.

Kevin Kelly


there are notes on making your own chasing tools at Ganoksin, here:


I have purchased the basic set from Valentin and now he is making me
the additional set. If you truly love and want to chase and repousse
then his tools and his classes are for you.

Jennifer Friedman
Ventura, CA


I was wondering if anyone had a good resource for chasing tools.
When I learned how to work with them we made them in class, but I
was not very good at it. 

The first important step in making chasing tools is understanding
how they work. During our phone conversation you mentioned that you
had taken one short class in chasing and repousse. Learning both
chasing and tool making in one class is nearly impossible. This is
why you were not completely satisfied with the tools you attempted to

When I teach I provide each student with a set of good chasing
tools. Using them gives people basic knowledge and understanding of
how they work and how they should be made.


Valentin VYotkov Studio
Artisan Member of Society of American Silversmiths
68 Jay Street, Studio 501A
Brooklyn, New York, 11201


I have heard from students that Valentine Yotkov makes the best tool.

Gene Olsen at

has been making sets of these and selling them -look at :

He has what would be considered a basic set. They are not hard to
make and can be cheap to make.

also see:

for the RIGHT pitch see:

From my experience in crafting chasing/repousse tools, should the
initial querier wish to attempt once again to produce them: 
  • Start with square stock.

  • Cut it to a length that fits well in your hand, make sure it is
    longer than your four finger hand span as you will be needing area
    for the hammer to hit and you don’t want to cramp up your holding as
    it reduces your control over the tool.

  • If needed reduce the last bit (.75 inch) to whatever size you need
    it, two sides for a liner, four sides for a smaller tool.

  • True up the end so that it is perfectly flat (basically the tool
    should be able to stand on an anvil).

  • Then you shape it (carefully take off the corners so they are not
    sharp, dome the tools that need to be domed, file to a circle shape,

  • Pre-finish with decreasing grits of emery (file, 400-grit,
    600-grit, 1200-grit) should work.

  • Polish with a compound made for steel.

For me it was the making sure the tool was perfectly flat that I
always found frustrating and needing of fiddling, but maybe any of
this will help in making your own tools as your hand size will be
different from whatever a company has to use as a standard catch-all

Good luck and be well.

K. David Woolley

Hello -

Thanks for all of the responses. Valentin, It looks like the jury is
in and your tools are the best : ). I figured they would be but I am
anxious to get the tools and I know you are back ordered for three
months. I’m in Atlanta and unfortunately I have found only one
person who teaches repousse and chasing here so I have had to learn
what I can. It was a 10 week course so I think I was able to learn
quite a bit of the basics. I am actually working more on chasing
than repousse in most of my new projects though we did learn some of
the basic repousse techniques in my class. I am hoping to one day be
able to make it to New York for one of your classes.

Again, thanks for all of the feedback.



I do teach a Chasing and Repousse’ workshop every other year at my
school here in Asheville. The first part of the workshop is devoted
solely to making your own tools.

Atlanta is close…4 hour drive. I would be happy to work with you
if you want to learn how to make your own tools.

Please feel free to contact me off list.

Bill Churlik