Dapping block best practices


I am making my second large silver bead necklace (think navajo pearls, etc)…the first one is finished at 23-1/2” length, but i may revise after second necklace is made at 26-28”…(i am using 1mm foxtail chain).

This second one will include squash blossom beads, in a tapered, linear array…after the 5 central beads…

I rushed thru making the first necklace without paying attention to my dapping process

I did make notes on daps used…

my question:

is it better to start in a very big hole, with the disc fitting almost to the bottom and slowly working up to progressively smaller holes…?

or, is it better to start in a hole where the disc just fits inside the rim…

i figured i would ask this time, before starting to dap!…since i did not test these concepts the first time…i could test…but prefer not to ruin any beads…

i think i am trying to avoid disc edge deformation/ thinning…


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I always start at least a few larger and then no ruffling of edges.

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sooo…i am using an inexpensive harbor freight dapping set…it is working ok…but i am getting the distinct impression that a zillion dollar dapping set would have a better progression of dapping hole and punch sizes…

i have come to a place where the next hole size down is “just” a hair smaller than my domed piece…and i fear i will marr the outside edges…

i hesitate to add to my bucket tools list…i dont use them often…but of course i must at least research options…i wish steel block tools were not so pricey…


Most dapping blocks sold in the U.S. are measured in inch fractions that make for fewer and uneven jumps in diameter.

You’d get more flexibility / smoother steps of gradation, with metric.

Neil A


I should have added the following, search Amazon for ‘dapping block’ and then search the page for ‘mm’ and you will see a variety of metric blocks, some reasonably priced. Cooksongold has a wooden set 20-50mm if you need larger sizes.

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Sorry for not consolidating in one reply, I’m in the middle of baking bread. :slightly_smiling_face:

If you use google chrome you can shop amazon.it (Italy) of amazon.fr (France) and chrome will translate the page for you. You can search on ‘dapping block’ without having to know the Italian or French names.

This opens up possibilities not typically found in the U.S. I’ve purchased from Amazon overseas before and it works fine, just no free 2 day shipping. :roll_eyes:

Neil A

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Hi Neil,

you are always the voice of reason!

ok, metric it is!

i saw the below durston set which has a flat dapping block, which seems like it would be alot less crazy making than the 6 sided cube style block…and it is cheaper than the same set with cube block…i wonder why…$290 versus $335…both of which are less expensive than i was guessing…

gotta save more beans!


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Here’s a metric dapping set from Contenti. It’s made in India, but from the picture it looks well finished. I don’t buy all of my tools from Contenti, but they often have great deals. I have bought many tools from them over the years.

Something to think about if you’re looking for a metric set that costs way less than the Durston block and punches.




ah, ok…sets in decimal inches may have sizes in between whole millimeters…(?)…

ie: meaning…

millimeter sets will have: 2mm, 3mm, 4mm
(like durston sets)

decimal/ fraction inches sets will have: 2.0mm, 2.4mm, 2.8mm, 3.2mm, 3.6mm, 4.4mm
(like PepeTools sets)


so, then…if the dap and punch are both say 3mm…there is mo clearance for metal thickness…?…

so i might be better having the choice to use a say a 2.4mm or 2.8mm punch in a 3.2mm dap…

versus a 2mm punch in a 3mm dap

hmmm…brain teaser…