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Hammer texturing, then what?

I am hammering a piece for texture and have seen many articles and
videos as to how. My question that i have not seen addressed is how
then to get thepiece flat again? And without ruining the texture? I
am using nickel, not heavy gauge, that is still flexible by hand
even after drilling, piercing and hammering so I don’t think it
needs to be annealed.

thanks, brenda

Lay the piece down on your anvil/block/solid flat surface with the
untextured side down, then hit it with a plastic dead-blow hammer.
The plastic will keep it from marring your texture but the dead-blow
will have enough force to it to push the metal flat, unlike most
other plastic hammers. Rawhide will also work. Works like a charm!

artist metalsmith, chaos magnet


How does a dead blow plastic hammer then compare with a delrin
hammer? Is that dead blow? Or can you buy delrin specifically dead
blow? (I am just learning about hammers).


Hello Brenda,

A dead blow hammer can be found in the hardware store. It is usually
covered in a rubber-like material. The hammer head is hollow with
some sort of granular substance inside. When you swing the hammer,
the grains inside follow the direction and the hammer does not
’bounce’ back from the impact. Go find one at the hardware store and
swing it - you’ll understand. They are not expensive and are very
useful on occasion.

Judy in Kansas, where this summer has been so pleasant and for that
reason, unusual.

Hi, Brenda.

They do have Delrin dead-blow hammers but the majority are just
plastic or rubber. You can get a regular dead-blow pretty cheaply at
hardware stores & unless you’re going to start using it for raising
vessels out of sheet, the Delrin dead-blows are a bit pricey for what
you need. What makes it a “dead-blow” hammer specifically is that the
interior of the hammer is filled with lead or steel shot. It makes
the hammer much heavier so it hits with more force but there’s no
bounce. The ones we use at the studio are 2 or 3 pounds-- too light &
it won’t flatten your piece as easily. The folks at your local
hardware store should be able to help you pick one out- just make
sure to tell them you want one that it “non-marring”.

artist. metalsmith, chaos magnet

I bought 4 of the deadblow Delrin mallets 10 years ago and never
regretted it, despite the cost. Now they are running $47-49 per
hammer versa $42 for what I paid for per hammer, they have paid for
themselves a million times over. It’s a precision mallet for I can
hit the exact area I need on my metal, versa a clunky rawhide mallet
or or god forbid, a rubber mallet. If you are going to buy one good
mallet, get a deadblow Delrin mallet. All my students have brought
one after using mine so much, and love theirs. Mine gets abused, but
a quick filing restore the hammering surface. I try to be
considerate, but with lots of students “borrowing” my mallet, it’s
hard. Fortunately, I keep one in my desk, one in my traveling toolbox
and 2 on my forming/hammering/big tools table. I cannot use a rawhide
mallet anymore, and maybe a paper mallet once in a while.



Delrins are great for a lot of things- I’ve got a few that I really
love, too. However, if you’re using the mallet to flatten a curved
work-hardened texture piece (say, something you’ve just
roller-printed in your rolling mill), as Brenda asked about, you
don’t want precision, you want broad, flat, even coverage. The more
area the hammerhead covers at one time, the better & the goal is to
flatten the metal out with as few hits as possible, preferably no
more than one or two if possible. The plastic deadblows that I use
are about 2 1/4, 2 1/2 in diameter, & completely flat whereas the
delrins are maybe half the diameter & usually curved or shaped to
some extent. The more hits it takes to flatten the piece, the less
likely it is to be perfectly flat when done & if the face isn’t
flat, then it isn’t hitting the piece evenly, which means the piece
won’t be flat. The delrins also don’t have nearly the weight that the
big plastic deadblows have, which also makes a huge difference.
Seriously- the first time I tried flattening a rolled piece with one
of the big orange plastic hammers, it was like magic. Just one swing
& boom! Flat metal. Crazy as it may sound, sometimes the right tool
for the job at hand is the cheap $15 plastic hammer from the
hardware store & not the fancy $45 specialized jewelry hammer. After
all, there’s a reason we have so many of the things! :smiley:

artist, metalsmith, chaos magnet