Is there special anvil?


I work mainly with setting glass cabs in pre formed sterling silver
bezel cups. I currently offer customers the option to stamp on a
disc that is soldered on the back for additional customization (like
a birthdate etc.) I’m wanting to find a stamping block or anvil type
tool that would have posts the size of the bezel cup. This way I
could turn the cup upside down on the post and stamp directly on the
back rather than charging an additional amount for the silver disc I
am currently using, and offering a more streamlined piece. I have
debated making one with a wood plate that I screw different sized
dowels on, but am worried that the soft wood of the dowel would need
frequent replacement. Does anyone have any suggestions for this? I’m
currently wanting to be able to stamp on the following diameter
round bezel cups, 8, 12 and 16 mm

Thanks in advance,

You dont make your own hammers or punches or saws or files, so you
need to find someone who has a machine shop with lathe to make up the

3 pieces of 25mm dia steel some 40 mm long, turned down by 10 mm to
the 3 sizes you need.

Preferably out of abit of hardenable steel so it will last you a

They will probably harden and temper it as well.

Shouldnt take more than an hour.

On an associated thread, What is it about the female of our species
on this forum regarding the simplest of metalworking problems that
they cant see the answer? Most probably its to do with their
education. Boys are encouraged to pick up tools and do stuff.

Girls are not.

Girls should spend a year in any metalworking factory, for a year
before they start any formal silversmithing training, in the absence
of getting to work for a silver/gold smith as an apprentice.

An apprenticeship would teach all these skills without going to

Its the seeing the master at work that exposes you all the skills
you need to do it yourself.


I have made my own custom anvil for wire and strip straightening,
using my tabletop CNC. I don’t see why I couldn’t make something for
you gratis just to give me a design challenge so I can learn (so long
as it isn’t TOO complicated!).

I don’t have a Windows laptop anymore so I can’t using my software to
design it for you.

However, I am starting to get the hang of writing my own GCODE

Contact me off-line, and we can discuss it.

Andrew Jonathan Fine

Hi Carin,

If you’ve got any ability to buy mm diameter steel rod, just get
some round rods in the right diameters. Grind the ends flat, and off
you go.

(Ideally, you polish them, but it’s not utterly required)

Failing that, order yourself a set of metric diameter transfer
punches, from MSC. ( ( decent set here: 1-13mm, for $36 US.) You can
also use transfer punches for coiling jump rings. In fact, most of
the early jump-ringer kits just used a set of transfer punches as
the mandrels. Some of them were a little modified to grab the wire,
some not. It isn’t strictly required.

You may have to grind the backs of the punches flat. It depends on
how much they’ve been chamfered.

You will have to get a vise to hold them in.

So now you can handle two different jobs with the same punch kit.

Watch out when stamping on the bezel itself though: it’ll want to
distort. So make sure you can get it back to flat.


Would it work to use different size nails? I have used nail heads to
make textures in a pinch. You could even grind an oval.


This does not answer your question on having a special anvil for
stamping aform with a bezel already attached… but when I have to
do something like this I punch out a small circle and stamp the date
on that and solder iton the back. Hope this helps :slight_smile: joy kruse

Rick Swartzwelder makes super metal mandrels in a huge range of
shapes and sizes… these should work perfectly for what you are
wanting, although he originally designed them to help wire wrappers
create stone settings. I have some of his and use them for a range
of design applications… VERY well made, and not too expensive. Rick
is great to work with!

Beth Wicker
Three Cats and a Dog Design Studio

I flip over my dapping punches, put them in a vise making sure that
i don’t scar the polished round end and use the flat end as a base
for stamping the back of pendants. You can buy a cheap set at Harbor

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.

Jo Haemer

Ted- It depends… Mechanical ability in my family is matrilineal.

My late father, my brother and my son are complete idiots when it
comes to fixing anything. If one of them were to pick up a hammer,
run away because somebody is gonna get hurt. M y pitiful son doesn’t
even know how to jiggle a toilet handle. He calls a plumber. Sigh.

My late mother was part of the first group of WACs during WWII to
get sent to Engineering school. She and I were the ones fixing cars
and wiring lamps etc. Even my kid sister Nan, the professional
Diva/Soprano, knows how to change out a faucet. When we would visit
my brother, Mother and I would put on out tool belts and get to work
after we cleaned the kitchen and cooked dinner.

When we lived in Madrid I was obsessed with the sword and metals
works in Toledo and spent many a day just hanging out and watching. I
am forever improvising with tools in our shop.

That’s why I’m a metals girl.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry

Jo Haemer

This is what I do, too. I put a piece of belt leather beneath the
round end, above the screw part of my vise. I also sometimes have to
file the flat end of the dapping punch a little bit to fit the bezel
perfectly. Those ends tend to mushroom out and thus need filing


I was struck by Ted Fraser’s comment regarding the fact that girls,
in their early years, are generally not encouraged or included in
opportunities to learn certain “male” skills - It is sadly true and
leads to a huge gap in basic outlook. I recall when I was teaching a
high school shop course - just going through the introductory days
of it, a quick orientation to basic processes which we would later
cover in practical detail. The school required girls as well as boys
to take this course. I chucked a rod in a lathe and turned it down a
bit, just so the kids could se what that looked like. One of the
girls was almost overcome with shocked surprise and blurted out “You
mean you can cut metale” It was as though, as far as she knew, that
all the multifarious metal objects in our lives, everything from
wristwatches to knives to locomotives must have grown on trees or
been dug out of the ground fully formed, so invisible had the
processes of manufacture been in her life. Likewise with boys who
have been subjected to equally incomplete experiences and exposure
when it comes to (A) Cooking (B) Sewing© Childcare (D) Speaking
kindly (E) All of the above. These are generalities, not true for
everyone, so don’t jump on me. But it leads to people, male or
female, having to go to college to learn stuff they could have
easily learned as ten year old kids. It is not so much the specific
techniques or solutions to particular problems that must be learned

  • that will come with time and practice, whatever you do. It is that
    people lack the basic notion of what is possible for them to do
    because they have never seen it done. “You mean you can cut
    metal!!!e” It is as ridiculous as "You mean people can actually grow
    food? Make clothing? Bake bread? Here’s the straight dope my
    friends. We can do anything!

Ack! Comments like this do not solve problems. It creates animated
discussions about society NOT jewelry.

I used a tool I already had- a dapping punch flipped over in a vise,
just like another clever Woman, Jo.

Kay Cummins

Instead of a broad generalization about the females of the species
on Orchid, you might have considered the fact that there are MANY OF
US who do not write in w/questions about various metalworking
challenges. Most of us have solved the challenges we face very
handily on our own, so do not write in. You are making a rash
comment about the species when what you have is a very tiny
self-selected sample.

And your comment has just insured that even fewer of us will bother
to post a potentially embarrassing or humiliating question about
metals to Orchid.

I have seen leather belts used as clamps on bench pins.

Loop the belt round the piece and the bench pin and hold your foot on
the end of the belt.

Xtines Jewels.

Hi gang,

I don’t really want to get drawn into this particular firestorm, but
a certain perverse imp is muttering in my ear.

Seems there was a certain Elizabeth Windsor who was known as
something of a dab hand with a wrench, in her day.

If ever there was a woman least likely to have been encouraged to
’get her hands dirty’, it was she.

And yet, by all accounts, Princess Elisabeth, as she was then, did a
pretty fair turn as a motorpool mechanic during the war.

A Lady worthy of deepest respect, that one.

Sorry Ted, not buying it. There’s nothing innate about either of the
sexes that inclines them one way or the other. It’s all exposure,
and training. I’ll certainly grant you that most kids are tracked
into one sort of thing or another based on perceived sex roles, but
there’s nothing innate about it, in regards gender. I’ve had female
students who were very good, and male students who were complete
clods, and the reverse. It was down to their individual
personalities, experiences and training.


Perhaps Carin should have gone ahead and made the bezel support with
a wooden dowel, then maybe when it failed to do what she wanted, she
would ask herself the question why? Afterall, she probably uses a
metal hammer and a metal letter punch, to mark her work, then
hopefully she would have made the connection between the hardness
difference to try a metal support.

Metal is probably the hardest vocation to master, its so much more
of a challenge than say one of the softer skills.

If someone chooses this road to travel, then they have to accept the
hard going that comes with it.

Now that the gender demarkations no longer apply, these sort of
questions will come up more often.

I was just saddened that despite their best efforts, the simplest of
tasks become a stumbling block to folks progress.

In my own case, I recognise that metal is much more a challenge than
say wood work. I enjoy this challenge and my mastery of the medium
and its problems…

I do woodwork as a relaxation, its the contrast between the hard
inorganic metal and the soft organic wood that brings the pleasure.

But I am always asking “why” and question everything. For example,
how far can I push this idea? or what if I try this? what will
happen? That opens doors to new ideas. To survive financially one
needs to make things that are different to everyone else. Its worked
for me.

And finally for now, dont be afraid to hit it.


In fact, the issue is not women who don’t know how to solve this sort
of problem, but that MOST folks today of EITHER sex have NO
experience with making/growing/fixing ANYTHING. Students are AMAZED
that someone can actually make something themselves. We as a society
(speaking of most developed world societies here) tend to be so far
separated from those who actually make/grow/fix that it almost seems
like magic to many…

And unfortunately our schools are moving farther away from including
this sort of learning as standard. We seem to, as a society, look
down on anything tied to “manual labor”, and that is just SO wrong

I tried to take shop in high school many eons ago, and was told that
I was on college track, and could not take shop. A huge
disappointment to me. My Dad grew up on a subsistence farm, and had
to learn to do everything. thankfully he taught enough of that to me
to trigger my interest in making. My favorite class in grad school
was a wood shop class I got to take lol!

I’m the fix it/make it person in my family - do NOT ask my husband
to fix anything! Please! He has even called me late at night when
I’m traveling, to ask how to get the remote to work again after he
dropped it and the batteries fell out. no joke!

This is NOT a gender issue, but a lack of education issue!

I have gone after all the training I can get, and still feel a HUGE
lack of knowledge of how to make things (parts, tools, etc.) that I
feel I SHOULD be able to make, but lack the knowledge and exposure
to know how to go about it.

To the person who pulled gender into this - I’ll bet you don’t know
how to fit a pattern for a dress, sew an invisible seam, make pleats
and buttonholes, spin yarn, make yeast bread from scratch. and I
could go on. It is not gender - it is what you have been exposed to,
what you have had the fortune to be able to learn. Some of us know
one set of things, some another. Instead of denigrating those who
don’t know what you know, teach us - that is, after all, what this
list is for.

Beth Wicker
Three Cats and a Dog Design Studio

Take a sample of each bezel cup to a machinist and have him make a 6
inch tall rod the same dia. Have him weld a square stock on one end
so you can put it in a swag block or vise. When the end becomes
unusable then just grind it down 1/8th inch. These should last your
entire career. Or you can use a nice hard mahogany or iron wood.

That is what I would do.

Gerald Livings


We must have come from the same generation. I’d love to have taken
wood shop as the boys were required to do. Too bad that the boys
weren’t at least given the opportunity to take home ec courses. I
believe the courses are available as Bachelor Survival now :-).

Thankfully my father welcomed me to watch, ask questions, and learn
in his wood-working shop, electrical bench, and car
maintenance/repairs. Guess who repairs furniture, installs electrical
lights and switches, and used to tune up the cars (before computers
made shade tree mechanics obsolete)e?

Judy in Kansas, where we escaped the snow, but had temps below
freezing last night. May 2 is supposed to be well past the last
freeze date!

forged on the anvil of life :slight_smile:

“People lack the basic notion of what is possible for them to do
because they have never seen it done” is certainly true in our house!
I (female) tagged along behind my father while growing up and learned
a lot just from watching him, an electrical engineer. (Of course that
also meant I got stuck with caddying.) My hubby did not have that
same exposure to those particular skills from his dad, a chemical
engineer and plant manager at Beth Steel, and so my hubby isn’t very
attuned to how to fix stuff here at home. And guess who the
metalsmith in the family is? OTOH, he sure is good at investing money
– a skill to which I had very little exposure.

Now, a week or two ago, he was watching me do my make-up. He said,
“Where on earth do you LEARN this stuffe” (Keira Knightly smokey
eyes. It was on YouTube. Life is good!)