I I’m presuming you are using a horn anvil of at least 50 lbs., " 50
Lbs. for forging, land not a small "bezel /jewelery anvil as in the
If you are getting reverberation the hammer is too lightweight.
Nickel is hard stuff -for one, anneal frequently I’m also presuming
you are using a delrin or ball peen hammer, if not a planishing
hammer. Anything instead of a rawhide hammer (even a lead shot filled
one)…you can always polish a mar if its bad, but on a curved anvil
(the horn) it shoiuldn’t be an issue unless you are angling the
hammer so the peen or the flat planishing head isn’t hitting dead on.
which brings me to a dead blow hammer- you can get one at harbor
freight for 3 or 4 dollars if not on sale!
With a larger surface area to aim at, instead of the small anvils,
you can place the piece of metal down on the horn to start the bend
of the “pocket” (if curvature is needed) and hit: using your hammer
as an extension of your arm and aim with your hand not looking at the
end of the hammer. With a large anvil you could place a magnetic bar
on the anvil’s top as a “stop” and turn the metal as it gets textured
where you want it (unless you’re just trying to thin it out. then a
rolling mill is called for)to get it to a size you can fabricate a
If you have a wooden stump in the studio that the anvil sits on it
will help absorb some of the ‘reverb’- you could take the anvil off
and just use a hammer on the presumably flattened stump and finish on
the anvil you have.
A bench block though will also work .Being a small piece of steel,
place the corner of your annealed metal at the squared end and hold
it down with a small piece of painter’s tape until it’s time to turn
it. annealing is key to keeping it malleable. Spray the warmed metal
with some Cupronil and let it form a skin, each time you anneal and
don’t pickle until finished in a nickel pickle (Not Sparex #2- the
other one. or use a citric acid pickle) however I can’t imagine how
you are holding it and hitting your hands each time, or frequently!..
A vise won’t work like a magnet but unless it’s dipped in a plastic
dip (or sprayed with some) the magnet being hit may mar the metal as
though you were stamping it! I must say this isn’t a common question.
so I’m a bit puzzled at what you are using to hit with and what you
are hitting on ? Nickel, as I said is harder than sterling. or.999
silver, gold etc. but if annealed frequently you should be able to
control the metal not it controlling you! And the planishing hammer
used correctly should be able to form any metal around the horn of an
anvil. those tiny chromed, blue ceramic bottomed bezel anvils aren’t
for planishing- bench blocks are more appropriate. for that task.
Oh, leather gloves won’t stop a blow- it may deaden it some but it’s
not protection from being hit- you should have some anyway for
melting and pouring or hot metals…(actually I’d buy kevlar gloves at
a home store).
One of my main complaints with classes and teachers are that they
don’t introduce students to tools first- before anyone touches a
piece of metal. sounds like a potential problem in your case. I also
recommend reading Tim McCreight’s “The Complete Metalsmith”, if
I’d like to see this “pocket design too…” there may be an easier
way than planishing to fold a thinned piece of metal- like scoring it
in the center and then folding it. or…there are a number of ways to
make a container without soldering it…