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Re-flatten warped sheet silver

Dear All,

I am making a brooch which has a oval stone to be bezel set in the
middle of a hammer textured shape. I left the oval shape in the
middle unhammered so the basel can be soldered more easily. After
hammering the texture on the outside I found the whole sheet had
warped so badly the bezel will never lay flat on it. I annealed it
and tried hammering it flat with a leather mallet but with no luck.

Is there any way to save it or do I have to cut out a new one. What
can I do in the future to prevent this re-occurring? Help, please.

Sharron in sunny K.L. where my herb seeds are growing to fast to

One thing which has worked for me in the past (somewhat) is to lay
the sheet on my anvil, pick up another anvil (a small one, maybe 10
pounds in weight) with the business end down, and wham it down upon
the offending sheet. You want to do this with an anvil with no
irregularities, as any roughness on the anvil will be transferred to
the sheet.

Lee Einer
Dos Manos Jewelry


I don’t know if you’ve tried this, but I have had a lot of luck with
this technique.

Take a leather mallet that is as close as possible to covering the
entire surface of the piece (if it’s a bit larger, that’s great).
Lay the piece on the anvil and the mallet on top of the piece. Use a
heavy-head brass hammer (or really any heavy-head hammer/mallet) and
hammer onto the leather mallet.

Basically, it’s creating a “sandwich” between the leather mallet and
the anvil, and should work well to flatten the piece evenly. You’re
not hammering directly on the piece, so the distortion won’t affect
your ability to flatten it.

Good luck!

Karen Goeller
Hand-crafted artisan jewelry

Anneal it again and place it between two flat bench blocks or two
pieces of flat, smooth steel and give a couple good whacks with a
large, soft-faced mallet. I bought a dead-blow hammer at harbor
freight just for this use.

Rick Copeland

I flatten stock between spacers in my hydraulic press. Without a
press try putting the piece between wood or metal blocks in a bench



What you have discovered is what makes silversmithing an art and what
silversmiths spend years learning. When you hammer (forge) on one
side of a flat sheet, believe or not, you don’t just affect where you
hammer, but on the opposite end of the piece too. If your hammering
isn’t even, then the piece will become warped. You either need to
start over or find the area that needs more hammering to even it out.
You won’t accomplish this with a rawhide mallet, you’ll have to use
the same forging technique that you used before.


warped so badly the bezel will never lay flat on it. ... Is there
any way to save it or do I have to cut out a new one. 

sharron -

i had good results when i used the same method on a warped silver
backing that i used on warped lapidary saw blades: start hammering
in the middle of the sheet & work your way out in circles. when you
hammer/texture you displace - push out - material with every hammer
strike and this reshapes - warps - the flat surface because it is no
longer the same thickness & the displaced material has no place to
go so it more or less ‘bunches up’ into a warped surface, by
rehammering in circles from the center you even out the surface
since you are pushing the displaced material out to the edge, which
then gets hammered - well, you get the idea.

i know this is probably too simplistic & not technically accurate
but it is what i arrived at on my own & the concentric hammering
works for me; life usually goes around in circles so why not make
it work for you.

if life came with a warranty we’d all be in the factory on recall.


It’s always hard to give decent advice without being able to see
your design (wish there were an easy way of posting images here),
but it sounds to me like the best solution would be to solder your
bezel onto flat sheet and cut it out (making it a separate bezel
cup). Get your textured shape as flat as possible, place your bezel
cup where you want it to go, and scribe a line up tight to the edge.
Cut out the area defined by the scribe (along the inside of the
scribe line) and check to see that the bezel fits well into the
cutout shape. Solder it in from the back to prevent solder flow on
the textured area.

A similar issue was covered in a recent project in Lapidary Journal:
something like “Mystic Turquoise Pendant” or “Mystic Turquoise
Bezel”. Definitely mystic, anyway. It was a good step-by-step that
described several such handy techniques.

Good luck with your piece!

Jessee Smith

Hello Sharon, When the shape of a piece of metal goes bad, it is
commonly easier to make another piece, although it is perfectly
acceptable to grumble (grin). A hammered texture is faster to make
by using a small rubber wheel to make the indentations. This way you
can control the exact shape of the piece. Have fun.

Tom Arnold

    A similar issue was covered in a recent project in Lapidary
Journal: .... 

Looks like it’s “The Mystic Bezel”, Parts 1 and 2 at

Trevor F.

Hi Sharon, There is a thing called a pack hammer, this was used a
lot to flatten trays during their manufacture. You can easily make
one yourself. It’s just a large planishing hammer with a brass plate
bent around the hammer face and held on with wire. Very effective in
getting metal flat without stretching it