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Repair / Reshape Dapping tool

I now know not to, but it’s too late now. I was using my
largest dapping tool and decided I needed to flatten out the edge
of my piece, and being lazy, I turned over the punch and gave it
a few good whacks. Oops. Now I’ve dented the rounded end. Is
there anything I can do to reshape it? As always your help is

Brevard NC USA

Hello Mollie: For future reference, use your raw hide mallet if
you want to hammer the ball end of your dapping tool. Remember,
anything is a tool if you use it as a tool.

Michael Mathews Victoria,Texas USA

It won’t be perfect, but you can improve it much with a small
hammer, needs to have a tempered face, nicely smooth or polished,
so it won’t dent when you hit the soft dapping punch with it.
Gently planish the edges of the flat dent, which will be slightly
raised from the original shape. The metal is all still there,
you’ve just moved it from the dent to the edges. You can move a
fair amount of it back again with some gentle tapping. Then you
carefully emery and repolish the dapping punch. You’ll end up
with a very slightly smaller punch, but you can get it pretty
round again if you try. The hard ones are where the punch has
been used in too small a depression on a harder dapping block,
so now you’ve got a sharp round incised ring in the punch, deeply
cut by the edge of the depression on the block… You can get
those round again by working off the raised burr, but you’ll
never get rid of all the round scar… The key to all this is to
remember that the steel tool is just metal like any other. If
the punch were silver, do you think you could tap it back into
almost the right shape? Do the same thing. And next time you
need to use the back end of a dapping punch, (they work very
nicely for lots of stuff) just remember to use leather or plastic
mallets to hit them with.

Peter Rowe

Mollie, Was the punch metal or wood? I like the wood ones, which
a wood file and sandpaper will take care of. A metal dapping
punch can be rounded out with a metal file and sandpaper. It
will probably be a pain, but will be good practice getting it
back in perfect round! Wendy Newman

    Oops. Now I've dented the rounded end. Is there anything I
can do to reshape it? 

G’day Mollie. Using a sanding disc with about 180 grit
abrasive, you can turn it back into a part sphere - if you’re
very careful. Having done that you can use 400 grit to remove
most of the 180 grit scratches, followed by tripoli on buffing
machine , followed by rouge on the same machine (but different
buffs!) You’ll soon be back to where you began. However, I
reckon you:

  1. gave the dapping punch really GOOD whacks, or

  2. the punch wasn’t properly hardened. when you bought it.


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 /  /__| \      @John_Burgess2
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At sunny Nelson NZ in spring and envy gets you nowhere.