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Sand cast texture

This is my first post, so I’ll hand out a greetings from Texas to
everyone here from all over the world. And a big thanks for all I’ve
picked up while lurking.

I do sand casting at times because I like the texture I can get. But
I’d like another way to get that texture on sterling sheet without
having to sand cast. Does anyone have tricks / tips that work well?
Anything you can use will a rolling mill? Any ideas would be great.

Thanks & Peace
Erin Mason

Hi Erin, One way you can do that is roller printing real course sand
paper like 40 grit. You have to be really careful to sandwich it
between manila folder or other hard paper so you do not scratch the
rollers on your rolling mill. I usually run it through more than
once. So I have a layer of manila folder cardboard, a section of 40
grit sandpaper facing your metal and a layer of manila folder paper
under your metal. You can even scotch tape all the layers together
on the sides.

Vince, Oakridge, OR

The German jewelers who aren’t too fond of casting do a thing called
swartzing (sp) where they fuse filings over the surface of sheet

Sue Ann Dorman

Hi Erin

There is a great little mandrel with a diamond tip that attaches to
the Foredom Hammer, which with the “hammer” action, leaves a rough
texture similar to sand casting. Also, get some of the really course
Garnet Sandpaper at the hardware store - sandwich it CAREFULLY with
the Sterling/Copper in the rolling mill and you will get a great
sand casting appearance! It’s even great on the copper! I’ve done

Rose Marie Christison

I do sand casting at times because I like the texture I can get.
But I'd like another way to get that texture on sterling sheet
without having to sand cast. Does anyone have tricks / tips that
work well? Anything you can use will a rolling mill? Any ideas
would be great. 

Take two sheets of fairly coarse sand paper, layer them abrasive out.
Sandwich that between two sheets of metal, so the silver forms the
"bread" for the abrasive fillings. Run this combination through a
rolling mill, and you’ll have roll printed a nice sandpaper texture
much like a sandcast surface, into your two pieces of metal. Other
more subtle textures can also be done by rolling printing. Even just
paper itself gives an attractive texture. Oddly, glassine or
onionskin papers give more texture than you’d expect, more even than
ordinary typing paper. Manila folder stock is also interesting.
Always of course, have metal on both sides of what you’re roll
printing. It’s surprising, but even paper, under enough pressure,
can leave a mark on a rolling mill. To do both sides of sheet stock,
three pieces of metal, and two pieces of sand paper or whatever
you’re using. The center piece of metal gets textured on both sides,
and the two sides don’t have to be the same texture if you like. The
outside sheets of metal get a different texture on one side. Even
that back side of the sand paper can leave an intersting texture…
Experiment, experiment, experiment…


Roller-print emery paper?
Bash the silver onto concrete?
Hammer all over with an old engineers hammer.


Hi Erin;

You could try a rolling mill. Anneal the silver, sandwich a piece of
course sandpaper between the silver and a piece of copper with the
sand side against the silver. Put the stack in the mill and tighten
down. Loosen enought to slide out the stack, remove it, then tighten
the mill about 1/2 turn and roll the stack. Make sure the sandpaper
isn’t hanging over the edge of the silver where it will damage your
mill rollers.

That said, I’m betting it isn’t going to work very well. Here’s what
I used to do.

Anneal the silver, find a nice rock, and forge the silver against the
rock. Keep it moving over the surface of the rock to find fresh
surfaces. It may not be what you’re looking for, but I’ll bet you’ll
find it’s an interesting texture.

David L. Huffman

I’ve never tried this but I would think that you could run the
silver sheet through the rollers with a sheet of coarse sand paper (
sand side facing the silver). Reticulation also leaves a surface
similar to sand cast but not as uniform. Good luck and let us know
what you find out.


the first thing that spings to mind is texture rolling silver with
very coarse sand paper (the bottom of a budgie cage stuff) or
woodworkers emery paper. you could even glue some grit and sand to
card you’re self and roll that.

you could use one of those wire flick mops on a polishing motor or
flex-shaft too


Hi Erin,

I too am a former sand caster and I love the texture of the
unfinished casting as it comes out of the mold. I have been able to
bring a similar texture to my Metalwork. I do it in two ways. I do
not have a rolling mill.

For my Hammer Formed Wall Sculptures, I texture large sheets of
copper using a tool called a Thompson Roto Stripper. This is like a
flap wheel that you use on an electric drill. It used to be
advertised on late night TV but was taken off the market because is
DANGEROUS. The wires would sometimes fly off at high speeds. However,
it can still be found on eBay. If you try to use this tool ALWAYS use
safety goggles and a face shield. Never hold your head in alignment
with the rotating tool and keep others away. To use it, clamp your
sheet metal to a backup piece of plywood on a workbench and paint
over the sheet with the flap wheel to create the texture. Please be
careful. Examples of my sand casting and wall sculptures are on by
blogspot listed at the end of this post.

For jewelry sized artwork I use another method to texture sheet
metal. I have used a sharp center punch to chase a very tight
texture into the face of a small blacksmith’s flatter. To use, I lay
the sheet to be textured on my anvil and transfer the texture from
the face of the flatter to the sheet metal by whacking it with a
fairly large hammer, overlapping the textured imprints.

I have also used this technique to put a texture on metalwork that I
form on my English wheel. I purchased an extra top wheel that I
chased the texture into. I use this wheel to roll the texture into
my formed sheet metal as the final stage in rolling. Here is an
example about half way down on this web page:

Please contact me is you want more detail, David

David Luck


I do sand casting at times because I like the texture I can get.
But I'd like another way to get that texture on sterling sheet
without having to sand cast. Does anyone have tricks / tips that
work well? Anything you can use will a rolling mill? Any ideas
would be great. 

One of my favorite textures is 100 grit sandpaper applied to
annealed sheet with a rolling mill.



Two thoughts come to mind. Sandblast with course sand (will cause
warping on sheets unless you do both sides, still a major concern).
The other is to roll with sandpaper grit side against the metal. Do
both sides at once to avoid warpage. For flat sheet rolling is
better, use good sandpaper and don’t expect it to last long :slight_smile:

Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing

How about rolling with really coarse sandpaper… am I the first or
the last to suggest this?!

Tim Blades.

If you dont have a roller you can take your metal outside and hammer
it on the cement and receive a similar effect.


I’d like thank everyone for their thoughts on how to achieve a sand
cast texture without sand casting.

Sand paper was named the most so that will be the first thing I try.
I had thought about that but was worried about the sharpness of the
course sandpaper. True sand cast texture is made with fine sand so it
wouldn’t look the same. But passing the silver through several times
might just work great.

I’ll do as told and experiment !!

Again thanks to all,
Erin Mason


Have you tried sandpaper and silver sheet through the rolling mill?
Something I do quite often for a pleasant texture. Not sure that it
would really replicate the cast texture. You get quite a variety with
different grade papers and applying different levels of pressure and
then different finishing/polishing techniques afterwards.


Hi Erin

Regarding the sand cast texture on sterling: I often will roll my
annealed sterling on a piece of 60 grit sandpaper through a rolling
mill. (Just makesure you are protecting the rolling surfaces by
sandwiching between copper).

Enjoy! Mara


Be really really careful about rolling sandpaper through a rolling
mill to roller print. If not done correctly, the sandpaper can
imprint it’s coarse texture into the flat rollers. The other danger
to the mill is the sanding grit which will fall off the sandpaper
while being run through the mill, which can cause havoc with your
rolling mills gears…

Jay Whaley

Otto Frei used to sell small texturing wheels for use with flex shaft
machines that look like miniature paint strippers, wires protruding,
etc. (different sizes and different gauge wires). John Frei, chime in
here…do you still carry them. They make a very lovely textured
surface, resembling sand blasting, etc.

Linda Kaye-Moses