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Stamping with Hydraulic Press

Hi all

I’ve got a 12 ton hydraulic press and I’m hoping to use it to stamp
metal sheet.

My plan is to etch some brass and use that to stamp silver sheet.
The only problem is I can’t find a tutorial or anything to tell me
the does and don’t so I was wondering if anyone could give me some
advice, tips


My plan is to etch some brass and use that to stamp silver sheet. 

Do you mean emboss?

Buy Susan Kingley’s Hydraulic Die Forming for Metalsmiths. I think it
is not available on amazon, but will be available from Rio, etc.

And hop on over to and join their
forums and read up on their site.

If you mean embossing you will need some urethane, preferably in a
range of hardnesses (durameters) but one will do in a pinch.

Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay

Toni. I think you will find the you need in the Susan
Kingsley book on Hydraulic presses. Also, you might want to consider
getting some Ferric Nitrate and PnP, and just etching your silver? It
would save one step.


Toni; Hydraulic Die Forming for Metalshiths by Susan Kingsley is
pretty much the bible on hydraulic press use you can’t do stamping
per say but you can do die forming which will not give the detail of
a die struck object. I know a jeweler who obtained an old fashion
kick press used in printing and has converted it to a jewelry
stamping press. I think it cost him a couple of hundred for the

Dave Owen

Hi I’ve already been doing some etching directly to silver but the
etch takes a very long time and I’m often not quite as happy with the
result as I am with the same design on brass.

What I was hoping was that I could make sure that I was happy with
the design on the cheaper brass sheet and then transfer the image to
my silver using the press.

I’ll see if I can get hold of Susans book


The cheapest secondhand press you will come across regularly will be
a fly press. They are simple to use, have been used in the jewellery
and metalsmithing trades for ever and simple dies easy to come by.
Hydraulic forming has certain advantages and disadvantages but you
will nedd to design your dies to take this into account. We do
hydraulic extrusions of various metals where I work and there are
various specific patents on some of this. Most of our dies are cut
using EDM (spark erosion) and thus need specialist knowledge to
programme the design and cutting computer programs wheras the small
dies used in fly presses by and large work on much smaller loads and
the dies can be machined or sparked out of softer material and then
heat treated if necessary without worrying about the pressures
involved and flow characteristics of the metal being worked. Patterns
can then be an existing item which will cut the production costs down
enormously. Using a fly press is also much quicker. You can build a
hydraulic press out of a car jack and scrap metal if you have a
suitable lathe etc and patience. I have found that the dies stick on
such devices as it is difficult to reverse the oil flow at the end of
the cycle.