you are getting a number of different processes lumped together. The
First question you need answered are you planning to make a limited
number of each design. The Indian style ones are hand sawn out of
sheet and then using stamps and hammers you do metal smithing skills
like raising and sinking, repousse and Chasing. For shape,
decoration, and depth/height. You can make the stamps yourself or
buy stock sets from any of the jewelry supplies that are on this
If you are going to do large numbers of each style or design, first
step would be to take your drawing to a small stamping or die work
shop and get a quote because time is money and speed costs
dollars/in the making of the items. the cost of equipment would
probably out of your range. The jewelers saw can be used with a good
deal of speed after a little practice.
You are confusing sheet metal punch work by hand that used a lead
sheet as a backing. In the Olden Days, when I was in High School mid
60's the sheet metal texts were from the 30's thru the 50' always
showed a lead sheet about 1/2" thick on the bench top to be used as
a backing for punching out disks of sheet metal with the hand
whackers we had. Punch held in the left hand and large hammer in the
right hand( reverse if a lefty). After a number of uses you
re-melted the lead and poured a new sheet. The idea was the lead
provide support and protected the bench top and the cutting edge of
the punch. You were told to hammer the punch marks flat so the pad
was usable by the next person.
Now it is standard practice to use UN-tempered Masonite as a backing
for the punches. This is for gaskets/paper/rubber/thin sheet metals
of all types/leather.
with the Masonite you no longer have to worry about contamination of
the lead to the other materials.
Harbor Freight has a wide range of punches and letter
The type of sheet metal/leather
punches sold today are called arch punches.
The Indian silversmiths made thier own decorative punches up. You
can do the same get a couple of any of the complete metalsmithing
books by Tim McCreight
There are also alot of others books on the subject of punch making.
Drawing isn't related directly to it but is a methond of making wire
in shape or profile or size that you don't have with the use of draw
plates, tongs and or draw bench. Here is a good placce to start
They also have the instruction sheets about the products. Also check
the arbor Press threads and the company link that make the dies for
the press work for the booney doone style press.
Been there done that did didn't loose any fingers