Working stainless

I recently made some small tables, covering the tops with copper or
brass sheet. The edges were folded down, either by simply working
the annealed metal directly over the wooden top with a burnisher, or
by chasing the ba ck side of the metal first for a sharper fold. Now,
however, a customer wants a table covered with stainless steel
sheet, and I have little experience with stainless. Can anyone give
any sage advice? Can stainless be chased? Repouseed? Thanks,

Richard Bynum

Hi Richard -

One way to do it is to use very thin gauge stainless and a bending
brake to get a good straight bend. I seem to recollect that I have
never seen a REALLY crisp bend in stainless - they seem to usually be
a bit rounded. Then solder the corners together with silver solder,
as recommended by others. Of course, this presupposes that the
tables are straight-edged and not round. I guess if they were round,
you might go to a sheet metal shop and see if they had a round die of
the correct size and could form it for you (not sure how they do it -
power hammer?).


Just one thing I might mention – there are all sorts of different
types of stainless steel. I don’t know all that much about them, but
I would recommend doing some preliminary testing with the type that
is going to be used, to see how it is going to react.


On sheet metal to get a sharp corner you need to do a score and fold
operation. This involves a cutting or scoring of a v shaped (45B0
"v" for a 90B0 bend) groove on the backside of the sheet metal along
the lines where you want the fold to occur. the depth of the groove
will determine how sharp an edge you get but you must leave enough
that you don’t break the sheet when it is bent. If the finished
object needs any strength then it should be soldered or welded on the
backside of each fold. This is how silversmiths make sharp corner