Altering Your Dapping Block
by Judy Larson
Here's a way to make your dapping block an even more useful tool.
Instructions
Scrap lumber is a great tool resource for any jewelry maker. I don't want to wreck my bench pin with drill holes when I have so much scrap 2"x2" pine from various projects that I can use. The cut ends of short pieces are great for shaping metal.
Judy Larson's Altering Your Dapping Block - , Tools For Wire Jewelry, Tools, scrap lumber for metal work
Judy Larson's Altering Your Dapping Block - , Tools For Wire Jewelry, Tools, scrap wood for drilling
Judy Larson's Altering Your Dapping Block - , Tools For Wire Jewelry, Tools, scrap wood for dapping
I had a "DUH" moment lately when making small bud flowers. I usually dapped a small well in a piece of scrap pine to shape the petals. Because pine is so soft and distorts easily, a new well was made for each flower so they would all have similarly shaped petals.

Since there is a lot of scrap hardwood in my garage wood shop, I brought in a couple pieces of scrap walnut.
Judy Larson's Altering Your Dapping Block - , Tools For Wire Jewelry, Tools, dapping block for petals
Judy Larson's Altering Your Dapping Block - , Tools For Wire Jewelry, Tools, hard wood for dapping
When I realized that one more piece would not fit in the box with my dapping tools, I wondered why I never thought to alter the wooden dapping block.
Judy Larson's Altering Your Dapping Block - , Tools For Wire Jewelry, Tools, dapping blocks
I pulled the four largest ball burs from my stand and drilled a different size in each corner of my maple wood dapping block. Hammering a metal dap in the wells will smooth out the slight roughness of the wood well. Hint: Obviously the wood dapping block is softer than metal. Running the bit in a lubricating substance such as Cut Lube before use will help prolong the life of metal bits, even when using them on soft substances. Do not rush the process. Because the wood is hard, if the bur is pressed down on too hard, it will have a tendency to slide across the wood.
Judy Larson's Altering Your Dapping Block - , Tools For Wire Jewelry, Tools, use ball burs to make dapping depressions
Judy Larson's Altering Your Dapping Block - , Tools For Wire Jewelry, Tools, dapping block
Judy Larson's Altering Your Dapping Block - , Tools For Wire Jewelry, Tools, bur lube
Judy Larson's Altering Your Dapping Block - , Tools For Wire Jewelry, Tools, cut lube
The tiny wells have now been used many times to make the ΒΌ" long flower buds. The wells are still the same shape and size.
Judy Larson's Altering Your Dapping Block - , Tools For Wire Jewelry, Tools, using tiny wells
Judy Larson's Altering Your Dapping Block - , Tools For Wire Jewelry, Tools, using tiny wells
Judy Larson's Altering Your Dapping Block - , Tools For Wire Jewelry, Tools, dapped metal petals
Don't have a wood dapping block or access to hardwood scrap? You might have hardwood tools that can be altered! Try not to use oak or ash. Even though considered hardwoods, there are hard and soft areas, making it difficult over time to keep the wells uniform in shape.

Maybe you own a hardwood draw plate used for Viking knit or to even out handmade chain links with large enough areas to drill a few small impressions.
Judy Larson's Altering Your Dapping Block - , Tools For Wire Jewelry, Tools, drawplate
Judy Larson's Altering Your Dapping Block - , Tools For Wire Jewelry, Tools, drawplate
Many of us own a hardwood pliers stand. The expanse of the flat back means more wells of different sizes can be made.
Judy Larson's Altering Your Dapping Block - , Tools For Wire Jewelry, Tools, pliers stand
The flat back and sides of the Whaley swage block can be altered to your heart's content.
Judy Larson's Altering Your Dapping Block - , Tools For Wire Jewelry, Tools, swage block
I love a rectangular flat dapping block because all the well sizes are visible and easy to compare to each other. You don't have to look at the other faces of the cube to find the desired size well. The back side can be reserved for tiny wells.
Judy Larson's Altering Your Dapping Block - , Tools For Wire Jewelry, Tools, dapping block
You don't need wood daps to use the above wood dapping block if the textured side of the metal is placed facing down in the wells. I like using nylon punches because they have lasted longer than wood ones that came with my block. Nylon and wood punches are not small enough to dap the tiny flower petals, though. For that, the three smallest metal punches are better sizes.
Judy Larson's Altering Your Dapping Block - , Tools For Wire Jewelry, Tools, dapping tools

Materials

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Tools

7 Round & Steel Block--Dapping Block
DAP-147.00
  • DAP-147.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $32.50
  • Gold Club Price: $24.38
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8 Punch Dapping Set
DAP-708.00
  • DAP-708.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $48.97
  • Gold Club Price: $36.73
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11 Piece Wood Dapping Set
DAP-160.00
  • DAP-160.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $64.97
  • Gold Club Price: $48.73
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Bur Set - 24 pc
BUR-400.00
  • BUR-400.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $64.95
  • Gold Club Price: $48.71
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  • Category: Tools
  • Technique(s): Tools