Large Dapping Punches and Alternatives
by Judy Larson
A subtle curve can add more visual interest to a piece as well as add perceived value. Large dapping punches, which are not found in standard dapping sets, are wonderful for creating these gentle curves.
Instructions
These earring drops were made by "painting" layers of metal clay on a piece of clear plastic placed on top of a photo copy of a flat sea fan found on the beach. After leaving them flat for several weeks, the drops were very subtly domed. Just that bit of shaping even made them hang better.
Judy Larson's Large Dapping Punches and Alternatives  - , Tools For Wire Jewelry, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Tools, , large dapping tools
Judy Larson's Large Dapping Punches and Alternatives  - , Tools For Wire Jewelry, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Tools, , large dapping tools
Many times the pieces to be curved should not be placed face down in a metal or wood well and be dapped because their surfaces could be damaged. Also, one cannot see what is happening to the surface of a piece during the forming process.

Use a small rubber or nylon mallet to shape pieces. Because the face of the mallet is small it is easy to see the progress being made during shaping, as well as direct blows to small areas that may need a bid more curving.

When a piece has several levels, such as with layers or metal or embellishments, the piece could be ruined if place face down in a well, as with these negative space Tropical Leaf earrings.
Judy Larson's Large Dapping Punches and Alternatives  - , Tools For Wire Jewelry, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Tools, , large dapping tools
When a piece is already finished, it can't be domed face down in a well. Placing it on a curved surface for shaping is the only way to achieve the curved shape.
Judy Larson's Large Dapping Punches and Alternatives  - , Tools For Wire Jewelry, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Tools, , large dapping tools
There are many curved surfaces that can be used to form pieces facing right side up. This cupola set is nice in that the base holds daps upright, making them easy to use. These are the two sizes I use most often.
Judy Larson's Large Dapping Punches and Alternatives  - , Tools For Wire Jewelry, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Tools, , large dapping tools
Judy Larson's Large Dapping Punches and Alternatives  - , Tools For Wire Jewelry, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Tools, , large dapping tools
A cupola set can be expensive and there are alternatives, especially if the set will not be used often enough to warrant the expense.

A wooden curtain rod ball end has a flat side that makes it stable enough to hammer on.
Judy Larson's Large Dapping Punches and Alternatives  - , Tools For Wire Jewelry, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Tools, , large dapping tools
The handles of antique darning eggs, which are usually made from hardwoods, can be secured in a vise for ease in use. The egg with the attached string is from a hobby store and was meant to be painted as an Easter decoration. It may not be suitable for shaping as these types of eggs are generally made from very soft woods.
Judy Larson's Large Dapping Punches and Alternatives  - , Tools For Wire Jewelry, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Tools, , large dapping tools
Jumbo wood dapping punches are used with large shaping blocks. Their handles can also be secured in a vise making them easy to use.
Judy Larson's Large Dapping Punches and Alternatives  - , Tools For Wire Jewelry, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Tools, , large dapping tools
Judy Larson's Large Dapping Punches and Alternatives  - , Tools For Wire Jewelry, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Tools, , large dapping tools
The two different dome face sizes make the Domed Face Nylon Hammer a keeper.
Judy Larson's Large Dapping Punches and Alternatives  - , Tools For Wire Jewelry, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Tools, , large dapping tools
And last but not least, a vehicle trailer hitch is a wonderful surface to curve items on. However, no trailer hitch in use stays pristine. This one is just rusty enough that it imparts a slight texture to the back side of whatever is textured. Of course, any piece curved on it MUST have embedded rust particles removed, usually with a soft bristle metal brush, before working on it with your other tools.
Judy Larson's Large Dapping Punches and Alternatives  - , Tools For Wire Jewelry, Dapping, Dapping Jewelry, Tools, , large dapping tools

Materials

22 Gauge Dead Soft Argentium Silver Sheet - 6 Inches
H19-22SM6
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1 Inch
  • Price: $35.47
  • Gold Club Price: $26.60
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Tools

JUMBO WOOD DAPPING PUNCHES
DAP-142.00
  • DAP-142.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $19.95
  • Gold Club Price: $14.96
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Wooden Quad--Dapping Block
DAP-144.00
  • DAP-144.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $25.40
  • Gold Club Price: $19.05
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Large Wood Dapping Block with 5 Channels
DAP-145.00
  • DAP-145.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $44.97
  • Gold Club Price: $33.73
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  • Category: Tools
  • Technique(s): Dapping, Tools, General Education