CRAFT Video: Intro to Metalworking

Craft & Design Workshop

This week on the CRAFT Video learn some basics of fine metalworking. With a few simple tools, you can create neat shapes from copper (or silver or brass) sheet and add some fun texture. I made this copper and silver “triple bypass” get-well card for MAKE Senior Editor Gareth Branwyn, who’s recovering from surgery.

Subscribe to the CRAFT Podcast in iTunes, or download the m4v video.

Materials and tools:

  • jeweler’s saw frame with extra blades
  • copper sheet
  • jeweler’s files
  • wet-dry sandpaper, 400 grit (hardware store)
  • design on standard printer paper
  • rubber cement
  • copper etchant (ferric chloride or sodium persulfate)
  • various sized permanent markers
  • acetone or denatured alcohol (hardware store)
  • conti crayon and/or colored pencils
  • silver wire
  • Dremel or other handheld rotary tool
  • drill bit
  • ball-peen hammer
  • scrap wood
  • steel surface for hammering
  • pliers and wire cutters

Most of these jewelry supplies can be ordered from Rio Grande. Check online to find a local jewelry supply shop, since they’re usually really knowledgeable and helpful. If you live around Phoenix, AZ, try Lonnie’s.

For more cool metalwork, check out our metalwork archive.


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Becky Stern is a Content Creator at Autodesk/Instructables, and part time faculty at New York’s School of Visual Arts Products of Design grad program. Making and sharing are her two biggest passions, and she's created hundreds of free online DIY tutorials and videos, mostly about technology and its intersection with crafts. Find her @bekathwia on YouTube/Twitter/Instagram.

View more articles by Becky Stern


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