Nunn Design Metal Stamping Blanks are cast in lead-free pewter and plated with copper, .999 fine silver and 24k gold. Pewter, as a metal, is softer than various gauge of sheet metal and can be bit of a surprise to those who have experienced stamping with force to get an impression. Hence, we have put together this tutorial titled: But a Bing! Not a Bang! Here are a couple tips on having success with the Nunn Design Metal Stamping Blanks:
Because the Nunn Design Metal Stamping Blanks are plated pewter, you will only want to use a wet wipe to clean the surface and not a polishing cloth. If you do use a polishing cloth, and really go to town with polishing, you will eventually rub away the plating.
For best results, tape your Nunn Design Metal Stamping Blank onto a steel stamping block. This will provide a firm and flat surface.
You will not want to use any type of permanent pen or Sharpie Marker on the Nunn Design Metal Stamping Blanks. Use a pencil to provide a stamping guide.
When using your stamping hammer to make your impression, grip close up to the hammer’s head. This will allow you to strike with less impact.
Not all hammers are equal. For best results, use a 1 pound brass flat and pein stamping hammer.
When “binging” the Nunn Design Metal Stamping Blank, be sure that the metal stamping tool is held firm (but not too tight) within your fingers and held upright. Resting your fingers upon the metal stamping base will also allow you to keep the stamp steady and to not slip when binging.
When you “bing” do it initially just one time. If you “bing” “bing”, there is a risk of the stamping moving slightly and creating a shadowed image.
If you “bing” and it isn’t enough of a “bing” to provide a good impression, you can line up the stamping tool within the impression and “bing” again to provide a deeper impression.
Metal stamping forces the metal to move, it doesn’t just go someplace else. If you stamp too close to the edge of the Nunn Design Metal Stamping Blanks, it will distort the shape and potentially chip the plating. Stay away from being too close to the edges.
If you “bang” too hard, you could chip the plating both on the surface and on the backside of the blank. Don’t get me wrong, you do have to “bing” with some meaning, you just don’t want to smack the heck out of it. Once the blank is smacked there is no going back or correcting.
Use acrylic paint or Gilders Paste to darken your impression. Most people have read or been taught to use a Sharpie Marker to darken the impression, but again, the plating will rub off when you use a polishing cloth to remove the Sharpie Marker.
If you are have a surface that does not have a flat back, you will need to place something underneath to prevent the tag from collapsing in the center when stamping.
If you want to punch additional holes, cut a small piece of card stock to prevent the punch from damaging the flat tag. The card stock provides a buffer.
Before actually punching your hole, press down slightly without the card being in place. This is to provide an indented area so that you can easily line up your punch into the hole while the card stock is in place (and making it harder to see).
Plated pewter can be bent slightly, but it must be done very gently and slowly to prevent cracking. Start on one end of the flat tag and slowly start to bend from one end to the other using Nylon Jaw Bracelet Bending Pliers.
Metal stamping, like any other art form takes practice. Allow yourself the time to learn this new craft. Otherwise, you just won’t have any fun making beautiful jewelry.
You can download a PDF of these steps here.