How to stamp a copper sheet metal die

Updated April 17, 2017

The hydraulic press is the largest, strongest, easiest, but most expensive hammer in the metalsmith' s toolbox. The hydraulic press is a great tool for stamping copper sheet using a silhouette die. The hydraulic press can also be used for fold forming, synclastic and anticlastic raising. Use a silhouette die and a hydraulic press to create beautiful stamped objects from copper sheet metal.

Select or make the silhouette die you want to use to stamp the copper sheet metal.

Cut the copper sheet metal so it's larger than the silhouette die. The copper sheet metal should have at least 1 inch around the area to be stamped.

Anneal the copper sheet metal with your torch. Place the annealed copper into your pickle pot to remove oxidation. Remove from the pickle with copper tongs and rinse the copper with water to remove the pickle. Dry.

Place the prepared copper on top of the silhouette die. Put a piece of urethane or rubber sheet over the copper sheet metal.

Put the silhouette die, copper sheet and urethane or rubber stack into the hydraulic press.

Lower the boom of the hydraulic press until the copper sheet is stamped.

Remove the silhouette die, urethane or rubber sheet and stamped copper from the hydraulic press. Check the impression.

Repeat until the desired impression is reached.


Always take fire-safety precautions when using a torch. Wear eye protection and gloves when working with chemicals.

Things You'll Need

  • Hydraulic press
  • Silhouette die
  • Urethane or rubber
  • Torch
  • Pickle pot
  • Pickle
  • Copper tongs
  • Copper sheet
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About the Author

Rebecca Suzanne Delaney began publishing in 1980. She is a university-trained artist and the author of dozens of books and articles on a variety of topics, including arts and crafts, law, business and public policy. Delaney earned degrees in liberal arts, psychology and law.