How to stamp a copper sheet metal die

Written by rebecca suzanne delaney
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How to stamp a copper sheet metal die
Stamp copper sheet metal. (Rusty Corrugated Sheet Metal image by Jim Mills from

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.

Skill level:

Things you need

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

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  1. 1

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

  2. 2

    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.

  3. 3

    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.

  4. 4

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

  5. 5

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

  6. 6

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

  7. 7

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

  8. 8

    Repeat until the desired impression is reached.

Tips and warnings

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

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