How to Stamp a Number in Thin Aluminum

Written by john yarbrough
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How to Stamp a Number in Thin Aluminum
Special care is needed to prevent tearing the sheet metal during the stamping process. (Monkey Business Images Ltd/Valueline/Getty Images)

Metal punching is a craft that is fun and develops skill. The malleability of sheet metal makes it easy for nearly anybody with the right dexterity to create nearly anything with a hammer and a set of stamps and punches. Over time, you will learn through practice what techniques works best for you. Thicker sheets of metal usually require more pounding to indent a character or shape into them, while thin sheet metal can tear. Handling the thinner sheets with care is very important to developing this skill.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Thin aluminium sheet larger than digit or digits it will receive
  • Number punch set
  • Small hammer
  • Masking or painter's tape (optional)

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  1. 1

    Lay the thin aluminium sheet metal on a flat surface. This can be a workbench, craft table, anvil or other similar hard surface. If desired, the metal may be held in place with a loop of masking or painter's tape underneath the metal sheet. The size of any tape loop used should be sufficient enough to hold the metal in place while it is being worked.

  2. 2

    Select a number punch and position it. The end of the number punch that contains the digit should rest directly on top of the thin aluminium sheet. Also, make sure to properly orient the punch -- right-side up or upside-down as desired. This is especially important when considering that the 6 and the 9 digits are made with the same punch.

  3. 3

    Punch the digit into the thin aluminium. Once the number punch has been positioned properly, gently tap the number punch with the hammer. Remove the hammer and the punch from the aluminium sheet and examine the indentation. If incomplete, simply place the number punch back into whatever indentation was made and tap the punch with the hammer again.

  4. 4

    Repeat this process for any other digits. If you held the sheet metal in place with any tape loops, be sure to carefully peel those off the backside to release the stamped aluminium.

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