How to Dome Metal

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Doming metal adds dimension, depth and strength to your bead and jewelry designs. Many beads are created to dome metal. Enamellists find doming metal useful as no counter enamel is needed when enamel is put on the inside of a domed surface. This tutorial will explain how to dome nonferrous discs or sheet metal (for example gold, silver, copper and brass using dapping tools.

Things You'll Need

  • dapping block set
  • nonferrous discs or sheet metal (for example gold, silver, copper and brass)
  • hammer or mallet
  • Purchase or make a disc of sheet metal. You can cut a disc using a jewelry saw or a disc cutter. If you do not know how to cut out disc, see our ehows on How to Use a Jewelry Saw at
    http://www.ehow.com/how_4772007_copper-steel-gold-sheet-metal.html and How to Use a Disc Cutter at http://www.ehow.com/how_4806613_use-disc-cutter.html or check the links in the resource section of this article.

  • Select a block. Blocks come in different sizes. Using different sized blocks will result in different sized components.

  • Anneal, pickle and rinse the disc. The disc should be dead soft before you begin the doming process.

  • Place the annealed disc in an indent in the doming block that is a little larger than your disc. If the disc does not fit comfortable in the indent of the dapping tool choose a larger indent. If the indent is smaller than the disc, the disc may be marred in the doming process.

  • Choose a punch that is smaller than the indent. Use a mallet to hammer the disc firmly into the indent.

  • The disc will take the shape of the indent.

  • To further dome the disc, anneal, pickle and rinse the metal again. Place the now curved disc into another indent. This next indent should be smaller than the first, but it still should be larger than the curved disc. Select a punch that fits the next indent. Hammer to form.

  • Repeat the process until the disc is domed to the size needed for your design.

  • Your domed component should be sanded, filed and incorporated into your art jewelry. Finish as usual. In this photo, we stamped and drilled the discs before they were domed and then used the domes as charms for earrings.

Tips & Warnings

  • Whether you make or purchase the disc, be sure to sand any tool or other marks off the disc before doming. If you do not know how to sand metal see our eHow How to Use Sand Paper at http://www.ehow.com/how_4805483_use-sand-paper.html or click on the link in the resource section of this article.
  • Be sure to complete all stamping and add all texture to your disc before you dome it. If you do not know how to stamp metal see our eHow How to Make a Sterling Silver Stamped Cuff Bracelet at http://www.ehow.com/how_4770914_make-silver-bracelets.html or click on the link in the resource section of this article. If you do not know how to add texture to metal see our ehow How to Create a Brushed Finish on Sterling Silver at http://www.ehow.com/how_4920310_create-brushed-finish-sterling-silver.html or click on the link in the resource section of this article.
  • For a project using the doming technique see our eHow How to Make a Mothers Day Pendant at http://www.ehow.com/how_4906974_mothers-day-pendant.html or click the link in the resource section of this article.
  • Be sure to drill all holes in your disc before you dome it. If you do not know how to drill see our eHow How to Pierce Metal When Fabricating Jewelry at http://www.ehow.com/how_4790097_pierce-metal-fabricating-jewelry.html or How to Use a Drill Press for Jewelry Making at http://www.ehow.com/how_4998933_use-drill-press-jewelry-making.html or click on the links in the resource section of this article.
  • Always take safety precautions when working in a jewelry studio.

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  • Photo Credit © GeltDesigns 2009 All rights reserved.
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