Metals such as copper or silver can be cut for a wide range of crafts, from jewelry to holiday ornaments to home décor items. Cutting any type of metal causes sharp burrs and rough places along the edges of the metal. The sharp edges can be smoothed and softened using simple tools such as sandpaper and metal files, which can be found at hardware or home stores.
Things You'll Need
- Metal file
- Half round metal file
- Sandpaper, 220, 500 and 1000 grit
- Needle files
- Rubber block or ring clamp
- Polishing pads
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Place the metal on a rubber block to stabilize the piece and leave the edge exposed, or place it securely in a ring clamp.
Use the metal file or the half-round file to remove the largest burrs or rough edges. Press the file on the metal gently, pushing it away. Lift at the end of the stroke and bring the file back without touching the metal. Continue around the edge of the metal until the large burrs have been removed. Use the needle files in corners or on fine details of the piece.
Use the 220-grit sandpaper and begin to smooth the edges of the metal using light strokes. As the rough edges are removed, switch to finer-grit sandpaper. Use a polishing pad once the metal is smooth to remove any metal dust and bring out the shine of the metal.
Turn the piece over and repeat on the other side of the metal. If working with a ring clamp smooth both sides, then remove and turn the piece to a new section.