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Tips for Hammering Sheet Metal Into Decorative Panels

Hammering sheet metal is a great way to make a decorative piece of metal. A hammered sheet can look lovely in multiple applications ranging from splashbacks behind your stove to the siding of a skyscraper. Regardless of where you want your hammered sheet metal to go, it's important to know how to approach the process. Check out these tips.

Find a Flat Surface

Your sheet metal needs a steady base, or it will start to fold up as you hammer it. Sheet metal that bends is great if you want to make a bowl, but if you're just trying to make a decorative panel, you need the metal to stay flat. A large, sturdy table can work perfectly.

Use a Mason's Hammer

When hammering sheet metal, you can use a conventional building hammer, but that tends to have a shallow effect. If you want a more dramatic effect, you should consider using a mason's hammer. This creates a deeper strike, and it can be easier to control.

Consider Working With Stumps or Moulds

A lot of hammered metal has clearly just been hit with the end of a hammer, and with this approach, the metal tends to show lots of small circles and curves, shaped like a hammer. That is not the only option. You can also make moulds to create unique shapes in your sheet metal.

Simply cut another piece of metal into the shape you want, and sand the edges so they are smooth. You also want the surface of the metal mould that is going to lie against the sheet metal to be relatively smooth. If it's not, its blemishes and bumps will bleed into your sheet metal as you hammer the mould. To use a mould, you just lay it on the sheet metal, strike it with your hammer, and watch it make an imprint in the metal. You can also use stumps — again, you just hit them with your hammer, and they make large circular shapes in your sheet metal.

Sketch Multiple Areas

In many cases with hammered sheet metal, you may simply want the design to be the same all over the sheet metal. In these cases, you don't need to do any sketching. However, if you want multiple designs and patterns, you can use a marker to draw various sections on your sheet metal. Then, you can hammer each section separately. Finally, you may want to wash off the marker, so don't use a permanent one.

If you want more tips, contact a sheet metal expert from a company like Australian General Engineering. They can sell your sheet metal, and in some cases, they may be willing to do the hammering for you.