Tools and Resources for Fold Forming

Delrin blocks in my bench vise. (With a sheet of copper being folded)

Based on my blog analytics, many of you find your way here while searching for things like “what kind of metal to use for fold forming,” “what’s a chasing hammer,” and “fold forming images.”  Today I’m going to make it easy on you and put a bunch of resource info for fold forming all in one spot.

Tools I Use While Fold Forming:

  • Forging Hammer
  • Bench Vise
  • Blow Torch (or acetylene air torch)
  • Delrin Blocks
  • Bench Knife
  • Delrin Mallet
  • Tubing Jig

My Personal Delrin Mallet

Places to Buy These Tools:

  • Forging Hammer – I use Otto Frei for most of my hammer needs.  Allcraft is also a good metalsmithing supplier.
  • Delrin Mallet – I made my mallet, but you can purchase one from Rio Grande or Otto Frei for large sums of money.
  • Blow Torch – You can get a simple blow torch from Lowes, Home Depot, or your local hardware store.  I use MAPP, but you can also use Propane.  They have kits that include a self igniting handle/tip.
  • Bench Vise – Also found at Home Depot/Lowes and Harbor Freight.  Just remember that you really do get what you pay for.
  • Bench Knife – more jewelry supply companies offer these.  I get the ones for my classes through Rio Grande.
  • Delrin Blocks – I get these special cut from Interstate Plastics.  They are really easy to work with, but it’s cheaper if you buy in bulk.
  • Tubing Jig – I made mine.  I posted instructions on the blog showing how you can make your own.  Or you can purchase one from Otto Frei, Rio Grande, or some other metalsmithing supplier.

Metal for Fold Forming

Fold formed samples

I use copper, brass, and sterling silver primarily in my fold forming.  Because I’m a glutton for punishment, I also use nickel, but I don’t recommend that unless you also like punishing yourself.

There are many silver suppliers out there – Rio Grande, Hauser & Miller, Hoover & Strong.  I don’t recommend any particular one.  For base metals, I love Indian Jewelers Supply.  They have great prices for copper, yellow brass, red brass (like NuGold), and nickel.

As far as gauge, for beginners try working in 26g or 24g.  I usually stick with 24g for sterling and yellow brass, and 24g or 22g for copper and red brass.

I hope that these resources help you in your quest to fold metal.  Please don’t forget that Charles Lewton-Brain, the inventor of this technique, has an amazing web resource guide.  And his book is wonderful!

Happy Hammering!