Thursday, July 24, 2014

Tool Talk: Wood Forming Block + Curving Your Metal


I recently added a new tool to my work bench. Yay! I love adding new tools to the studio, especially a tool that makes metal working easier. The new addition is a wood forming block.


The block has two sides which enables me to acheive varying depths of curve. The above photo has the two large nylon rollers in place.


This photo shows the smaller nylon rollers in place.


I begin with a flat piece of metal.


Place the metal into the largest forming block. You always want to work from the largest form to the smallest form. Following this technique will form the bend into the piece without creating a crease in the metal.



Place the appropriate nylon roller into the block and press.


A lovely bend is taking shape.


For this piece I wanted a bit more shape so I went to the next form down and repeated the process.


Nice! 
So much better than creating a curve using a mallet and a baseball bat. That's how I used to acheive a curve to my pieces.



The wood forming block is inexpensive, under $40.00. There are other tools available to create a curved shape in metal but the wooden block appealed to me. I like the price. I like that it sits stable on a table top (as opposed to pliers), I like the ability to acheive various depth of curves and the nylon rollers won't marre the metal. I think this just might become my favorite tool! I purchased my forming block from Rio Grande.

Thanks for stopping by ABS today. Do you have a favorite tool in your studio? Share with us your favorite tool that you love to use.



Ema Kilroy is a lampworker and metalsmith living and working in Central Massachusetts. 


13 comments:

Gale said...

Beautiful clasp! And the tool is even more beautiful... It would make curves a whole lot easier than going out with my mallet to bang against my neighbor's chain link fence!

Becky Pancake said...

Hi Ema, I like learning about tools. Thanx for showing me this one.

Divya N said...

sounds like a time saver, I hate forming bangles on contains and bottles but do it anyway as I cant find wood blocks like this locally

Cynthia Blanton said...

Where can one find this wooden forming block?

rouladen said...

One of my favorite tools is actually toenail clippers. For some reason - maybe the subtle curve? - I can use them more easily than wire snips to get a close cut when I'm making loops.

Of course, they're not as durable, but at a dollar or less a pop, it's not a problem to replace them.

Ema Kilroy said...

I love how we all improvise to get our pieces exactly how we want them! Baseball bats, neighbors fence, containers and bottles...I love it! I updated the post to include a link for the forming block. http://www.riogrande.com/Product/Wood-Forming-Block-with-Nylon-Shapers-7/112248?Pos=5

sandi m said...

Thanks for sharing this Ema. I've already put it in my Rio Grande shopping cart! Your clasp is a beauty.

Cinnamon Jewellery said...

I really like the look of your wood forming block! I'm off to see if I can get one in the UK :D

Carol Dekle said...

This is a great forming block, and very affordable. Thanks for your post Ema! I love your work, especially your tree of life lampwork beads!

Carol Briody said...

That is probably the nifty-est tool I've seen in a long time! Love what it does and..now that's a great price! Thanks Ema!

Sharyl said...

I use the pliers, but this looks like a very dandy tool! The clasp is wonderful too! Thanks for sharing!

Ginger Bishop said...

Thanks for sharing. I love learning about new tools. My favorite tool is a pair of round nose pliers I picked up in Japan. All the jewelry there is so dainty that I jumped at the chance to get little dainty pliers to try some of the ideas I saw. Now I grab them first for almost everything I use pliers for.

maryharding said...

What a great tool Ema!! I love tools too but had not seen this one. Looks like it would be good for rounding out cuff bracelets and bracelet bars.Thanks so much for sharing it with us!!