Dapping tools and why you need them

August 27, 2009

Do you use metal clay? Or metal sheet? Or metal disks?

dapping tool set

If you do metalwork, making a smooth finished product is a major goal. Dapping punches with their ball-shaped ends are a huge help. They’re used to “dome” metal. (So some call them “doming punches”.) Think of adding depth to pendants…or making each half of your own unique bead!

“Dappling” punches (as we’ve also seen them called) are usually used in an affordable set with another dapping tool

dapping block

Dapping blocks are a block of wood or steel with domes (half-spheres) of various sizes indented into the sides.

You just place the metal, or metal clay, against one of the dimples in the dapping block. Then you work it smooth, rounding it by “dapping” at it with the punch. See our April 8, 2011 “How to Dap and Dome Metal Jewelry” article for do’s, don’ts, and inspirational jewelry ideas.

Dapping blocks are also wonderful for forming a domed filigree, as Mara Marlow did in her “Eglantyne” necklace for the Rings & Things Your Designs Rock design contest:

Domed filigrees made with a dapping block

Domed filigrees made with a dapping block

Share dapping ideas or questions — leave a comment!

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  • Erin Prais-Hntz August 27, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    I love new tools! I had to settle for the wood block becuase the other was a tad pricey, but it works just fine. I have had a lot of fun with it. But I am saving my pennies for the day when I can buy the nifty metal one…and a Swanstrom circle cutter!
    Enjoy the day!

  • Dave Robertson August 28, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    The circle cutter is the perfect thing to go with dappign tools — thanks for the suggestion, Erin 🙂