Drilling, cutting, and piercing of sheet metal is an integral part of jeweler making. The decorations apply for soft metals such as gold, sterling, and copper. Hard metals have their approach when it comes to punching holes. This post will take you through the basics of drilling into metals for jewelry making. You will get a perfect guide on how to drill holes in metal for jewelry making. The idea is to share skills that can help you create your unique design. If you read this post from drilling advisor, you will realize that you must have metal for punching, a small drill, and a steel plate with a matching drill bit.
The post will further explain the actual process on how you should mark the metal and use a center punch to create a dent for drilling as the final part.
You do not need fancy equipment or tools for standard metal gauges that make jewelry.
· Simple punches such as the ones below will do the job
· Metal punch pliers
· Hole punch kit
· Spiral twist hand drill
· Two-hole twist
The type of punch you pick depends on preference and your budget. Note that every punching tool works best for particular gauges. To illustrate how to drill holes in metal for jewelry making, we use the hand-hole punch with varying drill bit sizes for different hole sizes.
What you need
· A flat face metal hammer
· A steel block for a steady surface for hammering
· Metal punch
· Metal center punch
· Strong carpentry nail or a sharp-pointed object that can dent your metal
How to Drill Holes in Metal for Jewelry?
Step 1: Measure and mark the metal
Mark the exact position where the punched hole will pass through. Use a ruler and a sharp marker for taking measurements and marking the possible punching position. Center the hole on the metal if you are seeking a perfect hanging, center the hole, making sure both sides balance.
Step 2: Make a dent to guide the punch tool or drill
The little dent you make guides you when looking for the perfect place to punch. If the dent you make is small, slide the piece of metal beneath the punch bit until you hear the bit click on the hole created by the dent.
Step 3: Punch the metal
Squeeze the punch tool handles simultaneously to get the hole. You can opt for drilling the hole instead of using the punching hand tool to create a dent. The dent makes it easier for the drill to work through the metallic surface without scratching or skidding.
Introduce the center punch tool or any sharp object to mark the center of the punch mark. Take the metal on a steel block and position the center punch point in the middle. Tap the upper part of the center punch using a hammer to create a dent.
Step 4: Use the finished product as a template
The step is optional, and you can use the pendant to create another one by aligning it with the next piece of metal to get the hole exactly as the template. A perfect image of the template is possible if you use a stencil to trace the hole using the sharp marker tool.
You have successfully learnt how to drill holes in metal for jewelry making.
Tips for using When Punching Holes in Metal
· Use a black (visible) marker to mark the metal blank. The marking helps in making accurate measurements.
· Use a center punch hammer on a steel block when creating the dent to increase measurement accuracy when using a metal hole punch.
· Punch the hole on the side of the metal that will face outwards to keep the sharp edges away is not visible
· Use a round needle file to smoothen the inner edges raised by the drilling activity.
Choosing and Using a Hole Punch Tool in Metal for Jewelry Making
Jewelry makers who base their pendants on metal must use different tools, including a drill to punch holes as part of the process. As a beginner, you may not see sense in punching holes on metal to come up with something spectacular. A drill is one of the numerous tools you can use to make holes in metals intended for jewelry making.
There is that good feeling that captivates you whenever you pas one metal after another as you keep stock of your jewels leaving the store. There is always something special about drilling, punching, and cutting into the metal to make a pendant. Discard your old ways and start thinking of new forms of punching holes in metal.
Types of Metal Punches You Can Use in Jewelry Making
A Screw Punch
The hole puncher requires that you turn a small screw to create a hole in that piece of metal. It is a convenient and handy little pouch suitable for softer metals with 18 and 24 thick gauges. You can use this punching tool to create holes in pennies for earrings. Using the screw punch on pennies makes them dull sooner.
Exert some pressure on the screw punch to get through thicker metals. Please note the alternative tools for hard materials.
The pliers are seemingly the most popular and accessible to many jewelers using metal. Any store you walk into will have a stock of the hole punch pliers. It is easy to use the tool when handling soft metals of up to 18 gauges of thickness. By placing the punch where the hole is supposed to be, apply some pressure on the handles, and you have your hole.
The only problem is getting a hole in the middle of a larger metal piece despite its efficiency on smaller materials. They are easy to store and put them in the same place as other jewelry equipment.
What are the Other Uses of Punch Pliers?
You can use this hole punch pliers in leatherwork to make holes or use them in shrinking plastics. Always look at the back of the hole for unwanted protrusions that need filing or further cutting. Using the punch pliers for non-metal materials, it may wear or tear the punches so fast. Therefore, it is advisable to use other available options to make holes in suede, leather, or even shrinking plastics.
Are you interested in having a creative new collection of jewelry want to surprise your special person with a pendant? With the instructions shared on this post, you can prove to them that you can drill holes in metal for jewelry. Metals used to make jewelry have different gauges, which calls for getting the right punching tools to match your gauge. For a perfect drill activity on the metal, apply appropriate lubrication on the drilling bit.