Thanks to beautiful art pieces around the world and shows like Forged in Fire, working with metal has been rising in popularity among artists and hobbyists alike as of late. Whether you are setting out to create the next great sculpture in town or looking to craft a realistic prop for your next Comic Con cosplay, working with brass sheets from trusted brass suppliers like Rotax Metals may be the way to go.
If this is the first time you’ll be working with brass, the entire process may feel intimidating. Unlike working with plaster or other common materials, brass and other metals are a little more difficult to work with for the first-timer. However, knowing what to look out for and how to go about shaping brass to your needs can help you succeed. With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you out:
Know What You’re Buying
First of all, you’ll need to get your hands on some quality brass sheets. While browsing the selection of sheets offered by brass suppliers, pay close attention to the gauge indicated. This number will indicate just how thick or thin a particular sheet is, with higher numbers indicating thinner sheets. If you would like to have a high polish finish, try to find sheets with protective film that can be left on until the last moment. If you are unsure about the capabilities of a particular gauge of brass sheet, do not hesitate to ask brass suppliers for advice as they are always happy to help.
Plan Out Your Project
Another important factor to consider when buying brass is how you’ll be using the brass in your project. Application is key because it will help you determine how thick you need the brass sheet to be. Similarly, knowing the exact design you plan to pursue may allow you to purchase more specific types of brass. For example, if length is necessary, it would be better for you to purchase a brass rod rather than sculpting the shape from brass sheets. On the other hand, if you only plan to coat something with brass, a relatively thin sheet may be enough for your design. Knowing your design ahead of time also gives brass suppliers a better idea of your needs and allows them to provide you with better suggestions.
Investing in the Necessary Tools
Bending and cutting brass will require you to use special tools to get the job done well. However, sheet metal bending brakes tend to be a little expensive. To start off, you may want to use the edge of your workbench, two clamps, a sturdy length of wood, and a mallet to fashion your own temporary bending brake. If you find yourself working with metals frequently enough, that’s the best time to go invest in a real bending break. Other tools like tinsnips and jigsaws are always a great investment at the start since they can be used for other projects.
How to Choose, Cut, and Bend Sheet Metal, makezine.com