If you are keen on working with brass as the main element for your creative endeavors, whether it be for art or for functional items like lighting fixtures or accents, you have to learn how best to use it. Familiarize yourself with the material as well as the tools needed to cut and form it into different shapes.
Here are some tips to help you manipulate brass into whatever shape you need for your project.
There are different thicknesses of brass sheets and they are available in different sizes. Ensure you buy brass in the size and thickness needed for your project. There’s a special measuring wheel or gauge that you can use to determine or check the thickness of the sheet you will be using. Note that the higher the gauge number, the thinner the sheet.
You will need tools to assist you to bend or shape brass sheet metal. Ideally, a bending brake is the tool that you should use to bend the metal sheet properly. Otherwise, you can use the end of your workbench and fashion it with a length of wood, clamps, and a mallet for your own makeshift bending brake. Tap on the creaseline of the sheet if you want it bent at a sharper, more defined angle.
Since there are varying thickness sizes to sheet metals, there are different cutting tools you may have to use. Usually, aviation snips or tin snips are used for cutting these sheets. These snips look like scissors, but appear more heavy-duty with big screws and huge rubber grips. There are also different types cuts, such as left-cut, right cut, straight snip, and others, which are usually indicated by the color of the handle. You can also use hacksaws and even jigsaws to cut brass sheets.
Brass sheets are very easy to engrave. You can use an engraving machine to engrave bigger sheets, but a laser marking tool will do for smaller ones. To avoid mistakes and wasting materials, use a pencil to first draw out the outline that you would like to engrave.
Once you get the hang of different kinds of brass sheets and the materials needed for forming, you should be well on your way to creating nifty handicrafts, whether for hobby or business.
Make sure to source brass sheets and brass angle materials only from reliable metal suppliers.
How to Choose, Cut, and bend Sheet Metal. Makezine.com
Building with Brass. Instructables.com