August 21, 2014

Double-Sided Stamped Pendant

We get a lot of questions about the best way to design a double-sided pendant so I thought I would share my favorite techniques, along with a few tips.

Thin gauge metal, like 24 gauge, will not accommodate stamped impressions on both sides. In the picture to the right, you can see that the impressions on the front leave letters protruding and showing through on the back. To that end, we recommend 24 gauge metal for one-sided pendants. Don't worry about the impressions showing through on the back; that is how you can tell it's handmade! In fact, years ago, those scuff marks and protruding letters were sought out when purchasing traditional Native American jewelry to make sure it was handmade and not cast.

Double-Sided Riveted Pendant
The best (well, I should say the cleanest) way to create a double-sided pendant is to stamp on two separate blanks and then rivet or solder them together. For this example, let's focus on riveting.

In the picture to the right we stamped two 24 gauge blanks and used the Riveting System on all four corners. Click here to view the details of this DIY Design.

In the project below, we actually riveted three pieces together (one copper blank on either side of the sterling blank) using Nail Head Rivets.

Remember, when riveting, punch and rivet one set of holes at a time. If you punch all holes in all the pieces right away, there's a high likelihood that your last holes won't line up. Aisha explains this very well in her class Riveting with Nail Head Rivets.

Double-Sided Pendant on a Thick Blank
You can stamp on both sides of a blank that is at least 18 gauge in thickness, but make sure to stamp pretty lightly. The harder you stamp, the more the letters will protrude on the back and the deeper the scuff marks will be.

Even if you use a thick gauge, you will still get slight scuff marks from the bench block. You might think that some padding (like a polish pad or piece of leather) between the metal and the bench block would help with this, but in fact it makes it worse because it causes the stamp to protrude through the backside a bit which is much harder to buff out.

On the below project, you can see the light scuff marks caused by stamping on the front and the back.

To remove the scuff marks, I buffed the blank with 800 grit sand paper, followed by 3000 grit sand paper, and then a Pro Polish Pad. Buffing those scuff marks out took only about 2 minutes. Click here to view our mix pack of sand paper with various grits. Sanding will leave your piece with a slight texture but I actually prefer that look. To bring it back closer to a mirror finish, check out the tips and tools in Joe's Polishing with Power Tools class.

We hope this helps you create wonderful two-sided pendants! Have you tried it yet? We'd love to hear your tips and tricks! 


LiveWorkDream said...

Love the sandpaper grit tip! I do 2-sided stamping all the time but never considered using 800 or 3000 grit. My method takes way longer than 2 minutes. Thank you for this time saver.

Unknown said...

So very helpful