Tuesday, June 7, 2016


I have been accumulating an assortment of metal dies that you can use with either a hammer or the hydraulic press. Some are for impressing a pattern on thick wire to then form into a bracelet. Some are shot plates that use a formed metal ball stuck into the impression, then hammered. These become embellishments soldered to your jewelry projects. I recently ordered a lovely brass Indian die from Ebay and wondered how I could use it with the hydraulic press.

Richard Sweetman in his DVD "Crushed Metal Cuff and Hydraulic Press", showed how to use pieces of bicycle inner tubing to press into the form. I had an inner tube I had picked up last year from the local bike shop and wanted to give that a try. I cut five round pieces, the same size as the metal die. Scotch tape held together my little package of die, annealed metal and five pieces of inner tubing. The result was a wonderful impression! I was so excited! I have to tell you I woke up at 3:00 in the morning remembering this part of the DVD, and was dressed in no time and preparing the stack to try with the hydraulic press. Here's the die with impressions in both copper and sterling silver.

Those inner tube pieces were destroyed!

Yesterday I visited the local bike shop again and came home with a lifetime supply! I'll be sure to post more photos of my impressions soon. Can't wait! For those of you without a hydraulic press, the video also showed the same method of impressing metal using a vise.


  1. Interesting...I saw people saying they were using rubber and lead for the press - I have tons of rubber here both black and silicone - hmmmm I need to go visit the shop and take some scraps - its 60 durometer and thicker than the inner tubes I'll have to check it out - if it works - if you like I can send you some - its large we use rubber that is about 6" to 16" wide when cut open and bigger

  2. Thanks for your comment. I've been following your new projects with interest. I popped a thin urethane piece and tried the lead from Potter USA. It worked well but now is misshaped and hard as a rock. I am waiting to hear from Kevin Potter at the moment with his suggestions. So that's why I'm using the bike inner tubing. It really works great with the small dies!! I appreciate your offering to send some of your thicker stuff. See how much the postage is first. I don't know how I could repay you for it.