2014 - The Drop Hammer and 19th-Century Die-Forming Processes for Contemporary Artisanal Manufacturing

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2014 - The Drop Hammer and 19th-Century Die-Forming Processes for Contemporary Artisanal Manufacturing

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In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the drop hammer was the tool of choice for three-dimensional die-struck jewelry components. Today, these machines can often be purchased at scrap metal prices, making them attractive to studio artists/craftsmen. This paper will include a brief history of the drop hammer and die forming as applied to contemporary artisanal jewelry manufacturing processes, with examples of jewelry produced and the systems used. The techniques of producing tools, the developments of technology, the physical process and metallurgical aspects as well as how these technologies are integrated into contemporary work, from analogue to exciting digital pathways, will be presented. You will get an understanding of the drop-hammer and die-forming processes and how technology becomes lost only to be reinvented. The cost basis, form and shape limitations, and metallurgical strength aspects pertaining to die striking will be examined. Finally, die striking will be compared to casting.

Author: Anthony Lent

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