Texturing Metal

Under construction – surprise!

On Texturing

Texturing metal is a lot of fun and there are a ton of tools available, to create interesting patterns.  Almost anything can be used:  gravel, sidewalks, leaves, fabric, hammers, paper, bits, etc.  Patterns can be etched, hammered, drilled, sanded, bur-ed, built-up and rolled into the metal. There are probably other methods.

Texturing adds depth and interest to your work.  Combined with the usage of patinas, the beauty of your texture can be further enhanced.  Although, some textures, are best left “as is”.  It’s a personal choice.  Which is why, creating your own textures, allows you to fully express your visions.

That said, there are a ton of amazingly beautiful textures for metal out there in the interweb!  Check out my just a few of them on my Pinterest Board:  Textures.  With the advent of cheap, easy to purchase laser cutters, many more people are creating their own texture papers and vinyls.

forest-of-leaves-pattern (Forest of Leaves pattern at Supply Diva on Etsy) There are manufactured textures available in nickelcopper or brass plates used in the rolling mill or by hammering them against metal (more on this later).

bonny-doon-pattern-plate-2 (Bonny Doon pattern plate #17 at Rio Grande)

You probably already have plenty of tools to create your own patterns – without buying anything.

Below, are some of the textures that I made today.  Just to show you the variety of finishes, easily produced.

Hammered Textures

textured-metal-patterns  On this sheet of copper are 6 patterns created with hammers.

Ball-peen-texture I used the ball peen end of my chasing hammer fretz-chasing-hammer for this texture.

small-ball-peen-texture A smaller ball peen was used for this texture. ball-peen-hammer

raising-hammer-texture  My Peddinghaus raising hammer created this. raising-hammer

side-of-chasing-hammer-pattern Used the side of my chasing hammer’s head here. fretz-chasing-hammer

thin-planishing-hammer-sm Employed the thick edge of my Fretz/Good planisherFretz-Good-narrow-planishing--

thin-raising-hammer-texture The thin side of the Fretz/Good planisher. fretz-good-planisher


Bits and Burs

I also played around with bits and burs on some pieces of tin.  Follows, are the results.

metal-textures-1 Here are the textures, pictured with their tools.  Closeups follow.  The texture on the left was carved with a 3.5 mm round ball bur.  You can make cross-hatching, swoops and single-directional textures with this and other similar burs. On the right is a texture created using a checkering fileRound-Bur-pattern  checkering-file-pattern Click for closeups.

metal-textures-2 On the left, a textured made with a crimped-wire steel brush  Steel-wire-wheel  and on the right a diamond discdiamond-disc  The face of the diamond disc was used.

metal-textures-4  Here, we have a texture created with a Sanding Drum or Drum Sander  sanding-drum  and one from 320 grit wet/dry sandpaper.  320-sandpaper-metal-finish


metal-textures-5  These are satin finish wheels.  They are similar to scouring pads and come in a variety of grits.  Gesswein-satin-finish-wheel  This is the roughest wheel – the extra cut. For a slightly smoother texture try the medium cutsatin-finish-wheel-med


Lastly, there’s the Mizzy heatless wheel  Mizzy-wheel  which comes in a variety of sizes. Mizzy-heatless-wheel

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