Simple Treasure Box, hammer-formed brass

by shelbyvision on February 24, 2011

I made this for a birthday gift for my wife a couple weeks ago. I wanted it to be simple, since I didn’t have a lot of time. The design is nothing new, although I didn’t consciously copy anything, there are probably millions of them with the same shape around the world, but maybe not so many made exactly this way. This is actually the second one I made; the first one I was not very happy with the way the lid fit, so on this one I added the rim, which gives it a much more finished look.

The first two pictures show the basic forming of the bottom piece. It was raised in three stages, with annealing between each stage. the first picture shows the beginning stage, and the second picture show it after the third, raising completed.

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After The basic raising, I was able to estimate the size to cut out for the lid, and then started forming the lid. In the first picture, I’m pushing out the brass from behind, on a sandbag. I started with a very small punch and followed with successively larger punches. After the largest punch, I started working on it from the outside, ending up with sort of a cone shape.

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After annealing, I formed the knob with a punch on a hole in a maple block. then the next picture shows the stake, and next, hammering around and around on that stake to form the undercut on the knob. Then finally,  planishing.

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After the lid was mostly completed, it was back to finishing the bottom part. There was a lot of back-and-forth between the bottom and the lid, to get them to fit together properly. The first picture show the bottom being planished. The periphery was planished on the same stake it was raised on. The next picture shows one of the steps of forming the flair. Then the rim piece, made from 1/8″ brass rod, formed into a circle and brazed with high-temperature yellow brazing rod, so the seam doesn’t show, and there’s no chance of it coming apart when it gets silver-soldered to the rim.

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Finally, the finished piece, three different views.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

shelbyvision November 11, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Smita, it sounds like you didn’t get it hot enough. You have to heat it up until it glows red all over, preferably not in bright light, so you can tell better when it’s glowing.

Smita Bhat November 10, 2011 at 8:56 pm

I was just a bit quires to know how was brass annealed… I was working on Brass last month and every time i annealed it only became harder.

Kathy St. Martin February 25, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Classic beautiful work and execution sir.

SooZeQue February 24, 2011 at 11:13 am

Happy Wife, Happy Life. It’s beautiful!

Dillon Chandler February 24, 2011 at 9:45 am

An obviously arduous task, made to look easy. Excellent shaping techniques there sir.

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