(Excerpted from the Basic Die-Forming chapter)

This method of "Non-Conforming Die Process" was developed in the 1960's by Richard Thomas at the Cranbrook Academy of Art. Die-forming allows you to repeat a single form into multiple elements without the use of a costly hydraulic press. (9-1) The only materials necessary are a piece of plywood, two pieces of tempered Masonite®, a sheet of annealed (softened) sheet metal, and four bolts with two washers and a wing-nut each. Steel ball daps make satisfactory punches for sinking the sheet metal. Remember, the larger your design, the thicker the plywood and sheet metal must be to support it.  Jewelry-scale work can use ˝" plywood and 22 gauge metal or thinner.  (9-2) Designs for die-forming can be asymmetrical but should avoid "peninsula" shapes which project into the interior of the silhouette drawing. "Peninsula"  shapes are delicate and break down during the hammering . . .