Barnaby wanted one of my rings , but with a heart symbol on it, and I just didn't have a heart shaped punch.
So here is how I made the heart shaped punch.
You start with some tool steel, this is 4mm round rod.
This was then annealed. It is heated to roughly 1,000 deg c, until it glows orange.
It is left to cool on its own, so that the steel is as soft as possible.
The soft steel is now filed and sawn until the round end resembles the shape you are after, in this case a heart.
Here is the completed punch. The heart is 1.4mm high and 1mm wide. Quite small.
Another pic of the new heart shaped punch.
When I have finished, the punch is too soft to use, so it needs to be hardened.
The steel is heated again until it is that cherry red colour and then it is quenched immediately in cold water.
This turns the soft steel into very hard steel.
If you forget this step, the punch will lose its shape after a dozen uses.
A test punch is carried out onto a piece of scrap silver to make sure it leaves the correct impression.
I am quite happy with how the heart has turned out.
Here is the finished commission.
BR (hearts) JK
Hope you found that interesting.