Beginners are often intimidated by metal work.  Perhaps they aren't that confident about using some of the tools.  But it is not that hard to do basic work cutting shapes from sheet metal. It's well worth the effort as you can then get unique and truly hand made components.

Granted not everyone has the opportunity to attend metal smith classes.  Indeed, some of these classes may be way more than some might need.  So check out Connie Fox's very helpful tutorial on working with sheet metal instead.  (Update : link no longer available).

She thoroughly covers sawing, drilling, filing, sanding, buffing and finishing.  Her instructions even gives a list of saw blade sizes for different thicknesses of sheet metal.  You can still drill without a drill press or buff without a flex shaft.  A good drill with the right attachments will get the job done.

She also has a pretty comprehensive list of all the different ways you can finish the component. I often use the rounded (peen) side of my ball peen hammer to get a lovely texture and soothe away my frustrations at the same time!

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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