By Bill Fretz

#1 Cutting a Straight Line. 

 It is really difficult to draw a straight line on a curved surface.  Lay a piece of masking tape on the metal surface and the tape edge will act as the line. It will be straight and easy to adjust if needed.

Next, saw along the tape edge for a perfectly straight line. Another option is to draw a line (curved or straight) on the tape. Then just saw through the tape for an accurate piercing.


#2 Positioning on a Stake

 Sometimes a metal shape has to be oriented on the stake in a certain position.  The shape may have a compound curve and need to be aligned, so the raising and planishing will be true around the cylinder.  The tape can be placed on the stake so the edge of the metal is aligned with the tape as it is rotated.  This keeps the whole project even. The tape  acts as a guide.



 #3 Protecting the Stake

 If there is a danger of hitting a stake with a hammer then tape can be useful.

This is particularly true with sharp cross peens and small rounded embossing hammers approaching the metal edges. Place a few layers of masking tape to make a small cushion where you want to protect the stake from missed hammer blows.  It’s a quick way of protecting the stake. 


  #4 Hammering a Straight Line

 When hammering a straight flute the tape makes a good reference line.  Usually it takes a few courses or hammerings between annealing, to get the lines sharp and the tape is easy to reapply as the fluting becomes more refined. 


#5 Hammering a Concave Line.

 Concave flutes are hard to draw on the project without the help of the tape as a reference line.  The ends of the tube or shape can be nicked with a saw blade to indicate where the ends of the flutes are to terminate. Apply the tape between these marks as the project progresses to keep the original lines and concept. 



 #6  Hammering a Curved Domed Line 

Forming domed curved flutes cannot usually be done in one course. By cutting masking tape into thin strips, approximately 6mm wide, you can bend the tape along the top edge of the curves.  A marker pen usually leaves a ragged line on the forming marks and the tape will leave a smooth curve to follow.  



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