Embossing Sheetmetal Tutorial

A buddy of mine has a hand cranked portable forge. It is missing the heat shield that keeps the pump handle from burning up. Since the shield had a compound curve he asked me if I could build one. I suggested that we emboss something on the shield to make it stiffer. He decided he wanted an anvil.

ClLip Art Anvil

So I went on line and found a clip art anvil

Graphic Embossed

I embossed the clip art to showed how it would look embossed on the forge heat shield

Anvil in CAD

The next step was to make a pattern that could be traced on the heat shield metal.  I took the anvil clip art and inserted it into a CAD program.  I use ProE.

Anvil Outline

I drew the lines around the clip art and then cleaned them up and straightened anything crooked. This is the CAD lines without the clip art.  You could just draw the anvil a lot quicker I think.

Anvil Pattern

Then the outline was printed out on paper at the scale to fit the heat shield and the pattern cut out.

Outline on Metal

The paper template was used to draw the outline on the sheet metal.

Bead Roller Offset dies

This is the business of the powered sheet metal bead roller used to offset the metal to make the anvil.  The bead roller is a started as a cheap hand bead roller and I added a gearmotor, controls, and a stand.

Practice Offsets

Some practice offsets are made to check the operation and make any tweaks needed.


Anvil on Metal

The embossed image of the anvil was formed by running the offset dies around the drawn outline.  You can see where the draw lines were overrun here and there.

Anvil Offset Cleaned and Tweaked

The overruns were hammered out then the shield wire brushed to get rid of the rust and hide the hammer marks.

Tipped Edge to Back

The bottom edge of the shield was tipped toward the backside of the shield.  I did this with the bead roller as I did not have a brake then.

Shrinking the Flange

The flange has been slightly shrunk using a harbor freight shrinking die and stand. Shrinking the outer edge of the flange causes the shield to curve.  The flange will be worked on until it matches the surface on the forge where it will be attached.

Fully Shrunk Flange

The flange is shrunk to the point where it needs to be trial fitted to the forge.

Shrunk Flange Backside

This is what the backside of the shield looks like at this stage.

3 Hole Shield Mount

The shield will mount in the three holes on the inclined surface of the forge.


Shield Clamped for Tweak

Clamps hold the shield onto the forge while the bolt hole locations are marked and any tweaking of the shape needed is done.

Finished Forge Shield

The holes were drilled and the shield bolted on.  Not too many blacksmiths have a forge with a shield like this.