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Stamping on Metal


Learn to stamp metal from the pro who started it all. In this FREE class, Stamping master Lisa Niven Kelly teaches you the basics to start stamping on metal. This class covers the necessary tools and materials needed for this fun and addicting technique. In addition, you’ll learn how to make a pendant by stamping on a metal blank, punching a hole, and oxidizing and polishing the metal. Get out your letter stamps, bench block, and hammer and get ready to perfect your technique with Lisa! This class has a running time of 38 minutes.

hi I'm Lisa Niven Kelly founder of Beaducation.com and you are here to learn

how to make some stamped metal jewelry we're all set to teach you that so I've been teaching stamping since about 2002

and I've written a book and I've taught classes and I'm really excited to share a bunch of tips and tricks with you

[Music] let's get started talking about these

tools here a couple things you need for stamping just the basic set up I'm going

to show you what it is here and then we're gonna go into depth hammer hole

punch pliers bench block some letter

sets and some design stamps there's all kinds of other fancy stuff other than

that but let's talk about these basics first so you can get started let's talk

first about letter sets just like anything else you're gonna find letter sets in different quality in different

prices so the cheaper stuff might be made over in China or India and then

there's some nice sets made here in the United States the stuff in the United States is going to be a nice high

quality hardened tool steel and that's gonna make your stamps last they also

oftentimes will come in a nice box like this where each letter has its own little slot which comes in really handy

when you're kicking into production work so if you're working with a set like this and you pull out the are all the

other letters are going to bunch together you're gonna have a hard time finding your letters it seems a little silly but it's really helpful so the

United States high-quality sets also tend to have a little indicator on the

stamp it might be a little notch or it might be the actual letter and that's

where you're going to put your thumb when you're stamping and it helps you orient your stamp so that your letter

faces the right way that's also very helpful so a lot of little bells and whistles on the higher end stuff but to

be honest the cheaper sets are a great set to get started on too just be aware that they come coated in grease so

you'll see the stinky grease all over it that's a good thing because it kept them from rusting when

being shipped from overseas so just grab a paper towel take out each letter and

wipe it off you can leave a little bit of grease on there but don't try to wash it off with soap and water

here's some more tools you're going to need let's talk about design stamps so just like the letter stamps these are

going to be made in various countries and various designs out there since stamping is picked up you'll find a lot

more designs on the market and there's some really fun ones but design stamps can be pretty tricky so when I get into

the demo portion of this class I'm going to show you some tips and tricks okay design stamps and I've got these sitting

just in the top of one of my letter sets holding them up or you can get little

design stamp trays we offer a couple of those benchmark you need a nice pristine

clean bench block with very hardened tool steel remember don't let this roll

around in your bag with the rest of your hammers and such because it'll Knick it up in any of those indentations in the

block will show up in the back of your jewelry when you go to hammer on it so let's take good care of your bench block

you're going to also need a way to pop a hole in your blank if you are going to be adding a jump ring and hanging it as

a pendant so of course if you've got a flex shaft tool you can drill a hole or

sometimes I just use my dremel tool to drill a hole there's other hand tools available as well screw down hole punch

works well and my favorite for a thin blank is the hole punch pliers it's

pretty simple I'm going to show you how to use that when we get to the demo portion as well alright so now you need

a hammer to strike your stamps with make sure that your hammer is at least one pound in weight which is 16 ounces so

you're going to need that weight behind the blow to get a deep impression those light hammers like them girly hammers

with the flower handles or the pink handles mm-hmm we need a heavy hammer than that so for years I just used a

basic old nail pounding hammer just a household hammer here and it worked just

fine and so that is an option just cheap from your local hardware store or what I

use now pretty much exclusively is a brass mallet and what's nice about this guy is

the brass it's a pound as well it also comes in two-pound we'll get to that but the brass is a very dense dense metal so

when you stamp it sits and it hits it like a dead blow hammer you don't get any bounce back which can kind of cause

a little double impression with your stamp one thing to note about the brass head mallet is it is a soft metal even

though it's dense so the head of the hammer will get all dinged up and that's totally fine it's actually nice because

if you were to hit your stamp a little bit off the head of the stamp sinks into

the hammer and it distributes the blow better rather than the hammer just bouncing right off so I really like the

brass head mallets don't use your chasing hammer for stamping although traditionally this

tool is used for striking other tools it will ding it up and it's not heavy

enough so I tend to use my chasing hammer for forging wirework and so forth and I want to keep it nice and clean but

the main thing is it's not heavy enough and since we're talking about hammers I do use a plastic mallet to flatten out

my metal if it distorts it all while I'm stamping it we'll talk about that in a little bit last but not least we need a

way to get the dark into the impressions so you get to see that contrast there's a bunch of different ways you can do

that you can use these solutions liver of sulfur or silver black which actually react with the metal to cause the dark

then buff it away from there we'll get into that or you can do the cheap and dirty way like I do often using a

sharpie pen or a permanent pen what's nice about this is it comes in colors so you can also add colors down into the

impression we'll talk a little bit about that but with these two liver of sulfur and silver black I'm going to refer you

to their product pages on beech occation comm so we have a lot of information and some little product videos there so you

can learn about them whichever way you choose to add the dark you're going to need to buff it off of the surface of your metal so you can use steel wool and

you want to find the finest steel wool that you can get you don't want to texture up your metal too much followed

by a polish cloth or pro polish pads do the job of both of those in one step

and this has a little micro abrasive in it as well as the polish compound so it'll buff it off really nicely all

right so to summarize what you need to get started is a hammer a bench block a

letter set some design stamps a hole punch a way to add black a way to polish

it off and let's get started stamping as you can see we have a large variety of

metals as well as shapes what you're looking at here is a bunch of pre-stamped blanks and some cast pieces

the metals you see are brass copper this

is gold fill some nickel silver some sterling and silver filled and some

anodized aluminum these are the metals that we tend to stick with when making stamped metal jewelry but you can stay

upon any metal as long as it's not too hard where it will damage your stamps for practice I tend to stick with copper

because it's nice and cheap out of all the blanks that we sell still the plain

circle is by far the most popular and we carry a large variety in all these metals for thickness we tend to stick

with 24 gauge or thicker [Music]

okay here comes the fun part we're ready to start stamping I'm gonna work first

with a piece of 24 gauge copper sheet to practice on got my bench block I've got

my hammer and I've just grabbed any old letter here to practice a couple other

things to point out notice my bench block has no padding under it it's just flat on my table if I have any padding

under the bench block I'm gonna get a little bounce and a shadow look and that's not what I'm going for so flat on

your table before lining up and all that practicing design and so forth I just

want to talk about how to hold the stamp and how to hold the hammer so when you hold your stamp make sure you're holding

it straight up you don't want it tilted to any direction and don't hold it too high because then it's too hard to

stabilize I kind of put my pinkie down here and hold it sort of low and I press

slightly into the metal but I'm not pushing really hard also don't give it the death grip here

with your stabilizing hand because your hand will get real tired real soon now over here on the hammer I don't hold way

back on the handle because it's a little harder to control I'm going to let the

weight of the head do most of the work and I'm going to hold it Midway right about here when striking you want to

come right on top try not to come in and go like this or like this or like this

or you might not get a really good impression so let's give it a go I give

it one strike that looks pretty good we're gonna zoom in in a bit

if you feel like you don't have a lot of strength in your arm and you want to give it to wax that's fine and let me

show you too light and too heavy and then we'll zoom in and take a look to

light you won't be able to see the ink or the oxidation once you get it into

your impression and too heavy you might pick up an edge so let's zoom in here

you might pick up an edge of your letter and it won't look real good so those

first three Z's that I did on the top look great the next one you can see is a little light and the next one I got a

little crazy I want to point out that tiny little line to the right at the bottom of the Z that's what happens when

you stamp too hard you catch the edge of your stamp so grab a letter don't worry

about spelling yet just get used to how to hold the stamp and how to hold the hammer and practice practice that for a

little bit now that you practice how to

hold the stamp and how to hit the stamp let's practice lining the letters up left to right and top to bottom as well

one thing we need to talk about before we move on though I want you to take a look at some of these stamps so here's a

Z that we were using this was the uppercase kismet it's a beach ocation original set and this is a Z from the

economy uppercase set this is an a from a USA made uppercase set I want to point

out on these two stamps you see how you can't really count on the stamp excuse

me the letter being centered on the stamp look at this a it's way over on

the side and the Z is way down at the bottom so we're going to have to accommodate for that when we stamp

because ideally I know what you're thinking you want to just draw a line and line up your stamp and hit it that's

not always going to make sure that you have a centered letter I will say on the beach occasionally it will

yes I'm bragging about our stamps there you really awesome you can line up your stamp to a line and get a straight line

I want to talk a little bit about that later for now I more want to help you problem solve for the stamps that don't

have a perfectly centered letter so let's start by drawing a line this is

one of a few techniques you can use I'm gonna draw a line just right here with

sharpie and a straight edge and I'm gonna zoom in a little bit for this

because what I want to show you is again because the a is way off center if I

just lined up my stamp and hit it then I'm not going to be able to make sure that everything else is lined up so what

I do is I look for the reflection of my letter I'm not sure if you can see it on

camera but I lay down my stamp peek

underneath it see if the a is where I want it to be left to right tip it up

and stamp it you can also tilt it to the side and peek under this way or the

other way if you're left-handed what I notice though that I need to do first is polish up my metal a little bit so see

how you can kind of see the a there look what happens after I pull I don't want to remove my line but I can have a

nicer reflection here there now you can really see it do you see it there so lay

it down and stamp

so these are coming out okay so you can

work with the top-to-bottom spacing this way or if I was spelling backwards

I would lay the stamp to the left here look for the reflection of exactly where I want it to be and set it up now again

with practicing like this just grab one letter oops I slid off but it came okay

just grab one letter so you're not spending a bunch of time right now working on spelling out a word looks

more practice or more concentrate on getting everything lined up so that's

not too bad and remember they're not gonna come out perfect come on now you can't make it perfect you don't want it

to look like it's a machine but I'm gonna teach you ways to get it glows all

right one more trick is we're gonna use some painters tape now this has a couple

different added benefits some people use this to actually tape their piece down to the bench block if we're using

something smaller but I'm gonna use it as an edge you can use a couple of

pieces of painter tape if you want a little more thickness to it but we can do what this is lay down your stamp and

scoot it down lightly till you feel the edge of the protruding letter touch the

tape and then stamp see how the bottom of that a is right there with the tape

it's not a big deal if you actually stamped in a little of the tape because it'll pull out that's a great way to get

them lined up in a straight line that's not going to help you get them lined up

perfectly left to right but you will get a pretty straight line

one thing to note about this it works for almost all the stamps but if you're using a lowercase stamp let's

say it's one that hangs low like a J or a G you're going to have to accommodate for that and let it overlap a little bit

I want to demonstrate what I was talking about with our original stamp sets and

here's a set here this is the uppercase kismet they each other on home they each have a

letter on the stamp and they're coated in nickel to avoid rusting so let me

show you how to line these guys up it's really a thing of beauty you can

actually line up the edge of the stamp with a line right there and because

these are so precision made each letter is perfectly centered on your stamp so

that they line up nice and straight look at that oh my gosh I just want to show you one little trick with the lowercase

ok this tip I'm going to show you actually applies to both the lower case and the upper case and I showed you how

to get a straight line but to line them up left to right what I do is take this

stamp you can again use the reflection technique or I take the stamp and sort

of cover about halfway of the previous letter if I'm stamping off to the right

so I've covered halfway of the Z in front of it and that gives me great

spacing that works well for the uppercase and the lowercase let me grab

a little lowercase M here the only

letter it doesn't work well for is a thin letter like an L or lowercase I

so you'll notice here that because my letters the lowercase are smaller they're shifted up higher a little bit

so you have to remember there's a little space between the letter and the edge of the stamp you see if I can bring this up

for you this space here you have to remember that space is going to pop in

there so if I was stamping a lot a full word here I might want to shift my lowercase down a little bit let me show

you a couple of things on this lowercase stamps of our originals because I don't

want you to be confused when you look at them now you see this K here it doesn't

look centered on the stamp it's shifted way high on the stamp and that's so that

the bulk of the K is centered so don't be confused when you see that don't think that they aren't perfectly

centered they're centered so that the bulk of the K and the top of the J will line up with each other

give it a try you'll see what I mean now

we need to talk about design stamps they're a little trickier than working with the letter sets and they need a

little more attention so we've got two options here sometimes if it's a simple

design I might work with my one pound hammer if it has a little more detail it's gonna be a little harder to stamp

so I might bump it up to the two pound let's show you how that works now remember with design stamps the more

detail to the stamp the more hard it is to impress because you're not removing

the metal you're moving it and all that movement of the metal needs to happen at the same time and smoothly so I'm going

to use this star stamp it's pretty straightforward it's not too hard and I'm just gonna practice here and that

turned out pretty good let me show you there it's got the story let me grab a

more detailed stamp like this large

heart spiral so the more detail to a stamp or the bigger in size the harder

it might be stamp let me try just one wack now that

came out okay but as you can see if you compare it to like these Z's over here it's really light so I would have

preferred it was a little bit deeper I did a good job at getting the entire stamp to impress but I wanted to impress

a little deeper so let's try two strikes a little bit better let's try the big

old hammer that's a little better too

now something interesting to point out on this one it's deeper on the left then on the right you may not be able to see it on

camera but trust me it is so that leads me to my next technique which we call

the Tilton tap this is a way of stamping that we do to make sure that all sides

of the design impress so what I'm going to do is hit it more than once and I'm

going to slightly tilt my stamp each time I hit it and I'm over-exaggerating here so you can see it on camera but

really I'm gonna do it just tiny bits and then strike each time sort of think

of it maybe as tilting north east south west that was pretty good so let me

demonstrate that with a more detailed stamp here's the castle stamp and it has

a lot of detail to it so let's problem-solve this guy it's pretty big

it's like a nine millimeter stamp let's try first with one strike with the one pound hammer that came out pretty good I

did get all the parts of it but it's a little light so let me come in with the

two pound that's better

now how about one more let me grab a really difficult one I'm gonna grab this

tiara because I'm actually gonna use it my finished pendant that we're gonna make in a minute and this guy's hard to get to impress

all the parts that was basically

horrible I hardly even got the right side of it look at that you saw my hammer kind of slip hands are

a little suede so what I need to do and this is why I always practice a design stamp and copper before moving on even

if I feel like I'm the best Stamper in the world so I need to press down a little harder to make sure everything is

sitting right and again I only caught the right side so this tells me that I

kind of tilt to the right without realizing it so I'm going to try to overcompensate and tilt it a little bit

to the left that was a little better so this is a

great example of why I would use the tilt and top method with the stamp with

this much detail so let's give that a try and there we go much better

so the project I'm about to demo for you is going to be just a plain simple pendant with the word Annabelle on it

I'm making it for my friend that's her daughter's name so it's trying to decide which blank to use so here's a great tip

for design you can take your blank and actually trace it onto a thick piece of paper like cardstock and I've traced it

with a sharp pencil here and we're gonna zoom in here so I can show you that you can actually get in there with your

letters stamp very lightly and impress it into the paper here to make sure that

it fits and to sort of set up your design now I just laid my paper on my table or actually put a magazine under

it you don't want to do that on your bench block but what you can see here is

that I really like this design I think it's neat everything lined up the letters lined up well this is another

interesting one I've got a little design stamp down there but you can't really see that I'm gonna go for the circle

though I'm gonna do a basic one and what I learned here when I stamped it is that I need to start with my a way over to

the left because I sort of ran out of room you see that there but this is a great way to sort of plan out your

design and play with it a bit I decided to go with the circle and I traced it a

couple times here and then got out with my pencil and just started doodling different designs this is my favorite of

the three but in order to teach you how to get a straight line and get your bird centered I'm gonna go with this one

alright I'm almost ready to stamp but there you know you'll want to prep it get it all ready so it's close to

perfect so what I've done here is I've got my blank it's a sterling silver 24 gauge 7/8 inch

circle and I've taped it down to the bench block I'm also using the top of

the tape as my reference line so it's a dual-purpose piece of tape there I'm

going to use my ruler to help find the center and once I find the center of

this blank I'm going to be stamping one direction and then the other so that's

the way to get your word centered on your blind you want to find the middle of your blank find the middle of your word and

then stamp one direction and the other so what I do here is I like to write out

the word so that I am spelling properly when I'm spelling backwards I have goofed that up many times so I've got it

written there for that and I've also put a number above each letter so I know where the center is and it looks like

the center is right here between the B and the E so let's find the center of

our blank again this is 7/8 inch so it's

kind of hard to mark the center using a ruler when you're working with such specific sizing that's a lot of little

lines and I'm going a little cross-eyed so what I'm going to do is just Center the blank between the 0 and the 1 inch

mark and then I can mark my Center right there at the 1/2 inch I hope that made sense it's a little bit of cheating

truth be told though I just faked it so how about that that looks like the

middle and then while I'm here I'm going to take a moment to put a dot where I

want my jump ring I've got here the

lowercase e and I'm going to start with the e ll e just to the right of my dot so this is one of the education original

sets so I can line up the bottom of my stamp there but if you need to do this

little peeking trick go for it just to the side of the dot now my L still

lowercase

another L came out a little high there but I'm not going to fret it got the e

ll e let's move the other direction with the B the a

the N spelling backwards is tricky and

last but not least my uppercase a now remember when we did that demo I'm gonna

put this a little bit lower when we were practicing our upper case and our lower case you see that if I line this up it's

going to put my upper case a super low I want it to line up with my lower case so

I'm gonna lay it a little bit higher so the bottom of the letters might not okay

I'm really happy with the Annabel stamped out there and now I'm gonna do the tiara stamp underneath it when I

practiced it over here in our last demo I didn't do so well with it so I'm not confident that I can just go straight

into the Sterling so as always if you're not super confident with the design stamp I'm gonna just let that hold on

and practice it one more time over here remember with stamping there's no

backspace and there's no whiteout so if you're goofing in your sterling it's gonna be really hard for actually

impossible to fix it goes in the recycling bin so I'm gonna try both the methods that I taught you the tilting

tap or just one really strong strike with the 2-pound and see which is working better for me on this particular

day let's tilt and tap first hmm it

looks like I let my hand wander a little bit that's something you need to remember when you're pressing and

tilting don't let it shift at all let me give that one more try better but I seem

to be famous for catching the right side

I'm gonna try the two pal that works really well for me I'm gonna consciously tilt it to the left and just give it one

strike that's better I'm going to use a

two pound hammer for this let's pull on the Sterling and wish me luck I don't mean to scare

you with the design stamps I just purposely chose a really hard one to help teach you how to problem-solve so I

want it slightly tilted right in the middle here and I want to brace it really well and I'm coming in with my

two-pound got it I was worried that I

gave you the fear of the design stamps when in fact most of the ones that we have are a simple simple design like

this tiny heart here so I want to show you how easy these are I'm gonna take this guy and just place it right here

I'm confident I can get it with one whack I don't need to practice it just gonna hit it once with the one pound and

they're a simple part right at the top so see it's not so scary that looks nice

next we're going to punch our hole and then put black down in the grooves and polish it up as I mentioned before

there's a lot of options for punching the hole I've chosen the 1.8 hole punch pyre

and what you see here is a little piece of thick paper it's ripped off of a business card sometimes it's pyar Mars

my metal when I squeeze it shut so this piece of paper acts as a little bit of cushion so I am going to line it up with

the dot and just hold it first before punching I just want to look at all the

angles to make sure that's exactly where I want it I'm pretty happy with that so with a squeeze and then a little wiggle

to get it off I've got my whole my next step is to put black in the grooves with

whichever method you choose I'm going to use a sharpie and just really push the

tip of the pen down in the grooves

make sure that it gets on in there

I think the sharpies doing but we will squeeze the last bit out of it that we can

yeah let's take a look you need to make

sure that we have it down in the grooves of all the letters the top of my first L there is empty let's get it in there

there we go now I'm gonna take a pro polish pad

without micro braces and I'm just gonna buff buff buff over the top it's gonna take it off of the top of the pen in

here but leave it in the recessed areas

coming along no need to be very gentle with this guy just keep it on the

surface and buff back and forth

so look in that kind of makes a mess on

your hands but that's okay we're working with our hands here there's my Annabelle pendant already for

a jump ring and a chain I've chosen an oval jump ring to hang from this pendant

I like the little jump rings because the gap sits up on the side and the pendant sits down at the bottom it's you're less

likely for that opening to open up and lose your pendant so now with my

freshly-cleaned hands I am going to open this jump ring you can find a little

video on opening and closing jump rings on our website insert my pendant and

close that guy nice and tight and look

it's done yeah I'm really really happy with that now that you've seen the whole

process all the way through I want to throw in some tips and tricks for you first of all I mentioned having nothing

underneath your bench block when stamping that is true but there is one exception if you want to have a sandbag

or a pounding bag underneath it it's usually a thick leather filled with sand or steel shot that's fine it adds really

really nice resistance and it also helps out with sound it's not necessary but I just want to throw that out there along

those lines to make sure the table that you're working on is very stable if you're working on a wobbly table it's

going to cause the stamp to kind of jump and get that double impression look so make sure that your tables very strong

one question we get a lot from customer service is well we get people calling in

saying it's not working hope it's helped me through so we problem-solve with them and what happens is sometimes people

forget their bench block altogether you got to have the bench block you need that hard resistance underneath the

metal that you're stamping on so let's see what else here oh we get questions

on can I stamp on back of my pendant you can but you need to have a much thicker metal it's not

going to work on 24 gauge you'll notice that when you stamp on the top it impresses it punches through a little

bit on the back the indentation of the letter so if you bump it up to a thicker metal you will be able to stamp on both

sides maybe like 18 gauge or thicker also some people prefer to stand up when

they're stamping maybe work on a little bit of a higher table they feel like they have more control that's fine too

if you want to give your pendant a little bit of a domed look you can use a

tapping block and a plastic mallet I want to have the letters facing down and

I place it in my block so that it domes out it's going to give it a nice slight curvature not too drastic couple strikes

with my plastic mallet kind of moving over to make sure I'm getting the whole

thing to shape

and I want to remind you I know I sound like a broken record but make sure you practice your design stamps each time

before you use them now if you're stamping away with letters or sometimes

design stamps and you only catch one side of it you can go in and realign up

your stamp and try to do it again but it's a little tricky so if you miss

stamp and you only catch one side like I've done here you can kind of go in and

line it up maybe close your eyes feel the stamp fall back into the groove and give it another whack you may notice

sometimes as you start to stamp that the metal begins to distort a little bit you

can kind of see on these ones that I have on my bench block that they are a little bit not so straight shall we say

as you stamp the more stamps you put on the more it moves the metal right so

oftentimes it's moving it to the outside and the edges start to curl up just like this one's a really good example so to

flatten your metal back out you're gonna want to use your trusty plastic mallet so let me show you what this guy here

one thing you want to make sure before you do this is that you're working on part of your bench block that is smooth

and doesn't have a bunch of nicks in it like I've got a little bit of a mess up here so I'm going to stay away from that because as we come in with the hammer

and flatten it could transfer those nicks to the back your metal so to flatten

this guy out we can do it face up or face down again if you're going face down that bench block better be nice and

pristine let's do it face down for this one and I'm just going to come in and hit it a couple times with my plastic

mallet there we go nice and flat let's do

another one I've got this strip here and as I did a lot of stars out towards the top it

started to bend it so let's do this one face up and see if we can get that

that's a little bit better we can flip it over as well making sure you're on a nice part of your bench block and there

we go that's a lot more flat let's do one more this guy here nice and flat so there you

have it I've shown you a lot of stuff you need to know to get started making stamped metal jewelry ah what's that oh

it's a book called stamped metal jewelry oh look there's another one they're

everywhere I'm sorry I'm being a goofball but this is a book that I wrote about a year ago there's a lot of great

information in here like there's a DVD in the back with basically all the stuff I just showed

you now plus a little bonus project and throughout the book there's a lot of different designs we bring in a lot of

metal smithing techniques to mix with your stamping and all that you've learned today so check it out if you

want to if you buy it from be education com I'll even sign it for you so cool thanks so much for coming by today and I

hope you make some beautiful jewelry [Music]

 

 

Tools & Materials


Stamping on Metal Starter Kit
(12)
$42.95
KIT01
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1 lb Brass Head Mallet / Hammer
(11)
$26.50
HAM001
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2 lb Brass Head Mallet / Hammer
(13)
$36.50
HAM002
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Steel Bench Block - 4" x 4"
(12)
$22.95
Sold Out
BEN003
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Power Punch Plier
(31)
$43.00
PUN007
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