In this adventure we will be making some old fashion cookie cutters using some scrap I found, some simple tools and a TIG welder. Of course when you make your cookie cutters you will want to use some nice clean material. I just used some scrap to demonstrate how easy it is to make these! You can make tons of different fun shapes by using different types of tools and bending your metal in different ways.
Step 1: Measuring Out Your Material
First you want to have an idea in mind of what kind of shape you want to create. Once you have the shape in mind measure out how much material you will need. The good thing is that if you over measure you can simply just cut the excess material off so don't worry too much about having the exact measurment. The longer your strip of metal the bigger your cookie cutter will be. Also determine how wide you want your cookie cutter. I used a power shear to cut out 1/2" strips from my sheet metal. You can also use a beverly shear or just simply buy your metal in strips.
For one of my cutters I made a diamond shape. I marked a spot in about the middle of the my strip of metal.
Step 2: Using a Finger Press to Make Your Shape
After I measured out my strip and marked it, I brought it over to a finger press. This will put my bends were I need them.
To create my first bend I placed the line I marked directly under one of the fingers on the press. Using the side levers I clamped the fingers down on my strip. Then I pulled the lower handle up to about the degree of bend I wanted to achieve. After the bend I am left with a V shape to start my diamond off.
Step 3: More Bends!!!
I then measured out were I wanted my next bend/facet to be. Then back to the press for more bending! Repeat the same procedure on the other side of your strip and then whala! You have a diamond! As you can see I over measured so I stepped over to the beverly shear to take off the excess so my diamond was perfect!
Step 4: Making a Circle!
Another simple shape I made was a circle for those cookies that look perfect!
For this I used an anvil and elbow grease. Simply place your strip on the anvil with the center on the highest point of the curved end of the anvil. Then give it some pressure. Apply the same amount of pressure while you move move down your strip. Do this on both sides and your circle will start to form. You can apply more pressure to make a tighter circle or less to make a big one if you have the material for it.
Step 5: Making Other Fun Shapes!
Now you can use these two techniques to make all kinds of shapes! to make a tear shape you can just round your strip in the middle using the anvil and just press the ends together. To make a heart you start with the same procedure as the diamond but after your first bend simply round your ends over using the anvil. I even made a superman logo by playing with the measurements on the diamond shape and then just connecting the ends together! The possibilities are endless!
After I had all my shapes I hooked up my TIG machine and just tacked together the open edges of my shapes. Sorry no pictures of this due to the fact that my hands were welding! But if you refer back to the opening picture you can see what I mean.
I hope this inspired those bakers out there to make your own fun cookie shapes! They are great to give as handmade presents to those who don't bake but want to give a fun gift to those who do!