Not only is copper the softest metal to work with, copper has the highest heat conductivity of all metals. For these reasons, copper has been used extensively throughout history in the making of copperwares for decorative and cooking purposes. A coppersmith may have several types of the same kind of tool; however, each tool performs a different function in the making, shaping and melding of each piece of copper into cups, bowls or cookware.
Anvils provide a base for hammering out designs and shapes in pieces of copper in the making of bowls, pans and other copperwares. Anvils used by a coppersmith may be square and used to square off edges or make straighter designs. Coppersmiths use round, dome and/or sloped anvils to make various rounded edges, imprints or in the shaping of the copperware's base.
Sharp-edged, ball-peen, combination and rising hammers are like anvils in which their shape suggests its function or imprint design when used by the coppersmith. For example, a coppersmith uses a sharp-edged hammer to create patterns of deep ridges in copperwares. A ball-peen hammer is used to make small, round dot impressions or small, round raised beaded dots, depending on if the coppersmith is hammering on the outside or inside of the copperware.
Mallets and Sandbags
Coppersmiths use wooden forming mallets to hammer sheets of copper together because a wooden mallet is soft enough to not damage or dent the soft sheets of copper. Leather sandbags function as a soft backing in place of anvils when hammering out designs in sheets of copper that need a backing that gives with the impact of the hammer.
Saws and Shears
A jeweler's saw and metal shears are used to cut, shape and trim large pieces of copper into smaller pieces. For example, when a coppersmith starts with a large sheet of copper and draws a design on it for a smaller sized copperware, the coppersmith will use either metal shears or a jeweler's saw to trim the excess copper from the main design.
Vices and Buffing Wheels
Vices hold anvils in place to use as a backing while the coppersmith uses different types of hammers to beat ridges and patterns that create various designs in a single sheet of copper. Coppersmiths use buffing wheels to put the finishing touch on copperwares to create a polished or mirror finish.