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With the ruler still on top of the metal, use the wooden tool to gently
lift the edge up the whole length of the ruler. (Don't slide fingers along
to lift the metal.) When the edge is folded over, move the ruler away and
use the side of the wooden tool to flatten the fold. Don't press hard or
the metal will stretch. When you fold the next edge you will need to press
down hard at the point where you want the folded edge to fold.
These folded edges give the copper a little more rigidity. Once the sharp
edges are folded under, I rarely have trouble with cuts.
Another suggestion: I use modeling paste to fill the back of a deep tooled
area. We have sometimes mixed up plaster of paris to fill, but sometimes it
falls out when it dries.