I would like to introduce you to the lining tool first as this is the tool you will most likely be using to start with.
I was very inspired by the work of Victoria Lansford http://www.victorialansford.com/
If you have not seen her awesome work please follow the link or just Google her name. Her very raised style appealed to my love of three dimensional sculptural objects, her work really did, and still does blow me away. Her tool profiles made me re think the way I approached the craft of chasing and repousse. She has very progressive and innovative modern approaches whilst still being mindful of past masters. Looking at her signature lining tools shows the versatility and ease of use, especially for a beginner. I made my own versions shown on the left. In the next picture I hope I can convey the advantages I feel this tool has over the traditional style shown on the right.
In the second picture you can see that as the flats of the lining tool extend further up and end in a waist, this creates a natural ledge for your third finger to rest upon. This helps you to feel the direction of the tool, also helped by the removal of more material making the line of sight to the line being chased more visible. Whichever style you use the anchoring of your little finger against the work helps to make the tool more stable as it is struck making deviation from the line less likely. You could perhaps modify a screwdriver to create your own version of the Lansford design if you wished to see which style you prefer.
By angling the lining tool slightly backwards you can describe an arc. However if the turn is a very tight radius curved liners are preferred as shown. These tools are made to the size required as you need them, both the radius and thickness, just like all liners as you chance upon challenges met by new designs forcing you to adapt using existing tools or make a new one.
The final picture shows ‘special liners’ I made for specific projects. The first tool, number 1, I used for a bowl to raise the design above the surrounding area. I did this by using this as a liner, pushing the surrounding material down and creating a ‘wall’ of the design border. Number 2 and 3 show a similar effect but the surrounding material was made to taper towards the design border rather than the abrupt stop of number 1.
The last two I used to make the lines rounded by pushing the tool in towards the raised design. The half circle in the punch forced the material to conform to this shape as the punch was struck giving me a kind of beaded effect.
I hope this is helping and look forward to your comments. Next time I will show a Chasing and Repousse hammer, also showing some other types of punches.