John B

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About John B

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    Senior Member

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  • Location
    Dawlish, Devon, UK


  • Location
    Starcross Devon UK
  • Biography
    over 40 years engineer and blacksmith
  • Interests
    promoting and passing on blacksmithing skills
  • Occupation
  1. Books, here are two free downloads that will serve you well as a guide to the craft, and Print off what you are going to do, and it doesn't matter if they catch fire or get disfigured, you can always print off another replacement page. Remember there is no right or proper way to make something, just what works for you and do it safely. Have fun and enjoy.
  2. These work well for twist tops, they were originally made for a live forging competition, 45 minutes to make something to crack nuts with, and were made from an old car spring, But my wife used them when she damaged her wrist and couldn't get to grips with the twist tops on bottles.
  3. Appreciate your problems sourcing known steels and their cost, In my experience although of unknown metallurgical specification, Torsion bars by virtue of what purpose they are employed to serve have always made good serviceable hammers and other top tools. The only way to find out is to make some tooling and try that tooling out, different samples of a similar size with different heat treating cycles will give you some idea of what the material can be used for. Identify weach piece and make a note of what you did to each one for future reference. It is all good experience, have fun and enjoy
  4. You are welcome Strine, The ends of the spine can be drawn out for your end tines. Cutting the blank, if you mark it out and drill through with 5/8" or 3/4" diameter drill where the slots are, and then use a saw or angle grinder to cut down from the outside edge of the bar to the hole's centreline, you can then draw the tines down, this also has the advantage of smooth transitions on the corners, equal spacings that can be accessed to finish forge, and maximum metal available to draw down for the tine, and all the tines should be similar as each had same volume of material if cut this way, gas axe can produce differing profiles unles you are very good with one. Personally I would go with this drill and cut method if you are going the forging route. If it's only to be used on mulch, then welding on bits should be OK, Whichever way you choose, enjoy and let's see the end product, and its test runs.
  5. That is normal factory practice, and what gives the reduced sections along the spine as you see in the , The video (like most you see on You Tube) is somewhat deceptive and the next proceedure shown on the video is not on the same type of fork as the one as being drawn out under the rollers, Doing them by hand I would start from the centre ones working outwards and twist the "Fingers" back towards me and out of the way of the hammer/anvil, then draw the isolated one down, Repeating at each side, It is a long an methodical process, and you will need some tooling to give the forged spacings between the tines. Try a smaller sampler first,say a manure fork, and see how you go, video yourself and when you playback you can spot where you can improve.
  6. Something along these lines, this would have 20 tines, for a one off project I would tackle it like this one that I just marked out on an old leaf spring, adjust your sizes to suit volume of metal in drawn out tines Hard going these especially without a powerhammer, gas forge is better than solid fuel, Try a smaller sample first Good luck with it.
  7. Hi Strine, welcome home, Used to make them years ago in a similar manner to that shown in the video, which does not help if you don't have the rolls etc, Having said that I have also made multi tine forks without that tooling, and without a powerhammer, just a couple of strikers and basic tools, The principle is the same as in the video, at around 2.47 it shows a twisted blank for the four tined fork, and prior to that, forming individual tines. which is relevant, We started with a leaf spring, and gas cut a shape out similar to a dumpy short wide toothed comb with the required number of teeth (tines) and a post in the centre on the opposite side for the tang/socket. These were then individually drawn out, starting from the centre and alternating the working sides similarly as in the video, (In your picture, you can see the reduction along the spine of the tines at each section as you work out towards each end.) Access and spacing are the key points, and some tooling like a set hammer for between tines may help. Otherwise it is a straightforward if long process. A Powerhammer would be advantageous to say the least, Have fun and looking forward to seeing pics of the completed item. I posted this in the Groups section BMASW Westpoint Forge, but you may have missed it. circa 1926 advert. I served some time here as a part of my apprenticeship, but not quite as long ago when this was published, same range of tools plus one or two more,
  8. Is this the result of what is now termed "dehydration"? When I worked in the foundry and forge in my apprentice days it was never mentioned, there was a technical name for it which served as a warning and one you took notice of, and your fellow workers would also be alert to it and warn you, Something along the lines of "You thirsty then?"
  9. Came across this old advert for Hardypick on Grace's Guide, circa 1926, no sign of a powerhammer, but this would have been used to point the picks for their pneumatic Hammer Drills, as an apprentice they wouldn't have let me perform on the powerhammer anyway, (under one freeing the workpiece stuck in the top tool on a drop stamp was OK, but near the operating switch was a definite NO NO ! ) I can remember seeing power hammers there in use, but not this type specifically, But then I wasn't taking that much notice then, too busy with other apprentice duties. The ID plate on the machine is the Plant number for audit purposes.
  10. Thought the pointy bit may be a problem with "Dangerous projections" on the bonnet (Hood), so mounted it sideways, and obscured the view, so moved it back a bit, should be OK here! No doubt someone will advise me if its OK or not there.
  11. Way to go Frank, Most of my customers seemed to have slimmer fingers than I have for some reason, and the ladies like a smooth edge. Keep the clients happy, even do a sample twist in the opposite direction to one shown for the lefties.
  12. A British creche defined as " a nursery where babies and young children are cared for during the working day." differs from the US definition, " a representation of the nativity scene. " Thats fine Dad approved, and it didn't disturb the class Things are way different at each side of the pond, you asked for an opinion, That was mine. Life's too short to waste time, especially mine. it's the only time I'll ever get. So long as you are happy with your situation, great. Have fun and enjoy.
  13. Had a good weekend with the members, one brought along a small power hammer to see and for anyone who fancied having a go to play on I found this hammer particularly interesting as although there was no makers ID on the machine, there was the name Hardypick and a machine ID number on the stand, I served some time as an apprentice at the Hardypick works, but never came across one of these. It seemed to be tooled up for producing points on chisels and this would point to it being useful to say the least as Hardypick produced pneumatic drilling equipment for mining, and points were made at the works. So if anyone else can shed any light upon the maker, it would be appreciated. Another tool in the process of being made was a leaf veing tool based on the CoSIRA drawing which turned out well. Others did their own thing including making the firepot, ash dump and slide valve assembly ready to fit into a table, and another played with some wrought iron with varying results, but learning a lot about forging the material and how it behaves. On the Sunday a youngster came along to just "Have a go", he had never picked up a hammer before so we took things nice and steady and made a log roller, with some twists, forging and a little fireweld, He has already booked for a three day intensive basic skills course, so that should give him a little confidence to start with next time. Although the end appears to be red hot, it is actually the reflection from the fire in the waxed finish Looking forward to the next members day, August 13th at Westpoint.
  14. Nice looking job, may I make a suggestion, I think an extra quarter twist on the handle before drawing out the blade would make it more comfortable a fit for fingers to grip, what do you think?
  15. IMHO Is it a creche or a class you are in charge of? How many in the class, and what ages? Are responsible adults on hand for each student under a specified age? Each student is responsible for their own and others safety and comfort within the group with the tutors ulimately responsible for all. Do you have rules about behaviour in your work area, students need to know limits The other factor you have not mentioned is your standing/position relative to the OHC and their policy regarding students. It is better to have one student upset than to have the rest of the group upset/disrupted by one person. In this situation you have given this brief insight, which should have set off alarm bells . If this was mentioned prior to class, I would have insisted on a one to one session, then if it does not work out you can abort the class, and refund (or not) the fees. In any case, one disruptive person can ruin it for the rest, my policy is to give one response to the situation in no uncertain terms, and if it continues, show them the door. (Even prepared to refund any fees if necessary) If they want to return I will need some guarantees of better behaviour, or the same will happen again. I have occasionally sent students home if they did not conform to what was required. I firmly believe there is no such thing as a bad student, only a bad/poor tutor, Getting through to engage and understand their needs is the problem. In that situation I call off their involvment with that particular class, and go for the one on one, and then deal with the problems. It is also a matter of reputation long term, if people are involved in this situation, or see this taking place, are they likely to give out good messages or alarming ones, was it a good experience or one they would not want to repeat. ?