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making ladles, and large spoons


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#1 kozu

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 09:03 PM

Hi everyone, can someone share some info. on making copper ladles,and spoons. I just recently purchased a swedge block, for spoon and ladle making. Thanks for your input. Sean.

#2 Thomas Dean

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 10:24 PM

When using copper I prefer a wooden stump. Hammering copper on a swage block may cause it to thin too much. If you do use a swage block then I suggest making a wooden mallet, on large end and one smaller end.
BUT! if you or your client likes the hammer marks then all the above is just type on a page! :P I like both ways and will make a few of each when making ladles.
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#3 Mainely,Bob

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 11:48 PM

Sites like AllMetalShaping have picture tutorials and links to videos about this sort of work.Most involve stumps or plastic tools called Tuck Pucks that allow you to shrink the metal as well as stretch it.
There`s also instructions for making both wood and plastic mallets there too if you can`t find that info here under sheet metal,non-ferrous or armor work.
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#4 bigfootnampa

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 01:04 AM

For most copper sheet work you will want wood both for your mallet and your anvil. The end grain of stumps is ideal in most cases. It is nice to have at least a two headed mallet with the ends nicely rounded, one smaller radius and one larger radius. You'll need a heat source for annealing... commonly people will use a propane weed burner and that works. You can use good shears for cutting blanks or chisel them out. The process is pretty simple but you need patience and persistence, don't try to rush the process or you will NOT be happy with your results. Oh yeah plastic mallets are okay too... but you can't make them for yourself as easily.

#5 Mainely,Bob

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 01:33 AM

After making steel hammers mallets are a piece of cake.

All you need is the plastic(or wood),a wood lathe and a decently sharp chisel. :)
I find making the hollows in the stump to be more trouble.

Don`t know what your shop consists of there Clay so your mileage may vary.
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#6 ThomasPowers

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 11:05 AM

Hard on soft or soft on hard. (steel hammer---use wooden form; wood hammer use steel form) and then do the final plannishing hard on hard if you want the "hammered look"

Probably need to learn how to anneal the materials and work cold for such thin stuff.

Also the high density plastics make neat hammers and can be turned on a wood lathe with carbide tooling.
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#7 Don A

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 11:41 AM

Not sure what you hope to end up with, but there might be some "food safe" issues with unlined copper utensils, particularly in highly acidic foods with vineagar and such.

I've always heard this, so I'm just passing it along.

That said, I've since wondered about the big, unlined copper pots used for apple butter. Seems like there isn't much problem there.

But if apple butter is wrong, I don't want to be right.

Don

#8 Ed Steinkirchner

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 04:30 PM

who doesn't love apple butter? NO ONE! :lol:

but seriously, i wouldn't worry about copper leaching unless you leav the spoons in the food during storage. i would love to get one of those copper kettles, because we have a lot of apples this year and we aren't sure if the root cellar is finished enough to keep them in. we have a large cast iron kettle but you can't make apple butter in them or they crack.
looks like were making cider and wine this year! :D

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#9 arftist

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 04:43 PM

I turn alot of plastic on a metal lathe, often with high speed steel (HSS) tools. Plastic hammer heads are pretty easy to make.

#10 LDW

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 06:19 AM

Hey Sean,
Copper and steel can be forged the same. You have to do copper at a little lower heat, do not go above a red heat. As long as you have a rounding hammer that comes close to fitting the swage you intend to use, the copper or steel will conform nicely to your shape. I have forged copper and watched Brian Brazeale do it on a larger scale, it is some great stuff to forge. It will teach you hammer control as well as anything because you can see every mark you leave. I do not have a swage block therefore any spoons or ladles I make are shaped with a wood stump. Wood works just as well with steel. Its like everything, the more you forge the better you get. Make several of the same thing. Take a picture of the first one then take a picture of the last one and show us how you did. You will definitely learn something and if you share what you leaned with us we can all benefit from it.

Happy Forging,
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#11 ThomasPowers

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 09:49 AM

Another "trick" is to make a hardy tool that holds a piece of wood vertically so you can avoid transporting a stump but still be able to forge on the end grain. Make it so you can switch out the wood chunks easily as they do "wear".


Having a dishing spot on your anvil stump also works---if you are using a stump bigger than the anvil base!
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#12 beth

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 02:47 PM

i would love to know what is this apple butter...?

#13 Ed Steinkirchner

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 05:32 PM

dont knoe how to describe it so ill tell how to make it. core apples, mash em up, add some sugar and cinnamon(if you want it), boil the concoction till it turns color. it is like thick, spiced applesauce. we have 4 apple trees and got so many apples we dont know what to do with them all!
btw, im sure they have it on your side of the pond, its probably called something different though.

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#14 Thomas Dean

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 10:23 PM

i would love to know what is this apple butter...?

mmm good!
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#15 Don A

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 07:40 AM

Do a Google image search for "apple butter" and it'll give you a better idea what we're talking about.

You'll also see some pics of the big copper pots being stirred with wooden paddles.

#16 beth

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 05:18 AM

thankyou guys - i think it sounds like apple sauce or stewed apples here - but it may be cooked longer... will look it up. we have stacks of apples here too - its been a good year for em!

#17 Thomas Dean

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 11:17 AM

Not quite like apple sauce or stewed apples but close. Apple butter will be dark brown in color, a little thicker, and not as sweet. Great on home made rolls! or home made bread! or home made....ya get the idea.
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#18 Marksnagel

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 07:13 PM

Nothin better than apple butter on a fresh hot biscuit in the morning. Mmmmmm
I make apple butter every year and give away all but a few pints for myself.
It's not course like apple sauce. Depending on the amount of cloves you can make it as spicy as you like. Good on toast or english muffins.
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#19 Francis Trez Cole

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 03:09 PM

copper can be toxic. to much causes chriossos of the liver. that is why pots and pans are lined with tin or clad with stainless steel
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#20 BIGGUNDOCTOR

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 08:04 PM

It must depend on usage of the copper. A lot of homes have copper water piping, beer is brewed in copper kettles, some distillers use copper stills, and we had a lot of unlined copper vessels at the Jelly Belly Candy Co.
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