Joel OF

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About Joel OF

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Kent, England
  • Interests
    Basic and bold designs. Music and drumming. Films.

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  1. It's quite often the case that with jigs and scroll jigs in particular, that you have to pre-forge the ends of your bar at the anvil to roughly the desired shape to help the hot steel take to the jig shape that you want. What's done is done and you've got your specific customized jig now that suits your needs, so that's great, but the additional stoppers welded in probably were not required, and if this method is applied in the future, could actually cause you problems. (Explained later in reply) It's probable that you could have forged the angled end as you require at the anvil + a small curve behind the angled end which approximately matches the beginnings of the scroll jig (of which we understand you're not using the whole thing, only a portion). That would allow you to offer up your hot steel to the jig, then use some little tongs like the ones I used in the video to grip the hot steel to the jig at the start of the curve behind your angled end, this would give you sufficient hold against the jig, then you can pull it round to match the jig as required. One helpful feature of scroll jigs is that after you've bent round your hot steel a certain distance you don't need to hold it against the jig with tongs/grips/F shaped bending forks etc, the steel holds itself. For future reference and reduction in hair loss through frustration, remember that getting steel off a jig is often A LOT harder than getting it on WITHOUT deforming the hot steel from the required shape. (Do not tilt hot steel in trying to get it off a jig, only raise or lower it straight up/down). The more stoppers and corners that you put into an all-in-one jig, the more problems you will run into as the jig size increases. Steel contracts as it cools so it can clamp up against the jig making it hard to remove, (especially around tight corners like your angled end) which is why for some bending requirements there may be more than 1 jig used per required shape....or as I said earlier, just pre forge the end by hand as required. Due the size of your jig much of what I just said won't be an issue because you'll be able to get the steel on and off before it all cools and locks itself against the jig, that's more for your benefit further down the line when you start using bigger jigs, or ones with more concentric curves. One final thing I find about scrolling and curves in general is that it's very rare that you'll get the right shape in a linear process. I.e it's really rare you'll bend area 1, then area 2, then area 3, then area 4 and each one will successively be perfect and the whole piece is perfect. It's often the case that you get as far as area 3, then spot that area 1 has moved a little and needs a nudge you're constantly moving backwards and forwards to keep the whole thing in check.
  2. A few years ago when I was making my first pair of gates using flat bar I made this video on scrolling, which you may find helpful.
  3. Adjustable collar making jig video: Installed today but waiting for my clients to finish renovations before taking proper pics.
  4. Hi folks, Is there a dark art to drilling slotted vertical holes in masonry, or is it just a case of drilling a series of vertical holes? Nearly all of my clients have period buildings with old red brick piers, never block work and rarely new brickwork. I have attached a few doodles of a hinge pins forged from 25 x 8mm flat bar, they could even be 25 x 6mm now thinking about it for the light weight I'm working on. I have also drawn in a couple holes in the wing(?) for resin to key into, it may also require some chiselled teeth. Is there a rule of thumb for oversizing holes for resin? Cheers
  5. I can see the lesson adverts now, you and Don pouting and leaning back to back like Starsky & Hutch with hammers and tongs in your hands. After the show I affectionately Photoshopped Don's face into Yoda's body and added the tagline "USE THE FORKS!" I was going to email me him the picture but I chickened out.
  6. Good to put a face to the name at last. It also came through in my Ian Wallace newsletter email, as I have PLI via them.
  7. A very good start indeed! Far better than my first hooks.
  8. Thanks, I think maybe an extra word that should have been added into to patience and process paragraph is 'determination'. I don't want to embarrass myself by admitting how long that took to design do, but it didn't happen over a weekend I can assure you. An complete inability to visualize anything more than a bit of a blur or transfer ideas onto paper is constant source of frustration and the only way I can work around it is by working on designs every evening till late, getting up every day at 5am (or earlier) to carry on drawing, working on them at the weekends... You could make it, and easily, there's very few techniques in the gate. Learning the techniques required by yourself would take longer (shorter amount of time if you watch the videos and learn from my mistakes, because I make mistakes and show them), but I know I could teach you all the techniques required in to make that gate in 3 hours. There's only upsetting, short tapers, accurate bending and adjusting your hammer blows to keep a rivet tail straight. Trust me, I also give 1 day lessons to complete novices and they've successfully made items with 100 times more techniques involved without any prior experience.
  9. I think the most danerous tools are the ones with inherent danger that you can't do anything about, even with proper use, so you're therefore most likely to be injured by them, but they may not be the tool which is capable of doing most harm. E.g, twisted wire wheels on angle grinders which throw out wires & you can't stop that. One in the eye could be a disaster. VS An oxygen bottle falling & the regulator being damaged causing possible severe injury, but that's not likely to happen because you chain them to the wall.
  10. I found that I needed a 12mm protrusion for the 10mm rivets. If you're buying rivets with pre-formed heads I suppose the length required is going to depend on your supplier. A friend on Instagram who specializes in riveting buys 3/8th rivets from a different supplier to me & the 10mm ones I buy because he says the 3/8th head is more hemispherical. I've yet to go round & close up any little gaps between the vertical upset bars and the bars they're riveted to. The bottom right corner. The pre-formed head is the internal one
  11. As a self taught person and relative newbie (forged first taper in May 2013) I've come to the conclusion that anyone with patience and the knowledge of a few principles of how metal moves can be a blacksmith. You can scale the principles up or down and tackle things you've never done before with confidence that it'll work. We haven't got to worry about esoteric complications like wood grain and knots. The vast majority of work I do I've never done before, I've certainly never done any riveting like this before. Where there's a will, there's a way.
  12. I am working on this Art Nouveau / Industrial design gate which is full of rivets and upset end finials. I've used it as a vehicle to produce a few videos, mainly on riveting, but also accurate bending of steel around jigs. The videos are very much intended for newbies looking for some general info, the videos aren't slick by any means but they hopefully contain some useful theory/techniques. The gate itself is almost irrelevant and if nothing else, you can enjoy watching me struggle. I am self taught and I've never done this before so any viewers are effectively learning at the same pace as me. I don't know if my methods are "industry standard", but regardless, what I'm doing is working and should work for others. My setups are very low rent and duplicateable, (if that's a word?), I don't have any specialist gear other than an oxy propane gas torch and MIG welder. There will be a video of collar making using my very basic adjustable jig under my flypress (this jig can also be used on an anvil, for those without a flypress) when I get to the collaring stage. Hopefully these are of use to someone... Trial and error figuring out rivet tail lengths: Language Riveting setups and heating rivets: Cold riveting small rivets: Upset finials and bending using jigs:
  13. Hi folks, thanks for the input. I didn't make the point in my original post that the clients stipulated that the existing gate should be repaired and re-used as it was donated to the memorial gardens many years ago. I'm pretty sure that unless it turns out that it's vastly cheaper to just use it as a template and make 2 new ones, (then possibly salvage parts from it to decorate the garden elsewhere) that the answer's always going to be, repair it. The combination of decorative elements bemuses me a little. You'd think that if you're going to put realistic floral features in they'd all be of a theme and true to a particular plant, but to my mind there's a real mish-mash in there. There's the humourless huge leaves (oak leaves?) in conjunction with the playful seed pod things. I've had a flick through my copy of the CoSIRA Catalogue of Drawings for Wrought Ironwork which has a lot of designs of traditional English ironwork and it seems this pod detail was common. Thanks for all the technical and financial advice. Re: the finances I've definitely learned the hard way about under quoting and underestimating how long things take. I've been down to my last £5 several times. Luckily I'm starting to develop small queues of commission work or at least have other avenues of income (lessons mainly) to keep me afloat, so if it starts looking like I've got to work for a figure I don't feel comfortable with, I've got enough on to be able to walk away and say to the client and myself it's not for me.
  14. Hi folks, I have been invited to quote for a large-ish project based around improving a war memorial gardens. The style of work involved in the job really isn't my taste, but it's grabbed my interest nonetheless. Not too long ago there was a time when I would have run a million miles from a job like this as I am not experienced at forging this kind of sheet/repousse ironwork, but I am not at the point where I feel confident enough that I can figure it out and do the job right, though needless to say any input that can make my efforts more efficient will be greatly appreciated as I don't want to massively under quote and end up working for free. I would never let the job go out sub-par and would work my skin to the bones to make sure of that, especially because of it's historical and sentimental importance to the families of the fallen, though as I'm sure you can understand, I have to earn so efficiency is of the essence. This thread mainly centres around the restoration and duplication of this gate. The other ironwork involved in this project isn't so demanding. The main part of the project requires this gate to be restored and a mirror image to be made for it to become one of a pair. For now please ignore the horrible weld mesh in the background. My questions are 3 fold: 1) If this proves to be made wrought iron, can anyone give me any tips of welding the mild steel repair components to wrought iron existing gate? I have heard it's not easy. I have a stick and MIG welder, no TIG. A mirror image duplicate would be made of mild steel. 2) There is no original picture of the gate. Can anyone hazard a guess at what some of the random holes were for? That's just more of a curiosity than anything, the project doesn't require me to add in parts to where the holes are, we're all just scratching our heads a bit as to what they're for. 3) Any tips for cutting and forging the large leaf shapes? I don't think it's Tijou levels of repousse, but any pointers that help steer the boat down the river to a faster resolution are welcome. E.g my inexperienced thought process would be: precisely mark up the positioning of one leaf on the master gate, cut it off, draw around it on a sheet of equivalent thickness mild steel, add on 10% to all dimension in every direction to allow for reduction in proportions during sinking, offer up my copy to the original till it's right, then re-weld the master leaf to the master gate. If you think this sort of sheet work should only be tackled by someone experienced then I'll do what's right for the job and get a 3rd party involved. I do make the occassional bowl so I understand the essential techniques of sinking and raising. For your background info I have indicated to the project manager that I'd need to have the existing gate taken away and cleaned to reveal the levels of corrosion, work needed to repair and also detail required in the duplicate gate before I can even begin to hazarding some figures. Any extra info you feel is beneficial would be greatly appreciated. Cheers. (Apologies @John B forcing your hand to join in, but you know your trad English irownwork)
  15. Haha, nope, right handed. Being self taught means you do what's comfortable. I have the bick facing the other way because if I need to get right to the tip for something delicate I haven't got to strike across myself or walk round the other side, I just side step till I'm in the right spot. My workshop is aesthetically pretty but it's a pain in the backside. The layout is pretty much dictated by where I can safely put things on the super uneven floor. It's an old sheep shed so aside from the V sloped floor for the pee to channel away there's random steps & umpteen scuffs so moving anything by trolley or jack is "interesting".