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About ausfire

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    Senior Member

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Atherton Tableland (Promised land) Far North Queensland, Australia
  • Interests
    Metal work: blacksmithing, junk sculpture. Timber work: turning, furniture. Photography, aviation, motor sport. English teaching.

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  1. Yes, but I wish someone would invent marking chalk that is visible when heated!
  2. ausfire

    Show me things that move

    A lot of these scrap birds I make have spring necks. They sway in the breeze and when birds perch on the head. Sometimes we put a bit of meat on the beak and the butcher birds like the one in the picture come for it. Birds have good balance, and we often amuse ourselves watching them sway in the opposite direction to maintain balance. (The white streak in the photo is a Christmas light wire that got in the way).
  3. ausfire

    What to do with these things ...

    Perhaps. But I fear it may be more like a toothbrush finial with this coarse wrought. As Jennifer points out, it's either adapt to using the stuff or give the beast best and move on.
  4. I use a drift tapered both ends with a 20mm diameter. When it drives though, you know the size is correct. Saves guessing. If you want to straighten bottle opener #1, a cone mandrel in the hardy hole works well, or at a pinch, around the horn of the anvil. Once you get a set procedure for these things, you will be turning them out consistently. The more you practise the quicker you will be.
  5. ausfire

    What did you do in the shop today?

    … ben, that hammer is a wonderful work of art. An heirloom piece. I would never hit anything with it. Superb engraving! And Aric, your touchmark is great. About time you made one! It gets an AA+ from me. psa, Your scrap art is functional and elegant. That red bell is my favourite. Nice to have another scrapologist on board. Hans, your castings are always fascinating. I have one of those trilobite fossils somewhere. Western Qld is well known for its fossils.
  6. I had a try using 10mm square bar. I used your punch marks idea and I did get them level. Quite pleased with the result. I thought twisting 10mm bar around itself would be harder than it was. Maybe another half twist or so would have been OK. Another variation for poker handles. Thanks, John.
  7. ausfire

    damascus bar

    Well, back to the Damascus bar …. this is how it looks now. A knife shaped object awaiting further work when I decide what to do.
  8. ausfire

    Armistice Day

    Yep, scenes like this in every small town in Australia, too. Lest we forget.
  9. ausfire

    What to do with these things ...

    Thanks Andrew, from Birdwood, SA, (nice country there, and I liked the National Car Museum) for the information about those joints. Some of the ones in our collection have the unwelded pipes and you're right - most are rusted through. I have no use for the pipe ones anyway, and all the others are solid wrought. I wish they were mild, as it's easier to forge. I could bend them cold as you suggest, but I do like the small scrolled finials which are decorative and, more importantly, avoid the sharp points on hooks that are intended for clothing, hats etc. We have a great many of those old bedheads with a variety of cast joints. Our gardener at the museum has used some on walls for the roses to grow up. But there are lots of smaller pieces too, like the ones in the pics. I saved quite a lot from the scrappie in the hope I could find a use for them. I hate wasting stuff.
  10. The bold and fine layers work well. What was your etch chemical?
  11. The problem is that I have a bunch of these quite decorative joiner pieces (do they have a name?) that join the sections of 3/8" wrought iron bar on those old Victorian era bed ends. I had ideas of forging some hooks, using the decorative bits as part of the design. Problem 1: Drawing that wrought to a point to make a scroll end on the hook is a nightmare. It wants to split, and if the fine point is scrolled at anything less than yellow it likes to break off. As you can see from pic 3, that double hook was not successful. Well, a learning experience anyway. It also split in the main section. Problem 2: The joiner piece is obviously cast iron, as the cast lines are quite clear. I'm wondering how the wrought and cast are secured. Under forge heat I thought they may separate, but it seems not. Perhaps the wrought bar is deformed and the joiner cast around it? And are there any other creative uses for these pieces? People seem to like items that are recycled, especially with some historic connection.
  12. Thanks for the detailed description. It certainly gives an attractive twist. I'll give that a try, but I think maybe 8mm square for the first shot.
  13. Nice ram's head poker, John. I like the tight twist which is well defined, and the neat transition from square to round. A fine poker! I'm struggling to see how you managed the twist in the loop handle poker. It's good because it gives more width to the handle. I'm guessing that you tapered the end and bent the steel against itself. You held the lower end in the vice, while twisting with a bar through the loop??? If that's 10mm square bar, it would have to be very hot to achieve the twist. Pray do tell.
  14. ausfire

    OZ roll call

    Interesting. So here's my forge in B&W.
  15. ausfire

    What did you do in the shop today?

    Really nice work, Das. I like the way you have left the heat colours in the wing feathers.