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
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  1. It's a great hobby , but a xxxx of a way to make a living ! Get it HOT and HIT it !
  2. John B

    What did you do in the shop today?

    Even harder if you don't anneal it first !
  3. Thanks for the appreciation Aus, just the tip of of a ginormous iceberg so to speak. A lot of this knowledge seems to be cyclical, a lot easier to pick up now with the internet, Wish it had been available when I originally started (I am still learning, will be pushing up daisy's when I stop). Most of thes were figured out from pictures or examples seen, thats the beauty of the craft, Normally in a coal hearth you are generally working on up to 6" long heat , and do one operation at a time, If it goes pear shaped (wrong) then sacrifice it to the Hearth God and let it be devoured, or make it into something else, Its amazing what can come from a simple error. Get it Hot, Hit it and enjoy.
  4. I also think that the distribution of the heat is a major factor in any twisting being undertaken. On this old example the right hand end was slightly cooler than the left. So many variables, tricky to tie them down, but all worthy of consideration.
  5. John B

    Can a blacksmith repair a computer?

    I automatically go into SLEEP mode when I am not in the forge, does that count?
  6. It is apparently how the Claydon knot is made, so credit to the man, I only stumbled around trying to emulate it, It seems quite common in the US, but not over here in the UK, a potential client came in asking if we could make something to match a pictured item, and the item had the Claydon Knot for a handle, Normally i would refer the person to the maker of the item as I don't like the idea of poaching work from other smiths, but as I knew of no one making this item in the UK, I had an attempt to make one. In the end, they didn't want to pay my asking price, like a lot of potential clients, they don't appreciate the amount of time and effort put into making bespoke items, so no order placed. Bonus was I now know how to make my version of a Claydon Knot. Priceless.
  7. There is a reason for that, the first two attempts had excessive material on the inner core although from the same diameter material, This caused the S effect. By reducing the number of rods in the inner section, when the outer section is placed and twisted to form the cage, the inner section does not bind up and cause the S effect If you look carefully you will see five rods internally, six rods externally. Which can cause problems other problems. on the plus side, no mandrels were needed or used in the production of this item But it's all good fun Enjoy
  8. From JLPS previous item ; There is a point with 4 rod handles though that can fail to be graceful or pleasant to look at.. This was what we were discussing.. Of course there was much more to the conversation so was paraphrased.. " I think this pic of the experimental stages help to illustrate its not just the 4 rod handles that edict applies to. To follow on the "If it looks right it is right" this is a pic of the progress to get on to produce something I was comfortable with, your opinion may be different. My preference is ths lower one, Third attempt.
  9. It is what it is, an experiment when I tried to make a Claydon Knot, that was the fourth playtime, There are other developments that occurred as I was trying to get comfortable with . Here are the others. All were done using 5mm rod(3/16") 1st attempt 2cnd attempt 3rd attempt I only used 5 rods, but cannot find a picture which is a shame because I quite liked it as it left a pentagon effect on the end view. Don't be frightend to play, the worst that can happen is you learn something from it, even a disaster is a good example of what not to do! Enjoy
  10. Thanks Jennifer, I like to us as few tools as possible, hammer, hearth, anvil and the occasional leg vise usually, This is just a result of the amount of twisting as it closes up the rods after the ends are welded, then I rolled it up on the anvil and brought them together, both ends, and to get the bunched up section in the centre, placed one rolled up section into the pritchel hole on the anvil (or you could use a bolster plate as in the picture) and tapped it down, the other end then can be easily opened up into the cage. I should have firewelded a ball end on, but forge brazed on a ball as an afterthought, The pointed end was a result of trying to determine how good the fireweld was, the finished item has been lying around for a good few years now, so it seems to have taken successfully. Hope this has been of assistance.
  11. John B

    Flat twist Blacksmith basket..

    I think you done brilliant, long may it continue !
  12. There are many items that fall into the "Fail to be graceful or pleasant to look at" category, I was always a devotee of the "If it looks right, then it is right" mantra. I must have missed your discussions in the conversation, even ugly items can be transformed by a relatively small amount of adjustment/tweaking. Beauty being in the eye of the beholder. "Certain shapes have the tendency to draw the eye," Certainly they do and as smiths we can produce left hand and right hand items, particularly useful in twists when making features, a right hand and left hand pair can influence the overall appearance of an item, either making it appear to be wider and lower, or taller and narrower, depending on how the items are arranged. Ideal for gates or firebaskets and where they are situated. "out of these 4 handles which is your eye drawn to the most?" I'm sorry but after many years of experience in this and other fields,I cannot bring myself to have an opinion on such a lack of information, I would have to consider any other factors before thinking of what (in my opinion) would be best for a given situation. So I am opting out of answering this directly, I know which I consider to be the most difficult, but after all they are basically the same format. And here's one for those who don't know which way to twist for the better (Tongue in cheek) And this falls into the " can fail to be graceful or pleasant to look at." category quite easily if not manipulated correctly. This was a third attempt to get the build up to look something like what I liked, and felt comfortable to both eye and hold. Now I can feel OK to do it proper, this was helped by electric welding rather than in the fire, I am sure you can realise why. I suppose its an "arty item" in its own right viewd as an object, but I cannot get my head around this "it's art" thing, there has to be more to it than that for me. Enjoy yourselves.
  13. John B

    Flat twist Blacksmith basket..

    Arrow shape is a better idea for universal use, May get round to making my Mark two version (sometime). She also opened up some memories for me too, amazing what gets filed to the back of your mind when you get on a bit.
  14. Getting back to the topic, (well part of it) here are some poker handles you may or may not be interested in, all have variations, and most can be opend out into cage type twists. The top one of these is similar to the one Jlps did, but uses just two twisted square bars, and two round bars, and again could be opened up int a cage. This is the mid one prior to opening up to a cage. This is a Claydon Knot being used as a poker handle. Don't know if you would describe this as a poker or a wand? Then it can develop into, Drat, going off topic again, Maybe have to add one on Claydon Knots variations and uses. Enjoy and stay safe.
  15. John B

    Flat twist Blacksmith basket..

    Hi Frosty I made this tool, for adjusting cages etc as mentioned, made to use some 40 plus years ago as a temporary try this item, maybe one day I'll get round to refining it and doing a proper one, or maybe not , what ain't broke, don't need fixing., It's an idea, run with it. Also useful for opening split bars and adjusting in many other situations.