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I Forge Iron

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Ouch!! Aus, that hurts!! I'm in a quiet working environment so can't explain my pain as John did! 


My only help to release this pain is to think about how much more painful it would be not having time for forging all those nice materials. (Which is my constant trouble.)


Let me quote Jim here:

Forge on and make beautiful things!





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Ausfire, you really really really need to stop posting photos of your gold hoard!  We're trying to like you, but you're making it very difficult.


Those clips are the perfect preform for making hatchet and tomahawk heads.  They should be a good high-carbon alloy all by themselves and need just to be opened up and flattened out.  Bow-tie the blank or do an assymmetrical wrap...


If they're thick enough, they'd make dandy bolster blocks for riveting and nail making.  I could see two of them going into my vise as smooth jaws.  Maybe drill some holes down the middle and used them for making rivet heads.


As small as they are, you could mail-order them to other smiths around the nation and make a tidy sum even if you sold them at a dollar each.

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Jim, they would make good candle bases. Never thought of that. I did use a couple to make a junk dog with a couple of ball bearings welded in for eyes.
Vaughn has plenty of ideas for them too. I have never bothered to put one in the forge. I will do so over the weekend and see what happens. I don't know if they are wrought iron like the spikes. Maybe they are more modern?
I'm still struggling a bit with the bottle openers. I made one out of an old spanner (wrench) and was just getting it to the right diameter when the ring split on the end. And to make matters worse I jammed the drift in the hardy hole and it took two of us with hefty blows to retrieve it. Some days it's better not to light the forge! Fortunately it happened at a time there were no visitors watching.

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Vaughn, I like that wulflund image, nice.  

 Glad I could help.  I spend way too much time on the internet doing image searches because I find the most interesting designs.  It's both inspirational and addicting.

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My first attempt at bottle openers (along with a steak turner for my kitchen, a coat hook for the back of a co-worker's door, his design choice).  Unfortunately, I have no bottles, so I have no idea if these will actually function or will require tweaking.  So I'm off to the store for some cold ones!  Purely in the interest of research, product design, ya' know!   :P


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I had another go at those wrought iron (?) spikes today with the intention of making a bottle opener. Even when very hot they still seem inclined to laminate. Or delaminate I guess. Don't know if you can see the cracks and the fibrous looking ends in the photo. Here's what they looked like:





Are these dog spikes the same as the U.S. spikes? We seem to have two types of spike here - the one that actually looks a bit like a dog (ears 'n' all) and the top one which has more of a pan head. I think the dog spike is older and they are the wrought ones. I haven't forged one of the others so not sure what it is.


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After messing around with those spikes I decided I had better do something more productive and here are the two openers I made today. The ramshead opener is made from a piece of 19mm x 6mm flat bar. The other is half of a horse shoe. I kept the groove and the rectangular nail holes. Gave these a bit of a polish and some tempering colour. Not to Frog's standard yet, but he's given me something to aspire to. That makes three now - more to come.



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My only suggestion would be watch how thin you forge the edge of cap tab (part that grabs under the cap).
It looks like it almost comes to a sharp, thin edge?

Thanks for your encouraging comments! Actually the cap tab edge is thicker than it seems in the picture. I think the tip has sunk into the soft material a little.

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I beleive somewhere in this post there was a caution about making a bottle opener that can break off the top of the bottle.   I took note of that and had the chance to do "some testing" this last weekend.  Actually it was a bit too much testing but nevermind.   I had a lot of bottle openers that needed testing u see.   A safety thing really.   One must make certain sacrifices.  Anyway.....


I was able to do just what I had been cautioned against.   To expand on the caution, that I have now proven to myself to be quite possible, if not potentially likely with our hand made items...   


The question becomes what is the design flaw that makes this likely and how can we avoid it?   


I think the answer is that if the distance between the small smashed indentation on the handle and the far end of the opener (the inside dimension) is too great then you risk having a bottle opener instead of just a bottle cap remover.   Hope that makes sense.    Put another way if the inside dimension of the opener end in the axial direction of the handle is to great.    


Anyone have any guidelines or dos and don'ts in order to avoid this?    Does my theory sound correct or do I need to be corrected or refined?


Anyone have a max min dimension they shoot for?

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Yup, that was me back in post #106 of this thread.

Unfortunately, I think the best answer to your question of opener dimensions is, "it depends".
Claw type of openers are different than the hole type.

I have a gauge I use as a reference for the type of openers I make. Never measured the actual dimension of it before. After I drift my hole and forge the rim of the eye for a bit, I check the diameter of the hole with my highly accurate and precision measuring tool...... the wide fat top end of my tab tool. :)

From doing a lot of openers, I know that if the fat end of that my tool fits in the forged hole, and has just the right amount of rattle within the hole, it will be just right once I forge the cap tab in place. Too large of a hole leads to glass chipping and cracking tendencies (on my openers).

The shape and thickness of the cap tab will also come into play. As will the sharpness or rounded edge of the cap tab.

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