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I Forge Iron

Looking for blacksmith for hire

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Hey, my name is Chris and I live in Independence, MO. I'm trying to find someone that can make a 6" outside diameter ring using either 1/2" or 5/8" round bar. If anyone knows about Scottish Highlands Games, this is for a handle on a throwing weight. I'd like to find someone here close to KC but if the shipping is decent I'd be willing to go farther out. If this proves to be cost efficient, I will be ordering 5-10 at a time.


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The more that I think about this project, the more I become concerned about "cost efficient" solutions. Considerations include:

- a heavy weight
- each connection between the ring and the weight
- potential injuries inherent in athletic activities
- proper maintainence and inspection of equipment and connections, especially "quick connects".
- smith's potential liability for injuries occurring in a piece of athletic equipment
- smith's potential liability for injuries occurring due to flaws of other parts of the equipment that the smith did not make.
- the smith not being involved in the design or oversight of other parts that are used.
- potential of failure of other parts due to under-engineering
- the likelihood that a smiths insurance policy will not cover liability for parts used in athletic equipment for injuries to athlete or spectators.
- not knowing the age of the person ordering the part(s), adult or teenager ordering "cool" stuff?

Scenario : One of the connections fails and the heavy iron ball flys into a group of small children.

Edited by UnicornForge
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Let me start by saying that I completely understand your concern. The LAST thing I want to do is hurt anyone.

"Scenario : One of the connections fails and the heavy iron ball flys into a group of small children...."

Being a father of two myself, this thought scares me.

Next, this implement is for training purposes only. It will not meet the precise weight specifications that traditional highland games require. In saying that, even though virtually no one will be around, I have definitely searched to find quality hardware to use.

- 3/8" Dia. Oval threaded connectors, ("quick connectors") - workload of 2,200 lbs
- 6" x 1/2" Grade 8 bolt, w/ ultra corrosive resistant coating - min. of 150,000 psi tensile strength
- Eye nut w/ 7/16" diameter loop (to fit 1/2" bolt) - (vertical lift) work load limit of 3,600 lbs

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The photograph on Wikipedia looks like it shows the iron ball with a bolt or rod going completely through it, possibly/probably welded at the end of the ball furthest from the handle. The handle is also D shaped, and it appears that all connections are welded.

While the Grade 8 bolt may have a 150,000 psi tensile strength, unless the bolt completely passes through the iron ball, the threads in the iron ball will be a weak spot as the threads in the ball will not be as strong as the bolt.

My humble suggestions:
- use a D shaped handle, because a 6" ring will be much much harder to hold onto
- have the bolt or steel bar pass completely through the iron ball
- all connections should have x-ray quality welds

Threaded connectors can come unscrewed. Inspect thoroughly prior to each toss.

I am extremely uncomfortable with your proposed design. I feel that both the shape of the handle and the selection of the connectors indicate a lack of being completely thought out.
I am extremely uncomfortable with the elements being chosen by a non-metalworker.
I am extremely uncomfortable with the thought that this design will be possibly made in large numbers (ie ordering 5 or 10 at a time).
I am extremely uncomfortable with these "practice" items being made in a "cost effective" manner, as I feel that safety should be the main concern. The one shown on Wikipedia apparently shows one in which safety was the main concern.

Personally, I feel that the risk of liability for injuries would greatly outweigh any possible monetary compensation for involvement in such a project.

I am not trying to be mean, I am just extremely concerned. I don't think anyone on this forum should take the liability risk.

My opinion, others may disagree.

Edited by UnicornForge
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"Throwing the Weights for Distance:
Standard Weight:
Men 28 lbs. and 56 lbs.
Women 14 lbs. and 28 lbs.
Master 28 lbs. and 42 lbs. or 56 lbs.

The weight will be thrown with one hand only. The weight shall be made of metal but can be of various shapes and sizes including spherical, bullet or box shaped. The handle can either be attached directly to the weight or attached with a length chain. The handle may also be of various shapes and thickness such as a ring, triangle or a "D" shape..."

"I am extremely uncomfortable with the elements being chosen by a non-metalworker."
- Actually I work at a sheet-metal fabrication shop.

Yes the bolt goes all the way through the weight, and screws into the eye-nut. And yes, they need to be made cost effective... if it costs $100 dollars to buy a ring with 4" of chain attached to it, then it simply will not work. I'm not saying that I expect to get it for a couple dollars, just that its got to be within budget.

Attached is my design -

Edited by sketch06
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in the mans defense i will say i have seen several designs of throwing "hammers". some with full rings. some leather straps. the "industry standard" has become the d-ring handle because most throwers prefer it. and im not saying safety should not be first priority. because it is, as always, the precursor to everything. and the bolts that ive seen are not welded to the ball. they have a high torsion bolt that runs through the center so different weight set ups can be used in training an so on. after all that is said i still dont know if i trust the quik connects. ( ive seen them fail in too many instances for no apparent reason) but the half inch bolt should be ok. i would definetly examine the equipment after EACH throw to detirmine if the bolt size would have to be increased.

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in the mans defense i will say i have seen several designs of throwing "hammers"..

sketch06 and I have had a nice exchange of information via PM (private messages) and I feel that we have *both* increased our understanding of the goals, design possibilities, possible materials, liability release forms, and ways that he could possibly make that parts himself, that could be potentially be used in his project. :D

Since his designs, and some marketing references were shared by PM, I assume that information may have been intended as part of his proprietary business plan so I do not feel free to share the information exchanged. Edited by UnicornForge
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