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I haven't seen much on this sight about collaring, so I thought I'd share a few pictures and some information.

Collarring is the most efficient means to join 2 or more pieces of metal together and form structures that I have ever seen, and it is also the simplest. The technology is basic and straightforward. As long as there are at least 3 connecting points per scroll you will form a rigid structure with nothing more than the collars. Collars can be made and installed in one heat, or you can make the "U's" up in one heat then install them later in another heat. It never takes more than two heats unless you are forge welding them.

Here are some examples of collarring, and I'll go and take some pictures of the tooling and post them if you are interested.

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Brian, That is really nice. I have done some collaring before but not alot. One of my next projects is going to have some on it. I would like to see the tools you use. Thanks!!!

Gaylan

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interested?! what kind of question is that!! lol , i was wondering when you'd talk about this .those are some beautiful examples. i think i have the basics down but would love to read more please keep those pics coming , really looking forward to learning more

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Here's the tools. My camera was running out of batteries, so I just took 2 pictures.

The tool on the anvil is just a 12" piece of 1"x2" with 2 pieces of 1"x2" three inches long with two 1/2" rods through each piece holding it all together with a hardy stem welded to it. So, it makes a 6" gap that you can create any space you need with the other pieces that fill the gap. Plus you have the pieces that stick up to support your collar being formed with your driving tool. The other picture shows some different driving tools and some collaring tools for laying out and installing several collars while your pieces are assembled, like the trivet above. Next to that are scrolling jigs that will make a C-scroll that will touch.

These tools are pretty barberic, but that's what I came up with several years ago when I had to do my first collarring job. Sorry about the rust. My shop is outside.

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SWEET! Love the work, I want to learn that! I notice that you use several different collar designs. Is that just cosmetic? How do you generate the clean profiles and ridges on some of them, and keep them intact?

Please charge up that camera and post more!

Thank you for taking the time.
Phil

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Brian , In the second photo, the lower right of the group . Are those to hold the collars firmly in a U shape while you close the ends? I notice they are different thickness but appear to be the same width opening. Are they held in a vise ? Your posts always present great examples and stimulate thought ! Thank you for taking the time to show all the techniques you use.

Dick

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Brian, please know that when you present information, almost always I take comprehensive notes for my self and ultimately for who ever may benefit from my notes.

I realize the basic skills and concepts of what you teach us are not new to the craft of blacksmithing.
But the way you present the information and your approach for using the basic skills are unique and distinctive to your self as opposed to the fashion and manner that many other highly skilled blacksmiths use who teach us by using there own unique methods.

I believe a person could compare having different teachers who teach the same subject with a photograph (s)!
As with a photograph (s), sometime it is important to obtain several different angles of the same subject matter in order to obtain an accurate concept of what is being photographed.
So your instructions are a very important part of the information pie, and I welcome your instructions and guidance.

That is why it is important to me that you to continue to present you views and concepts of what you are teaching us. It gives us another prospective!
I don’t always respond to each post or thread that you start. That is because I am absorbing what is presented and I realize that all I could possibly add to what you say would be a “Thank You”.

Please remember that what you are teaching us will be available for time to come as a reference to those who are highly skilled, and an instructional guide and reference for those who are on their way to becoming skilled blacksmiths.

So please teach us what ever your time and resources allow!
Thank You!
Ted Throckmorton

Edited by Ted T

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At the risk of adding nothing I would like to say thankyou to Brian for his series of informative posts. Like Ted, I often don't respond because its would just be to say thankyou but that does not mean I don't take any notice.

Please keep them coming Brian.

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I second or third what Ted said, Brian!! The forum here at IFI is like Christmas morning to me. there are just sooo many great presents from all the smiths. I have to admit that when I see your name, it is like seeing that big shiny bicycle sitting in the corner. goosebumps and anticipation. I wish I lived where you can be within a few hours drive. you would have tokick me out!!. I know you are heading this way, but I don't have the fundage to make the drive. My loss for now. but thanks for the gifts you have given

paul

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I'd have to agree with both of the last two posts! Brian, as usual you are posting information of substance and interest. Do you and Karen have a list of locations where you will be teaching classes? I know there is a sticky about the road trip, but i'm sure there are a ton of people who would love to come take a class from you during the road trip. Is that the boy you told me about in that picture? The one who's parents didn't believe he had made the item?
That is some impressive work he is holding, maybe he could teach me a thing or two!

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Boy, that's alot to respond to. Thank you all! I just got in from work, and it's late. I helped Mark rework a 10# sledge, heat treat and put a handle on it after he got off work at 3:30. I'll post some pics of that tomarrow.

pkrankow, those collars were fullered with different fullers while they were just bar stock, then I cut them to length and made them into collars with the collarring tool. You can do all kinds of different designs. The math just has to work out. Collarring is very precise and that is what makes it so simple. It's just math, and you have to make the peices fit.

Dick L, Those pieces are for holding a specific size collar, like for most of those trivets, and they are drillled and tapped on the other side so I can secure them on a table so I can assemble the whole trivet then close the collars. The gate was done the same way, but in sections because I didn't have all the different sizes. There are standard sizes that you will use when you are collarring, and when I settle down and can afford it, I'll be able to show more of what can be done with this technique. I have done them one at a time in a vice in the past, but it is a waste of time, and when you get bigger than that trivet, it can be unweilding.

Ironstein, no, that is Mark's son, David. He did that on his Spring Break. That was his second project. Mark Lakey was the one I was telling you about, and he did his first trivet in 1 hour. Ed, my brother didn't even believe it could be done until about a year and a half later when he saw Shawn Lovell do her first trivet in less than an hour at the 2004 CBA Spring Conference.

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Brian, Thank you for the knowledge that you have. Please add more pictures of the collar tooling, it is late here and my mind is not functioning as it should. Beutiful work some day I hope to be at that level.

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Brian, Thank you for the knowledge that you have. Please add more pictures of the collar tooling, it is late here and my mind is not functioning as it should. Beutiful work some day I hope to be at that level.


I could show you that tomarrow and you could be at that level. It is as simple as it gets. It's the thought that counts.

I didn't go into why I use C-scrolls that touch, but there are reasons why I do.

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This is great Brian, I think alot of people like myself try to do these kinds of things without making the tools and wonder why we are unsucessful in producing consistant results.

I probley made about 300 scrolls all freehand in the last 10 months and put all of them into the scrap pile

I also made at least a dozen scroll jigs and was honestly happy with one or two maybe,

I constantly find myself making more and more tools in fact I make them and test them and hardly use them sometimes because I am either working or doing basic stuff to collect money to get more tools or of course making more tools

I have made some crappy trivets and will be watching for the next installment,

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one of the things i first got told, was a forge is like a mill or lathe, make the tools for the things you wish to repeat for the best result. i have yet to see this teaching faulted. the other bit was there is an order or sequences for, without and with tools, learn them both. thanks for showing and sharing your extremely nice work, skills and timeless methods.

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Collars can be made and installed in one heat, or you can make the "U's" up in one heat then install them later in another heat. It never takes more than two heats unless you are forge welding them.



Hi Brian, Whilst appreciating all your comments and advice and enthusiasm, I feel that the above is a sweeping statement and would like to point out that that may be true for the smaller collars you illustrate, or define collars as simply making a U and then closing it (and there is no shame in taking more than two heats) but there are many more that require more than two heats for various reasons, ie shaped profiles, or using larger materials that require definition of edges etc (usually down to the 'smiths requirements as well as the clients)

I have attached a couple of pictures to illustrate the point, , The "chunky" ones are from at least 1" x 3/8" which even with tooling under a flypress usually take more than 2 heats to produce the clean corners.

I do admire your work and attitude towards the craft, and wish I could get to your demos. However as that is very unlikely I will continue to look forward to and appreciate your contributions on this site and providing a lead for others to aspire to

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Ok, I guess I'll have to qualify that even further by saying it takes more if you want to decorate or form those hard corners, but the thicker the collar, like in the case of the 3/8", the easier it is to accomplish in one heat. At least that has been my experience. I have a little more time to work the larger stock, and as far as installing the collars, there is no difference if they are thick or thin, it's the same steps. But you are absolutely correct JohnB, any extra work will take extra work.

Doube edge, that is a nice way of describing it. I've never heard it put that way.

Edited by brianbrazealblacksmith

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Hi Brian,
This has been a really interesting thread!!! Thanks for all the information and pictures.
I like many others are still absorbing information and thinking though the pictures. I too will be making and using these tool ideas for my upcoming project.Thanks for all you do for us.

Gaylan

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I am like a big fish, and I am hungry for information.
So I will bite and ask you why you use scroll jigs that can make a C-scroll that will touch?
Ted Throckmorton

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Thanks, Gaylan.
I'm still surprised that no one has asked why I use scroll jigs that can make a C-scroll that will touch.
Hey, Brian... why do you use scroll jigs that can make a C-scroll that will touch? I remember these jigs from the Tips & Tricks thread, but the "why" part is indeed an interesting question.

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I'm glad you asked.
there are several reasons. I hope I don't leave any out.

First, it creates a structure by itself when you attach a collar to it like a circle. Also, the design possibilities with the C-scroll are much more extensive than with the S-scroll. Look at the Bee gate, those are all variations of C-scrolls except for the veins in the wings. The circles are even C-scrolls in a way.

The jigs I make can make S-scrolls, but any jig can. I make them where I can cut a known length of stock and form a C-scroll where my jig does not interfere with the second side of the scroll. This allows me to cut my 20 foot bars where I don't create scraps. Also, the math that reveals itself to you is pretty amazing. For instance, when I make those trivets with three 24" scrolls, they fit in a 12" circle, and when I make 32" scrolls, they fit in a 16" circle, and when I make 36" scrolls they fit in a 18" circle.... Also, two 24" scrolls fill the same area as one 36" scroll, so by using 36" of material instead of 48" of material, I can fill the same space but use one less foot of material. This adds up real quick. The 32" jig will make a scroll that a 4" ball will not fit through. You'll have to add something like in the picture for the 36" scroll so a 4" ball will not fit through.

Three of these scrolls when placed together, form an equalateral triangle, and I'm not even going to go into what you can do with that. 4 will make squares and rectangles. 5 or more can make circles or octagons....

I'm probably leaving some things out, but chew on that for awhile and try it out. I've only scratched the surface with what I've done with it.

Here are some other examples of what I had laying around.

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the math is almost to easy there brian!! but i guess the simplest of answers for the toughest of problems, when making things of that nature such as trivets and the sort where do you start , from the center outwards , from left to right? do you put the contours up after the inside is done or make the "outlines" first?

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Very impressive and informative, Brian - you have a gift for clear explanation and teaching so I hope you continue to take the time to educate those of us fortunate enough to visit this site and soak up the knowledge. I love scrolls and use them a lot in my work but confess I rarely collar anything; usually it's just weld with the MIG, grind and paint - so nothing I make will ever be mistaken for 17th century work.

However, I don't use collars for a specific reason and that is because so much of my work goes outside, where moisture can get under the pieces and cause rust. I have yet to find a way to get a sealant, paint or inhibitor into those crevices to prevent rusting, which often starts soon after installation. One of the first public pieces I ever made is at our church and now over 25 years since it left my anvil - the piece had collars and I get to see it every Sunday. Even though I sandblasted it and used a Sherwin Williams rust inhibitor under a commercial clear coat, the entire piece is now rusted from spots that started under those collars, so I would say they definitely have their place and they provide a traditional look but are not perfect for all applications. This is not a criticism of your post but simply a comment on general collar usage.

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Brian, very nice info once again. A question on the collars; do you scarf the ends. If you do, do you do it with the decorated collars as well? Just out of curiosity, is the outer ring on the trivet forge welded?

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