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I Forge Iron

Frying pan help?

Graham Ashford

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Hello all

I have been put your way by some of the folk from Metal Artist Forum and I was wodering whether or not you might be able to help me, most of my experience with sheet metal comes from armour reproductions, however I am starting to make cooking utensils for reenactors and something has me a little stumped.

Tool wise, I have a good number of stakes and can make more, a couple of good size anvils, hammers of all types and a forge. No automatic machines, power hammers or other stuff along those lines.

How do you get break in the nice edges on pans and frying pans where the base turns up into the sides?

Currently I am raising the edges as I would an eblow couter or knee poleyn, but the process leaves the sides damaged and in need of planishing and grinding back. I am sure that I am missing the point somewhere and taking one discipline (raising) into another where there is a simpler technique to be used that I simply don't know.

Some of the rounder pans and cooking utensils are dished nice and easy, but these neat edges have me beat (in terms of effort and time) I get the impression I am spending too much of both. Raising is getting me there but it seems the wrong technique.

The link below is to a diagram of the pans I am doing:

Pans on the middle and left hand side.
Opera di M. Bartolomeo Scappi (1570) c on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Frying pan on the lower left:
Opera di M. Bartolomeo Scappi (1570) f on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Kind regards for any help you can offer.


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Do you want a quick way to produce multiple items of a similar size, or a simple way to produce individual items that vary in size?

And what thicknesss of material are you using?

Wherabouts are you located as you have not got a location in the top right hand corner of the address bar

Edited by John B
Location requested
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Welcome aboard Graham, glad to have you. If you'll click "User CP" at the top of the page and edit your profile to show your location it can make a BIG difference. IFI is represented by members in more than 50 countries, lots more and a lot of info is location specific.

I assume you're working steel though I didn't see the gage. Have you ever tried metal spinning?

hammering them by hand I'd probably work hot over a customized stake. It shouldn't be too big a hassle. Just charge accordingly and take payment bofore delivery.

Frosty (or Frostig den Heldig to my Scadian friends)

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The few deonstrators I wathced that made fry pans had a tappered form cut from plate that was clamped to the sheet.
They then heated areas with a torch and worked it up the form on the outside.
This form was used as a back up to upset the steel to and made the size pan they wanted.

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Actually I tend to pick up old pressed steel frying pans at the fleamarket for a buck apiece. Seems to be the easiest way to me...Wirebrush and rehandle and bob's your uncle!

To forge them I like to take the blank heat one section of the rim and place it between two disks on my flypress and hammer the hot section letting the press keep the center flat and true.

I've been reproducing some of the Opera's stuff too! Remember that a lot of such cookware was done in copper and copper alloys and so can be worked like you work such things---silversmithing books will give examples of setting a base.

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