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I Forge Iron

Pine Cones..:) WIP


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I've been making some tooling to enable me to add Pine Cones to my "palette" of organic elements. Thought I'd share.....the process. FWIW, Steve Joslyn was an inspiration for this.
First I got some real pine cones, disassembled one......to have parts for masters. With a few "petals(ovulate scales)" to use as a guide. I made 2 different sized "positive" masters that I could use to make the tooling. They made the 2 largest petals/depressions...and I then altered them to make the 2 smaller masters/depressions.

see #1 photo

Once I was satisfied with the basic shape of each petal....I heated them to non magnetic and quenched them in Gunter Quench, so they would be "hardened". And then I got a small piece of 3/4" plate....and heated it to bright red and beat the COLD HARD petals into the HEATED plate to create the negative petal shapes. This photo jumps ahead to the final stage....which shows 4 different sized petals.

see #2 photo

Then I proceeded to the "trial and error" stage to determine the correct size of material to forge into each negative to produce the forged petals with the least amount of "flashing/cleanup". This photo shows not only the variety of material and shapes......but some of the test petals. Some were WAY to thick and had to much flashing, which would just create more work to clean up. This step was essential in refining the finished petals.

see #3 photo

I found that 5/16" round stock was just about perfect for starting material. I'd heat about 1" of a rod and forge it into a "pie shaped" taper, that had more mass/thickness on the wide end to accomadate the largest part of the petal depression in the tooling.

I've also shot some video of forging a few of these but will have to wait til the footage is edited to share.

I will cut to the chase and show the first "test, pine cone"....... After welding up the forged petals to a tapered rod.....I found a bark textured, tapered "drop" in my scrap bucket and made a sample branch.

see #4&5 photos






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thanks , Alec and Jed.
Alec........that's better than I could have hoped for :blink:

Even though I shot a bunch of still pix of the process and tooling.....and some HD video to edit and post for a "how to" video on YouTube........today I did a Streaming video demo of this on Stickam and recorded it to save in my video archive. In case anyone is curious.......here's a link to my channel.
href='http://www.stickam.com/ornametalsmith[/' class='bbc_url' title='External link' rel='nofollow external'>http://www.stickam.c...ametalsmith
You'll find the pine cone video in the Video archive that is at the bottom left of the page.

This site is something relatively new for me.....and I see a lot of potential for real time interaction and sharing for folks that do what we do. Maybe I could get some feedback.....let me know what you all think. I know right out of the chute.......that the image quality is limited to everyone's connection. And I'm still learning about the best way to get the best results. I'm only using an iMac with the built in iSight camera.......so I'm sure a higher quality camera would help.......but there is always the "bottleneck" in any system.......and at this time........it's STILL everyone's connection. That being said.......the simpilest things I can change is the lighting........I'll be adding better lighting......and an illuminated "lazy susan" would be great to have, to highlight whatever is the topic, for any late comers. The lighting in this vid is xxxx......sorry bout that :blink:

I'd be interested in hearing opinions and feedback. Think it would be great if there could be regular demonstrations/sharing of process and techniques. If you have a webcam hooked up..........the MAIN viewing window can be shared, the moderator can put ANYONE in the main window......so that others could participate in the action. Kinda like "giving the floor" to whoever is speaking.

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Thanks......I appreciate ALL the great feedback. Keep that up I'll need new hats........ B) joshin of course :).......bout the hats.

anywhoooooooooo just thought I'd toss this out there.
I FINALLY finished editing the stills/video clips into a YouTube video. Hope you all enjoy it. It's best viewed in 720p HD. This could be my best "quality" video...think I've finally got that part figured out, still have to work on the studder :blink: . FWIW, it's a MPEG4 Quicktime .mov. I've been searching for that "holy grail" since I started posting on YouTube.....so I thought I'd pass that along incase anyone else is trying to figure out the best way to SAVE vids for best quality on YouTube.

I don't think I can embed a video here......but I'll try. NO GO.......some FORUM layouts enable that option. Ignore the text below........but it was worth a shot.

<object width="560" height="340"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/o3UjV1BxErc&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/o3UjV1BxErc&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="560" height="340"></embed></object>
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Being unable to get to videos right now... how do the petals come together?? welded on a core?

good work!! I kept looking to the pine cone made from iron.. and I am originally from Maine.. and I was fooled... (yes there is a joke there.. but leave it be)


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