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Hi, all,

I'm Seth, as noob as someone can get for blacksmithing. I have an interesting project, which is to hammer some simple hardware out of flat stock, to be used as tension lugs for a stave constructed snare drum. Though I have a buddy who has a forge, big 'ol anvil, and has taken a number of training classes with the blacksmith at the historic park...his availability isn't always there. So, I'll be searching around, looking as stuff, and maybe asking a question or two.

The drum lugs aren't very big, maybe 5" starting length and 1" wide, and require little more than for each end to be curled over, like a hinge knuckle. How nice maybe to add in some peening marks for texture. This sounds like a good fit for the brake drum forge, so I'll get cracking on learning what it is.

Anyway, that's my gig.

Cheers,

Seth

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Do the need to be hardened/tempered? how much force will be on them and what do you expect the end size to be?


Hi, Thomas,

There's no requirement for hardening or tempering. On a practice run with my buddy, we just quenched hardware store mild steel in water when finished with hammering, and left it at that. Is there a possibility of the lug cracking over time if we just water quench once?

The finished size will be between 3-3.5" long. This will fit on a 5.5" tall drum shell. I'm using 1/8" thick steel flat bar; probably could go down to 3/32" thickness, but 1/16" feels too thin.

In terms of force - each lug will be attached by two 3/16" dia screws through the body of the lug and through the shell. This is plenty strong to resist the tension forces as the drum head is tightened down. There might be an actual force measurement known in the drum community, but I've not seen one on any of the boards I frequent.

When I get home from work, I'll post pictures of the shell and the lug mock up.

Cheers,

Seth
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If that was A-36 what big box stores generally sell; then quenching it may or may not make it brittle and prone to snaping. A-36 can have a pretty wide range in carbon content.

Generally I don't quench *anything* anymore that not getting a heat treat----just let it normalize

I'd suggest making a "spare" exactly the same way and test to destruction

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So here is the project I worked on this weekend. The forge is my buddy's.

Shaped the waist with a grinder.

post-14116-006187300 1276545879_thumb.jp


Drilled some stop-holes and cut a channel.

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Forge is a converted chiminea.
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The anvil.
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The bench.
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Here is a scale of the forge's capacity.
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My buddy is flaring the tube end to make a candle stick
post-14116-080757400 1276545962_thumb.jp

post-14116-059923700 1276545959_thumb.jp

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Seth: first off, welcome aboard, glad to have ya. If you'll include your general location in your message header you might be leasantly surprised to discover smiths living close enough to lend you a hand directly.

Quenching mild steel is pretty pointless, there isn't enough carbon in it to harden. Not reliably that is, some of the modern performance specced steels can have enough to heat treat but it's not terribly predictable unless you're already familiar with the tests that'll give you a good working handle on it.

Anywho, what you're describing isn't going to require high strength or hard steel, mild is more than enough to serve.

Frosty the Lucky.

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Those look like they'll work just fine Seth. It's really easy to overthink projects, especially when you're first getting started. Something that helps to keep in mind is mild steel is typically 35,000lb/sq/in tensil strength. This means a drummer'd have to be a pretty close relation to goliath to threaten any of the clamps.

What you've made so far looks good to go. I'd say it's an excellent beginner's project. first you have a vested interest in getting them right, second you understand how they work and why they need to be the way they are. Lastly, while the shape is basic it needs to be reasonably precise to work properly. Best of all, making these things yourself earns you bragging rights. B)

Frosty the Lucky.

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Now that I see what you are making, there are several different ways you could have gone about it. You choice is probably the easiest for repeatability. I agree with Frosty that over thinking is easy and not all that helpful.

Nice work there.

Phil

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We actually did two different ways. My buddy, whose hands you see in the pictures, followed all the instruction he's received from the blacksmith at the historical park. I merely grabbed a pair of scrolling tongs, and folded over the fingers, then opened the curl back up by knocking the mandrel under the curled fingers.

My way was faster, but needed a re-heat and some fussing time to move the fingers back to true. His way took longer with several heating cycles, but looked much more tidy, and the hinge knuckle was better formed to match the curve of the barrel nut.

My take away is I'd need a pair of tongs customized for bending over the fingers, ensuring the correct radius was formed. I'd get this job done in mere seconds, once the steel was up to temperature. I see relatively little need for hammer work, unless the body of the drum lug needs to have any twist straighted out.

But, man, was that ever fun!

Cheers,

Seth

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Yeah it's fun, it involves fire and hitting things with hammers, maybe a moderate amount of beer could inprove the persuit but. . .

have you come up with other things these new discovered and developed techniques could be good for? for instance if you make thingies like the drum clamp gizmos only make one end small enough to fit inside the large end of another piece they'd make a pretty cool chain and might look just special as all getout on hats or hip hugger jeans.

Seriously, what successful band member couldn't use hand forged steel accoutremonts while on stage?

Frosty the Lucky.

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Yeah it's fun, it involves fire and hitting things with hammers, maybe a moderate amount of beer could inprove the persuit but. . .

have you come up with other things these new discovered and developed techniques could be good for? for instance if you make thingies like the drum clamp gizmos only make one end small enough to fit inside the large end of another piece they'd make a pretty cool chain and might look just special as all getout on hats or hip hugger jeans.

Seriously, what successful band member couldn't use hand forged steel accoutremonts while on stage?

Frosty the Lucky.


Ha ha! Hadn't thought about connecting them like a chain; handy in case of a spontaneous bar fight or animal control situation. I was getting a church key vibe; that was my inspiration for the design, kind of like a combination drum lug / beer bottle opener.
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Good evening, hammer dudes.

Here are two views of the blacksmith lugs, temporarily attached with double stick tape.

My feeling - too long, two chunky, too much metal. I need shorter, narrower, and less metal to keep it in proportion. Opinions? Don't hold back, I need it honest.

The wood is 200 year old Canadian sugar maple. Behlen's string instrument lacquer, polished with Meguire's automotive cleaner. Like the figure? It's sexy. Oh, stripes are walnut.

Cheers,

Seth

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post-14116-037311600 1277174122_thumb.jp

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