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I Forge Iron

traditional joinery project

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Hi Dave,
Curve looks a little lumpy, but good job for a first attempt, and it should work fine, which is the acid test.

I'll blame it on my lack of a third hand and the unfinished swage block I have. ;) If all else fails.......BLAME IT ON THE TOOLS! LOL

It worked good, but it was too small and the angle on the blade was a bit steep.
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I worked on the final drawing some today. (Got some good heavy sketch paper in and used my light table to transfer the original drawing to the new paper. I still have to add in the additional info gained from my test pieces. I also need to do a couple of other test pieces.

Tomorrow I will try some forge welding again. Yesterday I tried but it just wasn't a "welding day." I think part of the problem rests in my scarfs, so I'm going to alter that and try some welding tomorrow with a fresh fire.

Here are some pictures of the drawing.

drawing stuff

Drawing the outer and inner frame pieces.

Drawing the daffodils.

Nearly finished

I'm going to draw some daffodils out separate and cut them out with the plasma. The center of the daffodil will be a sort of short candle cup.

Class starts this Sunday evening. I'm excited about it as well as a little nervous as to how I'll do. I am going to try to start a new thread and update it daily from the school but no guarantees on that. I may just have to wait until I get back.

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Here is the last of the drawing completed. It has been an interesting endevour thus far and I appreciate the amazing ammount of input and assistance offered by the extremely knowledgeable craftsmen on here. Y'all have really helped me out alot.

All the test pieces that I have the knowledge to do, have been done, the results recorded, and stock figuring done, based on those notes. The test pieces have taught me alot, and I believe that I now have a fair chance of completing one side of this project at least, in the week ahead.

Once again, this is a wood crib or holder that will go on our hearth. There will be two sides identical that will be connected to each other so that they are spaced 30-inches apart. An oak slab will fit in the bottom between the two ends, and firewood will be stacked on top of the slab.

The design is my own, and features mortise and tenon, rivets, forge welds, pass throughs, upsets, collars, square corners and wedge joints.
The final drawing includes the bulges that will result from slit and drifting.

First is the front view of one end. Like I said, there will eventually be two of these, though I doubt I will complete both in the week-long class.

Detail photos!

The flower will be done in four pieces: stem, two pieces with three pedals each, and a raised pipe center. The whole will be riveted together.

Here is a SUPER simple view of the end on edge. It's sole purpose is to show the size of the upper and lower slit and drift mortise holes, and to show the wedge joint pieces that will connect the two ends. Keep in mind that there will be four connecting bars. The two shewn, and two on the bottom to hold the slab of wood. (Clear as mud I suppose!) The square holes in the flat view are for these connecting bars.

Too late to change anything on the drawing, though Mr. Clay may suggest some modifications during layout or construction.

I am excited and a bit nervous. Don't know how well I'll do! I'd like to get the whole project done, but y'all know how it is trying to estimate time on this stuff.
Wish me luck boys......I'm gonna need it!


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Your work is coming on so well I'm proud to call you friend. I would've been adding my advice as you went but I couldn't add anything. You are seriously on the way to being one of the finest smiths this side of the pond. Your drawings are good, it can be hard to get the "right" details on drawings, it's easy to try building off rough sketches or, as in my case, put WAY too much detail in. I tend to over think things.

Being able to design is a serious skill. Your skills sets with the metal are coming along so quickly it's amazing to watch. I wish we lived close enough together to visit. I'd be proud to show you everything I've picked up.

Frosty the Lucky.

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Hi Dave, Looks fine, Are you also using lap joints(cross halving) Not mentioned in your skills used list) for the end frames to ensure the centre and outers align? I would also consider a couple more points with the wedge access adjacent to the collar if your drawing is to scale (which I assume it is), and the flower motif and its arrangement, but no doubt you will get some advice from your mentor, and this is your design after all I don't think you will have too many problems in the making of it, as by now with the drawings and detail work being done you should have reasonably good idea of proceeding with making it. I also concur with Frosty's opinion and post Good luck and enjoy.

Edited by John B
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Just a quick note to wish you well,Dave,and to thank you for your wonderfully disciplined,systematic approach,that allows many of us to also learn from this process.
Both your progress,and the advice and suggestions by others are simply most valuable to the rest of us upon the Path.
All the very best,you'll be forging circles around all of us soon!

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Wow, Dave! Great to watch your growth. You're doing great! Thanks for sharing your progress and process. We're so lucky to be living in this age where we can communicate and learn so much almost instantly. Compared to the old days anyway.

Only thing I can add to this is for a drift or punch lube one of the best things I've found is simply coal dust. I tried the other lubes in press work and the coal dust just works better. Plus it's right there if you're using a coal forge. The other thing I was taught is that any top tools, your handled tools that are struck by a hammer should not be wedged. Simply spread out the end of the handle so the tool doesn't fly off, but no wedges. The wedges will send the shock of the hammer blow right up it into your hand and can even split the handle.

Keep up the great work and reports!

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My punch is S7 air hardening. I cool it in water with just a REALLY FAST dunk to get the intense heat down. You still wouldn't want to touch it though. It seems to work a bit better tha way.

I've heard of the Molly-Graphite lube. I've got graphite but I'm unsure what Molly is.

I did learn why my drifts were hard to push through sometimes. I am using a 1/2-inch slitter for a 1/2" round drift, then a 1/2-inch square. Mr. Clay said that the width of the punch is supposed to be one-half of the circumference of the hole you are going for. I'm sure I knew this from last year...just forgot it. (I probably even have it in my notes somewhere.) Anyway, he said to stick with my tools to keep my measurements right.

So what do you do? Slitter the same width as the diameter of your drift or one-half the circumference of your drift?

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The Moly is short for molybdenum and is a common type of grease lubricant ingredient. Here's a link to one brand... but you can get it at any auto supply store. http://www.ellsworth.com/display/productlisting.html?vendorID=138&productLineID=23&subCategoryID=&PageNumber=-1&Tab=Products As far as slitter sizing it depends on exactly what you are wanting to do. If you use a slitter half the circumference of your drift you'll likely end up with a bit of "eye" left at the ends of the slit... due to stretching of the sides as you drift. This can be minimized (maybe even eliminated) by upsetting after slitting... measurements would be affected of course. The way that you are currently doing it results in more side stretching which will thin the metal surrounding the hole... not a problem if there is plenty of metal mass anyway. You could also use an intermediate approach with some side stretch but not as much as the way you are doing it now will create.

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Hi Dave, Looks fine, Are you also using lap joints(cross halving) Not mentioned in your skills used list) for the end frames to ensure the centre and outers align? I would also consider a couple more points with the wedge access adjacent to the collar if your drawing is to scale (which I assume it is), and the flower motif and its arrangement, but no doubt you will get some advice from your mentor, and this is your design after all I don't think you will have too many problems in the making of it, as by now with the drawings and detail work being done you should have reasonably good idea of proceeding with making it. I also concur with Frosty's opinion and post Good luck and enjoy.

I pretty much stuck with the design as drawn with only one major modification which I will post later. I'm not quite clear about what you mean as far as the wedge joints go. Now that the piece is made though, I do see that it might be somewhat difficult to get a wedge in just below the collar. Perhaps that is what you were referring to?
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Hi Dave,
Yes that was one point that looked to be a problem on your scaled drawings,

The other was the flower motif and your proposed firewelding of the heart to the frame which I also see you have altered which as you probably found prior to commencement was unecessary and would have created more problems for you.

Its a good looking piece and what you set out to achieve, Is there anything you think you would alter if you could? Being nit picky here, and its just my opinion which counts for nought as its your piece, but I know you are open to outside suggestions and comments that you take on board

I look forward to see the finished item and progress pictures, and that may alter my comments,. However it won't alter it from being an excellent looking job. Another Family heirloom being born, privilege to be in there at the birth. Congratulations.

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Mr. John: Looking closely at the final piece and the location of the collar and mortise hole, I think I can work my wedge around it. No, it wasn't the brightest idea, and I didn't realize what you where talking about until after I had made the piece. Otherwise I would have altered it based upon your advice. Unfortunate, but I don't think it's a huge deal. Worst case that particular wedge will be a little different size than the rest and it will look a little busy in that area. I determined in class that fire welding was too risky on the heart piece, not to mention the fact that, that particular weld is not a strong one and it might fail when the collaring was done. I went with a tapered finial to decorate the end and two rivets. Better joint, I think it looks better than the weld would have, and it saved time! So y'all want some details? Here are some pictures of the completed side. DSC03356.jpgDSC03355.jpg

One hick-up that I ran into was that my lap joints (which I did forget to list and did use in the design,) would not work and still keep everything in a flat plane which I wanted. So I had to put a little "jog" in my lap joints. They aren't the tightest fit and I made notes on how to get them a little more precise in the future. DSC03353.jpg

The cross bar size was bumped up from 1/4x1-inch to 3/8x1-inch to make it easier to upset (less distortion) and to give more shoulder to the tenons.

Here is the altered joint.....fire weld was the original idea and it was altered to rivets. DSC03354.jpg

I used the mig welder to weld the flower stems together, but the stems are held in place completely by the collar. The flower stems measure 1/4x5/8-inch underneath the collar and are 1/4-inch round elsewhere. DSC03342.jpg

Here is the potential trouble maker! DSC03340.jpg

I wasn't so sure about the daffodils when I was cutting them out. The six pedals are made from two pieces of plate metal. I chose this method to give the flower more depth than just a single sheet with all six pedals. The center pieces were forged from 7/8-inch pipe. I wasn't so sure that they would look like daffodils when I finished but several women during the show and tell time, told me that they "loved the daffodils." So I suppose they do look like daffodils. DSC03350.jpg

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For some reason the forum keeps messing the post up everytime I post it. It seems like it gets worse everytime I try to fix it. It is messed up pretty bad over on my side of the screen so if it looks funny on your side of the screen that's not how I posted it. I'll try to fix it again in the morning.

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That is GREAT,Dave,beautiful,marvelous,all the adjectives you'd like-you deserve them!I'm envious at how you must feel,having to pull something like that off,that is one cool object that you've created!

I'd only say that you can go ahead and quit that day-job of yours now! :P:)

Excellent,and thank you,we all learned a bunch watching your progress,too.

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Hi Dave, yep looks good, Is the centre a lapped cross over or pass through ?

Only a couple of (very) minor things I would have liked to have seen, the heart scrolled ends carried through more to emphasise the heart shape and improve the 'flow of the motif, and daffodils have straight stalks in the UK, Good choice making the petals in two layers, more realistic as that is how they grow, you could maybe have thinned the edges slightly to give them a more delicate look.

It's easy to sit here and nit pick, but hats off to you for actually seeing this through to a more than satisfactory conclusion so far.

I look forward to the completion which I am sure won't be long in coming. Well done

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That center piece is a pass through joint. I like pass throughs more than half laps most of the time.

I agree with all of your points, especially on the heart. I'm not sure what happened there, but my pieces ended up and inch shorter than what I wanted and had drawn. Once again, since I wanted to get to the joinery part of things and make sure that got covered, I decided to go with what I had. In an ideal situation with time to spare, I would have reforged those pieces.

I do recall the daffodil stems being straight. Oops! :D I have sci-fi flowers! :D The side that I have done will be the far side on our hearth, and therfore the less seen. I'll probably thin down the flower edges and go with straighter stems on the other side. That will be the near side and the more seen one, as it will sit on our hearth.

I'm working on a colonial piece right now that has a much smaller heart. The ends of the heart swing all of the way around and run back into the sides making a complete circle.

I do appreciate you pointing those things out as those are the final finish things that can really make a difference. Every piece can always be better but we don't always recognize in what ways, and that is where a second eye will make the difference. I've got some stuff I have to make for a client and then hopefully I'll be able to finish this up.

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