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I'm working on a fireplace set (three piece with stand) to take to a store in North Carolina at the end of the month.

Here is the idea:

tripod legs made from three pieces of 1/2" round, 13" long, upset ends for feet and then bundle welded on the other end

center bar made from 3/4" round, 34" long with a large upset on the top end, forge welded to the three leg pieces

three hooks made from 1/4x1/2" flat bar, 10" long, staggered to fall between the placement of the feet

tools will be 1/2" round rod about 30 " long, shovel, poker, and broom

I just did a rough drawing in soap stone on my make-shift welding table. (sold my other table and am waiting to build another)

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Forging to the general shape of the drawing......but keeping in mind that this is not a "formal" precise layout piece.
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Upset feet ends...
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bundle weld
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after the initial "get it stuck" part for the upright to the feet
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the weld finished and dressed...
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kind of an overview
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the first foot bent out
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All three bent out and levelled. Yea that was loads of fun! LOL It took about an hour of tweaking. I bent the legs cold with bending forks. No torch available and couldn't get it in the fire which I figured from the start.
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the top upset
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one of the three hooks
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the hooks are migged on and will be covered with a tight 1/8" chord wrap
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finished welding
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close up
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top view, look close and you can see how each hook falls between the legs
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I need 100-inches of 1/8" to wrap the weld in. Trouble is, I only have 58-inches. Oh well! I need to make a stock run anyway.

four hours and fifty minutes so far

thoughts???

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Looks good Dave, your posts are always informative and full of great pics. I was wondering if the large radius bends could be done before the forge welding then just bend the legs up or would it be too hard to keep them bundled?

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Collar? You can decorate it.

Looking good so far.

Phil


I've got some 3/16 x 2 1/4 -inch flat bar that I could use as a collar. Problem is, I'd only have one heat to do it in and if I fail, I'll have to try to cut it off with the disk grinder. Not the end of the world and I suppose that by that, if successful it'd look pretty good. I'm not real sure if I'll be able to get a hammer in though.....I'll have to look and see. There is also no front/back to this thing really. I'm not sure where I would place the seam.
IDEAS?
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I like how the top looks with the main post and the three hooks. If there was upsetting done in those areas I wouldn't mind seeing how you held that in place to do it. I have virtually nothing except a vise to hold the neck of a piece to make such beautiful mushroom tops without distorting the bar. Excellent look. Spears.

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Hi Dave,
Being picky here, looks good but spoilt by the weld.

I am assuming you are going to make a crook or some other looped form for your tool handles.

Scrolls are not ideal for hanging items from, and I would prefer to see the flat section where the tools hang, drawn to round or oval, tools will then sit right onto the hanger, the excess curve on the scrolls can mean it is awkward to remove the tools.

You could rivet or bolt (countersunk or ball head screws) the 3 hangers on, stagger the securing points for them so they don't cut through each other, fuller down the rears of the hangers for a good fit to the central support.

If you are doing more than one of these and are going to use a collar, then I would advise a proper mandrel being made, as for the seam, try an angled end as opposed to a square one

The other point I would like to make is that in the view from the top of the piece, where the scrolls are, it would appear the position where the tools are going to hang look as if they are going to be outside the footprint of the unit, this would tend to make the whole somewhat unstable and prone to falling over if caught when in use,

I know you are receptive to constructive advice, and will take this in the spirit it is given, I know it will turn out great when you get it together finally.

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Dave,right on,you're happening right along!
My thoughts(and only since you've asked):
The top and the bottom of stand are from two different operas.The bottom is from the "primitive",Am.Colonial or older British styles,while the top is getting much more complex,with the reverse-bend curliques and the wrapped/collared juncture of several parts.
That juncture is somewhat unfortunate,as the eye,travelling from the bottom up,tells one that it'll be something simple and straightforward,and here is quite the reverse.Also,that necessity to mig-why?Everything else about the piece,especially the laborious weld,indicate the simplicity,the hand-forged idea.
Mig and torch ARE different tools,it's hard to incorporate them into design without an incongruity arising.Especially if you've no gas,and here you've comitted yourself by creating a spot no longer able to fit your fire.It would've looked better to continue with the simple,hand-worked ideas.
Conversely,you could've spent less time on the weld,matching the bottom juncture to the top in design by collaring it,too.
Time-wise,i never believed that looking at the clock made any sense.This is a good example:You've already exceeded what a cheap,bent crap would cost,so that a customer wanting to pay a miserly wage for a minimum number of hours will already be horrified.
As you get better,and the more interesting design features will appeal to you as a craftsman,you'll have to forget about the clock(or forget about quality,AND the satisfaction from your work as well).
Well,it isn't exactly the "NICE!" kinda post,oh,well :P .

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thats great advice from john, and points poetically made by jake too - i personally have just honed in on the fact of a successful fire weld, and i shake your hand for that - i think the bottom looks splendid, and simple, and i too would maybe have perferred a similarly styled top. it looks like you did enjoy making that - and you have lots to think about if your repeating it - thats the name of the game in a nutshell isnt it? i like the look of how youve done the hooks, i would love them just as hooks... nice tops on them. :)

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I was hoping to get a response from both Mr. John and Mr. Jake. The reason for my hope is listed in your own replies. Critical of my design and suggesting methods of improvement that will be taken into consideration in the next piece.

Mr. John, I believe that slightly oversized loops on the tools solves the difficulty of removing the tool. That remains to be seen! I did take into consideration the fact of removing the tools and the possibility of the tools wanting to hang up. I'm HOPING this is not going to be an issue. The low point of the hook is outside of the revers curl so I believe the tool can be lifted up and out without catching.

From your posts it seems you like tapped joints. I would have never thought of that, my mind simply does not go there when I am thinking of joinery. That is filed for future use.

The top view is deceptive. I certainly did not want a top heavy piece that could fall over and I did take that into consideration. The base has a 12" diameter where as the tool hangers have a diameter of about four inches.

Mr. Jake! You have brought up a good point about the simplicity/complexity issue, and it is a point that had not crossed my mind. My artistic eye has not been exercised sufficiently. Your point is rather disturbing as far as this piece goes, but will affect the revised design for the next one.

I'm not sure I can agree with your dissortation on the clock, unless I am missunderstanding. Every job I do is timed to keep track of my average hourly wage on products and also to see how accurately I am pricing jobs. For instance I prices an oven door so that I'd be making about $30 an hour or so. Things happened, and I made about half of that. I underestimated time and did not allow room for things to happen. The next job I priced based off of these lessons and I made about $40 and hour. On my smaller stock items that I make repeats of I am making about $30.00 and hour, and I always look at the clock. This last run of stock items I made I watched the clock and cut time down bout ten minutes per piece (on pieces that take 30-45 minutes,) without sacrificing ANY quality. I watch the clock closely! Perhaps I am getting your point wrong here?

"NICE" posts don't teach anything! Hit me hard and I'll learn the more.
Thank you both!

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Hi Dave, I agree entirely with keeping records, (Times, materials, and any problem areas noted, you can then look back and see where you can improve areas) without them you have no yardstick, the more you do, the better your system will become for estimating future jobs,

I think what Jake is getting at is that you are dealing with a custom one off item which is not in the same ballpark as the mass item market. Eg Make one hook on its own in isolation and you will have to charge more than for one made in a batch of ten or more because of the time taken in production.

Individuality and uniqueness command more of a fee than mass produced items, and don't judge a price on what you think you would pay for it, or what you think a client can afford. There is a price to make, anything over that is a bonus in my eyes, some add profits on, and others have different attitudes towards pricing entirely differently, but thats their choice.

An item has an inherent cost to make in that you have invested hours of blood sweat and tears of your life into making that item and it helps to know just how long that is, so keep on recording your times, and probably compare them in later years/projects and see if you have improved or not.

Just remember any item you make commercially is only worth its scrap value (it may be beautiful and well made etc, but still scrap) until money changes hands. Whether or not that is a satisfactory amount is up to the individuals to judge.

Unfortunately the facile yardstick of success these days seems be purely monetary, sad to say.

It's not a matter of hitting you hard, just want to try and help you consider other options, as to design, I always have problems with that, and follow some basic rules which usually works for me I'll leave the 'artisty' comments to others like Jake and Beth along with others on the site, better qualified than me.

If I know where an object is going and what it is to do I can sort that, but just to make something on the offchance of someone else liking it I find very difficult.

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OK,Dave,i'll temporise,and say just to BEWARE of the clock.It IS one of the tools of mensuration,and any trade,forging maybe especially,needs to be measurable to be controllable.But,don't take it too far,do not create a factory job out of it,it'll hurt the creative side without which you'd be non-viable as a producer of appealing,desirable objects.

You can see how reasonable,temperate,and informative John's advice is.I defer to him in everything,and bow most humbly.His is the voice of experience and wisdom.

You're good about accepting criticism,(and it's most laudable),and i knew it,or wouldn't have spoken thus.It's a great trait,and you'll go far in forging(in the similar stages i was cranking out simply unbelivably crapulous work,didn't know any better).Technically,you may already be better than i'll ever get.

One more thing:That poker,as sketched,is useless as a poker.That is the design practiced by the unethically mass-produced manufacturers in Poland,Indonesia,and many other places,and by people who never had to stoke a fire in their lives.
Make one of the types of a working poker,it's actually easier :)

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OK,Dave,i'll temporise,and say just to BEWARE of the clock.It IS one of the tools of mensuration,and any trade,forging maybe especially,needs to be measurable to be controllable.But,don't take it too far,do not create a factory job out of it,it'll hurt the creative side without which you'd be non-viable as a producer of appealing,desirable objects.

You can see how reasonable,temperate,and informative John's advice is.I defer to him in everything,and bow most humbly.His is the voice of experience and wisdom.

One more thing:That poker,as sketched,is useless as a poker.That is the design practiced by the unethically mass-produced manufacturers in Poland,Indonesia,and many other places,and by people who never had to stoke a fire in their lives.
Make one of the types of a working poker,it's actually easier :)



The clock: Be assured it's not a factory job here! I "clocked in" at 12:30 PM today! LOL I am very easy going as far as writing down the second I enter the shop and the second I leave, that's not me. I simply write down when I start work on the project and when I quit work on the project.

I do get a little bent out of shape though when I get behind on work or am unable to meet a time limit on something. That's when it becomes work.
I have gotten better about allowing myself plenty of time to finish a product so that I am early in delivery.

I couldn't have expressed my thoughts about Mr. John ANY better.

I agree with you on the poker. I was planning on doing that type simply because if any given person on the street was asked to sketch a poker, that's what they'd draw. This morning I was planning on going with octagonal tools (forged from 1/2" square,) and the "traditional" poker design. I got done with a bit of it and was displeased with the weld in the poker end and the overall look. Plus I was adding a different stock shape than the ones already in the piece.
I also experimented with some sollid collars around round stock and was completely unsuccessful. I'm going to have to gather some info on those.

Time is not the only thing I document. I'm starting to keep tallies on average coal use (even though I don't have to pay for coal at the moment,) and stock use.
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The clock: Be assured it's not a factory job here! I "clocked in" at 12:30 PM today! LOL I am very easy going as far as writing down the second I enter the shop and the second I leave, that's not me. I simply write down when I start work on the project and when I quit work on the project. I do get a little bent out of shape though when I get behind on work or am unable to meet a time limit on something. That's when it becomes work. I have gotten better about allowing myself plenty of time to finish a product so that I am early in delivery. I couldn't have expressed my thoughts about Mr. John ANY better. I agree with you on the poker. I was planning on doing that type simply because if any given person on the street was asked to sketch a poker, that's what they'd draw. This morning I was planning on going with octagonal tools (forged from 1/2" square,) and the "traditional" poker design. I got done with a bit of it and was displeased with the weld in the poker end and the overall look. Plus I was adding a different stock shape than the ones already in the piece. I also experimented with some sollid collars around round stock and was completely unsuccessful. I'm going to have to gather some info on those. Time is not the only thing I document. I'm starting to keep tallies on average coal use (even though I don't have to pay for coal at the moment,) and stock use.


Dave and Jake , please steady on a bit, any more of that and my halo is about to slip and choke me.

Just a point to think about Dave, Solid collars on round stock, particularly if the joined pieces are going to be subject to any stress in the situation as on the shank on your companion set, will be prone to allowing movement,

In this situation the collar should become a forge welded item like a squat ball or similar to stop any sliding or swivelling of the component parts in relation to its intended situation.

Collars were/are a traditional way of securing items together, as well as being a feature, now they get used, along with wire or rod wrappings to cover welded on parts because the maker is not confident or capable of using them in a proper manner, and try to represent the items being made in the traditional manner

I went through basic collar making in one of the entries I posted in the Blacksmiths Guild UK section in the groups forum, http://www.iforgeiron.com/topic/21343-joining-methods-course-last-weekend-april-2011/ That may or may not help
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Sweet,John,simple and to the point.Thanks!

I'll risk adding the following:Once you come up with a butt-joint collar of a correct size,it's easy to turn it into a lap-joint,if desired.

Simply draw out each of the halfs of the future butt to a taper.The lengh of each taper should not exceed the lenght of that whole side of the quadrangle,but can be somewhat less.Lap one over the other...That's it.
Although differing somewhat visually,the holding power of such a simple lap is equal to that of a butted collar.

Spears,i'm not sure how Dave did the upsets,but holding the stock in the vise is not a great way of doing it.
Upsetting is best done by hitting a lengh of stock against the anvil-face,or hitting the end of stock with a hammer as it lays across the anvil,protruding over it.
The distortion of stock during upsetting is almost inevitable,attempting to control it(frequently spinning stock around it's axis),is where the learning lies.Just don't let it actually form a fold.Short of a fold,the distortion is but a character-builder :)

If you wanted to automate the process,the upsetting matrix can be made,but it'll require a better-than-average precision hammering,as it'll be a mechanising function,and require other mechanically-precise actions,and teach you nothing about forging(but a lot about machine-forging B) ).

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Dave - I agree very much with Jake on the time issue, yes you need to do some paying work in a timely manor so you can make your rate, but also like Jake says - don't get hung up on it, attention to details take time, details are what sets one apart from the next person. Keep up the good work! - JK

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I'm sorry Mr Spears.....I sorta skipped over your comment and questions.

The large 3/4" rod was done by slamming it down on a 500 pound piece of plate steel with a 1000 pound power hammer mounted to it. It was shaped and finished in the vise.

I will have to dissagree with Mr Jake on upsetting in the vise ESPECIALLY on the smaller pieces. I've got to go now, but I'll explain more later!

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Oh yea! That's the biggest toy I have though! I bought it off of Bladesmith Philip Patton, out of Fort Wayne, Indiana back in February. It's a Kinyon style air hammer with a 60 pound hammer head and another 175 pounds of force provided by the air cylinder. I prefer the Little Giant style hammers, but I could afford this rig and I am very pleased with it. It hits hard and steady. It had a small but thick plate on it, but since I'm on gravel I put a 4.5' square piece of 5/8" plate under it to keep it from hammering itself in the dirt. I had to use some 1" round spikes, two on each side, to keep the hammer from walking.....and it is BOLTED to the plate.
There are some pictures of my shop and me working in it on the blog below.
http://davesdiscourse.blogspot.com/p/around-shop.html

Ok now about upsetting in the vise.

If you look at this guy's site (http://www.artisansoftheanvil.com/index.php) you can find his business pro-mo video. In the video you can see his assistant (I believe Ashen Cary, one of Mr. Hofi's former strikers,) upsetting flat bar clamped upright in the vice. However, he isn't standing in one spot waylaying the thing with a ten pound sledge. He has two small ball-pein hammers and he is machine-gunning the top of the flat bar with them while adjusting the angle of the hammer blows to keep the piece from bending.

Besides just being downright COOL to watch, it seemed effective. So, I started doing it and it turns out that it's REALLY fun to do, and it IS very effective. I'm not very good at it yet, but it is relatively easy to adjust your position and the angle of the blows to keep the piece from distorting to much. If it does get bend you place one hammer behind the metal and hit it in the front and it gets it straight again. You do have to clamp the FOOL out of it in the vice with about an inch and a half or so of stock sticking up. I use two one pound ball peen hammers.

I believe the following is true in upsetting but if I am wrong someone feel free to correct me.
When upsetting metal a large hammer or a large slamming force creates a longer upset. For example, in the 3/4" round, when I slammed it onto the plate metal the bar upset for the length of the heat, creating a bulge that starts about 3" down the bar. It was a large ammount of force transfered deep into the bar.
If you decrease the slamming force you decrease the length of the upset. and isolate a wider more abrupt "mushroom" type upset on the end.
My theory is that the less force you use the shorter the upset. With the small ball pein hammers I get a short fat upset right on the end of the bar. (Like on the hooks and feet.) I finished the big bar up in the vice with a three pound hammer and reletively light blows which created a bulge that becomes suddenly larger at the very top. The hooks and the feet were done entirely in the vise which created a sudden large bulge but very little increase in the sock size directly behind the upset.

IF a sudden upset with very little change in stock size behind the upset, is desired, it is my opinion that the vise and double hammer method is very effective. A greater effeciency could be obtained if some sort of tool could be made to clamp in the vise with the metal so that the bottom of the tool held the metal from sliding down as it was hit. The difficulty of such a tool is that to be practicle it would need to be adjustable. Such a tool would also reduce stock marring in the vise, a problem which I do not find to be too difficult with my particular vise.

Hopefully that explains it a bit. I should problem do a demo and post it though as I know it is hard to understand certain techniques by just reading about them. (I just got done reading Aex Bealer's book!")

Like with many methods, there is no perfect or right way to do it really. Just what works best for you. Not to mention I don't know enough to be dogmatic about anything!

As an interesting side note, about a year ago the owner/operator of Artisans of the Anvil found either my blog or my posts on here and was pleased with my work. He emailed and offered me a paid position as an apprentice in his shop. At the time I did not have my driver's liscense, however he told me to grab a bus and come work for a week with him, all expenses paid, and see if I liked it. Due to the work around here and the difficulties that arose from doing a long term stay and me not being able to drive, it did not work out. It was rather dissapointing to me because, #1 I would really like to take a several months apprenticeship somewhere, and because judging from the the guy's you-tube videos and just talking to him on the phone, it seems like we would've got along pretty good. Oh well though! Someday somewhere maybe!

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Force=mass*acceleration
energy = 1/2 mass * velocity^2

mass resists changing velocity (acceleration), so a large mass at a lower velocity would affect deeper in the bar because the end of the bar does not have to accelerate as much as if a small mass at a higher velocity impacted. This is similar to the book (or brick) hanging on a string with an identical string below. If you pull gently and steadily the book falls because the top string breaks, force of pull + forge of gravity on the book HOWEVER if you pull sharply the bottom string breaks and the book stays in place because the inertia of the book resists the sharp pull, so the top string is not overstressed and broken.

I am not sure in reality (not enough practical experience), but this is my take on it.

Phil

edit: corrected my formula

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Thank you kindly for your report Dave,

It isn't so easy to put a process into words and you do it well. No pictures needed for me in this case. I've had some trouble getting to long of a bar heat and ending up with as much bar bending as upsetting. I have had better luck with vise clamping and a lighter hammer versus slaming a bar using its own weight.

You were able to get such a good mushroom look that I was curious as to whether or not you "block clamped" around the neck to prevent down the bar distortion. Sounds like you didn't need anything like that and you were able to get all three exactly alike. Thanks again for the detailed description. Spears.

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Dave,right on,i hear you on all that.

Very well put that it is Whatever works for You principle,absolutely.

I,too,have NO justification whatever to be dogmatic,the longer i work at forging,the less so,in fact.

There's a couple problems,though,that i see in what you've said above:1.It's odd to me to attach too much meaning to the Force of blows in upsetting.Upset is an operation requiring strong,penetrating blows,AND(all importantly,high AND strategically applied heat).It's the heating that determines WHERE the upsetting will take place,more than the hammer blows themselves.
(And that is something that will make this whole subject difficult for the gas-forge user,BTW)
2.We're going too far out on the limb of theory here,and i'm sorry for my part in it.

I'm sorry as well that it didn't work out for you to apprentice with these people.My entire forging career was spent in a complete isolation from others,and it's one of the things that makes me an odd-ball.
Maybe some day you'll have a chance to do a journeyman-ship,or something of the sort.
Very best of luck,meanwhile,you're doing GREAT,man!

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