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Tips on forging grape leaves


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1/8 max, 14 ga. gives more fluidity to the shape, if you plan on fullering the "veins" no thinner than 14 ga. because the fullers tend to smooth each other out (on 16 ga .) I started out using 1/8 now I use 14 ga ( because of the fluidity thing ) good luck

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Actually forged from barstock. I am an old farrier so that is what I am used to..... HA HA


TL, If you can forge a grapeleaf from barstock without cutting it after that you're a better smith than I.... :D ....If it's to be somewhere close to full scale I'd say start with at least 1 1/4'' square....I'd love to see it.... B)
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post-4954-0-68255300-1327936036_thumb.jppost-4954-0-02002700-1327936120_thumb.jppost-4954-0-50266800-1327936185_thumb.jppost-4954-0-22133200-1327936275_thumb.jppost-4954-0-06396700-1327936230_thumb.jppost-4954-0-73810100-1327936303_thumb.jppost-4954-0-35336000-1327936338_thumb.jp

Here is an older file of how to forge a grape leaf. This one is out of copper, but it is the same process for steel. Learning how to do a two sided taper 90 degees to itself on the far side of the anvil to isolate a chosen amount of material and then isolate the amount of material for your stem on the near side of your anvil by doing a two sided taper perpendicular to itself and 180 degrees to the previous two shoulders formed on the far side is an important skill worth practacing.
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oh dear... cant understand the post brian, from, "learning how to do a tow sided taper...." that looks really beautiful, and i would really realy like to know what you mean, dont suppose you could explain it again in an even easier way? nothing wrong with your explanation at all, its me for sure - cant match it with the photos. thanks :) the leaves look brilliant, very exciting to see you get them out of one piece. ein stuck :)

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I have forged 10 leaves using the method shown above using 5/8 square. Now I use a plasma cutter and 14 to 10 gauge. This allows you to work the material cold and have very little clean up. I have made about 300 grape leaves and many others using the plasma cutter and it has more than paid for itself. I like the look of hand forged leaves and if you only had to make a few they make a nice warmup in the morning.

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Beth,One way to isolate a chosen amount of material is to hang the amount desired over the far side of the anvil and strike with half-hammer faced blows on two sides of your material. When using half hammer faced blows over the edges of your anvil, you will form a shoulder where the material is off of the anvil.If you want to maintain that shoulder and the material that you have isolated, you strike 90 degrees to your previous strike and continue striking back and forth reducing the dimension of the starting material that is on the anvil and maintaining the dimension that is off the anvil. If you want to reduce your taper or stem further and maitain the srtuctural integrity of your piece, (before you go too far too fast over your far edge) go to the near side of your anvil and isolate your desired amount of material for your stem by striking with half hammer faced blows. If you want to keep your stem shorter, you need to turn your material 180 degrees from one of the shoulders formed on the far side and strike with half hammer faced blows turning back and forth 90 degrees and 180 degrees to the far side shoulders. If you do not, any shoulder that is left down on your anvil will have a gap or air between the shoulder and cause your material to bend when struck . Here is a video of whst I am trying to communicate.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YhqY6ZzV-Y&list=UU5Nn5dwrvBlzKYBOivIS5VA&index=1&feature=plcp

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thanks very much brian - i still dont get some of the 90 180 bits, ( i sometimes think i never will ) but i certainly get what you mean now i saw the video. lovely lovely clear video, and the marks you make, as usual, from what ive seen, are wonderful!! fat and soft and fabulous ! Thanks :) i will have to watch the other ones i see youve made (im a bit slow - maybe the only person on here that has not seen those videos....)

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Think of it like this, Beth. If you were using flat stock and wanted to isolate and form a shoulder and stem without making the stem too long and maintain the smaller cross section of you rectangular profile, you would need to rotate your stock 180 degrees from your shoulders and just check back your wider cross section on the anvil to control your stem and prevent it from bending back and forth.

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i think i understand, so you have the two bits of bulk (the lump for the leaf, and the rest of the original stock) and they lie or face in opposite directions, so if leaf bulk faces the sky the stock bit faces the floor, so you can keep the stem nice and straight and flat.. without the other lump obstructing and bending the stem. sorry about my ham-fisted language for this, i really struggle with how most people explain this stuff, which is why it takes a while for me to get it. i must not let this issue make me give up understanding methods though!!! thanks for another explanation :) have i got it right? ;)

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  • 10 months later...

attachicon.gifP3010018.jpgattachicon.gifP3010022.jpgattachicon.gifP3010023.jpgattachicon.gifP3010024.jpgattachicon.gifP3010025.jpgattachicon.gifP3010026.jpgattachicon.gifP3010028.jpg

Here is an older file of how to forge a grape leaf. This one is out of copper, but it is the same process for steel. Learning how to do a two sided taper 90 degees to itself on the far side of the anvil to isolate a chosen amount of material and then isolate the amount of material for your stem on the near side of your anvil by doing a two sided taper perpendicular to itself and 180 degrees to the previous two shoulders formed on the far side is an important skill worth practacing.

You should make a video about this :D

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attachicon.gifP3010018.jpgattachicon.gifP3010022.jpgattachicon.gifP3010023.jpgattachicon.gifP3010024.jpgattachicon.gifP3010025.jpgattachicon.gifP3010026.jpgattachicon.gifP3010028.jpg

Here is an older file of how to forge a grape leaf. This one is out of copper, but it is the same process for steel. Learning how to do a two sided taper 90 degees to itself on the far side of the anvil to isolate a chosen amount of material and then isolate the amount of material for your stem on the near side of your anvil by doing a two sided taper perpendicular to itself and 180 degrees to the previous two shoulders formed on the far side is an important skill worth practacing.

Gonna try this, I've made leaves before but not like that. Very nice work!!!

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The story behind the story. I understand that Brian has spent time with Alfred Habermann (RIP). Habermann came to the U.S. to demonstrate in 1982 while Czechoslovakia was still behind the iron curtain. After his initial gig at the West Virginia ABANA conference, he had time to travel the U.S. and give more demos. When he came to New Mexico, the local SWABA* group called me and asked if I spoke German. I told the president that I spoke a halting, rusty German, because I had only two years of college study in the late 1950's. "That's OK," I was told. "Nobody in our group can talk to him at all. May he stay with you while he's in our state?" I thought that would be wonderful, so I said "Sure."

 

Two things that he demonstrated were an oversized corkscrew and a leaf. The leaf idea was pretty much as Brian showed. After pointing the stock, the isolation shoulder was made with half faced blows on the far RADIUSED edge of the anvil, TWO shoulders only, by turning the stock back and forth, quarter turns. The stock on the anvil by necessity becomes square, so you obtain a square stem. I sometimes leave it square in section because after all, it is iron and sometimes it doesn't need to be that realistic. If you don't care for that cross section, it can be rounded.

 

The lump thus formed on the end by pushing metal below the anvil level can be turned over until most of its mass is facing upward. The square stem will be "on the diamond." The advantage in forging a leaf in this manner is that the smith will obtain a decent width to the leaf. The flattened lump gives width, especially if spread with a ball face or a cross peen.

 

Habermann made several of these leaves and each was presented to a woman in the audience, but he required a peck on the cheek before relinquishing the leaf. Habermann was a true life Kris Kringle, a joyful person, and he wore knickers while he worked. We had a great time, but the visit was too short.

 

*Southwest Artist Blacksmiths Association

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I wanted to copy Brian's enlarged pictures.  I can copy the ones in the small format (which are to small to see the details) but when I try to copy the enlarged pictures nothing happens.  I want to print copies so that I can take the paper copies out to the shop.

I am using  a windows based machine.  Can anyone help me here?

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I wanted to copy Brian's enlarged pictures.  I can copy the ones in the small format (which are to small to see the details) but when I try to copy the enlarged pictures nothing happens.  I want to print copies so that I can take the paper copies out to the shop.

I am using  a windows based machine.  Can anyone help me here?

Right-click on the center of the larger picture, then click on "Save picture as..." to save it.

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