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Michael

Big Handled Swages

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Got a little Fathers Day Flea Marketing done and found these two big handled swages in Oakland, California. 1 3/4 and 2 inch along with a nifty gate latch to copy.

Having a hard time imagining a use for a hand held tool this BIG. A two inch tenon would be on a minimum 2+ inch stock. I'm not working anything that big in my little patio smithy, though clamped face up in a vise they'd be nice for big curves.

Historically, what would swage that big? Railroad, shipyard work?

post-182-0-18446200-1340046157_thumb.jpg

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It is quite likely they were never used for tenons. If you want to hammer on a round bar to bend it without leaving hammer marks you use a top swage and a sledge. Round bars that had been worked at all would often be swaged to remove hammer marks.

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Thank you! good information, I couldn't get my brain wrapped around 2 inch tenons.

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post-74-0-36723300-1340058873_thumb.jpgYour latch is an Hispanic aldaba. They were normally in a horizontal position when fastened. I made a vertical one for a chest hardware hasp.

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I use swages like that to make my rasptlesnakes---of course I have forged the eye ends down to fit my 1.5" hardy holes.

Heat the rasp, place atop the swage and use the crosspeen to start the roll by turning the flat rasp into a trough; then still in the swage start curling the edges in with the flat of the hammer.

Instead of 2" tenons---how about 2" bearings for large machinery shafts? Rough the shafts out on the forge, clean them up in a big lathe---2" are rather small in that case---think Locomotive, ore crusher, *big* machinery!

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I've got loads of swages/tops and bottom/hardy tools like that, just too big for me to handle!! I have used a lot of the hardy tools though, just invented new uses for them. I got a load of stuff from a smith who was retiring and took the whole lot, so lots of tooling and gigantic tongs that are now mostly decoration on my walls, I just would never use them as they are too heavy and too big for me to handle and are meant for times when a smith and a striker would work together.. and I can't imagine when I would ever be constructing something so big (but you never know...) I have thought about selling them, but I suffer from that bug, the one that makes you hold onto tools..!

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I use a 3 inch and 1 1/2 inch top and bottom swagges quite regularly for making hammers, top tools, hump tools, and hardies.

Now that latch may be about 200 years old. It looks like some that I saw when I worked at the Mission in San Juan Capistrano, California. I made a few replicas like the originals that are still on some of the doors at the mission. The Mission in San Juan Capistrano had Catalon furnaces that smelted iron ore and produced iron in that part of the world. It was founded in 1776. Modern people didn't understand that until 1987 when a metalurgist was touring the mission and noticed the Catalon furnaces right away, before that everyone thought they were pottery kilns.

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I have used 2" swages under the power hammer to make large eyebolts but they were done with pinned swages.

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I had no idea the latch could be that old!, there's remnants of both blue and green paint on it, so worn off that its clear the latch isn't recent work. The spiral portion of the latch made me think it was 20th century though.

Hoping to get a little forge time this weekend while the kid is at camp.

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Could be 20th century, they didn't stop making an using them in certain areas... Is it real wrought iron? if so probably earlier. Mild steel probably 20th century.

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That spiral portion is what made me think mission era. The CCC did some restoration work in the 30's in California especially at the La Parisima mission in Lompoc, but I didn't see latches like that there. I've only seen those at the mission in San Juan Capistrano along with some other original work. There are archives at the mission in La Parisima that contain blue prints of the original work that remained .

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