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Fish Lips


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Hello all,


Today I forged a Hardy, and as I was Flattening the top of it, fish lips formed on the top as each side folded over the middle. Now, my piece was evenly heated, to the best of my knowledge, as I let it soak in the heat for a bit in each heat. Besides this, what, if anything can be done about fish lips forming?


Ridgeway Forge

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Hit it harder


Hit it hard with a heavier hammer


Punch the corners down into a blunt taper, and when they crawl out, punch them down again.  Problem is you are upsetting metal into the metal you are drawing out..2 steps forward, 1 step back.


Punch one side of the part down into a taper and let the other side crawl up.  The effect is one lip becomes the edge.  Straighten when you near completion.  Again, 2 steps forward 1 step back.


Cut one or both lips away as you near completion and before you push the lips together, which would form a cold shut.


Weld the lips together, or weld a bit in between the lips as you close them. 


Working larger stock by hand is difficult.  The limit for most people is 5/8 to 3/4 inch, maybe 1 inch without a striker. 



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fuller top and bottom very near the edge with a small fuller then draw the taper behind that.  the ridge left near the edge can then be drawn out or fullered in off.   If this is hard for you try letting the edge hang over the far side of the anvil and use hard half faced blows to form the ridge at the edge then proceede as before.

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  • 11 years later...

Good Morning,

To curtail Fish Lips, you need a special kind of Hook (LOL).

Actually, Forge a very short taper on the end of the Bar, FIRST. This will allow the outer layers to stretch/draw out and you can clean up the end at the very end, with a File or ???? When you Forge, the effort of the blows moves the surface material first. When you use a Press, the effort goes to the center of your material to move the material. It is just a matter of fact of where/how deep the effort is moving the material.


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Good Morning Jerry,

Actually, I never opened what was posted, to see what someone was maybe saying. Thanks for the reminder.

I am teaching a Class right now and one of the Topics I try to stress is how to not get bitten by Fish Lips. It is a simple sequence, at the very start.


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