PCornett

Making my own swages.

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I have two smelting ladles of different sizes and not doing any smelting myself, I thought I would mount them onto a log and use as bowl swages. They are cast iron and fairly thick but I am wondering if anyone has tried this, and if any reinforcement was needed inside the ladle to prevent stress on the cup. Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.

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Why use the ladles by cutting a hole to match in the stump. Just use a depression cut in the stump. As the ladles are cast iron I would use caution beating on or around them. They may break. 

 

If you are going to use the ladles, cut the hole to match as closely as possible then heat the ladle and burn the wood for an exact match.  Make sure you mark which way the handle points so you get the exact fit each time.

 

Look for a positive shape to form the metal by beating the metal onto or over the shape. A Oxygen cylinder valve cover comes to mind. If you look for a negative shape you can form the metal by beating into the depression. The bottom of an Oxygen cylinder comes to mind.  There are many shapes out there that can be used. Just do not call them by their intended name. Rename them and they will work just fine.

 

I made a flat bottom small bowl using the hardie hole on the anvil. Another blacksmith watching said it couldn't be done that way, until he saw the finished product.

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I was actually thinking of using them in a positive manner. ie. the bottom of the ladle and hammering on that and wondered if filling with lead (prefer not) or someother material would support the cast iron enough to strengthen against breakage.

 

Stuart and Glenn, I did think of heating the ladles to burn the shape into the stump, especially as I dont have a coopers drawknife, and dont know how that differs from a regular draw knife....

 

PS Glenn, would love to see a video of how you did the trick with the hardy hole...

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I found these a couple of years ago at the scrap yard, there was a whole bin of them.

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There's a threaded boss on the backside of both, looks like 1 inch 12 tpi. Great for dishing and raising leaves and such. No idea what their original use is. Should have grabbed a couple of sizes when I had the chance. I was further up the scrounging slope back then and didn't realize how useful they might be.  Maybe its time to make a ladle?

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In their original life those were used to trap a ball. The convex fixture was used on the bottom and another on top of the ball. They were designed to float truck scales(old beam movement type), that is the whole top flatform could rock back and forth and then settle down for the final weight. By the way there were bumpers on ends that kept the platform from rocking too much, as truck drivers tried to destroy the scales everytime they crossed them.

 

Scales movements have been replaced by load cells in many locations now days.

 

 

Carry on

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Thank you David! That makes a whole lot of sense given the nature of the scrap yard I got them from and the industry around it.

 

I never would have guessed.

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Michael,

 

Get a ballpeen hammer and a piece of 16 gauge steel. Hold the metal against the anvil and over the hardy hole. Strike the metal with the ball end of the hammer just enough to move the metal, You don't want to dimple it. Keep doing that moving the metal small bits at a time. You'll see what happens and adjust accordingly. Before you know it, you'll be making bowls!

 

Best regards.

Albert

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Sort of off topic but, Tannehill Ironworks and the Alabama Forge Council will be holding workshops in cast your own swedge blocks and mandrels out of ductile cast iron this Fall if anyone is interested you can message me or email [email protected]

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