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  if we teach a weld that has limitations as the 'baseline / first' weld someone learns, this may, in the long run do the person a disservice in their further attempts at welding non-poker like items.  

 

 

Yes, but in the case under discussion this is nonsense. It has been said and I will say again that this weld is no different from the weld used to develop scrollwork, or stick the branches on branchy organic things, etc. You take one piece of steel, fold it over, you have an instant branch element. You see this weld everywhere in ornamental ironwork. I can't repeat this enough; It is a very basic weld with inumerable applications. A building block, if you like. The shortcomings assigned to it by the originator of this thread have been proven incorrect to my satisfaction, at least, by dangling a 400lb anvil from one! What more proof do we need?

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I think Brian accomplished exactly what he was after by starting this thread. Sharing knowledge. Teaching. Getting out to the shop to see for ourselves what happens. Making our own assumptions, then sharing our results thus keeping the learning cycle going. Thanks to all, I gotta head out to the shop to try something!!

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Owen! Awesome! Thank you for showing! That is very cool! I'm pleased to see that holds up to such a force!

Laertius - Fantastically put!
I agree and do love this type of debate. I hope people aren't genuinely getting upset by this kind of debate as it is the backbone to the development and potential realisation of 'truth'. It is all a lot of fun!

 

1forgeur - You put it well too :)

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To all,
Great thread , I agree with Laertius, this has gotten a lot of varied imput, which for a newbie like me, with no forge welding (successfull anyway) experiance, the amount of knowledge and veiw points was good reading.

Now as an ex-teacher one rule we used was First learned Best learned. So I will agree with Brian that this may not be the best first weld to teach a first time student. What I have not seen are suggestion on what should be the first weld technique taught.
Any suggestions?
Brian gave his reasons for not liking this weld as it causes thinning and weakness. How can it be improved and made useful to a student?

For the Pro camp, I agree that this is a one handed weld technique that keeps it simple for the student. This follows an other teaching rule of KISS. Which brings me back to how do we improve the process for the student?

To those of you that have posted pics, THANKS the work is beautifull and way beyond what I can do, great inspiration. Please keep posting.

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Clif, there is no simpler weld, and none more easily accomplished by a beginner. 

 

Why would you agree that this may not be the best first weld to teach? And what would be the best first weld to teach?

It has already been amply shown that the objections to this weld are spurious. 

I am surprised that people posting here are looking at a photo of a 400lb anvil hanging off a welded hook and still repeating the same nonsensical claims. 

To be honest, it's astonishing. 

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The next poker I'll make is going to be the folded over type as shown. I like that, as there is more metal mass to be worked to the point and that looks better to my eyes. The ones I made by splitting and bending back are a bit skinny.
And the highlight of this recent thread was the blindfold on the acrophobic Rammy. Gotta keep a sense of humour!

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Dan, two words. Photo. Shop!

 

Of course i jest! :)

 

i think there may be an argument for an even simpler weld existing in the flux spoon type of faggot weld.  there is no branch element to manage and no worries about thinning out stock and potential stress risers in the V of the weld.  you only need to keep the folded stock on top of itself to prevent it from slipping past instead of welding, rotate it as you work to keep the spreading even, and the goal is to bring the mass back to parent dimension, so its a little more forgiving in terms of hammer control.  at the very least i found the faggot weld for the spoon to be much more straightforward than the faggot weld with branch for the poker.

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It makes a nifty spoon, and is convenient for adding useable mass to the end of a piece that might otherwise be too small or squirrely (or if you are insufficiently practiced at it, guilty) to efficiently upset and for whatever reason you did not or can not start with heavier stock and draw the rest down to leave a lump at the end that way. It's also a very fast, simple and very readily repeatable instruction/practice project that takes a lot of the mystery out of forge welding for beginners.

I'm not proposing that it is a superior weld in terms of performance or overall utility, just that it exists, and I found it to be easier than welding up the poker.

To hedge, I will clarify as well:
When I said the goal was to bring the mass back to parent dimension I was referring to where the toe of the scarf joins the parent bar, not to reforge the doubled up mass entirely back to original dimension as if folding a billet. As opposed to the poker where you have to avoid unintentionally thinning the shaft and/or hook while consolidating the weld. sorry if that was muddy.

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There are elements of the cut an folded back "faggot weld " that do make it useful as a teaching tool.

 I will be teaching it tomorrow for  making Rams heads.

As a weld that can easily be done badly or well there is a lot of instructional value to it, more so with the poker point than a rams head.

 I weld all sorts of stuff in all sorts of ways, this weld is the same (in principle) as that of a simple bow tie welded axe head and as Dan has said many other examples of un scarfed (I consider a scarf to be the thinning transitional part of a weld not the upset part) and unupset welding that are very viable.

 The more techniques we have at hand the better off we are, and aside from this I think there is merit in teaching traditional techniques (from the known past) just for the tradition that they impart, aside for the fact that they are normally good and useful .

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i put myself in with basher, Dan P, and that ole desert curmudgeonly rat Thomas Powers. each has stated their reasons clearly, simply and directly…well…one with a bit of fire, but never the less…

I'll just paraphrase Thomas: any time someone says this is the only way (or some variation of that) sit up and take notice. when they say here is a way or here's another way, pay attention,you will learn something.

as far as structural: what are you saying as proof of inferiority and bad craftsmanship? are you implying structural tests and x-rays for? we aren't making stinking landing gear for the space shuttle, its a bloody first attempt fire poker. sheesh, its hard enough making money without that problem. that's what all three of my positive examples are saying. sorry, but it is just another technique in our lil bag of tricks one of which is a fire poker. another is a branch element that will never have force applied to it. please don't try to limit our lil bag of tricks?

i do understand what you are saying about the three wasp waist's that can happen making this transition and the flatspots that can develop in the scrolling. however to clamp the pokie end in the vice and beating on the hookie end is certainly not how to do it without a doubt. but your statement that it cannot be done in any other was is wrong as well. you certainly have given a number of examples that will accent a debacle bending forks perhaps? the "H" shaped one in the vice and the handled one ..well .,.in the hand. iron in the middle comes directly to mind.

your statement that that exquisite vid in forge welding has nothing or very little to do with your example is off the mark. you are detail oriented, well if you cannot assimilate those simple details into every forgeweld you do, then take your appreciation of detail to the next level. upset is really needed, like you say. scarf is usually needed, but not always. detailing before forgewelding is often times needed as is final forging after the weld is made. don't forget an upset or added material can happen where needed not just the end of the bar.

i know you do know all the above is true. you couldn't do the fine work you do otherwise.

it sounds to me like you are majorly frustrated and angry at "association(s)" teaching improper techniques to newbies and beginners.

your issue should be with them, not folks on this board.

but you give no examples, just subjective vagaries.

other "first forgeweld" projects:

without a doubt Turley Forge horseshoe sandwich is a great one. all my classes start with this. don't know what it is? ask and i or someone will answer in another thread, or do a google search.

coke spoon weld. this has many applications and variations.

heel calks on a horse shoe. the cut/bend goes to the ground side. no a scarf needed but an upset helps.

raised heel slider on a horseshoe. it is scarfed, upset helps, bend goes to bearing(hoof) side. forgeweld this with the ground side down. when done put the bearing side down and with a rounding hammer set bearing side into plane and clean up the slope. you get a real nice ski jump effect from front of weld to heel of shoe on the ground side.

i use a variation of the ski jump example as a finial in lots of applications such as the end of a bracket(flat on wall side ski slope tapered on outside. its simple and sweet.

now for the biggie. i cannot do pics at this time... sorry, but i will do a how to on this poker deal and show ANOTHER way it can be done. I'm working on it now. hopefully i can make it clear.

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Cut/Forgwelded fire tool.

First some terms and concepts.

Infinity or disappearing point.

This happens where a forgeweld diverges into 2 or more directions. Its best described as 2 converging lines that disappear into infinity.

Its one of those cool exquisite and subtile details that only a forgeweld can produce. If it is drilled,welded,or cut via plasma, you get a "U" at this juncture. The only way I know to get this is to forge it closed. You then get a reasonable facsimile and… a cold shut. Seeing this happen between leaf and branch just takes my breath away. And its a quick and dirty process.

Transition:

This is where a piece changes in some way, usually but not always in cross section.

These are the most difficult to pull off w/o careful thought and planning.

They are also the primary places the eye finds when looked at.

They are very critical!

Figuring out parent stock for ANY shape using mass,length math and volume. I have not seen anybody go into this here but believe it must be covered somewhere on the board. I attempted it a while back on a post but did not pursue it. To duplicate shapes/tapered scrolls it is a must know concept… IMHO. Again, i'm not going to detail this but will try to show its use. Feel free to ask me about it if you want.

Onwards and upwards.

1) Conceptualize the piece.

This is where you see it in your mind.

I'm not a clay guy. I would rather execute a test piece in iron, then be able to put it on my wall as a design element for my clients to see. Clay just won't hold up hanging on the wall. :)

Iron is iron and clay is clay. No critique for those who do…just my way.

2) Drawing.

I do a full size drawing on my layout table in chalk.

Now my mind has conceptualized it and my eye can see it.

3) Determining the elements and analyzing for problems and what is step one etc.

For our poker there are 4 elements we will be concerned with.

A) Transition.
B) Poky end
C) Hooky end
D)Handle end.

Transition is where the poker,hook,and handle diverge. Transition is the "heart" of the piece.

Its where all the bad stuff mentioned in this thread happens. Flat spots and wasp waists just beyond the forge welds.

Parent stock data layout:

this is where we use the math,mass,volume to know what are parent stock will be.

Quickly said, you use geometry(i think) to determine the volume of the finished detail. Then figure how much this weighs. In this case the weight of the hook and the poker. Then we find an equivalent amount of parent stock by weight and calculate its length. Remember we are not concerned with the handle beyond say an inch past the infinity point.

NOTE my numbers are grabbed out of the air to show concepts only!

LETS make our poker out of 1/2" square stock.

The infinity point is our primary point of reference for all elements.

Lets say the pokey end is 6" from infinity point to tip. When we cut and fold for the poker, the parent stock will be 1/2x1"( two pieces half sq side by side = 1/2"x1").

Lets say we need 3" of 1/2"x1" to forge our 1/2" sq tapered to 6" for the pokey end. Half comes from one side of the fold,and the other from the off side.


Measure the hook with a piece of wire along its CENTERLINE from infinity point to tip. straighten your wire and lay this out on your table. This will be a 1/2" sq tapered.

Lets say this is 4" and we need 2" of 1/2" sq parent stock to get our 4" taper.

We need to add this 4" to the 3" of 1/2" sq to get our initial lengths before forging and to start our actual layout.

NOTE! No forging has been done.

We now know all our parent stock length.

Poker:

1- 3" X 1/2"x1"( are you with me here? critical! X2 after cut and bend = 3" -1/2"x1" parent stock.

Hook:

1- 4" X 1/2" sq stock.

Now lets lay out our 1/2" bar.

Hook:

Measure up 4" from bitter end and centerpunch.

For half of the poker

4" + 3" = 7". Measure from bitter end and centerpunch @ 7". This brings up to our cut point.

Cut point:

Center punch @ 7".

Infinity point:

Center punch 10" from bitter end.(7"+3"=10")

Come up another ~ 1"or so to prep handle transition and centerpunch (11" from bitter end)

NOTE! always measure from 1 reference point to minimize cumulative error!

Also pay attention to where you place centerpunch marks to best hide them when piece is completed.

Now we have our bar laid out and we know right on the money where and what they are.

Now for the fun part.

Upsetting prep for forgewelding

There are a few concepts here.

The first is that we lay out our bar to exact lengths. If we upset a piece, it shortens, then draw it back out to original cross section, our length has not changed.

Second the greater the upset the more time it takes to reduce it back to original cross section X2- once for upset and once for drawing back.

So with experience… work towards minimal upset 'cause if you have hundreds to do it will save you beau coup time!

So arbitrarily i'm going to say at each centerpunch mark, lets upset to 9/16" thick and 1"long centered on the centerpunch (half"on each side).

Start at the far end(handle end) and get a good yellow heat ~1-1/2" long.

Don't use your 2-1/2 lb hammer. Use a lighter one. A lighter hammer won't distort the cold end and will better transmit force to where you want it.

Repeat at each centerpunch mark.

Now you are at the bottom of the bar and its already hot(save those seconds!)

now forge the hookey deal to final length. Take care not to forge too much of the upset and especially not past the centerpunch.

Do a lil sq; octagon; round transition here.

gently champer the edges of the upset. This adds a very cool dimension to the infinity point.

Continue the light champer up past the handle end.

You can now scroll the hookey end to match your drawing.

This is all so much easier to do when the bar is straight.

I use and swear by bending forks for this. They are made as a set and by opening size. You can't have too many, but 1/8" increments from 1/4" to 3/4" is wonderful to have. Then larger as needed. Mine have a flat bottomed "U", not a curved bottom. They are a pair. A handled one with the "U" and an "H" shaped with different opening size. This goes in the vice. This gives you precise control of your scrolls and with experience the scrolls are quick to make.


Now cut and fold at the 2od centerpunch mark and fold bar.

Forgeweld gently one time up to the infinity point. Now you can see what the champer adds,

Draw out at a forgewelding heat the pokey end. Don't forget the sq; octagon; round for all these transitions.

There is one area that is hard, if not impossible to get to on any branching scroll. That's the curve that is part of the transition. You get this by forging it right now, not scrolling it later.

With the poker and handle side on the face of the anvil, forge the hook part below the infinity point with a rounding hammer of appropriate size. I have three from a farriers hammer to my small one i made from my Willys axle many moons ago. Here you creat the beginning of the curve for the hook. Staying below the infinity point preserves the integrity of the hook transition. Meaning a nice curve and no porking wasp waste! The bottom edge stays in plane with the handle and poker and has no curve.

Clean up your chamfers

Now… on pain of all blacksmiths from all times past kicking yer butt :) do not clamp the pokey end in your vice and beat madly on the hookey end! Use your bending forks to tune up the hook.

Use a bridge tool. Ask me later or search for it. Its the tool to forge the tines on a fork. Put the piece here up to the infinity point and clean up and champer all edges. blow any itinerate upsets and get yer transition looking Cool!

This tutorial may not suffice structurally for landing gear for the Space Shuttle…but i porking guarantee you it will be more than strong enough for a bloody fire poker! And no wasp waist's or flatspots in your scroll!

One more note. My personal preference is to not make my pokers in this manner. The stresses when snagging a log are to open the forge weld. Done this way it shouldn't come apart(depending on skill level) but psychology wise, it doesn't create harmony in my eye.

I prefer a loop or eye weld,cut the loop and make the hook and poker from each piece. Now the force when snagging and dragging a log is to close the weld. The technique for both is about the same. Again this is my personal preference as stated above.

Hope this is clear enough to all who asked "how?" If not than Fire away,Gridley

Trust this is not "The Way". I can do this detail in at least one other way and get a completely different effect! That's what is cool about having different ways to accomplish any task. Each way creates a different "Feel"
.
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This has been fun, and will probably keep on being fun.  I very recently took a "beginners" class and John C Campbell and finally learned the beginning steps of forge welding.  On the one day the instructor taught us forge welding, I did probably 10 or 12 welds that all stuck and didn't peel apart, even when it got a bit too cool.

I then tried stuff out.  I did the fold/fagot weld that Brian started this whole thing with, folding welding, folding, welding again to get enough meat to make a small spoon.  I then started my first "strap-hawk" and managed to get a clean, full-length weld from eye to edge (the strap is 1/4" bar stock and the inner is leaf spring).  I just wanted to see if I could do it.

I will say that even if the fold-over weld is not a good one to start with, my confidence level jumped lightyears when it stuck.

the twisty handles are three rods welded at the ends, twisted, scarfed at the ends, bent, then welded onto the handle end (that was bumped up and scarfed on both sides).  The hook is a loop-weld-cut.  I did three of the handles onto raw bar stock so I could someday make a full set.  all of this and more was in the first day of learning to weld.

Hawk beginnings

post-734-0-43932900-1396587055_thumb.jpg

 

tools

post-734-0-58328300-1396587061_thumb.jpg

Hook closeup

post-734-0-47481400-1396587066_thumb.jpg

 

spoon

post-734-0-09338900-1396587064_thumb.jpg

and upclose (yeah, I shoulda put the weld on the bottom)

post-734-0-92296000-1396587065_thumb.jpg

 

 

post-734-0-60713500-1396587059_thumb.jpg

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Posting these on behalf of Brian! SO IMAGINE THIS IS BRIAN FROM NOW ON :) 

 

 

Three different set ups for a poker. This is clay.

 

10156025_816051348423892_37883230_n.jpg

The initial weld

10172773_816052058423821_785766230_n.jpg

 

The final weld (I over heated the collared one)

1797369_816052518423775_263878580_n.jpg

 

Stress test (Prying)
1545088_816052841757076_1638677709_n.jpg

 

 

 

- Brian 

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Thanks, Alec S!

I just reread all of this again.
The pictures say all I was trying to say. There are no ill feelings on my part, especially towards any associations like someone mentioned earlier. I do believe it is a disservice to teach people this without understanding it's limitations. Look at what a commotion a simple question started. I wasn't attacking anyone's pokers.
I think we should talk about the how's and why's of forge welding without getting defensive or offensive.

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Thanks Alec/Brian! The visual helps. I agree that we should question the "status quo" to see if there is a better way to build a mouse trap-so to say. despite 'intense discussions', it was a learning post, and may continue some... Thanks again to all.

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Never been one of my favorites, but when I've asked why someone is teaching this for the first day of class they say it is so they learn the fire and the heats right up front. Learn by fire I guess. I usually spend three days in the fire with the class and then do the forge weld and start with chain for the same reason as this fagot weld, you only have to hold one peice when welding. By then they are not afraid of the fire and have some comfort with the basic hammer blows. I did Turley's horse shoe sandwich when I took his class, but we already had some other hammering in. Both ways work so it's just what you like.

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Interesting pictures, though they do not ring true to me. It would be much more informative to see them done in steel.

Well, actually, we have seen one of them done in steel, and the failings attributed to this weld by the original poster have been shown to be incorrect.

 

I can think of no kinder way of putting it, Brian, but you have been proven wrong.

That's not a personal attack on you, just a statement of fact;

The wastage you predict does not necessarily happen.

The deformation of the main bar you predict does not necessarily happen.

The weld you claim is intrinsically unsound has been shown in the one instance to hold up to lifting a 400lb anvil.

 

Feel free to discuss and promote other ways of doing things, we all do things a little different and there is more than one way to skin a cat, but I think it might be time to move on from attacking other people's methods or tools as inferior to your own.

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Feel free to discuss and promote other ways of doing things, we all do things a little different and there is more than one way to skin a cat, but I think it might be time to move on ...

 

If you will permit a comment from outside the inner circle of contributors to this thread, I think Dan's last statement is a worthy one.

The thing is this ... all you guys are highly skilled smiths in your own right. The beautiful things you make bear testimony to this. How you get there is up to you and you all have different ways of achieving excellence.

I don't see the value in point scoring of whose is the best method.  Celebrate the differences and the creative individuality and continue to forge magnificent things to be admired by all.

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