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-Quint-

Stocking hooks

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Thanks Frosty! I can't take credit for the idea, my wife said she saw something similar and asked me if I could make them. They clamp on the mantle pretty well, even if Santa is overly generous I think they'll stay put.

Banged them out of some junk rod I had lying around. I keep telling myself that I'm just practicing so the material can be junk, but so far I'm using everything I've made, so maybe I should start using better steel...

The toughest part was making the second one look like the first ;) 

 

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Lets think about that one Quint, as far as what matters the only difference twixt new stock and your scrap is:

The steel supplier has taken scrap, reformed it into uniform long lengths and sold it to you at a premium price (after the stockist includes his profit), for you to cut down and reform again! So unless you are making parts on an industrial scale, you are paying for something you obviously don't need. Looks like you are doing fine as you are Quint. It is also my opinion that if you are buying the stock, and making both identical.......you may as well have just gone to the store and purchased the finished product at probably half the cost and little effort. Personally, I'd rather have two slightly odd, repurposed, handmade items, keep up the good work.

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STEEL ---- One of the most recycled items on the planet

Made some of those ( but to fit bricks on my mantle ) and have used them for 35 years ( this year included )

I stamped my kids initials in each one so there would be no confusion on who's was who's.

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So long as its solid who cares. You should see the look on people's faces when they ask for something and I pull out some nasty bent rusted piece of scrap out of my bin. 

Most of my tooling is made from really ugly looking scrap I found buried in my backyard. Lol

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3 hours ago, Smoggy said:

Lets think about that one Quint, as far as what matters the only difference twixt new stock and your scrap is:

The steel supplier has taken scrap, reformed it into uniform long lengths and sold it to you at a premium price (after the stockist includes his profit), for you to cut down and reform again! So unless you are making parts on an industrial scale, you are paying for something you obviously don't need. Looks like you are doing fine as you are Quint. It is also my opinion that if you are buying the stock, and making both identical.......you may as well have just gone to the store and purchased the finished product at probably half the cost and little effort. Personally, I'd rather have two slightly odd, repurposed, handmade items, keep up the good work.

Thanks Smoggy, I appreciate the encouragement very much. It's invaluable, especially early on as I'm sure you know. 

I'm all about scrap, I don't intend to ever buy much steel. For this particular project I just kinda wish that I had used something a bit better, so I could put a bit of a spring temper in it. I'm worried that it's going to crumble at the corners after a few times clipping on and off the mantle. I guess we'll see!

Oh and as far as making them look the same, I probably should've said "remotely similar" ;) because the first try at the second one wasn't even close. I don't want identical stuff either. 

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I can't count the number of times someone has asked me for "X" number of items for a set and I've had to make several extras to make them all look like they were made by the same person. Lol

Usually what happens for me is the last one is a lot more refined than the first. Both look fine and stand well on their own but will have some texturing differences or something. 

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1 hour ago, Panday said:

So long as its solid who cares. You should see the look on people's faces when they ask for something and I pull out some nasty bent rusted piece of scrap out of my bin. 

Most of my tooling is made from really ugly looking scrap I found buried in my backyard. Lol

The stuff I used here was some 3/16 rod I found stored up in the rafters of my house, from a previous owner. It had a goldish coating on it, which I whipped off with a wire wheel before I stuck it in the forge... It seems more than fine for decorative stuff. My only concern really was how much of a temper it could actually take, I'm assuming it's pretty low carbon, and I'm worried about the clamps cracking in the corners from flexing, but I'm still green and ignorant, so I don't know if that should be a concern or not. 

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6 minutes ago, Panday said:

"Tempering" is unlikely to effect that one way or the other. Most likely cause would be forging errors. 

Well I'm sure there were plenty of forging errors lol. But on a serious note, that's very interesting to me. So even if it's not a tempered fairly high carbon, or "spring" steel, it'll still have enough give in it to not crack with repeated flexing? 

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9 minutes ago, Panday said:

I'd lay a handsome wager you've never seen a spring steel stocking hook. 

I'm not taking that bet, first stocking hook I've ever seen is the one in the pic above lol. When I was a kid, my "stocking hook" doubled as something called a thumbtack once xmas was over ;)

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Tomas Powers often references how you can replace a vise spring with mild steel. I've never done it, but is a very simple spring and it kind of highlights the idea. 

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Quint: A couple things. A little after I sent my reply I realized we have similar stocking hooks doing summer duty here in the house.

I usually take a student through basic practices till they've developed proficiency as the beginner level.

Then we start working on replication as the intermediate level. Making 4 coat hooks alike enough to make a nice looking set is a LOT harder than say forge welding or heavens forefend upsetting!

First though we talk a LOT and I often assign some reading. You need to do some reading and NOT stuff on the internet. You're misusing terminology that is important to use correctly. Tempering is controlled softening and the effects you're describing is the result of "hardening and tempering." This particular process is just ONE type of "Heat Treatment."

Calling any type of heat treatment "tempering" is comic book level "knowledge" and useless in the shop.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks for pointing that out frosty. I have a simple understanding of the principles of basic heat treatment, not from a hands on standpoint at all but just through reading (books) and picking the brain of a friend who is a pretty good respected knife maker. I guess I misused the language, or just took a language shortcut assuming that you guys all know a lot more than I do and would assume I meant tempering to achieve spring AFTER hardening. I never tried to harden or temper these pieces, or anything for that matter other than quenching while working. I've only worked with the few pieces I've shown here in this forum, all mild steel, and if what knowledge I have so far is correct, there's little noticeable result when "heat treating" mild steel, correct? 

 

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It's all good Quint it's a beginner's assumption we've all been there at one time or another. Before I got involved with folk on the internet I wouldn't have given it a thought. Unfortunately there are so many newcomers to the craft on just this forum communications has become critical so us old curmudgeons have to get picky so folk know what's being talked about.

Correct, mild steel generally has too little carbon to harden in heat treat. However you can get a little spring if you quench in a "Super quench" solution. Another method to develop "hardness" is through work hardening but that's more. . . work.

If you leave your hooks a little closed so you have to force them open to fit on the mantel they should stay put. Another trick is to put a dab of silicone calking on the underside of the top and spread it to a thin coat. Let it dry and it will form a non-skid surface that is also less likely to scratch the mantel.

The smear of silicone calking trick is something I picked up from crew members of on of the the Alaska Marine Highways ferries. They use the trick on the bottom of all their dishes to keep them on the tables, bar, etc. in the dining room. I've been using it for a couple decades now at least.

Frosty The Lucky.

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quenching a true mild steel from non-magnetic temp will not do much; which is why you see a lot of that in *old* depictions of blacksmithing However much you run into today is not a 1018 but rather A-36 steel which can have an appreciable carbon content in it---even close to the medium carbon line.  This can have unfortunate results when quenched and so I don't usually have a quench tank in my shop but use a "desert normalization" on everything that is not higher carbon stuff getting heat treated for special uses, (and that is usually using hot oil as the quenchant)

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Can't thank you gentlemen enough. Looks like I've come to the right place.

In 25 years or so in my field, I've mostly only come across people who aren't interested in sharing their knowledge with anyone. I wasn't very deep into those 25 years when I realized it was most likely because they didn't have much wisdom to share... you guys are refreshing to me, you have a wealth of knowledge and are not only willing to share that wealth, but seem to find it exciting and rewarding to do so.

I'll be taking everyone's advice and tips and shoving them into my brain as best as I can. I had nearly forgotten about the ABANA lessons, thank you for the reminder. I intend to do just that. And Frosty, I love the silicon caulk trick.Definitely using that as well, brilliant.

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Aw shucks I just like to talk and a good tolerant is to be cherished. I learned the calk trick from a Steward on either the Malespina or Columbia Ferry on the run from Haines to Ketchikan or maybe even Juneau. It works a treat I've often thought of the fellow and wish I knew his name to credit him directly.

Frosty The Lucky.

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