beammeupscotty

You ever have one of those projects where nothing seems to go right?

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Along with those hooks and hangers I posted recently on the "Show Me Your Hooks" thread, the same woman who asked for hooks also asked me to make some door knockers for her crafts show in October.  I decided to take a stab at a knocker this week and it very nearly kicked my xxx.  

 

I made the back plate first and that seemed to go pretty well.  The raw stock was 2" x 3/16" and I was reasonably happy with how it turned out.  Then I tried to make the knocker part and nothing seemed to work.  I spent 5 or 6 hours over a couple of days on my first two attempts and both of them ended up as scrap.  I decided to take a break from trying to make the knocker portion and took a stab at the saddle that would hold it.  First two attempts at that also resulted in failure.  I was trying to do that with 1/2" square stock.   The saddle I was attempting was forged in one piece with a 5/16" square tenon on the back.  

 

Back to trying to make the knocker...third time I felt I was on to something only to overheat the mass I was trying to build up on the end through folding it over and doing a faggot weld.  The mass just broke off at a thin point.  Rather than start again from scratch, I forged a tenon on what was left over and forged a separate sphere from a piece  1" square stock, about 1 1/4" long.  Drilled a hole in that and silver soldered the tenon into the hole.   I was finally able to make the saddle by starting with 3/4" square stock instead of 1/2".  i have not put a finish on it yet....

 

I think this turned out o.k. but I can assure you I will never make another.  Way too much work....

 

 

knocker1.jpg

knocker2.jpg

knocker3.jpg

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Like anything, the first is the most difficult to make. You are both setting the design and figuring out how to move the metal.

Suggestion is to make the ball first, watch the fire as getting the mass of the ball hot can over heat the connection point to the rest of the stock. You MUST go slow and bring everything up to heat at the same time. This will take a while for the mass of the ball to come up to temperature because of the mass. This is where you may find an ox/ac torch helpful.

OR hold the rest of the stock to the edge of the fire and let the heat migrate from the edge of the ball to the center of the ball. This should leave the rest of the stock at a lower temperature. A water bottle with a small hole in the cap can be used to selectively cool the stock at the connection point, or any particular section for that matter.

Try making just the ball using the above methods. If it works great, if not adjust as needed. You will want to add a ball to many projects so the knowledge will come in handy later. You may want to make 5-6 or more once you have the method down just for practice. Just cause it did not work the first time is no reason to give up.

There is nothing wrong with taking a RR spike with lots of mass on one end and forging it into a ball and then forging the remainder of the spike into the dimension you need. When you need to move something, do not reinvent the wheel, borrow a wheel barrow.

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I'm sure we have all had projects that just didnt want to work out. I'd say your end product is nice as well as functional. I would mount it to My door any day. never a reason to give up. Way to pull through and get it done!  

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I understand compounding failures on a project. I'm glad you stuck to it though it came out pretty nice. Sounds like a matter of sequence, I really try to forge heavy to light when possible. In that case forge the ball first, it isn't going to overheat working the light sections.

Ah, give it a while and your unwillingness to accept defeat will trip your stubborn streak and you'll be showing us pics of the next one. I'll be watching for it. ;)

Frosty The Lucky.

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Making mistakes is how we learn most of the time. Last year I made a tomahawk from an old Ballpeen hammer. It was the first time I had ever used a Ballpeen for this. It turned out looking Super good. I did not however listen to someone who told me NOT to quench it in water, He said Oil is the only thing to use on an old hammer. WELLLLLL I quenched this exquisite piece in water and it shattered, It broke into no less than 11 pieces. The thing is I actually NEVER quench in water What possessed me to that time is beyond me.

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