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I havnt tried to make a fork or spoon since early off even tho they could be good sellers. First ones were a matching set fork, spoon, knife with fish tail scrolls on the end. This was a random " what do you want to be?" Set of fork and spoon. Try to make the second match the first. Even if I messed up the twist on the fork for whatever reason. ( brain dead)  

I need to get back to making these. Fork was supposed to be 3 tine and at least I broke off the middle tine lol. (Bad cut to start with) Just push on and make a failure into a somewhat success. :rolleyes: ain't as nice as I went for but heck, I havnt tried in atleast a year. 

In the little forging time I get I like to try anything fun. Don't worry I won't quit my day job any time soon. :)

Any tips on smoothing the surface of a spoon without electric tools in the field and minus sandpaper, just out of curiosity. 

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I use a more rounded ball pein ball end for dishing the spoon. it's an idea to dish it gently with a wooden hammer but my question would it actually be hard/heavy enough to dish the steel. Even hot the (i'd guess 1.5lb) ball pein does the job just right. at least when the stump gets heated up and starts to dish. or am I misunderstanding?

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Greetings Das,

.         Just an old boys 2c.  You could black heat or cold form the spoon end with a ball pien in your wood depression after a good brushing flat than a few file strokes to finish. Than to planish I would use a trailer ball back up and than a large ball pien mounted in the vice for for back up to a super smooth finish . 

Forge on and make beautiful things 

Jim

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The best way to take marks out is not to put them in...

Rather than using a ball pein and sinking the spoon bowl with a lot of little dimples...which then have to removed by planishing or dressing out...think about using a spoon shaped top tool which can be driven in with your hand hammer. It is lot of wasted work to put marks in. You spend much more energy straightening out the dimples than you do actually forming the dishing.

The metal has not got to move far so will go fairly readily with a bowl form. Always do the edges first and work into the centre rather than thump in the middle and buckle the edge.

Alan

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So taking some info, I made a bottom hardy tool to try out. Made out of some 1 1/4" pin in my scrap pile. Believe it's high carbon from the way it acted forging it and spark test but no matter on this. Pics to follow are of an 1 1/4" pin I started with and process was upsetting the struck end to get enough mass to grind to a spoon shape I plan to use and then forging down the hardie side to fit my anvil. Then I sanded the struck side with a grinder then paper on a duel action 6" sander from 36 grit to 1000 grit then a light buff. Just because I have it. (I do body work and on paint the paper is junk before it's absolutely done to be useful on metal work usually.) 

I'll have to give this a test tomorrow hopefully. A mix between Alan's suggestion and Jim and Thomas's . If I'm wrong I appologize. I've been busy tonight and am a lil tired. Anyway... Ideas?

 

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Well now....if you take that out of the hardy hole...use it as a top tool and drive it down on to your clean (finished surface) spoon blank over a wood block with a heavy hand hammer (foot-hammer, fly or hydraulic press if you have one) it will form the spoon without any ball pein hammer bruises. Start on the edges of the spoon and work in to the middle. Work in ever decreasing concentric  circles  spoon bowl shapes in order to avoid buckling the edge.

Any glitches pop the new tool back in the hardy hole and true up the bowl with a mirror polished planishing hammer or hide or wood mallet, depending on the nature of the glitch. Any buckle smooth them from the centre out toward the edge...try and unbuckle/unfold  them rather than tightening the fold.

Alan

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Could try that Alan.It would deffinately give me a cleaner spoon. versatility is great. I like the idea and It's not bad to have options. I liked the idea of cleaning up the flattened spoon blank then dishing it. that would give me a cleaner surface as well. 

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I come from a colonial hardware back ground..so have a little different perspective on stuff like this.. 

I like the overall design's.. Love all the twists.. 

 

  Something I learned early on is: From a colonial or the way back finishing.. Food service items need to be polished or at least scale and as many cracks and grooves removed. at the eating end..  Handle not so much.. 

 

 Even the least expensive flat ware was given a smooth finish.. They figured out early that items not finished to a decent degree would make someone sick as it was harder to clean and the cracks and scale would hold food. leading to  bacteria and other problems.  Also the polished flat ware would look better when being served.. 

On a selling note.. Fork and spoon sets do sell pretty well.. 

 

 

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Thank you for the insight JP. That's a very good point. 

That's one of my main concerns is how to get it as smooth and clean as possible from the get go.  Then maybe be able to dress it with some sand paper after. At a demo one is not likely to have the equipment to buff to a high polish.

So what could be the best case finish without electric and in a timely manner? 

 

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If you are wanting to do demo work power-free for any historic enactment reason...then emery-, sand- or wet and dry paper is hardly legit either! Loose sand and a leather or cloth pad is though. Chainmail on a leather pad or glove palm was used for burnishing.

You also have this wonderful by-product of forging...iron oxide which gathers around the anvil...and makes an excellent abrasive as it breaks down it gets finer and finer. Try just rubbing your hammer face in it...

As I said above the best way to get marks out of metal is not to put them in...this applies at every stage of every process, so wire brushing to remove scale every heat between fire and anvil so that you do not pound it in to the surface is important. To refine the metal surface and reduce any scale, the last pass over with the hammer should be at black heat. At red heat the oxide is harder than the metal, and is pushed into the surface. At black heat, and cooler, the metal is harder than the oxide and the hammer cracks up and dusts off the oxide....

Having reduced the scale with the hammer, pickle with vinegar or hot lemon juice and dip a damp/wet cloth in the iron oxide and use as a polishing cloth. Speed and pressure help...a strip of towel one end held in the vice or nailed to the bench, hold the other and place scale flakes on the band rub the convex surface of the spoon backwards and forwards along it.

A bow-drill with a string or cloth or leather mop head and sand or iron oxide to polish the concave face of bowl....

Alan

 

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Colonial people used the scouring rush to clean pots, pans, and other eating utensils. The stems are full of silicon dioxide, (a.k.a. silica), which is an excellent abrasive

.Equisetum hymnale is a primitive plant found in the horsetail family, and was around long before the  evergreens, (Gymnosperms), and flowering plants, (Angiosperms). It  propagates by spores and runners. The plant grows in America, Europe, Asia, and, now, Australia and Africa.

Japanese artisans use this powder to this day. They include cutlers, and knife makers. They still boil and grind the stems to a powder for use as a an abrasive.

Pumice stone is another form of silicon oxide that has been used for millennia. It is an aerated volcanic rock, and the powder is still used. Another denser variety, called scoria, yields even finer abrasive powder. Both have been used for thousands of years.

Yet another silicon containing substance is rottenstone, or Tripoli . It is a limestone rock containing crystalline, or amorphous, silica or diatomaceous mineral. You can buy it at the hardware store.

Garnet powders have also been used for cutting and polishing, for ever. They are metallo-silicon oxide minerals and are widely found.

They are more expensive than many other abrasive substances that were used in the past.

And for those period re-enactors that have an unlimited budget, diamond powder may be utilized for your demonstrations. Diamond powder has been so used for hundreds of years.

Jeweler's rouge has been used as an abrasive and polishing compound since before recorded history. It is iron oxide, Fe2O3. and is the main ore of iron manufacture.

It is still used by jewelers, today. The powder can be mixed with wax or fat and used for light grinding & polishing. You could use it on a cloth or wheel. A modified pole lathe would make a fine polishing wheel period-piece statement.

There are other long-used abrasives that can be resorted to that are traditional.

Pick and choose and enjoy.

SLAG

 

 

 

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Thank you Slag. I looked Scouring rush up and don't think I've ever seen it in the wild in my area. I'll be looking for it now. 

Also a lot more great info. Looked up a pole lathe as well as I never knew about them and don't recall seeing one. Jeesh... They need to expand history class in schools. 

Funny enough a few years back I picked up a treadle table without the sewing machine and thought it would be fun to set up as a manual pedal powered Dremmel tool or something. Of course I still havnt got around to it.  

You all really got my wheels turning. 

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I think the set looks great Daswulf, and the slightly different twists add character.  I think the hardy tool turned out well too.  It would be sweet to make a negative of it in a press.  On the note of sand paper though depending on your time period it might actually be historically correct, with historical documents placing it for sale in Philadelphia as early as 1755 by one John Bayley.

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Das,

You'll find the plants considered in a botany course.

The plants can be found in marshy areas. Some species prefer clayey soil, others like sandy areas. They are common & can easily be found in Pennsylvania if you look a little. most people pass them by without a notice.

Sorry, the primary schools and most high schools serve as a custodial service. Their main function seems to be keeping children off the streets, and out of the job market.

They take oceans of time teaching that which can be taught in a quarter the time. I spent years of incarceration in that system that caters to the lowest common denominator, and subjects so many to insufferable boredom.

Pole lathes are one solution for ancient turning technology. The potters' kick wheel is another (invented well before 500 B.C.), and the bow fire drill is yet a third method for speeding up sanding and polishing and still being authentic for your period reconstruction demonstrations. The treadle is o.k. too as it stems from the crank that was invented around the year 1.000 years A.D. (that late).

CMS thanks for the reference concerning sandpaper. I checked my notes and found that the first mention of the use of sandpaper is 100 A.D. (in China, where else !?),  Its use is referenced in an English book concerning furniture finishing from ca. 1688. Crushed glass frit was used. (beach sand is not suitable as the grains are rounded). And a patent for such paper was issued in 1833, in England. So using sand paper is o.k. if you are portraying technology after circa 1600.

Must get back to work, Regards,

SLAG.

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Thanks CMS. I'm thinking of grinding out a swage block for a negative since I don't have a suitable press. I have been using a lucust stump for dishing but have been wanting to make a spoon swage, just never got bit by the motivational bug. 

Slag, I really didn't have an exact period in mind, I was just thinking without electric tools. I'm loving all the ideas and info. I have wanted to blacksmith at the Renaissance festival but I think I need a bit more improvement on my forging and knowledge first. Not that many, if any are completely period with equipment but the historical knowledge would be helpful. 

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Ok. Tried another set tonight. Spoon ended up better but I cheated a little, cleaning up the flat before dishing it. Now to get some old processes going. After dishing was sand paper then wax. The fork I finally got a 3 prong. While sanding it picked me underneath the thumb nail and I was done with it. 

As far as the spork, I hate them. My friend was over and really wanted one. She tried to make one but it ended up a butter knife lol. 

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1 hour ago, Daswulf said:

snip...Spoon ended up better but I cheated a little, cleaning up the flat before dishing it. snip...

Cheating?

One man's "cheating a little' is another's... common sense, logical production sequence, best practise, knowledge from experience... :)

It is my "best way to get marks out is not to put them in" mantra.

If you want to end up with a decorative textured surface on a bit of metal, you make a textured face tool and drive it in.

Exactly the same process applies to wanting to end up with a mirror polished surface...why would you use anything but mirror polished tool faces to forge and form it?

At the initial stage of spreading the spoon blank, if every blow is from a mirror polished hammer onto a mirror polished anvil you are not creating a rough texture which has to be removed later.

By cleaning and polishing the flat blank while both sides are readily accessible, before sinking the bowl with mirror tools, there is little finishing to do afterwards.

Cheating? It makes good economic sense. To my mind at least, it makes for good aesthetics. A piece fresh from the forming tools without losing definition through too much sanding and polishing processes is crisp and vibrant.

Alan

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