littleblacksmith

What did you do in the shop today?

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10 hours ago, jlpservicesinc said:

Hans what will you use to keep the sections in alignment?

Hi Jennifer, will use locks / closures like the ones you can find on ammunition boxes. Continue to reinforce the thin plate edges of the drum sections with reinforcing steel rings to stabilize them. After that I will weld upright edges of tin flat bar strokes on the upper sections that fits over the lower section to stack together like a sewer pipe connection and secured by the amo box closures.

On the net you will find lots of films showing the construction of a Raku kilns but very simple with the internal lining of an oil drum or tin IKEA garbage can with unprotected wool.

With the ‘bell construction’ over the bottom I have access to the molten wax and can let it drain out without the mess of molten wax on the bottom. The height of the sections is determined by the width and thickness of the available Superwool and insulation materials. As always I borrow ideas from numerous sources and try to realize them in a version 'Hans 2.0’. If you are interested in the dimensions and details please send a PM.

Cheers, Hans

Lid krat.jpg

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Thanks!

Good couple of hours in the shop today. Cooked down some borax à la Jennifer:

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Made a pair of scrolling tongs from a pair of tinsnips:

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And made Lisa a letter opener to take to the office:

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(Note that this one doesn’t end in a shepherd’s crook like the others of this design. That’s because she’s the only one who has my heart.)

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Something different from the usual straight bars. Next is the hinges and lock. 

Stock is 2"x 1/4" and the sides are 2"x1/2". The hinge side bar is forged down to 3/4" round and the bottom pin goes in a socket and the top will hopefully be a hand holding the top pin. 

The latch need to be kid safe. I'll figure it out as I go. Another hand would be nice but only if I can actually make one that does not take me too much time. 

Rivets are round head  1/4 x 1" mild enough to rivet cold. 

 

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Marc1, looking at that brought back to mind walking through the Architecture lab area back in the late  1970's.  All the beginning students were required to build designs using foam core sheets resulting in very rectilinear constructions. On one wall someone had put a poster saying "Free Antonio Gaudi!"      

Thank-you for bringing that memory back.

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6 hours ago, JHCC said:

Thanks!

Good couple of hours in the shop today. Cooked down some borax à la Jennifer:

I used a cast iron pan once.. It was so hard to get the melted borax out that I had to heat the pan back up and scoop it out.. 

Now I just go to the recycle center and find steel pans that are a bit thicker  or will make my own pan.. Then I melt it, let it cool off and then smack it with a hammer and it all comes out like broken candy.. 

Most won't appreciate the time you will put in to make the flux, but I sure will...   I still prefer it to both hydrous and anhydrous borax and a little goes a long way..  I find I can use less since it is a condensed product.. 

My curiosity on how you got it out of the pan is intense.. 

Nice items John,, you have the letter opener handles down very keenly now.. 

Marc1 that is a neat looking gate.. I was hoping to see punched and riveted side bars on the upright frame sides but it's very nice just the same..  Original design or sketch from buyer? 

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1 minute ago, jlpservicesinc said:

My curiosity on how you got it out of the pan is intense.

Hammer and chisel. It’s a steel pan, not cast iron. 

Pulverizing was considerably simplified when I realized I could use my dishing hammer as a pestle:

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4 minutes ago, jlpservicesinc said:

you have the letter opener handles down very keenly now.. 

Thank you! Splitting on the diagonal for the heart was fun. 

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nice,  can't wait to hear what you think of the flux.. sometimes I don't need to hit it with flux again after a tack or short time out of the fire as the flux is still molten and not oxidized.. 

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19 minutes ago, jlpservicesinc said:

Original design or sketch from buyer? 

Inspired by a gate in Ukraine. Making this for the top of the stairs you can see in the background. 

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That’s a lot of bending the hard way! Well done, and I look forward to seeing it in place. 

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JHCC, nice letter opener!  I want to try that style of handle.  Thanks also for the photo of the tinsnips turned into scrolling tongs.

Marc1,  Enjoying the gate! Nice work!

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5 hours ago, jlpservicesinc said:

Very nice..  It was hard to see the detail on the side welded ears that the bars attach to.. mig or tig welded? 

MIG. Next time I'll twist the side bar 90 degree at each point of attachment. Only thought about it when it was too late :)

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JHCC, I have been trying to work out how you forged the handle design in Lisa's letter opener. Nearest I can figure is that you forged the stock to a triangular profile and used a bob punch or similar struck sideways to make the offset depressions and give the wave-like effect. It is a most pleasing design. Would you care to elaborate on how it was achieved?

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Close, but I started with square stock rather than a triangle and used a 3/16” (roughly) hand fuller with one end of the edge rounded.

Start with the stock flat on the anvil, set the fuller about 3/4 of the way across the stock, and punch down. This will push the edge downward, creating a lip. When that lip gets close to the anvil, stop. 

Rotate the stock 90 degrees to bring the lip UP. Place your fuller similarly to before, but hanging over the side that does not have the lip on it. You want it close to the first divot, but with just a bit of space, roughly equal to the thickness of the tip of the lip. Punch down as before. 

Rotate the stock back to its original position, place your fuller next to the second divot and pointing in the same direction as when you punched the first, and punch down. 

Repeat until you have the length you need. I personally think an odd number of divots looks best, but suit yourself. Straighten as you go with a wood or rawhide mallet to keep from messing up the details  

Think of the square sitting on one edge, diamondwise. You are using the bottom edge as the axis to flip-flop the workpiece from side to side, and you’re essentially pushing the top edge first to one side and then the other to create the wave. The bottom edge becomes the back of the piece, and the top edge becomes the wave.

Does that make sense?

I got the technique from a video by John Switzer of Black Bear Forge, although he uses it for a wall hook. 

 

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John, thanks for your explanation of forging the sine wave. I will make one of those punches and give it a try. I watched that video of John Switzer's method and I think he made it look a lot easier than it is. I'll watch it again before attempting the same. I feel confident - perhaps it's a sine of things to come.

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You're welcome! Having made half a dozen of these now, I've found that the keys to success (so far, for me at least) are: (1) a clean working surface on the punch (since you can't do any additional cleanup at the bottom of the divots), (2) always flipping 90° on the same back edge, and (3) having a clear visualization of how you're pushing the front edge side-to-side to create the wave. Another quick tip is that if you finish one divot and don't have enough heat to do the next, put your punch in place anyway and give it a whack or two. This will create a reference mark for the next divot and will help you properly align your stock on the anvil and your punch on the stock. 

1 hour ago, ausfire said:

I feel confident - perhaps it's a sine of things to come.

I'd cosine that statement of confidence, but I don't want this thread to go off on another tangent.

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JHCC, that is a great looking design you have. Here is my work for the day. Straightened out a couple of wonky horseshoe hearts. Made some leaf key rings. These are the third and fourth ones I've made. Obviously I need to work on veining them better. I'm just happy I can do it at all. Made this giant J hook. Shouldn't do heavier pieces when you're already tired. I worked long enough that my anvil is very uncomfortably hot and my quench bucket water is super hot. A good day in the shop. Have a great day everyone:)

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There was a demo of this Seahorse form at a Hammer In in Santa Cruz two weeks ago.  the one on the left was done at the site, the hot one this past Saturday at home when I should have been painting the house. 5 inches of 5/8 square to start, there's also a 3/4 square one I started.  The demonstrator was doing a big version this past weekend in 2 1/2 inch stock with a power hammer and team strikersSeahorses.thumb.jpg.6b71a04dcd54a597db51b1d1377e53d3.jpg

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Got a fresh bar textured and made a pendant for a fellow.  He names all his rides after runes and likes for me to make a pendant to go with each of them.  Great guy!  :D

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I also managed to get a few hooks made and two bars cut for a special project I'm going to try.  I don't know if that super-secret special project will be worth broadcasting on the internet, so pictures will have to wait until I'm at least partially successful!  :D

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13 hours ago, jlpservicesinc said:

VaughnT.. That is cool.. I love the color and texture.. 

Thank you.  They've proven quite popular with folks and I'm happy to make them.  Chasing in the design takes the most time, but it's worth doing it by hand rather than relying on a stamp that gives you the same impression from one pendant to the next.

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Modified a three-pound double-jack ($1 from a yard sale) into a straight peen and hafted it. 

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Oatmeal/peanut butter/fruit smoothies and coffee, mostly. 

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