Jonathan Snell

Reproducing a temple iron

17 posts in this topic

Hi everyone, before we go on I'm new to black smithing and working with steel also but really love it. It's something I do with my 13 year old son so we hang together. Whaling is part of our history from the 1900s when the American whalers passed thru Norfolk Island. We are the only country outside the u.s who celebrate thanksgiving day as a national holiday. So, my question on the thread is we were going to reproduce a temple iron and make the barb from an old vehicle leaf spring. Am I on the right track if should u be looking for a different piece to use? Do we 'heat and bang' as we've been doing with mild steel? Thanks in advance 

 

Mod Note: Thread retitled 

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Are you making an integral barb, or a toggle?

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Hi jhcc. I'm guessing a toggle. It's the bottom one in the image. These are actual temple irons used in whaling here. When it went into the whale it and was drawn back it opened to form a 't' inside the animal. So we're clear we don't agree with whaling of any kind but these are part of our history. Thanks again 

IMG_2266.JPG

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Gotcha. Well, that makes things a bit easier, since you don't have to worry about forge welding a piece of tool steel onto a mild steel or wrought iron shaft.

I'd suggest reading the sections on knifemaking and axes, hatchets, and hawks for inspiration on making what is essentially a short, thick, grooved, unhandled blade. Leaf spring should work fine, so long as (A) you have enough thickness and (B) there aren't any hidden stress cracks. 

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And for fun you might read the description of forging the harpoon that is in Moby Dick; probably find it online as it's definitely past the copy right limitations!

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I had the chance to examine one of these that was in very good shape at an auction one time. It was of unknown origin and vintage but I was suprised at the strength and flexibility of the steel shaft. It appeared to me to be some kind of spring steel as well. Very tough but with some give.

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23 minutes ago, Mtnstream said:

I had the chance to examine one of these that was in very good shape at an auction one time. It was of unknown origin and vintage but I was suprised at the strength and flexibility of the steel shaft. It appeared to me to be some kind of spring steel as well. Very tough but with some give.

The whaling museum in Nantucket, MA has a harpoon whose shaft was twisted into all kinds of curls and knots by the struggles of the whale.

37 minutes ago, ThomasPowers said:

And for fun you might read the description of forging the harpoon that is in Moby Dick; probably find it online as it's definitely past the copy right limitations!

http://etcweb.princeton.edu/batke/moby/moby_113.html

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Thanks everyone, will let u know how our project turns out. We're both excited to start and he will also be drafting plans with measurements from the original and photos of our projects, and failures..

We know  our family name was a whaler, deserter, bigamist and sportsban (lol) from little Compton Connecticut who jumped ship on Norfolk.

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Here tis'.... finally. Sorry if it offends any purists... but we're new to this...

 

IMG_2506.jpg

IMG_2502 (1).jpg

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That is really good..and not just "for a beginner" good. Give us some details on Its construction!

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Very cool, my friend! Good work!

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Despite our local whaling heritage, (Whitby), I had no idea what a temple iron was till I read this thread, Very nice execution Jonathan, thanks for posting.

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Yes, the knives were on a wooden pole about 4 or 5 feet....

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Not trying to be picky, but with that stake stuck in the hardy hole, you may want to be careful that it doesn't get stuck and or do worse things to the anvil if you pound too hard. I don't think they were made to be used in an anvil hardy hole. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong...

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Hi Tony, thanks for the advice. We used it in the hardy hole while we were doing the hinges which were made out of light 1mm mild steel. The anvil is from the 1870's and as it was one of the island's only blacksmith shops and in use for many many years I guess you can imagine there's not a straight edge or sharp corner on the top so hence the used of the additional stake. We wouldn't get carried away pounding on it but thank you for the thought, advice is always appreciated.

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