SReynolds

Mission Impossible W/Pictures

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Learned how to make "hand made" scrolled candle holders. Problem; it takes many many hours to tweak, adjust and fit the scroll just so, it isn't possible for me to continue making them (for sale) as I spend  approx. 12 hours forging per month for only 7 months a year. Not a typo. 12 hours per month.

So i bought a commercially available scrolling jig fixture.............Epic Fail. It is trash. I cannot, for the life of me , figure how to use this to scroll flat stock.

How on the planet , fo you hold the flat stock to the jig? Maybe I'm not explaining myself properly. There must be a manner, in which to attatch the flat stock to the jig in order for the stock to conform to said jig.

I tried tongs and vise-grips. They are in the way of the scroll jig. I make many a scrolling jig myself and employ a post of which the stock butts up against,  thus holding fast (tight) to the jig. Locking workpiece in place. This commercial jig has no method in which to lock the work piece to said jig fixture.

The top two pics clearly show my attempt to use the scroll. Attempting to begin the scroll is impossible.  The work must be held in place  with a hammer as i attempt to follow the circumference of jig.

The third pic is a scroll with the funky looking inner end bent strangely and quite  unacceptable. The final picture is that of a hand made scroll from a scrolling fork. Quite nice. 

Should i modify the scrolling fixture to employ  a locking/backup post?  If so, why is this commercially available trash available and sold? I can make better and i dont even know what I'm doing.  But thst takes  precious time. 

 

 

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I'm no expert, I've never even used a scrolling jig, but it seems to me that vise gripping the hot metal to the jig with the vise grips straight up and down, parrellel with your vise jaws, right at the inner most bend of the scroll would hold the hot metal and not be in the way. Judging from your post, I assume you've tried this, but it seems like it would work to me, no? Or, perhaps, if you bent that same section (the initial inner most bend) a little further, to a pretty steep angle, it would sort of lock it in as you go around. 

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I tried both and no go. For instance; vise-grips or a pair-o-tongs........you have to hold the piece in place and scroll the workpiece  AROUND the jaw of vise grips or tongs. Right? Then reform the scroll. But you cannot. Because the inner section is the inner section. There is no access  to it. Its inside.

Maybe if there was a video of somebody using a scroll jig......

I'm  a welder/fabricator. I can simply modify this to allow strap steel to lock in place. I was taught  by a blacksmith how to make scrolling jigs. And they employ a self-lock feature aka the "back-up" post.  But i have to do it at work on my lunch hour. 

 

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Good point, I had not considered that. I would say just build one that works for you, or modify what you have. No sense in wasting time and energy trying to fight an uphill battle. 

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Greetings Reynolds, 

          The best way I have found in the past when using scrolling jigs is to form the eye and than use two bending forks to ease it along the jig.  I guess I am old school I form all my scrolls free hand. After about 3 or 4 hundred you don't have to use the jig.  My friend finished a job last year with more than 2000 scrolls most free hand. I made him a trophy and crowned him king of the penny scrolls..  Keep on working you will get it. An afterthought... If you cool the end that locks into the scroll form it will hold better and not deform..

Forge on and make beautiful things

Jim 

trophy.jpg

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Don't feel too bad about using that form and not getting good results.  I'm pretty sure that I bought the same one and it's an utter disaster.  All the company is doing is buying machine-made scrolls and welding a bar to the underside so you can clamp it in the vise.  The results, if you do everything right, is that you end up with what looks like a machine-made scroll.  Ugly as sin and not at all sized so it looks right with the size of the bar you're using.

As mentioned above, cooling off the very end of the bar, after you've made the initial hook, will give it the stiffness needed to not deform as you pull the rest of the bar around the scroll.  It's not a perfect way of overcoming the flat end of the scroll jig, but it does help a great deal and does away with the need for a clamp.

I'll take a photo of mine in operation when I get back out to the shop.

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Thanks

Was wondering if i could cool it off

 But was making other projects today and had an apprentice to watch and work with and visitors to the shop and had to leave for 1.5 hour to get some tools and no time to experiment any further........

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I never use scroll jigs so I may be just showing off my ingnorance but it seems to me that you could use a piece of steel to wedge the start of the sroll to the jig. I do agree that the jig does not look particularly attractive. the start = innermost part does not have a bery pleasing shape

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The bender seems to have a flat spot at the beginning of the scroll. This is duplicated in your hot metal and finished scroll.

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The smith I learned from used scroll wrenches and needle nosed tongs to form the scroll around the jig.

Most of the scrolls I helped him with were from the Davies Brother's gates at Erddig House. They were mainly rolled snub scrolls. We forged the taper and rolled the snub, and started the scroll freehand. The snub then hooked over the end of the jig and was largely self locking.

I am sure there is a photo sequence in the Cosira books that may help. 

I have to agree that the scroll jig is awful...as with any jig if you do not get it right there is no time saved at all. The jig must be as near perfect as possible in order to balance out any minor variances you build in when pulling the scroll around. A bad jig just means very one of the production run is poor.

Alan

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A few years ago when I was making my first pair of gates using flat bar I made this video on scrolling, which you may find helpful. 

 

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"commercially available scrolling jig fixture.............Epic Fail. It is trash"  You're right, if that's suppose to be a scrolling jig, it fails the sight test.  Consider making your own, draw it out on an piece of sheet steel and then make exactly the scroll you want to reproduce, it is well worth the effort.  As Alan wrote, the Cosira books show how.

Starting in a blacksmith/fab shop, we made and used scrolling jigs all the time, we had over 50-100 of them, yet we still needed to make new ones for a third the jobs.

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Greetings Reynolds,

      Just a thought. Some jigs were designed to start the scroll than drive the flat stock into the inside of the jig form . It would take a full heat to do so.

Forge on and make beautiful things 

Jim

 

 

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A lot of the ones I've see are not flat!  They have the center project up. You clamp at the center point and pull around the form till you get to the end then release, reheat the scroll and flatten with a wooden mallet.

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Pics of the modified scrolling jig. It almost works like it should. Not sure what else can be done but time will tell.

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Did you actually look at the Cosira books that Gerald and I recommended, or the video that Joel OF posted for you?

I can not see what problem you think you have solved by cluttering up the interior of your jig. The jig was not at risk of uncoiling, which is what your bracing struts apparently were intended to prevent. The grip effect of the spiral form as shown so clearly in Joel's video obviates the need for a fixed post which relies on your forging the tip to exactly the right thickness...needle nose tongs and scroll wrenches will cope with any thickness.

You have now hugely reduced your options as far as holding the workpiece against the jig with tongs or wrenches. 

The main problem with your OP attempt was that you had not prepared your work piece prior to putting it on to the jig, if you wanted a snub end scroll, or that you were trying to make a scroll form that the jig could not provide.

If you do not want to bother with preparing a rolled or penny end snub...make plain end scrolls with it.

Have another look at Joel's video.

Have a look at lots of scrolls....the key feature of all the best ones that you see, is the crisp precision at the centre. You can't just bang a crude bend on the end as a hook as you did...not if you want make the scroll "sing".

Alan

 

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One thing I have noted when making jigs for scrolls and curves (only made a few to be fair) is that an aesthetically pleasing curve on the jig does not necessarily translate to an aesthetically pleasing finished product - I'm guessing due to the offset caused by material thickness. I've found the best method is to make a first off or a sketch of the part I want then sketch an offset for material thickness of the jig, and make to that. Its worked OK so far.

Also I understand that when forging time is limited it's nice to reach for off the shelf products, but that jig is not good. You have now invested repair time that could potentially have been used to make a more functional jig of your own (never mind the purchase cost for a substandard product).

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If you are interested....

I rarely use scrolls but I certainly recognise their strength. And I certainly do not mean as a space filler or method of structural triangulation. 

As one of the building blocks of wrought iron work, and one of the earliest prehistoric art forms they are well worth studying.

Rather than writing out my thoughts regarding the shapes and spaces forming the dynamic of a scroll again...you might like to look up a thread on here from a few months ago.

https://www.iforgeiron.com/topic/28811-spirals-scrolls-and-growth-linesmy-understanding/#comment-293986

Alan

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27 minutes ago, RobbieG said:

One thing I have noted when making jigs for scrolls and curves (only made a few to be fair) is that an aesthetically pleasing curve on the jig does not necessarily translate to an aesthetically pleasing finished product

You're exactly right.  The big problem with the scroll jig in the OP is that the company marketing them is simply using finished scrolls made by a machine.  The finished scroll looks good, but using that scroll as a jig to make new scrolls always leaves the end product looking rather ungainly for exactly the reason you noted.  It's a great idea for the company making, but a lousy idea for the customer wanting some scroll jigs.

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That is exactly what I want and desire. A crude "hook" or bend on the end. Each end. I dont have to forge it to a precise  dimention to use the jig. The bend on the end slips down into the gap just fine. It isn't limited in any way. I'm  making candle holders. Only half  of the holder is a scroll. The other half is , well , not scrolled.

 

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I am somewhat at a loss.

If what you have produced is exactly what you want and desire, then what was the purpose of this thread?

Whatever form you use for the centre of the scroll is not at issue. It is none my business. But it is how you then strike off from that centre that makes the scroll look good or awkward.

It is not my rules...we are all so accustomed to the form of a spiral that if the constant reduction is interrupted we can spot it a mile off.

In your OP example, the half circle hook is your centre point, but instead of the gradually opening form of the spiral springing from it, you have made it with an length of straight, a flat spot, and then it starts to conform to the scroll jig and proceeds as usual. 

For me, that flat spot was the glaringly obvious problem you were having and what I sought to help solve.

If you had formed your hook and the first inch or so of scroll before taking it to the jig, you could have clamped that pre-curved first inch with your needle point tongs (just like in Joel's video) and the centre would have not looked so ungainly.

If the awkward appearance with the flat spot wasn't the problem...what was?

Alan

 

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I have not posted nor taken a picture of the desired finished product. I dont have one. Other than the units I have made in past via a bending fork atop anvil.

Each end has a very short 90° bend. They are opposite one another. I tested the modified jig at home in my shop and the very short 90° bend slips directly down into the gap and is held there while I scroll the flat stock. Again, I dont employ the entire scroll.

If i desire to simply scroll for a common scroll I use the any of the bending forks or one of the home- made jigs with various sized collars to achieve desired size.

The purpose?  There was not any viable method inwhich to secure the flat stock to the jig.

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On 2017-04-23 at 10:59 AM, Joel OF said:

A few years ago when I was making my first pair of gates using flat bar I made this video on scrolling, which you may find helpful.

Thanks Joel for the video. It was very informative.

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