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Humphry

ox bow pins

7 posts in this topic

Hello,

  I was asked to make a couple sets of pins for the bows used on an Ox yoke. Have been told hay rake spring was used. It is full of small cracks and unusable for this purpose. Does it need to be spring steel? If so, I'll try an auto coil spring. Do you have any other ideas?  thank you

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Are these to be decorative, or functional? If the former, mild steel should be fine. If the latter, I'd suggest sourcing new material from a spring shop. 

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I don't know what country you are in but here in the USA: Commercial garage door springs would be about right and a lot closer to hay rake size than auto springs.  Places that service commercial garage doors usually have several trashed ones around that you could probably talk them into donating giving you hundreds of feet of material to experiment with.  You didn't overheat or quench the hay rake tine, right?

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Thanks for the advice. I'll check the area for a commercial garage door supply. In answer to the questions, no I didn't overheat or quench the hay rake tines. It was a surprise to me.  Thanks again

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I have found the hay rake tines to be quite brittle material.  They are nothing like modern spring steels!  A friend had been using them to make long hay hooks that he used to drag bales with.  He had broken several and complained that it was dangerous as well as inconvenient.  When I spoke with him a few days ago, he said that, on my advice, he had switched to using 3/8" rebar instead and that the hooks are now reliable and last for years!  Weldable rebar seems to be of more reliable quality.  I've used it for a variety of useful hook style items with great success!  For standard duty pins it should be excellent!  I usually forge out most of the texture but for some uses it is actually desirable... like tent pegs, for example.

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Also hay rake tines may have issues with metal fatigue----like trying to work pieces of leaf spring found broken on the side of the road!

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Just reviewed some pictures from the New England Blacksmiths "spring "fling" in Fryeburg ME in June.  The Demonstrators made Ox Bow Pins and I note they were made from flat stock not round.  Now after racking what remains of a memory I do remember that some of ones we used 55 yrs. ago were flat as well.  the Demonstrators who live and work in "Ox Country" used a jig to form them but I failed to didn't get a picture for some reason.  I have a picture of a pin but I'm electronics challenged to get it from phone camera to computer where I'm traveling at the moment.  I know how important pics are. 

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