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I am a very new beginner to this art. Have completed a few "projects" with my very limited equipment. I am wondering if their are templates that can be printed off and used as a guide while making a project. Such as, if I want to make uniform s-hooks it would be nice to have a drawing where I could place my metal on to check the right curvature/length/etc. Is that a thing? If so, where would a fella get a hold of something like that?

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Draw the hook you want to make and then make it!  As there is no one true S hook design a template would be a bit questionable. When I teach later this month I'll be showing a number of hooks I have forged and when the college students ask me "Is this right?" I'll say "If you like it it's wonderful!  If you don't like it, it's horribly horribly wrong!"

Now for historic bladesmithing, I have a copy of "Knives and Scabbards, Museum of London"  that has over 300 excavated blades, dated and shown in scale drawings.  When I replicated one of those I took the book and went to a good copy machine and blew up the drawing to actual size and used that.

If you want to make a lot of the same item you can cut out a thin sheetmetal template to compare to and file it away or mount it on the wall of the shop for "next time"

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Welcome aboard Radioguy, glad to have you. If you'll put your general location in the header you might be surprised how many of the gang live within visiting distance. Get hooked up with the local smithing organization, every  hour you spend working with an experienced smith will teach you as much many times the time trying to figure it out yourself.

I don't know of any templates as such though I'm sure some are out there like for "rose petals, acorns, etc."

Sketching out what you're making with soapstone on a bench or the floor is standard practice. Making uniform pieces is a different story, it's a production operation and I teach it as a more intermediate skill but there's no reason not to get started sooner.

To make uniform "S" hooks you start with uniform stock. I use 3/8" square though 1/2" round is virtually the same amount of steel per inch. Cut all the stock at once plus a few extras. However you already have a hook you like and want to copy, RIGHT? If you didn't keep notes on how much stock you used then weigh it and add 10-15% for loss to scale in the forging.

Steel weighs close enough to 0.28lbs/ cu in. for what we're doing now.

To estimate how much stock you drew down for the finials, measure the un-drawn center and knowing it's weight you can calculate what went into the tapers.

Measuring the remaining stock in the center will help keep track of things as you go too.

You DO keep a notebook RIGHT?! Cross index it to your sketch book. You DO have a sketchbook RIGHT?! I'm a huge fan of graph paper, it's easy to make straight lines and right angles and is self scaling. You can sketch a micro robot or shopping mall and scale it up or down on demand. It's easy to accurately transfer drawings to: table top, shop floor, black board, etc. A opaque projector would be SWEET.

That's about as close to a template as I use for general smithing. 

Back to the project being discussed. Set one piece of cut stock aside indexed to your project notes and drawings, this WILL save time if you wish to make more at a later date. A paint stick or roll marker is VERY handy for this piece you're going to want to mark it for taper length, etc. 

There's a formula for how much parent stock makes how much taper I don't remember, ever so I wing it from experience. Mark the length of the raw stock on the table and draw ONE taper. Lay it on the table mark and measure how long this taper is and how much parent stock was used. If it's a taper you like mark ad draw out the same amount of parent stock on the other end to the same length.

Write it down in the notebook. Remember you might want a different finial on another set but the overall size of these is pleasing. Different details is a small matter IF you know how much and where to adjust. Notes. ;)

Sketch the finial treatment you wish to use and apply it to the tapers. You do NOT want sharp points on hooks or they'll poke holes in clothes and maybe people. A finial scroll is basically folding the end into a small roll turning it out from the hook tends to snag fewer things.

Turn the hooks. If you like it trace this one on the bench for the template and set this hook aside as the master pattern. You now have THREE masters, the: cut parent stock, the tapered ends, and a finished hook. This is a simple S hook, you can end up with several master patterns if you dress it up. Heck you can get crazy, Crazy is fun I thoroughly enjoy my version.

If you're going to twist the shank you can do it before or after drawing the tapers. I like doing it after it makes the transition from twisted square to smooth taper more pleasing. (In MY opinion) Taste is a subjective subject and up to the maker or patron. 

Adjust the hook size, position, direction, etc. as you wish. Or the wife. :)

This is as close to a template as I use at the anvil. I do have templates for things like hammer handles but that's a different thing.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Radioguy10 said:

it would be nice to have a drawing where I could place my metal on to check the right curvature/length/etc. Is that a thing?

If you want your drawing to catch fire, sure!

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Another trick for when you need say 15 "identical" items---make 20 and select the ones that are the closest match.

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I knew a glassblower once whose bread-and-butter was wineglasses. When he needed some reliable cash, he'd spend a week or so doing nothing else. Then he'd line them all up side by side in size order and divide them into sets of six..

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CHEATERS the lot of them! Isn't this stuff supposed to be craft secrets revealed to the new guys only after years of: lift, carry, clean, oil, etc. in the shop and other scut work around the house?

Frosty The Lucky.

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As you research a project, you find there are many different examples of the same thing, each a little different. Choose one and make it. Then modify it to fit your needs.

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Good Morning Radio,

If you want a pattern that won't burn your hand after holding it near your object of Science(??), make it out of plywood. By the time the plywood is burnt beyond using, you will be able to "see" the differences. You don't have to hold the hot thing "against" the pattern, just hold it behind.

It is better to not have them all identical, the "Artist's Privilege".

Neil

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9 hours ago, Radioguy10 said:

I am a very new beginner to this art. Have completed a few "projects" with my very limited equipment. I am wondering if their are templates that can be printed off and used as a guide while making a project. Such as, if I want to make uniform s-hooks it would be nice to have a drawing where I could place my metal on to check the right curvature/length/etc. Is that a thing? If so, where would a fella get a hold of something like that?

Templates or patterns are used when you want to do the same thing over and over and it has to be exactly the same, like a window grill or a gate with lots of scrolls. The problem is that the jig has to be done by hand, so unless you have a template to make the template, you are not gaining much :)

Once you get the hang of it , you will be making hooks or scrolls free hand without any template. meantime to get started, this is what I do if I get a complicated design for the first time.

I first make the design on a paper that has a grid printed on it. 

I then trace a grid on my welding table with a marker. If the real life object is larger than your drawing work out how much larger, double, triple, whatever, you have your real life grid on the table. Then it is just a matter of identifying the points in your drawing that intersect the grid;  transfer the points on the table and trace the larger design on the table. My table is metal so I can sit hot iron on the drawing without burning anything. Once I finish I can wipe the table with a rag and methol. 

May be overkill for a hook, but you have to start somewhere. :)

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17 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

If you want to make a lot of the same item you can cut out a thin sheetmetal template to compare to and file it away or mount it on the wall of the shop for "next time"

  Or, when you make one you like. Just lay it on the sheet metal and spray it with high temp paint. Instant pattern, and you can write any pertinent info with a marker or paint stick.            

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I rarely use templates. I do however make a layout stick.

Draw your s hook on your table. Then use a string line to measure it's full finished length. Do this on the centerline, not an edge. Edges either draw out or upset. The centerline will always give you the true length. 

Measure your tapers. Calculate the needed taper parent stock. Math works,, test pieces work,, mark 1 eyeball works. I use math primarily.

Measure the length from transition to transition,,, that's the distance from between where each taper begins. Find the center of this and make a centerpunch mark.

Now add twice the taper parent stock length to the above.

  Now you know your "start length" for your s hook.

Place a centerpunch mark at the center of your unforged length(if you haven't done this) and at the  beginning  of each taper. Forge one end to the proper length of the taper. Turn one end to match your drawing up to the center of your bar.  

Done.

You now have a layout stick that gives you all the info you need to duplicate it even decades into the future. And it's durable. And it hangs easily from the turned scroll for storage!

I rarely to never use round stock for most of my work. And I turn my s hooks on the diamond. It truly sets them apart from all the imports.

This process takes far less time to execute than describe. And it will work for any scroll you want to make, from cabinet pulls to large scrolls in your gates and railings.

 

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On 4/23/2018 at 12:53 PM, anvil said:

I rarely use templates. I do however make a layout stick.

Could you explain(not necessarily explain but show what it is) the math behind calculating the length needed for the taper?

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MrDarkNebulah, it's not necessary to quote the entire comment immediately before yours: it clogs up the forum and slows down page loading for those of us still using dial-up. Please read The Quote Feature.

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As there is no one taper used by everyone across the world over the last several thousand years; may I suggest you: take a short piece of stock; measure it, taper it with a taper *YOU* like and measure again.  Record the results in your forge notebook under "tapers", perhaps tracing the result as well. (It's actually easier to use a longer piece  you can hold in your bare hand and just establish a short section on the end with a center punch to each face and measure and taper that section.)

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I'll do it with a piece of square stock and a flat taper, with the point being the same length as the parent stock. 

First you need a chart or info from your steel supplier. This will give you the weight of specific cross sections per Inch or foot of any steel in Pounds per cubic inch( or foot).

So, we are using 1/2" square and the taper is to an edge, not a point. It is 2"long. The formula for volume is length x width x height. So

2" x 1/2" x 1/2" will give you the volume(cubic inches) of 2" of this parent stock.

Now divide this in half and you will have the volume of the taper. 

Now go to your chart and find the pounds per cubic inch or foot and multiply this to the above. You now have the weight of your taper in pounds

Cubic inches x pounds/cubic I = pounds.

This is the weight of the wedge. 

Now you need to find the equivalent  weight of parent stock(1/2" square)

So back to the chart and we know the pounds per cu/in and we know the pounds of our sample.

So pounds÷pounds/cu/in

Will give you the volume of parent stock(1/2" square) needed to forge a 2" taper.

 We now have 

Cubic inches= length x width x height.

And we know cubic inches.

So length = cubic inches ÷height x width

Now you know the length of parent stock needed that will give you this length of  taper.

Hope I didn't miss anything and it makes sense.

 

 

 

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Lol, what Thomas said works as well. However there are times where the math is the easiest way. Especially on a complex project with many details.

And, as usual, if you know the math, and have a calculator/phone and a piece of chalk, this simple math can be done far quicker than it took me to write it up.  

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There’s also this, from Peter Parkinson’s The Artist Blacksmith:

70ADA0E2-181E-46E6-9D3A-BBCBE7391AEE.jpeg

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Sorry for the quote thing, I should've known better. Thats a very helpful graphic JHCC. When calculating volume like that is it worth it to worry about scale or is it so minimal that it doesnt matter?

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This is where modeling clay becomes your best friend.

Method 1)

Make your metal stock in clay, say 1/2 inch square (for an example). Cut a known length of the clay stock (say 4 inches) and form your taper. Now measure your known clay stock that was not used for the taper (say 2-1/2 inches). You now know that your taper took 1-1/2 inches of clay to make.

Method 2)

Make your taper from clay stock. Cut just the clay taper off and reform it into the size and shape of metal stock your are going to use. (say 1/2 inch square). You should have a piece of 1/2 square that is (using the above example) 1-1/2 inches long.

Using either method, take the numbers to to the forge and using method 1, make the same size and shape taper in metal.

Forging only changes the shape of the metal, not the volume of the metal.

 

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