DHarris

How do you fix the orientation of a slit after the fact?

Recommended Posts

I assume the answer is “you don’t”.

i could tell after the first couple of whacks that the slit was not going to end up parallel. I thought I might could just flip the steel 180 degrees each time I cooled the punch. Didn’t help, as you can see in the first picture below.  Had it just been a problem of one side moving more than the other when drifting, I would have cooled the fat side. I am thinking now I should have just turned it over and tried again at starting the slit. 

I was very surprised at how little steel was removed. That can be seen in the second photo along with the tip of the punch/drift used. I used sucker rod to make the punch. The punch being slit was made from a tie rod end of unknown type. 

The third photo shows the punch after the hole was drifted to the size I wanted. You can’t see the tip but it is just out of the frame. It will be a round punch. Were this a hammer I would be concerned about the hole being cocked, but since it will just have a round handle. Why not drift the hole round?  I didn’t have a round drift. That still has to be made. 

Could I have fixed the slit before drifting?  Would just making a round drift and drifting it round now be best?

A4315009-CF67-472C-990D-23757BAF7B0F.jpeg

23A3CC61-9FF0-4721-99FE-FF48805076DF.jpeg

5C403216-8B5F-48EC-9AD1-ED78A7DE088E.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As soon as you see it is off, use you hammer to move metal and reorient the slit.

You could make the handle alignment right and adjust the end of the handle (tenon) fit the tilted hole. (grin)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good Morning,

After you get the 'New' adjusted handle in it, you won't see the problem.

The secret is to lay out your material and drill 2 small holes, 1/8 to 3/16. The punch will follow the pilot holes, on center.

Neil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shaping the end of the handle to make it crooked seems like a lot of work for anything other than a hammer. I think I will just make a round drift and reshape the hole. Then no one will ever know I had screwed it up initially. B)

(I just realized I misspoke in my OP. I intended to say I would cool down the thin side and not the fat side.  Cooling the fat side would just make the thin side thinner.)

Swedefiddle, I assume using a center punch instead of a drill would work?  Any sort of setup would be better than just “winging” it as is my usual practice. 

The reason I decided to put a handle on it was the punch was too short. I was trying to punch holes in a hook for a coat rack and the steel being punched flipped up and branded my pinkie finger. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try selective cooling (make the skinny part cold) before you drift, or clamp one bitter end of it in the vise and bend/hammer the centerline of the piece to match the centerline of the crooked hole.  This might involve 2 hammers, one to hit and one to back up the bit you dont want to move much.  Of course it might come down to a combo of both techniques.  

Or just chuck it and make another, untill you have made dozens they are all going to be funky.  Blacksmithing takes repetitious focus.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's often said you have to make at lest 6 of something to start getting good at it.  And that's NOT including lerning hammer control, temperature control, how alloys work, heat treat parameters, etc and so on--why we blink when all the folks come in and say "I've never forged anything before; but I have accepted a commission to make XYZ by next week"; where XYZ is some advanced project that even experienced smiths would expect to have difficulty doing if it was their first time for that particular item!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dharris,  I don't think a center punch mark would suffice to keep your punch on the right path.  The tip of your punch is pointed, so there's nothing to keep you from clocking the punch at an angle like you did.  It can be very difficult to get the tip angles perfectly symmetrical on a punch like yours.  Without the holes to reduce resistance, and guide the punch, the shorter bevel will probably rotate the punch. It's hard to be sure looking at your photo, but it seems like you might have some asymmetry in your tip bevels. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't reforge it. look at your lower left corner and the upper right. they are thin now but your tool is usable if you file a handle with an offset eye.

If you reforge it, especially if you drift it round, your weak spots will get worse. you will most likely end up with an unusable tool.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I've found works when I need a precise starting mark for a slit is a good sharp cold chisel. Carefully use it to mark the center of the intended cut and give it a couple smacks so it's a strong mark. You can see a chisel cut on hot steel and it'll grab your slitting punch and align it for you.

Hmmmm? 

Frosty The Lucky. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yup, what Frosty said. I'll add this: mark it as he said above on both sides.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.