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What is cool about this video? Sure there is the incredibly tedious instrumental repeating endlessly but that's what mute is for. As a how to for making a closed power hammer die it's okay though there were some seriously dangerous shop practices displayed. 

Well, that's more than 17 minutes I'll never get back. 

If anybody watches this, please note how the person in the video is drilling holes on the drill press. It is VERY DANGEROUS using a drill press without clamping the work down, clamps vise something. Holding it free hand, NO the vise grips don't count, is inviting the work to grab the bit and spin in your hands. Visualize holding a spinning skill saw blade.

That's about the only thing I saw in this video that might benefit someone by watching.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I have no idea why he thought it belonged in the Reference section  :wacko: I had to remove it, I wish people would read some of the site before posting things, but he just joined and only stayed long enough to post this so take that for what its worth

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Yeah, well. . . If wishes were fishes. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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3 hours ago, Frosty said:

If anybody watches this, please note how the person in the video is drilling holes on the drill press. It is VERY DANGEROUS using a drill press without clamping the work down, clamps vise something.

Admit it....you like the rest of us with scars learned this lesson the hard way :). Unfortunately, it's a lesson that seems to need re-learning again for most.

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From a newbie view I appreciated seeing lots of different steps within a process, their jig table and new ideas for railing.  And I always love seeing other shops!  Might have a little forge hood envy now...

Thank you for bringing up safety points.  Always good to be thinking about even if the delivery is disagreeable.

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3 hours ago, Kozzy said:

Admit it....you like the rest of us with scars learned this lesson the hard way :). Unfortunately, it's a lesson that seems to need re-learning again for most.

Actually no, not once. There weren't many things I could do to get smacked by Dad but doing dangerous things with power tools would earn a cuff. Clamping work on the drill press was part of the written section you had to pass before you could touch any tool in jr. high metal shop class. And one of the rules that violating got you class book time or 86ed. 

I grew up in a metal spinning machine shop. My young life was absorbed by understanding and staying clear of the plane of rotation. 

FIF (YIKES WHAT A MISTAKE! :o)is an even more egregious example of public media demonstration of some very unsafe shop practices. Watching people loose control of work in the drill press is every an episode occurrence. My contact messages to the history channel and program producers have been unanswered.

Good catch, THANKS it was even in time for me to edit. You got the timing Brother!

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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As if the vise grip fallacy were not bad enough, at 13:41, looks like he is shopping to lose a hand to the power hammer.

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21 hours ago, Steve Sells said:

I have no idea why he thought it belonged in the Reference section  :wacko: I had to remove it, I wish people would read some of the site before posting things, but he just joined and only stayed long enough to post this so take that for what its worth

Sorry pls, I've just joined, you're right in case that I didn't read any of rules, I'll try to correct)

 

2 hours ago, Andrew Cramer said:

 

What section should I choose to post this videos, if you can, please tell me, 'cause I can't quite understand I Forge Iron structure:(

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20 hours ago, Frosty said:

Well, that's more than 17 minutes I'll never get back. 

That's what changing the playback speed is for!

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6 hours ago, Andrew Cramer said:

I can't quite understand I Forge Iron structure

Have you read this yet? It will go a long way to helping you get the best out of the forum, like editing your profile to show your location and other tips. READ THIS FIRST

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Well where it was moved to by a Moderator would be a good choice:

Home > Blacksmithing>Blacksmithing, General Discussion>Forging A Steel Star

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Andrew: Sorry if it seemed like we were coming down on you, we weren't. Honest! To be fair I suppose that is an impressive bit of video if you just breaking into the craft.

The skill levels and shop practices demonstrated in the video are just above beginner levels. I have nothing against closed dies, especially for the type shape they were trying for, it's almost a must. To forge those by hand would take so much time you'd never break even. 

The blanks were cut with a CNC plasma cutter. I don't know if it was in the forging shop or a subcontractor. The forging shop had some really nice equipment, I'd LOVE the power hammer and there were some nice pieces of equipment in the background too.

What I don't see are good shop practices nor skills. The die they put so much time into making wasn't indexed, you have to estimate the position and HOPE the blank and die are lied up, especially for second and later blows. Getting that right isn't even a trick, you make spring dies and leave a little stem on the blanks so everything lines up where it's supposed to. This allows 2-3 blows on the first heat. Done right a power hammer that size would be finished and the flame ready for trimming, sanding and finishing. 

What really tripped my trigger were the blatantly unsafe practices. Sure it's His/er shop S/he can do whatever S/he wants. Juggle submachine guns with the triggers taped pulled for all I care.  Unfortunately the internet, especially Youtube allows folks with no more expertise than a video camera to post videos claiming expertise. To folks who are trying to learn any topic the idiot videos are dangerous.

Just suppose after watching this one you thought hand holding stock on the drill press was the way to do it. You might get away with it drilling stock say 1/4" and thicker. However, the first piece of say 14 ga. sheet steel WOULD send you to the ER, vise grips probably wouldn't bleed you but they'd give you a smacking like your Mom would for dropping the F-bomb in front of in front of company.

Don't sweat the learning curve using Iforge, it keeps changing so we're all always learning something new. <sigh> Check out the video section here, they've been vetted by the forum so there isn't any junk or dangerous ones. Well, without warning, some ungood videos still have valuable info so we warn what to NOT DO.

We enjoy helping new folk get well and thoroughly addicted to the blacksmith's craft and some of the specialized types. So, let the FUN begin!

Frosty The Lucky.

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20 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

Well where it was moved to by a Moderator would be a good choice:

Home > Blacksmithing>Blacksmithing, General Discussion>Forging A Steel Star

Thanks, I'll post in General Discussion, not in Reference Section:D

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20 minutes ago, Andrew Cramer said:

Thanks, I'll post in General Discussion, not in Reference Section:D

that all depends on what you are posting as well

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Andrew: The general discussion section is for "general blacksmithing," there are a LOT of sections and subsections to help folk find and discuss specific topics. For instance, placing a question about forging an axe in the general or maybe alchemy section puts your question where folk are less likely to have a good answer and clutters up other discussions. It's like trying to look up "Antipasto" in the "G" section of the dictionary. Yes?

Just take a little time to look around when you post, you'll be fine it's just a learning curve, we won't throw things. ;)

Frosty The Lucky.

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I had an interesting experience with this video, safety issues aside.

I first let my um, er, strong prejudice for traditional techniques rule and I quickly turned it off. A CnC plasma setup just doesn't ring my chimes.

I then changed my mind and decided to watch it.

What I see is a smith very well versed in the traditional tools of our craft. I then saw him apply the main difference in forging potential today vs the past. Largely that is the massive power that is available to Smith's today. 

I then saw him traditionally forge this rosette made from heavy material. Alas, this part was minimised. There was only one hint and that was a long chisel he used to detail the veins/leaf. Do note the design of the working end. Then he followed this up with far too much grinder that implied that the beautiful forged details were produced by a side grinder. A side grinder just can't match the detail of that chisel. I don't believe this was meant to deceive. It was more of a FIF type of editing deal.

He then went thru the process of closed die forging to do a contemporary mass produced piece that matched the look/esthetic of the original forging. And this he did very well!

He then spent a fair amount of time creating the third dimension traditionally by hammer in hand.

However, in my opinion, the time spent with the hand chisel prolly was somewhere in the neighborhood of the time spent doing the final forging, and close to the time done with the closed dies used by the power hammer. So I'm not convinced that the time saved with closed die forging is much of an economic saving in this case considering the cost of the tools. A good blacksmith once said to me that sometimes running  at 7200 rpm just makes you think you are working faster. This video is a close call on that. But it does show a good use of harnessing the power we have avalable today in our shops.

All in all a good watch. 

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Good observations all Anvil and we don't really disagree. I've said all I need to about the safety issues.

We have different opinions about what is or isn't "traditional" blacksmithing, I don't think I'm surprising you by saying you have picked a time period for the limit of technology you'll use. It's your choice and other than a bit of semantics you have no argument from me.

However I need to point out blacksmiths, smiths from before humans were working metal have been using grind stones and rotating grinding wheels have been around since we started working metal. Whether it was powered by slaves standing behind it and turning it or an oxen on a treadmill or a water wheel or steam engine. Electricity is the only real difference between a 400 yr old grindstone in a knife shop or a disk grinder. 

That's just my observation if you don't like, have or use hand grinders isn't an issue with me. Okay? 

Think of the cnc plasma cut blanks as just subbing that part of the job out. It's not till blacksmithing stopped being THE industrial method for making most iron/steel goods that single person shops started showing up. It was common practice to have different people doing different steps, "the last bladesmith in ?" video that was linked here is a perfect example. The shop was hundreds of years old and they were still using the same tools but there was a man forging blanks, a man grinding, a man heat treating, a man making pommels and guards, a man making handles a assembling it all and one finish grinding, polishing and sharpening each knife. American Indians who knapped well enough to be the village tool maker didn't hunt flint or obsidian him/er self, any more than a blacksmith 700 years ago mined and refined his own iron.

Subbing out cutting blanks is as traditional as it gets. Using cnc is this century's blacksmith traditional. Faster, cheaper, better.

About the general methods used to make the closed dies. To produce the desired finished product the dies needed sufficient depth. They marked the "flame" with chisels but chisels are seriously inappropriate for producing the necessary depth to stamp the finished shape.

How do you propose cutting the required depth? Entirely with chisels and hand hammer? Have you ever used a coping chisel or gouge on steel, even hot? I have, it's no picnic even HOT It'd be prohibitively time and labor intensive. Maybe not for closed dies but they're not going to last a long time hot forging in them unless yo use die steel and invest that much more labor.

I'll use your term, traditional without the quote marks for the purposes of the discussion. What I see is a traditional smith trying modern techniques and memorializing the learning process and mistakes. 

The most serious mistake other than safeness I see are his dies themselves. That's a complex piece to make and awfully thick blank stock. There isn't enough relief in the female die by the thickness of the blank stock. Then the dies aren't indexed together, they must fit exactly to work there isn't anymore slack than can be  eliminated IF you want to stamp 3D parts.

I grew up in a shop with several stamping presses, some punched hole, others formed blanks for the spinners. Dad calculated how much the steel, brass, etc. would stretch as it was stamped into the die when he calculated relief. It's no trivial thing making closed stamping dies.

I don't know why they were using such heavy stock but if that's their market that's what you use. Were it my project I wouldn't sub the blanks for cnc a cnc shop. I'd make "Die Blanking" dies and feed the stock from a roll or strap stock. Full sheets is too much handling time and energy invested. Might need a bigger press but you can buy surplus punch presses for less than having it shipped to the shop. A 50 ton mechanical punch press might be enough to blank SS as thick as they're using now but doing it cold might be a problem. So, you have programmed feel roll to take the stock off the roll and feed it to the punch press THE correct amount. But it's a problem blanking cold so while one blank is being punched the next one is between induction coils being heated. Once blanked the rems off the stock just falls in the scrap barrel and the blank is puffed out of the bottom die by a puff of compressed air. Without anything above it the deflector bounces it to the box or tank of blanks ready for the shop guy to take to the next step. 

When a blank gets to the closed dies they are indexed so the ONLY direction they can move is drive the hot bank into the female die, again popped out with a puff of compressed air ready for the next one.

In a REAL production situation the blanking press and forming press would be right next to each other and the parts would come off the roll of stock, be die blanked then formed in one heat. You could have an operator on the machine or an automatic doing the work. 

That said, I don't do production work anymore though I do use the methods when they serve my purposes. Yes? It's good stuff to know and fits into all hand work shop a lot better than you probably think.

Anyway, I see someone trying to up their shop's game without knowing quite how to do it. It's an excellent video for showing what it shows. The shop really needs someone who understands production to help them out, they're engaged in a production process or they wouldn't be cutting blanks a full sheet at a time. 

If you're doing production work use production methods, use the tools if you're serious.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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Well the oldest documented use of a rotary grindstone for metal was in the 9th century Utrecht Psalter. ("Cathedral Forge and Waterwheel" Gies & Gies)

Usually when I see the term "traditional" it means that the person is cherry picking items and not a replication of a uniform time period. For example, someone will say that they are doing smithing the way it was done before powerhammers; but they are not using real wrought iron, they are not forging using charcoal and twinned single action bellows and they don't have 3 to 5 assistants working in their shop and so NOT smithing like it was done before the invention of the powerhammer at all! (Generally surprises them to learn that the powerhammer predates the london pattern anvil by 800 years of more.)

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ok, guys, first things first. That be my definition of "Traditional Smith" Long ago I got tired of the endless debates and miles of verbiage. None of which actually solved any problems. So I came up with my own definition. It most likely won't solve anything either...  :)

So I looked at just what blacksmiths across time have in common. As best I can see, that's a single human being standing between a hammer and an anvil beating  hot iron. There are no qualifications to this. Any hammer, any anvil, any forge, your  choice of heat and any tooling  of your choice. 

Anything else only defines the time, region, or technology used to put that man between a hammer and an anvil to be able to beat hot iron. 

History is a wonderful thing, and to study any history is a pleasure. However all history does is define the time and tech used to fulfill my definition.

On 6/24/2019 at 1:49 PM, Frosty said:

We have different opinions about what is or isn't "traditional" blacksmithing, I don't think I'm surprising you by saying you have picked a time period for the limit of technology you'll use

I hope you will see from my definition, no one in this craft is limited by anything. It's all person choice.

As to the rest, I see a lucky man,who had a father who passed on much. In this case, much to do with machinist and from that a strong critique of his closed die setup.

I suspect you are correct on all counts. 

I suggest one thing. check his hand forged pattern and look at the closed die finished pieces. I suspect if 100 of each were in a rail, most of us would be hard pressed to tell them apart. And this, I'm sure was his intent.

That's the point I wanted to make. 

It's obvious to me that the smith has an excellent grasp of the tooling and techniques that were used commonly from the Gothic era to Contemporary, as defined by art history and as this history is applied to our craft covered by this this timeline.

In truth, since I have only a little experience with commercial closed gie techniques and far less as a machinist, I would prolly have far harsher critiques applied to me than you apply to him. 

 

On 6/24/2019 at 1:49 PM, Frosty said:

How do you propose cutting the required depth? Entirely with chisels and hand hammer? Have you ever used a coping chisel or gouge on steel, even hot? I have, it's no picnic even HOT It'd be prohibitively time and labor intensive

Concerning other things you mentioned, I'm at a loss. You mentioned stock removal to achieve the 3 dimensional aspect. That's not an option. In fact I would do it exactly as he did, by moving material, not removing material. And, definitely I would use similar tooling. That's the reason I recognized his hot chisel and suggested you check out the working end. He did not use that hot chisel to remove material, only to move it. Generally speaking, machinists remove material, blacksmiths move material. The heavier the material, the heavier the tooling and hammer. Heavier stock just gives a more Intense product! Here's a simple example,, a rosette. Basically No stock removal to detail the rosette. A half round file/stock removal was used to refine the profile. I think this was made from 3/16" or 1/4". I've done similar from 3/8" and 1/2". And I'm not "showing  off", just "showing" an example,,,  ;)

 

So basically we are looking at this video from two different views. Mine coming from a strong background of traditional architectural iron.

2016-03-08 20.49.28.jpg

On 6/24/2019 at 2:53 PM, ThomasPowers said:

Usually when I see the term "traditional" it means that the person is cherry picking items and not a replication of a uniform time period

Thomas, I added this quote with the hope's you would read my definition above. At the very least, you will better understand my meaning of "Traditional Smith". I have no Intent of this definition being worth anything to anyone other than personal to me. I am not, in fact cherry picking anything, nor, with this definition, am I attempting to replicate anything other than that one concept that we all blacksmiths have in common across time. 

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3 hours ago, anvil said:

That's not an option. In fact I would do it exactly as he did, by moving material, not removing material.

He used a right angle grinder and Dremel to cut relief, did you miss all the grinding?

3 hours ago, anvil said:

I hope you will see from my definition, no one in this craft is limited by anything. It's all person choice.

Does this mean, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck I can call it a pony and ride it? Yes, I've been reading YOUR definition of tradition for some time and it's a good example of why the word is just a subjective label.

As you said above and before your definition only applies to you. Maybe not apply it to others then? 

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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Good reply, Frosty, and I can answer them. 

First, I did not finish a statement above. I was in a coffee shop awaiting a call to pick up my new generator, well, new to me. And that is i believe your critiques of this Smith are valid. Beyond safety and the music, you critiqued him correctly from the point of view of a machinist. Yup, he fails as he is definitely not a machinist,. Your next critique was as a tool and die maker. And again, you are right on the money. He fails as he is not a tool and die maker. He is a traditional smith specializing in architectural details including proper tooling from Gothic to Contemporary. We in the US  have a far shorter history. So, an equivalent US smith might specialize in "Colonial hardware" or, in my neck of the woods, "Southwestern hardware", but rarely covering the whole gamut of art history for the blacksmith from Gothic to Contemporary. Trust me, this is no brag, Its my pathway and what I do. This doesnt mean Im a artist/fop throwing out meaningless garbage to snow the masses. If someone showed me a pic from the Gothic period, id be at a total loss as to what i was looking at. On the other hand if someone picked up a piece of forged iron rail he got in europe, and brought it to me to repair/restore, or reproduce, i could within reasonable bounds identify when it was made and have a pretty general idea as to what region it was from, create the needed tooling, and do the work. Thats where this wonderful craft has taken me, Its what I do. 

To put that to use here, I can make a few "assumptions" about this smith and his knowledge. But I'll qualify that because my books are packed, and I havent dealt with this in my shop in about 10 years. Hes prolly from northern Europe, possibly middle Europe and a good chance he is from Czechoslovakia.  The piece he is making, Im pretty sure, is a Baroque style rosette. And that trivia ought to get me a cup of coffee in any coffee shop,,, or tossed out! It will, however line me out with work of this type. I am approved as a restoration blacksmith for a small city and am qualified to meet their requirements to keep the "Historical" classification on protected buildings, and was the "restoration" smith when the residence of the commander of the Air Force Academy became a historical site and was restored. And yes, Im danged proud of both of those accomplishments.

18 hours ago, Frosty said:

He used a right angle grinder and Dremel to cut relief, did you miss all the grinding?

That puzzled me as well at first. However, as I recall, there was actually no video footage showing him actually using these tools to detail the rosette, just a pic of a rosette with scratches on the surface, and the presence of a side grinder. He also showed the hot chisel ive spoken of, but not in use. For what its worth, that chisel is a dead giveaway to this being a baroque style rosette. You see, there is no way a side grinder and a dremmel could create that detail. He used basically two tools,,, that specialty hot chisel and a teardrop tool. Thats about it. The power tools remove material, while the teardrop tool will both make a depression and raise the edges of the depression in the vertical all around its shape,,, as is shown in his sample. So I believe he showed the grinder and scratches as a warning to not use them! I believe he showed the use of a C&C machine for these reasons as well. However the message in this case is that it is a good tool to use if you have the quantity per job to make it worthwhile .

I believe Ive figured out why he did this and who this vid was made for. It was made to show his contemporaries who do this type of restoration how to come up with a basic limited production using common power  tools in their shops. This is not a vid on "how to forge a rosette". Id bet dollars to donuts that he is not doing this vid to go into business mass producing this one rosette by the thousands for any consumer market,,, even tho you could do this. But if he were to do this, He better heed your critiques on tool and die making and machinist! Restoration work in Europe is the backbone of our craft. I got a great insight into this from a Frankfort smith. He said I have no idea how lucky I am to be in the US. You cant believe how tiring it is to get another Gothic piece or Baroque scroll! All he wanted was the time to create whatever he wanted!  :)

Sorry for my use of the word "prejudiced" concerning using C&C tech. I kinda did it to give me a a self imposed jab at almost not watching this because of its use. Thats as bad a reason for not watching as for the safety critiques and the poor music. So its well deserved and well taken by me! 

But to make it clear i have no problems with time saving tech. I have subbed work from others where the product was blanked out via C&C. However in my shop,,, back in the day,,,  ;)  I would rather hire a couple of vets and teach them the basics to do this function under my eye and in my shop. To be clear, a "standard" job in my shop would have been ironing a whole house. This nearly always dealt with cabinetry and door hardware. I think my biggest job, by the number of doors, excluding cabinets, was around 10 doors or 30 strap hinges. Back then, for that size job C&C was not a time/economic saving. Best done in house. However if I'd ever got a "30" door house-90 straps- I would have checked out this option without a doubt. Thus tools used is situational.

Thanks for reading my definition of "traditional smith". I pretty clearly stated, or tried to make clear that this is specifically for me. It applies to no one else, nor will I ever expect anyone else to accept it as valid for any reason. Nor will I ever "assume" that when this term is used by others, it has anything to do with my definition.However, specifically between you and me in any conversation, At least you will understand what I mean and have a clue where im coming from when i use those terms. Hopefully that will help keep a conversation from drifting off topic into the morass and muck of "What is a Traditional Smith?"  You know  such statements as "Why, any smith from the past would add a torch and welder to his tools asap!". Or "If you are a traditional smith you can only use wrought iron, no power hammer, and a cast iron forge is out",,, on and on with the silliness. You will have a clue as to my meaning.

So thanks, as usual, for your input. Hope I answered your questions to your satisfaction. Im really glad I watched this vid and I got a lot out of it. I most likely wont do any closed die work, but its very cool to see where other smiths are taking this great craft. But I'll never say never.  ;)

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