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Justin’s Smithing progression. [PIC heavy]


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Justin:

there is a fine line between buying a tool that you don't need at the moment on the theory that you may need it in the future and ending up with a lot of clutter of unused items in your workshop which you never use.  Also, there is the question of where do you put your resources.  There may be something that you actually need or want which would be a better use of your money.  And there is potential investment value.  Can you pass it on at a profit which can go to something you need more if you don't actually need it?

I used mandrels reasonably often but I use various sized rings held in my post vise.  I don't know if I'd want or use a big cone mandrel.  Probably not but I wouldn't walk away if the price was right.  I'd plan on passing it on either at a profit or to someone who actually wanted/needed it more than I.

BTW, my son isn't too far from you. He is attending UND at Grand Forks.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."  

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4 hours ago, Justin Topp said:

Not really but it’s kinda interesting. Didn’t know if it was something rare I shouldn’t miss or something 

Buy as many tools as you can. No such thing as too many tools or (heavens forbid) "clutter". 

Clutter is a term used by outsiders who see untidiness as something bad and don't know where things are unless they are labeled and in a neat row on a shelf. :)

 

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Yes, I know that an organized shop/desk may be the result of a sick mind but I consider clutter to be when I can't find something because of the "noise" of all the other objects.  Yes, there is such a thing as too many of anything including tools.  If you are not using a tool, piece of clothing, vehicle, furniture, book, cooking utensil, etc. and do not have a reasonably foreseeable likelihood of using it in the future it is, IMO, clutter and taking up space and memory that is unnecessary.  I recently moved and had to dispose of hundreds if not more than a thousand books that were excess to requirements.  So, I have a tendency to over acquire too. Snaffling up everything you can leads to things like owning 20 anvils or post vices of which you actually use one or two.  If you have unlimited funds and space and it makes you happy, fine.  However, most of us have a finite limit on what we can reasonably acquire, transport, use, and store. 

I stand by my opinion that if you can use or pass on a tool and can afford it you should, of course, snap it up.  If not, even if it is unusual or rare, you should pass and let it go to someone who can use it.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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Nearly all the smiths I know own mandrel cones..   Nearly all the smiths I know never use them and eventually sell them. 

They are one of the few items that have always been pricey in the 600-1500.00 range..  I just bought a Wally Yater cone for 1500.00. 

I own 2 a Russel willey 2 piece cone and the Yater.. Between the 2, I could have bought a new anvil. 

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I use cones on a fairly common basis; everything from hardy tooling cones made from bull pins to a medium sized cone that was the penetrator for a ballistic missile; to finally a full sized floor cone---part of the hoard!  However I have smithing friends who never use them.  Not a lot of uses for a bladesmith, quite a few uses for an ornamental smith.  They are sort of like a swage block; lots of possible radii to bend to; but if you were doing a lot of the same size I would build a specif sized jig.

So asking us what YOU need; based on what YOU do, based on YOUR methods, Your Budget, Your shop room for new tools and Your tool acquisitiveness---Seems a bit off....Now I do have a birthday still to come this year...

My larger cones are used a lot to true up rings that I have forge welded, often bent the hard way for down hearth cooking spiders and trivets. My smaller ones are good for arrow sockets, chisel sockets, spear sockets, penannular brooches, etc.  I even use one to plannish my wedding ring larger when it gets tight on my finger.

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I’ve decided not to get it. It’s 2 hours away and I don’t really need it. Especially since it’s basically the size of my horn in diameter. Small enough to make a jig with pipe if need be. It’s $75 though so in all reality the only thing stopping me is I don’t have time to drive and get it 

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On 7/8/2020 at 9:09 PM, Justin Topp said:

So this is for sale near me. Looks like a really tall skinny cone mandril. Anyone seen anything like it ? Would it be worth the drive ?

Justin, the skinny one looks like the sharp end of a hay spike used on tractors to move hay bales around.

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During forging I threw a bunch of grinder dust into my fire and started making “ blooms” refined a few small pieces and got a mostly solid piece of iron! I’ve done a break test. I need to refine all the stuff and fire weld it together. 

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So as I was browsing YouTube I was watching an old video by Mark Aspery and he was using chisels to remove steel. Thought it was interesting To see in action considering the recent discussions of it. I’ll link the video for those interested. He does it at the 5 minute mark. It really is more effective than you’d think. Certainly better than filing all the metal out. 

 

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chisels are extremely effective..  There are facets to blacksmithing that few have heard about unless they delve deep into the subject.. 

Today most information is merely surface oriented.   What many would call the "Wow" factor to impress your friends. 

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Learning to chisel was once a standard part of blacksmithing and machining.  The old text books cover it. I remember talking to old metalworkers who were trained in the traditional ways back in the 1920's and 30's.

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I spent about 6 months making all sorts of chisels and then using them.. Years back I could tell you the names of them all now I only remember a few. 

It was one of the books I lent out and never got back.    I should have written down the name of the book, and who I lent it to. 

I remember one particular print that showed a 7X8X12" solid block with 8 different chisels and names used to carve every angle and radius and facet with a description on how the chisel was used. 

that book was about 1/2" thick. 

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If anyone knows of any good resources to learn it I would love to. It seems a good skill set to have. Plus it could be a good learning experience just making the tools. It’s a shame it’s fallen out of favor although I can see why. Most people would rather just use a Power tool. I don’t recall seeing any but I’m gonna look through my blacksmithing books to see if I can find anything. Particularly the one with a bunch of tools drawn. It may have something. 

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Milling machines changed the whole ball of wax.   Even after Machine shops were doing the majority of this type of work they were still putting in oil grooves and such with special chisels.

They had Chisels for deep hole fitting, like when creating an oil sump and such.. Some of the bottoming chisels had shanks up to 2ft long and the bottoms they cutting were smooth cornered with special rounded chisels rounded with the proper radius for the cut. 

I have a few of the chisels I made 30 years ago and will try to locate them.  I've since forgotten the names but might be interesting to see. 

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I'd suggest looking for books from when Blacksmithing and Machining were still partially combined.  I have some old machining books, (from the 1930's IIRC) I can look in there.   I wish Lindsay was still in business selling reprints.

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I’d love some photos of the chisels you have if you can find them. That would be a good start at the least! 
 

ill look into getting some older books and try to find anything in them  

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Amazing work and progress Justin! truly an inspiration! especially how fast you are progressing. i just finished reading this whole thread, very impressive work and information being shared by everyone.

The two trades Machinist and Blacksmith have been combined fairly heavily for a long time, that is to say most machinists had/have to know atleast the basics of smithing. In highschool i had a friend whos dad told us of starting an apprenticeship for machinist that he didnt stick with because of the blacksmithing element, he claimed most of the first year schooling was smithing. He went from working around big lathes and milling machines in the shop to school for blacksmithing essentially. Apparently for tool making/repair mostly, the first projects were "chipping chisels?"  that had to not only meet dimensional specs but also had to function and hold shape in the press. And apparently it was weeks into the schooling before the students got to use what would "typically" be considered machining tools. Hand tools, hammers, and anvils outside of the classroom, then eventually grinders and drill presses, but nothing specialized.

That probably isnt the standard anymore (if it was actually standard then, might have just been an old timer professor) but I would guess that this couldnt have been more than 40ish years ago now because his eldest kid is only 35. 

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