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Justin Topp

Justin’s Smithing progression. [PIC heavy]

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So I was wondering. I’ve made my top tools eyes like hammers tapered equally from both sides. Is this Correct? Should top tools be tapered/drifted  more from the bottom or top?

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With hinges some alignment issues can be finessed by running a drill bit through the assembled but not pinned or riveted pieces.

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I was taught that top tools are tapered on the  bottom and not wedged

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That’s what I knew too but I wasn’t suste if you should still drift from both sides or not

 

I saw an old conversation between Alec Steele and Brian Brazeal about Brian hot cutting 2” round in one heat. It made me curious so I attempted to hot cut 1.5” round but it took me three heats haha. I’m not quite at their level yet  

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Tapered bottom or no taper at all.  Handles on top tools were consumables..  Ideally just sliding in another piece of wood is all that is needed. 

A taper or chamfer on the bottom allows for the wood to compress some when forced in and allows for an easier fit of the wood. 

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I'm still tagging along Justin. You're are getting so good at what you do. I'm continually very impressed with your work and dedication

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Thanks CGL! I’m excited because I’m finally getting okay at tong making I think. The latest ones are super even. Welds are nearly invisible. I’m getting good at scarf welds too. I will soon be away from the forge for Probably a week and starting online school so that’s unfortunate but I’ll keep at it when I can :) 

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What is with you new guys and perfection? Unless you're some sort of deity it's WAY out of our reach and worrying about it only messes us up.  

Do you feel the burns when blacksmithing in your dreams? I used to now and then. Deb has an amusing story about that from when we were first married.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I know I can’t be perfect but that shouldn’t stop me from trying right :)  I don’t really worry about perfection but it would be nice. Can’t say I dream of burns yet haha. Although I have dreamed of forging. 

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Frosty, I don't agree with not chasing perfection for myself and promote doing as good of work as can be done...   I can chase it as it creates a standard that as a professional or even understanding what a beginner or intermidate can see what true quality is..  Perfection in this world only happens with God.  But, I can chase it, understand what it means to me and then go after it..  It need not be intimidating, upsetting or dismissed.. 

It's just an ideal..    the key here is not beat myself up when it's not as perfect as I'd like it to be..  It doesn't mean I give up with the ideal. It means next time around, maybe I can make it a little better which then merely shows up as progress or increased skill sets.. 

I don't want to haggle over your definition or what you personally want as a smith.. 

But, if a good standard does not exist then everything would just be well "good enough"..   Someone who has the skills or progresses to having the skills can indeed make quality work. 

It's simple when you look at newer smiths progression,  Justine, Jasent, CGL, JHCC, Littleblacksmith,  there are a bunch of people here who have not settled for "It's ok"..   They continue to progress and love, love , love it.   

Seeing good forge work should inspire, not detract. 

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Very well said Jennifer! 

Personally, I’m always trying to do better, and can see all the flaws in what I have done. It doesn’t upset me, it just makes me think about what to do differently next time: a bit more with the butcher bush, a bit more planishing(sp?) to save time with the file or grinder. I read up on IFI and listen to what experienced smiths have to offer. I find it very rewarding. I’m in this as a hobby, money from sales is nice, but the compliment from a happy customer is better. Best of all is the focused-almost-meditation of swinging the hammer, making the material move the way I want. I usually leave the smithy a much happier person.

Keep making beautiful things everyone!

David

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David, you were one of the other smiths I was talking about..   

It is the newer smiths here that inspire me to want to do better..  When I see you guys step up in skill and produce amazing work.. Or even just one aspect of a certain piece, it inspires me to want to do better and to apply myself in a way that is helpful.. There are hundreds of things I see in your work that moves me.. 

I'm so excited for you guys that it makes me excited and love it when I get asked a question because then it helps for me to make the next video.. :)    Thanks to all you guys for keeping an old fart moving onwards as well..    "Thank YOU".. 

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Perfection isn’t possible but we can still try our best!  I made a adjustable fullering jig to hopefully help with hammer fullers. My whisky turtle forge rounding hammer is the model for the picture to show how it works haha. It’s not great but it works well made out of free scrap so I’m happy. Only non scrap was the little area for hitting with the hammer and that’s some annealed 1045. I got lots of heavy/ thick scrap steel from farm equipment that’s some sort of carbon steel so that’s good 

C2FD6403-0D26-4B94-88F7-EE211F783FE0.jpeg

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that will work nice..  as long as there isn't a lot of wiggle from side to side.. Which looks like you have control both over wiggle and over angle of bar for different thickness of materials.  Nice work indeed. 

 

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Frosty, just so you know I didn’t take you post in any kind of negative way! I just had to comment in the post from Jennifer. I liked the sentiment. Is not about being perfect, it’s all about learning and getting better!

Also, can you post or PM me more pics of the dachshund figure head. My wife would love that!

Keep it fun,

David

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1 hour ago, GuardedDig2 said:

Perfection isn’t possible but we can still try our best! 

 

After 12yrs in the army, there's many things that have stuck with me.... but one I hold close is something a drill sergeant told me during training to be an NCO myself.

"Strive for perfection in everything you do- but learn to accept completion in itself."

Nobody's perfect.

My wife tells me I'm a talented person. I tell her theres no such thing as talent. There's only the will to try something, the stubbornness and drive to make mistakes and do better from them... and the wisdom to know your limits.

Your progress is inspiring sir.

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Thanks everyone. And yup the washers stop almost all wiggle. The holes allow for different thicknesses. 
 

Well said welshj 

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