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I Forge Iron

Show us your thumb latches

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I need to work on plain handles and get those where I like them. I try to get proficient at doing one project and then throw in the next complication. I haven't been forging for a while either. I'm going to have to sharpen myself back up to my previous dullness:D


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Go watch the thumb latch video.. The concept is the same for smaller handles..  Most people who don't know better will bend the finial the wrong way.. The bend is away from the boss shoulder.. 

Unless of course you want to have a shoulder sticking into the finial. 

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Trial and error. Many errors. ;)   Once I got the handle forged out, and the thumb part forged and riveted in place, I had left the tang on the thumber too long, which allowed me to bend and fit it to the latch arm, then cut off the excess. The pivot point for the latch arm was determined by "best guess" as to the throw needed to dis-engage the latch from the striker. then the rod was cut to length. (which turned out to be about 4" too short) so I had to add some length to it.  I had to counter weight the latch arm, as it wasn't heavy enough to lift the latch into place. (the extra 4-6 inches added to the rod caused this)

Anyway, amazingly enough it works.  :D

What prompted me to attempt this project was watching your thumb latch video.  Which leads me to a question; you did some hot rasp work on the handle. Is that a rasp specially designed for hot work, or  will any old rasp/file do?

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  • 7 months later...

Hi Bluerooster.. sorry not getting back to you sooner.   Just found out you have replied. 

The hot rasp is just an old farriers rasp..   they work really well..  I like a really long handle so my arm stays back incase I slip..  The reason for the old farriers rasp is they are usually handy in old shops that offered shoeing. 

They are very course compared to a modern file you would buy in a 14 or 16" variety.  And cheap comparatively.   So the horse rasps when I am done and ready to retire them they are still sharp compared to what others would use. So the natural progression is new, used, hot rasp, scrap. 

I'm glad you found some inspiration with the Thumblatch video..    It's a great thing to learn for sure. 

If you were around I'd give you one.. Most people are surprised just how sharp they are for what I considered used up. 

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Serval ways to do them..  Punch and bolster was probably the most popular way back when these were common items..  I've seen original examples that never had the backs finished an they have the smallest burrs where they were punched thru. 

I use a punch and hole block or even better is the end grain on a stump..  I also use the Hinge pintel block..   

Once the school is open lots of the stuff that is not shown in videos will be easier to see.. 


And Flashback friday.. :)


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  • 2 weeks later...

This is mine, but not made by me. Marked B. DAVIES ALL WROUGHT IRON WARRANTED. Found with a metal detector about 35 years ago. It’s currently kludged into a hollow core door.B675A808-1F69-4979-8762-3B627B83B339.thumb.jpeg.49aaa4ed2d4829f7796e54d28cb05119.jpeg

It’s interesting how the latch is pinned to those separate thin side cheek pieces, which seem to be wedged/notched into the sides of the latch hole.A46B7DFD-59B7-4582-9275-307FF821C114.thumb.jpeg.d44f5082056aa3aefdfa48c06939d4ae.jpeg

Aside from the actual pull handle, it’s all pretty thin and light material.

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