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What did you do in the shop today?


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Made my first handled tool from 4 inches of a coil spring I found on the road. The eye is a little off center but the plug was clean, which made me smile. I was able to center it better when drifting by cooling the thin side. Drifted round then hammered back to oval... Err rectangle with round ends. Still deciding on final end geometry, either an eye punch or an flat oval for sculpting

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many find getting a clean plug to be part of the fun and very rewarding.   :)  Which is for sure is..   The temperature which the plug, or slug is sheared has a lot to do with how clean it comes out.   It is not shearing because of the punch persay.. Its shearing because the metal that is supporting it at the bottom, is not distorting as much. its actually a pretty process much more like extrusion threw a die plate. 

Shabumi be careful about cooling off one side of spring steel to keep it centered..   You really want to minimize any kind of cooling while heated and then being worked on.  It can lead to cracking.  

Mild steels not big deal. cool all you want..  Even 1040/45  there is a little wiggle room.. But ideally alloy and tools steels it should be avoided as a best practice. 

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It took me quite a bit of trial and error on my own to figure out that trying to finish punching a hole while the stock is too hot doesn't work very well. I was a little slow figuring out too hot=stretch/distortion.  A little cooler=a plug shearing cleanly.  What's that saying? A hard learned lesson is a well learned lesson. 

Pnut

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For alloy steels with more Carbon I have sometimes found that differential heating works better than differential cooling: eg in my coal forge I will turn the piece so that the section I want hotter is towards the blast. In propane I may lay it on the hottest part of the forge.  The idea is that everything is at working temp; just one section is a bit hotter than the other. Works better where an eye has been started as there is a gap to impeded heat transfer by conduction.

For true mild---I have a dipper to hand!

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Another option is to put the thin side down on the anvil for a moment before you start drifting. The anvil will suck a bit of the heat out of that side faster than the air will cool the thick side, giving you a slight differential cooling without too much risk of quench cracking. Then turn your piece upright and forge.

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That looks really nice jlpserviceinc. 

Ive been working on this for a while know. I just haven't found time to go to harbor freight and get some epoxy to glue on the handle. It is a Scottish highland dirk and i made rhis one for myself. It isnt quite full tang, gut its close, and its not totally straight, but thats also close. Like i said i made this one for myself and i raely just wanted to make a functional blade and a nice looking handle. 

Speeking of the handle, it is made of Russian olive heartwood. I choped of the sapwood and brought it down to size with a hached and an angle to hegin with. Than i used an old fariars rasp to put in the basic shape. Than i used some rat tail files and but in the details. Finjaly i sanded it donwn and teied to buff it but it wasent high grit enough so the ahine just wore out after holding it. It originally had a hole all the way through it but i filed that with pine resin glue and filed that to be flush with the habdle.

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I have my heeless Powell anvil and a 3 legged stand in the back of my truck along with some 1/2" sq stock and a suitable pair of tongs and a tong clip and a hammer.  Soon as I get off work the New Mexico Tech Bladesmithing Club starts forging in front of my work building and I thought showing them WHY putting their anvils at the proper height would help....One of my smithing students will be stopping by too and is arranging for them to get some stumps cut to size for them.  So tonight they can forge some "handles" for the stumps to make it easy for two people to carry them.  (Instead of complaining that they were hard to move---whatever happened to 1.5 million years of tool using hominids modifying their enviornment to make it easier on themselves????)

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Thank you.
I really wish I could tell you something about my anvil, but unfortunately, I can't, because there are no visible markings on it.
I got it for free from my colleague. The anvil was given to him by his neighbor. The anvil was in horrible shape... (mushroomed and deformed all over, with torn edges). His neighbor was a car mechanic and he used the anvil to hammer things on it cold! He desecrated it... It took a lot (really lot) of grinding and welding to make it even remotely usable for forging. At the time, I was thinking: It is better to have a bad anvil then no anvil, which proved right in my case...
In the meantime, I got used to it and kept forging on it until this day.

Every anvil that is free of charge is a good anvil... :D

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Thanks for the pointers everyone, I'll keep them in mind next time. I was semi aware of the no water rule with alloys, but I thought I could get away with it as I wasn't quenching till cool to the touch. What I did was cool just the outside of the thin section with water and let it pull the heat from the inside of the eye until it was 1 shade lower than the fat side, from yellow-orange to orange-yellow. Didn't have any obvious problems this time, but I will avoid the water in the future.

Great work as always JLP, and that's a nice tp holder DSW, I really like the brass coating look. Virusds, that sure looks more functional than the only knife I've tried to make. Good work

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More work on the candelabra. Slitted and drifted the mounting holes for the candle cups on the arms, which will look basically like this:

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Practically all the forging is done now, and the parts are ready for wire brushing, welding, grinding, and painting:

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(The two flat pieces in the back are stock that I might use for collars in the center. Haven’t yet made up my mind.)

Also made a new handle for my dipper, since the old one was too clunky.

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And tried out a new (to me) twist.

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Did some prep for a couple of other projects, but that was way too uninteresting to photograph. 

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So my uncle has a 100lb anvil that I have been using... It's a bit beat up but it works just fine. My very first attempt at forge welding was mostly a success, I took 6" piece of 1.5" cable and worked at it for 4 hours... I got it to one piece except for one line that didn't weld. I'm thinking that'll be in the tang and should weld shut while I'm narrowing and drawing it out. I was pretty happy with myself, having been my first experience. 

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6 minutes ago, Roudyroddypipper said:

one line that didn't weld. I'm thinking that'll be in the tang and should weld shut while I'm narrowing and drawing it out.

Not unless you're narrowing and drawing out at welding temperature. Grind it out or cut it off; otherwise it will remain a cold shut and give you LOTS of trouble later on.

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On February 28, 2020 at 11:33 AM, jlpservicesinc said:

So, last sunday did a demo for the Connecticut Blacksmith Guild.. 1hr to forge a thumblatch..  So, much gabbing put the preform and 1 cusp done. So, monday was really nice and finished the latch up. 

Absolutely gorgeous

I’ve had a productive few days. An enormous forged cleaver named Jötunn, a pair of bolt jaw tongs and a set of scissors.

the cleaver was a custom order.  Is shaving sharp and able to chop through a 2x4 in about 6-7 cuts.

the bolt jaw tongs are for 20mm square and round stock(roughly 3/4”)

the scissors did not turn out to well unfortunately.  I hammered the rivet to firmly and the blades are not moving smoothly and require two hands to open them.  They do however cut quite well.

 

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  • Mod42 changed the title to What did you do in the shop today?

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