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What did you do in the shop today?

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Bluerooster love that anvil.. for the gouge, start with a 2 fuller set.. And or a pre bend before it is wedged into the swage..   In the old days the hardest part of the gouge was finishing the inside.. 

they would typically be forged to size, the inside would be cleaned up and filed flat then prebent or a rounded fuller would be used to form it to the swage then a finishing fuller would be used that was very smooth and longer with rounded ended.. 

JHCC I had experimented with pipe to make tongs from and found for myself they did not work well..   I would tear the outer surface in use and once the outside layer was torn they would basically just come apart..     I tried fully formed  (forged to look like solid tongs with hollows inside)  and  flattened completely so there was no air gap in the middle.. 

I was never happy with either though the hollow forged ones looked neat.. 

I love that you are constantly looking for other methods. 

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Got drug off to the big city Saturday to do some essential shopping that had been hanging fire and to check that our daughter was doing OK; as a Veterinarian she's been having to work and have closer contact with different people that we would have liked.  OK so far.

My neighbor with the arroyo told me I could hand shovel as much gravel/sand/X as I wanted from it; so I spend a lot of time over the weekend patching a low spot in our driveway and working on putting in a path from my back door to the shop's door.  36 kitty litter buckets of fine gravel/sand/X + 2 trashcan loads of powered horse manure for the compost heap.  (They were happy to give away the manure and in fact delivered another 4 feed sacks of it to the house last night!)

In between times I did another flower for my wife's Father's Day gift. Copper and steel petals, based on a double flowering poppy.  This last one looked so much better than the first that I'm going to have to make another and give the first to someone else as a stand alone. It all started with finding a large handful of steel punchouts of a fairly fine gauge---a lot thinner than 16 gauge----at the scrapyard.  The copper ones I cut out of a strip of fairly heavy copper flashing I found at the scrapyard with my B1 Beverly shear.

With the gasser on the fritz I found that making a cave fire with an opening big enough to get the disk in was really fairly nice and efficient---stop cranking when the piece goes in and of course watch the copper ones like a hawk!  I worked the disks with a fine straight peen radially and also with a small turning hammer---the domed face. Interesting how much the bounce of the hammer was a part of getting a fine and even hammered look. 

The stem was a piece of 1/4" sq stock that I dented all four corners with the straight peen and then went back over denting the flats---what was left of them. Then heated and twisted for a more organic look.  The very end I forged square to mount the petals on.

The hardest part was drilling the holes with my eggbeater drill as the thin metal was hard to hold to drill it. (The first one I punched the holes with my whitney punch and then forged the disks and the holes got too large.) 

Everything was powered wire brushed up at the patio where there is a plug.  I have an old slow speed and slower speed motor from a piece of metallurgical prep equipment I have mounted my wire brush to. *MUCH* safer when working small stuff with lots of convoluted edges.  Of course I did have to go hunting in the wood pile for flung pieces fairly often.  Then everything was waxed with paraffin way applied hot and wiped down with a soft cloth.

For the thicker disks  I drifted the hole square using a cut masonry nail. The thinner ones I could drive on the square end of the stem using a 1/4" drive deep wall socket I had picked pit of the dirt at the scrapyard.  When they were all stacked like I wanted; I then riveted the end of the stem down---a real pain; but I got to try a lot of different tools to see what worked best! (I should probably use the copper grounding wire I have for the stems to make it easier and then patinate it green!)

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Another candle holder, thought I'd try a simpler one this time. Candle holders are TIG welded on the bottom side, I've gotta get better at making small tenon's before I use that method instead of welding them on. I didn't leave quite enough on the bottom rivet holding the legs to the center piece when I cut it, 1.5 times the rivet material diameter doesn't quite work with a domed head, I'll play around with it later this week.


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For some reason I am not able to post any pictures. Anywho, I tried to make some mokume and couldn’t get the quarters to stick. I stuck them in a pipe that had the same ID as the diameter of the quarter to reduce the oxygen exposure and keep the coins in-line. I then cut a couple pressing dies also the same diameter as the coins to fit in either side of the canister and torqued them together with plates . Brought the whole thing up to about a dull red heat and let soak for few minutes. I could not see the coins so I used my judgment to make sure they were up to temp. I pulled it out and pressed in the vice. Only about 5 out of the 10 coins stuck, and it wasn’t pretty. I restocked everything while still hot and let them kinda melt. Now I have a glob of I think cupranickel. If letting the billet melt slightly, will it still show the 2 metals or will it all just be a copper color?

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On 5/27/2020 at 11:29 AM, Chris C said:

download this onto you phone

Thank you Chris. I have not got around to it yet. Was there a change in upload settings the last couple months?

Tried again at the mokume and had some success. Instead of clamping to apply pressure, I sandwiched everything inside a pipe and let the heavier weight of the top die set everything. I didn't need to hit the billet at all. 100% welds where there was contact. A better fitting sleeve(Pipe) would've kept things inline. I used five nickels and capped with one quarter on each end. Since I could not see the stack inside the sleeve and being the quarters were more copper than the nickels, I felt once I saw the tiniest bit of copper run out from the bottom, the billet was welded or brazed. Let it cool and had to knock it off the bottom and top die with a hammer. It was all welded up nicely. I can see some pattern. Excited to etch. I feel this method is risky since there is no visual on the billet and once it starts sweating it melts into a puddle not long after. Perhaps a "window" can be cut into  the sleeve to get a visual or I can just clamp it between two plates like everyone else. 

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The software did change and the way the photos are now resized has been eliminated..   It might be software or it might be traffic related and the amount of KB ran thru the system as being maxed out. 

Servers are expensive as is hosting.   Most pay by the MB, KB, TB, etc, etc. I love the fact that Glenn even allowed for full sized images for so long..  it meant great detailed photos could be blown up to see forge cracks and details not seen on lower resolution photos. 

Yesterday I found out, the very first smith who kinda became friends  Tim D. has health issues and has closed up his shop and started selling things off..  I haven't seen him in years now, but was saddened by the news but know the guy who is brokering his items. 

I don't really need more items but figured I wanted to support Tim, so today I  went over an bought several sets of tongs which are well work worn handles (used a lot) a shovel made by Tim and his Wally Yater mandrel cone also a nail header. 

Tim worked at OSV so I would go to watch the smiths at the shop and Tim would often be there so we ended up talking..He was very kind to me.   He was a very, very good smith having taken a class at Frank Turley forge and was great at forging, and especially forge welding..  The felling ax basic method was Tim's as I watched him once while he made a smaller splitting ax. Anyhow, out of all the years of me smithing he is the most influential as for looking at his gear and his demeanor at the forge. 







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Thanks.. Age gets us all..  He was very kind.. I never much was involved with other smiths but he never shut down work when I was around at his personal shop if I just showed up and he was happy to demonstrate at the villiage on some pretty nice projects like the Axe..   Back then forging and Ax was a big forging day. 

Besides I was kinda geeky book smart but not forge smart so he'd tolerate my foolishness. 

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I had no clue what I wanted to do.  I grabbed a RR spike and just wanted to play around, and this guy came up.   While it was supposed to be a gator, it turned out to be a Gecko with scales on the back... Ah well.  Wife loves it.



Gecko 2.PNG

Gecko 1.PNG

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Long story short, one of the Japanese members at work is heading back in a couple weeks. This is the second time he’s been stationed here and I’ve always had a lot of respect for him. He asked me to forge something for him before he goes back (kind of a bummer, because I planned on surprising him with something), but it took me a while to come up with something. I’m made a set of siabashi for my older son out of 304 SS they turn pretty good, but seem a little heavy. My friend like to cook, so I decided I could make him a set, but to make the a little special, give him bragging rights, and keep them light, I decided to use titanium. First time working with it and it’s a little strange. It’s pretty weird having white dust on the anvil instead of gray/black scale. Started with 3/8” SQ x 6” of grade 2 titanium. These are a very good exercise in tapering, end up at 15” long. Still have some detail and finishing work to do... So far easier the the SS, but I’m worried about the cleanup. A file would barely touch them.




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yesterday I prepared most of the JABOD Forge preparation. Not sure yet, when I can make a first trial. Can't do that here but have to take it out to the land.

Realized the pipe is a bit too low, have to redrill that hole. Also am not so sure if that power-supply-fan will really give enough air. But I found already in my electro-scrap another, bigger fan that will work if this one doesn't.

Then, today had to repair the kitchen machine of my wife (seemingly just so much flour came in that it prevented the contacter inside to switch properly.

And I used my small peen hammer (and the anvil) for the first time. Our fridge has a broken plastic-bottle-holder (what do you call that thing) and I thought best is i just make it from sheet metal. But I guess that is not called blacksmithing work ;)



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Nice job on the JABOD so far Tom. When you drill another hole for the tue pipe why don't you drill it a little higher than you think is right and connect the two holes into a slot so you can adjust things later?

Real blacksmiths don't limit themselves to silly things like hot or cold steel. That looks like a fine hand forged refrigerator door shelf thingy. Well done.

 Frosty The Lucky.

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Excellent point, not only can I really try different things, I'm even hiding the fault  ;)

For sure. My wife doesn't mind "prettier things" but surely also highly prefers "working things" to "no things".

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Didn't fire up the forge this weekend; but I did finish cleaning up the 91' of yard the trench for the power line to the shop will go through.  Funny; the closer to the shop the more stuff was piled in the way.

I pulled out a couple of sage bushes ----made a custom tool from an old hay rake tine with a chain attacked to the loop. With it I can thread the chain around the base of a bushing overhanging sagebrush and thread the other end of the chain through the loop to pull it tight and run it to the truck's trailer hitch and let it pull it out by the roots.  Getting towards the end of that truck. It's up for renewal in July and we'll be putting it down before having to pay any more for it.  Toss up between driving it to the scrapyard and donating it to the local public radio station.  I'm still driving it to work to try to get it up to 180K miles, (700 to go!); but out mechanic said "Don't drive it out of town!"

I also took all the organics from my neighbor's cottonwoods that were built up along the route and in the stuff piled there and dumped in in the compost pile, covered it with horse manure and covered that with the dust removed from the walkway to the shop I am graveling; did about 4 more buckets of the walkway too. For some reason my insulin needs on weekends are way different that when I'm sitting in an office chair staring at a screen...

The cotton season for the cottonwoods has started.  In the shop cleanup is easy---just drop a match and watch the spreading WHOOSH on the floor; however it looks like they are clogging the swamp cooler pads up on the roof.  I'm going to try to drag the shopvac up there and see if we can leave the swamp cooler off for a night to dry out the pads and then vacuum them out.

The Socorro Public Library re-opens today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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