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pre 1900 mild steel vs modern mild steel.. any differences in how you work with them??

sidesaddle queen

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2 hours ago, Frosty said:

Lots of SMALL pieces of wood, you aren't bringing it to forging temp, just almost normalizing.

Yeah, what blacksmith doesn't like fire?

Frosty The Lucky.

lots of small pieces.. lol!!  100s of small branches,, it is full now,,  fire ants got me so i had to come in but it is ready for the morning!!!  lol!  yeah ,, fire is fire i guess but i love wood burning.. i remember coming home from college , as i turned down the road i could tell daddy was home.. flames were shooting 6 ft out of the fireplace chimney  lol!  he loved big fires..

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Fire them ants up! :angry:

Uh. . . 6' of flame coming out of the chimney!:o  You should've gotten him interested in firing pottery, he could build as big a kiln as he liked and you wouldn't have to worry about sleeping at a Red cross shelter till you got a new place.

Frosty The Lucky.


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the fireplace in the house was huge.. took a 40" log. he grew up with wood fires for cooking and heat..  never had a issue with fire..  the only thing he ever burned up were steaks on his bbq..lol!! i am careful with my fireplace..  lol!!  i plan to burn those fire ants up was soon as this cold front passes.. going from 82 to 38  crazy even for east texas.. pouring rain right now,,,  so i am doing leather work.

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  • 4 weeks later...

If you think it was fitted hot, it may have clenched tight to the wood yet still developed enough spring back that when the fasteners were released there was considerable gap. Now you are trying to fit it cold to a standard that only exists to you. 

You said you were heating where you are bending. How are you heating?

I suggest cutting perhaps into two halfs. 

I also suggest buying an oxy-fuel torch. 

By allowing freedom of movement and using precise heating you should be able to push pull or hit the steel to exactly where you want it to go.

I sincerely doubt it was made any other way.

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Its good that arftist added some tips to your question. Heres some more that might help. 

You can do it cold with a vice, scrolling wrench and bending forks of the proper size and a twisting wrench.. Or do a little of both hot and cold. When you fit it hot and tap it in place, this happens: When you heat your piece it expands, then after fitting, it cools and shrinks. Now it wont fit and needs to be tweaked. 

Think of it as a horse shoe shape and do as your farrier does. Start in the middle(toe) and work equally each side(branch). This is far better than completing one side at a time. Every time you bend a horse shoe shaped piece, or a scroll, a bend on one side changes the other side. So if you do a section on one side, you need to correct the other side, then fit it. If you dont do this, cumulative error will eat you up. From your pics and question, this is your primary problem

Your piece is very complex, so it helps to think of each bend as two steps. There is edge bend and there is twist. Edge bend happens on any edge or flat and when done, stays in plane. Twist is what you do with a twisting wrench, hot or cold, and it takes you out of plane. Its usually best to edge bend first, then twist it into its new plane. 

These are the basics. Heres a pic of a bracket done how I said above. Nothing was fitted hot to the logs, but all fitting was done both hot and cold with the tools above, then the final fit was done cold on site. They are basically what you are doing, lol, just a different tree you might say. Sorry for the quality, but I think you can see what can be done. If you want pics of the 3 tools, let me know

Brackets small.jpg

Brackets small_1.jpg

Brackets small_2.jpg

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