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I Forge Iron

Fullering


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It may just be ignorance, but I'm not afraid to ask:

Hand hammers come with fullers on them. Pick the appropriate one (cross-straight-diagonal), and you hold a versitile tool, capable of quickly knocking down metal with some well placed swings. Despite this, there are tools of all flavors that fit into the hardy hole, etc. for fullering. My question is what is the point of having an independant fuller? I don't understand (and that may very well be from lack of experience) why it would be beneficial to have these tools on hand, since I don't feel that the same force and control would be present, with the piece slipping off the tool with every blow.

The only exception in my mind would be the use of a top fuller, and a striker of some kind. Here the smith maintains control of the tool, and at teh saem time, a moving force worth being considered is being generated (by the striker). Now, this assumes that the striker is proficient at what he does, or is a machine.

Having read some of the documents link to on this forum, I've become aware of smaller hand-fullers, and can see thier merit, since the user is generating that same downward force that is present with the top fuller mentioned.

My apprehension may stem from improper tooling also, and I need to investigate it personally to satisfy this curiosity.

What method do y'all prefer?

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A handled fuller can be set more exatly than most of us can swing a hammer. However you need a way for it to be hit while you are holding it so a striker power hammer or tredle hammer of some sort may help.
A bottom fuller (as in hardie hole tool) will work the other side of your work while you work the top, this will help for making a shoulder or just moveing matieral rapidly often a smith will use an anvil edge or horn as a bottom fulller.

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A small hand fuller is great at the bottom of a split, e.g. when making a fork; it helps prevent the sharp edges of the split from spreading.

As already noted, a hand fuller or a handled/set fuller can be placed with more precision than using an integrated one. Spring fullers and guillotines fitted with fullers can be used with great precision -- even without great hammer control.

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As already noted, a hand fuller or a handled/set fuller can be placed with more precision than using an integrated one. Spring fullers and guillotines fitted with fullers can be used with great precision -- even without great hammer control.

This is my first thought. Fullering with a hammer works fine if you're trying to make a shovel or a leaf, where you want to be able to really guide the material around in a natural way. However, if you're making the post for a hardy from thicker stock, a spring fuller will allow you to place a shoulder at the same spot on all four sides, making the drawing process much easier and neater. Same goes for any number of other applications where symmetry and accuracy beyond that which can be achieved by a hammer (dependent on the user) is necessary.

I know my limitations when it comes to accuracy. There's a lot I can do with a hammer, but there ain't much I can do with a pein that can't be done better by a stationary fuller.
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The top and bottom fullers are by and large reminders of a bygone age, and as blacksmiths do, methods have been developed to solve a problem.

They are normally found at old tool sales, the reason being that in the days when metal was more expensive than labour (Is there a return coming?) and apprenticeships were the norm, the forge would have blacksmiths, journeymen, apprentices and strikers. Hence it was not a problem when usng fullers as the staff was on hand to use them correctly. A good striker was much sought after.

Be it small tenons, gate journals, wagon axles or other similar items, it was the quickest way to produce them and very accurate and repeatable too.

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