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Mrs. Karen's post is 100% true, I couldn't agree more. I always wanted to learn blacksmithing, but I could never have imagined learning so much (and this is only a very very very small fraction) from one person in a week. Had I tried to learn blacksmithing on my own, it may have (I like to think it wouldn't have been, but could have possibly) been something I'd do for a while, and get tired/frustrated with and quit sometime later. Working with Mr. Brian and getting to experience blacksmithing through his ways, I was blown away. I'm a slow learner, but I (eventually) got everything to my liking with some time. He told me many a times that by helping me, he is helping himself. I didn't really get what he meant by it until a week or so later after working with him. I believe thats what he is doing here. He definitely is not someone to advertise himself/his products (You'd know that just by meeting him).

Keep up the great work Brian, I do hope to see you and Mrs. Karen again!

-Joseph

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Karen here...
I would like to respond to everyone who had thoughts about any post Brian has ever made on IFI.
Some of you had personal experience forging with Brian and understand who he is and what he is about, like ironstein and Jeremy and some others.
Brian has been standing at the anvil full time for almost 30 years, he has had a lot of smiths take advantage of his talent and experience, some have written articles and books, profiting from his experience. He is aware of it and has never said a thing.
Brian has given away information on this site for more than a year now without ever profiting from it because that was not the point.
We do offer classes and we do sell forged items by Brian, that is what he does for a living, but as some who have spent time with us know, Brian gives so much more than he takes.
I posted our road trip on IFI to share it in a positive way and promote blacksmithing and IFI because that was what I could do to back my husband. We often arrived at a "gig' with less than 10 dollars and an empty tank of gas and counted ourselves lucky.
So when some of you think he has an alterior motive, I say it takes one to know one.. I have never met a smith who couldn't learn a technique from Brian and I have never seen Brian hold back on any information for money, all one has to do is ask and he will happily show and tell what he has learned at no charge.


Karen,

I think Brian`s actions here,in public and pretty much everywhere speak extremely well for the both of you.
I`ve come to think of Brian as an "Ambassador of Traditional Blacksmithing" and the number of folks who have either been taken under his wing or have had the honor of swinging a hammer with him are numerous to say the least.All those who have stood on the same ground with you and either learned from him or watched him work have nothing but good things to say about you both.
Those who have less than kind things to say or insinuate just don`t know the two of you and what your contributions to the craft are.You are a very rare pair and I know I for one would travel a long way to see Brian and maybe,if I was lucky,buy a small piece of work or a tool he had made(or one I made with him) and be proud to hand it on and tell the story behind it.

Thanks for all the two of you do.I think Brian would be one of the first to say that without support from family we can`t sustain what we do for very long.

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I know Brian's comments have made me try more than I would have thought to on my own...now if only I had more forge time.

I made a hotcut similar to this based on Brian's posts in another thread, and it is rather functional. I used a relatively thin leaf spring to make it, and it has more than a few cold shuts in the shank...but it was one of my first tools and projects. It works well, and sits diagonal in the hardy. I was just learning what "hot" meant, which is part of why it ended up so ugly.

I also made a shouldered hardy, and find I like the shouldered hardy better, but the shouldered hardy came out much better too. The shouldered hardy fits very close in my hardy, so it is solid. The leaf spring hardy sets crooked on the first hit, a slightly different angle every time, then stays put till I tap the side. It is also very solid.

Thank you Brian and Karen for taking the time to share.

Phil

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brianbrazealblacksmith Posted 25 June 2010 - 08:36 AM

"I was reveiwing this thread today and thought I should revive it now since quite a few of you out there have seen me using the tapered shanked hot cut hardy, and a few of you have them now. So, what do you think? I'd like to hear from those that have used them. [ I am not selling them, nor do I have any for sell. ] I do tell people that this is my greatest invention because I believe it is. Alot of people on the road expressed concerns about it possibly splitting an anvil, so I started pointing out my top tools as an example of why this will not happen. With top tools, the larger the surface area contact, the more mushrooming you get with use. Flatters require alot of maintenance on the striking end while hot cuts hardly ever need redressing. I know this is not conventional but it is reasonable."



Since no one responded for almost three years, so I'm asking again. What do you all have to say about the hardy?

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Brian, first of all thanks for all the info you have posted here and on youtube. For the past year since I started blacksmithing I have relied on your posts and LDW's pictures to try new things a beginer would probably not even try. As for the hot cut it was one of the first tools I made. I used it with sucess but it wasn't untill you mentioned" cut to center" did I realize the true ability os this tool and how easy it makes other steps imn the forging process. I recently switched from a 176# anvil with a 1" hardy hole to a 100# anvil with a 7/8" hardy hole and the hot cut made the transition quite well. Now I just have to make mine with a finish as smooth as yours. Great tool.
Eric

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brianbrazealblacksmith Posted 25 June 2010 - 08:36 AM

Since no one responded for almost three years, so I'm asking again. What do you all have to say about the hardy?

For the first year of forging I used a straight hardy of excellent quality from OCP tool. It was shouldered and mostly flat on top. Since Brian taught me and helped me make a hardy of his design I haven't used the straight hardy again. I can cut  thicker stock faster than I ever could before.  It's amazing how tight the taper holds until you give it a sideways tap while hiding the other side and then it comes out very easily every time. Until forging with Brian for three days, I had no idea how much I didn't know. I am looking forward to the next time I can stand across the anvil from him.

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I had a first hand experance with Brian. about a year and a half ago he came to my shop to do a hammer making demo. Because of the cost of the transportation we decided to fly Brian in for the FABA meeting. I when and made a striking anvil Because I knew my old anvil would not take the hammering of making a hammer. When Brian arrived there was some confusion about what the demo would be about. But he just dropped back and punted, with a little work Brian and I made all the tools for making hammers and the next day we made the hammer in the demo. I use that hammer a lot. It was a great time People still talk about the event other wish they had made time to come and see him work. I make a few hammers each month, They are not like Brian's but what I learned from that weekend I use every day at the forge. I too have made many hot cuts over the year the one I pick up the most is the curved one I made with the tapered shank. when you get metal 1/2" and over a curved hot cut is that you need to cut its the best tool for the job.  I study each new video that you make and any blacksmith can improve just from trying Brian's methods. To this day I wish Karen could have joined him for the trip. 

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Love mine! Use it every time I forge. Like I sead in the video I made it cuts way faster and is smooth as silk to use! Can't wate till March 3rd when I start my drive to your place for a week! Thanks agen for the hot cut and look forward to seeing you!

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I have used straight cut offs, but no more.  I only use the curved one Brian and I made.  While cutting carrots the other day I realized that chefs use the same principle of small contact area.  When chefs slice, the movement of the blade is to put the point down and rock (curving) back toward the handle, thus causing the same effect as the curved cut off.  Try it yourself:  Cut a carrot the way chefs do and then cut straight down and you'll see the difference.

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I have known about Brains hot cut for a while but had never seen it in use until last October. I couldn't wait to make one after seeing what he can do with it. I now enjoy cutting pieces at demos just to see the expressions on peoples faces. Used it a lot today at one.
Thank you Brian not only for the hot cut design but for all you do for this craft.

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I made a curved one after watching Brian demo at the New England Blacksmiths' meet last fall http://www.newenglandblacksmiths.org  

 

It really works.  I can easily cut 1" square bar in one heat without a lot of grunting.  Mine's as forged 4140, so no special magic in the material or heat treat.  Forged a fairly thin blade, ground a slightly blunt (40 deg. +/-) edge onto it.  Holds up well.  

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I don't usually use a hot cut hardy,I use a hot set instead, but similarly have found that a curved edge is more useful, primarily because it can be "walked" across the work, like a creasing tool.

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I made a curved hot cut with a tapered shank last year and i like it. i havent cut anything big with it yet 1/2" i think is the biggest it does cut way faster than my straight edged hot cut.  Thank you Brian for the idea :)

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I find with this type of shank more stress is put on the already weak sides of the hardy hole. the blade is awesome though. The cuts are so smooth and clean. easy to use too :)

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If you don't make a tapered shank, I think you take away half of what's great about this type of hot cut. When it "locks down" in the hardy hole it more or less becomes a part of the anvil and you get rid of secondary rebound and bounciness. You never pound on it like a swage, so no worries about splitting your anvil...

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I have never had it stick in the hole where I could not knock it out with my fist. And I have cut some colder than it should have been big stock with it..

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SURFACE AREA CONTACT, SURFACE AREA CONTACT, SURFACE AREA CONTACT....

 

Sorry, its ingrained in my brain thanks to Brian  :blink:

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Power hammer...we don't need no stinking power hammer!  Today for the first time my son joined me in the garage as a striker and we forged our version of a Brian Brazeal hot cut, at least it's slightly tapered on the shank and curved on top, from a jack hammer bit.  And it passed the functionality test with flying colors!

 

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Then checking the mail, the Brazeal style hot cut forged by Dave Custer arrived and we realized a big difference b/t the two.  Pretty sure that one will work 10x's better, but my son & I are very pleased nonetheless and had a great time.  We're already putting on the agenda to forge an edge hardy and bickerns.

 

 

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I am very pleased with my hot cut hardy. I had a three day class with Brian a couple of years ago and struck as he directed. My only regret is not having my forge set up so I could practice what I learned when I got back home.  I have since put together a forge and blower and drag it outside when I have time. His hot cuts are superior to the straight ones that rattle around in the hole. Thanks to Brian for all the knowledge he shares.

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The surface area contact point is interesting.  I have an ice scraper that looks more like a funnel than anything else.  The wide end get's pushed against the glass to clear the windshield.  It cuts ice much faster than the straight edged ice scrapers you find everywhere else.

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