Friday, June 22, 2012

latest since the bandsaw

Things have been a flury of business around here, and I have simply not found the time to blog.

First, and most important, I finished up a couple of jobs I was working on.

One project I was working on was steel accents for a chair and foot-rest base. This took quite a bit of time, head scratching, and ultimate satisfaction as the final piece came together as desired. In keeping with my normal style, the steel parts that I made for the wooden bases were all done using traditional techniqes. The circles were bent and forge welded together! The strength of the welds was tested by numerous hammer blows on the weld, once it had cooled. Both welds withstood all the beating, much to my satisfaction. The decorative pieces were split using a chisel, and then tapered, bent to fit the contour of the wood, and then riveted in place.

The finished product was bolted to the wooden bases using standard hex-head lag screws. I did however, texture the bolt tops and blackened them to match the rest of the piece.

The next job I had was an interesting one! At one of the recent art shows I attended, I met a man that had steel rings, and wood slats to make cider press baskets.
One problem!
He didn't have anyone to rivet them together for him.
ENTER: The blacksmith!
This man had just had someone bend the steel rings, and they looked sort of corny. Just a plain steel ring. So I took them and "blacksmithified" them. (I don't think they've got that one in the dictionaries yet.) Anyway, I textured the edges (called chamfering,) and then blackened, and coated the steel rings. Then I used a special, flat-head rivet to attach all of the wooden slats to the rings. The entire project took roughly 2640 hammer blows to complete.

I recently did a "how-to" on making your own tongs. Here are a few select pictures of the process!

 Straightening the spring!

Bending the jaws! 

Shaping the "bit." 

Chiseling the jaw! 

Sizing for a perfect fit! 

The finished product! 

Another thing I did recently was make a bunch of sample pieces showing different techniques. This is for something I'm in the middle of right now, but I'll wai until I see how it pans out to share the news.

I spent about a half a day repairing my air hammer. A piece busted on it about a month ago, and I have not had the time to fix it until now. This is the area that I repaired.

I also made a cutter die for my air hammer. This die us used to cut metal, hot, under the power hammer. It is particularly made for cutting 1.25-inch solid round, high carbon, tool steel.

The reason I made this die, is I am now the first and sole producer of the Brian Brazeal hot cut hardy. After my blacksmithing class with Brian Brazeal a couple of months ago, I asked him if he would be interested in me producing his style of hardy cutter for him to sell. He said yes, and we have been working on finallizing the design of my interpretation of his tool. Here are the first six. I am making a batch of 50 for him to take the National Artist Blacksmiths Association of North America, conference in a few weeks. Anyway, the above cutter die for my power hammer, cuts the pieces that these cutters are made from.

In addition to ALL of that, Dad and I are in a scurry to finish up some important parts on the barn/shop. We have been working occasionally on repairing the entire roof of the old portion of our barn/shop. It is a momentous project, and is extremely taxing on the body, so we only work on it every once in a while. We are also still working on the siding on the barn, replacing most of it and putting in new foundations. We really have to finish up all of the work on the barn this up-coming week.

I am schedualled to go to the John C. Campbell folk school in one week to take a week-long blacksmithing class there. I am excited about that, especially seeing that the instructor is one of my teachers from last year, and I really enjoyed his class then.

Somewhere in all this scurry of work and stuff, my brothers and I found time to shoot some with our .44 black powder revolver. We ordered a bullet mold and have been molding our own bullets. It
is a really fun gun to shoot!

Uhhhh "That's all folks!"