Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Blacksmithing Class Number Three

Although no one posted a comment, many people asked to see my finished project that I had forgotten to take a photo of at the end of Class Number Two. SO,..... Here it is!

It may not be very exciting to the casual observer, but I am very proud of it! I am making progress in understanding the basics of smithing. The object was to take two horseshoes, straighten them out, fold one horseshoe over the other and weld them together, and then draw the metal out to the original thickness of one horseshoe. The project makes you work on straightening, welding, moving metal, and forging a taper. The close up picture shows the left side is welded and how it moves to showing the three layers of metal; proof that it isn't one piece of metal!

Class Number Three, we spent the first part going over tools in the shop. The tool above is called a power hammer. Instead of hammering a piece by hand, a person brings it over to this machine and with a foot pedal controls a 'hammer head' that drops down to sandwich your metal between the head and a surface. Its loud, dangerous, archaic, and very cool. Plus, it keeps you from getting tired from hammering.

This tool is called a Screw Press. Its a little hard to see from the photo, but on the table surface you set dies, place your metal across it, then turn the screw handle up top. As the top portion compresses against the table it forms your metal into shapes. You can create waves, hard angles, divets in plate, etc.

We also went over anvils. Who knew there were so many different types? Italian pattern, London pattern,... I can only imagine a bad joke starting as, there was an Italian, an Englishman, and a Frenchman standing around a blacksmith shop... (I don't know where that goes. I need my friend Reed Karen around to tell me the punch line! He is the ultimate joke teller and also a super talented woodworker/designer.)

The second half of the class we started to make a drive hook. This piece started off as a piece of 1/4" round stock. I beat it into square stock and formed the right angle. While this looks pretty simple, it is quite tricky to get a right angle. The hook portion also is shaped into a taper on all four sides, which is hard to see in the photograph. I cannot wait to finish this piece.



get someone to take a photo of you in action!

metalworx said...


looks like a REAL fun class!!

im sort of teaching myself (with the aid of youtube) LOL

great work!!

Annick Magac said...

Good idea! I'll have someone take a photo of the action!

Metalworx, I highly recommend a class. I've learned so much from watching the demos in person. Plus, someone can stand over your shoulder and tell you everything you are doing wrong! LOL Thanks for the support. Good luck on learning!

Logan said...

Very cool! Jealous of that giant anvil and that class. Can't wait to see what you make with those skills.