Making tools, and raising them right

The theme of the summer is HOT. It's been so humid that time in the shop means dripping with sweat regardless of what you're doing, so I've been going to extremes and doing way more hot work than is healthy. On Wednesday Maelgwyn helped me with some hot raising on this shield boss:
This is after 4 passes. The sides will be a bowed in vertical ring, so there's a number of passes to go.
I felt a little bad asking a friend to hold the torch for so long on such a hot day, so after we worked on the boss I made a torch stand:
The base is a giant engine valve which was a gift from Ysfael and Eleanor. I made three rings and a hook, and welded them all on.
I also made a stake to help with some of the hot work (well, and partly because it was fun to do). I started with 3/8 inch thick steel plate which I heated red hot in the forge. I feel I need to put 3/8 inch into perspective. The helmet I wear has a 12 gauge skull which, despite may touch and preux folks trying to concuss me, has never dented. Great big pole arms swung two handed with intent to kill don't leave a mark on that helm. 12 gauge is substantially thinner than 1/8 inch. So just taking a little hammer after a 3/8 inch thick slab isn't going to get you anything but tendinitis. When it's red hot, getting this fancy curve took maybe a dozen blows with my dishing hammer- it literally dished more easily than the 14 gauge boss I was working on above.
I cut off the excess with my torch, and welded it to a shaft which I'll have to taper down to fit my stake plate.
Tonight I managed to taper an eye bolt for my chest hardware project, and bent it around to fit the next link in the chain. I cut four more links out to make armour chests. It was hot though, so I bailed at 10 and went to the store for supplies for our tubing trip tomorrow. Really if you're not in the water or air conditioning right now you're probably insane.


Popular Posts