Sunday, March 21, 2010

Studio Tour Part 4: Metal Forming

These are some of my favorite things: dapping blocks, anvils, mandrels and chasing tools....and my pink countertop....It makes me feel like a lady, even if I am wearing saftey gear while pounding out some metal.
The anvil on the left is a very classically Looney Toons looking one, but I probably use it less than the much smaller one to the right of it. The large wooden cutting board helps absorb some of the reverberation from hammering, but it needs bolted down because it jumps all over the place when I'm hammering heavy metal. It is a temporary solution until I can convince enough of my friends to help me move my 4x4 foot solid maple butchers makes a great surface for hammering, but it weighs a TON!

Below the counter-top pictured above, I have a shelf which doubles as a hammer rack. It was really simple to drill large holes in a row to keep the hammers organized. It is good to store your hammers in a rack....keeping then piled up in a box can damage the hammer heads if they clang into each other when you put them away.

Tool storage is one of the things that you really need to customize on your own to keep everything handy. There are some racks and fixtures available for craftsmen, but they are sometimes overpriced, and frequently do not reach your very specific needs.

The rolling mill pictured is not a fancy brand name, I bought it on Ebay, and it was the best deal I could find after price comparing for weeks. It does a great job. The flat steel rollers were in perfect condition, and the progression of the wire slots is comfortably gradual. It even has some 1/2 round wire slots on the right end.

The other tool pictured is a jump ring winder that I upcycled out of an old hand cranked grinding wheel....I just took off the wheel and welded a jacob's chuck to the axis.
A graduated set of round steel mandrels is used to wind the jump rings on. They are a little expensive, but after trying to cut jump rings off of a wooden dowel, the price of the steel mandrels didn't seem so bad anymore.

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