Friday, September 30, 2011

It Bends Where?

When I was bending these spikes I thought I was witnessing a violation of an axiom I learned as a beginner - steel bends where it is thinnest or hottest. In this case neither was true. The axiom needs an amendment. Steel also bends where the bending force is isolated.

This story is a progression of the “picture or 1000 words” post. To complete the spikes I needed to bend the kink point to a right angle. I could have used localized torch heat to do this and if I only had a couple to finish that’s how I’d do it. In this case there was a pile, I had a bending jig and I had other forge work to do so using the coal fire was quickest. The way I was working it wasn’t possible to get a heat localized at the desired bend point like a torch heat. However, the jig effectively did that isolation of the bend point.

I used the power hammer to draw out the spikes in a single heat and did the 90º bend in the second heat then ran them through the tumbler. Now they are ready for welding into a tripod base, This is a component of what I would call a functional piece and isn’t particularly artful, but, the subtle stretch-buldge of the 90º bend is a tiny detail which appeals to me.

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