Monday, September 12, 2011

Too Short? Not a Problem

From time to time I have an experience which reminds me of my woodworking days and why I like ironwork better.

Last week I was assembling pieces of textured flat bar for a chandelier frame and found one of the vertical pieces to be short by a strong 1/16”. If this was a wood frame I would cut another piece and that would be a hassle to set up because both ends are cut on a 14Âș angle. However, in this case it was just a matter of running the piece back over the texturing die in the power hammer without heat. Two passes did the trick and the bar was then full length.

The ability to adjust length by subtle drawing is nice property of iron working. Shortening by upsetting is possible occasionally but usually trimming is easier. It takes a while to really understand forging dynamics but eventually it is intuitive.

Mentioning the chandelier brings up another issue. I don’t do wiring. I’d do it for myself but when dealing with clients I make all the components and let them arrange for their electrician to finish the work. They are the professional experts in that field.

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