Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Blacksmith’s Solution

A few weeks back I needed to make several ground spikes for a rain gauge mount and I ran out of 3/8” square stock.  I checked and had an abundance of 1/2” round so I decided to use some of it up in this project.  If the original plans called for drawing tapers on 10” sections of 3/8” square how long should the 1/2 round stock be cut to be equivalent?
Rather than get out the calculator I have a “Mass Equivalents” spreadsheet set up so I can just enter the dimensions of the original 3/8” stock to see the total volume then experiment with guesses about the 1/2” length until the result is close enough.  In this case it looked like 7 1/8” of 1/2” round would do the trick.
I cut the required number of pieces of stock and with coal fire heat my assistant forged the spikes using a 3/8” stop in the power hammer to establish the shape of the end without the taper then drew out the remainder to a long square taper.  There is no surprise here - the spikes look essentially the same regardless of whether 3/8 square or 1/2” round was the material used.
Moving metal is the blacksmith’s power and joy.

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I don't often check for blog comments, so the best way to contact me is directly: at ottercreeksmith@gmail.com or djedwards@cableone.net