Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Scale Blowpipe Followup

This is a simple tool that is helpful in achieving high quality die work.  I wrote some about it on 8/17/2012.  When I make a run of small botanical elements ti be incorporated into sculptural work I often have made specific dies to accomplish that, daylily buds, holly berries, hickory nuts and the like.  When the dies are used in the hydraulic forging press, scale can accumulate in the die cavity.  The iron oxide scale is very hard and will deform the surface of the stock being forged, causing loss of surface detail.

Regularly removing the scale is a necessity for a good result.  The best method I have found is a blowpipe.  It was made from a piece of small diameter tubing about a foot long.  I forged the exhaust end to a even narrower diameter, about 1/8”, and flared the other end to form the mouth piece.  It stays on a peg beside the press so I can quickly grab it and blow the scale out of the die cavity.

This is not so much of a problem when using dies in the power hammer because the bouncing of the dies tends to make them self-cleaning.

Soon, I plan to post how I make the blow poker used for hearth fire management.  It is a very popular item in our gallery especially around the holidays.  I make them it runs of 20 or more at a time.


Fire scale in die cavities.

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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