Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Using Dishing Dies

Recently, a couple of women, who have been regular customers, asked that I use a couple of earlier botanical designs and convert them to bowls.  It sounded like a reasonable idea with a few changes from my original designs.

First, I somewhat scaled up the size and increased the thickness gauge from 14 to 10 on one pattern and 12 on the other.  I arranged for six of each pattern to be water jet cut so I could do an experimental run.

The first step was heating in the coal fire and planish-texturing the surface with the power hammer.

The second step is adding any detail lines such as leaf veins to the face and the final hot forming step is adding volume with my large dishing die.  It is a tool which works well for me.

On one of his visits, Jim Friel, showed me how he made his and we built this one and tested it.  The hydraulic forging press came in handy to make the dishes from circles of heavy plate.  I haven’t tried to calculate the precise radius of the dies, but I imagine if it were possible to form a sphere with them it would make one about the size of a basketball.

As I looked at the picture of the die mounted in the power hammer and felt I should comment about the height.  I’m writing a post about making and using gate fullers and one point is that with a spare tire electro-mechanical hammer such as this one there is an upper limit to the height of a mounted tool so start-up ram movement is possible.  This dishing tool is tall but springy so it doesn’t choke the system as a solid die of the same height might.

Before long I’ll get a couple of the bowls finished and, if I remember, I’ll post a picture.

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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