Monday, January 6, 2014

Cut Most of the Way

I’ve mentioned before that I did woodworking in one form or another for some 40 years before getting into blacksmithing.

I had not been into blacksmithing very long when I began noting the similarities and differences in the techniques of the two crafts.  I learned that to do blacksmithing I must become familiar with a new skill set and break some old habits.  One of the first things which struck me as different occurred in cutting stock.

In my wood working experience I cut a measured piece off of the parent stock completely and that was that.  In my blacksmithing I often found it more efficient to cut a piece only part way off.


Using the hardy hot cut - I learned not to cut off a piece all the way and let it fly.  Now I cut it most of the way and break it off by hand with tongs and put the hot drop in a safe place.

Cutting a piece of stock for incorporation into a weldment - cut it 90% of the way, put in a convenience bend to position the piece using the parent stock as a handle.  Weld the piece in place and break off the parent stock handle.

Using the bandsaw or a cutoff disc I stop just a but shy of complete severance.  That way I can break off the piece and store the remainder without dropping either on the floor.

When an exact length is not important I use a severing die in the hydraulic press to sever stock cold.  The blade has a slight relief so complete severance is avoided and the bridge is so thin I can snap it with an easy bend.

It seems like I’ve switched from the notion of, by default, cutting for severance to cutting most of the way but leave a thread of attachment.

Notch, bend, use parent stock for handle.

Weld in place and snap off handle.

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