Swage block

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Swage block

Postby Stanleythecat » Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:29 pm

Has anyone tried to use a swage block to try to put the angles on their hook tools?

As I grind and file my way to the finished tools I have always wondered, without the grinders we have now how did our forefathers manufacture their tools? Just a personal quest really but I'd love to make a tool from start to finish using just simple hand tools.

Any thoughts

Leo
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Re: Swage block

Postby paul atkin » Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:45 pm

Stanleythecat wrote:Has anyone tried to use a swage block to try to put the angles on their hook tools?

As I grind and file my way to the finished tools I have always wondered, without the grinders we have now how did our forefathers manufacture their tools? Just a personal quest really but I'd love to make a tool from start to finish using just simple hand tools.

Any thoughts

Leo

Hi Leo the first hook i made was under the guidance of an 80yr old blacksmith ( no grinder ) we part forged the bevel on the anvil and then finished it by using a file when heated to cherry. Just as quick as using a grinder and i am rather attached to that tool because it was all hand done.
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Re: Swage block

Postby Stanleythecat » Fri Nov 18, 2011 11:55 am

Thanks Paul

Sounds like I need to develop my smithing skills a bit more. Is cherry the temperature to file at then? I had been waiting for it to cool because I made an assumption that the hot metal might temper the file and soften it?

Leo
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Re: Swage block

Postby gavin » Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:49 pm

Stanleythecat wrote:Has anyone tried to use a swage block to try to put the angles on their hook tools?


I thought about doing this too once and spent a few hours making drawings. I then realised the tooling to do it would be expensive if professionally done, or awkward to DIY. In any event, the swage block quickly draws the heat from your work, unless you strike while the iron is hot and glowing. Better as Paul Atkin suggests to part-forge the bevel on the anvil. When forming the bevel, be careful not to hit the anvil surface with the edge of your hammer. ( I trashed a perfectly good anvil like that! :oops: ). The rest of the edge you can form with a file as Paul suggests or with a belt grinder. If you were doing volume production, then a swage block could be worthwhile. The final part is the important one - stock removal with file or grinder to finish the edge.
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