Blacksmithing & Metal work
Blacksmith, Cabinetmaker & Designer.
|All of the metalwork is made by
Kevin, by hand. That includes everything except the screws
and rivets. Almost all of it is hand forged. A small
percentage is fabricated. There are large differences between the
two processes, and have impact on design and aesthetics.
The artistic blacksmith uses three main elements to control and manipulate metal into its desired shape. The first is fire, hot enough to bring steel to a white heat. In this state the metal is malleable enough to move under the other two elements: force and restriction. The hammer supplies the force, and the anvil supplies the restriction. With these three basic elements, or variation of them the raw bar stock is turned into the final product.
There are many variations on the three elements. Kevin uses many different hammers and tools to apply force to the steel. A selection of hammers shown include cross peens hammers weighting 1 kg (2.2 lbs) for finish work, 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs) for general shaping, and 2.0 kg (4.4 lbs) for roughing out heavy stock. In some cases the hammer is used to strike other tools such as punches or chisels to cut the metal.
Other tools are used the restrict, or control where the metal moves to. The anvil is the simplest, versatile and most used of these. The large flat face is used for general shaping. the edge could be used for making shoulders, or bending a sharp corner. The horn is used for bending curves, or for drawing out rounded points. Another necessary tool is the leg vise. It is forged from iron or steel and is mounted directly to the bench and floor. It can withstand blows from the hammer while clamping yellow hot metal. It is a second pair of hands.
Hand forged iron or steel contains details that other processes cannot match. In many cases it is subtle differences between similar pieces that make up the character of a project.
Metal fabrication implies the use of more modern equipment to shape and joint steel together. In this case steel is cut using cutoff wheels, shaped using grinders, and jointed using arc welding. In some cases it is advantageous to uses these methods to produce a piece. Not all metal projects demand the hand forged aesthetic.
Hammers, 1 kg (2.2 lb), 1.5 kg (3.3 lb), 2.0 kg (4.4 lb)
Bending forks, Scrolling tongs, and other tongs.
Leg vise, Main Anvil 186 lb, Portable Anvil 75 lb