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Excerpt from
Issue #205 February 2008


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There’s a limit to the size stock you can twist hot by hand. If your going to do anything bigger than 1” square, you’ll need help. Don Asbee of Asbee Metal Studios in Hartsburg Missouri came up with this shop-made twister for twisting large stock. Space is limited in his shop, so he mounted it on wheels and made it so it will pivot to a vertical position for storage. He demonstrates how to twist 2” heavy wall tubing with his twister.

The double block on the left in the photo is probably the product of a rural American blacksmith who made it in a time when many depended on local craftsmen for their needs. It exemplifies the ingenuity of local blacksmiths serving small communities. The most interesting feature of the original block is the way in which the eye wraps around the yoke. In this feature, an attempt is made to replicate the techniques used in making the block. It’s interesting to note that the pulleys are cast iron and appear to be original. Refer to issue 33 for information on how to forge handmade pulleys.