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Issue 36 begins with two very different collars, each having unconventional characteristics. The first one is based on the “cut and bend” technique shown last month. The second one is fabricated and offers more design flexibility.

The same cut-and-bend technique used for the collars is used for a door pull. Creating a shoulder at the bend allows a logical end for the groove down the center of the handle. The same is true for the diagonal cuts that extend from the groove to the edge of the bar.

This project is inspired by the annual Ozark blacksmiths’ conference held in Missouri. Every year marks another forging contest—a timed event to test blacksmithing skills. This year it’s forging a dipper out of ½” square, and the one that holds the most water wins. Contest dippers are expected to be rather crude given the time limit (7 minutes). The one shown in Issue 136 starts out the same, but ends up considerably more refined.

Our hillside shop doesn't have to have a wooden floor, it could have a suspended or back filled concrete floor instead. However the attractiveness of a wooden floor led to solutions for inherent problems. To tame the bounce, a steel beam and post system on which the building is cantilevered supports the anvil, treadle hammer and vise. The fire hazard is addressed by laying aluminum flashing under the floor—this should stop red-hot debris from finding its way through the cracks. Learn more in the May issue.
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