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Blacksmithing from a woodworkers perspective #9: Hot cutter - from bricklayers hammer

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Blog entry by mafe posted 05-22-2019 08:46 PM 1188 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 8: Swan neck carving gouge - from tractor rake spring steel Part 9 of Blacksmithing from a woodworkers perspective series Part 10: Hardy tools DIY - tools for bending and making shoulders »

Hot cutter
from bricklayers hammer

It’s time to make some updates on my blacksmithing for woodworkers series, have a load of stuff, that was never posted, so I’ll try and get up to date again, by posting some of all that happened, show some of the tools I made for the blacksmithing and also some of the projects made and how to do it.

I’ll start by the tools for blacksmithing.
There are a few basic tools one should get or make, besides your hammer and tongs.

When we want to work in metal, we need a way to cut it, this can be don by sawing or with an angel grinder, but also with a hou cutter.
A hot cutter is basically just a sharp edge of hard steel, where you cut your heted metal over, by hammering.
Why? It’s easy, it takes less energy and time than sawing and no noise and dirt from the angel grinder.
So a clean hot cut.


What you need is some tool steel and then shape a cutter – or if you don’t have steel in those dimensions you can do as I did, but a cheap bricklayer hammer and shape it up.


Sharpen one side, you might want to curve it a little too.


We have a hot cutter! I’ll explain more. ;-)
Keep the handle, for if you want to use it as a hand held cutter, perhaps even with a friend hammering.


Let’s test it.
We start by heating some metal.


Then put it over the cutter and use your hammer to beat it, once 2/3 through, then turn and beat some more.
Before you are all the way through, stop so you don’t hammer on the cutter and simply break off the piece.
(Sorry for the out of focus picture, it’s not easy to take photos and do this).


You see, that’s it.
Easy as nothing.


On my old anvil, I just clamped it to the side like this.


But on the new anvil, I wanted it to go into the hardy hole.
(The square hole in the anvil top – made for holding tools).
So I shaped up the head, to fit the hole, on my anvil it’s an inch by inch hole, app. 2,5×2,5 cm.


Here you see the hole and the hot cutter.
(The round hole can be used for other tools also, but that will be in a later blog).


Like this I have two hand free for the job and it’s fast to take it on and off.
I just left the handle in.


Then it can easily be used like this also.
You should put some soft metal under the metal you cut, when using it like this.
Then you don’t risk doing damage to the tool or anvil.


Just for the joy and to prevent rust, I gave it a coat of spray paint.


That’s it, and that’s that.

I have used it a lot by now and it works perfectly well.

If your budget is really low, then an old masonry chisel, can also be converted easily into the same tool, I have one I use for tasks, where I need precision.

Hope this post can inspire others to make their own tools, after all this is why I take a detour out the black road now.

Best thoughts,

Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.



10 comments so far

View lew's profile

lew

12768 posts in 4143 days


#1 posted 05-22-2019 10:08 PM

I really wish I had room for this type of metal working. It has always fascinated me.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View mafe's profile

mafe

12050 posts in 3477 days


#2 posted 05-22-2019 10:25 PM

Hi Lew, the basic can be done with almost no room and a really low price.
Here a few ideas:
Basic tools:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_f3hQqNM6Q
Basic forge on the cheap:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIRTcmR6sSk
Basic real forge:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TS7wumQt0s8
Backyard coal forge:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fuk7Lw_uV5s
Feel free to ask if you get started.
I personally love my little devil forge http://devil-forge.com/ they make some fine beginner forges.
Big smile my friend,
Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

22670 posts in 3493 days


#3 posted 05-22-2019 11:31 PM

Hi Mads. I could sure use that now. I have some pieces of O-1 steel to harden and I think they are too big to use my acetylene torch on to keep the whole edge cherry red before quenching in oil.

Nice way to make a cutter for your anvil!!

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View anthm27's profile

anthm27

864 posts in 1498 days


#4 posted 05-23-2019 12:38 AM

Nice One,
Yer, great old trade that is a quick dying art, (at least in Australia anyways) Its become hard to even get a horse shoed down there.
Is that furnace your using electric?
Kind Regards
Anthm

EDIT: you’ve inspired me to post some metal work I did recently, I,ve never posted it on projects because it wasn’t wood. I,ll do a blog on it later, I,ll be interested to see what you think.

View Don W's profile

Don W

19206 posts in 2956 days


#5 posted 05-23-2019 09:59 AM

Excellent work as usual.

-- http://timetestedtools.net - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Sylvain's profile

Sylvain

826 posts in 2887 days


#6 posted 05-23-2019 01:42 PM

“Its become hard to even get a horse shoed down there.”

We have a renowned school in Belgium.

You will notice that horse shoeing needs more study and practice (2440 hours) then blacksmith (880 hours) .

The first is a kind of podiatrist.

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View lew's profile

lew

12768 posts in 4143 days


#7 posted 05-24-2019 07:43 PM



Hi Lew, the basic can be done with almost no room and a really low price.
Here a few ideas:
Basic tools:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_f3hQqNM6Q
Basic forge on the cheap:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIRTcmR6sSk
Basic real forge:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TS7wumQt0s8
Backyard coal forge:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fuk7Lw_uV5s
Feel free to ask if you get started.
I personally love my little devil forge http://devil-forge.com/ they make some fine beginner forges.
Big smile my friend,
Mads

- mafe

Thanks, Mads!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View mafe's profile

mafe

12050 posts in 3477 days


#8 posted 05-25-2019 10:51 AM

Hi,
Lew, you are welcome. Smiles.
Sylvain, interesting. We say that to master a craft, you need 10.000 hours of practice, some trades have short school and long training, others long school and short training, at the end it’s a matter of muscle memory, talent, aesthetics and creativity, before we can master something.
Don, thank you.
anthm27, more and more people here are interested in the old trades, these years, so we have a flowering of this now, but mostly as hobby. My forge is a small gas forge, Devilforge is the company – I love it, here in my small workshop. Yes you should post it, I think as long as it’s wood related, it must be fine we post blacksmithing also.
Jim, you are the man to buid a small forge! I know you can build anything. Smiles.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Sylvain's profile

Sylvain

826 posts in 2887 days


#9 posted 05-25-2019 07:57 PM

blacksmith might be creative, etc.
horse shoeing is not solely a skill matter, it is about horse problem diagnostic/compensation and the horse remaining fit for the job (workhorse, racing horse, ....). That’why it is much longer.
I was under the impression that anthm27 was considering horse shoeing minor in comparison to blacksmith.
It is a different trade even if there are common techniques.

Of course those people will continue to learn and gain experience after those 2440 hours/ 880 hours.
Note that workhorse horseshoeing is an extra course (120 hours).

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View mafe's profile

mafe

12050 posts in 3477 days


#10 posted 05-27-2019 09:20 AM

Ahhhh I had no idea about this, always interesting to learn new.
Thank you.
Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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