Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • paul wheaton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
stewards:
  • Mike Jay
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Devaka Cooray
garden masters:
  • Steve Thorn
  • Dave Burton
  • Dan Boone
gardeners:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Mandy Launchbury-Rainey
  • Mike Barkley

Metal working badge brainstorming

 
Posts: 1444
Location: Fennville MI
41
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
I think this needs to be broken into two basic categories right off
Cold working and hot working.

Cold working is most of tournament metal work and includes cutting and grinding skills as well as bending and forming and joining by crimping, riveting, bolts, or screws. Minimal if any use of heat for working the metal.

Hot working includes black smithing and all the forms of welding, plus the hot forming of sheet metal.

Making a knife from an old file might be a good hot working project.

Making a watering trough might be a good cold working project.

Making your own forge would be an example of an advanced hot working project. (That would actually not use much in the way of hot working skills, but is really a basic skill for a blacksmith)

A solar oven might be an example of a more advanced cold working project.

You could combine the two for shovels and spades.
 
pollinator
Posts: 532
Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
54
fungi gear trees chicken bike building woodworking wood heat homestead ungarbage
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
Good intro thoughts, Peter.

Peter Ellis wrote:I think this needs to be broken into two basic categories right off
Cold working and hot working.
...
Hot working includes black smithing and all the forms of welding, plus the hot forming of sheet metal.


Just wanted to add that hot working, besides welding, can: a) be done without forge; b) be done with a torch. For certain applications, those who do not have a forge or ready access to one via a neighbor or something can make do. I use an oxy-acetylene (O/A) setup for this - but other oxy-fuel setups (oxygen-propane, oxygen-gasolene, etc) are sometimes used. I use the torch, a vise, hammers, tongs, pliers, etc with flat-bar stock, round-bar, etc. For some shaping I'll put a piece of pipe firmly into my vise and bang the yellow-hot metal around that, since I have no anvil horn. I have no anvil at all, but I do have a 20" section of large I-beam and a shorter section of railroad rail.

Still a forge is desirable if you can acquire or build one. It's the capital investment for a moderate size forge that has stopped me. Acetylene is kinda expensive to use with the torch, but it's also involves ongoing expense when most guys these days seem to use propane to run their forges - not that you have to (coal, oxygen-charged charcoal, etc). With a forge you have the cost of buying it or building it, plus it requires some room in the shop or shed, plus cost for the fuel. So I use my torch.
 
gardener
Posts: 757
Location: south central VA 7B
104
forest garden fungi trees books bee solar
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
I don't know if seperating it would really be beneficial since both approaches are often used on 1 piece. Many times you start hot and finish cold.
 
Posts: 151
Location: Hudson Valley, NY
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for getting this started Peter!
 
Peter Ellis
Posts: 1444
Location: Fennville MI
41
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
I think it important to keep them separate. Feedback helps make my point .

For example, I cannot think of an example where hot work is involved in making ductwork. You don't need hot work for roofing or making gutters. Stock tanks can be made with no hotwork.

Hot work does not require a forge, quite true. To my knowledge most hot forming of sheet metal is done using torches, for several reasons. It is typically bar and round stock where a forge comes into its own.

Hammer skills cross over and can be learned either way, but adjusting for the different way metals behave under the hammer when hot or cold is a skill set itself. Likewise, when working hot you need to know when to stop and reheat and when working cold you need to be aware of work hardening.

Sure they overlap. I think they are different enough to treat separately. Out in the world the trades certainly break it out into lots of pieces.
 
master steward
Posts: 27845
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
Now that we have declared sand badges for a lot of aspects, we now need to flesh out the sand badge for metal working.   So I am hoping that this thread can be for brainstorming.

What we need is artifacts.  So we can say "weld up a trailer" but not "do some welding."  I think the first post in this thread is off to a great start!   So one of the suggestions in the first post is make a knife from an old file.  Maybe ...

sand badge:  make a crappy knife out of something that is not currently a knife
  (and we might suggest four or five different recipes)

straw badge:   make a pretty good knife out of something that is not currently a knife



Making a watering trough might be a good cold working project.  



Which metal would this be made out of?



A solar oven might be an example of a more advanced cold working project.



Good one!   Are there some youtube vids of people doing this?



What might be a sand badge level welding project?


The knife project would have quite a bit of grinding.  Maybe we could require getting some experience with using a plasma cutter?


What might be a riveting project?


One thing I'm thinking of is that if we end up hosting about 3 PEP1 events each year, we might end up accumulating a lot of whatever is in the sand badge.  So maybe we need to think about what we might need a lot of.  

We could also do something like "Archie list" where we define three to twelve projects that are all about similar duration and people learn that same basic stuff.  And in the sand badge we say "complete one".   And in the straw badge we say "complete the Archie list" or "complete three more things from the Archie list".   So it could be good to have a list that features really small and quick welding projects.




 
gardener
Posts: 2377
Location: Central Texas zone 8a
378
cattle chicken bee sheep
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
Here are ideas to get started:

Weld a trailer hitch to a tractor implement
Weld a chain clevis to a tractor bucket
Weld 2 flat pieces together flat (butted) at least 4" long
Weld 2 pieces at 90 degrees. At least 4" long

Forging:cold
Make knife from something not a knife. Handle not required? Search carbon contents for applicable metals (circ saw blade, handsaw blade, file) shaping only? Quenching required?

Forging hot

Maybe baby steps. So many processes or experiences to "make a knife"

Bring metal up to temperature. Hammer it into something ugly that looks like nothing useable.it should be thinner that what you started with.

Quench something (harden it). Reqires heating until magnet doesnt stick to it. Dunk in quenching liquid. Test that file glides over it vs "grabbing"

Heat metal and fold it. Finished product should be thicker than what you started with.

Make a grab handle out of rebar. Flatten ends. Arch rebar. Drill holes in flat end (drill vs forge?)

Put hole in metal by heating, then hammering into hot metal with a round chisel.
 
pollinator
Posts: 869
Location: Virginia USDA 7a/b
154
hugelkultur forest garden hunting chicken food preservation bee
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
I would think sand badge level tasks might also include repurposing or improving something. So instead of having a bunch of new stuff you might for instance end up with a repair/resharpening of shovels, picks, or other tools for a cold project. Just thinking hammer<grinder<lathe/press in terms of advanced skill. Hot project might include making angled pipe from straight pipe for a tunnel or other frame. Less advanced hot project would be welding a broadfork out of a pitchfork. More advanced might be replacing the pinions or attachment points on your excavation gear for hot.

These are tasks I am having to learn, and once you have the skill developed a little on a small project,you are more comfortable using the tool in an integrated project.  And you learn when you really "need" another piece of kit versus just MacGuyvering something with your existing setup.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 27845
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
The "tool care" badge already has a lot of sharpening and stuff.    So I'm thinking that metal working is going to be more about fabricating stuff.  Maybe fabricating a tool which then needs a LOT of sharpening in the tool care stuff.
 
pollinator
Posts: 152
53
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
One simple thing might be to make a center punch.  This would involve cutting some sort of tool steel bar stock, grinding down an end to a point, and hardening/tempering it.  It's a simple basic tool that I use all the time for making circular disks or marking a spot where I'm going to drill.

Another basic tool would be to make tongs.  A short blacksmithing workshop I once had in college with a visiting artist we all made a pair of tongs.  Fairly simple, but I did need to learn a bit about how to hit the metal to make it bend in the right directions so the two ends would meet up.  I still use that set I made, though they are truly crappy, ugly tongs.

For riveting I like another simple project for a different type of tongs.  I'm a metalsmith working mostly in non-ferrous metals where we use what's called the pickle to clean our metal.  Copper tongs are generally used in the pickle since any sort of steel will cause a reaction that plates all the metal in the pickle with copper.  (fellow students who have silver pieces in the pickle get really pissed off at you when you do that!)  Anyway, these tongs are basically two pieces of work hardened copper riveted at one end.  I'm regularly dismayed at how many people pay way too much money to buy inferior copper tongs when making these should really be a basic beginner project students could do on the first day of class.  It's too late in the day now, but perhaps later I'll go out to the studio and shoot a photo of mine so you get a better idea of what I'm talking about.
 
pollinator
Posts: 312
Location: Greybull WY north central WY zone 4 bordering on 3
43
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
You are mixing hard stuff with simple stuff.  For example a simple hitch welded to a mild steel frame is a fairly simple operation.  But a complicated hitch welded to a medium or high carbon steel frame is a completely different ball of wax.  There again welding high carbon hooks to a medium carbon bucket or high carbon cutting edges is a higher skill operation while welding low grade hooks to a mild steel bucket is lower skill.  Plus these are high risk skills if done poorly.

Cold forming a water tank without real tools is a fairly difficult operation.   With a hammer and a sand bag it is possible but real effort.  In a fully equipped shop it is a nothing operation.  How are you measuring this?

Hardening a high carbon steel is simply a matter of turning it bright yellow hot and quenching.  Anyone with access to a heat source capable of that can do it.  The metal will be hard but it will also be completely brittle.  Controlling the quench and the draw afterward is where the art lies.  So there again how are you measuring it?  For knives an example would be hammering the knife thru a mild steel object like a nail without damaging the cutting edge.

There again welding covers a huge range  forge welds, Gas welds, MIG welds, stick welds, TIG welds as well as soldering and brazing to have on the list.  So how are you doing the welds and how are you testing them?  If I take a low power MIG I can make a weld that looks pretty but I can literally chip the weld intact out with a chipping hammer.  Just making the bead is a small skill.  Making a bead that has good qualities is a different measure.  There again equipment matters.  Making a a stick weld with 2 car batteries, a pair of vice grips and 2 pairs of jumper cables is completely different than a modern inverter welder with high frequency start.

The center punch is a little clearer.  But even there equipment matters.  On the lathe it is really easy.  In the drill to the grinder it is fairly easy and freehand on the grinder it is tougher.  But it is easy to clearly test afterward.  Too hard and the point shatters and too soft and the point mushrooms when used.  10 or 20 solid dimples in mild steel with an intact point is a clear test.
 
steward
Posts: 2141
Location: Sunshine Coast, BC
612
hugelkultur forest garden fungi trees books chicken bee
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
I know so little about metal working that I'm reluctant to chip in with my two cent's worth. But as it's my job to do so . . . I will.

Paul wants to get the Sand Badge nailed down first. So let's concentrate on that.

In my uninitiated mind, I envision the Sand Badge tasks to not involve welders or forges or other big honkin' equipment that the average person doesn't have. I'd like it to be something accessible to most people. But I don't know what that would entail!

Any ideas for something that can be made with some pieces of metal, and maybe a hammer? :)

We need a list of tasks for the Sand Badge, so Paul and Shawn can move forward with the Kickstarter. Help!
 
master steward
Posts: 15036
Location: Left Coast Canada
3362
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
I would like to see a project that creates a gate latch
 
Tracy Wandling
steward
Posts: 2141
Location: Sunshine Coast, BC
612
hugelkultur forest garden fungi trees books chicken bee
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
I would like to see a project that builds something artsy, or for the garden - trellis for peas and beans; garden art; weather vane.
 
David Huang
pollinator
Posts: 152
53
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
I've been thinking about making a quick illustrated how to post for creating a basic pair of tongs for my blog.  I know I suggested this as a beginning level project earlier in this thread.  Hopefully I'll have this done soon and link to the post here.
 
steward
Posts: 4374
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
1088
hunting trees books food preservation solar woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
Making a set of tongs is a great sand level project.  I've made really basic ones with two pieces of flat bar.  Drill a hole through them for the pivot point.  Rivet them together.  Twist the grabby part 90 degrees so it can hold something.  Draw out the handles to be round and longer.  

Involves heating and smacking with a hammer (charcoal grill could heat it up in a pinch, anvil or rock to pound on).  Cutting pieces to size.  Drilling is great experience (oil to cut with, working up through the drill sizes).  Making a rivet is great (1/4" round stock piece, heat up with torch or in the grill, insert and smack to mushroom it).  Drawing out the handles is also a key task to learn.

Once it's all done, you have a tool and can make 10 that are better to hold various size pieces of metal for black and blade smithing.  I'd guess it would take 2 hours if you have the stuff together.  

My start at a Sand badge (4 hours of work??) is:

  • Make a crappy pair of tongs
  • Make a crappy knife from an old file or railroad spike
  • Make some spirally pretty metal art from copper tubing and some other pretty bits and bobs
  • Maybe make a leaf on the anvil from round steel.  It's a basic blacksmithing starter project but you'd really want an anvil to do it with.

  • Straw badge could introduce welding (use two different methods), soldering and torching since that requires fancier equipment.  I consider anything with hitches or moving equipment that is intended for the highway to be a much higher level badge.
     
    paul wheaton
    master steward
    Posts: 27845
    Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Report post to moderator
    A lot of really excellent ideas here.  

    I feel like sand badge is going to have several lists.

    Tiny weld list - something to get experience with a mig welder or stick welder.   Something less than a half hour.
       - project
       - project
       - project
       - project
       - project
       - project
       - project

    And then we say "select one from this list."  The trick is to come up with, say, six different little welding projects.  


    Tiny "tin" list
      - make a dozen garden labels from aluminum pop cans
             o each label
                   - is 2 inches by 1 inch
                   - has a hole
                   - has no sharp edges
      - project
      - project
      - project



    Tiny "grind" list
      - make a keychain label
            o 1 inch by 1/2 inch
            o 1/8 inch thick metal (+/-)
            o ground to have smooth, round edges
            o a hole for the key ring
            o alpha-stamp a word or name
            o polish surfaces
      - project
      - project
      - project


    we have several j-tubes here - maybe we should try to use them as a forge like ernie and erica did in dvd 4 of WBS2.   And then we can heat up a chunk of metal and start to mash it into something

    ----

    here are a list of possible experiences.   These are not BBs, but just gawking at the list might give us some ideas for BBs

    plasma cutter

    drill a hole

    polish

    welding project

    cutting project

    tap and die

    forge project

    cut metal with a grinding disk (angle grinder)

    cut metal with a metal chop saw

    bending sheet metal with a brake

    putting a sharp edge on blunt metal  (bench grinder)

    stamp lettering onto metal

    “tin” projects (folding thin metal)

    riveting




     
    paul wheaton
    master steward
    Posts: 27845
    Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Report post to moderator
    maybe there are some good youtube vids or pages (or permies threads?) that contain projects that would fit here for sand badge?

     
    Mike Jay
    steward
    Posts: 4374
    Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
    1088
    hunting trees books food preservation solar woodworking
    • Likes 2
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Report post to moderator
    Cool, we have a framework we can pile stuff onto.

    Tiny weld list:
  • Weld two pieces of metal together
  • Weld up a broad fork (this might be too big for a BB but would be an awesome project at some level)
  • Weld up a crack in a tool

  • Tiny tin list:
  • Make a scoop for grain, chicken feed, wood stove ash removal, kitty litter, etc
  • Make a whirly gig pinwheel to scare birds from the garden
  • Make a spiral tin wind spinner (vertical axis) for beauty and bird scaring
  • Put a tin or metal roof on a tiny building (pump house, dog house, smoke house)

  • Tiny grind list:
  • Sharpen a tool (shared BB with tool care)
  • Cut off a piece of metal with cut of wheel
  • Grind an old file into a crude knife
  • Use sanding wheel or grinding wheel  to remove rust from something
  • Sharpen a drill bit with a bench grinder
  •  
    pollinator
    Posts: 282
    Location: Boston, Massachusetts
    69
    urban books building solar rocket stoves ungarbage
    • Likes 3
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Report post to moderator
    On the forge/blacksmithing front... I've got a lot of experience to share. I'll have to do more later with links and stuff...(at work now)
    Since forges have been mentioned...
    There are a bunch of "tiny forge" ideas, the simplest being an assembly of firebricks and a standard propane plumber's torch.
    This is super accessible since the torch may already exist in your kit, so even 2 bricks and some wire gets you running...
    It works for small projects like shaping a knife and chisels and for heat treating them.

    The concept can be scaled up with more bricks and larger burners, allowing heavier work or more volumetric work.

    More later...
     
    Kenneth Elwell
    pollinator
    Posts: 282
    Location: Boston, Massachusetts
    69
    urban books building solar rocket stoves ungarbage
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Report post to moderator
    So, I began a reply last night, which made me realize how large a rabbit hole I could dig...

    If one searches "two brick forge" lots of images and videos pop up, similarly with "coffee can forge" which uses a castable refractory.

    This video, from Essential Craftsman on YouTube, shows another very approachable and larger forge build along the same lines.


    Another of his videos about anvils, sums up using a quality tool vs. an inferior tool vs. no tool at all...
     
    Kenneth Elwell
    pollinator
    Posts: 282
    Location: Boston, Massachusetts
    69
    urban books building solar rocket stoves ungarbage
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Report post to moderator
    One of the amazing things about forging/blacksmithing is that so much is possible, and so many other trades rely on the blacksmith to have tools, equipment, and hardware to go to work.
    It can become, for a maker, a tool enthusiast, an endless occupation...

    From a PEP/homesteading standpoint, there are projects that can be made that are both useful, and decorative, custom-fit, and skill/appreciation building, without falling into the hole of creating a full blacksmith's shop from scratch. (maybe that's for the IRON- iron badge? make your own blacksmith's shop to make an iron badge in...)

    A forge and an anvil would be required. a vise is handy.
    Tongs would be nice, but pliers and vise-grips will do fine, better in fact if you only had one set of the wrong size/shape tongs.
    Hammers: sledges or ball pein will work, but a cross pein hammer would be best. a wood mallet is also handy.

    Project ideas to make:
    hardware for around the house: hooks, latches, shelf braces, plant hanger, fancy garden stake, barbeque fork and spatula
    hardware for a house: nails, strap hinges, door latch, door handle, knocker (basically everything needed for a door)
    small tools (including heat treat): center punch, cold chisel, knife, wood chisel and/or drawknife (+make wood handles)
    shaping barstock: twist a flat bar at least 1/4" x 3/4" section (maybe it is a bracket between two things 90 degrees apart?), make a ring, make a "U" shape or an "omega" shape like a pipe hanger/log bracket
     
    paul wheaton
    master steward
    Posts: 27845
    Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Report post to moderator

    Mike Jay wrote:Tiny weld list:

  • Weld two pieces of metal together


  • Would much prefer some sort of tiny project.  Even better, a list of tiny projects.


  • Weld up a broad fork (this might be too big for a BB but would be an awesome project at some level)


  • About the right size for a straw badge BB.


  • Weld up a crack in a tool


  • Maybe if there is a long list, this could be on the list!  Otherwise, it sorta suggest people need to go break shovels to get the BB.  But if it is a long list of possible small repairs, and there are a few things that are made from scratch, then this would be a really good one!


     
    Mike Jay
    steward
    Posts: 4374
    Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
    1088
    hunting trees books food preservation solar woodworking
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Report post to moderator
    Yeah, I was struggling to think of a welding project that was common and needed.  Versus just  a make-work type of thing.  Since it's PEP, it would be nice if the artifacts were useful to you guys.

    Oh, maybe weld up a shelf bracket.  Or a hanging plant bracket.  Or a bird feeder hanging bracket.  

    Per Kenneth's videos, how about making a tiny forge as a Sand level BB.  Then you can use it in Straw...
     
    Kenneth Elwell
    pollinator
    Posts: 282
    Location: Boston, Massachusetts
    69
    urban books building solar rocket stoves ungarbage
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Report post to moderator
    Weld a small metal table (welding table)
    made from L and/or square tube stock
    4 legs with pad feet
    "H" or an "X" stretcher
    apron (of L material) with legs facing out from legs for easy clamping of work near edges.
    top could be 1/4" plate or heavier
    alternate top could be bar grating (fire escape stuff) for torch cutting
    alternate top in-fill space inside the apron (50%) with parallel L stock, to create slots for clamps to fit anywhere

    Weld a pair of sawhorses (pair means equal, not just two...)
    made from square and/or round tube (use square for top, alternate top could be 2 L bars or channel)
    "A-frame" legs with pad feet
    top same height as welding table?

    Weld a work stand
    made of round tubes, round bar, nut and bolt
    "T" shape top part
    3 legs in a tripod shape, with round bar stretchers (legs may meet floor at an angle or be bent to sit squarely on the floor)
    center tube (larger than others, a slip fit), in between the legs at the top of the tripod, with a nut welded over a hole in the tube
    bolt holds "T" top at desired height (bolt may be long and bent in an L or weld on a "T" handle, so a wrench is not needed)
     
    paul wheaton
    master steward
    Posts: 27845
    Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Report post to moderator
    Kenneth, do you have a pic of what you have in mind for "work stand"?
     
    Mike Jay
    steward
    Posts: 4374
    Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
    1088
    hunting trees books food preservation solar woodworking
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Report post to moderator
    My guess is it's a tripod with a vertically adjustable pipe topped with a cross bar or plate.  For holding the long end of wood at the chop saw, just holding something up, etc.  Like a simpler version of this:
     
    Kenneth Elwell
    pollinator
    Posts: 282
    Location: Boston, Massachusetts
    69
    urban books building solar rocket stoves ungarbage
    • Likes 2
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Report post to moderator
    Why yes, yes I do have a picture...

    a tripod stand

    I described one with stretchers between the legs, which can be helpful if you want to weigh it down, as a place to stack some weights.
    A couple of options for different top parts include; rollers (like a rolling pin) or ball transfers (ball bearing in a socket, allows any direction movement), and a "V" or a stirrup top (keeps pipes from rolling off)
     
    David Huang
    pollinator
    Posts: 152
    53
    • Likes 4
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Report post to moderator
    I don't know if this will be of any worth to the metal working badge or not, but I finally sat down and created a tutorial for making a simple set of copper tongs which I just posted on my new blog.  Keeping potential use by Permies in mind while I did it, I tried to keep the tool use limited to basic readily available equipment rather than specialty stuff.  I also tried to keep the jargon to a minimum.  It's designed to introduce a beginner to some very basics of forging, and cold connecting with rivets.  It does not require the use of fire and the materials can be readily found at most big box home improvement stores.  Here's a link to the blog entry if you want to check it out.  https://theartisthomestead.com/copper-tongs-a-simple-beginner-project/
    Tongs-25.JPG
    [Thumbnail for Tongs-25.JPG]
    The finished set of copper tongs.
     
    David Huang
    pollinator
    Posts: 152
    53
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Report post to moderator
    I think another useful metal working project for a PEP badge could be to make some sort of "kindling cracker" type firewood splitter. It's been talked about here in other areas of the forums but here is a link to it on Amazon to clarify what I'm talking about if you don't know.  (I'm set up with their associate program so this is an affiliate link.  Feel free to delete this post if you think it's out of line.  I'm really proposing we make them not buy them!)  https://amzn.to/2OicJwG

    I plan to try making one at some point, soon I hope.  A friend just got a welder so I will probably make mine a basic welding project, but I had worked out some rough ideas how to do it with cold connections too, basically parts held together with nuts and bolts.

    This seems like a very useful tool for anyone with a rocket mass heater, and I would hope those seriously interested in getting PEP certified would end up making some sort of rocket thing even if it's just an outdoor rocket oven.  
     
    paul wheaton
    master steward
    Posts: 27845
    Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Report post to moderator

    Kenneth Elwell wrote:Why yes, yes I do have a picture...

    a tripod stand

    I described one with stretchers between the legs, which can be helpful if you want to weigh it down, as a place to stack some weights.
    A couple of options for different top parts include; rollers (like a rolling pin) or ball transfers (ball bearing in a socket, allows any direction movement), and a "V" or a stirrup top (keeps pipes from rolling off)



    I think this is a good project for straw badge or higher.
     
    paul wheaton
    master steward
    Posts: 27845
    Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Report post to moderator

    David Huang wrote:I don't know if this will be of any worth to the metal working badge or not, but I finally sat down and created a tutorial for making a simple set of copper tongs which I just posted on my new blog.  Keeping potential use by Permies in mind while I did it, I tried to keep the tool use limited to basic readily available equipment rather than specialty stuff.  I also tried to keep the jargon to a minimum.  It's designed to introduce a beginner to some very basics of forging, and cold connecting with rivets.  It does not require the use of fire and the materials can be readily found at most big box home improvement stores.  Here's a link to the blog entry if you want to check it out.  https://theartisthomestead.com/copper-tongs-a-simple-beginner-project/



    Excellent sand badge project!
     
    paul wheaton
    master steward
    Posts: 27845
    Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Report post to moderator

    David Huang wrote:I think another useful metal working project for a PEP badge could be to make some sort of "kindling cracker" type firewood splitter. It's been talked about here in other areas of the forums but here is a link to it on Amazon to clarify what I'm talking about if you don't know.  (I'm set up with their associate program so this is an affiliate link.  Feel free to delete this post if you think it's out of line.  I'm really proposing we make them not buy them!)  https://amzn.to/2OicJwG

    I plan to try making one at some point, soon I hope.  A friend just got a welder so I will probably make mine a basic welding project, but I had worked out some rough ideas how to do it with cold connections too, basically parts held together with nuts and bolts.

    This seems like a very useful tool for anyone with a rocket mass heater, and I would hope those seriously interested in getting PEP certified would end up making some sort of rocket thing even if it's just an outdoor rocket oven.  



    I own that one, and I bought this bigger one:


    https://amzn.to/2JApSCQ

    I gotta say that after a winter of having both, the little one seems a bit of a waste.  The bigger one is the way to fly!

    But we could use a lot of these here!  It would be excellent as a project!  What if the design could have many elements of metal working all built into one.   Some welding, some cutting, some grinding ...






     
    David Huang
    pollinator
    Posts: 152
    53
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Report post to moderator

    paul wheaton wrote:

    David Huang wrote:I think another useful metal working project for a PEP badge could be to make some sort of "kindling cracker" type firewood splitter. It's been talked about here in other areas of the forums but here is a link to it on Amazon to clarify what I'm talking about if you don't know.  (I'm set up with their associate program so this is an affiliate link.  Feel free to delete this post if you think it's out of line.  I'm really proposing we make them not buy them!)  https://amzn.to/2OicJwG

    I plan to try making one at some point, soon I hope.  A friend just got a welder so I will probably make mine a basic welding project, but I had worked out some rough ideas how to do it with cold connections too, basically parts held together with nuts and bolts.

    This seems like a very useful tool for anyone with a rocket mass heater, and I would hope those seriously interested in getting PEP certified would end up making some sort of rocket thing even if it's just an outdoor rocket oven.  



    I own that one, and I bought this bigger one:


    https://amzn.to/2JApSCQ

    I gotta say that after a winter of having both, the little one seems a bit of a waste.  The bigger one is the way to fly!

    But we could use a lot of these here!  It would be excellent as a project!  What if the design could have many elements of metal working all built into one.   Some welding, some cutting, some grinding ...








    I admit I was thinking the little one was too limited and was planning on making mine larger.  The project as I expect it to go if I do it via the welding route would involved cutting to get the parts, some basic bending to form the top "cage", and some grinding to make the blade.  I worry the blade I have planned won't be thick enough to split the wood wide enough apart.  If not then I'll deal with that when I get there.  I'm not exactly sure when I'll be able to get to this but I'll be sure to document the making of it so I can put together another tutorial as I want to encourage others to both have rocket mass heaters and learn how to make tools.  In the ideal world I'd be welding the parts next weekend, but I don't know my "real" work load is piling up too.
     
    paul wheaton
    master steward
    Posts: 27845
    Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Report post to moderator
    David,

    I think you are on to an excellent project.  It is possible that this could become 80% of the sand badge.  I guess it depends on how it is done.

    A few I found on the tube:





    this one has a lot less metal.   I think it needs to be attached to a big chunk of wood.



     
    Joel Bercardin
    pollinator
    Posts: 532
    Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
    54
    fungi gear trees chicken bike building woodworking wood heat homestead ungarbage
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Report post to moderator
    This has been a fascinating discussion, interesting to see it unfold.  I kept thinking I might have something to contribute, but I can't remember what aspects I learned first or tasks/projects I did first.
     
    David Huang
    pollinator
    Posts: 152
    53
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Report post to moderator
    Thanks for those video links Paul.  Just seeing one in action helps me understand what I'm going to attempt to build better, and why certain parts are there.  Essentially it's a splitting blade mounted upright.  It has to be high enough up for the wood to fully move down through it and fall away.  The upper cage I was initially seeing just as a useful bit for supporting the wood in place to be hit with the hammer.  It does do this, but another critical feature of it is that of safety.  It provides a stop for the hammer swing through once the wood splits and shoots down.  Thus it needs to be at least as high up from the working edge of the blade as the length of the hammer head to be used.  It also needs to be strong enough to take a bit of a hammer hit.  The fellow who made the short video of his essentially wooden one really has a very dangerous tool yet!!!  The wooden part can work fine but without that upper cage to stop the swing through of the hammer, or wooden mallet in his case, there is great risk you might slip and somehow slam your hand right down on that sharp upright blade!  I have to imagine that would be just as bad as putting an axe into your leg!
     
    paul wheaton
    master steward
    Posts: 27845
    Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Report post to moderator
    Yeah, I had the thought of "you don't need the ring" for about a second.   And then all the reasons to have the ring hit me.  The ring is very important.
     
    Kenneth Elwell
    pollinator
    Posts: 282
    Location: Boston, Massachusetts
    69
    urban books building solar rocket stoves ungarbage
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Report post to moderator
    Yeah, after I watched the wooden cracker video, another was cued up to play afterwards... of a guy taking an old bearded axe, removing the handle,  and welding some ears for bolts onto the poll, and bolting it to a stump. Oh, and he sharpened it.
    THAT  made the wooden cracker look like a candidate for a safety award!!

    A few thoughts:
    The rebar ones make nice fabrication projects. Possibly improved by making the top "ring" round like the "store bought" ones...
    Both for learning to made a ring shape (possible to do cold around a pipe or post, or with a "U" shaped tool in a vise by creeping along), and for no corners to crack your knuckles on...

    What about using an axe head or two for the blade? There seem to be many discarded ones with broken handles... It's got a ready-made shape.

    The rebar ones have a rebar at the base of the blade, both for strength and width for splitting, how about an angle section with the corner pointed up and welded to the blade?


    Another thought:
    Paul, how's that wall-mounted lever splitter working out for you? That seems like another easy fabrication job.
     
    I'm still in control here. LOOK at this tiny ad!
    Taylor&Zach’s Bootcamp Journey
    https://permies.com/t/115886/permaculture-projects/Taylor-Zach-Bootcamp-Journey
      Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
    • New Topic
    Boost this thread!