I have been working more on my egg cups this week. I just? I am now happy with the general shape of them. If there is one thing I am a little disappointed about it is that I have lost the thickness created by colquing the edge and then cutting it off.
I started planishing one of the cups. I soon found that there were a few lines still visible in the head of the hammer from the 3D printing. I sanded and polished these out before continuing.
Before planishing the cups I annealed the copper again and drew on lines as I did when raising. I then planished from the inside out twice and I may repeat this again. I am happy with the shine this has created.
I got my first press mould back from the make space this week. I decided I would just print the spoon to begin with as a test. I first used some 0.35mm copper to make sure both the press was strong enough and I can use the thin copper one as a master shape.
I after cutting this out I hammered it flat and used it as a template for a 1mm thick press.
I am happy with both the shape of the handle and the spoon, however the neck is a little thin and I feel I need to plannish this to strengthen it. I may need to make a stake for this as nothing is fitting in the workshop.
I spent some time cleaning up. I think I need to make the shape of the neck a little thinner on the template as this one was overlapping slightly. This will also hardened the metal more but I’m risking loosing strength in the width.
To be continued………..
I have been really enjoying raising metal in the workshop over the last few months. Aside from getting very toned in one arm, there is something very therapeutic about creating objects by hand.
I first cut out two disks 75mm radius. I later had to cut this down by about 12mm so I should have begun with 62-64mm. This means the edge on this piece will be thinner than I would like.
I have almost got them to the shape I like but want to bring in an egg next week to make sure they fit perfectly.
I plan to 3D print and cast matching bases for them.
I have been raising a small water jug which I intend to make into a set with two glasses over the next few weeks.
I used my 3D printed brass hammer to do most of the raising. I wanted to take a similar from to a traditional whisky tumbler only with a small spout.
I finished off the piece with my 3D printed steel texturing hammer which gave an interesting finish.
The last thing I did was hammer in the spout. I used the edge of a hammer to do this. I still have some finishing to do. I’m not entirely happy with the shape around the middle and around the rim.
I feel I may need to make a wooden stake to give me the right shape.
I am planning on 3D printing a base for it to stand as well as a matching handle.
This week I have started to design my cutlery in CAD. I have been thinking about this for a long while and trying to decide weather to hand forge them with my 3D printed hammer or press them. As I have time restraints on the build I decided that pressing them would cut down time in production of a large quantity.
I have played around with shapes and forms and decided to go for something simple but with a twist in the form. The CAD models have taken about 3-4 days of trying to come up with the best forms. I’m the end I used a combination of t-splines and surface modelling. Although the surface modelling took a lot longer I got better results.
I should get the press mold back next week to try the spoon as a test. Then I can make any tweeks I need to make to the design of the mould fore the rest or the range.
Last week my handle for the raising hammer I made in Hungary was CNC milled in birch wood. It had taken quite a lot of time because previously it had been milled in oak. When I spoke to the wood technician he said that the grain of the wood was at an angle and that this would split when used. It brought up a very interesting conversation about the need for craftsmen and traditional crafts skills in the field of modern technologies. Not all items made using modern technologies will work or be better than something handcrafted but that it is the knowledge of both that are needed to apply ideas.
I glued the handle together in the workshop with wood glue and clamped together for around an hour.
When the handle was taken off the milling machine it had supports on the sides, I cut these off with a saw. I then filed and sanded the handle and fixed the hammer head in using epoxy resin.
I am now using Danish oil on the handle every day for the next week. I still have to drill a hole through both the handle and the head to fix a rod through.
Over the last few weeks I have been making a lot of the textiles for the house. I spent a day a few weeks ago learning some new patterns and experimenting.
After trying about 4-5 new designs I decided I would start to make a curtain for the container windows. I went with a very neutral cream colour as I want the main features to be both the view from the windows and the interior.
I have also started making some cushion covers for the living room. I have decided to go with green and cream as a colour theme to reflect the surrounding forest area. I have run with the pleated pattern idea as it is a fairly simple yet effective design.
After crocheting half of one of the covers my crochet needle snapped. I have been using this since November so it wasn’t a bad life span for a piece of 3D printed plastic. I am currently in the process of printing off another one which will take an hour to print. This is much quicker and cheaper than getting the bus to town or ordering one online.
After about 20mins use the hook I printed in low quality broke. I was able to see viably the strands of plastic poking out of the break like frayed string. I then re-printed the hook in high quality which took 2 hours 20mins to print.
I put together the raising hammer mold in exactly the same way as the sea horse mold.I found that at the casting stage of this I had problems.
I think I had placed the hammer too far down and as it was a little larger than the previous hammer, I needed an air hole in there.
I rebuilt the mold in the afternoon, placing the hammer closer to the top of the mold and with two air holes in to draw out the metal.
Later in the evening we went for a second pour.
This time the piece worked really well an I was ready to clean up both my claw hammer and raising hammer.
So right now I am in Mátranovák, Hungary. I have spent the last few days sand casting hammers in brass. The first one I tried was the seahorse claw hammer.
I made the sand casting mold in the usual way. First I compacted the sand into the bottom part of the mold. After scraping the sand flat I roughly carved out a space for the 3D printed hammer.
I compacted the sand flat around the centre line of the print and then coated in talc.
I added the top part of the mold and compacted the sand with a mallet. After reaching over the top line I scraped back the top so it was flat.
I then opened the mold and took out the 3D printed plastic hammer and the tube I used for the pour hole.
I placed the mold back together and clamped the edges.
I then took the mold to the local blacksmith Laci bácsi, who helped me cast the piece in Brass.
He first smashed up lots of pieces of coal into small pieces for the furnace.
He then lit the furnace with some small pieces of wood and then added the coal.
The mold was left close to the furnace to heat a little and was turned after ten minutes to heat the other side.
The metal was left to heat for around 20 minutes before it was liquid enough to pour.
After around five minutes after the pour the metal was solid enough to open the mold.
Laci bácsi and myself were both very happy with the result.
The hammer was quenched in water and I am now left with the task of finishing off the piece.
For the last week I have been trying to get my head around design algorithms. I always thought the products from the effects are great and that the endless design opportunities are really exciting.
For the last thirteen years of using rhino I have always worked in a design led way. I nearly always begin with a sketchbook and pen. I decided I wanted to make at least one piece for my shipping container house whereby I have an initial idea and let the computer work out the details of the design. After spending a few weeks making a cushion cover for my jewellery making stool I decided to recreate the current stool design I have using CAD. I am currently using a Pakistani rushty stool which I love for size weight and use. I am planning on taking this basic shape and running algorithms on it to determine my final stool design for the shipping container house. This is all quite easy to write however I have soon came to realise that this is going to take a little more time to get to grips with than I had originally thought.
I began the week looking at software called Dreamcatcher by Autodesk. I have seen many articles on the internet of how this program has been developed to be able to let a designer run variations on their model to come up with the best design solution.
I really wanted to use this software to develop my idea however after talking to Autodesk the software is not yet available.
I then decided to check out Grasshopper which is a plug in for Rhino. This is where my mind was blown and I became stuck in the computer for the last five days. I thought I knew most things about Rhino until I downloaded Grasshopper! I have discovered that I need to learn an entirely different language. I would compare Grasshopper to designing through being a virtual electrician. The commands are very similar to Rhino, however they are wired together in an order almost like coding. The program allows you to change a design multiple times without rebuilding it every time as you would have to do n Rhino.
After day 3 of teaching myself from youtube video’s I hadn’t got very far in terms of designs, however I had seen a change in my way of thinking and the coding began making more sense.
By the end of the week I have managed to get a little further, however I definitely need more practice and my design is still not what I am looking for!