Apprenticeship Session 27

So with the completion of our “simple” spade hinge, we wanted to move the degree of difficulty up a notch. This time we wanted to make it a little more ornate and add a few additional skills. We used this as our model. We knew ours would look different, but we were going for the multiple “arms” and also adding a negative hinge.

Our example hinge

So once again we began with a 1-inch by 1/4-inch piece of bar stock. We had a discussion around where we should begin and decided that making the gudgeongudgeon A gudgeon is a socket-like, cylindrical (female component) fitting attached to one component to enable a pivoting or hinging connection to a second component, the pintle. should come last and that we would start with the arm closest to it. We began hot cutting the “slivers” that we would bend away to become the arms. A few tricks that we used were to mark some measurements (6″ and 8″) with soapstone on the anvil and also to use a center punch to mark where the cuts should begin and end on each side. It can be hard to see marks once the metal is hot, but the center punch divots seem the best way to go about that. It took a few heats and worked best if two people helped with the cutting – one to hold the stock and set the cutter and the other to swing the hammer. Once we had cut all the way through on both sides, we used the vise to hammer the arms to a 90ยบ angle.

We then moved on to cutting the second set of arms following the same center punch trick and these cuts were much less ragged. (The first time we do most anything we learn enough to do better the second time.)

Now came the tricky part. Smoothing out the stock between the first set of arms and the second. We started by removing the shoulder that was created by the cut. The difficulty here was finding a place to work on the anvil where the arms didn’t interfere. The back corner seemed to work best. So after we smoothed the shoulder out a bit it was a matter of smoothing out that center section and tapering it from one set of arms to the next and getting the size to be (mostly) consistent the entire length.

We finished the day with the center section in a good place, even if not entirely finished. We wanted to give ourselves room to work with the arms so we left a bit of work yet to be done.

Next session we’ll be focusing on getting the arms tapered and curled and adding the spade to the end. After that it will be to fold and weld the end to create the gudgeon before moving on to the creation of the negative hinge. We chose this project because it would challenge our skills and it proved to do just that. We’ve already decided that the next one we do we will cut the first set of arms and then work the taper before cutting the second set of arms. Every project is a learning experience! And we also recognized that if you were to make several hinges, you would have patterns and jigs and some specialized tools created to make the process easier and more consistent. (And we also believe our example hinge was created in sections and welded together.) Maybe someday ….

Where we left off … with much work yet to do