Apprenticeship Session 36 – Bonus!

We were so close to being done, but hadn’t quite gotten it over the line. Just a few more hours work and we’d have a working pipe lock we could be proud of. And it is something that not a lot of blacksmiths have made.

our key in progress with the example one on the right

Our big task of the evening was to get our key finished up and working smoothly to open the lock. Sounds simple enough, but it took a lot of tweaking to get the shoulders in the right place so that it would go into the lock deep enough to open the lock but not too deep as to slip over the spring and be forever stuck inside the pipe.

A bit of grinding on the key, bending of the bow, filing of the key opening as well as the opening at the end of the pipe and it started coming together.

There was also a fair amount of fussing, pondering, and consternation about how things were coming together, but in the end there was a shout and a leap and success!

This really is a piece to be proud of. It’s a very clever, if simple in concept, design that’s a challenge to execute. I’d love to make another one when I had a couple of weeks to kill. Like everything, I’m sure the next one would take less time now that we know what we’re doing, but it’s still a whole lot of steps and and whole lot of fitting to make it work. The time to create a lock like this is going to far exceed what the market would bear, but it’s a fun thing to work on anyway.

our finished pipe lock

And with our apprenticeship under Doug Swenson of Goose Prairie Forge coming to an end, we did celebrate in proper fashion with some Trappist monk ale and a toast.