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Blacksmith’s words from John Cousins
Bout hammer. Suffolk word for a sledge hammer with a face on the front and back of the head.
Travvis with two Vs. The covered area adjacent to the forge where the horse is shod, usually an open fronted lean to extension.
Stith. A blacksmith's anvil. Old Suffolk word long superseded.
Hearth. The seat of the forge fire.
Tuyere. Also known as the Tue Iron or Blast Pipe. Delivers the blast of air necessary for high temperatures. The best design is water cooled as it can then project further into the fire. The tue can be located at the back, side or even underneath the hearth. From the French.
Bellows. The old way of producing the air blast, hand or foot operated, the bellows might be of several designs but almost invariably of leather. Some are/were very substantial.
Blower. Another means of delivering an air blast, the blower can be hand or electrically operated with adjustment possible to regulate the air flow. Where capacity demand is high and there is no electrical supply, a blower can be driven by engine or by belt from an external power source.
London Pattern Anvil. Become the standard design, which has to be known if the various parts of it are to make sense. A good quality anvil is made of wrought iron with a hardened steel face
Anvil Face. The hardened upper flat surface of an anvil upon which most work is performed.
Hanging End. The square end of the anvil which includes:
Punching Hole. A round hole cast into the anvil over which holes can be punched through hot metal;
Tool Hole. Also known as the hardy hole or Hardy. Close to the Punching Hole, this is a square hole for holding shaping tools, notably swages (qv).
Bick. The pointed or horn shaped end of the anvil used for shaping curvatures eg horse shoes. The bick is not hardened but left "soft". A finely tapered bick is the signature of London Pattern.
Bick Anvil. Fits into the tool hole and has usually two round section tapering arms.
Throat. The curving underhang supporting the bick end of an anvil.
Table. A flat surface area behind the bick and slightly lower than the face. The surface here is also soft and used for cutting off hot metal with a chisel.
Step. The change of level between the face and the table of an anvil.
Leg Vice. A bench or post mounted vice having the inner jaw on a leg which reaches the ground and therefore able to absorb the shock of heavy blows. Jaw widths might range between 3-7ins.
Engineers's Vice. A parallel jaw vice of any specification, the best of which are cast steel.
Mandrel. Also known as the Floor Mandrel. a hollow, cast-iron cone which can be shoulder high and is used for rounding off circular items eg barrel hoops.
Swage Block. A rectangular block of cast-iron with a selection of half round and V shaped notches on each side and various shaped apertures cast through face to face.
Ball-Peened Hammer. Also ball-pane and ball-pein. In former times known as the blacksmith's hammer. Made in various weights, this is the standard blacksmith's hammer, having a conventional face but an opposed or peen end of spherical shape more pronounced in some makes than in others. A common weight is 1-2lbs but they can range up to 5lbs, after which sledge hammers take over.
Sledge. Heavy hammer, the head of which is usually hexagonal cross-section and can have one or two faces, in the former case the peen end being of various shapes according to purpose.
Cross-pein Hammer. Having a wedge shaped peen across the line of the hammer handle.
Other Hammers. There is an infinite variety of hammers for special purpose and some might be found in the forge if the nature of work demands it. A special hammer might be made in the forge for a particular job.
Punch. Used for punching holes through hot metal, can be round, square, slotted or have some special shape. The shaft is long enough to protect the hand or it can be handled for heavy work.
Drift. A length of steel of desired cross-section tapered at each end. Used to open up holes previously punched through the hot metal.
Fuller. Like a chisel or set but having the edge rounded. Used for making special shapes and in the process of drawing down (qv).
Offset Fuller. Still located in the tool hole but the working edge offset flush with the side of the anvil so that a large or awkward workpiece can use additional space.
Flatter. A similar shaft to chisel or set but having a flat or convex base, is struck with a sledge to even the surface of the hot workpiece.
Foot Tool. A type of L shaped flatter used for working into confined space.
Swage. A swage comprises separate top and bottom tools of the form necessary to achieve the desired shape in the hot workpiece. The bottom half has a square base which fits into the tool hole: The top is handled and placed over the bottom for striking with a sledge.
Striker. The assistant who wields the sledge while the smith holds the workpiece.
Hand Mandrel. A handtool used in conjunction with the anvil to draw out and round off small items.
Drawing down. The process of reducing cross-section by working hot metal.
Bolster. A heavy iron handtool pierced with separate shaped holes used in the staged development of a workpiece eg setting shoulders to a harrow tine.
Clinker. A treacle-like substance the product of oxygen in the air blast and impurities in the fuel which settles and cools below the tue iron. In either molten or solid form it inhibits the work and has to be removed.
Taking a heat. Heating the workpiece to the correct heat for the next phase of work eg black, blood red, bright yellow, full welding.
Tongs. For holding hot metal while it is being worked on, tongs have longish handles and a variety of gripping ends for holding square, flat. round or shaped stock. As a general rule the more delicate the work the smaller the tongs.
Cold Chisels. For cutting or chipping cold metal, tend to be short and thick.
Hot Chisels. Longer because of the heat, these cut red hot metal and are of a softer steel
Cold Set. For use as a cold chisel but for heavier sledge hammer, tend to be even shorter and thicker but are fitted with an iron handle consisting of rod twisted round the head.
Hot Sets. Also a version of the hot chisel for heavy work, best fitted with a wooden handle like a hammer as this best absorbs shock and is more precise.
Hardies. Chisels which fit into the tool hole on the anvil. the work piece being hammered down onto the cutting edge.
Fire Welding. The process of heating two workpieces to the point where they can be joined as one by hammering ie molecular fusion. Types of weld: scarf, fork and wedge, butt, V, stud and rivet.
Upsetting. Also known as Jumping. Heating part of workpiece where it is desired to increase the cross-section and striking the end of it to "squash" the metal. For example. a knob is required at the end of a solid round bar. The end is heated to bright yellow. The other end is held vertical and the heated end driven downwards onto the anvil face until the desired result is achieved.
Quenching. Plunging a hot workpiece into cooling liquid, normally water.
Heat Treatment. The application of heat to steel in order to change some of its properties.
Hardening. Slow heating steel to black or dull red and quenching in water, oil or brine to achieve a harder but more brittle structure.
Tempering. The heat process whereby hardened steel is toughened.
Annealing. Heating a piece of metal to soften it by slow cooling in hot ashes or similar.
Normalizing. As for annealing but allowing the workpiece to cool in the air, which removes stresses in the metal.
Case Hardening. Heat treatment which hardens the surface of low carbon steel.
Scroll Wrench. Commonly called a Dog. A hand tool fitted with short projecting arms for bending smaller metal section, much used in ornamental ironwork.
Fork Tool. U shaped it fits the tool hole and is used to bend metal.
Scroll Tool. Like the swage, fits into the tool hole and functions according to its design.
Bow Pliers. Used for holding pipe section also rings in ornamental work.
Monkey Tool. A kind of pierced drift used to square the shoulders of round tenons.
Side Set. A set having the cutting edge bevelled on one side only for more precision.
Butcher. Similar to the side set but having a slightly curved cutting edge.
Calipers. Also double calipers. For measuring radius.
Dividers. Instrument used for stepping off distance on the workpiece.
T Square and Bevel. Simple devices for measuring angle.
Anvil Shears. Very large but hand operated cutters which mount onto the tool hole and are used to cut hot or cold metal.
Saddle. An inverted U shape in heavy flat metal, one end of which is worked to fit into the tool hole and the other rests on the anvil face. Used in conjunction with a forked workpiece.
Bending Link. A heavy round section of U shape which lies flat on the anvil and is held in place by one end being angled and worked to fit into the tool hole. Used in forming right angles.
Radius Tools. Types of swage where top and bottom are each fitted with a handle and used under a power hammer to profile bar stock prior to further work.
Spring Swages. Top and bottom swages are each mounted onto one arm of a long, double spring handle for use with a power hammer.
Cupping Tool. A top swage fitted with a handle which has a recess worked into its workface and is used for rounding off the heads of bolts, rivets etc.
Bob Punch. Also known as Countersink. Fitted with a handle and the workface profiled to form a countersink in pre-drilled holes in hot metal.
Furnace. As distinct from the forge fire, an enclosed furnace of varying pattern, erected inside or outside according to type, to heat large workpieces notably tyres for wooden wheels.
Tyring Platform. A circular steel plate set into the ground upon which a wooden wheel can be secured and fitted with a heated iron tyre which is then quenched.
World art objects: