07 January 2009

"Honey, Your Gloves Are On Fire."

When I woke up to sleet on top of snow on top of ice this morning, with more sleet and freezing rain predicted for the rest of the day, I determined that making the hour-long drive to work wasn't safe, so I called out. I do love my daily dose of metalwork, though, so my boyfriend and I got some work done in his shop, a safe 30-second walk from our back door.

He's been complaining for a while that his cast anvil needed to be dressed; its horn in particular was in need of grinding. Once I convinced him that I love grinding stuff like that, he handed me the 4" angle grinder and an 80-grit flap wheel and went off to take care of some chores. This was what the horn looked like when he left the shop:


And this is what it looked like when he came back ten minutes later:


Pretty spiffy, eh? He was suitably impressed with my skill with the grinder, and put me to work on his dishing forms, which were also in need of some work. I didn't take pictures of them because the difference between before and after was more tactile than visual... they still look a little pitted, but they're smoother than they were.

We also made a new tool today. One of the products Erik makes is a ring belt, and he's a little sick of buying commercially-made rings for them, so he asked me to help make a tool that would enable him to make his own rings. I brought home some 2" round bar and 1" square bar, he forged a tapered end on the square bar so it'll fit in his stake plate, and I welded the two pieces together. I helped a little with the forging process, holding the bar with tongs while he whacked it with a hammer, and my insulated leather gloves started smoking a few times from the heat of the tongs. I didn't even feel it.

This is our shiny new ring-maker:


This has been one of my most productive days off in a while. I'm happy.

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