Report on the March Furnace Town Meet 2003

Furnacetown Meet
On March 29th & 30th Furnace town Blacksmiths Guild held a meet in the shop at Snow Hill, MD. The demonstrator and workshop leader was Fred Crist formally of the Yellin shop. Fred demonstrated forging techniques from the shops and made a copy of the grille that Samuel Yellin made for the Metropolitan Museum. Notes below are from Marshall and the pictures from Anton, thanks to both. LB
9 AM 1/4 x 1” flat

Fuller notch on edge of anvil approximately 4” in from end. Draw out on power hammer leaving mass at end.

The shaft is then offset. Working from end down on anvil, shaft is forged down to about 1/4” square with edges broken. Final length of 1/4” sq. was about 11” long to make a nice looking scroll. Working on top and far edge of the anvil the snub end was formed.

Then Fred carefully started the beginning of the scroll.

Next the offset is finished. Start bend on anvil and then upset corner in vise and then back to anvil to true up.

Heats are repeated until it looks like this;

Forging the twist:
Torch is used for localized heat. Twist about 2” in one direction, let it air cool for a minute (Don’t quench) Then twist the next section the opposite direction, repeating pattern till the end. Finish with snub end as shown.

Forming the scroll:
Fred held the torch in the vise and using very localized heats, started the scroll over the anvil using a rawhide mallet. The scroll center section was formed on a scroll jig—Useful especially for a twisted cross section that does not like to bend uniformly. The final scrolling up to the square corner was done free hand on the anvil.


Decorative bars;
1 1/4” x 1/2” flat stock
Using a fuller (1/2”) mark bar is red heat. At high forging heat drive fuller into bar deeper (Fred used a striker) The depth of the fuller is determined by the subtitles of visual effect—Fred says slightly over 1/2 the bar width looks about right.



Be sure to maintain all the swells in the bar caused by the fullering process when ever the bar is trued up.

Chisel marks are then cut into the bar. For greater accuracy cold mark all the cuts. Don’t make any one cut all the way at once, Work all cuts gradually down to preserve uniformity, always keeping bar straight as you go. Each square section is decorated differently using various chisels and punches (An often used Yellin technique)
Double end scroll:
3/16 or 1/4” flat
An Aluminum saddle about 1/2” thick was used for slitting. A thin sharp chisel appropriate for the stock thickness should be used. A bridge tool copied from the Yellin shops is also used for the scrolls.

After splitting draw out ends to shape shown, using a convenience bend to keep the part not being worked out


of the way. After drawing out ends align as shown below to get everything straightened out before the scrolling begins.
Local heat

On the anvil bend like this, then use scrolling pliers to work the ends.

Next, using local torch heat, working from the thin end, form the scroll on the anvil. After ends are done take a local heat in center section, quench scrolled ends and bend over anvil horn tapering top curved edges for more dramatic look.


Small scrolls:
1/4 or 3/16 X 3/4” flat
Offset and forge the end section out thin with a knife edge shape. Keep edges straight when tapering and keep the width of the original stock. Start scrolling the end round and tight (Using pliers). Quench




the thin side when rolling up the scroll. Hit from back on the thick side to prevent flattening.

Making the center of the grill:

Cold mark transitions with chisel
Draw out on power hammer to rough size then work as close as possible to the mark with a hand hammer. Use an offset chisel (Butcher) to move metal away from mark. Do all 4 sides alternating 180 degrees.

The finished forging with lay out marks for splitting.

Alternate cutting through the sections near the middle. Hold chisel at an angle to keep center section square.

Use the bridge tool to square up and clean edges. Scroll leaves back to expose base and hot rasp to clean the edges , be careful to avoid kinking or flattening. Chisel cut long section using same technique as above. Cut off center section for center leaf. Start working the
taper of the long scrolls starting from the tips and finish using the bridge tool to work back to the crotch. Bend long scrolls out of the way to forge center leaf.
Heat and bend the two long scrolls and the two leaves back straight. Use the set hammer to true up lines around collar. Cut diagonal lines on collar, using aluminum backup plate to protect the lines. Form center scrolls first using torch to control heat. Bend long scrolls out of the way and finish the center leaf. Heat and twist the longs scrolls the opposite direction almost to the tip. Start scrolls on anvil and then use the scroll tool, finishing with a rawhide mallet.

Sundays workshop project was a horse head;

The Sunday workshop is reserved for a few members from each sponsoring group and the costs are additional to the meet fees.

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