The most recent issue has a nice article about building a blanket chest by hand written by Andrew Hunter. Touted as a web extra is a video of the author forming his own gimmel or snipe hinges. These period hinges are difficult to come by and fairly expensive if you can find them, but for a lot of the medieval up to 17th century style pieces I like to build, they are what's called for.
|A pair of proper gimmal hinges (snipe hinges). This picture was judiciously lifted from Peter Follansbee's Blog Joiner's Notes.|
I've tried to make a go of modifying cotter pins and I've even had a black smith acquaintance from facebook lined up to forge some along with some nails and he never followed through. The video finally lit a fire under my ass to just go make my own. I wanted to be able to make more than snipe hinges, I wanted to forge nails and real hinges as well. To accomplish that I would need a little more than a propane flame in the open air.
I'd heard about soup can forges before but I dived a little deeper and found THIS GREAT VIDEO on youTube. Go ahead and watch, I'll wait for you to come back.
Yesterday while running some other errands we stopped by a craft store and the home center for the supplies. All total, I spent in the neighborhood of twenty dollars to build my own version of the soup can forge.
Of all the things I do have is an actual, full size anvil and some forging tools. More presents from my father In Law from my wife's family's past. This morning I went out to the shop and picked it up off the floor and hefted it up onto the hewing stump. Then started heating the metal and beating the metal into submission.
I have some ideas I think can improve on the forge I built. but this morning it was satisfying to pound out my own gimmel. Like any thing new it will take some time and practice to refine what I'm producing. I'm certainly not planning on becoming the next Peter Ross but being a little more independent and flexible in my hardware choices will be a welcome change to my shop.
Ratione et Passionis
P.S. See the Fine Woodworking video that started me on the path HERE.