Saturday, September 4, 2010

By hook and by crook

A rainy day in the Mat-Su valley (not to mention the Kenai peninsula, the Alaska range, Talkeetna and north, and even the Talkeetna mountains). Bother. I was in danger of losing momentum. I had seen this coming and so had the weather service; they were "spot on" as they say in the UK. So I went out to the shop and fiddled about with my stick chairs; some progress made but it was clearly not what the Universe wanted me to do. OK, Universe, what is it you want? Aha! Forging today. Trouble with this is that I cannot use my Dragon Lady Forge when it's raining. Were I to move it into the shop, I'd burn it to the ground. My shop is one big inflammable object. I can't use Dragon Lady outside, because it will burn my awning and indeed, already has. So I was reduced to the humble propane torch as a heat source. Slow and limited in area, but safe. So after a very engrossing while, we had a hook and a crook.On the right, the hook. It is a hook tool, used to turn bowls on a pole lathe. I believe I mentioned it before. Anyway, today I gave it a preliminary grinding. Then I bent it, which was quite difficult (bending is easy, but bending into the shape you want is much harder). Then I got it heated up and gave it an oil quench as an experiment. Some authorities claim you can skip the tempering step if you oil quench. I heated it carrot-red and stuffed it into my pail of old motor oil I keep around for just such a purpose. Did it work? Don't know yet. In fact, it depends on the type of steel. The hook is a broken-off tine from a spading fork. Who knows what type of steel it is? I don't.

On the left is the crook. A garden tool, made from a piece of snowmobile or ATV that I found on my walks. It is known as a Maine hoe. I didn't know the Maine-iacs had invented this thing, I came up with it all by myself. It will be used to de-weed closely planted crops, which means all of my crops. It is an L shape with chisel edges everywhere. It will get a long handle (also found on walks). I may bend it into the 70 deg angle recommended by Eliot Coleman for collineal hoes. Since this is a garden tool, I don't think I will temper it. It has to cut weeds, not woods.

Progress made. Chalupy has another good day.

No comments:

Post a Comment