Your from a very useful background. Now to think about making tools
for a specific job, i guess the following was the biggest undertaking
ive done here. I was already in 1985/7 showing and selling my work at
large shows with my own exhibition tent.
some 20 by 10 ft, with a working area and a sales area. when I got my
1 st drop hammer, ex Birmingham jewellery quarter, instead of
building it into the fabric of my workshops,what was the normal thing
to do with it, I wanted to take it with me to shows to mint a coin,
or medal or plaque At the exhibition For the exhibition. 1st dream up
a framework for it to replicate a permanent installation, then make
it easily and quickly dismantleable. Then modify my commercial truck
to 7.5 ton capacity to add this piece of kit to the rest of what I
take with me.
Well, a years work of a day aweek and the results were fine. That
needed lots of arc welding, steel fabrication and then wood work, and
lots of struggling!! as it had to not only work well but look good
the original castings were from 1880 so all the construction had to
be in period. Square headed nuts and bolts etc varnished wood, and
polished steel work.
This 1st setup had an anvil of 1 ton, which takes some handling in
and out of the truck, positioning on its base lining up the guides
etc. Takes a day to set up.
Anyway the results justified the effort.
At the Great Dorset Steam fair in 1989 I minted a plaque some 2in by
3in oval, over the 5 days 1000 sold off the hammer!! That die became
the basic shape for a whole range of designs, ie the blanking tool in
a 6 ton power press prepared all the blanks i took with me.
This shape also lent itself to making a fine buckle, minted in
silver, bronze and brass.
I then had a similar design die with a steam engine on it in a 1in
button size. They also sell very well.
This setup was seen at that event, and resulted in sponsorship to
events all over Europe to mint products for patrons.
One example was to mint 500 silver medals for a Castle on the Rhein
nr Solingen. Some yrs I bought a season ticket for my ferry trip from
the Uk to the Europe main land, the last big project was a hot forged
bronze plaque for the 40th anniversary of the GDS FAir. Some 2500 off.
The 50 th year will be here soon, so thats in preparation as of now.
Funnily enough, making a non oxydising atmosphere muffle propane
fired, was the trickiest thing to get right.