Seven inch knocker


(Whoops!  Thought I’d pressed publish on this one, but obviously didn’t.)

This post is mainly about blacksmithing of which I worked two shifts yesterday.  One in the woods and one at Craven College.  The latter was on a beginner’s course and will be the last one there ever as they are closing the metalworking facility, it seems like to make more courses for nail clipping and painting courses, etc. No not iron nails, but the ones that ladies wear.  I think we are rapidly losing our sense of reality.

Here’s my door knocker ready for its back plate and hinge to be finished next week.


It has its faults, but there are some useful techniques in there.  It reminds me of Mint Sauce, a great cartoon that used to appear in a mountain biking magazine my son and I used to read when we were full-on mountain bikers.

Copyright MBUK

My friend David make a great little bucket forge from the expansion tank used in a domestic central heating system.  It makes a good midge repeller too when topped with shavings


He also built a box bellows, operated by hand.

David aka Bellows Boy

David aka Bellows Boy

It works really well using the hardwood charcoal I make.  I finished the initial twisting of the ram’s horns above to save time at college.  (It’s a double helix, tha knaws.  Of course rams don’t have double helix horns, the horns have rings, and then they are curly, small point, but I s’pose blacksmiths are allowed artistic licence because they are wizards really).

Then we started manufacturing tangs for holding bowl blanks to the mandrel in the pole lathe.  We used silver steel to make a centre and two driving teeth, a bit like on a power lathe. (When is a pole lathe like a power lathe? -Ed.)

This is what I was bashing away at – round to square taper:


Here’s the hardening colours, from shiny through straw to blue:


I wanted to make a confining collar to stop the wooden mandrel from splitting and David took over opening up some iron piping on the anvil beak and then truing it on an ash former turned to finished size …

Shrinking onto the mandrel:

Here’s the partly finished mandrel.


We found the tangs were sticking out too proud and a combination of too blunt angles on the drive teeth and length of centre stopped the mounting of a blank.  This is work in progress, lower mounting and a couple more tangs needed.  And I’m intending to turn the mandrel core again, shorter and from rocky-hard hornbeam.

1 thought on “Seven inch knocker

  1. Hey up, absoulutley luscious knocker! Fine work indeed. I must try to get a bucket forge set up. I love the way everything is clamped together…

Comments are closed.