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introducing twist-o-matic 3000


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Hello Everyone,

My Honey got me a welder for Christmas. I just now got around to doing anything with it. I made something to help with twisting.

 

A couple of years ago (3 or 4, really), when I first started pattern welding, I decided to make a multi-bar sword. I was new and I didn't really even care whether the twists were even. I just wanted something that looked good, and twisting was the way.

 

This was when I was doing everything with a hand hammer, a 50lb cast steel anvil-like-thing, and the smallest of the Diamondback forges. just getting everything to stick together and drawn to length was a chore. I didn't think things through well enough.

 

However, by the time I got the sword ground and polished, I decided that I really should have worked harder on the twists. So... the sword became part of the scrap pile. In fact, a friend who couldn't bear to see it just rust to death took it. He may make himself something out of it some day.

 

THE SWORD IN THE PICS BELOW IS THE ONE I MADE 3 OR 4 YEARS AGO AND JUST NEVER SHOWED TO ANYONE. IN FACT, IT WAS THE FIRST SWORD BLADE I EVER MADE. Just to make sure you guys don't think this is one I am working on now.

 

Ever since then, and seeing how JD did twists, I have wanted to build a twisting machine complete with heat source. Not just a rosebud tip, but an itty bitty forge (which I also needed for forging small things, anyway).

 

Take 12' of 3/4" square tubing (1018 or 1020)

6' 1" tubing

several 1/4" 20 nuts and bolts

one bandsaw

one welder

and a 1-brick-forge (propane)

 

Tomorrow, or maybe Friday... I will be able to actually run it and do some serious twisting.

 

Now, I have to decide what to make (leaning toward a bauernwehr even though it isn't historically accurate, maybe a messer). Of course, you can't miss with a seax, and the Chinese did 4-bar-twist construction for dao and jian, ooh, oooh, and there are the kindjals and quama. Viking knives, bowies... if this thing works right it will see a lot of use :) !

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Edited by Kevin (The Professor)
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Dang I like this concept. Because I hate using my rosebud tip and I get crap results pulling out of the forge and twisting. A mini-forge instead of rosebud. yes! But I'm missing something on your particular design. Can you explain more of how it works?

 

Cool to know that some of the chinese swords were composite twists. Gives me some ideas....

Your blade is looking great...

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Scott - that is misleading - that blade was one I junked a long time ago. I made the twisting machine to make better twists.

 

The Chinese called the multi-bar twist blades, "flower pattern", or "flower petal," designs. They were considered the ultimate in decorative blade work. For good reason, just like in Europe.

 

Scott - it is a mounting bracket that is welded to mini-forge.

1. bolt mini-forge onto position plate

2. weld piece of tubing and support blocks made from cutoffs of tubing to bottom center of carrier plate.

3. legs with carrier pieces of tubing to fit over backbone of tubing so they can slide. Support blocks welded against each leg. Set screws to hold everything.

4. Each leg is a telescoping unit of 2 halves, with set screws to change height.

5. pieces of tubing with set screws are welded to tops of legs to clamp bar in place for twisting.

 

How it works - there is a sliding clamp-on-a-leg that is adjusted to behind the forge (for those times when you want to keep a section from twisting).

The section that is heated by the forge twists. Then, after a section is done, move forge forward and screw the clamp tight where you want the twisting to be stopped behind the forge.

 

that is the idea. I have to do more work with it tomorrow to see if the whole concept plays through.

 

thanks for reading,

 

kc

 

kc

Edited by Kevin (The Professor)
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ah okay.

 

I think I'm going to do something like this.. but maybe find a boat winch to do it like Niels Provos showed a while back. The only reason I haven't done it his way is because every time I light my rosebud scary things happen. :-)

 

But I will wait to see how your set up works...

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I am going to make a crank-style handle for it just as soon as the o1 drill rod arrives.

 

it still needs testing. I was too tired after putting it all together today to use it. Tomorrow or Saturday. We will see.

It has to work better than a rosebud, though. At least it seems like it should. I want to twist without losing heat.

 

thanks for looking.

kc

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I really hope you can make a video, because I have no idea what you are doing here. Are you spot heating the steel and twisting it? I don't get it. But its very interesting whatever you are doing.

Edited by Matt Todd
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Great idea Kevin...twisting without loosing heat, got to work! By the way, you look quite young in that one photo... ;)

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yes- spot twisting without taking the heat away (or having to have someone else there to hold the rosebud tip).

 

Miles - I use lip balm and skin cream. Eat a lot of fried chicken.

 

I will try to get someone to video it some time soon.

kc

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Looking forward to the video or more pics. How does JD twist?

 

I have personally had some success using a combination of two methods.

First I use a bar that is at least a bit longer than my forge, the longer the better.

I clamp one end to the shelf on the front of the forge. I put my wrench on the other end and twist hot, I then move more bar into the forge and continue until it is all twisted.

Due to varied heat in the forge, the twists are not all at the same rate so

 

Then I use a simple twisting rig held in a vise and use a torch to heat the areas that are not twisted enough and get them twisted.

 

I am pretty new to the multi bar thing but that is how I do it so far.

 

John

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Well, the first run was an absolute success. I have the forge so I can run the bar through sideways, to heat a smaller section and thereby move it around to get even twists. I will have to do that next time.

 

BUT I was able to move the forge around and get even twists the way I had it. It worked better than a rosebud, and you can move it around as needed.

 

These little mini forges are great. I will be using it for most of my actual blade forging. It reaches welding temps easily.

 

The last pics are the bar squared up after the whole thing. I could have easily twisted tighter, but I was afraid.

 

Making one of these is well worth the effort.

kc

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Edited by Kevin (The Professor)
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