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BradGalles

Peening Brass Pins

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I recently finished peening the brass pins on a knife and had some difficulties due to the contour of the handle. I had a small jewelers anvil and used the corner of it to hold the bottom side of the pin being peened. Today I spent quite a bit of time looking for a tool or fixture to fix this problem. I couldn't find what I was looking for so I'll post what I drew up in the paint program. This is not my idea...I've seen this before somewhere but can't seem to find it now.

 

The object of the fixture is to peen one end of the pin so that you can place it in the handle hole and just have to work with one side.

 

Peen Fixture.png

 

The line running through the holes is where the two pieces of steel separate. This is what "pinches" the brass rod in place.

 

The holes are countersunk to allow the brass to spread out and form the head. You can then file down the head or leave it round and hammered, which is what I prefer. I hope the drawing makes sense. I didn't pay attention in art class like I should have :blink:

 

I haven't made this fixture yet but hopefully will get around to it this week. Just wanted to pass it along since I can't seem to find the image online anymore

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Bruce shows his version in post #18 here: http://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?showtopic=13399

And I'm pretty sure JPH covers it in one of his books, maybe it was Goddard though. My books are at home and on the shelf at the moment, so I can't double check.

Not sure if those are the original sources you were thinking of, but I know I would go nuts not being able to find the original source in my mind if it was my project. :)

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When you make the fixture, there is one very important thing you must do. Place a couple of sheets of paper between the two pieces of metal before drilling the holes. This makes the hole slightly smaller, just a few thousandths of an inch, than the stock you are using and allows it to clamp the metal. Without doing so, the fit is still tight but, you end up just hammering the metal into the hole instead of forming a rivet head. One, possible, problem with bolting the two ends together, like your illustration, is that there is nothing supporting the metal in the center of the jig to prevent it from flexing. I prefer to make jigs for this purpose from heavy angle iron because, it is more resistant to flex. I also prefer to use the vise to clamp the jig together because, it supports the entire length of the metal and prevents any flex in the jig and... It is faster to use than the two bolts on your design. The one problem that I do have with my jig is getting the two pieces to sit level with each other because, the inside seam of the angle iron is a curve instead of a true right angle and this does not sit well on the top of the vise jaws. This is definitely not my own original idea. I think my first encounter with the idea was from a jewelry technique book. You will probably want to allow more space between each hole in your jig to avoid marring up the next hole over with an errant hammer blow.

 

~Bruce~

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There's nothing wrong with peening one end prior to placing through the handle but it isn't critical to do so. I have drilled an indention into my bench anvil that the back side of the pin can rest in so as not to deform it while peening the opposite side (I always glue each pin as well as peen it). Either way works. The biggest tip that I can give you is to keep the ball end of your hammer polished nicely. This helps more than anything else that I can tell you.

 

If you are using a handle material that is potentially prone to cracking and don't want to risk peening the pins then a head spinner is a handy tool.

 

I keep two ball peen hammers for peening pins. One is 12 ounces and the other weighs eight. ( I used to have a four ounce hammer but found it too light to be effective.).

 

Gary

Edited by Gary Mulkey

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I think I'm going to try Bruce's Idea with the angle iron.

 

Jerrod, Thank you for including that post. I'm going to have to look through my Wayne Goddard book when I get home and see if that jig is in there. I know I saw this jig somewhere I just can't remember where!

 

Bruce, I didn't think about the middle not being tight enough with just having bolts on the end. That makes sense. Thank you

I knew about the paper in between the plates to clamp tight around the brass. I was lacking in my description. I apologize.

 

Gary, Why does keeping the hammer polished help when peening brass? I took a forging class recently and brought a hammer I purchased at a flea market. The first thing the instructor did was clean up the head of my hammer. I understand this because you don't want to hammer "trash, for lack of better description" into the hot metal. I don't understand the polish for hammering brass though. Is it the same concept? Thank you

 

BTW Gary, I have been using a very light hammer. I'm thinking that may have been some of my issue when peening these last pins. I was trying to force the hammer too much instead of letting the weight of a heavier hammer do most of the work for me. That caused the placement of some of my hammer blows to be off as well.

 

Thank yall for the responses,

Brad

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Well I got to looking through Wayne Goddard's book and in the back he has the fixture using two pieces of thick angle Iron to hold the pin stock.

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Why does keeping the hammer polished help when peening brass?

 

What ever the level of finish on your hammer head, that is the finish left on the metal you strike with it. A hammer head, polished to 600 grit, will leave a 600 grit finish on the surface of the rivet head. A high polish on a riveting hammer can save a lot of finishing work later on.

 

~Bruce~

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Very interesting. Thank you Bruce. I'll be peening some pins today after work but before that I'll be sure to polish up that hammer :)

 

Thank you,

Brad

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Well I got to looking through Wayne Goddard's book and in the back he has the fixture using two pieces of thick angle Iron to hold the pin stock.

I totally forgot to look at my books until I saw this thread again this morning. Since you found it in his book, that must be the one I was thinking about. Sorry for not checking in for you sooner.

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