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Looking for ideas on how to build a jig for hand twisting a pattern weld billet to make the twist pattern. Any pictures of a jig or set up would help me out alot. Tried the search function but didnt get any results. Thanks, Randy

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I have hydraulic a twister and a big manual reduction one but find that I still just use a wrench with welded on extension handles for most of my twisting as I find it easier/ quicker.

 

forging soul in to steel

 

owenbush.co.uk

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Like Owen, I just use a vise and a twisting wrench.  The jigs are nice for very long/thick twists, but since the only twist patterns I make are composite pattern-weld components I rarely twist larger than 3/8" square by up to four inches long.  Heat control is a bigger issue than mechanical advantage.

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Thanks for the replies. Alan, I am new to pattern welding, at this point i have made one random pattern billet that turned out real good but would like to try a twist pattern. Looking to draw out a square billet 12 inches or so long and around 3/4" square, octagon in then twist. My thought would be the jig would help keep it straighter while twisting better than by putting it in the vise and hand turning it. I could be wrong but wont know till I try it.

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I've done it a few ways.  The jig you pictured is like Manuel Guiraldes', where I got the idea... I found that a post-drill run horizontally made a decent twister for a while.  It had limitations though, the gearing was not necessary and indeed not helpful.  It still needed a hand to operate too, so twist control was effortful.
16143331_1249136498495757_58841153903439

Here's what I built and use now.  It will handily twist up to 1-1/8" square, which is as large as the bar holders will accept, and as large as I ever need for pattern welding blades.
This video was taken with one hand, operating the machine with the other, and was an early trial run- it's quicker and smoother to use with a very little practice and two hands.  It still requires a few heats per bar usually to build an even tight twist throughout, while controlling twist placement with a pair of twist tongs at the machine.  What's nice is even on big bar, it very quickly stacks up very tight twists and takes less heats and effort by far than manually twisting that many turns.  Plus it's controlled by foot switch, is fwd/rev and vfd speed controllable from 20-100 rpm or so, and leaves both hands free to use water or a wrench or tongs on the bar.

 

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Salem,

          Thats cool, I will eventually build something like that if I get to making enough billets to justify it. I am still in the beginning stages of the knifemaking craft. My next equipment will be a grinder, right now I use a filing jig for bevels which is a long process but achieves great bevels.

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You can modify some things about the power twister to suit the crank twister.  In particular I like the bar holders made of square tube with set bolts run through welded-on nuts.  It's an easy way to not need a big set of collets fabbed up, or have to buy a set of 8 point sockets etc.  That, and it has an infinite adjustment throughout its range, i.e. the bar could be 23/64 rather than 3/8" and the holders can be made to fit with a slight run of the bolts.  If you build a twister like you pictured, the crank's holder end slides onto the bar end to make the stock fit up quickly hot from the forge- this will work great with the bolts-type holder, just set the holders to the bar when cold, leave them just a bit loose since the bar will swell a little with heat, and to allow an easy slip fit for the hot bar, so that it can be inserted into the static end and then the live/headstock end quickly slides over to hold the second end.

Technical writing is difficult, often I sacrifice brevity for clarity, being unable to find a truly succinct yet clear description of a subject... 

Please come and waste some otherwise perfectly good time, looking at my knives!

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I would quite like to have a twisting machine combining @Salem Straub's power twister with @Joshua States's "rail furnace" (sorry Joshua I can't remember what it is called and therefore, catch 22, couldn't find it on the search).

"The way we win matters" (Ender Wiggins) Orson Scott Card

 

Nos, qui libertate donati sumus, nes cimus quid constet.

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4 hours ago, Charles du Preez said:

I would quite like to have a twisting machine combining @Salem Straub's power twister with @Joshua States's "rail furnace" (sorry Joshua I can't remember what it is called and therefore, catch 22, couldn't find it on the search).

Check out the professor's "Twist-o-matic"

https://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?/topic/28961-introducing-twist-o-matic-3000/

-Brian

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The twist-o-matic is nice for sure. I think when I make my jig it will be like the picture i posted but I am making both verticals adjustable and both ends with the twisting handle so once the billet is in two people can crank the twist in from both sides. My thought is that will closely eliminate one end being twisted tighter than the other and the twists should meet in the middle. I will post pics when I get it done, hopefully wont be too long.

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Thanks @Brian Dougherty. Perhaps that is why I couldn't find it. Sorry Joshua, Professor.

"The way we win matters" (Ender Wiggins) Orson Scott Card

 

Nos, qui libertate donati sumus, nes cimus quid constet.

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I don't do a lot of twisting but I re-purposed an old blacksmith's drill for my twisting jig.  It works reasonably well for up to 1/2" x 1/2".  Larger than that is a stretch.  I use sockets for an impact wrench which are made for square bolt heads on each end of the jig.  As you can see, I added a coil spring to one end to make it easier to fit the hot pieces in place.

IMG_3441_opt

Alan is right on in saying that the key to twisting is temperature control.  The best tool that I've seen for this was one made by Jerry Rados who in my opinion is the "King of Turkish".  He built a tip for his oxy/acet torch which was split with two tips bent like calipers so  that they aimed their flames toward each other so that they could heat both sides of the piece being twisted at the same time.  "A TOOL FOR THE JOB."

 

Edited by Gary Mulkey

Gary

 

ABS,CKCA,ABKA,KGA

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Two people twisting is twice the chance of screwing up.  It is the evenness of heat that determines the evenness of the twist, period. Two people would be great if one cranks and the other uses a torch to control the heat.

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Gotta echo Alan on that one.  And, having a power twister with foot switch is like having two people... you have both hands free to use water, wrench, torch, etc.
It seems to me that in an evenly heated bar, the end on the crank powered side of a twister/jig will twist a bit tighter, since it absorbs some of the torque by the time the torque can reach the far end of the bar.  So, I capitulate to needing more than one heat, and twist the tailstock end first, then proceed toward the headstock end while controlling the already twisted sections with tongs (most folks use a pipe wrench.)
I'm off to the shop now in fact to start a group of billets that will be twisted for a 7-bar composite khyber...

Please come and waste some otherwise perfectly good time, looking at my knives!

www.prometheanknives.com

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I managed to get a few pics of Jerry Rados' twisting rig at Batson's this year.

Someone else was operating the crank...

 

IMG_20170408_111045815_HDR.jpg

George Ezell, bladesmith

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Thanks everybody for all input, tips and advice. For the sake of experimentation I'm gonna build it to twist from both ends and if it doesn't work then one side will be made static via a welding machine. I agree with heat control for keeping the twist even. I will post pics and the outcome as soon as I can. Thanks to all. So far this is a great forum!! Randy

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