Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Giulia Zanzani

Tapering and drawing out

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Hi everyone, I was wondering whether there is anyone here who could help me figure out the difference, if any, between tapering and drawing down/out. 

Thank you!
 

Edited by Giulia Zanzani

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They are pretty much the same process, but one results in a paper, and the other does not necessarily have to.

Generally, drawing out refers to reducing in cross section to make something longer but uniform in cross section. Drawing out a taper is the same thing, but results in a taper as well.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From “The Blacksmith's Craft” RDC  "Drawing down is the process of increasing the length of a piece of metal and at the same time reducing its cross section".

The work is “Drawing Down” the result can be a taper. 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In forging a blade I would taper the preform and then draw out the blade, they are very similar terms. Tapering could be done by grinding but drawing out can only be done by forging.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're correct in saying drawing out/down can only be done by forging, it's one of the six process of the blacksmith: Drawing down, bending, upsetting, hot cutting, punching and drifting, and fire welding.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/11/2019 at 4:52 AM, Gerald Boggs said:

You're correct in saying drawing out/down can only be done by forging, it's one of the six process of the blacksmith: Drawing down, bending, upsetting, hot cutting, punching and drifting, and fire welding.

I always thought the 6 basic processes were tapering, drawing, fullering, squaring, rounding, and drifting. Maybe there are 10 basic processes? :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Joshua States said:

I always thought the 6 basic processes were tapering, drawing, fullering, squaring, rounding, and drifting. Maybe there are 10 basic processes? :lol:

I'm just sourcing from the Blacksmiths Craft.  I know it's all in fun, but where did you get that list?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/18/2019 at 2:31 PM, Gerald Boggs said:

I know it's all in fun, but where did you get that list?

By making a coat hook.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The reason I'm interested in this subject, is because I've seen a lot of muddled meanings when it comes to words and their meaning. We, as blacksmiths, like sailors, have a precise language, but for whatever reason, many of us choice not to use it. Add to that, over the last few decades, American smiths have been making up words.  It's reached the point of having no clear common language. That's why the OP had to ask for the difference between drawing out and tapering, it's no longer clear which is which. So to again answer the OP's question. Drawing out/down is the process, a taper is one of the things you can do with this process. As in Drawing out a Taper.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Gerald Boggs said:

The reason I'm interested in this subject, is because I've seen a lot of muddled meanings when it comes to words and their meaning. We, as blacksmiths, like sailors, have a precise language, but for whatever reason, many of us choice not to use it. Add to that, over the last few decades, American smiths have been making up words.  It's reached the point of having no clear common language. That's why the OP had to ask for the difference between drawing out and tapering, it's no longer clear which is which. So to again answer the OP's question. Drawing out/down is the process, a taper is one of the things you can do with this process. As in Drawing out a Taper.

Very good points and worthy of discussion.

In The Artist Blacksmith, by Peter Parkinson, he devotes a chapter to each of the following techniques/processes:

Drawing Down (he includes tapering as a subset of drawing down), Bending, Upsetting/spreading, Hot cutting, Punching (also called drifting), Twisting, and Joining (he includes forge welding as a subset of joinery) for a total of 7 basic processes.

Whereas Lorelei Sims, in The Backyard Blacksmith,  calls these 6 techniques the "basic" skills:

Tapering, spreading, upsetting, bending, scrolling, and twisting. Forge welding and joinery are a separate topic and more advanced skills.

For me, making a uniform taper is far simpler than drawing out uniformly. After all, you can make a taper and never change the position on the anvil or what part of the hammer you use. Drawing a piece out and making it uniform takes a variety of anvil placements, hammer angles, and can use different hammer faces. I consider them two separate techniques, but what do I know?

I guess many of us develop different viewpoints on what techniques are "basic" skills, which ones are "advanced", and which ones are "expert" level. I would never expect a beginner to learn forge welding or scrolling until they had achieved a certain level of ability in what I consider more "basic" skills. I guess I never considered bending a technique as much as I thought it was a natural by-product of forging in general. The distinction was intentional bending, which seemed almost intuitive at the beginner level, and got more refined into a technique at more advanced levels. The difference between putting a curve in a coat hook that needs no specific shape versus making a right angle for a shelf bracket or door hardware, which needs to be more precise. Basic and advanced.

The problem with language is that it is constantly evolving and much is left to interpretation. The problem with communication is the illusion that it has occurred. For instance, the process of spreading. Is this a form of upsetting or drawing down? Does it depend on which axis of the piece is affected? Is spreading a distinct process and not a subset of either one? What about beveling? (as in what knife makers do for the blade) is that spreading, tapering, upsetting, or something different?

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

OK, lets look at some of these and where they lie within the area of processes.  Because what appears to be happen, is folks are taking things that can be done with the process and treating them as different processes.

Spreading is simple drawing out to the side, instead of along it's length. By no stretch of my imagination, can I find a way to think of it as a part of upsetting. Now I might upset the end of a bar to give myself more mass to work with, as I might bend it back and weld it together for the same goal, but then I'm simply combining processes to achieve the desired result.

Punching and drifting are not the same, but except for small holes, they go hand in hand. The first is to create the hole, the second is to shape and size the hole. If one followed the German tradition, one would substitute punching with slitting.

Twisting and scrolling is nothing more then bending. Twisting is bending along the short side. I'm not sure how one would look at scrolling and not think of it as bending.

 

9 hours ago, Joshua States said:

For me, making a uniform taper is far simpler than drawing out uniformly

You think so? Try one of Peter Ross's skill develop projects.  Using hammer alone, take a length of 1 by ¼ bar and draw a 12 inch taper, ¼ to feather end. The challenge is to be able to put a straight edge on it and have no gaps.

Beginner vs advance? There's no such thing, there's only the degree of skill you have. I teach welding in my beginner's class. I just did it with the Tenn Craft Center class. Six students, all but one, absolute beginners. Yes, teaching that many beginners was a challenge, but at the end of the week, there were successful welds.

Edited by Gerald Boggs
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because I'm Sicilian, I love to argue. It's a cultural thing.

2 hours ago, Gerald Boggs said:

Spreading is simple drawing out to the side, instead of along it's length. By no stretch of my imagination, can I find a way to think of it as a part of upsetting. Now I might upset the end of a bar to give myself more mass to work with, as I might bend it back and weld it together for the same goal, but then I'm simply combining processes to achieve the desired result.

So how do we define "upsetting"? I think of it as changing the cross sectional dimension along one axis (more likely two axes) to grow while reducing the third axis dimension. Your example of upsetting the end of a bar to increase mass in a specific area meets this definition as does spreading the taper to form a leaf. If the only difference between "upsetting" and "spreading" is which axis grows and which reduces, are they different processes, or just different names for the same process with a different result? When you "upset" the end of that bar, aren't you "spreading" it out? Cut 1" off the end of a round bar. Stand it upright on the anvil and flatten it out until it resembles a flat round disc. Did you upset it, or spread it?

2 hours ago, Gerald Boggs said:

Beginner vs advance? There's no such thing, there's only the degree of skill you have. 

This is arguing semantics. Advanced skills are by definition those which require a higher skill level.

 

2 hours ago, Gerald Boggs said:

I teach welding in my beginner's class. I just did it with the Tenn Craft Center class. Six students, all but one, absolute beginners. Yes, teaching that many beginners was a challenge, but at the end of the week, there were successful welds.

All this proves is that the learning curve is lessened exponentially by a good teacher, especially during a high concentration of time. If you do not think that you took those 5 rank beginners from novice to an advanced level in a week, then you do yourself an injustice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Joshua States said:

 

So how do we define "upsetting"? I think of it as changing the cross sectional dimension along one axis (more likely two axes) to grow while reducing the third axis dimension. Your example of upsetting the end of a bar to increase mass in a specific area meets this definition as does spreading the taper to form a leaf. If the only difference between "upsetting" and "spreading" is which axis grows and which reduces, are they different processes, or just different names for the same process with a different result? When you "upset" the end of that bar, aren't you "spreading" it out? Cut 1" off the end of a round bar. Stand it upright on the anvil and flatten it out until it resembles a flat round disc. Did you upset it, or spread it?

I define upsetting as making a piece of metal thicker by driving it into itself.  Spreading a taper to form a leaf does not meet this definition.  Your other example does, but also doesn't; or at least it's a special case.

I use two processes when forging bevels on single-edged blades.  I'll start with the cross pein to aggressively move steel in one direction while thinning it in the process.  This prevents the typical banana curve from forming as fast.  Once I have the edge drawn down (that's what I call it, anyway, you might call it tapering, but if it is, I drew a taper, so there :P), I switch to the face of the hammer to smooth it all out.  So, is smoothing a technique?  Or is it just refining whatever you did before?

I'm with Gerald on the difference between punching (or slitting) and drifting.  You can have the slitter or punch act as a drift, but for things like hinge barrels and axe heads the drift is a separate tool. And he nailed it on bending.  A bend is a bend, no matter which axis or how many there are.

And I learned to forge weld on day two of the first class I ever took.  The instructors (the late Charley Orlando and Vince Evans) thought it would be a good confidence-building exercise to demystify the whole thing out the start, and it worked.  By the end of the five day class we were doing drop-the-tongs welds, using power hammers, punching and drifting holes, and so on.  It was great!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

And I learned to forge weld on day two of the first class I ever took.  The instructors (the late Charley Orlando and Vince Evans) thought it would be a good confidence-building exercise to demystify the whole thing out the start, and it worked.  By the end of the five day class we were doing drop-the-tongs welds, using power hammers, punching and drifting holes, and so on.  It was great!

I'll debate with Joshua later, but this is exactly why I teach weld as soon as possible.   Teach someone to weld and the whole world opens up.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So let's imagine a novice, who without the benefit of a living, breathing teacher, only has a book to learn from.

In deference to Gerald's desire to have consistent language and terminology, you are going to create the book she has to learn from. Would you arrange the chapters on forging techniques in the order you think she should learn them, or just assemble a group of techniques and let her decide on which ones to start with? Most of us would start with what we think of as "basics" and move through the book in order of difficulty, or skill level required. If I were to write such a tome, the first 5 or 6 techniques would not include forge welding, but that's just my perspective. Forge welding can be done in a variety of ways for a variety of end results. Most of which involve learning other techniques first (think about scarfs for collars, bends to increase mass, etc.) This puts forge welding somewhere after the basics are learned, no?

I think "basic skills" are solitary, stand alone. Once you start combining two or more basic functions, you are no longer "basic". By definition, you are into "complex".

18 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

I use two processes when forging bevels on single-edged blades. I'll start with the cross pein to aggressively move steel in one direction while thinning it in the process. 

This is now a complex process. Two basic processes combined into a more difficult process. Does this make it require a different name? Apparently so. Does it make it a different process? Some would say yes, others no.

 

1 minute ago, Gerald Boggs said:

I'll debate with Joshua later, but this is exactly why I teach weld as soon as possible.   Teach someone to weld and the whole world opens up.

I thought you wanted to have this discussion, so I was trying to provide alternate viewpoints. (damned hard work it is too).

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/21/2019 at 11:56 AM, Joshua States said:

So how do we define "upsetting"? I think of it as changing the cross sectional dimension along one axis (more likely two axes) to grow while reducing the third axis dimension. Your example of upsetting the end of a bar to increase mass in a specific area meets this definition as does spreading the taper to form a leaf. If the only difference between "upsetting" and "spreading" is which axis grows and which reduces, are they different processes, or just different names for the same process with a different result? When you "upset" the end of that bar, aren't you "spreading" it out? Cut 1" off the end of a round bar. Stand it upright on the anvil and flatten it out until it resembles a flat round disc. Did you upset it, or spread it? 

You've got to be kidding. 

 

On 6/21/2019 at 11:56 AM, Joshua States said:

This is arguing semantics. Advanced skills are by definition those which require a higher skill level.

No, I'm not arguing semantics.  All methods are basic, what you're able to do with them, is simply a matter of how skilled you are.  And skill, as I define it, is a combination of knowledge and experience (Practice)  There has never been anything I do, that the most novice blacksmith smith can not also do, the only difference is in how well.

 

On 6/21/2019 at 11:56 AM, Joshua States said:

All this proves is that the learning curve is lessened exponentially by a good teacher, especially during a high concentration of time. If you do not think that you took those 5 rank beginners from novice to an advanced level in a week, then you do yourself an injustice.

No, because I don't consider myself a particular skilled instructor.  No, they didn't leave at an advance level, all I did what help them learn the methods, to become skilled at them, will require years of practice.  And honestly, since I had to fulfill the class description of "Hand Forged Axe"  they left with holes in their knowledge. 

 

On 6/21/2019 at 12:27 PM, Alan Longmire said:

I define upsetting as making a piece of metal thicker by driving it into itself.  Spreading a taper to form a leaf does not meet this definition. 

Ditto what Alan wrote.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, I was not kidding.

Hopefully, it is now much clearer why it is so difficult to maintain consistent nomenclature.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, it's not difficult, just stop making up personal meanings.  Long ago, smiths develop a glossary of terms, why change it, the processes haven't changed?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...