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Bill Hudson

Tinware Tutorial

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Bill Hudson

Spectacular work, Bill.  I am so sorry that I was only able to take two of your classes. 

 

Last year found a book called The Tinsmith's Helper and Pattern Book, H.K. Vosburgh,1994, Astragal Press which is a reprint from an 1879 work.  This ia much more of the same typ of patterns.

 

When you did miniature tin work how did you keep the solder marks in scale?  Did you have resort to painting?

Pete, I am not sure what you mean. Soldering joints take on a normal look if you don't use too much solder. I also use pretty small wattage irons. I will try to add soldering equipment and tips to this tutorial later.

I don't want the conversation to drift too far away from the tutorial but since the subject of books came up here are some more: Sheet Metal Pattern Layouts published by Theo. Audel & Co., Publishers, The Tinsmith's Helper and Pattern Book; H.K. Vosburg, Practical Metal Plate Work; Paul N. Hasluck,and Art of Coppersmithing A practical Treatise on Working Sheet Copper Into all Forms; John Fuller, Sr.

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PJPickard

Bill,

 We have run into each other over on the Westlake Publishing forums where you linked to this great information I thank you again for sharing it.

 

Paul

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Bill Hudson

A tool I left out of the tutorial.  This is a tinsmiths raising tool for raising ridges in bucket sides etc. This tool is too large for miniature work  but making one in a smaller scale looks to be fairly easy.  I used the idea to create a punch and die to fit in a small arbor press with a depth adjustment.  I used this quit often on sprinkling cans, kerosene cans and a five gallon paint bucket.  

 

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ElgaKoster

That is a really cool tool Bill, I also think it would be possible to make one for miniature use.

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miraclechicken

i missed this. So glad I found it, thank you Bill!

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MissyBoling

Thank you Bill, this is wonderful information!  I'll be referring back to it many times, I'm sure!

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Bill Hudson

From tho point on I am adding to the  original tutorial as I go along on a project.

 

 

 

While rumaging through some drawers I came across my old beading tool.  Years ago I wanted to add some beading to some of my watering cans. Using scrap metal I came up with a punch and die method. It was just to be a make do and I fully intended to make a forming roll set.  That has not happened yet, in the last 23 years.  The punch had a raised center with the top rounded off. The die was just a piece of old steel with a groove cut in it with a hack saw.  It was all done free hand. Later I converted a little arbor press to hold the punch. I bored out the ram with an 1/8"hole the whole length and then bored a 1/4" bore at the bottom. I also drilled and tapped a hole in the side of the ram to hold a set screw to hold the punch in place. A couple hours on my Sherline lathe and mill I made several improvements.  I milled a groove in a piece of scrap brass and mounted it to the old steel plate.  I turned a new punch head (old one was missing) and added an adjustable stop for sspacing of the beading.  All for no cost but time. You can see the resuts on the test pieces in the last photo.  

 

 

 

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Althea

I doubt I will be making anything in tin but just wanted to say thank you for all of the time and attention you put in to this post--wonderful and valuable info for many no doubt!

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Catherine Soubzmaigne

This is great, thank you so much for all theses tips

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Bill Hudson

Continuing on:  The quest:

 

I recently found this sprinkeling can at an antique shop.  I liked it because the top is different than usual tops.  The quest is to develop a way to create that design of the top.  I decided that a punch and die would work. I machined one out so that the punch slid inside the die and the top former would press into an open bore. This would give me a domed top with a flange.    As it is the tin blank is the same diameter as the punch body and just fits into the bottom of the die.  When the punch pushes into the tin it draws the tin blank inward making the flange smaller. In this case the punch and die work fine giving me a flange and domed top. But the dome is not high enough. A deeper draw (dome) would draw all the flange metal inward more so and would eleminate the flange. I will need to redesign the die to that it will take a larger blank and at the same time hold the flange tight to keep it from wrinkeling as the tin is being drawn.  More to come. 

 

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By comparing the domed top against the die you can see that the flange on the top is smaller thatn the flange step on the die punch. To start with the blank was the same diameter as the outside diameter of the punch. That is how much it shrunk for just this shallow dome.

 

 

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Bill Hudson

I was able to rebuild the die former (using some scrap metal) to give me more dome. By enlarging the blank diameter and adding a hold down insert I was able to go for a deeper punch.  Any deeper I would have had wrinkle problems as I was having some on this punching.  By thightening up the hold down I was able to  eleminate the wrinkles. Although not as high of a dome as I really wanted it works fine.  The next step would be going to a hydraulic press. 

 

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Sue from Mesa

Thank you so much, Bill. This is something I've wanted to try for a long time.

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Bill Hudson

Back to the topic:

 

Results of the punch and die design.  Comparing the shallow dome to the newer more rounded dome top with flange. I like the newer rounded dome with flange. I am not trying to replicate the sprinkling can in the above photo, just using some of the elements to change my old designs such as the can on the right..

 

I also played around with making a rolled handle. The handle is not up to my expectations and that will change when I make the actual working dies from metal rather than wood. In the photo it looks like the seam of the handles not closed up but it actually is. 

 

 

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ElgaKoster

They both look great Bill, the one with the higher dome is my favorite of the two though :-)

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MissyBoling

Very nice, and it's interesting to see your process.  I like the higher dome with flange too.  It looks much like a watering can I have from my grandfather - would be fun to make one in miniature.

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Bill Hudson

Very nice, and it's interesting to see your process.  I like the higher dome with flange too.  It looks much like a watering can I have from my grandfather - would be fun to make one in miniature.

 

Missy, these are in miniature and yes they are fun to make.   :rolleyes:  :P

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MissyBoling

I meant it would be fun to make my watering can in miniature.  I know yours are miniature.   :P

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Bill Hudson

I have not been able to work in my garage work space for the last few days because the temperature has been near 90 degrees F; this is where I am set up for tin are work. Any one else having the same problem?

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MissyBoling

Bill, my problem is that the garage is too full to have room to work.  We actually had a cool spell here, very rare for July in TN!  Today it rained.  However, if my garage was empty, heat would normally be a problem all summer.

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Bill Hudson

It has been cool and raining here for the last couple of days so today I finally got some shop time.

 

My intent here has been to show my thought and development process when designing a new sprinkling can while encorperating some of the construction features from a can I found at an antique shop. First I tried to replicate the flanged top and then the formed handle.  All the pieces including the handle are stamped from the same thin metal and formed into a stronger fitting.  This last step was to replicate the stamped pot ears for the bail.  I believe the old can at one time had a wooden handle on the bail so I turned one to fit on the bail. I am not unhappy with my results although a bit rough when magnified by macro lens.  That is because I am finding it harder to work with my cataracts. I am soon to start getting them repaired next month.

 

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These are the pot ears before clean up. 

 

 

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Bill Hudson

I took some time off to remake my former blocks from a scrap of cold rolled steel.  This block has many uses, one of which is forming small tubes from tin.  The two tubes shown here are 5/64" outside diameter. I am just using welding rod for a mandrel at this time. I will invest in some good drill rod for more accurate mandrel.  I also need to refine my computing of the circumference for more accurate fitting.

 

It is not important to make the  forming blocks from metal if you are only planning on doing a small number of pieces. Hard rock maple,preferably end grain works wonders and in fact gives a cleaner finish.

 

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Tube forming can also be done with a draw plate.  I found tin did not draw well when I tried it in a friends draw plate. I don't have a draw plate but have been meaning to buy one.

 

I have ordered a tubing draw plate from Otto Frei. A bit spendy once shipping is added. Will  post an up date when it gets here and I can give it a workout.

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