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Bill Hudson

Tinware Tutorial

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Bill Hudson

​For a good book on metal work I recommend The Complete Metalsmith  by Tim McCreight. I have started a topic for conversation on this book in  Books, Magazines & Research titled: For Miniature Metalworking.

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Bill Hudson

Forming sheet metal:

 

You may note that the homemade former block has flat bottomed grooves rather than rounded.  It is not really important when forming a round tube in the grooves.  Using a round mandrel, the metal takes the shape of the mandrel.  The metal is forced into the groove with the mandrel leaving a U shaped metal tube. The legs of the U are then hammered around the mandrel to finish the tube. 

 

There are two main types of forming dies to shape metal: Conforming dies and nonconforming dies.

 

post-35-0-54474300-1406525085_thumb.jpeg   

 

The conforming die The punch and die profiles match.

 

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The nonconforming die the punch is formed but the die is not. It is just a hole the size of the punch. If the bottom of the punch is rounded then the metal formed will have a round bottom or be dish shaped. If flat then the bottom will be flat.  This method can be used to draw a deep, closed bottom tube. 

 

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This punch and dies were designed to form the popcorn wagon poppers.  The first is the lid which uses a combination of both types. The outer edges of the lid are conformed to the punch however the dome of the lid is formed as a nonconforming punch.  The next two punches and dies are both nonconforming and made the deep sided pans.  When making a punch for drawing the edge of the die should be slightly rounded or the punch will cut out a disk rather then draw the metal.  The metal used here was nickel silver, annealed. Like copper or brass it forms easier than hard tin.  

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miraclechicken

Thanks again Bill, really enjoying this---

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Bill Hudson

​My draw plate came by UPS today.  My first attempt to draw an 1/8" tube from tin.  Not the most successful.  The tin can not be annealed between draws from one hole to the other. I am not sure of the carbon content to the tin steel base but any metal will harden with working.  Tin is already hard from rolling it out so thin. It probably could be annealed (softened) in an annealing oven but that would take a lot of time between draws. I did the draw with a wire inside but it was a bit small.  I also did not have a good straight pull on it so I got a bend in the tube.  I do think I can refine my methods and come out with a nice looking tin tube. I see no problems at all with copper or brass as they can be annealed each draw. 

​First the circumference is figured out then the tin is cut to that width. One end is tapered about 3/4" back. The tin strip is partially rounded down the middle using my forming block shown a few pages back to start the rounding off of the tube. I used a 1/4" dowel to draw through with the tin the first three draws. After that I used an 1/8" welding rod for support and drew it through the plate with the tin.  Successive draws closed up the seam. Not having a steady straight draw caused to tube to come out slightly bent. I believe all these problems can be solved.   

This draw plate will only draw down to 3mm. I used petroleum jelly as a lubricant.

 

 

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The width of the blank was 3/8" before the draw. Below is a close up of the seam.  It pulls up nice and tight but is wrinkled from the draw. I believe the draw plate holes are too drastic in bevel.  The transition edge of the bevel is sharp.  It would seem to me that the edge should be slightly rounded so that the edge does not bite into the metal.

 

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UP Date 9/22/14: Note that the taper in the holes of my draw plate are fairly quick where the taper of the holes in the PDF are more gradual. I believe that is why it is hard to pull through my plate.  Possibly someday I will anneal the plate and ream the holes to a more gradual taper.

 

Note: I make no claim to know what I am doing.     :unsure:

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bonni.b

For a guy who claims not to know what he's doing, the results look decent to me!

 

How are you holding the draw plate stationary and how are you pulling the tin through? One in one hand and the other in the other? Or the draw plate in a vise while you back away from it? Very curious, as I don't have a lot of strength in these tiny arthritic hands sometimes.

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Bill Hudson

For a guy who claims not to know what he's doing, the results look decent to me!

 

How are you holding the draw plate stationary and how are you pulling the tin through? One in one hand and the other in the other? Or the draw plate in a vise while you back away from it? Very curious, as I don't have a lot of strength in these tiny arthritic hands sometimes.

Mz B, I'm not doing any thing fancy or for that matter correct. I had the draw plate clamped in a vise. I just pulled the tin through with vise-grips to grip the tin. Things are pretty hectic right now but as soon as I can get a break I will try to do a step by step. It would be nice if I had a draw bench. It is a long sawhorse looking thing with a vise to hold the plate and a wench like thing to crank a cable connected to pliers made for drawing. There are some kinks I need to work out to make the drawn tube nicer.

 

Below is a PDF describing how to use  draw plate for drawing wire or making tubes.

 

http://www.ganoksin.com/ftp/Making-wire-and-tube.pdf

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Bill Hudson

This is the last installment on making tin tubes.  After various attempts to improve making tubes this is the result.  I tried to use the method mentioned in the above PDF with some problems.  Hammering the tin around a mandrel to nearly close the seam did not work, It was a lot of extra work and the result was not acceptable to me.  I went back to my first method which was to press the metal blank into the swage block to start the rounding, then I used 1/4" wooden dowel (1/4" metal rod might be better but I did not have a piece) with the metal to start the forming.  I moved the metal and dowel up through as many holes as I could pull the tube through then I turned to 3/32" wire and did the same until I could go no farther and the seam was closed.  I cleaned up the rough stuff from the seam and soldered it. Then I filed off the solder.

 

​Several things happen when pulling tin.  first of all the tin work hardens.  The metal expands at the seam edges causing the tube to bow and the edges to wrinkle.  These wrinkles need to be worked out with a plastic or brass hammer. The tube also wants to twist.  Once all problems are taken care of the final pulls are made. Since I do not have a pulling bench I have to rely on my own strength and make every effort to keep the pull straight. Even so the back end of the tube wants to bend a bit.  This 1/4" and the pull tab were sawn off with a jeweler's saw. 

 

After soldering the joint was cleaned up with a file.  The joint is not visible, what looks like the joint in the photos are just light play.

 

So to answer the question" can a tin tube be made in the average studio.  Yes.  It is a lot of work but if you really need tin then this is a way to go about it.  The tube shown is 1/8" diameter. Although there was one hole left to pull through I could not make it work with just muscle power. I don't see why one could not make a smaller draw bar but with the stiffness of the tin It would be very hard to pull any thing smaller.

 

So concludes the experiment on tin tube making.

 

post-35-0-24703500-1407884880_thumb.jpg

 

post-35-0-61321100-1407884900_thumb.jpg

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Bill Hudson

Cataracts repaired, new glasses (eyes).  Good to a see again.  Back to the studio this evening making a punch die for forming the sprinkling head for the watering cans.  I had been using some brass findings I have had for many years; finally running out of them.

 

The main die is three parts: bottom forming, top guide and forming punch.  These will sit down in a larger base to keep the bottom and guide in alignment.  The aluminum piece in the chuck will be bored to accept the guide and base. A clamping top will be made to hold it all together.

 

 

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post-35-0-07400900-1412141176_thumb.jpg

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Bill Hudson

Finishing off the punch die.  Drilled and bored the holding case.  

 

post-35-0-58813800-1412224720_thumb.jpg

 

post-35-0-08055200-1412224734_thumb.jpg

 

Completed die punch for making the sprinkling head.

 

post-35-0-44978900-1412224751_thumb.jpg

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Bill Hudson

The blank discs are laid out on brass sheet. My first attempt the brass was too thin and split.  Second attempt with heavier brass worked but the drilled hole expanded to large.  Final attempt: (When building the punch I installed a 1/16" guide on the end of the punch hoping that it would save me drilling it later);  I removed the 1/16" guide from the end of the punch and it came out well. I center punched the blank to lay out the circle of stock.  I placed the dimple up in the die so the hole in the end of the punch centered on it. This left a dimple in the the finishers piece and i could drill it out as needed. this hole is to be drilled out for mounting the sprinkling head on the spout of the sprinkling can. It ail leave a face with holes in it for sprinkling. 

 

post-35-0-17878000-1412224963_thumb.jpg

 

My third attempt worked fine except it took three annealings. 

 

Stamped blank.

 

post-35-0-97297100-1412224982_thumb.jpg

 

My next project will be to make a punch to cut the head from the blank. (hopefully.)

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Bill Hudson

Separating the sprinkling head from the disc.  Using the same forming dies I made a hard steel shear/stamp punch to cut the head from the disc.  I just used the back side of the forming plug, opened up to accept the shear/stamp punch diameter. 

 

After forming the cap with the brass punch, I remove the bottom forming die and turn it over and then place the cap, facing down.  The top guide is in place then the shearing punch is driven down to shear the cap from the disc.

 It is haphazard way of shearing the cap off the disc. Every thing hangs up and it is hard to remove the punch.  I will make a separate shearing die with relief in to let the cap fall out after shearing.  I will also need to build in a stripper on the punch to help removing the disc after the cap is sheared.  Minor yet important details. 

 

The caps are .1719 tall and .2344 diameter. The hole is .0625

 

 

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post-35-0-12907800-1412570674_thumb.jpg

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PJPickard

Bill,

 

I have to say, that I neglected this thread...I downloaded your "tutorial" a long time ago, and when this popped up I only gave it a quick look. Only when you posted it to another forum did I come back here and look at all the pages. Great, great work, thanks for your time in doing and sharing it!

 

Paul

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Bill Hudson

I scrapped the above internal dies and punches. My problem was the metal was not tool steel ( I thought it was) ,and too soft to hold shape after a couple of use's.  I purchased W1 drill rod and made new punch and die.  Then I hardened them with my little assay oven. (have had it for many years but never used it until now.) The punch and dies shown here are the final effort.  

 

To punch and shear with the same punch and die I turned the punch maximum diameter just tight in the hole.  Only the formed part of the punch goes in the hole. A shoulder keeps the punch from going into the hole.  First step is to cut and anneal a disk and center punch it.  The disk is placed on top of the die and the guide is placed over it. The punch is then driven down with a mallet until it stops.  The cap is removed and the hole is drilled.  It is then placed back in the die and the punch is driven down hard. The tight fit at the maximum diameter shears the cap from the disk.  This heat treatment can be done with a normal plumbing torch from the hardware store but I had the oven and decided to give it a try. The oven gave me scaling as can be seen on the punch. I don't get this with the torch; I believe the scaling burns off with the flame. There are probably things and tricks that I don't know about using the oven but I had to try any way. I can tell you the hey are really hard, can't scratch with a file or engrave even with a carbide engraver tip.

 

Below are picture of the heat treating process.

 

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post-35-0-31296400-1414555546_thumb.jpg

 

post-35-0-42014300-1414555585_thumb.jpg

 

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Bill Hudson

My intent, through this tutorial was to share some of my methods of doing tin work. I don't claim my way is the right and only way; far from it.   I wanted to show that no real special tools are needed although I have also shown some of my special tools incase some one wants to go farther into tin work.  I have taken you through development of special tools and through the building of a sprinkling can. I have not hidden my mistakes. They are all posted here.  I want to encourage up and coming miniaturists that mistakes are a big part of developing skills. 

 

  There seems to be no more interest in this tutorial. I have not seen comments or questions for some time. So at this time I am bringing this tutorial to a close.

 

Thank all of you who have shown an interest.

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PJPickard

Bill,

 

There is interest! Don't stop, please...any more tips and techniques you have please share, I file this stuff away for future use.

 

Paul

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miraclechicken

I'm interested!! I've saved and printed out everything and it is in a binder in my shop,. I add to it every time you do :)

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bonni.b

The people have spoken, Bill. Do add posts when you resume your struggles with that pesky watering can! Evidently, just because they're not saying anything doesn't mean they're not soaking it all in. 

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miraclechicken

** Evidently, just because they're not saying anything doesn't mean they're not soaking it all in.** 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Bonni I totally agree. As a well seasoned group/forum member from around '01, people (LOTS of them) are---I don't care much for the term lurker, but they are. And even active members of a group don't always comment/contribute, myself included sometimes. I just enjoy/copy/file and don't always realize I didn't say thank you or make a comment. It happens frequently in every group. Groups with even upwards of 1,000 members there are usually only 15 or so that are active.........

Love this thread as I have indeed said  :)

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Bill Hudson

Well I can see this thread going off in another direction so I will keep posting more tin stuff.    With cold weather coming on I will be taking break to change over from garage work space (the little heaters can't keep me warm enough) to inside studio so it will be a while.  

 

Thank you all for your encouragement's.   :wub:

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Bill Hudson

Project done:  

This concludes the tin ware tutorial to this point. Thank you all of looking and commenting.

 

 

   post-35-0-31090100-1416542138_thumb.jpg

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WeekendMiniaturist

That is one beautiful watering can.  Now all I need are some flowers to water! :)  I will have to purchase some of that tape you suggested before I do any metal work; have cut my finger today on an envelope; I can only imagine the pain of slicing a finger with metal.  So much to learn... But I did learn about card-board models in my one drafting class in high school., we had to draw our geometric shapes and then construct them to pass that lesson.  Did we call it cardstock way back then? ( I liked architecture in high school.)

 

Referencing your post on October 28, there are 6 domed (brass?) pieces in the photo.  What was the intended use? 

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Bill Hudson

 

 

Referencing your post on October 28, there are 6 domed (brass?) pieces in the photo.  What was the intended use? 

 

 

Sprinkling head base.  Go further back to page 58, It explains it.

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