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Leaf Keyring
Demonstration by Bill Epps.
http://www.besmithy.com
July 7, 1999

BILL-EPPS :
20:31:42

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BILL-EPPS :
20:32:40

The first thing we do is take a 3/8"sq. bar, put a short point on the end of the bar, working at the edge of the anvil, hitting straight down, and holding your hammer at an angle.

BILL-EPPS :
20:33:16

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BILL-EPPS :
20:35:10

Let the point Hang off the anvil about 1/2" and set it down on two sides only.

BILL-EPPS :
20:35:38

We will do this with 1/2 blows. Half on the anvil and 1/2 off.

BILL-EPPS :
20:36:27

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BILL-EPPS :
20:37:17

We flatten it down about 1/2 way on the bias.

BILL-EPPS :
20:38:00

This leaf will have a "Raised Vein", so we don't thin it down all the way just yet.

BILL-EPPS :
20:38:58

The Veining Tool in the last picture there, is a piece of square stock that fits my hardy hole which happens to be 1".

Jock-D :
20:40:19

What kind of steel is the veining tool?

BILL-EPPS :
20:41:10

To make the veining tool, I took a piece of 1" sq. split it about 3/4" deep, stuck it in the vice and upset the middle, put it in the hardy hole and flattened out the top with a slight crown in the center, and used a hot cutter to put the creases in it.. I made it out of hot roll steel because the only thing you will hammer in it is Hot Iron.

BILL-EPPS :
20:41:54

I did quench it in Super Quench. That is a recipe that I have if anyone needs it by the way.

BILL-EPPS :
20:42:36

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BILL-EPPS :
20:44:48

Take a Good Heat. I use either my rounding hammer or a diagonal cross pien with a good radius.

BILL-EPPS :
20:46:04

I do this to spread the leaf and make it thin.

BILL-EPPS :
20:47:21

Some people prefer to cut lines in or down into the metal rather than have them raised, this is done with a dull cold chisel at this point. It just gives a little different effect. I prefer the veins standing out. It adds more dimension.

BILL-EPPS :
20:49:23

I use a ballpien hammer and a block of wood on the back side to put a cup in the leaf (leaves are never flat)

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BILL-EPPS :
20:51:04

Now that we have this leaf made, we are going to make a keyring fob out of it. We use our Hardy to cut the thing off at the end of the taper about 1 1/2-2" back from the leaf.

BILL-EPPS :
20:51:36

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BILL-EPPS :
20:52:53

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BILL-EPPS :
20:54:06

At this point I will dress up the stem with my hammer and set down enough metal to make the widow's eye.

BILL-EPPS :
20:56:34

To make this widow's eye, we are going to draw out a stem about an inch to 1/2" long.

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BILL-EPPS :
20:57:19

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BILL-EPPS :
20:59:20

After we get it drawn out 1" to 1 1/2" long, bend it at a 90 degree angle with a good crisp square corner on the side of the anvil. Now come over to the point of the horn and put a small curl on the end.

BILL-EPPS :
20:59:48

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BILL-EPPS :
21:01:42

Now with the curl on the end "UP", we are going to turn it back and make the eye.

BILL-EPPS :
21:02:12

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BILL-EPPS :
21:03:27

Close the eye all the way, insert a key ring holder from Wal-Mart, , but make sure the eye is closed all the way so it won't slip out.

BILL-EPPS :
21:05:34

It takes me about 10 minutes to make one of these in front of a crowd, and I sell them for $5.00. Wire brush the finish and use bees wax at a black heat, or you can cool it dry it and put Krylon Clear on it.. Also a brass brush at a black heat gives a nice effect too.

BILL-EPPS :
21:06:16

When you finish it should look something like this:

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BILL-EPPS :
21:06:54

Any Questions?

toby :
21:07:47

vines on the bottom, or top?

BILL-EPPS :
21:09:40

Toby, the vines or veins go on the top.

dimag :
21:10:08

Is the veiner flat Bill?

BILL-EPPS :
21:12:20

I want it raised so that you can the middle the most and get the spread on the leaf. Ruben, my helper, and I with a power hammer can do 60 of these in an hour.

vince-herod :
21:12:23

How thick does the veining tool end up at the center?

BILL-EPPS :
21:13:13

Another Type. Should have said I want it raised, so that you can "Thin" the middle the most and get the spread on the Leaf.

BILL-EPPS :
21:14:00

The veiner tool is about 1/2" thick in the center and about 3/8" on the edges.

toby :
21:14:29

:) the way I was doing them, they could be a spear head in a pinch

vince-herod :
21:15:20

I think I now know why my attempt at a veining tool did not work. I didn't put a crown in it.

Jock-D :
21:15:43

Every blacksmiths leaves have a slightly different character. I used a chiseled vein and used the chisel like a pencil, every vein on every leaf a little different. Others make leaves with a triangular section and heavy texture.

BILL-EPPS :
21:17:41

I do all types of leaves myself, this is just one style. You have to make the leaves to suit your client.

Jock-D :
21:18:01

Later I developed a folded leaf. When opened in a vise it leaves a heavy natural ridge on the back and a groove on the front.

BILL-EPPS :
21:18:48

I do lots of big leaves, with all types of textures, veins, etc. Lots of cut out leaves and tricky stuff to make them look authentic.

Copyright 1999 Bill Epps
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