Metal bending, a complicated task can be made simple by following basic principles. By knowing the dynamics of metal bending you can definitely take care of simple repairs easily and can even progress well as a blacksmith. This article presents basic tips to try for easy metal bending.
1. Choose the right type of heat source: Metals can be bent very easily when they are very hot. To heat the metal to that high temperature it is essential to use a right source of heat. Generally, propane or oxy-acetylene torches are used for heating metals. However, certain metals bend even before getting red hot. For example, metals such as brass melt very easily and have to be heated only slightly.
2. Restrict the pressure to a very small area: After heating the metal, try to bend the metal with the help of hammer. Make sure to apply the force to a small area to avoid strain on the metal. Take care that the metal does not over bend. Allow some time for the metal crystals to settle down after bending.
3. Do not bend a cold metal rod above sixty degree angle: An important metal bending tip to be remembered is not to bend metals such as brass when it is cool. If you try to bend brass when it is cold it will crack. Before bending a brass rod secure it with a vise and then bend it using the tongs. However, if you possess anvil, bend the metal around its horn considering the horns as template.
4. Take personal protection: As metal bending is carried out only when the metal is red hot there is a risk of hand burns and sometimes the eyes may also be affected. Hence, it is highly recommended to use heavy gloves to prevent burning of the hands. Always use tongs to hold the hot metal.
5. Don’t burn zinc containing metals: Burning of zinc results in emission of poisonous fumes of zinc. Hence, it is essential to use respirators capable of filtering poisonous gases while burning metals having zinc. An ordinary facemask cannot protect you from poisonous zinc fumes.
6. Take protection during quenching: Quenching means cooling a red hot metal immediately in cold water or oil. In such cases it is highly essential to take extra care as the chances of injury is high. Certain metals shatter with quenching. Hence, before attempting to heat a metal make sure to know about the metal in detail.
Lastly, if you are trying metal bending for any purpose make sure to follow the above given tips for safe and precise metal bending.