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1911 Encyclopedia Britannica
the craft of the smith, or "blacksmith," exercised on malleable iron and steel, in the production of works of constructive utility and of ornament. It differs from founding (q.v.) in the fact that the metal is never melted. It is essentially a moulding process, the iron or steel being worked at a full red, or white, heat when it is in a plastic and more or less pasty condition. Consequently the tools used are in the main counterparts of the shapes desired, and they mould by impact. All the operations of forging may be reduced to a few very simple ones: (1) Reducing or drawing down from a larger to a smaller section ("fullering" and "swaging"); (2) enlargement of a smaller to a larger portion ("upsetting"); (3) bending, or turning round to any angle or curvature; (4) uniting one piece of metal to another ("welding"); (5) the formation of holes by punching; and (6) severance, or cutting off. These include all the operations that are done at the anvil. In none of these processes, the last excepted, is the use of a sharp cutting tool involved, and therefore there is no violence done to the fibre of the malleable metal. Nor have the tools of the smith any sharp edges, except the cuttingoff tools or "setts." The essential fact of the flow of the metal, which is viscous when at a full red heat, must never be lost sight of; and in forging wrought iron the judgment of the smith must be exercised in arranging the direction of the fibre in a way best calculated to secure maximum strength.
Fullering denotes the preliminary roughing-down of the material between tools having convex edges; swaging, the completion or finishing process between swages, or dies of definite shape, nearly hemispherical in form. When a bar has to be re duced from larger to smaller dimensions, it is laid upon a, fuller or round-faced stake, set in the anvil, or, in some cases, on a flat face (fig. I), and blows are dealt upon that portion of the face which lies exactly opposite with a fullering tool A, grasped by a rather loosely-fitting handle and struck on its head by a sledge. The position of the piece of work is quickly changed at brief intervals in order to bring successive portions under the action of the swages until the reduction is completed; the upper face, and if a bottom fuller is used the under face also, is thus left corrugated slightly. These corrugations are then removed either by a flatter, if the surfaces are plane (fig. 2), or by hollow swages, if the cross section is circular (fig. 3). Spring swages (fig. 4) are frequently used instead of separate "top and bottom tools." Frequently swaging is prac tised at once, without the preliminary detail of fullering. It is adopted when the amount of reduction is slight, and also when a steam hammer or other type of power hammer is available. This process of drawing down or fullering is, when practicable, adopted in preference to either upsetting or welding, because it is open to no objection, and involves no risk of damage to the material, while it improves the metal by consolidating its fibres. But its limitations in anvil work lie in the tediousness of the operation, when the part to be reduced is very much less in diameter, and very much longer, than the original piece of bar. Then there are other alternatives.
If a long bar is required to have an enlargement at any portion of its length, not very much larger in diameter than the bar, nor of to e be enlarged is the e parts adjacent remaining t P J g cold, and an end is hammered, or else lifted and dropped heavily on the anvil or on an iron plate, with the result that the heated portion becomes both shortened and enlarged (figs. 5 and 6). This process is only suitable for relatively short lengths, and has the disadvantage that the fibres of wrought iron are liable to open, and so cause weakening of the upset portion. But steel, which has no direction of fibre, can be upset without injury; this method is therefore commonly adopted in steel work, in power presses to an equal extent with drawing down. The alternative to upsetting is generally to weld a larger to a smaller bar or section, or to encircle the bar with a ring and weld the two (fig. 7), and then to impart any shape desired to the ring in swages.
Bending is effected either by the hammer or by the simple exercise of leverage, the heated bar being pulled round a fulcrum. It is always, when practicable, preferable to cutting out a curved or angular shape with a hot sett or to welding. The continuity of the fibre in iron is preserved by bending, and the risk of an imperfect weld is avoided. Hence it is a simple and safe process which is constantly being performed at the anvil.
An objection to sharp bends, or those having a small radius, is that the fibres become extended on the outer radius, the cross section being, FIG. 7.
at the same time reduced below that of the bar itself. This is met by imparting a preliminary amount of upsetting to the part to be bent, sufficient to counteract the amount of reduction due to extension of the fibres. A familiar example is seen in the corners of dip cranks.
The property possessed by pieces of iron or steel of uniting autogeneously while in a condition of semi-fusion is very valuable. When portions which differ greatly in dimensions have to be united, welding is the only method practicable at the anvil. It is also generally the best to adopt when union has to be made between pieces at right angles, or when a piece on which much work has to be done is required at the end of a long plain bar, as in the tension rods of cranes and other structures with eyes. The art of welding depends chiefly on having perfectly clean joint FIG.8. FIG. 9.
faces, free from scale, so that metal can unite to metal; union would be prevented by the presence of oxide or of dirt. Also it is essential to have a temperature sufficiently high, yet not such as to overheat the metal. A dazzling white, at which small particles of metal begin to drop off, is suitable for iron, but steel must not be made so hot. A very few hammer blows suffice to effect the actual union; if the joint be faulty, no amount of subsequent hammering will weld it. The forms of weld-joints include the scarf (figs. 8 and 9), the butt (fig. io), the V (fig. and the glut, one form of which FIG. I I.
is shown in fig. 12; the illustrations are of bars prepared for welding. These forms give the smith a suitable choice for different conditions. A convexity is imparted to the joint faces in order to favour the expulsion of slag and dirt during the closing of the joint; these undesirable matters become entangled between concave faces. The ends are upset or enlarged in order to leave enough metal to be dressed down flush, by swaging or by flattering. The proportional lengths of the joint faces shown are those which conform to good practice. The fluxes used for welding are numerous. Sand alone is generally dusted on wrought iron, but steel requires borax applied on the joint while in the fire, and also dusted on the joint at the anvil and on the face of the latter itself. Electric welding is largely taking the place of the hand process, but machines are required to maintain the parts in contact during the passage of the current. Butt joints are employed, and a large quantity of power is absorbed, but the output is immensely greater than that of hand-made welds.
When holes are not very large they are formed by punching, but large holes are preferably produced by bending a rod round and welding it, so forming an eye (fig. 13). Small holes u nchin g. are often punched simply as a preliminary stage in the formation of a larger hole by a process of drifting. A piece of work to be punched is supported either on the anvil or on a ring of metal termed a bolster, laid on the anvil, through which the burr, when severed, falls. But in making small holes through a thick mass, no burr is produced, the metal yielding sideways and forming an enlargement or boss. Examples occur in the wrought iron stanchions FIG. 2. FIG. 3.
FIG. 5. FIG. 6.