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    Custom tickler on the cheap

    kiltedcelt
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    Post by kiltedcelt on Tue Jan 21, 2014 3:09 pm

    So ages ago I saw a build along where a guy used what I thought may have been a propane torch or a torch using MAP gas to heat a piece of metal stock and then bend it. He strengthened the bends with a weld using a hand-held welding rod and the same gas fired torch. He then used a grinder to clean up the welded strengthening joints. I need to build my own tickler for a 1500s German-style hunting crossbow. I went to the Depot and couldn't find any 3/8" or larger square metal bar so I bought a 7/16" round metal bar, thinking I could flatten by filing the portion of the tickler that goes into the stock of the bow, and the outside portion could be filed into shape as well. The museum piece I'm looking at for inspiration has a tickler that appears to be shaped somewhat octagonally. I'm speculating that maybe I can get the bends I want by filing with a v-shaped file on the inside of the bends then using a hammer on the anvil portion of a vise to get the bend I want. I'm not sure if I'll need to heat the metal to red hot as I saw in the original build-along or not. However, I do believe those inside edges of the bends where the filing took place will in fact need to be strengthened with a weld. I'm on somewhat of a time crunch with this project as I need to get the tickler done ASAP so I can get the "ivory" overlays glued on since there is going to be some seriously time-consuming scrimshaw work to do and I want this bow done by the end of February. To further complicate matters I live in an apartment so a forge set up is pretty much out of the question. I have a work area in the basement where I might be able to set up something with a propane torch just to get the metal close to red hot, but that's about it. My alternative is seeing if I can find somewhere that does metal working where I can take my materials and ask if they can do it. Thoughts or suggestions?
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    Post by Gnome on Wed Jan 22, 2014 5:53 am

    Wow, sounds like you've set yourself up for a challenge! Given the restrictions you've mentioned, in your place I'd find a shop to rough out that tickler so I could focus on the scrimshaw and other stuff. A MAPP torch is currently my only tool for heating metal, and while I can get some decent bends in round stock up to 90 degrees, especially if I start with an oversize rod I can file the heck out of to clean up the bend afterwards, I doubt I could get it hot enough to melt or weld steel. Of course you could always cut the tickler out of plate rather than form it out of rod, but that would be a lot more work and a lot more waste.
    Nah, find a machine shop and get it done quick and right and probably cheap. Let's see some progress shots! I'm too busy to build right now and need to live vicariously.
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    Post by Hermit on Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:49 am

    If you can acquire a few firebricks,and build yourself an open sided box,or a tunnel,it will concentrate the heat from your torch,and enable you to make bends in reasonable sized metal.The bricks don't need to be fixed,so you can build whatever will work.Also,there used to be a welding outfit on the market that used small canisters of acetylene,and tablets of some chemical to provide the oxygen,that might work for you.
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    Post by Geezer on Wed Jan 22, 2014 1:44 pm

    There are several low-ox propane or acetelyne (MAPP) torches on the market. I've known a number of craftsmen who sweat by these devices as wonder-torches. People who have used a REAL oxy-acetelyne rig laugh their butts off in reply.  However, they WILL give you a much hotter flame than an ordinary propane rig, and they're pretty cheap.  Rig up one of those with the fire-bricks and you've got a decent temporary forge.  Geezer.
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    Post by kiltedcelt on Wed Jan 22, 2014 6:37 pm

    Geezer,

    I know I could probably do this with a makeshift forge, but by the time I track down the fire bricks and everything else I'd need I'd be better off just taking my steel rod to a metal worker and having them take care of the forging and such. I'm just going to start calling around and see if I can turn someone up.

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