Wrought Iron | Measuring Devices Used In BlacksmithingWrought Iron | Measuring Devices Used In Blacksmithing
Wrought Iron : Measuring Devices Used In Blacksmithing
The tools and appliances used to determine the different measurements of various wrought iron objects fabricated by blacksmiths, vary greatly according to the work to be executed. There are instruments used for measuring and designing wrought iron pieces, others that are made to support and hold objects securely, (as well as the various kinds of tools used in forging and welding), and also devices for cutting and dividing; (i.e. drills, borers, punches, and screwing-tools.Measures used for determining length, are similar to those employed for general use; for example, wooden or metal rods or rules, folding or tape measures.
- The Slide-Gauge is used for measuring thicknesses and to determine bulk and capacity. The 'socket' is generally made of brass, with the slide and calipers fabricated from steel. If the socket is scaled as well as the slide, then the slide-gauge can also be used for obtaining extremely small measurements. For more exact measurements, the gauge is made with a 'vernier'; an adjustment device used for determining different forms of 'fine tuning'.
- Set-Gauges, are instruments that are used to ascertain drilling depth.
- Wire and Sheet Gauges are oblong plates of steel with square or rounded corners, with notches along their edges. These are made according to a given scale of dimensions, increasing gradually in size. By inserting the wire or sheet into the gauge, the thickness of the object can be approximated. All plates, with notches along their edges, or elsewhere, which serve to measure standard dimensions and forms; are classified as gauges. In this category for example;are: locksmith's gauges. which serve to determine the thickness and sections of the 'Wards';(fixed projections designed to obstruct unauthorized keys or other objects, from entering or operating the lock), and size of the shaft or barrel of a key. Back in earlier times, lead or wax was often used as a substitute for these gauges.
- Gauge-pins and Rings, (i.e. cylindrical rods and hollow cylinders of steel); serve to fix or define the diameter of holes, sizes of cylinders. These are either specially named according to their uses, or generalized as caliber-gauges.
- Various instruments serve to measure angles. The most commonly recurring right-angle is gauged by a simple iron or steel angle made out of one piece of metal, one of its 'branches' generally being longer than the other. For the reduction and measurement of angles of 30, 45, and 60 degrees. a right-angled triangle; of which the angles of the hypotenuse, represent 30 and 60 degrees, (or 45 and 45 respectively).
- For measuring other angles, the 'Goniometer', ( an angle measuring instrument); is used. The indicator works on a pin and is fixed by an adjusting screw. The number of degrees in the desired angle is read from the scale.
- Compasses and Calipers, the most common are calipers and compasses; with or without adjustments, others for measuring the diameter of cylinders, as well as ones combined with legs for measuring the inside dimensions. (By keeping the points at both ends equally wide apart, measurements can be obtained in positions from which it is impossible to withdraw calipers while they are open). These compasses are also used for determining round and cylindrical dimensions, one end of which fixes the diameter, and the other the circumference.
In Transferring, Pricking, or Drawing;
the following tools are used:
Instruments for centering cylindrical objects:
- Drawing-Table, a thick right-angled iron plate which must be absolutely smooth and level because it serves as a base.
- Center-Punches. These are small punches with conical points which serve to mark the lines to be followed with dots.
- Drawing- Needle, a slim steel pencil for dotting and tracing lines. Brass points are sometimes used.
- T-Squares and Set-Squares, iron or steel.
- Parallel-Rule, an instrument made in various forms to facilitate drawing lines parallel with the drawing table.
Perpendicular and horizontal planes are obtained by the use of:
- Set Angle, by which 2 straight lines may be ruled in any direction across the circle, the intersecting point of which will be its center.
- A Plummet, an elongated metal knob finishing in a point and attached to a string.
- The Plumb-Line, a tool, consisting of an equilateral triangle with a 'plummet'.
- The Spirit-Level comes in square and tubular forms.
This article is an edited version of the original text from "A Handbook of Art Smithing"
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