As you may know, anytime I spend making a tool is time well spent.
Most blacksmiths are known to spend 3 hours making a tool in order to save 10 minutes of work. And that is perfectly OK!!
That is not quite the direction I went in to make this tool, but the diversion was appreciated.
I have been making a collection of small sign language hands which spell out words and signs.
They are called Quiet Comments, and can be seen at quietcomments.com.
I needed a way to hold them while they were welded to the base. So a custom designed and manufactured tool was needed!
This tool needed to do several things at one time;
Solidly hold the small metal hand
Adjust to hold the hand at the correct angle
Be weighted to hold it the piece in place while being welded.
So all other projects should stop to make a tool. I think I will.
I started with a piece of 2”x 2” x 4” solid bar. It was heavy enough and looked cool as part of the tool. (an important consideration)
A tiny set of vice grips were welded to the end of a piece of flat rod. Then an articulating arm was added and secured with wing nuts.
After sand blasting it was painted with a clear coat on the grip end, and bright red on the weighted end. The red would separate it from all the other pieces of metal in the shop. All of my jigs and custom tools are painted red.
I tried it out and welded about 35 hands. It worked great… I have a new tool… now on to the next one I just cannot live without…whatever it is…
If you have made a great tool, or have one you think would be great, I would love to hear about it.
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