Friday, September 12, 2014

Fragment bowls and tool

©2014 Barry Smith - Fragment bowls - made from silver-plated EPNS offcuts
Some time ago I posted on a new tool I had bought - a hydraulic press. I wanted to press some small bowls that would then be hammered on the anvil and stake.  I thought if I could purchase a hemi-spherical drill or wood turning cutter tool I could form the right shape into a piece of hardwood and use that to press the metal into. The only issue was that such a tool was not readily available; and the one that existed cost about $450. So the only solution was to make my own.

I started with a rusted small axe head I had been given - I thought that would give me strong hard tool steel.

©2014 Barry Smith -  Tool marked up on blade of small axe head
After cutting the rough shape out, the filing, grinding, polishing and sharpening process took place - but as you can see from the series of photos below a strong sturdy tool was created.

©2014 Barry Smith - Rough cut - and filing begins
©2014 Barry Smith - View of the double cutting edges
©2014 Barry Smith - Stubby but effective hemi-spherical cutter bit - 52mm in diameter 
©2014 Barry Smith - The remained of the axe's edge
And it did work - it cut the form I wanted and I was able to press some fragments of silver-plated EPNS. I tested it on soft wood first; and then hard wood on the end grain.

©2014 Barry Smith - Wood form, tool and pressed silver-plated fragments
And after hammering and polishing these fragment bowls came up well.

©2014 Small fragment bowls - about 50-60mm
©2014 Small fragment bowls - about 50-60mm - facets on the back
Fiona liked them very much and has claimed them for her own - I will be pressing and hammering more now that I have the wooden form


  1. More Barry magic! Just love seeing how you go about making your treasures. And this post is a winner!

  2. Very inventive, love those bowls, really wish we didn't live so far away, fancy a trip down to SA with a Trailer?

  3. Just beautiful. They'd be lovely for tea light candles.

  4. Ooooo... love these, and what a cool tool, quite beautiful and has an ancient echo. I guess many tools do.

  5. C, P, M & VA - finally getting around to saying thanks for checking out the post. This coming Friday I would like to make some more of these fragment bowls - just lovely with their odd shapes and lines from past lives. C - I think the tool makes it a winner. P - one of the hard things about online communities is the distance - but it is still good to keep an eye on each other. M - tea lights candles would complement the fragments well. VA - a very rustic rough tough but effective tool when one looks at the fragments - thanks. All go well. B


Comments are welcomed - it is good to connect with fellow travellers.