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Lapidary / Gemstone Community Forum
December 10, 2018, 08:36:57 am
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how does one flatten the metal backing after cutting?

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Author Topic: how does one flatten the metal backing after cutting?  (Read 1001 times)
asterix
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« Reply #30 on: December 11, 2014, 08:16:03 am »

Use a saw ..... you shouldn't been flattening anything after cutting. Also, using a shear you are going to have all those dents marked on the metal and is much harder to control where you're cutting.

On the long run, even if you don't like it, you are going to have to use a saw. The sooner the better.

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Bentiron
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« Reply #31 on: December 16, 2014, 02:59:10 pm »


"OK!!! THIS is what I want to know! HOW do you polish your tools to a mirror finish:)? Exact steps please:)." This question was from October last year and here is my take on how I put a mirror polish on a hammer face.
I usually start off determining if it needs file work or grinder work, some just don't need the drastic touch of a grinder and some are too hard for a file. I clean all the rust off with a wire wheel mounted on a 4" angle grinder, wear eye protection, gloves, ear protection and if possible a leather apron, wheel will shed wires at high velocity. Now you can start grinding on the face if it is badly pitted or badly dinged up. Keep it cool, don't let it get hot enough to change colors from white to blue or brown, that's a no, no. I use a 120 for this, yes, I know some that would use and 80 grit wheel for this but it gets it too hot too fast and the scratches are very deep and with the 120 you will not have as much work to clean up if the whole face is not all that bad. From here on out it is just going on down in grits. Wheels for the angle grinder don't go down all that far so you will need to switch to hand sanding. I usually go down to 1200 before I put the face of the hammer to the polishing wheel where I finish it  off with nice mirror like finish with a muslin wheel. Then it is just a matter of keeping the rust from forming during the humid months here in Phoenix in the summer.
I use the same basic techniques for my silversmithing stakes and for my 125 pound anvil. However if I had it to do over on the anvil I would take it to a machine shop and have the surface ground down. While this statement will cause much gnashing of teeth amongst some hard core blacksmiths if done properly it can be wonderful for jewelers and do minimal harm to the anvil. First turn the anvil on it face, that's right face down for a rough grind on the base, next turn it face side up. The reason for this is so that the "hard face" and the base will be parallel. Since old anvils have a wrought iron forged body and a tool steel face that are forge welded together the base and the face are not always anywhere near parallel and you don't want to remove the face, which is where are the work is done, down to the soft wrought iron base(core). So if you do the base first you'll be OK but if you do the working face first you can thin the working face to almost nothing on one end or side, this you don't want to do. The reason some blacksmiths object to grinding the face is that it is taking away working years off the the anvil that could be used in hammering it away. 
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