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Thread: My life As a Hobby Jeweller. The Draw Bench.

  1. #1
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    Default My life As a Hobby Jeweller. The Draw Bench.

    One of my most prized possessions is my home assembled draw bench. It is mounted on my trusty work horse but could just as well be fixed to a stout table.

    At one end I have used a carpenters vice, which is smooth and does not leave marks on draw plates. They are held securely but can easily be moved along as required. It can also be used to clamp wire for stretching and straightening.
    At the other end is a miniature winch from a boat chandler, fitted with a piece of non stretch rope and a steel ring to engage the hook of some hand draw tongs.

    It will easily draw down stubby remnants of wire, sometimes started off in the rolling mill, and produce all sorts of contours not available from bullion dealers.
    You soon learn to swing the handle and pull on the tongs, to return them for multiple passes through the draw plate.

    By contrast professional draw benches have upright posts and metal inserts to support the draw plates. Care is needed to get this right, or they will crash to the floor.
    Transmission from the winding mechanism is by chain or belt and the tongs are self closing, but frequently lose their grip. All in all they are slow and frustrating to use.
    At college they invariably double as a surface to deposit boxes full of leaflets, folders and junk, which have to be removed if you need to use them. Most people donít bother.

    The picture below is of my mechanical cat using triangular wire not available from dealers.
    It was a retirement present for a much loved tutor. Push the pendulum in the base, and the arm waves. Dennis.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Lucky Cat.jpg   Improvised Drawbench 1.jpg  
    Last edited by Dennis; 13-05-2020 at 07:57 PM.

  2. #2
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    I remain intensely jealous of your drawbench Dennis - one of these days I'm going to shamelessly copy it!

  3. #3
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    I love your ingenuity Dennis. Also a fan of your rolling mill "portable" set up.
    That cat is adorable!
    Hope you're well.
    T x

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mizgeorge View Post
    I remain intensely jealous of your drawbench Dennis - one of these days I'm going to shamelessly copy it!
    Thank you George, I hope you will. Most professionals are intensely suspicious of anything amateur. I think Les in the Netherlands made something along the same lines, but I don't know whether she still has it.

    Thank you Caroline, the recipient Barbara Christie sadly died shortly after, so it might have ended up in a charity shop.
    I'm fine, but getting bored.

    Kind regards to both, Dennis.

  5. #5
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    Nice draw bench Dennis, I've seen a few similar configurations on YouTube and been tempted but have not taken the plunge yet. I don't do any large wires currently and I can pull 2mm and under by hand.

    You can also draw with a swage block with your bench which allows for the making of custom profiles :-)

    I also like your cat 😊

  6. #6
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    Thank you Alastair. I had a phase of making belt buckles some time back. The rectangular wire could usually be found in Cookson's catalogue, but it was handy to draw down oval wire for the prongs and cross bars from oddments and have the prongs drawn until they were really hard.

    You mentioned swage blocks. Is it to make a D-shaped profile? Kind regards, Dennis
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Jb3 Belt For Jeans.jpg  

  7. #7
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    Yes you can but it's much more versatile than just D shape. You cut the profile in a block with a taper on one side and have a plain block which can be screwed down incrementally on to the pattern block effectively squeezing the wire and then pull the wire through it. I've used that method for making wires for reproduction table ware, coffee pots and the like.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis View Post
    I had a phase of making belt buckles some time back.
    I've not made any buckles but will put that on the list. Yours is nice and chunky I like that. I came across a buckle by Malcolm Appleby last week quite different from yours forged from an iron tyre, inlaid with gold and engraved. Quite unusual.
    https://www.instagram.com/p/CAE8XQog...d=26n12qqo9maj

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis View Post
    Thank you George, I hope you will. Most professionals are intensely suspicious of anything amateur. I think Les in the Netherlands made something along the same lines, but I don't know whether she still has it.

    Thank you Caroline, the recipient Barbara Christie sadly died shortly after, so it might have ended up in a charity shop.
    I'm fine, but getting bored.

    Kind regards to both, Dennis.
    Hi Dennis,

    I can confirm that my 40 Euro draw bench is still working better than I could ever imagined...I love our hacks.
    Poor old Les

  10. #10
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    Hi Les, I guess we're just rebels. Kind regards, Dennis.

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