Made in China...Mind your foot!

enfieldspares

Well-Known Member
Years ago there was a well published British black and white video of ships' chain makers. Will what looked like chaotic hammering by a dozen men in fact shown to be finely timed. Again "mind your foot". Or "mind your blow".

It's right at the last few frames of this clip...but there was another that showed it even better. OK there's pron and rubbish on the internet but there's a lot of good old stuff too courtesy of You Tube that's now been re-found.

I wonder who lives in the posh factory conversions that now no doubt stand where these men at Noah Hingley once exercised their craft? Or is it just become derelict land? Oh well...Happy Christmas!

Ah.

An "industrial estate" it seems from Wiki: "The Netherton works continued in production for around 20 more years. However, after a number of company reorganisations, take overs and sell-offs, the Netherton part of the business, then called Wright Hingley, finally closed in 1986. The site is now occupied by an industrial estate called the Washington Centre".

[video=youtube_share;k_LA_R4ifYk]https://youtu.be/k_LA_R4ifYk?t=470[/video]
 
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bruce w

Well-Known Member
if you look up on youtube ,forge welding a small anchor ,it is one of a pr of anchors forged on Shetland at my smithy ,i dont know how to put the clip on the forum
 

woodmaster

Well-Known Member
if you look up on youtube ,forge welding a small anchor ,it is one of a pr of anchors forged on Shetland at my smithy ,i dont know how to put the clip on the forum
Looks​ a good ob there Bruce. Good to see you still have a few lads about that can swing a hammer (or as I think they're called in the Black country an ommer). There just aren't too many blokes left out there who have your skills so a enjoyable video.
 

woodmaster

Well-Known Member
And we think shooting the odd shot is bad for your hearing.
That's why they do go shooting! All that noise might make em deaf. Instead they beat the sh*t out of lumps of metal.
Anyway it means they don't have to listen the wife, the news or politicians.
 

Alantoo

Well-Known Member
if you look up on youtube ,forge welding a small anchor ,it is one of a pr of anchors forged on Shetland at my smithy ,i dont know how to put the clip on the forum
Good job Bruce. I have not seen your film before. Thank you Takbok for posting it.

Am I correct in thinking the bloke with the yellow glasses holding the anchor shaft is one Mark Constable?

Alan
 

Alantoo

Well-Known Member
As an engineer I appreciate what these guys are making with the kit on hand. Not that I would be asking for a "Start" on Monday morning!



Tim.243
Excellent. The only weird thing is the title...where is the street? Or is that just a translation of the Chinese for outside I wonder?

I have seen the Double Arch hammer working at Ironbridge, and an industrial blacksmith friend organised a works outing trip for me and my assistants to wander around the Hill Foot Forge in Sheffield where they were using clear space Massey Steam hammers converted and run from a huge bank of air compressors. They were making flanged rings as well, but not as big as that and they had proper manipulators on the fork trucks...the dexterity of those guys in your Chinese film with the forks was stunning!

I was hoping they would pull back at some stage so we could see the hammer driver and the hammer mechanism...huge stroke but with a thin connecting rod so presumably a drop hammer with a cable lift.

I think I will stop referring to my 5cwt hammer as a big hammer for a while!

Excellent thank you.

Alan
 

Alantoo

Well-Known Member
Thanks for posting this really interesting. I do a bit of black smithing mainly as a hobby , any other blacksmiths out there? Here's a knife I made a few years ago.
Tidy job.

Well evidently there is Bruce and me on here, I am a blacksmith of sorts...full time-ish.

So that is three of us.

Alan
 

bruce w

Well-Known Member
Good job Bruce. I have not seen your film before. Thank you Takbok for posting it.

Am I correct in thinking the bloke with the yellow glasses holding the anchor shaft is one Mark Constable?

Alan
yes, we didnt want to trust him with a hammer , mark did a great job running the fires and getting the weld bars up to heat out of other fires and getting them in place ,
 

johngryphon

Well-Known Member
I felt sorry for those men that worked on the chain gang,what a life to look forward to on a Monday morning,no muffs,gloves,eye shields and constant hammering all day long would have been miserable.
A foreman that undoubtedly was a brutal pig would have made it worse I`m sure.
 

Alantoo

Well-Known Member
I felt sorry for those men that worked on the chain gang,what a life to look forward to on a Monday morning,no muffs,gloves,eye shields and constant hammering all day long would have been miserable.
A foreman that undoubtedly was a brutal pig would have made it worse I`m sure.
Although there is a pleasure gained from the efficiency of repetitive work I do not think it would be for me either.

I went on a trip to Garringtons the drop forging people near Bromsgrove years ago organised by BABA (the British Artist Blacksmith's Association). We arrived at 9 in the evening and walked through the factory...as blacksmiths we marvelling at the speed of forging engine con rods and the axle locating arms for Range Rovers...a thump to forge and a thump to strip the flash, job done...to get anywhere near the end result by normal forging tools would have taken half a day each. I was so envious at the efficiency. After an hour or so we were given an induction lecture, a cup of tea and a biscuit and then trip around their museum...all the time we could hear and feel the regular thump of one of the big presses. We walked past the door to the factory on the way out three hours later and caught a glimpse of the press still going...and I thought ah! Right! Efficiency may not be all...maybe one-off projects are not so bad...those guys are going to be doing the simple... lift the metal into the die, thump, lift it into the stripper die, thump, chuck it in the bin, lift it into the die...for the rest of the night and then again tomorrow and the day after, and just maybe they will have a change in a year or so's time when a new model is developed...

I am not sure about the foreman / management relationship, but the actual team of blokes will have been really tight knit...obviously doing something like that you depend on your workmates to watch your back as you do theirs, you are trusting them with your life implicitly...I know this from just working a 3cwt hammer with a mate. It is really an experience in concentration, cooperation and communication by sign and body language...

The old blacksmith and striker joke about "When I nods my head, you hit it!" is based on fact! :) As they say...ask me how I know!

The Hill Foot forge blokes when we visited, twenty odd years ago now, were still working on piece work. The company supplied the steel, the furnace, the hammer and the drawing...the teams were given a day or two to set up and do a few trial runs to work out the cost, then the gang chief would go and negotiate the appropriate rate with the manager and away they would go...the cash was divvied up between the team on a proportion based on skill and experience.

I always reckon that no-one could pay me enough to be a blacksmith...hot dirty and dangerous, and like most manual skills not rewarded financially. Unfortunately you get the bug and do not really have a choice...you are driven. It is why there is a very healthy international network of like minded idiots who will happily stop work, drive a few hundred miles to spend the weekend at some one else's forge playing around, teaching or gossiping or working on a group project. I have attended such events, "forge-ins" all over this country and gone to a few more formalised ones in the 'States and all over Europe. The upside though is that in virtually any country in the world I can find a bed for the night in a friendly house, and have had the pleasure of 'smiths from all over the world visit and stay over with me.

In your country for instance we were travelling from city to city doing a circumnavigation. We were recommended to take the train across the Nullabor plain from Adelaide to Perth...we arrived in Perth at 6am one Monday morning and stepping out onto the platform were created by "Hi Alan! Hi Lesley!" and there were two blacksmiths one of whom had visited us in the UK a few months before. When I said how on earth did you know we would be on this train...he said well when we visited you, we recommended the journey, knew which weeks you were in the south and as there are only a couple of trains a week we have met the last three!

Alan
 
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