Having cut out and filed my cake slice I was short one tool before I could take it any further. Since I was making this for myself, it didn’t really count as a necessity buy. Well now I’ve got everything in order and am ready to plough ahead with the project.
The first thing I did once the piece was cut out, was to polish it on the lathe. I did this so I wouldn’t have to struggle getting into the hard to reach angles once I had formed the handle.
When the piece was cleaned and polished I began to mark out the dip from the handle to the base. The reason I do this is so I can have a line as a guide when I chase the lines into the metal. Chasing is a technique where you use a variety of punches struck with a hammer to create a design or detail. For my cake slice I want to create a straight line across the base so I can then fold the metal along this indented line.
The piece is then held in the vice to bend it into shape. I brought it to a 45 degree angle but this can be increased or decreased when I have the handle work done.
The next thing to do was to anneal the handle so it would be easier to manipulate. Annealing is the process of heating metal to a particular temperature and then cooling it quickly so the metal is softened. The metal is then cleaned in a pickling solution as all the impurities have risen to the surface when the metal is annealed. This cleans the metal so it can be used on your stakes. It’s really important to clean all metal that you are working with. Not only does it damage your tools it can also play havoc with soldering. A joint will not solder so easily if it isn’t clean.
Now that my cake slice is nice and clean it’s time to start hammering…block your ears!