shipbuilding caulking irons

Hello all,
I'm thinking of forging up some caulking irons for some boatbuilding
friends. Any idea what type of steel they're made of? C. Drew made the
"talking irons," and they were/are the best. I would like to make them out
of the same stuff that C. Drew did.
Thanks,
Eide
Reply to
Eide
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Get some leaf springs from a wrecking yard. They will last forever with a good hardening & tempering, I have rock chisels I made forty years ago still in excellent condition. Oil harden & draw to light blue spring temper. Any harder & the striking face could chip. Bugs
Reply to
Bugs
Why bother? Ships haven't used riveted construction, needing upset caulking, for many years. Old boilers, maybe.
Bob Swinney
Reply to
Robert Swinney
Up here in Puget Sound there are still many many wooden fishing boats which have to be brought into drydock periodically, scraped down, re-caulked and repainted. They still use caulking irons to drive the oakum between the boards as far as I know.
Maybe we're talking about two different things - terminology can be difficult around marine issues.
GWE
Reply to
Grant Erwin
Thanks Grant. I was re. to "caulking" chisels used to upset the edges of lap-rivited joints used in ship and boiler construction. Also spelled, "calk". Def. #3, from Webster's New World College Ed.: "to make (a joint of overlapping plates) tight by hammering the edge of one plate into the side of the other."
Bob Swinney
Reply to
Robert Swinney
I would make them from OCS (Old Chevy Spring). Actually, Chevy just sounds good. Any car/truck springs work well. Choose coil or leaf depending on the final shape you want.
After my mechanic son-in-law broke three of Snap-On's biggest and best cold chisels, I forged, hardened and tempered him one from a piece of truck coil spring. This was about ten years ago. I checked with him recently and he thinks it will need sharpening "soon".
A piece of leaf spring TIG'd into a slot cut in the end of a piece of pipe made a great chisel for knocking lumps (from knot-holes in the forms) of concrete.
Ted
Reply to
Ted Edwards
Yup, worked at Lake Union Drydock where we had four mine sweeps (that were originally built there) that went through that process... and then some. Quite th' art. They had all been sold to th' S. Koreans and it was really strange trying to get any work done with a pack of them looking over yer shoulder taking notes.
Snarl
Reply to
snarl67
Thanks all, but no one knows what they would have used? I plan on making a few of them, setting up some spring swages and I'd like to get some round stock to start with.
Eide
Reply to
Eide
Are you aware it is spelled with an E as well?
Tim
-- "California is the breakfast state: fruits, nuts and flakes." Website:
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Reply to
Tim Williams
The irons I have seen are not all that hard. They are intended for pounding oakum into wood seams so hardness is not all that important and in some cases not desireable. Then you can touch up the end with a bastard file occasionaly. A caulking malet has a wood face so mushrooming of the iron's shank takes a lot of use. Above all it has to be light and easy to handle.
Normally you would start with about a 3/4" rod of hot rolled, upset one end to about 1 1/2" by 3/8", leave about 3" of shank and spread another 3" down to various thicknesses and widths for the working end. As for me, I would start with 1 1/2" rod and turn down the shank before forming the working end.
There are all sorts of shapes. Some even have an offset shank with the working edge on one side and a driving surface on the other. The really good ones with an edge wider than about 2" have a slightly conic or parabolic curve to fit better in fair seams.
Reply to
Glenn Ashmore
They need to be harder than mild steel. The mallets are made out of Live Oak, Lignum Vitae, or Black Mesquite - all very hard woods. And, when caulking large boats the oakum needs to be set almost as hard as you can hit it. The C. Drew irons were made to last a lifetime of caulking and I would like to make the same. I have some C. Drew irons, but I don't really want to do a grinding test on them...
Eide
Reply to
Eide
Perhaps It would be prudent to go back and correct spelling errors on your web site before belittling your elders Tim. Your "Who am I?" link might be a good place to begin:
Besides, I've never seen it spelled with an e... or an E.
Snarl... go pop a zit, eh.
Reply to
snarl67
I don't see any off the top. I'm very good at spelling FWIW, especially considering I typed all 350kB of HTML files in notepad. But I digress.
I would be grateful however for any specific notices of misspellings.
I'm guessing you meant "it" (i.e., quoted), but since you didn't quote it, that can't be. Thus, you must be referring to (as I was), "th'", which interestingly enough....does not appear in the dictionary.
Well, if you want to take that tone, I suppose I could, but you'll note my post was an observation.
Realistically though, it really, really makes it hard to read.
Tim
-- "California is the breakfast state: fruits, nuts and flakes." Website:
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Reply to
Tim Williams
You can quit slapping yourself on th' back now. Or is that where th' big zits are?
Last I looked "lemme" wasn't in th' dictionary.
And although not a spelling error: "Scholars.. so I'm lucky!" An ellipses has three "..." no less, no more. Other symbols may be substituted, however, it is always a combination of three.
And although these are in dictionary's: "Uh, gonna, yeah, and gotta", so is "th'" . As a young man looking to go places in this world, your web site is indeed a reflection of who you are. If I was involved in college administrations, or as a prospective employer, your use of th' above words on your site would not impress me.
Conversely, I've raised seven kids, have seven Grandkids, lookin' at retirement soon, and couldn't care less what th' hell folks I don't know observe about my speeling.
As was my response. My point is that spelling *observations* suck, since more times than not, th' observer is guilty of said same. See above. Nobody really gives a fuck in ng's like this. These ain't thesis papers we're tappin' out here.
Ever heard of a kill file? I'm certainly not going to change my writing style to accommodate you.
Uh, yeah, lemme know if your gonna need help with that, I gotta, uh, yeah, gonna help ya with that. Lemme know.
Snarl
Reply to
snarl67

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