Raising a Helm

Inspired by the raising a helmet article on anvilfire.com this was my first attempt at hot raising. Some of the problems with the result are apparent. On the side and back views small vertical lines are visible. They aren’t cracks more like creases from working the metal in to quickly and allowing ripples to form in the edge as mentioned below. Some small marks that were too deep to grind out are also visible. This is particularly bad on the back which was thinned by over heating in forging so I didn’t do much sanding. The helmet has a traditional lining sewn to a leather band. Below are steps in construction

The anvil I have been using was cut from a piece of I beam  by a nice man with a plasma cutter. An auto body anvil is bolted to it to form the face.

A home made coal forge was used as a heat source, the bed of coals in the forge as shown was to shallow ~2" to get enough heat ~4" worked better.

Above is the result of a couple sessions at the forge. Its not very pretty I havent been careful to keep things regular The starting blank was 18" diameter and 1/8" thick. I found a stack of round steel plates that size on the street in Manhattan one day so thats what I used.

This is after a few more sessions. I am using vice grips since I had a hard time holding on with tongs. Im using this hammer (a heavy straight peen with a blunt blade) because I dont have a heavy raising hammer, seems to work fine. I should be more careful about working out the ripples in the edge before they get as sharp as some of those seen here.

I have skipped forward a bit. Here are some pictures of the helmet after medium sanding. After doing a bit of raising I cut out an arc from the blank to form the front. This made shaping the front easier. The crest was the hardest part. I should have waited till the final form was reached to put in the crest. Working the helmet after putting in the crest ridge caused some cracking along the ridge which had to be welded. I used a combination of a chisel shaped stake hammering from the outside, a sharp hammer from the inside, and the square edge of the anvil to form the ridge.  A ball stake was used to refine the shape. I did rough smoothing hot but most planishing cold on the anvil and ball stake. Around the bottom edge which is thickest from being compressed I rough ground a bit with a angle grinder the rest was only sanded with a flap wheel on the angle grinder. Can also see the holes for mounting the lining. Overall not bad but should have been more careful.

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