SK3281 : Sheffield : Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet

taken 10 years ago, near to Beauchief, Sheffield, Great Britain

Sheffield : Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet
Sheffield : Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet
Crown Scythes were made at Abbeydale by forge-welding a piece of crucible steel between two pieces of wrought iron, in the form of a sandwich, under the hammers in the Tilt Forge.

The tilt hammers were powered by the main water wheel, and operated by a series of iron cogs set in two iron collars on the main shaft. As the shaft revolved, the cogs tripped the hammers, which fell onto the anvils.

The hammer at the front of the image was the 'steeling hammer'. The three pieces of metal forming the sandwich were heated in the re-heat hearth and welded under this hammer. With the waterwheel revolving at its maximum speed of 6 rpm, the hammer gave six blows per second. As welding progressed, the metal was drawn out lengthwise to produce a 'string', and the end shaped to produce a 'tang'. Two scythe blades could be produced from each weld.

The 'string' was cut in half on shears operated by an eccentric cam on the end of the main shaft. Each 'string' was then further elongated, and the tip of the blade shaped.

The forgemaster continued the process under the 'plating hammer', at the rear of the image. The 'string' was re-heated, and under this slower hammer the blade began to take on its shape. The steel in the centre of the sandwich was drawn to the edge to provide the scythe's cutting edge.

With the hammer man working full tilt, he could turn out 84 scythe blades per day. The heater lad would be kept constantly busy re-heating the metal to ensure there was a constant supply of hot metal for the hammers.

After plating, the scythe blade went to the hand forgers for finishing in one of the small forges around the courtyard.

Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust: LinkExternal link (Archive LinkExternal link )
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SK3281, 259 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Sunday, 10 April, 2011   (more nearby)
Thursday, 14 April, 2011
Forge   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SK 325 819 [100m precision]
WGS84: 53:20.0186N 1:30.7426W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SK 325 819
View Direction
Northwest (about 315 degrees)
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