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Member postings for Bill Phinn

Here is a list of all the postings Bill Phinn has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Obtaining flat bronze bar
13/04/2018 17:40:46
Posted by Robin Graham on 13/04/2018 00:18:20:I won't be alone in thinking of a 'gouge' as a cutting tool, but perhaps not? Pics or links would be good.

Thanks for your message, Robin.

Yes, a gouge for bookbinding is a little different from a woodturner's gouge. The goal is to impress the leather with a curved line of even thickness and depth, either in gold or "blind" (i.e. without gold). Good sighting along the inside of the curve is vital, as is a slightly convex profile to the leading edge, particularly on curves longer than about 1/4 inch.

There's a link below with pictures of someone employing gouges in the traditional way to build up a pattern on a book:

Edit: I'm unable again to view the photo of a gouge I uploaded in an earlier post. I apologize if others aren't seeing it either. I can't explain the anomaly.

Edited By Bill Phinn on 13/04/2018 17:43:11

Thread: Silver soldering contradiction
12/04/2018 20:19:10
Posted by Jeff Dayman on 12/04/2018 16:12:49:

I've always tried for best cleanliness, enough good quality flux, and adequate heat when silver soldering, and have had consistently good results for many years. I typically leave a two or three thou gap between parts. I too read about Kozo Hiraoka's centre punch mark gap generation method many years ago and use it often.

Just my opinion and $0.02 worth.

Cleanliness is vital, i.e. surfaces to be joined should be free of grease, oxidation or any other contamination which might interfere with solder flow across the surfaces to be bonded.



When soldering silver and gold jewellery, or copper and brass for more utilitarian purposes, my aim has always been to get as close a fit as possible between the surfaces to be joined, not to consciously leave a gap. In practice there always is a gap, but ideally it will be the minimal kind of gap that can be achieved with accurate hand filing. A yardstick is that if I hold a ring shank before soldering up to the light and can see a chink of light passing through the joint anywhere, the gap is too large.



If the surfaces to be joined have been milled down to an accuracy of the kind found in gauge blocks, which "ring" together and stay together entirely of their own accord, and these surfaces are mechanically clamped together during soldering then quite probably the gap would be inadequate for good solder flow, but in practice I'd be surprised if the gaps left by most of us who pride ourselves on being competent solderers (and gauge this partly from how our work holds up over time) are ever too small for solder to properly flow into. Poor solder flow is nearly always a result of other factors than too tight a joint, and in my experience of people reporting problems with soldering, uneven, or slow or inadequate heating are the primary culprits, followed closely by insufficiently clean and insufficiently tight joints.


Edited By Bill Phinn on 12/04/2018 20:20:14

Edited By Bill Phinn on 12/04/2018 20:21:26

Thread: Obtaining flat bronze bar
11/04/2018 17:33:48

Thanks a lot for the advice, Bazyle. I take it the technique for machining expansion links discussed in the following thread is what you're referring to.

Yes, the bronze composition is a bit of an unknown. I was planning to go for PB102 and hope for a passable match. What's on my side is that after a bit of use, sets of these sorts of tools, whether in brass or bronze, do present a varied appearance anyway because of the varying degrees to which they have been used and repeatedly heated and cooled (on a wet pad).

Casting was an option I considered, and the only thing that deterred me was a perhaps perverse insistence on wanting to do every bit of the job myself.

Thread: The Workshop Progress thread 2018
11/04/2018 12:33:01

TomK, as a jewellery maker used to using GRS workholding equipment, I've nothing but admiration for your work. Perhaps you've thought of this already, but some leather-faced jaw inserts would make the steel jaws kinder on precious metals and provide good grip.

Thread: Obtaining flat bronze bar
11/04/2018 12:20:58

Posted by BDH on 11/04/2018 06:54:02:

(Quote:Many thanks for your contribution, Brian. I'm sorry I'm not totally sure of your question (unquote)

Bill, I can see from your previous answers that I have misunderstood the method of use.


Many thanks anyway for your contribution, Brian.

Brian W., many thanks for providing another source. I'm in Manchester.

Thread: Pickling acid
10/04/2018 23:59:59

I come from a jewellery making background and for many years have used "safety pickle" in place of sulphuric acid. It's not quite as effective as the "unsafe" alternative, no, but when used at the right concentration and heated in a slow cooker or dedicated "pickle pot" it is still very effective at removing flux residues and oxidation from brass, bronze, copper, silver and gold after brazing. One bonus besides the safety is it isn't so effective at leaving holes in your carpets and clothing when it splashes where it shouldn't.

Thread: Obtaining flat bronze bar
10/04/2018 23:47:50

Many thanks for the further details, David. I do appreciate your and everyone's help with sourcing the stock.

Many thanks for your suggestion, Colin. Thinner metal would certainly be easier to work with but not really make for ideal tools. These gouges are used hot to impress gold leaf on to leather books, and there really needs to be a certain mass of metal to retain enough heat while the tool is off the stove and being impressed. The relative massiness of the metal also helps make the tools more resilient against damage. Lastly, these tools were made in the 50's by a French engraving company that no longer exists and they have some value as artefacts above and beyond their value as mere tools. They are still made in our country by an English company, not in bronze but in brass, and I believe the cost for the 43 piece set is currently about £800. There is one company left in France that makes them in bronze and I believe the cost is several times higher than the English set. What I'm trying to say is that if I make replacements for the missing ones I'd like to do my best to complement the originals, using the same metal of the same thickness and turning beech handles to match etc.

10/04/2018 21:10:34
Posted by David George 1 on 10/04/2018 21:01:31:

I don't know where you live but Nefco Sutton in Ashfield Notts will sell any non ferrous material that you will need.


Many thanks, David.

10/04/2018 21:09:55
Posted by Robin Graham on 10/04/2018 18:59:29:

Smith's metals list PB flat bar on their website - might be worth giving them a ring. I have used them for non-ferrous stuff before - cheaper than the usual ME suppliers.


Edit - Live Steam Models do eg1" x 1/4" PB102 flat at £62.70 + VAT per metre (but they're happy to supply shorter lengths pro rata) - Smiths probably cheaper though.

Many thanks, Robin. I'll chase those leads up.

Many thanks for your contribution, Brian. I'm sorry I'm not totally sure of your question, and I apologise for the fact that the photo of a gouge I uploaded (apparently successfully) has failed to appear, which may not have helped. I'll try uploading it again. The gouges are an even radius all along (i.e. the curve doesn't meander) but each of the 43 gouges in the set is of a different radius, which needs to be very accurately reproduced.

I'm thinking that possibly a rotary table set up on a mill could be used to accurately machine these arcs into bronze stock. I've got a Soba three inch rotary table which I've used on my Proxxon in the past, but three inches is too small a diameter to mill most of the flatter arcs, and there's no way my Proxxon has enough throat to mill the approx three inch long bronze stock when it's standing up on the rotary table. In any case I don't even have edge finders (there isn't one that fits the Proxxon, afaik, and I just use feeler gauges to tram my milling vice on the table.)

If besides doing it all by hand there is another way than going out and getting a bigger mill and bigger rotary table, I'd be fascinated to hear it.

10/04/2018 17:53:09

Hello to everyone.

I'm not really a model engineer, I'm afraid, and my experience with metal working is mostly limited to making jewellery and tools for hand bookbinding. I do however want to broaden my manufacturing horizons, and plan to get a lathe in the near future to add to the Proxxon Micro mill I've had for many years.

My question relates to some bronze gouge tools for bookbinding I want to make in the immediate future for my own use. I've pictured one of them (minus its wooden handle). Basically these gouges come in sets and I've acquired an incomplete set of 43 (see the image at the right of the b&w diagram showing the full set) that I'd like to make complete. I'd need to make ten to complete the set.

My question is twofold:

1. I can't find anywhere that can supply flat phosphor bronze bar or plate (I need it around 6mm thick). Can anyone recommend a likely source?

2. I'll be making the tools largely by hand using files, buff sticks and rotary grinding and polishing tools to create exactly the right radius of curve and line thickness for each tool. However, it's clear that the set of tools I've acquired were made largely with the aid of machinery, not by hand, and I was wondering how the knowledgeable people on this forum would approach making tools like this with the aid of the machinery typically found in a home engineering workshop. The difficult part of making these tools is getting the radius for each tool exactly right; you'll notice from the diagram that the difference in radius between one gouge and the next is very slight. If a lathe and a decent-sized milling machine could tackle the job straightforwardly then I may forget doing it by hand and wait until I've acquired the right machinery before I attempt the job in earnest.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Image result for 43 designer gouges bookbinding

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