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Demonstration by Bill Epps.
April 12, 2000

Bill-Epps :

Tonight's demo is a cute little "Snail" that I have used on several different things with "vine work" on them. The first time I did this it was on a wine cellar door. It was supposed to look like a grape vine. I looked at wild grapevine and it had snail and couple of bugs crawling on it, so I got the idea to add this to the piece. Since that time, people have gotten them on Mirror frames w/vines, pot racks, etc.

Bill-Epps :

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Bill-Epps :

This little one I made out of 1/4" round about 3" long (they can be made any size). Draw the end down to a point.

Bill-Epps :

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Bill-Epps :

After drawing it down to a fine point, (this is done at the edge of the anvil, not the center of the face), start the point over the edge of the anvil to start your curl.

Bill-Epps :

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Bill-Epps :

You want to get a very tight curl, and this is not a simple as it looks. By using your hammer to roll it back towards you, as you raise your holding hand up, this allows for a night tight curl. In other words you gently rock your tong hand up as you strike the piece with fairly light taps, never hitting the same place twice.

Bill-Epps :

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Bill-Epps :

Just keep rolling it almost to the end, then take a good heat on the end, clamp in the vice, and bump up what will be the face.

Bill-Epps :

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Bill-Epps :

To bump up the face, the first lick I hit straight down, then I angle my hammer to one side then the other and strike straight down. Use a center punch, to mark his eyes, then a hot cutter to cut him a mouth (if you angle it a little bit it gives him a smiley face). Sometimes I will add two short pieces of mig wire on the top for antenna, which gives a cute look.

Bill-Epps :

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Bill-Epps :

It should look something similar to this. There is another snail that I will do later that is done out of square stock that is done by splitting and rolling, but that is for another day.
Bill-Epps :

Any questions ?

Paw-Paw :

Bill, do you grind/sand a flat for him to sit?

Paw-Paw :

And once a gain, the Mesquite team of Bill and Sharon do a fantastic job!

Bill-Epps :

Thanks ralph. No, usually, I hit him w/a hammer on top gives a flat, and these pieces are welded to other things as ornamentation. (The one in the picture was made by Genia - the lady that works for me), not by me, but I taught her how.:)

Gary :

Bill have you ever tried to make the shell convex by forming with a ball peen and wood block like you do with a leaf? Not to say it looks bad just for variation.

Bill-Epps :

I have used these w/humming birds, bugs, and other things that are hand forged to use as accent pieces on mirrors, grilles, etc.

Bill-Epps :

Yes, Gary, I have, they add a good effect. Thanks for asking:)

Steve-C :

Thanks Bill, Stupid Question how do you hold it ( type of tongs)?

Bill-Epps :

Steve, I use those 1/4" Grant Savier tongs.

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