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Abbeydale - New Griddle for the Manager's House

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Blacksmith David Southgate, tells us how he made a new griddle for the Manager's House - onsite in his Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet workshop.  

This Half Term (Wednesday 18th February) we'll be making drop scones in the Manager's House.  Join us at Abbeydale to see the griddle in action and taste the scones!

"I was commissioned to make a flat plate griddle for cooking drop scones at Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet. 

I had a large steel disc in stock (12” diameter and 3mm thick) which I thought would be ideal for the plate.  It just fitted onto the range in the Manager’s House at Abbeydale.  After consideration however, I cut it down to 10” as it weighed a ton!

For the handle I decided on some 20mm x 5mm flat bar, which I thought would have enough rigidity to hold the plate, without adding too much weight.  I was also concerned that the handle should attach across a wide section of the plate circumference to provide additional support.  To achieve this, I cold and hot split about a third of the bar length to make “arms” that I could spread out and rivet to the plate.

“Cold splitting” was using a cold chisel on cold steel to form a groove down the centre line of the flat bar.  I then heated the bar to a yellow head and hot cut it along the groove until it was split.  The arms were then spread out and shaped using hammer and anvil.

I heated and punched a hole in the other end of the bar, and then used a drift (a wider piece of round bar) to spread the hole to a larger size.

For decoration and some additional strength, I put a twist in the flat bar, near the split.  To do this, the section of bar to be twisted was heated to an orange heat, secure in a vice then twisted through 360 degrees with a wrench.  It was then straightened with a rawhide mallet on a wooden block.

The handle was heated to red hot and a gentle curve applied using a bending fork.

The handle was attached to the plate with 3 rivets.  Firstly, the holes for the rivets were drilled in the handle arms and the plate.  The two parts were secured in a vice grip while the rivets were heated to a red heat.  These were then dropped through the hole and quickly “peened over” with  hammer and anvil to fasten the handle securely to the plate.

The finished griddle was burnished with a wire brush and the handle treated with a wax/oil mixture.  The plate was seasoned on top with vegetable oil."

Posted in Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet | Make Your Own Wednesdays | School Holiday Activities

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