An Introduction to Swages

oil pipe repair

Swages are tools used by metalworkers for shaping their work of cold metal by striking it with a hammer or sledge to get the desired shape.

When used as a verb, swaging is a forging process involving compressive forces to deform and manipulate the shape of a workpiece via a die.

Swage Blocks

Also known as a swedge, these are heavy blocks of cast iron or steel with various sized shapes on its face and forms on the sides used by blacksmiths, metal sculptors, armorers, and other metalworkers. These include collections of useful hollow depressions and shapes to forge things into the desired shape. The most common shapes for a blacksmith are the bowl and semispherical depressions. The sides are usually scalloped with half rounds, 90-degree V grooves, and half hexes to present formed shapes for forging operations. Other shapes, such as the half hexagon, can be used with a matching top swage to form a hexagonal cross-section on a bar. They may weigh from as little as 10 pounds up to hundreds of pounds and can be pretty pricey, costing hundreds of dollars.

Types of Swaging

There are two primary types of swaging processes, tube, and radial.

The most common type, tube swaging, is similar to extrusion in that it forces the workpiece through a die with a smaller diameter. 

Radial swaging involves the use of multiple dies. With radial swaging, a worker hammers the workpiece through a series of two or more dies

Uses of Swages

Swaging is used in items all around you. Typical areas include car design, keyed musical instruments and repairs, circuit boards, hose fittings, pipe fittings, ammunition, and decorative metal items.

Some of the fields that rely on skilled uses of swages 

  • Blacksmithing 
  • Electronics 
  • Plastics
  • Pipes and cables
  • Saw blade teeth
  • Manufacturing
  • Firearms
  • Medicine
  • Musical instrument repair
  • Car-styling
  • Lockbolts 
  • Jewelry

So whether you are new to this industry or a skilled metal worker in the Tulsa, Oklahoma, area and need pipe and supplies, feel free to contact Reddy Pipe& Supply Inc.

Leave a Reply

Scroll to Top