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Colander Swage

1838-1849
Origin: America, New York, Port Chester
OL: 15" OH: 11 3/4"
Iron and steel
Gift of Stephen Eisenhart
Acc. No. 2014-63
American-style colander swedge with a short fence secured by a wingscrew and a double hammer bearing one wide and one narrow three-bead fillet. The hammer is reversed by removing the bold and wingnut at the pivot end of the swage.
Label:Called a "colander" swage for the vessel it was most often used to create, it has many clever tin or coppersmithing applications, both decorative and structural.

The tool itself is a hinged pair of perfectly mated dies used to strike either a narrow or a broad three-bead fillet, or fluting, into a piece of sheet metal. This is accomplished by drawing the metal through the jaws of the piece while simultaneously working the hammer. Its adjustable guard controls the alignment of the sheet so that a continuous, straight fillet is struck into the piece.

In addition to being highly attractive, this fillet strengthens the tin, making the final product, be it a colander or a coffee pot, far more sturdy and durable.
Provenance:From the Eisenhart collection of tinsmithing tools.
Mark(s):marked J. Wilcox Porchester NY