Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Forged Iron Acupuncture Needle Guide Tube

Recently, I was asked to make an iron guide tube for a more sedating effect.  This seemingly simple project had two challenges.  The first is that when forging the hammered texture of the tube one side is being struck by the domed face of the hammer while the other rests on the flat face of the anvil.  This simultaneously textures one side while removing the texture from the other side.  I overcame this problem simply by forging it on a soft piece of copper which conformed to the texture of the tube without damaging it, yet giving enough resistance so that a decent texture could be achieved in the first place.  The second challenge was that I had never tried to drill the barrel of an iron tube before so I was very unsure if it could be done.   The drilling went extremely well, but took a great deal of time.  Unfortunately the amount of extra labor involved in making these tubes bypasses the inexpensiveness of the iron used, so their "value" will be determined by the therapeutic benefit gained through the experiences patients and practitioners.  I very much like the way these tools look.  The contrast of polished ends with rough forging is amazing.  They do feel very different than silver.  They have a hard smoothness, while the silver tools tend to feel much softer in the hand.  I do think a forged texture on a silver tube would be unique!