John B

  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

1 Follower

About John B

  • Rank
    Senior Member

Contact Methods

  • Website URL

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Dawlish, Devon, UK


  • Location
    Starcross Devon UK
  • Biography
    over 40 years engineer and blacksmith
  • Interests
    promoting and passing on blacksmithing skills
  • Occupation
  1. Do you use a coolant flow onto the blade whan in use? Heat generated can allow the blade to flex and wander, also blades have to be 'run in' gradually when new or that can cause problems, Minimum clearance between supports is necessary, and an appropriate toothed blade for the material size and type being cut. All roller supports and bearings should be incorrect situ and good working order, The one I have to use is a PIA, blade keeps jumping off even when everything is set up as per manual, and when new ones fitted, Good luck with sorting it, I even checked the play in the main pivot point, it still jumps off and wanders.
  2. All steels react differently, and if you are buying new stock, advice is available on heat treatment possible and advis available, This may help (or confuse) the issue further. I would suggest trying a sample in various ways to see what works best for you.
  3. I don;'t know if this helps, but it is a section from the handout and general notes I work to when taking a toolmaking course HARDENING To harden steel, the metal must be brought from hot to cold quickly , and this rapid rate of cooling is done by quenching The more rapid the rate of cooling, the harder the steel will become, but care must be taken in choosing the appropriate quenching medium, because certain steels will crack if quenched too quickly, or if the item being quenched is of an intricate shape The quenching medium is chosen according to the rate at which it is desired to cool the steel For most steels we use oil or water, Water should be clean and fresh from a tap, warm water will give a much slower rate of cooling but will be somewhat more rapid than oil, Warm oil is more rapid than cold oil, Mineral oils are more rapid than Animal oils, and Animal oils are quicker than Vegetable oils. Air is also used and results in a very slow rate of cooling and is referred to as Air Hardening. If extreme hardness is required, 5% caustic soda solution, or 5—20% brine solution can be used.
  4. No offence taken, not knowing your experience and also trying to help others at the same time, it was not my intention to upset anyone, I try to start at basics and then work onwards. Knowing how to use one, and knowing how they function and make tooling for them are two entirely seperate experiences, I often find it is so easy to overlook what becomes the obvious at a later date, and a fresh set of eyes is of enormous help, Looking at your own pictures will no doubt also give you a new view of what we have been trying to point out. Like they say a picture is worth a thousand words (Unless it's a picture of me, and then there is usually a good single word or two for it, just those that can't be mentioned in polite conversation) Having got past this, good luck and you do have a great little tool there, especially as you come to terms with it and it's capabilities. Have fun and enjoy
  5. I am not sure what your problem is here except that you, along with quite a few others, are not aware of what a flypress should do, and how they are used/tooled up, I will try to explain a few basics which may help. Primarily they were not a blacksmiths tool/machine, we use them because we can. They were used on a short stroke on thin materials to produce many mass produced items, the stop facility was there mainly for a couple of reasons, firstlly for the task in hand, usually that was for either blanking out items or bending and forming items with a guaranteed repeatability. and secondly operating reasons, reduce fatigue and establish a rhythm when in use, maximising effort in a minimum time. They were used on cold, relatively thin materials Bending and forming was usually done with top and bottom tooling as individual or paired items depending on the task being done Blanking out shapes and punching holes were done using a top and bottom die set with pillars for accurate location when in use, without this degree of accuracy the dies (on the bottom tool), because of the clearances needed for cutting a clean profile, would not align with the punches, (top tool) and chip or break when in use. The clearances when in use were approximately 5% per side of the thickness of the material being used so on a 16 swg (1.6mm) workpiece which would mean less than 0.004" (four thousandths)or 0.08mm, which is not a lot as you can appreciate, hence the guide pillars. Stripper plates were also an essential part of the punching tools. Tooling was specific to the job being done, and this is applicable to what you are trying to do, you make the tooling to fit the gap and task in hand. I would suggest a google search on fly press tooling would be enlightening. It would also appear from your pictures that you have a toolholder already inserted into the press's toolholder mounting which may or may not help. Usually the standard size for the top tool location was 1" diameter, and a screwed spigot of this diameter was fitted to the top tool of the die set, It is good practice to mount the top tool to bear on the base of the top slide rather than rely on it bottoming out or just being held with the locking screw on the front. Basically you have the space that your screw travel allows, and the rotating stop allows for the stroke to be stopped at a specific place. The base plate you have there is a mounting plate to secure the tooling you make for whatever task you have to do, hence the T slot When you design your tooling, do so around what you have there, If you need to close the gap, either raise the base or increase the top tools length. This is a simple fixture I used to form collars,and other U shapes, or bend curves, or form angles, depending on what combination or top tool I used with it. I like to make the tool as versatile as possible so I can use them on other applications (and don't have so many to take up space in the workshop). If I needed to higher it, I just placed 1", or 2" thick bars beneath the strategic areas and then clamped it down to the T slot I hope this has helped somewhat in trying to understand how it works, and to best utilise your flypress. Good luck with it and enjoy,
  6. Nice one Joel, always good to see final item in the place it belongs and was made for. Good job.
  7. Hi Smitse and welcome to the site, if you didn't have a cupping tool to form your dome, you should have forged the rounding end and then finish with a hot file/farriers rasp, allow it to cool slowly to anneal/ stress relieve it and keep the metal relatively soft, so that you can then finish file, and polish to give your required smooth finish, When satisfied, heat treat and then a final finishing polish and buff. If you are going to use your angle grinder you will ned a bit of patience and various grit wheels rough out first with a coarse grit to your desired profile, then a finer grit and finish with emery cloth in increasing grades until your reach your goal. Have fun plenty of tips here on finishing and polishing.
  8. Here in the UK, "Men in Sheds" use molasses to clean up old tools sent to them for refurbishment before they distribute them to relevant places
  9. Welcome to the site, The Blacksmiths Craft, free download from here Wrought Ironwork A manual of instruction for Craftsmen, free download from here Others on that site also of interest, but they are the basic blacksmiths reference books, Others will also make recommendations of what their choice is. Have fun and enjoy
  10. If it works, don't worry, there is always an alternative "blacksmithy" way to sort a problem, just not a proper way, depends on your skills, and the time and money you want to spend on the project, sometimes Less is more, and keep it simple also works. Have fun and enjoy.
  11. I know of a few that have had the top link "adjusted" to bring the head to vertical over the anvil face, some bent, others upset. Can only speculate on why it was needed, favourite idea being that a replacement part was not exactly the same as the original.
  12. Had a couple of days at the Great Dorset Steam Festival over the weekend, thought this may be of some interest.
  13. Hi Andy, If its only the one day, what you have planned seems ok, but I would consider rearranging the items. Personally I would siuggest you start with the fire rake, that can cover all the skills in your project 1depending on your design, then project 2 introduces slitting and drifting and whatever else you want to include, then you should have a good idea of what can be achieved in the time remaining and do a quice nail or hook. This is what I do on a one day course, skills are featured, and the items are only the result of these graded skills. Also no need to use tongs on the wine/beer glass holder (could be a bird feeder hanger, but these introduce bending and a little bit of thought as to designing, wine glasses go in horizontally, beer glasses slip in from the top) Then the BBQ fork brings in more skills, Finally the hook is treated as an exercise in production techniques and using tongs, punching holes and using a hardie to cut off. My notes for making the fork This exercise is suitable for an absolute beginner and can be made in half a day comfortably Skills learnt; Use of forge, hammer, hot cut chisel, wire brush, files, necking in using guillotine tool, fullering spring tool, or blacksmiths helper tooling. Marking out using a cold chisel, centre punch, oddlegs, tape or rule. Drawing down; square, round and tapers, Forming an eye or ring, Bending sections to shape, Forming a twist, putting it right when it goes wrong Finishing using vegetable oil if to be used for food use, Not an oil containing nuts, Or for a decorative finish a wax compound, clear lacquer or other finish Material used; 16 x 5 x 400mm Mark out For the handle, twist will be done by eye to the discretion of the maker, ideally to suit a hand's width (100mm or 4”) and the fork end can be shaped to students liking Centre punch to indicate where to work sections from, 65mm (2.5”) from each end to allow for drawing out, initially using a light blow without pre tapping the punch with the hammer prior to the marking blow as it will probably be displaced if you do, then when happy position is right deepen the mark Use oddleg calipers or dividers to mark on a centreline for the fork end Use a cold chisel to mark in ready for splitting the bar hot for tines, This line is used to locate the hot cut chisel when at working heat. Again initially using a light blow without pre tapping the chisel with the hammer prior to the marking blow as it will probably be displaced if you do, check each mark as you progress it down the line, then deepen when satisfied it is correct position, check each time for position prior to using a heavier deepening blow, otherwise it may look like a map of a railway sidings yard and you won't know which line to choose to hot cut. They can then call it a day or go on to make other items to complete their initiation into the basic skills, this being what tehy make on a three day session. Have fun and enjoy.
  14. Welcome to the site BJ, If you are anywhere near to Exeter anytime, feel free to call in on one of the days we are forging at Westpoint, see the Blacksmiths groups section for further information, Good luck, have fun and enjoy your new journey into the world of hot metal.
  15. Mistakes Glenn, been there, done that, got the T shirt, and no doubt will continue to carry on making them, while you are breathing, you never stop learning.