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I Forge Iron

Steve H

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Posts posted by Steve H

  1. I've become a big fan of the rounding hammers.  Originally I was exclusively using Frenchies.  I have them from 600 to 1500g  - about 1  to 3.3 lbs.

    Some guys like swedes, some german, some Czech.

    For the price, the MOB ones are excellent as are the peddinghaus.


    Lately however, I am leaning more towards these large diameter rounding hammers. I was initially introduced to the merits of them through several old favorites- Champions, Hellers and a Cliff Carrol that is about awesome. Most are in the 2lb range and several are probably at least 100 years old. The Nordic could easily fit in this category.

     It's from those designs I learned about Jay Sharp and Erin Simmons- two guys who seem to command some of the highest prices for their hammers.


    I really didn't know about Brians work until later and while you can say there are similarities I believe the farrier models I've tried to mimic have tighter fullering. I like the mass nearer the center body. It makes spreading the cheeks trickier but, I believe, makes for a snappier blow.  They are 1045, water quenched to approx. 55 Rockwell.


  2. Brazing would be your only solution for repair. Or- it may be possible to glue it back together long enough to get a pattern made to cast a new one.


    I have repairs as daunting on an old beaudry #6. Cracks and lost material everywhere. We're going to put about ten bags of charcoal inside of her, light it and come back in a day or two to begin the repairs.


    Lots of folks will say Nickel rod it but that is a only a crutch.  Grey iron is best brazed. Nickel works well on ductile iron but with the amount of preheat you need you might as well braze.


    With the modern casting processes I've been told they can scan my broken springbox on the beaudry and literally make a 3D model of it for a pattern.  It's kindof similar to the way they make rubber stamps I'm told.


    Good luck whatever you wind up doing!

  3. Got it. I'm comfortable with manual relief valves but will be dealing with pressure switches and accumulators soon for a press I'm re-working   I just re-built my old (80's) 40 ton hydraulic ironworker that had one of those Williams units with a piston pump built into the tank. The thing was noisy as heck and had pretty much given up the ghost.  I went with an external gear pump but had to add a manual relief valve to the tank. Not bad- 49$ for one from Northern.  Couldn't believe it when we fired it up yesterday- the new pump just purrs and could hardly tell the thing was on. All my power is back and then some!


    I built a deep throat C-frame rivet press lately for a job. I used 1 1/4" A514 which is a 100000 psi steel; weldable with preheat from everything including 7018 to 11018.  I figured it would be stiff but with a 30" throat and about 20 ton of pressure I could not detect any deflection in the frame. I would highly recommend burning some profiles of your press from this stuff.  Yes- you do need good welding pre-post heat and DRY electrodes but I would do it again in a heartbeat. I really think it could handle 2X the tonnage with ease. 


    What's unique is I scanned a 100 year old google image of a press into CAD for my model and scaled the trace down from 11' tall to about 4'.  When I finally did some measuring on the model I discovered something very revealing: the deepest part of the throat, the base of the C was just forward of the neutral axis.   Take a look at old presses and you may come to the same conclusion. Old manufacturers may not have had finite element analysis to look at stresses but they did have 100 years of empirical knowledge to see what worked and didn't.

  4. Cool, Adair.


    A shaper and a lathe could do most of what you want here.  Burning Specialties in South Seattle has some large round cut-out drops for cheap.  We could turn your dishing die on the lathe and shape the dovetails.  Same goes for a low-profile option you could bolt male tooling onto.  I used bolt on dies for my 100lb kinyon and they held up fine.


    I like your thinking- I've been wanting to do something similar on my little Beaudry for taller and more specialized tooling like bolt and rivet heading, etc.

  5. Unfortunately Jim's excellent book does not address rephasing or accumulators. I'll be building an accumulator set up to use on my big riveter when the cylinder gets made for it. What I can tell you about accumulators goes counter to what we've learned all along from most in the b/s community. That is- open centered valves are the end all in a forging press. They wont work for an accumulator, gotta be closed centered. 


    Randy, I'd love to contribute to your book but staging photos of tooling and work to conform to a specific dpi or pixel count with white backgrounds doesn't happen too often in my shop.  Apologies,

  6. Two HP is pretty weak for forging, However I do have a 3hp running a 2 stage at 8gpm low pressure and 2 gpm high. (this is the 16/4gpm pump readily avail on ebay)   It JUST gets the work done in time before cooling the material too badly.  If I'm in a hurry I use one my two ten HP units, one running a 22/6 gpm 2 stage and the other a single stage 18gpm that tops out at 2000 psi.  The single stage pumps *hit* harder than the two stage units.  Get much above 20 gpm and you run into heat issues and the need for bigger valves, resevoirs, etc.


    I run a variety of cylinders, mostly 5 or 6"


    Get the $1.50 hydraulic handbook from surpluscenter.com.  All the good hyd info and more

  7. Woody, there is a guy here in the US, Mark Krause that broke down the Nazel and Beche' circuitry for all to understand. he put together an excellent booklet describing the double acting action of self contained hammers. look him up on FB, he's always travelling around fixing old hammers.  I know Masseys are unique but I can't imagine they don't share some similarities

  8. Nice variety. Some people make a lot of hammers but tongs are harder in my opinion because you need consistency. Making two of anything the same is never as easy as it sounds. Nice work

  9. Agreed on rod strength. I've seen two inch rods bend like twigs from side loading- not cool. On my main press I have a 7" double ended cylinder with a 5" rod. Yes- I lose a lot of working pressure taking up so much area but the stiffness is unbeatable. NO side deflection at all that I can tell. Just picked up a 5" double ended cylinder with a 2" rod for a new press. I just like the idea of having more guides essentially built into the system.

  10. Water hammer in hydro systems is a good topic. I do have two porta-packs, one 5hp tandem center and a 10HP open centered. The tandem is snappier in performance but it really bangs hard when the spool shifts. From my own experience in home plumbing, a stub of pipe near the valves work sometimes, sometimes not. What's the best way to get rid of hammer, bigger lines? check valves?

  11. Technically it is an alloy steel, not a tool steel.

    That said, it forges like a dream. I like it for just about any sort of blacksmithing tool. Tongs are great. I'ved used it for rivet sets as well. Grant used to use it for jackhammer bits but I found it a little soft for my taste unless you case harden it. The .020 of carbon means it has less than mild steel. It does case harden very well.  The best thing about it is it is CHEAP. 2$/lb at online metals. I got a big 40lb bar of it for 83$

  12. I have not used the Lincoln rod but have repaired anvil edges with the Stoody rod.  There is a recent distinction between some rods being "wear facing" vs 'hard facing'.  I think the stoody version I got was referred to as wear facing- ie; not as hard but tough as nails.  I've had great success using it for edge repair.

  13. I have Grant to thank about knowing where and where not to put material in a pair of tongs. It's actually not what you think. I was critical of his first generation of 14 inch tongs because they were too light. One errant blow on the jaws would spring the V of the box jaw open.  He ultimately remedied the problem with his new 19 inchers that are basically the same thing, just scaled up.  I like a beefy jaw. You can use whatever thickness of material you want if you get the offset correct.



  14. I started with the 30$ version of TurboCad and have upgraded to the 150$ professional version. Get it off ebay or IMSI.com.  It has nurbs surfaces and all sorts of sheet metal unfolding tools designed for HVAC work, stairs, railings, lofting, etc. I use the heck out of the 2d functions for my little CNC plasma table. Pretty amazing- needing a quick bracket or whatever, drawing it up, cutting it out and holding it in your hands in a matter of minutes.  I will say any CAD capability you give yourself will help immensely with getting your point across to clients. Instead of wasting time making samples that get rejected, make a drawing of it instead. It's really helped my business be more efficient

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