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I Forge Iron


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  1. I like the cut out in the front plate. This green hammer looks to have suffered far less abuse than mine.
  2. I had a 25#little giant quite a few years ago. I had 2x3” flat does that seemed a tad small, and 1 1/4”x4” crowned dies that were more effective when drawing out. A hammer that size has pretty limited power so a big die can rob some forging force, but small dies make using tools difficult. My 100# has 3x8” combo does and the 250 has 4 1/2”x9” dies. Bigger is better as it gives you more space, but has to fit the hammer. For a 30#, a 2 inch 3-4” would be my first try. If it seems small go up to a 2 1/2x4 or so- if you have room. If you want to draw faster make some skinny dies that are 1” or3/4” wide with a generous radius. Sometimes you have to pull a few tricks to get what you need out of a small hammer
  3. I think an E was a 150 pound, but can't guarantee that is correct
  4. I dont know if it helps any, but this little blade was a piece of Billy's steel he left at my shop.
  5. Here is a bradley die arrangement. Little Giant is a different dovetail. My top die dovetail is about a half inch wider than the factory. The ends sticking out are the skinny end, the flush are the fat end. Both keys have equal tapers. The dies are cut parallel. You will have to fit them, regardless of the source. The top/ bottom edges need proper contact as well as the taper faces. There is a possibility that you could find factory keys from Cortland Machine. I think Cortland sold the bradley parts and drawings a while back and don't have a number off hand. When they were making hammer parts they were not particularly helpfull.
  6. Even a soft key can crack the dovetail. You will gain a smidge of crush value with a soft key, but it is pretty minimal. Any deformation of the key in the slot tends to lock it in place immovably. I have seen wavy keys used in hammers that would not behave, they are impossible to remove without destroying the key and/ or the die. A really good solution in my case would be to mill 3/8" off the dovetail and make thicker keys, and some day I might. I made these dies just guessing what size the dovetails should be. After finding a factory set I see how wrong I got the top dovetail. Factory is almost a half inch narrower
  7. Er-32 collets. Cat 40 tools fit the nmtb 40 spindle, which is convenient since cnc machines are pretty common now. There are lots of surplus tool holders on the market. I had to fabricate a drawbar as this machine uses an oddball arbor with 7/16 rather than 5/8 threads. They were originally sold with one of each.
  8. I recently came across this funky horizontal mill. Yet another project. I did buy a collet set for it, but have yet to put power to the little guy. It is a " hand miller" in that the x axis is controlled through a rack gear rather than a screw. I have never used one of these and may just convert to screw feed (there are instructions in the manual and on several user groups online) no real question on it though if anyone has experience with one I would be curious to hear thoughts on the rack feed vs screw feed.
  9. It looks stout as anything. Probably a nmtb taper which is a pain, honestly anything other than r-8 is a pain. That is not reason enough to pass on a machine, oddball tapers can be located, it just causes some aggravation. Three phase is actually pretty easy to work around. More than likely it will have wear in the ways and screws but since it is going into home use it would have to be really bad to be a deal killer. It looks like a good starter mill. I am curious what it is- that photo is pretty rough.
  10. Is that the green one that was floating around auctions a while back?
  11. I have that issue with my top die. I need to thin the dovetail, but have managed for more than 20 years with skinny keys. Use spring steel, heat treat the keys and use a close fitting drift to push them. Keep them reasonably close the length of your dies. Soft keys are evil and the cause of every die I have ever oxygen laced out of a sow block. At this point in my life I dont expect to live long enough to waste my time trying to dig a riveted die out of a hammer ever again. Here is a better veiw. My top die keys are about 3/16" at the thick end. The right key is the thick end. The thin end is a tad under 1/8". These keys were fitted to this hammer in the 90s.
  12. A hammer just popped up for sale and my wife says I need it. I will probably have to sell some stuff, but how many hammers is apropriate??? I have two running hammers at the moment, and I have two huge foundations available....
  13. Okay, this is not directly a grinder question so it might belong somewhere else, but under grinders was my best guess. Belt grinders chew up a LOT of steel and generate a lot of dust. I would like to minimize the airborne dust as well as the piles on the floor, tables, shelves, ect. I like the booths that I see some folks using- putting the grinders in their own room. To some degree grinding dust, from angle grinders, will just be something that must be tolerated, but a dust collection system would surely help. My current shop has a sort of dust collector, but it is equipped with cloth bags and the ductwork is run across the ceiling. ( weird right? It turns out the previous owner rented it as a grow operation. The ducting makes more sense with that tidbit) most of the information i see online is for wood based systems. I am concerned about sparks and certainly not going to blow my dust up each wall and across the ceiling. I definitely need something different, but what? I would like to be able to line 3 or 4 grinders up with a system that will deposit their debris out side.
  14. I recall him saying he was using O2, but I have had others who worked with Billy as well disagree. It was quite a long time ago and I dont recall the 5th material. They all hardened, and all etched different. Billy was always up to throwing something odd into a billet to see what it would do.
  15. The first photo i found on my phone. I dont have many, but part of Billy's display table.
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