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I Forge Iron


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  1. If you want to figure the bend allowance the easy way go to a website called: engineersedge.com/bend_allowance and look at the formula there. You punch in your stock thickness and the radius you are bending and it will give you the extra stock allowance you need.
  2. Check out the hammers on Brent Bailey's website. I have one of his Compact Cross Peins and absolutely love it. It weighs in at about 2 3/4# and balances beautifully. Plus it really moves some metal. He shows a variety of styles on his website and is quite reasonable for the quality of the work he does. He will make any style and weight you want.
  3. I know that this thread has been up here for a while, but I have to respond to this one. I am a retired tool and diemaker and have heat treated a variety of steels for over 30 years. What most people refer to as tempering really isn't. There is a temperature range of generally about 75-100 degrees ie 1800-1875 for a lot of steels where the steel has to be heated to in order to harden fully. Once it is quenched (air, oil or water) and the temperature drops quickly enough it will be at its maximum hardness. This maximum hardness material, however, is very brittle due to the stresses caused by the quenching and once it has reached room temperature must be reheated and "soaked" at a temperature which is held for a number of hours depending on how hard you want the tool to be for final use. Generally any tool steel that reaches a quench hardness of 60 Rockwell on the "C" scale will be "Tempered" to a few points below this hardness. The tempering or normalizing relieves the shock caused by the quenching and makes the crystaline structure of the steel consistent and reduces the tendency to fracture during use. Most air hardening tool steels like A-2 need to be held at 300-400 degrees for two hours and then be air cooled and have the process repeated again to adequately stabilize the material. If the material is over an inch thick you have to add another hour for every additional inch thickness. Crucible Steel Company has an excellent guide for the heat treatment of steels. I would suggest unless you want to spend the money to acquire a digital controlled oven and do your own heat treating, that any critical part you want to harden send it to a commercial heat treating company. They generally will heat treat based on a minimum fee for a certain number of pounds of materiel sent in for the same specification of hardness and tempering. They will have the capability of vacuum heat treating and doing an inert gas quench on any items you do not want scale on.
  4. Where are you located in Maine? I have a fairly nice little hand crank blower I could be persuaded to let go cheap. I live in Rockport on the Midcoast. John Brimson
  5. I really like the looks of the side draft hood that you built. It looks similar to the hood that Lester Beckman posted on anvilfire .com. Compairng the tow, I looked at the photos and could not tell if the bottom inside the hood is angled 90degrees to the face plate or not. It does appear that you extended the top of the faceplate a bit. Do you have any sketches for the changes that you made? I need to put a hood up in my shop this winter and this one seems to work very well indeed. JDB
  6. JDB

    Atlas 10-F

    If you are going to spend much time using the lathe, do yourself a favor and chuck the single post tool holder with the rocker into the scrap pile and buy a small turret type tool holder. Even a cheap one will work better and you can set up multiple bits and not have to change everything each time you do a different turning operation. If you use the single post toolholder, every time you set the lathe tool up for a different operation you are going to have to relocate the point of the turning tool to the center of the workpiece or just slightly below, which is a royal pain in the rear.
  7. Give McMaster-Carr a call. I just looked on page 2535 of catalog #111 and they show it available in 10 sheet or 50 sheet packs. The catalog is a couple of years old, but they show it for $16.38 for the ten sheet pack. They have an online website and you can check the availability and current price at www.mcmaster.com
  8. I just purchased a Champion 400 Blower. It had had the oil drained from the gear case. I filled it with 75w-90w gear lube and it seemed to work just fine. I checked the internals and the gears appeared brand new. There wasn't any play in either the gears or the output shaft the impeller is mounted on. I tried it and it seemed pretty quiet. I came back about 2 hours later and most of the gear oil had drained out. Does anyone have any recommendations on sealing the case or the shafts? There do not appear to be any cracks in the case other than the seam in the top cover. Does anyone have any suggestions?
  9. I recently retired as a toolmaker after 32 years doing precision work. For most of that time I worked in a medical device or support facility (repair shop) for pharmaceutical related industry. If you are looking for a challenge that is both mental and physical where there will be little or no chance of a layoff I can recommend it. After 6 or eight years if you are reasonably competent, however, it will be boring and repetitious. It will pay fairly well though, but you can expect to work a minimum ten hour and sometimes twelve hour days and fifty to sixty hours a week. It is tiring both physically and mentally. You have to have an almost compulsively anal ability to deal with minute detail and perform everything in exactly the same manner time after time. Chances for physical injury are always present, as you will be working around equipment that can injure and maim easily if you let you attention lapse. The last ten or twelve years there has been a move to ISO certification and LEAN manufacturing and six sigma manufacturing process analysis. The emphasis on both internal and external auditing of everything can drive you batty.....All this said if you really want to try this, go for it. Try to stay away from facilities that do a lot of government contract or military industry work as the layoffs are nearly a constant threat. Until you have been working for a company like that for at least ten years it is not unheard of that you will be laid off two to three months a year. I also expect as time goes on that hard manufacturing jobs will continue to be outsourced overseas due to increased labor and regulatory costs. I alsoexpect as time goes on there will be less and less of this work available.
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