Sean St.

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Everything posted by Sean St.

  1. Hi folks, What are people's thoughts about clinker breaker shape? I've ususally seen clinker breakers that are triangular, but on occasion square blocks. Any advantages of one over the other? I can imagine that a square block would be a lot easier to make, but do they work as well? Why is triangular more common? SEan
  2. Hi Folks, Here's another article I did for the OABA newsletter about restoring and cleaning out my Canadian Blower and Forge hand crank blower. Sean
  3. Hi folks, Here's an article I wrote for the OABA newsletter about my new poartable forge. If anyone has any suggestions for improvment, I'd love to hear them! Sean
  4. Usually I just do it by hand, but what can help is after you stretch out the hole, tap it down over a cone hardy to make the hole as round as possible. Then just tap it gently straight back towards yourself, off the anvil. Does that make sense?
  5. Thanks for moving the thread. I thought there was a shop building section, but I couldn't find it. I'm in Southern Ontario, and 108 square foot is the biggest you can go without a permit. I'm not planning on building one anytime soon, but I was just thinking about it in general. I'm really thinking about how could you best use that space, not how to setup a new shop for any particular kind of work. Maybe it shouldn't be square?
  6. VaughnT, I did a search for Pughman's build, but I didn't find anything. Do you know where I can find it?
  7. Hey folks, I was just looking at my local buiding codes... and it got me thinking about how you would lay out a 10'x10' shed forge. Any ideas? Sean
  8. I love making bottle openers, so here's a bunch:
  9. One of the big reasons I want to make a new firepot is to have one with a clinker breaker. Any advice on making a clinker breaker from scratch?
  10. Hi folks, I'm thinking of making a firepot for my portable forge, and I was hoping for some advice. I've seen some for sale that look good, but which are a bit too heavy for my portable unit. I'd like to fabricate something, but I'm wondering about thickness. How thin can the walls of my fire pot be? Could I make it out of 1/4" plate? 3/8" plate? I really want to keep the weight down, but I don't want it to burn through on me either. Any suggestions?
  11. Hey Folks, I've finished my work on the blower, so here's how it came out. Thanks for the suggestions!
  12. Hi folks, I've just gotten a new anvil, and I was hoping for some help identifying/dating it. The only marks I can read on it are a weight mark of 0-3-3. Does anyone have any ideas? THanks! Sean
  13. Does anyone know the original colours for a Canadian Forge and Blower hand crank blower? I'm not looking to change what I've done already, I'm just curious as to what the originals would look like.
  14. Hi folks, I'm doing a clean up on my blower, a small one from Canadian Blower and Forge. I've repainted the outside, but I'm wondering if I should paint inside where the fan blade goes. I'm trying to give it some rust protection, as I mostly use it outside, and last time I took it out it got pretty rusty. I'm not going to paint inside where the gears are, but I'm wondering if there's any downside to painting in with the fan. I can imagine some of it chipping off, but then it would just blow out, so I don't see the harm. Any thoughts? Sean
  15. Thanks, that's a big help! I might see about going for the Magestic forge, I like the idea of independant controls on the burners. Should I reline with itc-100 when I get it?
  16. Can you tell me a bit about them? How are they on fuel? Welding? I was looking at the 2 Burner Artist Deluxe Forge, any thoughts?
  17. Is anyone out there using a Whisper Baby?
  18. Hi everyone, I'm looking to buy my first gas forge, and I'm looking for some advice and opinions. I'm considering the NC Whisper Baby or the Whisper Delux 2-door. I'm mostly planning to use it for small stuff (I'd rather do my welding and big stuff in the coal forge), but there's only a $45 difference between the two. The Baby is smaller, but I also think it'll have better fuel economy. Any advice?
  19. Weight was my primary consideration. I actually have it down to 30lbs, without having lost much. I took out some of the rivets, files, and punches, but I added in a tool belt and a rawhide mallet. I'm thinking of replacing the toolbox with some kind of cloth bag, but it's a matter of finding a bag the right size.
  20. Sean St.

    IMG02093 20130810 1130

    What did you use to seal the edges?
  21. Thanks for the comments everyone! David: Thanks! I carry it around in a standard metal toolbox, which still has lots of room left in it. I think I'll have to get some cock-grease for it now too...
  22. Hi Folks, I've just finished an article for the OABA newsletter, and wanted to share it here. I posted a partial version of this a little while ago, but here's the final version. About a year ago, we had a demonstrator cancel at the last minute for an OABA meeting, and I was asked to fill in. I had none of my tongs, hammers, punches, or other equipment, and I found it very awkward to use the ones in the shop. There was nothing wrong with the shop or its tools, it just didn't have the kinds of things I was used to. The demonstration was more or less successful, but not quite what I would have liked. After that, I decided to put together a portable set of tools that I could keep in my car for demonstrations. Over the last year, my toolbox has gone through several changes, both in its content and in the ideas behind it. Its still a work in progress, but I thought I'd share where this project come to so far. If I had wanted a set of tools to do one demonstration, I could keep it pretty simple. If I went to a shop that had a forge, and anvil, and some steel, I could do several demonstrations with only a handful of tools. For example, a demo for a bottle opener would require a hammer, a pair of tongs, and a punch/drift. For a pair of tongs, I would need a hammer, a punch, a chisel, a rasp, and a rivet. I think with these sets I could do the specified demo, but if I wanted to work on something else I would need to look for other tools. If I was going to be demonstrating for an afternoon at a public event, I'd like to be able to work on whatever took my fancy. So, what I would like this tool box to be able to do is: · Hold sufficient tools for several and various demos · Contain most of the tools I might want to work with when borrowing someone else's forge · Have most of the tools I might need for any surprise projects or repairs whenever I happen to be. However, I have two constraints I want to stick to: · These tools must fit in the tool box I have decided to use for it · The toolbox must weigh less than 40lbs total. The tool box, on the left, is one I picked up at Iron in the Hat a while back. I could fit a lot more in another toolbox, but this one fits pretty well in my back seat. The weight constraint is a bit arbitrary, but after lugging that thing around when I had it completely crammed, I think that 40lbs is probably as much as I would want. There was also the problem of over crowding the toolbox. I've had times when I just spent too long hunting through a crammed box trying to find the tool I was looking for, and when I was done it was a jigsaw puzzle to put everything back together. So, with that in mind, I have reworked my tool box to give me the widest range of options while still keeping the weight and the clutter down. This is still a work in progress, but I think I’ve got a pretty good set so far. Toolbox Contents 1 and 3: V-bit tongs Two sets of v-bit tongs, useful for round or square stock from 1/4" to 3/4", and not too bad on stock up to an inch, or on a lot of bar stock. I find these to be my favourite style of tongs because of their versatility and stability. 2: Farrier tongs All around useful tongs, especially for bar stock. I also find them handy to smaller twists and picking up sheet metal pieces. 4: Collapsible Coal rake/poker I like having a very long coal rake, because I find that when I lean over the forge to pull more coal towards the centre, I tend to light my head on fire. After a few times, you start to think of alternatives. It's also handy for poking the forge or saving yourself from a bit of extra back strain. 5: Slice Great for most of my forge maintenance. Helps for pulling clinker, raising up the coals, or for digging through to find that one piece that was too short and got lost. 6: Twisting wrench I made this by welding a piece of scrap onto the end of an adjustable wrench. The two handles make it easier to twist whatever you're working on and keep it straight. 7: Cross Peen Hammer I use this hammer for pretty much everything. It’s a 2-1/2lbs cross peen hammer with a nice long handle. I’ve changed my hammer for this toolbox several times, and have no problem changing it up when the fancy takes me, but I think I’ll stick with cross peen hammers for this toolbox because of their versatility. 8 - 9: Files and rasp I find that a heavy farriers rasp, a rough square file, and a rough round file do pretty for most jobs I might do at the forge. I might include a half round file or something thin to get into small places. 10: Golf ball This is the handle for the files (8-9), and it works very well. I drilled a few holes in it of different sizes, and it fits most file tangs. 11: Small swage block I have one of the small swage blocks from John Newman, and it works very well, but it would be too much weight for the toolbox as I’ve planned it. I made this small block for minor jobs and for supporting bundle welds. 12: Needle nose pliers Handy for little tweaks. I might replace these with heavier scrolling pliers. 13: Heavy flat bristle brush I find these work better and last longer than the softer wire bristle brush. The flat steel bristles are far more aggressive, and remove scale much easier. 14: Drift This used to be a punch, but these days I find it's better to have my punches and drifts as separate tools. I forged this one out of 4140, and its been working very well for me. 15: Ruler Useful when trying to measure distances using standard and common divisions of length, such as inches, or perhaps centimetres. Larger units of measurement may require math (not pictured). 16 and 17: Short punches and punch tongs When I started trying to bring the weight down in the toolbox, I took a look at the number and size of the chisels and punches I had. Most of my chisels and punches were about 6” long, which added a lot of weight to the toolbox. I decided to make a set of short punches, like ones I’ve seen before such as this one I wanted them to be simple and simple to hold, and to not slip or move in the tongs that held them. What I came up with was slightly flattening the side of the punch and putting a round divot in the main body. I then made a pair of tongs just for holding the punches which has an angled jaw for holding the punches, and a wing bolt that I can adjust up and down to sit in the divot to hold the punch in place. The jaws of the tongs are forged from an old crowbar, and the handles are mild steel. I used mild steel for the handles because I wanted to be able to use the back of the handles as a set of fullers for pinching down pieces from the top and bottom simultaneously. I've been really happy with this set of punches so far. These are all made out of 2" of 3/4” 4140, and together weigh less than one of the punches I took out. I feel there will be many more to come. 18: Centre punch Very handy, especially if I have to drill anything after forging. This is much more convenient as a thin long punch, so I doubt I'll replace it with a shorter one. 19-20: Hot cut chisels Nice thin hot cut chisels. I have a few short chisels in with the punches, but I wanted to keep two long chisels in the box. The first one is just a flat chisel, and the second one is for slicing a hole through a bar. 21: Leather glove and Safety goggles (not pictured) Usually just for my left (non-hammer holding) hand. I don't normally wear gloves, but sometimes its handy. As for the Safety goggles; Never forge without them 22: Earplugs For not hearing with. 23: Anvil Devil I used to have a hot and cold cutting hardie in this box, but they didn’t always work in other people’s anvils. Fred Johnson told me about the Anvil Devil he had picked up at CanIron VIII, and how it worked as both a hot and cold cut, and had held up very well. I picked up one from Canadian Farrier Supply in Orangeville for about $6, and so far its working just great. This is the perfect tool for a portable box, as it took the weight down by three pounds while not losing any functionality. 24: Touch mark I made a touch mark a while back by simply notching a standard letter punch. Those interested in learning which letter I chose could consult my name for a clue. 25: Chalk There is usually a busted piece of chalk or two somewhere in the toolbox. Generally handy, and much more reliable than paint markers and silver pencils. 26: Rivets Various rivets in an unfortunately round container. Looking to do better. 27: Borax There are some welds that the Iron Mountain isn't great for, especially bundle welds, so I like to keep some ordinary borax around as well. I like old pipe tobacco tins for this, as they're pretty good at keeping moisture out. However, again, it's not the best shape for saving space, so I'm looking for something better. 28: Beeswax A simple finish for a lot of pieces. I keep it in a ziplock bag just in case it gets too hot in the car. 29: Iron Mountain flux An anhydrous borax flux with powdered iron for filler. Makes for some pretty easy welds, but if you're not carefully it can also lead to bad habits. Okay, that's it! If you have any suggestions that might help, just drop me a line at [email protected] If you’d like to take a look at what I’ve put together, just ask next time you see me at an OABA meeting. Sean Stoughton
  23. Sean St.


    I spent two hours trying to make this axe head out of 4140, then realized that it was completly fractured at both of the fullering spots. Not trying that again...
  24. Hi folks, I have a cheap "anvil" (cast steel block that is vaugly anvil shaped) that I picked up a while back, and I've been trying to make some improvments. I've spent some time putting a point on the horn, but I still have a big problem with the hardie. It's supposed to be 1", but its a very poor casting, and I can't get any of my hardie tools into it. This is an anvil I use with my tiny home made gas forge, so I can't make new hardies to match, and I really dont want to have to remake all of my other hardies (all at 1"). So, my question is, is there any good way to open up a hardie hole? I can't really get files down into it, and even if I could I'd be filling forever. I've thought about throwing the whole thing into a forge and pounding a drift through, but I'm a little nervous about that. Any suggestions?
  25. Update! So I went ahead and made the tongs. They work much better than anything else I've tried. The v side holds the various shapes of the punches securely, and the bolt sits in the round notch on each punch and stops it from sliding out of position. I forged the jaws out of an old crowbar, and the reins out of mild steel. The reason for the mild handles is that I wanted to use them like a top and bottom fuller; just put the piece in between the reins and just pound. This let me take the vice grips, old punch holder, and and old spring fuller out of my toolbox. I think this is what I'm going to go with. Thanks for all the suggestions! Sean