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I Forge Iron

bruce wilcock

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Everything posted by bruce wilcock

  1. roll the hinge plate full length to take the pin , then cut the center slot out ,two hack saw cuts or angle grinder ,then with a hot set cut the center out slope your set so to make a neat fit for the strap ,made all the hinges for drop down rail waggon sides by cutting the middle out after forging the barrel ,then we moved to welding a tube onto a plate then again cutting the middle out.
  2. to light a coal fire ,a small pice of charred cotton lit with sparks of the grinder or flint if you ar a purist, a hand full of dry sawdust and shavings put on charred coal and dont blow it too hard ,if you have a large built forge that holds a lot of coal when you shut down make shure the coal in the forge is well isolated from the burning coals , if the wind gets up through the night you will have a nice warm smithy in the morning and no coal
  3. yes i have worked on a bridge anvil ,forging shackles , clevises and devils claws to hold chain,at the time i was a striker so i didnt take a lot of notice ,all the anvils around the hammers were a good striking hight ,so the bridge anvils would have been around the same hight the base was part of the anvil and i dont remember them on timber just bolted to the floor , they had to be fastened down becouse we used the hole to bend or streighten bars ,they were rough and all went to the scrap along with the big vises and huge swage blocks ,the smaller anvils vices and benders sold ,this would be around 1968
  4. if your anvil is wrought iron with a steel face you should be able to go over the soft pike with a hammer and planish out most of those pits cold,its a nice anvil shape
  5. once you get to the East coast build a raft, the anvil weighs around 5 cwt you will have to make allowance for food and water ,the days are getting longer ,set course for 60deg 28mins North 01 deg 29mins West ,you can over winter here ,then set of back via the Azores the following spring ,the anvils is free ,so finances should be no problem
  6. yes you can have it ,exchange for a days work clearing the shop ,its only a boat ride away,
  7. the anvil i am working on in, youtube bruce wilcock forging rings ,and tongs is marked 7 cwt 1 qr -5 lb 42 ins long and 18 ins high this is a nice anvil to work on as the weight is in the waist and the short base has been filled with punchings mixed with cement ,no visible name but it came from kirkstall forge along with another same size ,dad exchanged that for a small anvil in the 60s to take out shoing , as kirkstall forge made anvils i dont think they would have bought one so its proberly thers .The anvil used in the youtube anchor welding ,is a cast steel anvil with 428 lbs stamped in not cast on it again no name ,it soon makes a anvil feel small when thw jobs get heavier, the vidioes were made in 2004 .we have a double ended one out in the yard that is 3-1/2 foot long that is in good order but the weight is in the ends and makes it tippy when used for heavy striking ,i will try to get photos of them .Bruce
  8. i see one on it with the gas ax sharpish at the end, no time to stand and stare , proberly blow through it and drag it out with the fork lift , bet its a pig to get cleared and running again ,though nothing they wont have seen before,nice to be retired when you see things like that.
  9. i have lifted the face on two anvils one looked mutch like the one in the photo when we had done with it ,olso knocked the tail of another ,its easy done working on heavy chain ,and shackles when the job cannot be got back in a fire ,and men are tired working on cooling iron ,with a job that has to be got out ,now . Though most big anvils get cracked using a swing monkey and catching the edge of the face a glancing blow.Unless you know the history of the anvil ,dont be so hard on the men that used it, some of the work that went over it proberly wasnt easy, and some verging on mission impossible,and remember rough work was done on the rough anvils ,keeping both steeled toe boots on the floor would be good advice when in the company of lads bouncing there anvil 6ins in the air ,in the dry dock ,driving out rusted shackle pins ,and it is there anvil after all .
  10. there is no mention of anvil ringing ,in the records of the worshipfull company of blacksmiths ,that i can find ,and having been to funerals of blacksmiths with other blacksmiths present no mention of anvil ringing was ever made ,perhaps the oposite whilst stood with a group in the early 60s of a recently decesed blacksmiths, shop a young lad picked up a pick sharpning hammer on the anvil and my father told him to not strike the anvil ,let it stay quiet he was told ,could be they just wanted to talk ,or reverance for the old smith ,i have no idea, the only thing i am farirly shure of anvil ringing wasnt a custom ,there were enough men there that day for at least one to have known ,and that occassion was ideal if it had been.
  11. if you look a old photos of women chain makers in the black country uk, like Wippets hard fit no spare flesh on them and they would give most of us a good run ,and they reared a clutch of kids as well as work ,my wife Brenda did her bit when we were newly wed ,she now says to son Ben , leave me out been there done that.
  12. we have one anvil pike towards the hearth and mine pike away , so i have a anvil in both camps bets on each way ,and one 5cwt anvil in the shed with the massey that we lay on its side against the wall to swing a monkey on just to confuse the issue .Still back to sheds i find a sill or step a in or out at the door a pain .
  13. if you are pushed for room setting your hearth into the wall ,like a bakers oven flush with the wall and canopy and flue outside ,built of stone or bocks it makes a neat job ,olso keeps the shop tidy ,i worked at a shoeing shop that had five hearths all set into the wall with the flues outside the hearths were made of brick with arched tops like a row of bee hives .As an aside all the anvils faced the same way pike tawards tong hand, apart from mine i was the only left hander ,men working on pice work soon had to find the way to make a living and way a anvil faced was not custom ,it was found to make work flow better ,if we were needing a good edge we went around the anvil ,all the anvils were well broken in .Hope you get your shed up , big sky lights are a great help and stop peepers peeping in.
  14. when we make tongs the rivet is forged from the same material as the tongs , the foundries stated on the spec sheets rivets to be same material as tongs .
  15. the shoeing floors in the big shoeing shops were made of wood blocks end grain set in coal tar pitch ,i have no idea what the wood was ,they were nice to work on and the horses didnt knock a dressed foot about after the shoe had been fitted whilst the other shoes were being made, the one drawback was at the time we wore clogs with irons on ,and if a heavy tired draft horse started to lean and try to push you through the floor ,the clag irons bit into the wood and you couldnt slide your feet to get out ,and needed some hands to shove the horse over ,hob nailed boots were even worse , but behind the anvil they were great ,a few stone slabs were set in around the hearth and the door ,those floors would cost s fortune to lay now ,if i was to start again ,it would be a wood block floor ,
  16. bead bobbing can develope into ,the parachute hammer sindrome , where the hammer starts well but makes a soft landing .
  17. in the uk flat iron gates were made from shoe iron ,some with a T bar top rail ,the shoe iron sizes we used were 1 ins by 3/8 1 ins by 1/2 1 1/4 by 1/2 for the farm horses the gate head was punched and the bars passed through and riveted the rest was riveted up using 3/8 round rod and clinked up both sides and a pice of 1/4 flat plate riveted in the corners nearest the hanging end ,they became un economic when the welded tube gates were sold by traveling traders selling from there trucks in the late 60s and we gave up making them ,they were made out of wrought iron and never got painted .
  18. for a single striker doing little more that giving the smith use of both his hands punching, slitting ,side setting ,and flatting ,any length that suits will do ,when you start to need to move iron and both are working 24 in is as short as you can go to give both some room to work ,double strikers no less than 30 in ,and to work well as a team 3 men and more 36 ins is a good length the main thing with teams is to have all hammers same length and weight so they can all handle the hammer well and not get on top of each other, , the heat keeps you back and 5lb hammer on a 38ins shaft is the tool for welding .The hammer used on youtube, Bruce wilcock striker forging tongs, has a 30 ins shaft ,and the hammers used to forge weld a small anchor on Bruce Wilcock youtube have 38 ins shafts and the hammers used to forge the anchor have 30 ins shafts sorry i dont know the way to make a link , but they will give you some idea of the reasoning behind the shaft length used
  19. the point of a tipped masonry drill will dress a sandstone ,if you are going to use sandstones often ,remember grinders and polishers were not long lived folk, it was a very unhealthy trade ,and wet grinders were the culprits,not the dry.
  20. the 1045 will need soaking then bring it up to forging heat and you will find it forges , punches ,and slits well .
  21. if they do decide to re site the bridge ,you should get in on the job offer to do the complete works forge welds forged bolts rivets , and offer to be considerd for the upkeep checking fastenings and the like yearly ,restoration of wrought iron has found me some good paying work the last job i reclamed and forged out over one ton of iron ,used to re build a historic dock ,it could be worth more to you to keep it stood up .
  22. make a wood mould ,mix a little cement powder with the ash clinkers and make clinker blocks ,i have made loads over the years ,and used them in the garden , and the last made a side for the coal bunker ,i liked the idea of using them for the coal bunker .
  23. a coal hearth needs a larger area than one burning coke ,with a coke fire you just dump coke on and away you go ,a coal fire has to have room to store the coal as you warm it up to drive of the volatiles and coke it up,then room to burn it.
  24. make a wood box to cover it ,lift it of and use it to lay your tools on when you work ,we did this at quarry where we sharpend there picks and dressed the hammers
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