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Everything posted by RyanMark

  1. And to answer some questions: I mostly make gongs, as in the musical instrument. Recently I had an opportunity to get some material from Germany. It came already cut into circles (80cm diameter) and with a mirror finish. Really nice stuff. I have to cut my own circles and I can only get mill finish from my US suppliers. The discoloration from heating is desirable, therefore it must be polished beforehand. Keeping it from getting scratched during production is something I always have to be conscious of, but it is not that difficult. With summer coming, I'm more worried about my sweat dripping onto it!
  2. Thank you everyone! Sorry to take so long in replying. So it looks like I need to use a car buffer after sanding to a high grit. First with a course compound with a "cutting" wheel, and then the buffing wheel and compound, correct? Bigfoot - Where do you get the fine grit sanding discs for the orbital sanders? I can only ever find up to 320. I find a random orbit sander to be quite fast, although the discs don't last very long. But if I buy in bulk then it's worth it.
  3. I buy copper alloy sheet (bronze, brass, nickel-silver) and make things out of it. The metal usually comes with a mill finish. That is, kind of shiny but with marks and light scratches (sometimes not so light). I'd like to polish it to a mirror finish before I start working it. For me, this would make more sense than polishing/buffing afterwards. I know this has been asked probably a million times, but what would be the most economical way to achieve this, given that I currently have no specialized equipment for such a task, and taking time into consideration as well? I've wet-sanded up to 1500 grit a few times, and have never quite got a mark-free surface. I'd be happy to start at the Harbor Freight level. Thanks!
  4. I emailed Little Giant about this, but while I'm waiting for a response, can anyone tell me what the maximum diameter cylindrical die could be installed and still clear the guide? On a 100 lb.
  5. I guess I thought that, for example, the Little Giants had rectangular guides which would only allow a comparably small cylindrical die to be installed, since it retracts up into the guide. But I looked at more pictures and see that the guide is square. Thanks, guys.
  6. Attached is a picture of a gentleman in Wuhan China forging out bronze plates. I believe the anvil has a shallow depression, and the die is cylindrical. Which power hammers could be outfitted as such, besides the self-containeds? I know some hammers are sensitive to changes in tup weight, stroke, etc. Thanks!
  7. Thanks, Basher. I looked at the Bradley Compact today, and it doesn't have enough throat clearance. The smith who owns it is also of the view that a smaller hammer should work fine. The thickness will just have to be checked as I work.
  8. I've been reading up on Bradleys, specifically the Bradley Compact. A 100 lb version might be available close to me. The small amount of literature I've found says that this hammer has an adjustable stroke depth. I wonder, will this work?
  9. It was said that the self-containeds are more controllable than other types. Plus the only type of hammer I've used was a Nazel 2B. I didn't know they were less efficient. I'm drawing out circular bronze ingots into plates. Maybe I don't need the finest control. Never used a mechanical hammer so I don't know. If I was able to afford a hammer right now, I'd just pick up a 100 lb LG when one pops up for sale. But I'm thinking of a Kickstarter campaign to get a hammer, so I might as well get a nice new one. And, I can't plan the campaign around a used hammer that may not be available if and when the campaign is successful. A delay in obtaining a hammer and making the backers' "rewards" is something I want to avoid. Which mechanical hammers are currently in production?
  10. What is the largest, currently in production, self-contained air hammer that I could run off of 220v, single phase, 50 amp breaker? And do they come stock with a single phase motor? I would like to do without a phase converter. Thanks!
  11. Thanks, InFire, I had not seen that. I wish I had a team of strikers.
  12. I take cans to the scrap yard. But I save all other aluminum such as extrusions. I alloy it with a little bit of zinc or silicon and it's useful metal.
  13. That casting forum is currently experiencing errors. There is a guy on there that makes and sells zinc-aluminum alloy ingots on ebay, look it up there. He must be making some $. Probably not a lot, though. Tips - Wear a face shield, welding gloves, long sleeves/jeans, and leather boots. Better would be leather apron and spats. Heat your ingot molds on the furnace lid before pouring. Cold molds or condensation will cause this:
  14. Thanks, Matt. I've been working multiple angles on this. Just got done with another attempt at casting the blank outright, at 1/8" thick and about 16" diameter. Hasn't filled, but very close. Might have to go 3/16". Braeburn, you say? Just looked them up. They're in PA, lots of steel mills there, but too far away. I had contacted a lab in Iowa that has a 12" wide rolling mill. Not wide enough, but I asked them if I could use it, or have them roll my bronze. Cost was $170 an hour, and their furnace was only 5x7".
  15. Thanks, knots. I'll take a look over in Presses. I'm not familiar with presses, or how a forging press is different from a regular shop press.
  16. You mean the cushioned helve style, right? I just looked up Bradleys and they made a lot of different ones. There's a 100 Compact near me but that can't be what you mean. I just read something about the long helves and working even thickness...makes sense.
  17. Yes, some very good answers despite my being vague. The material is bronze, 80% Cu 20% Sn. It is indeed something that I decided to specialize in. I'm making it myself because I can't buy it in the sizes and shapes I want. At least not from this country. To give you an idea, here is a casting: And here is one which I hammered out to around 11" and then cut a circle: There are raised areas all over it from the top die on the Nazel having an indentation. He ground it out just before I couldn't use the machine anymore. :( And here is my gas "forge", or furnace for this: Anyways, this is what I'm doing. They are going to be gongs, singing bowls, and hopefully cymbals. The biggest one I've done was a 10 lb, 8 inch casting that got hammered to about 16 inches. Still 10 lbs, though...so too heavy for a cymbal. Good for gongs though. I suppose with practice I will get to making them more even, and thinner. Might try stacking two together or something.
  18. Well, I wouldn't need the foot stop until I get close to the desired thickness. I had no problem forging it by eye, and was getting pretty good at controlling the Nazel. I guess I might just have to use a deep-throat micrometer, but that's going to be very time-consuming and difficult to keep checking it while the metal is hot.
  19. Thomas, A rolling mill would definitely be more appropriate, but the circles get up to 16" diameter or more. I started planning out a mill but am not sure it will work with my monetary and electrical limitations. Someday, though.