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I Forge Iron


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About SGropp

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  1. Nice job! The rebar layout looks like it was done by someone with a ornamental iron background. When I poured the foundation blocks for my three hammers, I lined the pits with plastic sheet to retain the moisture in the concrete and kept the top of the slab covered in wet cardboard and plastic for a couple of weeks to allow a slow cure. I was told that this would result in the strongest possible concrete. I also used the chopped nylon fiber added to the mix. Is the top of the foundation block the same level as the shop floor ? What did you use between the floor slab and the hammer block to minimize vibration transfer ? That component seems critical to keep the pounding from wreaking havoc with the rest of the shop. It looks like this is just the foundation for one hammer. Did you back off of pouring a common foundation for both Nazels ? Or are you going to have to go through the same thing again for the other one ? Larry, please keep us posted as this project proceeds. This thread, like many that you have started on this forum has generated a lot of interesting feedback and solid information. There seems to be a lot of conflicting information and opinions about hammer foundations, with some people claiming that no special foundation is required and others advocating massive installations like the one you are doing. It seems as if the time, trouble and expense of a proper foundation were to result in even a small percentage increase in efficiency and less wear and tear on the machine and operator, that over the course of several thousands of blows per day , it is worth it. I'm still not sure of the physics between the wood or rubber or high tech plastic pad under the anvil of the hammer and the massive concrete block beneath it. It seems as if it would partially negate the value of all that mass under the anvil, but I can't imagine that it would be advisable to set the anvil directly onto a hard unyielding surface. I have an old set of factory foundation plans for a 300# Beaudry mechanical hammer that calls for a massive built up block of oak timbers on end sitting on a raft of oak beams , all set below floor level, with no concrete at all. It seems as if the theory and practice was to have the mass and support of a large and deep foundation but to allow some slight elasticity in the whole setup.
  2. So how are are you going to orient the two hammers on the foundation, back to back,or side by side ? Just think, in 25 + years, sharpening 40,000 jack hammer bits per year at $1.50 each should pay for that building, Better get that die height just right !
  3. Thanks, I did check out rotometals.com site and it looks as if the material they sell is more suitable for what I am trying to accomplish. They also have all the additional materials, solders and finishes as well as the technical expertise to back it up. I got sidetracked with looking into using the Rheinzink and VM Zinc material because it is being used to clad the exterior walls of the other building project I am working on. That material is much harder and more space age looking [ probably from the addition of the Titanium in the alloy ] Also a lot more $$$.
  4. I'm wondering if anyone on this forum has any real world experience in working with zinc sheet metal. I'm putting together a proposal for a fireplace hood that the client wants to have made in zinc sheet. This would be in a product either called Rheinzink or VM Zinc, both trade names for a alloy of zinc, copper and titanium. Most of it comes from Europe but it is available here in the US. It is used primarily for high end exterior cladding and roofing. Does anyone have any experience with this material, particularly in annealing and hammering and re-rolling to establish a texture. Also any experience with soldering or welding this material? Patinas and finishes ? I have all the equipment to shear, notch, roll and break the material to fabricate the hood in the conventional manner, but am wanting to be able to offer an option that is less sleek and contemporary in look. Any information or help would be appreciated
  5. One trick I've used for forging a bunch of heavy bars is to make a rail from the mouth of the forge to the lower die of the hammer. This can be a piece of angle, pipe or flat bar on edge, whatever you might have handy. Set up with a couple of intermediate supports and held in position with some clamps, the rail allows you to slide the bar out of the furnace and up onto the hammer die without having to lift and carry all that weight. The bar goes back to the forge for another heat along the same rail. An added bonus is that is that most of the scale is scraped off the bar while being dragged down the rail. This however only works for certain setups and types of work. Another useful trick is to make a a hook with a T handle out of 3/8 rod that enables you to pick up the hot bar at the balance point with the non- tong holding hand. This allows for much better body mechanics. A heavy ,heat resistant apron and boots with steel toes are a real good idea in this situation. The hook can stay in your hand once the piece is safely on the die or hung from the die key ,ready for the return trip to the fire.
  6. For what it's worth, I bought a 40# Hay Budden anvil in good condition for $120 including shipping about 10 years ago. It had a number of chips along the edges which had been repaired fairly skillfully by the seller with Stoody hard facing rod . It is pretty handy to have one that size and sees most of it's use are a bench anvil for sheet metal work or taken to a job site for light duty tweaking. The repairs have help up just fine for that kind of service. It was shipped unwrapped with my name and address written on the face with felt pen. That price would be a screaming bargain today [ or not ]
  7. At the recommendation of Sid at Little Giant , I use a light oil in the clutch of my hammers [ both cast iron on cast iron and one with the synthetic material used in place of leather. They should be run soaking wet. I use 30 # oil mixed 50/50 with diesel or kerosene kept in a spray bottle. I oil the hammers about every 4 hours of use, I use way oil [ Vactra #2] on the bearings and pins, and grease on the crank , treadle bushing and main clutch to shaft bearing fed through a grease fitting at the rear of the shaft.. I imagine the Murray hammer to be basically the same set up. Some light flat bar and inventiveness can be used to make a guard around the clutch to keep the oil from being slung around the shop. This flung oil is not only a mess but also a fire hazard and can contaminate work finished or in progress, giving problems with patinas or finishes . The clutch on my #7 Beaudry motor driven is also a metal on metal cone clutch. There is no way to access or lubricate the clutch surfaces directly, so I assume that it gets the lubrication that's required by the oil that flows out the oil chamber in the main top bearing. Does anyone know if this is correct? The hammer works very well with good control of both speed and power using the clutch. I use way oil in this bearing , fed through a drip oiler at a pretty good rate of flow. I've pretty much given up using bar oil to lubricate my mechanicals, finding it too sticky and a magnet for grit and dirt, preferring to use the slightly lighter and less tacky way oil. The fact that it flows through seems to be an advantage to keep the junk out of the open bearings used on these types of machine
  8. Call UL and ask them for a list of shops in your area that are certified to wire , test and approve custom light fixtures of the type you are making. They are usually quite helpful with this. Make your piece with adequately sized wire runs, smooth bends, no burrs or sharp corners and provisions for grounding the fixture. Take the completed fixture to the shop , have them do a professional and fully legal job. Hang or mount the piece if needed, but leave the final electrical connection to be made by the licensed, bonded and insured electrical contractor of record. Charge the client accordingly. If they balk at paying for doing it right, the best option is to refuse to take the commission.
  9. I have a pair I bought new about 18 years ago and they are holding up just fine.
  10. I like those hammers, but that one is a serious candidate for a dock anchor. It looks really beat.
  11. I suspect that relative to earning power, blacksmithing tools [ and tools in general] are cheaper than at anytime in history. That, and the fact that most of them went out of production many years ago, I'm actually surprised that they are not a lot more expensive. We all want stuff to go for cheap, except for our own work.
  12. I'm curious if there is actually is someone that has a stash of Beaudry parts available. Usually it's a custom machining or forging job using the old/broken or worn out parts as a guide to make a new replacement. I have a friend that broke one of the spring arms on his 200#. As I recall he welded it back together with stainless rod and it is holding up just fine.
  13. Here's a link to a pretty good article about forging a traditional mountaineering ice axe. http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1253035/Charlet-And-Moser-Make-An-Ice-Axe-Chamonix-1960 Most modern ice tools, particularly those intended for climbing steep waterfall ice are of modular construction with the pick bolted on so it can be replaced. Most picks seem to be cut and machined instead of hot forged, with the notable exception of Grivel.
  14. Here's a link to a pretty good story and video form the New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/25/world/asia/25blacksmith.html?_r=1&hp
  15. This is the blower I use for my coke fire ; http://www.centaurforge.com/115-volt-PB-50vs-Blower-Variable-Speed/productinfo/PB50VS/ works great.
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