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I Forge Iron


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    Seattle, WA
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    Full time metalworker

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  1. It is possible, however quite hydraulic systems are much more expensive than what you normally see. I built a press with a pump that came out of a endless pool system. Amazingly quite, however it was a $4000 5HP pump. I like to hear that!
  2. Thanks! As a side note, If you buy the V bits in the 6 pc set they are less than $27 a pair :-) All of our stuff is priced quite a bit cheaper if you buy a set.
  3. Kind of a middle step is we (Quick and Dirty) sell a set of tong blanks that are pretty much done except for the jaw area. It gives you the option to do the important part without spending all day drawing out reins by hand. We also sell just raw 18" 1/2" 1045 blanks to make them from scratch.
  4. Ric its 4 grand for the complete hydraulic unit, not just the pump. However you could not buy an Oilgear like the one on my big press for 4 grand, they are more like $12,000 Even if you have buckets of money and all the power you could ever use there still will be sacrifices. I think the key is to get the most out of what your average shop can support. I plan on sticking with a 5 HP single phase system for the production presses. Its not what I would like to use but think its the best compromise for cost and performance.
  5. I agree with Ric, If those are your choices.... Its not that I think H13 is necessary (I have built several sets of H13 dies, including a set for a 200 lb Chambersburg) But I think 1045 is a poor choice. I now make all my dies out of 4340. I would not use anything else. H13 is just super expensive and it really gains nothing. You dont need a hot work steel for large section power hammer dies. Nothing wrong with them other than cost and difficulty in heat treating them properly
  6. Yeah, linkages give you options. This is a poor video but shows how we set it up for controls on either side, Pretty easy to add a foot control like this as well. Still it is stuck in one spot. Its nice to have an electric pedal on a cord you can move around, but then you lose a lot of the feel of the manual valve. IMG_6175.MOV
  7. My last personal press I had both a foot and hand control and found that the vast majority of the time it was easier to use the hand control that it was the foot pedal. for some things it is really nice to have both hands to move the work though. It gets to be problematic with a manual valve, You can make a linkage to run the thing by foot but its stuck in one spot unless you get real tricky and have a cable linkage system which becomes temperamental. If you use a solenoid valve an electric foot switch is pretty easy however you loose a lot of feel with an electric valve. No matter what you do its a trade off. Mareko's press is a 10 hp single phase pump which is as big as you can get in a economical single phase motor. You can get bigger ones but they get super pricey Even this power pack was close to 4 grand though. I would guess his press weighs 2 ton? Its at the large end of what a small press would be though. As far as a foot print its maybe 3 feet square
  8. Yeah, I agree. I cant compete with a 20 ton electric log spliter, But really I shouldn't have to as it would make a lousy forging press. It may not make the most business sense but I would rather build and sell fewer better performing presses than to built what everyone else already builds. This is Mareko's press, Its not as fast as I would like but its as fast as I could get it and keep it a single stage single phase pump (10 HP @ 8 GPM.) You can see the machined 4140 die holders. Also notice how smooth and tight everything is. Also this is a single stage machine so it does not slow down right when you need the speed the most. marko2.mp4 Here is another shot of his 20 ton press forging some 2" x 4" flat bar. You will notice how massive the guides are and that they are adjustable. marko.mp4
  9. The price is right, Put it to work! (you dont need to weld a leg on it, You could but you could also just slip a chunk of pipe over the stub and run it to the ground or support it some other way. If you mounted it well it would work fine for as small as it is.)
  10. There are not a lot of options when you are talking about a new machine for a production environment. Your choices are Anyang, IronKiss and Big Blu. the Big Blu is my least favorite out of the lot. As far as used equipment goes just about anything you get is going to be hugely condition dependent. A number of years ago I bought a running Nazel 4B and installed it at my shop. I have spent close to 30 grand rebuilding it and its still not exactly like I would like, and that was a running machine. Big old hammers are a huge time investment and really need folks who are mechanical and care enough to maintain them properly. Far too often folks buy basket case air hammers thinking they will "fix it to save money" only to find out that they would have been far, far better off to spend a little more and get something running. If I was you I would talk to James @ Anyang about a 165 lb one piece machine. That size is a good compromise and would be adequate for texture work. One thing about texturing is you control a lot with tooling. A small, local tool is very dependent on a repeatable blow. A large spread out tool far less so.
  11. So as some of you know I have built quite a number of forging presses. Probably close to 20 now. The last two I built went to a ABS Master smith (Dave Lisch) and a ABS Journeyman smith (Mareko Maumasi) Both of those have incorporated everything I have learned over the last decade building presses and I think are pretty skookum (as good as they could be for the money they where willing to spend) The problem with those custom presses is they are expensive. A pro press like I built those guys is a $8-$10,000 machine and I really dont make much. The pump alone is close to four grand, by the time you buy the rest of the hardware im lucky to have $1500-$2000 in labor. Even at that $8-$10 grand range you are making some pretty big sacrifices (more on that later) Soooo...... Long story short. Most folks cant or wont spend $10,000 on a forging press. I want to come up with a machine that I can mass produce, have the best performance of anything in its price range and be affordable enough that its within reach of serious smiths. The presses that are currently available (Uncle Al's and Ron Claiborne's) leave a lot to be desired. Both are H frames which are cheaper to build but limit tooling and functionality. Both are well built and reasonably priced but not what I would want in a press. I want to build a open C frame, which means it will be heavier and bigger to match the same tonnage, but in my opinion a much better press for general forging. The problem is its going to cost more, there is no way around it. At a minimum it will be $500-$1000 more than Ron's or Al's press. So that leads me to the first question. Is $4500 outside the scope of what you would spend? Really when talking about a machine of this caliber its not a lot of money, however I recognize that its a big investment for most. Maybe a better question would be would you spend an extra $1000 for a C frame press over the H frames that are already available ? Next question is what would YOU want in a press. I have some real strong ideas about what the "ideal" forging press is, What I consider ideal is well outside the scope of what 99% of blacksmiths could deal with. Everybody gets hung up on tonnage, however when you are forging tonnage is not the most important. tonnage without speed is very inefficient yet just about everyone building a press will sacrifice speed for tonnage. The more presses I build the more I realize that a 15 ton press moving the right speed is a far better forging machine than a 50 or even 100 ton press that is slow. Almost every forging press I see is too slow, the problem is speed costs money. I have a personal press I want to build that I have gathered the parts up for. It will use a 6" cylinder and a 30 HP hydraulic pump. For a 6" 2500PSI cylinder using a single stage pump 30 HP is really a minimum to get the speed you need to be a efficient and effective forging press, 50 HP would be better. 30 HP will get me 20 GPM fixed displacement so around 2.7 IPS or 162 inches per minute. This may sound fast but super slow by forging press standards. 50 HP would get me about 280 IPM. Most commercial forging presses are that at a minimum for extend and retract speeds and some are as fast as 600-800 IPM (most kick down when they encounter resistance to 50-75 IPM but they also have huge tonnage to back them up) Basically that big long explanation is to say that I will probably build a 10-15 ton press that is going to cost more than the other guys 30 ton presses. I know most folks will think "Why would I spend more money on a smaller machine?" Well because my 15 ton press will be a C frame, more rigid and will do twice the forging of their 30 ton press. I know there will be those stuck on the number though and only see "15 ton" So give me some feedback. What features and options do you want/need/willing to pay for? What is the most important thing to you? What can I do to get you to send me money? :-)
  12. Nice score. Not many 400 lb mechanical hammers out in the world. Most everything that can be had is available via Google, Its not much though.
  13. Thanks for dropping your hard earned cash on our tongs :-) I appreciate the support and am sorry I missed ya (again)
  14. There are real issues about getting both cylinders to pull and push the same, on a guided press the guide helps to keep the cylinders square. Another real concern is bending a rod. A 1.5" rod will not deflect much with all the force straight on it but get a side load and it does not take much, far less than what would be generated by the press. I have one of the only KA150's Grant ever built, one of the reasons why they did not continue to build the 150'lb version was they destroyed themselves. Mine has been rebuilt several times.
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