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I Forge Iron


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Everything posted by Buzzkill

  1. Strangely enough I haven't taken any pictures of it yet. Currently it's using a broken waist Hay Budden anvil mounted on I beam. I made it mobile since it lives in my detached garage and I do actually like to park my truck in there during the winter months. I'm hoping that the new modifications I have planned will eliminate or reduce the tendency it has to slowly walk across the floor in heavy use. I also don't use any springs of a traditional nature. I have an air bag from the cab suspension of a Peterbilt truck providing the tension between the linkage arms. I'll try to remember to grab a picture or two before I start tearing it apart again to make more modifications. The funny thing is I originally planned on making a light anvil mounted power hammer, but the more I got into the build the more I "upgraded" it. The idea was to use materials I already had or could get cheap/free. So far I've only put a couple hundred dollars into it, but I have spent a fair amount of time building and modifying it over the past year and a half or so. Thanks for that info. That sounds more reasonable than what I've been using.
  2. I've built a junkyard tire hammer, and I'm getting ready to modify it again. I've procured some steel that should allow me to end up with a 6x6 inch cross section anvil which should weigh in around 300 lbs. The base plate weighs over 500 lbs. Right now I'm planning on keeping the ram around 30 lbs, give or take a little. It's powered by a 1 hp motor and has a maximum bpm around 250. This is the only power hammer I've ever used, so I have no frame of reference for what works better/best. Since I'm planning to replace the anvil I'll most likely use a different die system. So far I've used the top portion of a RR track (or maybe mining track) welded to a plate for the lower die and I welded another piece of rail directly to the ram for the upper die. The surface where the dies meet is a little over 2 inches square, but that seems a bit small to me. Anyone have good recommendations for die dimensions based on using a hammer with similar characteristics?
  3. This has not been my experience. I did have a couple crumbly castings, but I'm fairly sure why now. On one of the failed castings I used half a dry sonotube without buttering the surface before casting and I just let it cure/dry in open air. It was a bit crumbly especially around the edges. The last one I cast using half a sonotube is still in use in a D shaped forge after a couple years. It has some cracks across from the burner, but it has not crumbled or shown other signs of imminent failure. On this one I wet the surface of the sonotube before applying the kastolite mix, and when done I covered it with a wet towel. I added water to the wet towel several times over the next couple days before letting the surface air dry. I removed the tube by burning it out. After firing briefly several times in gradually increasing duration and temperature I coated the flame face with Matrikote. I can't say this is the perfect way to handle the material, but it has worked fairly well for me. Nothing else in my forge supports this inner shell of kastolite. The two straight edges rest on the forge floor, and the casting supports itself, the two layers of superwool, and the sheet metal "wrap" over the top of the whole thing. In addition it gets bumped and scraped occasionally as stock is being placed in or removed from the forge. Of course there could be some variance from one batch of the material to another, but in my experience it has good structural strength the way I cast it last. YMMV
  4. Oliver, The fact that you asked that question that way tells us that you do not have the knowledge needed to safely construct this device. If you did have the appropriate knowledge you would never have asked that question. That's what people have been trying to tell you. A couple people have tried to explain some very basic issues that you have completely ignored in the "only thing" you aren't sure about. Regardless of the reasons, after asking for assistance you have been resistant to nearly every piece of advice offered to you. Why ask anyone for help if you are going to ignore their answers anyway? What you see is your first experience with this forum asking what seems like a very simple question to you. No one has given you the answer you think you need, so you interpret that as people attacking you or at least being hard to get along with. On our side we see this pattern in a person about once a week. Some of us have been that person in the past. All I can tell you at this point is that if you honestly do the proper research to allow you to understand the device you want to build, you should come to see why you have gotten the responses given here. We want people to succeed. What we do is inherently dangerous. We are trying to help you minimize the risks with the advice we have given. If you choose to ignore that advice I wish you the best and hope you can accomplish your goals safely.
  5. Building an electric foundry, furnace, or oven that works well is a little more involved than grabbing a coil of nichrome, kanthal, etc. wire and a couple switches. I strongly recommend you do some research before you dive in head first. If you want to maintain a specific temperature, you will want a PID controller. You'll need insulating material, such as ceramic fiber blanket or insulating fire bricks. I recommend the bricks for use with heating coils. You'll also need to find some plans from someone who has built something similar that works well (they will have done all the math) or you will need to be able to calculate how much current you will pull to get the heat you need for the size of your furnace. If you don't get the volume of the furnace, the current draw, and the coils matched well, you will either not achieve the heat you want in a reasonable amount of time (if at all) or your heating coil will fail quickly. Just for reference sake, I built an electric oven for heat treating and I spent about half what it would have cost me to buy a commercial product of similar size and capability. It also took me a couple weekends to put it all together and get it working properly. I did not work off of anyone else's plans, so I had to do all the math and determine all the materials needed myself. I recommend using good plans after that experience.
  6. YOU came up with .46% He was referring to Si with the .46%. I added the bold and underline to make it stand out. That doesn't mean the rest of it holds water. While it doesn't amount to irrefutable proof to the contrary of the rest of his claims, I'd bet that people in the steel industry would be using hardened mild steel if it was an appropriate substitute for high carbon steel. The funny thing about businesses is that those which survive tend to be the ones that waste as little material and energy as possible while starting with the least expensive raw materials that will be adequate for their purposes. With the steel industry being a massive world wide sector, I feel fairly confident that if mild steel could be sufficiently hardened to the point where it could substitute high carbon steel we'd know about it and it would be the industry standard. Can mild steel be hardened? Sure, to some degree. Can it take the place of higher carbon steel for specific applications? Not likely.
  7. I did a fair amount of switching back and forth between SQL view and design view. I'd get a small piece to work, then copy and paste the SQL line into another object. That got me through some of those hair-pulling chunks with lots of double and single quotes. I didn't have enough foresight to put detailed comments in with the code. You won't regret taking the time to do that.
  8. I feel your pain. When I started working in the office in 2005 we were in need of some software. The available programs were 10's of thousands of dollars (a couple over 100K) and none of them really met our needs. I volunteered to create the needed database without ever having used Access or written code in Visual Basic. It's really frustrating to know the logic, but not the syntax for operations. There were times I spent hours working on one or two lines of code. All those double quotes have to be in the right places. It took me more than a month to get it up and running, but we still use it today. However, now when I go back and look at some of the code behind the objects I can't even remember writing the code much less remember what it all does. I need to do some updates on it, but I'm really dreading having to re-learn all the stuff I've forgotten.
  9. I don't know if this will apply to your situation or not. If you are going for a mirror finish it is absolutely essential that you erase every single mark from the previous grit before moving up. For all practical purposes you will never get rid of a scratch made with a lower grit if you leave it there and continue to move up. It's also essential that your buffing wheels are clean and have only been exposed to one buffing compound. If you get any residual abrasive dust or even a buffing compound not designed for that mirror finish then you will be frustrated. Even with a buffed mirror finish after 3000 grit if you get the light just right you can typically still see some tiny lines. However, you should be able to see yourself just like a .... mirror when looking directly into the polished surface. I've only done a few mirror finishes and I do not recommend it for any piece that will see real use. It doesn't take much to scuff up that shiny surface. Even cutting through cardboard can do it. I'd reserve that finish for showpieces and wall hangers.
  10. Outstanding choice of music! Shine on you crazy diamond.
  11. Let us know how the tension system works out. Usually a spring (or other suitable device) is used to keep constant tension on the belt. As you use belts they can stretch a little bit. This is pretty much undetectable with constant tension on the belt, but it could result in some extra slack in use in a system without that. One hp is enough to get you started, but more power is better. Lower power does help teach you to let the belt do the work and also to change out belts when they stop cutting well. However, when you really want to hog off some metal, a low grit belt with lots of power behind it just can't be beat.
  12. Unless repairs were performed by someone who really knew how to properly weld an anvil and then heat treat afterwards I doubt it's been repaired. The damaged areas clearly have chipping which indicates hard steel. Someone who didn't know how to properly repair an anvil would most likely have used a softer material for welding which would result in more of a mushrooming over the side rather than brittle pieces breaking off. Also, unless a repair was done well there would probably be some significant variance in rebound where the repairs met the original material. It's pretty clear that someone did a fair amount of forging over the edges in the sweet spot. 3/8 to 1/2 inch is not unreasonable or out of the ordinary for the thickness of the hardened face plate. Someone with better eyes and/or more knowledge than me might pick up something I'm missing, but nothing I could see in those pics indicates that the edges were welded after manufacture.
  13. I don't think the edges have been repaired. That looks quite similar to the damage on my PW when I acquired it. To me that looks like more or less normal wear and tear on the hardened face plate. I ended up using a flap disk just a little on the edges to create a radius that would be less likely to chip out more. Keep in mind that any metal you remove is gone forever. You may want to use it as is for a while before doing anything at all. If it's like my PW, you probably get 90+% rebound since that face plate is quite hard - which also makes it more prone to chipping. Unless you need to work small eyes or other small circle shapes I would not change the horn. Even if you do have that need you can create a hardy hole mounted bick (small horn) to handle the job. The first time you accidentally run your thigh into it you'll understand why many horns are blunted. If you do change it, grinding would be the better method. Heating that spot to the point where you can forge it could easily transfer enough heat to the hardened plate to soften it more than you'd like.
  14. Note that 1/3 pressure does NOT mean 1/3 fuel used. I'm interested to see how the burner works out for you. I don't think I've ever seen one that long and narrow in action.
  15. A vacuum chamber need not be elaborate. I used the compressor off a dehumidifier someone was tossing out and a 2 quart canning jar when starting out. The Cactus Juice cost more than the fittings and other parts I used to make it.
  16. Hmmm. I thought that was from Donald Sutherland's character in the movie "Backdraft"
  17. Got any pics of your sen and the blade you used it on by chance?
  18. Standard 7018 rod is a challenge to use with an AC only buzz box. The 7018AC rod works much better, but I always end up using significantly higher amps than the same diameter of 6011 or 6013. For 7018 rod especially, keep an old file nearby that you can use to rough up the end of the electrode if it has cooled down. That makes striking your next arc much easier.
  19. My personal experience is different than yours. I agree in the sense that it takes a certain amount of fuel combined with the right amount of air to produce a certain level of heat per unit of time. However, I get plenty of swirl in my forge using a naturally aspirated ribbon burner. I also get a far more even heat than I did with a single port burner. There is no noticeable hot spot anywhere in the forge once up to temperature. My forge is quite small - around 240 cubic inches. It also seems to me that since the smaller flames lose momentum more quickly than a single larger flame, more of the heat stays in the forge a little bit longer which results in slightly better efficiency than I got with the same orifice/mixing tube setup as a single port burner. Your mileage may vary. BTW I've never heard of anyone running a forced air ribbon burner using 5 psi through a 1/4" gas supply orifice. Usually people with that size gas supply opening report running around 1/2 psi.
  20. I'm fairly certain it's illegal to have a flat horizontal surface that large with no appreciable amount of clutter on it. I've never used unistrut on anything, so I have no frame of reference here, but I'm curious if you have trouble with debris falling in and making it difficult to slide items along the channels.
  21. Yeah, but what's more fun and satisfying? Pushing a mower around someone else's yard or playing with fire, steel, and hammers? Plus after succeeding on a project like that there is a profound sense of accomplishment that has significant benefits to mental well-being. At least that's the type of reasoning I use to justify my actions to myself and my wife when engaging in a project that doesn't appear to make economic sense.
  22. Since you are using a blown burner this is mostly irrelevant. Too small an orifice can limit the gas flow and therefore your max temp, but you do not seem to have that issue. The only real value of a small gas inlet orifice like a mig tip on a blown burner is creating pressure in the supply line that you can reference with a gauge which will allow you to "dial in" specific temperatures that you can repeat easily. You still have to adjust the air supply properly, so even that is of limited value. If you're getting the temps you want then there is no need to change it. If you can't get the temps you desire then you may want to use a larger gas supply orifice.
  23. Keep in mind that the size of the drive wheel makes a big difference in speed and power. The bigger the drive wheel the greater the speed (surface feet per minute), but the lower the effective power. Normally you see drive wheels in the 3 to 5 inch diameter range even with 2 or 3hp motors powering them.
  24. Interesting design. A couple thoughts though. If it has a belt tracking adjustment I didn't spot it in the photos. The variation in belts makes that a necessity. Secondly you will need a flat platen, but I assume there is a plan for that. Most importantly, that is not nearly enough HP for a 2x72 belt grinder. You really want to be in the 1.5 to 3 hp range if you plan to do any real grinding. I stalled a 1 hp motor frequently with moderate pressure before I upgraded. Looks like TP beat me to it and with pretty much the same issues.
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