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I Forge Iron

Steven Bronstein

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About Steven Bronstein

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    Marshfield, VT

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  1. When I am in production I will have different tooling on each hammer. When I am in regular mode, I will still move between my Bull Air Hammer which is great for tooling and my Beaudry mechanical for speed of drawing. The work is what drives the need. When I had one hammer I still got a lot done and just had to allow for changing dies. Having an easy way to switch tooling might be a bigger time saver than the extra hammer. I am making this point more to beginners who think that hammer quantity is more important than shop setup and clever tooling. Getting your first hammer is a quantum leap in
  2. I have the same setup. It is funny how the bottom keys are so large and the top so small. I was always concerned about using tool steel thinking I wanted them to move in case the dovetails weren't straight. Didn't want to crack the sow block. I am guessing that since you fitted the key properly it wasn't an issue because you wouldn't have to overdrive them. I will give it a try before messing with the dovetails. Thanks.
  3. Thank you this is really helpful. There are two keys on my sow block. I , at first, thought that one was just a spacer but now see that it is tapered. It appears both of your keys are reasonably stout. I still have the original problem which is that both keys are 1/4" at the thinnest end and start to bend as soon as I try to remove them. This is why I was hoping that ( when I finally manage to get them out) I could reduce the size of the dovetail and increase the thickness of the keys. Any suggestions?
  4. I remember, especially how we had the hammer lifted horizontally in the air so you could drive your truck underneath. Glad it worked out. Thanks for the feedback. I will cut the dovetails so I can use a bigger key, that makes it so much easier. Hope the die steel isn't too hard for machining. Thanks
  5. I have a 50# Fairbanks and I am dealing with a recurring problem that has plagued me over the years. First, the space for the key is 1/4"-5/16". This small a key is prone to bending and mushrooming so removal later can be quite a challenge. I have other hammers where the dovetails are narrower and allow for keys that are 3/8" - 1/2" which is then much easier to deal with. I have never been brave enough to have the dovetails machined smaller to allow for a larger key. Has anyone done this? And would it be a mistake? The second challenge is the sow block allows for the key to be remov
  6. So I thought I should report back. From the responses, I got the impression that it was straightforward and really shouldn't be an issue. So...I checked my container of Boiled Linseed Oil. There was a heavy deposit of sludge in the bottom. I am assuming it was old/bad/not useful. I replaced it with new stock, thinned 50/50 with mineral spirits and i can now dip my pieces, blow them out, warm slightly and they are done and look great. Thanks for the collective wisdom. You got me to rethink my steps and go back to first principles. Thank you, I appreciate it.
  7. I am oiling at room temperature. The mix is 50/50 boiled linseed and mineral spirits. I do blow the oil out from the crevices which is a big help. I was hesitant to dilute below 50/50 because I didn’t want to thin too much and lose too much oil protection. I will try warming the piece prior to oiling. I will also try LPS. Is Wd40 not recommended? Thanks so much for the help
  8. I have a production job with lots of floral parts where the oil gets in to corners and I cannot reach it to adequately wipe down so a heavier residue is left behind. I am now using a 50/50 mix of boiled linseed oil and thinner. This is almost good enough but there are still some spots were it still dries a little too thick. I am tempted to just use straight WD-40. Any thoughts? This is just for interior use. Thanks
  9. Thanks Frosty, I will be putting together a low voltage unit so i can avoid all of these issues. Do you understand what the cause of the darkening in muriatic. I thought it would eat away the free iron leaving the surface brighter , not darker. thanks.
  10. putting the stainless in muriatic resulted in a grey discoloration over the whole surface. I was able to remove it mechanically. Anybody understand what is going on? Not clear if the muriatic is creating new staining or is that the result of iron particles being etched by the muriatic?
  11. I am forging 304 stainless steel. It has a hammer textured surface and want to remove the blackened surface but not remove the hammer marks with grinding. My goal is to remove the blackened surface and then wire wheel to brighten the surface. I soaked it overnight in a citric acid bath. The solution is a concentration of 1 pound citric acid/ gallon of water. There was no discernable change in the blackened surface. I did get some cleaning benefit using BarKeepersFriend (Oxalic Acid). Any suggestions?
  12. Rather than a rosebud I will try with a weed burner. maybe that will give me enough heat and still be diffuse enough that the casting will be ok. Good advice. Thanks.
  13. No luck yet, I bought a small auto air hammer and brazed some brass on the end of one of the tools, been tapping on the shaft, oiling and praying. No luck yet. I like the idea of the nut on the shaft with an impact hammer, might try that next. There is a bit of shaft extending out that I can weld to . I am still thinking about getting a 300 amp stick welding and clamping onto each end of the shaft to heat it up .......
  14. I can tap the oil holes to accept a pipe fitting and put some air pressure behind the oil. I like that idea. It is better than my plan to lay the powerhammer on its side so I could get gravity to work for me.
  15. Thanks Judson, I will pick up a cheap air hammer and put a brass face on the driver. Lay the hammer on the floor so the oil holes are on top and start tapping and praying. I had thought they were bronze bushings and let it go during my rebuild. Time to get it going again.
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