Ed Thomas

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About Ed Thomas

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  • Location
    Bergton, VA
  • Interests
    iron
  • Occupation
    blacksmith

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  1. Steve, Just so you know, you can rent this video from smartflix: http://smartflix.com/store/author/793/John-Crouchet I've not seen it, so I can't guarantee it's worth even the rental fee, but at $9.99, that's about 1/454th the purchase price. Ed
  2. Steve, of course then I HAD to read it. Okay, so maybe my post was a bit short; this topic comes up fairly often and sometimes I forget that the reply posts disappear or get too buried to find with a casual search. The fly press is named that for a reason. Although sometimes called a "screw press", "fly" press is more accurate. The whole point of the design is to (as efficiently as possible) translate the inertia of the flywheel, through the inclined plane of the screw, into concentrated vertical pressure, capitalizing on the leverage of the flywheel arms. This is why the fly-press has a mass of some sort. Older ones have a cannonball-looking weight; modern presses distribute the mass in a heavy "fly" wheel. If it were a simple screw press, the mass would be just an inertial inconvenience you would have to overcome every time you wanted to move the screw up and down. Instead, we accept that effort, unconsciously knowing that it is the real power behind the press as we throw it or nudge it, depending on how much we need. The threads sacrifice some speed in favor of power, but need to be aggressive enough to avoid binding on impact, and also to provide a practical rate of travel. If the pitch isn't aggressive enough, the operator might have to cycle the flywheel more than a complete revolution, which is very clumsy. In my experience, the best design allows you to pull the flywheel less than 1/2 revolution to be up to optimal flywheel speed and therefore, screw travel. A single lead screw would reduce the useful downward press range to nearly impractical for most of our applications. The multiple-pitch threading overcomes this problem. A single lead screw, thrown at the top rating of a fly-press, would usually bind... which is why I said it is really a vise, acme threads not withstanding.
  3. A single lead press is called a vise.
  4. Phil, if you look at the wheel on ImageDudes grinders without the guard, they are wirewheels, not grinders. I also very often have to remove the guards with wirewheels because they get in the way. But boy howdy do I pay attention to what I'm doing... and almost always wear heavy gloves. The wire wheel can take all the meat off a finger faster than you can see it get to it. Long ago, I asked the same question... which grinder for performance... but I also asked to consider noise and vibration and feel in the hands. Long hours with a grinder in the hand will lead to damage, and even with ear protection, the tool noise adds to the noise of the grinding. So far, I've been happiest with the Bosche for the price, and have found the DeWalt among the quietest. I have to get one or two more soon, and may look at Monstermetal's recommendations, though. I tend to use the grinders a little more for wire wheel and flap disk than grinding wheel, though, so my recommendations are skewed that way.
  5. I think that 300# Beaudry in Canada has been posted for several years now. I remember seeing it when I was looking for info on mine. Hard to believe it would still be available???
  6. Thanks, everybody. That is what I needed to know. Grant: As is normal for the Beaudry at least, there is no key taper in the anvil, and the sow block which would have the key taper was missing, as is the key itself. I am cutting the last of the tapered dovetails in the sow block now. Oddly, the dies were still with the hammer; most likely the sow block got set aside and eventually scrapped. I will be making the key also, of course, along with some of the other missing hammer parts. Peacock: I like your description of making a key. It certainly makes good sense, as does just about everything Clifton Ralph has ever said about hammers. Thanks.
  7. I'm about to cut the second side of the bottom dovetail in the replacement sow block of my Beaudry. The block is 16" round (close as I could get to the 17" anvil). Since I don't have the original to compare, I've been studying the taper on the smaller #7 Beaudry (200#) which as a 15" anvil/sowblock. On that hammer, the taper over 15" looks to be 1/4". Does anyone know what the original taper of a 300# should be??? Or have any useful information about this taper? I'm inclined to go with 5/16" unless I hear anything convincing to the contrary. The 1/4" looks too narrow and 3/8" looks awfully wide across 16" for a wedge. I stopped short of initiating the first pass on the shaper because I remember this particular thread and thought I'd ask. You know... circle twice, cut once. Thanks. Ed Thomas
  8. I made my Beaudry #7 flat dies from S-7. Fairly easy to heat-treat and is a shock steel. They have held up nicely, though I've only had them a few years so far. I got the S-7 chunk pretty cheap because someone noticed it on ebay and posted about it on a forum. Sometimes you get lucky.
  9. Ed Thomas

    Fly press weight

    Steve, I have an old #4 and don't know it's weight but would guess you would be okay. Seems like it comes in at 300 - 400 kg plus the stand weight. Does it come with a stand? If it's not too far away and it looks tight, you can take the press off the stand and remove the fly weight and bar and make two trips. The new import presses have higher numbers for their weight, so you can't use them directly for a reference on the older presses, but my #4 is about the same size as a new #6.
  10. Ed , hey can you send me your phone # I have a guy near Woodstock that is interested in your group John Elliott

  11. Unless you are looking for the unique (and appealing) distortion caused by punching, I think I'd probably back off and recommend drilling. The holes you are making for rivets just aren't big enough to make much of a difference in the appearance, and lining things up will be much easier by drilling. You can bevel the top hole in the railing and pein the rivet to fit in the hollow so it is flush with the railing, pretty much making it disappear. The rivet head can be supported from underneath. Yes, your design idea can be very attractive and sounds good to me. I had a much different mental picture of what you were asking. Apologies.
  12. Marc, Every one of us learned by watching, reading, questioning, and being taught by others in some fashion or another. You DO have to go try out what someone says to incorporate it into your skill set, but there is nothing new in forging techniques. It has all been done before; we just use the techniques in fresh ways sometimes. I like to figure some things out myself, but reinventing the wheel just takes time away from the more productive things. Is the flat bar going to be vertical or horizontal? If vertical, then you probably don't want a round hole anyway. You would be better off forging a flat tenon and punching a rectangular slot (mortise and tenon). That way the bar will be much more secure, can't rotate, and will provide much more rigidity to the frame. Mortise and tenon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia If it is horizontal, then consider a smaller tenon anyway, and forging a dado (blind, preferably) to hold the bar more securely. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dado_(joinery) Forging a dado takes a little thought, but is not hard. You just have to remember that you are displacing material rather than removing it, so as you hammer into the bar, it stretched lengthwise. So you can't just hammer a 3/8" set or bar into the material and expect a 3/8" slot because as soon as you square it up, you will find that it will be a wider slot, proportional to the depth you set. It is a "constant volume" forging exercise and very satisfying to do. Take a practice bar and play with it. Joinery is some of the best part of forging.
  13. I usually try to avoid responding if someone differs with my advice since the reader can make up his/her mind by attempting the different methods and living with the results. However, I do want to make two points: 1) The analogy of putting a knife into a watermelon vs putting your fingers into a watermelon makes no sense to me. I cannot figure out how that is related to the choice of hammering a slitter or a slotter into a piece of steel. Maybe if you hammer a knife and then your fingers into the watermelon??? There are good reasons for slot punching: It is much more forgiving to use and the ends of the slotter are less likely to leave a scar, if that matters in the piece. But in my experience it is no more or less difficult to drive a slotter into a piece of hot steel than a slitter, as long as it is designed for the task. A slotter is easier to keep centered and doesn't wander as much if ground slightly off as a slitter will do. Which method a person uses seems to me to represent what they were taught and are most comfortable with, as both tool choices work just fine. 2) If you look at the blueprint example, the choice to drift that particular piece in that particular manner thinned the walls of the through-hole considerably more than I usually want. In most cases, if it is possible to do so, I prefer to slot punch (which leaves rounded ends of the slot), upset the end to open the hole (which should come out close to the final size without tool scars) and then drift to the final shape. The walls around the hole will be thicker and flow more naturally. This works well for me. You can use whatever works for you.
  14. Actually, yes, it is a piece of cake. In many cases, within reason, the larger the piece, the more forgiving it is. Small adjustments on a small piece have a MUCH bigger effect than small adjustments on a large piece. Because your bar is larger, your tooling can be also, and you might find that it is much easier to center, straighten, correct, etc., than on smaller stock. Tooling is beefier, so will resist deformation longer. If you are used to using spring steel, continue using spring steel... just remove quickly and quench often. Use coal dust lubricant. You didn't say whether you were drifting square, diamond, or round. Regardless, figure the perimeter of your hole, and make a slot punch with slightly less than that perimeter. For instance, if your hole is 1" round, then you want a slot punch of no more than 1.5"... maybe 1.4" would be better. After upsetting the hole to round, drift to suit. As always, make sure your heat is even and thorough to aid in keeping the punching straight. Usually I drift from the opposite side I punched, unless I want to emphasize the distortion on one side. You don't need to use a power hammer for that small a bar. In any event, try a test piece to make sure it is how you want. You will probably be surprised at how easy it is to do.
  15. Key, I really don't know. I saw the thread and video on Practical Machinist and thought it creative enough to point out here, but I've never seen the setup other than the video. My guess is that the guy that built it set the torch at the optimal height for that job of 1/2" plate and fixed it there, because he admitted it was built for a specific task and did well. My guess is that it was also rather fun to do, and probably didn't cost him much more than scrap and time. Sometimes the chance to fool around and make something like that actually makes a job a lot more fun. Maybe it isn't the best longterm economical solution, but I'm all for taking opportunities to be creative sometimes for no other reason than the joy of it.