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I Forge Iron


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Posts posted by Ellen

  1. I tried to reload my flypress and tooling pictures but didn't have any luck; I'll try again later and seen what the problem is. I mean, they loaded fine just a few weeks ago, seems they should load fine now......must be operator error!

  2. Question, a friend wants to make some old style knifes out of 1095 like would have been used by Mountain Men and Voyageurs; she wants them to look a bit aged (NOT to sell as antiques) and was wondering what type of acid etch would be good for this? Thanks!

  3. Well, a friend of mine, Gordon Williams makes his living smithing and just outside his shop he has made a tumbler from an old style water tank. He puts in his forged pieces, and drops in pieces of scrap steel; old nails, round drops, pieces of cut offs, etc, and spins it with a v belt, it sits on two rollers , and a small electric motor...maybe 1/3 hp. It makes a racket. He says it takes 1 to 4 hours to clean a load of forgings. It leaves a matte texture on the finished work. He runs it in the day when hopefully his neighbors are at work......I've heard it and it is a horrible sound indeed. But it works.

  4. Not to worry Chuck, what are friends for? I will be at the workshop, taking notes and nice pictures to post, Thomas will be at your house, paying his respects to Mrs. Chuck (Helen), and cleaning out your workshop for you so when you get home it will be nice and empty, and clean and ship-shape, Bristol fashion. You're lucky to have friends like us! Thomas never charges more than $50 for this service.

  5. Well, I have ordered 3 die sets for my Iron Kiss; flat dies, combo dies, and crown dies. I just watched Hofi's free form forging DVD, twice, need to order a copy of my own. I hope to take classes from both Hofi and Steve in the near future.

    Yep, short handles are good. Big Blue sells a set of short tools, I think 12 in the set, and a set of locking tongs to use them with, all for $250. Might be a good investment.

    Safety, well, safety glasses are obvious, but there is also the extra power you are dealing with. That is where I think some air hammers have an advantage, the power is more controllable, and the ram comes down absolutely straight, not off a flywheel. Based on the short time I had with the Big Blue 110# hammer yesterday, I felt very comfortable using it; it had combo dies and they were real nice.

    Drew out a knife tang from O-1 in one heat from a short stubby thing to about 5" long, tapered and ready to use.

    Also drew out cross piens on two hammer blanks I had ready to go out of 1 3/4" sq. 4140, now they go to the belt grinder. The hammer made short work out of these jobs, which I could not have done by hand. I know a lot of you guys could do that kind of work by hand but I am female and 60 years old, so realism has to be added to the mix of information here. Anything over 3/4" with a hand hammer is work for me.

  6. Well, I understand and respect your decision to stay with your troops. You have just shown yourself to be a top quality professsional, in my book, but I wanted to make the offer.

    Nothing wrong with the round shafting for bottom tooling, heck it may even be better. I look forward to seeing how it all turns out.

    Let me know if there are any "missing" flypress and tooling photos from the gallery that you would like to see, and I will have them either up or emailed to you ASAP.

  7. Jim, if you look at the knife thread on your PW class, where you talk about possible deployment to border, it was pointed out that Thomas and I both live in states "on the border" and should it be AZ I am 150 miles from the border, with shop, guest room, shower, and the welcome sign would be out for you so you wouldn't have shop withdrawals. Your bride could come down and spend time with you as well, so it would be a home away from home. Fancy we're not, but hospitable we are.......

  8. Thomas, there are all sorts of possibilities. The guest bed is a king, so it would hold two or three if Jim were here at the same time. Otherwise, a cot can be set up in one of the other rooms, the barn is o.k. but warm this time of year, even in the evening, likewise the shop, since it is steel......so not a problem. When I was into bike racing I would sometimes have ten overnight guests, bags and air mats rolled out everywhere, gets the job done. We are not fancy here, but we're hospitable, just don't look for fancy cause it's not here.....grin!

  9. $8 each? Solid gold? I don't know what the price of 1 3/4" CR 1018 is since I buy it in 20' lengths, but suspect maybe 50 cents......the 1" ID motor shafts are a couple dollars each, from Fastenall, Grainger carries 'em but charge a mite more. Haven't checked MSC or McMaster Carr lately. Just degrease 'em in acetone or some such before welding.

    The hardy bolster plate has worked well for me, and is less fuss than working with round stock and shaft collars....1" sq. stock in 20' lengths is rather cheap as well. And it comes out shorter than if I were using a "top" tool in the bottom bolster, sometimes this is important.

    Bottom line, whatever works......

  10. Jim, sometimes our Thomas has good ideas, I live about 150 miles from the border, have a guest bedroom, and a messy shop but lots of nice tools in it. Feel free to make this your home away from home if you get sent this way.

    My power hammer won't be here till July, but lots of other goodies here.

  11. Well I made a bolster plate with a hardy hole set on the diagonal, that way I can run longer work past the press's back casting. Works good for me, and then all of my anvil hardy tools fit.

    For top tool, I use 1" CR1018 (A36 is too big, won't fit), and I weld a 1" ID motor shaft collar to the 1018 to take the impact and not mushroom the 1" shaft, I also cut it so there is 1/4" of gap between the bottom of the ram hole and the end of the 1018, to be safe. I belt grind a flat on the 1018 shafting so the set screw locks it in place and also helps with the indexing.

    John Crouchet goes into this in detail on his excellent DVD, and we also spent a lot of time building tools in his 3 day class at Amy's. I came home with over 20 finished tools.

    I use S-7 for almost everything that will take impact in the flypress tooling; it is cheaper, works good in the forge, and I can heat treat it consistently with my simple shop tools.

    I like to have a half dozen 1" 1018 shafts welded up with motor shaft collars, ground flat on top....all welding is on the opposite site from where the tool will contact the ram.....and then I can just pick one up and make the tooling for it, weld in place, and I have a tool ready to go.

    I just bought a piece of scrap strap iron grating with 1" x 2" openings in it and my tooling will set in the grating so it's all in one place, I'll pick up a shop cart to put it on so I can roll it out of the way.

  12. We had a nice fly press page going, and it may be lost, so we have an opportunity to get it going again.

    I have a number 5 Flypress, made in India, purchased from Amy Pieh at Pieh Tool Co, a wonderful supplier and a friend to all smiths, and have made a lot of tooling for it. If these photos aren't recovered and reposted in the gallery in the next few days, I will simply repost them; life goes on!

    Dr. Jim Hrisoulas just bought a #6 Flypress from Pieh Tool Co, appropriately named Augustus Squeezer, and like myself, he also purchased the excellent steel stand for the press that Amy carries.

    For those who do not know, a flypress has a 3 or 4 lead screw with a fast twist, such that one turn of the flywheel moves the ram an inch or more, and if the flywheel weighs 100# (which is what a #5 does), then the ram will be coming down with several tons of pressure. You can put patterns in cold steel, bend circles, do veining, wonderful decorative edges, and you can also work with hot steel. It's great for punching holes, fullering (like fullering a knife or a sword), and is a valuable addition to any shop.

    All questions and comments are welcome!

  13. This thread was just started the day before the crash, so let's just get it going again.

    I have ordered a 115# Octagon Iron Kiss pneumatic hammer from John Larson; it will be here mid July, and I have already selected a rigger for moving the 3,000# of hammer into my shop.

    It is coming with a set of flat dies, and a set of combo dies.

    I spent a couple of hours on a Big Blue 110# air hammer yesterday, and learned a lot, mostly how many new windows a power hammer opens.

    So, let's share info, tips, techniques, pictures and have fun on this wonder family site!

  14. Well, I was number 3 on the list, so I just wanted to get back in here; anytime Dr. Jim wants to have the class fits my schedule. Heck, I'll make it fit. I am still rereading and re-viewing all 3 of the bladesmith books and the VHS tapes. I have my 15n20 and 1095 in transit, just bought 40' of 1 X 1/8 flat steel to start practicing my billets, and John Larson is building a 115# air hammer for me. Needless to say I'm excited!

    Hope the flypress page and the Augustus page are not both gone; the power hammer page I just started only had a couple of posts so that is an easy one to restart; my flypress tooling, the pictures are still on my computer so I can repost them to the gallery.

    Sorry this had to happen; mighty fine site here and I look forward to it getting back up and running. I sure missed it when it was down!

  15. I can't add anything to what has been said about forge welding in coal fires.

    But, I do all of my forge welds in my propane forge. Things that work for me: make sure your forge gets hot enough. This often requires 2" of kaowool and a good coat of ITC. Burners must be properly adjusted, a slightly reducing flame works best for me. If you are welding two separate pieces together, tie them together with some wire to hold them in alignment. Cleanliness is most important. 20 Mule Team is a fine flux, but I often use Sure Weld or EZ Weld. Wire brush, flux, heat, wire brush, flux, and heat to welding heat. Watch the flux amount, it will eat your kaowool. A ceramic kiln shelf for a floor helps a lot.

    Leave the work in the gas forge till it is the same color as the interior of the forge. That is as hot as it is going to get. Remove quickly and lightly tap to "set" the weld, tap quickly to finish the weld. Speed is highly important as is a minimum of force. When working the welded area later in your project keep it good and hot, close to a welding heat.

    Make lots of welds. It's just like arc welding. Your welds look and hold terrible till you burn a few pounds of rod.

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