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I Forge Iron

Reading Creek Forger

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    Douglas City, CA
  • Interests
    Novice working toward level 2, CBA. Taking classes at Weaverville Blacksmith Shop, Jake Jackson Museum, Weaverville, CA

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  1. Thanks Will, Swede (Neil) and Thomas. What you all have said seems to agree with my interpretation of what I have read on the subject. So long as its safe and I can normalize it I think I can use the stuff. Neil, as far as your question on the presence of rust: None that I can see on the shaft but there is some at the yolk end and at the opposite end which is threaded. Those ends are not coated with the same brown color as the shaft. I spoke to my son again today about it and he said it broke when he tried to straighten it at work so whatever it is it appears to be somewhat brittle. I am going to put a piece into an outdoor coal fire, get it hot then let it cool slowly and give it a shot. Thanks again
  2. My son gave me about 6 feet of what he called induction hardened steel. It was broken in a few pieces but was a shaft from a piece of heavy equipment. Its approximately 1.25 inches in diameter. From what I have read Induction Hardening is similar to case hardening except it may be a little thicker hardened surface. I also read that it is usually done to medium carbon steel. 1037-1048 according to the website Though hard the surface can be brittle. It can be hardened in water, ,oil or a polymer and is sometimes coated with chrome or a polymer. the pieces I have not chrome on the surface so I guess they are polymer coated. I think that calling it a polymer means a plastic like substance but I don't know. My questions are: Is this a suitable stock for Blacksmithing? Can or do I need to anneal/normalize it before I use it. I assume if I can use the shaft it would be suitable for top or bottom fullers but I really don't know. Does anyone know more about this stuff?
  3. none that show any better detail. I thought the raised thick x mark might help but I couldn't find any clues online. When he cleans it or lifts it off of the stand I will get more pics
  4. Thanks Fatfudd. Its at my brother-in-laws house. I will check for numbers under the horn the next time I am there. The horn on this seems very deep and thick. I am guessing that all the coats of paint are hiding lots of information but also protecting it from being removed by accident. I have cautioned him about one of the sins of the blacksmith so he wouldn't hit cold metal on it. For now I think it will be a large and heavy flat spot and a memorial to his deceased friend. When I got my first up close look today and compared it in my minds eye to the ones I have seen I estimated at 400-500 lbs so your estimate may be right on.
  5. Fred DeAntoni‎CBA-California Blacksmith Association July 20 · This is my brother-in-law's anvil. He got it from a friend who passed away a few years ago. It is supposedly from Pearl Harbor, unknown age or exact weight but it looks nice and big to my eyes. The sad part is he doesn't blacksmith (yet). No shot of acquiring it since he rightfully has an emotional attachment. Any ideas of,make? I looked at the anvil a little closer today. It has a large 1-1.5 inch x 1-1.5 inch raised rough shaped 'x' on the near side (righthanders orientation) but no other discernible markings. The hardy hole is 1.5 inches square. It is coated with unknown number of coats of paint so any marks into the anvil side could be painted over enough to make them invisible without removing the paint. It is the largest anvil I have ever seen in person although I have seen bigger in pictures. Approximately 37 inches long, six inches wide across the face and 16 inches tall from the bottom of the feet to the top of the face. The edges are in near perfect condition including nicely done radii on both edges. There a few tool marks on either side but no other numbers etc. We didn't lift it out of the stand so any numbers on the sides of the feet were not visible if they were there. I am guessing this thing weights in the neighborhood of 400+ lbs. Can anyone offer a educated guess at the weight and or make of this beauty.
  6. Just got my first one so I haven't used it yet but I have used the one at the shop I take classes at and the one of the smaller square hole made a great place to make a flatter. I tapered one end of a piece of about 1.75 inch diameter round stock to fit into the square hole then after after a good soaking heat myself and my instructor/striker formed a pretty nice flatter about 2.5 inches square. Drifted a hole for the handle then sanded/polished the face and she was ready. Good experience and i gained a flatter I could be proud of. The funny thing is a few months later I found one with a gnarled stuck end at a tail gate sale for $5.00. .
  7. Yesterday I acquired my first and hopefully my last swage block. The only mark I can find on the block is a No. 4 with no other logo or manufacturer's identification. I originally agreed to buy it a year ago but the seller and I have not been able to get together. Yesterday he delivered it to an event we were both attending. I agreed to buy it sight unseen based on his asking price and my knowledge of the guys integrity. He refused to take any money until I had the change to look at it but when I saw it I believed i had been given a great deal. He had said something about a Vulcan swage block but I could not remember if it was the one I agreed to purchase or another he had. It seems to be in fantastic condition with little sign of wear. it has a rust brown patine with some dirt but other than that like new. In fact it appears to need to some dressing to reduce the sharp corners around the holes and edges. I checked online and it appears to be have been made by Illinois Iron and Tool Co for Vulcan and is a #4 which would seem to indicate it weighs 168 lbs. Other than the No. 4 is there any way to confirm or indicate the manufacturer. Does anyone have one or know anything about these swage blocks. I have heard that Vulcan anvils have a thin plate of tool steel over a cast body but they are softer than most other quality anvils. I have never heard anything about Vulcan or Illinois Iron and Tool Co. swage blocks. I hesitate to say how little I paid but I would appreciate any comments as to the quality and or help with positively identifying it.
  8. Yes still "working" on if by working you mean its not reassembled and turning yet. I have it completely disassembled except for the main shaft (quill?) which is stuck in place to the mounting surface. I have tried everything but electrolysis to break down the rust but I am hesitant to put the larger pieces into a tank for fear of not being able to rinse it off on the inside and creating glue like stuck. I think I have the drive wheel and lever figured out once I get it apart. Still no idea what those two other missing gear on the left side and the shaft they rotate on might do unless its to help lower the main shaft as you seem to be saying. I thought the drive gear on top and the actuator arm on the right were what lowered the main shaft. I found a picture of what its supposed to look like on EBay but I can't seem to attach it Since this drill is upside down the gears lever and shaft on the right side in the photo. This is not mine but the one I saw on E-Bay.
  9. I just realized I typed in the wrong manufacturer of my post drill. Its a Champion not a Columbia
  10. I just bought my first post drill for $30.00. Its a Columbia but there are no identifying numbers anywhere on the drill. It is stuck pretty solid at this point but I have gotten some of the smaller parts moving and the set screws loose. I think I can get the rest moving with more work, lubrication and time. The drive wheel for the self feeder is broken but a prior owner forged a piece of similar size stock to complete the circle then encased both pieces in a ring of metal that looks similar to a mini wagon tire. I just need to cut or grind the teeth into the new semi circle so the actuator arm will move the wheel. I also need to make the actuator arm which I think I can accomplish. There are a couple of gears missing that appear to have been mounted on a 1/2 diameter x 10 inch long shaft. The shaft is missing as well. It should be mounted between the main shaft and the fly wheel. I have no idea what they two gears might do but I have seen a picture of a similar vice from a post on this site from several years ago. Does anyone have any of those parts for sales in the parts box or have any ideas what those gears are intended to accomplish.
  11. No visible plating is left on this and it looks like its been ground clean as if it had plating at one time.
  12. Thanks to all of you for your informative responses. Now I just have to make up my mind to try it or not. Regarding copper or I presume other metals contaminating your forge fire: Most of us have heard the old sage of rival blacksmiths dropping a penny in another smith's forge and thereby preventing him from forge welding until he or she cleaned their fire. I was recently at the CBA Spring Conference in Ferndale, CA and Mark Aspery was giving a class on forge welding. Near the end of the class a smith asked him about the old story and Mark said he had never tried it and neither had the questioner. The smith asked if they could try in Marks fire. Once Mark was done with the fire for the demonstration he put a piece of copper in the fire then proceeded to heat two 1/2 bars to welding temp and forge welded them together without difficulty. Not sure I could pull it off but didn't seem to cause Mr Aspery any difficulties.
  13. Thanks Steve. Melting point of copper may make this impractical. I try to avoid heating the metal to be cut so hot as to lose the temper of my hot cut chisel so it seem likely it is less than 1900 degrees but who knows for sure. The bus bar segment cost me about 25-30 dollars at the scrap yard as far as I can recall so not that expensive if it means saving my anvil face. I think I could shape ten cutting plates in a saddle configuration from the piece I have so I would have lots to work with if the hazard was not an issue. Losing heat from the iron to the copper is not an attractive option but seems likely based on the respective properties of the two metals. Thanks Stash and Iron D.
  14. I bought a piece of copper buss bar at the scrap yard intending to make it into a cutting plate/saddle to fit my anvil. It is about 1/4 thick and 4 inches wide. I have enough to made several of those type plates. After I bought it I was told by another smith that heating the buss bar can be very hazardous. He said you have to grind off the coating (tin?) to make sure it is safe to apply heat to. I am concerned about the heating that would occur when cutting hot metal on it. I can bend it to shape with a fly press so the heating would only be the transfer from the hot metal I was trying to cut. The piece I bought has been ground clean by someone and I think it would make an excellent cutting plate to protect my anvil.
  15. Not greasy at all or rusted. Just clean but not stainless. I have forge welded but not made damascus or pattern welded much.
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