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I Forge Iron

Blister Fingers

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About Blister Fingers

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    Forging steel when it's hot enough to move easily. Tongs that hold. Clean anvils. Polished hammer faces.
    Meeting other smiths for the purpose of metalworking related activity and discussion. General silliness.

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  1. I've read each reply multiple times. Thanks again for all of the help and information. Sorry for the question about homemade spade bits. That's a dumb idea for metal drilling. Especially as a beginner, if I get the heat treating wrong and connect it to a motor, they could shatter and seriously injure myself or others. I don't know anything about the grass hopper design, or what a watt linkage even is. It was hard to find information on a year ago, let me do some more research. I have seen photos of the treadle hammers and power hammers that utilize one leaf spring pack at the v
  2. I'm just going to ignore a bunch of comments that have been made and say this: I didn't like working on my anvil in the condition I purchased it. I do enjoy working on my anvil after having made it a more useful tool to suit my own personal needs as a smith. I personally cringe at reading my own thread starter post and my earlier responses. I wish I would've known then what I know now. Please, disregard my first posts. Maybe I did ruin my anvil in your collective opinion, but I like it so much as is that i'm very reluctant to let people take up a hammer in my shop. The edges are NOT
  3. Thanks very much for the feedback and information. I understand that given what i've said, it's very easy to assume that I've removed huge amounts of material and completely removed the hardened top plate. That's where you're wrong in assuming I had no knowledge whatsoever before I started. I didn't blindly and cluelessly plow through dozens of flap discs to get it flat. I didn't have inches milled off the top of anvil. Things took the amount of time they did because I was very aware of preserving the top plate. I removed as little material as possible and spent more time checking
  4. Oh yeah. And you're brilliant for wanting an anvil face over 65 rockwell hardness that'll skate a file and send a chip flying right into you.
  5. All true, except someone had already gone through all that trouble before I bought it. Not sure if I mentioned it before, but it's a newer 155# Trenton with the arc welded waist. It has a 7/8ths hardie and 2 pritchels. All have seen some use. I believe it was repaired because it didn't have a swayed back, but the whole face was crowned longways like a railroad track. The sides looked like they had been welded and ground back square, with little chamfer on the edges. It was hard for me to divide material on the corners with any accuracy and It was just impossible to straighten a knife blade o
  6. Hey all, just wanted to revive this thread and use it as something of an update log. There is a lot of good info you guys have shared with me about this project and I read back on it sometimes when I think about actually getting this thing built. I have bought Clay Spencer's treadle hammer plans from ABANA and my biggest regret is not buying them sooner. I took the plans to the scrap yard (technically yesterday) during a good sale, and bought some of the heavier pieces that will help me get this build started. (and too many springs, because they have too many uses). A few things I wo
  7. May I interject- off topic of tongs a bit, that I recently had to do a 4 sided double taper on 1" square bar, recreating a hold-down hardie. I found that the size and mass was so tiring to hold any way but to rest it flat on the anvil. Hearing and feeling it clunk flat on the anvil was excellent training for me to keep it flat. The mass of the bar also shielded my arm from the shock of a miss, much more than it does on thinner stock. That brings me back to the tongs discussion. On other threads, guys talk about lighter tongs being better later on. I think this is absolutely true, after a
  8. I think it looks fine. I would have drawn out the handle and forged it into an octagon shape or even round. It's an eating utensil, not a fighting tool. The tines look nice and even, straight and all. Behind them looks really good and even, too. Good symmetry there. I can't think of a reason not to forge them to diameter, cut them to length and file them off if desired. You should check out Brian Brazeal's videos on forging leaves and mushrooms. Use it as a reference to get the handle drawn down and spoon portion nicely made before you flatten it. Clean forging doesn't just loo
  9. What about the sway bar? That's a nice long hunk of thick round bar with a big hole punched in each end.
  10. This is specifically what I love about blacksmithing. It's a chance for me to think about life and process everything through the lens of forging. Here are some gems I keep with me. This is good advice when applied to the shop, but they are all metaphors to dealing with things and people in your life. *The metal will never get hotter than your fire. Things don't tend to surpass their environment. *Forging metal too cold (under the wrong circumstances) is possible, but expends much more time and energy. You're also always at risk of breaking something. *Metal is like
  11. So I built a little "proof of concept" prototype out of wood, just to get a feel for how the machine would work and to find the weak points to beef up. I tried to upload a couple pictures but they failed. The project has been on a long hiatus while i have been doing other things blacksmithing and non-blacksmithing related. Some things I learned: AKA basic tips for other beginners thinking about embarking on making a treadle hammer: The attachment points on the linkage between the treadle and the hammer are under a huge amount of stress. Make them strong. Especially if your treadle does
  12. Thank you, Alan for the photos and the drawing. I think I already have all the materials needed to build something very similar to that design. If you would have just explained it in words, I don't think I would have understood at all. I don't expect any of you guys have spent much time making chain maille? The first step of that process is essentially just making a spring. Change the diameter of the rod and the wire, and you have whatever size spring you want. It wouldn't be as durable as something made of a high quality steel, hardened and tempered properly. It would, however, work for
  13. After reading this thread I now realize i'm probably going to die young and blind. Know what I do with paint? Scuff it with a file for the arc to grab and weld right over the top of it. Sometimes I flap disc or wire wheel it off. If it's a piece i'm gonna forge I just throw it in there when i start the fire. Won't get up to temp for 30 minutes anyway...
  14. Thanks so much for all the feedback, guys. It's a shame I can't have my cake and eat it, too. I think I will build a sort of treadle hammer for tooling. I have 2 pickaroons made out of railroad spikes, the punches and chisels to cut the holes, and no striker to help me muscle through that steel accurately and effectively. (I know, I know, I didn't punch the holes first, but I just didn't want to at the time!) Another advantage i'm thinking A treadle hammer would provide is giving my right arm relief from all the heavy metal movin' activities. I've spent a good 10 hours a day hammering on
  15. Hey everyone, since this is my first post let me introduce myself. My name is Daniel and I live in the Willamette valley in Oregon (in case anyone needs a shop hand). I made this account when I was still a complete novice and trying to make tongs out of railroad spikes and using channel locks as my main tongs. Also when I was collecting cast iron window weights thinking that I was going to forge them into something. lol anyway let me get into the meat and potatoes of this post... I've been searching all over the web looking for different designs of treadle hammers because I want to buil
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