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I Forge Iron

John Ditt

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Silver Spring, Maryland
  • Interests
    Industrial design and product engineering.


  • Location
    Alexandria, Virginia, USA
  • Biography
    Bill Gichner's first student, 1974
  • Interests
  • Occupation
    Civil Engineering

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  1. The attached photos show hammer handles with a saw kerf in the upper third. This allows the hammer handle to flex, absorbing the shock of the blow. Before attaching the head, a gasket sheet from the auto store is inserted within the kerf through the head and for one inch of the exposed handle, in order to keep the kerf from closing. One can drill a small hole at the base of the kerf to retard any splitting of the wood. The handle, up to the head, is soaked in linseed oil for one week in order to add more flexibility. One can retrofit a hammer with handle by using a cut-off blade on an angle grinder to create the kerf. It was Beau Hickory who presented this handle adaptation at the 1980 ABANA Conference. Francis Whitaker also claimed provenance. I shall be composing an article on this handle for ABANA Hammer's Blow.
  2. Additions include Allen Lakes' collection, Tom Troszak's restart of the Bull hammer, and Tom Troszak's insights on hammer selection and testing.
  3. Xixch, The List includes new and used power hammers and, thus, those no longer being made in USA or beyond. Additions are 1) Cricket DIY air by Dave Hammer and 2) TZunfa new self-contained air from Canadian Blacksmith Supply.
  4. Thanks, SLAG. I'm not one to discuss the electrostatic precipitators. You might create a new topic under the proper subject.
  5. Thanks, Glenn. In regards to paddles, the industry literature describes how the work should slide across and with the media rather than tumble or fall (due to paddles). This sliding of the work is not the sliding/slipping of the media. The hexagon interior of rotary tumblers serves to prevent the sliding/slipping of the media. To date, the lining of my circular tumbler by the rubber mat seems to allow for the sliding/tumbling and to prevent the sliding/slipping of the media. In time, I shall place a acrylic sheet in lieu of the steel lid of the drum in order to video film the tumbling inside the drum. I am thinking of attaching a vacuum hose to the very center of the drum's back end to remove the dust.
  6. Updated - List of Available Power Hammers in North America New & Used ... Commercial & Do It Yourself ... Mechanical & Air As compiled by John Dittmeier, October 10, 2017. link removed as per TOS
  7. Frosty, Since the motor is 1/2 HP, I am striving for a moderately low weight load of work and media. Steel cut-offs that would fill one-third to one-half of the 55 gallon drum would be too heavy for the motor and the pulley system, I believe. Thanks for the idea of sawdust and/or sand; I know that the brass polishers use walnut shells, available from pet stores. This tumbler turns at 21 rpm. There is no lifting lug. I created a hinged door in the drum's lid.
  8. Svarttrost, Greetings to you in Finland, where I worked in the summer of 1972 as part of my college education in civil engineering. It was a factory for the production of aerated concrete panels and blocks, in the suburbs of Helsinki. Between February and August 2017, my development of the tumbler was dormant. The first tumbling media was industrial ceramic, but this particular media is intended for vibratory tumblers. The second tumbling media was 'drainage rock' as shown in the first photograph. But, both of these media fractured and generated thick dust. So, I have started an experiment of aluminum bits as the tumbling media. Remember that the task is to remove the dust of the scale after pickling in citric acid. I am shearing aluminum rod and angle to create bits and flattening, shearing and bending soda and beer cans. By December, I should know the effectiveness of the aluminum bits in removing the scale dust and polishing the bare steel.
  9. I created and maintain the PDF List of Power Hammers. Please respond below with any additions or revisions. Thank you.
  10. Late response: I created and maintain the attached PDF List of Power Hammers, including DIY mechanical and air. List of Power Hammers 12-29-16.pdf
  11. I am attaching the PDF List of Power Hammers, in which I listed tire hammer references. List of Power Hammers 12-29-16.pdf
  12. For Face book groups and now for IForgeIron, I created and maintain the attached List of Power Hammers, in which I have listed New Kinyon references. List of Power Hammers 12-29-16.pdf
  13. With this tumbler design and others, you can skip the pickling and add more tumbling time.
  14. I developed a prototype tumbler in early 2016 and shall attempt to complete the project in early 2017. I intend to produce plans, including a formal video, as a fundraiser for nonprofit smithing associations. The tumbler is simple and low cost to build, fairly quiet, large and effective. The noise level in the video is greater than that in reality. First step is to pickle the forged work in food-grade citric acid for 12 to 24 hours and then to neutralize the acid upon the work in a baking soda solution. The pickling causes the forge scale to become dust like. A rubber mat lines the interior of the 55 gallon drum and its two ends. Media to date has been 'drainage rock' from Lowe's; the rock is deeper than that shown in the photo. Tests have been both dry and wet tumbling. The photo of bent nails show the results after just 20 minutes of tumbling. Fontana_Forge_Tumbler_Video_01-16.m4v
  15. Since I have been away from IForgeIron, this is a late reply. My prototype tumbler is large, quiet, low cost and easy to build. First step is to pickle for 12 to 24 hours in food grade citric acid and neutralize in baking soda solution. The tumbling serves to remove the dust that the scale has become from the pickling. The cylindrical interior of the 55 gallon barrel and its two ends are lined with a rubber mat. For now, I have used 'drainage rock' from Lowe's for the media. It's a fair action on removing the scale dust. IMG_0068_2.m4v This photo shows the interior.
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