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I Forge Iron


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About zeeko

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  • Location
    Chico, CA, USA
  • Interests
    Fly press, tool making, design, illustration

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  1. We opened up the machine today. The crankshaft turns really smoothly, and the front and rear cylinders are both clean inside and rust free. The ram appears to be rust-free where it was oiled before the fire. The valve lever moves smoothly thru its range. The brass tag on the front of the machine melted off in the fire, but the side tags did not. Thinking we are going to give it a go. Thanks for the great videos on your YouTube channel, James Johnson!
  2. Thanks for the info, everyone. I am going to take a trip up the hill and see it in person. The Camp Fire wiped out so many workshops. A lot of the people who had retired to Paradise in the last fifty years were engineers, mechanics, and other crafty folk who packed millions of pounds of beautiful old machinery up the hill with them. It would be great to be able to keep a few thousand pounds of that iron out of the scrap yard.
  3. My buddy did, and James seemed to think it was doable, I'm just looking for info from people who have taken it on.
  4. My buddy did, and James seemed to think it was doable, I'm just looking for info from people who have taken it on.
  5. I have an opportunity to buy a friend's Anyang 88 that was damaged when his shop burned during the 2018 Camp Fire, in Paradise, Ca. The hammer was basically new when it burned. I have not had a look at it yet, but am wondering if anyone who has restored a fire-damaged air hammer has any advice. I'll post photos if I get a chance to look at it. Thanks!
  6. I scrapped some tines from a big industrial Taylor forklift last year. They tested as 1144 stress proof steel. I treat it like 1045 for heat treating.
  7. It's not hand hammering, but in the space between a hammer and a hydraulic press or power hammer, I've been having good luck doing Damascus with a fly press and a propane forge. I make the billets about 1.25"x1.25"x6-8", and use a combo die for drawing out. Still takes a couple hours for a twisted billet, but the press sets the welds with a nice even pressure, and you can use the depth stop to flatten the billet to pretty precise thicknesses (+/- .020). You can get into the fly press game for under $1,500 around here...
  8. I just chiseled and stamped mine cold into a piece of 3/4" mild steel plate. Then got a 3/4" bearing yellow hot and smooshed it into the design with the fly press. Welded to smooshed bearing to a 1" shaft, and heat treated it in oil. Now I have a touch mark fly press tool.
  9. I'd think 4x4x.125 would be fine if you add some good cross-bracing so the legs can't twist, especially if it will be bolted to the floor. It's all about the torsional load.
  10. A crew of us from Chico made a bunch of chain at the Spring Conference in Ferndale last year, too. Came home and made another 20 links at the next club meeting.
  11. Made mine with 3" thick-wall tubing legs and I-beam top frame. 1/2" plate top with tapped holes for jigs - haven't seemed to use any of them so far. I left a wide hole under the center and added an adjustable platform underneath to use it as a traditional press. Has been great for pressing hammer handles, bearings, etc.
  12. Collecting really is part of this craft, isn't it? I pass on large cold chisels if they are over $5, small chisels over $1. Don't want to pay over $10 for a good hammer head or top tool. I don't buy anything from someone who is selling fancy bike parts or fancy bikes, and usually won't buy from someone who doesn't know the value of what they have - e.g. quality USA tools at China junk prices - I usually figure they are just fencing stuff that they or someone else stole.
  13. Thanks for the die making tips, really like the one you shared, too.
  14. Here are links to some photos of texturing dies I have been making out of 1045 1" bar. Quenching in brine and drawing to bronze. https://zeekosalvage.wordpress.com https://www.facebook.com/zeeko.salvage
  15. zeeko

    Fly Press Size

    I went for a number 8 and have found that the advice that others give about a #8 being more of a two-man press are valid. It handles small pieces and delicate pressure well, but the body mechanics of positioning the work and then pulling the handle can be awkward, especially if you are continually changing tooling and not bothering to reposition the timing of the pull-bar (rotating the handle to be in the optimum pulling position). You end up chasing the handle all over the place and using bad body mechanics to push, pull, and generally whang on it. As far as wearing your body out, I disagree that no press will wear you out! It may be easy to pull the handle on a larger press, but unless you pay good attention to your posture, and be careful not to hold on tight when the ram hits the piece, I am finding that my fly press has the potential to really screw up my shoulders and back, transferring a lot of shock into my joints. I like the #8 a lot, and now am using it a bit with a helper, the two-man approach is great!
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