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I Forge Iron


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Everything posted by EWCTool

  1. It really does look kind of small. I think the angle and the camera lens took off some pounds. Here is a picture of me next to the hammer. For reference I'm 6' 3". I'm with you on the electric motor, that and several other factors are being worked out. Ill keep things posted. E.
  2. Today The Williams White power hammer arrived! It is a 90 pound hammer. I have an electric motor for it, but am still debating about whether to get three phase to the shop or just get a Honda or Briggs and Stratton engine to run it. The other plan under construction is the foundation. Just thought I would share. E.
  3. I am curious as to what the majority of smiths today are using. When taking the poll, please only vote for the type of hammer that gets the most attention/use in your shop. This poll only applies to power hammers; not presses, treadle hammers, hand hammers, etc. Thank you
  4. I have always been under the influence that forging is superior to casting. Being a blacksmith I am bias to forging anyways. But with metallurgy as advanced as it is today could one argue, given particular circumstances, that casting is as good as forging? I mean just look at anvils. I know of one maybe two anvil manufacturer that forges them. A majority of the others are all cast. I would like to have a forged anvil one day (just to say I have one), but my current anvil is cast steel and it holds up fine. The argument leads into grain refinement, but it is possible to get finer grain
  5. Look at colonial ironwork. This is a great example of ironwork that was completed for the most part without the aid of a power hammer, although the striker was employed a lot back then. What I notice when I look at colonial ironwork is that it is very thin in construction. They did not want it to be heavy and it was cheaper to make it that way. another good example of fine and delicate work, perhaps the best example would be Samuel Yellin's work. He is arguably the best iron worker that I know of and I will hold fast to that statement. http://www.amazon.com/Colonial-Wrought-Iron-Sorbe
  6. Has anyone ever received written permission to enter the property of a railroad and take unused steel?
  7. I have used rail anvils and I do not think highly of them. I see it more as a source of hot rolled 1085. The head could be cut off and made into hammers and anvils tools. The web and base could be split into stock for any tool really. I would wager that some very nice stake anvils could be forged from the rail. I also think it would be fun to make miniature anvils to sell as door stops. Do not forget the mountain of railroad spikes that would also accompany the rail. It would be a lot of work and it is probably not the most efficient way to get steel, but I am a blacksmith and am resourceful.
  8. The local real estate assessor did not help. They did not even have a railroad on the map, it was just some weird easement. However the active lines were present on the map. I am still going to find the legitimate owner of the rail before I try anything as I know how hard the railroad companies can come down on people who mess with their property. Has anyone ever had any luck approaching them and getting permission to even collect spikes scattered about? Is there any incentive for them to keep the line, even in the present condition? I heard one story of them wanting to keep anoth
  9. I know of an abandon railroad near me. The date on the tie plates says 1925 and it looks like they have not been touched in at least 50 years. The brush has overgrown and in most places the trees growing up through the rails are doing a better job holding the rail to the ground than the rotted out ties. The rail is ripe for the picking. It is one thing to go and swipe spikes that are lying around but another thing to pull up the rails without asking. I am a chemistry major not an engineer but I think anyone could tell that trains will never again run on this line. I am more worried about the l
  10. My general rule is: The metal will move where 1. Force is directed into the metal, and 2. Where the metal is in a condition (malleable/hot) in which the force directed onto the metal will cause it to move. This means the plane in which the metal is struck the above statement is true. The location on the metal where the strike occurred will deform and the portion not struck will not be deformed. However, on the opposite side (the anvil face) there is more surface area in contact with the anvil. When an object is struck the entire object tends to go in motion (Newton's Laws). That motion wi
  11. You could forge one end down to fit into the hardy hole. Cut the thing in half so that the eye forms a semicircle and either grind or forge the eye into a swage. I have done something similar to this and it makes a dandy swage. This way you get 2 swages from one head.
  12. The moving of metal via hammering is a science. Freeman Dyson wrote a work titled "The Scientist as Rebel," in which he stated that many scientists were engaged in "a rebellion against the restrictions imposed by the locally prevailing culture." The context in which this was written was the debate between science and religion, but I felt it can be applied to this topic. Science advances through questioning, experimentation, and criticism. The theories that stand up to this criticism are the theories that are remembered and passed on. The questioning is not because some of us do not simpl
  13. I saw on another website that the 700 is up and running. That hammer is very impressive when it comes to control. Float like butterfly, smash with thunder. I bet moving that much metal so effortlessly never gets old.
  14. I hate to ask but have you considered propane. I would never go with propane, I like playing/managing the fire. I have not done the math but I am fairly confident in saying that I am getting a better deal burning coal over propane. I do not have enough experience with propane to tell you how much propane = one pound of charcoal/coke. If you read up on it you could probably find out. I have heard nothing but good things about propane by those who use it. The one downside is that you can not concentrate the heat with propane like you can with coal. But for the most part the guys who use prop
  15. I am very surprised at how high the cost of coal is up there. $1/lb is very expensive. I get my coal for $0.18/lb down here in Virginia. I get it by the pallet, but even if you don't buy in bulk it is still only $0.19/lb. When I started buying coal it was around $0.11/lb. If I were you I would contact heating oil and gas companies, they usually carry coal. I don't believe I have ever seen a hardware store that carried coal. I know a smith in New York who used to buy coal in 20 ton truck loads. Due to his locality the only coal he could get was the hard stuff. I mean if they left it
  16. Are there any methods that can be used to dampen the noise from a power hammer
  17. That makes sense, especially about the squished ball compared to the semi sphere. Just to make sure I am hearing you right. If you want to spread (move metal in all directions) you would use a hammer that creates an impression that is narrower than the width of the material being worked (or tilt the rounding hammer handle to be more parallel to the ground). If you want to draw out stock from one dimension to a smaller dimension you would use a hammer that creates an impression that is wider than the width of the material being worked (or move the handle of the rounding hammer away for para
  18. Don't get on Dan's case, it is frustrating when it seems that every so often someone brings a new technique out. In a way it is almost like your means of conducting this craft are being questioned, like you have been doing it all wrong from the get go. He has his way of doing things and has a right to question the new techniques that arise. This questioning is how the good ones remain and the bad ones fade. I also don't want this thread to close, I am curious about my questions above.
  19. I agree that a smaller surface area would have more pounds per inch, but if too much pressure was applied I could see it distorting the side being struck. Whereas if a flat, but properly crowned, face were employed less pressure would need to be applied resulting in less distortion. Where is the cutoff be for size of the surface area. I feel that at some point you would be swinging a punch instead of a hammer. In fact a punch would provide the most pounds per square inch in that the surface area contacting the metal would be minimal. I don't mean to provoke I am only curious. How did y
  20. I would say a power hammer beats all. You can work small stock, and large stock. They are very agreeable, never get tired, and are always on time.
  21. I have always figured I will make an item as perfect or "traditional" as the customer is willing to pay me. It is good to see that many smiths are continuing the traditional techniques, but that is just as important as embracing the new technologies. In order for the craft to not just survive but thrive both techniques must be embraced. There will be customers who will be willing to shell out the money to have something that is constructed using completely traditional techniques. But the majority of the world today is unaware of what is traditional and what looks traditional. In my opinion
  22. In three dimensional design (sculpture) the "dies" or "faces" are called planes. They are defined by abrupt variations in direction. For example, a cylinder would have three definable planes. One Plane would be the top, one plane would be the bottom, and the side plane would be defined as one continuous plane. Planes are usually confused with lines. I have heard them compared as the following, "Think of the curves of a woman, not the lines of a car." The curves of a woman and the lines of a car are describing the planes present on the figure. Planes have a third z or depth axis, while line
  23. Dies, hammer face, working surface, hardened cross section that impacts the thermally excited work piece resting upon the large mass of tool steel, or Jack. Which ever you like to call it, the question was really never answered. What would be the best surface to strike with and why?
  24. In my opinion, there are many reasons for the pain. As stated above it is most likely that you are jumping in all out trying to swing a hammer all day which might be too much for your body to handle. But because you can’t forge all day now does not mean you can build into it and get there in the future. The advice posted above is good, if it works for you. The main point is that there is no clear answer. I hate reading this myself, but you have to find what works for you. The way you swing the hammer will come with practice, just as running form comes from running hundreds of miles (the runn
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