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About Latticino

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    Senior Member

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    Upstate NY
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    Blacksmithing, bladesmithing, glassblowing, restoring and playing antique flutes. HLG and boomerangs, recumbent bicycles, sea kayaking, white water canoeing, reading SF/Fantasy

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  1. Actually looking at the third photo you have provided, it looks like someone may have already attempted to do some welding on the edges of this anvil. It is hard to tell for sure from the photo, but the discoloration and linear cracks on the near side adjacent to the shelf look to me like HAZ zones from welding done without correct preheat or with incompatible wire. Could be completely off base, but it looks to me like an example of why not to go after an anvil with a welder unless you follow recommended procedures. The spall mark near the hardy could be a relic of just such a weld popping off...
  2. In my experience 5160 doesn't like to weld to itself much, but if kept clean I've not had much trouble welding it to mild steel. That will certainly work, but can be a little inconvenient when working on the eye. I guess you could weld to the "front" of the axe blank while working the eye, cut that off and work the other side with a new weld on the poll, but in that case why not weld on a 2' section and just use that as a handle (like Jim Austin does with his axes). I use tongs like these angle bit tongs that I forged for myself to hold the eye and larger bolt tongs to hold the "front" end while working the eye initially: There are certainly many other options. I know some like to use a variant of hoop tongs or even tusk tongs and hold the side walls of the eye. The key is it is a lot of metal at high heat and held offset. You need a secure grip with the tongs to not get overly fatigued.
  3. I've made very effective hatchets with the stock you describe. You can slot punch the mild for the eye pretty easily. Use the right size and drifting the eye is not much bother either. Trick comes in dealing with that much metal at forge welding temperatures (the right sets of tongs are invaluable here) and the actual blending of the bit to the mild steel. A good scarf and cleaned surfaces will serve you well for the latter. You may get a little carbon migration in your 5160 if you work it too long at the high forging heat. You will still have an axe with a hardened bit, just not necessarily as hard as it might be with higher carbon inserts.
  4. Another potential issue that may come up if you attempt to attach your current composite anvil to a more fixed point (bedrock...) is that the existing system does have a small degree of shock absorption from the flexing of the shop slab. If the base of the anvil becomes more fixed, you may run into new shock loads on your concrete anvil, potentially degrading it faster. Only time will tell whether this kind of composite anvil will hold up. Of course in the end it comes down to a cost/benefit situation, and it might be cheaper to replace every 5 years of heavy use rather than make one out of laminated steel that doesn't pay back in time. That's up to you. I can't stop thinking about jack-hammers breaking up concrete pads...
  5. Stupid questions, I know, but have you worked on tuning the burner by adjusting both the air intake (nozzle location knurled knob) and the gas pressure (regulator and needle valve)? Also, did you purchase the Amal burner body optimized for propane? The latter should have the correct orifice size. As far as your heating issue, certainly pull the flame retention nozzle out of the forge body, as was suggested by others. It might just be down to burner capacity. Per their website the 1/2" Amal propane burner only puts out 6.8 MBH. As a comparison, a 3/4" Zoeller Z-burner (rated good for a 350 cu. In forge) puts out close to 10 times that heat at an input pressure of 10 psi. I know your forge is a lot smaller, but well insulated forges don't lose all of their heat through the forge walls (which is proportional to forge volume), a large percentage also exits via door openings through both radiant and convective means, and yours is pretty big.
  6. Didn't read the applicable reference carefully, you are correct if the tanks aren't being used simultaneously from the start to limit freezing under high load.
  7. How fast is your press? Is it a home-build, upgraded log splitter, or commercial press? From my research, under most typical hobby forging conditions (within a certain acceptable range), speed trumps tonnage for hydraulic forging presses. I'd take a 12-16 ton press that moved at 2.5 inches per second any day over a 25 ton air over hydraulic press that moves at 2.5" per minute. Does your steel maintain a good minimum cherry red heat throughout the press operation, or does it cool to black at the dies before you are done pressing? TP: I had exactly the same experience when I forged H-13 for the first time.
  8. I have never been a fan of introducing the gas upstream of the blown burner's blower inlet (no pun intended). If specifically designed by the manufacturer for that I suppose it does provide additional mixing in the blower scroll, however, for the homebuilt units that most of us use I am concerned about not having a sparkproof blower in the presence of a gas/air mixture. A little extra mixing tube (and potentially some elbows) is not a big deal.
  9. Yes, that was me making both suggestions. Good luck with the build, keep us posted.
  10. I hope you mean a homemade pulley. I don't see where a flywheel is needed for that type of "Oliver" hammer. Hard to tell from the photo, what lifts the hammer back up? Just belt tension? If so I see that as potentially difficult to maintain.
  11. As noted on other fora, I still see a couple of issues with your design. Ideally for PID burner control you want both the air and gas to modulate together to keep the correct mixture proportion. You also want the gas air mixture to range between a minimum and maximum, but not shut off. The former can be accomplished in a couple of different ways. You can source a ECM fan from a condensing furnace or boiler and wire it to the output of your controller. You can get a modulating air valve for the air supply. You can use a zero pressure regulator to meter the gas proportionately with the air. I did the last on my glass furnace gas train build. If your 3 way valve is modulating, you should still use a NC main gas safety valve. The modulating valve most likely will not be rated for shut off service. If not modulating , I would substitute a 2 way valve in the high fire side and run the low manually to act as a pilot. Note if modulating you don't really need a high/low seperation. Perhaps you should consider just modulating the mixture?
  12. Oh, you wanted a pat on the back, sorry I thought you asked for what we thought... As far as the former, you have certainly achieved a method for accurately targeting heavy hammer blows on an anvil (provided the wheels on your contraption don't slide). That will certainly make a helpful tool. I'm looking forward to hearing what you think of the design after use. The assembly looks robust and should stand up to normal use. If you do plan on powering it in the future you may wish to consider some form of shock absorption so it doesn't self destruct, unless you plan on moving the head using a DaVinci cam. As regards using it with as a hand actuated tool I think you are losing some of the key functionality that a treadle hammer has: the ability to hold struck tooling in your non-stock handling hand. Virtually every time I use my treadle hammer I use it in conjunction with a top tool of some sort. Also, the treadle hammer in our group shop was constructed from the Clay Spenser in-line treadle hammer plans and has a hand grip handle on the business end as well as a foot treadle. I've never seen anyone use the hand grip for anything but locking the machine down for safety.
  13. Don't you think it makes a little sense to use one first before trying to reinvent the concept? It will be a lot easier to see where they shine and have drawbacks. I love mine, but mostly use it in place of having a striker for operations like precise shouldering or fullering, punching holes and chisel work.
  14. Forced air burners have different characteristics than NA burners. You don't need the same length of mixing tube if you set your gas discharge in a configuration that encourages mixing (either perpendicular or counter to the blower outlet direction). You can also put extra bends in your mixed fuel/air chamber to induce turbulence. That part is relatively easy. The difficult thing is deciding the NG line size you need. That is related to the actual gas pressure you have (residential can vary in a range), how long a gas line you run, and the BTUH rating of your burner. For example, I have a 1 1/2" line run underground some 100' feet to my detached shop, then a 1" line plumbed directly to my burner mixer. I'm using a commercial burner, but homebuilts wouldn't be that much different.
  15. You want a simple answer... OK, yes you need to induce more air for proper combustion. Follow the linked Ron Riel design when you rebuild your burners or contact the You Tuber whose design you copied, then modified for free in depth diagnosis of your issues. Good luck, try not to kill yourself.