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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. Latticino

    When to start signing your work

    Reference this thread for good info on making a touchmark:
  2. Latticino

    Uncle Al !!! Why????

    One additional avenue to consider (aside from a rolling mill, which may do much of what you would like for a press) is looking for a workshop where groups of folks are getting together to construct presses for participants (similar to a Clay Spenser style tire hammer workshop). There are usually a couple of good welders in such a group, and you may end up being responsible for just drilling all the holes, beveling edges, or hooking up piping and wiring. I'm not currently aware of any groups with firm plans for such a workshop, but the New England Bladesmiths have flirted with holding one for a couple of years as far as I know, so perhaps they have moved further along. They aren't too far from you in Central NY, so might be worth looking into. Frosty, as I'm sure you are aware, a fast 16 ton press can often be more effective for forging than a slow 25 ton press. I've been impressed with what I've seen of the Coal Iron 16+ ton press, though that one is even more expensive.
  3. As noted on this site you need additional information regarding temperature and insulation. I use his book which has a great calculator for power requirements as well as coil design. You can sometimes get away with single phase, but a kiln that size will need a large circuit breaker and feed wire to push the power required out to the elements. I don't know how things work in Israel, but demand charges may come into play as well as usage charges. In any event I urge you to hookup with an electrician for the wiring, at least, and see if you can find an electrical engineer to help you with the design and controls.
  4. Latticino

    Stock for making axes?

    Stock size depends a lot on how large an axe you intend to forge as well as the style of manufacture and axe type. How are you at forge welding? For a primarily throwing axe I would recommend starting off making a tomahawk first, to get your feet wet as it were. One of the advantages there is the typical material source for hawks (bar stock) is a lot easier to come by than larger belt axe stock. Also the wrapped and welded eye is less work than punching and drifting medium or high carbon steel IMHO, unless you have a hydraulic press, treadle hammer or willing striker. Here is an example of someone making a hawk from an old farrier's rasp with very minimal tooling: After you have a couple of those under your belt you could consider "moving up" to forging a small belt axe or hatchet which could also be used for other chores. If you have interest in this, Butch Sheeley will be teaching a hawk and belt axe class at the Arc and Flame blacksmithing school in Rochester, NY next month. I believe there are still spaces available.
  5. Interesting. I used exactly this type of silica powder mixed with water as a rigidizer and it worked great for me.
  6. Latticino

    First power hammer help

    If this were my machine I would certainly replace the spring bundle (or at least the top piece), based on the rewelded break in the top spring shown in your photo. Most likely this will involve bending up spring steel stock using heat to the correct configuration. Symmetry in manufacture and correct heat treatment afterwards will be critical to success. Please make sure you take great care with this part of the renovation, as the spring will be expected to flex countless times and appears to be set right at head height with no safety guard. I don't see any kind of oiling system for the tup. I wonder if the slide the tup rides on is some kind of bronze bushing. There are power hammer restorers with much more experience than I have. Hopefully you can get info from them. There is a facebook group just for power hammers that is pretty helpful. I suggest you contact them.
  7. Latticino

    Can anyone ID this?

    I've seen records of these in sizes from around 2.5# up to 14#. I expect the larger ones were swung by hand, solo, but not the smaller ones like in the OP. Could certainly be wrong...
  8. Latticino

    Can anyone ID this?

    On further research, stone hammer seems more likely, but not sure why you feel it would necessarily be a solo tool in that case. Here are a couple that clearly show signs of being hit by sledges.
  9. Latticino

    First power hammer help

    Your English is wonderful for someone who has it as a second language. The round piece that the motor spins with the belts is called a pulley or sheave (if we are thinking of the same thing). I would not fill the gap in the dovetail with weld at the sow block. It is most likely cast and designed to keep the bottom die in place with a tapered wedge (like the one with the interesting locking mechanism you show in your photos). That area will be under tremendous stress from the hammer impact and any welding, even by an expert, may create embrittled zones. You also might want to look for alternatives rather than replacing the motor, if it is in good condition. Single to three phase VFD are pretty cheap, and phase converters are sometimes available used, which will give you functionality without changing something that already works. If you go with a VFD you can even adjust motor speed and/or starting ramp up, which might prove to be a nice extra. Good luck
  10. Latticino

    Can anyone ID this?

    I agree. The photos appear to show a Altha ( well worn touchmark of a horseshoe surrounding the capital letter A) top fuller or possibly a well used hot or cold cut tool (or maybe even a stone cutter?). I would vote for a fuller that may have been changed over the years, due to the second mark on the top that appears to be a dimension (often the radius of the end of the fuller - in this case perhaps 1/4"? Definitely a "struck" tool of some flavor designed to be used with a smithing team of striker and director. With a little bit of creativity these can be modified to be used as a variety of top tools, even if that wasn't the original purpose.
  11. Latticino

    Tong parts

    I call the pivot point the boss, but have heard others call it the bolster. Here is someone else's attempt at codifying tong anatomy:
  12. Your translator program is not doing as good a job as you think. Having a bit of trouble following you. A large axe is not a beginner project. Even if you know how to forge and forge weld it can be daunting. I would recommend starting with a couple of smaller tomahawks first. As far as process, there are good videos online of Mark Aspery forging a colonial style axe and James Austin's CD gives step by step instruction on forging a Dane axe. For material I would make the body out of mild steel and forge weld in a high carbon bit.
  13. As far as I can tell from your photos, that is a reproduction Dane axe, not specifically an executioner's axe (other than in mediocre grade "period" films). The canonical 16th century european headsman's axes I've seen are more commonly socketed ( , but many different types of axes have been used through the centuries in a variety of cultures. Do you just want to make an axe like the one you have pictured, or a more common executioner's axe? If a Dane axe, there are many online sources for historical dimensions. Searching for antique Dane or Viking axe images might be a good place to start.
  14. Latticino

    Wood Ash or Clay

    I'm afraid it is you that aren't understanding. The questions you are asking are imprecise and the potential options are varied (and potentially dangerous). You still haven't answered Steve's basic question: aluminum scrap for a source, or ore? If you don't know the difference, you shouldn't even consider doing any casting until you do. You say you want to continue doing something you love. If you have done it before, why not follow the same process? I find it hard to believe that you can't find sand at little or no cost (but then I grew up on an island and sand was easily available). You can get sand at a big box store at 50 lbs for $4. Hopefully that isn't out of your reach, or you are going to have trouble coming up with fuel to melt your aluminum scrap. As far as green sand casting of aluminum, a 2 second Google search gave me tons of good reference material. Here is one that appears to suit your limited budget: If you are having trouble with reading comprehension, here is a video: Note that these are other's sites and I haven't personally vetted any materials, processes or procedures. Note that this forum is primarily centered on forging processes for ferrous metals (I Forge Iron). If you want something better targeted for casting aluminum there are other forums that will be more helpful. Good luck.
  15. Latticino

    Wood Ash or Clay

    I think Steve is gently indicating that the "smelting" process is more correctly used for making your aluminum from ore (bauxite for aluminum). You most likely are just re-melting aluminum from already manufactured aluminum scrap? Did you do your own research on the green sand casting process as I suggested?