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About Latticino

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    Upstate NY
  • Interests
    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. Are you going to fill your upright tube with a sand/scale mix compacted with old motor oil for additional mass/sound deadening?
  2. The anvil stand I was using up till this weekend was constructed of a large (20" diameter) hardwood stump placed on a custom 3 wheel dolly. Two of the wheels were rather heavy steel on a simple 3/4" steel shaft. The front support was a heavy duty rotating double steel caster that had enough friction to "lock in place". My anvil was around 125% and this worked just fine for me. I think the 100# stand you have will add enough inertia to address most of you efficiency concerns for vertical hammer blows. However if you ever use your anvil for any other type of work (upsetting off the far edge, tapering using the horn or anvil edges, opening up a v-groove...) you may find the anvil moving under you around the floor. I would consider using the casters to move the anvil to locations desired, then rigging a system to lift the stand and chock the wheels up off the floor in use. I would also be concerned about the rubber wheels getting damaged in a shop with a lot of hot steel flying around.
  3. I agree with all other suggestions to contact the instructor. Not to rain on the parade, but forging an axe head is a pretty involved project for a rank beginner. Depending on the method used you could end up either punching and drifting a fairly sizable piece of stock, or wrapping and forge welding the eye. This doesn't even include forging in a bit. In my experience either path involves a pretty significant amount of off-hand (tong hand) manipulation which will be difficult for someone with limitations in that area. It is not just the weight of the billet, but the extension of the tong or welded handle, often off-centered stock in the tong, as well as the gripping of the tongs that can be a challenge. You also might be called on to partner with another student (or the teacher) for striking with a heavy hammer. Even if the instructor plans on having their students use a power hammer for most of the heavy processing I think you may end up struggling with one arm of reduced strength. I'm surprised for a beginner class they aren't making hawks instead. Perhaps the class is just for forging a very small belt axe, or forging a hand axe out of an old ball peen? Either of those might be more easy to attempt. There are likely workarounds for each of these issues (including having another smith holding the stock for you), but will likely require having a fairly knowledgeable assistant standing by helping you with each process. That may not be easy to setup in a group class. Also, are you willing to chance re-injuring yourself? Luck in any event. Forging axes is a blast, and a very thoughtful gift from the wife. If it were me I'd reschedule for a later date after full recovery.
  4. Frosty, appreciate the confidence. I may not have made more quantity than some, but certainly have made a lot of different types. .. Essentially my side slider door acts as a baffle as well as a door proper. Since I'm running a forced air burner I have a lot less concerns about back pressure. Still the trick to keeping the metal frame cool enough so the metal doesn't expand away from the refractory is limiting the exposure of the frame to heat. I try to have a static frame of castable on the forge opening so that the castable portion of the door covers over the static frame opening (face of castable on door is larger than the opening). With the frame justified to the outer face of the door, and the door's castable covering the forge side of the frame a little, the radiant and conductive heat paths between forge interior and metal frame are blocked by refractory. Another trick is to run a bead of weld inside your angle iron door frame before casting to make some friction to hold the castable in place without generating a crack initiation failure point. I like side slide and 4 bar parallel path lifting doors since they keep the heat radiating from the door pointed away from you and the end of your stock. Lots of description for a 1 minute sketch. Will try to add visual aide tomorrow if anyone wants one.
  5. Kastolite has enough insulating value at 3 - 4" thickness to work as a effective door. No blanket required. I made mine with an angle frame cast in place and a simple side slide mechanism from random parts I had in the shop.
  6. I am at a total loss to understand what I wrote that offended you. Perhaps your translator program has failed. I was simply trying to help you make a better forge by identifying areas that might be a problem. If you don't feel they are an issue you are certainly welcome to ignore my comments, as I will ignore yours. I am curious about one thing. You say you have been doing "this" for 30 years, but earlier state that you have only been forging for 4-5 years. Which is it (or is "this" something to do with the empty field that you show in the photo)? Incidentally I'm also over a decade older than you are, if that matters. I try not to blow my own horn, but I have made my own forges, glass furnaces, annealers, heat treat ovens, pipe warmers as well as designed HVAC and contamination control systems for numerous hospitals, pharmaceutical manufacturers and clients like IBM, McDonnell Douglas, Bell Labs, and several colleges, among others. I have a bachelor's of mechanical engineering from a world renowned university and am a registered professional engineer for the state of NY in the US.
  7. One potential concern I would have with your clinker breaker design is that it appears to have one relatively close tolerance fit inside the ash dump (threaded rod through the pipe) if I am viewing your photos correctly. You will certainly get a lot of particulate here, so if I understand the operation correctly, hopefully it will be low friction coal dust rather than gritty pieces of broken up clinker... Do you have a mechanism for locking the clinker breaker in position where you want it during forging? As I see it this will also work as a final air gate, so you are going to want to be able to set the size of the gap unless your fan controller is very good.
  8. I picked up a cheap harbor freight 4 legged grinder stand and fastened a couple of 2 x 8 to the top to allow easy bolt down and raise it to the best height for me. Working height is a personal thing. You need to balance effective holding of your stock during grinding (braced elbows...) with ability to clearly see the edge you are grinding (if making blades for instance). The stand was pretty secure once bolted together, but I ended up adding weight to the bottom shelf so I could really press hard.
  9. I was able to download the videos at work. Your cans are a lot smaller than I expected, so extended soak times shouldn't be as big a deal. I'm now guessing that you are forging down at insufficient weld conditions at some point. Either cleanliness (O2 scavenger might be worth investigating), temperature, or pressure are lacking. I'd go for a long soak at welding temperatures before any compaction, and use of a heavy hammer to project the blows as far as possible into the can. When you weld on the cap to the can does it fit inside the tube used? Are you using any kind of resist on the can walls (whiteout) and are you absolutely sure it is dry before closing things up? Do you ever include upsetting blows for the length of the can? Needless to say, a fly press or hydraulic press might be a better option to compact from both directions at once. I would consider at least using a bottom and top tool with a striker to compress from multiple sides (or just use SCH 40 pipe instead of square tubing and half round top and bottom tools).
  10. With a blown system I would definitely look into adjusting the number of outlets, as Ted suggested. Of course you will lose high fire capacity, which is probably why the old Johnson multioutlet forges used to have slide gates that closed off burner ports that weren't in use (if I recall correctly, it has been 40 years since I've seen one in use)
  11. Agreed with a couple of reservations (see below), though this also has the downside in reducing the potential maximum heat output of the burner assembly at high fire. You are also assuming that when blocking off an outlet port you will get the same quantity of air/gas mixture flowing out of the burner block. It isn't quite that simple, especially with a NA burner. An increase in velocity at the outlet will also increase the backpressure in the system that the inducer sees. If I remember my fluid dynamics, the friction loss in the outlet is related to the square of the fluid velocity, so a small change in velocity will result in a larger change in friction. Practically that can limit the effectiveness of the change you propose for a NA burner (and also makes it potentially more difficult to tune NA burners with multiport outlets). That is another good reason for shorter outlet lengths, as the total friction is also a direct function of the length. The other issue is a concern about the burner surface temperature reaching the ignition point for the fuel/air mixture by way of radiant heat transfer. I'm sure any gas forge operator has experienced relighting their forge without using an outside source of flame if it is "hot enough" after a temporary shutdown. You really don't want the burner block to get "hot enough".
  12. Norton Blaze are premium belts. Combat Abrasive Shredders are also good. Phoenix Abrasive belts get good reviews, but I haven't used them yet. Ceramic at low grits for metal are great, but work best at high RPM and pressure. Al oxide fine for wood, but run at low rpm to avoid burning and don't use same belts for metal. Trizac belts are the bomb for higher grits, but expensive. Actually all belts end up being expensive, but best advice I've gotten is to use them like they are free.
  13. Agree looks like drifting too cold. Even if bulk of stock looks hot, drift can locally suck a bunch of heat out of your billet. Avoid quenching drift until it starts radiating in my experience, and watch for black circle around drift in stock when hammering. Did your drift ever get stuck during the process? Also making tools out of mystery metal can be problematic. Grain at crack looks rather large. Did you thermal cycle before hardening? How long did you wait before tempering and what was your quench procedure? Might have cracked during quench at thinnest part of eye if too fast a quench there. I've had some success with struck tools in just quenching the working end in medium speed oil and running the colors, or full quench and torch tempering eye and struck end.
  14. Can't download movies at this time, but suspect that you need to soak can at welding temperatures longer. For a typical 1.5 or 2" can soak times at even welding heat on the order of 15 minutes aren't out of line. Might be harder to maintain an even heat in a coke forge for that long. I suspect a larger fireball and radiant cave configuration will be in order, but can't be sure as can't view videos. Consider also posting a few still shots next time. Did you carefully preclean nonpowder materials before assembly? Are your cans brim full and tight before heating? How are you compacting (hammering pattern)? Keeping at full welding heat during any compacting?