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I Forge Iron


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    South Central Iowa

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  1. If your dies are tight enough without shims - good for you! The shims on mine are about 1/2" high and maybe 4" wide (the width of your dies)...on mine the bottom die shim is a piece of water heater shell (the white sheet metal) about .020 thick, top die shim is .015" steel shim stock. A shim is placed in one side of the dovetail when installing the die, with the locator pin in place, then drive the wedge until it is fully seated. If the wedge goes too deep, remove the wedge and start cutting shims. Make a wedge driver so you don't miss the drift and hit your hand (cuts your hammer adventures short for the day). Some of your oil mist might becoming from using 10-weight (ISO VG 32)...the manual recommends ISO VG 220, industrial circulation-type oil. Some folks use chainsaw bar oil but having worked in the industrial lubes business for 35 years, I can tell you that bar oil can be a mix of almost anything, with a dose of Paratac (the sticky stuff) thrown in. Paratac is temp-sensitive and starts breaking down around 120F, leaving a dark brown deposit on cylinder walls, valves, etc. I use Mobil DTE BB, available from most industrial supply places, lubes distributors - Chevron, Shell, Texaco and other major lubes suppliers all have a VG (viscosity grade) 220 - take your pick. If oil is pouring out the work piston seal area and dripping almost non-stop down on your dies, you are feeding too much oil...excess oil into the power cylinder will end up in the crankcase...neither piston requires all that much oil to be lubed sufficiently. My lube valves are barely cracked open once the hammer starts running. Open both valves up a good twist or two and work the handle a few times before starting, then close both valves and crack them open maybe 1/8 turn, then adjust as needed...watch for an air bubble to form in the oil lines, as mentioned previously. Send your mail address to me at swedgemon@gmail.com and I'll shortly get around to finding the manual and copying it for you...you can buy me a beer if you get to the Des Moines, IA, area. Swedge
  2. Metalflea, I have owned/run a Striker 88-lb hammer for about 20 years now...it is very controllable until it gets hot after about an hour of steady use - then it will start doing the bam, BAM, bam, BAM, bam, cycle, but by then I'm usually ready to go lift the lid on an IPA. I don't know where your oil mist is coming from...there's no mist from my hammer - you may be feeding too much oil. The oil line going to the rear cylinder on my hammer will occasionally develop an air bubble, meaning no oil is feeding to that cylinder...use the oil pump handle to get rid of the air bubble and slightly increase oil feed to that cylinder. Pay attention to the shims/wedges in the top and bottom dies - the shims slowly peen out of shape/position and need to be replaced periodically. I keep some shim stock in .015 and .020...I have found that using several pieces of thinner shim results in loose dies fairly quickly. If the top die is "loose" you will hear it rattle as the ram tups in front of your face. The wedge for the bottom die is easily visible...I keep a "wedge driver" and a BFH handy to reset the wedge. I did have the top die get loose, broke the locater pin that's up inside the piston/top die space...the top die, wedge and shim worked their way off to the side and needed repairs. A machinist I know made up several locator pins for me, some reassembly and I was back in business. Some folks get into huge concrete bases...my hammer sets on a 4" concrete shop floor. I built a steel base on a piece of 1" steel plate (800 lb empty), filled with sand, setting on a "cow mattress" from Tractor Supply...3/4" plywood between hammer and steel base. Drill some locator pins down into the concrete to keep the hammer from "creeping" If you need a copy of the original Striker manuals/prints, get in touch with me and I'll send copies. Best of luck to you! Swedge
  3. My DW has been asking for a coffee table for several years...a few good pieces of oak finally came out of my firewood logs. After a lot of planing, sanding, forging, some welding, wire-brushing, etc., I came up with two (I usually make things in "2's") that have a good "wow-factor". The larger table is 61"L X 16" to 19"W X 14.5"H, the shorter table is 56"L. The oak slabs are a bit less than 2" thick...they both have great grain. The black splotches are where I filled various holes with clear epoxy. Wood finish is a coat of polyurethane, sanded with 320-grit, then a coat of Minwax Golden Oak...DW put some kind of furniture polish on them for a dull glow. The legs are 1.5" square tube, battered and beaten under the power hammer - they are set at 5-degrees apart and a few degrees "out". Notice in the photo of the legs I used a shim to soak up some wobble. The legs are welded to pieces of 1/4X3X14 flat bar. The end braces are 1/2" square. tapered and twisted, the tie rods are 3/8" square, twisted and "hooked". The turnbuckles are from the hardware store, beaten and battered. Leg wraps are 1/4" round, tapered on both ends, wound on with a rosebud, pliers and a small hammer. Metal finish is wire brushed then a few coats of Rustoleum Clean Satin Enamel. Moving these things is a two-person event, but I would guess the load rating is around 1,500 pounds. DW is keeping the larger table...happy wife = happly life...maybe I'll find a buyer for the shorter one.
  4. The screw-eyes appear to be steel, maybe some kind of shiny plating - the "tube" is most likely die-cast pot metal. I beat the snot out of all three pieces, then hit them with some clear satin Rustoleum. I think, and, more importantly, the wife thinks, it looks good. And now, to work on her coffee table... Again, thanks for expressing your opinions and guidance - us old guys need all the help we can get!!
  5. Many thanks for all of your comments and guidance - since the turnbuckle is easy enough to remove, I'll try wire-brushing and/or heating it (don't know whether it is galvanized, but I can put it in a fire outside to be sure)... When discussed with DW, she liked the idea of being able to remove the turnbuckle linkage completely so she can slide a woven tray of magazines under the table...happy wife means happy life...who knew??
  6. There are no Spanish windlass suppliers in Iowa...being in the southwest, you might have immediate access to some. I'll think on some alternatives next time...possibly use some aircraft cable and fittings. I am still mulling how to incorporate vehicle steering knuckles/tie rods into table undercarriges...maybe Das has some ideas...
  7. I was cutting some more firewood and using the Alaska-Mill on an oak trunk...produced a few pieces with some good grain. This is an end table, or bench, or some expensive firewood...oak is 2" X 18" X 28" X 18" high. Wood finish is Minwax Golden Oak and a few coats of water-based polyurethane. The larger cracks and ant-holes (see black splotches) are filled with clear epoxy (let that stuff dry for two or three days before trying to sand it flat!!). The legs are 1 1/4" distressed tube, set out at 5-degrees, end braces are 1/2" square, taperd and twisted, leg wraps are 1/4" round, tapered at both ends. Cross-ties are 3/8" square, twisted, with hooks forged on both ends...turnbuckle is TrueValue Hdwr, painted soft brown. Metal was wire-brushed, then two coats of Rustoleum Clear Satin. Leather patches are glued to the bottom of each leg. When assembled there was a moderate wobble...the legs at each end are welded to a piece of 1/4 X 3 X 9 or 14 (see irregular shape of wood) - loosening the lag bolts on one end and slipping a wood shim between the 1/4" plate and the top took care of the wobble. DW has now placed an order for a coffee table from the other end of this oak plank...guess it's time to stand and deliver!!??!!
  8. Photos are of the tong and tool "organization" I use. The tong rack is 20" X 20" X 24" high, mounted on wheels from a defunct 2-ton shop jack. The top ring is 2" channel, with 1/4" hooks every 1.5" - the 5 tong racks are 1/4" X 1.5" flat bar, welded into the channel, 3.5" apart. The bench shelves hold punches and chisels on 1" and 1.25" screen deck from a local crushed stone operation (when screen decks get a hole worn thru, usually in the center of the screen section, they are scrapped and can usually be acquired at minimum or no cost by asking at the plant office). Screen deck shelves are great because they let the dirt and scale sift thru. The P/H punches are made from shock absorber shaft, the ball punches are various-size bearings, welded to some 1/4 X 1 flat bar. Jason, you may recognize some of your bolt-jaw tongs and tools. Any questions, just ask.
  9. Getting back to the original topic of finding bearing steel, check with industrial machine shops. An example might be Atlas Machine, Louisville, KY. They do heavy-duty bearing replacement for the cement plant just down Dixie Highway...replacing bearings on a Fuller-Kenyon cement pump produces about 12 2" balls in 52100 steel, each bearing. Going thru the front office might be a bit intimidating, but establishing a good relationship with a few of the folks out back is where you need to be. I was not interested in the races; only the rolling elements...the large brass bearing cages were a high-value scrap and were usually already contracted out or pirated by someone within the plants. Another possibility are the shops that do work for paper machines...dryer bearings run about 14"-16" diameter and press bearings get HUGE at about 36"-42" diameter (double-row spherical roller bearings). Steel mills and aluminum rolling operations also have LARGE bearings. All of these operations fight unscheduled downtime ( $40,000 per hour production on a typical paper machine making copy paper ), so changing out a perfectly good bearing is a minor operating/maintenance expense. Be advised, however, a knife blade in 52100 is NOT stainless and will rust/become pitted if ignored...good luck !!!
  10. Fortunately, Urals are fairly simple...mine can almost be rebuilt on the side of the road with the tools I carry in the trunk. Getting the right part(s), however, can sometimes take a while.
  11. That's a 2 1/2-gal gas can. There are ammo cans available, with mil-spec carry systems, and machine gun mounts; there's enough stuff on the bike now - I'll just run it like it is.
  12. My CJ7 story started last October (2017). My neighbor's house was pretty much surrounded by chainlink fence with about 80 posts buried in at least 2 bags, each, of Redi-Mix concrete. He had taken down the fence, but the posts were a problem. I used my tractor's 3-point to pull the posts. When finished we were standing in front of his shop and I saw this dusty 1980 CJ7 in the back of the building with things leaning on it and piled on it. He said it had been there for about 6 years, had a 1998 fiberglass tub, OK powertrain and if I wanted it I could have it. We towed it a few hundred yards to my shop and the process started. One could stick a fist thru the frame, the brake lines were rusted toast...I've replaced the frame with a 1984 almost rust-free frame (coated it with POR-15), new brake lines, rebuilt p/s pump, patched the gas tank, sanded out and repainted the body parts, new wheels, etc, etc. I still have to rebuild the steering gear, but spring happened, so the gardens had to be tilled and fenced (dang deer). Meanwhile I had this 2005 Ural sidecar motorcycle gathering dust in the back of my shop. I got the carbs sorted out, cleaned off the dust and dirt, installed a winch (Yes, a winch on a motorcycle !!) and got it back on the road. It's 2WD and will go almost ANYWHERE, especially with a wife who will push on occasion and the winch (let's see, a winch on the front, the winch can be switched to the back and a wench in the sidecar...life is good !!)
  13. OK, OK, I will add a few pics of my CJ7 and the off-highway/on-highway 2WD Ural sidecar motorcycle, with winch...I'll try to put them in the above thread...swedge
  14. And there I was a few weeks ago, lying on my back, looking up at jeep steering components, thinking "run a tie-rod bar thru the power hammer, making it square or octagonal, put in a few twists, sink the swivel joint, sans grease collar, into a table leg cross-brace" - starting to sound steam-punk...more beer (VooDoo Ranger, because I am one)...it"s Friday; but then, I'm retired...
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