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I Forge Iron


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About Steamboat

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    Senior Member

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  • Location
    : Brunswick, Maine
  • Interests
    Historical archaeology, automotive restoration, historic home restoration, metal fabrication and woodworking, 18th and 19th century steam technology, Industrial Revolution technology, photography, graphic design, boating, etc.

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  1. I've been incredibly busy this past year and haven't done much in the way of blacksmithing, but I have done a few welding projects. Here's a little gadget I just finished up to make my TIG welding a bit more convenient. I borrowed a few ideas from torch holders I’ve seen online. My variation on the ones I’ve seen was to make two sets of cutouts, one for a larger TIG torch and one for a smaller TIG torch, which could be rotated to select the size. I don’t think that’s a new idea, as there are almost certainly people who are smarter, faster, and better looking than I am who thought of it fi
  2. Actually, I would keep them just because I like the way they look. To me, it's an appealing shape...maybe for part of a future sculpture, or maybe just to look at once in a while. Also, you could use them for letters. If you cut off part of one of the legs, you could make a "J" and turn one on its side for a "C" (in case you know anyone with those initials). A "u" or "n" or "m" or "w" are other possible characters...or maybe a very large "O." Or maybe legs for a trendy coffee table? Al (Steamboat)
  3. Thanks, Arkie. The support/suspension rods were an idea I had to add rigidity to the top shelf without blocking access to the middle shelf. The cable hooks do block access to the middle shelf to some degree, but if I decide that they are causing interference, a hook can be repositioned easily just by drilling a new mounting hole. The hooks could even be mounted on the back of the cart if necessary, although I'm trying to limit the front-to-back length of the cart so that it doesn't stick out too far when backed up against a wall. As mentioned, space is at a premium in my small shop. Al (S
  4. Slight correction: The filler rod tubes were made from schedule 40 PVC conduit, not schedule 80, although schedule 80 would have worked fine, too. Schedule 40 is certainly thick enough to make a durable tube, and you'd lose some interior volume if you used schedule 80. Al (Steamboat)
  5. Another update: I recently bought an electrode holder to try using with my experimental prototype electrode sharpener. In the photo below, the holder encloses the electrode almost up to where it enters the guide hole of my sharpener. The holder came with collets for 1/16, 3/32, and 1/8-inch electrodes. The collets can be stored in the holder when the holder is not in use. I can rotate the holder easily with gloved fingers, which I really like, as I feel that it gives me more control over the grinding process. The pocket clip can be removed if desired. Note that I always tighten the colle
  6. Thanks, Daswulf. As mentioned, I think it would have been easier to fabricate the cart with square tubing instead of angle, but I'm pretty pleased with the way it turned out. Cheers, Al (Steamboat)
  7. I just fabricated a we80lding cart (or "trolley" if you prefer) for my new TIG welder. I gave my old AC/DC TIG setup to a contractor friend who helps me out on occasion. I had about 60 feet of steel angle that was originally intended for a project that never materialized, and I had half a dozen swivel casters left over from when I built a dock some years ago, so I didn’t have to buy much stuff to build this. It would have been easier to fabricate from square tubing, but I wanted to use what I had on hand and save a few bucks. My little shop area is so crowded that I needed as much maneuverabil
  8. Things can get switched around easily when translating between languages. Cheers, Al (Steamboat)
  9. As I mentioned, straight grinding marks on a tungsten electrode point should produce a more consistent, stable arc than radial grinding marks. It's interesting that such a small detail can make a significant difference. By the way, I just ordered an electrode “wand” for holding tungsten electrodes while grinding them. The wand I ordered should be more than long enough to contain/cover the entire electrode right up to the electrode guide in my prototype device, and I think that the diameter of the wand should probably be a reasonable size for rotating the electrode with gloved finger
  10. Deimos and Nodebt, I agree with both of you that some kind of handle/knob/holder for the electrode is worth investigating. The holder could act sort of like a larger-diameter "end" to the electrode, which could be safer than a bare electrode in the event of a possible kickback. Of course there's still the chance that an electrode might break into pieces if kicked back. Perhaps a holder could be used that contains (encapsulates) the entire electrode except the portion extending through the electrode guide. I've seen a couple of holders that are reminiscent of an extra-long pin vise, with separa
  11. Deimos, thanks for your feedback. I assume that you are talking about how an electrode is oriented relative to the rotation direction of the grinding wheel during the grinding process. Most welders that I've observed grind tungsten electrodes pointing against the rotation of a bench grinder wheel, and most of the instructional material (that I've seen) also shows it done that way (see example links below). I think that visibility might be one factor in the choice of direction, and there could be some other factors involved. Bottom of page 8 in this document from Miller Welders: h
  12. Updated material to "Experimental Jig for Sharpening Tungsten Electrodes” Revision 2. In this revision I moved the electrode guide pivot closer to the wheel and also drilled the guide holes closer to the wheel. These changes place the electrode closer to the wheel surface and reduce the distance that the electrode extends past the electrode guide (as shown below). One person contacted me with a similar suggestion. I think these changes could make grinding results more consistent. I do not know what effect these changes might have on the possibility of kickback or breakage. I haven't exper
  13. “Updated material to Experimental Jig for Sharpening Tungsten Electrodes” Revision 1. I have made some changes to the original version of this device. As mentioned, this is an experimental prototype device. It is a work in progress and not in its final form, so at this point, I do not recommend building a copy of it. As I experiment with it and discover new problems or shortcomings, I will try to improve the device with safety, efficiency, and ease-of-use in mind. Please note that I am not a professional in any of the fields related to developing this device, and I am open to sugge
  14. Thanks. So far, it's working great, and I haven't messed up any electrodes (yet). I had about 40 electrodes that needed sharpening, which was a good excuse to make the jig. The diamond wheel cuts quite quickly, so a light touch is needed, but it's easy to get the hang of it. Al (Steamboat)
  15. “Changes have been made to the design described in this post. Please refer to a later post below for an update.” I haven't posted here on IFI for quite some time, as I've been absolutely swamped with other projects and tasks like major home restoration work, property issues, a big archaeology excavation project, and other things that I won't bore everyone with. I'm finally getting back to the process of setting up a new workshop at home on a limited budget, and I'm making decent progress, although trying to fit all of my equipment into a relatively small space and still have enough room t
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