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I Forge Iron


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About Steamboat

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    Senior Member

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    : 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. Things can get switched around easily when translating between languages. Cheers, Al (Steamboat)
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. “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
  7. 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)
  8. “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
  9. Thanks, W! Looks good, Timber Ridge! When you mount the vise on a base (or floor, perhaps?), just be careful when you tighten the bottom flange to whatever base you decide to use under it. If the flange is over-tightened against a surface that doesn't match the bottom flange surface perfectly, the cast iron could crack. Cheers, Al (Steamboat).
  10. I didn't remove the two bolts holding the fixed jaw insert. I figured that IF and when I ever need to change the jaw insert I might give it a try. There is always the chance that the bolts might break, in which case you'd probably have to drill them out. You might be able to lightly dress the jaw insert in place if you want a nice straight edge, but for most purposes, I think it's probably OK as is, unless it's loose. If you want to try to remove the bolts, I'd suggest beginning with a very long soak in some rust-buster type penetrating oil/fluid, and you might consider trying an impact w
  11. Yeah, it looks like the same model, and it appears to be in good condition. Glad the diagrams were useful to you. I've been busy with tons of other projects lately, so I haven't posted to the forum for a while, but I'm hoping to get back to some blacksmithing projects soon and start posting again. Cheers, Al (Steamboat)
  12. I have a selection of spiral-point and spiral-flute carbide and HSS taps that I use with my Bridgeport mill, and occasionally with my lathe. I, too, like the chip control they offer, and the spiral-flute taps are nice for ejecting chips when tapping blind holes. Al (Steamboat)
  13. Jennifer, that is a lot of good advice. I totally agree that there are manufacturers who will apply titanium nitride and similar coatings on just about any kind of steel, whether it's taps, dies, drills, cutting tools, etc., since the coating creates the "impression" for marketing purposes that the tools are high quality, whether they really are or not. That said, if you're going to be working with "sticky" or "gummy" metals, such as stainless steel, etc., the coating can be very helpful, but one should always make sure that the substrate is a quality alloy (HSS or better for taps and dies).
  14. Regarding space station construction, you might want to have a look at this: https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20120002584.pdf Al (Steamboat)
  15. I totally agree that good tap wrenches and die stocks (die holders) are important. If space around the rod to be threaded is adequate, I prefer straight-handle tap wrenches over T-handles. And remember that you can get die stocks that have adjustable guides, which can really help a lot to start and maintain your threads in proper alignment with the rod being threaded. Al (Steamboat)
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