Derek Melton

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About Derek Melton

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    Advanced Member

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    Central Mississippi
  1. I just spent 3 weeks recovering from scale that popped into my eye when I was twisting some small barstock. It got embedded in my iris and had to be removed and then a small area of my eye had to be drilled to remove rust-infused eye tissue. I do not recommend it. It was not pleasant and I'll never go in my shop without eye protection again.
  2. I've sold only one so far but I've given several away to close friends and asked them to use them and report back any shortcomings, etc. so far, this is the only one that has failed and it failed before it left the shop so, it's served a pretty valuable purpose already.
  3. Thanks! I love doing it and while I'm still a rank amateur, I want to learn and make each one better than the last. I think this is hammer #11 so I've got a long way to go. =)
  4. I probably answered my own question there, I probably should just heat treat the working faces, temper by color as I do with other 5160 hand tools. Once I get the next hammer finished, I'll test it on the anvil too and I'll know if my process is working or not. =)
  5. Yeah, 99% of my experience with 5160 has been with knives. I've made some punches and hand held drifts/fullers with it but I usually temper those by color. What would you suggest for a temper? Just bring it to a straw and quench or pop in an oven for a particular time/temp?
  6. I agree, larger stock forged down on the ends would work better, I was just curious as to how one would turn out, somewhat as a novelty, from such small round bar. I was really pleased with it. Until it broke. This was my first attempt at the tiny hammer. Being 5160, I just heat treated it as I always had, heated to critical, quenched in oil, tempered at 400. The grain structure of the steel where It broke looked just like a file, kinda creamy and fine. I think it was just too brittle and my temper didn't work out. I worked on a new slit/drift combo for the 3/8 round bar last night. It worked well, I really appreciate the suggestions from Alan Evans regarding the proper diameter of the drift in relation to the stock. I'm going to make the same kind of tiny hammer, this time I'll keep the eye a little smaller and I'll only heat treat the working faces, not the eye material.
  7. Wow, thank you! I made a new slitter/punch last night that was the same 3/8 diameter. I forged the end down to a typical slot punch shape and then I cut it about 3 inches short and welded it to a 14 inch section of 1/4x3/4 for a handle. I plan on trying it tonight. I'll post here with results.
  8. I've been making some small hammers for jewelers and knife makers who need small, delicate hammers for detail work. I've been asked to make them even smaller, so I'm considering some from 3/8 inch round bar. Anyone have ideas for tooling, techniques for punching eyes in small round bar? It's kinda tricky. =)
  9. I do like that Batson design with the heavy angle, seems like the fabrication would go fairly quick. I think I'd probably go with a single cylinder for cost reduction though. I think 1500$ is the sweet spot and I want to get as close to that as I can and still have a press comparable to the 3500$ commercial models like the Coal Iron works and Uncle Al's
  10. Those questions are still being tossed around right now. Personally I don't want to make anything less than 30 tons and favor the H frame for strength.
  11. We have at least a couple of professional welders in the group I believe. I won't participate in a build project that doesn't have adequate welding. Thanks! That is an amazing looking press. What made you decide to go with dual cylinders?
  12. Big and fast is the best description I have right now. I think if we can get a firm commit from about 10 people, this will happen.
  13. Jackson, MS. Middle of the state. The build might take place in a shop in Mendenhall, MS. I and another member are getting prices together. I think the 1500-1800 is realistic and attainable though.
  14. As the title states, our forge council, the Mississippi Forge council has enough members interested in building a press that we are seriously beginning to gather ideas for a group press build. Similar to a group build for tire or treadle hammers, the idea is that we would obtain or design detailed plans, collect some up-front-money for materials, gather them and then establish a time and place to build 6-10 hydraulic forging presses over a few days. My primary question here is, does anyone have experience doing a group build of a hydraulic forge press and what design, if any, would lend itself to this type of build? We are thinking of a materials cost of around 1500-1800$ per member to hopefully allow each participant to leave with a fully functioning hydraulic forge press. Any advice, plans, design ideas are welcome. For what it's worth, I already own the Batson book on press building. Thanks!