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I Forge Iron


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  1. Ok, that's all I needed to hear. John from Black Bear Forge is what got me started on this project, and looking closely at his hammer, he just rolled the spring over like a hinge. I forgot to pick up the DOM tubing the plan calls for and regular pipe would be a little sloppy, so it's either forge it, drill out a piece of round stock, or make a trip and lose half a day. I'll leave the heat treatment stuff out and see what happens - it's not like I can't fix it later. Should be up and banging banging by the end of the week. Thanks
  2. I'm about halfway through this build, and just getting started welding it all together. Clay specifies 5160 for the flat spring and W1 for the hammer axle, which I purchased, but he says nothing about heat treatment and they didn't come hardened. Does he just specify having higher quality steel for those particular parts or is it implied that they should be hardened and tempered? I was also planning on forging my eye on the end of the flat spring instead of welding on a pipe, which should be stronger in the long run. If anything, I'm thinking a quench and good blue temper would give both parts some extra strength and toughness to handle the impacts.
  3. The firepot is already pretty flush, but I might yet take out at least the front cutout. I'm hesitant on the rear since I'm using this on a gravel parking spot that's not level and tips away slightly. This sounds like a great compromise as well, I'd need a bigger cap, my clinker hole is 3" across. but a bigger cap would stick up more too. Always good to hear an idea works. Thanks!
  4. I made a new coal forge, and ran it for the first time yesterday. Wow, what a difference having a good set up and good coal makes. Only problem I was having was heating the center of a bar. My firepot is quite deep - around 5" to the rim. and my cutouts are about another inch above that so laying a bar across is about 6" from the bottom of the pot. I can mound the coal up higher and get it to a red heat, but doing that repeatedly seems kinda wasteful with that much coal burning below it. I like the current depth for small work, anything I can stick an end in is perfect, so I'm not about to make a new pot entirely or cut apart the one I have. One idea I had was to make up a plate with airholes that I could temporarily drop into the pot on days where I know I'd be doing longer work, effectively raising the bottom of the pot several inches, but not restricting air flow. The mound to get to the top wouldn't be burning as much coal at once. Ideas? thoughts? Or, just tell me I'm talking crazy, mound it up even higher, and burn baby burn.
  5. Sort of, more like using leg power to lift and preload the spring. Like a mechanical power hammer's upstroke. The following drop would have the spring and falling momentum driving the weight, with no direct connection to the treadle. The hit would be on a delay, but more like stomp-spring-bang vs stomp-bang. Repeated blows could come one after another if a rhythm can be maintained in time with the weight. 200 lbs at 1/10th the pivot distance is added force, but you're mostly just defeating the lifting springs and the weight's momentum is providing the bulk of the forging power. Travel time for the hit is immediate, but you have to account for lifting your foot between strokes, and in that case, stroke time would be similar. Actual math isn't my strong suit, so idk, I'm just spitballin here. If it gets built, it'll be a full on experiment in both planning and actual use.
  6. Ok, so I'm just a beginner and this is a very crude design idea, so don't spend too much time on it. Imho, a lot of treadle hammer designs I've seen are flawed in 2 ways - the weight is brought down by the foot through the linkage - so your foot feels the hit as it bottoms out, and the springs just bring the weight back up, fighting against the blow the whole way and adding nothing to the falling weight. I then saw this video, specifically the time shown, and I had a silly thought - why push down when the spring and weight are doing the work? If stomping on the treadle did the opposite, raising the head, enough whip could create quite an effective beater - hence the "backwards" treadle (I really don't know what to call things). Maybe it'd spring too much and be a one hit machine, but one assisted hit is better than none. For this to work, you'd need to set it up so the weight is suspended by the spring off the anvil, but still has plenty of travel to give it a good bash. But you're no longer fighting lifting springs and there wouldn't be a direct shock to your feet. You could design it with an overhead spring or like the video linked, but I'd like to think a Little Giant or Champion spring design with the weight on a slide could work better. And down the road, it might even be able to be motorized without a full redesign or too much stress on the components. I'm sure it's not anything new and someone here can tell me why it won't work, but I've been thinking about it for 3 days now, haven't come across anything like it, and am just short of setting about building it just to try it out.
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