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I Forge Iron


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Everything posted by Arthur210

  1. How much is your time worth? What would you rather be doing with your time? The material may be free, but the time spent cleaning your "free" steel may make it more cost effective to buy clean steel. Cheers, Arthur
  2. What Glenn wrote about solid shapes. I first look at any square bars, starting at 1/4". I prefer square to round, but both are good. Just make sure they are not galvanized or chromed. Be aware that things that are painted and welded together (such as railing) can be a mixed blessing. They take a lot of time to cut apart and remove the paint safely, to the point they may not be worth the effort and consumables (cutting discs, sanding belts, etc.) Larger chunks (2" and up) can make great improvised anvils, if you need one. Rebar deserve its own note. Some smiths like it, others won't touch it. It has its uses and can be easy to find. Pipes and tubes are useful, with thicker walls better than the ligther one. Short sections of pipe can make great scrolling jigs. Thick-wall round pipes with 3/4" and 1" internal diameter are great for the tuyere of a JABOD. Some smiths also use pipes to forge things like chili peppers, apples, insect bodies, etc. Square tubes can be used for many purposes. Larger ones for the anvil stand legs or other types of stands, while smaller ones can be great for hardy tool stems, to make a guillotine tool, etc. Any metal container, such as buckets and drums, are nice to have. Even empty paint gallons can be used to collect your short pieces and scraps. Old garden hoses split lenghtwise are good safety measures to prevent cutting yourself on the edge.
  3. Unfortunately, for the counterweight screw that train has passed. The head sheared off when I tried moving it after letting it soak with penetrating oil. You can see the head on the picture I posted (next to last).
  4. Thanks for the advice Irondragon. I have no intention to take apart the gears or the bearings. I know about the set and finicky alignment of the gears, and I do not want to mess that up. Just cleaning everything and apply paint where appropriate. I would just like to take the fan and back fan cover off to make it easier to clean and paint it. I prefer to paint the parts individually whenever possible for a more even coating and to protect the places I do not want painted.
  5. Started cleaning the inside of the fan case and tried to untighten the fan screw, but for now it won't come off. I'll let it soak in penetrating oil some more. Meanwhile, I scrubbed the outside fan cover using penetrating oil and steel wool. I then wiped most of the oil off but leaving a little so that the cover won't rust in the time it will take me to clean the rest of the blower. There was some kind of dried whitish coumpound between the cover halves (it can be seen on the previous picture), probably an attempt at reducing air loss from the imperfect joint. Not sure yet if I will replace it -- it remains to be seen how much of a problem that really is. The cover looks much nicer now that it is clean. Found a little bit of red paint on the outside. No way to tell if this was the original color of the blower or if it picked it up later in its life. The handle came off easily from the shaft. Unfortunately, the screw holding the counter weight sheared when I tried removing it. I will have to extract it out and find a proper replacement. The handle's screw also appears to have been riveted in place. It looks like I will have to grind it or file it off (carefully) l to unscrew it and replace the wooden handle.
  6. Did some work on the legs, which are now solid and stable. After a good while soaking in penetrating oil, the screws of the fan case came off easily. Once again, everything looks to be in excellent condition, though it will need of a good cleaning!
  7. A few weeks ago a nice Champion 400 blower followed me home. It seemed to be in good condition and the price was fairly low at C$150. The handle turned smoothly (if a bit slowly) and the only thing missing was the legs. Put on some legs on it today, as I wanted it upright and stable before I opened anything. The legs are a combination of 1 1/4" black pipe with electrical conduit elbows that I purchased at the hardware store. For now the elbows are just slipped onto the pieces of pipe. I plan on welding them together, after removing the galvanization of the elbows by soaking them in vinegar. Now that it is upright I wanted to check the inside to get an idea of the gears' condition and how much cleaning it would require. The gearcase cover came off with minimal effort. A good surprise, no big mess of grease inside. Just some old oil. Another good surprise. The gears all appear to be in excellent condition. Even what little I can see of the worm gear looks at least good. Also unscrewed the end caps of the shafts. They all came off just by hand. A bit of grease in there, which is normal (from what I have read). That is all I had time to do today. The screws of the fan cover would not budge for now, but instead of applying force I decided to spray them with penetrating oil and leave them alone for now. I will work on cleaning the blower as I get the time in the coming weeks. So far I cannot call this a restoration, because everything looks to be in excellent condition.
  8. Put some legs on the Champion 400 blower that followed be home 3 weeks ago. Pieces of black pipe I had plus some electrical conduit elbows I purchased at the hardware store. I will finish the legs later, but I at least wanted the blower upright before I opened the cover to check the condition of the gears. Then I took the cover off and inspected the gears. Everything seem to be in excellent condition. I will post more pictures of the blower in the relevant section. Then I lit up the forge for the first time since December. Just a very short session, less than an hour. Enough to make another simple bottle opener.
  9. Yes, it was. I already like that little vise a lot. It will be great for my travelling kit. Now to mount it on something that will be at once stable, portable and easy to pack, using materials that I have in the shop.
  10. Finished cleaning and oiling the leg vise I brought home last week. A little Columbian with "40" marking on one of the 4" jaws. Weights about 40#, so the marking probably refers to that.
  11. Late in the discussion, but I'll add a little something that wasn't specifically mentioned. Why buy the inexpensive tool (not necessarily cheap) first? Because, if have never used that tool, you don't have the expeirence with that tool that will help decide which features are worth spending money on. P Dee, the reason you could select a good bike for your daughter is because *you* had the experience and knowledge to determine what was worth spending good money on. If you can consult with someone more experienced than you are with the tool, and whom you can thrust, then you may be able to forego buying the inexpensive tool and go directly to the good but more expensive one. But if you have to learn about a tool, and don't know if you will use it regularly, it may be better to buy the inexpensive one first.
  12. I had about an hour, so I started cleaning the leg vise which followed me home last weekend. All the parts seem to be in good condition, particularly the screw and screwbox.
  13. Good to know pnut. I'll look into it. Thanks!
  14. Champion 400 blower and a lightweight leg vise. The blower turns smoothly. It just needs a little cleaning and a few drops of oil. And a set of legs, which I plan on making. The screw on the vise looks to be in good condition (forgot to take a picture of it). The jaws are slightly mis-aligned, which should be correctable without too much trouble. And I think there is a cap missing at the end of the screwbox. Got those for C$250, which I think was a fair price.
  15. Those blanks look good! What are they made from, plain mild steel?
  16. After last week's trivet, I decided to make a scrolling jig. That took me about 3 hours to forge and weld together from 3 different pieces of flat stock, plus a piece of angle iron to put it in the vise. Only problem is that my vise is mounted close to a wall, so I can only do 1/2 of a turn at a time. Then I need to rotate the jig for another 1/2 turn. I will probably add a stem to it and use my anvil as a base next time. A bit of advice for new smiths making a scrolling jig like that: take your time and make it as even as you can. Any defect will show up on all scrolls made using it, so it is worth the extra hour. Check your curve often, making sure the first part is good before scrolling it some more. Don't hesitate to uncoil it some to correct a problem. Of course, I tested it by making the pieces of another trivet, this time with 3/8" stock. This one is about 8" wide. I did not have time to assemble and finish it, but my scrolls look good. My plan is to make several of them as Christmas gifts.
  17. Thank you all for the good comments! I don't spend much time forging, but I enjoy making nice little things like that.
  18. I got lazy and used my electric welder. Never done any forge welding, so I didn't feel that attempting it on a fairly delicate piece like this (it is made from 1/4" square stock) was a good way to start. Riveting didn't seem practical either (not a lot of space between the turns). I could have tried using collars (or wire), but was worried the pieces would not be secure enough and would twist. Plus the surface wouldn't be flat. I am happy with the result, but I feel like it took a long time to get reasonably even spirals. I used only a small hammer and scrolling tongs. I should make a spiral template before I make more like this. Overall, a pleasant and relaxing morning.
  19. My wife wanted something to put between her Christmas cnadle and tablemat, so I offered to make her a small trivet (6" wide). She likes it!
  20. Stand for my 157# Wilkinson Dudley anvil. Legs are 4.5" diameter tubes filled with sand. I will use the handles on each side as hammers and tongs rack, as will as attachement points for bike chain hold down. The short lengths of tubes at the corners will eventually host small remkveable shelves to lay down tools. The underside of the stand is reinforced with welded webbings. The stand weighs a bit over 100# and is rock solid. I laid transparent silicone caulking between the anvil and stand, so no ringing at all. When I need to move it around the shop, I will use a set of snowmobile rollers. Much easier than dragging it around!
  21. Finished the mounting my new anvil to its custom-made stand. The anvil is a 157# Wilkinson and the stand weights a bit over 100#. The legs are 4.5" diameter tubes filled with sand. There's silicone caulking between anvil and stand. Rock solid, no ringing. Now I can put the new anvil to work!
  22. Welded the support webbing under the plate of my new anvil stand, as well as the front and back plates. The welds may not be the cleanest (I am not an experienced welder and I use flux core), but they will hold.
  23. Made progress on my new anvil stand. Legs and welded to the plate, though I want to add some support webbing between the legs and the sides of the plate. Still quite a bit of work yet before it is finished, but it was too tempting to put the anvil on it.
  24. Only a little time in the shop, but I was able to cut the legs for my new anvil stand.
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