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About evfreek

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    Bay Area, California


  • Location
    Bay Area, California

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  1. I looked extensively at Craigslist and EBay, but only found expensive new rings. I've never seen these at garage sales. Then, at a storage unit clean out, I finally succeeded. They were seized and brittle, but I managed to break a couple out. They spark tested as cast iron, so that's good. They seemed a little hard, but a file will cut them. The third ring groove had a wavy thing and two thin springy rings which sparked as spring steel. I guess I can repurpose the pistons as pistonium as soon as I get a foundry setup working. Thank you for the suggestions. I'll report back on how well they work, but I have seen good results reported from the web.
  2. Wow. I overhauled an engine once, and just threw the old ones away. I don't have any friends who do this now, since the engines last so much longer. For now, I'm going to just use old pieces. But I will forge a tiny pair of tongs to feed the pieces since pliers don't work well and aren't safe.
  3. Hi. Using the technique I mentioned earlier, I was able to successfully weld a broken cast iron C-clamp. I used a small oxy propane torch and cast iron welding flux. The weld had no porosity. Oxy propane has a porosity problem with steel welding due to the heat being in the wrong part of the flame. But, there was a problem. EBay had 3/8" cast iron welding rod, but I was afraid it was too thick. That turned out to be correct. I found a cracked piece of cast iron pipe and hacksaw a 3/8 x1/4" rod from it. I couldn't get enough heat, so I ended up cutting it in half lengthwise and welding the two pieces together. This took a long time, but it worked great. I found out that piston rings aren't cheap! Hopefully I'll find some at a garage sale.
  4. Hi Sascha. I just saw a demo at the California Blacksmith Association spring conference. Mark Aspery was giving it. He said you could purchase "Cherry Heat" hardening powder from Pieh Tool. I don't know if you can find this in Germany. Indeed, there was a sharp crack when Mark swung the piece into water for a rapid quench. Then, he showed how it skated a file. I think that the crack is an indication of two key factors for successful application of the agent. First, a smooth and completely fused coverage showing that the surface hit the active temperature and that there was enough to both treat and protect the surface from decarburization. Second, contraction of the freezing shell combined with expansion of martensite being formed would contribute to the crack noise. Of course, he showed how a file skated after the piece cooled, but the crack was much more graphic. Nobody disputed that the surface was hard after the familiar skating noise from the file. Have fun. I haven't had much luck with those dumb homemade pastes like sugar, salt and flour. I think that those are for pack hardening, which requires quite a bit more patience and fuel.
  5. Hi. I've got plenty of the Ni-99 rod. I meant the cast iron torch rod, like Cronatron 22. Detroit torch has some on their web site, $39 for 5 sticks, sold out.
  6. Hi. I remember seeing a post somewhere about making your own cast iron welding rod in a forge with a mold with triangular channels in it. I cannot seem to find it now. It was only of passing academic interest when I saw it earlier, but now is more interesting, since I performed a seemingly successful experiment with a cut out from a broken street drain cover. Commercially available rod is hard to fine. There is someone on Ebay selling for a high price, but admittedly it is less than the alternative (fiddly cut with a hacksaw). Does anybody remember anything like this?
  7. Report on forge. The forge has been working OK for the past 2+ years. Not great. It is not as hot as I would like, but still hot enough for forging (the metal gets that sweaty look in the hot spot). No forge welding, though. If it had a door, it probably would hit forge welding temperatures. My homemade rigidizer has been OK, but not great. It has started to crack off the front of the forge. I did precoat the wool with rigidizer, and it is running outside, so I am not too worried about fibers. It is out in the rain and ice, and has withstood some abuse, as well as some beginners working in it. All in all, I am satisfied with it. It may be time for a little repair and renovation, though. Last night's forging session was good, but it was raining before and during the session. The rain froze last night, so this is also hard on the forge. If I get a couple of more years out of it, I'll be satisfied.
  8. Hi AJ. Thanks for the suggestion. I think I will use it on my forge door, which has trouble with scaling.
  9. You do not need a full penetration weld at the waist of that anvil. A shallow weld is fine. How shallow? Estimate the compressed column as the area of the weld times the thickness of the remaining gap, and use that in conjunction with the Young's modulus and the compressive force of a hammer's blow. Compare this to the energy of the hammer. If it is less than 1%, it is negligible. It turns out that even one square inch of weld is sufficient. The reason is that at the waist, the primary means of energy storage is compressive and not flexural.
  10. Hi. I picked up some Arcos E410-15 stick rod at a garage sale. I thought it was Lo-hy, but the label was generic, and the end of the container had the real designation. According to their website, it is an air hardening chromium molybdenum deposit suitable for wear and corrosion resistant coating on steel. Obviously, this is not for fabbing up jigs or spring fullers. It might be useful for tangs on martensitic stainless knives, but these are usually part of the blade stock. Are there any uses, since this stuff seems like it is too specialized to sell?
  11. Hi Frosty. Thanks for the reply. It does look like it would be good for fullering pipe, like for a candleholder. I prefer a spring fuller, since I usually work alone. A search on "pipe fuller" mostly turned up spring fullers. Anyway, I was curious if there was a proper name for this tool.
  12. Hi. I found this tool at a garage sale, and the seller didn't know what it was. I know what it is, but I don't know what it's called. My name for it would be "fork fuller" for obvious reasons, but that's not the correct name. I don't see any of these on eBay. Does anybody know what they are called?
  13. Some time ago, a fellow smith made a fuller out of a railroad spring clip. These are fairly high carbon, and must be treated carefully. He had an accident in which the tool shattered while he was using it. He said it just sort of crumbled, and he was not injured. He gave me the other piece from the same spring. This was very scary, so I wasn't going to use it without looking it over very well. First, I determined that the tool had been tempered, since a file could cut it easily. Then, I looked at it very carefully. There was a tiny crack where the sharper part of the curve was straightened. I figured that it would be a good idea to file out the crack. Anyway, every time I thought I had gotten through it, there still seemed to be a little bit left. Finally, it became clear that the crack was very deep. I eventually ended up filing almost half the thickness away before getting to the bottom of that crack. Eventually, it became more driven by curiosity than the desire to salvage the tool. Despite the huge notch in the middle, this has become one of my favorite fullers for light detailed work. It has lasted for many years and has produced hundreds, if not thousands of items, most of which sold. Careful with salvaged steel. It is more fun than it is economical.
  14. I used to be really picky about drill bits, and always seemed to get mediocre results unless I used the classic USA HSS brands. These are pricey, and I resorted to garage sales. Sometimes, you can get new ones pennies on the dollar. One day, my shop teacher forced us to learn how to sharpen drills. It was like a bright new day. I never learned that well in the class, even though I passed the test, but when I joined a cooperative machine shop, I just sat down and worked on blunt drills until I got it right. It cost several inches of drill bits to learn, and this is with all the confusing stuff on the Internet. Now, my favorite drill bit is Harbor Freight TiN coated $9.99 special on sale. They are good for about one deep hole in 4140 PH, but a 5 second touch, and they are ready to go again. The cooperative shop members leave a whole pile of bits with the lips snapped off, and these can be sharpened in just a little more than the time required to size them (the writing on the shanks is obliterated). The only bit I have trouble with now is old fashioned carbon steel bits. These are really cool, but if you toast the end, even if you sharpen them, they don't last very long. It is much better to repurpose these things into something else, like unwinding them and welding them in as a cutting edge.
  15. Yeah, things are pretty fishy when it comes to anvils on Craigslist, especially these days. I have run into all kinds of weird situations and should probably know better. One ad I responded to was quite a ways away, but I was driving down south and figured I would get it when I was there. A lady answered the phone and said that the anvil was already gone, but she was curious if I was a real blacksmith. She asked all kinds of questions like how did it start, do you get burned, is it lucrative, etc., etc. Eventually, about half an hour into the conversation, she told me that she had something to admit. She just put up the ad in hopes that she would get some calls from blacksmiths who were interesting to talk to. She said that she wasn't disappointed, and the calls just kept pouring in. The ad stayed up for some time. Guess I should have known better. This is the second time this sort of thing happened to me. And, I don't like just sitting around chatting on the phone; there are a lot of more pressing things to do.