evfreek

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  1. 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.
  2. Hi AJ. Thanks for the suggestion. I think I will use it on my forge door, which has trouble with scaling.
  3. 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.
  4. 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?
  5. 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.
  6. 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?
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. The difficulty with making rings round is that it is really hard to bend a round shape in the contour of the ring. Instead of trying to do that, flatten the ring. Flattening is easy. Just hit the bend at its highest point, and it will collapse to being flat. The trick is to find the part of the ring with the smallest radius. In the above picture, this is at 10:00. There is another small radius at about 7:00. Place the small radius section on the anvil horn so that a small amount of daylight is showing, and give it a whack. Note that this doesn't require a cone shaped horn, although it does help. The shape of your anvil looks a little challenging. it may be helpful to make a hardy with half a cone bent and welded out of plate. Note that it doesn't have to be perfectly round if you are using the above technique. Even a chamfered bar clamped down will work in a pinch. If you have trouble finding the tight part of the contour, draw a circle in chalk on a piece of plate and compare with the circle.
  11. Thanks, Frosty. I'll report back after the firing and the get together. The mortar is a bit uncertain, but it started with a commercial mix. At least that insulating wool looks pretty stable now. By the way, that friend with the properly built forge has given up on blacksmithing. Unless he sells out to a real thrasher, his high quality job will end up outlasting any of my efforts.
  12. Hi Thomas and Frosty. I have used a proper forge before, but it was a long time ago. It was at a friend's house. He had Ron Reil personally instruct him on building it. It used T-Rex burners and was lined with kaowool and ITC-100. It used a silicon carbide kiln shelf piece for the floor. This was a bit out of range in terms of cost for me. When I look back over the years, the expense does not seem that bad. At the time, I didn't know if I would stick with it. We made a few small leaves, and it was a good experience, but it seemed to be overkill. The posts in this sub-forum are excellent, and I don't have many questions. I did have one, but I just decided to go about it my way and see if things worked out. Instead of using bubble alumina or Kastolite to coat the wool, I made another homemade cost saving concoction. The ceramics store in the neighborhood only sells full bags, and the crowd around here is pretty tough, so you don't get much for a mostly full bag on Craigslist. Likewise, if you want a partial bag, you pay and pay. So I used some leftover firebrick mortar like Tenax thinned with water and sodium silicate. Should this work out ok? The mortar worked out great in my ceramic kiln, so it is good at temperature. Also the composition did look similar to satanite from the MSDS. Here are a couple of photos of the mortar going in. There are still patches of rigidized but uncoated wool in the back. By the way, the rigidizer worked just great and did not mat the wool at all.
  13. Hi Thomas and Frosty. This actually was a good little forge. It was a step up from my solid fuel forge. I built this forge when I had to produce some product to sell at a craft fair. It even made it to our annual conference and was used during Mark Aspery's tools workshop. I still have the punch and chisel from back then, and they are some of my favorite tools. This forge was an expedient for when I first started selling, and it was made in a rush from info I found on the Internet. It has lasted 10 years and has served its purpose well. As for forge welding, I really meant that it can weld, not that it does weld. I have only done four welds in that forge, and only two are in finished product. The two items are still in use, though. I prefer to weld in a charcoal or coal fire. The advice for building gas forges provided in this forum is really great. My new one will use ceramic wool, rigidizer, and mortar hotface. It will be interesting if it works better for welding.
  14. Looks great. I wouldn't worry about prep. Most of the stress is compression and not in the direction of most of the welds. I just used 6011 for the root and welded right over any light rust. Mine worked just great for upsetting a flatter, which is a pretty heavy job.