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I Forge Iron


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About Ohio

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    Monroe, WA

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  1. That's interesting, Tim. I've tried to use my carpentry experience while forging and I'm still pretty terrible, but less terrible than I was so...progress. But what you describe makes sense to me, so I'll try to remember this once the new forge is set up. I'll try the sitting approach again and not because I'm lazy and would rather sit (though that's true) but more because it looked---mindful? Mindful may be the right word. I don't know if the knee-crouching will happen, but I'll give it a try---you'll all know when I'm doing that because of the crying you'll hear coming from the Pacific Northwest. I have an improvised anvil and was thinking of rotating it to get more mass under the hammer. I'd have a smaller face if I do this, so I'll give it a try as well. I have about 200+ pounds of bamboo pieces to charcoal-ize. A lot of people up here plant bamboo and then forget and a few years later, it's invaded so they cut it all down and give it away. I machete it into pieces about 2-3" long, making sure the ends are open so there are no steam explosions inside Burnie the charcoal retort, then sack them up in burlap and let them sit a couple of years. One of my projects is a rebak chipper for chomping wood into charcoal-sized pieces because that's the part that is by far the most energy intensive---getting the feedstock to the right size. I did run some charcoal through a crappy chipper just to see how messy it would be and whoa, it was messy. And the charcoal was tiny, which is perfect if you want to make activated charcoal. I have a story about this but it's not appropriate for this website and I don't want to hijack Tim's thread anymore than I have.
  2. JHCC, you mean like Burnie? It's very fun and not difficult. The rocket stove roars like a xxxxxx jet engine, though. Tim Lively, I saw one of your knifemaking videos on youtube and was really impressed with 1) how you sat when forging, 3) the simplicity of your forge, and 3) the graceful manner with which you swung that hammer. (The knives were neat, too, but I was looking more at how you made them.) You made smithing look so easy. I went a different way with my charcoal forge design but I did try your sitting-down style and failed pretty thoroughly.
  3. Good for you, mpc. Welding is fun. And starting a post in the welding sub-forum with "BEHOLD!" is genius. Those little HF welders are not terrible, but the flux wire that comes with it usually is. It's usually pretty dirty. You may have better results with name-brand stuff (I did) and they sell Lincoln MIG flux wire at Lowes. Your local welding store, if open, may have better selection and better pricing, but at minimum, try a roll of the name brand and see if that works better for you. I have a favorite Central Welding store that's full of knowledgeable, helpful people and while I may be the stupidest customer they have, they are always quick with good info. Again, good for you.
  4. Ohio

    Ways and means

    It's no where near as beefy as a Prybil. No where near. But I got me a plan, Frosty, don't you worry. It'll be locked down completely. I fabricated a tool rest for my wood lathe for metal spinning. It's heavier than the one that came with this lathe, so I may see if it'll fit this Boice-Crane. Interesting thing about the bolt way to close the follow block. Really interesting. I'll have to think about that modification. I don't put the blank in while the machine is running, but put it in, lightly close the follow block on it, then turn the lathe wheel by hand to get it lined up using the backstick. I ain't getting paid by the piece and right now, I can't get past the idea of spinning metal not locked in somehow. Ok, I have to finish the Wonder Hut infrastructure---get the shelving in---and then start taking everything apart. I should mention---I think I'm going to use a non-standard paint color. Hahahahaha. Got a long way to go before I get there and I may change my mind, but I may do something a little crazy. Just a little. Not Chevy-transmission-on-a-lathe crazy.
  5. Nice. That extra 168sf will feel luxurious, IF&C. Congrats.
  6. Ohio

    Ways and means

    1701 is the same as the 1700 except the ways are 60" instead of 42". In this picture from the catalog showing the 1700... You can see the ways are two pieces of c-channel with four square bolts along the length and a block at the headstock end. Get aloud of the description: Not just strong but Herculean. Use of the word alone has my money leaping from my wallet. The lathe I have has already been modified---the block is at the tailstock end and some of the bolts are missing. Also, the ways around ground on each end so the tailstock center aligns with the headstock center. You know, like they're supposed to. I think the previous owner modified the ways by adding some holes so he could pull the way back to make the gap bigger. He moved the block to the tail end possibly because he was using two bolts at the headstock end and/or he wanted to move the tailstock all the way up to the headstock end for shallow but large bowls, platters, or plates, or for forms that needed more material than what the lathe would otherwise allow. I have some forms that are pretty big but fit the gap, but I wonder if the material would fit. Moving the ways back to a different set of dowel pins and then re-bolting may have been how he accommodated. I'm not sure, though, and won't know until I get it all cleaned up. Here is an image from James Riser's site showing what he calls spinning live centers in the tailstock: (BTW, James is a nice man.) The very end of the tailstock live centers have an insert to fit different follower blocks. Here's one with an automatic oiler or something attached: Dang, dude, if you were standing in the Wonder Hut you'd pick one up and know immediately. I'll try to get more pictures once I finish putting in the Hut shelving. I had to cut stuff up and haul it in there and this girl is tired. P.S. Thanks for the math. P.P.S. A truck transmission? Yet more evidence that your insanity is genetic.
  7. Ohio

    Ways and means

    Understood on lubricating the machine. The quills move, so I'm pretty sure they're not dead centers. I'll take one apart and get a pic to show you later, after I get the shelving onto the benches (salvaged some library bookcases that are perfect for the Hut). Yeah, the older wood forms/dies/whasits are some type of ply, grain looks like maple, well made---the threads are still crisp, so maybe rock maple? The newer ones are delaminating (looks like a glue fail) and those are going into a special pile called, "Set on fire." I think this is a Boice Crane 1701, so it is indeed for spindle turning and metal spinning. Explains the bearings. It is missing some bolts, though, from the pictures I've seen, but I can remedy that. The tailstock quills are MT---I'm going to have to take them apart to clean, grease, and make sure nothing is busted inside. They have inserts that fit different follower blocks, but I will need to figure out exactly how they should work. I think I know, but I'm going to have to study up to make sure. I'm going to have to find another step pulley or a matching pair that will work for this application. another website mentioned that there are other lathes with similar step pulleys that will work for this machine, so that's a possibility. I'm taking your advice on the treadmill motor. I found a chart of speeds using the step-pulleys, so I'll do some math to figure out the safe RPMs. 1 1/2HP? Dude, I can't tell if that's genius or crazy. Probably a little from column A and a little from column B. I found the decal that's faded to nothing: And I think I know how I'm going to deal with the C-channel ways/rails. It's quite clever---if it works. But cleaning it all up is the first step. I'm really looking forward to it. And I keep going back and forth on if I want to paint it close to the original color or if I want to go with something else. I'm leaning toward something else, but nothing too crazy as my brush skills are nonexistent. I'm definitely putting that decal back on, though. Thanks again, Frosty. This is really helpful. I'll try to remember to get pics as I go along, especially when I mess stuff up because those pictures are the funniest.
  8. Ohio

    Ways and means

    Thx, Frosty. I have a wood lathe and keep the woodworking in the woodworking shop and the metal in the metalworking shop, so shortening it makes sense to me. (I started spinning using my wood lathe and realized I would need to replace the bearings on my Rikon if I kept metal spinning with it.) The two lengths of steel that make up the ways/rails are bolted together and there appears to be more room for bolts and feet, like the cast piece at the tailstock end. I'm thinking if I shorten the ways with a plasma cutter and add some steel angle iron as feet and use more bolts thru the ways, I can bolt the feet to the workbench to help stiffen the assembly. The bench is made up of two layers of 1 1/2" exterior OSB sheathing, sitting on a pallet rack shelf that has a horizontal steel member every 16" or so. There are two other shelves below the bench also with pallet rack shelving, but my blacksmith buddy has literally tons of stone he scavenged from stone masons and I just have to go get whatever I want and cut it on his wet saw. Sounds a lot easier than it is because that stuff is heavy. I plan on adding some of that material to at least one if not both of the lower two shelves for additional mass. Each pallet rack is strapped to the frame of the steel building as well because earthquakes, with blocking to keep the uprights of the pallet rack a specific distance from the wall and the surface-mount electrical. After I installed the strapping and blocks, I swung on the uprights to see if anything would move---nothing did. Good point on the tailstock. It may be easier to make. There are two metal spinning quill things---not live centers, but like them in that they spin freely but I can't remember what they're called. They're better when working with follower blocks, but I've done the follower blocks with these neat little live centers I got from Nova. These tools, though, move freely but they need to be taken apart and cleaned and re-lubed thoroughly, but should work better. Yes on shining up those forms/molds/chucks/dies. I"m actually looking forward to that. I just spent some time cleaning up some of the wood ones (kinda gross) and oof, some of those really need to be smoothed. The forms I made had a layer of Bondo I polished to a shine so there was no grain to telegraph through the spun material. Regardless, it'll be a good day when I'm polishing those steel and aluminum dies up. I'll re-hab the spinning tools that came with this lathe then, as well. I'm getting kind of excited about this. Is that wrong? Nah. Got any opinions on motors? My Rikon has either 1/2 or 3/4HP 110v motor that I don't think I've ever stalled, but I'm a freak when it comes to using sharp tools when woodturning. I mean, really, why work up a sweat trying to shove a dull tool through the material when you can sharpen it up and finesse it? Oh, also, how about lubricants? The two tailstock tools have zerks, plus I'm going to have the hjole thing open so I might as well put the right lubricants to work.
  9. Wish I had time to work on my fiction and non-fiction projects. The fiction is a series of concurrent novels with all the characters ending up in the same place at the same time. The non-fiction is an annotated review of an historical book. The projects are related and will easily take ten years to complete. Bit the sun is starting to come out and there's work outside to do. By the time I come inside I'm pretty tired. Sometimes I get some research done but usually I'm working on non-thinking stuff, like a scanning project or something like that. So it may have to wait until autumn again. At least maybe the Wonder Hut will be operational.
  10. Ohio

    Ways and means

    Thanks, IF&C. It is coming along. I have shelves to put in and then I can haul in tools and start getting them bolted into place. I also have to build the forge area, but I'm re-thinking my design. I think I know what I'm going to do with the lathe. Fell on me like the house on the Wicked Witch of the East in The Wizard of Oz. Still looking for any suggestions/opinions, though.
  11. Ohio

    Ways and means

    No pictures was strategic: your rage means you don't need to buy TP. I was thinking of your welfare, Frost. So here we go... First, Wonder Hut interior southeast corner. The scaffolding is destined to be chopped up into a worktable, the Greenlee wireholder thing will be turned into a beehive stand because I don't need a wire reel holder like this. Ways are on the bench on their side. This is the light made from a foundry mold I hung over the door. It's neato. Headstock with tooling and some of the molds in background, Deep Creep can for scale. This is a single cast piece. At the foot, near where the can is, there is a section painted yellow. That's where the ways attach. I think the previous owner changed the configuration to get more of the ways on the headstock cast. I think he also added the piece below with the two holes so he could bolt either the ways or the toolslide to the headstock. Bottom of the ways where it attaches to the headstock The ways, turned to show the bottom. It's about 4' long---way too long for my use. Cast foot on the tailstock end of the ways. There's a block of cast iron that is bolted to the feet inside the ways. Also, you can see where the end of the ways were ground down to about half the width of the original material. This is also on the headstock side. I think this is part of the original design. I think this block is supposed to be on the headstock end. You can also see where the ways are dented on the top. Tailstock showing the crack on the backside near the wheel. Closer on the crack and what looks like a repair to the wheel and spindle. This may be a heavier wheel attached as a repair or replacement because I think the originals may not have been solid metal but had spokes like a wheel. Toolslside and t-rest. Definitely not original. Heavier than the tailstock. Boice and Crane mark and a really neato decal that reads something about a new ballbearing design in the headstock. I'd love to find the design of the decal because after I clean this up and re-paint, I'd put it back on there. Another view of the headstock. The headstock spindle moves freely and smoothly. Some of the molds and tooling---when I say some molds, I mean some. There are three, maybe four, more large boxes in my other shop that I have to bring out. There are also some of the stick tools that I'll clean and re-handle, though I have sets of stick tools. Everything needs a good, thorough cleaning, and those bits that need it need lubrication. Some of the molds seem too big for such a small lathe, so they may get sold, but I have to figure out what everything is and how it fits together first.
  12. Ohio

    Ways and means

    So I have a Boice & Crane I'd estimate is 80-100 years old that had been adapted as a small metal spinning lathe. I finally have the Wonder Hut (my metalworking studio---studio because I am a pretentious artiste) close to done and ready for projects and this lathe may be in the top five of first set of projects. I say top five because I have fabricating to do, but I'd really like to get this lathe operational. Maybe. Which is why I'm posting this. I think I could probably clean everything off and just get it working but I think I'd like to try re-habbing it and perhaps replacing the ways. The headstock is quite beefy cast iron with ball bearings that are working just fine based on appearances, but I'll pull out the headstock spindle assembly to be sure. The tailstock is also quite beefy, though there's a chunk out of the back of the casting near the handwheel you turn to tighten the quill. I don't think it's repairable but it may not need to be as the quill tightens when the wheel turns and I don't see any other cracks...yet. The toolslide appears to have been fabricated for metal spinning as it's big and heavier than what you'd expect for a lathe like this, and the t-rest was obviously fabbed for this use. I made a t-rest that's heavier than the one made for this lathe and I'll either swap them or make another. The ways, however, are not heavy. It may not matter, really, but they are also way too long for my use. I'm wondering if I should replace or cut down the ways. The ways are steel and in two pieces that are bolted together. There's a cast iron foot for the end opposite the headstock and a cast iron insert that I think is supposed to go on the end closest to the headstock---I'm going to take it apart and I'll move it to see if it fits. I haven't found any manuals specifically for this lathe but the manuals and drawings I can find for similar Boice & Crane wood lathes have the piece at the headstock end. I'm wondering how difficult it would be to replace the ways with heavier and shorter materials. I'm also wondering how difficult it would be to cut the ways without deforming them too much by heat. I also have to get a new motor. I saw a youtube video showing where a guy used a treadmill motor to run what looked like the same lathe. I like the variable speed but I was struck at how much vibration there was. That could be because he hadn't bolted anything down or the bench wasn't heavy enough, but perhaps it was the ways are too light for this use. I know the old guy who owned all this stuff before me used it frequently to spin lighter projects, so I know it works. But I'd like a lot less vibration, so I'm thinking maybe I should make heavier ways. But maybe not. So I'm going to brave the shark-infested waters of old lathe rehab to get opinions from you all. I'll try to get some pictures to show you what I mean.
  13. Heh. I never asked about the spelling. He did talk like he forgot vowels existed, though, so you're probably right. So, TP, what kind of braid for the beard? I find beardbraids...disturbing. And not in a good way. Maybe you could plait it like Yeoman Rand's hair on Star Trek---The Original Series.
  14. As my late father-born-and-raised-in-Arkansas-in-law used to say, "That feller's got summer teeth---summer in and summer out."
  15. Ah, I see. And then TP spends time contouring the cheekbones to achieve a natural, smooth definition. That clarifies things. I do wonder what TP uses for eyeshadow---I bet he goes for the smoky-eye-look by getting too close to a fire he may or may not have started. I'm not saying TP is an arsonist, though my hunch is that he is often arson adjacent.
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