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I Forge Iron


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    Ada, OK
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    Working at the School of Hard Knocks.
    Bringing Old Traditions to Life

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  1. Thank you sirs for the information and corrections. Going to break these puppies down for a good clean and refinish.
  2. Made some purchases today. Gentleman was a horse roper who had a barn full of interesting items and liked to buy and sell odd items. I took the advise from the forum and explained that I am a starter blacksmith and what I was in the market for. He took me to the reaches of the barn and showed me this beauty, Motion was smooth, rust and dirt on surface, said he bought it from an old boy and was asking what he got it for. $85. Noted when I got it home the Iron City star. Reasearch led me to understand a Philly made item? Would love any information you well read gentleman could bestow. Also found this strange beauty looking through his shelves: Looks to be a bench grinder/ sharpener. The shape gave me pause. Its built up in the middle. Not sure, maybe a scythe sickle sharpener? Thought for $35 not a bad purchase. So made a good contact, exchanged information and he was interested in the younger generation pursuing an "old-school" profession.
  3. It's been tweaked and moved but here is my basic mower deck coal forge. Replaced the hair dryer with a hand crank blower, works like a champ.
  4. So finally got round to messing with it again. The balls in the bearings were a little on the rough side. So I followed up on a hunch and it paid off. The ball bearings in the blower are just about the size of a traditional BB. After I seated the cup and used some bar and chain oil to lubricate, the blower gives a turn and a half from full blow. Thanks all for the helpful tips. Now to find a way to revamp the pedestal.
  5. Not a bath per-se. Put about a half pint or so. Will double check fan when I get home.
  6. Turns easy enough to my amateur arm. I recorded this video to see if anyone with a better ear could hear something I couldn't. Using Automatic Transmission Fluid for the lube. I made sure the fan was off the shroud wall.
  7. Here's the finished pictures. Still thinking about the pole. Trying to convince my self to paint it instead of just wiring it off and clear coating the surface. Just a few questions; 1. When I turn the handle and release, the handle travels 1/4 to 1/3 a rotation and stops. Is this typical? 2. It has a good whirring and wiring sound. But feels like the spiral gear is grinding a bit. I'm using ATF for the lubricant. Should I use/add something more viscous? Been a real treat working on this beauty. Learned a lot about working and respecting older parts, and Cast Iron n.
  8. I'll post final assembly and stand as they are finished. If it had not been in need of repair then I would have done same as you. Also mine is the same with the Champion blower and Midway gearbox, but Midway commissioned maybe?
  9. So I took the advice of the forums and let my and my wife's family know about my obsession hobby. This is the gem my wife's great uncle found at a trade sale for $25 dollars. (Was mounted to stand, not included in picture.) The seller stated that they had bought it for decoration as it was locked and wouldn't turn. So I began research. I found many results on Champion 400 blowers and gear boxes, but few on my specific model. A couple videos and 2-3 hours of research later, I felt less like a monkey with a wrench. I was a gorilla with a soft hammer! Now unfortunately my phones camera was being interesting at that time, so no in process photos were taken. But I had decided to move forward slowly and methodically. Fan shroud disassembled easily enough. The retaining nuts broke over with little force, so the fan shroud and fan were off. Then the fun part began. The lid to the gear box was off with two screws and no hassle. It was then I noted that the key pin to the crank gear had caught the housing and took a small chunk out of the gear hub. I saw no spider webbing so decided to combat that issue when I get there. I generously coated the sleeves and remaining housing bolts with thread oil and pondered the rest of the process as I waited. I reasoned that the main handle gear should slide out following the removal of the square bolt in the cog and retaining key removal. This led to the first, of remarkably few, mistakes. I mustered the courage and removed the middle sleeve from the gear box. Little twisting and yanking and it was a done deal. This emboldened me to take the same approach to the upper gear sleeve. I covered the sleeve with the cloth and started to twist on it. The vise grip gave a lurch and fell off. I noted that now the neck of the sleeve and a ~3cmx2cm chunk was missing from the housing! Oy vey. (Note that this pic is after the cleaning and placement of quik steel epoxy putty.) I abandoned this frustrating side and went to the rear. The sleeve here was flush against the housing. Et tu sleeve? Long tale short, I ended up breaking off the remainder of the key pin and extracting the gear (shaft/axle?) and gear itself. Thoroughly done with the last 1.5 hours on this gear, I turned to the precision bit. The lower bearing assembly. The research I had completed led me to understand the bearing was more than likely a cup and ball bearing. Sure enough this was the case. Now looking back, I realized that I had a stroke of luck in removing the better of the two nuts. I was able to remove the rod and all the bearings following this one nut removal. Gear shaft out. I looked to the middle gearing. I admit that this one completely and utterly stumped me. I was more weary now to hammer away on the delicate material and noted that this assembly turned freely. I decided to err on the side of caution and leave it well enough alone. Now the fun, and dirty part. I opened all the windows and turned on the box fan to blow out, and began using liberal applications of brake cleaner to clean the gunk riddled gears and parts. I used my flat head screw driver to remove the majority of the large mud dobber residue, then hit all outer surfaces with the wire wheel on the old hand drill. Once it was relatively smooth and clean, I used a brake cleaner moistened hand towel to clean the dust/ particulates. I used a small metal bowl with a magnet on the bottom to contain the screws and bearings as I doused them in the cleaner. This is where my second mistake was made. In the midst of the chaos, 3 of my BB were lost. My hunt has not borne fruit, but I plan on using my magnet yard sweeper tomorrow to hunt again! Now for the problem of the gouge in the housing. After some research, and some debate on learning to braze, I settled on the Quik Steel metal epoxy. I formed the putty into the divot, using the rod as a size guide, and so far am reasonably happy with the appearance. Whether it stand the test of work/time I will update as issues arise. I decided against leaving the traditional patina and decided to coat and seal with Rustoleum paint in red and black colors. I hung the parts from clothes hangers and applies as directed. Here are the results after a 6 hour dry. I am happy with the outcome. Unfortunately I am unable to continue on the project at this time due to necessary work activity. However this leaves me in a nice position to show off my progress and ask for input/ answers. So IFI I request your expertise on these questions, if I may be so honored. 1. If I don't find the errant BB, What is my recourse in this situation. Do I need to size and match according to any MH standard or similar? Or do I just throw BB in and call it good? 2. Following the advise of other posts, I decided on using ATF for my lubrication of choice. I live in southern Oklahoma, so the seasons are temperamental at best, and didn't want a cold snap to turn any heavier oil to honey in nature. Is there a better choice at this time. Thoughts on Lucas full synthetic? I believe Frosty mentioned its use at one point. 3.Ant tips on reassembly would be appreciated. Thanks for reading!
  10. So i picked up the decking at the metal supply heap. it was relativly intact, also had all pullies for a wonder. I used a dollar special hair dryer, for low and high setting. I will note that the hair dryers I saw will not blow cool air without keeping the trigger held down. So I zip tied it in place and carried on with my business. I will be replacing the PVC fitting you currently see with the black pipe shortly. Just needed it to check the run before throwing down the green. The ash dump will have a short length running down with a clamp down tractor exhaust flange on bottom. The rotor on the left, top and bottom, are for counter weights. need to make a better base for the forge once materials are available. Fired it up once as proof of concept. Was able to get respectable forging temps with my TS anthracite coal. now just need to add my side draft hood and we should be good to go.
  11. This first set is a pair of nippers I repurposed for 3/8 round stock. After using them a bit I think ill try to make a pair of scrolling tongs next. 3/8 is a little unwieldy. This pair I made from some tongs given to me when I first started. Initially they held 3/8, but I want to bring them up to 1/2in stock for future tong making. Any help to further my progress is appreciated. I was glad to have a day to just forge away, as these project took just about 3 or so hours. I am happy to report that with the techniques I learned here, I have little fatigue at this time, but we'll see what tomorrow brings.
  12. Found this in the metal yard while scouting and thought it was interesting. Looks like it had a purpose in its time, but I cant puzzle is out. Thought the far reaching minds of this board may have seen its like before.
  13. I was recently reading the "It followed me home" page. Now I pay more attention to the bar ditch than I ever have. Being in rural Oklahoma, never know what may turn up. Not to diminish your wonderfully written and thorough post, but I find your closing mark to be the hallmark of the post for me. "Don't make these things more complicated than you need, it's just a fire place you don't need to bend over to use."- Frosty This, I feel, will stick with me throughout my hopefully many years.
  14. Thank you all for the replies. I will certainly post more when I have more progress. On the scent of appliance frame that may suit better for a stand. Will research this paint today and see. Have a lot left over from getting a metal roof on the house. I know it was a 40 year paint. anyone dealt with removing it by chance?
  15. So finally stopped messing around and got my coal forge setup. This is the basic design. I used my old brake rotors to create a dead air space between the non fire bricks. All black pipe was used in the construction, except where PVC is noted. Still working on a baffle system for the top vent hole, but figured it would work for now. The grate is the end of an long lost hand meat grinder. Was lost in the move but this little guy stuck around. More for the cause I suppose. I though for a little bit about sealing up the gaps, but decided to leave them for now. Would like expert advice on this if at all possible. Have a cheap mig welder, ~$90, with low and high settings. No gas, just flux core wire. Few tacs and I felt ready to go. For the underside I placed a number 10 can filled with ~6in on water under the open ash dump. Plan on setting up a full dump system in the future. The coal I'm using came from a ebay purchase. 25lbs for $25, Shudder. I now can get anthracite from Tractor Supply for $0.15/ lbs. I hesitantly call this Nut sized coal? Mini candy bar for reference. Blower source is a leaf blower. I find out later that this may be too much for this, but I adjust the best I can. I start a small fire according to information found here. Get some coals, build up and pile and start the blower. Initially there is a lot of smoke, which I knew to expect, from the new coal. It gradually subsided, however I notice that the whole forge needed to get smoke off, took about 20 min all told. No one called the fire department so all to the good. I shortly noted a small flaw in my forge placement. The exposed beams in the background, while not getting hot, did cause me concern. I took the precaution and placed a long piece of metal on the wall. I furthermore placed a piece on the top, attempting to make a temporary hood, until a better solution could be made. I ran the forge for another 30 min or so. Noted good white heat in the heart, and took off the air to let the forge die down. I then, after all color had disapeared, turned the pot onto a steel bottom of a air conditioner and poured water over the coal. Just want to minimize any chance of a problem. Things I need to do and questions. 1. Make an adequate vent system 2. Make pan to fit over forge for holding additional coal/ work. 3. Find more appropriate source of air to feed forge. Questions: 1. I have a metal pan from a disassembled air conditioner. Its decent weight and I want to use as my pan, but i'm concerned about possible galvanized steel. Have not preformed a magnet test, but did take off a layer of paint and left outside to see if it would rust. If so, ill use it as my pan for the top of forge. I welcome any questions or comments. You guys are a font of info and I would be forever grateful.
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