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I Forge Iron


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Everything posted by j.w.s.

  1. Looks good Gav, I like the use of brass for the ways, almost went that way but I have such a difficult time using brass in the shop for anything other than knife fittings. On the build I just did (bow spring hammer post), I just shimmed it on two sides using the ultra high density plastic stuff and a piece of annealed 15n20 - I figure my tup is made of A2, it’s going to be pretty darn wear resistant anyway. So far the steel on steel is working well and the plastic doesn’t appear to be wearing but it’s all lithium greased daily before I fire it up every day. Nice build, keep the picture coming
  2. Did a big change in design last night - just thought the spring set up was sloppy. Here's the new concept, and wow, what a change! The idea here was a set of springs made of 1095, just a slight bow to them and essentially the same heat treat as the main springs made of 1075. The speed is great, very little loss. -J
  3. Very possible according to some of the old timers. I was warned years ago that putting copper in the forge (or a penny) will stop your ability to ever forge weld in it again. Guess what brass is made from? Copper and Zinc - the zinc might also be a problem. Of course it could all be poppy-cock as well! Rich Hale made a post about it once. It's probably more possible that something is off-gassing, a little residual material probably invisible to the eyes. Whatever is off gassing, and it could be lots of different elements with the cordite, brass, copper, zinc, etc, could just be dirtying
  4. While doing my hammer tinkering project I had to drop in on the old machinist down the block to get him to turn a drive shaft for me from 4142. Whenever I drop in on Jake it's an experience. Stories, information, tool talk, etc. He was a machinist for Hershey for 30 years and has had his own shop now for just about as long, the old guy sure is busy - I know my phone doesn't ring that often! Inevitably while he's punching numbers into the old black and white VGA CRT attached to one of his lathes or mills, he'll start talking and asking questions. He asked me about quenching and I explained my p
  5. I'd braze it with nickel silver, that melts at 1670F-ish I believe. Home Depot carries 2 in black iron and they will cut and thread for you as well, it's around $45 for 10 feet, never hurts to have the extra sitting around the shop for various other projects in the future.. I was just looking for some to make some holders for my pin stock rods that are too long for my pigeon hole shelf, could have sworn I had 4 or 5 feet, haven't tripped over it yet but this is how I'll end up with 8 feet of it lying around this summer! -J
  6. "We definitely have toilet paper rolls, but I don't actually recall seeing concrete tube formers, though I'm probably just not looking." I definitely didn't mean that in a negative way, I actually meant that your toilet paper rolls might be a little less wasteful than ours here in the states, like those fancy ones without the hard tube of cardboard in the middle.. God knows we Americans love anything we can throw in a landfill! lol And I didn't understand what the purpose was so I'll apologize for that as well. As far as improving the insulation of your refractory, or making it more porou
  7. Doesn't look too shabby, most definitely serviceable. There's probably a very caked over set screw or hole for one somewhere on that clinker breaker. I'd probably give it a quick sandblast to see if it could be revealed, but you might have some luck with scrubbing it down with some oil and a wire brush.The way it moves, I'd probably be set on eventually replacing that rod, customizing it for the table etc, then while you have it taken apart, you can clean up the other parts. Who knows what it might reveal? As far as an air gate, go to a home improvement store, you might get lucky and find an a
  8. Had about 30 minutes to run down to the shop today and shoot a quick video. It's not perfect, but my 5 year old did her best to help with the creative processing in post. I'm actually shocked at how well she follows a final cut pro timeline! Now that I've gotten it all battened down, I've got a buddy coming over on Thursday to help stress test the hammer, obviously we'll christen it with some Irish whiskey before we begin for good luck. -J
  9. I have a Johnson 900ss which is a larger volume than what you're looking at, I can do a 16lb crucible no problem. It runs at 240,000 Btu's - You've got a 20lb propane bottle, you'll need at least 2" of refractory, preferably 2.5"-3" for efficiency. Even at 2", that's going to leave you just 8" x about 6" (been a while since I measured a tank) for an inside chamber, it needs air flow around the crucible plus enough wiggle room to grab the crucible with tongs.. Yeah, a camp stove isn't going to cook this job, you'd be lucky to bake a potato in it, maybe melt lead. I'd want a minimum 40,000 Btu's
  10. Ted, I've seen your hammer in operation before (yeah, I'm at least one of your 51 views) - I know you've got your own reasons for converting so I won't ask the why question but I will say that your original cam design seemed to work pretty well. I've never been a fan of the Rusty style hammers just because of their foot print in the shop, but you did a nice job on it. Could have doubled the weight of the build and braced it up a bit more to stop some of the play though from what I remember on one of your earlier videos. Did you take one or two down, I thought there were a few more earlier vers
  11. Around here there's quite a few electric motor shops, with all the farms it makes sense but even they are dwindling as places like tractor supply sell farm duty motors relatively cheap vs having to drop it off and wait for the repair. Personally I'd do the "shake test" - shake it and listen for something loose, the "spin test" - turn the shaft by hand and feel for it to grab at a certain point, and lastly the "oh, what the heck test" - unplug it, disconnect the capacitor(s), grab a beer, a sheet of paper for making notes, pop out the 4 long screws that probably hold it all together and careful
  12. I know you're in high school but you're going to have to come to a few real world choices and understandings. As Steve said, mystery steel is always a mystery. To elaborate: I have a company that makes X widget and we've been using steel E for a typical production run, although when we first started, we did some in A, B, C and D (and they all made it out to customers) until we settled on E for our application. Then one day we found a one time super deal from a supplier on steel F, definitely not the same as E but we can make it perform the same way in widget X's application because our widget
  13. I personally wouldn't put plastic anywhere near it just because of heat issues and the fact that the air and fuel mix pre-plenum. All of the ribbon burners I've made have used square tubing for the plenums, but bending a box could probably be the easier way to go about it if you have the tools for it. Everyone I've made has been a blower on a reostat to black iron pipe, then a 45 degree elbow with the propane injection nozzle aimed down towards the plenum in the direction of air flow. From there I have done them with and without baffles inside the plenum. I seem to recall many years ago a talk
  14. Yes Matt, that would be my video. I've actually got a follow-up in the works. It's been rather popular on youtube in the 5 years since I made it. Whenever I get that illusive "free" time and when in-person local shopping isn't a major hassle I'll revisit it with an updated version! -J
  15. It probably wouldn't hurt like you said, but it probably won't do too much over the long term either. The volume of the plenum and the thickness of the refractory orifice would be where I would look if it's getting too hot in the first place. While the ITC may do something initially, it's still part of the burner situated very close to the firing chamber, by nature it's going to get a fair share of residual heat. When I did my old bottom blast ribbon burner a few years back I cast the ribbon at 3.6250" thick with Vesuvius 3000F refractory cement and I'd like to say the plenum itself was anothe
  16. I made one more revision to the hammer last night before leaving the shop. I needed to address something that has been nagging at me, adding a second layer/laminate of springs. I don't notice any change in overall performance but I do feel better in the event of a failure of the primary tines. Again I chose to use 1075, shaping it very close to the form of the primary and used the exact same hardening and tempering procedures - I don't think I need any more stiffness in the overall spring or the upward travel I'd probably get from it. I just wanted an added safeguard in case the primary fails.
  17. A quick video I shot with the new combo dies today with a little slow-motion so I could analyze the motion of the springs. The stock being forged is 1.25"x0.5". I don't think the results are too shabby for what is essentially a 35lb junk yard hammer. -J
  18. Here's the combination dies I whipped up today, I later trimmed them down because I know that I don't get along very well with sharp 90 degree angles when I walk by things in the shop and also the foot switch that powers everything. -J
  19. If you have faith in your heat treating abilities its not a huge deal, you don't want to however get 150k cycles in only to have a spring snap from repetitive stress! I made mine from 1075/80 from Admiral, only because I've got a few hundred lbs sitting around and had a problem to solve - the tempering was a bit tricky as far as being more precise. I quenched from 1525F after a 10 minute soak, tempered for an hour at 700F, naturally cooled to room temp, then a second cycle at 800F for half an hour. I'm obviously caring more about the overall modulus of elasticity over hardness at this point. I
  20. I would say 5"+/-, my distance to center from the offset arm is 2.5" and I know there's some "whipping" (for lack of a technical term) going on there as well, just to be safe. I had considered a leather strap like on some of the Japanese style hammers but opted for 3/4" threaded rod for an easier adjustment of the stroke throw. -J
  21. Just a cushion to limit upward travel. It doesn't happen often, but it keeps the hammer in a consistent cycle at high speeds. While it'd be cool to add force to the downward stroke, physics just doesn't allow that. It takes energy to stop the initial travel and any gain would be completely lost plus the addition of the resisting force to compress the spring in the first place. Technically, it actually takes away from the potential performance of the hammer but at the same time makes the performance consistent. It's a fair tradeoff in my books. -J
  22. So this adjustable spring mechanism was the solution to my stalling problem and I'm happy to say it works! I've got to pick up a 0.75" shaft collar in the morning to keep the tup spring from drifting out on the offset shaft, other than that she's running fine. I did a few minor adjustments today which I knew I would but other than that, it was just some simple fabrication. Once I get the shaft collar in place I can trim some things down and tidy up the entire project. I've got a set of combination dies in the works as well - I''ve never been a huge fan of them, but I'm less of a fan of changin
  23. Not much else to do right now Thomas, might as well have a go at it, right? -J
  24. I think it's been a few years since I've been active on here. I've been lurking, mind you, just haven't been signing on or offering my 2 cents. Hope everyone is enjoying their lockdown! So here's a little fun project I decided to throw together since I haven't been able to teach classes here at the forge for the past few months. Firstly, it's picture heavy. Second, it's not my first rodeo with building a hammer. In the past I've built Kinyon style hammers, this is my first mechanical hammer build though. Third, you're right, I could have just bought the plans from Clay Spenser instead of wast
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