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I Forge Iron


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About SmithingWitch

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    North Carolina
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    Smithing, gardening, poetry, sewing, weaving, collecting and restoring antiques

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  1. i can get a roll of carbon fiber reinforced nylon filament for around $50 usd and would maybe use 1/3rd of that volume for the gear. as long as youre not using anything that would eat nylon as a lubricant I dont see that as being an issue, and likewise doubt it would be capable of noticeable wear to the worm drive which is the only other part this gear interacts with aside from the shaft its mounted on. Ive repaired sewing machines as a hobby for years and have seen numerous cases of a nylon gear contacting a worm drive similarly to the arrangement in this blower and short of some freak cases of extenuating circumstance the steel gear shows no visible signs of wear. the upside of nylon is its got a little flex in it so it would move out of the way rather than cut into the other parts That said, if anyone has a working bronze gear from an otherwise broken machine they want to be rid of, by all means let me know as that by far would be the easiest option but would still like to try going with a printed one just because if it works it would mean a lot more than just my machine being fixed.
  2. Hi folks! about a year ago i posted about a recently acquired champion 400 blower i got thats got all the parts in great shape...minus the bronze gear which has been worn so hard the teeth are like razor blades. At the time there wasn't much i could do as the gear was well and truly stuck to the shaft and i couldn't get it out of the housing to try and do anything to it and there it stayed as I was living in las vegas and the blower was on my parents farm in North Carolina. Ive since moved back east and due to the current state of the world have had plenty of time to work on my projects backlog, and finally through soaking in cleaning vinegar, heating the xxxxxxxx out of it, and liberal applications of ATFcitone and a bit of nervous tapping ive managed to get the little cuss out. I was told earlier by a local older machinist theres not anything that could be done on his equipment given the helical nature of the teeth of this gear, which leaves me with two options short of finding another parts blower with a good gear, which given the aforementioned state of the world it doesn't seem like many swap meets etc are coming in the near future. One option is model the gear or the necessary characteristics of it, and have it CNC cut out of bronze. this will likely be more of a hassle and more expensive but may make a longer lasting gear in general. Option two, and one i think has potential from a diy sense that can be done in-house, is again model the gear but instead of sending it off to be CNC'ed, print it on a 3d printer using a fiber reinforced filament and 100% infill. while i cant see it lasting quite as long as a bronze gear, other blowers have gears of phenolic/micarta materials that continue to run well, and there are videos of 3d printed gears replacing metal ones on machines such as lathes and even engines, when printed using the right filament. While it wouldn't be as strong as bronze, once the code for the gear was created all it would take would be to hit a couple buttons and wait a day for a new one to print for a very low cost in materials, so a new one could easily be made when the old begins to wear out, and be printed by anyone with a suitable 3d printer. As a side benefit it would be much quieter running using a reinforced plastic gear vs an all metal drive, and the part I really like: If made, the file code for the gear could be made available to others with a broken or worn bronze gear as thats whats keeping many of these 400's out of commission, short of ones folks have tested gravity with and shattered the casing etc. Heres the issue though. My gear basically has just enough tooth to tell it isn't a smooth wheel, and as i've never done this sort of thing before I really don't trust myself to pull accurate measurements off of mine. with the proper measurements i could plug it into a simple program and create the tooth profile then just fiddle around to make it dimensionally the right size on the shank etc. Does anyone who has a champ 400 with a non-torn up bronze gear happen to know these measurements or know how to get them/would be able to get them off their gear? The measurements Id need are: Pitch Diameter Diametrical Pitch Pitch Angle as it is i count 86 teeth but if feel free to correct my math as i can restore things extremely well but when it comes to fabricating of this nature i'm a total novice and am basically operating under the assumption i'm doing something wrong unless told otherwise. If anyone could help me with this dilemma id be extremely grateful and I truly think it'd be a boon not just for myself but for others looking to maybe save one of these machines from the junkyard. (And before anyone asks why not get another blower, i've got a lot of very good memories using a champion 400, this one i own was a very good price despite the gear and i'm maybe a little overly emotionally invested at this point, but I absolutely prefer using a manual blower to an electric because it gives a tactile feedback to the fire much more than flipping a switch ever could)
  3. ironically as soon as i mention a left handed model someone posts a thread about one, lol. The blades turn either way but the handle protrudes from the opposite side of the gearbox to be cranked with the right hand
  4. This is odd to see a thread like this as i had just mentioned a left handed 400 in my thread last night. The shaft can be swapped around and unless requested otherwise would typically be shipped right handed and im not sure if left handed blowers were a different casting or just had the shaft turned around as you can easily do that. The reason I wonder if it was a different dedicated casting was the right handed models have an extra standoff where the shaft protrudes for the handle to be able to clear the other bearing caps, but if it turns just fine regardless I may reassemble mine left handed
  5. Unfortunately its on its last tip-toe and the edges of the gear are thin sharp and feathery, but i have a tiger blower in good shape to work until i either find a donor gear/gearbox or can figure how to fix this one. Fingers crossed i can find one of the fabled “left handed” gearboxes while im at it, i realky like the look and performance of the 400 blowers
  6. Mutant, mine didnt give me issues on the bearing cones except the worm drive opposite the fan end, and that was grip. Id scrape any gunk from around the junctions of the shaft and cone, heat gently so as not to mess with the hardened surfaces, and blast with penetrating oil. The heat really made a big difference in mine, now if only it would work for my bronze gear. Ive let it soak in vinegar after degreasing just to see if it might dissolve anything in there and help the next heat/oil/tapping cycle get the job done
  7. Thats the general rule of all the videos ive watched, all food videos but none actually remove that gear. HandToolRescue doesnt even remove the caps that center the shaft and set screws and thats been the other best video ive found. I suppose I could in theory cut the shaft, remove the gears using a press to punch out the remnant inside them, and remake a new shaft but I doubt id be able to effectively cut it or to temper the new one as hard as this is
  8. Actually, im a woman but happy to help! That calendar has been hanging in the kitchen for a while and by sheer luck it so happened i saw your thread. To be perfectly honest it looks like as solid a machine as you could want, at least on par with my Cannedy Otto. I see these at antique swaps sometimes and ive got half a mind to see if I can find one with the stand to really kitbash into a fancy looking blower. Thanks for sharing the pictures as I love seeing the old fashined make-dos people came up with!
  9. I dont want to necro this post but seeing this gearbox sparked my memory, this is a calendar from the sharples tubular cream separator company from about a century ago, the gearbox is a dead ringer to your blower. Definitely a neat piece, made by someone quite clever.
  10. Its been a few days, I rearranged the bearing caps to plug the worm drive holes as well as the bronze gear bearings, propped the gearbox up and flooded it over the shaft level with 50/50 acetone and ATF. Tonight I tried to try and drift the shaft out again, still to no avail. Does ANYONE have any ideas from here? Im at my wits end dealing with it, and im not sure im doing it right to begin with. I dont want to put too much force on the hardened shaft ends or the cast iron housing, and the best method ive got to actually apply force involve slipping a bit of pipe around the end of the shaft, lining up the shoulder of the shaft on the other side to the housing hole, and sticking a pice of concave brass rod over the tip of the shaft and tapping. This seems like a bad idea for several reasons and prevents me from really applying force. I feel like removing the key could really help but I dont know if its a strait key like the other gear shaft in this machine or if its a wedge, as the bronze gear side of things has the key flush with the bronze but seems to slope up as it goes in. The other side, near the small iron gear, the key emerges a couple mm as does the rest of the shaft in what appears to be a shoulder making the shaft one way. On this end however rather than a slope on the top side of the key, the edge of the key sits proud a bit. Imagine the overall shape of the toothpick of a swiss army knife. This is outside of my wheelhouse and id love to hear any advice or ideas from people here who probably know about a million ways better to do it than what ive tried
  11. Irondragon, thanks for the link, I had watched that series over the past few days to see if I could glean any advice but unfortunately he doesnt pull the bronze gear. I cant blame him, but for me leaving it in just means im left with a blower shaped object. So It looks like if this last drenching of PB wont do the trick ill be getting some transmission fluid. Im assuming im going to want a metal or solvent proof plastic container and other than that, just leave it to soak? how bad of an issue is evaporation with a 50/50 mix? Im thinking if I find a way to plug up the holes where the worm drive would go, and place the bearing caps on where the bronze gear is I could just set the gearbox in a suitable container and flood it with the fluid. Either way its a trick im going to have to look into so I appreciate the tip.
  12. Ive recently picked up a champion 400 blower thats in all around great shape except for one glaring detail- the bronze gear has worn down to ragged, razor-sharp teeth. It will turn but the amount of play and the amount of metal remaining on the teeth is alarming and makes me think its on its last legs. Ive been able to disassemble everything else (despite the several pounds of hardened dust in the fan case) but the shaft for the bronze gear is eluding me. The cast iron gear's shaft came out easily with a couple taps but seeing as how the gearbox is thin cast iron and the shaft ends are HIGHLY hardened, im wary about both hitting it with too great a force and of heating it up too hot lest I ruin the shaft. Ive read one side of the shaft may have a shoulder and examining mine, there seems to be one on the side where the small transfer gear is. This gear lost its last leg a mile ago but ive got a lot peronally put into this blower (less financially and more sentimentally) and would really like to get it up and running again provided a local machinist can make a replacement OR I can 3d print and then cast one. Blacksmithing items at a decent price are in relatively short supply near me and finding a donor machine locally is pretty far fetched, though if anyone has a parts machine with a good bronze gear please let me know. So far the shaft has defied all attempts at removal and several days of gentle heating and flooding with penetrating oil. I dont want to damage anything further so the only idea I can think of is maybe stick the gearbox in a bucket of kerosene for a week or so and forget about it, unless anyone has any ideas? Ive been working on old machines since I was little with an old sewing machine but ive never had to remove a gear quite so finicky, and none of the other 400 threads ive read talk about removing the bronze gear. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
  13. Hi all, Ive lurked and read threads here for a while when dealing with my equipment and decided to finally make an account and participate. Im 24 years old and have been smithing off and on since age 13, and was lucky enough to have been given a very serviceable anvil shortly out of the gate. Since then Ive been collecting old tools (antique sewing machines are a specialty but thats lead to me picking up more and more smithing tools) and currently Im looking into getting a small building to officially set up a shop in. Im still pretty new and sort of stick out as a girl in this sort of trade but Ive got a passion for learning and keeping not only the craft but the tools used in it years ago alive, and I hope to be able to learn and contribute something decent fairly soon. -Emily
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