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I Forge Iron


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    GJ Colorado
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    Family, Bible, Mountains, Engineering, Wood and Metal Working

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  1. Great find, I'd chance $20 on that too.
  2. Yesterday I made up a third spring, this time out of a dull sawzall blade (0.035" thick). I did a test heat treat and temper on a scrap of this blade. I made the spring about 1/8" longer, and a little wider in the middle. I quenched in a small tin of oil, then tempered in the oven as hot as it would run. It came out a very even pale blue. And, it works! Full range of motion, great feel. I also machined the little post on the top. Now they can sit in my toolbox and keep the other dividers company. Thanks all for your remarks.
  3. Maybe I'll just try that tempering method with a scrap of metal from the same saw blade.
  4. Bill, I am thinking to take that very approach. Its the same theory as bow making (I've successfully made one 10 lb kids bow from walnut), where you taper the spring to get the same stress throughout the spring, so no one section gets overstressed causing a weak point. I've never tried tempering in the manner you described, not sure if I'll try that or just try to evenly do it with a propane torch.
  5. Will do when I've got a few minutes to make it up.
  6. I wondered about pushing the temper temperature higher. I don't know just how hot the oven will go on broil. I'm not set up for a lead bath - would you recommend tempering with a propane torch and watching the colors? I've done that before but want to keep the temperature as even as possible.
  7. That may work but would defeat the purpose of trying to figure this out myself... I have other dividers - that's not the problem either.
  8. So I heat treated the spring clip - it was a 0.030" thick piece of a broken Disston hand saw. After heat treat I tempered to a light purple, installed, and as I closed up the divider legs, SNAP! The spring broke at the middle, where the hole is. So I remade the spring, this time from a circular saw blade, about 0.070" thick that I ground and filed to about 0.055" thick. The spring was a lot stronger. After heat treat, and temper to a light purple with a little blue, SNAP! Same problem - brittle failure where the hole is. I am tempering in the oven at over 500 F, for 20 minutes or more. I am thinking the spring needs to be a little bigger in diameter, and a little wider at the drilled hole, so each piece of spring experiences less strain. The .030 felt a little thin, the .055 felt too thick. A 0.035 or 0.040 would be about right. Any other ideas on how to get it right on the third try?
  9. The Barnes lathe is powered by an old 1/4 hp motor some previous owner cobbled together. Sure beats pedaling.
  10. Recently I stopped by my favorite antique store and picked up an incomplete pair of Starrett dividers/compass. They're the 3" size I think. It appears the spring popped off and got lost for the previous owner. While I have several other pairs of dividers this seemed like a fun machining and blacksmithing challenge. First, I turned a pivot pin on my circa 1900 WF Barnes #6 lathe. The pin was made from a grade 8 bolt I found in the street. This morning I took a piece of a broken handsaw blade, cut and ground it to shape, heated it up and bent it around to fit. Now the dividers work! I still have to harden and temper the spring, but may also remake the spring out of slightly thicker material as this spring is a little soft. Finally I'll finish up the handle stub that sticks up out of the spring.
  11. A welder once told me what his favorite woodworking tool was - a match.
  12. Very nice. I once had a bunch of 2x8 lumber to jigsaw off templates, and wanted a fast way to hold it on the workbench. So I cut a cam shape into the end of a few scrap pieces of 1x4 wood. The cam just pivots on a bolt in a hole in the bench, and pushes the work up against a fence. It worked great!
  13. I forged a piece of drill rod (with thru hole like in your picture) into a newbie's timber framing chisel. The handle is drill rod too. I just forged the blade flat closing the hole in that section. It works great so far.
  14. It did actually surprise me how easy it was... in a way. One heat for the weld, a few good taps, and it sticks together. For me it was all in getting the fire figured out.
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