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I Forge Iron

bluerooster

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  1. I started a project many years ago requiring me to fabricate hand hewn beams. Not having a proper broad ax, and other tools put the stop to it after the first one. Using a felling ax for a broad axe is not the way to go. But I now have a forge, and may try my hand at a broad axe, if it works, I'll try another beam. To all that have done something and submitted pics: Good work guys! I have done nothing in the shop today except push a broom. I did get some grass cut, and bush hogged around the barn, (it was getting kinda snakey). took apart a nail gun to order parts for repair, only to find that what I need is discontinued/unobtaineum. Can we say "built in obsolescence"? That way they sell more nailers. Been hot, and humid here. There are many things that I want to do at the forge, but at 100 degrees, and 100% humidity, it's hard for me to build a fire in the forge, unless it's for something that just absoloutly has to be done.
  2. Back to hammer control/accuracy; I make my living swinging a hammer framing houses, Barns, Stores, etc. I use a 16oz Bluegrass that I've had for 40 years. I usually drive a 16 penny nail with 2 blows after the set. I've done it in one blow, but can't do it more than a few times, but 2 licks I can do all day. That said, I guess if I had a 28oz hammer I could do it with one blow. Problem is I have yet to find a heavier framing hammer that is as well balanced as my little 16oz bluegrass. I can control my hammer, and hit what I'm aiming at accurately. A good test for accuracy is a piece of tie wire cut to the length of a 6 penny finishing nail. I can drive it with one blow after set. All that said, My go to general use smithing hammer is a 2 pound ball pien. I went through about 20 to find that one. It is well balanced, and after working the face, it is a good hammer. I have a 3 pound cross pien that works ok, but needs a little adjustment. And the 8 pound sledge is a nice one hander. I made a goofy looking cross pien and it's about useless for anything but a top tool. I do believe that hammer making is a true artform. I find a lot of folks trying to swing too much hammer, to do the same job that I can do with a smaller hammer. I firmly believe that accuracy far exceeds weight. A blow from a 30 pound hammer in the wrong spot, will move less than a blow from a 1 pound hammer in the right spot.
  3. Finally got the chance for a little forge time today. Found that the homebrew post vise works well. And made a large bottle opener. Oh, and 3.5" in the rain gauge since Sunday.
  4. We've been getting about 1/2" per day here in the southeast.
  5. Free bees. Yesterday I ran accross a machine shop from the late 1800's/early 1900's. One lathe; 20"swing, 12' bed with steady rest, and tooling, along with 1 drill press, 1 shaper. and 1 bandsaw. All overhead shaft, belt drive. All still working. I get all the drive shafts, motors, etc. for one money. All I gotta do is help him sell a boatload of Model A stuff. There is also, a LeBlond lathe, 12" swing, 8 foot bed, with taper attachement, and a vertical mill, both of 1950's 1960's vintage. I "cut my teeth" on the older equipment. And all have been well kept, and well used, but have sat idle for about 7 years. I didn't have a way to get pics, but I will in the very near future.
  6. Workmate was just to hold it for the pic. Where it's installed, it's attached to a stump, buried about 18" in the ground, and a steel plate under the leg to carry the impact forces. I'm certian I'll come up with various mods for it as I go. I've yet to use it, but it's ready for use. And I may be able to get some forge time in on Mon. But this weekend is all booked up with the honey do list.
  7. That means a lot comming from you. Thanx Frosty.
  8. Why izzit that once you get the forge fired, and the fire just where you want it, and in the middle of a project, the "boss lady" comes out to inform you that you need to make a store run? I'd just loaded it with fresh coal around the sides, and had iron in the fire. So, I banked it, opened the ash dump, and told her to keep an eye on it, because it's liable to go POP. Told her to just put out any fires started by the pop, and leave the forge alone, I'll be right back. (kinda wish I'd left the ash dump closed to re-enforce my point) Well I got back in jig time, and it went "Poot", but she said it blew it's self out, Oh, it's not out I told her, and gave the blower a crank or two, it came right back. Glad I left the iron in the fire, it was holding temp, so didn't take much to get back to forging temp.
  9. Something I learned along the way is that the screw must be able to float, lest it bind. So the holes are oblong, and nut is not attached. I used a brass bushing in the moving part, to save wear on the screw. They have a flange on them, but, if you look at the pics, you'll notice that the outer flange has full contact, while the inner flange does not. No need on the inner flange, as there is no pressure there. Actually, no need for a flange on the inner half, But I had origionally thought about not using a spring, so the screw would have to do the work of opening as well as closing. But the spring worked so well, I decided to forgo the flat for the flange on the inner bushing. But it would look better with it. Thomas brought up a point that I'd not taken into account, and that is the need for the jaws to be angled in such a manner as to allow full contact with the thicker work piece. And another point was brought up about the 90 degree bend. Very good points that I hadn't thought of. I'll grind the jaws to fit a decent profile. But the angle of the bend in the jaws I'll address when I build another, larger vise. Thank you all for your input. This has been a great project, and I'm definately going to do another one, mabe with 6" jaws, and a more suitable angle, mabe 30 degrees instead of 90 degrees. Shoot! one of these days I might become a blacksmith. (if I live long enough)
  10. Made some progress today. Still need to do a bit of grinding, and slicking up. Need to angle the jaws some, but it seems to work just fine, as far as operation goes. The handle may be a tad too long, but time will tell on that. Need to drill bolt holes in the mounting plate, and replace carriage bolts with cap screws. Last pic is 1 turn from full closed. About 5/16" open. I'll be making some major changes to the next one I build. But I figure this one should serve better than what I have now.
  11. Alcohol (methanol, ethanol etc.) has a very high octane rating. Thus slowing the burn, and making a colder flame than gasoline. (white gas is simply unleaded premium gas) You must burn almost twice as much alcohol to get the same heat value as gas, for the same amount of air. So, for an alcohol burner you must use a much larger jet.
  12. Worked on the vise project some more. Got the screw and spring temporarily installed. It works pretty smooth.
  13. I'll probably just weld it on, and cut to length. Yes it probably should have been at less of an angle. And I may change that. but I'll give it a go and see what happens. I didn't think about that at all. But a good point which will need to be addressed. The hinge plates are welded with 6011 rod, then topped with 7014. Finally got to work on it some more today, got the screw assembled, and installed temporarily, made the spring, (actually cut from a Model A spring leaf). all that's left to do is some tweaking, screw protection, fabricate the mounting plate and spring holder-on'r, and install the post. Oh, and fabricate a handle from an old lug wrench. It actually works pretty smooth.
  14. Hey, if it works, right? I got the jaws assembled, and need to add the post. Screw, and nut are ordered. should be here in a few days. 4" jaws. I've ordered a 3/4" acme thread lead screw, with 1/4" travel per turn. Not as fast as I would like, but should work fine. Oh, and mounting hardware yet to be made.
  15. Cool gator. can't wait to see it with a fire in its mouth. Got both jaws for the vise done. (well, forged anyway) Now on to the easy part. cleaning it all up, and making the rest of it, and putting it all together.
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