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About JNewman

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    Senior Member
  • Birthday 02/15/1967

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  • Location
    Hamilton, ON Canada


  • Location
    Hamilton Ontario Canada
  • Occupation
    Blacksmith, Patternmaker

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  1. The pipeline welder I know uses a Stringer type wire wheel to clean off the flux when stick welding. He always grinds the steel clean before welding. Always grinding off the mill scale before welding.
  2. A Retired industrial blacksmith I know used to make maple leaf candle sticks. He used about 3/16 plate chisel cut it out under the steam hammer. Later on he had someone torch the blanks out and he would file the edges. These days laser or waterjet makes more sense. . However Chisel cut does give a nice texture to the top edge and you end up with slight variety to the leaves which can be a good thing.
  3. I use Solidworks which I have to admit is overkill for something like this and too expensive to buy for this use but it is the one I use for the patternmaking we do here as well. I suspect a lot of the cheap or free Cad software calculates volume as well. I recently had a customer who wanted a mosaic hammer made. The dimensions he had sketched out and the weight he wanted did not gibe to me so I modeled the hammer in about 2 minutes and showed him what he wanted would weight about 8lb rather than the 2.2 he wanted. So a couple of quick changes and I had some sizes to make the hammer to.
  4. Quite often these days I do a quick 3d Cad model of a part I am trying to calculate the volume of. I can often do a quick approximation of things I am going to forge quicker than doing the math. The software gives me the volume.
  5. Before this lawsuit McDonalds discovered that if they kept there coffee extremely hot it still tasted fresh much longer so they did not have to throw away as much coffee.
  6. I don't see any real advantage to this and I have to agree with Thomas about it being more difficult to control. Have you used a treadle hammer? A treadle hammer is not a power hammer. The treadle hammer is better for certain things than most if not all power hammers but it is not a tool for drawing out stock. You will see people drawing out with a treadle hammer using top and bottom fullering tools. You can get the same effect using the corner of the anvil and the peen of your hammer. I sold my treadle hammer a few years ago because of a lack of space. I had to either get rid of my treadle hammer or my smaller power hammer, the treadle was the one to go. I have missed it a few times and may build a new one now that I have more space. If I get around to building another I will try an idea I have of using a counterweight on the back instead of a spring. The advantage of this is that at the point of impact the inertia of the counterweight will be helping the blow rather than resisting the blow. It may be a slower recovery than a spring or the snap form the counterweight may actually make it faster. I am not sure and it may take some experimentation to get the geometry right, but I think it will be more efficient.
  7. If you are willing to spend a couple hundred bucks Vanguard Steel in Mississauga has very good pricing on tool steels. For local sources of machinery steels like 1045 4140 etc. talk to local machine shops. Fab shops tend to use mild steel only and the steel yards that cater to them tend to only have mild steel. I have heard good things about Kawartha steel down in Peterborough.
  8. Because of the cores it will definitely cost more but my plan is to minimize the number of cores to keep the casting cost down by having cores make multiple holes. I don't want square holes going corner to corner because this will create weak spots. So the coreboxes for the square holes and the slots will be fairly complicated with offset parting lines. I am hoping to have the price about 20-30% more than my current 60 lb block would be if it were the same weight. But we will have to see. I am not doing the actual casting, I made the patterns and have them at different foundries depending on their capabilities and strengths. Most of my castings are done in green sand on automatic moulding machines that can make over 100 moulds an hour. The cores used for these use isocure binders which use an amine gas to cure them and need scrubbers to clean the discharge air. My floor cones are cast in a Furan sand and the trunnion blocks are cast in a sodium silicate binder sand. A number of things can be done to HELP prevent burn in. The cores or moulds can have a wash put on them, there are sands like Chromite (expensive) which as well as having a higher refractory value act as a chill. But if you get too thin in a heavy section in ferrous castings you are likely to get burn in what ever the sand is. Several years ago I made a follow board and was involved in the casting of several 5000lb iron statues . On the last one we did, the engineer wanted a steel pipe cast into the base that a steel pin was to be inserted in to prevent the casting tipping over. The id of the heavy wall tubing was around 2.5" . We supported the tubing in the mould with a pipe filled with core sand to prevent the pipe filling with metal. Unfortunately the heat of the metal of the statue base which was around 24" diameter and 14" high welded the pipe to the tube and burned in the sand. We took the statue to a machine shop where they set it up on a huge boring mill. It took about 2 days and a whole bunch of carbide inserts to bore out the pipe. In hindsight we should have allowed the pipe to fill with metal. The iron and steel could have been drilled and then bored out in an hour or 2. Not taking any of the comments as criticism and I hope I am not coming across as though I am taking it that way. My experience is primarily in the patternmaking end of things but I have spent lots of time in foundries primarily ferrous ones and I get as much feedback from foundry managers, owners, and moulders as possible. All of my experience is with sand casting but I do know that investment casting tends to be MUCH more expensive. I am not sure if a small diameter hole could be more easily investment cast. I do know most investment casting tooling to cast the wax patterns tends to be machined from aluminum which is much more expensive to make than patterns made from wood or plastics. If money were no object these days a swage block could be 3d printed in steel with infinite design freedom. But based on prices quoted to a customer for a part 3d printed in aluminum I would guess you would be close to $10,000 for a 60lb swage block with a finish similar to a cast block maybe slightly better.
  9. I thought I would post pictures of a few patterns we have built in the last few months. The first one is a loose pattern base for a piece of machinery with the corebox for it sitting inside between the 2 coreprints. The second is a larger version of the first with the 2 follow blocks to go under the coreprints laying on top wrapped up for shipping. The third is a few spindle patterns for a heritage restoration project. The center of the pink pattern is all coreprint. The final picture is the corebox to create the center detail in the center of that spindle.
  10. They will be ductile iron not steel. It is harder than Grey iron (cast iron) does not chip and can be repaired by welding. Ductile iron is more expensive than Grey iron but cast steel is often double again the cost of ductile iron. As well there are other problems with cast steel for swage blocks. Molten Steel is much less fluid than ductile iron and shrinks much more both during solidification and after. The fluidity means that you often get a better as cast surface finish with ductile over steel. The shrinkage during solidification means you need more and or larger risers on a steel casting to avoid shrinkage defects on the casting. A swage block which is is very feature dense tend not to have large flat areas to add risers I have pretty much finished the design. I have to design the coreboxes and add all the coreprints to the pattern, then make all the above. Then mount the pattern on a matchplate or cope and drag and add all the gating. I would love to add smaller holes but there are 2 problems with trying to to cast smaller holes in a chunky ferrous casting like a swage block. A core that is long enough to go though the swage block and is really thin is very delicate. It is just grains of sand glued together, larger long cores can have reinforcing steel added just like rebar in concrete . A long thin core is very likely to break either in handling, closing the mould, or when hit by flowing iron which even though liquid still weighs the same as when it is hard. As well a thin core does not have the thermal mass of a larger core so when buried in a heavy casting the sand can melt into the casting creating "burn in" This creates a messy mixture of iron and glass which can be a nightmare to try to machine as it is very hard. Unfortunately for small holes a bolster block has to be used over either a swage block or hardy hole. Fortunately smaller holes are easier to drill or in the case of square holes drift. The block will be in the 60-75lb range both to allow handling and to keep the price reasonable.
  11. Hi Rick I am still making them. I need to fix my website. In the US I sell them though a blacksmithing store. I have been working on a new one, an industrial style block with holes though it. We are pretty busy here right now so I am not sure when the new one will be ready.
  12. I saw someone demo forge welding expanded metal to plate several years ago. I believe he used the results for dragonfly wings in a sculptural piece. I was thinking it was Doug Wilson but may have been Peter Hapney. For similar type things look up the work of James Viste. If you ever go to one of his demos sit in the back row. The molten flux really flies.
  13. I have to say the pair that fits the stock I am using best. While I like v bit bolt tongs and they are a more versatile than other tongs, I do like round tongs for round stock . Round tongs do grip round stock better than v bit tongs and they are much better for flat stock than v bit. I find v bits want to twist the jaws when holding flat stock, round are much nicer holding flat.. Bolt tongs have much more versatility for holding steel that has features on the held end and holds steel well but tongs with shorter bits have more leverage and holding power. I will make or modify dedicated tongs for jobs where I am making a lot of parts the same and it helps hold the stock. Tongs that don't hold the steel well can be dangerous, Very dangerous on power hammers.
  14. One of our OABA members demoed this furnace at a meeting a few years ago. Another member who works as a machinist at a university took a sample of the output to work and did some analysis of it. Mild steel went in the carbon content of what came out was basically mild steel with huge grain structure. I think the carbon content actually went down rather than up.
  15. It would be great to hear from Phil what these balls are for? He must be making a fair number to justify the tooling. I would have thought someone would be mass producing 5" balls fairly cheaply.