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I Forge Iron

Alan Evans

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    Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK

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  1. Good looking building. The best thing I have found to use air for are the tools and processes you can’t do with anything else. I plumbed my compressors in but with the advent of rechargeable drills and impact wrenches they are now only used for the plasma cutter, paint spray and blow gun, tyre inflator, needle descaler (useful for texturing ground and sanded out welds) and the shot blast cabinet. I still use them for die grinders and an angle grinder/drum sander having invested in them, but the advantage brushless motor rechargeables give of freedom from the ‘umbelical’ airline or power cable means I would not be buying any rotary motion air tools now. I can thoroughly recommend the Hydrovane type compressors if you are going to be doing any heavy duty/prolonged work and will be in close proximity to it. Alan
  2. I appreciate what you were trying to do with the static torch system. I make little stainless bottle openers and spoons from 10mm round which might benefit from your foot pedal system but most of the time the workpiece is heavier than the torch and there is much benefit from heating something larger on ceramic fibre blocks or fire bricks which reflect the heat back onto the workpiece. Heating in the open is horribly inefficient. This is my simple economiser set up on a post with the hook arm away from the bottles. hooked on the valve when using a welding nozzle
  3. I just hook the torch valve on to the economiser arm if I am using a Victor type one piece welding nozzle. The weight of the pipes keeps the torch body upright with a light nozzle. Alan
  4. May I suggest you rotate the economiser around 90˚ so that the actuator arm is way from the bottles? When the torch is alight it may be a bit too easy to direct the flame down onto the gauges and pipes when you hook it on to shut down. On mine I kept it all clear to ensure that when lighting and extinguishing it is easiest to direct the torch nozzle away from any object that might have a gas seep.... Alan
  5. HP is HP whatever the power source as far as I know. A 5 hp combustion engine motor would be the same as a 5hp electric motor. 5hp electric motor would be rated at around 3.75kW if that is what you were thinking of. KW rating is around 3/4 of the hp rating number for number. 1kW = 1.341hp 1hp = 0.7457kW FWIW my 30 tonne double acting press has a a two stage pump and is rated at 50mm(2”)/sec up and 75mm(3”) /sec down It uses a 2.25kW (3hp) motor to achieve that. It has a 150mm (6”) diameter piston Alan
  6. The speed of the stroke is determined by the volume of oil the pump can deliver at the required pressure, not by the slave cylinder. I am not sure of your 2Way / 4way cylinder description, over here that defines the type of control valve...In the UK the cylinders we call single or double acting? I have a 30 tonne double acting press (hydraulic return) which works well for punching hot metal having a stripper plate which the 15 tonne return power uses to pull the punch and drift back out. It has a two stage pump which gives you a fast approach speed with a 5 tonne push and then kicks over to a slower speed at 30 tonnes when it meets more than the 5 tonne resistance. I have a very slow 100 tonne single acting (spring return) horizontal press and a very fast and sensitive response 12 tonne single acting (spring return) press which cycles as fast as you can push the treadle. The latter being great for straightening hot bars and bowl sinking etc. Hope that helps, Alan
  7. Grand looking machines, are they running on steam or converted to air? There does not appear to be any lagging on the delivery pipes... Best bet would be to ask John Nicholson of Massey in UK. http://www.masseyforging.com/home.htm The pressure of steam or air acting on the diameter of the piston are the starting point, but only give you the same result as for a hydraulic press. Crucially the length of stroke it accelerates through will have the greatest effect on the effectiveness of the hammer. Perhaps next best bet is to look at the Massey hammer brochure which shows that the 40CWT Clear Space Air Hammer generates a blow energy of 6,400kgm Hope that helps, Alan
  8. I do most of my drawing (and writing) with a Rotring Fine nib Art Pen...lovely tool. Rotring made the Rapidograph fixed width technical drawing pens I used to use on Permatrace film and paper on the drawing board. Coincidently, I have just this day taken delivery of a new Art Pen from Amazon. My old favourite has logged up over 30 odd years of daily use and is still going strong...I remember having it in 1988 when Buck Rogers set off...I remember that year because I called Snap! to David Petersen's identical Art Pen when he and I attended one of our preliminary meetings with the Welsh Arts Council preparing for the 1989 FIFI conference! Sadly it has developed a split in the cap which means it is not so safe to chuck into my carry bag any more...it is not a dipping system like yours but can use either cartridges, or as I do, a little plunger refillable reservoir. I thoroughly recommend them if you like drawing with ink. Alan
  9. It is almost surrounded by the formerly heavily industrialised Black Country boroughs to the west of Birmingham but is reckoned to be part of Birmingham. UK
  10. Someone emailed me and said the link was broken and they were unable to download the handbook from here. Here it is again in case it is of use to anybody else. Alan Alldays Manual and specification.pdf
  11. Is there any particular reason why you are not following the recipe I posted at the start of the thread? Twice in the OP I wrote that you melt the wax then pour it into the White Spirit. You describe trying to add the thinners to the molten wax...For reasons of safety using a similar logic to always adding acid to water...I aways add the hot wax to the volatile White Spirit in order to ensure that a small amount of of the White Spirit is not heated immediately to the temperature of the wax....a small amount of hot wax is added to the cooler body of White Spirit thus the volatile thinner is warmed very gradually and kept well below its flash point. I have always poured and mixed on my own but with an assistant you could easily use a paint stirrer in an electric drill to blend smoothly. Once the initial blending is done it is perfectly possible to thin the wax further with more White Spirit at room temperature with no further heating required. I have often found the wax is too thick when it is cooled so have diluted it down with more White Spirit. A paint stirrer would help that as well. Alan Just research for wax manufacturers or suppliers. Contact the company I mentioned in the original post Poth Hille. They are in London but may well either ship to your country or have agents or colleagues there. Alternatively do a search for Museum/conservation supply businesses... Alan
  12. As someone who has worked with his hands all his life I am certainly not denigrating my fellow craftsmen. I am sorry my post has evidently come over that way. This is a thread about relative hourly rates and job costing. I was trying to make a comparison between the investment in equipment and premises of a sole trader blacksmith and that of a sole trader who worked on site...ie had no premises overhead. Electricians and plumbers were mentioned because of Kozzy's post earlier...the same comparison applies between any tradesman that can work from a tool bag and one that requires a premises and heavy equipment. The qualifications, training and experience I took as being equivalent across the range of occupations. I think Steve misread my post. I realise that some industries are more regulated and qualified to higher levels than others, There is a lot of work going on over here to bring blacksmithing, especially restoration work, into a more coded and regulated occupation. Welding is the most advanced along that route. Farriery over here is not far behind. But the Art and Craft college courses, the traditional apprenticeships and the journeyman route for the Artist Blacksmith are not without some redeeming features. They have got us this far. My post was intended as a series of questions which I hoped others could answer because of my ignorance, which Rockstar did admirably. So I repeat it was meant to prompt an informative response not an affronted one...sorry it misfired. Alan
  13. And get back to coffee first! Glad to hear it, well done! Alan
  14. It would be interesting to hear from any (jobbing/domestic) plumbers or electricians on here with a foot in both camps so to speak. I have always marvelled at how much per hour they can charge for their time. Given the minimal investment in premises and equipment those trades have...and the narrow area of knowledge required relative to that of a jobbing metalworker / blacksmith, who as often as not are equipped and capable of basic plumbing and electrical work. Maybe it is just their skill and experience which means although there is not much scope for creativity, the efficiency of their problem solving and labour means they can get a lot more done in that hour than a general handyman? So they are charging much the same as the handyman for the total job cost, but they just get it done quicker? Maybe they just charge a lot because they can. Playing to our strengths, having invested in machinery and premises, we either have to be economic through batch production or along the Art route where the singularity of the work has a premium. 25 years ago Tom Joyce and I agreed that 1500 was the minimum cost for a project we could take on economically. Dollars for him and pounds for me. Alan ps thinking about it a bit more I suppose the specialism of the trade is an equivalent to the efficiency of batch production economics...A jobbing welder with a truck and a single machine, even if charging only the same rate as me who has 5 welding machines and a building to house them, will certainly be more profitable.
  15. Could you use those in a shaper? The ones on the old machine I knew, I remember as being much heavier top to bottom (or in shaper terms front to back). I hated the machine...but Angus my fellow student loved it. I was always waiting for it to go bang...to be fair it never did. Alan
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