Alan Evans

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About Alan Evans

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    Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK

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  1. When I said "do not work in the dark" I meant it metaphorically...but as Thomas rightly points out, it is true literally as well! Alan
  2. If you do not have an electronic mask/helmet you need to practice the" mig nod". Pivot the helmet up. Set up the workpiece, put the torch in place, holding it with both hands as described above, do a dry run, go back to the start point and nod the mask down into place. The golden rule of any handwork, you must be in a position to see/hear/feel what the tool is doing in order to be in control of it...forging with a hand hammer is look at the marks the hammer is making on the workpiece and not at the hammer...that way if it is hitting too hard on the left you can adjust the swing in the quarter of a second before the next strike. In this instance contort yourself in order to be able to look at the arc and the weld bead to see what it is not be obscuring it with the back of the torch not work in the dark! If you do not have an electronic mask...treat yourself. They are so inexpensive these days. I have the Swedish Speedglass, which has now been taken over by 3M. My first one was well over £300 twenty five years can get serviceable ones for around £30 now. Alan
  3. @ Bobasurus and Stockmaker...Provided you keep the work piece hot, mild steel tools do fine for most things...even when forging tool steels and stainless...and are safe. Most of my power hammer tools...swages fullers and taper blocks are mild steel...some of the fullers are from Progen but they are left normalised. The mild steel ones stand up fine, are easy to make and repair if they wear. Punches, I oil quench Progen and blue temper it. I would rather any tool bend than break, even if it means I have to dress it true every now and then. Springs for spring tools are all from mild steel flats, wide to maintain alignment and thin to be flexible without work do not need them to do anything other than maintain the top tool in position. they do not need to spring up or down. The workpiece holds them up and the hammer or press brings them down. @ Stockmaker Your problem with alignment can be easily over come by welding the blocks after bending the spring...I usually butt weld the ends of the spring to the end of the tool blocks rather than lapping them over the top and bottom, so that I am striking the tool rather than the spring. The other way of making swages (especially when you have access to power hammer or press) is to forge them...this is very fast and automatically provides you with a soft lead-in which means you do not have to grind or sand the sharp edges off as you do with a drilled hole. No nips or cold shuts along the length of your tenons with out trying! Alignment is taken care of also obviously... plain blocks are welded to the spring and heated, the appropriate rod is held between and rotated whilst the blocks are driven together. The welding problems you both seem to be having appear to be that you are not able to actually see where the weld metal is being deposited. The fillet is going to one side of the joint and you are not correcting it. With the mig try using both hands to control the torch...right handed, use your right hand to operate the trigger and your left to steady the torch with your little finger resting on the bench or on a block...obviously opposite if left handed. Make sure that you start with the torch to your right and are pushing the torch nozzle towards that you can see up the end of the nozzle and that the shroud does not obscure your view of the weld pool. If the weld requires you to drag the torch...again drag it away from you but still with the nozzle toward you can see what the weld pool is doing. I usually do a dry run to make sure I am in a position to see the weld pool for the entire length of the is so easy to be caught out by bringing the torch across in front of you and so lose sight of the weld pool part way along the weld. You might find it an advantage to tack weld the assembly and then to prop it up so that the joint is vertically below the torch...if the torch was distributing mayonnaise it would flow into the joint Vee with a horizontal top. i.e. let gravity help. Alan
  4. Nope! Use whatever you need or whatever you have to hand to get the job done. The tool is not the important thing...the piece at the end of the process is. Alan
  5. If you are having glasses made it doesn't cost much different to have them in safety frames...probably cheaper than some designer frames. I thought optics were relatively cheap with excellent service in the USA. Much less costly than over here. My varifocal prescription safety glasses were £150 plus a second pair at £75 three years ago...due another set now. A few years ago (25 actually) when we were on a sightseeing trip after an ABANA conference, Lesley's specs got knocked off by the automatic seat belt thingy of the hire car in Flagstaff...on Friday night. On Saturday morning not only were we able to find a place to make a new lens...he measured the bits of the smashed lens and reproduced the prescription in under three hours, including fitting it in the frame and charged 35 dollars...we were really impressed. When we got home she went to a high street optician to order a spare pair...they wanted over a hundred and fifty dollars equivalent and three weeks to make them! Alan
  6. That is why you should have your prescription made up into the lenses of your safety glasses. I can wear regular (non-prescription) safety glasses if I don't need to focus on anything close, strimming / brush cutting / hedge cutting and chain sawing (just) ...but making things in the forge I always need to! Alan
  7. Goggles are ghastly devices! They are just the sort of thing I meant by things being so uncomfortable you are likely to leave them off. I had my prescription made up into varifocal safety glasses when my arms got too short to focus....I always find goggles most uncomfortable, hot and sweaty....especially when forging. For a prolonged grinding session I would use a face shield over my safety glasses. If you wear glasses all the time it is really a no brainer...have them made up as safety glasses and you will never be tempted to not put them on whilst "just doing that five second job". The only time I use goggles is for oxy-acetylene welding and cutting, and then because I have not found anything better. Alan
  8. Your point is well taken and made...PPE is no good in the drawer. Always buy the best and especially the most comfortable you can...that way you will not resent wearing something uncomfortable. Before the advent of presbyopia and varifocals I bought aviator style safety glasses and wore them all day...I had them tied on with a shoe lace so they did not end up on the bench getting scratched if I did have occasion to take them off to wipe my brow. I don't know if this will make you feel better or not...I have managed to get a similar bit in my eye twice over the years. The first was whilst wearing safety glasses, but it was before the days of the side guards on safety glasses. A bit from my colleagues rotary wire brush in an Ø8" grinder hit the inside of the lens and bounced into my eye. The second bit was most bizarre I awoke in the middle of the night with it...the splinter must have got caught in hair or eye lid and awaited its moment to attack. Getting stuck in the eyeball and scratching the inside of the lid. I only ever had arc-eye once and the discomfort was pretty similar. Nauseating. If it is any consolation I had the same rusting you mentioned on both occasions, and received a similar warning, but my sight has not been affected. Alan
  9. Tell me more about chemical polishing please! I know phosphoric acid will brighten aluminium, and I have frequently had Stainless Steel electro polished, but your process is new to me. Alan
  10. I had an interesting experience with them when I was making some bearing housings...not unlike this one... I had bored the hole a fraction too tight and having pushed the bush in could not get it out...unfortunately I had not welded the housing to the backplate. I did the welding with the bush inside and was horrified to discover afterwards that the cavity in the bush was almost full of oil. Could not believe there had been so much contained in the bush which basically looked like solid metal. I thought bother! I will go and make a pot of coffee and order up a replacement the time the coffee was brewed virtually all the oil had been sucked back into the bush. Phew! Alan
  11. Thanks for your thoughts... Your last sentence is pretty much on the button. Tallow would be good and food safe for the bore hole! All omnivores here. But [if] "... you feel a lubricant is needed" is probably at the heart of my musings above. The indexable Carbide tip tools on the lathe I usually use without suds, whether mild or stainless. The guy doing the cladding on the portal frame structure last year did not use any lubricant at all and I thought that was with a HSS cutter. He claimed to have been using the one cutter on every job for a couple of years. Mind you an 8mm thick I beam flange is a lot more friendly to cutter teeth than 20mm bullhead rail web..... With the mag drill I have usually just squirted Rocol RTD or the Molyslip MWF around the cutter and rarely have used the built in reservoir system. In fact somewhere around I have the three quarter full bottle/applicator that came with the machine 25 years ago! The rails I am going to be drilling are in 7metre-ish lengths around 350kg (780lbs) and banana shaped. I was going to drill them where they lay. But if I were to turn them through 90 degrees and have the arc vertical, the flanges would contain any maybe that is the way forward. And while I am handling them I could get them further away from the bore hole. Hmmm again....more options Alan
  12. Second only to the wide circle of friends you acquire when you frequently eat raw I am told.
  13. Ah that's good. I thought that if we both took the right attitude we would come full circle.
  14. Takes one to know brought the centre into the equation. Or was that another t(r)opic?
  15. Only sinister if it was rotating anti-clockwise, and only then if in the Northern hemisphere. We must have had the paperback edition...we only ever used vinegar and newsprint for cleaning glass. Alan