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I Forge Iron

First post and first question


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Hello all,
I,ve been slowly gathering tools (125 lb Peter Wright anvil found locally for cheap), small variety of old hammers and small sledges, and of course a home made forge. So far I,ve done a lot ox experimenting, smashing, discarding and a few for keeps items. I,ve tried heat treating and cracked my first piece too, then got a little better. I,ve read, practiced, read, etc,etc. Since you need to make tools to make other tools that make other tools, I sometimes use what I have, make do and plan for making the proper tool later. I don't plan on buying tools for the moment, as i really like to try to make them myself. I'm a pencil pusher by day so I need to get some creative juices going! I presently am a terrible hobby wannabe smith, but all in all, I am slowly getting better. My second pair of tongs is looking less dreadfull then the first one I made. As a manual background, I,ve always repaired stuff myself, small engines, bicycles, plumbing, etc. So I have good manual ability but no help on anything I try that is new (family of pencil pushers!)
leading to my first question...
I made a cutting hardie that works really well but don't yet have a proper fuller, which is easier to make! So in a few minutes, in one heat, i managed to take a small 1/2" rod and put a 90 degree bend onto it. I can then place it in the hardie hole (granted it moves around) and the length of it makes it so I can hit near the middle of the anvil. It worked well for what I needed to make this weekend. My question is: can i hit a red piece of iron over the fuller in that position? The order of parts are, from bottom to top: anvil, fuller, piece of steel, hammer hitting on steel.
Might the fuller damage the anvil over time or is the red piece of steel really absorbing the full impact. I plan on making a proper fuller, however is it a general "no-no" to have a tool placed in the middle of the anvil, directly on the anvil. Is the only place to have tools sitting on your anvil at the hardie hole?
Thanks for any help.

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I don't see a problem with that, as long as the tool lays even on the anvil, with no sharp edges to possibly ding the anvil. I think a lot of smiths make tools that go over center mass of the anvil.

I have a spring fuller made to slip into my pritchel hole, that is used over the face. When not needed, it easily swivels out of the way to allow access to the face.

I purchased a multi-radius swage from yesteryearforge at Quad-State last year. It was made to clamp in a vise, but I plan on re-configuring it to fit my hardie hole, with the bulk resting over the face. I Just like that added mass under the tool, I guess.

Matter of fact, some anvils have a hardy hole near the horn, probably to take advantage of the mass of the anvil, at least some of the euro-styled one do.

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Welcome aboard Frank, glad to have ya.

No problem with your fuller so long as it's mild steel it won't damage your anvil. Generally speaking the hardy hole is there to hold bottom tools but there is no rule against placing them over the center mass of the anvil. You will get better effect from your blows with it centered. However it will be in the way for general access to the face unless you make it swivel or flip out of the way.

If you'll edit your profile to show your location it can make a big difference. IFI is represented by members from more than 50 countries and a lot of info is location specific. If folk know you're around they can inivte you to gatherings, tip you to tool deals and offer hands on help.


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Actually, it was in the pritchel hole (I wrote hardie hole since I couldn't remember what the round hole was called) and it would swivel easily and was out of mild steel. So I guess I was halfway there. Good idea for the large base plate to distribute the impact. I'll probably be making both a real hardie type fuller and a spring one. With a nice base plate that won,t move around the anvil for those times where a lot of force will be needed. That is what really moves me about this hobby, you can do what ever you can think of. No constraints if not in a hurry. Nice way to slow down.

I've edited my location as well. Thanks for all the replies.

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As an interim it's fairly easy to take a longer section of rod and bend it in two and fit the bend in the hardy hole and then bend it again to rest on the anvil with one leg of the rod parallel to and slightly above the other---so you fuller on both sides when you stick the work piece between the legs

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