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I Forge Iron

Swage Block Stand


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It's been awhile since I've posted anything, been busy but lurking in the shadows. This is a swage block stand I made the other day to replace the stump I was using. Made out of 1.5x1.5x0.25 angle iron, the pipe was 3/8 thick wall, do not know schedule, base plate 0.5" welded to an old steel wheel that was laying out in the dump. This design is based off the Davis' design at the Lazyass Forge. I made some changes so that no matter what side the swage block sat on, the hammering side would be at the same height for ergonomics. The weight and proper height made a big difference in the usefullness of the block. The swage block I have, but not in photos, is the Saltfork Craftsmen. The stand weighs 110# and the swage block weighs 65#. The photos are sideways, sorry, maybe Glenn can fix them

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Looks good. Here's mine, four 8"x8"x30" white oak timbers glued and bolted together and cut and routed so the block can be used in any position. Also pictured is the shop dog, Wayland, a Chessie so his head is hard enough to form sheet metal over. post-6738-12698026147836_thumb.jpg

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I may be wrong there Clinton,but I think that big groove down the center of that wood is so he can flip the block on to it`s side and have any edge he wants pointed up.
Then again,it could just be a place to hide dog treats. :D

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I have one similar to Creek's except there is no wheel for a base. The angle legs go all the way down. The block can be placede with any side or edge up. It is a little awkward to handle the 65# block though in some of those positions. I don't use it much.

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Nice job on the stand Creek! Post some shots of the block in it when you start using the stand and let us know how it does for you.
When I was smithing at Ft Vancouver we had a stand similar to Judson's - A wooden beam buried in the dirt floor of the shop but the slot was a tad shallower to make it easy to change it's orientation.

Currently I just set mine on a pedestal turntable that has a 1/2" steel plate for a top. It works well for me because most of my work is small scale so no heavy hitting occurs. I can just set it upright on whatever edge is needed or laying flat to do sinking work for hammered vessels.

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Bob has it right, I should have explained better. The block can be placed flat or on edge, any position you want, and the working surface will be at the same elevation as my anvil. Thus the slot thru the center of the stand, it lets you stand up the 14" dimension of the block and still have it at a good working hight.

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Here's a couple of photos with the swage black in it. I like the way it holds the block in place at the say height no matter what side it sits on. I worked with it for about 9 hours yesterday and did not have any problems it, what's nice is that you can grab the block from "just" about anywhere and get a good stable hold on it. I can tell a good difference in having steel under the block instead of wood. That could just be me justifying it to myself for building it out of steel but I do feel more stable! Thanks for all the input.

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks everyone for all your comments! Pat, no matter how much air I put in it it just doesn't get any easier to move around and there's plenty of hot air around my shop! Maybe I should use helium! But seriously I put it on the wheel so that it would be easier to move around and to put extra weight down at the base, plus I have a bunch of old wheels layin around so the cost was cut to a lot less. Thanks again everyone! I you would like a drawing and some formulas go to Saltfork Craftsmen site for the Davis' drawings, they deserve all the credit for spelling it out for me and making it simple!

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  • 5 months later...

Very nice, creek. You should find the block a lot more useful now it has a stand. Looks like you did a lot of work to finish that SFC block. I had one but it had the parting line down the middle which meant a lot of grinding. I was too lazy so I sold it! :)

When I built my stand, I decided against that face and edge design. I dont have much space for such a wide stand. So I built it to use the edges which is what I mostly use. If I need the face, I wrassle it onto a table.

T Rex Included For Scale

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  • 4 weeks later...

This has all spurred me on. I must make a stand for mine. I have a block from www.incandescent-iron.com They look a bit like the salt fork blocks but are cast in steel. They are also about 65 pounds. So I don't know- stay with the stump, use some big timber or fabricate one? Of course one option here is make one in lighter wood and just get it cast.

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