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Howdy from East TEXAS!! and welcome to IFI! Just starting out and already wanting a mandrel...Ok... Check here for one of the best on the best on the market http://www.saltforkcraftsmen.org The come straight out of the casting form so you will need to use a little elbow grease to get it smooth...it has the cast cast finish. For the $200.00 you won't get a better mandrel. The antique ones normally run from $400.00 and up, I have seen them going for over $800.00 on eBay! Once again, welcome.

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I've been using the front half of a bomb casing.

It's not perfect, ... but it serves the purpose.



A, b-b-b-b-bomb casing? Reminds me of the old Bugs Bunny cartoon where he had a job in a bomb factory testing the bombs with a hammer to see if they were any good. Ting, ting, ting, BOOM!
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If you're doing relatively small work with it, you can look for anything remotely conical and steel and weld a shank on the bottom to drop in a hardie or vise. That's more like a bickern I guess, but it's a start. I found a tapered pipe reamer in a junk pile and ground the threads off it with a flap wheel. So far so good!

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Mandrel is not a specific shape so if you could help us out with what you mean; eg ring mandrel is quite different than one to use making bodkin points for crossbow bolts.

Now for relatively small stuff I found some old spud wrenches used to align holes in structural steel. Good drop forged steel with a nice taper, (I only get the old ones with a nice taper!). Then I forge the open end wrench end to fit the hardy hole of an anvil and then bend it 90 deg at the flat area behind the ex-open end wrench (as close to the taper as possible to get more room over the anvil. I also have one that's left vertical. I also have bull pins that I use as drifts.

I pick up spud wrenches whenever I find them for US$5 or less at fleamarkets, garage sales, junk stores, etc.

For truing larger rings I have the nose cone from a ballistic missile...

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A, b-b-b-b-bomb casing? Reminds me of the old Bugs Bunny cartoon where he had a job in a bomb factory testing the bombs with a hammer to see if they were any good. Ting, ting, ting, BOOM!

During the Viet Nam era, the local AMF plant ran a "bomb line", where they built bomb casings.

AMF employees carried lots of "scrap" casings home, ... and used them for all sorts of things.

The front half of the bomb casings were about 8" diameter, 2' long, and taper to a point.


Like I said, ... it's not a perfect "floor cone", ... but it works well enough, for the few times a year that I use it.


I still occasionally see them around the area, where someone has used them for some decorative purpose.
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Well yea I guess so. I just want somthin for hawks and maybe and ax to. Im gonna try a lot of things. My great great gradfather was a blacksmith and I got all his stuff, well whats left of it. My grandfather says he can show me some things that his dad taught him years and years a go. Thanks.

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There is an option of taking a truck axle and forging your own to suit yourself.

Now some folks will let on that that would be a bit beyond their skills; but you have to ask them then why are you trying to do blades without knowing the basics?

Now there are lots of reasons to buy rather than make. I buy tongs as I can find them reasonable and I can weld up a billet in the same time it would take me to do tongs and the billet is much more financially rewarding so to speak.

However I have made tongs in the past, the last pair out of Ti to use with my gasser. (but even there I found a set of Ti tongs at the last Quad-State for US$10 !)

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I saw one once that a guy made by welding pieces of pipe together I think they were 6" pieces starting at 2" and he went up to 10" pipe schedule 80 pipe, I thought it was a good concept you has steps like the step drills. An the side was not angled it was flat. one of the members of FABA gets cones made of steel turned on a lathe the smallest is 3" at the base and the largest about 8" welded a stem on one of the small ones and use it in my harder and cut one in half and welded it to a piece of pipe and made blow horn steak works real good. Here is an other choice of styles http://www.swagebloc...one_gallery.htm

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Quad-State has often had folks selling "sample cones" where a metallurgical lab has taken a sample and turned it into a cone on a lath to check for flaws in the metal. I have several of these including even a medium C alloy cone!

I also once found a large valve stem cover that was tapered so my range goes from spud wrench to sample cone to valve stem cover to missile nose cone. I also have a small bick for welding or dressing bodkin points and small socket chisels

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