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I Forge Iron

A swage block, what are your thoughts?


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Hey all

I was reluctant to post this right now because I know that many of us are feeling very sad for the loss of Grant Sarver, but I'm thinking that Grant has already supplied Old Clem and St. Dunstan a brand new pair of OCP tongs with which to pull off the devil's nose, and is most likely performing maintenance and repairs on St. Peter's gate even as we speak.

Grant was all about furthering the craft and providing those nuggets of wisdom to help us all in our smithing endeavors.
I'm pretty bummed out, but have just got off the phone with the guy and have set up a look-see tomorrow morning-early afternoon.


I post the link here because I am not all that dead-set on getting it, but realize the usefulness and a bit of a rarity of a swage block in these parts. If someone needs it more than me....so be it.
I have $300 in hand, and the guy seemed more than willing to have me come over and take a look at it. He does state that some of the edges are rough, but the block is a nice size and will likely be a very valuable addition to my tiny little smithy.

What are your opinions?

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looks good. I'd not be too concerned about the"rough edges" as I prefer some of the shaping edges a little worn down, ie. rounded, (and actually dressed some of the edges on one of my blocks as they were too sharp.)

Thing about swage blocks is, that you can get along fine without them, but once you have one you wouldn't be without it, if you know what I mean!!

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Hey all.......
You all talked me into it! Colleen especially with her comment:"Thing about swage blocks is, that you can get along fine without them, but once you have one you wouldn't be without it, if you know what I mean!!" Thanks for that! It's one of the comments that influnced the purchase the most. (Btw. Dorset is the home town of one of my favorite bands ever....Electric Wizard http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWHplp10kQM&feature=fvwrel

The much-used block is sitting in the back of my truck right now. Unfortunately I wasn't able to talk him into including the stand because he's using it for his chop saw, For the full $375 asking price I would have walked if he didn't include it but,....Oh well. There's plenty of I-beam and angle iron at my work to be had for the asking.

Given the fact that my smithy is currently a mere 8'X12', I have a mind to incorporate a large semi-truck brake drum into a base for a combination post vise and swage block stand.....any ideas for that? Perhaps this is better addressed in a separate thread.

Thanks for the advice!!!

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well, I feel my work is done here!!! hehe, I'm glad I've had an influence!! I can't watch the clip, my computer is too old and slow to watch vid, so when I've got a spare moment I'll watch it on my phone. I've never heard of this band.. but I've only lived in dorset for a year now!!

And I have to say i've still got to get a stand made for mine, I use them on the floor... I've been thinking of a post vice/slack tub/swage block stand combined or some such combination, (as I've also got a second post vice that needs a place to perch) so keep us informed of your progress there!!

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<li>You can build a real good swage block stand with some 4x 8 on end. Make cross braces that are driven in horizontally and diagonally to hold it together. Tom Clark used this method and it can be taken apart then reassembled.</li>
<li>Can you post a picture the posting has been deleted</li>

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  • 2 weeks later...

I know, I know...I've seriously been dragging butt, and procrastinating putting pics up here, but in my defense, I've had "other things" going on.
But....I was able to take some pics the other day, mess with our *blankety blank* camera today and figure out how to upload the pics properly, but ended up doing it the hard way again.

Here is the swage block, sitting in my humble shed waiting for the weather to improve, me to build a roof over the smithy or both!







The pics aren't great and in random order, so please forgive me as I am not a photographer :-)

And just for the heck of it....Here's a pic of latest acquisition.


Larry the 'Monster Metal' guy was nice enough to scoop it up for me and hold it until I can pick it up in the next few weeks.

anyways, take care everyone!


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Hey Clinton....I don't have any 4x8's, but have plenty of 2x4 and some 4x4's I got for smithy building purposes. I should have enough scrap left over to knock something together that'll work until I get some angle and I-beam.....
The stuff they had at work was thrown out, but I suspect that bringing doughnuts to one of the local welding/fab shops would result in me coming back home with more than enough scrap to work with.

Thomas...Yes, I already am quite happy with it, even though I haven't actually used it yet!
I've looked at this link at least 800 times already. http://www.swageblocks.com/swage_block_how-to.htm and can see quite clearly that it's the ultimate multi-tool of the Blacksmith's arsenal.

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