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Square Peg - Round Hole


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Okay I have this block of cold roll steel 3"x4.5"x21" aprox 70 lbs. It was my first "Anvil", but now I want to put it back into commission as a striking anvil. So I drilled a 1" hole in it yesterday for a hardy hole and am looking for suggestions on how to make it square.

I've seen the video on making a swage block using a piece of 1" plate, but I think having to square up a hole in a 3" thick piece presents its own problems. I've thought of maybe a hacksaw and trying to cut the corners, but I think this may work better in theory, than practice. I've also wondered about destroying a good wood chisel to see if that would work.

Any and all Ideas would be greatly appreciated.

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Diamond point chisel (a type of cold chisel)
narrow, reground cold chisel, so it looks sorta like a wood chisel with the cutting edge on one side instead of the middle

I bet you can get it cleaned out square from both sides in a couple hours.

You could also make a 1 inch square drift, heat up the whole "heel" and drift it square.

Phil

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Diamond point chisel (a type of cold chisel)
narrow, reground cold chisel, so it looks sorta like a wood chisel with the cutting edge on one side instead of the middle

I bet you can get it cleaned out square from both sides in a couple hours.

You could also make a 1 inch square drift, heat up the whole "heel" and drift it square.

Phil


FYI They're called "scarfing" chisels generally for removing weld beads but are fine for squaring up holes and similar.

Another method is to use a sabre saw or sawzall and saw the hole square. Of course a file will work and really REALLY strengthen your elbow grease.

Frosty The Lucky.
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Thanks for all the replies. I actually though about using my sawsall but seriously doubted my ability to keep firm control of the far end of the blade. I kinda like Phil's Idea about heating it up and running it through with a square drift. If I could get it close to shape and size I wouldn't actually be displacing much metal. Will also try the chisel as I have one already.

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I believe Mark Aspery has a video on you tube or his site in which he uses a chisel (cape chisel) to square a hole. He is so good, it looks doable for a mere mortal.


I did it, my skills are chopped liver compared to many around here..
Phil

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The one inch round was already drilled before I started this tread so I think I'm beyond being able to drill the corners. I tried the chisel method and am having some success, but with a 3" thick piece of steel its obviously slow going. This I don't mind as it is forward progress - I put about an hour into it today and am happy with the results thus far.

In the end if I end up with a fairly square hole that takes the same hardy tools as my anvil I'll be happy!

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I think I'm going to be making a 1" square drift. Brian's striking anvil is what I was picturing when I set out to make this. I don't mind hammering the heck out of a chisel, but I don't mind heating up the whole thing and drifting it either.

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  • 1 month later...

Yeah...and that is about 1/10 lb. Were talking about 60 pounds or so...and 3 in thick!

Also...increasing the base hole size from 3/4 to 7/8 in diameter. I am looking forward to seeing this operation.

Now I am wondering what kind of tongs will be used.

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David I'm glad your filming the drifting of the hardy hole. I have got my drift made and 3/4" hole drilled and am waiting untill I have some help available. It will be good to see what I have waiting for me. Hopefully you get it posted before I give it a go. Thanks in advance for the pics/ film.

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Brian David and I had a blast this afternoon putting a square drift through a round hole. I tried to get as many pics as I could and David took some as well, he will post his soon. As long as the heat is right and you have a nice drift that can be hit with a striking hammer it is amazing how well this process works. I could imagine that this could be a nightmare if you tried to do it without enough heat and if you were trying to drive the drift with a 2 or 3 pound hammer. It went smooth as glass doing it with Brian. Heres the pics,

https://picasaweb.google.com/LDWynn/SquarePegRoundHole?authuser=0&feat=directlink

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There is no reason for me to add any pictures Lyle. Your photos were quite exemplifying.

Here is the story though. The fire was started at 12:30 with 50 pounds of coke. A fan driven furnace with a single air shaft was used outside in the shade. Timing was critical to be completed prior to the sun emerging the tree line. The pics and the thermal scan tell a portion of the story while heating.

To maneuver the heavy anvil around two pieces of rod material were welded to opposing ends. The anvil was turned more and more frequently as the heat was absorbed. Remember this is outside so lighting can deminish your senses for the proper heat. Brian was right on spot for the heat.

His drift was too short to make a straight through pass so he had indented the hole prior to heating to give the necessary index for the drift. The material was 3 inches thick. Upon heatying it was carried directly into the shop and placed in coordination with another anvil so the drift could pass properly.

Soon the large beater was whacking away...on one side approach then the other. Cooling the drift occured frequently. The drift was 1" square of some tool steel.

Brian chose a re-heat just in case things may need it. The next thing you realized was the drift was bottomed out and ready to be finished.
Then another cooling, and a few blows with the flatter,....insert the drift again and slowly drive the instrument through the hole as the chunk cooled. No it did not seize. It made a polishing exit as it was finished.

Things to look for: Do not use too large of drilled hole or the drilled portion will show its ugly face as a swelled up semi-circle in the proceedure. Use a good quality drift. Make sure your radii are proper for the finished product. Plenty of heat but not burned. A good surface to beat through. A good striker that is timely.

Time to finish the project? 2 hours matches in the fire to finish for a cool one and about 15 pounds of coke

Thanks Brian and Lyle for showing me that this was a project that could be accomplished by most any of us...if we try.

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:) sure thing Lyle, I've made 4 bracelets one ring and I am working on another set of dies for the powerhammer since you guys left!

I learned a lot from you and Brian. hope to see you again soon.

(sorry if i hijacked the topic of the thread)

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If you already have a 1" round hole, can you drill it a bit bigger? If you can then you can drop the appropriate sized 3/4 inch drive socket into the hole and weld it in place, then you then have a square 3/4 in hardy hole. If you have access to even larger drill bits, you can use a 1" drive socket to get a 1" hardy hole.

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