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I Forge Iron

What tools have you made?

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Well, I've been attending some classes at a local blacksmith shop, and I've made a few tools. I have yet to set up a workspace so in the meantime I'm gonna be doing my work out of the shop down their.
This got me to wondering what all tools other people have made and how I might improve my own?
So I guess I'll kick this one off.
Picture includes:
"Gripper" Tongs with "|X|" bit (sized 1/4")
Bolthead Tongs with "|X|" bit (sized for railroad spike...not a great grip thought)
Center/re Punch
Scrolling Wrench
Scrap "Workstand" (used it to keep the bit of the bolthead tongs down on the face so I could mark the "|X|" in it)
Soapstone Dispenser (as a size reference)

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Hardy tools, swages, top tools, bics, hot cuts, hardies, tongs (Ti for one set), scrolling tongs, twisting wrenches, forges (coal/charcoal/propane:blown and aspirated), wrenches, cooking tools (medieval through modern), knives, chisels, froes, replacement parts for vices, hammers (including armouring hammers), guillotine fullers, nail headers, hook rules, Anvils (stake and cube), punches, drifts, slitters (in S1 and H13)....hard to remember them all; done a lot of special or even 1 use tools, even sharpened a jackhammer bit for a neighbor on a holiday weekend.

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We make 95% of our tools. My dad used to make $5 a bit, sharping jack hammer bits for the utility board back in the late 70's. HE did it until it went from 5 or 6 bits a week to 25-30 bits a week, and he was building his house, raising my oldest sister, and working full time in the mines. Just didn't have the time anymore. And he said holding 1"-2" bits, up to 8 or 9 ft long, or more, got real old without a helper lol. As others have said, a blacksmith will make any tool he needs.

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Holdfasts for the woodworking bench, twisting wrench and nail header.

Took an "Art Welding" class (limited safety instruction and no testing of any of the welds, lots of "good job" support) a few years ago and went to town making smithing stuff.

Built a little gas forge out of pipe, bending fork for the hardy hole, guillotine swage tool, the twisting wrench. Best half dozen saturdays for the cost I could imagine.




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3 1/2 pairs of tongs (one is still in progress), some punches, drifts, and slitters, a spring fuller and a couple of other hardy tools. I like making tools, and using them. That's one of the most rewarding things about the hobby.

That doesn't count the couple of tools (hammers) that I've bought and then modified to suit whatever I need.

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Glenn I second that, s'kinda why I'm fishing for ideas.
Michael, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who liked the idea of a scrapmade tool. I also think a hold down sounds like an excellent tool to make now that I have an anvil.
I realized after the fact that my scroll wrench was too small...based it off of a video (using memory of the process...it'd been about a week since i saw the video) and realized after I was finished that the video was more for showing the process than as a functional tool. So, I guess it serves as proof that I can make one? Or maybe for bending 1/4"? I think I willl bend the toe over a little tighter though.
As far as the reins go, I's got's big, sweaty, soup plate hands and the round reins on the tongs in the class that I attend like to slip around in them, so i only forged them and then knocked that diamond down a bit so that they don't cut in too horrible fierce. So far the gripper tongs serve me well, but I'm sure the design will change as I go.
I think I'll need to do something about a twisting wrench as well.

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Hammers forging and claw; boo coo tongs many styles; 1 rediused edged set hammer; 1 elliptical set hammer; hot cuts; hot gouges; cold cuts; sen (Japanese); friction-stop trammel (Japanese); side set (hack); butcher; fullers; swages; punches; boo coo branding irons; horseshoe forepunches and pritchels; horseshoers' clinch cutter; horseshoers' creaser; angled vise clamps; fireplace tools; power hammer slip-on dies; scratch awls; center punches; prick punches; "dogs" (table holdfasts); anvil holdfasts; log dogs; hatchets; reforge and temper old broad axes; wood chisels; knives; spoons, bbq forks; steak turners; kitchen spatulas; cooking trivets; 1 wok; chasing tools; fire steel; leather stamps; leather round knife; silver stamps; pipe tomahawks; drifts; small mandrels; small horn for hardy hole; hardys; bending forks w/wrenches; old fashioned twisting wrenches; froes; collar jigs; sheet metal stakes; screw drivers; grab hooks, chain hooks, chain, helper stands, and many more.

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I've made pokers and such, but this is my first heavy tool...a bick made out of a drag-link from an old tractor. I cut the ball joint off with a hardy (after about 10 heats), rammed the swell for the tie-rod (?) into the hardy hole and tried to fuller it, pointed it (another ten heats or more) bent it & rasped it. It fits well under blows from three directions (down, front & back) but I really should have upset it more for more stability.

post-28597-0-83314200-1353378898_thumb.j I'm not sure of the best way to attach images. I hope this works.

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  • 2 months later...

Ive made quite a lot of tools so far and Ill never stop making them ( it's addictive ). I havent been blacksmithing that long, but the first day I made a tool and put it to use on something I turned around and sold was perhaps one of the happiest days Ive had yet!
Here are a few examples of the things Ive made. 






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@ Wolfshieldrx: is that hand vice made of a mild or a springy (higher carbon?) kind of steel.  if it's a higher carbon, did you harden it? ...what did you temper it to after hardening? ...what range of thicknesses do you use it on?


@ Clinker Breaker.  That's certainly a whole lot easier than how I was thinking about making a bickiron.


@ Jakob Faram: How did you make that clover punch? Stock removal on a square punch?  I'm trying to figure out how to make a maker's mark but It is a process that is mentally eluding me.


So many good ideas here.  If this keeps up this thread might actually end up being downright useful for anyone thinking of their next tool.  It's already helping me.

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I just forged square taper to where I wanted it, annealed it, filed flat the business end and drew on the shape I wanted with a marker. After that I basically just used a small triangle needle file in between each corner and then rounded the corners off. I attached a photo of my touchmark... This one I used a flex shaft tool for, but you can use a Dremmel if you have one. I used different sized burrs like this one ( http://www.riogrande.com/Product/Dentsply-Maillefer-Round-Burs/342071?pos=5 ) Probably not the best choice, but its what I had and it made pretty short work of annealed W-1. After that I just cleaned up with a file a bit. I hope this helps you and good luck with it!


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  • 3 months later...

Here are a few of the tools I've made somewhat recently.

From smallest to largest: drift pin (needs finishing), flux spoon, rake, poker, coal shovel
The flux spoon is something I'm still experimenting with, I can't seem to find a shape that I like for the spoon, I have a feeling I'm going to end up with a ladle shape with 2 "pour spouts", or maybe something like what I've seen used for pouring lead shot.
I followed the advice of the older smiths at my guild and made the shovel head of a fairly thick sheet and OA welded it, as I hadn't done that in awhile and needed an excuse for the practice.  Not the prettiest, but it will definitely hold.
Unfortunately though, I messed up when I drilled the holes and ended up with a 1/4" gap between the bottom of the shovel head and the riveted end of the handle.
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