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Making a square edge hardy anvil tool


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I like my anvil, very nice rebound and nice flat face, but the edges are poor and have seen better days from a century ago.

For doing some forgings I would like some nice sharp egdes to use (which I don't have).

So I though about making some sort of hardy mount block that would have my square edges.

 

I have a 4140 block 1" thick, 3"x3" square with sharp corners.  I think may be hardened, haven't tested it yet.

Think that block would work?  Should it be thicker/bigger?  My anvil face is 5" wide with a 1-1/4" hardy hole.

 

Now I'm wondering about the best way to get the square hardy post attached.

I have a MIG welder, can I weld mild steel to 4140?  Can I weld it if it is hardened?

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Greetings Black Frog I prefer the hoop and wedge lockdown style I posted them before with a Mcbruce reply On the I phone or I would have pictures I like a Brick as they are called with a 1/8 radius on one side Jim

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Another option is to weld the piece of square that fits your hardy hole to the side of the 4140 you have. The main benefit is clean up so it doesn't interferre with the the hardy hole, this is a snap to clean the welds. You can do it so it's flush with the top of the plate and have it out of the way. OR do it so it's a couple inches higher than the plate and us it for it's own handsome self. If you check out Brian Brazeal's tong making videos you'll see the bottom tool he uses for making the pivot faces and bolstering the rivet holes. (I know this part of the tongs has a name but I can't recall it) When he held his clinics here I found this really simple bottom tool (commonly called a hardy tools) to turn making tongs into a breeze as it indexes each step and keeps everything aligned.

 

Regardless, if you weld the stem to the side you can make whatever you want or need from a protrusion, leave it flush or whatever. How far it passes into the anvil or protrudes below is a different thing entirely and up to you.

 

Just thinking in the early morning sunlight.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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I have the same problem with my anvil, very poor condition for the edges and no consistent radius at the edges of the face.  I believe this is a skill that is commonly taught but I had never seen before, hopefully it will help you or offer another option.  Last week at class an instructor and I worked on making a hardy tool for my anvil that will hopefully have squared edges.  Some previous smith made the jig which allowed me to fashion a hardy tool to fit the 3/4 inch hole in my anvil.  They started with a piece of square tubing about 4 inches  square with a plate welded on either end (and inner support pieces welded inside the tubing to support the plates) and the plate had a 3/4 inch square hold cut in it ( a different size hole in the plate on the other side so it could be used for different size hardy holes).  I heated a piece of square 1 1/4 inch mild steel rod about 6 inches long and forged one end to a taper that would fit in the 3/4 inch hole about an inch deep.  I then heated the stock and we drove the square steel rod into the 3/4 inch hole of the plate resulting in a 3/4/ inch leg for my new hardy tool and also a larger than parent stock (approximately 3 inch square so far), flat square of steel that should provide me with a square edged hardy tool.  Not finished yet but I should have it done this weekend.  I chamfered the square edges of the leg portion  so it would go in the anvil hardy hole easier and cleaned the inside edges of the hardy hole with a small file so there were no rough edges to hang up on the new hardy tools.  Tandem striking with heavy sledge hammers misshaped the sides of the new tool somewhat but I think I can forge them back to square prior to finishing it.  My plan is to heat the leg again and then drive it through the hardy hole of my anvil to make it a perfect fit then square the top properly.  Great project for a newbie and adds to my appreciation for the skills needed to make tools.   

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Brian often times uses old breaker bits from air hammers or other construction hammers. It seems that the metal is similar to S7 in characteristics.

So you make a stem to fit your anvil first. Then when very hot it is collapsed upon itself and looking a bit like a squashed mellon. With a little flatter and striker work the edges are repaired to a sharp vertical line. Then the flatter is used to re-surface the top. Of course that means to repeat the whole process on all 6 sides plus the top. The only different thing going on now is the slug of metal is becomming darker so plannishing replaces heavy metal moving.

 

Some people would take two opposing sides to grind their favorite edge. An example here is very sharp edges, then an easy radius set, followed by a well generous radius set. That gives three differing setups all on one stem.

 

When making these yourself remember that S7 must be within its forging temperature range. Oh yeah, make the stem tall enough so that you can easily access it. An example here is like making a ball, hitting into the edge and then down to the top of the edge.

 

Carry on

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Finished my new square hardy tool today and it turned out pretty good, I put a radius on one edge and left the other three straight so I could continue to use it in the event the straight one I am using chips off.  I also applied Kasenit powder ( I think that's the correct spelling) to harden the surface of the top and sides of the tool.  I used it this this afternoon and it worked well without any problems.

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Finished my new square hardy tool today and it turned out pretty good, I put a radius on one edge and left the other three straight so I could continue to use it in the event the straight one I am using chips off.  I also applied Kasenit powder ( I think that's the correct spelling) to harden the surface of the top and sides of the tool.  I used it this this afternoon and it worked well without any problems.

 

If it is mild steel case hardened, it should not chip off, the case hardening is mainly to help wear resistance.

 

If it gets damaged, then it is probably down to bad striking/hammer control, and the metal being forged not hot enough.

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Brian often times uses old breaker bits from air hammers or other construction hammers. It seems that the metal is similar to S7 in characteristics.

 

 

 
Grant Sarver said.....
 

Having been a manufacturer of paving breaker bits, I can tell you that no one uses S-7 or any real tool steel ( at least not in 1", 1-1/8, 1-1/4). I've had just about every one spectrographed. B&L is a modified 1045, Vulcan used to use 1078 but now uses 15B30, Pioneer/DelSteel is 1078 or 9260 for their "alloy" bits. Apex (my old brand) are 8630. These things sell new (at full discount) for about what tool steel costs per pound. Everybody is looking for the cheapest thing that will do the job. People expect these bits to be really great stuff, perception trumps reality every time.

BTW: "Paving breaker" bits are solid, "jackhammer" bits have a hole down the center. 

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Greetings Black Frog,

 

Not so.  That size stock would make a great brick,..  I would mount it in with a hoop and wedge system..  This mounting would allow for many functions.. As I said before I like a 1/8 radius on one side....    Make a hoop from 1/4 x 1 to fit your hardie hole with a wedge on the underside.  Drill a 1 in hole aprox 1/2 deep in the center and weld away..  This will securely fit in the hardie hole and will take some side thrust..  I posted some of this style wedge tooling before on the hammer chase that I use for my bumblebee.

 

Try it you will like it....

 

Hammer on    Jim  

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I have no idea what type of steel this block may be.  Came from a scrapyard.  Does it matter too much for this? 

I know my smaller 3"x3"x1" block is 4140, but this bigger one unknown.

I suppose if the edges start rounding over, I could always redress it or machine it down a bit.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Well I saved my nice sharp 4140 blocks for now, and welded a hardy post on my 3x3x5 block of unknown steel. A hefty hardy tool for sure.... I've used it several times now and haven't noticed any rounding of the edges yet.

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Yes Mike it is and thanks for the donation.  Not the only donation you have made it I remember correctly.  The square edge hardy tool is the only one I have for my anvil so far so I am hopeful to utilize your donation again next fall, maybe a bottom cutter is in the future.  Others have used it as well, quite the design. Thanks again

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