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I Forge Iron

Cold chisel to the rescue

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I got this job in with 2 bearing flanges welded to a length of pipe. The flanges have been damaged around the rolled edge and no longer hold a bearing firmly, so they need to be replaced.

I thought about the oxy, plasma cutter, thin cutoff wheel and the burr grinder but they all had their drawbacks in such a cramped space (not to mention all the grease and rust under the lip to deal with) so I tried a bit of lateral thinking.

 I remember seeing a blacksmith drill then carve a square hole on a piece that couldn't be reforged. It stuck in my mind how quick he worked and how easy the metal peeled off.

Here is my attempt at a more basic technique.
I have left the original welded flange on the pipe and removed the old rolled edge with a cold chisel, this means that the new bottom flange will fit snug into the original and save me the work of cutting and re-welding..

First cut is to split the ring then using the corner of the chisel I have created an edge that will roll.
From there full face of the chisel and follow the curve of the pipe around.
Viola! About 4 minutes for the two flanges and the new ones bolt straight in. I know it doesn't look much but I reckon it has saved me about three hours work.


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Wow, If I thought of that, it might have saved me time, money and headache,  looking for the right sized drill bit or proper grinding tool.  Simple, yet effective.  Genius!

So many of us are spoiled with the idea of proper tools and doing things the "right" way.  Just goes to show how far simple hand tools really do go.  After all, they built the pyramids and all...   I love my files, but some times I just want to throw them across the shop in an expletive filled rage, only to have them laugh at me after I realize I still have lots more metal to get rid off.  LoL.


Nice Work. :)

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A lot of the factory made tools aren't ground or heat treated properly, I find them to be to soft, forged to fat, and improperly profiled.
Made right and the are a dream, I have knocked divots out of a truck radius arm bracket, I spent 30 minutes re forging, heat treating and sharpening a chisel. I still beat my buddy with an air hammer.

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You have a good point Charles, most modern tools, chisels and such especially are not heat treated to optimim, too soft is designed in. sure, selling more chisels, etc. is a factor but the way most folk now use tools makes hard chisels a liability for the manufacturer. You can slap now hammers together face to face till the cows come home and not knock a chip off, they WILL dent though.


I can't really blame the manufacturers, it doesn't matter what kind of warning on a thing if someone does something stupid you're likely to have to pay huge money to their lawyers AND yours. I mean really, where in the real world would you give anyone anything but some 1st aide and a good laughing at for putting a cup of hot coffee between their legs and trying to drive a MANUAL shift car?


Thee aren't shop classes anymore so nobody has ANY experience using tools so it's not safe to let them use the real deal.


On the topic I'd just cut, bend and weld a ring in under 5 mins. rather than call for a PO (Purchase Order) #, drive to the hardware store, drive the receipt to the office, drive back to the shop and use it, not less than an hour, traffic permitting. I used to do that kind of thing all the time and the guys stopped giving me crap when I could finish most little doodads like a chain coupler faster than they could get a PO from the office on the phone.


Frosty The Lucky.

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This is probably the handiest chisel I have, its a bent slitting chisel, it looks like someone has sharpened the side and put a bend in it for a prank but it will shear the head off a rusted in bolt in a couple of hits. I tried to make a couple out of truck spring but the steel is not up to the job, I will have another attempt when I get my hands on some good tool steel.


photo from rennsteig.us

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A nice sharp chisel is always a bonus! A trick when flanges are pressed in real tight is to weld a small bit on the inside wich "shrinks it"



I've used the welding trick many times for removing pressed fits. It works. It is a lot easier, without the risk of flying shrapnel, when dealing with hard metal such as bearing races.

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Many times the "Proper Tool" *is* a hand tool!


I was once called in as a smithing consultant on a small viking boat build; I fixed the problem they were having rivetting the strakes together and noticed they were tapering them with a cheap belt sander---noisy, dusty, a pain to use.  I showed them that a drawknife was *faster*, cleaner and less noisy.  They had automatically assumed that the power tool was the way to go.


I once also beat my old college romemate assembling a structure held together with lagbolts.  He was using a battery powered drill and I was using a Brace with a bit that held sockets.  Where the real payoff was was the fact I could snug them all the way down hard while the drill's torque started to flag as the bolt sank  deep into the holes.


Now I wouldn't trade my massive angle grinder for a hacksaw; but I do use a 30" hacksaw at the scrapyard on a regular basis---and carry a hammer and chisel as a rusted bolt remover

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Tomas, you know why the put threads on those things don't you?
To get them out ;-) new am old carpenter that drove them with a 4# hand sledge.

Frosty, I say let Mr. Darwin's theories play out. Not saying the ignorant and those not blessed with intelligence should suffer if we can help, but the stupid among us need a reality check.

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