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I Forge Iron

newbie from down under


Burkey

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G'day all, I'm a mechanical engineering student from Australia and I've recently sectioned off an 8th of my workshop to a little blacksmithing setup. I've been making things out of anything I can for as long as I can remember, allot of woodwoking and woodturning and a fair bit of metal fabrication.

So far I've been practicing scrolls, drawing out, squareing off, twists, etc I've made myself a few tongs and a cutting hardie tool from 5160 and have a few drifts and a few more tongs I'm planning on.

If anyone can suggest a few essential/really useful tools to make up id appreceqte it. Ive tried searching but couldnt find much using my phone.

Thats about it, here's my setup.

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Greetings and welcome Burkey,

 

Looks like you have a great start in your blacksmith journey.   I suggest that you find a good post vise and mount it on a mobile stand...  There are several threads on this forum that can help...  Mounting so many hammers on your anvil stump you will find get in the way after a while. I wish you well..

 

Forge on and make beautiful things

Jim

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Greetings and welcome Burkey,
 
Looks like you have a great start in your blacksmith journey.   I suggest that you find a good post vise and mount it on a mobile stand...  There are several threads on this forum that can help...  Mounting so many hammers on your anvil stump you will find get in the way after a while. I wish you well..
 
Forge on and make beautiful things
Jim


I have a cast steel vice thats about the same size of the anvil. It's one of my favourite tools. Vertical and horizontal pivot with a pipe clamp on the other side of the jaws. Is there much more advantage to a leg vice?

Hammers have been fine so far. I stand on the other side mostly. Im sure they'll end up standing on a log after I aquire more and tongs will replace them, the ones I have are currently hanging on the other side. I stand a decent bit away from the anvil as I'm a tall lanky bloke so I havent gotten any snags as of yet.
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Most machinists vises aren't designed to stand up to a lot of pounding with a hammer like if you are trying to upset stock in the vise. Post vises are designed to do exactly this.

 

I can think of dozens of tools you could make. Fullers of various sorts come to mind as well as hardie tools and bending forks. A guillotine fuller wouldn't be a bad idea if you work alone and they are easy to build if you have access to a welder, though I've seen ones assembled with bolts. My tool collection keeps growing every time I want to do a different project that I don't have the tools already for.

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Most machinists vises aren't designed to stand up to a lot of pounding with a hammer like if you are trying to upset stock in the vise. Post vises are designed to do exactly this.
 
I can think of dozens of tools you could make. Fullers of various sorts come to mind as well as hardie tools and bending forks. A guillotine fuller wouldn't be a bad idea if you work alone and they are easy to build if you have access to a welder, though I've seen ones assembled with bolts. My tool collection keeps growing every time I want to do a different project that I don't have the tools already for.


My vice has been through at least 40 years of being bashed tight with 3lb hammers along with some horrid abuse and the screw is still in great condition. Im surprised something hasn't snapped yet.

I have a large industrial mig and I'm an expierenced welder. I used to do allot of fabrication for my father when he was still with us.
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My vice has been through at least 40 years of being bashed tight with 3lb hammers along with some horrid abuse and the screw is still in great condition. Im surprised something hasn't snapped yet.

I have a large industrial mig and I'm an expierenced welder. I used to do allot of fabrication for my father when he was still with us.

what he is tryin ta say is that the old leg vice transmits the energy into the ground, and is usually made of more ductile material, so is far less likely to get you to that "aw XXXX ive hit it one too many times" moment of regret. leg vices were made for smithing, fitters vices were made for fitting...... just sayin mate ;) id hate to see someone bash an heirloom one too many times :unsure:

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well tooling depends on what you are going to make; but I sure get a lot of use/abuse from some high alloy(S7, H13)  slitters/punches and my swing arm fuller is used for everything from making chille peppers from black iron pipe to setting the blade/tang transition on blades.

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what he is tryin ta say is that the old leg vice transmits the energy into the ground, and is usually made of more ductile material, so is far less likely to get you to that "aw XXXX ive hit it one too many times" moment of regret. leg vices were made for smithing, fitters vices were made for fitting...... just sayin mate ;) id hate to see someone bash an heirloom one too many times :unsure:


cheers, I can never say no to more tools so ill keep an eye out for one.
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I might as well show something I've made. Heres a couple draw knives made from 5160 hardened and tempered. And yes. I snapped one....clamped it before tempering.

They cut great and making handles is so much easier now.

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Welcome aboard Burkey, glad to have you. I'm with the others, keep your eye pealed for a leg vise and keep the bench vise for more precise work. A swage block isn't something you'll use all the time but they do come in handy. Having fabrication skills will let you build a treadle hammer and or a modern utility power hammer, both extremely useful for moving steel.

 

The last MUST have tip is a larger shop, the 1/8 in use now will shortly become 9-10/8 and expansion will come next. Power outlets, you can NEVER have too many outlets, or lights. Seriously, I built a 30'x40' red iron steel shop and it was getting crowded before I got it weathered in.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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I love Frosties shop.  When I grow up I want one just like it.  Mine is kind of tiny in comparison 12' x 16'.  I can get my meager equipment in it.  Forge, anvil, post vice. Band saw, and drill press.  After this winter season I plan on putting in a coal forge and finally a wood stove.  It really doesn't take much to blacksmith.  You need four basic things.  Something to get the metal hot with.  Something to hammer the metal on.  Something to hit the metal with.  and the fourth is actually optional.  Something to hold the metal with.  If you do it right you don't even need that.  Rocks were used with great success in the past for hammers and anvils.  A small trench in the ground with a pipe and some way to force air through it.  Charcoal was used for thousands of years.  The earliest known iron artifacts are nine small beads, dated to 3200 BC, from burials in Gerzeh, northern Egypt, that were made from meteoritic iron, and shaped by careful hammering.  That means there is a history of iron working on earth that is 5300 years old.  I find that amazing.

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I managed to pick up a little leg vice that sits a bit taller than the anvil which is just over 900mm. I'll have to fab/forge a bracket and spring (I've got some 5160 laying about)

And the workshop is a 4 car garage thats never had a car in it.....I plan to clean this weekend, as you can see it really needs it.

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Here's a view of my post vise in a portable stand that one of the guys in our group(ABBA) made.  One of the things that make it nice is that by adjusting the chain lengths you can make up for uneven ground.

 

 

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well, I cleaned it up with a wire wheel on the grinder and gave it a go over with a bit of clear coat, re-greased the screw, screw box, hinge and any place where there'd be moving parts contacting. Forged up a super simple bracket, couple wedges, leg bracket and a spring. the ghetto mount is just for now, it's decently solid and will do for the time being until I sort my workshop out.

 

taking the rust off of it I found the makers mark, tried google, no help. it reads R (arrow symbol) C

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Greetings again Burkey,

 

Nice find on the vice...   Now your cooking on the front burner...   Just a few footnotes...   If you take some wood and make a platform to stand on under your stump that sticks out about 3 feet you can now use your weight to stabilize the vise...   FUN FACT.. If you lock something in the vice .... try locking and unlocking it with the bar at the halfway point with a  push pull action ...  You will find it is easier than using it in its full length as a lever..  Also do you know that the vise does not close parallel ...  Look up vice jaw spacers to fix the problem...   Have fun with your new toy...

 

Forge on and make beautiful things

Jim

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