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I Forge Iron

Godzilla for the shop! fullering tool


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Been needing one for ages, but kept putting it off.   The design that I drew didn't pan out when it came to reality - there's a lesson in there somewhere! 


The base measures just over 2" wide and just over .5" thick.  I'm not sure where I got it, but it's got to be foreign and in the metric system.  It's not tool steel, but I still might use some of the leftovers in a guillotine tool.


The bolt shanks are 1" diameter Grade 8, and I welded a mild steel button to the top.  I also radiused the front of the bolts so I could taper and spread without putting sharp impressions in the metal.  This also gives me the added benefit of being able to do a dimpled edge treatment on flat stock.


The upright portion gave me fits.  I wanted something with plenty of holes so I could use it for different jaws.  I'll be using the threaded portion of the bolt to make texturing jaws, hopefully it will give me a bark-ish/vine-ish look, and I will be making a butcher/veining arm with a bit of leaf spring.  I have a moveable fence designed in my mind and will be making some top arms that allow me to run grooves and such down the length of a piece.  Then I need to make a "universal" arm that can hold a selection of punches  Also might design a flatter or set hammer type of jaw.  Basically, there's a lot of tooling that can be designed to help a one-man shop needing a third hand!


Just needs a bit of tidying up and a stem welded on.





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for my swing arm fuller I used the full sized material for the arm as well and just forged it down for the connecting area as I am a blacksmith and not a weldor...I also have the arm extend beyond the connection and use a die spring to keep tension on it so I can tap the extended area with the hammer to raise and position the working area and the spring holds it in position until the hammer falls----makes it easier to get the workpiece in place.

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Thomas, I'm planning on welding a bit of 1/4" round stock to the top arm so I can open it like you said - thought I might fancy it up a bit with a curl or such.  You lost me with this 'die spring' thing.  Are you saying that you've got a spring attached to the top arm so that it stays open all the time, requiring your hammer blow to drive it down into the stock?  How do you adjust your upper arm for varying thickness of stock?  I'd guess you'd have to move the spring, too, right?


I was just heading out to the shop to finish it up, but I'll wait to hear from you before I do any more chopping on it.


The next arm I'm making for it will be a butcher so I can isolate tenons.  Of course, that means I'll need to make a moveable fence, and I've already got it planned in my head.  The fence will serve as a bottom die, too.  

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I like it.  The only difference I see if/when I make it I'd use angle iron as the supports.  I'm thinking it might give a little under heavy hammering.  It may not matter that much any way.  I tend to overbuild everything. 


I agree with this idea.  If you ever build another, you might want to space out the hole a touch more.  It looks like a few are too close together.  I always overbuild.

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I think Tommas was saying he has a spring, but it's just strong enugh to hold it open after he lifts it, not self opening. I


I wait for Thomas for the definitive answer, but IMHO, it would seem better to keep the jaws lightly closed rather than open, which fits in with his description.


It helps locate the workpiece top and bottom between hits,


If you extend the top arm of the tool, you can easily lift it with the workpiece to position it when hot and before striking.

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Stiffness was a concern, and I did consider angle iron.  The fact that I didn't have any decently sized angle was the deciding factor.  I still have to tie the tops of the uprights together and might add a bit of structural decoration.  


Hole spacing was a grey area for me.  I knew what I needed for the arms I built, but wasn't sure how I'd do future pieces.  As is, she's working and I absolutely love it when one of my projects actually functions like I hoped!

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my most used fuller was a piece of scrap overhead rail welded on the middle of a piece of 1" sq stock.


The rounded bulb I used as my bottom fuller and I cut the sq stock above that down so I could mount the swing arm---made from a piece of coil spring with the section that the bolt to the upright goes through flattened to align the arm with the bottom section.


Instead of just a bolt holding them together I used a longer bolt that has a die spring around it to provide a very strong push to keep it in alignment,  As an added bonus if I misstrike the arm doesn't get bent.  As mentioned I can tap the extended section and it will raise the arm and hold it in place.  Once you have hit the arm it stays in contact with the workpiece top and bottom.


I made this up with no welding needed as the scrap was already welded, as an experiment and for the past ten years or so hardly ever use the other 3 swing arm fullers of more traditional design in favour of this one.

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Good eye Josh, the holes are a little close.


Vaughn: The rule for minimum spacing of holes in a structural situation is the radius of the holes between each. EG. 1" holes 1/2" space.


I like the swage, lots of vertical adjustment is good in my book and it looks stout enough to get away without angle iron, though stronger and more rigid is good in an impact tool.


I've been giving it some thought but I'm still making and repairing tooling for my Little Giant. I DO so love power tools. <grin>


Frosty The Lucky.

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  • 3 months later...

Thought I'd update a bit.


Just finished making a stamp holder for the fuller.  Trying to manage the work, a punch and a hammer was just too much hassle when trying to use a hold down to secure the work, so I came up with this idea.  So far, it works quite handily.




The punch is a .5" roller or bearing of some kind.  I found them in a box of stuff and thought "Hey, that looks like it needs to be a stamp!"  So I chucked it in my drill and held it against my belt sander to get a nice hemisphere on the end. 

This was motivated by the need to do a lot of countersinks.  Very happy with the results.

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The proof is in the pudding, as they say.  Here's the pudding!




More than 40 dimples to countersink mounting screws on what will become big hooks.  They started life as 12" spikes from the hardware store.  I soaked them in muriatic acid overnight to get rid of the galvanizing, and spent this morning beating the snot out of them.


The claw does not hold the punch as well as I would like.  I'm going to have to continue the relief cut past the hole the punch sits in.  And I'm going to have to isolate the working end so I can anneal the struck end.  That a project for tomorrow, though.

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