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Show me your Swage Block


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Show me your Swage Block.

There are many different patterns of swage blocks out there, some in use, some holding the door to the shop open during the summer. Please provide the manufacture, the dimensions, weight, and any history of the swage block.

Swages seem to have stories about where they were found and how they are used that are always interesting. Let us hear those also.

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I used to have 2 swage blocks, but I found that I was only using one of them and the other was getting zero use, so I sold the unused one to a bladesmith I know up in vermont.

Here's my current swage block, it's an original wally yater.


and this is the one that I sold a few months ago, a green river #1 produced in Mass between ~1890s and 1910 ish




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This swage block was in the State's heavy duty shop till the new foreman said clear all the junk out. The weldor gave me a call and asked if I wanted the really heavy, weird shaped, probably a blacksmith's tool, hunk of iron before it went into the scrap bin.

I hot footed it right over and loaded it into my pickup. The 3 1 2 is the only marking on it. It's the same pattern as every swage block in state equipment shops across AK. Every equipment shop also has a 250# Fisher anvil.

All the swage blocks disappeared around the same time, I hope they all went to smiths. One did anyway. Most shops still have the anvil, everyone knows what an anvil is though very few use them.



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  • 5 years later...

Here are some pics of my one of my swage blocks. I bought it in Scotland about 4 years ago. The Smith who sold it to me suggested it was a wheelright's block, I don't know if that was it's intended purpose, but I have since found out it was made by the Carron Company in Stirlingshire, Scotland. I bought it for the bargain sum of £50, also bought a standard swage block for the same price, plus a bunch of other treasures (4.5cwt anvil, lots of tooling, tongs, welder, powered hacksaw etc) but this swage block is immensely useful to me with it's curves and dishing depressions. It even has a former for a ladel or spoon. On it's longest side it's about 60cm long (2 feet) not sure how much it weighs but it's heavy and to lift it or turn it I need to put a long bar in one of the holes for leverage!!









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WOW Colleen, I had to change my shirt after I saw that first block, I drooled all over myself. And the price is downright criminal. Around here an old worn out piece of junk will go for 150 and up, A nice one like the second would be pushing 500 real hard. I have a Yater that has the nice tapered curve shape and I use the heck out of it.

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This is a stump swage block ive been working on the last couple evenings. Im still not quite finished with it yet and i intend to band it when done. I got the ideas used on it from different posts on this site. I used a post from frosty for the router skid i know for sure. But the rest was gleaned from here and there. I've read so much i cant keep it all straight anymore lol. Tools i used was a straight bit and a chamfer bit on the router, and a few different ball peens dress a little. I drew the leafs on with a pencil then i used a blunted flat cold chisel to vein and a small ball peen to work it all out. I'm not sure if it will work out in the end but it was fun to do





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It's really nice work but I don't think the leaf swages will last past a leaf or two.[/quote Thank you :)...i agree with you.there. I was thinking at the time that i would use the leafs for final shaping/veining using the grooves as a place for metal to go rather than trying to use it to try to stamp the the leaf into the metal on its own strength. But yep i think two times of hot metal set on it will burn those grooves right out of there.
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This one looks the same as jmercier's and sask mark's. It is 12 inches square and 4 inches thick. It came with its original stand. The stand is a heavy casting with a 5/8 inch thick wall. It was cast with internal lugs to support the block. When installed flat as shown, it is 19 inches tall overall. I got it for a reasonable price from a retiring smith. I don't use it often, but it is wonderful for heavy through- punching and drifting.

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