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I Forge Iron

Bradley Guided Helve

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In one of the recent threads there has been some discussion of forging thin plates with a controlled thickness. This video shows me forging rain drop mokume 0.220" x 2.625 using a specialty die I made that has integral stop blocks for both the width and thickness. As you can see, I could forge several different widths depending on which slot I use. I have quite a few dies of the same style for forging a range of widths and thicknesses.








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Patrick; when are you ever going to tool up and start working on decent sized equipment!


Hope to see you at Quad-State; Will Melody be there?  My eldest Daughter Dana is heading into year 3 of Vet School at Ft Collins...and will be assisting a vet and not attending Q-S.

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I aspire to be an old codger someday and with a lot of hard work and perseverance maybe I'll get there.


Die changes are pretty quick. Most of my work only requires the lower die to be changed and that takes about a minute. If I have to do both dies it's about 5 minutes. Getting the top die in is a little awkward because the ram never stops at just the right height. Since my dies are pretty big (my flat dies weigh about 40#) and the Bradley uses a two key system, you really can't hold that die up by hand. I usually just stack wood shims on the bottom die until I can just slide the top one in place. I drive the keys. After a few blows you sometimes have to tighten the keys but once they are set the top die doesn't usually come loose. Because I do a lot of off-center work as shown in the video, my bottom dies will often work loose and have to be tightened up between heats, but that is about a 30 second job. 


Thomas- Yes Melody and I will be at Quad State. In fact, I've been asked to lead the team doing the Friday night demo. I'm really excited. We'll be doing a double face sledge of French style based on the one in the pictures. It's a bit tricky since the faces are larger in diameter than the body of the hammer. I'll be making some specialty tools to assist with this. Mike Roberts and one or two of the other local Quad State members will be helping me.

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