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I Forge Iron

Busy (productive?) weekend

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I don't get as much shop time as I'd like lately with the short days but I found a little time this weekend to make a go of a couple things.

I forged out some parts for a small ankle trap using 5/16 and 1/2 round bar. I still have lots of work to do on that project and look forward to seeing if it'll work whenever I get it done.


I also have a couple more rough forged knife blanks, one is San Mai with an old file wrapped in some mild steel (bad combo I know but it's what I had) and the other is another piece of an old file.


Lastly, I finally got around to tryin to put together a guillotine tool. It's made from 1/4x2 in and 1/2x2 in bar I had layin around salvaged from a couple remodeling jobs and the hardy shank is a piece of 3/4x1/8 in angle with a piece of 1/2 in square welded in place then ground down to fit my anvil. I learned today that my cut off saw doesn't cut straight which threw things a little out of whack. I also learned that I need to invest in some welding magnets or somethin else to help hold pieces straight. It is sloppy the say the least but I really just needed fullering dies so maybe it'll work fine. I'll cut some bar and test it out in the coming weeks.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Your welding will improve a lot with proper preparation.

Stick welding is forgiving but cleaning the surfaces always helps.

Magnets will only help so much, it is better if you clamp it together before you weld:

use your dies as spacers together with some sheet metal or paper, paper will burn and makes the removal easier

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Welding with stick is all in the preparation. Bevel both edges to form a V when they are then matched up. Make a small tack weld to hold the two pieces together first, then check the alignment and securely clamp in place. Now do the actual weld. The V allows full penetration of the weld and a much stronger weld. Practice welding on some scrap stock to get the feel of filling the V and the settings on the welder. You may find it easier to weld horizontally so clamp it that way.

I followed the design instruction on my first guillotine tool.. The design was built too light for the type use it was getting. The 2nd version was made with much heavier material and some additional bracing to hold the alignment during use. That was several years ago and it is still in service today.

When you get your tool together and working, make additional die blanks to have on hand for later. Much easier to just grab a blank then to try to figure out what material was used and what size, to make a blank.

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