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Forges 101


Mikey98118

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Smart bets is right Mike, the best you can do in reality is lean on the odds. If you're going to push the odds push them away from home first. Risk management is just another term, sounds better on a report.

Doing dangerous things WILL go south on you now and then. No matter how careful you are, if you keep going to the well sooner or later you WILL drop the dipper.

I'd been felling trees for at least 30 years and was pretty scrupulous about it: weight of branches, lean, breezes aloft, having an escape route, etc. etc. I don't know what went wrong, I became aware again about 3 weeks later in the hospital surrounded by people and wired up.

Went to the well one too many times. I wouldn't have but there's no way to know when your number is up.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Agreed; sooner or later even the sharpest of us will roll snakes eyes. Which is all the more reason to limit what that can mean anytime we roll the dice.

Also, after half a century thinking about it, I have changed my mind about irrational fear; sometimes, we should at least pause long enough to be darned sure our subconscious isn't trying to bring up something we've overlooked before bravely jumping in...

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And there's the rub. How do we know a fear is irrational? As you note our conscious mind is limited by how fast we think and process information, where our subconscious handles tend of thousands of operations per second walking across the floor. 

So, what do you do? Something about a thing really bothers you but you can't identify it. Look closer? Walk away? Do it anyway? REALLY watch your step if you have to proceed for sure. 

I've found walking away for a little while and returning with fresh eyes sometimes will spot the problem. A pilot friend said to look at the whole thing in general before looking at specific things. This has been a valuable tip. Something wrong in the whole picture will draw your eye to it where you might miss it on a piece by piece examination. It might be a relational fault. Say two brackets may be perfect themselves but they're cocked at a minor but bad angle.

Also, the older we get the more precious our able time is to us.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Same same. I'll often think about doing something till I forget I wanted to do it. The TBI has made me a lot more careful. I just don't think as clearly or multi task like I used to.

At least I had a chance to get out of the way of the tree, it's not like a stroke. No chance to dodge there. Well other than minimize the risk through your health but that's not a sure thing. 

What we're talking about eh?

Frosty The Lucky.

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One thing nobody realizes until they retire is it's a 24/7 job, no weekends no holidays, no breaks at all. 

Woo Hoo, it's FRIDAY!! . . . So what? I'm retired. 

Waa waa it's Monday, my head hurts and the lights are too bright.:(  It is? I lose track, I'm retired. 

Man I'm STOKED, Memorial day is coming, we have a THREE DAY WEEKEND!:lol::D    Big deal, except for doctor appointments I've had a 1,825 day weekend since I retired.

Where are you going for vacation this year?    Saturday dinner and music at the Senior Center. It's become a tradition since I retired.

Frosty The Retired.

 

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Frosty, want to know my projected retirement date? 2055! Although I am one of those people who would probably keep working even during retirement otherwise I would go nuts.

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I once took over a job from a fellow who retired with 35 years working for the same company. We were supposed to overlap a year for him to train me but at 6 months an retire now enhancement came along and he was off with a "You'll learn it on your own."   I used to meet him at the flea market and he told me that the first 6 months was solid backlogged "Honey-Do's" and he had never worked so hard as when he retired.

Me I hope to retire the first week of 2022 and start working in my shop mornings when it's cool and reading/surfing when it gets hot.

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I think the only thing about retirement that is predictable is that whatever you did with your avocation will end up far more important to you than you ever expected. Perhaps also that why you choose that particular hobby will finally become clear. I never expected that the heart of a lifetime of arts and crafts would boil down to a need to teach others about hand tools :rolleyes:

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Cutoff discs or Exacto blades?

We are warned not  to use cutoff discs for grinding; it dangerously weakens them; then, the same fiberglass reinforcement that helps protect against torsional forces, ensures that flung sections will be larger, and will therefore hit harder! Of course we did it for years anyway, because, what the heck, they were just to convenient for tiny girding jobs not to; so there!

    On the other hand, the cheap imported diamond coated discs (which are slower cutting than resin bonded discs). with too little diamonds on the narrow edges to cut for an extended period,  excel at grinding tasks; and did I mention that they are CHEAP?    Once your coated disc loses the diamond grit from its narrow edge, keep it around for grinding tasks, such as sharpening high-speed steel, tungsten carbide, and silicon carbide surfaces. Diamond coated cutoff discs excel at sharpening drill bits and saw teeth; they are perfect for reshaping and reducing silicon carbide grinding wheels. Not to mention that they are very exact at grinding surfaces back to scribed lines on pipe, tubing, and cylinder parts.

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SinDoc: I didn't retire, I was retired. A couple months before I was told my last day would be my anniversary date. I had 30 years and was old enough. I'd planned on doing a couple few more years but a new hire was much cheaper. Heck, my retirement benefits alone costs more than new hire even if they stick for a full pull. Believe me working for a state government is no treat. In 30 years I never received a negotiated raise that was funded, maybe 5 years later we'd get a retro check and a % of the increase. The union made their cut of course, gave themselves raises for doing such good job regularly.

I got myself a nice part time retirement job delivering mostly soil and an occasional piece of equipment about 10 minutes from home. If we had a REALLY busy week I'd get 30 hrs. I enjoy operating heavy equipment and rolling iron down the highway is up there too. 

The accident put paid to holding a CDL and driving trucks. You  know, if I hadn't been forcibly retired I would've been working in Anchorage instead of cutting trees that day. 

You're right Mike, I spend a lot of time doing things I've done for decades or talking about them. I can't count how many times I've given advice regarding soils engineering and foundations on IFI. It's good all those years standing behind a drill and socializing with engineer geologists has lasting value. 

Nor did I intend the T burner to be anything but a beginner's burner to get them working until they learned to make better. I see the darned things on home forges on FIF every now and then. I don't shout about the mistakes at the TV though, I don't even point them out to Deb. IF she's in the room when it's on that is.

Heck, I drove about 140 miles round trip to talk to a guy about some drops new guys in the club could use as anvils. Of all the strange things, he and I grew up in the same town in S. Cal., not more than maybe 15 miles apart. We had a heck of a good time swapping "those days" stories and memories. Same time, same place, even moved to Alaska close to the same time, 72 for me, 76 for him and both of us on the North Slope oil field. 

It's a freaky small world we live in.

Frosty The Lucky.

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After all the metal classes and trade school time I've never made a certified weld. Nothing up here was what I expected for a welding job. Quick and dirty was the norm, if somebody needed a certified tested weld they called in a specialist. Keep one on the staff? Too expensive. 

I  never renewed my certs. After a couple few years I landed a job operating equipment and not until joining the drill crew did I do much if any welding for pay. A couple odd bits for friends or neighbors but not part of a job. 

When it came down to it I wish I'd spent my time and money learning to run equipment. 

Hindsight eh?

Frosty The Lucky.

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Growing up the biggest lesson my mother tried to instill in me was a strong work ethic. At thirteen she told me one day, "Get some rest you have to be to work in the morning." I said, "Work, what do you mean I didn't apply for any job?" She talked to someone she knew that owned the car wash across the street from my school and got me a job. She even made me pay her $20 a week from the time I was 13 until I left home. It was a trivial amount but she wanted me to have some responsibility. She saved most of it and gave it back to me when I left home.  I've never been out of work for more than a month or so except for the three years I was disabled since I was 13 years old. My Mom worked from 13 until three days before she passed away at 76. I think her job kept her alive longer. 

Pnut

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As soon as my Sister and I were old enough to enter his shop without undue chance of slopping blood on everything he put us to work. Started out wiping down and oiling machinery, I had to be trained to sweep. Metal shavings are NOT like dust, they can wrap around the broom and cut you good. 

After I was 10-11 I stopped getting an allowance, I was paid piecework for my time in the shop. I stopped complaining about not getting a DOLLAR:o a week allowance like other kids in school. The folks said sure but I didn't get out of working in the shop. How much was I earning a week I wanted to give up for a dollar?  Uh . . . Nevermind. 

It's not that I had such a good work ethic, I knew on which side my bread was buttered and could do simple arithmetic. For example doing my favorite job, running the punch press for $0.0025 each, I was tripping the pedal 2x/second. I was making enough to hire my little Sister to bring me blanks and take punched blanks to the next station and still make darned good money. 

It came to about $9.00/hr for a 10yro in 1962. Dad wouldn't let me work for more than a couple hours at the press, a small mistake could mean drastic damage. Losing a hand at 10 wasn't to be desired. Same for spinning, I wasn't big or strong enough to actually spin parts but I could: trim, roll beads, sharpen corners, polish, etc. and do it fast. for an hour or two max a day. The worst paying job was running the circle shear for 1/4c ea. it took about 15 seconds to cut a blank! That's 1/30th what the punch press made for my time! Still it needed to be done for the business and I was the shop minion so there I sat turning squares into round blanks. 

On the up side I was the only 10 yro with $10 in my wallet on any given day in my neighborhood. 

I had pretty good folks. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Can hot-work on Freon tanks make you sick?

"When grinding wheels touch steel these days, your work is quickly past

But when they cut inside your tank the steel is turning red

Which means it's more than hot enough to make a nasty gas

Breath not the fumes or you may find yourself quite sick in bed."


 

Be sure all gas is gone from refrigerant tanks, and then clean them with soapy water, before doing any hot work on them.

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Freon tanks should be evacuated by the disposer.  Even having evacuated my own cylinders, I still add a couple of steps to purge potential trace amounts.  

freon.jpg.8c5921734986cc643a49dc08786dc534.jpg

  1. Open valve (green arrow) and make sure there is no pressure present.  
  2. Using a center punch or a drill, pop a hole in the blow plug(white arrow) as it's easy to get through.
  3. I like to then push compressed air into the hole in the blow plug which will vent out the valve, for a few seconds just to make sure all that is in the can is air.  

From there, I will angle grind, plasma cut, and weld on the cans without worry.  I have been warned that the paint on the cans is not the greatest thing to breath.  I generally angle grind with a flap disc and a respirator but I have also thrown hot coals inside the can to cook the paint to make removal easier.

These steps are worth doing as some of the byproducts of burning various refrigerants are pretty nasty.  Hydrofluoric and hydrochloric acid to name a couple of potentials.  I've heard phosgene as a byproduct but I have also read that in unlikely in typical burning type scenarios.  The accidental production of phosgene I read about involved cleaning parts with chIorinated brake cleaner and arc welding which if I recall correctly required ozone production.  I have seen hvac guys try to "tough through it" and it has had some very bad results.

If you open the valve and see liquid coming out or lots of pressure, take it back to the disposer as it was not properly evacuated like it should have been.  Some places require the disposer to purposefully put holes in the cans.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Rotary drill presses: Drilling on pipes and tubes can be done—with care—on benches, tables, or in bench vises. Of course, the drilling and threading will be done more accurately in a drill press, which brings us to an important question: Since a totally adequate bench top five-speed drill press can be purchased from Harbor Freight Tools for about $50, why would anyone settle for a rotary tool drill press? The main reason is portability. As part of your tool kit, or when moving day comes, you will learn to care about weight—over and over. You would also need a micro-chuck to mount into the one that comes on the heavy drill press, to drill small holes.

    On the minus side, all such a press does especially well, is to drill holes and run taps perpendicular to part surfaces; anything more requires a special little press vise to be mounted on the equipment’s base plate. Costs quickly start mounting up; especially because only the premium vices are really worth collecting, unless precision is very important to you; then, a lessor quality vice is put up with, to keep weight down.

 

Bench top drill presses cost as little as $50 (Harbor Freight Tools), three times that much (Skil #3320-01), and up. The Harbor Freight Tools press is adequate, but could use an upgraded chuck. On the plus side these presses are as small as tools fit for general steel work. While this press size is portable, it’s no pleasure to.

 

Miniature (compact) drill presses start at about $90 and go right on up to several hundreds, but more than $150 is over spending for precision you don’t need, and probably won’t get anyway. The SE 3-Speed Mini Drill Press Bench - 97511MDP is $100 through Amazon.com, has three belt speeds and a variable speed motor; its rack and pinion quill feed needs sanding or filing to a achieve a smooth up and down motion. What this press has going for it is that it is compact and light. But the motor is weak and it will probably need some work on the wiring’s insulation, and belt to keep it working long term. Eventually, you’ll want to replace its motor and speed control with something stronger, like a step motor, which will double its cost but also its usefulness.

 

The Euro Tool DRL-300.00 costs $119 and is adequate after its drive belt is changed out with a 336 Silicone O-Ring, 70A Durometer, Red, 2-7/8" ID, 3-1/4 O.D. by 3/16" thickness. You should also upgrade the insulation on its wiring.

Question? Comments?

 

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Unexpected coating dividends

As often as I recommend Morgan K26 refractory bricks over ceramic fiber insulation, I also strongly recommend a heat reflective coating to seal it. Why? Because thermal losses through the brick and degradation of the brick have one factor in common; Surface area. 'these bricks are riddled with holes, greatly increasing the surface area to flame and chemical attack. So a heat reflective coating pays outsized dividends, when compared to solid surfaces.

This also holds true of coatings like Plistex on ceramic fiber surfaces.

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