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littleblacksmith

What did you do in the shop today?

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On 7/26/2020 at 9:25 PM, Cannon Cocker said:

Hopefully I'll have it done in time to give to him when I go help again this Saturday. 

I'll be looking for a finished project picture for sure. Ausfire said it well... very cool idea for sure.

Those are my favorite kind of projects.

 

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I did a rough grind on it last night. I might pull the bottoms of the cheeks down into a subtle point, but I haven't decided for sure yet.....  I put it on the kitchen scale and it says 13oz. It feels heavier than that to me, but if that's what it actually weighs I'll put a smaller handle on it so it's more of a finishing hammer than a framing hammer. 

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Tank approves!

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Nice looking hammer head.  Yes 13 oz is a bit light for a framing hammer, But for me 28 oz is too heavy.  Mine is 16 oz, and works better for me than a 28 oz does for most folks. And it adds less weight that I have to carry.   ;)

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Second ever attempt to forge something.  Both times shooting for a leaf key fob.  Not pretty but I learned a lot (like my steel forearms from weekly rock climbing no longer exist and I need a lighter hammer :lol:).  All in all I'm calling today a win.

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Not bad. What is the sequence of processes are you following? 

When I forge a leaf I put a point on the end of the stock, it's better to make it shorter than long. Leaves are easy to draw out longer after you've flattened them but nearly impossible to make shorter without trimming. Not saying trimming is bad it's just a hassle.

Pointed end then I isolate the leaf on the edge of the anvil using half face blows and draw the stem down for a preform an cut it off the bar. If you draw it down to finished diameter it'll probably burn off heating the leaf section. Remember thinner stock heats and burns faster than thick. Yes?

Now I have a short pointy square piece on a smaller round rod. The stem preform is easy to hold in my small round bit tongs though flat bit tongs with a fullered groove works nicely. I take a good heat on the leaf section and striking straight down draw it out corner to corner on the face. To make it a wider leaf lay it lengthwise on the horn this will cause it to draw wider. If you lay it across the horn it will be longer. 

Before you draw it finished thin, draw the stem to it's finished dimensions, by now the leaf is easy to hold in flat bit tongs. 

My last steps are to planish the leaf at lower temps to give it final texture and thin edges. Stems often look well with lengthwise hammer marks. The last is to put veins in the leaf I use a blunted chisel as a chasing tool. I use the same chisel to incise square stock for cable and other twists. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Ditto what frosty said.  One addition would be if you don't have a horn, or if you prefer working over the face of the anvil you can use your cross peen to draw out the width of the leaf. I think the peen also makes it easier to leave a ridge in the center to make it more 3D. Keep it up, Bleu, you'll get the hang of it faster than you think and you'll start loving the things that come off your anvil. Hang some of this earlier stuff in a prominent place in your shop so you can always remind yourself how far you've come. 

I'd also suggest finding something more solid than an I-beam for an anvil. You lose a ton of energy working over something like that. 

Check out this thread for some ideas. 

 

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Finished off a fire set today. The stand has a heavy base from the scrap pile, a long wrought iron bolt attached and a forged four-hook assembly on top. I added the bearing ball as a bit of bling. The four tools are poker, rake, shovel and fork. It's the first fork I have made with four prongs. Reason is that the guy who's getting this has four kids and they all want a toasted marshmallow at the same time! Stock was recycled 10mm rebar.

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Bleu, I have something that looks very similar to that! It lives in my box of things I made when I first started. Frosty's leaf procedure is spot on and better than I could have described it. The more of them you make the better they'll get. I think adding a little more of a radius on the edge of your anvil will help make those isolations for leaf itself. If they're too sharp you end up with a real flat looking bottom of the leaf, which is  a little tough to fix after the fact. I also like to use a rounding hammer to widen out the leaf in specific areas if it's looking a little uneven, then use the flat side of the hammer for planishing. Leaves are a handy little addition to give things a finished look. Most of the fire pokers I make with a twisted handle, I add a leaf at the end of the twist. There are lots of places where you could throw one in, so keep it up.

It's funny how when you start out you think you need a heavy hammer, my first one was 4 pounds and purchased at the hardware store. It did'n't take long to realize that was way more than I needed. Now my favorite hammers are my 3# square circle rounding hammer and my 2# cross peen.

Aus, That's a nice looking set! I like the idea of the marshmallow roaster in there. I'm sure that'll get a lot of good use.

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Great job on the projects everyone has been posting. I haven't had much time to be on the computer lately and haven't been able to fire up the forge in the last month. By the time I finish what I have to do in the mornings it is too hot to work at the forge. So much for thinking I would have more time to do what I wanted when I retired. One of the members of our blacksmith club does copper work and got behind on some orders so I have been working with him a couple of days a week to catch up and made my wife something for the water garden she is starting

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^that is very cool ... it reminds me of a Japanese garden zen.

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I beams for anvils:  The London Pattern anvil has a sweet spot where most of the hammering is done.  It's where there is solid metal from the face to the base---you get the most "bang for your buck" there.  The unsupported areas get a lot lighter usage and are there for special tasks that require it.    An I beam is almost entirely non-sweet spot and so even a heavy piece acts only like the thickness of the flange and *that* is unsupported as well!    So it looks like your I beam anvil is really about 1/2" of unsupported steel.  Just think a sledge hammer head mounted in a stump would give you several times that! 

You can generally tell when folks who don't know anything about how an anvil works; build what they think is one and then try to sell them for outrageous amounts of money online.  A simple cube of metal works better as an anvil than their I beams and RR rails...

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The ball bearing bling is a great idea ausfire.

Don't know if y'all remember that I had a gas powered pole saw stolen a couple of years ago. I used to keep it under the carport attached to the garage on a couple of spikes horizontal. Anyway  I replaced it with a new Echo pole saw and had it stored inside the locked garage vertically up against the wall. Well it quit running a couple of weeks ago. It would start but not accelerate to cutting speed. I couldn't adjust the carburetor because it doesn't have any adjusting screws and the manual says to take it to an Echo dealer to get it adjusted (something to do with California emissions). Well the closest Echo dealer is 70 miles from us :angry:  so we trucked it over there. It is still under warranty and the dealer replaced the carburetor for free. Running great again.

I got to thinking maybe because I had it standing on end when not in use was what messed up the carburetor. Today I fired up the forge and made a couple of simple drive hooks to store it horizontal in the new addition. All total took about an hour, didn't need fancy.:)

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Iron Dragon it may have been caused by the quality of gas we purchase these days. I recommend using a dedicated can and adding a stabilizer to your gas for that type of tool each time you fill the can. Another problem that comes up with this type of equipment is the exhaust spark arrester gets plugged and shuts it down. Remove the cover and clean the screen and see if I works 

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I use 89 octane non-ethanol fuel with Stadil added. I mix one gallon at a time with 50 to1 oil mix which is used in both the saw and leaf blower so the fuel & spark arrester wasn't the problem. I had checked that along with the spark plug and fuel & air filters. The pole saw had less than 5 hours on it and the service center said it was a defective carburetor. It is running fine now.

The funny thing is the carburetor does not have the hi & lo adjusting screws only the idle screw and it was idling fine but wouldn't accelerate. On some Echo equipment the hi & lo screws are under plastic plugs, which are taken out to adjust them. This one does not have them and instead of a butterfly throttle plate, it has a barrel throttle plate that raises as it turns like some motorcycles I have owned. Thanks for the tips though, in case I had missed something who knows maybe someone else has the problem.

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The fuel does not seem as bad now as it did a couple years ago. Between my dad, work, and my own gas powered tools i got quite good at tearing apart the carbs and cleaning them out. 

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No smithing work here other than some cold hammer work to adjust pieces. 

Slow and steady..  Needed a Manlift so bought a Grove AMZ66XT which was in semi working condition.. Got that fixed and now about 30hrs more into the project with a bunch of rework do to terrible assembly instructions and my first flimsy metal building build. 

Lots of stuff just doesn't make any sense.. 

Have most of the front wall put together now.. Just have to work at figuring out the top and getting the right side up too. 

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I hear you Jennifer, any mods or mistakes you make erecting a steel building seems to effect the whole thing. Mine's a little wonky and would be worse if I hadn't been able to straighten one of the posts. It was bent but seeing as I picked it up at the yard with my trailer I couldn't claim they bent it. Not and get anywhere. 

Had I erected a few before mine I could've maybe put the man door where I wanted it but nope, I had two choices, next to the roll up or dead center of the opposite gable end. <sigh>  I'd loved to have a man lift to erect it. 

The erection instructions must've been translated from their native Tibetan Yeti by a school of anchovies. Every single drawing was a rendering, not one plan or elevation view. It was insane.

Oh, a useful suggestion rather than a rant in commiseration. If it's a little out of square the tension cables will tweak it true if you're careful, sometimes 1/2 turn on the tension nut is more than enough. You've probably already thought of it but what the hey, can't hurt might help. It can get the panels to settle in properly. 

We're pulling for you.

Frosty The Lucky.

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It's lookin' good, Jennifer.  Projects like that go slow when you're working by yourself.  I know........been there done that, pretty much all my life.

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Jennifer:  I make this suggestion because we had a contractor mess up a roof repair at the county fairgrounds by not putting the right (or any) gaskets on the fasteners holding the roof panels.  Make sure that however the roof panels fasten on that the fasteners have some sort of gasket or caulk on the top side of the roof.  Otherwise, you will have LOTS leaks.  We had to collect on the contractor's performance bond which was a lot of fun.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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On 8/1/2020 at 1:47 PM, Frosty said:

I hear you Jennifer, any mods or mistakes you make erecting a steel building seems to effect the whole thing.

thanks..  There is much to this I really don't understand..  this is one project hanging with someone in the know can make all the difference with easy of erection and not over complicating things.  :(  

I've had to redo several bolt aspects 3 or 4 times, changing them out..  I've come to the conclusion that hind sight is always 20/20 and the duh moments happen way to often with as you said the wonderful instructions, Yeti then Anchovies.. LOL.. 

The main frame sides are square and we dropped a line from the top on both ends till it just hit the strings running side to side. I've measured the diagonals at the roof like 2million times but the closest I can get them is about 1/8" off out of Sq..  The building does not move the way one would think with the upper truss rods. 

There is a combination of pinching over the whole span (center section) (polygonal) and/or a pulling/pushing the center section together.. Anyhow,  jogging up the ladder 25ft 50times gave my but those "Buns of steel" from the exercise videos from back in the 90's..  LOL..  

I'm still not happy about the center as I can't seem to figure it out in my head the exact method in application..  My own hang up maybe. 

On 8/1/2020 at 4:52 PM, Chris C said:

It's lookin' good, Jennifer.  Projects like that go slow when you're working by yourself.  I know........been there done that, pretty much all my life.

Help is a good thing..  This is one job where it really does seem help is lacking.  Covid just means staying put and getting more work done. 

On 8/1/2020 at 7:45 PM, George N. M. said:

Make sure that however the roof panels fasten on that the fasteners have some sort of gasket or caulk on the top side of the roof.  Otherwise, you will have LOTS leaks. 

All the roof and side metal will be pre drilled after being aligned and clamped with an 1/8" drill bit and all the screws have rubber under the washers. 

I'm hoping there will be no leaks.. :)  Great suggestion for sure.. 

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Looking good!  BTW, in my world, 1/8" of square on a building that large!!!........call it done!!!!!!!!!!  You can get that much or more using two different tape measures, 'jus sayin'.

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1 hour ago, jlpservicesinc said:

All the roof and side metal will be pre drilled after being aligned and clamped with an 1/8" drill bit and all the screws have rubber under the washers. 

Oh NO!:o That can be a big mistake, especially on the roof! The guy I bought mine from suggested I clamp the roof panel then drive two screws at the top then snap line the others. I did it that way but to prove him wrong I marked where the screws would go with a Sharpie. About 3 panels the marks were visibly off and half way they were missing the purlins completely. The panels WILL compress or stretch sideways and throw things off. I had to really stretch the other gable end to get it, I even unscrewed two panels back and stretched them all to keep it from looking too screwed up.

I clamped and only screwed the tops of the panels on the other side while standing on the side that was already buttoned down. Then snapped the whole side, set the screws and moved down one purlin. The East side came out much more even. 

If you didn't get self drilling screws you need them or you'll go crazy drilling then setting a screw. The newer cordless drills with the clutch to prevent over tightening would've been a real treat when I put mine up. 

Doing it solo is a major PITA but doable.

Frosty The Lucky.

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My little brother asked me to clean up a blade he forged. One of his first ever. The bevel line was wonky, blade was a little rusty and tang was ground kind of convex- so the antler handle scales weren't even close to laying flat.

An hour or so later...

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Well I bet he's going to be happy with that, for sure.

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