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I Forge Iron

made a spring fuller


bobasaurus

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I made my first spring fuller today from 1/2" O1 rod, a base plate, and some angle iron welded into a hardy shank (not pictured).  After shaping, I hardened the whole rod then tempered it to about 425 deg F, then later drew a softer temper on the spring section.  The shape turned out okay, though the spring is on the strong side.  Next time I'll try to draw out the spring area thinner.  I am a very amateur welder, so my weld line looks terrible but should hold.  Wish I was better with the mig.  

DSC_0226.JPG

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I appreciate your work having recently done this spring fuller.  I too have a small MIG so far the welds have held.  The holes are 3/8" and 1/2".  I normalized before forging so I could cut it but did not harden/temper when finished that includes the die's, I have been watching them, so far so good, it does spring enough for a fuller,   I wish I  had drawn out the center too because it was a horse to move into shape, lots of trial and error getting it aligned.  I am going to make one like yours some, I have a coil spring 5/8" that is standing by. 

Spring.jpg

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stockmaker, that's a nice looking spring setup.  

 

I had some O1 laying around so I used it... I don't have access to coil springs, and ordering more traditional spring steel stock online doesn't cost any less than O1 drill rod.  At least it'll hold up.  Downside is it dents my hammer face when using it.  Maybe I'll soften up the top bar at least.  

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You can normalize a regular double faced engineer hammer or a drilling hammer.   Just get the head hot past non magnetic, then set it aside next to the forge and allow to cool slowly, most hammers won't air harden and will normalize nicely.  You can use a copper or brass hammer, which i use for tools made out of fancy air hardening tool steels. But on the downside I find I chew through them pretty quickly;-)  Getting a slightly softer drilling hammer would be quite ideal, nice shape that focuses your blow....  You could also temper the spring fuller back to 500 in the oven and see if it doesn't help out too...  It's all fun and games until something spalls and someone looses an eye...

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18 minutes ago, SJS said:

You can normalize a regular double faced engineer hammer or a drilling hammer.   Just get the head hot past non magnetic, then set it aside next to the forge and allow to cool slowly, most hammers won't air harden and will normalize nicely.  You can use a copper or brass hammer, which i use for tools made out of fancy air hardening tool steels. But on the downside I find I chew through them pretty quickly;-)  Getting a slightly softer drilling hammer would be quite ideal, nice shape that focuses your blow....  You could also temper the spring fuller back to 500 in the oven and see if it doesn't help out too...  It's all fun and games until something spalls and someone looses an eye...

I ground it a bit thinner and tempered the spring section softer.  Seems to have helped some.  I do need a sacrificial soft-faced hammer.  I'll use a cheap chinese 4 lb sledge for now and see how it goes.  I just dressed all my hammer faces, don't want to ding them up again.  

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If you use really good steel for your tools and harden them good, you do need a sacrficial hammer, weither it is a cheapo 4# that is only for hitting tools or not is up to you.  The guys who are doing the tool making curriculum use their forging hammers to strike their tooling as well but they are often using 4140, as forged just normalized for all their tooling.  I work very hard to never hit my tooling with my forging hammers, I like them too much... BUT i have lots of S7 and H13 tools that are harder than my hammers.  You also need to be concerned with metal fatigue and spalling on hardened steels, again a good reason to use a somewhat softer hammer for striking tools, and to regrind any mushrooming.  My fancy air hardened tools almost never mushroom, since I stopped hitting them with hard faced hammers, much safer...

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But you are wise enough to learn from your mistakes, and I am betting you will never make that mistake again... :-) Most importantly, no blood, no foul!!!  The new one looks real nice, you could probably get by with as forged normalized...

 

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Do you really need to make this type of spring fuller from spring steel? I make mine from mild and they have been working fine thus far. Easily available and easily worked. No problem with chipping tool or hammer. I tack weld to a piece of square tubing that has been fitted to the hardy hole. Since the bottom tine lies flat on the anvil, not much is needed to hold the contraption in place.

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On 2017-02-19 at 7:34 AM, stockmaker said:

I appreciate your work having recently done this spring fuller.  I too have a small MIG so far the welds have held.  The holes are 3/8" and 1/2".  I normalized before forging so I could cut it but did not harden/temper when finished that includes the die's, I have been watching them, so far so good, it does spring enough for a fuller,   I wish I  had drawn out the center too because it was a horse to move into shape, lots of trial and error getting it aligned.  I am going to make one like yours some, I have a coil spring 5/8" that is standing by. 

Spring.jpg

I see you drilled the holes while clamped together. You need to relieve/radius the inside edges/corners of both sides of the Die stock. Without the radius it will cause little pinches in your work, causing cracks to form. The way they are, they are good only for the last finish of the Tenon.

just my $0.02

Neil

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On 2017-02-19 at 7:34 AM, stockmaker said:

I appreciate your work having recently done this spring fuller.  I too have a small MIG so far the welds have held.  The holes are 3/8" and 1/2".  I normalized before forging so I could cut it but did not harden/temper when finished that includes the die's, I have been watching them, so far so good, it does spring enough for a fuller,   I wish I  had drawn out the center too because it was a horse to move into shape, lots of trial and error getting it aligned.  I am going to make one like yours some, I have a coil spring 5/8" that is standing by. 

Spring.jpg

I see you drilled the holes while clamped together. You need to relieve/radius the inside edges/corners of both sides of the Die stock. Without the radius it will cause little pinches in your work, causing cracks to form. The way they are, they are good only for the last finish of the Tenon.

just my $0.02

Neil

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Yep you are right.  I don't know why I have to learn things the hard way.  I knew a radius was needed on the sides but I decided mine did not have to be as radical as the ones I see in the books.  So I put just a little radius on the edges when it was in the mill.  Now I am slowly filing them  by hand and those die's are tool steel.  I don't want to bend the spring yet because lining it up was tricky, but I may resort to that.

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Good Morning,

Put a wedge spacer (or two wedges to open straight) between the spring, to open up the jaws. Use a Die Grinder to radius the corners. Make sure your Eye Protection is covering your eyes, Die Grinders make little spears!! If you open up the Dies, you could touch the corners with an angle grinder. Heat up the spring to open. When finished removing corners, put two pieces of round bar between the jaws and close the jaws. Heat up the U-bend to relieve tension, Do not quench!!

I would use mild steel Flat bar when making a Spring Fuller. If alignment was a huge concern, drill and put an alignment pin, welded or riveted to one jaw only

Good Luck,

Neil

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Greetings Stockmaker,

         There is more than one way to skin a cat...  Bend open the spring fuller , dress the radius , install round blanks in the fuller , close in the vise,  For alignment just heat the spring cherry red and it should align the dies after it cools . This method has worked well for me in the past .  I'm spoiled now and make all my tennions on the fly press with a butcher and flat dies. Good luck on your project. 

Forge on and make beautiful things 

Jim

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 @ Bobasurus and Stockmaker...Provided you keep the work piece hot, mild steel tools do fine for most things...even when forging tool steels and stainless...and are safe. Most of my power hammer tools...swages fullers and taper blocks are mild steel...some of the fullers are from Progen but they are left normalised. The  mild steel ones stand up fine, are easy to make and repair if they wear. 

Punches, I oil quench Progen and blue temper it. I would rather any tool bend than break, even if it means I have to dress it true every now and then.

Springs for spring tools are all from mild steel flats, wide to maintain alignment and thin to be flexible without work hardening...you do not need them to do anything other than maintain the top tool in position. they do not need to spring up or down. The workpiece holds them up and the hammer or press brings them down.

@ Stockmaker Your problem with alignment can be easily over come by welding the blocks after bending the spring...I usually butt weld the ends of the spring to the end of the tool blocks rather than lapping them over the top and bottom, so that I am striking the tool rather than the spring.

The other way of making swages (especially when you have access to power hammer or press) is to forge them...this is very fast and automatically provides you with a soft lead-in which means you do not have to grind or sand the sharp edges off as you do with a drilled hole. No nips or cold shuts along the length of your tenons with out trying! Alignment is taken care of also obviously... plain blocks are welded to the spring and heated, the appropriate rod is held between and rotated whilst the blocks are driven together.

The welding problems you both seem to be having appear to be that you are not able to actually see where the weld metal is being deposited. The fillet is going to one side of the joint and you are not correcting it. With the mig try using both hands to control the torch...right handed, use your right hand to operate the trigger and your left to steady the torch with your little finger resting on the bench or on a block...obviously opposite if left handed. Make sure that you start with the torch to your right and are pushing the torch nozzle towards you...so that you can see up the end of the nozzle and that the shroud does not obscure your view of the weld pool. If the weld requires you to drag the torch...again drag it away from you but still with the nozzle toward you...so you can see what the weld pool is doing. I usually do a dry run to make sure I am in a position to see the weld pool for the entire length of the bead...it is so easy to be caught out by bringing the torch across in front of you and so lose sight of the weld pool part way along the weld.

You might find it an advantage to tack weld the assembly and then to prop it up so that the joint is vertically below the torch...if the torch was distributing mayonnaise it would flow into the joint Vee with a horizontal top. i.e. let gravity help.

Alan

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10 hours ago, stockmaker said:

Yep you are right.  I don't know why I have to learn things the hard way.  I knew a radius was needed on the sides but I decided mine did not have to be as radical as the ones I see in the books.  So I put just a little radius on the edges when it was in the mill.  Now I am slowly filing them  by hand and those die's are tool steel.  I don't want to bend the spring yet because lining it up was tricky, but I may resort to that.

Stockmaker

I to made the same mistake...a couple of times.  Took me about three tries to get enough material out to not leave "pinch" marks. By the third time I bent the spring and got after it.  Works good now you'll enjoy it.

Papy

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4 hours ago, Alan Evans said:

 @ Bobasurus and Stockmaker...Provided you keep the work piece hot, mild steel tools do fine for most things...even when forging tool steels and stainless...and are safe. Most of my power hammer tools...swages fullers and taper blocks are mild steel...some of the fullers are from Progen but they are left normalised. The  mild steel ones stand up fine, are easy to make and repair if they wear. 

Punches, I oil quench Progen and blue temper it. I would rather any tool bend than break, even if it means I have to dress it true every now and then.

Springs for spring tools are all from mild steel flats, wide to maintain alignment and thin to be flexible without work hardening...you do not need them to do anything other than maintain the top tool in position. they do not need to spring up or down. The workpiece holds them up and the hammer or press brings them down.

@ Stockmaker Your problem with alignment can be easily over come by welding the blocks after bending the spring...I usually butt weld the ends of the spring to the end of the tool blocks rather than lapping them over the top and bottom, so that I am striking the tool rather than the spring.

The other way of making swages (especially when you have access to power hammer or press) is to forge them...this is very fast and automatically provides you with a soft lead-in which means you do not have to grind or sand the sharp edges off as you do with a drilled hole. No nips or cold shuts along the length of your tenons with out trying! Alignment is taken care of also obviously... plain blocks are welded to the spring and heated, the appropriate rod is held between and rotated whilst the blocks are driven together.

The welding problems you both seem to be having appear to be that you are not able to actually see where the weld metal is being deposited. The fillet is going to one side of the joint and you are not correcting it. With the mig try using both hands to control the torch...right handed, use your right hand to operate the trigger and your left to steady the torch with your little finger resting on the bench or on a block...obviously opposite if left handed. Make sure that you start with the torch to your right and are pushing the torch nozzle towards you...so that you can see up the end of the nozzle and that the shroud does not obscure your view of the weld pool. If the weld requires you to drag the torch...again drag it away from you but still with the nozzle toward you...so you can see what the weld pool is doing. I usually do a dry run to make sure I am in a position to see the weld pool for the entire length of the bead...it is so easy to be caught out by bringing the torch across in front of you and so lose sight of the weld pool part way along the weld.

You might find it an advantage to tack weld the assembly and then to prop it up so that the joint is vertically below the torch...if the torch was distributing mayonnaise it would flow into the joint Vee with a horizontal top. i.e. let gravity help.

Alan

What is Progen?  Google isn't helping me here.  

Thanks for the welding tips.  That was maybe the third thing I'd ever welded.  My helmet is so dark I can't see for crap before starting, and even during the weld it's really dim.  I'm still getting used to the setup and settings on the welder.  I have a Millermatic 141, and I'm pushing it past the max rated thickness for sure.  

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