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I Forge Iron

I'm not old, I'm just out of shape...


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Nothing illustrates how out of shape you are from 17 years playing steering wheel monkey (17 years as a otr truck driver) than trying to forge weld a 1 inch piece of cable on your ONE day off this week >.<

got half of it forge welded, one inch at a time, three cycles each... before I ran out of steam and couldn't lift the 2.25lbs rounding hammer I only JUST got in the mail yesterday

I'll try to get some pictures on my phone when I can lift my arms again...

also, twisting wrench I "made" with a one foot bit of rebar (only my second time welding with a wire feed)

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I haven't done a ton of welding cable, and hopefully someone with more experience than I have will chime in, but I've found that using a half round crossection bottom fuller or swageblock half round channel to forge into helps with welding cable quite a bit.  Also I would suggest using your twisting wrench to twist the cable tighter before welding the center section.  What has worked for me is forge welding the two ends, heating to red and wire brushing and fluxing liberally, then heating again and twisting tightly.  Reflux and only then I go for my forge weld of a couple of inches at a time.  Probably go faster with a  press, but all I have is a hand hammer and treadle hammer at this point.

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Yeah, pushing rolling stock doesn't keep your arms in shape unless you kill the power steering. :o

A V block helps weld cable as does a round swage, a couple pieces of angle iron and a welder makes a V swage. Easy peasy. I've forged into the corner between the face and horn on my anvil with moderate success welding cable. I didn't really try very hard and my results reflected it. :huh:

Frosty The Lucky.

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I know it has become a recent fashion for everyone to use a heavy hammer on small metal, but while you are forging very infrequently....try a lighter hammer...when you get fitter or are forging heavier section metal, then go for a larger hammer.

You are probably putting more energy in lifting a 2.25lb. hammer than you are in putting it down.

The smith I learned from worked mainly in the 18 century tradition often with wrought iron...so lots of scrolls water leaves fire welded together and simple mortice and tenon joints in the frames. The full range of traditional work.

He worked full time until he was 75 odd...only ever used two forging hand hammers. Both engineers ball peins, one with a crowned flat face and the other with a full face.

Both 1.5 lb.

I am not saying it is more efficient, but it is easier on the body to start with.

Alan

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3 hours ago, Alan Evans said:

only ever used two forging hand hammers. Both engineers ball peins, one with a crowned flat face and the other with a full face.

Both 1.5 lb.

I am not saying it is more efficient, but it is easier on the body to start with.

Alan

I agree. My main hammers are a 1.5 lb ball pein and a 2 pound cross pein. I rarely find the need to reach for the 4 pounder. Technique is often more efficient than brute force (and more accurate to boot!)

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straycat, your twisting wrench will work OK, but you should disassemble the jaws and grind the teeth to a smooth face.  As is, you are really gonna bugger up anything you try to twist...leaving scratches and gouges on your work.

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Like Latticino said above, I have found that twisting the cable tighter before welding helps tremendously. I have over 300ft of cable to play with and I am still trying to figure it out. But i have found that twisting helps alot. Heat, flux, welding heat, wire brush, twist tighter, flux, welding heat again.... etc.... that is what has been working for me (most of the time).

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