Judson Yaggy

Rotary block

15 posts in this topic

This is cool. But not $3k cool.  Don't know anything more than what you see in the pics.

 s-l500-1.jpg.3cea48eb1990b9508b8c266e8d61317c.jpgs-l500.jpg.5278fe4ff341dda1d1fcae0b584b9e98.jpgs-l1600.jpg.376e34f33e276a9dd7dedc346f09a7db.jpg

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That's cool, but how do you turn it on it's side to use the through-holes?

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That is very cool. 

Might be reasons why you don't see those very often but I like it. :) 

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39 minutes ago, JHCC said:

That's cool, but how do you turn it on it's side to use the through-holes?

A chain hoist comes to mind.    Or someone stronger than me.

If you're asking about how to make those holes accessible it appears that the stand would allow the "axle" either cone side down or up to fit between the sides of the stand, which has flat horizontal surfaces.  That should allow you to spin it to have access to the desired hole.

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So, you're thinking (1) lift the swage with a chain hoist or the like, (2) rotate block to horizontal, and (3) replace on stand? That makes sense, but it seems awfully cumbersome.

 

 

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Have you seen a decent sized swage block where it isn't cumbersome to change the orientation?

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Just now, Buzzkill said:

Have you seen a decent sized swage block where it isn't cumbersome to change the orientation?

No, but the whole point of this one seems to be to make it less cumbersome.

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Rotate to desired face,  (8 to choose from), put pins in locating holes (2 per the 8 faces) to keep it from turning during use.

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43 minutes ago, JHCC said:

No, but the whole point of this one seems to be to make it less cumbersome.

I get your point, but there may be a reason this design did not become an industry standard.

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. One side can act as a mandrel cone..  Very neat just the same.. 

I know I'm going to sound like a broken record but when was the last time anybody on here used a swage block for it's true purpose and while they can be handy to have  in 30 what ever years of doing this there have only been a handful of times where the swedge block was the go to piece of equipment.. I suppose if someone only had a swedge block that sized from 1/4" to 2.5 it would or could take the place of anvil swages.. 

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 Nice.....I'm thinking, for what I do.....if one of the 8 sides was flat, I could sell my anvil and clear out a bunch of tooling. If only the cone was solid and no through hole. That may not be a problem, but I'd sure like to have one to find out. Thanks for posting Judson.             Life is Good                Dave

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I'd make space for it in my shop, you betcha. The catalog pic is different from the photo but that's okay. I agree Jennifer I don't use my swage block more than half a dozen times a year and often to hold a bottom tool so it handy and doesn't take up room on the anvil. I will say that when I really need it it's a wonderful thing. 

I just use a long pinch bar to rotate mine, the stand is end mounted old guard rail posts through bolted making a step. The lower step puts the block's edge at working height, the top step puts the faces at working height. The pinch bar lets me rotate the block by slipping it through a hole near one side and levering it up, it rotates 90* easy peasy. slip the bar through a more centered hole so it won't rotate and  just lever it up on the top step, OR lever it back down. Easy peasy though at my age that long pinch bar qualifies as HEAVY:( tooling.

I don't recall who but guys are making rotary swage blocks now though not this kind. The new blocks are  die or face oriented where the one pictured is swage or edge oriented. I know I use the swages (edge) on mine WAY more often than the through holes and I only use them to sink or drive shoulders. I Guesstimate edges get used 100+:1 over the face in my shop.

Frosty The Lucky.

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In days gone by, I suspect the swage block was an important too in the blacksmith shop and got used on a regular basis or at least semi-regular basis. Look at the size of the square holes, round holes, slots, and then look at the different size V shaped and half round shaped edges. They were put those sizes into the block for a reason, because that is the shape needed to do the work on the project at hand.

One reason that the swage blocks have gathered dust is the purpose for the tool is no longer needed, or at least not on a regular basis.

When was the last time you used the 2 man cross cut saw handing on the wall, or the old time buck saws, or the wagon jack? How many people do you know that have a steelyard, AND use it? (Other than JLP).  Yes they are all cool tools, but ... rarely used now days.

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I use mine often enough to justify it's floor space.  The half round swages for tweaking 3 dimensional curves and the round dishing depressions for, well, dishing are my most used shapes.  If you set up your swage block AS AN ANVIL (which it is) i.e. at the proper hight and with working space around it you might be surprised at how useful it is.  Especially if your stand can hold all surfaces of the block at working hight.  How far removed is a striking anvil or a cutler's anvil from a swage block?

Frosty, John Newman from Canada is the guy producing modern rotary blocks.  Last I looked there was an American tool retailer carrying them here in the USA but given the rules I shouldn't mention their name. 

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I have used my swage block more than enough times to pay for it many times over, I would not think twice about buying one, although I do a great variety of metalwork.

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