Tommie Hockett

Almost there!!!

41 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

well guys and gals, my wife and I almost have our setup complete enough to at least hammer on some steel!!! I have my "anvil" setup now. Although I need to move it we don't like the placement. So all I have to do is make my box bellows tomorrow and we will be cooking...... forging haha.  Then I need to aquire a vice of some description. Also check out our scrap yard haul. We got alot of rail road spikes, some cable, a ginormous bandsaw blade, 2 leaf springs and a piece of one, 3 big coil springs, a metric xxxx ton of lawn mower blades and a few odds and ends like pieces of plate steel and a sprocket and some stuff that I have no clue what it is. Came in at around $60 plus we had fun doing it!

20170721_213426.jpg

20170721_213440.jpg

Edited by Mod34
Edited for inappropriate language

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like you got stuff that is hard under the hammer and has specialized needs (forging ranges, etc)  Perhaps some plain A36 to get started with?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking good! 

Like @ThomasPowers, I'd recommend getting some A36 or the like to get started. The RR spikes are okay to work with, but can be tough to hold if you don't have the right tongs. You can hold anything longer than, say, 24" in your hand without trouble. See if you can find a steel supplier or fabrication shop that will sell you drops.

Also, take a minute to grind a cutoff hardy edge and a round fuller into the central web of your RR track anvil. That will give you a lot more usability.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If one is just does not necessarily need the head on a RR spike, but needs the square stock, just cut it off and then hold the square stock with any V-bit or even some round tongs.  No need then for special tongs.  I'm not a fan of RR spikes, but often use the shank for square stock.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And if you have more time then money you could just forge the head of the spike back to square stock tho it will cost extra fuel for the fire. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, arkie said:

If one is just does not necessarily need the head on a RR spike, but needs the square stock, just cut it off and

Not that any blacksmith would but don't throw out the heads of the RR spikes.  When you cut them off leave about 1 1/2 " stem, drill and thread the ends as they make fabulous Draw Pull handles. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hey kid .... is "threading the ends" the same thing as tapping them ??  :ph34r:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can pick up old or used bench vises pretty cheaply at yard, garage, etc. sales. One of those and a hack saw WILL cut virtually everything  I see in your haul. Once it's in usable sizes you can make most of the rest of your kit. However pick up a stick of mild or A 36 to learn basic forging practices with. If you were to buy 3/8" x 1/2" rectangular it makes tongs in about as simple steps as I know. RR spikes are a good stock size for making tongs as well but involve more work.

Search out "Twist tongs" for really simple tongs. Not great tongs mind but they work and can be adapted.

Frosty The Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks guys.Thomas I will keep that in mind I did see a metal sales warehouse the other day in sherman Tx I will have to check it out and see if they will sell me any drop off. JHCC if you can forgive my ignorance but can you explain a little more about what you mean about a fuller and the hardy cut off edge... I think I know what you mean about the cut off edge, but as for the fuller... I thought that was an indention in a knife blade? Also how would I fit both of them on the central web?, Unless they dont need to be very big. Also thanks in advance for your help. Great Idea on the drawer handles notownkid! Also yall all have my apologies if I offended yall. I accidentally put a cuss word in my original post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, notownkid said:

Not that any blacksmith would but don't throw out the heads of the RR spikes.  When you cut them off leave about 1 1/2 " stem, drill and thread the ends as they make fabulous Draw Pull handles. 

That's a kool idea...gotta save that one!  Thanks.  And, like rthibeau said, it would be better to tap them....just pullin' yer chain, there. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks frosty! I have an old set of tongs that was given to me a few years back... I collect tools whether I need them at the time or not haha. Although Im not sure what kind they are I will try to get a picture of them tomorrow and pit them up. I also heard that you can draw out the old style of tinsnips and make the into tongs? I have several old rusty pairs of those. I will check into getting some A36 as soon as I get back. Im on my 14 day hitch right now. I didnt get to finish my box bellows but I have most of it done and will post a picture of it when I get back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't get stuck on thinking you Need tongs just yet, work with stock long enough the end in your hand doesn't get hot. You're better off not using tongs if you can help it no matter how experienced you are. It just ads a layer of separation between you and the work.

Same for turning tin snips into tongs. . . Sure, anything CAN be done but I'd have to be in a pretty tight spot before I went to THAT much work for a pair of tongs. Guys convert hoof nippers too and that'd be a lot less effort but still more than just making a pair from stock.

However part of the real fun of blacksmithing is turning one thing into another, I just don't recommend a person invest a lot of time and effort doing so until they've built a good skills set UNLESS they really need to.

Frosty The Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Duly noted Frosty and I appreciate the advice. Im ready to get everything setup so I can hammer on some steel haha. I get carried away a little bit. when Im away at work I pass the time by thinking about stuff at home and Im a problem solver. So since this is my latest big project it tends to inhabit a large portion of my brain haha.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I not long ago got to the point where not having the right tongs was a major setback.  I did most of my learning using long stock and then cutting off the work.  Once I started doing more complex designs it became necessary to cut the project from the parent stock at a certain point in the process.  It was then that having the right tongs is critical.  Some people say that tong making is a bad early project for a new smith and it may be so; however, at some point early on I think it is important to start making them using long stock, forging a bit on each end, so that you have the ability to make them when the time comes that you can't move forward without the right tool.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Tommie Hockett said:

JHCC if you can forgive my ignorance but can you explain a little more about what you mean about a fuller and the hardy cut off edge... I think I know what you mean about the cut off edge, but as for the fuller... I thought that was an indention in a knife blade? Also how would I fit both of them on the central web?, Unless they dont need to be very big.

A fuller is basically something with a round top that is used to create a hollow in a piece of steel. The "fuller" in a knife blade is shorthand for "fullered groove" or "fullered blade", because forged blades often have that groove made with a fuller.

Here's what I'd suggest with your rail: starting about 1/2" or so from the underside of the top of the rail, grind a 3" section of the web into a steepish knife edge.  This is your cutoff. (You could even do two sections: one with symmetrical bevels and one with the bevel all on one side (this is called a "butcher" and is useful for a lot of stuff).) Then, grind the remainder of the web so that the edge is smoothly radiused all the way. This is the fuller, and you can use it for all kinds of operations.

If you're not familiar with how this should work, take a look at some of the other improvised RR track anvils here on IFI. In particular, take a look at what @Jasent did with his in this post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, rthibeau said:

hey kid .... is "threading the ends" the same thing as tapping them ??  :ph34r:

Threading, Tapping depends on the day, size of RR Spikes.  I have some Mine spikes that threading would be easier than tapping, Gorilla Glue maybe, or drill hole in drawer frt. and then drive sq. spike into hole with glue works great.       

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, rthibeau said:

hey kid .... is "threading the ends" the same thing as tapping them ??  :ph34r:

No. Threading is male, tapping is Female. 3D mirror structures. 

Drill, tap and use a stud if you want a threaded screw for drawer pulls. A drop of Locktite and it isn't going to come out unless you want it to.

It's a terrific idea for RR spike heads, everybody recognizes them and they feel pretty good to your hand. 

Frosty The Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Me, I'm against anything that will catch on my insulin pump tubing as I walk by---(OUCH!); but I'm for selling things folks will *buy*!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't like grabby stuff in the house either. Other people's houses? No ProblemO

Frosty The Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My worst attacker seems to be post vise handles.  I've started running the tubing under my shirt and out at the neck with the pump in my shirt pocket when I'm working in the shop.

Glenn's been selling me the blacksmithing shirts with a pocket---a lot more hassle for him and I gladly pay for the extra work!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like listening to my Kindle when working and the cord is always snagging something so I thread it through my shirt. It works best to run it down my back. Seems I never bend over backwards for anything so it doesn't catch on anything. I care about afterwards anyway.

Frosty The Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am getting to work finnally!!!! I will post pics of my mashed up steel later. But the forge is up and the anvil is level and at decent height.I also went and bought some mild hot rolled drop off. The people at the metal sales didn't know what A36 was they said they had mild hot rolled or hard cold rolled. Anyway here is some pictures.

20170809_164608.jpg

20170809_164602.jpg

20170809_164555.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you left handed Tom?

Frosty The Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nah I'm right handed but I know exactly what your seeing. I just don't know how to make it any better or position it in a different way. We have a very small space to work with, any suggeations would be awesome. This is the picture of my wife and our irons in the fire.... she doesnt want to be on the internet in all of her safety regalia haha. Thats why you cant see her face

1502332457875569135918.jpg

These are our first projects of the night. My wife's successful attempt at a fire rake and my dismal.... learning experience trying to turn a rectangle bar into a square bar... 

1502332758421641089929.jpg

1502332794551951695227.jpg

150233280964064383275.jpg

I cant get mine to upload. Oh well I will try later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rotate the forge 90* clockwise maintaining a safe distance form the wall. That way if you stand in the same position relating to the forge, the anvil will be in front of you on your right side. this will allow you to draw your steel and step forward to the anvil and your hammer will be at hand.

You have a LOT of fire going there's way more air going to it than you need. You aren't heating a shot put are you? If you'll put a bend on the tuyere pipe so it's pointed downwards right behind the blocks it'll save a few sq ft of space. One of the guys here used an electrical junction box of a name I don't recall as his air control. The blower fed into the junction directly at the cover plate and the tuyere pipe was located at a 90. He controlled air by opening the cover plate which was on one screw. It was a SWEET setup.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now