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I Forge Iron

It followed me home

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About a week ago, a neighbor gave me a box of "junk" tools that they had found cleaning their basement. Given how rusty they were, they mostly seemed like just scrap metal to me at the time. However, since I had been wanting to try using electrolysis for rust removal for a while, I decided to try it on a few of the tools. I'm very happy that I did, since after removing the rust from the good tools, here is what I was left with (there were also some that really were junk, but here are the good ones):


First from left to right is a 16 inch Nicholson file. I've never seen a file this big and thick before. It's a bit worn in the middle, but the first and last few inches are still sharp, and cut incredibly well.

Second is a large Williams 737 open-ended wrench, with an opening of 1 1/8 on the small side, and 1 1/4 on the large side.

Third is what looks to be a very old wrench. There aren't any markings on it other than a large X cut in with a chisel.

Fourth is a front rack adjustable wrench marked "FAIRMOUNT CLEVE." After being cleaned up a bit, it seems to be quite a nice old wrench.

Fifth is a small ball-peen hammer. The head didn't have any visible markings, but I made a handle for it out of a scrap piece of cherry anyway.

The next three are just random wrenches, one marked "T77", one without markings, and one marked "BARCALO BUFFALO"

The last from the left is an interesting one. It's marked "TRUFFAULT-HARTFORD SHOCK ABSORBER" I didn't think much of it to begin with, since it didn't seem very special at all. However, after googleing around for a bit, I found that it is a kind of rare wrench meant for adjusting the friction applied on an early shock absorber.

If anyone knows anything more about any of these tools, I'd certainly appreciate hearing them!

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Acquired this little press via the usual auction website.....It's rusted solid and no handle or ball but I'm looking forward to bringing it back to life and using it.

One thing intrigues me, there are four square holes in the base that have been filled with lead............does anyone have any ideas why that would have been done? 

It's on the bench with liberally applied plus-gas on the seized parts, I'll leave that to do it's magic for a day or more before applying some gentle heat to try to get things moving.

Flypress 1.jpg

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Mr. Chelonian,

You get a lovely 'bunch' of tools and it gives many of us folks a really good feeling, when we rehab them and put them back to use.

The file teeth can be sharpened. It is not hard to do. Or, there are sharpening services advertised on the net. (they are a little pricey for my budget.)

I suggest that you search this site for "file re-sharpening" or file "acid etching".

We have discussed the process at great length, in the past.

Use "I.F.I."  plus the search phrase with your favorite search engine.  (the one on this site is not very good).



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Back in the bad old days poured led was used as a method of affixing items; we're generally more familiar with using lead set railing posts; but it was also used other places. I was just wondering if there were signs of fasteners or pegs set in the lead.  (I had a machinist friend offer to lathe a shaft to allow me to use a headache ball as a ball stake. He did it and was explaining how the internal threaded hole was offset slightly from the larger hole to it and how he had did something fancy and intricate to make up for that.  I told him I would have just stuck a rod in the hole, poured lead around it and have the rest of the time to forge... I have a trashed micrometer I once bought for US$1 that I keep for when machinists will visit---use it as a small clamp and listen to the wailing and gnashing of teeth!)

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I guess it’s who you talk to. Helped a friend clear out a storage locker he bought at auction. This was in the mix and he gave it to me for my troubles. I made a quick little hanger for it and man did it make quick work of that coil spring! Now I can get busy making tools. Had a hard time taking it so I’ll have to use it to make him something nice. 




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23 hours ago, JHCC said:

Nice project. Why not start a thread for its restoration?

Thanks to Thomas for your thoughts on the lead fillings. 

I have taken up JHCC suggestion and started a new thread in the presses section in order to document the restoration, some good progress already, please take a look.

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On 1/14/2019 at 11:33 AM, Chelonian said:

About a week ago, a neighbor gave me a box of "junk" tools that they had found cleaning their basement. 

one marked "T77", one without markings, and one marked "BARCALO BUFFALO"

If anyone knows anything more about any of these tools, I'd certainly appreciate hearing them!

Howdy Chelonian, The Barcalounger reclining chair was originally manufactured here in Buffalo, New York. They are still being made today but the company left Buffalo many years ago. Barcalo manufacturing was famous for making a wide range of products such as your wrench but are most well known for their recliners. They are also credited as being the company that invented the employee coffee break in 1902.







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Acquired this little beauty........the very end of the bick on my main anvil was missing when I bought it which means for some work I need something smaller. I usually use a large round drift to form smaller things around but have always wanted something to fit the Hardy hole. I love the fact that this has it's own hardy hole (Now looking for a tiny anvil that will fit into a 1/2" hardy hole:D"

I don't see any markings on it, I'll give it a light wire brushing to see if anything is revealed

It doesn't go very far into the hardy hole on  the mail anvil but I'll try it as it is before contemplating reducing the size of the stem a little.


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Just picked up a nice 6 1/2 “ leg vice and a No 15 Bradson pillar drill. Both not functioning but 5 mins work in them and I've spotted the issues. The pivot bracket on the vice is seized up preventing the jaws from moving but a swim overnight in wd40 magic juice should fix that. Its the one on the floor.   The pawl spring was missing on the pillar drill but otherwise apart from rust and grime all working. Heres the pics .  The pillar drill has a 50” dia flywheel and stands 2 1/2 feet tall.   On the vice there is no thrust washer - can I ask advice from those here if I need one? 


Feeling pleased with myself £70 the pair, and plenty to keep me busy these long winter evenings



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