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I Forge Iron

can you break your swage block?

Mark Ling

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I have never heard of a swage block breaking in two, but have always wondered. I did a quick google search with no results. most swage blocks are of cast iron, and lots of time get heavy sledge work, so why don't we see any broken swage blocks ever? is it just because of the thickness? is that why the smaller ones tend to not have any holes for upsetting? just curios about all this.


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I don't know as I have seen several with broken off corners and damaged swages on the side.  Even worse at at VoTech on the east side of OKC I once saw a swage block on a commercial cast iron holder where they had used it as an anvil stump and had torched out the inside of the block to make it lighter!

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Just a guess but i'd say the fact that something you're hitting is set into an open whole, and not the top of the swage block has something to do with it. 

for example if you were to have a cast iron block and holes (depressions really) that only went half way through, then put in a piece of hot steel a lot more force will be put into the cast iron block. since the piece is in open air and can rebound off the "shoulders" of the hot piece much less force is displaced into the swage block. 

maybe we're just 50 years too late to see a lot of cracked swages, any that had defects in the casting or really bad base materials in the cast likely broke early and found their way back into scrap piles. just a series of guesses

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