Peppie

Can this be done???

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Would be more cost effective to buy one and use the time it would have taken for paying work.

Do you have EDM for the holes?

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What is an EDM?

Have been weighing out cost, time, labor,and compramize shapes. I am in the research phase.

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OK so I guess you won't be doing your own machining.

Electrical discharge machining see wikipedia for more info.

If you are not going to do your own machining then I would expect having a block machined would cost over US$1000

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You are right I wont be machining it myself. I have a buddy who owes me a favor. I am hopeing the cost is no where near that.

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I suggest that you replace some of the 90 degree triangular shapes with some that are 60 degrees so that you can forge a equilateral triangular shape.  Also, I would place the round shapes on the edge in ascending or descending order of size of radius.  That way, if you are closing up a round shape such as a socket you can move from one shape to the next size easily.  As you have it laid out you might have to go to the side of the swage block or turn it over 90 degrees.  Not the most efficient way to do it.

 

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand"

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Great point George, I will be reworking some of the edge placements. Wouldnt a 120 degree "V" give me the equilateral ? I have the 120 but not the 60.

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Have you priced a block of 4140 that size? I have a Lancaster pattern swage block and it weighs in around 200 lbs. though I haven't put it on a scale. When I was in better shape I could barely lift it into the stand, it felt about like lifting my 206 lb. Trenton.

No need for 4140 swages don't take the kind of hammering that'd require an impact resistant medium carbon steel. Mine is grey cast iron.

The square swages aren't much use, it's easy to forge square precisely, hex swages are much more useful.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Dear Peppie,

No, a 120 degree shape will give you a "flat" triangular shape.  The internal angles of an equilateral triangle equal 180 degrees.  Hence, each angle equals 60 degrees.  Funny how that high school geometry comes back in useful ways.  Look at a triangular file for confirmation.

 

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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Also, consider what shapes you will need in a swage block for whatever type of smithing you will be doing and then design it appropriately.  For example, some smiths might use graduated hemispherical shapes for different sized bowls of ladles, others not so much.  I've always thought that many of the round and square shapes in the face of a "standard" swage black were there for "industrial" smithing.  If you are repairing steam engines and similar they have a use but for lighter smithing maybe they will never be used.

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I have an old swage block and use it very seldomly.  I have a shelf of dishing forms made from toroid tow/lift rings and welding gas bottle bottoms and so don't need the dish on it and if I use a specific swage more than a couple of times I make one that will go in the hardy hole of one of my anvils.

I bought my swageblock right when I was getting started and luckily it was fairly cheap back then, about US$1 a pound just like anvils...

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On 11/26/2018 at 12:30 AM, Frosty said:

hex swages are much more useful.

I use hex far more than most other shapes

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My buddy got back to me. I can have this water-jetted for a total of $375 with 1018 steel. Do I? Or dont I?

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Probably not a bad price for the amount of work involved to waterjet that piece, but I went with the Holland Anvil block. Beautiful casting and extremely reasonable pricing when you go to the manufacturer and not buy it off the CL or EB scammers

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JME they do make a nice swage. But if I can pay a bit more and have more of the profiles tha I will use.........

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On 11/26/2018 at 4:00 AM, George N. M. said:

suggest that you replace some of the 90 degree triangular shapes with some that are 60 degrees so that you can forge a equilateral triangular shape.  Also, I would place the round shapes on the edge in ascending or descending order of size of radius.  That way, if you are closing up a round shape such as a socket you can move from one shape to the next size easily.  As you have it laid out you might have to go to the side of the swage block or turn it over 90 degrees.  Not the most efficient way to do it.

This is why I love iforgeiron.com 

Sound advice given freely, whether it’s from Alaska, Australia, Texas... Man I think you fellas are all great.

Can you tell  I’m working down in London for a couple of months and missing my forge, my sheep, my dogs,  my kids and Mrs Macleod?  

Even more heartbreaking is I couldn’t drive down this time as I snapped a coil spring in my good car just seconds after Mrs MacLeod told me to slow down.  However, the silver lining to that cloud is I can try making a graver out of a section of it when I go back up.  Sorry, just realised I added no value here at all to the discussion. My current swage block is made out of a bit of 6 by 6 fence post, good for making wee shovels but the smoke gets in your eyes.

oh! The bit that’s heartbreaking about the car is that I usually cram it full of any good iron I can get at car boot sales and the like down south and take it home. I only have a 20kg allowance on the big silver bird.:huh:

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How thick? The other bigger question is why do you want a swage block? I have had one for over 20 years and have yet to use it.

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Some ideas:

1. Keep your holes away from the edges , or it weakens the block. The lower two corners look fine.

2. Use symmetry for the holes near the edges. To look good, and not trigger the ocds, they should probably be equally distant (equal thickness) from both edges..

3. Square holes can hold hardies. Think about their position , with hardies in them. What if you have 3 hardies going, where do you want them situated for forging a progressive shape?

 

Your pattern with the squares diagonal to each other is almost a german pattern. If your two smallest circle holes in the upper half of the block move down a bit, you now have the classic german "X" design.

Do you have a purpose for the longest bar hole? Aesthetically it looks good, but it removes much of the support under the half round.

Your outer pattern is 3-7-4-5.

Some blocks are more mathematical: 3 5 7  9 or 3-4-5

 

 

 

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Look at the rect. holes on this block. They are arranged to minimize the effect of the forces coming from the sides. 

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My ipad wont let me reduce the size of this image using the + button. :(

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OK, this is a beginner question from an old smith but how and for what purpose do you use the round, square, and rectangular holes in the face of a swage block?  I have never been in a situation where I looked at my swage block and said, "Aha, that round/square/rectangular hole is just what I need for the project I'm working on!"  Maybe it's the sort of things I make don't require this sort of thing.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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Monkey tool for truing tenons on large projects. (Extremely very rare in my case; But I have used it for that.  May be using it more as I forge more stake anvils from Sledge heads and need to size the shafts.)

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Thomas, thanks.  That makes sense.  I just don't do mortise and tenon work at that scale.  It would make more sense if I were repairing steam locomotives or traction engines.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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I'm interested to see if others have different uses.

I have seen them used as headers for large "display" nails too now that I think of it---the 3' long ones!

And of course the through holes make it easier to mount them on something as a weight..."How far can you swim carrying a swage block?" Simple answer is: "How deep is the lake?"

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