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for my hammer forging project i'm in need for a flatter and i would like to make it myself but i was wondering if going the fabrication way ie welding a 60x60mm 20mm thick plate to a 40mm square bar would sufficient for a flatter. i would make it all out of mild steel seen is this i've got easy access to 

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It will probably work, but it probably won’t last. As a field expedient, short-term solution, it would probably be more than adequate.

Of course, there is nothing half as permanent as a temporary solution. 

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I have plenty stock but forgin a 70mm axle down on your own without a striker or powerhammer ist that simple 

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"i would make it all out of mild steel seen is this i've got easy access to" 

So you have easy access to a medium carbon steel; it's just not in a form that would be easy to use.  Personally I would rather do more work for a tool that will last longer than less on one that would need replacement---unless I was piloting in a design and then I would go with the quick and dirty one and replace it with a better one when I get a design that works!

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A square section of truck leaf spring would work for the face of the flatter. 

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All you need for a flatter is a wide flat face, just use the 70mm as is with a handle attached. No need to make it a TEE shape.

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I saw a video of someone making a flatter using an old 3 lb sledge. It turned out great and half the work was already done. 

First post. Lurking for almost 2 years. Great bunch of guys!

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I was sort of in the same boat, flatters are expensive to buy one and its a massive block of steel, you can do it by hand but with a block that big you gotta whittle away at it.

I ended up settling for rehandling a 10lb S7 sledge and shaving the face flat to work as a flat surface hammer and just use very gentle but firm deadblows of sort s grabbing it by the throat.(firmly slamming the surface and not letting it bounce off)

it follows the same principle but its not as nice, plus side is you dont need a striker but you do need to be accurate. its a ghetto alternative.

Other thing iv done was use S7 oversized stock and just hit that when I have a striker.

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I've made flatters from other double faced hammers and have also made flatters from wrought iron with steel faces, mild steel with HC steel faces and solid HC steel.. 

A flatter used to come in many, sizes and with different radius on the faces..  dead flat to just a degree or two..  Round, retangular, square.. etc, etc.. 

I have flatters that weigh as little as a about 1.5lbs to about 4lbs ..   The key to any top tool is the lighter it is the more potential work is down for a given size hammer... 

If you are working by yourself a flatter that has a steel shaft affixed to it like a guillotine tools pivot will free up the holding of it, the metal and your hand hammer so you can use the anvil face and the flatter in a controlled method.. 

This pic will give you the general idea..  The hardie hole shank is the same width as the hardie hole side to side  but 3/4 the thickness.. Then a wedge is used to hold it in the correct position.. If you are using the same size material all the time a hole can be drilled at that point and then a pin can be used and the shaft left square, but won't be able to use the wedge with adjustable height.. 

You can make the arm a long as you want but really should be no shorter than about 6" or 8" long as then the radius of the pin to head gets to short and you will be flatting only 1 side of the stock.. Can work well if you want tapers.. 

20190105_084052.jpg

to forge on of these would be about 1 hr or so and then depending on if you have a welder or not you can just weld the head on..   Or make all your top tools eyes the same and then you can run a bolt to tapered shaft.. 


And to answer you guestion....  Of course you can make the took out of mild steel..     Mild steel is tougher/harder than wrought iron and while the best tools used a medium or high carbon steel face a mild steel flatter will last plenty long enough as it's used on hot metal vs cold.. 

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Posted (edited)

 

I realy like your idea, i think 'll try that route 

Edited by Mod34
Unnecessary quote removed.

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The only modification I’d suggest to Jennifer’s “flatter guillotine” would be to make the horizontal arm longer, extending past the vertical post. That way, you can raise the flatter by resting your hammer on the outboard end of the arm. Once your workpiece is in place, lift your hammer, drop down the flatter, and you’re good to go. 

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My most favorite swing arm fuller has JHCC's enhancement *and* I added a die spring to the mounting bolt so it holds in place when lifted without needing to keep the hammer on the extension. A slight tap and it's in contact and ready for a WHOMP! (technical term in my shop....)

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JHCC this would depend on which side your hardie hole is..  Since I am right handed and my horn/hardie hole is on the right of the anvil face.. No need to have the nib on the end.. Just reach under the arm itself.. 

If you have the ability to forge what ever you want..

I think this will be the next " How to" video..  I have some time today and was looking for the next series of videos..  I think we have a winner.. 

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Now there's a duhhhhh moment!  What a great thought.  Looking forward to the video Jennifer.

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There isn't much I didn't work with in my earlier years... If I found a lack in tooling I'd just make it. Not having someone to tell me it was possible or impossible was both a great thing and a bad thing as i had to figure stuff out for myself. Some of the early stuff was very crude..  

I built a grinder once that I was the only 1 who would use it. It would walk across the floor even with perfectly balanced wheels.. It became knows as the (Death eater)... My main helpers back then will still talk about it... They would try it and then run screaming for the door as it was that scary.. (just kidding on the running for the door.. Screaming,, well that did occur once in awhile.. :) 

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A few things about this design to be aware of.

First, I'm not an advocate of guillotine tools. This is my preference, not a condemnation. 

As for jlp's design, I'd make the shaft longer so you could free it with a tap from the bottom.

I'm not in favor of wedges in my hardy hole. Its much argued  concerning shoulderless hardy tools in general. For me, I use the edges of my hardy hole for many things and wedges tend in a short amount of time to roll and deform these edges. Other than that, the wedge works.

The face of the flatter must be parallel with your work. And the face of the tool must be slightly rounded or the slight amount of displaced material will leave unwanted mark's on your work because as soon as you displace material, your surfaces are no longer parallel.The wedge and lack of a shoulder work to prevent this, unless your work is tapered, then it's a no go as you move down the taper. Think a 4 sided tapered spear point type finial.

And finally, and my primary reason for not being a fan of guillotine tools in general. Thats the rebound blow made  by the tool after you strike and raise your hammer. It tends to leave unwanted mark's on my work.

A spring top/bottom design works most of the time to solve these problems.

Of course, the ultimate spring type tool is a treadle hammer. Lol, this solves all problems I've pointed out.

As a final note I use very few top and bottom combo tools. Those I use either fit my treadle hammer, or are spring operated. I've come up with a few creative ways of secure my iron to my anvil, leaving me two hands for two tools.

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If I was going with a guillotine flatter personally I would just make a 3 inch wide guillotine tool like a fuller guillotine, thats alot of expensive steel though.

 

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20 cents a pound at my local scrapyard; you thinking it will cost as much as US$2?

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my input here would be if you intend to use a hammer of sorts as a top tool it would be smart to anneal the "struk " side .

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Or at least make sure its temper is softer than your hammer.

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Yes..   be a few days.. Maybe 4 days to edit it.. The flatter was upset and forged to shape.. NO swedge block used so it took a little longer.. 

I always try to use what others would have as basic tooling.. so just anvil, forge, hammer, round punch, and vise with jaw protectors.. 

I tried to stay away from the vise also, but it became a time crunch thing and it is so much easier.. 

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