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I Forge Iron

Twisting machine

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Yes, the untwisted end would need to secured - I think it could be done.  A tail stock sort of thing that would allow for shortening of the bar and also allow free spinning or fixed, depending on your desired twist.  I do have experience with large twists so I don't think I am to far out.  Not a pipedream or anything, just a thought.  If I had a job to do of 100's of tight twisted 1" square I'd think more

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  • 8 months later...

I was hoping to see some plans. I recall seeing the one Paley had. When I visited in the early 90s he was twisting big stuff (4-5” octagon/hex stock) sadly I don’t recall much about it. I would like to build such a machine but not having any parts yet am just in the idea stage. One shop I worked in many years ago had an old 28” swing lathe that they would mount a heavy pipe vise on the tool post and cold twist stock up to 2”. Just a beast of a lathe with a four jaw and a pipe vise- in back gear of course.  I don’t think I would try it in my big lathe- wouldn’t want to do that to a good lathe, though I wouldn’t mind having one that large.

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If I recall correctly, the twisting machine was powered by a electric motor, perhaps 5hp or more with a small v belt pulley to a larger pulley which was attached to the worm gear of a rather large worm gear drive that supposedly came from an elevator lift system.  A four jaw lathe chuck was tried first which exploded instantly when power was applied while trying to twist a larger piece of red hot stock.  Next a large C. Parker machinist type vise was tried and it too self destructed immediately.  The chuck that worked was fabricated from bits of heavy plate using 5/8" socket head screws to hold the work and had a square socket in which the workpiece was inserted.  Lesson there was no cast iron or other cast products for the chuck.  The bed or frame was two wide flange I-beams and the tail stock was a large pipe vise mounted to a wide flange piece of channel iron and had bearings to allow the tail stock to roll on the I-beams as the twisted stock became shorter.  Big stock came right from the forge hot and a large oxy/propane rosebud torch was used to maintain heat or for more localized twisting.  There was also a water hose to cool sections that had twisted enough.  Many smaller pieces were twisted using just the rosebud to heat them and the motor could be reversed instantly with a drum switch to make more interesting stuff.

My thoughts on a twisting machine would be to use a similar I-beam and pipe vise tailstock set up and use a hydraulic motor for power.  Then my neighbor gave me two rather large planetary gear drives which would probably make an awesome twister.  I'm certainly not going to be twisting any 3" or larger stock.  


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