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I Forge Iron

hydraulic press or fly press

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Dear J,

Others may have a different experience but I'd strongly think about a treadle hammer instead of a press.  My experience has been that a treadle hammer is more versatile than a press.  Others may have had a different experience.  Which you choose may also be dependent on the type of smithing you are doing.  Blade making uses different tools and techniques than decorative iron work which is different than general black smithing which is different than jewelry making, etc..  Also, you may want to compare how much pressure a fly press of a given weight will exert versus a particular size of hydraulic press.  There is also the question of how fast a press can repeat a function.  With a fly press you have to swing the weight, advance the screw, and exert the pressure and then the weight has to retract the screw and swing the weights back to the starting position before you can exert a second impulse of pressure. So, you can press hard briefly but it takes a second or two, depending on the size of the press, before you can  press again.

I suggest that you spend some time with the local blacksmithing group and see what they are using in their shops and get their opinions before you commit to particular tooling.  Also, you may want to become a more experienced smith before you decide which way your craft is taking you before you decide what tools you need/want.  

Finally, if your dad will pay you may want to invest in some lessons and attend some demonstrations with the the available resources.

Good luck and don't jump into anything too soon.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand." 

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8 hours ago, Jaegers Forge and Foundry said:

if I quit this guitar and vocal performance program that costs 300 dollars a month

Would your dad be willing to bank that $300 / month for you, in order to give you more time to research and ponder your way forward?

George N. M. has given you many thoughts quite worthy of your consideration...... All critical aspects applicable to your goals.

There really is no way for these intelligent and well-experienced Members to advise you, as George has implied, based on what you provided thus far......

I love a good hammer.

Robert Taylor



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Good Morning,

Walk before you run. Stay with your Music, it will give you much enjoyment during your Life, relaxing enjoyment. My mother paid for many of my Music lessons, I now wish I had stayed with it.

Before you go and start buying expensive equipment, Learn Hammer and HAND Control FIRST. When you understand Hand Hammer control, you MAY then understand what a piece of machinery can do to improve your production work. If you aren't doing production work, you don't NEED the Machinery. A Blacksmith Makes Tools, Tools don't make a Blacksmith!!


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For drawing stuff out the best thing is a powerhammer; both types of presses are *slow*.  My 25# Little Giant is rated for several HUNDRED beats per minute.   Of course if you don't know what you are doing you tend to just make mistakes *faster*.

Might want to fire up the TPAAAT and see if you can find something useful at a good price.

I have a screw press and I would hate to have to draw stuff out with it.  I tend to do that with a hand hammer and then clean it up with the screwpress using it more as a flatter. now for punching and drifting a screwpress, hydraulic press or treadle hammer is great.

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J: You can NOT buy your way into making good products, machinery is nothing but highly refined dirt. Without the guidance of skilled hand and eye it's just an inert lump. It's YOU, the smith who does the work not the tools, they're just extensions of YOUR HANDS. A million dollar Frisbee won't work if you don't know how to throw one. 

If you have a $300/month budget you REALLY want to take a class or two and attend meetings. Think about it, spend a few thousand dollars on a machine; before you know how to use it, OR spend a few hundred dollars to have someone with experience show you how to use THEIR machinery. You get to try various types of machinery: hyd forging press, press rolls if you're lucky, power hammer, treadle hammer, screw press, various types of hammers, bottom and top tools, tongs, etc. 

Someone shows you what it's good for, how to use it and you get to practice. A class or two and you'll have a much better idea of what you want to make, how and what kind of equipment will work best for you.

My most important and hardest for a young man to take advice is, "Do NOT rush, all hurrying will do is make your mistakes permanent more quickly."

I'm offering you the benefits of my mistakes so you don't have to repeat them. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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