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I Forge Iron

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So yesterday the original brackets were delivered from Wisconsin. I think they are wrought iron. I did a spark test and the sparks were a very dull orange, did not travel far and did not flare out at the end. It also kind of looks like the larger holes were drifted based on how the material looks to be pushed to the sides of the holes. The ends opposite the large holes also look to be beveled by hand. Since it shows signs of forging, I assume it is either WI or mild steel, not cast. I also think they are not original to the bell as one of the longer vertical arms has 2 smaller holes below the large hole, where the other does not. Thoughts?

The owner wants me to use them on the hangers. At first I was thinking of using them as the 90* frame bordering the scrolls, but they only measure 22 1/4" long each. Thinking as I type, I should have measured the diameter of the bottom of the bell to see if 11" will be far enough from a wall to allow the bell to swing properly. Hmm. I will measure later today when I get home. If not, I will find another way to incorporate them. 

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Thank you, Thomas. I believe I have some scrap WI from the first pair of tongs that came with my first anvil. I broke them in use a couple years ago, forgot about them and then came across them the other day. I will use the pieces as practice before I tackle these brackets.  

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  • 4 weeks later...

As I continue to practice with WI while also tending to other, more pressing commissions/projects/full-time job, I found some time to get back to this. The client has expressed a few times that they are in no big hurry to get it finished, but I am aiming to get it all done before Christmas. 

Today I practiced with the new Muggy Weld cast iron sticks. I had a broken cast iron swivel base on a 3 1/2" Dunlap bench vise. Although it is much smaller than the yoke, I thought it was a good opportunity to whack two birds with one stone. After some tuning, I landed on 65 amps with the 72's at 3/32". I did not preheat, although I will for the yoke considering its size. My chamfers could have been more dramatic in hindsight, but I think it filled well and held strong. I put it in the vise and gave it a good spanking with a mallet; it did not break and I don't see any cracks. Delaminations, but none that look like cracks.

The nuts and bolt that hold the yoke to the top of the bell are deadlocks, so I am going to let that soak in some liquid wrench. I fear vinegar will remove too much patina and I my oxy tank just ran out, so I can't torch it. I tried MAP gas but that wasn't cutting it. After I get it off I will build a jig to hold the pieces together, and weld it up. 

I am also kicking around hanger designs... I keep second guessing myself. I am going to have to forge a back brace to hold the two of them together and to the place it's being mounted. They want to mount it to a "T", for lack of a better description. They want it to hang below a 2nd floor deck, where its base horizontal beam meets the center vertical support leg.   

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