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What did you do in the shop today?


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To be perfectly honest, I haven’t actually attempted to weld with it yet. Indeed, I think I’ve only done two or three forge welds in the last three decades. When the time comes, though, I’ll be ready!

2 hours ago, HojPoj said:

JHCC, what do you do to pulverize the dehydrated borax?

I use a dishing hammer and a bowl form as a mortar and pestle.

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I use a hand operated grain mill..   I paid 20 for it on amazon or ebay.. All cast iron unit and it works well enough that I stopped beating the stuff or using the ram I used for 20 years.. 

It makes it super quick to make up a batch.. With a ratio of about 4/1 to raw vs cooked it makes it also super convienent for long term use.. 

I go through about 3lbs of welding flux per year...    Still have maybe 20lbs left from an 80lbs bag.. 

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Wasn’t able to fire up the forge properly this evening. However, I did cut a couple of chunks of the end of the mystery steel I got at the industrial surplus place this morning and attempt to harden one. Here it is sitting in the refractory-less plenum of my (in-progress) ribbon burner:

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Heated to non-magnetic and clenched in cold water, it skates a file. Success!

(Note: this is obviously not the preferred method of using a gas burner, but desperate times….)

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I built this riveting jig after several unsuccessful alternate models. My biggest issue was getting the darn rivet out after putting a head on it.

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I saw this general idea on a video and decided to try it. I got some 4140 and used it for the main body because I'd had some denting issues with mild steel. 

The hinge keeps everything generally aligned and together so it's easy to open it, extract the rivet, and be ready to go for the next one. I drilled two depths for each size so the rivet doesn't start burying itself in the hole

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I tried it out and it works great.

I also made a hold down for the new anvil out of 3/4" round bar. A much needed item.

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Didn't build this today, but during the last week. I'd been needing a little tool caddy, so I built this around a piece of 1/8" sheet metal I had which I cut in half. Pretty straight forward but very handy. I'm going to add some racks too.

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I started on toasting forks for xmas gifts. As I was upsetting the 3/8 bar on the anvil, it slid off the edge and right into my leg where it promptly stopped at the top of my boot, wedging itself into my leg.....  time for some leather chaps !

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I was thinking that a riveting jig that would work on the anvil could provide a more solid surface than the vise. A leg vise is ideal for the other jig, but pounding on a bench vise for the bigger rivets is not optimal. I had some extra 4140 so I came up with the following:

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I made the holder out of a couple pieces of 1 1/2" angle iron that were just slightly longer than the rivet form. The form is self aligning if you push it to either side. There is also a 1/16" gap width wise to make it easy to get out. The 3/8" thumb screw holds it tightly together.

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I made this one for 5/16", 1/4", 3/16" and 1/8". I went a little shallower for the 3/16" and 1/8" for shorter rivets. 

I think I'm fat on riveting jigs now. 

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2 hours ago, jlpservicesinc said:

Stay away from open top boot when forging or welding or electric arc welding.. 

Aren't all boots 'open top' ?? :P Jen, I was wearing my jump boots (11" tall) under my Jeans. the ledge they made was enough to catch the bar just right.

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Way, way, way back in the day I made the same mistake.. and it was pretty bad.

I made several discoveries and since I am a slow learner::::::    I had boots that I never tied the laces on so would be bell mouthed the wrong way  tucking the pants bottoms into them.  I then moved to having the pants over the tops of the untied boot tops.. I then moved to tying the tops.. I'd tighten the laces enough when first put on to be good..  And this wasn't good enough.. 

I then moved to tying the boots, walking working, then tying them again to tighten up the laces..      I  then found that I disliked boots for forging and found I like shoes better  and believe it or not this solved the problem as I wear cotton socks and it works well enough..

I then ended up doing a lot of Mig welding for fabrications and weld ups and moved back to fully laced boots,  and tightening them 2X..  I wear a full apron that covers the tops of my ankles and feet  which is great for heavy forge work and heavy weld up work.. 

I won't wear a western style or pull on boot for forging nor will I wear them or fashion boots when mig welding.. 

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1 hour ago, jlpservicesinc said:

Ted, nice job on the dies for rivets..  did you  harden them?

Thanks, I did harden them. Unfortunately, that frame and design isn't strong enough to contain the spreading force of the rivet. The drill bit also makes a small cone in the bottom of the hole which invites the rivet to morph into a wedge. The 4140 isn't thick enough to withstand those forces without some reinforcement. A piece of 1/2" flat stock welded to the back of each piece might work. Back to the drawing board...

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I've been in the welding, fabricating game for 30+ years and had my share of stupid + ignorant mistakes. Burned a hole between my big and 2nd toe from arc welding with nylon topped tennis shoes on (33 years ago), Caught the shoulder of my Carhartt on fire Mig welding on a trailer (5 years ago) and so on.  the stories "we" could share given enough time. 

This caught me totally off guard. I wear a long apron but stand 6'3" and I can't think of anything I could have done different other than leather shoes, but even those could have 'issues' in other ways.  Sadly, it's the nature of the game. Play with fire ling enough and you're gunna get burned !

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5 hours ago, Ted Ewert said:

I was thinking that a riveting jig...

 

That is sweet Ted.  an excellent idea.  I've only one monkey tool and have on occasion had trouble getting the rivet out of it.  your rig certainly would solve that problem.  

hardened and tempered my draw knife today.  seen normalizing here before the quench.  had to bring the reigns in so it will fit in my toaster oven.  

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I tried to redo my failed fire poker forge weld, and failed again. Not sure what I'm doing wrong, but I gave up for the night. Didn't even have the energy to take photos to try to show the failure.

After that, I made a plant hook today with a reverse twist....or should I say Twists.... There is a local antique shop that wants me to make some items for them to have in their shop. The owner said she is asked for plant hangers all the time, so I figured I'd try to make a few. I wanted the top bend to be a bit more round, but I was fighting getting it right. I plan to make a bending jig to help keep them even.

Also made a bottle opener, but I will post that one to the BO thread.

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On ‎12‎/‎9‎/‎2018 at 8:04 PM, Ted Ewert said:

Thanks, I did harden them. Unfortunately, that frame and design isn't strong enough to contain the spreading force of the rivet. The drill bit also makes a small cone in the bottom of the hole which invites the rivet to morph into a wedge. The 4140 isn't thick enough to withstand those forces without some reinforcement. A piece of 1/2" flat stock welded to the back of each piece might work. Back to the drawing board...

Nice..  A more solid mount would help a lot.. maybe mounted to the hardie hole and beefed up on the front side with some thicker steel and then a wedge affair on the backside to wedge the 2 halves together..  Keep in mind it's only the very top of the jig that needs to be held closed when forming the heads.. 

This means adding metal directly to each side might give you the rigidity you are looking for..   

I had seen an old bolt, rivet heading machine from an old wagon factory  it used a series of blocks about 2" X 3" and these slid into a square holder.. against this holder was a rotating arm that moved up and down with a cam off the side.. this cam was double operating and would pull a yoke the dies sat in as it cammed the far side block towards the other die block.. Blocks were held in the movable yoke in alignment.. 

you'd step on the pedal and this offset cam would cinch the blocks together..  When pressure was released the blocks would open and the bolt/rivet would fall through to the ground.. 

Another thought is to just weld on heavier stock just above your mount to the side of each die.. This might give it just enough time to grab it before spreading as the head is being fully formed.. 

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Yay! Fun with rivets. Couldn't come at a better time as I have a project that needs them. Thanks for all the ideas on tooling everyone. I'm still not exactly sure what I'll do, but at least I know what I can try now. Also, thanks for all the inspiration!

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