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What did you do in the shop today?


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Did you do a proper pre- and post-heat when welding that, Chris C? I’d be worried about cracking in the HAZ, if not. 

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I took it to a welder and had it welded on.  He preheated it and the weld is deep.  Sorry, you lost me, what is "the HAZ"?

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Heat Affected Zone.

High-carbon and spring steels can crack if not properly pre- and post-heated, as the material shrinks after welding. Sounds like you should be good, though. 

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22 minutes ago, Chris C said:

Curiosity has the best of me CGL, what concerns you about the handle?

I'm not sure what CGL's concern was but I am concerned that it will break off after not very much use. I've never had a spring that liked to be welded to mild steel. 

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Okay.  I know little, so have lots to learn.  Guess I'll find out if it hold up to hammering.  Thanks for the info folks.

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I've never been a fan of flat.. fatters..  I like a dome to strike which does a better job of keeping the flatter flat.  A flatter should float on the metal and not leave sharp edges.. A set hammer or top set is used for creating shoulder... 



 

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I didn't have a concern about the handle itself. I was just thinking if the tool doesn't work the way it is, you can adjust it. If it comes apart, you've added some learning to your data base and will know more towards making a better one. That's how I've learned a lot is trial and error.

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58 minutes ago, jlpservicesinc said:

I've never been a fan of flat.. fatters.. 

It would be great to have a "real" flatter, Jennifer.  But I've not the funds to buy one or skills to make one.  Frosty made the suggestion and I thought "why not?"  So this will have to be my flatter until I find the funds or the skills.  Frankly, I'm not sure with the direction I'm going that I'll have a whole lot of use for a flatter anyway.  We'll see.  If it doesn't work out, at least I learned how to do a nice twist, I think. ;)

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Chris, my flatter was a cheap 1.5# lump hammer which I upset one face.  It ended up being a slightly rounded 2” square face that I forged as flat as I could the filed dead flat. The I put about a 1/16” deep by 1/2” wide shallow bevel/radius around to face and a 1/8” radius on the edges. The eye ended up pretty wonky, but it’s only a flatter and I made the handle from ash to fit it. It’s probably a bit heavy for a flatter, but it works pretty well. It was one of the first tools I made and I’ll replace it with a better one in the future when it becomes a priority. A little determination can go a long way when funding is low... Use the flatter you made a see if it work you, if not try something else. That’s one thing I loves about this craft, lots of different ways to get things done.

David

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2 minutes ago, Goods said:

Use the flatter you made a see if it work you, if not try something else. That’s one thing I loves about this craft, lots of different ways to get things done.

Kind of how I feel about it, David.

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Chris when you had it welded.. All needed to happen was to have filler rod or a high spot welded on the back of it.. A flat object behing hit with a flat object will have a tendency to apply pressure unevenly. 

By putting that dollup of weld or metal in the middle it will help keep the hammer blow more centered over the main part of mass..   A flatter is basically supposed to float over the low spots and apply pressure evenly to the high spots. 

I'm sure it will all work out.. I just know tools and how pressure with a hammer is hard to center on the plate when it's flat. 

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Yeah, I'm sure it'll work okay until I acquire something more appropriate.  Just like some people start out with anvil substitutes before they can acquire an anvil.

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With regard to flatters, I would like to add to  comments about " floating" .

I n practice I used to have these illustrated ones, my preferred one, as you can tell from the split top (which should be ground off for safety) is the wire wrap handled one, the reason being you can just place it on the metal and it levels itself on the meaterial when it is struck without jarring the wrist as when using the wooden handled one which can act like a set hammer if held too tightly

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The third one I also prefer to the wood handled one, and use it when I am out and about as it does not take as much room up in the toolbag, but also it only has to be held loosely over the workpiece ansd so has the floating effect too.

Faces should be polished for best finish on workpiece.

May be  of interest, decide for yourselves.

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When using flatters and other tooling under a power hammer, add a coil spring between the handle and the tool. This spring will absorb shock and will not jar the hand if you have a off center strike.  

JHCC may I suggest a way to rotate that new hammer rack much like a lazy susan.  It will bring the hammer you need to the front with little effort. 

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What did I do today?  I learned I don’t like carbon steel tongs. All my other tongs are old and made from wrought iron and mild steel. I can be pretty rough with them and not have to worry about them breaking.
 

I bought a new pair of bolt tongs a few months ago, but never used them. Today I wanted to try them out. They were a bit bigger than I wanted, so I heated them up and whacked on them to close up the jaws a bit. That left one side of the jaws about a quarter inch longer than the other. I hit it to knock it back. It worked, but I learned I should have heated it again. A piece broke off. 
 

I am used to being able to adjust my tongs if the aren’t the right size and if they get hot, I can just dump them in the slack tub. Carbon steel tongs may be lighter, but I don’t think I want more of them. I believe I will stick to making my own from mild steel. 

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I only make my tongs from mild steel..     many like carbon steels because they can be made lighter.. But with the heavy use mine get I'd rather have them heavy anyhow. If you have ever tried to upset holding a bar in light tongs with the hand hammer it's terrible. 

Many times when forge welding the tongs end up orange and end up in the slack tub. 

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13 hours ago, Glenn said:

When using flatters and other tooling under a power hammer, add a coil spring between the handle and the tool. This spring will absorb shock and will not jar the hand if you have a off center strike.  

I’ve seen some power hammer tooling made from steel cable, for the same purpose. 

13 hours ago, Glenn said:

JHCC may I suggest a way to rotate that new hammer rack much like a lazy susan.  It will bring the hammer you need to the front with little effort. 

Not really necessary: everything is readily visible and within easy reach, even on the back. 

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Well not every having used a flatter, I never thought about the "floating" part of the design.  So I just took my new "flatter" and tried it on my RR track anvil.  Didn't take but a few blows to figure out exactly what you folks meant about it having to be absolutely flat on the surface of "whatever" to keep from shocking your wrist.  Didn't think that one out because I had no experience to reference from.  Leaned something new.  I'll have to be super careful to make sure it's flat with the surface of whatever I'm trying to flatten.  Guess making a true flatter is in my future somehow.  I've watched Jennifer's video a hundred times..............guess I'll have to watch it some more, huh?!?!?! :rolleyes:

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If a professional like Jennifer likes mild steel tongs, I guess I must be on the right path. :D

Today’s activities: watching the babies play in the pool, making a grate for my firepot, and finally starting on strap hinges for several gates. 
 

The grate is more of a way to practice some basic blacksmithing:

Slitting and drifting while keeping the holes essentially the same size and in the same spots on each bar and the bars each the same length. 
You can see by the first hole this is going to be more difficult than I thought. The hole is off center.  I tried cooling the thinner side to make the other side move more, but it was too late.  The bar is 1/2” square. The holes will be drifted out to 3/8”. Between each bar will be two 1/2” spacers. Holding everything together will be two 3/8” round rods. Each end of the rods will be peened over. 
 

The gate side of the strap hinges will be 32” long and made from 2” x 3/16” flat bar. I’ve read here or perhaps elsewhere that they should be 2/3 the width of the gate.  Each side of the gate is 48”.  I am not entirely sure I shouldn’t have chosen slightly wider and thicker flat bar. I haven’t yet decided what to make the post side of the hinges out of or what I want them to look like. 
 

 

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Forged the elements for a hanging plant stand. 

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The base needs some fabrication work, and the top pieces will be welded together. Then clean-up and paint.

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Thank you, SLAG. Were it not for the grandkids, I likely would have turned that “quench tub” into a planter long ago. Maintenance is a pain. :wacko:

 

How do you plan to join the pieces, JHCC?  Looks very good. 

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