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I Forge Iron

What did you do in the shop today?


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That's strong incentive Don, kids drowning in pools is grim. Put the latch at the top of the gate on the inside. Dad put a piece of thin stock, I was really young it might have been one of the privacy strips you slip into chain link or something else similar. Anyway, it blocked view or little fingers from reaching through the chain link and working the latch mechanism. The one a kid could see and reach on tip toes was real, just not the only latch. It WAS the one a padlock fit, behind the handle. 

Day before yesterday we had a seriously bad lightning storm and torrential rains, at one point the winds even started rotating. There were several strikes within a couple hundred feet of the house. 

I spent a solid 2 hrs. with Baxter the dachshund pinned under my arm between my leg and recliner arm he was so frightened. He was in blind linear panic mode and NEEDED a hard command to down stay to feel any comfort, it was hard on him the 4th. too. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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It was cool enough to light a fire here today. Finished up one fire poker and about 75% of a second one. Had a piece of scale start smoldering in some saw dust. I need to be more diligent in cleaning up the wood working debris before striking a match.

 

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Nice poker, well done. Mixing wood work and a hot shop always makes me nervous. Saw dust is as insidious as hot scale pinch offs and sparks at finding out of sight nooks and crannies. 

Keep an eye open, I don't want to read about you getting burned out.

Frosty The Lucky.

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DHarris, You may want to put couple of extra locking type latches on the gate to prevent it from being opened from the *other* side.  Keeping the neighbor hood kids out of a swimming pool in hot weather will take some doing.

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Nice to see that eye bent on the diamond. It's a bit tricky to get right, but a lovely look.

I did some more work on The Pressciousss, particularly figuring out where and how to mount the reservoir and making a bracket to do the job:
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As many of you probably saw on the "it followed me home" thread I am the latest custodian of my great grandfather's anvil. I know my uncle never used it while he had it and I'm pretty sure my great uncle never used it in my life time. I was very anxious to get it mounted and let it move some steel. I made 3 hooks for a poolside towel rack. Still need to make two more.  It was a lot of fun. I've never had a horn, step, or pritchel hole before so I made sure to use all three on the project. 

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23 hours ago, Cannon Cocker said:

I made 3 hooks for a poolside towel rack.

So, don't keep us in the dark man. Was it fun? 

It's good to see it stay in the family and going back to work. Good on ya Brother!

Frosty The Lucky.

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Absolutely I had fun putting her back to work. It has great rebound and moves the steel very nicely. It was a real treat to have the different surface options. I've been forging on a large rectangle anvil designed for straightening larger sawmill blades. It had a lot of mass so the hammer blows did their job, but it wasn't very versatile. 

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MacLeod, I'm not the right person to ask about tips for drawing out wrought iron. I can show you how to make nice toothbrushes out of it! I know you have to get it very hot to work it successfully and I have had mixed success with it. I do have a lot of it and I should learn to be more patient. It does have a very nice lustre when brushed up.

 

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One of the best tips I ever got for forging WI was from our own jlpservicesinc, who observed that WI at forging has very little shear strength parallel to the grain. That means that you want to make sure that every hammer blow is completely supported by the anvil, otherwise any twisting force will tear the fibers apart. 

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CC; how about duplicating those towel hooks in stainless---for obvious reasons!  (Or Monel).

Only in the lower hundreds degF last weekend.  Spent some time cleaning up and working on my tools---I would work for 15 minutes to 1/2 an hour then go spend an hour in the house reading and repeat. 

I got a handle on my 45 deg peen sledge that was in the hoard. Didn't do a full length sledge handle but longer than a typical hand handle.  Mostly drawknife and rasp work. I also swept a section of the concrete floored part of the shop as it was beginning to blend in with the dirt floored shop.

Sunday we had a storm blow through, not enough rain to wet the ground but the clouds and rain on the steel roof did cool things down and the wind was *lovely*. I opened the doors at both ends of the shop and let the gusts blow dust and cobwebs and cottonwood cotton out the leeward door.  I fired up the forge and heated the counterweight ball from a Tiger hand crank blower that I hadn't been able to remove the setscrew from. Dull barely red and it came right out.  Wire brushed the bolt and let it all cool slowly and oiled it up and it's back on the blower!

The big job of the day was I got the Tiger blower from the hoard working again!  It was frozen up hard, (25 years laying on a concrete floor in dry storage, I figure the oil had set up hard) and I had poured the gear box full of ATF and let it set for 2 months trying to wiggle the fan every week or two.  Well Saturday I got 1/4" of movement back and forth. Sunday I was able to get 1/2" of movement and it was working a bit easier so WITH EXTREME CAUTION I used a lever and was able to get the fan to make a complete turn each way.  Then it was a visegrip on the handle shaft and had it turning easily.  Put the handle back on and mounted the counter weight and it will spin more than a complete turn when I let go.  I had over filled the gearcase and it's leaking---which will be part of the wipe down and then it will go on craigslist as a *working* blower. I'll also drain the grearcase and fill to the "plug" with oil as it says cast into the gearcase cover. (I already have 3 hand crank blowers I use: 1 for the shop, one for travel and one as backup.) Clay/Sand/gravel floor is easy to clean up oil leaks, shovel it onto the driveway and refill!

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24 minutes ago, ThomasPowers said:

CC; how about duplicating those towel hooks in stainless---for obvious reasons!  (Or Monel).

Thanks for the suggestion Thomas. If I thought that rack would last more than one summer I'd probably do that. The lettering and everything is just acrylic paint and I expect it to peal off pretty fast. This was a family project for something to do over the long 4th of July weekend. 

I've never heard of Monel before thanks for giving me something to learn! That's some interesting stuff, I wonder what is like to forge?  However I definitely won't be spending that money on this project!!

Edited by Cannon Cocker
I answered my own question!
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Browser search on monel; first hit:

"Monel is a group of nickel alloys, primarily composed of nickel and copper, with small amounts of iron, manganese, carbon, and silicon. Stronger than pure nickel, Monel alloys are resistant to corrosion by many agents, including rapidly flowing seawater." Wikipedia

It can be forged but is very pricey so "Money" is a good term for it....

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If you're in the Philadelphia area, definitely check out the metalwork at Bryn Athyn Cathedral in the northern suburbs. It was done in monel by Parke Edwards, a student of Samuel Yellin, and is pretty amazing.

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1 hour ago, ThomasPowers said:

-I would work for 15 minutes to 1/2 an hour then go spend an hour in the house reading and repeat. 

It's only 98 degrees here, Thomas, but I find myself coming into the the air-conditioned sanctuary of the house now and then.  I do okay until I quit sweating and then it's ER time.  So when I get a healthy sweat going, I head to the house. :lol:

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I worry about sweat quenching pieces if I lean over the anvil to look at them while I'm working.  My wife is a decade older than me and her metabolism is starting to lower; especially as she can't do much aerobic work due to other medical conditions.  So I will come in and sit on the couch where the breeze from the swamp cooler goes by in my shorts and a T shirt and feel hot and she will be wearing long pants and a long sleeve shirt and feel cold.  

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You and your's sound like my little wife and me, Thomas.  I sweat sitting still at 72 degrees and she starts hunting for a long sleeved shirt at the same temperature.  Makes for some really interesting arguments in our travels and at home. :rolleyes:

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It's been pretty hot even around me, last week it was 92-96 degrees everyday. Every hour or so I'd run and stick my head in the cold shower or turn on the hose and douse my head, neck and shoulders. Definitely helped a lot but still.. I was drinking twice the amount of water I usually do since I was sweating it all out as fast as I could drink it.

It's looking like it's going to be a little better this week. High 70s & 80s.

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last week was in the 90's. The weekend it dropped into the lower to mid 80's. What a relief. This week is mid 80's ending in the mid 90's. Not much anvil time through the week but that is due to starting 2nd shift now. The neighbors do not seem to enjoy me banging on metal at 3 AM. Sure do wish they would not mind, be nice to get out there in the cool night air.

My old lady is going through "the change" so one minute she is  burning up and the next freezing right now. 

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Plain seltzer is good too. Another option is "switchel": plain water with cider vinegar, ginger, and molasses. Often known as "haymaker's punch", it's very refreshing when working in the heat. 

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