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What did you do in the shop today?

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15 hours ago, JHCC said:

Threw together a quick pair of bed rail tongs to hold some hefty leaf spring (after, of course, finishing the job where I really could have used them!): 

Oooh, these look excellent! 

Finally got around to mixing the refractory for the lid of the melting furnace and got the anvil level and mounted to the new stand, working on the brackets next.  Boy, using this self leveling, polyurethane sealant is messy but Totally worth it!  The ring is almost completely gone and the rebound doesn’t seem to be affected in the least.  Been bouncing ball bearings off the center face and the rocket back. I don’t think I could get it any more level if I tried ( see attached photo of red level).  




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On 9/22/2020 at 11:57 PM, BillyBones said:

Frosty, i had to look up what spinning is. Around these parts we call it turning.

This is metal spinning though this pic isn't from Dad's shop. The rest and tooling isn't Dad's and he supplied the tooling and lathes used.  

Frosty The Lucky.


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You are getting good with leaves, I really like your veining. The stems could use work but they are the hard part. I found standing at one end of my anvil let me sight down the edge making it easier to draw out and round stems without hitting the leaves . . .  too often.

You'll be going great guns when you start using mild rather than rebar. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Spent the morning Filing the latest blade.  I've got to learn to leave a little more meat in the center for the spine on a dagger.  Got it filed to shape, and hardened. Then tempered, and started the tedious part of working it on the stone to get it sharp, and remove any file marks. 1677981355_IMG_20200925_124151249(Copy).jpg.0bb1ab36d5e784f0237fc8d3b3eef173.jpg

I found that dycem is your friend when filing, and trying to keep the spine centered.  ;)

  Later I fired up the forge to fabricate the other half of tongs that I'd started last week.  Got a ways on it, after trying a little welding practice.  Well, in the middle of it, Th' Ol' Lady comes out with an "emergency". It seems that a frog had gotten tangled in the leaf netting over the swimmin' pond. So, I turn off the blower, bank the fire, and go rescue the frog.  Then I got back to it.  Just about ready to punch the rivet hole and I was told it was time to go get the car at the tire store.  So, ta heck with it, put th' fire out, and just quit for the day. :(

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Forging different sizes, shapes, some vaguely resembling the real thing, definitely, ThomasPowers, it’s on the list. For my Eagle Scout project many moons back we removed a ton of non-indigenous plant life from a nature center, those pictures of not only what we removed but what not to remove will come in handy.  Frosty, thanks, now I have been challenged to not only up my stem/rounding game but also to do raised veins as opposed to the inset ones.  Aaaand now I can not sleep before 3rd Shift as I am wide awake with forging ideas. 
I very much feel like the kid (I’m 34) who needs to learn to type so I can convey my thoughts in a much faster medium because my brain is racing a mile a minute with ideas and possibilities.  
I am developing an obsession, have hammer and anvil (insert vaguely anvil shaped object here if necessary) will forge.  Must forge.  Forge your steel, see it molded before you, hear the lamentations of cheap mild!  

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Started grinding on my little messer, worked on a basic hand guard, got a chef's knife cleaned up, a rough grind on it and it's ready to quench.  Also realized that I need to stand farther away from what I'm talking a picture of, that or lose weight.


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What I did in the driveway:

Found two more hours of forging. Used my first ever tongs to start my second ever tongs.


Those are pieces of 3/8 inch by 1 inch bar, 11 inches long. They are marked 1 1/4" for nibs, 1" for boss and the rest for reigns. Forgot what I was doing and started the first bar at the far side of the anvil! Have been watching too many youtube videos. I needed to relax and remember. Sorted it out.

I alternated with tong blank and a piece of crowbar for a hold fast. Left the air running as I alternated between a tong blank and the hold fast. After I finished an ugly hold fast and the first tong blank, I worked on a tong clip out of some very small spring steel (no picture, too ugly) and the second blank.

Nice short session, but I am definitely forging a bit too cold. When I really let the bar stock (mild steel) get glossy, the forging was a dream. No sparklers ever, but a bit of a fire flea mess at the start. Will not use the charcoal remainders from the previous fire again. They absorb too much moisture and the popping is annoying. 


The second pair of tongs will be for round stock, so I can reheat that hold fast and fix that ugly bend. Next up: Punches!


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Drove 150 miles each way to spend the weekend with my Mother; Dad would have been 86 on Sunday.  No forge work, a lot of minor house maintenance.

Bear Creek; got anyone willing to sponsor a set of gates for the nature center?  Going in indigenous species; going out invasive species. 

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Frosty, from my understanding turning or spinning is when the metal you are forming is moving, like with a lathe. Which differs from a mill where the tool is the part moving. 

Got to make a coffee table for a friends wedding. Started with the side rails got 1 side done. The leg is more of a prototype trying to get shape and size right. With the current configuration i will be 2" to long. Got to lose a little. The top is going to be Hickory from a board given to me (11' x 12" x 5/4") I know i could make the table top a little longer but i want to try and stay with my design and not make changes midstream. 


And here is the lumber. Nice hunk o' Hickory. Not sure what the going price for Hickory is but a am guessing the gift here saved me at least $50.


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7 minutes ago, BillyBones said:

Frosty, from my understanding turning or spinning is when the metal you are forming is moving, like with a lathe. Which differs from a mill where the tool is the part moving. 

Both turning and spinning rotate the workpiece on a lathe. However, turning involves removing metal from a larger piece, essentially carving down to the desired shape inside the initial blank. Spinning, on the other hand, takes a sheet of metal and deforms it from flat to curved. Think of the difference between carving a bowl out of a block of stone vs. throwing a clay pot on a wheel.

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I don't know what it is in the pic, it's just something being spun on a lathe. Good description John, throwing clay on a wheel even looks like metal being spun. I wish I had more pics from Dad's shop, I only  have a few and only run across them while looking for something else. 

Frosty The Lucky.

Weird, first place I looked and found the ones I have saved to computer. The first one is Dad spinning a radar dish even if the caption says Capitol Sphere it's not. Dad did spin the Monel sphere on the Washington state capitol building. It's still as shiny today as it was when it was installed, under the pigeon poo that is. This just isn't it.


The next one is Dad spinning a jet or rocket engine type alloy . Sherie the wife of Dad's business partner is holding torch, one of my regular jobs, even when I had to stand on a box so I could see.


This is Wolfgang, very German and one of Dad's long time employees. He's spinning a church bell. No not from "bell metal" it's aluminum, "real" bells were getting too expensive so churches were putting aluminum bells and speakers in the tower and we got the contract to spin bunches. 


The bell was a two break down part. first breakdown was from the flat blank to the left bottom. The second breakdown was from there to the finished part on the bottom right and in the lathe. They were done on different dies.

This spinning lathe was built in house, most of his spinning lathes were home builds.




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We got a good deal done this past week. My wife put in a patio (don't know a better word) in front of the forge using stones the previous owner had left stacked in it. It's going to be the closest the kids can stand when watching. Might need to push that further, we'll see. Safety goggles regardless. 

The shed also came with a plywood floor. I ripped that out on Sunday afternoon. I remembered what y'all said when I asked for safety tips about angle grinders and applied it to the circular saw: if this all goes sideways, where is the saw going to go? I still have all of my arteries. 

Once I had the floor and joists out, I raked up the remnants of rodent civilization and bagged them up. Found a skeleton or two and a lot of fluff.

As a result, I'm one step closer to a fire-resistant floor, and I can access more of the shed without bending over (I'm 6'8", or just north of 2m). I think I gained about four inches of clearance. 

Next step: acquire the chimney pipe and flashing before snow flies, then give my wife her garage back :)

Patio - Resized.jpg

Before - Resized.jpg

After - Resized.jpg

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Driveway update:

I spent another 2 hours on the new tongs. I started drawing out the reigns ala Joey Van der Steeg, but finished on the horn. still struggling with holding things with my flat bit tongs.


I will continue to experiment with this method in the future. I also made another tong clip from portions of the first clip I made last session. I was concerned that the clip was easy to bend, so when I finished making a c-shaped clip, I quenched in water. OOPS. The second time I used it, I heard it break in half. I made it too brittle. (this was garage door spring < 1/4 inch)



I also finally saw what mild steel looks like when it's just past welding heat! I had a sparkler early on. Also burned the garage door spring, so got that milestone out of the way.


Those bits are WAY too long. These will be for round stock, so I will have to get creative here to widen them.


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Polyurethane adhesive, aka Gorilla Glue. The splice is reinforced with a piece of cotton/polyester bias tape.


I put a piece of baker’s parchment (smooth paper impregnated with silicone) on either side on the belt while the glue is setting, to keep it from sticking to the backing board or the clamping block. 

(This belt is 4 inches wide, so I will now split it down the middle to make a pair of 2 x 90 belts.)

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