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I Forge Iron

What did you do in the shop today?


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Herr  T.P.,

The SLAG suggests that you can help pay for your monthly electrical bill by smithing a few telephone poles per month.

We suggest such poles have a rustic look, or a cowboy theme.

Respectfully submitted,

Herr ,    SCHLAG.

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The electrical CoOp used to give away used utility poles. The 20'x30' addition to my show was built using 2 40' poles cut into 4 20' poles sunk about 5' into the ground and trimmed for the 10' walls.  They were pulled for putting in a second set of train tracks; only 10 years in the ground and out here they are good for another 80 years or so.

 

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On 1/26/2021 at 7:06 PM, 671jungle said:

Been making a bunch of grafting knives for the cactus group I’m a part of.

My Grandmother had an oversized old paring knife she used on her cactus, I think she would've liked yours. If you straightened the drop point they'd make nice EDC seax.

Cactuseax? 

 Frosty The Lucky.

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After making a few changes that resulted in a MASSIVELY simpler (and easier to build) design, I went ahead with my rack-and-pinion drill press table retrofit. 

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Not perfect, but a fun project nonetheless. We’ll see whether or not it actually makes my life easier in future. 

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Saturday I went to the scrapyard as is my want.  found a smaller sewer snake and so had to find some smaller pallet strapping that matched it, (also the blade from a portable band saw firs as well). Found a Thorson 1/2" drive ratchet wrench which will go to a grandkid---if their father doesn't grab it for himself...

I dug out some expanded metal for a honey-do. SWMBO wanted a "sifter" to fit in the top of our metal ash bucket for the wood stove so she could save the hot coals but dump the ashes.  So I took a piece of expanded metal and traced the rim of the bucket on it in chalk.  First tried dishing it by hand.  Too much like work for me! Next tried using the screwpress with a dishing form, (bottom of an oxy tank) and a mill ball. Didn't get the shape I wanted. Finally I tried using the circular rim of a good sized bearing race and the oxy tank bottom with the screwpress. Success, but there was a dimple up in the middle so I dug out a solid round section the same diameter and 3" thick and used that and when it did a good job; spaced the bearing race up and drove the expanded metal deeper.  Flattened the over flow edges down and ran the prototype past my.  She loved it and I went back and trimmed the edges (Beverly and straight shear), filed them smooth and where the ends had compacted I folded a piece of light angle iron over on them as handles.

Sunday after church---on zoom; I had a couple of my smithing friends over---masked and distanced!  Makes me love having a shop large enough to do that with enough work stations and tools to support several projects.  Also had a fellow who found me on IFI come down from Albuquerque to buy a post vise body.  He's a welder working with Machinists and so has access to make/modify a new screw and screwbox.  I was getting shaky and had to go eat a belated lunch and when I came back my friends had started him on a smithing project---an S hook.  Hope we didn't over load him with information!

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Two good days---and tomorrow we get the first of our "double tap" covid shots!  Only problem is balancing my insulin between my "day job" of sitting in front of a screen in a warm room and my weekends scrounging and forging out of doors. An insulin pump really helps with that. (Even better would be an insulin pump with continuous glucose monitoring and automatic adjustment; I tried it and liked it; then found that the copay for the first set of supplies would be US$1100 and will have to make do with manual adjustments.)

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Cannon Cocker- Nice Mokume! I'm still experimenting with my first piece, but my favorite finish so far has been sanded to at least 240 then bead blasted. You get a matte, bumpy texture with the copper a little recessed and the pattern is super obvious. If you want you can then sand it to 10000 for a shiny nickel, matte copper.

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Thanks for the ideas Chimeara. I think that the copper pin I used to rivet the quarters together made the ratios to off balanced. But I'm glad that I finally tried it. I think I'm going to play around with some plates next to try and get a more bold pattern

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That's what I did. I just clamped them way down in a pair of 5/8 plates. If you have an oxy acetylene torch or a propane forge nozzle you could probably put them in an old vise and just tighten it as you heat them. After I had them forged out to 1/3 thickness I used the tip of a 1/2" drill bit like a counter sink to drill angled holes (if you use a small bit and drill real holes then it will collapse on itself) a little bit of the way through. Then flattened out some, drilled new holes, etc until I had the right thickness. I patterned both sides but kind of regret that. Next time I plan on using the dremel grinding wheels to do a bit of ladder patterning. Good luck!

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