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What did you do in the shop today?


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I need a post vise. Being not the brightest bulb on the tree, I decided that I want to make one, rather than buy one that needs complete overhaul for $300+. (going rate in these parts)  So, I spent the past couple hours at the forge, upsetting and flattening, upsetting, flattening, upset, flat,.... On a chunk of Kelly bar. Pretty much the largest thing I've had in the forge for a while.  I got tired of cranking the blower, and my hammer shots started getting off, so I called it quits.

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Deffinately ambitious bluerooster. I've seen some beautiful miniatures forged but not sure I've seen any forged to size recently other than some fabricated ones. 

I've been working on grinding some teeth out of rebar for an alligator woodburner commission. It's a little more rushed than I'd like but working out ok. 

The idea is a large gator head as the burner coming off the ground like it's coming out of the water and opening its mouth. 

I might do a tail to lay out behind it. 

I hope once the teeth are in it looks less like a hippo. Ugh.

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Started another coffee table. Needed a better jig for my scrolls out of a little heavier material. The one i have been using i made as a one off for something else and is kind of flimsy. This one is pretty stout. 1 1/4" x 1/2". I also got the bottom supports done and the crossbars. I will start the legs this week. I am thinking maybe walnut for the top, the people i am making it for want a darker wood. But we will see what the hard wood guy has. 

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1 hour ago, BillyBones said:

Started another coffee table

Looking good. I need to practice collaring. Mine still just don't look quite right. I haven't done very many though so I'm hoping to improve. 

Pnut

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Stopped by the tractor repair shop again yesterday. They had a couple chainsaw chains and gave me a few more mower blades to tinker with.

Not sure what I will do with the mower blades, but I have high aspirations for the chain saw chains that is probably beyond my ability to make.

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I have a pile of mower blades and have been wondering what to do with them.  I'm thinking I may use them to make some simple Kiridashi knives.  Flatten the mower blade, some gentle shaping and then sharpen.  May also attempt a draw knife.

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9 hours ago, Daswulf said:

an alligator woodburner commission. [...]I hope once the teeth are in it looks less like a hippo.

I love the idea, but I see what you mean about the hippo look. Any way to add a gator-skin texture?

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15 hours ago, bluerooster said:

I need a post vise.

Kudos for even attempting making one from scratch. Even I'm not that insane!

I didn't do any work in my own shop yesterday, but I did spend an hour and a half on the phone with smith Rachel David (of redmetal[dot]com) talking about business development and fundraising for collaborative workspace project she's putting together in western North Carolina. We also exchanged shop tips about air curtains and oxy-propane. So, no hammer time, but productive nonetheless.

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You know the time it takes to make a postvise you could probably mow lawns and BUY a new one from a blacksmith supply place and still come out ahead.  

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Yeah, but what's more fun and satisfying?  Pushing a mower around someone else's yard or playing with fire, steel, and hammers?  Plus after succeeding on a project like that there is a profound sense of accomplishment that has significant benefits to mental well-being. 

At least that's the type of reasoning I use to justify my actions to myself and my wife when engaging in a project that doesn't appear to make economic sense. :rolleyes:

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6 hours ago, pnut said:

I need to practice collaring

I made a jig for doing collars. In one of Mark Asprey's videos on the lvl 4 grille he shows collaring the pieces and i copied his jig. Basically 2 pieces of angle iron that fit the vice with 2 smaller pieces welded on a bit from the edges. This provides a space to shape the collar while supporting the sides and bottom of it. He does make it, like everything else he does, look much easier than it actually is though. 

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BK; A valid counter; but if the goal is to have a good postvise ASAP; then it may not be as much economic sense as practicality.   It may seem a bit unfair; but the people most likely to complete such projects successfully in a reasonable amount of time are the ones who don't need them as they are nicely tooled up anyway! They do them more for "bragging rights".  (I still feel like TPAAAT might work for that too!)

I once owned, for a time, a postvise crudely built by a welder. I gladly passed it on to another when I found an old commercially made 6+" vise.   I do own a 3.5" postvise that was hand forged; Frank Turley estimated that it was pre 1800; the screwbox was forge brazed from a handful of parts including the helix for the screw thread!

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Bluerooster, I have seen a post vise made from forklift forks. Trim the verticals for the jaws, add a hinge, and screw.

Fabbing one up from bar stock would also be pretty simple. The most difficult item will be the screw now that old house jacks are "vintage collectibles".......

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10 hours ago, BillyBones said:

But we will see what the hard wood guy has. 

Back in the 70's we bought a very large Ethan Allen dining room table from a reputable  furniture store. It was advertised as solid walnut. We found out a couple of years later that it was soft wood stained walnut. Needless to say we weren't happy. If push comes to shove, due to a shortage of walnut because of supply problems, you could always stain the wood. But only do that with the customers OK, which may save them some money.

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It makes me wonder, I see house jack type screws every time I go in to work, only they are used as safety stands for aircraft when working on landing gear or when the crew is doing something that may unbalance the aircraft front to back.  Could someone find a useful screw from a defunct aircraft service company?  They are usually part of a 6 foot tall jack stand

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Yes Pau, those are probably Acme threads and are useful for many things, jacks and vises to start with, a slow boat "jaws of life" comes to mind.

Bluerooster: Were I upsetting a bar that size I'd put my anvil on the floor and hold the bar vertically and drop or slam it on the anvil. If I couldn't hold it vertically say weight or length I'd set my helpers (stands) to support the bar at the same level as the waist on my heavier anvil and hit the end with a sledge hammer.

There's NO WAY I'd hit that thing with a single jack hammer more than a couple times say to dress or adjust it.

Buzz, you forgot to list "Bragging Rights" making your own leg vise would be worth some serious bragging rights.

Frosty The Lucky.

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4 hours ago, JHCC said:

Any way to add a gator-skin texture?

I have a few ideas on how to go about that. 

I've debated pointing the snout more. I also want it more functional as a wood burner. 

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IDF&C, we have a store here called "The Hardwood Store". That is all they carry is hard woods. He has a huge selection also from exotics to domestics. He will buy lumber from houses, barns, etc. being tore down like the tiger maple he had for a while. So some of it will have paint and the like. But a peice of walnut or hickory or something similar he gets from the mill. 

Paul, screw jack stands are also pretty commonly used by mechanics. When i was slinging transmissions i would put one under the rear diff of big trucks to steady them on a lift, or support an engine, whatever i needed it for. 

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