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Frazer

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I use my large pipe wrench to hold the tank section when I remove the valves from *EMPTY* welding tanks, (Oxy, Argon, CO2, etc.  NOT Acetylene: those don't come home with me, ever, from the scrapyard!) Not the tank itself but the smaller part where the valve stem screws in.  I usually have to use cheaters; but haven't had one that was not able to be removed.

The tanks go on to become bells, gas forge shells and dishing forms.

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17 hours ago, Frazer said:

Bonnskij, can't argue with free! Worst case scenario in the event of a zombie apocalypse I have a blunt swinging instrument...

 

That's it! Advantage of doing smithing. There's no shortage of anti zombie weaponry to choose from!

17 hours ago, Daswulf said:

Trimontasaurus

 

Not a trimont but can be a Saurus none the less.

I like that idea. If it is what I think. Better figure out how my welder works...

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Sure. Nothing wrong with scrap metal art. :)

if in good condition and a name brand some of the big pipe wrenches do fetch good money. Or could be useful to have on hand as Thomas mentioned. If it's beat, junky, or cheapo chinese off brand stuff could be a good candidate for scrapart. 

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Hey all, I just wanted to share my modified super sucker plans to see if anyone sees any area of concern with it before I start buying materials. Due to the location of the firepot in the new forge I will need some horizontal run in the hood so the hood can extend out past the edge of the pan and have an additional support system (legs) so the forge itself is not bearing the weight of the hood and neither is the chimney at the roof.

There won't be a lot of horizontal run, but my thought process is to increase the volume of the box in two directions up to where the chimney will be.

Everything will (probably) be welded up with 11g (1/8") sheet steel and the opening will be reduced to 10" x 10" just like the classic super sucker plans.

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According to Soildworks, it's going weigh roughly 76#s if I use 1/8" sheet. That's pretty heavy so I may reduce that down to 14g or so. 

Anyway, wanted to hear your thoughts and see if I'm perhaps overthinking this. I could always just leave it as a 12.5" sq. duct and call it a day?

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Frazer: A couple things. When you make mechanical drawings they need to be aligned to the same baseline. Yours are rotated 90* making it hard to "see" the project. You have a plan view and a side elevation, had you  drawn an end elevation and had them all laid out along a common baseline you can extend lines and make a 3D rendering by erasing them outside the rendering.

Yeah, T square, triangles and scale draftsman. 

All the hood needs to do is redirect smoke and warm air, even 14ga is too heavy, 16ga is kind of heavy but 18ga. can be flimsy. 

1/8" is silly excessively too heavy to control warm air and smoke. Look at the gage light duty stove pipe is made from, I believe it's 20ga. I could be wrong and I'm not feeling like searching right now.

It's a common thing to use way heavier steel than necessary making blacksmith stuff, it's sort of a tradition but it causes more problems than a person should have to deal with. Hmmm? Think about it, if your hood is 16ga. your forge and the stack leaving the room won't notice it's there, it'll be what 15lbs? (As a guesstimate.) I'm not doing searches yet this morning. CERTAINLY not calculating the area of your hood!

Frosty The Lucky. 

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I know, I know, I was just providing a couple views for the general gist of my thought process. Anything to make you happy though my friend ;)

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Changing the wall thickness to 16 gauge (0.0598") the overall weight is reduced to ~36#s. 

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I use 1/8" for the bottom portion of the hood on the forge build for the trailer..  it's lasted 30+ years in a really tough enviorment. 

When I did the redesign it was still solid enough that I could take off the rust and reweld it with no problems..  

the trailer is 3 or 4 years old now and I have had some very hot fires going and its still fairing well..   I've used smoke pipe in the past and only lasts a few years in a trailer enviorment..  If it stays dry it's not much of a problem. 

The problem is with moisture and condensate. 

All of the new ones I will be making will be 1/8"  and the forge pans will be 3/16 or even 1/4" if I can find enough material for reasonable money.  (I have old oil tanks).. Free.. :) Ok so not 1/4".. 

What I have found is this..  the back throat of the stack is the most important part of a design.. 

My original stack was based on the article in The ABANA mag based on a closed in Rumford fireplace.   It worked ah.. 

On another forge I made it only used 8" pipe and it would suck the hot coals up the chimney and was a totally different design.  Smallish square with a unside down U in the front and a small smoke shelf inside..  Turns out the smoke shelf was a waste.. 

So, when it came time for the trailer build and I wanted to change the stack into something that would work.. I made the stack to have a removable panel in the back  and a insert could then slide in..  it is 12"X 13" IIRC and the first design was Ehh..     I then pulled it out and angled the plate up and all of a sudden  it went from Ehh..  To stand back far enough so your knickers don't get sucked into it. 

I've gotten questioned by more than a few as to how or why it draughts so well.  

Anyhow..  Looking forwards to your build and to see how it works out... Always looking for the next best thing. 

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Take my opinion with a grain of salt, but I think to be a super sucker your opening needs to have a smaller area than the area of the diameter of your chimney, so if your using a 12" chimney, you would need less than a 113in² opening towards your forge. A 10"x10" opening would be more "sucky" than the 12.5"x12.5" opening you have.

The temperature, height and diameter of your chimney determines how much air is moved out of the chimney. If the same amount of air leaving the top of your chimney enters though a smaller opening at the base, then the velocity is greater to compensate for the lack of area to pull from.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Work at the house has cut into time at the forge quite substantially, but I did make a few excuses to get in there on account of making Christmas presents and needing a coat rack.

For Christmas I made a several hooks (5 total) that got mailed out to CA, AZ and around NY. As a joke to a friend from college I made her a throwing star. I didn't have any hardenable material 3" wide so it's a san mai with spring steel forming the edge and mild steel on on the faces. You can kind of see the layers after the etch, but I didn't really expect much contrast. I mostly etched it so the edges would be more pronounced after sharpening.  It actually turned out pretty cool. And it was very sharp when I mailed it... probably too sharp to send to a stranger, but I trust her.

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I forgot to take a good picture of the coat rack, if I remember Ill take one later today while I'm there.

On a non-blacksmithing note, I'm making my way through the inside of the house one room at a time removing the awful paint colors the previous owner chose in every room.. Who in their right mind paints all the trim and wainscoting in the kitchen/dining room a high gloss orangeish-yellow with green walls?? Strange.. Anyway, I didn't get a good before picture, but here's a before/after.

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I am also very impressed with the laminate flooring that's out there, I am removing all of the carpets from the rooms and putting in laminate since I have learned that I am very rough on carpets.. best not to even have them. I bought the tapping block, but they sell another tapping block to get in up against the wall that is just bent piece of metal, I have metal and the means to bend it to I just made that. That tongue and groove laminate sure does lock together well and it was pretty easy to do. I don't have any before pictures. To be perfectly honest you don't want to see them. The room was a disaster. She cleaned up okay though. These were taken before all the trim was replaced.

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I picked up the new forge that is now sitting in the garage where I'm slowly working on removing the loft. Once that's done I can get the chimney installed (not by me).

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  • 1 month later...

It's been a little while, projects move a lot slower when you only get to sneak into the shop one or two days a week. Still, I have finished a bunch of projects, most of which not worth sharing or no longer in my possession. 

Now that the house is getting close to being done, I have started making the finishing touches for the rooms. 

First, a coat hanger for the foyer. Turned out okay. Could have been better.

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And a ring for hand towels in the bathroom. I really like this for the space. I'll make a matching one for full size towels soon. That'll be a bar instead of a ring. Pardon the mess in the first picture, organization has fallen by the wayside even more than usual as I have less time in the shop per week..

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Beautiful work sir, your forging is giving me all sorts of ideas for future projects.  The super sucker concept is something new since I just started with forging recently.  My main house woodstove has a long straight pipe 20'+ long by 6".  For the last 17 years when the conditions are just right I will get downdrafts.  I have used a blowtorch to start the woodstove for the last five years with no problems.  I clean the flue every year and get a gallon of creasote.  As the creasote builds up the diameter gets smaller and the draft problems start; usually the buildup is on the 5' section above the roof where it cools.  As long as I clean the flue yearly all is good, but since I cut my own firewood from the forest it isnt always dry, but semi green last all night better. The super sucker concept makes me think my draft issues could be eliminated with an 8" stovepipe.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Or you could replace the section of pipe above the roof with triple wall so it doesn't condense so quickly. 

A modern stove makes a huge difference too. We use a Jotul about 15 years old and discontinued model now. The only time it makes any smoke is when you first light the fire. It needs to warm up and just one brown paper shopping bag gets the draft moving and the iron warm enough to start working. Once it starts working it heats up fast and the stack is clear. 

Multiple burn zones makes it essentially a wood gas stove. It's fun to watch the flames, the main % is in a flat layer a couple inches under the top, there is a horizontal vortex in front of the window / door and a steady bed of brightly glowing coals pyrolizing fresh wood. 

I understand Jotul's newer models are considerably better but this one is a champ. The last three years we've had the stove people out to clean out stack they haven't gotten a gallon of soot out of the stack. Make a small HOT fire to start then build it to larger longer lasting wood. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Made another axe, heavier head, shorter handle. I like it. Very throwable.

After grinding I gave it a little etch so you can see the HC steel bit and some carbon migration.

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Tomorrow it's off to CA!

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Towel bar for the bathroom. I'll be replacing the galvanized screws with matching blackened ones, but they're soaking in vinegar at the moment. I will say that now that I made a guillotine tool I find myself using it very often.

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That looks pretty nice Frazer. 

Funny about guillotine tools, they effect everybody that way. You'll be thinking of new uses and making dies and blades like crazy. In a while you'll discover you use two maybe three sets and maybe be able to remember where the others are in a year. 

In case you're wondering it's 9:35pm run on sentence time here.:ph34r:

Night all.

Frosty The Lucky.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The one claw hammer that's in my possession at the moment is borrowed so I was at the hardware store the other day and had picked one up thinking I should just buy one for myself. After a little wandering around I thought to myself, "are you really going to buy a hammer?".

2 forging sessions later, and lo and behold, a claw hammer was born.

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'Twas made from some 1" rebar, upset to ~1.25" sq. The faces were steeled with a piece of rail anchor. I really didn't have to steel the faces beforehand since this rebar is hardenable. I only did it for the little bit of extra weight. It weighs 15oz as it sits now. After a quick clean up with a flap disc and a light etch the steeled face is pretty obvious, but you can just barely see the line between the two steels on the claws (where my finger is).

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As far as function goes, I should have made another fuller to extend the face a little further away from the eye. However, from an aesthetic point of view I really like it the way it is.

I was using the store bought hammer as a reference for the curve of the claws and how far to spread them. I probably could have left a little more material at the start of the claws, but I think it'll get the job done. I still have some filing and cleanup to do before heat treatment.

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I had a surprising amount of fun with this one.

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Looks great..  The eyes on hammers like this are very important..  I mistakenly forged a claw hammer some 30 years ago as a gift for my father..  

I did not pull the socket out far enough ( I wasn't skilled enough) and it was prone to break handles..   I used an old solid rock drill for it.. 

Knowing what I know now, I would have upset the eye section and pulled it out. 

Your welding prowess is wonderful. 

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After a mock fit up on a handle last night I decided I'm going to fuller the face out a little more than it is at the moment. While I'm in there I'll try to extend the cheeks a little more. There is plenty of material left for me to go further with it. Thanks for the tip! I don't mind making handles, but it's not my favorite thing ever. I don't mind putting in a little extra time now to save myself from the hassle later.

Thanks! This was the first time I cut tabs/spikes on the spring steel face to hold it onto the main body before welding. It actually worked quite well. I usually just get out the welder to tack it on, but I wanted to try something new.

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  • 2 weeks later...

New shop update: Let there be light. (pardon the mess..)

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The upgraded electrical has been run out to the new shop. After tearing out the loft, removing all of the existing benches and tearing out the old wiring in my soon-to-be home right next to home, I have finally begun the process of installing everything the way I would like it be be when I finally move into the new house.

Fair warning, I'm still learning the electrical code/lingo so if I use the wrong term(s) here, I apologize.

I'll start by saying the guy I bought my house from was (and likely still is) a "handyman" by trade who was renting to his son and two kids. I think it's safe to say the dad did much of the work around the house as it was clearly not done by a professional. As an example, one of the selling points of the house was it's 200A square D panel, complete with 8 empty spaces. Very few people complain about having too much extra space on their main breaker and when planning to put in a shop, that's a big plus. Well, it turns out that Mr. Handyman installed a new panel without upgrading the service coming in to 200A and while doing so forgot (or didn't know to) ground the neutral bus at the main panel. I would not have known either of these things if I didn't have a professional (a 30+ year lineman in the family) helping me with all this work. This also explains why the breakers weren't labeled. I pity the person who tried doing so. There are outlets everywhere in this house (there are 8 in my room alone) and rooms are not all on the same circuit. Not even close. As an example, there are 3 outlets on one of the walls in the living room and each one is connected to a different breaker. Why? :huh: But I digress..   

After addressing the issues at the box, we ran 10/3 Romex through the basement over to the underground feed going to the new shop. Unfortunately, the UF cable going out to the shop is 12/3, so I was limited to running 240V @ 20A out to a 2 breaker subpanel in the garage, which will provide all the power to my outlets.

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At the moment I'm used to running my whole shop off of a single 15A outlet so even this is a considerable upgrade for me. However, the reason I went with 10/3 running all the way across the basement rather than 12/3 is so, if I end up needing/wanting it, I can upgrade that subpanel to 30A without needing to buy another 50' of Romex.  Romex is expensive, better to just buy the thicker gauge now rather than later. I think two 20A circuits will be enough for my welder, grinders etc.. For now.

Fortunately, I had a second feed of 14g BX cable coming in. I used that to power the overhead lights and exterior lights.

Now everything is done right. Very exciting.

---

After a long saga extending back to December (when I closed), the ball is rolling on the chimney installation beyond just talk. Parts are on order and will be going in (hopefully) soon. Because the new shop used to be a garage (installing solid fuel burning appliances in a garage the US is a no-no, per NFPA 211) depending on what code your town follows there are a lot of hoops you have to go though to get it done "to code". Apparently those hoops, as well as the chimney pipe you need in my town are lined with gold or some other precious metal. Lets just say I could've bought and shipped JLPs prized anvil for less.. Was it smart keeping everything "above board" when planning the new shop? ... yes. Because of where my house is located. Is that the cheapest way to go? Ha, no. But at least the town AND my insurance will be satisfied.

-- 

I have been using the new hammer a lot lately and I have to say, I love it. I do grab the crowbar for the really aggressive prying tasks though. Like Jennifer said, If I were to really go for it, it would be a handle breaker for sure.

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