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I Forge Iron

What to make from large U-Shaped flanges


JCloss

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My friend works at a pulp mill and got a salvage ticket for these things from the boneyard. Originally he wanted to use them as the front and rear of a forge opening, but we've been enlightened as to how much of a heat bridge that will cause and are in the middle of re-designing to use much lighter steel in a much smaller enclosure.

Someone mentioned making an anvil bridge out of these, or a swage.  I can definitely see the opportunity for a swage if we need something with about the diameter we already have.

What else would someone make out of these?  I haven't spark tested them yet, but I kind of think they're going to be mild steel.  They're beefy, about 3.5" wide metal, about 2" thick and the height to the top of the inner radius is about 9.5" (that makes about 13" top to bottom)  They weigh somewhere about 40 lbs, and are way too big to put in the forge as we have it now.  We don't have an oxy torch or a bandsaw.  We do have angle grinders, files and patience.  We have 4 of them.  (I do work for a school district and have sometimes access to the highschool metal shop, and sometimes the students to do simple jobs that are educational.  That has a whole host of every sort of tool, but access isn't reliable.)  If anyone has a genius idea that requires the HS metal shop, then maybe I can donate one or two to them in exchange for help.

My friend has since some to the consideration that they might make half decent DIY fullers for when/if we ever build our mechanical power hammer.  I'm not sure his plan, but I bet it requires a lot of work. ;)

Maybe Frosty was right when he told me they looked like Leaverites.(As in, leave 'er right there)  I've only heard the term applied to geology, but I can see how it applies to steel salvage as well.

Also, just in case someone is a Millwright or for some other reason recognizes what these are, please share.  I'm curious.  The work order # written on them isn't able to be looked up at the mill anymore, so I can't find out what they were originally for.

 

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14 minutes ago, JCloss said:

Maybe Frosty was right when he told me they looked like Leaverites.(As in, leave 'er right there)  I've only heard the term applied to geology, but I can see how it applies to steel salvage as well.

I'm a retired exploration driller for the state of Ak, DOT, geology section of HQ materials bridges and foundations. Dad was a rock hound I grew up with the term. Yes, it applies to any kind of attractive nuisance a person thinks they might want to take home. Oh lots of things are good to grab, you betcha but there are leaverites wherever you go. Maybe we should start a new section of leaverite photos. Heck you never know someone might want to take one. :)

How many did he take? If I couldn't find someone who wanted one pretty quick I'd be hauling them to the scrapper and collect a few dollars. Maybe do a swap for something at the yard I liked better.

At 2" thick a hack saw should only take 15-20 minutes to whack off a slice. The trick is a saw frame deep enough so you didn't have to cut from both sides to part it.

Frosty The Lucky.

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We have four of them, so that's a solid chunk (about 160 -200lbs) worth.  They don't take up too much space and we have our shop recently cleaned and renovated with some actual steel storage area, so for now it's not hurting them to sit in the 'do something with one day' pile.  The idea of trading them in at a scrap yard is maybe a good idea, but I'm not sure if there's conditions attached to the salvage ticket he had to get from the mill to take them. (he might not be able to re-sell them, but trading might be ok)

I live and have grown up along the "Gold Rush Trail" in BC, so "leaverite" is a common term here for anything shiny and looks like gold, but isn't.  I'll start using it in it's more holistic meaning.  

 

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Baseball bat proof mailbox enclosure?  A ground forge can allow shaping of large pieces so they will fit in a gas forge.  Counter weights?  Fishing boat anchors?

Back in Columbus Ohio, the old part of town had a lot of real wrought iron fences that used "hair pin" balusters. I have a bending jig used to make mild steel replacements after car damage to the originals.  Those  would form ones larger than the ones I've seen though.

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Actually, I would keep them just because I like the way they look. To me, it's an appealing shape...maybe for part of a future sculpture, or maybe just to look at once in a while.

Also, you could use them for letters. If you cut off part of one of the legs, you could make a "J" and turn one on its side for a "C" (in case you know anyone with those initials).

A "u" or "n" or "m" or "w" are other possible characters...or maybe a very large "O."

Or maybe legs for a trendy coffee table?

Al (Steamboat)

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It occurs to me that welding a roller on the bent part and using it as a stand would mean if you tipped the thing backwards it could lever up onto the roller/caster and be mobile.  Good idea.

 

Thanks for all the good ideas so far folks!

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I like the mailbox suggestion and I think it would help pay your operating costs. Hear me out. If you put that sturdy a mailbox out, you're sure to find a few broken bats on your lawn. It's free material for hammer handles!

In all seriousness though, I'm with Latticino on this one.

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Hey JCloss, I am currently in school at correlieu and will be in metalwork starting mid april. If you think of something that needs to be done at the School, I'd be willing to help.

 

~Duncan

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Duncan, that's awesome, thank you for the offer.  In return, once restrictions relax, if you'd ever like to join us to hit metal at our smithy just let me know.  We usually get together Wednesday evenings and Sunday afternoons, but our schedule is pretty flexible.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm showing my age here, but when I was a kid, I used to watch a nature documentary where a coyote ordered up a fresh set of Acme magnets when he was trying to outsmart the roadrunner.

You'd probably make the codgers giggle at your next meet up  if you painted all but the tips red and added the Acme logo.

 

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Wickets. I like this idea: you really have to line your shots up right, or the ball won't go through. Also, you don't have to worry about accidentally kicking a wicket out of the ground.

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