Jump to content
I Forge Iron

Recommended Posts

All,

I have been cogitating for some time about building or purchasing a guillotine tool (aka a Smithing Magician [apparently a brand name]).  I'm trying to decide if it is worth the time and or money.  So, what do those of you who have one think?  Does it earn its place in your shop or is it a dust collector?  Or, is this one of those "it depends on what you are making" decisions?

Also, do you have any suggestions about types or brands?  There seem to be a lot of variants.

Thanks.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

Link to post
Share on other sites

I find mine an extremely useful tool. Great for the selective isolation of mass needed for a wide variety of blacksmith operations. I have barely scratched the surface of its capabilities (need to make more dies), and still use it in lots of my projects.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually just started making one last week. I don't know how much they cost to buy (I just checked, $89 isn't bad I suppose) but they are pretty easy to make, plus you can make them for whatever size stock you have available for dies.

IMG_2021-02-02_21-31-35.jpeg.fa8acd15d72727802e710b4a906c9dcf.jpeg IMG_2021-02-02_21-29-54.jpeg.7d0e9638c934eeb65b93aa0e07d06712.jpeg IMG_2021-02-02_21-30-27.jpeg.0be48a46ce658deb4093003b03d0286a.jpeg

Having never used one I can't speak from experience on their utility, but it seems like a pretty useful tool. I am making it primarily for making tenons and it will be replacing some of the spring tools I have made in the past.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Mine gets used well in my forge. I've made a selection of dies for it and am at the point where I need some kind of organizing system for them. Real handy is the 3 point set I made for fullering/working pipe. I bought mine from Yesteryear forge, who is a member here.

Steve

Link to post
Share on other sites

I love mine! I use it all the time. Very handy, and really helps with forging accuracy. I have found my style of guillotine tool very versatile. I can use just the top die and fuller or butcher from one side only. As I come up with new jobs for it I make new dies. My striking plate on some of my dies are interchangeable & replaceable. As I look at this picture I realize several of my newsiest dies were not made when this picture was taken. 

Hope this helps,

Steven

guillotine Tools 0.jpg

guillotine Tools 5.jpg

guillotine Tools 010.jpg

guillotine Tools 7.jpg

guillotine Tools 9.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

George, get one. They do make life somewhat easier. I use mine mainly for making tenons and isolating areas of metal. Makes necking down pipe a breeze. 

I would suggest building it. They are not hard to build, especially if you have a welder. Get a couple good sized leaf springs and set aside and you can make many many dies as needed. 

Here is the one i built this past summer. Its ugly but it works great. The frame is made from a vibration dampener off the transmission of a Ranger, the dies are made from the leaf spring of a late 90's Dodge 2500. I have since added a bolt to hold the bottom die more stable, you can not see it in the pic but there is one on the back also under the mouse. I did however build it wrong. I built it to fit cut dies rather than the width of the spring. So my top die has to have an extension welded to it. If there is a wrong way to do something, i will figure it out. 

That dampener was a stack of steel plates about 10" long, stacked 6" or so high, held together with 2 big rivets. The rivets now have a home in 2 sets of tongs. 

20201111_132907.thumb.jpg.b545a9d944ab82f6708ffe0113988f15.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

I finished mine last night. It's a tank. I wish I could've bolted it together like yours rather than welding, but I don't have a drill press and I do have a welder. Dies are 4140, 3/4" x 1.5". I had to dig around the tool steel pile at the steel supply for a while to find some 4140 and finally found something suitable. I wish they were a little wider, but beggars can't be choosers. 

IMG_2021-02-10_22-02-48.jpeg.57d21a7e524201d0961dea04f5faff68.jpeg IMG_2021-02-10_22-01-02.jpeg.d4e04a350e69496f8f78a4c0ef47481e.jpeg IMG_2021-02-10_22-01-22.jpeg.e6c3c9c24ead777a5588815162688279.jpeg

After testing it out, I am very pleased and am sure it will see a lot of use. I still have another 5 or so feet for making some other dies. Now I just need to make some monkey tools..

IMG_2021-02-10_21-59-19.jpeg.5315269df37a2efcc71c84f69f986157.jpeg

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've picked up some trashed sockets at the scrapyard and use them as monkey tools for 1/4", 3/8" and 1/2".  Many of them do have the edge of the drive hole slightly beveled, but it's never been more than two strokes with a good file to clean them to sharp on the tenons. (When I get electricity to the shop I'll probably try grinding the sockets to a crisp edge and see how that works.)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm considering just taking some 1/4" plate, cutting several squares out and just drilling a hole through the center of each of them in various sizes. Square tubing for the shank and then just dropping them in the hardy hole rather than having the more traditional monkey tool I usually see used. I can see some potential downsides to this idea, but I figure it's worth trying since they will take so little time to make. Cut, drill, weld, stamp what size hole it is on the plate and you're done.

Link to post
Share on other sites

True, but the first time you have to stand on a stepladder to shoulder a tenon on a six-foot workpiece, you'll wish you had a regular monkey tool.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear All,

Thank you all for your input.  I have ordered the Yesteryear Forge C type tool.  It looks like the most versatile.  I would have liked to have gotten one from a fellow in Douglas, WY (support WY businesses) but his are the H type.  I expect that I will find more uses for it than I can envision now.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...