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New guy looking for open die forging help


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 Looking for info about 140/130 year old wrenches I have.  Most are smithy made but some are very large.  Wanting to know terms used in forge welding process.  Please refer me to best discussion forum please. TIA

DSC04446.JPG

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"Practical Blacksmithing" by Richardson is a good possible source on how these can be made.

I believe they were forged in 3 ways. Forged down from one piece, forge welded, and tenoned. I'm looking at the top and the shaft. I believe, it's been a while, these three ways are shown in Practical Blacksmithing.

Drop forged and open die forging are two more ways.

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And the processes have been around for quite some time! (Mid 19th century for a start.)   Note that for large equipment the maintenance staff might also forge their own tools as they were fully equipped to forge say train engine drive rods.

If you find tools made from real wrought iron, the material,  then you know that they are oldies!  Practical Blacksmithing was collected in 1889, 1890 and 1891 and is the transition period between Wrought Iron and Bessemer Steel and so includes useful information about working the different materials.

BTW have you gotten a reprint of the 1897 Sears Roebuck catalog yet? (Or 1905, 1908,...)  Interesting to see what was commonly available!

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This first pic doesn't look like a wrench to me, I'd say a control arm. It has a keyway, slips over a shaft and clamps with the bolt on top. In the pic. Think a connecting rod from the end that connects to a valve or maybe an oil pump as the main shaft rotates back and forth it gives a little squirt or oil or releases stem or . . .? 

I can't imagine a wrench shaped like that but I've been wrong often enough to not be too surprised when I have something all wrong.

I all probability a closed die forging. 3 steps I think.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Posted (edited)

 

Thanks for comments so far.

The 1906 mill drawings show its a piston retaining nut wrench for a horizontal steam engine having a 60" bore. The nut is cylindrical with 3 key ways on the OD.  A crane would position the wrench to line up the ways and the key was installed.  The drawing also indicates it being "forged steel".
I'm adding a pdf drawing from the mills engineering department showing rods and nuts from engines we assumed installed somewhere/sometime at the complex. The top right nut illustrated is of the style the wrench is for. 

I'm open to it being closed die made.... but only 1 wrench was needed.

For better explanation and visual please see my video about it.  Utube put ads on my videos, not me.

 

 

a4 nut.pdf

Edited by wrenchguy
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And isn't that a perfect example of why I'm not surprised when I'm wrong. Thank you, I don't often see things that put aspects of industry in scale. At first glance my mind said it looks like X and that's where my mind went, explaining what I thought I saw. If the chair wasn't enough for scale the ribs on the panels are good enough I could've measured it pretty accurately. Had I not been caught up in what I thought instead of what I was looking at.

I'd sure like to live less remote, I rarely get to go to large shows, museum displays, etc. 

Excellent video, good production values and sound levels. I LOVE your pointer!

Definitely closed die forgings, some of the smaller wrenches could've been hand forged but I doubt it. 

Any company operating and working on machinery the size to need those wrenches, even the little ones, would have a large scale forging division. Just the little old Alaska Rail Road, Anchorage yard had several A frame steam hammers ranging from 50 tons up to IIRC 350tons and a boat load of smaller power hammers. The Anchorage and Fairbanks RR shops also had impressive foundries. They made a lot of tooling and tools in house. 

Frosty The Lucky.

 

 

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No worries.

All the wrenches in the wheel barrow have forge welded seams showing, with what i think is the melted hard borax still stuck on em. Some real odd looking scarfs looking split open and wrench head slipped in between. 

The mill has foundry, forge and machine shop.

The wrench in this latest video definitely open die forged with hammer or press. Just trying to get best info about how made.  They are going on tour to steam, tool and construction shows this summer.   Hopefully a "hammer in" or 2 also. Thanks for comments & compliments. 

DSC04474.jpg

 

 

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Wrenchguy,  a couple suggestions on your video.  1.  Particularly in the first part, it would be helpful to have something in the picture for scale.  Just throw a 1 foot ruler on the ground and it will give viewers an idea of the size of things.  2.  Think about having a script and rehearsing it before filming.  You got repetitive in a couple places regarding size and weight.

In my late teens back in the '60s I worked a couple summers as a Repair Helper in the Power Department of Inland Steel in E. Chicago, IN.  We had some wrenchs that were about this size which took 2 helpers to carry.  They were used to disassemble and reassemble large pumps and compressors.  The were often used with a come along, chain fall, overhead crane, or a long, heavy cheater bar.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand.".

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Note that Borax wasn't a preferred flux for real wrought iron, clean quartz sand or even ground glass was used.  Borax came along to help weld the "new" "Bessemer Steel".

Borax would have absorbed humidity from the air and changed from anhydrous to hydrous and dusted off a lot more.  Stuff there from a long time ago was probably silicate based!

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I have another suggestion for making videos. The wrench is back lit, if you stand with the light source at your back the edge of the wrench would be clearly visible. The question about open vs. closed die forging is found along the edges. 

Again, I see nothing that suggests an open die forging. An open die forging is more labor intensive and no large industrial business makes more expenses for themselves if they can avoid it. 

The seam where the handle was welded isn't visible in any detail so I can't opine. 

The seam around the hex faces and the wrench screams artefact of manufacture to me. I'm thinking they used a standard handle preform from the meat surrounding the hex faces to the weld seam on the handle. Another set of dies makes the hex face to size and it's welded into the wrench body with a hex bar inserted to maintain the hex dimensions. I'd do it in a hydraulic forge press. The length of the handle is adjusted when the tail end was welded on.

The hammer marks that blur the stampings are artefacts of mere humans hammering that wrench on and off nuts or bolt heads. Same for hammer marks along the handle, a chain fall to pull and a sledge hammer makes it an impact wrench.

It's a nice piece. Have any nuts or bolts to use as display stands?

I'd love to see them in person.

Frosty The Lucky.

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