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I Forge Iron

New tools!

Justin Topp

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Shouldn’t happen with this auctioneer. You have to schedule an appointment so it’s just you maybe one other person picking up. Than there’s also the auctioneer and several employees. Before you leave they go down the list to be sure you have everything that you bought and nothing else. Regardless your always with some member of staff there. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
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Got it unloaded finally, and wired it up.  Did my first test cuts in some mild steel and it’s so much better than the craftsman.

with my poorly sharpened hss tool it easily took a 1/8” depth of cut. And very fine cuts as well. In some mild steel 

Excited to get a quick change tool post and some tooling for it. Than I can get busy and make some chips!

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Long chip curls like that is why we always used a right or left rather than a finishing bit for general turning. I don't recall the specifics but a directional cut bit is ground to break chips before they turn into long curls.  

Making them into hair on a sculpture would be cool so long as nobody touched them. True DREAD locks.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I've seen one example done about 25 years ago where they collected a 2 pound coffee can of lathe swarf, compressed it under a large press and welded it up.  Interesting pattern but too many voids left.  They should have folded and welded it several more times to close everything up.  (This was at the Quad-State where I had welded a layer of chainmail in a sceax blade and then the swarf blade showed up!)

I want to try a cannister one with swarf and brake lathe "dust" and try to balance the carbon content at about 1%.   One of my fun projects for retirement.

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Another use for stringy lathe chips: while managing a machine shop at a college, I was approached by a person who did wood working. He asked for stringy steel chips, didn’t care if they had rust on them. In fact, he wanted some rust. I think he was using them to antique the wood IIRC. Like a very coarse steel wool.

there are all kinds of uses for recycling, if you use your imagination.

TP: interesting example that you saw. Maybe with the canister method the powder would fill the voids. The idea of using chips occurred to me while watching fish hooks being used on FIF.


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Your woodworker friend might have been planning to use the swarf as an abrasive, but it's also possible (given that he wanted some rust) that he was planning to make a wood stain. The acetic acid reacts with the iron oxide to produce ferric acetate, which is one of the classic ebonizing stains and can give some very nice effects, depending on the wood in question.

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  • 1 month later...

This lathe is great! Makes that craftsman seem useless haha 

0.260” depth of cut on mild steel. 270 rpm with a feed rate of 0.0021” per revolution.  

1/4” cuts and I’m not even using the back gears yet! 



The lathe has also proved extremely useful for creating steel spacers. It’s so nice not having to stack washers anymore. And I can get the same thickness of spacers for different sized bolts. Before when I used washers, the washer for a 1/2” and 1/4” bolt were different thicknesses so it would be hard to get even stacks. 

I also made a rough fly cutter. Need to work on sharpening cutters and stuff for better surface finishes though 



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Then you move up to a Monarch lathe ;)

My small lathe is an 18.5" x54" Monarch. I did one part where I took a .500" depth of cut with a .015" feed. Never bogged.

The nice thing about the South Bends is that parts are pretty available.  Looks like you got a nice one there. Keep it clean and oiled and it will outlast you. I have a full machine shop, but the lathe probably gets the most use. There is always something that can be done on it.

The Gray planer my dad ran at Mare Island Naval Shipyard made 1/2# chips that were shaped like 6/9s. . The table was around 40' long.

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Trust me I’d love a monarch but this southbend is more than enough for my garage for now haha.
I bet I could take a 3/8 cut with the southbend. Using the back gears and a reasonable feed. Not nearly as impressive but more than enough for my needs.

Once I’m a bit older and out of high school with a bigger shop I’ll look for a better lathe. 

Parts are either available or easily made which is nice for me as a hobbies. 

Those big planers are fun to watch! 

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The planer did not have table stops, and some guys who were running it hard ran the table right off the bed.  Dad said the whole shop would vibrate when it hit the floor  :lol: The main machine shop on the island was huge, and covered several acres (24?). Then they would have to call a crane over to reset it.  Dad also ran a 7" G&L horizontal boring mill. He could extend the spindle out 72".  He worked with items big enough that he had to have the crane operators set his angle plates, and the part he was to machine.  They built nuclear submarines there.  They auctioned off one lathe that was 100' between centers, and had one with a 10' diameter chuck.  They did parts for Hoover dam as they were the only shop that had the capabilities to make some of the parts in the generators.  I got to go on family day tours a couple of times.  The forge shop was fun to watch. Those big steam hammers moving metal at a fast pace as the floor vibrated with every hit.

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This is becoming my machine thread. If there’s a better place I’ll start a thread there. But I’ll keep it here for now. 

With that being said, I found this palmgren vise and cleaned and de rusted it. Hoping to do some testing on it to see if it’s at all square to use on my milling machine. For light not super precise work if nothing else. 

Jaws are micarta. I May eventually make some steel or aluminum jaws. Not sure yet.  




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Ordered a quick change tool post and some more hss blanks. Finally I will be able to get making some real projects 

I’ve also been prepping to make a flat belt pulley so I made this headstock center for the 3 jaw chuck. I’ll just take a light cut before each use to true it up 


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