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I Forge Iron

I now have a swage block

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  Went to the father-in-law’s for May long.  Traded a knife, a can of beer and a window in his cabin removal and reinstall. Wire wheeled the mud off and she’s in great shape.  Now I have to figure out a stand.  Only downside is the square holes are 1” and 1.5”. Hardy hole is 1.25”.   

  Anyone recognize the pattern. 12.25”square and 4” thick.  



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Nope, not a Lancaster pattern. Mine is a Lancaster, cast in the Alaska Rail Road foundry and supplied to the old Road Commission pre statehood by a bunch of decades.

The second pic is the stand I built for it. The timbers are old guardrail posts we pulled while replacing them with galvy Ibeam posts. It lays flat as you see and I use my pinch bar to tip it and slide it on edge into the lower position. If I need a different edge I slip the pinch bar through a hole off center and rotate it. 

Originally I was concerned about stability on edge but it rested there for a couple years and through a couple good little quakes without falling so I call it good as is. I planned a long hook that would pass through one of the through holes and hold it snuggle against the stand but never made it. It rests at my comfortable working height either flat on top or on edge on the step. 

Frosty The Lucky.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Think long and hard before changing your swage block; it hasn't got a 1.25" hole... alright, but think of it another way = you now have three different sized square holes you can use for any number of things. Probably best to make a 'liner' for a larger square hole so that your hardy tools can fit comfortably in it. 

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If your concern about not having a 1.25" hole is not being able to use this for upsetting anvil tooling to fit your existing hardy hole, then make an upsetting adapter that will fit in the 1.5" hole. This isn't quite the same as a liner as GNJC suggests, but a solid plate with a square hole cut in it (at the same size as your existing hole) and some kind of stem that will fit inside the 1.5" hole.

Here's an example from my own shop. This has a 7/8" square hole to match the hardy hole on both my anvils and a 2" square stem that fits both in the hole in my striking anvil or (as here) in an adapter that allows me to use hardy tooling under the treadle hammer.

No photo description available.

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It is very nice to have a swage block with the same size square hole as your anvil hardy.  Not only can you share tooling between them, but you can also forge anvil tools in the swage block.  Jon's response covers this as well.  I'm in exactly the same boat and will look into adopting something like this.

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