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I Forge Iron

Spring fuller (and swages again).

philip in china

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My spring swages are made for my power hammer and my anvil and require 1/4 inch stock. Over time the 3/16 seem to lose its spring under the power hammer.

If you are making them strictly for hand/anvil work 3/16 is fine, but for dual or power hammer work use the 1/4

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I would like to make spring swages and a spring fuller. How do I make the spring work?

I'm assuming you've already made the spring fuller/swage and want spring tension to hold the top and bottom dies snugly together.

Most of the ones I've made have mild steel for springs and periodically need re-tensioning. I just stretch the 'loop' open a bit.....using the anvil horn, a piece of pipe, even a piece of wood that's a little larger than the loop.
This will open up the dies. Just squeeze the dies together in .....post vise, or hammer them together. Sometimes I just use large tongs or channel locks to squeeze the dies together.
I then remove whatever I used to open the loop, and I will have spring tension on the dies.

And from time to time, I have to re-tension them.
Hope this helps..........
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Here are some pics to explain. This is a swage blank, meaning I haven't finished the dies yet. The spring on this swage is only 1/16 by 1 in.........so it's pretty flexible.
The hammer handle was just the first thing handy that was a little larger than the loop. I used a hammer to close the dies, but on this small swage I could have used my hands.
Remove the handle and you have spring.

Springs from carbon steel or heavier stock may need to have the loop heated to facilitate the bending.

Hofi makes some spring swages for his power hammers so large that he uses a lever to open the dies.

Since I do all my forging by hand, my swages are much smaller.





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Naw, you don't want to be hitting hardened metal with hardened metal. You may get chipping as in metal flying at near bullet speeds. :-O

If you do want to harden the fullers, then use a soft hammer. All of the spring fullers I've made have not been heat treated. They really don't need to be. You will be hitting hot iron anyway. Or should be ;-).

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Most of my spring fullers/swages are just mild steel, and won't harden much anyway.
I have a couple that have short sections of leaf spring as the dies. I don't harden those either. Once I hot-forge the shape I want in one, I let it air cool.

The fuller/swages I've made from mild steel have held up surprisingly well. Of course, if I used them a lot and did a lot of heavy hammering on them, they would stretch, flatten, and distort.

Making sure the dies themselves are plenty 'beefy', makes a big difference in how long they will last.

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