Blacksmithing tools
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  1. #1
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    Blacksmithing tools

    I figured with the number of guys here who are interested in heating and beating metal, that I'd do a thread on home made blacksmithing tools. I've already got quite a few made, so it's just a matter of taking picts or digging up ones from the builds.

    Today I worked on 2 different ones. 2nd one is still in process, so I'll save that for later. This one is a guillotine tool designed to act like a set hammer. A set hammer allows you to make precise hits, usually up near a shoulder that you don't want to screw up with a misstrike.

    When I made all the heeled tenons for my forge base, I had the power hammer at the college to help neck down the tenons, or the shop assistant to strike for me. I don't have that luxury at home though. So this takes the place of using a set hammer to start drawing things out and cleaning up some of the tenon after I notch the bar.





    2"x2" 1/4" wall tube with 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" solid for the dies. I drilled out the corners, then took the jig saw to the center to remove the majority of the material, Then milled the remainder down after I filed out the weld seem on the inside. I'd had enough filing by hand for the day already... The I just had to knock off the corners some to deal with the radius on the tube, and I milled down the face of 2 sides slightly so I had a bit more play and things didn't bind at all when I moved the upper die, I'll case harden the dies a bit later. Tube is welded to some 3/8" plate cut 3" x 3" and I added a piece of 1" solid to fit the hardie hole on my 130 lb anvil ( new one hadn't shown up yet).

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    No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!

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  2. #2
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Since I just did the guillotine tool, next one makes sense to post is the set hammer and flatter I made last year in class. Also included is the hammer eye drift I made to match the handles I bought so I could do the tools. I did them on the power hammer and screw press at the college, but they can be done el manuel as well. It just takes more effort and a striker is a huge help.

    The flatter is a lot like the set tool. You hit it with a hammer and use it to flatten out large areas when you don't want a lot of small dents from the hammer, or to remove forging marks from shaping.

    Tools are made from a chunk of 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" 4140 that I welded to a mild steel handle so I didn't have to play with tongs all the time.

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    No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!

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  3. #3
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Boat load of tools in this one from last weeks class. I'll take some better picts of a few of the tools later and post them.

    1st off would be the hot cut hardie and the anvil block to go in the hardie so I have some nice crisp edges to work with. ( I'll post it in use later if I can get someone to take a few picts while I use it).



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    Next would be 2 bending forks. I drew down the 3/4" square to 3/8" to 1/2" roughly and welded on the pins. My all forged attempt was a dismal failure, but I'll keep trying until I get it right at some point. Last week the plan was to have 2 tools to use more than anything else, so when plan A failed, we went to plan B that I could do easily.


    Center is a slot punch, I'll do better picts later. At the bottom the hammer looking tool is a block used to upset rivet heads. It is simply a hole drilled thru the block the size of the rivet shaft. You insert the hot rivet, then peen over the head of the rivet to shape it. Then drive the rivet out, and cut it to length when you go to use it.




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    The tools with the loop handles are spring swages. The one with the square blocks is to finish form the end of the tenons to 1/2" square. You get the end just slightly over sized, then use the blocks to limit how far down you can forge the final result. The one with the round bar is to neck down the 1 1/2" bar I was using to make my top cut tool that I'll post later when I finish it.

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    Last on either side of the hot cut is 2 monkey tools, one in 1/2" square, and one in 1/2" round. They are designed to slide over the tenon, and be hit to clean up the shoulder of the main bar so things seat properly with no rocking or gaps. I'll post better picts and details on how they were made later after I shoot more pictures.


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    No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!

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  4. #4
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Excellent work Doug!

  5. #5
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    I didn't think I'd be interested in heating and bending but.... I find I am. I know.... I passed up on taking the anvil my girlfriend's dad offered to give me for free and am now kicking myself in the rear.
    --
    Nice blacksmithing tools DSW.... very nice.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Very nicely done.

  7. #7
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Equilibrium, it's never too late to ask if the offer is still open.
    .



    No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!

    Ronald Reagan

  8. #8
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Keep posting. These tools are great. I think I'm going to make myself a hex swag... it looks handy.

  9. #9
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Also interested. I'd like to hear more about how you are heat treating them ( tempering, case hardening etc.) and how they stand up under hard use. In another life I worked with an old guy in an autobody shop that made his own tools. With the amount of Chinese crap on the market now, I wish I had paid more attention to the process. Being able to rebuild and replace a broken tool is the next best thing to a lifetime warranty anyway. Nice work.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Nice woke . I'm taking notes!!
    Real welders know how to penetrate!

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  11. #11
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    DSW, very nice looking smith tools there. Lot of work went into them, I know. You will get a lot of good service out of them and be proud you made them yourself.

    Equilibrium....NEVER, NEVER, NEVER turn down a free anvil!!! (only if it is some Chinese cr*p, or a cast iron ASO). Like DSW said, try to get the offer reinstated!!

  12. #12
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Quote Originally Posted by dsw View Post
    equilibrium, it's never too late to ask if the offer is still open.
    No doubt!

  13. #13
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Very, very cool - thanks for posting your tools
    Dave J.

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  14. #14
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Thanks for posting. When I was about 10 that was still a blacksmith shop in our country town. I got to pump the billows for the forge. Myself and two or three other guys would fight over who got to do that. We would work our little behinds off . The blacksmith was in his 80s then. Somewhere around 1955. I wish I had been old enough to have realized the importance of learning from him. His shop was packed with tools of every kind that he had accumulated from his father or grandfather.

    Keep up the posting. I have an old anvil but no tools to go with it. Thanks for identifying the tools as I never knew their names.

  15. #15
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Doug, keep this going, always been interested in blacksmith stuff. Thanks, Bob

  16. #16
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    This is a great thread!

    I have the parts to build a small propane forge, just not enough time at the moment.

    An anvil has been on my want list for years...
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  17. #17
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    I thought a forge just needed coal and a draft? Oh wait...maybe that draft was for me...
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  18. #18
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    ... So i guess i should've taken my uncles old anvil when i was up there. I decided not to at the time cuz it was pretty big and mounted on a large log and we were in my brothers Jeep Grand Cherokee towing a camp trailer... we have to get up there with my truck and grab that from him.... you know, to clear up some of his shop space... i think he had some tools and perhaps a few brake drums to make a forge out of. Kicking myself still, the jeep is a trooper and could've handles an extra 120 or so pounds of tools.
    "I thank God for all the freedoms we've got in this country, I cherish even the right to burn the flag, but I'll tell you what, we've also got the right to bear arms and if you burn my flag I'll shoot you"
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  19. #19
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Thanks for the photos. I kist picked up a propane forge for a song and a dance but it needs some tweaking before use. Now if only anvils were as cheap...

    Reading up the other day I ran across something that sounded a bit interesting...but I haven't really looked into it yet. For those amateurs or people who don't need to beat every day, it was mentioned that they had taken some of the dirt cheap harbor freight hammers and modified the faces to make "quick and dirty" specialty smith hammers---regular sledge into a diagonal peen for instance plus a few others.

    Any thoughts on this? Is the quality of the chinese heads so bad that you are just asking for trouble to do such a thing? The ability to make a few usable pounding tools at the chinese kind of cost without going full out on making from scratch might give a good starting point for people who want to experiment. Of course, making from scratch is good experience and practice so....

  20. #20
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    That is pretty good stuff.

    Mill table might could use a little dusting though!

  21. #21
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    I know a number of guys who have "repurposed" hammers by reforging them The issue is when you go to harden them again after forging. You have no idea what steel they are, so hardening and tempering is hit and miss at best. Some just skip that part and leave the hammers in the annealed state. That way they are not too hard, or shatter/crack when quenching. Depends a lot on what you intend to do. Down side to this is if you forge a hard steel like spring steel, H13 or S7, even the hot steel is possibly harder than your hammer and you may change the hammer face as much as you change the steel. This isn't an issue if say you made yourself a leafing hammer to shape leaves, or if you just wanted to try a shape like a diagonal peen or rounding hammer and really don't care if it lasts very long.


    About 80% of my hammers have come from yard sales / flea markets etc. I've had decent luck finding cross peens ( usually heavier ones but I did find 2 light weight ones), ball peens in various weights and a few "odd" hammers. A friend picked up a really nice worn double chipping hammer he intends to regrind into a straight and cross peen leafing hammer. i was even lucky enough to get a flatter in semi good condition from a friend. A customer of his had given it to him in a box of old tools and he was using it as a small sledge to break block! I asked him if he'd trade me for my 3 lb sledge and he just gave it to me. Other than the fact they had ground off the corners when they chipped, it's nicer than my hand made one.

    The only store bought hammer I've gotten so far is a Diamond rounding hammer so I could try one and see how well they work. I switch back and forth between it and my medium weigh cross peen 90% of the time.
    .



    No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!

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  22. #22
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Bit of a repeat, but it fits here. Twisting wrenches.

    1st one is simply a large tap handle I picked up at a flea market. Down side to it is that it is some what a pain to use with long stock where you have to slide it all the way down, then adjust the wrench. Also since it's "captured" it's not suitable for all twists. It does hold the stock really well. ( sorry for the big pict for some reason not all the reduced ones want to post...)

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    2nd one is an old heavy monkey wrench I again picked up cheap at a yard sale/flea market. I just added a 2nd handle so it's easy to keep the twist straight. The wide jaws work well on this for doing cold twists. They are a bit wide to do some twisting, but I've seen the same thing done with narrower ones as well.

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    No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!

    Ronald Reagan

  23. #23
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Next one is just another use for an old tool. In this case one of the narrower monkey wrenches. I'm using it as an adjustable bending fork. I couldn't locate my "good" one today. It's been MIA since I started cleaning the shop a few weeks back. The only big difference between this one and that one is I took a grinder with a sanding pad to the inside of the jaws and rounded the square edges so I don't mark hot work. For cold bends like this, the square edges don't matter as much.

    The key to doing this right is to recognize the offset required so the jaws just clear the vise when you make your bend. I thought I had a few more picts showing this better, but the 2nd one should give you some idea. I've seen guys grind the backs down a bit closer to straight since on hot work you don't need the stiffness you do bending cold. That reduces the offset and lets you be more consistent vs the tapered end where you have to make sure you drop down to the same point or it messes up your offset. This is all 1/4" square, cold. The wrench becomes your lever for doing the bend.

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    There are other ways to use these for bending. I'll do a separate thread on bending with bending forks later on when I have time. In some cases you use two forks at once, some times with a jig to shape material.
    .



    No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!

    Ronald Reagan

  24. #24
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    DSW, those old pipe wrenches work great (bottom photo), particularly for large stock. They are usually easier to find, too, at flea markets and yard sales than the old monkey wrenches. You can take them apart, grind down the teeth, then put a gentle curve on the inside of the jaws. The flat jaws work OK for square stock, but will leave marks on round stock.

    OOOOOPS!!!!! I went back and re-read your thread. You DID grind and shape the jaws...my bad, my apologies. Need to read closer.
    Last edited by shortfuse; 09-30-2014 at 10:39 PM.

  25. #25
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Man, I really need to start forging more!

    Awesome work man.

    Have you tried the Brazeal style hot cuts? To me, they work better, however I have limited experience. Curious to hear what someone with more experience things of them.

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