Blacksmithing tools - Page 8
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  1. #176
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Quote Originally Posted by psacustomcreations View Post
    I have lurked on IFI for quite a while and saw that post anvil you posted in the Anvil Shaped Objects thread. Since I do not have any tools, equipment other than an old small RR track anvil, and haven't made anything to speak of, I have not posted at that site even though I am a member there.
    I find myself spending less and less time there anymore. Seems like it's getting to be more signal than noise lately.

    I was also wondering if it would be feasible/worthwhile to cut a 3-4" section and try to make a rotating swage block like whtbaron posted a bit ago. I was thinking of using a bunch of ball end mills (1/4"-1") I have and then cutting the grooves along the length. To cut larger radius grooves I was thinking of some of various larger end/face mills or boring heads I have. I might even try to do that to the side of the bowl puck.
    That rotating swage block sure is neat! I wonder, though, about the efficiency of the design if you go smaller with it. Like an anvil, the swage depends a lot on its mass to provide the resistance to your hammer blow. Something only 8" in diameter, and then trimmed down by cutting for an axle and all the perimeter shapes.... that'd end up pretty lightweight and I don't know if the efficiency would be worth the trouble. Plus, the axle is probably hardened and tempered already so you'll have to get it hot enough to undo that so your bits will cut it.

    Is the work worth it? My persona "swage" block, right now, is just a section of 6"x2" with some half-rounds forged into it. It sits on top of my anvil and borrows the anvil's mass to make it a workable product. I love how easy it is to move it around, and I've been on the look out for someone with a press to make me another one with some different shapes.

    I am 5'8" tall so from what I can tell the top needs to be around 29.5" to 30" or so. That leaves me with plenty of stock to mess with. With that height in mind, I am now thinking that once I try to make a few pucks, swageblocks, etc, I may not have much left except the end that is cut down.
    My anvil comes up to my wrist. I wanted it taller than some recommend because I don't like stooping over. After a couple years of working on it, I could see lowering it about an inch to make it slightly better for me. Folks recommend you have it low enough so your knuckles brush the top, and this can be a good baseline to go by. If you go with a lower anvil, you can always raise it up by sticking plywood under it.

    It's really easy to burn up the length you have. Trying to sell off some of the axle to offset the cost of it is a nice idea, but I don't know that you can really make too much off it. Better to plan on making what you want/need, and then worry about doing something with the leftovers once you've got your own needs sorted out.

    That turned-down section would make a great anvil for someone, including you. A 6" working face is actually bigger than the area I use on my 300# Fisher anvil. The face of my Fisher is something like 5-1/4"x18", and I don't move around much when I'm hammering away. Were it me, and worried about using the 8" OD section for other purposes, I'd cut that shaft right at the 45" mark in the last pic you posted. Looks like there's a wear line that'd make a perfect alignment mark for the bandsaw to follow!

    With the 6" end up, mounted on a stump, you have a 15" tall anvil that'll weigh well over 100 pounds. That's more than enough anvil for anyone's practical use.

    Do you think it would be worth it to try to make a hardy hole in the top of the post?
    Nope. Lots of work for very little gain. Or, maybe it'd be better to say that I don't think you should go at it right away. A hardy tool can be clamped in the bench vise and used quite effectively there. So, do that for a few months or a year, and see how you feel about things. You can always add one if you feel like you really need to have it there.

    The only thing I'd really think about as an immediate "must have" is a side-exit pritchel hole so you can conveniently knock out a plug or drift a hole open. Of course, you could more easily make a bolster plate that swivels around so you can punch out right over the face of the anvil.

    Oh, and the Steel Pucks of Awesomeness that my dad whipped up are only 1" thick. I don't know that a deeper one would be beneficial, but it's something to consider. I know a lot of people use the bottoms of cylinders, but I don't think they're actually bottoming out in them.

    That swage block I posted above, with the big depression, is listed as only 3-3/4" thick and that was needed so they could have depressions on both sides. I don't know how deep the 6" bowl form is, but I don't think it'd be much more than an inch.

    If you can turn a depression like that.... sweet! Let me know what I owe you for one!!!

  2. #177
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Sink it into the ground to your desired top height and use as is for an awesome post anvil. i have an old breaker bit i used for the same thing; it will eventually be the anvil for a power hammer i will be building. If you do decide to cut it up, leave a good chunk below the turned portion as that would be a great sow block for a home built power hammer.

  3. #178
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    Dec 2015
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    531

    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Just turn it on end and use as is!
    If you must cut it, I would go for 12 inch lengths minimum, the mantra is it is always about the amount of metal under the hammer, most good sized anvils have about 12 to 14 inches of steel under the hammer.
    I use a 150 square block as one of my "anvils" it is 230 high, and while it performs well, I would love if if was a bit taller. (Only mild steel though)

  4. #179
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Thanks everyone. Once I have some time to work on this I will post some pics of my progress.
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  5. #180
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    Aug 2012
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    psa, that's a great piece of steel you have there. I agree with Vaughn, use as tall a portion as you can, mounted in a good stable base. That would make a super anvil.

    You don't have to have a London or German style anvil to work on. One suggestion I would make is to carefully grind and polish a smooth radius curve on about a 1/4 or 1/3 around the top edge circumference...maybe even a gradational edge over that distance. Leave the rest as cut. Smiths don't usually like to work on a sharp corner due to inducing cold shuts or cracks. A radius similar to the curve on a round wooden school pencil would be somewhere near a good radius for a max, coming from a sharp edge to start. The radius edge makes for smooth curve formation when hammering. You could even make a short, say 1" to 2" long, straight section along the cut edge for easier curve starting, and give that a slight radius as well.

    As for making a hardie hole, you can weld up some thick bar stock in a square like 1" ID, or whatever your hardie tools are, and mount it in a vise: doesn't have to be on the anvil.
    Last edited by shortfuse; 05-04-2018 at 06:15 PM.

  6. #181
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Pat this is how I made the hardy hole for my ASO. It won’t help you much for your 8” round stock but you may find a way to utilize it in the future.

    I torched out a square hole and welded in a short length of receiver tubing (no inside seam) to accept 1 1/4” square hardies. (I’ve standardized all my hardies to this size)



    I have “real” anvils for smithing, but this ASO in my main shop is used every day.

    Here’s a shot of it with my oxy-acet torch holder demonstrating that hardy holes can have a multitude of uses.

    ​Terry

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  7. #182
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    My upright anvil is 39" and I like it, although it gets used for repairs and welding ... I probably wouldn't use it for forging ( I'm 5'9"). If 30" is your ideal height, I'd cut it there and use the remaining 15" for other projects, or for resale if you are so inclined. Things like that don't usually get away from me. I wouldn't worry about putting a Hardy in it either, you have a limited area and a Hardy could be set into a plate for a vise or a stump or just attach a piece of heavy square tubing down the side of your post anvil. If you do want one, a made a small one out of a broken 1/2" socket adapter for one of my RR track anvils. My tools are all larger than that so it's mostly just for looks. Drilled a round hole, welded it in and ground off the weld.
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    F-225 amp Forney AC Stick
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  8. #183
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Quote Originally Posted by psacustomcreations View Post
    This is the piece of 8 inch diameter shaft made from 1045 steel that I picked up from WW member a2lute.
    Man, that is sweet! That's almost exactly the kind of thing I was looking for to use for the sow block (anvil) on a power hammer I plan to build.

    Does a2lute have any more to sell, or, how much would you want for whatever you have left over? I'm over across the bay from you...

  9. #184
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelvin View Post
    Man, that is sweet! That's almost exactly the kind of thing I was looking for to use for the sow block (anvil) on a power hammer I plan to build.

    Does a2lute have any more to sell, or, how much would you want for whatever you have left over? I'm over across the bay from you...
    I will keep you in mind for any left overs when I get a chance to work on this.

    I would shoot a2lute a message and see if has any other pieces like this. We were lucky and were already heading to Michigan when I found out about this shaft.
    Millermatic 252 MIG
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  10. #185
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Quote Originally Posted by psacustomcreations View Post
    I will keep you in mind for any left overs when I get a chance to work on this.

    I would shoot a2lute a message and see if has any other pieces like this. We were lucky and were already heading to Michigan when I found out about this shaft.
    OK, thanks, I appreciate it. I'm over across the bay from you, on ESVA. Was hoping I might find something in Norfolk/Va Beach areas what with all the shipbuilding down there, but so far no luck.

  11. #186
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    The apron-dying adventure is officially done. After three bottles of Hobby Lobby dye, this is the mottled, orange-ish look I'm left with. Most of the dye simply evaporates away. It looked like a really nice almost-black dark coffee brown while wet, and there wasn't a hint of this splotchy look. But let it dry, even in a plastic bag to hold the moisture/color in all night, and blah!

    It'll get really grimy while in the shop, so I'm not too worried about it. This is a prototype for something I might want to produce on a limited fashion if others feel a need for the #1 tool in the smithy.




    The first of the brass rings is sewn in place. This is probably the single biggest reason why I wanted to make my own apron!



    The leather reinforcement patches are glued on the sides, but I still have to decide what I'm doing on the top of the bib. The OEM leather is amazingly thin, so something will definitely have to be done. Do I use separate pieces at each strap end? Do I use one long piece that reinforces the entire top of the bib, creating something of a cohesive look? No idea.

    All the patches are going to need sewing, though. Just the glue doesn't look very good and I don't know how soon the glue will break down and die. Thought about rivets, but I haven't found any that I like. The rivet/burr kits from Tandy and other places are too big in the heads to look good, in my estimation, especially since I'd like to put a lot of them on the apron.

  12. #187
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    I picked up this post vise today. It seems to be in great condition and opens and closes smoothly. I am going to pick up a little at a time.

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  13. #188
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Very nice! That paint job needs to go, but other than that....

  14. #189
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    That's all she wrote, folks! The Three Rivers Forging apron is officially finished and has been put through her trial run!!

    The dye job is as splotchy as ever, but the look is growing on me and I get the feeling the splotchiness will smooth out as dirt and grime is added to the mix



    To prevent the kind of ripping I saw on the last Tillman apron, I added reinforcement patches -- glued and sewn. The grommets maximize the freedom of movement so there isn't any undue strain on the leather or stitching. And the grommets help hold the pieces together. I actually started the stitching right at the point so the ends would be covered by the grommets and pinched in place.


    All of the OEM strapping and stitching from the lower straps was removed. I like how the webbing feels on the shoulders, so I kept that and added parachute cord for the lower section. The P-cord works plenty well enough and doesn't get all twisted around.



    Aside from the grommets, the snap link and the ring at the top of the bib were the two features I absolutely wanted to include in the design. After the experience I had with my fancy/expensive apron, I'm sold on the snap link for easy on and off. While putting on my old apron wasn't a chore by any stretch, the snap link makes it orders of magnitude easier.

    And that ring..... what a wonderful way to hang up the apron at the end of the day! I've tried hangers and clips, but nothing really struck my fancy. The rings adds a sense of panache, looking good while also serving a much needed function.

    Definitely a winning design, if I do say so myself. Sewing on the patches was the most time-consuming and labor intensive part, but I think it worked out well. Now it's just a matter of seeing how things hold up over the next year or so. Already planning to get another Tillman apron so I can use up some of the grommets that came in the kit, and to have something on hand should someone come by for a visit.

  15. #190
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Apron turned out pretty good. That post vice looks good too, but reminds me of the Cape Hatteras lighthouse with that paint job. Should be a good tool for you for a long time.

  16. #191
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Looking good. I've been in the field lately getting the crop in so I haven't been in here much. About 3/4 done (soys left to go) so I'll get back to my toys one of these days.
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  17. #192
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Got lucky to snag a 5-pack of chipping hammers off flea bay for less than the cost of new ones!

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    My last chipping hammer remodel is still going strong, so I wanted to add to the pile.



    Next on the list will be a hot cut, obviously, and two round punches. I might turn one of them into a handled center punch.

    My biggest need, at this point, is a punch to form the divots on the railroad spikes I make.



    Driving deep into that 5/8" thick steel is hard on a punch, so they wear out pretty quickly. I'm using a punch made from car coil spring right now, and it doesn't take long before it's worn down enough to need reshaping. The only downside with that is not being able to get the exact same taper as before, so your hooks look markedly different. Consistency is important when customers are coming back a year later to get hooks that match their earlier purchase.

    The only problem with using a chipping hammer is that your heat treat can propagate a crack at the weld where the handle joins in. Still, that's small potatoes all things considered!

    One of these days, I'll find someone that can turn a few punches for me out of H13 alloy. I hear that stuff is tough as the devil's heart, but I've never used the alloy and wouldn't know how to heat treat it properly.

  18. #193
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    I can finally attach pics again and got caught up with the spraying today. Here's my $20 4" post vice find from my local scrappers. It's still seized so I'm soaking it in oil. I'll need to make a mount and another spring for it if I can get it working. Not too worried about the broken leg as I was going to attach it to a welding bench anyway.
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    F-225 amp Forney AC Stick
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  19. #194
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    I've been away from WW for quite a while, but this well researched article caught my interest.
    http://www.anvilmag.com/smith/anvilres.htm - It concerns anvil repair. I am curious about the method for any possible future call for such a job, or in case I feel I wish to work on one of my lower quality anvils. (No antique anvils will be harmed.)
    Hardfacing is not new at all, and as I am learning, Stoody wrote the book decades ago.
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  20. #195
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Quote Originally Posted by tanglediver View Post
    The Gunther Method of Anvil Repair is considered the gold standard. Gunther and Shuler used the technique on dozens of anvils before publishing the technique, and it's since been used on hundreds, maybe thousands, more.

    If you follow their "recipe", you can easily repair an anvil that's been abused. And, feel free to use it on old, heavily-worn anvils. Bring those antiques back to life!

    If you're a decent welder (I'm not), you'll find quite a market for properly refurbished anvils. The desire for anvils is high, but a lot of them are heavily worn do to idiots abusing them after the blacksmiths faded to obscurity. I've got a Wilkinson anvil that I'd love to get professionally repaired and put back into service, but I'm not a good enough welder to do it justice.

    Contact your local blacksmith group and see if they have any leads on old anvils that need some TLC. More than likely, as soon as they hear there's a welder who wants to fix anvils, you'll have more opportunities than you can shake a stick at.

    Just remember, Fisher and Vulcan anvils are cast iron bodies with a tool steel face welded on. Wilkinson, Peter Wright and Hay Budden are forged wrought iron bodies with the tool steel face welded on.

    As far as I'm aware, nobody has come up with a good way of repairing chipped edges on a Fisher or Vulcan anvil because it's a cast iron body.

  21. #196
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    My first anvil is a 110 pound steel, Russian made, Harbor Freight sold item that someone had nicknamed "the Toad". No longer available, I've had it since I bought it new back in the 90's, before I began welding. A ball bearing test indicates a rebound of about 55%, not much. I figure a good layer of hardfacing could liven it up quite a bit. I'ld easily spend more for the Stoody rod than I did for the anvil!
    First I need some hardfacing rods, but if I give it a go, I will surely post my results here somewhere.

    City of L.A. Structural; Manual & Semi-Automatic;
    "Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place where gold is refined. Iron is taken from the earth, and copper is smelted from ore."
    Job 28:1,2

    Lincoln, Miller, Victor & ISV Bible

    Danny

  22. #197
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Those cast russian anvils used to be pretty good, from what I hear. The new ones suck balls, but it sounds like you got in early.

    No idea how they'd take to being welded on. If the whole thing is cast iron and not cast steel, that might be more trouble than it's worth. Still, it could be fun to try. I know I'd love to be able to weld up the edges on my Fisher anvil and have it like new again.

  23. #198
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    All that talk about repurposing a chipping hammer to sink the divots in the spike hooks I make..... and I run across a guy on FB who's turning some H13 alloy for himself.

    A few short messages and I have a new tool heading my way.

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    The H13 is supposed to be fairly dang durable under heat, so I'm curious to see how long it lasts. If I can get 100 spike hooks out of it before it's shot to pieces, that'll be a huge win.

  24. #199
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    That looks pretty good, now I see why you are running out of chipping hammers!!
    City of L.A. Structural; Manual & Semi-Automatic;
    "Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place where gold is refined. Iron is taken from the earth, and copper is smelted from ore."
    Job 28:1,2

    Lincoln, Miller, Victor & ISV Bible

    Danny

  25. #200
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Quote Originally Posted by tanglediver View Post
    ... now I see why you are running out of chipping hammers!!
    Yea, whatever those chipping hammers are made out of is pretty good..... but it doesn't last long once you start bashing on railroad spikes!

    Everything I hear about H13 sounds good. I've never machined any of it and don't have a clue if I could turn my own on the little Southbend 9x30 belt-drive lathe I have. Might have to get a bar of it just to tinker around with!

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