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Thread: Blacksmithing tools

  1. #26
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Never really noticed a difference using one vs one like mine in post 3. I will admit I've had limited time using one though. Rounded shapes like that work really well though on chisels if you are doing long slitting operations. You can ride the edge up while still staying in the groove. I haven't really had a need to do that with a fixed hot cut so far. I have done something like that when fullering, but I didn't find the straight shape like my hot cut to be too great a hindrance.


    I will admit I'm still learning and have a lot more to learn. I'm always open to new tools, ideas or better ways to do things.
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  2. #27
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    I don't do too much hot cutting either. The brazeal hot cut just felt like I had a little more working space, if that makes any sense.

  3. #28
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Quote Originally Posted by Mudman View Post
    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.
    Mudman, I don't know if you are referring to Brian forging a curve on the hot cut edge or not...

    If so, yes, I have made both and the curved edge is the way to go. You can roll your work over the curve, hammering as you go and it makes a much nicer cut than the straight-style edge.

    I cheated and made mine from a discarded mason's chisel. The steel is high carbon, already heat treated. I just carefully and slowly ground the straight edge to a curve with a 4 1/2" angle grinder and then polished with a flap disk. Never let the heat get more than slightly hot to the touch. Took a couple of hours overall to let the edge cool each time so as not to mess up the heat treatment. Got lucky too...the handle was a hex cross section, with the 1" width fitting perfectly in my 1" hardy hole.

  4. #29
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Love all the tools and interesting ways of using existing tools! I find myself using crescent wrenches often like you show.
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  5. #30
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Quote Originally Posted by shortfuse View Post
    Mudman, I don't know if you are referring to Brian forging a curve on the hot cut edge or not...

    If so, yes, I have made both and the curved edge is the way to go. You can roll your work over the curve, hammering as you go and it makes a much nicer cut than the straight-style edge.

    I cheated and made mine from a discarded mason's chisel. The steel is high carbon, already heat treated. I just carefully and slowly ground the straight edge to a curve with a 4 1/2" angle grinder and then polished with a flap disk. Never let the heat get more than slightly hot to the touch. Took a couple of hours overall to let the edge cool each time so as not to mess up the heat treatment. Got lucky too...the handle was a hex cross section, with the 1" width fitting perfectly in my 1" hardy hole.
    Yes.


    Funny how you can convert other tools right? I picked up a giant chisel to try the same thing, but ended up having one made by one of Brian's students.

  6. #31
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Great assortment of hammers and tongs you have there. Good for anything you might want to make. I have several of the tongs you have pictured. Aside from the ones I make, I have an assortment of OCT's and Larry's Quick & Dirty's.

    I desperately would like to have one of Brian's hammers, about a 3# rounding hammer...similar to the two on the right in your picture.

  7. #32
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Quote Originally Posted by shortfuse View Post
    Great assortment of hammers and tongs you have there. Good for anything you might want to make. I have several of the tongs you have pictured. Aside from the ones I make, I have an assortment of OCT's and Larry's Quick & Dirty's.

    I desperately would like to have one of Brian's hammers, about a 3# rounding hammer...similar to the two on the right in your picture.
    Thanks! I love all my tools. I'd make my own hammers, but don't have any trust worthy people to strike for me. A powerhammer would be nice. After a close call of someone almost slamming my hand with a 15lbs sledge, and another time missing my head (don't know how people can be this uncoordinated), I decided to stick with having them made for me.

    The rounding hammer is my favorite design by far, they all work. But for some reason the Brazeal style hammers work best for me. Weight wise, I've found 2.75 to be an all day weight for my ability. For bigger work I like to use a 3.2lb hammer. Also have a 5lb rounding hammer for fun- it's a bit much. lol

    Brian charges a good amount for his hammers, but you can get them a little cheaper from his students. My favorite is Dave Custer of Fiery Furnace Forge. He's made me about 4 hammers.

    Another one of my favorites is this cross peen made by Dave Custer. It's a very radiused face, and really narrow peen. Awesome for leaves. Been using this one a lot for leaves.

  8. #33
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Quote Originally Posted by Mudman View Post
    Thanks! I love all my tools. I'd make my own hammers, but don't have any trust worthy people to strike for me. A powerhammer would be nice. After a close call of someone almost slamming my hand with a 15lbs sledge, and another time missing my head (don't know how people can be this uncoordinated), I decided to stick with having them made for me.

    Even with the amount of swinging I've done over the years with a 20 lb sledge, I wouldn't want to be striking with much more than a 8lb. Also the way you strike is vastly different than the way most people swing a sledge. Last October I got a lesson in striking when at one of our local blacksmithing club meetings. I got there early and the shop owner asked I'd I'd strike for him since there weren't any others there yet so he could get the project started and be at a more interesting point when everyone started to show up. It felt really awkward at 1st since you have your hands in two places on the sledge, rather than the way most swing a sledge hammer.

    From what I understand Israeli trained smiths strike differently though. They wind up with the sledge above their heads, both hands on the end of the handle and hold it there. When told to go, they let fly. There's no changing the tool or stopping the swing vs what can happen striking "traditionally".


    Sounds like you need to do a "Striking 101" class for whoever you want to work with. I also wouldn't hand them a sledge that big. I want to get myself a nice 5-8lb sledge with about a 24" handle for striking. That seems to be the size most professional smiths I know use. I'm sure I have an old sledge around here some where that either needs a handle or that I can shorten the handle on.


    Here's a pict of me striking at last October's meeting. My hands pretty much stay in the same place all the time.


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  9. #34
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Even if I learned, most people that "might" be able to strike for me just aren't coordinated. I understand what your saying about the weight, but trust me- even if I gave these guys a lighter sledge, it would be the same.

    Some day though, I will figure it out. Making hammers and other tools is my ultimate goal with Blacksmithing.

    Uri Hofi has a taught a many classes in the US, a friend in NY took a class from him and really liked it.

  10. #35
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    He was here in NY last year I believe. I was tempted to take the class, but I'd already used up too much time to be able to take off to do so.
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  11. #36
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Quote Originally Posted by whtbaron View Post
    I thought a forge just needed coal and a draft? Oh wait...maybe that draft was for me...
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  12. #37
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Quote Originally Posted by Equilibrium View Post
    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.
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    Nice blacksmithing tools DSW.... very nice.

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  13. #38
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Just two photos of a blacksmith shop used long ago and some tools of the trade I found to be beautiful. I've always been fascinated by the tools.
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    I believe this was part of re-enactment type village of historical residences down in Louisiana. Sorry about the excessive flash in the 1st photo, the actual area was roped off and it wasn't possible to get in close for better photos.
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  14. #39
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Cool set up! My ultimate goal would be to have a shop similar to that.... I have long way to go!
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  15. #40
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Well, I'm going to call this a forging tool even though I didn't have an operating forge to make it. Started out with some 1" square John Deere drive shaft off some old implement so it's better steel than your garden variety black iron. I've bumped the Hardy in my anvil out to just under 1" so it was ground to fit, and a piece of square tubing and a washer welded on to spread the shock load. It might be cheating, but it's a start...Name:  004.jpg
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  16. #41
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Now it needs some working character, get it dirty for Pete's sake!
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  17. #42
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Yea...haven't had much time for playing around lately. I got rained out of the field tonite or you wouldn't have got the pic either. Don't worry, my tools get dirty.
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  18. #43
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    baron, that would qualify as a hot cut hardy, albeit a bit tall. Might wobble on you cutting thick steel. Good application of scrap iron. No need to heat treat it; it's plenty hard to cut hot steel with and hot steel would remove any tempering anyway.

    I would offer one suggestion: get some paint remover and take off the paint on your working surfaces; the horn and table. The face is fine (good looking anvil, BTW). You'll have a mess of sticky, burnt paint when you try to work your hot stock on them.

  19. #44
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    I'd agree it look good but a bit tall. You can always cut it down if you find it awkward to use at that height.
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  20. #45
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    yea...version one is seldom the final cut. No wobble in the anvil, it's a tight fit... but my upright rail anvil is still in the works with a full 1" hardy on the side, and that one is a little looser. Got a couple more chunks of scrap iron I'm eyeing up the next time it rains... I keep thinking back to that guillotine on page 1 and how it could be adapted to a cable crimping tool.
    Last edited by whtbaron; 05-02-2015 at 01:24 AM.
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  21. #46
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Quote Originally Posted by richey View Post
    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.
    Wow...that is so cool. And yes...I agree with you about not realizing what was right in front of you and not taking advantage of the knowledge to be offered there.
    I look back now and regret not learning more about machinist work when my cousin and uncle had a machine shop. All I wanted to do was fix cars.....turn wrenches. It kills me when I think about it.

    Anyway...now its 35 years later and I just purchase my first lathe...An Atlas 618. Yea...I know, its a joke. But, it is what it is.

    And yes...Those are some cool blacksmithing tools. A lot of skill there.

  22. #47
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    My dream is also to make tools. I did make my hardy hot cut out of a broken tractor spindle. It took a lot of work to get a straight edge. I have another spindle I will let the edge curve on the next one. I also have a 1 3/4" shaft from the steering box on an old tractor. It has a 3" keyway on one end and a threaded hole on the other. I can get 13" of clear shaft to work with. I'm hoping it will become a hammer some day. I'm open to other ideas. I sure want to learn more about steel hardness and what works for what. I have yet to use a good rounding hammer. Can't wait to try one.

  23. #48
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Not quite finished this, but figured I'd go ahead and post it up anyways. Worked on the hardy block I've been meaning to build. It's a chunk of 4x4 square tube 3/16" wall on a piece of 6" square plate I picked up from the tech school last year that I thought would make a good base for this. Top of the block is a piece of 3/4" plate I cut to match the square tube and then drilled out and filed to almost a 1" square hardy hole to match my smaller anvil. I then heated the block and tried to drift it out the rest of the way to 1". I probably could have left it a bit smaller before I drifted as once hot, the plate expanded to the point that the drift would drop thru. I had to wait until it was almost back to a black heat before it shrank enough the drift had any resistance.

    I still have to bevel the tube and weld it to the top plate, and drill the lower plate for mounting holes and a center hole in the base so if something gets stuck, you can drive it out from the back. I haven't decided if I'll grind the corners of the top plate to match the rounded corners on the tube, or leave them square.

    For those wanting to make their own hardy tools, but are afraid sledging on their anvil might break the heel, or for those with RR track anvils with no hardy hole, this is an easy solution. I'll probably mount this on it's own stump and use it to hold hardy tooling like my hot cut that I want handy, but that I don't want to leave in the anvil.

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  24. #49
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    That's a nice job fabbing up that hardy block. As you said, that should really appeal to the folks with anvils without hardy holes. Portable too. I bet it was fun drilling out and... particularly filing the hole! That's some thick steel.

  25. #50
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    That's pretty sweet, I like it. I was thinking along a similar train of thought, but maybe I'm not looking at a thick enough piece of metal. I was going to use a railroad fishplate with some 1" inside dia. sq tubing welded below it for stability, with the whole thing set into an oak stump... similar idea to the stake plate but made for Hardy tools. I cursed taking my anvil's Hardy from 7/8 out to 1"...can't imagine making that one was much fun.
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