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John N

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Everything posted by John N

  1. Thanks for the nice words everyone! Looks like its pretty well 100% gone. Demolition crew are starting knocking down the remains of the building in the morning. There is a tiny glimmer of hope that I might be able to salvage a couple of power hammers once the building is down, they look scorched, flooded and sad, but might live again. My little knife finishing shop on the other side of the estate is OK, which gives me a bit of comfort.
  2. all gone I think. Heading down there in a bit
  3. Nice to see you back ! I saw a facebook post from you recently that raised loads on interesting stuff on globalisation, and regimes of different countries, and nearly commented, but did not want to break my own no politicking rule on FB! - hope its a bit more restful for you on here for a while
  4. At a guess its about 5mm thick x 25. (it might even be 6 x 30 mm) - just what was lying around when I made them. Its way too thick though, makes it tricky to get the workpiece in there. I am going to cut the 'U' off the end, and weld a new 'U' piece in about 3 mm thick to make them a bit more forgiving.
  5. In my finishing shop (which I regard as more likely to catch fire, grinding with dust extractors etc) I have a dry powder and CO2 outside the office, which is at the furthest end from the door, and another CO2 and Powder by the entrance / exit door to the yard. My hot shop has a large CO2 and Dry powder in the forging area. I pay a company to advise what is needed, buy them from them, and pay them for an annual inspection & report they have been inspected. They also ensure the correct signage is by the extinguishers. Using a pro company is not much more expensive than guessing what I need, and sourcing them myself. The annual check on them is not expensive, might be 10$ each. Gives me piece of mind, and one less thing to worry about !
  6. When I do it, yes, it stays on. I generally have a very high success rate and the stub stays on until it ends up effectively forge welded into the long flat billet. I am very aggressive forging damascus on larger power hammers, you just need to be mindful to not stress the weld, IE, keep everything square.
  7. Whist I am rambling on about this, in my feverish, sore throat, and dry cough stupor.... I have a lot more success with welded on handles if I can lay down the weld in a straight line (not welding round a diameter. This also maximises the weld area and penetration. So, in your example, you are welding, say, 1/2" rebar to 3/4" sq. Forge the end of the rebar down so its, say, 3/4" x 1/4" thick flat, grind the end square, then weld the handle to the work with 2 x 3/4" long fillets. You can then orientate the workpiece to the anvil so the stick welds are vertical, ie, you are not flapping the weld joint like a hinge.
  8. If a starting billet is 6" long x 1.5" high x 1.5" wide, you would need a pair of box jaws to securely hold 1.5" square. A pair of 1.5 sq tongs will also suck heat out of the bit they are gripping. Not desirable. You would not then be able to weld the full billet in one pass, as the tongs are gripping one end of it, so you would need to take a 2nd welding heat, grip the already welded end (possibly with a different pair of tongs, as the section has changed) and forge weld the other end. Much easier to weld a stub on the end, say 3/4 - 1" dia, and grab that with a simple pair of tongs !
  9. Mig is just a glorified glue gun. Tig way to much finesse required. A decent stab with a 6013 with the amps wound up is my method of choice ! I dont bother with pre-heating, by the time Ive shoved the rod in, the whole weld area is red hot. deep penetration from MMA is the boss for this application! Let it cool slowly, A couple of tricks ive found help, - Maximise the weld area, for example instead of welding a re-bar cut at 90 deg, to a piece of spring cut at 90 deg, cut them both at 45 deg. - I try and scarf the 2 materials (like the 45 deg thing above) so the first thing I do when out of the fire is forge weld them together! - The main separator of welded handle on material is overloading the weld joint through poor forging practice (technique). On a power hammer I can keep a grip stub attached for many heats, by ensuring the work piece is kept flat to the dies, so its not flexing the weld joint. Same on the anvil with a hand hammer. Ive prepped billets for other people when teaching / showing how to do something (and worked an identical billet myself), and my welded handle lasts the duration of the project, Theirs is flapping about after a couple of heats. Practice!
  10. I use 6013's - you can dry them out a bit if they are splutery!
  11. Thanks Alan, hopefully I will start making acceptable hammers and axes in a few weeks. I suspect I might be better at making tooling than 'stuff' though! I am looking forward to getting a grip on the making. I suspect I am too impetus sometimes still.
  12. This is some of the tooling I made yesterday to assist with forging hammers, spring fullers for necking down, and cheek spreading, and a couple of supports for when the drift is being driven in, or out. Gave it a quick test run this afternoon with mixed results. I used some meaty flat bar as the 'hairpins' with the thought it would keep the rounds aligned better. Its a bit to strong though, and makes putting the hammer head in the gap a faff. I will chop them, and weld in a 'U' of thinner stock so they are more forgiving. I also had a good dose of reality that making hammers is not quite going to be the doddle I initially thought, I make a h13 drift, but its a bit big for the 1kg hammers shown punched above, and realised my starting block size is wrong, and realised that a lot more of the hammer shape should be forged before punch and drift is done, or you spend many heats chasing the shape of the eye, that gets mullered everytime you hit the workpiece! Need a few days ironing out the process for sure. I remember this stage of learning from when I started forging knives. Frustrating, but fun!
  13. John N

    pandemic

    im trying to teach myself to make hammers and axes! interesting having a 'pause' - its like the flat bit at the end of a roller coaster at the moment,
  14. This is the punching rig I came up with for the 25t press. Seems to work pretty good so far. The stripper pivots out of the way, to give line of sight, and give access for punch cooling. The starting billets for these hammer blanks were 80mm dia x 28 mm thick (slice off a bar) - it took 3 heats to get them to the stage in the photo, mostly because im still finding my confidence in my power hammer, and partly as i've done something bad to a tendon in my wrist! I don't think it will take much practice to get to this stage in 1 heat, as the Massey warms the billet at you forge it! I have spent a bit of today making tooling to use under the Massey to progress the blanks from this stage into hammers, just need to make some drifts, and I can have a proper play at hammer making. My goal for this exercise / learning curve, is to be able to cleanly, and quickly forge small hatchets, possibly 1.5 lb head weight. I will call them 'kindling' hatchets, and sell them to the affluent masses who have wood burning stoves, and need an excuse to buy an axe I do want to make nice hammers as well as axes, but i'm starting with hammers as the eye profile seems more forgiving to my cack handed forging!
  15. For many years gone by I have been told Im a 'bull at a gate' when it comes to working, and have only recently understood what they meant. Slow and methodical is good. The old joke holds true; Young bull sees the gate has been left open,.... 'turns to old bull and says 'lets run down the field and ********* one of those cows' - old bull looks at young one and says 'no, lets walk down and **** them all'
  16. Thanks Alan! the crazy thingfor me is the number of people who get in touch via instasgram etc who want to pay me for courses! (i dont do them atm) I still think of myself as a newby at all this, even after 15 years.! I suppose gradually we all move towards the top of the tree without realising properly.
  17. Dont be too discouraged if people dont want you around their forge. Having poeple around, and sharing the knowledge is a royal PITA, although it can be very rewarding for the person teaching, I do it occastionally when someone shows enough interest, or I owe them a favour. The reality of it is, in simple terms, unless they have more money than they know what to do with it would be better value for them to give you $100 and carry on with what they are doing that loose a couple of hours of their day. Most people I know, my self included, generally have 12 hours work to do in an 8 - 10 hour day. I learnt forging from the internet, and a bit of guidance from people like Owen Bush & Mick Maxen, who were willing to give lots of hints and tips. Im really good now at patternwelding, I can stick pretty well anything to anything, and have a very high success rate (im shocked if something goes wrong, my expectation is it will go will go perfectly) - The reason Im good at patternwelding is I am a good learner from my own mistakes, there are only so many ways you can get a process wrong. If you remember why it went wrong, and dont repeat that mistake you will improve, and get good at a process. Time at the anvil, even when it is all going wrong is the best teacher. Just etch what went wrong in your memory, and think why and what you can do better next time, and before you know it people will be asking you for advice. (and make sure you have fun doing it, and stay philosophical about the mistakes, they are what make you better )
  18. Had a fun forging day today with John of this manor (not sure of his user name!) The press tooling worked well for punching, but I forgot to photo, Ill get some pics next time I remember. I made a tiny rounding hammer from a massive bearing roller, for my 4 yr old sprog - about a pound at a guess
  19. Work is wierd this week with the virus, phones not ringing, emails are slow, so Ive been catching up on the shop floor. Got someone i know coming in to look at a hammer tomorrow, and we have decided to make a day of it, info sharing and forging - Its got me to pull my finger out and make a punch holder for the hydraulic press, going to have a go at axes or hammers, or something. Ive been meaning to tool a press up for years, so its nice to finally get around to it! Got some H13 to make some punches / drifts, so will forge the tools, then forge the forgings - really looking forward to it Will post some pics tomorrow!
  20. got my first day forging kitchen knives yesterday, since before christmas. Was a bit rusty, and the first one was hard work (went all shapes) - got my mojo back by the 4th, and also did a couple of Nakiri. Good fun day. These are stainless clad 'super blue' steel (pre-laminated stock) - they have not seen a grinder as photographed, about 1mm thick at edge.
  21. Its often worth dropping into the converstaion tools are only going up in value, so its really an investment !
  22. Ive been down this road in the past, trying to make sense without the manual for an xrf readout from the scrappers. It also threw me that the C content is not readable! In the end I downloaded the NAV tools manual for the gun, which helped interpret the result. IIRC, it gives the material grade, and an error probablility - that might be saying S5 steel grade, with an error factor next to it. There is a scroll down on the photo of the display which might give more info! (no use to you now) I tried asking the yard monkey what the result meant, I think he just said 'ug ug uh uh' a few times......
  23. Nice! they look a good press. My wife is also very understanding of my tool habit ! she barely rolls an eyelid when I start a conversation with 'I might have accidently bought............' She does not ask why, in the main, as the answer is nearly always 'I did not have one'
  24. The hammer is a 2 ton arch frame, I started rebuilding it years ago as a stock job, and kind of forgot about it! Its possibly an Erie (american metal!)
  25. I get very confused with electrical things, but in the UK our standard, full fat mains 3 phase is 400 volts (ish). 3 phase generated by a VFD, with single phase input, is 200 (ish*) volts. You have to swap the bars in the motor terminal box, from either horizontal to vertical, or the other way around, which switches it from star to delta, or the other way around. Either way, im usually so frustrated I swap the bars and dont care if the smoke escapes. It generally works. If you had not guessed, I have no electrical knowledge - listen to Tim - he does ! @timgunn are you going to Owens in May ? Im going to build a new forge for my rolling mill, so we can talk technical burner stuff whilst drunk if your there !!! * for the record 'ish' is not electrical terminology, I just dont worry overly about +/- a few volts !
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