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what i might call "Don Fogg" dies :D


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Came up with this design after studying alot of different videos, and started to notice trend in die setups. A similar shape is on the upper die on a Japanese hammer, and also I have seen this die on video of a Mexican farming implement blacksmith's setup and a Taiwanese swordsmith's hammer also. I needed to forge alot of elements for a railing at work, exactly the shape of knife blank: thicker spine, thinner edge, tapering profile etc. I would draw taper under flat dies then beat out the shape by hand with a 4 pound hammer with a heavily crowned face, was not slow going but there was quite a few to do in a short time. So I came up with this saddle that bolts to the upper die of the big Say Mak at work. The working face is 2" round (1045).

 

l_bf2acc16797c47b68be28f279c565955.jpg

 

And it worked like this:

 

l_77e13a81810e41908336a051bb5ee171.jpg

 

And here's one of the elements:

 

l_eaebfff508bf4efb97f6abcf8ad563ed.jpg

 

All I had to do was just clean up and even out everything, but I as basically able to do about 80% of the forging of each shape under the hammer.

 

I remember Don's demo at Ashokan, here he talked about the lower clamp on type tool that had crown that matched the crown on his hand hammer, and while my upper die only setup was accurate to the Japanese and Taiwanese style hammer setup, it is obvious to the slight pitfall you can see on the paint program sketch. It worked out sort of well that my boss liked the design so much, he thought it might be useful for another project we were working on, texturing 3/16" naval bronze. Under the single upper die only the distortion would be bad, spreading the metal only on one side it would warp in a big curve, so it needed a matched upper and lower die. I made up a lathe cutter to cut the crown on both, chucked and faced and cut them then dressed and mirror polished each one, welded and heat treated them. They worked fantastic! So far they are designated for soft metals only with the highly polished faces, but I would like to make another set for general forging as you can probably guess the significant improvement over the single upper die on a flat lower die.

 

Dies in the hammer:

 

l_13409bed27434f47aa44571ff7617f66.jpg

 

l_8f7ea32a4f8544088d0a4d455c4db632.jpg

 

 

I did do some experimenting with just the upper crowned die on a lower flat die, I was able to forge down plain mild steel to about 1/32" it was almost able to cut paper from the forge!

 

Interested in everyone's thoughts and comments.

Edited by Sam Salvati
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I have been using a top tool like that for years , they are very use full .

A power hammer can be as versatile as your imagination (and free time to make up tooling ) .

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Luke, I have not modded my little hammer for this yet, the dies are so small on it though that I think I will just dovetail some round bar to fit in. There is to bolts because the hammer they re on is a 135 pound ram and the dies are pre drilled hehe

 

Owen, I agree 100%, the power hammer is VERY versatile, as much as you make it. got any pictures of your setup in the hammer I would love to see it?

 

Here are the videos from some of my research (watching videos on youtube can be called research if you learn something instead of the word to peanut butter jelly time:))

 

Taiwanese swordmaker:

 

He has the upper die working on a larger lower die like this guy, Murry Carter (using a Japanese spring hammer), notice closely the movement of the steel under the dies and how it moves:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0oShQNbkdZc

 

The Mexican farm implement maker:

 

And another Mexican smith with this die setup setup in a BIG mechanical:

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Very neat!

 

Are the same dies used for tool holding as well as forging? I was thinking about either drilling shallow or through holes to secure tooling to my top die, but didn't know if the die block would enjoy such treatment.

This is the setup I have on my 15kg (33 lb) anyang. The top die started out with shallow holes, but I found this not to be the best solution for me so they were drilled through. It’s been like this for almost a year now and I don’t have any regrets for doing it, other than not having the time to make more tooling for it! ( The upper die is used for forging as well as tool holding ).

DSC00525.jpg

Edited by Luke Barran
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Hey Luke,. Hope all is good with you!

 

Doesnt your top tool hit the stuffing box (ram gland) or is it cunningly designed to just miss???

 

Ill buy you lots of beer at owens hammerin in a couple of months and sell you a bigger hammer :lol:

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Hey Luke,. Hope all is good with you!

 

Doesnt your top tool hit the stuffing box (ram gland) or is it cunningly designed to just miss???

 

Ill buy you lots of beer at owens hammerin in a couple of months and sell you a bigger hammer :lol:

 

It is cunningly designed to miss! :P

And at some point I will be looking for a bigger hammer, but need to find a bigger shop, a friend of mine took his fly press back, so I promptly filled what little space I have with a lathe. :blink:

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A man cannot have too much power hammer. But a lathe is really nice as well. :D

 

Sam have you seen Clifton Ralph's video tapes, or had a chance to see him work ? Either is an experience well worth the trouble. Add some tooling and power hammers can do many very interesting things that do not immediately come to mind for most folks.

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Very neat!

 

Are the same dies used for tool holding as well as forging? I was thinking about either drilling shallow or through holes to secure tooling to my top die, but didn't know if the die block would enjoy such treatment.

 

Yes, they are the main dies for most everything. I would suggest through holes, set screws into partial holes would destroy your dies, the through holes have been holding up with NO sign of wear. They are made also so there is no real pressure on the holes through the die by the bolts, the face plate on the face of the die is up against it flush and that is where the impact is, the bolts only clamp the cheek plates and keep the face plate flush to the face of the die.

 

 

Howard, OH YES. Clifton Ralph is a magician under a powerhammer, I have seen a couple hours of each tape of his, it opened my eyes.

 

If anyone has a powerhammer I highly suggest getting his videos, if you invest the considerate amount of money into getting a hammer it's worth it to spend the extra bit to get the videos.

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That's some cool mods guys. I'll have to do something like that to mine.

 

I made this spring swage for my 15kg Anyang and it works great for forging consistent edge bevels and Shinogiji on blades with high Shinogi, I made it a 20° (+10° -10° off horizontal) because that seems to fit with most of my blade designs. The "box" underneath fits pretty snugly over the bottom die and the top die hits the top flat of the spring. It's just a leaf spring with some mild welded to it but it works.

 

orig_136BF6B825EF409DBBAE3FC530E3DD78.JPG

orig_7D1CD54AC7E64F50ABFE8E29FB4966F7.JPG

 

Please post pics of the mod when your done Sam, we all want to see it. ;)

 

Thanks!

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Yes, I have an edge beveling swag that is very similar. On mine the angle opens up the other way so you can swing the blade out without catching the spring. Also I welded two bars, as a stop, where the flats start which helps prevent you from forging a flat at the end of your edge. Easier to control and harder to mess up :)

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Came up with this design after studying alot of different videos, and started to notice trend in die setups. A similar shape is on the upper die on a Japanese hammer, and also I have seen this die on video of a Mexican farming implement blacksmith's setup and a Taiwanese swordsmith's hammer also. I needed to forge alot of elements for a railing at work, exactly the shape of knife blank: thicker spine, thinner edge, tapering profile etc. I would draw taper under flat dies then beat out the shape by hand with a 4 pound hammer with a heavily crowned face, was not slow going but there was quite a few to do in a short time. So I came up with this saddle that bolts to the upper die of the big Say Mak at work. The working face is 2" round (1045).

 

l_bf2acc16797c47b68be28f279c565955.jpg

 

And it worked like this:

 

l_77e13a81810e41908336a051bb5ee171.jpg

 

And here's one of the elements:

 

l_eaebfff508bf4efb97f6abcf8ad563ed.jpg

 

All I had to do was just clean up and even out everything, but I as basically able to do about 80% of the forging of each shape under the hammer.

 

I remember Don's demo at Ashokan, here he talked about the lower clamp on type tool that had crown that matched the crown on his hand hammer, and while my upper die only setup was accurate to the Japanese and Taiwanese style hammer setup, it is obvious to the slight pitfall you can see on the paint program sketch. It worked out sort of well that my boss liked the design so much, he thought it might be useful for another project we were working on, texturing 3/16" naval bronze. Under the single upper die only the distortion would be bad, spreading the metal only on one side it would warp in a big curve, so it needed a matched upper and lower die. I made up a lathe cutter to cut the crown on both, chucked and faced and cut them then dressed and mirror polished each one, welded and heat treated them. They worked fantastic! So far they are designated for soft metals only with the highly polished faces, but I would like to make another set for general forging as you can probably guess the significant improvement over the single upper die on a flat lower die.

 

Dies in the hammer:

 

l_13409bed27434f47aa44571ff7617f66.jpg

 

l_8f7ea32a4f8544088d0a4d455c4db632.jpg

 

 

I did do some experimenting with just the upper crowned die on a lower flat die, I was able to forge down plain mild steel to about 1/32" it was almost able to cut paper from the forge!

 

Interested in everyone's thoughts and comments.

 

 

nicely done! i use similar attachments for forging knives; the domed round head is very handy for that; it can also be shaped as a very gentle fuller, if you need to walk the steel towards the edge, for example. other round dies are great for forging bowls. my japanese power hammer works in a similar way, which is where i stole the idea from, of course. it is also interesting to note that the japanese hammers tend to have a larger die on the bottom, smaller on the top, and in this way imitate the action of a hand hammering.

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