Tuesday, July 19, 2011

updates from the forge and other stuff

Various construction projects have continued around the place, along with the maintainance for 60 acres, so that has pretty effectively taken me away from the blacksmith shop for a while. Our work is not completely unrelated, as the construction we are doing is all in the barn/shop. Every day we spend working on that, is one day closer to having the shop finished. I still have to close in the open wall next to my forge, finish out the steel room walls, cut out the steps to the steel room, and wire the steel room and one whole wall in my shop area. I'm going to convert my old steel rack to a scrap steel rack for holding short bars under 5 feet in length, and I'm making an upright steel rack to replace the old one, for long stock. That is a several-days project there. PLENTY TO DO!

I went outside of my shop the other day, only to notice that the first five foot section of flue pipe that pulls the smoke off of the forge fire is burned out. It is thin pipe and it works good for smoke but it can't take the heat. Now I can punch my finger through it. This will require a trip to the steel yard to purchase some sheet metal. I will use the sheet material to fabricate my own flue pipe. It will be a heavier material and will be able to withstand the higher temperatures that reach the first section of pipe.

While I have not been able to do much real blacksmithing lately, I have still been working to improve tools and fix up the shop.

The power hammer I bought is controlled by a foot pedal like all power hammers. The difference with mine though, was that the foot pedal was not attached to the hammer. This means that while I'm trying to press the pedal in to hammer metal, the foot pedal is constantly wanting to slide around on me. I decided to do away with the detached pedal and convert it to an attached pedal. This type pedal gives the hammer a more tidy appearence, and also makes it possible to work from any angle around the hammer.
This is the new pedal!

This is the air valve system that the pedal controls.

These are recovery springs that hold the weight of the treadle.

I also made what is known as a "guilotine tool." The guilotine tool is a VERY handy tool around the blacksmith shop, as it takes the place of tools that require three hands to use. Seeing that I only have two hands, a tool that requires three hands to use is quite a pain. The purpose of the guilotine tool is to isolate metal. It works quite like a pair of scissors. Metal goes between the top and bottom "dies" of the guilotine tool and the top "die" is hammered by the smith. Depending on the type of "die" in the guilotine tool, the metal can be cut, rounded, or thinned in a certain area. The guilotine tool fits into the square hole on the anvil.

My little brother Titus is getting not so little. He is nearly as tall as I am, even though there are six years between us. (I can still stomp on him if he get's cocky though!)
Anyway, he has gotten long enough to drive the tractor. It's a good thing too because we have 30 acres of pasture that need cutting.

My turn to teach as my Grandad and my Dad taught me!

It would appear that Dad is downsizing in his "older" age!

If you will click on THIS LINK you will see that my older sister, Kayla, seems to find some amusement in posting odd pictures of me. (It doesn't seem to be difficult to get those odd pictures, I will confess. I seem to be pretty good at doing odd things frequently.) So anyway, I've got a couple of her myself. (Well, she should know better than to give me her camera and say "take some pictures for me!")

This is one of her "come Dave, just tell me how to operate this stupid thing will-ya?" moments!

And finally I'll do an odd one of both of us. I got my bow out of one of our storage buildings yesterday. There is a little rubber tube on it that I had to replace, and the thing about it is you have to put this TINY rubber tube over a very large plastic stob. Well, after I had tried with negative success, I wrapped my arm around Kayla (much to her distress,) and said, " would you PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAASE help me." She was working on turning a pocket-book strap that she had just made, right side out, and she was having a difficult time doing it. So, she said "sure I'll do it," and took the bow from me and handed me the pocket-book strap.

Just a bit backwards, I know!

Dave Custer
Fiery Furnace Forge Blacksmith LLC


phillip said...

Nice foot treadle, Dave! I'd always wanted one for that hammer, but never got around to it...

Is that a Ben Pearson bow?


Master Dave said...

Hello Mr. Phillip! I've got a video of the hammer running with the new treadle. I'll try to post it on the forum sometime.
My bow is a Parker "Trailblazer XP."
It shoots nice! It was a pick between a El Cheepo "Bear," A pricey PSC, or the Parker. The PSC had a drop away rest and I didn't like it and the "Bear" had sand-paper cams, so I went with the Parker.

amateur blacksmith said...

I got a Browning Tornado.