December 30, 2006

Hardie Tools from Shackle Rod

Bill Kendall showed me a few of his hardie tools, and gave me a few ideas about how to make them from shackle rod aka "sucker rod" ends. He had a "hot cut", a bending fork, and a bick. He also showed me a piece of mild steel with a tab bent down that fits into the hardie to hold it in place.

I have one large piece of shackle rod, and a few smaller pieces, and I spotted a few rod pieces on a recent walk across my land. Since I don't want to use tongs, I am leaving the rod about 3 feet long.

First comment: wow! it takes some work to shape a 1.25 inch bar!

My recommended steps are: square up and draw down the shank to size (7/8 inch for me). Now form the chisel shape at end. A hot cutter has a thinner blade, while a cold cutter has a blunt "chisel shaped" working end. Now you can cut below the shank with a hacksaw, but make SURE you do not have any more forging to do. Try a little fine oil or cutting fluid. If the shank doesn't quite fit, you can file or grind it. I tried to heat and draw out my hardie shank that last 1/8 inch over the anvil, but I could not hold on to it with my tongs (I only have one pair that is remotely useful for that shape). I think the Uri Hofi Woop tongs demonstrated on IForgeIron might work. I have not tempered mine yet, but such a large chunk of metal would need a nice soak in the fire before quenching and tempering.

December 07, 2006

Cheap and Easy Brake Drum Forge

Here is a link to how to build a Brake Drum forge on the cheap. Personally, I would put the fire pot into a cut up 55 gallon drum to act as a wind shield and coal reservoir / pan, but he wanted to be able to break it down and store it compactly in his garage. My complements!

I am working on a freon can-based propane forge, with a "T-Jet" burner as recommended by Frosty on IForgeIron.com. I have gathered all of the parts, and will share the details after I have completed assembly and tested it out.

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