Sunday, 20 May 2012

Progress on the Forge

Today I got out to the shed and made some progress on the forge. I had another 44 gallon steel barrel, so I cut the top of the barrel off (about 5” from the rim) and turned the lip over.

When I cut, I use a 1mm cut-off wheel on my angle grinder to make the cut and then I use a grinding wheel to remove burs and sharp bits. I like my fingers and I am fond of keeping my blood inside my body (mostly).

Rolling the edge is a really easy process. I just get a shifting spanner with a 1” deep mouth and lever the edge inwards. I then go over the bent edge with a dead-blow mallet to push the edge >90o.

If I want to complete rolling the edge over (as I usually do). I put the barrel over on to its side on an old wooden pallet and flatten the rolled over steel with a heavy ball peen hammer, although it doesn’t need to be a very heavy hammer.

Okay, so next I needed to make a caul for the forge so that I can vent the smoke and exhaust from the forge out of the lean-to. I had an old sheet of 16 gage steel lying unused in my feed shed (from making armour bits and crossbow parts). This sheet was about 1220mm x 1300mm. I found the centre of two of the the factory edges and marked the centre of the sheet for 1220mm and drilled a hole in it. I set a nut and bolt into the hole and made a timber protractor from the bolt. Setting a scribing awl into the protractor, I scored a circle into the sheet.

Next I cut the circle out with my trusty jigsaw with a basic metal cutting blade. When I finished the cut, I then cleaned the edge up with the angle grinder (refer to be earlier comment about fingers and blood).

To make a cone, I needed to work out the arc of the circle that would be left. This was simply done by laying the steel circle down on the grass, marking the starting point, matching the joint on the barrel and then rolling the barrel around the edge of the circle until I got back to the joint. Mark it off. Mark a line from the start point to the centre of the circle and from the end point to the centre of the circle and back to the jigsaw. Clean the edge.

Well, that’s as far as I’ve made it today. I have to head off soon to play with goats and goat breeders.


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