Wednesday, 24 August 2016

A Year Later

A year later. 

Too much to do, not enough time- same old excuses.  You could call the last year "R&D", you could call at least two months of last year "Moving Giant Machines Around and Digging Giant  Holes". You could also simply call it "Getting Ready". 

I  made a lot of things last year, so many of them worth uploading here, but I'm going to limit myself to showing five or six images of work, just to help get the old Blog show back on track.

three traditional, forge welded carpenters axes of various styles

Small jewelers raising hammer

Nano Carving axes

The real changes have been in the heavy equipment field. 

The first, resounding addition to my arsenal is my 1921 Massey 2 CWT (110kg) power hammer which I bought, stripped, rebuilt, restored and installed last summer.   Here is a photo of her in her freshly applied green (6002 emerald Green! ) warpaint. I will do a blog entry all about her very soon. Including a few videos of her throwing down. 

Needless to say, the metal moving capability of this beast is simply remarkable compared to my 30kg goliath spring hammer. I am now limited by the metal I can heat up and carry, rather than the size of stock I that my gear can handle.

So that takes care of the large end of the spectrum. I have also collected my first ever piece of NEW (except hand tools such as grinders etc..) equipment, this Anyang 25kg (55lb)

I bought this hammer to compliment my new "annex" workshop which houses our traditional solid fuel  forge and also provide a real delicate, finessed type of hammer blow (that is not to say the Massey is not controllable- you can really be very delicate with it if required)

This brings us on to the Coke forge itself, which has been a wonderful addition and so pleasant to use after years of standing next to gas furnaces. I was "brought up" on a solid fuel forge and having the use of  it really feels like coming home in a lot of ways. It was all fine and dandy until after only 10 weeks of use the forge fan, after only the slightest adjustment to the electrical "rheostat"  controls made a loud pop and caught fire. This lead to a 5 week wait on a replacement fan and after installing the new one, the rheostat doesn't work properly so I am stuck permanently on "half air", which for these fans is an awful lot, so my fuel consumption is rather high. these frustrations are sent to try us, I am sure. ...

My Dad using the Forge

You can't have a forge without an anvil! So here is my lovely 2cwt, wrought double bick. possibly made by Peter Wright but stamped "Birmingham" (manufacturers of all sorts of things used to sell on stock to distributers back then and mark them as they wished. it's possible that this anvil is a "second" and thus not stamped PW)  The stand was a nice bit of improve- a basic frame made up in steel then lined with scrap pallet wood and filled with concrete.  The base weighs around 150 kg and is totally stable. It is also ideal for fixing tool racks onto as you can fix straight into the concrete with rawl plugs and coach screws. After a few days use, enough iron scale had worked its way under the feet of the anvil to totally deaden the ring. Tidy.

Ive also picked up this nice vertical bandsaw  (which promptly caught on fire after it's second use, causing an all out panic as the "on-fire" parts were totally sealed away under a panel held on with  eight Allen key screws...) after the fire was dealt with (it was an electrical fault in the inverter) it sat, sulking in the corner for over a year awaiting me to organise and install replacement parts. Which I did!... eventually..

Since it's resurrection, I have been very pleased with its performance, and overall usefulness.

I also bought a large pedestal grinder which... promptly caught on fire! (old age, the motor was just fully burned out). The grinder is still sulking, or is it me that is sulking...? Anyway- anyone want a grinder?- it's cheap! )

Between re-organising my workshop, spending all of my money on century old cast iron and putting out electrical fires, I have also spent a good amount of time working with my friend and all round good egg Owen Bush on various exciting projects including this giant sword for this years "Arctic Fire"  as well as other things.