Sunday, 28 November 2010

Forging ahead.

Yesterday I spent time re-organising the workshop to give me more space. This meant I didn't do any work on the bike. However I did play with my shed-built forge a bit.

I connected the blow side of my shop vac to the forge and checked that that worked.

Even if it's a rubbish forge at least I'll have a ping pong ball levitator...

We'd given a lift to the workshop to some of my OH's friends who were visiting the pottery a couple of units down. They brought some coal with them which I used to build a small fire on the grid of the forge. It took a while to get burning (and a shed load of BBQ fluid) but eventually it lit, switching the shop-vac on made the coals glow nicely...

And allowed me to heat some bar up to red hot.

At this point I was a bit limited by the lack of a suitable anvil, even red hot the breeze block gave way before the rod but I did manage to bend it.

Here is a shot of me being all blacksmithy..

As a proof of concept I think it worked pretty good, but I think there were problems with the choice of fuel. The donated coal was smokeless which I think may have contributed to it being hard to light. I've got some charcoal lying about the place somewhere so I'll try with that at some point.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Who needs oxy gear?

One of the things I've often wished I had in the workshop is oxy-propane gear, cheaper than oxy acetlyene and still good for heating and cutting. However I still can't justify paying rent on an oxy bottle I'd only use a few times a year. So when it came to cutting some steel plate I just used my jigsaw.

I then drilled some holes so I could bolt it to an old brake disc (off a car or possibly van) before sticking it in the lathe, machining the plate into a more round shape and sticking a 38mm holesaw through the middle.
Some more holesaw action on some 38mm pipe and working on an old toast grid gave me this.
The idea is to weld the pieces of pipe together, then weld the pipe to the plate bolted to the disc. That should give me a usable forge for heating stuff up. Total cost 3 quid from the scrappy (and I got some bar and strap at the same time).

I got the idea from Blackjack, you can see his in action here.