newbie blacksmith question

I've been lurking around blacksmithing for a few years now, but haven't had time to get started. Now I've started. I got an anvil
which has a hardie hole a tad over 1-1/4" square. It isn't really a square hole (not by machinist's standards anyway) so a chunk of 1-1/4" steel square bar won't quite pass through it. I want to make several tools to use in my hardie hole. What is the best way to make such tooling? I am just thinking about the part that goes down into the hardie hole. Here are some thoughts, feel free to straighten me out:
1. 1018 steel is fine for hardie posts 2. Butt welding a post onto hardie tooling will cause everything to sit on the weld bead. Bad. 3. If I machine a recess on the base of hardie tooling and weld the hardie post inside the recess, then the tooling won't sit on the weld bead, rather on the edge of the recess. Better? 4. I can shape a hardie post by heating the post and driving it into the hole. Is this common?
Thanks!
Grant Erwin Kirkland, Washington
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Grant Erwin wrote:

Agreed. Consider that you only need a few inches per tool - from the anvil face to somewhat below the bottom of the hardie hole. Grind or machine yourself some suitable stock out of 1-1/4" bar. A couple feet will last you quite a while.

The picture shows my two hot chisels. The handled one is all H-13. The hardie is made as follows:
The right hand (in the pic) part is a piece of 7/8" square mild steel long enough to go right through the hardie hole with about 1/2" extra (so I can knock it out from below if it ever gets stuck).
The left part is forged from a piece H-13 3/4" round stock. I welded the H-13 (axialy) onto a foot or so of re-bar to serve as a handle for forging. I cut the finished forged piece off with an abrasive chop saw.
I wrapped a piece of 1/4" square stock around the very top of the square to act as a stop. It keeps the whole thing from being driven into the hardie hole.
I tacked the three pieces then welded 'em up. The H-13 piece is a bit smaller than the square stock so it is easy to get at everything for welding. If I were doing it today, I would use TIG but at the time TIG was still a dream. This was welded with O/A. The filler rod was an expensive Eutectic rod which I subsequently found out is simply 312 stainless. 309 would work just as well. Even 308L would do but it is not as strong and more susceptible to cracking. I would recommend either 309 or 312.
Pictures not included but e-mail me if you want them.
Ted
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Traditionally you hot form posts into a hardy hole so they fit well without rattling, but that assumes you have a proper tapering hardy hole, which a lot of cheap anvils don't have.
A lot of people just use lengths of solid square bar or tube that fit into the hardy hole as is, and weld them to the bottom of pieces of 1/4" steel, then attach whatever tooling you like to the top of the plate. With solid bar as your post, you can punch a large hole in the middle of the plate and plug weld to the end of the square bar chunk. Since you have that ironworker, hole punching should be a breeze.
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Grant Erwin wrote:

My anvil has a so-called 1 1/4" hardy hole; it is smaller and it tapers. I use a side grinder to shape the tang. I've tried driving the tang into the hole; it is a lot of work and doesn't work well. It cools so rapidly that it takes a lot of effort. I wonder if this was more common on smaller hardies with less metal to move.
If your hole isn't tapered, you might try square tubing. This might allow welding from the inside. You could also cut channels in the top of the tang and sort of plug weld from the side.
Steve Smith

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