Upsetting 1/4 in dia. rod

The only method I can think of is to get a 30" tall piece of 2" pipe and fill it with water, so when I heat a piece of 1/4" dia rod (28 inches long)
to upset, I can hold it by the hot end and quench all but the last 3/8 inches, inside the pipe. My propane forge works well, but I cannot control it like a coal forge. The propane forge heats at least 4 inches of the rod. Then it just bends when I try to upset it, (to make rivets). I guess I could just whammie the rod end just once with the wedge side of my cross peen hammer, about 3/8 inches from the end. Then that should jam in the plate with the tapered hole. This may be the solution. My instructor showed me how to do this (upsetting using a coal forge), but like I said, propane is all or nothing. I tried to heat a different piece of metal outside the propane forge, just in front of the mouth and firebricks I use as a gates, but it did not heat. I am frustratingly slow and it takes so many heats for me to accomplish anything that it ticks me off. I am hurting for decent tongs, and that is mostly what I am up to now. But the SOR is killing me, using a 4 pound hammer. Got to find a lighter one, and build a trip or power hammer. At least I'm having fun, and it keeps me off the streets. Any imput would be appreciated...
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theChas. wrote:

Hold the rod in a vice, heat the end with a torch, form as required.
Or drill a hole through the side of your forge for the end to stick in.
Definately get some lighter hammers. You will find you have better control and you will enjoy yourself more, if the hammer is approriate to the size of the work. Ball peen hammers are cheap. The peens can be reworked to provide you with other shapes, if you want. Grind the faces to the shape you find best for you, too. For some work, a flat face is nice, for others, a really rounded face works best. I like to radius the edges to avoid sharp marks though.
I find I like to choke up on the hammer handle. It's more comfortable for me. Last time someone snivelled at me that I should be holding the hammer handle at the end, I cut the handle off where I wanted it to be. Worked for me. :-)
Cheers Trevor Jones
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wrote:

Back in the days when Blacksmiths were a working breed all of their heavier hammers had a longer then normal handle so that while they, in a sense, "choked up on it there was a normal length of handle in front of their hand. The longer handle extended behind their hand and rested along their forearm to brace the hammer when it was being raised.
Bruce-in-Bangkok (correct email address for reply)
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Bruce in Bangkok wrote:

I've run across a few self proclaimed experts, that were pretty adamant that the ONLY hammer one could use was a 6 pound square faces hand sledge. "'Cause that was what grandad used to sharpen plows".
You can tell some people, but you canna make em listen.
There's always room for another set of tongs, or a different hammer, on the rack.
Some days you need the mass to strike with, and others, it just keeps you from seeing what is happening...
I found that I would slowly migrate from one hammer to another as my needs changed, and the work I was doing changed. Some days I found that one or the other of two apparently same hammers, was "the" hammer to use.
I never did any commercial production, either, so I did not have bills to pay, and could afford to take time, too.
Cheers Trevor Jones
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wrote:

I'm not a blacksmith but I am old enough that when I was a lad many farms had a blacksmith shop and my father had a forge in the corner of the workshop. When I was 12, or so, I used to work 'till bedtime (actually bath time), making "indian" knives.
But, anyway. As I remember, all blacksmith shops had a multitude of hammers, ranging from little ones to two handed sledges and the smith would use the hammer most appropriate to the job. Tongs were usually hung on a long rod what ran down the side of the forge so you could grab the right set easily.
One of the things I find a bit pretentious with the "white shoe" smiths is the preconception that things MUST be done this way or that way when back when it was just a job, people did it any way that they could to get the job done. I once say a smith build a large bonfire and keep it burning for a day and a night to get a large "I" beam hot enough to straighten it.
Nail making was a winter job. Not much going on when there was 6 feet of snow all over the ground so the smith made nails, or maybe tools like hoes and shovels (although by the time I was around most of that kind of stuff was store bought).
Bruce-in-Bangkok (correct email address for reply)
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One thing I was always taught by my dear ol' dad was to always use the right tool for the right job. If you need to move a lot of metal then a "BFH" is the right tool. For delicate or detail work then break out the lighter hammers. A friend of mine, on a dare, started working with what we call "Barbie stock" that is to say bar stock that is 1/8 inch or smaller. The idea was to make everything 1:6 scale so it would be proportional to Barbie. The first item she made was an S-hook complete with tapered ends and a twist in the middle. after that was a rather ornate tripod. For most of the Barbie items she worked with either a 12 oz or 16 oz ball peen. for tongs she used needle nose pliers and she put a small steel bowl in the forge in which she would put the small piece of steel she was heating up. Tools and techinque are all relevant to what is being done.
Anlon
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Make a clamp to go into the post vise. It's basically 2 pieces of angle iron whose flat sides face eachother, as though you were making false vise jaws. Drill a 1/4" hole down through at the joint between the 2 pieces, using a business card in between. The business card makes it easy for the drill to go straight down, centered between the two pieces. It also makes the hole a tiny bit smaller than 1/4", which is what you need. Now, weld a U shaped "spring" to the underside of the angle irons, so the two parts will stay in alignment in the vise. Plan the location of the spring so it's not in the way of the workpiece and so it does fit within the vise jaws without bottoming out. This "sprind" doesn't have to be spring steel. It only needs to hold the "header" open about 1/4", so you can slide the hot workpiece in from the side. To use the tool, just heat up the work, doesn't matter how much gets hot, slide it into the header, clamp, then give it one good hit. The metal will cool quickly right where it contacts the vise, but it will swell up there. And that's all you need to get started. We have done this a lot with stock as small a about 1/8" and it works well. It's not my idea; George Dixon showed it to me many years ago.
As an embellishment, if you plan the spring location properly, you can add a couple of more holes of different sizes for different projects.
Notes: -If the spring is in the way of the hole, just bend the workpiece 90 a couple of inches from the end, then it will fit just fine. -Although I said to make this tool from angle iron, I chose to use thicker material. I think I used something like 3/8" thick bar, welded into the angle iron shape. -If the workpiece slides down in the tool, just gring one side of the tool off until it catches well. To "undo" the "spring", jsut heat it with a torch.
If my description isn't good enough, just let me know and I will go take a couple of pictures of one of these (assuming I can find it)and put in on my website for you.
Pete Stanaitis ------------------------------------ theChas. wrote:

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Now that is a great idea...I will make one up just like you said, with multiple holes. Thanks....TheChas. ***********************************************

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I'd jump the rod... Regards Charles P.S. I had some fun today <
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CyqZ2eSQd74

theChas. wrote:

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When Chilla put fingers to keys it was 4/7/08 10:43 AM...

Yes you did. Some comments:
How 'bout lighting the charcoal in one of those tall-can-chimney-type devices and spreading the lit coals out in the forge?
I never really fantasized about being a feather before.
Tongs! That's what they're for! Sheesh!
Was there a burn mark on the grass when you were done?
--

Carl West
http://prospecthillforge.com : The Blacksmithing Classroom
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Carl West wrote:

I could have done that with the charcoal, but it was a bit of casual fun.
I've fantasized about being a greased bicycle seat at an all female nudist colony ;-)
I had a pair of tongs, but the gloves are good, and I didn't hold the hot metal for too long. My hands are pretty heat resistant these days.
While the charcoal was inside the forge, the grass didn't burn. When I tipped the charcoal onto the grass when I had finished there sure was.
I then tipped water on the charcoal to cool it off. I find that after I have done this the charcoal fragments into small pieces and these are better to use (imo).
I mainly work with gas, but I was testing something out and having some in the process :-)
Regards Charles
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theChas. wrote:

Why not heat the end up, and then hold it horizontally over the slack tub & pour water over the part that you don't want hot?
- ken
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When theChas. put fingers to keys it was 4/6/08 11:39 AM...

The hot end will be cooled by the pliers/tongs you use to hold it.
Heat the end as your forge will, then grip it in the vise with just the last 1/2" sticking out and head that over. Stick it in the vise and tighten it a little, let the vise sink the heat in the iron until _that_ part is dark, then tighten it for real. Then get busy with the hammer you haven't much time. You'll get a little less 'squooshing' of the shank in the vise.

To rivet tongs, just cut the rod to length (~1/2" longer than the thickness of the tong-joint), put that pin (hot if you can, annealed at least) through the tong halves, rest the halves on some 1/4" stock - letting the pin set on the anvil - so the pin sticks out equally on each side, pein it over some on one side, some on the other, take it off the supports and set the rivet the rest of the way.
It's not an utterly explicit description, but it may be enough to get you started.
Or
Make your rivets from thicker stock; draw out the shanks and dress the shoulders of the head with a monkey tool.
Our 1/4" monkey tools are made of 5/8" mild steel, drilled and inch or so deep in the center of the end, and superquenched. They've been standing up surprisingly well.
We use a hinged top-and-bottom swage to make the shanks smooth and round, but a decently hammered shank can be good enough for a tong rivet, you'll be swelling it a bit in the hole anyway. (you _do_ want the holes to be pretty round)
Some of my students' rivets:
http://www.prospecthillforge.com/RudimentsI022008rivets.jpg
I think they're not bad for first trys.
--

Carl West
http://prospecthillforge.com : The Blacksmithing Classroom
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It doesn't sound like anyone here has any experience with this kind of hot work. The way to handle that is very simple, and doesn't require making any clamps or other tools that a real smith would laugh at. Lay the hot iron across the anvil, with about 3/8" sticking past the far edge, and with no more than two or three hits, bend it at right angles to the rod. Then lay it on the anvil with the short bent end upward, and hit it to squash it down (upset it) as much as needed. Then place the rod across the anvil again with the squashed end sticking just past the edge and work it up into whatever shape you want.
You can make ball ends, or a faceted ball ends, on the end of rods of various sizes this way too....great for ball end tong reins. For rivet heading purposes it doesn't require much working of the ball. This entire operation can easily be done in one heat, including the heading, once you get the rhythm of it. If you have a rod shear handy (very easy to make) you can nip the segment off the rod with as much shaft length as needed, and proceed to make another, and so on. Once you get in the swing you can turn out bucket loads of them very quickly....not a whole lot different from making nails.
Ron Reil
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When Ronald Reil put fingers to keys it was 6/14/08 2:11 PM...

See if I'm visualizing this correctly:
The ~3/8" gets set all the way down into a lump at the end of the rod?
Or do you mean to pein out a head on the end of the 3/8" bit then straighten it back out?
If the former, I would expect a cold-shut under most folks' hammers. Whether it matters depends on the application. Is there a slick way to avoid that? (aside from just being careful)
If the latter, you're gonna have some careful straightening and re-rounding to do if it's to be a smoothly-pivoting rivet.
--

Carl West
http://prospecthillforge.com : The Blacksmithing Classroom
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Carl, this technique can be used easily to squash it down to any particular shape desired, by upsetting it down to the point that the bent section has been mostly used up in the upset portion, then the base of the swelled portion is gently worked on edge of the anvil while rotating the rod to even it up and bring it back to match the rod diameter as well as make a sharp clean transition from the rod to the ball, or whatever shape you want, and to align it with the axis of the rod. He never got a cold shut. If you upset it too far you certainly could.
I am not suggesting that this would be the finished rivet. You would cut it off, then take a heat, and drop it in your heading die to form a proper rivet head on it out of the upset portion.
This is not my invention. I saw it being done by an old smith down in Owyhee County, which is down in the extreme southern part of Idaho, many years ago. He did them very rapidly, and with great precision, making each one come out perfectly. Learning that little technique was well worth the drive down there for me. To tell you the truth, I was totally captivated by his technique, and watched him work for quite a long time. Strangely, I have totally forgotten what he was making that used those ball ends.
Ron
Golden Age Forge Shop and Ranch: http://ronreil.abana.org/newshop.html WebCam: http://ronreil.abana.org/webcam/campage_gold1.html Web Gallery: http://gallery.mac.com/ronaldaun Phone: (208) 462-4028 Garden Valley, Idaho
On 6/14/08 9:49 PM, in article jaCdnX5KDP6nDMnVnZ2dnUVZ snipped-for-privacy@comcast.com,

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Thanks Ron, that sounds more efficient than jumping, I'll have to give it a try :-)
Regards Charles
Ronald Reil wrote:

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Just tried it... I need more practice :-( Charles
Chilla wrote:

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When theChas. put fingers to keys it was 4/6/08 11:39 AM...

Too involved.
Heat the end of the rod. Hold the rod by the cool end, horizontally over the slack tub. Use a dipper (soupcan-on-a-stick) to pour water on whatever part you want cooled.
be fast with the hammer.
--

Carl West
http://prospecthillforge.com : The Blacksmithing Classroom
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