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Old blacksmith/welding shop


Mr. Plow

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Was back at my home town blacksmith/welding shop this morning to get some steel for a project and they were pounding out bat wing blades with the forge and trip hammer (both line shaft powered).  I knew several of you would appreciate it so I snapped a couple quick photos.

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11 minutes ago, Mr. Plow said:

Was back at my home town blacksmith/welding shop this morning to get some steel for a project and they were pounding out bat wing blades with the forge and trip hammer (both line shaft powered).  I knew several of you would appreciate it so I snapped a couple quick photos.

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I love watching stuff like this!!

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It's fun to catch them using the coal forge every so often.   Out of the photos to the left are several anvils and oiled sand tempering pits.

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I have one old fort close by, Fort Langley, two towns were named after this fort, and there is another spot I love to go to when going north, Barkerville, it is an example of an 1860s gold rush town, not really resurrected but lived in and finally taken over by BC parks years ago, anyway as I digress, they both have working blacksmith displays, watching the guys do their thing is interesting, the fave thing they hand out is nails, the same style used in the old days, I get such a kick out of the guys on our board who do this type of work and the working tools they produce, my grandfather was a blacksmith in Holland at the turn of the century, always wished I could have known more from him, only met him once.

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Years ago we were doing the tourist stuff in Wichita and they were repairing a wooden wheel as well as putting the rim on. Watched them shrink it with a press, then got to help put it on. A few years later we interviewed with the ranch up by Sandhiller, and Marv, the owner, asked me if I knew what the contraption was in the shop. I said it was a rim press for wagon wheels. Got hired right there right then. 

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2 hours ago, nomorejohndeere said:

were they adding to them and reshaping?

or just pounding on what is there?

 

Drawing them out...

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They have a huge stone grinding wheel, probably 30" in diameter, (line shaft powered) that they sharpen the blades on after they draw them out on the trip hammer.  Sometimes they weld up areas before they heat and draw them to make bigger repairs.   It is well established "winter work" for this old shop and they get a lot of farmers and highway commissioners bringing in blades in the late fall and picking them up in early spring.  They usually wait for a good cold day to fire up the forge to keep the shop from getting to hot....kinda surprised it was going today, but they had work to do.

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That’s awesome. Thanks for sharing. I know you have mentioned this place to me in the past. At one time there were plow makers anvils and forges made with cutouts and special angles just for shaping moldboards and points. I suspect that work would have been similar in nature to building up and shaping the rotary cutter blades. 

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32 minutes ago, Sledgehammer said:

That’s awesome. Thanks for sharing. I know you have mentioned this place to me in the past. At one time there were plow makers anvils and forges made with cutouts and special angles just for shaping moldboards and points. I suspect that work would have been similar in nature to building up and shaping the rotary cutter blades. 

My dad talked about hammering out plow shares in the early 60s where he worked.  The cast coal forge was actually sitting out behind our shop with broken parts. Dad always mentioned they had a trip hammer like pictured and a big grinding wheel.

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I grew up with a friend of the family, well my gpa called Harold his friend, he wore striped bibs and a polka dot welding cap, had one of these bulidings with the forge in the center and all these belts n pulleys going all over from floor to rafters with the coal forge in the center, he ran it every day as far as i know, doors always wide open 

big ole bellows he let me run with my feet ( very BIG bellows ) and he was a short stocky fella with a couple teef missin, not sure why, never asked, always black soot on his face/arms and sweat out cloths top/bottom. 

I didnt get to see him work on a lot of things from start to finish but when we dropped off and picked things up i was totally fascinated by the building and everything in it, talk about walking back in time - it was very very cool - thanks for posting this it brings back great memories of old Harold McClure and his welding/blacksmith shop

 

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This place did a lot of plow shares in years past.

A lot of the equipment is still run by line shafting powered by a big electric motor.

It's a working time capsule.....

B. J. Fehr's. Roanoke, IL

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2 hours ago, Sledgehammer said:

That’s awesome. Thanks for sharing. I know you have mentioned this place to me in the past. At one time there were plow makers anvils and forges made with cutouts and special angles just for shaping moldboards and points. I suspect that work would have been similar in nature to building up and shaping the rotary cutter blades. 

Notice the chalk line at the bend.  If they need to be bent up or down to be parallel with the main section he lays the chalk line on the edge of the anvil right in front of the forge, then swings the whole blade like a hammer impacting the anvil edge at the line and tweaking the hot blade back parallel.   Then its back in the forge and on the trip hammer to draw and reshape the cutting edge.  Then hot oil sand temper for 20 min or so before quenching the remaining heat out of it.

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Dad had a 4X14 IH plow with points and plowshares behind his MD?

The local blacksmith would draw them out and resharpen them.

He would also weld new points on with the forge, if needed.

One of those processes that I could watch for hours.

I remember that plow being delivered in crates.

He put it together himself.

Probably saved $5.00 by doing so.

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11 hours ago, Mr. Plow said:

Notice the chalk line at the bend.  If they need to be bent up or down to be parallel with the main section he lays the chalk line on the edge of the anvil right in front of the forge, then swings the whole blade like a hammer impacting the anvil edge at the line and tweaking the hot blade back parallel.   Then its back in the forge and on the trip hammer to draw and reshape the cutting edge.  Then hot oil sand temper for 20 min or so before quenching the remaining heat out of it.

You don’t know how many times we bounced pieces over the anvil to straighten long pieces. Later on in life I will have to invest in a forge and for some blacksmithing

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1 hour ago, dale560 said:

You don’t know how many times we bounced pieces over the anvil to straighten long pieces. Later on in life I will have to invest in a forge and for some blacksmithing

It’s a lot of fun. I started with a coal forge and hand crank blower. Have since moved on to a home made propane forge with a ribbon burner I built also. Will always keep a coal forge around though. 

 

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My Great Grandfather, Christian Nielsen, was a blacksmith.  Immigrated from Denmark in the late 1800's.  Came to Springville, Iowa.  Why there I don't know.  First shop was Southwest of Springville on what my Mom called the Well's place.  It was about 1 -1 1/2 miles from where my parents moved in 1952, and where I grew up.  Later he moved to Springville and had a shop in town.  My mom had pictures of her grandfather in his shop in Springville.  His appearance is just as someone described above.  Blacken face and arms.  He was a big man by appearance.  His shop is long gone.   Lots of Danes came to that part of  Iowa at turn of the century into the teens.

Bill

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10 minutes ago, barkerwc4362 said:

My Great Grandfather, Christian Nielsen, was a blacksmith.  Immigrated from Denmark in the late 1800's.  Came to Springville, Iowa.  Why there I don't know.  First shop was Southwest of Springville on what my Mom called the Well's place.  It was about 1 -1 1/2 miles from where my parents moved in 1952, and where I grew up.  Later he moved to Springville and had a shop in town.  My mom had pictures of her grandfather in his shop in Springville.  His appearance is just as someone described above.  Blacken face and arms.  He was a big man by appearance.  His shop is long gone.   Lots of Danes came to that part of  Iowa at turn of the century into the teens.

Bill

Would love to see those pictures if you still have them around. I like that history. This is an original poster from the 1899 worlds exhibition I have framed. 

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The town of Springville should still have the original glass negatives.  Those negatives and many more were discovered when the town renovated or tore down an old bank building in the early 70's.   Unfortunately one of my siblings has taken possession of almost all of my late mother's pictures and I have no idea where they are.

Bill

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We had a couple vise setups like this in shop. One was mounted on an old safety deposit box so it didn’t move. Rebuilt lots of pieces in that vise. For flat work we would clamp a railroad rail in jaws to beat on or use as a  table. Sad thing is I left them at shop one day I will acquire good ones again. The main vise we wore screw out once had to have new nut and threads made. 

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1 hour ago, dale560 said:

We had a couple vise setups like this in shop. One was mounted on an old safety deposit box so it didn’t move. Rebuilt lots of pieces in that vise. For flat work we would clamp a railroad rail in jaws to beat on or use as a  table. Sad thing is I left them at shop one day I will acquire good ones again. The main vise we wore screw out once had to have new nut and threads made. 

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I have never been a fan of post vices. I'm sure thy have a place but always preferred my big rigid bench mount for pipe or irregular shapes or my bessey or wilton vices

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39 minutes ago, 1466IH said:

I have never been a fan of post vices. I'm sure thy have a place but always preferred my big rigid bench mount for pipe or irregular shapes or my bessey or wilton vices

You can beat on the post vice with a sledge hammer and not worry about breaking it. We clamped lots of big pieces in and bent them around or massaged them. Also I loved it for piston and wrist pin setting just seemed to work quicker than a cast bench vise.

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33 minutes ago, dale560 said:

You can beat on the post vice with a sledge hammer and not worry about breaking it. We clamped lots of big pieces in and bent them around or massaged them. Also I loved it for piston and wrist pin setting just seemed to work quicker than a cast bench vise.

Exactly, they have a place. I use mine constantly and for anything that needs to be beat on they are 100x better and stronger than a bench vise. The post design is there to move shock to the floor. 

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