Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Smithing Magician in the Fly Press

When I bought my fly press I could only afford the smallest size.  It has been satisfactory for just about everything except but one.   The ram-to-base clearance was not quite enough to allow me to fit my Smithing Magician tool in the space.  I could have made a smaller version of the SM as one solution but I chose to cut about 3/4” off the upper end of the top dies.  I figured I could always weld back the length if I needed it.  This gives me just enough working distance to do the small jobs I’m planning, mostly some pipe fullering and some sheet veining.

I wanted to use the hex bolt which locks the top tool in the ram as the top die lifting hook so I had to make a top pusher (hammer) tool which extends forward enough to strike the die and still keep the link wire aligned.  I also welded a 3/8” lock washer onto the front face of the top die to attach the wire loop.

I don’t know how satisfactory this will be over time but the learning curve has to begin somewhere.  I may also try a rubber band in place of the wire.

Die hammered down

Die lifted to maximum opening

A careful observer may notice the little relief ground out of the bottom frame in the center.  I did that because occasionally the bottom die would get stuck.  The little slot allows me to slip in a chisel and lift the die free.  Normally the smithing magician is bolted to a base which fits in the treadle hammer and allows me to position both depth and height stops.  It is about 3/8” thick plate and I have to remove it to use the tool in the fly press.

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