Friday, January 27, 2012

Fiery Friday - Aluminum Chisel Plate

Today I'm going to show you how to make an aluminum chisel plate that can be re-used over and over again. For about a year I've been using a piece of aluminum about 6 inches long, 2 inches wide and 3/8" thick to put under any hot steel that I need to chisel or sometimes punch through all the way. Since aluminum is much softer than any of my chisels or punches, when they cut through the hot steel they will easily continue through the aluminum. If it wasn't there then the chisel might hit the face of the anvil and probably put a dent in the anvil and dull the chisel. It's not too difficult to reface a chisel, but I would rather spend my time forging instead. Nor do I want to put a thousand little nicks in my anvil.

The only problem is that over the past year I have sorely abused that piece of aluminum and had actually cut it into three pieces from chiseling onto it so much. So I figured I needed a new one.

Here is what I came up with, it's a big thick chunk of aluminum.

What I did was melt my original scrap of aluminum I was using along with some cut up pieces of a busted spindle housing from the lawn tractor that just so happens to also be aluminum. I first cut the pieces small enough and put them into a little cup I made a while back to hold some of my chisels and punches. In the forge it went and after a few minutes, I had molten aluminum.

This picture shows me adding another chunk of spindle housing to the already molten metal. Just below that is the mold I'm about to pour the metal into. It's made from some 1/4" x 3/4" for the sides and 1/4" x 2" for the bottom. I figure it was a bit over kill, but it's what I had on hand. I made sure to angle the sides out just a bit to allow the ingot to be removed easily.

Here is a video of the pouring process. I have to admit pouring liquid metal is rather satisfying.

Thanks again for stopping in.

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