Tools you didn't "Need" but had to have!

What’s a tool you talked yourself into, and was glad you did later? (or the opposite!).

Metalcraft XL Pro Twister Complete Basket Maker Twisted Picket Tool – metalcraftusa

Just ordered this last night. I’ve been saying I was going to build one of these for years sense I bought the scroll former from these guys. Just couldn’t find the time, and the right spare parts to build it out of. Well, My sons Eagle scout project is going to require some fancy Iron work and thought that was the sign/good excuse to through caution to the wind and purchase this guy. (so I’ll have more time to drill the 1200 holes in my table!) Just an FYI these are quality tools, not the EBAY junk you see when looking for rot Iron tools. the scroll former is fun to play with, a bit of a workout, but fun, I made 45 decretive/ functional 90deg brackets for some 8x8 post on my porch after one of the last Hurricanes to run us over. they came out great. I’ll try to post some pics later they ar on my phone. Like I said, should have built it but…

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I like the look of those. I’m just starting my journey into blacksmithing type hobby work after picking up a cheap anvil and forge. I’m used to cold working steel, and still wrapping my head around some of the new possibilities with heat added to the equation. Twisting work is the first place I’m starting for ornamental iron work, just waiting to have arms that’ll cooperate. Had surgery about 10 days ago on a ligament in my thumb, and I’ve been warned that the AC joint in the shoulder of my other arm may be separated and need surgery. :roll_eyes:

I’m assuming you did the scrolling cold given the size of bar?

Yep I cold bend every thing I can. The scroll bender requires heat for first 12 inches if you are useing 5/8 stock. That’s 1/2 “ in the pics. At the time all I had was a little hand mad bench brake to bend those 90s with so I had that fife ball square you see there clamped I’m my old Reed vise and would clamp the 90s into it to make sure they were square then welded the scrolls in place, had quite the assembly line going. Not to discourage you from blacksmithing but be ready it’s friggin time consuming and solid labor! I had got all pumped about it a good while back but I’m just not wired for it, I can certainly appreciate the skill and pride of it but it’s so slow! It would have take. Me a year to make all those traditionally ! Along the lines of this thread, if I would love to have a power hammer for texturing iron for projects like this! But they do not give those away!!

They sure don’t give power hammers away. I got a chance to use one for a few minutes when I visited a knife maker in Colorado around 2013, and actually know someone tangentially related to a big deal at Little Giant in Nebraska City. I’m hoping I can use the Titan 25T press I have on pre-order to do some of the grunt work when it comes to flattening and drawing things out.

I used to make knives a number of years ago, mostly CPM-S90V and CPM-3V, obviously stock removal not forging. Playing a bit with the forge has me excited to try making a few knives with it, and maybe some Damascus if the press will work the way I’m hoping.

A tool I was excited about that I regretted for a long time was a CNC mill I bought from Industrial Hobbies around 2010. Build and delivery problems and delays that put me in a bind, terrible customer service after the fact, and ended up with a machine that couldn’t really do what it was supposed to till I eventually replaced some cheap bearings with much more expensive bearings that were fit for purpose. Left a sour taste in my mouth and I haven’t liked the machine since.

Adding umbrellas to my toolboxes a few months back has been a wonderful quality of life improvement in my sun facing work area. :melting_face: should makes summers much more bearable.

Slick! man you are right. I watched those pipeline welders for years thinking they seemed a bit over kill until I was given one of those Lapco ones. I won’t hook to my welding trailer without it now!

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Got the stands built for the new picket twister and old scroll maker, I thought I had taken more pics of the squares being used? would have been 1,000 times easier with fixture table! Just an FYI for all the guys out there feeling guilty about hoarding iron, those columns are a piece of square tubing I got probably 15 years ago!:joy:

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Made some fun things last week
Railing spindles I made buy hand

Wow ! Clearly you aren’t a weekend warrior like myself! Is that a paying or personal job, cause it looks like you should have charged them pretty hard. Would you say the table is what made the Accuracy of that railing possible? Hell the fire place as well?

I have made a lot of cool things

What helped with all my railings is the magic
Square setting the angle is the most amazing tool
I got two of them.
The gate in the pic
I used fireball squares on it and forgot to cross
Check it…. But it was perfect lol
Those squares are a life saver!

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Nice! Yea a couple of magic squares are on the list, gotta get a couple sets of those giant clamps first, need them for repair jobs.

is that steel sheet?

Nice work on all your projects

Yes it’s 14 gauge steel and I use paste wax
To darken it.

And a tool I don’t need but want is a 100watt laser cutter. A big one! Lol

Tell me some more about that paste wax. I’m always looking for new coatings that have that unique weathered look. Do you have to heat it prior to applying? Do you blast it or will a surface conditioning tool work? I recently bought one of those , still in the box!

I just use a old t-shirt
Cut a 8”x8” square this rag now lives in the can
Keep using it the wax covers it.
Then just wax on wax off.

Use a new rag to wipe off wax keep wiping till it gets slick/smooth and you feel no drag anymore from the wax.
It takes a little elbow grease.
If your doing it on rusted steel or mill scale
Don’t need to wipe off as much.

Before and after

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Beautiful results Kevin. I suspect you’re downplaying the amount of elbow grease involved… :wink:


Have you tired using an automotive style buffer to speed things up or maybe take some elbow grease out of it.