I am currently using charcoal for forging, for some reason I can't get the metal hot enough. So a friend of mine is a heating engineer, as he was getting into forging, I persuaded him to look at a ribbon forge design.
Fortunately, his build works and I should be starting mine soon. The build will be posted on the Fabrication page.
Although, I have a small anvil, as posted on the fabrication page, and can't afford nor accommodate a hammer press. I had thought about using some of the fork tine, but I also wanted a fly press. I found a Denbigh number 6 on eBay for £125 that needed a clean. The stop was missing as were the balls, everything else was in order. A bargain since many old English fly presses are commanding a high price. Here is a link to some fly press deals.
Size: All fly presses are numbered from one to around ten. A number one being the smallest. There is also a deep throat version, which I would have preferred. Given the space in my small workshop, a number six is ideal. The other thing to watch is the weight, mine probably weighs around 100kg or more. Luckily, I have a trailer, I lifted the press off with an engine hoist and used a wheelbarrow to transport it to the shed. Two men struggled like hell, and the wheelbarrow was not too happy.
The bench it sits on (pictures on the fabrication page) is made from 8mm flat bar and the top plate is 750mm x 500mm and 15mm thick, the plate was around 43kg.
Tooling: The cost of readymade tooling is prohibitive for me, and I also need tooling to suit my needs. I have not been able to find anything suitable, so I need to make my own.
The bottom die will have to have a tool holder made, as soon as I can get use of my fathers lathe. In the mean time, I will have to fabricate a tool holder.
So I picked up a what I believe is a DN40 flange and a piece of EN26w (datasheet). EN26w gives a good rebound and should be ideal as a bottom die. Until I can put the piece in a lathe, I am going to have to make do with the finish.
For the top die, I have some silver steel which I will try and forge into something that will work. The socket for the top dies on the Denbigh is about one inch. If I can heat up one end of the SS, I should be able to upset the SS sufficiently to create a reasonable surface. Obviously, with a lathe the task would be a lot easier and I would probably use EN26 for the top die too.