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THIS is a forum for questions and answers about blacksmithing and general metalworking. Ask the Guru any reasonable question and he or one of his helpers will answer your question, find someone that can, OR research the question for you.
This is an archive of posts from January 16 - 21, 2001 on the Guru's Den
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If you wanted to pour a sand cast with alum. And didn't have a clue, What would you do??
mark  <mrm1579 at cs.com> - Tuesday, 01/16/01 02:09:08 GMT

Sand Casting: Mark, Find the books by CW Ammen on foundry work. He has one on small foundry work, another on wood patterns and a general reference on foundry work. These are all designed for the beginner but have information that is professional level. He has instructions for building equipment as well as purchasing it. These are the best on the subject. You need them ALL. Check with Centaur Forge and Norm Larson (see Getting Started).
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 01/16/01 03:04:04 GMT

D.U.

I have been reading this site for quite a while now and can finally add something, woo-hoo! I used to work for a defense plant that made the D.U. shells for the big 30mm gatlin gun on the A-10 Warthog (old name). I can't say whether that was the first time its use was incorporated, but I can say that for an airborne anti-tank device, very little works better. We used to see films of test runs of the du shells vs. Maverick air-to-ground missles on a field of target tanks. The d.u. shells were put in every 5th or 10th shell in the belt so that they weren't wasted, even so the plane took out half the field of 20 in 3 passes. The mavericks were only accurate about half the time and the planes could only keep 2 on-board. Got to see a AT-4 anti-tank fired as well, it used the shaped inverted cone of potassium. Very nasty, I think it was made for the Swedes.

So, back to smithing.
Tom ex-armory  <don'tspam.com> - Tuesday, 01/16/01 13:42:56 GMT

Jim Wilson asked me to provide some comments on the Depleted Uranium thread, so here I am -- and here are some comments...

1) Tank rounds have been, and still are, available using shaped charge warheads (the same technology also used in the long obsolete M72 LAW). These are called Chemical Energy warheads because they defeat armor through energy created by a chemical reaction.

2) Depleted Uranium penetrators are used for basically the reason given earlier: DU is very heavy. This gives a concentrated mass, which therefore delivers a great deal of impact. DU rounds are among those classified as Kinetic Energy rounds -- all the energy of these rounds comes from the mass and velocity of the projectile.

3) Both CE and KE rounds are used because there are armor technologies to defeat either kind of warhead, but those technologies are quite different. If we used only CE rounds or only KE rounds, any enemy could design armor optimized to defeat that sort of round. Because we maintain both CE and KE rounds in the active inventory, any enemy armor has to be a compromise. It is possible to build armor that is highly (but not completely) resistant to both CE and KE rounds, but such armor is very bulky and very heavy.

4) Tanks generally use KE rounds as their primary anti-armor ammunition. All man-portable weapons use CE rounds as their only anti-armor ammunition. Until a few years ago, all mobile weapons lighter than tanks had to rely on CE rounds as their only serious anti-armor ammunition. The introduction of DU penetrators made it possible to use KE ammunition in 25mm and 30mm high velocity weapons against some armor.

5) Historically, armor technology and weapon technology have see-sawed back and forth for hundreds of years. The current status quo is that under realistic conditions the heaviest mobile armor can USUALLY stop the best anti-armor weapon an individual dismounted soldier can transport and operate unassisted, but that the best man-portable anti-armor weapons are capable of defeating any practical mobile armor under most conditions. Land mobile anti-armor weapons are capable of defeating even the heaviest mobile armor under most conditions. Aircraft anti-armor weapons are generally limited in size and weight, making them in the same category as man-portable anti-armor weapons.

Tom Currie  <Tom.Currie at us.army.mil> - Tuesday, 01/16/01 14:52:53 GMT

No blacksmithing content in this post whatsoever.

DU: Guru and Bruce, I think, but I don't "know" that the burning of the DU also helps it penetrate in addition to being nasty once it gets inside. Active armor? That is so cool! The best defense is a good offense?

Opinionated comment: The REAL sick part about the idiot actor/newspeople is that they are the only source of "knowledge and information" for many people. IMO, the second most influencial profession after teachers and there is NO accountability for being wrong, much less the blatant abuse of power that they exert on a daily basis. Case in point, election coverage.

I'm sorry that the founding fathers were not more clear that along with rights comes responsibility.
Tony  <tca_b at milwpc.com> - Tuesday, 01/16/01 15:25:33 GMT

Jock,
I'm selling my Buffalo Silent Air 200 on ebay can I use you as a witness as to the condition of the unit we traded so long ago. It has been in the same box and in dry storage all this time.
Thank you,
Vince
vince  <vince at partservice.com> - Tuesday, 01/16/01 15:39:14 GMT

AT-4 is made BY the Swedes, not for them.
(This, and other such nasty facts, are little advertised by Swedish governement, since it sort of clashes with our self-appointed role as peace-doves to the world.)
Olle Andersson  <utgaardaolle at ebox.tninet.se> - Tuesday, 01/16/01 15:39:26 GMT

Last word on DU Bullets: I got my information from a Popular Science or Popular Mechanics many years ago. The article had nice little color diagrams (probably taken from patent drawings). I can't remember if the burning uranium had anything to do with penetration but I know it had to do with the "kill". This is public information and easy enough to find.

What I know about composite armour came from relatively recent (a couple years) atricles in Degign News and possibly Nasa Tech Briefs.

These and other public resources have had comparitive articles on the various weapons posted above. I know the one on DU bullets did. It included a description of how a sabot works in big guns. . .

All this is public information that would be easy to find if ANY news organization did the research. It is also probably available in one edition or another of Janes, a much too specialized and expensive reference for this peace loving blacksmith. However, most large news organizations keep it in their research libraries. So there is no excuse for the international news organizations to spread missinformation about these subjects except out of pure laziness and mismanagement. . . .
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 01/16/01 16:30:46 GMT

Blower - Vince: Yes, it was a nice unit, smooth but typicaly oily (this is normal for thses sealess units). Had the original black paint way back then. .
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 01/16/01 16:32:28 GMT

How will I measure the temperature of a heated metal
Kristofer Fullingim  <Ryankristofer at AOL.com> - Tuesday, 01/16/01 17:07:36 GMT

Temperature Measurement: Kristofer, LOOK UP! We answer questions VERY promptly here. Your answer was posted within 2 hours of the question (third post below yours).

Tomarrow that part of our forum will be archived and you will need to look there.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 01/16/01 17:36:43 GMT

I was told years ago that the reason diamond grinding wheels
can't be used on steel is because the diamond, being carbon,
will be absorbed by the steel. Is this true? I'm trying to
settle an argument.

Thanx
Larry Koskela  <larryk at netcnct.net> - Tuesday, 01/16/01 18:28:45 GMT

Guru, I just picked up the book:Machine Tool Practices, the second addition. Its been just a few hours since, and there is so much good info in this book about steels and identifying them, heat treating, hardening, and tempering, and much more. have you ever seen this book before? and do you know where i might find an updated version if so?

thx
AdamSmith - Tuesday, 01/16/01 19:20:37 GMT

Is rebar good for tool making ? Can it be harden ?
Thanks--Great site
Mark  <mrm1579 at cs.com> - Tuesday, 01/16/01 19:29:13 GMT

Diamond/steel: Larry, Diamond is used to grind High Speed Steel all the time. For steel to absorb carbon it must be between 1700 and 1800°F. Diamond wheels are run with water or water soluable oil coolant and there is little or no heat.

Grinding is a complicated issue. You don't grind soft steel with diamond because it is a waste of an expensive abrasive AND a waste of expensive time since there are much faster wheels for grinding steel. Grinding anything other than carbide or certain High Speed Steels on the diamond wheel should be a firing offence. Some HSS like drill bits don't need to be ground on a diamond wheel except for putting on split points. Someone may have told you, "DON'T DO IT", but not the real reason.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 01/16/01 19:30:46 GMT

Machine Tool Practices: Adam, Its a pretty good book and very well written. However, its not a materials reference or data book. Its an overview of machine tools and a text for apprentices. If you are going to work with tool or cutlery steels you still need to own MACHINERY'S HANDBOOK or ASM's ASM Metals Reference Book.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 01/16/01 19:39:34 GMT

The Guru is recognized again! In Machine Design magazine, best of the web. January 11 edition. www.machinedesign.com
I didn't see this posted here or on the hammer in page, so please excuse if this is old news.

Congrats!
Tony  <tca_b at milwpc.com> - Tuesday, 01/16/01 19:42:58 GMT

Rebar: mark, There are three different grades of rebar with different hardenabilities. Then there is OLD rebar which is generally non-specific as to specs or quality. No version is designed to be used as a tool steel. It IS done but I don't reccomend it. You are much better off to use spring steel or recyle old tools.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 01/16/01 19:44:42 GMT

Machine Design: Tony, THANKS! I hadn't seen it and my subscription MAY have run out. . :( I'll have to see it my Dad got his copy.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 01/16/01 19:47:16 GMT

Thx guru. as soon as i get some money saved up im going to retrieve one of your recommended books from my local store, im sure they have it.
AdamSmith - Tuesday, 01/16/01 19:58:16 GMT

Books: Adam, Many of these references are very expensive. Some are available only from the publisher. Try bibliofind for used copies. You generaly pay 1/3. That still makes MACHINERY'S HANDBOOK a $25 book.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 01/16/01 20:13:17 GMT

I am a person who is new to th whole ida of metalworking and would like to star my own furnace to forge weaponry. My main concern right now is how it shuold be built (design). And with what fuel it must be fired with. As I have said I nt to forge swords,daggers,knives and later on some armour. Could you plz help me to start off. By giving me advise about how I should go about the furnace.

Another concern is myat metal to use. Mild sel is easy to work with but rusts and doesn't retain it's shine. What are my options if I'm thinking of possibly Ferro Aluminum
Carbon Steel or maybe even Stainless steel. Plz reply.

Thanks

If you could give a diagram for the furnace.
DeathoRatz  <dor at mighty.co.za> - Tuesday, 01/16/01 21:26:56 GMT

Thanks for the cash saving advice, 25$ shouldnt take me too much trouble, after all, i spend most if not all of my money on smithing paraphenalia.

BTW guru, im making a ring for my girlfriend for valentines day, im going to make it out of a strip of carbon steel or sheet metal(whatever seems to work best when i get to it)and then im going to heat it until it has a beautiful purple oxidization(purple is her favorite color). my question is, after it has been oxidized, what treatment would be ideal for protecting the color?

I went through a few metal jewelry making books but the only mention color oxidization had to do with its removal, not preservation.

Any advice would be most appreciated. BTW, did you work on martin luther king day?

thx
AdamSmith - Tuesday, 01/16/01 21:38:43 GMT

Adam, knowing what little I do of the things women don't like, I do know she won't like her finger turning colors from the ring you give her. Might I suggest Titanium? It can be colored with heat to some extent and probably won't stain her finger. The oxide colors on steel won't hold up to jewelery wear. If you can, get ahold of Tim Mcright(sp?)
book "The Complete Metalsmith" Fairly inexpensive and will give you all kinds of info on metalwork and coloring of metals. By the way, silver is easily forged, and relatively cheap, why not make a ring out of silver for her?
if you insist on a colored ring Email me at njordan at epud.net.nospam and I'll send you a piece of titanium sheet. Just remove the .nospam from the address.
Moldy
Moldy  <nospamthanks> - Tuesday, 01/16/01 22:43:14 GMT

oh,Guru, Have you ever seen metal cutting blades for a scroll saw?
(Plz forgive me if ive asked you this before, but i dont think i did)

thx
AdamSmith - Tuesday, 01/16/01 23:09:36 GMT

Well, thankyou very much moldy.
AdamSmith - Tuesday, 01/16/01 23:19:15 GMT

Guru,
I have a customer who wants me to make a custom screen for his fireplace. I am looking for a supplier of screening.
I seem to remember this being addressed here not long ago. Would you please refresh me as to who I should contact to purchase this marerial ?
Thank You ,
Mark
Mark  <dilligaf at net1plus.com> - Tuesday, 01/16/01 23:46:03 GMT

Armoury: DOR, The question of type of forge is determined by the availability of fuel. Good clean bituminous (soft, black) coal is the best general fuel for smithing. However, it is not available in many parts of the world. Second to coal in a solid fuel is charcoal. Charcoal was the fuel of choice for thousands of years. A charcoal forge is similar to a coal forge but needs to be a little deeper. When looking for coal or charcoal, remember, you may be using tons of it. Be sure there are adequate supplies. There are plans for a small beginners forge on our plans page. I suggest you start there and use it to determine if local solid fuel is acceptable. If it is not then you are out of little.

The next choice is propane or butane. Propane is the fuel of choice for many smiths because it is clean and availability is good (in many countries). The limitation to propane forges is that they are an enclosed box. Size becomes a problem. You would think a BIG forge would be the solution. However a big forge requires the same amount of fuel to heat a small part as a large one. So it becomes very inefficient for small work. You quickly find you need several sizes. We have plans for gas forges on our plans page. One has links to other sites with more plans.

Most well equiped shops have coal and gas forges as well as oxy-acteylene equipment. See our armour articles for other specialized devices.

The next fuel is oil. Kerosene, diesil fuel or heating oil can be used in an oil forge. Oil forges require better venting than gas. They have the same size dissadvantage as gas. However, they run hotter than gas and are better for forge welding.

Properly polished and waxed mild steel retains its finish a long time but yes, it is suseptable to rust. Soft aluminium sheet is used for much stage and theatrical armor. It retains its finish a little better than mild steel. Contrary to popular belief, aluminium does oxidize and corrode. Stainless is VERY good but it is expensive AND difficult to work making it triply expensive.

If you start at the beginning and study general metalworking the questions of forge and material will become insignificant. You need to educate yourself about general smithing before going into the more sophisticated areas. Tools are important but knowledge is much more important.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 01/17/01 00:20:53 GMT

Reconstructing a copper crow for a 19th century sign bracket restoration. Do you know how to properly coat the copper for finish paint? It was gold leafed and painted a few times I stripped it with zip strip and elbow grease and do not want to do it again next year, great restoration but not a lot of money in this project so I can't gold leaf it or plate it. Thanks Jed.
Jed Krieger  <havenhomes at netwurx.net> - Wednesday, 01/17/01 00:52:30 GMT

mark
I had the same qustion a few weeks ago I ended up geting galvnised steel "incect screening" from mcmaster carr it work well but I had to get it in a 100ft roll as this was the only sise avalibale (30in wide)so if you are now going to be makeing more of these I would sigest useing the expanded metal that the guru sigested (i decided to make up a few for a local shop) as this can be gotten in far smaller quantitys
hope this helps ~MP~
MP  <swordmatt at yahoo.com> - Wednesday, 01/17/01 01:12:46 GMT

Scroll Saw blades: Adam, what type of scroll saw? There is no standard type. IF you are talking about the tension frame type, yes. But these come in many sizes. In many cases the same blades are used for wood AND metal but the machine must be run much slower to cut metal (as much as 1/10th). For cutting very fine metal (silver sheet) I've used jewlers saw blades in a small craft type scroll saw. Standard 5" Blades designed for hand held frame type jig saws come in a variety of types including metal cutting and fit in motorized saws.

There are two basic types of metal cutting or hack saw blades. A wavy blade type and straight with set teeth. The wavy blade type are mostly worthless. Good blades rely on the set of the teeth.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 01/17/01 01:20:23 GMT

Screen: MP, Do you have some of that 100' to sell to Mark??
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 01/17/01 01:21:17 GMT

Hi, my name is Robin Smith and this is going to sound highly unusual. I'm looking for an anvil to purchase as a gift for my father and can't find one anywhere! I'm sure I'm just not looking in the right places, so could some please direct me? Any help would be appreciated.
Robin  <cailliean at aol.com> - Wednesday, 01/17/01 01:36:58 GMT

Copper: Jed, VERY clean copper can be clear laquered. If opaque paint is to be used the surface should be cleaned, etched with acid to give a slight tooth, then painted with a copper compatible primer. You will need to contact an industrial paint supplier to see what is compatible. If you can't find out, I'd use Dupont Red Oxide High Speed lacquer primer surfacer. Its a neutral primer. Put any finish coat you want over it.

The gold leaf was probably applied with "glare" and egg white glue made with egg white and vinegar.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 01/17/01 01:50:36 GMT

Anvil: Robin, You have found the place. New anvils are very expensive and would make a wonderful gift. All of our tool suppliers sell Peddinghaus anvils NEW. Contact Centaur Forge, Kayne and Son or Bruce Wallace. Bruce also sells used anvils and usualy has several in various conditions. Used anvils in good condition are as good a tool as a new anvil and often better than the lower quality new anvils. DO NOT buy a cast iron anvil. They are popularly called "door stops". Unless that IS what the intended use is.

Our advertisers are listed at the bottom of the site map OR on the "Directory" from the main page. OR the banners above. .
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 01/17/01 02:02:02 GMT

Need info on heat treating. What is the best technique for strengthening 3/8 steel bar. Too soft now and bends too easily.
Vance  <vviter at yahoo.com> - Wednesday, 01/17/01 06:40:43 GMT

MP,
Thanks for the info. I was looking to McMaster-Carr but galv inscet screen will not do. This customer is very picky about details and wants the type of mesh he sees on most other fireplace screens. Also his fireplace opening is rather large, a hight of aprox 37 to 38 in [he's giving me the exact dimentions today] I have two places locally to check out. A fellow over the NH border in Kene NH makes custom fireplace screens [I am told] so I will seek him out and another in Mass. But thanks for the leads anyway. If I find a good source of screen I'll be sure to share the information with all.
Mark.
Mark   <dilligaf at net1plus.com> - Wednesday, 01/17/01 09:11:26 GMT

where are the armour articles
DeathoRatz  <dor at mighty.co.za> - Wednesday, 01/17/01 10:10:51 GMT

Morning
As much info as you have time to give me on using copper wire for copper welding.
I mostly use tig, alluminium and stainless.
Jenny  <jenny.skinner at lineone.net> - Wednesday, 01/17/01 11:21:57 GMT

I need help with info on rotery phase converters.Will be running a 10 hp motor so I need a min 20 hp converter. Would like a source in the NJ area for used if possible. My main question is how to test a used piece? I looked online at new and had a mild heart attack. I'll try used first, but could use some advice.
Pete  <ravnstudio at aol.com> - Wednesday, 01/17/01 12:33:39 GMT

Good day all - Any update on CSI patch from the store. Also an updated list for the touchmarks. I have a couple of small time smiths up here that would be interested in adding theirs to the registry. Anyway got to go.
TTYL Barney. {very cold up here today}
Barney  <barney at vianet.on.ca> - Wednesday, 01/17/01 14:51:35 GMT

Heat Treating: Vance, Steel relys on carbon content for hardening. If you have low carbon bar then it is not hardenable. Then besides carbon content steels come in different alloys. There are tens of thousands of types of steel. Before heat treating it you need to identify it because there are different methods of heat treating various steels.

"Strength" is a subjective term in disscusing steel. When steel is hard it becomes more brittle and may chip or break. When steel is soft it can be bent and deformed without breaking or chipping. ALL steel has the same springyness. Soft steel bends after springing a short distance while hard steel can be sprung further before bending. However the hard steel may be close to breaking when it is sprung that distance.

The "best" method of strengthing a steel part is to use a slightly bigger part.

Search our archives for "heattreating" and "tempering" and you will find hundreds of answers for hundreds of situations.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 01/17/01 16:02:07 GMT

Armoury: DOR, Sorry, Look on our 21st Century Page. I'm updating our menu system and soon there will be a pull down list on every page.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 01/17/01 16:07:00 GMT

Fireplace Fit: Mark, DO NOT TRUST the customers dimensions. Masonary fireplaces are often out of square as much as an inch (25mm)! If any thing you make must line up or fit into the opening you need to measure it using a carpenters square, check for curvature of lines and take diagonal measurments. I've had to make templates to get a correct fit.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 01/17/01 16:10:25 GMT

Fireplace Screen: Mark, McMaster-Carr has hundreds of types of screens in MANY different weights. Much of it is non-galvanized. What they do not have is the coiled "curtain" type used in screens that open like drapes or curtains.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 01/17/01 16:36:07 GMT

I picked up a section of pipe for my gas forge last night. It is pretty big though. About 24" Diameter. After adding a couple of inches of Kaolwool and a floor it should end up with about a 20" chamber. I was planning on using three burners while allowing myself the ability to shut some of them off if I didn't need them. After fitting a door on the front and a door on the back it should end up with an approx 20-22" inch long x 20" diameter chamber. I was planning on using the burners from Ron Riel's page. ANy thoughts? Is this too big of a forge?
Anradan  <Anradan at tournamentarmories.bizland.com> - Wednesday, 01/17/01 16:38:41 GMT

Welding Copper: Jenny, This is very difficult. Copper oxidizes very easily and must be welded in a vacuume or gas filled chamber. In most situations copper is brazed or silver soldered together using an oxy-acetylene torch.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 01/17/01 16:45:09 GMT

Phase Converters: There are two types. Rotary and solid state. Commercial rotary phase converters have a capacitor start/balance system. Non-commercial phase rotary converters are just a 3PH motor that is started by a small single phase pilot or "pony" motor.

For a 10HP motor you need a 10HP rotary converter. There is no need to double the converter size. The parts that fail are generaly the capacitors. If you find a used rotary converter don't buy it unless you can locate the manufacturer OR buy it for what you would an equal size 3PH motor (about $5-$10 per HP).

Manualy started phase converters work like this. A big 3PH motor is connected to a 3PH switch or distribution panel. The switch or distribution panel is connected to 240 VAC 1PH (one 3PH leg open). Motors to be run are connected to the switch or panel in the normal maner.

The "converter" is brought up to speed using a fractional HP single phase motor that is clutched into the big motor to bring it up to speed. Clutching is done via belt drive and putting the small motor on a hinged base with a hand lever. When the big motor is near full speed the power to it is turned on and the small motor disengaged.

You can now start the working motor. If a magnetic starter is used you must be sure not to wire it to the "generated" phase as the voltage drop when starting the motor will cause it to disconnect.

Rotary phase converters are NOISY. DO NOT believe the manufacturer. Both capacitor or non-capacitor methods vibrate and hum at line frequency (50 or 60 CPS) and lower. These devices need to be placed in a seperate sound proof shed. Do not put it in OR attached to your shop. I have a very nice 10HP unit that was given to me because of the noise. . . It cost $15,000 to install 3PH to replace it. The inverter cost $1,500 in 1980.

Metal Web News has a nice article under misceleaneous about making your own capicator type.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 01/17/01 17:12:36 GMT

Forge Size: Anradan, As gas forges go that is a pretty big forge. It will NOT run on a small 30# propane bottle. It might run for a couple hours on two 30# bottles. You will need a 150# or bigger bulk tank to run it for any length of time. Consider that out of the 2 hours above 45 minutes will be taken waiting for the forge to heat up.

For that volume you might need four or more burners. The advantage to the blower type burner is if you don't have enough burner you just crank it up. With venturi types there is ONE correct setting for the burner and all you can do is add more. In both cases there is a balance between forge volume and burner capacity. In most cases you cannot shut down burners without reducing the forge volume. Some forges let you shut down burners for lower temperature use.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 01/17/01 17:24:15 GMT

More on Phase converters: Our 10HP Rotary phase converter will start and run more than one motor at a time including more than one 10HP motor. It is a capacitor type made under the trade name "Roto-Phase".
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 01/17/01 17:27:53 GMT

i am looking for information on Blacksmithing in canada nd i am getting very confused because i cannot find a thing about it. It is for my history project so can you please help me fast!
thanx
-lizanne
lizanne  <lizzer_12 at hotmail.com> - Wednesday, 01/17/01 18:41:18 GMT

Lizanne - I am in North Bay Ontario Canada. What do you want to know. Blacksmithing in Canada is the same as USA or any other places I do believe. here is my web page
Barney  <barney at vianet.on.ca> - Wednesday, 01/17/01 19:07:31 GMT

Lizanne - Sorry fingers faster than brain web page http://www.vianet.ca/~barney email is also there.. Whereabouts are you located...
TTYL??
Barney  <barney at vianet.on.ca> - Wednesday, 01/17/01 19:09:12 GMT

Mark, DO NOT TRUST the customers dimensions (second Guru). i use hotglue gun and strips of wood (1/8 x1" (3.25mm))to template a firescreen (fast and hard to get wrong).
I just go all the way around and then make two diagonals (yes one is enough but...).
if it is out of round i just glue shims in place where needed. when at home i make a female and make the firescreen from that. Oh you might have to leave small gaps to make it look good. i had a brick out by 1/4" (6.2mm) on one edge once.
It would look odd having that gap filled but ask customer before making desisions. i have one i didn't get sold cause of a 1/16"gap (less than 1.5mmactually)
OErjan  <pokerbacken at angelfire.com> - Wednesday, 01/17/01 19:30:32 GMT

Mark I have about 75 feet left I'll sell you some if you want email me and we can work some thing out. Guru that is a very good Idea I should have thought of that my self thanks ~MP~
MP   <swordmatt at Yahoo.com> - Wednesday, 01/17/01 19:33:57 GMT

Mark sorry didn't read all the way down before posting .. the screen I used looks just like what I have seen used by others (hopefuly wiser than I) I just hit it with a few coats of bbq black (1200deg) and let it go. so if you are interisted or have any questons just email me (not that I have all that meny ancers)..incadently how do you plan to attach the screen to the frame I made an iner frame that was held in by clips on 1/4-20 scurews it work ok but I keep think ing that there has to be a better way as this added a lot of weaght and is a bit complex.
~MP~
MP   <same > - Wednesday, 01/17/01 19:49:53 GMT

Fireplaces and screens

Francis Whitaker used a very good method to both fit fireplace screens and to fix the screens in the frames. To make a template for the screen frame, He would put a big piece of cardboard over the fireplace opening, cut a hole big enough to stick his arm through in the middle, and trace the outline of the opening on the cardboard from the inside of the fireplace. On huge openings he would actually get inside the fireplace and have someone hold the cardboard up from outside while he traced. Thus he had a perfect template of the opening, even faster than Oerjan's method (although it's fine method, Oerjan!)

To secure screen in the frames Mr. Whitaker would make his frames with a slight bow to them, about 1/32" per foot of length on all four sides. He used thin steel as backer plate (inner frame), with the screen sandwiched between the face and the backer plate, secured by rivets through both pieces. The purpose of putting the bow in the frame is when you install the screen, fasten it on one long side of the frame, then pull it as tight as you can get it. Mr. Whitaker had a set of tongs with swivel pads on the jaws that let him grip around the frame and lever the screen tight enough to take the bow out of the frame. When riveted and released, the frames will be straight and the screen will be tight enough to play tennis with.
Alan L  <longmire at premiernet.netNOSPAMPLEASE> - Wednesday, 01/17/01 21:01:14 GMT

So what you are suggesting Guru is that I should perhaps look into a smaller forge? I was hoping to make this forge work for both small and larger projects. Is that impractical? What about a forge that ends up around 16" - 18" diameter chamber with a 16-18" deep chamber.
Anradan - Wednesday, 01/17/01 21:32:22 GMT

I think I had read about his method but it woud not have been workable on my last one as it was free standing and hinged (I think the bow would have messed with the hinges)also my costomer wanted the screen to be easly replacable.
thanks for the input
~MP~
MP   <swordmatt> - Wednesday, 01/17/01 21:41:04 GMT

Forge Size: Anradan, Its a good size forge but do you have enough fuel and money to run it??? To do small work efficiently in a gas forge takes a small forge. The size of the work has nothing to do with how hot the forge gets. A large forge with small work in it takes the same amount of fuel as it would with large work. Small work and large work must be heated to the same temperature. Reducing the fuel going into a large forge results in it running at lower temperature. You have to be careful not to confuse BTU or calories with temperature.

Size is the weak link to gas forges. To do different sizes of work you need different sizes of forge. Solid fuel forges (coal and charcoal) are just as efficient with a small fire heating a small piece as with a large fire heating a large piece. You can't do that with enclosed forges (gas and oil) without reducing the volume of the forge. Some folks use movable walls or stacks of refractory brick to change the volume of their forge. This works in some forges but is impractical in others. Occasionaly a forge's volume must be reduced just to make it work (improper burner size, low fuel pressure, high altitude).

In most cases with tools and equipment bigger is better. In the case of gas forges you have to compromise and size the forge to your shop, working style and budget. Most blacksmiths end up with several gas forges for different sizes of work.

You also need to remember that in most cases you heat work in short segments to work it. Unless you have a power hammer or work VERY fast a long heat is wasted in most cases. The only time a long heat is absolutely needed is when bending large pieces or heat treating long pieces.

Think about it.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 01/17/01 22:20:36 GMT

Anyone have a list of suppliers for cast finials, post tops etc. I had one, just can't figure out what happened to it. Wonder what that scorched mark is over there? Would sure like to have all the suppliers you can think of. Thanks
Plain ol "Bill"  <wcottr at att.net> - Wednesday, 01/17/01 22:33:34 GMT

Cast parts: Bill, www.kingsupplyco.com
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 01/17/01 23:12:57 GMT

King Supply: The URL doesn't work. It DID yesterday. . . try em tommarow.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 01/17/01 23:20:40 GMT

Thanks Guru and OErjan for the tips on fitting fire screens. This customer's house is an OLD colonial house more than 150 yrs old. The fireplace is original and has been maintained and repaired over the years. I doubt that anything in that house is true, level, plumb , or square. Show me any house in New England that is perfect. I will consult with the customer before starting this project. You surley have saved me some headaches , I will always remember this advice.
Thank You.
Mark.
Mark  <dilligaf at net1plus.com> - Wednesday, 01/17/01 23:52:22 GMT

Matt: There is no bow after the screen is in place. That's how the screen stays tight. But, the screen isn't easily replacable that way. That's why you use heavy-duty screen!:-)
Alan L  <longmire at premiernet.net> - Thursday, 01/18/01 01:07:16 GMT

Welding Copper -- I just got done making a menorah (candle holder) from 1/2" copper tube. I tig welded it using plain old 14 ga copper wire (stripped from romex). Maybe the thing will turn to dust in six months or it will turn out I was breathing cobalt thorium G, but it seemed to work fine for this non-critical application. There was a lot of black scale to clean off, though.
Mike B  <mbriskin at erolsnospam.com> - Thursday, 01/18/01 01:39:50 GMT

i'm don't know alot about blaksmithing yet, but i want to know more i saw you plans for the brake drum forge.i like the plan, but could you use gas and not coal. and if so what BTU rating would you need. if you don't know then could you tell me what heat range i will need to do most of my playing with. if anyone can help i sure could use it.
thanks
turtle
turtle  <turtledjrj at hotmail.com> - Thursday, 01/18/01 01:59:40 GMT

Forges: Turtle, There is a big difference between any solid fuel forge like the brakedrum forge and an enclosed forge like a gas forge. Look on our plans page and check the links on the gas forge page. Gas forges run 20K BTU to 100K BTU. The temperature required for forging is around 2,000°F, welding 2,700°F. The refractory lining of the forge needs to withstand 3,000°F to 3,200°F.

Gas forges are inherently dangerous. Before constructing one you should take a welding class where you learn the safety rules for handling gases, cylinders and fittings. The knowledge is also needed for many other tasks in the blacksmith shop.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 01/18/01 03:36:50 GMT

Guru,
Question on propane line run to Mankle 2burner forge with blowr:

I have a 150 gal bulk propane tank for my house heating and kitchen stove. Two stage regulation is used - first stage regulator at the tank and final regulation at the entrance to the house. I don't remember the exact pressure, but could find out. Can I run the output from the first stage regulator at the tank (same output that goes to the house) into a 130 ft of pipe back to my shop and put the normal forge regulator there to feed the forge?
azdoug  <dendrud at earthlink.net> - Thursday, 01/18/01 04:25:16 GMT

azdoug, Hooking up to the house hold gas supply is not a good idea. Let alone too much money. Keep it simple just get some 20 lb tanks (I have 9 of them) build yourself a cart to put the forge on, tanks go underneath in a shallow tub of water. Now you can change you're mind as to where the forge goes. The fuel bills will be separate. If you have a big job you won't forge yourself out of house heat etc.
Pete  <ravnstudio at aol.com> - Thursday, 01/18/01 12:36:54 GMT

azdoug & Pete, Another issue to look at in this propane supply question, is the worse case scenario. If you have a leak at any of the portable attachments at the forge, which would rather have leaking a small tank (or tanks) or your 150 gallon tank.
slattont  <slattont at yahoo.com> - Thursday, 01/18/01 14:24:45 GMT

azdoug:
Like Pete and slattont said, don't hook up to the house tank. The tank pressure will be, if I remember right somewhere around 80psi (it could be more, I just don't remember right now!). The regulator to the house drops this to about 12 to 14 inches of water collum. This meens that if you had a hose hooked to the house end of the supply, and a large fish tank or tube of water, you would only be able to push the tube down 12 to 14 inches below the surface of the water before the water pressure caused to gas to stop flowing. (Naurual gas is about 3-4") This isn't NEAR enough pressure to run in a gas forge. Most I have seen without a blower run at 15 to 30 PSI at the regulator. You should check the wantadds for a used tank in the 25+ gal size to keep from freezing when supplying a gas forge. Larger tanks can be bought new at major propane dealers, for a pretty penny I might say. It can be done on smaller tanks but you then need some way to heat the tank. A tub of water will work as has been mentioned. DO NOT direct ANY heat from the forge to the tank to heat it!!! This is ASKING for trouble!!
Be carefull and have fun!
Wayne Parris  <benthar at pacbell.net> - Thursday, 01/18/01 14:40:15 GMT

Alan, Do you recall the name of the book by Francis Whitaker which had the procedure he used for fitting firescreens? I seem to recall seeing it in Centaur's catalogue. Thanks, TC
Tim Cisneros  <blacksmith at theforgeworks.com> - Thursday, 01/18/01 15:03:00 GMT

Howdy, Tim! That info is in "The Blacksmith's Cookbook". A darn handy reference for intermediate to advanced smiths, I might add, even if it is a bit pricy. It was $40 when I got it. It's also good to have the book of pictures of Whitaker's work ("Beautiful Iron")to go along with the cookbook so you can see examples of exactly what he was talking about.
Alan L  <longmire at premiernet.net> - Thursday, 01/18/01 15:14:22 GMT

Propane: Azdoug, I agree with the cautions the others have mentioned. In addition, your local code may not allow running the line from the tank to the smithy. Having said that..... It can be done. But you would want to tap off of the house tank BEFORE the primary regulator on the tank. I'd put a valve after that tap at the tank so I could shut off the line to the smithy when I wasn't working. That 130 foot run will be a pretty good pressure drop. The line may have to be quite large to get enough pressure at the forge regulator. If you know how many BTU's per hour you need and the minimum pressure at your tank, and the minimum pressure at the forge regulator, I can help you size the line. I strongly suggest burying the line if you go that way, and I would use copper. Actually, if I had to run 130 feet, I would probably lease another tank from the propane supplier and put it at least 25 feet (code here) from the smithy. Then still bury copper to the smithy and definitely run black steel pipe inside the smithy. Copper should not be used around hot stuff. Too much chance that a flying hottie would find the copper and give you an unintended BIG torch. I like flame, myself, but I like to have some modicum of control over it. If you buy a used tank, make sure it is still in certification. If you lease a tank, as you probably know, the propane supplier is responsible for tank certification. If you own it, you have to pay for recert. The cost difference in propane her in WI for owning your tank vs. leasing it from the propane supplier is more than a 10 year payback for most users. It would be less for a heavy user (gas forge owner). Like Wayne said.... be careful and have fun.
Tony  <tca_b at milwpc.com> - Thursday, 01/18/01 15:18:33 GMT

All,

First of all, I gotta say this page kicks but. I am looking at getting some stainless steel to do some blades.
Have been looking at CPM 440V on www.admiralsteel.com. Can anyone tell me about the pluses/minuses of this steel? Here is the breakdown:
Carbon 2.15%
Silicon .40%
Cromium 17%
Vanadium 5.5%
Molybdenum .4%
The rest is Iron.
Also I have heard that a stainless steel blade will not hold an edge line one made of non-stainless steel (tool steel for example). Is there any truth in this. Any help would be most appreciated.
Cheers!
chris  <cbernard at sgi.com> - Thursday, 01/18/01 17:36:58 GMT

Propane Hook Up: Doug, Your plan has merit but there are problems as mentioned above:

1) Pressure drop due to distance. 130' will produce a LOT of pressure drop (~75% in 3/8" line at full flow). This requires a higher pressure at the supply end that the gas company may not be willing to provide. All connections to (at) the leased tank are the business of the gas company. Don't mess with their equipment.

2) Local code. Check them first.

3) Expenses. I'd put the bulk tank out at the shop and run the cooking stove off that. .

In my Dad's shop I installed a black iron pipe manifold in the welding shop for the propane. It was carefully checked for leaks using relatively high pressure air (100psi). Shop connections to it were by torch type valves and hose AND via copper pipe to the gas melting furnace. Flexible copper is required if the appliance is not bolted down. Outside the shop the gas company used a copper stinger to my black iron manifold. The furnace required a high pressure regulator (25psi). The gas co. guys found one and installed it but it took a lot of running around.

This same setup (hooked to a 150 gal tank) ran a large oxy-propane rosebud at the same time as the furnace/forge very nicely.

All the hose attachments had special caps to prevent dirt and insects from getting into the valves and fittings. Every time the hoses were changed the connections and the valve stem packings were tested for leaks (about once a week).

One method I use for testing leaks on my welding equip is to shut off cylinder valves and check the low pressure gauge for movement (I don't bleed the torch and hoses). An hour later I'll check the gauge again. If the pressure has dropped there is a leak in the hose/valves/fittings that needs to be checked. The little bit of gas in the hoses will show a small leak quickly. I don't accept any size leak. Torch valves, especialy those closed by folks that think tighter is better, are usualy the problem.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 01/18/01 17:45:32 GMT

This is getting dangerous. Whats so great about gas-forges, at least for common blacksmithing, that people risk explosions to achieve what could be done with a pit in the ground and a hairdryer?

(And, no, Im not allowed to burn coal in my neighbourhood either, thats why my forge is a few miles from home, outside the reach of bureaucracy.)
Olle Andersson  <utgaardaolle at ebox.tninet.se> - Thursday, 01/18/01 17:48:26 GMT

Stainless blades: Chris, my PERSONAL experiance is that some SS blades do not hold an edge well. All stainless due to being abrasion resistant is harder to sharpen than a plain carbon steel. But the abrasion resistance doesn't seen to translate into edge holding.

Stainlesses take carful heat treatment that is different than carbon steels. Generaly a temperature controlled furnace or salt pot is required.

Although I have some issues with stainless blades the one I have carried everywhere for 25 years is a Buck 505.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 01/18/01 17:53:15 GMT

I've dreamed of being a swordsmith since I was very young, but never looked too deeply into it, where is the best place to start on such a journey.
Solomon   <Thunderer_37 at yahoo.com> - Thursday, 01/18/01 17:58:24 GMT

Swordsmith: Solomon, Blademaking, especialy swords, is the highest of the blacksmith's art. The skills required include knowledge of general blacksmithing, metallurgy, art and engineering. Many of the top bladesmiths have masters or doctorates in metalurgy or an equivalent knowledge in self study. Understanding the technical aspects of metals and their heat treatment is of utmost importantance for the bladesmith.

Read our Getting Started article and check our book reviews page.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 01/18/01 18:33:44 GMT

Hi guru, Ive been looking into the many aspects of heat treating. i have also tried a few processes, and experimented, trying to harden a few pieces, all in all, i have failed miserably but i realize that this is because the heating done by my torch is both to erratic and nonspecific to serve the purpose correctly.

i have thought up an idea to remedy this. im going to make a stand, with designated place for the torch, and instead of having direct controll of the heat, i will controll the heat put on the metal by having specific distances for the control. If the flame and position of the torch are made constant, do you think this would work?
AdamSmith - Thursday, 01/18/01 19:02:37 GMT

Is there a favorite site to post pictures among the
various smithing sites. I think Santa brought a lot
of people digital cameras for X-mas and I for one
have a number of tools I can't id. A pictures worth
a lot more then ASCII code.

Thanks
Paul
Paul  <shod at ix.netcom.com> - Thursday, 01/18/01 19:12:39 GMT

while I'm posting. How to I put a subject to that post.
I've read the "FAQ" and did not see this. I am sure I'm
missing something but this would be a great help if all
would use it. I only get about twice a week to check this
site and having a subject would greatly reduce the time I
have to scan for subjects of interest.

Thanks
Paul
Paul  <shod at ix.netcom.com> - Thursday, 01/18/01 19:23:13 GMT

Adam, make a small 'cave' out of fire brick. have torch pointing in cave. heat up cave then put blade in.. harden.. then draw the temper..... more fuel efficent.. more even heating of object.....
Ralph  <ralphd at jps.net> - Thursday, 01/18/01 20:58:15 GMT

Silver Solder

I have to solder a brass guard on a knife (sort of) that I built. Never done it before. Any tips? Any good articles on the subject online?

Thanks
Anradan - Thursday, 01/18/01 21:09:10 GMT

guru

I have recently accquired (as a present from my wife) an wisper daddy #2 w/open end ports (BTW thanks for the link to Wallace metals) Would this suffice for heat treating a stainless blade? Any place I can do some more reading on the subject? Thanks in advance.
Chris  <cbernard at sgi.com> - Thursday, 01/18/01 21:14:32 GMT

A member of the Oregon-California Trails Association has said that she read in several diaries of pioneers that went across the plains in the 1800s that they carved their inscriptions into rocks using "coal chisels." Should this realy be "cold chisel?" or is there such a thing as a "coal chisel?" I saw a listing on a internet browser for someone who makes "chisels with coal temper method," but the site is now defunct.
D. Aamodt  <daamodt at indepmo.org> - Thursday, 01/18/01 21:53:55 GMT

Heating with torch: Adam, Ralph's recomendation is best. Most propane type torches do not produce enough BTU to do the job. However, the bricks will both store and reflect the heat improving efficiency and upping your capacity.

Brass Guard: Anradan, You start with a good fit. Parts should be fit so that capilary action makes a clean fit. Clamp the blade in a vise to act as a heat sink. Use a small concentrated flame and only as much solder as necessary.

Silver soldering and brazing is an art that requires constant practiced motion of the torch and close observation. This means good filter goggles that are just the right shade. Bright ambient lighting helps.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 01/18/01 23:11:43 GMT

Cold Chisel: D.Aamodt, "Cold Chisel", a tool for cuting unheated metal as apposed to a "Hot Chisel" for cutting hot metal, is the correct term. The use of "coal" in this reference is mispronunciation or bad spelling. The internet listing was badly worded.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 01/18/01 23:15:55 GMT

Heat Treating Stainless: Chris, Any furnace that reaches the necesary temperature and can be controlled is acceptable. KNOWing the temperature requires temperature measurment equipment (a thermocouple and meter). Controls to maintain the temperature automaticaly can be retrofited to most forges and furnaces. However, this hardware usualy cost close to what you paid for your forge. Temperature controls are the expensive part of heattreating ovens, kilns and process furnaces.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 01/18/01 23:33:51 GMT

To the Guru,

Which is the best way to form (dish and raise)18-20 stainless steel? Should it be done hot or cold? What are the pros and cons of each method?

Thanks in advance
David Minogue  <d.minogue at uws.edu.au> - Friday, 01/19/01 00:15:13 GMT

Guru, Thanks for your time. Jed
Jed - Friday, 01/19/01 00:58:39 GMT

I am very new to blacksmithing, but have been working in the tool making trade for 20+ years. Ok, here's the situation: I recently bought a 140# heybudden anvil and I want to make a single sided cutoff hardy for it. What is a good steel to use for it? Is A-2 or O-1 ok? 52ish on the rockwell C scale? And what angle is good? 45 degrees or steeper? Next: the anvil has some small dinks in it and the far side is slightly rounded. What are your thoughts on resurfacing (.010 to .020) the dinks out of it with a surface grinder? I have a Reid 6x18 and the anvil will just fit on it. Thanks!
Ray  <ranthony at epix.net> - Friday, 01/19/01 01:01:21 GMT

Guru,
I'm starting to read bad reviews on air hammers. Any reasons? I've started to collect parts and am wondering if it is the cylinders that haven't been kept oiled or if the cylinders are bottoming out? How about the use of hydraulic cylinders as the air cylinders?
Steve R - Friday, 01/19/01 01:02:50 GMT

Hey Guru Im in need of some help.Im just cutting my teeth in blacksmithing and i recently bought a Peter Wright 150# anvil.The top is good but the far edge(Im a right handed hammerswinger)is chipped and worn.Being this anvil is somewhat collectible should I repair it?or use it as is. I failed to mention that Im a cert-welder by trade in the piping construction field.Im not new to metal working-but blacksmithing. I would also like to weld copper in the forge-is this possible and what are the procedures? Thanks a million.
Scott  <smgny at warwick.net> - Friday, 01/19/01 01:36:22 GMT

Raising Stainless: David, It depends on how far you are going. Stainless tends to be red-hard. It also work hardens faster than mild steel. It is generaly hard to work. Costs for stainless items are not just the higher material costs but the much greater labor costs. This applies to all types of stainless manufacturing.

To work it hot you need to work in the orange range not low red. When you work it cold you need to anneal often. Generaly the techniques used in the Eric Thing armor articles on our armor page (See 21st Century page) apply.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 01/19/01 01:43:29 GMT

Hardy: Ray, Almost any tool steel will do. Some folks make hot and cold cut hardies. Most of us use them sort of universaly (hot and cold). Because of the tendancy for hardies to get knicked I like a 60° angle edge. A-2 is good, many smiths recommend S-7 for the shock resistance.

If your surface grinder will handle it that is the right way to do it. However, just because it fits doesn't mean the machine is designed to take the inertial loads of stoping and starting that much mass. Its a spec that is rarely given but you might want to ask the manufacturer. You may also find that the face is far from flat and that you need to take off more material. It shouldn't hurt but you may find yourself putting in a lot of hours at the grinder. Anvils also have the habit of not being very parrallel between face and foot. You may need to dress the base on a mill before attacking the face on the grinder.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 01/19/01 01:58:03 GMT

It's kind of funny, I 've been watching this site for a while and it's interesting to see what people want to do when they get a new (old) anvil. The first thing they want to do is sharpen the edges, weld on a new top etc. Ahh, so typical of us wacky males, even if it ain't broke let's fix it.(Big Grin!) I'm guilty of it too!
But, that rounded edge on the far side is supposed to be that way, at least for most anvilbangers I know. As for welding on the top, unless it's really far gone, don't do it. A rounded edge will come in handy later. Dressing the top with an angle grinder is great, but just remember you'll probably make your own dents too! Don't sweat the small stuff.
Probably the best thing to do is work with it as it is and see if it really needs to be tweaked six months from now.
This is just my opinion, but hey I'm happy with it.

Moldy Jim
moldy  <wha?> - Friday, 01/19/01 01:58:42 GMT

Re:Books
2 sites that search multiple bookdealers on line are:
www.addall.com
and
www.bookfinder.com

I think Addall is a little better since it has seperate new and used searches, and the new searches figure the shipping costs in when doing a price comparison. I use both sites though, since each checks some dealers the other doesn't.

Al
Al  <agarrard at rmy.emory.edu> - Friday, 01/19/01 02:25:35 GMT

Hi Guru,
What type of steel is re-bar, re-rod,the material that is
used to reinforce concrete?(I'm not sure exactly what it
should be called) I've made a few knives out of it and it
semms to have a good hardenability and edge holding
potential.
Charles Wodenson  <Dosenhof at hotmail.com> - Friday, 01/19/01 02:26:39 GMT

Steve R, I built my air hammer using a hydraulic cylinder and am very happy with it. It can be viewed on my web site at http://www.theforgeworks.com/the%20shop.htm I also wrote an article which was published in the January issue of ANVIL Magazine titled "In Search of Power" descibing how I built this hammer. Any other questions you have I'd be happy to answer them. TC
Tim Cisneros  <blacksmith at theforgeworks.com> - Friday, 01/19/01 03:32:54 GMT

Air Hammers: Steve, In recent years a lot of light duty air hammers have been made. There have also been a lot of home builts. Many have served well while there has also been some failures. I've heard of problems but have not read any "bad" reviews. Please forward any information you have.

Let me say this first, You get what you pay for. USED ancient Nazel hammers are selling for ten to fifteen thousand dollars for a reason. NEW they would cost ten to twenty times that! So, when you buy a NEW light duty air hammer for $5,000 don't expect it to perform or hold up like a $50,000 machine. The new machine may only weigh one fourth to one fifth of the old industrial duty machine. Heavier is better in forging machines.

Cylinders bottoming out is a serious problem without the inertial mass of a hammer ram. With a ram it is a catastrophy. Modern cylinders come with built in "snubbers" that are a closed space that creates an air spring. They are NOT large enough to absorb the full energy of the ram nor is the head of the cylinder and attaching rods on standard cylinders strong enough for that abuse.

The commercial hammers handle this one way or another. I'm not sure how well. A properly designed air hammer almost never strikes the top stop. Usualy it requires significant operator error.

The Kinyon design uses a spring under the lower cylinder cap. It is a marginal design. When the ram tops out, if the spring reaches "shut height" its like hitting the cylinder with a sledge hammer. I reccommed a heavy steel cross plate with two spring and two shock absorbers. The springs should be tested so that at full speed the ram cannot hit the cylinder. The shocks absorb more energy the higher the velocity and should add enough cushion for smooth operation. Even with this, it should not be "normal" to bounce off the top stop.

The problem with the home builts is most home builders are not designers or engineers. They often skimp on materials or do a bad job sizing parts. Economics often enter into decision making to the detriment of the design. Any time you deviate from the plan you need to do your own layout for travel, clearance, fits. . . If you are hearing bad things about home-builts take the builder's engineering capabilities into consideration.

Finally, consider the cost again. IF you use one of these hammers enough to need to replace the cylinder annualy, the cost is more than acceptable, considering the initial cost of the machine and its productivity.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 01/19/01 03:41:28 GMT

Anvil Repair: Scott, Moldy sumed up my feelings pretty well. Most old anvils earned that well worn look.
Welding is a last resort repair. Cert Welder eh? Then you should know how difficult it is too weld on a full hard piece of old tool (die) steel that is likely full of micro cracks and highly stressed from being forge welded to a block of wrought iron. Yes, the 5/8" thick face of that anvil is the hardest they could make it at the time. It is something in the neighborhood of 1060 to 1090 carbon steel. Welding on it is more likely to do more damage than good.

My advice is to work around the dings. If there are sharp edged chips they should be gently rounded. The face can be dressed with an angle grinder or (my favorite) a belt sander).

On a popular European style anvil the entire far side of the anvil has a 1" or greater radius (yes a 2"+ round) along the entire edge. . . There are dozens of styles of anvils and they all work. Most of us work in a couple spots on the anvil smaller than our hand. Professional smiths will use every surface on the anvil but will only double that average area of use.

And yes, Most of these old anvils and tools may or may not be collectable but they HAVE lasted for many generations and may last many more. In that case we should consider ourselves caretakers, not owners of these tools that will never be made again. Use them treat, them with care. Hopefully others will be able to follow in your steps.

I was proved wrong on the TIG welding of copper. However, I think it is very unlikely that copper can be welded in the forge. It conducts heat too fast to have a concentrated heat in one area and oxidizes rapidly at high temperature. You might try it with lots of borax flux.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 01/19/01 04:32:48 GMT

Rebar: Charles, Concrete reinforcing rod (rebar) is specified in three grades by minumum strength. This means there is not a specific material spec. So it can be plain carbon OR alloy steel. Since the specs are minimuims the strongest can be used to replace the lower two grades. Steel much stronger than needed can also be used. I believe the high strength grade can be satified by a medium carbon steel (30 to 40 point carbon).

Long ago rebar was made from "scrap". This was cut off ends of billets that has a core shrink and produces bar with a cold shut. It also varied in carbon content from one place in the bar to another. Pretty nasty stuff but it met the specs of the time. It is not unusual to come across this material today.

Sound like a vague answer? Its a vague material. Every piece you use may different from the next. I prefer not to use it except for what is was designed for. Old spring steel is too easy to come by and is a much better material. Using scrap like springs you still don't know exactly what you have but you know it was a better quality material to start with. You also have some clue to what it might be.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 01/19/01 04:52:22 GMT

Guru, After searching for a power hammer, I have concluded that no more than I will be using it, the prices of new ones are a little much for me at this time. However, I feel confident about making one. The question now is which one, JYH, Air, ? I am sure you have just about seen them all. If you were going to make your first hammer and were planning to use it for shaping small items, which would you recommend? Thank you for your time and input. Scott Vickrey
Scott Vickrey  <vickrey at easilink.com> - Friday, 01/19/01 13:52:35 GMT

Just last night, after I had finished a shaky night in the workshop(so many things went wrong, lost a beautiful mini-rosebush to my grinder) I decided it was time to fiddle with my gun bluing paste. I really wanted to blue one of my steel bracelets so I set to it around 10:00, not once did they take the blue, I followed the directions to a T, went overboard cleaning the metal over and over(5 times before one bluing attempt) and all I could get was a beautiful blue that stayed around for 5 seconds then turned black(it was attractive, but i wanted blue). So, i must have sanded the blackening off of the bracelet 16 times before i saw something really wierd happening, each time i sanded it, less black came off, It began to sit in "slivers" and patches. my bracelet has now taken on a really neat wood grain appearance, and in fact, where the ends come together, on one side, where some peening held the black, there is the likeness of a man in a business suit and tie!!

I know thats just a coincidence, but the wood grain effect is something im going to experiment with. I tried it on a ratty old piece of scrap steel this morning and to my surprise the Darned thing turned BLUE. Any thoughts?
or perhaps you could make some suggestions as to how i can use the bluing to get a Blue effect that lasts.

Thx
Adam Smith - Friday, 01/19/01 13:53:17 GMT

Looking for any good plans or ideas for an in-line treadle hammer. Saw once a hammer made with a hyralic type cylinder that was not a air hammer the cylinder was used as part of the treadle ram. Does such a beast exist, please contact me with any in-line plans at my e-mail mrobert at dol.net
Mike Robert  <mrobert at dol.net> - Friday, 01/19/01 14:17:40 GMT

Adam: Think about it. Alloys of different composition will react differently to induced chemical oxidation, i.e. bluing. Also, different formulations of bluing chemicals by different manufacturers will produce different blues. Also, to get a nice uniform color the metal must be not only clean but also polished as bright as you can make it.
Alan L  <longmire at premiernet.net> - Friday, 01/19/01 14:27:59 GMT

More on the brass hilt. I started with a shaft of brass, I don't know where it came from or its composition. It is approx 1 1/4" diam. with a hole bored through the shaft approx 3/8". In order to have my tang fit as tightly as possible I wanted to deform the slice that I took off the shaft. This would elongate the hole slightly whcih would create a tighter fit for my knife tang. Unfortunately, even with just light taps and a small hammer two slices broke. I put one in my forge for awhile to hopefully heat it a bit and allow it become more ductile. It broke also. How can I accomplish this? It would be better to "forge" this than to just file the hole bigger I think. Thanks for your help.
Anradan  <tcanevaro at romperlandplay.com> - Friday, 01/19/01 14:42:46 GMT

Adam one of the things I have found with the gun blueing is that the finer the sirfice finish and the cleaner the sirfice the darker the blue will come out (looking black)I think you may have gone overboard on your cleaning and polishing (though it could also be the materail or the change in the sirfice from cold forgeing)this is just what I have found from my experance with the stuff so I may be wrong. hope this helps.
and by the way a bit of addvice if every thing is going worng and you start to distory work you realy should give a thought to takeing the rest of the day off that is the time when you are most likely to hurt your self and no likes that besides the next day I am allways real mad at my self for messin up all that work
MP
MP  <swordmatt at yahoo.com> - Friday, 01/19/01 16:52:32 GMT

Very good point MP, and one I always follow. when you see a very delicate, intricuit, and near-finished steel plant slip blossom-first into the tiny slot between your grinding wheel and tool guard, and spit back against the wall, your arm, and your face shield,(in itsy bitsy unidentifiable pieces) you know its time to leave the big tools alone.

Im so glad its Friday, I have the whole weekend to myself(I think) Last night, when all of that happned, I ran out of MAPP gas for my big torch, then, I ran out of butane for my mini-torch, I was reduced to soldering with a grill lighter. I may end up using my kitchen stove to heat small pieces. Is there a product like bluing(short of anodizing or the like) that produces a red finish instead?
AdamSmith - Friday, 01/19/01 19:10:23 GMT

Anradan: The fit was for the PLUGS. NO foil in the space between guard and balde. It was to hold plugs wilie drilling.(A left before I had time to say it on the pub)
OErjan  <pokerbacken at angelfire.com> - Friday, 01/19/01 19:33:07 GMT

Home Built Hammers: Scott, The biggest variable in this equation is YOU. Your personal capabilities, your shop, your finances and your needs.

Scrounged content is the heart of the JYH. Some folks are better scroungers, traders and wheeler dealers than others. This talent AND how you value your time are key to how much a JYH actualy costs AND how sucessful a machine you produce. Anvil material is difficult to find or expensive to purchase. It is key to the efficiency of the machine and success of a JYH project. We found that automotive engine blocks are surprisingly light and spongy. . . Bundled barstock (round, square or rectangular) may make a better anvil.

In 1999 I needed anvil material for an AIR-JYH project and to replace the anvil in a 350# steam hammer. At the time I could not afford to do the scrounging nor am I very good at it. I ended up purchasing material from a professional scrounger. Air cylinders for the AIR-JYH came from the same fellow as well as several others purchased from tailgaters (semi-pro scroungers).

Shop built air hammers are probably the best all round machines. They can be built using a high percentage of scrounged material EXCEPT the valving which must almost always be purchased new. Understanding their operation is critical. As soon as you replace a part shown in proven plans with a part that you have found or selected then YOU become the designer.

Mechanical JYH can be built cheaper than AIR-JYH provided you have the scrounging talents, value your time cheaply AND have a good imagination when it come to applying mechanical ideas. Every JYH is different. Each must be designed around the materials you find and your shop cababilities. Every one is experimental and will work differently. Some work great, some not at all. In 1989 I proved my shock absorber idea worked but worked poorly. Since then I have wanted to make improvements to the EC-JYH. Eventualy I may find time to do it and will report on it here.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 01/19/01 20:20:25 GMT

I've been looking all over the web for phase converters including the brand that you mentioned that you have.I'm getting conflicting info. Some sites give a chart saying that if one has a 10 hp motor to run that a 20 to 25 hp converter should be used. Also that there is the chance that I may dim my neighbors lights in the process. I got to wondering if I could run two 1-phase 220 motors to replace the one 10 hp 3-phase motor? The prices are also all over the place. You know where I am, in the up hill part of the learning curve.
Pete  <ravnstudio at aol.com> - Friday, 01/19/01 20:27:28 GMT

Guru: 1989? 1997 was first I heard you mention it.
OErjan  <pokerbacken at angelfire.com> - Friday, 01/19/01 20:36:45 GMT

I'm back. Kill the 2 motor idea. One motor will end up doing all the work, I just found this out.
Pete  <ravnstudio at aol.com> - Friday, 01/19/01 20:52:03 GMT

Brass?: Anradan, Any time you deal with unknown alloys you have to play metallurgical detective. Brass and bronze comes in hundreds of varieties.

The most commonly available scrap brass is screw machine stock. This is a specialy formulated alloy that often contains lead to make it more easily machinable. When heated the lead comes out of solution and the metal often crumbles.

The next most common bronze is SAE-660 bearing bronze and sintered bronze. Sintered bronzes are made from powdered material and is left with porosity to hold oil. Some is made dry and some is pre-oiled under pressure. Bearing bronzes most commonly come with a core hole or in tubular shape to make it easier to make bushings from. It sounds like you have some type of bearing bronze.

Powdered metal technology now lets us make alloys that are not manufacturable by foundry method as the constituants cannot coexist in liquid form. Besides metals, composites are added, graphite as lubricant, glass and graphite fibres as strengtheners. Some of these are forgable and others are not.

Forgeable brasses and bronzes are heated to very close to their melting point to forge hot. Temperature control is tricky. Annealing requires very near the same temperature. Just heating doesn't help.

Fitting a guard to a tang is normaly done by sawing the hole with a jewlers saw and filing to fit.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 01/19/01 20:59:14 GMT

TWO MOTORS: Pete, If the two motors are the same speed rating and use identical pulleys you CAN gang up motors.

Induction motors run at NEAR synchronous speed. They are not synchronous motors. The speed rating of 1750 is for a motor that runs at 1800 unloaded. The difference betwwen synchronous (1800, 1200, 900 PRM) is the "slip". Diferent induction motors are rated at different amounts of slip. However, when two are run together they will provide HP proportional to the difference between synchronous and full rated HP at the slip speed.

Years ago I argued differently before I understood the principal of "slip". Matter of fact, the EC-JYH used two motors of DIFFERENT horsepowers! A 3/4 and a 1/2! Worked great.

In MOST residential areas there is a limit of 10HP before there is a problem. Dimming of lights may occur from any motor. I have a 30 year old 1HP air compressor purchased from "where America shops". It had a cheap badly designed motor AND missing valves. The capacitor start switch doesn't work correctly. With the capacitor in the circuit it makes lights blink with every stroke on every house on the same transformer. It drove the folks in the community we lived in AND the power company nuts for YEARS! It was plugged in all the time so it came on randomly a couple times a day from small leaks. . . We knew it dimmed OUR lights. But we didn't know it made the neighbors lights flicker. . .

IF you use two 5HP 1PH motors to replace one 10HP 3PH the 1PH motors will be capacitor start and have a lot of inrush current. It the machine is started unloaded (you haven't told us what kind of machine) you can start one motor THEN the next. This will reduce the 10HP surge to two seperate 5HP surges.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 01/19/01 21:17:14 GMT

JYH date: OErjan, I had the idea many years ago. I first mentioned it on another web page in 1997 but didn't PROVE it until 1998 for the ABANA conference. .
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 01/19/01 21:22:20 GMT

The motor questions are about a Striker 165 lb hammer. Won't the 1st motor be doing most of the work and the 2nd just coasting? Or is it only on start up that this might happen? One of the ph converter co's are suggesting that I use 2 converters in line to stop the surge problem.
Pete  <ravnstudio at aol.com> - Friday, 01/19/01 21:32:53 GMT

Motors: Pete, I have a manual for the smaller hammer and darn if I can figure it out. Pigeon English translated from Russian (by Chinese) is NOT my language. . . I BELIEVE, you place the middle valve control in the forward position "Idle Run" for compression release.

IF the machine has a compression release for start-up you can stagger the motor start. If not then both motors will probably need to be engaged simultaneously.

The motors are just like hanging two equal weights on a rope. Which one is doing all the work? Neither, they both apply their weight (torque) to the rope (belt) and the result is the SUM in HP.

Please listen (read) carefully, induction motors ARE NOT synchronous. Synchronous motors run exactly at a multiple of the power frequency (60Hz in the US, 50Hz in many other places like China). This means an 1800 RPM synchronous motor will run at exactly 1800 RPM loaded and unloaded.

Induction motors (the common kind you will be using) run at synchronous speed UNLOADED. Any load applied to the motor slows it down. Full load (the rated HP) causes the motor to run at the rated (slip) RPM. This varries from 1775 to 1725 RPM depending on the motor design. 1750 is standard for modern 1800 nominal motors. That is a 50 PRM range that HP is extracted from the motor.

On YOUR size hammer the Chinese used a 1000 (nominal synchronous) RPM 50Hz Motor (970 RPM a rated HP). If run on 60 Hz this is a 1200 (nominal synchronous) RPM motor. The best I can figure, they use a smaller pulley to correct the difference

IF you did a really crummy job and used two different size pulleys but the faster motor was running in this 50 RPM range IT would apply SOME power. IF a full load was applied to this system the slower motor would probably go a little slower than the rated speed and run hot, but this would also increase the shared load on the faster motor. . . With matching pulleys you wouldn't be able to measure any difference in power (amperage) used by the motors.

Believe me, it works. As a matter of fact, if the machine has an even number of belts (should be 6 on this machine), you can but a 3 belt pulley on each motor and save some money.

Please do the math on the pulley sizes. (Small/Large * 1150 = blows per minute). The Chinese have 50Hz power (as mentioned) and all the data I've recieved about these machines is VERY confused. IF your machine came with a pulley for a 50Hz motor is will run 20% faster than it should. Also note that the math will NOT come out exact, the Chinese rate the machine at the actual operating speed not the rated motor speed (1150) as we do in the U.S. But it should between the range of 1150 and 1200. . .

I've gotten so many confusing numbers on these hammers its unbelievable. . . I THINK I screwed up the RPM on the Striker chart for Bruce Wallace. I went DOWN instead of UP to the nearest nominal. . .

IF the speed rating on the motor is between 1,500 and 1400 it is a 1,500 RPM 50hz motor or an 1,800 RPM 60Hz motor.

IF the speed rating on the motor is between 1,000 and above 900 it is a 1,000 RPM 50Hz motor or a 1,200 RPM 60Hz motor.

DO NOT try to use two phase converters on the same machine. . . its a sure fire way to screw up and flambe' a bunch of parts.

- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 01/19/01 23:13:59 GMT

Hi guru thanks for the advice. I have done some research into metals and have come to the conclusion that I am mad. Stainless steel is way to hard to forge by hand but I have hheard that 5160 or springsteel is ideal. Otherwise a form of damascus steel is very good I know to use I metal with high Carbon and i low carbon metal but which metals are ideal. can anybody help. If I can request that you email me responses since this site is extremely slow from South Africa and searching for replies is tedious. Thanks everyone you've been gr8 help.


Night ol
DeathoRatz  <dor at mighty.co.za> - Saturday, 01/20/01 00:06:27 GMT

Folowing the advice posted here I am going to build two sizes of gas forges. The small one will be out of an old 20lb propane cylinder. If I remove the valve and fill it with water, then cut the end out while it is is full of water with a drill and jigsaw will I blow myself up. I think it should be safe...however I don't want to be wrong on this one.
Anradan - Saturday, 01/20/01 00:26:03 GMT

Stainless vs. 5160: DOR, forgability of these two materials is about the same. However 5160 is much easier to heat treat.

Searching for responses. Try using your browser's search feature (ctrl-F). Click on the log above, key ctrl-F, then your keyword. .
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Saturday, 01/20/01 00:34:23 GMT

Cutting Cylinder: Anradan, No explosion but might electrocute yourself. . water and motors don't mix.

You would be surprised how easy that cylinder will cut with a cold chisel. If you have removed the valve and filled the cylinder once with water and then dumped it out it should be gas free enough to cut (without a torch).

Where most tanks explode is from the use of a cutting torch. The previous contents of the tank is irrevelent. While cutting with a torch, SOME of the fuel from the torch doesn't burn and fills the cylinder. When the balance of pure oxygen/air and fuel is right, then it explodes. You are almost as likely to blow yourself up cutting a water tank as a gasoline tank when using a cutting torch. And THAT is the mistake that gets people killed.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Saturday, 01/20/01 00:49:32 GMT

I just recieved some Harley Davidson Chain and I want to make some Damascus. If it is laying flat, is it welded on the outside (flat) or the inside roller side?
Dick Rightmyer  <richarda at localnet.com> - Saturday, 01/20/01 01:17:34 GMT

Chain: Dick, If you twisted it first then you could do both axies at once. . . ;)



- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Saturday, 01/20/01 03:02:10 GMT

Dear Guru,
Can you tell me what a stillyard is? Is it some kind of weighing device. I don`t think it has anything to do with blacksmithing but not sure. LOVE YOUR SITE. DR AND NR FROM VT.

kerenl  <dc98jv at aol.com> - Saturday, 01/20/01 12:52:51 GMT

Steel Yard: Keren, The name is blured and varies with regional dialects but the the true name is "Steel Yard".

This is a very ancient weighing device that has been used up to modern times. These are portable scales used by farmers and traveling merchants. It is composed of a steel bar about a "yard" long that has a heavy styalized hook on the weighing end and a long slender calibrated bar on the other. The heavy end is designed to counterbalance the long bar. A chain with a hook was attached to the the weighing end and next to it was a loop that is the fulcrum. From this loop the "yard" could be attached by hook or chain to a beam or tree limb. A weight with a slender hook hung from the bar and was placed to balance the load as any sliding weight scale is. Many of these devices had two places to attach the load. This provided a high range and a low range. Low range could weigh a couple pounds of vegatables while the high range could weigh a 1,000 pound hog.

They also came in different sizes but the large type was most common in rural America. The smaller type could be hand held rather than hung from a beam. These were commonly used by traveling merchants. Today these have been largely replaced by dial or clock face scales for light loads and platform scales for heavier loads. I suspect quite a few are still in use by farmers due to their portability.

I have seen hundreds of "Steelyards" at sales and antique shops over the years but rarely were they complete and they were always too pricey for me.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Saturday, 01/20/01 14:55:56 GMT

There was a beautiful steel yard found with the Mastermyr Chest, a Viking or early medieval tool chest dating around A.D. 1000 or a bit later. I seem to remember Roman examples in bronze, too. The chief advantage over the balance scale is that you don't have to support double the weight to weigh the object. Balance scales are all very nice for a pound or under, but try lugging around the scale and weights for 100 pound loads! (Another revelation from a reenactment.)

Visit your National Parks: www.nps.gov

Go viking with us: www.wam.umd.edu/~eowyn/Longship/

Bruce Blackistone (Atli)  <asylum at us.HSAnet.net> - Sunday, 01/21/01 05:35:51 GMT

Hi I am an old disabled man and was a mechanic in the Navy and an industrial electrician for 20+ years and finally got to get into blacksmithing...My Grandpa was a blacksmith and i got his tools.....any way I'm having a time trying to temper steel.....read everything i can, but I never see any colors....just orange-reds-then black.....I know this is real basic,but I can't seem to find a local smithy to teach me the basics.....built my own forge with a side-draft hood and a handcranked blower....any way i would appreciate any info
also having trouble upsetting rod to make a rivet...do you have to use a blind hole to put a head on the rivet?...
Also I think that I have the only anvil that doesn't have a prichel hole ( has a 3/4" hardy hole)...this anvil is old and weights 82#..........nothing else on it ......thanks...for any info.....I live in southeastern WV....
Mikey  <pbrs at 1wv.com> - Sunday, 01/21/01 15:46:14 GMT

Anradan,
I did that. But I let the tank sit a week changing the water every day(may not help but...) Then I used a angle grinder with a cutoff disk.

Ralph  <ralphd at jps.net> - Sunday, 01/21/01 16:13:20 GMT

Problems: Mikey, Once you get past these starting problems things will go much easier.

Hardening is done at a low red between 1700 and 1400°F. The best way to tell the right temperature is to use a magnet. Steel becomes non-magnetic above 1430°F. This is just above the the hardening temperature for tool steels between 60 and 85 point carbon. You harden by quenching on a "rising" heat. That means you gently heat the part UP to the hardening temperature. You DO NOT overheat and then quench as the heat is lowered.

Tempering temperature is between 350°F and and a maximum of 1200°F (for hot work steels). If you heat to a red you have overheated the steel and it will need to be rehardened. Temper colors are only seen on clean steel. After hardening you must grind or sand a clean bright area on the part to see the temper colors. Tempering takes careful tempperature control. One of the best ways is to heat a large block of steel to the tempering temperature and then lay the part to be tempered on it. This will provide an even controled temper.

Using temper colors used to be common practice. However, alloy steels do not show the same colors. More modern steels are alloy steels than plain carbon steels. You can use the temper colors but remember that they may not reflect the colors listed in old books. For low range temperature tempering a kitchen oven works. For mid range you can check that heavy block by temper colors (grind a clean spot) OR using Tempil temperature indicating crayons. They are made of materials that melt at various temperatures.

Heading Upsetting is difficult for all of us and is called an "upsetting experiance" by a friend of mine that is a very experianced smith. A blind hole is not reccommended. It is just a good way to get a part stuck. Clamping or "griping" dies are used in the vise OR the upset is started outside of any header and then dropped into a loose fitting hole to finish the head. Hand upsetting is best done with many gentle blows instead of a few heavy blows. Normaly it is done horizontaly with the bar held laying on the anvil and the heated end overhanging. It takes practice. It is one of those jobs that only becomes easier when you have put in hundreds of hours of practice and the steel starts to move to your will rather than by force.

Most smiths use commercial rivets any time they can. The standard heads can be dressed to look hand forged. Fancy headed rivets that need lots of material are often made by drawing out a shank from a large bar rather than upsetting a small bar.

Your Anvil: Lack of a pritchel hole is usualy an indication that the anvil was made before 1840 or so. If the feet are poorly defined and look like they were just pinched out of the corners then it is definitely an early anvil.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Sunday, 01/21/01 16:59:12 GMT

Once again I have a fairly "dumb" question for the experts. I don't want to risk busting this motor though. I have a 1/4h GE motor from a furnace. When I look at the back of it I see four connection points. Two have wires connected to them internally already, two do not. If I want to hook up some power to test this motor, do I connect to the posts that already have wires coneccted or to the other two?
Anradan  <anradanmacewan at sk.sympatico.ca> - Sunday, 01/21/01 17:18:10 GMT

Motor: Anradan, This can be tricky. NORMALY the loose wires are the ones. The others are for changing the motor voltage or direction of rotation. Sometimes they are connections to the centrifugal switch if the motor is a capacitor start type.

Green wires are ALWAYS the ground and do not get hooked to power wires. Normaly a grounded 120VAC circuit has black, white and green. The white is the "neutral". This is NOT the same thing as a ground even though they are connected in the power distribution box. Do not hook neutrals to grounds. The case of ALL motors should be grounded and there is usualy a lug or green wire to attach to.

Put a 5 AMP fuse in one line (the black supply). If the motor is wired wrong it should blow before damaging the motor. A 10 AMP circuit breaker should also handle it.

Even though we handle 120VAC every day when plugging in appliances and ocassionaly get a minor shock, houshold current CAN BE LETHAL. Be careful, insulate connections and close up those boxes before applying power. Circuits used oudoors should be on a GFI (Ground Fault Interupter) and are required to be in new construction and any outdoor work place.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Sunday, 01/21/01 17:40:59 GMT

More on wires: Anradan, if those loose wires are connected to each other then they are an INTERNAL connection that should not be changed. The circuit board (insulator) that those screw terminals are on MAY be marked if you look closely. "N" for the white neutral, "120VAC" for the black power wire and "G" for ground
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Sunday, 01/21/01 17:48:08 GMT

Can someone tell me the best filler/connector rod or wire to weld cor 10 steel?
Dan  <slagcity at yahoo.com> - Sunday, 01/21/01 18:04:29 GMT

Mikey,

In addition to everything the guru told you, welcome to the world of hot steel!

If you will contact me via e-mail, I'll try to get you in touch with some W. VA. Blacksmiths, I do know a couple.

PPW

PS Born in W.VA. and retired from the Army. Aside from being a Dixie Cup, you and I will get along. (grin)
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Sunday, 01/21/01 18:34:10 GMT

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