WELCOME to the anvilfire Guru's Den - V. 3.3

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 1 - 7, 2009 on the Guru's Den
[ THE - GURUS | ABOUT THIS PAGE | Getting Started in Blacksmithing ]

Itried again to send you the photos but got the same problem as before.
   philip in china - Thursday, 01/01/09 00:44:22 EST

Is the mass calculator working? I don't seem to be able to get into it. I find it very useful.
   philip in china - Thursday, 01/01/09 02:04:10 EST

Phillip, send me your error message without attachments. We have been having general email problems and need to see what folks are getting.

Yes the calculator is working. It requires JavaScript and opens in a window that pop-up blockers may block.

Happy New Year Y'ALL!
   - guru - Thursday, 01/01/09 02:30:46 EST

Copyright: Rusty, The listing in question ( 190277111530 ) is from 1906. Anything prior to 1926 is out of copyright and in the public domain. Years after that must be researched but most catalogs up to 1932 are also in the public domain.

Old catalogs are BIG business. Many go for outrageous prices because they are in the public domain and can be reproduced without further investigation.
   - guru - Thursday, 01/01/09 02:38:08 EST

Books on Early Medieval Blacksmithing:

I thumbed back through "A Smith in Lindsey". A nice book but rather limited in its scope; complementary to the Mastermyr book, not a substitute for it. Get a copy if you have an opportunity, but the smith (despite some claims from the author and/or contributors) was probably working on a small scale.

As I've said before, the context may limit the assemblage. Since this was a burial, the items may have been selected for their symbolism rather than their utility or completeness. (This might explain the boxes of really-tiny-scrap included in the grave goods.) The tools* are few, simple and basic; but they may have not been all of the tools that the smith owned. However, very good smiths can do very good work with very few tools, relying upon their skill, experience and patience.

* Three cross-pein hammers, shears, tongs, files, tweezers ("clips"), burin, possible "soldering lamp," "draw plate" (looks like a nail/rivet header to me), punches, small anvil (3" X 3" face [w/ pritchel hole] X 4.5" high [w/tang]) and lots of scraps including copper alloy, lead, glass and garnet; plus fragments of three small boxes/caskets and casket hardware.

Sunny and cold on the banks of the lower Potomac to start the New Year. Working at the forge this afternoon. (Wheeeeee!)

Visit your National Parks: www.nps.gov

Go viking: www.longshipco.org
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Thursday, 01/01/09 09:46:22 EST

Hi Guru

I didn't realize that. Thanks for clearing the copyright issue up.
   - Rustystuff - Thursday, 01/01/09 10:39:32 EST

Is the ability to harden due to carbon a attribute to ferrous metals or just certain metals?
   - jacob Lockhart - Thursday, 01/01/09 12:34:36 EST

I have aquired my grandfathers place, shop,tools,junk,& everything else.In this treasure I have a canedy-otto small,freestanding,forge. I guess it was designed to be portable. It has its own legs ,and stands about 4ft tall. The fire box is 12"X16", and it has a hand crank blower. It seems to be in very good shape as it was inside all my life. My question is , what is it worth, and what can it be used for?
Thanks, Phil
   phil thompson - Thursday, 01/01/09 13:05:50 EST

Jacob, carbon is usually associated with iron in regard to hardening. It contributes the most to hardenability and to hardness when heat treating steel. Interestingly, pure iron can be quenched to form martensite without the presence of carbon, it just isn't very hard. Brass can be quenched to form martensite, too, and it is also soft. The presence of carbon is what makes steel hard. Hardness increases with increasing carbon up to about .6% at which point maximum hardness is reached.
   quenchcrack - Thursday, 01/01/09 13:22:27 EST

Ah. . . so why do they make tool steels up to 1.3% carbon? Does it increase strength after that or is more needed in only the high alloy steels?

Canedy Otto Forge: Phil, Hand crank blowers and forges are much sought after by many smiths because they are handy to use without power and very controllable. The hand crank blowers are no longer made in North America. Those that are made overseas are nothing like the old ones in quality and very few are imported due to cost.
   - guru - Thursday, 01/01/09 14:08:30 EST

The value of that forge varies a great deal depending on actual condition (looks can be deceiving) and the type/model and where it is located. Forges with hand crank blowers often sell for what the blower alone is worth ($75 to over $150 US). Large forges sell for more and all tools sell for more if you can afford to wait for the right buyer.
   - guru - Thursday, 01/01/09 14:13:09 EST

Carbon is added to some tool steels along with carbide forming elements like chromium to form massive carbides. These carbides are much harder than iron carbides and are harder than the martensitic matrix, too. They add considerable abrasion resistance over and above what the hardened steel provides. An analogy would be the small industrial diamonds embedded in the nickel matrix on diamond sharpening stones. Excess carbon is also added to simple tool steels like A1 and O1 to form plain iron carbides in a martensitic matrix. While not as abrasion resistant and the alloy tool steels (like D2), it is an improvement over hardened lower carbon steels.
   quenchcrack - Thursday, 01/01/09 14:17:37 EST

Correction: "..abrasion resistant AS the alloy tool steels".

Sorry, not a lot of sleep last night as the neighbors were celebrating their low IQ with fireworks. Next year, I'm buying a bunch of firecrackers to shoot off at 5 AM!
   quenchcrack - Thursday, 01/01/09 14:20:52 EST

QC, a small Earth thumping cannon or mortar might ad some emphasis ;)

We played cards until about 3am then I was woken up about 8:30. . . . At least working at home I can take a nap!
   - guru - Thursday, 01/01/09 15:31:41 EST

We live outside of Houston City Limits so the area sounded like downtown Faluja until about 2:00 AM. Given the problems the World is having, I am not sure what everyone was celebrating. I'm not sure if everyone wants or needs beeswax but I found a place that sells it for $7 per pound, including shipping: www.rudyshoney.com. A pound of bees was is a 2" x 7" disk. Very fragrant, too.
   quenchcrack - Thursday, 01/01/09 15:43:27 EST

NOTE: I've finally opened our Calendar of Events to 2009 entries. Please post your events as soon as possible so everyone can plan. I have posted some events. If they are yours and need additional information please send it to me and I'll add it.

   - guru - Thursday, 01/01/09 16:43:37 EST

Phil-- a Canedy-Otto Western Chief blower in good condition, or a Canedy-Otto anything in good condition, is a prize to be cherished. That bequest could be your karma, Phil.
   Miles Undercut - Thursday, 01/01/09 17:23:00 EST


That is a great price for beeswax. Thanks for sharing.
   Robert Cutting - Thursday, 01/01/09 18:17:03 EST

The two big craft store chains here (I think they're both national) run a coupon every week good for 40% off any item. Except the weeks when it's 50% off. I've still got a pound of beeswax I bought with the coupon one week. Not sure if the discount still pulls it down below $7, though.
   Mike BR - Thursday, 01/01/09 18:43:22 EST

Hello! i am a 15 year old in need of assistance! i had just recently been given a forge for Christmas and i have been messing around curiously on it. My most recent project involved shaping some rust square tubing into a machete and it turned out actually pretty descent...for my taste...but the problem was when the "blade" came out the top half of the pipe and bottom half had not bonded at the top any ideas how i went wrong??
   jay - Thursday, 01/01/09 18:54:45 EST

Beeswax for finishing forged items? At the farm I have got several huge cakes of the stuff. Enough to keep me going for the rest of my life I should think!
   philip in china - Thursday, 01/01/09 19:03:53 EST

I discovered that other places sell bees wax for as little as $4 per pound! Then charge almost $9 to ship it to you!
   quenchcrack - Thursday, 01/01/09 20:24:23 EST

seriously nobody is going to help me?? sad day....
   jay - Thursday, 01/01/09 20:36:06 EST

Answers: Jay, This is not a chat and we answer questions faster than anyone on the net but we DO have lives. Here on the East Coast it is after 9pm. And while I live on this site I am not always monitoring it every second (merely several times an hour during the day and every other hour or so until late night).

First, you need to be more specific about how and what you did so we do not need to guess.

I am guessing that you flattened some "rusty" tubing to make a blade shape (you did not cut it open and flatten it).

First, structural steel (pipe, I-beam, angle iron, tubing) is not suitable steel for most blades as it will not harden.

Second, to weld steel in the forge it must be very clean, normally fluxed and carefully heated to a temperature that will easily burn the steel if the fire is not properly controlled to prevent oxidation.

Rusted steel just plain will not weld. In the case of tubing the interior may be partially rusted and partially clean, and being protected from direct contact by the fire some of it MIGHT have welded without trying hard.

SO, start with solid material next time. Old springs are often the right kind od steel to make a blade. However, spring steel must be worked hot, but below burning and above a red. It must also be carefully heat treated. Do not quench in cold water. It will harden to be brittle like glass. See our heat treating FAQ and Junkyard Steels FAQ and study them. Also see our iForge page demos on welding.

And learn to be a little more patient. It is required to be a blacksmith.
   - guru - Thursday, 01/01/09 21:33:11 EST

I made a hardy tool with a spoon depresion in it. It works well but, I wonder if I should make a top tool to work the steel down into the form or continue to use a ball peen hamer. I have a 20oz hammer with a smooth radius dressd on it but, it still leaves alot of dimples to clean up on the inside. I do the initial forming at a bright orange heat and then the final smoothing at a dull red to black heat. This works well but, as I say still leaves a bit of polishing.
Any suggestions?
   - merl - Thursday, 01/01/09 23:29:28 EST

Merl, If you make a top tool then the whole might as well be put in a press or vise and the shapes stamped out.

I like wood bottom forms for this type work as the metal retains it thickness better. After initial forming if you want a smooth finish then use a positive shape tool and a light planishing hammer. Using many light blows from the nearly flat face of the planinshing hammer can result in a surface that is ready to go to buffing if you want a polished surface. If your planishing is not uniform then light fileing or sanding will clean it up.

Normally a positive spoon form for planishing is undersize a good bit. Often ball or mushroom stakes are used on large spoons. If you are making small spoons then the head of a rail road spike is close to start. Harden the tool.

Stake of this type can be used in the anvil OR the vise. I prefer the vise as it is higher OR sitting at the anvil.
   - guru - Friday, 01/02/09 01:01:59 EST

I am pretty new to blacksmithing and i find the hardest part of starting up is what kind of forge to make. i do have an idea for a coal forge, all drawn-out and everything and i was wondering if i was headed in the right direction. i can e-mail the jpeg, just e-mail me asking for it and I'll be happy to send it along.
   Mike V - Friday, 01/02/09 02:09:27 EST

thanks merl i was getting pretty frustrated at my attempts but as i hope you assumed i was just experimenting hoping to gain some knowledge in this field, as for everyone else sorry to waste your time...
   jay - Friday, 01/02/09 09:13:41 EST

Mike, Mail coming your way (but you can just click on my name).

Jay, Being impatient and overly sensitive will not get you anywhere in this field. Blacksmithing, especially learning to making blades is fraught with failure and frustration. You have to be willing to learn from your mistakes and take them in stride. Everything from developing hammer control to learning to judge heats takes time. It is also a technical field that requires study. Not everything in blacksmithing is pounding hot metal with a hammer.

While blacksmiths in general will help you as far as they can we have little patience for those that expect things to happen instantly and do not take the field seriously enough to study it. To work in ANY shop situation you also need a sense of humor. If you cannot laugh at the stupid things you do and take a few jibes from others you will not last long in any group environment.

We will help you as much as we can but you have to do your part as well. Clear communication and patience are the place to start.
   - guru - Friday, 01/02/09 09:38:28 EST

It is said that the finished Japanese swords were sometimes tested on convicts or corpses in attempting to cut all the way through the body at various angles. I have read nothing about blood quenching in Japan. There is an old story about the apprentice who repeatedly asked what the temperature of the quenching water was. He was repeatedly told that he was not ready to learn that yet. At one point, the apprentice dipped his hand in the slack water to answere his own question, and the master cut off his hand.
   - Japanese sword testing - Friday, 01/02/09 10:53:18 EST


Everything Guru said plus a little "COMMON SENSE" will go a longs ways in the Blacksmithing arena.

Common Sense definition: good judgement
   - Rustystuff - Friday, 01/02/09 11:10:38 EST

JST, I guess that's where we get the term "hired hand". I have heard about the testing of swords on cadavers and would not doubt the story about the apprentice.
   quenchcrack - Friday, 01/02/09 11:13:01 EST

Hey all, neat wooden anvil pattern on ebay 200292389873 Check it out.
   gary shaw - Friday, 01/02/09 12:19:07 EST

The anvil looks more like a stage prop than a pattern. Most patterns are split and mounted on pattern boards to form the cope and the drag. These form the open space that is filled with metal when the two flasks are put back together. How would you make a sand mold out of this "pattern" and remove the pattern without destroying the mold?
   quenchcrack - Friday, 01/02/09 12:54:58 EST

Nope, its a pattern. Just not a very good one. There is no machining allowance for the face so its a typical ASO pattern. The lugs make it appear a copy of a late Fisher pattern
   - guru - Friday, 01/02/09 13:35:24 EST

Good questions quenchcrack, but it does look like a casting pattern, I've seen that same yellow paint on many patterns and there is a core plug in the hardy hole.
   - Grant - Friday, 01/02/09 13:38:11 EST

OK, it's a pattern, so how do you remove it from the flask without destroying the mold?
   quenchcrack - Friday, 01/02/09 14:57:26 EST

It is a loose pattern.
   - Rustystuff - Friday, 01/02/09 15:56:14 EST

As guru mentioned it is an ASO pattern. They clearly try to copy a fisher with a poor base design. No machine allowance for face as mentioned. It is a cheap "loose pattern" to make quick fake cast iron anvils with a nasty seem down the middle. Whoever wins it on ebay is truely getting taken. I am sure the seller doesn't know the difference. Patterns look like something he picked up in a lot at a sale.
   - Rustystuff - Friday, 01/02/09 16:04:35 EST

Guys, I don't know much about casting but if you look at this guys "other listings" he's got a selection of casting patterns.
Wouldn't you make an impression in casting sand with the wooden anvil in 2 halves joined then pour the mold ?
   gary shaw - Friday, 01/02/09 16:12:20 EST


With the two halves joined you place the pattern in your cope and drag and ram the sand. Cut sprue holes. Then take the cope & drag apart and pull the pattern halves. Drag in gates to part and sprues. Put cope and drag back togethor and put in vents. Poor in your hot iron. This is just a quick rough example.
   - Rustystuff - Friday, 01/02/09 16:39:39 EST

Pattern Type: QC, This is a standard "loose" two part pattern. There are dowels in one half aligning it with the other. In operation:

1) The part without dowels is laid on the molding table on a board. The flask is set around it and sand is then rammed up around the pattern piece.

2) The flask pattern and board (to help hold the sand in), is rolled over.

3) The second half of the mold is installed on the first. If there is a sprue or riser pattern this is also installed. Parting dust is applied to the sand.

4) The second half of the flask is installed on the first, sand is filled around the pattern and rammed up.

5) The mold is opened and the pattern parts are removed. If riser and sprue patterns were not used these are cut by hand. Then the core is placed and mold is closed.

6) The mold is then weighted (Keeps the sand from opening up from metallostatic pressure) and the metal is poured. After cooling it is "shook out" and the sprue and risers cut off.

7) TADA, you have a geniune ASO if cast iron. If steel or ductile iron is poured then it must be aged, machined and heat treated. Normally there is a 1/4" or more machining allowance on the top. Some anvils had the requirement to machine the off (away from the smith) side which would also require a machining allowance.
   - guru - Friday, 01/02/09 16:44:49 EST

If this is a loose pattern as I suspect it will not be boarded/match plate. It is possible it should be boarded and have gating. I would have to see pattern.
   - Rustystuff - Friday, 01/02/09 16:55:16 EST

Depending on material used to cast with it may need risers as well.
   - Rustystuff - Friday, 01/02/09 16:56:01 EST

Ductile iron will require risers otherwise you will have large shrink holes.
   - Rustystuff - Friday, 01/02/09 17:00:24 EST

OK, did I miss something on the pattern? Is that black line really between two halves of the pattern? The line doesn't show up in all pictures. My limited foundry experience (9months) was in two high production shops that made everything from small ductile iron castings for truck parts (1/2 lb) up to 12 foot diamter ball mill heads (48K lbs). For the high production parts, all patterns were mounted on boards. The ball mill heads were built from cores in a deep pit dug in the pouring floor. I could have used that pattern 40 years ago.
   quenchcrack - Friday, 01/02/09 17:04:33 EST


If you need absolute expert advise and direction I would ask Mr. Newman over at forgemagic. He is a pattern maker and has blacksmith tools cast for him. You could have a new pattern made correctly for the foundry that is able to cast with proper material. They will require the pattern made for thier setup. The price of trying to rig the ASO pattern to work and still having a junk product would probably be the same as a new proper pattern.
   - Rustystuff - Friday, 01/02/09 17:05:47 EST

OK, I looked a bit closer and the line does appear to be the parting line between the two halves. Not sure it's worth $103 though.
   quenchcrack - Friday, 01/02/09 17:07:47 EST

I don't understand your question because I am probably having a brain fart at the moment.

The guys at your foundry 40 years ago could have easily used that pattern to make an anvil simply because they know what they are doing. It would been rammed loose and gating drawn in the sand. They would have quickly mounted it to a board, made gatting, risers, cut sprue holes, vented and cast it.

What would have been a lunch time project for them to prep. for the next cast run would be hours for a novice to figure out after a few casting attempts.

Does that help at all?
   - Rustystuff - Friday, 01/02/09 17:12:51 EST

Nope, no match plate but a loose mold board is used by the molder/sand crab.

Splitting the pattern makes it very easy to mold without finding the parting line by hand. This later developed into using boarded or "match plate" patterns. Parts with odd partings often had follower boards which in essence replaced half of a hand made mold thus making it much easier to make molds from the loose pattern. See my iForge demo # 98 on molds. The plaster half mold could be used as a follower so that the parting would not have to be found by hand each time. However, this symmetrical part would normally be a split pattern so it could be laid on a flat surface. But either way works.
   - guru - Friday, 01/02/09 17:14:20 EST

Loose two (or more) piece patterns were used for centuries and are still used. Universally boarding these patterns is only a recent change which does away with skilled labor and saves only a few minutes time with each mold. the last foundry I tried to deal with didn't even use flasks, you provided mold boxes that produced mold halves using resin bonded sand. No boxes, just sand. . . Darned picky complicated mold boxes with EVERYTHING built in.

True skill was where the molder took an actual part, often with no draft and no obvious parting and made a mold from it. They would also cut core prints and use common or hand made cores. The trick was that the part, could often be something as heavy as an anvil. . .
   - guru - Friday, 01/02/09 17:24:57 EST

loose mold board = follow up plate?
   - Rustystuff - Friday, 01/02/09 17:32:21 EST

I thought you were referring to a "follow up plate" when you said loose mold board. I skimmed quick and just realized you made that distinction. I have follow up plates with my loose patterns. Then I have boarded patterns.
   - Rustystuff - Friday, 01/02/09 17:35:25 EST

Nope, just a board to handle the mold on. You would have one for each size flask a little bigger than the flask. Followers were something else and often just big enough for the pattern.
   - guru - Friday, 01/02/09 17:37:28 EST

Patterns and Design: Back when we were building the big stuff I was told NOT to show draft on casting design drawings because a pattern maker would go to the trouble to show you it could be done the opposite direction (the HARD way). This is tough on designers that have been making molds for decades. . (I was making ceramics molds when I was 10).

However, when a part is three or four feet tall and designed to be cope and drag the draft can add up to several inches. So, in some cases you had to show the draft or end up with a LOT of extra machining. You often took advantage of the shape as well (like in nesting Dixie cups). But in general you ignored draft on paper, even though you KNEW where it was going to be.

Our first parts were made with permanent wood patterns and core boxes (imagine a seven foot diameter core two feet tall). They may still be in storage (on the West Coast) but I have never seen them. Later the patterns were one-off Styrofoam. There was a tremendous cost advantage in not having that gigantic core box OR its making and handling. If we ever do this again and I have a chance I am going to insist on seeing the pattern and casting in process. AND when you know that draft and coring is not an issue you design differently.

We once had parts that were designed as simple ring castings with draft quoted as rolled from 4" plate and welded. No draft! But the change rattled through the design and required new drawings of a bunch of parts. The steel parts ended up heavier because the design had taken advantage of inches of draft.
   - guru - Friday, 01/02/09 17:53:58 EST

Rustystuff, I could not see that the pattern was split down the middle. The photos are a bit fuzzy as are my eyes. I thought this was a solid, single piece pattern and I just could not imagine how you made a mold without destroying it when you removed the mold.
   quenchcrack - Friday, 01/02/09 19:02:40 EST

Most foundries prefer or require patterns to be mounted these days. However if only a few castings are required particularly large castings, there are still lots of foundries around that will cast loose patterns. A few months ago I made a colonial style anvil pattern and had it cast in 4340 for a museum here in Ontario. I added 1/8" to the bottom and 3/16" to the top for a machining allowance. I just made a loose pattern and corebox because I only needed one casting. Usually castings made from loose patterns cost more because of the extra labour involved in casting from them, however when there are one or two castings needed the savings in not mounting the pattern can sometimes offset the extra cost of the casting. As Jock has found out though, there are a lot of foundries now days that will not accept a pattern that is not mounted on cope and drag boards with moulding boxes.

The foundry where I get most of my swage blocks and cast blacksmith tools cast requires all patterns be mounted on either matchplates or aluminum cope and drag plates. These are set up to go in automatic moulding machines that can make up to 200 moulds per hour. They could not cast a loose pattern if they wanted to, all there moulding is done on these machines.

The Ebay pattern is missing the corebox. $103 is cheap for a pattern that is going to be used as a pattern. If I were to make a loose pine pattern for an anvil with a split corebox for a customer it would be at least $800-$900.

If the pattern was not split it could be moulded. It could be moulded with a follow board. It could also be moulded by building sand up to the parting line then parting dust is applied. One half of the mould can then be rammed up. The mould is then lifted off the sand parting and flipped over, then more parting dust is applied and the other half of the mould is rammed up. The mould is then split, pattern removed, gating and risering cut and tthen closed. Most foundries will not go through this however, they would require the pattern to be split or a follow board. These techniques are the ones used in the old moulder journeyman test of moulding a teacup and saucer with a spoon and sugarcube in the cup. These had to be moulded and cast as one piece. One of my customers has two of these on his board room table to show off the fact that he has some good moulders.
   - JNewman - Friday, 01/02/09 21:38:36 EST

Thanks for coming to our aid with your professional information. The price of an Anvil pattern you offer is a very good deal. I will keep you in mind when needing any future patterns.

The automatic moulding machines Mr. Newnam refers to is known in the industry as a squeezer. Smaller foundries still have to hand ram on the floor many mould because there squeezers are smaller and only handle the small items. Big industry like the maker of Lodge cast iron pans have huge squeezers. Really facinating to watch work.
   - Rustystuff - Friday, 01/02/09 21:56:31 EST

We had steel castings made with the lost foam process for structural parts of the press tooling at the auto frame plant. The lack of draft was usefull in this case as it meant less metal to be machined from working surfaces. The castings were made by Delray Steel Casting who does a lot of this sort of work.
   - Dave Boyer - Friday, 01/02/09 22:04:04 EST

Even though Mr. Newman points out the pattern on ebay is a good buy dollar wise compared to a new anvil pattern I would kindly disagree.

The design of the current pattern on ebay is incorrect and not proper for an anvil. It lacks the extra material to be machined on the face that they both point out. As he mentions most foundries would not accept it the way it is as is is not boarded with gating and such. By the time you went to the extra cost you might as well have a professional pattern maker like Mr. Newman make you a nicely designed anvil pattern specific for the foundry you are using.

I use much smaller foundries than most. They each vary in technology and methods of casting preperation. The molds and core boxes have to be made for their setup as Guru and Mr. Newman points out. I have had to toally have patterns reworked when changing from one foundry to the other.

In considering these things the ASO anvil on ebay is not a good buy. The cost for Mr. Newman to make you a patern is. I have seen pattern makers want 1500-3000 for the core, pattern and master mould.
   - Rustystuff - Friday, 01/02/09 22:10:39 EST

The price I mentioned is for a loose anvil pattern. Making it from hardwood, mounting and gating it would all add considerably to the price. An anvil is a pretty simple pattern, my point was simply that the cost of patterns is much higher than the $103 on that pattern. Prices on patterns like everything vary, dependng on what you are buying. I have built everything from bronze bushing patterns for a couple of hundred dollars to a single corebox that was over $70 000.

The pattern shop does not supply you with a core or mould Rustystuff. The patternmaker makes a pattern and coreboxes . The foundry then makes moulds and cores out of sand which are used to make the casting.

   - JNewman - Friday, 01/02/09 23:07:35 EST

I'm not a foundry man, but the thread reminded me of a sculpture I own, made by Lonnie Edwards of Salado, Texas. It is a full scale solid wood anvil with handling holes and all. It came mounted on a 20 gage galvanized sheet metal stand which was pop-riveted together. An unsightly S-scroll of rebar, ribs showing, is hanging on the horn. The title is, "Know Your Medium."

I saved and stored the stand and scroll, but I mounted the anvil near the roof rafters of the shop at an odd angle, so that it looks like a plane "peeling off." It is covered with fine ash and soot, so in normal shop light, it makes a person wonder, "What the hey?"
   Frank Turley - Friday, 01/02/09 23:08:16 EST

Jock I don't know why they added several inches of draft to your patterns. 1/2" to 3/4" is plenty of draft in something 3-4' high.

I often hate when designers add the draft to there designs. Often they add draft to faces that don't require it making the part more complicated than it has to be. I have had engineers put draft on backwards because the feature was in a core. Usually they put more draft than neccesary in some areas and not enough in others. Getting approval to correct these things often wastes a lot of time.
Patternmakers specialise in designing and building foundry tooling, most engineers don't understand the process well enough to design the tooling.
   - JNewman - Friday, 01/02/09 23:09:26 EST


I know the patternmaking process well. I know the patternmaker makes the master mold, pattern and core boxes. I have spent great deal of time with my patternmakers in the design process of the business I owned. I am clearly no expert. This is why I mentioned you for expert opinion.

You Sir insult me...why?? Typical attitude we have clearly found from Foundries and Pattern makers over the years. I have had the pleasure in terminating some and later went to the auctions as they went out of business.

I still disagree with you, though you are certainly allowed to your opinion. The loose pattern on ebay is clearly a junker!!

Yes, at the foundry we make the mould and CO2 harden the cores in the process we used. I am not advanced into the non-bake method.
   - Rustystuff - Friday, 01/02/09 23:38:30 EST

Spoon Methode:
Thanks Guru. I understand your instructions and will work towards that end.
With a wooden negative, do you still work the metal at heat?
I agree that working the spoon down into a negative is much more visualy appealing than "pressing" one in a die set. I have plenty of RR spikes for the positive tool and, I think the average on-looker at the show will enjoy the demonstration.
   - merl - Friday, 01/02/09 23:42:04 EST


I have found pattern makers to be skilled and talented individuals. They clearly are craftsman in toolmaking, woodworking, machining, machine building, sharpening, designing, re-designing after the Engineer made some errors, expert blueprint interpretures.

Alot of time what you get is a very talented person with a super ego as well. They will not listen to very important details you must have in the pattern and will insist on their own choices. Simple, don't pay them and make them do it correctly.

Foundry Foreman have all the same issues. They will insist on doing something their way and making you a bunch of scrap. Then they want you to pay for it.

The great equilizer. The industry is going under. In many cases outdated. Most foundries and patternmakers can barely scratch out a living anymore. Most of the work has gone overseas. Soon no one will have to deal with the frustrations of patternmakers and founders calling the shots on your product.

End Rant
   - Rustystuff - Friday, 01/02/09 23:46:49 EST

Does a forge burn scar?.......
   - jacob Lockhart - Friday, 01/02/09 23:54:00 EST

I have found Blacksmithing among thinks like foundryman, patternmakers and such all require skillsets. As I wonder through life they seem to stumble on trades that require mor and more levels of skill sets. Patternmaking in my humble opinion supersedes the Blacksmithing and machining we disguss here. I appreciate their talents. I just could never stomach the attiude many of them have not all. Maybe to humble the patternmaker they should try their hand at watchmaking. That skill my friends is many times more involved and skill required than patternmaking. I bet one can trump that area of skill required as well.

Mr. Newman....I finished an Verge Fusee yesterday if you would like to try your hand at it.
   - Rustystuff - Friday, 01/02/09 23:59:08 EST

   Will Sanders - Saturday, 01/03/09 00:23:22 EST

Jacob Lockhart:


Sometimes the burns scar and sometimes they don't. I guess it depends on how deep and the severity of the burn. I think the individual body affects it as well. If someone tends to get keyloid (spelling) scars that may be a factor as well. The scars from hot sparks and scale seem to heel up nicely on me anyway. I certainly do have some scars from burns. I don't know any medical folks on this forum. I hope this helps a little.

I hope you have not gotten burned. :)
   - Rustystuff - Saturday, 01/03/09 00:43:55 EST

Sorry Mr. Newman. Guess, I got a little offended as you called me on something I didn't say when I clearly know the proper methods. It is apparent you skimmed my post and just misread it.


No worries...I was just having a brain fart.
   - Rustystuff - Saturday, 01/03/09 00:51:41 EST

Just bought Paw Paw's book. I know most of you have read it. I am a bit excited to give it a read. :)
   - Rustystuff - Saturday, 01/03/09 01:23:01 EST

Pattern Price: For decades old wood patterns have been collector's and decorator's items and its REALLY cheap as those go. As to being usable to make an anvil casting it does not need much work (you nail or glue on a machining allowance if needed). Drill a couple through dowel holes and it will glue to a board. Bondo it up, paint it and you are ready to go. You just have to find a foundry. Although it is slightly warped it has over $100 worth of good wood in it if you were to make if from scratch. But who needs a Fisher look alike? It will sell well to some collector as art.

The draft on our large parts might have been 3/16" per foot per side but its been 30 years ago. . . I do remember that it LOOKED like a lot on a 1/4 scale drawing. The slope was sufficient that it had to be considered when other parts fit outside the bottom end and moving parts fit inside the top with a 4" wall between. When you start out with the goal of everything fitting in a given truck or container size you suddenly find that a 1/4" here and a 1/4" there add up to inches you don't have to work with. We were also making very large machines as one offs that had to work the first time and with no or only a few minor modifications.

You are lucky if you have multiple foundries in your area that will deal with various processes. I have had no such luck in our area in the last 30 years. All the small foundries that did hand molding in our region have long gone and the bigger ones that are hanging on will not even answer the phone unless you are an auto company looking for tens of thousands of units.

But all of this is just part of the changing world. The EPA put many small operations out of business and the general reduction in manufacturing has put many more out. Labor and standing costs make it too expensive not to have continuous high production going on. The type of foundries we used to have in the U.S are the ones that China had to shut down during the Olympics so the world could see and breath the Beijing air. Loss of small foundries has been one of the costs of clean air.

   - guru - Saturday, 01/03/09 01:23:04 EST

Fisher Pattern

A year ago a gent from Mass. had a real Fisher Anvil with/lugs Pattern on ebay. It had the adjustable bronze American Eagle insignia. The founder could adjust the depth of the insignia in the sand, I guess. It also had a crucible steel face plate and horn plate with it. I think it was a 100lb Anvil pattern. It had the proper core as well for the hardie hole. The face plate already had a square hole. That pattern would have been the one to own. I think it sold around 900.00. What a deal!!
   - Rustystuff - Saturday, 01/03/09 01:33:38 EST

American Eagle insignia

What is the proper term for it?

Is it the Navy Eagle?

American Seal Eagle?

The Fisher Eagle holds the anchor in its claws.
American seal is on the back of the one dollar bill. It shows each side. The eagle side has thirteen arrows in one claw and and olive branch with thirteen buds on it.
I have a watch with the same Eagle & shield but with three arrows and one olive branch being held by both claws. The shield on them all has thirteen strips. Obviously a Mason symbol or Thirteen Colony Symbol. I don't want to get into that part or care.

i want to know what you call each variation?
   - Rustystuff - Saturday, 01/03/09 01:40:05 EST

On the Fisher eagle, may or may not have anything to do with it, but Clark Fisher, Mark's son, went to engineering school (he was a classmate of Washington Roebling, who essentially invented cable as we know it today and did the Brooklyn Bridge). From there he went into the U.S. Navy. It was only after his Navy service he went back to Fisher & Norris. The Fisher eagle predates that, but perhaps his father, Mark, also had some association with the U.S. Navy. Apparently they sold a lot of their (non-ringing) anvils to them, which makes sense if you are going to forge inside a metal room.

As I recall some Fishers anvils don't even have the eagle on them. Story I've heard is after the Civil War Fisher had a hard time selling their anvils in the South as Southerns may have associated their eagle with the now hated federal government.

On an anvil pattern, how would they have put in the hardy hole?

In a 1951 article on Fisher and Norris it noted they had a 'sand slinger'. What the heck was that? (To read article go to www.abana.org, ABANA Forums, Blacksmithing History and Lore and then item on History of Fisher & Norris Anvil Works.)
   Ken Scharabok - Saturday, 01/03/09 03:59:15 EST

Jock has articulated my point far better than I did about the ebay pattern. I do not suggest buying this pattern to go into the anvil business and I don't like the feet on it either.

There was no insult intended Rustystuff, but you mentioned a price for pattern core and master mould. I am a little confused by your mention of a mould, the only time I produce a mould is if a plastic pattern is required or if the customer wants a mould to confirm core fit.

A sand slinger is a machine that uses an impeller to throw the sand down on the pattern hard enough that it packs itself together. Facing sand is usually packed around the pattern first because the slinger acts like a sandblaster. They are not common anymore. They are used with greensand normally on big patterns. The foundry I started my apprenticeship in used two of them to mould diesel locomotive frames. These machines looked like they were invented by Doctor Suess. They ran on rails had a giant sand hopper and then a arm that was hinged in the middle. The operator sat on the end of the arm where the sand came out the bottom.
   - JNewman - Saturday, 01/03/09 11:58:01 EST

JNewman, I remember watching the slinger work on some large flasks in the foundry I worked at in Denver. I worked for Electron Corp and General Iron Works and both of them are long gone. General Iron Works had a working cupola to make iron with when the induction furnace was down for repairs. I went up on the charging deck one day when it was in use and saw that the high sulfur smoke had killed all the grass and trees for blocks down wind. No wonder they went out of business. Still a facinating place to work for a young metallurgist.
   quenchcrack - Saturday, 01/03/09 12:15:47 EST

Ken, The pattern all the discussion is about had black core prints that made pockets in the sand to hold the core. The hole was no different than the dozens put in swage blocks. See my molds II iForge demo for how cores work.
   - guru - Saturday, 01/03/09 12:36:38 EST

Richard Postman has a H-B anvil made out of styrofoam. Was a stage prop. Beautiful job. Clear logo and serial number. You can also see the wrought iron rippling on the front foot. It had to have been made from an original anvil.

Guy use to sell them on eBay. Haven't seen a listing though for several years.

A couple of years ago some cast anvils were coming into the U.S. from Mexico. Just stamped MEXICO. Anyone know what happened to that supply?
   Ken Scharabok - Saturday, 01/03/09 13:21:30 EST

The eagle emblem on the dollar and elsewhere is "The Great Seal of the United States"
   Peter Hirst - Saturday, 01/03/09 22:12:12 EST

I was looking at some nice looking farrier rounding hammers and found myself stumped with two elementary questions.

I found these:

24 oz. $39.95
36 oz. $38.95
NC Calvary
1.5 lb. $73.95
2 lb. $73.95
Jim Blurton
2 lb. $110.95
2.5 lb. $110.95

I also found some in the $180 range.

Why is there such a price difference in these hammers? Is it fit, finish, reputation, balance or a combination of these?

These are generally listed as farrier hammers and look tighter in shape than other blacksmithing rounding hammers I have seen. Are they thus better suited to farrier work (smaller striking space) and not necessary for general blacksmithing?

OK...that was more than two questions

   - deloid - Saturday, 01/03/09 22:24:41 EST

Deloid, As in many trades their are "name" products that sell because of the name attached to them and nothing else while equally good products sell for much less.

In the farrier business there has been a long chain of "names" dependent on the schools they teach at or the competitions they win. It changes every decade or so.

For many years in blacksmithing there have been a couple "name" hammers but all I've ever used was the standard industrial lines. Of course these no longer exist or have been replaced by junk made by folks that do not have a clue what they are manufacturing. So I collect old hammers.

For my own use I've only bought new blacksmithing hammers once. These were standard off the shelf Channellock brand "blacksmiths" cross pien hammers. I bought them in several weights in order to determine the "right" weight for me. I used the lightest for a month or so then moved up to next which I could not tell the difference. So after a week I moved up to a 3 or 3.5 pound hammer and that was the one. I had a 4 pound and could never get used to it so I gave it away. Those new hammers were in 1/4 pound increments which are hard to find today. They were also outrageously priced at about $20 each in the late 1970's.

In recent years I've bought new hammers for Boy Scouts and student smiths where I needed a number of the same hammer. Recently I bought one of those expensive hammers as a gift to a granddaughter.

But my own preference is for tools of a quality and simple elegance no longer made.
   - guru - Saturday, 01/03/09 23:59:22 EST

Hi Peter H.
Thank You
   - Rustystuff - Saturday, 01/03/09 23:59:54 EST

Thanks Guru!
   - deloid - Sunday, 01/04/09 02:10:08 EST

Check out the origin of those "Sheffield" knife sets in blisterpaks near the registers next time you are in Home Depot. Ditto the origin of "Milwaukee" tools. "Delta." "Ridgid." Put a contemporary "Great Neck" pipe wrench next to a century-old Stillson or Coe and compare the workmanship to behold how our nation's industry and we users have fared.
   Miles Undercut - Sunday, 01/04/09 12:21:24 EST

Thought i found a good deal on a 200# china made anvil, or an ASO. rebound semmed good, maybe it was just the mass of the ASO. Now, I have a multitude of dents and dings in the surface of the top. Thinking about using some hard surfacing rods to give me a harder face. How thick should the build-up be, and would this be a viable repair? Or do I need to heat treat the thing.
   rockingwj - Sunday, 01/04/09 12:25:03 EST

ASO Upgrade: Sorry, Most of these are just plain old cast iron and cannot (for practical purposes) be welded. IF it is a steel or ductile anvil it could be welded but the cost of the rod and power plus a grinding disk or two will be at least what you paid for the ASO. Heat treating is what makes good anvils expensive and will run 50 cents a pound IF the material is heat treatable AND you can tell the heat treater what it is.

Generally trying to make a good anvil out of an ASO is a losing proposition. The best thing to do is clean it up and practice forging on it so that you do not mark the face. New anvils are never as hard as the old ones were and WILL mark if hit with a hammer edge or trying to work cold steel. Even the best old anvils would mark if you used hard tools directly on them, especially hammers with poorly dressed corners.
   - guru - Sunday, 01/04/09 12:45:24 EST


You're facing an uphill battle. Basically, trying to make chicken salad from chickens**t. That Chinese anvil is almost certainly cast iron and hard-facing it is going to be expensive and fraught with difficulties.

To get the hard face rod to stick adequately to the cast iron you'll probably have to butter the face first with some high-nickel rod, an expensive undertaking. Then you have to build up the hardface until it's about 1/4" to 3/8" thick which will take multiple passes with peening and brushing between passes. Finally, you'll have to spend some serious time and money grinding the faced level and flat again and dressing the corners, etc.

If, as I suspect, the anvil is cast iron, heat treating is not a viable option.

On the whole, I wouldn't bother. For less than the cost of all that rod, to say nothing of your time, you can almost certainly find a decent used anvil. Keep the ASO for visitors, ballast or as a gluing weight. It would make a decent tractor weight.
   vicopper - Sunday, 01/04/09 12:49:43 EST

Just try dressing that easy to grind cast iron then imagine the amount of work to grind abrasion resistant hardfaceing rod that is going to look like a freshly plowed field. . .
   - guru - Sunday, 01/04/09 13:41:35 EST

"New Blacksmith Anthem"

They use a 400 Champion blower to stoke the barbecue pit in their video.

Zac Brown Band
"Chicken Fried"

Check out all three videos on cmt.com

Their song is Thanks to the ones who give their lives so we don't have to sacrafice the things we love

Also about everything we love about Southern Living and the family we love.

Just an all American Song. I see the rest of you dancing around the fire. Even Old John Odom. Heck if I didn't see a young Paw Paw in his coveralls with his beard.

I can't decide if the singer looks more like a young Jock D. or T.P.

There is three versions of the song being played by the band. Watch them all. The one with the forge blower is the one that show them outside in the avitar. That is the popular video being played. clip 5 of 6.

All three versions are something special. One version they tell what the song is about. Even though it is obvious with the lyrics. Then they have a little special playing at the end of the videos. Good old fiddle music.

I thought I would share this with everyone. It really should be our Blacksmith Anthem!!

   - Rustystuff - Sunday, 01/04/09 14:41:27 EST

I swear that song was made as a Tribute to Paw Paw. Brings a tear to my eye. We salute you brother.
   - Rustystuff - Sunday, 01/04/09 15:07:23 EST

One last thought: I see a little symbolism in the video to me anyway. When Paw-Paw slowly leaves the party and walks up the stair he is ascending into heaven. Also represents all other soldiers who have passed on for us.

Please, don't be angry with me Guru. I know it was borderline to post this in the dean. I just felt it was interesting enough to be here. Maybe it is just my subjective feelings and what the video and songs means to me. Isn't that the point, though. They are made to mean something different to everyone. It just remembers me of everyone here and ones who have gone on. I just see a real Blacksmith Anthemn in this song. Are we not trying to keep a trade alive?
   - Rustystuff - Sunday, 01/04/09 15:30:50 EST

I am working a deal for a Cinncinati #1 1/2 horz mill. This is an old belt drive, chnge gear machine from the photos. Comes with a deviding head and some tooling. Said to be about 3500#. Anyone with knowledge of these?
   ptree - Sunday, 01/04/09 16:24:27 EST

I use to do mill work with one of those old Cinncinati horizontal mills you speak of. They are a real rugged work horse. Just make sure the quill and table isn't worn out and sloppy before purchase.
   - Rustystuff - Sunday, 01/04/09 18:03:02 EST

Horizontal Mills: Hmmmmmm there is no quill on a horizontal mill unless it has a right angle head and these usually do not have a drill press type quill.

We had an old Cincinatti Mill billed as a 1-1/2 that was a REAL odd-ball. It had a quill type head but no knee and the table only moved on one axis. After much research it turned out to be a production machine designed for the firearms industry. We had it on approval and had it removed ASAP.

True horizontal mills are real work horses but require a VAST amount of tooling and attachments to use to advantage. Most setups are for production type jobs. While you CAN use an end mill to make slots the cutter will be hiding behind the right angle plate. If you've never setup a horizontal get ANY machinists hand book that covers them. You will find that they require support arms, arbors, big cutters, hundreds of bushings and shims. . . A fully equipped horizontal NEEDS a pile of tooling about as massive as the machine itself and much more expensive. Much of the tooling was OEM only and was only available when the machine was in production.

IF (BIG IF) the machine has a right angle or "cherrying" head it can be used like a horizontal and is pretty useful in the small shop without a lot of tooling. However, these heads require a gear that goes inside the drive cover and they are often missing. A replacement will cost more than the machine.

I would not turn down a horizontal IF all the tooling came with it AND you were sure it was complete. Otherwise there is a good reason one may appear to be a bargain.
   - guru - Sunday, 01/04/09 18:23:49 EST

I have not looked over this mill yet. It does not have a universal head, so horz only. It may be a production special. I will obviously look it over before purchase as it is local.
We used Horz Cincinatis for non-production work all the time, but they were much newer. They had controls on both sides of the table to allow seeing what you were cutting. With a big shell mill that would really hog off metal, but not a versatile as a vertical. The price is very enticing, but again I will look it over. Thanks for the tips.
   ptree - Sunday, 01/04/09 18:31:40 EST

Ptree: I doubt a mill as small and old as You described has back controls, so the situation Jock described is what You will have.

This machine probably has a B&S taper in the spindle, not commonly used any more, but You do have a lathe... I have (2) old Cincinati mills, a #3 Vert. & #3 Horiz, niether are set up presently. These have #11 B&S tapers. These date to about 1920.

You can make and use fly cutters that take a carbide lathe tool bit in place of face mills to square up blocks, and use smaller diameter sweep mill cutters on a stub arbor without the outboard support.

If the price is really right and the machine is in great shape grab it, otherwise keep an eye out for a Bridgeport type machine, it is a whole lot more versatile. Aditionally, if You really want a horiz. machine, there are often #2 or #3 machines that are newer with #40 or #50 spindles that You can find tooling for that go pretty cheap, sometimes You even find one with a vert. or universal atachment.
   - Dave Boyer - Sunday, 01/04/09 21:38:16 EST

Sorry, I was refering to the spindal with the 50 morse taper that accepts the bar. I was typing a quick note for Ptree and used an improper term in my haste.
   - Rustystuff - Sunday, 01/04/09 21:44:17 EST

I just saw Dave's post. Go with his. I was just guessing at a #50 taper as I really don't remember what the machine I used had. Probably one of the other as Dave mentions. It was very old. I guess the only reason I commented is it was very powerful and did an excellent job. Was very accurate and I could mill multiple parts at once. Then it had all the tooling with it and that could be an issue as Dave mentions.
   - Rustystuff - Sunday, 01/04/09 21:48:31 EST

ANyone familiar with Linde mig welders. One is available cheap, but I can find out little on line. Apparently not made any more? Parts and supplies avaialable. Also. most seem to be 3 phase. Owner has not got back to me with specs yet, but I want to be as prepared as I can when I learn what model the thing is.
   Peter Hirst - Sunday, 01/04/09 22:47:00 EST

ptree, I have a Harding UM toolroom horizontal mill in my shop at home. It is a small machine but very ridgid for its size and very accurate.
You can find vertical and universal heads for these machines if one was made for it. Try HGR Industrial Surplus. they're usualy falling over with parts, tooling and accsessories for older machines like this.
As far as back controles go, you can get around the lack of them by setting up a mirror so you can look in to it and see the tool in the cut. I have an old mirror from a HUMMV on a magnetic base that I use at work when I'm on a boring bar and need to see around the other side of the tooling or the spindle. At home I have a large replacment mirror for a pick up truck mounted on the articulated work lite bracket that came on the machine.
It's not like trying to weld in a mirror to run the machine like this but, you do have to have your hands trained to turn the handles the right way with out thinking about it, I guess.
I relise this Cinncinatti is not a real big machine but, as a reminder I have to say that big spindle motors want REAL 3phase power straight off the lines not from a converter.
Good Luck!
   - merl - Sunday, 01/04/09 23:05:38 EST

Peter, Esab bought Linde. And Esab supports some Linde welders, but far from all of them. Some parts are available, many are not. Unless its a pretty recent machine, you are probably a lot better off waiting and finding a Miller or a Lincoln, both of which are much better supported by the manufacturers.

   - Ries - Sunday, 01/04/09 23:15:33 EST

Peter, Esab bought Linde. And Esab supports some Linde welders, but far from all of them. Some parts are available, many are not. Unless its a pretty recent machine, you are probably a lot better off waiting and finding a Miller or a Lincoln, both of which are much better supported by the manufacturers.

   - Ries - Sunday, 01/04/09 23:15:39 EST

Peter Hirst, I have a Linde square wave 350 power supply that was given to me by a former employer. I can run any thing from stick to mig ,tig and a spot welder with it and, it runs on 220 single phase. It has some bad small gage wires that run the foot peddle but, I'm replaceing those. There is a blacksmith in town that has a Linde mig unit that he realy likes and I had a good freind that used to have one he realy liked too...
I think they are a good machine, mine has the same bells and whistles as a Miller of the same type and it always did a good job at work.
   - merl - Sunday, 01/04/09 23:21:14 EST

I have read that sal ammoniac (ammonium chloride) is used as an additive to borax for fire welding flux why ammonium chloride? i have heard that fluorite(calcium fluoride) is added to borax to aid welding high alloy steels,presumably it dissolves the more tenacious oxides of chrome and/or other non ferrous metals.
   - paul h - Monday, 01/05/09 11:00:57 EST

I have read that sal ammoniac (ammonium chloride) is used as an additive to borax for fire welding flux why ammonium chloride? i have heard that fluorite(calcium fluoride) is added to borax to aid welding high alloy steels,presumably it dissolves the more tenacious oxides of chrome and/or other non ferrous metals.
   - paul h - Monday, 01/05/09 11:01:39 EST

Mexico anvils: Living in New Mexico I see a bunch of them every year at the implement auctions, often hardly fettled! Also often not marked as to origination. I figured these came in sub rosa and not as part as an official importation.

Biggest problem is that they seem to be "clean out the ladle" castings and so what they actually are made from depends on what the run was and *no* heat treat at all.

Unfortunately most folks don't know any better and as the castings seem to be based on a "real anvil" they go for much more than they should.

   Thomas P - Monday, 01/05/09 12:11:24 EST

Peter Hirst; Corp Bros. in Hyannis is the former Linde supplier for the area. Check with them for parts availability (not likely). They were very high quality machines.
   John Christiansen - Monday, 01/05/09 14:03:31 EST

Has anyone here used one of the OC indution forges often? Thoughts on using one for heating plate pieces [lots of them, all same small size]?

   Mike/Marco - Monday, 01/05/09 15:18:10 EST

Sal Ammoniac, Ammonium Chloride: Paul, I am not sure. I know it is used as a soldering flux and maybe it adds a little more umph to the borax. Most of the steel fluxes have boric acid (anti borax), borax, flourite or flourspar and occasionally iron powder.

On the other hand limestone (calcium carbonate and related compounds) are used in making iron and these are very low reactive compounds.
   - guru - Monday, 01/05/09 16:30:42 EST

Induction Forges: I've seen them demoed a number of times and I am pretty sure Grant uses one in his operation.

In a production operation these are fast clean machines and I suspect very energy efficient as most of the heat goes into the work. Heats take seconds.

What you want to be sure of is that the work you are heating is within the machine capacity. Sheet and plat do not heat very well but I suspect that a properly shaped coil for your operation would make a fairly even heat (if that is what you are looking for).

These are about as small an induction machine as is made for shop use. The next size up starts at about $10,000.

IF I was making five or six thousand identical parts and $1 per heat was a reasonable cost (remember the time and cleanliness factor) then I would seriously consider one of these machines. Even if the part quantity is lower I would look at the time savings.

Unlike a forge you can put one of these almost anywhere. fume free heating can be done right next to a press or hammer.
   - guru - Monday, 01/05/09 16:45:10 EST

On copyrights:

Take the 1906 catalog from a couple of days ago. Say you wanted to reprint something newer, you do a Google and the various internet phone directories and cannot find any evidence the company even exists today. Perhaps it does, but has changed names/ownership a couple of times. Is there something like a central clearing house? I.e., if you cannot located the company, how can you obtain copyright permission? Do you just have to wait for the copyright to expire?
   Ken Scharabok - Monday, 01/05/09 16:45:55 EST

Induction Heaters;
Grant not only uses one in his operation, but sells them as well; I've been lusting after one! Sadly, Santa let me down this year...no coal,either.
   - Charlie Spademan - Monday, 01/05/09 16:51:04 EST

One of the reasons to use calcium based "flux" with bloomery iron smelting is that the Ca replaces some of the Fe in the slag thus leaving more Fe in the bloom and Ca is/was cheap as limestone, marble, shells, etc.

Not something we worry about in forge welding...

   Thomas P - Monday, 01/05/09 17:39:58 EST

Having worked with industrial induction heaters I would offer that there is no method of coal, coke, propane etc that will heat the workpiece as fast, as cleanly or as uniformly. That uniformity is a real time saver in closed die work, as you don't wreck dies with a "cold billet".
The only smoke one sees from an induction heater is any stuff left on the billet such as rolling lube. They do produce some scale but not near as bad as a gas burning forge. A little more scale than aproperly managed coal/coke fire.
One does have perhaps some issues if a multiheat part in that different coils may be needed as the shape changes.
The coils for Grant's heater are made from refrig tubing and seem simple. In industrial use at max throughput one needs refractory around the coils to keep the radiant heat from the part from melting the copper.

A small safety consideration is that induction heaters make a field that is above the limits set by the makers of all the manufacturers of heart apcemakers and defib units that I researched. I took a gauss field meter and measured around both induction heat treaters and forges (industrial sized) and all exceeded the limit. But then so did all the industrial welding stations I measured.

I would certainly run the numbers if I ran job lots.
   ptree - Monday, 01/05/09 18:17:56 EST

Dave Boyer, good point on the B & S taper tooling on that old mill. I had forgetten that we had a couple of very old mills that used B&S tapers. The machine comes with two boxes of undescribed size and quantity of tooling. I am trying to arrange a looksee. The owner had it running 6 months ago, using the tru hole three arbor mounted chuck to chuck a stub axle to polish wheels!
I had never seen a thru the arbor spindle hole equiped horz. mill. This mill in the photos looks to have an open gear case, set up for flat belt drive and change gears for speed changes. Change gears are supposed to come with as well. I will be looking very hard when I go to see real utility. The milling around the corner does not worry me much. The lack of a angle palte shoud be fixable on the machine itself. The lathe I have is less the taper attachment, but I have ways aroud that, as well.
He is offering for $400 on my trailer, and will deal a little down from there I suspect.
   ptree - Monday, 01/05/09 18:25:46 EST

Comming in quite late to the discussion on titanium:

When we forge a near-net shape part we do coat the titanium with a glass type material which does the same thing as the borax previously mentioned. We do not always do that, and larging forgings will have 1/2" or more of stock removed during machining, so that should remove the "skin" which has suffered from exposure to nitrogen and oxygen. I don't think there'd be much benifit to forging inside a stainless steel foil bag since the steel and the titanium will move at different rates and the bag will likely ruputre. The other thing you can do when you get close to final size is to lower the forging temp to around 1700F. This will minimize pickup of oxygen and nitrogen, but the material will be much stiffer.

Piping: The reason copper doesn't pipe even when exposed to centerline shear forces is becuase it has much greater ductility that the iron alloys. This may be partially due to the crystalline structure, the atomic size or other factors I am forgetting. the hot ductility is also a function of the alloy content. There are certain copper alloys that are very prone to piping and tearing, but pure copper is not.

   Patrick Nowak - Monday, 01/05/09 18:27:01 EST


I am wondering the same things concerning copyrights. I spoke to a patent lawyer once that gave me a great deal of info concerning patents and a little on copyright. However I didn't know the 1926 and before was ok to reproduce thingy. He also gave me an idea of dollar amount to search for a patent and what it would cost to go after someone who steals a patented idea. All the variables that the item would have to be worth it to bother. I suspect the same is true with copyright.

Think in terms of who is going to sue you for the 1,000 you made off from a 1950 phamphlet book you reproduced that their Grandpappy wrote. They would spend 50,000 to get back 1,000.

Anyway, I don't know anything and I am not sharing any of the info I was giving by the person as it is just words. Someone else here would be an expert copyright lawyer and book publisher and say I was stupid and don't know anything anyway. I am sure there must be a copyright forum who could advise.

The way I see it is reproduce anything you want for your use or your friends. Reproducing things to sell is a waste of time anyway. Most people don't appreciate all the hard work you went through and cost to get a copyright and produce a book anyway. The few dollars you make are not worth it. Let them scrounge for themselves. This is my new attitude.

   - Rustystuff - Monday, 01/05/09 18:53:27 EST

Induction Forge: I know there was some discussion on these in the last year or so but, can we get Grant or someone to give us a tutorial on them again? I think for the smith who hopes to go into business in some way or another they make good sence.
I like a coal fire but, I have to look at my time spent heating and know there is a faster way to do it. Time is money after all.
I would like to see a production cost comparision between a O/A or O/propain torch used for heating and an induction heater on the same types of parts.

ptree, I think $400. for a machine that runs and has enough tooling with it to do work with and, that you feel comfortable with is a good deal. $ 300. is better...
   - merl - Monday, 01/05/09 19:16:48 EST

Copyright is much easier and cheaper than patent, but you get what you pay for.
   John Christiansen - Monday, 01/05/09 19:48:57 EST

Hey guys, I've been reading up on my blacksmithing books. In Mark Aspery's The Skills of a Blacksmith, he has plans for a wizard head bottle opener. At the end he talks about finishing it by using brass BQQ brush to add color and wax. I can't find very much in the book about this and the pictures are in black and white so I was wondering if anyone could supply me with more information on this process along with what colors I will get.

I'm thinking on making this wizard head bottle opener for my mom who will be visiting us from out of state in about 2 weeks and would like to make it look as nice as I can. Thanks in advance.
   - hillm - Monday, 01/05/09 20:11:16 EST

Merl, I tend to agree with you on the machine, but till I lay eyes and hands on it I won't know. BYTW, he was asking $500 and when I noted that it was too big for my shop he came back at $400:)

I don't know the exact values on Grants machine, but can offer the following on induction;
The one remaining gas forge at the axle shop ran big axles. The heat lenght was about 4' of 5.5" 4140. The forge had a "water front" to limit dragons breath. the water front would allow 18 or 20 bars to be in the forge at once. When starting the bars were loaded and the guys went for coffee. After about an hour and some, forging started, and the part to part time was about 5 minutes. A bar was pulled, and forged. the hot finished forging was dropped in the box. and a new cold billet was placed in the just emptied hole and a hot billet pulled and so forth.
after all the hot bars were forged, time for coffee to let the new billets reach heat. The induction forge heated a billet while one was being forged and was ready just before the forging was complete. Thats 4' of 5.5" 4140 to 2150F in 5 minutes.
When the gas forge was running, (and we ran it 3 shifts as cool down and heat up took to long and was hard on the refractory) the natural gas bill for the plant went up $20,000 a month! And that is at some of the lowest energy prices in the nation. The electric bill did spike, about $3000 to $4000 till we adjusted the power factor equipment and then perhaps $2000/month.

AND, no blue green manganese laced dragons breath plumes 6 to 10' high from the two forge stacks that were 24" by 36" opening and were just above the forge inside the building.
That forge had 6 burners with 3/4" gas orrifices and had 20 PSI feed to those orifices.(Not 20 " of water, 20 PSI)

We ran a little Tocco at th3e valve shop to weld Stellite into valve bodies, and to heat treat needle valve stems. This was a WWII antique, ex-camshaft heat treater. It would heat the end of a big needle vale stem, say a taper that started at 1.5" and tapered downto a end that was say 3/4" diameter, and was about an 1" long. This Tocco could heat them to critical in about 5 seconds.

Another real feature in production is the ability to localize heat. The coil design can limit where you heat, and since the heat is so fast not much conduction occurs.
In upsetting machines this is critical in many parts.
WEe made gear blanks that had the gear wheel shape upset into the center of the bar. Visualize a 4.5" bar, with a gear wheel blank upset in the center that is 6" wide by 14 or 16" diameter. You need to heat the center of that bar only, and the ends need to be cold. We did this in induction heater on a production basis.
   ptree - Monday, 01/05/09 20:13:45 EST

I have on of the 15 KW induction forges sold by Off Center. If you value your time, get one now. Not only are the heats lightening but there's no messing with valves or running out to fill bottles. As far as electricity$ vs. gas$ I come out better there as well. If I am working a bunch of larger (1" or so)material i have used the gas forge to preheat and then off to the coil to get a near instant yellow. Reheating takes a fraction of the time.

As far as techniques, wow, haven't got all night.

   jamie - Monday, 01/05/09 20:52:49 EST

The antiques roadshow just appraised a set of Gustav Stickley andirons stating that they were forged. If so, he was truly a master! Attached is a link to an auction with a set of these andirons. Thoughts? Thanks.
   Mark - Monday, 01/05/09 21:05:44 EST

Jamie--where did you get your induction forge?
   Mark - Monday, 01/05/09 21:36:20 EST

Mark - Off Center tools. I can email you with the # in the morning. Nice guy, helpful and always answers the phone.
   jamie - Monday, 01/05/09 22:28:52 EST

Copyright and Reprints: INDIVIDUALS own as many or more copyrights as companies. On books, it is the author, occasionally the editor of a compilation. Publishing houses usually have limited rights unless the work was created for them as a work for hire. So the copyright reverts to the author AND their heirs. Locating THEM is often a case of genealogical research. When a corporation or publisher owns the rights then the ownership usually passes with ownership of the corporation or its remnants. These are more easily traced than individuals but it may require an expert and travel to various states. . .

IF the copyright is registered (virtually ALL published works are) and YOU are the infringer, YOU pay the author, heirs or assigneees legal costs. PLUS, you WILL lose.

Reproducing works to give away is STILL infringing. Giving them away reduces the value of the original and thus is damage.

In most cases of infringement you must turn over all copies of the work reproduced, all funds from sales AND pay the rights holder's legal fees. The court can set both punitive and compensatory damages. Since one day in court is now billed at between $5,000 and $10,000 it is a huge risk to take for most of us.

However, in most cases a cease and desist letter is sent to the infringer and if they cease, apologize profusely and offer to pay royalties then the problem may not be so grevious.

A number of people currently in the reprint business so as much searching as they can, if they find nothing then they go ahead. It is a gamble.

SO, Are you feeling lucky today?
   - guru - Monday, 01/05/09 23:15:19 EST

Peter Hirst: If that Linde is a 3 phase transformer/rectifier [NOT a PULSE MACHINE] without a built in feeder there is little to go wrong, provided it works when You get it. They were premium machines in their day.

I would not bother with ANY brand of older pulse capable machine, as most had issues, and none of them actually pulse welded properly.

Simple transformer/rectifier machines from Airco, Miller & Lincoln are cheap & plentifull, frequently less than $250. If You use a 115 volt feeder the brands will interchange without problems.

Most [but not all] of the single phase MIG machines have built in feeders, and the 230 volt shop size units from Airco, Hobart, Linde/L-Tec/Esab, Miller & Lincoln were all pretty good.
   - Dave Boyer - Monday, 01/05/09 23:31:06 EST


Interesting copyright info. I find it educational. I don't disagree with anything you say. I just have a few thoughts below that are tongue and cheak.

I still say reproduce anything you want for yourself or close friends. They have to prove it. Are they going to lift finger prints from the pages? I just won't reproduce anything forsale I don't own.

All Libraries, college students, researches, lawyers, judges, journalists and makers of copy machines, printers, scanner and cameras are in violation of copyright laws. Why aren't they sued? They must feel lucky.

   - Rustystuff - Tuesday, 01/06/09 00:33:13 EST

I don't know this to be true but have heard all modern copiers and printers put an inbedded code on each page which identifies the individual machine. Sort of like a cookie. As I recall that is how they finally tracked down the BCK(?) serial killer. One of his letters or such was tracked back to equipment at a church where he was an assistant.
   Ken Scharabok - Tuesday, 01/06/09 03:12:24 EST

Off Center Tools = Grant Sarver. Ferrous One, wherefore art thou..I havesth not thy contact info for Mark
   - Charlie Spademan - Tuesday, 01/06/09 07:30:30 EST

Copyright Issues: Copying of sample pages, even whole chapters may come under "fair use". Book reviews (such as ours here) can include sample text and images. Libraries may let patrons copy portions of books for personal use (but not entire books), teachers and schools are given considerable leeway but there ARE exceptions.

Some companies are VERY zealous in their copyright protection. Use Disney characters ANYWHERE and they will come after you. They have gone after individuals, schools, daycare centers, churches, citizens groups that used their characters in parks, library decorations. . .

Fair use for book reviews is fairly obvious but there are undefined limitations. So you use what you THINK is fair and see what happens. In schools certain excerpted materials can be used but if there is a product sold by the publisher for that use then there is a conflict. . As usual the teachers are in the middle.
   - guru - Tuesday, 01/06/09 10:14:52 EST

Wow...that is interesting.

I still will copy an old book that is out of print for my own use. Some vintage books I have are so musty I can't read them. I make a copy that I can stomach to read. The authors are dead. It is like paying tax over and over when purchasing antiques or a used car. I would think copying a book for your own use would be a form of flattery to the original deceased author. Their written work still has an intrinsic value. Why should they have a bratty realive get free money. They were not the talent person that wrote it. They need to change the laws.

On musty books just curious info: I was working in a place that sold old military surplus. I spent a couple of days cleaning and stocking these items that were very musty with a strong oder. It happened and I got very sick. Maybe and over exposure to a certain mold known as an enviornmental sickness. Now I cannot read a musty book without being on the verge of illness. It is obviously buildt up to a high level in my system.
   - Rustystuff - Tuesday, 01/06/09 10:22:57 EST

Don't you think it is fair game to copy a musty book you already purchased just so one can read it? For own use only.
   - Rustystuff - Tuesday, 01/06/09 10:26:35 EST

Those Stickley andirons:

I saw those too. If they were done in a forge somebody went to a lot of trouble to make 'em look cast...
   Alan-L - Tuesday, 01/06/09 10:59:42 EST

I have an old (1950's - 60's maybe) "Forging Industry" handbook. About an inch thick. A treasure trove of information and data. The index and tables section is worth its weight in gold. I'll never ask a question about metal types as they are pretty much all covered including material content, stress and strain tolerances, heat treating, etc. Plus it has pictures of (at the time) the worlds largest power hammer. I would have no problem or worry about making some copies out of the book and storing them on my computer. Remember, it's an INDUSTRY handbook, something I don't think was made available to the public so copyright issues may be different.
   - Nippulini - Tuesday, 01/06/09 10:59:58 EST

Since copying a work you have already purchased for only your own use does not impact the market for the work it should be ok; passing out copies of works in copyright is not even if you don't make any money on it as that does impact the market for the work.

Most of us have probably skidded through gray areas on this; I know I have and probably do so again---1 work still in copyright I have had a multisite (amazon, abe, etc) booksearch on for over 2 years and not a single one for sale have I been able to locate; but I can ILL it easily. I keep hoping I can find one to buy as it disturbs me to copy this as I want to support people doing and publishing such works! I may have to contact the publisher and see if I can get permission to make a personal copy for a fee.

Thomas one of my ethical delimas
   Thomas P - Tuesday, 01/06/09 11:12:03 EST

Musty stuff: you have gained an allergy to mold and/or milder spores. Not much you can do about it but take the drugs when you have to work with such items.

Moving out to NM where single digit humidities occur and intense sunlight abounds helped my allergy to mold and mildew.

   Thomas P - Tuesday, 01/06/09 11:22:42 EST

Hi Tom
I agree I think I have gained an allergy to mold. Mustystuff could be my new name...Thanks for the idea...grin
   - Rustystuff - Tuesday, 01/06/09 12:33:20 EST

Industry Handbook, Copyright: While the data came from the industry, often voluntarily but often just collected, the editor/author OR the publishing house IS the copyright holder.

The problem with trying to use logic on copyright is that it does not work. Copyright was designed to protect the author of an original work so that they could benefit from their efforts. It is also applied to those that pay an author for a "work for hire" so that they can get a return on their investment. There is no distinction between poetry, fiction, non-fiction, a scientific treatise, a college thesis, a cartoon, or a compilation of facts. The editor compiler is given the same property rights as the great novelist who MAY have only that ONE good novel in them.

Think of it like realestate. At this point in time ALL land everywhere on the Earth is owned by SOMEONE. Mostly individuals but often by governments. Just because the land doesn't appear to be in use, is not fenced or does not have signs segregating it doesn't mean that you can trespass, hunt, fish, cut timber, mine or build on it. That land and what is on it belongs to SOMEONE.

Some people have a difficult time with this concept and think they can go anywhere, do anything (including hunting and fishing) on anyone's property unless it is physically separated and these same folks will often drive over and through gates and fences.

I've tried to explain to these "good old boys" that I have property rights and that I can ask them to leave (and have had to do so a gun point). I asked one if it would be OK to hotwire his pickup truck and use it for a while. He got all upset sputtering obscenities. I said, "Well, its JUST property and you don't have a fence or no-trespassing signs on it." He didn't get it.

Copyright IS a property right. It has limitations and does not last forever. But while in force it is no different than the ownership of land or tools or machinery. Just because you cannot immediately see or find the property owner those things belong to SOMEONE. Just because you cannot find the owner of a pickup truck parked on the street does not give you the right to use it. It is the same with copyright.

In 1984 the Copyright laws of the United States where amended to give authors the right of copyright from the moment of inception and that it was in force even without a notice. This was to protect authors from having unpublished works stolen. Long before that photographers were given copyright on photographs. This was to protect the professional photographers from having their work reproduced without payment.

Without the financial return that copyright protection gives to authors, artists and others there would be far fewer books, movies, musical recordings. . . While most creative people would do these things without payment they DO need to eat and have living expenses. Their works would also not be distributed as widely as in a for profit system which relies on copyright.

AS PROPERTY, a dead copyright holder's interest passes on to their heirs. The author may have died young or old but the copyright lasts 26 years after they die and can be renewed. But, it does belong to someone. . .

   - guru - Tuesday, 01/06/09 13:22:29 EST

Sorry guys! Can't turn my back for moment.
OCP - Grant Sarver - (253)846-2038 - nakedanvil@netzeroDOTnet

Guru: not sure what you mean
   - grant - Tuesday, 01/06/09 13:36:18 EST

Sorry guys! Can't turn my back for moment.
OCP - Grant Sarver - (253)846-2038 - nakedanvil@netzeroDOTnet

Guru: not sure what you mean "$1.00 per heat". The machine is 15KW. so at full output for one hour that would be 15KW hours. Out here I pay .05 per KWH so that would be .45 (forty-five cents)! But you never run continious. My gas bill went from $300.00 per month to zero while my electric bill went up 30 - 40 dollars.
   - grant - Tuesday, 01/06/09 13:36:49 EST

So, heating a 1/2 inch bar for two-three inches takes 15 seconds or 4 per minute thats 240 per heating hour @ 45 cents devided by 240 = .18 cents, TWO TENTHS OF A PENNY! O.K. some people pay three times what I do for electricity, so SIX TENTHS OF A PENNY PER HEAT! It's only using significant electricity when it's heating something.
   - grant - Tuesday, 01/06/09 13:48:11 EST

Does stainless steel keep its stainless properties after being forged? Is there a certain amount of the surface that you need to polished off, to get the outside layer/contaminants off. I cleaned my powerhammer dies and made sure that all of my tooling was as clean as could be. I'm just not sure if the molecular structure of the stainless material itself didn't changed by bringing it to a critical temp?
   Andy White - Tuesday, 01/06/09 13:48:35 EST

See my post eariler, re gas vs electric when switching from N. Gas to induction. Our big industrial machine went down to about a tenth, much as Grant sees with his smaller unit.
   ptree - Tuesday, 01/06/09 13:51:49 EST

Andy White: Most people probably don't bother and get reasonable results. Best practice (with any 300 series stainless)is to anneal the part after forging. This is done by heating to about 2000F (orange near yellow) and quencing in ice water. This restores the stainless properties. No, this does NOT harden the steel.
   - grant - Tuesday, 01/06/09 14:53:21 EST

All that talk about casting reminds me of a book I once saw. It was from the 1800's at Davy/United Co in England. They made absolutely HUMUNGUS machines mostly hydraulic presses. They packed the whole foundry floor with sand and then started what could best be termed a "mining operation"! The whole mold was dug into the sand, absolutly amazing. There were ladders and men bringing out buckets of sand. Imaging what that would be like. But then, how else would you make such huge castings?
   - grant - Tuesday, 01/06/09 15:16:53 EST

$1/heat I was talking about the cost of the machine, the time savings AND the fuel. When you buy a machine the job you buy it for usually pays a significant portion of the machine cost if not the entirety of the machine. Fuel cost is a minor consideration. Also, odd imported electronic equipment needs to pay for itself quickly OR you end up with non-functional machinery that didn't pay for itself. If its not paid for during the warrantee period or expected life then its not a good deal.

Cost of machine / number of parts
+ cost per heat
- est time savings
= estimated cost per heat.

If the machine costs $6000 and you make 1000 parts that is $6 per heat. If your labor rate is $100/hour and the time savings is 3 minutes per heat then you have saved $5 per heat with a total of $1/heat. IF that is a satisfactory expense then the machine has paid for itself in 1000 parts.

My point was to work the numbers. Your model may be different and time savings more or less.

   - guru - Tuesday, 01/06/09 16:09:15 EST

Stainless: Andy, Grant forgot to mention that forged stainless is the same color as forged steel, blue grey or black if wetted. You must either remove the scale mechanically or chemically. Acid treatment to "passivate" the surface removes near surface iron and reduces surface staining.
   - guru - Tuesday, 01/06/09 16:12:24 EST

BTK -- Dennis Rader -- was caught through data on a floppy he sent to police, not a photocopy.
   Peter Hirst - Tuesday, 01/06/09 16:58:31 EST


You made a major fundamental attribution error...BOG

You have to understand that when someone has hunting fever they are not able to reason as a normal person would. Just like a buck jumping in front of a tractor trailer while chasing a doe in heat....LMAO

How about the Copyright concerning the Bible? Can I copy a 1611 King James Bible? Since it is the inspired word of God can we just copy it at will? Francis Bacon edited the first King James Bible would his family still own the rights. Is God the copyright holder and any Christain have free reign? I was wondering how copyright would work in this area?

Do we as people really own anything? Are we not temporary borrowers of the natural enviornment. If all the land in the world is "owned". How deep does ownership run in feet?

   - Rustystuff - Tuesday, 01/06/09 18:57:24 EST

Thanks for all your copyright knowledge I have found it helpful and I am sure other have as well.
   - Rustystuff - Tuesday, 01/06/09 19:01:10 EST

Shall we move this over to the hammerin?

   Thomas P - Tuesday, 01/06/09 19:28:12 EST

I have no more concerning copyright or commentary.

   - Rustystuff - Tuesday, 01/06/09 19:34:57 EST

Machines and fuel cost.
Neat Shop Setup

I was in an interesting shop the other day. All the machines were hooked up to a diesel engine with a line shaft system in the concrete floor. There was a covered u-shaped tunnel like a ditch. Behind each machine was a hardwood frame sticking out of the tunnel with the engagment clutch, pullies and v-belts. Then there was a wooden lever to engage next to each machine. Above was a series of small pullies in the ceiling with a fine cord that was pulled forward or back to advance the throttle of the engine while machines were working under a load. On the wall was an ignition system for the engine. The engine was in a little room with the exaust piped outside. Basically like a lineshaft shop, but everything was smaller and in the floor. The tunnel was not deep and less than a foot wide. I wondered if the fuel consumption in the work day was greater than if electricty was used. However, was as a very interesting operation and self sufficient. When work wasn't being performed engine was shut down. It did idol alot in between work being performed.
   - Rustystuff - Tuesday, 01/06/09 20:11:46 EST

Rustystuff - line shaft shop: Even with the $.16/KWH We pay here in southeastern Pa. it is hard to beat by other means. The good part about individual motors on machines is that there is little power lost in transmission, and when You turn off that machine it uses none.

For Your own satisfaction You can run the figures Yourself. A diesel engine will make 16 HP @ 1 GPH fuel burn, and while fuel consumption increases and decreases in porportion with load, the engine does use some fuel even at idle. Since the engine must be sized for the maximum load, the light load losses are pretty great.

The shaft system will be more efficient than generating electricity on sight with an engine to run motors, in most cases. The generator will require 2HP on the shaft for every KW it produces. Using an engine driven generator to run motors gives You the doubble whammy of losses.

The Amish go to great lengths to satisfy thier god and bishop, overall economy sometimes suffers in the process. A friend of mine was telling Me of a wood working shop that used a diesel air compressor to run air motors on all the tools in the shop. It takes about 5 HP to compress the air to run a 1 HP air motor, but I guess they would rather burn the fuel than burn in hell.

   - Dave Boyer - Tuesday, 01/06/09 21:06:36 EST

Hi Dave
Thanks....very interesting. Sounds like we are fairly close to each other. We should hang out sometime. You can learn me more. The air compressor to run air motors is facinating. I have a few questions for your Dave. I will take it over to the hammerin. May not write till morning.
   - Rustystuff - Tuesday, 01/06/09 23:29:41 EST

Benders & Rivet machines

I am looking for any and all suggestions on an effective and low cost method for making snow shoes. Some brainstorming.

My friend will be using aluminum tubing. I guess around 1/2" or small. He wants to be able to bend it easily. He is wondering what type of manual affordable bender to use.
Not only to bend the corners around 90 degrees, but the entire ends up as well.

He is also looking for a type of rivet gun or affordable machine that will draw the rubber material tight and put in a very strong secure rivet.

I realize the details of my question are vague. I have thought about it a great deal. I am not coming up with good ideas. I thought no one better than the smart folks here on the forging forum since the concepts are similar to Blacksmithing.

   - Rustystuff - Tuesday, 01/06/09 23:41:52 EST

Making SNow SHoes: Bending tubing is always a problem and requires the proper dies for the radius. If tighter than the compression and stretch will allow then the tubing must be deformed on the inside of the bend for the material to go somewhere. Often trial and error is a significant part of the process. The most affordable bender is a one-off purpose built. If it is to do only one job in production then there is no need for the interchangeable dies of a production bender. If production is high then dies should fit a press OR be reproduced for multiple operators. However, you would be amazed at how many thousands of parts one person can produce on manual benders.

There are commercial duty pop rivets and guns to install them with. Rivet catalogs have many varieties for various applications. If high production there are air guns. Everything is relative to the production numbers. 100's, 1000's 10,000's. . .

I knew a shop operation that made almost EVERY lubrication oil sign bracket (the portable kind service stations put out in the 1930 to 70's). Much of the bending tooling was wood, some metal, some wood and metal. A few punch presses were used to flatten ends and punch holes, a band saw was used to cut stock. It was a seasonal job for the major distributors of all the old Pennsylvania engine oil producers. Once a year they would make a couple thousand sign stands. Did it on the same primitive tooling for 40 years. It made enough money to keep a machine shop crew of about a dozen employed through the slow times for decades. When the shop was passed down to the third generation they lost the tooling AND the know-how. Thought the job was beneath them. Went out of business as a result.
   - guru - Wednesday, 01/07/09 00:33:47 EST

Guys there is a 496 lb. Peter Wright for sale over there on Cleveland craigslist... pretty low price too. Might be kinda rough tho. Just thought I would mention it as there are so many "where can I buy an anvil" questions on this forum... I wish I was anywhere close, I'd drive a mile a pound easy for it right now but I have an ocean in between!
   - vorpal - Wednesday, 01/07/09 04:46:19 EST

Seems like a lot of Mom & Pop operations are ending because the business can't be passed on.

- Haven't been there in a couple of years but there was a business in New Johnsonville, TN which rebuilt electrical motors. Guy said he was nearing retirement but none of his kids were interested in it. Nor could he find anyone willing to buy him out even when he offered to work with them for several months and then be available on an as-needed basis.

- I shop at a M&P grocery. There have been few times when I have been in when at least Pop hasn't been there. He has told me when he dies the grocery will close.

- Between me and New Johnsonville was a bait and tackle store which also bought catfish out of KY Lake and then sold fillets to restaurants. A couple of times a year I'd stop by and get fillets for the freezer. It went out of business. Have heard it was the same situation. No one to pass the business on to, nor anyone interested in buying them out.

Recall a saying not many businesses survive three generations. Grandpa started it, Dad built it up and kids ran it into the ground. Of course times change. At one time wagon wheel skeins were a major production item for a number of small foundries.
   Ken Scharabok - Wednesday, 01/07/09 05:03:22 EST

If I had to make thin wall aluminum tubing into a snowshoe shape in large quantity, say 10,000 pair a year, I would build up a stretch bender, and do the entire bend in one machine in one chucking.
if I was to build 1000 pair a year, I would fab up a several step semi auto bender, and rivet jigs. low tech.
If i was to build 100 pairs a year, a fabbed up manual, with as many steps as needed and jigs for riveting.
for 10 pair totally manual.
   ptree - Wednesday, 01/07/09 07:11:08 EST

Bending Jobs, Tooling, Quoting: Back in the 80's I made over 100 tank straps (curved straps with a loop in the end for a cylinder nut). They had a start bend, long arc, end loop and end bend with arc to match the surface. They were 2" wide, had welds at both ends, slots for the bolts and I also made the nut and bolt pins from 1.25" dia. steel. The slots in the straps were gang milled on an itty-bitty Clausing educational model milling machine.

I made two batches in TWO sizes. The first were samples. I charged enough to make all the tooling and setup. It took about three weeks working alone out in the country. The following month I made 150 of the sets in one week with a helper for a couple days. That included everything except picking up the raw material and delivering the product.

special bender nut pins

The tooling and methods, while primitive, worked and could have made a thousand parts in a couple months (which is what they were designed to do). Besides the manual benders like the one shown above there were a couple crude ones for use in a press, there was several fixtures with drill bushings for 3/16" pilot holes to drill the ends of the slots without layout, a production barrel nut/bolt pin drill/tap/counterbore fixture, a special fixture for smaller ones in the lathe. There was also a slew of other similar tools made for some bracketry that went with the straps.

All this tooling was made with a worn out flat belt drive drill press, a well used 1950's 6" Craftsman lathe and a buzz box. I also made a large set of wood radius gauges and some benders to make benders with. . . Moderate production tooling does not need to be fancy or cost a lot. It just needs to work and remove some of the tasks that would be very picky.

This job would have made me quite well-off if it had continued. It was just odd-ball enough that very few shops could bid it. However, the invasion of Afghanistan by the USSR and the following embargo killed the job.

When the job was quoted they wanted prices for thousands of units. I priced the job on a curve from a pair to in the thousands. After 1500 the price only dropped by a few cents per thousand. But the first pair included the cost of making all the tooling. So did all the rest up to 1500. At 1500 UP the price was time and materials only with just a slight "thankyou" break in price. The first order was for 20! If I had bid starting at 1000 units I would have had to renegotiate the price or refuse the job.

The only tooling that would have sped this job up was to punch the slots. However, that would require 150 ton press which I did not have. Tooling would not have been cheap either but would have paid for itself on 250 to 500 units.

You would be surprised at how productive you can be with simple tools if you think through the steps, bottlenecks and tools available. I did not plan on buying any machinery on the above job because of the likelihood of that first order of 20 being the last OR every order being small. If I had made 1000 I would have put some of the money in better machinery.

Start simple, improve the quality of your tooling as the production quantities increase.
   - guru - Wednesday, 01/07/09 10:44:03 EST

Mom and Pops: In my story above the third generation was not the problem. The problem was the old man would not commit the business to the youngest son, who was my age, and came home from college and the military to work in the business. Mike was sharp, understood the business, what it could and could not do. He knew that sign job was important to the survival of the shop as it stood.

Instead, the business was to be divided among three siblings two of whom knew nothing about it. They thought it was a gold mine and would not sell out to Mike. So Mike left. The MBA and his sister wrecked the business by taking on ultra precision jobs that could not be produced with the machinery at hand and ignoring the types of jobs that had kept the business going for 75 years. The MBA bailed out leaving his sister to run the business when he found out there was no gold mine. This was a family business that kept a frugal family fed but was NOT a gold mine. For two generations it was a Mom and Pop.

The problem with many "Mom and Pops" is they ARE Mom and Pop's. They often made wages or better for one or 1.5 but not 2. But two were required to work it full time for long hours and often the children worked in the business as well for an allowance, not real wages. So one of the children tries to run the business and his spouse is not committed to being the bookkeeper for half wages OR he is not yet married and hires help to replace Mom OR does NOT and the books go all to pieces. . . Often one child tries to keep the business running but has to buy out siblings. The business cannot afford the debt and goes under.

In my friend's case he did not take ANY of the business. Hew wanted his share of the machinery, which he did not get. When the business went under the banks took it all and lost big time. Mike never got a penny of his inheritance.

In our family business the big jobs became fewer and fewer and we were not equipped to be a job shop nor did we have the paperwork to advertise as "engineers". We fit a very specific declining niche. I went my own way any time there was no work rather than collecting a salary while waiting for the next job. While I loved my Dad I had far too many serious issues with his pet projects that he thought would make money. Up until the end we worked together on the big projects that made money. But the business had faded to near non-existence.

The factors that end family businesses are not always simple or what they seem.
   - guru - Wednesday, 01/07/09 11:37:26 EST

Note that the OLD inheritance laws where the oldest son inherited ALL were written to keep family estates and enterprises together. While the people of the time knew it was unfair to the younger children they also knew that if divided or put into debt the estate (farm or business) would fail.

Mom and Pops handed down to a couple that runs it as it was often succeed. Those that are divided or handed down with debt most often fail. Its the situation and the numbers, not those trying to run it.
   - guru - Wednesday, 01/07/09 11:50:56 EST

Bending tube. There are many ways if you search "Tube Bending" on the net. I visited Fritz Hagist in California not too long ago, and he was problem solving the smooth bending of about 3" copper round tube (pipe) at a right angle with a fairly tight radius. This was for an interior installation which was to be seen and needed to be pleasing to the eye. He came up with building his own vertebra (his word) for the pipe interior and leverage bending manually. There were a series of metal discs connected fairly closely one to the other with wire links. They were made giving an allowance and a long wire for removal, and inserted where the bend was to take place. After bending around the proper concaved jig, the vertebra were removed. Fritz said that if he hesitated or stopped on the leverage pull, the pipe would get wrinkles. If he pulled smoothly without stopping, the result was smooth.
   Frank Turley - Wednesday, 01/07/09 11:58:54 EST

Thanks for your info guys. If anyone else has ideas feel free to keep them coming. :)
   - Rustystuff - Wednesday, 01/07/09 13:48:05 EST


That technique sounds similar to the "Ball Mandrel" tooling used at the motorcycle plant I worked at to make exhaust pipes.

   - Dave Leppo - Wednesday, 01/07/09 15:28:47 EST

On bending tube:
I was told that filling it with sand, plugging the ends and then bending it would keep it from kinking. I haven't tried it but it sounds feasible. I'm sure trial and error is required.

On mom and pop shops:
I've had a couple offered to me at rather high prices and then you had to rely on the customer base staying loyal to you when most of them were age old friend's of the family. Guess what happens to people that haven't been around since great grand daddy's time in some of the more clannish parts of the U.S.
   Robert Cutting - Wednesday, 01/07/09 16:10:36 EST

For small tubing they make a low temp melting alloy that you can melt on your kitchen stove in a pot of boiling water. You fill the small tubing with it and let it cool then bend the *solid* round stock and then melt out the alloy.

Google cerrobend, cerrosafe and cerrolow for examples of such alloys.

   Thomas P - Wednesday, 01/07/09 16:22:40 EST

Wondering if you can give some advice, always found Blacksmith's to be resourceful.
I am trying to replicate brake and clutch pedals from a 1929 Indian Motorcycle.
The best way I can describe the pattern on pedals is like a rasp only divits spaced further apart. The depth of triangular indent is approx. 0.125" with the displaced metal raised almost an equal amount. There are 12 rows each with 10 divits. Rows spaced about 0.16" apart and divits spaced about 0.13" apart
I can send a photo and sketch not sure how to do it on this forum though
The pedals are made from mild steel
Thank you in advance for any guidance
Regards Greg
   Greg Hudson - Wednesday, 01/07/09 18:20:27 EST

Hammer question-
I bought an old straight peen hammer and noticed it has a 1/16th groove along the face or "blade" of the peen. When you strike with it it leaves an imprint. Can anyone tell me if this had a special purpose?
Thank you.
   Jeff Hubanks - Wednesday, 01/07/09 19:16:55 EST

Jeff Hubanks: Could it have been for driving on hoops on barrels?
   Ken Scharabok - Wednesday, 01/07/09 19:36:44 EST

Jeff, Hammers are often modified for many purposes. They are also abused or used in ways that could cut such a groove from repetitive use. If modified by a smith then the answer lies with him.
   - guru - Wednesday, 01/07/09 19:53:08 EST

Indian Parts Greg, this was likely a forged part. Probably made in a heavy machine but using processes similar to a blacksmith's.

Note that divots indicate depressions. I think you are talking about protrusions (small teeth). I have seen these teeth on other old motorcycles and on step brackets on old cars. Rasp teeth are cut with a sharp V shape chisel raising the tooth. In the case of these peddles there is no cut, just the raised part.

This part was most likely made in a die, the hot part forced into it under very high force. The die would have been machined and hand cut from tool steel then hardened.

There are a couple ways to replicate this. Have a smith make a die and reproduce the part under a power hammer. Make a single die and force the metal into it from behind. OR use weld build up and grind each tooth into shape.

I am not sure the second method would work. I would be inclined to go with the last method if I was only making a couple parts for ONE bike. If I wanted a few more I would go with the first method.

Today you can have dies made by the EDM process (Electrical Discharge Machining) the master being thin copper of copper over plastic. It is MUCH cheaper than the old method of hand cutting dies. Once the die is cut then someone with a hydraulic forging press, screw press or large hammer could make the parts from LASER or flame cut blanks. After the die costs the parts would be a few dollars each.
   - guru - Wednesday, 01/07/09 20:09:14 EST

i have a champion forge and blower, that being said i cant find a #1 blower anywhere on the net and that is what i have. can anyone tell me what this set up is worth. thanks josh
   josh - Wednesday, 01/07/09 20:22:37 EST

Well looked over the Cincinnati 1 1/2 horizontal mill tonight. Nice condition, big old fashioned frame Dayton 110/220 single phase. Feed works, and the hand feeds are smooth as silk. Tooling is a little limited, mosty big rotory cutters, but the arbors are there and two are for end mills. Everything felt tight and smooth. we are talking trades, as I have an antique Fairbanks morse engine he wants:) He also has an odd rough terrain forklift that is hot to sell. May trade for that as well. Its small enought to fit into my shop:)
   ptree - Wednesday, 01/07/09 20:26:05 EST

i have searched high and low for blacksithing lessons in shasta county CA i cant ravel too oakland or loomis too take these class do know of one closer too home
   - Ron Freeman - Wednesday, 01/07/09 20:42:01 EST

Ron, first you ought to check with the CBA.
California Blacksmiths Association- there are probably members not too far away from you.

They hold their fall Oktoberfest not too far from you, in Cazadero down near Sacramento.
The Spring conference is coming up soon in Petaluma- should be great, with some great demonstrators, and probably the chance for some hands on stuff there as well.

Or, you could head north- the NWBA sometimes holds conferences in Oregon, and the spring conference this year will be in May, in Sisters Oregon- www.blacksmith.org for the NWBA website. There are probably some classes somewhere in Oregon, although they wont be much closer than the Bay area is to you.
   - Ries - Wednesday, 01/07/09 21:12:03 EST

Indan parts-- Google Indian Motorcycles and a few pages in look for Michael Breeding, in Santa Fe, NM. He replicates some parts and may have these or know of a source.
   Miles Undercut - Wednesday, 01/07/09 21:42:35 EST

Indian foot pedals:

For just one or two pedals, I'd most likely forge the arms separately from the pedal pads. They should be a straightforward forging job with maybe needing to bore the shaft holes and/or broach a keyway, if any.

The pedal pads themselves could be readily machined on a milling machine. Either tilt the head and cut the projections or use a special angled cutter. You might or might not be able to exactly duplicate the original pattern, but you could certainly create a very satisfactory substitute that would look very siilar and have the proper "traction" on a boot sole. My old Indian (1947) had rubber pads on the pedals, as I recall, but my old BSA had the pyramid-shaped grip teeth.

I see fomr your description that there is an indent next to each tooth, so I suppose I could simply make the appropriate chisel and raise each tooth just like cutting a file or raising burrs to set diamonds en pave', Tedious, but definitely do-able.

Any way you do it, these pedals will be expensive to have made. I'd look high and low to find old ones first, bu tif that fails, they can be made. If no one closer wants the job, give me a call or drop me an email and I'll try to help you out.
   vicopper - Wednesday, 01/07/09 23:01:30 EST

Didn't old time coppersmiths fill tubing with lead, then melt it out after the bend? (Haven't checked the melt temps on that technique re: aluminum.) How about just sliding into the tube an appropriately sized flexible coil spring, like a screendoor spring?
   Miles Undercut - Wednesday, 01/07/09 23:46:04 EST

In Rothenburg, Germany was come beautiful angle iron window canopies and I had forgotten my camera. I am in search of any awning or canopies of creative design from angle iron. Can anyone help with some design inspiration please?
Years ago in saw some really cool window awnings or canopies at the blacksmith shop in Rothenburg, Germany made from angle iron. Has anyone else seen these or can lead me to some creative inspiration of angle iron use.
   Arlo - Wednesday, 01/07/09 23:58:32 EST

Angle Iron: Arlo, see our current NEWS Edition 42 page 13-15 with Jack Brubaker making leaves from angle iron. These might be elements that could be used with other angle iron.

I can't think of any canopy type things that were particularly inspirational.
   - guru - Wednesday, 01/07/09 23:59:10 EST

Blacksmithing Lessons: Why does everyone assume there should be a place within 20 miles of them where they can get lessons? This was once nearly a dead trade and as recently as 30 years ago there was only ONE school in the U.S. Prior to that, in the heyday of blacksmithing there were "Manual Schools" in some of the states (not all) that taught blacksmihing. But after WWII there were none or they closed soon after. At the peak of public High Schools having shop classes you could get introductory lessons. It took a while for even farrier schools to develop after WWII.

Today there are more blacksmithing schools and crafts schools with blacksmithing courses in the U.S. than ever before. In fact, there may be a few too many as they are having trouble filling classes. Even so, they are not in everyone's back yard.

For lessons close to home you can try your local blacksmithing association as mentioned above. However, while there are groups in almost every state and multiples in others they are still going to be some miles away unless you are lucky. Some groups move their meetings around so that everyone has a better chance of being involved. But it is not unusual to have to drive 100 miles or more one way.

Start with your local organization (no matter what the distance). Occasionally there are sub-groups that may be closer to you OR an individual that may be willing to give lessons. If you are really serious then you will need to go to a regional school. See Turley Forge for one such school.
   - guru - Wednesday, 01/07/09 23:59:28 EST

Ron Freeman: Don't be afraid to approach members near you who have a small shop. I've given introductory blacksmithing lessons to a couple of guys over the year. Even had one young lady in the area interested but we couldn't work it out as I wanted one of her parents to be present.
   Ken Scharabok - Thursday, 01/08/09 05:10:29 EST

Bending tube:
They also sell springs that go on the outside of the tube. I've used one of those and they work pretty well, at least for the 1/2" tubing I was bending. But I would think a tight radius would make it tough to slide the spring off.
   - Marc - Thursday, 01/08/09 08:23:17 EST

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