WELCOME to the anvilfire Guru's Den - V. 3.0

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 February 9 - 16, 2002 on the Guru's Den
[ THE - GURUS | ABOUT THIS PAGE | Getting Started in Blacksmithing ]

Gas Forges: Check our plans page and the links from the forge burner plan
   - guru - Saturday, 02/09/02 01:07:43 GMT

Greetings Guru. I would like some information on propane forge designs. I would like to build 2 forges. A small atmospheric forge that will be economical to use for the majority of smaller projects, and a larger forge(possibly with blower) for all of the larger projects. My budget is limited, so I'm going to start with the smaller forge, and try to keep it simple. I have a piece of 10" dia. x 24" long x 1/4"thick pipe for the forge body. Can you help with forge plans and info about burner designs, regulators, control valves, insulation and refractory materials etc.? I am curious about the pre-made burners and burner parts. Do they perform well enough to justify the high cost? Thank you for your help. Tom
   Tom - Saturday, 02/09/02 01:48:26 GMT

My questions,

Is this the correct way to increase the carbon content of steel? (If not could you tell me how its done, regardless of how difficult or complicated it is):

Heat the steel between 1400 and 1500 degrees Fahrenheit and seal it in an airtight (and fireproof) container with some carbon and hold it at that temperature for a long while.

If this is correct, how long does it have to be held at that temperature? I know its different depending on the size of the steel and how high you want the carbon content, but about how long would it take? (2 days, 2 weeks, 2 years? Etc.)

But that is only half my question. I have seen some material on increasing the carbon content of steel, but nothing on how you decrease it. I guess no one would really want to do that, but I do. Specifically how is it done? I would sorta assume that the steel has to be exposed to lots of oxygen to attract the carbon out of it, but how? I would like to try to reduce the carbon content of a piece of mild steel as much as I can. How low of a percent can I get it? Can I turn it into real wrought iron (commercial type) without the slag mixed in? Finally, how long would reduction take?

Sorry but I really would like you to be specific. Is it even possible to do this carbon content changing stuff at home or shop on a small scale?

I really appreciate you helping me out. Many thing about iron/steel continue to remain a mystery to me.

Thanks again in advance.

   Robert - Saturday, 02/09/02 08:02:42 GMT

Can someone tell me what's wrong woth this anvil. Why isn't it getting any bids. I'm not the seller, just trying to expand my knowledge about anvils so when I finally get the money to buy one, I'll know what I'm buying.
Dave Perry aka karma-kanic


   - Dave Perry - Saturday, 02/09/02 16:36:44 GMT

Casehardening Robert, You ah . .seal the steel in the box box first. It must be packed full with charcoal then sealed. The steel must be clean (scale free) to start. 1425°F is the minimum recommended case hardening temperature and it takes a lot less time at the maximum of 1625°F.

Carbonnitriding is done by using a liquid salt bath (cynaide was commonly used) and the time/temperature ration is supposed to be more or less the same for cashardening. The results are the same.

Carbonnitriding starting with low carbon steel (SAE 1008):
1 hours at 1425 to 1450°F results in a case .004" deep.
2 hours at 1425 to 1450°F results in a case .006" deep.
3 hours at 1425 to 1450°F results in a case .009" deep.
4 hours at 1425 to 1450°F results in a case .011" deep.

1 hours at 1600 to 1625°F results in a case .015" deep.
2 hours at 1600 to 1625°F results in a case .021" deep.
3 hours at 1600 to 1625°F results in a case .026" deep.
4 hours at 1600 to 1625°F results in a case .030" deep.

Heat Treaters Guide, 1982, ASM, p.25 chart (referenceing Metals Handbook 8th ed., Vol 2, ASM.

Before modern steel making methods were developed "blister steel" was created using this method and soaking at temperature for days. The result was very burnt and blistered. This product was then taken and folded and forge welded numerous times to homogenize the result since even after days of soaking the outer surface would have much higher carbon content than the core. This produced a suitable but variable quality steel. The crucible steel process was invented to make perfectly homogenous steel from blister steel.

Modern steels have carbon either left in when it is decarburized OR it is inoculated with a carbon bearing substance.

Generaly you do not remove carbon from steel. It happens accidentaly when forge or furnace atmospheres are too oxidizing. It removes carbon from the surface and ruins the steel. In steel manufacturing, air or pure oxygen is blown through liquid steel (resulting in GREAT fireworks) to reduce the carbon content from the smelting process.
   - guru - Saturday, 02/09/02 16:44:28 GMT

Orange anvil on eBay: Dave, Its a fabricated (IE home built) anvil and stand. Its made from a piece of I-beam and a chunk of bar. The base is made from heavy angle and plate. There is about the same amount of steel in the base as the anvil.

I estimate the weight without the stand to be 141 pounds. The true "anvil" portion (the solid block) is about half of that. With the stand the total is well over 200 pounds. I doubt the face is hardened.

Generaly I-beam anvils are not very good anvils. For the minimum price he wants you can buy a real anvil.

This is one of the better fabricated anvils I've seen but I wouldn't buy it unless it was going for very little.
   - guru - Saturday, 02/09/02 18:08:37 GMT

Can one forge an arc welded piece of steel or will the steel break where the weld is when one tries to shape it?
   Robert - Saturday, 02/09/02 18:24:06 GMT

Robert generaly a sound archweld will hold up well.
on the other hand: not fully fused (a "gap" between beads or not fully penetrated), wrong electrode for material or slaginclusions... all can make it hard to forge the welded area.
How good a weld, is the question to ask second.
   OErjan - Saturday, 02/09/02 18:53:39 GMT

btw some materials will form anything from 1/64"(0.4mm)-microscopic cracks when welded and will crumble if forged.
   OErjan - Saturday, 02/09/02 19:05:11 GMT

Forging welds: Robert, it is done all the time and is the best method of dressing arc welds in decorative work. Welds need to be full penetration and cleaned of flux before forging. The welding rod or wire should be nearly the same composition as the base metal (E 6000 series on mild steel).
   - guru - Saturday, 02/09/02 19:07:40 GMT

I recently acquired a small old rectangular cast iron Champion forge and blower. It is the kind with a round slotted tuyere iron rather than a firepot. In the bottom of the pan is cast "Clay before firing", can you suggest what kind of refractory material I should use and how thick it should be? The tuyere iron stands about 3/4 inch at the edge and I assume that would be a start but I wonder if I should cover it as well to help protect it. Since I only have experience with gas forges, I have no Idea what the life expectancy of such a tuyere iron should be under a ooal fire. I actually ordered a new replacement from Centaur Forge and wonder if I should use it and save the original for posterity. I did a web search for fire clay and found a castable refractory from a company called Rutland, but have been unable to find any to purchase either locally or online. Thanks for your help,
   Roy - Saturday, 02/09/02 22:50:03 GMT

Question: I was gas welding a galvinized bolt to a 3/8 " plate steel. The fumes were very bad, fortunately I was well ventilated. In retrospect this was not a good thing to do. I am not a blacksmith, however I try to avoid stupid mistakes. Can you please tell what gases form and the extent of their hazard?
   Tom - Saturday, 02/09/02 22:50:32 GMT

Welding Galvanizing: Tom, it depends on the type of galvanizing. Modern galvanizing in the US is pure zinc. The fumes are not good for you you and can cause "metal fume fever". However, it is generally not deadly. Old galvanizing had cadnium (as well as lead) in it which is much more toxic and can be debilitating as well as fatal. Both are cumulative, that is the metals remain in your system and it takes less and less exposure each time to make you ill. Heavy metal poisioning is also a combined effect. If you have been exposed to lead but show no symptoms, an exposure of another heavy metal in a dose that would normally not be a problem you may make you ill. There are some treatments but there is no cure.

On top of the obvious fumes from plating there is also the content of the flux and rods as well as some steels. Manganese is a common addition to almost all steels but there is particularly high quantities in high strength steels and welding rods. It is has been associcated with Parkinson's disease. Chrome in stainless and stainless rods can also make bad fumes and the flux for stainless has flourite in it which releases flourine compounds.

About once a month we hear from someone that has been exposed to heavy metals through welding. Often it is after it is much too late. There is no good news.

Always use good ventilation. Particularly when arc welding where your face is over top of the work and the smoke rises up into your face and under your hood. Use either local exhaust fans or a general shop fan (being careful to be upwind) or both.
   - guru - Sunday, 02/10/02 00:36:05 GMT

Speaking of Manganese, I use a large chunk of manganese steel from the bell of a rock crusher to warm up my anvil before I forge. If I'm just heating it to an orange, is there danger there concerning your warning in your last post? I was given the piece from a friend who wanted me to make a knife from it. Very, very, very tough stuff. After trying that, tool steel was easy. (still no knife though...)
   Rodriguez - Sunday, 02/10/02 04:29:36 GMT

More on refractory clays:
I've read a lot of input on this subject, but of course, the one detail I'm interested in has not been covered. I cut a hole in a large cast forge pan so that I could drop a Centaur fire pot into it. The fire pot sits in the hole loosely and has plenty of room for expanding and contracting. The forge pan already has a crack in it that I've mended with straps. Do I really need the refractory at this point? If most of the fire is confined to the fire pot and it has a bit of clearance, shouldn't it be ok with out? Thanks so much.
   Wendy - Sunday, 02/10/02 14:29:59 GMT

Jock, I have a client in Grand Rapids, MI that is looking to have a bannister/balister made. I always get their location before accepting a job to save the client shipping. Is there anyone that can help this gentleman with his railing in the Grand Rapids area either watching or that you know? Thanks! Ice in Rochester. Brian
   Brian Rognholt - Sunday, 02/10/02 15:32:58 GMT

Heating Manganese Steel: Rodriguez, There should not be a problem. Metal fumes only occur when you oxidize the metal to the point of flaring. Normally this is well over the melting point. The bigbest problem is arc welding where the metals are vaporized. I can't remember the exact temperature of the arc but it is something like 6,000°F. . However, oxy-acetylene gets hot enough to vaporize many metals like zinc, lead, cadnium, tin. But its the arc welding that is a countinous flaring process that is the big problem. Nor is there a problem when forging. Even forge welding is not bad as long as you have a flux cover and do not severly burn the steel.

Good ventilation is recommended in any-case.
   - guru - Sunday, 02/10/02 17:05:48 GMT

Claying Forges: Wendy & Roy, it has always been my opinion that it was a waste of time unless you are going to be doing really heavy work in your forge. If your forge is outdoors the clay makes a place forge moisture and acid residue to hide. The old forge manufacturers were protecting their warantee by labling the pans "clay before using". Folks back then also tended to do much heavier work and do so for longer days. How you use your forge makes a difference. A layer of ashes will do the same but also traps moisture.

The heat in this situation is not high enough to need a refractory clay. Any clay will be refractory enough unless you are forming a fire pot from it. Red clays used to make bricks are as good as any. Many folks mix a small amount of portland cement and copious sand in the clay mix for strength. Always mix the clay as stiff as possible. Excess water will lead to cracking when it dries. If you can trowel the mix it is too wet.

Paw-paw uses furnace cement with stainless steel turnings for reinforcement in the fire pot of my old forge. I think the whole thing has been replaced with SS now since it is an outdoor forge and the bottom has rusted out several times.

The biggerst hazard to cast-iron forge pans (and fire pots) is quenching with water. We all use a little water to control our fires but you should never quench the fire in a cast iron forge. This will crack the firepot or pan almost every time. Many of the replacement firepots are cast from ductile iron which is much more resistant to thermal shock as well as not being as brittle as cast iron. In an all steel forge you can get away with dumping water on the fire (thus developing bad habits) but in a cast forge you need to carefully use a sprinkling can.
   - guru - Sunday, 02/10/02 17:26:39 GMT

Looking for volunteers to work on an International Glossary of Blacksmithing and Metalworking terms.

This link is just the sample starting point. The languages supported will be determined by volunteers. After setting up the translation table there would be a glossary written in each language. There will also be images of each item or tool as appropriate.

If I am duplicating work already done, please let me know so that I don't waste time duplicating someone else's effort.
   - guru - Sunday, 02/10/02 22:06:56 GMT

Hey,Guru,Have you ever forged any CPM420V steel? I am a knifemaker already, but just starting with forging. I did quite a bit forging when I was a kid. Because of my present location I will have to use gas forging(probably a bad word,"gas" forging) in your circles of expertise,but it is something I am forced to do here.By the way, I just found your webpage by accident, but sure glad I did!Any advice you could offer will be greatly appreciated.Also, where the heck are you located? I am here in cold Burlington,Iowa
   John Andrews - Sunday, 02/10/02 22:43:06 GMT

P.S. Hey,Guru,You even LOOK like a real blacksmith! Please take this as a compliment.You otta be making some knives with your skills, also. But I imagine you already do.
   John Andrews - Sunday, 02/10/02 22:50:14 GMT

To Vance Moore that wanted advice on a belt grinder,YES, longer belt on grinder is better! I use a Baldor which takes a 72" belt. If you use right pressure and the right belt it should work great.You will find the 2"x72" belt grinders in knifemaker supply catalogs,easily found online searching knifemaker supplies. Most of our machines use a 1 hp.motor which has the option of DC variable speed control, which you should considering you are grinding different materials.Shop the knife supply houses, and they are great for tech info,also.Good luck.J.Andrews
   John Andrews - Sunday, 02/10/02 23:30:53 GMT

Dear Guru,
Is there any common compound that can be used to turn Cu green? I make candle snuffers out of copper drain pipe and have an order for a green one. I tried fertilizer, that must have been for rusting steel Thank you. SteveP
   Steve Paullin - Monday, 02/11/02 00:15:27 GMT

I would like to know where I can purchase some iron birds wholesale. I would like to incorporate them into gates that I make. I do not want sheet metal but 3 D iron birds. Hope you can help.
   - Betsy - Monday, 02/11/02 00:53:45 GMT

Glossary/// French Words
bender/ cintreuse (la).
bench/ tabli (le).
drill/ foret (le).
file/ lime (la.
fuller/ matoir pour enclume.
jig, engineer's / gabarit de mcanicien.
jig, assembly / appareil de montage.
jig, (general term = "thingy", "thingammy",
"whatsit")./ truc
lathe, / Le tour.
power lathe, / tour a la mchanique, or
tour marchant au moteur.
power hammer / (le) marteau-pilon.
drop hammer / (le) marteau-pilon.
drop forge / tamper, or estamper.
punch / (le) poinon.
saw / (la) scie.
screw / (la) vis.
smithy / (la) forge.
temper / tremper.
temper color / (la)lame de tremper.
vise / (l')eteau.
I will get the French words for hardy and flatter tomorrow, from some French Canadian friends. Don't forge in French; only carouse, drink, and make love en Franais. Regards to all.
   slag - Monday, 02/11/02 06:09:05 GMT

Get a plastic container. Mix 1 tablespoon sal ammoniac (chemical name is ammonium chloride). 1 ounce of ammonia. 1 tablespoon of table salt (chemical name sodium chloride).and a quart of distilled or deionised water. (you can buy the latter in the pharmacy, chemist, or drugstore). Hot water will speed up the dissolving of the salts in the liquid.
Scour the copper object, that is to be coloured, thoroughly with Scotchbrite, pumice, or some other commercial scouring agent (but no steel wool or any other greasy abrasive) and rinse thoroughly with water and then distilled water. Do not handle the object without gloves. Fingers leave grease prints and that can cock up the finish.
Let the object AIR DRY. Do not heat the object to dry, at any time during the patinating process. Sunlight is o.k. Also leaving it near a hot air register is fine.
Use a pump to spray the solution in order to thoroughly cover the masterpiece and then let air dry. Repeat the spraying and air drying step at least 5 times. Oh yeah, do NOT use the plastic, solution-mixing container for food or drink, ever. Not even for Fido.
Happy patinating, and if you achieve success,
take out a membership in the "Cyber Smith International" group, found on this site. Proceeds support this website. Our contributions go to insure that this site does not go broke and disappear.
Regards, to all,
   slag - Monday, 02/11/02 06:40:48 GMT

Slag, Thanks! And Thanks, again!
   - guru - Monday, 02/11/02 07:59:03 GMT

Please tell me location of best place to find animated gifs for the metalworking & welding trades. Thanks !
   Rob Allison - Monday, 02/11/02 14:37:40 GMT

CPM Steels: John, I haven't done much knife making. Most of my edge tools were chisels and gouges. Nothing wrong with a gas forge. Due to convienience and cleanliness many smiths use them. Right now I have two and I am inbetween coal forges. However, most pros have both coal and gas taking advantage of both.

All I know about the CPM steels is that they are proprietary designations and my references do not cover them. The stainless varieties are often used in laminated steel blades thus requiring an agressive flux. Heat treating is also critical.
   - guru - Monday, 02/11/02 15:53:38 GMT

Birds: Betsy, All the birds I have seen in forge work were custom made by the individual smith. They are an oft repeated motif and many smiths make beautiful birds of all types. See our iForge demos.
#100 is Bill Epp's Humming Bird
#123 is my Duck Head Andirons.
Maybe one of our regulars will volunteer or contact you.

   - guru - Monday, 02/11/02 16:01:02 GMT

Animated GIFs: Rob, with the exception of one stylized pounding hammer and anvil GIF I've seen floating around all the animated GIFs I have seen were custom made or proprietary. That means copying and using them may be copyright infringement.

Make your own? I use GIF Construction Set by Alchemy Mindworks. My copy is a little buggy but it is an old version (1.0) that may have been upgraded.
   - guru - Monday, 02/11/02 16:08:04 GMT

Hello Im new at this forgeing I live in nevada and have a small welding shop if you could help me or steer me in the right direction I am looking for plans or some one who can tell me how to make pine cones Ive seen it done a few years ago but the man that did it has move and i have no way of getting hold of him he used one strip of steel to make the whole pine cone not rosets thank you for your time
   Brett - Monday, 02/11/02 16:44:55 GMT

De-carbing steel: pack in a box of scale and heat is the way I have heard of it being done. As to getting WI without the slag---sounds like getting fiberglass without the glass---anyway modern steels have a *LOT* more junk in them than just carbon, Manganese is in almost *ALL* of them plus all the tramp elements if it's been made from scrap---probably a lot cheaper to shell out the money and buy a very low carbon steel spec'd to be clean of junk (and that won't be cheap!)

   - Thomas Powers - Monday, 02/11/02 16:50:20 GMT

I have been contracted to make a strong box from Stainless.
I need to know what alloy of stainless steel has the best rust resistance 300? I am planing to use 303 or 304. also how close should I match the alloys. ie if I use 303 and then 314 for the rivets will there be a reaction problem? I am going to shoot for the whole thing to be made from 1 alloy. but not all the materals I need are available in the same alloy. so ...how much can I get away with.
if it matters the box is to be filled with the customers writeing and buried as a time capsule (also useing a plastic liner) she wants the box to last as long as posable.
   MP - Monday, 02/11/02 17:32:39 GMT

Stainless: MP, Fun project. There is no problem using different 300 series stainlesses together. The biggest difference is between being cast, wrought or machinability. In equipment we have made for the nuclear industry 302, 303, 304 and 305 are all pretty much considered the same.

Besides corrosion resistance a good seal is probably the most important thing in a time capsule. A good gasket material would do the best. There are special low-acid grades of silicon sealer for potting electronics but I expect any grade would due as long as you keep if out of the interior. The acedic acid given off is probably not good for documents.

Now for a real LONG life I would have the writing engraved on stainless sheets instead of paper. . . and if its going to be a LONG LONG time the changes in language should be considered. She may want to include some sort of Rosetta stone.

Under normal conditions an SS box should last for thousands of years.
   - guru - Monday, 02/11/02 19:36:22 GMT

Our glossary project is growing! We now have submissions in German and Swedish as well as Slag's French above. I'll update the list later this afternoon.
   - guru - Monday, 02/11/02 19:37:02 GMT

what is hot rasping?
   dave - Monday, 02/11/02 19:44:29 GMT

Time Capsule Other than the time I burried coins and money in a mason jar when I was a kid the next closest project was building two gun storage boxes for some friends. They were made of 1/4" plate with angle iron reinforced corners (all around) and were welded continously. Hinges were a fabricated "piano" hinge made from 1/4" schedule 40 pipe and 5/16" rod. The lock blocks were designed to take standard heavy duty pad-locks and were armored so all you could get to them was a key. Handles fit in sockets and were removable so they didn't present a pull or lever point. They were stored inside.

THEN the whole thing was bolted from the inside to a concrete floor. . .

I burned over 75 pounds of welding rod on that project in a few days. THAT was when I got good at stick welding!
   - guru - Monday, 02/11/02 19:52:11 GMT

Dave 'Hot Rasping' is using a file or a rasp on metal that is hot... usually in teh red range. Of course it is not something you want to do with a new file, but and old file that is not in as good of shape is god for this use.
   Ralph - Monday, 02/11/02 23:08:13 GMT

   BOB - Monday, 02/11/02 23:54:14 GMT

Int'l Glossary. I couldn't put a slanted accent directly over the letter, so I put a single apostrophe after the intended letter. Here're a few in Spanish.

bellows - fuelle (el)
bender - ma'quina de curvar
bench - banco (el)
file - lima (la)
flatter - plancha (la)
hardy - tajadera (la)
jig - gui'a (la)
jig, assembly - forma (la)
lathe - torno (el)
drop hammer - martinete (el)
power hammer - martillo meca'nico (el)
punch - punzo'n (el)
quench - apagar (verb)
saw - sierra (la)
screw - tornillo (el)
smithy - herreri'a (la)
temper - templar (verb)
tongs - tenazas (la; plural) They have tenacity.
vise - tornillo de banco (el)
weld - soldadura
   Frank Turley - Tuesday, 02/12/02 00:07:35 GMT

Hello Jock,
I've come across some cast cone mandrels and swage blocks made of "ductile" iron. The finish is "foundry cast". Being a newbie, I was interested in any opinions/input. Thanks...Gator
   Gator - Tuesday, 02/12/02 02:29:50 GMT

Frank, Thanks! I had just this moment updated the glossary with German and Swedish and wondered where I was going to get Spanish. Now I remember a few others in the South West that should be able to help. Will update again shortly. . .

To ALL. Please check the international glossary for errors. I speak English and my second "languages" are all different versions of computerese. Some of our contributor's English is not perfect either and we will need to make corrections here and there.

As you can see, the list is growing. I will add the glossary to the drop down menu to make it easier to find. Until then, here is the link again.

International Glossary
   - guru - Tuesday, 02/12/02 02:37:14 GMT

Ductile Iron Hmmm new word for glossary. . :)

Gator, "Ductile" iron is made by innoculating cast iron with magnesium in the crucible or the mold as is it cast. The magnesium causes the excess carbon to form graphite nodules leaving the surrounding iron low enough carbon to be ductile. Most things on automobiles that we think are cast iron are often ductile iron. Besides being very tough it can be arc welded.

"Foundry finish" can mean ANYTHING. A good foundry using the proper sand and a wash (coating) can produce very smooth surfaces if they want. But a foundry using the wrong sand, and iron at the wrong temperature or low quality iron can produce the most awful messes you have ever seen.

Generaly these items need a full day's worth of grinding to clean them up. That means your time PLUS the cost of the abrasives. On the other hand. . . almost all these items are sold as-cast. The only person that hand finished blocks and cones for sale was Wally Yeater and he has been out of the business for many years.

On finish, LOOK before you buy.
   - guru - Tuesday, 02/12/02 02:47:15 GMT

Dear Slag,
Thanks for the recipe for cu patina. I guess the ammonium chloride is the fertilizer I was thinking of. Chemestry was last 1970. Could I just soak for a while? Instead of 5 coats. I plan to join CSI.
   Steve Paullin - Tuesday, 02/12/02 04:04:09 GMT

Steve, when you let chemicals react with metals exposed in air the results are different due to the oxygen in the air taking part in the reaction with the metal and the chemicals.

The recommended fertilizer is Miracle Grow as a paste. Haven't tried it myself but many others have. No patina occurs instantly. All take time.
   - guru - Tuesday, 02/12/02 04:53:14 GMT


Most fertilizer contains Ammonium Nitrate, not Ammonium Choloride. Mixed with diesel fuel .....
   Paw Paw Wilson - Tuesday, 02/12/02 06:14:00 GMT


After two months we have met the specifications from the Judge, and the public has access to our sites. Our two primary blacksmithing sites are Saugus Ironworks National Historic Site: www.nps.gov/sair/ , and Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site: www.nps.gov/hofu/ . I dropped by Hopewell in the winter of '00, and I'm planning to hit Saugus this June while I'm up in Boston for a Departmental field meeting. Nice sites, interesting history, friendly staff (trust me ;-). As well as Saugus and Hopewell, a number of other sites- George Washington's Birthplace, Grant-Kohrs Ranch, San Antonio Missions... have blacksmithing sites and displays or activities at various times throughout the year. If there's an NPS site in your area, check it out. You never know what you'll find. (Remember- if you feed the bears, you may end up feeding the bears!)

Sunny and cold on the banks of the Potomac. Happy Chinese New Year!

Visit your National Parks: www.nps.gov

Go viking: www.wam.umd.edu/~eowyn/Longship/ (cAsE sEnSiTiVe)
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Tuesday, 02/12/02 13:31:26 GMT

... um; when pulling up any individual park page, be sure to check out the "In Depth" button on the right. Also, some pages are more informative than others, just like the rest of the internet.

We muddle on!
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Tuesday, 02/12/02 13:39:43 GMT

Frank; what about the yunque???

   - Thomas Powers - Tuesday, 02/12/02 15:00:15 GMT

Speaking of NPS and sites with smithing content......(grin)
If anyone is ever in the Vancouver, WA or Portland Oregon area you should make a trip over to Fort Vancouver NHS.
In addition to all the Hudson Bay company info we have a nice working blacksmith shop. In fact unless is a shop has opened elsewhere in the NPS it is the only fully operational full time blacksmith shop in operation in the NPS. And it is staffed fully by us volunteers.
   Ralph - Tuesday, 02/12/02 15:23:16 GMT

Frank, email to your msn account bounced. Please send new e-mail address if it has changed.
   - guru - Tuesday, 02/12/02 15:55:57 GMT

Does anyone have a suggestion for me? I'm doing faggot welds of 3/8 round, then drawing smooth, and having trouble with the last 1/8 inch not sticking. thanks, mike
   mike-hr - Tuesday, 02/12/02 16:52:45 GMT

MP - Does she realize that paper is now made with acid and that while the box may last forever, the paper won't? I have no idea how long it will last, but then again, I don't know how long she wants the time capsule to stay buried.
   - Stormcrow - Tuesday, 02/12/02 17:03:13 GMT

Greetings, I'm looking for information on blacksmithing during the 18th century. If you can lead me to some websites, that would also help. Please respond. Thank you.
   Karl - Tuesday, 02/12/02 17:08:49 GMT

Karl; websites won't be where the good information is at---especially if you don't know enough about the subject to tell what's legit and what's BS!

Take a look at "Mechanicks Exercises" by Joseph Moxon for an early 1700's look at smithing (originally published in 1703 IIRC). Also look up "Diderot's Encyclopedia" for much good information. Don't forget that "Blacksmithing" includes a lot of sub catagories---locksmiths, gun smiths, bladesmiths, whitesmiths, tool makers, anchor makers....just looking under one term will get you only a little bit of what was going on.

Good luck on your project.

   - Thomas Powers - Tuesday, 02/12/02 18:12:32 GMT

18th Century Blacksmithing: Karl, we have a number of articles and stories on the subject but nothing in depth. Blacksmithing has not changed greatly in several millennia. The major changes have been in the available material, (wrought iron was used instead of mild steel, and the fuel, charcoal was used instead of coal (in the US - in England they had already converted to mineral coal).

Otherwise the processes have not changed.

See our story page for blacksmithing myths, legends and traditions as well as my story, A Day in the Life of a Blacksmith's Apprentice and Jim Wilson's Revolutionary Blacksmith. Both of these stories are historical fiction set in the 1700's.

For illustrations of typical commercial European shops see Diderot's Encyclopedia.
   - guru - Tuesday, 02/12/02 18:18:37 GMT

Failed Faggot Welds: Mike, I can only guess but there are several possibilities.

1) You are burning the end since it is exposed and heats faster than the rest.

2) You are overheating the end and boiling off the flux. You may not be burning the steel but it is now covered with scale.

So it sounds like you need a gentler heat.
   - guru - Tuesday, 02/12/02 18:47:07 GMT

Mike, that end sticking out can also cool faster, especialy if it is tapered and your shop is cold. Sometimes you need to pry open the end of a weld, reflux and reweld.
   - guru - Tuesday, 02/12/02 18:57:36 GMT

Is the ash coal fired forge usefull for anything?
   - Jeff - Tuesday, 02/12/02 20:20:18 GMT

hey all, I got into an argument with another hobby smith over the weekend. If you are using mild steel, heat to a bright red-yellow and work it then let it air cool to a black heat and then drop it in the quench tank, does a horrible amount of metal fatigue develop? I was always under the opinion that with the lower carbon, it was not prone to damage due to quick heating/cooling. But, as always I could be wrong . . .
   Escher - Tuesday, 02/12/02 20:33:11 GMT

Metal Fatigue Escher, "fatigue" requires millions of stress cylcles below the yeild point.

Thermal shock is generaly not a problem in mild steel but I don't know what the metalurgists would say. Quenching at below the A3 (upper transformation temperature) should cause no changes. In mild steel this is 250°F above the non-magnetic point (almost an orange heat).

On a different but related subject. . on one of the spy TV shows the other night, they cooled bolts with a CO2 fire extinguisher to make them brittle so they would break easily. . . HAHAHAHAHAHA! Not likely. Cooled to LCO2 temperatures steel does become more brittle but not enough unless the part is highly stressed. . . And cooling with low density gas in open air. . . Bad, bad science.
   - guru - Tuesday, 02/12/02 20:48:30 GMT

Here are a few German terms. They use a character called an umlaut which is two dots above a letter. Since I can't type the umlaut I added an e after the affected letter, which is the same thing.
blacksmith - der Hufschmied
blacksmith shop - die Schmiedwerkstatt
blacksmith swage - das Schmiedgesenk
anvil - der Amboss
ballpeen hammer - der Kugelhammer
sledge hammer - der Schmiedehammer
lathe - die Drehmaschine
weld - die Schweissstelle
vise - das Laster
saw - die Saege
hacksaw - die Metall-Buegelsaege
sawblade - die Saegeblaetter
   Neal Bullington - Tuesday, 02/12/02 20:51:43 GMT

Turning Copper Green

Another way to get a green or verdigris finish on copper is to thoroughly clean the copper, pop it in a gallon (plastic) container of water to which a tablespoon or two of salt has been added. Take a battery charger and hook the positive side to a piece of steel and the negative to the copper (don't let the metals touch). Plug it in and in a very short time (10-15 minutes) -- green copper. I may have gotten the poles reversed so if you don't get the green color, just reverse the positive and negative. I stumbled upon this while experimenting with a method of etching that Paw Paw recommended. Have used it several time since to get a quick verdigris.
   Christine - Tuesday, 02/12/02 21:10:09 GMT

Neil, I see new words I need to add (saw blade, hacksaw) and several that I just added from Daniel Vogel. But. . .

You might get punched in the nose for calling a German artist blacksmith a Hufschmeid. . . I'm pretty sure that is a horse shoer (farrier) or farm smith. German has a whole series of specialty smiths names that we don't and I should probably add them to the list, or ask one of our friends to make a list. .
   - guru - Tuesday, 02/12/02 22:09:30 GMT


Using salt as an electrolyte can produce copious quantities of chlorine gas. If you use Christine's method above be sure to do it outdoors and keep pets and children away from the container. Don't stick YOUR face in it either. . .
   - guru - Tuesday, 02/12/02 22:12:56 GMT

Thanks Guru. Whoops, I meant to say baking soda, NOT salt. But still stay safe and do this out of doors. When in doubt, better to err on the side of plenty of ventilation.
   Christine - Tuesday, 02/12/02 22:18:09 GMT

Guru; I can fail a piece of coathanger due to fatigue with much less than millions of cycles...

Thomas lets not get into stress corrosion cracking!
   - Thomas Powers - Tuesday, 02/12/02 22:39:45 GMT

For anyone that arc welds or who wants to arc weld I just recieved a book "New Lessons in Arc Welding" from Lincoln Electric Co. https://ssl.lincolnelectric.com/lincoln/ that is the most bang for the buck ($5.00) of any book I've ever bought. The main thrust is stick welding but it covers all processes, alloys, rod selection, procedures etc. I think it's the text book for their welding school.I have no connection with Lincoln, this is just a real bargain.
   bbeck - Tuesday, 02/12/02 22:59:23 GMT

Metal Fatigue: Thomas, I said "below the yeild point". Bending is yeilding. . . :) Big difference.

Try flexing (springing) that same wire back and forth at less than the bending point and start counting. . . .
   - guru - Tuesday, 02/12/02 23:15:40 GMT

guru-I am wanting to know what is considered a better materal for bearings babbot or bronze. I am rebuilding a bradley hammer and the drive shaft bearings need replased. The original bearings are babbot but I have been told that bronze is a better. What is the best material to use and why. thanks Terry
   terry stover - Wednesday, 02/13/02 01:51:11 GMT

Terry, The best is what was originaly there. Bradleys are the heaviest and best built of all the mechanical hammers.

Bronze bearings require precision bores which your machine does not have since it was not designed for it.

Your automobile or truck has babbit faced main engine bearings. . . think about it.
   - guru - Wednesday, 02/13/02 02:40:52 GMT

Helo guru, I have a 200 lb. bradley, 100 yr old hammer. I got a new leather belt for it from McMaster&car, it works great but it screaches & squeeks. I tried belt dressing, that makes it worse. water, wd40,& wax helps but only temperarley. All the neighborhood dogs are anxious for me to fix this problem.
   Dave Jacobson - Wednesday, 02/13/02 06:25:57 GMT

You can generate an " " by holding the alt key down and use the number pad to type 0235. The numbers, above the keyboard letters, do not work.
An " " is generated by repeating the above routine, but typing in the numbers 0228, instead.
Regards to all the gang!
   Slag - Wednesday, 02/13/02 06:52:35 GMT

Acid and Paper and longevity
Archival paper is available for a price. A hefty price but available. The paper is made from rag fiber. 100% acid free rag paper will not oxidise. Books printed in the sixteenth century were made of rag fiber and the paper has held up well after almost five centuries. (i.e. it has not browned become brittle and then disintegrated.
Also the capsule should be purged with nitrogen just before sealing. Or better yet, argon gas.
Other, seemingly, innocuous substances ,like scotch tape should also be avoided, The latter is full of sulfur compounds that will form sulfuric acid if there is any moisture in the container. Photographs are especially trashed by the latter compounds. If the lady is really serious about permanence, I suggest that she consult with a conservator who may be found, and consulted, at a large museum or an art galery
Regards tout la gang,
   Slag - Wednesday, 02/13/02 07:22:05 GMT

I live in Central Arkansas and cannot find anyone that sells coal. THe farmers co op is stumped, no hardware stores carry it, any suggestions?
   Terry Gross - Wednesday, 02/13/02 12:30:37 GMT

Slag. Do you have a formula for o umlaut, u umlaut, accent over a letter, and tilde over a letter? My tildes crawl on the ground like a snake. I'm fairly new to the PC World. Thanks.
   Frank Turley - Wednesday, 02/13/02 13:56:41 GMT

Slag: Our family has land deeds on parchment from the 1600s that are in fine shape. We have books on rag paper from the 1700s that are just as readable as ever. We have grocery bills from the 1890s that are crumbling to dust. But the biggest joke is I have floppy disks from last year that are totally unreadable, and I've had entire texts disappear from my computer within seconds of completion! See; we're getting more efficient at disposing of our thoughts. Progress marches on!

I like the Guru's idea: Engrave deeply on stainless steel!

On the other claw, I have spent a good portion of the last several years at the Park Service working on a facility to meet archival standards for parchment, paper, electronic and photographic media. Whatever we've got, we'll take care of it as best we can, for as long as we can.

Visit your National Parks: www.nps.gov

Go viking: www.wam.umd.edu/~eowyn/Longship/
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Wednesday, 02/13/02 13:59:57 GMT


How much different is working copper than working steel? Can you "forge" it? What I mean is, will it burn up in my forge easily.
   Chris Bernard - Wednesday, 02/13/02 14:34:58 GMT

Photographs and time capsules

For years archival ment the photographs should be in black and white, carefully processed, and printed on fiber based photo paper with archival quality in mind. For long-term keeping of prints, the paper should be treated using a toner of selenium, sulfide, or gold to protect the black-and-white silver image.

The one hour shops can't do archival quality. For instance, double weight fiber based papers require washing in running water at 18C to 24C for 60 minutes to remove fixer and contaminants. IF you want to get really archival, process and rinse in distilled water. The quality of the water and the contaminants in that water must be considered.

If several photos are stored, interleave them with acid-free paper. Everything in the box should be acid free, not just that material which contacts the photographs.

As the materials are gathered, they should be handled with clean cotton gloves to avoid fingerprints and contamination, or fungus and bacterial growth may be a problem.

There are companies that do archival processing and printing, as well as supply archival storage materials. "Archival" often comes at a higher price because of the additional labor, care, and materials involved.
   - Conner - Wednesday, 02/13/02 14:37:47 GMT

Fellow Blacksmiths. My name is Mark and I have been hired to work at a Boy Scout Camp (Camp Meriwether) in Oregon. WE have a historical renactment area that has blacksmithing, unfortuneatly our hand bellows, tongs and hammers were stolen. I was wondering if you gentelmen could point me in a direction where I can find some used tools and most importantly a bellows. any information will help thank you for all of the help you guys have given with patterns and ideas already.

Mark W. Zank
   Mark Zank - Wednesday, 02/13/02 14:47:54 GMT

Time capsule. Wouldn't a vacuum be best? Hard to hold over long time, but still a good idea. Inert gas purge with little empty space in the container and seal it hot to create the vacuum. I always thought a glass lined stainless container with a stainless to stainless metal taper sealed flange seal with tension to combat long term creep. Flange fasteners properly torqued to deal with temperature changes and long term creep. Glass has been around a lot longer than stainless. Many seal compounds have plasticisers that react with other materials over a long time. Some are volatile. Food grade seals generally have less if you decide to use elastomer seals.

Plastic is not as inert as some think. Volatile plasticisers in many plastics too. React with the paper? I don't know.

Stainless foil paper. I like that too.

One has to wonder why there are no materials that last forever. Grin.

Maybe knowledge was meant to be passed from person to person as the only real way to preserve it.
   Tony - Wednesday, 02/13/02 15:20:23 GMT

Squeeking Belts Dave, The only time I have heard leather or other flat belts squeek is when the edges rub on vertical surfaces. This is common on step pulleys where the belt is nearly the width of the faces and there is no tracking adjustment.

On your Bradley there are vertical retainer surfaces that the belt should not touch except when loose (clutch disengaged and not moving). The belt should be 1/2" to 3/4" (13 to 19mm) narrower than this space and ride only on the crowned portion of the pulley on your hammer. The clearance may be more and will be on larger machines.

If the belts are the right width you might have a tracking problem due to alignment of the motor or a bent clutch idler arm. Flat belts on proper pulleys will run when terribly out of alignment, especialy when there are belt guards on the edges. Check that alignment and tweek and adjust it until the belt runs centered on all pulleys.

And lastly. . . If the belt is not spliced straight it will track back and forth rubbing the side guards every time the splice or the opposite point passes a pulley.
   - guru - Wednesday, 02/13/02 16:02:14 GMT

Mark; building a bellows will probably take less time and trouble than trying to find a working one and should be pretty cheap as well. 1 saturday and less than $50 should do it (with scrounge talent <$5!)

   - Thomas Powers - Wednesday, 02/13/02 16:07:17 GMT

While this is not in Arkansas it is not too far I think...
Webbs & Co. Salvage, Rt. 3, Piedmont, MO 63957. TEL: 573-223-7000. Limited supply of coal and coke from all over the USA. $35.00 per ton FOB, Piedmont, MO. Bring cash.

BTW this is from the Guru's Coal Scuttle page......
   Ralph - Wednesday, 02/13/02 16:13:27 GMT

My son has to present a paper in his high school social studies class on Henry Cort and the puddling process. He needs to have a visual or a "show and tell" item. Any ideas on what he can take or do?

   Shelley Callas - Wednesday, 02/13/02 16:50:34 GMT

For " " hold down the alt key and type 0246 on the number key pad then release the alt key and, voila, it should appear.
For " " type in 0227 and release.
Turley-san do not apologise for being new to computers. It took a full week, and my wife's patient perseverence, for me, to get the knack of turning the infernal machine on. (too many keys I expect, or Dementia Praecox, not sure which).
A la prochain,
   slag - Wednesday, 02/13/02 17:30:18 GMT


I have been having some trouble with steel ending up overly textured and cratered. Is this due to overheating, or am I doing something else wrong? I am using a NC whisper Daddy, at about 8psi. A picture of what I mean can been seen at:


it's not a real website, just a picture I have posted. Clicking on it will make it much larger, and you can clearly see what I am talking about.


   - James F. - Wednesday, 02/13/02 17:35:14 GMT

Right, guru, huf means hoof, so ufschmied must be a guy who works on horses.

Thanks for the umlaut info, but I can't get it to work. Nothing happens.
   Neal Bullington - Wednesday, 02/13/02 17:54:11 GMT

Copper vs. Steel Chris, Yes, copper is eminently forgable. It has a forgeability index of 65 to forging brass which is 100. However heating is tricky. For most purposes it is worked cold then annealed and then worked cold some more.

Yes is can be heated in a forge but the melting temperature of 1980°F is close to the forging temperature of 1350 to 1550°F and there is little color difference. I prefer to use a torch when heating copper and brass but a gas forge is also good if you only put in ONE piece at a time and watch it carefully.

The big difference compared to steel is that due to the high heat conductivity you can NEVER forge a piece that is hand held. The end outside the fire becomes hot VERY quickly. This applies to most non-ferrous materials including aluminium, brass and bronze. Unlike iron you must alwasy use tongs to handle your work.

anneal - a new word to add to the glossary!
   - guru - Wednesday, 02/13/02 18:01:46 GMT

thanks for the suggestion on the welding book.
   - bbeck - Wednesday, 02/13/02 18:24:00 GMT

Mr. TURLEY and foreign letter SYMBOLS
Mr. Turley I did not read your letter carefully enough and I missed some of the letters you requested. Here goes.
" " 0224 " " 0225
" " 0226 " " 0227
" " 0228 " " 0232
" " 0233 " " 0234
" " 0235 " " 0236
" " 0237 " " 0238
" " 0239 " " 0240
" " 0241 " " 0241
" " 0242 " " 0243
" " 0244 " " 0245
" " 0246 " " 0247
" " 0248 " " 0249
" " 0250 " " 0251
" " 0252 " " 0253
" " 0254 " " 0255
That's all for now.
I have to get back to work.
   slag - Wednesday, 02/13/02 18:24:27 GMT

....WOW, i did it!

bbeck, sorry I thanked you under your own name....
another advantage to sign via cybersmith membership.

   - lsundstrom - Wednesday, 02/13/02 18:34:44 GMT

Special characters are supported oddly on Windows machines and differently in various editors. The codes in HTML are different than the ANSI - ASCII codes. They are also different than the codes used in DOS which supports ASCII differently than Windows as well as differently on different Windirt keyboards. . . . I don't have a clue on Macs. . .

When I try the ALT-key routine in the edit box on this page it tries to POST when I get to ALT-02. But it works in Windows Notepad and you can paste it in. It should also work in your e-mail editor.

In HTML ö is &ouml, for "o" umlat.

I can enter these HTML characters here but HTML is turned off for the general public because it can make a mess of the forum. I am constantly having to fix MY mistakes and don't need to be fixing yours.

In Windows - Click:
START, Accessories, System Tools, Character Map.
Select "Txt" font or "Arial" font. We use Arial here.

You can double click the needed character and paste from the box at the upper right. The ALT-number codes are shown on the lower right. PLEASE, PLEASE, do not use other fonts such a "symbol".

I use a similar pop-up tool in my HTML editor so I forgot about the Windows tool. I'm sure Macs have one similar.

   - guru - Wednesday, 02/13/02 18:59:18 GMT

Pitting Jim, ever hear the term "too many irons in the fire"? I suspect you are burning up the steel by leaving it in the forge too long.

When using a gas forge you can feed billets to a power hammer as fast as you AND the machine can work. When doing little hooks like this from 1/4" stock, one piece will heat up as fast as you can forge another so you don't want a bunch of pieces in the forge.

For this small work a Whisper Daddy is a BIG or too big a forge. On one third the fuel or less a Whisper Baby will make as many hooks as the bigger forge. That is the problem with gas forges. They are only efficient at their full capacity.

When making a little hook like this I would heat one piece, forge one end, put it back in the forge and add a second piece, finish the first hook, start the second and when I put the second back in I'd put in the third piece of steel and so on for hours at a time.

The fact is the Whisper Baby is enough forge to feed 1/4" stock to at least two or three smiths working by hand. Your bigger 3 burner forge is enough to feed a dozen smiths doing this small work.
   - guru - Wednesday, 02/13/02 19:22:36 GMT

Puddling Process: Shelly, Show and tell might be tricky with this one. You need a liquid substance that forms a skin on the surface that you can rake off. Most things that do this are volatile solvents. Lacquer paint would be perfect but I don't think the school would be happy with the toulene and benzene vapors (same as finger nail polish).

I can't think of a food substance that would do the same.. . . Something that forms a skin when it cools. . . like a melted sugar. But that would require heat that may also be dangerous. How old is your son?

Build a model furnace. A very low wattage yellow bug light would be great for the "heat" color. Use a small pan with water and small bits of torn up wax paper floating on the water. Then the was paper is scraped off the surface representing the thin layer of wrought iron and balled up. It would then be forged under a tilt hammer which was always next to the furnace.

Try this link for Animated forging hammers
   - guru - Wednesday, 02/13/02 19:48:53 GMT

How about some Latin:
iron - ferrum
blacksmith - ferrarius
chisel - scalprum
fire -ignis
little fire - igniculus
a forge - cuminus
anvil - incus
saw - serra
little saw - serrula
heat or form with a hammer - extundo, procudo
a hammer - malleus
a small hammer - marculus
   Neal Bullington - Wednesday, 02/13/02 19:50:09 GMT

Latin: I had thought of latin but as soon as we get to tools that are not in the general references. . . A friend of mine is from a family of Latin professors and teachers and wrote a latin translation program. The last time I asked him about this he wasn't much help.

I'm thinking about another shorter list of just blacksmithing tools and including more languages. The list above is a good start. Thanks!

Hey, wonder why Potasium is "K", in latin it is Kalium. Sodium, Natrium thus Na, Mercury Hg. . . . . Sure would have been a lot easier in school if the WORDS had matched the dang abreviations!!!!!
   - guru - Wednesday, 02/13/02 20:04:47 GMT

Hmmm, maybe I need to look at adding a small forge. I think I had 2 pieces in the fire at a time, but I forge pretty slowly....

Is there any safe way to reduce the size and capcity of a forge like this? I could jam it full of firebricks, but I am not sure how to reduce the burner output. Turning down the gas probably won't work, but I could try to "turn off" one burner. Any suggestions?

   - James F. - Wednesday, 02/13/02 20:05:21 GMT

Adjusting Gas Forges Jim, Its tricky. You have to do both things you mentioned, block off a part of the forge AND turn off a burner. The bigger NC forges have valving setup so you can run on partial burners. Yes, the burners can be adjusted but should be set for optimum atmosphere not to control the heat.
   - guru - Wednesday, 02/13/02 21:40:13 GMT

Welding vs. Brazing

I assueme copper has to be brazed instesded of welded, right?
   Chris bernard - Wednesday, 02/13/02 21:52:24 GMT

Shelly Callas and Guru - Perhaps to demonstrate the puddling process, you could use pudding. It forms a skin as it cools, one that can even be skimmed off and formed into a ball. After the demonstration, you should still have refreshments left, if you start with enough pudding.
   vicopper - Wednesday, 02/13/02 21:59:13 GMT

Hey tom do you have a patttern to make a bellows, the one we followed worked very poorly, I think the main problem we had was to heavy a flapper
   Mark Zank - Wednesday, 02/13/02 22:07:47 GMT

Forging copper, Chris,
Always hold with tongs
flatten fire, part lies on top so you can see it,
it will turn slightly red, depends on light. Then it melts, the forge monster is quick on this one!
clean with SS wire brush, slag is easy to beat into surface
no big hurry, you can beat on it till it work hardens.
select smooth, flat hammer, every little blemish will show
my Trenton anvil lived outside, has pits. Males a pebbly finish on Cu that doesn't show on steel. I like it.
Cu moves alot easier don't have to hit as hard
Biggie! Cold shuts. They don't go away. Practice making any fine small forgings. The first one I did looked like a pine cone instead of a fine hook. Then it fell off. Sorry this is so long I like to forge Cu. Next time I'll tell everything I learned about patinas. There are alot of resorseful people out there!
   Steve Paullin - Wednesday, 02/13/02 22:09:05 GMT

Copper: Chris, you can weld copper but its afinity for oxygen makes it difficult. Brazing works well.
   - guru - Wednesday, 02/13/02 22:24:34 GMT

Pudding! The cooked home made kind skins better than the new packaged types. . . hmmmmm need bright yellow pudding. . .
   - guru - Wednesday, 02/13/02 22:28:00 GMT

Sort of a non-blacksmithing question, but steel related....

Another activity of mine, aside from smithing, is pistol shooting at the range.

Several of my pistols are Glocks, which have a "tenifer" process applied to the metal parts. They claim this makes the metal very very hard, and, more corrosion resistant than stainless steel .....and its not stainless steel.

Also there is some environmental reason why this tennifer process can't be done in the USA I am told.

Anyone familiar with this process or could comment as to whether or not the claims are reasonable or BS?

Glocks are high quality firearms made in Austria. Here's some text about the tenifer process....

" Glock barrels and slides are made from quality steel which has been treated with a special "Tenifer" process. This colorless carbo-nitrate formula enriches the steel with oxygen, sealing its pores. Tenifer makes the steel extremely hard (as hard as industrial diamond on the Rockwell scale) and corrosion resistant. The steel will not scratch or rust, period! In fact, the slide is so hard you can use it to sharpen your knives.

The barrel is treated both inside and out. Because of this, Glock barrels do not show the normal wear associated with untreated barrels by other manufacturers. Glock, Inc., has one barrel which has fired one million rounds and still works; another has fired 300,000 rounds and still shoots better than 1" groups!

Glock also parkerizes the slide and barrel to give them a matte black color. While the parkerizing might wear off showing "bare" steel beneath, the Tenifer is still there. In fact, it penetrates the steel to a depth of three microns. Even a Glock which has lost all of its matte black finish is still scratch- and rust-proof."
   Gary - Thursday, 02/14/02 01:39:13 GMT

I asked this question last week but have not been back on and missed an answer if one was shared. I need some iron or cast iron birds to weld on some gates I am making. I do not want sheet metal but 3D iron or cast. Can you help me find a source or distributer? Thanks and sorry if I missed your previous answer. I tried to find my messege but could not. I really appreciate all you help with questions.
   Betsy - Thursday, 02/14/02 02:14:22 GMT

guru another babbit question. What is the best and way to remove the old babbit from the cast frame of a power hammer also is it nesasary to remove all the old babbit. I am working on a bradley hammer and spent three hours trying to remove the babbit from the bottom half of one bearing. I was using a die grinder and carbide burs and only removed around 60% of the babbit. At this rate will take around one week to prepare these two bearings. thanks Terry
   terry stover - Thursday, 02/14/02 02:27:04 GMT

Babbit: DO NOT GRIND the babbit. You are filling the air with heavy metal particles! Chisel it out. Once it is loosened it will come right out.
   - guru - Thursday, 02/14/02 02:36:35 GMT

Birds: Betsy, Things move fast here. We archive this forum once a week. The first answer is already in the arcives. Click "archives" and last week will be at the top left.

I had a fellow suggest aluminium birds from a company called "Alloy Castings" but he didn't give any specifics. Try Thomas Register on-line.
   - guru - Thursday, 02/14/02 02:48:57 GMT

tenifer, teniferq p q, it is a process where steel is warmed up in a saltbath at around 600 degrees celsius, carbon and nitrogen get into the surface, might be called something different in america, carbonitrading for eksample, nitraded surfaces are less prone to rusting, then comes the q p q, means quench, polish, quench, after the carbonitrading saltbath the steel is dropped into an oxidising saltbath at arond 250 degrees c, polisched, and quenched again, this forms a very hard, black, rustproof surface on the steel.
i am sure they do it in america under a different name
   Stefan - Thursday, 02/14/02 07:41:42 GMT

i am wondering how to go about making spurs from hoof rasp.where i could find info on it also
   romey - Thursday, 02/14/02 12:04:01 GMT

The best reference for making a giant bellows is a book by Heath called "How to Make a Blacksmith's Bellows". It is item BK400 ($5.00) in the Centaur Forge Catalog. Their e-mail is centforge1 at aol.com, and their phone number is 262-763-9175.
   Neal Bullington - Thursday, 02/14/02 13:27:26 GMT

Hello Guru,Have you got theFormula for material required, for making eyes or rings on chain for ox-teams
(like rings on end of fire rake etc. Or could you email the
website withe formulas for the smith.
Thank's in advance

   Rob - Thursday, 02/14/02 13:43:41 GMT

Slag. Thanks for being so thoroughly "diacritical".
   Frank Turley - Thursday, 02/14/02 13:59:48 GMT

Romey. Norm Larson, bookseller from Lompoc, CA, used to carry a book titled, *How to Make Bits and Spurs* by Robert Hall. Horse rasps aren't in there, but you can figure it out.
   Frank Turley - Thursday, 02/14/02 14:05:26 GMT

Terry: Us a torch to remove all of the old babbit. Let the old babbit run on the floor and pick it up after it cools. Babbit has a high consentration of lead in it.
   Bruce R. Wallace - Thursday, 02/14/02 17:31:20 GMT

re Bellows:
soon after I hung my bellows and ran about 20 feet of water
heater vent pipe to my fire pot, I noticed that the pipe was getting uncommonly warm to the touch. The internal flap valve had flipped over and the device was acting as a suction generator. I put a limiter on the valve so that it could only open far enough to have to fall back into the shut position. Instead of leather I had used blue plastic tarp for the webbing. That could have greated quite a fire in the rafters where the bellows hung. Anyway, after I fixed the flapper, it worked alright I guess, but it didn't improve my chances of getting a forge weld to stick and that's why I had built it in the first place. If I could get anyone one to help me get it down out of the rafters, why, I'd probably let'em haul it off real cheap.

But, the real point is that if you're building one of these dinasours, make sure the flapper can't flop over top dead center.

   - lsundstrom - Thursday, 02/14/02 18:04:14 GMT

Hello Guru!Recently I bought an Fisher eagle 1916 anvil 100 lbs a old post vise in need of a spacer to close the jaws and also many tongs of different shapes and sizes and tools for the anvil.I think I got lucky with the price 150.00.You?? Any way the only problem is the fine point of the horn is broken off.After reading about these anvils the horns are of steel, any suggestions? thanks Johnflh
   johnflh - Thursday, 02/14/02 18:07:33 GMT

Problem with "umlaut"? , , , ....
Get a swedish keyboard (GRIN)!
   - Olle Andersson - Thursday, 02/14/02 19:04:59 GMT

More about giant bellows: I recently disassembled a 42" double chambered bellows sold by the Chicago Wrecking Co, about 1895 (their advertising says they got 1,000 of them cheap in a sheriff's sale). Anyway, the wooden flapper valves had leather straps that kept them from opening more than 30 degrees.
   Neal Bullington - Thursday, 02/14/02 19:19:56 GMT

I forgot to mention that the flapper valves were covered with thin felt on the side that makes contact, to prevent air leakage.
   Neal Bullington - Thursday, 02/14/02 19:23:01 GMT

Ring dimension formula from The Blacksmiths Craft, London. Pi times the mean-diameter of the ring. Multiply it out. Then, add one times the stock diameter to allow for upsetting and scarf making. Forge weld and shape round; level it.
   Frank Turley - Thursday, 02/14/02 19:32:42 GMT

Anvil Repair John, Repairing Fisher-Norris Eagle anvils is very risky. The steel face and parts of the horn (only the top and tip are steel) are welded on "in the mold". This joint between cast iron and steel is very unusual and not repairable. Any welding or application of high heat may cause enough thermal shock to damage that weld.

That said. . gently warm the horn to about 250-300°F, then weld on a new tip of mild steel using E7018 rods. Be sure your weld preparation allows for full penetration. Then continue to keep the rest of the horn warm while the weld area cools. When the weld area is roughly cooled to the same as the rest then let the whole cool. Grind to suit.
   - guru - Thursday, 02/14/02 20:14:19 GMT

Now we are jumping from the frying pan into the forge. Lead particles are poisonous (the finer the particle inhaled the more dangerous it is). Inhaled lead fumes are deadly, poisonous. Far more poisonous than lead particles. Some common lead-babbit alloys have 70%, 80% and 82.5% lead in them. (the rest of the alloy is made using tin and antimony)If lead or babbit metal must be torched, do it outside. Do it far away from people, animals and crop or garden soil. The person doing it must wear a CHEMICAL respirator. Not just a respirator designed to filter out particles. A strong air blast should blow those fumes far away. Also, make sure that nobody is downwind. The operator should have gloves and protective clothing on. The clothing must be washed soon after the process and no other clothing should be put in that wash with the contaminated clothes. The operator should shower and thoroughly shampoo as soon as possible after the "job". The operator should never smoke nor eat while torching or heating lead, and after a very thorough cleanup and shower.
Torching lead indoors should never be done except if there is an industrial ventilation and filtering equipment installed in order to pull the fumes out. Such activity is probably illegal in most places anyway.
Lead poisoning does serious damage to the lungs, central nervous system, and skin. children are even more sensitive. Their I.Q. drops in a direct proportion to the amount inhaled and ingested.
Also, lead is absorbed by the body and little of it is shed. In other words, lead collects in our bodies after each exposure. Accumulated body lead can be pulled out of the body by treatment with chelating chemicals such as E.D.T.A. (ethylene diamine tetra-acetic acid for any other fussy chemists on the website). Hopefully, the treatment should be started before much damage has been done to the patient. But chelation treatments are very unpleasant.
Lead can be detected by blood tests. A doctor, can detect ingested lead by looking for a "lead line" seen in the gums, if he suspects lead poisoning.
Lead poisoning is serious stuff. Please permit me to relate the following story (anecdote). The well-known American landscape artist Emil Grupp writes that several of his artist friends had to stop oil painting after being poisoned by lead. Flake white, a lovely white oil colour is made from lead carboate. His friends (several of them), regularly soaped their brushes in the palm of their hands after cleaning them with turpentine or naphtha. He describes how one painter's skin had turned dark metallic. He died two years later. (yes, lead can go through the skin and get into the blood stream.)
Those artists, from the first three or four decades, of the previous century just past, did not know about the poisonous consequences of lead ingestion. Today, artist and artisans (in my case metal basher) have no excuse.
Please let me summerise the previous long-winded, melodramatic prose. DO NOT MESS WITH LEAD FUMES.
it's not worth it.
Regards and live long, and well.
   slag - Thursday, 02/14/02 21:45:34 GMT

lead carboate=carbonate
   slag - Thursday, 02/14/02 22:42:03 GMT

On the other hand. Gently melting out the babbit is no different than soldering pipe with a torch. If done outdoors its not a problem. Indoors is differnt. Be sure to catch and retrieve all the babbit. Spilled metal, even low temperature alloys splatter and spread all over in fine droplets. You don't have to spill much to contaminate your entire shop with lead dust. That gets tracked into your car, truck and house. . to your family.

Note that there are a number of lead free and low lead babbits (mostly tin) but you can't tell on old machinery without expensive testing.
   - guru - Friday, 02/15/02 00:45:34 GMT

I'm currently trying to polish out the gas tank of my motorcycle. So far I've tryed wet sanding using from 400 grit to 2000 grit. For some reason I'm haveing trouble getting out the scratches from the 400 grit. What have I missed or have done wrong? Do I have to use 2500 grit or what?
   Ray Herring - Friday, 02/15/02 01:08:32 GMT

Ray, small steps. . . 400, 800. . .

Beyond 500 or 800 grit on metal you need to jump to polishing compound or buffing. Normally on steel I use 180, 320 and then buff. Wet sanding lubricates and prevents the abrasive from picking up "nits" and scratching the surface. The 2000+ grit is not aggressive enough. It is designed for relatively soft paint or plastics.
   - guru - Friday, 02/15/02 02:19:58 GMT

Good Guru;
Just finished rebuilding the tail end of my big home made belt sander (8"x72", 5 HP) and it no longer sounds like it is going to consume itself any second...whew.'Twas a noisy sucker!
I was afraid to run it any faster before, now there is a choice. The FPM rating on the commercial machines is all over the place...600 to 5000 FPM.
What is the optimum speed for belt grinding steel?
   - Pete F - Friday, 02/15/02 05:49:39 GMT

Thanks guru, your right, the bradley belt is tracking off because of the idler pully arm is bent.
   Dave Jacobson - Friday, 02/15/02 06:34:05 GMT

Thomas Powers. I was retro-scrolling and saw your note. What yunque? The old fashioned Spanish name for anvil was bigornia (la), indicating a two horned anvil. The name is still valid.
   Frank Turley - Friday, 02/15/02 14:05:44 GMT

Treadle Hammer,by ABANA by Pete Stanaitis. I am currently building this hammer. I plan on using the Removable Hardy Hole & Treadle Hammer Adjustment link. Should the head tube be cut to fit this and the wieght adjusted? Should the Vertical Columns Uprights holes for spring attachments be moved? Or, should some kind of adjustment adjuster be designed or has one all ready been designed? I already have all pieces cut from material list. Before drilling and welding I a wait your comments
   - Gerry W. Jones - Friday, 02/15/02 16:14:41 GMT

   - guru - Friday, 02/15/02 16:39:02 GMT

Concerning my Question Gerry Jones Friday 02/15 my E-mail address JONESPIZZAPARLOR and address is 626 4th St. Proctor, Minn. 55810, telephone 218-628-2445.
   - Gerry W. Jones - Friday, 02/15/02 16:43:09 GMT

Did Hay-Budden mark #'s or hudred weight on there anvils?
   Jacob - Friday, 02/15/02 16:54:02 GMT

Hammer Plans Gerry, I haven't seen these particular plans but if they repeat the common mistake of filling the head with lead DO NOT DO IT. Find a piece of steel.

This is a very common mistake made by both the nuclear industry for sheilding and fishermen for weights. By volume it takes 1.4463 times as much steel to equal lead in weight. For radiation sheilding that it the multiplier for thickness. To make maters worse the nuclear industry likes to use lead shot which has air spaces and reduces the density advantage further. For fishing by trawling with small boats (common on our larger fresh water lakes) they use a "cannon ball" made of lead that weighs about 25 pounds. . Stupid!!! Our lakes are littered with tons of these things. I'm sure the reason they are lead is that they are made in small operations along with other fishing weights and lures. Cast iron would work just as well and would not create a lead contamination problem at the manufacturing end or a polution problem as the user end. .

Using lead, unless you need its specific properties (softness, deadening, the slightly higher density) is dumb, Dumb, DUMB!

If you need a low temperature melting alloy to fill something then Zinc casting alloys are 85 to 95% the density of steel. Junkyards are full of zinc scrap. But steel is still cheaper and easier to work with!

Zinc Alloy Melting point is 730° F. Only 100° F hotter than lead.
   - guru - Friday, 02/15/02 17:09:55 GMT

Jacob, The Haybudden I have is marked in pounds.

Gerry, That is an invalid e-mail address. If you fill in the e-mail blank on our form it encrypts it so that spammers can not collect it but it still works from here.
   - guru - Friday, 02/15/02 17:14:18 GMT

I want to get information about Lost Foam Process to produce iron and steel castings. Also permeable refractory coatings for this process.

Thanks in advance.

   Urquijo - Friday, 02/15/02 17:33:33 GMT

Now, if you are going to Africa, how about some Swahili...
anvil - fuawe
blacksmith - mbini
hammer - nyundo
ballpeen hammer - nyundo rungu
forge - kiwanda
to forge iron - kiwanda fua vyuma
iron - chuma
bar of iron - pando la chuma
iron wire - masoka
charcoal or coal - makaa
cold chisel - tindo
   Neal Bullington - Friday, 02/15/02 18:02:34 GMT

Or, if going to a different part of Africa, how about some zulu..
blacksmith - uncanduli
blacksmith shop - isitolo somcanduli
anvil - isicandulo
coal - isixhokolo
charcoal - amalahle ezinkuni
saw - haqaza
steel - insimbi
iron - ayina
bellows - khonya
fire - dedela
drill - drila
metal file - okusansimbi yahlela
chisel - isixhokolo
hammer - bethela
ballpeen hammer - ballpeen yabethela
temper metal - lukala okusansimbi
   Neal Bullington - Friday, 02/15/02 18:41:48 GMT

You might want to try some Afrikaans...
anvil - aambeeld
bellows - blaasbalk
blacksmith - smid
blacksmith shop - smid doen inkopies
coal - steenkool
charcoal - houtskool
drill - boor
fire - vuur
iron - yster
metal file - metaal vyl
forge - smee
hammer - hamer
lathe - draaibank
hacksaw - ystersaag
screw - skroef
steel - staal
weld - las
   Neal Bullington - Friday, 02/15/02 19:08:42 GMT

And here is some Hungarian:
anvil - ullo
bellows - fujtato
blacksmith - patrokolokovacs
charcoal - faszen
fire - tuz
forge coal - kovacsszen
hammer - kalapacs
iron - vas
lathe - eszterga
hacksaw - femfuresz
steel - acel
vise - satu
weld - hegesztes
torch welding - gazhegesztes
   Neal Bullington - Friday, 02/15/02 20:23:32 GMT

Lost Foam, Polystyene: Urquijo, The system is simple and can be done with unbonded sand. Make the sacrificial foam piece including risers, ram up sand around it and pour. The polystyrene burns out and causes some soot and smoke but is is no more than some other sand bonding methods. The foam pieces are made both by molding or carving by hand. Complex hollow shapes like auto intake manifolds are often made of several pieces glued together. No cores are required. The big expense in making parts by this method is the foam production line and the permanent molds. Finishes are so fine from uncoated parts that you can see the texture of the expanded beads on the surface of parts. You will need to contact a foundry supplier for information on refractory coatings.

For low production or one-offs the sacrificial foam part is hand carved from blocks of foam. Due to the ease of cutting and finishing to shape this can be very cost effective on large castings. A pattern that would take weeks to make in wood can be made in hours. As long as the numbers are low enough that the cost of the on-offs do not add up to permanent patterns and core boxes this is a popular method. The light weight of the sacrificial foam piece makes handling easy and makes mold making less expensive since patterns do not need to be removed or molds open and closed.

However you need cooperation of the foundry. In the 1980's I suggested this method for making a 12,000 pound making tool casting and both the foundryman and the pattern makers looked at us like we were crazy. Ten years later they scorned making permanent patterns for a similar part saying they could make dozens of parts cheaper using hand built foam parts than with permanent molds. I think they forgot who asked them about using foam the first time. . .
   - guru - Friday, 02/15/02 20:49:39 GMT

Frank; next time I get back to Toledo to the Fabrica Espadas Zamorano I'll tell them they got the name wrong! Or perhaps this is a difference from the Old Fashioned Spanish spoken in Spain and the OFS spoken in New Spain???

Thomas I'll remember the other term for when I'm down your way...
   - Thomas Powers - Friday, 02/15/02 22:18:08 GMT

Would the lost foam process work for small brass castings?
   bbeck - Friday, 02/15/02 22:22:10 GMT

Lost Foam: bbeck, yes it should. I know it works for bronze. Glue a riser on a foam cup and try it. In industrial casting with foam they use dry sand and avoid the tempering and processing of the sand altogether. The dry sand fills internal cavities better and provides better venting of gases. The fact that the sand is dry reduces the amount of steam released thus offseting the vapors of the burning foam.
   - guru - Friday, 02/15/02 22:31:47 GMT

I think the question was what is the best way, not the safest. The safest way is to leave the babbit alone if you can. But, that isnt always an option. Ive seen lots of things done unnecessarily. Ive seen hammers taken apart and put back together because they were dirty. Then moved into a shop and called because the hammer wasnt performing as expected. The problem was the entire hammer needed to be oiled. The owner then told me, but it will get dirty. My Bradley came for a working shop and put in place in our shop the way we bought it. Sure it could use new babbits and fresh paint. But, will new babbits and a fresh paint enhance its performance? The end result wouldnt justify the means. Nothing will replace routine maintains and fixing the obvious but somethings are BETTER left alone. We are currently rebuilding a Nazel 3B for a customer. We have gone over the hammer completely and only fixing what needs fixing. Theyd like us to replace the crank breakings but upon inspection we have only found it necessary to tighten them up by removing some shims. Dont fix it if its not broken.

Carefully melting out babbit in my option is much safer then grinding. Sorry, if I wasn't clear but I do have a tendency to generalize and not go into a lot of details when writing is involved. Split the bearing with a chisel if you can then melt out any remains or remnants. If the bearing were tinned in place chiseling alone will not remove the entire bearing. If done correctly with appropriate safeguards melting out babbit would be my preferred choice. Time exposed to any possible danger is a lot less by GENTLY melting rather then grinding. Ill agree accumulative long-term effects and exposure to any type of lead products is nasty BAD stuff. Splitting and then melting out two bearings if even done incorrectly is not going to kill anyone. Given the choice of 3 plus hours of grinding or 10 minutes of melting, Ill take the torch method.

Oh yeah, whichever methods you choose dont call Al Gore for suggestions. A good spin-doctor could scare the pants off you and convince you sitting in your house all day naked watching soap operas and cartoon is the only safe thing to do. Youll get nothing done. Your mind will turn to mush. Youll eventually go blind from watching to much TV get fat from doing nothing and die of congestive heart failure. Given those choices, Ill at least take a risk and get the hell out of the house and do SOMETHING constructive with out hurting the environment, others or myself.

Leather Belts: Some leather belting is sized according to pulley diameter. I have heard of squeaking sometimes being associated with improper sizing. One ply-5/32 leather belting is recommend for a minimum pulley diameter of 3. One ply-3/16 is recommend for a minimum pulley diameter of 5. Also, leather belting shouldnt be used with laminated fiber or wooden pulleys.
   Bruce Wallace - Friday, 02/15/02 23:33:23 GMT

And remember when in Spain to differentiate between Castillan Spanish, Catalan, or worse yet... Basque! I'll be in Barcellona in two weeks! More photos for my wrought iron archives - woohoo!
   Rodriguez - Friday, 02/15/02 23:40:30 GMT

Urquijo, ShorInternational.com has a host of casting supplies. The investment I used for a recent bronze came from Kerr Laboratories (they supply dental labs). This stuff provides a VERY accurate reproduction of the surface. You can actually see fingerprints in the final piece if you don't polish the original. I made the mistake of pouring 10# of molten bronze IN THE HOUSE! Looked like Vesuvius...flames..smoke.. Still married though. I guess I'll keep her! Just a few thoughts on my experience. Warm in MN. Brian
   Brian Rognholt - Saturday, 02/16/02 00:28:22 GMT

In one of Bill EPPS demos he refers to using a black heat in his finishing process. I have looked up in my references but can't find the meaning of a black heat. Bill describes the finishing process as such:" use bee wax at a black heat....or use a brass brush at a black heat....".

What is this black heat???

   Louis - Saturday, 02/16/02 04:50:07 GMT

i want to cast ten copies of an existing bronze porthole. i have no knowledge of the type of bronze. the vessel is a copy of an 80 year old yacht. the existant porthole was cast around that time. can you suggest the type of bronze i should be looking for. also any tips on the method i should use. my past experience was with sand casting lead keels (i'm a shipwright,only an amateur blacksmith)
thanks for any guidance you can provide...paul johnson (australia)
ps...i just found the site..really impressive !!!
   paul johnson - Saturday, 02/16/02 07:39:20 GMT

Black Heat Any heat in iron too hot to handle and less than 1,000°F where it starts to fluoresce or show color in low light. Similar to the "blue brittle" range in steel (300°F to 700°F). Generaly the heat left over from forging.
   - guru - Saturday, 02/16/02 08:37:25 GMT


I am interested in becoming a blacksmith. I have some metalworking skills I acquired in Middle and High School (Arc Welding, Oxy/Acetylene Welding, MIG Welding, Lathes, Sand Casting, Sheet-Metal fab, Steel Forging {i.e. Chisels, Hammers, Etc.}, Tempering, and all of the standard equipment operation). I was wondering if anyone knows of a shop in the Beaverton, Or area. I would be very happy if someone could help me. Thanks in advance.
   sbovee101 - Saturday, 02/16/02 10:20:06 GMT

Hi Guru, Brass is sometimes referred to as "half hard". Exactly how hard is that? Harder than aluminum but softer than steel or what? Is there a rockwell number? Thanks Gary
   Oldhootowl - Saturday, 02/16/02 13:33:54 GMT

Half Hard: Oldhootowl, The hardness of most non-ferrous metals is determined by work hardening, generaly rolling in production materials. "Full hard: would be as hard as the material can get and should not be mechanicaly worked beyond that point. Soft is annealed and half hard somewhere inbetween. I do not think there is a spec or tolerance on the exact hardness. It will vary with the alloy. Soooo. . . Its exactly what it sounds like.
   - guru - Saturday, 02/16/02 14:15:04 GMT

Whoops Yes there are hardness numbers for non-ferrous alloys. In Rockwell they are a different letter scale, "B" I think. However, if "half" is used then the tolerance on that is at best +/- a "quarter". Its not a specific designation. And as I mentioned, the properties of alloys vary with the alloy and there are hundreds of brasses and thousands of copper alloys. I have a reference on copper alloys but unless you know exactly which one then we might as well randomly pick a page and blindly pick one.
   - guru - Saturday, 02/16/02 14:23:28 GMT

Never used E-mail before. Threadle Hammer any help I can get with the previous questions or anything else or ideas.
   Gerry W. Jones - Saturday, 02/16/02 14:32:08 GMT

Casting Brass/Bronze: Paul, Ship's fittings are commonly called bronze but are often brass. Such as "Naval Bronze". It is brass not bronze. In either case the melting temperature is considerably higher than lead. These alloys are cast at a little less than 2,000 F (1090 C) and a little higher for some bronzes. Greensand or plaster molds may be used. Both only one time. Risers are required to prevent shrinks and venting is more important than in low temperature casting. The higher temperatures require a graphite crucible, proper handling equipment and protective gear. It is best to use clean new casting alloys. With scrap you never know what you are getting and are likely to mix an un-castable alloy from items you are not sure of.

I recommend the series of books on do-it-tourself casting by C.W.Ammen, "Brass Casting", "Foundryman's Bible", "Making and Using Wood Patterns".
   - guru - Saturday, 02/16/02 14:37:15 GMT

I am 57 years old, and have 25 years blacksmithing experience behind me. I run the Dorset School of Blacksmithing in England, and use ceramic chip forges which I find ideal for my beginners. I now need to change the chips, as they are degrading, and am looking for a source other than the highly (over)priced chips available through the regular suppliers. I have contacted a number of suppliers of refractory materials in England, and they all ask to know what is the composition of the chips. A friend of mine tells me that they are the same sort of material used to make space shuttle re-entry heat shield tiles, but processed into small hard chips, and that they are all imported from the USA. He also thinks that they are used in domestic electric night-storage heaters. Can GURU or one of his assistants please tell me the chemical composition of these chips, together with any other useful information.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
   Michael Malleson - Saturday, 02/16/02 14:53:18 GMT

Paul on casting:

Also you won't be able to use the existing porthole as a direct pattern, since the castings will shrink a bit (1 to ~10%, depending on alloy), leaving you with ten slightly smaller copies of the original. You would find that info in the books Guru recommended anyway, just thought I'd mention it.
   Alan-L - Saturday, 02/16/02 14:57:40 GMT

The Afrikaans language Neal Bullington translated in my opinion is the Neederlands language (Hollndisch).
Because the Neederlands in the past had occupied areas in Africa.
Daniel Vogel
   Feuerdesigner - Saturday, 02/16/02 21:10:41 GMT

Daniel, For most words that is probably true. But I think Africaans has evolved quite a bit differently than Dutch due to the seperation and different environments. I haven't compared his translations to my list from a Dutch catalog but I expect these to be close if not the same.

The project continues! Daniel just sent me updates German and I added a translation links page last night. I'm working on the English Glossary at the moment.

International Glossary

   - guru - Saturday, 02/16/02 21:38:51 GMT

I've been asked to to make a Bald Eagle weather vane, and would appreciate any infomation,plans,or advise. It should be approx. 3' tall with wings in a folded position. Thankyou Greg
   Greg Guidry - Saturday, 02/16/02 23:51:53 GMT

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