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 February 1 - 7, 2010 on the Guru's Den
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I am proud to say I am a new father of my first 100+ pound anvil. Words do not describe how excited I am to get to work with it.
My problem is I don't know what company it is. It is not a big deal but I am curious to know.
It is a cast steel anvil with a large horn and and normal working surface, It is not a shoeing anvil, and it bares the number 143 on the side, I can see a micro amount of white paint chip left on one of the feet of it also.
There are no other markings but the number 143. It mostly resembles the anvil on the logo with a little bit bigger of a horn.

If anyone has an idea of what it could be please let me know,
thank you
   matt - Monday, 02/01/10 08:26:15 EST

Matt, sounds nice. Have you tried wiredbrushing dirt and rust off of it? Sometimes doing that makes the makers mark more pronounced.
   - Nippulini - Monday, 02/01/10 11:53:13 EST

i'll try, from what I did I found the 143, I haven't gotten to look at it much yet cause i've been busy. I'll look harder today
   matt - Monday, 02/01/10 13:28:24 EST

Matt, sounds like a good score. Try shining a light on it from the side. Any raised or indented writing will throw a slight shadow to help you read it.
   quenchcrack - Monday, 02/01/10 13:33:50 EST

so I did a little more looking on the anvil and I wire brished the sides.I only was able to find it didn't say 143 it said 145, no other markings were visable.
For the time being I sprayed it down with rustolium 2 year anti rust that was black. I did this in order to keep it rust free while I have it outside. could 145 be the weight scale?
   matt - Monday, 02/01/10 17:45:55 EST

Matt what does the bottom of the anvil look like? HB's are usually easy to tell from the underneath side.

   Thomas P - Monday, 02/01/10 18:03:56 EST

IF its a U.S. made forged anvil the weight will be in pounds and may be stamped on the anvil. If a British anvil it would be in hundred weight OR if late manufacturer kilograms. Other import anvils are marked in kilograms except when they were made specifically for the North American market many years ago.

On CAST anvils the letters are raised and weights are rounded off either as round numbers 100, 200, 300 or partial numbers 10 (for 100), 15, 20, 25. . .

On anvils made for private branding by the seller the manufacturer's name is usually left off and the seller ecpected to mark the anvil. Many used paper labels or decals that didn't last long, leaving many unmarked old anvils in the market.
   - guru - Monday, 02/01/10 19:52:47 EST

it has a square hole at the bottom, a square hole on the waiste under the horn and a square hole on the waist on the opposite side and has 4 American style anvil feet, Also it had a good amount of white paint that looked as old as the anvil. I don't know if it being painted white is anything. I guess for now I'll just enjoy it and not worry about where its from. If anyones got another idea feel free to give me your wisdom. thank you for the help guys.
   matt - Monday, 02/01/10 22:29:33 EST

The white paint is most probably user applied (school or industry) and will have filled most stamp marks if they exist. The square hole in the bottom indicates one of many forged anvils but probably not a Hay-Budden.
   - guru - Tuesday, 02/02/10 00:37:23 EST

ok thank you, I wasnt sure, it looked similar to one, but looks are deciving.
   matt - Tuesday, 02/02/10 07:00:36 EST

Just out of curiosoity, if you had a good microscope, after forging processes, could you hold the steel under the microscope and determine what state it is in ( bainite,
martensite, etc. ) ?
   Mike T. - Tuesday, 02/02/10 08:46:18 EST

Mike T, You can definitely determine the microstructure of a piece of iron with a good metallurgical microscope (called a metallograph). A small piece, about 1" square is cut with a saw, not a torch. The piece is carefully polished to a mirror finish. A dilute acid is applied to the polished surface (usually 5% nitric in alcohol). The acid preferentially attacks the grain boundaries and carbides leaving a surface than can be viewed with the microscope.
   quenchcrack - Tuesday, 02/02/10 08:57:03 EST

Mike T, if you want more info, google for "metallography".
   quenchcrack - Tuesday, 02/02/10 08:57:55 EST

What tool would you recommend for forging a breastplate out of high carbon steel? I've seen mushroom head stakes used and just the face of the anvil. What are your thoughts?
   Matt - Tuesday, 02/02/10 12:16:22 EST

Matt, This is a form of heavy repousse'. Most of this sheet work is done the easiest on wood stumps and forms followed by using pitch to backup the work. In this case "high carbon" is low enough that it will anneal dead soft and can be worked cold. Hot work can also be done on a wood stump that is more or less disposable.

This work can also be done on specialized anvils, swageblocks and stakes but you need as many special tools as the shapes you are creating. Armourers have dozens of these tools as well as a range of hammers and repousse' punches for this work.

The big difference between using wood and stakes or blocks is expense. A wood block can be easily modified and new shapes added where in iron and steel you need every possible shape.

For general shaping softwood will do. Hardwood is only needed for heavy and detailed work. If you cannot obtain stumps (often free for the taking when trees are cut up) you can make a wood block by laminating framing lumber (2x6's to 2x10's - inch nominal). If you have a heavy bench or support the wood blocks do not need to be "stump length", just deep enough to hold together, cube proportions are good.

Shaping can be done many ways. With a chainsaw, chainwheel on a 4.5" grinder, die grinder, chisels and gouges, fire and scrapers. Often a piece is hot worked directly on the new wood block and burning takes care of the shaping. You can speed it up by scraping out the char.

Stakes are needed mostly for plannishing (smoothing) the metal surface. It helps to have a range of diameters and can be an expensive or time consuming collection. I think I managed to put together a range from 1" to 6" in inch and less increments over about a year of traveling.
   - guru - Tuesday, 02/02/10 13:06:40 EST

Matt; may I commend to you the forums at armourarchive.org a place where you can find a number of people doing exactly that! Also discussion on how to heat it for hot work and how to heat treat it when you are done forming it.

Anvil: ok no depression on the bottom save the handling hole. Check carefully around the outer edge of the base to see if you can find the remains of the outer edge projecting slightly downwards making a stylized Hourglass shape---very indicative of an early Hay-Budden anvil!

I have one where the rim is just about worn flat to the bottom.

   Thomas P - Tuesday, 02/02/10 15:40:55 EST

hahaha this is funny, I guess there are two matts on the forum, I was the one about the anvil. I,ll start using the name matt m to help the confusion. I'll need this blog for help as I do my sinior project
   matt m - Tuesday, 02/02/10 16:11:39 EST

HOT CUTTERS AND 52100: ok for anyone who cares here are some of my comparisons to the chisel i made and the MOB hot cutter from blacksmiths depot
my chisels:
better for delicate work and hold a better edge between heats. also they are better for the lone smith doing heavy work as they are expendable and easy to hold in tongs or in your hand. They also are shorter from top to bottom so it is easier to keep them steady which is a big help for me.
MOB cutter
better for lighter work (mild steel) and larger bars (keeps your hand away from the heat). also, it is better if you work in a two or three man team. it does not hold an edge, it just acts as a really thin fuller.
In the end i think the MOB cutter has its place (also Blacksmiths Depot has amazing customer service. they talked to me for half an hour when i was having trouble with my cutter). i like my chisels better, beacause they are easier when working alone. but the MOB cutter has them beat for BIG mild steel bars or making railings and such. i guess this is a case of the right tool for the job. i just turned my MOB cutter into a fuller by grinding the edge into a 1/4 in radius (IMO it is better suited to this then cutting bars, it is way to soft for me). just my 2 cents worth, but i bet someone is going to disagree with me.
   bigfoot - Tuesday, 02/02/10 16:43:07 EST

Bigfoot, Are you talking about the handled hot cut OR the little thin hot work chisels. The little thin chisels are made of some amazing hot work alloy similar to Atlantic 33 I think.

   - guru - Tuesday, 02/02/10 17:03:25 EST

i had one of those thin chisels and the thing bowed out to the side if you hit it with anything bigger than a 2 pound hammer. I like a short chisel held in tongs (grant sarver's v-bit tongs work great). back when i was making a lot of hammers i used a chisel that was maybe 1-1/2" long for slitting 1-3/4" stock.
   - Tyler Murch - Tuesday, 02/02/10 20:06:54 EST

i am refering to the MOB hot cutter 1500 gm (the handled ones). i have never used the thin slitting chisels myself, but i am too cheap to buy tools like that since i can make them so easily.
   bigfoot - Tuesday, 02/02/10 21:08:36 EST

Matt- the one making the breast plates- I tried to email you but that address apparently doesn't exist.
   philip in china - Wednesday, 02/03/10 00:55:08 EST

I bought a striker power hammer about a year ago, we use it hard and i need to replace parts and fix it up for a new job starting soon. I have not been able to contact anyone there and I'm wondering if anyone has information on how to get replacement parts.
   Rick Sanchez - Wednesday, 02/03/10 00:56:06 EST

Rick, If you go to their old website you will find the following.
All Service or Spare Parts Requests Should Be Directed To:

Shanxi No.2 Forging Press Machinery
101, Xin Jian Nan Lu, Qixian County
Shanxi, P.R. China
Post Code: 030900
354-522-2767 - Office
354-522-5197 - Fax
   - guru - Wednesday, 02/03/10 01:21:41 EST

I have a old Columbian 45# Post Vise. I have seen picturs of other simular vises and they appear to have two collars on the screw. Mine has one only on the post leg side. Do you know if it is supposed to have two or is one normal also.
Thank you
GB Hamilton, MT
   Glen - Wednesday, 02/03/10 11:43:53 EST

I have another question please. I am mounting my 45# post vise to a hay balier fly wheel as a base. Should I let the post of the vise set directely on the flywheel or on wood or something else to obsorb the shock?
thak you.
   Glen - Wednesday, 02/03/10 13:05:51 EST

The collars are usually a hemi-spherical washer and a seat that matches it. OR the screw can have a hemi-spherical shoulder and only the seat is necessary. I've used a pile of heavy steel washers to replace both. Lubricate well. I like never-seize on these high load washers.

The post of the vise is generally not sturdy enough to take side loads so you need a piece to attach the vise to (do NOT weld the vise leg to the plate). The foot can sit directly in a hole in or over the steel plate.
   - guru - Wednesday, 02/03/10 13:16:18 EST

Washers and the old smiths' mind set.

I've taken apart many a leg vise, and I first thought that the washers were a round piece with a punched or drilled hole. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that most of the washers were forge welded rings bent the hard way. I made one replacement that way by using the Pi x mean-diameter (+ one times the thickness) formula, which I found in "The Blacksmiths' Craft."

This tells me that the vises were fabbed by a team of real smiths who solved the washer problem in a more expedient way than tryng to make a round, flat piece with a punched or drilled hole.
   Frank Turley - Wednesday, 02/03/10 23:24:29 EST

Old Vise Washers: I've seen some of the internal thrust washers with gaps in them where they either were not welded or the weld broke. But most I've seen with complete washer sets appeared to have drop forged (one piece) washers. I think the two piece sets came later as many of the early screws had a hemispherical shoulder.

The old all hand made vice's had the nut box built up from many pieces starting with a hand made forge welded tube, a welded washer with a keyway to fit the anti-rotation key and more heavy forge welded rings to make up the "box". The thread was a coil of square bar fitted to the screw. All these parts were then brazed together.

It is a tribute to these smiths skill that these worked at all much less for hundreds of years. As Frank notes, they found ways to do the job without machine tools by using the common blacksmiths tools available to them.
   - guru - Thursday, 02/04/10 09:52:28 EST

Good morning,

I am doing an I-search paper in my advanced composition class on blacksmithing and I was wondering if it would be all right to ask you some interview questions?

Tysius Jacques Edward Phalen
   Tysius - Thursday, 02/04/10 11:19:08 EST

Tysius, Most of us would be glad to answer questions mailed to us. Be sure to study the subject a little so that your questions apply. Note the following:

Blacksmiths forge steel (we do not cast steel in molds).

Farriers or horseshoers are often called "blacksmiths". They shoe horses, we do not. Its a completely different business.

Most blacksmiths are self employed business people. We do not have a salary or earn X dollars per hour. We DO have shop rates in the 100's of dollars per hour that translate into a relatively small income at the end of the year.

Most modern blacksmith shops look more like modern welding or machine shops than the romantic smithy under a tree.
   - guru - Thursday, 02/04/10 12:53:21 EST

I made my first knife from a file ,i brought it up to non magnetic temp and quenched in motor oil , when i went to sharpen the blade my edge just chips and comes all to pieces , did i get it too hard or what could be the problem ? thanks !!
   JAMES M - Thursday, 02/04/10 15:11:50 EST

James, did you 'temper' the blade after you quenched it? if not chuck it in the over at 200 deg C for an hour, then try again! Alternativly heat up a bar of steel to dull red, then rest the spine of the blade on the bar untill the cutting edge changes to a straw colour, then dip it in water to stop the edge getting any hotter.

Serveal years worth of reading on heat treating knives on the internet! -
   - John N - Thursday, 02/04/10 15:44:13 EST

I did put it the oven at 400 for 2 hours but it was several hours after I quenched the blade , I have since annealed the blade again and was trying to figure out where i went wrong .
thanks .
   JAMES M - Thursday, 02/04/10 15:53:36 EST

James, It sounds like steel that was overheated during forging. Alloy steels tend to get crumbly when overheated and if part of an edge often cannot be repaired. It could also be from quenching while the steel is over heated (for hardening) OR quenching in the wrong quench or a cold quench.

High carbon and alloy steels must be treated carefully, not thermal shocked, not forged too cold, not forged too hot, not quenched too hot and it is highly recommended to temper ASAP keeping the steel warm between quench and temper.
   - guru - Thursday, 02/04/10 16:06:41 EST

Thanks , I am going to try again and temper while the blade is still warm from quenching , i have no access to quench oil can you recommend a good alternative ? I read where people use olive oil , mineral oil , motor oil , trans fluid , brine , the list goes on and on ! thanks !
   JAMES M - Thursday, 02/04/10 16:13:09 EST

Used motor oil is quite full of nastiness and not suggested.

I use vegetable oil and preheat to around 140 degF---much less of a problem when I tell my wife I want to stick the blade in the kitchen oven for an hour

   Thomas P - Thursday, 02/04/10 17:04:48 EST

Speaking of farriers, one of my co workers is thinking about getting a horse for her daughter. Without getting into the regular costs of horse maintenence and how much she makes... what is the average cost of shoeing a horse and how often (per annum) does it need to be done?
   - Nippulini - Friday, 02/05/10 07:38:15 EST

Nip- It depends. Our horses get a trim or are shod every 4-8 weeks depending on the time of year, condition of the horse's feet, how much we've been riding and where (trail, pavement, on the grass, etc). As to cost I think it varies by region and anyway our farrier is our next door neighbor and loves to trade blacksmithing for shoeing so I'm not sure what it actually costs these days.
   Judson Yaggy - Friday, 02/05/10 07:55:24 EST

I'm waaay out of the loop of shoeing, and I started in 1964 charging $11 for new shoes, $9 for a resets, and $3 for a trim. If I add a 0 onto $11, I get $110, and I'm getting in today's ball park now. Adding 0 onto a $3 trim, results in $30. One of my old friends is hot shoeing in a large city near the west coast, and he is getting $213 per horse. I don't know exactly what he's doing. He may be using pads between the foot and the shoe, which adds to the base price.

Will it ever end? We call it galloping inflation.
   Frank Turley - Friday, 02/05/10 10:35:27 EST

And. . . some shoers are picky about their client's horses. Horses that are rode frequently and shod frequently are usually well behaved but those that only ridden a couple weeks of the year and not kept properly shod for long periods can be fractious and hard to handle while shoeing. This is a common situation among folks that get in over their head or get a horse when they really should have just rented somewhere. . .

Commercial stables will take care of everything except unusual medical problems for a flat monthly rate.
   - guru - Friday, 02/05/10 12:04:15 EST

$213.00? Sounds like he's padding more than the shoes!
   - grant - Friday, 02/05/10 12:18:44 EST

Figure in the ALL the costs of having a horse, I don't think she'll be able to do it.

Forecast for Hulmeville PA 19047 is about 12 - 18 inches of snow, starting this late afternoon until tommorow. Bruce and Jock are probably getting in it as we speak.
   - Nippulini - Friday, 02/05/10 12:36:09 EST

sorry about that I forgot the name of people who work in metallurgy for bladed weapons and armor.

I have a few questions for my I-search article,if you don't mind I would like to ask them in the order of importance that I would like to know.

1. What all degrees should I have to learn metallurgy and also to work metal?

2. How hard is it to work metal?

3. how much do you need for materials?

4. can you tell me what book has the best research material?

5. Do you know what elements tend to make strong alloys?

6. how often does the average blade maker create a item per year?

thank you for your time and please reply soon
   Tysius - Friday, 02/05/10 13:26:00 EST

Tysius: Is this school homework? It is much more satisfying to discover some of these answers on your own.
   - Bob - Friday, 02/05/10 14:05:44 EST

tysius try to discover this on your own. if you get desperate just email someone on here, i would not mind responding, but i am nowhere near the best. im just a fellow highschool student who pretends to be a blacksmith. all of those questions but number 5 are subjective so from ten people you will get ten answers.
   bigfoot - Friday, 02/05/10 14:44:18 EST

1. To be a "metallurgist" requires an engineering degree and or an engineering degree with masters (or even a doctorate) in metallurgy. In some cases also a state "Professional Engineers" license.

To "work metal" only requires average intelligence and doing it. . To be a welder of machinist requires a High School diploma and/or a trade school course OR a 2 year Associates Degree which includes shop math, CAD, report writing. . .

To make a living as a blacksmith, bladesmith or armourer requires an above average intelligence and the EQUIVALENT of a Doctorates degree in entrapaneurship and ones specialty including art, design, history, sales, accounting and more. . . Often this EQUIVALENT education is self guided or self taught requiring a passion for the subject.

2. It is easy to work metal IF you know how and impossible if you do not.

3. "need for materials" - this is not a properly formed question but in its vein, "as much as necessary".

4. For what SPECIFIC subject? I have a library of books on metalworking and related subjects. There are entire encyclopedias on the subject.

See our Book Review page and google "ASM International products"

5. Iron + carbon + manganese + silicon = steel. Add chrome, nickle and other metals for high strength alloy steels. The answer to this is to study metallurgy for a life time.

6. Anywhere from a few dozen to hundreds.
   - guru - Friday, 02/05/10 15:01:42 EST

Tysius; I wouldn't say *anyone* was working in metallurgy for bladed weapons and armor. But there are a pretty good crop of folks that have that as their hobby.

I would look up bladesmith as the term and realize they range from folks using 100 year out of date "superstitions" to folks that could qualify for a PhD for their research.

1: You need no degree to learn metallurgy; buy the textbooks and *read*! Now days metallurgy is often taught as part of a Materials Science curriculum and would be under a BS Mat Sci or BEng Mat Sci to start. To actually learn to work it---few classes in that in college but lots of great blacksmithing schools are here in the USA. (I'll put in a plug for Frank Turley's school here in NM as I know how great it is personally)

2 Very easy to extremely hard depending on what you are trying to do.

3: nothing to hundreds of thousands of dollars---depending on what you are trying to do.

4: Can you specify exactly what type of research you want to do? I have a feeling that "The Complete Bladesmith, The Master Bladesmith, The Patternwelded Blade" might be better for your needs than the ASM Handbooks.

5: I suggest you do a booksearch over at ABEbooks.com on "Alloying Elements Steel" and ILL a couple of what turns up.

6: zero to several dozen depending on the maker and item.

Thomas "How High is up?"
   Thomas P - Friday, 02/05/10 15:01:48 EST

Note that both of use mentioned the ASM without having seen each other's posts this is an indication that there is merit to them! (but I would not consider them "beginner's" fare)

   Thomas P - Friday, 02/05/10 15:05:43 EST

Thanks for the answers,

yes I am doing it for school, but I also would like to make it a side job. the reason why is because I have a passion for making blades and other artwork. Though what I have made so far is three wooden swords and one bone handled knife. thank you for the references for my research. the specific subjects fall under blade making and armor making. also for my future books and games that i will make i would like to create them as realistic as possible so I went to people who know what they are talking about. the Begginers guide was very helpful, thank you.

   Tysius - Friday, 02/05/10 16:21:33 EST

Tysius, See the Resources list of our Swordmaking article (see FAQ's "S")

Working metal is a craft like any other. However, some areas include many crafts. While the metallurgy of a blade is important, so is the overall design, then there is the furniture which can include non-ferrous and/or precious metals (gold, silver, platinum) and the grip which can be ivory, exotic woods or synthetics such as linen micarta. All require knowlege of their use.

While many folks teach themselves much of what they need in these fields some, especially welding, should be learned at a trade school where they teach all the safety aspects of using and handling the equipment.

The same goes for handling chemicals, creating dust OR fumes. There are industrial safety courses that cover the general rules and most importantly about MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) and PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). Then in industry or employed by others much of this is taken care of by them BUT if self employed you have to be your own "safety officer" and know when to use protective gear and what things to avoid.

LOTS to learn. . .
   - guru - Friday, 02/05/10 16:53:43 EST

OK; The foremost modern researcher on the metallurgy of medieval/renaissance armour published a major book not all that long ago. "The Knight and the Blast Furnace" If you want to know what it *was* made from originally then you need to go to a local public library and ILL this book. (looking at the price to buy one will make you blink till you get to the research books on armour that are several times it's cost. Now one you will want to own for armourmaking is "Techniques of Medieval Armour Reproduction: know to armourers as ToMAR.

Remember that the material *most* people use for making reproduction renaissance and medieval armour didn't become commercially available until after the American Civil War!

I assume you already know about armourarchive.org (and with the pretentious english spelling of armour!)
   Thomas P - Friday, 02/05/10 18:49:03 EST

Tysius, many colleges offer degrees in metallurgy or Metallurgical Engineering (there is a subtle difference). Most engineering schools offer a few basic metallurgy classes for the "rounding out" of a degree in, say, Mechanical Engineering. I have observed that while I understand much of what goes on INSIDE the metal(my degree is in Metallurgical Engineering), it's what goes on OUTSIDE that the smith is usually concerned with. That I am still learning over my anvil.
   quenchcrack - Friday, 02/05/10 20:30:58 EST

Quenchcrack, how elegant an observation. I really like that thought. May I slightly change and use?
   ptree - Saturday, 02/06/10 08:38:21 EST

9:55AM EST, we have 18.5 inches of snow with 1-2 inches per hour still coming. Reports of 2 feet in the Maryland area... Jock, Bruce... you guys still alive? We're lucky that the snow is light and airy, on the Jersey coastline 75,000 people have no power as the snow there is heavy and wet, snapping tree limbs and bringing down power lines.
   - Nippulini - Saturday, 02/06/10 09:50:59 EST

We had 4-5" of heavy wet snow in the wee hours yesterday then most fell off the trees as the temperature rose to 35F. It sleeted and rained a bit yesterday but mostly thinned over the day with very slow melting. But we DID still have 6" out of 10 from the previous snow in shaded places and the new snow has added a bit to that. We could get out if we wanted but had made a grocery run Thursday after the prior snow had melted.

We have been very lucky in that the snow has not caused major power interruptions. I think that is because over the past three decades we have had almost NO snow but have had many serious ice storms that do much worse damage. The utility companies have done a good job of keeping rights of ways cleared and the ice damage has cleared what man did not.

Where my daughter lives in Northern VA near MD border they have had 30" of snow on top of the previous foot that was left over and its still coming down at a rate of 2"/hr.

Heck of a storm.
   - guru - Saturday, 02/06/10 11:09:09 EST

Special advisories at the NOAA/NWS site list:

Blizzard Warning
Coastal Flood Advisory
Special Weather Statement
Hazardous Weather Outlook
Short Term Forecast

So, next we'll get thw flash flood warnings when this mess melts.

At least there are no tornado warnings!

We still have power, so far; roads are near or actually impassable from here to NYC, not to mention rails and airlines.

Wood is stacked in the garage, tub is full of bucket-flush water for the heads, flashlights and oil lamps freshly charged and filled, medieval cook gear for the fireplace crane and propane burner for the teapot are handy.

Electricity is flikering, I think I'll post now!
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Saturday, 02/06/10 12:58:49 EST

Do you know of a lofting cad program that can read auto cad or Revit drawings.
I need to clad with copper a 20'radius conical roof that flairs out at the bottom?
Or a lofting technique if I have to draw old school full scale patterns. Thanks in advance . Victor
   Victor beresford - Saturday, 02/06/10 14:54:35 EST

Victor, A cone is a simple partial circle with a radius the length of the side of the cone and the arc the length of the circumference of the bottom of the cone. This can make a flat pattern that can be divided into segments. That is the easy part.

The flare can be created as a series of truncated cones starting at the bottom of the cone and ending at the last part of the flare. The flare ends at a given diameter and conical angle. The outer edge of the flare has a radius equal to the side of ITS cone.

The problem with this shape is that it cannot be made from flat segments, they must be stretched along the edges so that they are the same length as the distance between the cone and the flare radii.

Standard lofting methods for this shape begin with a cross section divided into segments, each segment point on the curve then connected to the vertical axis center line with a line tangent to the point on the line, THUS determining the theoretical cone at that point and its radius. From this a table of dimensions could be derived and the pre-stretched dimensions determined.

The narrower the segments the less stretching (forming) that will be necessary and it is possible that joints could make up some of the non-comformity.

Since it is not result in simple flat parts there will be no standard program to do this. Another option is a polygon with flats and this would result in flat parts.

Have fun!

   - guru - Saturday, 02/06/10 15:42:09 EST

Ptree, sure. I would like to see how you change it though. I trust you but I am just curious.
   quenchcrack - Saturday, 02/06/10 16:56:33 EST

61F and clear blue skies in beautiful downtown Cypress, TX. We don't worry about no stinkin' snow or rain....unless it is coming at us sideways and then we head for the celler.
   quenchcrack - Saturday, 02/06/10 16:58:52 EST

Quench, I thought to paraphrase
"I may not know what's going on inside or outside the metal, but at least I am working the metal"
   ptree - Saturday, 02/06/10 18:47:00 EST

About five years ago pure iron was a big fad around where I live. But the fad seems to have faded. Is anyone still working with pure iron?
   coondogger - Saturday, 02/06/10 18:49:05 EST

Pure Iron: has been imported by two different entities and both quit after a short while. The problem is that very few North American smiths are willing to pay the price (about the same as stainless when delivered) AND the cross sections were always limited. Another fellow had a U.S. version he called "Double Ought Iron" because the iron was 99.995% pure. Or had only .005% of impurities. The problem with his product was also sizes. He had it rolled into 1/4" plate then sheared into various widths from 1/4" up. He died before selling more than a small percentage.

As a result there is some 40,000 pounds of 1/4" pure iron stock out there somewhere from two sources. . . or it has gone to scrap.

The only advantage to pure iron and high grade wrought iron is the ductility. Its great for certain types of repousse' work. But for everything else there is not much advantage especially in the era of small power hammers. The hype about corrosion resistance has been going on since mild steel started replacing wrought with only anecdotal evidence. So mild steel wins. . .
   - guru - Saturday, 02/06/10 19:39:30 EST

Ptree, we will put that on your tombstone!
   quenchcrack - Saturday, 02/06/10 19:59:08 EST

You folks in the snowy areas make snow cream ? In our area when a good deep snow comes, we mix evaporated milk, sugar and some vanilla to the snow. Best treat ever.
   Mike T. - Saturday, 02/06/10 20:09:08 EST

Pure iron

At the last fitchburg forge-in (a super fun blacksmithing competition in fitchburg, MA) one of the projects was making a flower and some leaves out of what we were told was pure iron. We received a hunk of 3/4 inch round stock, and I think some smaller pieces also. Drawing out the 3/4 to a thin flower stem was noticeably easier than it would have been with any carbon steel. Bob Phillips, of the New England Blacksmiths, probably has some idea as to where it came from.
   - Josh S. - Saturday, 02/06/10 20:34:13 EST

ptree that sounds like this one time i was talking to this other smith whom i asked how forge welding really worked (the whole fusing metal bit, not how to do it). he said hell if i know, but i know how to do it. i geuss it isn't always about knowing what you are doing, but being able to do it.
   bigfoot - Saturday, 02/06/10 21:38:32 EST


I live in Sanford Florida. I was wondering if anyone would know of local artisans that make their profession or have a strong hobby in metalworking... Artists or blacksmith that make armour or jewelry or other artistic work.
   Alex perez - Saturday, 02/06/10 23:41:28 EST

Bruce you can always run out to the shop and fire up the forge to keep warm too, right?
Seriously though keep warm and keep safe. As long as my wife and I have been together we have always made sure we have a gas stove and oven so we will always have an emergencey sorce of heat.
I think now would be a good time for everyone out in the rural areas to have a 10-12k fuel cell set up and not have to worry about power outages.
   - merl - Sunday, 02/07/10 00:22:52 EST

Florida Smiths Alex, Florida has a very active blacksmithing group. See www.blacksmithing.org

   - guru - Sunday, 02/07/10 05:06:45 EST

Mike T. WOW! A blast from the past. I grew up in Denver and my mom made that for me as a kid...haven't thought about it in years....too many years.
   quenchcrack - Sunday, 02/07/10 08:24:14 EST

Snowcream in Denver in the middle of the last century was probably very good and safe. In that same period, in my then location downwind of the Louisville Ky "Rubbertown" chemical plants the snow carried far too much "NON-snow" content. You sometimes taste the chemicals:(
My mother made snow cream for us as well, once we moved upwind. Great treat.
   ptree - Sunday, 02/07/10 08:37:10 EST

Ptree, we eventually found out that we lived downwind of the infamous Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons plant. I have had a couple of skin cancers removed.
   quenchcrack - Sunday, 02/07/10 09:42:18 EST

Quench, My wife was born/raised in Greely. She and her sister both suffer from a thyroid problem that is linked to radioactive fallout from the open air tests and probably Rockyflats as well.
When you can't taste it as we could, you probably would not have any idea it was there in the 50's
   ptree - Sunday, 02/07/10 11:05:11 EST

I always follow Frank Zappa's advice: Watch out where the huskies go, and don't You eat that yellow snow.
   - Dave Boyer - Sunday, 02/07/10 20:58:11 EST

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