WELCOME to the anvilfire Guru's Den

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 March 1 - 7, 2001 on the Guru's Den
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Dear guru, Regarding the oil quenched finish-sorry if I was short on details. The client is a well known architect and has come to me with the description of: "flame and oil quenched finish" (a burnt brown look) by his words. I have a sample chip (14 ga. cold rolled steel) and it is a mottled brown and translucent look. I have extensive experience with paints though I am not an expert on faux finishes. I do not believe this look can be achieved with paint. The project is a sideboard table frame of approx. 2"-3" sq. mech. tubing. It will live indoors in a controlled environment so I am not too concerned about the longevity of it all. I do a lot of projects in tubing. It *is* a smoked look. I have experimented a bit today and brown is very difficult to achieve. Blue seems more likely to occur. I may ask the firm that supplied him with the sample plate. I look forward to your response.
Bob Linker  <irony at peconic.net> - Wednesday, 02/28/01 23:30:10 GMT

Custom Finishes: Bob, I used to do this type of stuff with automotive lacquers and a spray gun (big one used like an air brush). The translucent look showing the reflectance of the clean metal underneath is expensive. The last time I looked into my favorite DuPont materials they were no longer distributed in anything less than gallons. Expect around $100/gal for clear.

McDonalds Guitar Makers Supply sells old fashioned nitrocellulose lacquer in quarts and powdered tints to add.

Wet lacquer can have real "smoke" applied but the chances of setting the finish on fire is very high. It could also be done dry then sealed with clear. Sometimes burning the lacquer produces a brown. . .

I would use transparent brown (clear tinted) over the cleaned bare metal. Then use a nearly opaque black misted on plus the use of "flame" templates used judiciously while applying the finish from varying distances and in multiple layers to produce the smoked look.

If a transparent look is not necessary I would use spray cans of automotive touch up lacquer (the bigger ones) and start with a copper/brown and blend in the "black" smoke color wet in wet again using the templates.

This type of stuff takes a little R&D and practice. The lightening in this banner is all hand drawn electronically (much harder than by hand in my view). Originally there were several extra frames to make the lightening appear to "flash" more naturally but they ran too slow. .

Several times I have mentioned that Hollywood makes wood and plaster look like chrome and steel as well as brick, granite and WROUGHT IRON. So why don't we apply the SAME techniques to make the real thing look like what people expect?
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 03/01/01 00:12:36 GMT

I have recently obtained two Trenton anvils. One is 185# with serial number A102506, the other is 75# with serial number A130560. Since I have not yet obtained a copy of Anvils in America, could you possibly give me a hint as to there date of manufacture. I have already put them to good use and they are great.
Thank you,
Clint  <bearsden at tdn.com> - Thursday, 03/01/01 00:16:10 GMT



A102506 Manufactured in 1911, plus or minus a year.

A130560 Manufactured in 1915, again plus or minus a year.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Thursday, 03/01/01 01:44:19 GMT

Do you know of any blacksmiths or coppersmiths in Guatemala? Or, do you know how I might be find out about them on the Internet? I will be traveling there for about 2 weeks.
Thanks in advance for your help.
Robert Triplett  <redtriplett at earthlink.net> - Thursday, 03/01/01 02:43:38 GMT


Contact the Gautemalan Embassy in D.C. See if they can help.

They are almost certainly on the Internet.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Thursday, 03/01/01 04:11:32 GMT

could the renowned architect mean by flame and oil-quenched finish... (don't breathe a word about this to the EPA, now, promise!)... what plainer folk call used motor oil? Try it, just souse a good thick coat of good old SAE 30 on some square tubing and blast it with your rosebud and see if that is not what he has in mind. do not try this in your living room.
Cracked Anvil  <cracked at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 03/01/01 04:52:18 GMT

oil flash fun
Heat to about 450 and slop on oil with an old non synthetic brush. Paste wax works as does bees wax , drain oil and old deep fry oil.
Try to keep in the smoking range just below the flash point. Keep reheating till it is dark enough.
This is a noxious process. be set up to deal with the smoke, fumes and flash/burning oil.
Be very careful, it is easy to burn yourself or have an oil fire take off on you. Be prepared for an oil fire.
The fumes are nasty, especially drain oil fumes.
As the excellent cracked anvil points out, It would probably be better not to do this over the living room carpet.
As the good Guru points out..this is a transient finish ( indoor) at best.
Pete F - Thursday, 03/01/01 06:40:55 GMT

Why was the 'spreading chestnut tree' chosen in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem "The Village Blacksmith"? How big is an anvil. I understand that the anvil comes in 7 parts what is the average total weight? Thank you guru
Pat Quinlan  <quinlanpa at wjh.tcaps.k12.mi.us> - Thursday, 03/01/01 10:36:41 GMT

Hello, I am new to blacksmithing and a buckskinner. Where can I find plans for blacksmith projects of the past. I am looking to make lead round ball molds, flint strikers, and other "mountain man" iron tools. Thankyou
Matt  <MBS15565 at aol.com> - Thursday, 03/01/01 10:53:12 GMT

Aluminum hinges: Ironhead. Aluminum might still stain the siding. Some alloys continue to oxidize and leave a gray streak.

Airspring: Joe, contact me directly, if you want, about the air spring. I used it because I didn't want to have the toggle arms going up and down near my head and the air spring was easier. Precharge in the airspring and cylinder seals are important.
Tony  <tca_b at milwpc.com> - Thursday, 03/01/01 14:35:59 GMT

Bob, I know of a couple of smiths who use Watko Danish Oil finishes for their metal that I think will get the finish you are looking for. It comes in many colors. If you don't have that brand, probably any colored oil finish will work.
Mike Roth  <emeraldisleforge at emeraldisle.com> - Thursday, 03/01/01 14:44:19 GMT

Bob L., Oil-quench finish. I use almost exclusively indoors the Beeswax, Linseed oil, turpentine, Japan dryer finish. When applying I use a weed burner with a rather large flame to preheat the parts to be treated. The finish will change colors depending how hot you get the parts. I use the scientific method of spitting on the part to see if it sizzles. When at sizzling heat I alpply the (heated) mixture. It can get exciting as Pete F explains when you accidentally put the end of the weed burner near the pan or onto the brush. Have a FIRE EXTINGUISHER HANDY. The finish has a look of 100 years old and will last indoors indefinitely. I put a coat of Minwax finishing wax over the piece after it has dried. I also have a card explaining the finish to the customer and saying that a fine furniture wax should be applied every two to three years "just as you would any other fine furniture" If Yellin used it, it's good enough for me. TC
Tim Cisneros  <blacksmith at theforgeworks.com> - Thursday, 03/01/01 14:44:44 GMT

Chestnut Tree: Pat, Before the blight that killed all the chestnut trees in North America during the early 1900's it was one of the most common trees throughout the East. It was also one of the most useful for lumber of any tree. If there is any symbolism it was selected as a very American tree.

The London pattern anvil (the type predominately used in the U.S) has different features but is all one part (welded together). Blacksmiths anvils usually weigh between 100 and 300 pounds but ocassionaly they are larger or smaller. Other trades such as jewelers use anvils that may weigh only a few ounces while places like railroad shops commonly had 500 pound anvils.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 03/01/01 15:01:06 GMT

Projects: Matt, We have 89 projects and lessons on our iForge page including a flint striker. There are drawings of primitive camp equipment in Paw-Paws serial story "The Revolutionary Blacksmith" (see our Story page, look for chapter 2 in a few days).

We don't have a ball mold but those are very similar to tongs with a ball swage in the jaws. The Alex Bealer classic The Art of Blacksmithing has a few of these objects too.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 03/01/01 15:10:49 GMT

Pat & guru,

I suspect that the "Seven Parts" that Pat mentions are the major pieces that were forge welded together to form an anvil. Four feet, a body, a tail, and a horn, totals seven parts.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Thursday, 03/01/01 15:19:40 GMT

Parts: Paw-Paw, the feet were generally not separate pieces except when the body was made of dozens of pieces of "scrap". Then there were 5 (feet). The horn was a separate piece only when the body was made of many scraps. And then there is the only true separate piece, the tool steel face. Later forged anvils were made from 3 pieces, upper body, lower body, face.

"Parts" of a London pattern anvil, horn, shelf, face, hardy hole, pritchell hole, heal, waist, base or foot (8). Then there can be an upset block, side clip, handling holes, fifth foot. . . and a few late types had bolt holes. Add or subtract and make is anything you wish.

The "7" is a mystery to me. A literary alliteration??? Pat?

Burnt Oil Finishes: As you can see there are various opinions but they all involve lots of nearly out of contoll fire and smoke to produce what I still consider a primitive paint.

Most of my helpers have also forgotten that it only "sorta" works on bright (cold finished) steel. Most of these require the color, tooth and porosity of forge scale to adhere properly. Due to the fact that varnishes breath, bright steel will rust under the varnish (even indoors).

As soon as you add Japan drier (a cobalt compound) to boiled linseed oil you are making a varnish. Adding wax to varnish changes its hardness, luster and slows the drying. One published recipe includes a solvent (flow and drying agent). So why are we endeavoring to be amature paint formulators. . . Why not let the professionals do it?

As I've mentioned before tinted (using artist's oil paint) varnish makes a very good finish for hand rubbing. It can be used over a variety of base coats including lacquer but you cannot apply lacquer over it. It too, can be smoked and baked on if you insist.

I'm just trying to drag you guys out of the 18th Century. And as Cracked mentioned, avoid the EPA.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 03/01/01 16:05:56 GMT

were can i find a store that sells anvils?
brandy  <BABYBREE69 at YAHOO.COM> - Thursday, 03/01/01 17:53:54 GMT

were can i find a store that sells anvils?
brandy  <BABYBREE69 at YAHOO.COM> - Thursday, 03/01/01 17:54:08 GMT

Anvils: Brandy, With the exception of a few farriers suppliers and the handful of blacksmith suppliers headquarters, there is almost nowhere you can "walk in" and purchase an anvil. Beware of the imported cast iron anvils sold by farm supply stores. Cast iron "anvils" are door stops shaped like anvils. If you need a real anvil to do forge work you want to purchase a good quality new OR used anvil from a reputable dealer.

The major anvil dealers are among our advertisers. In alphabetical order:
  • Centaur Forge
  • Kayne and Son
  • Nimba Anvils
  • Wallace Metal Works

Shipping is a significant addition to the cost of an anvil so compare closely.

Centaur carries several brands. Kayne and Son carry Peddinghaus. Nimba is an American manufacturer of anvils. Wallace carries both new and used anvils.

All the above have web pages and you can find them in the drop down menu above under advertisers.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 03/01/01 18:11:30 GMT

Guru, I have some recent puzzles you may be able to help me with.
I have some titanium and i love to work with it, but, i find it difficult to sand or hone with my hand stones, is this my imagination, or does titanium have greater strength against penetration (or bite in this case) than steel?

Also, in recent endeavors of sculpting, i have discovered that copper when heated produces a remarkable array of oxides, texture, color and shine. However Ive noticed that sometimes when I try to melt it, it will melt once, but the next time i go over that area again, it skips fluidity, and starts to fizzel or boil. Why does this happen, and do you have any advice to avoid it?

and lastly, what would be the best method to bond titanium to bone? Superglue just doesnt cut it these days.

Thankyou very much.
Adam Smith - Thursday, 03/01/01 22:58:03 GMT

Richard  <richardls7 at hotmail.com> - Thursday, 03/01/01 23:21:37 GMT

RICHARD  <RGIMBERT at AUGUSTAMED.COM> - Friday, 03/02/01 03:07:03 GMT

Seven Parts: Could that be a misinterpretation of- face, table, horn, heel, waist, throat, foot? Er... at least that's seven. I suspect there is a misinterpretation in the original post.

Been a tough day all over, time to hit the rack.

Getting chilly on the banks of the lower Potomac.

Visit your National Parks: www.nps.gov

Come have a row with us: www.wam.umd.edu/~eowyn/Longship/

Bruce Blackistone (Atli)  <asylum at us.HSAnet.net> - Friday, 03/02/01 03:39:19 GMT

Does anyone know where I can get copy of the painting "The Blacksmith" by Jefferson Divis Chalfont, that is on the Anvilfire, forge page.
Tom Dosch  <tpdosch at toolcitty.net> - Friday, 03/02/01 03:47:01 GMT

Prints: Tom, The original is owned by a private group and was last loaned to a California museum. Prints were made in the 70's (I think) and the excess sold by a wholesaler long ago. Places that handle old prints would be your best bet.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 03/02/01 03:56:28 GMT

Titanium: Adam, Almost ALL metal today is some type of alloy. Most Ti is alloyed with aluminium and zirconium or aluminium, zirconium and molybdenum. I don't know the specifics on melting Ti but the zirc must be melted in a vacuume via electric methods. Zirconium is pyrophoric and used mostly in making nuclear fuel assembly parts due to its neutron radiation transparency. Both the Ti and Zr are high tech exotic metals and the alloys even more so. Don't expect them to act like the more common metals.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 03/02/01 04:11:58 GMT

Anyone who has sent me their web site URL in the past, please send it to me again. I lost the whole &%$(&&_)( file! (angry frown)
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Friday, 03/02/01 04:20:18 GMT

Queens Cross Dudley, England: Richard, That's where your anvil was made. Between the words there should be a graphic that symbolizes a cross roads (Queens Cross-ing).

The manufacturer is Joseph Wilkinson, Queens, Dudley, ENGLAND. They made anvils in the old English style and the modern pattern. It is believed they were in business as early as 1830 and made until the early 20th Century. Supposedly bought out by Peter Wright

- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 03/02/01 04:40:15 GMT


Billy bybee  <race ready1 at AOL> - Friday, 03/02/01 05:51:15 GMT

Huh? Billy, if you "always repair them" that indicates they should be re-designed, doesn´t it? Fire-fighters should have the best of anything.
Olle Andersson  <utgaardaolle at ebox.tninet.se> - Friday, 03/02/01 10:40:28 GMT

The Blacksmith by Chalfant has been bought by the Terra Museum of American Art in Chicago: http://www.tfaoi.com/newsm1/n1m561.htm . There's ome interesting details in the background that I will have to look into if I get to Chicago again.

Visit your National Parks: www.nps.gov

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

Bruce Blackistone  <asylum at us.HSAnet.net> - Friday, 03/02/01 15:03:15 GMT

Safety Equipment: Billy, Parts that are repeatedly bent eventualy fail from metal fatigue. Hot bending is better than cold but the parts are failing cold and thus likely damaging the metal. After heating the parts may need to be heat treated.

I'm not sure what the part does but if they continously fail they were improperly designed in the first place. The fact that that heavy a section is bending indicates that it either needs to be heavier OR made of a high strength steel. Parts that repeatedly fail are not safe in the first place and every time they are repaired they are getting closer to a catastrophic (sudden breakage) failure.

Bruce Wallace is an ex-fireman and has the equipment to make relatively large forgings. He would know what the part is and possibly be able to advise you OR replace the parts.

By the way, ALL Caps is considered yelling on the net.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 03/02/01 16:06:46 GMT

Guru, and fellow smiths, have any of you taken interest in other mediums such as stone, wood, perhaps bone? the reason I ask is that im always trying to put it All together, be it trying to set stones in a small decorative knife, or carving a bone inset for something. I just cant keep my mind completely focused on steel sometimes, and then im criticised for lack of commitment, but I always come back to the shop. perhaps this is just me thinking too much, or do i have to get my "stuff" straight?

I could use some comments from any metalworkers, just to make sure im going in the right direction.
AdamSmith - Friday, 03/02/01 20:54:15 GMT

Mixed Media: Adam, The use of mixed materials is common. The trick is becoming proficient in each and then knowing how to mix them.

Books which we think of as being made of paper and cardboard used to have wood bas relief covers set with precious stones and of course, leather. Fancy tomes had metal corners, locks and gilding.

Even simple musical instruments use exotic woods, metal, tortoise shell, bone and leather. Ivory used to be common but has been replaced by bone and plastics like Corian.

Knives and swords in the least have a wood or leather grip. But fancy ones have always included engraved and gilded brass or bronze, exotic materials and precious stones. Horn is commonly used for grips but in itself is quite a specialty.

Most craftspeople eventualy learn pattern and mold making for large or small pieces which can support various materials, not just their specialty.

In blacksmithing we are often called upon to make the tools for other craftspeople. Even simple tools are often "mixed media", steel and brass, wood and steel, sintered carbides and cast iron. . .
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 03/02/01 22:26:24 GMT


Let me give you another perspective on your question, if I may.

The ONLY person that you have to go to bed with every night and wake up with every morning is yourself.

Satisfy YOURSELF. Commitment can also be classified as blind stupidity at times.

Read what Jock said carefully. He's right on all counts.

Then remember who you have to sleep with.

"The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on!"
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Friday, 03/02/01 23:36:53 GMT

I have a buffalo 200 silent forge coal fired, do you know
what it is worth
rick  <kaccy96 at juno.com> - Saturday, 03/03/01 01:41:35 GMT

Forge Value: Rick, Between scrap (pay me to haul it away) to around $300 US depending on condition. There is a lot that can wrong with these. The gear boxes wear out on the hand crank models (there are no replacements or repairs), the fire pots rust or burn out (these can be replaced for a price) and the forge pans rust or burn out.

The Silent 200 is the blower size. The forges they were attached to range from little sheet metal riveters forges to heavy rail road forges with quench tank and stock stand. The price on these goes up with size but sometimes the big ones sell for less simply because they are too big and heavy. .
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Saturday, 03/03/01 01:54:53 GMT

Dear Guru, I have been trying to forge a bowl from 4 pieces of 3/8 plate. the 4 peices are 3" sqare and have been gound to a 45 degree angle and fill welded together leaving the open seam showing on the oposite side . i've been cleaning all the flux off between each weld to be shure that the weld is good and strong. I have been useing 7018 rod and it still splits some times after forging. I have see this used to weld inlays into bowls. is ther a welding rod you could suggest I use and would starting with hot or cold rolled help at all. thanks,
jeremy  <whyiterp at yahoo.com> - Saturday, 03/03/01 07:05:36 GMT

In my experience, forging steel that has been arc welded is problematic. The grain structure is interrupted at the weld and the filler metal has different hot work properties than the base metal. Most of the time I have welded steel and then tried to stretch it very far through a series of heats, it tends to crack adjacent to the weld.
Because you have left the open seam opposite the weld, this creates a stress riser that almost assures a crack when forged much. Welding both sides will help, and grinding the welds flat should also help some. Forging the welds flat while yellow hot is the next best thing.
A possible approach is to forge the individual plates to shape with matching edges, then weld them together. Afterwards you get only 1 or 2 heats to do the final shaping and be sure to work it nice and hot..stop before it cools to red.
7018 is a forgiving rod and probably a good choice. something with more nickel in it might give a greater contrast but will be stiffer at forging temp.
Given some luck, someone will disagree with me and tell us both how to do it.
Pete F - Saturday, 03/03/01 09:47:40 GMT

Bowl: Jeremy, As Pete mentioned there are many problems. In this case you would want to use the lowest strength rod you can get (possibly E6013) to match the base metal as much as possible. I would also run a root pass on the back side of the joint. Forging should be done at a yellow. Finishing the welds flush by forging at high temperature should help condition the metal.

I am having a little trouble visualizing what you are doing. Four square pieces to make a bowl? Five pentagons maybe? From that heavy of plate why not one piece?

As Pete recomended, if you are working from seperate pieces then is would be best to shape them as close to finished shape as possible then fit and weld them together.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Saturday, 03/03/01 15:38:55 GMT

Jeremy,Are you grinding the welds on the back side flush before you forge the metal? If not then when you forge the material you are pushing the welds down which is pushing your seams on the front side apart and you are tearing the weld. As far as the rod goes I'd go with the 6013 too.
Pete M  <xxx> - Saturday, 03/03/01 17:40:37 GMT

Dear Guru, I just acquired a 180# anvil. It,s pretty difficult to read the makers mark but it looks like
" W......ENSON'S " then " CULEN'S " underneath then "DUDLEY" on the third line. I think I also see the Wilkenson crossed sword logo between the lines. Can you briefly tell me a little about this anvil. Thank you so much, Bob.
Bob  <bbeck at losch.net> - Saturday, 03/03/01 21:23:24 GMT

Anvil: Bob, Look UP a few posts, The "X" crossing is for a cross roads called "Queens Cross". :) Your "CULENS" is QUEENS.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Saturday, 03/03/01 21:43:55 GMT


Double check the spelling. You might rub it down a bit with a scotchbrite pad and then make a rubbing. I mention the spelling because all three mentions of Wilkinson anvils in Postmans book use the spelling as I have it, with an i instead of an e.

Wilkinson anvils were manufactured in Dudley, England. Apparently their anvil works were bought out by Peter Wright. I can find no mention of anything to account for the " CULEN'S" that you mention. A rubbing might give us a couple more letters to work with.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Saturday, 03/03/01 21:52:48 GMT


We're working on the same questions again! (grin) I didn't make the connection between culens and Queens.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Saturday, 03/03/01 21:54:44 GMT

Puzzles: I'm not very good at puzzles but the CULEN = QUEEN is one I figured out some other time. Seens to be flaw in the punches since it repeatedly missed the same parts of the Q and E. Then again, . . . it might be the same anvil.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Saturday, 03/03/01 22:22:15 GMT

Thanks guys, I saw the previous post but the "CULEN'S had me all verhuddled. It's all clear to me now. Thanks again.
Bob  <bbeck at losch.net> - Saturday, 03/03/01 22:53:26 GMT

Hi Bud, saw an unusual forge the other day. It was round ,cast iron, blower pipe and clean out all 1 horizontal piece of pipe with a screw off cover on the end. The blower was made by the Cummining blower co. Do you know any thing about this style? Thanks Stiffy
Stiffy  <mklbjean at k-inc.com> - Sunday, 03/04/01 21:30:04 GMT

I have found a metal lathe made by fay and Scott in Maine
around 1940-1950 ,and need info about it .Where should I
begin? Thanks,John
john  <johnmdouglas at hotmail.com> - Monday, 03/05/01 00:07:09 GMT

I need a supplier hot rolled steel where I can get half round bar. I need 1/2" X 1 1/4". I can't seem to get it from any local suppliers and I can't order a ton of it as I don't use that much. Thanks.
Mike Rizzo  <marfreed at yahoo.com> - Monday, 03/05/01 00:12:39 GMT

Half Round: Mike, .5 x 1.25? Half round would be .625 x 1.25. . .

Centaur Forge carries 1/2, 5/8, 3/4 and 1" half rounds.

What length and tolerance do you need it? Many smiths with large machine hammers can produce small quantities of odd bar. Full lengths are possible but expensive. 5 foot lengths are more reasonable.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Monday, 03/05/01 01:59:51 GMT

Old Lathe: John, Never heard of it. But at one time there were thousands of machine manufacturers in the U.S. Many big industries made their own machine tools. Also some unknowns. Often the name on the machine was private branding to make things more complicated. The millions of lathes sold by Sears with their name on every part were actually Atlas lathes. Prior to that they LOOKED like South-Bend.

Contact the county clerks office where it was made. Try the library of congress for copyrighted manuals. Ask everyone. If you are near a patent office library try that.

You said you "need" information. Does that mean you need parts? In that case I suspect you are on your own.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Monday, 03/05/01 02:33:32 GMT

I am planning on forging some simple J-hooks from titanium.
Does titanium have any quirks not present in steel that I should be aware of before I stick it in the forge.
P.S. I have been blacksmithing since 1998.
Thank you, Jim
Jim E - Monday, 03/05/01 06:47:43 GMT

Dear Guru,

I am making a set of gates, with iron castings and steel bars. The traditional method of filling the joints was to use lead, Please tell me what is the best way of filling these joints today. If lead is still the best, how is it done?
Noel Prendergast  <nprendergast at scisys.com> - Monday, 03/05/01 11:59:57 GMT

I use an oxy-acetylene torch to heat up smaller parts (1/2" rod & 1/4" plate max.) for forging and bending. I do not use it to cut metal. I have interest in converting my oxy-acetylene torch to a oxy-propane torch. It is my understanding that this change would save money because propane is cheaper than acetylene.
This is purely an economical desicion and I need to know about the performence of an oxy-propane vs. oxy-acet.
Will I be using more oxygen to compensate for the lower temperature produced by propane?
Much thanks, crand
chris rand  <crandom at hotmail.com> - Monday, 03/05/01 16:43:41 GMT

I would like to know when man first started shoeing horses?
Kenneth  <mcdan at sigecom.net> - Monday, 03/05/01 17:29:45 GMT


No one knows for sure. But it was very likely first done in China, during what westerners call the Bronze Age.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Monday, 03/05/01 17:59:03 GMT

guru have PawPaw not alowed you to post 2nd part his exelent novel? it was prommised till the 2nd.
just asking (eager to read next part).
OErjan  <pokerbacken at angelfire.com> - Monday, 03/05/01 18:23:45 GMT

Horseshoes: Kenneth, This is one of the great unknowns lost in the mists of time. However it was probably shortly after man domesticated the horse. The shoes would have been wrapped padding at that time due to the fact that this was a lot earlier than the age of metals (bronze or iron). If you consider how valuable a beast of burden IS compared to the lack of at that time (YOU carry the load), then taking care of the beasts feet becomes more important than your own. .

Metal shoes probably date from the early bronze age but I may be wrong. I base this on the fact that early chariots had bronze wheels or tires. It would make sense that if they put bronze tires on a wooden wheel that they would also shoe the horse pulling the chariot.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Monday, 03/05/01 18:24:04 GMT

Oxy-Propane: Chris, for general heating it is much better. The oxy-propane flame is much softer than the oxy acetylene. The temperature difference only becoms bothersome when welding and cutting. However, once you get used to it the differences seem less.

For a given BTU you will not use any more oxygen. Note that your torch will require different cutting and rose bud tips. I believe the welding tips are the same, you just use a larger size.

Once you go this far you will find that a small gas forge is even handier. No oxygen cylinders. . . You can reserve that for cutting and welding.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Monday, 03/05/01 18:30:12 GMT

Lead in Joints: Noel, lead WAS used for a lot of things. There are a FEW that it is supperior for but this is not one of them. Use epoxy instead. It only SEEMS messier than lead.

Do one lead pouring job in your shop with a spill (it turns to dust) and the EPA is very likey to become interested. Even if there isn't enough to actually BE a problem tests will show positive for lead. If is becomming more and more common for property sales to be contingent on passing a environmental contaminate test. It is best to avoid lead whenever possible.

Lead, Plumbum, Pb While I'm on the subject AGAIN, let me remind everyone that there is NO reason to make treadle hammer rams with lead filled heads. Steel works fine. It just takes a little more volume. We spent years explaining to the nuclear industry that but if you put the same mass of steel (as lead) between you and most radiation sources the steel is just as good a shielding. . . THEY still don't get it. Yet nuclear facilities the world over continue to add lead contamination problems to the existing problem. DUMB! I'm not anti nuke, but folks that don't understand something as simple as this shouldn't be running them!

Save the lead for things it is absolutely necessary for.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Monday, 03/05/01 18:44:32 GMT

Scott McCartney,

Please send me an email address, I've lost yours.

Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Monday, 03/05/01 19:03:52 GMT

Even though the Old World is not my area of specialization in archaeology, I will say to the best of my knowledge that bronze horseshoes have never been found, at least in Europe or the near east. There is evidence of soft wrappings like leather, etc., but not with a reliable date. Strap-on iron horseshoes are known from the ancient Greek iron age (ca. 600 B.C.), but they were not common. The modern nailed-on shoe seems to be an invention of around 300 - 100 BC in the west, but in may have appeared in Asia earlier.
I must repeat, though, that's not my specialty.

I'd say something about the relative need for shoeing, but I'm not a farrier, and there are plenty of folks here who can say more about that.
Alan L  <longmire at premiernet.net> - Monday, 03/05/01 19:40:25 GMT

Pb sheilding vs steel....
While steel works fine IF you have enough, it is hard to make a mobile reactor(think submarine) with that type of sheilding..... Yes I know you could make it bigger, but sometimes a bigger boat is not a good thing.... (smile)

Now on a land based Rx there is no reason not to use steel. IN that we agree......
Ralph  <ralphd at jps.net> - Monday, 03/05/01 21:32:49 GMT

Just thinking out loud... but aren't shoes mostly used to protect the hoof from hard(rocky)ground?
So were there extensive road systems(cobble... paved) in place prior to the Roman expansion? I know that the Romans were great ones for building roads to allow rapid deployment of troops and supplies in the event of need. So I would not be surpised to see the metal shoes startd appearing shortly after the paved roads did....
that is just my nickles worth.....
Ralph  <ralphd at jps.net> - Monday, 03/05/01 21:37:01 GMT

Horse Shoes,

Seems to me that the Chinese army that has been found outside a MASSIVE tomb. (life sized figures numbering in the tens of thousands, made of terra cotta) included horse shoes with bronze shoes.

But I may be combining things in my head that are from different sources and drawing erroneous conclusions by doing so.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Monday, 03/05/01 21:40:59 GMT

You may be right on that, Paw-Paw, like I said I'm not an expert in that part of the world:-)
Alan L  <longmire at premiernet.net> - Monday, 03/05/01 22:33:20 GMT

Guru, do you know if it would be cheaper to run metal halide shop lights 220 as opposed to 110? And what do you think of mh as a light source for a shop?
Pete  <ravnstudionospam at aol.com> - Monday, 03/05/01 23:05:50 GMT

Bigger Boat: Ralph, The ratio between lead and steel is 1 : 1.45. So, if it takes 10" of lead it would take 14.5" of steel. Worse. . most plants use lead shot. Then the ratio drops even closer.

In operating reactors lead and steel slow down neutrons but water does it better (go figure).

Now then. . the REAL problem when building lead shield walls is that lead is too soft. Its not self supporting. So, substantial steel shells have to be fabricated to enclose the lead. . . Hmmmm back to steel anyway. . .

But radiation shielding is a weird subject. Tons of zirconium are used in reactor cores because it is nearly transparent to those lively little neutrons. Its density is nearly the same as steel. But that is not so strange. Look at the constituants of glass. Most are not transparent but when made into glass the combination IS transparent to certain frequencies of radiation (light). You can add lead to glass sufficient to raise its density to that of steel and still see through it. At the density of zirc it is just turning yellow enough to notice. IT is good shielding while the zirc is not. Beryllium, a metal 30% lighter than aluminium is so neutron dense it is used as a reflector in atomic bombs. . . So, in all the strangeness that we DO NOT know about metals and alloys it is possible that there is some alloy combination that may be opaque to many kinds of radiation and not be needed in huge masses like lead and steel. All of a sudden the egg sized nuclear fuel cells that scientists of the 1940's predicted become possible. Then many of the "science fiction" inventions become possible too. Humanoid robots, energy weapons. Imagine a laptop computer or E-book that never needed recharging or a new power cell. It all starts with materials science. . Alchemy.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Monday, 03/05/01 23:13:13 GMT


Well, that general area was my AO, but I'm not an archeologist. (just a wannabe grin)
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Monday, 03/05/01 23:17:39 GMT

Mh Lighting: Pete, I don't have a clue. You should be able to compare lumens per watt. Now, the 240V thing. . what is cheaper is the wire. Twice the volts, half the amps so you can run smaller wire. OR run standard wire and reap the benefits of less resistance. However, THAT has a long payback. Somehing over 10 years. This is where good enough and what is RIGHT get complicated.

3PH is often touted as being cheaper. However those days have long past. High voltage 3PH (440/880) is much cheaper to run wire for but contactors, switches and such are more expensive. In large plants with long wire runs the high voltage is also neccessary to offset voltage drop. In small places it doesn't make sense.

This is one of those areas that require the use of a very sharp pencil to determine if there is any real economy.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Monday, 03/05/01 23:23:22 GMT

Archeology: Paw-Paw, there is a group of folks that specialize in digging out old privies to retrieve and study the stuff tossed there. . . You would be perfect for that!

With that I'll say goodnight. :o) Time to checkout the "Junk Yard Wars!"

Kayne and Son Have an ALL NEW website with an on-line catalog of all their products. Check it out!!
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Monday, 03/05/01 23:32:52 GMT


Yep, and there'll always be someone like you around to back fill the dig! (grin)
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Monday, 03/05/01 23:52:01 GMT

I heard of some tools for sale. One is a "punch press", and the other is a "rivetor". Can you explain these tools to me? Thank you.
Kevin - Tuesday, 03/06/01 01:27:52 GMT

Dear Guru - Reguarding the Half round I know I can get the more narrow width from Centaur Forge but I am restoring an older railing they used 1 1/4 " for the top piece. It was screwed on from the bottom plate which was a 1 1/4 flat bar. The top of the thread was then filed over. Neat job.. I need about 20 feet but the length don't matter as I will weld the length I need. I need a supplier. Thank You.
Mike Rizzo  <marfreed at yahoo.com> - Tuesday, 03/06/01 01:32:58 GMT

Dear Guru - I have been making knives for about 12 years and recently started to get into blacksmithing. Over the years I've read everything I can on heat treatment of steels to improve my knifemaking, now I'm reading the New Edge of the Anvil for the blacksmithing stuff. Jack Andrews seems to say that the only way the grain size in steel can be reduced is to forge it and break up the grain. He also said not to overhead the steel too much when annealing as this would increase the grain size, which would remain when fully annealed. My understanding of annealing is that it transforms the structure of the steel into pearlite. At which point it can be reheated to achieve a new grain structure in the hardened state. I've read a few posting on this site concerning this old chestnut, but am feeling confused and would appreciate some clarification.
Garrry Jackson  <garry at silverbrook.com.au> - Tuesday, 03/06/01 02:35:03 GMT

Hello Guru, I'm the Canadian firefighter who wrote to you a couple of weeks ago about values of anvils and their condition if used. I've been going regularily to the local scrapyard and collecting pieces of steel and other metal to make projects out of. Today I found a large ventilation grate made of 1/4" by 1" brass flat bar.As I have never really worked with brass before I was wondering If you could give me some tips and ideas of what I could use the brass for and some information on heating and forming properties of brass. Thanks , Brian.
BRIAN  <ATOMIC190 at HOTMAIL.COM> - Tuesday, 03/06/01 03:45:56 GMT

Machinery: Kevin, a punch press is usualy a flywheel driven machine with a clutch that makes one fast powerful stroke to punch holes, make bends and other metal working jobs. Most of the old ones with mechanical clutches are being scraped by industry as fast as they can. The reason is that the clutches don't always make ONE stroke and the machines are hard to bring up to OSHA standards. They sell for scrap price of less. Tooling requires some engineering.

A riveter can be anything that hits or pushes a rivet.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 03/06/01 05:00:57 GMT

Brass: Brian, Annealed brass is relatively ductile. Heated it can be forged like steel. It moves like butter. The problem is that the forging temperature is less than a red heat or a very low red in a dark room. This makes the heat hard to judge. Cleaning and polishing is a lot of work but folks LOVE bright shiney stuff. Forgings with texture do not need to be polished 100%. The dark makes nice contrast.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 03/06/01 05:05:53 GMT

Grain Growth: Garry, I'm not enough of a metalurgist to handle this one. I could look it up but this is an area where even the books can be fuzzy (or incorrect) Prehaps Grandpa will chime in on this one.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 03/06/01 05:09:45 GMT


My question involves the making of the barb end of a muskrat spear. Material is 3/16" square hot rolled steel. The barb from tip to the spear is 1" or less. Overall lenght of the spear is 10" with a 3/4" right angle at the opposite end.

They were used by the early trappers to stab into a Muskrat hole and spear the Muskrat.

I need help in forming the spear and barb.

Thank you,
Bob Triphahn  <twoforks at yhti.net> - Tuesday, 03/06/01 06:47:29 GMT

Propane is a nice soft flame but that means it is slower.
On my big rosebuds I seem to go through oxy faster with the propane than acet to heat a given piece of steel ( theory notwithstanding). Perhaps that is because the heat is less focused.
Figuring fuel cost VS the time factor, Id guess it's an even split. If you use a "gas saver" on your torch ( good idea) then the difference is even less significant. I switch to propane at about 3/8" plate. Below that i favor acet for its speed and control.
A note...using a rosebud with acet, be careful not to exceed the limits on how much you can draw from the bottle per hour. Beyond that point you start sucking acetone into your system which will trash your regulator and hose.
My local supplier, Aire Liquide, raised the % of acetone in their tanks and i went through 5 regulators before i figured it out.
In either case, it is a gas.
Pete F - Tuesday, 03/06/01 08:23:49 GMT

Fuzzy metallurgy: Here´s another one. A while ago I read the spec sheet for O1 steel (another name in swedish, same composition). It said that ageing the hardened and tempered steel for 25-100 hours at 125 deg.C would make the steel 2HRC-units HARDER than before it went into the oven. My more general references mentions ageing only to stabilize volyme and stress. I might have completely missunderstood the spec-sheet, otherwise I ought to "age" all my steel. What you say?
Olle Andersson  <utgaardaolle at ebox.tninet.se> - Tuesday, 03/06/01 08:35:15 GMT

Muskrat Spear: Bob, I'm not sure what this looks like but there are three ways to make barbs. Small ones are cut with a sharp chisel. Large barbs can be made two ways. One is by starting with a larger piece of stock, split the barb out and then forge the shank smaller. More common is to forge a point first, then fold the steel back on itself and forge welding the "U" part before making a point out of it. The forge weld is important otherwise the barb will break off.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 03/06/01 14:50:06 GMT


The third method is the one I was going to describe. That's how I do fireplace pokers.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Tuesday, 03/06/01 15:34:00 GMT

professional smith 8 years experience. Need to do some pressureforming on a piece for a gate,( air injection into form ). Understand that approximately 1/8" and 90 psi is used but wondering about the edge treatment and how that is rounded off without losing seam / weld.
Butch  <butch at northwindsforge.com> - Tuesday, 03/06/01 15:41:48 GMT

I have picked up a little air hammer(steam).looks to be a Niles-Bement-pond with a tup weight of approximately 1500lb.
I was woundering where I might find some info on set-up and oporation of this little gem.
thank you!
joe stetter  <stonecarver66 at hotmail.com> - Tuesday, 03/06/01 16:36:21 GMT

Grain Growth Garry, According to The Elements of Ferrous Metallurgy, crystal size is reduced by working at the proper temperature (generaly by rolling). The best results occur when rolling is just above the critical temperature with short times between passes and cooling to below critical on exit from the last roll. Time held above critical must be limited to retain the improvement. Forging only does this when there is a large change in cross section and immediate cooling (as in production of billets to bar). So, the stock removal guys may be right. . .

Annealing temperature is just above the upper transformation temperaure in a range where the constituants of the steel have disolved into each other and according to Tempil Basic Guide to Ferrous Metalurgy is where grain size is the smallest. Continued heating above this temperature causes grain growth increasing over time. SO, you SHOULD be able to heat steel to the annealing point without damaging the the structure. The long slow cooling should start as soon as the temperature in the work is uniform. Overheating is the problem. However, even at forging temperature not ALL the benefits of the original rolling are lost. But long or repeated heats eventualy cause the grain growth to catch up with you.

So the guy that forges a knife in one heat under his Nazel or Kuhn may be producing exceptional work (IF he doesn't soak or overheat the work. While the guy using a dozen heats to hand forge the same blade will have lost any advantage of the mill's rolling AND his own forging. The fellows rolling a distal taper on blanks using a McDonald Mill may be producing the best possible work.

The advantages of forging vs. not forged have been argued for over a century. I don't think we are going to see a resolution of it in our lifetimes. . .

Fuzzy metallurgy: Olle, My ASM heattreaters guide shows this "ageing" on the Isothermal Transformation Diagram (ending at 60hrs.) The Elements of Ferrous Metallurgy shows a graph extending to 900,000 seconds (over a week).

What this is showing is that the quench occurs in 2 seconds or less at 100°C (212°F) but as an example says it would take over a week at 175°C (347°F) for the quench to complete and get full hardness.

The point? Keep that quenching oil warm but not hot. Hot quenching oil could result in not achieving the maximum results. This is only a problem if you go directly from the quench to the tempering oven (as you should).

In other words this was a warning for commercial heat treaters. . . And a morning doing research for me. . . But that is how we learn.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 03/06/01 17:04:34 GMT

Little Hammer?: Joe, you are lucky. Bements were the example hammer used in almost every book on machine forging under setting up hammers. Almost any OLD reference on hammers reproduces their instructions verbatum. We reproduced the foundation diagram on our Power hammer Page in my article on my little 350# Bement.

There is a chisel mark on the ram and the guide (or just on the guide relative to the top of the ram) that indicates the maximum downward position of the ram. When setting the anvil the lower die needs to limit the travel of the ram to this point. For safety the anvil should be set an inch or so higher so that as the anvil settles (or moves in operation) the ram is not over traveled. On my small hammer I will use 1", on your hammer I would use 1.5 to 2". When using custom dies it is critical to have built in stroke limiting blocks on the dies.

The factory called for the anvil to be set on a pile of oak timbers to provide cushioning.

If operated on air an oiler was added. Smaller hammers came with both a driver throttle and a treadle control. Larger hammers had only driver controls. The sector gear on the side of the hammer determines the stroke. At the bottom of the setting the hammer clamps. This operation requires manipulation of both the throttle and the position lever.

Hammers up to 500 pounds were considered "tool dressing" hammers in commercial forge shops. These were used to produce tooling for the big hammers. In these shops the big hammers required a team including a smith, a driver, and the necessary laborers to handle the billets. So it was not unusual to have a driver available for the small hammers.

On early hammers the ram is held to the piston rod by a tapered fit. On later hammers this has an extra "safety" pin to prevent the ram from falling of the rod. The rod is set into the taper using the powered piston. To disconnect, the die is removed and a bar inserted in the hole above the
die and the ram dropped. This should release the taper.

Paul P. just sent me a note to remind me it has been 3 years TODAY that he delivered my Bement. . . Since then I have obtained a gasoline powered air compressor to run it and two pieces of steel to replace the anvil. . . AND a flat bed truck to move the parts. I REALLY need to get it running. . .

- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 03/06/01 18:03:11 GMT

I know I got lucky but the overall size of this hammer is now on my mind. this thing is huge!!!!!! I may be in over my head. the great thing is this hammer is complet in every way. and it is only a few miles from where I want to set it up. I found it while looking for parts to my jyh.:)
I am working on the hows and whens of getting it going and you have given me a great deal of help Thank you!!!
I am not sure of the cfm of the psi this will requier? is there a formula I can use to figure this?
Thank you again!
Joe Stetter  <stonecarver66 at hotmail.com> - Tuesday, 03/06/01 18:23:29 GMT

Pressure forming: Butch, For steel? Are you sure you aren't talking about Plexiglas? The closest thing my references have for steel is explosive forming.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 03/06/01 18:47:36 GMT

Hammer CFM: Joe, All I can give you is what the ratings are for other hammes. Chambersburg recommended a 40HP compressor at 96 CFM plus a BIG air storage tank next to the hammer. My truck sized Sulair compressor would run it nicely.

Some calcs: With a 9.75 dia cylinder and a 33" stoke the cylinder needs 1.43 cubic feet of air at 90PSI to lift the ram. Air is also used to drive the ram down. So let's guestimate 2 cubic feet of air per stroke. At 10 strokes per minute that would be 20 CFM. At 30 per minute that's 60 CFM. A worn hammner can use almost 3 times the steam/air volume of a tight hammer. . . So the Chambersburg recommendation of 96 CFM is not too far off.

The "Little Red" 500 pound hammer on our Power hammer Page is running on a 10 HP compressor with a BIG tank. It runs continously with moderate hammer use. You could probably get a few shots per minute out of a 10-15 HP compressor. . :)

But that's a few shots at 3/4 tons!!!!
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 03/06/01 20:38:47 GMT


No, he's talking about steel. A couple of folks are welding flat sheets of steel, (up to 12 ga. IIRC) with a small air pipe. Heat the sheets to red and "inflate" with compressed air. I've seen a pillow that was made using this method.


Chamfer all the joining edges. Lay the pieces of stock so that the two chamfer form a "V". Mig weld. Heat and forge to the desired section. Don't forget to put the air pipe in first. Then do the pressure forming. 90 PSI is the number I remember, but I don't remember the ga. of the stock. Dona Mielach has a sample in one of her books, I think. I looked through both of her latest, and couldn't find it. Maybe it was in an Anvil's Ring.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Tuesday, 03/06/01 20:50:00 GMT

need info on champion blower #400. need bearings. can anyone direct me?
vern   <vern-kat at goin.missouri.org> - Tuesday, 03/06/01 23:31:55 GMT

What is the steel composition used chainsaw bars? Is it a high enough carbon content to harden for making tools, knives, etc?

Billy T.
Billy Templeton  <bhtempleton at cei.net> - Wednesday, 03/07/01 01:13:41 GMT

for those of you idlers and layabouts taking pleasure in frittering away your Monday evenings watching Junkyard Wars, there is some interesting background on how that lissome blonde and her henchpersons manage to put the show together at:
Cracked Anvil  <cracked at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 03/07/01 01:33:24 GMT

Scrap Steel: Billy, That type of thing is determined by every manufacturer as they choose. One maker may want to make the best possible product and another not as good. Material also changes according to available supply. When using scrap you can take a guess from what ONE manufacturer does but for every piece of recycled steel you should test it yourself.

On top of all that the small chain saw bars I'm familiar with are laminated (spot welded) from three pieces of steel (to make the groove). The core is a spacer and may not be the same material as the rails. . . unlikely, but possible and something else to test.

Sorry I'm not much help on this one.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 03/07/01 01:37:17 GMT

Junkyard Wars: Thanks Cracked! My Dad had already figured out that the "ten hours" was phoney and that the yard was seeded . . . but figured it was more like a week production. He also thought it was peculiar that they always had exactly the right tools! I guess if you include the preliminary design and "seed" time this is probably about right.


I think we need to put together an American "team" of blacksmiths to chalange the Brit regulars in REAL time. . :) First thing is to find the funny hats and Junkyard armor. .

Maybe build a JYH. . . :o)
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 03/07/01 02:13:59 GMT

I have a very old 8 sided brass pot with the typical sprue mark on the bottom, which tells me it's probably 18th century, I also found a mark which I believe to be a St. Petersburg guild mark. Does anyone know where and when this would have been made? I believe it has a date of 1775 but not sure. Thankyou for your help. Pat
Pat Hansen  <hpatster at aol.com> - Wednesday, 03/07/01 04:50:05 GMT

Butch, Good Guru; Paw-Paw is right. You are referring to Elizabeth Brim's method of making steel inflatables. It is spooky fun.
I have also done it cold with water pressure, which is somewat safer. Weld and anneal to do it cold.
Be very careful there is no water in the air line when working hot...and turn on the air very slowly. Make sure you can get the inflated part out the forge door. Wear good protective gear.
The seams are a prominent feature of the technique. Rounding and smoothing out the seams is a bunch of awkward work ,Ive found. Also, plan for wrinkles..which are also a bunch of work to get rid of.
Pete F - Wednesday, 03/07/01 06:34:58 GMT

Inflating Steel: Exploding white hot shrapnel sounds TOO exciting for me. I've blown up a few things with pressure over the years or been where it happened.

I blew up a truck inner tube trying to get a rust encrusted tire off a 1950 chevy truck rim. . . It was in a basement shop under a dective agency. The guys upstairs were having a party with their secretaries at the time. After the deafing boom it got REAL quite upstairs. I could hear them tip-toe out. Apparently they decided they didn't want to report my demise. . . The biggest pieces of the tube I could fins were postage stamp sized.

On another occasion we blew up an acrylic bubble we were blowing. A pointer had been setup to gauge the height of the bubble. Big mistake. Sounded like a cannon going off. Lots of shrapnel shaped pieces of hot plastic glued to the inside of the oven. Luckily no one was hurt.

Using water pressure COLD is much safer. In hydraulic circuits where there is no "air over" accumulator or pressurizer any leak or begining failure immediately releases ALL the pressure. No stored energy, no explosion. Just a momentary leak.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 03/07/01 07:17:12 GMT

Peter F.

Thanks! I couldn't remember the artists name to save my life. Do you remember where the story was?
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Wednesday, 03/07/01 14:40:40 GMT


I watched a demo on this by Dorothy Stigler (I'm sorry if I butchered your name!), last year at the CBA spring conference. She is a close friend with Elisabeth Brimm the "inventor" of the method. You do not use "shop" air, you use a small hand pump. Once the metal is red hot, it only takes a few #'s of air to do the job. Watch out for over inflation, if you try to make the form too "full" you will buckle the metal at the seams and it looks bad. If I remember right, Dorothy made a rabbit. It was about 10" high and 8" long. She used heavy sheet metal for stock. If you put in some trace lines (for definition of form, say the front of the rear legs at the hip on the rabbit) before welding and inflation, it gives your project a better, more finished look.
Wayne Parris  <benthar at pacbell.net> - Wednesday, 03/07/01 14:44:46 GMT

Junkyard Wars: JYH? Hey! No fair thinking about the same idea! (Grin) I have my team assembled and we are just trying to get the video put together for the application. Also need to talk one of the members into taking the required vacation. One of the things they want you to do is give them ideas of what you could do as a team. The video is supposed to show some of the stuff you have built. I was planning to suggest and show my JYH as well as the trebuchets etc. Trebs have been done, although very poorly. A coal forge would also be easy in 10 hours and you could make forging something useful part of the task. I think the JYH would be more dramatic and entertaining. With three good guys, a seeded yard, and a reasonable expert, one could easily build a JYH in 10 hours. A Kinyon style air JYH might be even easier if an air compressor could be "found".

I understand the 10 hours is a real goal, but there are times when they extend the 10 hours because the team(s) just can't hack it. They admit that the yard is seeded.

The show provides the "expert" team member. Didn't I suggest already that you should sign up as an "expert" ???
Heck, put a team together and we can compete against you! Good naturedly, of course. We'll sell it to the producers as a package deal. We are the C.O.W.S. (Wisconsin) Constructors Of Wonderous Stuff. Our hats will be foam cow udders.

Pillows: Paw Paw, it is Donna Meilachs Decorative and Sculptural Ironwork that shows the inflated pillows. Who did that book review? (Grin) I'm remembering 16 gage stock. Pressure will depend on the stock, temperature, and the size of the piece. Run the air in slowly (with a valve) with a high pressure source (100 psi) until you have the inflation you want. Of course, one could calculate the pressure required......

Pete, are you forge welding the seams?

Guru, I like the water better too. I was thinking repousse' sheets, weld together and hydroform with water, but not in a die.

Chain saw bars: Big ones are laminated too. Spot welded and/or riveted. By the time you take them apart, it might not be useful? And you have to take them apart since there is lots of goo between the laminations. In my experience, they are hardened and tempered, so I assume high carbon and possibly tool steel on the better ones. They need to be strong and springy so they don't bend easily. They are not extremely hard though since you have to be able to draw file them flat again as they wear. No, I don't know what alloys either. Call the manufacturers? Loggers with tree harvesters would be a good source for big used blades. Many tree harvesters and toppers use BIG hydraulic driven chain saws to cut and top the trees. I'm guessing the bars are 3/8" thick.
Tony  <tca_b at mapsonmilwpc.com> - Wednesday, 03/07/01 15:26:07 GMT

Acronyms: Never been good at those. Have to leave those up to Paw-Paw and Cracked. . But Ah, something that came out "Butchers" would be good ;o) hehhahahehaa. . Of course I don't think anything having to do with the cattle industry is going to go over well in Britian for a few years. The "Mad COWS" could be a cause for strikes and protests.

Hmmmmm we have all those left over CSI names.

A "double header" was mentioned. Forge AND hammer. . . Hmmmm they didn't find ALL those rocket engines last week :)
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 03/07/01 15:57:13 GMT

Whole Blacksmith shop going for sale on ebay looks like some great deals

Mark Parkinson  <mparkinson2 at home.com> - Wednesday, 03/07/01 16:44:35 GMT

Incorrect URL: Mark, That is an error or signup page. .
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 03/07/01 17:01:52 GMT

Butchers.... That would add to the entertainment value, wouldn't it?

The Learning Channel is producing the series in the US now. See www.junkyard-wars.com/apply.htm In Texas I think. We do have a couple of alternate names, but C.O.W.S. and Butchers would be good. Think about it. I think it could be a hoot!
Tony  <above w/o mapson> - Wednesday, 03/07/01 17:02:03 GMT


I wrote the review, but to save my life, I can't find the pictures! What page are they on?
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Wednesday, 03/07/01 18:07:13 GMT


Want to go up against Jock, Josh Greenwood, and myself? (grin) Build a JYH, a forge, and forge a useful OR decorative item, OR useful AND decorative item. 10 hr limit.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Wednesday, 03/07/01 18:10:06 GMT

Inflating Iron:

Seems to me there's at least one illustration in New Edge of the Anvil. Also, didn't they have an article in Anvil's Ring a while back?

Visit your National Parks: www.nps.gov

Come row with us: www.wam.umd.edu/~eowyn/Longship/

Bruce Blackistone (Atli)  <asylum at us.HSAnet.net> - Wednesday, 03/07/01 19:30:12 GMT

WHOA. . . there. . .: Gettin' a little carried away there Paw-Paw. . I meant a double header as in TWO 10hr days. . . That PLUS the preprep and "seeding".
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 03/07/01 19:39:22 GMT

Paw Paw: Sure, I'll go against you guys! (grin) On forge and JYH building, I should have a good chance. I'd have to swap a team member if we were really going to compete though. One of my guys is an OK engineer, but knows squat about fabricating. He'd be good entertainment. You know, gotta have a clown. And I'm not the clown! (Thought I'd beat you to the punch on that one). You three aren't the only guys who have designed and built a lot of stuff ya know. (Really Big Grin)

On ANY smithing, you guys would absolutely "butcher" us. (Bigger Grin) I recognize my betters! But since it's all for fun anyway, who cares? I'm pretty convinced that the winning team is somwhat of a foregone conclusion too. The "seeding" helps determine that. Let's do it! I'd prefer the equipment (JYH) though, since I think I'd have a better chance of not getting embarassed on national TV. Some teams have been good, but there have been some real dud teams on that show. I'd love to be part of the best two teams ever to grace the tube. All modesty aside of course. (still grinning)

Since my smithing books are limited to Meilach, Weygers and Andrews, I'm sure it's in Meilach. I'll try to look tonight. Somehow, Decorative and Sculptural Ironwork doesn't seem to have a place in the engineering department of a machine shop. So it's not next to me now.

I smell a good Junkyard Wars segment brewing.......
Tony  <tca_b at mapsonmilwpc.com> - Wednesday, 03/07/01 20:03:04 GMT

Perhaps we should have 3 teams(or more) Perhaps I could convince Bill and J-J to form a team with me....? (VBG)
Hmmmmm, after seeing some of the work done by the Jefferson Smiths in Northern Ca last week, perhaps I will just be a facilatator... I saw too many good smiths for me to consider being on a team..... Hmmm Mark Asprey(sp?) Bill and J-J.... yup that could be our team...... (smile)
Ralph  <ralphd at jps.net> - Wednesday, 03/07/01 21:20:14 GMT

Guru, thanks in advance for the information I've received from this site. My question is on a 3B I'm getting ready to reassemble. The crank and crank pin were ground, new bearing shells, con rod and wrist pin bushings turned, piston line-bored, new wrist pin, etc., etc. The paranoia that's striking me has to do with the ALIGNMENT of the con-rod to crankshaft relationship when it's all put back together. What are your feelings on this? Run it loose and let the 1000lb flywheel muscle it's way around 'til it finds where it's comfortable?? The main bearings have 3/16" of play between them and their studs meaning the crank could be sitting in there diagonally if you let it.
PS- Id be interested in hearing of other Nazel owners' stories. Did you know you can still get a brand new Manzel 25W oiler?? Thanx
Cybo  <howell at sqi.com> - Wednesday, 03/07/01 21:24:57 GMT

Something Missing: Cybo, There shouldn't be that much play in the bearing bores. The alignment on this machine is not critical and originaly would have had about 1/16" play on each stud. Assembled the total play would be a lot less due to tolerances. On that long shaft the total angular missalignment would be a degree or much less. Since the piston can operate at a significant rotation there in no problem. How much end play is there? The original bearings had thrust surfaces. This too was controled by the holes in the bearing blocks.

If you really have that much play there is a good chance the bearings were run real loose for a long time. This is normal "abuse" for a Nazel since they run just about forever. I'd center things up and bolt it down. You would want to check the axial positioning and look for a bind in the crank bearing. Jog the shaft in and out until the crank is free turning. You should be able to do this by feel.

Yes the Manzel oilers are available. Write to Bruce Wallace about them. He has what is left of Nazel hammers. He will probably recommend drip oilers (which the machines also came with) since the Manzel oilers are very expensive. Don't ask him about the bearings, I already did.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 03/07/01 22:22:24 GMT

Syntax, structured sentences and descriptive prose were never my strong points~! Through the haze you still managed to answer my concerns. The bores and bearing clearances are fine. The bearing shells were machined within .0015 of the shaft dia, including the thrust surfaces. Its the clearance on the holes that bolt each bearing to the frame that's so sloppy. Still- I like the gut feeling approach to it and that's what I'll try. As soon as it gets too tight by hand, loosen it up and knock it around.
When I was first looking into the rebuild I did look into a split-cage heavy-duty roller bearing that would bolt right into the Nazel. The crank would've had to have been reworked to add a thrust surface but other than that it was doable. The old-time machinist said "don't change a * at ! at thing" so I'm back with bronze.
Thanx for the tip.
cybo  <howell at sqi.com> - Wednesday, 03/07/01 22:49:04 GMT

Thanks, Bruce!


Elizabeth Brim, pages 173, 174, and 175.

Pictures on 173 and 175, the pillow that I remembered is on page 175.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Thursday, 03/08/01 00:19:50 GMT

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