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

THIS is a forum for questions and answers about blacksmithing and general metalworking. Ask the Guru any reasonable question and he or one of his helpers will answer your question, find someone that can, OR research the question for you.

This is an archive of posts from March 9 - 16, 2003 on the Guru's Den
[ THE - GURUS | ABOUT THIS PAGE | Getting Started in Blacksmithing ]

Back when I was still willing to work on cars, I used to use a welding trick to get oil pressure relief vavles out of engine blocks. You stick the rod down into the valve slug, then briefly flip the welder on and off. The rods freezes to the slug, you pull the thing out of the bore, the wiggle the rod a bit and it pops off the slug. Same trick works for getting other stuck lthings out, like wedges, dowel pins, etc.
   vicopper - Sunday, 03/09/03 03:46:50 GMT

Hi, I have to do a monologue for my English class and I was assigned to write about a blacksmith. It has to include what I might do on a daily basis and what my basic job as a blacksmith is. I'm searching for information on a blacksmith around the time period of Charles Dickens-19th century. Thank you!!
   Tiffany - Sunday, 03/09/03 04:01:22 GMT

will someone please post some pic`s of the difference between hollow ground and flat. Im really new and I think I know the difference but would to be sure.
   Blades - Sunday, 03/09/03 04:37:40 GMT

You can also use langets to salvage a hammer handle that you do not want to cut any shorter. Make one or two strips about the size and shape of popsicle sticks out of mild or annealed steel. Burn in or gouge fit them fore and aft to the shape of the neck of the handle, and leave enough sticking up to bend outwards about a half inch to an "L" shape to hold the head on. They can be nailed, screwed, or rivited to the neck, as you wish.
   John McPherson - Sunday, 03/09/03 04:56:40 GMT

Quenchcrack: I guess I'd have to be trained in how to FORGE, in addition a palsly little 2-1/4 lb hammer is a mere fraction of what my nipples can endure... hell that wouldn't even be heavy enough for an earring for me! I guess if you (or anyone else with a strong stomach) could come to a show, I'd let ya forge whatever you'd like from a hanging anvil... hows a 25 pounder sound? We could toss S-hooks to the crowd for souveniers!

In addition... is there any deals out there on a 25 pound anvil? How about a 12 inch bar of titanium or zirconium? Gimme some feedback.

   The Great Nippulini - Sunday, 03/09/03 06:24:54 GMT

I make Chainmail and came across blackening the wire by heating and then cooling the wire in linseed oil. I was wondering if and one knows the right way to do this? Or any other ways to color the steel wire. Thank you for your time in reading this I look forward to your advice. Jayden.
   Jayden - Sunday, 03/09/03 09:03:31 GMT

Blades, Look at any of the big Buck Folding knives to see what a hollow grind is. The blade section is straight down from the spine to about 1/2 the width of the blade, then then curves inward to a taper ending at the edge. Flat ground blades are like big butcher knives where the blade tapers uniformly from the spine to the edge, making the blade flat.
Nippulini: LOL, no thanks, my friend. I have spent a lifetime trying to prevent metal objects from piercing my skin and I would not be able to watch your show, despite your considerable accomplishments, without some degree of horror contaminating the fascination. As for sparks, I doubt you will find any deals on titanium or zirconium. Try a piece of spring steel. It has a high carbon content and enough chromium to make a good spark stream. As for the anvil, 25 lbs of steel weighs the same as 25 lbs of cast iron, go with a cheap cast iron ASO.
   Quenchcrack - Sunday, 03/09/03 13:56:48 GMT

Guru, and all who view. I humbly submit for your viewing my Anvil for sale. It is on eBay It is very nice and would be perfect to use. Please look at Item 3212703392. I am sadened to have to sell it. It has outlived generations of better blacksmiths than I. Thank you.
   scott - Sunday, 03/09/03 14:10:22 GMT

Scott, I *know* your post was not an I.D. post, but I'm compelled to comment. The anvil is a farrier's pattern and looks to be made by Hay-Budden. It's the perfect size for a horseshoer to carry around in his shoeing rig. I have had a few farrier's "Hey Buds" go through my hands, and I've noticed that a great many of them have a four inch waist width (measuring side to side, not lengthwise), even the 200+ ones. The features of a farrier's anvil were: 1] a swelled horn with a slightly greater diameter than a smith's anvil would have and maybe a little flatter on top to give daylight when opening shoes; 2] two pritchel holes, supposedly to make it easier to pritchel out the multiple holes in a shoe; 3] thin heel; 4] a clip horn, the semicircular projection at the horn base used for drawing clips from the edge of the shoe; and 5] the lack of a cutting table.

If it's not too late, maybe you could add "farrier" to your eBay heading.
   Frank Turley - Sunday, 03/09/03 15:27:19 GMT

Dickensien Smiths: Tiffany, Blacksmithing has changed little in thousands of years. Take away electric tools and arc welders and the modern blacksmith shop is almost identical to one of the 19th century.

See our story page and my "Day in the Life of a Blacksmith's Apprentice". It is set in Colonial America and was written in response to request similar to yours.

There is no real "typical day" the work of the smith varied from horseshoeing, various repairs, production work, and archetectural work, negotiating with customers, dealing with employees and or apprentices. In Europe and England the smith was much more specialized than in North America where the typical shop was a "frontier blacksmith" or "general blacksmith". "The Village Blacksmith" as written about by Longfellow is a romantic poem about the American "general" blacksmith which is more correctly a frontier blacksmith.

Although most smiths have virtualy the same tools (forge, anvil, vise, hammer, punches, chisles. .) and work with the same fuel and materials (charcoal, coal, wrought iron, steel) they often specialize. A Farrier does nothing but shoe horses while an architectural smith does nothing but decorative and structural ironwork. A smith in a carriage shop may also do the work of a wheelwright and be involved in as much or more wood work than iron. This was also the era of the great industrial revolution and many smiths worked in "heavy" forging shops where tilt hammers or steam hammers were used to forge giant shafts and anchors for steam ships. In chain factories smiths would spend long hours doing nothing but making the same size chain link by the thousands. Chain of every size was needed by industry and it was all hand made up through giant ship anchor chains.

19th Century England was also the home of large networks of cottage workers that were given just enough tools and materials to make one thing for the "factory" they worked for. Tools of all sorts were made by farmers in the winter or "off season". Entire families would be involved in making files, saw blades, hammers, chisles, vises. . . Similar to the cottage spinning and weaving business (and its abuses) materials were doled out to the cottage workers and finished or semi-finished product was expected back. The labor rates were VERY low as the people were expected to be self sufficient in food for most of the year. Child labor was a large part of the system. When England "ruled the waves" their cottage industry supplied the world with finished goods. See the autobiography of James Nasmyth also on our story page for details about the industrial revolution and the cottage industry in England from about 1780 to 1880.

So, you need to have a better definition of who your smith is before you try to write about a typical day.
   - guru - Sunday, 03/09/03 16:19:31 GMT

Scott, One more farrier's anvil feature: 6] narrow face width compared to a smith's anvil of the same weight.
   Frank Turley - Sunday, 03/09/03 16:41:45 GMT

More about Scott's Anvil: "Antique" should be reserved for VERY old anvils of 175 to 200 years in age or more that are in the "collectable" category. Although Hay-Budden has not been in business since 1928 that style of farriers anvil is still popular and is manufactured by numerous makers. Late Hay-Buddens were in fact a "modern" anvil in that they were made with large billets of tool steel rather than having a forge welded tool steel face.

Hay-Budden also made an earlier farriers anvil that was slightly modified version of their standard anvil. The heal was a little thinner than normal due to its length and it had two pritchel holes. Then rather than the clip horn it had half of the table cut off to lengthen one side of the horn. I have a 200 pound anvil of this type. Old maybe, but it is certainly not an antique.
   - guru - Sunday, 03/09/03 16:42:11 GMT

TGN: 25lbs is too small for a forging anvil unless its bolted to something very solid. You can get cast iron anvils of similar wt from Harbor Freight for not much money. They are not much use to a smith but for your purposes they might be right

Guru, Rich, John thanks for all the tips and tricks.
   adam - Sunday, 03/09/03 16:48:59 GMT

Small Anvils and Titanium: Generaly, small anvils are quite rare and sell for more than the common 100 to 130 pound anvils that are found by the millions. 25 pound anvils are artist's or large jewler's anvils. Small anvils are available from a couple makers but most on the market are cheap Chinese ASO's.

Several years ago there was a flood of Russian made titanium crow-bars on the market. Many smiths and craftspeople bought them up because they were selling for less than new raw material prices. I suspect there are still a few available at the flea markets or from folks like Harbor Frieght.

Zirconium is used heavily by the nuclear industry due to its transparency to certian types of nuclear radiation. In color is looks like stainless and is very corrosion resistant so it is hard to tell from stainless except by spark test.
   - guru - Sunday, 03/09/03 16:55:06 GMT

Does the term "ascidian" mean anything in reference to a flora motif in blacksmith vernacular. I am triing to remember the name of a flower like bar ending like the Peter Ross demo on leaf and scroll except that the element emerging out of the leaves does not end in a scroll and is shorter.
   L.Sundstrom - Sunday, 03/09/03 17:28:42 GMT

Blades - Here is a page with info on edge types, point types, and tang types. http://www.customknifedirectory.com/CKD_TutorialFrameset.htm
   - Stormcrow - Sunday, 03/09/03 17:58:36 GMT

Well its nice to know I am not selling something that I will miss.

Thanks for the information. If it was obvious to you, I assume it will be to the buyer.

On Titanium....
I love any metal that has the word "tit" in it. I may have a source for Titanium if anyone is interested. I will sell by the pound, tell me what you are willing to spend by the pound and if it fits I will contact you back.

Thanks for not blasting me.
   scott - Sunday, 03/09/03 19:27:05 GMT

Esteemed Guru, I never saw a Hay-Budden farrier's anvil with any sort of cutting table, cut off or otherwise. I've seen them where the clip horn was removed. Show me; I'm from Missouri.
   Frank Turley - Sunday, 03/09/03 19:29:16 GMT

Frank, Unless someone or multiples are making gramerical errors, Hay-budden anvils with "tables" are quite common. And I have a 118lb H-B myself. Re-conferm your doubts and I'll send you a picture, I feel there is some other error going on here ?
   Snow Smith - Sunday, 03/09/03 19:45:37 GMT

Or perhaps I haven't added "farrier" to the anvil I have? that would be incorrect?
   Snow Smith - Sunday, 03/09/03 19:50:31 GMT

interested on how to lay out the formula to build a spril stair rail.
   kevin mayer - Sunday, 03/09/03 21:01:42 GMT

Hay-Budden Farriers? I had never thought of this as being a farriers anvil until I had several other folks call it that. It has two pritchell holes from the factory and half the table cut off. I'm sure the pritchell holes are factory but not sure about the cut off table. The weirdness around end of the horn appears to be a combination of wear AND there are some torch cut areas from use in a welding shop.

200 Pound Hay-Budden anvil with two pritchel hles and cut off shelf. Jock Dempsey PhotoTwo Hundred Pound Hay-Budden
   - guru - Sunday, 03/09/03 21:15:10 GMT

Guru, Scott, Snow Smith et al., Hay-Budden. To whup on the dead horse a little more... here's what I think. From your picture, you have a farrier's pattern with the clip horn removed. I don't think *any* of the HB farrier patterns were made with a cutting table; just the blacksmith's pattern. And this brings up one more feature, # 7, that I left out (see above posts). Because there is a swelled horn, there is no vertical step or shoulder that is in line with the horizontal step. If there were, it would reduce the swell and make a smaller horn. The London/American blacksmith's pattern has three shoulders where the horn joins the body, but the farrier's anvil doesn't.

To carry this even further, some of the earlier farrier's anvils had a clip horn and swell, but only one pritchel hole. And the heels were sometimes a little thicker.I think the company was experimenting at that time. And I'm going to add a #8 feature! Some of this pattern had a more pronounced upsweep on the topline of the horn, especially the last third of the horn length toward the point...when compared with a smith's anvil.

So, in looking at your anvil, I would say it's a farrier's style, and a beauty I might add. The big ones I assume, were designed for turning the big draft shoes, even though the face was fairly narrow. There aren't too many 200# + anvils like yours around. I've seen three that were 180# +.
   Frank Turley - Sunday, 03/09/03 22:11:10 GMT

Guru, I sometimes think you should have two counters on this page, one to keep track of kids wanting for you to write their homework paper and one to keep track of kids wanting to know how to forge a sword. I wonder if the racing websites ever get e-mail like: Hello, I am not old enough to drive and know nothing about auto mechanics but I want to build my own Indy car. How do I get started?
   Quenchcrack - Sunday, 03/09/03 22:40:25 GMT

Its a thought Quenchcrack... They don't chk the FAQ page before they enter. Most starting questions are in there..
   Barney - Sunday, 03/09/03 23:06:52 GMT

I may be wrong on this but Scotts ebay name rings a bell, "scottwojo" I do beleive he and I spoke about other anvils he sold in the past, a couple that had be welded on. I looked thru his old sales but it doesn`t show all of what he sold. Could be he is just advertising the anvil here. It is a nice anvil.
   - Robert-ironworker - Monday, 03/10/03 00:08:36 GMT

Honorable Guru:
Yes you are correct. My first sale on eBay was indeed an anvil. And yes, I did ask for help on it here. I asked your thoughts and you told me it was not so great because the heel had been cut off. Also, that I lessened its value by cleaning the rust off! It was a nice experiance. And yes, I do try to let as many people know about a sale as possible. So I am letting you know there is a nice anvil on eBay. Sorry it is "just" a ferriers anvil.
Thanks again.
   scott - Monday, 03/10/03 00:46:35 GMT


Speaking strictly for myself, you might save a little correcting time if you sent a picture to the guru or myself or Frank Turley before you post it and ask for help identifying and describing it. (grin)
   Paw Paw - Monday, 03/10/03 01:24:07 GMT

Guru, I am still drawing, and working on my Big Anvil.Now I have a new question for you.I have been asked to forge a couple of dinner bells. In case this is not the correct name for them ,I mean the triangular bell that hangs near the kitchen or chuck wagon, that when jingled, signifies chow time.I have seen plenty, in pictures, as well as hanging around. The problem is I never bothered to measure them.Unless I am wrong they have to be a certain dimension to sound correctly.If you can help me please do so.I need to know the correct dimensions, if in fact their are any, and also the correct round stock diameter.Thanks B.H.
   Ben Hudspeth - Monday, 03/10/03 02:09:23 GMT


I make them out of half inch round stock. Start with 30" of stock, mark and bend it at 5", 15" and 25" from one end. This will put the "split" between the two ends. Separate them by about 1/8th of an inch. Heat a corner to a bright red, and quench it. Heat a different corner to a dull red and quench it. The space between the ends will act like a tuning fork, and the differential hardening will make for slightly different musical notes on the different sections of the bell.

Questions, email me and I'll see if I've got a picture of one.
   Paw Paw - Monday, 03/10/03 03:04:47 GMT

BTW, I should mention that the dimensions and the tuning fork arrangement are shamelessly stolen from the guru. (grin)
   Paw Paw - Monday, 03/10/03 03:07:20 GMT

Spiral Staircase: We have a FAQ on the subject. The math is variable according to the design. The length of the top rail per turn is the diameter of the staircase times PI divided by the cosine of the angle of the rise. (simple HS trig, or refer to MACHINERY'S HANDBOOK).

You are best off to do a scale drawing showing the outside of the rail as if it is on a flat plane and then working out rise/run, picket lengths, rail length and such from the scale drawing. My general advice to people building spiral rails is that if they can't figure out the design then they have no business trying to build one. Hopefully the little bit above and the FAQ will get you started.
   - guru - Monday, 03/10/03 03:53:09 GMT

Gas Forges: Works of the Devil!

(Just joking.) Anyway, I go to hook up the "Baby Balrog" the other night with a new "swapped-out" gas cylinder from Wal-Mart. The needle on the gage goes zooming all the way over to the wrong side of the pin! I try adjusting the pressure valve on the hose, and I can't even get it down to 20 psi. (I operate it at 12 psi) "Oh dear!" says I, or words to that effect; "I must have wanged the forge pressure valve way out of whack. No gas forge tonight."

Then, on a hunch, I fetch the refill from the local True Value that I had fortuitously acquired so that I would have a backup when I ran one cylinder out. I turn the main valve, adjust the pressure valve, and I'm back to 12 psi!

So; is this another clumsy assassination attempt by Wal-Mart? Should I haul it back and have them switch it out for another? Does this happen all the time?

My coal never goes over-pressure!

A sixty degree day on the banks of the lower Potomac. Finished the 1 1/2 gallon cookpot, forging spear point and ferrules for the Anglo-Saxon Camp for Jamestown's Military Through the Ages event this coming weekend. To arms, to arms! (Two arms, two legs, two heads!)

Visit your National Parks: www.nps.gov

Go viking: www.wam.umd.edu/~eowyn/Longship/
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Monday, 03/10/03 04:57:22 GMT

I am trying to find "Hollow End Mills" of various sizes,3/16/1/4,3/8,1/2, that fit into a drill press for making tenons. Any help will be appreciated.
   johno - Monday, 03/10/03 07:50:25 GMT

I am trying to find "Hollow End Mills" of various sizes,3/16/1/4,3/8,1/2, that fit into a drill press for making tenons. Any help will be appreciated.
   johno - Monday, 03/10/03 07:52:01 GMT

Bruce, I'm not an expert on L.P gas but the only way you can get a vapor pressure over (?) about 17 psi is with an overfill where you are only dealing with liquids and no compressable vapor space. Get that tank out of the house and in a safe area immediately! Call someone to vent off the liquid to a safe level if you are unsure of what you are doing. liquid propane will go balistic if left under containment and heat expands the liquid beyond the stregth of the containing vessel!

   Snow Smith - Monday, 03/10/03 08:06:08 GMT

L.Sundstrom; Once again, I refer to the pages of my handy dandy American Heritage Dictionary, (which is my partner in all manner of mischief) and find "ascidian" n. Any of various saclike marine animals of the class Ascidiasea, which includes the sea squirts. They also offer "ascidium",n.,plural, a botanical term. A sac-shaped or bottle-shaped part or organ, such as a leaf of a pitcher plant. Both words are rooted in the Greek words "askidion", or "little wineskin" and "askos" or wineskin, bag, bladder or belly. Which is probably more than you really wanted to know about THAT subject. (grin) Best regards, 3dogs
   3dogs - Monday, 03/10/03 08:12:47 GMT

I was wondering if there might be any websites that you know of that would have information on building weather vanes? I have built quite a few, and am mostly interested in the types of bearing applications used to make them. I currently use sealed bearings with a half inch bore, but would like to know about some other options if possible. The weather vanes that I make are small and mount to the tops of 4X4 fence posts. I would like to come up with another way to allow them to spin other than with the sealed bearings that I am currently using. The total weight of most of the tops that I make is around 2 to 2-1/2 pounds. I make the silhouette figures for the tops from 10 guage plate. Thanks for any help. Really appreciate it.
   Jim Scott - Monday, 03/10/03 09:16:43 GMT


Most folks draw a point on the mount piece, and weld a ball bearing in the end of the mount tubing. Then add grease to the combination. The small size of the drawn point makes for a NEARLY friction free mount.
   Paw Paw - Monday, 03/10/03 12:59:52 GMT

Jim Scott; What has worked well for me, has been 2 pieces of pipe, tubing or whatever, which will telescope together relatively closely. the innermost, smaller one would be mounted on your chosen base, with the NSEW arms on it and the top end deburred and countersunk. In the countersink, you'd place a ball, from an old ball bearing assembly, slightly smaller than the OD of this tube. You'd probably want about 7 or 8 inches of tube above the direction arms. Your critter of choice and/or arrow would be mounted on the larger diameter tube, which will be slightly shorter than the distance above the NSEW arms, (well balanced, one would hope). After painting the whole thing, wipe plenty of grease on the shaft and ball, and assemble. If this thing ever gets to the point where it has whirled at 1100 RPM, overheated and flown apart, then everything else in the area will have been destroyed beforehand, anyway. (grin) Best regards, 3dogs
   3dogs - Monday, 03/10/03 13:36:01 GMT

Propane vapor pressure (the pressure in the tank) changes dramatically with temperature. This is why you get much less flow as you use propane from a small tank like a 20 pounder. As the propane evaporates, it cools itself. As it cools, the vapor pressure drops. As the pressure drops, you get less flow through the same size hose and orifices and fittings, etc. A regulator helps even the flow out since it tries to maintain an even outlet pressure. But if the vapor pressure drops below your regulator setting, you will get less pressure. A regulator can only reduce pressure.

Vapor pressure of propane is well over 200 psig at 120 degrees F and about 30 psig at 0 degrees F. LP (liquified petroleum gas) which is what is filled into the "propane" tank also usually has some butane and other gasses. Butane has a significantly lower vapor pressure. To know exactly what pressures you should expect, you should request a vapor pressure chart from whoever is filling the propane tank.

You will get more than 17 psi in the tank unless the LP has a lot of butane or the liquid temp gets below about -15 F. When you start drawing, the pressure goes down with pressure drop through the fittings, valves, etc.

There are many different OPD valves on small propane tanks. Some have a limiting orifice that will act somewhat as a regulator when gas is flowing. But none I am aware of actually have a regulator in them. If you get a tank with a valve that gives higher pressure when flowing, that will generally be a newer OPD valve and there is nothing wrong with it.

Overfilling does leave less space for gas to expand in the tank and can result in an overpressure situation. Usually if the tank is filled cold and then warms up. The vapor pressure rises and gas is released out the relief valve which is part of the OPD. If that gas is in a closed space with an ignition source..... Boom! This still happens with an OPD valve in some cases. Lots of expense for us all, more regulations, and no real absolute safety improvement. But the tank and valve people are making a lot more money..... and I surmise that the politicians have a little bigger campaign fund. Grinning.. but not much.

Bruce, make sense? If not, let me know.
   Tony - Monday, 03/10/03 13:36:04 GMT

PawPaw, I b'lieve johno wuz lookin' fer tenon cutters.(ye grinne) 3dogs
   3dogs - Monday, 03/10/03 13:42:30 GMT

We were given this unusual bench mandrel and I know that one of you knows what it's for . The cone part has a rectangular hole near the tip [3/4x1/2] and the whole cone [aprox 16'' long] tapers from 1 1/2''dia. at the tip to 3'' dia. at the base where it joins a 15'' long base that is wedge shaped with two 3/4'' mounting holes. The cone part is attached to this wedge at about a 15 degree angle. The whole unit weighs in at about 40-45lb's. My first guess was that it's a wheelwright's tool but I can't find a similar one in any of our limited resource materials..so any ideas?
   tim - Monday, 03/10/03 14:13:43 GMT

More propane....and if you want to check on me.... see


for a vapor pressure table and a whole bunch more technical info on propane, butane, natural gas, etc.
   Tony - Monday, 03/10/03 14:18:13 GMT


You're right. Jim Scott, that meassge was for you.
   Paw Paw - Monday, 03/10/03 14:55:19 GMT

Weather Vanes: Jim, I have written on weather vanes here a number of times and probably should edit them into a FAQ. For the vast majority of vanes ball bearings are over kill and more likely to fail (due to dirt, rust, lightening() than the common type.

The last weather vane I built was in constant use for over 20 years and is still used for short periods (its on a portable building). The "bearing" is a forged point on 5/16" rod with a a piece of 1/4" schedule 40 pipe slipped over it with a plug in the end. The end plug had a shallow "V" drilled or machined into it before driving into the pipe and welding it. A little grease lupricated the bearing. The pipe was as tall as the vane. The vane was an anvil cutout on one side and an arrow on the other. All in steel.

This vane turns with the slightest breeze. Even air movement you cannot feel will turn it. Fancier bearings are overkill.

The most important two things in weather vane design is mechanical balance and areodynamic imbalance. A poorly balanced vane will not turn well even on perfect bearings. The more aerodynamic imbalance the more sensitive the vane. The best vanes have a large "flag" on one side and a minimal pointer on the other. I like mine to be roughly the same length. Weather vanes should also be light weight for their size. The lighter they are the more sensitive they will be.

My anvil cut out was in varily thin sheet metal, 20 gauge I think (about .015"). It was made stensil style with 1/16" welding rod connecting the pieces. To balance this there was a long arrow with a heavy point made of 1/2" thick material. To achieve perfect balance the arrow as supported by two scrolls between which it could be adjusted in length. The length was tweeked until the vane, supported horizontaly on it support, would remain in any position it was placed. Then it was checked verticaly so that id did not rub at the bottom of the tube. After welding the pointer in place it was checked again and a tad bit of weight added with a bead of weld that was ground to blend in. Before building this vane I did rough weight calculations to be sure the materials at hand would work and that the adjustment would be minor. It was tricky figuring out the vane. Today a CAD program can be used to determine the exact area (thus the weight) of very complicated shapes.

The large old weather vanes you occacionaly see were hollow brass or copper and quite light weight for their size. My anvil weather vane is a little over 3 feet in total length and weighs only a couple pounds (I never weighed it so I am guessing).
   - guru - Monday, 03/10/03 15:10:18 GMT

Propane Pressure Bruce, That is a mystery to me. Unless there is a SEVERE over pressurization of your new cylinder than the regulator should be able to handle it.
You should be able to take the regulator off one cylinder and put it on another and have the gauge read very nearly the same even on your single stage regulator. The NORMAL pressure range of a propane cylinder is well within the capacity of your single stage regulator and you should not be able to detect a difference until the cylinder is near empty.

I would take the cylinder out in the yard far from any ignition sources and bleed off some gas. This is much safer than transporting an overfilled cylinder. Transporting a liquid gas cylinder spashes the fuel around increasing its temperature and pressure.

The ODP valves are supposed to prevent over filling but you may have a situation where the cylinder was filled COLD and then has warmed up. However, MY standard old style 30 pound cylinders have overpressure relief valves and gassed off the overfill the one time this happened (filled and then let set in the HOT sun). I would think the new valves have the same. However, as Tony pointed out there are many makers of these valves and I suspect there are a lot of differences in quality and design.

LAST MONTH I wrote to the fire saftey people about problems with these valves and reported the results here (Feb 1-8 archive). Essentialy what I got was the official "party line". I also called all the local propane dealers (I talked to the owner/managers) polling them on the problems and most were as ignorant of the details as the general public and a few gave me just plain erroneous information.

   - guru - Monday, 03/10/03 15:38:21 GMT

I sometimes dont use a regulator on my propane tank, just a needle valve and a gauge. In my shop at about 50F the vapor pressure (well the max pressure I can get from a 20# tank) is about 45psi.

If Bruce's tank is overfilled to the point where the regulator cant control it then the bottle must be under severe strain. Scary!

Coal can kill you too but it takes a long time and you can get in a lot of forging in the meanwhile :)
   adam - Monday, 03/10/03 17:23:47 GMT

I got my 3# French pattern hammer in working shape now. For $25 from Kaynes, this is a nice blacksmith's hammer. The eye is tapered (I have a custom hammer from a renowned smith who did not bother to taper the eye). The eye is quite wide making for a strong joint with the handle. The face and the pein are hard while the eye is soft.

Still needed a fair amount of work to finish it. Edges of the face had to be rounded (they came beveled). Cut off all the red plastic "adornments" on the handle and shaved it down to a size that fits my hand. Really more of a kit than a ready made tool :)
   adam - Monday, 03/10/03 17:35:34 GMT

Thank you all for the advice and information.

Good news: The questionable cylinder is sitting away from ignition sources in a well ventilated tobacco barn. (Tobacco barns are built for ventilation.)

Bad news: It's sitting next to the good cylinder and next to our longship!

It was a moderately cold night (upper 30s, lower 40s) when I hooked it up. After I got the wild reading, I disconnected it, examined and tapped at my pressure regulator and gauge and reconnected the cylinder in case I had messed up somewhere, with the same result. Swung right to the wrong side of the pin again. The only way I could drop pressure was to crank the main valve almost shut, which wouldn't actually do for a supply. Besides, I was deservedly spooked.

I have since run off the other cylinder for about 2 1/2 hours with no problems, so I know it's not the gauge and regulator.

If I bleed the overpressured cylinder out in the field, how long? Seconds? Minutes? Anybody want to guess?

I guess it's lucky that this cylinder went to me, and I have this resource to consult with. Some poor suburbanite might have launched his BBQ grill into low earth orbit!

Sunny and warming on the banks of the Potomac. With 60 degrees F yesterday, I guess it's just as well that it didn't get warmer. Thanks for the advice not to transport, I suspect that had I gotten it back to Wal-Mart some underling might have just put it back in the switch-out bin. I will mention it to them, though. I don't want to read about it in the paper.
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Monday, 03/10/03 17:37:59 GMT

Guru, PPW, et al: Last year I made a wind chime from some 1" brass tube. I found a website that showed how to cut the tubes to a precise length to achieve a specific musical note. Choosing a suitable chord, I cut the various tubes to specific lengths, put the hole at the calculated nodes and hung it on the patio. It does, indeed ring forever and drives the neighborhood dogs vertical. Is there a recommended method for tuning a dinner triangle to specific musical notes?
   - Quenchcrack - Monday, 03/10/03 17:57:02 GMT

Bruce, your bottle should not be under any severe strain unless the relief valve that is part of the OPD (and older style) cylinder valves, is not functioning. That is certainly possible. To be on the safe side, Iíd do what the guru suggested. Let off some gas. But I might be inclined to cool the bottle down a little first. Bruce, for the cost of the propane, I might run it all out. But a propane tank is designed to be safe if no more than 80% full. So if you weigh it now, and run off gas until it drops 5 pounds in total weight, you will be below 80% if it is a 20 pounder (5 gallons nominal).

Actually, what I, being unsafe and curious, would do, is carefully put a 500 psi pressure gage on the bottle and see how much pressure is really in it. Just for grins. Then, if itís above the vapor pressure chart, Iíd take it back to where I got it and negotiate my silence for a lot of future propane. I have no love of retailers. Especially walmart. If the tank is above the vapor pressure, the tank should be destroyed or at least re-hydro tested.

If the regulator saw more than itís rated allowable inlet pressure, I would also demand the cost of a new regulator. Any fuel gas regulator that has seen overpressure should be destroyed and thrown away in my opinion. See the next paragraph for why....

Something else that some don't know is that nearly all regulators are vented on the non gas side of the diaphragm. So as not to allow trapped pressure on the non gas side of the diaphragm or bellows to affect the outlet pressure. If the diaphragm or bellows gets a small hole, from age or overpressure, fuel gas will piss through the diaphragm and out the vent. If the regulator is in a closed space with an ignition source...... Boom! Again.

Industrial fuel gas regulators are vented outside. There are ďrestricted ventĒ regulators that donít let much propane out the vent, but itís still coming out if the diaphragm or bellows gets a hole. Itís really best to have all regulators outside and check the vent hole with soap suds occasionally. Also check to make sure the vent hole is not plugged.

OPD valves are NOT foolproof. NFPA recommends not relying on them for complete ovefill protection. I guess thatís why good OPD valves still have the funnelled drop tube and ďsightĒ screw to tell the filler when itís full.

Adam, with HD-5 ďpropaneĒ, nominal 95% propane, 5% butane, you should get a tank pressure of around 75 psig at 50 degrees F liquid temp. Once you start using propane from the tank, the liquid propane in the tank will cool and the pressure will drop. The liquid temp of HD-5 propane that gives you 45 psig is about 25 degrees F. The liquid cools in the tank from the evaporation and the tank outside gets cool and the ambient temperature heats the tank outside until the heat flow is balanced.

Bruce, Iím glad you have it in the shade and well ventilated. Your gage may also now be off a bit. If it doesnít go back to zero, itís off for sure. Even if it goes back to zero, it might be different reading now.

Sorry if Iím boring the snot out of some of you. I like this stuff. Also sorry if Iím telling you stuff you already know.
   Tony - Monday, 03/10/03 18:10:40 GMT


Trial and error is the only think I can think of. I have made triangles out of 1/2" square stock, twisting all four straight sections and quenching all three corners at different temperatures that actually ring a four note chord. But it was pure luck.
   Paw Paw - Monday, 03/10/03 18:12:08 GMT

Bruce, does the offending propane tank have a screw on the side of the valve? If so, and you open it with the tank upright, only gas should come out. No spitting liquid. If it's overfilled, it will spit liquid. If it spits liquid and you let it spit until only gas comes out, it should be OK.

With all of this adventure, I know you know not to be anywhere near an ignition source. Electric, chemical or heat.
   Tony - Monday, 03/10/03 18:21:18 GMT

Triangles: The official line on triangles from the musical community is that they are like drums and have no definite "note". Therefore there is no literature on the subject. However, they are much like bells (also multi frequncy devices) and have harmonoius primary and secondary frequencys as well as those that are not harmonious. Small one ring at higher pitches than larger ones.

The egual sided triangle that Paw-Paw described is similar to a tuning fork but not quite. . The short legs at the bottom vibrate at a different frequency than the long legs thus there IS some dissonance that is not in a true tuning fork.

Years ago I built a 1 octave set of triangles but I failed to record dimensions. . . It was done by guessing and experimentation.
   - guru - Monday, 03/10/03 18:30:30 GMT

Has anyone seen an anvil marked:
Lindsay, Sterrit & Euwer

or LS&E

Pittsburg, PA

   - guru - Monday, 03/10/03 19:25:25 GMT

Guru. I am thinking of offering for sale on eBay Titanium bars. they are 5@ 1/2" x 1" x 15.25" and one large block sized 4" x 3.5" x 1.5". do you think there is a market for blacksmiths? I think this would make good knife material. What are you suggestions in offering this material for your art? any other uses for this material? would I be better off trading raw stock matierial for finished product?
Thank you,
   scott - Monday, 03/10/03 22:59:24 GMT

John O'Connor siu.edu Your pub registration mail bounced.
   - guru - Monday, 03/10/03 23:11:27 GMT

Pub Registrations: Our system has appeared to have reached its maximum capacity. . .
   - guru - Monday, 03/10/03 23:39:07 GMT

Pub Registrations: I think I found the bug. .
   - guru - Monday, 03/10/03 23:58:20 GMT

Sounds to me like Bruce may be getting liquid out of the cylinder and through the regulator. The liquid would then expands to vapor (at its vapor pressure). Maybe overfilling or some kind of defective valve?

   Mike B - Tuesday, 03/11/03 00:16:57 GMT

"ewan" macpees your slack-tub registration mail bounced.
   - guru - Tuesday, 03/11/03 00:56:42 GMT

I just got the latest catalog from Centaur forge and I noticed it did not have a videos or books in it. It also seemed to be lacking in farrier supplies. Have they reduced the products they are selling or do they now have multiple catalogue's?
   Patrick Nowak - Tuesday, 03/11/03 01:53:07 GMT

Zirconium: Had two pieces of zirconium show up at the Metallurgy Lab today. 10" diameter x 1/2" wall x 10 feet long. We don't make anything from zirconium...if nobody claims it, maybe The Great Nippulini would care to bid on it. Seriously, the MSDS that came with it cautioned that any machining chips smaller that 1/16" were flamable, as was grinding dust. Not a good candidate for use in a public place as a source of amusement. I wonder if it did catch fire, could you use it to heat a forge with?
   Quenchcrack - Tuesday, 03/11/03 02:42:32 GMT


I suspect it would burn too hot to be safe in a forge.
   Paw Paw - Tuesday, 03/11/03 03:18:51 GMT

to any one who can help.I make Chainmail and came across blackening the wire by heating and then cooling the wire in linseed oil. I was wondering if and one knows the right way to do this? Or any other ways to color the steel wire. Thank you for your time in reading this I look forward to your advice. Jayden.
   Jayden - Tuesday, 03/11/03 04:02:03 GMT

Think I went a little overboard with concearn, sorry! The people that refill my L.P. bottles leave the remains of a rubtured tank around the refilling area to remind everyone to keep thier mind on what they are doing! Word is; that it wet off in the sun.
   Snow Smith - Tuesday, 03/11/03 05:37:53 GMT

Jayden; You might get a couple of bottles of instant cold gun bluing and pour them into a bigger glass jar, dump some of your rings into the jar and slosh them around in the bluing until you get the color you like. Dip them out with a magnet or whatever and rinse them off. Wear rubber gloves and safety glasses, read and heed the cautions on the bluing bottles. Best regards, 3dogs
   3dogs - Tuesday, 03/11/03 07:49:01 GMT

Guru, I listed the Titanium. It will list tonight at 5.45pm PST Item number is 3213596694. If you have any answers to my above questions please let me know.
Thank you.
   scott - Tuesday, 03/11/03 13:03:42 GMT

I have a 1" thick 8 Ft x 5 Ft welding table that I use for a lot of different purposes in my shop. I have been thinking about putting a grid of tapped holes in a few places to mount tools that I don't use all of the time. Sort of a poor man's platen table.
For example, a set of Whitney angle iron tools, shear, notcher,bender. A large vise that will stay there most of the time, an Edwards shear, bench grinder, polisher, jigs,
bench stops,dogs etc.
I was thinking about making bases for the tools that match the grid(s) on the table so I can just bolt them down
when I need them or store them on the bar grate shelf under the table. I'm concerned about getting weld spatter in the un-occupied holes so I would probably keep set screws or something in them when not in use. I wanted to run this by the folks here because I bet someone has either done or thought of doing this before and might have additional ideas.


   chris smith - Tuesday, 03/11/03 13:15:06 GMT

Snow smith, nothing wrong with your concern. Safety pressure reliefs are things that almost never get tested to see if they are operating. Water heaters, boilers, etc. I doubt that most small propane (LP) cylinder safety reliefs ever get tested. So the possibility exists that one may not function when a tank is overfilled as I said. But that is the only way a LP tank will overpressure.

It was your 17 psi that I wanted to talk about. As you can see, the pressure in a propane tank can be MUCH higher than that. Most people have no clue of that fact and do not treat propane tanks as carefully as their air compressor tank. The propane tank is potentially much more dangerous.
   Tony - Tuesday, 03/11/03 13:22:01 GMT

   CHARLIE - Tuesday, 03/11/03 14:07:57 GMT

Scott what alloy is the Ti? and where did you "list" it?

BTW plain Ti makes lousy knives, too soft.

   - Thomas Powers - Tuesday, 03/11/03 14:14:07 GMT

Chris Smith, yes, I've tried some of that. Weld splatter and grinding swarf will kill even a setscrew filled tapped hole if you are as imconsiderate of your tables as I am. Through holes seem to work better and leaving a loose bolt in the hole will keep the weld splatter out. One thing I have seen done successfully is common sub plates for the auxiliary tools that then are bolted to the table with through bolts. Keyhole slot? Might have the same weld splatter problem.
   Tony - Tuesday, 03/11/03 14:22:50 GMT

Does any one know a solvent or solution that is good for desloving two part epoxy but not strong enough to dammage antler or wood? If that is at all posible.
   Kevin King - Tuesday, 03/11/03 14:55:46 GMT

Titanium: As Thomas noted it is too soft for blades. Those that claim they make "titanium" blades are either using steel with traces of Ti or are just full of IT as are many of the BS artists in the fantasy blade business. Trace metals do not make steel something other than steel.

Ti is used in the aerospace industry to replace aluminium in hot spots or mild steel because steel is too heavy for general use in aircraft. It is light and strong but not a replacement for blade, spring or tool steel. People think it is great stuff because of the sexy name. . .

Zirconium Hazzards: Zirconium chips will ignite from spontanious combustion and water aggrevates the problem. It burns a brilliant white like magnesium but more rapidly. ZrO is the primary drying ingrediant in deoderant.
   - guru - Tuesday, 03/11/03 14:55:48 GMT

Thank you for the advice 3dogs I will try it. Jayden
   Jayden - Tuesday, 03/11/03 15:03:59 GMT

Hmmm, post didn't take. Try again:

Had a Vestry meeting last night, so Iíll be bleeding the cylinder in the 9 acre field tonight, far from any ignition sources. Iíll even wear cotton clothing and stay up-wind. Itís moist out, so I shouldnít have any problems with static electricity.

Iíll let you know how it went (God willing) tonight or tomorrow morning. After bleeding off, I have to finish the two spearheads and ferrules for the Anglo-Saxon camp tonight and shaft them tomorrow.

Snow flurries on the banks of the Potomac! Off to Jamestown Military Through the Ages on Friday afternoon. No forge this year, just arms, armor and lots of cookware.

Visit your National Parks: www.nps.gov

Go viking: www.wam.umd.edu/~eowyn/Longship/
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Tuesday, 03/11/03 15:05:44 GMT

Weld Spatter in Tapped Holes: Never-Seize will help but you have to carefully clean the hole of loose weld spatter as well as tight. A few loose beads in a threaded hole and the parts will gall and sieze. To plug holes you have to use a cut off screw with little or no chamfer. Same on the threaded holes. I have a taped hole for an eyebolt in the center of the plate in my welding bench. I ran the eye-bolt up from underneath, locked it with a locknut and then ground it flush. The only time I have moved the bench using the eyebolt I had to run a tap through the hole.

Old mill, shaper and planer tables with T-slots make great welding benches as weld spatter generally does not stick to cast iron. However, the slots fill up with debris just as bad in this application as any other. Exposed threads on studs or T-slot bolts also get covered with weld spatter and ruined.

I have a set of welding clamps that have copper plated threads to prevent weld spatter from sticking. Seems to work.

There is a reason that weld plattens have big quare holes. . . Plain unthreaded holes in your bench would be less of a problem than the 30% hole space of many weld plattens.
   - guru - Tuesday, 03/11/03 15:08:23 GMT

Solvents for Epoxy: Kevin, I cannot give you the exact chemical name but it is VERY nasty stuff (I tend not to remember items that I am unlikely to use and I've used a LOT of epoxy). Generally the solvent is used only on partialy set epoxy and has little effect on fully cured epoxy. A file, sand paper of knife is much more efficient and does not have the hazards of the solvent.
   - guru - Tuesday, 03/11/03 15:14:46 GMT

I work for a machine shop in Upstate New York. We took a job for a part to be milled out of 303 stainless bar which is to have a "medium diamond knurl" on one side. Can you tell me what is the best way to get this condition into 303 stainless? Is there someone I can send this to to have this done?

Thank you.
   Earl Letzelter - Tuesday, 03/11/03 15:30:44 GMT

Centaur Forge: We have heard all sorts of rumors about Centaur since the heirs of Bill and Bonnie Pieh sold the business. The fact is they ARE under new management and have gotten rid of many of the old employees. They claimed their advertising here was not cost effective and stopped advertising last summer. The fact that I stopped sending them book business since then may have had something to do with them dropping or reducing that inventory. . . Advertising blacksmithing goods on anvilfire MORE than pays for itself.

Amy Pieh, daughter of Bill and Bonnie was forced out of the business and is now starting her own blacksmith and farrier supply. Things are taking a little longer to get started than planned (always does). There is currently a list of inventory on hand on The PiehToolCo website that includes many books.

Norm Larson is still a great source of blacksmithing and metalworking books and has been supporting the blacksmithing community with hard to find books since way before it was profitable to do so.
   - guru - Tuesday, 03/11/03 15:33:41 GMT

Knurl on Flat: Earl, Since you are taking about a milled part I am assuming the knurl is on flat rather than round. You are going to feel stupid when I tell you how. . . No special tooling or machinery is required.

Using a vertical mill a knurl on flat is produced with a single point flycutter with a diameter sufficient to make a diagonal sweep across the work. Using a rapid transverse feed a little greater than the space between lines you make two passes. Each pass is made with the center of the spindle off the work the same distance on opposite sides.

This produces a diamond knurl with a slight curve to the pattern (depending on the size of work and flycutter). It is best done on a fully geared milling machine but can be done on a Bridgeport type machine with the variable speed electric feeds. It just takes a little trial and error to get the feed right.

If the customer insists on a straight knurl on flat then it is done on a shaper. Transverse feed is set to the exact spacing of the knurl. First pass is cut with the vise set at 30° to the right, then the second pass with the vise set 30° to the left.

Yeah. . nobody has shapers anymore. . that's why I have one and several of my blacksmith friends have them. They are under appreciated and cheap in the current market (along with horizontal mills). Need to finish getting mine setup. . . GREAT tools.
   - guru - Tuesday, 03/11/03 16:00:03 GMT

Tempering 4140: Charlie, My heat treating book only gives hardness relative to tempering 4140 and 4140H. The minimum temper given was slightly over 500°F and the recommended minimum is 650°F.

Reheating to 400°F should have not effect unless the part is under load at the time.
   - guru - Tuesday, 03/11/03 16:23:06 GMT

Bench Mounted Equipment: Chris, Most of the tools you listed deserve their own benches OR another bench that does not need to be so heavy (but should be anchored).

I have found that you can anchor light steel and wooden benches to a wall and get better results than bolting to the floor. Angle iron anchors attaching a bench to the wall (stud, beam, something substantial) see much less load than floor bolting. The reason is that the bench itself acts as extra leverage against the floor mounting. Most of the tools you mentioned also apply load downward and the component pulling away from the wall is relatively small.

Most weld plattens end up with a vise mounted on one corner. This is great for vise work but gets in the way when using the platten for gate and fence work. I have a VERY large chipping vise I am going to use on my weld platten. But it will be attached using a plate with dogs welded on to fit the holes in the platen for easy removal. If I get ambitious I will make expanding dogs.

I refuse to put a vise on my welding bench. Arc welding is destructive to vise parts (jaws, screws, handle. . .) and the vise gets in the way more often than not. It is tempting since sometimes the heaviest bench in the shop (mine is 1800 lbs) is the welding bench.

   - guru - Tuesday, 03/11/03 16:48:48 GMT

Hey everybody. Once again, I can't thank you guys enough for pointing (pun) me in the right directions with my stunt show, both with the anvil info and the titanium/zirconium/magnesium flammability qualities. Since I do not have access to all these metals, I was wondering if anyone could do some experimenting for me (QuenchCrack, I'm looking at YOU). See what really does spark brightest, Ti., Cz., or how about that spring steel QC mentioned? Check the URL at the bottom of this post, you'll be whisked away to a broadband RealPlayer clip of what I am using. In my left hand (right side of screen) I am using a Stanley wonderbar. In my right hand (left side of screen) I am using a crowbar that came with my Ford. I think the wonderbar showers better because its a wider flatter surface, I THINK the metals are similar, you guys would know better than me.

Thanks again,

   The Great Nippulini - Tuesday, 03/11/03 17:44:23 GMT

Forgot one more question... there's an anvil for sale at the Harbor Freight site. It's 22 lbs. cast steel and sells for $39.99. Is that reasonable? Here's the page for it:
pound cast steel anvil

I also wanted you guys to see the 15 pound ASO being lifted by my nipples. This is also a broadband RealPlayer file.

The 15 pound ASO
in action

Once again, thanks... let me know if that 22 pounder is a bargain.
   The Great Nippulini - Tuesday, 03/11/03 17:54:15 GMT

Okay... HTML doesn't work here... sorry

22 pound cast steel anvil

The 15 pound ASO in action
   The Great Nippulini - Tuesday, 03/11/03 17:56:02 GMT

Quenchcrack you mentioned in a post (03/10/03) that you found a website that showed how to cut 1" brass tubes to a precise length to achieve a specific musical note. Will you share the website. Thank you William
   triw - Tuesday, 03/11/03 17:59:45 GMT

4140: Charlie, probably nothing as long as it was not held at 400F for several days. To affect the strength of a heat treated alloy by re-heating it, you need to get it hotter than the original tempering temperature. In your case, the 80 ksi yield was the probably result of tempering in the 1100F-1200F range.
Zirconium: The MSDS said to keep this stuff very dry or very wet. We chose to keep it very far away and moved it outside!
I am not sure I am comfortable having a Nipple Artist looking at me...........
   - Quenchcrack - Tuesday, 03/11/03 18:03:21 GMT

Windchimes: http://www1.iwvisp.com/cllsj/windchimes/ . The calculator will tell you how long to cut a tube of a specific material, diameter and wall thickness to get a specific musical note. Have some idea about what notes you want BEFORE you go there. Some windchime retailers list the notes their chimes will strike and you can listen to them via .midi or .wav downloads
   - Quenchcrack - Tuesday, 03/11/03 18:10:29 GMT

well... looking at you to do the sparking experiments for me ;) Yeah, Zirc. seems too much of a hassle for what its worth. Thanks!
   The Great Nippulini - Tuesday, 03/11/03 18:11:26 GMT

It will be listed on eBay. Is there a better way to list it than for knives? I am not sure of the alloy. It is scrap pieces, it is Identified by a white spark when hit with a grinder. I know smiths like to use the metal but what do they use it for?
   scott - Tuesday, 03/11/03 21:40:45 GMT

The Revolutionary Blacksmith, Book III Chapter 1 is posted.
   - guru - Tuesday, 03/11/03 22:26:20 GMT

do you know of a "recipe" that I could use for tempering metals?
   louis simpson - Tuesday, 03/11/03 23:20:35 GMT

I need to know how medievil blacksmiths forged weopens for a school project. I know you said you won't write some ones paper so even a reference would be nice. Thank you!
   can't tell - Tuesday, 03/11/03 23:35:21 GMT

Louis Simpson, No. There are many alloys, and they are treated differently, one from the other. I don't know what your experience level is, but the steel must be hardened first before it is tempered. Tempering is backing away from a known hardness by heating to a specific degree. One sacrifices brittleness to gain toughness. See the guru's FAQs and click on Heat Treatment.
   Frank Turley - Wednesday, 03/12/03 00:35:00 GMT

P.S. I saw a dinner triangle on a ranceh near Elko, Nevada, that was 30" each side of the triangle and made of 1" x 2" stock. Didn't take too much to call the cowhands in.
   Frank Turley - Wednesday, 03/12/03 00:43:29 GMT

Medieval Weapons Can't Tell, The basics of blacksmithing has not changed since the begining some 3,500 to 4,000 years ago. Modern smiths use very nearly the same tools and techniques as ancient smiths. The exception is that modern smiths have electric tools and gas torches to make the job easier. But the forging and finishing is the same.

The tools used then are no different than many smiths use today except that modern tools are made of better and much less expensive steel. So modern tools are also larger and heavier. Ancient anvils were small and blockish compared to modern anvils.

The basic tools were bellows to blow air on the fire held in the forge, a hammer to shape the hot metal supported on the anvil, tongs to hold the hot metal and numerous punches and chisles.

See our Armoury Page article about making a Norman Helmet.

See our iForge page demo #28 a hand axe. The techniques used are no different than a medieval smith would use to make a war axe OR a felling axe.

See iForge page demo #39, a horse bit. Making the hardware for a knight's horse was a part of making the rest of the horse's war gear.

See iForge demo #152 showing how to forge an Anglo Saxon spearhead.

   - guru - Wednesday, 03/12/03 03:16:04 GMT

Kevin, I think was the name, looking for a solvent for epoxy... 12 or 13 years ago I used MEK (methyl-ethyl-ketone) to soften epoxy appliance paint and was then able to take it off with a putty knife and steel wool, keeping it wet. Notes that seem to be mandatory with everything now: MEK is NASTY stuff. Be smarter than I was. Gloves, goggles, respirator. Don't know what it'll do to wood or antler, don't expect it'll hurt, but test first. Come to think of it, MEK might not even be available now. It was effective, which seems like the first criterion for banishment.

   Steve A - Wednesday, 03/12/03 03:27:02 GMT

I have just pulled out and dusted off my fathers old silver smithing tools and am trying my hand at jewelery making. I and my young sons started off practicingwith copper but i have been unable to find a supplierof copper colord solder. is there such a thing and where can I order it from? I live in northern BC and would need to order it by mail. Can you help, thanks for your time. Doug
   doug frazier - Wednesday, 03/12/03 06:29:33 GMT

Can't tell may I commend to your attention "The Sword in Anglo-Saxon England" H.R.E. Davidson it is easy to read and has a lot of info on early medieval swords---I'd expect it in your bibliography if I was grading such a paper!

You might also have a bit of fun and throw in "Divers Arts" by Theophilus, its from 1120 AD and includes the "in-famous" quenching method for steel, (not about weapons, but the methods are the same.

Any basic smithing text will give you the basics of smithing and there is a list over at "getting started" IIRC.

"Cathedral Forge and Waterwheel" Gies & Geis has a good illumination of a medieval smith and speaks of the change from charcoal to coal in forging. "Arms and Armour of the Medieval Knight" might be useful too.

Go to the library and start searching!

   - Thomas Powers - Wednesday, 03/12/03 13:36:06 GMT

Lous, "Sources for the History of the Science of Steel" lists a bunch of "receipies" for tempering steel, many using slug water and radish juice. To do it right requires knowing the alloy *or* being willing to spend some time in destructive testing of the material.

   - Thomas Powers - Wednesday, 03/12/03 13:38:28 GMT

Doug Frazier-
You will probably have to apply a patination chemical to get copper colored solder. The most common is copper sulfate. It is available in a ready to use solution form through most stained glass supply houses. Care should be taken in handling.
   KayeC - Wednesday, 03/12/03 16:03:30 GMT

Copper Solder: Doug, Besides using copper sulfate to plate the solder as KayeC mentioned, you may want to try electro plating. Copper sulfate solution will copper "flash" clean tin/lead and tin/silver solders but it is a VERY thin coating. Electro plating will build up a thicker coating.

Copper is hard to match as only copper is truely copper colored and all alloys of copper are slightly different in color (generaly lighter). Solders are based on Tin, Lead and Silver which are all white metals. There is a copper/silver soldering alloy that matches brass very closely but I do not know of any that match copper. Working in brass is a little more difficult than copper but the metal is much stronger when finished and generaly makes more useful objects. Being able to match the color with silver solder is a plus.
   - guru - Wednesday, 03/12/03 17:36:53 GMT

Tempering Recipes: As Thomas pointed out these are mostly nonsense and belong in the category of myths, urban legends, "old-wives tales" or alchemy. In fact they are for hardening, not tempering. The confusion between these different process which are each a single step in the multi step process of "heat treating" has long been misunderstood. Generally when these processes are confused it is an indication that the speaker does not understand heat treating.

When modern metallurgy entered the picture the witches brews of codliver and castor oil generaly went by the wayside. Although different oils have slightly different quenching characteristics the temperature of the oil is more critical than its source. Today the common quenchants are water, brine, mineral oil, synthetic oils and the new polymer/water mixes that avoid flamability and disposal issues of used quenching oil.

Tempering by reheating the steel after hardening is sometimes done in a "salt bath". This a pot of molten salt of one sort or another. Many types of salt are used depending on the temperature needed. Mixtures are generally not used, just one salt. More important than the specific salt is the temperature measurement and control equipment.
   - guru - Wednesday, 03/12/03 18:07:14 GMT

Would you elaborate on specific polymer / water tempering mixtures?
   KayeC - Wednesday, 03/12/03 18:15:55 GMT

got burned. just received a 100# PW. i told the guy that i was not interested in any repairs, grind marks, restoration, ect...got in touch with him from the ABANA journal. the face has been replaced. i paid 3.5/pound. despite 12 pix that i saw, i never suspected it was garbage. i knew it was junk the second thta i laid eyes on it..

the question: it rings on the heel and beak, thud in the middle of the face. it should ring the same throughout, correct?? my peddinghaus does. i want to let this jerk know that his name is mud; i am going to contact ABANA...
   - rugg - Wednesday, 03/12/03 19:47:02 GMT

The ring would probably change tone from heel to body to horn, BUT it should NOT be a thud. Thud means either a separated tool steel plate, OR a crack. Most likely a separated plate.
   Paw Paw - Wednesday, 03/12/03 20:08:41 GMT

Rugg; did the fellow knowingly mislead; or just didn't know better? One way he should be willing to make good, the other way----it'l make a *dandy* swimsuit for him!

Thomas who has run into 75# "giant anvil", 55# cast iron/cast steel anvils (one add said one thing the other the other---same anvil) Great condition anvils missing only the face, heel, horn, etc and at least one massive anvil with a beautiful face that *buzzed* when you tapped it cried all the way home on that one---didn't even stay for the auction...Some folks are just stump dumb about stuff even to beliving what other folk say...others care only for their pockets and don't figure that in the afterlife they will have to sit on a red hot anvil until they wear it down to shim stock...
   - Thomas Powers - Wednesday, 03/12/03 20:25:30 GMT


> don't figure that in the afterlife they will have to sit on a red hot anvil until they wear it down to
> shim stock...

I *LIKE* that!
   Paw Paw - Wednesday, 03/12/03 20:50:48 GMT

I am a 29 year old with a BFA in sculpture. I studied blacksmithing and metalworking for three years during the program. I have a moderate knowledge of the field. My question relates to steel hardness. I'm building an iron gate that will be used almost daily. It's dimensions are roughly 4 feet by 6 feet and will be made of 1 inch to half inch forged round stock. This sucker will be heavy. I estamate it to weigh about 200 lbs. I'll be using inch and a half by quarter inch flat stock for the uprights that will have the hinges and locking /handle mechanisms. I plan on using two hinges about 3 to 5 inches long each, made of tubing and round stock - real simple. The locking mechansism will be a basic pressure latch that snaps into a horizontal "c" shape. Basically there will be metal gliding across metal and snapping into place. The gate system itself will be welded to an arbor that is anchored into the ground.
What I want to know is should I use tool steel for the hinge and locking mechanism? Or, could I get away with hardened/tempered mild steel? This gate will see lots of ware and is very heavy. What is standard for iron gates anyway? I'm still in the design phase so this design is'nt written in stone, but I'd like to use the hinges and mechanism.
Thanks, Nick
   Nicholas - Wednesday, 03/12/03 22:37:11 GMT

"Repaired" anvil: Rugg, I have not heard of ANYONE in the last 25 years that replaced the face of an anvil the ONLY way it can be done properly, forge weld on a new one. Arc welding around the edges does nothing except bow the plate making the plate to face joint worse than if it were not welded. Anything less and a sound 100% weld makes an ASO out of what MAY have been a so-so but OK anvil.

This is the reason I countinualy advise against ANY anvil repair of any type. Very few can do it right and those that ask HOW are not among those that can. Many that deal in anvils and make repairs regularly do a poor job. Even though I have traveled little in the past few years I have seen a LOT of junk anvils that have been cleaned up to look pretty. I have seen tops machined to where the plates were half the original thickness, holes in the face repaired and then painted over (I'll take rust any day but not paint on the face of an anvil) and tons of questionable welds.

Old anvils and blacksmithing tools are becoming rarer and rarer and ebay prices are attracting the greedy by the hundreds. The problem is only going to become much worse.

Where the problem gets sticky is when the unwary buyer purchases a junk anvil and then resells it. He can fein ignorance and the TRUTH is that HE may have not made any repairs and really does not KNOW what is wrong. . .

If the seller did not stipulate the exact condition of the anvil (as he percieved it) then you do not have much case. However, if there was clear description then you may have reason for a complaint. Getting satisfaction in a deal like this is very difficult.

The lying cheat (integratool) that I bought the 15# ASO from on eBay is still in business and is still selling Cast iron Chinese ASO's. He continues to rack up complaints on eBay yet eBay does nothing. His scam is to sell merchandise at little or no cost, charge exorbitant shipping to make a profit and proclaim a moneyback warrantee that does not cover shipping. He is just one of many. And to make it worse I get email every day about how to "get rich marketting on eBay". I'll bet anything this is a common published tactic.

I did not expect satifaction from "integratool" when I purchased the ASO. Only to expose one of the many crooks that do regular business on ebay. However, I also exposed the fact that ebay does little about these crooks.

More than ever, Buyer Beware.
   - guru - Wednesday, 03/12/03 22:56:45 GMT

hi everyone
I'm a student product desighn, and interrested in blacksmithing. And now foor school we have to do a research and development project involving hand tools, for the ergonomics course. I chouse to do it on blacksmithing hammers, seeing how CTS is verry common whit smids, I would like to look in too that, and maybe develop a more ergonomic hammer, but for this I ask upon your help, who would like to help me, and mail me some answers; what is your greatesd complain whit a conventionel hammer, what kind of troubbels do you have whit it, is your anvil at the right hight, what is the wheith of hammer you mostly use, and what would you wand in a perfect hammer, what are your demands???? Is hope to get somme massive emailing , cause this might help you all, I plan to create it so that it is easy to build yourself, and post the plans on the net. so help me and you'l be helping yourself, anny questions or remarks can also be maild to me, hope to hear of you all, till soon....!

   johannes - Wednesday, 03/12/03 23:03:43 GMT

Gate Design: Nicholas, Good engineering practice on all load bearing devices limits shear load to 10,000 PSI under normal circumstances. Keys in keyways are limited to 9,000 PSI. Mild steel of dubius peddigree can easily take 35 to 50 KSI. So you have a four or five to one safety margin using mild steel on normal design.

Tool steel is usualy good for over 100 KSI. This results in over a 10:1 safety factor in the same place as mild steel. However, this steel is brittle and will fail suddenly on overload where mild steel will more likely bend before failing. You are better off to design for mild steel and then use something like 4140 in a soft temper.

The trick to designing gates is to work out the normal load then put a LIVE load of a couple adults climbing or jumping on the gate OR a group of juveniles bouncing on the gate. . . I would assume as many people as there is space for. The weight of the gate then becomes little consequence in the big picture. Hinge loads are not usualy the problem area. Anchors and the gate itself are more likely to fail. Anchors pull out, gates bend (hopefully touching the ground before the anchors pull out dropping the gate on the "innocent" public. . .

Just some things to think about. . . the loads are determined by simple lever mechanics.
   - guru - Wednesday, 03/12/03 23:12:08 GMT

I have a Clay Spencer designed treadle hammer and have the need to retrofit an air cylinder to it. I am processing small parts in one stroke. I have seen article on this retrofit and just can't put my hand on it and need help. Pointing me into the right direction would be thanked. Thank you in advance, Joe Myers
   Joe Myers - Wednesday, 03/12/03 23:50:54 GMT

guru, amen to your recent response. i sent this guy $20 to take lots of pics of this anvil. got pencil rubbings. i looked at the face and edges, it looked OK. i knew that without seeing it myself, i was rolling the dice. but this guy knew what it was and he didnt come clean. i would not sell this without disclosing the truth. interstate fraud?? i was disappointed. this PW has "ENGLAND" stamped in it which, according to postman, makes up <10% of what he has recorded, if i am not mistaken. looks nice, but i know the truth. it is like wearing a fake rolex...

mr powers, the way the anvil was packed tells me that he deals alot of this stuff. he is in des moines, IA and goes to alot of farm auctions. he profits from selling lies. i bought a post vise from him awhile ago. last 3" of the screw is broken off but otherwise nice piece. the anvil's ring is where i read his ad. one day i will find my anvil mate. if you think this is pathalogic, do not read anvils in america...
   rugg - Thursday, 03/13/03 00:52:31 GMT

Joe Meyers,

I seem to recall reading in a previous issue of The Hammer's Blow or The Anvil's Ring (ABANA Magazines), a statement from Clay Spencer regarding adding pneumatic cylinders to his treadle hammer design. His comment amounted to, "Don't do it." His design was intended to be powered by one human foot, not a multi-horsepower compressor acting through a lightning-fast pneumatic cylinder. The stresses produced by powering the hammer could result in catastrophic failure if not engineered perfectly. Thus, Mr. Spencer went on record as recommending against the practice.
   vicopper - Thursday, 03/13/03 00:53:34 GMT

Hey Big Guru!

I take much offence when you beat up eBay. I am a seller on eBay. Yes I am no expert when it comes to anvils. But I do bring quaility stuff to eBay. And you look at some of my sales and my feedback and you tell me if you think I am one of the many crooks you refer to.

Usually only a select few get the honor of hearing my story. Some comment on the statement I place on every one of my posts:
"Be Patriotic, Fly your Flag, Spend your Money And Tip your Servers well. God Bless America!!!"
Political BS? Nay. This is my Battle cry from Nine-Eleven.
You See after the National Disaster And Attacks from where ever they came, My President came on TV and asked you and me to "Do Something" to help the economy.
What the hell coould I do?
I bought a computer, A digital camera, a printer. And put an ad in the local paper. " free pickup for Junk Garden tractors". A lady called me and asked me if I would come to pick up some junk in her back yard. 3 total junk mini rider mowers frozen in to the ground in a fenced in are where you couldnt get a trailer to. And an old Anvil and hand pump buffalo forge. Yes, my first eBay sale.

So, I am rich now? No! All the money I have made gets spent or given away in my local (American) community.

Since Nine-Eleven we are at War. I cant go and help our troops fight but I can damn sure keep America going while they are away. They will have a strong America when they return.

So I guess your attitude of eBayers has kept you from answering my question on Titainium. I still need it answered.
Thank you.
   scott - Thursday, 03/13/03 12:38:23 GMT

I can puzzel out most abbrevations (sp) but what is KSI. please not kilogrammes per squaire inch!
   NIGEL - Thursday, 03/13/03 13:42:56 GMT

Does anyone know where I might be able to get refracerate board for the floor of my forge? A New York State supplier would be nice but if not thats ok. My only condition on the board is that it can withstand some dropped flux on ocation and the normal wear and tare of general use.
   Kevin King - Thursday, 03/13/03 13:46:21 GMT


If you use a NC Tool forge, they sell what they call a "welding" board for the bottom of the forge. I keep on in my forge, and it does help.
   Paw Paw - Thursday, 03/13/03 13:52:35 GMT

Nicholas, hardened parts last longer where there is metal sliding on metal. Also, do you want the gate hinges not to squeek, rattle or squeal? Consider stainless steel pins running against reinforced plastic bushings inside the hinge tube with reinforced plastic or bronze washers between the sections of hinge tube.

Have Fun!
   Tony - Thursday, 03/13/03 14:10:51 GMT

Dear Guru, I want to by my first anvil. I don't want to get a poorly made cheap piece of crap.. What should I look For in a good quality anvil? I am also looking for a way to coat untreated steel. will enamel work? Thanks.
   Jayden - Thursday, 03/13/03 14:14:51 GMT

Nicholas, 200# seems kind of light for a 4x6 gate made using 1# round---it adds up in a hurry. Only advise I have is "design so repairs are easy to make" so when a contactor hits it with a truck it's easy to re-build.

Rugg I *do* consider you pathalogical! "An anvil mate" what a sick mind one should have an anvil *harem* an anvil that is good for one job may not work for another---that dandy 250# shop anvil is a pain in the back to use as a travelling demo anvil!

Paw Paw, sigh, I should have known that someone would "like that", don't you worry old Nick will come up with something you don't like---like shaving all over everyday with a razor made from 1002 sharpened on a curbstone once a month...*oh* you meant you liked the turn of phrase....*nevermind*....

I bought an anvil to try out the original refacing method someday, it was an 1828 william foster with about half of a 3x4" rectangle of face left---the rest had left the area. Cost me $5 and the 1820's blister steel that's left was worth it to me. (gonna do a knife or to for the fur trade, *right*)

Perhaps I can do it at Quad-State some year---and yess I have seen the "cajun blackened anvil pics!

   - Thomas Powers - Thursday, 03/13/03 14:17:32 GMT

Nicholas, one other thing. I opine that gates with self closing hinges are very cool. Taper cut hinge barrel tubes, not springs. The gate rises as it opens on the taper cut hinge barrel tubes. Might not fit your design, but I just remembered I like that. Grin.

KSI = Kilopounds per Square Inch. 30 KSI = 30,000 pounds per square inch. Structural engineers like to use it. A shortcut that mixes metric and english units.
   Tony - Thursday, 03/13/03 15:00:17 GMT

Refractory Board: Kevin, All insulating refractory "board" products are made of kaolin or Kaowool type refractory material. They WILL NOT withstand flux or use moving steel back and forth on them.

Forge floors need to be hard refractory brick. NC-Tool used to make their floors from 1" refractory board covered with 1/2" hard refractory (and may still). However, repair kits currently have a replacement single piece of castable refractory 1-1/2" thick.

Home built Kaowool lined forges use a brick OR castable in the bottom of the forge. The Kaowool is covered with ITC-100 and sometimes refractory patching material such as ITC-200 to resist light mechanical damage AND flux. However, the ITC-100 will not completely protect blanket from heavy fluxing.

We sell Kaowool in cut lengths as well as by the carton and the full line of ITC products. On our iForge page there is a test report using ITC-100 to protect Kaowool and the results. We have also sell 1" Kaowool board but it is very expensive and I currently do not have any in stock.

I have also experimented with hardening Kaowool board with a refractory binder. It makes a VERY hard surface but thin surface. However, the product is fairly expensive and I do not plan on carrying it.
   - guru - Thursday, 03/13/03 15:19:37 GMT

Not as bad as I thought. at leat the UNITS are all imperial
   NIGEL - Thursday, 03/13/03 15:44:33 GMT

Archive - Aug.25-31, 2002-log 169k ERROR Fixed. I had an incorrect link.
   - guru - Thursday, 03/13/03 15:47:33 GMT


I don't think anyone deliberately dodged your question, for any reason. Your question was "what do smiths use titanium for?" We use it for forging, but NOT for blades. It is used where we want something lighter than steel with about the same strength, something that is not going to rust, (though it does oxidize) and sometimes just to say we used it.

Now please explain to me how selling stuff on eBay constitutes a patriotic act, please. But take that explanation to the Hammer-In, as this forum is for answering questions on blacksmithing, not politics.
   vicopper - Thursday, 03/13/03 16:23:51 GMT

Smith's using Ti; lets see---I have made a set of Ti tongs, a penannular brooch, a pipe tool,

Others have made a Ti back scratcher and did a preform for machining parts for aerospace. a rose, etc

Most smiths probably just do it for bragging rights, it's not really cost effective for most uses. Modern marketing is what has driven the "wow" factor way up---you know that an Al case for a laptop is *BETTER* than Ti? Laptops have heat dissapation problems and Al gets rid of heat much better while it's strength ratio is quite sufficient for the job...

   - Thomas Powers - Thursday, 03/13/03 16:59:44 GMT

Quality Anvils: Jayden, See our anvil series on our 21st Century page to start.

The best indication of an anvil's quality is its rebound which is an indication of hardness and solidity. See the last article in our anvil series.

In wrought and cast steel anvils the ring is also an indicator of hardness and solidity. However, ring can vary depending on how the anvil is mounted or what it is resting on AND how it is struck. Testing an anvil's rebound and ring with a light hammer is an art gained through experiance.

When purchasing used anvils you should touch and see the anvil and closely examine it in good light. A friend recently bought a very large anvil (+300#) that had large holes drilled in the face and been welded up (perhaps an attempt to fix a seperated face). Paint or thick black oil covered the repair. He inspected the anvil prior to purchase and it seemed OK. It was not until he got it home and cleaned off the face that the repairs became clear. Suddenly the anvil was worth much LESS than he had paid for it. . .

Generally you do not want an anvil that has had any serious repairs. Ocassionaly a near perfect anvil is made to look perfect by welding up chipped edges and dressing them. The problem repairs are where substantial welding has been done with the wrong rod and without heat treatment. Carefull inspection in good light will usualy show a difference in the repair metal color but not always.

Anvils have been repaired for MANY years. However, in the past it was done almost exclusively by anvil manufacturers who had intimate knowlege of the product, the processes and had the equipment to heat treat them afterwards. Todays repairers are generaly fly by nighters and unscrupoulas anvil dealers.

NEW anvils from Peddinghaus, Nimba, Vaughan, Kohlswa, Texas Farrier Supply and the Czech imports are good hard steel anvils. Peddinghaus is the only one that is forged. Nimba is made in the USA and is the best of the cast anvils followed by Kohlswa and Vaughan. The Czech imports are good hard steel but have quality control issues and are not very pretty patterns.

NEW anvils not in the above list that are sold by discount houses and on eBay are generally ALL junk Chinese cast iron ASO's not worth the shipping.

Knowledge tempered by experiance is your best tool.
   - guru - Thursday, 03/13/03 17:35:18 GMT

Vic, In its self it is not. The activity and what is dome with the profit, in my opinion is. I answered here just because eBayers were getting hammered on this forum about the price of anvils.
But why blame the seller when it is in fact the buyer causing the increase in price.
I aint perfect by any stretch, but I am a good eBayer and sell good stuff. eBay is a nice place, as is this. And I feel I have done a load of good since 9-11.
   scott - Thursday, 03/13/03 17:48:27 GMT

Dealing on eBay: I have bought a lot of stuff on ebay. There is nothing wrong with it. It is an auction like any other where you have little to go on and the prices may easily exceed the value of the product. Auctions always have risks.

However, unlike a common auction the auctioneer is NOT licensed (as they are in most states). When a licesned auctioneer warrants a product (as they often do), the auctioneer is responsible and their licence is on the line if they do not back up their money back warrantee. eBay takes no responsibility for misrepresented merchandise (they claim protections but in fact their are none). The shady dealers know they can get away with their theivery with the worse thing to happen is they may lose their right to sell under their curent name (MANY just re-register under new names).

eBay HAS become a haven for shady dealers of junk and eBay's system of handling complaints is woefully inadequate. When you go to eBay to look for something it is like walking into a pirates den. There may be some honest pirates (honor among theives?) but a large number will cut your throat or Shanghia you in an instant. The anonymity of the Internet attracts many unscrupulous characters and eBay is no different.

To make matter worse I get SPAM every day proclaiming methods to "get rich on eBay". ALL get rich scheames either do not work OR are doing something shady. SPAM a few million people and how many crooks do you think will be lined up at the "get rich on eBay trough"? A LOT.

A general rule for dealing on eBay is to NOT do business with those that sport high sales numbers OR to scruntinize those that do VERY closely. These are folks making a living on eBay and know what they can get away with. There is a limit to the amount of stuff one can sell from personal posessions and there is a LONG list of importers of low quality junk to keep dealers supplied. Folks just selling off the stuff in grandpa's garage or cleaning house for a move are great sources for bargains (as long as you do not get auction fever).

Read eBay discriptions VERY closely. Many are carefully crafted with skills rivaling a Philadelphia lawyer to NOT say specific things. However, there are many that blatently missrepresent products and get away with it. But you can at least weed out those that are definitely hiding something.

There are lots of honest dealers on eBay. But I'll bet I can go there today and find a half dozen selling ASO's and missrepresenting them as "professional quality", "tempered steel", "great rebound".

When buying used cars OR used tools I look for those that have not been cleaned and polished up. An automobile with lots of shiney new parts underneath is screaming "I needed lots of work and might need more" while one with years of dirt on old greasy parts is saying "I never needed work and still work well". Old tools with an even coating of rust say "I'm neglected but not hurt", while those that have a bright new coat of paint are saying "Aren't I pretty, don't peek ;). . ."

You may not think this is a good comparison but I have seen used anvils repaired with auto body putty and then painted. . . OK for a door stop, looks good in photos but wouldn't hold up to a rebound test or close scrutiny.

   - guru - Thursday, 03/13/03 18:40:36 GMT

I built a gas forge from the plans in "The blacksmiths journal".Now the problem I have is that the forge does not get hot enough,it only will heat metal to a almost bright orange heat.I have it hooked up to a 40lb can of propane with a regulator attatched also.The propane pressure gets up to 10 psi when first fired up-then drops to about 5 psi when it gets going and the outside of the can gets frosted up.Any help anyone can give me would be greatly appreciated.Thanks,Mark Emig
   - Mark Emig - Thursday, 03/13/03 18:55:02 GMT

Mark: 20# & 40# tanks will tend to ice up and lose pressure like you describe. I stick mine in a tub of warm water which I check after a few hours for ice formation. I hear tell the 100# tanks dont have this problem.

There were at least two designs for gas forges in the Journal Tell us the vol # so we can all be on the same page.

If you used hard refractory, it will soak up a lot of heat before it gets to yellow. I run mine pedal to the metal until its at operating temp. By this I mean I turn the pressure up until the air supply cant keep up and I see blue flames of unburnt propane outside the forge. Don't be shy to crank it up until it roars.

My setup has venturi burners and they max out at about 35psi. I vaguely recall the Journal's designs as using blowers. If so then you might consider a larger gas orifice which would admit more fuel over the same pressure range.
   adam - Thursday, 03/13/03 22:10:19 GMT

Starter Anvils & Anvil repair - Some insights from a newbie....I'm about one year into blacksmithing now and I have an early American-made anvil (ca. 1850s) I bought from a local smith for 75.00. It's 50 pounds, with some pretty gnarly egdes...small and not particularly impressive looking, but I've fallen in love with it, in a strictly plutonic way . It's got ok rebound, not much ring, but what's left of the face (approx. 6" x 2.5")is flat and smooth as glass, with a nice table and horn. It'll never be a professional shop anvil, but it does everything I want it to, and now that I've learned some of the nuances....working around the ragged edges, etc., I wouldn't dream of repairing it. In fact, this may be skewed, but I think having to work around these imperfections has made me more careful, more deliberate, and hopefully I'll benefit from that as I get more skilled. Like I said, this is just insight from a relatively beginner, but it's served me well so far. Thanks, Chris W.
   Chris W. - Thursday, 03/13/03 23:14:30 GMT

um...relative beginner, not relatively. geeez
   Chris W. - Thursday, 03/13/03 23:17:01 GMT

eBay example of looking and listening closely: there is a "peg leg" vise up for auction out of Ohio, and the seller is indicating that he thinks it is of the Revolutionary War Period, but he wants the buyer to judge. He has posted a photo of a quite old vise taken from Neumann and Kravic's "Collectors Illustrated Encyclopedia of the American Revolution". He wants the buyer to compare it to the posted photos of his vise. At first blush, this seems OK, but to the untrained eye, it may be difficult to notice that the "old revolutionary vise" has a mounting plate tenon running thro' fixed jaw and spring, and it is wedged in place. The seller's vise has a U-shackle mounting plate with no tenon present, so the seller's vise is probably post revolution. Caveat emptor (let the buyer beware).
   Frank Turley - Friday, 03/14/03 00:35:48 GMT


I have a 140-160lb Henry Wright Shoeing anvil. Can you tell me anything about it, such as rarity and history of the maker?

Thank you
   Travis - Friday, 03/14/03 01:04:33 GMT


Manufactured in Dudley, England by Henry Wright. He was proably an imitator of Peter Wright. Manufactured sometime between the late 1880's and 1914. The weight, probably in actual pounds should be on the side of the anvil opposite from the trademark. Rub it down with a scotch brite pad and do a rubbing, see if you can find it. Most were marked with the actual weight, but a few of the early one were marked with the english stone weight system. Not too many of them to be found here in the US, though they are more common in England.
   Paw Paw - Friday, 03/14/03 01:34:49 GMT

Working Around the Defects: Chris, You have the PERFECT atitude toward that "little" anvil. It is more anvil than over half the world's smiths have. An anvil they DREAM of having. Those smiths in impoverised corners of the world work on 15 to 20 pound sledges or lumps of steel set in the earth as anvils. They have a 3" to 3-1/2" diameter work space, no horn, no hardy hole. . . Yet these smiths turn out tools for their own and local use and blades for export. They burn dung and charcoal in small pit forges blown with simple valveless bellows and work whatever scrap steel they can find. Yet for thousands of years they have turned out fine work.

I have two "junk" anvils. One is a Colonial era type with the horn missing and face WORN through. The other is a early mousehole with a slight sway and a hunk of the face broken off the heal at the hardy hole. Both anvils are gracefully worn on all the broken edges indicating MANY long years of use after they were thought to be worn out. They both came from a region of Southern Virgina where they were probably used by generations of impoverised sharecropers. I paid very little for them but the history they display in their worn surfaces is priceless.

I have used both these anvils, working around the defects. They work perfectly and I have turned out good work on them. In fact, anvils with a distinct sway are better for straightening. I have much bigger and better anvils. But they do not make my work better, they only make it easier.
   - guru - Friday, 03/14/03 02:29:51 GMT

Help!!! I don't know where to get Kaewool for my mini forge, I plan on it being my first forge. please re.
   - Blades - Friday, 03/14/03 04:33:28 GMT


Check the anvilfire store!
   Paw Paw - Friday, 03/14/03 04:47:27 GMT

Just a quick update on the Wal-Mart overpressured tank:

I bled the cylinder the other night for about a minute to take the worst of the pressure off. When I unscewed the screw in the valve, no liquid was observed. I plan to finish the operation in daylight when I can see the scale and get a good measurement of the total drop-off.

The good news is that the valve and guage on the gas forge seeme to be working just fine on the other gas cylinder.

Thomas Powers:

A Ti penannular brooch? Everybody knows that our early medieval ancestors used stainless steel bread hooks for their penannulars, like mine!

Ducked the "severe thunderstorm warning" on the banks of the lower Potomac. Tomorrow morning I pin and rivet two Anglo-Saxon spears, finish packing, and head for Jamestown's "Military Through the Ages". A.D. 553, lots of spears and axes for my crew, and a new cookpot too!

Visit your National Parks: www.nps.gov

Go viking: www.wam.umd.edu/~eowyn/Longship/
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Friday, 03/14/03 05:14:29 GMT

Blades: I don't know if it is the same as Kaewool but My frinds forge uses Fiberfrax you can find it here. http://www.fssperry.com/fiberfrax.htm. I hope this helps.
   Jayden - Friday, 03/14/03 09:04:20 GMT

Jayden, Kaowool sales are one of the things that keeps this free forum FREE. We sell Kaowool in several grades by the foot or carton by mail order, phone or on-line via credit card. This is a service unmatched in the industry.

Kaowool is the ORIGINAL alumina/kaolin refractory insulation developed by Babcock and Wilcox and still the best quality product on the market.

We also carry a full line of the highly recommended ITC products used to coat and protect Kaowool, upgrade and repair furnaces and kilns and for numerous foundry applications.
   - guru - Friday, 03/14/03 10:24:03 GMT

KEVIN.. forge floor .. I am just re-building my wife Lydia's forge {3 + years and the roof is done] however the floor liner is is made from a single piece of potter's refractory shelving. this is high alumina [2700+f] product that you cut to fit wth a masonary saw. your local potter usually has a few broken ones [ I know I sure do!!] they come in rounds, rectangles and square shapes. if you have to buy one , pick one with a dimension that you can cut multiples from [wear a mask and don't,don't use your good skill saw!{SIGH!}] .. I coat Lydia's with ITC over potter's kiln wash . When it gets all chewed up you can try flipping it[it do get fragile] or put in a new one. works for me!
   Tim - Friday, 03/14/03 14:34:07 GMT

please send me info'
in re:
52-100 heat treat.

i haqve machined a i" dia x3/16 cupped out valve spring cap. this tecumseh engine part is no longer available

hardening temp & [color]
temper temp


   - ebb - Friday, 03/14/03 17:09:00 GMT

Ebb, We have some 52-100 heat treating info in our heat treating FAQ. The problem is knowing how hard to temper the part. 52-100 is normally a bearing steel and VERY hard. I doubt the original part was anything nearly exotic.
   - guru - Friday, 03/14/03 18:35:47 GMT

Ebb, I have an engineer working for me that used to work as a testing tech at Tecumseh. He does not remember the material and actual hardness spec, but he said they were very hard. Harder than the spring for sure. Do you have the other one and access to a Rockwell c scale capable hardness tester? If not, call Tecumseh and get to the engineering or test department? He also mentioned that the dimensions and radii were VERY important. TRW used to make some of them for Tecumseh and ones from other small engines may cross over. A good small engine repair place may find one?
   Tony - Friday, 03/14/03 19:19:26 GMT

thank you; tony & guru

the part tec27883 was quite brittle. the central 'hill' slide opening fractured out leaving a large doughnut. a tiny though pin trapped within this hill loaded the valve spring.to my novice eye the piece looked like a stamping.

i have one free trial use of ams site. will pursue a bit further. probably could get my piece heat treated professionally for +/- $30. but,most likely will go for a stab at heating it on the gas stove and tempering on a block of pre heated steel in the toaster oven. i only paid $100. for this old ariens snowblower. will report on sucess or demise of this engine. sure wish this $4. part was still available
   - ebb - Friday, 03/14/03 22:08:12 GMT

guru: thanks for the info I wish I had seen that before. thanks again
   Blades - Saturday, 03/15/03 03:14:07 GMT

I posted this across the street and got some feedback, but nothing specific. I'm just curious. Anyone know anything about it?


Just came across a strange alloy that was described as being used to make files. "Geneva Composition files".

Copper 62, tin 20, zinc 10, lead 8.

THIS? makes a file??????

   - Rudy - Saturday, 03/15/03 04:26:03 GMT

This just in from BGCM:

The Blacksmith Guild of Central Maryland is presenting its 15th annual Blacksmith Days and would appreciate it very much if you would mention this event to your membership and, if possible, include an announcement in your newsletter.

Information follows:

DATES: May 17 - 18, 2003

TIMES: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday; 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday

FEES: $20.00 admission, in advance; $25.00 after May 1, 2003.
Lunch on Saturday and Sunday is included in admission. There is a $5.00 charge for the pot luck dinner on Saturday for which pre-registration is required, along with a dish to share.

LOCATION: Carroll County Farm Museum, 500 South Center St., Westminster, MD


Bob Patrick from Everton, Arkansas, will be making an Ornate Poker with scrolls and a "critter". He will also be demonstrating "how to learn forge welding".

Don Witzler from Perrysburg, Ohio, will be making a Cowboy Head walking stick and will also be demonstrating techniques for making other wizard heads from round stock.

Guild member Dave Morgan will be demonstrating knife making and John Larson will demonstrate his "Iron Kiss" air hammer.

The Mastermyr Find replicas made by members of "theforge" e-mail list server will be displayed.


The 3rd annual blacksmith/farrier Anvil in the Wheelbarrow 4-Man Team Relay Race.

The 2nd annual 2-Man Team Stretching the Point Railroad Spike forging competition.

There will be a forged item contest for a candle stand to hold two or more candles of your choice.
Rules: Using a piece of 1/2-inch square stock three feet long, forge a candleholder to hold at least two candles. The 1/2-inch square stock is all that can be used and all of it must be used.

Family and Friends Craft Ideas Exchange and Workshop will be open from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, and 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Sunday. Bring a favorite craft to display, share ideas, seek help with, or work on in a relaxed rural setting. Depending on response, there may be an Iron Enameling workshop.

There will be an iron-in-the-hat on Saturday and Sunday.

An auction of items forged by area blacksmiths will be on Saturday.

A silent auction for consigned blacksmith/metal working tools will be on Sunday. Consignments are subject to 20% auction commission and Maryland sales tax.

There will be a drawing for a handmade quilt and hand forged quilt stand on Sunday.


Information: Bill Clemens, Chairman; 1(800) 786-8559; e-mail: newky2@ceinetworks.com.

For registration: Judy Heinekamp; 1(410) 922-1246; e-mail judy529@qis.net.

Addition information is available on the Guild website at: www.bgcmonline.com
   robcostello - Saturday, 03/15/03 05:30:57 GMT

IN REGAURDS TO THE KAOWOOL: Thank you Guru I will Rember this and am sorry if I have offinded any one.
   Jayden - Saturday, 03/15/03 10:12:13 GMT

I have two and a half anvils, and one ASO that at one time USED to be an anvil (well, sort of an anvil {grin}).

My two anvils are Fishers, at @ 100# and 130#. My neighbors and I love them. (No noise complaints working outside at 10:30-11:00 pm.)

The half anvil is about 60#, seems to have crossed cannons on one side, and the top is, well, curled. The edges are gone, there is almost no flat, even in the middle of the thin "face." For all that, it's nose is in excellent condition, and better (if wilder) rebound than the fishers. As I have my #130 main, I have no intention of "repairing" it. However, I was contimplating taking some soft steel, and making a saddle across the face to use as a cutting block.

Does anyone have any recommendations on securing the saddle, or would catching it with the hold down, and shaping it around the anvil be suficient.

As for the ASO, it's a vulcan that was used as a welding table. 150 lbs. but half the face is dead. A local bladesmith with no "proper" anvil wants it, and thinks he can heat treat it to fix the problem. I doubt it, but he can hardly ruin the ASO. Opinion question, should I let him?
   Monica - Saturday, 03/15/03 17:53:29 GMT

P.S. The ASO was free.
   Monica - Saturday, 03/15/03 17:59:17 GMT


Sjince you have adequate anvils without the trashed Vulcan, why not give it to the guy? He thinks he can use, he probably can't make it any worse, and you'd be doing someone a favor. Sound like a good situation to me. I've found that the nice things that I do often come back to visit me later.

If half the face of the Vulcan is dead, it sounds like it separated from the body somehow. I can't envision any circumstances where someone would get half an anvil hot enough to draw all the hardness form only half the face.
   vicopper - Saturday, 03/15/03 18:46:49 GMT

If it's a separation, it's purely internal. I can find no cracks, etc., on the exterior at all. If it is an internal separation, how many hundreds of manhours will he waste trying to fix the unfixable? It seems cruel to give someone a "fixer-upper" that is not fixable in the first place... and his improvised anvils are working more than adiquately. He does beautiful work with them.
   Monica - Saturday, 03/15/03 19:50:28 GMT


As long as he's aware of the problem, that it may not be fixable and he still wants it, I say pass it on. Worst case scenario, he still has an anvil with half a face worth of rebound, tool holes and a horn to boot! I don't know about most folks, but I do most of my work in about a 4" square area on the face anyway. I'd probably never miss the other half. If I were in his situation, you'd be my new best friend :).

   eander4 - Saturday, 03/15/03 21:17:45 GMT

I've made several Knives and Swords out of "Welding Steel": Stock Removal; and was wondoering what the Properties of this Metal were. Is it Forgable?
   Bruce desChenes - Saturday, 03/15/03 21:54:25 GMT

is it possible to forge weld titanium, then anodize it like jewelers do for the bright colors
   kinzea thompson - Sunday, 03/16/03 00:36:06 GMT

Bruce, the only time I have seen the term welding steel was in the yellow racks you see at some hardware and home improvement stores; I believe steelworks is the brand. If this indeed is what you have it is probably A-36 or 1020, both of which are too low in carbon to be hardenable to any useful degree, however if you only want wall hangers they should work fine for forging, in fact the less carbon you have the less problems arise while forging
   kinzea thompson - Sunday, 03/16/03 00:43:26 GMT

I bought an anvil at an auction today and I would like to know someting about it. I have not heard of this maker. There are three words on one side of the anvil, one word to a line. The top line is Samuel, the second line is Newb??? (can's make out the last 3 chars) and the last line looks like Heffield. It is an english style anvil. On the other side there is a 1 on the far left edge and a 0 in the center and a 15 on the far right edge. It would not surprise me if it was 143 pounds because it is a job to lift. TIA
   Jon - Sunday, 03/16/03 01:58:24 GMT

That's a Samuel Newbould, manufactured in Sheffield, Dudley, England. The number mean 1 hundred weight (112 pound in the old English "stone weight" system) 0 quater hundred weights (28 pounds in the old system) and 15 pounds for a total weight of 127 pounds. It might weigh a pound or two more or less. Modern English style, manufactured sometime after 1850.
   Paw Paw - Sunday, 03/16/03 02:46:19 GMT

mean = means
quater = quarter
   Paw Paw - Sunday, 03/16/03 02:47:05 GMT

Hi, another newbee with an ITC-100 question. I bought a pint of both 100 and 200 to do what is basically a pre-emptive abuse defense on a new Whisper Mama forge. It's got about 30 hours on it and no matter how careful I am, I manage to touch the interior occasionally, and it is mighty fragile. The directions are confusing me a bit. As a first pass, I've coated the whole interior (yes, I did read the forge re-build and did a search on the archives) and rebuilt the bit of gouge around the end door I use most with the 200. It is sitting to dry overnight. Some of the verbage sounds like I might be able to "fire" between coats, but I'd like to be sure how literally to take that. Can I paint a coat and fire it wet (with a propane torch like my weedburner or a small one) or by fireing up the forge itself. OR must I let each coat dry overnight (dry to the touch maybe?) before fireing? Very fond of the forge, so would like to "idiot-proof" it right the first time. Thanks

   Gary LARose - Sunday, 03/16/03 02:49:31 GMT

mr guru
i have tried to build a gas forge, but something is wrong.
this is what i did. i took a peace of 8" square pipe 5'long
i used 3/4 nipples 5.5" long. weilded them in on 6" centers at a 5 degree angle. the nipples are incerted 0ne inch into the 8" square. then i lined the pipe with 1" high temp. insulation. then laid 1/8" stanless. the nipples has 1 1/2 to 3/4 bells then i used 1'8 pipe for the supply line drilled # 68 holes in the center of each bell. now what did i do wrong? i need help the forge has to be long for long heats please help donnie
   donnie - Sunday, 03/16/03 03:31:45 GMT

Hey everybody, Great Nipple guy here. Just got my new 30 pound anvil and just in time. I have recently received a registration kit from a certain unnamed world records organization to set the record for the heaviest weight lifted by nipple piercings. This 30 pound anvil will be paired up with the 15 pound anvil and maybe some more gear to total 50 pounds of weight! In order for this certain unnamed world record organization to accept this feat, they need a whole bunch of legal crap to back it up. That requires signed affidavits from many people as the following: audience members, officials from dept of weights and measures, and two separate ones from experts in the field of the record to be broken (their wording). That's where you guys come in. When this great event will occur, I will need a possible representative or two of the blacksmithing community to assist in this legal crap. This kit also says that getting some press surrounding the event will further the authenticity of it. Need help in that area too!

These are really ASOs, sorry I don;t mean to insult anyone, but this done for entertainment. What should I say if and audience member jumps up and says "Hey, that's not an ANVIL!! Thats an ASO!"? What's the difference anyway?

Also, in order for me to use these anvils properly I have to drill holes and tap them to be fitted with an eye bolt. No problem... I've done it with most of my props. Well, this 30 pounder is not cast iron. I believe it to be cast steel because my tap snapped right in half while I was turning it. If I am right, what's the proper way to tap cast steel?

So that's it. Sorry if I dravel on like that (I think that's a word... if not, sorry). Let me know any thoughts or help.

Thanks, TGN

   the Great Nippulini - Sunday, 03/16/03 04:18:43 GMT

Donnie, I cannot tell for sure from your description but forge burners only work of a given volume. Too large or two small a volume and they do not perform correctly. Too short a distance to the far wall of the containment and they do not perform correctly. Bad nozzel design and they do not work correctly. Sloppy construction of the orifice or its alignment and they do not work. There are lots of reasons for venturi burners to not work.

The Ron Reil page where you probably got the burner design has specific instructions on sizing burners to volume, making nozzels and orifices. Start there and check your engineering.
   - guru - Sunday, 03/16/03 04:22:06 GMT

Nipplini: Please stop advertising your web site here. I have gotten numerous complaints. We will entertain your metal questions but we are not here to advertise for you.
   - guru - Sunday, 03/16/03 04:25:20 GMT

ITC-100 Gary, You can fire the ITC-100 with the forge OR the torch after a short air drying of an hour or so.

The thick patch around the end door should have been patched with a wad of kaowool then covered with ITC-100 and 200. The thick application of ITC-200 will need to dry several days and then can be force dried VERY slowly over several hours. It it is fired while still moist it will spall or crack.
   - guru - Sunday, 03/16/03 04:34:52 GMT

Guru, thanks, I was afraid of that. Actually, the damage at the bottom of the door was very minimal at this point (new forge, just want to harden up the blanket). All I really did was remove the loose stuff and square it up a bit with the -200. No more than 1/8". The volume of kaowool would have only amounted to about the amount of a cigerette filter spread across the whole width, so (correct me if you think I'll get messed up) I'll just fire it tomorrow, hope it survives, and hit it with a couple of itc-100 coats. I didn't see any "scrap" bits of kaowool on your site yet as mentioned in the iforge tutorial. Are you going to offer that or (most likely) is it far too expensive for you to offer? Anyway, thanks for the help and a great website!

   Gary LARose - Sunday, 03/16/03 04:46:57 GMT

I'm new here, beginer blacksmith, East TN. I looked in iForge, but didn't see what I'm wondering about. Is there a tool, sorta-like the spring swage, sits in the hardie hole, that puts a "crimp" or groove around the end of a pipe or round bar that's been drawn to a point?
   Jim Donahue - Sunday, 03/16/03 06:11:21 GMT

I apologize if I have offended anyone with my webpage pictures and links. I will cease and desist immediamtely.

My anvil and metal questions still remain valid, and I would still like to be able to post here without any trouble.

Respectfully yours,
   the Great Nippulini - Sunday, 03/16/03 06:46:00 GMT


I've bought a stripped and partially refurbished Alldays & Onions 1/2 cwt pneumatic forging hammer, and am desperately looking for a technical manual for it. Can you suggest a source? A facsimile will do - or even a photocopy. Help!
   Don Leih - Sunday, 03/16/03 07:28:25 GMT

Jim Donahue, go back to I-Forge, and check out Demo #131 "Addendum 88". Look at the whole demo. I think what you're looking for is down towards the bottom. Best regards, 3dogs
   - 3dogs - Sunday, 03/16/03 08:44:59 GMT

Don Leih, Check out http://www.machineco.com/Hammer_power_57lbs_Allday_1b.htm They show one they sold recently, but they do offer an operating video of sorts; might be worth taking a peek. Also, Alldays & Onions is still in business in England, but it looks like they just make industrial blowers, now. But, I'd almost be willing to bet they have archives going 'way back. They're at http://www.apco1650.demon.co.uk/ Good luck, 3dogs
   - 3dogs - Sunday, 03/16/03 09:12:47 GMT

Thanks 3Dogs, bull'seye! That's above and beyond what I hoped for. Sincerly, Jim.
   Jim Donahue - Sunday, 03/16/03 15:15:07 GMT

Pipe Forging Jim, As 3dogs pointed out see demo #88 parts one and two OR #131 (they are the same). Also see Bill Epps demo #41 on a fullering tool. Both spring fullers and lever fullers are used on pipe. Those made of simple round bar are easiest to make. Spring steel can be used but mild works as long as the work is hot.

See also 133 on spring swages for details on shapes for swaging OR fullering round stock.

For drawing pipe or forging it to square, dies with a gentle slope to center (like very old worn flat dies) work very well. It is a task that can be done with a hammer but is tough and takes a different die. For hand forging the bottom die needs to be a "V" shape so that the stock is upset.

Yes, iForge has grown to the point that we need to reorganize it by category with an index (like a book). Just another one of THOSE projects that are on the list but need two of me. .
   - guru - Sunday, 03/16/03 17:01:11 GMT

Small amounts of Kaowool: Gary, I have been planning a "repair kit" for a long time that was going to contain a small amount of ITC-213, a swatch of kaowool, stainless screws and washers and some instructions. It would be sold with or without ITC-100. I guess I need to get busy. . .

But you are right, the patch you made was pretty small. When you said you used up all the ITC-200 I thought you were talking about a pint. I must have sent you a little 1-1/2 oz. sample. . .

I use a loose forge burner like a "weed burner" for curing between coats of ITC on dissasembled forges and furnaces but use the furnace itself if it still has the burner installed. It only takes a little heat to cure the ITC-100 sufficiently to prevent a second brushed coat from softening the first. Once fired it is water proof.
   - guru - Sunday, 03/16/03 17:09:31 GMT

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