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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 June 1 - 7, 2001 on the Guru's Den
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I'm looking for someone to reinforce a reproduction clockface (36
Brad Holbrook  <tennistv at nycap.rr.com`> - Thursday, 05/31/01 18:44:14 GMT

I was wondering if you would be able to help me find plans for building a coal forge .
thanks for any help you can give
mike  <mcook1971 at hotmail.com> - Thursday, 05/31/01 20:02:13 GMT

I am trying to remove the galvinization on some sheet metal panels. I've considered burning them but they're pretty big (3'X7') and besides that emits toxic gases. Can you recommend a chemical treatment that will remove the galvi without destroying the roofing guage metal that it's bonded to? Thank you guru, you are most wise>
Andy  <blacksmythe at hotmail.com> - Thursday, 05/31/01 23:10:02 GMT


If you can build a pan to lay the sheets in, plain old vinegar will take the plating off in a couple of days.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Friday, 06/01/01 00:24:28 GMT

Coal Forge: Mike, the only plans we currently have are for a beginner's "brake drum" forge. This is a junk built forge that can be built for very little money (or none if you are a good scrounger). It is a good way to find out if localy available fuel is worth having a better forge.

The next step is a flat steel table with the brake drum forge set into it. The table should have 1" edging on the sides and back to keep coal from falling off. The table gives you room for a bigger fire and more reserve coal.

The third level is to either fabricate a better firepot OR to purchase one from Kayne and Sons or Centaur Forge. This is equivalent to what many professionals use.

Another good design is to use the head (the curved pan) from the end of an old hot water heater tank. The shape is similar to an old rivet forge but is heavier metal. It is also porceline coated on many tanks making it more rust and corosion resistant than plain steel. Pieces of the sides of the tank can be used to fabricate a fire pot and intake. The Montgomery, AL group of the AFC have four of these mounted on a trailer. See our first NEWs edition covering the AFC conference for photos.

- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 06/01/01 01:14:07 GMT

I use some galvanized pipe to run to the air intake into the forge and from the ash dump to the ash bucket. What is the risk of poison gases given that hot clinker bits and coal embers may come into contact with the galvanized steel (however briefly)?
Tom  <tbarnett at isd.net> - Friday, 06/01/01 12:46:13 GMT

Guru. pleeeease for the sake of mersy set that search code running ASAP.
It will make all our lives (mine atleast) somewhat less frustrating (like WHERE the H%¤¤ did i see that XYZthingajigg discussed and when).

from and hopefully immensly greatful
OErjan  <pokerbacken at angelfire.com> - Friday, 06/01/01 13:26:30 GMT

Shoot there's a webpage out there on how to make a great sword by *cold* straightening a leaf spring and then shaping the blade cold as well; to me that sounds like you would end up with something heavier than sin with built in micro cracking to boot; but *some* folk think they are great swords...

Thomas Powers  <thomas_powers at my-deja.com> - Friday, 06/01/01 14:11:58 GMT

Virus PE_MAGISTRA.A: Is still in our midst. I got another copy sent to me this AM. See last week's archive or the NEWs 24th Ed. for details
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 06/01/01 15:29:33 GMT

That piece of anti-information, "How to forge...", made me angry. Not only is it 99% wrong, but did you notice "Difficulty level : average"?
I suppose I´m below average since I´ve made a few swords of that kind but sofar none that I´m completely happy with. I can live with that, but what if some beginner actually tries to use the text as a true how-to? It would be a long time before they picked up a hammer again after that guaranteed failure.
Olle Andersson  <utgaardaolle at ebox.tninet.se> - Friday, 06/01/01 16:27:17 GMT

Anti-Information: Olle, the web site that article is on is one of hundreds of "Banner Farms". They have an encyclopedic list of articles of dubious quality. The articles and sites do well on search engines and thus are good places for banners.

Some indexes such a DMOZ do not list a variety of "farm" sites. There are "Affiliate farms" such as pages that have nothing but product links to Amazon.com or other web stores. Then there are link farms that are nothing but huge link lists to support banners, and then these "encyclopedia" Banner farm sites that pretend to have content while they are actually mostly poorly written junk articles. A few of these do good jobs and hire experts to write their articles. Most are not so good.

Currently the fastest way to get your website dropped from certain search engines is to be an "Amazon.com" affiliate. The people that run the search engines consider this "spamming the index" by Amazon. The same information is all on Amazon's site. Duplicating it all over the web makes a mess of the indexes. AND affiliates never make any money unless they have a huge volume of traffic.

In the past we have had a few of these sites in our link lists and on our Web-rings. Soon, we will be banning these sites from our lists and rings. Consider this before signing up for "Link Exchange" or book or store affilations. They make your site look trashy, you never make enough in any payment period to ever get paid AND you may be jeapordizing your being listed on other sites.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 06/01/01 17:16:34 GMT

speaking of Amazon.com, there once was a great used book site called bibliofind.com. Great connections to lots of little bookstores across the country. Now they have been assimilated to Amazon. I could almost weep.

btw, with the sword site, do you think the "case-hardening" or the "Hammer welding" would cause the most problem with a below average smith? ;-)} ahhh, the web is a funny place.
Tom  <tbarnghghghghgett at at at isd.moregarbagecharactershere.net> - Friday, 06/01/01 18:44:14 GMT

Tom: You're safe. Unless you do something horribly wrong, like run a fire without a grate in the pan (happened to me by accident once!), the galvanized will never get hot enough to gas off.
Alan-L  <longmire at premiernet.net> - Friday, 06/01/01 19:12:17 GMT

Galvanize: Tom, As Alan said there is little problem. Even if you do burn off the zinc you should be using the forge where there is enough ventilation that it doesn't matter. Breathing large amounts of zinc (such as working in a brass foundry or welding galvanized plate) can be a problem. But that is LARGE amounts. Arc welders get zinc poisioning because they are leaning over the work with their face right in the smoke. Generaly they SHOULD have been using an exhaust fan in this situation even if the metal wasn't zinc plated. Coated rods give off tons of nasty stuff that you should worry about almost as much as the zinc.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 06/01/01 19:42:26 GMT

I know of a 250 lb. power hammer that might be acquired for $2500. The name Barber is on the ID plate,
and on down from that in smaller letters is the name Beaudry. Could this hammer be made by Beaudry, or what do you think could be the connection? Actually I think this thing is too big for my setup, and I am leaning toward around a 100 lb. hammer, also currently using a 25 lb. little giant with much pleasure. Will a tuned up 100 lb. little giant approach having the control of a comparable air hammer? Thanks for your time.....Armand Bussell
Armand  <armandanvil at hotmail.com> - Friday, 06/01/01 20:00:09 GMT

Thanks, I shall breathe freely again. ;-)
Tom  <tbarnghghghghgett at at at isd.moregarbagecharactershere.net> - Friday, 06/01/01 20:19:58 GMT

Beaudry: Armand, I haven't looked up the history of the Beaudry but we have 3 pages of pictures of a 250 on the Power hammer Page. Look toward the bottom of the page and click on the Beaudry SOLD link. If it looks anything like that, its a Beaudry.

A 250 a serious hammer but it is still a small shop hammer in the world of power hammers. It the RIGHT size for forging 1-3/4" to 2" square bar or repointing jack hammer bits. Its the right size for producing custom top rail or doing small die work. Yeah, this work wil FIT in your 25# LG but where it hits hundreds of times and takes multiple heats a 250# hammer does the above work in single heats.

A 100# hammer as your say "tuned up" will do as fine a work as your 25# hammer with greater control due to the slower speed plus have the capacity to do bigger work.

- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Saturday, 06/02/01 04:38:52 GMT

Armand, We currently own the Beaudry hammer company. At one time a company called Barbour Stockwell made Beaudry hammers along with Fairbanks hammers. If the hammer you’re looking at is a Beaudry I can tell you the date of manufacture, who the original owner was and what size it is by its serial number. A lot of good information is available about all brands of power hammer on anvilfire’s power hammer page.
Bruce R. Wallace  <WalmetaLwk at aol.com> - Saturday, 06/02/01 06:48:38 GMT

What is the best type of hood to use on a forge table
Lester Beckman  <lbeckman at lorettotel.net> - Saturday, 06/02/01 10:28:54 GMT

Forge Hood: Lester, Overhead hoods are bad. They try to suck up all the air at their open end which means 90% cold clean air. The small amount of hot smoke does not support enough draft in the stack so you end up with a smokey shop.

"Side Draft" forge flues have a relatively small opening the open into a larger expansion chamber. This creates a high velocity draft just next to the fire. These work very well and as they do not opstruct the fire. Even though there is nothing immediately over the fire less smoke escapes into the shop.

See our plans page for a rough drawing.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Saturday, 06/02/01 13:23:31 GMT

Paw Paw,
When I was shoeing horses there was alot of disrespect for people who shaped shoes cold. So, I want to be careful how I do things now. My question is, when you pound sand, should it be hot or cold, wet or dry? What kind of sparks should I be looking for? Oh yeah, do you recommend a cross peen hammer or would a ball peen be better?

Is June's chapter of the Revolutionary Blacksmith out yet?
If not, can't wait.

Best regards,
L.Sundstrom - Saturday, 06/02/01 13:30:14 GMT


I'd reccomend that you pound sand cold and wet. It will shape into the required configuration a little easier that was.

As for the hammer, I reccomend a ball peen hammer, that way you can get two targets with one stroke.

Yes, Chapter Five is now on line.

OH! You really should not expect to see any sparks when pounds sand. If you do see sparks, you probably have an impaction of some kind. You might however, see a few stars when you use the ball end of the hammer on the return stroke.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Saturday, 06/02/01 15:59:18 GMT

Guru and all,
I have been using Titanium coated dril bits for some time now and have had great results with them overall. Has anyone had any experience with cobalt drill bits and if so how do they compare to the titanium coated bits.
Mark  <dilligaf at net1plus.com> - Saturday, 06/02/01 16:08:25 GMT


Several years ago, I bought a complete set (115 pieces) of Cobalt hardened drill bits. I use my bits HARD. Was in the maintenance/repair business for many years. Still have most of the set. They're a little dull, but the Drill Doctor fixes that quite well.

That answer your question? (grin) I prefer Cobalt to Ti clad. And I've used both.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Saturday, 06/02/01 16:27:42 GMT

Paw Paw,

Just one more question: Which is better, boxed or bagged sand? The sparks could be from an extinction burst, I'm afraid that if it was from an impaction I would have to treat the cat.

Just read chapter five...now I have to wait three weeks for chapter six. Really enjoying it.

By the way. You're a historian. Can you explain how the term "blacksmith" turned into "metalsmith" and has now become "art-smith"? What do you call someone who just heats up metal and forms it with a hammer when he's not out doing something really important like pounding sand? Maybe "blacksmith" is not politically correct, and I know how much that would bother you. Personally, I never did like being called a farrier.

Well anyway, have a nice weekend and thanks for the chuckle.

L.Sundstrom - Saturday, 06/02/01 16:44:43 GMT

Cobalt: Mark, Paw-paw. The cobalt bits are a high tech HSS alloy. Your gold Ti coated bits may have been cobalt bits. However, just because they have that pretty coating doesn't mean they are good. Some major hardware store brands are cheap carbon steel bits with Ti coating. They are pretty so people buy them. . . Cheap bits also do not have the a thinned center flute. The advent of the "split point" sharpening has made it possible to not thin the flute. The result is if you lose the split point sharpening up get an oversized dead center (as much as 1/4 of the dia). That means these bits do not work well if you are forced to hand sharpen them.

Purchase top quality bits from industrial suppliers. They have properly thinned flutes as well as split point sharpening. They also do not cost any more than the "brand" name bits at the hardware store. So in the end they actually cost less.

I'm fairly good at hand sharpening drill bits so I generally end up doing all of it on jobs I work. However, the last job I worked it was very frustrating as ALL the bits were cheap hardware store bits. It they needed anything more than a little touch up they ended up being throw aways. . .
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Saturday, 06/02/01 19:45:57 GMT

Artist Blacksmith and Hobby Blacksmith are seperate terms in German. They also have "farm and wagon smiths". A "metalsmith" is one who works in a variety of metals and is probably derived from another German term. . . The German "Artist Blacksmith" is the smith that does any and all type of decorative forged iron work including architectural work.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Saturday, 06/02/01 19:51:22 GMT

The Drill Doctor that my loving bride and baby daughter bought me for Christmas will sharpen split point bits. AND keep the split point. It will also convert regular point bits into split point bits, but that's a little more technical operation.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Saturday, 06/02/01 21:12:56 GMT


Personally, I prefer boxed sand. Of course, sometimes it's a little sticky.

An extinction burst, or an extraction burst?

You can kill a cat in many ways, but I don't advise drowning them in butter. That makes them slippery and hard to skin.

I just got the June issue of Ruby Faire in, it has chapter 6 in it. (grin)

Jock handled the question on changing names.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Saturday, 06/02/01 22:03:32 GMT

Hello out there - I am looking for something I don't know the name of (roll former? forming rolls?)that will make rings out of 3/8" x 1" (or thereabouts)iron. It's for a Christmas present so I have time, but it's impossible to find if I don't know what it's called. Can anyone please help?
BONNIE  <bikemura at aol.com> - Sunday, 06/03/01 02:58:47 GMT

To everyone, I just wanted to take I minute to thank you all for your input and dedication to this trade. I have been visiting this site for about 8 months now, just siting in, reading, studing, and viewing the links. This is a trade I have wanted to learn for a long time, but did not know where to start. That is until I found anvilfire.com. I'v been slowly gathering scrap and tools here and there, and my little gas forge is almost finished. I really lucked out on finding my first anvil (hay budden 170lbs). I have yet to even lay a red hot piece of steel to it, but thanks to your site I believe when I do, it will feel more like a home coming, then a new experience. Thank you all, keep up the good work.
Keith  <kbarker1 at stny.rr.com> - Sunday, 06/03/01 10:41:06 GMT

Welcome: Keith, Welcome to the family! Be careful once "Iron" is in your blood that "little" anvil will turn into tons (literally) of tools and machinery! Studying before diving in is a good idea but once you start, don't overthink what you are doing, just pound iron for a while until you get the hang of it. Its a little frustrating at first because your muscles won't let you do what you know can be done. Do simple things at first then tackle the simplier iForge projects.

Thanks for chiming in. We have thousands of readers and only about .01% or so post messages.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Sunday, 06/03/01 12:14:57 GMT

I have a set of wood turning chisels I would like to re-temper, How? I have an acetylene torch and a small (120v) welder, to give you an idea of my skill level....a little hands on experience no formal education. Thanks for the reply
Ron  <rg2x4x8 at aol.com> - Sunday, 06/03/01 12:48:34 GMT

Hi out there i wonder if anyone can tell me what satinite is and were i could get some?
chris makin  <cfm15 at home.com> - Sunday, 06/03/01 14:16:28 GMT

this seems to be a dumb question but ill ask any way.
could old knives (ie kitchen knives butterknives and the like) be reforged into new peice such as sword blades and new knives. also can iron and steel be forged into 1 peice. such as an iron axe with a steel blade.
drglnc  <drglnc at aol.com> - Sunday, 06/03/01 15:50:10 GMT

drglnc, that gotta be "dragonlance".
Are we romantics here, or what? If the Guru hasn´t answered while I´m typing, the answer to your question is: yes.
Olle Andersson  <utgaardaolle at ebox.tninet.se> - Sunday, 06/03/01 16:08:26 GMT

Gurus and Gurinos, a question triggered by previous chatter on this great source has arisin. I have a propane torch setup (harris all the way(I thought)), After reading a few days ago, I checked and my propane gas line is type r accetelyne only, Imagin my chagrin! I am gonna upgrade to Type T as recommended and go from 3/16 to 1/4. I also noticed that my cutting attachment is leaking oxygen (the needle valve on the cutting attachement is not seating properly. Finally I decided to get one of those neet torch bodies with the roller quick on and off dingus. The problem now arises,,,where do I get this stuff. My local supplier is the one who gave me the type r hose, and I don't want to give them any more business than absolutely necessary (I am in the middle of nowhere and don't have much choice except to drive 150mi one way to a real city, or use the internet)! so the short version of the question is who will sell me harris equipment and provide a bit of 'technical assistance' Thanks...mille grazi
Tim - Sunday, 06/03/01 19:23:08 GMT

Hi, I have been looking at used coal forges with the blower and hoods and Some without, I am not sure of the price ranges that are reasonable everyone seems to be different and looking at the prices of the new off the shelf models doesn't seem to help much. Any suggestions would be great thanks.
Alta Blomquist  <altab at trib.com> - Sunday, 06/03/01 20:49:46 GMT

I am about finished cleaning and lubercating a Jet 350 vertical band saw in recently purchased. This saw is variable speed, I think from about 80fpm to 350fpm. Now I need to buy a blade to cut metal, thickness ranging from 1/8 in. to 1/2 in. generally. Catalogs have many kinds of blades. Can you give any advise on a good general purpose blade, or 2 different ones if in need that? McMaster Carr describes the variable tooth as best, don't know if they are worth the extra cost.
AZDoug  <dendrud at earthlink.net> - Monday, 06/04/01 03:11:52 GMT

New to this! Just bought an anvil and was wanting some info. on the brand it is. The markings on the waist are hard to see but can makeout S&? Co.(this is within a square) Made in Sweden 90 lb. Thanks for any help you can give.
Mark  <MDHOFF at msn.com> - Monday, 06/04/01 03:32:23 GMT

I bought an anvil today and all that I can read on the side is S&? Co.(this is with in a square) and Made in Sweden 90 lbs. Thanks for any info you can give on this anvil.
Mark  <MDHOFF at msn.com> - Monday, 06/04/01 03:35:48 GMT

I found an old mechanical press in a back lot, it's marked
Continental Press and Tool and also 75 ton..does anyone know about rebuilds for this beast? where or who might have parts- it needs TLC badly thanks
Charlie  <junep at gci.net> - Monday, 06/04/01 05:01:52 GMT

AZDoug, You'll want to go with bi-metal blade as well. They last much longer than regular blades. If you don't cut any mystery metal your blade could cut for a year or more.
Pete  <Ravnstudio at aol.com> - Monday, 06/04/01 11:04:54 GMT

Hi, My hobby is what they call buckskinning which is basicly a kind of living history. Now the question that I want to know the answer to, in around about is this. I am considering buying a damascus blade blank and when I go to shapeing the blade I assume that since the metal has not been tempered, that I can use a grinder to shape the blade. and when I get it shaped how do I temper the blade when I really do not know much about metal working and do not have but very few tools.
John Spradling  <sleepyeyedjohn at excite.com> - Monday, 06/04/01 15:24:27 GMT

John Spradling,
I would use a belt grinder to shape the blade if you have one. Otherwise I would use files. You will have more control.
Also before grinding your new and expensive damascus blank, PRACTICE on a piece of plain steel that is about the same size. It will be cheaper in the long run.
Before tempering you will need to harden, then temper. You will also need to ask the maker of the damacus billet as to the composition of the billet and they should also tell you the heat treat cycle.
You will need to heat the blade up to 'critical' temp and then quench(this temp is dependant on the materials used in the billet, as well as the quench medium) Now the blade is hard(we hope) and brittle. Now you need to temper to remove the brittleness, as wall as soften it a tad. In the end you will have a tough blade that can be sharpened and hold an edge. Tempering can be done in an oven. Just bake an hour or so at the required temp. Depending on the type of blade and materials somewheres between 350-450 F

This is a VERY BASIC description, but it is a good starting point
Ralph  <ralphd at jps.net> - Monday, 06/04/01 16:26:37 GMT

Chris, Satanite is a high temperature castable refactory. I use it to coat ceramic fiber insulation in gas forges, seems to work good. You can get it from RHI Refactories, they have outlets all over the country. Their website is www.hwr.com .
Mike Roth  <mcroth at adelphia.net> - Monday, 06/04/01 17:17:39 GMT

Is there any truth to the rumor that the anvil Paw Paw is standing at on his home page is a 450 pounder. My goodness, he must be HUGE!
P.S. I sorta made a camp fire grill like his. I sure hope it won't make him mad.
L.Sundstrom - Monday, 06/04/01 22:45:18 GMT

Has anyone tried to use a gas BBQ grill for tempering a blade. I have an old one that was going to end up in the landfill and I thought it might be uesfull for this. Any thoughts on this ?
Mark  <dilligaf at net1plus.com> - Monday, 06/04/01 22:46:12 GMT

I have acquired an old steamer trunk covered with tin. I have removed all the tin except hinges,latches etc. to expose the wood. It is covered with metal bands at all corners and edges and is put together with metal nails that all curl(something like a rivet). I saved all hardware still on the trunk and have wire brushed it to remove the rust and paint. Is there a better way to clean all the metal without ruining the wood for restoration purposes. Tried steel wool, vinegar and water etc. and nothing will clean it but wire brush and lots of elbow grease.
Judy  <Mulltoad at aol.com> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 01:26:04 GMT

I scavenged some camshafts. What kind of steel can I expect to find? Any chance of a forgeable, airhardening alloy?
Adam  <adam at whiteson.org> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 01:54:19 GMT

I have been a certified welder,machinist,fabricator,fitter,etc. since 1983 and am going to finally start forging. I have made plenty of edged weapons and tools using the stock removal technique. I want to start making real swords starting with Japenese style and eventually do Damascus. I just purchased "The Complete Bladesmith-Forging your way to perfection" by Jim Hrisoulas. Are there any other texts I should purchase? And does anybody know of someone smithing in the Northern Nevada area(Carson City-Reno)? And where can I buy supplies starting with an anvil? I plan to build my own forge. Thanks for any info and love the Anvilfire page,it's already been a great help.
art  <sam.presgraves at mailcity.com> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 02:03:06 GMT

I just bought a brand new Harris cutting outfit for propane too and after I'd used it a while happened to read on the hose "for acetylene only" So if anyone buys one in the box be sure to open it and look to see what the hoses are rated for.
Wonder how long before I'll have a problem since its new and never has had acetylene in it?
Enjoying the story Paw Paw and the illustrations Jock(more illustrations Jock please) Used to write a little fiction myself. Shoulda stuck with it and maybe my wrist wouldn't be worn out. But look at all the blood,sweat, and tears and enjoyment of creating something beautiful or useful that I would have missed. Maybe I'll get to writing again when I can't swing the hammer no more, which ain't long off. Sam Easy
Sam Easy  <soeasy69 at yahoo.com> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 02:41:25 GMT

I have started collecting pieces to build an air hammer and I would appreciate contact with anyone with experience in air controls and cylinder sizing. Thanks, George
George Blackman  <gblackman at deschutes.net> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 03:08:57 GMT

Bandsaw Blades: Doug, 10-14 DPI variable pitch bimetal (HSS, alloy steel). Purchase Lenox brand. These are pricey blades but cost less to use than cheaper blades.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 03:09:13 GMT

to all gurus
A friend of mine just gave me a peter wright anvil to use for as long as I want. It weighs approximately 160# and has a good ring. The bad news-the edges are all chipped and a 2 1/2" square on the face adjacent to the chipping block is missing down to where it was welded to the body when it was manufactured. What is the best way to fix this and do it properly. I am willing to invest some money in this anvil if it is possible to repair it-thanks guys
Burnie in Bend, Oregon
burnie  <wbfree at bendcable.com> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 03:09:21 GMT

Steamer Trunk: Judy, There is no easy way out. Your elbow grease method is THE method. Don't try to remove the riveted hardware as you may never get it back on tight.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 03:13:17 GMT

Anvil Repair: Burnie, your BEST option is to just work around it. These places CAN be repaired but the chances of doing more damage is greater than not.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 03:16:36 GMT

I'll have to answer the rest tomarrow. Been on the road for two days. .
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 03:19:00 GMT

the anvil I asked about repairing has to be repaired or I wont be able to use it properley. I realize that more damage could be done but I don't think It could be hurt any more than it is now.
Thanks-burnie in bend
burnie  <wbfree at bendcable.com> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 03:56:26 GMT

Hi! I'm a newbie.(a poor,but enthused one).I am always dreaming of sculpture.I know what I want to do,but not how.
I have oxy-acetyl equipment.Question: What inexpensive tool do i use or how do I make a flat,thin,circular sheet of copper or steel concave or convex.
RUDY  <Tinyrita at msn.com> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 09:12:52 GMT

George B, have you looked at the kinyon controls? What specific questions do you have? You might want to check the archives too. Lots of discussion in the past. But let us know what your questions are.

Camshafts, Adam, they might be anything from cast iron to 8640.
Tony  <tca_b at mmmmilwpc.com> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 11:56:11 GMT

Burnie; I have an 1828 William foster anvil that is missing almost the complete face with only a small triangular piece left(about 4"x3"x5") I can use this anvil "properly" with no problems. Granted if I want to straighten a large piece I may use a chunk of RR rail or a mild steel plate; but forging on the little bit of face left works OK---after all the largest viking anvil found so far is *way* smaller than anyone today would consider usable yet they managed.

I feel that your problem is with a certain technique that requires a sharp edge or something. Explain to us why you can't use it "properly" and we'll tell you the work around---a common one is to make a sharp edged swedge for your hardy hole and use it when you need a crisp corner.

Thomas who has and will forge on just about anything
Thomas Powers  <thomas_powers at my-deja.com> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 12:17:10 GMT

Cam Shafts: Adam, on top of what Tony said many are case hardened on top of that. MG's and Fords had terrible cam failure problems in the 70's due to bad or thin case hardening.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 12:53:26 GMT

Mark, You're better off using an oven for tempering a blade, you don't have much temperature control in a BBQ grill. You want a known, steady temperature for that. The other way to do it is to heat the spine of the blade & watch the temper colors travel toward the edge, quench when the right color hits the edge. This method gives a differential temper, soft spine, hard edge.

Art, Jim Hrisoulas has a couple of other books that are really good too, The Master Bladesmith, & a great book on different damascus patterns, can't remember the name right now though. An excellent book on Japanese sword making is The Craft of the Japanese Sword. I found my first anvil by putting an add in my local farm paper, a 160# Columbian in decent shape for $75! That's a good way to start, also try to find a local blacksmithing group, check out abana-chapter.com from this site.
Mike Roth  <mcroth at adelphia.net> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 13:12:23 GMT

Sheet Copper: Rudy, Layout a set of concentric circles on the sheet about 1" (25mm)apart. Start hammering lightly in a circular pattern. Use a light almost flat hammer and some sort of anvil. As you work outwards the metal stretches and needing room it will bow up. If you need more bow run another pass between the the previous circles. Its sort of an art determining how much.

You can also support the sheet over a circular opening (pipe, trash can. . .) and strike it in the center. Soft material like copper will bow as well as show a definite dent in the center. I you used a large object like a bowling ball the bent would be less noticable. The hammering method is more controlable.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 13:16:36 GMT

Hose: Sam, Thanks for the warning. Many welding suppliers are not unscrupulous they are just poorly informed. A good supplier will exchange the hose set for you. Please note that propane also requires special cutting and heating tips (rose buds). Welding tips are the same.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 13:31:29 GMT

to all Gurus.

I am a newbie(2 yrs) blacksmith looking to get into japanese damascus(not pattern-weld) swords from scrap steel. I'm using everything from table saw blades to angle irons, from hinges to rebar and shovel heads. But I don't know what type of steel each is made from, though the junkyard steel equivelents page helps some, I need a better list.

p.s. some techniques for welding it without using any power tools would also be helpful. Please email me
Jan Ouellette  <daeth1 at juno.com> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 13:31:41 GMT

Better List: Jan, If you need to know what steel you are using buy it new. If you REALLY must know then pay for certification (certs). The paper will cost more than the steel without.

ALL Junk Yard steel lists are approximations. Most have been edited from other lists. I use the MACHINERY'S HANDBOOK SAE list. However, this too is a general list and you will also find that many items are listed under more than one steel.

The fact IS there are no hard fast rules to applying steels. They are applied based on performance, cost, availability, manufacturability, (even personal preference). Every manufacturer makes their own decisions as well as changing their specs anytime they wish.

Before using ANY specific piece of scrap steel it is up to you to test it and determine its suitability. YOU become the metalurgist and laboratory. If you need more details than what you can determine then purchase new material from a reputable supplier.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 13:45:12 GMT

thank you for the info on my chipped anvil. Like the anvil I am hard headed and I want to repair the anvil because I'm stubborn. I have another anvil(vulcan130#)to use and think of repairing the peter wright as another project in my journey in blacksmithing. I don't have to do this right away, so I have time to figure out how to do it. Forgive my hardheadedness
thanks burnie in bend
burnie  <wbfree at bendcable.com> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 13:51:54 GMT

Cam Shafts. Thanks, Tony & Guru. Doesn't seem worth messing with. I will toss 'em back in the scrap heap.

adam  <adam at whiteson.org> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 14:14:20 GMT

450 Pound anvil: Larry, Where the HECK did that rumor come from???? The anvil in the painting is a 50# doorstop. I had guessed 45#. . .
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 14:48:12 GMT

Wood Chisles: Ron, Why "retemper"? All you can do is make them softer. Tempering is just one step in a multi step process. Heattreating is the conditioning, hardening and tempering of steel. Tempering reduces the hardness a little while increasing the toughness a lot. If something isn't hard enough you will need to go through the entire process. The problem is that unless you have the right equipment your chisles will end up burnt and scaled requiring grinding all over. The other problem is that if you don't know the exact steel then you will have to guess at the hardening and tempering times and temperatures as well as the quenchant (air, oil, water, brine). If you have several brands of chisels they may each be made of different steels.

There is a lot to study before re-heattreating parts.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 15:03:41 GMT

Swedish Anvil: Mark, That is probably a Söderfors. It is cast tool steel. Most Swedish anvils are pretty good. I've had several and have a large KOHLHSWA now.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 15:07:32 GMT

Whew, that makes me feel better.
You got to admit it is a good picture.
proves you don't need a huge anvil to do good work.
L.Sundstrom - Tuesday, 06/05/01 15:09:01 GMT

Lathe Chisels: Ron, nowadays, wood lathe cutting tools are usually made from High Speed Steel (HSS) which is much more difficult to heat treat than plain old carbon steel.
adam  <adam at whiteson.org> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 15:33:08 GMT

Jock et al, My Manzell oilier that came with my 2B nazel has stopped filling the lines and as a result the hammer is not being lubricated. Do you have any thoughts on repair or replacement of the individual pump units? The main pump in the reservoir semes to be working fine.
Toby Hickman  <waylan at sprynet.com> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 16:03:48 GMT

Old Mechanical Press: Charlie, What kind of press? Scrap yards are currently full of old punch presses. Flywheel driven mechanical clutch punch presses (plain and OBI) are almost impossible to make OSHA acceptable. So they are being scraped a rapid rate. There were hundreds of manufacturers of theses machines. Most are out of business.

Punch presses are NOT forging hammers. They travel all the way to the end of their stroke and rerurn. Anything heavy enough to prevent the press from completing its full stroke results in wrecking the press. The clutch, flywheel or frame breaks catastrophicaly.

Because of the very real possibility of catastrophic failure every job setup in a punch press must be carefully analyzed for maximum force, travel and limiting factors. It is an engineering job that some can do for themselves, others not.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 16:16:41 GMT

Paw-Paws Anvil: Larry, That is not his regular anvil, but the one he was using when the artist sketched him. He now has several anvils over 100#. But, you are right, it does not take a big anvil to do good work. Most old anvils were considerably smaller than modern ones. However a 450# is REALLY nice to work on!
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 16:23:59 GMT

Manzell Oilers: Toby, These are still available as new OEM parts from Wallace Metal Works / United Forging Hammers. But get out your check book, they are real pricey.

Bruce Wallace says you can replace the Manzell metering oiler with standard drip type oilers. Set them for 5 drops per hour. The only difference is that when you are done for the day you need to close the valves on the oilers. The Manzell oiler does not pump the oil, the cylinder vacumme does that. All the Manzell oiler does is meter the flow.

You also have to be carefull about switching from synthetic to regular oil and vice versa. Changing from one type to the other tends to clog the lines. Rinse the lines and reservoirs with whichever type you are changing to.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 17:14:20 GMT


I can't hammer as much as I used to. But I hope you and I never quit completel. If we can only go out once a month and bang out a 1/4" `S` hook, that's better than nothing!

I'm glad you're enjoying the book and I agree that it needs more illustrations. Keep bugging Jock! (grin)


I concur with the guru about the blades.


Guru is right, that's a 50# Taiwan cast iron ASO. (Anvil Shaped Object).

Bought it in an emergency from a local tool "dealer" when I needed one for a demonstration two days later. Used it for a couple of years. Still have it, in fact. Am playing around with putting a mild steel face on it, just for the fun and experience of it.

You are welcome to use any design I post on my page. I'm not into "secret" designs, or anything similar. He** I stole most of "my" designs anyway! (grin)

Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 17:17:43 GMT

Paw Paw,
Thank you, sir (excuse me...Sarge) for permission to use the campfire cooking grill design. Maybe I can return the favor some day. I have a really good recipe for cooking Borax.
I've got a 1300 lb. peice of "I" beam that would make a nice base for that portable anvil of yours.
"Talk" at you later,
L.Sundstrom - Tuesday, 06/05/01 18:38:06 GMT

ERROR CORRECTION, Drip Oilers: The drip oiler rate is 5 drops per MINUTE not hour. I'll correct above ASAP
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 19:41:07 GMT

Forge Price: Alta, When comparing new equipment first ask what does it weigh? Then calculate the price per pound. This is the REAL price/cost. Use that in your comparison. If you have an item that has more features and weighs less then you know it is pretty light weight.

Compare motor horsepowers. It doesn't take much horsepower to operate a forge but generally a heavier motor has a longer life. CROSS MULTIPLY the price per pound by the HP.

K1 = $/lb1 * HP2, K2 = $/lb2 * HP1

This will equalize the $/lb to $/lb/HP and give you a second comparison value.

The above is a way to make sense of comparing apples and oranges and will work with all kinds of machinery. Its not an absolute but helps give a clearer picture. You may find that a more "expensive" piece of equipment is actually just better built.

Overhead forge hoods do not work without a very strong draft from a large stack OR a forced draft system. Side draft type are better but still need at least a 12" diameter stack.

On used equipment there IS NO SENSE. However, the first thing to recognize is that most of these old devices are no longer manufactured and there is no such thing as spare or replacement parts. SO, an old tool with ANYTHING wrong or missing is work much less than one in prime condition. Old hand crank blowers often LOOK good but turn out to have bad bearings or gears. A single gear will turn out to cost as much as the entire used forge. Some items are not bad to fix but what is your time worth and how much extra do you have. I have a hundred or so machines and tools that each need a day or two. . . If I quit doing everything (especialy answering questions) I could have it all in good shape in a year along with the ones that need a week. . .
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 20:34:50 GMT

ROLLS: BONNIE, I'm very sorry it took so long to get to your question. My first got lost in a crash then I had to hit the road. . .

ROLLS come in little Jewlers size rolls and huge plate rolls used for things like ship construction. They are all "rolls" Some are "slip rolls" meaning the center roll can be removed so that rings with overlaping ends can be removed and there are "open side rolls" that alow the same thing but are not as strong. Some rolls can have all there rollers set at angles so that cones can be rolled.

Wide rolls for sheet metal must NOT be used for material heavier than the rating otherwise the brittle cast iron rolls will break.

In the old days (75 - 140 years ago) you could purchase blacksmith "tire benders". These were small hand crank rolls.

There are several makers of small hand cranked rolls, one is "Shop Outfitters" We may have a link to them on one of our links pages but they do not advertise here.

www.metalcraftaustralia.com carries a line of benders and has a nice web site explaining them. If you order NOW you might get delivery by Christmas.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 20:57:48 GMT

Historical question for you that I can't seem to find the answer to. When did forges go from bellows type, to hand-pump with leather strap, then to hand pump with gears?
I'm in need of finding a portable forge from time frame around 1820 or so and need the correct type.

Thanks for your help.
Jerry  <2-feathers at canoemail.com> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 21:05:59 GMT

Type R vs. T hose: Sam, sorry I missed the second part of your question. The life of the hose probably varries based on the average pressure during the life of the hose AND exposure to ozone and UV (guessing). I know my first hoses lasted close to 10 years and failed externaly not internaly. But those (wrong type) used with propane have only lasted a couple years. Again, failure was external but very fast. I replace hoses when they start showing cracking NOT when they start leaking. If they are long hoses in good condition and just damaged where they connect to the torch I cut off a foot and put on new ends. You should follow the hose manufacturers recomendation.

Torches Online: Tim, I really DO prefer doing business face to face with a dealer I can trust. I currently standardize on Victor equipment in my shop. I do not have enough experiance with Harris to comment on the quality. What I DO know about my Victor stuff is that 75 year old parts fit on new torches AND most of what I have can be repaired locally for much less than replacement cost. That includes reaming valve and tip seats and replacement needles and packing.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 21:22:01 GMT

Forge air Supplies: Jerry, The best I know in 1820 there would have been a wood and leather bellows and a brick, stone or whattle forge. Cast iron manufactured blowers and forges didn't start until after 1850-65 or so. Then all three types existed including foot operated accordian shaped belows. About the only type bellows that has never been popular in the West is the box type bellows with sliding valve. Both lever and crank type forge blower remained available until the end. Wood and leather bellows seemed to dissapear in most places around 1900.

The great double chambered bellows replaced the single or tandem sets of bellows in the late 1700's. Although invented much earlier is wasn't until it became popular in France that it took off.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 21:32:29 GMT


> Thank you, sir (excuse me...Sarge)

You ALMOST got your tail feathers singed! (grin)

That piece of I beam might make a good start on an air hammer.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 22:54:36 GMT

Mr. Mike Roth, thank-you very much for the reply. I will check out the abana site.
art  <sam.presgraves at mailcity.com> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 22:56:41 GMT

Make my own Carving tools?

Hi! I'm a woodworker who is interested in making my own carving tools. I hear that drill stock can be made into a carving tool such as a gouge, using a MAPP gas torch for heat. The problem is that I know nothing about blacksmithing.

Can I dabble in this and get satisfactory results for such a limited scope, or am I headed for trouble?

Thanks for the help!

Jim P  <Iowa_Jim at Hotmail.com> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 23:13:45 GMT

Thanks for the advice on the "old gas BBQ grill as a tempering oven" guess my wife will just have to have a "fit" over my using the oven in our kitchen.
Mark  <dilligaf at net1plus.com> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 23:31:50 GMT

Mr. Mike Roth, thank-you for the reply. I checked out the ABANA site and there are no chapters in Nevada.
art  <sam.presgraves at mailcity.com> - Tuesday, 06/05/01 23:39:59 GMT

Back from IRONFEST, where we had a pretty good showing.

Mike, About building a coal forge, I like the heavy firepot that is available from Laurel Machine and Foundry in Mississippi. It is cast iron and about one inch thick. Check out lmfco.com.

And Sundstrom, this semantics about blacksmith, metalsmith, etc.: apparently, it keeps changing. For instance, you can get a Fine Arts or Master of Fine Arts degree in metalsmithing in the world of Academe, where you would probably be working in silver, gold, copper, and brass. One of my dictionaries states that a blacksmith is "a worker in black metal", meaning "iron". Years ago,I was told that the blacksmith's iron was "black" because of the scale; therefore, "blacksmith".
Frank Turley  <nudahonga at qwest.net> - Wednesday, 06/06/01 01:20:05 GMT

Carving Tools: Jim, Its not really difficult but you MUST understand the basics. First "Drill Rod" is one of several types of tool steel. In most cases either W1 or O1. "Drill bits" are almost always made of HSS (High Speed Steel). HSS is very tricky to heat treat.

Using a torch for a heat source works for bending but is not very good for forging and the tendancy is to burn the work. A small forge works much better. See the Brake Drum Forge on our plans page.

There are many books on blacksmithing and toolmaking for the craftsman. Start there. Be sure you understand the hardening and tempering process and the various steels. The Complete Modern Blacksmith by Weygers is aimed at the do-it-yourself craftsperson. Centaur forge carries it as well as many of the other books we have on our review page.

I've made very good gouges out of auto springs and scrapers from 7-1/4" circular saw blades. New tool steel is the best way to go but it pays to practice on other material until you are ready. If you need we sell a variety of tool steel in small quantities in our store.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 06/06/01 02:49:55 GMT

Hello guru! I guess i would be classified as an absolute novice as far as blacksmithing goes- ive read bout smiths banging away at swords and other weapons. I am extremely interested in learning the craft of traditional blacksmithing on an anvil with a hammer- you know what i mean. i dont know really know how to start or all the tools and equpiment ill need. i do have adequate room for a shop though ( a few acres hehe ). thanks guru. whatever advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
Mike  <olbluegrass at aol.com> - Wednesday, 06/06/01 04:00:35 GMT

Getting Started: Mike see, Getting Started
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 06/06/01 04:19:49 GMT

Thank you for the reply. I didn't realize that hardening and tempering steel was such an exact science. I apperciate the information. I willl need to do alot more reading : )
Ron  <RG2x4x8 at aol.com> - Wednesday, 06/06/01 04:34:35 GMT

Guru: id recomend Jim P to make a Micro forge from his MAPP torch and use that to heat stock.
OErjan  <pokerbacken at angelfire.com> - Wednesday, 06/06/01 10:58:10 GMT

Carving Tools: Jim, OErjan has a very good suggestion. Look at the "micro forge" on our 21st Century page.

Tempering Carving Tools: Ron, Its not as exact as you would think but there are thousands of different steels and there are specific steps to follow. The biggest problems with rehardening a finished tool is you don't KNOW the type of steel AND you are going to burn the surface unless you use a covering such as stainless foil and heat in a forge or furnace. Many smiths make these types of tools and heat treat them using relatively primitive methods. But, we generaly know what kind of steel we are working with. OR, we have tested a sample and have some idea how to harden and temper it. There are a FEW very sophoisticated steels (such as HSSS) that you just don't harden and temper by the seat of your pants. Careful temperature control is required including ramp rates and times. But this is the exception.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 06/06/01 15:49:39 GMT

I picked up an interesting piece of equipment(?) at a flea market the other day.
It appears to be a trans-axle for a lawnmower or some small vehicle. About 3' long.
It has two speeds and reverse and has a differential.
The axles have about 6" discs attached similar to disc brakes.
I was thinging of using it on my treddle hammer to convert it to a light weight power hammer.
My question is how much stress does the axel portion of the JYH have to deal with?
The housing appears to be cast iron and is fairly beefy.
I was figuring on running a crank on one end and fixing up a brake on the other with an elastic (spring) coupling to the arm of my treddle hammer.
What do you think?
Would the forces on the diferential bee too much?
I wouldn't use it much, just more of a toy than anything.
Some drawing out material for knife blades, etc.
I was thinking perhaps
Moldy Jim  <later> - Wednesday, 06/06/01 18:00:57 GMT

JYH: Moldy, The weak link in most right angle differential gear boxes is the planet carrier or planet gears themselves. Next is the outboard bearings. The axels are the weak link is SOME cases. Torsional stresses can be pretty high. However, you are accelerating nearly the mass of the (unknown) vehical but you can assume it is a lot less.

The spring coupling you discribe would cushion the the load. However is would also induce a cyclic motion that the input speed would have to match perfectly to work. Conversion to a "rope drop" puts a flexible link in place and removes the harmonic spring motion.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 06/06/01 18:49:26 GMT

Mr Guru.
Thanks for all the info in the past,heres another question I need some help with. I've been forging knives and such for a while now and would like to get into damascus.My problem is, the area I live in has no steel suppliers that handle speciality steel. Could you tell me what types of steel I can combine to practice on that I can obtain from scrape yards. I have some 5160 and some 1095 a few old lawn mower blades and several leaf springs. No power hammer, it will be arm and anvil, so I would like to know that I have 2 steels that will work before I start swinging.
Thanks Bill
Bill  <camper at yhti.net> - Wednesday, 06/06/01 22:41:09 GMT

Damascus: Bill, A good laminated steel can be made from any high carbon steel like your 1095 and a low carbon steel like mild steel or even wrought iron. The result is a tough laminate that will etch with low contrast. Your 5160 and springs will create greater contrast due to the alloy content. Lawn mower blades have gotten to be not nearly as good of steel as they used to be.

There are dozens of good combinations. Try the books by Jim Hirsoulas. We sell small quantities of a variety of steels in our on-line metals store.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 06/06/01 23:02:01 GMT

I was wondering if anybody had tried flamespray on the inside of their forge and if so, how is it holding up? I know that it holds up real well in power plant boilers.
art  <sam.presgraves at mailcity.com> - Thursday, 06/07/01 00:14:02 GMT

How did blacksmithing get its name
anomous  <angelface3k at msn.com> - Thursday, 06/07/01 02:34:55 GMT

Hi my name is Donald and I know absolutely nothing about metal working. So please be patient. My buddy and I fly radio controlled airplanes and in some of our model airplanes we use retractable landing gear. Our struts to which we attatch our wheels are made out of coiled piano wire and each time we land, the piano bends out of shape.My friend believes that if we could heat temper this piano wire that we would eliminate this problem. However we are clueless in regards to how we would go about doing this if indeed we could do this ourselves or would you know of someone in Montreal,Quebec,Canada who would be able to heat temper the steel for us. We would greatly appreciate any information and advice that you could pass onto us and we thank you in advance for your effort on our behalf
Donald Shereck  <Shereckp at aol.com> - Thursday, 06/07/01 02:40:35 GMT

Piano Wire: Donald, These are probably stainless spring wire. Its very springy but it can be bent and shaped without heat treatment so it is very popular for low production parts. It cannot be made stiffer.

If the wire is standard steel piano wire it can be hardened. But the problem is that hard is brittle. There is a high degree of probability that if you harden these parts they will break instead of bending. Hardened parts must be tempered - reheated to soften a little to reduce the brittleness. Specifying the temper is tricky and would be your job in this case.

What you may want to try to do is to make new parts from wire one size larger. This will add a little weight to your plane but it may solve the problem.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 06/07/01 03:24:19 GMT

blacksmith - ing: black is from the "black metal", iron. Smith is from "smite", to strike. Smith has come to mean a lot mare as it is applied to silver smiths, bronze smiths, gold smiths and others. However, all work with a hammer to shape the metal. Blacksmiths do it HOT.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 06/07/01 03:33:01 GMT

i need some info on how to forge for a school project that i have to do to get school cert
thank you
keith edwards a student  <badbobbyjoe22 at hotmail.com> - Thursday, 06/07/01 05:44:13 GMT

Camp Fenby:

Just posted a notice in the Virtual Hammer-In for our medieval arts and crafts campout on June 22-24. The NEWS covered a previous event in Volume 3. We try to keep it simple and fun for all who come.

No anvils will be blown during this event, but all other bets are off! ;-) (Hey, we're Vikings after all!)

Visit your National Parks: www.nps.gov

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

Bruce Blackistone (Atli)  <asylum at us.HSAnet.net> - Thursday, 06/07/01 12:45:17 GMT

Bill; one of my favorite futzing billets is made from bandsaw blade and steel strapping. I stack it up about 20 layers to start. Wire it in 3-4 places and weld it up.

Bandsaw blades should be free from machine shops, ornamental iron shops, wood workers, etc. The steel strapping is free from the lumberyard. Try *not* to get bi-metallic blades and you can double up the blade vs the strapping---I don't grind off the teeth but if I double up I put the teeth to opposite sides. It etches nicely with the L6 BSB; I like salt/vinegar with the BSB gleaming like silver, (but not much topo).

Heat on the sides of the billet *slowly* at first. I like to run up the fire and then cut off the air and put the billet in and walk away! When I come back I flux it and start bringing the billet up towards welding temp rotating it 180 every 20 seconds or so. If the outside pieces are bowing out a whole lot you are heating too fast!

BSB comes in all sizes as does strapping so you can build a billet sized for your forge, I do 1/2 to 3/4 in my small forge and up to about 2" in my large forge with triphammer access. (Found a fellow with a bandsaw sawmill who gave us a stack of used BSB close to 2" wide!)

Thomas (and then there is cable...)
Thomas Powers  <thomas_powers at my-deja.com> - Thursday, 06/07/01 14:50:59 GMT

School Project: Keith, You question is a little fuzzy. Do you need to actualy forge something or write about it?

The normal first time school project in a metals course is to forge, harden and temper a small cold chisel. You start with a piece of 5/8" (16mm) Hex or Octagon tool steel about 6" (~150mm) long. Heat the end to a yellow orange heat and hammer it to a blunt screw driver looking point. When heating you need to be patient so that you don't burn the steel nor heat just the surface, it needs to be heated through (to the center not just the surface). You want to start forging so that your flats align with the flats on the stock. Hold the stock up to form the angle of the back side as you form the front. Flip the work over as needed to keep the taper centered. As the point develops the stock will flare wider than the starting size. You will need to turn it on edge and give it a few light taps to keep it the original width. Do not make it too sharp. The final edge is steeper than the taper and put on by grinding.

Heat the working half of the chisle until it becomes non-magnetic and quench it in oil (mineral oil is best) if oil hardening steel, use warm water if water hardening steel. This hardens the steel. Then grind the scale off the flats of the chisel and reheat gently starting below the taper. Watch the color change on the clean steel. If you heat very gently you should be able to see wide bands of colors. These will look like the rainbow. However, you do not want a full rainbow. The colors run pale yellow, yellow, brown, purple, blue, pale plue. On plain carbon tool steel this represents a temperature range of 430 to 650 degrees or so. The working end of cold chisels want to be tempered at around 450 degrees or a gold to straw yellow. Tempering reduces the hardness a little and increases the toughness a LOT. It is very important to do.

This excersize assumes you have a heat source (an oxy-fuel torch or a forge). You also need an anvil, a smithing hammer of about 2 pounds and tongs to fit the work. You also need a quench tank and a bench grinder to finish the project.

If you are heating with a torch you should have a couple fire bricks to heat the work on. Set one on top the other to form a corner. Preheat the bricks some before setting the steel on them. Then as you heat the steel continue to heat the bricks. This heats the back side of the steel and helps get that through heat. It also reduces heat loss significantly.

I recently helped my wife practice this project before doing it at school. I fitted a pair of tongs to the steel because I knew there was a high probability that they didn't have a proper set. I also gave her a 2# hammer because I was also sure the hammer at school would be too heavy for someone that didn't use a hammer every day. I also recommended the bricks because I knew they were heating with a torch.

She was embarassed to take in her own tools. . big mistake. The tongs sort of fit but did not surround the work like mine so the work got dropped at least once. The hammers available were all too large so that they were difficult to ues. Heating was done holding the work in the air with the tongs. The result was uneven heating from bad method and impatience. That in turn resulted in a cracked chisel and a LOT of grinding to clean it up. Her project "passed" but was an unusable tool.

Plan your project. Walk through the motions cold. Are your tools in a convienient location? Do you need a helper to hold the torch? The difference between things working well and everything going wrong can be just a few details. Schools where they do not specialize in blacksmithing often do not have the right tools even though they have a lot of tools and the instructor may not know the difference either. Don't blame the instructor, he's usualy a machinist, not a blacksmith.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 06/07/01 15:25:35 GMT

Hi All,

I borrowed my brother's digital camera yesterday & took some pictures of my tripod vise stand & belt grinder. I posted them on my website this morning if anyone would like to see them. The grinder turned out pretty well, just got it done(painted) on monday. The pictures are at http://home.adelphia.net/~mcroth/blacksmith.html near the bottom. Let me know what you think!
Mike Roth  <mcroth at adelphia.net> - Thursday, 06/07/01 15:26:17 GMT

Bandsaw Blade: Good stuff as long as its not bimetal as Thomas mentioned (you can see the weld seam just behind the teeth). But the plain blade is not all necessarily L9. Some is plain carbon steel. Bandmill blades are often a foot wide and 1/4" thick!
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 06/07/01 15:37:27 GMT

Camp Fenby: Anvil blowing was not a Viking activity but lets see. . . there is Captain toss and. .

Had a good time last I was there, but be warned, the heat and humidity is miserable in the Maryland lowlands. Its not a "big event" but there are lots of good people.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 06/07/01 15:44:41 GMT


The more I see of that grinder design, the better I like it. You did a nice job on it, too.

As for the tri-pod stand, I like the way you arranged to hold tools.

Let me offer on suggestion for the tripod stand that might make it a little handier. Drill a single hole, all the way through the 1" pipes, WHILE THE 3/4" pipe is fully inserted. Then slide the 3/4" pipe out an inch, and drill through it using the hole in the 1" pipe as a guide. Slide it out again, and do the same thing. Treat all three legs in the same manner.

Now by using a 1/4" pin, you can adjust any leg to be longer than the others. This will allow you to level the vise, no matter how uneven the ground is.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Thursday, 06/07/01 17:25:08 GMT

Hi again thanks to everyone for the help i've gotten here.Does anyone know of a supply for ofset tongs suitable for holding blades for water quenching when clay tempering?also i have purchased 50# of satanite and if anyone needs a small amount 5# or so i could help them out. thanks again-chris
chris makin  <cfm15 at home.com> - Thursday, 06/07/01 18:29:10 GMT

Paw Paw, Thanks! I liked that design too. Good idea on the tripod stand as well, I'll try it out one of these days.
Mike Roth  <mcroth at adelphia.net> - Thursday, 06/07/01 18:30:45 GMT

Mike Roth, nice job on the stand and grinder! I'm still fermenting grinder ideas. Do you think a 1 hp 3450 would start it OK? I have bunch of those. Slitting the 1" pipe a little from the end and clamping it down on the 3/4" would work like the pins for uneven surfaces too. Pins are more positive I guess.
Tony  <tca_b at mmmilwpc.com> - Thursday, 06/07/01 19:17:10 GMT


You need the pins, if you're going to be hammering on the vise. A clamp can slip due to the impact.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Thursday, 06/07/01 19:21:58 GMT

I've seen several postings mentioning s/s foil in heat treating. Could someone explain the how and the why? Sarge, good luck on the book.
Smitty  <rfsbj at webtv.net> - Thursday, 06/07/01 19:59:14 GMT

Tony, Thanks! I would think it would be better. The problem with mine is(I think) it is a pump motor with a 1/2" shaft & wasn't meant for hard starting. I think motors like that have a capacitor starter on them to give them a little more ummmppphhh at startup(I may be wrong but I'm sure someone will correct me!(Grin)).
Mike Roth  <mcroth at adelphia.net> - Thursday, 06/07/01 20:31:30 GMT

Stainless Foil: Smitty, The foil is to protect the steel from oxidation. It is like using the clay some of the blademakers use (for overall protection not creating a differential temper hammon line). The foil is expensive but quick and easy to use. It comes in rolls that you can cut with scisors. You make a sealed package around a finished part, when hot you tear open the package with tongs and quench the part. For air quench steel you just open the package to let in fresh air. It can also be used for annealing and case hardening.

They also sell stainless foil bags for heat treating but they are not as flexible in use. A little slip of paper put in the bag or package will burn up the little air that is trapped. Do not over do the paper or the gases generated will expand and burst the package. If you have TIG equipment you can also put a squirt of argon in the bag before sealing it.

The only other draw back is it is RAZOR sharp as well as thin. You absolutely must use tongs and plires when opning the packages.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 06/07/01 20:51:12 GMT

Tongs: Chris, Pick some common tongs from Kayne and Son or Centaur Forge and modify them to suit. I'd start from scratch if a long offset is needed. I don't think I have a single pair of tongs I haven't modified to suit the particular job. In blacksmithing the general RULE is to fit the tongs to the job. Even a slight missfit is dangerous and it doesn't take but one or two minutes to fit the tongs to the particular job.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 06/07/01 20:59:53 GMT

Its been awhile since I've posted a question here. I learn lots just reading the answers to other people's questions! But, now I need some guidance. I came across some new, unused punches from a small punch press. They have 5/8" round shanks with various shaped and sized punch ends and are about 3 inches total length. Some round,oval or even square punches. They look like they should be handy for something. I know that I'm my own metallurgist when dealing with an unknown, but, generally what would something like this be made from? Could they make potential striking tools or stamps? Thanks for your help.
Dave C  <dave at amerlitho.com> - Thursday, 06/07/01 21:03:01 GMT

Punches: Dave, It depends on what the punches were for. These could be made of W1, 01 or HSS. Like all junkyard steels these could be almost anything. The exception here is that you are sure they are TOOL steel. Production punches tend to be made from W1 because it is inexpensive. However if stainless steel was being worked they may be HSS or a wear resistant tool steel.

Yes they would be very good for the uses you listed. The shanks should be softened before striking them.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 06/07/01 21:30:23 GMT


Do NOT use Super Quench when you re-work the punches!

They'll shatter in a split second. I learned THAT lesson the hard way!
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Friday, 06/08/01 00:21:52 GMT

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