WELCOME to the anvilfire Guru's Den - V. 3.3

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

This is an archive of posts from June 24 - 30, 2007 on the Guru's Den
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Do you think SAE 9255 steel is a good choice for a sword blade? I know it has 55 points of carbon and it is a silicon maganese alloy which will strengthen the steel, but what do you think?
   troy - Sunday, 06/24/07 23:40:17 EDT

Choices: Troy, There is no really bad steel for a sword, nore is there a perfect steel. Once selected or made, such as Damascus, then what makes the difference is the care in shaping, processing and heat treating. The perfect steel (no such thing) poorly heat treated is not nearly as good as a marginal steel heat treated for the absolute best properties of the item that the steel can produce.

When you have learned to apply that nearly perfect heat treat then the qualities of the material start to make a difference. And at that point you will also know exactly what you want in a steel.

There is also a matter of design. What type sword? Long heavy slender short thick practice or wallhanger? There is a best choice for every application.

I would have to look up the steel and its suggested uses (swords will not be listed) to know if it is right or not. But you have not given enough information.
   - guru - Monday, 06/25/07 08:38:06 EDT

Built up Swage Block: Well. . . I after some thought on the subject I decided the idea sketched above is only about as half thought out.

The way to start would be a heavy X shape from thick bar at least 3/4" or 1" by the thickness of the block (3 to 4"). That would be made with either a sloted joint and near full penetration welds or one long and two short pieces and near full penetration butt welds (I like the former).

Then the order of assembly varies according to access for welding. However, four pieces of the same material would continue the support frame for the block. Two on opposite sides would slope in opposite directions to be the support under a row of V's and U's. Then one side would have a bent piece that was either the finished surface for a long curve or if a low V shop it would be the under support for a thinner piece (say 1/4" that would make a smooth curve and then be filled in. The last side would be similar for a set of odd shapes.

Inside and outside this X-box would be filled in like the drawing previously posted. However, these long strong skeleton pieces would give the final block as much strength as possible in a fabricated block. With good fill and welds it could probably take as much sledge hammering as a top grade cast iron block and almost as much as a ductile iron block. The idea is to have continuous pieces That can take heavy forces without having weak joints or partial welds. At the center of the X several fully welded shapes could be built and then the only shapes that are not would be those in the fill areas. A good design I think.

Fitting and welding in the fill made from various round bars would make a difference. It is also possible with MIG to fill some of the holes 100% as the wire can travel deep into a hole. Sort of like pouring liquid steel into them. It could also be done with a common welding rod but the flux cover is going to become too deep to tell what you are doing fairly rapidly.

Not a bad project but it would require purchasing the heavy bar. Square holes and V's can be built of flat bar rather than angle OR one size angle cut down as needed. Holes and U's would still be best made of pipe but you could forge them. However, if you need a swage to make the swage. . . it gets tricky.

I want to build one now. . . Time to get the welder outlet wired. Drawing to follow (later in the day).
   - guru - Monday, 06/25/07 09:11:09 EDT

Hmm sounds like a good project for a welding class...

   Thomas P - Monday, 06/25/07 11:24:33 EDT

Yep, lots of weird hard to get to welds.
   - guru - Monday, 06/25/07 15:27:04 EDT

How do I make a chain armor?
   Lucas - Monday, 06/25/07 15:38:46 EDT

Lucas, If you do a web search on "chain mail" or "Mail armour" there are sites that specialize in it that have many details. Note that "chain mail" is a common but incorrect term. Here are the basics.

Starting with aproximately 1/16" (1.6mm) steel wire, you wrap it around about a 3/8" (10mm) bar (called a mandrel). Then you take the coil and cut individual rings from it. This is do with good heavy duty compound leverage snips.

The you weave the links together closing them with a pair of pliers. The way the rings are woven together varies and often the the rings are doubled and tripled to make denser mail. There are standard classic patterns you will have to look up.

When you have enough you start fitting pieces just like parts of a shirt or dress.

Mail can also be riveted. In this type each ring has the ends flattened and a little hole punched in them. Then the rings are closed, aligning the holes, a small piece of wire is inserted and then "bradded" are headed to make a rivet. This is supposedly much stronger mail but some testing has proved otherwise.

Mail can also have decorative elements such as scales or decorative rows of plates made into the mail. Varying the ring size is also used for decorative effect.

   - guru - Monday, 06/25/07 15:58:59 EDT

Note that butted maille is almost *never* found in western europe during the medieval/renaissance period. modern testing has shown that rivited maille the same size ring and wire is about 10 times stronger than butted and that was what they went with. (actually a lot of alternating rivited and punched or forge welded shut lings were used as well)

armourarchive.org would be one place to start to ask about maille specific forums.

   Thomas P - Monday, 06/25/07 18:52:27 EDT

I have another question on beam deflection calculations. I understand working out moments for composite shapes. How does one work out elasticity coefficients for composite materials? Specifically, aluminum channel with steel plate top and bottom? I only ask since the depth of materials knowledge here apparently has no bounds.... I realise it's probably not the right forum.
   andrew - Monday, 06/25/07 23:15:41 EDT

I am looking for translations of metal work technical terms. Does any one know of some good bilangual ressources french/english. Thanks
   elise - Tuesday, 06/26/07 05:35:15 EDT


See 'International Glossary' under FAQS after clicking NAVIGATE bar to the right of page. It is not fully complete but may be helpful.
   Frank Turley - Tuesday, 06/26/07 08:40:41 EDT

Laminated Materials: Andrew, I do not have a clue. I suspect this is where your calculus comes in.

Earlier I said no calculus is needed. However, the simplified formulas you find have been reduced from the calculus. They have also been reduced algebraically. When I was writing Mass2 many of my structural formulae were un-reduced to common components so that more shapes could use the same code. This fine grain code increases efficiency in large programs and reduces mathematical typos.

The source book for much structural mathematics is Elements of Strength of Materials by Timoshenko and MacCullough, 1935, D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc. NY. (second Edition 1940). Every modern book on the subject is derived in some way from this work. It combined all the knowledge of this time into clear mathematical methods that also show the longer mathematical source. Its a very good text book. Back when I was doing such things I used Machinery's which has the short versions but not the source. If you are studying such things I would start with Timoshenko.

Some quotes:

Timoshenko's Beam Equations: Timoshenko's theory of beams constitutes an improvement over the Euler-Bernoulli theory, in that it incorporates shear and rotational inertia effects."

Timoshenko: Father of Engineering Mechanics - Resonance - October 2002 "The legend of Timoshenko has few parallels in the annals of publishing technical books. For reading and understanding engineering mechanics the books of ..."

   - guru - Tuesday, 06/26/07 10:52:07 EDT

Please let me know the method to layout cone from thick plate.
   vik - Tuesday, 06/26/07 11:09:23 EDT

Translating technical terms-
This is a very specialised field- it takes someone fluent in both languages, AND conversant with metalworking to pull it off. Often a fluent, native born French speaker will have no idea what a bandsaw is, or how it differs from a hacksaw, so even though they speak french, they dont speak the right french.
Just as many engllish speakers cant tell you the difference between a surface grinder and a centerless grinder.

I have a very good book on general metalworking, and machining, but not blacksmithing, called "Maquinas para utillaje en 4 idiomas" by H.E. Horton, published by Blume in Barcelona, that is a German/English/Spanish/French dictionary of machine tools and metalworking.

I have never seen this book in the USA, but it might be available in France. It is somewhat limited in what it covers, but for the subjects it does cover, its the best technical dictionary I have ever found.
   - ries - Tuesday, 06/26/07 11:24:22 EDT

Cones: Vik, See our FAQ's, under mathematics, cones. When laying out thick material you need to use the median or center line of the material and add one thickness to the calculated length (1/4 thickness per 90 degree bend). On a cone this is at the baseline and it changes the swept angle.

In very thick plate if you are making a full cone there is an area of interference at the point of the cone where the material must be thinned to the point. This is simply the line formed by the centerline of the cone. The problem is that it is very difficult to bend. The practical method is to leave the cone short (truncated) and weld a machined or formed point on the cone.

   - guru - Tuesday, 06/26/07 12:10:20 EDT

I ran into that sort of translation issue once when I had to review a set of japanese blueprints---so I couldn't even just try looking up the words in a dictionary. I found a native japanese speaker who brought a japanese-japanese technical dictionary and we worked through it together. I still remember them telling me that "this piece of metal is like where a shop goes"---channel iron--obvious to me but they had never heard of it. (the blueprint was for earthquake bracing of one of our systems was excellent BTW)

VIK do you plan to carve it out of thick plate or roll it?

   Thomas P - Tuesday, 06/26/07 12:13:55 EDT

I'm an editor at a company that does bilingual educational texts. We're translating a book about Henry David Thoreau and it lists what he bought for his house on Walden Pond. One of his items is a "Mantle-tree iron", and we have no idea what that is. We can't find any information on it. I'm thinking it might be one of those hooks they hung pots off of to cook food on, or maybe a support for the mantelpiece of a house, but I don't know. Given that it's Thoreau, it's nothing frivolous or decorative. Any of you folks have any ideas? Thanks very much for your patience and time.
   Emily Antul - Tuesday, 06/26/07 12:27:45 EDT

Mantel-tree iron Emily, I am not sure on this myself.

The part that goes in the fireplace and pots hang from is a "crane". The hooks are "S-hooks". Adjustable trammels (a saw toothed device) were also used. A "mantle tree" may have been a multi hook device that hung from the mantle if there was no crane. The difference would be the part it hung from would be deep enough to hang securely from the mantle.

It could have also been a tree type rack for drying herbs or corn on the fireplace mantle.

There was an almost infinite variety of devices used in early fireplace cooking. Terms for these devices that we now use generic descriptive terms for would have varied by region and even be unique to a given village.

I looked in both Sonn and Plumber's books with no luck on this.
   - guru - Tuesday, 06/26/07 13:45:38 EDT

vik-- set one of your compass or trammel points at the tip of the cone drawing you will make on the plate or template. Set the other at the distance of what the length will be of the side-- not the height, the SIDE-- of the cone and make a mark. Draw a line connecting the points. Now swing the compass as if to make a circle. Decide how big the base of the cone will be-- what diameter. Calculate the circumference of a circle of that diameter. Now measure, from the line indicating the length of the side, in each direction, HALF that circumference distance along the circle you just drew. That is a plan for your cone. If you want some overlap for a solder joint, allow for it with a bit extra on one side or the other of the side line. Now cut it out and bend it. Good luck.
   Miles Undercut - Tuesday, 06/26/07 13:54:45 EDT

Oops-- vik-- I assumed this would be obvious but maybe it is not: Now measure, from the line indicating the length of the side, in each direction, HALF that circumference distance along the big circle you just drew and mark with points. NOW draw lines from point of end of cone to these two points on the circumference of the big circle. That is a plan for your cone. This site needs a graphic capability.
   Miles Undercut - Tuesday, 06/26/07 13:59:57 EDT

Miles, My response has a drawing of laying out cones with the math.
   - guru - Tuesday, 06/26/07 14:24:05 EDT

Mantle-Tree Iron: I've also looked through Shiffer's Antique Iron and Seymour Lindsay's Iron and Brass Implements of the English House (a rare book),
   - guru - Tuesday, 06/26/07 14:37:34 EDT


1. A beam or arch that supports the masonry above a fireplace; also called a mantel-tree."


   Dave Leppo - Tuesday, 06/26/07 15:14:33 EDT

So "Mantel-tree iron" would probably be an iron strap used to support the bridging masonry above the fireplace opening, in lieu of a lintel stone.
   Dave Leppo - Tuesday, 06/26/07 15:17:37 EDT


I was reading some of the archived posts, looking for information on solenoid valves to control propane forges. You mentioned that one of your propane forges had a solenoid, so perhaps you can answer this.

I had hoped to be able to hook up a solenoid in line with a gas line on a Ron Reil style venturi burner, but venturi burners require some pressure. Most of the solenoid valves I've found are rated at very low pressures on the order of 0.5 p.s.i. I've seen some rated for higher pressures, but they're pricey.

My conclusion is that I'd have two choices: (1) use a low pressure solenoid with a low pressure/large orifice propane regulator plus blower; or (2) spend the extra money on a valve rated for higher pressure, which could work with a high pressure propane regulator and venturi burner.

Is that about the size of it?
   Matt B - Tuesday, 06/26/07 16:03:53 EDT

O Estimable Guruissimo-- Most sorry. I shoulda looked. My way involves no math. (Well, almost no math. Maybe if you can't figure out a circumference, ummm, smiting is not your line of work.) Also, one could just draw a line the length of the side, swing an arc the length of the circumference of the base, connect the dots and in one swell foop, Bob's your uncle. Whatever floats your boat.
   Miles Undercut - Tuesday, 06/26/07 16:10:07 EDT

Don't know why this came to me today, but it seems like I heard this story about Bill Gishner from Nol Putnam. Bill, often with Bud Odgers, would driver around New England. Bud said Bill could 'smell' blacksmithing tools somewhere in the general area, and they would often find some when they stopped. If true likely what Bill was doing is noting small communities which likely had a blacksmith shop at one time and simply took the time to track it down. A small closed industrial building may have still have a powerhammer and such.

Nol noted when he bought tools from Bill he never asked the price. He didn't call Bill unless he really needed it and, if Bill had it, it was worth whatever Bill thought fair.

Any idea what happened to Bill's collection? Seem to recall someone inherited them.
   - Ken Scharabok (Poor Boy) - Tuesday, 06/26/07 16:10:25 EDT

The late, great Bill Gichner (sic)'s stuff is still in Ocean View, Del. where it's always been, under the care of his ex-son-in-law Bob Swenson. What's left of it, that is. Shop is no longer called Iron Age Antiques, however, but now is The Front Porch. There were scads of anvfils and other goodies when I visited in September of '05 but much of the trove went soon afterward.
   Miles Undercut - Tuesday, 06/26/07 16:14:11 EDT

Valves: Matt, That's it. You gotta watch the orifice size in those higher pressure solenoids. The one I picked seemed good but only had an 0.050" orifice. If you have two burners at that size then you have to double your pressure. The problem with doubling the pressure is that it reduces the usable bottle time.

Even though mine was a blower burner that did not care about orifice sizes it IS a big forge and needed excess pressure due to that little hole. . .
   - guru - Tuesday, 06/26/07 17:18:13 EDT

Bill Gichner: traveled all over the East coast in search of tools and wheeling and dealing with various blacksmiths. He was a notorious hard dealer and often his prices were much higher than market. He set his prices based on what the tool was worth new today if it was still made even thought the tool was old and maybe not nearly as perfect as new. For some tools this sort of made sense but it did not in the case of items that were plentiful (if you looked) or items that were still in production. When I last saw his anvil pile it a couple used Peddinghaus anvils priced at more than selling list. However, current prices on ebay are far worse than any Bill asked.

While he was well known as a big dealer in tools they pretty much kept rotating and the collection was never really huge. I know several people that have have forgotten more of the anvils they have than Gichner ever had at one time.

But Wild Bill was the first serious dealer in the modern age and exposed a LOT of blacksmiths to tools they never knew existed before. While his prices were high he would often extend credit to young smiths at those prices and not charge interest.
   - guru - Tuesday, 06/26/07 17:32:29 EDT

Well I've been asked to bring a forge to an SCA event held at appx 9,500' above sea level. Fire restrictions mean it will have to be my aspirated propane version. Anybody try to use one at that altitude? Any tricks? (besides getting someone else to swing the hammer...)

   Thomas P - Tuesday, 06/26/07 17:42:08 EDT

I regard the late, great Bill Gichner as a kind, thoughtful and generous friend to me and to blacksmithing.
   Miles Undercut - Tuesday, 06/26/07 17:44:39 EDT

At last Miles can look *up* to me!

   Thomas P - Tuesday, 06/26/07 17:45:09 EDT

Emily Antul,

I think Dave Leppo's response is good. I looked up "mantel-tree" in my 1955 revised "The Oxford Universal Dictionary" (English), and I found the following.
1. A beam across the opening of a fireplace, supporting the masonry above; in later use, a stone or arch serving the same purpose.

An aside. My first thought was that it might be a "loggerhead" hanging from the wooden mantel by a hook. A loggerhead was an iron bar with a bulb or ball on the end which was heated in the fireplace and used to heat drinks. I learned that from reading Kenneth Roberts' well researched historical novels.

Something else came to mind, another aside. In the very early Eastern colonial homes, a fireplace was literally a place against a wall for fire. It had no sides; therefore, it had no crane attached to the side. Instead, it had a stone masonry hood above, and the hood had a rectangular section "fire bar" connecting its sides. Hooks and trammels were hung from the fire bar. If such a fire bar was not provided, one could be fabricated of an iron bar that had legs either end to give it some height.
   Frank Turley - Tuesday, 06/26/07 17:47:23 EDT

Thomas-- I run my unblown gas forge at 7,000 feet at about 12 psi gauge, and don't guess (key word: guess) another half-mile or so would make a whole lot of difference. But, hey, I'm an English major.
   Miles Undercut - Tuesday, 06/26/07 17:49:01 EDT


Based on my experiences with butane and propane backpacking stoves at altitudes up to 14,000 feet, I'll make a couple of recommendations.

At 10,000 feet butane stoves are a joke, and propane is required. (White gas is best, but disallowed in some forests.) On a side note, if you want to cook things at that altitude, I strongly suggest the use of a small pressure cooker. Water boils at a sufficiently lower temperature and loses more to evaporation in that dry cool air, so your breakfast oats take long enough to cook that you need another cup of tea.

If possible, I'd try to get some MAPP gas for the high altitude as it has a higher temp. If that's not an option, then figure on dropping your gas jet a size and adding another burner, at least if you want to weld. Those last few thousand feet make a big difference, it seems to me. Especially when you're used to lower altitude and exert yourself - hello, altitude sickness.

Headaches, nausea, difficulty breathing, all should be taken very seriously at that altitude and not ignored. Rest immediately, drink water and if it doesn't improve in an hour you need to get to a lower altitude. Also, beware of dehydration at that altitude. The air is dry and you lose way more water to transpiration that you might expect. The sun is pretty nasty too, but you often don't realize it since the air is cool.

Things to keep in mind when going to high altitude, based on some time as a backpacker and guide in Colorado.
   vicopper - Tuesday, 06/26/07 20:27:33 EDT

Fabricating a Swage Block on the anvil making page. Details of making a good fabricated swage block.
   - guru - Tuesday, 06/26/07 20:59:52 EDT

From time to time we warn people about welding-cutting on 55gal drums. Yes they can go BOOM.
If you have DSL, Here is some amusing pranks with a drum.
Lucky for these kids They seem to survived it.

   - Trevor - Tuesday, 06/26/07 21:45:54 EDT

Small balenced diet only for 12 year old child
   Shivam Agarwal - Tuesday, 06/26/07 23:48:24 EDT

Small balenced diet only for 12 year old child
   Shivam Agarwal - Tuesday, 06/26/07 23:48:41 EDT

balenced diet only for 12 year old child
   Shivam Agarwal - Tuesday, 06/26/07 23:50:46 EDT


Does she have iron deficiency anemia?

This is an iron, steel, and metal site.
   Frank Turley - Wednesday, 06/27/07 00:09:50 EDT

Well it is time for me to ask for some help.
The plant manager has asked if I can find some info on preping and welding aluminum, pitfalls and common problems.
Can it be powder coated, our ovens run at 450deg for most of our colors. We currently weld mild steel and some stainless.(MIG only). I know we have some welders here.

It appears that one of our larger customers is inquiring about this. So it could be another product line for us. For anyone interested you can vist Johnstoncasuals.com to see what we make.

Support CSI whenever possible

   daveb - Wednesday, 06/27/07 10:31:51 EDT

Vicopper it's dry most everywhere out here---our "heat index" is generally *lower* than the ambient temperature! This is not for cooking but for forging; but I am aware of the dangers of Altitude Sickness. We visited Los Alamos and my daughter started showing signs of it so we headed downhill fast!

   Thomas P - Wednesday, 06/27/07 11:57:08 EDT

Certainly aluminum can be powdercoated.
I have sent a fair amount out, not done it myself, but it works well. Usually the places I have do my powdercoating have used dip tanks for cleaning and precoating- I dont know if they do that for aluminum too. On bigger, fabricated stuff, I always have it sandblasted first before powdercoating. My powdercoaters have had inhouse sandblast booths for touchup, and done it as needed, and I know for simple, undisturbed mill finish they dont usually sandblast.
They would, however, often prebake aluminum, especially cast aluminum, before powdercoating. Otherwise it has more problems with trapped moisture causing bubbles.

As for welding, I have migged a lot of aluminum, and hated every minute of it- its smoky, noisy, and throws out a lot of crud. Dingleballs that stick pretty well, and its tougher to get a good start on a mig- I often use run-on plates at the beginning.

As a result, whenever I possibly can, I tig weld aluminum. Its clean, neat, quiet, and, the visual quality of the welds is far superior to mig. I suppose if you are going to grind out every weld anyway, you could mig, but I would seriously look into tig for this, especially as on your furniture, its mostly 2" or under welds, where the increased speed of mig is frankly not going to make much difference. Here, in the boatbuilding industry, where an average day might be a few hundred inches of mig weld in aluminum plate, pulsed mig is used for all the volume welding, but for pipe or detail work, the tig machine comes out.
   - ries - Wednesday, 06/27/07 13:31:24 EDT

Thanks Ries, I am going to cut and paste this straight too the plant mgr. I think we can handle the machanics of welding it. It's the finishing we were unsure. We had two 12'dia Wheelobrators that sandblast the frames and a 5 step wash system on the PC line.
   daveb - Wednesday, 06/27/07 14:25:01 EDT

that s/b have two :)
   daveb - Wednesday, 06/27/07 14:30:07 EDT

Dave, you probably do not want to mix aluminium and steel in the same cleaning line. Normal aluminium painting requires an etching primer. One of the East Coast's best anodizing plants is located over in Highpoint, NC if you want to go that route.
   - guru - Wednesday, 06/27/07 14:34:08 EDT

If I'm not mistaken, 450 degrees is higher than the recommended artificial aging temperature for some aluminum alloys. I'm not sure exactly what would happen if you exceeded the recommended temperature, but you might end up with brittle aluminum.
   Mike BR - Wednesday, 06/27/07 16:52:28 EDT

Dave- Reis is right on. Be sure to use prep and clean up brushes and grinding discs/wheels that are dedicated for aluminium only to avoid contamination. This includes the often overlooked wheels that you sharpen your tungsten electrodes on. Good luck.
   Jud Yaggy - Wednesday, 06/27/07 18:17:01 EDT

Aluminium finishing
My Dad worked in an aluminium extrusion and fabrication factory for 40+ years, and I worked there as a teen and after the ARMY whilst in school during summers etc.
All of the following is from the 60 to 86 period when he passed away and I stopped hearing of progress in the field.

Anodizing. If the mill surface is not acceptable than all finish work such as polishing is done first. Cleaning is in a heated sodium hydroxide bath. Then rinse. If a etch finsh is desired the sodium hydroxide is stronger and the soak time increased. The anodize requires a pretty high current density of DC, so a good contact must be established. We used racks that had a "bite" the part setup. Left a ding in the part and the anodize was off there, but we chopped that out. If the parts are hollow such as straight tube, a good anodize is possible, but the parts must be drained at the end of each bath. That meant tilting the tubes to allow runout. Not getting all the bath out meant short bath life in the following baths and poor finish. In a complex structure like a chair, draining must be carefully considered. If the tube is sealed by welding, any cracks or pinholes will lead to real problems as the first bath gets in, but is not rinsed and nuetrilized and continues to eat!
A mixed construction of aluminum and other metal will be a diaster from a instant corrosion standpoint. The anodized bath is a weak sulfuric electrolite.

A Wheelabrator will destroy anything like furniture in my guess. The tumbling and high shot velocity will reduce the aluminum to scrap as well as contaminating the aluminum surface. A walnut hull blast in a rotary table blast cabinet might work well. A light glass bead blast might work as well.

The company was extruding 50 series and 60 series aluminium as I recall and powdercoating for the last few years I was able to talk to my Dad. I do not recall any discussion of the cleaning process.
   ptree - Wednesday, 06/27/07 18:44:03 EDT

OK, I've done something like this inadvertently and it hurt, a lot, for weeks...
Is there some subtle technique that I'm missing? With such a nice anvil, I would have thought the guy should have a decent hammer to go with it rather than his foot!
   andrew - Wednesday, 06/27/07 19:09:27 EDT

It does seem like a wheelabrator is a bit agressive, but if you go to the website Daveb posted, www.johnstoncasuals.com, you can see that all they make is furniture, and from pretty small profiles, too, so I would guess they have it figured out.

I dont think they are going to go with anodizing- the amount of hand polishing required beforehand is a lot, and that gets expensive first- he already does powdercoating inhouse, and they just want to do aluminum on that line.

If it was me, I would gladly pay a real powdercoating shop owner for a few days consulting- I can recommend a couple, but they are on the west coast. Powdercoating is an art, not a job for minimum wage yahoos, and the guys who do a good job of it really know what they are doing.
I know you can buy a kit for a couple hundred bucks from Harbor freight, but the cheapest equipment gives pretty cheap results.

The guys I have used in the past have several hundred grands worth of equipment, years of experience, and still screw up once in a while. It may not be rocket science, but its not fingerpainting, either.
   - ries - Wednesday, 06/27/07 19:35:45 EDT

Andrew, Folks that go barefoot their entire life have a layer of dead skin as heavy as shoe leather. . Its a different culture.
   - guru - Wednesday, 06/27/07 19:49:41 EDT

DaveB: When welding aluminum the most important thing is that it be absolutely clean, and that the filler be just as clean. Aluminum oxidizes immediatly and keeps on oxidizing, it isn't readily visible, but it keeps getting thicker. Tig gives the best results, and shouldn't require any grinding to blend if done by really good welders. My opinion of aluminum MIG is not as negative as Ries's, but You will definatly get a nicer job with TIG, but if You MIG weld with 4043 filler, which is good for 6xxx series aluminum that is NOT being anodised You won't get the smoke and sputterballs that Ries mentioned, and the bead profile will be better too. MIG welding aluminum is as fast as MIG welding steel, but unless You use a really short MIG gun it doesn't push feed well. Spool guns or better for productiuon, a push-pull system will feed fine aluminum wire without grief. Shielding gas for work the size You are doing is pure argon for MIG or TIG. I would check Ed Craig's website WeldReality.com before investing in ANY pulsed MIG power sources for aluminum or any other material. I don't know what medium You have in the Welabrators, but walnut hull mentioned by ptree or reasonably fine glass beads would probabl work best, definatly not steel shot.
   Dave Boyer - Wednesday, 06/27/07 21:30:46 EDT

I was just reading about rods designed for stick welding aluminum. Do these work? Presumably they are similar to gassless mig wire?
   andrew - Thursday, 06/28/07 00:00:00 EDT


Have a need to forge some brass, and have read your FAQ on brass and bronze. Seems if I keep the heat down, forging brass is not hard.

I was wondering though, is there any danger in the zinc content of the brass with toxic fumes?

I want to forge brass backs for handsaws, and a friend mentioned to me that he uses Brass 260, but you seem preferable to the 474 naval brass. Do you know the differences in the qualities of both of these?

   Alan DuBoff - Thursday, 06/28/07 02:22:19 EDT

Alan, not unless you set the the brass on fire. For this you have to melt it and then overheat it. Brass commonly gives of zinc fumes when melted for casting but not when heated to forging temperatures.

When zinc alloys are overheated it is quite obvious. The zinc flares white and yellow producing a white smoke that deposits white zinc oxide on the surrounding area.
   - guru - Thursday, 06/28/07 08:02:06 EDT

Andrew, Some of the "aluminium gas welding rods" are in fact a zinc alloy brazing rod for aluminium. Try to get information out of some of the folks selling them and it is a big secret.
   - guru - Thursday, 06/28/07 08:06:18 EDT

Ptree, our Wheelabrator only spins with the shot being "shot" in at angle from the top. I think the medium is #50 shot, looks like fine black sand, But I don't think we will run any aluminium thru them, I have seen what it will do to aluminium heads that a worker snuck in there. He losted them and what a mess they made.
Ries, Our PC system came in just over $600,000 including the building to put it in. We have even mixed our own powder reciepes that our supplier now sells premixed. We have been useing the PC around 12 years now. These parts will be furniture componets for another company that we already sell to. The plant manager remembered that I am the Treasurer for CSI and hit a little hot metal on the side. So it was a natural choice to ask about it here. If you looked at our website, you can see where I get all those wonder drops from, with permission of course.

Thanks for the information, I am passing it on.

   daveb - Thursday, 06/28/07 08:44:29 EDT


Stick welding rods for aluminum DO work, but it ain't all that pretty. Most places I've seen them, they are only offered in onoe size and one alloy, so you can't necessarily get a perfect match for the aluminum alloy you're welding. They're messier than steel, in terms of sputterballs and fumes, and the bead isn't as pretty as with say, 6013 or 7018. Still, when you need to fix that broken aluminum lawnmower deck or something, they'll do the job just fine.
   vicopper - Thursday, 06/28/07 08:47:45 EDT

Alan DuBoff,

Brass alloy 260 (cartridge brass) is 70% Cu, 30% Zn, and can be forged hot or cold with annealing. Pretty ductile, which is why it is favored for cartridges.

Do not get alloy 360, which isa free-machining brass with lead added. Crumbles when hot forged.

Alloy 464 (naval brass) is 60% Cu, 39% Zn and 1% Sn. It is also good for hot forging.

I'd use whichever one you can get easily and whichever one has the color you like better. They forge pretty much the same.

Silicon bronze, alloy C65500, is about 97% Cu and 3% Si, and also hot forges nicely. It is a much redder color than the preceding two alloys. If you need to TIG weld assemblies together, the silicon bronze is easier to get a good color match on. For saw backs, the silicon bronze would probably be my choice, as it is harder and more resistant to bending than the brass alloys you mentioned.
   vicopper - Thursday, 06/28/07 09:11:01 EDT

Jock, so even if I overheat the brass, it won't be a problem unless it actually melts and starts flaring white and yellow. My plan was to forge with propane so I could control the heat better, and try to keep it low (i.e., idle loop). A friend has a thermocouple (sp?) meter which he will bring over when I try this, possibly tonight.

vicooper,I like the looks of the 260 I have on another saw, but it was folded. I've considered folding, but even for 8 gauge this requires a large brake, most of which cost a lot. A friend of mine works it cold by annealing it (opposite of iron, quickly quenching in water anneals it) so that it won't crack. This got me to thinking, if I was going to heat it up to anneal it, why not just forge it when it's hot?

I'm not sure how the backs on saws were fabricated before the industrial revolution, that is not clear, but I suspect they did hand forge them before they had brakes.

The other thing I considered was that by heating up the brass, it should be simple to bend it with a fairly small brake while it's hot. This could even be done with a small torch while the brass is in the brake, I think. Even a brake that will handle 16 gauge (aprox. half the thickness of what I want to bend) seems to cost quite a bit of $$$s. I'm not looking for an expensive solution, and forging seems to be a good option.
   Alan DuBoff - Thursday, 06/28/07 16:18:07 EDT

For what it's worth, you usually don't *want* an exact match with the aluminum alloy you're welding. At least for MIG and TIG, a specific 4000 or 5000 series rod is used for welding 6061. I think the filler rods have extra silicon. They say that if you TIG weld 6061 without added filler, it will crack. I tried it, and they're right.
   Mike BR - Thursday, 06/28/07 17:09:44 EDT

Back in the '80s I visited with a guy who built beautiful brass church furnishings who had given himself a really nasty case of the zinc shakes with a process he was using to texture the surfaces: Melting the surface with an oxy-acetylene torch and kind of moving the puddle with the force of the flame to make a kind of random-ish three dimensional scalloped pattern.

I suppose it wasn't as dramatic an exposure as when the zinc flares, but he still evaporated enough zinc to make himself VERY sick.

He was doing rather large project when he made himself sick: A chapel screen & gates with dozens of square feet of surface finished that way IIRC.

This was how I first learned about the hazards of zinc & brass.
   John Lowther - Thursday, 06/28/07 17:12:05 EDT

Alan DuBoff,

You won't have much joy trying to bend that brass hot in a brake. That's a high copper alloy and has a correspondingly high index of thermal conductivity. The minute you clamp the platen down to make the bend, it will abstract the heat from the brass and you won't be working the bend zone at a uniform heat. Result? Torn brass, particularly if you're trying to bend stock that is over-gauge for the size of brake.

You can make a simple jig to bend the stuff hot or cold, by making a set-up similar to a press brake, though.

Sandwich three layers of flat bar to make a channel about the size of the finished stiffener rib you're trying to make. From the end, the cross section should look like a "U" with a flattened bottom. The edges of stock hot-rolled flat bar are slightly rounded, and you'll want to accentuate that by radiusing them fully and sanding them to a nice shiny finish. The middle piece can be flat on the edge, of course. The depth of the channel needs to be a good bit deeper than the finished brass channel. If your channel will be tall finished, Id make the die about 3/4 to 1 deep.

Next, you make a driver "blade" to push the brass down into the channel. The blade needs to be somewhat thinner than the net spacing you want between the sides of the brass piece, so it allows for a little spring back and removes easily when you're through. Also, I'd recommend welding a piece of stout bar to the top edge of your driver to keep it straight and give you a good surface to hit with a hammer, if need be. It may take a bit of experimenting to hit the right spacing for the die and driver, but I'm sure you'll get it quickly.

One way to use the homemade press brake is in a stout machinist's vise. You can weld on ears to index the die and driver on the vise jaws and then place the brass between the two and close the vise, driving the brass into the channel. As I'm sure you can imagine, you need dead soft annealed brass for this, and you'll need a lubricant like tallow or stick lube to prevent galling of the brass. The shinier your die is, the less clean-up you'll have to do on the brass.

If your brass is too heavy to do this in one step, you may need to make a starting die and driver to bring it to a 90 bend first. A couple of pieces of angle iron will do this quickly.

To harden the brass after forming the folded channel, place the driver in it and planish it with a polished, low-dome lightweight hammer.
   vicopper - Thursday, 06/28/07 17:54:07 EDT

Rich sounds like a job for a screw press!

   Thomas P - Thursday, 06/28/07 18:25:32 EDT


It would be a perfect job for the right sized screw press or fly press, or a hydraulic press, even. Almost anything that will exert controlled pressure, in fact. If I were going to do it, that would beone of the first jobs for my new fly press. It should be here in a couple of weeks, if all goes well.
   vicopper - Thursday, 06/28/07 18:55:38 EDT

The thing about evaporation is that its not a 'threshold' kind of event. Consider some mass. The particles within that mass will have a distribution of energies. The apparent temperature of the body is determined by the mean of the energy distribution its particles. Particles with high energy will break free of the mass and transition to a gas. No matter what the mean, some particles will have enough energy to evaporate (there's always outliers on a bell-curve). As the temperature of the body, and hence the mean of the distribution increases, a greater proportion of particles will have sufficient energy to transition.
What I'm saying is that as things get hotter, the rate of evaporation increases, but even at low temperatures there will be some (perhaps negligible) evaporation. Once the mean energy passes the threshold for evaporation, then most particles have sufficient energy to transition and will do so. But even prior to that point, there is still evaporation going on.
This is why water evaporates from lakes, even though the lake is not boiling.
   andrew - Thursday, 06/28/07 19:39:18 EDT


How much does your hypothetical lake evaporate when the ambient humidity is 100%? And how come metal doesn't evaporate away to nothing just sitting there? There are bronze relics that are thousands of years old and you can still see details. I think there's a flaw in your reasoning, but I'm not a physicist.

In the case of zinc, we're not talking about evaporation, we're talking about boiling and/or burning, thereby releasing metal vapor and smoke.
   vicopper - Thursday, 06/28/07 20:43:53 EDT

Metal fume fever comes from inhaling metal fume. Fume in this usage is a technical term for particals of metal that have melted and atomized and then resolidified into particles small enough to stay airborne just like smoke. I believe the term comes from the latin, fumas, smoke or steam.
The very small nature of these airborne particles allows them to be inhaled and enter the lungs past the bodies natural defenses, just as asbestos does.
To counter welding fume, which is the metal fume made in the vigerous arc, takes a HEPA filter on a respirator, rated for metal fume. Oddly the same filter is usually rated for radionuclides and asbestos:)
   ptree - Thursday, 06/28/07 21:18:04 EDT

Andrew: Those rods are for DC only, and are trickey to run. Like vicopper said they do work. I have used them 1 time, and for Me they are a second to the last resort, the last resort being the aluminum solder Guru is talking about.
   - Dave Boyer - Thursday, 06/28/07 21:21:30 EDT

When the temperature (corresponding to mean energy) of a mass is well below the evaporation point, very few molecules have sufficient energy to escape & chances are those that do are in the middle of the mass. Even if a few do escape, you're talking about individual molecules from an enormous number. Even over very long periods, you couldn't measure the loss.
Bring the mean closer to evaporation point and more molecules have sufficient energy to escape & chances are some of those will be near the surface.
Notice how you start getting steam off a hot pot of water well before it reaches boiling point?
As for 100% humidity, I'd have to think about that. Also, things get funky when molecules are trapped in a crystaline structure....
   andrew - Friday, 06/29/07 04:55:28 EDT

Evaporation does occur in 100% humidity. Water molecules (the less energetic ones) also condense out of the air into the body of water. At 100% humidity, there is an equilibrium between these two processes.
   andrew - Friday, 06/29/07 06:34:28 EDT

Evaporation occurs when particles go frm a liquid state to a gaseous state. When something goes from solid to gas it is called sublimation, (dry ice = Solid CO2, this goes straight from solid to gas) for metal to evaporate it would need to be kept in a liquid state for a period of time.
   JimN - Friday, 06/29/07 08:48:43 EDT

The point was that metals do not evaporate under normal conditions or even at elevated temperatures below the melting point. Heating copper alloys to less than the melting point of the lowest melting point constituent OR of the alloy if its melting point it lowest does not result in evaporation or fumes.
   - guru - Friday, 06/29/07 09:34:30 EDT

at standard temp and pressure, solids behave as solids. a solid does not posses vapor pressure (or "evaporation threshold", which i think is not a scientific term); liquids do. gases have unique properties. relative humidity is dependent on conditions; thus the use of the term "relative". @ 100% relative humidity, air is maximumly (sp) saturated with water vapor; liquid to vapor and vapor to liquid rates are equal. a liquid with a high vapor pressure will evaporate at a higher rate relative to a liquid with a lower vapor pressure. metal dispersed in air is not unlike smoke; particulate air solution, as the guru stated, not under normal conditions.$0.02
   - morph - Friday, 06/29/07 10:31:06 EDT

Thanks, Morph. Vapor pressure is the term I was unable to bring to mind. Solid metals don't have it, I know.
   vicopper - Friday, 06/29/07 11:49:35 EDT

My Champion blower cranks well and puts out good air. But when you stop cranking the blades begin beating against the housing something fierce. I was told thsat the bolt & big locking nut on the side of it adjusted this. No luck so far. I have set the depth of said bolt every where it can go and it still clangs away. Any ideas?
   Brian C - Friday, 06/29/07 12:12:14 EDT

Could you advise me on how to level and tension large diameter circular sawblades
   - Nicolas - Friday, 06/29/07 13:03:32 EDT

Brian, on the champion blowers the nuts on the ends of the shafts server two purposes, to hold things in place and to adjust bearing preload or clearance. If adjusting them does nothing then to one on the other end is missing and you are pulling the shaft through the gear and bearings (I think).

It sounds like the shaft is so loose it is being pulled into place by the torque of cranking the blower then when there is no torque it is moving the opposite way. I would bet that if you crank in the opposite direction that the fan would grind all the time. . . But it may not if it is lift (gear separation) instead of axial thrust.
   - guru - Friday, 06/29/07 13:05:30 EDT

Was just gifted a nice old anvil. About 200 pounds, broken heel at the pritchel, but cut clean across. The face (about 1/2" thick) has two bad deep "dings" on each side at the sweet spot. The step and horn are riddled with chisel marks, as is some of the body. The body has only a leftover marking of the number 8 at the last hudredweight mark, any other identifying makers marks are gone. I'll take some nice pics and send them to you, Jock, let me know what you think.
   - Nippulini - Friday, 06/29/07 13:26:16 EDT

Okay, I just posted the pics on my site.... makes it easier to send plus everyone here can see it.


   - Nippulini - Friday, 06/29/07 13:56:10 EDT

Nippulini: I am pretty sure I can see 1 ?(1) 8? What is missing is punch marks between the numbers which is a classic Mouse Hole indicator. Could be any old English anvil from about 1820 to the mid- to late-1800s.
   - Ken Scharabok (Poor Boy) - Friday, 06/29/07 14:32:22 EDT

Nipp, If there is a triangular ridge under the horn where it blends into the body then it is probably a Mousehole. Without the rest of the heel it is hard to tell its age but I would guess early 1800's up to 1850.

A little clean up and it will be a good user. On the cut marks it is best to take a hammer and lightly planish them out. The material is still there it is just displaced. Then you can lightly grind to smooth out.
   - guru - Friday, 06/29/07 14:52:11 EDT

TGN; is there evidence that the heel broke off or could it be a pre-pritchel anvil? the narrow feet does put it back a ways

   Thomas P - Friday, 06/29/07 15:09:57 EDT

Hey, thanks in advance for any help you can provide. I'm currently working on building my first propane forge, however i did previously own a coal fueled forge.
Currently my plans are to build the chamber of the forge out of firebrick, basically creating a firebrick box, then wrap that in kaowool, followed by a sheet-metal 'casing.'
i've noticed that basically all propane forges that use kaowool coat it in itc-100 or the like, but i happen to have an excess amount of firebrick that has no other use. so my question is, is basically 'lining' the kaowool with firebrick (wrapping the firebrick w/ kaowool) a BAD idea? or will it work out?
thanks again for any help you can give :)
   Luke - Friday, 06/29/07 15:20:50 EDT

Thomas, the heel is definitely broken/cut at the pritchel. Looking at the end of the heel you can see half of the pritchel running down ther side. If it were a pre-dated anvil, the heel wouldn't be so darn short. There IS a slight angular drop at the base of the horn where it meets the body. I'm still at work, so I can't wait to get it home and play with it.
   - Nippulini - Friday, 06/29/07 15:27:07 EDT

Luke, The kaowool will help keep the outside cooler and the inside hotter. There is nothing wrong with that. The firebricks are good and durable which is also good. They DO take a little longer to heat up. You can use the firebrick the thin way if you use an outer lining of kaowool.

The only problem I see is holding it all together.
   - guru - Friday, 06/29/07 15:39:22 EDT

yeah, i'm looking to get some mortar that can take the temperatures to hold all the bricks together, then the have the outer case of sheet metal hold on the kaowool
   Luke - Friday, 06/29/07 16:46:01 EDT

Luke: I recommend you put the Kaowool on the inside of the forge. The forge will heat up much faster and the bricks should last you much longer.
   - Ken Scharabok (Poor Boy) - Friday, 06/29/07 18:22:57 EDT

zinc sublimates
   andrew - Friday, 06/29/07 22:45:11 EDT

In a vacuum, Andrew. Not at STP.
   vicopper - Friday, 06/29/07 22:57:47 EDT

Hi, Could you advise on how to level and tension large diameter circular sawblades. Thanks and Regards. Nicolas
   - Nicolas - Saturday, 06/30/07 00:19:42 EDT

On the thread on making swage blocks you say the half round shapes should be less than a full semi circle. By how much please? I propose to grind 2 pieces of plate until they are smooth and tack the edges together with a spacer between and then drill them taking the spacer as my drill centre line. I then remove the tacks and I should have the edge that I want. How thick should the spacer be?
   - philip in china - Saturday, 06/30/07 04:13:25 EDT

Philip: Francis Whitaker used a business card between the two pieces.
   - Ken Scharabok (Poor Boy) - Saturday, 06/30/07 05:45:45 EDT

In drilled swages you use no spacer. If you are making gripping dies the spacer is needed to provide clearance for griping.

If you drill with a spacer it must be the same material as you are drilling and quite a tight fit to prevent breaking bits. That is why I recommend cold finished steel.

In swages it depends on the purpose. Hand finishing half swages are about 10% less than a round. Forging swages are exact size and flared open at the top. See iForge demo #113 on Spring Swages for the correct shape.

On swage blocks the rounds are typically for half rounds. However on blocks that have seen lots of use by professionals the impressions are opened at the top and the corners heavily rounded. The rounding gives the same effect as in the iForge demo. What you want is space for extra material so that it does not get pinched and make a choppy piece with cold shuts.

I'm off on the road again today. . .
   - guru - Saturday, 06/30/07 08:04:33 EDT

Nicolas, Blade tuning is an art learned directly from someone that does it.
   - guru - Saturday, 06/30/07 08:07:09 EDT

Hello All,
Anybody have any thoughts about the feasibility of converting one of the myriad of OBI presses on the used market into a hand-operated flypress?
Thanks, as always
   Charlie Spademan - Saturday, 06/30/07 08:42:47 EDT

Also, I've been playing around with interchangeable tooling for my power hammer, using forged-to-shape (rivet headers, hot cuts, punches) grade 8 bolts that screw into a threaded receiver on the ram. These are 1 1/4" bolts; I have been re-hardening them by quenching them in water without movement, and bringing the threaded end back up to red and allowing the heat to conduct towards the tip until brown, then quenching the tip to keep it there until the rest of the bolt is cool. So far, I have not had one fail, and they seem to hold up pretty well. A couple of questions; is a grade 8 bolt a good choice for this application? Is there a better routine for hardening/tempering than I am now doing? Charlie
   Charlie Spademan - Saturday, 06/30/07 08:56:07 EDT

Charlie, Punch presses are not forging presses. Not much but the frame, ram and guide to use. The mechanism is a go all the way or die system. You might be able to attach a nut to the bearing cap bolts. . . Too much variation in design to be specific.

Much power hammer tooling can be made of soft mild steel. I would leave the grade 8's as they came, maybe flame harden working edges on punches.

The other way to do this is to use the bolts to hold pieces of hot work steel. Drill the bolts to receive the steel and use a set screw or a small pin to hold the smaller piece. Can be done on a drill press or small lathe.

I've used bolts like this for threaded drill guides for transferring holes.

NOW I'm gone. . .
   - guru - Saturday, 06/30/07 09:12:19 EDT


I've never actually tensioned a blade, but I see you've asked that one twice and no one else has answered, so I'l lgive yo what little I know about the theory of the process.

Big circular saw blades experience significant centrifugal force at the rim, and less at the center, when they are running. If the blade starts out perfectly flat, those forces set up stresses at the rim that create wobble as the rim expands slightly, but the center doesn't. So the blade needs to be tuned for that.

The center of those blades is very slightly domed in the static state, so that when it runs up to speed and the centrifugal force is exereted at the rim, the blade pulls to flat. Obviously, the amount of dome is critical, and is affected by the speed the blade will run at under load. The blade must be hammered in the center area to stretch the metal there and create that dome effect.

It is an art more than a science, and the guys who do it well are few and far between. It certainly isn't something that can be learned by any method other than training and experience, I wouldn't think. No amount of reading descriptions of the process will make one a saw tuner.
   vicopper - Saturday, 06/30/07 09:20:01 EDT

I was interrested in a new Emerson anvil (200lb) London pattern. The anvil is 4140 cast steel and hardened between 45 and 50c Rockwell. I would like an opinion on this anvil as far durability and material.
Thank you,
Brent Meadows
   Brent Meadows - Saturday, 06/30/07 09:23:55 EDT

Punch Presses / Fly presses
Thanks Guru. Just to be clear, my thought about converting a punch press to a flypress was to hand operate the flywheel, and setup the business end such that the ram would NOT reach the bottom of it's stroke. Modify the clutch mech such that the flywheel and ram were always engaged. I know that the punch was designed to cycle completely, but I would think that if the flywheel was only turning a partial revolution from a dead stop, at a speed one could achieve by hand, catastrophic failure would be unlikely unless ram stopped hard near the very bottom of its stroke
Enjoy whatever outing you're off to!
   Charlie Spademan - Saturday, 06/30/07 10:13:54 EDT

Philip: If you are going to be doing large size round swages I recommend you do so in stages. For example, for a 3/4" perhaps start with 3/8", then 5/8" then 3/4". Should help to keep the hole true.

I have a Taiwan import drill press. To keep the table from being depressed I made a type of screwjack for underneath it. When in use pressure is against the jack, not the point where the plate attaches to the main column. Learned this after having to weld up a broken plate support the second time.

I am going to make the assumption USPS has a mail exchange agreement with China. If so, you may be eligible to receive USPS Priority Mail flat rate boxes. Two sizes are about 5.5" x 8 1/2" x 11" and 3.5" x 12" x 14". Whatever fits in one up to 20-pounds would cost $37 (plus perhaps a seller's handling charges).

Check out eBay listing #270137154151. This seller also offers a number of other malable iron castings.
   - Ken Scharabok (Poor Boy) - Saturday, 06/30/07 11:52:38 EDT

So Ken I assume you are suggesting I just buy one! I think that shows wisdom and good judgement on your part so thanks. I will do as you suggest!
   - philip in china - Saturday, 06/30/07 12:28:08 EDT

Brent Meadows,

45 Rc is a bit soft for an anvil, particularly a medium-sized one that may get use with sledges. 50Rc is better, but most modern anvilmakers try for more ono the orderof 52-554 Rc, I believe. My big Nimba is 52Rc and can still be dented from errant blows with hardened hammer.

In the final analysis, whether or not that willbe a good anvil for *you* will depend on your hammer control, the purchase price, the design and a number of other vague factors.
   vicopper - Saturday, 06/30/07 13:27:30 EDT

Charley S.- I have thought about what You are talking about, I think a roughly 15 to 25 ton press would work, but it wouldn't be really convinient. You would need to make a lot of ajustments to the pitman screw to stay in the right part of the stroke, not har to do, but not handy either. You need the ram to bounce back up with each stroke, and if You ever did get it stuck on BDC You would have a bitch of a time getting it unstuck. You would have a really heavy bulkey tool that works, just not real well.
   - Dave Boyer - Saturday, 06/30/07 21:26:43 EDT

Does anyone have the website address for Beverly Shear mfg. corp. I just aquired a b3 and was wanting to see if they had a manual online for it. I have tried all the spellings I can think of with no luck.
   David - Saturday, 06/30/07 23:01:52 EDT


I have not located any web address, but the manufacturer can be contacted at:

The Beverly Shear Manufacturing Corp.
3004 111th St.
Chicago, IL 60655
Phone: 773-238-0003
Fax: 773-238-0028

Hope this helps.
   Rob K - Sunday, 07/01/07 00:25:44 EDT

Beverly Shear is an anachronism in this era of fake-believe imported tools. They are a small family outfit of people who do what they say they will do and do it well and promptly. Beverly was not using computers-- or accepting phone orders or using credit cards (!!!!)-- when I phoned them a couple of years back to get new blades and fittings for my Beverly Jr. They did fill the order (last set of blades in stock for this obsolete device) in a jiffy, sent it wrapped as if to survive a shipwreck. Wonderful people to do business with, I think.
   Miles Undercut - Sunday, 07/01/07 10:06:59 EDT

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