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

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

This is an archive of posts from July 16 - 23, 2005 on the Guru's Den
[ THE - GURUS | ABOUT THIS PAGE | Getting Started in Blacksmithing ]

We just moved a couple of upsetters from Ohio to Ky. The bigger one was stripped down to the frame only. No crank or flywheel or anything except the frame. The frame weighed 315,000# and came in on a 240' long heavy hauler truck. Special permits all the way.
Some of the smallest upsetters only go about 40,000# all up. But as that is a 1", and the smallest one we have is a 4", I have some trouble visualizing one that small. I would guess that our smallest, the 4" would go about 200,000# all up, and the biggest, a 10" might go 750,000# all up.
   ptree - Saturday, 07/16/05 07:50:07 EDT

I guess you had to get some help to get the bigger one up onto the bed of the pickup and a couple of goodolboys to steady it around the corners. :) As several have said recently, that sorto f mass is hard to conceptualize, it is so far beyond everyday experience.
   John W - Saturday, 07/16/05 08:13:37 EDT

What are you doing next Wed or Thurs? LOL. Gonna be near DC? Could you just swing by and pick up something for me?

   mark - Saturday, 07/16/05 08:47:40 EDT

Moving Little Giants: The part that is easiest to damage is the treadle. If it will come off and the link to the clutch that is best. However, sometimes these will not come off or will damage the hammer trying to get it off. You also want to be sure to lay the hammer on the non-linkage side. It should be blocked up to prevent bending the toggles as well. That is why I haul them verticle.

When heavy stuff is to be moved I am usualy the one to take charge. It helps to have years of experiance calculating weights and centers of gravities. I can generaly look at a piece of equipment and tell you where the center of gravity is within a few inches. This is usualy more important than the total weight.
   - guru - Saturday, 07/16/05 09:26:32 EDT

Dear Guru. At one time, each household and army carried a fire making steel or iron. Of the many ferrous metals available only the correct Blacksmithing art could forge a striker that would produce several healthy sparks lasting the “required two seconds” to create an ember in the char cloth. Today you hear of forging one from “an old file.” I find most are inferior for quality sparks. Strikers sold by some “blacksmith sources” do produce sparks, but are of poor quality. I would like to try my hand at forging a quality striker. Question: What grade of carbon steel is the definitive material forged and heat-treated to produce the ‘Two second sparks’? Is there a tried and true material source as a good starting point for this craft? Warm regards, Jordan Orosz, San Diego Ca. (Age 70)
   Jordan Orosz - Saturday, 07/16/05 11:21:05 EDT

Miles was right about cross-bracing. I just rebuilt my neighbor's trailer in which a heavy, narrow object had been placed. The bottom was a shallow "V" with a 6" drop in the middle. It had carried cars and tractors with no problem before.
   - John Odom - Saturday, 07/16/05 13:14:59 EDT

Jordan Orosz: Let me give a disclaimer that this info is from reading, not personal experience...
With that said, there's 2 things that'll help making a striker. First is to use a high carbon low alloy steel, I'd probably suggest 1095. The second, and the one I bet is the problem with most of yours, unlike practically everything else in smithing, having a large grain in the steel helps with sparks. Basically you'd want to overheat the steel before quenching, which every blacksmith book will usually tell you is a bad thing to do, and it usually is, except for strikers. Large grain makes steel more brittle, but for a striker it'll make larger sparks too. Hope this helps.
   AwP - Saturday, 07/16/05 13:17:09 EDT

good evening guru
i am looking for a fire welding compound tried borax anything else out there cheers
   david hannah - Saturday, 07/16/05 13:30:04 EDT

I have made a few strikers but was not aware that large grains made better strikers. I will have to try it. You may find it easier to buy W1 or O1 tool steels. 1095 is hard to get in some areas. For a good reference check this site: www.angelfire.com/journal2/firefromsteel/
   quenchcrack - Saturday, 07/16/05 13:47:42 EDT

Jordan Orosz-- I have made (and sold) many strikers out of old worn-out files. Forge to desired shape. Heat wayyyyy up, to just below sparking. Hurrryhurrryhurrry, get it out of the fire and into the quench within one (1) second of leaving the forge. Don't bother tempering the back end. Get rid of the decarburized outside zone, by light grinding or sanding, the business end.
   Miles Undercut - Saturday, 07/16/05 14:38:34 EDT

David Hannah:

For forge welding flux just check out the forum's advertisers. For example, Centaur Forge carries Swan Magi-weld, Sure Weld, E-Z Weld, Cherry Heat Compound, Super Stable Weld and Crescent Welding Compound. I (Poor Boy Blacksmith Tools) sell a homemade mix in my eBay store.

On forge welding, bear in mind it is the skill of the blacksmith (and the forge being used) every bit as much as the flux.

Also, boxas (such as 20-Mule Team) seems to work better when it is dehydrated. Just place in a metal pan in the oven at about 300 or so degrees until it cakes hard. Crush back to powder and reheat. Keep doing so until it no longer cakes. Store in airtight container.
   Ken Scharabok - Saturday, 07/16/05 14:41:42 EDT

Hardening. A not so trade secret. Small items like fire steels can be held with red hot tongs, so that the tongs won't abstract too much heat where they are gripping. Make sure the tongs are mild steel or wrought iron, so they don't get brittle when quenched along with the piece.
   Frank Turley - Saturday, 07/16/05 15:19:29 EDT

Dear Guru,

I am just a consumer who would like to put a wrought iron railing on the winding staircase in my home. I do not know much about forging and would like to have some more information when choosing the blacksmith to employ for this endeavor.

Seems to me that most railings are basically repeated panels of scrolled ironwork, connected into a whole. It also appears that the more elaborate the design, the more expensive the job is. Can you give me some information regarding pricing? I would be interested in a medium complexity design (e.g. French) and think that the stair case is no more than 20ft. long (plus another 12ft for the gallery). Do blacksmiths charge per panel and separately for installation? How much should the whole job cost on average? Is there a blacksmith you could recommend in the W. Viriginia and Virginia area?

Thanks, in advance, for kind assistance!
   Maya - Saturday, 07/16/05 17:33:27 EDT

Sorry next week is already promised. :) A very handy item to have when moving equipment that is irregular and is desired to still work upon arrival is wood blocking. 4 x 4 blocking can be bridge stacked and heavy section areas placed on these to prevent loading light delicate items to damage point. I like to nail the bridges together and to the oak deck of my trailer. Helps with shifting. Bridging blocks also are handy when strapping/chaining. Lets you clear the delicates.
Good luck
   ptree - Saturday, 07/16/05 18:25:33 EDT

Moving a LG

One, hopefully final question. Trailer choice. Both available to me are rated to handle 3000lbs or more, both open, one is a low trailer with heavy cross beams and wood deck, no railing but plenty of tie down points. Other choice has metal sides, not removable and about 2 feet up, with heavy tie down points on top of that but no low ones. This trailer has a metal deck and medim heavy cross beams.

Which one? I am leaning toward the one without sides and the wooden deck. I like the idea of sides to potentially keep the load in if a strap breaks, but then the angle of the straps on a trailer that has low tie down points seems more secure to me. If the tie down points are high(higher than the load) the tension on the straps will actually tend to lift the load won't it?
   mark- Frog Valley Forge - Saturday, 07/16/05 21:34:00 EDT

I have moved my 50 Moloch (very similar to a LG) in a F150 on 3 different occasions. In one case it was loaded with tractor, which was simple. The other two times we rolled the hammer on bars to the bed, having removed the tail gate. The hammer is tipped until it rests against the bed. At this point, a jack or large pry bar is used to raise the base. this is done slowly and in very short increments. Blocking is used to support the hammer when it is necessary to raise the fulcrum of the pry bar. Blocking is also used to keep any weight off the toggle arms. When the hammer is laying flat, a brace is wedged against the base of the hammer and some immovable object. The truck can be backed up slowly to force the hammer completley into the bed. Another methed is to use a comealong or rachet straps to pull the hammer into the bed. this is a better method if you have a good solid anchor point for the straps or come along. A hoist or other lifting method would be the easist and safest way to load this machine. Take a look at the Website FredlyFX has. He shows numerous photos of loading his hammer for veritical transportation.

   Patrick Nowak - Saturday, 07/16/05 21:34:38 EDT

After reading the thread on rigging and moving; I'm glad I'm working in a "mostly medieval" context where everything is designed to be moved by well-organized manpower.

In my checkered career in the facilities branches I've participated in the grunt-work end of a lot of moves. Even when you supervise, you sometinmes need to pitch in, and I learned that when I did, I needed to listen to our regular moving crew- I told them where it went, and they told me when to push, pull, lift and lower.

People don't appreciate how much skill can go into moving furniture, but there's nothing like reporting in for the first day of official work at a new agency, after a bunch of unsupervised coontractors had spent the weekend moving a floor of offices into a new building, and finding broken furniture piled up the the ceiling of a loading dock. ("But Bruce; the contract movers were so much cheaper than the team of government movers." 8-o )

Hauling various Viking vessels around, I always make sure that the boats are tied fore and aft, as well as strapped down, and that the oars are tied in securely. If you hit something at 55 mph, you don't want a batch of 9', 12' or 14' oars taking off like a pack of giant darts down the highway!

One more week and it's back to blacksmithing if my back doesn't complain!

Our ship has come in. Hot and humid on the banks of the lower Potomac.

Visit your National Parks: www.nps.gov

Go viking: www.longshipco.org
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Saturday, 07/16/05 22:29:06 EDT

Odd question:

Wasn't Moloch the grim, powerful Carthegenian god that they sacrificed their children to? If the mechanical hammer is brand named after him, I would certainly use caution anywhere in its vicinity. ;-)
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Saturday, 07/16/05 22:31:37 EDT

Anchor point for truck loading: To pull a load into a pickup, I put a nylon strap from the front bumper over the cab, and then a comw-along with one hook near the back of the cab, the other attached to the load. This system can pull an object up a ramp into the bed. The wide nylon strap does not damage the cab.
   - John Odom - Saturday, 07/16/05 22:34:17 EDT

Mark-- I'd go with the trailer with no sides, chain the hammer down, fore and aft and sideways, or use heavy nylon webbing, ditto, and tensioners either way. With no sides you can get a forklift in under it, or a cherry picker, up close. With rails you'd need a crane or have to slide it off somehow. I'd lay it down horizontally, and drive extremely defensively. I had a guy bring me a 21" floor model Royersford drill press nearly as heavy, anchored and belayed vertically, and he regaled me with how he blew a tire on the trailer on the way up from Amarillo and was lucky he was still alive, etc., etc.
   Miles Undercut - Saturday, 07/16/05 23:44:28 EDT

Mark, I too would go with the low trailer. The low anchor points as well as the versatility to approach from three side to lift is a plus.
I always drive very defensivly when I have a trailer or load on. The other drivers seldom consider the extra stopping distance inability to swerve ETC.
I always drive at or slightly below the limit, and plan my stops, IE coast up to the stops signs etc.
Good luck
   ptree - Sunday, 07/17/05 09:19:23 EDT


Your question is almost impossible to answer. As you noted, the cost is largely going to be determined by the design and complexity of what you envision. If you want say hand-forged finials, they will run much more than standard cast ones merely incorporated into your design. Sort of one of those "If you have to ask the price, you can't afford it" type things.

On locating a custom design wrought iron blacksmith, use the link under the Navigate box to find the blacksmithing groups in your area. Then contact them for referrals. However, my observation is many of the best ornamental smiths don't necessarily below to their local blacksmithing group, but those active in the group may know of one or more in your general area.

One I am familiar with is Nol Putman. Was somewhere in VA last I knew. His name is unusual enough to where you may be able to contact him through one of the Internet phone directories.

If you are just interested in assembly of premade parts, then look in the yellow pages of nearby large cities under headings such as Ornamental Metal Work. On this type work a book you might consider purchasing is Designs: Wrought Iron by Paul Aristia. It is available through one of the forum's advertisers: ArtisanIdeas.com. I also sell it in my eBay store as listing #6167756320.

Bear in mind this is not a quick process. It may take several months for you and the smith to come to complete agreement on the design and cost, and then another couple of months for completion and installation. Of course, assembly and installation by a cut and stick shop will be quicker than hand-forged work.
   Ken Scharabok - Sunday, 07/17/05 09:38:43 EDT

My suggestion on loading heavy objects---budget way more time than you will need and TAKE IT SLOW! That way you are not rushed and can do it safely---eveen to setting it back up and trying a totally different method. If you keep it blocked then there is no room to fall and break things---truck/trailer, the machine, yourself.

If you are using a tree or shop beam to belay off make sure it's strong enough in the direction you are pulling! I put in two lolly columns on my roof beam when I want to lift the 500# anvil with it, overkill? Probably! But I wouldn't want to be under it if it was an under kill situation...

   Thomas P - Sunday, 07/17/05 10:03:46 EDT

Mark-- Again, you probably have considered this, but be SURE you place the hammer on the trailer so the weight is over the axle and so the see-saw effect on the hitch is minimized.
   Miles Undercut - Sunday, 07/17/05 11:09:53 EDT

Nol Putnam:
Nol's work can be found at the National Cathedral, in DC, to give you an idea of how highly his work is regarded. His contact info is:
White Oak Forge
31 Shootz Hollow Rd.
Huntly, VA, 22640

I've also got his email and phone number, if you're interested, but would rather keep that out of the spambots reach.

   Marc - Sunday, 07/17/05 16:33:55 EDT

I'm resonably new to smithing with no experiance than with file and hacksaw and need to know if a modified propane grill will be hot enough for forging steel/iron.
   Paul - Sunday, 07/17/05 19:05:04 EDT

unless its a pretty radical modification, I don't think it would get hot enough. If you go to the NAVIGATE anvilfire box on the upper right of the screen and scroll to FAQ's you'll find articles on everything from getting started and how to do it, to all the proper terminology. Read and enjoy!
Brought to you by the color blue and the letters CSI
   Tinker - Sunday, 07/17/05 21:01:47 EDT

At one of the Indiana Blacksmithing Association annual gatherings Nol Putnam was the featured demonstrator. It was right after he had finished installing the grill in The National Catheral and much of his program was on its concept, design, construction and installation. One aspect which still stands out with me is he said it incorporated something like 200 identical C-scrolls. He made 400 and then selected out the best 200.
   Ken Scharabok - Sunday, 07/17/05 21:07:20 EDT


The short answer is No, it won't work. Propane grills are designed to provide a gentle flame for radiant cooking, where a gas forge is designed to produce a roaring blast like a torch on steroids. Also, a grill is not insulated, and a gas forge has special insulation to cntain the 2000+ºF heat generated. A grill is designed to operate at less than 400ºF, not hot enough for any blacksmithing work.

Do what Tinker said and read the FAQ's, check out the 21st Century page, and you'll find enough info to get you well on the road to building a good gas forge from cheap parts and scrounged items. When you get going on it, ask any specific questions you have and we'll help you out.
   vicopper - Sunday, 07/17/05 21:12:49 EDT

Does anyone know anything about drop forging or die casting?
   T - Monday, 07/18/05 00:30:07 EDT


The short answer is "yes". They are disparate processes. Reams could be written about both. What's the real question? Is this a homework assignment?
   Frank Turley - Monday, 07/18/05 08:49:58 EDT

Drop forging - Hammering hot metal into dies.
Press forging - instead of forcing hot metal into a die with a hammer blow, it is pressed into the die with hydraulic pressure.
Roll forging - The hot metal is pressed between two rollers.
Cold forging - For smaller pieces, the metal can be pressed into the die without heating it significantly ahead of time.
The reason why manufacturers want you to know that a tool is drop forged is because this tells you something about the strength and durability of the tool. The other two ways to make a tool would be casting it from molten metal or machining it (cutting material away) from a larger block of metal. The advantage of forging is that it improves the strength of the metal by aligning and stretching the grain structure. A forged part will normally be stronger than a casting or a machined piece.
this was borrowed verbatum from http://science.howstuffworks.com/question376.htm
Have a look :)
   Tinker - Monday, 07/18/05 09:20:29 EDT

Well, my Machinery's Handbook, 21st Ed just arrived. Now I should spend a few weeks just finding out what is in it. It is an overwhelming little book. I now anticipate being able to elevate my questions to a whole new level of stupidity, complete with mathematics I never understood and dont remember. Is the martensite formation in O1 related to the derivitive of the area underthe curve or is it related to the cosine and if you increase the slople of the quench deriviatve will it change the retained austenite or troosite?) Or maybe not. Anyway it is a hell of a book and I am looking forward to a lot of evenings spent flipping around in it. Good recomendation. Thanks.
   John W - Monday, 07/18/05 10:33:20 EDT

Finishing help needed...

I am making a larger brazier (about 3' in diameter) and need some advice on finishing it. Since I am doing this for the SCA, I prefer to keep the finish natural. However, I am finding myself working on larger and larger projects like this on. I could heat small parts at a time and wax treat it but it seems like there should be and easier way. Any recommendations on finishing the surface of the brazier?

Things to keep in mind...
- It will get hot on a regular basis. I realize that some of the finish in the immediate vicinity of the fire will probably burn up to some degree.

- It will be outside in Florida so lots of moisture.

- Food may be cooked using the brazier so only safe stuff.

- I would prefer to avoid heating small bits at a time to wax the piece as this seems a bit wasteful but I could be wrong.

any advice Guru?
   Bomlin - Monday, 07/18/05 10:36:27 EDT

Cooking Utensils: Bomlin, on something this large you are going to be forced into heating small areas at a time unless you have one heck of a furnace.

There are a couple safe finishes that could be applied. I do not recommend wax for cooking or heating devices. Wax will melt, run and burn - most likely where you DO NOT want it.

Finish #1, If the item has an even coat of fire scale from heating you can heat with a large torch and apply virgin olive oil with a rag on a stick. One you have an even finish heat just enough to burn off the stickyness. Olive oil makes a nice food safe varnish that blackens and stays put. When done apply a thin coating of olive oil to reduce rust. When ready to cook wipe off the old oil, heat to burn off any bacteria and then re-oil. A "seasoned" oil finish has worked for centuries in cast iron cook ware and works as well in scaled steel.

Finish #2, Similar to above on bright steel. First clean and let rust. Then wipe off the loose rust and let rust some more. You can help the rusting along with a salt solution if you wish. When you have an even coating of rust then apply the above oil finish and maintain the same way.

Both these finishes are self maintaining with a little help. There is NO rust proof natural finish and constant maintenance is the only solution. If you want something that takes care of it self then you will need to use cold galvanizing or hot then industrial primers and paint.
   - guru - Monday, 07/18/05 11:34:51 EDT

Machinery's Handbook: This is not the end-all of references but it can be close in a blacksmith or machine shop. This is a WORKING reference that should be kept in the shop. That narrow deep center drawer in most tool chests is designed to keep it handy.

In most technical metalworking courses you must take a course on how to use Machinery's Handbook. How-to is simple, just use the index in the back or the thumb tabs (if your edition has them). However, it is well work it to familiarize yourself with the contents. It has lots of heat treating information but is short on metalurgical details. It is result oriented, not theoretical. It is designed for the working machinest or mechanic. It has everything from change gear setups for common lathes and dividing heads to flywheel power calculations. The mathematical charts are becoming a bit out of place in our computerized world but it is good to know how to check the machine's values as they are not always right. I refer to the solutions of triangles section regularly as well as the materials section. Your needs will be different but the answer will probably be there.

Other standard references that are handy:

Marxs Engineering Handbook (more theoretical than Machinerys but also covers manufacturing process not normaly found in the small shop).

ASM Metals Reference Book This is a very handy reference as it covers almost every metal used in engineering including their properties and heat treatment. It covers more metals in more details than Machinery's. I and our metalurgists refer to this book on a regular basis. It would be difficult to answer questions here without it. This is an expensive (for its size) professional reference. Although a professional reference it is very practical and easy to use. Includes a very good glossary of terms. If you run a machine shop or are into bladesmithing or any craft requiring heat treating and you use more than one alloy then this is an almost indespensible reference.

CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics Very dry math and chemistry tables. These are like Machinery's in one respect. Students must buy them for chemistry courses and there are a large number available cheap on the used book market. Includes good details on all the elements as well as tables of organic and inorganic compounds. Lots of very technical mathematical formula (calculus).

   - guru - Monday, 07/18/05 12:14:28 EDT

thanks I was planning to attach a full width industrial blower and run it on med. Also planning to add insulation and fasten the lid down perminantly.
   Paul - Monday, 07/18/05 15:21:34 EDT

i have recently been told that H-13 is getting expensive, more than D-2. this surprises me. i believe D-2 is a more complex alloy and it would stand to reason that it would be more expensive to make. comments??

dave boyer; ringing, rebound, dead anvil, ect...as the guru has said, this is a "multifaceted" issue. a loose face plate anvil is "dead", fisher anvils dont ring (either does granite used as anvils), and anvils with "good rebound" are not necessarily good anvils (frankie acres special). my original comment pertained to forging performance, specifically, and maybe more simply, can one really move more HOT metal using an anvil that has "good REBOUND" vs one that has "poor" rebound? forget physical theory. the other comment/question was are there people that believe that using a rebound anvil results in more hammer arm endurance vs a poor rebound anvil. my guess was, because the forging is soft (hot) relative to the hammer and anvil, the presence or absence of rebound has no influence on those specific issues. while deflection and deformity do consume energy, the end result is not significant. complex issue leading to fragmenting of my original comment/question, but worth exploring..
   - rugg - Monday, 07/18/05 15:25:21 EDT

Rugg, rebound: You have to multiply by the derivative of the hypochondriac cosine and then divide by Geshnuffleheim's constant (three times for good measure)

If you have any questions JohnW will explain - he has a copy of Mach. Handbook
   adam - Monday, 07/18/05 16:23:52 EDT

I am researching a Bellows - Champion & Son 400, blower & Force Company, Patented April 15, 1902. My dad has this bellows and we are trying to find a value. Do you know of any websites that would place an approximate value on this? Thanks for your help.
   Joy Webb - Monday, 07/18/05 16:43:04 EDT

Paul: Your propane grill will not get hot enough unless you switch to a different gas delivery system and a larger regulator. Propane grill regulators are factory set not to exceed a couple of pounds of pressure. If you are going to go through all that trouble, might as well start from scratch and build one which will work properly.
   Ken Scharabok - Monday, 07/18/05 16:43:24 EDT

Give me another couple of hours. I may open up a consulting service just answering the questions that stump the guru all by using the index of the Mech HB. Just remind me though: what is that thing like a check mark infront of a division sign. and why do thehy sometime put little numbers over the letters. Probably just a typo.
   John W - Monday, 07/18/05 17:26:56 EDT

Does anybody have access to a 5-6in diameter firepot, that I can buy or take of fyour hands?
   Aron Obrecht - Monday, 07/18/05 17:36:18 EDT

Anvil historians may be interested in Ebay item 6194275919 it's a jewelers anvil complete with dovetail for mounting jeweller's stakes.
   Bob G - Monday, 07/18/05 18:43:38 EDT

This is what I think I've figured out about gas burners: attach the regulator to the hose then attach a hex bushing to the regulator then attatch a ball valve to the hex bushing then attach the burner to the hex bushing. So it's propane tank, hose, regulator, hex bushing, ball valve, burner. IS THIS CORRECT? Thanks!
   Tyler Murch - Monday, 07/18/05 19:11:56 EDT

No-- you want the regulator at the tank. UNSAFE!!! Hose or piping may not take the tank pressure.
   Miles Undercut - Monday, 07/18/05 19:45:36 EDT

In case that was unclear: put the regulator at the tank. Running hose or piping-- unless you are absolutely positively certain the schedule you are using can handle it-- off the tank is unsafe.
   Miles Undercut - Monday, 07/18/05 19:53:35 EDT

Tinker and John W left out die casting. Method of forcing metal under pressure, often non-ferrous, into metal dies.

Rugg, rebound.

I don't have a good technical answer. By feel, I have a better time forging a 2"D truck axle on my 250# Trenton than I do on my 120# Foster. Each anvil is mounted and clamped in a box of sand. I think a lot of it has to do with the mass of the anvil under the workpiece, and how the anvil is mounted.

It "seems as though" the hammer is being given back to you for the backswing when working with a properly mounted, heavy anvil. I also thin my wooden hammer hafts quite a bit, especially in the neck area, and I shave the handle area to accommodate my hand. I think there is substantial "whip" in my hafts, even on the backswing.

I don't have any studies to refer to, but I think that a well mounted, heavy anvil combined with a properly shaved haft is easier on the body than using a dink anvil, not tightened down, and a clubby, thick, short haft.

Joy Webb, eBay.com will occasionally auction Champion 400 blowers, but the prices are usually higher than a cat's back.
   Frank Turley - Monday, 07/18/05 20:01:56 EDT

Tinker and John W.
Back again. My definition of die casting should have said, "...forcing molten metal...".
   Frank Turley - Monday, 07/18/05 20:04:37 EDT

ASM handbooks: Guru, the Metals Reference Handbook is actually about 18 different volumes. The entire set can be had for a mere $3500. I have volumes 1-11 and rarely use them anymore. While they are a HUGE source of information, they are the results of committees made up of industry experts. None of these experts want to divulge REALLY important information so what you end up with is just enough information to re-invent the wheel in most cases. The same can be said for Making, Shaping, and Treating of Steel. What people in the business need to know is the fine details, which are always absent. By the way, I wore the cover off of my Chem Rubber Handbook. Metallurgy is mostly chemistry anyway.
   quenchcrack - Monday, 07/18/05 20:18:34 EDT

thanks I think I will start from scratch
   Paul - Monday, 07/18/05 20:38:41 EDT

Alan:n Get a brake drum. Weld up the stud holes in the bottom. Get a piece of iron pipe that fits through the axle hole and screw on an end cap. Stick it through the hole and Tack weld it in place. Drill some holes in the end cap or cut them with an angle grinder. Put an elbow on below the drum and balance the whole thing on a pedistal of bricks or dirt. Or build a masonry table about 2feet high and 3x3 feet. the center can be dirt and the outside bricks or rocks and may be very attractive. the elbow pipe is the air inlet and the brake drum is the firepot and the cost is under $5 except for the welding. Maybe you have a friend with a stick welder or a torch.
   john W - Monday, 07/18/05 21:09:19 EDT

Rugg: The hypothetical "dead" anvil I was refering to would be a soft grey iron ASO or one with a loose plate, working over the place where the plate has seperated. I don't know HOW MUCH energy would be lost, just that some would. Try forging with a lead hammer on a lead block, MORE will be lost. Would a 12" cube of machine steel be a better anvil than a 35# hard steel topped anvil for beating out 1" stock ? Shure it would, rebound can't make up for mass. Ring doesn't enter into it. Will Your arm know the difference between working on a big enough anvil that is a little soft compaired to one properly heat treated? probably not.Could it be measured? possibly. Will it be more important as the metal looses heat? I would think so. This IS ALL BASED ON PHISICAL THEORY because it is hard to disobey the laws of physics.
   Dave Boyer - Monday, 07/18/05 22:53:05 EDT

Hello sir,i want known about forge,nothing i am not aware about forging.i want known about forging detail.
   K.RAMESH - Monday, 07/18/05 23:55:49 EDT

I would like to say that it would be easier to understand you if you typed in distinct sentences. What I catch from your post is

"Hello, I would like to learn about forging (or what a forge is). (This second bit I can't decipher. But based on the last bit) I know the basics of forging but would like the details."

If what I stated as your question is correct then here's your answer.

You need to be a bit more specific, your covering a lot of ground to people (not me, I'm new) who know anything about metal work. If you have a kind of where to start question, I would suggest going here:
   Aron Obrecht - Tuesday, 07/19/05 00:42:55 EDT

jack at cherryman.com your e-mail bounced.
   - guru - Tuesday, 07/19/05 07:46:29 EDT

Speaking of moving large, heavy things, if you have a video capable browser, check out: http://www.fungod.com/coppermine/albums/coolvideos01/barnmover.wmv . He contends that it’s the method used for moving and erecting Stonehenge. Well, for the moving part it relies on hard, flat surfaces. The Salisbury plain is flat, but it certainly isn’t hard. Still, his erection technique is pretty slick, it works short handed, and he has a few cautionary tales about being “launched” when he wasn’t careful. I’m always a “large labor pool” type of historian, but this is a fascinating exercise in applied creative engineering.

Hazy HOT and humid on the banks of the Potomac (a "tiple-H" day).

Visit your National Parks: www.nps.gov

Go viking: www.longshipco.org
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Tuesday, 07/19/05 07:57:44 EDT

ASM Metals Reference Book vs ASM Metals Handbook:

For clarification, The ASM Metals Reference Book is a single volume now in its third edition. It has specs on all common metals as stated above. Every serious worker in metals should have a copy. The ASM Metals Handbook is the encylopedic set. Individual volumes can be purchased for around $200 US (depending on the current deal and member discount).

The ASM Metals Handbook volume covering forging is the best general industrial forging reference available today. The volume I have (eighth edition) has forging and casting in one volume. The volume on forming is also very good. DO NOT purchase the forging industry forging handbook from ASM, it is nothing but excerpts from the complete ASM reference. The next best industrial forging reference is the book by Lillico, Blacksmiths Manual Illustrated (see our book review). It is one of the root sources of some ASM information.
   - guru - Tuesday, 07/19/05 08:02:58 EDT

We've been running a homebuilt propane forge for 6 years now and I'm still having to deal with burned out thermocouples on my Baso system. I converted a low pressure kiln burner to high pressure [6-10lb] and it works fine, but the oriface for the pilot is braised in down inside where I can't get at it. and the resulting flame is way too big. Any suggestions on a ''off the shelf "pilot/themocouple system that will work with a Baso brand saftey?
   tim - Tuesday, 07/19/05 08:04:32 EDT

Value of Champion BLOWER Joy, depending on condition it could be worth $600 to as little as $50. In perfect factory mint condition (never used, OEM paint, legs, box) they have sold in the $600 range which is still a bargain considering what they would cost to make today. These devices are notorious for being run without oil and have a complicated gear and bearing system which is generaly not repairable. Worn out (noisy, excessive backlash, bent or rusted off fan blades. . ) they are worth a great deal less than mint. The average price for these as a working tool is about $150 US for one in good usable condition.

To have it appraised would require an expert in the field (few and far apart) or sell it on ebay and see what the market brings.
   - guru - Tuesday, 07/19/05 08:13:03 EDT

Thermocouples The high temperature type K (chromel/alumel) ones will take pilot (even a large pilot) flame indefinitely. However, most thermocouples will melt or burn out at forge temperatures or in atmospheres with too much hot oxygen. The type K's are only rated up to 2,282°F.

Thermocouples generate a DC microvoltage. You should never replace the thermocouple on a safety or control system with one not specificaly specified by the manufacturer.

If the thermocouple is designed to indicate the pilot then placement of the pilot is critical. A pilot flame will ignite a forge without being in the fire box or direct path of the flames. It can be set back in a pocket. I use type K thermocouples in a forge by keeping the tip hidden between bricks about 1/2" from the surface. It does not measure the actual full surface temperature but acts as a reference. Ignitor spark plugs are done the same way. If they were in the full heat of the forge they would rapidly burn up. Set back in a pocket cooled by the passing fuel/air mixture they easily ignite the forge but stay relatively cool otherwise.

Forge pilot sensors are a highly unreliable method of safely controling a forge. Flameout can still occur with the pilot lit resulting in rapidly filling the surrounding area with fuel/air mixture. The best safety systems use a special infrared sensor to determine if there is fire in the forge. However, these are rather expensive.

Except in public buildings ans schools small forges generally do not have or need flame out protection. These devices should be attended at all times and are more reliably controled by the operator.

See OMEGA.COM for all the information you would ever want to know about temperature measurement and controls.

   - guru - Tuesday, 07/19/05 08:44:47 EDT

I am involved with restoring a late 1700's grist mill. Can you help me locate procedures for alignment of shafting and gearing appropriate to the period? Specifically, for tight wire alignment, what degree of accuracy would likely have been achieved? We have 2 shafts that are supported by 3 bearings ea. Shafts are 20 ft long, 4 in dia. ea. Initial measurements indicate offsets/deflections of 0.200 over the length of the shafts. Initial measurements were taken with a .01 in resolution scale and a magnifying glass. There is some value in trying to duplicate the level of accuracy of the period. The shafting has operated with the current deflections for approx. 4 years. I have reviewed Marks, and the Machinery's Handbook, and have found some Inet ref's to sawmill alignment, but not water powered gristmills.

Thanks in advance for any advice or references.

   - David Lawrence - Tuesday, 07/19/05 11:19:20 EDT

Hi, I'm trying to build a charcoal forge and I'm wondering what sort of mortar I should use. The mortar will be directly touching the burning charcoal, I'm not just going to use it to lay some bricks outside a metal firepot or something.

I'd really like to be able to just get a bag of commercially available mortar, I've checked Lowe's and Home Depot though and I don't see anything that seems like it would work.

Does anyone know of a commercially available fireplace/high heat mortar, and if not, how can I make it?

   - Kazrian - Tuesday, 07/19/05 12:19:13 EDT

David; you might try contacting people running mills from the appropriate period to see what they suggest. I know that the Schwartze katze windmill did not seem to be a high precision system yet produced 90HP with a good wind in the Netherlands.

Remember that the wood itself will deflect under load!

   Thomas P - Tuesday, 07/19/05 12:23:54 EDT

Do any of you guys have a spare fan or know what one looked like for a Buffalo #700 hand crank blower? This is a formed sheet metal blower. I have a friend who just aquired a portable coal forge fitted with one. Everthing else appears to be decent but it has no fan. Were these sheet metal or a casting?
   SGensh - Tuesday, 07/19/05 12:56:25 EDT

David, The closest thing I have for that is a 1918 Audels manual. The Oliver Evans 1807 - Young Millwright and Millwrights Guide may be specific to the period even though it was revolutionary for its time.

I am not where my Audels is but the method I remember them using was a tight wire, levels and templates with a hole that was just a tad bigger than the wire that also fit or had drawn on them with a scriber the diameter of the bearing journals and cylinder bores. Accuracy using this method would be to within +/-.005". (+/-0.13mm)

The millwrights of your era would have done everything they could to have made things as straight and true as possible. They may not have had dial indicators and transits but they had methods that were nearly as accurate. The template and wire method could also be sighted through using a lantern at the third bearing journal. Sighting through the pin holes aligned at the journals could get you a straight line over 20 feet as accurate as +/-.010" (+/-0.25mm) NOT including the sag in the wire which will always be there. A careful millwright would sight down the wire, note the sag and compensate for it. He would also realize that the weight of the shaft would deflect the supporting structure and possibly hang the shaft from the bearing mounts while aligning them. This method would be used during initial assembly prior to placement of the shaft. Measuring after the shaft is installed is more difficult and error prone.

Long shafts with severe sag are not unusual. However, it could eventualy cause problems. On the other hand the 1961 Pontiac Tempest had a curved drive shaft. The solid 3/4" diameter shaft was supported in a curve by multiple bearings. At the center is was about 4" from straight. This was to reduce the height of the transmission/shaft hump. I've known these cars to go several hundred thousand miles without a drive shaft failure. The shaft was a beautiful thing with large forges flanges on both ends that had huge fillets blending from the flange to the small shaft diameter.

My experiance with old mills and machinery would lead me to believe that things were pretty darn straight and accurate. However, things change over time. My old Mill has floors that tilt some 3° due to flooding and foundation damage. Additions are straighter but also tilt. The final addition is near vertical. This mill was built pre Oliver Evans and updated numerous times. Each time the machinery changed the floor joists were cut, old belt holes in the floors patched with tin and so on. After nearly 150 years of operation and dozens of owners it was butchered pretty badly. But all this butchery has nothing to do with the way it originaly was. See TheOldGristMill.com
   - guru - Tuesday, 07/19/05 13:11:23 EDT

not mortar. It will spall. You need a high temp refractory. Or you can used a good clay.

Folks have to remember that making a forge is not as hard as you might think. Solid fuel forges only need a place for the fire and an air source. all else are nice to haves but not really needed.
   Ralph - Tuesday, 07/19/05 13:15:59 EDT

I am going into 8th grade and have wanted to make a sword my entire life. I am interested in swordsmithing, but realize I need to start with basic blacksmithing skills first. I go to a Waldorf School, were working with my hands (such as woodworking) is taught all throughout the grades. Still, I know I have far to go, and am willing to work hard.I understand old-fashioned apprenticeships are hard to come by, but my parents are willing to support me by driving and with some money for a master's lessons, and I am willing to work around the shop in exchange for a masters time. I am looking for an opportunity in Southern California if possible. I have a year to complete my 8th grade project. Can you direct me to an appropriate place?
   Cody in Cal - Tuesday, 07/19/05 15:45:39 EDT

I know this sounds dumb but what and where is the fire/heat for a blast furnace?
   - Honors guest Engineer - Tuesday, 07/19/05 15:56:56 EDT

SGensh. I have a pile of old fan parts sitting outside, and I think I have found a usable fan. I am not familiar with a 700 series, however. I have two Buffalo 200s. Most of the fans have 6 blades and a 1/2" hole in the center with set screw. Mine measures 10" across. I'll send it for $20 which covers S&H and the whole shooting match. What a deal! My address is above the TOP POST under GURUS.
   Frank Turley - Tuesday, 07/19/05 15:57:25 EDT

Thanks Miles for that safety tip, I'll put the regulator at the tank. Can somebody please just give me the complete answer to how I attatch a burner to a propane tank, and what type of fittings, plumbing, and hardware I need. Thank you.
   Tyler Murch - Tuesday, 07/19/05 16:09:20 EDT

Tyler-- You should consult with a propane dealer. They have all the know-how and all the fittings, proper LP hose, can recommend pipe schedule, the whole works, and can rent you the tank you need. You can get a 250 gallon tank parked outside your shop pronto, a lot more convenient than making all those trips to get the BBQ bottles refilled.
   Miles Undercut - Tuesday, 07/19/05 17:04:34 EDT

Kazrian-- there is, or used to be 30 years ago, last time my wife and I built a house with two fireplaces-- "two flues over the cuckoo's nest"-- a mortar for firebrick, high temp applications, called Sereset, or Sairset, unknow the correct spelling. A real hardware store or masonry supply shop should have it or its modern equivalent.
   Miles Undercut - Tuesday, 07/19/05 17:11:21 EDT

When I did my brake drum forge I needed a few bricks to line the bottom because it was too deep. I went to a local building supply place and asked for fire bricks that could take the tems involved. The sold me a few bricks for about 1.50 or so each, and a bag of the high temp mortar that had split open for one dollar. It's not hard to find this stuff.

   FredlyFX - Tuesday, 07/19/05 17:13:33 EDT

Kazrian-- Seems to me now I think about it that I once globbed a batch of Sereset into the bottom of a forge, troweled it all nice and smooth, let it cure for days-- and it cracked all to hell, too. I don't think you really need to clay the bottom of a steel or cast iron forge. The firepot doesn't need it, and the hearth doesn't either.
   Miles Undercut - Tuesday, 07/19/05 17:16:15 EDT

Cody in Cal. SoCal is a big place. What town or city

   - Mani De mers - Tuesday, 07/19/05 17:47:05 EDT

Tyler, The correct parts FIT each other and the cylinder without other fittings. The propane regulator screws directly to the cylinder, the hoses come with fittings that screw onto the regulator. The burner or burner valve (who's, what brand, home made??) should have a left hand gas fitting that the hose fits.

If you made the burner then the proper hose fitting is up to you. You can buy these with 1/4-NPT or 1/8-NPT (or metric) threads and the left hand gas hose fitting at a welding supplier. Hoses purchased at welding suppliers will have the proper ends.

See our stupid gas burner plans for typical fitting. See a welding text book for basics and safety. If you are assembling any of these things you should have taken a welding course where you learn to properly handle cylinders, assemble fittings, leak test and so on.
   - guru - Tuesday, 07/19/05 18:44:21 EDT


Home depots in my area sell a high heat mortar in a coulking tube by the bathroom tub and sink caulk. It works for me it is this black paste that you spread and when you heat up your forge for the first time it hardens the mortar. I recomend that you sipmly use your hands and cut the tube open adn put a layer of it on the botom of your forge and then fire it up! it is really thick stuff so a putty knife and a caulking gun dosen't help much. Good luck .
   andr_arms - Tuesday, 07/19/05 18:49:20 EDT

Cody - any historical sites near you? I learned blacksmithing at the Yucaipa Adobe, just west of San Bernardino. There are likely to be other sites around as well.
   Tim S. - Tuesday, 07/19/05 18:56:10 EDT

Heat treating H13 steel.

I've aquired some 20mm (3/4") diameter H13 round bar. I want to make some punches for my flypress for working hot steel. Is the H13 suitable, can it be forged or should I grind to shape and is there a simple way to heat treat it?
   Bob G - Tuesday, 07/19/05 19:23:19 EDT

Hey Guru,
Thanks, and Undercut too, a lot for the helpful info. It's the T-Rex burner that I'm contemplating using. Does this burner have the left hand gas fitting you were talking about. Yay or nay.
   Tyler Murch - Tuesday, 07/19/05 19:30:56 EDT

fire under the anvil;;;;;; i liked the picture of the anvil flying through the air, looks like fun to me.
   - ron60 - Tuesday, 07/19/05 19:31:52 EDT

H13 is a chromium-moly-vanadium tool steel with .32-.45 carbon. It is well suited for hotwork dies. Austenitize at 1850-1900F, air cool (NO OIL!) and temper at 400-500F for one hour per inch of maximum thickness. Double tempering is recommended. Forge this stuff HOT, stop hitting it before it loses red color.
   quenchcrack - Tuesday, 07/19/05 19:45:25 EDT

Honors Guest Engineer: Air is superheated, usually with fossil fuels to start a campaign; the superheated air is blown into the furnace through holes at the bottom and sides where it ignites the coke. The coke gives off CO which reduces the iron ore (FeO) to Fe and gives off CO2. The limestone melts and acts as a flux. After the coke is burning, the heat it gives off is used to superheat the air to create a continuous process and as long as you keep pouring ore, coke and limestone into the furnace, you keep getting liquid iron (not steel) out of the furnace. If coking ovens are part of the Blast Furnace complex, coke gas can be burned to heat the air. If you are also an amature smith, you will recognize that the smiths forge is very similar to the blast furnace. Go to www.sleelynx.NET and scroll down to steelmaking. Lots of information there.
   quenchcrack - Tuesday, 07/19/05 19:54:52 EDT

Tyler Murch,

The T-rex burners use a 1/8" npt nipple for the jet tube, I believe, so you will need that size fitting to hook up to it. It is standard right hand thread, BTW.

My concern here, is that you seem to have little or no idea of what you are dealing with. I don't mean to sound critical, but dealing with gas plumbing is NOT for the uninformed or those unwilling or unable to diligently study ALL the information contained in places like the Anvilfire FAQs, Rex Price's Hybridburners.com, Ron Reil's site, and others.

All the information is out there, and you really, really NEED to study it all and learn all you can so you don't come to grief with this. We want you to stay safe and enjoy this venture, not burn your house down, blow yourself up or asphyxiate yourself, all of which can happen if you are uninformed. We can't, however, do it for you or force-feed it to you. Knowledge is the most important safety device there is.
   vicopper - Tuesday, 07/19/05 20:38:59 EDT

Guru: I have tried to register for the slack tub pub and still cant get in. Have I done something wrong? After spending a couple of hours beating a handle hole into a jackhammer bit for a cutter and another down for a punch I can understand the desire for a power hammer.
   john W - Tuesday, 07/19/05 21:02:35 EDT

I'm in Costa Mesa in Orange County. I'm checking into Discovery Museum of O.C. for basic and int. blacksmith classes. Read the "Poof your a swordsmith" BTW. Funny. Thought provoking. I still want to though.
   Cody in Cal - Tuesday, 07/19/05 21:12:05 EDT

Rat Hole forge Anvils..I received some info From Steve at RHF about his cast anvils. Looks to be one of the best designs of the cast anvils available today. Steve says his anvils are cast from 4340 alloy steel and hardened to 55c (+ or - 1)Rockwell. Can you folks give me some info on this data? I know squat about 4340 as it pertains to anvils. Also, has anyone used one of his anvils and whats your opinion on them.
   RC - Tuesday, 07/19/05 21:29:12 EDT

I looked at RHF anvils and I'm not a metallurgist but I thought that 55 Rockwell would be a little too hard for a large cast anvil. Also, by the pictures it looks like the edges overhang the side of the anvil which would make it chip easier and the hardy hole is 1 1/4" which would be harder to find a hardy for.
   Tyler Murch - Tuesday, 07/19/05 21:53:15 EDT

They sure do look good though!
   Tyler Murch - Tuesday, 07/19/05 21:53:48 EDT

Virgin Islands Policeman,
Thanks, I've debated for a while whether to get the whisper baby or build a brick pile forge w/ the T-rex but I've decided to go w/ the whisper baby. It's all I need, better fuel economy, and the convenience of getting propane from the gas station.
   Tyler Murch - Tuesday, 07/19/05 22:20:12 EDT

Cody in Cal. Thats a bit far what with the ever-present traffic these days. In Escondido they have wonderful blacksmith classes put on by the Historical Society.
   - Mani De Mers - Tuesday, 07/19/05 22:22:39 EDT

David L: American Machinists' Handbook By Colvin and Stanley, second edition has a section on alining shafting by a steel wire under the topic "Horsepower, Belts and Shafting. This is a table giving the deflection of the wire at given intervals along it's length. The wire is " No. 17 Birmington gage high grade piano wire, stretched with a weight of 60 pounds"
   Dave Boyer - Tuesday, 07/19/05 22:36:21 EDT

I think those Rat Hole anvils look terrific. If I could afford one,I'd have it in a minute flat. 55c is only too hard if you hit the anvil a lot with your big hammer. If you do that a lot, then you need to practice a while longer on a cheapie anvil until your hammer control is better. (grin) That is too pretty an anviul to chip up carelessly!
   vicopper - Tuesday, 07/19/05 22:38:18 EDT


A ready-made forge may be a good choice to start with, until you find out just what you want to do the most. At that point, you can build a custom forge designed to do exactly what you want, and you'll have the background knowledge and experience to design a really good one.

I built three forges before I settled on the one I'm using right now. And I still want to build a better version of it. I'm never satisfied...or, I just like building tools!
   vicopper - Tuesday, 07/19/05 22:41:39 EDT

Pontiac Tempest Drive Shaft: The other reason for pulling the shaft out of line is to prevent the unsuported length of shaft from whipping due to its lack of stiffness, or so I have been told.
   Dave Boyer - Tuesday, 07/19/05 22:56:12 EDT

Im with vicopper on the Rc 55 hardness, that is pretty tough, and would even get a little dent from an OOPS with the edge of heavy hard hammer. Follow GURU's advice about putting a radius around the edges just to be sure. At 60 Rc and above steel is brittle enough that You need to be really carefull about spalling from corner to corner contact.
   Dave Boyer - Tuesday, 07/19/05 23:09:11 EDT

RC: I just got a Rat Hole 250lb anvil about a month ago and I love it!
   dief - Wednesday, 07/20/05 00:03:47 EDT

Tylers baby...

If I were to be spending the hard earned money for a new commercial forge, I would not buy a small forge that won't get to welding temp.... The Whisper Baby is a descent little gas forge, but only if you want to play with small stuff. If you don't just do it yourself, you really should give just a little more for a Lot More forge...:-) my two cents. I used to work in a whisper moma every day, shoeing horses, it was a nice forge. I would only make nails and keyfobs in a whisper baby... You can do large pieces to a certain degree , but you have to wait... Not my idea of blacksmithing fun:-)
   Fionnbharr - Wednesday, 07/20/05 01:24:53 EDT

David L: Corection to above post:Wire used in table is "No. 17 Birmingham" This is .058 diameter acording to charts in the same book.
   - Dave Boyer - Wednesday, 07/20/05 03:17:52 EDT

I have a Champion cast iron forge with a replaced grate. The one now is about 4X6 with about 4 slits cut across the short axis. Is this the best pattern? what should it look like?
   john W - Wednesday, 07/20/05 06:57:56 EDT

Thanks everyone for your tips on fireplace mortar. I also found out that 100% natural clay cat litter can also work for this application, and it's very cheap, so I'm thinking about trying the cat litter along with the black mortar mentioned by adnr_arms to fix up any portions that don't fit right.

Miles Undercut - I wish I could just use the steel and not line it with clay or mortar but I really don't think it's good enough, the only thing I could get my hands on for this forge is galvanized mild steel and if the charcoal is touching it I think it'll burn off all the zinc and give off horrible fumes. I don't know how well the steel, basically just sheet metal, will hold up after that.

Thanks again for all the tips
   - Kazrian - Wednesday, 07/20/05 09:20:07 EDT

Rat Hole Anvils: This is probably the prettiest anvil made today. It is well cast and heat treated then finely finished. If I had money to spend on another anvil I would have one of these for the shear beauty. Since they are limited production I expect they will be collectors pieces in the not to distant future. The only other blacksmiths anvil finished this nicely is the Nimba.
   - guru - Wednesday, 07/20/05 09:55:52 EDT

Pub registrations. . I am way behind as usual. Have a hundrd or more to wade through. Looking for an automated system. However we have some 20% that cannot type their own e-mail address and THAT really slows down the process and why I do it manually.
   - guru - Wednesday, 07/20/05 09:57:22 EDT

Karizan, There are a lot of things that are not galvanized to make a forge out of. The masonry will steam and trap moisture against the galvanized sheet. Coal ash is highly corrosive and the combination of trapped moisture and coal ash will eat through that galvanize like it was not even there in the first place. . .
   - guru - Wednesday, 07/20/05 09:59:24 EDT

ON THE ROAD: I have been moving my office and I will be out of touch for the next 36 hours or so. Old PC and Laptop no longer function on-line so the one I am using is IT and it is not portable.

Ya'll be good.
   - guru - Wednesday, 07/20/05 10:01:44 EDT

Hi there mate great web site could you please tell me the latest i forge demonstration,s address as i can not get any new ones as of late .
Are you still doing them ?
Thank you for any information on the latest updates catch ya later mate have a good day :)
   Peter Corcoran - Wednesday, 07/20/05 12:03:53 EDT

Is there a way to drill hole in a piece of thin plate at a 45deg angle to the surface? I can fixture it easy enough in my drill press but how do I stop the drill from walking off the punchmark? I dont need great accuracy 1/32" tol would be fine

   adam - Wednesday, 07/20/05 12:38:21 EDT

guru, john W:
Is there any confusion with user names between myself and john W? I probably predate john W, I have previously been a CSI member and I am regestered for the pub.
   JohnW - Wednesday, 07/20/05 12:43:31 EDT

How many holes you drilling Adam?
How thin a piec of plate?
For only one I'd drill a smaller hole and then with a round file angle it. Or drill a smaller hole and then angle the drill through it.
If you have a bunch of holes, drill a hole the long way through a peice of square stock, cut the end at 45° and then make a jig to hold it where you want it and use it as a guide.
Or my fave way......redesign so you don't need an angled hole...
   JimG - Wednesday, 07/20/05 12:44:43 EDT

adam: I've done that kind of thing with wood and it fairly hard. You need to start the hole flat, and then once you get in about the width of the bit it should be fairly easy to drill at the forty five.

Another option is to drill all the way through then grind the forty five in.
   Aron Obrecht - Wednesday, 07/20/05 12:47:37 EDT

Peter Corcoran,

Thanks for the kind words! The reason you can't access any "newer" iForge demos is because there haven't been any for some time now. There simply has no been time available to put them together. We keep hoping this will change, but something always conspires to use up the precious time. For now, all the demos that have been done are there.
   vicopper - Wednesday, 07/20/05 13:14:00 EDT

Adam- An end mill.
   mike-hr - Wednesday, 07/20/05 13:18:28 EDT


For use on steel, you really need the jig to be in close contact with the workpiece, so I would make my own jig the way that JimG recommended, and I would use a brad point drill bit and very controlled feed. The brad point bit will start cutting at the perimeter, rather than the center, so you cannot use it without the jig, and you must feed it very slowly or it will snag and break. An end mill in the jig will also do the job if you have one.

If you have a large number of holes to do, then you really need a solid industrial drill or vertical mill that is rock steady. Then you can use the end mill with no snagging, as long as the workpiece is solidly clamped and backed-up. I've done this by gluing the sheet metal to MDF particle board using contact cement. After all the holes are machined, simply remove the sheet metal using some thinner.
   vicopper - Wednesday, 07/20/05 13:24:31 EDT

Peter, Due to time constraints, the Iforge demos are on hold for a bit. We're working on getting things lined back up so that we can resume.
   Monica - Wednesday, 07/20/05 13:33:19 EDT

Thank you all for your help on this. I only have two holes to drill in 1/8" plate. Drilling flat and filing to an angle would work fine but I come across this problem often enough that its worth knowing some alternatives. I hadnt thought of making the jig out of wood - but just for steadying the bit it should work - That would be easy. I do have an endmill of the right size so I will try that. It should do better when it starts to cut just on the high part of the perimeter.

This place is amazing! The other day this forum dealt very competently with a question of poetry interpretation. The next day we fielded a question from the Talmud and today its drilling at an angle! :)
   adam - Wednesday, 07/20/05 13:52:13 EDT

Maybe there is. Sorry about that, I am John W from Burlington NC and am not a CSI member yet but I can ask a lot of dumb questions.
   John W - Wednesday, 07/20/05 13:59:28 EDT

JOhn W. From Henseforthe and in the future, unless I forget or something I will be JLW. sorry to take over your name:)
   John W - Wednesday, 07/20/05 14:01:50 EDT

Kazrian: You can build your forge with regular bricks and cement if you line the firepot with something else. Fire clay, High temp cement, and rammable refractory are probably the top of the line solutions, and will need less maintenence. If you don't mind the maintenence of filling in cracks and would rather go for free stuff, there's clay or mud from your backyard, or wood ashes. I'd think 1" thick would be enough, though if you have room to make it thicker then so much the better.
   AwP - Wednesday, 07/20/05 16:43:44 EDT

I recently purchased this old forge. Most everything seems to be there except for a couple of parts in the drive mechanism for the blower and the Tuyere is in bad shape. That can be easily be fixed.

There is a drive wheel (flywheel) for the blower. It drives the blower via a flat leather belt, which we can easily replace. This flywheel is driven by the wooden handle shown in the photo at http://www.mcallister.com/forge/forge.html

By pumping the wooden handle up and down, the clutch mechanism (the part with the number 70 on it) drives the outer wheel, kinda like a ratchet. This portion only reciprocates; it does not spin.

There was a slip mechanism inside that made the wheel drive only in one direction.

Here is the $64 question: What sort of mechanism was inside? Can anybody supply a sketch, photo or description?

What we 'think' was in there was a block that fit loosely in the "X" shaped slot. When the wooden handle was actuated, the little arm forced the wooden block out, against the inside of the flywheel, thereby driving it. At the end of the stroke from the wooden handle, the little metal arm caused the drive block to retract enough to not drag on the flywheel.

Although new to blacksmithing, we are not new to fabricating. We have a complete machine shop and can fabricate whatever is needed. Any help will be appreciated.
   Daniel Chessher - Wednesday, 07/20/05 16:53:51 EDT

I have been making bracelets out of old silverware, basically the handles of spoons and forks. I want to make some out of the prong end of the forks, but need to heat them to do it. I tried heating with the torch but there is something else to the trick because some of them will break off. I talked to someone who said I probably needed to dip them in water but they weren't sure where in the process. I do craft shows and really want to add this to my jewelry. PLEASE HELP!!!
   Marilyn - Wednesday, 07/20/05 17:15:44 EDT

I have been making bracelets out of old silverware, basically the handles of spoons and forks. I want to make some out of the prong end of the forks, but need to heat them to do it. I tried heating with the torch but there is something else to the trick because some of them will break off. I talked to someone who said I probably needed to dip them in water but they weren't sure where in the process. I do craft shows and really want to add this to my jewelry. PLEASE HELP!!!
   Marilyn - Wednesday, 07/20/05 17:16:04 EDT

Michael Gora,
After several discussions with the grease guru, I suspect that the grease that Sears sold as gear grease was a lithium base. I would say that any good grade of Lithium EP grease in a NGLI #2 thickness will work. This would be most of the standard bearing greases available at you local parts store.
The NGLI # is a thickness rating. A #2 is pretty much the standard grease pumped thru grease guns. A #1 is a softer grease, and #00,0 and 1 are usually used in automatic grease pump systems, and gear boxs.
A typical gear grease would be a Chevron DURA_LITH #2. The next better grade is the Chevron ULTRA DUTY EP2. This is a red grease that has a high temp rating, a very robust Extreme Pressure additive, and is somewhat water resistant. This is what I buy by the 120# keg for roller bearings on forging machines. These cost about $150,000 and a couple of weeks down time if you have to change them.
   ptree - Wednesday, 07/20/05 17:20:43 EDT


Make sure it's silver and not silver plate. If the tines fall off, you're applying too much heat and melting the metal or you're overheating and cooling the metal too slowly. You need to learn to anneal by running the torch over the work until you get a uniform dull red heat in ordinary daylight, not in sunlight. Then quench, preferably in a Sparex #2 solution, so that you can rid the surface of fire scale. If using Sparex, hold the silver with copper tongs, so that you don't contaminate
the solution.

Annealing is a heat treatment that will soften the metal and make it more workable at room temperature.

Reference: "Metal Techniques for Craftsmen" by Oppi Untracht.
   Frank Turley - Wednesday, 07/20/05 17:48:12 EDT

John W: or JLW: I was not writing to you to tell you to stop using the John W name, I just thought that the reason that you didn't have a pub password yet might be due to my use of the JohnW name. Also, I didn't mean that I'm a current CSI member, I just paid dues one time and I need to again.
   JohnW - Wednesday, 07/20/05 18:08:30 EDT

It still seems like it could be confusing to both of us and other folks. I dont have a problem about it.
   JLW - Wednesday, 07/20/05 18:16:29 EDT


To add a bit to what Frank said, all of which is correct, let me add that a fair amount of old tableware was made with times that were a different metal than the handles. Some were made with stainless steel tines and silver handles, some were plated german silver, etc. That may cause you some issues with bending and annealing. The best course of action is as Frank says, anneal them and then work them cold. Many of the base metals that are plated don't like to be worked hot at all, and the tines are very easy to overheat as they are much smaller in cross section than the handles.

It will help on the heating for annealing if you do it on a soft firebrick or charcoal block, which will radiate back some of the torch heat, resulting in a more even heat. If you can't get the firebrick or charcoal block, a pan filled with small pumice rock will do almost as well.
   vicopper - Wednesday, 07/20/05 21:57:13 EDT

i-Forge Demonstrations:

I've got a couple planned, including another method of forging spearheads; but like everyone else, I'm short of time of late. Maybe it could be put on a quarterly or semi-annual basis- we could prepare ourselves, do a half-dozen or so, and then take a break for another 3 or 6 months while we get ready for more demonstrations. It takes a surprising amount of preparation to get ready for these, as well as, sometimes, months or even years of experimentation. (At least it does for me; but reinventing the wheel is never easy. ;-)

Cooling down a bit on the banks of the lower Potomac.

Visit your National Parks: www.nps.gov

Go viking: www.longshipco.org
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Wednesday, 07/20/05 22:16:32 EDT

restoring a 1890's peter wright anvile. 340 lbs. using e6011's on horn and table. what rod or wire is used on hardend top? THANKX
   Darrin Weiss - Wednesday, 07/20/05 22:25:31 EDT

Just think how hard it was inventing the wheel before you had a wheel as a pattern.................
   JimG - Wednesday, 07/20/05 23:12:09 EDT

I'm trying with some success twisting 3 round bars weld tacked but I'm sure there is a trick to keeping 3 bars from
wanting to spring apart under the twisting bar making it very difficult to twist. I even tried hot collaring the bars at specific points along the length of the bar. I'm sure this is why people tend to use square bars in even numbers. Any guidence would be appreciated.


   Rick - Wednesday, 07/20/05 23:50:47 EDT

Rick-- you need a better, deeper-penetrating tack is all. Weld the bejesus out of the ends. And be sure you are heating the three bars you are trying to twist up to high enough temp through and through.
   Miles Undercut - Thursday, 07/21/05 00:28:04 EDT

Thank you Miles !
I'll give her another go tomorrow
   Rick - Thursday, 07/21/05 00:42:05 EDT

I had a thought form in my head.
In the iforge thing, it said something about making a speadhead out a of a chipped chisel (honestly though, what the hell were they doning to that chisel?!0. Is it possible to use the reverse of those instructions to make chisels? or is there simply a better way?
   Aron Obrecht - Thursday, 07/21/05 01:44:45 EDT

Attention all CSI Members!

Go to the member’s forum to read the announcement about the upcoming election of permanent board members.

FredlyFX, Vice Chair CSI & Chair of Nominations Committee
   FredlyFX - Thursday, 07/21/05 02:23:46 EDT

Chipped chisle spear head???

I looked ( welll glanced) over the spear head and " projectile pionts" section of i forge and found no refance to the chipped chisle. I do have a good feeling that the chisle was a dammaged and other wise unusable tool that found new life as a spear point.
BUT a Cataba( Native American, South Carolina / North Carolina USA ) buddy of mine has tried experimenting with Knapping ( tooling a stone or flint into a knife or spear piont and or other tool) steel by cooling it with L.OX then Knapping it I'll ask him if he has had any results.
   - Timex - Thursday, 07/21/05 03:05:21 EDT


There are a few different ways to make socketed chisels. You can upset, punch and drift the socket; you can draw out a broad "fan" and wrap it to make the socket; you can roll the socket from separate stock and weld it to the shank.

If I were going to make a socket-haft chisel, I think I would opt for the form a socket and weld it on method. This would allow me to forge the chisel with a narrow tang, then add the socket. Being a belt-and-suspenders kind of guy, I like the idea of a tang and a socket, particularly for large roughing chisels that may be pounded with a mallet.

I would NOT try to make a chisel from a spearpoint, however. I don't think even Alexander Weygers would do that.
   vicopper - Thursday, 07/21/05 08:55:27 EDT

Chipped chisels---I guess you have never run into a horseshoe buried in a tree---or a stone or even a good knot will sometimes take a chunk out of a chisel.

I have seen a number of old chisels that use a cast steel blade with a wrought iron socket. Some are made by welding the two pieces together lengthwise with the WI piece being longer and then forging it out so that the steel is on the "bottom" side so you can sharpen the chisel a bunch and not wear through the steel piece. Other, cheaper versions just weld a steel bit on the end making for repeat business when you sharpen through it.

I've made a couple of knives from a pattern welded spear point, but never a chisel...

   Thomas P - Thursday, 07/21/05 10:27:32 EDT

Plowshares into Swords, Pruning Hooks and Chisels into Spears:

As the chief perpetrator, all I can say is that it's easier to convert a chisel into a spearhead than the other way around. The spearhead form considerably thins the metal and changes the facets, and there would be a LOT of upsetting involved.

As for chipping chisels, if you work in salvaged wood, you WILL find a hidden nail (or one from the other side that you knew about, but forgot was there). Woodworking chisels can cut nails, but it depends upon the chisel and the nail, and it's not what they're meant for. Dropping one on a concrete floor and be equally counter-productive.

Cooler, but still a bit hazy, hot, and humid on the banks of the Potomac.

Visit your National Parks: www.nps.gov

Go viking: www.longshipco.org (home of the "Vikng Hovercraft" picture)
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Thursday, 07/21/05 10:30:03 EDT

Darrin Weiss: Rather sounds like you acquired a basket case anvil. You can weld up the top plate with either hard facing rod or work hardening rod. However, it is a rather expensive process, particularly for that large of an anvil, and a bit of overkill. Were it me, I would just use a mild steel rod, such as 7018, hard peening down each bead immediately after it is laid. This seems to give it some work hardening.

Lakesactor: If you purchased the forge directly from Jerry Hoffman (Blacksmith's Journal), and it was guaranteed to reach forge welding temperature, then you really need to be talking to Jerry. Jerry and Janette are always at the Quad-State Blacksmithing Conferences so you might bring the set-up there and let Jerry take a look at it if you are in the general area of SW Ohio. Are you sure it is the forge and not your technique at fault? If the forge will get hot enough to stick the ends of two say 1/8
   - Ken Scharabok - Thursday, 07/21/05 11:16:09 EDT

Before you get too far on the anvil repair, check out this link.
This method works and has been proven by 11 anvil repairs in our shop. Pre-heat and slow cool is veeeery important. good luck.
   David - Thursday, 07/21/05 11:24:37 EDT

Maybe the DUMBEST Making Charcoal Question:

Does it matter if the wood being coaled is green or not? Am thinking about using the limbs that are breaking off my plum trees from the weight of the fruit.. Could easily cut them into 2 to 4 by chunks..

   Bert - Thursday, 07/21/05 12:42:03 EDT

Bob G:

Heat treating H13 steel?

H-13 "CAN" be forged, it's about like forging cold mild steel! You need a good yellow heat and never work it below red/orange. Grinding may be your best bet.

H-13 can be readily heat treated by a blacksmith because there are visual clues for each step. Heat 1900-2100 or the orange just before yellow. Air quench in front of a fan or blower. When cold, draw at 1000-1100 which is a low red color you can only see when held in the shade. Temper twice, letting it cool to room temp between.
   - grant - Thursday, 07/21/05 14:23:12 EDT

Bert, Your post makes me ask this... Is it necessary to cut the wood up into small pieces? This seems like a lot of extra work, as the charcoal will break apart easily.
   Monica - Thursday, 07/21/05 14:25:39 EDT


Didn't see your responce the first time. Never seen 400 -500 reccomended for drawing H-13. 1050 is usually needed due to secondary hardening and usually gives the maximum hardness (50-52 Rc).
   - grant - Thursday, 07/21/05 14:29:00 EDT

I have tried to find a bushing for my backhoe bucket but they are very rare (expensive). So I thought I would make one out of tubing but I need to harden it. I was told by the supplier it is 1020 tubing. Can you tell me how to harden and temper this? I have a torch outfit I'm no expert but I can fix, cut, weld, and engineer enough to keep my heavy equipment and cars running with little help.

Thanks for the help, Bob
   Bob - Thursday, 07/21/05 14:59:44 EDT


My thought process has to do w/ the logistics of the process. I've got to cut and buck the limbs up anyway to get them in a barrel and I've already got a chop saw setup that I use to cut up odds, ends, busted pallets etc. for the shop stove. W/ just a size jig I could slide the limbs thru and chop 'em off as right sized chunks right into the barrel.

My thinking says this would let me get more wood into the barrel at one time for a larger charcoal yeild per load and save the mess of breaking up the charcoal. And if I can use green wood, I think the smaller pieces would coal up better than a 30" chunk of limb..

Make sense? Don't know if it's more work or not, I was thinking of yeild because I don't know how much I will use or how fast.
   Bert - Thursday, 07/21/05 15:15:11 EDT

Bob: 1020 isn't enough carbon for it to harden properly, so what you'll need to do if you want to use it is case harden it. I don't have any personal experience doing this, but I hear "Casenite" reccomended frequently by experienced folks. There should be instructions on the product, if you have more questions after that then the more experienced people here will certainly have the answer for you.
   AwP - Thursday, 07/21/05 15:15:51 EDT

Bob, I've used Casenite for hardening lock parts for muzzle loaders. It worked well for me and was simple.....get the part a bright red heat and "quench" it in the can of Casenite. You can repeat this do get a slightly deeper harden. Others here will no doubt have **much** more to add on this topic.....
   Ellen - Thursday, 07/21/05 15:43:26 EDT

Casehardening is covered in great detail in the Anvilfire Questions and Answers........I forgot to mention above that it is good to hold the part at the right temperature for 15 minutes to ????, then water quench.
   Ellen - Thursday, 07/21/05 15:54:31 EDT

Rick-- And it might not hurt to wrap the ends securely and weld the wrap, too. I've done baskets out of half-inch round stock, and the torque does want to tear the ends of the bundle apart, I know, unless the rods are realllllly hot and well-fastened.
   Miles Undercut - Thursday, 07/21/05 16:03:19 EDT


Your thinking seems right on the money to me. Using green wood will require a bit more initial heat, to drive off the free water in the green wood, and then you're off and running. The smaller pieces, of a regular size, will allow a more even and controlled coaling process. With uneven sizes, you may have some overdone while some are still underdone. And, like Goldilocks, you want the ones that are just right.
   vicopper - Thursday, 07/21/05 17:34:34 EDT

it could be my tecnique, i was jsut asking if any one has done it with that forge setup.
when i want to try a forge weld i turn up the pressure from 5 psi to around 12 ( as per the instructions, what the flow rate is i'm not sure) wait a bit then put my work piece into the chamber ( a 12" long 3/4" D spike folded over on itself twice so i have 4 bits stacked on the end with about a 4" "handle" ) heat it to a big red FLux ( usign a brazing flux.. could be my problem, hoping to hae the money to buy some 20 mule borax soon, know where to get it localy) heat to a yellow, re flux, let it soak a bit then pull it from the chamber, and give it 2 sound thumps, turn it 90 * then two more. lots of stuff flyes but i thing that's jsut the flux with no molted scale..
   Lakesactor - Thursday, 07/21/05 18:14:15 EDT


Don't blame the forge if you've never welded before. It's not as automatic as the step-by-step instructions might have you believe. The weld you describe is not the easiest one either, try working with one fold first. First blows should be mere "taps". Even good blacksmith have trouble with a forge weld now and again.
   - grant - Thursday, 07/21/05 19:11:55 EDT

Grant, my bad. That was 400-500 CENTIGRADE. This corresponds to 800-950F. 1050F would work but you might coast past the peak hardness as it cools.
   quenchcrack - Thursday, 07/21/05 19:23:41 EDT


You describe what I think is a 4 layer fagot weld. When added together, I get a 3" bundle. If this is correct, you're going to have to give it a heck of a lot more than "2 sound thumps". The thicker the material, the harder it needs to be hit in order to get the weld. Assuming you are at a welding heat, you are really going to have to whale on it with many blows, hard and fast. For something that thick, a striker may be in order...or a trip hammer.


Pardon my obtuseness, but how long is the twist, if you're collaring along its length? Is it separating on the end where your wrench is supposedly gripping? If the weld area is not square in section where it's welded, thus providing a good grip, why not use a pipe wrench? Are you making a tight twist or a basket? Maybe I'm missing the point.

I fagot weld the ends and make sure they are forged to the right cross-section for my wrench.
   Frank Turley - Thursday, 07/21/05 19:24:59 EDT

What was described to me as a Litte Giant turned out to be a Fairbanks #50. Still Very Cool. Move Worked out well, no injuries to human or machine.

Anyone out there near the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia with one of these that I could take a look at? I would be interested in advice on restoring this one.

   Mark@FrogValleyForge - Thursday, 07/21/05 20:04:40 EDT

Lakesactor - check Walmart, I just bought a 76 oz box of 20 Mule for less than 4.00 U.S. also seen it a my local grocery store.
   - DaveB - Thursday, 07/21/05 23:02:28 EDT

To anybody who can really help…

First, I would like to apologize if I am asking the wrong question in this group, or if this is an inappropriate place to ask this, however I have been unable to find any good information and I am stuck.

Let me give you a little background. About a year ago, I was a student of a Martial Arts teacher that helped change my life. He was amazing and truly inspired me. The lessons he taught me will stay with me for the rest of my life. However, before I could complete my training, my life got in my way and I had to move (to go to school and other things). However, before I left, I made a promise that one day, when I could afford it, I would return to deliver the finest swords that could be produced today. (He wanted to own a truly great weapon; however he was much too proud to ever admit it… I could just tell in his eyes.) He took my promise with a grain of salt, and suspected he would never hear from me again.

However, I fully plan to keep my promise. I am still in school, however when I get out, I want to do everything in my power to deliver my word.

So, here is where I ask your help. I would like your expert opinion of who the finest sword maker in the world is. Please do not say you are… If you truly believe you are the best, tell me who is second best. Price will, eventually, be no object.

To refine what I am looking for, I wish to purchase 3 Damascus blades; a Katana, a Wakizashi and a Tanto with guards and stand. These must be weapons, and not just for display. This is also where my knowledge on the subject ends… After hours of research, you can see that I have not gotten very far.

So, in advance, I thank you for your time and your patience.

James A.
   James A - Thursday, 07/21/05 23:39:31 EDT

" it's a poor craftsman who blames his tools on the work" Not blaming hte forge for my falure, jsut currious if any one uses that unit and if they've gottne it hot enough. my problem could be flux, heat, or tecnique. i'll probably pick up a box of borax from the local Target today and experiment, using a slimmer and simpler test peice.
   Lakesactor - Friday, 07/22/05 02:33:11 EDT

James A,
go to www.atar.com

   Ralph - Friday, 07/22/05 02:53:49 EDT

James A: I'd suggest Michael Bell, he's one of the few who do alot of Japanese swords using damascus http://www.dragonflyforge.com/ . Not alot of bladesmiths do damascus japanese stuff. The "official" ones from Japanese bladesmiths use tamahange, which is made similer to damascus, but it's not different steels so the pattern is much subtler.
   AwP - Friday, 07/22/05 04:24:05 EDT

james A. Check out swordforum.com. There are three or four sections only on Japanese arts, blades, Nihonto etc. A number of bladesmiths are online there.
   jlw - Friday, 07/22/05 07:18:39 EDT

James A.,

You've got some homework to do. Two good books are: "The Craft of the Japanese Sword" by Kapp & Yoshihara, and "Nippon-to Art Swords of Japan", Japan House Gallery, Japan Society, Inc. The Nippon-to book goes into much detail regarding sword shapes, curvature, patterns, etc., and it has a good glossary. The three sword types you mention are well defined. My search engine found the big Sokendo Sword Show in Tokyo, where Japanese sword dealers sell swords and sword furniture twice a year.

The blades are forge welded into subtle patterns, but are not properly termed, "Damascus".

   Frank Turley - Friday, 07/22/05 09:19:23 EDT

James A,

If price is going to be no object . . . then purchasing some of the classic $30,000+ swords (in the 4-500 year old category) should be right up your alley.

Do check with Swordforum, those folks know their swordsmiths.
   Escher - Friday, 07/22/05 09:39:16 EDT

James A: When I was in Okinawa, I saw an article on a Japanese sword maker. In order to buy his swords, starting at $10,000, I would have had to have a letter of introduction from my Sensei. And then he would have had to meet me to determine if I was worthy enough to even own his sword. Maybe that is why I don't own a sword! :]
   Bob H - Friday, 07/22/05 10:10:59 EDT

H-13 question; recently purchased some and it was more expensive vs D-2. have been told that H-13 is getting expensive, but i dont know why.

tempering H-13: per reference, rockwell 52 will be achieved @ 400-500F, 54 @>1000F. will there be a difference in durability if used as press tooling? would like opinions because my "tempering furnace" is a toaster oven. i will try it. if there is a significant difference, would consider trip to machine shop. also, i do have some machined anealed back up tools for "light" forging. i dont see any advantage in heat treating or tempering them for my purposes. agree/disagree, comments??
   - rugg - Friday, 07/22/05 10:48:34 EDT

" it's a poor craftsman who blames his tools on the work"?
I don't totaly agree with this. I believe it was a meme first started by some stingy employer. As a Smith the attitude should be, "If you don't have the right tool for the job, build it." Try turning out out a robertson screw when all you have is a flatblade etc. Now this bit of the rant said.......
I also beleive it is the worker not the tool that does the job. Anyone who's been in my smithy can see I work with minimal jigs and tooling. Prefering to mostly use the Hammer, Anvil, and my hand. Better tools don't make you a better crafter, UNLESS YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR DOING! (not that I particularly know what I'm doing.....)
Thus ends this mostly pointless rant, which space for was made availible by the letter's C,S,I and the colour blue.
   JimG - Friday, 07/22/05 11:50:55 EDT

mainly said that to dispell me blaming my inability to forge weld (( so far)) on the forge. What i realy need to do is find ( or make) the time to drive over to Old Ceder forge, only about an hrs drive from my home. would have when to the PAsific northwest ABANA chapter's even a little while ago save the fact that i didn't have the time between school and work...
   Lakesactor - Friday, 07/22/05 12:16:00 EDT

Chipped Chisels and other abused tols: Tools of every sort from micrometers, screw drivers, anvils and heavy machinery like back hoes often get abused to the point they are almost unrecognizable. I've seen socketed chisles used without handles and the socket mushroomed until it was almost solid. I've seen anvils with edges chipped so bad that the remaining face width was only an inch wide. I've seen drive sprockets welded to axels on farm tractors and back hoes. The classic abuse is the micrometer used as C-clamp and the frame bent. . .

We that recycle tools often buy these poor abused lumps of steel for much less than the cost of new tool steel and make them into other useful things. This has been going on since before the bronze age. One man's abuse is another's opourtunity.
   - guru - Friday, 07/22/05 12:27:34 EDT


"CENTIGRADE"? Giving away your age there. Yeah, thats the way I learned it too. Supposed to say "Celcius" now. 950 - 1050 we're talking eyeball heat treating and what ever that temperature is I get extreamly good results drawing at black/red.

Rugg: Why heat treat? Why use H-13 then? You don't get the desirable properties if you don't heat treat, might as well use an old axle. Rockwell hardness is NOT the whole story. 52 Rc from 1050 draw is a lot tougher than 52Rc from 500 draw.
   - grant - Friday, 07/22/05 14:09:25 EDT

On i-Forge demo 42 is the whole thing flattened or just the flame?
   - Tyler Murch - Friday, 07/22/05 14:11:01 EDT

Speaking of visual cues, I don't think you can draw H-13 @ 400-500 by the standard oxide colors used with carbon steel because of the high chrome content. You "could" learn what the proper color is though I guess. That ol' color chart IS only for carbon steel and alloys will be different.
   - grant - Friday, 07/22/05 14:22:09 EDT


Speaking of micrometers. I recently saw a leap forward in micrometers. The thread in a micrometer has always been 40 tpi, right? .0250 per revolution. When digital mikes came along they used the same 40 tpi cause thats what you use in a micrometer even though at that point it didn't matter - digital don't care. Well, Mitotoyo has a new digital mike with TWO threads per inch, really cool! Quick to adjust for sure, but also more accurate because you don't have the leverage to crank down really hard.
   - grant - Friday, 07/22/05 14:31:45 EDT

"The classic abuse is the micrometer used as C-clamp and the frame bent. . ."

Ye gods! And I thought my friends and I were barbarians!

Craftsfolk and Tools:

A good craftman with good tools can do wonders. A good craftsman forced to use poor tools can compensate. A poor craftsman with good tools can learn. A poor craftsman who continues to work with poor tools is a tragedy, because as a first step every craftsman should seek to better his or her tools.

Tools are an extension of us, so their abuse, except under extraordinary circumstances (or when personnally convenient ;-) is just too sad to contemplate. I've used a screw driver as a pry bar, but only when I had no other choice and no other appropriate tool. A pry bar works a whole lot better.

HHH on the banks of hte Potomac.

Visit your National Parks: www.nps.gov

Go viking: www.longshipco.org (Some new pictures of the new ship[ are now posted at the bottom.)
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Friday, 07/22/05 14:44:47 EDT

A little more on heat treated or not:

Wear and tool life are not the only reasons to heat treat. Harder tools "slide" in easier. You'll notice that soft tools gall quickly. It takes force/effort/drag to create that galled surface. Also, as the surface becomes galled it it has even more drag. A hard, polished slit chisel does not drag-down the material next to the slit nearly as much as a soft rough tool even though the soft tool "may" do the job. The hard, smooth tool is easier to remove from the work too, maybe the best reason.
   - grant - Friday, 07/22/05 14:51:02 EDT

Hey I once bought a trashed Micrometer for $1 just to use it as a C clamp when a machinest friend was due to stop by---did a good job of cleaning his arteries...

   Thomas P - Friday, 07/22/05 15:29:38 EDT

Why "centigrade" is not used. . : Well, back before the metrification people finally gave up on the public using a different method of measuring angles and kept the mesopotamian base sixty 360 degrees. . one of the metric units tested was the "grade" which divided the circle into 400 parts. In the metric system one hundredths of a grade is a centigrade. So to avoid confusion of a unit that is not or ever will be used they dropped the centigrade.

So, officialy the metric system uses the degree (360) and the radian (2pi).

   - guru - Friday, 07/22/05 15:57:24 EDT

Guru: My new old champion forge has no clinker breaker and has a piece of steel over the air hole with slits torch cut all across it. What can I do to improve it short of sending Centaur $700? Their clinker ball is $36 and they say it can be adapted. Is there a particular pattern for air holes in a grate or min/max size? It is hard to find pictures of forges with enough detail to see the bottom of the firepot.
   JLW - Friday, 07/22/05 16:17:18 EDT

I've heard many things about fire brick and fire clay, about its uses and so on. I've done some research online but haven't been able to find anything truely enlightening on the subject. My question is: is it possible to build a forge out of fire clay/brick and if so, how would I do it?

Thanks for the help,
   Daniel - Friday, 07/22/05 16:35:20 EDT

grant, thanks for the thoughts on H-13. getting an opinion from people that have more experience and knowledge than i is why i make comments and ask questions. even though i dont appear "blue" (like you), i do appreciate someone taking my comments seriously...
   - rugg - Friday, 07/22/05 17:01:03 EDT

The Guru and I both enjoy what many call "trivia", but many of these little factoids while not really trivial are interesting and often enlightening. Now about degrees........

I read once that many "scholars" felt that there was no known "primitive" method for deviding a circle into 360 parts accuratly. Well, one researcher found a possible answer in mosaic. It seems if you start with round tiles all the same size (pretty easy to do)you just start making concentric circles. You know, one in the center then six around that and keep working your way out, at a certain point you end up with a circle of exactly 360 pieces. This would be highly accurate too if done with care. Ancients are often not given proper credit.
   - grant - Friday, 07/22/05 17:04:36 EDT


Thanks, I believe everyone is entitled to my own opinion. You guys sometimes force me to consider just why I believe some things. So, often I learn from the experience too.
   - grant - Friday, 07/22/05 17:13:38 EDT

360 Degrees:

Years (20? 30?) back in Popular Science (or Popular Mechanics), somebody shoewed that you could o the same circular expansion to 360 using bricks. He speculated that since much oof the early civilization in the fertile cresent utilized mud brick as a primary construction material, it was probably stumbled upon early on.

I've observed that, like the dozen, it can be easily devided into equal portions by several numbers. From one to twelve you can devide and get a whole number with everything EXCEPT 7 and 11. (12 can be evenly devided by 2, 3, 4, and 6, which makes it easy to divide the donuts. :-)

Fun with numbers! The Metric System is a Napoleonic plot! A "body based" system is always with you. It may not be dead-on, but it puts you in the ballpark! Man is the measure of all things, since all things are measured by man. Micrometers at 10 paces, sirrah! ;-)
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Friday, 07/22/05 21:27:11 EDT

Tyler Murch,

Only the flame is flattened, to give a silhouette of a flame shape. The body of the candle is left round. Or, as someone pointed out, it could be a piece of square stock that was twisted; it would end up looking like a decorative birthday candle.
   vicopper - Friday, 07/22/05 21:42:35 EDT

I actually prefer the more abstruse nomenclature for weights and measures. Cubits, furlongs, drams, hogsheads, fortnights, etc. 161,280 furlongs per fortnight (fpf) sounds so much more exciting and dangerous than 60 miles per hour.
   vicopper - Friday, 07/22/05 22:02:55 EDT


The Champion firepot is cast iron with three slots in the bottom. The Champion clinker breaker was cast to the shape of a capital letter "I", but on its side when installed. The rod for the handle was attached to the center of the "I" and when rotated, the "cross strokes", so to speak, poked through the left and right slots, not the center one. This was supposed to break up clinker and supposedly allow it to fall through the central slot.

Of course, Champion championed this innovation and called the clinker breaker a "pick", claiming of course, that it was an improvement over the rotating tuyere valve or tuyere ball.

With some ingenuity, you might be able to adapt a cylindrical or triangular tuyere valve to a Champion firepot. You might have to cut some of the "grate" off the bottom of the pot to accommodate the newer tuyere valve.

You didn't mention whether the ash barrel with ash gate is present, This should bolt to the firepot, and it has the 3" air intake on the side. This is needed to complete the outfit.
   Frank Turley - Friday, 07/22/05 22:31:45 EDT

Frank, I'm attempting to make an 8 foot decorative pole with various twists. So I'm twisting smaller sections along the full length. As you properly imagined the bars are seperating under the twisting wrench. I was using the hot collars to help hold the three bars together in the triangle shape while twisting. I thought about using the
pipe wrench but was concerned about leaving marks. At this point I feel the pipe wrench and more heat may be the answer. The twist varies from tight to more loose.

Thank you for the advice!
I apologize if I was not clear in my original description.

   Rick - Friday, 07/22/05 22:46:54 EDT

Miles - thank you for your advice. The torque does want to pull the bars apart at the ends and the twist shotens the length of the bars unevenly also helping to pull the bars apart.

   Rick - Friday, 07/22/05 22:51:57 EDT

Guru et al, I have an interesting dillema. I just got done heat treating a blade with a modified version of Ed Fowler's high preformance heat treatment. The blade is made of 5160 and to save time I had ground the blade to shape while it was still annealed (Exactly to shape. No grinding was to take place after heat treatment). This left the edge very thin. Anyway, I annealed the blade and then proceeded to the triple quench. All three times, I only heated the edge to nonmagnetic and then did an edge quench. I tested the edge with the edge of a new triangular file and the file almost bit and almost skidded, indicating that the edge had indeed hardened. I gave it three hour long soaks in a 400 degree oven. When I tested the tip, it broke. It did not 'snap' but rather pinched off when I bent it back. Only the very tip (the first millimeter)did this and after I saw what had happened, I decided to just try the concrete floor test (6 feet straight into the floor, tip first). The tip did not break off, but rather it bent a bit. I have surmised that this was because I tempered it at 400 instead of the usual 375 (I thought that experimenting would be worth some time). But, in your expert opinion(s), could the initial blade break be attributed to either decaurbirization or burnt steel? I have never encountered either, at least not that I was aware of. Anyway, I do not need an incredibly in depth explanation. The last thing I want is to waste your precious time. However, if you could be so kind as to tell me if my hunch was right, I would be most greatfull.
   Matthew Marting - Friday, 07/22/05 23:03:57 EDT

By the way, I am going to try to heat treat it again and see if it was a minor mistake on my part.
   Matthew Marting - Friday, 07/22/05 23:05:16 EDT


Speaking as a blacksmith, not a metallurgist, I don't think the magnet thing works all the time with alloy steels. It is a fair indicator for plain carbon, high carbon steel, but even then, it may be slightly below the hardening temperature. The hardening heat color for 5160 is bright cherry red (1525ºF), and 5160 has 0.70%/0.90% chromium content. 5160 also has an elevated amount of manganese and silicon, compared to plain carbon steel. A new file should skate on the surface of your hardened steel, no bite.

I don't understand the thin cutting edge. If too thin, it will scale away and in addition, it may cause warpage of the blade when quenching. I'm assuming you used oil.

An old saying. "If with a blade you would win, forge it thick; grind it thin." I take this to mean to heat treat while there is some slight thickness to the cutting edge. After tempering, you grind, whet, hone, strop.

Tempering at 375ºF or 400ºF seems like an extremely hard temper to me, even with the softer blade body behind it. The tempering colors run from about 430ºF to 630ºF.

A knifemaker friend of mine used to retemper the point of a blade to a softer temper than the rest of the blade. I asked him why, and he said that lots of guys will throw the knife at a tree right away, and break off the point.

I am not familiar with Fowler's heat treatment methods.
   Frank Turley - Saturday, 07/23/05 00:21:29 EDT

Grant: Part of the problem the "scholars" have in trying to understand how things were done is that they have almost no experience in the "hands on" real world. Dividers & trammel points must go back pretty far, don't You think? But somebody who has never done any layout work may not know how to put 360 evenly spaced marks on a circle. If it took all day to layout the first degree wheel it was probably OK. I have seen TV programs where they were trying to erect a monument using primative methods, loads of inexperienced people messed with it all day. The Amish can frame a barn with a handful of people in less time using about the same technology aplied skillfully.
   Dave Boyer - Saturday, 07/23/05 00:45:32 EDT

Rick-- If the bars are all the same stuff and the same dimension, and are heated equally thoroughly, they should not shorten differently. You do not have to do the entire length of the twist at the same time you know, I hope-- heat what's convenient, twist to suit yourself, heat the next section, twist to match. You can control the heat by sousing water on the part you don't want to twist. This is a game, dig it: you vs. the unfeeling, balky, stubbornly resistant universe. You win-- one inning at a time-- by careful observation of what's happening, and by employing devious cunning. Mind over matter. Telepathy and telekinesis help.
   Miles Undercut - Saturday, 07/23/05 01:02:47 EDT

Rick: I would approach your problem from two directions. Essentually you are trying to twist a diamond shape. You will always have one flat and one rounded point. Make a drop-in jaw for one side of your vise with angle iron with the opening horizonal. Essentually just angle iron welded under a piece of flat stock. When used, one side of the jaw (by itself) will hold the flat while the angle iron will hold the point. Modify an old pipe wrench similarly. These are so common they are quite cheap at flea markets, etc. Grind the teeth off either top or bottom. Weld on a piece of angle iron crossways on the other jaw. Thus, one jaw holds the flat and the angle iron holds the point. Try to heat only the area to be twisted. If you 'overheat' slightly in the forge, you should have a good twisting heat by the time you have it clamped on the vise and your wrench on. A second person to close the vise and then hold the other end of the length would be very helpful. For example, I recently did a job which required putting points on the end of 1/2" x 1/2" x 8' bars. A friend held the end in the forge and then up at an angle on the anvil so I could put on the point. Quickly done with a helper. Would have been very awkward by myself.
   Ken Scharabok - Saturday, 07/23/05 05:35:50 EDT

David: On the anvil repair method you cited, I wouldn't particularly recommend polishing the face to mirror smoothness. I used one like that at the first ABABNA Conference held at Alfred, NY. It was so slick the stock wanted to slid away when being forged.
   Ken Scharabok - Saturday, 07/23/05 05:40:57 EDT


One thing that works pretty well for clamping a bundle for twisting is a good-quality hose clamp. The Miller stainless steel worm screw type is my favorite. Simply clamp it near the end of the area you want to twist and heat the stock and twist away. I do use the O/A torch for short, tight sections, as this allows me to confine the heat very accurately.
   vicopper - Saturday, 07/23/05 07:22:50 EDT


What with Ken's altered wrench, vicopper's hose clamp, and Miles' perspicacity, we're getting somewhere!
   Frank Turley - Saturday, 07/23/05 08:42:18 EDT

Miles, Ken, Frank and Vicopper;

Thanks for the information on twisting. I've incorporated all the ideas and have made some of the special tools. I'll be applying the techniques today. Should be a wild success.

   Rick - Saturday, 07/23/05 09:40:16 EDT

Frank T: My firepot is pretty intact but there is no grate (except for a new makeshift. There is no clinker breaker at all. The air pipe was broken off below the elbow so I welded on a little length and made one. The bolts holding the air stuff onto the firepot was fused mostley and then broken so I just welded it back together. I really have very little idea what the basic idea is beyond the diagrams in the army horseshoers manual and would appreciate any diagrams or pictures you can direct me to. I was thinking that I could machine down a piece of shafting or somthing like that, or spend the $36 to Centaur.
   jlw - Saturday, 07/23/05 10:14:57 EDT

Anvil - I replaced my 55lb ASO from Harbor Freight this morning at a yard sale. The "new" $50 anvil does not seem to have any markings other than 11208 stamped on the base under the horn. It weighs just under 100 lbs. The plate must have been welded on later because under the heel their is a pitchell hole however it does not go through the plate. Can I drill through and complete the hole? I posted 3 pics at http://www.t-mobilepictures.com/jillmartinez/Forged/ps/ALBUM/VIEWWEBSITE?foneblog=1122127664383
   Tom - Saturday, 07/23/05 10:20:00 EDT

I was wondering what type of steel I should buy if I wanted to make a good knife that will hold it's edge. Would it be 1030 or something else?
   Eric - Saturday, 07/23/05 10:27:11 EDT

Tom: Your anvil is most likely a Hay-Budden. You may be able to see some of the name on the side: HAY-BUDDEN arced over MANUFACTURING CO. with BROOKLYN, NY arched under it. Kicker is to look at the bottom. Should be an hour-glass-type shaped depression. If a HB, it was made in 1894.
   Ken Scharabok - Saturday, 07/23/05 11:23:05 EDT

Rick: I'll add on one more change to the pipe wrench. Weld on an upper handle about the same length as the wrench. When twisting you then have control of both top and bottom, resulting in less skewing of the twist.
   Ken Scharabok - Saturday, 07/23/05 11:28:28 EDT

Ken- Thanks for the info! It has the hourglass shaped depression.
   Tom - Saturday, 07/23/05 11:33:44 EDT


Since you can weld, I have made tuyere valves which I like, similar to the old Buffalo ones. I used a 2½" length of 2" 18-wheeler axle flattened into a slight oval. If you can't flatten, torch it into an oval and grind. There is a rectangular hole going through it, 5/8" x 1½" on the broad side of the oval. To the center of the oval cross-section, fore and aft, is welded securely (into a countersink with multiple passes?) a 1/2" or 9/16"D rod, and when installed, the rods will be horizontal. Your handle end should come about to just below the hearth tool rest and have a 3" right angle, downward bend to it. The other projecting end can also be the same length with a similar bend, but weld a weight on it so it always settles to center by gravity. When centered, the rectangular tuyere hole is vertical. This valve with rods is sandwiched between ash barrel and firepot. I think I remember that the bolt flanges on top of the ash barrel match holes in the fire pot. If they go vertically all the way through the pot, use carriage bolt heads inside the pot. I remember two holes for two bolts(?).

To make a relatively tight fit, the ash barrel top can have two U-notches fore and aft, for the rods to rest on and rotate within.

The idea of the oval allows air to come up vertically through the rectangular hole, but when turned at a right angle, the valve sides result in openings allowing clinker and ash to fall through. Thus, the old Buffalo ads called it a "tuyere valve".
   Frank Turley - Saturday, 07/23/05 11:46:10 EDT

Frank: Ok, I have it in my mind now. My air hole is about 3x4, so the dimensions will be a little different, and since the firepot is welded up to the air pipes I may thread the oval at the ends and screw the axle/crank rods in. Thanks.
   jlw - Saturday, 07/23/05 13:34:52 EDT

Tom: Yes, you should be able to drill in the pritchel hole from below, just keep in mind you are drilling through tool steel.
   Ken Scharabok - Saturday, 07/23/05 13:39:15 EDT


After all that, I took a look at my Army 2-220, and their diagram is kind of putrid. Are you a shoer?

   Frank Turley - Saturday, 07/23/05 14:40:29 EDT

Eric: 1030 doesn't have enough carbon to harden properly for a blade, though if you already have some it'll work just fine for guards, pommels, etc. If you want a simple carbon steel like 1030, then you'll want 10xx with the xx between 50(more for swords or machetes) up to 95(excellent edge holding but tends more towards brittleness then lesser carbon steels). Also tool steels and spring steels are good choices, O1, W1 and W2, 5160, L6, and others all make good blade steels. There's some good choices that are stainless too but they're much more complicated to HT so I'd suggest putting those off until you have a little more practice.
   AwP - Saturday, 07/23/05 15:44:02 EDT

Grant, see, at my age I don't give a $%#@*^&%$ who said it is supposed to be Celcius. If I want to say Centigrade, then by golly, it will be Centigrade!!! I am currently enduring the transformation of the American Petroleum Institute Specifications into the ISO standards format. What a travesty......
   quenchcrack - Saturday, 07/23/05 18:00:56 EDT

No, but I used to ride some. Always liked watching the farriers. I didnt like to imagine quicking one of the horses feet. That always worried me about shoeing.
   jlw - Saturday, 07/23/05 18:21:44 EDT

I am making a series of candle holders that is beginning to be in demand. This is both good and bad. I'm having a hard time keeping up with orders. What I would like to do is have a punch made that would alow me to make the general shape of a leaf quickly instead of me sawing each leaf by hand and then grinding all of the details in. I need three sizes so I would need three of these punches. The leaves are made of mild steel plate less than an eighth of an inch thick. The largest is about three inches by four inches and the smallest is about one inch by one and a half inches. I have a small bottle jack that I was going to use to supply the force for the punch and I was going to weld together a frame to mount the whole thing. I'm confident in my ability to build the thing but I lack the tools to create the punch itself. I just need it to knock out valentine shapes from the steel. What sort of steel should be used to make the punch and can you give me an idea of what a machine shop might charge for this sort of thing? If you need more information about the design I am more than glad to supply it. Thanks,
   Will - Saturday, 07/23/05 18:33:58 EDT


This will not answer your question, but rather refer you to the NAVIGATE menu where you can find iForge demonstrations. It is so much fun to forge the leaves as in demonstrations 8 and 10, and with practice, it doesn't take long to make one. Each is slightly different from its neighbor, as you find in nature, and you wind up with the benefits of forge texture and a stem, if needed.
   Frank Turley - Saturday, 07/23/05 18:50:44 EDT


I would look into having those leaves either laser cut or water-jet cut. There are places that do it pretty economically, particualrly when you need multiples of the same thing. Check in back issues of The Anvil's Ring, or the NOMMA publication, "Fabricator". They will have ads for places that do this.
   vicopper - Saturday, 07/23/05 18:54:23 EDT

I bought an old anvil, the edges are in bad shape. What is the best way to rebuild the edges? What kind of metal is an anvil, what kind of welding rod do I need, what kind of heat { how to apply} do I need?
   Dave Thomson - Saturday, 07/23/05 19:31:37 EDT

Dave Thomson,

This question came up on the 21st, and it was suggested that this url be consulted: http://www.cvbg.org/tips/anvilrepair699.PDF
   Frank Turley - Saturday, 07/23/05 21:01:16 EDT

Despite the big metric scare of the Reagan administration we're still measuring land in acres, with my favorite phrase: "...more or less." I recently had an 11 some acre parcel divided into two somewhat equal parts out in Tucson, which is on the Western grid system. Even with GPS and excellent surveying tools, the two parcels, when added up, were missing some 400 square feet (more or less).

Back at the SEC a lawyer once tried to prove my figures wrong, during a space survey citing his figures and showing a discrepancy of 200 square feet. I pointed out to him that on the 18,400 square foot floor plate (the building occupied most of a city block), that was equivalent to a 3/8th inch error on the perimeter of the building.
The world, it turns out, is a very imperfect and unstable place.

I do think furlongs per fortnight should be an internationally accepted standard!

Finally back to forging on the banks of the lower Potomac. Actually got a few things done before the back gave a twinge of warning. Need to work my way back into things, gently, ever so gently.

Visit your National Parks: www.nps.gov

Go viking: www.longshipco.org
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Saturday, 07/23/05 22:48:53 EDT

Fairbanks Hammer:
How does one adjust the stroke and spring tension correctly on one of these? I have a home built hammer (see www.frogvalleyforge.com ) that I simply adjust the push rod to within an inch or so, but now I got two adjustments and I am boggled. LOL

Reccomendations? Suggestions?
   Mark at FrogValleyForge - Saturday, 07/23/05 23:08:05 EDT

[ CSI - anvilfire MEMBERS Group | Getting Started in Blacksmithing ]
Counter    Copyright © 2005 Jock Dempsey, www.anvilfire.com Cummulative_Arc GSC