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

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

This is an archive of posts from July 8 - 15, 2007 on the Guru's Den
[ THE - GURUS | ABOUT THIS PAGE | Getting Started in Blacksmithing ]

Mike, I've been working on that but there are no real standards. Not too long ago all tools came dressed according to factory standards. Today many manufacturers do not and leave it up to the user. Oddly the era of poorly dressed hammers corresponded with the advent of CNC machinery that could do the job automatically . . but the export of manufacturing where the cheaper labor does not do the same job that was done by higher paid workers. . . Ironic isn't it?

Part of the trouble with giving specifics is that if I told you that a standard 3# cross pien had a 4" to 6" radius and a 45° chamfer from 70% of the width could you produce it?

Sheet metal working hammers have radii of 16" to 20" and a slightly radiused edge. These are hard to measure but are critical.

Rocker faced hammers have a radius in one direction and the edge should blend across the corners using a elipse to 1/6th the face width or radius of 1/8 the face width and slightly more on the corners.

After the factory standards then there are personal preferences.

The right was to dress a hammer is to work smooth even geometric faces then divide those in half then blend the results using an unsupported belt sander.
   - guru - Saturday, 07/07/07 23:07:53 EDT


This has been talked about and is archived, probably hard to find. A new hammer face is usually poorly dressed and has an edge chamfer leaving a "ring". I use a disc or belt sander and remove the ring. The face should have a little "rocker"; I liken it to the crystal of a pocket watch. The chamfered edge should be turned into a smooth radius. A horseshoer's rounding hammer face is slightly flatter than a blacksmiths, but it still has some rocker.
   Frank Turley - Saturday, 07/07/07 23:09:22 EDT


I think hammer faces are a pretty personal thing. What works for one smith's style of hammering doesn't necessarlily work as well for another smith. SOme guys like a very narrow peen, while I hate 'em. SOme guys like rounding hammers, while I prefer a square faced hammer with a significant rocker. I happen to like HOfi/Haberman/Czech style hammers, while others say they're overrated. There are no absolutes, is what I'n saying. You have to find what works for you.

One suggestion that I'll offer on the dressing of hammer faces is this: Use a block of plasticine clay, (the stuff kids use to make greasy messes with), to test the effect your hammer face has. You can easily see what different blows will do, different rockers, angles, radii, etc. You can even use scrap wood to make mock-up hammer faces to test this on, until you find what suits you. Then do it to your hammer.
   vicopper - Sunday, 07/08/07 07:50:07 EDT

I'm thinking about selling my Big Blue and my 7.5 horse Ingersol compressor. Where should I post the details?
   Mike H. - Monday, 07/09/07 11:41:55 EDT

Mike, on the Hammer-In. Be sure to list location.
   - guru - Monday, 07/09/07 12:15:42 EDT

Thanks for the suggestions. I'll have to remember the bicycle chain & sprocket & scissors jack w. VSR drill notions especially.

I got there about an hour after the first time they would sell the thing to me (state surplus regulations) and some early bird beat me to it.

As a 'consolation prize" I bought a big, heavy Stanly "bolt to the floor" tool cabinet. Just the thing for storing stuff like mill vises &c. (Of course, I'm still looking for the mill.)

Frank - That drill press was from the v-belt era. I've seen pictures of WW2 era factories with dozens of drill presses like that one. Being at State Surplus, I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't WWII surplus that the state just got done with. IIRC Buffalo built drill presses a lot like that to the bitter end. Of course, I guess the 1940s are "late" given how far back Buffalo goes.
   John Lowther - Monday, 07/09/07 14:36:31 EDT


The more you can do with a tool the better tool it is.!!!!!
The HAND HAMMER is a tool that you do more then thousend operations with not only straight forging.
The idia behind my hammer is that you can do ALL those thousend acts with less ennergy less power faster without DAMEGING you body!
With the right way of GUIDING the hammer YOU CAN GET ALL THIS AND MORE.
The ART of forging is not only to use the heat of the hot steel but A. To maintain the heat for a longer time . B. To CREATE heat while forging by using right the hammer and anvil . for this you need the ''hofi '' hammer.For ALL my forging i use only ONE HAMMER. The more i forge i reveal new uses of the hammer and anvil and that is the beuty of the craft you never can say I KNOW IT ALL.
Do not hesitate to ask me .you can mail me too.
   HOFI - Monday, 07/09/07 16:03:15 EDT

FORGOT to than frank turly for his clear explanation


   HOFI - Monday, 07/09/07 16:06:51 EDT

I don't have a question yet, and haven't even gotten into the actual working of metal, but I am looking forward to it and have been for a long time. I do not yet have any of the tools and am limited on money, but I am doing lots of reading and trying to gain the knowledge, and that is why I am writing. I wanted to thank you all for the useful information supplied on this site and look forward to the day when I can post a real question. :D
   Daarian - Monday, 07/09/07 16:37:05 EDT

Hofi; I need to dish out a large kettle from steel fairly soon ; how would you suggest using your hammer to dish in a form? I've been using a long "necked", canted, domed hammer; but would love to learn a better way---heated dished steel makes a quite efficient IR emitter that the tong or hammer hand seems to be in the focal point of all too often.

Daarian; I once set up a beginners forge kit for under US$25 that included Forge, blower, anvil,basic tools to get started and let you forge others. If $25 is too much to get started I could cut about 1/3 of that out by suggesting you use a ground forge, (a hole in the ground).

Having nice tools is a big help but until you learn hammer control, what temps to work what steels at, etc you could use a beginner's forge and not lack much.

   Thomas P - Monday, 07/09/07 17:43:14 EDT

For those beginners in the Houston area, the new Harbor Freight store on North I45 at West Road has the Russian Anvils in stock for $79. These are the ones with the diagonal hardy holes so we cannot be sure they are the same ones reviewed here.
   quenchcrack - Monday, 07/09/07 18:41:44 EDT

$25? Wow.. I cant even figure out a way to get an anvil for that. I'd be interested in learning how you accomplished that. I got to mess around on a little portable forge for a few hours, but I lost contact with the friend that had it, about 4 years ago. I have been dying to set up a small little forge since then.
   Daarian - Monday, 07/09/07 19:08:30 EDT

Daarian, In many impoverished countries a large sledge hammer (10 pounds or more) is often used for an anvil. It is set on end in a stump for good support. Sledges up to 15 pounds can often be found at flea markets. Look for OLD ones not the new junk imports. The smiths working on these primitive anvils often produce work that is exported and sold in the US. . . However, if you are in any major country you are in the "land of plenty" and you should be able to find something better (IE heavier) in a scrap yard (or even the road side) if you are resourceful (a necessary attribute to be a blacksmith). See our FAQ's page on anvil making.

See Wayne Goddard's $50 Knife Shop

OR Ray Clontz Belt Grinder

   - guru - Monday, 07/09/07 20:24:11 EDT

Thanks.. I figured there was something on the site. I just stumbled onto it last night and havent had much time to look around yet. My connection is not reliable since I am reaching out and connecting on one of the neighbor's unsecured wireless network with my laptop. When I figure out which neighbor I'll be more reliable, though I tend to get caught up in reading and the battery may die.
   Daarian - Monday, 07/09/07 20:42:49 EDT

guru I Just found a Warrant anvil aprox 100lb rings nice fair shape do you have any history of the Warrant brand it also has a 7 stamped in the base under the horn. any info. will help Thanks Harold
   Harold Cook - Monday, 07/09/07 21:13:37 EDT

12 lb. sledge redefined:the "Harley Tool," "Swing Press","Quick Wrench" Machinist Dictionary hehe

   Todd - Monday, 07/09/07 21:35:02 EDT

Is it me, or is Mass 3j not coming up??
   - Tyler Murch - Monday, 07/09/07 21:47:49 EDT

What is T3 steel? What are it's applications? Is it forgable and easily heat treated? I recently acquired 2"x2"x36" piece not sure what to do with it.
   brian robertson - Monday, 07/09/07 21:59:00 EDT

Brian, It is hard to tell. AISI letter number grades stop at M47 (a high speed steel). ASTM numbers end at F. UNS lists a n unattributed trade designation for T steels (T-1, T-3, T-5, T-6. . .) skipping T-3. These are given UNS numbers T12001, T12001. . .). There is no cross reference to other steels.

Without the standard referenced it is very difficult to know. Junkyard steel rules apply.
   - guru - Monday, 07/09/07 22:46:29 EDT

Tyler, It may be you (your PC). Mass3j opens in a separate pop-up window. You may have an over zealous pop-up blocker.

   - guru - Monday, 07/09/07 22:48:19 EDT

"Warrant" anvil: Harold, This is probably one of many anvils that had "warranted" in their logo. This was common in Peter Wrights. Clean the anvil and look for other markings.
   - guru - Monday, 07/09/07 22:50:10 EDT

Hi again I looked very close if the ed was there I could not see it The warrant was clean and crisp and the 7 was very deep I can't see any other markings except some weight markings on the other side. guess it's a un known. Thanks. Harold
   Harold Cook - Monday, 07/09/07 23:11:21 EDT

Thanks, ya'll. A few questions. I hope soon to be at a place where I can answer some and help others, but for now...
Mr. Hofi. Hi! To try one of those hammers, what is a good way to figure the right weight for the hammer head? By which I mean, let's say I use a two pound, long handled sledge occasionally for texturing and for sideways movements, a three pound and a four pound short handled hammer for more direct "forging"... should I shoot higher or lower to try a first hammer and learn a more ergonomic method?
What I find is that there is some weight line that I cross where the style of forging I employ is different. Below about three pounds I tend to hold the end of a long hammer handle and basically swing like I was whipping a carpenter's hammer... my grip tightening at the moment of impact. Above that weight, and actually more comfortably, I mostly choke up on a heavier hammer and produce most of the force by simply dropping the hammer and using my fingers for any whip... more overhanded grip... it reminds me of what experienced drummers do... less swing and more short snap.
So I'm inclined to think, as I understand it, that a heavier hammer (3.5) would be a good place to start.
Also, does anyone here regularly use a double chamber bellows? I built some a while ago and have still found a difficult time controlling it. One thing I like about hand-crank blowers (and I assume box bellows as well) is that you have very immediate control over the amount of air. With the two chamber bellows, it seems more indirect... a valve or a weight moving... and as such seems more like an electric blower excepting that you are the electricity. Tricks?
   - Drew - Tuesday, 07/10/07 06:31:20 EDT


Gripping a hammer handle tightly at the point of impact is a good way to develop tendonitis. I won't get into the specifics of the Hofi method of hammering, except to say that I have the video and I try to practice it.

The mechanics of forging hammers are relatively simple, in that force equals mass times velocity. So you get the force from the mass of the hammer accelerated by gravity plus your shoulder, elbow, wrist, and fingers. If you maximum force, you need to use all the motive tools available to you. The shoulder to start the hammer moving, the elbow to begin the acceleraton, the wrist to speed it up and the fingers to finish the accelerationo and direct the blow. If any of these muscle groups are "locked up" they're robbing you of speed, and thereby power.

For powerful forging blows, I let the rebound from the hammer hitting the work kick the hammer head up until the handle is about vertical and begin to elevate it, then I help it the rest of the way up to over my head. At the point it reaches apex, I use my shoulder to start it directly downward, then accelerate it with my elbow and use the wrist to begin to turn the hammer to the striking position. At the end of the swing, my fingers flick the hammer the rest of the way to where the handle is horizontal and the blow strikes, starting the process over again. My fingers never grip the handle tightly; in fact, I use only my thumb and middle finger most of the time, adding the final whip with my ring and little fingers.

This delicate grip applies to all one-handed hammering, from light chasing hammers of one or two ounces up to my heavy Hofi forging hammer of about 3-1/2#. I choke up on the hammer handle when it feels right, and use the full handle when that seems appropriate. The only time I grip a hammer handle at all tightly is with my left hand when striking with a sledge. The right hand, which does the power and control, still has a relatively gentle grip. The left had grip is snug to be a solid pivot point and to gaurd against an errant flying sledge if I get sweaty-handed and/or tired.

For power forging, you need time and distance to accelerate the hammer, so you swing from overhead. For lighter blows, you don't lift the hammer as high, and you use less shoulder. BUT...if you try to move metal using only part of a blow, you run the risk of damaging your joints and connective tissue. Decrease the velocity of the hammer and you decrease the force. Analyze what you are doing and look for places to make your movements more fluid and graceful. Watch an aikido or kendo master and notice how fluid all the movements are, even the short ones. Apply that to your hammer technique and you will use less effort to move more metal.

I heartily recommend that you get the Hofi video on hammer technique. It is about much more than just the mechanics of swinging the hammer. It also gives you information on how to get the most out of each blow, conserving heat, and moving the metal most effectively. I would not presume to try to teach you the HOfi technique. Get the word directly from the master.

n.b. - I would not recommend a 3.5# hammer to start out with. I would starting a pound or so lighter until you have really mastered the movements. Too heavy a hammer will have you trying to force the movements and that will prevent you from learning to be graceful and fluid.
   vicopper - Tuesday, 07/10/07 09:41:51 EDT

Drew, when forging, you want to almost let go of the hammer at the moment of impact. It is more like throwing the hammer at the work and waiting for it to come back.

Bellows: I used a double chambered bellows full time for many years. It was the easiest most controllable air source I have ever used. Others have said the same. But I have since used bellows setup poorly (usually by folks with no mechanical apptitude) and found them nearly worthless and very difficult to use. These were old bellows that were too small for the forge and were shorted leather.

1) Properly setup a Double Chambered Bellows has a long stroke that is as long as is comfortable to pull. It must also have enough volume to produce a good amount of air with that stroke. If the bellows is short of leather or is rigged for a short pull it is hard to use and wasteful of your effort. The linkage between the bellows and user is a important as the construction of the bellows.

2) The top chamber of the bellows should be just heavy enough to produce a good blast of air. Many are built too heavy and require counter balances. Mine, built of 1" nominal (3/4" finished) pine lumber with two cross bars and a separate lightened middle board was heavy enough for a full blast unless the fire was clogged. In that case I would lay a hammer or two on the top and that would add enough pressure. NOTE: Proper flow from the bellows for a "normal" forge fire assumes about a 2" (50mm) diameter pipe, no less.

3) In operation (IF the bellows is right) you can pump long and hard or slow and easy. At a hard fast pace the top chamber stays mostly inflated and both the top and middle boards provide pressure. At less than a fast pace on the top half of the top chamber inflates thus reducing the pressure some more. For a VERY light blast such as for welding a small piece in a perfect fire you can pull long but slow enough to create JUST enough air. At this point the slightest change in pull can change the character of the fire. You can easily hear the difference (if you have normal hearing).

I found a good Great Bellows to be easier to use than a blower which I find hard on the elbow and an unnatural motion.

My Great Bellows were about 5 feet (1.5m) long to the tip of the nozzle and 30" (76cm) wide. Each half opened about 22" (56cm) at the back. My linkage was a little over 1:1 giving me a stroke that started from as high as I could comfortably reach (without stretching) and ended just at shoulder level. In normal operation when the fire was going good I only pulled about half this stroke.
   - guru - Tuesday, 07/10/07 09:44:28 EDT

On the Hofi method...

I'm a hobby blacksmith and a full time farrier so I spend a LOT of time swinging a hammer. What that really means is that I have a life time of bad habits that to deal with.

I came across an article writen by Mr Hofi a while back. I try to put what he wrote in practice and, though I slip back into old habits if I don't pay attention, it has still made a world of difference in work efficiency and fatigue.

For being such a simple device, it is not so simple to learn to use a hammer well...but I keep trying. LOL
   Mike Ferrara - Tuesday, 07/10/07 09:58:09 EDT

I'm going to be starting a project that requires me to weld AISI 9260 to A36, then harden and temper the 9260. The joint doesn't need to be hardenable; it just needs to be strong and tough. I'll be using an AC stick welder. I could use some help with electrode selection. The guy at Lincoln Electric recommended 15CrMn. Another experienced welder recommended plain old 6013. Any tiebreakers?

By the way, just to be nitpicky: force actually equals mass times acceleration. *Momentum* equals mass times velocity.
   Matt B - Tuesday, 07/10/07 10:21:14 EDT

Bellows Construction: The only thing I would do different today is to use heavy gate hinges and cover them with leather (as is standard) and build up the edges of the boards with several strips of veneer thin cut wood. This would reinforce the edges of the boards to prevent cracking when nailing and the extra width could be rounded. However, this mod is because I now have a bandsaw that works very well at cutting thin veneers.

I've got lumber setting out in the shop waiting to build an Oriental box bellows. These require less wood and no leather unless you use it for valve hinges. They work well and are much more portable than a leather covered bellows.
   - guru - Tuesday, 07/10/07 10:23:44 EDT

Odd ball Weld: Matt, Probably more important to the weld joint in this case is technique. My heat treaters guide says it is very close to S4. As a high manganese steel it is going to harden easily from the welding so preheat is an absolute necessity. If it is a small part with a 100% weld I would go from welding into a forge fire to remove stresses then air cool. The heat treater's guide says to normalize by heating to 1650 and cooling in air. I like to heat these kind of joints to forging temperature and give them a few wacks.

You may want to consider E7018 or E7024 as these are high strength rods commonly used on mild steel. I've welded spring steel to mild using E6013. However, I have also welded tool steels with 308SS rod. I prefer this on chrome plated parts (modifying tools) as the color is a close match and SS works well with high alloy steels.
   - guru - Tuesday, 07/10/07 10:36:54 EDT

Well the anvil was a broken knuckle off a train car coupler: it had a flat area and a curved area and was heavy and hard/tough and *FREE*! The london pattern anvil design is not even 200 years old and the iron age goes back over 2000 years. People thinking that that is the *only* design is what gets them to waste money on cast iron ASO's

The forge was a brakedrum mounted in the top of an old stool frame with a sheet metal fence in it; tuyere was a CI drain grate, air was misc used plumbing parts, (T, nipples, floor flanges) all bought used at a local fleamarket or scrounged from illegal dumpsites.

Blower was an old "handy vac" missing the bag, that and a ceiling fan controller were also from the fleamarket. Starter tongs were used visegrips and large pliers; hammers 2-3# used, from the fleamarket for $3 apiece. You can make or buy real chunk charcoal to use until you can find coal---note charcoal takes a lot less air than coal does so I usually had the ash dump open when using an electric blower as well as the speed control---motors don't like to be slowed too far down...

only tools used in it's construction was a hacksaw; adjustable wrench, pipe wrench and a 1/4" drill.

Don't get hung up on having a top of the line forge and tools when you are still trying to learn to hit what you are looking at.

Once you get started and start pestering everyone you know/meet it's amazing what you can find that's both good and cheap! And having your starter kit you can wait to buy when you do run into a great deal---save your money and have the cash to strike while the iron is hot!

   Thomas P - Tuesday, 07/10/07 12:18:36 EDT

BTW I forgot to mention theis "starter" forge was the one I used to use for welding up billets for knifemaking---why I had the fence to get a very deep fire.

   Thomas P - Tuesday, 07/10/07 12:20:40 EDT

Just for the record, 9260 and A36 will forge-weld to one another readily, and the 9260 will still be hardenable...The size and section of the parts may make a forge weld difficult, though.
   Alan-L - Tuesday, 07/10/07 12:20:56 EDT

Priced as a pair.

Big Blue retail $5,295
asking $3,995 with three sets of dies

Ingersoll compressor 7.5 horse, retail $2,300
asking $1,600

Total is $5,600, a savings of $2,000 plus no shipping if you pick up.

Location. Princeton, KS 66078

Reason for selling. New job, no time.

Email. mmhill633@hotmail.com
   Mike H. - Tuesday, 07/10/07 12:46:25 EDT

Thomas, how big of a kettle? I recently cut in half a forklift-sized propane tank (first left empty and open for several days, then filled with water just in case before cutting with an angle grinder). I thought the bottom looked a lot like a ready-made kettle and the walls are close to 1/4 inch thick. No wonder the job ate up five of my 4 1/2 inch cutting disks. Still it was a lot easier than dishing a piece of plate that size would have been.
   mstu - Tuesday, 07/10/07 12:53:18 EDT

"By the way, just to be nitpicky: force actually equals mass times acceleration. *Momentum* equals mass times velocity."

But Kenetic Energy = MV^2/2
   Mike Ferrara - Tuesday, 07/10/07 13:52:19 EDT

Alan, I wondered about that. I *could* forge weld this project, but arc welding is more convenient. Thanks.

Guru, thanks for the suggestions. I suspect 7018 or 7024 will be easier for me to get ahold of than 15CrMn.
   Matt B - Tuesday, 07/10/07 13:56:16 EDT

Indeed, Mike.
   Matt B - Tuesday, 07/10/07 13:57:11 EDT

Matt B, I like the idea of forge welding, as Alan L suggested.

I'm working from some older books, but if your 9260 element percentages are C 0.56-0.64; Mn 0.70-1.00; Si 1.80-2.20, the Forging Industry Association listed it as a spring steel.

Heat treatment temperatures:
Normalizing 1600/1700ºF
Annealing 1500/1550ºF
Hardening 1550/1600ºF Quenching Medium, Oil

Tempering data would depend on end-use.
   Frank Turley - Tuesday, 07/10/07 14:10:39 EDT

The kettle needs to match medieval/renaissance ones and they vary in size; but up to about 5 gal if the scale on this woodcut is any good for the most recent batch.

   Thomas P - Tuesday, 07/10/07 14:17:52 EDT


That's the stuff. What tempering temperature do you have for something in the range of RC 45-50?
   Matt B - Tuesday, 07/10/07 14:44:27 EDT

Er, sorry. That last was directed to Frank, not Alan.
   Matt B - Tuesday, 07/10/07 14:49:57 EDT

9260 is indeed a spring steel, more or less 5160 with silicon instead of chrome and a bit more manganese. GM used to use it for coil springs, dunno what, if anything special, they use now.

For Rc 45-50 I'd go to a light blue, dunno the temperature right off the top of my head (500-600 degrees F?), but that's a good spring temper. With all that Mn it'll be plenty hard, and the Si makes it tough as all get-out.
   Alan-L - Tuesday, 07/10/07 16:35:10 EDT

Forging the steel is basicaly two operation action 1 foging dowen and 2 rasing the hammer forging dowen is importent because this is the forging and forming work you do,but going dowen is easy the problam is rasing the hammer back to gain the potentiol energy if you dont do it right or hold the hammer right or use eccess power to do it you will damege you body very bad.
i am not going to explain it here but you can go to iforgeiron.com and in the bluprints go to BP 1000 this is the place i give lectuers on blacksmithing every once in a while 1001-1002 are on ''how not to hold the hammer'' and how to "right hold the hammer" and after you read it fined a good teacher somwere.

6 YEARS AGO THE ENGLISH FARRIER ASSOSATION HAD THIR CENTINERY they invited me to be the sole demonstrtor in the celebration after my demo that took a whole day and my explanation Mrtin a farrier the won the first prise in calery anounced that every farrier must learn the hofi forging system. while teaching in the stats maney of my studens were farriers GO ON TRYING
   HOFI - Tuesday, 07/10/07 17:00:41 EDT

can you use a bench grinder to dress the face of a hammer?
   - Scott - Tuesday, 07/10/07 18:24:54 EDT

I have a Lincoln AC 225 stick welder with less than 1 hour on it. It has the wheel set and I will throw in 2 water- tight rod carriers with about 10# of rod. Can anyone give me an estimate of what I should be asking for this unit? I no longer have room in the garage for it.
   quenchcrack - Tuesday, 07/10/07 18:58:42 EDT


Yes, and you can also use a file. Hosever, neither of them is going to be much fun. The bench grinder will give you fits trying to work around the handle, and the file is a lotof hard work. The tool of choice for dressing hammers is a belt grinder, as it is quick enough and leaves no sharp corners to put grins in your work. If I had to use a hard wheel grinder, I'd probably opt for a small angle grinder, peferably using a flap disk.
   vicopper - Tuesday, 07/10/07 20:01:31 EDT

Bench Grinder Safety: DO NOT dress heavy tools on small wheels. Any part greater than or equal to the weight of the wheel is considered very dangerous.

What happens is that the part starts bouncing and the greater mass of the bouncing part can easily break the wheel. Most home shop bench grinders have small 6" wheels that only weigh a couple pounds. They also tend to have poor or weak safety bars.

Click the title link for more.

Angle grinders are hard to control but in this case are much safer.
   - guru - Tuesday, 07/10/07 20:19:00 EDT

Speaking of angle grinders and safety, is there a rule of thumb about the maximum safe thickness of steel one can cut with a given size of angle grinder? (I won't say what I actually *have* cut with my 4.5" Harbor Freight special. You'd probably be horrified. But it's the best $18 I ever spent.)
   Matt B - Tuesday, 07/10/07 21:53:49 EDT

Hey Ya'll, I need a quick fix before the rainy season sets in. I just finished doing my porch with rusty old wagon wheels and AN style ironwork as the fill beneath the hand rail and deck, (could send you pic's if that would help). I need to prime it with something that will hold up for a while and seal the rust with very little prep. Unfortunately my immediate family member(s), are battling cancer and I don't have the time to spend on details right now cause I'm the designated care-giver. Any ideas??
   Thumper - Tuesday, 07/10/07 22:19:48 EDT

I live in montana and got in a brass lamp to repair. Got it done, but rubbed some of the finish off. It is a very dark gray look. I would like to know how to replicate this look.So far I haven't found anything that will do it, Could you help. thank you ed auger.
   ed auger - Wednesday, 07/11/07 00:29:55 EDT

I live in montana and got in a brass lamp to repair. Got it done, but rubbed some of the finish off. It is a very dark gray look. I would like to know how to replicate this look.So far I haven't found anything that will do it, Could you help. thank you ed auger.
   ed auger - Wednesday, 07/11/07 00:30:27 EDT


I live down here in the salt water, so Ihave some experience with battling rust. The best thing I've found is a 98% zinc primer called Galvacon, made by Lanco Paints. There are other brands that are equal. The stuff is really 98% zinc powder with just enough binders to make it stick to the steel. It is nearly as good as hot-dip galvanizing whenit comes to stopping rust. I have an awning over the area where i used to forge, that I made by welding galvanized fence tubing into a framework for a heavy vinyl tarp. That was five years ago, and the weld areas that I painted with the Galvacon are still rust free, with no topcoat applied. The tubing itself is showing rust in other areas.

The stuff is pretty expensive, at least down here. I just bought a quart last week and it set me back $39, up form about $29 the last itme I bought any a couple years ago. Still, it's worth it. Nothing else wil do what it does, no matter what the advertising says.

For realsolid protection, paint first with the Galvacon, then use a red or black oxide primer over that, then two topcoats of automotive paint. That system will last for at least ten years in a marine environment, if applied over sandblasted or pickled steel. Over rusty steel, it's still good for five years or more.
   vicopper - Wednesday, 07/11/07 00:31:38 EDT


Neglected to mention above: you'll know you've got the right galvanizing paint if a quart can weighs about what a gallon of anything else would. A quart of zinc is heavy!
   vicopper - Wednesday, 07/11/07 00:33:10 EDT

Ed Auger,

If that dark gray is just an oxide film, you might try a little solution of liver of sulfur with a few drops of cold gunbluing added. The kind of bluing that has selenious acid in it. Obvioiusly, try it on a piece of scrap to get the results you want.

ONe standard formula for a patinate for black on bras uses sodium thiosulfate and ferric nitrate in water. Sodium thiosulfate is photographic hypo (fixer), by the way. The formula calls for 6.5 gm of thiosulfate and 50 gm of ferric nitrate in a liter of water. I'd dilute it to half that strength and try it cold, first. Then add heat or a stronger solution if needed.
   vicopper - Wednesday, 07/11/07 00:46:09 EDT


I have at least a half dozen, maybe more of those HF grinders and they have all outlasted the Makitas, Porter Cables and Metabos that I've bought. Having lots of them means not havinig to change wheels and not having to run one so long it gets hot. One of the better values at HF, if you get their item number 42204 or 91223. Both normally cost around $30, but when I see them on sale for half price (often), I buy four or five to keep in stock or give as gifts.

I don't usually use an angle grinder for cutting, as i have a dedicated circular saw for that, as well as a chop saw and a Milwaukee Porta-Band.
   vicopper - Wednesday, 07/11/07 00:58:33 EDT

Hand Grinders for Cutting: This is one of those tasks that I just NEVER thought of. The reason? Common sense. A high speed grinder in a notch is a very serious hazard for kick back. So it is a method that I never used.

A number of years ago I warned a guy in our shop to not clean out a notch in plate using a big grinder. I told him to use a chipping hammer and a file. He did not listen. The next day we were hauling him to the emergency room with one side of his jaw sliced in two and a bunch of teeth knocked out. . . He spent years having reconstructive surgery and we spent months dealing with OSHA. When asked, "How would you prevent this accident from happening in the future?" My only reply could be, "Fire employees immediately that do not follow instructions." But THAT is the "wrong" answer.

If this fellow had been working at home alone he would have been dead. The blow of the grinder knocked him unconscious for a few moments and there was so much bleeding that we did not wait for emergency crews. We transported IMMEDIATELY. He was in such a fog he did not know what happened until the next day.

A lot of people use grinders to cut with. Most get away with it. But it is a dangerous operation. And when something stops that wheel from spinning you might THINK you have the strength to hold it back, but you do not. Same with chain saws.

"Get away with it" is the key phrase. Drunk drivers "get away with it" many times before they get caught or kill someone. So just because you can "get away with it" does not make it safe or a good technique.

Angle grinders are a surface cutting device. Please don't stick them in slots or notches. If you insist, then please stay out of the kickback path. . .
   - guru - Wednesday, 07/11/07 09:13:32 EDT

Quick temporary finish.

Thumper, Ospho is about the only Q&D finish for old steel. There are other more expensive brands calling themselves "rust converters" but they are the same thing. It can be applied and the iron left in the weather for several months before finishing. It is best over tight rust, turning it black. However, there is always some unbound ospho and white streaks. The surface tends to keep that creepy crawly acidy feel for years (due to free phosphoric acid) so don't use on surfaces that one is likely to come in contact with.

The directions say you can paint directly over the treated surface. This is a so-so finish but is fast and stops rust for the short term. Because it is fast and cheap it is an industrial favorite.
   - guru - Wednesday, 07/11/07 09:26:39 EDT

Wow, Jock I use 4" cut off disks for cutting stock up to 3/4". On sheet and other odd shapes I only go up to 1/4" to 5/16". You must have been talking about those monster angle grinders. The 4" angle grinder is pretty manageable, I always use it with two hands and keep my body at a proper stance; legs and feet at shoulder width, keeping my body out of the line of fire, and ALWAYS prepared for kickback. Like you said, similar to chainsaws, but if things are THAT dangerous, why are chainsaws and cut off disks made? Sounds like the idiot you had working for you was an obstinate "f"-er who just has to do things his own way or simply has a problem with authority.
   - Nippulini - Wednesday, 07/11/07 09:58:02 EDT

Chainsaws: These have come equipped with a kick back brake that works on inertia for quite some time. They stop instantly if there is kick back. The similar tools that use cut off wheels have the same mechanism.

Cutoff wheels are generally designed for "cut off", not slicing plate.

The grinder in use was a high speed standard size angle grinder. It was not the most powerful made or nearly as powerful as the B&D/DeWalt Wildcats I have.

The fellow was a typical red-neck EMPLOYEE. They do what they are going to do and there is good reason for the last words are "Hey Vern watch this. . ." jokes.

Even small HS tools are dangerous. I've had little Dremels rip themselves out of control. My last electric die grinder died when it hung in a hole then walked the inside of the hole so fast that the inertia ripped the body of the tool in two. . . It separated the motor from the gearbox in about a millisecond. I was holding on fairly tight because I was EXPECTING it to try to do this as ALL die grinders try to do it in holes. . . All holding on tight in this case got me was a sore wrist. But maybe it kept it from hitting me in the face. Walking a 1" hole at 40,000 PRM literally only takes a millisecond so it was difficult to know what happened until the aftermath.

"Shit Happens" is not a joke. It does and can be very sudden and dangerous when machinery is involved. AND even when you are expecting it, you may not be able to react as fast as that pent up horsepower.
   - guru - Wednesday, 07/11/07 10:19:19 EDT

Zinc finishes and more: Thirty years ago I did a piece of sculpture. It had many plates and crevices and was difficult to finish. I did my best at the time but like many young smiths I had under priced the job. . . About 9 years later the sculpture was damaged by vandals and needed repair. It was also starting to rust pretty badly. This time I took it and had it sand blasted, then I rinsed thinned zinc paint into the crevices before giving it a full coat of zinc. Then it was primed with red oxide and hand painted with machine enamel similar to the original paint job. That was 20 years ago.

I saw my sculpture the other night. It was dirty as it sets near a heavily traveled road. But there was no serious rust. The top coat was beginning to fade and there was signs of rust stains from some of the crevices. It could stand to be cleaned and repainted but it could go another 5 years or more without serious corrosion. That would put the life of the paint job at 26 years.

When I repainted the piece I told the client that it should last 20 years or more. Our concept of time is such that you never think that you will be revisiting a job again after 20 years. . . But time marches on. I suspect I will be refinishing the piece one last time before the owner passes on. However, I think the daughter may end up with the house. . . Will I be refinishing the piece again in 2035? Will I even be alive or capable of doing the job????

When we do public work and exterior architectural work it is going to be around for a LONG LONG time. Most of it will out last the maker (you) by many years. SO it behooves us to do as good a job as possible INCLUDING the finish.

In a nearby city there are a number of public works of art along the streets by one sculptor. They are typical big metal pieces but they were poorly made. Welds were not continuous and seams not sealed. They have filled with water which froze and pushed plates apart. Other joints have rusted and the expanding rust has broken more welds. Because they are large pieces there are now hazard fences and warning tape stretched around these works of art.

There are many in the city cursing the artist who charged a great deal for these works. There are people in the city government that have looked at the cost of restoration and recommended scraping them. . It is a huge mess, because of the quality of the workmanship.

So think about it. Do you want people cursing your memory when you are gone and scraping your work because it deserves it?

The work I have had sandblasted and painted with zinc paint has lasted 20 years or more. While that sounds like a long time it is not. It would be nice to have work not need any attention while you are still alive. . .
   - guru - Wednesday, 07/11/07 10:27:22 EDT

Thanks for the input, Ospho it is ASAP. As guru pointed out, I don't want the next owners of my property to cuss out my work...even if they are family members LOL.
   Thumper - Wednesday, 07/11/07 10:51:47 EDT

With the price of scrap these days they should look at it as an investment...

Many artists have no clue about durability even in a controlled environment---gives museum conservators fits that we have frescos almost 2000 years old that are doing better than stuff under 100 years old.

   Thomas P - Wednesday, 07/11/07 11:39:52 EDT

So, in the case of bad blacksmiths, life is long and art is short, and in the case of good blacksmiths life is short and art is long. ;-)

Albert Pinkham Ryder used bituen in his paint, and a century later they tend to run, crack and otherwise misbehave. Big, thick gooey layers of paint!
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Wednesday, 07/11/07 12:21:39 EDT

I just got some wonderful news. I was talking to my uncle who has an old worn forge, not in the best of condition but still workable, that belonged to his wife's father before he passed away. I have been told I may use it to practice if I go out to his place on the weekend and promise to be careful with the equipment, and while I can't have it it does give me something to start with. :) I haven't seen it yet, but it is supposed to have a functioning hand-crank blower and a fairly large pan for coal. That is where my question comes in. I don't have any coal, and I can't afford to buy a bag or know where to get one right now anyway. Earlier Thomas P mentioned "pure charcoal" until I could get coal. What is "pure charcoal" and how do I get it? Or can you recommend another fuel source for the forge. I'm not looking to do anything fancy I just want to get used to heating metal and practicing my accuracy. Also, I may be able to get some RR spikes to work with, but in the event I cant, is rebar ok to practice with? I know I can get plenty of that. Thanks in advance.
   Daarian - Wednesday, 07/11/07 12:35:29 EDT

One 20th century artist who's work is in the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington DC painted on huge pieces of raw canvas. When new the canvas was nearly white and the colors brilliant. The work is now kept in the dark because the raw canvas is yellowing badly. In fact it is a good dark brown in places. When the lights ARE turned on for the public they are quite dim and only for a short while. . .

When I was in High School we had large sheets of heavy rough drawing paper. You know the kind, with wood chips on the surface. . . Drawings I did on it then are now dark brown and the paper is crumbling. Some were quite good drawings and deserved better material. Drawings I have on common notebook paper are holding up better except for the slowly bleeding blue lines. I also did drawings on expensive linen water color paper. 40 years later they are perfect. They will probably be the same 100 years from now.

I made the mistake of making an oil painting on a piece of rollup window shade. Today you cannot touch it without putting a finger through it.

Most of my paintings were done in acrylics on 1/4" Masonite sealed with cheap latex ceiling paint. These are perfect except for the fact that if you drop Masonite it crushes and splits. Some of my acrylic paintings were done over old oil paintings. THIS (using water base over oil) is a HUGE NO-NO. However, after 40 years they are holding up well also. I suspect the acrylics are sealing the oils and they are flexible enough to stretch over any cracks that develop. Adherence has not been a problem.

I started using acrylics because of the claimed long life, lack of aging and color fastness. So far I have not been disappointed. When I was working in art I spent a lot of time studying paints and what was the most durable. I settled on acrylics and Masonite as a long life pairing. However, at the time I did not know about the gassing off of formaldehyde from the wood and neither did the art references of the time. However, when sealed and in good ventilation it probably doesn't hurt.

As an artist I was thinking of the LONG run. To be remembered well your works need to hold up and not need maintenance or restoration. If your work is good it will be treasured by generations of owners.

Today at least graphic art can be preserved digitally. It is not perfect and does not replace the original, but as long as the digital medium is renewed ever so often the images will remain perfect forever. However, in a few years I suspect that we will be flooded with digital files to archive and the problem of maintenance will be back with us.
   - guru - Wednesday, 07/11/07 13:05:22 EDT

Forge fuel and material: Daarian, part of any art is the materials. Fuel is a necessary part of blacksmithing. It costs what it costs and the "world market" makes sure that no mater what kind of fuel you use, coal, charcoal, oil, gas, electricity, it all has a similar price per unit of heat.

"Pure charcoal" is also known as real charcoal of lump charcoal in relationship to charcoal briquettes which are NOT charcoal or a very small percentage charcoal. They are mostly saw dust (for flavor), glue to hold them together, a little charcoal (so they can call it charcoal and make it black) and bituminous coal (to help keep it it). Mmmmmm Mmmmm don't cha just LOVE that sulphur flavoring!

Real charcoal is made from wood with no additives or glue. It is simply wood cooked down until there are no volatiles and the cellulose is converted to carbon only.

The advantage of charcoal is it can be bought almost everywhere from resturant suppliers and is becoming more popular at places like Lowes home construction supply stores. You can also MAKE your own charcoal. See our FAQ's page.

Steel: See the Rebar FAQ and RR-steels FAQ.

There is lots of other types of scrap you can play with. However, good NEW bar stock beats anything else. Some small items are difficult to make when you spend all your time and MUCH labor reducing stock to size.
   - guru - Wednesday, 07/11/07 13:21:26 EDT

Thanks for the info Guru.. I know some of my questions or repetitive, but since it takes me almost a minute or two to load each page one this connection I like to try to know where I need to look.
   Daarian - Wednesday, 07/11/07 13:37:23 EDT

I have had excellent results over rusted steel with a product called XTEND. It is a Henkle Loctite brand. Has the phosphoric, but is in a latex binder that makes a good primer. I have tried Ospho, and did not like it because of the streaks and poor surface for the next coat. The XTEND is good fore a few months by itself, but with a good red oxide primer and a good top coat, I have had it last for years. I did a mail box post from old boiler pipe. Rust pits an 1/8" deep. I wire wheeled the loose rust off and followed the can instructions. Been in the weather since 1996, and has not failed except where the school bus hit it.
   ptree - Wednesday, 07/11/07 13:38:21 EDT

I started with charcoal for fuel, but gave it up because: (1) I didn't have a reliable supply of wood scraps; (2) I live in the suburbs (not very conducive to charcoal-making); and (3) it's time-consuming to make. (Oh yeah, and (4): I'm too cheap to buy the stuff, except for grilling.) But it got me started.
   Matt B - Wednesday, 07/11/07 13:42:32 EDT


I figured someone more knowledgeable than me would answer your question, but since no one has I'll tell you that I recently bought a very old, well-used AC-225 for $105 (plus a four-hour round trip to pick it up). But newer ones like yours seem to run in the $170-$225 range on eBay, plus shipping, for whatever that's worth. $150-$200 seems to be a pretty common asking price on Craigslist, too. At least that's what I seem to remember from when I was still in the market for one. Home Depot sells them new for $269.
   Matt B - Wednesday, 07/11/07 13:47:27 EDT

Making my own charcoal right now seems ideal. My uncle that has the forge lives on a farm, there are lots of fallen trees that constantly need to be gotten rid of, it would give me something to consume my time with on the weekends when they want me to do other stuff, and I am definetly not doing well financially right now. I figure focusing on blacksmithing is going to help me reduce some of the stress coming from that problem.
   Daarian - Wednesday, 07/11/07 14:05:20 EDT

Daarian; Wal-Mart generally sells real charcoal as well as the more common briquettes. "Cowboy brand" was one I believe.

Get a discarded 55 gallon drum and make your Uncle happy by cleaning up the place!

   Thomas P - Wednesday, 07/11/07 14:30:42 EDT

I don't even have to get the drum.. My uncle has all kinds of junk around his place and loves burning stuff in 55 gal drums :) I may even be able to find some good junk metal lying around if I look for it.
Once I start getting a paycheck again I'll look into buying stock and fuel, but since I haven't had a paycheck in over a month.. I'm gonna go the cheap way. It's not like I am making anything useful yet anyway. I need lots of practice with hammer control and what not first.
   Daarian - Wednesday, 07/11/07 14:38:40 EDT

Jr Strasil, aka irnsrgn, has photos of a CORN fuel forge on iforgeiron.com, and sometimes he frequents the Slack Tub Pub.
   Dave Leppo - Wednesday, 07/11/07 14:47:43 EDT

If you're not worried about maximum efficiency in your charcoal-making (and if you don't have an open burn law that prohibits it), there's an even simpler way: make a big wood fire, shovel out the coals as they form, then douse them with water to stop them burning any further. To further simplify you can just douse the entire fire after it builds up a good bed of coals, but you'll get a lot more incompletely converted wood in the mix that way. Of course either way you'll have to dry the charcoal before you can use it.
   Matt B - Wednesday, 07/11/07 14:59:34 EDT

Well I figure its going to take me most of the weekend to get all the trees chainsawed into movable pieces and then next weekend I'll burn them in the barrels and give them the week to cool off so they will be ready to use by the time I got out their the following weekend :)
By which time I may have some money for some stock :D
   Daarian - Wednesday, 07/11/07 15:09:43 EDT

I am not sure what a "standard size" grinder is, but I have been running cut discs on my 4 1/2" grinders for about 20 years now, probably 2 dozen different employees using them over the years, without one accident.

We use .040 thick, Pferd brand cut discs, which are designed for cutting with a small angle grinder.
I would not buy Harbor Freight or flea market cut discs, nor use a standard 1/4" thick grinding wheel, but, as shop tools go, I would say a 4 1/2" grinder with a .040 cut disc is far from the most dangerous or scary tool in my shop.

Every major welding supply store sells these, and every site welder and fab shop in america uses em daily.

We were using one in the shop today, trimming 1/2" round stainless bar to fit, and do so almost every day.

Certainly any high speed grinder is dangerous, and should be treated with caution- but I find that wire brushes, and grinders with the guards removed are both much more likely to bite you than a cut disc.
We give cut discs respect, use full face sheilds, and only use em when other methods wont work- I have plasma, oxy-fuel, an ironworker, 2 stationary bandsaws, and a portaband in my shop- but when they are the right tool for the job, they are the right tool for the job.

   - ries - Wednesday, 07/11/07 15:59:03 EDT

what is the best tool to use when grinding an ax or knife after its forged? ive heard that angel grinders and belt sanders are best is this true?
   - rob w. - Wednesday, 07/11/07 16:15:39 EDT

Well now that I have determined its going to be roughly 3 weeks before I get going on actual practice I've decided to try my hand at reading the entire FAQ A-Z(thats going to be a long process), in an effort not to ask anymore repetitive questions. Thanks for all the advise on helping me get started. See you in 3 weeks when I mess something up for the first time. :)
   Daarian - Wednesday, 07/11/07 16:30:46 EDT

Bladesmithing: Rob, It depends on what you have, where you start and what your goal is. The vast majority of custom knife grinding is done on belt grinders. The reasons are controllability, ease making straight lines and smooth curves, available grits and long lasting abrasives.

For roughing an axe, something heavy or awkward I might use an angle grinder. But for finish work a belt grinder/sander is much better.

Bladesmiths also use disk grinders for when they want a really flat surface. Both can also have coolant systems. This allows you to grind edges without worrying about overheating the steel too much.
   - guru - Wednesday, 07/11/07 16:55:29 EDT

I have made nails for the 'blockhead' routine for sideshow performers. The routine involves using an empty cavity in the nasal passage for insertion of objects. The reason I make the nails is due to the fact that I use 316L that is the most corrosion resistant. Recently I have a request for a blockhead object to appear to be a sword (Sword From Stone bit except from the nose). I have finished the commissioned project and would like to share my work with the viewers of the Den, the piece is about 6-1/2" long, the 'blade' is 4-1/2" with a hand scrolled brass handguard with a forged ball bearing pommel and wire wrapped handle.


   - Nippulini - Wednesday, 07/11/07 17:06:38 EDT

Sorry (few beers in me) wrong URL

   - Nippulini - Wednesday, 07/11/07 17:08:04 EDT

TGN: Nice to know you're still keeping your hand in the entertainment business so to speak...

   Thomas P - Wednesday, 07/11/07 18:01:22 EDT

Nice little piece Nip!
   - guru - Wednesday, 07/11/07 19:13:10 EDT

Doctor duty today so I haven't commited any $$$ to finishing the project, I'll check out your recommendation, Thanks! Also, to all,kinda happy with the results so far, so take a peek if you'd like.

   Thumper - Wednesday, 07/11/07 20:12:21 EDT

Angle Grinders & Cutoff Wheels: There are machines specificly made for running 12" cutoff wheels made by Black & Decker, Hitachi, & others often called a "portacut", these are the same as a 9" grinder with a different guard and a loop handle atached to the gearcase and guard. With these You can rest the guard on the work to help prevent binding, it works pretty good. I modified one of My 4 1/2" grinder and one of My 5000RPM Wildcats to this setup [ the Wildcat uses a 12" disk] they work well.
   - Dave Boyer - Wednesday, 07/11/07 22:17:23 EDT


You said, when speaking aobut the guy who got chpped up from not following instructions:

When asked, "How would you prevent this accident from happening in the future?" My only reply could be, "Fire employees immediately that do not follow instructions." But THAT is the "wrong" answer.

On the contrary, that is exactly the RIGHT ANSWER. I have a friend who allowed an employee to work without safety equipment (gloves, in this case), after she first signed a waiver acknowledging that she had been advised to wear them, and that it was her choice not to do so. A couple of years later, she claimed permanent disability from dermatitis and Worker's Comp agreed. My friend is paying her something like 25 grand a year for life, outof his company, since his Worker's Comp benefits have long since been exhausted.

Worker's Comp told him that he should have fired her on the spot for not using the required safety equipment. L learned my lesson from his mistake and soon fired an employee who refused to wear a repirator when spraying Imron. He later worked for another sign shop where he wound up on disability for lung and nerve damage, but my shop was absolved of responsibility because I had fired him for non-compliance with safety rules.

So firing an employee who practices unsafe work habits is just good business. It is a tough, litigious worldout there, and you don't want to support someone who is producing nothing. Fire them on the spot, if you want to stay in business.
   vicopper - Wednesday, 07/11/07 22:29:23 EDT

It was the wrong answer for the government. In fact they have laws against firing folks because they file workman's comp claims. The only way to handle these situations is to be proactive as you noted. In this case it was the following day after instructing the employee what NOT to do. . . Otherwise something might have been done. However, OSHA WAS informed that the employee had been instructed NOT to do what he was doing the previous day.

The problem is always the "get away with it" factor. Folks get away with doing dangerous things and they figure they can keep doing so. . .

Having employees is the toughest job on Earth. You need to be capable of firing them as easily as employing them. The WORST situation to be in is when you are in charge of a crew and don't have the power to fire. It is an impossible situation that I have seen over and over.

The big problem with most of this is that you don't learn it until much too late.
   - guru - Wednesday, 07/11/07 23:17:57 EDT

Tell me about it! Years of being a supervisor and administrator for the VI government, without the power to fire anyone. A horribly inefficient system, rife with nepotism and cronyism and other evil isms. Guess why I retired?

I have every initention of never having another employee if at all possible, but I know it really isn't possible. Too much of what I do requires more than one person at times. But even if I forge and weld naked, any employee or helper will be wearing full protective gear or out the door. The liability is just too great, otherwise.

One other thing that used to really stick in my craw in Arizona was that they made me pay Worker's Comp and unemployment insurance on myself as an employee of my corporation, but I couldn't collect benefits if I got injured or fired myself. That just didn't seem quite right, somehow. (grin)
   vicopper - Thursday, 07/12/07 00:21:31 EDT

" But even if I forge and weld naked..."

Now there's a mental picture I could do without.
   - Nippulini - Thursday, 07/12/07 07:53:44 EDT

I guess the thing about the bellows I built was that I found that outside of a certain flow rate, it lost its capacity as a two chamber system. To get more air you have to fill the top chamber and then pump faster that than the weight will push out the air in the top chamber... yes more air but only half the time. Same thing with getting less air... a slow draw on the chain will certainly push only a little air, but since it's not enough surplus to fill the top chamber, you get none while the bottom board is dropping. In both instances, the variability happens only half the time... sorta like a single chamber bellows. Maybe I've got this wrong, but the only way I've found to really get a steady flow and control is either with valves or weights.
Maybe mine is too small, though... about 4' x 3', and lined with painted canvas. Wish I'd built a proper one and maybe I will but at the time I wanted a cheaper way to see if I'd like using one at all.
I will say, though, that I prefer the pumping motion... also it seems that systems involving a chamber that is compressed seems to not have the same pressure problems an electric or hand-crank rotary blower have. Sooner or later, with enough weight or force, bellows systems could probably push air into a wet pile of sand, whereas with rotary systems there is only so much resistance they can overcome.
My bellows makes a nice gentle, but strong, blast of air... and I like it for that. I would imagine a fuigo would be the same, and perhaps also be very controllable.
Anyone have experience with those?
In general I find it a loss that information on japanese smithing is difficult to find in english. Especially for those of us without full shops and money, it's encouraging to see beautiful things made in a dirt forge with charcoal on a steel block set in the dirt. It's seems that there is so much money and complication involved in raising the working surface up 30-some inches, whereas the ground is fireproof (mostly), stable as... well... a planet sized mass of rock and dirt, big as you can use. Maybe a lot of us with limited funds would be happier working in that fashion, once we got used to the squatting thing. :)
   - Drew - Thursday, 07/12/07 08:35:51 EDT

Bellows: Drew, Your size is sufficient for a small forge. However, as I stated the amount the bellows halves open is critical. They need to open in BOTH directions about 75 to 80% of their width. Do you have a check valve between the two halves of the bellows? Are they large enough? I used four 3" valves for intake and two 3" valves between the upper and lower chamber. These are larger than normal but they opened very easily, sealed well and provided no resistance to flow.

For a bellows to be efficient the sides must be flexible so that the boards move easily with little or no resistance. The valves must open easily, be sufficient size not to create a restriction and seal well. If the boards of the bellows do not drop or raise quickly then the covering material may be too stiff OR the valves are restrictive or stiff. Leaks in valves and elsewhere in the bellows makes a huge difference in efficiency.

There is a LOT that can go wrong in building a bellows. AND while many folks recommend canvas I do not. One fellow that started with canvas and changed to leather said he could not believe the difference in the performance of his bellows. Leather can also be too heavy, too stiff OR shorted (the bellows does not open that 75-80% of the width (150-160% total). Canvas can leak through the material. This creates a very large area with many fine leaks that can total a high percentage of the flow.

Your description of the action of your bellows indicates one or more of the above problems.
   - guru - Thursday, 07/12/07 09:19:13 EDT

where can i get stamped sheet metal leaves. grape or tree leaves
   randall - Thursday, 07/12/07 10:10:48 EDT

Randal, try King Architectural Metals kingmetals.com.

Be sure they know we sent you.

   - guru - Thursday, 07/12/07 10:27:55 EDT

Bellows can vary wildly in their usability. My double action set I could pump with my pinkie and often used it for forge welding billets. A friend was the smith at a historical village and theirs took a *lot* of force and he ended up with severe shoulder problems after working there for over a decade.

   Thomas P - Thursday, 07/12/07 10:34:10 EDT

Interesting discussion re: the hairy-scary of cutting w grinder. I've done it, but only on small stuff, short cuts. Now, however, I have to get rid of the back of a prefab steel fireplace insert so I can install and support the tee/cleanout for a new stainless flue pipe for a woodstove in the living room. The torch would be my first choice but the original flue tile is a highly flammable creosote-caked ticking bomb. A Sawzall would be next, perhaps, but dunno how thick the steel is. Sounds substantial. They do make flex SS to get past the smoke shelf, which might help get me out farther from the back of the hearth and obviate the need for a chop, but that leaves the 10 feet of new pipe hanging from the top, which seems chancy. This is a job for the pocket laser if ever there was one. Never buy an old house.
   Miles Undercut - Thursday, 07/12/07 10:42:30 EDT

Thomas, I have seen several bellows setups at historical sites that were setup by amateurs (whatever laborer was on hand) that were TERRIBLE. One set was re-leathered very short by leather workers at Colonial Williamsburg. The site assumed that leather workers at CW would know how to do this. . . NO, they just replaced the very shrunk leather with new the same size. This bellows also had a flipped over internal valve and the rigging was setup for a shorter stroke than the bellows! BUT, they had a $60,000 fantasy stone forge. . . . I was asked to demonstrate there. I told them they either needed a new bellows setup OR someone to pull the bellows full time. The system was so tiring it took four people to pull the bellows for a couple hours of demonstrating. . .

Building a bellows is like building a musical instrument. Everything must be in balance and details are critical. Installation is also HALF the job.

   - guru - Thursday, 07/12/07 10:50:34 EDT

I would like to have a cast steel anvil made to my design. What are some steel alloys that would be particularly good for an anvil? Is there a resource that lists steel types, their typical uses, and compares their properties?
   Steve - Thursday, 07/12/07 10:58:41 EDT

Stove Back:

What about a holesaw?

Or many smaller holesaw holes that you connect with sawing and filing/grinding?
   - Hudson - Thursday, 07/12/07 11:02:21 EDT

Speaking of historical blacksmith's shops: I was at Mount Vernon last weekend and, naturally, my eye was immediately drawn to the words "future site of blacksmith shop" on the visitor's map. I did a little looking online and apparently they're planning to start reconstruction of the smithy in March of '08, and open it to the public in '09. I have no idea if they plan to make it a working exhibit like the gristmill and threshing barn, or if it'll just be there to look at like many of the other structures. But there could be an opportunity there for someone. (I live ten miles away, but unfortunately the best I could realistically hope for would be to volunteer occasionally -- if that's even an option.)
   Matt B - Thursday, 07/12/07 11:43:10 EDT

So are there actually good, complete plans for bellows anywhere? Most ones I've seen that people have done are winging it to some extent or another, and the plans are given as a novelty... this is what ye olden bellows looked like!
Functionally... how is working with a double chamber english bellows compared to a fuigo?
   - drew - Thursday, 07/12/07 11:52:46 EDT

I'm hard facing arc welds on depression in face of old anvil. A lot more work than I originally expected, but well worth it. Will post pics when completed.
   - Nippulini - Thursday, 07/12/07 12:01:31 EDT

Drew, The Oriental bellows is about the same in operation. The only difference is the lack of air storage. However, I found this to be a highly over rated feature because it only lasts just a couple seconds.

However, the construction problems with them are the same. Most drawings I have seen are of a very poor rectangular design and are NOT the ones in use by oriental smiths that I have seen. Choices of materials are important. Current plans call for plywood which is the worst thing you could use. Valves must be well made and seal, piston rods and pistons must be low friction and also seal at the same time. As in all things mechanical craftsmanship makes a huge difference in functionality.

Even furniture grade hardwood plywood has rotary cut plywood grain which produces a miserable friction surface. It would need to be filled, sealed and finished for sliding surfaces.

There are bellows plans floating around but the ones I have seen either called for plywood (bad choice for either type) or wood that was too heavy and other things I could not recommend.

I've got lumber waiting to build an oriental bellows. I will not publish the plans until I've built and tested them. My plan calls for a traditional valve body (not the bird house) where there are three valves. Two are gravity assisted and one double acting. Several features are original and untested. Therefore the wait. . .
   - guru - Thursday, 07/12/07 12:14:47 EDT

Future "historical" shops: You can argue yourself blue in the face and not get anywhere on this topic with museum operators. I try to tell them that there is a gigantic difference between an historical blacksmith shop where maybe two people worked and a demonstration shop where you may want room for 30 people to see AND be at a safe distance.
   - guru - Thursday, 07/12/07 12:24:17 EDT

Hudson-- thanks! It's got to be a sizeable piece of steel that gets removed, to accomodate the tee and its supporting frame, wayyyyy in there where the back of the hearth now slopes upward and inward. Alas.
   Miles Undercut - Thursday, 07/12/07 13:32:51 EDT

On that note they've apparently decided that Washington's smithy was probably 18x24, and at one point at least three smiths (including Nat and George, the two enslaved smiths that he mentions several times in his writings) worked there. If they rebuild it to those dimensions, and expect people to be able to watch demonstrations there, they should probably leave out a wall.
   Matt B - Thursday, 07/12/07 13:35:45 EDT

Historic Blacksmith Shops vs. Imparting Information

Jamestown Settlement does a nice compromise by having two sides of the new blacksmiths’ shop open. Rails on these sides keep the public at a respectful and safe distance, and the open construction is especially good for those sultry southern tidewater days. The two closed sides provide structure, shade, wall space for hanging tools, and wind break.

Not perfect, but one of the better compromises that I’ve seen.

Sunny and cooler on the banks of the Potomac.

Visit your National Parks (OUR section of Jamestown [the original site] is at): www.nps.gov/colo

Go viking: www.longshipco.org
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Thursday, 07/12/07 14:50:32 EDT

Jamestown, VA is the best I've seen, just short on demonstrators. Since they had little to go on it was designed by someone with sense. The roof overhangs could have been a little larger for rainy days but they are better than nothing.

Years ago a couple of us brainstormed going into a competing demo business in the Jamestown/Williamsburg area. Build a shop to put on a SHOW. More than a demo. Singing blacksmiths, juggling hot iron . . . Power hammers in a dimly lit shop. Grandstand seating. And a BIG gift shop. . . . Cater to the public with continuous hot iron demos. No piddly filing of parts (as is what you usually find at Williamsburg) or making one nail an hour (as you find a Jamestown).

Later I designed a scaled down version of this for a park in Roanoke, VA. It included architectural drawings and a demonstrator training plan. What the park did instead was move an "historic" (ie farm shed) "blacksmith" shop onto their site. No room for demonstrator OR audience. It was dangerous AND they did manage to hurt a child no long after I pointed out that it was a very dangerous arrangement.

Most old blacksmith shops are just a barn or shed. Nothing architecturally significant or even worth saving. Many were more than large enough for visitors as they had several bays for horses, oxen and a wagon all at once. . .
   - guru - Thursday, 07/12/07 17:22:47 EDT

Matt, Thanks! I was planning on asking $200 for the lot.
   quenchcrack - Thursday, 07/12/07 18:24:32 EDT

Pardon the hyperbole, but I have told my students that the everyday museum concept of a smithy is the 4'x4' tin torture shed in which Alec Guiness was "baked" in the 1957 movie, "Bridge on the River Kwai."
   Frank Turley - Thursday, 07/12/07 21:19:45 EDT

OTOH my home built great bellows had a very nice hang time---quite enough to switch hammers or change/cool tongs or take a sip of water or even switch hands on the lever. I found it much more relaxing than using a box bellows where you have to be moving all the time or no air to the fire!

   Thomas P - Thursday, 07/12/07 21:52:07 EDT

The bellows at Rough & Tumble is an old one that they rebuilt. I prefer a hand cranked blower to that one. I need to look it over better to figure out why it pumps so hard for the air that comes out.
   - Dave Boyer - Thursday, 07/12/07 22:14:20 EDT

Steve: You need to ask Jymm Hoffman over at Forgemagic.com about this, He is having some made from H-13, they are looking real nice. You need to deal with a foundry that serves the tool & die industry in order to get good quality tool steel castings of this size.
   - Dave Boyer - Thursday, 07/12/07 22:21:05 EDT

I was browsing the store and noticed the safety glasses - specifically the three-pack with two clear and one #2 shaded. Are these still available and how much?
   Paul - Thursday, 07/12/07 22:40:11 EDT


I'd recommend you start by drilling a hole in the steel you need to cut, just to settle the question of how thick it is. Once you know that, you can revise your options for cutting it.

If the stuff is 3/16" thick (my guess) then I'd go for the Sawzall. Actually, I'd probably go for the Sawzall on anything from 3/32" to 1/2" thick. Just select the right blade for the thickness of stock. If under 3/32", then I'd likely put a carbide plunge bit in my router and just hog it out, or use my nibbler. Both are messy but effective.

I suppose you could rig an argon purge on the flue and use the torch...
   vicopper - Friday, 07/13/07 01:27:38 EDT

If I were going to make a box bellows, I'd definitely use plywood. Specifically, I'd use 5/8" Georgia-Pacific medium-density overlaid (MDO)plywood. This material has a resin-bonded paper facing on oneor both sides and is very smooth and level, as well as being low friction. The advantage of plywood is the dimensional stability compared to solid wood. Also, the inside of the box would need no additional finish, although a coat of high-stearate shellac would make it even lower friction.
   vicopper - Friday, 07/13/07 01:34:30 EDT

Paul, The filter lens glasses have been out of stock from the manufacturer for several months. They have had production problems and may be dropping this last of the made in USA line of safety glasses. . . they have promised delivery but have been a no show. . .
   - guru - Friday, 07/13/07 07:04:54 EDT

vicopper-- Many thanks! I appreciate the advice.
   Miles Undercut - Friday, 07/13/07 10:59:15 EDT

Happy to help, Miles. Heck, I'm happy to offer my opinion even when it doesn't help, as you may have noticed. (grin)
   vicopper - Friday, 07/13/07 11:25:54 EDT

I may have read things wrong, but if there is enough creosote in there to be a fire hazard from a cutting torch do you really want to hook a wood burning stove to it?

Why not clean the chimney and then use the cutting torch?
   JimG - Friday, 07/13/07 15:24:28 EDT

I am working on some hinges for a set of 4 foot wide X 1.5" solid doors. I have been looking for bronze washers for the bearing surface, or some UHMW (plastic, but have had little luck finding what I need. The steel/tool shop in town recomended "fibre" washers.

Does anyone know anything about fibre washers? Would you recomend such a washer for this application?

   Hayes - Friday, 07/13/07 18:12:03 EDT

Hayes, What they are talking about is Micarta. I don't think it is the right material. UHMW is too low of PSI. Your idea to use brass or bronze was right from the start. But hardened steel on hard steel with some lube might be better. Ever look at the bearing surface on a standard hinge. . . not much to it. Try McMaster-Carr (mcmaster.com).

If they don't have the washers then make them. There are several methods. From flat, drill and handsaw then file round. From round, drill then cut off with a saw and file flat. Ideally you have a small lathe. It would take about an hour from finding the stock to final machining of four perfect washers and cleaning the chips off the lathe.

As a blacksmith you are a manufacturer. Drill presses, lathes, grinders and other machines are part of the business. If you don't have them then you make do. Not everything is pounding hot iron. Master smiths spent as much or more time with a file as with a hammer. I prefer machine tools but you use what you have.

You can buy raw material from our on-line metals store OR McMaster-Carr.
   - guru - Friday, 07/13/07 19:49:55 EDT

JimG- Thanks. Creosote from firewood glazes onto the inside of a tile chimney like pottery glaze on a dinner plate. I've wire brushed it scads of times, and even recently paid some thief calling himself a chimney sweep to rattle a length of chain down inside to try to break the glaze off without cracking the tile. But there is really no way to get it off short of burning it. There are those daring souls who advocate a nice prophylactic chimney fire (in other people's chimneys) every now and then to get rid of it. I have seen a few chimney fires, however, and have a couple friends who have suffered major property loss from them. Temps can exceed 2,000 F. The flammability is why I am relining the chimney with stainless after 30-some years of worrying about it. Well, that and the building inspector coming to look at my snazzy new roof.
   Miles Undercut - Friday, 07/13/07 21:27:23 EDT

Hayes: Farm stores and hardware stores often have the specialty hardware, bolts, nuts, screws,washers,etc. in big rows of drawers seperate from the normal stuff. If You have TSC, ACE, or True Value or of course a real old fashoned hardware store You might find what You need.
   - Dave Boyer - Friday, 07/13/07 21:43:02 EDT

Hayes, another possibility is hinge bearings. These are small needle thrust bearings. I think I have seen them at King Metals and some of the other suppliers. I have had poor service from the plain brass washers on the security door on my house. The wear thin in perhaps two to three years, and I have to replace.
Messy, but Moly disulfide on hard steel as the guru suggests is probably better than soft washers.
   ptree - Friday, 07/13/07 22:05:59 EDT

   - MR. X - Friday, 07/13/07 22:12:12 EDT

I am a volunteer firefighter with 17 years on the brigade, I also heat my shop entirely, and about half the house with wood. I have had up close and personal experience with chimney fires. Which is why I was concerned (and not being a smartalec) about a wood burner going into the chimney, I did miss read and didn't realize you were relining the chimney. Not seeing it I wouldn't say for certain, but if it was mine I'd probably stuff a wet wool blanket in the flue above where your cutting, have a small fire extinguisher handy, and use the torch. If it isn't loose and flakey it takes a fair bit of heat to light creosote
   JimG - Friday, 07/13/07 22:48:07 EDT

"A fair bit of heat?" Such as, oh, say, a cute li'l thang who shall remain nameless stuffing a Budweiser carton in on top of the wrapping paper on top of some already roaring cedar logs on Christmas morning, perhaps? Tell me about it. I went and bought a new extinguisher just for that purpose, but the more I haha think about it a section of flex made by Dura Vent to get past this problem seems the answer. If there is one. I don't want a fire up in there. Again. Many thanks.
   Miles Undercut - Friday, 07/13/07 23:24:31 EDT

Books in OZ: Mr. X, You would have to check with local book stores. Some are sold globally. Others are sold by just a few US dealers and some directly by the authors. We sell Anvils in America, Mousehole Forge, The Dave Manzer Videos, Catalog CD's and the Big BLU Hofi Video. We ship globally. So does Artisan Ideas who is a global company who carries most of the books on our review page and is the sponsor of it.

   - guru - Saturday, 07/14/07 00:05:31 EDT

So, I am making a bolster for hardy tools. I want to drift a 1" hole. The bolster is about 8" diameter, 1.5" thick. My question is this: what sized drift do I need to use to end up with a 1" hole, preferrably slightly oversized. I'm assuming after drifting, the hole will shrink & so I need to start with a larger drift?
Mr X. I have Alex Bealer's "The art of Blacksmithing" which you can borrow. Also Borders in Rundle Mall have a couple others. I live up by the old toll-gate in Adelaide. Just e-mail me & I can give you the address.
   andrew - Saturday, 07/14/07 00:25:56 EDT


I make hinges for very heavy wooden hurricane/security shutters that have to have historically correct large strat/pintle hinges. I have found that the simplest and most suitable thrust washers on heavy doors like that are simple hardened steel flat washers. Hard bronze is second-best, and brass is pretty poor, as ptree noted.

The easiest source for hardened steel washers is your local automotive parts supply. Ask for hardened washers for cylinder head bolts from pretty much any diesel truck engine. I mostly use 5/8" diameter pintle pins, so washers are easy to find. For larger ones, you might need to check out a tractor supply.

I take a minute and lap the washers on a plate with some fine polishing compound, but the come pretty shiny and that's probably not necessary. A dab of white lithium grease and they're good for years without a thought.

Use two washers per hinge; the softer steel of the hinge barrel and the pintle base sort of hold on to the washer, and the friction surface becomes that between the two hard washers.
   vicopper - Saturday, 07/14/07 09:25:43 EDT

Thanks Rich; that idea's definitely worth stealing!

   Thomas P - Saturday, 07/14/07 12:15:14 EDT

Just wanted to thank everyone for the advice on the hinges/washers. Hardened washers sound like an easy, available solution. Cheers.
   Hayes - Saturday, 07/14/07 19:40:46 EDT

Drifts and Shrinkage: Andrew, the drift should be the hole size. Shrinkage is very little in this size range. IF you have sufficient clearance for a slip fit the shrinkage in an inch should not make much difference.

Steel expands at 7 millionth of an inch per degree per inch. One thousand degrees makes this 7 one hundred thousandths and two thousand make it .14 thousandths (.00014"). You should have .005 to .010" clearance to start.

Note that expansion is not constant over a wide range of temperature. It may be more at the elevated temperatures above. To get absolute results you have to do some fancy calculating.
   - guru - Saturday, 07/14/07 22:32:41 EDT

Hello, again, im wondering if you Andrew knew were i could get some coke from preferably (yeay i can spell) in playford, elizabeth or tea tree gully.
   - MR X - Sunday, 07/15/07 07:34:08 EDT

Tiger balm (similar to bag balm) works wonders on minor burns. Apply directly to burn immediately, it has a soothing cooling effect. Used during the day and next, it eliminates water filled blisters. The topic came up on another forum involving sideshow performers and fire eaters, so I thought I'd add it here too.
   - Nippulini - Sunday, 07/15/07 12:18:33 EDT

Well I had a quite productive weekend at my uncle's farm, and not quite in the way I expected. I had planned to be cutting up trees to make charcoal next weekend, but the rain quickly put a halt to that idea. However I did manage to procure, an old rim and plenty of tubing to make a small forge, and enough tubbing to also build me a little canopy for a workshop. But that is small compared to my best find in my opinion. Sitting in the grass starting to run was an old Diesel Tractor Engine Block, and my first thought was
   - Daarian - Sunday, 07/15/07 20:18:07 EDT

Well I had a quite productive weekend at my uncle's farm, and not quite in the way I expected. I had planned to be cutting up trees to make charcoal next weekend, but the rain quickly put a halt to that idea. However I did manage to procure, an old rim and plenty of tubing to make a small forge, and enough tubbing to also build me a little canopy for a workshop. But that is small compared to my best find in my opinion. Sitting in the grass starting to run was an old Diesel Tractor Engine Block, and my first thought was "ANVIL!!" and my uncle said, "I don't care what you use it for. If you take it out of my yard it is yours!" So naturally I brought it home. Which means I should have a forge by next weekend if all goes well and now have a rough anvil. I all ready had hammers and long pliers to suffice until I can start making a few tools. My dad is also a machinist and said they have scrap stock he could bring home for me. What a wonderful weekend.
Now onto my question. The engine block has large holes for the pistons naturally, I was contemplating getting a large piece of round iron to hammer into the hole and then wield it in place. Possibly even torch the black in half later, and do the same thing with the other half, giving me two functional anvils. What do you guys think? I'll try to take some pictures of the block tomorrow and upload them.
   Daarian - Sunday, 07/15/07 20:18:42 EDT

Daarian, Engine blocks are usually cast iron, brittle, and difficult to nearly impossible to weld. A FEW engine blocks were cast steel and very durable. In the US the one notable steel engine block I know of was the 1955 to 1963? Chevy 23 big 6. It was a nearly indestructible engine.

I would find the best flat thick place to hammer on and use it until I find something else. I would not invest a lot into it. All those hole will be handy but you will find the mass surprisingly low.
   - guru - Sunday, 07/15/07 21:14:08 EDT

Daarian - Your Dad might be able to get You a chunk of steel from work to use for an anvil, depending on what sort of shop it is, have You discused it with Him?
   - Dave Boyer - Sunday, 07/15/07 21:38:09 EDT

Mr X, I go to Stirling Fuel Supplies. They sell 30kg bags for around $20. You can buy by the ton, but I don't know any other blacksmiths here to share with. There is also a place down Daws Road (south side of city), but you'd have to look in the phone book. The stirling fuel supplies also sells charcoal, which I find good for starting the coke with minimal smoke. Paramount Browns used to be awesome for scrap steel, but have closed the yard to the public....
   andrew - Sunday, 07/15/07 22:50:56 EDT


Can you list the complete list of basic machine tools that are either self-reproducing themselves? Or a complete list of basic machine tools that a machine shop must have in order they can help reproduce each other directly and indirectly? And how can a person use a smaller size machine tools and use them to make a bigger size and larger version of these machine tools? How can one use a small machine tools not only to make duplicate copies of themselves but also larger sizes and versions of themselves on a stage by stage basis, both directly and indirectly. What are the books that can teach anyone on how to use these machine tools to reproduce themselves, make bigger and larger size versions and copies and duplicates of themselves, and all kinds of specialized and customized machine tools? And just in case someone wants to acquire an engine lathe based on the original 1916 design and an upgraded modernized version of that engine lathe, where can one acquire one whole set?

Have a nice day!
   Discreet - Monday, 07/16/07 06:45:11 EDT

Discreet, This sounds suspiciously like a homework or a school research assignment. We do not do folks homework for them. I'd love to discuss this topic at length but will not.

At least one of your questions, while it came from your teacher, expects too simplistic an answer. The answer is not a list but multi paragraph exposition that could be expanded into a considerable report on its own.

Some of your questions asked are answered here partially if you do the research.

Good luck.
   - guru - Monday, 07/16/07 08:20:41 EDT

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