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 16 - 23, 2007 on the Guru's Den
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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


Get philosophical. Read David Pye's "Nature and Art of Workmanship", where he says, "Workmanship of certainty begins with workmanship of risk." He defines the terms.
   Frank Turley - Monday, 07/16/07 09:10:52 EDT

Having run a sub-con machine shop for a few years it is a known fact that someone allways asks you to quote a job marginally to big for your machines, you decline, then a smart a&%e operator finds a way to squeeze it between the centers / clamp it on the table etc (having told you it can't be done in the first place, thus winning brownie points with the powers that be)

locically it would therefore be safe to conclude that either ever larger machine tools are a Darwinian style evolution, or, as they would have you believe, the operators are infact god...?
   - John N - Monday, 07/16/07 12:10:18 EDT

I'm planning on constructing of a new coal forge and was hoping to solicit a few opinions on firepots. I was thinking about getting the vulcan firepot that Centaur sells, but would be interested to hear if anyone has any other suggestions or advice.

   Steven Galonska - Monday, 07/16/07 12:27:39 EDT

Steven, You might also want to look at the fire pot the Kaynes sell. I think it is heavier. If you are going to run your forge hard you want as heavy a pot as possible. Both are good pots.
   - guru - Monday, 07/16/07 13:35:32 EDT

Over capacity Machine Tools: SOMEWHERE. . I have a photo of a 1500 pound cross slide setting on a cloner Bridgeport Mill that only weighs a tad more. . . We had the part supported on roller stands, a hoist and trolley and the knee of the mill supported with extra jacks. . . Did the job (a modification).

There is a technique in one of my OLD OLD machinist books where you hold the work against the lathe head stock center pulling it toward the head stock with leather thongs while the other end is supported in the steady rest. I've used the technique twice. Once when the end of a motor shaft was battered and the center could not be used and the other to support a shaft longer then the lathe.

I've also notched a lathe bed to turn an oversize part. It was my Dad's new lathe. He said, "DO-IT, they usually end that way. . ." So I did a real pretty job that looked like the factory had done it.

I've seen lathes with riser blocks under the headstock and tailstock to extend their capacity.

We machined a bearing bore on a 42" part using a die grinder while turning the part using a mag base drill and rubber wheel using the other half of the bearing system we were machining. . .

And THEN there was the time I picked up a 15 ton part 28 feet tall and had it balanced so that the top of it (the real lifting point) was 10 feet ABOVE the hook we lifted it with. A bunch of calculations were involved. . .

You can do a LOT with ingenuity when in a pinch.
   - guru - Monday, 07/16/07 13:58:53 EDT

Steven, I'm also working on a new coal forge. I bought the blacksmiths depot (Kayne and son) firepot when they were at a nearby smithing event. It is a very heavy firepot that I suspect will outlast the forge. If you're close to one of their events or their shop in NC, you can save a lot on shipping. It's the only part of the forge that I've spent money on. The rest is fabricated from scrap angle iron (bed rails) and some heavy sheet. The chimney may cost a bit too, if SS is used. I'm 25 and expect to get many years of service out of the firepot. I don't think it will be used up any time soon.
   - Jacob - Monday, 07/16/07 15:03:23 EDT

More OLD Machining Tech: One of my old references on turning was written before dial indicators were commonly available and has a bunch of simple multiplier pointer tools to indicate work in with. It also has instructions for making lathe furniture in lieu of chucks. Many of the old techniques of working between centers are much more accurate than chucking even with the best chuck and should be learned by anyone doing job shop work.

   - guru - Monday, 07/16/07 16:40:27 EDT

GURU, I too have seen several lathes with spacer blocks.
Often when we had to do machine work on things too big for the machine, we built a bolt on or weld on special machine to use the mass of the item itself as a machine frame.

This is very common in really big forging machine frames. When we wore out the slide pockets or tool pockets or cracked an anvil, often these items weighed 200,000#+++ I have seen 20,000# of weld metal laid in, in a nonstop marathon, and then when cool use a welded on machine to restore the surfaces. Beats digging up a quarter of a million pounds of anvil and shipping it somewhere.
   ptree - Monday, 07/16/07 19:36:04 EDT

But a real strain on the welders hanging over that much pre-heated mass---they cycled them through pretty fast when they repaired the press anvil that broke where I worked back in the mid 1980's

   Thomas P - Monday, 07/16/07 19:50:24 EDT

At $100 for a 4-foot piece of single-wall 8" stainless pipe (as of a few weeks ago)($286 for double-wall), do you really need stainless to go up from a forge? I don't think so.
   Miles Undercut - Monday, 07/16/07 20:32:06 EDT

Miles, as I often tell people, don't turn up your pointy little nose at masonry. You can buy a couple of nice firepots and a gas forge for what you'd spend on a stainless, and heaven forfend you go double-wall, chimney.

I built (well, helped build) a 16 foot tall brick and block masonry chimney for my coal forge and wood/coal stove, using a 12" square fireclay liner and scrap 11-Ga. mild steel plate for the side-draft forge hood, for about $350 and a handmade knife including *ALL* materials (brick, block, sand, and mortar purchased new) and labor by my neighbor the brick mason and two helpers. I threw in the knife later since my neighbor wouldn't take payment for his single Saturday of labor.

A pox upon stainless, say I, unless you can get it free or darnedly cheap.
   Alan-L - Monday, 07/16/07 21:24:24 EDT


For that kind of price you can afford to replace a bunch of steel flue pipe.

On the other hand, the side panel from one salvaged stainless steel refrigerator would make a nice five foot section of 8# flue. People actually do throw those things out. Old beer coolers have stainless front and end panels and get scrapped pretty often, too. One of those will make an 8' section of flue.

I wonder how much flue you could make from a DeLorean?
   vicopper - Monday, 07/16/07 21:36:42 EDT

Alan-L-- I don't have a pointy little nose. I have an extremely large, slightly broken, but not altogether unsightly nose. vicopper-- I am so shocked at the mere thought of anyone chopping up a beeyootiful DeLorean that I am almost speechless. That would be (however many it turned out to be) flues over the cuckoo's nest.
   Miles Undercut - Monday, 07/16/07 22:23:12 EDT

Stainless: Over the years I have scrounged numerous pieces of SS scrap. I have a 55 gallon SS industrial quench tank with recirc pump (from a washing machine). The tank was custom built by some plant somewhere. I have a 12 x 30 x 36" heavy wall stainless process tank that was probably made for some kind of acid dip. AND I have a stainless overhead hood for a welding station. All were picked up at auctions for almost nothing.

Now you want hi-tech. When the Kaynes were in NY Steve's home forge had a titainium hood. It was aircraft plant scrap. It had the most beautiful rainbow temper colors on it I have ever seen on anything. ..

The guys at the Power Hammer School have a source of old beer kegs. They are stainless and make great slack tubs when the end is cut off. . . Then I have also seen 12" stainless vent pipe in long lengths that were bought as scrap. . .
   - guru - Monday, 07/16/07 22:50:38 EDT

Discrete: One needs the services of a good foundry, and a few sharp chissles & files and a hammer. With that an old school Gearman or Pensylvania Dutchman could build an entire modern machine shop - if He could live for long enough. This was an evolutionairy process. To get where We are today basically takes every machine tool yet devised. As Jock points out whoever asked these questions expects an answer far too simple to tell the story. Confront them with this, and if they disagree, they can e-Mail ME.
   Dave Boyer - Monday, 07/16/07 23:43:00 EDT

Cheap BIG flue: You could get condemmed 100# propane tanks and cut the ends off. Weld the cylinders back together end to end, cut in "t"s as needed.
   Dave Boyer - Monday, 07/16/07 23:50:05 EDT

I need someone to make a set of touchmark dies. Have any recomendations. They will look something like this F.St. thank's Floyd
   - Floyd Street - Tuesday, 07/17/07 00:45:49 EDT

Guru / Jacob,

Thanks for the tips. I think I'll go with the heavier firepot from Kaynes.
   Steven Galonska - Tuesday, 07/17/07 08:42:25 EDT

Dave, I'd say it would take much less time than you think given a knowledgeable, skilled and imaginative worker that had nothing else to do AND the foundry support you mention. Where this kind of fantasy project bogs down is if you require the fellow to create his own power source or motors AND if he must do everything himself (even files are tools made by specialists). Progress rarely occurs in a vacuum. After a certain point he would have machines that could be operated by others while he continues to direct and detail the next more complex machine. There is also the question of cutters. Are you going to require him to make HSS, heat treat it and make tools from it. . . This is a whole parallel industry (like file making) with numerous specialties.

While James Nasmyth (see our on-line auto-biography) did not invent every machine tool he used he invented many AND many added features that are still used today on virtually every machine tool. He started out in a small shop working alone building machines for others, then for himself that were in turn used to build other machines. The skilled ironchiseler and hand scraper was a key part of this process long after machines that replaced them were invented. In his case an important part of the process was the addition of men in his shop as capacity increased.

In the era of cast iron gears many machine tools were nearly made complete in the foundry. Look at how few machined surfaces and parts there are on a hand cranked drill press. While this tool took centuries to refine someone familiar with its workings (OR the geared head floor drill) could reproduce it in a short time today. KNOWLEDGE is key.

I agree that skill and talent are more important than where you start. The captive foundry may be more important than any machine. However, given good hardwoods many machine tools can rapidly be bootstrapped with few metal parts. In fact, at one New England mill there is a lathe with a large bed carved from local granite. While it HAD cast parts it avoided having a large foundry capacity.

Most folks overlook wood and woodworking skills. As I mentioned a wood framed lathe can make metal parts. Wood framed drills have certainly drilled many metal parts. Wood framed power hammers have forged many metal parts. I have even seen a wood framed bandsaw that was in operation regularly from the 1930's to the 1990's. Wood bearings are also known to be used in machines that are otherwise all metal. While these are not the machines you want to build your precision machine tools they ARE the machines that can help efficiently make your patterns for the foundry. Outside of a few small metal pieces that need the services of a blacksmith the rest can be built with an axe, drawknife, a chisel or two and mallet.

As mentioned. This is a fantasy project. I think it is a common fantasy among machinists and machine builders. I know I have thought about it a great deal and the folks that buy the back yard foundry books by Gingery certainly do. Mark twain certainly did when he wrote A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Roy Underhill (The Woodwrights Shop) has built many of the machines I mention above. Then there are the tools of other cultures such as the Chinese clamp bench used for scraping with the sen (below) and the smaller floor version used by the Japanese.

To understand the best bootstrapping methods for this fantasy one must be knowledgeable in many fields.
   - guru - Tuesday, 07/17/07 11:08:51 EDT

Miles, my apologies to your nose, no insult intended.(grin!)
   Alan-L - Tuesday, 07/17/07 11:36:18 EDT

From the ground up: and know how much labour is in it! Yes I could smelt iron from ore using Y1K technology---but I'd have to have a community that could afford to feed me and others while digging ore and clay, building a cobb bloomery, tan hides and make bellows, coal a large ammount of wood and transport everything to one place---all to spend just a day or two doing a run and getting say 30# of bloom that needs painstaking fining to get decent usable wrought iron.

   Thomas P - Tuesday, 07/17/07 11:43:10 EDT

Chimney materials can be found in the strangest places. Two houses ago I was able to find four 4 ft sections of triple wall stainless chimney pipe at a Habitat for Humanity thrift store. I think they were $8 each. I took out the innermost piece (8 inch) which left me a double wall piece with 12 inch diameter surrounded by 16 inch. At my next house, they remodeled the building where I worked and I was able to get some used metal ductwork that they were tearing out. It came in 12 inch round and 14 x 18 rectangular which I pieced together to make my own double wall chimney. Unfortunately, chimney pipe is not an easy thing to move with. I'm still looking around for something [cheap] to use in my current detached garage shop, and dragging my forges outside to fire up until I find another chimney.

   mstu - Tuesday, 07/17/07 12:22:13 EDT

would like info on a wood preservative using linseed oil and powdered charcoal thanx
   ron zissler - Tuesday, 07/17/07 13:25:32 EDT

From the Ground Up: As I said, these are usually fantasies and the starting point poorly defined or thought out. Some like to travel back in time as did the Connecticut Yankee and others imagine reestablishing industry after a nuclear holocaust. In both cases I often point out that obtaining food may be your biggest concern followed by fuel (depending on your local climate).

So you have to set conditions such as, rich enough not to have to seek food and shelter OR having the support of the local economy.

You know the old saying, "It takes a village to raise a child", well, it takes a village to create an industry.

You also have to be in the right place for raw materials to be readily available or make other assumptions along this line. But the most important thing is for there to be an economic NEED for the machines you build. Often the reason societies do not have certain things is that they do not have an overwhelming need. That is why some tropical and hunter gatherer societies did not develop beyond a certain point. They had no NEED.

The best is that it is a well supported hobby OR that you are retired and want to prove what can be done with a minimalist approach. How do you get from point A to point B technologically while disregarding the need and the necessary genius.
   - guru - Tuesday, 07/17/07 13:30:42 EDT

Wood preservative: Ron, for what purpose? Indoor, outdoor, structural, handles, ship hulls? To prevent rot they use various (toxic) heavy metal salts in salt treated lumber. To prevent insect infestation one of the oldest treatments was borax. It is now thought that soaking wood in borax had an effect on the properties of wood used by Stradivarius in making his violins. . .

To best preserve the color of the wood clear lacquer is best. The hard nitrocellulose type is still available along with a filler/sealer to use as a transparent undercoat. This is often used on musical instruments and fine wood furniture.

Varnish is common as is shellac.

In all cases you are best off to buy and use professionally formulated finishes (commercial paints, lacquers and varnishes).
   - guru - Tuesday, 07/17/07 13:43:53 EDT

How can I find a blacksmith in or around Portland, Oregon?
   monica - Tuesday, 07/17/07 14:19:40 EDT

Alan-L-- None taken.
   Miles Undercut - Tuesday, 07/17/07 14:58:43 EDT

Monica, Start with:

www.blacksmith.org Northwest Blacksmiths Association. NWBA
   - guru - Tuesday, 07/17/07 16:03:09 EDT

im thinking about getting a small air hammer eventually. like the ka-75 or big-blu...what kind of air compressor suites these type hammers. i want a name brand compressor like ingersoll rand, but do i need one stage or two stage and how big of a tank should the compressor have or as long as it has 20 cfm at 100psi its good enough? I need to run my electric lines from the barn to the shop (over 100ft) and want to make sure i have a heavy enough wire to run the right size compressor. thanks
   - coolhand - Tuesday, 07/17/07 16:22:39 EDT

Hi everyone - long time lurker - first time question..er...
Been working at blacksmithing for about a year now (two or three times a week).
Anyway - picked up a new cross peen today from the old hardware store, took it to the forge and started whackin away. About four seconds into my first piece of work, I notice a funny smell. I'm fully aware that funny smells can kill you dead so I stopped and went outside. It smelled like cheesy popcorn. I went back in and changed hammers and the smell went away - so I know it wasn't the stock. I thought maybe I was hallucinating so I tried the new hammer again and the smell came back. I know I'm a noob but what's going on? Do I have to buy special blacksmithing hammers? Is this the kinda smell that can kill me? Make my hair fall out? Any help would be much appreciated.
   Django Watley - Tuesday, 07/17/07 16:39:41 EDT

Shop Power: Coolhand, You SHOULD run at least a 100A service to the shop. A Big BLU needs a (real) 7.5 HP compressor which needs 50A for startup. A KA can run on a 5HP at 40A. A good heavy duty buzz box calls for a 90A breaker while they are often run on 50A. An electric stove (handy in the shop) runs on 40 to 50A. Most other motor driven machines in the blacksmith shop will not need more than 20-30A. AND of course you will rarely be running more than lights and one other thing in a one man shop BUT there are times when the compressor may come on while you are welding AND if you use a small plasma torch with air it is VERY likely. Space heaters in the winter MAY also be a concern. . . It is easier to plan for these possibilities now than later.
   - guru - Tuesday, 07/17/07 16:39:42 EDT

Hot Cheesy Hammer: Django, I would bet that the hammer was lacquered with clear coat to prevent rust. It will burn off shortly OR you can wire brush off the coating before you try again.

Yeah. . I dislike mysterious smells. Is that ME on fire? What did I set on fire in the shop? Yard? . . . What died under the forge?
   - guru - Tuesday, 07/17/07 16:43:17 EDT

i got 2 20 amp circuts out there now for lights and grinders. i got my band saw and welder in the barn because its close to the pannel! i can live with walking up there when needed....i got 8 ga wire for free so im gonna try and use it for the compressor.....but what about compressors...one stage or two and tank size?
   - coolhand - Tuesday, 07/17/07 16:46:09 EDT

Thank you kindly guru! I'll hit it with the wirebrush - that's probably what it is. Just finished up my first russian rose today (Iforge #146) and impressed the heck out of everyone else at the shop! :D Y'all have a fantastic website here.
   Django Watley - Tuesday, 07/17/07 16:48:11 EDT

Speaking of fantasizing, I'm still dreaming of a JYH. (And very slowly starting to gather parts. Yesterday I acquired a 63 pound chunk of RR rail that could become a ram or two.)

I got to thinking that it might be easier to use a coil spring for a linkage, rather than fabricating a Dupont linkage or coming up with a bow spring with the right geometry. Then I went back to the JYH page here and realized that the Roller Guide JYH uses a coil spring in much the way I was envisioning. Then I checked Google Patents and, sure enough, someone patented a design similar to what I was thinking of back in 1920: http://tinyurl.com/33svz7

Any thoughts on the merits of these sorts of mechanisms versus a Dupont or bow spring linkage? (Ease of fabrication, efficiency, that sort of thing.)
   Matt B - Tuesday, 07/17/07 17:32:03 EDT

Another way to find a blacksmith anywhere:

Put an ad in the paper for a yard sale and mention lots of rusty tools. You'll have pick of the litter.
   - Marc - Tuesday, 07/17/07 17:45:43 EDT

But check your local laws, first. It may be illegal to bait for blacksmiths.
   - Marc - Tuesday, 07/17/07 17:47:06 EDT

coolhand- get the 2 stage- if you buy a single stage you will regret it later- I purchased a IR single stage- it works OK,but I regret not paying the extra for a 2 stage- Talked to some people that work for Ingersol and they even said the single stage was a POS- get the biggest tank available
   - ptpiddler - Tuesday, 07/17/07 17:48:39 EDT

Patents; Matt, Just because someone patented it does not mean it will work. There are THOUSANDS (maybe millions) of patents that DO NOT WORK. IF you see a patent and you look around an nobody built it commercially then the design was a failure. I've researched old mechanical designs and there were patents on every step and configuration of the design that we had rejected because we knew it would not work.

The problem with the in-line power hammer spring is it works "sorta" and only at one speed. Like the shock absorber linkage it is largely an energy waster. The Dupont linkage is vastly superior to other arrangements. The inline spring is very inefficient and generally does not work well.

If it worked then due to its simplicity there would have been some popular (even if very old) machine that used it.

The leaf spring linkage reduces the total number of parts in the Dupont linkage. It may be safer.
   - guru - Tuesday, 07/17/07 20:11:12 EDT

Matt- I would go for the Dupont linkage- adjustable- If you decided to increase the hammer head weight- a stronger spring could be added- Clay Spencer just finished a "Tire Hammer"workshop in which serial # 258 was completed- all 258 are built with the linkage__NO PROBLEM
   - Ray Clontz - Tuesday, 07/17/07 20:29:38 EDT


The type of compressor you'll need depends on the typf of powerhammer you're goig to run with it. If you get a BigBlu, you'll need the 7.5hp two-stage Ingersoll-Rand. The Blu is not the most air-efficient hammer out there, though it is a good hammer. Any air hammer with more than 100# ram weight will need a 7.5 hp, most likely.

My 65# homemade air hammer runs just dandy on my 5hp Ingersoll two-stage compressor. I do have a total of 120 gallons of air storage, but the second 60 gallon tank is mostly for water removal, not storage. When my hammer was set up with a 2" diameter by 10" stroke cylinder, I needed the higher pressure to make it effective and snappy. I have since changed over to a 2-1/2" cylinder with a 12" stroke (though I only use 10" of it), and it will produce the same power hits at much less pressure, using more volume of course.

I have a friend who is a fluid power engineer and he recommends using a larger bore cylinder and a single-stage compressor with higher cfm rating, rather than a smaller cylinder and higher pressure from a two-stage compressor. His reasoning is that single-stage compressors are cheap, run cooler and piping is less critical. My own experience tends to validate his reasoning.

If I was going to build another air hammer, I'd probably use a 3" or 3-1/2" cylinder and run a pair of cheap 3 hp single-stage units to get 90 psi at 24 cfm. One advantage of the bigger cylinders is that they have larger ports, which makes a hammer run quicker and more positively. Smaller bore cylinders tend to have little 3/8" ports, or in some case only 1/4", which restrict flow horribly. With an air hammer, you want the highest c.v. you can possibly get, and that means big ports, large valves, large hoses or, preferably, piping. Many builders try to get around this by using high pressure, but that is the wrong approach.

The best big air hammers like the Nazel, run on about 40 psi, using large valving and big cylinders.

   vicopper - Tuesday, 07/17/07 23:26:44 EDT

Chambersburg recommended a 10HP compressor as a minimum for their 100 pound hammer. It had a 4.5" cylinder which resulted in over 15 square inches of cylinder area. Ports were 1" or more. At the rated 100 PSI it had 1500 pounds of push behind that 100 pound ram. . . The anvil ratio was also 18:1. A well built hammer.
   - guru - Tuesday, 07/17/07 23:55:18 EDT

What are some of the saftey and health concerns involved with blacksmithing short and long term? I use charcoal as a fuel because hopfully it is safer as far as breathing in smoke and fumes. I also hear you can get serious joint problems like carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow for hammering incorectly or incorrect anvil hight. I also have been told that you can get alot of metal dust in your lungs from hot and burning metal as well as grinding. I don't want to die when I'm 50 years old, because I ruined myself while blacksmithing!
   troy - Wednesday, 07/18/07 00:58:50 EDT

i am an engineer attached to ceylon petroleum storage terminals ltd and we need to know that weather we can use a power hammer to re camber the eliptical road springs of heavy trucks and what are the anwills to be used for them and the model of bigblu hammer to recamber 20mm thick spring blades thank you please inform me
   - ranjith - Wednesday, 07/18/07 02:55:22 EDT

Ranjith, This is a job for a hydraulic press or set of rolls, not a power hammer.
   - guru - Wednesday, 07/18/07 08:36:58 EDT

Shop Safety: Troy, Generally blacksmithing is pretty healthy work compared to many other jobs.

Breathing dust and fumes of any kind are bad for you. Generally good ventilation is the best thing you can do in your shop. Grinding, welding and spray painting are times for special concern. Depending on the setup you may need to wear a good approved dust mask. Note that hospital type paper masks are NOT suitable and may stop less than 10% of dust particles. Also note that there is a difference between dust (particulates) and fumes. Fumes go right through a dust mask. Ask your supplier for the correct filter cartridges for the job. Also be sure to replace them regularly.

Note that in industry the wearing of a respirator requires a health check up prior to use. Respirators increase the load on your lungs and heart and in themselves can be hazardous to your health IF you are not suitable to wear one. This is especially true under hot conditions.

Generally metal fumes are not a problem except for when things are hot enough to burn the metals. Zinc and other nonferrous alloys may burn in the forge and cause problems. Steel is not a problem. When welding, especially with high strength and alloy specialty rods, manganese (in steel) may be a problem. OSHA requires and I highly recommend a spot exhaust system for all welding.

Dust from grinding and buffing not only includes metal particles put parts of the wheel and buff. The air is filled with fiber glass particles when using reinforced wheels and cotton dust when using a buff. In these cases the non-ferrous metals such as brass, bronze, copper and beryllium are the biggest problem. Copper and its alloys are toxic when ingested. Beryllium, found in certain relatively rare copper alloys is especially toxic if inhaled. It is used in hard bronze spark proof hammers and wrenches. DO NOT recycle these items.

Work posture and technique was always common sense to me but many folks have to learn it. Stand up straight (or sit straight) when working. Address the anvil like you OWN IT not like a foreign object. Do not use too large a hammer nor too small. Learn to let the hammer float, not hold with a death grip. Realize that work over a certain size is out of your range. This size is very small when you start (maybe 1/2" or less) and becomes larger (max. 1" normally 3/4") as you become practiced and develop the needed strength in the specific muscles used. Most important of all, IF you have enough work to spend long days at the forge you should be able to afford a good power hammer. If you intend to do work out of your range you need a helper/striker OR a power hammer.

Stupidity and a general macho attitude is what gets people hurt in the shop. All it takes is trying to move that 300 pound anvil by yourself ONE TIME to wreck your back for a lifetime. All it takes is "pushing through the pain" of one job to do permanent joint damage. All it takes is trying to brave "a little smoke" to permanently wreck your lungs (or possibly kill yourself).

Working smart avoids a lot of problems. I've scooted heavy loads up a ramp when I had no help. In fact I saw a fellow load a 600 pound anvil into the back of a truck that way, by his self! Waiting for help to arrive can save a lot of grief. Tying down loads properly is critical. Rope is generally not sufficient and almost nobody's pickup truck has proper tie downs or anchor points for moving machinery. Rigging loads properly is important. Gravity WILL hurt you at the most surprising times. Even small loads can smash a finger into uselessness or break bones in your foot.

But most important is being self aware and aware of your surrounding and what is going on. I abhor loud music in the shop. If you have normal hearing you can hear squeeking machinery that needs to be oiled, the fan you left on or forgot to turn on, fire burning, the creaking of something about to break or fall, an electrical short or bad connection. Then there are the obvious sounds like someone yelling a warning (STOP! STOP!) or the phone ringing (Is that YOUR roof on fire dear?), thunder in the background as you do electrical work. . .

Safety in the workplace is up to YOU. There are folks that do the same jobs side by side for years and one will constantly be injuring himself and the other never have an incident. Safety is largely an attitude.
   - guru - Wednesday, 07/18/07 09:41:33 EDT

Hey all,
I am looking at an old camel-back style drill press that has a #1 Morse taper and a roughly 3/4" spindle. What would be the largest bit (approximately) that I would want to safely run on this machine to avoid damaging or over-stressing anything? I already have one of the Tractor Supply 16 speed drill presses with the #2 Morse, and was wondering if this old drill would be worth the 8 hour round trip to get it (it actually might cost me more in gas to get there and back than the drill itself will cost...such is the state of the economy).

Thanks everyone,
-Aaron @ the SCF
   thesandycreekforge - Wednesday, 07/18/07 11:15:30 EDT

I have an ancient Royersford Excelsior 21" camel back that I reincarnated with the invaluable help of the inestimable Guruissimo, who owns at least one just like it, and I use it every day. Largest drill bit I can recall having used is 1" but I do not believe it is possible to damage this drill in use. The belt will slip before that happens. The drill is an invaluable tool. Today's OSHA-proof version would be something in the neighborhood of $10K.
   Miles Undercut - Wednesday, 07/18/07 12:03:42 EDT

I also have an Excelsior 21". It has a MT4 taper. Drill presses should be designed to drill up to what the taper will hold. You can always buy a big chuck or an adapter for a larger size, but know that you are pushing the design limits. MT4 should drill up to 2" or so in mild steel. I was getting belt slippage from a 1.25" bit the other week until I sharpened it better. MT1 bits are made up to 1/2" so I wouldn't push it past that. See if the seller has a box of MT drill bits to add to the deal. That could make the trip more worthwhile. Not as many people want to deal with the taper shanks, but they're expensive new.
   - Jacob - Wednesday, 07/18/07 13:05:19 EDT

Also, the material being drilled is a factor. I wouldn't drill deep holes in tool steel at the capacity limit. Some plastics could probably take a huge hole saw.

Keep in mind the older small drill presses are generally like the newer ones: made cheaper and lighter. If you already have a heavy import floorstanding model, it will probably outperform a hobby size camelback.
   - Jacob - Wednesday, 07/18/07 13:14:47 EDT

Aaron, I'm not all that familiar with camel-back drill presses, but the #1 taper in a 3/4" spindle suggests that it is an uncommonly light duty example of it's type, and probably not much (if any) more capable than your Tractor Supply 16 speed.

The old drill presses everyone wants are generally #3 or 4 Morse tapers.

My Chinese Delta (probably about the same as your Tractor Supply drill press) has a quill about an inch bigger than you described your came-back as having and works well up to about 5/8". It will turn slow enough to use bits of an inch or so in mild steel, but is not rigid enough to keep from chattering at the necessary feed pressure.

As I said, I'm not all that familiar with the type, but I don't think I would drive 4 hours each way to get that one.
   John Lowther - Wednesday, 07/18/07 13:40:29 EDT

Yep, #1 tapers are good for about 1/2" max. and are fairly rare. My little 6" Craftsman Lathe has a #1 MT in the tailstock. I have a bunch of tooling for it but it can't do much very heavy duty. In a lathe you can clamp an anti-rotation device to the tool in the tailstock and do more than the taper will drive. However, in a drill press you are limited to the taper and its drive tab.

Where #1 taper machines are real handy is if you have a lot of #1 taper drill bits and a lot of small work. This is great in the Locksmith, Gunsmith or other small item shop, but not the general blacksmith shop.

   - guru - Wednesday, 07/18/07 15:01:17 EDT

DRILL PRESSES...continued.
I was thinking about it more and began to wonder what kind of countersink i could pull off running on the aforementioned machine. It seems that the slower speed capability of the flat belt driven press would be ideal to run a countersink. Would such a machine be able to run a 3/4" or 1" countersink? If so, it would justify the price to have it even if it would only drill a 1/2" hole.

-Aaron @ the SCF...who will probably end up getting the darned thing anyway...dumb old TCOD (tool collecting obsession disorder) :)
   thesandycreekforge - Wednesday, 07/18/07 15:10:23 EDT

Countersinks follow the same rules as other cutters for FPM. While you may have enough torque for the narrow cut (if you are just chamfering) it may run too fast.

The better of these old machines had back gears and would turn REAL REAL slow. However, I have yet to see one that didn't have broken teeth on the back gears. . . This is from shifting gears when there is ANY motion.

If you slow down the machine (slower than designed in straight gear) then it would probably work.
   - guru - Wednesday, 07/18/07 15:54:30 EDT

20-21" "Camelback" Drill Presses: I always called them "geared head" because of the right angle reduction gearing at the top of the spindle. These are (or were) an industry standard. I have four, two of which are in operating condition and one needs a motor and the last needs lots of TLC. The last is probably the best of the four. It is an Aurora and built heavier than the others. The first three, a Champion, a Royersford (see iForge photo) and a very old Joseph T. Ryerson all look like the parts are interchangeable. Eventually I want the three best lined up next to each other. This will take advantage of interchangeable tooling and multi-step processes.

Due to having a lathe with a #3 MT tailstock and another with a #2 headstock I have bushing sets that go from #4 to #1 MT in various steps. Sometimes you need to be able to put that chuck that goes to ZERO in the big drill press and the MT drill bits tend to be longer than standard jobber length bits so they get used in the big drills as well.

Once you start a small collection of machinery it is handy to be able to swap tooling between all the machines. However, I almost never go UP in size. I think the only step UP adaptor I have is a #4 to #5 MT. It is a huge thing and fits a collection of bits that came with one drill. You have to lower the table about as far as it goes to use the thing!

The Morse taper adaptor bushings not only come in single size jumps but doubles. I have a #4 to #2 and a #3 to #1. beats stacking up a whole set of sleeves.

Champion offered its hand crank drills with a Morse Tapered spindle at extra cost. I've never seen one.

AND you need to be careful. Some old machinery used different tapers such as Brown and Sharpe and Jarno. You are SOL if you have one of these.
   - guru - Wednesday, 07/18/07 15:55:15 EDT

Some time ago I picked up a hand cranked blower thinking that I would eventually have a coal/coke forge. That has not happened and I'm lacing the space just to keep it. It is marked "Camedy Otto Mfg USA Chicago Heights, Ill" on the crank side and "Royal Western Chief H" on the air inlet side. I am thinking of selling it and don't know what it is worth. The crank turns fairly easily and it blows well, not much rust, and it is bolted to a cast iron stand. The bolted joint allows the blower outlet to point level to about 45 degreed downwards I live in Western Washington State; I add that as there is not a lot of balcksmithing tools around here. Any suggestions for what it should sell for are much appreciated.
   - Bob Johnson - Wednesday, 07/18/07 16:32:44 EDT

Some time ago I picked up a hand cranked blower thinking that I would eventually have a coal/coke forge. That has not happened and I'm lacing the space just to keep it. It is marked "Camedy Otto Mfg USA Chicago Heights, Ill" on the crank side and "Royal Western Chief H" on the air inlet side. I am thinking of selling it and don't know what it is worth. The crank turns fairly easily and it blows well, not much rust, and it is bolted to a cast iron stand. The bolted joint allows the blower outlet to point level to about 45 degreed downwards I live in Western Washington State; I add that as there is not a lot of balcksmithing tools around here. Any suggestions for what it should sell for are much appreciated.
   - Bob Johnson - Wednesday, 07/18/07 16:33:23 EDT

Some time ago I picked up a hand cranked blower thinking that I would eventually have a coal/coke forge. That has not happened and I'm lacing the space just to keep it. It is marked "Camedy Otto Mfg USA Chicago Heights, Ill" on the crank side and "Royal Western Chief H" on the air inlet side. I am thinking of selling it and don't know what it is worth. The crank turns fairly easily and it blows well, not much rust, and it is bolted to a cast iron stand. The bolted joint allows the blower outlet to point level to about 45 degreed downwards I live in Western Washington State; I add that as there is not a lot of balcksmithing tools around here. Any suggestions for what it should sell for are much appreciated.
   woodenewe - Wednesday, 07/18/07 16:38:49 EDT

Sorry for the multiple postings
   woodenewe - Wednesday, 07/18/07 16:39:30 EDT

Bob, Cannedy Otto made one of the best blowers according to Bill Pieh. In general blowers have been selling for $100 to $200 sometimes more depending on the usual variables and how big a hurry the seller. If in really good condition it is much better than anything new you could afford to buy today.
   - guru - Wednesday, 07/18/07 20:20:21 EDT

I have an old anvil mounted on a stump w/ some letters or numbers and letters one above the other. I would like to know what it is worth. have pics. Thanks Jude
   Jude - Wednesday, 07/18/07 20:20:31 EDT

what is a general good sign that steel has reached the correct temp to forge weld and when and how do you get it fluxed with say borax?
   troy - Wednesday, 07/18/07 20:39:52 EDT

On Tapers:
You mentioned tapers in your reply and it got me to thinking. Am I right in thinking that Morse is the only type that uses the tapered wedge type key to dislodge the taper from the spindle? I know that R8 uses a drawbar, and I thought I read somewhere to use a drift to knock a B+S taper loose (the drill has a slot for the wedge type key), but I am not sure I've ever seen or read anything specific about how a Jarno taper works.

Thanks again for the info, it is VERY much appreciated,
-Aaron @ the SCF
   thesandycreekforge - Wednesday, 07/18/07 22:34:00 EDT

Hey Guru,
Thanks for the info. Glad to know it is a good one. I'll do one last check with Mr. Coalforge (Wayne Lewis), who is about 2 miles from me, regarding current availability of good coal/coke, and if still a bit rare, I'll plan to take it to the blacksmiths swapmeet in Seattle on July 28th. Bwerkley Tack has tried to convince me that "coke rules" for forge welding. Plus I for one like the aroma (some call it "smell", others, like my wife, call it "stink").
   - woodenewe - Wednesday, 07/18/07 22:37:11 EDT

Tapers: Aaron, Not sure on the Jarno and wedge. However, these tapers are all detailed in Machinery's Handbook. If you are not sure about a taper it is always best to have something that you know the taper and test it in the unknown. They are all different enough that the mis-match is obvious.

While spindles are not marked with the taper most tools, sleeves and such are marked in fine print, often in the relieved area. IF the machine has a chuck or anything that fits it then you should be able to clean and inspect IT.

The R-8 taper and American Milling Machine tapers are steep non-locking tapers and both use a draw bar. Other tapers generally do not. However, some are removed by taping with a rod through a hollow spindle. Others such as in a tailstock are pushed out by the spindle screw.

On my lathes I have special cut off tapers on my chucks that allow the full travel of the tailstock but are still removable. They are absolutely NOT suitable to use in a standard blind hole such as in a drill press. I'm sure whoever inherits them will be in for a surprise.
   - guru - Wednesday, 07/18/07 23:07:18 EDT

Jude, I responded on the Hammer-In. Insufficient information.
   - guru - Wednesday, 07/18/07 23:09:35 EDT

Forge Welding: Troy, Welding heat depends on the steel but it is generally described as a "lemony yellow" or "melted butter look". Sparking is too hot for mild steel and much too hot for higher carbon steels. Time to flux is immediately after cleaning or descaling and when just hot enough for the flux to melt and stick (a black heat).

Welding temperature also depends on cleanliness. Clean steel (heated in a vacuum or oxygen free atmosphere) will weld at a dull red glow.

IF the steel has been overheated (sparking) then it is usually burnt and the surface must be removed before trying again.
   - guru - Wednesday, 07/18/07 23:14:34 EDT

Tapers: Since it is on topic I thought I would ask. I bought some counter bores on ebay for real cheap, well they arrived today and SURPRISE! the seller had neglected to mention that they all had weird tapered shafts. The shafts are shorter (half the length or less) than a standard morse taper socket and at the end they are cut down to have round, but non tapered part with two non-milled but still tapered nubs sticking out, hope that makes sense. Didn't find anything that looked like that in my machinery catalogs to adapt it with. Any advice would be greatly appreciated (don't want to get them stuck for sure), thanks.
   Leaf D - Thursday, 07/19/07 02:27:15 EDT

   Jude - Thursday, 07/19/07 06:50:44 EDT

Jude, there is no need to be rude typing in all caps. Guru answered you 3 posts up when he said:

Jude, I responded on the Hammer-In. Insufficient information.
- guru - Wednesday, 07/18/07 23:09:35 EDT
   Daarian - Thursday, 07/19/07 06:58:38 EDT

Odd tapered mount: Leaf, It doesn't sound too standard but there are a lot of semi-proprietary things out there that are considered standard in the industry today. Some of the guys using more modern machinery than I am might know.

However, if you were expecting straight shanks (I would if the seller did not mention the taper), or Morse tapers then you are stuck. I would carefully re-read the seller's description and look at the photos (if there were any) to see if you have recourse.
   - guru - Thursday, 07/19/07 07:25:02 EDT


I have an old truck with some sort of lettering on the side. Can you tell me what it is worth?

Get real, son. You asked the question twice before and were answered twice. The Guru even said you could email him pictures if you wished. If you're not going to bother reading the answers to your questions, or if you can't comply with simple forum rules and courtesy, I, for one, certainly cannot help you.

This is not a chatroom, it is a forum. Answers may take some few days, rather than minutes. No one can answer a queston without sufficient input. Based on what little information ou have provided, I would say your anvil is worth about 25 cents a pound, minus the weight of the stump. The stump decreases the value, as it is a waste to ship a stump. On the other hand, with sufficient information, your anvil could be worth as much as 25 dollars a pound, if it was a particularly rare, mint condition extra small anvil from a maker that is highly sought after by collectors.

Finally, while Ii, and others here, are somewhat advanced in age, all of us can, and prefer to, read lower case type with proper spelling and punctuation. All caps indicates that you thinkwe are either blind, stupid, or contemptible, certainly not attributes you would want of someone from whom you wish information.
   vicopper - Thursday, 07/19/07 10:16:46 EDT

Jude, currently your question is very much like: "I have an old car in my garage it has some letters on it; please tell me how much it is worth"

What would you need to know to even guess at a price for my "car": Make, Model, Condition, Milage and *location*(note that anvils in NM sell for about twice what I was finding them for in OH).

Well we need the same info for pricing an anvil; right now all I can say is that your anvil is worth somewhere between steel scrap price and probably $5 per pound and most likely in the $2 per pound and under range.

   Thomas P - Thursday, 07/19/07 10:22:41 EDT

Leaf D's Tapers:
Somehow the tapered turning into cylindrical sounds familiar from somewhere, not sure about the nubs though. Is there anyway you could post a photo somewhere and link to it?

Another thought I had was that since they are all the same (at least that is the way i read the above post) they might have been a set that came with a special collet or adapter (or set of collets or adapters) for adapting to different standard tapers (i.e. buy the set and then buy the adapters for the different machines you'd use them in, one set fits many different machines.) But that is a random guess at best.

-Aaron @ the SCF
   thesandycreekforge - Thursday, 07/19/07 13:10:11 EDT

I'm looking for some basic information. I'm Opening a Retail store dealing in Hand crafted Metal work and I'd like to have a Brochure that I can hand out to people to explain the Basic terminolgy and skills required to make these kind of itmes. Primarily Items will be steel, a large percentage will be forged, I'm sure some welding will be involved, It won't be knives, but explaining tempering because of how misunderstood it is would be nice to include. I have some Ideas myself, but I'm no expert. You folks are. Assuming space for (with some simple pictures if I can find some)500-1000 words. What must be included in your opinons?
   Frostfly - Thursday, 07/19/07 14:24:54 EDT

Did the real athentic chainmail have welded closed rings or were they pinched closed? If there were welded closed how did they do that?
   troy - Thursday, 07/19/07 15:25:18 EDT

It isn't really the sellers fault because you can see a couple of them in the listing, and besides the shipping was the expensive part, and plus the interchangeable pilots are probably worth the price I paid. But I would really like to get these to work too. The picture is still on there and it is item # 120137329075, and yes they used to have adapters with them, but unfortunately they were not part of the set. Worst case scenario I go to a machine shop and plunk down the $$$$ to have him make new adapters, but I only really bought these because they were a steal. Oh, and I tried them in a #1 morse socket I had and the smaller ones fit, but only went half way in.
   Leaf D - Thursday, 07/19/07 15:34:09 EDT

Unless you are dealing with tool steels, springs or knives avoid the tempering/heat treating subject in its entirety.

I would focus on a nice exposition about quality hand made one at a time art in iron as apposed to imported production work. Of course the problem is when some of the work you may carry has features of junk work (scrolls with flats, terminations welded on, bad or obvious welds) that is the hallmark of the cheap imported stuff.

Welding on decorative ironwork is a critical item. I have done a lot of it. Most smiths could not tell where and no, they were not ground. Sloppy grinding follows sloppy welding and actuates it. I used to forbid grinding of fillet welds except at terminations by subcontractors because if the weld was so bad it needed grinding, it needed to be ground OUT and rewelded. . . This was on structural steel NOT decorative work.

A good brochure should help educate your clients. But once they are educated you must then meet those expectations.
   - guru - Thursday, 07/19/07 15:34:56 EDT

Troy, Old mail was riveted. Rusting of the riveted joints had made it difficult to tell and some old references indicated they were welded while in fact they were riveted joints. Picky work. Much is also just hand close butt joints.
   - guru - Thursday, 07/19/07 15:38:14 EDT

Good idea on pointing out the quality of hand crafted american made, as I'm using that as my market nitch. Just wish I could find someone willing to make small inexpensive Impulse items (keychain and similar size, 10 or less retail) Good advise thanks!
   Frostfly - Thursday, 07/19/07 15:41:45 EDT

FrostFly, be sure to point out that scrolls and such made by hand are often tapered to a point or a flat and curled over. The machine made crap can be spotted by the short straight piece on the inside of the scroll where it was gripped by the cold bender. I have seen "hand made" crap from China and India that was so poorly crafted (cold bent, welded in place, painted flat black) that I was embarrased that the owner was asking HUNDREDS of dollars for what would be laughed at by a true craftsman. This country has forgotten what real ironwork looks like.
   quenchcrack - Thursday, 07/19/07 17:40:13 EDT


You should write the brochure.
   - burntforge - Thursday, 07/19/07 17:47:15 EDT

Troy; european mail was generally of two types: 1 was all rings were rivited. 2 was rows of rivited rings were alternated with rows of rings that were either forge welded or punched out from sheet iron so no gaps.

Butted mail was not used on the european battlefield. I know of two examples where butted rings of lateen---brass---was used for ornamental effect and one example of a very fine ring mail of butted rings of various metals that was strictly a parade armour---see "Heroic Armor of the Italian Renaissance" (ISBN: 0300086180) for that one.

Outside of Europe I have seen several examples of butted mail one from the South East Asia and several from Japan---though not the common 4 in 1 pattern of european mail.

Note also that european mail was generally made of flattended rings---more like washers than round wire rings.
If you post over at armourarchive.org you can get into touch with some of the foremost modern authorities on medieval mail making.

Butted is common in modern reenactment groups do to the difference in labour it makes.

Thomas (who made a 1/4 id maille shirt that was butted about 25 years ago)
   Thomas P - Thursday, 07/19/07 18:23:29 EDT

Tapers: After not finding anything in my MSC catalog I looked in machineries handbook and it looks allot like a "morse stub taper" without the flat tang. Probably I will just buy some standard morse taper sockets and enlarge the slot or something.
   Leaf D - Thursday, 07/19/07 22:52:17 EDT

Anyone ever experience “weld flash” from FORGE welding? I did some welding earlier in the week, definitely staring into the coal fire too much. My eyes have been dry and burney all week, seem to be slowly improving. I never experienced traditional weld flash before; always wore the proper PPE on my face, if not on my arms.
   - Dave Leppo - Friday, 07/20/07 07:40:26 EDT

Dave, that happened to me once during a class on axe and tomahawk making. Brilliant white light is brilliant white light, no matter what the source. You can also give yourself a "sunburn" level of first-degree burning from the radiant heat of a forge.

Your safety glasses should block both UV A & B plus IR. This combined with not staring into the heart of the fire for more than a second or two at a time will prevent the problem. You don't really need shaded lenses for forge welding, but take care not to cook your eyes.
   Alan-L - Friday, 07/20/07 08:21:04 EDT

Tapers. . a difference of just a few hundred thousandths per foot is the difference in a taper working and not. Also, if you look at Morse tapers, the amount of taper for each size is different. Its one of those historical mysteries. . . but I suspect it has to do with inaccuracies in measurement.

The tapers are based on masters made by Stephen A. Morse in 1864-1868 with two sets of masters, one held by the company, the other by the US Bureau of Standards.

Morse invented the twist drill in 1864 and the tapers to hold them a few years later. He left the company he founded in 1868.

The music industry also uses a standardized Morse taper of .050"/inch for trumpet mouthpieces, which turns out to be the Jarno taper. A #1 Morse taper reamer can be used to create the mouthpiece socket but should stop at .405" at the open end.
   - guru - Friday, 07/20/07 08:45:30 EDT

Safety Glasses: Our #2 shade glasses are back in stock and will be on the cart again shortly.
   - guru - Friday, 07/20/07 08:47:00 EDT

Shoot me an email about the "small inexpensive impulse items". I had a railing job fall through on me (it was going to be my major project for the summer/fall) and might be interested in picking up a run of such items if the quantity and price are right. Ironically, I believe I lost the railing job because the homeowner decided to go with the cheap IMPORTED spindles found at the big box store (mostly a pricing/cost issue).
-Aaron @ the SCF
   thesandycreekforge - Friday, 07/20/07 11:57:25 EDT

Forge light eye problems are IR based, like gas welding. Arc are UV based and much more dangerous. IR damage is cumulative wrt "glass blowers cataracts" can take years to develope. Isaac Doss had been a smith for 60 years when he had his cataracts fixed and went back to forging...UV damage to the retina is *VERY* *FAST* and retina damage is not very treatable.


   Thomas P - Friday, 07/20/07 12:11:24 EDT

Babitt Bearings:

I have an old bench lathe that I am restoring and I will need to pour new babitt bearings for the headstock as the originals are worn out. Would it be appropriate to use a lead-based or a tin-based babitt for the headstock bearings?

   Steven Galonska - Friday, 07/20/07 12:12:19 EDT

Steve, I would have to look but what you want is the hardest grade you can get (which I think are tin).

To rebabitt your lathe you will want to make a special arbor that can be supported in the tailstock OR use an extension of the spindle that fits the taper IF there is a taper. In the second case a Morse taper arbor with center can be used. Ideally you would want a long infinitely rigid spindle supported with the tailstock at the far end of the bed.

When rebabitting don't forget a fine shim pack for adjusting wear.
   - guru - Friday, 07/20/07 15:51:57 EDT

When amatures write things down they tend to miss things. I'm asking questions so I get it right. I will be writing the Brochure, but I want the information to be correct.
   Frostfly - Friday, 07/20/07 17:25:23 EDT

I'm a newbie to blacksmithing, and I'm not a professional in marketing, but in my opinion I would say you should first figure out what forged pieces you are going to have in your shop and perhaps, explain the work that goes into making them to give your customers the sense of pride put into the work by the smith. Even if it is for something like decorative "S" hooks. You don't need to do this for all of the items, just select a few sample pieces that you will have in regular supply. It is my experience that people take greater pride in owning something that was made with pride. And it's my opinion that a smith works hard on their skills and takes great pride in their work.
Just a siggestion.
   Daarian - Friday, 07/20/07 21:25:32 EDT

Hi, I am new to blacksmithing and am fixing to start it as a hobby. I am looking to buy a forge like the one shown in the episode titled Axes,Swords, and Knives - Sword Making of the show Modern Marvels on the History Channel. I would like to know what type of forge was shown in that episode and where I could buy one. If you would like to watch the episode online the link for the show is:


Thank you for your help.

   Tyler Hughes - Friday, 07/20/07 22:12:15 EDT

Tyler, I saw four different forges in use. Which one do you want? The Catalan forge he used to make the steel using charcoal and ore? One of the two gas forges? Or the heat-treating forge at the end?

All but one of those were homemade. Read all the FAQs on this site regarding forges.

I will assume you meant one of the gas forges, so I'll start with those. The first one shown, the one he was using to work small pieces of the steel, is a type of blown forge. In other words, there's a small fan that forces air and propane into it. Most forges of this type are homemade, as is this one. The advantage of a forced-air forge is that the atmosphere and temperature can be adjusted easily to whatever you want. I find it much easier to forge-weld in a forced air forge than a venturi forge, see next paragraph:

The second gas forge, the one he was using on the finishing heats, looked like an NC Tool Whisper Daddy, available from several of the advertisers here. It is a venturi or natrually aspirated forge. This means it uses the venturi effect of a high-pressure jet of propane to draw in air and create the fuel mix. The advantage here is you don't need electricity. The disadvantage is they can be hard to adjust, especially if you're new to gas forges. Some designs can't be gotten hot enough to weld in as well.

If you are somewhat handy but don't know exactly what you need, a friend of mine makes forge kits and completed forges of both types, designed especially for knifemaking.

   Alan-L - Saturday, 07/21/07 09:29:42 EDT

Tyler, You need to learn to pay very close attention to details if you are going to be a bladesmith. In the History Channel segment with Paul Champagne you should have noted no less than four forges were used.

1) Ta-ma-Ha-ga-ne smelter (Japanese iron making furnace)
2) High temperature gas welding forge (fan blown).
3) Common NC-Tool Forge (lower temperature gas forge)
4) Bladesmiths trough forge for hardening.

You must study, learn and study some more, then build the forges you need for the purpose. Only one of the above is a commercial forge and one requires a team of folks to operate.

Besides the forges which are the easy part of blacksmithing, this shop also had power hammers and presses that were not shown, a row of grinding equipment also not shown and much more.

See our Getting Started article and Sword Making article resources list.
   - guru - Saturday, 07/21/07 09:44:17 EDT

Commercial Brochures: The writing in these is called "copy writing" or "ad copy writing". It is somewhat of a specialty. You start with the basic description, then be sure the technical parts are correct, THEN the copy writer puts it together. Often this is a three person process.

Occasionally I write web copy for people because it is a specialized kind of copy writing that is different than normal ad copy. But in either case, it is a technical specialty job that folks pay for.
   - guru - Saturday, 07/21/07 10:32:55 EDT

Question about flypress.
I hope to purchase a flypress in Sept. from Kayne and Sons. I want to get the most for my dollar. Anyone here know how much of a difference there is between a S5 and P6 flypress ? Or is this one of thoes " Get the biggest you can " tools ?
Thanks ,
P.S. I'm leaning toward the P6
   Harley - Saturday, 07/21/07 12:04:08 EDT

Harley, The #6 is the biggest one man press listed (See flypress.com). As such there may be some operations that are a stretch (physically) if you are small. The size number roughly represents tons of force of the machine. So the #6 is nearly 20% more powerful than the #5.

On capacity the general rule of machinery is you never have enough and you will always be pushing the envelope. A lot depends on what you want to do. For cold work this is still a small press. We have two charts that show what can be done with various tonnage presses.

Punching in Mild Steel

Riveting Force

Of course you can do much more in hot steel. If your budget allows it AND you know you are probably going to stretch the capacity of the machine get the large one. IF you are sure you are going to be doing small work (jewelery, locksmithing, other fine work) then the smaller machine will be overkill and you might want to consider even smaller machines.

   - guru - Saturday, 07/21/07 13:20:07 EDT

After you abtain bloom from smelting Iron how do you forge it down to a soild billet and how do you go about agusting the carbon content(is there another way besides carbarizing)? And is there a way to purchase small amounts of Iron ore online, so I can give it a try?

   troy - Saturday, 07/21/07 15:09:45 EDT

Looking for guillotine (blacksmith's helper?) plans. Our FABA area group would like to hold a workshop to build some. Thanks Ed
   Ed Aaron - Saturday, 07/21/07 16:04:28 EDT

can you tell me if it is possible to make a ring roller and where I might find some plans.

Rerards, Matt
   matt pine - Saturday, 07/21/07 16:39:00 EDT

Thanks Jock, I suspected that the biggest machine you can afford would be the answer. It's only a few hundred dollars more. That does not include the extra cost to ship the heavier press. As with everything else in Blacksmithing: Do Not cut corners, Do Not try to do things on the cheap. Do get the biggest you can afford and can handle. And ALWAYS build your smithy as large as possible so you have room to add the tools you will eventually find a need for .
   Harley - Saturday, 07/21/07 17:04:43 EDT

hey i was thinking of beocoming a blacksmith but is it worth it like do people still really need a blacksmith to do all the metal work
   will - Saturday, 07/21/07 17:57:30 EDT

Harley... I'd suggest that you play with the various sizes of fly presses before you buy one. Do many repetitive operations.
   - djhammerd - Saturday, 07/21/07 18:14:12 EDT

" is it worth it to become a blacksmith" If you have to ask that question, then for you, the answer is probably no.
In my case, I wanted to try to learn a new art. The fact that some people wanted to buy my work was a nice plus. That has allowed me to invest in more equipment to continue to learn. But, not having customers would only slow my learning, not stop it. Sometimes the "worth of something" is the act of doing it.
Just one man's opinion. YMMV
   Mike Broach - Saturday, 07/21/07 18:29:25 EDT

i know nothing about presses...how many tons does a #0 or #2 power press have? what does OBI mean in relation to power presses...what is an arbor press?
   coolhand - Saturday, 07/21/07 18:53:07 EDT

never mind i found it in the introduction to presses. i want a fly press not a punch press
   coolhand - Saturday, 07/21/07 19:14:22 EDT

Is it worth it to become a blacksmith?

This is a very poorly worded question. It depends on what you mean by "worth". If you mean financially lucrative then NO, it is not worth becoming a blacksmith. If you you value the creation of permanent goods and art, value the pride of creating things most others cannot, value satisfaction in converting raw materials into products by your own hand, then YES it is very worth while to become a blacksmith.

Do people still really need a blacksmith to do all the metal work? If you know anything about modern manufacturing at all then you would know that society in general could do without the archaic blacksmith. However, there still are a few industrial blacksmiths that make parts for machines that can be made no other way. AND there is a great deal of artistic metalwork produced throughout the world that can be done no other way than forging by hand. In a few primitive places the blacksmith is still the indispensable maker of tools.

Most professional modern blacksmiths are self employed "artist blacksmiths" and like many artists they are "starving artists" that do not know when their next job will be and may not have the money to finish the current job. But being self employed he is his own boss and works the hours he wishes to work, does the type of work he wants to do and generally spits in the eye of social economic norms.

The self employed blacksmith has the same problems of all entrepreneurs. They are usually under capitalized, under equipped and trying to compete in a global economy. It is not an easy life if you want to be successful.

The vast majority of smiths TODAY are "hobby blacksmiths" that support their blacksmithing with another job. Some may be so-so artisans but many are as good as any the world has produced. They do not need to worry about how much they charge for their work, do not need to meet deadlines and do not need to worry about what the customer wants. They also do not need to worry about the global economy EXCEPT in their real job. . .
   - guru - Saturday, 07/21/07 19:53:07 EDT

Thankyou guys so much that really helped
   will - Saturday, 07/21/07 22:28:45 EDT


I tried to send you an email regarding flypresses, but apparently your email address is bogus. If you want the information, email me with a valid address and I'll send it.
   vicopper - Saturday, 07/21/07 23:54:05 EDT

It has come to my attention that my email address here in the Gurus Den is incorrect. When I clicked on my name from an earlier post it is shown incorrectly. How can I correct this ?
Thanks ,
   Harley - Sunday, 07/22/07 02:40:30 EDT

Harley, Our encryption system has a bug in the decryption when there are more than one period before the @. I haven't been able to easily fix it. The problem is it took several weeks to write and test the code many years ago and it will take a week of work to understand the code well enough to edit it. . .
   - guru - Sunday, 07/22/07 07:51:13 EDT

Hmmmm....Bug in the encryption system. For what it's worth there is not more than one period ( there is one ) before the @ in my email addy. Oh well it's not of any real importance. It gets fixed whenever it gets fixed....sounds like you need to use a bigger hammer on that bug.
   Harley - Sunday, 07/22/07 08:29:49 EDT

The replacement system will be much more secure as well.
   - guru - Sunday, 07/22/07 09:56:54 EDT

roy-----Bloom to Steel: You start by heating the bloom or section there of to welding heat and consolidating it into a unified mass. If it is very slaggy you can actually be better off starting consolidation in the forge using tongs to squish the "iron stew" into a muck bar. Once you have a muck bar you draw it out, cut it and stack it and weld it and get "merchant bar". Draw that out and cut, stack, weld and get singly refined Wrought Iron. Draw that out and cut, stack, weld and get doubley refined Wrought Iron. Draw that out and cut, stack, weld and get triply refined Wrought Iron---what Yellin used to specify for all his ornamental work.

This repetitive welding process usually drops the carbon content of the metal---one reason that the japanese used to select pieces of bloom that were nearly cast iron (2% carbon content) and end up with 0.5% carbon content.

Another way would be to slip in some very hish carbon steel into the weld stack to become a carbon donor. I like the *old* Black Diamond files that were 1.2% carbon; they went to around 1095 when Nicholson produced them.

   Thomas P - Sunday, 07/22/07 14:18:14 EDT

Guru: have you heard of "sweet iron"? A blacksmith friend of mine said that was what the oldtimers called an iron that smelled sweet when it was welded or forged. He had run on some of it in an something he was working on recently.
   jlw - Sunday, 07/22/07 17:28:55 EDT

JLW, This is simply old fashioned wrought iron. It is what smiths made horse bits out of because it supposedly tasted sweet to the horse and it would not spit it out. The same claim is made of mild steel today and steel with copper. . .

After a little research you find that it is nothing more than an unarguable sales ploy.

Never heard of anything that smelled sweet to the smith (other than money). The only thing that would change the smell of the smoke is a coating of some type on the metal almost all of which are bad for you.

   - guru - Sunday, 07/22/07 19:07:15 EDT

Dear Guru: I am an apprentice metalspinner. I can make plates and bowls out of precious metals. However, I would like my work to stand out. I would like to put decorative knurls on my platters and bowls (much like you see in some of the finer sterling silver pieces. How is it done and where can I obtain the tooling. Thank You. Richard
   richard alexander - Sunday, 07/22/07 20:14:10 EDT

Rose Turning Lathes: Richard, To the best of my knowledge this was done with very special lathes and still is when the antique machinery is available. In the 18th and 19th century there were a number of lathe manufacturers that made very specialized machines for working ivory and doing silver plate work. These machines had a gear driven cross slide upon which a stationary of rotary cutter was attached and as the work rotated the cross slide moved in and out producing the geometric designs.

Modern wood turners have adopted these machines or versions of them for decorative work. But the height of their use was in silver and ivory.


Note that the above link is part of an article on converting a standard lathe to a wood turning pattern lathe.

Look up Holtzapffel Lathe on Google

Look up Charles Holtzapffel or just Holtzapffel on Bookfinder.com

Also this link:

History Week - The Lathe PDF

Today you could program a multi axis mill or lathe to do the same. A mill with an X-Y table PLUS automatic rotary table would do the job nicely.
   - guru - Sunday, 07/22/07 20:52:34 EDT

Richard Alexander,

You can obtain knurling wheels fromo almost any mahcine tooling supplier. Those used for lather work wil lwork fine for your spun silver bowls, as long as you use single-wheel knurling tools. The multi-wheel tools are good for round bars or tubing having a radius suitable for the spacing of the wheels. This is usually only up to about 2" diameter. A single-wheel knurling tool will work on either inside or outside curves.

Knurling wheels are available in a number of differing pitches, so yo'll have to experiment to see which is m ost suitable for the work you're doing. If you have a machinist friend, perhaps you could borrow one and try it out. You'll need to rig a robust tool post to hold it, as it is not something that works well if hand-held.

You can also obtain "Florentining wheels" from some of the larger silversmith supply houses. Well, you could thirty years ago when I ws doing it, but Dixon is no longer in business, so you might try Gesswein.
   vicopper - Sunday, 07/22/07 20:52:45 EDT

Does borax edmit harmful fumes when applied to hot metal and where are some places online where I can find small amounts of iron ore to experiment with smelting?

Thank You!!
   troy - Sunday, 07/22/07 20:47:39 EDT

Troy, in general no but it does produce fumes when overheated to boiling. As always, work in a well ventilated area and if ever in doubt wear a respirator filter mask.

Iron ore is where you find it. You state or province department of mines may be helpful. Depending on where you are there are archeometallurgy groups that work with old methods of smelting.
   - guru - Sunday, 07/22/07 21:03:15 EDT

Holtzapffel Lathes:

In the middle of February 1797 John Jacob Holtzapffel (son of Charles Holtzapffel) delivered his sixteenth lathe, his first Rose Engine. He continued to build lathes for another 40 years. He and his father wrote numerous books on the subject of turning and rose lathes.

AN unbound book written in 1833 on the Holtzapffel Lathe is currently selling for $380. An 1872 book is currently selling for about $500.

A current book on the Holtzapffel Lathe currently sells for $220

The lathes themselves have been collector's items since the 1800's.

Other manufacturers made similar lathes during the same period.

Knurls: For cylindrical work they come in specific diameters to match the diameter of the work. This is the knurl pitch diameter. It is necessary to get a clean cut and prevent overcutting. This used to be a common value when ordering knurls but is only used today when custom knurls are ordered.

For face work a knurl must have a conical shape to cut clean and will only have a very narrow working range. Pitch is more critical on these than cylindrical knurls.

   - guru - Monday, 07/23/07 00:16:22 EDT

Whoops, VIc had covered Knurl pitch.
   - guru - Monday, 07/23/07 08:56:09 EDT

Iron ore: magnetite is sold as a pollution control material. The smelting team I was a member of once bought some, there was a 400# minimum; but as I reacall shipping was more expensive than the stuff itself. Smelted beautifully.

We have also smelted iron sand recovered by dragging a covered magnet along a lake beach where the waves tended to concentrate it---dark bands in the sand.

We have smelted an earthy ore from an ACW iron mine, long abandoned.

My least favorite ore is pre-processed taconite pellets collected along a RR track where a bobble in the track tends to shed them from a slightly too full carload. They had to be smashed to make a finer size and then all the flux pre-added for use in a blastfurnace means a bloomery gets iron soup instead of a decent bloom.

There are plans for a "fool proof" bloomery in the back of "The Mastery and Uses of Fire in Antiquity" by Rehder (ISBN: 0773530746)

Note: most first time smelters are lucky to get enough iron for a fishook; the team I was on using an european Y1K setup took a number of years to get from trace ammounts to 15# blooms.

   Thomas P - Monday, 07/23/07 10:35:03 EDT

Why I Asked:
Well, I ended up buying the drill, and what a drill it is. The trip home from Southwest Michigan to Central Illinois was interesting to say the least (note: when somebody estimates a weight, always assume the true weight is 50 percent greater than the estimated weight), but the old Ford made it alright. Thanks again to everybody for their advice and for future advice, and I am sure that as I begin restoration on the drill I will have many more questions. Enough with the talking, here's the pictures. http://www.flickr.com/photos/the_sandy_creek_forge/

-Aaron @ the SCF

P.S. If anybody has any info on this model/brand please let me know. Even if the info is completely irrelevant to the restoration, it is still neat to have some history on the company and/or model.
   thesandycreekforge - Monday, 07/23/07 13:24:30 EDT

Hey guys,I am new to this site thanks for being here,good job. I make thowing knives out or saw blades the big ones for saw mills, we cut them out whith a water jet and then sand and grind them down. It's been about 6 month and my heath has continuted going down hill. I had a ton of tests done, EKG, cat scan, I thought I was dying. As long as I don't grind or sand knives I feel good. I've tried using a mask and fans in the building and it doen's seem to make a difference. The steel is L-6 carbon, we use green zirconium sand paper and the grinder we use a hand held 8" grinder with the fiber grinding blades because they seem to cut faster than stone. I need some help.
Thanks so much.
   gabriel pearl - Monday, 07/23/07 13:51:29 EDT

Sandy Creek Drill: hahahahh. . . I've got one of those in a single spindle model! It weighs 800 pounds. Yours probably weighs 1200. I THINK it is a #2 MT, not a #1.

This is a high production jig drill or jig borer.

NOTE: The twisted belts will come off if turned in reverse, even by hand. Both the primary and secondary belt are tensioned by one adjustment. These parts need to be clean and smooth to work properly (use lots of penetrating oil).

The table with the gutter and no holes or T-slots is designed for heavy drill jigs that hold the part and have drill bushings to guide the drills. Combined weight of the jig and part hold it down. No holes also means it works better with pumper coolant which runs to the drain in the right rear corner.

The third head has power down feed (I THINK). This is for boring with a single point tool. OR if it is a reversing head then it is for power taping. I think this is more likely.

This is one of those machines where an operator would stand and make a thousand parts in a day. The tooling was designed and made by someone else.

I use mine for small metalwork and for wood working. It works great with a sanding drum and guide setup.

Unlike other machines of this general type this one has ball bearings which need to be kept clean and well lubricated.
   - guru - Monday, 07/23/07 13:58:54 EDT

Grinding Safety and Dust: Gabriel, You didn't say what kind of health problems. You also did not say what kind of mask.

If your mask is a paper hospital type then you have been wasting your time and breathing as much as 90% of the particulates from grinding.

Filter masks must cover the mouth and nose, seal WELL to the face (no beards allowed) and have the right kind of filter. For what you are doing any good particulate mask is satisfactory. HOWEVER, if you are having respiratory related problems (breathing OR heart) you need to be tested before wearing a respirator. Respirators cause stress by requiring some effort to breath and recycling more air than normal breathing. The recycled air is warmer and contains more CO2. The heat, the pressure and CO2 add up to a lot of stress that can create other problems (stroke, heart attack).

Toxins that could be in the air include alloying ingredients in the tool steel. These are Molybdenum, Nickel and Chrome. From the grinding media, silica and glass fibers. The zirconium oxide can also be a problem if fine enough.

Exposures in the shop can result in heavy metal poisoning and/or silicosis. The big question IS, did you tell your doctors you were exposed to these things on a daily basis? Have they tested you for black/brown lung symptoms?

There are no quick cures for problems associated with the above. However, you need to tell the doctors what to look for. If they find nothing then it may not be work related.

The vibration from grinders also does some strange things to the human body. Fatigue resulting from vibration and high noise levels is a well know fact but is hard to define. However, if you have other problems that cause rapid fatigue then it could be the noise and vibration, not a chemical reaction.
   - guru - Monday, 07/23/07 14:26:12 EDT

I am currently running a propane gas forge and am pretty happy with it but I was wondering the other day if it was possible to run a propane forge on natural gas? Would you be able to pipe the gas connection into your regulator and then use it to fire you forge? I am guessing you would need to replace your jets? Any other problems? Has any one done this? Any one blown them selves up trying to do this? Does natural gas even burn hot enough to do this?
   Jed - Monday, 07/23/07 17:33:25 EDT

Wow! That's not the benchtop 1MT tool I expected to see. That's a real production workhorse. Post the pictures to the antique tools forum on practicalmachinist.com. There are quite a few people over there with a lot of knowledge on old tools. There are a number of drill press discussions.

I agree, it looks more like a larger spindle in the picture. Nice tool.
   - Jacob - Monday, 07/23/07 17:47:36 EDT

Jed, The problem is that natural gas is supplied in very low pressure by the utility. Ounce Inches instead of PSI. You cannot use your normal regulator. In fact the pressure is low enough that you generally do not use one for a forge, just a control valve.

Due to the low pressure instead of a small hose running to your forge you need a large pipe (3/8, 1/2" or more). And yes the orifices need to be replaced sometimes. But it is commonly done and natural gas is cheaper than propane.

Most industrial gas forges run on natural gas. However, industrial plants often have special high pressure gas supplies that are not available to domestic users. Also note that the building codes usually require all gas hookups to be done by a professional and only UL certified devices be hooked up.
   - guru - Monday, 07/23/07 17:48:35 EDT

Leyland-Gifford drill.
Leyland Gifford made first quality INDUSTRIAL equipment. They made some of the best drills period. At the valve shop we at one time had perhaps a hundred of them, eun off line shafts. Most gone by 1981 when I started. they made millions of pipe flanges on them and Bullards.
The drill in the photo, if in good shape would be a treat for doing production jobs. You could drill, then tap then champher without tooling changes. Real score.
   ptree - Monday, 07/23/07 18:32:14 EDT

Yep, I would trade any one of my drills for it. .
   - guru - Monday, 07/23/07 21:03:04 EDT

Aron: That is a 3 spindle drilpress a lot like one where I served My apprenticeship. Before I worked there I worked for a machine building shop that had a 2 spindle version. They are real handy as You can have the right tooling in each spindle,say a tap drill, a countersink, and a tapping atachment, or a body drilkl, counterbore and countersink, all ready to go at once. The 2 spindle one only had the belts on 1 spindle, We turned the other with a rod stuck in the chuck by hand for tapping. The machines I am speaking of were still in service in the '80s, maybee longer. These had #2 spindles allso. Good find.
   - Dave Boyer - Monday, 07/23/07 21:46:27 EDT

Luckily for me, someone at one time or another someone has drilled and tapped 1/2" holes in the table that line up PERFECTLY for placing a vise under the heads.

The third head is, in fact, a tapping head. It runs off of a depth guide that (if it still works right) trips the reverse at a set depth. I am still not sure if this tapping head is Original Equipment or a later conversion, it has tell-tale signs of both. I'll know more once i get some of the grease off

I discovered the ball bearing situation as we were breaking it down for unloading/ future cleanup and restoration. One of the bearing covers on a spindle has the threads stripped out on the brass cap. I'll worry about that once I get to that stage.

Thanks for the reccomendation on practicalmachinist (I've been looking for a decent old machinery site a little more "metal focused" than the old woodworking machines site, although that is a great site also). I'll have to get signed up this week.

I have a MT2 on my import drill, will check it out this weekend. The Leland-Gifford did come with a chuck on a taper. It seemed a little smaller than I remember my MT2 chuck being....but I haven't had the MT2 out of the import drill in a year or so to look at it.

Guru (again),
sorry that 1200-1500 pounds isn't leaving the shop (unless I can find someone to paint it who can do it cheaper AND better than I can do it myself...then it would come right back afterwards). :)

I was kind of thinking along these lines. It'll be really handy when I am making wall hooks and stuff I can drill and countersink for multi-purpose screws without having to change bits.

General Notes:
The drill has been well used, but not especially misused. It did originaly have the setup to engage on a lineshaft drive, but it has been broken off (probably as a result of adding the big 3 phase GE motor.) Other than the broken arm for the lineshaft engagement, the only other broken pieces i've found are two of the upper quadpulleys have a few chips around the edges, but that shouldn't affect operation anyway i can tell. I am currently planning on a complete restoration (seafoam grayish green paintjob included) Luckily, the whole thing is COATED with old grease, making everything really well lubricated and easy to disassemble. Once it is restored, I'll install a static 3phase converter (which I had been heehawing around about purchasing anyway, now i have a definit reason to get it).

Thanks for all the info everyone, and I am always open to more info and opinions. Expect semi-regular updates as this is my first MAJOR tool restoration project (those two leg vices and post drill weren't really that major:) ). It is a beautiful machine just sitting there now, and hopefully will be even better once it's back as close to original as I can get it.

-Aaron @ the SCF (who now knows that when the load rating on the truck SAYS 1000 pounds, it MEANS 1000 pounds!)

   thesandycreekforge - Monday, 07/23/07 23:47:20 EDT

Ah. . Arron, . .. On most trucks when it says 1,000 pounds that means BEFORE you fill it with fuel (about 150 pounds), add driver and passenger (another 300 to 500 pounds). So subtract 450 to 650 from that 1,000 at the get-go. Then you subtract the tools, chains and other rigging you tossed in.

They may have gotten better about this, but that was the way they used to do it. Then there are 4WD trucks that are all rated at 3/4 ton but have 1/2 ton springs. . . Real 3/4 ton trucks are rated at a ton or more so that when you subtract the fuel and passengers you still have 3/4 ton. A least my old Dodge was. My F600 "ton" truck is actually good for five or more strictly depending on the way you license it. I don't think fuel and passengers make an actual difference on this truck except when you cross the scales.

Drill Press: You have a real find there, especially if you have a use for it. Mine was OEM motorized. Not sure of the HP because the motor is kind of funky. It also had a foot switch and a by-pass all of which is also very funky and needs to be replaced.
   - guru - Tuesday, 07/24/07 08:28:31 EDT

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