WELCOME to the anvilfire Guru's Den

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 August 8 - 15, 2000 on the Guru's Den
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Dear Guru,
We recently purchased a copper sculpture. It has some very wild colors that appear to have been burned onto or into the metal. How did the artist achieve this look, and is it permanent? (it's an outdoor sculpture)
Paul Kellett  <kellettt at aol.com> - Tuesday, 08/08/00 02:19:28 GMT

Copper Coloring: Paul, Copper is second only to Titanium for taking on colors due to oxidation. However, the color on copper must be sealed under lacquer. Exposed to the elements the copper will turn red-brown (like an old penny) and eventualy green (after MANY years) from acid rain and sulphur compounds in the air and rain.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 08/08/00 03:55:12 GMT

Guru, Whats the best (and easiest) way to draw an oval. TC
Tim Cisneros  <blacksmith at starsticker.com> - Tuesday, 08/08/00 04:10:37 GMT

Ralph, used motor oil:

Be carefull with the used oil. Engine oil has many additives that smoke off highly toxic, when you add red hot iron to the old oil. I know a lot of people use old oil and the caution goes out to them also!
Wayne Parris  <benthar at pacbell.net> - Tuesday, 08/08/00 12:59:42 GMT

re ovals:
Trace an egg...???? (grin)
How big?
Would a string circle, nailed/pinned to the paper and then take a pencil and run it around........ hmmmm now I need to get some string and play..... I will be back later....
Ralph  <ralphd at jps.net> - Tuesday, 08/08/00 14:14:32 GMT

You are absolutly right! I forget that sometimes it is necessary to repeat the common-sense warnings. Especially on a public forum.
It is safest to treat all quenchants etc as hazardous. That way you will always be safer(if that is possible)
Ralph  <ralphd at jps.net> - Tuesday, 08/08/00 14:17:25 GMT

OVAL: Tim, Not only do I have the EASY way but the math to determine the height and width AND a piece of software to do it! Its on the 21st Century page. All it requires is two nails or push pins and a piece of string. If you need to layout the oval directly on steel use two small magnets for pins. Machinery's hand book has the two circles method. I've used it a lot but its a lot of work.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 08/08/00 14:22:06 GMT

OVALS: The illustration in the article is legible. . . The string and pin method produces a true ellipse (I checked/proved it).
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 08/08/00 14:28:39 GMT

The South may not rise again but the Confederate submarine the H.L. Hunley was rasied from the Altantic this morning from where is has laid since 1864. The Hunley supposed sunk in a suicide mission.

The Hunley combined sophisticated hydrodynamics and advanced nautical thinking with hand crank motive power and was built with forged and rivited wrought iron plates. The product of mid 19th Century blacksmiths!
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 08/08/00 16:36:04 GMT

Wallace Metal Works
Now has an ALL NEW web site! Includes a new KA-hammers page.

- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 08/08/00 16:37:24 GMT

I am looking for pictures of old items that I can use with a publication that I am putting together for children. I am in need of items like a pillow fluffer, tie former (necktie) or any other strange looking item that a child would not recognize. I am willing to pay someone to make some or one of these items or pay for some clear pictures that I can use. I really would love one of the Toasters of long ago. The kind that gave the toaster it's name. Toe stir- I have a sketch of the item, just haven't found a picture of one. Can you help?
Janeen Whale  <janeenwhale at hotmail.com> - Tuesday, 08/08/00 21:50:03 GMT

Odd Items: Janeen, we have a few odd items posted here but I doubt it the quality of the images are satifactory. Not only do you need ODD items but they need to be applied to something modern children would recognize or know about.

Contact Norm Larson, Larson Books larbooks at impulse.net and ask about books with colonial items. Many of these are unrecognizable items that did common tasks.

If you can send scan the sketch of the item(s) you want made I'm sure we can find someone to do it.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 08/08/00 22:17:48 GMT

have an old forge seems to be lined with some sort of cement was told by some one it may be foundry clay. what do you use to replace this whatever it is? thanks
clyde  <schmidforge at aol.com> - Tuesday, 08/08/00 22:58:34 GMT

Hello I have been smithing for about 5 years (not everyday) most of my work is based out of the early 1800's for re enactors. My question is how to finish the items I make for the person who stays in the year 2000. I am having alot of trouble getting paint to stay on the metal after forging. Usually after a month or two the paint peels off and rust sets in... I am using a rustolium brand spray primer then a rustolium black spray. Any hints would be greatly appreciated... oh if it matters I use coal. I use bees wax for the replica stuff... watch out for the flash ups!
James Rader (Liberty)  <liberty at custom.net> - Tuesday, 08/08/00 23:29:18 GMT

Hey there Guru!

This is Paul again, I asked about copper and it's wild coloration in the sculpture we just bought.

Thanks for the heads up on protecting our new sculpture!

I don't want it to change the colors it already is...

I didn't really understand the explanation about oxidation though.

How did the artist oxidize the copper to make it so colorful?? (I'm completely ignorant in the field of metallurgy)

Thanks again, Paul
Paul kellett  <kellettt at aol.com> - Wednesday, 08/09/00 01:16:57 GMT

Dear Guru,

I am thinking of buying a 55# anvil …“Record” (made in England).
I do light forging.

Please give me your thoughts.

Thank you,
Dean  <avdean at compuserve.com> - Wednesday, 08/09/00 01:53:49 GMT

I don't know anything about that brand of anvil, BUT if it doesn't have a hardned face, it is only good for door stop duty. 55# is REALLY light and would be best used for VERY small things, sometimes that is all you need though.
Wayne Parris  <benthar at pacbell.net> - Wednesday, 08/09/00 02:01:56 GMT

Guru, Thanks for the "oval" instructions, worked great. Still have not recieved insructions for the Blacksmith web-ring. Also, was hoping to see my air hammer on the user built page. TC
Tim Cisneros  <blacksmith at starsticker.com> - Wednesday, 08/09/00 02:24:34 GMT

Clayed Forge: Clyde, If used to be the custom to line forges with fireclay. This was for heavy use. Many still do it but I don't recommend it. For typical light use you don't need it. Fire clay purchased from any masonry supply works. You can also use any common clay with a small amount of portland cement.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 08/09/00 02:42:32 GMT

Blacksmiths Ring: Tim, The automatic ring system would have mailed you the code minutes after you applied. I'll send it again. You may have mistaken it for junk mail. . . .

Yes I KNOW I am WAY behind posting things. I've got your photos saved in a folder on my PC and the server. . . LG photos too! Most sorry!
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 08/09/00 02:45:59 GMT

Finishing: James, coal and cleanliness are the paint problems. I don't recommend "Rustolate" for anything. See the article on the 21st Century page titled "Corrosion and its Prevention"
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 08/09/00 02:49:05 GMT

Copper Colors: Paul, Most of this type work I've seen is made from bright finished copper and simply cut with an oxy-acetylene torch. The heat from the flame colors the surface. Your work may have been colored some other way but this is the most common method used. The artist MAY have already lacquered the work. You would have to try to scrap some off or ask the artist to be sure. The shop or gallery where you purchased the work should be able to tell you or give you contact information for the artist.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 08/09/00 03:00:27 GMT

Record of Sheffield England: is a maker of wood working vises and tools. They make a series of small ductile iron anvils. The 55 pound anvil is the largest Record makes. It is better than the Chinese cast iron anvils but just a little. They are a "bench anvil" for occasional straightening and pounding that is too severe for a common vise. Save your money and buy a good used anvil or a slab of steel in the 100#+ range.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 08/09/00 03:07:32 GMT

Jock and friends,
Thank-you very much for your help on my anvil. From the top, the heal horn looks alot like the parabola on pg. 154, 15th edition, Machinery's Handbook. There aren't any grab holes in the waist under the horns and the face is pretty soft. It sure looks European after seeing the anvils on the Courteux site. Strong family resemblance. Again let me say how much I appreciate the effort and excellence you bring to these pages.
L Sundstrom, m.i.smithing? - Wednesday, 08/09/00 12:52:57 GMT

I am hopeing one of you can come up with a good way to do this. my friend has a older tool room lathe it has been siting in has shop unused for 5 years or so and (we did not know this) the roof was leaking on the chuck it works fine but the chuck is stuck on the spindle we have tryed oil and joging the lathe to try to spin it off but it is stuck good. the chuck is a later tipe that has no spaner wrenchto remove it, instead it threads straight onto the spindle I think these threads are rusted. the chuck is a 12inch 4 jaw indapendant, ther is a lot on mass and I don't wont to distroy the 4jaw by heating half with a torch(then cracking or warpinp it) any ideas on how to get this thing off??
M Parkinson  <mparkinson at mpmetalworks.com> - Wednesday, 08/09/00 14:23:13 GMT

M. Parkinson,

Go to an Auto Parts dealer (NAPA). On the same shelf with the WD-40 there is an aresol product called B'LASTER that works better than anything I've ever used for freeing rusted parts.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Wednesday, 08/09/00 14:50:44 GMT

Euro Anvil: Larry, If it has no handling holes then its a cast anvil.

Most cast steel anvils are very hard, sometimes TOO hard. There is always the possiblity that the anvil has been in a fire and been annealed. I don't recommend trying to heat treat it your self. Outside of the factory the only safe way to harden an anvil face is by flame hardening. However, this also requires specialized equipment for something as big as an anvil.

While browsing the Postman book I saw another very similar anvil made by Peter Wright with the same cross section horn. The difference was that there was a step at both ends of the face. The paraboloid horn had the two holes, the hardy hole and a round punching hole.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 08/09/00 15:33:12 GMT

Stuck Chuck: That size chuck is often difficult to remove without rust. Don't heat it. Soaking with B'laster will help. Where it is stuck is the shoulder of the spindle which is the driving friction surface. Apply the oils here and tap on the back of the chuck with a rubber mallet while rotating the chuck and spindle. The point is to microscopicly flex the chuck so that the oil might get in.

Getting a grip on the chuck is not a problem. A bar about 1" square (25mm) and 3' (.9m) long placed across the front diagonaly between the jaws will do it. Adjust two jaws out until the outside is flush with the surface of the chuck. Adjust the other two to hold the bar in place.

Rotate the chuck with the bar handle up to a convienient angle to pull on it. Engage back gear as a lock (without disengaging the drive pin). Then pull on the handle. It may take a stout pull but do not strike the "handle". You don't want to break the teeth of the back gearing.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 08/09/00 15:51:41 GMT

Looking to buy the rubber cushions for a Bradley upright guided helve hammer (50#). If you know of anyone who carries them please let me know. Thank you, John.
John  <johnji at kdsi.net> - Wednesday, 08/09/00 15:59:18 GMT

I am planning to make a brake drum forge. Is there anything special I need to keep in mind when welding the parts together because of the forge's heat, or can I weld as I would any steel?
Lee Ann  <lamiracle at mindspring.com> - Wednesday, 08/09/00 17:28:21 GMT

I am still new to blacksmithing, mostly just a backyard hobby. I always hear you say that shock absorber hammers hit too soft. But for someone who has not used a "real" power hammer would this type of hammer still be a big benefit to me? I am interested because of the ease of building this type.
Brian  <bkit72 at aol.com> - Wednesday, 08/09/00 17:55:37 GMT


Just weld as you would any other steel. There's nothing special involved.


The shock absorber linkage does hit a little soft. That said, always remember that ANY hammer is better than NO hammer.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Wednesday, 08/09/00 19:28:14 GMT

Brake Drum Forge: Lee Ann, Brake drums are made three ways. All cast iron, and cast iron with a steel insert (the disk where the bolts go through). Then there are aluminium drums with cast iron sleeves.

You will need to bolt to the all cast iron brake drum. You can weld to the bottom of the steel insert type. The aluminium type are not suitable.

The "cast iron" pipe fitting are usualy ductile iron and those can be welded too.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 08/09/00 20:10:20 GMT

Guru--I didn't realize that some drums were made from cast iron (have not carefully inspected the drum I salvaged, although I made sure it was not the aluminum type).
Paw Paw--good to know that I can weld as normal.
Thank you both for the info.
Lee Ann  <lamiracle at mindspring.com> - Wednesday, 08/09/00 23:31:08 GMT

Brake Drums: Most are cast iron with a steel disk, many are ductile with a steel disk, and some are 100% cast iron.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 08/10/00 00:08:27 GMT

What are the materials that go into a tradition blacksmith's floor: dirt, sand, coal dust .... I read a tirade from an old time smith about the advantages of the floor for standing and for not damaging dropped tools and work, but forgot what he said was used to make it.
You mentioned Penland as a specialized craft school, but doesn't Campbell in the same area have a much better setup for blacksmith training?
Mike Firth  <mikefirth at ticnet.com> - Thursday, 08/10/00 00:39:30 GMT

I had a guy in the hardware store asking for iron wire, which he said was sold by jewelery supply stores at outrageous prices and was very ductile. Since I wasn't sure I couldn't convince him it was dark annealled steel wire. Is iron wire sold these days?
Mike Firth  <mikefirth at ticnet.com> - Thursday, 08/10/00 00:42:49 GMT

Dear Guru,
What is you opinion regarding a “J.H.M” anvil made in good old Texas?
Andrew  <avdean at compuserve.com> - Thursday, 08/10/00 01:07:07 GMT

Well, I'm back from viking for a little bit, but I'll probably be out of town every other week for the next month. I have a lot to catch up on both at the NPS and at home, not to mention the blacksmithing and historic bulletin boards.

Took some really good pictures of various Viking forges at the National Historic Site and the reenactment sites, and we have many stories to tell, but it will all have to be put back together over the next month.

Nothing quite like working with twinned bellows in a sod-roofed Viking workshop, hammering out a spearhead on a block anvil, then looking up and seeing a brace of longships sail by!


Visit your National Parks: www.nps.gov

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

Bruce Blackistone  <asylum at us.HSAnet.net> - Thursday, 08/10/00 01:50:46 GMT

Vikings: Atli, let me know when you have something to publish!

Schools and Iron wire: Mike, The John C. Campbell school is probably better for blacksmithing but the person asking the question was intrested in art and sculpture more than smithing so I suggested Penland which has a much broader curriculum.

I don't have the specs on the annealed steel wire but is anneals so soft that I expect it is very low carbon. I also think that when wire drawers anneal wire they do a better job of annealing than ANYONE.

In Thomas Register Hynes Wire Company lists 1006 Carbon Steel. This is VERY low carbon steel and is probably what your guy was thinking of. Steel wire listed as "soft iron wire" is probably this type. We had a fellow looking for wrought iron wire a while back for making reproduction musical instrument strings. The wrapped type have been in common use since before the invention of the piano. Bronze wire was being factory drawn as early as the 1400's.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 08/10/00 03:11:12 GMT

Andrew: I'm not a Guru, but I've played with a large (125 lb) JHM anvil. I liked it! They are farrier's anvils, and as such are a bit light in the heel for heavy work, but the edges are well radiused, it was very lively, and I loved the built-in scroll forks on the heel. The one I used had a clipping block on the horn, and I didn't like that, but to each his/her own. And before anyone mentions that 125lbs is actually a very light anvil, remember that's heavy for a farriers anvil, which are usually in the 70-100 lb range.
Alan L  <longmire at premiernet.net> - Thursday, 08/10/00 14:19:36 GMT

One cheap source of soft iron wire is available at any steel distributors and most hardware stores. Rebar tie wire is a soft iron wire. I use it fairly regularly.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Thursday, 08/10/00 14:45:09 GMT

Jock, Finally got the HTML fragment into my site for the web-ring. Luckily I hadn't trashed it as junk mail. Glad to be part of the community of registered sites. TC
Tim Cisneros  <blacksmith at starsticker.com> - Thursday, 08/10/00 14:45:27 GMT

lathe chuck
I don't think I made my self understood (I was half asleep when I made the last post) be soked the chuck in a fuw diferent tipes of penatrating oil and even with a 5ft bar held in the chuck all it did was move the back gears. we tryed (out of desperation)braceing the bar ageinst the ways and joging the spindle all that hapened was the bar bent
(1 1/4 sq)I'll try the B'laster, and I was thinking of trying that spray on navil jelly thinking I might break up the rust. I know what heating the spindle and chuck will do but if this dosn't work I'll be forced to.(even if it distroys the chuck with out the three jaw the lathe takesto long to set up and is all but useless for what I need to do.)
thanks ~MP~
M Parkinson  <mparkinson at mpmetalworks.com> - Thursday, 08/10/00 14:46:03 GMT

Lathe Chuck
As an old toolmaker I feel your pain with the lathe. If you are lucky it is possible the chuck uses an adaptor mount on the back that is bolted to the chuck itself. Look on the back of the chuck to see if there is a series of bolts that hold the adaptor on the chuck body. If there is you may be able to remove the chuck body from the adaptor plate to save the chuck. Then if you have to, you could turn (cut)the adaptor off the spindle without destroying the chuck. You could then turn up a new adaptor with the three jaw.
I assume you were turning the chuck the proper direction to loosen it, check the threads on the other chuck to make sure the spindle isn't left hand threads. Some of the old machines did that for some reason. ( to keep the chuck from getting stuck?) You might try to cool the spindle and lightly heat the chuck to lossen it some too.
Good luck
Never give up, Never surrender!
Moldy  <moldy> - Thursday, 08/10/00 17:12:42 GMT

Lathe Chuck: MP, If the lathe is in back gear AND the back gear drive dog is engaged you CANNOT turn the spindle without breaking something. Having the spindle in both straight and back gear at the same time LOCKS the spindle.

Don't be hasty using heat. Lathe spindles (even VERY old ones) are hardened steel. Heat sufficient to remove the chuck will reduce the temper of the spindle.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 08/10/00 17:38:35 GMT

Coal again!

OK so a couple of weeks ago you said ABANA buys their own special coal. After playing with a local coal used for heating I can not keep it burning. Can I get some of the "special coal"

Thank you George
George  <george at gwpiii.com> - Thursday, 08/10/00 17:59:42 GMT

Coal: George, Its your local ABANA Chapter that might be purchasing bulk coal. You'll need to contact them to find out. Or, you could contact Bruce Wallace and order it by the bag or pallet. $18 USD per 100 pounds (45kg) plus shipping. Bagged in 50 pound bags.

Bruce sells a top grade Pennsylvannia smithing coal. It is a very good reference for other coals. If you can't work with it then you are doing something wrong. Often folks that haven't been able to forge weld find it easy with good coal.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 08/10/00 18:46:20 GMT

Dear Guru,

I’m a metal sculptor and want to add light forging to my work (up to 3/4”x 3/4” mild steel stock with oxy/acet. heat source.) and am in a real quandary what kind of anvil to get. At present, I have a 105#, very old Peter Wright that is in horrible condition and would like to supplement it with a new anvil that has sharp edges and a good even surface. Can I get by wit a 65 or 70 pounder. If so, what brand would you recommend. If you thing that I should go heavier, how much heavier? I been doing quite a bit research, and I am now more confused then when I started. Can you please help? Thank you in advance! Andrew
Andrew - Thursday, 08/10/00 19:53:25 GMT

I’ m a metal sculptor and want to add light forging (up to 3/4”x 3/4” mild steel stock with oxy/acet. heat source.) and am in a real quandary what kind of anvil to get. At present, I have a very old Peter Wright that is in horrible condition and would like to supplement it with an anvil that has sharp edges and a good even surface. Can I get by wit a 65 or 70 pounder. If so, what brand would you recommend. If you thing that I should go heavier, how much heavier? I been doing quite a bit research, and I am now more confused then when I started. Can help?…Thank you in advance!
Andrew  <avdean at compuserve.com> - Thursday, 08/10/00 19:55:55 GMT

Got an idea on how to solve the shock absorber problem of losing stroke at speed because of the dampening action of the shock.

Has anyone tried a used up coil over style overload shock?
Seems to me with a worn piston and the spring, one would get the same kind of whip action that a spring based mechanical hammer produces.

I am also wondering about the concept of putting a fly wheel on an intermediate reduction shaft with an idler clutch on the belt that goes from the reduction shaft to the main drive shaft.

The idea here is that the momentum of the fly wheel will be regulated by the constantly spinning motor, rather than the start/stop of the main shaft, thus providing more torque to the main shaft with less strain on the motor.

With a good brake system, seems to me a real controllable single stroke capability could be achieved.

Whadya think?

Matt Taimuty  <matt at fairhillforge.com> - Thursday, 08/10/00 22:32:43 GMT

Guru Thank you for pointing me to the 21st century page I am guessing that the finishing for outdoor page was what you where refering me too on the finishing of my projects... next question in order to sand blast my pieces I would have to have a ... Sand Blaster... any way to build my own or any hints in this area would be appreciated.

Thanks James
James Rader(Liberty)  <liberty at custom.net> - Friday, 08/11/00 00:50:19 GMT

Guru, Are there plans for putting the Blacksmith webring in alphabetical order? It seems it would help to find products and/or services better. Just a suggestion. TC
Tim Cisneros  <blacksmith at starsticker.com> - Friday, 08/11/00 01:31:37 GMT

Spring Shock: Matt, All new shocks have an air spring in them and all it does is force the dies closed when the hammer is at reat and makes the first blow very hard. You can't beat the toggle linkage design in a mechanical hammer. Everything else does the opposite of what you want it to do.

Brakes: A good brake is seen to be a great advantage to many. It is not hard to setup the differential axel hammer design to use both brakes. One as clutch and the other as spindle brake. All it takes is a center pivot and spring to attach the brake cables. I didn't go this route as all I had was one good brake cable. You have to watch the scrap-yard guys. They like to take a torch to the cables. .

Flywheel: Flywheels help on many drive trains. You just have to be careful how they are applied. Too big a flywheel is just as bad an inertia load as machinery start up load. Motor armatures act as a flywheel themselves. The inertial load on a power hammer is not as bad as it seems if the crank is properly balanced. The crank mechanism also has its maximum mechanical advantage at the top and bottom of the travel. Once the crank is at half travel where the mechanical advantage is the least a flywheel would be of no use.

The problem is that a flywheel helps reduce motor size but in small hammers you can't reduce the HP very much and get away with it.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 08/11/00 01:37:53 GMT

Anvil Sizes and Light Forging: Andrew, "light" is a relative term when discussing forging. 3/4" bar is about the limit for hand forging when you do it every day. Smiths that DO it every day almost always have a small power hammer and forge it with that. If you intend to forge long sinous tapers then you either need help or power.

1/2" bar is heavy if you only do occasional forge work. 1" doesn't seem to be any softer hot than cold when working alone with a 3 pound hammer.

A 100 to 125 pound (45 - 56kg) anvil is very common as this is the size of most often used by farriers. This size is eminently portable. Modern farriers anvils are all horn and heal to get more work surface out of that weight and result in a very springy anvil.

A 200 to 300 pound (90 - 135kg) anvil is most commonly used as a shop anvil for general work. Everyone wants a bigger anvil and anyone that has worked one KNOWS they want a bigger one. . . 350 to 450 pound (120 - 200 kg) anvils are more common than you would think.

The BEST anvil manufactured today is the Peddinghaus. It is the only (and last) forged steel anvil made. We have prices posted on the Wallace Metal Works page. Kayne and Son also sells them.

The next best anvil that I've seen is the Nimba made in the U.S. Northwest. These unusual style anvils are beautifuly finished and well made cast steel anvils.

There is nothing wrong with a GOOD cast steel anvil but there are a lot of soft unhardened cast steel anvils on the market AND imported cast iron doorstops. . .

You may also want to read our anvil series on the 21st Century.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 08/11/00 02:21:25 GMT

Web-Ring: Tim, the web-ring idea was setup as an "adventure" for web surfers. The order is actually semi random and the site at the top of the list changes weekly (My option - this is the most frequent "rotation"). Now that we have 82 sites on the ring that means it takes 19 months for you to get back to the top. But at least you start there and have a chance to get back. When I took over the Blacksmith's Ring the rotation was turned off. . . :(

In theory, you can surf the "ring" starting on any site that you find the ring navigation code and go to the next in ring order, then the next and so on until you are back where you started. This assumes that ALL the sites on the ring have working code.

I work hard to keep only sites with code on the Blacksmith's Ring and Steelworkers rings. Many Ringmasters do not administer their rings very well, accepting sites and never checking to see if they have the code or removing the sites that drop their code. The free-loaders get traffic from the ring but do not return any to it. There are no free-loaders on our rings.

As far as the order goes I have little control. It can be setup for random, or rotate and the frequency set. As mentioned, new sites such as your's start at the top of the list. Next week you will be #2 unless someone else joins the ring. Then you will be on the first page of 20 for about 15 weeks (weekly rotation plus additions). You are also "next" after Ron Reil's forge and burner page (not a bad place to be).

There is a lot of discussion among Ringmasters about ring order. There is a theory that if you put the busiest sites at the top of the ring then the ring will get more traffic. My feeling is that this is blatently unfair to low traffic sites. . . The current system is the fairest.

Alphabetical order? You don't think the name "anvilfire" was randonly selected and just accidentaly started with an "A" do you? :)
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 08/11/00 02:54:06 GMT

Sand Blasting: James, I have always had others do mine and its not a bad idea considering the sand is often classified hazardous waste after removing paint with it (the most common use). Small sandblasting outfits are pretty inexpensive. You can get either the gun and can or a hopper type. For some reason Scrap yards are full of blasting booths. These are great for controling the dust and for indoor use. In all cases you need as much air compressor as you can afford. The capacity of the compressor is usualy the limitation of the unit.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 08/11/00 03:06:17 GMT

Bradley Snubbers: John, the current owners of Bradley (Cortland Machine & Tool Co)used to supply the rubber cushions but their supplier has gone out of business. I have some queries out.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 08/11/00 03:11:01 GMT

Dear All,
I would like to have information about bio-degradable inorganic quenchants for a project I am working on.
Thanking You,
Anand Vaidy.a
Anand Vaidya  <anandv at pune.tcs.co.in> - Friday, 08/11/00 12:04:01 GMT

Dear All,
I would like to have information about bio-degradable inorganic quenchants for a project I am working on.
Thanking You,
Anand Vaidy.a
Anand Vaidya  <anandv at pune.tcs.co.in> - Friday, 08/11/00 12:04:02 GMT

Dear All,
I would like to have information about bio-degradable inorganic quenchants for a project I am working on.
Thanking You,
Anand Vaidy.a
Anand Vaidya  <anandv at pune.tcs.co.in> - Friday, 08/11/00 12:04:12 GMT

Dear All,
I would like to have information regarding bio degradable quenchant for a project i am working on.
Thanking You,
Anand Vaidya.
Anand Vaidya.  <anandv at pune.tcs.co.in> - Friday, 08/11/00 12:08:54 GMT


I have a little $100 hopper unit that I purchased from Harbor Freight several years ago. Works well.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Friday, 08/11/00 12:50:41 GMT

Where can you purchase 5160 steel to make knives?
GaryH  <judyl at fone.net> - Friday, 08/11/00 13:50:35 GMT

Inorganic quench. I have only used water and air for the last 30 years. Both are bio dgradable, non-flammable, relatively safe to use and easily available in a consistent formulation. A lot of rather exotic steels can be quenched in water if one pays attention to the speed of the quench and test for the wanted properties. I find it easier to find a new workable tool steel than to find an exotic heat treatment. This is just my opinion.
John C.  <careatti at crosslink.net> - Friday, 08/11/00 13:52:15 GMT

SAE 5160: Gary, McMaster-Carr carries a wide selection of steels that they sell in small quantities (normaly 36" (914mm) lengths) but not 5160 (see our links page). Bruce Wallace forges truck loads of it in 5/8" (and 3/4" I think) hex stock. If you don't mind flatening the hex stock I'm sure he would ship a small quantity. Remember though that this type thing costs more in shipping and handling than the material.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 08/11/00 14:24:49 GMT

POLYQUENCH: (From Thomas Register)

Heatbath Corp./Park Metallurgical
413-543-3381, Ext. 8
Springfield, MA

McEnglevan Industrial Furnace Mfg. (MIFCO)
217-446-0941, Ext. 112
Danville, IL

MIFCO Manufactures Several Sizes & Styles Of Quenching Equipment For Oil, Water & Polymers.

John C. is right. Did you know that fancy color case hardening was discovered by someone looking for a "soft" quench? Air bubbling through the water bath reduces its density and capacity to conduct heat. Preheating the water also significantly reduces the quench rate. Quenching in near boiling water makes a lot of steam but makes a very soft quench. The reverse also true. Ice water is an easy substitute for "superquench".
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 08/11/00 14:48:18 GMT


Try this location for 5160.
They are in Portland Or, so if you are on the wrong coast shipping may be too much(?) But they do ship. I have found the prices are not bad. But of course they are only 30 miles from me.......
Ralph  <ralphd at jps.net> - Friday, 08/11/00 14:48:40 GMT

Bradley Snubbers,
If you can give me the dimensions and specs on the snubbers, I may be able to reproduce them for you out of cast urethane rubber. IE; dimensioned drawing, durometer, (hardness) mounting scheme etc. I work in a mold shop and have access to various types of urethane. Contact me at the above email and we'll discuss it.
Moldy  <njordan at epud.net> - Friday, 08/11/00 15:29:37 GMT

Snubbers: Moldy, we are looking for specs. But you are asking a lot. "Durometer" was not an engineering term when these machines were designed. Many of these that I've seen appeared to be natural rubber.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 08/11/00 19:44:42 GMT

Guru & Moldy,

Might it be possible to measure both the properites and dimensions of an existing snubber and extapolate what would be needed?
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Friday, 08/11/00 20:56:52 GMT

Ok, Perhaps I was being a little too technical, Durometer means how hard the rubber is. If you have a sample of the snubber rubber I could probably get reasonably close to replicating it's properties. Even if it was only a small piece. But the bigger, the better.
If someone had a good example I could take a mold off of it (without destroying it) and use that to cast the snubber. Or if that isn't feasible I could fake up a mold if I knew what they looked like.
Urethane rubber probably would be far superior to natural rubber, especially around a forgeing shop.
Moldy  <Moldy> - Friday, 08/11/00 21:34:25 GMT


Even if the original was pretty beat up, and was of natural rubber, the center should be able to give you a close idea of the original hardness.

Might have to cut it in half, since the outer surface would have changed.

For example, I know where there is a Bradley sitting out side. Owned by a machinery collector who doesn't want to sell. (I'm TRYING!) The snubbers are obviously ultra-violet and infra-red ruined. (crusty, cracked, pieces flaking off) At least on the surface.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Friday, 08/11/00 21:46:28 GMT

Rubber: Moldy, We are talking machines that the majority of are 80 years old or more! The oldest 130! I know what durometer means. . but it was not used as a spec when these machines were designed and probabably not even when the last were built in the 50's. I have a set of polyuethane comparison samples burried somewhere here in my desk. . . . Using samples of old rubber is not a good idea. Even if they are vulcanized they will be mostly natural rubber which ages and gets hard over the years. The trick will be to find the composition of the old rubber and match it. I'm not sure how the snubbers attach to the early hammers. The rubber "springs" of the late model Compact are simple cylindrical bushings.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 08/11/00 21:59:59 GMT

Rubber snubbers,
Guru, The reason I was asking for the durometer spec (IF possible) is the materials for the urethane are liquid before they are mixed and catalyized. They go from as soft as a babies behind, to hard as a rock, or from 20 durometer to 90 durometer if you go by the label on the container.

While I'm sure you know all of this, I thought it would be worthwhile to explain the terms for those who don't have your vast experience and knoweledge.
If we could guess how hard the snubbers were it would go a long way to figuring out which compound, out of dozens, to use. Unless you feel the effort is wasted, I would still offer my help making the snubbers.
How accurate would they have to be if the old degraded snubbers are still working for those who still use them?
I forget which company it is, but there is one that sells urethane die springs for punch press dies so it shouldn't be impossible to make something work.
moldy  <njordan at epud.net> - Friday, 08/11/00 22:48:25 GMT

Venerable Advisor,
I wish more people with questions about their anvils would send a picture to you. You could have a special section called "Stump the Anvil-Meister". It was really gratifing to see the picture I sent you in this column.
What is the current status of the touchmark registry. Do you prefer a drawing or a stamped item?
Many thanks,
L.Sundstrom, m.i.smithing? - Saturday, 08/12/00 14:48:12 GMT

Photos and Registry: Larry, Etal, I'll post most photos sent to me that are:

1) Clear enough to use.
2) The subject is intresting or different.

Your photograph was pretty good. I lightened it up a little and cut out the background. Your white background helped a lot. Currently I'm working on a new anvil article and looking for photos of OLD anvils. I'll probably use yours if you don't mind. I've already got a pretty good collection of drawings from Diderots and some other early references processed and ready to use.

Images for the registry can be photos, scans or drawings. I've got a stack of hard copy drawings to scan and enter. Many of the drawings need to be redone so I've delayed using them. . The others are from a collection I need to get permission to use.

One quick and dirty way to get your touchmark into digital form is to make a sample and scan it at 300dpi. Scanners make a fair digital camera for some types of things. Of course you can always mail me samples and I'll make the photo or scan.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Saturday, 08/12/00 16:10:44 GMT

I am intrested in starting a blacksmith business. I have been taking a weekly course with Grodon Kirby in Sonoma Calif. for almost a year and will continue to do so until I have completed the basic level three course thru Calif Blacksmith Assoc. I am looking for a 50 amp plasma cutter and hand tools. There are places like centaur forge that have the hand tools but the prices are outrageous, and the plasmacutter machine has so many choices it is hard to know which is a good brand. Is there a place that I can find out about tools that is not thru a company advertisement.
mick doyle  <mick doyle at aol.com> - Saturday, 08/12/00 17:03:42 GMT

Tools: Mick, Several of the guys that hang out on our "Slack Tub-Pub" in the evenings can probably help you on the plasma cutter. Generaly I buy what my local welding supplier carries and services as you will depend on him in the long run for consumables and your oxy-acetylene supplies including cylinder rental. Having a good relationship with your local welding supplier is important if you are in a metal working business.

Most hand tools are competitively priced. If you think they are too high, make your own. Most smiths find the prices cheaper than their labor. A smith that can knock out a GOOD pair of tongs in 20 minutes or less is generaly ahead. If it takes you more than an hour then you should be buying them (unless you need the experiance). To make them and be able to resell them at a profit through a reseller you need to be making 8-10 pair an hour (or better).

You can also buy used tools. Bruce Wallace currently has a load of them but has not yet posted them on his page. Used tools typicaly sell for 10-25% of new. However, you can eat up the advantage by wasting time searching for them. The time element makes it worth buying from a dealer like Bruce or a tailgater at a chapter meeting or Hammer-In.

Generaly if someone has a specific price/quality question we handle them here.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Saturday, 08/12/00 18:09:14 GMT

Feel free to use the picture anyway you can. I would be flattered and feel a great debt towards you for all your help and advice. I really enjoyed your "My First Anvil" story. I found my first anvil at a junk store in California, hand carried it to the airlpane ticket counter out there and flew with it to Virginia in 1971. Later, I loaned it to a horseshoer who was triing to get started up here in Staunton, and never saw it again. I bought a Centaur in the early 70's but a horseshoeing anvil just doesn't look right in a blacksmith shop. Of couse the minute I saw the anvil the picture was of I bought it. Now the Centaur doesn't look so strange. I mounted them both at the same height and sometimes use one or the other as a third hand. Since the Euro-vil has a softer face I actually try to do the harder hitting on the lighter anvil. Still, like you, I would love to have my first anvil back and would trade my Centaur for it in a heart beat. Anyone seen Earnie Carroll?
Have a good weekend. Keep writing great stuff.
L.Sundstrom,m.i.smithing? - Saturday, 08/12/00 20:50:18 GMT

I have a 1890 #50 trip hammer. It was mfg by the Handt Tractor Co. Waterloo Iowa. When I got it a couple of years ago it worked fine. Now it does what they call a Bang and tap. The problem is the taps are longer and longer. Does anyone have any info on this hammer or know of a way to repair this hammer. I tried replacing the shoes (wood) in the clutch arm but it only helped a very small amount.
Bob Rosenfeld  <bob-rosenfeld at prodigy.net> - Saturday, 08/12/00 21:37:21 GMT

Handt: Bob, Its not in Freund's, "Pounding out the Profits". I looked it up as-spelled and as H and T and K and T. . . No luck. The vast majority of these odd hammers are copies of one mechanism or the other. Most often it is the bow-spring and toggle design. Although this design is different than the Little Giant coil spring and toggle design it is identical in method of operation and logic.

Assuming good lubrication and adjustment of the guides, the two primary causes of the "Bang Tap Blues", as Dave Manzer calls it, is timing due to improper adjustment or timing due to a weak spring or operating speed.

If the hammer is properly adjusted and hits right at low speed then hits lighter at as it speeds up then the spring has weakened. OR you are running the hammer too fast. The faster the hammer runs the stiffer the spring needs to be. If the hammer is not using the OEM drive or motor then this is always a possibility.

Timing problems are caused by many things including friction. The ram should slide up and down smoothly without sticking or straining the spring. Pivots that are worn start binding when out of round.

Timing is also changed by height and stroke adjustment (note that Little Giants do not have a stroke adjustment). Hammers with a stroke adjustment are not run full speed at full stroke. Any time you adjust the stroke the working height should be adjusted. Any time you change work size a significant amount, change dies OR use hand held tooling the work height must be checked and adjusted. This is somewhat of a pain on mechanical hammers and those that don't understand or pay attention to the height adjustment are doomed to bad running hammers.

Take a look at the photos of the Little Giants (on the power hammer page) and see if your hammer is similar (or a bow spring design). If it is, then the Dave Manzer Video will show you how to adjust the hammer, help explain the various problems and repair them.

Send us a photo (or two or three) of your hammer and we will see what we can find out. My mailing address is on any of our order forms or at advertising rates.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Saturday, 08/12/00 23:20:24 GMT

I need a really nice picture of an anvil ( hopefully even a 3 d gif...) any idea where to find such a thing?
cathy  <cathy at hfx.eastlink.ca> - Saturday, 08/12/00 23:41:05 GMT

Artwork: Cathy, we have numerous anvil images here. Most are copyright protected. We are working on a book and CD of blacksmith clip art but it is long from ready.

It would help if you let us know what you need it for.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Sunday, 08/13/00 01:55:36 GMT

Dear Guru,
I just bought and old anil, the man I got it from said it was made by the mousehole company in England back in the late 1800's. Is he correct and do you have any more information on a mousehole anvil????

Merchant  <Themeltshop at aol.com> - Sunday, 08/13/00 14:29:28 GMT


If you will look on both sides of the anvile, and on the front foot, under the horn, you should be able to see several markings. Make a rubbing of them, if necessary. Tell us what the markings are, and we'll be able to tell you a more.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Sunday, 08/13/00 16:59:54 GMT

Mousehole Forge: Merchant, The Mousehole Forge near Shefield England was operated by various firms as it was in business for several hundred years. M&H Armitage was the most notable, Brooks and Cooper another. They made forged wrought iron body anvils with tool steel faces. The style varied with the times and they were the most prolific of the English makers selling anvils all over the world.

To date when the anvil was made you will need a rubbing of the markings on the side. Often the markings are not very deep and get filled with rust, dirt and paint. You almost always have to clean the anvil to see the markings. Later anvils also had serial numbers stamped on the front of the foot under the horn. If there is not a clear trademark then we would have to see the anvil or a photo to tell its approximate age.

Note that anvils less than about 200 years old are generaly users, not collectable or antique. Anvils made in the second half of the 19th century are also some of the most common in number.

Paw-Paw forgot to mention that the relative position of the parts of the trademark are often the only differences from one Mousehole firm to another. If you have a scanner and get a clear rubbing you can e-mail it to us to save a lot of verbage.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Sunday, 08/13/00 17:11:03 GMT

Good day;
Three quick questions:
1. I had trouble printing the junk yard steel spec sheet. Can it be printed on an ordinary computer system?
2. Does scale dull files? For some reason I've been thinking it was harder than steel.
3. When I work on stamps I usually burn or punch wood to see how it's doing but to really know if it's finished I anneal, harded and temper it, and then try it on a hot piece of stock. If its not right, it goes back into the fire for fine tuning. My question is, what is the effect of repeated heating (other than reduction of material through loss due to scaling) on tool steel and do multiple "heat treatings" weaken the tool?
l.sundstrom,m.i.smithing? - Monday, 08/14/00 14:26:37 GMT

I am a 17 year old female and I am interested in getting started doing artistic blacksmithing. I have access to alot of equipment, my dad is a custom knifemaker and a Master Smith in the American Bladesmith Society. I just need help finding beginning projects and getting some basic instructions. We live in Wyoming and don't know of anyone around that does this type of work.

Josie Rexroat  <rexknives at vcn.com> - Monday, 08/14/00 15:45:51 GMT


First things first.

Welcome to the world of hot steel!

Second. Go to the top of this page and read the "getting started" article.

Third. Click on the site map link at the left side of this page, and go to the iForge page. You will find over 50 projects, beginning with the basics and advancing to more complicated projects.

Your dad can be a BIG help, since he already knows many of the characteristics of hot steel and fire control.

Stay in contact with us, we'll help you as much as we can.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Monday, 08/14/00 16:14:48 GMT

Caveat: Larry, the JY steel chart was provided by others and has some significant errors in it. Use it as a rough guide only. Many or the entries list one steel where the sources it was taken from list several. Use it as a suplement to MACHINERY'S HANDBOOK.

No such thing as a "standard computer". However, Win98 and other systems generaly let you "print to fit page". It is a large image (not a text chart) so you may not have enough system or printer memory.

Scale is usualy not a problem but the heat effected steel immediately below it often is. It can be carburized or in the case of flame cut steel it may be hardened from the rapid cooling at the cut.

Multiple heat treats can damage tool steels by producing excessive grain growth. . I'm not an expert here but it is better if you don't do it. Grandpa would more likely be able to give you specifics.

Use clay, wax or lead to test your stamps. The scaling of reheating has to do more damage than the improvement from corrections. Stamping into lead LOOKs just like steel. The images of my touchmarks on the reistry page are in modeling clay. . .
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Monday, 08/14/00 16:16:00 GMT


Hello and welcome. I got to meet with your dad at the OKCA show this year. I enjoyed the talk. I think you wee there too, but I am not sure.
Anyway, I was not able to find an ABANA chapter near you(but this does not mean there is not one)
But here is some contact info for a chapter in MT(theymight know of a closer group to you)


Pres: Daniel Moore, PO Box 182, Kila, MT 59920
(406) 257-IRON
COONHO at cyberport.net

Ed: Doud Adelmann, 4955 Patterson Rd, Bozeman, MT 59718
(406) 582-9015
adqc at avicon.net
Ralph  <ralphd at jps.net> - Monday, 08/14/00 16:25:50 GMT

Starting: Josie. Make use of your Dad's library. I'm sure he has Alex Bealer's The Art of Blacksmithing. He may not have some of the others we recomend in the Getting Started article but that is a good start.

On our iForge page that Paw-Paw recommended the "Dragon Striker" project is by a fellow your age that just graduated from High School and runs a small blacksmithing business!

You may be smaller than the rest of the "guys" (I may be wrong) so adjust to it. Don't start out with too big a hammer. You will hurt yourself or worse get frustrated and quit. Work up to a bigger hammer. Learning control is more important than power. Power can be provided by machinery.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Monday, 08/14/00 16:26:18 GMT

I hammer & English Wheel 48oz. (.062") copper into various shapes and TIG weld the shapes into sculptures. I have been considering a pneumatic hammer to assist the work. I don't want a large power hammer - so I have been looking at a small pneumatic plannishing hammer made from an aircraft rivet gun. It has a 20" throat and various lower Chicago Pneumatic dies that are replaceable. It is made by Covell in Freedom CA. Question- Can you point me at other sources of similiar pneumatic hammers in the less then $1500 range to work the copper?
Thanks in advance.
Morgan Wildish  <bdelphi at gte.net> - Tuesday, 08/15/00 02:17:34 GMT

Sheet Metal Hammer: Morgan, You may have found one of the last makers. There used to be numerous mechanical hammers to do this work. They were used primarily in aircraft factories where the aluminum was soft and the production rates low.

Pettingell was the most common brand. John Buchtenkirch was kind enough to send me pictures over a year ago and I'm scanning them NOW. Will try to post tonight (some time in the wee hours). Folks keep finding them and asking if they are good for blacksmithing. . No. But they would be great for your copper work.

There IS an outfit that makes a fabricated version of this type machine . . Can't remember their name and I SHOULD have them listed on the manufacturers list on the Power Hammer Page.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 08/15/00 02:53:06 GMT

Pettingell Hammer: Photos are now posted on our Power hammer Page.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 08/15/00 05:17:35 GMT

Morgan: Ive been working on some junkyard versions that cost less than $100 to build. It is a take-off on a tool by the small air hammer master, E A Chase.
The Trick he showed is a foot pedal to control the air flow to a common air powered riveting or chipping hammer. It is a common, inexpensive, off the shelf item .
I built a rigid "C" frame from junkyard materials and welded a mass of steel with a hardy hole for the anvil end of the C.
On the top end, I mounted a stout guide for the substantial upright hammer-holding shaft. On the guide is a tightening bolt that can lock the shaft at a set height. on the business end of the shaft is a mount for the little air hammer which positions it over the anvil. sheet metal goes in between the hammer and anvil, of course.
I use my hardened anvil stakes on the bottom and any of a number of shaped air-hammer heads in the air gun mounted above. For your thick copper you will want to get an air hammer with a longer stroke.
Ive built 3 different versions of this tool over the last several years, each with it's own purpose. They make a real racket and get some work done as a side benefit....Pete
Pete Fels  <artgawk at nospamthegrid.net> - Tuesday, 08/15/00 07:14:25 GMT

From our conference iForge slide show:



From page 9 of the current NEWS (Edition 21). Sorry I haven't supplied cations yet. Will be posting larger images in the near future.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 08/15/00 12:25:20 GMT

I am trying to locate a website for an American-made bar stock twister. Thought that I had bookmarked the site about a year ago and now can't locate it. I tried using search engines. The twister is in two sizes. The large size has 4 arms that span 4' for leverage. Someone is supposed to be able to cold twist the bars. The tool also has an approx 4' track perpendicular to the handles that different bar lengths can clamp into. It is (orange or red?) in color if that helps. The owner/seller was very helpful when I talked with him and he mentioned that there are a number of foreign knock-offs out there on his product.
Thanks for your assistance.
Allen Schaeffer  <STUDIO_518 at prodigy.net> - Tuesday, 08/15/00 14:10:44 GMT

For those looking for a copy of the Machinery's Handbook, there are several offered at resonable prices on Bibliofind.com from the early editions to the new.
Jerry (Erney) Carroll  <birdlegs at keynet.net> - Tuesday, 08/15/00 17:28:42 GMT

Hello there! Would you please tell me how hardening works.
Greatings from a "Nordbo" from Skandinavia.
Johnny  <jp-design at vip.cybercity.dk> - Tuesday, 08/15/00 17:58:38 GMT

Twister: Allen, I found this. If your guy was on the net he is not very well indexed. On the other hand the indexing of the search engines has just about gotten worthless. . . I see a NEW business op. .

This guy has a do it your self.


There was a machinery outfit at the ABANA conference that had all type of benders and rolls but they are either not on the net or also badly indexed. . I'll post this and look in the Thomas Register.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 08/15/00 18:10:46 GMT

Hardening, Steel: Johnny, How it works on a molecular level or how it is done? Molecularly is beyond my ability to describe properly. It has to do with changes in crystal structure and the freezing of that structure. If you need to know THAT then grandpa will have to answer.

First, not all metals can be hardened. Most "work harden" but they do not harden the way steel does.

Plain carbon steel is a mixture of iron, carbon and usualy a little manganese. Alloy steels contain significant quantities of other metals. The amount of carbon in steel determines its hardenability. The range is 0.05% to 1.10% but is generaly less than 0.95% for tool steels.

Mild or low carbon steel generaly has less than 0.20% carbon and is not considered hardenable for most purposes. Pure iron or "wrought iron" has no carbon and is not hardenable.

To harden steel it is heated to above the "transformation point". This is about 1500°F (816°C) where steel becomes non-magnetic and is a red but not orange heat. This temperature varies with the type and carbon content of the steel. There is several changes in crystal structure at this point. The steel is then quenched (cooled) in water, oil or air (certain alloy steels are air-hardenable).

At this point the steel is "full hard" and very brittle. To reduce the brittleness the steel is "tempered". Tempering is simply the reheating of the metal to some point below the hardening point. Some steels temper as low 400°F (200°C) and others as high as 1400°F (760°C).

Tempering reduces both the hardness and the brittleness and is used to control the hardness within the steel's useful range. Before the era of temperature controls and alloy steels the tempering temperature was determined by the temper colors that appeared on the surface of bright clean steel when heated.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 08/15/00 19:21:14 GMT

Thanx Guru,
I had already checked out the auroraforge bender. That looks like a great idea. Quite a few times I have needed to twist bars but didn't really have the time to fire up to hot twist. Unfortunately, I am not able to be in the shop for long periods. I work full time as a photographer and only get a few minutes at a time to accomplish a task depending on the season. I guess it is also possible that this company is off-line.Thanx for researching this further.
Allen Schaeffer  <STUDIO_518 at prodigy.net> - Tuesday, 08/15/00 19:42:45 GMT

Twister: Allen, Centaur Forge carries a Phillips Machine Tool Co. Bar twister for $2,700 USD. There is no photo in their on-line catalog.

Many smiths convert pipe threaders to bar twisters. Most will do up to 5/8" bar but beyond that you are getting into an area that is hard to determine. Both portable (tripod) and floor models are used.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 08/15/00 20:33:34 GMT

Hi Guru,
I just received info about the site I am looking for. It is at www.metalcraftusa.com

Thanks for your info. I am going to look into a used pipe threader.
Allen Schaeffer  <Studio_518 at prodigy.net> - Tuesday, 08/15/00 20:57:09 GMT

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