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This is an archive of posts from August 25 - 31, 2005 on the Guru's Den
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Coal forge firepot : I have been wondering how a firepot fabricated from 18-8 SS plate would hold up. I am pretty sure it would work better than one made from A36, but would it work as well as cast iron?
   Dave Boyer - Tuesday, 08/23/05 23:33:38 EDT

Tyler, Try Permalac laquer by Peacock Labs. I've used it outside on steel & copper with good results.
   dief - Wednesday, 08/24/05 00:21:50 EDT

Tyler Murch-- I too don't like the look of painted steel. I like to galvanize it, then patina with "Galvano Rust" from Surfin in LA Ca. Fantastic-looking varigated rust-like finish. I leave it un-clear-coated and it lasts for years, and so it is easy to touch up anytime. They also make a black, a copper, and a "rainbow brown" which is sort of a bronze look. (These last two I have found problematic to apply successfully in a brush-on situation, they may be bettter for an immersion situation.)
   Brian Kennedy - Wednesday, 08/24/05 00:27:27 EDT

Dave, I have an entire portable forge made from 3/8 stainless that after a bunch of good size fires shows very little use. The blower is a Canedy hand crank on a stand with a 4" stainless flex hose about 4' long. Picture is available for asking. By the way, it is heavy.
   Jerry - Wednesday, 08/24/05 00:45:54 EDT

I am guessing but most likely a canvas or leather tube(pipe)
Why not take the dryer vent tube off in transit? It is what I used to do
   Ralph - Wednesday, 08/24/05 00:53:21 EDT

To anyone who might know,

I've got a piece that I'm working on, made of stainless (304 I think, it's like 18ga sheet). I want to do an etched image on one surface of it, by means of a transfer from a photocopy. Can anyone suggest an etchant for this? If it were regular steel I'd use ferric chloride, but I don't know if it'll work. I've heard that hydrochloric acid will work on stainless, though I'd have to passivate afterwards (not a problem). Suggestions?

Cool and cloudy in Kaneohe, Hawaii.
   T. Gold - Wednesday, 08/24/05 06:31:23 EDT

Buffalo Forge with arm mounted blower" Håkan, This forge had a cast iron elbow at the forge and a short pipe with flanges. The original blower had four studs that held the pipe, the second elbow attached to the first and had a flange at the firepot and an air gate at the flanged pipe joint. The reason for the adjustment on the arms where the blower attaches is that the elbows and forge were not very accurately constructed and to bolt it all together solid required a compensation point. Some of these forges also had an elbow that attached the blower intake to a pre heat chamber on the forge hood.

The auto exhust flex pipe tends to rust out very quickly and is only a temporary fix (on autos OR forges). I would continue to use the aluminium if you want to use flex.

For durability I would fabricate a steel duct made from 1/8" (3mm) plate or flat bar. The OEM pipe was about 3.5" (90 mm) diameter.
   - guru - Wednesday, 08/24/05 08:18:34 EDT

T. Gold,

Ferric chloride will work. You'll want to passivate with citric acid after etching. Don't plan on getting more than a couple thousandths depth though, as stainless is designed to be resistant to acids. HCl probably will be a disappointment as an etchant, unless you use concentrated stuff which is pretty nasty.

Oxalic acid will also work, and is probably not too much more toxic that FeCl. I've read somewhere that picric acid will do the job, but that stuff is way toxic and can become explosive, as well. All in all, I'd stick with the FeCl.
   vicopper - Wednesday, 08/24/05 08:40:42 EDT

Asbestoes Hysteria: I was working in a nuclear plant dismanteling the primary coolant pumps. The old gaskets are wound inconel cheverons with asbestoes fill. In the middle of pulling the pump an IDIOT jumps over the glaring (practicaly glowing with radiation) 44" flange opening to cut and bag the gasket. The IDIOT recieved his allowable lifetime radiation dosage in those moments. Stoping the move at this point also exposed a half dozen other workers to much more radiation than necessary as well. IF the IDIOT had waited a few minutes a sheild plug would have been put into place and the radiation reduced greatly. The gasket should have been removed later in the shielding we provided where there would have only been very minour radiation exposure.

The danger of the radiation at these levels is REAL, especialy if you are young or making babies at this point in your life. The worker, a member of the health physics department and asbestoes abatement team was highly educated and trained. But asbestoes hysteria had been drummed into him his whole life.

The old gaskets in the above application are being replaced with graphite filled gaskets due to asbestoes hysteria. The replacements are so delicate that 8 our of 10 do not survive delivery. The graphite does not stick to the inconel chevrons like the asbestoes and often falls out. This is a primary system gasket on a highly contaminated water system (disolved nuclear fuel and byproducts). The result of leaking gaskets is not only a contamination mess and loss of coolant but the boriated water EATS the carbon steel pump and pressure vessel studs holding the whole mess together. PLEASE, PLEASE give me asbestoes gaskets!

We (the US) are about to go back into the nuclear power business. Hopefully there are some cool heads in charge that understand how to weigh risks and benefits using some common sense. But I am afraid there will be far too many young engineers raised on asbestoes hysteria and the "normalcy" of Microsnot systems that have to be rebooted once a day to function properly. . .

Need radiation shielding? Throw away that toxic lead. Steel of the same mass works just as well. But several generations brought up on "lead shorts" jokes goes for the lead every time, including engineers that SHOULD know better. Common sense. . something there is far to little of.
   - guru - Wednesday, 08/24/05 09:22:29 EDT

Stainless Forges: Where you need to be carefull with stainless is it has a high coeficient of expansion. That means you need loose and flexible fits if you put a stainless fire pot in a carbon steel forge.

Other problems with stainless include galling threads and fits. Stainless likes to weld to other stainless under pressure. When this occurs in a thread galling occurs. When using bolts it is best to use carbon steel in threaded stainless holes. If your forge has a clinker breaker it needs to have a loose fit and a high temperature lubricant like Never-Seize is suggested.

The advantage to a stainless forge is that it will withstand the corrosive ash and atmosphere produced by coal fires. The acidic ash EATS carbon steel and cast iron.
   - guru - Wednesday, 08/24/05 09:29:12 EDT

Vicopper, I will try both if I can and report back. I may be able to get my hands on some oxalic acid. Citric acid passivation is exactly what I planned. Grin.

Cloudy and cool in Kaneohe, Hawaii.
   T. Gold - Wednesday, 08/24/05 13:27:11 EDT

True lead is not a 'safe' sheilding, but I know I liked the idea of lead sheilding on my boat. as the sheilding of steel would have been much thicker. AS so would have reduced the 'people' space in the boat. Perhap steel would be good on a non-moblie plant.
But now I have this question. What alloy of steel would be best. Remember that the steel WILL become irradiated and so become 'radioactive' yet another rad waste product to be disposed of. Lead as far as I know does not become radioactive. It can be contaminated, but it will only be surface contamination.
AS you said thought needs to be given to our choices.
   Ralph - Wednesday, 08/24/05 15:05:11 EDT

Ralph, The exception to using lead is in tight spaces. In a couple small pumps the "man-can" was an SS shell filled with lead due to the limited space. For other purposes generaly A-36 plate is used. If the shielding is to be in the neutron radiation zone for extended periods then it wants to be free of copper and other trace metals. Then it needs to be a special grade. "Hot" iron isotopes have a very short half life and can be classified as "clean" in a few years.

The problem with lead is that large pieces are not self supporting and end up requiring a significant steel structure to support it. In much nuclear work it is sandwiched between stainless plates.

My problem is the folks at commercial plants that think lead any time they think shielding. They buy and handle TONS of lead shot putting it into steel shells and in the process spilling a lot of pellets (which do not have the efficiency of poured lead. For the amount of work and expense (lead is EXPENSIVE) that goes into these steel and lead shells solid steel ones can be made just as easily and at less expense. Often these are built for shipping parts that are relatively low level radiation. When these casks are no longer needed they are a REAL mess to scrap. . . Solid steel ones would just be deconed and go to steel scrap.

Our equipment for working on primary coolant contaminated parts had 5 to 6" of steel shielding an 10" thick lead glass windows. Tooling operated through snug fitting steped holes. The whole let us dissasemble, remachine and reassemble dirty pumps that had been in use for over 10 years with most of the workers getting less than background radiation.

In general the service industry hated our equipment because it used less people by very large numbers. The heavy hitters in the industry like using people as sponges because the more people they use up the more money they make. This flys in the face of all that is right but they play by the monetary golden rule.
   - guru - Wednesday, 08/24/05 16:34:14 EDT

For one style of propane forge I make I use 10" driveway culvert. I have been burning in the 1 1/4" holes for the gas tube receivers. However, I would like to find another method as the culvert is galvanized and my hole burning is not all that great. The grooves of the culvert make it essentially impossible to use a large drill bit. Would a conduct knock-out punch be strong enough to cut through the culvert sides? Would a step-drill bit be an alternative? I would like to keep a solution low-tech.
   Ken Scharabok - Wednesday, 08/24/05 16:44:23 EDT

Ken, I've used a hole saw. You have to pick an appropriate place to drill, based on the pitch of corrugations and the diameter of the hole saw, since the maximum depth of cut is small.

   - John Odom - Wednesday, 08/24/05 16:53:50 EDT

Graphite gaskets. Good Guru, I must differ on the grafite filler for gaskets. Perhaps the gaskets you worked with were substandard. We built millions and millions of valves with Grafoil filled spiral wound gaskets, and I never had a gasket fall apart, and we even used vibratory feeders to feed them into an automatic assembly machine, with no damage.
In 1981, I started work in the test lab of the worlds largest maker of forged steel valves and fittings, including nuclear rated valves 4" and under. One of the very first test projects was to find a replacement for asbestos gaskets. I spent about 2 manyears of my and the testers time trying every gasket material we could find. All were the spiral wound gaskets used in many applications including pipe flanges. Without fail, the one true standout in performance was GRAFOIL. This is an expanded graphite product made by Union Carbide.This filler was wound into gaskets by about every major maker. Also tested many other fillers. Tested stainless, Inconel, Hastalloy, and Monel wraps. Had just as good a pressure resistantce, far superior in high temp exposure, and is not affected by the cheleation agents then popular in boiler feed water, that disolves asbestos. We adopted Grafoil, as did every maker in the industry. And it killed about 40% of the world market for valves. Asbestos spiral wound gaskets and packings are fibers with binders. The spiral wounds used latex, and the packings were pretty much fiber rope packed with graphite and tallow. Steam at working temps used in the industrys we supplied burned out the fillers and the packings and gaskets leaked steam, usually in a year or so. These leaks were so pervasive that there was an entire industry to inject cement type products into the leaking joints to allow the valve to stay in service untill the next scheduled shutdown. About 40% of the MRO valves sold were for replacements for asbestos gasket/packing leakers.I have been in the refineries on cool days and seen the steam plumes. We did a refinery in Cattletsburg Ky, that was full of these leakers, and the grafoil was a good solution. It is still THE gasket of choice. In an elevated temp service, especially toxic media, give me GRAFOIL. I work in another industry now due to the reduction in the world market for valves, due to many factors including the reduction of replacements needed due to leaks. And if you want to put a nuke plant in my backyard, I want the gaskets filled with GRAFOIL.
   ptree - Wednesday, 08/24/05 17:04:24 EDT

I have received a request from a past customer in France to perhaps make him some knife vises. He sent me photographs of one he has. Interesting concept, not terribly technical, but somewhat beyond my capabilities. If someone with extensive knowledge of knife finishing will e-mail me, I'll forward his e-mail to them to see if they know of something on the U.S. market which is similar. If there is nothing like it on the U.S. market now, perhaps it might be an item for someone with a small fabrication shop to make and sell.
   Ken Scharabok - Wednesday, 08/24/05 18:31:30 EDT

Conduit KO punches: Ken, I doubt it. They are designed for a max of the 14ga steel in heavy panels and are pushed at the normal 16ga. Culvert is heavier. This kind of punch system could be made to work but would need a custom punch and die made to fit the gorogated surface.

I would use a hole saw as John Odom suggested. I would be sure to use it in a heavy drill press and provide a support system for the inside of the tube (wood?). Fixturing so things do not move can be more important than the tooling.
   - guru - Wednesday, 08/24/05 19:44:45 EDT

hey guru i had a question for you. I was rereading the fly press demo and a question acured to me, when you punch(or slit,ect.) what keeps the punch in the fly press from sticking in the metal like a regular punch does? Is there some kind of hold down so u can just turn the wheel the other way? just curious. John S
   - John S - Wednesday, 08/24/05 20:50:35 EDT

Does anyone have any suggestions for preventing rusting of tools, tongs, anvils, hardware etc. It is very humid during the summer months and I would like to keep hardware from rusting or minimize it. I have heard that linseed oil is good, any comments? thanks in advance.
   Plato - Wednesday, 08/24/05 21:45:37 EDT

Hi just starting out in blacksmithing
figured id start with a forge
in makeing a homemade one whats the differences in useing
a brake drum or a tire rim for the fire pot?
   BoB ThAK - Wednesday, 08/24/05 22:41:48 EDT


I live on a small island in the middle of the Caribbean, so I know a bit about tools rusting. I've found that the best substance for rust-proofing tools that are infrequently used is plain old Vaseline. It is basically the same stuff as the famous Cosmoline, just cleaned up a bit for medical use. Your tools won't know the difference, though.

For tools that are used frequently, I just wipe off any sweat or crud and spritz them with some WD-40 and wipe with a rag. That leaves a thin film that will protect for a week or so, but doesn't gum up like a thicker film might do.

My machinist's squares, dividers, etc all get a wipe with a rag that has been oiled with a high quality non-detergent light motor oil. Don't use regular detergent oils, as these are designed to absorb water, and wil do so from the air.

For steel that just sits around the shop waiting to be used, I find that the mill scale is a pretty good protectant if not scratched. Stuff that sits a long time I'll usually squirt with a thin coat of varnish. If it has to sit outdoors for any length of time, I prep it properly and give it a coat of cold galvanizing 90% zinc paint. Before forging, I just wet a rag with lacquer thinner and wipe the cold galv off the steel.

Hope this helps you some.
   vicopper - Wednesday, 08/24/05 23:14:10 EDT

Rust As VIc points out there is different levels of protection for different tools. Some rust preventitives are not suitable for some items. Precision tools need thin non hardening oils. Large machines often need the thick drying coatings such as made by CRC on the bare unused sections of slides and ways. This can usualy be softened with some kerosene and the machine used full travel.

For blacksmithing tools paint works well. I use the graphite pimented barbeque black on tongs and oil the bits when the paint burns off. If you want to keep an anvil looking pretty a coat of gloss black on all but the working surfaces. I paint my cones and swage blocks with the same high temp paint. These low use tools will rust severly because they get little attention. Tools like punches, chisels and fullers must be oiled or waxed.

Someone said "rust never sleeps". It is a continous battle and in the shop you never win. There are too many surfaces that must be bare in use or the heat removes any protectant. All you can do is be sure you keep lots of oil, WD-40 and paint handy.
   - guru - Thursday, 08/25/05 08:00:59 EDT

Punching with a Flypress: Look closely at the tooling. When punching there is a plate the punch goes through that when the punch is raised strips the work off the punch. This is called a "stripper plate". This is a standard part in almost all mechanical punching systems.

In thin work the stripper plate is clamped against the work with springs to hold it flat while punching. In this case it becomes a pressure shoe (which doubles as a striper plate).

These methods are discussed in our flypress and press tooling iForge demos.
   - guru - Thursday, 08/25/05 08:09:26 EDT

Rust protection: How about Slipit? It is a cross between vaseline and a wax. Non silicone stuff, goes on like grease and when wiped, leaves a thin coating. I use it on my table saw, which is what it was made for. Less resistance on pushing boards thru, but also provides rust protection. I also use it on my drill press and band saws. It does work, and a little goes a long ways.
   Bob H - Thursday, 08/25/05 08:52:38 EDT

Bob, That sounds like good stuff. I've used Boeshield, from the Boeing Aircraft folks, but they're really proud of the stuff and it is very difficult to get it shipped down here, as it is an aerosol. Where can I get the Slipit, and is it non-aerosol?
   vicopper - Thursday, 08/25/05 11:38:15 EDT

Thank you for comments on the culvert drilling. Sounds like a bi-metal hole drill might work, so have ordered one to play with. If nothing else, it might clearly outline hole for follow-on torch cutting.
   Ken Scharabok - Thursday, 08/25/05 12:51:45 EDT


When you're using a hole saw in relatively thin stock such as that culvert, there's a little trick that will make things go better. After you drill the pilot hole, usually 1/4", remove the pilot bit from the hole saw and replace it with a piece of plain 1/4" drill rod. That thin stock tends to wallow out if you leave the bit flutes in the hole, and the drill rod avoids that. You can also just reverse the bit, leaving the plain shank out, but you risk possible breakage a bit more that way.
   vicopper - Thursday, 08/25/05 15:40:40 EDT

vicooper: Thank you for that tip. I generally make up these bodies six at a time. I can drill the pilot holes separately and then use the hole saw bit without a guide drill.
   Ken Scharabok - Thursday, 08/25/05 17:12:32 EDT

Ken Scharabok:

Regarding the knife vise, one simple version that has worked for me is a pipe clamp vise (shown in Blade Mag. September 2005 issue page 60.

I modified the vise using a 1" bottom plate and a 1/2" clamp plate (I used aluminum for both parts). Then I used a bowlling ball set in a discarded car rotar. I mounted a plate to the ball (1/4" aluminum works good), then mounted the vise as shown using the bottom base mounted to the 1/4" plate. This arrangement allows me to turn the "knife" to any angle while I do the finish work.
   oktwodogs - Thursday, 08/25/05 17:49:02 EDT

oktwodogs: I'm not a great describer. Think of a piece of 2" x 12" tubing in which two pieces of board are tightened via a top bolt. Tubing is welded hortizonal on round plate with a bolt in the middle so it can turn 360 degrees. Bolt goes through an L-frame back plate. Frame base can rotate 360 degrees when bolted via center bolt to a bench top. To use some portion of the knife blade to be worked on is slid between the two pieces of wood and the top bolt tightened. Blade than then be positioned at desired work angle. Does anyone know of something like this sold commercially in the U.S.? I can cobble something together for him, but would like to check for commercial availability first.
   Ken Scharabok - Thursday, 08/25/05 18:02:48 EDT

Ken Scharbok:

I know one knife maker that uses the PanaVise. This is sold commercially through most knife supply houses. One I know handles PanaVise is Jantz Supply, 1-800-351-8900; www.knifemaking.com.
   oktwodogs - Thursday, 08/25/05 18:58:14 EDT

Slipit is a soft paste wax available from woodworker stores/catalogs. I wonder if Boeshield is available in pint or quart cans? Its solvent merely carries its wax. Both products work on table tops to deter rust.
   - John Larson - Thursday, 08/25/05 19:33:07 EDT

Rust never sleeps that's for sure. Today I took a half hour lunch break. When I got back to my mill the shiny die I was making had already rusted. Right now I'm just using water in the coolant system without any rust-detering chemicals.
   - John Larson - Thursday, 08/25/05 19:37:25 EDT

Look at the Emmert Patternmaker's vise:
I use mine for woodworking and holding small metal work that needs an odd position.

Mine is antique. Modern repros are available.
   - John Odom - Thursday, 08/25/05 20:26:57 EDT


Take a look at these links and tell me if one of them is what you're talking about.



Either one would be pretty easy to make. Koval Knife Supply sells one ready-made, but seems right proud of it:

   vicopper - Thursday, 08/25/05 21:25:48 EDT

Alternatives to Boeshield: Cosmoline "Rust Veto" , LPS#3, Corosion Block or Lanocote are some other products to try,CRC offers some also. vicoper:Lanocote comes as a non-aerosol, check with the marine trades people on Your island.
   Dave Boyer - Thursday, 08/25/05 21:32:21 EDT

Ken S : What You need for the pilot in Your hole saw is called a "drill blank" This is a hardened ground and polished M2 highspeed steel rod exactly like a jobber's length drill, only without the flutes or point. Order from MSC, Enco,etc.
   Dave Boyer - Thursday, 08/25/05 21:37:26 EDT

Thanks Dave, I'll check it out.
   vicopper - Thursday, 08/25/05 23:20:41 EDT

Lucky me ! I bought(sinfully cheap)a PW anvil thats about 200lb, aside from a chip off the heel, The face is good but the horn is beaten down alot,the cutting table is awfully chewed up too, But table is not what bothers me.
Estimating by looking at comparable PWs and anvils in general of this size I think the horn is about 2" shorter than it should be.
Is it feasable to build it back up by welding in another piece and fillet weld the crap out of the joint?
If I do this, know to preheat and all, But would preheat and subsequent welding heat be likely to damage the face?
M.v.h. Sven
   - Sven - Friday, 08/26/05 00:35:36 EDT

Sven leave it alone!!!!!!!
Even if the horn is shorter than original it will still work as is, so why risk ruining a good useable anvil?
   Ralph - Friday, 08/26/05 01:07:26 EDT

Thanks Ralph,
You are right the bulk of the anvil is perfectly serviceable and would not want it buggered up, But I want a proper horn for alot of stuff I like to make.
If its a decent chance I can fix it to what I need, I am willing to have a go of it, But if the overall opinion is "a sure fire way to bugger the rest of it", I expect I would not.
I should have written more clearly that the horn is not exactly 'beaten down', but appears that about 2" broke off or something and its a flat-ish stump thats left. Its been peened so much its impossible to tell if it really broke or may have been sawed off for some purpose.
   - Sven - Friday, 08/26/05 02:23:38 EDT

Well we are leaving for Houston on Monday. Hope we get some usable info from MD ANderson. In any case will be nice to get some good food again other than what we make ourselves.
   Ralph - Friday, 08/26/05 02:56:35 EDT


It probably happened, in a rather violent moment, after the first time the original owner jabbed himself in the 'nads with that pointy ol' horn.(grin)

I'm gonna back Ralph up on this one. Leave it be, less you risk screwing up the rest of the anvil. You can use a cone mandrel hardie to round up things that require a small radius, and it sounds like the horn is still useable for the larger stuff. My personal experience is that I don't use that part of the horn much anyway.


Good luck! MD Anderson brought my father-in-law through a seemingly impossible one several years ago. He's clean now and still kickin' strong and stubborn. They've got some good docs down there.

   eander4 - Friday, 08/26/05 03:51:24 EDT

vicooper: You have solved the mystery. The photographs he sent were some of the same ones from stoneandsteel. That site noted it was based on a commercial model, which appears to be the Koval Knives one ($175). I now see he had apparently been surfing the net, saw the stoneandsteel adaptation and is asking if I can reproduce five for him with the same functionality. Doing so would push my capabilities and abilities. Anyone with a machine shop capability want to take on the order? I would think $100 each would be a fair price (60% of commercial/professional model).

Sven: The official position of the forum is to not restore anvils as more harm than good can be done. If you want my personal option you can e-mail me by just clicking on my name for the form.
   Ken Scharabok - Friday, 08/26/05 07:23:47 EDT

I would like to make some cones, say 2" across the base and 6" high, of steel. I have heard of a machine called a Pullmax that is good for such an operation as cone making. How long would it take to make such a cone on one? What other ways to form cones that could be reasonably quick? Forge them, or turn them on a lathe? I am reluctant to cast them because I would like to weld on them.
Secondly, I would like to produce tapered, threaded forms, starting at say 2" at the base and tapering to 1/2" at the top, spanning 4 feet long. Say 6 threads per inch with the threads being 1/2 " deep at the beginning and becoming progressively shallower as the diameter became closer to 1/2 at the other end of the bar. Can this be done on a lathe? Or is this something to be ordered from someone with special thread-cutting machinery?

   brian kennedy - Friday, 08/26/05 08:32:50 EDT

Actually it would be even better if the threading could increase in threads-per-inch as the bar got thinner so that by the time the bar was 1/2" diameter the threads were 14-18 or whatever NC count is for that diameter...
   brian kennedy - Friday, 08/26/05 08:38:39 EDT

Thanks for all the opinions on rust prevention, now what about rust removal. In the past I have used a angle grinder with a wire wheel, works great but I can chew through the good ones in half a day. Without getting into a lot of abrasives does anyone have experience with acid pickling to remove rust and how effective it is. I'll just note that most of this is surface rust and not deep rust. If anybody has any voodoo formulas that won't toxify me I would appreciate your feedback. Thanks, Plato
   Plato - Friday, 08/26/05 09:04:43 EDT

Apparently I'm on a roll with questions.

Here is a *very important* project I need help with and I am completely out of ideas.

My housemate and Mother of two "fine young gentlemen" (read "nearly deliquents in my opinion but hope springs eternal ...) stops out to what passes for my shop two nights back with a sauce pan ... one of the young gentlemen had left it on the burner with the burner on and a plastic spoon in the pot.

You all, of course, know the result. She had pulled the remains out while it was still soft and lost two brillos trying to get the gunk off the bottom of the pan. Now there is a black, scortched, thin layer of plastic fairly uniformly covering the bottom of the pan.

"You're a blacksmith, you can fix it can't you? It's my favorite sauce pan and I don't have the money to replace it ..." (Has the gravity of this problem become sufficiently apparent to all?)

So ... it's about a 1.5 to 2 quart sauce pan. Made out of some kind of stainless steel. I can find no visible marks to tell me what it is, but it doesn't rust so ... it has a plastic handle. No copper.

I tried the Milwaukee 4" side grinder with a wire wheel, but that can just touch about a 1.5" spot in the middle of the bottom. The gunk laughs at steel wool and synthetic steel wool. It seems to defy most attempts at scraping with a chisel and when the chisel does bite, given the size of the pot I don't have much control and could easily gouge the bottom.

I'm considering trying to gently heat it but don't know that that wouldn't just give me tacky gummy gunk and no good way to get it out. I've considered the propane torch and trying to burn it out.

I tried the cup brush on a drill but don't seem to get enough rpms to move the plastic.

Sandblasting comes to mind ... and I think my smithin' buddy has a compressor ... but I don't.

Any suggestions on this chestnut?

   Timothy - Friday, 08/26/05 09:51:27 EDT

Where can I find a small exhaust fan to use in the hood over my forge? I already burned up one standard duty fan, probably because the intake air is around 160 F or so.
   - nick - Friday, 08/26/05 10:06:02 EDT

Where can I find a small exhaust fan for the hood over my forge? The intake air runs around 160 degrees F.
   - nick - Friday, 08/26/05 10:07:43 EDT

Where can I find a small exhaust fan to use in the hood over my forge? I already burned up one standard duty fan, probably because the intake air is around 160 F or so.
   - nick - Friday, 08/26/05 10:08:02 EDT

Where can I find a small exhaust fan for the hood over my forge? The intake air temp. is around 160F.
   nick - Friday, 08/26/05 10:10:21 EDT

Where can I find a small exhaust fan for the hood over my forge? The intake air temp. is around 160F.
   nick - Friday, 08/26/05 10:12:52 EDT

Sorry. Got a problem here.
   nick - Friday, 08/26/05 10:13:47 EDT

Thank you to all for the help on a knifemaker's vise for the guy in France. With vicooper's help, I was able to find three U.S. commercial sources for him. Looks like same unit, but at $80, $90 or $100.

Just a comment. He purchased five propane forges from me. I listed them on customs form as such. French customs is holding them as apparently the word 'propane' triggered some alarm. He said they would have gone through if I had listed them as gas forges.
   Ken Scharabok - Friday, 08/26/05 10:16:59 EDT

sven, curious, why do you think that you would need to preheat the horn to weld it? it sounds plenty functional. i dont think that the heat from welding the horn would creep into the face at all, let alone enough to change the hardness. if it is the cosmetic appearance of the anvil that is the issue, there is a high chance that you will be less pleased by modifying it.
   - aka - Friday, 08/26/05 10:28:49 EDT

Sven, I'm a guessing that the horn on a PW will most likely be wrought iron and low carbon wrought iron at that. Wrought iron is not the easiest to weld without practice.

Preheat not needed, the anvil *face* is a high carbon tempered steel and if I was attempting this feat I would immerse the anvil on it's heel so that only the horn protruded from the water to make sure that the face didn't get too hot.

My take is that you can build a hardy tool that would be better for small stuff---a quick and dirty method is to take a spud wrench and forge the wrench part to fit the hardy hole, bend the handle 90 deg and you are good to go! Small pointy ended anvil horns can get a bit too intimate as has been mentioned before and "Hey you want to see my smithing scar?" is not a good pickup line...

Nick, hoods over forges usually don't work very well; take a look for side draft chimneys for forging. If you want to use a forced draft you are most likely to have the best luck having a seperate duct for the fan and have it Y'd into the main stack to push air up and drag the smoke up as it goes.

Timothy, the answer is easy---*move*!

   Thomas P - Friday, 08/26/05 11:19:46 EDT

Thomas: Working on the move already. And planning to surf a few Good Wills this weekend for a replacement sauce pan.
   Timothy - Friday, 08/26/05 11:23:22 EDT

Timothy's chestnut: Yup, buy her a new pan would be my first option. Did you try freezing the pan for a couple hours to see if it makes the plastic more brittle. Might chip out easier. If you have a drill press you could put that cup wheel in and a handfull of sand might do it. Or get a rubber sanding disk for that drill and sand it out.
   Gronk - Friday, 08/26/05 11:51:15 EDT

Plastic spoon. If you can scrape off most of the material you could wash off the residue with acetone. But unless this is a fine piece of cookware, t'aint worth it IMO.
   adam - Friday, 08/26/05 11:58:05 EDT

Timothy - I would heat the adhered plastic 'till it carbonized. Remove the plastic handle or dunk the handle in water & heat the gunk with a torch. Stand up wind, 'cause some plastics give off small amounts of cyanide compounds when they burn. Scrub out with a stainless steel scrubbie then soak in vinegar overnight to passivate.

Then throw away all the plastic spoons & replace with stainless or wood.

Caveat: I've rescued cast iron pans from melted on plastic, not stainless, but the above procedure should (theoretically) work.
   John Lowther - Friday, 08/26/05 12:12:54 EDT

Greetings everyone. I'm just getting started in blacksmithing and stumbled upon an old 300# bridge anvil for $250.00. One leg (under the hardy hole)is cracked. Can this be repaired? Should I worry about it? Anvil has a good rebound. Also, can anyone tell me anything about this type of anvil? I'm having trouble finding general info. Thanks!
   Bill S. - Friday, 08/26/05 12:39:58 EDT

if I repeat if you can afford to buy her one that is the same then you can do so and you keep the sauce pan for your use at the forge. Good for heating water for some quenching operations, such as fire strikers ( AKA steels) Some folks make various and sundry 'witches brews' for rust prevention etc.
I have several pots and pans that I salvaged for a few cents each at yard sales. for this type of use.
   Ralph - Friday, 08/26/05 12:48:50 EDT

Was wondering if you have any ideas who and where an anvil hand stamped with 200 A115 244?? Any ideas what this stamp stands for???
   Mandy - Friday, 08/26/05 13:17:56 EDT

Bill S.: Chances are the bridge anvil is one-piece cast iron. Cast iron welding techniques would likely work, but is also likely to be far more complicated and costly than it warrants. Anvils in America by Richard Postman has a short section on bridge anvils. There were called bridge from their shape, not their usage. "They were mainly in railroad forges and repair shops as a type of anvil bending fixture. The follow allowed certain bends to be made on railroad quipment that were difficult to perform on a large smithing anvil."

Mandy: Please provide more information on anvil. Are the numbers on the front foot? If so, would imply a serial number and some Hay-Buddens did start with an A. However, they didn't go up into the six digits starting with an A. Do you see any markings on the side with the horn to the right? Is there a depression in the bottom? If so, what shape.
   Ken Scharabok - Friday, 08/26/05 13:44:52 EDT

Pilot Drill on Hole saws: Another alternative to the drill and pilot is to use a long length bit. Some of these come with short fulted sections and long shanks. Once you have drilled through with the fluted end the plain part should do the guiding. Requires less tool changes.

Cutting Oil John L., The water soluable cutting oil that makes a white coolant is both better for cutting and reduces rust. I use it in my surface grinder and everything stays shiney and clean for days. However, after use the machine needs to be cleaned and oiled as usual. The water soluable oil often removes existing oil applied for protection.

Horn Length: This varied over time. Early horns were often short and stumpy and as materials improved styles also changed and they got longer. There was also the fact that for slender work or tight curves most early shops had stake anvils and there was no need for a long slender horn on the heavier forging anvil other than convienience. Horns often get beat up and mushroomed on the end (abuse by non-smiths) but this rarely changes the length enough to warrent repair.
   - guru - Friday, 08/26/05 14:52:26 EDT

brian kennedy: This is the 'Poor Boy' method for making hardy mandrels/cones. Start with a 2" round blank of mild steel. 4" should give you about 7 - 7 1/2" finished. Centered in the bottom drill in a 3/4" hole a good 1" deep. Use a large drill bit, say over 1" and chamfer out the top for a depression. Drive in a 3/4" rod 3-4" long and weld around the depression. This locks the 3/4" into the blank and gives you a handle for holding with 3/4" round stock tongs. Now powerhammer or striker forge the blank into the mandrel, remembering to go from round to tapered square and then back to round. If you use a striker, I would recommend marking an X on the sweet spot of the anvil and training them to always hit over that spot. You can tell them light, medium or heavy as they lift the hammer for the next blow. You then work the blank over the sweet spot as if you were using a powerhammer. Keep a high heat in the blank to reduce the forging required. If you have a 1" hardy hole, just put a piece of 1" thick wall tubing over the 3/4" rod and weld the tubing to the 3/4" round at the bottom. You can finish by lathing, but it is just as easy to hold the mandrel in a vise at a slight downward angle and then use a large angle grinder to smooth it out.
   Ken Scharabok - Friday, 08/26/05 15:01:19 EDT

Tapering Progressive Threads: Brian,

1) a Pullmax is a sheet metal working machine.
2) Solid cones can be cast, forged or machined. The fastest least expensive way in low quantity is to forge them IF you have a power hammer of 100 pounds up. In high quantity the least expensive way is to cast them. IF you only need one or two and you do not have a power hammer then turning on a lathe is the best way (since lathes are more common than power hammers). If it needs to be smoth and accurate you may want to machine a forging.

3) Threading using a consistent thread with variable depth is possible on any Engine Lathe with taper attachment. Using a taper different than the surface taper would produce a contantly varying thread pitch. However, changing the thread pitch would require a CNC lathe with a VERY special control program and I am not sure that CNC languages normaly allow for this operation. It would require a top notch CNC programmer.

Note that most taper attachment will NOT produce a cone of 2" diameter by 6" long. The most they are usualy good for is about 1" per foot (per side) which would be a 2" included taper per foot.
   - guru - Friday, 08/26/05 15:17:30 EDT

Correction, "Using a taper different than the surface taper would produce a contantly varying thread DEPTH" (not pitch).

For an artistic thread like spiral the pitch can be created by hand using a taper attachment to control the depth. The variable pitch would be laid out by hand and drawn on the surface of the metal (over a blued, white or blackened surface. This could be drawn free hand at low speed. Then at the same low speed the "threads" would be cut in multiple passes. Any competent machinist with a sharp eye for detail and willing to take on the chalange could do it. I know I could so there must be others that could do it.
   - guru - Friday, 08/26/05 15:26:06 EDT

Rust Removal: I have used many methods but the most universal method is "elbow grease" - just plain hard work. Most things that can be sand blasted or dunked into a tub of acid are not things that usualy have enough value to be worth hand derusting. But fine tools and machinery need hand scraping, wire brushing, polishing with sandpaper or steelwool while using lubricants. Usualy after a thourough hand cleaning you appreciate the value of keeping things properly cleaned and oiled to prevent significant rusting. . .
   - guru - Friday, 08/26/05 15:34:46 EDT

More rust removal: I have not tried this, but the people promoting it seeem happy with the results -- http://antique-engines.com/electrol.asp -- it is an electrolisis method.
   Dave Boyer - Friday, 08/26/05 21:51:48 EDT

my new boss wants me to make 40 lengths of bamboo. we are using sch. 40 bronze pipe. i have seen bamboo demoed several different ways, but the best was with a giloteen typs jig. the problem is i cant quite remember what the dies looked like. do you have any tips for me?
   ben - Friday, 08/26/05 23:39:40 EDT

Ben the best bamboo I have seen had the 'joints' upset and then they had the line put in with I think a chisel. Was a very real looking gate when done, especially after the powdercoating
   Ralph - Saturday, 08/27/05 00:01:23 EDT

while demo-ing at our local county fair recently, I had two different requests for wire puzzles. I own several myself, but have never really enjoyed copying the work of others, and I am totally amazed at some of the puzzles and know that I would be lucky if I could invent even one original of my own. I also am not averse to making a few dollars at my hobby which has mostly been just that. Most of my work are original candlesticks that I have so much labor in that I prefer to give them to friends than to try to compete with the imports,etc. So, I wonder if there are patents or copyrights that I would infringe upon if made some reproductions. I have 2or 3 in mind that would be easy to make. I would not be mass producing. I might make a dozen of each at most to see if I could, with jigs and fixtures, make them profitably. What do you think? Anvillain
   anvillain - Saturday, 08/27/05 01:34:26 EDT

Bamboo from Pipe: Ben, Blacksmith's Depot (Kayne and Son) sell a variety of sizes of bamboo clapper dies. However, I do not think any are made for top rail OR pipe. Forging pipe is a different and tricky business. FIRST it must be done with lots of rapid blows as the pipe is rotated. This usualy means a power hammer. Flat dies with end radiuses or a "V" die the long way would work. The goal is to slightly shrink sections of pipe between the raised joints. Each section forged between the joints which as left raised. It will help to look at some real bamboo.

In annealed or heated bronze it will not take much force or speed. I would be tempted to make a pair of nearly closed dies that could be used in a big vise or arbor press. In either one the pipe would be repeatedly squeezed and rotated (a two man job. A finishing die could be made for the joints to give them the the little seam at the top of the raised area. Both these dies would start with bored holes in a pair of blocks. Then the parting line tapered and blended out followed by the end radii. For the joint detail die I would make this in a lathe. It is a short die that could have the details made with shaped boring tools. The option for this die would be to make a master part and hot sink it. For bronze or hot mild steel work these dies could be mild steel, A36 or unhardened 4140.

In my shop it would take two days to make these dies. One to find or purchase the material, the next to make the dies. It would probably take less time to USE the dies than make them.

Optionaly you could weld up the raised knobs and cold swage and hand finish. COULD look as good as forged depending on the skill of the sculptor. Lots of work any way you do it.
   - guru - Saturday, 08/27/05 07:54:26 EDT

Design Copyright - Puzzels: This is a complicated area but for the most part once you put a mechanical design out in public it belongs to the public unless you went to the effort to patent the design. The exception is artistic sculpture which is protected by copyright.

If you purchase samples as examples and they are not marked patent with a number then they are not legaly patented. Since these puzzels are probably not classified artistic sculpture then copyright does not exist.

SOME of these puzzels are ancient and the originators unknown. However the new puzzels you see in Cracker Barrels are the hard work of a puzzel designing genius. I would feel guilty copying his work (protected or not). He has a booklet of designs and shows some which are historical models.

Designing these puzzels are like coming up with GOOD original jokes. It is one of the most difficult arts there is and unlike other art and design which CAN BE learned these are things that people realy ARE born with. Think about it before copying someone elses ideas.
   - guru - Saturday, 08/27/05 08:08:18 EDT

Forging pipe: Peter Happny (sp?) demonstration pipe forging at one of the Tipp City Quad-States. He capped one end, filled with fine dry sand and then capped the other. The sand acted as a backer material to help keep the pipe from collapsing.
   Ken Scharabok - Saturday, 08/27/05 09:11:53 EDT

I posted two pics in the yahoo users forum area ( pulldown menu at upper right and scroll down.
They are in the Red Iron Forge area. Does not tell how to make it but it does show how it can look.
   Ralph - Saturday, 08/27/05 12:43:15 EDT

Mr. Guru

I am new to blacksmithing and have found a large anvil at a little out of the way store near my home. The only information that the owner knew was that it was old, heavy and from India. There is a 6 pointed star on the side, no other markings. The anvil is about 2.5 feet tall and about 3'long. It maybe wieghs between 150 to 200 pounds, I could not move it. There are around 6 potmarks or holes on the top that varies from 1/16 to 14 ' deep to 1/4 inch in diameter. The store wanted $275 for the anvil. The question is, Would this be worth 275 for my first anvil. It has to be better than the flat steel plate that I use now. Any information was be very helpful. Thanks
   George Hensley - Saturday, 08/27/05 18:54:18 EDT

George Hensley: I have a strong suspicion your anvil is one piece cast iron. Look to see if there is a top plate via finding a line under the top about 3/8" - 1/2" below it. If the seller will let you, hit the top and horn with a flat end of a ballpeen hammer. Does it ring or go 'thud'. Now hit the top with the ball end hard to see if it leaves a dimple. If it does, it is cast iron or a very poor quality of soft steel. If cast iron I would say to leave it alone. An anvil 2 1/2' high is HIGH - almost sounds like a bridge anvil. For $275 you can likely find a Vulcan or Fisher of the same general weight. Would love to see some photos of it.
   Ken Scharabok - Saturday, 08/27/05 20:31:43 EDT

Guru: Thanks for the considerate reply about the puzzles. It is true that the original designers are very specially gifted people. I have plenty of other things I need to learn that would not intrude into the work of others. I have not seen the booklet you referred to. Anvillain
   anvillain - Saturday, 08/27/05 21:36:13 EDT

Questions on hinges:

I was looking at the iforge demo on hinges, If you offset the hinge (for a self closing door) wont it bind? If not could you please explain.

How much play do you leave between the hinge and the pin for the average forged strap hinge for a door?

Does copper work as a subsitute for a bronze thrust washer?

Is any of the torque that causes the sag in the door (with a sloppy hinge) counteracted by the downwards force of gravity at the hinge point? Thats what I was told by welding supplier where I bought commercial weld on hinges. ( It doesn't seem right though )

Thanks a lot,
   - Hayes - Saturday, 08/27/05 22:04:07 EDT

I'll see what I can do about the pictures, thanks. I do not remember seeing the top plate. What is a bridge anvil? If I can talk them down in price what would that type of anvil be worth if anything. Do you know off hand anyone in the Dallas/North Texas area that has any good anvils for the right price.

Thanks again, George
   George Hensley - Saturday, 08/27/05 22:06:35 EDT

Bamboo from pipe..

A couple other ideas...

Start with the thick wall bronze tube, and, keeping the joint knuckle as the high point, turn the rest of it down on a lathe. This sees like the easiest and most straighforward way, plus allow each joint to differ slightly, aking for a ore realistic sculpture.

The other option is to keep the brass tube whole. Then, for the joint knuckles, get additional brass tube with an inner diameter equal to that of the outer diameter of the original brass tube, and cut it into short lengths. turn the knuckles down on a lathe, or work them however, then sleeve them over the original brass tube, and tig weld. Work the tig weld to blend, and your done. The tig welded seam should disappear.
   - Tom T - Saturday, 08/27/05 22:08:25 EDT

Offset Hinges: Hayes, For self closing the center line of the two hinges is identical. You need to use a taught line to set them. Yes, if each were at odd angles they would bind.

Copper is generaly too soft for bearings unless you have extra surface area for the soft material. Bronze is best followed by brass.

Sag comes in a variety of forms:

1) The support column leans. This can be flex in a post or settling of the foundation over time. This is why I recommend an underground beam between the two vertical columns on heavy gates. There can be NO sag toward the middle with this system.

2) The gate or door itself cannot support its own weight OR has flex in it. ALL steel flexes and openwork gates are bad about it. Generally you need to construct them with the open ends higher than the hinge end. This can be as much as an inch or more. Determining this is a guessing game OR you can take a hydraulic jack and BEND the gate upward until it hangs level, then tighten any lossened joints.

3) Over time the level gate under load loses its upward set and droops OR is overloaded by people riding on it. . . This requires readjusting the gate, tightening joints, ocassionaly adding diagonals.

   - guru - Saturday, 08/27/05 22:28:33 EDT

Ralph is on the right track only you do the groove FIRST. This can be done with a guilotine fuller or a simple spring fuller. My favorite? A modified pipe cutter. replace the cutting wheel with one that makes a groove. Put grooves every 6 inches (vary it a little). dosen't need to be very deep.

Next you need to heat the area of the groove with a torch to get a short heat. With one end against the anvil, pound on the other end like upsetting. At first the groove will start to collapse, but as the force vector changes, the pipe will bulge out on each side of the groove giving a pretty good representation of bamboo. Try it on steel first to get the idea. Even if the groove starts out 1/4 inch wide it will close to just a little line. It's really easy and looks good, even when some of the joints don't come out perfectly straight.
   - grant - Sunday, 08/28/05 00:45:24 EDT

George Hensley:

A bridge anvil was tall with a large opening in the middle. Called that because of shape, not usage. According to Anvils in America by Richard Postman they were mostly used in railroad shops.

Check out eBay seller mikesblacksmithshop. He is in Lawrence, KS and has about three dozen nice anvils at fair prices. Might be worth the drive to pick up.

If the top is soft, I wouldn't recommend purchase. If usable, IMHO, $1.00 pound. India and quality anvils generally aren't used in the same sentence.
   Ken Scharabok - Sunday, 08/28/05 02:10:24 EDT

Bamboo: At least four methods have been described. The two forging methods include chrinking between the joints and raising the joints.

Another method not described is the use of a snarling iron. This is a long springy bar of steel with a shaped working end. It is extended into hollow vessels and tubes, then struck to cause it to spring up and down striking the hollow vessel from the inside. The most common use of these is repairing dents in brass musical instruments as well as manufacturing the same.

In pipe a snarling iron would have limited reach but I would think that 5 feet would be possible in 1-1/2" tube. This could be used from both ends of a 10 foot section to hammer raised rings from the inside of a tube. They are easy to make and could be used in conjunction with all the other methods listed here.

Yet another method is to use a custom expanding mandrel. This could be operated using a LONG piece of threaded rod OR a long extension wrench. Once expanded it would support working details from the outside. A tube cutter fitted with special wheels as Grant mentioned could be used to tighten radii or cut grooves. A slight expansion from an expanding mandrel would improve the suceess of the upsetting method. Expanded slightly cold then heated at the raised point then taped from the end the pipe would expand neatly.

Remember that if this is to be a top rail that the texturing wants to be smooth and unobtrusive to the hand. Anthing that ones hand or clothing might get caught on may be seen as a hazzard by a building inspector.
   - guru - Sunday, 08/28/05 12:23:36 EDT

Tungsten Tick welding rods 7" - I have a bunch of these from 3/32 to 1/8" in dia 7 " long. Can you forge these. All I want to do is make "S" hooks out of them for a camp fire tri-pod.
Thankyou in advance Barney from North Bay Canada
* and no it is not snowing yet*
   Barney - Sunday, 08/28/05 13:32:14 EDT

I have just bought an anvil which is worn down at the edges. Am I able to build them up using hardfacing welding rods, and if so, do I have to temper it afterwards? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
   Gareth - Sunday, 08/28/05 14:03:17 EDT

Re: your old demo trailer;
Any idea of the all up weight? Rough floor plan size? I am considering building similar, and need to size axle.

How did you seal the hinge joints along the roof surface?
   ptree - Sunday, 08/28/05 14:37:46 EDT

Anybody have any information about a Trenton anvil. 359#s, serial number A173848. Also, I have a Royal Western Chief "H" blower. Any ideas or information about when they were made?
   - Matt Nickson - Sunday, 08/28/05 17:32:04 EDT

Anybody have any information about a Trenton anvil. 359#s, serial number A173848. Also, I have a Royal Western Chief "H" blower. Any ideas or information about when they were made?
   - Matt Nickson - Sunday, 08/28/05 17:32:21 EDT

Anybody have any information about a Trenton anvil. 359#s, serial number A173848. Also, I have a Royal Western Chief "H" blower. Any ideas or information about when they were made?
   Matt Nickson - Sunday, 08/28/05 17:32:52 EDT

hazard fumes Tungsten rods. I guess the fume question is what I am after. Forging is no problem for most metals. What are hazards if any.??

Still no snow yet.. 24 deg Celus today and slight wind
   Barney - Sunday, 08/28/05 18:17:43 EDT


I suppose you could forge tungsten, but you would need an oxy-acetylene flame to get it hot enough to soften any at all. Those tig tungstens would be valuable to a person with a tig welder, why not trade them for something easier to forge? Heck, any of the exotic chrome manganese nickel molybdenum whiz-bang stuff will be way easier to forge than tungsten. That stuff is harder than woodpecker lips at any heat you get with a forge.
   vicopper - Sunday, 08/28/05 18:50:00 EDT

Forge Trailer: Ahhhh. . . lots of things I would differently.

My ESTIMATED weight was 1,500 pounds. . but with tools and equipment it came in at 4,500! Was a beast to tow. The replacement springs and axel which the museum put in for Paw-Paw was rated at 7,000 pounds and made it MUCH easier to tow. Good starting point for a high center of gravity load.

My amature welds on the tongue broke twice where the tongue met the frame. This was due to the first time they were only tacks done while lying on the ground and the second time being poor emergency welds done in the mud at a farm AND this being the highest stressed point in the frame. My welding was plenty good enough but I needed help to roll the frame undercariage over and do a good job with good visibility and working position. . . little lapses can cause big problems.

I never did go back and determine where all that weight came from. It could have been the 100 pounds of carriage bolts holding the bench top and skin on. . . Or the post drill and 6x6 column, the 3/8" plate in the forge bottom or the heavy vise support frame? It all added up. Paw-Paw and the museum mods added more. . Paw-Paw carried less tools than I did on the trailer but he had more raw stock in tubes he added. . .

The FIRST design change I would make is the surface cover. The roof frames were fairly light, made of 1" square .059" wall tubing. But the covering needed to be a very light aluminium skin (.020" 6061 AL). I was going to replace it using standing seam roof techniques so it would look like and old tim roof. Using this and the original framing with a little reinforcing the roof would open easily by hand. The original was a little heavy. The replacement the mueseum put on was too heavy for two people to open manualy.

Thin aluminium deck plate could be used for the storage area decking but I would use heavier plywood (3/4") for the benchtop. Be sure to compare weights by area before replacing wood with metal. Also not that much of the wood held up well but was deteriorating at twenty years. Sounds like a long time but it is a pain to have to repair something like this after all those years. .

Note that the carriage bolts let water into the frame and that freezing and rust were both a problem. Tube ends need to be open when possible or have lots of vent holes to let water out.

The size was VERY convienient. However there is a limmit to how much folding roof you can build into something like this. The roofs primary job was to keep water off the belows, forge and other tools. It did that very well. The secondary job was to keep the user dry. This is did poorly as the working position was right at the drip edge. However, it has shielded many people during summer thunderstorms. I do not know how safe this was but "any port in a storm". I always figured it was a good enough conductor that IT would take the blast.

The size was such that two could convieniently work at the forge and vise and a couple more could work sales from the opposite end. When I traveled with my wife and kids we hauled a crib under the deck and set it up under the roof line. . .

To extend the roof my plan was to make two L shaped canvas tarps that would attach to the roof sections and have poles (aluminium from a tent) and lines at the outer corners. Extending about 5 feet would do it, add shade and weather proofing. Both were going to extend to the same sides to make work space and display space on the forge side and drill side. The trailer took up a LOT of space at shows (over four regular spaces, a 25x25 foot space. Show hosts would balk but I told them that was what it took if you wanted my demo AND a safety zome. Extending the entire roof would be nice but might be to much. I would plan on it so that different arrangements could be used.

I used 1" square HR bar for the legs. They slid into the 1.25" .090 wall tubing used for the bench frameing. Square 1/2-13 nuts were welded to the frame and 1/2" set screws locked the legs. These were sufficient to support the entire weight of the trailer and equipment with gentle tightening. PPW had thes replaced with electric jacks which were MUCH more difficult and time consuming to use than the scissors jack I used for leveling.

I used the portable shop as my outdoor forge for many years and it was the MOST convienient work space I have ever used.
   - guru - Sunday, 08/28/05 19:40:01 EDT

Thanks for the info. Now to start scrounging hard. I want brakes on anything that heavy, so... scrounge it is. I am thinking galvanized sheet for the cover.I am thinking thin, drill screwed and bonded. The rest depends on the scrounging.
   ptree - Sunday, 08/28/05 20:17:18 EDT

thanks for the bamboo ideas.
i will put one or all of them to use tommorow.
thanks again
   ben - Sunday, 08/28/05 21:24:12 EDT

Ptree:Check on the legality of using house trailer axles if that is what You were planing to use, I hear they are no longer legal fo re-use here in Pa.,the land of stupid laws and high taxes.
   Dave Boyer - Sunday, 08/28/05 21:41:43 EDT

This is a frustrated rookie issue...aaarrgghh.

How do you hold stuff down on the anvil while you are working on it with BOTH hands. A piece that you are chisilling, fullering, or putting a pattern on it. Especially if it is a round bar or doesn't fit into a set of tongs that you tuck the reigns into your crotch to free up both hands. And also if you work alone and don't conveniently have another pair of hands available????
Sorry about the rant...just had a very frustrating time in the forge. Thanks very much for any suggestions.
   Larry Reed - Monday, 08/29/05 00:34:34 EDT

look at the iForge demos here on anvilfire for demo #125
   Ralph - Monday, 08/29/05 01:44:19 EDT

There are several anvil hold down options on IForgeIron.com > tools > anvils > hold downs.
   - Conner - Monday, 08/29/05 01:51:21 EDT

I strongly recommend against using mobile home axles under anything but a mobile home. They are not rated to carry a heavy load, you will go through tires like pop-corn (even the equipment grade at $80-$90 pop) and they are very prone to at lease one being flat when you want to use the trailer. I have a triple axle equipment trailer with them I'm looking for a replacement for now. Anyone interested in a 20' gooseneck with a new 2" x 10" PT floor? My understanding is they are being outlawed in more and more states because they are so prone to blowing out and creating either accidents or road blockages.
   Ken Scharabok - Monday, 08/29/05 03:35:59 EDT

Gareth: You can somewhat avoid affecting the anvil plate if you only do say one bead down both sides at a time and then quench top with a wet towel.

Matt Nickson: Accofding to Anvils in America by Richard Postman Trenton serial numbers did not start with A - some Hay-Buddens did though. Are you sure it is a Trenton. Look on bottom. Hay-Buddens should have an hour-glass shaped depression while Trentons will be oval. If a Trenton and number is 173848 it would have been made in 1919 by the Columbus Forge and Iron Company in Ohio.
   Ken Scharabok - Monday, 08/29/05 03:41:05 EDT

HI just wondering if any one has any good ideas on how to put a nice even rust finish on mild steel sheet . I've got some lights that I need to match to an original that has that finish
   - NZ.Ryan - Monday, 08/29/05 04:21:53 EDT

Even Rust: Ryan, Even rust depends on an even clean finish to start. Look at the original texture closely. If is was sanded or wire brushed clean you want to do the same.

From that point there is a number of accelerated rusting methods. Diluted (50/50) chlorox bleach is very fast and very aggressive. But if you apply it, watch it, then rinse, clean and go again you should be able to get a controlled rust. It helps when trying to get an even rust to use steel wool or fine Scotch brite to remove the loose or crustier rust between periods of rusting. If the bleach is to aggressive dilute more.

Less agressive for rusting is hydrogen peroxide. It comes with its own free oxygen. However, it is expensive and doesn't go far. It is often used in damp boxes to increase the O2 level and produce fine even rust on bare steel.

A smooth even rust requires time. Old pieces took decades but you can often duplicate in days or a week or two. The rusting acelerates as it developes so do not be frustrated by fine transparent rust when using just water, salt water or hydrogen peroxide. With each clean and rust cycle the results should be faster.

   - guru - Monday, 08/29/05 07:42:20 EDT


This question came up some time ago, probably lots of times, and someone here said to use a "hold-up" instead of a hold-down. Basically use a stand to hold up the long piece level on the anvil. So I built something onto my anvil stand to swing around and hold long pieces, and darned if it doesn't work great! No fiddling with the hold-down, nothing to get in the way.

I can see how a round piece would need a hold-down to keep it from rolling around, so there's no one-size-fits-all solution.

Another thing that comes in handy is the magician. And pretty soon my treadle hammer.
   - Marc - Monday, 08/29/05 07:47:15 EDT

Frustrated Holding work: With experiance smiths learn to cope. Tong rings allow short pieces to be held in tongs and between the legs. Practiced smiths just lay the work on the anvil if flat or rectangular and do what they need to do. For round work you need a swage block, or bottom set tool. I prefer a good thick swage block due to the length supported. Adjustable height stock stands are used a great deal and most shops have a handful, some with rollers some not.

This is an area where both practice and preparation are required.
   - guru - Monday, 08/29/05 07:47:53 EDT

Thank you to all who suggested solutions to the plastic spoon in the pot problem.

There is a "new" (used) pot on the stove and a "new" (used) pot holding odd bits of brass in the garage.
   Timothy - Monday, 08/29/05 09:13:03 EDT

Larry Read: See eBay #3273174439. If you have a lug wrench handy you can fairly easily make your own. If you heat the bulb end and hold it upside down in a vise, you can fuller in a groove lengthwise to help hold round stock.
   Ken Scharabok - Monday, 08/29/05 09:25:33 EDT

Larry: It isn't perfect, but a trick I picked up from the MN Guild of Metalsmith's workshops was a chain "holdfast".

What they had was enough chain to secure (they used a nut and bolt) around a bar low on the anvil stand on the near side of the anvil. The chain went up and over the anvil and hung down the far side enough so that a weight (4" high x 4" dia. cylinder of steel) could be on the "far" end of the chain and not be in the way.

The chain was twisted so it was more "flat".

So the chain runs up and over the anvil face held in tension by the weight on the far side. I was slitting 1/2" round to make a fork after flattening the last couple of inches and found that it was enough tension to do the job, and several others.

After a little work I found that I could hook the chain with the hammer head, lift it up, position the work, and release it without loosing much time.

On my own stump I did a similar thing, but to make a long story short instead of a weight I made a stirrup for my foot on the free end of the chain. When I use it I have the stirrup hanging on the "near" side of the anvil, and use myself for the weight.

   Timothy - Monday, 08/29/05 09:33:56 EDT

Timothy: I did the same thing with a piece of motorcycle chain , fastened on the far side to the anvil stand and the near side with a weight.
   JLW - Monday, 08/29/05 10:06:23 EDT

Ken: Do you have any pictures of a bridge anvil? Sounds curious.
   JLW - Monday, 08/29/05 10:15:35 EDT

I have a bridge anvil I picked up in OK; seems like they were pretty common in the oilpatch for repointing cable tool drillbits. I worked with a fellow about to retire whose father used one for that task in the oilfields of PA around the '20's IIRC.

Mine's not that tall but plenty wide with a classic bridge shape. The top is pretty chewed up; but I learned a trick from a fifth generation smith in Stroud OK, he built a frame for his bridge anvil and flipped it over and used the very wide flat bottom to level plow points on...

   Thomas P - Monday, 08/29/05 10:51:35 EDT

JWL: Click on my name to bring up the e-mail form and send an e-mail to me. I can send you back a copy of the two pages out of Anvils in America on bridge anvils.
   Ken Scharabok - Monday, 08/29/05 10:56:33 EDT

Hold-downs, Marc

See iForge-Anvilfire demo > #143 5 good tools - cheap price

See IForgeIron.com > Blueprint BP0092 Anvil Helper
   - Conner - Monday, 08/29/05 12:46:32 EDT

I use a bicycle chain, doubled, and about a 10# weight. Also use a nubmer of holdfasts adn somtimes use hardwood or softwood wood chunks which will fire fit themselves. (Unfortunately rather smokey, even when soaked, but they're an example of the variety of solutions, some better than others.) The best solution is another blacksmith. ;-)

Chained to the desk on the banks of the Potomac; already discussed recovery procedures for our parks down New Orleans way.

Visit your National Parks, especially when the weather gets better: www.nps.gov

Go viking: www.longshipco.org
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Monday, 08/29/05 13:07:13 EDT

looking for a bruce wilcox rounding or driving hammer
   - r.j. sereni - Monday, 08/29/05 13:15:07 EDT

looking for a bruce wilcox rounding or driving hammer
   - r.j. sereni - Monday, 08/29/05 13:16:09 EDT

   - Mills - Monday, 08/29/05 13:59:41 EDT

Ken Scharabok, and others
I do not intend to use mobil home axles. Been there done that. I am scrounging for a nice heavy axle with brakes. My truck will pull a VERY heavy load, but not stop it! I will either look for a horse trailer in bad shape or if I get desperate buy some axles. I am hoping to end up somewhat less than the 7000# the Guru quotes. I would like to stay in the 3000 to 4000#
   ptree - Monday, 08/29/05 16:35:02 EDT

anvil Hold downs
I forged up a hold down that has a long vertical lenght, that runs down the back of the anvil stand, that end in a foot rest. I use the hammer head to lift it, and the foot to clamp.
   ptree - Monday, 08/29/05 16:36:32 EDT

I had them hanging around for a few years. Figured, what the hick I will try something with them. they were free to me. I will try to make something from them..

Cheers From the North Country
   Barney - Monday, 08/29/05 17:03:42 EDT

Tires: My boss has a brush chipper, about 6000#, it uses 15" wheels with Chevy truck pattern. This thing eats tires like candy, I suspect the operators are running a little underinflated, at highway speeds, and the heavy-duty tires probably are overheating. There is also an equiptment trailer like Ken described, it gets little use and gives few problems. It seldom goes over 55 MPH, or more than 10 miles.
   Dave Boyer - Monday, 08/29/05 23:01:52 EDT

Trenton Anvil - It's possible the serial is 73848 instead of A173848. What year would that put it in?
Thanks a million for the information. The Royal Western Chief Blower made by Cannady-Otto.


   Matt Nickson - Tuesday, 08/30/05 00:24:00 EDT

Matt Nickson: Trenton serial #73848 would have been made in 1907 per Anvils in America by Richard Postman.
   Ken Scharabok - Tuesday, 08/30/05 03:09:03 EDT

Dancing Steel: The last Alex Bealer and Ocmulgee Blacksmiths meeting demonstrator was Ron Childers. He forged a hawk out of a rasp, with one hand. He used custom made tongs, made from a self adjusting vise grip with a ring welded on to slip onto the stub of his arm. A real use of the mental tool box.
   Tone - Tuesday, 08/30/05 08:42:26 EDT

has anyone ever heard of a buffalo brand anvil or an anvil with "buffalo" embossed on the side? if so, what quality? thank you in advance.
   - kirt - Tuesday, 08/30/05 10:44:38 EDT

Kirt, I had one back in the early 1980's, a Buffalo anvil, made in china, cast iron. Bought it in an emergency cause my good anvil had been stolen right before a demo at a local museum. Dead soft---it would dent *under* red hot steel being hammered. As soon as I got another *real* anvil I never touched it again and sold it at a loss to a fellow who swore on a stack of anvils that he would never try to use it as an anvil. BTW it had a fat squat horn that was pretty useless too.

If the one you are looking at is similiar, I don't thing too highly of them and would suggest buying a chunk of steel at the scrapyard as a better anvil.

   Thomas P - Tuesday, 08/30/05 11:11:13 EDT

Buffalo Anvil: I know a man that has one. Useless except as a door stop or boar anchor. It would even be a poor boat anchor. It isn't shaped right for either an anvil or an anchor.
   - John Odom - Tuesday, 08/30/05 11:15:46 EDT

Krit: Does the anvil just say Buffalo on it? Anvils in America lists one for the Buffalo Forge Co. and says they were made apparently in the very late 1800s/very early 1900s. Had Buffalo Forge Co. Buffalo, N.Y. on one side and weight on the other. Had bolt down lugs much like some Fishers. If it just says Buffalo can you take several good photos and send them to Richard Postman at 320 Fisher Court, Berrien Springs, MI 49103 for his files? He is working on a supplement to AIA (to be titled More on Anvils) but has cut off information gathering to finalize it.
   Ken Scharabok - Tuesday, 08/30/05 12:40:57 EDT

I am welding a wire cattle panel (about 16' by 5', .25 wire on 4" squares) to a frame of 1 7/8 thinwall pipe.

When I weld, the frame warps (curls up). Since the wire panel needs to be welded to just one side of the frame, I can't alternate sides.

What's the best way to prevent the warping?

   kevin bomar - Tuesday, 08/30/05 13:24:25 EDT

Guru: I have read several places about using powdered graphite and white spirits as a color coat on forged iron.
I know now that white spirits is mineral spirits (paint thinner), and that very small tubes of powdered graphite is avaliable in auto parts stores (to lub locks, etc), is there a source for powdered graphite in larger quanities?
Is there a mix/ratio of powdered graphite to white spirits?
   - Tim - Tuesday, 08/30/05 14:27:05 EDT

Portable Forge Trailer: If I built another I had thought of going to a double axel design with smaller wheels. This was to lower the bench to a better working height and take the rocking back and forth out while towing. It is more complicated but has some design advantages.

Other details included wheel wells to keep things dry, a drip pan to collect water at the top hinges. . . Ah . . something I missed above.

When Paw-Paw had the roof replaced they put rubber seals under where the hinges bolted on. These rapidly failed. Originaly I had a pan that caught water from the hinges and a drain tube to the ground. This worked well for many years but filled with pine needles and rust. A simpler plan would be to put gutters on the hinge side of the frame members. These should be easy to clean and well painted to prevent rust or made from SS. Details, details. . .

The original roof had flush mount truck/trailer tail lights. They wored as well as any trailer lights. Wires ran down to the hinge and crossed across to the frame. Paw-Paw had a removable light bar made for this purpose. He thought it would be less distracting. The wires got jerked in two several times and the bar broken once. Often it was forgoten and looked worse than the fluch lights. Remember KISS. . .

The ORIGINAL trailer idea had the craftsperson working in the center. This idea was quickly tossed due to the way a smith works. The original roof was a balanced design and had no props. A tie bar or chain went between the peaks of the two roofs.
   - guru - Tuesday, 08/30/05 14:31:28 EDT

Graphite Finishes: Tim, The mixture you are talking about has no binder. You would apply it and the graphite would be as if put on dry. If you want a graphite based paint try De-Rusto Barbeque Black. This is a high temperature paint made with minimal binder and graphite pigment. It works great until the binder gets old then the paint "chalks" black graphite. Touching the work results in black hands.

McMaster-Carr has graphite powder in gallon container and 50 pound containers.
   - guru - Tuesday, 08/30/05 14:38:49 EDT

I'm in the process of building a new shop.Planning on buying a 50# Little Giant.Can anyone tell me the approximate footprint size and how deep to pour the concrete under the hammer.Thank you..Arthur Lynn..Santa Fe,NM
   - Arthur - Tuesday, 08/30/05 15:30:03 EDT

Warping Frame: Kevin, This is typical when welding to anything but seems more accute on frameworks. When you make the spot welds the puddle shrinks and pulls the work.

There are two solutions. One is to just straighten the work after welding to it. This requires effort and sometimes special fixtures or a force multiplier like a hyrdaulic jack. The other method is to balance the welds as you mentioned. You make a simple spot weld puddle on the opposite side to pull the work back into shape. This is similar to what you mentioned but without attaching anything.
   - guru - Tuesday, 08/30/05 15:55:33 EDT

Hammer Foundations: Arthur, Kern's "The Little Giant Powerhammer" book has the old company recomendations. For a 50# LG it is 33 x 49 x 26 deep. Frame 36" deep with bolts at 10-1/4 and 28". The front bolts 18-1/4 apart and the rear 9-1/8". To compensate for hole misalignment the 5/8" diameter bolts are to be in 1-1/4" pipe 6" long and unfilled. The bolts extend 20" into the concrete and stick up 3". The hammer must be lifted to set over the bolts.

Note that you need soft fill between the hammer foundation and surrounding floor. I used 20 layers of roofing felt.

The problem with this design is that it does not consider the foundation setting on sand or loose soil. A well designed foundation is as deep as needs be acording to the soil conditions. Dig until you have a solid even base then stop. Many folks run this size hammer and 100 pound air hammers just sitting or bolted to a concrete floor.

The other problem is that some people find LG's to be too short and like to raise them about 4 to 6" off the floor. This can be done by raising the foundation OR using wood riser block. However, this complicates the treadle arrangement. Some folks make a dropped treadle, most use a riser block to rest their foot upon.

I would not get too carried away making foundations for hammer I do not have. Plans and availability change. It does not hurt to make your foundation sufficient for a larger hammer. One adaptable anchoring method would be to cast several pairs of channel facing each other into the concrete. T bolts would be used in these "T-slots" to clamp or anchor future machines. This is not a perfect system as you will need to guess at a center distance that is not going to fit anything perfectly.

-- From someone with hammer foundations that did not fit the hammers eventualy obtained and now moving and not getting the benefit of the very nice isolation pads at all. . .
   - guru - Tuesday, 08/30/05 16:27:42 EDT

Arthur: Do you really need a 50# Little Giant for the work to be done? Take a look at the KA-75 (www.ka75.com). Compact, at least equal in striking power to a LG that size and runs off a standard shop compressor. Cost is likely to be about the same set up. You don't get the 'endurance' of a LG for drawing out, but there may well be a practicality trade-off.

There is a KA-75 about ten miles from here. For those coming to the Anvilfire Hammer-in on my farm next April I can probably arrange a trip to Randy Jacob's shop in McEwen to see it in operation.
   Ken Scharabok - Tuesday, 08/30/05 16:53:16 EDT

What is the best way to ship an anvil?

   Mike - Tuesday, 08/30/05 17:13:35 EDT


Depends largely on weight.

- Under 70 pounds you can ship via USPS parcel post, UPS Ground, FedEx, DHL, etc.

- At 70-150 pounds USPS drops out, but other remain.

- Over 150 pounds and you are pretty well looking at a freight company.

At least with UPS, if it weighs less than 150 pounds you do not need to crate it up if you are willing to pay a $5.00 surchage. Just glue the label to the top and cover with clear tape.

You can get rates from on-line sites, such as www.usps.com, www.ups.com and www.fedex.com. However, at least with UPS the on-line quote will be less than what you would pay at a drop-off point. They tack on about a 25% surcharge for their services.
   Ken Scharabok - Tuesday, 08/30/05 17:29:15 EDT

kevin-- It helps a lot if you can clamp or tack the piece-- the one you are putting the heat into-- onto something a lot heavier. Also, peen the welds pronto with the pointed end of your chipping hammer. It helps to reduce the shrinkage. Also, stagger your welds so as not to concentrate a lot of heat in any one area at a time.
   Miles Undercut - Tuesday, 08/30/05 17:42:48 EDT

Anvil Shiping: Besides what Ken listed, IF you are within range of a FedEX Express depot they offer the same services as a freight company and are very price competitive. You get big client prices at small client traffic.

Not all FedEX offices are EXPRESS shipping offices. Call and ask yours.
   - guru - Tuesday, 08/30/05 18:10:31 EDT

Follow-up on drilling large holes in culvert. The hole saw works fine as long as the pilot hole is in the bottom of a valley or top of crescent. Thank you very much for the guidance on this.
   Ken Scharabok - Tuesday, 08/30/05 18:54:48 EDT

fedex freight shipped a 300# anvil from east coast to west for about a buck a pound....
   - exhaust leak - Tuesday, 08/30/05 19:07:17 EDT


Depending on just where you're located, and where the prospective anvil is located, you may be able to save significantly by using rail freight. I shipped a 250# Fisher from New Jersey to the Virgin Islands for a bit over $75. The shipper railed it to Miami and then boat from there. To get that price, it had to be dropped at the NJ depot and picked up at the St. Croix depot, and was shipped bare on a pallet. Heck of a deal!

Shipping is one of the last refuges for the unsavory, un principled and otherwise unlikeable types that just weren't quite slick enough to work for Andersen or Enron. (grin) To beat them at their own game is difficult. They base their rates on what you are shipping as well as how much of it there is. Rocks are cheaper to ship than building supplies, even though it is the same box of rocks in either case. Think of your anvil as a piece of iron and describe it as such when you ship it. If you call it a shop tool, the rates just went up. Some charge by either the weight or the cubic footage; whichever is *greater*, of course. Pack tightly and well.

They rarely if ever honor their insurance, even though they charge you for it unless you specifically waive it. In fact, shippers make insurance companies look downright charitable and honest by comparison. Unfortunately, they're the only game in town, so what you gonna do?
   vicopper - Tuesday, 08/30/05 19:35:37 EDT

I've had good luck with Fed-X on insurance. A planter, a big steel hand-- talk about manual labor!-- with a tattoo on it got swiped, their computer log indicated in LaGuardia Airport. They coughed up immediately. My fault-- I'd shipped it in a box slathered with luscious photos of the fax machine it originally contained. I'd pay back the money to see the look on the miscreant's face when he opened the box. Sooo, if you see a big steel hand with a tattoo ("Emp," short for Emperor, a friend's grandson's nickname for him, inside a heart) on somebody's wall, let me know. I've lost other stuff with them, too, and ditto.
   Miles Undercut - Tuesday, 08/30/05 22:08:01 EDT

To the Gurus among us. I am a toolmaker for Cessna aircraft. We have an ongoing argument which it seems we are having trouble finding answers for. the argument is on heat treating specs for D7 tool steel. No one can seem to come up with any specifications for this tool steel. the "old timers" say that the same specs that are used for D2 will be the same for D7. the "young guns" say that they are insuficient for proper treatment of this type of steel. What do you say? also can you tell me where to go look for heat treating specifications for this steel type? Thanx
   Mike Sells - Tuesday, 08/30/05 22:42:36 EDT

Mike S: I checked the Carpenter handbook, You won't find it there, I suggest You contact the manufacturer, or let the purchasing Dept. find a suplier who can give You the data. My guess is that if the specs for D2 work it is a coincidence, but then I don't know anything about D7 as the toolrooms I worked in didn't use it.
   Dave Boyer - Wednesday, 08/31/05 03:27:45 EDT

Mike Sells: Go to www.google.com and do a search on heat treating D7 to see what hits come up.
   Ken Scharabok - Wednesday, 08/31/05 07:05:04 EDT

D7 Tool Steel:

Heat treat instructions for this grade can be found in the ASM Heat Treaters Guide. This reference does state that higher temperatures and longer times are needed to dissolve all the carbides in D7 than in other D series tools steels.

   Patrick Nowak - Wednesday, 08/31/05 07:39:21 EDT

D2 vs D7: There ARE some differences in how the steels are hardened and tempered according to the ASM Heat Treaters Guide, Standard Practices and Procedures for Steel. This is a reference that every high tech shop should have if they do or specify heat treating.

Property D2 - UNS T30402 D7 - UNS T30407
1.50 C
1.00 V
2.35 C
4.00 V
Cycle Annealing
Stress Relieving
---- Same ----
Hardening Heat Slowly. Preheat at 1500°F and austentize at 1800 to 1875°F. Hold at temperature for 15 minutes for small tools to 45 minutes for large tools. Quench in air and cool evenly on all sides. A block 3 by 6 in. will harden throughout to 62 to 64 HRC. When salt quenching, quench in salt bath at 1000°F, hold only long enough to equalize temperatures, cool in air. Heat slowly. Preheat at 1500°F and austentize at 1850 to 1950°F. Hold at temperature for 30 min. for small tools and 1 hr. for large tools. Quench in air, cooling as evenly as possible on all sides. Approximate quenched hardness 63 to 66 HRC.
Stabilizing Similar except more strongly recomended for D7 and prior to applicable cryogenic treatment.
Tempering Temper immediately at 400 to 1000°F after tool has cooled to 120 to 150°F. Double temper, allowing tool to cool to room temperature before second temper. range of hardness after tempering is 61 to 54 HRC. Temper immediately at 300 to 1000°F after tool has cooled to about 120 to 150°F . Double temper, allowing tool to cool to room temperature before second temper. Range of hardness after tempering 58 to 65 HRC.
NOTE: The above is NOT the complete composition or recomendations, it is the most obvious differences. The VERY high carbon and increased Vanadium make D7 a considerably different steel and pickier to handle.
   - guru - Wednesday, 08/31/05 08:27:33 EDT

Thanks everybody for all the help with my anvil shipping question. I appreciate it greatly.
   Mike - Wednesday, 08/31/05 10:14:05 EDT

Guru, thanks for answer on graphite, but I still have questions. Would the De-Rusto BBQ Black still 'chalk' if it was (heavily) waxed?
In Peter Parkinson's book "The Artist Blacksmith" he mentions (p152) using a graphite wax polish which he calls 'grate polish' and cutting it with white (mineral) spirits so it can be brushed on. I am assuming that this is some type of stove polish. Does any one have any experience with this stuff? Thanks in advance (especially for your patience)....Tim
   - Tim - Wednesday, 08/31/05 11:43:05 EDT

Chalking: Tim, When the DeRusto paint would start to chalk I would wax the work with a beeswax turpentine mix. It worked OK but the result looked like a bad black lacquer job. In the long run graphite based paints are designed for high temperature use and are good for little else. They do a poor job of rust prevention and there are many other better paints.

I've said this many times. If Hollywood can make wood and plaster look like metal, why can't blacksmiths make iron look like iron? PAINT needs to protect first, then look the way you wish. To do both requires a protective base such as zinc cold galvanizing and primer, then an artisticaly applied to coat. Go to any craft supply and look at the finishes put on plaster to make it look like aged bronze. . It is another part of the job.
   - guru - Wednesday, 08/31/05 20:14:45 EDT

PANIC in the SOUTHEAST: Today gas pumps were shut down all across North Carolina as prices were being changed and changed again. Many places were refusing to sell fuel today so that they could sell at higher prices tomarrow.

The place I bought gas last night had raised prices $0.65 overnight. Prices have passed $3.00/gallon localy and I have reports of $4/gallon fuel in other parts of NC. In an interview with a store manager on local radio the manager said they had raised prices four times during the day and would continue to keep "UP" with the competition. When one place raises prices everyone around them does the same. It is a runaway market in a time of (temporary) crisis.

When I ran a service station during the great "oil embargo" of the 1970's prices jumped from $0.34 to $0.65 in a couple months. At the time the embargo was phoney and the shortages created by the oil companies. Emergency price gouging laws were passed but no major oil company was charged. Big oil took advantage of a minor situation in order to double prices. The result was years of inflation followed by resession. Will it happen again? It will unless the government takes immediate action. Will that happen? I doubt it. Perhaps cooler heads will prevail. I hope so.
   - guru - Wednesday, 08/31/05 20:33:46 EDT

Graphite finishes:

There is a certain metallic sheen that graphite finishes have, that is difficult, though no impossible, to achieve by other means. As the Guru said, graphite paints are ver poor protectants and rub off on everything, due to the low varnish content. If you want that graphite sheen, it means there has to be free graphite on the surface, and that will rub off.

If you want a finish that will both protect and have the graphite sheen, you first prep then prime with 90% zinc primer, then a coat of black oxide primer, then a good black topcoat paint. After the color coat, spray on a coat of automotive clear topcoat and then rub it with graphite powder while it is at a "hard tack" state. SUfficient graphite will adhere to the clear to provide the sheen. If you clear coat over the graphite, you wil lose that metalllic sheen, unfortunately.

You can fake the sheen by performing all the previous steps up to the clear coat, let it dry thoroughly and then put a few drops of aluminum paint on a lint free rag and rub it onto the dry clear coat. When you get a few faint highlights, clear coat it one more time and you're done.

Sounds like a lot of work, right? It is. It is also worth it, if you want your hard work to last a long time looking the way you and your customer want it to. You need to figure finishing time into the cost of the job.
   vicopper - Wednesday, 08/31/05 22:56:14 EDT

More about D2 vs D7 Tool Steels: Just for grins I checked my new 27th Edition of Machinery's Handbook. There is a discussion of steel selection using D2 and D7 as examples and a chart with the above information considerably condensed, but it was there including full material specs.

The difference between the Heat Treaters Guide and Machinery's is that the Guide has details of every process, warnings and sugestions. It also has graphs of the material properties as it goes through heat treament at various temperatures. It is much more complete. However, the information you needed was in the Machinery's which should be in the top drawer of every machinist's tool chest. See our book review page.
   - guru - Wednesday, 08/31/05 23:28:53 EDT

Machinery's Handbook : This book was considered important enough that We were given a copy on the completion of Our apprenticeship. Of course untill that time if one was needed We had to beg a copy from someone else. However it is pretty vague concerning draw temperature Vs. hardness [at least My 21st edition is]
   - Dave Boyer - Thursday, 09/01/05 01:57:06 EDT

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