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

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

This is an archive of posts from August 1 - 7, 2006 on the Guru's Den
[ THE - GURUS | ABOUT THIS PAGE | Getting Started in Blacksmithing ]

Vise Parts: Thumper, I have seen several American made vises with a hole in the end of the nut where most are closed. Those I have seen had a rough surface and did not appear to have been made to accept a plug. There is always a possibility that someone made this extra part that did not like the open hole (I do not like them myself).
   - guru - Tuesday, 08/01/06 08:00:39 EDT

Sway Bars: Yes they are spring steel but what kind? Even on "standard" coil and leaf springs all junkyard steel rules apply.

As noted by others abover, steel, even high alloy tool steels are too cheap to be using scrap for something you are going to resell, especially ANYTHING of critical nature.
   - guru - Tuesday, 08/01/06 08:04:36 EDT

Rob. Sway bar unknowns.

Something bothers me about a junkyard steel object that is sold. What if the customer comes back in a year and wants 10 more just like the first one? You'll be rooting around trying to find the same stock, and LOTSA LUCK!


That "plug" may have been brazed in originally, and come loose. That was done on the very early English vises.

However, I've had several Iron City vises (made in Pittsburgh), and I never saw a plug or knob in the end of the screw box. I have a large Iron City in the shop that has a hole in the end of the screw box, proprotionately small, not like some of the Columbians. I have a four inch one with a solid box. I think both of mine are original, with no replacement parts.
   Frank Turley - Tuesday, 08/01/06 08:40:28 EDT

OK guys, advice taken. Thanks again!
   - Rob - Tuesday, 08/01/06 10:55:26 EDT

In reading your chart on page 5 of http://www.anvilfire.com/power/morepwr5.htm, I do not see "Pwr K" or "$/K" numbers in the columns. Has the data been updated, or available some where else?
   Bob - Tuesday, 08/01/06 13:06:33 EDT

Just heard from the other side of the cubicle wall:

Girl 1- God, I just went out to have a cigarette and it's like 3 billion degrees outside!

Girl 2- Yeh, I definitely wouldn't want to be like a construction worker or anything today!

Girl 1- Yeh or like a metal worker. Like can you imagine how hot those blacksmith people used to be a long time ago!?

My internal monologue- What do you mean a long time ago!!!!

Aaron @ The SCF
   sandycreekforge - Tuesday, 08/01/06 14:05:45 EDT

Bob, No. In fact that article is no longer linked from the main pages because it is so out of date. The Bull, Trip Air and Chambersburg in the article is no longer made. The Big BLU has evolved a lot and the Kuhn no longer comes mounted on that big block of steel (a hollow box is provided to fill with concrete).
   - guru - Tuesday, 08/01/06 14:31:52 EDT

There's no brazing residue anywhere, so I figure it's aftermarket by one of the previous owners or something the factory tried once then stopped offering. My other vise is a 4" Iron City, and it has the closed back with a knob but it's all one piece.
   Thumper - Tuesday, 08/01/06 19:07:21 EDT

I am looking for information on how to plan for my anvil smoke stack. I have to penetrate a wooden roof in my shop with my smoke stack. What temperature should I plan as the max for the insulated fitting that goes through the roof? The sheet metal shop has fittings rated at 500 degrees of up to 1,000 degrees. I am thinking that I only need the 500 degree fitting, but I don't want to burn down my shop.
Thanks for the help
   Karl - Tuesday, 08/01/06 21:51:52 EDT

Karl: Go with what your local fire code requires for a wood burning stove. If shop is attached to residence your home owner's insurance agency may also have their own requirements.
   - Ken Scharabok - Tuesday, 08/01/06 22:26:06 EDT

Mike Kruzan,
I would like to have my damascus videos back sometime.
you can also heat that forge I gave you up to around 400 degrees and by some cast iron arc electrodes and weld that crack up I have had to do that to 2 of my forges already.
   Jerry Renken - Wednesday, 08/02/06 03:13:10 EDT

Would much rather be in a hot sweating smithy than be a Mexican landscaping laborer in this heat anyday.
   - Nippulini - Wednesday, 08/02/06 08:01:08 EDT

Peddinghaus Anvils are back in production and Kayne and Son (Blacksmiths Depot) have announced that they have inventory. Peddinghaus has reduced the line and no longer makes the little #2 or the #7 and #11. The current models are the #5 - 77 lb. (35 kg) #9 - 165 lb. (75 kg) and the #12 275 ib. (125 kg).

These are the only forged anvils avilable today and after a nearly a year out of production there was some question if they were going to be the last.
   - guru - Wednesday, 08/02/06 08:54:10 EDT

would love to get your vids back whens a good time to catch you??
   Mike Kruzan - Wednesday, 08/02/06 11:20:38 EDT

Stack Penetrations: Karl, as noted by Ken your local building code should be consulted. Although the temperature of most coal forge stacks do not get very high you must plan on the ocassional incident where you have a run away fire, too much starter fluid, paper or trash. . . All kinds of things can raise the stack gas temperature to over 1,000°F and the exterior temperature nearly as hot. Even though it may never happen you should plan on it reaching a red heat.

The problem with the building codes is that they do not directly address a forge. The closest thing you will find is fireplace codes. Those low temperature fittings you found are probably those for modern gas appliances which are VERY eficient and exhust mostly water vapor. The high temperature fittings are for fire places, coal and oil furnaces.

In actual operation there are two large variables. The type of hood you use and the distance to the penetration. Side draft hoods are much more efficient than overhead hoods and run much hotter as they are not sucking up 75% cold air the way overhead hoods do. I've seen galvanizing discolored as far as four feet from the opening of a side draft hood. This means that the stack probably reached 500°F or more up to that distance. In free air without nearby flamable objects (the code requires 30-36" for woodstoves) this is OK. But at the penetration you are going to need tripple wall pipe to prevent charing rafters (wood chars at 325°F) which is just a tad below where it bursts into flame. With rafters on 24" centers using a 10" stack you will only have 6" of clearance, less at the sheathing.

I use overkill on this kind of thing. I would cut the wood sheathing back several inches farther than the outer penetration diameter. Then I would cover the edges of the wood, the underside and the nearby joists with galvanized steel flashing. After installing the tripple wall penetration I would pack the area around it with Kaowool held in place with a sheet of the galvanized flashing. If the shop ceiling is covered with wallboard I would patch that over the flashing leaving at least a 1" gap around the tripple wall pipe.

Note that window penetrations (as suggested and seen in the past) are not alowed by building and fire codes.
   - guru - Wednesday, 08/02/06 11:34:02 EDT

Mike and Jerry, You both have e-mail addreses. Please use them.
   - guru - Wednesday, 08/02/06 11:35:08 EDT

Hello again. This time I had a wood question, but it still has to do with metalworking. I want to soak a knife handle in linseed oil, but I dont have enough experience to know whether or not it might somehow make the handle inferior because of the swelling action. I just want a finish that will get better with time. If you could share your thoughts on this matter, I would be greatful. As allways, dont go out of your way for me. I just want to know your opinion.
   Matthew Marting - Wednesday, 08/02/06 15:32:05 EDT

Matthew Marting,

If yousoak the wood inlinseed oil, or any vegetable oil, it will eventually polymerize and become a durable finish, but it may take quite a while if the wood is open-grained and soaks up a lot of oil. It won't make the handle any more durable than if you simply wipe on a couple coats and let them dry, either. I prefer to use a good spar varnish that I thin a lot with lacquer thinner to make it penetrate well, or just use a good wax on tight-grained very hard woods like lignum vitae..

If you want the handle to be impregnated, one common way is to dunk it in cyanoacrylate and then pull a vacuum on it to draw it into the wood. The cyanoacrylate (superglue) will impregnate the wood with a durable plastic, stablilizing it.
   vicopper - Wednesday, 08/02/06 17:00:16 EDT

Ah, thank you. I think I will go ahead and do that. I will send pictures when I am done, if youre interested.
   Matthew Marting - Wednesday, 08/02/06 17:05:12 EDT

Oiling Wood: Mathew, depending on the wood the oil wil make it swell which would be noticable when sized to a wood tang or bolsters. You have to apply a lot of oil at first then scrape the finish and reduce the wood size slightly. It helps to wait as long as possible (a couple weeks). After scraping to size reoil, then oil again. . . a fine finish requires a couple months using this method. Note that boiled linseed oil will harden right away while raw linseed oil will soak to the center of wood like this. To have a penetrating finish use raw oil to start then switch to boiled linseed oil. Apply, polish by hand then scrape and polish again if necessary. The last finishing steps can be a hard wax.

There is lots of info on the cynoacrylic method on the blade forums.
   - guru - Wednesday, 08/02/06 18:19:11 EDT

wooden knife handles- Min-wax has a product called wood hardener that you can apply- or dunk and pull a vacuum to increase penetration. some knifemakers use it to stabilize
wooden handles.
   - ptpiddler - Wednesday, 08/02/06 18:57:47 EDT

Thanks for the info guys.
The sheet metal guy has a 1,000 degree fitting (tripple) I checked the fire codes as well but as guru suggested not much on forges. Good point about prepareing for the worst. The shop is well away from the house (much to the releaf of my family!)
I was thinking about centering the forge in the middle of the 10 by 18 building and going wiht a hood 18 In. above the forge so I could move all around it without restriction but then I remebered that I have a hand cranked blower so I will go with a 16in side draft and reduce it to 10in before penetrating the roof. I probably have 10 ft from floor to roof. Sound reasonable??
Again thanks for the help
   Karl - Wednesday, 08/02/06 20:06:32 EDT

Karl-- It's unlikely your forge pipe carrying coal smoke will heat up to the temps a wood stove pipe-- which gets caked with creosote that can burn in a spectacular and extremely hot chimney fire-- might. Just build a box around it that keeps the thimble for the pipe-- a sleeve packed with asbestos or the current facsimile thereof-- a few inches away from the rafters.
   Miles Undercut - Wednesday, 08/02/06 20:37:32 EDT

I was wondering if you could help me out. I am gathering all the info I can before starting to build a power hammer. I found this website plans for an 80 pounder. http://www.geocities.com/rock65cc/plans1.html Unfortunatly Ron the builder died last year. What I'm thinking is that instead of a slip belt at the rear using a spare tire like the Paw Paw's green machine. Except that it'd be at the rear instead of the front. Do you forsee any problems? Also where could I find steel for the dies? Thanks, will
   Will - Wednesday, 08/02/06 20:43:52 EDT

Will-I guess you will be using a steel disc at the front to hold the pivot pin for the toggle linkage-put the pin 2" off center for a 4" throw- make sure you leave enough room behind the disc to hold your counterweights- use at least a 1" diameter pivot pin( 1" grade 8 bolt works good
- A 1" pillow block works good for the toggle pivot bearing
Regular cold roll steel dies will last for years pounding hot metal and some cold forge texturing.
   - Ray Clontz - Wednesday, 08/02/06 21:38:51 EDT

Interesting Fact:The 10-inch-high pyramid at the tip of the Washington Monument is made of aluminum rather than gold, because gold was less valuable than aluminum in 1884
   Tyler Murch - Wednesday, 08/02/06 21:52:52 EDT

Tyler Murch:

Your "fact" is erroneous. Aluminum was certainly an expensive metal in 1884, but it was roughly the price of silver, not gold. About one dollar per ounce. The U.S. price of gold at that time was fixed at $18.94 by law. For verification, check out:

   vicopper - Wednesday, 08/02/06 22:37:48 EDT

My friends hammer we made alot of various shapes and texture dies of 2" hydraulic cylinder ram. Its nothing but a high carbon steel and we dont bother to heat treat. They are lasting very well.
One thing, our dies for making "tree bark" and tapers should have some kind of air nozzel positioned to automatically keep them clean. Scale builds up fast and is trapped there and distorts the surface of the workpiece.
   - Håkan - Wednesday, 08/02/06 23:50:55 EDT

Aluminum Tip: Misinformation. . . I had read in several places that at the time it was more valuable than gold. . so it was not. Interesting story.
   - guru - Thursday, 08/03/06 00:01:18 EDT

rodk65cc plans: Will, The plans shown have much to much counterweight. The counterweight can only balance the horizontal movement of the linkage, NOT the vertical motion of the ram which has much too much inertia to balance AND varies with the speed of operation.

To determine the the amount of counter weight you use all of the mass of the crank pin, and its support, the bearing PLUS 1/2 the weight of the arms and ignore the toggles. THEN you use this total at the distance of the crank pin. The counterweight at its distance should equal the crank imbalance. M1 * D1 = M2 * D2. Done correctly the machine will run rock steady, not rock back and forth.

Putting the pulley/wheel at the back adds the cost of two pillow blocks and a shaft plus connecting means. When the vehical hub is used you get two really first class bearings designed for long life at little cost. Plus the hub fits the wheel and tire. . .

LOOK carefully at the photos of Ray's machine (NC-JYH) on our JYH page. His use of the pillow block and length of the toggle arms are a beautiful piece of design. Others have departed from his design at great expense for no good reason.

Note that the shorter the toggle arms the smoother the machine will run. Little Giants use arms twice as long as Fairbanks and about 25% longer than Bradley both of which were much better engineered machines.

   - guru - Thursday, 08/03/06 00:22:47 EDT

Thanks, I think I understand what your talking about with the counter wieght.

If what your saying about the arm length then I should be able to use the 50# little giant's arm length on the heavyier 80 pounder to better effect? Also the pillow block bearing on the pitman I had thought of but what about crossfeed ajustment? Not necisary?

The reason I was thinking of the tire at the back was that I've got the pillow blocks and enough 1 1/2
   - Will Courtney - Thursday, 08/03/06 01:10:16 EDT

Thanks, I think I understand what your talking about with the counter wieght.

If what your saying about the arm length then I should be able to use the 50# little giant's arm length on the heavyier 80 pounder to better effect? Also the pillow block bearing on the pitman I had thought of but what about crossfeed ajustment? Not necisary?

The reason I was thinking of the tire at the back was that I've got the pillow blocks and enough 1 1/2" shaft for it and won't have to realy modify and scroung a tire hub. As for conecting means I was planning on boaring through the flywheel and tire plate and bolting them on through bell fittings I'll turn and weld to the plates. Same for the pitman, I've got some 1 1/4" 5160 rod that I could turn a recessed bell fitting and weld it to the flywheel and put a bolt through the pitman and bell fitting.

Also thinking of die sizes, 2" wide by 4" long slight drawing, 1 1/2" above die plates. Die plates I'm thinking of making out of 1/2" plate and milling a cut out and beveling and welding die top and bottom and bolting on with two grade 8 1/2" bolts. Bottom of die plate and welded die and mounting surface of hammer head and anvil would be surface ground. Would I also need locating pins to help prevent shearing forces to the die plates? Sound like a plan? Or am I way off base?

Thanks for the help, I realy apreciate it.

   Will - Thursday, 08/03/06 01:10:54 EDT

2" offset on the pitman, that sound rite? Thought the bigger hammers were a little more.

Also never though of hydrolic shafting, I've got a couple of 3" shafts rusting in the shed that I can forge down on my press into dies, thanks for the suggestion.
   Will - Thursday, 08/03/06 01:15:58 EDT

The so-called "FACT" that Aluminum was more expensive than Gold when the Washington Monument was built is a widely circulated error. The History channel promulgates it. At one tile Oberlin College, Charles Martin Hall's alma mater made the statement in their literature.

Vicopper is right.
   - John Odom - Thursday, 08/03/06 07:54:44 EDT

John, Thanks. I was sure I had heard that from so alled ""reliable" sources. The truth is almost as interesting. I wonder it they have streatched the truth by using the final manufactured price which was tripple the original bid. . . Hmmm still not more than gold.
   - guru - Thursday, 08/03/06 08:54:21 EDT

Hammer Design: Will, The crank offset is only a small part of the travel of the ram. The ram, through inertia compresses the spring and travels UP considerably farther than down which is limited by the dies and work. On the lower end you should just have enough open clearance above the dies for the work plus about 1/2". At the top there must be enough room in the linkage for the travel of the ram to compress the spring and "catch" the ram on its upward travel. Total travel is about 2 to 3 times the total crank travel depending on your spring. All this must be carefully laid out so that all the parts clear each other.

The vertical operating sweet spot it short on mechanical hammers. In order to have a wide working range the linkage needs a vertical adjustment. However, if you are not going to use underhammer tooling or do tall work, staying in a range of up to 1" bar stock you can do without the height adjustment. A simple height adjustment is a stack of spacers under the dies.

Hammer with wedges have a single dowel pin in the middle of the die space. This is a loose fit in the die and a tight fit in the anvil. The purpose is to prevent losing the die if the wedges work loose and to help locate the die while installing the wedges. Bolt down dies do not need this feature.

To understand how this type linkage works you really need the Dave Manzer video we sell, unless you have studied a LOT of operating hammers.
   - guru - Thursday, 08/03/06 08:56:03 EDT

Another aluminum "fact" that I've heard and passed on is that Napolean ate off of aluminum ware because it was the most costly metal in his day (ca. 1812). Is this so?

My understanding is that aluminum would be very hard to find in 1812 because there was no electricity to reduce the ore (bauxite). What chance that metallic aluminum could be found or gotten any other way?

Just curious.
   Walking Dog - Thursday, 08/03/06 09:29:22 EDT

Walking Dog, Very unlikely.

Try www.world-aluminium.org/history/
   - guru - Thursday, 08/03/06 10:01:41 EDT

I aquired a freebie bandsaw anvil at a yard sale recently and was told that it is cast iron with a cold chilled face? What does cold chilled mean?
Thank you kindly.
   - wendy - Thursday, 08/03/06 10:11:27 EDT

Thanks Guru, the more I think about it the more I'm thinking your rite and just build a tire hammer like the Big Green machine. It shouldn't be too hard to come up with a rear axil off a front wheel drive car. Also simpilar construction.
I'm wondering if I need to stick to the 50lb. wieght or can I increase it a bit, say to 65-75lbs and still use a 1 horse motor?
Thanks, trying to get as much info as posible, want to built it pretty close to rite the first time.

   Will - Thursday, 08/03/06 10:35:21 EDT

I had always heard that the aluminum cap had been replaced with platinum, once aluminum became plentiful and cheap. However, a quick check of the National Park Service site ( http://www.nps.gov/wamo/home.htm ) lists the cap material as aluminum; so I guess I, too, have been misinformed by local myth. (Trust me, if it was platinum, the NPS would tell you it was platinum. :-)

Hot and miserable on the banks of the Potomac.
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Thursday, 08/03/06 10:38:26 EDT

Walking Dog; there was other means of getting Al before electrical refining was discovered. It used a different, less common, ore than Bauxite and was quite expensive---thus fueling a drive to discover a cheaper way to make it.

Cold Chilled is a method of casting where metal plates are placed when making the mold to remove heat from certain areas at a faster rate producing white cast iron where more of the carbon is tied up in carbides making a very haed surface---but tending toward brittleness. Not good for a lot of heavy pounding but better than gray cast iron for lighter work.

   Thomas P - Thursday, 08/03/06 10:50:40 EDT

You gotta trust Atli, viking ship Captians know about this sort of thing (large chunks of specie laying about)...

   Thomas P - Thursday, 08/03/06 10:51:56 EDT

Will, a 1HP motor will run a 50 pound hammer but you might be pushing it with 75 pounds. Little Giant used 2HP for 50 and 3HP for their 100 pound hammer but it is common to see them run on less. Fairbanks used 1HP for 50, 1.5 HP for 75 and 2 HP for 100-125 pounds.
   - guru - Thursday, 08/03/06 11:06:48 EDT

Will- the second tire hammer built(by Butch Silver in Shelby NC) has a 1/3 hp motor on a 50 lb head- he has had no trouble for approx 4 years- If you have the pillow blocks and shaft- I would make the adaptor for the wheel- I have a 1 1/4 inch shaft for the wheel and have had no trouble- I only designed the hammer to use the automotive hub for people with mo machining capabilities- tire hammers can be built with only a welder , cutting torch, drill press and bandsaw- basic blacksmith shop tools
   - Ray Clontz - Thursday, 08/03/06 11:38:13 EDT

Tip of Washington Monument: Bruce, I had heard a number of years back on the last refurbishment that the tip had been replaced and the original was on display somewhere.

In "National Surveyor" an article about measuring the position of the tip of the Washington Monument it repeats the erroneous statement that the aluminum was more expensive than gold.

In PBS's Nova they say "Workers replaced it with a tip comprised of platinum-tipped, gold-plated rods,"

I think this is where the confusion comes in. Parts of the lightening system were replaced.
   - guru - Thursday, 08/03/06 11:50:14 EDT

RE: Cold chilled cast iron--There is an old gasoline engine (think "farm engine" with a single horizontal cylinder, hopper cooled, two flywheels, low RPM but high torque, very high mass to horsepower ratio, e.g., the 3 HP IHC "M" weighed 450 lbs) called the Schmidts Chilled Cylinder, where they chilled the cylinder area while casting. The gasoline engine industry was pretty cutthroat back in the 1920s, only a few survived, Schmidts was not one of them. This engine is not "common" (common, of course, is relative)like the IHCs or John Deere or Sears brand Economy, but more common than the engines made of unobtanium and known only from a few poor quality illustrations in an ancient farm publication. For further reading consult "American Gas Engines Since 1872", by C.H. Wendel
   - David Hughes - Thursday, 08/03/06 12:08:54 EDT

Do a Google search on oliver plow share. The Oliver Farm Equipment Company (once a leader in the field) largely started by their having the patent for chilled cast iron plow shares.
   Ken Scharabok - Thursday, 08/03/06 12:52:39 EDT

Metallic Aluminum was produced by Sir humphry Davy in 1810. He made only a few grams. It was a multi-step non-electric process of chemical reduction, I have forgotten the details. It was not commercially available in 1812.
   - John Odom - Thursday, 08/03/06 12:53:46 EDT

Question: How were the steel tires for wagon wheels fabricated? A description of how the tires were formed or a reference to a source of information would be greatly appreciated. I can find plenty of information about how to fit a tire on the wheel but can find nothing about how to actually make the tire. A great website and thanks in advance to the gurus.
   Haul Reddick - Thursday, 08/03/06 14:16:02 EDT

Casting Chills: These are used in numerous alloys to create denser metal and reduce casting defects. In the case of iron and steel it can create hard places. In white metals it helps reduce porosity and shrinks but is most commonly used to control solidification so that parts do not have gaps or voids. I used a chill in a zinc casting to assure that a boss that got drilled was clean and flat. The chill was a seperate piece with cooling fins that cool air blew on constantly. The rest of the mold was heated. .

In our discussion of the Washington Monument's aluminium tip it was cast in a smooth cast iron mold for similar reasons.

Anvils with chilled cast iron faces were common in the 1800's and early 1900's and dated from much earlier where cast iron was made (Earlier in China than Europe). These were the bottom of the barrel cheap anvils selling for 1/5 the price of top quality anvils. As cheap as these were, they were better than plain cast iron which is what todays ASO's are moade of. So ASO's are poorer quality that the cheapest anvil made in modern times. . .
   - guru - Thursday, 08/03/06 14:24:04 EDT

Wagon Tires: Tires for wheels have been made out of bronze, wrought iron and mild steel. Bronze tires were cast or bent segments bolted or rivets to wooden rims. But the Greeks also made all bronze one piece wheels.

Wrought and steel are applied the same way. A length of bar the width of the wheel and between 1/2" to 3/4" thick depending on the wheel size is measured, cut and rolled into a circle, welded and then fitted to the wheel.

The measuring is done with a tool called a "traveler", a wheel about 6" in diameter that runs on a shaft with a handle. Turns and a partial turn of the traveler are counted and transfered. A "shrink" allowance is taken away so that the tire fits tight.

The tire is rolled one of several ways. One method for wrought iron or very soft steel was to place the tire on the straight tire, grab the steel at the end and the tire with a special pair of tongs, then roll the wheel bending the iron as it goes. Afterwards the flat ends would be hammered in a form or swage block to match the curve. The later method was to use a small hand cranked machine called a "tire bender" which was in fact a narrow set of rolls. These were necessary for heavy tires and steel tires which were more difficult to bend.

The ends of the tire are welded together by forge welding or "fire welding". The ends are prepared by tapering them to create a "scarf". Then they are heated white hot and hammered together. In modern shops gas or electric welding have been used.

The Revolutionary Blacksmith - illustration by Jock Dempsey

To fit the tire to the rim it is heated in the forge by rotating it over the fire OR by building a circular fire. The tire is heated to about 350°F or until a piece of pine pressed against it chars or slides off under pressure. It is then placed on the wooden wheel and pried and hammered into place, then quenched to shrink it onto the wheel. If everything is done correctly the tire is a tight fit closing the joints in the wheel.

Some tires were applied in pieces and riveted on. Late tires had raised edges to hold a solid rubber tire in the steel tire.
   - guru - Thursday, 08/03/06 15:18:31 EDT

i heard useing cryogenic freezing works good with blades does any one hear do it and if so what exactly does it do???
   thomas mayhugh - Thursday, 08/03/06 15:34:03 EDT

Just a comment on wagon/buggy wheels. At least locally many of the Amish and/or Mennonites have gone to motorcycle tires. I read someplace a set of new wood wagon/buggy wheels can run a couple of thousand dollars.
   Ken Scharabok - Thursday, 08/03/06 15:37:45 EDT

Thomas, Cryogenics are only beneficial to certain steels (economicaly) and require very low temperatures provided by liquid nitrogen. Those that claim that dry ice can produce temperatures cold enough do not know what they are talking about. Some bladesmiths claim they are "cryogenicly" treating their blades using dry ice. This is of no benefit and is just sales hype.

In a typical scenario the steel is hardened, tempered, cooled then cryogenicaly treated for some period of time, then warmed and tempered again.

It makes more of a difference to certain high carbon alloy steels but is slightly beneficial to all high carbon steels. The range needed commonly is –120°F (–84°C) but –310°F (–190°C) has been shown to greatly increase wear resistance many times. A2 and SAE 52100 see more benefit than other steels such as O1, D2 and M2.

Note that dry ice has a surface temperature of –109.3°F (–190N.5;C). It IS possible to have dry ice colder than this but transfering that cold to another object is difficult. A dry ice acetone bath typicaly provides -78°F (-61°C) which is far sort of the cryogenic temperature needed for treating steel.
   - guru - Thursday, 08/03/06 16:39:58 EDT

Cryogenic treatment of steels is supposed to lower the ammount of retained austenite in a heat treated steel. Generally only considered for high alloy steels and whether it is worth the cost is still being hotly debated in knifemaking circles.

Some claim it's the greatest thing since sliced bread; others that they see little or no difference in performance in blades treated that way and it's just a marketing buzzword.

   Thomas P - Thursday, 08/03/06 15:57:39 EDT

Wagon tires- the gure alludes to, but does not come right out and say, that most of these tires were made from store bought flat bar.
Certainly there were instances when a smith might recycle old scrap, but in the time period when steel rimmed wagon wheels were common, so was the ability to order in some sort of commercially made flat bar.

There is always the myth that the old blacksmith made everything from scratch- and in certain isolated instances, old timers did do this, but the scrap they used to make everything from was the result of huge industrial infrastructures somewhere else- like in the Ruhr valley in Germany.

   ries - Thursday, 08/03/06 15:59:28 EDT

which would u say is superior for the actual cutting edge high-speed tool steel or silico mangnese steel (spring steel)
also i see that these metals seem to be good but ill let u decide

1/32 inch of nitraloy for the outer layer (each side)

2/32 inch of high maganese steel for a second layer (each side)

2/32 inch of either a mix of spring and tool for the middle and or would be tool on the edge to the shinogi with a core of spring or the visa-versa or a solid of either or

(for a 8/32 inch thick blade 1 2/32 inch wide)the first 2 will be a coat wraped around from back to the shinogi the shinogi will be 9/32 inches from the edge and the blade will have a .7 inch sori
if u would could i have a geustamate of wich would be best please...
   thomas mayhugh - Thursday, 08/03/06 16:43:24 EDT

Wagon tires . . . well the question did not ask where the material came from or suggest scrap. But yes, rolled flat bar was available from about the time one piece tires came into popularity. The availability of the flat bar was probably the reason tires became more common. These things tend to work together (supply and demand). However, prior to rolled and slit wrought flat bars there were numerous sizes of hammer forged flat bar ranging from 1/2 by 2" to 1-1/4" by 2". The thinner hammered bar was suitable for the typical wagon wheel. It was not available in as many sizes as the rolled bar but it was available.

I saw the technique of rolling the wheel to roll up the tire in an old B&W educational film titled "The Blacksmith". It was pretty amazing. The material had to have been wrought iron as there was no noticiable spring back. The smith arc welded the tire. A little disapointing but efficient. In the forging sequence he was burning charcoal in a large forge. A wonderful old 16mm film that once circulated in public schools.
   - guru - Thursday, 08/03/06 17:03:46 EDT

Thomas M., The question of which steels make the best cutting edges are an endless debate. I have found that plain carbon steels take the best edge. But in most cases it is not so much the steel but how it has been mechanicaly treated as well as heat treated, ground and sharpened.

In the wrong hands the best material will make a poor tool but in the right hands a common steel can make a superior tool.
   - guru - Thursday, 08/03/06 17:28:14 EDT

if u use salt water i mean like 50/50 solution for quenching what would happen if anything
   thomas mayhugh - Thursday, 08/03/06 17:39:27 EDT

ok nevermind i found out what it was "brine"
   thomas mayhugh - Thursday, 08/03/06 18:10:24 EDT

Thomas M., You cannot make that saturated a salt solution. A saturated solution is approximately 26% salt and is not stable, it absorbs water from the air.

Brine makes a more severe quench than water and is a common quenchant. It is also said to make a more uniform quench due to the higher boiling point.
   - guru - Thursday, 08/03/06 18:13:09 EDT

Salt water ID brine. Just a different term for the same thing.
   - guru - Thursday, 08/03/06 18:13:57 EDT

Note that an old seat of the pants blacksmith method of making brine was to add salt until an egg would float in it---probably a fresh egg and not one drying out in a store for a while...

   Thomas P - Thursday, 08/03/06 18:21:15 EDT

Cryogenic treating of steel-
This CAN have a measurable effect on steel, ussually in the amount or retained austenite present. There are numerous techinical papers in the engineering community that have investigated the phenomenon. It will work with most carbon and alloy steels that have retained austenite. Retained austenite is usually found in high carbon, though not necessarily high alloy, steel. It is of great concern in the bearing industry since many bearings are chilled before installation to make the installation easier. Bearing manufactures will specify the minimum temperature for these operations since going below a certain limit will initiate a transformaion of retained austenite to UNTEMPERED martensite. This can lead to premature bearing failue. In addition, some bearings are designed to have a specific amount of retained austenite to promote toughness. In knife making, subzero quenching can benifit, but it depends on the starting microstructure. If there is no, or very little retained austenite, then the subzero quench will not provide any measurable benefit.

   - Patrick Nowak - Thursday, 08/03/06 19:21:36 EDT

Thanks Guru, Ray. I think I'm going to stick with the 50lb, think for the first effort I'll keep it seperate. Any chance you have plans availible Ray? I'm thinking keep the toggle links to the diminsions of a 50 little giant, use 1 1/2" x 1/4" flat bar welded into an I-beam with pipe for bushings on the upper arms and 1/2"x2" flat bar for the lower arms and make the ajustment on the spring. Figure about 12" long hammer head out of 6" square tubing? Main uprite 8" square tubing? I did the math and unless I hit a wrong button I need 3.25" flat drive pully and 20" OD tire to get a max of 284 rpm, should be about rite for a 50 pounder.

Thanks again guys, I realy apreciate it,
   Will - Thursday, 08/03/06 21:07:12 EDT

Will, I think you will find most tires, even the funky throw-away spares are closer to 28 to 30" for small ones. When going the JYH route, find the parts you think you can use first, then do your calculations. I made a major error on my JYH by forgetting that when you hold one side of a differential stationary you get HALF its reduction. . . big difference. The other surprise was how light a V-8 block is when completely stripped.
   - guru - Thursday, 08/03/06 21:31:31 EDT

Thank you for the input on the cold chilled face bandsaw anvil.
BTW: These anvils are still being made and marketed by Hanchett Co. out of Big Rapids Michigan. They retail for $1,600.
That's a pretty penny for an ASO or worse...
They must have a pretty specialized usage for that kind of money.
Thanks for your input.
   - wendy - Thursday, 08/03/06 21:42:12 EDT

Well I haven't posted anything in a while but still read the guru's board every day or so. I have seen questions about cleaning rusty or tarnished metal. Well I was watching a program about walnut and pecan production ( you can see I lead an exciting life..ha ha ). Well, after processing and packaging the nuts the shells are ground up and used in sand blasters. When the space shuttle is launched and the boosters fall back to earth, the boosters are hauled to a site and sand blasted with ground walnut shells. This cleans them without damaging the metal. You can purchase bags of these same ground shells. Hope this helps someone on the board.
   - Mike T. - Friday, 08/04/06 00:07:26 EDT

Sawyers Anvils Wendy, most sawyers anvils are pretty big and are very specialized. They also do not see the kind of abuse that a typical forging anvil sees. However most in the past have been made by general anvil manufacturers using the same techniques as blacksmith's anvils.

The Hanchet web site says little about their anvils other than they have two types. The saw anvils are listed as "through hardened". You do not get that with a chilled face. The leveling blocks are machine finished mild steel "and not intended for hammering".

The 10 year old Hanchet literature reproduced in Anvils in America is also not very specific about the "cast mixture" of the anvils and may be using "chilled" to indicated hardening but is not definite. They also gave a depth of hardening where now it is "through". Also, at that time they made hard and soft cast leveling blocks for bandsaws.

In today's market it would be much more efficient to buy heavy steel and machine sawyers anvils than to use a special casting process or make castings at all for a very limited market. I suspect the new anvils from Hanchet are probably solid steel. I'll see what I can find out.
   - guru - Friday, 08/04/06 00:54:41 EDT

Wendy: Do a Google search on "bandsaw anvil". First (only) entry is from Sword Forum International and has a source of supply for bandsaw anvils for about $900 up. They also apparently stock new and used sawyer's anvils. www.sawmillsupply.com or info@sawmillsupply.com. They are located in Eurkea, CA, North Little Rock, AR & Sparta, TN. Website is very limited on product line so you may have to request information sent to you.

For the limited use it would be receiving chilled cast iron may work very well in a bandsaw anvil application as you are not forging, only truing.
   Ken Scharabok - Friday, 08/04/06 02:13:58 EDT

Ken, Those prices are from 2002 and may have gone up. The sawmill supply site is pretty but has no specifics on the products.
   - guru - Friday, 08/04/06 09:00:01 EDT

Does anyone have any experience using the Burn Gel listed in the AirGas catalog? I just picked up a "cold" 1/4" rod laying on the floor..... yeah... wasn't cold. Not that I'm a wuss, I burn my fingertips so much that they don't blister anymore. But this rod was long and now my left palm and pinky is burnt. My father always used Tiger Balm (like Bag Balm), and it always keeps the burn from causing the blister to fill with water. The Burn Gel I have had no experience with. But then again, I am slightly covered with tattoos, pierced in places that would make most men shudder and have been known to lift 55 pound ASO's with my nipples... so the pain factor doesnt phase me. Don't want you guys painting a picture of my shop and work ethic to be sloppy and accident prone.
   - Nippulini - Friday, 08/04/06 10:51:44 EDT

TGN: Aloe Vera is just as good and usually free if you have the plant.

Thomas Mayhugh: Remember to keep a leash on the hormones lest her dad remove the source with a rusty spoon!
   Alan-L - Friday, 08/04/06 11:32:28 EDT

Folks the hammer in forum is the place for less smithing focused information...

   Thomas P - Friday, 08/04/06 11:36:11 EDT

Band Saw Anvil:
I live in the redwoods just to the north of Eureka, CA. No doubt, this anvil came from one of the many defunct lumber mills in our area or perhaps the former owner was a millwright. The estate sale from which it originated was loaded with every manner of tool a person might need to get by in these parts.
Just like the rest of you iron fiends, the last thing I need is another anvil or ASO- whatever it's special purpose may have been. But, free is free and that's a dang hard deal to pass up- even when your truck is already filled to the gills with other treasures....
It's a nice flat surface if nothing else.
I will probably try to find someone who can actually use it.
Thanks again.
Happy hammering to everyone.
   - wendy - Friday, 08/04/06 12:15:41 EDT

I have many knife and sword desings in my head, but I dont have the money to try and create them. I was woundering if you know a company that will buy my ideas?
   kip - Friday, 08/04/06 14:09:19 EDT

Burns: I've had really good luck with Wallgreen's brand of aloe vera sunburn gell. (AKA blue goo.)It's Aloe vera gell with lidocane & a bit of menthol for a cooling senstaion.

Now, the welders swear by silver sulfadiazene cream. . . But that requires a prescription.
   John Lowther - Friday, 08/04/06 14:53:12 EDT

Kip; are you a well known swordmaker with a proven track record? Do you know about distal taper and blade harmonics? If so you might check to see if someone like the Franklin Mint has a specific blade they want done. Note they will deal with this as a work for hire as far as rights go.

If not why do you believe that your work is to a level that people would pay for it? There are thousands of designs floating out there for free, it has to be pretty special for a company to pay to risk the cost of tooling up to make one.

   Thomas P - Friday, 08/04/06 15:34:05 EDT

Burns: I find immediate dunking in cold water and then race to the freezer and pack soak it in ice water for 10 - 20 mins - works wonders. I have picked up red hot steel off the floor and gotten away with nothing worse than white scorch marks on the skin with no noticeable damage to the underlying tissue.
   adam - Friday, 08/04/06 15:40:47 EDT

Does anyone know of a cheep way to get one's hands on a long Bending Brake for sheet metal? I suppose it would be possible to build one, any suggestions? Has anyone tried this? Also, in a similar vein, what about a shear for large (up to 8 ft) sheets of metal? I'm told I can expect to pay $20,000 for a shear and at least $6,000 for a brake... seems pricey for bending and shearing to me, but I don't really know.

   Condredge - Friday, 08/04/06 15:42:15 EDT

kip - frankly,ideas are 10 a penny. even less if they are stuck in your head. are you a blade maker? if not then your designs wont mean much. to design for a craft you must have a deep understanding of the craft itself otherwise you will design stuff that makes no sense. can you at least draw? a designer needs good drawing skills. Its a very long road from a pipe dream to something that actually works
   adam - Friday, 08/04/06 15:45:51 EDT

Condredge: Check in larger cities for industrial salvage/recycling yards or used industrial equipment companies. They might have something suitable. However, even there it is not likely to be cheap.

The place as which I buy my new and scrap iron from has a shear like you described. They would be willing to cut what I needed at a very reasonable cost as long as the material comes from them.

Most sheet metal shops should have a large brake and might be willing to do custom bending for you. I'll give you an example of such. On one item I make I need 3" of the end of a standard 3/4" pipe nipple lathed down about 1/16". A local small machine shop will do them for me for $1 per nipple on a drop-off, they will call me when they are done basis. Usually about a week depending on their workload. For the limited number I need done I can't justify buying a lathe to do it myself.

IMHO unless you are going to get into volume work it is usually less expensive to pay someone else to do things of this nature for you.
   Ken Scharabok - Friday, 08/04/06 15:59:23 EDT

This is just a follow-up to a discussion of sheet metal forges a couple of weeks ago. A past buyer (who makes armor) asked me to make one for him based on Eric Thing's design (see Anvilfire's Armour link). My initial head mechanism was 1 1/2" to 3/4" bell couplers (one at both ends) and a 3/4" x 10" pipe nipple. Even at the air dampers wide open it still ran a blue flame with inadequate heat. I sent him a replacement head using 1 1/2" to 1" bell couplers and 1" x 10" nipple. He reported it now almosts runs too hot.

The blue flame indicated it was running gas rich with the 3/4" nipple. From what he said bumping up to a 1" nipple made a world of difference. Haven't done the math but my WAG is there would be about a 40% increase in potential air flow between the two nipple sizes.

Perhaps switching to 1" nipples might bring my Freon tank forges up to forge welding temperature without extra insulation and ITC. That would be an example of setting out to do one thing and finding a potential application in another.
   Ken Scharabok - Friday, 08/04/06 16:09:38 EDT

Art and Design: Kip, I do not want to sound discouraging but I am from a family of fine artists and designers and most have been starving artists. . . including myself.

The fantasy illustrators and cartoonists produce a flood of this type blade and armour imagery every day. Most of these designs are impossible in the real world where the laws of physics apply. Thus have no value to manufacturers. Then look in the blade magazines. There is a flood of ideas there as well and many as impractical to the user as the purely fantasy art. Hollywood also pays for and produces a lot of this type art but it generaly comes from established artists or production designers.

There are designers and then there are designers. . folks that are professionals in a specific field may produce a hundred ideas better than yours in a day and scrap them all looking for a better idea. Top designers have developed a reputation and that "star power" is often the only thing that makes their ideas worth something while the designs of others are ignored.

"More new ideas" is actually a problem for manufacturers. Most usualy have a backlog of ideas that they may never get to. Unless an idea or design is Earth shaking, patentable or obviously going to be the NEXT HOT THING, most manufacturers (of anything) do not need more ideas.

Selling ideas and designs is a difficult field. First you have the problem of folks looking at your idea, copying it, then not paying you for it. Designs are very difficult to protect and even patentable ideas are difficult to defend. Things that are simply art are only copyrightable and if I make a drawing based on yours with any modification or a different application then you have no grounds for a complaint. Generally those that are succesful in the design field are paid in advance for designs. Then they may submit three or four and have ONE accepted. Getting to this point in a art career is difficult.

In most cases the best way to profit from an idea is to produce it yourself. If you are not ready to become a manufacturer of a product then market your ART. If your art is not marketable as it is then produce something else. To make a living at art you must produce what the customer or the public LIKES and is willing to pay for.

As an example. My son paints very nice slightly erotic nudes. While there is a huge market for porn there is a very limited and competitive market painting nudes, especialy where he has chosen to live. To make a living selling paintings where he lives he needs to produce landscapes and city scapes in a conservative style. He chooses not, so he is a starving artist. If he moved to New York, Chicago or Los Angles he MIGHT have a chance, but then the competition is much stiffer AND he would probably still have to paint what someone else wanted. . .

If you insist on trying to sell these specific ideas you first need a portfolio of drop dead gorgeous drawings, paintings or even computer renderings. Then make a list of possible buyers (the blade magazines and ABA are a place to start), and start knocking on doors. You MAY sell an idea, or two, OR you may find someone that needs a designer on call.
   - guru - Friday, 08/04/06 16:10:47 EDT

"Long" Sheet metal tools: Condredge, Sheet and plate working machinery is expensive new or used. See the posts above about used equipment, also subing out work. In breaks and shears the stress on the parts goes up with the cube in the increase in length. So as length increases the mass of the tool goes up tremondously.

We have built small specialty brakes in our shop. But we have a complete machine shop (lathes, milling machines. . ). We built a quick and dirty one for 16ga aluminium that was only 12" wide. And we built another for .032 aluminium that was 8 feet. The long one uses a continous hinge and the edge of the work to bend was clamped by bolting (an edge brake). Both were slow to use and probably uneconomical. But sometimes you want to keep things in-house.

I suggest you go look closely at some sheet metal working equipment and check its capacity vs. size. I've always wanted some in my shop but even 16ga x 48" is HEAVY and expensive equipment. 8 feet (2.44 Meters) is industrial duty stuff.

   - guru - Friday, 08/04/06 16:35:13 EDT

Condredge, are you sure you need a shear? How about a plasma cutter on a rail system; much cheaper than what you were quoted and usable for a lot of other tasks and for sheetmetal you should be able to adjust for a very nice clean cut.

   Thomas P - Friday, 08/04/06 17:33:33 EDT

Burns-- biggest danger is infection-- shops are filthy places-- which can become MUY serious. Don't wait for it to get bad. Get sulfadiazene slathered thick upon it PRONTO and do it again when that wears off. Keep it clean and covered. Designs-- keep them in your private notebook until you ae ready to make them yourself. Ideas as adam says are a dime a dozen. Good ideas are rare and valuable and if you throw them over a manufacturer's transom, she just might steal them. Break-- Lindsaybksdotcom has plans for building one, and it can be scaled up. They also have plans for a framed slide that holds and guides your O/A torch on long straight cuts. Isn't the idea of a Beverly that it'll cut as long a slice as you want, assuming you can feed the material?
   Miles Undercut - Friday, 08/04/06 17:48:47 EDT

Burns: Well, just so you know, do NOT pop any blisters. The liquid in them is sterile. I don't always follow this rule though. I find that leaving it for a few hours with the liquid build up and then popping is the best way. I never use anything to treat my burns, so I couldn't help you on a product for it. The worst burn I have gotten cooked up the skin on the heel of my foot pretty well, I still have a faint mark from it and that was a good 2 months ago. I stepped on a rather large coal, while it was still orange. Thought I managed to kick it off, but I soon realized that it was still on, or rather IN, my foot. I finally got it our, but there was a crater in my foot afterwards. I've also done my fair share of picking up "cold" pieces of metal. Again, I've never sought treatment and I've never gotten an infection, but I don't recommend neglecting your body like I do. Grin!
   - Rob - Friday, 08/04/06 18:10:55 EDT

in folding a blade does it matter if u fold long ways or width ways
   thomas mayhugh - Friday, 08/04/06 18:14:37 EDT

Thomas Mayhugh; it depends on what you are trying to do. If you are trying to increase the number of layers lengthwise is best as crud tends to get trapped in the hinge of the fold and the open end is harder to get a good weld to take on so having the MINIMAL ammount of these areas is to the good rather than have two long ones.

Doing San Mai you may want to fold width ways with the steel insert totally covered save for the edge.

   Thomas P - Friday, 08/04/06 18:43:40 EDT

Finding a cheap 8 foot sheet metal brake is like finding a cheap Cat D9, or a cheap 100 ton crane, or a cheap Kenworth.
Sometimes you hear of somebody who got one for less than scrap price- but the fact is, just the weight of material alone in a tool that big costs money.
Real tools always cost real money, its a sad but true fact of life.

A decent sheetmetal shop, even purchased at bargain prices, can easily run you big bucks. The stuff is not made in huge quantities, and it isnt cheap to make.

If you really want to buy your own brake and shear, look at the 3 big online machinery marketplaces- www.surplusrecord.com www.locatoronline.com and www.machinetools.com

Watch ebay- 8 foot brakes come up from time to time, and often go for as little as 3 to 5 grand on ebay. More if they are finger brakes.
Shears come in either mechanical, which are older, and usually cheaper, or hydraulic, which are a newer and more expensive.
10 grand is a starting point for 16 ga 8 foot shears, used. Price depends on age, manufacturer, and style.

Grizzly sells cheap chinese brakes and shears, but only up to 4 foot wide- they might have one 5 foot brake.

Roofers often use cheap 8 foot brakes, but they are for very light gage aluminum- often 22 or 24 ga, so they wont work with 16 ga steel.
   ries - Friday, 08/04/06 20:38:43 EDT

Having been the safety guy in two forge comercial shops, one boiler shop with 600 welders and so forth, I have tried many things for burns. In a pinch any thing wet and at least cool helps by removing the heat in the tissue so that the burn goes no deeper. I reccommend a product called "Watergel". This is a nifty napkin like material, soaked in a cooling, slightly numbing solution. Comes in a foil packet so it stays clean. Tear the top open, remove and apply the napkin, retaining the excess fluid in the packet, and add a little fluid to the napkin surface every few seconds until all is gone. The fluid evaporates, cooling the burn, and as you add more it continues to cool. and it is sterile. They start in a 2" x 2" and have many sizes bigger. I stock the next size up, a 4" x 6" in the cabinets at work as the price is only slightly higher. At home I keep a couple of the 4 x 6"s and one big one. The big one is 18" square I think. We also stock Watergel (a brand as well as a product) of burn gel. The folks swear by it for after the watergel itself comes off. I buy mine from the friendly flks at Hagemeyer, at 502-961-5930
   ptree - Friday, 08/04/06 21:34:12 EDT

shears and bending brakes.
Be aware, very aware that many shears have been operated by ham brained louts and have had the frame sprung, the blades broken or cracked or chewed up so bad that the cut looks like a poor torch cut. Brakes often are sprung as well. I would never buy a shear or brake untested. If I can not do a test cut, no buy.
   ptree - Friday, 08/04/06 21:37:15 EDT

Thanks for the advice regarding brakes and shears everyone. I had a feeling there wouldn't be much for a low-cost option, but I know that if I ask here, I get the best answers! I'll check out the urls that were recommended. I tried the Lindsaybksdotcom, but the page was dead...
I'll have to take a more serious look at the whole thing. The outsourcing would be the best option in normal circumstances, but the reason I was thinking of getting this equipment is because the local shops can't keep up with the demand and people have to wait a long time to get their jobs done... I thought it might be something I could do on the side for extra cash, but clearly it is more of a serious undertaking than that!
   Condredge - Friday, 08/04/06 22:40:32 EDT

Ptree is dead on the money on this.

It is very easy to spring the frame one of two ways. 1) is to bend or cut work heavier than the machine is rated for. This is one of those "you can get away with it" kind of things that is often done on one edge or the other. But do it in the middle and you have a bent frame (shears and brakes) and or chipped blades. 2) On shears using worn blades or out of adjustment so that stock bends and gets caught between the blades springing the frames away from each other.

Ragged blades are from cutting abrasion resistant deck plate, rough rusted metal, metal with torched edges that are very hard. . various abuses.

Regrinding the long blades is expensive requiring their removal. When replaced they must be very carefully shimmed or adjusted for clearance otherwise they will weither interfer and chip each other OR with two much clearance bend rather than cut on thin material (thus doing more damage). Like setting up big saws and other machines this can take several days and is often botched.

Many of these machines ONCE had a tag that indicated the maximum material thickness it would cut or bend. If the tag is missing or the specs not clearly shown on the machine you can be SURE it has been abused. If the owner has used the machine and cannot tell you exactly what the spces are then you can be SURE it hac been abused. AND, even with clear marking it MAY have been abused but absense of the tag is a place to start.
   - guru - Friday, 08/04/06 23:25:40 EDT

You can do a lot of work with a decent 4-foot finger brake and a 50" jump shear. I did hundreds of sheet metal cabinets for electrical signs in my shop, using a 20 ga Tennsmith shear and an 18 ga Pexto finger brake, both purchased used. I checked out both tools thoroughly before buying them, and did alright. As Jock and Ptree say, it is easy to get a bad one if you don't check it out thoroughly.

A 4' brake will do most of what you need done, if you're willing to work in no more than 4' sections. It is definitely worth the few extrqa bucks to get a finger brake, rather than a pan brake, believe me. Small work is a nightmare on a pan brake sometimes, but with a finger brake you just set up what you need and you're good to go. 20ga is heavy enough for most sheet metal work, but if you find a decent deal on a 16ga one, grab it. A 15 ga brake or shear is more than double the weight of a 20 ga unit, and four times as strong; much less likely to get sprung, even if you max it pretty regularly. That only applies if you buy Pexto, Tennsmith, or one of the high-quality European tools. The knock-offs are okay within their specified range, but you can't cheat by so much as a thou without grief. Never mind how I know this tidbit, okay? (grin)

Two of the handiest small tools I had at that time were my little WHitney letter-brake and my 7.5kva spot welder. That little letter brake was only 12" wide, with five fingers, and the platen clamped with foot pressure. Using it, I could bend up metal pan channel letters a mile a minute, tacking them with the spot welder. They both paid for themselves on the first job. Sadly, Whitney no longer sells the letter brake.

I have seen a Taiwanese or Chinese 12" finger brake that could be adapted to do the work, but it is only rated for 22 ga, and that's exactly what we use fo rthe pan channel letters. I doubt it would last more than a year or two in real use. There really is no substitute for quality in heavy tools.
   vicopper - Friday, 08/04/06 23:46:14 EDT

Kinyon hammer Question

I just bought a half finished Kinyon style hammer and the threaded holes in the guide assembly plate that is welded to the frame seem to be very close to were I want to weld that plate onto the frame, it is tacked in place now. In other words I will mess up the threads and weld over half of the hole if I make the welds as thick as I think they should be. I was thinking of buying hardened threaded stud bolts, like threaded rod only with a non-threaded part in the middle, inserting them and then welding them in with the plate and putting a nut on the outside, I know they will loose some of there hardness being heated up, and I don't have a clue were I would find such a thing. The guide mount is 3/4" plate, so is the plate to be welded to the #100 ram. The 8 holes and bolts I have are 5/8" fine. I was also thinking maybe I could just switch to an enclosed ram guide if it isn't a whole bunch of extra work, but it is kind of allready designed for the guides in the kinyon plan book. Stuff the holes with something and weld around them?
   Leaf - Friday, 08/04/06 23:55:24 EDT

Quick question, re-bar is a mixture of a lot of different steels, right? It is mainly just bunches of scrap pieces thrown into the foundry to be made for holding cement together so it doesn't separate, right? I know re-bar would make a very lowsy knife blade, but what if someone were to draw out some re-bar for something like knife handles and guards and etched it in something like vinegar, would it show any signs of damascus??
   - Hillbillysmith - Saturday, 08/05/06 02:42:39 EDT

Leaf: I would make some copper plugs about an inch long to fit snugly in the threaded holes and take it easy welding around them as not to melt the copper [copper conducts heat fast enough that it shouldn't be much of a problem]. After You are done welding drive out the copper plugs and run a tap through the holes. If You use studs, dont use anything that will get hard from the welding, if You ever have to drill out a broken one You won't be able to. You should be able to get studs from a bolt suplier, or use threaded rod.
   - Dave Boyer - Saturday, 08/05/06 02:55:35 EDT

Hillbillysmith: The various scrap is melted and mixed, and enough alloys are added to make it come up to the required strength. It SHOULDN'T have any pattern if etched, if it does it is a seriously bad batch.
   - Dave Boyer - Saturday, 08/05/06 02:59:49 EDT

Protecting Holes While Welding: Leaf, when I need to do this I use junk bolts and coat them and the holes with Never-Seize. The Never-Seize is high temperature resistant and will protect the threads from sputter balls that would get in the gaps of the threads. Clean out the Never-Seize carefully after welding to be sure to get all the fine sputter balls out of the holes. Throw away the used bolts.
   - guru - Saturday, 08/05/06 08:12:48 EDT

Rebar: First, see our Rebar FAQ.

In the early days re-bar was low grade wrought iron. Later it was rolled from whatever was on hand without consideration of chemistry. Much of it was cut off cast steel billet ends that had piping and various flaws. It was also rolled from scrap such as RR axels and rail.

Today it is still crummy steel as it is not designed to be worked. However, it IS made to the minimum chemistries as Dave noted. The different grades vary from soft to very hard. The hard stuff is often spring temper and darn near impossible to bend.
   - guru - Saturday, 08/05/06 08:25:11 EDT

One last thought on used shears that I forgot to post yesterday. If looking at a foot treadle shear, the first glance should be at the treadler. If it is swayed down in the middle run don't walk away. The treadles will show cutting too thick material abuse as they were sorta designed as the weak link. In the boilr shop we had many little foot shears on the floor to trim thin sheet metal for fit up. These were often abused by trying to cut stainless and too thick a gage. I have seen two big weldors jump on the treadle. When the boiler shop closed, I looked at every one left, and tried a test cut, as they were available to me at $0.06/#. I still do not have a shear.
   ptree - Saturday, 08/05/06 09:21:16 EDT

Were chain mail suits heat treated? I want to make one, and I have never thought of that before. Thanks in advance!

   - Rob - Saturday, 08/05/06 10:53:39 EDT

Back to Burns; For minor sunburn, use vinegar, for anything else use the snotty juice of an aloe vera plant!!! In the 70's as a fledgling sliversmith, I had a short lived habit of picking up "cold" metal with my fingers instead of tweezers. I once picked up a "cold", belt buckle I was working on and it actually burned 90% angles on my thumb and forefinger. Getting it loose entailed hurling it out the window into the back yard. I slopped on aloe and put a bandaid on both fingers and went back to work. I never blistered and the pain was minimal at it's worst. The divots on my fingers lasted for years. I've used aloe vera, with ALWAYS the same results, and ever since always have a plant, knife and bandaids handy. Store bought bottled stuff is diluted so you won't get the same results. Between this post and my one on acupuncture you might get the impression I'm into homeopathic medicine.....I'm not, I'm into what works and trial and error have been my teachers.
   Thumper - Saturday, 08/05/06 11:46:10 EDT

I'm a believer in ice applied immediately to a fresh burn, I thought we were talking about an older one that still hurt. I've found that if I can get an ice cube on it(for a small burn) or a small container of ice water in which to soak the afflicted part within about a minute of the burn, and keep it in there until it no longer hurts when I pull it out of the water, I don't scar, blister, or hurt for long. Well, there is some branding effect where the shape of the hot steel stays impressed for a few weeks, and with borderline 3rd degree burns the charred white skin is still there, but stopping the cooking of your flesh as soon as possible while simultaneously rehydrating the skin is the best way to go. Well, actually, not burning yourself to begin with is the best way to go, but hey, it happens to everyone sometime.
   Alan-L - Saturday, 08/05/06 12:29:21 EDT

Rob, Maille was made from low carbon wrought iron wire and so no heat treatment will help do anything to it but make it softer.

   Thomas P - Saturday, 08/05/06 12:47:34 EDT

Hello everyone.
I just stumbled upon an Iron City 3" post vise at a sale (and I mean literally stumbled). Seeing the price marked at 12 US dollars, and seeing that it was missing the spring and mount, i decided it would be a worthwhile investment.
After a thourough wire brushing, I'm very satisfied. It is (I believe) wrought iron with welded on steel jaws . Once I got all the old grease cleaned out of the screw box I could see that it was in near perfect condition.
Originally I was going to paint it up something funky and make some kind of "artistic" mount for it just because , but now seeing that it is in good shape, I want to try to recreate something original looking for it. Does anyone have a picture of a similar vise?
As I said- 3" jaws , wrought iron , "Iron City" inside a star , and the rectangular section on the legs is forge into an octagonal shape halfway between the screw and the pivot. Thanks guys.
-Aaron @ the SCF
   thesandycreekforge - Sunday, 08/06/06 00:16:07 EDT

Aaron, Most anvils and vises of the period were painted black with something cheap (a thinned tar or black lacquer) just to keep them from rusting until the customer got them. I've never seen traces of paint on old vises that didn't look like repaints. .

During the same era most machine tools were painted black as well. There was a practical purpose to this. Old machinery had plain bearings that leaked oil as fast as you put it in. The black drips did not show on the black of the machine.
   - guru - Sunday, 08/06/06 08:54:07 EDT

ok but what does folding actualy do? i heard it makes it stronger and sharper is this true? also do u do this before or after u normalize?
   thomas mayhugh - Sunday, 08/06/06 10:27:28 EDT

When will people stop listening to those with NO hands on experience at all? Why don't you use Conan The Barbarian movie for traditional sword making reference?
   - Nippulini - Sunday, 08/06/06 13:38:34 EDT

Thomas M., Get a book or two on bladesmithing that covers Damascus or Japanese steel making.

"Folding" is a very poor term even though everyone uses it. The action is not folding, it is cuting and welding layers. There are different purposes. In the Japanese method it is refinement of a coarse material. Just like kneading bread or mixing putty, divide and merge, divide and merge until you have a nearly homogenous product. In the Old European process it is sometimes used to reduce the carbon content of a very high carbon steel and making it more flexible by combining it with softer steel or wrought iron. The billet is divided and welded repeatedly until the fine layers make a nearly homogenous product. In pattern welding the layering is done to create artistic patterns which may be purely decorative OR a combination of making the steel more flexible and adding decoration.

The fine layers created often do not line up with a blade edge and the result, even if you cannot see it is fine variations in the edge like serations. This it also found in "wootz" a kind of cast steel with crystaline patterns and produces a superior cutting edge when properly heat treated and sharpened.
   - guru - Sunday, 08/06/06 14:11:07 EDT

I am starting to put together a new hot shop for my metalworking. It will be 16 by 24 feet, with a 4 in 12 shed roof along the 24-foot side. The low side is 7 feet to the eves and the high side is a bit over 12 feet. I use a propane gas forge, and the shop is enclosed to keep the weather out and the noise in.

My question regards venting. I have considered:

• A turbine ventilator or two penetrating the metal roof up at the high side.

• A louvered dog-house (is cupola the right term?) box onto of the roof, again on the high side

• A hood and stack over the forge and vented with the usual wood stovepipe and fittings through the roof. (Not likely to help with the welding fumes done elsewhere in the shop)

• A pair of opposing screened openings in the 16-foot wall, up high in the triangular corners, and measuring 3 to 4 feet of open area, to provide for cross ventilation. The roof overhang is 18 inches, which hopefully will keep rain from coming in. In addition, a typical attic vent fan could be mounted inside the opening to boost the hot fumes outside.

I am concerned with combustion heat and gasses collecting under the roof on the high side of the shed, trapped by the tall wall. I favor the last idea as the roof is not penetrated and a fan will give some control over heat and fume extraction, but with the accompanying noise. But what is a little more noise?

Your comments, suggestions, and better ideas are appreciated.

   Bob J - Sunday, 08/06/06 14:43:36 EDT

Bob, Your discription leaves many questions. If you have a shed roof with a high side and a low side is it built against another building? Or is it just a shed sloped roof building?

7 feet on the low side is VERY low. If you are concerned about ventilation you will raise this wall a foot or more.

Turbine ventilators are good if at the highest point on the roof AND are not blocked by an adjacent wall (shed on side of building). They work well when there is a considerable temperature differential OR wind blowing but can fail to do anything under certain conditions. Consider them primarily to keep a building cool.

Ventilation copolas work well on large structures but must be proportinately large to do a decent job. Turbine caps are a high tech version of the same and much more efficient.

For low temperature differential fumes like welding smoke positive ventilation from a fan is best.

A good hot climate blacksmith shop will have all the above (turbine vents, end screen walls and fans) as well as localized fume extractors. In cool climates you must consider how to stay warm AND have good ventilation. . .

   - guru - Sunday, 08/06/06 15:26:10 EDT


Yes, the shed is an extension off the roof on the barn, and yes, 7 feet is low, but that is how it worked out. Here on Whidbey Island in western Washington, the temperatures are fairly mild year around. Perhaps having the screen vents with fan, and a through wall vent fan above the welding station as a localized fume extractor would be adequate? A propane gas detector mounted low on the wall and a carbon monoxide mounted up at the top of the tall wall would be worth having too Perhaps not ideal, but I hope workable.

I plan to dig a hole for my new Say-Mak hammer concrete foundation this coming week, which once in place determines the layout for the shop. I will make sure I have lots of working room around the hammer. Then from there all else will have to fit. Amazing how stuff collects over time.
   Bob J - Sunday, 08/06/06 16:25:14 EDT

I have a large turbine ventalator. It was salvaged, and is a 24". This is supposed to move something like 3400 CFM when a decent breeze is blowing. It does indeed draw a lot of air. I also have a 5' x 5' louver in a lower wall, and a 42" x 42" louver in the high wall with a small fan. My shop is indeed a shed much like yours and is 22.5' where yours is 24'. The low end on mine is a bit less than 7' and is only used for storage. I have a 42" industrial, high pitch, low speed wall fan that I am planing on mounting shortly. I have a salvaged gravity louver as well. If you will be at quad State, I have a second set that I am going to sell.
My shop gets to 125F at 8' up about 6' from the forge. The gas forge sits just under the turbine vent. I have the coal forge side draft hooded and it pulls all the smoke out. The radiant heat however is something you just learn to deal with. Since it was only 85F outside today, I only saw 105F at 8'
   ptree - Sunday, 08/06/06 17:19:54 EDT

I have worked in many heat treat plants and seen a variety of efforts to remove heat and smoke. The first try is usually to put big fans in the roof. Nope. Fans draw from a very short distance and are not effective in getting the heat off of the floor level. The best approach I have seen is to put louvers in the roof and external ventilation fans blowing in at floor level. Drawing in relatively cool air from ground level and blowing it into the building can cause the hot air up, taking advantage of the natural chimney effect. Of course, if your building is full of holes and open doors, the concept suffers a bit.
   quenchcrack - Sunday, 08/06/06 19:09:44 EDT

BobJ-- Most handy to position the hammer and the leg vise so long stock being worked upon can stick out the door. Propane exhaust will linger around the gas forge no matter whether it is near windows and doors, louvers, vents, etc. or is out of doors. I finally enclosed mine (outdoors) in a tin tipi. Works great.
   Miles Undercut - Sunday, 08/06/06 20:53:52 EDT

My shop is 24 by 24 with a roof that is lower than I would like, but I had to match the building it is grafted on to. (Sorry about the split infinitive)

I have 4 32" by 48" window openings on each of two opposite sides and a 32" door on one end plus a 36" door and a 60" door on the other end. With everyting open, and a 32" fan moving the air up high, it stays tolerable year round. I'd like to have air conditioning, but with electric rates of over $0.45/kWh, that just ain't in the cards in this life. Besides, I moved to the tropics 'cuz I hate being cold.
   vicopper - Sunday, 08/06/06 21:02:26 EDT

Shed: The problem with any ventilation in a shed addition is the obstruction of the higher building. This will try to force air down chimneys and vents. Any vents drawing air from the high side would need to be 2 feet higher than anything 10 feet from the vent above the higher roof. This means long stacks (resistance) up the side of the adjacent building. A coupla would need to meet the same requiresments.

When I put a 42" attic fan in my shop you could feel then air move toward if from everywhere in the empty shop. When the shop was filled with machinery, even with 16 foot ceilings the obstructions reduced the air flow to where you could barely feel it.

Building dynamics, adjacent trees, structures, prevailing wind and content all effect ventilation.
   - guru - Sunday, 08/06/06 21:13:00 EDT

Having worked for years in forge, heat treat, and boiler shops ETC, I am of the opinion that the best ventalation is achieved by supply fans at ground level, and bigger fans exhausting, as the air expands as heated. If I can only afford one i will go with the peak of the roof and exhaust the heated, expanded air, and let cooler air draft in from the ground level louvers.
In fact, the current factory I work in had almost continous louvers at ground level and many many roof exhausts. 250.000 square feet. Now air conditioned.
This also avoids drafts at the working level that blow away weld shield gas and blow grinder swarf back into your face.
   ptree - Sunday, 08/06/06 21:13:21 EDT

if i over temper a knife or tool, do i have to go through the entire heat treating process ( anneal, harden, temper)to get a new temper or can i just draw a new temper without doing anythig else? also waht is the best way to acheive a brownish patina on sheet copper?
   jef vanmadrone - Monday, 08/07/06 00:21:08 EDT

Thanks to all for the great comments and suggestions. For now I'll plan a ground level intake on the far side of the shop and an exhaust fan up high on the near side. The prevailing winds are perpendicular to the long dimension of the shop; on the low wall in the winter and opposite in the summer. This hopefully will avoid tring to blow the exhaust into the wind.
   Bob J - Monday, 08/07/06 00:25:47 EDT

Thanks for the several good comments on shop ventillation in my 16 by 24 shed building, I thought I'd ask the next question: should the power hammer be backed up (with good clearance) to the tall wall (12+ feet high), or short (7+ feet high). The top of the Say-Mak hammer is about 6 feet and I have been planning on backing the hammer up to the short wall and keep the valuable high wall open for other uses. I plan to locate the hammer so I can get 6 feet clear from the center of the sow block back to the wall on both sids. The hammer dies are clocked at 45 degrees to the centerline of the hammer.
You comments are appreciated.
   Bob J - Monday, 08/07/06 00:34:44 EDT

Over Temper: Jef, Yes, you have to do it again.

Brown on copper. . . Machinery's Handbook has a variety of copper coloring recipes. Oils and wax tend to brown copper. Light even heating will get it started.
   - guru - Monday, 08/07/06 01:07:17 EDT

Hammer Alignment: In large spaces the tendancy is to put them out in the open. In small spaces you back them up against the wall as close as possible.

Very, very rarely do you need to be able to run bar all the way through the hammer. Texturing is about the only time. With this model hammer you will find the space you want with the hammer at 90° to the wall and pushed as close as you can get.

The problem with stock space is that you need it more in the shop and need to keep machinery clear of the stock movement space. In 16 feet you are already limited as standard bar is 20 foot. Picky details. . . you do the best you can.

Remember that you may need to do maintenance on that hammer in the location you install it. Will there be room to pull the ram from the cylinder? You may want it on the high side of the shop. This will also giove you room for a standard hammer accessory, a jib crane. More picky details. . .
   - guru - Monday, 08/07/06 01:15:34 EDT

On bar stock length both places at which I purchase will cut it in half at no extra charge.

I use about 20' of one wall for stock storage. Post construction so I put two 2"x4" stud between posts and then drilled and put in short lengths of 3/8" rebar at a slight upward angle about 6" apart. I keep types of stock together arranged by size. Thus I can fairly easily tell what I need to repurchase when I do a stock run.
   Ken Scharabok - Monday, 08/07/06 10:46:58 EDT

for metal working tools and machinery go to www.govliquidation.com/ All items are government or military excess items. Find something in your area and go look at it and bid if it fits your needs
   - ronnie selby - Monday, 08/07/06 10:55:21 EDT

You can always cut a little 1 foot square trapdoor in the wall if you need to run something long thru the hammer.
Different people have different needs- we frequently texture long pieces, sometimes full 20 foot lengths of pipe, so my hammer is more in the middle of the room.
Most times, though, anything much over 10 feet long gets kinda unwieldy, so we usually work smaller, and weld together later if needed.

I have a 20 foot storage rack, 5 feet tall, 2 feet deep, made from heavy wall 2" square tubing, and it usually has a couple of tons, literally, of stock on it- and thats mostly just odds and ends- specific material for a job we usually forklift in, put on dunnage near the saw or the ironworker, and cut to size in big batches.
So to me, a 20 foot wall is a bare minimum- in fact, the storage rack is bolted to the cold saw, which has a 12 foot runout table on the other side, with a sliding stop, so I can slide material right into the saw, and cut to size.
So I need a minimum of 32 feet- its actually a 36 foot long wall, and the entire thing is taken up with material storage and cutting.

For ventilation, I really like the fans with the built in louvers- Grainger sells em, in various sizes- the louvers are opened by the force of the fan, and then drop closed when you turn it off. Nice in the northwest, where sideways rain would come in if the louvers were open all the time.
   - Ries - Monday, 08/07/06 13:46:43 EDT

Starting to forge stainless steel.Can S.S. be forge welded,
if so what flux do I use?Also can I get recipe for the flux?
   David McWilliams - Monday, 08/07/06 18:07:08 EDT

The gravity louvers I refer to are operated by the fan blast. They are also available as seperate item to allow other installation techniques. I too like them, as we get sideway rain as well. In the old shops in Louisville we had perhaps 200 fans with gravity louvers and also another 200 or so up blast fans in roofs with blast raised covers. I would guess we had perhaps 1000hp or more of fans, and wanted more:)
   ptree - Monday, 08/07/06 19:32:40 EDT

NEWS! I had a good time browsing through the latest NEWS! and will have to go back several times to take it all in. Really a treat to have so many pix - thanks!
   adam - Monday, 08/07/06 19:40:54 EDT

I second the use of ICE immediately on a burn. Even though conventional wisdom says not to, it works exactly as described above and I have never had any long term negative effects from doing it. Keep it pressed directly on the burn until it doesn't hurt (at all) after you take it off. Sometimes that takes as long as 2 hours. I usually use a rag or napkins to hold it against the burn.
   - djhammerd - Monday, 08/07/06 19:47:46 EDT

Tool Tip: I recently bought an old 158# Columbian anvil, which rings like a bell, and I found an easy way to quiet it down. Instead of pegging the feet and hanging magnets and chain all over the thing (previous posts I read here), I took two lengths of chain and put them across the feet, (side to side, perpendicular to the face), and bolted them to my anvil stand with lag bolts, works like a charm!! Just about as quiet as my old Vulcan.
   Thumper - Monday, 08/07/06 21:39:34 EDT

Stainless Welding: David, Theoreticaly all metals can be "forge welded". But there are forges and there are inert gas filled furnaces. . . To forge weld stainless an agressive flux must be used. This is often borax with the addition of flourite powder (see our Borax FAQ). The flourite, CaF2 must be 98% calcium flouride to be flux grade. It is often available from ceramics suppliers. It is also used to flux steel in foundries but is used in gravel size crushed stone that is too large for the blacksmith shop.
   - guru - Monday, 08/07/06 23:05:24 EDT

   LARRY - Tuesday, 08/08/06 06:44:45 EDT

Larry, Some types of horseshoes have a a raised V edge to give them better grip. This made be for working with them (my best guess) - OR one of many special purposes that a blacksmith might have. Ocassionaly anvils were used as dies in machine operations under presses and drop hammers. Many reasons. . .
   - guru - Tuesday, 08/08/06 08:35:47 EDT


Therre were a number of anvils made especially for sharpening plow lays. These anvils had an a portion of the face dropped at the horn end, though the ones I've seen were more nearly an angular shape, not curved. If worn enough, one of those might appear to be S-shaped, I suppose.
   vicopper - Tuesday, 08/08/06 09:24:47 EDT

Burns; If you catch a nasty burn it can be a very good idea to wrap the affected area in 'Cling Film' (not sure if its called the same in the states - this will stop dirt & infection getting into it & sticking to the blister, and ice etc can be applied to the outside of the film. (top tip from my paramedic mate!)
   - John N - Tuesday, 08/08/06 10:09:29 EDT

On burns I was at a Francis Whitaker demonstration where he made the specific point on testing a piece of stock for heat by using the back of the fingers. Apparently more sensitive than the inside and much quicker reaction time.
   Ken Scharabok - Tuesday, 08/08/06 16:36:44 EDT

I'm pretty sure "cling film" is what we call "Saran Wrap" on this side of the pond. That's probably a trademark, but I can't think of a generic term that's specific enough.
   Mike B - Tuesday, 08/08/06 17:32:15 EDT

Ken, I wonder if using the back of the fingers simply prevents the working part of the hand from getting burned. In other words, if I burn the back of my fingers I can continue working, if I burn the front I may not be able to use a hammer. Just a thought.
   Mike H - Tuesday, 08/08/06 18:53:04 EDT

I'm going to be working on a replica of the Zelda Master Sword for a customer, and I need to paint the guard blue. What kind of paint should I use? thanks in advance!

   - Rob - Tuesday, 08/08/06 18:55:32 EDT

Are there formulas, for figuring length when reducing stock? As in 1/2 drawn out to 3/8 etc?
   Thumper - Tuesday, 08/08/06 19:31:02 EDT

assuming the stock is going from sq to sq or round to round then the new length will be (1/2)^2 / (3/8)^2 x Old Length

If you are changing the cross section then the more general rule is

(area of starting X section)/ (area of final X section) x Old Length.

If the cross section is not constant, like drawing a taper then it gets more complicated and I prefer to forge the piece out of playdough and then roll the finished pc back up to the size of the starting stock to see how much is needed
   adam - Tuesday, 08/08/06 19:57:34 EDT

Thumper, just remember that volume does not change unless you have excessive scaling and oxidation. Use volume as a constant and work backwards.
   - guru - Tuesday, 08/08/06 20:17:22 EDT

Paint on Metal: Rob, Everything depends on what kind of durability you need. Paint is always softer than the underlying metal so it chips off. If you can leave bright exposed metal edges and corners and paint a reduced area then you get chip resistance and color.

Idealy you would have a gold plated base with hard ceramic "enameling".

I recommend automotive primer and lacquers for general durability. Start with clean etched or sand blasted surface, use a bare metal primer and sand smooth, apply thin coats of top coat and fine sand (320 grit Wet-orDry) between coats. Sand next to last coat with 600 grit and polish the last coat with Dupont "orange" rubbing compound.

OR find a good hard blue plastic and make the guard from solid blue material. . .
   - guru - Tuesday, 08/08/06 20:26:20 EDT

Rob since you are obviously going to be making the guard from cooked rice I would suggest food colouring.

Or to put it a different way, what paint you use will be based on what *you* are making it from, information you didn't provide...

   Thomas P - Tuesday, 08/08/06 20:27:27 EDT

Re "Back of finger or hand. When one gets a sharp stimulus from heat or electric shock, one sloses the hand. If you test with the palm side you reflexively move into the heat or electrical conductor and make the situation worse, until you can conciousle pull away. In the case of electrical shock, sometimes you cannot pull away. If you test with the back of the hand you are "Pushed Away" py your reflexes, and the damage is reduced.
   - John Odom - Tuesday, 08/08/06 20:32:22 EDT

Guru, if I got this right, don't reply. Using the volume idea, basically what you're saying is, know what the weight of the required length is in a particular size and figure from there?! I know it would work with the volume by liquid measure process, but dry #'s are mo-betta!!
Adam, you're way beyond me with the math (I bailed at algebra 101), but I like the play dough idea, on a similar note, I have a bunch of old lead coated electrical wire in various thicknesses that I use to figure length on wraps and simple bent iron shapes.
   Thumper - Tuesday, 08/08/06 21:50:54 EDT

Back of the hand: another advantage of that method is that a burn on the palm side of the hand will likely incapacitate you - with a burn on the back of the hand you can keep working (and burning yourself )
   adam - Tuesday, 08/08/06 23:27:06 EDT

[ CSI - anvilfire MEMBERS Group | Getting Started in Blacksmithing ]
Counter    Copyright © 2006 Jock Dempsey, www.anvilfire.com Cummulative_Arc GSC