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This is an archive of posts from September 22 - 31, 2000 on the Guru's Den
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Definitions: Ryan, Except in the summer it is generally no hotter than many other "shop" jobs but I'll agree to your use of the term in that regard.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 09/22/00 00:36:24 GMT

The first anvil I bought i got for $25 because it had a hardy stuck in it on the diagonal. I drove it out from the bottom using a drift. If that fails find a person thats good with a torch (guru I think 2 mins would include time to clean the tip).

Face protection. I have been using the type of face shield used by loggers. It is made out of a fine wire mesh screen. It doesnt scratch and protects from large flying objects, saves some wear and tear on safety glasses. Face shield are essential when doing heavy grinding and running a power hammer. Wear glasses under a face shield.
JohnC  <careatti at crosslink.net> - Friday, 09/22/00 01:33:09 GMT

when you put the finish on the steel what is the mixture or what do you use? now I am using beacon paste heat the metal to 350 degrees after using the finish should you use a clear spray so it doesent rust just a new blacksmith learning as I go thank you
Gerald  <waianvil at aol.com> - Friday, 09/22/00 02:04:27 GMT

On the maleablity of pure iron... I whink it is MUCH more so than wrought. At least the stuff I used.... True it was not wire, but it should work the same as square stock.
Ralph  <ralphd at jps.net> - Friday, 09/22/00 02:53:41 GMT

Torching out hardy: John, I figured time to put the cutting tip on, adjust the gas for piercing, and getting the anvil upside down in good position!

Gerald, I don't know what beacon paste is? If its a wax you won't be able to put another hard clear finish on such as lacquer.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 09/22/00 03:14:38 GMT

Finishes: Laura, Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. The short answer is paint. Other "natural" or chemical finishes like gunmetal finishes are all "oxide" finishes. Oxide finishes depend on regular cleaning and oiling to prevent rust. ALthough they slow the rusting process of items kept in dry locations they do not prevent it.

Many blacksmiths apply oil or wax finishes to their work. This is in fact an oiled oxide finish as the black scale is an anhydrous (waterless)iron oxide. It is a high maintenance finish. When they burn the finish on they are making a rude paint by forced drying of the oil with a mixture of carbon from the burning oil and fire. This is a haphazard process.

There are all kinds of paints and finishes that can be used on steel. Look at the variety of automotive finishes. Craft stores sell bronzing paint and antiquing kits.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 09/22/00 13:48:58 GMT

stuck hardy: how about instead of a torch-- 6,000 degrees inside that anvil just might expand that stub enough to cause a crack-- is there enough room under there to get the screw of a gear-puller onto the bottom of the shank? Better yet, how about a Porta-Power? If not, I'd chop it off up top and drill it out.
Cracked Anvil  <cracked at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 09/22/00 14:15:13 GMT

I donīt want to seem unfriendly, but whats so authentic about using pure-pure iron for chain-mail? As far as I know no authentic mail was ever made from that. During the time mail was made smiths didnīt know the carbon-content of anything, the only knew how the steel behaved. If the steel looked clean and survived the draw it was good enough. Smiths then knew HOW to do, but not, in scientific terms, WHY to do. Also, the medieval descriptions Iīve seen seem to indicate that mail was surface-hardened ( maybe carburised right trough, considering the small diameter of the wire) when finished. I myself love to try and recreate arms and armor as authentic as possible or needed, but getting stuck on fractions of percent of carbon seems unneccesary.
Olle Andersson  <utgaardaolle at ebox.tninet.se> - Friday, 09/22/00 15:10:52 GMT

My forge is built (Hans Peot style) and its time to hook
it up. Do you recommend using a flashback arrestor or can
I get away with just using a check valve? Seems like the
flashback arrestors are not made for a tip bigger than size
4 (do you use them with a rosebud?), and I'm not sure if the fact that it is propane lessons the need for one or not. What do you use or suggest? Much thanks.
Tod  <amon at suu.edu> - Friday, 09/22/00 15:22:17 GMT

. . . had trouble viewing the last demo on iForge. I was able to see it if I took the '2' out of the url.

Great stuff!


denny vee  <denis.verreault at pwgsc.gc.ca> - Friday, 09/22/00 17:13:46 GMT

IForge: Had two note on the problem. Fixed now. Thanks!
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 09/22/00 17:50:54 GMT

Gas lines: Tod, The flashback arresters (safety valves) sold to put in welding lines can handle the volume of gas used in a small gas forge. Internaly they are check valves. They need to be used with rosebuds more than any other tip!

I thought I had one on my gas forge but I just looked and I don't. . I think I remember asking if I needed one when I bought the regulator. I do have them on both lines of all my oxy-fuel equipment.

In oxy-fuel systems the safety valves not only prevent flash back problems but keep gas from one side of the system from getting into the other (leading to worse than flashback).
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 09/22/00 18:11:15 GMT

I just recently purchased an anvil at a farm sale - It rings like my "Hay-Buddin". Marked; Solid Wrought OMAHA 110Lbs. What have I got? It has the smallest "Hardy"hole, I have ever seen- 1/2 Inch. Thanks from Missouri
Bill Hickman  <hickmanab at hotmail.com> - Saturday, 09/23/00 00:06:53 GMT

I just purchased a Peter Wright anvil from a customer of mine and I would like to know its value and decide if I should keep it or sell it. It appears to have been reworked but is in good shape. I can tell that it has been ground on.
It weghs 170lbs. On the off side it has Peter Wright, Patent, England and solid wrought stamped on it. Below that it has c1 stamped on it vertically and #3 stamped beside it. Below that it has the letter k stamped on it. The edges are still pretty crisp and no chips. It has a slight sway in the center of the face. It has one hardy hole and one pritchel hole, it also has a step that has been ground on the near and off side to spread horse shoes. I reeally like this anvil for my shop work (I shoe gaited horses and make all of my heavy shoes). If its not worth a whole lot than I will cut turning cams in the heel and radius the edges of the heel. I would also turn the horn up a little. It is pretty much round but does taper in to become faily flat. Any advice before I ruin it for the blacksmiths.
Mark Preston.
Mark Preston  <markp at netexpress.net> - Saturday, 09/23/00 01:18:52 GMT

Modifying a Peter Wright: Mark, Peter Wrights were one of the more popular "name" British anvils and still fetch more than average price. Generaly $2 to $3/pound today depending on condition.

Before cutting into it, consider the fact that it is a steel faced wrought iron anvil. Under the hard face is a dead soft wrought iron body. Cutting cams into the heal is very likely to loosen or cause the face/body weld to fail. Welding bosses on the side is less likely to damage it beyond repair.

The fact the these popular anvils have not been made in a long time and that absolutely no wrought body anvils will ever be made again should be enough reason not to modify it.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Saturday, 09/23/00 04:03:45 GMT

OMAHA: Bill, Richard Postman lists an OMSTEEL, manufactured by Omaha Steel of Nebraska (1926). He had no information on the logo/trademark. He might appreciate a photo and a rubbing of the trade mark (see our book review for his address). Sounds like a good minor brand anvil.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Saturday, 09/23/00 04:14:54 GMT

To anyone,
A question regarding heating the shop: My smithy is a 24x24 foot post and beam structure with a steel roof and no insulation in the walls. I am located in north central Mass. where the winters can be somewhat cold. My question is this: Will my coal fired forge give off enough heat to keep the shop comfortable or would it be adviseable to move a coal stove into the shop. I have a spare stove sitting in my basement which is rated to heat 2000 sq ft and I have the extra room in the shop. This will be my first winter working my forge under a shelter so I've no idea how much heat the forge will give or if most of the heat will rise up the stove pipe.
Thanks to anyone wishing to comment.
Mark  <dilligaf at net1plus.com> - Saturday, 09/23/00 12:37:07 GMT

Hi there, Im an Australian seeking to build my own forge and would appreciate any good sites that provide plans/advice.
Luke Benbow  <benbow at dove.net.au> - Saturday, 09/23/00 12:44:30 GMT


My shop isn't as large as yours, but for years I used a little "pot-bellied stove" {the stove, not the shop owner!} for heat. Fired with scrap wood, it would get the shop so hot that I'd have to open the doors. I suspect that your coal forge will be plenty. I currently use an open sided shelter, and the heat bouncing down from the silver tarp roof from the coal forge keeps the area plenty warm enough for bare hand working. And while we don't have as MUCH cold weather here in Carolina as you do in Maine, I have seen the temperature get down to eight below zero. (Course, the whole durn town froze up for a week!) (grin)
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Saturday, 09/23/00 13:05:22 GMT

I am going to disagree with PawPaw. I volunteer at a NHS(Fort Vancouver) and our shop is a fair bit larger than yours and we have 4 forges. Even with all of them running the building does not warm up. BTW the building is made from heavy timbers for the walls and planks for the roof.
We have a good sized wood stove to help take the cold out of the building.
That said, as long as you are working at the forge it will provide some heat, but if you were to go and work at a workbench or somewhere away from the forge you might find it too cold.
Ralph  <ralphd at jps.net> - Saturday, 09/23/00 14:26:19 GMT

Mark Preston: I have heard of farriers trying to turn up the horn on old anvils accidentally snapping the horn off completely. Not as likely with a wrought anvil as with a cast anvil, but something to keep in mind. I'm not a farrier, but I do understand the importance of turning cams and radiused heels a la JHM anvils, but I've never known the importance of the turned-up horn. I'm sure it's for a good reason, but I don't know what it is..

Other Mark: I'm in western KY, and my shop is a 9 x 17 uninsulated chickenhouse. It gets cold enough to freeze the thirty-gallon slack tub solid, and the forge (a large centaur pot) does not heat the place up enough for comfort if you aren't right in front of it. This is with the walls covered in sheets of clear plastic to cut the drafts. If I had a small stove I'd use it, since the forge is on one end of the shop I'd put the stove in the other and run the pipe along the ceiling to radiate extra heat...
Alan L  <longmire at premiernet.net> - Saturday, 09/23/00 14:37:38 GMT

I am a hobby blacksmith, been doingit for about 5 years.

I have two questions, unrelated.

1) I am tring to melt glass into metal opeings, such as rings and other varoius forms. Does anyone have any suggstions as to how to cool the piece without it cracking due to the steel and glass cooling at different rates?

2) Several years ago a firend and I were at a demo where Dale Wedig did some small castings, he melted copper, lead and ? in a certain proporation to get bronze. My question what is the ratio and what is the best container to melt the materials in?

Thanks for any help you may be able to provide.

Sister Sledge  <dumproad at aol.com> - Saturday, 09/23/00 14:48:18 GMT

Forge and Heating: Mark, Even though the forge can make the shop very hot in the summer it is marginal heat in the winter. The hood/vent draws enough air that there is little net gain. The radiant heat warms your face and that's about it. If you have a coal or wood stove, put it in.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Saturday, 09/23/00 16:03:53 GMT

Plans: Luke, I'm afraid we don't have much yet. But check our plans page and the 21st Century page.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Saturday, 09/23/00 16:06:01 GMT

Glass and Iron: Sister, Glass as you mentioned has a different coeficient of expansion than steel. I have not been able to find good specs on glass although I do have a very good book on the subject. The problem is knowing the type of glass. Some glass (common plate and crown) is close to that of steel at .05 to steel at .063, however pyrex glass is .018. This means that the steel would shrink more than the glass.

On cooling most glass needs to be treated like you are annealing steel to prevent undue stresses.

You'll have to experiment with this one. I'd recomend making a "mount" like for jewels. OR use clear fast setting epoxy OR both.

Bronze is Copper/Tin. Brass is Copper/Zinc. There are a great number of proportions. "Commercial Bronze" is 90/10 Copper/Tin. Forging brass is 60/40. Most free machining grades have a small amount of lead.

Bronze must be melted in ceramic or graphic crucibles. Graphite is best. Tin and zinc can be melted in a ceramic (clay) lined steel crucible. The lining is to keep the zinc from disolving the iron. Stray iron is bad for the alloy. Melted zinc is very aggresssive toward bare steel.

If you are intrested in casting I thouroughly reccomend any of the books by C.W. Ammen.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Saturday, 09/23/00 17:08:33 GMT

Well I can't find my reference book, Can anyone give me a temperature to use for consolidating copper/brass mokume? I am going to put some together in my electric furnace and can't find /remember the rough setting. A ballpark figure would be fine.
I got a little free time to work on my stuff today, My wife's stupid***(other name for donkey) Arab mare decided she absolutly would not get in the D*** trailer, so I don't have to take her to the horse show today. The horse decided that she wanted to do backwards sumersaults instead. This is the horse that last month decided she was a locomotive and I was the tracks. I had technicolor bruises from my hip to my knee. Gee I kan't wait to see what she comes up with next.
Pray for me. (sorry for the rant but I had to let off some steam)
Moldy Cold and frosty this morning but getting warmer in Juncion City Or.
Moldy  <rant.rant .rant> - Saturday, 09/23/00 18:09:15 GMT

Mokume Gane': Moldy, Sure that horse doen't have rabies????

The correct setting is the just below or at the melting point of the lowest melting alloy in your stack. I can be more specific if you need. There is a site with good info on the web (sorry no link, I should).

Looked it up. . boy this is simple!

- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Saturday, 09/23/00 20:28:05 GMT

Link and quote: Moldy, more detail

Workshop Handout

Fire the box in a preheated kiln at 50°-100° F below the lowest melting point alloy in the
stack (this is where it is important to know the exact temperature in the kiln). Heat soak for
3-12 hours. Copper and gold alloys bond at 1350° - 1800° F; silver and high-silver alloys
bond at 1300° -1400° F.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Saturday, 09/23/00 20:56:26 GMT

Re: heating the smithy.
Thanks to all for your input. As a result I have decided to move the coal stove through the woods to the shop. This will take 3 MEN, a 4x4 truck, an appliance dolly plenty of BBQ steak and a few beers but will be worth it.
Thanks again,
Mark   <dilligaf at net1plus.com> - Saturday, 09/23/00 22:19:15 GMT

Nah that stupid horse is just bipolar, I'm going to get some lithium and see if it makes any difference. (It's for the horse not me! although after this morning I could use some valium or a stiff drink.) She is just too smart for my own good. One day she'll be as sweet as can be, the next day, Look out! I think she sits around and plans these things.
By the way, I got a catalog from Reactive metals Studio as in the link you posted. They have some stuff I just drool over, Get thee a copy pronto! Prices are a bit rich for me but then I'm cheap.
Thanks Guru I knew I could count on you.
Moldy  <yep> - Saturday, 09/23/00 22:25:08 GMT

thanks for your suggestions aabout getting the stuck hardie out. i sawed it off, then drilled a couple of holes in it then punched it through. by the way, i noticed some letters on the side of the anvil. cleaned them, and can make out the word HILL, and underneath it looks like birmingham. anyone know what this might mean?
coondogger  <onehorse at mediaone.net> - Sunday, 09/24/00 00:02:10 GMT

mark: i have a forge further north than you. in new hampshire. it's only 10 by 10 with a steel roof. open on all sides, for now. i'm going to close it up in November. I'm curious, what do you do for ventilation for your forge and the woodstove? is your roof corrugated? how do you run the pipes? I've found it to be very tricky with a steel roof.
coondogger  <onehorse at mediaone.net> - Sunday, 09/24/00 00:06:28 GMT

COLD -- Well its d...m cold here in the winter.. The forge helps. But at the other I have a 100# propane tank converted to a wood stove.It stands upright,with a door in it and a large damper in the top.. It keeps my shop warm for bare hands and a sweat shirt on.. My stack is left over fire extingushers 7" dia all welded together, about 8' long nice shimmy and I don't have to worry about it burning up..
Oh by the way I am in North Bay Ontario Canada..average winter -2 Celus
Barney  <barney at vianet.on.ca> - Sunday, 09/24/00 00:18:23 GMT

Guru Sir,
I just purchased a Lakeside anvil from a farm auction. The owner passed away at 92 years old, so the 85 lbs. anvil must be old. Beyond this, I know nothing about this make. Will you dig up some goods on Lakeside?
chris rand  <percolate at hotmail.com> - Sunday, 09/24/00 06:05:44 GMT

Coondogger, i have a 212 lb. Hill. doesn't ring as loud as a HayBudden but seems to have decent rebound ,PawPaw had responded to someone else a while back that they were made in Burmingham ,England
Tom L  <Tjlapples at aol.com> - Sunday, 09/24/00 10:57:51 GMT

check your e-mail. I sent you an invitation to possibly visit my smithy here in Mass. Mark.
Mark   <dilligaf at net1plus.com> - Sunday, 09/24/00 11:39:37 GMT


Tom is right, the Hill anvil was made in Burmingham, England.


Lakeside was a trademark of the Montgomery Ward Company. They did not make their own anvils, they marketed anvils made by the Hay Budden company.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Sunday, 09/24/00 12:42:23 GMT

a little more cleaning and i found the old fashioned anvil weight numbers on the other side of the apron. 1, 1, and 24. so, 112 pounds plus another quarter anvil weight comes to 28 + 112 plus 24 pounds = 164. it actually weighed in at 162 at the junk yard and i don't doubt that scale is a few pounds light (ha ha).
coondogger  <onehorse at mediaone.net> - Sunday, 09/24/00 13:20:33 GMT


It's probably lost a couple of pounds since it lift the factory. Wouldn't be at all unusual. Look it over carefully for a serial number. May be able to get an approximate date of manufacture for you.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Sunday, 09/24/00 14:40:36 GMT

Hi, oh great ones!!
Would you be willing to help me get a homemade gas forge up to temp? Or is
it better to do it hands- on?
I made a forge according to the design on the North Texas blacksmiths' site,
but can't get it up beyond a medium/light orange.
6" by 20" volume, # 60 orifice for gas, small exhaust fan blower, flame
holder, 1" Kaowool. Have tried all combinations of fuel/air I can think of,
using a regulator that gives 5 to 30 psi...
Would be grateful for any input whatsoever!
Andy Gladish
Andy  <gladish at cnw.com> - Sunday, 09/24/00 15:48:23 GMT

I wish to learn methods/processes of working in aluminum x sculpting/hobby (hand/machine tools). I have read on TIG welding.
thank you.
bruce Langner  <dairycare at aol.com> - Sunday, 09/24/00 16:24:08 GMT

I wish to learn methods/processes of working in aluminum x sculpting/hobby (hand/machine tools). I have read on TIG welding.
thank you.
bruce Langner  <dairycare at aol.com> - Sunday, 09/24/00 16:25:43 GMT

Mokume Gane' There is an excellent-- detailed, step-by-step, well-illustrated--description of this and related processes in The Design and Creation of Jewelry, by Robert Von Neumann, Chilton Book Co., Radnor, Pa., third
edition, 1982.
Cracked Anvil  <cracked at anvilfire.com> - Sunday, 09/24/00 17:03:57 GMT

Aluminium: Bruce, The better aluminiums to work in the solid are the alloys 2024, 6061 and 7075. Soft (pure) 1000 series aluminium is gummy, clogs files and is hard to get a good machined finish. If you are turning or milling the harder the aluminium the better. 7075-T6 is the best for both high strength and taking a great finish.

Small works can be carved from solid using a saw to blank the work, chisles or die grinders using a carbide rotary file, and files. If you go to a top notch industrial or machine tool supplier they will have special files for aluminium. These are very agressive compared to common files and do not glog from the aluminium.

Aluminium can also be forged but requires a temperature controlled furnace as the heat is critical and cannot be judged by color like steel.

Large sculptures can be fabricated as weldments or raised like hollow ware. Work that is going to be hammered and raised is best made from low alloy aluminium. It will need to be annealed between steps. All the traditional methods of repose' can be applied to aluminium sheet.

Aluminium can be polished to a mirror finish. If the sculpture is to be displayed outdoors (or in a public place) it will need a protective finish. Aluminium does not "rust" but it does oxidize and corrode resulting in a rough white surface. Highly polished pieces generaly do not need a protective finish indoors if they are ocassionaly cleaned, waxed and polished. Typicaly aluminium is lacquered or anodized. Anodized finishes can be "clear" or a variety of colors including gold, red, blue and black. Color anodizing is not recommended on weldments as the welds and heat affected areas will not take the color like the rest of the piece. Anodizing works best on highly finished but not polished surfaces. We normaly finish with 320 grit Wet or Dry sandpaper before anodizing.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Sunday, 09/24/00 17:27:28 GMT

Gas Forge Problems: Andy, There is generaly a delicate balance between gas forge volume and burner design. On the other hand, blower type forges are generaly almost fool proof.

A peculiarity of this forge is the orifice. Blower type forges do not require an orifice although many use a diffuser (with many holes) to break up the heavy propane gas. My first blower type gas forge mearly had a 1/4" NPT fitting going into a 2" bushing (see out plans page). This is how 90% of all forges are built and it works fine.

NOTE: The drawing (plan 1) shows a 1/16" (.0625") orifice, a #60 drill is .040". This is almost 1/3 the opening in the drawing. (.0032sqin /.00125sqin).

You probably are not getting enough gas.

Adjust your fuel/air mixture until you get a loud roar. When optimium the roar is THUNDEROUS and will vibrate the forge, your lungs and often your whole shop. Then back off on the air a little so the noise is not so destructive.

THEN, it usualy takes 15-20 minutes for the forge to get up to temperature. When the forge is running right there should be no visible flames (unless the shop is darkened) or smoke.

On this particular design the "flame holder" is a restriction that increases the velocity of the fuel/air mixture preventing flash back in the burner assembly. Any reduction or nozzel will do the same. On most non-blower "atmospheric" forges the burner design is such that the velocity of the fuel/air mix prevents flash backs. But the balance is such that to make a larger forge it is best to use more burners instead of a bigger one or trying to force a small burner to do more than it is capable.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Sunday, 09/24/00 18:08:21 GMT

Guru and others:

I just bought a vise and would like to know if anyone knows
whether this was for some special purpose. In front of the
jaws is a protrusion that has 4 slightly curves grooves in
it. Looks like for some special purpose. Also, I would
like to know if this was suppose to ratched and latch in
some manner when the pedal is pressed. There is teeth up
inside between the front and back pieces that look like
are intended for some type of spring latching mechanism.
Wondering if anyone knows what is missing here, if anything

Here is a link to a few photos of this vise:


azdoug  <dendrud at earthlink.net> - Sunday, 09/24/00 22:50:23 GMT


Hmm.... That's an interesting piece. Looks like the foot pedal probably operated a pawl of some kind that engaged the teeth on the inside. Far as the protrusion with the grooves, darned if I know.

Can you read what is on that cast plate at the base?
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Monday, 09/25/00 00:29:03 GMT

Funny Vise: Doug, Thats a farriers "caulking vise".

The grooves are for clearing "caulks" on horse shoes. The teeth in center are supposed to support an upsetting block or "back stop". It bolts in place with a sliding "T" nut or bolt plate. I never saw one that had it. . :(

Peddle just clamps shut. Supposed to have a spring to open it. They generaly have flip up replaceble jaws. "Greenfield" was the most common manufacterer.

Yep, looks just like the one I had. Paid to much for it to Bill Gishner then 10 years later sold it to Bruce Wallace for same amount. . .
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Monday, 09/25/00 00:35:06 GMT

Can anyone give me a ballpark value on a Buffalo Forge iron worker? combination punch and shear Model 4b?
I picked one up today at the worlds almost geatest garage sale.

Moldy (now to justify it to my wife)
Moldy Jim  <wwwwwwww> - Monday, 09/25/00 01:23:21 GMT

Gurus and guruettes, A stupid question, I am trying to gorge some old cutter blades into misc tools for the shop, but it is red short, crumbles at a orange heat, whats the aproximate heat range for this steel of unspecified makeup?
(I tole ya it was stupid question), seems to work if kept at a dull read, going black, what is the true skinny here?
Tim - Monday, 09/25/00 01:57:54 GMT

Iron worker: Model number doesn't do me much good. How big? Capacity? Motorized?
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Monday, 09/25/00 02:01:17 GMT

RE shop heat
I have a bit to add on this subject. I have found that the most inportant thing to remember when heating a shop is that heat rises. if your shop has a concrete floor then it will suck all of the heat out of your feet and no amount of anbeant heat will make you feel warm. if and when I build a new shop I will install radent floor heating the added expense is well worth it as it is proven that a worker with warm feet will be able to work longer and safer betwine brakes.
I have forged outside in the winter with no heat (or cover) and the resolt was wich ever part of my body was faceing the forge would sweet then as I turned I would frease but after an hour my feet were blue ( I was wereing a very good pair of boots rated to -10)this was not fun so I say again remember that heat rises.
MP  <mparkinson at mpmetalworks.com> - Monday, 09/25/00 02:30:44 GMT

Tool Steel: the lowest recommended forging temperature for tool steels is 1800°F for O1 and W1. The do not forge below temperature is 1550°F and 1500°F. (a red heat).

It is recommended to heat these steels slowly. If tool steels are over heated they do indeed crumble. However working at lot temperature is also not recommended. It is possible that you are heating the steel too fast and the exterior has reasched higher than the recommended temperatures.

It would help to know what kind of "cutter blades". The ambient lighting in your work area makes a difference. In well lit shops it is hard to judge critical temperatures. The difference between an orange heat and a low yellow is what you are trying to judge.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Monday, 09/25/00 02:39:19 GMT

The Ironworker? (I guess thats what it's called) I hand powered. Size? About 3 foot long 4 1/2' high. It has a shear on the end with the handle, and a punch on the other end. It was in the weeds, covered by dead leaves and dirt.
There are some blades mounted on it now that are about 8" long but they are very acute angled cutting edges. I am not sure what they were used for. It came with a couple of extra blades that look more like shear blades, on of them has a circular cutout in one edge.
The shear part of the machine has a table with slots for clamps or maybe a guide or stop. The handle is a 2" piece of pipe about 5' long, it goes into a fitting on the machine that has two different lever holes so you can start it in one hole and when it went down too far, move to the upper hole and continue.
Any ideas? If you want I can get a tape and measure it. I bought it as is and it's moving a little with a bit of penatrating oil. It's rusted up pretty good.
Moldy Jim
Moldy Jim  <vvvvvvvvv> - Monday, 09/25/00 02:56:46 GMT

I'd like to find out some info about a vise I just bought.
Please look at the pictures at this link:

This vise has a protrusion out in front of the jaws that has 4 grooves cut in it. The grooves have a slight curve
to them and are not cut all the way through on the right
side. Looks like for some special purpose. Also, it looks
like there should be something to make this vise latch shut
when you step on the pedal. There are some teeth cast into
the back side of the front piece that look like they are
made for some sort of rachet mechanism. I would like to
figure out how to make it operational.

doug  <dendrud at earthlink.net> - Monday, 09/25/00 03:35:18 GMT

sorry for the double posting here. The system told me the first time that I was not authorized and I didn't think it posted. But I guess it did anyway.
doug  <dendrud at earthlink.net> - Monday, 09/25/00 03:40:41 GMT

Doug, No problem. The net has been weird today and the server a little buggy. . I had to reboot the mail server. Maybe that effected your post. .

Moldy, Sounds like a nice sized machine. Manual machines of this type are still made but not domesticly (I think). Not too many years ago a Roper Whitney machine that size would have been a couple thousand dollars (new).

The reason I asked if it was motorized is that power ironworkers are money making machines. Manual machines aren't too bad but you would be surprised at how low the capacity is even with that long handle. Use it for work where you don't need to jump on the handle and it will be very productive.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Monday, 09/25/00 05:26:29 GMT

Would be interested in knowing who made smith tools marked with an anchor and a 'P'.

gary  <caronfamily at blazenet.net> - Monday, 09/25/00 13:02:24 GMT

Doug, your vise looks like it could be a bolt heading vise.
The groves inside the vise held an adjustable block that the
stock rested on to keep it from sliding on through the vise.
Bobby  <nealbrusa at netscape.net> - Monday, 09/25/00 15:46:08 GMT

Vise: Bobby, You are right too. I've been told these were "caulking vises" but I think that that is what the surface in the back is for. These are more universal than just as "farriers" vise.

They came with replaceable jaws that had sized grooves marked in them (generaly 2 per set). Mine had 1/2" and 5/8" plus a 1/4" square that had been cut for heading nails.

I expect the pivoting of the jaws was to assure good alignment and a tight grip when upsetting.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Monday, 09/25/00 16:57:23 GMT

A note on heating. We had an trade-ax making workshop in the rebuilt forge at Historic Fort Snelling in Minnesota. In the middle of February. It was a bright, clear, -10 F sort of day. The charcoal forge did a wonderful job of spreading the heat. The building is wood timbered with planks for a ceiling. So, if it is cold, give charcoal a try. ;-)}
tom  <tbarnett at isd.net> - Monday, 09/25/00 18:02:26 GMT

Anchor P: , This is a trademark of Yerkes & Plumb. They also used Y&P and an anchor with Y and P on either side. An 1899 catalog has blacksmith's, farrier's and railroad tools made by Y&P
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Monday, 09/25/00 18:26:49 GMT

Guru, Do have picture of one. The one I have is made
different from this one but like your it has two sets
of dies.
Bobby  <nealbrusa at netscape.net> - Monday, 09/25/00 19:51:12 GMT

Dear Guru,
I am interested in obtaining information on flypresses. Are there any books or other publications that you know of on the subject? Furthermore, I recently purchased a Sweeney and Blocksedge flypress. Where can I find information specific to this machine and the company that it was produced by?
TS Cole  <tscjkc at aol.com> - Monday, 09/25/00 20:59:15 GMT

VISE: Bobby, Here is a hot link to Dougs photos. Mine was identical except for the dies and it was shiney black.


Mine is the one in the left rear of the photo on the V.Hammer-In page (click on it for a little more detail). Its the only photo I have. The only difference is mine had jaws for half and five eights round.

Hey Doug! May I use your photos on anvilfire?
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Monday, 09/25/00 20:59:27 GMT

Flypress: TS Cole, I have several books that refer to flypresses but nothing with much information. The most is in a reprint of "Machine Forging" by J.K. Miller. My copy is burried somewhere in my office. .

Goto our Power hammer Page, Page 9, Flypresses. The image from Miller is there and a summary of the article.

These machines are more common in Europe and are still manufactured in South East Asia. They are most commonly used to produce silver ware, flat ware, low production coinage.

- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Monday, 09/25/00 21:40:15 GMT

pawpaw: couldn't find a serial number.
coondogger  <onehorse at mediaone.net> - Monday, 09/25/00 23:31:32 GMT

Tool steel? thanks for the comments Jock, In the interest of full disclosure, I post the following info on my question about red short cutter blades, my shop lighting and
the phases of the moonstone. The cutters are 5/64 thick, so do not think interior/exterior head difference is much of a concern, they are about 1" wide, 'sharpened' on one edge (double bevel 30 and 60 degrees, 28 inches long, marked wisconsin knife works, The light is good in my shop, good enough to read the tempil chart and see that I had the stuff way out of forging range (on the top end), keeping the heat low makes it behave, but it moves very slow, gets hot fast and cool faast too. Can't hardly walk to the door and scratch myself and get back to the fire before its getting too hot. I assume there is a lower forging limit somewhere above 0 kelvin, probably in the blue brittle range, also perhaps in the sub zero area ? Anyway suprising what a (little) reading will teach ya huh? I'm trying to make a little sideways chisle slitter gizmo to dress up the ends of the chisle cuts in a proto basket twist. Thanks for the input. Enjoy your site.
Tim - Tuesday, 09/26/00 00:28:48 GMT

i've rigged up a stack with a hood over my forge. but i'm a little concerned because the hood is galvanized and when i'm starting up the forge the flames lick the bottom of the hood and there's probably some toxic fumes as a result. any good alternatives to this for a hood?
coondogger  <onehorse at mediaone.net> - Tuesday, 09/26/00 01:03:02 GMT

Tool Steel: Tim, No, there are no other forging ranges listed or recommended. Although high alloy steels act differently than plain carbon steels, they are still steel.

You might want to preheat your anvil. If makes a big difference on small work. After a hard day at the forge your anvil will often be uncomfortable to touch. This is when forging small work goes best. No big work? Then for this project I'd think about preheating the anvil.

I've never done it but I HAVE thought about wrapping heat tapes around the waist of my anvil in the winter time. I used to work outdoors year round. In the winter the extra heat necessary to heat the steel and the rapid cooling on the anvil was significant. A friend of mine found he had a lot of trouble forge welding in his unheated shop during winter months. A recouperative heater improved the fire efficiency so that the difficulties dissapeared.

We rarely think about the temperature of our tools. But it IS something to think about. Old timers knew better than to go out cutting wood with a cold axe so it was common to keep it near the stove. Of course this has nothing to do with your problem but warm tools do make a difference. And it is nearing the season to consider the effects of change in seasons.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 09/26/00 01:17:05 GMT

Forge hood: Coondogger, Unless you heat the zinc above its vapor temperature and it burns there is no problem. If you burn it then there will be loose bright white and yellow oxide on the surface.

If you are really concerned then fit the hood with a stainless heat shield. Purchase a stainless (not aluminium) cookie sheet, then attach it the inside of the hood where flames impinge on the hood. Space it off the surface of the hood about 1". You will be able to burn a hole in the heat shield before the steel reaches the 1200 degrees F or so where there is a problem.

I use heat shields with air spaces on by gas forge to protect the electronics. Two gaps of about 2" (50mm) with freely circulating air keep the back of the electrical box at room temperature.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 09/26/00 01:25:34 GMT

Thanks, O wise ones (wise guys!) for the help with the gas forge. Up and running great!
Andy  <gladish at cnw.com> - Tuesday, 09/26/00 02:03:01 GMT

Coondogger, my forge hood is made from 14 ga. sheet. Works just fine. I put a door on the rear to allow pass through for long stuff ( heat the center of a shepherds hook to twist ). Also have a sliding door on the front, to come down when firing, or sometimes after time away to keep the smoke in the hood. Get a 10" min. flu. Mine's 6", and even with a draft inducer, it chokes sometimes. BTW, the foot vise pictures are very similar to my Green River foot vise ( the vise itself is the same). The teeth are on the posterior of the leg, and there is an adjustable stop. On the place where the teeth are behind the jaw, I have a set of bending dies from small to large ( I've really only used the 3/8, 5/8, and 3/4 ). The dies are in a box cast into the leg. The adj. stop goes up and down under the dies, the length of the leg. I use this vise to twist virtually all the small stuff ( up to 1/2" ), and to just have a third hand for other stuff. Extremely handy tool for bending 90š angles on strap too. Chalk mark on the top for reference to make a group of the same bends. It gets used for an ashtray stand, and also for other stuff too. I have a Mr. Heater for a 20# bottle that keeps my fanny warm. Real cold, I fire the wood stove. Shop is 19 x 23, and drafty as ( well, you know ). Sorry so windy Jock.
Steve O'Grady  <lforge at netins.net> - Tuesday, 09/26/00 05:16:33 GMT

thank guru and steve. i don't see any oxidation on the surface of the gal. steel hood. i guess since it's not in the fire, and about ten inches above it, it's never getting hot enough to burn. btw, steve, i'm not the vise guy. it don't use a post vice, i have a 60 pound machinist vise that i use.
coondogger  <onehorse at mediaone.net> - Tuesday, 09/26/00 11:53:19 GMT


Can you take a picture or two and email them to me. I'm kind at a loss without more information.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Tuesday, 09/26/00 12:52:31 GMT

anybody know where I can buy stamped candle cups for three inch pillar candles? I am not set up to stamp my own yet.
bret   <banderson at acs.roadway.com> - Tuesday, 09/26/00 14:09:04 GMT


Check with Jere Kirkpatrick, Valley Forge and Welding. I buy my regular size cups from him.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Tuesday, 09/26/00 15:29:13 GMT

Steve can you post a picture of the vise and bending dies.
Thanks Bobby
Bobby  <nealbrusa at netscape.net> - Tuesday, 09/26/00 16:07:08 GMT

This Question is for Mr. Epps unless someone else has the answer. Can you give some background to the name of the Christoff Frederick(s) Cross.
Also for Mr. Dempsey: I think you recommend having a welder in the shop. What do you recommend assuming little experience. Can you be specific in regards to Amps, Volts, etc. Brand names if that is not a problem.
Larry Sundstrom, mismithing? - Tuesday, 09/26/00 17:54:59 GMT

Can you give me the basics on how to start making medieval swords?
Daniel Shultz  <korn_rox444 at yahoo.com> - Tuesday, 09/26/00 21:15:13 GMT

Sorry Bobby, no camera at present time hope to get one soon.
Steve O'Grady  <lforge at netins.net> - Tuesday, 09/26/00 22:57:24 GMT

Welders: Larry, The best rule is "as big as you can afford and have power for".

The most common "buzz box" will do everything that needs to be done in a blacksmith shop. This is a 240VAC machine that may draw up to 80-90 amps at full load. That means that it takes a special outlet (a stove range at minimum). Range outlets are generaly rated no more than 50 amps and take a different plug than a welder.

I prefer Miller and Lincoln welders.

NOW, that said, most experianced shop hands will tell you that a MIG welder is faster and more efficient. They are initialy more expensive but pay for themselves in reduced cleanup time. However, they are not suitable for welding rusty, painted or dirty metal. Many rods will flux over and burn through debris that will prevent a MIG machine from making a weld.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 09/26/00 23:37:47 GMT

Basic Medieval Swordmaking: Daniel, Generally if you don't know what the basics are in this field then you need to start with the pre-requisites, Blacksmithing, Metalurgy and Heat treating. There is nothing "basic" about swordmaking, it is the top of the metal smiths field.

One of the most important skills required For "Medieval" sword making is forge welding. This is an ancient and "primitive" skill. It is also one of the most frustrating of the blacksmithing skills to become proficient at.

Start with our "Getting Started" article and the books recommended.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 09/26/00 23:52:49 GMT

Christoff Fredricks is a European Blacksmith that demoed this way of making a cross at the 1992 or 94 ABANA Conference.

I learned it from Francis Whitaker a few years later (Francis named it the Cristoff Frederick's Cross)

Bill Epps  <B-Epps at besmithy.com> - Wednesday, 09/27/00 01:03:25 GMT


For a quck overview of what was involved in early medieval swordmaking, check out:
http://members.ttlc.net/~tyrell/Viking4.htm . When I find the time (When's that?) I have a longer, more detailed article to be posted here. I just have to get around to editing...

Ever optimistic on the rainy banks of the lower Potomac.

Visit your National Parks (over 8 million hits a week!): www.nps.gov

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

Bruce Blackistone  <asylum at us.HSAnet.net> - Wednesday, 09/27/00 02:50:56 GMT

How do I get the metal that hot?
Mike  <DrewJE at Mindspring.com> - Wednesday, 09/27/00 03:34:05 GMT

HOT: Mike, Traditionaly blacksmiths burn coal or charcoal but wood has been used. Air blown on the fire makes it hot enough (3,000°F 1,650°C).

The air has been blown many ways. By lung power through wooden pipes (this takes several people). Then skins were used over shallow pits in the ground with tunnels leading to the fire fire pit. Normally two were placed side by side and the skins pinched at the center or pulled by a cord. By alternating from one to the other a steady flow of air was produced. Later "wine skins" were used similarly and these evolved into the bellows (two boards with skins (leather) between them.

Forges have also been blown by the wind and by falling water.

Modern forges use a little electric fan called a "squirl cage blower".

Forge fuel can also be natural gas, propane gas or fuel oil. But coal is the best for many things.

- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 09/27/00 07:30:31 GMT

How do I make swords and shields?
Mike  <DrewJE at mindspring.com> - Wednesday, 09/27/00 03:38:51 GMT

Swords and shields?: Mike, you follow the advice previously given. Learn to listen, go to school, learn research skills and study books on the subjects. Purchase tools and learn how to use them to make simple things from wood, leather, metal and plastic.

Then I'll tell you how to make a sword.

You must learn to walk before you climb the mountain.

Knowledge is the craftspersons most important tool.

- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 09/27/00 08:00:00 GMT

i have found many plans for gas forges. see occasional references to fuel oil forges, but have never seen anything more than a reference. any details, plans, or general information would be appreciated.
dennis smith  <dsmith3725 at aol.com> - Wednesday, 09/27/00 12:31:42 GMT

I am thinking about purchasing a small propane forge. I am looking for a unit that doesnt need electricity. Mainly I will use it to forge 1/4 inch rod and twist 1/2 inch square (small ornamental ironwork). Can anybody recommend a quality unit?
bret  <banderson at acs.roadway.com> - Wednesday, 09/27/00 13:20:27 GMT

Small gas forges: Bret, Check our reviews of the NC-TOOLS Whisper Baby and Whisper Momma on our 21st Century page. The full line on-line catalog is on the Wallace Metal Works page.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 09/27/00 13:36:58 GMT

Oil Forge: Dennis, I've got one incomplete plan. But our man in New Zealand, Andrew "Kiwi" Hooper is running one he built by converting a gas forge he had built.

His forge is a typical large pipe enclosure lined with Kaowool. The burner is a common gas furnace unit complete with blower, pump and ignition. The other I know of is similar but uses a stacked brick enclosure.

The advantage of oil forges is that they are much easier to create a reducing atmosphere than in a gas forge. This makes them excellent for forge welding. The disadvantage is that they must be vented up a stack or chiminey due to fumes.

- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 09/27/00 13:45:50 GMT

Hey, Bruce, I never saw that blacksmithing article before. Itīs darned good.
BTW, the big riveted iron cauldrons (Iīve made a few) arenīt really watertight until you cook a big batch of porridge in them (grin).
Olle Andersson  <utgaardaolle at ebox.tninet.se> - Wednesday, 09/27/00 15:24:53 GMT

great site
John 2 Rivers  <psnyman at nvinet.com> - Wednesday, 09/27/00 15:51:24 GMT

Thank you for the information about stirrup iron. In October of 1805 on the Lewis and Clark trail, Whitehouse writes in his journal they branded 38 horses with a stirrup iron. How feasible would it have been to make a stirrup iron on the trail and what tools and type of iron would it have taken. Thank you for any information
Diane  <diane at empireforliberty.com> - Wednesday, 09/27/00 18:44:12 GMT

Branding with Stirrup: Diane, You are making too much of this.

From what I know of the expedition they hauled tons of equipment with them. All their horses were shod and the riding horses saddled when they left. There were spares of almost everything. That means they had at least 2 stirrups per saddle when they left. AND, they could have made or repaired them if needed.

They carried a small anvil and blacksmithing tools. Hammers, tongs, chisles. . Probably a bellows too. To brand using a stirrup iron, you remove it from the saddle, heat it in the fire, then handle it with the blacksmith tongs. When finished, quench the iron but it back on the saddle. . .
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 09/27/00 21:24:01 GMT

Used to be in some parts that if a cowboy had a cinch ring that showed evidence of being heated, he was assumed to be a rustler. It would not be easy to use to change a brand tho..... even if you had a pair of tongs to hold it with.....

Ralph  <ralphd at jps.net> - Wednesday, 09/27/00 22:01:58 GMT

Cinch Ring: Ralph, Its not much different than the end of a "running" iron. And you KNOW that some varmits work harder at theivin' than they would at an honest job!
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 09/27/00 22:16:39 GMT

Tonights Demo: 9:30 Eastern, 8:30 Central, 7:30 Mountain -
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 09/28/00 01:17:19 GMT

Guru and Grandpa: Forged a 3/16th X 1" X 4" bar of D-2 into a 4 1/2" hidden tang blade today. Holy Smokes..took 3 times longer than any 10XX or 5160. Even 52100 seems softer at forging heat. After forging, I took it to non magnetic and burried in warm ashes for about 2 hours. The tang is still too hard to drill a 1/8" pin hole (cobalt drill bit). I had a similiar problem with 52100 and used a 000 tip to blow a hole in the tang. Any advice on anealing D-2 befor I get the tourch after it. How do you aneal an air hardening steel. It cut easily with a hacksaw befor the forging.
Randall Guess  <RanDGuess at aol.com> - Thursday, 09/28/00 01:39:10 GMT

Anealing Air Hardening Steel: Randall, The cooling rate is very critical. The book says 40°F/h from 1600-1650. That's 20-24 hours at a steady rate to still be 200°F. The non-magnetic point being 1425°F appears to be too low to anneal. . .

Since the critical time is the first 8-10 hours it probably needs to be brought down in a furnace or salt pot.

Lets put it this way, If spit doesn't sizzle a day and a half later it probably cooled too fast. I've had the best luck with quick lime but never tried to anneal air hardening.

Grandpa may have some trick for this.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 09/28/00 03:35:12 GMT

Randall: Guru speaks the truth. To get D2 soft, first soak at the critical temperature for at least 30 minutes, then cool very slowly down to 1300F. The temperature slide from critical to 1300F needs to take 10 hours, in order to convert all of the austenite to pearlite.
grandpa  <darylmeier at aol.com> - Thursday, 09/28/00 04:47:51 GMT


You can use the pictures however you want. I can see what you are saying about using the ridges in the inside of the vise to mount an upsetting plate using a T nut and bolt, at any height below the jaws. Whatever you clamp in the vise jaws could then rest on that plate for support for upsetting. I didn't quite understand about the replaceable dies. Your saying that the rear jaw (that pivots as shown on one of the pictures) came in different forms, with grooves in it also? I'm thinking it may be worthwhile to install this vise and see how useful it may be.

doug  <dendrud at earthlink.com> - Thursday, 09/28/00 06:03:09 GMT

Ok, now I have never tried this, but I have heard if you want to drill a hole on air hard tool steel that is too hard to drill, Take a small piece of sulfur and place it where you want to drill the hole. Heat the part until the sulfur burns away. Supposedly the sulfur will soften the steel enough to allow you to drill it.
Personally I use a piece of carbide with a spade drill tip ground on it, If that doesn't work a 60 degree pyramid point with 3 or 4 sides uaually does the job for me.
I have removed lots of broken taps like that. (no, I didn't break ALL of them) ;)
Moldy Jim  <???> - Thursday, 09/28/00 06:10:56 GMT

Holes in Tangs: Randall, a while back I made some tools from a circular saw blade of unknown chemistry. We needed to "drill" a hole in one end and didn't want to have to reheattreat the whole blade. . We heated a spot with a torch and cooled slowly in lime. No good. Wrecked several new cobalt HSS drill bits. . The surrounding steel probably quenched the spot. SO, I made a punch from a little short piece of tap, and a die from mild steel, and punched the holes on an arbor press.

Hard (tempered) steels punch great. You could also use a similar technique with the tang hot (above the blue brittle range) somewhere in the low red range. Air quench steel will still be hard but not very. .

Just avoid the 10 hour anneal. Its not even recommended to normalize this steel. Just to heat it slow.

Semi hot machine punching is rarely done but should produce a relatively clean hole. If you setup stops the locations can be very accurate.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 09/28/00 06:11:46 GMT

Vise: Doug, Yes, the jaws had half round grooves in each. Drop the bar in, clamp, hit. A very handy device if you have all the pieces.

I just looked in my catalog collection and couldn't find one. . AHhhhhh! In the 1916 Sears Blacksmiths Catalog is a similar machine made by Wiley and Russel. Sold for $10.83 including bolt heading dies. Its sold as a blacksmiths "Shoeing Vise and Bolt Header". The design is a little different, the upsetting block fits on the "back" of the vise. The dies appear to drop into where the calking grooves are on the Greenfield Vise.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 09/28/00 06:36:54 GMT

I am looking for a list of farriers in the central belt of Scotland. Can you help?
Lindsay  <Lindsay at harrison-scott.co.uk> - Thursday, 09/28/00 12:27:30 GMT

How do you make uniform twists for legs on old fashioned ice cream chairs?
Paul Brown  <paul at brown0eng.com> - Thursday, 09/28/00 13:27:29 GMT

Here is my correct email address. How do you make unifom twists for legs on old fashioned ice cream chairs?
Paul Brown  <paul at brown-eng.com> - Thursday, 09/28/00 13:28:44 GMT

Guru, what is the easiest way to forge a ring, about 2.5 inches in diameter using 1/4 inch round. I can make rings but i have a hard time getting them to lay flat.
bret  <banderson at acs.roadway.com> - Thursday, 09/28/00 14:59:36 GMT

Assuming you have a fairly flat face on your anvil, just heat ring and lay on the anvil and straighten. Just takes a little patience and effort.
Ralph  <ralphd at jps.net> - Thursday, 09/28/00 15:13:30 GMT

What is the name of the metal craft using an awl to cut designs in flat metal? Saw it on T.V. but can't remember name. Thank you
Dee  <deei at hotmail.com> - Thursday, 09/28/00 15:20:49 GMT

Uniform Twists: Paul, The most uniform twists are made in cold stock using a twisting machine. If the part is twisted continously then you start with stock that is twisted in full bar lengths and cut it to length. Most production furniture of the type you refer to was (is) made this way. The architectual metals folks sell twisted bar stock or you can twist your own.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 09/28/00 16:32:09 GMT

Rings: Bret, There is no need to forge 1/4" round into a ring. Coil a bar around a mandrel made from a short length of pipe (cold). Then cut the rings off the coil with a hack saw. A gentle twist in a vise or by hand and the ends line up and are as flat as the bar was straight when you started.

Otherwise Ralph is right, a few taps while laying on the face of the anvil and it should be flat (hot or cold).

Straightening is a bit of an art and relies more on being able to SEE flat than making flat. The biggest mistake made is overcompensation (hitting it too hard). The second, if working hot, is not having a uniform heat. A small part like this is easy to heat uniformly and you should be able to just push it flat with the hammer.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 09/28/00 17:03:00 GMT

Dee If holes are punched it is piercing. If a decorative pattern is cut in the surface it is engraving. If engraving the tools are called gravers. They look like an awl but the point is actualy a small chisel shape.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 09/28/00 17:09:41 GMT

Oil Forge: Here's a thought. Would it be feasible to recycle/convert the blower/burner of an oil-furnace into a blacksmith forge heat source?
denny-vee  <denis.verreault at pwgsc.gc.ca> - Thursday, 09/28/00 17:22:50 GMT

Oil Forge: Denny, That's what the units described above are. The whole unit is mounted next to a refractory enclosure and fired up! There needs to be a some distance between the forge and the burner to prevent overheating the burner. It has also been recommended to mount the burner slightly "up hill" so any oil mist that settles runs back into the forge.

I'll see if I can get Kiwi to write an article about his.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 09/28/00 19:41:02 GMT

Guru, Grandpa & Moldy..Thanks for the response on D-2. I knew I had a problem when I had to get it cherry red to stamp my touchmark on the blade. I have the specs on forgeing, heat treat and temper, but nothing about annealing. I dont have the equipment for that long process anyway. If all else fails I will use a 000 tip and oxy/acet and blow a small hole in the tang. Thanks again for the info and thank you Guru for this extrodiniary site.
Randall Guess  <RanDGuess at aol.com> - Thursday, 09/28/00 21:55:27 GMT

Randall: We all learn from the hard questions. . .
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 09/28/00 23:43:48 GMT

ice cream parlor chairs I've seen all had twisted wire legs-- maybe quarter-inch round stock bent back on itself with a nice open loop at the floor end, then twisted like rope. Soooo, get yourself some quarter-inch round stock, heat maybe a foot of it to a soothing red glow, bend it over on itself, stick the two ends in a vise, insert the bending tool of your choice into the loop and twist. Maintain the heat or the twist will go sour. Try it cold? Who knows, maybe you're stronger than I am.
Cracked Anvil  <cracked at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 09/29/00 01:40:29 GMT

metal forging and hand forging
CH  <Hsonic64> - Friday, 09/29/00 01:53:20 GMT

I have a Whisper Momma gas forge, backdoor model. (N.C Tool ).( After 1990). I am needing to reline the forge.
I like the Open End Model that N.C.makes.
The dimensions seams to be the same on both models.
MMMMMMMMMM.....got me a thinki'n

Smurf  <bove at semo.net > - Friday, 09/29/00 01:53:55 GMT

Reline Kits: Smurf, I'm told that the kits come without holes for all models and you have to cut the holes in the insulation. Drop Bruce Wallace an e-mail and ask for a quote. I know NC-TOOL and other makers do not sell their burners without a forge (for some good reasons) but I'd think the doors would be available.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 09/29/00 02:22:43 GMT

FWIW Norm Larson will have plans available tomorrow for the "Hugh McDonald" rolling machine that was in the "Blade" magazine several issues back.
grandpa  <darylmeier at aol.com> - Friday, 09/29/00 05:08:10 GMT

I am a A-Level student and have previously tinkered in blacksmithing but now want to learn how to do it properly. Do you know if there any courses near Woking in Surrey, Britain. please reply as i would really like to learn blacksmithing.
Joni Pelham  <pelhamfamily at tinyonline.co.uk> - Friday, 09/29/00 15:48:50 GMT

School in Britian: Joni, Please forgive my lack of British geography. This is the only school in Britian that I am familiar with:

The Dorset School of Blacksmithing

You should check with BABA, the British Artist Blacksmith Association. They will know what schools and shops that offer training are close by.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 09/29/00 16:29:27 GMT

I am looking for a web page or book on making
medeival armour\knights. If there is anything
that would help, I would appreciate it. I am
32, with 14 years of machining, fabrication.
Would like to make a suit to fit. Good for
Halloween and to display.

Thanks for your help,

Johnny McGaugh Spartanburg, SC

johnny mcgaugh  <mcgaugh1 at go.com> - Saturday, 09/30/00 05:45:25 GMT

Guru, Grandpa, Moldy...Humbled again by D-2. I tried to burn a hole with oxy/acet but it just pooled in a small crater, sort of like stainless. I had no idea that it wouldnt flame cut. I suppose it is the Cr, Mo, V and other alloys that prevent flame cutting. My 11th edit. Machinery's Handbook dosent cover D-2 or I havent forund it yet if it does. Overall an interesting experience that I learned a lot from. My solutition was to grind several intents down the 4" tang and imbed in epoxy.Thanks to everyone for help and advice.
R. Guess  <RanDGuess at aol.com> - Saturday, 09/30/00 13:53:26 GMT

Armor: Johnny, We have 2 articles on armor on our 21st Century page. They will give you an idea of the tools involved.

Then, Our Web-Rings page has The Armourers Ring which has some 140 sites on it. . . will keep you busy exploring a while.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Saturday, 09/30/00 14:14:37 GMT

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