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 Sept 18 - 23, 2001 on the Guru's Den
[ THE - GURUS | ABOUT THIS PAGE | Getting Started in Blacksmithing ]

Thomas Powers, you need to go to Keenjunkyard Archive and find your Friday June 8th 2001 post and read it.

"remind yourself what can happen if you get to stuck with worrying about the money or just letting "good stuff" build up till it can`t be found or used."

"if your shop is getting a bit cramped find a young smith just starting out and pass some of the stuff on."

"set up a table or tarp on the ground (Quad State) price everything and leave a can for the money"

"don`t let the stuff take control, if its degrading in condition without you using it what are you holding on to it for?"

"Pass on" to me means give it away, please do so, a young smith would really benefit from this act.
With your tong rack overflowing by the hundreds and your stacks and stacks of tools you should let some circulate thru the blacksmith community in your area.
Thomas its about time (Quad State) to practice what you preach.

   Robert - Tuesday, 09/18/01 00:35:14 GMT

Travel: I am finaly home. Lots of catchup to do.
   - guru - Tuesday, 09/18/01 01:01:48 GMT


With no intention of "getting on your case", I think you both mis-understand what Thomas Powers was saying, and mis-judge him as a person.
   Paw Paw Wilson - Tuesday, 09/18/01 01:13:09 GMT

Pete you might even get away with 3 on that size but 4 wouldnt be much more work and you dont need to run em all if not needed, definately put chokes on them if you want to leave 1 or 2 burners not running sometimes, makes it easy to block the burner off so the heat doesnt escape out the tube. Mounting depends really on the forge shape I think, your dimensions are similar to mine so Id put them all along one side, you can change the angle by using the bolts that hold the burners in the tubes in the photo. Yeah forges are cheap to build huh but expensive to buy, mine cost about $150 Australian dollars (75 US) and I bought the stainless flares from the guy in the states zoeller? is it? Good luck.
   Shannell - Tuesday, 09/18/01 01:28:13 GMT

What is T1 good for? I can get some scrap pieces for free is it a very usefull alloy?
Thank you.
   - Jim Ellis - Tuesday, 09/18/01 01:48:37 GMT

thought for today: be glad black widows can't fly... yet.
   Cracked Anvil - Tuesday, 09/18/01 02:49:24 GMT

Guru and crew,

What is a good "starter" high carbon steel, for someone who is just starting to play wih making knives and other cutting tools? Ideally it would make good, tough knives, but be relitivly easy to work and harden and temper.

I am trying to avoid any steels that require programable furnaces, cyro treatments, or are insanely hard to work. What would you recommend? Something good but easy to work is much better than something great but beyond my skills and tools. 5160? 1095? something else?

Thanks in advance....

   - Jim Freely - Tuesday, 09/18/01 03:50:39 GMT

My name is Cracked, and I am a junkaholic.... Hey, guys.... Guys! Could we keep it civil, here, for crying out loud? Some of us are trying to get some work done! or at least, talked about. Guy wants to keep his yard full of junk, or tools, or old cars, or wood stoves, or corrugated roofing, or old water tanks, or give it away, or sell it, or weld it all into one gigantic megalithic sculpture, that is his business and I will defend to the death his right to do it. And I will defend with equal zeal yours to criticize him for doing so. But, look, do it on your own time, okay? These are high-priced, hard-to-get imported pixels Jock is using here, and we cannot be wasting them on piffle like this when we have important things to discuss, like what happened to Desiree after she lured poor old Cgnothur down into the labyrinth for some hot rasping.... Dig?
   Cracked Anvil - Tuesday, 09/18/01 04:04:37 GMT

hey cracked were's your blue/green .... some how It just don't feel right seein your name in black.
   MP - Tuesday, 09/18/01 04:45:44 GMT

Hey, if it's good enough for The Cisco Kid, The Durango Kid, Johnny Cash, The Queen of Swords, Zorro, The Shadow, why, my goodness....
   Cracked Anvil - Tuesday, 09/18/01 05:53:24 GMT

I'm in the process of creating drawings for some precision fit parts that I'm going to have manufactured. In one circumstance, a shaft has to fit into a hole with a four ten thousandths (0.0004) of an inch diametrical clearance between the two. These parts will be blued after they are manufactured. Do the diameter of the shaft increase and the diameter of the hole decrease as a result of the bluing process? I think not because the bluing process oxidizes the outermost layer of steel. My model-maker friend doesn't have a lot of experience working with blued parts, but he said it has to change the diameters somewhat. I'd appreciate any information, rules of thumb, or results of experience that could be sent as I've searched around quite a bit and can find no information whatsoever.
   Brian - Tuesday, 09/18/01 11:37:14 GMT

Leanne and the middle school young'uns:

Since it hasn't been said yet, depending on where your Glasglow is located, there is probably a blacksmith group in your area. Any number of members from this group has probably done teaching to kids, and most would love to assist in the opportunity of passing the love of iron to a whole new set of kids. So, if you can narrow down whereabouts you might be, a group can probably be found.
   Escher - Tuesday, 09/18/01 12:45:18 GMT

Jim Freely,W1 drill rod is good, is called Silver Steel in the UK. It's usually about 0.95 to 1% carbon content. It's easily obtained via catalogs like McMaster-Carr, MSC, Travers Tool, etc. Our local welding supplier carried it for a while, and then stopped. It comes scale-free.
   Frank Turley - Tuesday, 09/18/01 12:51:18 GMT

Hey; I'm not offended---it was a bit of a brag and someone who is in a dearth of smithing stuff could get a tad hot under the collar. I hope that new folk can read this and go out and do likewise---or even better! *Don't* get stampeded into paying a big price before you find out what things are like in your area. Then if you can wait a bit start working the methods to getting stuff below the "going rate". I pass up a lot of stuff that's "cheap" but not as cheap as I would like. I get $20 "allowance" every week to spend on myself--that's propane/coal, books, tools, materials for my hobbies as well as day to day "stuff" I may be paying an anvil off back into the family "funds" for months after I buy it. Yet by scrounging and hunting stuff down I have a lot of fun as well as some nice smithing stuff.

As of last Saturday I own 11 postvises: 2 are mounted in the shop, 1 is my travel demo vise and two are on loan/sale to local smiths. This leaves 6 vises; now I hope to install 3 more when I get a bigger shop so each forging station is equipped, so that leaves 3 vises---really up until Saturday it was 2 vises and what was I going to sell?--2 vises and one at a price even a college student could afford. Saturday I got up at 5:30 am and skedaddled to the fleamarket cause a fellow 2 weeks ago said he might bring in a postvise and I wanted to be there when he arrived as competition is fierce for smithing stuff here (friendly; I could buy something right before another smith got to it and they would even loan me the money to do so; if they pass on something they will be sure to let me know about it so I can give it the once over; but its a race to get there *first*---at 5:45 one smith was already making a trip *back* to his van with a load and there was only a scant handfull of folks selling in the dark! Having talked with this seller I was prepped to get there early and *ask* if he had it before it hit the ground!)

I hope that selling the two vises will pay for my quad-state. I don't buy much on "spec" $20 a week doesn't go far and books are a constant drain on the money. Usually I will pass stuff on to the local smithing group first at what I paid for it or a couple of dollars "gas money" more; but I have been going through the tools and selecting stuff to sell, trying to keep the ammount of tools pretty steady and the quality going up.

Now if anyone has a B3 Beverly shear they would like to trade I would let them have pick of a couple of the remaining postvises...

Thomas Fleamarket tomorrow, take child #1 to buss then off for a quick trot through it and then on to work....
   Thomas Powers - Tuesday, 09/18/01 13:17:15 GMT

MP-- all kidding aside, what happens is, the electrons go from this machine directly to the website via a satellite bounce off the Van Allen Belt, and in doing so, see, the polarity gets synchronized with my mood. Sometimes it comes out blue, but these days one never knows, do one?
   Cracked Anvil - Tuesday, 09/18/01 14:36:16 GMT

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan is going full steam in refurbishing a 1900-era blacksmith shop in the little ghost town of Glen Haven. The timber frame repair is done, siding repaired, new floor in, shutters being installed, and new brick hearth about 3/4 finished. We have 99% of the tools and equipment needed, and hope to open to the public with a demonstrator by next Memorial Day. If you are in northwest lower Michigan next summer, stop by and say hello.
   Neal Bullington - Tuesday, 09/18/01 14:59:41 GMT

LeAnn's question: I sent her a nic long mail.

Bluing Precision Parts: Brian, The oxides including rust are larger molecules than the base metal. The part grows. The only way to tell how much is to make exact test parts. In anodizing it can be several thousandanths of an inch but depends on time, color, finish and freshness of bath. I never checked steel but a gunsmith should know.
   - guru - Tuesday, 09/18/01 16:12:50 GMT

Depth of Coal Forge: Larry, depending on the forge you can forge weld with a fire 1" (25cm) deep. Most fire pots are about 4-5" (100-125mm) deep but then extra coal is pile up above that as needed. Parts are burried in the coal fire and big pieces won't fit in the post so they must be above it. "Table" forges have no pot and the coal is just piled up. The table must be large enough to support the mound of coal at its natural incline of about 40° and ocassionaly has a lip to help keep coal from rolling off.

There are all kinds of solid fuel forges and most work IF you know how to work them. But there are also all kinds of coal and some types won't work no matter how hard you try. Charcoal however, is fairly standard with a little difference in density depending on the type of wood it is made from.

A many farriers as there are in KY there has to be several suppliers in Lexington which is close to dead center in KY.

Stoker is often a better grade than others because it must not clog the automatic machinery but it is not necessarily the best.
   - guru - Tuesday, 09/18/01 16:25:49 GMT

Does anyone know how much a 50 lb. Little Giant wieghs? ( I know the ram weighs 50 lb. I want the weight of the entire unit). I will be going to Quad State on Friday morning looking for one, or a similar model.

T1: T1 is a high speed steel with the following composition
Carbon 0.75%
Manganese 0.30%
Silicon 0.30%
Chromium 4.00%
Vanadium 1.00%
Tungstem 18.00%
Molybdenum 0.70%
This steel would be very difficult to forge by hand. It is very temperature sensitive and will be red hard. However, if it can be obtained in flat stock, it could be ground into knives, but they would have to be professionally heat treated. It could also be used for lathe cutters, which is what it was originally designed to for.

Patrick-who is looking for a power hammer now that he has graduated from college.

   - Patrick - Tuesday, 09/18/01 17:03:32 GMT

Clutter leads to lack of space which leads to deparate measures, in my case seeking the counsel of my wife. She was in the shop triing to help me figure out how to move a work bench in order to put in a garage door that would open onto one of the most beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Moutains you will ever see. She started in on the stuff that is totally out of the way on the ceiling joists. What does it matter if it is absolute trash. Who is it hurting. She denounces it just because it clutters visual space. Her eye then lit on a double chamber bellows that I had made but no longer use. I could tolerate the thought of selling it.....(cheap). But, as her consultation continued it eventually arrived at the first mechanical hammer I built. It is a true member of the junk yard kennel, involves some remarkable engineering, and has a very unique monster gear box. Hey, its part of my personal history, family legacy, so what if I probably won't use anymore.
Here's my question: Was I wrong to ask for my wife's advise?
   Lsundstrom - Tuesday, 09/18/01 17:09:46 GMT

Neal, I was a Michigander for 5 years, and I say "Bully! Bully!" Hope to visit y'all someday.
   Frank Turley - Tuesday, 09/18/01 17:19:26 GMT

Patrick, Contact Suedemeier in Nebraska City: Ph 402-873-6603. I tried to pick up my 25 pounder once and barely got it off the ground. I bet it weighs about 1,000#. Don't try it a home.
   Frank Turley - Tuesday, 09/18/01 17:29:07 GMT

Advise? Larry, NEVER ask if you don't want to hear it! Especialy from someone that is likely to have the opposite opinion as yours. "Opposite" sex does not just apply to the mating of parts.

Weight of Little Giant See LG specs chart on Power hammer Hammer page. It includes with and without motors. 25# LG's weigh 870 pounds or more depending if they are the transition type or if they have the heavy factory motor.

Late 50# LG's weigh 1800 pounds with motor. But I suspect the earlier models that were taller weighed the same without a motor.

Don't get focused on just Little Giants. Fairbanks, Bradley and Beaudrys were ALL better built and more common in industrial shops than LG's. The LG is popular because there are a lot of them. It was cheap and the company would sell them to anyone on credit. Farmers used and wore out millions of 25 and 50 pound hammers.

There is nothing you cannot do on a 100# hammer that you can do on a 25 but there are a lot of things you cannot do on the 25 that you can do on the 100.
   - guru - Tuesday, 09/18/01 18:11:51 GMT

Vises: A blacksmith can never have enough or big enough vises. Every bench needs one or more. I have both leg vises and heavy chipping vises. Old heavy chipping vises are nearly as useful as good leg vises and are better for many things. But in a one man shop you never can use more than two at a time. . . Then there are also drill press vises and milling machine vises. These are a different animal (NO HAMMERING) that are equaly as important as a leg vise if you have a drill press.
   - guru - Tuesday, 09/18/01 18:19:00 GMT

Catching up: I'm still catching up on this weekend's mail and Pub registrations. Should get there after I archive this much too long page. .
   - guru - Tuesday, 09/18/01 18:20:29 GMT

Larry, old sport, forget it. It is not a subject that is vulnerable to rational discourse. Take my word for it. My wife-- literally-- bursts into tears when she even comes within eyeshot of my stuff. The other day, when I picked up a hundred or so perfectly gorgeous sheets of rusted corrugated roofing over at the landfill, you'da thought I shot her puppy. She absolutely, positively, categorically, despises junk. Can't stand it. (And to her, and to most women, it's ALL junk. Why, I even built a perfectly lovely fence around it out of really handsome cargo pallets to spare her the indignity of having to see it, and guess what...? Right, she hated that, too. Other day the propane engineer comes to see about this new gas line, and he loves the place, calls my scrap pile a candy store, etc. Does this and other similar reactions sway her? Not a bit. Do her feelings prevent her from coming over to ask if I might have a thing, you know, that would work to, um.... Ha!
   Cracked Anvil - Tuesday, 09/18/01 19:04:37 GMT

My LG 50 weighs 1,800 pounds. Do not try to move it singlehandedly. Make a template for the base so you can set the bolts before you try to set it in position.
   Cracked Anvil - Tuesday, 09/18/01 19:09:00 GMT

Thanks for the info on weight of LG hammers. I would happily purchase a hammer larger that 50 lb (or by a different manufacturer) but I doubt if i would find a larger one that will fit w/in my current budget or my garage. I currently am renting an apartment in a large house and the landlord lets me use the garage to smith in. The garage is an old carrige house and one has standard 120V outlets, so i am also trying to find a hammer that will work with a motor that i can run off of that outlet.
Thanks for all the info and if you know of anyone wanting to part with a hammer cheap let me know.
   Patrick - Tuesday, 09/18/01 19:38:30 GMT

Larry in KY: Where are you? I'm a bit further than 75 miles from Louisville, myself, NW of Bowling Green. Has C-E gone up to $200/ton for their smithing coal? It was $75/ton in January of 2000, last time I bought any. Nasty, smoky, dusty stuff it is, too. I haven't been able to find a better supplier in central KY, though. Some folks around here drive all the way to Brazil, Indiana to get real smithing coal, at $5 per bag.
   Alan-L - Tuesday, 09/18/01 19:49:20 GMT

Patrick; *great* idea to look into picking up a hammer before your family starts growing---but you will have to move it during the "restless" years. I've moved several 50#'s by myself come alongs, block and tackle---as long as you have a good lift point and a good support point and take it *slow* and *safe* it can be done---OTOH you have *friends* with a small crane....

See you at Quad-State

   Thomas Powers - Tuesday, 09/18/01 20:17:09 GMT

Let America's light shine tonight! Forward from Mark Linn AFC.

9:30 Central
8:30 Mountain
7:30 Pacific

Announced on the radio that the U.S. has asked that everyone step out on their lawns tonight at 10:30 and light a candle. They will be taking a satellite picture of the U.S. and posting it on the news tomorrow morning.

Please pass this on to as many people as possible.

Personal note from guru, ANY lights will show up. Flash lights, porch lights, that Christmas tree you haven't taken the lights off, auto head lights, window lights. . . be imaginative.
   - guru - Tuesday, 09/18/01 20:53:57 GMT

Re vises. "Ya' gotta' give up some of 'em, or you won't get good at any of em."
   Frank Turley - Tuesday, 09/18/01 21:07:06 GMT

I need a diagram on how to build a fire pot with grate and all for a wood or coal forge. I am just getting started and I am extremely anxious to heat my first piece of steel to see what it feels like. I am pretty good with tools and I can read blue prints I just need to have a better understanding of how hot it is and stuff like that. I have been looking and I cant find a web site with blue prints or even a hand sketch. Thank you so much,
   Devin Howard - Tuesday, 09/18/01 23:03:58 GMT

Firepot: Devin, we don't have drawings of a firepot but we have a "brake drum" forge on our plans page. Its a good start. Note, coal and charcoal can be used in the same forge howver it takes a deeper charcoal fire due to the lower density of the fuel. Wood is not normaly used. It IS on occasion but it is better to coal it first.
   - guru - Tuesday, 09/18/01 23:56:00 GMT

BRIAN: bluing is a rusting process and it will add to the metal being blued. That's why some gunsmiths plug both ends of a gun barrel when bluing. It will make a tight chamber tighter. Do some testing then give yourself a couple ten thousands for the bluing.

Also has any one tried the blacksmiths coal from Skei Coal in Ames Iowa? It is from W.Virginia, Pocahontas I think.
   ROY - Wednesday, 09/19/01 02:40:32 GMT

To the Guru: A few years ago I purchased a small utility hammer the casting is identified as NILES-BEMENT-POND / NEW YORK / BEMENT No. 4629R. This is a two piece hammer of about 200# falling weight. I wonder if you know anyone who would have information on the hammer i.e. foundation plans and mabe a contact for company archives and other people who are using these hammers.
   - Jim Hatmaker - Wednesday, 09/19/01 03:22:58 GMT

cracked ... knew there had to be a reasion LOL.
   MP - Wednesday, 09/19/01 06:04:37 GMT

jock could you please tell me how u heat trat s5 .. its used in pavement breakers and moil points for breaking rock thank you hot 101
   hotforge101 - Wednesday, 09/19/01 06:09:08 GMT

I am looking for a picture of a hummingbird that has been forged. can anyone help me out?
   Scott Vickrey - Wednesday, 09/19/01 06:50:43 GMT

Thank you for your words of consolation re our efforts to recycle precious materials once removed. I printed your post with the intention to read it to my wife hoping to garner her sympathy and support. Alas, I'm afraid her response was disappointing. When she recovered her composure after her paroxsymal laughing fit at your mention of the privacy fence, I'm afraid that her sentiments alined more closely with your wife's than with mine.
My question is: Do you think I was I wrong to read your post (which had meant SO much to me) to my wife?
Thank you for your thoughtful response and good spelling,
   Lsundstrom - Wednesday, 09/19/01 11:30:13 GMT

Hotforge, Fahrenheit temperatures follow for S5. Forge 1850-2050, stop (not below) at 1600. Anneal 1425-1475, Max cooling rate per hour 25F. Harden 1600-1700 in oil. Temper 350-800 (Rc hardness 60-50). Source: 1988 Jorgensen Stock List.
   Frank Turley - Wednesday, 09/19/01 12:55:36 GMT

Larry-- You can have anything you want in this world, anything: love, riches, a spiffy car, muscles like Schwarzenegger, whatever, except for one thing: you cannot have understanding. Never. Especially not about your junk, scrap, nifty old tools. It is just a basic litmus test. I do not even see my tons of stuff, except when I need something, walk right past it a million times a day, never give it a second glance. My wife, on the other hand, goes ballistic at the mere thought of it. Really viscerally hates it. Soooo... were you wrong to read my post? Nooooo, not if you wanted to pour fuel on the fire, stir up a nasty family fight, sow the seeds of rancor and discord, drive a divisive wedge twixt the two of you. Hark! This is not a subject that can be argued persuasively, take my word for it. Get the damned stuff out of sight, rent a shop somewhere away from the house with a fenced yard around it, take up another vocation, whatever, but do not hope to win her over to becoming a junkophile. It ain't gonna work. (With apologies to Dear Abby and Ann Landers.)
   Cracked Anvil - Wednesday, 09/19/01 13:03:13 GMT

Thanks Guru,
Increasing the pot depth has helped the generation of heat in the brake drum forge. I fired it up yesterday and and was able to draw a one and one half inch diameter truck axle to a point in about six heats. The axle will be used as the top spike on a hay mover I am building for my son. Better coal would definitely have helped.
As far as farriers around here, most seem to have taken the gas forge route. I've got some feelers out and hope to contact a couple smiths I've heard about who live twenty miles from here. The ones I have talked to at festivals say that the only source is Louisville or West Virginia.
Alan-L. The $200 a ton price was what I was told by somebody at the Kentucy Blacksmith Assoc. convention last November. I haven't heard anything since. Their next meet is scheduled to be held in Bernheim Forest, near Bardstown, the first weekend in November. If you happen to go there I hope to meet you.
Thanks for the help guys. I'm learning a little everyday.
   - Larry - Wednesday, 09/19/01 17:49:39 GMT

More Basket twist problems -

I am practicing forge-welding making basket twists from 1/8 stock. I tie a bundle of three 1/8 X 4 inch pieces to a long piece of 1/8 heres my problem,... I get the welds to take just fine but on the bottom weld when I draw out the metal to blend it in with the rest of the 1/8 bar, get the ends of the three pieces to kind of fold (for lack of better word) over as I taper. when I try to reweld the tips I have drawn out I thin out the main 1/8 piece very badly. Heres a drawing of what I mean. http://www.werebetterthanyou.com/basket.jpg
Keep in mind I am not a great graphic artist.

How can I do this so that I don't thin out the area near the weld?

- Norm
   Norm Harvey - Wednesday, 09/19/01 17:57:22 GMT

We got to get them help. I was pondering your enigmatic post, offered up on 09/18/01: "It's a good thing black widows can't fly." Is there some sort of support group out there called The Blacksmith Widow Society? Prehaps a syndrome called Blacksmith Widow Passive Aggressive disorder? Hi, my name is Alice...my husband is a junkaholic".
By the way, I had to practically resuscitate my son. He was swallowing some mashed potatoes when I read the part about the pallet privacy fence....
   L.sundstrom - Wednesday, 09/19/01 18:25:08 GMT

Norm, Have we been here before? I know the lap weld is difficult on tiny stock, but it can be done on a "bench anvil", in our instance, a hearth anvil. Put a small, warmed-up block of steel on the hearth or right next to it, and use it as an anvil. To upset a weld, grab it in the vise and end hammer it. OK, let's not go that route. I believe the Guru recommended drawing the end of the bundle to a taper as you weld. Neither of us is trying to blend it to a longer rod. There is no longer rod to start with. All 4 pieces are of equal length from the gitgo. Forget the longer rod.
CRACKED AND LARRY, Eric Polster is a cartoonist who in 1999 created this one, if I can convey it in words. Two women open a workshop door revealing a bit of a mess. The caption reads, "This isn't junk, these are my husband's good intentions..". Actually, in the cartoon, it doesn't look too junky compared to my piles. Polster's book, "The Fuzzy Logic Collection" is available via Amazon.ocm.
   Frank Turley - Wednesday, 09/19/01 18:46:21 GMT

The thing that is restricting me is I can't really weld two seperate pieces as in a lap weld because I am only one guy with two hands. I havent figured out a way to pull both pieces from the fire, hold both in place while using the hammer. And with your anvil in the hearth idea is that laying the pieces on it the way they would be welded and bringing them up to welding heat, only the larget steel block wouldnt be as hot ?

Reason why I posted again is because I havent been able to hold a long rod on the anvil with my foot and hold the basket in tong hand while I lap weld the two, so I have been trying the old way with one long rod.

- Norm
   Norm Harvey - Wednesday, 09/19/01 18:54:58 GMT

Dear Norm, You're making me think...and it hurts. Here is what I envision. Using bolt tongs that fit (hollow bit tongs), hold the equal-length bundle of four, and weld one end. Forge it to a decorative curicue or some such. Reverse, hold from the curlicue end. Forge weld the other end, and draw it to the hair skewer length and taper. Do the basket last by twisting fairly tight and then untwisting a little ways. Fine tune the basket with needle-nose tongs or pliers. No lap welds. No folds.

The warmed-up anvil was just a 200 degrees or thereabouts, so the anvil wouldn't be such a heat robber. Lap welds can be done single handed. The horseshoers coined the term, "Dropping the tongs weld". Mr. Whitaker showed a work support, a bar with a right angle bend on one end. The short, bent end goes in the pritchel hole and acts as a pivot on the far side of the anvil. That sometimes helps, especially to support long or heavy pieces. I think it helps if you use the near edge of the anvil as a "fulcrum"
and as a guide. You apply thumb pressure, and press down onto the tong-held piece. The hammer is waiting at the heel of the anvil, when the tongs are dropped.
   Frank Turley - Wednesday, 09/19/01 20:34:36 GMT

Small basket weld Norm, we gave two seperate solutions. The way you are doing it will always fail by reducing the stock at the weld.

Frank's is the classic method. The dropped tongs routine takes lots of practice but those that do it generaly manage to stick the pieces together off the surface of the anvil and that holds them together while you drop one pair of tongs and finish the weld. Even without sticking the pieces together at welding heat you can practice this cold. The scarf of the longer generaly heavier piece overlaps the scarf of the shorter generaly lighter piece. You let go of the short piece, drop the tongs and pick up the hammer. This is shown in my iForge welding demo and is the way it has been done for thousands of years.

The optional technique I gave skips all that. Using four long pieces weld the far end, then turn it around and weld the long end. Draw out the long end. No upsetting, no dropped tongs, no reduction in section.

I also recommended bending the bundle instead of using loose pieces. This avoids tying pieces together. So here is even ONE MORE method. Take the bundle, loose or bent, and cold twist it to hold together. This prepares the basket prior to opening and holds the bundle together snugly.

Heating the anvil helps a lot on small work and doesn't hurt on heavy work. However, on heavy work the forging of the scarf often helps warm the anvil. I know I've been burned by touching my anvil at the end of a long day forging average sized stuff. . .

That is four solutions that all work.
   - guru - Wednesday, 09/19/01 21:15:41 GMT

Niles Bement Pond Hammer I have a 350# that I am making an anvil for. A friend has a 750# and a 2000#. The company has been out of business for many years. The good thing about them is that many old references use the Bement hammers as examples and the foundation plan is shown. This includes NEW references as well as old. There is an installaton drawing on the Power hammer Page where I show my hammer.
   - guru - Wednesday, 09/19/01 21:20:19 GMT

Humming Bird Scott, Look on our iForge page. We have the famous Bill Epps humming bird with step by step instructions.
   - guru - Wednesday, 09/19/01 21:22:48 GMT

I noticed on the forge! hinge demo, you mentioned cutting stock with a press. How is this done? Thank you.
   - Kevin - Wednesday, 09/19/01 22:28:28 GMT

I noticed on the forge! hinge demo, you mentioned cutting stock with a press. How is this done? Thank you.
   - Kevin - Wednesday, 09/19/01 22:29:24 GMT

Larry, Frank-- As Paul Newman sez to the bartender in Harper, "You must be physic." Even as Frank was typing his post, I was thinking the exact same thing: good intentions. See, that's the diff. Women are hard-nosed realists. Women don't live in the roseate future. Women savor the isness of now. That stuff over there... those wheel rims aren't vise bases. They're just wheel rims and they look terrible. Those chopped-up tanks aren't big sundials waiting to happen, they're just a bunch of scrap. They are embarrassing me in front of the neighbors, who think something is wrong with my husband. The time you are spending schlepping all this garbage home-- and then actually trying to get that damned carburetor to carb or whatever it is carburetors do-- is time you could be doing your novel, or making potracks, or putting in overtime at the brass mine so you can take me to Paris. Look, getting them help is out of the question. We here at Cracked Anvil Center for Analysis are working on the roots of the problem. As the late, great Texas writer, metalsmith, artist, friend and teacher David Snell once said, "Sex is just a sublimation of man's basic urge to browse in hardware stores." Now, with women, though, see, sex is different. And vive la difference! But don't get to thinking help is going to help.
   Cracked Anvil - Wednesday, 09/19/01 23:17:05 GMT

Dropping the tongs: If the basket is made from 1/8" stock then the main piece really oughta be thicker. Perhaps 3/8". It's a LOT easier to weld thick stock than it is thin stuff because the heavy stock stays hot enough longer. I wish someone had told me that when I first set out to do forge welds. As a newbie I liked to use small stock for all the obvious reasons and this worked against me when trying to weld.

If you watch good smiths work, it's pretty clear that what they really need is a 3rd arm attached right where their legs join :)

Tricky welds can be wired or riveted together before heating. This makes it much simpler and also reduces heat loss since the hot weld surfaced face each other and not the cold air. This is a perfectly authentic way to forge weld. The rivet or wire will become part of the weld. The reason smiths dont always do this is because it's a lot slower than dropping the tongs (when this works)
   adam - Wednesday, 09/19/01 23:49:19 GMT

Forge welding a bunch of wrapped wires into the surface can be a crock. And the wires expand when hot, often loosening. Who authenticated this wire wrapping method? For the fagot weld on the basket, you can wire wrap if you want to take the time, but keep the wires out of the weld. I'll say it for the third time: get a pair of bolt tongs that fit (preferably with vee jaws) and start welding. No arc tack! No wrap!

I've seen wagon tire welds where the rivet still showed in the weld area.
   Frank Turley - Thursday, 09/20/01 02:56:42 GMT

Cutting on Press Kevin, punches and dies for metal work just like a paper punch only they need more force (30 tons per square inch sheared). Die sets can be made to cut and notch almost any shape. Folks that sell punch presses sell a variety of odd shape punches and notchers. You can also do-it-yourself but it takes some engineering know how.

Donald Streeter had several notching setups in Professional Smithing. They COULD be made in the blacksmith shop but require a lot of precision fitting.

On our 21st Century page there is an article about a 20 ton hydraulic press I built to blank out candle cups. 20 Tons will blank 3" (76mm) dia. in 16ga (1.8mm) steel.
   - guru - Thursday, 09/20/01 05:08:10 GMT

"We all know what's paved with good intentions; it's just my fate to have been appointed foreman of the road crew"

from Uncle Atli's Very Thin Book of Wisdom

Sex: Yep, comes between fahve and sayeven.

Presently working my NPS job out of my home on the banks of the lower Potomac. We got booted out of our new digs due to the present emergency. Communications may be spotty at times. Y'all keep your heads down and carry on.

Visit your National Parks: www.nps.gov

Go viking: www.wam.umd.edu/~eowyn/Longship/
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Thursday, 09/20/01 05:47:21 GMT

thank you for the information Lsundstorm for the heattreating info on s5 steel.. ed hotforge101
   hotforge101 - Thursday, 09/20/01 11:37:32 GMT

Cracked-- "Sex is different with women." !!!! Sheesh! Talk about your basioc vacuous fatuosity! Dumbest piece of writing I've ever seen!
   Miles Undercut - Thursday, 09/20/01 14:21:45 GMT

Cracked, You asked for projects for CACA to work on a while back. I have one for you and Iíll split the profits 50/50.

What you ďguysĒ (grin) have been saying about women is true for most of them. Granted. But just like everything else, there are the exceptions.

One of those exceptions dropped (or was dropped) into my life quite a few years ago. And I have to admit, Iím a better man because of it.

What I propose is that I send you a few pieces of her hair and CACA clones her up for sale to others.

I can provide specifications if you like.

The only challenge you have is to reduce the tendencies in this model to develop brain tumors. She did have one of those a while back and is still recovering. We really should genetically reduce that problem before sale to others. I donít want to buy into warranty costs or have dissatisfied customers.

One other thing. Sheís an engineer. Ya gotta be able to live with an engineer if you want one of the clones.

Iím sure others have access to some other exception models. Maybe you could come up with a catalog of models. My idea, though, so I still get some of the profit. OK?

Ya think CACA is up to it?
   Tony - Thursday, 09/20/01 14:23:24 GMT

Miles-- Yes, you're right. Sorriest. (And, hey, we don't do personal attacks here!) What I was reporting, or trying to, was simply that here at the Cracked Anvil Center for Analysis, we are looking into this baffling phenom Larry cites of howcum dames don't like scrap, debris, old tools and other treasures around the yard. Frank suggests it's there because of our good intentions. That would suggest a future-oriented worldview for men as compared to women's short-run hedonism. One investigator, David Snell, says man's fondness for the stuff
is so basic that sex is but a sublimation of our fundamental urge to browse in hardware stores. He did not mention what it is a sublimation of for women. I suspect that's because with them, bless their hearts, it ain't a sublimation for nothin-- it's just siblime sublime, living as they do in the moment. Larry says get 'em help. My point is nocando. Like you can't get help for a cat to assist in coming when you call. They come when and if they feel like it.
   Cracked Anvil - Thursday, 09/20/01 14:28:56 GMT

Tony-- I think it sounds like you indeed have lucked onto a nonpareil. Attempting the replicating of the wondrous creature would be effrontery beyond even us here at CACA. Sounds like a damned good movie, though-- write on, bro! And I get your message: generalizing re the female of the species is specious.
   Cracked Anvil - Thursday, 09/20/01 14:35:47 GMT

Cracked, generalizing? Well, I have to admit that before this one latched onto me, I had the same generalizations. I fault you not for the generalizations. My purpose is to shine the beacon of light that they are out there! They are! You just must apply the same diligence to the task of finding them that you do to designing a junkyard hammer. Looking in an engineering school might be a good bet. That is, if you can stomach the engineering mind. Sometimes I canít stand my own! Mind, that is. Grin

It seems that we sometimes use a lower appendage than the brain to select our mates. Bad idea.

My only luck was that she latched onto me, bless her misguided soul.

Actually I just wrote that so that I can tell her to look here and see it. Then I can get more of those most essential sessual favors! Right Baby????????

See...... Iím really just selfish and driven by.......... Grin.

As a most excellent Philosopher once said....

Iím a Man!

But I can change.......

If I have to.........

I guess. :(
   Tony - Thursday, 09/20/01 15:05:56 GMT

I did not see if it was covered by other posts or not, but I will say it anyway.....(grin)
After making the part that will become the basket, upset the end that will attach to the handle(it might not need an upset due to the thickness of having several pieces welded together) then scarf it. Then on the piece to be used as the shank(?) upset one end(did you say you were using 1/8??) so that it is closer in thickness as the piece it is to be welded with. If teh ends to be welded are close in size(and are larger than the desired finish size) you will have better luck getting them to blend and also have no thinner place. As for the lap or drop tong weld.... if you have it at weld temp the pieces will start to stick in the fire... one thing you can try is make a right angle bend in both pieces.... then stick them together (at weld temp) in the forge... then place on anvil and weld.... once the weld is good then can straighten back out. BTW Franks idea of a small hearth(forge) anvil is most excellent. That s how I do all my small stock welding... like nail rod while making nails.

Well just my 2 cents worth....
   Ralph - Thursday, 09/20/01 15:35:34 GMT

To Gene at firstenergycorp who wanted info ASAP but did not include your real mail address in the "reply to"...

Yes the Quad-State Blacksmith's round up is the one put on by the SOFA group.

It is at the Miami County Fairgrounds in Troy Ohio---where the SOFA building and meetings are; been there ever since we moved from the Studebaker Homestead near Tipp City.

Friday is not much of the Round-Up; just set up and a demo on tyring a wagon wheel. Lots of tailgaters won't even be there yet but one does what one can.

Hope to see you there! Friday I'll probably be wearing lederhosen and an aloha shirt and of course the disreputable red hat!

Troy is north of Dayton on I75; the fairgrounds are east of I73 off of Oak street a bit north and west of the town center (the circle/courthouse area)

   Thomas Powers - Thursday, 09/20/01 16:50:34 GMT

Guru and crew,

What is a good "starter" high carbon steel, for someone who is just starting to play wih making knives and other cutting tools? Ideally it would make good, tough knives, but be relitivly easy to work and harden and temper.

I am trying to avoid any steels that require programable furnaces, cyro treatments, or are insanely hard to work. What would you recommend? Something good but easy to work is much better than something great but beyond my skills and tools. 5160? 1095? something else?

Thanks in advance....

   - JIm Freely - Thursday, 09/20/01 17:52:56 GMT

knife steels....
I like the plain old basic 10 series... 1095 1084 and so on.
5160 is supposed to be good as well. Then there is the O-1 and O-2 W-1 W-2 lines.......

   Ralph - Thursday, 09/20/01 18:48:42 GMT

Tool Steels Jim, All high carbon steels must be handled with care. Some alloy tool steels are designed for simple heat treatment but they do not react well to over heating or thermal shock. 1095 is a "simple" high carbon steel that will work well for many purposes. However, for best performance temperatures must be judged accurately.
   - guru - Thursday, 09/20/01 18:59:37 GMT

Hello, I have a question regarding the coloring of metals. I am a 23 year old welder and I have started dabbling with blacksmithing here in the past year or so. What I have found a little niche in is the making of flowers. They are very delicate and painstakingly accurate. Obviously once done, I don't want to ruin the beauty by painting the pieces. So I was curious what colorings are available other than paint? I know that guns are "blued" so are there types of stain for such things? Any information would bve greatly appriciated. Thank you for your time.
   Matthew S. Kasten - Friday, 09/21/01 00:28:38 GMT

Hello, I have a question regarding the coloring of metals. I am a 23 year old welder and I have started dabbling with blacksmithing here in the past year or so. What I have found a little niche in is the making of flowers. They are very delicate and painstakingly accurate. Obviously once done, I don't want to ruin the beauty by painting the pieces. So I was curious what colorings are available other than paint? I know that guns are "blued" so are there types of stain for such things? Any information would bve greatly appriciated. Thank you for your time.
   Matthew S. Kasten - Friday, 09/21/01 00:29:26 GMT

Coloring: Matthew, One popular method is to wire brush the (black) hot metal to remove loose scale and then use a brass hand brush on the still hot surface. This gives a very nice brassy blush on the surface. Afterwards the piece can have a clear lacquer applied to prevent rust.

Note however that lacquer over tight scale is a marginal finish only suitable for decorative indoor pieces.

Scale and bluing are both oxide coatings that require wax or oil to prevent rust. Constant maintenance is required.

Don't knock paint. There are many beautiful lacquers including automotive metalics. The use of black, black, black and more black is a lack of imagination. Paint properly applied with a zinc powder base coat can be durable for decades in outdoor use and generations of indoor use.
   - guru - Friday, 09/21/01 01:51:05 GMT

I want to make some aluminum test tubes that have a wall thickness of 1/16th of an inch. The way I propose to do this is as follows. Drill a 1 inch diamter hole in a piece of carbon steel 5 inches deep. Suspend in that hole a steel dowel that is 1/8th inch less in diamter(7/8inch). I would then pour the molten aluminum down through the 1/16th inch slit between the dowel and the wall of the metal. Will I be able to get the aluminum in that small of an opening? I will probably start with a 5 inch by 5 inch chunck of metal and split it down the middle and key it so I can get my part out though.

   Dan S - Friday, 09/21/01 05:07:46 GMT

   LLOYD BERRY - Friday, 09/21/01 06:56:54 GMT

While you could cast them in preheated, sooted ( for release) steel with a funnel like rim ,or, say, hotforge from alum pipe and TIG weld up the bottom, or solder a cap on the bottom of some pipe, or spin the bottom of some pipe closed to shape, or any of several other methods....in any case you will probably end up turning them on a lathe for finishing..so why not just turn them out of bar stock to begin with?
   - Pete F - Friday, 09/21/01 09:03:24 GMT

Color: Less can be a whole lot more as Bucky said. A good paint finish is NOT just dipping a brush in a can and slathering away. You can do that with the primer and base coat but its what comes after that gets interesting. I've got shelves lined with paint cans of all types and I try never to paint metal. But sometimes I have to. Paint is a great way to accent flowers. Sometimes I wirebrush and then clear coat. Then I wash the piece with thin colored enamels to give a hint of color. Think of it as a slight nod and a wink as apposed to throwing a rock to get someones attention. Another way is to use a very short bristle stenciling brush and dry brush the color on. VERY DRY. Get color on the brush,daub on a brick untill you can't get anymore paint off the brush and then rub on the piece. You'll leave just a hint of color on the high lights. Color is fun. It will also drive you crazy. Just root around in your head and try to find that lost artistic license that we all have but ignore. Then go pick up a flower that has about ten colors in it for inspiration and have fun.
   - Pete-Raven - Friday, 09/21/01 12:06:20 GMT

The "Colonial" anvil was manufactured by Hay Budden For the Schwabacher Hardware Co. Colonial being one of their trademarks.

There probably isn't any more information on the anvil, but take a look at the front under the horn, especially on the foot and see if there is any kind of number there.
   Paw Paw Wilson - Friday, 09/21/01 12:38:34 GMT

Aluminium Test Tube: Dan, No it won't work. The metal will freeze before filling the void. Then it would shrink on your mandrel and you would never get it off without cutting it to pieces. Permanent dies for metal casting require both an experianced part designer and die (mold) designer to be sucessful and in thin wall parts. Preheat of the mold and pressure injection of the metal would be required.

I recommend that you start with aluminium tubing. Spin the end closed and then make a small weld at the closure point. This type spinning can be done on a small lathe or large drill press. The welding will require TIG (Tunsten Intert Gas - AKA Heliarc).

I don't know why you want aluminum. It is one of the most chemicaly reactive metals. Stainless would be better but is also chemicaly reactive under many situations.
   - guru - Friday, 09/21/01 14:32:03 GMT


This is the last of our mathematical contests. It could be construed to be related to metal working but is generaly not unless you make very specific items.

For what purpose is the the reciprocal of the twelth root of two OR the twelth root of a binary series (2, 4, 8, 16, 32. . .) used?

This is a common constant used in our lives every day, yet is so esoteric that it is almost never published in references dealing with its application.

Do not post quesses or answers on our pages. The first e-mail to me with the correct answer wins yet another anvilfire cap and the honor of being probably the only person on the planet (or at least 1 out of tens of millions) to know the answer to this one. Please do not send me guesses. You either know this one or you do not.

OBTW - PI is an odd number. I asked the question a while back but did not make it a contest because you have a 50/50 chance of quessing it. If you want to know how this was determined, see The History of PI by Petr Beckmann.

I actually used to have time to read. . . :(
   - guru - Friday, 09/21/01 15:07:57 GMT

Aren't some cigar tubes aluminum? I don't smoke the things, but I've seen some. Thinner than 1/16" though. And maybe not the right diameter?

Otherwise, I agree that any casting would probably have to be high speed pressure die casting with a heated die and maybe even vacuum assist. And if you are putting that much work into a mold, why not do it in a standard die block anyway? I think the gate would be at the end of the rounded end of the tube. A casting, even pressure die cast would still be subject to porosity also.

Spinning does sound the best if a cigar tube won't fly.

Do cigar tubes fly?

Another option that still requires die work is impact extrusion. A small slug of aluminum is placed in a female die and a male mandrel is driven fast into the die. The metal flows from the slug up along the die and mandrel sidewalls. Usually, the part must be trimmed. We get some parts made that way and this part sounds like it would work. Might require a little bit of draft in the tube. We use J&L extrusion.
   Tony - Friday, 09/21/01 15:25:20 GMT

Yeah but you can spin them in your home shop! ;)
   - guru - Friday, 09/21/01 15:53:41 GMT

Contest Image:
Twelth Root of Binary seriesFor what purpose is the the reciprocal of the twelth root of two OR the twelth root of a binary series (2, 4, 8, 16, 32. . .) used? See contest rules above.
   - guru - Friday, 09/21/01 15:57:41 GMT

You can dye the metal. I have not had it done but a fellow I know down in Eugene Oregon has his butterflies and flowers done. Looks real nice.
   Ralph - Friday, 09/21/01 16:20:32 GMT

Tony, only cigar tubes with money fly... the rest take the bus.....(VBG)
   Ralph - Friday, 09/21/01 16:21:13 GMT

Ralph, cigar tubes. good one.

I agreed with the spinning. I agreed!

I'd like to see Dan try extrusion with a 20 ton hydraulic bottle jack though. I think it would work for his part with soft aluminum and a well guided male die part. But I have not cranked the numbers. Someone will show me I'm wrong.

Coloring. Hmmm dyeing.... how about machinists layout fluid. Dykem. Comes in blue, red, green.... Or other alcohol based dye. Mix and match the colors. Good idea Ralph.

Would food coloring work, or does that fade?

There must be something in the air today. Much wackiness around. Just go look at the vhammerin if you don't believe me.....
   Tony - Friday, 09/21/01 17:22:46 GMT

Flying Cigar Tubes:

I remember reading a children's science book that recommended drilling a small hole in one end and putting something (match heads?) inside. I bet THAT book's not in print anymore.
   Mike B - Friday, 09/21/01 20:09:40 GMT

I am one happy camper, The burners work great! I had some pieces of 2" insaboard left over from my first attempt at a forge. So I just stacked them up. Held them together w/some bricks, poked some holes for 3 burners and let it rip. I started with 2 pieces of 1 1/4" square w/ pipe welded on for handles. Took about 15-20 mins to reach a working temp. I turned off the forge and went to pick up one of the kids from school. About 30-40 mins later I fired the forge back up. I played with the two pc's for 20 mins or so and then put in a piece of 2 1/2x10" w/ a handle in the forge. Now I've never tried to heat up this much metal in my own shop before so we decided to time how long it would take. 19 mins. Not bad. I drew the piece out to a 2 1/2x1x23" taper in three or four heats, I don't remember, I was having too much fun to count. Those Reil burners really work and you can't beat the price. If the T-Rex burners are better I might buy them I think only because after your time is factored in you end up at the same spot or ahead if the Rex burners are really better. Thanks to the folks who e-mailed me with hints and the like. All the little bits and pieces do help. Pete
   - Pete-Raven - Saturday, 09/22/01 01:14:41 GMT

If anyone's hanging out in Philly, I'll be at the Swedish American Historical Museum tomorrow for Viking Day. Y'all come.

Details in the Virtual Hammer-In.

(Which, were I a cat, I would not want MY tail in... ;-)
   Bruce Blackistone - Saturday, 09/22/01 01:19:05 GMT

Dyes for metal are more like an enamel... I think...
I will have to givev Martin a call.....
   Ralph - Saturday, 09/22/01 03:42:09 GMT

Cracked, my statement, "We got to get them help" was in no way connected to any sort of well thought out plan. Nor was I attempting to hinder work at CACA by suggesting a quick fix. No, rather it was the confused thinking of a panic stricken man grasping at straws. In such extreme straights the prolonging of discussion with someone who has been there is a life line whose fibers are composed of elements sometimes not chiefly included for their veracity.
Thank you, sir, for your patience, not withstanding your great compassion,
   - lsundstrom - Saturday, 09/22/01 13:53:21 GMT

I would like to know where i can find plans for a metal smoker. I have a 30"x72" propane/butane tank that i will use for the project. Thanks!
   Patrick - Saturday, 09/22/01 13:57:00 GMT

I seem to be unable to get a good polish on my 420 stainless steel, any ideas? what grit of pads should i use? or is polishing with pads not the way to go?
   smackem - Saturday, 09/22/01 16:25:00 GMT

Polishing Stainless Smackem, Stainlesses are all abrasion resistant. Both soft SS like 304 and hard like your cutlery stainlesses. Buffing and polishing should not start until you have done everything you can with coarser abrasives like 180 and 320 grit Wet-or-Dry sandpaper. If you can detect ANY marks from previous grits it is not time to use the next grit start polishing. You can also do the same with fine sanding belts but you have better control for keeping sharp edges and corners using hand abrasives. Wet-or-Dry used wet produces a better finish and the abrasive lasts longer. However, it is not quite as agressive as when dry.

You can also use a black (emery) buffing compound for the initial finish, but agian, the tendancy will be to round corners. Polishing jobs with wet looking heavily rounded corners are the mark of amature or cheap production polishing. Polished items that show grinding or machining texture that is polished over are also badly done jobs. This is what you get from polishing before the surface is ready.

After getting a flat, very smooth grey finish then you start polishing. The special compound for SS is a white low wax compound. It will produce a near mirror finish using a stiff cotten buffing wheel. After this you can use a little tripoli (on a different wheel) to brighten the finish a little more. Note that the tripoli will only make the slightest improvement and WILL NOT cut sufficiantly to produce a polish on stainless starting from scratch.
   - guru - Saturday, 09/22/01 17:34:44 GMT

Could you tell me where i can purchase liver of sulfer, and pheric nitrate? I am along the N.C. coast. Trying to match a patina on hardwear at the Whale Heard Club in Corola N.C. Thank you, Wade Bunting
   Burnt Thumb - Sunday, 09/23/01 01:38:23 GMT

Larry-- You want peace in the house? Then get the debris gone. Off the property. Totally. Period. Sorry. There is no other way, no negotiations, no discussion, no miserable compromises, nothing else, that will work. Maybe just a little private super-fund site, just the very bestest stuff, stashed out behind the shop where nobody can see it? Forget it.
   Cracked Anvil - Sunday, 09/23/01 02:42:53 GMT

Chemicals Burnt, Liver of sulfur is sulfuric acid I believe. "pheric nitrate" is probably ferric nitrate or nitric acid killed with iron. Any inorganic chemistry majors out there?

You may want to check MACHINERY'S HANDBOOK for patina recipes.

If the patina is old it may be very hard to match. If a chemical patina was used it is possible to match it if the part has not continued to weather. I assume you have some brass or bronze that is exposed to sea water or salty air.

The other key is the base metal itself. There are more copper alloys than you can imagine and they will all produce slightly different colors when exposed to acids used in the patina process.

However, after very long exposures the color is the turquoise of old copper. Usualy a copper sulfate color but actualy a mix of copper oxides and salts.
   - guru - Sunday, 09/23/01 07:11:16 GMT

Burnt Thumb:
If I remember right, Liver of sulfur is a yellowish cake that is dissolved in H2O and available through most larger jewelry supplies. If you have a sulfur hotsprings available, it will have the same effect.
Years ago, I used to climb down a cliff through the poison oak to sneak into Eslaen Hot Springs around 2 AM and bring some polished work with me to patina as I soaked. Made a great patina .It had the added attraction of nubile young ladies glistening in the moonlight. A metalsmiths work is never done.
   - Pete F - Sunday, 09/23/01 07:57:46 GMT

Cracked, I'm concerned about your advice to Larry. It sets a terrible precident.
Our ability to successfully defend junkyards, large and small, is eroding nationally and is a cause for consternation amongst blacksmiths everywhere.
What we are dealing with here is nothing less than an attack on one of the oldest and most significant recycling movements in the nation, our masculine identity, as well as our own quality of life! Stand fast I say.
On the other hand, I can shoot off my mouth so freely because I got wildly lucky .My wife was actually attracted by my little junkyard by the sea. It's wonderful; she is as messy as I am, pretty much...even if she did just finish off another big bottle of oxy burning through 1/2" plate ( artfully).
   - Pete F - Sunday, 09/23/01 08:20:16 GMT

While the good Gurus away, the wags doth play.
   - Pete F - Sunday, 09/23/01 08:22:28 GMT

dear Guru I live in England and am a keen stonecarver.after reading modern blacksmithing by alex weygers I have made a few stonecarving chisels.I have a coal fire forge and I quench in water and temper under a butane flame.I have been using old cold chisels so far to make my tools however I would like to buy some hexagonal or octagonal bar about 9mm but don't know what to ask for at the local metal stockist who weren't very forthcoming when I took a chisel to show them they said I needed a code number or stock number.could you advise me what to ask for and how much it might cost.As you might of guessed I am a novice in metalworking.thanks!
   roderick steward - Sunday, 09/23/01 12:03:43 GMT

Fortunately, the founders of this country were made of feircer stuff than I. I could have withstood the heat of my wife's terrible refiner's fire but that coupled with your sage advice has reduced my resolve to a pile of rubble which with other heaps of pariah are being swept out the door. To top it off, She is setting an example by getting rid of her own useless stuff. I am undone...and yet....I can see..through the waifing dust of this ruin as what remains is relocated to make room for an new door...the mist rising through the blue ridges to which this future opening gives view. In the end, when the bleeding stops, I will thank you, sir.
Until then, with expectation of gratitude embryonic and uncertain,
I am, with a new day just around the corner, promising a renewed scent of scrap,
Yours truely,
Larry Wilber Macawber Sundstrom
   - lsundstrom - Sunday, 09/23/01 12:22:44 GMT

Lye for hardening
I found a case of lye,in crystal form at an estate sale.
I know that R.Gunther had used lye for hardening till OSHA or the EPA put a stop to it. What I would like to know is how strong a solution is typical for hardening?
I know that lye is very dangerous ie. face shield,gloves etc. I've had mixed results with "super quench"
   Paul - Sunday, 09/23/01 13:40:05 GMT

What is the best way to contain a lye solution?
   Paul - Sunday, 09/23/01 13:44:13 GMT

Roderick, At least one supplier recommends S5, which is a Shock Resisting steel. S5 is an American Iron & Steel Institute Tool Steel designation. The typical analysis in percentages is: Carbon 0.60; Silicon 1.85; Vanadium 0.20; Manganese 0.70; Molybdenum 0.45. Obtain the heat treatment specifications when you purchase it.
   Frank Turley - Sunday, 09/23/01 14:52:22 GMT


In a glass or ceramic container. Make sure the cap is also glass. Apothecaries bottles work well.
   Paw+Paw+Wilson - Sunday, 09/23/01 15:09:09 GMT

Pete, Larry-- we're talking apples and oranges here. Too many ahrns in the fahr. Let's sift through them. I see at least three things we're haggling about here: private property, personal freedom, marital harmony. On the first two, I am an absolute total conservative, right there with the late great Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black: the U.S. Constitution means what it says: freedom of speech, right to bear arms, the works. The Bill of Rights doesn't list privileges. It lists rights. You don't surrender rights. You can't. They belong to your grandchildren, etc. Yakkity, blah blah blah, etc. Okay? Private property is just that, private, the, or a, fundamental keystone of freedom and with it comes the right to do any blessed thing you want with it. No argument from me on that. Now, as to marital harmony, if you wanna be a surly-burly-scowly-growly-huffy-gruffy-Studly-Dudley and maintain that the little woman's place is in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant and can stay to hell out of your scrap pile and by cracky not look at it if'n she don't like it, lots of luck. Tell you what: after 43 years of marriage to the same woman, this junk/scrap/materiel-in-the-yard issue is about the most volatile one that's ever come along. It's not a matter of rights. It's practical tactical common sense, lads. You want to get along? Then you got to go along. Or find someone more sympatico. Or learn to cook.
   Cracked Anvil - Sunday, 09/23/01 17:48:14 GMT

Cracked, Larry, Etal. Could you guys move the junk pile philosophical debate to the V-Hammer-In???

I've been in this battle and lost. Its like trying to reform or change someone's personality. There is no hope.
   - guru - Sunday, 09/23/01 18:00:19 GMT

It's over.
   - Lsundstrom - Sunday, 09/23/01 18:39:10 GMT

I've gone through many blacksmith books and have not found a design or method for making a handle socket for a tool such as a chisel. Can anyone inform me of a means to complete this? I'm an advanced novice and never made one before. I realize the socket would most likely have to be forgewelded to the tool. The handle hole has to be approx 2 inches wide. I do not want to make one with a tang that goes into the handle. Any suggestions are welcome.
Also would like to hear from anyone who can tell me the right way to make a tenon. I've tried a number of them and seem to have a problem keeping the shoulder set. Thanks
   John - Sunday, 09/23/01 22:08:37 GMT

Can anyone give me the recipe for "superquench"? I'd appriciate it.

   Matthew Kasten - Sunday, 09/23/01 22:45:53 GMT

Sockets John, There are a number of ways to do this and none are easy. Old hand made style sockets are made by rolling up the flared out shank and welding it. Many old examples were braded due to the difficulty of the weld.

Modern sockets are made by punching the end of the billet and then drawing out the shape inside a die.

Your best bet is to take a piece of pipe and forge it to a taper. Shinking the pipe is easier than stretching it. Then, fit it to a shank that has a shoulder or upset so the socket blends in smoothly. Remember that material becomes reduced at a forge weld so there should be some extra. Weld the two pieces together.

One of the best chisle designs I have seen uses a large diameter shoulder the size of the end of the handle with a round shank. The shoulder has a heavy (strong) radius in both directions. A seperate tapered socket ferrule is used to strengthen the handle. If you are looking for practicality this is the way to go.

The above methods work best when the original steel billet is the size of the shoulder.

Tennons just take practice. Once finished as best as possible a "monkey tool" is used to square up the shoulder. A monkey tool is a block of steel with a hole drilled or punched into it. The hole is normaly radiused to form a proper radius on the shoulder of the tennon.

Tennons can also be made using spring or clapper dies. On large stock the shoulder should be marked and a fullered groove made to isolate the tennon. This can be done on a hardy like fuller OR a swaging tool. See iForge demo #44. Bill Epps is going to have one of these for sale on our auction page next week if you are interested in one without making it.
   - guru - Sunday, 09/23/01 23:07:48 GMT

[ CSI - anvilfire MEMBERS Group | Getting Started in Blacksmithing ]
Counter    Copyright © 2001 Jock Dempsey, www.anvilfire.com Cummulative_Arc GSC