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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.
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This is an archive of posts from Sept 24 - 30, 2001 on the Guru's Den
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Anvilfire "Tool" Auction Test

This is the link to our new auction test site. The anvilfire Tool Auction is another Andrew Hooper Production
   - guru

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

Guru, got any plans for a slip roll / ring roller / tyre bender. Im trying to bend a hunk of 10g, about 4" wide into a about 38" 'perfect' circle with a hammer and my bad attitude, not having much luck, asking for help. Thanks
   - Tim in Orygun - Monday, 09/24/01 00:03:01 GMT


4 1/2 gallons water
5 lb. salt
32 oz. Dawn dish soap (blue)
8 oz. Shaklee Basic I

Stir before each use

Now, what is it? Basically it's a heave brine solution, with a surficant and an anti-bubbler in it.

It will not turn mild steel into tool steel. But for those applications where we need mild steel to be just a little bit harder, it does a good job.

One test took a piece of 1" steel bar, (1018 if I remember correctly) heated one end to non-magnetic and quenched it in cold water. The other end was also heated to non-magnetic and quenched in Super Quench.

The cold water end tested at about 18 on the Rockwell C scale, and the Super Quench end tested at about 42 on the Rockwell C scale. That's an appreciable difference.

I use it on RR spike knives. The regular spikes won't really take or hold an edge. (although I've been told that the ones marked HC will, I've never had any of them) but when quenched in SQ, they do take an edge and hold it fairly well.

OH! BTW, Shaklee is a line of bio-degradable detergents. Basic I is the basic industrial strength formula. Shaklee distributors are listed in the yellow pages of the phone book.
   Paw Paw Wilson - Monday, 09/24/01 00:09:19 GMT

I plead self-defense. They were pickin' on me, Jock!
   Cracked Anvil - Monday, 09/24/01 00:15:33 GMT

Tim, You don't know anyone with a tire bender????

I can't think of any plans. Gears, bearings and whatnot get expensive. It one of those things that used tools cost a lot less than making your own. And rolls don't always make perfect circles. I've always had to adjust them.

If you use a three point bending rig in a press or a big vise you can do very accurate bends. First thing to do is to mark the part off into 2 or 3 inch increments. Then bend at each mark the same amount. The 3 points of the bender need to fit within the outer two marks so that the bends do not efect one and other. In a vise the "amount" is determined by the angle of the handle when you stop. This will be accurate to within a few thousandths of an inch. If you take a sample piece and make a series of bends then check it against a template then you can figure out the necessary bend. All kinds of curves are bent this way on press brakes and the flats are imperceptable.

If you do the above on an arbor press or hydraulic press be sure to setup some kind of accurate pointer to get repeat bends. A dial indicator is very usefull for this if available.
   - guru - Monday, 09/24/01 00:56:46 GMT

Liver of sulfur is Potassium sulfide. This compound is used to colour metals such as copper and sterling silver. Used properly, in a water solution, it can colour the metal black or a whole range of colours if you act quickly and stop the chemical activity by a quick rinse in running water. The piece is quickly dipped in warm solution and then quickly rinced. The process is repeated until you are satisfied with the colour. The potassium sulfide-water solution is weak. Just a pinch or three of the salt in 175 to 200 mls of water. The solution should be warm but NEVER boiling. All manner of colours can be developed on stirling, e.g. golden to brown, also brightish red (like a vermilion), grey, and also blue. The solution turns copper a purply-grey colour. The metal should be cleaned before patinating. This includes removing all oils. So handle the item with a clean cloth after cleaning. That's the good news. Now for the bad news. NEVER boil the solution. Boiling developes potassium oxide fumes and this gas quickly turns chemically to hydrogen sulfide, gas if there is any moisture in the air. Hydrogen sulfide is not a gas that should breathed. Concentrated hydrogen sulfide gas causes brain damage or death. A warm solution will do the job. (boiling heat is not necessary). Potassium sulfide powder should be stored out of the light and out of the air.
Happy patinating! Slag.
   slag - Monday, 09/24/01 01:02:06 GMT

Larry And PawPaw,
Acids and, also, caustic solutions (that is, bases like a lye solution), can be stored in sturdy plastic containers. Those containers should have plastic closures (screw caps), never metal ones. The solutions will attack metal.
Keep plastic containers in a safe place where they will not be kicked, bumped, or fall down. They could burst with disastrous results. Glass bottles are great for all bases and all acids, except hydrofluoric acid. But glass closures are hard to find. Sturdy plastic closures, (screw caps) work well, for glass and plastic containers, but should be checked regularly for cracks. Many plastics degrade, over time,in the light and in the air. I haven't seen any new ceramic chemical containers in a long time. Regards, Slag.
(once upon a,long, time-ago chemist,).
   slag - Monday, 09/24/01 01:27:27 GMT

A deft analysis;youse right...
and I was not picking on you neither too
good Gururu. I bow to your wisdom.
Tim. re rolls....quicker and ruder is a pair of anchored parallel pipes with a stock sized gap in between. Stuff the stock through the gap and honk on it a tad, inch it forward a little and give it another honkette ( small honk) and so on. The closer the honks, the smoother the bends. Larger diameter pipes also help smooth the flats. Do not honl near hospitals.
   - Pete F - Monday, 09/24/01 05:54:12 GMT

Tenons & being right: Tenons: there is yet another way. Tomorrow, I am putting tenons on the ends of 14 pickets in a double gate, and off the record, now, just a'tween us, I confess I am going to do 'em the old-fashioned way, the way any right-thinking American with alternating current in his shop would do 'em: gonna chop the little beauties out with my angle grinder. Gasp! Yup. Life's too short. But don't tell anybody. Unless one of you talks, it's a secret. Being Right: Pete, I blush.
   Cracked Anvil - Monday, 09/24/01 06:19:35 GMT

Tenons; had a SOFA demo on them once with a slew of ways to make them. Claper dies, monkey tool, lathe, the one I liked was roughing the tennon out close and then take a milling cutter with a proper sized hole in the center and chuck it in your big hand drill and clarn the shoulder with that---another cheater way is to drill, tap and use bolts for the tenon part.

I survived Quad-State, didn't have as much fun as I hoped---ended up taking home more money that I came with!

   Thomas Powers - Monday, 09/24/01 15:24:23 GMT


Life does seem longer when you spend it behind a grinder.
   - JohnC - Monday, 09/24/01 15:34:41 GMT

Power Hammer
I finally bought a power hammer!! Many thanks to Thomas Powers for his assitance in evaluating it before purchase. It is a 50lb Molech. It looks similar to a LG, but another smith I know said that the clutch and ram guides are similar to his Murray. Does anyone out there own a Molech, and if so, can you offer any pointers on set up and use? Also, does anyone know where I could get a second hand 2hp, single phase motor to run this hammer?
Thanks for your help.
   Patrick - Monday, 09/24/01 16:33:04 GMT

Production Tennons: If you REALLY need a lot of nice clean tennons a lathe is the way to go. A 12" (305mm) lathe will cut a 1/2" (13mm) tennon in one pass out of 3/4" (19mm) square bar. If you need to cut them on the end of fancy or bent pickets that won't fit through the spindle you need a "box tool" that fits in the spindle. Then the picket is clamped in a vise on the lathe carriage. Either way thousands of perfectly sized tennons can be cut very economicaly. Although production forging under a hammer is fast, turning tennons requires no fuel for heat and is easier to contol the length.

There are numerous tasks that a lathe is applicable to in the blacksmith shop. An old worn out machine that is not suitable for other work is fine for blacksmith work. If you get one that is not completely trashed then you can also use it to build other machines!
   - guru - Monday, 09/24/01 16:41:19 GMT

Moloch Hammer These were actually designed by the Meier Brothers (the guys that designed and built the Little Giant). They are very similar but built heavier (sorry parts are NOT interchangable). Operating info such as the Dave Manzer video tape and other Little Giant information apply.
   - guru - Monday, 09/24/01 16:43:34 GMT

Been a millwright for 28 years,and still am not sure about tempering, hardening. Have a piece of green end drill rod, which I turned for a fireing pin on an old High Wall rifle. should I draw it to straw color and oil quench?
   Tom G - Monday, 09/24/01 16:46:43 GMT

Tom G.

I'll let the guru advise on the proper temperatures, but I'd strongly suggest that for your use, you should use a more accurate method of measuring temperture than color. Color is so subjective that it's hard to be very accurate. And for your use, you want the absolute best temper you can do.

Tempil crayon from you local welding supplier comes to mind very quickly. It's a lot cheaper than a pyrometer.
   Paw Paw Wilson - Monday, 09/24/01 17:22:16 GMT

Spell Checker!

temperture should be temperature.
   Paw Paw Wilson - Monday, 09/24/01 17:22:58 GMT

Tom, see Heat Treating. This FAQ is also listed on our 21st Century page. Color coding of steel is via the manufacturer (no standards) and you will need to find out from the source the exact alloy.
   - guru - Monday, 09/24/01 17:41:40 GMT

Thanks Paw Paw, I'll Keep checking back
   Tom G - Monday, 09/24/01 17:43:33 GMT

Thank's also to guru T G
   Tom G - Monday, 09/24/01 17:45:02 GMT

Guru and all,

What is a good type of horseshoe nail to use to make small spoons? I saw a demo of this that looked like fun, but the nails I have found don't seem to have enough material on the head to make spoon. Does anyone have a make/model they recommend?


   - Jim Freely - Monday, 09/24/01 17:58:45 GMT

Tom G. and Many Others, We need to know more. I'm not sure what green end indicates, and I'm thinking if it's high carbon, unalloyed, to draw (temper) to a purple maybe, after hardening in oil. Can't swear to it.

But this brings me to my PRIMER ON TEMPERING, Grade School level. I share this info with my students, because some of them need it.

Goldilocks was looking for the right bed. Papa Bear's bed was too hard. Mama Bear's was too soft. But Baby bear's was just right. So, Papa's was analagous to brittle, hardened steel, Mama's was like annealed, and Baby's was like tempered, just right for its end-use.

You go to a stage play. One of the actors is exhibiting anger on stage, and another actor tells him to temper his feelings. In other words, *soften* or modify your feelings. They are already "hard". So from that, we know that temper does not mean to harden.

We live in the temperate zone. Now, there is a cognate word. It's neither too hot or too cold. Get it?

Unless you are a Japanese bladesmith or know an incantation, you will harden before you temper. Why is that? Hardening by quenching in brine, water, oil, or air, gives us an known value for a particular steel. It is a given, a point of reference. By reheating the steel to the proper range somewhere below the hardening heat, you are backing away from the hardened state a known amount. You are tempering.
   Frank Turley - Monday, 09/24/01 18:29:50 GMT

Twelth Root of two  Binary series We have a WINNER! Tom Barnett answered our contest question, that it is used in piano tuning. And this is the best answer that we are likely to get. However, there is much more.

The 12th Root of Two, Binary series:

The Piano does not use a "pure" scale. Pure notes have frequencies that are whole numbers and the spacing is not equal. This was found to not work well on early keyboard instruments. The mathematics of the "tempered scale" was invented in the 17th century by mathematician, Andreas Werckmeister. This has even spaces in a 12 note octave (8 full notes and 4 half notes - the black keys on the piano). J.S. Bach popularized it in his "The Well Tempered piano" (Das wohltemperirte Clavier).

All Western music now uses this "compromise" scale. The series of numbers generated by the formula is used to generate tables of frequencies using what ever standard you want to start with. Today this is A4=440. That results in a C4 that equals 261.63 instead of the old Pythagorean standard of 256 (a binary number).

The same formula also generates the spacing of frets on guitars and can be used for calculating lengths of other vibrators (I was sure Pete F would know this one). The large 7 pedal orchastral harp also uses this system.

Early stringed instruments used a system of fractional proportions that resulted in frets of unequal spacing (half, thirds, fourths and fifths). Some books on guitars and banjos give the value 1/18th for dividing the fingerboard but this results in progressive errors that throws the 6th fret off by 1/8" (3mm) or so.

Many other cultures still use pure scales. The use of tempered scales is what makes non-western music sound so strange to to those of us that are used to it.

Although all our Western music is based on this mathematics it is very difficult to find information about it in most references on music and it is not taught because most musicologists do not write on the technical aspects of musical instrument construction where the mathematics is very important. When the tempered scale is mentioned it is in musical terms of cents (1/1200th Octove) or flats and sharps but NOT the mathematics. A few modern books on guitar construction discuss the mathematics but this is the exception.

This is typical of ALL references regarding musical instruments. They are writen about in musical terms and their place in music but never in any technical terms. The simplest facts such as length and width of an instument are complete mysteries in modern references. That is why I wanted to write a book on musical instruments from a mechanical engineering and construction viewpoint. I spent 18 months searching for such a reference to proove it does not exist (it does not). While doing some of this research on the internet I found the Blacksmiths Junkyard and stated answering questions there. . . and that brings us back to anvilfire. Now you know the rest of the story.

I'd still like to write that book. It was planned to include detailed CAD drawings of all the major orchastral instruments and construction technology. It would require a LOT of research (3 to 4 years) including dismanteling and reverse engineering many instuments. NO, virtualy none of this information is available anywhere. Much of it is still handed down from one maker to another (father to son so to speak). A real paradox in our "information age".

I produced a 3 volume bibliography in my search and collected several dozen references (some quite rare) while doing my research. I estimated a cost of $300,000 to do the job at the time but it is more likely a half million dollar job.

The problem is it is NOT a job for a musicologist OR oganologist (Organology is the study of the construction of musical instruments). Most of them have forgotten more about music than I will ever know. On the other hand they know virtually nothing about the physical constuction or manufacturing methods of musical instruments much less the design and engineering.

It is a book that NEEDS writing. People ask me why don't I write a book about blacksmithg. . . Why? There are more than enough and most are VERY good. The world does not need another one. My book on details of musical instrument construction does not exist. And the world needs it. It is a reference that would find its way to EVERY library on the planet. Now THAT is a book worth writing!

Ah, why is it a binary series? Waves go UP and DOWN. Standing waves (pure tones) in strings and other vibrators (including air) have pairs of opposite wave crests. The tempered scale has few pure tones but the series still applies.
   - guru - Monday, 09/24/01 18:40:30 GMT

Music, Math and Blacksmithing: So what does the above have to do with blacksmithing? How many of you have made gongs, traingles and wind chimes? There is mathematics to their making and this is a small part of it. Did you know that the tuning forks can be designed mathematicaly? Compensating for the bend and handle is a bit tricky (some fudge factors) but it can be done (I've done it). The same math applies perfectly to xylophones and glockenspiels (the metal ones).
   - guru - Monday, 09/24/01 20:25:14 GMT

Guru, I'll say one thing. You got "xylophone" and "glockenspiel" spelled right. I've been singing American Indian songs for quite a few years. John Philip Sousa, the renowned band composer, visited the Ponca tribe of Oklahoma one time and heard their music. His comment at the time was, "I don't see how they can sing between the cracks of the piano keys". I'll just leave this little anecdote as a non sequitur. For me anyway, it followed from the guru's utterances, above.
   Frank Turley - Tuesday, 09/25/01 01:05:15 GMT

One of the resaons I am not very musical is my voice has always "cracked" at about as many places as those cracks between the keys. I can play guitar a little but has a very difficult time tuning one. My untrained ear likes pure tones and harmonizing pure tones. Instuments tuned that way sound beautiful but do not fit into "standard" Western music. Since I can't sing OR play well enough to play with others the next guitar I build will be built to archaic fractional tuning. This is not highly unusual because early instuments and groups using them still use these early systems.

I had never thought about the fact that Native American music would be one of those based on a non-western system but it makes perfect sense.
   - guru - Tuesday, 09/25/01 06:31:42 GMT

Ooooooouch!!! Stop! My head hurts, and my eyes are crossing. Binary series, pythagorean, organology, glockenspielerthingy. I'm still trying to figure out how to use this Blacksmith swing you all said I needed to build in my shop. The problem I'm haveing is I can't seem to find anyone to hold the work steady while I kick up momentum.
   - Keith - Tuesday, 09/25/01 07:17:54 GMT


You're not the only one whose head is hurting! (grin)
   Paw Paw Wilson - Tuesday, 09/25/01 12:48:59 GMT

Thats why HE's the GURU and we're not. TC
   Tim Cisneros - Tuesday, 09/25/01 14:26:17 GMT

New Virus: Subject: Fwd:Peace BeTween AmeriCa And IsLam !

There is a new virus going around. It asks you to vote on what we should do about the subject above or some such thing. DO NOT DO IT! The result is a lot of erased files including your Anti-Virus programs. After mailing itself to everyone in your Microsoft Outlook address book it then formats (erases EVERYTHING) from your hard drive C:

This is a NEW virus as of Sept 24. If your anti-virus software is older than yesterday you are not protected!

New Virus: PE_NIMDA.A

This is a fast-spreading Internet worm and file infector. It arrives as an embedded attachment, README.EXE file, in an email that has an empty message body and, usually, an empty subject field.
It does not require the email receiver to open the attachment for it to execute. It uses a known vulnerability in IE-Based email clients to execute the file attachment automatically. This is also known as Automatic Execution of Embedded MIME type.

AGAIN, Microsoft products, MS-Outlook and IE mail are the keys to the spread of these viruses. All you have to do is recieve PE_NIMDA.A using IE-mail and you are infected and spreading the virus to others. You do not have to launch it.

Stop using Microsoft mail products! In the past few months I have been flooded by virus mail. Sometime 50 a day! If I filter out all MS-Outlook generated mail I would recieve NONE. But I would also not recieve much of YOUR mail. But it is getting to where recieving mail is less important than having several hours of every working day taken up by deleting viruses. This is cyber-terrorism. Think about it.

   - guru - Tuesday, 09/25/01 15:59:29 GMT

KNOCKSVILLE, TN: I will be joining Paw-Paw at the Museum of Appalachia fair next month (probably embarrasing myself). I need a local ISP so we can keep in touch. We need a recommendation from any of you folks from the Knocksville area. We will be staying in town and need a local dialup there.
   - guru - Tuesday, 09/25/01 17:24:05 GMT

You don't pick on Cracked and survive so, no sir, not me.
Wouldn't do it, no sir I wouldn't....to much respect for his searing wit and brillant mind. Fear is a good thing in the heart of a small hick town hobby blacksmith.

Jock, here is my question: If a scrap yard dog is triing to clean up his act is there any way to paint over the kind of rust that occures on typical untreated mild steel. I have some items that are very useful in my shop. A little rust is not hurting them functionally but paint would diffinately improve the appearence of the place. I know you advocate a parched earth approach to the war on rust, but on stand or shop table is there a way to paint without going all the way to bare metal. I'm not being lazy. The search for working in an anesthetic enviroment needs to be balanced in the allocation of the precious resource of time. And yet the question remains for many of us, are we building a shop to be blacksmiths or blacksmithing in order to build a shop.


   - Lsundstrom - Tuesday, 09/25/01 18:45:22 GMT

Larry, on personal equipment I paint it as well as economicaly possible. However, this often means degreasing with a rag, dusting off loose rust with a hand brush and just applying paint. Most of the time this holds up pretty well indoors. I use industrial enamel and stick to traditional machinery color schemes most of the time.

However, color does break the monontony. Two tone paint jobs often help make items look newer. I always leave motors unpainted or repaint in something close to their machinery grey or black. Other new components are usualy left their OEM colors too. Carefully triming around name plates and bright surfaces helps appearances a lot.

On our EC-JYH the paint was anvilfire marroon with black on the differential cover and white stenciling. The ram, crank wheel and rotating brake drum are painted safety (OSHA) yellow.

The EC-JYH had some real heavy rust on some of the structurals. Realy scrubbing in the paint with a brush helps. After 3 years in our super high humidity creek bottom the only rust is on bare metal surfaces (anvil and die). I always paint machinery with a brush.

When I have time or slave labor helpers all machined surfaces are scraped and cleaned of rust before paining the rest of the machine. If a machine has been painted too many times the loose paint is scraped off it.

Cleaned and oiled machinery with a decent paint job always looks valuable (even if it doesn't run).

Painting machinery is like house painting. Good neat work is everything. Slopping on paint where it doesn't belong and doing a generaly poor job can devalue the item being painted.

   - guru - Tuesday, 09/25/01 19:11:11 GMT

Need to know where to get good quality refractory clay to line a cast iron coal fired centrifically blown forge. Burnin' either lignite or Wyoming bituminus it'll crank 1 1/2 inch round stock to welding heat but I've tired of repairing the flange. Time to insulate the old girl. Great thing you got going here. Where ya been all my hobby life? I'm a former welder, back went south so I got into archeology (It's old stuff too, y'see.). Now I have a young adult son who wants to get crankin'. For what it's worth, coal fire in a reidential neighborhood makes no friends. "D"
   Dan - Wednesday, 09/26/01 02:13:54 GMT

I've used a fire clay/masonry cement called Sereset (sp?), trade name product, used in building fireplaces. Got it at a building supply yard. Comes like mortar, as a dry powder, you mix it with water. It needs a slow cure, dampening it frequently as it dries, and a lot of binder of some sort mixed with it, or it shrinks, leaves humongous cracks. Do you really need to clay the forge? I don't think I needed to clay the hearth around the firepot-- doesn't get hot enough out there, and the firepot seems as if it can take care of itself, too, being heavy cast iron.
   Cracked Anvil - Wednesday, 09/26/01 03:49:00 GMT

Personally, I kinda like rust colors, except on working surfaces.
However, there are a number of brand name products like Ospho and rust killer and Extend that have some phosphoric acid in them that "kill the rust". You can dip, brush or spray them on tight rust ( not loose scale) and it will turn them black. The extend and some other brands have a sealer in them.
This a quick and dirty compromise between proper prep and the slop-over approach. It is found in marine supply stores and specialty paint shops.
The unsealed black surfaces are interesting in themselves and when used on frequently handled tools give a pleasing depth to the color of one's soot covered palms.
A note; most old machinery was painted with lead based paints which were superior in every way except for the health of the folks around them...so do not try to clean old machinery with your tongue, no matter how much you like it...if you must..I would not condone doing it without a condom....condoned-condom-tongue...gaakk
Dutch boy Paint used to be the National Lead Co. and clearly I've been lead astray and am going to bed belatedly.
   - Pete F - Wednesday, 09/26/01 08:14:26 GMT

Jock and Pete,
Thanks for the imformation on paint.
I do and I don't like the color of rust. As a color it's all right but as a process it's kinda depressing. I've got too many contrasting themes going on in my shop. Saw dust, garden sprays, sraps of wood, boxes, bikes and ironing boards in the rafters.....I'm triing to reduce some of the visual static and and express a simple thought....."SHOP". I thought paint might help.
Have a good day,
   - Lsundstrom - Wednesday, 09/26/01 13:31:40 GMT

For cleaning loose paint and heavy rust off, a 2500 psi or higher power washer is the quickest I've found. Won't get to shiny metal obviously, but does take off the loose stuff with less dust than some other methods. I use the rust "converter" stuff (extend) for inside equipment prime coat frequently too. Power wash, dry, extend, typical primer, then industrial enamel top coat. Other than the galvanized base coat, or two component self etching primer and two component hardened top coat, I've not found anything that holds up well enough in WI road salt.

Just my experience. I do let a lot of things just rust. Trailers and such. They and I seem happier that way. I don't have to worry about scratching the paint. And I honestly don't care if someone doesn't like my rusty stuff. grin.

Music? I love the stuff. Wife plays classical piano. But my fingers never worked well enough or I was not dedicated enough to make it happen. I'd rather listen. I do want to build a big harp some day though.
   Tony - Wednesday, 09/26/01 14:38:49 GMT

I agree with Pete, rust is beautiful. I like all the "natural" finishes that steel shows. I feel the same way about wood - it's beautiful - just a little linseed oil and wax to bring out the natural surface lustre. I hate to see wood painted or varnished to the point where it could just as well be formica.

Of course if the material is exposed to weather or water, it needs a protective layer of paint.

Tongue condoms. I always carry one in my wallet - never know when you might meet someone with an infectious laugh.

   adam - Wednesday, 09/26/01 15:56:00 GMT

Power Hammer Dies
Now that I have a power hammer, I have some questions about making dies for it. Other than machining the dovetails in the dies to precise angles, what methods can I use to create the dovetails, and how do I ensure that the key/die are in contact with the entire surface of the die block. I want to distribute the force of the key across the most die block area as possible.
Secondly, the Moloch shaft is pressed thru a solid casting, whereas a LG shaft can be removed by unbolting the top of the bearing area. This means that to use any sort of continuos belt, I have to slide the shaft out of the bushings. What I want to know is how to get the pully/clutch off of the shaft since it is located between the two bushings. For a picture of a hammer frame like this see pg. 107/fig.80 in "The Little Giant Power Hammer" Removing a Moloch shaft is not covered in this text-hence my question.
   patrick - Wednesday, 09/26/01 17:13:30 GMT

Moloch Clutch: Patrick, I haven't taken one of these apart but here is how most old machinery of this type is put together.

The outer part of the clutch is a floating pulley. It will just slide off the shaft. The inner cone will be attached one of two ways.

Often there is a hole in the working surface over the setscrew. These are usualy clogged with dirt and grease and are hard to find unless you look closely. A screw driver or special wrench is used to loosen the setscrew which should bear against a key. Once it is loose the pulley can be gently taped along the shaft.

Sometimes in cone clutch arrangements there is also a hole in the outer cone. Clean it out, align it with the hole in the inner cone and clean IT out and then you have access to the setscrew. Or at least you know where it is.

In some cases a square head set screw is used. This is accessed from the side of the pulley with an open end wrench. Its probably burried under a mound of grease. In some cases I have seen access holes that were mearly there to drill the setscrew hole. These can sometimes be used with a 3/8" socket wrench extension and a square (8 point) socket slipped on the setscrew from the side. Often the setscrew is jambed tighter than when installed from the key of shaft shifting. It is not unusual to see the head broken off.

If the machine is not worn out DO NOT try to take this assembly apart. Old flat belts were spliced in place. Clipper brand splices use a removeable pin. Others including glueing the belt or hand lacing are done in place on the machine.

Dovetails and Hammer dies: These are precision machined. There is no standard on old machines. Even within one brand they often change in size and angle. So to make them for any given machine you will need to take careful measurments. Dovetails are measured in degrees. Wedges and mating die taper are measured in inches of taper per foot. 3/16 through 3/8" per foot is common.

Many smiths have good luck hand forging wedges and hand grinding to fit. The last dies I made I used the factory wedges too hold the die at the proper angle in a shaper. This created a perfect match.

The best dies for general work are often flat dies. Properly radiused corners alow drawing of tapers. Special tooling can be clamped on top of flat dies better than on other types. On small hammers the most common dies are "combination" dies. The are half (or 2/3) flat and the rest have a slightly radiused face. The narrow radiused face is more efficient for heavy drawing work. However, a hand held fuller can be used to do the same on flat dies. On hammers with good control flat dies and hand held tooling it the best route. On worn, out of adjustment, misbehaving machines hand held tooling is a little scary to hold on to so combination dies are better in this case.

Some folks use a "build up" method to arc weld together slabs and bars to make die dovetails. I do not recommend it but it IS a way to make short run specialty dies.
   - guru - Wednesday, 09/26/01 18:39:11 GMT

Patrick; may I point out that you know someone with a horizontal mill!

Thomas it's probably older than the triphammer too!
   Thomas Powers - Wednesday, 09/26/01 18:50:43 GMT

Guru et. al,

Wire feed vs. stick welding. Pros/cons

Many thanks in advance.

   Chris Bernard - Wednesday, 09/26/01 20:16:47 GMT

For those interested there is a good discussion of musical scales at http://www.mcn.net/~jimloy/scale.html.
   Rob. Curry - Wednesday, 09/26/01 20:47:40 GMT

Wire vs. Stick: Chris, you need both but stick first. Stick is much more flexible as there are hundreds of types of rod including hard facing, stainless and castiron (NI Rod). It will also weld dirty nasty plate as well as traces of paint and heavy scale. Wire welding produces foam beads if you try to weld over rust, paint or scale.

The advantage to wire is it is fast and clean. There is no heavy flux deposit to clean up (unless you are using flux core wire). But fast and clean requires clean materials and better joinery than stick welding. Wire welding requires more expensive equipment and materials. Besides the DC welder with controls you need a bottle of gas and rolls of wire are more expensive than rods. If you want to weld SS the wire is very expensive and you use different gas than for carbon steel. With stick most suppliers will sell broken lots of rod by the pound or if they dont have broken lots they will have small containers of rod that are much less expensive than a roll of wire.

Maintenance on the machines is higher for wire. Buzz boxes for stick welding last until the insulation falls off the wires (like mine has. . ). Wire machines have diodes, speed controls, relays, DC motors, wheels, tips and liners. All are constantly being replaced if the equipment sees a lot of use.
   - guru - Wednesday, 09/26/01 21:10:57 GMT

I need to build a pantograph plasma cutter. Are their any plans available?
   Kevin Watson - Wednesday, 09/26/01 23:11:42 GMT

i need help with a couple of finishing techniques...i saw a recipe for a finishing wax for steel which included japan dryer...i also need a rust accelerant...one used muriatic acid and the other was peroxide,...for faux rust and verdi gris....anyone refresh my braincells
   john doyle - Wednesday, 09/26/01 23:41:43 GMT

rust-- put some Clorox bleach or chlorine swimming pool crystals, or both, in a coffee can, souse it onto the surface with a rag, or an old paint brush, or use a spray bottle. Won't cut through mill scale-- muriatic or hydrochloric will eventually, but beware the fumes. Clorox, chlorine work fast on steel that's had the mill scale knocked off. Do it several times a day whenever you think of it, and in a trice or maybe several trices at most, you'll have it looking like an oldie. If you have none of the above, bury the treasure in the compost heap. One smith I know pees on the object to be oxidized. Works great. Cheap.
   Cracked Anvil - Thursday, 09/27/01 00:24:53 GMT

to those with more knowledge ?

at what temp. does tin babbitt need to be when pouring bearings? and how do you tell when it is at that temp.if you dont have a thermocouple and temp. meter? how hot does the cast shell need th be?

thanks for any help!
   Darren Thomas - Thursday, 09/27/01 01:41:14 GMT

Doug Merkel's Beeswax Finish
Interior Use Only

1 cup Johnson's Paste Wax
1 Cup Turpentine
1 Cup boiled Linseed oil
1 cup shaved beeswax
2 Tablespoons Japan Dryer (Art Supply Store)

Melt ingredients together
Mix throroughly
Apply to WARM (not hot!) iron
Wipe excess off with soft rag
Allow to dry
   Paw Paw Wilson - Thursday, 09/27/01 01:59:44 GMT

Darren, I will give you a little personal history. About 20 years ago, I had to pour Babbitt for my little Little Giant, and I didn't know "come here from sic 'im". I called a couple of local machinists who kind of snickered. The third machinist suggested I call the windmill supply in Albuquerque. The windmill man tells me on the phone, "Yeah, what kind do you need, slow or fast speed?" A little book by Selvedge & Alton titled "Blacksmithing", had a brief section on pouring Babbitt. They suggested sooting the shaft for an oil clearance, so I acetylened it. I made my "ladle" out of a 4" pipe length with an electrically welded on bottom and handle. Most babbitts melt between 450F and 500F, so you don't have long to wait. I heated mine on the coal forge, and poured right after I had a complete melt, purely by eyeball. The cast shells had a pretty rough interior surface. I did not heat them, but I did clean them and degrease them thoroughly. I hope this helps. I confess to not being much of a machinery whiz.
   Frank Turley - Thursday, 09/27/01 03:24:19 GMT

John Doyle & Mr. C. Anvil,
Mr. C. Anvil is correct.
Another way to accelerate the rusting of iron is to contact the metal with acid vapour. Hydrochloric (=muriatic = about usually 40% HCl) or sulfuric acid will work). But these acids are strong, can cause problems, or maim you if not careful, and their vapour is not healthy either. No it's positively corrosive. ( also the chlorine oxides? and chlorine vapours coming off of concentrated bleach in water solutions should not be breathed). Boiling vinegar vapour will also do the job well. Vinegar is a 3% solution of acetic acid in water. Acetic acid is a much weaker acid than the preceeding acids. Pickling vinegar is a slightly stronger solution. It is a 4% solution, and will work a little faster. Vinegar is cheap and is available in the supermarket. I, still, would not breathe the acetic acid vapour coming off of the boiling vinegar. So stand upwind, if outside (and don't send it downwind to the neighbours.) If you do it indoors, use a strong extraction fan that vents the gas outside the house. The vinegar vapour can be directed onto the iron placed in some sort of vapour trap arrangement (like a cone) to speed things up. The funnel, or cone, should vent the cooling vapour to your extraction fan. Alternatively, if you are not in a hurry, and too lazy to set up the vapour handling set-up, you can put the iron in a vinegar solution and periodically check it to see when you have the desired amount of rust patina on it. When the time comes remove it from the vinegar solution and flush it in lots of running water. If you are thorough, neutralise any possible remaining acid in a dilute solution of baking soda in water Then wash the iron again in running water and dry.
I don't know how long the solution soaking takes. So experimentation may be required. Please wear eye protection when using boiling vinegar. Good luck and happy patinating
(rusting). Regards Sllag.
   slag - Thursday, 09/27/01 04:05:29 GMT

Babbit: Darren, There are dozens of types of babbits and they all melt a diferent temperatures. Most folks do it Frank's way. The OLD rule of thumb is when a dry pine stick dipped in the babbit chars it is ready. Most bearing journals (and shafts) should be preheated until spit sizzles (the old wet finger test) but no hotter. Sooting helps keep the babbit from sticking to the shaft and is not needed in two piece bearing pours. In one piece journals that surround the shaft you need to soot the shaft pretty heavily. If you want "perfect" babbit bearings you use an undersized mandrel to pour and then ream or hand scrape to fit. Don't forget a new shim stack when you pour two piece journals.

If you think babbit bearings are primitive then think about the ones in your late model car when you hit about 6,000 RPM before shifting. . .
   - guru - Thursday, 09/27/01 05:13:16 GMT

Wax Finishes Any time you mix a home brew wax finish and it calls for several ingrediants and a dryer you are being an amature chemist attempting to make paint. The paint companies hire folks with degrees in chemistry and physics to do this work and have vast resources as well as centuries of experiance. You cannot make a better or more economical finish then they can.
   - guru - Thursday, 09/27/01 05:18:10 GMT

Fast Rust Sandblast it, then try to paint it before it rusts! Apply any of the above methods to a sandblasted clean surface and you only need to wait minutes.

OR bring it to my house (down in the creek bottom next to the dam and grist mill) and in a couple days it will be rusted. . .

MACHINERY'S HANDBOOK covers babbiting (the old ones in more detail) and chemical finishes for ferrous and non-ferrous metals among thousands of other topics.
   - guru - Thursday, 09/27/01 05:23:43 GMT

Babitt comes (or came) in a range of tempertures that suit steel tempering temperatures. It also comes in a range of duty ratings.
Sid Sudenhiemer (sp) at the Little giant company has supplies and instructions. Most any big old-machinery book will have a section on Babitt.
Dont forget it is a lead alloy with antimony for extra flavor so dont cast many baby spoons with the left-overs
   - Pete F - Thursday, 09/27/01 05:36:05 GMT

can you give me some information on the history of blacksmithing,I am going to do my senior project on Blacksmithing-the past and the present. I can find information about the present day blacksmithing pretty easily, but for some reason there is not much about the history.Thankyou very much.

   matteo lamuraglia - Thursday, 09/27/01 12:22:13 GMT

Does anyone out there have plans/instructions for the famed Bean can mini forge? I tried getting them from Donnie Fulwood's website, as I believe that's where they were, but his site seems to be down now. Can anyone help me?
   Tianyu Ching - Thursday, 09/27/01 13:09:07 GMT

Bean Can Forge Tianyu, You start with an 8 or 10oz can. Poke a hole in the side of the can that a propane torch will fit into. Line the can with 1" thick Kaowool and poke the forch hole through THAT. Make wire legs or a cradle to raise the "forge" a few inches from the surface it rests upon. Light the torch and stuff it through the hole.

The torch should enter toward the top from the side at an angle so that the flame is parallel to the surface of the lining and spirals around inside.

After getting hot this forge is sutible for heating small work such as nails or heavy steel wire. You might be able to get a short piece of 1/4" (6mm) stock up to forging temperature.

For a similar forge see the "Forge, Micro" on our 21st Century Page or click this image.

Micro Forge photo Copyright 1999 Jock Dempsey
   - guru - Thursday, 09/27/01 13:58:43 GMT

History of Blacksmithing Matteo, This is very nearly the history of metalworking and technology from 1500 BC up until about 100 years ago.

The iron age came after the bronze age which lasted for thousands of years. Much metalworking technology was developed during the Bronze Age and carried over into the Iron Age. Approximately 1500 BC people learned how to smelt iron from ore using charcoal for fuel and limestone or sea shells for flux. The method used remained very nearly the same except for getting larger and larger up until the mid 1800's. For charcoal iron to be useable part of the process of making it was to hammer (forge) it by hand and later by machine. The forging compacted and refined the product of the charcoal furnace or bloomery. For information on this process look for the following books.

  • Pioneer Ironworks by Mary Stetson Clark
  • Diderot's Encylopedia of Trades and Industry, Dover Books
  • DeRe Metalica, Translated by Herbert Hoover (yes he was a US president).

    See also the Time Life "Emergence of Man" series see "The Metalsmiths". It has much general history and a timeline

    Note that they had the iron age starting in 1000 BC. This date has been pushed back by many recent discoveries. But this is a VERY good book and probably has most of what you need.

    For details it becomes more difficult but for the changes that occured in the 1800's the Autobiography of James Nasmyth is very good. We have it on-line on our story page.

    One of the big changes in the 1800's was the switch from charcoal to coal for manufacturing and working iron.

    Prior to that time blacksmithing had changed very little from ancient times. Blacksmith tools found in Sweden that date from about the year 1000 (AD) are very similar to tools used today. So similar in fact that a smith from the 21st Century could change places with a smith from the 10th century and both would have no problem using the other's tools. The biggest difference being that steel is cheap and plentiful today where it was very expensive in earlier times.

    The history of blacksmithing is not over. Many modern smiths take advantage of plasma and laser cutting using computer guided torches. Decorative design is now done using computer graphics programs. And new machines specificaly for blacksmiths are still being invented (see our review of the McDonald Rolling Mill). In 50 years or less TODAY will be history!
  •    - guru - Thursday, 09/27/01 14:37:40 GMT

    Guru's got it pretty well nailed; but let me talk from a slightly different viewpoint. There is not much available on the history of blacksmithing per say; but quite a lot out there on the history of technology and several books on smithing dating to certain periods.

    In the history of technology look for: bloomery, wrought iron, direct process, cast iron, indirect process, blister steel, coal, coke, cast steel (Huntsman), Abraham Darby, case hardening, Bessemer/Kelly Process,...

    In smithing: the Bible (Tubal Cain); "Divers Arts" (1120 AD has info on several smithing techniques that work pretty well even today!), "De Re Metallica" and "Pirotechnia" renaissance (16th century info on mining and refining metals), "Sources for the History of the Science of Steel" (has excerpts from several interesting early works on hardening steel as well as embeded info on techniques through 1786 AD), "Mechanick Exercises" Joseph Moxon (first section is how to set up and use a blacksmith's shop, published in 1703) "Diderot's Encyclopedia" (try to find the complete version and not the excerpts from one) "Practical Blacksmithing" by Richardson (its a collection of articles in a smithing magazine from the late 1880's and early 1990's when mild steel was replacing real wrought iron) There are a number of manuals from the 1900's on smithing as it was part of the curriculum for many technical schools. "Machinerys Handbook" prior to the 12th? edition carried more info on smithing. Finally there is the current renaissance in smithing under such orgs as ABANA or BABA (see their web pages).

       Thomas Powers - Thursday, 09/27/01 18:17:58 GMT

    Babbit temp...Darren... An easy low tech way of telling if babbit metal is up to temp is to use the end of a wooden match (the non sulpher end) when the wood chars slightly the metal is ready to pour
       Mark Parkinson - Thursday, 09/27/01 20:32:00 GMT

    History of Blacksmithing
    The Guru and Mr. Powers are correct.
    Allow me to add a few more information sources.
    Try the following web sites for information and for further U.R.L.'s, articles and book citations;
    Check out the British Museum site and contact Dr. Paul Craddock for more information and resources on the subject.
    Also conduct a computer literature search using Dr. Craddock And Dr. R. (Ronnie) Tylecote as key words for article and book searching.
    These sources should be just the beginning. They will lead to many more articles, books, and web sites featuring archaeometallurgy.
    If this note helps you, please seriously consider taking out a membership in Cybersmiths International, in order to help keep this site alive. I will then be pleased to share, with you, many other articles that you cannot access.
    You have should now have enough material to get you started in style.
    Good luck. Slag

       slag - Thursday, 09/27/01 20:47:19 GMT


    History of Smithing is a FAQ. Suggest a compilation of the answers from yourself, Thomas & Slag might be helpful.
       Paw Paw Wilson - Thursday, 09/27/01 21:50:51 GMT

    Babbiting, I am in need of Babbiting the clutch on my 50 lb. little Giant. After talking with Sid Sudemier (spelling?) I decided to just send it to him. For a VERY resonable price he will pour the babbit and turn the inside to the exact demension of my existing shaft. He asked me to take calipers and take dimensions around the shaft at several points at 90 degrees to each other. I know it would be a great education to do it myself but I just don't have the time right now. Sometimes you let the pros take care of you, it's worth the money. TC
       Tim Cisneros - Friday, 09/28/01 01:57:56 GMT

    i would like to know the best method for rusting mild steel.iam making some cowboy spurs and want them too have an antique rusted finish. any help will be greatly appreciated.thanks
       ben duke - Friday, 09/28/01 02:20:00 GMT

    Ben Duke,
    Look up this page a few inches. The subject has been covered in depth, by at least four entries.
    Happy rusting! Slag.
       slag - Friday, 09/28/01 03:04:22 GMT

    Matteo-- any chance you could get at the card catalog in the local library? Under B, for blacksmithing, or I for iron, some technowonks prolly rarfed out a whole bunch of stuff on the history thereof, and you don't have to soak up all these harmful rays into your retinas squinting at this screen to savor it, neither. But if you're wired, how about the Encyclopedia Britannica! I'll bet some drudge has typed it all out for you on-line!
       Cracked Anvil - Friday, 09/28/01 04:39:57 GMT

    Matteo-- You're right, it's a toughie, so we assigned both Chastity Dangerfield, our executive director, AND Yummi deLisch, our chief of research, to the problem, and it cost us a bundle, but, oh, frabjous joy, are you ever in luck: looky what they found over at those nice people the Encyclopedia Britannica (please bother to read this, 'cause Yummi broke a nail doing this)I'd list the URL, but that'd be cheating, wouldn't it?:metalwork
    Encyclopædia Britannica Article

    Article Images Index Entry Multimedia Yearbooks
    E-mail this article Print this article Cite this article

    Western metalwork


    Ironwork is fashioned either by forging or casting. Wrought
    iron is the type of ironwork that is forged on an anvil.
    There are no fabrication similarities to cast iron, which is
    poured in a molten state into prepared sand molds.

    Wrought iron is fibrous in structure and light gray in colour.
    It can be hammered, twisted, or stretched when hot or cold.
    The more it is hammered, …

    Complete articles are available to
    premium service members. Sign up
    for a 14-day FREE Trial!
    Information on site licenses is also

    Contents of this article:

    General processes and techniques
    Hammering and casting
    Embossing, or repoussé
    Western metalwork
    Middle Ages
    Renaissance to modern
    Bronze and brass
    Teutonic tribes
    Middle Ages: Byzantine Empire
    Middle Ages: Islam
    Europe from the Middle Ages
    Germany and the Low
    Silver and gold
    Minoan and Mycenaean
    Greek and Etruscan
    Early Christian and Byzantine
    Middle Ages
    Carolingian and Ottonian
    Renaissance to modern
    16th century
    18th century
    Colonial America
    19th century
    Middle Ages
    16th century to modern
    Early history
    Belgium and Holland
    United States
    Mid-19th century onward
    Middle Ages
    Renaissance to modern
    Non-Western metalwork
    South Asia
    Gold and silver
    Central and Southeast Asia
    East Asia
    Gold and silver
    Gold and silver
    American Indian peoples
    Southwest Indian
    African Negro peoples
    Additional reading
    General works
    Silver and gold
    Middle and Far East
    North and South
    Copper, brass, and bronze
    Decorative metalwork
       Cracked Anvil - Friday, 09/28/01 04:54:24 GMT

    Tianyu, I'd go with the one brick forge, I've used one similar the the one shown to forge out a railroad spike knife (it was a bit bigger than a nail) ;)
    With two torches I've been able to even do a small billet of pattern welded damascus.
    I have tried the bean can forge but it didn't give me as good a result.
       - moldy jim - Friday, 09/28/01 06:25:10 GMT

    Cracked the list is priceless. I've started working on it already. But this may take months. I suppose there are no short cuts to knowlege.
    One question. Why is Islam mentioned twice? Simple error? For emphasis? Personal predilection? As preparation for our coming struggle against the Taliban?
    Again thanks to Ms. Dangerfield for her thorough research.
    Regards and thanks for the pomposity sticking. (like pig sticking, you know what I mean). It has a salutary effect of binging me and some others back down to earth from time to time. Slag.
       slag - Friday, 09/28/01 06:29:28 GMT

    Reference Testing The first thing I do when I am checking out a new encyclopedia is look up ANVIL. You would be amazed at the major modern references that don't list it or worse have an article that the discription tells you less about anvils than a Road Runner cartoon. . . If they don't have it then I try "blacksmith". You would think the industrial revolution happened without us!

    I'm sure you have all heard about NASA having a blacksmith on their research staff. They did but they don't any more. But NASA along with every major university HAD good sized power hammers in their metalurgical research departments in the 1960's and 70's. Mostly NAZEL 3B's. And these required skilled operators.

    But our (blacksmithing) history is poorly written even in references that should know better. Industrial forging references don't like to consider anything less than 1,000 pounds (450kg) a serious hammer and often don't mention anything less. The older references that mention smaller hammers very often state unequivocaly that 300 pounds or 100 pounds is the smallest forging hammer.

    The fact is that many old shops still mass produce goods using 100 year old Bradley 300 pound hammers. Forging hammers were also sold to industry down to as small as 15 pounds. These were used for cutlerly work and non-ferrous work but they were forging hammers just as much as the many tonned giant steam hammers.

    The history of technology is a real mess. If you read American references "WE" invented it all and if you read British references "THEY" invented it all. . . and the old running joke on Star Trek about the Russians inventing everything. . . well they DID invent or discover a huge number of things. Technological history is just as screwed up as political history. . .
       - guru - Friday, 09/28/01 06:43:55 GMT

    A student once told me that our well known Samuel Yellin was a contrubutor to the fourteenth edition, Volume 12, of The Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1937. Whenever I went to a thrift store, I would look for broken sets of encyclopedias, hoping to find this very volume, and eventually I lucked out. Yellin's contribution is under "Iron in Art", a capsulated but excellent history of artistic ironwork, and pretty well illustrated. There are even line drawings of some of the smith's tools.
       Frank Turley - Friday, 09/28/01 12:28:57 GMT

    Hi Jock,

    I forgot where you said you could find that cold galvanizing paint. Would you refresh my memory? Also, could that be used when doing autobody work to prevent rust from creeping back? Just wondering because it seems whenever I used to do that it would last about a year & the rust would come back!

       Mike Roth - Friday, 09/28/01 14:58:43 GMT

    Slag-- you're seeing things, old sport. Those posts were just 'twixt Matteo and me. On your queries, you'll have to ask the boffins at the Britannica.
       Cracked Anvil - Friday, 09/28/01 15:06:55 GMT

    Zinc Paint Mike, CRC has it in spray cans. Used to call it "Zinc Re-nu". Others sell it as "cold galvanizing". It is an industrial product. I'm told that some auto paint suppliers sell a similar product. For large projects (like water tank interiors) it is sold by the gallon. The zinc settles out rapidly and must be power mixed. Operations that spray it in large quantities have mixers on the pressure feed tank.

    NOTE: This is not a zinc chromate or "zinc rich" primer. It is zinc powder in a carrier/binder that makes up a very small part of the dried finish. It is the next best thing to hot dip galvanizing. Better when it needs to be painted over.

    AUTOMOTIVE USE: Works great here. However, auto bodies rust from the inside out. Generaly it is caused by sand, dirt and piled up rust flakes inside panels. This residue holds moisture and road salt. Often the problem starts with clogged drain vents at the bottom. Undercoating is the worst culprit for causing this. On older vehicals debris gets inside doors when the seals around the glass fails.

    SO, unless you remove fenders and doors and repair them from the INSIDE (often in inaccessable places), repairing rust is a losing battle.
       - guru - Friday, 09/28/01 16:22:14 GMT

    I have been invited to set up a shop at a small farmers market in this area, and make and sell some smithing. I have never sold *anything* I have made, though I have set myself up as a business with sales tax forms and everything. Anyone have some good hints on what is good and fairly easy to make/sell away from the real shop? What tools do I really need to bring? Things to avoid, easier ways of doing things away from the shop?

    I guess I need a travel anvil and vise now.....

    Please share some of the wisdom of the years of seeting up offsite shops! I'm a bit over my head here, but I'm looking forward to it!


       - Jim Freely - Friday, 09/28/01 18:58:56 GMT

    Live Demos and Sales

    1) Never make anything that takes longer than 5 to 10 minutes to make. You will bore and lose the audiance. The public is not a bunch of blacksmiths interested in every stroke of your hammer. Don't try to fill special orders on-site unless it fits the 5 minute item limitation.

    2) Demonstrating and selling at the same time don't generaly work. It realy helps to have a sales person along (wife, daughter, girfriend. . ).

    3) Be sure to have a fence or barrier to keep your audiance a minimum of 8 feet from the anvil (10 is better). It often goes unmentioned but who's libility insurance is in effect?

    4) Precut as much stock as possible. Never use a hardy to cut off work at a public demo. Hot cut bullets travel farther than 10 feet and at high velocity.

    5) NEVER, EVER, EVER give away a sample unless you can produce them instantly and in infinite quantity.

    I used to make little souvenier horseshoes with turned up heal calks (real forging), and stamp names or initials in them. My rule was that if you wanted one you had to stay and watch. These took about 10 minutes and the stay and watch rule limited the number requested. At shows with lots of families with children the orders were non-stop and could wear you out (I sold them too cheap, $2 in the 1970's). A horseshoe is something the public recognizes. Almost anything else and you will find yourself explaining WHAT you are making rather than HOW you make it.

    Small to medium sized triangles sold well. Since these are made with a torch they were all made in advance. I would occasionaly make the strikers at shows but it was easy to get behind in orders so I tried to have them made in advance too. I spent a lot of time experimenting with triangles until I had patterns that rang clear and loud. Many don't ring well. . . Almost every custom one I made was a dud. . . :( but the customer's liked them anyway.

    Otherwise you never know what is going to sell.

    Make things you KNOW how to make and have practiced. Don't worry about the public asking questions they don't know enough to ask hard questions. The most common are, How hot is it? Do you ever get burned? "What are you making"? and Where did you learn blacksmithing? (anvilfire OF COURSE! ;-) ).
       - guru - Friday, 09/28/01 19:34:16 GMT

    C. Anvil,
    Ah!! Now all is made clear unto me, I think. (don't think too often, hurts my brain.). Cracked try extracting a C.S.A. membership from Mr. Matteo to help Jock and this site. I know you have the requisite charm. Regards, Slag.
       slag - Friday, 09/28/01 19:47:32 GMT

    Technological Transfer, or, Who Invented What When

    Of course the Chinese invented it all, sort of…

    There are four primary methods of invention and transfer:
    1. Direct method- You figure it out, your neighbor copies your methods.
    2. Indirect method- Your neighbor sees your product and backward engineers a production method. Said method may or may not be superior to yours.
    3. Parallel method- You and your neighbor both see a need and find identical solutions for fulfilling this need. Neither of you talked to each other, but you both acknowledge that there are only so many ways of skinning a cat.
    4. Reinvention- You had a need and a method of producing the product, but it has fallen out of use (fashions change, perceived obsolescence, etc.). Years later your neighbor perceives the same need and reinvents the method.
    The truth is that the world has always been full of inventive, intelligent people, and no matter who came up with something first (and counter to the difusionist theories some anthropologists are in love with) there is nothing to prevent other societies from coming up with similar solutions for similar problems. All of these methods occur again and again. You don't need an Egyptian to tell you how to build a pyramid. Cows do a good facsimile all day long. (And it would have been nice, as long as the Egyptians were busy instructing there, to clue the Native Americans in on the usefulness of the wheel.)

    This could get out of hand, and I've got to run, but it is something to think on.
       Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Friday, 09/28/01 20:00:33 GMT

    Thanks Guru!

       - Jim Freely - Friday, 09/28/01 20:18:25 GMT

    Math of triangles:


    Is there a formula to what size triangles ring well? It should be something to do with the wavelength on the note being evenly divisable by the lenthg of the bar (like antenna theory) but I have never seen anything published on it.

    Trial and error works I suppose, but I like to understand the math behind it....

       - JIm Freely - Friday, 09/28/01 20:21:39 GMT


    I'll do this one, so the guru can holler at me. (grin)

    Cut a piece of 1/2" round stock 30" long. Mark it at 5", 15", and 25" from one end. Make the center bend (15") first. Then make the two end bends (5" & 25"). This will give you a triangle 10" on a side. Tweak it so that everything is equal, with about an 1/8" gap between the two ends. Heat each of the three corners to a different temperature and quench in cold water. This will give a slightly different note (about a half note) difference in the ring from each of the four straight sections.

    Make the striker from 1/2" round stock. I do a round over on each end, flatten one end, and shape it to hang neatly from the bottom bar of the triangle. Hang it from a leather string (I use rawhide boot lace) or from a string.
       Paw Paw Wilson - Friday, 09/28/01 20:27:37 GMT


    The bends are pretty close to 120° each. Email me and I'll send you a set of instructions for makeing a similar triangle out of square stock. Each section has a twist and the notes are a little further apart when you ring it. Almost rings a chord when rung "in the round"
       Paw Paw Wilson - Friday, 09/28/01 20:29:46 GMT

    I had a customer at a show that wanted a LOUD triangle.

    I got a wild hair and grabbed a piece of 3/4" round stock. I doubled the dimensions in the above example, and made it. Using a 18" piece for a striker.

    Customer was satisfied.

    Another thing I make a lot of at shows is "S" hooks in graduated sizes. Sell them for $4 and up, depending on size. Ladies love them for hanging plants etc.
       Paw Paw Wilson - Friday, 09/28/01 20:35:04 GMT


    In your reply of 9/28/01, you said that Zinc Paint in a spray can can be purchased from CRC. Who is CRC? Can you tell me how to contact them. Address, phone # or e-mail address. Thanks
       Greg Allen - Friday, 09/28/01 22:04:54 GMT

    Freely & All, I once visited a friend who was preparing to go to the Frederick, MD, craft fair. He had a sizable box of horseshoe nail finger rings to take with him, and I poked a little fun at him. He said, "Don't laugh. This box of rings pays for my motel and meals, and a portion of its earnings goes for gasoline". Well, I quit laughing.

    I never made a horseshoe nail ring, but I suppose I would use about a #7 length nail for most adult rings. Numbers 5 and 6 might work for kids' rings. The rectangular, faceted head gives the "diamond look" that children like. Time to experiment.
       Frank Turley - Friday, 09/28/01 22:56:57 GMT


    Horse shoe nail rings are very good. They sell well to kids at $3-$5. I file the outer face smooth, and stamp their initial on it.

    Sheri makes a sign, "Horseshoe Nail Rings - Custom sized and personalized by Paw Paw". Can't make them fast enough.
       Paw+Paw+Wilson - Friday, 09/28/01 23:14:57 GMT

    CRC Chemical Co. Warminster PA.

    Go to your local industrial hardware or paint supplier. Many INDUSTRIAL hardware places carry CRC's specialty lubricating and rust protective oils as well as the zinc paint line. When I say "industrial" hardware we are NOT talking about ACE Hardware or Lowes. It will be the nearest outfit that sells bolt by the barrel, pipe fittings by the case and stocks rolls of bandsaw blade and everything else needed for industrial maintenance.

    Musical Triangles Jim, I did my trial and error research into triangles decades before I did my musical research. As far as the musical establishment is concerned a triangle is another percussion instrument that has no measurable tone and is a disonant sound. Well, they are ignornant fools. Triangles are like bells and DO have specific tones. I'm sure they are a mixture of tones and as such can harmonize OR be disonate. I had an "octave" set of triangles years ago made by trial and error. Over time I sold individual pieces and never replaced them.

    Because of the statements in musical references that triangles are dissonate the folks that do mathematical analysies of vibrators have avoided the triangle and there is no known math that I know of. I suspect that the math used for tuning forks could be adapted. However, there IS a good chance that a manufacturer of musical triangles has worked out the math and has not published it. MANY musical instruments, including very important orchestral instruments, are built by small family businesses that hold on to their "trade secrets". It is a sad state of affairs.

    In a standard triangle the middle bar is both a null node and a vibrating member so its place in calculations is not so straight forward as a tuning folk.

    My triangle that Paw-Paw describes is half triangle half tuning fork. Having two equal sides that vibrate in unison creating a standing wave give them good "sustain". However, it is not quite a tuning fork because the short legs that face each other also vibrate. This vibration is different than the two connecting legs that they are part of.

    In tuning forks and triangles the ratio between the length and cross section, along with the mass determined by the material's density determines the frequency. The length of the arms stops near or partly in the bend which is a vibrational "null" point. The mass of the null point is not part of the vibrational formula and must not be included in the arms. How and where this is measured is more art than science although finite element analysis could probably determine the point at which it no longer applies. The mass is then taken at the center of gravity. This is the middle of the bar in most cases but in triangles there are different vibrating centers.

    It has been 5 years since I fooled with the mathematics of tuning forks and it would take considerable time to dig it out. Since it does not apply directly to triangles I won't bother at this time.

    One of the areas that I researched was the mathematics of musical vibrators and accoustics. This is another sad state of afairs. The couple books that are available are badly written and full of errors. If you mearly study them and don't try to apply the mathematics everything seems OK. However, as soon as you try to apply the math you find that little things like key constants are not given or defined and that formulaes are not complete. As I mentioned earlier, there are huge holes in this area of technology that need to be filled.
       - guru - Saturday, 09/29/01 00:22:29 GMT

    Figures a Canadian would confuse CSA (Confederate States of America) with CSI (Cyber Smiths International). ;-) had one too many 'eh.
       - guru - Saturday, 09/29/01 00:32:50 GMT

    Lets see. . CSA is also a Canadian electical appliance standards out fit too. . . Canadian Standards Association
    International. :) A testing organization similar to UL and who's logo you often find beside UL's on electrical devices.
       - guru - Saturday, 09/29/01 00:50:33 GMT

    Slag, craft fair-- Slag, you've got your aperture/depth of field set a little too deep. I'm not transmitting any hidden messages. Man asks about the history of ironworking for his homework. I suggested the Britannica and repro'd their page on the subject. QED. Crafts: I think a single shot .22 built into a Bic would go like crazy.
       Cracked Anvil - Saturday, 09/29/01 01:58:54 GMT

    Live Demos and Sales


    When you load up, try to keep everything under 100 pounds. Anvil, vise, blower, forge, etc. Early in the day a 200 pound anvil is easy to load, after a demo you may need help loading that same anvil.

    The crowd changes every 5 to 10 minutes and their attention span is short. Make items that fit the time frame.

    Take an extra hammer. One broken handle can ruin your demo.

    Before the demo, set up at home and forge everything you are going to make. Make a list of the tools you have out and are using, anvil vise, blower forge, etc. When you have to go back to the shop for tongs, put them on the list, and add a pair of vise grips as a backup.

    Make another list of the items you plan to make, and the stock size that you need for that item. Precut the stock for everything that you intend to make. Label the precuts with both the length, and that it is going to be when you finish.

    Set up a second time at home using only what is on your list. Start a clock and forge everything on your list. If there are any problems they should show up. If you have any trouble making a particular item, drop that item from your list. The time needed making one of each of the items, will give you an idea of how many you will need make to fill out the time your are at the demo.

    When you get to the demo site, look for a tree - with leaves. Set up where there is some shade, you will need it before the day is over.

    Take a 5 gallon bucket of water and set it next to the forge. Grass fires are easily to put out when they are still small. Dip EVERY item you make into the water when you finish. That way you KNOW the metal is cold.

    Pack plenty of water for you to drink during the demo, and some food or snacks. Also a couple of candy bars.

    One last thing, take the burn ointment. Both sunburn ointment and hot metal on the skin ointment. If you get tired, quit. You still have to load up and drive home when it is all over.

    Enjoy the demo, and let us know how it turns out.
       - Conner - Saturday, 09/29/01 02:11:26 GMT

    Mr. Guru and Mr. C. Anvil
    Re C.S.A. & C.S.I. I am aware of both, it's the typing and brain (somewhat damaged) that needs remediation.
    Re 22 cal and modified pens, compressed gas propellant and gramophone needle (or it's equivalent), coated in p.s.p. would do a much more efficient joband needn't have to travel nearly so fast. How did this subject come up anyway, Mr C.Anvil?
       slag - Saturday, 09/29/01 02:38:37 GMT

    on demos
    I find that talking to the groop helps be funny(or at least corny) and informative.
    a 5min project can quicky turn into a 20min demo (question's talking to costomers etc.) so don't worry if in reality your 5 min demo is a bit longer.
    I tend to make two types of demos one were I make something quick at a set (and posted time) ancering questions and explaining as I go (this is a forge I use soft coal it and gets very hot .....etc) the other type I do is (when I get board) a more involed project something I genrely don't have time to fool with (new head or leaf, rose etc.) and I explain to costomer as they float by (meny come back later in the day to see how it came out )most other simth I know dont find that this works for them but It seems to work for me.

    one last thing keep some lump hard wood charcoal on hand and when you need a break stickit in the center of the firepot and cover it w/coal . it will smolder for a long time and when you get back just give it some air and the fire will come right back up. ( don't forget to clean out the clinker BEFORE you bank it )
    hope this helps ..and have fun
       MP - Saturday, 09/29/01 03:05:34 GMT

    Slag, whither zip guns, you inquire. Ah, Slag, now, tell me, lad, who can fathom the workings of the muse on a moonlit Friday night in Indian summer, when the bittersweet fragrance of potassium nitrate perfumes the air? Hmmmm? No! Wait! It's all coming back to me now. (Segue shots of clock turning backward, sand in hourglass.) See, right after that short note to you, denying that I'd been writing to you in the first place, I did a flash for the gent asking about what's hot at crafts fairs....
       Cracked Anvil - Saturday, 09/29/01 04:28:21 GMT

    Hmmmmm more like prison crafts. . .
       - guru - Saturday, 09/29/01 05:55:06 GMT

    Traveling Light I never considered that. After doing a couple crafts shows and coming home with sore cheeks from the continous smile and answering only one question a thousand times "Did you MAKE that?", I designed my portable shop and didn't worry too much about weight. It also provided a VERY stable anchor for a vise (which I still miss) and a post drill. Besides a healthy sized forge with great bellows it provided a roof to keep the entire mess dry.

    However, I DID keep a 100# anvil and later a 125# that were eminently portable. Only once did I carry a larger anvil (200#). But that was slid off the tailgate of my truck onto its stand and got loaded the same way. I HAVE known people to haul 350# anvils to do a demo in the back seat of a VW bug and consider this verging on insanity.

    My portabable blacksmith shop (now owned by the Bethbara Museum in Winston Salem) was probably the ultimate in travel forges and has recently been rebuilt with electric activated roof and jacks. . . However, you can make do with a lot less.
       - guru - Saturday, 09/29/01 06:12:34 GMT

    Good Guru;
    The side of the triangle that has the suspension point is probably pretty well damped because the end of the stock doesn't much want to be the null point.
    The hardness of the material is also a factor.The harder or thicker the stock, the higher the pitch.This from trial and error.
    Coil springs make dandy triangles and the like.
    Years ago, when I was making large resonating hollow bodies from steel, I asked Linus Pauling ( he was my landlord then) if it would be possible to calculate the resonant frequencies of such a shell so that it could be made to agree with the frequency of the enclosed volume. He said that trying wouldn't be practical. That was prior to computer imaging and all.
    Some of the experimental musical instruments i welded up had to be modified half a dozen times to sound decent...well, to sound enough to sell anyway.
       - Pete F - Saturday, 09/29/01 07:12:56 GMT

    Say Cracked...
    A zip-bic sounds like fun...Gotta have a big jet of propane flame to dramatize the projectile path of course.
    Isn't it remarkable that so many of us still have most of our fingers?
       - Pete F - Saturday, 09/29/01 07:22:03 GMT

    Vibrational Nulls. Pete, These points exist regardless of dampening. They are points of rotation relative to centers of gravity and standing waves in a bar. In shafting these points and the amplitude of vibration is calculated in order to place bearings so that shafts do not self destruct at critical speeds. In tuning forks they are at the junction of the two bars and handle or the bend if there is no handle. Because the handle attaches at a perfect null it has little effect on the sustain. In triangles the nulls want to be at the corners but in the classic triangle (open at one corner) they are not. In the symetrical triangle the top corner is a null as well as the place for support. In all triangles the sound is better if the support is a flexible member such as heavy string or rawhide. Chain rattles and dampens the vibration.

    The resonate frequency of a volume of air is relatively easy to calculate and was heavily researched by a fellow named Helmholtz whom defined the mathematics. However, it is the ratio between the driving volume (the neck of a bottle or the dead space in a flute) and the rest of the column. This is so predictable that you can calculate the note of a bottle and be accurate to within a few cents.

    The air inside a gong (like a pipe gong or welding cylinder gong) has very little to go with the tone as the mass of the gong is very large compared to the mass of the air but the natural frequency could be calculated. Creating a gong with an equal frequency would be impossible but you COULD create a gong with a proportional relationship like 2:1 or 3:1. Once the mathematics of the gong and air mass are setup then it is a simple matter of iteration (trial and error with smarts). Iteration is one of the things that computers are VERY good at and the programming not difficult. The problem would be that one of the variables needs to be the wall thickness of the gong. The reason for this is that length and diameter changes also change the air mass. If the wall thickness is not a standard this makes the making of a pipe gong quite expensive.

    These relationships are known to have an effect on stringed musical instuments but it is very minor. The air at the sound holes becomes the driver and the air mass of the body the resonator. Even in small instruments such as the violin the ratio is so great that there is little effect. The mass of the soundboard and supporting structure being much more important. The strings under high tension are then the driver and the little air at the sound hole is inconsequential.

    My first triangle was made of wrought iron. What a dud! :-)
       - guru - Saturday, 09/29/01 07:56:40 GMT

    Pete, There is an OLD instrument that has air columns matched to the solid vibrator, the xylophone! Ancient ones used gourd bodies while modern ones use pipe or tubes of various material. Of course the two are seperate.

    Now I can go to bed. . .
       - guru - Saturday, 09/29/01 08:16:15 GMT

    Yeah, Cracked, Slag's got a point (haha, that's a pun!)whassamattawitchew anyway? Suggesting deadly implements. And at a crafts fair, with all the candles and oil-finish pull toys, already! Now, your swords? O.K. Your dirks, your poniards, pikes, rapiers, your daggers? O.K. That's all old-time blacksmithy-type stuff. But lay off the cordite, okay? Little pitchers have big ears. Somebody might get hurt. Sheesh!
       swarf - Saturday, 09/29/01 14:04:20 GMT

    Ooops! Pete F., he's got a point, too: we don't want no undigitized kiddies. So: no more deadly weapons of the projectile type. Truck spring trebuchets? O.K. Leaf-spring crossbows? O.K. As long as they are authentic springs. Big sellers at crafts fairs, too. But your wicked smokers? Fuhgeddaboutit!
       swarf - Saturday, 09/29/01 14:10:24 GMT

    Hey, Jock! I've been hacked! Breached! Get security up here right away! This Swarf cat's using my form! Coming out blue, too, when I can't even come out blue half the time!
       cracked anvil - Saturday, 09/29/01 14:13:23 GMT

    Cyberterrorism rears it's ugly head!
       Tony - Saturday, 09/29/01 15:40:52 GMT

    No, I think "Cracked", has been caught talking to himself. . . ;-)

    More Math and Music Most of the complicated stuff was done WAY before computers. Matter of fact, it was done before calculus was invented! The fellow that worked out all that 12th root business for the piano did it in the 1600's. The last time a book about the construction of musical instruments similar to my proposed book was written was in 1619 by Michael Praetorius. His great pipe organ design is still built occasionaly. Great book, I have a copy. The problem is it is in German and to make matters worse it is set in German Blackface (like old English). It is also a tad out of date since dozens of new instruments have been invented since then.

    As recently as the late 1960's I remember my father doing the long division in differential equasions by hand to an obscene number of digits. This was still the slide rule era and the problem was that the particular caculation could not stand any rounding. It was for a complicated differential gear box that used two inputs that created no output or "zero" rotation under the normal condition. Since this was to be attached to control rods in a nuclear reactor no small amount of creep was acceptable.

    Many amazing mathematical feats were performed the hard way long before we had computers.
       - guru - Saturday, 09/29/01 16:06:35 GMT

    anvils in VW bugs: I completely agree, transporting a 350# anvil in the back seat of a VW bug is not only crazy, it's criminal! An anvil of that quality needs to be riding shotgun and that should be in a Cadillac or something of similar quality. Also, don't forget to strap it in securely with its seat belt. Sure don't want it's face to get nicked in a head on collision as it rips through a column of cars at 70mph.

    Drive safely
       adam - Saturday, 09/29/01 19:15:24 GMT

    Check out an African musical called called the m'bira (=thumb piano). It has a wooden body and an array of metal strips of different lengths (and widths?)that generate different notes. The Shona people of South-East Africa use it heavily in their music. The music is beautiful. (my opinion). Regards,
       slag - Saturday, 09/29/01 21:30:44 GMT

    m'bira, There is one (from Africa) in a collection of my brother's stuff and another has made several. The metal bars are best made of old lawnmower and chainsaw cord rewind spring. . . :-). They sound surprisingly like steel drums. Of course they originate in a similar manner from the same people with similar musical backgrounds. . .
       - guru - Saturday, 09/29/01 21:45:26 GMT

    My home ISP dies tomorrow! I will inform Jock as soon as we make other arangements, and I will be able to monitor the board through work, but I might be a bit hard to get ahold of at times.

    Visit your National Parks: www.nps.gov

    Go viking: www.wam.umd.edu/~eowyn/Longship/
       Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Saturday, 09/29/01 21:52:09 GMT

    Guru, the hammer on my 25 pound LG seems to have a little to much play in the guides. i see the shims i can remove to tighten this up but what would be a good clearence between the hammer and the guides?
       Robert - Sunday, 09/30/01 01:55:05 GMT

    I have been given a champion #1 blower with very little evident wear on the gears. It is mounted on a pedestal. It won't turn. At all. I first used B'laster for a couple of days a little heat some judicious tapping and an impact driver to finally get it off the pedestal and separated from the fan shroud. It has been soaking in kerosene and some liquid wrench for almost a week now. Not even a hint of movement. I had thought that i might disassemble the gear box, but am stumped on how it comes apart. It seems that I could drift the crank shaft out fist then the fan shaft. They don't want to drift. Since I have never taken one apart I don't want to wail on it. I'm down to the 'stare at it it'll get better' mode right now. What should I try next?
       Mills - Sunday, 09/30/01 02:43:08 GMT

    25 LG guides Robert, the OEM shims were there to set the original spacing. There is often not a complete set with the needed variability. So plan on checking the shims with a micrometer and recording them. Usualy shim sets have .003, .004, .005 and .010 and thicker shims. Replace an .003 with an .004 and you have +.001 remove two .003's and you have -.006. Replace a .005 with a .004 and you have -.001.

    Note that this system often means you need to replace shims with those you may not have. That is why it is imporant to inventory the existing shims.

    When removing shims you also need to do so equally o0n both sides of the guide. Actual clearance needs to be as little as possible without the ram sticking. The problem is that wear does not occur evenly. So there is no "optimum" clearance on used machines. On a perfect machine the clearance would need to be about .003".

    In his video Dave Manzer shows what he calls a "bounce test". Stoping the ram in various positions with an add on brake the ram should bounce freely on the toggle arms. If there is stickyness in any position the guides need to be loosened.

    Note that in use the ram picks up heat from the work and can expand and get too tight. If this occurs you may need to re-shim.
       - guru - Sunday, 09/30/01 06:37:55 GMT

    M'bira: Made some all steel ones once..about one out of 3 didnt need to be redone to sound ok.
    Guru, Yes, figuring the resonant volume isnt the hard part, it is the resonation of the steel shell that is difficult. With all steel instruments, they have a tonal mind of their own and will accept certain imputs and damp others to a much greater degree than wood. Some frequencys just get gobbled up and are never heard from again. On all steel stringed instruments, I had to tune to the instrument, not to any scale.
    Used to find null points on my gongs by dusting them with fine flour and ringing.
    Ever seen a nail violin? An actual American instrument...block of wood with a circle of nails driven in to progressively shorter lengths. Played with a violin bow.
    Always thought it could be developed nicely.
       - Pete F - Sunday, 09/30/01 06:50:55 GMT

    Blower: Mills, Have you filled it inside with penetrant? Try that. I have also found that vibration like the multiple hits of a air impact wrench does wonders.

    The problem with this particular gear box is that it uses a very high friction multi lead worm gear that almost shouldn't work. If anything on or near it is locked up everything else will break before that worm gear moves. . .
       - guru - Sunday, 09/30/01 07:01:32 GMT

    I would like to know how to calculate costs of plating using the electroless nickel plating process.
       kapillai - Sunday, 09/30/01 12:20:58 GMT

    I would like some info on air hammers and/or where the best place to find info.....I want build one about 25-50lbs..something on the line of Kinyons.....but I was wondering about the size of compressor needed...to run one of these......also the best place to buy the valves,etc..that I can't make........thanks.....the cylinder that I have has a 4.5inch stroke. Is this okay?......
       Mikey - Sunday, 09/30/01 14:09:32 GMT

    Would it be posible to build a home galvanising unit,what would be required.
       Mark - Sunday, 09/30/01 15:34:16 GMT

    Air Hammer Mikey, the two best pieces of information are the Kinyon plans and the new video by Mark Linn (see our review). Mark's video has information on compressor capacity and how to calculated it.

    The stroke on your cylinder is probably too short. It will work but doesn't have any room for under hammer tooling or safety springs. Upper safety or snubber springs are about 2-1/2" long uncompressed and about 1-1/2" compressed on this size hammer. That means you lose 1" of working travel. You also need some space above that because if the mass of the ram is stopped by the piston hitting the top of the cylinder it will wreck the cylinder. There also needs to be at least 1/2" clear space at the bottom of the cylinder. So between the two you have lost 2" of your 4-1/2" stroke.
       - guru - Sunday, 09/30/01 15:34:52 GMT

    Electroless Nickle: kapilli, I'm afraid we have no expertise in plating here. Try:


       - guru - Sunday, 09/30/01 15:46:10 GMT

    Home GalvanizingMark, There are several methods used. The most common is hot dip. A tank is filled with zinc and melted either electricaly or using gas heat. Melting point is about 800°F and dipping about 900°F. It takes a LOT of zinc. Then clean parts are dipped in the zinc and removed. Clean is the key word. Parts are either sandblasted or chemicaly cleaned before galvanizing. Note that a steel tank does not work as the zinc rapidly disolves steel. Stainless can be used but I am not sure what is used commercialy.

    A popular method in Europe is spray metalizing. In this process powder metal is fed into a special torch and sprayed onto the clean surface. This requires more complex equipment and operator skill. Talk to your welding supplier.

    Then there is the method used to coat much common hardware. Parts are shot blasted with zinc pellets or finished in a vibratory finisher. The zinc sticks to the surface of the parts where it strikes with force. However this is a VERY thin coating and is only good for preventing rust on the shelf. Talk to a supplier of finishing equipment. Most carry both shot blasting and vibratory machines.

    Where galvanizing is for outdoor corrosion resistance "hot dip" is specified.

    There are commercial galvanizers all over the country. You are much better off going to one of them. Most handle small lots and are quite competitive. Shipping will cost you less than fuel. Most of these folks keep the dipping bath melted 24 hours a day so that they don't waste a lot of fuel remelting the bath. They do the cleaning and the galvanizing.
       - guru - Sunday, 09/30/01 16:08:32 GMT

    More on Galvanizing and Painting Near Petersburg, VA there is a hot dip galvanizer that can hot dip parts as big as a truck body. If you have a large gate that requires dipping these folks can do it.

    If you want to do-it-yourself once you have done the cleaning you are best off to use zinc paint or "cold galvanizing" paint. It is very nearly as good as hot dip and is ready to paint over immediately. Hot dip galvanize must be aged for several years (2-5) before painting or acid etched.

    The only time cold galvanizing is not acceptable is when the specs call specificaly for "hot dip".

    After applying cold galvanizing you need a coating of a "neutral" primer before the top coat. A neutral primer is non-chemicaly reactive and isolates the zinc from the top coat which may be chemicaly reactive with the zinc or base metal. Automotive primers are generaly neutral primers. I recommend Dupont red-oxide lacquer primer surfacer or their dark-grey (its almost black). If your top coat is going to be black you are best off to use the red-oxide primer so you can see that you have a good complete top coat.
       - guru - Sunday, 09/30/01 16:23:01 GMT

    Sir my system is affected with Nimda virus,I downloaded the antivirus for that in Nortan but still this virus troubles me a lot Iam not able to remove it completely,please help it is urgent
       Raghuram - Sunday, 09/30/01 16:53:18 GMT

    Hey Guru and guys. I have some large cast iron screw jacks that I need to get loosened up. These are very old and consist of a three inch diameter screw threaded through a round collar or sleeve about seven inches at the top tapering to four inches at the bottom. I've tried spraying and soaking with rust penetrants, tapping with a hammer and even constructed a double handled wrench about five feet long that fits over the collars. No luck.
    My next step seems to be heat. I'm not familiar with cast and I wonder how much heat. Rosebud or forge? Any chance of cracking the cast iron by heating and applying the wrench to the collars? Anybody got any other suggestions?
       - Larry - Sunday, 09/30/01 18:00:27 GMT

    VIRUS: Raghuram, Go to this address and run their scanning routine. Note, they will let you run it without registering.


    This link will take you directly to the description and cure page. It includes links to MicroSoft


    This Virus does not require the email receiver to open the attachment for it to execute. It uses a known vulnerability in Internet Explorer-based email clients to execute the file attachment automatically.

    If you use IE based email you need to contact Microsoft about how to prevent this. However Microsoft considers the automatic exectution of video, sound and macros a "Feature", not a security problem. In general Microsoft mail products of all types are the problem.

    In the fight against viruses ALL auto-exectuting systems will become libilities in the future and this includes all browsers and e-mail clients that execute these files or use plugins to do so.
       - guru - Sunday, 09/30/01 18:03:49 GMT

    Heat on Cast Iron Larry, In the fight against rust I've found that sometimes oil is NOT the first thing that should be applied. Starting with a clean degreased part it is often best to attack the rust with a chemical deruster like Naval Jelly. Oils inhibit the effectivness of these compounds.

    After removing as much rust as possible from exposed threads THEN apply thin oil and try working the part. A small amount of oil or beeswax disolved in a solvent is better. One of the best threading lubricants the original "Tapfree" was made of drycleaning fluid and a small amount of wax. The thinness of the solvent is one of the things that made it effective. You can follow the thin oil with penetrating oils or rust breakers such as "b'laster".

    NOW TO HEAT: It is best not to heat castabove a low red. Under no circumstances do you want to applie load to the heated cast iron. However, heating does two things. It expands the part helping to break the bond. It also conversts hydrous iron oxide to anhydrous iron oxide. The non-water bearing rust crystals are smaller than those bearing water. Its the larger rust molecules that lock things up.

    In some cases you can heat a stud or steel part that is in a larger cast iron part to reduce the rust to the anhydrous version and then easily remove the part. However this is not recommended if the steel part is proportionately larger than the cast iron surround it.

    In some case where the device is useless, such as these jacks, then you do what you need to do. But if the item is not needed imediately then let time work for you and keep soaking the part. But remember that it is best to remove rust before oiling.

    After breaking screw jacks free the absolutely best lubricant for high load threads is "Never-Sieze".
       - guru - Sunday, 09/30/01 18:37:35 GMT

    Never Sneeze: Works great but I have found that a single tube of this stuff will eventually coat every surface in your shop. Doesnt matter if the cap is on, just break the seal the first time and it will eventually get on everything
       adam - Sunday, 09/30/01 20:33:04 GMT

    Adam, Open Gear Lube is worse. Its black, its sticky and it spreads like never-sieze.
       - guru - Sunday, 09/30/01 21:33:46 GMT

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