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

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

This is an archive of posts from September 1 - 7, 2005 on the Guru's Den
[ THE - GURUS | ABOUT THIS PAGE | Getting Started in Blacksmithing ]

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

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

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

Perhaps not the place for this but... If you know of a young couple from the area devasated by Katrina who were whipped out, are willing to start all over again in another area, there are housing and jobs available in the local area. I will do some sponshorship to get them back on their feet. Admitted local jobs are mostly permanent part-time, at or just above minimum wages with few benefits, but at least it is a job and new start. After they become a bit more financially secure the job market in the Nashville area is hot. Ad in The Tennessean last week for order selectors at an ALDI distribution center/warehouse in Mt. Juliet (suburb of Nashville). Pay starts at $14 hour, permanent part-time (20-35 hours week), with very, very nice benefits from the ad.
   Ken Scharabok - Thursday, 09/01/05 07:10:39 EDT

Very nice jesture Ken.

Machinery's Handbook In most machine shop and some engineering courses Machinery's is a text book that is required to be purchased for a course on how to use Machinery's Handbook. The fact that so many people do not appreciate it as a nearly universal reference is the reason so many perfect condition Machinery's are on the used book market for 1/4 their new price.

Need to know metric conversions, unit conversions, basic physics formulae? All in machinerys. Need the atomic number or density of the elements? Need to know how to read welding symbols? Looking for a brief discussion on heat treatment and terms? Or do you need to know how to calculate the cost of something or know the deflection of a beam? How about logarithm tables or volumetric formulae? Its ALL in Machinerys. There are also all the standard cutter shapes and grinding angles as well as the speeds to run them in dozens of materials. Specs for many ferrous and non ferrous alloys are given.

The data is tightly compressed and has been carefully distilled for nearly 100 years. Old Machinery's included how to splice a belt with glue or leather lacing and new Machinery's include articles on statistical tolerancing and CNC operations. It has changed over time but very gradualy to match the needs of machinists in the field.

The next edition, the 28th will be the centenial edition of Machinery's Handbook.

I'll be on the road today. Back in the morning!
   - guru - Thursday, 09/01/05 08:32:39 EDT

Ken, could you name the anvil from this ebay descripion?????

"Here we have a Blacksmith's Anvil in good working order. It measures 31 inches long by 11 inches high and weighs... a lot. It has a round beak, a square beak, two hardy holes and a pritchel hole if you want to get all technical.
Hundreds of uses for the busy housewife or man-about-town such as garden ornament, forging swords into ploughshares (requires sword and hammer, not included) or tying to a Coyote's leg and throwing it off a cliff (requires Coyote, rope and cliff, also not included).

Won't go in a Jiffy bag so collect from Rochdale please. I could deliver locally for a few quid.

made me smile! - ebay number 6204240761 , it actually looks quite an intersting lot.

Thoughs out to everyone caught in / affected by the hurricane, looks truly awfull from what we see here in the UK on news etc...
   john n - Thursday, 09/01/05 11:26:23 EDT


That is a beautiful anvil! Makes me wish I lived somewhere close by so I could buy it.
   vicopper - Thursday, 09/01/05 12:08:00 EDT

John N: Has the classic English base from the mid- to late-1800s. Might be any brand (essentially besides PW) and since Mouse Hole Forge was apparently the other 'major' manufacturer, my guess would be a Mouse Hole. There is one very similar to it shown on page 95 of The Mousehole Forge by Richard Postman. RP says More on Anvils will be heavily on additional information he has gathered on British anvil production. Remember at that time you could custom order an anvil with whatever horn(s) and holes you wanted.

Wiley Coyote actually preferred the ACME anvil brand.
   Ken Scharabok - Thursday, 09/01/05 12:13:48 EDT

the double horn anvil is only 10 miles up the road from me, sadly dont have time to use the one ive got at the moment so will have to pass on it :(

(and form a shop safty point of view it the twin horn doubles the chance of an accidental castration...)
   john n - Thursday, 09/01/05 12:43:38 EDT

just a thought, and i might be well off the mark here...(and perhaps not the standard topic of conversation for this forum) but, dont items of different mass fall at the same speed (ie accelerate at 9.8 mtrs sec sq) - so why would the acme anvil drag mr. w.coyote down the cliff face???
   john n - Thursday, 09/01/05 12:54:43 EDT

John N

Simple! If you exchange a "2" for the "A" in "ACME" and re-arrange the letters, you get "EMC2"!! (Check your Machinery's Handbook)

Any other questions?
   - Tom H - Thursday, 09/01/05 13:38:54 EDT

Guru & vicopper, Thanks for your inputs on Graphite Finishes. I obviously forgot to mention that this project in for an inside product. So while zinc and other primers, top and clear coats are great for outside, I was hopping to shortcut all that hauling about and the layers of paint that will hide all those nice tool marks, plus put a dark finish on the steel!Am I way off base here, with graphite and wax, or just too effing lazy to be a real smith?
   - Tim - Thursday, 09/01/05 15:03:03 EDT

I think the technique is that you toss the anvil off the cliff and it pulls Wylie off after it.

John n; a simple set of chainmail Y-fronts removes the removal risk---better make it stainless for corrosion reasons...

Wish I could buy it dead low price.

   Thomas P - Thursday, 09/01/05 15:09:27 EDT

Graphite for a finish leaves a shinny grey color, if you want black try artists charcaol. I've used it by rubbing the surface with the stick of charcoal and brushing spar varnish over top, sometimes mixing the charcoal into the spar varnish to darken the finish. You can do thin coats, maintain the tooling marks and have a good finish. This should work well for inside.
   blackbart - Thursday, 09/01/05 18:44:11 EDT

What is the fastest way to make steal rust without using a sandblaster??
   - bob corft - Thursday, 09/01/05 19:35:08 EDT

Not sure if it's THE fastest, but bleach is awfully fast, make sure to degrease the steel first.
   AwP - Thursday, 09/01/05 20:17:16 EDT

Fast Rust: Bob, if the surface is heavily scaled some placed will rust and others not. If you need even rust then you need clean metal. Dilute Clorox bleach will remove scale and rust steel very rapidly. You can create heavy rust in as little as a few hours to a day. However scale, oil or paint may be problems.
   - guru - Friday, 09/02/05 09:47:35 EDT

Bob-- Beware the ferocity of Chlorox, if the object you are making out of steal is at all delicate. I needed to sanitize a brand new Leatherman "Wave," which is stainless steal, soaked it overnight in Chlorox full strength and it ate part of the edge of the blade.
   Miles Undercut - Friday, 09/02/05 10:43:46 EDT

i want to know how to become a blacksmith where to get my tools and how to make stuff. im 15 and wanting to learn?
   isaac kalebaugh - Friday, 09/02/05 11:00:58 EDT

Isaac; would it help if I said---there's a great place to get stuff right over there!

Shipping smithing stuff can be expensive so it's generally a good idea to let folk know your general location; I'm in central NM and if you are somewhere in NM I can hook you up with a smith in your area who can help, invite you to the SWABA meetings and give you a lead on where to find equipment and supplies.

I'm assuming you have alread read the "Getting started in Blacksmithing" link located right above the the posting area...

   Thomas P - Friday, 09/02/05 11:20:13 EDT

Isaac-- you indicate you might be cursed with a certain maverick streak, an independent cast of mind, in saying you want to know how to get into the craft of blacksmithing. Well, self-reliance is a good quality in a smith. Start practicing and devloping it right now by answering your questions yourself by going to the library and by reading some of the countless books about smithing. One good one to start with is a volume of the works of a sculptor named Alexander Weygers, who made all his own tools, out of junk and out of salvaged machinery. With those tools he made other tools-- and some wonderful art. Get Weygers's books for openers. There are many, many others.
   Miles Undercut - Friday, 09/02/05 21:56:37 EDT

AFC Tannehill Conference Rescheduled:
In the interest of safety for all concerned and the price and availability of fuel, the Alabama Forge Council Conference scheduled for the weekend of September 9, 10, and 11 has been cancelled. We are tentatively rescheduling to the first weekend in December (2nd, 3rd, and 4th). You will be kept informed.

Please take this opportunity to inform your membership and friends of this cancellation and of our rescheduling plans. Those who have submitted their Pre-Registration fees are requested to contact one of us with refund instructions


For further information call:
Garland Johnston at 256-520-7777 or 256-536-0489
Bill Richardson at 256-233-6189 or cell 256-777-0420
Judd Clem at 256-232-2645."

I do regret that we have to take this action, but many, and I mean 'many', of our long-time supporters are either directly affected by the Katrina damage or they are involved in restoring services to those most affected. We will have it at a time when we can again have fellowship with our most faithful supporters present.

Thank you for your support,

Garland D. Johnston, AFC Pres.
   - guru - Saturday, 09/03/05 09:45:46 EDT

Import Tools: Yesterday a package arrived for Paw-Paw from the big impert tools guys. . He ordered tires for a cheapo knockoff port-band saw in April. 5 months later the parts arrived.

Now part are parts but bandsaw tires normaly last for decades. This was a new Chinese made tool only used a couple times when the tires failed. They did not wear out, they failed, and it took 5 months to get replacements.

Think about it when you purchase sheapo tools. If they are for a business be sure they are not a critical tool OR that you know their life and have backups for these "disposable tools".

Now there is a phrase I would have thought would be an oxymoron. But not today. Use it once and throw it away.
   - guru - Saturday, 09/03/05 16:47:50 EDT

i built a small foundry that can turn steel red hot. i have a small anvil and i was wonering how to put a cuting edge on a piece of steel
   - melt metal - Saturday, 09/03/05 20:42:46 EDT

im a kid that built a foundry over the summer and can use it to turn steel red hot. i have a anvil and was wondering how to put an edge on a piece of steel.
   melt metal - Saturday, 09/03/05 20:46:35 EDT

Melt Metal,

The name of the device used to heat metal for forging is called a "forge". And often the place where there is a forge is a forge or forge shop. A foundry melts metal, making it liquid like water so it can be poured in molds.

Edge making can be done by casting (actualy melting the metal and pouring it in a mold), or by hammering the edge thin OR by stock removal (machining, filing, grinding or scraping).

Bladesmiths (those that forge blades) use a mixture of processes. Because heating the metal in the forge often burns out some of the carbon in the steel and does other bad things to the surface of the steel the general rule is to "forge thick and grind thin". The blade is forged leaving the edge at least 1/16" (1.6mm) or more in thickness then the blade is filed and ground to final shape and polished.

Knifemakers who use the stock removal method make entire blades starting with a rectangular bar of steel, sawing the rough profile, grinding the tapers, filing and sanding to nearly finish, then harden and do the final grinding and polishing afterward.

When you forge a blade it is best to start with a piece of material close to the finished size. Round it actualy an easier shape to forge from than rectangular bar. If the blade is to have a single edge the metal will bend away from the edge as the thinner metal becomes longer than the short. So you want to bend the piece in a gentle curve and then taper the inside edge of the curve. If you have guessed at the right amount of bend the finished blade will be almost straight. Often the amount of bend is nearly 90°.

See the references linked to our Swordmaking FAQ and the FAQs on heat treating and junkyard steels.
   - guru - Saturday, 09/03/05 21:44:02 EDT

   melt metal - Saturday, 09/03/05 22:53:30 EDT

what is the best whay to build a cold chisel?

   melt metal - Saturday, 09/03/05 22:57:27 EDT

How do you build a cold chisel?
   melt metal - Saturday, 09/03/05 23:16:50 EDT

i read in iforge about a fuller. what is it used for and how can i build one?
   melt metal - Saturday, 09/03/05 23:25:10 EDT

Miles. izzat you foolin' around?
   3dogs - Sunday, 09/04/05 02:15:10 EDT

melt metal: In simple terms, to make a chisel you start with a decient tool steel and hammer in the main bevels while it's hot, grind it and put in the secondary bevel while it's cold, heat to non-magnetic then quench in oil, then temper it in an oven to apprepriate hardness.

The simplest style of fuller to make (not to use) is to basically ust make a chisel with a round edge instead of an angled edge. It's used to put grooves into steel either to help with drawing it out or just to have a groove in the finished piece for whatever reason you want (also the groove itself is called a fuller).

There's alot of books that will give you much more detailed instructions including pictures. Of all the books I have personal experience with, for your first book I'd suggest "A Blacksmith's Primer" by Randy McDaniel for blacksmithing or "$50 Knife Shop" by Wayne Goddard for bladesmithing. Also at the top right of the text window is a little menu that says "NAVIGATE anvilfire", there's lots of articles and book lists if you search around in there.
   AwP - Sunday, 09/04/05 07:55:26 EDT

3dogs-- I am not that brave.
   Miles Undercut - Sunday, 09/04/05 09:35:57 EDT

I have been smithing for several years using a propane forge. Recently I picked up an outrageously clean, mint Champion 400 blower. I have no idea what kind of oil, or how much oil is used in it. I have removed the oiler on top and can see some viscosity on uppermost gear suggesting a heavier oil was used before shipping. I was told by the person I purchased blower from that 3 in 1 works. It seems like it would use a light gear oil to me. Thank you in advance for your wisdom o guru! Greg
   Greg Derse - Sunday, 09/04/05 11:00:16 EDT

Greg, You are right 3 in 1 is MUCH TOO LIGHT. A multi-viscosity engine oil like SAE 10W30 would be fine as would SAE30 or SAE 20W20. If you can find it I prefer non-detergent oil because it does not attract moisture. Old worn blowers need heavier oil. Note that these devices have no seals and DO leak oil. All they need is enough to wet the gears as they turn and repeated oiling as it leaks out (check before each use).
   - guru - Sunday, 09/04/05 12:47:53 EDT

As part of a class assignment, I am trying to print the colors from the Temper Colors/Plain Carbon Steel Only. Am unable to do this through Microsoft Word. Can you help? The colors on my color printer are only shades of gray, even though color is turned on.
   Rhoda - Sunday, 09/04/05 13:06:57 EDT

Rhoda: If you can't get it to work you can e-mail me and I'll mail you a copy on Tuesday.
   Ken Scharabok - Sunday, 09/04/05 13:15:56 EDT

Blower Oil,
As Guru is ALWAYS right, I agree.
But I will add, be sure oil goes onto the shaftbearing surfaces too. Depending on your model there may be other oiling points aside from just the top of the gearbox.
Since the blower will always drip, When I lived in Germany I would place absorbant pan under the blower. Its forbidden to park a dripping car ANYWHERE without a catchpan, I thought best to catch workshop drippings to avoid penalty.
But use sand or something in the pan. The absorbant sheet things are convienient, But oilsoaked become hazard when hot steel nearby.
Greetings, Jakob
   - Jakob - Sunday, 09/04/05 14:32:28 EDT

Oil-- I read somewhere that kitty litter makes a good absorbent for oil. (Or, as we used say back in Balmer, Merlin, erl.) Recently put it to the test when I wanted to degunk a steel table top upon which an oil can had leaked for several years. Not down to the bone, but almost. My Canedy-Otto blower loves SAE 30, as does my Royersford camel-back. Yum yum! I am thinking of moving up to chainsaw bar oil on the Meyer Bros./Little Giant guides. More sticktoitivity.
   Miles Undercut - Sunday, 09/04/05 16:19:06 EDT

I've been very happy with chainsaw bar oil in my blower. As Miles said, more stick-to-the-gear-teeth, but without any extra drag compared with 30-W motor oil. I've known a couple of masochists who prefer 90-W gear oil, but I find it much too heavy for my taste.

An added advantage to Husqvarna brand bar oil is the purty blue color when it drips on the floor...
   Alan-L - Sunday, 09/04/05 16:52:54 EDT

Blower gear case oil.
I tend to ATF, as my shop can get very cold. The ATF has a very low temp capability, a very strong extreme pressure package, and is cheap.
I will check my references but to my knowledge detergent oil does not attact water, or scrub dirt in dirty machines. It is a dispersent that keeps carbon particlicles from settling out in engine oil. This allows the carbon from blow by to remain suspended in the oil to go out in an oil change. I will get out the references, and check my memory. Often hydraulic oils have demulsifiers in the additive package to cause the water to drop out in the tank. Perhaps the guru refers to this additive?
   ptree - Sunday, 09/04/05 19:22:33 EDT

Hydraulic oil in forging operations.
I had a flash fire in our shop last week. New hydraulic system was mistakenly filled with straight AW-32 hydraulic oil instead of the gylcol/water fire resistant fluid. Had a slightly mis-routed hose that was abraded, and the resultant pin hole sprayed on a hot bar. Fast thinking operator presses the large red emergency stop button and the other crew grabbed fire extinguishers. Fire out in less than a minute. One destroyed hose, one crispy cylinder, some burnt wiring inside a couple of conduits,3 empty 20# dry chemical fire extinguishers, and my favorite part no injuries. System is now filled with lovely pink gycol/water solution, system repaired.
Moral from above, those with hydraulic presses, do you have a mushroom headed emergency stop button, in easy reach, for the motor driving the pump? Several large fire extinguishers?
   ptree - Sunday, 09/04/05 19:30:55 EDT

Detergent oil,
After research,
"Detergent additives are metal containing surface active soaps which prevent deposit formation and inhibit rust. Dispersent additives are nonmetallic materials containing nitrogen or oxygen polar groups which suspend lubricant contaminants. Both additives are polar materials which perform a cleaning function." "while these additives improve the rust prevention(D665) and sludge formation(CM thermal Stability) characteristics of oils, they hurt the demulsibilty (D1401) of an oil."
Above from The M.S.O.E. course notes for "Hydraulic oil contamination and filtration" These also note these additives are mostly used in motor oils.
From this I believe that the detergent oils may be the better choice if rusting is an issue.
   ptree - Sunday, 09/04/05 20:55:47 EDT


I googled the term, and apparently it means the ability of a lubricant to separate from water. So if you hurt the demulsibility, I would think the oil would hold more water. Now this might be offset by the improved rust prevention that's cited as benefit of the additives, but it doesn't sound like the guru's off base.
   Mike B - Sunday, 09/04/05 21:15:54 EDT

Detergent in oil: The purpose of detergent is to keep the contaminants in the oil so they can be removed by filtration, rather than form sludge in the components. In a closed,filtered,presurised system this makes sense.In drip lubricated,open aplications, or where oil is aplied for rust protection, detergent is detrimental, as it alows water to get through the oil film more easily. That said, FEW simple machines are ruined from the WRONG oil, but MANY are ruined from NO oil.
   Dave Boyer - Sunday, 09/04/05 23:40:00 EDT

Hi! From Finland
I'm seeking for an article, where a guy made a door bell
from an empty gas bottle with chinese greetings. It was
on one of the blacksmithing pages, but lost the url.
Can You help ?
Yours Mauri Hakala
   MAURI HAKALA - Monday, 09/05/05 06:23:05 EDT

Demulsibility in oils is very desirable in hydraulic oils as the lower vapor pressure of water that is emulsified causes cavatation in the pump inlet. Cavatation is the process where a fluid becomes a vapor or allows vacuum bubbles in the pump inlet from suction. these vacuum bubbles collaspe as the fluid becomes pressurized, causing explosive shock waves in the pump. These shock waves can erode the pump internals. In hydraulic oils the demusilibility is an important feature to cause the water to seperate, that is ingested in the system from the tank breathing from volume changes.
All petroleum oils tend to gain small amount of water from exposure from the atmosphere. In a system like a hydraulic press, where the volume in the tank changes with every stroke, fairly large amounts of water end up in the tank from the breathing/ condensation routine. The detergents in engine oil additives along with the many other additives are a complex package that are intended to handle a fair amount of water from condensation. and blow-by as well as the combustion products. Motor oil is excellent in lubricating engines. Works for many other things as well. But it is truely optimized for engines and the unique issues from combustion processes.
I do not think detergent additive allows water to more easily pass thru an oil film, and have no training that would support that, I will ask my techinical sources in the oil industry tomorrow.
As Dave Boyer said, Few machines are ruined by the wrong oil, but many are ruined from NO oil.
   ptree - Monday, 09/05/05 09:15:30 EDT

I came across a 2gallon can of cream separater oil way in the back of the village general store, and since there was a price of $1.60 on it, that's what I was charged. It's not as heavy as 90w gear oil and it's clear . We've been using it on our Kerrihard guides and crank bath. On the wd40 front , I'm was glad to find it in gallon cans at the H....D....t, although I had to tell them they had it, and find it for them too
   tim.s - Monday, 09/05/05 10:10:39 EDT

Printing our color chart: Rhoda, You can print this directly from a browser if the "print backgrounds" is set. I just ran a test from IE, Word and Netscape on a friends computer I am using with a color printer. Settings varied on each.

On an HP PSC 1300 inkjet printer:

IE printed the full page including footnotes on one sheet correct to size with no fill or color.

Netscape printed the page with color the chart spanning two sheets the table outlines too faint.

Word printed the chart in color with the notes on the first sheet and the footnotes on the second sheet.

On my old PC Netscape printed the chart on one page to my HP Laserjet 5000 (no color).

In MS Word, goto PRINT, PROPERTIES, COLOR and click OFF greyscale. That should let you print the chart from your system.

IF you print the chart without color or greyscale (background color OFF) you can color the chart with colored pencils. The prints I made above did not show the differences seen on the screen but our color cartridge may need replacing.
   - guru - Monday, 09/05/05 10:43:41 EDT

Printing our color Chart II: Another way to do this is to press ALT - PRINT SCREEN to capture the open browser window and paste the captured screen into your graphics program. At most screen resolutions you will have to do this in two pieces and put them together. Then you can print the chart in color from your graphics program OR import the graphic into your word processor and print from there.

   - guru - Monday, 09/05/05 10:55:42 EDT

Cream seperator oil: Tim, This is probably mineral oil. This is used a great deal to lubricate food processing machinery. It is edible (in small amounts) and if it drips into the the food product there is no problem.

The detergent and other additives in motor oil absorb water and keep it in solution. When the engine is operating interior surfaces get hot enough to evaporate the water. Dirt in solution is filtered out. In machinery the water is absorbed but is not dried out as in an engine, then causes rust UNDER the oil coating.
   - guru - Monday, 09/05/05 11:04:08 EDT

I am trying to get started as a blacksmith, and i am debating what type of forge i should start out using. Is it best to begin with a coal forge, buy a gas forge, or make my own coal or gas forge?

   Bryan Acree - Monday, 09/05/05 11:58:50 EDT

Your in the right place to help you be a selfstarter in forgework. Have you read the getting started article yet? It's accessable fron the drop down menu under FAQ's.

As for what's "best" that depends on your circumstances, budget, time, availiblity of different fuels etc. We can't tell you what's best for you. But every thing you need to make a good informed descision is in the FAQ's, the archives, and other places on this site.

Good luck!

This answer brought to you by the letters C,S,I and the colour blue
   JimG - Monday, 09/05/05 12:12:12 EDT

Bryan, Forge type depends on the availability of fuel and fire/smoke/emmisions regulations or concerns in your neighborhood.

As to the build vs. buy question it is two fold. One is economic. Commercial forges are not cheap. Coal forges are actually more expensive than gas. If you are sure you are going to be in blacksmithing for some time and can afford it then buying new is the way. Our advertisers have complete forges and forge components as well as gas forges of different sizes and types. The other question is mechanical ability. If you are pretty handy and have some tools then building either a gas forge or a coal forge is possible and cost effective. Coal forges can be built from junk that can cost nothing OR include commercial parts and be as good as a commercial forge for 1/4th the price. Gas forges cost a little more and require closer attention to detail.
   - guru - Monday, 09/05/05 15:34:28 EDT

Bryan-- find a local smithing group, or some helpful local smiths, and take a good lonnnng, careful look at the pros and cons of both types. As they used to say in the car ads, ask the man who owns one. And use them both, if possible. Nice thing about propane is it's quick to get going, can be readily portable. Coal forge is tough to move around, filthy, smelly, can irritate the neighbors and silently asphyxiate you in a jiffy, but, seems to me it gets hotter.
   Miles Undercut - Monday, 09/05/05 18:50:41 EDT

Oops-- Meant to say the gas forge can asphyxiate. (Of course, the coal forge can, too, but not without you knowing about it.) Sorry.
   Miles Undercut - Monday, 09/05/05 18:53:19 EDT

I just inherited a Forney Arc Welder and bought some 1/8 rods as suggested, but find I would need some basic info on how to weld with it.
I was surprised at looking throught the helmet and not seeing the spot I want to weld. I also want to know the secret as to start the arc and continue smooth and even own the piece of steel.
Could you please give me the basics to get me going?

Thanks much
   Joe F. - Monday, 09/05/05 21:52:43 EDT


Looking fora working leather blacksmith bellows. Is there anyone who makes blacksmith bellows for sale in America or UK?

Thanks very much for your time,

   Austin Fitzhugh - Monday, 09/05/05 23:08:59 EDT

About welding the best advice I can offer is enroll in a local community college and take an arc welding class. It usually is fairly cheap and you will learn weldin techniques as well as using an OXY/ACT cutting torch SAFELY!
ALso for those with out a welder enrolling in a class is often a good way to use someone elses welder for smaller projects. But of course you need to make sure the class supervisor/instructor are OK with it. At my CC they have been in the past.
   Ralph - Monday, 09/05/05 23:17:10 EDT

Joe F:You need to get a basic welding instruction book. An excelent one came with the Forney, but has probably been lost.You MAY be able to get one From ACE Hardware. Other books are available from other welder manufacturers, and Haynes manuals in auto suply stores. Automatic welding helmet lenses are available, They darken when the arc is struck. Hobart "Weld It" brand is a good cheap one, $70 on sale at TSC farm stores, who allso have the Haynes manual. To start the arc, drag the tip of the electrode across the work as if striking a match, hold arc length so it sounds like frying bacon, practace untill You can make half decent looking welds. Clean metal helps, keep the electrodes dry, chip away ALL flux deposits between passes.
   Dave Boyer - Monday, 09/05/05 23:43:50 EDT

I strongly second the local welding course option. I took two actually. Frist throught the City of Dayton (OH) continuing adult education program and a second through the Greene County (OH) Vocational School evening program. On the latter, they also allowed former students to bring in welding projects during course hours. While the requirement was a student was to do the welding as part of their training, they did allow you to do it yourself. Likely depends more on the instructor(s) than the program itself.
   Ken Scharabok - Tuesday, 09/06/05 08:14:55 EDT

Welding Problems: First as noted and seconded above and as I suggest in our Getting Started article taking a welding course is the best start. Of primary importance you learn the safety rules.

Getting hands on training from someone else is far from perfect but is also very helpful. When I teach arc welding I give close up demos with the individual sitting opposite me with a helmet and then I watch them and coach them as to length of arc, angle and so on. I have coached many people that were self taught have done it wrong for years and improved there welding in just a few minutes of showing them what works.

Part of taking a welding course is learning about welding rod types. There are hundreds and of the most common types dozens. There are rods that are easy to weld with like E6013 and rods that are hard to keep going but weld through dirt and rust like E6011. In the range of 10 numbers there are rods that are AC, DC, all position and flat only. For newbies the E6013 is one of the best all purpose rods when used with a buzz-box. There are also special rods with easy start tips that are wonderful if you can find them.

The secret to welding smoothly: First get in a comfortable position and be sure you can move through the distance you need and not have the cables hang. It is unsuual to weld more than 6 to 8" at a time so prepare for that. Second, after knowing what the right arc looks like (very short) and the size of the puddle (about 7/16" with flux), practice, practice, practice. When you can move as smootly as a machine then your welds will be smooth. It usualy takes about 50 to 100 pounds of rod to get decent. Don't forget the impact on your electric bill. All this practice is not cheap and its another good reason to go to a school.

It helps to weld decent weight material. 1/8" minimum and 1/4" is best. Trying to learn to weld on thin plate or heavy plate is frustrating. If you have a choice between thick or thin, go thick.

Visual problems are easy to cure. The solution is ambient light. IF your work area is brightly lit (near daylight or about half) then you can see through a #12 sheild well enough to read newsprint. This is the biggest mistake 99.9% of all welders make. You can cure this with special lighting over your welding bench or portable lighting putting a spot on your work.

Note that you should wear safety glasses under your welding hood for the sparks that bounce past it. OSHA recommends "flash glasses". These are lighted tinted glasses that give SOME protection when you accidently strike an arc with your hood up. We sell glasses suitable for this purpose in our store.

The reference or text book used when I took welding is still used by many welding schools and is sold by Centaur Forge. It is Modern Welding published by Goodheart-Willcox. The authors have varied over time as the book has been updated.
   - guru - Tuesday, 09/06/05 09:36:39 EDT

guru, i dont understand what you were trying to say ".....the biggest mistake 99.9% of all welder make". IR/UV filters are used in all shades in "approved" helmets, from what i have read at least. i dont know if the filters are part of the shade lense or if it is a separate lense that sees the arc first. if the arc is too bright, you wont be able to see the pool. i dont think this means that you are risking damaging your retina, if it is true that the filters are "part of the system". one of many things that i like about my speedglas is the ability to see the work in any ambient condition. when the arc is struck, the shade goes on in milliseconds. on this helmet, if the battery is dead and an arc is struck, the "always on" filters protect; no retinal burn....i may have gotten off track
   - rugg - Tuesday, 09/06/05 10:21:06 EDT

What the Guru was saying is that you need high ambient light to see with the hood down, on a regular welding hood. Weldors who work in poorly lit shops have to get set up with the hood up, then flip it down before starting an arc. With high ambient lighting, you can see through the filter lens enough to position pieces and set up to strike the arc. When you're learning to weld, you need every advantage you can get, and good lighting is essential.

Yes, automatic helmets take care of that issue. I have one, but the lag time on it is just enough that if I'm working in poor light, I still get a bit of flash before the filter clamps down, as my pupils are dilated form the low light and therefore sensitive to even minor flash. High ambient light helps even with the automatic helmets, as it keeps your pupils constricted.
   vicopper - Tuesday, 09/06/05 10:52:51 EDT

Austin; are you looking for a large double lunged bellows or paired single bellows or what?

They are not that had to build---I've built both types and they take minimal equipment and woodworking skills.

Can you tell us exactly what you need it for and what something like a chinese box bellows wouldn't work?

   Thomas P - Tuesday, 09/06/05 11:07:06 EDT

I'm a rotten stick weldor, but I have found the Guru's idea about light is the best trick for seeing what you're doing. I use a 500-watt photo flood to light up the area to be welded, and I can see exactly where I'm about to strike an arc with the helmet down.
   Alan-L - Tuesday, 09/06/05 13:12:10 EDT

i understand the comment now; thanks...
   - rugg - Tuesday, 09/06/05 14:10:50 EDT

Hello, Mr. Thomas!

I am not entirely sure what I need, but I will be using it in a portable forge for reenacting in the 18th century. One of the smiths at Williamsburg told me it should be exactly like their bellows, only around half the size. My dad says they were around 5 foot wide and 7 feet in length. I think they are double-lunged, because they have two separate chambers in them. I don't know that much about the chinese box bellows, but if they are period appropriate I'm fine with them. I'm only planning to make small work on this, so I won't need anything huge.

Thanks for your time,
   Austin Fitzhugh - Tuesday, 09/06/05 17:54:33 EDT

Don't pay the ransom, I've escaped! Sorry, lightning fried my ethernet card, cable and modem. I just got back on line after almost two weeks. If anyone posted a question to me and did not get an answer from one of the other gurus, please feel free to repost or email me.
   quenchcrack - Tuesday, 09/06/05 19:12:57 EDT

They are period correct---if you are re-enacting the chinese! You didn't say *where* you are going to "be"...

Portable forges in the 1700's are rather rare; you generally just used the closest village's forge if you were travelling; or even the campfire in emergencies---the exception being during times of war. You have read "The Revolutionary Blacksmith" by Jim Wilson, right?

There is also a portable forge shown in an artillery manual from around that time IIRC; I'll have to dig out more info on that.

Really building a double lung bellows is not that much of a problem and you can get a shape that's spot on for your time and place rather than being one from the 1880's or even later---if you are going to do LH getting it right to start is a whole lot easier than spending the money twice trying to fix the stuff you went with without researching it first!

   Thomas P - Tuesday, 09/06/05 19:13:40 EDT

Since it cooled off I fired up the coal forge and tried to hammer outh some steel. I though I would try to forge weld a strip of mild steel to the end of a bar of O1 that I have. I wired the pieces together heated them up yellow, fluxed with borax, heated again, took it off and whacked it a good medium hit with a three lb hammer. The top piece fell off. I wire brushed both pieces, heated and fluxed again, heated and hammerd. No good. I put the O1 away and folded the mild steel on itself. Went throught he heat flux etc.etc and mashed it pretty good so I put it in the vice and twisted it and the "weld" came apart a pretty as you please. I think that forge welding is a myth that you old guys play on the fng's, like left handed monkey wrenches that the newbie has to get from the tool room.
   JLW - Tuesday, 09/06/05 20:05:04 EDT

I didnt mention the problems with the fire, did I? No I have good coal, but the fire kept getting bigger and bigger. I wet down the edges and piled on green coal and generally the fire was pretty smokeless. Too much air?
   JLW - Tuesday, 09/06/05 20:08:09 EDT

re: 18th century portable forges - Jymm Hoffman has a portable 18th century blacksmith's forge based on British military designs. Jymm currently lives in Ambridge, PA, does great work, and posts occasionally here and over on forgemagic. There are pictures posted of his traveling forge there in the picture section. Don't know if you travel much, but the last we emailed, he'll probably be at Ft. Ligonier days on the weekend of Oct. 15 & 16 in the reconstructed fort at/in Ligonier, PA. I suspect, but am not positive he'll be at Mountain Craft days in Somerset, PA this coming weekend. My wife & I usually run into his wife at the Highland Games in Ligonier that weekend.
   - Gavainh - Tuesday, 09/06/05 20:34:22 EDT

Quenchcrack - didn't think before I posted or I would have mentioned it then, but there haven't been too many stump the metallurgist questions the past couple of weeks:) Glad to see you're back, sorry to hear about the fried computer parts. There seem to be more folks coming to Quad State this year - you thinking about coming up from Tennessee & giving all of us Yankees he**?
   - Gavainh - Tuesday, 09/06/05 20:37:32 EDT

Speaking of Quad-State, I believe plans are still to have a silent auction going with the proceeds to the Anvilfire general operating fund. Thus, bring at least one goody to put in the stash.
   Ken Scharabok - Tuesday, 09/06/05 20:50:43 EDT

I just got an old Champion forge at a farm sale. Cast into the into the base was "clay forge before use". I don't think the forge has ever been used. Anyways, what do you suggest for clay?
   Flavius - Tuesday, 09/06/05 21:42:09 EDT

I currently work for a living history park called the Explore Park in Roanoke Virginia. I currently am the blacksmith here at the park and do not have very much experience in blacksmithing. Our old blacksmith is comming back to remove his tools from the shop and the park is now going to be left with nothing but the forge and bellows. They have asked me if there is any way i can find out where we can get period apropriate tools and anvil for our shop. I have no idea where to begin. We are portraying 1850 in our blacksmith shop and have a very limited budget to work with. Do you have any ideas?
   Shannon W Lovelace - Tuesday, 09/06/05 22:00:04 EDT

Flavius, perhaps nothing.
But I suppse it depends on the way the forge was made.
I have one that I used to use that did not have the clay and it worked fine.
   Ralph - Tuesday, 09/06/05 22:19:58 EDT

Hmmm most of the basic hand hammers and tongs would have been appropriate, as well as most anvils avalible today.
Unless you are going to be working with other folks do not worry over much about having lots of hammers. Perhaps your 'normal' use hammer plus one or two different sized ball pein type hammers. As for tongs get the ones that will fit the most common size stock you will be using.
BTW who will be paying/Buying the stuff? If they are Kayne and Son at http://www.blacksmithsdepot.com/ Sell various good tools. Also tell them if you do go there that you heard of them form anvilfire as they are one of our advertisers.
If you are going to have to scroung and get your own tools then look at yard sales and estate sales. Also contact the local smithing guild and see if they might be able to help find tooling etc.
Here are a few links
   Ralph - Tuesday, 09/06/05 22:28:58 EDT

Joe F : Don't read into My post that there is no benifit to professional instruction. It is easier to learn from an instructor than to teach Yourself from a book, and some people just CANT learn from a book. My Dad taught Himself from the book used at the time at the Hobart Trade School, in a time before night courses at Vo-Tech schools. He gave Me the book and showed Me enough to get started when I was 10 years old, and couldn't take a course even if there were such things. To borrow words from Billy Joel: "The things I did not know at first I learned by doing twice"
   Dave Boyer - Tuesday, 09/06/05 22:35:27 EDT

I have an old anvil I am needing some information on and a value if possible. It is a bullock forged anvil with the numbers 200 under the name. The name and numbers are stamped on the side of the anvil. They are not raised but indented in the anvil. Any information would be appericated. Thanks.
   Rick Fisher - Tuesday, 09/06/05 23:21:21 EDT

Shannon-- seeing as how you are a blacksmith, how about making them? It would supply the park with the period tools they need and you with the invaluable experience. Check out the She;burne Museum book on smithing tools. Somebody must have a copy for sale somewhere. Howcum somebody doesn't piratize/Xerox this unique book and reissue it? Ditto Frank's book.
   Miles Undercut - Tuesday, 09/06/05 23:41:02 EDT

The name of the museum is Shelburne, as in Vermont. Sorry.
   Miles Undercut - Tuesday, 09/06/05 23:45:16 EDT

i have a mechanical engineering design assignment where i have to design a steel billet transportation trolley for a steel mill can you help me get started because i have looked in the library but all the books lack a lot of information
   - lebo - Wednesday, 09/07/05 02:50:07 EDT

hi can u please help me,i have never been on this site before and i dont really know how to use it,i have a mechanical engineering design assignment where i have to design a steel billet transportation trolley for a steel mill can you help me get started because i have looked in the library but all the books lack a lot of information
   lebo - Wednesday, 09/07/05 03:04:50 EDT

Flavius: Check with a local hardware store. They may be able to order fire clay (fireclay) for you. Foundry refractor cement/mortar is another possibility I believe. Check eBay also. If you have gummy ground clay in your area it may work also.

Shannon W. Lovelace: Likely the largest single gathering of old blacksmithing tools is coming up towards the end of this month - the Quad-State Blacksmithing Conference in Troy, OH, Sept. 23-25. 2-3 acres of tailgate sellers. Lots of anvils, hammers, tongs, punches, etc., etc., etc. On anvils, the shape of Mouse Holes didn't change much from the early 1800s, but the logos did. However, with a Peter Wright pretty well the only way someone could call you on it is if it said ENGLAND on the side as that puts it after 1910 or so. For a Quad-State registration package contact them at Quad-State 2005, P.O. Box 24308, Huber Heights, OH 45424-0308. (Richard Postman will be at Quad-State and he is pretty well 'the' anvil expert. He could help you choose one. Look for a tent canopy with Anvil Books sign.)

Rick Fisher: Oooooooh, you have an anvil made by Columbus (OH) Anvil and Forging Company, makers of the Arm & Hammer brand anvil. 200 should be weight. According to Richard Postman in Anvils in America, A&Hs may have been the best U.S. anvil produced. E-mail me (just click on name for form) with the serial number on the front foot and I can give you year of manufacture - which should be before 1920. Bullock was the brand of H. Channon Co., Chicago and logo may read as such. Value? $2-3 pound would not be unreasonable if in very good condition.

Miles: The Shelburne book on blacksmithing and farrier tools comes up every so often on eBay. Two copies listed there at the current time. I have seen this book sell for over $50.
   Ken Scharabok - Wednesday, 09/07/05 04:40:50 EDT

Fire, or just about any typeof, clay:

I don't use coal, so am not an expert, but I've read that if you need clay, simple river clay works fine for coal forge linings. However, if you can't get that, or you really want fireclay, look under masonry supplies. We've got one in southern/central NH with several locations that sells just about any type of clay and mortar. Fireclay is used for fireplaces and there's also a mixed mortar for that.
   - Marc - Wednesday, 09/07/05 08:04:07 EDT

Heading for Logan Village, Queensland, Australia, mañana to present a toolsmithing workshop, so you won't hear from me 'till later this month, unless I get near a computer.

EARLY PERIOD LEG VISES. The American Society for Metals International, Los Alamos branch, has contacted me to give a 45 minute talk at their luncheon meeting in Santa Fe, in October. This will be the second time for me to address the group, the last being about 25 years ago. I think I'll take them back in time, process-wise. I'm going to bring at least three early period leg vises from my collection to the meeting. None have jaws wider than 4¼", so it's not like lugging a 7" OR 8" one around. For comparison, I have an early (about 1800) German leg vise with 3½" jaws which has different design elements than the English variety. The earliest vises have a fabricated forge brazed box- screws, using brass "spelter". They are a fairly complicated construction, made of a couple of tubes and rings brazed together, along with brazing the female square thread. I can see traces of brass and verdigris on mine. At a later period, Peter Wright introduced the "solid box", which had no brazing in the construction. The method of making the solid box may be a "trade secret", and authors James R. Melchor and Peter Ross conjecture that it may even have been drop forged.*

MY QUESTION. As a non-machinist, the article points out that the brass residue and crud were removed and cleaned on the internal threads with a boring bar. I understand that boring bars were used to MAKE internal threads. So in this "solid box"/Peter Wright period of say, the last quarter of the 19th century into the early 20th century, could not the threads have been made to the correct depth and pitch with a boring bar? When did the boring bar come into use?

ONE MORE QUESTION. I doubt that in Europe in the late 1700's into the 1800's, that much borax was available, if any. What do you suppose they fluxed with when brazing?

JLW on welding. It takes practice, and O1 can be welded, but it might not be a good idea to use it as a beginning project. In a coal forge, you normally get "slag inclusions" in the weld, because of ash etc., in the fire. The join of the weld may also have grain growth, so that nearly all forge welds are not as strong as the parent material.

You need a moderate blast so that the metal heats thoroughly. Your first few licks should be RELATIVELY light so as to prevent "shear" slippage. Then, hit harder once you get cohesion.

*Anvil Magazine, Vol 26, No 10, Oct. 2001, "Restoration of Leg Vises, Part IV"
   Frank Turley - Wednesday, 09/07/05 10:15:29 EDT

I'm a student .I have to find a document about a ''crank chaft machining'' and I don't have any idea about it !! . would you please help this little boy and sent it to my email .god help me I found this site and I hope i'll have your symparthy.
   the a - Wednesday, 09/07/05 11:39:51 EDT

Try Ron Reils website, he has a gong with Asian lettering in his gallery pages: frontiernet.net
   Tone - Wednesday, 09/07/05 11:56:57 EDT

Frank; borax was available in Europe in 1120 A.D. according to Theophilus (and his translator Cyril Stanley Smith) mentioned in "Divers Arts".

I'll check my copy of Moxon's "Mechanics Exercises" for a 1703 take on brazing though.

   Thomas P - Wednesday, 09/07/05 12:02:26 EDT

The A: We don't do homework for others, but I'll point you in the right direction: Go to the library and check out any book on lathe operations. Introductory texts from anywhere between 1850-1960 will ALL include this info in far greater detail than you can shake a crankshaft at. Do they teach you guys how to use a faceplate, dogs and centers these days?
   Alan-L - Wednesday, 09/07/05 12:08:35 EDT

Flux -- not knowing much else, when I volunteered with the Ft Snelling smith many years ago, he walked us down to the river and scraped sandstone particles (sand) from the sandstone bluff the fort was built on. Seemed to work pretty well, period was 1830's and this was a documented process for the smith at the time on the frontier, as it were.

the_a -- I think you are going for Crankshaft machining. but, beyond that, you must have some sort of starting point. are you trying to machine a crankshaft? or something else?
   Escher - Wednesday, 09/07/05 14:28:12 EDT

Ken-- I know it's around, thanks. What I want to see is somebody reprint the bloody thing so as to make it widely available as the estimable resource it is for anybody interested in knowing what old-time smithing equipment looked like and how it was used. Ditto Frank's book. WHY Shelburne and UNM Press-- or Lindsay Books-- can't recognize the market for this is totally beyond me
   Miles Undercut - Wednesday, 09/07/05 15:00:03 EDT


Has a lot to do with both cost and copyright. Far as I know Shelburne still owns the copyright to their book so they would have to give permission. On cost, on the book by Al Cannella I had reprinted, even doing it as cheaply as possible, I will have to sell my 300 initial order just to breakeven (cover my total fixed expenses and the variable on those 300) on the project. If sales justify a second reprinting, then I might make a little on them. My guess is there would be a very small market for the Shelburne book which wouldn't justify reprinting costs by them or anyone else.
   Ken Scharabok - Wednesday, 09/07/05 15:56:13 EDT

Steel Billet Transportation: Lebo, I can give you some suggestions but we don't do homework.

1) Most engineering schools have the ASM books and much of the handling equipment is descreibed at least verbaly.

2) General Encylopedias, especialy the ancient ones had great articles on processing equipment in the big new industries of the age. However, you need to be sure your process applies to modern methods.

3) After the general references there is always a trip to the local steel plant. . . There is also a magazinge that most engineering schools should have titled "Materials Handling" that covers everything from automated wharehouses to manual forklifts.

4) Start with the basics.
     a) The path the load must follow (distance, height changes).
     b) The weight of the load.
     c) The velocity of the load (needed for HP and braking).
     d) The shape of the load.
     e) The temperature of the load (in this case).

Now that you have your working constraints then decide on the trasport system. Dedicated mono-rail, rectilinear hoist system. Then you need to know how often you can place supports and what is available to attach to (sometimes you have to make assumptions or guess - add them to your specs).

With al the above all you need is standard hardware and crane catalogs PLUS doing a little load and deflection calculations. On this I will give you some specifics.

DEFLECTION is the most important crane beam criteria, NOT stress. Crane beams must deflect 1/4" max in 10 foot spans. Otherwise the beam is too springy and the slope MAY prevent the trolley from being able to climb it AND the load also tends to roll down hill to the center of the deflection. Both are bad. After selecting a beam that can support the load properly you can look at stress but generaly it is not a problem on a correctly selected beam.

Also note that the general hoisting safety factor is 5 to 1. Most hoisting equipment already has this safety factor you do not need to add to it. However, you should apply it to all the parts and pieces you design. We always assumed the load was 5x and the maximum stress in PSI was 10,000. This gives you quite a bit of overkill but it also covers wear and tear as well as abuse. Where hoisting systems see these large overloads is when something slips and then catches again (lots of inertia) or something hangs up (you try to lift the floor).

With all the above in mind just start drawing the devices you imagine doing the job then engineer the bits and pieces. If you can see a machine doing a job in your mind then the design work is 99% complete, the rest is just details.
   - guru - Wednesday, 09/07/05 17:06:32 EDT

The Shelburne book There is probably a larger market for it than you would think. Prices are pretty high ($50 USD) in the used book market. Actually the author and his heirs own the copyright unless it was a work for hire. Generally these museum books are published by the museum and they may have paid to have it written but they generally do not own the copyright. I do not have my copy on-hand so I cannot say diffinitively.

Looked it up on the LOC system Blacksmiths' and farriers' tools at Shelburne Museum: a history of their development from forge to factory, by H.R. Bradley Smith. Couldn't tell by the LOC listing (the folks that are the registry of copyright in the US). . .

IF the original plates are available at the printers the cost of printing is not bad. However, the 1966 publication date makes this unlikely as publishers rarely keep plates over 20 years. Then they are offered to the author. In the case of Frank's book they MAY be available but it was published in 1980. . .
   - guru - Wednesday, 09/07/05 19:44:42 EDT

Gavainh, Well, I am closer to the Quad States event now than ever before. When is it? Can I park a travel trailer anywhere close? Besides, it doesn't take much to stump this metallurgist.
   quenchcrack - Wednesday, 09/07/05 19:50:24 EDT


It is in Troy, Ohio at the fairgrounds. You can cam right on the grounds. Go to www.sofasounds.com for details and registration. I wouldn't miss it!
   vicopper - Wednesday, 09/07/05 20:17:57 EDT

QC, I left out the dates...September 23-25.
   vicopper - Wednesday, 09/07/05 20:19:23 EDT

Technically Quad-State is from Friday evening through Sunday afternoon. However, it seems more and more people are coming early to have first crack at the tools. I was told a small group there on Tuesday isn't unusual now. If you want a tailgate slot next to the main parking lot (by the SOFA building) you likely have to get there on Wednesday. Looks like they raised the price for tent campers to almost as high as utility hook-up spots. Several food options and hot showers at the event. About a half-dozen motels within a couple of miles. Rain is 50/50 at these events. Warm days and COOL evenings. If you will site register just find the SOFA shop building and it is in the large building across the lot. Vendors and display in same building.
   Ken Scharabok - Wednesday, 09/07/05 21:03:49 EDT

Hi! quick question. I'm thinking of purchasing a prefab shed for a workshop and have a choice of several materials: cedar, pine, vinyl clapboard, vinyl shake,painted textured panel siding,and preprimed panel. The idea of cedar appeals to me and I thought it might be slightly less flammable than the pine. All the other choices just sound too unnatural to me. As for size I thought I could probably have enough room to work with 8'x 12'but wondered if I should just spring for the 10' x 12'. I am planning on having a platform built outside the shed so I can roll my forge out the double doors on all but the coldest days to work.I am planning on getting a gambrel type roof with 7' sides and the ceiling height would be 10'5" or 10'10" depending on the width I choose, Any advice and insight would be appreciated as this is a pretty big purchase to mess up on, Thanks!!
   wendy - Wednesday, 09/07/05 22:03:09 EDT

The A: Your Email adress didn't work, so You missed out on a rather complete description of the process, I am not going to post it here.
   Dave Boyer - Wednesday, 09/07/05 22:03:17 EDT

Frank T - Internal "chased"threads: The boring bar probably came into use before the "screw cutting lathe" so the question becomes when did the screw cutting lathe come into common use. I would guess by the mid to latter 1800's. Once You could machine the screw, You should have been able to machine the nut. The Guy at "Horsefeathers & Hammermen" claims diferently, however.
   Dave Boyer - Wednesday, 09/07/05 22:18:48 EDT

I found an old buffalo coal forge that had a downdraft hood on it. The forge table sits on a heave sheet metal pedestal. The hood is a two piece casting that has a ratcheted handle that allows you to rotate the hood over the fire to the desired amount of coverage. There is a baffle inside the hood that directs the smoke down. Underneath the forge the baffle casting opens up to allow an 8" stovepipe.

Has anyone seen one of these? How was the rest of the piping done to create enough draft? It is available for sale, any thoughts
   Steven Bronstein - Wednesday, 09/07/05 22:28:41 EDT

What would be a good metal to practice forge welds on? Most of what I have is picked up at construction sites. I have a fair number of rr spikes and rebar.
   JLW - Wednesday, 09/07/05 22:30:31 EDT

I really appreciate the wisdom all shared with me about the beginners instructions and safety.

Thanks very much to all
Joe F
   Joe F - Wednesday, 09/07/05 22:45:24 EDT

Ken, Guru-- Sure, somebody can't just go run off some reprints without making a deal first. I am only saying there is a market among all the smithing and old tool nuts for reprints of these books. Last time I looked, Frank's book was going for a hundred bucks (sic), second hand. Just like David Smith by David Smith. Yup, a C-note, before the reprint of Cleve Gray's book about Smith came out at last. There is nothing that I know of comparable to the Shelburne book. No, it is not going to be Love Story, or even Gone With the Wind. Cameron Diaz will never star in the movie version. But it will sell out the press run, count on it.
   Miles Undercut - Thursday, 09/08/05 00:14:29 EDT

Reprint Frank's "SW Colonial Ironwork". We had a bite last year from the Western National Parks Ass'n., or some like named group. They contacted me and I deferred to the savvy of co-author, Marc Simmons. The association guy told Marc to send in a disc for review. Marc politely told him that the book was typewritten in the 1970s, and that discs were unheard of at that time. The guy told Marc, "Sorry, not interested". This leads me to believe that some presses are too lazy to look for a clean copy of a book that they can take apart and copy. As if it would take that long. Sheesh!
   Frank Turley - Thursday, 09/08/05 00:37:29 EDT

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