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We purchased new corner pieces for an antique
trunk. How do we age these new shiny metal pieces
so they look like the old metal pieces on the trunk?
Bob Yagel  <bobconyagel at webtv.net> - Wednesday, 11/01/00 00:54:41 GMT

Depends on what metal they are made from. But I would say that the first step, regardless of the metal would be to sandblast the new pieces to remove all factory "finish" and to roughen the surface. Then, rust them if all of the pieces are metal, or age them to a near matching patina if they are brass.
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Wednesday, 11/01/00 01:39:00 GMT

Trunk Corners: Bob, These are usualy brass plated steel. OLD ones have had rust work through porosity in the plating or were not plated to start with. The plating or finish will have been worn off the surfaces that slide on the floor. Stripping the brass plate or starting with unplated parts is best. Jim's recomendation to sand blast is a good one. This will remove most of the plating (or better - leave the plating on the flat surfaces) and roughen the surface. Fresh sand blasted parts rust quickly, especialy if some chemical agent is used. Salt water works for a slow rust, bleach is real fast.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 11/01/00 03:07:46 GMT

I have a dream of one day becoming a blacksmith, with an artistic bent. I do not have any experience, but am eager to learn. I was looking at what types of forges are best to use, either traditional coal or propane gas, what i want to eventually work up to doing is fence railings, gates, ornamental iron-work. this means, i think, that i will be working with large pieces. anyway, if you could help me figure out what i need to get started, training manuals, tutorial projects, schools, whatever, let me know. thanks and have a good day.
josh andersen  <meadowviewfarm at vnet.net> - Wednesday, 11/01/00 04:31:46 GMT

The Answer: Josh, Read Getting Started Its linked at both the top and bottom of this page.

Most architectural shops use coal forges but it is becoming more common to find both gas and coal forges in the same shop. Each has its advantages and architectural shops need every advantage.

We have the largest list of "tutorial" projects anywhere on our iForge page.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 11/01/00 06:03:03 GMT

I have 20 years experience working with metal. Tool & Die, Machine work , welding & fabracating. Recently I have been interested in Blacksmith work, my question is how to forge weld?
Mark Daniel  <jdstarkinc at aol.com> - Wednesday, 11/01/00 16:59:23 GMT

Forge Welding: Mark, Forge welding is one of those skills that takes attention to detail and lots of practice.

BASIC: Heat the wrought iron OR steel until the surface is near liquid, stick the pieces together and the hammer together.

BASIC leaves out important details.

WELDING with FLUX: Borax flux is used for most forge welding. 20 Mule team BORAX is the most common (Yes, just like brazing). The flux is applied to the steel at a low red or black heat (before the metal scales). The flux melts and disolves the oxides that would prevent a good weld. The metal is heated until the surfaces become "sticky" and then they are stuck together and forged. The liquid flux squeezing out of the joint carrying the swarf. Note that many blacksmiths can weld without flux.

JOINT DESIGN: Forge welding requires two things in a joint.
  • First is that the surfaces are slightly convex so that the flux and swarf can exit the weld area. This is important even when flux is not used.
  • Second, the forging process reduces the metal size. Prior to welding, the joints are generaly upset to make them larger. Butt joints are upset and angled to make a long diagonal weld, the thin ends blending in. The preparation is called a "scarf" as in modern welding
There are a variety of classic scarfs and joint designs developed over thousands of years. Most blacksmithing references include the classic joint designs.

FINAL NOTES: Fire maintainence and conditions are critical to forge welding. Poor quality coal or a dirty fire can prevent welding. The best coal fire with a reducing atmosphere can produce welds without a great deal of effort. A good hot gas forge at the end of the day is the same.

The initial blow in a forge weld needs to be just hard enough to stick the surfaces together and squeeze out the flux. Striking too hard can blow out the flux and all the liquid or near liquid surface. The tendancy is too get too overexcited, moving too fast and hitting too hard. Often the initial blow does not close all the surfaces and the joint must be carefully reheated and fluxed to finish the weld.

The easiest weld to learn forge welding is a "faggot" weld. This is a bundle of pieces or the same piece bent back on itself. The most difficult (and very common) is the "dropped tongs" weld. In this weld two pieces are heated, removed from the fire, touched together and balanced while droping one pair of tongs (or letting go of one bar) and picking up the hammer and making the weld. Practice the first before attempting the second. Use round bar at first as this is a natural "scarf"
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 11/01/00 18:37:46 GMT

nice post on forge welding!
Not sure how universal this is cause I have only welded wrought mild and the common carbon steels. But judging correct temp/color is hard to impart to others.
I was told by a long time smith years ago that the way to do it is this.
First place a piece of toast in the oven under a broiler. add a pat of butter. watch it, once the butter starts to melt and get the swirly patterns in it, that is what the iron/steel is supposed to look like at weld temp.
This works well for me, and it also does not depend on what I call a brightyellow heat cause that can be different to others. But the melted butter/swirl combo is something we can all visualize.......
Anyway my nickles worth.......
Ralph  <ralphd at jps.net> - Wednesday, 11/01/00 18:58:59 GMT

I need to make a fireplace grate, using mild steel. Should I treat it with anything special in order to keep it from "burning out", or distorting, etc. I would like to avoid using paint. Thank you very much.
kevin - Wednesday, 11/01/00 20:35:17 GMT

Colors: Ralph, Is that natural butter or the yellower margerine which has yellow dye in it in varying quantities? :)

Yes, conveying colors by words is most difficult.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 11/01/00 20:42:54 GMT

Grate: Kevin, Nothing will prevent a fire grate from burning or rusting out. All you can do is make sure the support bars are plenty heavy. 1" (25mm) square is a good minimum. 3/4" x 1-1/2" (19 x 38 mm) is a good weight bar used on edge.

Sizing depends somewhat on the size of the fireplace and logs to be burnt. In almost every case you can figure that the bar is going to be at a red heat when someone tosses on a log. The bigger the fireplace the bigger the log. Logs up to 100# (45kg) are common in big commercial fireplaces like you see in some hotels and resturants.

I've seen 100# rail road rail used for support bars that bent or sagged under load! Small fireplace sets use 3/4" (19mm) square.

Ashes left in the fireplace during the off-season contribute to rust. So does a bare or scaled steel surface. I recommend using Barbeque black High temperature paint on fireplace grates and andirons. The part of the bar that heats to a red heat will not retain the paint but the rest will.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 11/01/00 20:59:24 GMT

Guru, I did say butter.... and I did not say yellow or white... I said when the BUTTER starts to melt and get the swirl patterns.... which means if you could see only shades of gray and white it should work....(grin)
ralph  <ralphd at jps.net> - Wednesday, 11/01/00 22:02:13 GMT

Terms: Ralph, I was just checking. Its common to call margerine butter and salad dressing mayonaise. . .

Now were those cows from wence the butter came eating butter cups or wild onions? White toast or wheat? :)

This welding talk is making me hungry!

- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Wednesday, 11/01/00 22:20:48 GMT

Gurus and Gurunios a question on petroleum based quenchs if I may. The receipes I see all use a mix of Disel, Motor Oil and ATF. Any thoughts on the type of Motor oil (multi-vis? detergent? or good old 30w ND?) Same question for ATF
(two types yes? any thoughts on which ones), also any other
receipeis (I got mine from Hirsoulas book). help help?
Thanks in advance, and thanks for a great resource and helper.
Tim - Thursday, 11/02/00 01:20:21 GMT

I'm looking for a jig to make courting candles. Can anyone steer me in the right direction. Thanks
MarkA  <allamong at swva.net> - Thursday, 11/02/00 01:26:35 GMT

Hello, Jock, Keep getting Internal Server Error listed on the Pub. It said to contact ;the system administrator to report the problem, I'm doing it. Hope you can can get this. Bye,
Sharon Epps  <S-Epps at besmithy.com> - Thursday, 11/02/00 03:39:31 GMT

Quenchant: Tim, I avoid motor oil due to the mutiple exotic additives. AFT has generaly less but mineral oil is the best choice. A food grade is used to coat baking pans. It has no additives. I avoid mixed quenchants. They are generaly witches brews that border on alchemy and have no good basis in fact for their use.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 11/02/00 03:57:41 GMT

Does anyone know anything about "alumiloy". Ive heard of this once and but no specifics. any help would be GREATLY appreciated.

Max  <maxdamage at packetpirate.com> - Thursday, 11/02/00 04:43:08 GMT

Trade Names: Max, Aluminiloy would be an old trade name for an aluminium alloy as is Duraluminium. Many of the early high strength aluminium aircraft alloys had non-specific tradenames and may have been applied to a family of alloys. Most of these date from the WW-II era. Today virtualy all engineering alloys are spoke of in standard alloy number systems. Common aluminium alloys are 2024, 6061, 7075. Most of these are appended with temper suffixes. Example, 7075-T6 is a hard temper alloy containing zinc that is stiffer than steel and easily machined taking a very fine finish.

1000 series aluminium is pure aluminium. It is very soft and ductile but is gummy and very difficult to machine.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 11/02/00 05:20:32 GMT

CANDLE JIG: MarkA, A piece of 1/2" pipe (~13/16" OD) with a notch cut in the end to hold the bar.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 11/02/00 14:52:56 GMT

Thanks for the answer on forge welding, made me hungry too!
Using flux, will A Acetylene torch work for forge welding?
Mark Daniel  <jdstarkinc at aol.com> - Thursday, 11/02/00 19:17:43 GMT

Oxy-acetylene - Forge Weld: Mark, Yes, but you need to build a refractory brick enclosure to help retain and reflect the heat. If you heat the steel directly there will be too much scale for a good forge weld. A few fire bricks and a rose bud tip makes a fair impromptue forge. I often heat pipe this way, stacking some brick around the area needed to be heated.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 11/02/00 20:03:40 GMT

Does anyone know where I can find a good set of instructions on how to build a foot powered power hammer.
Something detailed with a material list would be nice.

Bill  <camper at usmo.com> - Thursday, 11/02/00 20:14:37 GMT

Bill try this web site out/

Ralph  <ralphd at jps.net> - Thursday, 11/02/00 20:24:21 GMT

ANVILFIRE STORE: The store is now on-line and operating. I've tested and re-tested the forms. Please report any errors. If you looked at it last night there have been a lot of changes in prices. . . I had some real screwy pricing yesterday.

Treadle Hammer Jere Kirkpatrick also sells plans and kits as well as how-to videos and tooling.


Tell him I sent you!

- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Thursday, 11/02/00 20:34:11 GMT


Tried your www.monmouth.com site, couldn't find anything
are you sure thats right.
Bill  <camper at usmo.com> - Friday, 11/03/00 01:05:05 GMT

Grasshopper: Bill, That URL is correct. That IS a foot powered hammer. Its about the most complex one there is but underneith it very similar to the one on Jere's page.

- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 11/03/00 01:21:54 GMT

Guru...thanks for the info on a courting candle jig. I managed to figure out the "candle" portion of the holder...it's the base that's giving me fits.
MarkA  <allamong at swva.net> - Friday, 11/03/00 01:44:25 GMT

Mark, the most simple base is to twist the coil a little tight at the base so the gadget for holding the candle has a stop and swing the base out to 3 or 4" round for 1 1/2 turns flat. If you want a handle (some don't), it takes about 7-8 more inches of stock, doubled over about 4" from the base around something at least 1/2" round & gracefully curved inward back down. The end of the handle can be flattened and scrolled. I make a lot of wood bases too--heart- square-round.
jerry  <birdlegs at keynet.net> - Friday, 11/03/00 02:06:13 GMT

Bill you have to have the
~freeman/bmf/grashopr.htm after the

Ralph  <ralphd at jps.net> - Friday, 11/03/00 03:02:15 GMT


I really appreciate it but my computer just won't pull
anything up at that site. Thanks anyway
Bill  <camper at usmo.com> - Friday, 11/03/00 04:12:56 GMT

I have graduated recently from a school for arts,crafts and design in Finland. I studied four years in the metalwork department and I did forging most of the time.
Anyway I want to ask about surface treating rusted metal.
How to get a nice orange/brown rust to stick on the surface of a forged piece? I have tried carnauba wax, which didīnt work. I have also painted pieces with a special paint that has no pigment ( a two component paint which is used in the industry for painting large ships.) but the paint dries shining/clear and pretty much kills the nice surface of forged/rusted iron. So is there a way to get a rust stick on metal? Indoor use mainly, but hints for outdoor are welcome aswell. Thank You and I hope I expressed myself clear enough.
S.Palo  <seppo.palo at iobox.fi> - Friday, 11/03/00 08:42:29 GMT

Rust Finish: S.Palo, There is no good way to "seal" a rust finish. There is also no way to prevent continuing rust or flaking of the finish applied over rust. There ARE some industrial finishes that convert the rust chemicaly but then it is no longer red/orange/brown.

My recomendation is to etch or rust the piece to achieve the texture you want. Then sand blast clean, cold galvanize, prime and paint. THEN reproduce the rust finsih using layered and hand rubbed or sprayed paint. The result is a good stable finish that will not continue to corrode but LOOKS the way you want it.

Artist/Blacksmiths put a great deal of effort into their work then quit and put no artistic effort into the finish. Most get lazy at that point and want "natural", rust or oiled finishes. A few paint the peice but rarely pay attention to the details of producing a good paint job. Others put the job of finish maintenance on the customer. None of these are the "right" way to deal with the problem.

I know some of the finest smiths in the country. They insist on the highest quality of work. Forge welds, mortise and tennon joints, beautiful joinery. But when they are finished they wire brush off the dirt and loose scale and wipe on some oil. Work is ofen installed and the customer expecded to finish it.

The job is half done. The problem is, there generaly is no money to pay for the second half of the job and nobody wants to admit the job is only half done.

I'm just as guilty of this as anyone else. However, I now bid jobs including the proper finish OR in stainless. I don't get many jobs. However, the customer now knows what is the right finish. Perhaps when the other smith's work starts rusting and paint flaking off they will remember me.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 11/03/00 16:16:25 GMT

I would like to fabricate a hand operated square tubing forming unit I need to form tubing 6' in dia.is thier a book that I can get in how to make one can you help. thank you.
Robert  <aicc at earthlink.net> - Friday, 11/03/00 16:27:04 GMT

Tube Forming: Robert, Hossfeld makes a bender that will do the job. Even though they seem expensive they cost less than building your own.

Call Centaur Forge at 1-262-763-9175

Ask for Literature on Hossefeld benders. Tell them I sent you.

A hand operated bender of this type will need a support mandrel with sides to keep it from expanding perpendicular to the bend. Most benders for square tubing use a roller follower to do the bending. Some MAY use a die that pushes or dimples the extra material into the inside radius of the bend. This is most likely used on press bending setups.

Also note that there is a minimum bending radius for tubing of any given size and wall thickness. Trying to bend a tighter rarius is wasting your time and effort building dies.

Our 21st Century page article on benders has common blacksmith benders as well as pictures of a Diacro bender and a Hossfeld bender.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 11/03/00 17:13:47 GMT

what are the tools of the trade
calvin - Friday, 11/03/00 21:53:48 GMT

Tools of the Trade: Knowledge, Skill and Intelligence, followed by hammer, anvil, forge, vise, punch, chisel . . .
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Friday, 11/03/00 22:24:44 GMT

I need to kow prices of electrical fans if you would happen to know. I live in the Sac.county Cal area and Im trying to start smithing
brian  <briarmanning at yahoo.com> - Friday, 11/03/00 23:53:54 GMT

What can you tell me about a "Railroad" Anvil. Have found one for sale at.50 a pound. Weighs about 800lbs, Marked 1912 Has an 8 inch vise attatched to one end of a hornless flat anvil with holes for bending pins down the side. The base is hourglass shaped and the whole thing is made togeather. Is it a rare curiosity - or what. Havent seen the pics yet.
Joe Rolfe  <cen66133 at centuryinter.net> - Saturday, 11/04/00 00:09:40 GMT

Blowers: Brian, New small blowers start at $55, good heavy ones with cast housings run around $150-200. But there are always close out and exceptions.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Saturday, 11/04/00 00:16:38 GMT

Railroad or "Bridge" Anvils: Joe, These are not extreamly rare, they were used more often in oil well work. This is a common size (real dang heavy). However, they are no longer made and a sort of collectors item.

I've not seen one with a vise. If the vise is bolted on its worth what you are paying for the whole thing.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Saturday, 11/04/00 00:20:53 GMT

Most RR anvils I have seen are cast iron--yours sounds interesting, post a pic if you can.
kid  <na> - Saturday, 11/04/00 00:22:03 GMT

I am interested in purchasing metal crafting tools; for wrought iron. Rods up to 5/8, square stock up to 5/8, flat stock 1 1/2 x 5/16. Can you supply tools or can you reccommend manufacturers' source. I am interested in toolage to bend, roll, shear, scroll form, and twist, for the above capacities. Thank you very much, Mike.
Michael Roberto   <Chains63 at hotmail.com> - Saturday, 11/04/00 02:10:23 GMT

Tools: Michael, Contact the following:

Kayne & Son
The Kaynes carry a varied line of tools.

Wallace Metal Work
Bruce carries new and used tools and equipment.

Then there's Centaur Forge, they carry some larger equipment including bar twisters.

Many of the tools and machines you need are standard industrial equipment and best pruchased from local dealers. Welders, ironworkers, presses, anything that makes chips.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Saturday, 11/04/00 02:29:35 GMT

Your recent comments on finishing pieces has provoked a thought. What finishes did the old Masters use on their pieces? I believe Phillip Simmons stated that he used paint. But what did Yellin use?

slattont  <slattont at yahoo.com> - Saturday, 11/04/00 14:56:22 GMT

Dear Guru:
I am a university student in U.K. and could you supply any about digital cammera market investgation questionnair for me because I have to understand the marketing about U.S.A. or E.U. or ASIA or JAPAN. because this is my assignment and I just need marketing research.
Thank you very much
David  <davytsai at hotmail.com> - Saturday, 11/04/00 15:36:02 GMT

would like to know how to temper small thin flat springs
such as would be used in gun shell extractors etc.
David  <acorddavid at hotmail.com> - Saturday, 11/04/00 16:45:13 GMT

ive got a 120lb peter wright anvil that is in pretty good shape..the face is straight but some of the edges are broken off,none more than an inch and a half at most,also the space between the face and the horn is really gouged out.my question is what is the best method of repair.i spoke with one guy who said to use studdy rod and go an inch at a time then pein it and then grind flat and finish with a belt sander
ron jackson  <kamoflajed at prodigy.net> - Saturday, 11/04/00 18:28:03 GMT

As a former museum-prowler I can tell you that that thereīs three categories of traditional finishes:
1. Tar, linseed-oil and other organic compounds with or without pigment, usually aplied on hot metal followed by several layers aplied cold. (The Guru donīt like these methods, but I do.)
2. Other metals and oxides. Tin, brass, copper, gold or the controlled oxidation of the surface. Gold is best.
3. Gleaming steel made possible by scores of servants with rags, oil and abrasives.

Most modern finishes is a more scientific version of category no:2.
Olle Andersson  <utgaardaolle at ebox.tninet.se> - Saturday, 11/04/00 20:34:56 GMT

I'm new to all this - am taking the oxy-fuel welding course, am reading Bealer's 'Art of Blacksmithing' and have Andrew's 'The Edge ...' on order, have plans for a small forge and have located a local source for coal - so, here's the question. How do you build/maintain a coal fire? Near as I can tell, it's like a charcoal fire for steaks; start the kindling, throw on the fuel, wait about 15 minutes and it's ready for the steak. Is coal that simple, also?? It just seems that it ought to be more difficult.
Jacque  <jacqueandpat at home.com> - Saturday, 11/04/00 23:15:14 GMT

don't you dare touch that old Peter Wright with arc, MIG, TIG, oxy-acetylene, J-B Weld, NUFFIN!-- or the anvil gods will torment you the rest of your days, and well they should. That area between the face and the horn is supposed to be hacked upon. that's what it is there for. all you can do with a welding rod or torch on that anvil is bitch it up. leave it alone!
Cracked Anvil  <cracked at anvilfire.com> - Saturday, 11/04/00 23:52:16 GMT

fire starting is not too bad... but it is the maintaing of the fore that is tricky. You have to have a deep enough fire to consume all the O2 and you need enough fire on the top to also keep O2 from getting to the iron/steel. It is (to me) increadibly hard to type out how to do all this, as most is now second nature to me and I do not even realize I am doing maintenace to the fire.....

Best thing to do is find some smiths in the local area and hang out with them, ask questions, and watch and learn.
can find local smiths from the guru's links page. look for abana_chapter link. Or let us know where you are and we will try to help you find a local.

If none around, then light the fire and try. After a few fires you will have more questions or concerns and we will try to help....

Now we will see how far off I am, and the guru or his merry bunch will set us straight! (grin)
Ralph  <ralphd at jps.net> - Sunday, 11/05/00 00:52:04 GMT

Tim, Yellin used a mixture of Beeswax, Turpentine, and Linseed oil. There is a gate of Yellins here in San Francisco that is indoors. It looks like it was finished yesterday, the oil is still visible. It is in "Grace Cathedral" definately one of his masterpieces. I go there every so often and study it for inspiration. Tim Cisneros, The Forgeworks. www.theforgeworks.com
Tim Cisneros  <blacksmith at theforgeworks.com> - Sunday, 11/05/00 01:38:35 GMT

Guru, I need to attach a copper rosette to a gate I am working. I had planned on Electrogalvanizing, painting then riveting the copper to the copper rosettes to the pickets. Question: is there a possibility of electrolysis between the rivets and the mild steel pickets? I was going to drill the pickets then electro-plate, then rivet.
Tim Cisneros  <blacksmith at theforgeworks.com> - Sunday, 11/05/00 01:51:46 GMT

i'm still confused over the terms cold rolled and hot rolled. is there source i can go to read up on the basics of steel?
coondogger  <onehorse at mediaone.net> - Sunday, 11/05/00 14:38:14 GMT

It's important to remember that all of Yellin's work is in wrought iron, which doesn't corrode as easily or in the same way as mild steel (I'm sure the Guru is gonna jump on that one...)
And Jacque: remember you also have to provide an air blast to a coal fire. And in my experience, steaks don't taste very good with coal soot on 'em ;-)
Alan L  <longmire at premiernet.net> - Sunday, 11/05/00 16:10:37 GMT

hot rolled is as it sounds.. the steel is formed to final shap while hot. Cold rolled has its final shape made while cold(drwan thru a die(?) like wire) also has a coating of grease on it....(very thin but there none the less. It is usually colser to the specified size too
ralph  <ralphd at jps.net> - Sunday, 11/05/00 16:31:32 GMT

lest I seem harsh in my admonition re the old Peter Wright, let me confess: 20 years ago or more I got me an old Peter Wright not unlike the one you describe. Sway-backed, chipped, beat to hell along the edges. It worked fine as an anvil, but I was deeply offended. I took some hard-surfacing rod and, without pre-heating the anvil, did some cover-up. The beads all cracked, natch, transverse to their length. I ground them off, repeated the process with 6013. Hours and hours of chasing worm tracks later, I had a passable surface. And, once again, a useable one. But I did not have a Peter Wright any more. I know it, and the anvil knows it and we both deeply resent my stupidity. Use that anvil as is. It's earned its scars. If they bother your aesthetic sensibilties and you crave a smooth, unbroken, unblemished surface, why, get yourself a nice big chunk of RR track. It'll work just fine and be a lot less tempting to the creepy-crawlies. And, best of all, you'll still have a Peter Wright.
Cracked Anvil  <cracked at anvilfire.com> - Sunday, 11/05/00 17:02:39 GMT

Guru, good morning. I have a question on Forge vs Machining
I know I need to give you a little more information as to
what is intended. I will when I receive it. But for now is it more or less feasible to forge small parts.
Bobby  <nealbrusa at netscape.com> - Sunday, 11/05/00 17:59:50 GMT

in my experance that would all depend on the shape of the part and what you mean by small parts. I have found that any thing under 1/4" is a pain to forge as the parts burn real easy and wont allways do what you think that they will. as to the shape of the part I make cloke pins out of 1/8" stock and find that forgeing the spike and scrolls is not all that bad to do but I don't think I would wantto try to make a dragon head in 1/8"
MP  <swordmatt at yahoo.com> - Sunday, 11/05/00 18:58:39 GMT

Hello Guru, I'm looking for some information on any possible courses that may be available in Blacksmithing around the Lithgow area. It's for my partner who has been interested in Blacksmithing for a number of years. He has done some blacksmith work before and has a general knowledge of the industry but would like some more skills or perhaps just a refresher course (there's always something new to learn!!) We are interested in the Lithgow (even Bathurst area) as I have some work over there for the rest of the this year and next. We live in Canberra and heard somewhere that there was a course/workshop or something similiar regularly going on.
Cheers for your time and hopefully your help!!
Lisa Louden  <lisa_louden at yahoo.com> - Monday, 11/06/00 00:28:44 GMT

I am looking for a small 12' (preferably used) slip roller.
Can you please point me in the right direction. I will be using it to manufacture movable tuning slides for the ends of pipes in pipe-organs. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Karl Raudsepp  <kjr at total.net> - Monday, 11/06/00 02:03:45 GMT

Delayed Answers: Sorry folks. Been out of town. . Will address the rest of those not addressed by helpers in the AM.

Forging vs. machining small parts. It all depends on the shape, tolerance and quatities of the parts. As to MP's comment about forging a 1/4" dragon head I know a couple smiths that LOVE to do this little stuff. It's all depends on what you are used to.

Small parts could be closed die forged on a small power hammer in high quantity. Generaly ANY production technique applied to big drop forgings can be used on a small hammer ans small work. For precision alignment of dies a die set should be used to support the dies. Fitting this under a small hammer might take some imagination. Making miniture dies also takes a LOT of patience.

Currently the most common technique for making precision odd shaped parts such as gun parts is investment casting.

There is a most efficient method of making almost any part. Forcing the job to fit another method is almost always a losing proposition for everyone. In wrought iron work I often use and reccomend drilling holes, turning tennons, bending on a press and cutting laps on a shaper. Lathe, mill, driil and shaper. . . yes certain areas of many parts are more efficently machined and do not change the character of the work.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Monday, 11/06/00 05:01:39 GMT

Rolls: Karl, These are difficult to find used as they are generaly in great demand. I sold my other sheet metal working tools a few years ago but the rolls is too valuable and hard to come by so I kept them.

Check the ABANA-Chapter page and find your nearest chapter. They will be glad to have guests and you will find more used tools and hand operated equipment at ABANA Chapter meets than anywhere else in the country.

These folks sell small rolls. 24" is about as small as I've ever seen. Pexto.com
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Monday, 11/06/00 05:13:28 GMT

Copper and Iron: Tim, these are NOT a good mix but it can be done. What you do not want is bare metal to metal contact where moisture can get in the joint. Prepare your surfaces as you mentioned but leave room for an insulator made of Garolite or Micarta. You will want washers and bushings. The material will the force of withstand copper rivets. After assembled the joint will want to be sealed before painting. I'd seal with paintable silicon/latex caulk during assembly.

McMaster-Carr sells Garolite sheets and tubes (small ones that can be cut off to make bushings.

As metioned above, a lot depneds on the location of your instalation. Here in Virginia a copper rivet in a gate will result in incredible pitting of the steel in just a few years if not sealed perfectly. In a more arid climate or indoors you might get by without a problem.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Monday, 11/06/00 05:34:00 GMT

guru, how do you make a blacksmiths forge?
peter johnson  <bjohnson at tasmail.com> - Monday, 11/06/00 07:14:05 GMT

kindly let us know the source of supply of 630 ton hydraulic presses for isothermal forgings, Screw presses for precision forgings and power hammers.
K.P.Hotta  <halkpt at dte.vsnl.net.in> - Monday, 11/06/00 11:04:10 GMT

K.P.Hotta  <halkpt at dte.vsnl.net.in> - Monday, 11/06/00 11:06:51 GMT

pleasegive details/manufacturers/sources of 1000Ton Precison forging presses
K.P.HOTTA  <halkpt at dte.vsnl.net.in> - Monday, 11/06/00 11:09:21 GMT

What is a forge? All it is, is a device to hold a fire and direct and air blast into it.
Now this is the extreme simple answer.
A coal forge can be as simple as a mud lined wooden box/form with a pipe in the side or the bottom to direct the air into the firebox. Air sources can be a handcranked blower(bought or handmade)
Or you can make a forge out of most anything else. In teh "Getting Started" area that the guru has on this site he talks about a brakedrum forge.... That is a good type.
A lot will depend on what it is that you wish to forge...... size and all.
Feel free to ask questions.
Ralph  <ralphd at jps.net> - Monday, 11/06/00 16:17:24 GMT

Hot Rolled vs. Cold Finished: Coondogger, Ralph sort of covered it. All hot rolled is just that. Rolled hot and has a fine layer of scale. True hot roll is often in annealed condition but generaly it is as-rolled which means it can have a varying temper.

CF bar (cold finished) is generaly pickled and drawn through dies. The dimensional accuracy should be +.000 - .005". Some CF bar is pickled and rolled to size cold. In both cases the material is work hardened and rather springy. It is oiled to prevent rust.

The problem area today is that our declining steel industry does not produce the range of product that was formerly available AND much of what is available is imported. Hot rolled flat bar should have slightly rounded courners and an even coating of scale.

However, I HAVE purchased what was supposed to be hot rolled flat bar that turned out to be sheared plate with edges cleanup up by cold rolling. The problem was that the finish was uneven and the temper was much harder than the cold rolled stock I expected. I have also purchased what was supposed to be precision cold finished stock that appeared to be hot roll that was lightly finished by drawing. It did not have the smooth surface finish nor the dimensional accuracy of good quality cold drawn bar.

The problem I ran into was that I was doing a lot of cold jig bending. For this to work you need consistant temper so that you can predict and adjust for spring back. Hard temper sheared plate with ragged edges cannot substitute for hot roll with smooth rounded corners.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Monday, 11/06/00 17:29:52 GMT

Aussie groups: Lisa, there are several Blacksmithing organizations in Australia but I have had a hard time keeping in contact with them. I tried to list them all on the ABANA-Chapter page but could not keep all the links maintained. . sorry.

Keep asking. We have numerous folk from down under that frequent this page and our Slack-Tub Pub.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Monday, 11/06/00 17:35:57 GMT

I'm building an experimental Kit airplane, mostly out of 2024 t-3 aluminum in thicknesses from .016 - .063. Also, some parts are 6061 T6 in thicknesses from .125 - .1875"
I often have to deburr or slightly reshape parts (removing no more than 1/16" of material). This is done with a 3m Scotch brite wheel mounted on a grinder (3400 rpm). The parts will often get hot enough that I can not hold them barehanded. Using a bath towel is enough isulation from the heat. My question is; how hot can I get the aluminum before changing the temper and thus affecting strength and resiliancy of the material? Does the scotchbrite wheel (7A med., I think) get the aluminum too hot? Is it ok to cool the parts by quenching in water?
I'm a complete dummy when it comes to metals, so any help would be greatly appreciated.
Cliff Begnaud  <shoeless at barefootpilot.com> - Monday, 11/06/00 17:44:25 GMT

Aluminium: Cliff, The annealing temperature for 2024 and 6061 is 750°F. Precipitation hardening occurs at 320°F. However brief periods at this temperature while working should not have a detrimental affect. 320°F is very close to the char temperature of paper and cotton. So if you can hold the metal with a rag then its most likely not hot enough to have any effect.

Quenching in water is fine. Especialy to prevent overheating. Non-ferrous materials are generally quenched from the annealing temperature to soften.
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Monday, 11/06/00 20:50:27 GMT

Cliff, using a rag near rotating machinery is not recommended! It could wrap around a rotating part and pull you into it or send your work flying! Likewise gloves are not recommended, and wear tight fitting sleeves with all buttons buttoned! Use the water to cool your work often so you can hold it in your hands. You can also have 2 or 3 workpieces going, laying them down and picking up another as they heat up. And for heaven's sake wear safety glasses and a face shield.
Rob. Curry  <curry at cts.com> - Monday, 11/06/00 23:52:14 GMT


Go check out demonstration number 66 in the iForge section, then re-read Rob's message. (wry grin)
Paw Paw Wilson  <pawpaw at paw-paws-forge.com> - Tuesday, 11/07/00 00:12:14 GMT

thanks to all for not letting me screw up my peter wright
ron jackson  <kamoflajed> - Tuesday, 11/07/00 07:59:53 GMT

I would like to learn how to work with gold. (gold smithing)
I'm having a hard time finding info. Can you help?
dadrad  <Dadrad89 at aol.com> - Tuesday, 11/07/00 22:42:28 GMT

I'm trying to find a supplier who sells metal stamps. You know, for writing letters and numbers on metal objects? Who sells that kind of thing? Art stores?
Tarface  <travishammond at hotmail.com> - Tuesday, 11/07/00 23:14:20 GMT

Stamps: Tarface, Industrial hardware and machine shop suppliers carry metal letter and number stamp sets. The small sets are reasonable. Please note that the letters turn out looking a lot larger than their dimensional size would appear. 1/4" stamps are HUGE letters. 1/8" are a nice size. It all dempends on what you are using them on.

Letters and numbers are supplied seperately. Many "standard duty" sets do not include the ampersand "&". Although they will mark almost anything, hard tool steel is very rough on the punches. An engraver shoud be used on tool steel. It is very difficult to produce straight lines of text with hand punches. If you have a name or tradename to stamp you should purchase a custom stamp.

McMaster-Carr carries a wide range of these and will take your credit card (see our links page).
- guru  <guru at anvilfire.com> - Tuesday, 11/07/00 23:50:32 GMT

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