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 November 9 - 17, 2003 on the Guru's Den
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I just came upon your website and thought maybe you could help. I got a couple approx. 16" grinding stones from my dad. They both have a square hole cut out of the middle. One of them is on a makeshift wood stand with some of the hardware attached. I would like to try my hand at rebuilding a stand close to original. Can you point me in the right direction??? Thanks for your help-Steve
   Steve - Sunday, 11/09/03 00:43:51 EST

I just saw this picture of a building made for a model railroad, thought yall might get a kick out of it. www.gatewaynmra.org/models/99-0049.jpg
It's a small blacksmiths shop done in scale complete with anvil, hammers on work table, forge, and a floor mandrel.
   - nuked - Sunday, 11/09/03 01:01:13 EST

Guru, Vic: thanks for your advice re the vice, i may be cursed with the vice things as the last one i bought is still on its side in the shed where we unloaded it!!!! and the one i have attached to the work bench is a timber vice. Good thing i am a slow worker!!!!
cheers from Australia very hot day today
   banjo - Sunday, 11/09/03 07:11:47 EST

For tapping in steel almost nothing beats a good,high quaility sulfurized oil. For machine operations, a Master Chemical product, OM303 was the best we found for power tapping ,and thread chasing with expanding die heads. also the best for thread rolling in screw machines. We changed over a central lube supply for a 28 screw machine shop to OM303 to replace a black oil, at a cost of $90,000 based on the tool life improvement on one station in one machine! So yes tapping lube does make a difference.
On trichlor products. GOOD RIDDANCE. The sizzle that you here as you tap is the evaporation of a CANCER causing chemical. Not welcome in my shop.There are too many other tapping fluids that work well to use a dangerous chemical. Life is too short to spend any of it dead, injuried or in jail.
   ptree - Sunday, 11/09/03 09:46:03 EST

How do you know if something is galvanized? Last time you told me that it would have a dull grey finish. but just yesterday, i went to the hardware store to buy some bolts. they said on them that they were galvanized but they had a shiny finish instead of that dull grey. so which one is galvanized? by the way, i just did some forging yesterday and i accidentally used a galvanized grate. i was wearing a gas mask as i always do when i am forging and was far away from the forge. my forge is outdoors and is very well ventilated. do you think that the fumes of the zinc would still get to me? please be honest. just as a precaution after i realized my mistake, i drank a few glasses of milk which i heard helps.
emin muil
   emin muil - Sunday, 11/09/03 11:44:22 EST

Ptree, the Starrett 22C Drill Gage is a winner! Have sharpened a couple of my larger drills and they are much happier, cutting much better chips now. Thanks!
   Ellen - Sunday, 11/09/03 14:18:23 EST

Galvanizing: Modern galvanizing is zinc plating. When new it is bright and silvery. Over time or exposed to acids it turns flat grey (light and dark). Same with zinc castings. Most automotive carburettors are made of zinc alloy and so are the metal match box toys.

Zinc metal fever is the result of breathing a significant amount of zinc fumes. It is most common from brass casting or arc welding galvanized plate. Burning a little off of some parts in your forge is not a problem if you have any ventilation at all. However, the reaction to metal poisioning can be cumulative and can be the result of exposure to various metals such as lead and copper alloys (solder, brass, bronze). Cadnium is one of the worst and it kills in a short time appearing as liver problems. Cadnium was used as galvanizng at one time and is the reason people get so overwrought about burning off some zinc. Beryilium dust kills appearing as pnemonia. You don't want to machine or buff Be without good respiratory protection. For a good story about Be see Issac Asimovs short story Sucker Bait. There are treatments for metal poisioning but no cure.

"Gas Mask?" There are many varieties of respiratory filter masks and filters. Particulate filters only remove dust not gases. Gas filters must be suitable for the specific compound. Generally activated carbon filters are used for gases but not all. You must know the hazzard and then use the appropriate protection. There are dual use dust/gas filters but they do not work on everything.

Filter masks must also FIT. Badly fitting masks such as hospital masks are worthless. Respirators that do not fit your face, are worn too loose or worn over a beard are only about 50% effective. Yes the filter DOES stop some debris. But it takes pressure to go through the filter and the bulk of the air will go through the leaks.

In industry they have gone mostly to full face masks because it is almost imposible to get a fit around the sides of ones nose. Before wearing any of these masks you should be checked for lung capacity (pulmonary function or "breathalator test). The stress of wearing a mask can be more lethal than the thing you are trying to protect yourself from.
   - guru - Sunday, 11/09/03 15:24:03 EST

Unmounted Grinding Stones: Steve, These were sold with and without a shaft (usualy 1" square in the middle) and were intended to be used on a home built stand. There is no standard.

The common stand is like a saw horse with two beams so the wheel falls between. A hand crank was attached to the shaft which had a square tapered end and a place for a cotter pin. Bearings were often makeshift. Water was supplied by a can with a drip hole hanging on a wire over the wheel. Sometimes a water trough was used but these are not recommended unless you drain the water when not in use so that the wheel does not stand with one side in the water. Water can cause the stone to be heavier on one side and run out of balance AND it is lible to freeze and crack in cold weather. It also make one side of the wheel softer than the other so it wears our of round rapidly.

The wheel is mounted to the square shaft with wooden wedges OR a pair of flanges and bolts or both. I used a rich cement mix to mount mine. . . It worked. . .

Bearings can be metal or wood. I used hardwood (some walnut). It makes a very good bearing when oiled. Pine will work well too. You can saw out pillow blocks and bolt them on for maintainability.

I built my grinder with a seat and a foot treadle. The seat top was 8" x 2" (nominal) framing lumber. The metal parts are awful things (the first I forged). Works great but it may be another lifetime before I get it worn round and straight. The 4" wide wheel had run on its shaft at about a 20 degree angle for a century and wore that way. . .

The commercial stands were light tubular metal with a sheet metal bicycle or tractor seat and operated by foot treadle.
   - guru - Sunday, 11/09/03 15:43:21 EST

Sparks from Charcoal: This is usualy the result of not coaling completely or the variety of wood. Some hardwoods do not make as good of charcoal as pine. Try different varieties, be sure it coals to the center.
   - guru - Sunday, 11/09/03 15:46:42 EST

Wendy, Jere Kirkpatrick has a "vise angle block", and his online catalog shows dimensions. The flat portion is not centered but welded slightly to one side, so that you're gripping the workpiece between it and the other vise jaw. On mine, I bent the flat downward and rounded the corners so that it wouldn't get in the way.
Another style is to take a 3/4" round and arc weld a leg on it of flat or square, again offset to one side. The leg hangs down to butt against the near side of the screw box. In both styles the square "block" or the 3/4" round sits on top of the vise jaws when in use and acts as a backup support for the carving.
   Frank Turley - Sunday, 11/09/03 17:08:52 EST

There are still about 6 people who have ordered raffle tickets who have not returned their ticket stubs. Tomorrow is just about the last day you have to mail them out to be sure that I get them before saturday. Tommorow is also the last day to order tickets, after that there will not be enough time for tickets and money to make the round trip before Saturday.
   Paw Paw - Sunday, 11/09/03 17:51:47 EST

Glad to hear that you have happy drills, as the screaming and whining from the unhappy ones tends to make drilling seem to take forever. Generally, if you need a gauge, a gauge from a brand name like Starret, or Browne and Sharp will be a liftime investment that with care will be used and enjoyed by you great grand children.
   ptree - Sunday, 11/09/03 18:11:06 EST

At the old (c. 1800) historic sugarcane plantation where I live, there is a grinding wheel mounted in a masonry stand, designed so that water could be supplied from a trough beneath it, fed from an aqueduct that runs through my yard. The whole thing has been idle since the late 1800's and is solidly frozen, but the bearings were forged wrought iron. That surprises me, since this property has several Lignum vitae trees that are far older than the grinding wheel, and wood bearings would never have frozen up that way. The stone, about 4" by 30" is set up with a hand crank. In the time that it was used, labor was plentiful and cheap in a place where slavery was a way of life.
   vicopper - Sunday, 11/09/03 18:43:36 EST

Danny Pendry, I do some timber framing myself and make some chisels. While I like the firmer pattern, I have not had good luck with socket handles. The theory is good, but the handles seem to come loose easier. I like a spike with shoulder on the back side of the blade, a metal cap on the bottom end of a wood handle burned over the spike and a metal band around the striking end of the handle.

I'm not saying socket chisles are bad. Just offering another perspective.

The more chisels I use for timber framing, the more I like a light chisel. More wood cut for the same effort with less mass in the chisel to accelerate. Lately, I've been using more leaf spring stock and leaving the blade body only 1/8 to 3/16 thick for all but the widest chisels. Flexible blade which is counterintuitive for heavy mortice work, but works well for me. I've not used my Sorby firmer chisels much any more. Having the right edge angle is important with a lighter blade.

Some lesser hydraulic cylinder rods are 1045. Most of the new stuff is very specific like ptree said.

According to "Know Your Woods" there are 80 different wood species that are called Ironwood. This book specifically recognizes Billian, Hornbeams, Ipil, Mesua, Pau d'Arco, Pau Ferro, Pyinkado and Quebracho as ironwoods. The others in the 80 are local names mostly. So tracking down a specific species may be difficult. "The Encyclopedia of Wood" does not mention ironwoood specifically.
   - Tony - Sunday, 11/09/03 19:57:13 EST

oops, forgot one. Wood bearings are still made. Many are wax impregnated. Hard maple is common. One way to get the wax into a wood bearing is to set it in a pan of fuel oil or diesel such that the grain is vertical. The diesel will wick up into the wood and evaporate off the top leaving the parafin wax in the wood structure. Works well, but takes time. Lignum Vitae works great as a bearing where no lubrication can be used. Marine and water stuff.
   - Tony - Sunday, 11/09/03 20:04:00 EST

PPW, I hope that you are not talking about me? At leat I think you kept the stub part for me?
   Ralph - Sunday, 11/09/03 20:47:54 EST

Good morning. My neighbor (blacksmith) is in his 70s and has a machine from 'The American Tool Work'. Cannot find the company nor do I find any other related hits on the internet. Any idea where I can find infromation about this comapny and its products. Dont know the english name of the machine but it is antique (before Worldwar II)and he wants to know if there is a market for it.
   Koos Bosman - Monday, 11/10/03 05:48:03 EST

Wendy - vise configuration.

I just finished rebuilding a vise for gunmaking that you might be interested in seeing. It is based on a Versa-Vise woodworkers vise and may not be fully appropriate for heavy smithing but the idea might be worthy. I machined off the back jaw and fabricated a pivoting jaw that will hold tapered or partially shaped gun stocks and parts. I'd be happy to send off some pictures if your interested in it.

There is also a chap I know who makes a pivot accessory for a vise that is held in place with a couple of those earth magnets and the jaw pivots in the middle to hold irregular shapes. Again, this may not be robust enough for smithing but you'll get the idea.

   Jerry Crawford - Monday, 11/10/03 05:52:20 EST

American Tool Work(s?),

Koos, that is about as generic a name as you can get in this country, and has undoubtedly been used by dozens, if not hundreds of companies over the years. To say nothing of foreign countries that make knock-off tools under similar names.

If you want us to tell you anything about this tool, we'll need to know more information. What does it do? What size, shape, color, etc. If you can send a digital picture of it, perhaps the Guru or one of the others can identify it.
   vicopper - Monday, 11/10/03 09:21:27 EST


In addition to what Vic said, the same company probably made many different machines, and we have no way to determine what kind of machine it is. It could be a power hammer, a drill pres, a lathe, etc. We need a bit more information in order to be able to help you.
   Paw Paw - Monday, 11/10/03 09:36:29 EST

Koos, As VIc mentioned that is a little generic, so is "machine". If it is a combination machine (vise, drill, anvil. . .) these are odd collectors items that I could not give a clue to its value.
   - guru - Monday, 11/10/03 09:47:48 EST


I don't know about Wendy, but I'd be interested in seeing any pictures of the vise. Sounds like it could be useful for hilt-smithing for some of our swords.

Cold, bright and clear on the banks of the Potomac. Watched the lunar eclipse between heats this past Saturday night.

Visit your National Parks: www.nps.gov

Go viking: www.longshipco.org
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Monday, 11/10/03 10:30:23 EST

Mick Korinek, please contact me email as soon as possible.
   Paw Paw - Monday, 11/10/03 15:11:17 EST

Several months ago I found a web site somewhere in your Q&A's that had very good instructions on how to harden brush hog blades and how to build cooling vats. I need to go back to it but cannot remember what the web address was. Can some one please give some ideas where to look? This is for personal use only.
   saw filing man - Monday, 11/10/03 17:32:34 EST

Bruce, Wendy et al,

Vise project

I just put up a short picture essay on the vise. I think you can get to it here www.out-backeam.com/vise.htm
   Jerry Crawford - Monday, 11/10/03 17:45:25 EST


That's a darn nice piece of work! Could you do an iForge demo based on those pictures and text?
   Paw Paw - Monday, 11/10/03 18:24:40 EST

guru's den,
how do i get information on furnace irregularities?
   ewor anthony - Monday, 11/10/03 18:32:14 EST

i'm a fine arts major working in steel sculpture (welding/braising, cutting with a torch/plasma cutter. i'm working on a term paper about direct metal sculpture in the 20th and 21st century and need information about the history of welding and the oxy-acetelene torch. do you have any suggestions as to where i might find where and how it all began? i know it was originally for industrial applications.
btw, i really like your website -- i'll be back!
thank you,
   Sharon Lawrence - Monday, 11/10/03 18:41:04 EST

Away from the PC for a few days..takes awhile to catch up on the reading in Anvilfire.
Exotic Hardwoods; check out www.gilmerwood.com
They have an incredible variety and stock of woods from around the world. There is also information about density, properties, scientific name, etc. They also carry musical insturment woods. There is a page of specials and closeouts that aint bad either. They do require a $100 nim. order.
   R Guess - Monday, 11/10/03 18:45:29 EST

I recentely found directions online on how to make a small forge using only one fire-brick, but i lost the link to the directions. does anyone know about this particular forge, and where to get the directions?

dan singer
   dan - Monday, 11/10/03 19:15:49 EST

Paw Paw

I'd be happy to if I knew what you mean and how it's done. What you see in the pictures is about all there is to it. Let's talk off line here and maybe we can come up with something

Dan, the single firebrick forge is a pretty easy thing to make and it's fired with a MAP torch. Don't know the link you are talking about but I see many of them at Friendship at the Black powder shoots there.

Drill about a 1 1/2" hole centered completly down and out the long length of the brick end to end. Drill a second hole in the face of the brick so it meets the first hole right in the middle. Do not put this hole all the way through the brick. Set up the brick so you can steady the torch in the face hole and put your metal in the long hole. That's about all there is to it. The bevil brothers sell them for $8.00 at their booth in Friendship if you come by during the national shoots in June and September.

Oh, BTW, don't use those hard refractory brick - they're too hard to drill. You got to get those soft fire brick that you can sacrifice a drill bit.
   Jerry Crawford - Monday, 11/10/03 20:04:28 EST

Dan, Jerry, go to the Navigate Anvilfire window, pull down "21st Century", scroll down till you get to New Mini One Brick Forge, click on it and there you are complete with pic.
   Ellen - Monday, 11/10/03 21:17:59 EST

Micro Forge A picture is worth a thousand words. Its on the 21st Century page and is linked from our gas forge plans. Doug Merkel had a really slick little one that he was using at Quad State. I will have to post the photos when I have time. . His was a "bean can" type with nifty little stock rack and stand.

History of Welding A site with all the info. Its listed on our links page.

What kind of furnace irregularities? Coal, Gas, Oil, Wood, Hybrid? Probably need to talk to the manufacturer.
   - guru - Monday, 11/10/03 21:21:52 EST

James Donahue - I remember helping my father split black locust fence posts in western PA about 40 years ago - when we got some of the wedges caught because of twisted grain, we made up gluts out of the black locust with an axe - they worked fine.
   - Gavainh - Monday, 11/10/03 21:45:42 EST

Beign new to blacksmithing someone told me to put clay in the bottom of my firepot is this correct? I guess to prevent burn through?
   flint kemper - Monday, 11/10/03 22:54:06 EST

I have acquired a quantity of light rail track that is about 75-100 years old. Can anyone hazard a guess as to what type of steel it may be?
   BobG - Monday, 11/10/03 23:03:45 EST

flint kemper,
Smiths line their firepots for a number of reasons. If you have a cast iron firepot, burn-through is not as much of concern as cracking due to rapid temperature shift during cooling. Lining helps to prevent this. Some smiths use clay in their pots to shape the fire itself (i.e. deeper and narrower diameter). I personally found that when I lined my firepot, my forge welding efficiency improved, probably due to the improved insulation the clay provided. It certainly doesn't hurt.

As I recall, the Guru said once that modern rail is medium to high carbon steel (~1075). I think he qualified modern as being the post 1865 or so.
   eander4 - Tuesday, 11/11/03 00:06:11 EST

Sharon, I heard (and the dates are hearsay) that in 1906 Julio Gonzales was welding sculpture in Paris. He had moved to Paris in 1900. Julio's friend, Pablo Picasso, walked into his studio one day and saw him oxy-acetylene welding. Picasso inquired as to what Julio was doing. Gonzales taught Picasso how to weld and Picasso, soon afterward, began welding up his own sculptures. On this side of the Atlantic, I believe David Smith was the first to do welded megalithic pieces: see the book, "David Smith by David Smith" and let your search engines find Gonzales. And to be nit-picky, "braising" is browning the surface of meat. "Brazing" is a hard soldering technique.

flint kemper and eander4, Maybe the terminology is wrong in the use of "firepot". Are you sure y'all don't mean to line the hearth around the firepot?
   Frank Turley - Tuesday, 11/11/03 07:18:24 EST

Bingo Frank.
I have a forge that I suspect is like the one in question and it says to line the forge, not the fire pot.
Of corse being the procrastinator I am I have not done so and so far I see no reason to as there is not damage to the forge that I can see.

   Ralph - Tuesday, 11/11/03 10:21:50 EST

Old Rail: NEW Rail has not been rolled in the US for 20 years I am told. . . So both our steel industry and railroads are in demise. . You cannot have one without the other. It is one of those chicken and the egg paradoxes that we got over by slow industrialization based on primitive technologies. To let both fall into ruin is a national disgrace.

VERY early rail prior to the US Civil War was wrought iron and is quite rare. I have a short length that had been pulled up and used as reinforcing steel. After the war Bessemer steel quickly replaced soft wrought rails.
Eber B. Ward, pioneer industrialist in many fields, built the Eureka Iron Works in Wyandotte, MI in 1854. Here iron ore from Upper Michigan was smelted into iron in furnaces that were heated by charcoal made from wood cut in the surrounding forests. Here in 1864 the first steel ingots were made by the Bessemer Steel process, a method actually developed by the American, William Kelly, but named for Sir Henry Bessemer. The next year the first Bessemer steel rails were rolled at the Wyandotte mill. Once its value had been proven, Kelly's process was quickly adopted by other companies. Plagued by many difficulties, the Eureka Works was forced to cease operations in 1892.
The chemistry of rails was imporoved over the years but largely there was little change.
   - guru - Tuesday, 11/11/03 10:33:06 EST

"Clay Before Using" These words are often found cast into some cast iron forge pans. Some of the thin pans tend to crack from heat and it was recommended to clay them. These were usualy the type forges with a flat bottom or without a heavy fire pot.

The only instructions I have seen for claying a forge was a drawing showing a clay ring that made a "ducks nest" over the joint between the pan and the pot. This created a deeper "pot" over a shallow one and would help concentrate the fire better.

The type of clay used is not important. However, it does need to be a low shrinkage clay applied very stiff (little water). Good red clay like they make bricks from works (from Virginia South it is common). Some folks mix a small amount of portland cement (about 10%) with the clay to give it some strength. You can also purchase refractory cement if you are so inclined.
   - guru - Tuesday, 11/11/03 10:52:37 EST

I am a retired lawyer,aged 72, and am interested in taking up blacksmithing as a hobby. Is this feasible ?(I am not strongly built) I would like to find out more about things I could make etc. Would someone be willing to answer a slightly longer email as I feel it would be helpful to explain how my interest arose. It has surprised me. Hope to hear from you. Thanks. Brian
   Brian Shieldhouse - Tuesday, 11/11/03 12:36:51 EST

Brian, Please feel free to write. Just click on my name.

The important thing to keep in mind when starting out is to NOT use too large a hammer. Some of the books on blacksmithing suggest a four pound hammer as normal. This is way too heavy and you can seriously hurt yourself if you are not used to using such a heavy hammer. Two pounds (900g) is a very good weight and is used by many smiths for general work. One and three quarters pounds (800g / 28oz.) is a good starting weight, especialy if you are not accustomed to using a hammer regularly. One kilogram (2.2 lb) to 1600g (3.5 lb.) hammers are considered good heavy hammers. Start light and work up. Control is more important than power. You will know when a hammer is too heavy by the fact that it is difficult to control and you tire quickly.

Modern machinery in the way of power hammers largely substitutes for the brawn and cheap labor of the past.
   - guru - Tuesday, 11/11/03 13:18:09 EST

Brian Shieldhouse,

Feel free to email me al you like. While I first got started in metalsmithing in my teens, I did little with it until I re-kindled my interest last year while recovering from major surgery. I may have some worthwhile input on how to set about blacksmithing without bringing yourself to harm. I am happy to share with you. You may click on my name at the bottom of this post for an email link to me. I look forward to hearing from you.
   vicopper - Tuesday, 11/11/03 13:39:58 EST

What junkyard steel items are best for forging woodturning tools (gouges, scrappers, etc)?
   Jim - Tuesday, 11/11/03 15:50:36 EST

Guilty as charged. I was referring to lining the pan to shape the pot, but the voices in my head sometimes confuse me when it's late. ;-).
   eander4 - Tuesday, 11/11/03 15:56:33 EST

I am based in Richmond, VA and I am new to artist-blacksmithing. I have done some MIG and oxy-acet welding. I want to take a weeklong course next year but in the meantime I want to buy a gas forge and start hammering in my garage. I have looked at the specs on the NC Tools Whisper Daddy II. It has 3 burners and it's dimensions are 12"x6"x9". I also see that Forgemaster has a "Blacksmith" model that is 2 burner and 13x8.5x3" What does the guru reccomend for "store bought" gas forge? I have a 110 lb Harbor Freight cast steel anvil and a machinists vice but no post vice yet.
   - John Janes - Tuesday, 11/11/03 16:08:02 EST

Brian Shieldhouse,

You and I are cohorts of a sort. I'm too old and battered of body and missing of a few parts to think about swinging a hammer very much so I have fun doing creative stuff-n-things allied to Smithing. I'm a novice flintlock gun maker and have dabbled in metal smithing and damascas. I learned there are wonderful toy things called power hammers and power rollers that take a lot of work out of forging but don't replace the hammer/anvil for the subtler hammer work of real art. I'll never have the time or skill to accumulate the body of work some of these people produce but I certanily have developed an eye for good work and an appreciation of the skill, knowledge and ability of these folks.

Just wade in and start doing something. Chances are what you begin with won't amount to a lot but you'll have a good time and learn something fun. Beats veging out on the porch.
   Jerry Crawford - Tuesday, 11/11/03 16:18:56 EST

I'll pitch in here too. You can do a lot of wonderful stuff with a light hammer and anvil working with 1/2" - 1/4" stock, and modifying light bits and pieces you find scattered here and there. For forging strap hinges from 1/8" X 1", or somewhat larger, I mostly use a small 1 1/2# hammer. You can fit out an entire wooden "treasure" chest with light stock like this and it will look and perform very well.

I've noted that blacksmiths tend to come in Extra Large and the small, efficient stringy types. I, and the majority of the smiths I've met, seem to be of the later breed. Working smart is not hard, and there is a whole lot of difference between making beautiful art pieces or smaller wares, and ironing a full-size Conestoga wagon. Find the scale that suits you, and build-up or specialize from there.

Visit your National Parks; the Vietnam Veterans Memorial would be a good one today: http://www.nps.gov/vive/home.htm (...be sure to click the "In Depth" button.)

Go viking: www.longshipco.org
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Tuesday, 11/11/03 17:42:54 EST

can anyone think of a reason NOT to use mobil 1 in a champ 400?? where should the level be? i know the bearings (sp)are loose; should they be greased?? i have some mobil 1 that i will never use; i am not so damn anal that i would put an expensive engine oil in a forge blower...OK, maybe i am, caint hep it.

this blower looks like it has never been in use. all of the square bolts have sharp edges and the gears are pristine. the gear box has no oil or grease in it....super find.

thanks to all who comment and advise!!
   rugg - Tuesday, 11/11/03 18:35:43 EST

John J, Contact John Elliot at CVBG.org. That is our local group based in Richmond, VA. I rarely make meetings because I am over 100 miles from where they are generaly held. Next meeting should be the Christmas party. There is normaly a demo then too. In the past it has been held in Mechanicsville, VA (another 50 miles further for me).

I'm located just South of Lynchburg if you want to come and visit.

I have not looked close at the Forgemaster. The difference in burner numbers can easily be the burner bore size. NC uses little 5/8" bores. Most use larger.

   - guru - Tuesday, 11/11/03 18:47:30 EST

Synthetic Oil: Rugg, No reason other than a waste of expensive oil.

I have a 55 gallon drum of 40 wt synthetic that I am trying to figure out what to do with. . . might try as a quenchant.
   - guru - Tuesday, 11/11/03 18:50:48 EST

Junkyard Steels: Generally the best for most things are springs. They are medium to high carbon and some are alloy steels. For wood turning tools I would use coil springs and straighten them out. The round stock is often closer to the desired size when flattened than using leaf springs. The round is also a good starting size for shoulders. You will have to trial and error the heat treatment.
   - guru - Tuesday, 11/11/03 18:55:46 EST

Curiouser and curiouser..... Atli, they must grow smiths on the small side to the East of the Rockies then... :)
Most smiths I have met are of the larger type.... Well PPW is the exception... (grin)
   Ralph - Tuesday, 11/11/03 19:07:17 EST

Old rail road rails -- Someone gave me a neat little book called "Railroad Construction." It gives specs for rails as of 1921.

For Bessemer rails:
Carbon is .40 - .50% for rails 70-84# per yard.
It's .45-.55 for 85# and over.

For open hearth rails:
.53-.68 carbon for rails 70-84#
.62-.77 carbon for 85-110#
.67-.82 for 111# and over.

Manganese is .80 - 1.10% for all bessemer rails and .60-.90% for open hearth.

   Mike B - Tuesday, 11/11/03 19:31:21 EST

A smith friend of mine, when in polite company, frequently gets told that he doesn't LOOK like a blacksmith. His reply, "How many have you met?" That usually terminates the conversation.

Another friend, a horseshoer, is about 6'3" and stringy. He gets told that he's too tall to be a horseshoer. His reply, "I know", as he picks up another foot. He's been shoeing for 28 years.
   Frank Turley - Tuesday, 11/11/03 19:48:20 EST

...the stuff you thought you knew till you read real stuff here?

I always thought RR rails were weighed per foot. Now I know it's per yd. Never stop learning ;)
   - Jerry Crawford - Tuesday, 11/11/03 19:55:25 EST

Mike, Thanks! Been looking for that. Yeah, rail will harden REAL hard. Makes nice tools as long as you make sure that you clear the cracks and cold shuts on the working surface.
   - guru - Tuesday, 11/11/03 20:08:53 EST

BRIAN Get started. I'm right before being 77 and am recovering from Cardiac Arrest. I spent 2 1/2 hours in the forge this AM and the same this afternoon and had a ball. I looked at what I accomplished and decided that it "lacked grace" but I am learning. Only when you stop asking WHY and HOW do you start dying.
   JOHN M. - Tuesday, 11/11/03 20:15:08 EST

On synethic oils,
Guru I don't know what oil you have from your description, but mobil 1 is a polyalolifin (pao) and is an excellent all around replacement for petroleum oil. It has much better oxidation resistance at elevated temp's.The pao's also tend to reject water a bit better than petro oils. Using a pao in an internal combustion engine and throwing it away at 3 to 5000 miles is almost a waste. The Mobil 1 may tend to get a bit thick at low temp's as it is additized for multi-vis. A better choice for use in your blower gear box would be a good ATF fluid as these fluids don't thicken with low temp's as bad.If you can obtain the latest release of Dexron, #4 I think, if is based on a Group 2 hydro cracked iso dewaxed petroleum, and as it has about zero sulfur and wax, it has very good low temp properties and the sulfur prevents most of the age/oxidation related attack on the internals of your blower. A EP #1 gear oil would also be good, but may be a bit hard to obtain in small quantity. If I had new Mobil 1 in the original container, I would trade for ATF at about 2qt's of ATF to one of the Mobil 1.
Guru, if you can advise the type of synethic, Ie. phosphate ester, poly glycol, pao etc, I will research if the type is any use as quench.
   ptree - Tuesday, 11/11/03 21:21:39 EST

sir, we have an annealing furnace. we stack upto five metric tones of low carbon steel (Cold rolled ,0.05% to 0.10%C.)the material is stacked in closed form as it consists of small strips or circles. we rise the temprature to 680 deg.C and maintain the same fo seven hours before swithching off the burners. and our cooling rate of first 300 deg. is upto@50 to 60 deg.C would you please suggest the proper method, time and the temprature so that I can get the hardness(RB) 60 - 65 and fine garainded.
   Rishi Gupta - Wednesday, 11/12/03 03:50:45 EST

WOODTURNING CHISELS: Jim; In the late Alexander Weygers' classic book "The Making of Tools", he recommends using automotive coil and leaf spring stock, as well as old files with ALL traces of the teeth removed. After Mr. Weygers' passing, all 3 books in the series on smithing were combined into one book, "The Complete Modern Blacksmith", published by Ten Speed Press. It is well worth every penny of the $19.95 price. It will show you just how much you can get out of a junk pile. Since I got my first copy back in the late '70s I've worn out 3 copies. Enjoy. Best regards, 3dogs
   3dogs - Wednesday, 11/12/03 04:04:23 EST

What is a smith supposed to look like? My "adopted granddaughter", all 95 pounds, probably doesn't fit the profile, but she is getting pretty good & doesn't mind getting dirty...
   - Ron Childers - Wednesday, 11/12/03 08:10:25 EST

Ron, Isn't it fun teaching the grand babies? I love it.
   Paw Paw - Wednesday, 11/12/03 08:18:49 EST

Rishi Gupta, The metallurgists can chastise me if my "blacksmithing response" needs help. It appears that you are not reaching critical (transformation) temperature before slow cooling. To anneal your low carbon steel, you should be up to about 920C, what a smith would call a bright red incandescence. According to one website, annealed 1010 (low carbon of 0.10%) gives an Rb of 50- 55. www.harbor-castings.com/alloy.htm If your furnace is well insulated and you have turned off the burners, the slow cooling rate should be sufficient to "soften" the steel and impart a refined grain structure.
   Frank Turley - Wednesday, 11/12/03 08:27:51 EST

Ron Childers

What to do...? Enjoy the journey. You have been given a precious opportunity here to help form, educate and launch a young woman - I envy you the trip.

Have her make sketches of her ideas on paper before she gets into the smithy. What she has in mind and how the pieces will fit together. What shape the process will take.

Encourage her to keep a portfolio of these sketches (all of them). They will get her into college and help her qualify for grants and scholorships. They demonstrate a continuity of development and solid interest as well as a body of work. They will form the foundation of her development and provide nudges in different directions when she has a problem to work out. One day she will look at something you helped her on and remember the heat, the smell of the fire, the feel of the iron and the weight of the hammer....and say a silent prayer of thsnks for your contribution.

Take pictures of her work and commit them to digital files.

Encouragement - encouragement - encouragement. She shouldn't ever do anything "wrong" unless it's dangerous. Mistakes are just insideout learning events that look funny or don't stick together.

As I said, I envy you the opportunity and journey - congratulations for takeing on this task.

   Jerry Crawford - Wednesday, 11/12/03 08:45:50 EST

Alex Weygers: If you are any kind of scrounger then reading his books is almost a religious experience. Weygers was an amazing guy.

   - adam - Wednesday, 11/12/03 09:57:20 EST

Alex Weygers: If you are any kind of scrounger then reading his books is almost a religious experience. Weygers was an amazing guy.

   adam - Wednesday, 11/12/03 09:57:41 EST

The only thing I don't understand about Weygers is why he drilled a bunch of holes to knock out the tin snip handholds.

Ron and Jerry, A Chinese martial art saying: "You're not doing anything wrong; you just don't have it yet."
   Frank Turley - Wednesday, 11/12/03 11:01:56 EST

Frank Turley; Y'know, I always kinda wondered about that myself.
   3dogs - Wednesday, 11/12/03 11:58:37 EST

Tinsnips; Frank; I just looked over the piece on making the tinsnips, and noticed that there are no references to forging. The only time he mentions the forge is when he aligns the blades and the handles. Maybe he was showing us how Joe Shadetree could make the snips without a torch. He even cut out the blanks with an abrasive wheel and a hacksaw. Improvisation at its finest.
   3dogs - Wednesday, 11/12/03 12:32:27 EST

What is the difference in hot rolled bar stock #'s? ASTM-A-36, C 1008, C 1018, C 1045, C 1045 & C 1045 TG&P are the types offered. Is this the amount of carbon in the metal? Is there any preference for thr type to forge, hammer and weld small projects?
   Blubeard - Wednesday, 11/12/03 12:51:58 EST

Adam, thank you. Order placed. I had only one of Weyger's books.
   Ellen - Wednesday, 11/12/03 12:58:09 EST

If you jet ski looses all its wheels how many pancakes dos it take to fikx your dogs roof
   Theo - Wednesday, 11/12/03 13:08:37 EST

A36 is what is rapidly replacing mild steel in the U.S. A36 is an American Society for Testing Materials number. It is "structural steel", carbon content not normally allowed to go over 0.28%. It will have 0.60% - 0.90 manganese added to make it a low alloy steel, especially in sizes larger than 3/4" thickness. 10 in 1008 means a nonsulphurized carbon steel. 08 is 0.08% carbon, in the olden days, termed a "dead soft carbon steel". 1018 is mild steel of 0.18% carbon. Between 1030 and 1055 is medium carbon steel; therefore 1045 is medium carbon and can be hardened and tempered. These latter numbers are from the Society of Automotive Engineers/American Iron and Steel Institute (SAE/AISI). I don't know about TG&P. 1060 and above is considered high carbon.

Theo, Did your ride your bike or carry your lunch?

Al Weygers had a big woodworking shop in California, a beautiful wooden structure kind of like a round barn. He needed chisels etc., for his woodwork, and with his background, making them was not all that difficult. In the past, he offered one week classes in toolsmithing. If you were interested, he would have YOU do the leg work, ie., round up about 10 people who were interested and see to it that they got to the workshop. One of my students was a long-ago Weygers student.
   Frank Turley - Wednesday, 11/12/03 18:53:50 EST

Thanks Frank, the steel link is broken under the C glossary section of the FAQ
   Blubeard - Wednesday, 11/12/03 19:12:26 EST

Theo, depends on what the plumber tells you about the duck.

I think I'm going to get a Bulgarian-pattern 70lb anvil from OldWorldAnvils.com. Any warnings, praises, miscellaneous info about this company and this pattern of anvil?

Also, I bought the Weygers book... Later returned it. Personally, I found it so-so. It is an *excellent* book, but it is definitely not deserving of the title "The Complete Modern Blacksmith." For those seeking such a book, I politely recommend Percy W. Blandford's "Practical Blacksmithing and Metalworking", as it is FAR more focused on real blacksmithing technique, methods, projects, and other such issues. Weygers' book would be excellend for a woodworker or stonemason who wanted to make his own tools, but I don't believe that it's suitable for a more... smithing-oriented smith. Good book though! Plenty of good illustrations, interesting projects. Just not enough iron pounding.

Weather's being quite odd in Honolulu, Hawaii.
   T. Gold - Wednesday, 11/12/03 19:30:04 EST

T. Gold, I tuned in Old World Anvils but could not find a 70 lb Bulgarian. But if you're serious, you ought to get a heavier anvil. I am acquainted with the Old World owner, and he is trustworthy.

Theo, If I were you, I'd do just what you'd do, if you were you.
   Frank Turley - Wednesday, 11/12/03 19:53:03 EST

   ptree - Wednesday, 11/12/03 20:51:10 EST

   gforge - Wednesday, 11/12/03 21:14:33 EST

T. Gold....do you have a source for the Blandford book you could post or email me? Thx.....
   Ellen - Wednesday, 11/12/03 22:46:22 EST

Blubeard and Frank
TG&P Turned, Ground, and Polished. A finished OD bar usually used for shafting, etc. Various steels can be either cold-drawn only or "TG&P"
   Tom H - Wednesday, 11/12/03 23:03:10 EST


It's available on Amazon. If you'd like, I can email you the link. Otherwise, just go to amazon.com , select "books" above the search box, and search for "percy blandford".

Frank, I would love to have a heavier one, but USPS Parcel Post only carries parcels below 77lbs, and UPS's pricing is exorbitant. So, 70lb anvil. Suggestions are welcome on ways to get around this... (Grin).

Cool and windy in Kaneohe, Hawaii.
   T Gold - Wednesday, 11/12/03 23:53:59 EST



Trust me.

Just learned another lesson on bespoke work. One of my friends gave me a cast brass, chromed cross guard for a sword and asked if I could make on out of steel. I did. Then he decided that it should be in a knuckle-bow pattern, and finally hands me the sword blade, which has a thinner tang than the cross guard that I'd duplicated. I reduced the opening for the tang and then I drew out one of the quillions for the knuckle bow, and then did another fitting with the grips and pommel in place. The cross guard is too thick. The sample he gave me (without the sword) never fit in the first place, and of course I was busy forging the piece to meet those dimensions. Now I've cut another piece of steel and I'll start from scratch. This is the last time I work on a hilt without having ALL the pieces together first. He was reluctant to have me take the sword; I had to explain that the fitting process won't work without it.

HMMMM, much barter will be needed to balance the Karma!

Rainy and windy on the banks of the lower Potomac.

Visit your National Parks: www.nps.gov

Go viking: www.longshipco.org
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Thursday, 11/13/03 00:24:33 EST

what are some ways of making forges?
   Brian - Thursday, 11/13/03 01:57:18 EST


Take a look at the FAQ
   Paw Paw - Thursday, 11/13/03 04:36:01 EST


Take a look at the FAQ's on the pull down menu in the top right hand corner of this page.
   Paw Paw - Thursday, 11/13/03 04:36:53 EST

T. Gold,

Don't do the 70 lb'er and mail it! Too small an anvil, too much to mail. I have the same problem with UPS thinking that we're a suburb of China, pricewise. There IS a solution. It's called Ocean Freight.

Ocean freight, through a freight consolidator, is waaaaay cheaper than any overland freight. I can ship a thousand pounds from Miami to here for only a couple hundred bucks. Find an anvil from someone in CA and have them take it to a freight consolidator for slhipment to HI. You'll be amazed at how cheap it is. Check with OLd World Anvils or Euroanvils about getting one to CA to a shipper. It may not be that bad, since they both have deals with overland shippers. That way you can get a real 200# or bigger anvil.

Check with folks there in HI to get the name of a freight shipper/consolidator. Look in the Yellow Pages under "Shipping, ocean freight."

   vicopper - Thursday, 11/13/03 06:33:30 EST

T. Gold,

I've got one of the 178lb EuroAnvils. One of the best investments I have ever made. You get a lot of anvil for the money.
   - Don Abbott - Thursday, 11/13/03 07:44:31 EST

Jerry, Thanx for your kind words of wisdom. I'll start taking my dig camera to our Wed nite sessions. Amanda has a good cross section of mentors: Jeff Mohr is a full-time blacksmith and we meet at his shop. Billy & I trade out misc stuff so it doesn't get too one-sided - Jeff makes his living in that shop so we do anything we can do to help. Billy makes decorative stuff & I make damascus knives & tomahawks, so she has a veriety of exposure. Brought her new (100 yr old) post vice last night & we freed it up & she trued the jaws herself. She is an art student @ FSU and fortunately realizes she has to master the simple skills before tackling a Samuri sword. "One day I'll be good at this; I just need lots of practice". My greatest accomplishment is that I convinced her she will become a better smith faster if she keeps both eyes; (she now uses her eye protection). I think a lot of our "just getting started " folks could learn a few things from her....
Ron C
   Ron Childers - Thursday, 11/13/03 08:01:42 EST

Atli, I was kvetching recently to one of my old "grads" about the way the public treats us when we take a job, in some instances, sort of like they would treat a slave. All too often, they change their minds in the middle of a job. Their capriciousness and demands are sometimes maddening. One of my friends quit smithing altogether, because he couldn't stand working for the "d--n public", as he put it.
So, my old grad listens to me and then responds thusly, "I don't let 'em. I make MY wishes known, and I don't get off track."

Admittedly, to do so takes a staunch personality and a sales/marketing ability that not all of us possess. I still have my troubles.

Anyway, "Never assume that anything is plumb, level, or square."

   Frank Turley - Thursday, 11/13/03 09:00:52 EST


Wonderful - she's already aware how important it is to track her work and atristic progress. I have a BFA from Un. of New Hampshire and I saw many fellow students work over the years. All the stuff she's doing now is only prep for live in her field. I think it's wonderful she has so many mentors who are providing a variety of approaches and styles to her vocabulary. God, it's great!

   Jerry Crawford - Thursday, 11/13/03 09:20:44 EST

T.G.: I think the "complete" part of the title came from the fact that it was all 3 of his books combined into 1 "The Modern Blacksmith", "The Making of Tools" and "The Recycling, Use and Repair of Tools".

I agree that "Complete" should not be the modifier for blacksmith; but I have long thought that "The Modern Blacksmith" is one of the best books for beginners; especially as it is full of "thinking outside of the box"---building forges out of anything to hand using various fuels and using things other than london patterned anvils.

I had to track down the last book just for the section on making specialized triphammer dies, something I had seen in no other book!

At $20 for the 3 book set I still think it's a good deal and was happy to replace the individual copies I had bought new around 20 years ago.

I have never liked Percy's books as they always seemed to me to be assembled out of other folk's books that I had read before he came out with his.

   Thomas P - Thursday, 11/13/03 09:24:18 EST

Thomas P; My very thoughts, regarding both authors. Alexander Weygers, Dona Meilach and Eric Sloane were the 3 great influences involved in putting me on this path. God bless 'em all! 3dogs
   3dogs - Thursday, 11/13/03 10:31:23 EST

T Gold re anvils.
Not sure where Old World is based out of but I believe Nimba is based out of the Seattle/Tacoma area. And since those areas more than likely have a fair amount of shipping to HI already you might find cheaper shipping from them?
   Ralph - Thursday, 11/13/03 11:29:36 EST

Good Morning
I'm used to forging blades from 10905c but I recently got some W2 and I wondered if it has any significant forging or quenching properties etc.I do the clay hardening thing with water quench.
   Chris Makin - Thursday, 11/13/03 12:13:09 EST

that should be 1095c
   Chris Makin - Thursday, 11/13/03 12:14:15 EST

Chris, W2 may come in different carbon contents, probably from 0.70% thro' 1.3%. 1% carbon would be close to your 1095 in carbon. W2 has a 0.25% addition of vanadium, compared to 1095, which is a plain carbon steel. The vanadium helps to ensure a fine grain structure. Otherwise, it should behave like 1095.
   Frank Turley - Thursday, 11/13/03 12:31:38 EST

What is the normal (average or standard) length from the top of the jaw to the tip of the leg on a post-vise? I have aquired a 4" vise with the leg broken just below the pivot (broken piece is missing). I need to weld a new leg to it. I could probably estimate, or wait til I come across an example, but I figured some of you would be reading this within spitting distance of a working vise and a tape measure. Any hints from anyone who has ever made such a repair would also be appreciated.
   - Don Abbott - Thursday, 11/13/03 13:03:57 EST

I am new to blacksmithing and i was wondering what types of tools they use in medieval blacksmithing
   - allen - Thursday, 11/13/03 14:22:13 EST

Don Abbott, It varies. Here are some measurements, the first number being the jaw width and the second, the length.
4 x 37 (English vise dates from about 1840)
4 x 43 (Iron City Mfg.)
7 x 42 (Iron City Mfg.)
5 x 39 (Peter Wright, English mfg)
7 x 39 (Peter Wright, English mfg.)
If you are a smith, you might lap or cleft weld the leg on. I did one once about 3" below the pivot beam. Don't forget that there is a collar welded around the leg to act as a stop, usually about 1" up from the bottom of of the leg. There are lots of opinions about vise height after installation. I like mine about 1" below the point of my elbow. If you're doing lots of heavy ironwork and you have an extra vise, a BIG one, 7" to 8", you might mount it lower so you can some good force with your sledge hammer. I dont see anything wrong with electric or gas welding the job, as long as it is clean workmanship.
   Frank Turley - Thursday, 11/13/03 15:13:15 EST

hammers, anvils, tongs, chisels, punches, saws, pretty much everything we have now.... minus electrically powered stuff.
But the most important tool has not changed... it is the one between your ears.
   Ralph - Thursday, 11/13/03 15:18:44 EST

Muchas gracias, Frank.

I'm not real sure about attempting a forge weld, as the break is pretty close to the pivot joint. I could go long on my leg stock and cut-off/try again if I messed up, but I don't have enough "real vise" to allow for much error on that end. It ain't a real beauty to begin with, so I'll probably live with an arc weld.

Thanks, again.
   - Don Abbott - Thursday, 11/13/03 16:02:46 EST

Also Allen, You can click onto HOME! above, and then scroll to "anvilfire Armoury" amd click. There are some good articles there.
   Frank Turley - Thursday, 11/13/03 16:03:20 EST

Hey guys its me again. I recently got a 55 pound A.S.O. from Northern Tool. The front of the anvil has the words 55 POUNDS and CHINA on it. I would like to remove the word CHINA but not the 55 POUNDS. What would be the best way to get that off there? It is cast iron, so I don't want to have it look too scratched up, remember this will be onstage.

   TheGreatNippulini - Thursday, 11/13/03 16:36:30 EST


Grind it off with a horizontal grinder.
   Paw Paw - Thursday, 11/13/03 16:56:04 EST

I have recently been looking at all of the types of burners and now have a question. Is it possible to use a regular old Bernz 0 Matic blow torch as a gas burner? Thanks, Keenan
   - Keenan - Thursday, 11/13/03 17:24:15 EST


I don't think it will get hot enough. In a Micro-forge, with MAPP gas, maybe.
   Paw Paw - Thursday, 11/13/03 17:34:14 EST


I also have the Complete Modern Blacksmith and love it, however I must agree that most of it does not directly relate to blacksmithing. As much as making things out of "junk".

One GREAT book that I have is MetalWorking, by Paul N. Hasluck written in 1906. It is reprinted by Lindsay Publications Inc. for $35. Frankly it is the most fascinating book on a plethora, yes, a plethora of metal working subjects that I have ever read. It has a lot of old forgoten recipes for coloring metals, most of which are probably dangerous and/or deadly if used improperly. I could fill 3/4 of the Guru's bandwidth with it's contents.

Here is where it is located on Lindsays web site.

Sorry if I sound like a salesman, but I just LOVE this book. It will be a while until I absorb all of the stuff in it.grin

Caleb Ramsby
   Caleb Ramsby - Thursday, 11/13/03 18:03:06 EST


I've used one in a tiny forge about like the micro forge. It will get small items such as chasing tools or small punches hot enough to forge. It will absolutely NOT get hot enough to forge weld, no matter what. Anout a high orange or low yello is what you can get on 1/4" square stock, heating about 1 or possibly 2" of it. MAPP gas would be a much better choice as it burns hotter, but the burner is still pretty small for any real work.
   vicopper - Thursday, 11/13/03 18:05:18 EST

TGN: Nice to hear from you again. PawPaw should have warned you to be real careful with the grinder - it'll take your nipples off in an eyeblnk!

Rich: I had the same experience. I think it has to do with the ratio of surface area to volume. Small chambers have proportionately more surface and shed heat faster.
   Adam - Thursday, 11/13/03 19:21:01 EST

I am still trying to find some good stoker coal in my area, southern Ohio or West Virginia. I did hear about Pocahontas 3 vein in Wyoming or McDowell counties in W.Va. but I can't find the name of a mine to go to and some directions or phone number. I was hoping you or a reader could help me out. Thanks, Betsy
   Betsy - Thursday, 11/13/03 19:33:39 EST

Off-topic slightly but it is a tool question.

I have a Belknap 28" level with a broken bubble. The company is out of business now (1986) and I wonder if anyone know's where I might locate a replacement bubble. I hate having half a tool.

   Jerry Crawford - Thursday, 11/13/03 19:58:15 EST


Go to Lowes or Home Depot, and pick up one of the cheap corner levels used for setting posts. Carefully remove the bubble from the piece of Taiwan plastic, and use it to replace the broken bubble in the Belknap.
   Paw Paw - Thursday, 11/13/03 20:07:28 EST

Evening, I need help on finding source to purchase some cast iron electric lamps that hang on the outside wall at and old church in my area. I have pictures, contact me direct. thanks, Joe
   Joe Myers - Thursday, 11/13/03 21:58:04 EST

Betsy the appalachian blacksmiths web site has a lot of folks advertising coal. You should be able to find what you need there.
   Mills - Thursday, 11/13/03 23:16:46 EST

What steel is better to use for blacksmithing, Hot Rolled or Cold Rolled? I am just starting in blacksmithing, and I could use all the words of wisdom available!!
   Tom Jacobi - Thursday, 11/13/03 23:55:07 EST


The medieval blacksmith used most of the tools available to the 19th century blacksmith, but mostly in a simpler form. The notable exception was the vise, which was a late medieval/renaissance innovation; and of secondary importance in productivity and convenience, twinned (as opposed to stacked) bellows, requiring an extra person to work the forge efficiently.

You can find further information in a four part article of mine that a friend has posted at: http://home.comcast.net/~meadmaker/Viking1.htm . This also includes a number of books for reference.

The two most important things to keep in mind for early medieval blacksmithing are:

1) Wonderful results can be achieved with minimal tools backed by intelligence, practice, patience and skill.

2) You are dealing with a materials poor, labor rich society. Lots of willing hands to help, not much to work with, the rest of your life to get things done ('cause that's what life's about; and if you don't get certain, important things done, it's going to be a hungry, cold winter).

Both 1 & 2 require a shift in our mental furniture to grasp the conditions under which the medieval smith operated.

I hope you find this enlightening.

Cold and VERY windy on the banks of the lower Potomac. I might need the chainsaw again tomorrow.

Visit your National Parks: www.nps.gov

Go viking: www.longshipco.org
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Friday, 11/14/03 00:36:07 EST

best? Well as a beginner I would say the cheaper of the two.....
   Ralph - Friday, 11/14/03 00:56:08 EST


Once you get it hot, it really doesn't make any difference, except possibly in price, as Ralph mentioned. I buy all hot rolled except for 1/4". I can't get that in HR, unless I buy a carload, and I'll never use that much in the rest of my life.
   Paw Paw - Friday, 11/14/03 06:29:29 EST

Junk Yard Anvil

This is a FWIW comment, but I've noticed a number of beginner's come on here asking for advise about these crummy light weight ASO's they want to buy and have mailed so they can begin learning. I wish there was a way to convey to them how simple and inexpensive a home made anvil is to fabricate. IMHO, they can acquire a much better, massive and functional anvil for pennies per pound and you get a lot of experience in the design and adaptation of it for your purposes. It's a good project. I wrote earlier that I recently made a 185# anvil for about $0.25/pound and I'm very happy with the effort and the result. Just a though.

   Jerry Crawford - Friday, 11/14/03 08:10:09 EST

Jerry, your bubble is bust?

Sorry, couldn't resist. grin.

Like Paw Paw said, get a replacement. Window glazing compound can be used to hold the replacement bubble in the frame. Allows for adjustment to set it right and then dries out hard enough. Masons frequently know people who rebuild levels, but the cost of having a rebuild was close to or more than a new level 20 years ago.
   - Tony - Friday, 11/14/03 08:27:46 EST


Actually, the level is one of those early aluminum 28"er's that probably cost $7.95 thirty years ago (when a dollar was worth $0.93) & I'm going to spend more than that just to find a bubble. It's way past flea market time here in New England (high winds, mid 30's) so if I want to do the job I have to go to big box. I just hate to have half a tool laying around - I always seem to put that broken bubble up and have to swap it around to a good one....sigh! Life it tough .... then ..... well, you know the rest of it.
   Jerry Crawford - Friday, 11/14/03 09:16:29 EST

Tom Jacobi - Try this. Get a piece of each (2 foot long). The cold rolled will be the shiny lookin' one. Heat and draw the end some. Then loop hook ends (both ends both pieces). Try to duplicate each drawing and each loop. You should now have 2 "S" hooks the same length. Try this in 3/8 stock. Put some lag hooks in the ceiling (or somewheres up there) in your shop about 3 feet apart. Hang your forged hooks from these. You now can place a piece of stock between the bottom parts of the hooks you forged, and have a place to hang stuff you've forged. Look at the difference in the hot and cold rolled hooks. The hot rolled will be dull between the forged ends, and the cold will be shiny. If you paint, this ain't no big deal (you'll have to prep some) but flat black will blend the stock to same look. If you oil or wax finish, you'll notice there is "cold roll look" on the parts that ain't been in the fire. Bottom line, I use hot roll on everything except 3/16 square (which I can't find in hot rolled). Cold rolled is shafting and has exacting tolerances for bearings. No need for this in forged stuff. Hot roll is about half the price too. You can look at your hooks hangin there as you forge new stuff, and make up your own mind, and as you create stuff, hang it up. The length of the forged hooks will be up to you and your particular situation. Good luck.

Steve (Ten Hammers) O'Grady
   - Ten Hammers - Friday, 11/14/03 09:28:48 EST

All that said, I seldom pass up a piece of cold rolled in the scrap pile.

   - Ten Hammers - Friday, 11/14/03 09:33:12 EST

Betsy, You may already know that some stoker coal is oiled. I tried some once, and the flames went to the ceiling. Wasn't too happy with it.
   Frank Turley - Friday, 11/14/03 11:37:21 EST

It just goes to show that you need a higher ceiling... (VBG)
   Ralph - Friday, 11/14/03 11:43:34 EST


Like Steve said, the difference is not worth the cost for smaller stuff, but......

if you're doing larger stuff, let's say a 3-pc fire set for a period camp, and you are using 1/2" stock, the hot rolled will look a bit "modern" as-is. Most of what I get has little ridges on the edge from the mill. This really shows up in a twist, plus the black mill scale just looks too uniform for period work. I've found 2 solutions:

pay nearly 3x as much for cold-rolled, or

I cut the hot-rolled into 4' pieces and give all 4 sides a quick ride on the bench-top (4") belt sander with a coarse belt. This knocks both the mill marks and the mill scale off. That way if I want to leave it white and wax it, I just wire brush the forge ends and everything matches up. If I want to black it with linseed or some such, it still matches up a lot better.

I have heard that cold-rolled forge welds easier (low carbon / more uniform), but I haven't progressed to the point of doing any side-by-side comparisons.
   - Don Abbott - Friday, 11/14/03 13:14:51 EST

Our local coal supplier trucks it in from Eastern Kentucky, then promptly dumps his used truck motor oil on it. Starts easy, but not very good for forging. I will continue to travel to Louisville for Good coal. Luck to have only bought a sample!
   ptree - Friday, 11/14/03 13:42:08 EST


I hate informers usually, but in a case such as your coal suppler, the EPA should know what he is doing.
   Paw Paw - Friday, 11/14/03 14:03:23 EST

hear - hear
   Jerry Crawford - Friday, 11/14/03 14:10:37 EST


A bit of explanation. Used motor oil has all kinds of bad stuff in it, including Cadmium which is poison, and a couple of known carcinogens. It is NOT good for the human body and he is dumping that (I think) illegally.
   Paw Paw - Friday, 11/14/03 14:25:09 EST

Don, and who ever...
Cold vs hot rolled and welding.
I have not seen any difference in weldablity.
   Ralph - Friday, 11/14/03 14:41:31 EST

Personally, speaking as both a cop and a citizen, I LOVE folks who rat out weasels who are dumping their used oil anywhere illeghal. Especially those who are getting unsuspecting folks to burn it for them, thus exposing all of us to untold poisons without our knowledge. Those who do that should rot in MY jail for a long time.
   vicopper - Friday, 11/14/03 14:55:18 EST

Don, I've never seen hot-rolled round with a seam or roller marks on it, sounds like a quality-control problem at the mill to me. Where are you getting it? I do agree about the "modern" look untouched stock has if oiled/waxed black. I usually heat the whole thing enough to scale, and bop it a little while hot. Square stock looks better to me with the corners knocked in a little. Not necessarily a made-in-the-third-world ball-peen hammermark job, you understand, just enough to take the factory edge off.

I have noticed no difference in forge welding hot-rolled vs. cold rolled, but I have had some A-36 with pockets of higher carbon and/or unknown stuff in it that would not weld cleanly or would burn at a far lower heat than the rest.
   Alan-L - Friday, 11/14/03 16:34:00 EST

To all,
First used motor oil may well contain cadmium, but you should be aware that all the oil that is PROPERLY disposed of at the car dealerships, quick change places is burned. The EPA has put an exemption for the burning of used oil if done by the shop that changed it or if they accept oil from do-it-yourselfers. The only requirement is that any burner be limited to (I-think) 450,000btu's. You can line up as many as you want, just can't be bigger than the limit. There is NO emmisions requirement, and in Ky. and In. no state permits required. Some few localities require permits, but mostly as a formality. Until a few years ago, industry was allowed to dispose of any combustable liquid in the coal pile. Look at the quick change place near you and notice the Almost all glass structure, and ask how it gets heated?
In fact you can get a waste oil burner for you own shop from northern hydraulics.
That said, I did inform the owner that what he was doing was ruining the value of the coal for blacksmiths and that the EPA would find it illeagal. I think he took the hint. Especially after I let him know I do enviro for my job.
Hav'nt been back, as the coal wasn't that good anyway.
   ptree - Friday, 11/14/03 17:21:44 EST

On used oil,
I forgot to mention that most industrial uil that is recycled ends up as fuel for tug boats, or boiler fuel. I have been shipping used oil and used oily water for years for my employers and auditing the recycling facilities. With one exception all sent the waste oil to fuel, and the exception made it into asphalt. These are all better uses than pouring it into the enviroment, but not what the general public expects when they hear that the oil is recycled.
   ptree - Friday, 11/14/03 17:27:12 EST


Good information, and Thank you!
   Paw Paw - Friday, 11/14/03 18:40:41 EST

I just got 2 books on blacksmithing for my 13th birthday. one says not to heat high carbon steel to white heat. what color tempature should be used for forge welding and what is a good way to start forge welding?
   - John d. - Friday, 11/14/03 18:40:57 EST

Also, i am doing my history day project one blacksmithing-do you have any information I might find useful?
   - John d. - Friday, 11/14/03 18:47:02 EST

Also, i am doing my history day project one blacksmithing-do you have any information I might find useful?
   - John d. - Friday, 11/14/03 18:56:06 EST

Once again I beseech the anvilfire experts for help. I am a brand new smith (whom BTW doesnt want to know how to make a sword) and need some info on steel. I have a chunk of RR track for an anvil and am welding up an external type Hardie hole (iFoge Demo 164). Once I have this, the next logical step is to make some tools for it. My plan is to use 1X1 bar for shanks and I want to buy this new. (Once I get a little more experience then Ill try some junkyard tools) I dont think (hope) I need tool steel but what kind of steel should I buy? I plan to mix up some superquench once I find some Shaklees. Im sure its on the site somewhere but I cant find it and my Machinerys is in the mail.
   - Aksmith - Friday, 11/14/03 19:04:15 EST

Tom, Don, and Youse Uder Guys, I haven't been to a steel mill lately, but my books from the late 1980's all say that, for example 1018, 0.18 carbon, can be ordered from some companies, cold rolled or cold drawn...or big rounds are turned and polished. First, THE STOCK IS HOT ROLLED, leaving it a little oversized. It will hava a mill scale which is cleaned off. In the past, the bars were pickled in mild sulfuric acid. Do they still do this? I'm not sure. 3Dogs may know. Then the bars are either cold rolled under great pressure or they are drawn through successively smaller dies till they are of the correct dimension. The stock will be slightly work hardened and maybe a little springier when purchased, which gives rise to the myth that cold rolled is really good, tough steel. When heated to forge it, you're back to square one in terms of the steel being 1018. Why would it be any different than hot rolled when reheated and hammered on.

Some cold rolled has extra carbon, like 1040, and some is "free machining", like 1215 and has extra manganese.

The low carbon cold rolled or drawn is finished to virgin metal because: 1) for certain end uses, it will be to dimension within thousandths; 2) It is finished to oddball sizes that are not always available, hot rolled.

Cold finished steel will cost more that hot, because the cost of the extra processing is passed on to the consumer.

If steel has longitudinal seams or ribs, it can be refused, either at the warehouse or when the delivery truck arrives. If the steel center won't let you refuse defective stock, it's time for a change.
   Frank Turley - Friday, 11/14/03 19:14:25 EST

Depending on the tool you wish to make, the 1" x 1" shank welded on may not work well. A hot cut or hardy is one of the first tools to make and use. While mild steel might work a bit, something with a bit more alloy is better. Truck spring, or truck axle both make good hot cuts. Unfortunatly, both take quite a bit more hammering to move the metal. Both quench well.By truck axle, I mean heavy truck. The heavy truck axles made in the last 10 or 15 years have been made from 1541H, and will not have a bearing that mounts on the axle. The smaller truck axles, such as found in the 1/2 ton pick-ups will be 1050. Other tools can be made from milder steel. I beleive that there are a number of I-forge demos that cover many anvil tools.
   ptree - Friday, 11/14/03 20:02:08 EST

On mild steel.
I have purchased a fair amount of A-36, and found some with small parellel lines on all surfaces from rolling. These were maybe 1/64"tall by about 1/32" on center. Shows if you look very close if not surfaced by hammer or abrasion.
I had a bundle of 3/8" square A-36 that had about 18 to 20" of one end only that was so hard that it stripped the teeth off a bi-metal saw blade. the rest was butter soft. All the hard ends were on the same end of the bundle. The hard end was almost at spring temper! Haven't quite figured out how the made that stuff.
   ptree - Friday, 11/14/03 20:07:14 EST

I have a small, 5 ft tall, double leaf springs, horozontal
configuration. Previous owner had a 5hp motor on it, RPM
unknown {what RPM do I need?] Would a lesser HP motor reduce the stress to the cast body, which has a giant braze
on it already. This unit should not be run wide open. likely how they broke it before. Thank you. SK
   shiva ki - Friday, 11/14/03 20:53:54 EST

Out of Town: Sorry folks. Been on the road and haven't had time to make connections.
   - guru - Friday, 11/14/03 23:45:26 EST

aksmith: Mild steel works for swages and fullers if the edges are not too thin. It wont stand up to heavy forging unless the radius is large like an anvil's horn. U bolts and coil spring are good for making hot work tools and can be found in diameters that dont require a lot of forging. For chisels its hard to beat the fancy new hot work steels S7 and H13. They can be forged to a very thin cross section and this allows them to be driven through the hot steel much more easily. Unfortunately these steels are pretty tough to forge. I bought some H13 too early and it was a while before I was able to do anything useful with it. But you can buy one of these chisels from Kayne for about $10. A hardy is also tough forging to do by hand - you might consider buying this too.

I like to make all my tools but I look back at my early efforts and I think I would have progressed faster if I had bought just a few basic tools.

Since you have a welder, you can cut, weld and grind your way to a lot of tooling. Square 1" tubing works fine for tool shanks. Not sure if this is what you were asking but you want mild steel for welded on shanks. Also, (just in case you didnt know) if you are welding to tool steel you will need to use the right rod or your welds may crack.

As I said, I love to make my own tools. I think it's one of the really cool things about smithing. I use leaf spring, coil spring, grader blade , u bolts, old punches and cold chisels, axles, RR track and whathaveyou. The only tool steel I bought was some H13 & S7.

   - adam - Friday, 11/14/03 23:47:01 EST

John D.: When is your History Day and what period are you planning on doing? Colonial? Early American? Civil War? Renaissance? Late 19th century? Some things change and some things stay to same. We could direct you further if we had more information (and if it's not happening "tomorrow").

I'll let others field the welding question, in more detail and eloquence than I can spare right now. ;-)

Cold but still on the banks of the lower Potomac.

Visit your National Parks: www.nps.gov

Go viking: www.longshipco.gov
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Saturday, 11/15/03 00:08:46 EST

Hello I'm considering getting into forging knives. I read lots of pages on how to get started, but I have yet found a site that tells where I can acquire coal in reasonable amounts. Most distributors sell by the ton. Im just looking for a small amount to get started, to see if I am truly interested. Any suggestions?
   ZERO_M_O_A - Saturday, 11/15/03 00:44:54 EST

COLD ROLLING & PICKLING: Frank; Yes, they're still doing acid pickling. Our mill doesn't roll bar stock any more, only sheet coils. The coils come over to the pickle line from the hot mill in a black state. The pickling removes the black, and then they are rerolled and sent over to the four stand tandem mill for cold rolling. The finish is determined by the surface of the work roll, as specified by the customer according to their needs. Auto body skin, for instance, is very critical, because ANY surface irregularity will show up under a high gloss paint job, and stick out like a sore thumb. Steel used for the inner structural components of a car body or a washing machine, for instance, will be out of sight, and therefore not so critical. We roll a number of product-specific alloys, for instance the steel for the side guard door beams which keeps the other car out of your lap in the event of a t-bone collision. This is a very tough product, and also hard on the rolling mill and the various machines used to form it. We also make a patented alloy which it is said to be a dream to form in a press, and receives its final heat treatment while the paint is being baked.
   3dogs - Saturday, 11/15/03 02:06:29 EST

Zero, WHERE ARE YOU AT? I can look up the details of the coal seam in Antartica for you; but it won't do you any good if you are in Greenland!

BTW did you check out the
   - ThomasP - Saturday, 11/15/03 08:13:51 EST

Zero, WHERE ARE YOU AT? I can look up the details of the coal seam in Antartica for you; but it won't do you any good if you are in Greenland!

BTW did you check out the "coal Scuttle" linked to this very page first? (go to navigate anvilfire in the upper right hand corner).

Thomas off for some more medical testing and a bit testy this morning...I'l try to refrain from posting after the procedure on Tuesday...
   - Thomas Powers - Saturday, 11/15/03 08:14:09 EST

What does a 70lb anvil welded to a two-hundred pound plate of scrap weigh?
   - L sundstrom - Saturday, 11/15/03 08:54:02 EST


70 pounds
   Paw Paw - Saturday, 11/15/03 09:08:45 EST

Thank you Paw Paw,
I used to spend alot of time looking for a 300 lb. anvil even though I had three weighing 100, 125 and 250 lbs. The problem with the 250 was that the face is soft and unlike Mr. Never-miss Dempsey, I do and it shows every mark. My 125er was a Centaur horseshoeing anvil of very high quality steel. Well, after I welded its feet to a 200 lb. piece of scrap plate and hard bolted that to a 150lb. stand I stopped wanting a 300lb. anvil. Now you may argue that the real weigh of that anvil is still 125lb. but the "want" weight is 475. That, by the way, would equal the effective weight and also the anti-scoot-around factor.
Now, I respect the notion that you should never weld on an old anvil but since this one was less than thirty years old and could easily be cut off the plate if some purist wanted it as a show piece, I am very, very happy with the result and glad that what was once too light for my satisfaction has now been turned into a very able tool.
oh yeah, my fourth anvil is a 1300lb. piece of springy old I beam standing 36 inches high and about 4 feet long.
   - L sundstrom - Saturday, 11/15/03 10:21:02 EST

A pound of feathers.... I too have my 127lb Trenton anvil attached to a 400#+or- block of steel, it is a scrapped plastic injection mold. It does, IMO, seem to give me a lot more mass under the hammer. My concern is that the anvil itself is not designed to take the blows of a large hammer and still must be treated as a 127#'er. I attached the feet to the base with forged straps to holes drilled and tapped to the base. I rang like the Wesminster Abey untill put speaker magnets under it.

My brother has an other mold that is marked 3285# but I cant figure out how to get it off my truck. Grin
   habu - Saturday, 11/15/03 10:55:04 EST

Well, I guess I'll just pound on it until I break it but, alas, that still won't bring back Cracked Anvil.
   - L sundstrom - Saturday, 11/15/03 12:22:13 EST

Plastic injection mold? Could be piece of H13? hmmm.... Dont be surprised if you find a chunk missing ... :)
   - adam - Saturday, 11/15/03 12:38:18 EST

I have an anvil that has been WELL worked over, wat is the best welding rod to build up the working surface with?
I was thinking 9018 because of the high cromium?
   Jim Lewis - Saturday, 11/15/03 12:45:14 EST

Hi Guru,
I have some large pieces of copper bar that I'm thinking about cutting with my abrasive cut-off saw (chop saw variety). Will this damage or irreversably clog the blade? I realize I could easily cut it with a hack or jewelers saw, but would like the benefit of a clean square cut. Any observations. Thanks again.
   Wendy - Saturday, 11/15/03 16:58:14 EST

Once upon a time,
Far, Far Away,
In a land called Carolin.

A drawing was held one day,
For an anvil that had no sway.
Just before dinner,
And we had a winner.

   Paw Paw - Saturday, 11/15/03 18:17:20 EST

It Was.
   Paw Paw - Saturday, 11/15/03 18:17:34 EST

Sadly the anvil is not Peddinghaus Pink.
Nor is it Carolina blue.
Nor Tennessee Orange.
Instead it's color has
A wild west hue.
   Paw Paw - Saturday, 11/15/03 18:19:10 EST

I know who it was,
But do you?
I can't tell you,
by order of the Guru.
   Paw Paw - Saturday, 11/15/03 18:20:07 EST

You didn't know I had a cruel streak, did you????"? (grin)
   Paw Paw - Saturday, 11/15/03 18:20:34 EST

Sorry to ask a question that's probably been discussed before, but I've been in the archives for over an hour and can't find what I want: can you give me any info or plans for making my own sheet metal brake?
It doesn't have to be real sophisticated, I won't use it that often. Thanks in advance.
   Jim Donahue - Saturday, 11/15/03 18:22:10 EST

Jim D.,

How big (Long)a piece of metal do you need to bend?
   Paw Paw - Saturday, 11/15/03 18:28:57 EST

PPW, whaddaya mean you gave my anvil to someone out west? Not that I'd paint it orange anyway, but tell Jock to get postin'! And yes, I had picked up on that streak, now that you mention it. (BG)
   Alan-L - Saturday, 11/15/03 20:06:14 EST

Oh, and congratulations to the lucky person. Darnit! Oh, well, I continue my undefeated record of NO iron-in-the-hat wins.
   Alan-L - Saturday, 11/15/03 20:19:15 EST

Paw Paw, I'm re-making the bottom of a door on a '62 dodge panel truck ( I've got a thing about panel trucks). The door is about 3' wide. I guess I could get away with something a little shorter, and use 2 pieces, but bigger is better, as I'm in the sign trade, and could use it for other projects.
   Jim Donahue - Saturday, 11/15/03 20:59:15 EST

Anivil ID
I picked this up (well I payd for it first) at an auction today does anyone have an idea where it may have been made, there are no markings and the top seems to be a welded plate....the rest is a casting with hand filed parting marks


   Mark P - Saturday, 11/15/03 22:15:34 EST

My History Day project is due around Christmas. It will be on colonial America, and how black smithing helped. I do have checkpoints for the project about once per week or two.
Thanks, John
   - John D - Saturday, 11/15/03 22:32:19 EST

Well, obviously a $1 bribe doesn't hold as much sway on an 8 year old as it used to....maybe a $20 next time. ;-) Congratulations Mike. You need to post a pic of Peddy in its' new home, once it settles in!

   eander4 - Saturday, 11/15/03 23:17:09 EST

Iron-in-the-Hat Anvil:

Okay; so I didn't win the anvil for my 54th birthday, today. One less thing I have to worry about- rearranging the forge for a huge Peddinhaus anvil. ;-) The mead horn is always half full, and more mead is always brewing!

Colonial Blacksmithing for History Day; John D:

Get ye to a library and try to lay ahold of the following books: Colonial Craftsmen [And the Beginnings of American Industry] by Edwin Tunis; The Blacksmith [Ironworker and Farrier] by Aldren A. Watson; The Colonial Craftsman by Carl Bridenbaugh; To Draw, Upset and Weld [the Work of the Pennsylvania Rural Blacksmith, 1742-1935] by Jeanette Lasansky; and, for a Western perspective, Southwestern Colonial Ironwork [The Spanish Tradition from Texas to California] by Marc Simmons and Frank Turley (Frank is one of the Gurus here). If they aren't in your local library, see if you can get an inter-library loan (ILL). Any two or three of these books will give you a good feel for the period, and the importance of the blacksmith to colonial society.

I'm sure others will chime in, now that we know which century we are dealing with. ;-)

What grade are you in and where are you located? Maybe we can refer you to one of the local Blacksmiths in your area.
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Saturday, 11/15/03 23:32:43 EST

Hello: My son is interested in studying gunsmithing. We have been told that there is a comprehensive list of schools in Brownell's catalogue, but we don't have one and don't know where to get a copy. Is there anywhere else we can find a list of schools? Thanks for any and all help.
   Jean Cavanagh - Saturday, 11/15/03 23:33:28 EST

Happy Birthday!! At 54, you're probably too old to be lugging around a monster like that anyway (VBG). Here's hopin' for 54 more good years!

Jean Cavanagh,
Brownells has a web site that should have what you're looking for. The address is:

Hope that helps.
   eander4 - Sunday, 11/16/03 00:45:14 EST

Shoot fire I know Mike
   Ralph - Sunday, 11/16/03 01:32:21 EST

Gunsmithing: Jean, See our calendar of Events Page, July 2004. Good place to start.

Note that modern gunsmithing is a completely different subject than making something like a black powder Kentucky Rifle from scratch. Building reproduction firearms is a multi skill subject that starts with basic blacksmithing and continues into advanced blacksmithing, then there is pattern making and casting, engraving, general machine shop skills PLUS the study of historical technology and the weapons themselves. This is strictly a self study curriculum. See our getting started page for suggestions in this vein.

Gunsmithing courses at various schools may also assume or have as prerequisites some basic machine shop experiance (engine lathe, mill, drill and precision tools). Like reading, writing and basic math skills these are rudimentary skills for numerous trades and can be acquired at many trade schools of community colleges.

   - guru - Sunday, 11/16/03 01:47:01 EST

Winner! Mike it is definitely you. If your end of the tickets have not yet arrived don't worry. I will start looking at shiping options next week. . . Unless you are prepared for a LONG road trip!

Thank you everyone that took part in our "Iron in the Hat". As usual most of the support came from a core group of folks most of whom's names I recognized.
   - guru - Sunday, 11/16/03 01:55:21 EST

Chop Saw: Wendy, You should only use your chop saw on ferrous metal. Copper will saw (by hand if necessary). Use a NEW coarse blade with lots of set to the teeth.
   - guru - Sunday, 11/16/03 02:00:09 EST

Never-Miss. . . Who said I never miss? I've missed work a lot and have ducked rebounding 3 pound hammers more than once. I haven't MARKED or chipped an anvil (yet). There is a big difference. Primarily it has to do with using properly crowned and radiused hammer faces. If you use a flat faced hammer it doesn't matter how smooth the corner radii are if you miss and strike the anvil it is probably going to mark the anvil. If you work off the side or end of tapers with part of the hammer off the work you will probably mark the anvil unless the hammer has very good radii. This kind of work should be done on a rounded edge of the anvil so that offending hammer corner is in space OFF the anvil surface.

How "marks" show is another thing. If you have a new or reground anvil these obvious grinding lines (most new anvils have them) then any blow to the face is going to flatten the ridges and make bright marks. A polished surface will show the least marks IF your hammers are equally well polished.
   - guru - Sunday, 11/16/03 02:13:34 EST

Mark's Block Anvil: a real odd-ball. I've never seen one like this before. I THINK it may be a sawyers anvil with added work surfaces. There are still a bunch of makers of sawyer's tools including anvils. Any one could have been a source.
   - guru - Sunday, 11/16/03 02:16:21 EST

Wendy; How big is that piece of copper ? Would it fit in a cheap miter box ? There's no law against using a hacksaw in a $2.98 plastic miter box. (I don't THINK the carpentry gods would smite you.)
   3dogs - Sunday, 11/16/03 04:33:13 EST

One of the books I got for my birth day was The Blakcsmith(iron worker and farrier) by Aldren A. Watson, but I will try to find some of the others. I am in 8th grade and i live in brimfield, massachusetts, but my school is in fiskdale, part of sturbridge.
   - John D - Sunday, 11/16/03 08:16:29 EST

Congrats Mike. You can probably make some of that shipping back by setting up a "pedding zoo" at the next hammer-in.
   timh - Sunday, 11/16/03 09:54:10 EST

Mark's Anvil,
I have seen an anvil similar to this in Peavy Mart. It looks like someone may have spent some time dressing it.
   JimG - Sunday, 11/16/03 10:05:10 EST

Jim D.

I've got a break that I built from scrap, but it's way too small for what you need. I don't have any pictures of it, but can probably take some, if I can find it.
   Paw Paw - Sunday, 11/16/03 11:43:46 EST

Paw Paw,

Thanks, I'd appreciate that. I also found a design on another site, a design I wasn't aware of, It has a long piece of metal with a machined edge that is forced down into a "groove" of another piece of metal by hydraulic jacks.

I'm kind of new to the 'net, so I don't know if it's appropriate to post someone else's web address, but I've got it, pretty neat site.
   Jim Donahue - Sunday, 11/16/03 12:06:47 EST


It's OK to post someone elses web address, IF they don't mind.

I'll try to find that brake today.
   Paw Paw - Sunday, 11/16/03 12:23:43 EST

Do yo think that making a foge out of an old grill will be effiecient? It already has a hole in the bottom that I want to put a grate over and use to blow the air in. Is there anything I could make that would be easy and would have been important in the colonial american period?
   - John D - Sunday, 11/16/03 12:51:43 EST

I currently reside in northern califorina, in a little twon called susanville
   ZERO_M_O_A - Sunday, 11/16/03 12:55:41 EST

Congratulations Mike- It's nice to see it went to a CSI member!
   SGensh - Sunday, 11/16/03 13:27:01 EST

zero moa- check the cba website, calsmith.org, i know a couple folks within a 2 hour drive from you who could front you some coal, probably work with you for an afternoon
   mike-hr - Sunday, 11/16/03 13:37:43 EST

Congratulations Mike, I concur that I'm mighty glad it went to a CSI member. I've already got a 200# Hey Buddy anyway (but company is always nice!)........maybe if Jock made out o.k. on this he might do it again...hint, hint....if not with a Peddy than with a Euro.....
   Ellen - Sunday, 11/16/03 13:56:27 EST

Forge From Grill: John, Generaly no. The flat sheet metal charcoal grill pans are too shallow and the metal is too thin. A forge fire must have some depth (4 to 8" [200-400mm]) and be shaped so that it doesn't spread horizontaly. Some forges had flat bottoms but they are very inefficient and designed for small work. The pan of a flat bottom forge gets very hot and it is easy to burn through.

If you put a fire pot in a large charcoal grill it will work. If you don't know what a fire pot looks like see the Kayne and Son forge parts page. You can make one if you have welding equipment. OR you can scrounge up an old automobile wheel or brake drum. These are roughly the right shape and size. See our plans page under brake drum forge and see the "My First Forge" article.
   - guru - Sunday, 11/16/03 14:07:58 EST

Colonial Stuff. . John, Easy to make and important do not necessarily go together. Typical beginner items are nails, S-hooks and J-hooks. For those of us that demonstrate at shows these are also the items that a practiced smith can make fast enough that folks will watch while you make the entire thing. I made about a dozen hooks yesterday and Whitesmith made a handfull of nails while demonstrating with Paw-Paw at Bethabara Park, Winston-Salem, NC.

After these a simple but important item is a steel striker for flint and steel fire starting kit. This must be made of hardenable steel then hardened and tempered. See our iForge demo by Smithin Scout.

Fire to keep warm in winter, nails to hold on shingles to keep you dry. . . pretty important stuff.

IF you REALLY want to test yourself, make your first fire without flint and steel, then use the fire to forge that steel so the next fire is easier to make. If you want the Colonial Era experiance make that forge fire with flint and steel every day. . . Yes, they might have brought a coal from the previous night's fire in house. . IF they had one, Do you?

See our Story Page articles, Blacksmith of 1776 and Revolutionary Blacksmith.
   - guru - Sunday, 11/16/03 14:37:31 EST

Jim Donahue,

A brake is relatively easy to make for sheet metal work. If you go to a loccal sheet metal shop and lok at a brake, you'll quickly see what you need to do to make one for your needs. The type you described is a press brake, and only does the angle that the die is made for. For body work or sign work, you're going to want to be able to fold and close seams and hems on sheet. For that, you need a platen-ltype brake.

This is one area where you can do all right by buying at Harbor Freight. They sella 48" fingeer brake for about $350 that will do everything you need to do and more. I know, because I had one from a similar outfit when I owned a sign company and also did some car restoration. I could use it as a letter brake to make pan channel letters, make electrical sign cabinets, etc.
   vicopper - Sunday, 11/16/03 19:38:16 EST

Congratulations, Mike!
   vicopper - Sunday, 11/16/03 19:39:19 EST

Dear Guru,
My recent interest restricts me because I have no forge. I do have access to a workshop. Can you suggest referances and projects for cold metal work or copper smithing?

Thomas Doucette
   Thomas Doucette - Sunday, 11/16/03 20:11:45 EST

I have a friend who is restoring an old Helfe (ve?) Hammer the brand is Hawkeye Mfg Co. from Cedar Rapids in Iowa.
Can anyone please give me some advce as to where we can get some advice photos, assembly instruction etc. Anything would be of Help.

The project is located in Ballarat (as in Gold rush !)in Victoria in Australia.

Many thanks.

Terry Charlton.
   Terry Charlton - Sunday, 11/16/03 20:55:18 EST

Hello. I was given an anvil the other day and would like to find out a little something about it. With the Horn to your right the side has written on it a Crown stamp, Then name "William Foster", a number 351. With the Horn to your left there are the numbers 0 3 15 which I presume to be the weight in hundredweight (99 lbs). I do not have any resources to look up the anvil and anything that you good people can tell me will be greatly appreciated.

The anvil has a 7/8" hardy hole and 1/2" pritchel hole. There are holes approximately 3/4" square and tapered on the 'neck' under the horn and heal. There is a 7/8" square hole dead center under the bottom of the anvil.

There is one problem...there is a hardy cutoff stuck/jammed in the hardy hole. How would one proceed to remove the hardy cut from the hole to prevent damage to the anvil?

Thanks in advance,
   - Dan - Sunday, 11/16/03 21:14:54 EST


William Foster anvils were manufactured in England, probably in Sheffield, though that is not certain. If you look carefully, I suspect that the 351 you see is actually 1851, which would be the year of manufacture. You are correct, the 0 3 15 is the weight in hundred weight and 99 pounds is also correct.

The holes under the horn, heel, and in the bottom are handling holes. Bars called "porter bars" were inserted into the holes to make it easier to move around when the white hot anvil was being forged into shape.

I took one hardy shank out of the hardy hole by first drilling through the shank from top to bottom, then using a cutting torch to cut from the center hole to a corner of the hardy hole. Then it was easy to "peel" the remnants out of the hole.
   Paw Paw - Sunday, 11/16/03 21:35:34 EST

I would like to know if there is a word for the color that metal gets when it is glowing, that bright red orange that you would see like in a movie after the iron has been heated when the blacksmith lays it on the anvil. Is there a word for the color itself, or the state of the metal?

Thank you :)
   perse - Monday, 11/17/03 00:55:46 EST

I'll give it a try thanks
   ZERO_M_O_A - Monday, 11/17/03 00:57:28 EST

I 'v got a question on anvils, What is the practicality of converting a railroad track to an anvil? Are they too soft or small?
   ZERO_M_O_A - Monday, 11/17/03 01:06:15 EST

RR track anvils are fine for forging jewelry.
Forging anything bigger is frustrating.....unless you get a pretty good length of track. Then you can stand it on end and use the butt end of the rail after grinding it smooth. That way you have all the mass of the rail right under your hammer where it belongs.
Even better would be to go to a junkyard and get a heavy shaft or slab to stand on end ( best is with the end sunk in the ground).
Most beginners think an anvil is necessary, but 90% of forging goes on in a few square inches.
Hardness only matters if you are going to work cold metal on the anvil.
But beware..once you start, you will wish for a bigger anvil till you die! Thought you should forwarned.
   - Pete F - Monday, 11/17/03 04:29:25 EST

Perse, Different countries have different names for the heat colors. Yataiki, a Japanese sawsmith, calls the color you describe as monkey butt red. In Western countries, "fruit flavors" are often used, but remember that all colors are arbitrary in smithing, as they keep changing, and everyday light conditions may alter their appearance. For instance, the incancescence on iron looks two to three heats darker in the sunlight when compared to ordinary shop light. Here's the way I see them and call them, from bright to dark, working with a coal fire:

Snowball. A welding heat of bright sparks, on wrought iron
Sparking heat or Full Welding Heat. A FEW sparks emitted
Sweating heat or Light Welding Heat. No sparks
Bright Lemon. Optimal forging heat for mild steel and A36
Bright Orange
Salmon or Bright Red
Bright Cherry Red
Medium Cherry Red
Low Cherry Red
Blood Red
Dark Red
Dull Red
Faint Red
The temperatures go from a sparking heat, about 2280F, to a faint red, 900F. And don't ever trust what you see in the movies.
   Frank Turley - Monday, 11/17/03 07:18:17 EST

and black can burn your little pinkies so don't grap it. I usually test that axiom about once a day and find it's still true.
   - L sundstrom - Monday, 11/17/03 08:54:53 EST

Heat Colors: More about ambient light. If you work outdoors in shade or on a lightly overcast day the light is still bright enough that you cannot detect color so much as the brightness of the heat. In the direct sunlight anything less than 2,000°F (Salmon red) has almost no color or light.

Many smiths will recommend checking the heat color under the forge hood but you still have the problem of your eyes are adjusted to the bright daylight. The heat treaters that made magnets by judging the quenching color did so in a dark room and only after their eyes had adjusted to the lighting (at least 15 minutes).

All the charts that give color names assume a normal indoor environment that is poorly lighted. A shop with lighting suitable do do fine machine work (it takes good light to read precision instruments) is too well lit for judging heat colors by the "standard". However, I PREFER a well lit shop as I do more than just forge in mine.

Smiths that do demos outdoors goo more by the feel of the steel than the color. A black heat that is a low red in "normal" shop light is well below a black heat in bright light.
   - guru - Monday, 11/17/03 08:54:52 EST

RR-Track Anvils: See our iForge demo on tools from RR rail and the FAQ on selecting an anvil.
   - guru - Monday, 11/17/03 08:56:24 EST

Paw-Paw, after reading your poem I think we should induct you as the "Official Guru's Den Poet Lariat" now to find a virtual lariat and a virtual tree...

Zero, there are instructions on making a chunk of rail into a anvil in Weygers "The Complete Modern Blacksmith" hie thee to a library and check it out! If they don't have a copy ask about ILL (Inter Library Loan).

But as was mentioned, blacksmiths suffer terribly from "anvil envy", got a friend who has about a 6' stack of anvils not being used; but that doesn't stop him from always looking for another! (Which annoys those of us with only 5'10" stacks...)

   Thomas P - Monday, 11/17/03 09:02:14 EST

Cold Metal Work: Thomas, Even working copper takes heat if you work it enough. If you plan on doing repousse or raising vessles all metals need to be annealed at some point. The metal work hardens as you bend or hammer it and eventually becomes brittle. You MAY be able to work copper to a finished project if it is annealed when you recieve it. Otherwise you need to be able to heat the piece to a very low red and quench it. If steel you use a brighter heat then bury it in ashes, lime or vermiculite (slow cool for steel, quench non-ferrous).

Then there is the matter of joining parts. Jewelers, silversmiths and copper smiths solder many things together.

The book by Dona Meilach, Decorative and Sculptural Ironwork (see our review) has a section on raising a brass vessle, forging brass and other non-ferrous work but it is a minor part of the book. Look for works on silversmithing. All the techniques are the same for copper. Also repousse'. Although repousse' can be done in any ductile metal it is most commonly done in copper and brass.
   - guru - Monday, 11/17/03 09:07:04 EST

I was on your site before, and you had a formula page, and an easy calculator for the making of cones. I was wondering if you couold direct me to the on-line calculator, as I can't seem to find it. Thank you for you time.
   Chad Handy - Monday, 11/17/03 09:29:08 EST

Cones and More: Chad, the formulas are on the 21st Century page AND also linked to our popup calculator on the drop-down menu titled Mass3j.
   - guru - Monday, 11/17/03 09:51:40 EST

Guru, just a bit more on colour: we were forging outdoors at the MOB meeting and as the daylight faded I had to remind the new fellow that the colour he was seeing now was really much colder than that colour "was" when the ambient light was greater.

So lets catagorize this:

Colour is used to judge the temperature of the steel

Everyone sees colours differently

Colours show differently under different light conditions

*Experience* allows a smith to correlate colour to metal softness to temperature (and different alloys work differently at the same temperature)

(Experience is a shorthand term for making enough mistakes to have learned a bit from them)

   Thomas P - Monday, 11/17/03 10:25:19 EST

congrats Mike ! :)

does anyone know how to reverse the rotation on cap start motor? I used but forgot - my bandsaw motor runs the wrong way. No problem on the blades, just turn them inside out but I can use the little table.
   adam - Monday, 11/17/03 10:48:29 EST

William Foster anvil.

Thanks Paw Paw for the information on the anvil. It did appear that there was once more to the front of the number 351 but has worn off. I will try your suggestion on how to remove the hardy shank.

Thanks again,

   - Dan - Monday, 11/17/03 11:19:42 EST

Dan, Use a scotchbrite pad to clean the area of the date, and then do a rubbing of the area. You'll be surprised at how much more detail you may be able to read.
   Paw Paw - Monday, 11/17/03 12:22:26 EST

All the talk of color brings this question to mind. Most of the things (S, J, Drive hooks) I'm doing to improve my skills are done in relativly small mild steel, new and junkyard. I've been making sure the piece I'm working with is non-magnetic before trying to shape, bend, twist it. Do I need to be letting it get this hot? My biggest concerns are damaging a tool or picking up a bad habit.
   - Aksmith - Monday, 11/17/03 12:51:10 EST

Reversing 1PH Motors: Adam, remove the connections cover and there SHOULD be a diagram. Most of the motors I have it is on the ID plate. The method varies but usualy involves swaping wire #2 with wire #5. The groups vary according to the voltage (120 or 240).

On a fractional HP Dayton motor the instructions of the tag say swap blue with white, and yellow with orange to reverse.

Both the instructions above are brand dependant and likely to burn up other motors. Also note that many 1PH motors made for specific applications are not reversable.

When I was building machinery I stuck to Baldor motors for everything. The result was that when wired to our (my) shop standard every 3PH motor rotated the correct direction the first time and I could use the same diagram for reversing switches on 1PH (difficult to do).

Most manufacturers will be glad to FAX you an instruction sheet if they do not have a web page. If you have a Chinese machine with a Chinese motor you had better learn Chinese OR replace the motor.
   - guru - Monday, 11/17/03 13:03:17 EST

Aksmith, Th non-magnetic point is way too low to start forging. In mild steel you want as hot a heat as you can get that is not liquid on the surface or sparking. In most light this is a bright yellow. In alloy tool steels the max forging temperature is lower, a bright orange. Generaly if you are using a gas forge the maximum temperature is OK.

Not soaking the steel for a long time is more critical than how hot it is.
   - guru - Monday, 11/17/03 13:18:53 EST

Guru, E-mail to you
   mike-hr - Monday, 11/17/03 13:29:53 EST

Guru, thanks. This is a GE and like most of my motors, it was scavenged from the local landfill. Before you scoff, note that all landfill acquisitions come with an unconditional, lifetime , full money back gaurantee! :) I will check out the GE web page - good idea. I think the principle is to reverse the order of the cap and the winding but I dont know how to do that w/o a diagram

It's cold and sunny here in NM. We are havng the house painted - was supposed to take two weeks - they are now startng into their 5th week.
   adam - Monday, 11/17/03 14:18:04 EST

are rail road tracks good for anvils? If they are, at my cousins house(he lives near my grandfathers sawmill-there is alot of scrape metal there) there are about 5pieces that are all at least twenty feet long. How should I cut it?
   - John D - Monday, 11/17/03 15:30:23 EST

How hot should the fire be before you put coal in it? (my brother is John D)
   - Ben D - Monday, 11/17/03 15:36:57 EST

Dang Nabbit, I've misplaced the contact info for the fellow who was selling the deep drawing sheetmetal at Quad-State---sort of as a replacement for "Pure-Iron".

If any of you have his contact info can you e-mail it to me?

   Thomas P - Monday, 11/17/03 16:13:44 EST

Caveat Emptor. A vise clamp just sold on eBay for $157.49. It is not too unlike the one that "Kayne and Son" sells. # 3253441181. Kayne calls theirs a chamfering vise. See Kayne's catalog, no. 555.
   Frank Turley - Monday, 11/17/03 18:08:50 EST

John D and Ben D,

John leave the rail road track as long as possible and bury enough of it into the ground with a big rock under it or a flat piece of metal, so that it reaches the bottem of a clenched fist at a normal stance. A six foot section should be just fine.

Ben, do you mean how large of a hot coal base do you need to start coal? You can do experimental forging with raw wood, you don't need coal. Cut the wood into about 2" X 2" or up to 4" X 4" squares, you will need about 3 - 5, buckets of them for a good sesion. You can use sticks and such but that makes it a little harder to get the fire set up right.

For an easy to build forge that will work good with raw wood. Take a small centrifugal fan(also known as hamster wheel) and hook it up to a pipe. Lay the pipe(about 4" long) on the ground at a slight incline(pile some dirt under it). Then take a bunch of more dirt and make a mound around the end of a pipe, it should look like an inverted volcano with the end of the pipe exposed at the bottem of the V. The mound should be about 8" high(this can be easily adjusted, make sure that the dirt is packed very well. The diameter should about 1' to 1'6" at the top of the ring/mound, it would help to wet and pack the skin of the mound and let it dry. Put some paper and kindling in the bottem of the tapered hole that you have made, light it and start adding wood until you have a mound of wood chunks piled above the rim. You can start the fire with the help of the fan, but after the fire is going well turn it off to burn off the vapor of the wood, there will be a LOT of smoke if you do it this way. You can also keep the fan going and keep on adding wood until there is a glowing mass of coals in the dirt fire pot. Then put some metal in it with the fan on and in no time you will have some VERY hot metal that can be easily formed by hammering. Warning this is not just playing with fire, this is using fire as a tool, a fire that is much hotter than one in a fireplace. Have parental supervision, wear gloves, wear saftey glasses, a cotton shirt, denim pants, have a lot of water around and a burn kit, aloe is very good for a burn. Dont touch black metal unless you KNOW it is cool, test be dipping it in water and listen for a hiss, if you still don't know if it is hot leave it in the water for a while.

Check out I-Forge demos: #6, #20, #39(they needed these to control horses), #50, #51, #66, #69 and #74.

Most importantly go to your local(or school) library and check out the books that they have on blacksmithing. Ask the librarians for help, they are research experts!

Be safe, have fun and learn.

Caleb Ramsby
   Caleb Ramsby - Monday, 11/17/03 18:20:21 EST

GURU On the subject of colors, I am going to start using my coal forge again after only using my gas forge for a while. I am comfortable with judging colors in the gas forge now, but had always had trouble with the coal forge. My coal forge sits in a fairly darkened area except that I have an 8 Ft. wide garage door(solid with no lights) right beside it and when I open it for ventilation it is a scource of bright light. I think I now understand that when I look into that door I may be messing up my ability to look back at the hot metal and judge its heat. If it takes time for eyes to readjust, as intimated here, That may account for some of my past problems. Is this correct?
   JOHN M. - Monday, 11/17/03 18:35:20 EST

Anvils - this is a very broad question and i probably do not expect a exact answer, but here goes. "How much would an anvil 4ft long by 10 inches wide(face) by about 2.5 foot high weigh?????????" These are the measurements my brother gave me of the old anvil on the family farm. Just really wondering if he was on drugs when he measured it. thanks cheers
   banjo - Monday, 11/17/03 21:24:52 EST

ZERO & other RR rail anvil fans

I'm a big advocate of the junk yard anvil. You can find really good shafting for pennies per pound rather than dollars per pound for a real anvil looking anvil.

(is this deja vue all over again?)
   Jerry Crawford - Monday, 11/17/03 21:34:41 EST

We own a 120 year old house in Georgia and we found two Cahill Andirons in an old shed. How old would they be?

   Rob - Monday, 11/17/03 21:44:02 EST

banjo: the proportions sound funny. mine is a largish American pattern 36x 12" with a 5.5" wide face. Your brother's hallucination, erm.... recollecton ... would have been an extremely squat looking 1000lb'er or somesuch weight. I dont think it's the drugs - there's a law of physics which says that the further back the recollection, the larger the anvil grows. I did see an 800lb'er at a Bob Larisons shop (sp?) in Santa Fe. It did have squatter proportions than mine but not whole lot. I didnt take measurements (did your brother? :) ) Bob rescued it from a welding shop where it had been used as a cutting table. The real problem is that anvils that size are quite rare.
   adam - Monday, 11/17/03 22:14:43 EST

This may have been on the Pub some ago, but I do not remember -- When did wrought iron manufacturing decline in the U.S.? An old bridge, from circa 1900, is scheduled to be replaced in a year or so -- what are the chances it is wrought iron versus the modern stuff? Thanks for your help.
   Milt - Monday, 11/17/03 23:20:53 EST

adam working on exact measurements (stay tuned) he did say however it was the biggest anvil he had ever seen and would have to go on a 2 tonne truck not back of ute????????? lets see
   banjo - Tuesday, 11/18/03 00:03:33 EST

how do you think i could make a dagger/knife out of a piece of round 1/2 inch stock? should i hammer it flat or is there some special way to make it look good? and by the way, i did my first twist a few days ago on a drive hook! i was very excited and was surprised at how easy it was.
emin muil
   emin muil - Tuesday, 11/18/03 00:06:12 EST

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