WELCOME to the anvilfire Guru's Den - V. 3.3

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 8 - 15, 2009 on the Guru's Den
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Heat treating:
I made my first wood chisel from scratch today, from a leaf spring. I am currently in the University of Hard Knocks, 101 :-). I quenched in water, vertically. It was a long chisel so I dipped the lower 3 inches, cleaned the slag, and planned to watch the heat go down for temporing, and then quench again. I noticed that the chisel bent, and unfortunitly since one end was still hot I tapped it with a hammer. Ooops :-( broke the end off. I noticed that the grain was very course. Questions: How do I keep from bending the chisel? Why was the grain so large?

Thank you for all your help.
   milton - Sunday, 11/08/09 16:25:11 EST

Milton, Warping from quenching is the result of shape (uneven thicknesses), uneven heating, forging technique (working unevenly heated metal too long). . OR just plain contrariness of the metal.

Large grain is the result of holding at heat too long OR quenching at too high a temperature.

Grain growth from holding at too high a temperature too long can be cured by heating UP to the A3 point (approximately non-magnetic) temperature and allowing to cool. Then when hardening gently heat UP to that point and quench in the proper quenchant.

Never, heat above the hardening point and let cool to that point prior to quenching. Always heat UP to that point. This is called a "rising" heat.

For spring steels an oil quench is often recommended. For oil or water quench the quenchant should be warmed about room temperature to prevent shock or cracking.

See our FAQ on using Junk Yard Steels.
   - guru - Sunday, 11/08/09 17:42:24 EST

I think most auto springs are 5160..which should definately be quenched in warm oil.
Also clean the slag before or after HT not during.
Good luck
   - arthur - Sunday, 11/08/09 18:13:23 EST

I just bought an anvil and Im trying to find out who made it and possibly when.It says Wright on it,but doesnt say Peter or Henry.The numbers on the waist are 0 3 L3.It has a square hole running horizontal through the waist and one in the bottom running vertical.Someone else suggested that the L might be the corner of the stamp.Hope someone can help me out on this one
   Casey Alexander - Sunday, 11/08/09 19:24:16 EST

Casey, See Hundred Weight Calculator The L is probably misreading a 1.

The holes in the body probably do not pass through. Those are handling holes for porter bars or special tongs.

If you cannot read the marking then clean with a wire brush then make a "rubbing" using tracing paper of heavy wrapping tissue and charcoal or a large soft pencil held on its side. Often a rubbing will show details that you cannot otherwise see.

All the features you list indicate it is a British anvil. This means it could be one of hundreds of makes.
   - guru - Sunday, 11/08/09 19:38:45 EST

I have a pretty good finish for my ironwork when made in the shop (primer/finish/etc). What do you recommend for a "travel finish" that can be applied quickly at a demo. I have been brushing the work and spraying with industrial enamel spray paint but I know that this is a poor finish at best. Any suggestions for a more durable finish that can be applied in front of a crowd?
   - Nathan - Monday, 11/09/09 08:47:09 EST

Nathan, This is tough. I carried flat black spray paint for between demos and a beeswax and turps for immediate use. Barbecue black for fireplace items. Often immediate sale items are wire brushed by hand and handed to the customer. I'd tell them to oil or paint the item if it went outdoors. Its about all you can do.
   - guru - Monday, 11/09/09 10:54:47 EST

that's what I figured.
keep up the great work!!
   - Nathan - Monday, 11/09/09 12:59:31 EST

Junkyard Steels:

One of my friends from the Naval Air Station came by with the metal skid off a glider to add to my scrap pile of useful stock. When the skidplate thins from 1/4" to 1/8" they are routinely replaced.

"So, Bruce; what sort of steel is it?"

"It's A-36; sort of the modern equivalent of mild steel."

"Wow! How do you know that?"

"Somebody wrote 'A-36' on the back of the plate in bright yellow paint."


Sunny and mild on the banks of the Potomac. Preparing for Camp Fenby Open Forge this Saturday.

Visit your National Parks: www.nps.gov

Go viking: www.longshipco.org
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Monday, 11/09/09 14:47:14 EST

Irish Trinity symbol---must be the shamrock used by St Patrick himself to explain the trinity to the Irish people!

Cole Drills have been discussed here before.

They are handy for drilling harder steels as you can increase the pressure a lot and it's a slow speed on the drill bit. They are also nice in that you can keep one in the truck behind the seat and use it when you may be a long way from an electric source. "Old Man"---cause it gets old fast cranking one through thick steel!

Fast demo finishes: I like parafin wax: cheap, nontoxic and helps make the piece feel smoother to the touch.

Atli; you are in a moist area as I recall---keeping the ship in a place a bit less wet than the swamp. I would think of putting the floor high enough to be able to have *good* air flow under it and make sure all screening is sturdy---gravel screens would work well.

   Thomas P - Monday, 11/09/09 16:19:02 EST

I agree with Thomas. Only last night I was being filmed by a TV crew. Made a hook and a nail to use on it. So I coated it with what I would call candle wax and gave it to the girl doing the interviews. I save any wax that drips off candles and any ends and then melt it down and cast it into a block. Then just rub that onto a slightly warmed prodouct.
   philip in china - Monday, 11/09/09 17:20:35 EST

Heat Treating,

Thank you for the help on making my chisel. I know I have read multiple times how to do this, but it is amazing how much you have to really know and practice to pull it off.

Looking on the color chart I deffinately heated the steel too high before quenching. So I understand correctly: I am looking for around 1400 degrees farenheit before I quench? Does temp/medium of the quenchant effect bending, or just cracking?

On the bending at heat treat. I know everything is relative, but I am trying to get a referance. Lets assume it bent from forging stress. I only slightly forged the bevels in on the three edges. I started to say I do not think that would have made a differance, but in hind sight the chisel bent on its flat side, so now I am not so sure. In general do I have to be very concerned about forging equally on all sides, or just mildly?

In the future, if something bends, do you heat it back up, straighten, and reheat treat, or would you try to overbend?

Thank you.
   milton - Monday, 11/09/09 17:35:38 EST

Where can I get plans for the Macdonald Rooling Mill? I've tried to get in touch with Larson Books and have gotten no reply.

Also, what type of steel would you use for the rollers?
   mike s - Monday, 11/09/09 18:25:39 EST

Milton: If You do the "blacksmith normalise" before hardening, straighten the part then. After hardening but before tempering is the time when the steel is most vulnerable. Don't mess with it then, temper while You can barely touch it [150f]. While at tempering temperature, You might be able to straighten a little bit, particularly if You are tempering at fairly high temperatures [blue color range].

Tempering for a full hour at temperature in an oven with a thermostat is a good method.

A wood chisel should remain pretty hard for finish work, temper about 400f for the cutting end.
   - Dave Boyer - Monday, 11/09/09 20:55:22 EST

Milton, Depending on the steel blacksmiths use the non-magnetic point for hardening. Heat until a magnet stops sticking, then quench. This is correct for 60 point and above steels. Lower carbon steels need a little higher heat.

If done right there should not be too much or any warp. As Dave noted you want to temper ASAP. A small toaster oven gets hot enough for many tempers and can hold a 400 to 500 F point long enough to get a through temper.

The quenchant type generally does not cause warping but how the part is put into the quench and the movement afterwards (a swirling or mixing motion is recommended) can make a difference. On blades and flat items quenching on a flat will pull the steel to one side while the other is still hot and plastic. The result is a serious warp. So can the induced stresses I mentioned previously. So, for each shape there is an optimum quench entry and motion. But obsessionally warping happens no matter what. But understanding it can help
   - guru - Monday, 11/09/09 21:43:14 EST

Mike, I will write to Hugh McDonald for you. But I suggest you call Norm. His number is on our Getting Started page I think.

   - guru - Monday, 11/09/09 21:45:19 EST

Thanks Guru!
   mike s - Tuesday, 11/10/09 05:40:08 EST

If you're going to stick with the leaf spring, quench in oil. It will get the job done, but is slightly slower and less harsh than water. If no oil, heat the water till it's tepid or luke warm. Many wood tools with cutting edges can be tempered to a copper color or purple.
   Frank Turley - Tuesday, 11/10/09 11:50:20 EST

Here is a paper on heat treating for smiths on the Houston Area Blacksmith site: http://habairon.org/Aug09/Basic%20Heat%20Treating%20for%20Blacksmiths.pdf
   quenchcrack - Tuesday, 11/10/09 12:09:44 EST

Hi all. Does anyone have a suggestion for what would be the best way to drill a 1/4 inch hole into a small chunk of granite without cracking it? I want to use it as a base for a small candle holder, but am hesitant to use an impact drill.
   Craig - Tuesday, 11/10/09 18:27:25 EST

Heat Treating
Many Thanks to all who helped me understand this more. With multiple answers I realize several mistakes I made.
   milton - Tuesday, 11/10/09 18:41:09 EST

Milton, if You only take the last 1" above critical temperature when hardening, You will have less warpage. I t will take a lot of use & sharpening to use up an inch of a chisel if You sharpen mostly with hand stones.
   - Dave Boyer - Tuesday, 11/10/09 22:03:50 EST

Craig, Why not use a regular carbide tip masonry drill bit in a conventional electric drill? Maybe start with a smaller bit and work up.
   Carver Jake - Wednesday, 11/11/09 10:22:38 EST

I think carbide bits run at high speed in a drill press work but I am not sure. The press insures lots of pressure.

Many years ago I had a friend that made match holders from blocks of black granite that he drilled 1" diameter holes about 2" deep. Since it was being done in a machine shop I think coolant was flooding the work. He made a big deal over having "invented" the process he used. . . so apparently it was not too terribly easy.
   - guru - Wednesday, 11/11/09 11:45:08 EST

They make carbide "glass and tile" bits. I'd describe them as spade bits with sort of an eliptical point. That's what I'd try first if I were doing it. No impact, of course.
   Mike BR - Wednesday, 11/11/09 11:53:39 EST

I have a piece of s-7 that I want to make a planishing hammer out of. What should I quench it in. Thanks
   tinker - Wednesday, 11/11/09 18:18:15 EST

I drilled some 1/2" holes in granite using a regular good quality masonry bit in a drill press. I was amazed how quickly it drilled. It was MUCH faster than some drilling that I had done with a hammer drill in granite that came from the same area.
   - JNewman - Wednesday, 11/11/09 19:41:08 EST

Tinker-S7: Air quench from 1725f. Temper at 400f or a little higher.
   - Dave Boyer - Wednesday, 11/11/09 19:45:11 EST

Help! I need to upset a 1 inch square bar for a project. any suggestions??
Thanks in advance! Kia
   Kia - Thursday, 11/12/09 09:36:38 EST

That's a question that makes me ask even more questions. How much upset? How wide? DO you need the upset the be at the end or the middle? So on.....
   - Nippulini - Thursday, 11/12/09 10:15:33 EST

Upsetting: As Nip noted, your question needs to be defined better.

If the bar is long enough its own mass can be used to create the upset. Heat and thrust it downward onto an anvil on the floor, upsetting block. . . something massive at a convenient height. This works with bars 3 foot long and longer up to where it is difficult to handle. Long bars can be guided by an overhead support if you have space.

If you have a swage block with a slightly loose 1" hole and the piece is long enough the block can be used to support the part over an anvil. The minimum shank without cutting it off would be the thickness of the swage block OR you could put a cut off piece in the hole to shorten the hole depth. To make the distance longer raise the block or lower the anvil. With the work well supported the upset is relatively easy to make with a sledge. Note that holes with a heavy radius on the corners are best for making upsets.

If you do not have the right size/shape hole in a block make a bolster plate to fit.

For other ways using a swage block see Swage Block How-to"
   - guru - Thursday, 11/12/09 10:53:49 EST

More Upsetting: If making a heavy upset the tendency is for the metal to mushroom. To prevent this you need to have a good through heat and dress the end of the bar to a crown or rounded end. When struck this focuses the force into the center of the bar.

If you know the mass needed then do the math. How much bar do you need to upset? If you start short you cannot get there and will waste a lot of time and energy.

If you need a large mass then cool the stuck end so that the upset starts farther down the bar or where supported. After the bar end of the upset is near full size then the end can be reheated and worked into the upset.

Also note that starting large and drawing out a shank can be easier than creating the mass on a smaller bar.
   - guru - Thursday, 11/12/09 11:23:43 EST

sorry for not being very specific.. i'm trying to upset the end of an 1 inch square. i will need to upset about an inch and a half of it. the bar is about 26 inches long.
I tried to "smash" it onto a thick steel plate on the floor. is there another way to do this?
   Kia - Thursday, 11/12/09 14:03:13 EST

Kia, You are still not being clear. Upset into what shape? How big? How heavy a plate on the floor? Heavy is relative. A piece of 1" thick plate 2 feet square is "heavy" but it is not the kind of compact mass that makes it an anvil. What tools do you have available?

That length of bar weighs 7.4 pounds. About the weight of a light sledge. A little light for upsetting but not too light to do the job. This size would be upset on the anvil top using good gloves in the event your hand slip.

Other ways. . see my posts and links above. Lots of ways with a swage block or bolster plate. Many anvils have 1" hardy holes and a few clear the foot so that a long piece could be rested on a block on the floor.

I upset small stock clamped in the vise. Heavy stock like this would take a very heavy vise.

I've seen quite a bit of upsetting done sideways so that the sledge can be swung like a golf club. Takes a heavy anchor such as a weld platten to back up the work.
   - guru - Thursday, 11/12/09 14:35:55 EST

If you upset using the bar as the weight down onto a plate, the bar will upset a bit up from the end of the bar - not so much mushroom. If you upset using a hammer, it will tend to upset more at the end, causing mushrooming. Use to suit your need.
   david bernard - Thursday, 11/12/09 18:07:27 EST

Question - Mounting of a firepot.

I'm assembling my permanent forge using a steel shelf as a base then covering it with a layer of bricks, and when looking at other forges I didn't twig onto whether the lip of the firepot rests on the bricks of the table. Or does the lip go below the bricks?

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ssssssssfff fffssssssss fff fff
f f sssssff ffssssss
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Fire pot on bricks or under bricks

Some insight or opinion would be appreciated.

A warm (for a Nov. eve) North of the Lake Ontario.

   Don - Thursday, 11/12/09 18:57:41 EST

Ref: My question about fire pot location; the text diagram I tried posting fialed miserably my apologies.

   Don - Thursday, 11/12/09 19:02:28 EST

Don, My opinion is to forget the bricks on top. Just drop the firepot into the properly sized, steel hearth cavity and line the hearth with concrete, a cement and sand mix. The lining won't be all that thick; it will be level with the pot flange. If the forge is permanent, use the bricks for the base and chimney leaving an opening underneath for the ash dump.

Many manufactured hearths were about 24" x 30", and the firepot location was eccentric of center, a little to the left of center if you're right handed. That leaves a wider area on the right side of the hearth for extra coal and fire tools.
   Frank Turley - Thursday, 11/12/09 19:26:00 EST

Hi Folks
I am looking for a source to purchase brass or bronze bar stock that has linear type knurling. Looking in sizes 3/8" and smaller. Even an extruded pattern on the od of stock may be workable as well. I checked Mcmaster Carr, Grainger, Thomas Register and internet with no luck. Hoping someone may know a stone to look under I had not found. Not enough hours in day or enough profit if I stop to anneal and knurl stock. Thanks in advance.
   - Bob Woods - Thursday, 11/12/09 22:56:33 EST

Knurled Rod Bob, I've never seen such material. The closest thing I have seen is drawn bronze gear stock. Note, I have SEEN it, but not a source for it.

However, the way to make what you want is not by lathe knurling but by drawing or pushing through a die. The die could swage the grooves OR cut them. Cutting them would not require annealing and take about the same force. If you do not need very long lengths then they could be pushed through a cutting die with an arbor press. This would be very fast once the dies are made and setup.
   - guru - Friday, 11/13/09 02:10:51 EST

Bob, you should look at Lewis Brass, at www.lewisbrass.com
they stock quite a few specialty brass products, although mostly tubing, not solid, but they have reeded, rope style, and various other knurled looking brass round tubing, as small as 3/8" OD.
Depending on the length you need, there may be some lamp parts that will do what you want as well.
Unfortunately, the wholesale lamp industry has "consolidated" a lot in the last 30 years- in other words, moved to china. The main remaining wholesaler is American DeRosa, which carries some brass tubing and parts, but is tough to buy small quantities from.
Another possibility would be to have some small lengths made to order on a cnc lathe. There is a company in NYC, Liberty Brass, which makes small brass parts for the lighting and decorative furniture industries- they have some stock parts, and will make most anything custom, with a large CNC machine shop exclusively devoted to small decorative brass parts.
   - Ries - Friday, 11/13/09 12:14:24 EST

Thank You Gents
   - Bob Woods - Friday, 11/13/09 19:46:12 EST

I found drawn bronze gear stock. Not what I need. Source could be useful to someone. bostongear.com
   - Bob Woods - Friday, 11/13/09 22:04:42 EST

Hmmp, I've used the Boston Gear catalogs for decades and bought thousands of dollars of their products (gears and boxes) and did not notice the drawn stock. The stuff I saw was a variety of sizes in 12 foot lengths that had been scrapped and donated to the welding program at a Community College. Ranged from small pinons up to 1" gear stock.
   - guru - Friday, 11/13/09 22:11:35 EST

Grooved Stock: They make wooden dowels with broached grooves. Same dies might work for a limited amount of brass.
   - guru - Friday, 11/13/09 22:13:15 EST

Hail Guru and or helper. I am brand new to Blacksmithing. I'm fifteen. I have income. I am looking to build a coal forge. Honestly, I don't have any experience with metal working. I've been researching diligently though. If you could point me to some blueprints, that would be great. I have a good idea of how to do it. I'm incredibly excited about Blacksmithing, I am hoping to start learning some of the basics soon! Any other advice/reads/guides you could point me towards. Well, I'd like that.
   Elijah - Saturday, 11/14/09 03:47:59 EST

Welcome to the world of blacksmithing. Have a peek at the plans page, available on this site by clicking on the navigate bar, upper right of this page. Also read the FAQ's for lots more good info, including how to get started.
Please always use safty in the shop. If you don't have a set, the FIRST tools you need are a set of real safety glasses, and earplugs for when you are making lots of noise.
Good lucj
   ptree - Saturday, 11/14/09 07:47:56 EST

And to be awake when you post. . . .

Coal Forges vary greatly from a pit in the ground to classic brick forges that cost as much as an automobile.

First, are you sure about coal? Coal is becoming more and more difficult to obtain other than ordering it by the bag and having it shipped by UPS. Local coal supplies may not be suitable as there are infinite grades of coal and only the best are really suitable for blacksmithing without a lot of frustrations.

If you are going to use local coal I recommend that you build the cheapest possible forge (such as the brake drum forge on our plans page) and test the coal. Buy a bag of good coal and compare the two. Then decide if you are going to continue with coal.

You can also burn charcoal (real lump 100% wood) in a "coal" forge. This is available at restaurant supplies and some big box stores. Briquettes are NOT satisfactory.

The best modern coal forges are built with a cast firepot and matching tuyere coupled to a commercial blower (see our advertisers). The firepot is simply set into the end of a 24 x 30" or larger steel table made with a 1/4" to 3/8" thick top.

The table is built on an angle iron frame made of 2 x 2 x 1/4" angle or larger and has a 2" rim around the edge of the plate to help keep coal from falling off. Attached next to the firepot is a side draft "hood" such as the "super sucker" hood on our plans page.

Some smiths like larger square forges without a rim, others with a deeper rim. Much of the extra space is for coal reserve.

   - guru - Saturday, 11/14/09 10:29:04 EST

Charcoal fires,
I have used exclusively charcoal which I make myself. I am new, currently mostly forging my own tools. I have some questions on reducing/oxidizing fires, and I guess the other side of that is air control. It appears to me there is no reserve with charcoal, meaning if I add more charcoal my fire is very soon bigger. It starts extremely easy. one small piece of paper, a little charcoal, and I have a fire. I got a warm enough fire to melt my first forge :-). I am trying to figure out when I have a reducing fire, or oxidizing fire. And part of that is when is it most efficent. On efficency I was curious if anyone experimented with fire brick. I can place them over my fire so I have an oven, though I leave some crackes for ventilation. It appears, but I am not sure, when I am forging most of the day, I use less fuel. It takes longer to get my first heat, but after that I think I use less fuel. It is hard for me to tell, because I am new, and most of my charcoal is from pallets, so I have various woods.

Thank you for your help. Milton
   Milton - Saturday, 11/14/09 15:47:39 EST

Milton, The character of coal and charcoal fires is very different. In a coal fire the volatiles that gas off use up and replace a lot of oxygen. In a charcoal fire the oxygen must be used up.

In a deep charcoal fire the gases are CO and free carbon. The free carbon glows red/orange and burns off above the fire as a blue flame.

Anything less than a very deep charcoal fire is fairly oxidizing.

Enclosing your fire helps hold the gases in including the CO. A technique commonly used with both coal and charcoal is a "fire tube", a cast iron or steel pipe 6 to 8" tall that is supported on the top of the fire and filled with fuel. The gases coming off the top of the tube are very hot and can be used for brazing and welding without burying the work in the fire. Much small delicate work was done this way.
   - guru - Saturday, 11/14/09 18:49:51 EST

I have found a couple of old cement mixers. The thought came to me that the drum can be turned sideways, lined with clay, etc. and used as a coal forge. There would be an upward slope from the opening to the bottom, placing a chimney at the back should vent heat, smoke. Any thoughts ?
   Mike T. - Saturday, 11/14/09 18:58:13 EST

Mike, Forges are too easy to build compared to cement mixers. Even if they need repairs they are more valuable for other things.

In the metal working shop they have been used as tumblers for finishing parts. A very handy task. While not the ideal tumbler they DO work and are cheaper than tumblers (thus much more valuable than a forge).

Just my thoughts. . .
   - guru - Saturday, 11/14/09 19:43:03 EST

I agree with Guru. I would fix up those 2 mixers, keep 1 and sell or trade the other. I use concrete a lot in my work and a mixer is a wonderful thing to have around. My current one is, actually, a little too big for a lot of jobs but does get a lot of use. It has more than paid for itself and is still as good as new. Just takes a 50Kg bag of cement plus the appropriate rock and sand to make a good mix. Will do that all day.
   philip in china - Saturday, 11/14/09 20:20:56 EST

BTW Guru that reminds me. To make a quick fix base for an anvil I filled an old square cistern with concrete and bromen cast iron vices. It works very well- adds over 200 pounds of mass to the equation. I seemed, however, to remember that you don't favour concrete bases. What is the reason?
   philip in china - Saturday, 11/14/09 20:23:22 EST

Concrete: For many applications that folks want to use concrete it is weak and much less dense than most people think. At 1/2 the density of steel it is not a substitute. Your adding broken castings to the mix increases the average density quite a bit.

Concrete shrinks and becomes loose inside containers it is cast in. During the drying period (years) it also loses density. It is great for the things it is normally used for but a short life product when used for non-standard applications.
   - guru - Sunday, 11/15/09 01:24:28 EST

For anvil bases I like something portable. . .
   - guru - Sunday, 11/15/09 01:25:44 EST

On those concrete mixers. . . While many come with small gasoline engines they can also be run on small electric motors.
   - guru - Sunday, 11/15/09 01:42:15 EST

I made a small, portable forge and I need help deciding where to put the hole for the gas torch. Details and pictures here: http://dothacker.omghax.ca/index.php?topic=529

I could put the hole through the bottom so it points at the entrance hole, handle side up, or in the side so it sits shiny side down and the heat will circulate as it rises. I will add refractory after the hole is drilled. Any thoughts? Much appreciated, thanks.
   Chris - Sunday, 11/15/09 02:03:45 EST

Small Forge: Chris, If this is a micro forge and the "torch" is attached to a propane bottle then the position of the hole must be such that the torch will work. When full the liquid fuel will get into the neck if the bottle is more than a 30 degree angle and when low on fuel at anything less than 45 degrees. So the location of the torch and bottle are determined primarily by the physics of the bottle and valve.

Coming UP from the bottom is bad because grit and scale can fall into the burner. So somewhere on the side is best. You do not want the burner pointing toward the door as this directs the heat OUT.

Also note that every burner must have a certain exhaust area. Closing the door will either put out the torch OR blow hot gases back past the torch and melt the brass burner.

To prevent melting the torch it should not be attached to the forge OR protrude past the surface of the shell. It should just point at the hole in the side of the forge. The hole through the refractory should taper open toward the inside of the forge so that it does not create a back pressure.

Nice job so far.
   - guru - Sunday, 11/15/09 03:03:52 EST

I have a very large anvil (like 4 guys to lift it) that is rusty ,anything wrong with me buffing off the rust and then just heating up parts of it and coating it with oil ?
im just starting out
   ray - Sunday, 11/15/09 10:13:37 EST

Ray, The original rust and scale when oiled helps slow future rust. Removing that old coating leaves a bare surface that needs more protection if you want to keep it from rusting.

Heat above 400°F should not be used on the anvil as you may reduce its hardness.

Normally the only surfaces of the anvil that should be bright and clean are the face, edges and top 60% of the horn. These can be cleaned and finished with light grinding or belt sanding. The rest of the anvil can be cleaned of coarse dirt and loose rust then oiled or painted.

Or you can sand blast and paint the whole thing. . . But I kind of like preserving the old rust under oil OR paint.
   - guru - Sunday, 11/15/09 10:58:30 EST

Guru and all,
Thank you for your responses and input.
   Mike T. - Sunday, 11/15/09 14:47:21 EST

Thank you so much for the "upsetting" tips. I will try 2morrow @ the school shop!
regards. K
   Kia - Sunday, 11/15/09 17:12:19 EST
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