anvils  anvil making  anvil repair  air hammer  artist blacksmiths  ABANA  alloy  bellows  blower  blacksmith  blacksmiths  blacksmithing  blacksmithing books  blacksmithing links  blacksmithing machinery  blacksmithing tools  blacksmiths's forge  blacksmith's tongs  blacksmith's guru  blade smithing   do-it-yourself   coal  coke  charcoal  charcoal forge  forge  forging  forge plans  forge welding  fabricator  gas forge  great bellows  grinders  grinding  propane forge  iron  ironwork  ironworks  junk yard hammer  JYH  knives  knife making  hammer  hammer-in  heat treating  hardy   iron   power hammer   pritchel  oil forge   quench tank  quench  smith  smithy  steel   steam hammer  slack tub  tempering  trip hammer  tongs  tools  machinery plans  metal  metalwork   weld   welding   arc  welding   wrought iron   blacksmith forum   blacksmiths FAQs - Self portrait (c) 1989 Jock Dempsey WELCOME to the Guru's Den!

Ask the Guru any reasonable blacksmithing or metalworking question. 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 December 1 - 10, 1999 on the Guru's Den

New to blacksmithing? Check out our FAQ Getting Started.

The Guru has four helpers that have been given a distinct colored "voice".
  • Bruce R. Wallace of Wallace Metal Work (purple) as of 12/98.

  • "grandpa" Daryl Meier of MEIER STEEL (green).

  • Jim "Paw-Paw" Wilson, of Paw Paw's Forge and official demonstrator at Bethbara Historical Park, Winston-Salem, NC (OD green).

  • Bruce "Atli" Blackistone, asylum at of the Longship Co., color "ink" to be determined.

Please report any posting or retrieval problems to:

webmaster at

After posting and clicking on return, the page will automaticly reload and display your entry. If not then, click on LastPost after the file reloads. Your question will be answered as soon as possible.

Your input, answers and comments on questions to the Guru are welcome.

-- guru Saturday, 08/01/98 00:00:00 EDT
171,229 / 44,400

-- guru Wednesday, 12/01/99 01:52:57 GMT

Gee, a clean slate...time for dirty words misspelled? Naw. Great Guru;
this nearly-humble supplicant needs help with Acorn table hold downs.
The ones with a long horizontal reach work OK, but the holddowns with only a few inches of arm won't wedge down firmly under the hammer. The short ones either pop back up before they get tight or come loose with vibration. I beseech you oh Guru...Whatsamatta?...........Pete

Pete Fels -- artgawk at Wednesday, 12/01/99 09:11:44 GMT

I would say too litle leverage in those short holddowns.
But on the other hand what do I really KNOW to be true anyway?
I had to make a wedge underneath in sonme really short ones (7mm, 1/4") that HAD to be there to hold the work and yes they really had to be that short as a axle whas a further 2mm from the clamp dowh point.
No I could NOT redesign it was final asembly of a very complex mecanism and it neded to look like that to work properly.
GURU: I supose I am all wrong with the clamp so please corect my mistakes and teach me thr true way

OErjan -- pokerbacken at Wednesday, 12/01/99 11:31:40 GMT

guru would it be lots of trouble for you to have one or two days overlap on the archive and the gurulogg? it would be slightly easyer to read.
just a thought

OErjan -- pokerbacken at Wednesday, 12/01/99 11:57:54 GMT

jwoods: Sorry I did not mean to drive you of i just explained why I did not see you entering.
hope I did not hurt you or make you mad at me If so Sorry once again

OErjan -- see above Wednesday, 12/01/99 13:02:26 GMT

WEDGES and L/D LOCK: Peter, Orjan, Ah a wonderful subject! Hold-downs work on the principle of an "L over D lock" That is length divided by distance. This creates a triangle with an angle less than 14.5° which is the maximum locking angle for steel based on its coeficient of friction.

The simplest test for the coeficient of friction is to take a smooth surface of one material and place a smooth piece of another material on it, then tilt the base surface until the part on it starts to slide off. The angle will vary with material combinations. For steel on steel it is 14.5°*. This is what is required to make an L/D lock work. Fun with physics!

I'm sure you've seen those sliding bar clamps or had a washer or ring get stuck on a shaft. It is also the principle that over-running (one way) clutches work on (rollers on ramps). These are all L/D locks. Once an L/D lock engages, steel parts can be ripped in two before the lock will disengage without being reversed!

Hold-downs start as a simple L/D lock the long arm creating a "wedging" action. The longer the arm (proportionate to the table thickness) the lower the angle. A second much stronger locking action occurs when the arm flexes or springs creating another lower angle triangle and another L/D lock. What complicates matters is that platten tables (Acorn is a brand name) come in different thicknesses and have or end up with various radius on the edges of the holes. When the combination of factors results in an angle greater than 14.5-15° no amount of force will make the lock occur.

SOLUTIONS: The closer the fit in the hole the shorter the arm can be. This only gains a little but some folks use real sloppy fits on their hold downs (1-1/4" (32mm) stock being bigger than most of us have).

A short bushing (about half the table thickness at the holes) can be wedged by a small(er) short arm. Bushings made in split pairs (a good forging project, or product) will expand and lock with the same force as the L/D lock creates. Bushings should have a shoulder to keep them from falling through and a groove in the outside for an o-ring or metal ring to keep the pairs together. A difficult forging project but an easy lathe project.

*NOTE: This value (14.5°) has been determined in the research shop of MEC (Mechanical Equipment Company), Rustburg, VA. This value may differ from other published values. MEC holds patents on and designs and builds friction clutches and related devices employing the L/D principle.

-- guru Wednesday, 12/01/99 15:22:22 GMT

Nice physics, but -
What is a platten table?
Or maybe Örjan should explain it to me in swedish.

Olle Andersson -- utgaardaolle at Wednesday, 12/01/99 21:18:12 GMT

My current question(grin) is, What is the best way to form a basket out of heavy screen or expanded mesh. It is supposed to go inside a torch(simular to a cresset torch, but burns small pieces of wood and kindling) It will be about 10" across and about 12-14" tall(the torch part)?

Ralph -- ralphd at Wednesday, 12/01/99 21:51:59 GMT

PLATTEN TABLE, WELD PLATTEN, or ACORN PLATE: A BIG cast iron table typicaly 48" (122cm) square and weighing about a ton (tonne) with a pattern of square holes about 1-1/2 to 2" (36 to 50mm). One of the most important tools in an architectual blacksmith shop.

Used primarily for assembly work they are also one heck of a place to anchor your vise! "L" shaped "dogs" like wood workers use are placed in the holes and given a tap with a hammer and whatever is under the end stays there.

There are also various "accesories" such as cutting pyramids to keep plate off the table when flame cutting and screw clamps and "stop" dogs. A stop dog is just a piece with a big square head to clamp work up against.

Sorry, I can't translate to Swedish ;)

-- guru Wednesday, 12/01/99 21:58:26 GMT

Ralph, Basket weaving?

-- guru Wednesday, 12/01/99 22:00:01 GMT

Not really! It is just supposed to be a holder for the kindling inside the frame work of the torch. The one that is being made will most likely be two pieces of flat stock bent into a 'U' then rivited together(maybe welded?) then the wire basket(or what erver you want to call it) will slip into the holder, which will be mounted on a pole for out door use. Basicly just a different type of yard light.

Ralph -- ralphd at Wednesday, 12/01/99 22:30:12 GMT

Metal basket weaving? . . . . . I stayed up TOO late last night. . .

-- guru Wednesday, 12/01/99 22:43:45 GMT

Expanded metal is work hardened. Anneal a piece then start forming it. The trick is going to be that it will compress easier on axis perpendicular to the slits than the other way. It will form nicely using a male and female form. . .

I still think metal basket weaving from 1/8 - 3/16" (3-5mm) bar or wire would be easier.

-- guru Wednesday, 12/01/99 23:01:37 GMT


You should stay up late more often! Metal basket weaving is NOT an insane idea. I've done three different types of "braid" using 1/4" round stock. These are NOT twisted to look like braid, these are actually braided. Tisn't real easy, and takes localized heat and care, but can be done. I'll send you an e-mail picture if you're interested.


Form the expanded metal cold over a soccer ball, or bowling ball, or whatever is the closest in size to what you are headed for. Then once the frame is finished, push the "basket" down into the frame, and anchor it around the rim with soft iron wire. First time it has a fire in it, it'll probably get hot enough to "relax" all the stresses out of it. After that, you should be able to take of the wire ties. Although, you may want to leave them in place to keep the basket from falling out of the frame when it's moved around.

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at Wednesday, 12/01/99 23:06:47 GMT

Hmmmm, I guess I will just have to experiment then. Thank you both for your insights. I like the idea of a basket and as the guy who asked me about this has an oxy/act rig.....
But I think I will also try gurus idea. Maybe even see if I can come up with some sort of male/female wooden forms. I'll let y'all know if I can get it to work out. NOw if the good wife could just see clear to get me a digital camera!

ralph -- ralphd at Wednesday, 12/01/99 23:18:42 GMT

A friend asked me to inquire about a video for Blacksmithing. She wants to take the video to a relative in Iran. Do you make the video for use in other countries and if so what is the cost?

Thank you.

Lisa Cravea -- lcravea at Thursday, 12/02/99 00:47:38 GMT

Im am currently building a propane forge and would like to know what could be used as the inside shelf of the forge. Ive tried to get a alumina kiln shelf by calling all the ceramic and pottery places in the area. Any suggestions as to what could readly be found most anywhere? I have the kaowool blanket and the reflector solvent.

Jerome Wheeler -- jwheels at Thursday, 12/02/99 01:03:24 GMT

Jock or Jim,
A few days ago I asked about using S7 for the head on a JYH.
Jock said that welding to it is hard. Your thoughts on drilling
through it and using pins or bolts to hold it on?
Thanks again,

Glenn -- tglenn at Thursday, 12/02/99 03:25:24 GMT

GAS FORGE: Jerome, Use refractory brick for the floor. Normal will work but you can get high temperature ones from foundry suppliers. Kiln shelves are not that high a temperature rating. . .

-- guru Thursday, 12/02/99 03:25:35 GMT

VIDEO: Lisa, we do not currently make videos. Try Centaur Forge, The Blacksmiths Journal or The Celtic Knot Elektric Anvil (see our links page). A few blacksmith videos are in PAL format but I do not know if they are in any other language than English.

-- guru Thursday, 12/02/99 03:28:49 GMT

JYH-S7: Glenn, I'd have to see how the head is configured. It would take a lot of bolting and good fitting joints. Possibly machined.

-- guru Thursday, 12/02/99 03:32:52 GMT

Splendid answer Jock! Thank you

Pete Fels Thursday, 12/02/99 03:33:20 GMT

I will have to get the CAD program up and running.
I will send you the specs that we came up with and some pics

Glenn Thursday, 12/02/99 03:37:20 GMT


Many treadle hammers have the upper die pinned in place. How well it would hold up with a power hammer, I can't say. Seems to me (subject to correction by others with more experience) that if the pin was properly sized and tight, that it should be OK. Would it work loose over time? Dunno.

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at Thursday, 12/02/99 04:55:47 GMT

OErjan: No problem, my boss came into my office. GURU: Saw your posting on 11/18 about seals for hydraulic cylinders turned into air-hammer cylinders. Good idea. I work in an R&D department of a major hydraulic seal manufacturer, and am a hobby-smith. Might have some input if you want it.

jwoods -- joe.woods at Thursday, 12/02/99 21:12:16 GMT


Yes, I know nothing about the differences between air and hydraulic cylinders other than the pressure/force mechanical engineering part. I've been told that hydraulic seals have too much friction for air cylinders (less lubrication/higher velocities). It makes sense to me.

"Changing seals" is a simple answer but I know enough about ME that such changes are never simple.

-- guru Thursday, 12/02/99 22:01:04 GMT

I want to make ram rods,aprox .200" in diameter,about 41"long,for military muzzleloading rifles.They need to have a certain amount of "spring back" to them,maybe 8"-10" of bow in the center and flex back unbent.Also to resist bending in use.
My question is,what is your expert opion on what type of treatment process and steel to use,and how to go about it all.I have access to a 48" gas atmosphere furnace.Thanks very much!-Steve

Steve Owen -- steveowen at Friday, 12/03/99 00:55:18 GMT

Guru, Thanks for the info and I will look at the literature and web content you have suggested. Further is there any reason a Smith who makes blades and related weapons could not become a "top" craftsman in this field without a bona fide doctorate in metalurgy. What I mean is the knowledge just not the paper. Also I was looking for a non paying aprentice position. Thanks again Phil

Phil -- sacknet-phil at Friday, 12/03/99 02:01:30 GMT

Phil, Yes its very possible. I'm just trying to make the point of the amount of knowledge and discipline that is required to be first class in this area of metal working.

The main point IS that unless you are very good at self education you need that formal training. Anyone that can learn metalurgy to the Masters or Dotorate level on their own doesn't need an apprentiecship to learn how to hammer, saw and grind steel. Many top blade makers ARE largely self taught.

I'm not saying that you cannot learn a lot from an apprenticeship. There is a lot to be said for learning from someone else's experiance. But then. . . that's what going to school is too.

-- guru Friday, 12/03/99 02:56:17 GMT

RAM ROD: Steve you just described a piece of spring steel. Mild steel might do it if properly heattreated but that is going to be the trick for any steel. Long slender rods must be well supported when quenched or end quenched (lengthwise). You are going to want to harden the rods then draw the temper back as far as you can and retain the amount of spring you want. You will probably need to straighen them after hardening and tempering.

In a part like this material cost and availability may be a concern. I'd try a piece of cold drawn 3/16" round bar. It MAY be work hardened enough to be what you want as-is. If not, try hardening it.

Then look for the cheapest tool/spring steel you can find. On this slender a rod just a little more carbon than mild steel may be all you need. If they make a 1030 is would be perfect.

-- guru Friday, 12/03/99 03:10:05 GMT

Testing the new server!

Andrew Hooper -- andrew at Friday, 12/03/99 05:42:59 GMT

Guru & Steve, If my memory is holding up the ram rod for the military muskets have a section on the end that is upset and belled. I made a replacement rod for an old springfield from a section of throttle linkage from an old farmall tractor that apparently was spring stock. had a ball getting the end just right. Dixie gun works and the Log Cabin shop in Ohio used to carrie the rods.

Jerry Carroll -- birdlegs at Friday, 12/03/99 07:45:55 GMT

Hello Guru and Jerry,
Thanks for the good information!Guru when you say supported quenching,would held between two pieces of flat stock be correct or would it be too much to allow proper quenching? Also do you think drill rod would be a good material if the hardening & drawing process is neccessary?
Jerry your right,some of the rods have a swell and a "tulip" shaped cup on the end.I appreciate the info on the sources,but to be honest,I was hoping to make a better rod than the repros.The ones I've had seem too soft. Maybe I'm re-inventing the wheel here.It would be nice to know how the originals were made.By the way how did you do the end?Was it heated and spread or what?-Thanks guys!Much appreciated!-Steve

Steve Owen -- sjowen at Friday, 12/03/99 13:29:18 GMT

Here is a site that is selling wrought iron here in the states. hope this helps it came to me by e-mail and I remember reading someones post a few days ago asking for a source.

Bobby Neal -- nealbrusa at Friday, 12/03/99 13:50:53 GMT


The swelling on the end of the rod was done by upsetting the rod. The cup was done by tapping the heated rod onto an iron ball. That cup was designed to fit the round used in the weapon and the upset should be just slightly smaller than the diameter of the bore.

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at Friday, 12/03/99 14:41:41 GMT

Hello Guru and Jerry,
Thanks for the good information!Guru when you say supported quenching,would held between two pieces of flat stock be correct or would it be too much to allow proper quenching? Also do you think drill rod would be a good material if the hardening & drawing process is neccessary?
Jerry your right,some of the rods have a swell and a "tulip" shaped cup on the end.I appreciate the info on the sources,but to be honest,I was hoping to make a better rod than the repros.The ones I've had seem too soft. Maybe I'm re-inventing the wheel here.It would be nice to know how the originals were made.By the way how did you do the end?Was it heated and spread or what?-Thanks guys!Much appreciated!-Steve

Steve Owen -- sjowen at Friday, 12/03/99 15:07:27 GMT

I am looking for a list of wrought iron suppliers in the Vancouver area as I am opening up my own wrought iron furnitue business.
Please assist me in this regard.
Thank you
Franz Jedelhauser

Franz Jedelhauser -- j_niccola at Friday, 12/03/99 15:15:54 GMT

For the most part there are no commercial suppliers of 'wrought iron' left. Wrought iron, the method of manufacture of iron. But If you are asking about what passes as iron now days(mild steel) that will be transformed by your hammer into furniture, then any steel supply or perhaps a welding shop can sell you your stock. Also McMaster-Carr.
Are you in Vancouver BC or WA ?

ralph -- ralphd at Friday, 12/03/99 18:26:37 GMT

RAM ROD: Steve, Quenching long rods is tricky. Normally done on an open rack. Drill rod is relatively expensive but will be your only choice if you stick to that .200" dimension. You will also need to be very careful to draw the temper WAY back or the rod will easily break.

The repros are probably unhardened mild steel. The originals were un-hardenable wrought iron.

I kind of think Hickory rods are best. . . less damage to the barrel.

-- guru Friday, 12/03/99 19:02:05 GMT

WROUGHT: Bobby, good source. Not cheap! grandpa Meier sells the same type old bridge iron for less than half. Of couse there IS a finite supply of this stuff. . . The correct link (hot)

-- guru Friday, 12/03/99 19:23:05 GMT

Hello Guru and Jerry,
Thanks for the good information!Guru when you say supported quenching,would held between two pieces of flat stock be correct or would it be too much to allow proper quenching? Also do you think drill rod would be a good material if the hardening & drawing process is neccessary?
Jerry your right,some of the rods have a swell and a "tulip" shaped cup on the end.I appreciate the info on the sources,but to be honest,I was hoping to make a better rod than the repros.The ones I've had seem too soft. Maybe I'm re-inventing the wheel here.It would be nice to know how the originals were made.By the way how did you do the end?Was it heated and spread or what?-Thanks guys!Much appreciated!-Steve

Steve Owen -- sjowen at Friday, 12/03/99 19:36:19 GMT

Guru :-)

Some half year ago I found a picture of a "Beaudry" power hammer on the web. At that time I didn't think much of it but after studying this picture for a wile I just can't figure out the basics of it's operation...

The spring (or what seems to be the spring) in this design look like a hair tweezer or hair clip. It is positioned vertically and withit's "legs" attached to the ram and with the "bend" attached to the fly-wheel. By now I hope you know what I mean since my English doesn't go much further than this in order to explain what I mean...

Can you explain to me how this works..???? I have studyed most of the designs I see on your page which are basicly spring loaded or air hammers (if I'm right:-). I think I know what the princyplpes behind these designs are but this one in particular keeps me puzzled...

Kind regards and many thanks,

Doesburg, The Netherlands

PS, Keep up the good work!!

Marc van der Voort -- m.vd.voort at Friday, 12/03/99 19:45:31 GMT

Thanks Guru,Jerry and Jim!I'll give it all a try.

By the way,sorry the previous message repeated several times.I don't understand why it's doing that,I'm not intending for it to happen?!?

Steve Owen -- sjowen at Friday, 12/03/99 21:27:54 GMT

BEAUDRY LINKAGE: Marc, The Beaudry linkage was a method of getting around the 1890 patent of Philippe DuPont. Dupont's linkage was the classic toggle arm type that is common on most mechanical hammers including Little Giant and Bradley. Both of whom got around the general principle of the DuPont patent with minor mechanical changes while in fact infringing on DuPont's patent.

The Dupont toggle linkage supports the ram between two horizontal arms that produce the maximum amount of leverage in the middle or "at rest" position. In operation the linkage compresses the spring producing over-travel and higher operating velocities. The arrangement allows for variations in stock thickness while producing a harder blow than gravity would alone.

The Beaudry linkage does the same by using rollers in a curved track. In the "at rest" position the track is nearly parallel so that there is the maximum mechanical advantage to compress the spring. In early designs the arms were a spring. Later a coil spring was placed between the arms. The inward curvature of the track at both the top and bottom of the ram reduces the mechanical advantage compressing the spring as the ram "over travels".

Both linkages produce greater stroke than the throw of the crank, therefore higher ram velocities. Both linkages compensate for changes in material thickness. Both linkages over travel at the top and bottom of the stroke returning energy in the form of higher return velocities. The biggest difference is that the Beaudry mechanism could be designed for non-harmonic motion by means of changing the curve of the track (like a cam profile). The Beaudry mechanism could also be enclosed inside the ram.

-- guru Saturday, 12/04/99 00:31:27 GMT

thanks for the Iforge section, makes things a lot better than trying to figure out what some one says. work is steady in Atlanta now not much time for Smithing. just wanted to drop anote to you keep up the good work. Know where I can get Mpegs and Sounds of smithing stuff?

jeff -- sktools at Saturday, 12/04/99 15:45:37 GMT

Have you heard of a finish called "Blacksmith Black"? What is it and how do you get it?

Ivo -- ironworks at Saturday, 12/04/99 16:26:32 GMT

What is the cone anvil and how was it to be used?

ken crabtree -- KFCrabtree at Saturday, 12/04/99 17:58:20 GMT

I have some pure nickel wire and would like to find out it's value. I can't find anything like it on the innernet. It was made by a Co. named Wilbur B. Driver in Newark, N.J. I have some that is very thin like foil about 1/8" wide and some that is small bare wire. Any info will be appreciated.

Lon Warinner -- lon at Saturday, 12/04/99 18:57:24 GMT

CONE ANVIL or MANDREL: Ken, A BPT (Big Pointed Thing). Normaly sets verticaly resting on the floor. Made in different sizes but big ones are about 12" (30cm) diameter at the base and 48" (120cm) tall. Most are plain and hollow, made from cast iron with a wall thickness of 5/8" (16mm). Some have a "tong groove" along the side and a few have a base larger than the diameter of the cone. A few had a removable point that fit in a square socket that could also be used in the hardy hole of an anvil or clamped in a vise.

Used to make rings round. Special wagon makers "cones" were short sections of large diameter cones for truing up wagon hub bands.

-- guru Saturday, 12/04/99 19:12:03 GMT

"Blacksmith Black": Ivo, thats the finish you get when you oil or wax any forged iron or steel. The oil/wax wets the grey scale (iron oxide) and makes it look black.

There are a ton of recipes for oil or wax finishes. All are moderately durable and none suitable for outdoor use. For a long time I used beeswax with a little turpentine as softener. Its kind of a sticky finish that takes picking up a lot of dust before it stops being sticky. Lately I have been using bowling alley wax but some of the liquid floor waxes designed for linoleum floors is said to work well.

-- guru Saturday, 12/04/99 19:19:44 GMT

Hay, I am in desperate need of a guru. I want to make a hardy hot chisel because I'm too cheap to shell out the long dollar for a new one. So I got a piece of carbon steel about one inch in dia. and upset it in good shape (boy, was I proud). Shaped and ground and fit to the hardy hole. Then I got the end red and quenched it in water. Drew the temper to a blue/purple and cooled it in oil. Wonderful. But when I tried to cut a piece of hardened steel, if it was the least bit below orange heat, it rounded over in the most disturbing way. A real hot piece cut like a charm. Now for my question. Did I temper it correctly and then mess up by cutting to cool of a piece? Or do I need to work on the tempering? Thank you for your time .

Roger -- r_lcollins at Sunday, 12/05/99 02:03:58 GMT

HARD(?)DY: Roger, Not all steels are created equal. Plain HIGH carbon steels (1080 - 1095) make good hardys for cold work but if you hot cut large pieces of steel on them it can draw the temper down to dead soft. IF you are cutting an alloy steel at a red heat it may be harder than mild steel is when stone cold. . .

Many alloy steels are air hardening and designed for hot work. They can be used near a red heat and retain a high percentage of their strength and hardness. S7 is probably one of the better steels for blacksmiths tools and makes an excelent hardy. H13 and H27 are the top of the line hot work steels. S7 is easier to work (relatively). See the NEWS (text) article about CanIron II and what Frank Turley had to say about it.

So what kind of "carbon steel" did you use?

-- guru Sunday, 12/05/99 02:23:50 GMT

I am building a propane forge with burners formerly used in a ceramics kiln. Can you give me pointers or references to find paramiters and characteristics to use in finding the best pressure, orifice size, etc.? I do not plan to use a blower if not needed. The mixing tube is about 10" of 2" pipe

George Blackman -- gblackman at Sunday, 12/05/99 03:33:50 GMT

GAS BURNERS: George, Burners must be balanced to the volume of the forge enclosure. Your kiln burners were probably for a much larger volume. The problem will be that the large burner will over power a small enclosure and most of the combustion will occur outside of the enclosure.

If you reduce the fuel either via pressure OR smaller orifice the velocity of the fuel/air mixture will be less than the "flame front" velocity. The flame front velocity is how fast the flame travels through the fuel/air mix. If the velocity in the burner is less than the flame front velocity you get flash-back in the burner. . .

Burners CAN be modified within a certain range but not a great deal. +/- 10% of optimum is a LOT (probably too much). Even if you can adjust both fuel and air the flash-back is still a problem.

For more small burner info see
  Forge and Burner page. If you misplace this link its on our links page!

-- guru Sunday, 12/05/99 04:53:21 GMT

I would like to get in contacy with Grant Sarver at Off Center products about his fly presses he imports, can you give me an address, phone number or e-mail? the link on the powre hammer page is not current- thanks for the help-kc

kevin casey -- kc at Sunday, 12/05/99 14:24:45 GMT

Kevin, Sorry about that. . . the address was OK but the HTML was buggy. The USA.NET address is still in use I think, however, Grant is using a new address.

Grant Sarver nakedanvil at

Be SURE to tell him where you saw the presses and got his address!

-- guru Sunday, 12/05/99 14:41:54 GMT

May take a couple of weeks before Grant answers his mail, he's in Korea this week.

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at Sunday, 12/05/99 18:32:13 GMT

I have never done any metal work before and I just helped my father in law make a headboard for our bed. The headboard is made of wrought iron and I am needing to know the best way to refinish it to last a long time. Thank you in advance for your help.

Bryan -- cubacheski at Monday, 12/06/99 02:15:31 GMT

Finishing: Bryan, See my articles on our 21st Century page, Chapter 13 - Corrosion and its Prevention and Finishing for Outdoors. Finishes for the interior are not as critical as for outdoors but the rules are the same. You can apply wax and oil finishes that will look great for a while but in a few years you WILL start seeing some rust under/through the finish.

-- guru Monday, 12/06/99 14:19:35 GMT

I need the correct formula to make the metal protection finish from beeswax, linseed oil, and turpentine. I know the ingrediants but not the correct method. Thanks

David Sparrow -- ccandles at Monday, 12/06/99 19:55:18 GMT

I'm not planning to become a blacksmith ,but I want to create a sword.
I'd like to know what kind of steel would suit me best. I live in
South Africa ,so the steel has to be obtainable here. Actually,
I'd prefer to use some old steel I could find lying around somewhere.
It would give more of an artistic feel to it ,you know,like creating
something beautifull out of "nothing". As I am a complete novice,I'd
also like to know how I should go about forging if I plan on using a
coal fire and not a oven. Any ideas ?

albert -- hyoca at Tuesday, 12/07/99 08:43:25 GMT

SORRY for the disruption folks. We were changing servers and what I thought would take a few hours took nearly 24!

-- guru Tuesday, 12/07/99 15:41:22 GMT

Albert, please see my various posts last month about the level of knowledge required to be first class at being a bladesmith.

That said. . .

Consided some simplier projects to get forging practice. There are about 30 on our iForge page. If you think some of them look tricky they are NOTHING compared to forging a sword. Get that practice first.

While studying the art of swordsmithing (Yep, you are going to need to purchase and read some books!) consider the Japanese swordsmith. He starts with plain wrought iron (mild steel will do) and with no more than his skills and a little alchemy (literaly earth, air, fire and water) he produces a wonderous high carbon steel blade.

If you are not yet awed by that feat then you are not ready for shortcuts.

SCRAP: Most spring steels will make a servicable blade. They are not the best but are readily available. Leaf springs, coil springs. . . Common tools like jack-hammer bits are also high-carbon high-alloy steel.

However, you will find that the labor involved is so great in making a long blade that importing the best best steel posible is the cheapest thing you can do. The problem with using scrap is not knowing exactly what you have and therefore how to heattreat it. A spring off a Rover will not be the same material as that off a Land Cruiser. When you use scrap, YOU must be responsible for determining what the material is. Spark test it, forge it and heattreat by various methods, test the results. . .

-- guru Tuesday, 12/07/99 16:01:12 GMT

BEESWAX and TURPs: David, I'll need to dig to find the recipe. . .

The method is simple. Melt the beeswax in a double boiler. Turn off the heat/flame. Add the turps and oil, stir well but avoid entraping air. Pour into a container to cool.

A clean (new) paint can with lid is best. The cooled mixture is pasty due to the solvent. Other waxes can be added to make the finish harder. When use boiled linseed oil as raw takes forever to dry. If using the oil you should also include a cobalt drier.

I've used just plain beeswax and turps. It stays sticky for quite a while but is easy to apply. I've misplaced the quart I made some 25 years ago so I used bowling alley wax the last time I needed some. . .

-- guru Tuesday, 12/07/99 16:14:34 GMT

I'm doing a research paper for a class of mine. But I can't find any sites that explain anything about this profession... (Oh, by the way I'm 16 and only know that you can make swords from this job [And I LOVE Swords!]) I need to know...

1. How many hours a week you work?
2. How much, If any, education do you need for this job?
3. Do you get paid? How much?
4. Is their an Employment rate?

You would be a god if you could answer these questions as soon as possible!


Ian Waldoch -- Leisure_Suit_Ian at Tuesday, 12/07/99 19:19:42 GMT

What profession? Blacksmithing?

1. How many hours a week you work?
Most blacksmiths are self employed. 70-80 hours a week is not unusual for the self employed.
2. How much, If any, education do you need for this job?
General Blacksmiths need a minimum of a high school education plus two years of trade school (or equivalent). However, as a self employed person you need to know a lot about business and accounting, taxes. . . Swordsmiths are at the top of the craft and NEED the equivalent of a Degree in Engineering and a Doctorate in Metalurgy, plus lots of Art and History.
3. Do you get paid? How much?
Of course we get paid! Most do not get rich and many just eek out a living. The majority have a second job. Its the usual starving artist routine. Fabricators (cut fit and assemble other people's components) make better money than the top craftsman. The "Artist Craftsperson" may make good money on A job, but jobs or commisions are far and few between. Eeking out a living means needing to charge $50/$100 USD in today's economy.
4. Is there an Employment rate?
I doubt that there are any official rates but largely blacksmiths are under employed.

-- guru Tuesday, 12/07/99 20:43:25 GMT
Guru, I am reposting this question as I never saw it posted. I just finished my first metal rose as per Bill Epps. it turned out very nice. I want to make one out of yellow brass. do I need to aneal the brass before hammering? I tried to heat and hammer and all I got were pieces. What is the secret to hot forming brass? thanks for all the good info on this site. Scott Vickrey

Scott Vickrey -- vickrey at Wednesday, 12/08/99 03:55:25 GMT

Scott, If you posted in the last few days we have been changing servers and it has not gone as smooth as I would like. Otherwise things move pretty briskly here and questions and answers end up in the archives pretty quick! Sometimes folks post in the Hammer-In and expect to find their answers here. . .

Yes, you need to anneal (unless the stock is pre-annealed). Most cold rolled sheet stock is work hardened from the last passes through the rolls. If the metal is to be worked extensivly (upset, drawn) it may need to be annealed several times. In the case of making a rose from cutouts the metal is not worked that heavily.

Heat until a dull white flash spreads across the surface. If you get it too a red heat its melted. . . Although instructions say to quench non-ferrous metals this is just a time saver. If you have overheated it is best to let it set.

I DO suggest that you refinish and polish the heck out of the stock after annealing and while it is still flat. It will be near impossible to de-oxidize and polish after forming. When finished making the rose if its too bright it doesn't take much heat to change that!

-- guru Wednesday, 12/08/99 04:16:47 GMT

test :)

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at Wednesday, 12/08/99 04:22:00 GMT


Is this what you are looking for?

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

Melt ingredients together
Mix throroughly
Apply to WARM (not hot!) iron
Wipe excess off with soft rag
Allow to dry

You will have to re-melt and re-mix for each use, since as it cools off it will set up.

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at Wednesday, 12/08/99 05:03:45 GMT

Hi! I'm brandnew to blacksmithing. Thanks for your help. I'll be brief. If I heat half-inch by two-inch steel to bend it into brackets for attaching a towbar to the frame of an 82 chevy, will the tensile strength of the steel remain after the steel colls? I want to be sure that the steel in brackets is not brittle and will endure the stress when in use during towing. I don't want to creat something that will be a hazard on the highway. I'm 52 years old, have a good mechanical apptitude. I have a small MIG welder and Acetylene torch. I know a little bit of everything but but don't know everything. I hope I've given you enough information to help me. Thanks much.

Gary Porter -- arbmt at Wednesday, 12/08/99 15:01:23 GMT

Gary, Heating, bending and welding mild (1018-20) or structural steel (A-36) in a situation like this is not a problem. Be sure not to quench the steel. If welding with MIG be sure to grind off all scale and paint. The only time heating would be a problem is if you burn a significant portion of the steel. Cold working is likely to cause more damage than hot.

Brittleness due to simple heating is not a problem in low carbon steels but high carbon steels can "self quench" when localy heated. This means that the cool parts reduce the temperature of the hot part at a rate that hardens the steel. Some alloy steels are air hardening and localized heating can cause extreme brittleness or even cracking from internal stresses. Highly stressed structural members are never manufactured from these grades of steel.

-- guru Wednesday, 12/08/99 15:29:41 GMT

i am new to forging and would love to learn how to do damascus work--where can i get information on this

larry harper -- nifty52 at Wednesday, 12/08/99 18:11:29 GMT

Larry, Centaur Forge carries numerous books and videos on the subject. The complete series on blade making by Jim Hrisoulas is a good start. The web page of Don Fogg is one of the best on the subject.

-- guru Wednesday, 12/08/99 19:05:21 GMT

is stainless steel the material of choice for the flair end of a propane burner ? Im trying to get to welding temp.with my propane forge. Im at 5 psi with my propane and Ive added 10# of assisted air pressure.I think im getting close but my flair is not holding up to the temp..

neil -- npatterson at Wednesday, 12/08/99 20:11:43 GMT

Hello: I have recently been given a 175 lb anvil and it's old, I have not determined who has made it, the lettering on the side is hard to read, the anvil is in poor shape.The sides are badly chipped missing some chunks of metal although the hardy, surface and the horn are in good shaped and it still has a sharp loud ring dispite it's faults. My question is can I repair this anvil by welding and then machining it back into shape? and what type of rod should I use? and futhermore can it be done?I have allot of experience welding and steel work but I am a begining blacksmith and to me there is a big difference. Thanks for your help. C Soave

C Soave -- cesdaveyboy Wednesday, 12/08/99 22:46:12 GMT

Stainless: Neil, It won't hurt. Normally the flair or burner end is up in the refractory where it is well protected and has the outside of the forge for a heat sink. If you need to use compressed air it sounds like the burner isn't working properly. Sometimes too large an orifice will reduce the gas velocity and therefore the amount of air sucked in by the burner. These things need a careful balance. That's why blower type forges are easier to build just tweek the air AND the gas until it works. . .

-- guru Wednesday, 12/08/99 23:16:27 GMT

ANVIL REPAIR: C Soave, There are four basic types of anvil construction. Cast steel, Forged steel, Steel forge welded to a wrought iron body and steel welded to cast iron. The last is very difficult to repair. In every case the face is hardened tool steel. Welding it is like repairing a press die. It must be pre-heated (400-500F). After each pass it is recomended to peen the welds to reduce shrinkage stress.

Various rods are used. Hard facing rods are generaly not recommended because they will be harder than the surounding face which is softened by the welding. . . A die repair build-up rod is best. Many clain good results with just plain E7018.

After welding you must hand grind the face. A few people have managed to find heavy enough machinery to machine the face flat but this is unusual.

On METAL WEB NEWS there are articles on building anvils and I think one on repair. There is also one on the Elektric Anvil. Both have more details, see our links page).

NOTE: I do not recommend anvil repair unless the anvil is unusable as is. Welding tool steel is a perilous task. Often the judicious use of a grinder can make a big improvement.

-- guru Wednesday, 12/08/99 23:30:07 GMT

I am doing a project on a trade. I picked Blacksmithing because I thought that it would be great if someone knew how tomake something out of Iron. I was wondering if you could send me a list about what tools the blacksmith might have used during 1776-1800.
Thank you very much.

Andy Snell -- Snellfam at Thursday, 12/09/99 00:34:37 GMT

TOOLS: Andy, that can be a short or a long list. . . You are talking about the peak of the industrial revolution and there were tremondous changes during that brief time. Then there are different types of blacksmiths. Decorative or "Artist" blacksmiths do architectural ironwork, Industrial smiths forge huge multi ton parts like ship anchors. Wheelwrights make wagon wheels and cariageworks. Farriers shoe horses. This is a general list.
  • Anvil
  • Forge
  • Bellows
  • Vise
  • Hammers (all sizes)
  • Tongs
  • Files
  • Punches & Chisles
  • Drills
  • Anvil Tools: Hardy, Beaks, Swages
  • Handled "set" tools, fullers, swages and punches
  • Cone-Mandrel
  • Swage Block or "Hollow" Anvil
  • Shear or Snips
  • Lathe
  • Dividers, Compass and Calipers
  • Grinder (whet stone)
There are two pieces of historical fiction on our 21st Century page set during this time period.

-- guru Thursday, 12/09/99 01:07:59 GMT

Just as a note to the wax finish... I work for Sherwin-Williams and can tell you that the wax mixture you described is not what we consider VOC compliant. In fact in parts of California it would be a EPA violation, subject to fines. Also I would recomend not using it in the forge area while the forge is lit, as the turpinetine has a low flash point listed as a Class 3 flammable and all the other ingrediants will act as fuel. If in a enclosed space a Organic compound filtered respirator would be very wise.

Phil -- sacknet-phil at Thursday, 12/09/99 01:57:36 GMT


You are undoubtedly correct about the EPA.

That said, I keep a coffee can (two pound size)of the above described wax mix sitting on the edge of one of my coal forges all the time. It has never ignited, never burned at all, and the can is literally next to the fire. This particular forge is used outside, so your comment about a respirater really doesn't apply, although in an enclosed space (as you noted) it probably would be adviseable.

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at Thursday, 12/09/99 02:23:25 GMT

Glad I never canned it for sale. . . :)

-- guru Thursday, 12/09/99 05:16:39 GMT

Jim mail on the way.

OErjan -- pokerbacken at Thursday, 12/09/99 08:31:04 GMT

Hello again, I have yet another question for those more experinced than I(that means anyone).What are the diffrences in tempering and annealing. where can i find info on the proper way to do both. also what are the uses for differnt types of steel(ie cold rolled, tool, spring) any and all help is grately appreciated.

drglnc -- drglnc at Thursday, 12/09/99 18:43:40 GMT

Question in the "Pub" about 'sweet iron' in horses bits.
The sweet iron is to help the horse salivate, basically not slobbering, but keeping his mouth moist. The sweet iron as I understand it is just plain iron and usually has a light coat of surface rust. This is in comparison to mouth pieces of copper, stainless steel, chrome plate, rubber coated, etc. I don't think you see a lot about 'sweet iron' mouth pieces, because most are that way.
Also, I would be interested in some information on bit making!

Nolan -- Ndorsey at Thursday, 12/09/99 18:54:47 GMT

What is a salt bath? How is it used to harden steel blades? What is the ingredients? And how would You use it?

Henry -- hgeiger at Thursday, 12/09/99 19:51:10 GMT

Nolan, Thanks! I was wondering if the difference was one that didn't have any copper or less of a metalic taste.
TEMPERING: Dragon Lance, good question. No simple answers.

The entire process is Heat Treating. Work, normalize, harden, temper.

Work is forged then normalized. A step that is sometimes skipped. Normalizing is heating the work to the hardening temperature and letting it slowly cool (in air generaly). This is the same but not as critical as annealing.

At this point intemediate operations such as drilling or machining are done. I the material is a tool steel it may need to be annealed to be machined. Annealing is heating to the hardening point and letting cool as slow as possible. As some steels are "air hardening" (meaning they are "quenched" in air) these must be placed in some medium that slows the cooling. Quick lime is sometimes used, vermiculite works too.

The piece is then hardened by heating to the hardening point (about where the steel becomes non-magnetic, lower for low carbon steels), then quenching (cooling) it in a quenchant. This can consist of brine, water, oil or air. The type of quenchant is determined by the type of steel and sometimes how thick it is. The point is to cool the piece at a rate that hardens the steel. Too severe a quench can crack some steels. Oil is a good medium.

Immediately after hardening the piece should be tempered. This is a reheating of the hard steel to reduce its hardness and give it some toughness. In many cases the amount of tempering is varied for different purposes. The tempering temperature is often judged by the "temper colors" that appear on the steel. This method only works on non-alloy steel. To be sure a part is correctly tempered it may be "double" or "triple" tempered. (Just repeat the tempering)

MACHINERY'S HANDBOOK is a good place to start. Then ASM's ASM Metal Reference Book for more up to dates specifics on steels. Most of the books on knife making have fairly good sections on heattreating as do several of the newer books on blacksmithing such as The NEW Edge of the Anvil by Jack Andrews.

-- guru Thursday, 12/09/99 20:10:04 GMT

Looking for information on a 5 foot tall blacksmith cone. I am interested in what is worth.

Craig -- creativetool at Thursday, 12/09/99 21:21:49 GMT

Craig, prices on these things are sort of subjective. Is it new, used, good condition or broke, solid or hollow?

New they will be around $2/lb USD. They are cast iron and most are hollow. One that tall may weigh 400 pounds (180Kg) or more. Used it depends on who's buying and who's selling. A lot of "old" tools are given away . . Once a blacksmith or a dealer has it that's another thing. They are rare enough that old ones sell for more than new sometimes. Shipping also becomes an issue with big heavy objects.

What's it worth in the shop? They are generaly the most unused tool in most shops. Everybody wants one, but rarely do they get used. I have one. Would I part with it? Probably not. Have I ever used it? Just for a door stop :) Now I have parts of an old "Mole" tire shrinker if anyone's intrested. . .

-- guru Thursday, 12/09/99 22:05:06 GMT


Good to hear you have not had problems with the Wax mixture igniting. I failed to take into effect how much turpentine used in your wax mixture. Flasxh point of the turp is also raised by the waxes and linseed oils used but this is not something to spill near flame. Now if I am right the Japan Dryer is to speed up the dry time, by the way it is also available at most paint stores and hardware stores, but just as a note we have found it to only speed drying times in oil based paints by no more then 10% a hour or two at best. Now I will have to check at work later but you might be able to replace the turp with either toulene, xylene, or maybe denatured alcohol. (Not really sure on the last) These solvents have a lower evaporation point or in paint terms they "flash" or "burn" off faster. Also, if you like I could look for a direct to metal, user friendly, clear or coloured coating to protect the iron or steel.

Phil Thursday, 12/09/99 23:14:12 GMT

DO NOT replace turpintine with ether Toulene or Xylene their flash point a much lower. If you use at the temperature most people use the wax finish at you will have a fire ball crawl up your arm.I wouldn't use alcohol ether, what could be used would be the higher boilers maybe mineral spirits some of the solveso mixes, turpintine is still the best. Its not a petrocarbon.

Allen Hamm -- hammar at Friday, 12/10/99 00:58:46 GMT

Guru, OK, Given that my blown LP Gas Forge is a cronic scale generator, any suggestions on how to remove the scale. I've brushed (hand and motor), soaked in vinegar and brushed (works well but gives a funny finish), what about tumblers? got any plans? What do you think would work best. (besides switching to atmospheric)???

Tim Friday, 12/10/99 02:27:30 GMT

Tim, They DO tend to DO that. . . Ah, work faster! Forging pieces in one heat get rid of most of the scale. . . :) Big power hammer?

Power wire brushes do the best job but its a lot of work and dangerous. Pieces of work pulled from your hands and thrown across the shop or worse, at you, can be unnerving.

For architectural work sand blasting is best. Its expensive but should be priced into the job.

Try adjusting the forge way back (less air and fuel) after it is good and hot. Then richen it up a little.

-- guru Friday, 12/10/99 03:26:56 GMT

True-type hydraulic seals typically have less friction than pneumatic seals. Most pneumatic seals are elastomer contact, which means that the seal (o-ring, or other) runs dynamically against the bore or rod. Hydraulic seals usually have a PTFE, (tradename Teflon), or similar material "cap" that is the dynamic sealing surface. Your hydraulic cylinder probably has more friction because of tighter tolerances in the manufacturing process. It also might have a multiple-seal system for the rod and bore. For the JYH application, only one seal for the piston, and one for the rod would be necessary. If you need to change/manufacture seals, McMaster Carr sells PTFE and UHMW tube stock, from which new seals can be produced. Still to complicated? Use leather washers for the seals. LAST: A filter and LUBRICATOR must be used in any high-speed pneumatic application. If not, it's a pencil-eraser application for the seals.

Joe Woods -- joe.woods at Friday, 12/10/99 12:48:21 GMT


I hadn't thought about the dilution effect, either.
I would like to find a coating that works better. Most blacksmiths would. This stuff works fine indoors, is totally in-adequet out side. Currently I just use Rustoeum (sorry bout that grin) flat black. If it's critical, I'll use a zinc self prime, then the flat black.

But they all give up eventually.

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at Friday, 12/10/99 14:16:31 GMT

HYDRAULIC/AIR CYLINDER SEALS: Joe, good information. I just picked up a catalog with low pressure hydraulic cylinders. Looks more like what we want. Making one's own seals IS a possibility. I have an old Niles-Bement hammer that probably has steel or cast iron rings. Modern air hammers use PTFE.

On the lubricator issue. The NEW small air hammers use pilot operated valves with small diameter lines. It has been found that these need clean dry air. Oil in their lines eventualy becomes saturated and the circuit stops being pneumatic and becomes hydraulic. The dynamics are different. The pilot air supply needs to be tapped prior to the oiler and probably have its own drier/filter.

-- guru Friday, 12/10/99 14:44:12 GMT

thanks for the info and book names but i have one more ?. what type of oil.(moter, cooking, chainsaw)thankyou very much for all your help you are a savoir.

drglnc -- drglnc at Friday, 12/10/99 14:52:07 GMT

QUENCHING OIL: Dragon Lance, Any will work. I do not reccomend motor oil due to some of the rather nasty aditives. The two preferd oils are:
  • Mineral oil (Johnson's baby oil) can also be purchased in bulk.
  • Transmission fluid - less aditives.

  • Vegatable (cooling) oil is used by some. It tends to get rancid. Use for an oil finish for cooking utensils.

    -- guru Friday, 12/10/99 15:39:37 GMT

    Anyone I am wanting to know what is rush and where can it be bought. I have a book on rush lamps and was curious to know.

    Bobby Neal Friday, 12/10/99 18:02:37 GMT

    do decorative peices need to be quenched like candle holders, diner bells and those types of items also what is the BEST long lasting finish other than going to a profesional, would flat black spry paint work.

    drglnc -- drglnc at Friday, 12/10/99 18:38:08 GMT

    Bobby, rush is the pulpy core of a wetlands plant called a "rush". The core was removed, dried and then soaked with tallow. It sort of acts an a natural wick.
    Dragon Lance, Generally NO, decorative items do not get quenched. However, triangle dinner bells are a different animal and the corners should be water quenched after bending.

    Professional painting starts with the removal of scale chemicaly or physicaly (sand blasting), applying primers and then a top coat. Primers vary according to use. If its for outdoors the first coat should be zinc cold galvanizing, the second a neutral ph primer (red oxide laquer). The top coat is any weather resistant paint in any color you choose. Ironwork does NOT have to be black.

    -- guru Friday, 12/10/99 19:02:51 GMT

    I did some research at work and came up with a few options but none are cheap and one is NOT user friendly. First a clear exterior coating is a pain since most coatings use the pigment and additives to become UV stable not to mention that you can't prime the metal when you are wanting to see the metal under the coating. Now as The Guru said, Ironwork does NOT have to be black.", this offers up some options. First the one clear coat I found was a laquer and it wasn't a rust inhibiter so is not good for exteriors but it is from the T38 Opex laquers line and would need refinishing do to humidity eventually permiating it and rusting the iron but if you did a weekly or even monthly furniture wax you might avoid this problem. Colour coats offer up many options this includes black but definatly not limited to it. Spary paints, Rustoleum, are easy apply and good sealers but only the Rustoleum and specificly marked rust stopping spray paints will prevent rust from forming under them, the rest evetually rust off since they are moisture permeable. Application and where the work ends up along with what metal are the key components to a quality finish so pick the brain of your local Chemical Coatings rep or Industrial-Marine rep. They know these products front to back and if they get stumped they can talk to the chemists. What I did find was a three part system that is an epoxy that renders the metal virtually rust proof and very hard to damage coating. But you can use a lot of less expensive systems inluding a DTM (direct to metal) Primer with a Industrial Enamel top coat. Also look into automotive paints, they have been dealing with metal substrates forever. As a artistic note try a hammerite coating, depending on application you can get three or more different finishes with striking metallic look. Down side: Expect $35-$60 per gallon if one part and more for systems of multiple parts. Well thats all from me for now.

    Phil Friday, 12/10/99 22:18:04 GMT

    Counter   Copyright © 2001 Jock Dempsey, Cummulative_Arc GSC