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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 December 18 - 24, 2002 on the Guru's Den
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(especially you Frank, say hi to the wife from me and the misses)
   triw - Wednesday, 12/18/02 02:37:49 GMT

Thanks triw. To everyone, my sentiments, as well. Christian or not, enjoy the holidays.
   Frank Turley - Wednesday, 12/18/02 04:55:35 GMT

Thanks, everyone, for your input. Good food for thought. I have made a few contacts in Santa Fe, so maybe even some items with a southwestern theme would do well.
Happy Holidays!
   Heather - Wednesday, 12/18/02 05:33:13 GMT


would anyone know of an online economic comparison of dry liquid
nitrogen dewar verses an air compressor?

the primary reason for having an air compressor would be to provide air
for a plasma cutter. a dry liquid nitrogen dewar supplying the required
amount to 'air' would seem to alleviate several of the problems of using
an air compressor. i.e. humidity, cycling of the air compressor, size of
the air compressor and reservoir, blowing down the air filters, etc.

also an economic comparison of liquid oxygen dewar verses compressed
oxygen cylinders for cutting and welding would also be beneficial.

Terry L. Ridder >
   terry l. ridder - Wednesday, 12/18/02 05:55:47 GMT

My dad has a Whitney Metal Tool Company punch. Model 10-3. He would like to know if and where he can find more bits for this tool.
   Gary - Wednesday, 12/18/02 09:15:00 GMT

which whitney is it?
i have a roper whitney 1 ton press (not flywheel but over head crank)
you can visit www.roperwhitney.com and see if they still manufacture the press (very nice people!)
my punch has been manufactured by another company for several years now:
2620 aburn st
rockford illinois 61101

you can try both, next month im calling a-american and finding out if i can get a die made to punch out solid rings of 14ga steel sheet stock (my other time consuming hobby is chainmaille ;) )

hope this is helpful
   Mike Kruzan - Wednesday, 12/18/02 10:22:22 GMT

Heather, It is difficult to say what is *really* Santa Fe or Southwestern, and what is quick to make and market. Some of the hardware has a zig-zag outline on the escutcheons, reminiscent of a Navaho rug or geometric beadwork design. It is fairly recent on ironwork and there is not much
smithing involved, but it sells. It is kind of related to a 1920's period of Southwest architecture, named "Pueblo Deco".*
There are multitudinous plasma cut/laser cut/water jet cut kokopeli figures and coyote-howling-at-moon figures. Amazingly, they sell!

All of the above make me retch, barf, and hurl, even though I have done a little of the Pueblo Deco stuff to satisfy customers.
* Check your bookseller sites for a book titled, "Pueblo Deco".
   Frank Turley - Wednesday, 12/18/02 13:40:17 GMT

Frank; I've heard Kokopelli is coming back, and he's after all them royalties! :)
   - 3dogs - Wednesday, 12/18/02 14:23:07 GMT

I put out poison for those howling coyotes-at-the-moon coyote figures
   adam - Wednesday, 12/18/02 14:53:19 GMT

Frank, take a thin black thread and tie several beads along it's length. Now you have something to hang on the Kokopelli's that look like he's sticking that thing in his eye---blood drops!

   - Thomas Powers - Wednesday, 12/18/02 15:55:53 GMT


I have a pneumatic forging hammer Beche Type LG 6 (300KG), I would like to get a vibration-isolator dampers. ¿Do you know companies in the U.S. that do it?
   Alex - Wednesday, 12/18/02 15:57:13 GMT

HI Heather I do some work in Santa fe myself , mostly architectural but I have noticed lizards are another popular sw motif
   aaron craig - Wednesday, 12/18/02 16:17:45 GMT

Punching Rings: Mike, A single punch and die will not do this. What you have to have is called a "progressive dieset". These are all custom enginered and manufactured. In most cases they need custom punches and dies. In your case the punches could be standard round punches but to prevent huge material losses the dies would probably have to be custom.

How a progressive dieset works:

There are multiple punches and dies mounted in a "dieset". A dieset is two cast iron plates called "shoes" with cylindrical guide bars and bushings on which the top shoe slides up and down. The dieset holds and guides the punches and dies. It may also feed the stock.

In a progressive dieset multiple operations are performed sequentialy as the stock is fed through the dieset. Example: 1) a hole or multiple holes are punched, 2) the stock fed a fixed distance, 3) the part blanked out AND stage one repeated in clean stock. Indexing the stock the correct distance is critical.

Indexing is done several ways. On automatic diesets the feeding mechanism is designed to push the stock the exact distance. On manual diesets the correct distance is often done by shearing off a piece of the edge in the first stage to create a stop notch OR the end of the waste material is sheared off creating an "end stop". Then the stock is hand fed against a stop and the second operation performed. When the second operation is performed the first is repeated simultaneously creating a new stop notch or end.

Progressive diesets can be hand fed with narrow strips of stock cut to managable lengths. Automatic diesets are fed from coils of material that may go through straightening rolls as it is fed into the dieset.

Feed mechanisms on automatic diesets are powered by the vertical motion of the upper shoe. Lever mechanisims are often used and so are rack and pinion mechanisms or a combination of the two. Typicaly a lever rotates a shaft through an over running clutch so that feeding is on the up stroke but if the design requires, it can be on the begining of the down stroke. Friction feed wheels on the shaft push the stock into the dieset. These are normaly designed to index the exact distance but can also be combined with a stock stop for added precision.

When punch presses use automatic feed they are usualy run continously and can make hundreds or thousands of parts per hour. The parts fall out of the die, slide down a chute into a container or onto a conveyor. Biscuits and skeletons drop into a waste container or onto another conveyor.

Even when hand fed hundreds of parts can be made in day. I've made hundreds of parts with hand fed progressive diesets on a punch press and also hundreds of blanks using a manualy pumped hydraulic press. Once you have setup to make parts at these rates you also need to look into machine deburing such as a tumbler or vibratory finisher.

Besides the punches, dies and stops, diesets also have pressure pads for clamping the work and stripper plates for pulling the part off a punch (these are often one and the same). Diesets are also packed with heavy springs called "stripper springs" to operate pressure pads and return the top shoe to the open position. Stripper springs are usualy held in place by a special grade of shoulder bolt called a "stripper bolt" but springs can also be held in place by pockets machined in the shoes. The last dieset I built used a combination of the two. The pockets were necessary to get a long enough spring in the narrow space.

Diesets are built from standard parts that are then machined to hold all the parts. Completed shoes on diesets look like Swiss cheese from all the holes and slots machined in them to hold all the parts in precision alignment and to allow the parts to fall through.

A large coil of metal is fed in, and parts slide out. Plink, plink, plink as fast as you can blink. . amazing machines! Progressive diesets are often built for blanking flat parts for everything from watch parts to bridge parts, but are also used to bend and form. Shapes are also made from wire or bar that is fed in and the bent shapes come out.

Punching would be a wasteful method of making rings with narrow sections but it IS done when a continous part with a square section is needed. To blank the part with a thin section after punching would require a pressure pad with heavy clamping. Washers are made this way but they are much less wasteful than a narrow section ring.

You MIGHT be able to use standard round punches and dies in a progressive dieset if you have several index steps before the first blanking operation. Punch, punch then punch and blank. After that each cycle punches and blanks. At the end of the strip you may have some unblanked parts.
   - guru - Wednesday, 12/18/02 17:29:58 GMT

Leaping Lizzards! As Lil' Orphan Annie used to say. . That is a nice desert motif. Some ideas. .

Lizard or snake S-hooks. One end looks like a regular hook the other has little eyes and a mouth. Short legs cut out of the sides with a chisle would convert a smake to a lizard. If you cut the front legs going back and the back legs going forward the result would leave a fat lizard like body.

Kitchen utensils with Leaping Lizzard™ handles. The lizzard's mouth clamped on dipping bowls and spatulas its tail in little loop to hang them from.

Leaping Lizzard™ napkin rings, bracelets and jewelery. Leaping Lizzard™ yin-yang onaments with two lizzards. Leaping Lizzard™ shelf brackets. . .

Leaping Lizzard™ is a tradmark of My Imagination Co, Inc, Ltd. and all proceeds are to be sent HERE (anvilfire.com) ;)

Hashing out these kinds of ideas takes a little crazyness. Once you have a motif run with it. . . Hmmm. . Leaping Lizzard™ belt buckles, Leaping Lizzard™ hair bows, Leaping Lizzard™ key fobs. . .

Leaping lizzards!

   - guru - Wednesday, 12/18/02 17:49:15 GMT

These are, of course, not to be confused with the "Leapin' Lizzerd" line of products from Oakley Forge; or the "Leeping Lizzird" line from YingYang Ironworks in Three Gorges, China! ;-)
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Wednesday, 12/18/02 19:33:05 GMT

Mean Pumpkin face
   - guru - Wednesday, 12/18/02 20:15:55 GMT

Punching Rings (part two): Mike, Jock is right that normally a progressive die is used. But a compound die will also work quite well. A compound die will punch the I.D. like a normal punch and die, but also blank the O.D. up and then return the parts to the strip/stock via spring pressure. All one has to do thereafter is separate the parts (slug, ring, strip).

It will be, however, an expensive set-up (as ALL dies should be, because it's what I do for a living...)

BTW: Jock you've dated yourself with the comment that Dieshoes are cast iron! Most commercial shoes are flame-cut plate steel these days (I use 7075 aluminum on dies that run over 800 SPM and under 30 tons).

   Zero - Wednesday, 12/18/02 20:23:36 GMT

I LIKE cast iron diesets! They machine much easier than those made of dubious plate (imported A-36). But then most of mine are small in the 8" x 12" range and I think most of those are still cast. Now the 7075 T-6 AL machines REAL nice. .

I didn't think of a compound punch and die. But they are a real pain to make and have work right. You can get away with turned and bored tolerances on plain punches and dies but just about have to cylindrical grind compound parts to meet the tolerances. I traded off my Brown & Sharp cylindrical grinder because it was such a bear to setup and use. . .

I'm designing a machine now that will use a die set as a support for part of a bending die. They are much cheaper than anything you could make yourself to do the same job and are usualy much better made than you could aford to make.
   - guru - Wednesday, 12/18/02 22:45:26 GMT

I am a fourth-grader doing a research project- How long was each work day in Colonial times? Also About how many hours a day does a modern blacksmith work? Please Email me back.
   Nick - Wednesday, 12/18/02 23:23:58 GMT

I have a research project to do and i wanted to know are there still blacksmiths today?
   Max - Wednesday, 12/18/02 23:48:28 GMT


Usually about 12 hours a day, sometimes more.

Max. Yes, about 5,000 in the US today.
   Paw Paw - Wednesday, 12/18/02 23:56:47 GMT

Just gotta be different I guess. I don't use die sets any more because I can machine the whole thing on the VMC (CNC vetical mill). Saves a lot of time getting everything lined up. After machining I press in guide pins and bushings and everything matches.
   - grant - Thursday, 12/19/02 00:04:58 GMT

Nick; Blacksmith Workdays:

Paw Paw's 12 hours was pretty standard for colonial times, when people in an agricultural society were used to working from "sunrise to sunset". (Longer in summer and shorter in winter, of course.)

A modern smith, working for a company, may have the standard eight hour day, whereas an independant smith may work until the job gets done, and a farrier (horse shoer) might need to work whenever the job is needed, much like a vet.

In the medieval period (of which there is some connection in these trades with the colonial period) blacksmiths were unique in that they could work effectively at night. It is certainly cooler, and the dim light makes it easier to judge temperature in the ironwork by color. We know this because of the complaints filed by neighbors about the hammering blacksmiths keeping them up at night. Whether night work was common in the colonial era would depend on the smith, the work, and whether he had a lot of neighbors (in town) or none (out in the country). In the modern era, part time, I like to work at night.

Not a hard and fast answer, but something to think about and incorporate into your paper.


There's a whole bunch right here. There are many people who serve as farriers shoeing horses, industrial blacksmiths making tools and repairs, artists blacksmiths, archtectural blacksmiths creating building hardware, blacksmiths at historic sites and schools teaching people about blacksmiths and how to blacksmith... All sorts of folks are blacksmithing these days, professional, part-time and amature. Check out the ABANA site in our links page and see if they list how many members thay have.

Visit your National Parks: www.nps.gov

Go viking: www.wam.umd.edu/~eowyn/Longship/
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Thursday, 12/19/02 04:27:38 GMT

The early horseshoeing shops had horses on the floor all day every work day. In the larger cities, there was even specialization, especially between light or carriage horses and draft horses. Not just everyone wanted to shoe oxen, either; it was a specialty. Great numbers of the early farriers *were* the horse doctors, did everything from floating teeth to treating colic.
   Frank Turley - Thursday, 12/19/02 05:13:42 GMT

In the mountains, we used to say that folks worked from "can to can't". Meaning that they worked from the time they could see (usually just about sunrise) until they could no longer see (usually about an hour after sunset).

As Bruce noted, that was longer in the summer, shorter in the winter.

They didn't work by lantern light very much, coal oil was expensive. Most of the folks that I knew up in the mountains tried to make a five gallon can of coal oil last at least two weeks.
   Paw Paw - Thursday, 12/19/02 05:37:31 GMT

The thought of doing plasma-cut kokopellis makes my stomach churn.
Alex-My teacher has had good luck with lizards and chili peppers on various hardware, etc.. the last couple of trips that we have made, so I have had a chance to get a somewhat of a feel for what sells there. Each time we go to Santa Fe we stop by Rob Gunters to visit, show him our latest work, and see what he's up to. He has been very incouraging about our work, which is a bit of an ego booster. I guess if I brainstorm long enough I can come up with a good original design for that area. Most of what I like to do is flowers, things that involve scrollwork, finials, etc..
   Heather - Thursday, 12/19/02 05:43:39 GMT

Heather; A man named Patrick Spielman, who specializes in books about routers and scrollsaws has a pretty good book out that's just chock full of Southwestern patterns, (including one really good lizard) I don't remember the title right off the top of my head, and my copy is out in the shop, but nearly all the bookstores carry his books in their woodworking sections. He even suggests cutting the lizard out of polished copper and inlaying a piece of patinated (green) copper in sort of a lightning bolt pattern on its back. Of course the designs can be Xeroxed up or down to suit. I hope this will be of some help. Welcome aboard. Best regards, 3dogs
   - 3dogs - Thursday, 12/19/02 07:55:16 GMT

thank you for so much information,i didnt really figure it would be such a process, and since i need about 5k punched rings per chain shirt, i think that i will look for an industrial supplier for the punched rings instead,
thanks again
   Mike Kruzan - Thursday, 12/19/02 14:01:20 GMT


Just out of curiosity, why are you using punched rings? Seems like cut rings would be a lot easier to use.
   Paw Paw - Thursday, 12/19/02 15:11:42 GMT

Do you mind me asking how you came up with 5000 smiths today?
I ask as I suspect the number is greater than that. How many home grown self taught smiths are out there who do ont belong to any groups? I ask as I konw of at least 7. And it would seem to me that there would be more all over the Nation.
Just a thought.....
   Ralph - Thursday, 12/19/02 15:26:54 GMT

I formerly used all-purpose lithium lube (grease) on my leg vise threads. A while back, I was doing research on the hanging of church bells, and the experts said *not* to use grease on the gudgeons/bearings, but rather oil. Over time, grease combines with dirt to create an "abrasive paste", thus causing excess wear. I understand that chain saw oil is good for oiling up the power hammer, maybe also for the vise threads. Any other opinions?
   Frank Turley - Thursday, 12/19/02 15:49:40 GMT

Commercial Punch Work and Maile: Mike, Unless the shop you find just happens to have the dieset on hand AND it doesn't belong to a customer you might get those 5,000 rings for about a little over 10 cents each (the $500 setup charge + material + some profit) and only if the shop is REAL hungry. The price will drop as the number increases by thousands.

BUT I expect that the shape you want is not a typical punched shape. You probably want a square cross section. This is hard to punch and requires very high pressure pad pressure and is also difficult to strip. This in turn shortens the life of the dies. You are back to a custom dieset and the first 5K will cost you over a dollar each (US) 10K about 60 cents each 20K would be getting down to 35 cents each and at 50K the price would start to flatten around 20 cents each. After spending ten thoussand dollars the future price would be a few cents each up until the dies wore out. I may be way off on these numbers but I would not bet on it.

Oh. . this does not include the deburring process. . But most stamping outfits have the necessary equipment for that (at a fee of course).

There are spring manufacturers that can setup their automatic coiling machines to cut open single coil rings at very high rates and it is 100% material efficient. You might even be able to find someone that has square wire.

Many maile makers make their rings by hand coiling and cutting with hand shears. I suspect they make little per hour. I would guess that if you can make a contact overseas in SE Asia or Pakistan that you could get hand coiled and cut rings for less than those made by punch press in quantities of 100,000. Shipping will cost more than the rings.

There are reasons maile was (and is) made the way it was. . .
   - guru - Thursday, 12/19/02 15:57:18 GMT


I don't think I'd use oil on vise threads. The grease may pick up dirt, but so does the oil. The difference is that the oil is relatively thinner and flows out to create a layer that is just enough to hold dirt, but not enough to act as a barrier. The grease, being stiffer, acts as a barrier to dirt getting in where it shouldn't. At least that's my impression. Smarter minds may differ. When I worked in a machine shop, everything was greased and oil was frowned upon since it always found its way to the floor, creating a hazard.
   vicopper - Thursday, 12/19/02 16:00:12 GMT

Square maille wire- Could that be drawn from round, using a carbide draw plate? If so, coiling and cutting 5 or 10 thousand wouldn't take more than a day, if you coil it using a lathe or drill and cut it using a parting or slitting blade in a Foredom flexshaft or a die grinder. A ten minute jig would help the cut from wandering, and a slittin gblade only takes a .020 cut. Add a day for drawing the wire, and you come out ahead of paying a punch press operator.
   vicopper - Thursday, 12/19/02 16:08:01 GMT


Thanks for all the help with stamping! I usually hold the stamps with vice grips, for the first lick anyway. I have gotten pretty good at lining the stamp up with the impression for second and third hits, but it isn;t much fun.

I expect that I need to anneal the shoes before I stamp. I probably quenched them without thinking, which is a bad habit I have gotten into.

Annealing/Normalizing question: One of the bladesmiths I work with always normaizes a blade before he anneals it. Is this required? I thought annealing did everything normalizing did, and more. He gets good results, but I'm not sure if there is a wasted step in there.

Thanks again!!
   Jim - Thursday, 12/19/02 16:17:57 GMT


I'm assuming that you are planning every other ring to be a solid punch and then link them together with riveted or butt-ended open rings? My 3/8" i.d. 14 ga. byrnie took 12,800 links and I'm considered a skinny whimp by most of my crew.

With all of the specialty washers about, surely you could run down something that fits the bill (and stops a billhook).

Visit your National Parks: www.nps.gov

Go viking: www.wam.umd.edu/~eowyn/Longship/
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Thursday, 12/19/02 16:21:45 GMT


I based that "guesstimate" on the member ship of ABANA. There are almost certainly more than that. I did say about.
   Paw Paw - Thursday, 12/19/02 16:44:40 GMT

Guru; a lot of medieval mail consists of alternating rows of punched and rivited links---there's a reason the did and do make it that way!

   - Thomas Powers - Thursday, 12/19/02 17:07:30 GMT


One more area for sharp cornered, small washers is the type used to shim stripper bolts. I believe they only go to 1/16" in thickness (but that's within .012" of 14 ga.).

McMaster-Carr sells 100 3/8" O.D. x 1/4" I.D. for twelve bucks and change, a fastener supplier might be able to cut that price significantly in larger quantities.
   Zero - Thursday, 12/19/02 17:26:25 GMT

Grease vs. Oil: Frank, Generaly the difference in choosing grease verses oil is pressure, design and access.

Oil is sticky and collects dirt just as bad as grease on open surfaces. But oil will run into places where grease must be forced in.

Oil works fine for most applications but runs off open parts. On machine ways and screws it must be constantly replaced. In the process it helps wash away dirt and grit in the old oil. Thus the dripping off is useful. .

On my leg vises and chipping vises (with covered screws) I use Never-Seize on the screw and thrust washers. But on drill press and milling vises I use oil. Due to the constant covering of chips these machine vises must be cleaned and re-oiled regularly.

On lathes oil is used for the ways and lead screws but grease must be used on open gears (those not in an oil bath).

Generaly on lathes, chips do not cause a lot of wear but for several years we were machining a great deal of H-13 and A-2. The chips from both of these come off the tool hot and air quench to full hard. They were like sand on the lathe beds and created an enormous amount of wear in a short time.

SO. . the kind of contamination is as big a contributing factor as the lubrication.

If you are concerned about vise thread wear you need to dissasemble the vise, clean and relubricate on a regular schedule (say at least once a year). But it depends on the amount and kind of use. IF you grind a lot in your vise there will be hard grinding swarf in the lubricant. In this case I would plan on cleaning the threads once a month.

   - guru - Thursday, 12/19/02 17:29:14 GMT

Max, while I am sure you were referring to blacksmiths as the people who still pound out hot iron and steel by hand or with manual power equipment, remember that the science of metallurgy has it's roots in blacksmithing. For hundreds and perhaps thousands of years, Blacksmiths knew how to effectively work metals without knowing why things worked like they do. It was from the practical experience of blacksmiths that scientific metallurgy was born and the "why" could be answered. In fact, the American Society For Metals and Materials, an organization dedicated to metallury, erected a statue of a blacksmith in front of their new building to acknowledge the huge contributions that blacksmiths have made to modern metallurgical technology.
   - Quenchcrack - Thursday, 12/19/02 17:44:57 GMT


You can have your cast iron diesets. In my first year of apprenticeship I was mounting die frames to a CI shoe, and reamed the 1/4" dowel holes on size (just like I did in the O1 frames)... Oops! Dowels fell right through, and the journeyman made me LAP the holes in the hardend frames to .257" to fix the error.

I have hated CI ever since ;-)

Grant: I wholeheartedly agree! Write the G-Code and let the machines do the work -- 'Course, this is also why the trades are dieing...
   Zero - Thursday, 12/19/02 17:52:01 GMT

Vise Thread Lube: Frank, both oil and grease make lapping compound with dirt like has been said. Grease CAN keep dirt out better, but no guarantee. Marine grease is stickier and can drag in more dirt. Chain saw oil is also sticky by design. Foundries are a good training ground for the lapping compound thing. Many times it's better to let things run dry than try to lube them in a foundry. A dry film lubricant like Moly Disulfide in a mineral spirits carrier is a good choice since the mineral spirits evaporates leaving the moly disulfide and it does not attract dust and dirt. Reapply regularly. Personally, I also use never sieze on my vise threads and make sure there is a deflector to keep the bulk of the falling crud off. I also cut my threads very tight so the threads act as a wiper to keep crud out. I never chamfer the holes before threading for a dirty power screw application either. Let the sharp corners do the wiper thing.

I assume you are talking about a purchased vise with the typical *relatively* sloppy threads. I'd use never sieze with moly disulfide or a dry lube like moly in a wet carrier or dry graphite powder for those. A vise screw has high loading during clamping and pounding while clamped. I consider a lubricant to be required for a vise screw to keep galling down.
   - Tony who works in the lubrication business. - Thursday, 12/19/02 19:49:48 GMT

Hi All!

I've been wanting to put together a "bean can" forge in my basement for awhile now. Stopped at the hardware store today and picked up a small canister (same size as typical hand held propane torch) of "MPS" methylacetylyene propanid (?can't remember this one) gas. Is it hotter than propane? And will it work with my regular propane valve assembly?

   Tony Canevaro - Thursday, 12/19/02 19:53:50 GMT

MAPP GAS Tony, MAPP is much hotter burning than propane. It is possible to melt kaowool with it. However, the BTU's in a given space have a lot to do with maximum temperature so if the core of the flame is not deflecting off the kaowool it may hold up.

Try it and find out.

We sell Kaowool by the foot. I'm still working on our forge "repair kits". They will probably have enough material including ITC-100 to make a bean-can forge. . .
   - guru - Thursday, 12/19/02 20:41:48 GMT

Thanks Jock.

Next question, will it work with my regular hand propane bottle valve kit etc?
   Tony Canevaro - Thursday, 12/19/02 20:50:03 GMT

chainsaw oil .... frank ...what weight do you use on the power hammer, heavy, medium or light right now I'm using 90w gear oil on my 25#Kerrihard , but I noticed a gallon can of cream separater oil in the back of Kitt's General store that must be 40 years old and I was wondering.. it must be gear type oil...the price is right. old oil for an old machine
   - lydia - Thursday, 12/19/02 20:57:43 GMT


Yes, MAPP will work in a regular propane torch kit. I've been using it that way for over twenty years now. Never had a problem.
   Paw Paw - Thursday, 12/19/02 21:04:01 GMT

Do you sell the Koawool board as well as the blanket? If not, do you know of someone who sells small quantities, say by the square foot? Thanks.
   Patrick Nowak - Thursday, 12/19/02 21:30:16 GMT

I think I've heard someone saying they use steam cylinder oil in their self-contained hammer. Anyone know where to get such a thing?
   - grant - Thursday, 12/19/02 23:02:50 GMT

Kaowool HS Board and Options: Patrick, I have some 1" but it is very pricy stuff. I bought a single sheet from a broken carton at the wharehouse. . Full cartons are VERY pricy. .

I would have to sell it at around $25/sq ft. in cut pieces . . the market may be pretty slim at that price. And I would probably have to set the dimensions so that there was not a lot of waste. 12 x 12, 12 x 6, 8 x 12, 6 x 8. Maybe not that many choices.

An option I am looking at is a ceramic binder. Applied to regular Kaowool blanket it makes it stiff like the board product. I have bought a sample and I am playing with it. So far it works pretty well and it might be an economical option to board. It is another one of those things that must be purchased in large quantities to get a reasonable price on. . You don't want to know what the 1 pint sample cost me.

The water based binder is soaked into the kaowool and allowed to air dry. Then it is cured by heating. The result is a hard lightweight refractory block or whatever shape you form it into. I bought it to mold some burner blocks from (more R&D).

The binder has a higher temperature rating than the Kaowool so I suspect it raises the working temperature. It is thin enough that it only increases the density of the blanket slightly. Combined with an ITC-100 coating it should make fairly durable parts.
   - guru - Thursday, 12/19/02 23:57:14 GMT

Steam oil,

Well Grant I happen to frequent many steam forums and easily found a guy that sells Cylesstic TK-1000, unfortunatly he will NOT ship it. Unless you live near Chester, New Jersey, he won't be of any help. He just bought a 55 gal drum of it and puts it into 5 gal containers.

This link is for steam oils. Cylesstic is a "common" oil for steam cars.


You would most likely need to purchase 55 gal of it, and pay for hazardess material handling.

This is for compressor oils.


Since you are working with a air system I would supose that a oil made for compressors would be the most effecient and effective.

This is not to say that steam oil would not be effective. If someone was using steam oil in there hammer I would suppose that it was left over from a steam hammer from somewhere and he thought hey it's oil for cylinders it should work. It most likely did, although as I hinted to before, it probaly didn't do the best job.

Some of the guys here that are more in the know almost assurdly have specifics on which oil's are made for self-contained hammers.
   Caleb Ramsby - Friday, 12/20/02 01:38:04 GMT

Simply, put my question refers to getting into blacksmithing. Metal working with weaponary is something that interest me a great deal, not only weaponary really metal working overall I find fascinating. However, I'm not sure how I should go about getting into this. So I'm asking what I should due to get a start in it. Thank you kindly for any questions you ask, and may all of you be well and have a happy christmas season.
   Justin Noel - Friday, 12/20/02 02:19:48 GMT

Justin, Start at the beginning. Armor and bladesmithing are the most technical and demanding areas of smithing. Start with the basics, then study heat treating and metalurgy. Some art and history don't hurt either.

Click the link at the bottom of this log, "Getting Started in Blacksmithing".
   - guru - Friday, 12/20/02 02:49:01 GMT

Guru, I wanted to share a technique I stumbled upon. Putting a handrail in a restored Victorian home the other day, of course just after the painters, finish carpenters, etc... We needed to heat a section of rail that had been welded in order to straighten and scale it to blend with the rest of the rail. We made a "shield out of a 1/4" masonite sheet and 18 ga. steel sheet. We sandwiched 1" of Kaowool between and were able heat to cherry red a six inch section 1 1/4" from a fine wood trim and the wall that had an "egg-shell" coat. No damage, great tool. Am thinking of making several more of different sizes and shapes to accomodate different conditions I.E. wall brackets, etc.. TC
   Tim Cisneros - Friday, 12/20/02 03:11:11 GMT

I would like to know who invented the tool the hammer and what year it was invented? Also the deffinition of a hammer.
   all ciggi55 - Friday, 12/20/02 03:17:21 GMT

all ciggi55l,

We all would like to know that. The hammer was invented when some lonely cave man tied a rock to a stick so he could swing it futher.
   Paw Paw - Friday, 12/20/02 03:49:45 GMT

harder, not futher.
   Paw Paw - Friday, 12/20/02 03:50:10 GMT

Invention of the Hammer: all ciggi55, The hammer was invented by an ape who picked up a rock to smash a nut. The hammer with handle as we know it was invented by a man that we would think was more ape than man. Date? About four to five million years ago.

A hammer is any heavy mass of hard substance used to strike another object.

After the lever, the hammer is probably the oldest tool invented.
   - guru - Friday, 12/20/02 04:13:35 GMT


When you consider that the handle of a hammer is actually a form of lever, it might be the first tool. Although someone may have used a branch to pry a rock away before that. Hard to tell, really.
   Paw Paw - Friday, 12/20/02 04:27:38 GMT

Techniques and Kaowool: Tim, That is an interesting coincedence. Today I sold a roll of 1/2" Kaowool to a contractor in OH that uses it over copper pipes while soldering to protect the adjacent (usualy wood) framing from catching fire. They use it as a consumable. It is a lot cheaper than accidently setting someone's home on fire.

You didn't happen to take any pictures of the operation?

Other applications we have sold Kaowool for:

Fireplace chimney flue liner insulation.
Machine component insulation.
Model steam engine boiler insulation.
Sweat Lodge rock furnace lining.
Blacksmith forges
Small melting furnaces
   - guru - Friday, 12/20/02 04:27:42 GMT

The Guru is just being modest. He invented the hammer and that's just one reason to join CSI and support him and Anvilfire.
   - Pete F - Friday, 12/20/02 05:09:44 GMT

I didn't realize that the guru's first name was Tubal Cain! Will wonders never cease?
   Paw Paw - Friday, 12/20/02 05:14:20 GMT

Ceramic fiber board.
I found a place in Portland Oregon that sell it. I think they have a minimum of 4 square feet or something like that.....
I bought a piece that was about 3 foot by 4 foot for about 50.00 USD about 4 years ago.....
If I can find the name and phone number I will post it here
   Ralph - Friday, 12/20/02 06:25:19 GMT

Re the post about working at night. If you haven't tried working in the dark, turn off all the lights in your shop and try working only by forge light. You will throw away whatever you were working on the next morning. As for coal oil, that did not exist in the 18th century. You were basically stuck with fat lamps, or candles. Some limited work can be done by candle light, but candles were relatevely expensive and people tended to limit their use. Mostly, people worked when they could see by that big light in the sky. They also took time off to fish, hunt, visit picnic, attend gatherings. There is simply no good evidence that people worked all the time, any more than modern people do. There were also economic slowdowns and no work in the shop to be done. Nor was everyone ambitious enough to work as much as possible. There is pretty good evidence that people in the manufacturing trades in Englsnd effectively worked four or four and a half days each week in the 18th century.
Tioraidh, Shel
   Shel - Friday, 12/20/02 10:14:57 GMT

Shel, of course working with charcoal and dark adjusted eyes helps a lot. (throw a bit of wood on top of the fire and you have better light source than most hovels did) I've done a bit of forging by the light of the forge and I didn't throw out the pieces. It was easier with even 1 candle-makes a pretty good light for the anvil. I wouldn't want to be doing a blade but much of the work of the smith in earlier years was not so picky.

Also remember that working wrought iron your piece may be putting out a lot of light up there around yellow-white!

It's easy to forget that with all the commonality with smithing through time there were some discrete changes in there as well.

Thomas me beastie me do dat ting
   - Thomas Powers - Friday, 12/20/02 13:56:24 GMT

Work Day. George Sturt* talks about his work day in 1884, apprenticing as a wheelwright in England. Work started at 6:00 AM and ended at 6:00 PM, except on Saturday, work ended at 4:00 PM. If there was overtime work, there was tea time from 5:30 to 6:00, and the work continued till 8:00 PM.
I suppose this was in the era of what we term, "The Work Ethic" or "The Protesant Ethic".

The Old Hammer. I believe the archeologists would call a hammer a tool of "direct percussion". If another tool was held between the hammer and the workpiece, it was a tool of "indirect percussion". Took a long time for mankind to discover the indirect tool. We teach it the first day at school.

I'm minded of a story Peter Ross shared. He was in Texas, and during a demo break, a teenaged boy approached him to share that the boy's grandpa had invented the cold chisel. Peter was so taken aback by this astounding news, that he agreed with the young man and told him he should be very proud of his grandpa's accomplishment. A veritable diplomat.

* "The Wheelwright's Shop" by George Sturt, Cambridge University Press, 1963. 1st Edition, 1923.
   Frank Turley - Friday, 12/20/02 14:19:16 GMT

Working in the Dark. David Duckett is a farrier, originally from Britain, who is a demonstrator at horseshoeing gatherings. He apparently trained himself to make horseshoes in the dark. By constant, repeated effort, he was able to make incredibly fine-looking shoes.
   Frank Turley - Friday, 12/20/02 14:32:00 GMT


I wasn't implying that this was standard practice at all times and all places, but it was done, and so should be considered. (Trust me; people wouldn't complain about blacksmiths NOT working at night and NOT making noise...) Also, just because you are able to work at night doesn't mean that you started at sunrise. It would all depend upon the circumstances and incentives. Historic lighting was not limited to candles and oil lamps. See: http://www.markland.org/lettherebelight.php . A probable lighting brazier was also found with the Mastermyr tools from the late Viking age. The number of candles one was willing to burn would probably be related to the profit margins and deadlines of the work. I’ve worked at night with primitive technology and with passable results.

The point that I was trying to make (perhaps clumsily) was: that there was no set answer in earlier periods; that sunrise to sunset was not a hard and fast rule; and that time was a different concept. (We joke that the secret to Viking navigation is that they didn't have to be home for work on Monday morning- you were where you were, and staying alive WAS the job.) One scholar computed that, if you threw in all of the feast days and Sunday, the medieval peasant had every third day off. I'm sure that I could pull a number of references to night work in the blacksmith's trade, and whether it was common or not, and under what circumstances it was done; but I'm not the one writing the paper. ;-)

On the other claw, most guilds strictly regulated/forbid working at night or in low-light conditions, in part because of the possibility of inferior craftsmanship that you observed.

Rainy and warm on the banks of the Potomac.

Visit your National Parks: www.nps.gov

Go viking: www.wam.umd.edu/~eowyn/Longship/
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Friday, 12/20/02 14:41:08 GMT

Work Hours in 18th and 19th Century England: During this period English merchants provided the entire world (or at least all the English colonies) with finished goods. Many of these were produced in the "cottage" industry or by what we call "homeworkers" today. Under this system many rural folks that were also subsistance farmers were given materials to convert to finished goods. Many of these items were very labor intensive such as making files.

Cottage workers making files for the famous Stubbs brand were given steel bars which they forged, annealed, ground hand scraped and then hand cut every tooth with a cold chisel and a heavy curved handled hammer. The finished but soft files were returned to Stubbs where they were hardened.

These were family businesses where everyone that could took part in the process. Child labor was used for much of the grinding and scraping to prepare the blanks.

Often these were seasonal jobs done when the farming was not absorbing the entire day. This meant the work was done primarily in the winter, indoors, in cramped dark and poorly heated shops or in the living area of the home.

There are no records of the actual hours OR how many hours children contributed to this process. These were jobs for desperate people and they would have worked as long as possible. In fact they were forced to by their economic conditions.

Because of the abuses of long hours and low pay by women and children in cottage industries up until the twentieth century, we have laws preventing businesses from employing "homeworkers" as well as child labor laws. Abuse was rampant and 12 hour days were NOT unusual.

With the advent of the home computer and the virtual electronic office or "electronic commuting" there have been many arguments about the use of "homeworkers" in modern business. The problem is that outside of an observable workplace the abuses can occur.

SO, how many hours do *I* work in my office as a self employed "home worker" and blacksmith to keep anvilfire going? On the average day 12 hours, but it is not unusual for me to spend 16 hours a day in order to keep up with everything. . . But these are usualy days where I have taken off a few hours the day before. My average anvilfire week is 84 hours or more. That is 4380 hours a year compared to the 8 hour 5 day a week worker that averages 2020 hours a year.

Like the homeworker of the past my survival depends on the long hours I put in.

As for working in the dark. . In heavy forge shops of old the light came from forges which even with doors shed brilliant light from the cracks. White hot pieces of steel do not need to be very large to shed brittiant light. Generaly TOO much light was the problem.

And, any smith that forges iron past the point where it sheds enough light to be easily seen in the dark is a fool. Anyone that says you cannot do perfectly beautiful forge work in the dark has never worked at the forge more than a few hours. At the last demo I did at Atli's farm during Camp Fenby last summer we worked by forge light well into the dark and nearly until midnight. In fact, I was wearing a pair of our #2 shade safety glasses because they cut down on the glare and made it easier to see in the dark! Anyone that has been to any large blacksmith gathering where there are open forges also knows that forging goes on well into the night by nothing more than the the glow of the fires and the hot steel.

THEN there are are many friends that live near the artic circle. Places where the winter daylight is only a few haours a day. In order to survive many things are done in the "dark" by marginal firelight. Modern electric lighting has skewed how we think about how people worked in the past.
   - guru - Friday, 12/20/02 16:37:36 GMT

Working in the dark:

Well, I have done a lot of forging after dark set in. Granted this has been outside under the stars and the MOON. If you live in a city and don't get out much then you will probably be asking, "What stars, the moon produces light?".

Yes, moon light is very adventages to night work, especially when the work does not involve a fire. I have a book entitled "Diary of an Early American Boy", written by Eric Sloane. The boys name is Noah Blake. In it the kid states that one day his father told him that they would be taking an early break and begin working again when the moon rose. They were shingling a roof and the work was very profecient.

I had never thought of wearing shades at night, at first it seems counter intuitive, but from my experience looking directly into the forge even for a moment distorts ones vision for a while and can almost blind you when your eyes have adjusted to the low light.

I do LOVE working metal at night under the stars, to me there are few thing more beutifull than hot metal glowing and being moved in the dark. Sometimes I have to catch myself because I will inadvertantly pull out the metal and just stare in aww. And yes, I can make good work in the "dark".

For me the worst lighting situation is a shop that is right in the middle, where the artificial light is just barely brighter than the forge and metal, probably just my eyes.
   Caleb Ramsby - Friday, 12/20/02 17:27:15 GMT


> For me the worst lighting situation is a shop that is right in the middle, where the artificial light is just barely
brighter than the forge and metal, probably just my eyes.

You're not alone in this. During the day, I frequently turn off the lights in my shop and just leave the door open. And Jock can tell you that my shop is not brightly lighted.

Bruce, Jock, and Caleb,

Thank you for your further definition of working conditions. I deliberately didn't respond to Shel's post. Those of you who know me will understand why.
   Paw Paw - Friday, 12/20/02 17:35:27 GMT

"any smith that forges iron past the point where it sheds enough light to be easily seen in the dark is a fool"

*NO*! Wrought iron works better at elevated temps and working it at yellow is a *suggested* technique---I was replying about working wrought iron, not modern steels and wrought iron works very well at elevated temps that would leave A36 burning like a sparkler. As we were discussing earlier times, wrought iron would have been the norm.

(Moxon does discuss the various heats used for smithing in the late 17th early 18th century)

Thomas a fool for wrought iron
   - Thomas Powers - Friday, 12/20/02 17:59:41 GMT

Gage Tables:

Am I going crazy, or did I see tables converting ferrous and non-ferrous metal gages to decimal inches on this site? I’ve bashed all over the menu here and at the two other sites I victimize on a regular basis, but I can’t seem to turn it up. I also checked my links (filed under “Heavy Metal”) and no luck there, either.

   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Friday, 12/20/02 18:00:16 GMT

I agree that working at night by the light of the moon and stars is a pleasure. Separates you from the troubles of the day, and lets you concentrate on the job at hand. Only thing better is a large fluffy snow flakes slowly falling while you forge.
   - Ntech - Friday, 12/20/02 18:05:20 GMT

Smowflakes???? Never! First snowflake I see anywhere within gunshot of my forge and I'm moving further South. Moonlight forging I love, starlight is fine, firelight is best...but no snowflakes!

Rainy and chilly (74ºF), almost too cold to do anything but forging.
   vicopper - Friday, 12/20/02 18:44:52 GMT

Thank You, Caleb, that's a great help!
   - grant - Friday, 12/20/02 19:03:26 GMT

Thomas, you mis-understood the guru. You went the wrong direction when you visualized what he meant. He meant that anyone who worked it in the dark after it had cooled to where it could no longer be see, I think.
   Paw Paw - Friday, 12/20/02 19:03:34 GMT

Gages Atli, The only ones we have here are a few in a small table on a drawing of a forge hood on the plans page.

Best source of that info is your MACHINERY'S HANDBOOK. . but you probably don't have one in your office. . . :(
   - guru - Friday, 12/20/02 19:12:55 GMT

Grant, it was a pleasure.

Paw Paw, it's good to know that I am not the only one.

Ntech, as a matter of fact that is how I got started. Stars, moon, snowflakes, mabey a candle or 2 and since I was more ignorant at the time, an 8' tall spiral of sparks flying out of the forge. I was using charcoal bricket at the time, I would not endorse these. grin

Thomas, it is my belief that the good Guru was talking about hammering iron that is BELOW the temperature that can be seen in the dark. I have smithed with a guy that was an early beginer and caught him hammering and using a scroll fork on the metal when it went to black. When I told him it needed another heat, that he would cause cracks when hammering iron below it's forging temperature and should aneal it before going any further or throw it away. He just smiled and kept on working. Then again I once caught him using a bick(a small one you put into the hardie) with the tip shoved into the pritchel while a fuller occupied the hardie hole. If they had been my tools he would have been punched . . . and should have been anyways.
   Caleb Ramsby - Friday, 12/20/02 19:23:18 GMT

Frank, I find that I am working in the dark even when the lights are on.
   - Quenchcrack - Friday, 12/20/02 20:59:31 GMT

Ok, I can see it that way too. I got into forging through bladesmithing where overheating can be a major problem---it *still* takes an act of will for me to heat wrought iron up to where it likes to be---so good Guru---*Nevermind*!

Caleb; I'd refuse to work with a fellow like that---misusing the tools and metal can cause problems that *you* get to participate in---don't you just hate to have a fellow flip you a hot piece to juggle while your back is turned!

I do a lot of raw newbie teaching---walk ups at SCA events and I have now had 2 folks in the last 20 years that I refused to teach for safety reasons. One would listen to what I said and do the exact opposite. The other never made it to the forge. I told him not to throw his trash in my scrap barrel/post vise stand and when he did it anyway cause "there was already trash in it" I ran him off to the other side of the rope.

   - Thomas Powers - Friday, 12/20/02 22:47:28 GMT

back in july when i got my forge and anvil the only place i could work was on the back of my fathers property, and since it was in a semi residential neighborhood i was restricted to working during daylight hours... it was rather rough, not being able to see the colors of the metal, not really knowing when the forge was running too hot etc..

a couple months ago me and duncan_sca from this website started getting together on teusday mornings and forging in his garage, it is quite a bit darker in there and my work has greatly improved (still quite the novice but now i have forge welded and made rather nice looking scrolls and even repared a couple of pairs of tongs, along side duncan)

everyone here at anvilfire has been a great help! and i plan on joining csi asap

thanks everyone!
   Mike Kruzan - Saturday, 12/21/02 00:02:20 GMT

Walking in the shop after lunch one day, I found one of my neophytes pouring linseed oil out of a gallon can onto his warm iron to give it a finish. There was a big puddle of oil on the dirt floor and on his boots. ¡¡Ay,Chihuahua!!
   Frank Turley - Saturday, 12/21/02 00:05:21 GMT

Greetings from icy Quebec. I am in semi-retirement. My little forge is finally installed, my torches rebuilt and like new, and my faithful Lincoln welder wired up properly.
I find the new, 110v core-wire welders very affordable.
However, long ago, I remember that the one I briefly used on my farm welding course had inert gas, not core flux.
Is there anyone that could tell me if such a welder can be of use for a hobbyist who wants to weld thin sheet metal and repair small articles but only on an intermittent basis, and with less skill than a full-time welder? Brazing does not always fill the bill. Thanks for your time, and the best of health and peace to all in the new year.
   gary callaghan - Saturday, 12/21/02 00:06:08 GMT


I bought the Miller 110 with flux core wire. It worked, and worked fairly well. But I wanted the versatility of the inert gas shield, so purchased the add on kit. Now I can use it with gas, or with flux core wire, either one.
   Paw Paw - Saturday, 12/21/02 01:04:08 GMT

My little sister's(21) x-boyfriend was discussing with me once that he had always wanted to forge his dream ax. Mind you he had never struck hot metal before and his dream ax was a 120# thing about as tall as a person. He showed up one night(he was dating my sister at the time) when I had the forge going and tried to get me to let him use my forge to make this ax. Well first I asked him what he knew about heat treating, what metal he would use and if he would punch the massive hole or fold and weld the blade. Although he owns over 100 knives, he couldn't answer any of these questions. Well, I suggested that he try to make a small hatchet before the 120# ax and a wall hook before the hatchet. He didn't seem to like this idea, but I handed him a hammer and told him "Even an idiot deserves a chance to learn." He tried to make a knife out of a bolt. Needless to say he never used my forge again.

Excuse the rant, but sometimes. . .
   Caleb Ramsby - Saturday, 12/21/02 02:21:02 GMT


Some people are strange. You can teach them, but you can't teach them much! (grin)
   Paw Paw - Saturday, 12/21/02 02:56:51 GMT

Hey Mike, and Justin, and other SCA types. Where are you at? I am in north central Indiana, near Purdue University. The Barony of Rivenstar, in the Middle Kingdom... If I am lucky my new hammer will get here before the end of the year:-) (Sorry about the chatty stuff Jock:-)

Merelion's Lair Forge
   Fionnbharr - Saturday, 12/21/02 03:04:01 GMT

It reallly is hard to explain to people in the most undestanding and diplomatic terms, that their desire is completely unrealistic, and that blacksmithing is a large set of highly developed skills that all revolve around bending metal to your will. The will and the desire are not enough on their own, you have to take the time to aquire the knowledge and the skill to do anything with metal. It is not a very forgiving material:-) We always called the results of more ambition than skill a potatoe:-)
   Fionnbharr - Saturday, 12/21/02 03:09:55 GMT

Gary, I still use my oxy-acetylene for all sorts of small stuff. It's slower than arc, but it's so much fun! I've gas welded lots of sheet metal, making allowances of course, for expansion and contraction. There is a vignette in "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenace" about welding sheet metal with gas.
   Frank Turley - Saturday, 12/21/02 03:32:51 GMT

Oh ye gods! We've broken out in Scadians!

(Crusty old Marklander goes mumbling away into the night, planning more cook pots, shield bosses and spearheads.)

I have to admit that most newcomers' ambitions outrun their abilities. I know mine still do. The other factor is that most of these folks have no idea of how much time it takes to learn to do a good job, and then how much time it takes just to do a good job. If I gave up the Park Service, longships, medieval reenacting, newspapers, church and family I could probably start catching up. Ah well, I may die of exhaustion, but I'll never die of boredom.

Visit your National Parks: www.nps.gov

Go viking: www.wam.umd.edu/~eowyn/Longship/
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Saturday, 12/21/02 04:13:28 GMT

Paw Paw, you are absolutly correct.

So many people: I have always favored ambition, it is one of those great things that keep our souls awake. It is the people whos goal in life(usualy out of their control and from birth) is to retain as much ignorance as possible, while making up their own reality and using said reality to poison the minds of others who are at the fork in the road. One way ignorance and bliss, the other enlightenment and uncontrolable contemplation of the wonders of the world.

Well, my agressive stance on this mentality is one of the reasons that I have become a member of CSI. Trying to help the good Guru fight the ever-powerfull "anti-gurus" that are ever present(theres one now, quick hold up that Machinery's Handbook, it weakens them!) and explain to the victims of the "anti-gurus" that it is not their fault, they just had an "inteletctual/information molestation" occur. And that it will be alright.

So fight the good fight and support this great weapon of knowledge known as ANVILFIRE and it's weilder(sp) known only as the Guru to the best of your ability.

P.E.S. Captain Overboard is throwing off the sink weights and will most likely get the bends soon. . .
   Caleb Ramsby - Saturday, 12/21/02 06:55:20 GMT


Take ten deep breaths of coal smoke to ward of the bends. (grin)
   Paw Paw - Saturday, 12/21/02 13:23:18 GMT

"Even an idiot deserves a chance to learn."

Caleb, that is the funniest line I've heard in a long time. Do you mind if I borrow it occasionally? I'd like to chant it under my breath when I do absurd things in the shop.
   Gronk - Saturday, 12/21/02 16:46:21 GMT

Calab, On that guy with the large ax. He wanted you to do it of course.
Just my two cents worth William
   triw - Saturday, 12/21/02 17:08:48 GMT

flux core welders - Gary if you buy one of the good brands they can indeed do MIG welding with gas shielding. Lincoln offers a little wire feed welder that can be upgraded. Miller and Hobarts 110v wire feed come ready set up for gas and are, IMO, much better made then the equivalent Lincoln. I have the Hobart 135 and I just love it
   adamada - Saturday, 12/21/02 17:38:57 GMT

Steel Ball Breakers: A friend of mine used to call the pair of partners he worked for "steel ball breakers". It didn't matter what they touched, old or new they could break it without trying. There are some folks that are just LIKE that. I have known a few and I do not believe they can be taught out of their condition. They were probably breaking toys when they were 4 and by the time they are adults they have a LONG history of breaking things. It is in their nature, it is their character. They are VERY dangerous in metal working shops, especialy those like our blacksmith shops full of antique machinery.

Steel Ball Breakers are second cousins to the Machine Molesters I mentioned recently. They do things like crank the valves down so tight on your new welding torch so that they will never again seal right (all it takes is ONE time, and they do it the FIRST time).

These are the folks that have shifted every machine they touched into back gear without taking it out of direct drive first. . . This breaks off a hand full of gear teeth that will cost more to repair than can be afforded so almost every old machine tool has useless broken back gears.

The Steel Ball Breakers bolt tightening mantra is "Tighten until it strips then back off half a turn. Tighten until it . . ." These are the same folks that BELIEVE the red line on tachometers is the normal shift point and that "PARK" on an automatic transmission is the same the brakes.

Steel Ball Breakers are the reason that most unbreakable warrantees have the "except in case of abuse" line". They are the folks that pick up your favorite hammer in in a blink of an eye return it with a broken or splintered handle or the face deeply mared from pounding on SOMETHING harder than the hammer.

In our shops with carefully restored old machine tools that could survive and be useful for many more generations the Steel Ball Breakers are the death knell.

These folks are like "Calamity Jane" and things just "happen" over and over and over. . . They never just burn up the motor on ONE machine, or break the handle off ONE machine, they will eventualy break every thing that can be broken in your shop. These are also the same people that repeatedly get hurt on the job and know more about lawyers and the insurance system than you ever will (or want to).

The superstitious call these folks a "jinx". But there is no superstition in being just plain dangerous. And all we can do is try to avoid them and keep them out of our shops.
   - guru - Saturday, 12/21/02 17:42:55 GMT

I have found the most affective talisman for geting rid of the intentionaly ignorant. when one walks up and ask's to learn give them a list of books to read... boy do they hate that... they hate it even more when you tell them you will let them use the forge the next time if they have read at least one of the books on your list. and just becouse it is harder to shut me up about smithing than it is to get me to talk about it. I love to give LONG involved overly indepth ancers to questions (I have to force my self to keep it short at demos :(>) they don't seem to like that much.
I think that type would only be happy if they could get a comlpet mind dump in less than 5 Min.
sorry for the rant ... got my hackels up it did.
   MP - Saturday, 12/21/02 17:51:01 GMT

Paw Paw, I wonder if charcoal would substitute. grin

Gronk, Sure, use it all you want, I had never thought of it as a mantra before. I should write a song entitled "Even an idiot deserves a chance to learn." Going to go tune up my 12 string.

William, Yeah, I was starting to get that feeling. Good grief, with only hand hammers that would have taken me a month, I can see it now, "Well, since this involved so much labor and a hernia, I will trade you your truck for the ax."
   Caleb Ramsby - Saturday, 12/21/02 17:54:40 GMT

All knowing and Sorcerer of the Cyberic Prairie,please tell me if I were to purchase a powerhammer,like the small "The Bull",which requires a minimum of 20 c.f.m.,at 90lbs. to run constantly,as per the company,how mite it run with on 15 c.f.m.,at 90lbs.,used not constantly????I present have a I-R air compressor doing just that.I saw the powerhammer,at a demo,at a fellow P.A.B.A.members shop and I really liked the control it had with the user.Thanks for your time,Buberoo.
   BUB - Saturday, 12/21/02 18:00:01 GMT

MP, these are the same people I give the "That engine needs a can of compression" treatment. Sending them off on a wild dragonfly chase. Books are these peoples enemy, it weakens them.

Steel Ball Breakers: I have been friends with a family of this type. The frightening thing is that everyone they have know, even the school bus, has had every one of their vehicles break down at their property at some point. Then again when Nick, the grandpa, was still alive, you had to keep an eye out because he had a tendancy to spontainiasly start torching and welding on your vehicle if he didn't like the way it was built. He, I actualy respected, because he would "fix" the stuff that he broke.
   Caleb Ramsby - Saturday, 12/21/02 18:14:55 GMT

Caleb: I've always used the "piston return spring" goose chase on the dullards.

I NEVER let any one use, or borrow, a tool unless:

They can afford to buy a new one if they break it.


Are smart (and talented) enough to fix it if they break it.

Guru: Heard way too many back-gears grind in my life, especially on the Bridgeport J1's -- head gear would "stick" and not drop correctly... Grrrrrrr

   Zero - Saturday, 12/21/02 20:18:05 GMT

Hello, i was wondering if anyone could help me out. Im planning on doing some forks and spoons in the near future and i was wondering which stainless steel alloy would be good to use in terms of looks, price, and forgeability. Also what kind of finishing techniques are necessary to get a good polish, or at least a finish that isnt sandblasted or only wire brushed? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
   mike - Saturday, 12/21/02 20:56:01 GMT

mike- I've forged a few utensils out of readily available 304 stainless, and it works about as good as anything else I've tried. NO stainless is easy to forge, and all of them are a bear to polish. I haven't found any substitute for lots of elbow grease when it comes to polishing the stuff. Files first, then progressively finer grits of silicon carbide abrasive paper.

Stainless will develop firescale when heated to forging temperatures, and it can be difficult to remove. I've been experimenting with a crude form of electropolishing to remove the scale and passivate the surface. The passivation is absolutely necessary or the stainless won't be stainless.

For stainless to be "rustproof", it relies on a layer of chromium oxide on the surface, and no free iron. Up until recently, the standard method of passivation involved pickling in a nitric acid/hydrofluoric acid/potassium chromate bath. That solution is toxic, dangerous, and environmentally unfriendly. Most places are now using a citric acid pickling bath for passivation. I haven't yet tried that, since no one here sells citric acid. (I guess no one here does home canning anymore.)

My preliminary results with my homemade electropolishing setup are very promising, and I'm still working on improving it. The objective is to get it to where it can be done with materials available anywhere and be relatively simple to set up and operate. I'm about half way there, I think, and I'll post the complete method, with all the requisite disclaimers and warnings, when I get it finalized.

In the meantime, I'd suggest pickling in a 10% by weight solution of citric acid in distilled water at 100ºF for about half an hour. According to what I've read, that should do it. I don't know if that will remove firescale, though. As I said, I haven't tried it.

BTW- 304 stainless is 18% Cr, 8% Ni, and is what much commercial tablewear is made of.
   vicopper - Saturday, 12/21/02 22:08:33 GMT

mike- I neglected to mention that when you finish the sanding, (down to 320 grit or finer), then you buff it with a high quality muslin or hemp buffing wheel and stainless steel buffing compound. DO NOT buff regular steel with the same wheel, or it will be irrevocably contaminated and will cause your stainless to rust. The same goes for wire wheels/brushes...they must be stainless steel or they will contaminate the surface with iron.

I'm told there is a new type of buffing wheel on the market now that is superior to the fabric types, but I'm not familiar with it. Jock will probably know about it, though.
   vicopper - Saturday, 12/21/02 22:14:18 GMT

Smaller Air Hammer Bub, if they are still in business the Trip Air made in North Carolina has a 40 pound ram and SHOULD be the most frugal of the fabricated air hammers made. However, I believe they TOO recommend a 5HP compressor. It may have a 40 pound ram (compared to 90's and 125's) but it runs faster. . .

See our Manufacturer's list and back issues of the Anvil's Ring. They never advertised here and do not have a web site that I know of.
   - guru - Saturday, 12/21/02 22:30:44 GMT

Small Air Hammer... A correction Bub. The Bull 75 prefers 20-25 CFM @150 PSI. You CAN run it on a 5hp 2 stage compressor, and it will work, but not to its full potential. If you are mainly working on smaller stock, and using top tools, and some clappers you might be happy with the proformance running a little lean on air. But you will not be able to forging large sections of 1"< square stock, atleast not in one heat like it should. For production work on any level I would upgrade my compressor. Because running an undersized compressor can cause extra wear and tear on the compressor. A compressor that is designed for an intermitant duty cycle generally doesn't hold up too well, when asked to run continuiously for a few hours straight in a 100+ degree shop (summer time, large forge, HOT compressor=burnt compressor:-) I bit the bullet and got a 7.5hp light industrial compressor.

If you are handy and ambitious you could always build your own, and scale it to the air consumpution rate you have. There are the Kenyon plans and a number of websites that discuss the technical aspects of building and tuning a hammer. If you don't want to build your own there are a number of guys that sell home built hammers on small websites, by looking through the webring, and doing a little creative websearching you should bring up a few guys. I would of course check them out with references, and their local groups, but it is another option...(Sorry I don't have any urls, I didn't save my bookmarks, in my last system upgrade, urgh:-)

If you are near a major city with industry, there should be a used machinery dealer, and you might be able to get a nice used 3phase industrial compressor for the price of a new 7.5 hp (not chump change, but still a good deal:-) I could have gotten a 20hp Quincy industrial compressor at Morris Rezman Machinery, in Chicago for around 1400$, but I don't have 3 phase, and I didn't have the change for a phase converter too...

If you have a rental center, that is going out of business or that has periodic sales to get rid of older equipment you could pick up a desiel towbehind compressor that they run jack hammers off of they are normall 100+CFM machines. You can run a big hammer off of one of those:-) Highway garage auctions can also net some decent equipment as well...

Sorry if this gets double posted...
   Fionnbharr - Sunday, 12/22/02 03:38:51 GMT

Caleb, If they were capable of learning, they woundn't be idiots. Cast not your pearls before swine.
Guru, et al, I plan to forge some hardy tools from 1/2"x2"x8" A36. I will reduce the 2" width to about 1", leaving a 2" x2" section on top and fold the tang double to insert into the hardy hole. Would it be any quicker to cut in from the edge 1/2" just under the full-width section? Or just reduce it and seat it hot into the hardy to get the square shoulder?
Last question: What is the origin of the terms "pritchel" and "hardy"?
   Quenchcrack - Sunday, 12/22/02 13:42:07 GMT

QC- I would try to avoid any sharp corners at the junction of the shank and the head of the tool, they will be stress risers and may crack under use.

For my hardie tools, I usually take a piece of square stock that will drop in the hardie hole and upset the end of it to get the necessary stock to forge the head. I let the upsetting fatten the shank until it is a tight fit in the hole, then heat it hot and drive it in until it seats. This gives a good fit when it cools and shrinks a bit, and it also creates a chamfered shoulder that avoids stress risers. I believe I learned this method from something Frank Turley posted a while back.
   vicopper - Sunday, 12/22/02 15:47:22 GMT

Vic, thanks, I don't have any 1" square stock so I am using what I have, which is 1/2" plate. Avoiding the square corners is always a good idea and my hardy hole has chamfered edges that will allow me to radius the corners. I was just curious if it would be easier to sawcut down to the 1" tang to get a shoulder or to just forge it in. In thinking more about it, I will forge it in as this will cause the banded grain structure to flow around the section change rather than cutting across it. This will help avoid what is, in effect, a metallurgical notch in the corners.
   Quenchcrack - Sunday, 12/22/02 16:20:07 GMT

Hardy and Pritchel: Derived from olde English and have no known reference to anything else. See FAQ's/Glossary : English.

You didn't say what kind of tools you are making. I'll assume it is not a hardy because you are using mild steel. Short set tools and dies can have loose fitting shanks because all the shank does is keep the tool from bouncing off the anvil. Taller bick tools, forks and saddles need relatively snug fitting shanks.

Cutting with hot chisel or torch is faster than forging if you are working alone without a helper or power hammer.

Removing stock is an efficient but wasteful method. In the past as little stock as posible was removed in all types of metalworking. But today steel is cheaper than manhours thus stock removal (triming, chipmaking, grinding) is considered the more efficient method.

As VI noted, avoid sharp corners. The best fillet size is always the largest one that will fit the given circumstances.
   - guru - Sunday, 12/22/02 16:20:30 GMT

Shanks: I forgot to mention that ROUND shanks are also desirable on tools that you may want to rotate out of the way or use at odd angles relative to the anvil.

Don't be a square. . think ROUND.
   - guru - Sunday, 12/22/02 16:38:01 GMT

According to my dictionaries, "pritchel" is a variation of the word, "prickle", ie., something sharp and pointed, as a thorn or goad. It is a farrier's nail hole punch. I can't find out much about "hardy". One dictionary states it is probably from the word, "hard". Another dictionary suggests it is from the French, "hardi", but I don't know. The French word connotes the same as our everyday use of "hardy", meaning bold, strong, and audacious. I love etymology; I may find out more.

   Frank Turley - Sunday, 12/22/02 17:10:25 GMT

Forged vs. Machined Corners: For many years the forging industry has sold the world on grain flow around corners on everything. And I agree that forged is best in almost every case.

However a study comparing bolts with forged heads vs. screw machine bolts showed that in some cases stock removal is better. In bolt heading, even when there appears to be an adequate fillet, the grain is pinched at the corner. Under high stress this results in a weaker bolt than machined from solid.

When doing a large upset such as making a shanked anvil tool it is easiest to start with a slightly oversized piece, fuller to locate the shoulder, forge down the shank to size forming a small shoulder, then upseting in a swage block or bolster plate.

I prefer upsetting anywhere other than the hardy hole because my American and London pattern anvils have the hardy hole out on the heal where it it poorly supported. German pattern and particularly the original Austrian pattern anvils have deep hardy and punching holes next to the body of the anvil where they are supported better and thus are better for upsetting. The worst are the American and farrier's pattern anvils with very thin heals. The hardy hole is so far beyond the feet that heavy blows will tip the anvil.
   - guru - Sunday, 12/22/02 17:18:19 GMT

Frank. . That would make sense that the "hardy" is not English since that is where everyone has looked for it. . The Oxford English dictionary was no help. . . I've read the page and a half (very fine print) a couple times. . . and recently had a similar query from a schollar in England looking for the origin of the term.

I blew it on Pritchel. . Need to add to glossary. .
   - guru - Sunday, 12/22/02 17:23:22 GMT

if you need citric acid, could you use that citric based cleaning fluid (degreaser) or failing that what about lemon juice?
   MP - Sunday, 12/22/02 17:26:58 GMT

Lemon juice.... Hmm... I wonder if Real Lemon would work. Might be a good source, if it does. I just came back from the kitchen. It tastes right. I'll stick a piece of 1/4" round in a glass overnight and report tomorrow.
   Paw Paw - Sunday, 12/22/02 18:12:54 GMT


If you really want to cut it as described, don't cut 1/2" deep, only go about 3/8" deep. Also, you'll need to make two cuts from each side: one straight in to form the intended shoulder and a second at around 45 degrees so your forging won't cause a fold or cold shut. In other words you want to take out a "dart" or triangle on each side. The reason for going 3/8" deep is that when you forge there will be a little bit of "drag-down" of the 1" dimension and you want to leave a little room for a radius too.

A piece of 1-1/4" round can be forged to 1" square pretty easy, then upset the shoulder by hammering in the hardie hole.

Glad the Guru mentioned loose and tight fitting tools. I like a cut-off hardie to come out easy so I can get it out of the way quickly (dangerous thing to have sticking up whan you're hammering and moving all over the anvil trying to attach something just the right way). On the other hand, forming tools like bicks, etc. work best if held fimly in place.
   - grant - Sunday, 12/22/02 18:35:30 GMT

Guru et al, thanks for the input. Nope, not gonna make a cut off out of A36, just a few fullers and maybe a leaf pattern or two. I have some 1" 5160 that I hope can be made into a proper cut off. As for the swage block, well, I don't have one of those either. My problem is that I do not have much of a scrap pile...and everything I drag home from the plant is in sheet or plate form. I'm gonna spend some time browsing through our scrap pile next to the melt shop. There has to be some heavier sections in there somewhere. I did find a 7" long x 4" dia. piece of 4140 shaft material that would make a nice anvil cone if I can bribe someone in the Central Shop to turn it for me. Seems like a cone could live with a round shank for the hardy hole.
   Quenchcrack - Sunday, 12/22/02 19:16:01 GMT

QuenchCrack - Didnt you just buy a new buzzbox? Well this is what it's for! Get yourself a few feet of 1" sq tubing and weld stingers onto your hardy tools. Life is too short to be upsetting heavy stock by hand.

I usually cut off 4" of tubing, heat up one end and hammer it to form a short bevel to take the weld bead and weld it onto the hardy tool
   adam - Sunday, 12/22/02 19:17:11 GMT

Grain Flow. Some say that the grain flow pattern helps make a forged blade better than a blade made by metal removal. I don't think anyone has proven it, however. OK, prove me wrong.
   Frank Turley - Sunday, 12/22/02 19:19:30 GMT


If you want to be more "authentic", you should use fullers or a spring fuller to make the "cuts" into the sides of the flat bar. A simple spring fuller can be made from a piece of say, 1/2" round spring steel (or even mild) around 36" long. You just bend it in a "U" shape and use it like tweezers to grab the point you want to reduce and wail on it! To help locate it you may want to make small grinder cuts in the flat bar first.
   - grant - Sunday, 12/22/02 19:20:03 GMT


The only empirical evidence I have is in forming steel plate. From the rolling mill plate has a definite grain direction. When making tight bends often what you can get away with across the grain will crack if you try to make the same bend along the grain. Similar to what you would expect from wrought iron. I've run into the same thing more recently in flat bar. In your example, I don't think it would make ANY difference because the grain is already there from rolling.

Due to ancient specifications, I have made "forged bar" for the gummit. I do think forging helps "prove" a bar sound as forging exposes flaws whereas rolling can hide them.
   - grant - Sunday, 12/22/02 19:34:14 GMT


It's always seemed to me that putting the shank on the bottom makes sense on a forged hardie tool, but a welded on shank is much easier if you just weld it to the side of the tool.
   - grant - Sunday, 12/22/02 19:39:08 GMT

Grant's method of welding hardy shanks to the side of the tool ALSO has the advantage of moving tool closer to the center of the anvil. That puts more mass under the tool, causing it to work better, and also protects the heel of the anvil some.

I have to admit that I'd never thought of it, but since Grant mentioned it some time ago, I've been doing mine that way.
   Paw Paw - Sunday, 12/22/02 20:57:48 GMT

Side of Tool: Dang! paw-Paw beat me to it!. . .

Those shanks welded onto the side of a tool also let you put the working part such as a leaf die toward the center of the anvil where it is supported much better. Getting off that springy heal makes a big difference in eas of forging.

See the nice demo on alternative tool shanks by Sean Conner on our iForge page. #143 "5 Good Tools, Cheap Price".
   - guru - Sunday, 12/22/02 21:00:26 GMT

I am a mother of 5 in upstate NY. I am trying sell a pair of solid brass possibly pre civil war 1800's solid brass andirons and am having problems finding both a good place to sell them and getting a good price. They are all original. the ends that extend into the fireplace appear to have been hand-forged and well-made, had been owned by a wealthy old banking family in NYC that had them in one of their banks for many years and had been to my grandfather. I could really use your help, I am getting tired and really need to sell them soon before Christmas, but need a fair price, Thank-you, Donna DnChttrtn@AOL.COM
   Donna - Sunday, 12/22/02 21:39:02 GMT

Shank on the side: I guess Grant (and everyone else) is quite right about that. I just hate the way that looks and it works well enough in the traditional position. I guess if I had a striker or used a sledge regularly I would make the switch.
   adam - Sunday, 12/22/02 22:44:55 GMT

Grant, I've made my share of typos on this forum, but crying all over your work? [wail / whale).
   Frank Turley - Sunday, 12/22/02 22:58:50 GMT

Frank, I would have bet with you on this one BUT. . .
wail "way el"
Often used to describe the extremely aggressive punching action of one person against another during a fight.

Did you see that? He was wailing on that guy!
From UrbanDictionary.com

The only definition I could find for "whale" was a the large sea creature. . . Also used in "having a whale of a time. . "
   - guru - Sunday, 12/22/02 23:45:55 GMT

SO, Grant could be having a whale of a time wailing on steel with his whale sized air hammer and then wailing all the way to the bank. .
   - guru - Sunday, 12/22/02 23:50:25 GMT

Yep, the Buzzbox is for Christmas....and Mrs. Quenchcrack might take a dim view of me firing it up before then..however, that is what I bought it for. Again, I need to find some orphaned 1" square tube. I plan to blatantly appropriate some of Grants spring swage ideas. I hope they are so well designed that they will function even in what promises to be a rather inelegant execution.
I spent about an hour on the net looking up the origins of the words hardy and pritchel. Everyone could define it but nobody could explain the etymology (Thanks for that word, Frank!). Here is another good one: anisotropy. It refers to the difference in longitudinal and transverse properties of a metal. Hot rolling is one source of anisotropy, but not the only one. Under a microscope, hot-rolled medium-carbon steel looks a lot like pattern welded steel: alternating layers of high carbon and low carbon steel.
   Quenchcrack - Monday, 12/23/02 00:22:38 GMT

Dictionaries: At home,I have the Oxford Universal, London, 1955; American Heritage College Edition, 1979; Oxford American Dictionary, N.Y, 1999; and a big fat one like you see in the library, always open (as it should be), Webster's New International, 1950. They agree with me, and I agree with them. Jock, this Urban dictionary...you better check with a Country Boy Dictionary. LYAO
   Frank Turley - Monday, 12/23/02 01:20:37 GMT


Ah yes, " Works well enough in the traditional position". No spirit of adventure, eh? Got your dictionary handy? Look up "hidebound". grin!

Frank, from now on I'll just say "beat the crap out of it"! 'nother big grin! Put that in your lexicon. Lexicon?? Sounds like a luxury car. "Ladies and gentelmen: the all new 2003 Lexicon SUX!
   - grant - Monday, 12/23/02 01:47:36 GMT


Using the OneLook service at http://www.ozarkminiatures.com/ I checked a total of 18 ditionaries.

They all agree with Frank.

Jock, I'm afarid your "urban" dictionary is outvoted. (grin)
   Paw Paw - Monday, 12/23/02 01:50:52 GMT

Grant, did you have "missionary style" in mind? (LOL)
   Paw Paw - Monday, 12/23/02 01:53:03 GMT


using my daughters' dictionaries of american slang.

whale, whaled, whaling:
whale on v 1. to punch; to attack.
Origin: possibly Maine, USA slang.
("The cop whaled on that guy.")
("the wheelwright is whaling on the rim.")
("the cops will whale on you.")

terry l. ridder ><>
   terry l. ridder - Monday, 12/23/02 02:04:17 GMT

Guru, I did not take any pictures of the operation this time but will the next time we use it, which should be next month. TC
   Tim Cisneros - Monday, 12/23/02 02:31:03 GMT


That's the wrong URL, folks! Try:


I think that one will work a little better.

Proof then Post, Paw Paw! Proof then Post, Paw Paw! Proof then Post, Paw Paw!
   Paw Paw - Monday, 12/23/02 02:39:30 GMT

Never trust odd ball net references. . . :(
   - guru - Monday, 12/23/02 04:25:26 GMT

From my Webster's New International, 1923, first copyright 1909.

Whale; [cap.] Astron. = CETUS.

Whale; 2. To lash out so as to mark with stripes ; to wale ; thrash ; drub, Dial. Eng., & Colloq., U.S.(in other words, slang/ word usage of American invention)

Wale; n. A choosing; a choice; also, the choicest or best; the pick

Wale; v. t. 1. To choose; select; hence, to woo or court 2. To pick out the refuse of coal by hand.

(My example)I had walen my forge, so my pile of clinkers grew larger yet again.

Wale; n. 1. A streak or mark made on the skin by a rod or whip; a stripe; a wheal. Holland. 3. A timber bolted to a row of piles; a wale piece. 4. Naut. a. The side of a ship or boat. Obs. b. pl. Shipbuilding. Certain strakes of outside planking of a vessel; the bends; as, channel wales, or strakes along the spar deck, ect. c.=WALL KNOT. Rare.

Wale; v. t. 1. To mark with wales, or stripes. 2. To fasten, secure, or protect, with a wale or wale piece. 4. Chiefly Fort. To weave the web of, as a gabion, esp. with two or more rods at once.

Wale Piece. Any piece, as a beam, timber, ect. intended to ward off dangerous impact from masonry or the like, as the stringpiece of a pier where shipping is recieved.

And at last,

Drub; v. t. 1. To beat with a stick; to thrash; cudgel. 2. To stamp (the feet).

Drub; v. i. To tap or stamp; to drum.

Drub; n. A blow with a cudgel; a thump.

Drubbing; p. pr. & vb. n. A beating ; a thrashing.

Sometimes it takes a cudgeling to cease one of my romps in this giant old dictionary.
   Caleb Ramsby - Monday, 12/23/02 06:18:01 GMT

Paw Paw, that is a great site! It even has drub. . . but it will never be as good as a BIG OLD book. Although, onelook.com does have access to some old ones. . . how would one search for expletive alternitives when the power goes out? grin
   Caleb Ramsby - Monday, 12/23/02 06:27:15 GMT

I remember my Daddy threatenin' to "larrup" the tar outa me. (he never did, but probably shoulda a time or two.)Merry CHRISTmas to all. ( I assume He was literate and didn't spell his name with an "X" :) Best regards 3dogs
   - 3dogs - Monday, 12/23/02 07:23:28 GMT

3dogs, Your father used the word appropriately (you would have known what he meant even if he did'nt, though, I surmise). vt. Larrup: To beat: thrash, n. a blow. [Du. larpen : thrash]. My Dad never laid a hand on me but threatened to smack me so hard, my children would be born with the bruises. Still don't know the etymology of the word "Hardy".......c'mon Frank or Guru..............
   Quenchcrack - Monday, 12/23/02 14:42:15 GMT

Larrup. I have an Okie friend who finishes eating, pushes back his chair, and states that the meal sure was larrupin' [meaning "really good"]. A little S&M?
QC, I'm working on "hardy", but I'm beginning to think the origins are lost in the ozone. Food for thought: a hardy plant can withstand cold temperatures; maybe a hardy can withstand hot temperatures. Boy! That's reaching out.
   Frank Turley - Monday, 12/23/02 16:21:53 GMT

I guess in the future I'll remember to "wale" on it. Hmm, or should I drub on it? Mebby I'll larrup it. I'm so confused.......

Thanx, Frank!
   - grant - Monday, 12/23/02 16:28:30 GMT


Some of the hardies I've seen would qualify as hardy, har, har's!
   - grant - Monday, 12/23/02 16:33:36 GMT

Hi, I am interested in finding some good literature, or any other resource, on the basics of forging stainless, bronze, and monel.

Thanks for your help,

   duke - Monday, 12/23/02 17:03:04 GMT

Forging Literature Duke if you need specifics you want the ASM Metals Handbook volume on Forging. Note however this is an industrial reference. The basics are given in technical terms (temperatures, pressures, die designs).

Otherwise in art/craft terms all forging is very similar. The stainless is handled like most ferous alloys. Bronze is a copper alloy and the forging temperature is much lower. Brass, bronze and copper are treated similarly in general temperature range for working. However, they are MUCH more conductive than ferous alloys so they suck up more BTU's and you NEVER handle the "cool" end with bare hands.

Monels are a wide range of proprietary brand name alloys but the common stuff is a nickel copper alloy used in corrosion resistant applications.

MACHINERY'S HANDBOOK has information and various articles on these alloys but is not as specific as the ASM reference. Dona Meilach's Decorative and Sculptural Ironwork covers the art/craft uses of these alloys. See our book review page "The Bookshelf" for reviews of these books.
   - guru - Monday, 12/23/02 17:49:38 GMT

Firstly, I am new to your site--must say that it its beyond awesome. That said, I was wondering if there is advice/information available concerning metalsmith shop set-up? I am in the beginning phases of shop design--a home shop dedicated solely to metal work in which blacksmithing as well as modern fabrication methods (MIG,TIG, etc.) will be done. My pieces will most likely not be any larger than a sofa. I'm looking for a good work space formula like the 'kitchen work triangle' with (anecdotal ?) 'do's/don'ts and 'things to consider'! Where can I look or can you, omniscient one, spell it out for me?!! Also, I would appreciate any advice on MIG models and manufacturers. Any thoughts on the multiprocess machines? I am one who appreciates 'personal' impressions and preferences!! Thank you so much for your time. I am now a devoted fan! Sooz
   Susan - Monday, 12/23/02 18:06:14 GMT

Susan, are you going to use a pre-existing structure, like a garage or a new building?
   Caleb Ramsby - Monday, 12/23/02 18:39:17 GMT

Sooz: I'll give a few simple observations I've made over the years in setting-up shops -- the Guru and others can elaborate...

I put my horizontal band saw on wheels, so I can move it to the wall when it's not in use. It's 20' from the door, and allows 10' off the back -- so I can halve a 20' bar, or cut smaller sections.

Mig and Tig are right next to the door for easy access to the outside for large work and general auto/jeep/tractor repair.

I've moved the machines in this shop on several occasions, as times change and workflow patterns are altered. The ability to move and wire your own equipment is a VERY valuable asset.

I love my Millermatic 250 Mig, it's a real workhorse. I don't know squat about the combo machines -- I use my Miller 450 Tig as a stick welder when I "NEED" to stick-weld, which is not often.

Hope this helps a little!
   Zero - Monday, 12/23/02 18:43:59 GMT

I would like to make a fireplace screen with a pine limb motif with a couple of small pine cones, does anyone have any idea how to go about that? Also what size screen should I use, what size holes in the screen I mean. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all you fellas are the greatest. Smitty
   smitty - Monday, 12/23/02 18:50:02 GMT

HARDY: As opposed to one made of aluminum, which would then be....a......softy...never mind. I'm so ashamed of myself...Naaahh. Tres Perros
   - 3dogs - Monday, 12/23/02 19:06:26 GMT

Hardy; [F. hardi, p. p. fr. OF. hardir to make bold; of German origin, cf. OHG. hertan to harden, G. harten, See hard,a.] 3. Strong; firm; compact. 4. Inured to fatigue or hardships; strong; robust; capable of endurance; as, a hardy veteran; a hardy mariner.

Harten Obs. or dial Eng. var. of Hearten.

Hearten; v. t. [from heart, v.] 1. To give heart to; to give zest or courage to; to encourage. 2. To restore fertility or strength to, as land.

Heart; n. 7. The part nearest the middle or center; the part most hidden and within; the innermost or most essential part of body or system, esp. when considered as the source of life or motion; the center of activity. 8. Specif. a. The solid central part or core of a tree; also, the pith of wood, the core of an apple, or the like. b. The core of a twisted column. 9. Vital part; secret meaning; real intention. 10. Vigorous and efficient activity; power of fertile production; condition of the soil, whether good or bad.

Heart v. i. To form a compact center, or heart.

I am going to do some more indepth research of the word hard later today. It is my belief that within the realm of hard is where the origin of the blacksmiths usage of the word hardy came into play. Although I believe the tenth definition of heart has some relevence.
   Caleb Ramsby - Monday, 12/23/02 19:34:06 GMT

As does Hearten. As in the production of a hardy or reconditioning the hardy.
   Caleb Ramsby - Monday, 12/23/02 19:37:04 GMT

I just recently bought a new anvil, and the gentleman I got it from said I should burn the face of it first. can you explain why and how you do this.
   trlee - Monday, 12/23/02 19:39:59 GMT


n 1: United States slapstick comedian who played the pompous and overbearing member of the Laurel and Hardy duo who made many films (1892-1957) [syn: {Hardy}, {Oliver Hardy}]

Sorry! I couldn't resist! ;-)

More here: http://www.hyperdictionary.com/dictionary/Hardy
   Zero - Monday, 12/23/02 20:53:44 GMT

trlee. Never heerdtell of such a thing. Sometimes we warm the face a little in the wintertime with a torch or a hot chunk of iron in order to prevent brittleness.
   Frank Turley - Monday, 12/23/02 20:55:45 GMT

Hardy: Hardy can also mean to stand bold, or proud. Sitting in it's hole, a hardy does indeed stand proud on the anvil. Making a fuller: Whew. Ok, I agree with Adam that life is too short to hammer heavy iron by hand. But, I finally got one made as I described previously. Made a second one in a fraction of the time using the first one to fuller the steel down quickly. Made the second one into a hot cut but I entertain no dilusions that it's life will be long due to the fact that it is only A36. It will work until I can weld a chunk of 5160 to 1" square tube....it is enough to say I made the first one by hand. The rest get glued together! Smitty, check out the chandelier made by Bill Epps using the pine motif. I think the link is on this site or try www.besmithy.com .
   Quenchcrack - Monday, 12/23/02 21:02:04 GMT

I found this site while researching "Hardy". 101 Glossaries and Dictionaries (zero on blacksmithing, though).

The link will take you to the middle of the page, to manufacturing, but scroll up to the top to see it all. Pretty amazing collection of references.
   Quenchcrack - Monday, 12/23/02 21:08:15 GMT

Jock, While looking for older editions of Machinery's Handbook I have noticed that some are published in England and some are published by Industrial Press USA. Will the same blacksmithing sections be found in the British Oberg and Jones Machinery Publishing Co. Ltd. Brighton, England?
   F. Mitchell - Monday, 12/23/02 22:03:18 GMT

ANVIL FACE Could the reference for burning the face be that it was coated with lacquer to keep it from rusting until use? That way it would still look pretty till sold. And I wouldn't think burning lacquer would be anything you want to sniff or get onto your metal. Just my thoughts, worth what ya paid for 'em.
   Bob Harasim - Monday, 12/23/02 22:18:38 GMT

Pine Cones: Smitty, the Summer 2002 issue of the Hammer's Blow (ABANA), has an article on making pine cones. Brad Nichols makes them using a treadle hammer or powerhammer and some fabrication, and shows a bit of the making of the dies and all. Super nice looking pinecones, too!
   vicopper - Monday, 12/23/02 22:37:14 GMT

MACHINERY'S F. Mitchell, I've never seen one but it is common practice to publish the exact same book in two different countries. I suspect it avoids shipping costs and import duties. I would bet they are identical except for minor details in binding.
   - guru - Tuesday, 12/24/02 00:15:52 GMT

Smitty, 1/8" galvanized hardware cloth, painted. I have been known to cut the design out of about 20 ga sheet, say a branch w/cones. Then drill small holes for tiny wire to hold the pre-cut outline to the hardware cloth. Part of the design can be captured between the frame sandwich. When the fire's going, you can imagine a little movement. Also, check out www.gilmoremetal.com
   Frank Turley - Tuesday, 12/24/02 01:04:32 GMT

Hardy Boys, does this help any? (It aint any worse than Oliver Hardy)
   triw - Tuesday, 12/24/02 02:36:19 GMT

In the English translation of the book by B. A. Kolchin "Metalurgy amd Metalworking in Ancient Russia"* , the hardy is refered to as a "huck-under chisel". Sounds right, in its own odd way. Hardies in the medieval period were mounted not on the anvil but either beside the anvil on the stump, or on a seperate stump. Thus there were early hardies, but no hardy hole.

*[Moscow, 1953; English translation (c) 1967, Israel Program for Scientific Translations, Ltd.; published per agreement of Smithsonian Institute and National Science Foundation]
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Tuesday, 12/24/02 04:10:10 GMT

I took a piece of 1/4" hot rolled square stock about 3 1/2" long, dropped it into a fruit juice glass, and poured enough real lemon lemon juice into the glass to fill it about 1/3rd full. After 24hrs, all of the mill scale is gone from the area that was in the juice.

Rich, I think Real Lemon will work as a source of citric acid. Frozen concentrate would probably work better, just thaw it out and use it straight.
   Paw Paw - Tuesday, 12/24/02 04:12:08 GMT

Smitty, I have made a pine cone fireplace screen . If you contact me by email I can send some photos and some instruction on the procedure, tooling, etc... TC
   Tim Cisneros - Tuesday, 12/24/02 04:32:01 GMT

That should read cold rolled, not hot rolled, darn it!
   Paw Paw - Tuesday, 12/24/02 04:39:25 GMT

PPW, cold roll shouldn't have mill-scale on it. . . You were right the first time if it had scale on it. . .

Go to bed!

   - guru - Tuesday, 12/24/02 05:13:01 GMT

I am now offically confused on how to keep stainless stainless. I have a couple of pieces of 304 that I was going to do work with, but between heat treating, uncontaminated tools, and lemon juice I am unsure what I need to do to build something that won't rust.

Can anyone provide a simple step buy step outline for how to forge stainless? None of my books mention anything....

I smell a FAQ coming on....

   Jim - Tuesday, 12/24/02 06:00:34 GMT


i am baffled by twelve pieces of rose pattern all cut from the
same 24 gauge sheet. pieces for six forge roses were all cut
from the same sheet. they were cut by hand with tin snips. the
only pieces that are covered by splotches of brown stain are the
largest pattern pieces. all the smaller pattern pieces are fine.
i was peening the pattern pieces today when i noticed the brown
stain on the largest pattern pieces. here is what i have used so far:

0. crl ( calcium, rust, lime remover ) soaked pieces and scrubbed
with steel wool. rinsed with hot water. dried in oven at 300 degrees f.
1.degreaser, soaked pieces and scrubbed with green scrubby pad.
rinsed in warm water. dried in oven at 300 degrees f.

brown stain still there but in new and different places. the original
areas slightly discolored but brown stain gone. the brown stain looks
like brown algae.

2. industrial strength detergent soaked pieces and scrubbed with
a new green scrubby pad. rinsed in cold water. dried in oven at 300
degrees f.

once again brown stain still there but yet again in new and different

3. goop, spread and scrubbed with yet another new green scrubby pad.
currently drying in oven at 350 degrees f.

i have never experienced a stain like this before. what baffles me is
that all the smaller pattern pieces are fine. all pattern pieces were
stored in the same cardboard box. the remaining piece of the original
24 gauge sheet is also fine. no brown stain anywhere.

anyone, have any ideas what this brown stain may be and how to remove

terry l. ridder ><>
   terry l. ridder - Tuesday, 12/24/02 06:10:54 GMT

Terry, is it rust? Mabey a ghost is leaving skid marks around just to mess with you! Mabey it's dust mites forming colonies? I just couldn't help myself. (manic grin)

Although I have no idea what it is, (O.K. I do have some absurd ideas) I would try using some solvent/rubbing alcahol rubbed on with a cloth. Watch those FUMES! What happens when you apply oil to it? What happens when you hit it with a wire brush?

Can you post a picture on Yahoo?
   Caleb Ramsby - Tuesday, 12/24/02 06:52:06 GMT

More on Hardy.

Hard a. 1. Not easily penetrated, cut, or nseparated into parts; not easily yielding to pressure; firm; solid; compact; applied to material bodies, and opposite of soft. 3. Difficult to exhaust; enduring; hardy; as, the athlete looked hard, or in hard condition. 9. Intense; profound; earnest; persevering; energetic; violent; as, a hard student; a hard rider; a hard drinker.

Hardy, Thomas, 1840-1928; English poet and novelist.

Webster's New World College Edition 1960

Bruce, I like that. I think I will call it a huch-under chisel for a while. The history you unearthed is in tune with a project of mine. I have been recently thinking of a different way of holding tools, such as fullers, hot cuts, small bicks and the such. I am going to make a seperate structure with a steel cap with a few holes(some round some square) in it to hold the tool. Now I am using a vice, since I don't have a anvil.
   Caleb Ramsby - Tuesday, 12/24/02 07:08:25 GMT


it is not rust.

a manual wire brush had nearly no affect.
a rotary wire brush just smeared it around.
rubbing alcohol had no affect.
what finally removed it last night was putting
the largest pattern pieces in a stainless steel mixing
bowl and soaking them in lacquer thinner outside for
15 minutes. let them air dry. reapplied the goop,
rinsed in boiling water, oven dried at 350 degrees f for
45 minutes. brown stain finally gone.

terry l. ridder ><>
   terry l. ridder - Tuesday, 12/24/02 10:26:04 GMT

Stainless steel: Jim, 304 stainless isn't that much different in its forging requirements than mild steel. You can forge it colder with less chance of splitting it, because it doesn't harden when quenched, it anneals. (That doesn't apply to the 400 series.) If you overheat it, you can damage it. It is less thermally conductive than carbon steel, so it takes more time to get it up to forging heat. 304 can be worked cold, with intermittent annealings, much like nonferrous metals, but it takes a whale of a lot of beating to get anywhere. That stuff is tough!

Stainless forms heat scale, which is tougher than carbon steel scale. And it makes it no longer "stainless." To make it stainless again after forging, it must be either abraded below the surface layer that is scaled and/or contaminated with iron, or it must be passivated.

Passivation is the process of removing any free iron from the surface and converting the available surface chromium to chromium oxide, which is relatively inert. Scroll up several posts to some information I posted a few days ago on this topic.

Jim "PawPaw" Wilson tried using RealLemon juice on some mild steel, which seemed strong enough to remove scale, so it may be adequate to passivate stainless. It DOES contain citric acid, that's for sure. I haven't tried it yet, but probably will fairly soon.

Of course, if you do all your heating in an inert atmosphere furnace and only forge with stainless tools and anvils, you probably won't need to passivate as a separate process. The heating alone should do it.

Quenchcrack is probably more knowledgeable than I about all this stuff. How about it QC, you gonna chime in here? (grin)
   vicopper - Tuesday, 12/24/02 12:59:42 GMT

Sooz, The forge, anvil, and leg vise can be in a triangular setup. Mount the leg vise free standing so you can work around it. Try to put shop equipment and most tool racks on the wall, leaving a fairly clear floor space. An exception on the floor might be a layout table. Don't have a top/bottom tool table; it's heavy and in the way.
   Frank Turley - Tuesday, 12/24/02 13:02:15 GMT

Terry- sounds like you pretty much defined the culprit as some contaminant that is soluble in solvent. Possibly grease, wax, skin oils or something similar. My guess would be a wax of some sort that was picked up in the handling/cutting process. That "migration" of the spots after handling suggests to me that its environmentally induced, at least.
   vicopper - Tuesday, 12/24/02 13:04:41 GMT

Caleb; under-huck chisels:

So Thomas Hardy was at the cutting edge of literature, right?

The modern anvil is a combination tool; sort of a Swiss Army Knife of anvils. Originally you had a block anvil and all of your other tools were separate. Sounds like you’ve got a plan there. I’ve actually done useful work at demonstrations this way with an 11# block anvil and the tools staked to stumps. You trade a bit of efficiency for simplicity (in a pre-industrial situation).

Terry; the gunk problem:

It sounds like you had an encounter with “the Blob”. Glad you got it off, before it grew huge and we had to fly it to Antarctica to keep it from taking over the world. Whatever it was, it was d*** tough. Sounds a bit like a bout I had one time with epoxy resin.

Fixin’ to rain on the banks of the Potomac. Lot’s of stuff to wrap up for the good of the Republic before I shove off for Christmas Eve.

If we don’t bump into each other in cyberspace, y’all have a merry Christmas.

Visit your National Parks: www.nps.gov

Go viking: www.wam.umd.edu/~eowyn/Longship/

   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Tuesday, 12/24/02 13:08:38 GMT

Merry Christmas
   jw watson - Tuesday, 12/24/02 15:18:18 GMT

Merry Christmas to all the very fine folks I've gotten to know and respect here. My thanks for all you have given, and my sincere wishes for a very lprosperous and fulfilling New Year.

Rich Waugh
   vicopper - Tuesday, 12/24/02 16:01:19 GMT

"Coletrain" your Pub registration mail bounced. Error was "relaying denied". You need to contact your ISP to sort this out.
   - guru - Tuesday, 12/24/02 16:05:09 GMT

Vic, the issue of making stainless steel stainless after forging has been dealt with at length. I certainly take no issue with the need to remove the scale. I also think that after the final work has been done, if the part is reheated to a high enough temperature Yellow) and water quenched, the chromium carbides that formed during forging can be dissolved, allowing the chromium to form its oxides. I will have to admit that the surface scale probably poses more of a threat than does the precipitation of chromium carbides. By the way, if you weld stainless, the heat affected zones are where the carbides form and you can get "wagon-track" corrosion. Anneal the weld as we described earlier.
   - Quenchcrack - Tuesday, 12/24/02 16:08:49 GMT

You all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy and prosperous New Year. JWG and family.
   JWG,Bleeding Heart Forge - Tuesday, 12/24/02 16:14:45 GMT

Whoever was looking for golf balls from Palm Springs, please contact me, I've lost your message.
   Paw Paw - Tuesday, 12/24/02 17:03:49 GMT

A Blessed HolyDay to all, and a prosperous New Year as well!
   Paw Paw - Tuesday, 12/24/02 17:05:27 GMT

Does anyone know of a good method for separating oil mist from the exhaust of an air hammer ? I have a Sayha that spits out some oil vapor with every pulse of the exhaust.
Yes, I may be opening the oiler too far but that seems better than not enough.
A buddy said just let the oil accumulate on the wall and hang things there that I want to keep from rusting. (big help)
I could just vent it outside but would rather capture the oil to recycle and I think a separator will also quiet the
shoop, shoop, shoop sound ( anyone see the movie Zulu ? ) the compressor makes.
Any idea how many cfm the compressor in a hammer this size generates ? I want to put an inlet filter on the hammer too
and found 20 and 60 cfm compressor inlet filters at WW Grainger. The inlet\outlet ports are both 1" npt.

Thanks and
Merry Christmas to Everyone

   chris smith - Tuesday, 12/24/02 18:07:07 GMT


to everyone on anvilfire my family and i wish you a
merry and blessed christmas.

Lux venit lux venit
Lux venit sursum corda
Lux venit lux venit arise
Shine for your light has come

In grace in might
The babe lay in stable stark
Redemptions's light
Pierces through the shadows dark

Alleluia Alleluia
Alleluia Alleluia
==Lux Venit==

Lux venit: "The light has come"
Sursum corda: "look upwards hearts"

terry l. ridder ><>
   terry l. ridder - Tuesday, 12/24/02 18:24:23 GMT


Pax Vobiscum, fraternum.
   Paw Paw - Tuesday, 12/24/02 18:43:45 GMT

I hade the same thing happen a few time when makeing roses, I think it is a reaction of the film(lacor/grease etc.) of the sheet and the acid used in pickel along with plan old rust, or some sort cross contamantion from the ever present dust in my shop.
what I mostly do is nothing, when makeing roses I heat the steel enough the it burns off, more then once.
how I do it is cut out the forms, dish out the last one of two plates, fix the tenon, heat the petals with a propain torch, bend/ form all the petals in (all done in the bright red range) then unfold the rose. when I have it looking the way I want, I heat it to a dull red and brush it with a Stainless brush untill it looks good , then I heat it to a very dull red/ black heat and brush it with a brass brush to give it some high lights. after leting it cool to room temp I spray it with clear coat let dry and hit it again repeat and done. I have never had a problem with the staining in the final finsh.

darn Vicopper beat be to it!!
   MP - Tuesday, 12/24/02 19:14:38 GMT

Vicopper Citric acid is use in making hard candies and is sold in poweder form by wilson at places like Ben Franklins
   nononora - Tuesday, 12/24/02 20:04:50 GMT

Chris oil separator
I know a fellow that welded an intake and exhaust connection to a coffee can and then filled the can with steel wool. When hooked up to the exhause port on a machine, it looked much like a muffler on a car. The oil collected on the wool and then dripped out a hole drilled in the bottom of the can. The exhause out the other end of the can was rather clean.

If the machine is blowing oil mist out the exhause, you are contanimating your breathing air. Pipe that exhaust air to the outside if possible.
   - Conner - Tuesday, 12/24/02 21:17:40 GMT

i would like to ask if you had any machine that could manufacture plastics especially folks knives and plates and if you had any for sale. please contact me as soon as possible
   jan - Tuesday, 12/24/02 21:44:50 GMT

Sayha Hammer: Chris, If you bought it from a dealer you should be asking them. Air filters are sized by various means not just CFM. Filters cause a pressure drop or load on the machine, reducing its capacity. Dirt load is another factor. How much dirt is there in your air? Ginding dust and sanding dust? Paint spray? Generaly the larger the filter the lower the pressure drop. I would use a large automotive type paper filter clamped between two plates. Replace it when it looks dirty. OR you could use an oil bath filter of a small engine. Most self contained air hammers do not have intake filters but they probably should. My old 1HP Sears compressor had a piece of cloth about 1" square for a filter. . .

All industrial hammers were designed to have the exhaust plumbed up with pipe and the exhust directed outdoors. Oil mist is very hazardous to breath and can cause all variety of lung ailments. The longer the pipe the larger the diameter to prevent back pressure. I would use at least one size larger than the fitting. At the end of the pipe you should collect the oil. Make a trap with a large diameter "T" short lengths of pipe and pipe caps/plugs. Run the exhust into the side of the fitting and run a vent out the top. To be sure to alow any mist to settle out you can fit a piece of pipe inside the "T" that extends the outlet below the inlet. I would put a drain cock on the bottom plug to drain the oil and condensate (there will be water too) about once a year.

   - guru - Tuesday, 12/24/02 22:33:15 GMT

   - guru - Tuesday, 12/24/02 22:34:33 GMT

Merry Chistmas!

Be careful out there! Many parts of the country are having the first white Christmas in over 20 years. We are having a damp wet one.

Thank you all for the support over the past years!
   - guru - Tuesday, 12/24/02 22:42:20 GMT

New to the world of blacksmithing (spent some time as a farrier doing cold shoeing, but my shaping anvil is too small) I'm looking for a relatively inexpensive anvil to buy as a starter - I know I probably want something in the 112 - 160lbs. range. There's a vulcan anvil on e-bay - are they worth buying? any other "brands" to stay away from? Any other clues you can get from a picture of an anvil to tell me to save my money?

   Kim - Tuesday, 12/24/02 23:05:36 GMT

Course, I guess I could also ask if anyone has a decent anvil they're ready to part with!!!
   Kim - Tuesday, 12/24/02 23:34:40 GMT

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