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Virtual Hammer-In!

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January 2004 Archive
Solar Forge: Vic, do you still want one. I found these sites on the back yard metal casters forum.
heres one for the wife and any kids in the area.

Also, Hi, I keep forgetting I have been reading anvilfire sense 03/2000, I used to call myself a Grinder-smith, and always wanted to do blacksmithing but never had the time. If I needed new tool that i could make myself I did. Back in school (70's) I made some lamps in metalshop,did some casting, and repose???-- can"t find it in the pocket dictionary I have. Now that I have the time I am not allowed to pick up over 8(eight) pounds at one time.
But I still want to learn what I can / when I can to past it on to my son and nephews when possible.
My son is 21 and is helping me build my forge ,an Kiln as long as my Sweet Wife does not find out what I am Doing. she thinks we are making them for my son.
Bad Heart sense/sence 1995, Have to do something between heart-attacks. might as well be something fun!!!--8)
DanD skabvenger - Thursday, 01/01/04 07:06:29 EST

DanD: Just keep enjoying every day, and stay connected with Avilfire. We'll help any way we can.
Paw Paw - Thursday, 01/01/04 12:42:59 EST

Dan does that wt limit allow you to swing a 2# or 3# hammer
adam - Thursday, 01/01/04 17:42:02 EST

Adam: Yes , unless the wife is around. I have 4 None ASO's An 80# ,60#,25#,and 15# chunks of iron. My forge is 15in ford rim with vac motor -{motor needs replaced it puts out more smoke then the forge does, 8) ..} Have hammers from 4 oz to 22#, I make my son use the ones over 3# so I don't get tired. We're trying to make a forge/kiln out of brake drums from school bus,to melt Alum.,. RR j-clips made into cutting hardys that slide under nails on stump so I did not have to bend them. RR tracks are across the road from me. Alot of free metal seems to fall and hit the road. MY junkyard Beagle,Maggie and I drag it to the house. I made drag ropes for her harness. now all I need is to make shoes for her and she can pull the train home,,,Grin..
Paw Paw
My 15# non shaped anvil has
AAR 7A-70
E 6x11-NCT P11 78 Grin,Gri,Grin
I can't go thru with this, You may know what it is.
Brake Caliper off of a box car.
OOH I forgot Happy New Year Everyone.
Sorry I ramble so I'll go back to reading.
DanD skabvenger - Friday, 01/02/04 15:38:10 EST

DanD: You ramble all you want to, we don't mind! Just glad you feel like talking.
Paw Paw - Friday, 01/02/04 16:58:29 EST

DanD, When I saw AAR I knew it was something from a railroad. AAR is the American Association of Railroads. They had standards for everything incliding pipe fittings for both pressure and handrails!
ptree - Friday, 01/02/04 17:06:54 EST

ABANA Conference, July in KY: How many folks from here are thinking of going? (My wif says I can go this year, and it's a lot closer, for me, than Seattle.)
ABANA Biennial Conference
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Monday, 01/05/04 10:24:21 EST

ABANA: Nope not me. Too far and I am also rather dis-satisfied with ABANA and the direction it seems to be going in. So I let my membership lapse.
It seemed to me that at teh last conference that the majority of demostrators seemed to be from places other than North America. As did more and more of the artists and craftmen being showcased in the Anvil's Ring and hammers BLow. While all these folks are GOOD I feel that there are plenty of GOOD talent here in North America (Canda and Mexico ARE a part of NA after all) Just my 2 cents worth of mini-rant.
Ralph - Monday, 01/05/04 11:52:30 EST


Not me, either. Similar reasons as Ralph.
Paw Paw - Monday, 01/05/04 12:46:32 EST

ABANA Conferences: I went to the first Alfred, NY conference, and found it to be an absolute sensory overload. It only took me about 3 hours to figure out that I'd probably never do it again. The one thing I can say I will cherish to the end of my days, was the joy, honor and privelege of having Judd Nelson pretty much to myself, jawboning about purtnear everything BUT smithing for about 3 hours, while everybody else was trying to worship at the feet of St. Francis. I will take moments like that, and the hand shaking, back slapping, ol' buddy huggin' fellowship of a good regional conference like Quad State over all the National events on the planet. If that makes me an unsophisticated, low class hick, then gentlemen, I shall revel in my hickhood.
3dogs - Monday, 01/05/04 13:24:26 EST

Conferences: 3dogs,
I was at teh 2K conference and the best part about it (mostly) was meeting PPW Guru and Rich Hale and a few other anvilfire regulars in person. I did go to several demos and actually got to help in two ( ok ok I was only holding a torch for Dorothy Steigler and helped Lorlie Sims by holding a piece she was working on.) But to me the best part was meeting anvilfire regualrs as well as meeting many of the folks I know thru theforge newsgroup.

There is too much going on at once to take it all in. SO I do hope one year to go again. Just not this year
Ralph - Monday, 01/05/04 15:32:10 EST

My wifes newest work: Hi all Dawn has a new comic strip that she has on her web site. This is in addition to all the other stuff she is doing to support that site.
SO if you have the inclination please look.
Ralph - Monday, 01/05/04 18:33:56 EST

I will be going as the guest of one our advertisers and hope to report on the conference as we have done in the past or better.

I agree that the conferences have gotten TOO big. My first was in West Virginia in 1982. It was about the size of BGoP's Spring Fling, CanIron or the Southeast Conference. A nice size. Currently they are TOO big. You cannot see it all and it is all TOO much. The seating at the demos is too far away due to the number of folks.

It has become a big circus and it IS fun but it is also expensive. Even though I was born in Richmond KY I would not be going out of my pocket. In fact I do not got to these things for me in the first place. I go so that we can report on them in the NEWS. Given a choice of how to spend the time and money I would buy tools and take the time to work in MY shop doing what I want. . .

Meeting people IS the best part. Bruce Wallace and I spent an hour or more in Flagstaff talking with Daryl Meier. I spent time with 3dogs, ThomasP and the Postmans in Ohio and there are a bunch of guys that I only see at conventions such as the AFC convention and SEC.

So here's an idea. A BS BS convention. Just blacksmiths and talk. . . well tailgaters would show up too and SOMEBODY would light a forge and. . . So maybe the first CSI "convention" should be the "CSI Class Reunion" :)

- guru - Monday, 01/05/04 19:26:16 EST

CSI and conventions.: OK, so now it is decided... (grin) Now when and where?
Actually it would be kinda nice ot have a small lively hammer-in type gathering of CSI folks.

Ralph - Monday, 01/05/04 19:58:48 EST

CSI and Abana Conference: I think we should do it at Rich's new shop- didn't he say something about the first Caribean hammer in? It is after all cyber smiths international. Only problem is he'll probably make us bring our own coal!

I'm going to try to make the Abana conference. I was at Alfred in 96 but haven't been to one since. I have a place to stay not too far away and it seems like time to go back for another. I'd love to be going to Gicheners this coming weekend but family commitments mean I have to miss it.
SGensh - Monday, 01/05/04 21:08:19 EST

Holding the torch, eh ?: So, Ralph; PawPaw isn't the only one carrying a torch for Dorothy. (I must admit to being somewhat smitten meself.)
3dogs - Tuesday, 01/06/04 01:58:21 EST

BS BSin': A capital idea, Jock. Worthy of some in-depth consideration !
3dogs - Tuesday, 01/06/04 02:02:52 EST

I can see airport security now: A 1000 people at the Miami airport Each with a hammer, an anvil, and a bucket of coal. There is a blacksmith cartoon in here some where... God forbid anything would go wrong with the plane, it would look worse than a broke down 1940 Ford hot rod in highschool parking lot.
habu - Tuesday, 01/06/04 06:15:35 EST

CSI Hammerin?:

What makes it worse is that we would all be headed for the "Virgin Islands"? (grin)
Paw Paw - Tuesday, 01/06/04 08:10:49 EST

Virgin Islands....: Only Cuase PPW ain't made it there yit.
Mills - Tuesday, 01/06/04 08:30:03 EST

CSI to VI: The only conference where you can pay the registration in cash or coal!
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Tuesday, 01/06/04 09:57:18 EST

Virgin Islands: I would not want to go down there, My tool would rust (grin)
habu - Tuesday, 01/06/04 10:12:07 EST

Habu; rusty tool: I will restrain myself from making any comments about proper lubrication and protective containment.
3dogs - Tuesday, 01/06/04 10:40:49 EST

CSI in VI: Well rusty tool or not it is currently 73 F in St Croix and currently here just west of Portland Oregon it is in the high 20's..... Seems like a better place already....(grin)
Ralph - Tuesday, 01/06/04 11:56:46 EST

V.I. Hammer-In: You guys are gonna make me start taking this seriously if you keep it up. Yeah, the new shop is almost ready to slap a roof on, just a few more rafters to stick up. Then a few shutters and a couple doors and it will be a space. The electricity will be pretty basic and no big thing. So, it is rapidly becoming a reality. I can hardly wait.

As far as the 1st Caribbean Hammer-In and CSI Invitational Beach Forging Assembly is concerned, I may actually consider doing it. If for no other reason than to print the T-shirts for it so that I'll have one to wear to any events I attend in the States. (grin) The logistics of a hammer-in here would be a real challenge, but might be worth it, who knows? Of course, just getting here would make the ABANA conference seem cheap by comparison. But then, how many chances would you get to go to a Caribbean Hammer-in? How many would you want, what with having your tool rust and all? (grin)

In the larger scope of things, all tools reach an age where it is natural that they should be allowed to rest and rust. Not MY tool, of course, but each tool owner must make that decision for himself. I have discovered that tools which are used regularly don't rust even here, Mike. (huge grin)

I like Bruce's idea of coal as a payment. Or anvils, tools (not Mike's), or anything else that someone could get the airlines to carry. Like an international scavenger hunt. (grin) The ramifications are mind-boggling when you consider the mindset of this group!

vicopper - Tuesday, 01/06/04 11:59:40 EST

VI hammer in: Why not take a boat? We could all pitch in, hire one and have a mini hammerin on the ride? Besides a boat,I assume, would be a lot less restrictive of the tools we bring!) Or at least the asistants that would be brought to hold our tool boxes!
- dragon-boy - Tuesday, 01/06/04 15:31:11 EST

The boat is A Good Idea, as long as Atli doesn't have us rowing the whole distance! Maybe we could get a coal burning boat, be kind of fun.
Ellen - Tuesday, 01/06/04 16:41:59 EST

VI Hammer-in: Gee, why does that suddenly sound like a good idea? 10 degrees here and blizzard warnings, in SW Michigan.
Bob H - Tuesday, 01/06/04 17:37:37 EST


Assistants with tool boxes. Blacksmiths with tools. Hmm... Better not go there. But going to the VI sounds like a doable, good idea.
Paw Paw - Tuesday, 01/06/04 17:47:19 EST

VI by boat: Well I COULD do that from here but it is a LONG trip. Lets see.. down the Columbia till you hit the Pacific then turn left and go till the Canal turn left again... thru teh locks then another left... errrr or is it right.... nah left then have to stop and ask for directions. But by boat form those folks who are land locked might be a tad difficult.
Perhaps we should just get a few Gooney Birds and fly.... I figure those plans can carry what we need.
Ralph - Tuesday, 01/06/04 18:36:45 EST


I've flown at least 30 times in a Gooney Bird, and never landed in one yet. Remind me to wear a chute lest old habits get me in trouble.

Like the videographer that jumped wearing a video camera on his helmet. He was NOT wearing a chute. Last words on the tape were "Oh, Sh**!)
Paw Paw - Tuesday, 01/06/04 19:01:33 EST

Tentatively planning to go to the ABANA conference in July. Haven't been doing this long enough to have all the feelings about ABANA that I know others do, might just go see for myself. Or I might decide to spend the money on steel and the time in my own shop. Hmm... that idea is sounding good, too. Fortunately it's close enough to do all the planning when it's a little closer - like a week or two off.

Steve A - Tuesday, 01/06/04 19:24:37 EST

ABANA Conference: I don't plan to go. I enjoy a smaller, more informal hammer-in.
Leah - Tuesday, 01/06/04 20:11:49 EST

Y'all go have fun in the VI; I'll just fire up with my new friends living out near Roswell; they say that if I can fix their old jalopy they can give me a ride to the "islands previously known as virgin"---if they don't overshoot by an AU or two, had some brake problems earlier which is how they ended up in Roswell...

Remind me again whether I should be waving at the black helicopters and hiding from the blue ones or vice versa?

Thomas, packing has *not* affected me in anyway...aroooooooo!
Thomas P - Tuesday, 01/06/04 21:00:45 EST

Richard: Careful there Or I'll tell them what Tim said The R.S. in R.S. Waugh stands for. But with my four girls at ages 28-26-16-10,i realy should have hung up my tool earlier. possom eating beer caps type grin. you'd think a guy would learn.
habu - Tuesday, 01/06/04 23:43:07 EST

Blacksmith: Hey,

How would you sugest starting off.

- Bobert - Wednesday, 01/07/04 09:19:06 EST


Read the "Getting Started in Blacksmithing". article.
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 01/07/04 09:50:48 EST

Jumping form perfectly good planes....: PPW,
I sorta figured that you had more jumps than landings in a Goony
Ralph - Wednesday, 01/07/04 11:04:12 EST

ABANA: Steve,
IF a conference was close to me I would go. I do think that there is a lot to be said for a big event. Just not enought for me to drive or fly 3000 miles ( since I am on the Pacific coast) to go.
Ralph - Wednesday, 01/07/04 11:05:48 EST

Habu: Mike,

I'd forgotten that little remark of Tim's! I wish I still had the t-shirt that I made commemorating that. The rat came out looking really good, I thought. (grin)

Given the time span between your oldest and youngest, I'm a little surprised it took you so long to figure out what was causing it. (grin) I trust that the girls got Margie's good looks, and not yours. (really nasty grin)
vicopper - Wednesday, 01/07/04 11:22:56 EST

vic: they got her good looks I still got mine...hope she dosn't see this...
habu - Wednesday, 01/07/04 11:58:19 EST

INFO: I just stumbled onto a really good website which has "lotsa stuff about lotsa stuff". There are many topics there that we toss around at this site. Maybe some of you already know about it. Maybe some don't.
3dogs - Wednesday, 01/07/04 12:43:30 EST

vicopper: Rich,
Are you ready for a house guest and forge helper?
We are in our 3rd day in a row below 29 F And have ice ( had freezing rain last night) on top of snow. I am tired of it. I had enough of this cold crud in North Dakota and Idaho.....
Ralph - Wednesday, 01/07/04 13:23:30 EST

I hope/plan to go, never been to an ABANA Conference. SERBC and The Ocmulgee Guild Hammerin are such a blast, I gotta go to this conference, it's driving distance.
Tone - Wednesday, 01/07/04 15:12:18 EST

VI hammer in: Maybe a forging station in my sailboat?! Hmmm.
Tone - Wednesday, 01/07/04 15:19:36 EST

forges and boats....: Some sailing ships did have a forge onboard to be used in the event of repairs.... such as after a naval battle. Seems them cannon ball things would make a mess of things......
Ralph - Wednesday, 01/07/04 16:25:35 EST

Yes. Master and Commander had some scenes with the on board smithy.
Tone - Wednesday, 01/07/04 16:38:07 EST


Sail boat? I hadn't thought of that. Hmm... Naw, mine sail boat is too small.
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 01/07/04 17:15:00 EST

JIM - Wednesday, 01/07/04 18:16:02 EST

CSI and VI Hammer-In:
irnsrgn (AKS Jr.Strasil) is supposedly planning a Nebraska, CSI Hammer-In in May. We have it on the Calendar of Events but I have not heard specifics and do not know how the planning is going.

Now a Virgin Islands Hammer-In would probably get a bunch of folks excited about going! Damn the costs full speed ahead! Its about as far as you can go South and still be in the US (short of American Samoa, Pago Pago). Besides, we don't know any blacksmiths in Pago Pago (but I'll bet there are a couple). For those emphasizing that CSI is INTERNATIONAL this Virgin Island IS in the US as the IRS reminds Rich about this time every year.

I doubt a boat would be cheaper than flying unless you have an anvil in your pocket. . . THAT would freak the poor airport security guys. . . But a boat DOES allow for hauling a few tools and the coal to pay your fee :). I suspect even charcoal is expensive in St. Croix, VI. As are tools and most raw materials. A group charter might be cost effective. Have to find a charter captian that's into smithing. Hey CAP! Know anyone???

So who would have time to pound iron while the beaches call?? Of course NOBODY wants to see THIS body at the beach. . .

It is about too late to plan an event this winter. I am already double booked in February. Turns out that my passport for a trip to Costa Rica will be arriving about time to interfer with the Daniel Boone Hammerfest. March I am supposed to go the NC-ABANA meet hosted by the Big BLU hammer folks. . . It is REAL easy to be committed to spend every penny you don't have on travel. . . :(

- guru - Wednesday, 01/07/04 18:26:43 EST

Sail Boat Forge:
At one time I was helping a friend plan a retirement on a catamaran. The plan was to go island hoping in the Caribean and stay tied up anywhere that looked interesting. Now these things can be HUGE! And they are very stable. Plenty of room to support a small roomy home and workshop. Steel decks can support a power hammer but you would want an isolated inertia block. A small shop with machinery would be very doable.

Old sailing ships had on-board forges below deck that were sheet metal lined and had a little stack. Big modern war ships have (or had) machine shops and at least ONE WWII era ship had a 2B or 3B Nazel. . . An oil fired forge would have provided the heat.
- guru - Wednesday, 01/07/04 18:39:56 EST

More fun: My wife Sally was looking around for something different for us to do for a short break and came up with a place that only a couple of miles away from us in the rainforest. This place looks totally cool for getaway long weekend. Might even work out to be the lodging of choice for a Caribbean Hammer-in. Anyway, we're ging to go check it out this Sunday for their pig roast. I already know about all the other accomodations here that are close-by.

A Caribbean hammer-in for this winter season is pretty much a no go. Probably another month or two before the shop is really finished, and another month or so after that before I get the powerhammer built. (with luck). Next year it will have to be. Sometime in either the late winter or early spring is the best time here, as far as weather goes. Say, March and April. At least for northern types. Personally, I prefer the warmer months, myself. (grin) In the late summer, the sea gets nice and balmy for snorkeling by us thin-blooded local types. Even if I was as amply insulated as Jock and Paw Paw, I'd still want the water as warm as possible. (grin)

The go-ahead way to travel here is by airplane, IMHO. Those who love sailing will differ I know, but I rate traveling by ship as like being in jail with a chance of drowning. I think Ben Franklin originally said that, but I'm not sure. Just charter a nice little C-130 and you can haul all the participants AND bring a ton or three of coal and tools. (grin)

After seeing the write-ups on the demonstrators for the ABANA conference, and reading about Quad States in the Anvilfire News, I'm seriously thinking of not attending the ABANA conference and waiting for Quad States. My wife's family is all in the Detroit area, so she can see them while I do QS. The fact that I used up all my savings on a new truck and a new shop have nothing to do with my decision to postpone travel for a few months...right. (grin)

Jock wonders who would have time to pound iron while the beaches call. I say, combine the two. I have this old anvil that is too soft; we could haul it to the beach, build a big fire, heat up the anvil and quench it in all that convenient warm salt water. If we get Tony to come, we can build a big trebuchet to get the anvil from the fire to the water real quickly. (grin) A whole ocean should be a big enough slack tub to quench an anvil, I think. Okay, I know you have to swirl it around, but that's what friends are for, right? There's a method to my madness, you see. (grin)
vicopper - Wednesday, 01/07/04 21:06:02 EST

Quad State:

I badly want to make Quad State this year.
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 01/07/04 21:47:28 EST

Rich : The Treb is almost ready , will need 1600# of scrap for counterweight.
son-in-laws treb
habu - Wednesday, 01/07/04 21:59:48 EST


Hoo, Boy! The neigborhood is gonna be nervous about that one! (grin)
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 01/07/04 22:20:08 EST

Paw-paw: My boy doesn't have the pictures of the pulse jet up yet. It's half built too. we're looking to have that fired up by the end of the month.
son-in-laws treb
habu - Wednesday, 01/07/04 23:32:00 EST

Rich & PawPaw: I gorontee you're gonna have a better time at Quad State ! More good ol' boys (and good ol' girls, too), and fewer "Artistes".
3dogs - Thursday, 01/08/04 03:25:03 EST

Now hold on there 1 minute Dreihunden; Last Quad-State I saw a very moving interactive art piece I think was titled something like "Mass Consumption of Our Animal Friends" and who could forget the whimsical irony of "cot bunjied to ceiling of van" or in the tradition of the old masters the intense depth of feeling in: "Smiths Contemplating an Anvil They Cannot Afford"

Quad-State was full or Art, (or was it old farts).

I picked up another pair of bib overalls at the thrift store whilst stocking up on clothes for my new venue---*long* sleeves winter and summer, already got a hat.

Thomas---the artist formerly known as Thomas (If I had know that last Quad-State may have been my last I could have really been artistic; serene in the knowledge that I'd be moving away from retribution...)
Thomas P - Thursday, 01/08/04 11:30:33 EST

ARTZ & PHARTZ: How insensitive of me, Tomas. Can you ever forgive me ? I would have thought your personal favorite would have been "3dogs Standing Over Red Hatted Individual With Potential Lightning Rod". It seemed to have captured your attention at the time. (Heh heh) Arse Gratia Arse. Trois Chiens
3dogs - Thursday, 01/08/04 12:13:13 EST

Everybody up for a "group critique" of Dreihundchen at the next Quad-State? Don't forget your rubber chickens!

Thomas P - Thursday, 01/08/04 18:25:29 EST

Quad State: If everybody else is going to Quad State, can I come up and play too?
- Larry - Thursday, 01/08/04 20:04:11 EST

Larry,: Sure, Why not?
Paw Paw - Thursday, 01/08/04 20:11:44 EST

Quad State 2004: Should be a good time at Quad State this year. I hear the "weird guy" with the funny hat won't be there this year! :] Sorry Thomas, just had to do that. Actually, it really is a nice event. I've been twice, once just for the day, and last year for the weekend. I figure I'll try to make it every year. Really, just think of it as a toy store for blacksmiths!
Bob H - Thursday, 01/08/04 21:03:48 EST

Rubber Chicken:

Thomas, may I substitute a plastic chicken? I've got a roaster that I put on a spit over one of my campfire sets. I tell folks that they should have heard her squeal when I stuck it on the spit. I also tell them that it wouldn't be good to eat, it's been on the firs so long it would taste like rubber.
Paw Paw - Thursday, 01/08/04 21:20:19 EST

Ric Furrer is a good sport; I was his helper last Quad-State and he didn't miss a beat when he found the plastic eye floating in the quench tank...

The date for Quad-State 2004 has been picked; but I think I packed the card it was on.

I donated the flaming anvil stove to the MOB---one less thing to ship.

Be sure to stop by the MOB camp and hassle them about the guy with the funny hat...

Thomas P - Thursday, 01/08/04 22:43:26 EST

Ha! I was in error, I had one tucked away:

Quad-State 2004 will be September 24-26

Feature Gallery Items: Cooking Utensils & Lighting Fixtures

Thomas P - Thursday, 01/08/04 23:13:02 EST

Plastic Eye:

Didn't bother Jock Dempsey at the Museum of Appalachia, either. (grin)
Paw Paw - Friday, 01/09/04 00:16:27 EST

Quad State: You'll know me, PawPaw, I'll be the guy packing the semtex into the blazing anvil while everybody else is off fondling latex poultry. Behave, Thomas, or I'll have Frank Turley revoke your New Mexico green card. (Grin symbol)
3dogs - Friday, 01/09/04 02:50:11 EST

POLITCS: Deja'vu:

On the guru page on Sunday, 01/04/04 at 12:29 I commented that we need to be doing more big exciting government sponsored science, specificaly "a permanent base on the Moon". I also mentioned the Texas Super Collider.

This morning the Bush Whitehouse staff announced that the President was going to recommend "a permanent base on the Moon to prepare for a manned Mars mission".

No, I am not the President's science advisor (does he have one?). But perhaps someone on 1600 Pennsyvania Ave. reads anvilfire.

But we all know this is election year rehetoric. The announcement came on the heals of the report that the great things Bush did for Texas education was a scam. School districts that reported ZERO to less than 2% drop out rates actually had 50% and higher dropout rates! AND the increase in standardized test scores was also a flim flam. Bush's revolution in the Texas schools that he proudly ran on as one of his great achievement in his first presidential election was a fraud.

HALF of all high school students dropped out. How did they miss that? They cooked the books. They "coded" students as having moved, left for health reasons, etc. . . It seems that a girl who drops out of high school because she is pregnant is not a dropout, didn't exist in the first place.

Manipulating the test scores is more devious and may have actually increased drop out rates. First, you make it easy for students that you know are going to do poorly to drop out. You don't try to bring them back, you harrass them while they are in school so that they are forced to drop out. This takes care of 90% of the problem (remember they had a 50% or greater dropout rate). THEN, since the testing is done in the 10th grade they didn't let underachievers into the 10th grade. They kept average students in the 9th grade for as long as three years and then had them SKIP the pivotal testing year. This often had the result that the students could not graduate BUT the test scores were higher and a presidential hopeful had something to point to as a great success.

Bush will declare that he knew nothing of the fraud. But remember, THIS is the president that promoted teaching to the test in his inaugural speech.

Prior to this fraud the same experiment had been run in Virginia. Luckily Virginia teachers revolted. The system was "pay for performance". Students get good grades and you get paid more. Students get poor grades (or do not meet projected expectations) and the teachers are punished by demotion and being forced to take remedial courses and counseling.

The problem IS that expectations were too high and people will do anything to keep their jobs. Most of those that looked good on paper had bent the system. Principals who have tremoundous power over students had the most to lose so they became the largest part of the problem. Students with problems were forced out. Teaching to the test became common at a time in Virgina when it was illegal. Administrators lied and cheated to be sure that scores increased at any cost. The problems became obvious and pay for performance was dropped in Virginia.

This was years before the Texas education revolution. Any contact with people involved in Virginia should have made the problems obvious. In Texas the system was made even worse. Principals were told that if they didn't meet certain goals they would be fired. Pressure was put on at every level. Poorly performing students were pushed out or manipulated so they were not tested, lives were ruined the public cheated and we got an "education President".

Virgina now has what are called "Standards of Learning" or SOL's. Virginia teachers call them "S**t Out of Luck". They are a list of facts that should be learned at each grade level. Sounds reasonable. But then the students are tested on these and no other facts each year. Teachers teach nothing but those facts. They are in effect, teaching to the test. This is all fine and dandy but it is NOT the point of a liberal education, which is what the US educational system has run on since the 1920's. Students do not learn to read for content or learn to think criticaly. All they do is memorize facts. . .

The American educational system HAS been the greatest in world. People from all over the world travel here to get an American education for a reason. Currently our public educational system has problems. Most or probably ALL of the problems are societal and governmental. They have nothing to do with the way children are taught (although I think that could be improved greatly). The biggest problem in American schools is that the children have no respect for teachers, administrators or adults in general. Discipline has become a huge problem. The schools can no longer (are not let) handle discipline problems and classroom time is devaluated. Parents do not take responsibility either so the problems just go on. The government, both state and federal, have added a tremondous paperwork burden on teachers.

The government's responsibility to teachers should be to be sure teachers are properly paid and to STAY OUT of the classroom and not interupt their work. For every piece of paper that must be filed several hours to a day or more is lost. The idiots that rate such things claim so many minutes. . maybe to write nonsense but not to actually answer the questions. . .

In many Virginia counties a single teacher with two dependents comes under the Federal poverty level. Then the state says they cannot apply for local aid (it would embarass the school system). We expect these economicaly stressed individuals to go to work and be harrassed by the kids, their supervisors AND the system and do miracles.

- guru - Friday, 01/09/04 11:35:13 EST

teaching etc: Question:
Why is it the governments responsiblity to teach? I can see having standards and i can see having the government test for those standards, but why is the Fed government funding teaching? It is a broken system. And sincce it is funded by the Fed tax dollars there are many levels of administration and corruption or misuse of funds. Less government and more public participation is needed. Standards are very low in this country right now. I can not believe that we are less inteligent that before it is we just are lazy.
A few years ago ( hmmmmm 5 wow) I noticed my daughter never seemed to have homework or very little at best. I asked the school and was told that it was believed that students should not be burdened with large homework loads in one than one class at a time. SO they has a schedule worked out to allow each teacher to have one large homework assignment per week ( if they chose to do so ).
Mind you this was at a private school. Same answer was given to me at my son's school which was public. Reason was given that parents did not feel that their children should have to work so hard as they were only children after all!
So between parents who comply with childrens desire to be lazy and government waste etc we are in trouble.

But I do hope that we can get a better space program going as it is currently stagnant and wasteful. Of course I do have a vested interest as I would like to work once again at the Kennedy Space Center....(g)
Ralph - Friday, 01/09/04 11:55:37 EST

Teaching and Government:
Its the govenrment's business because many years ago WE decided that we should have a "free public education" so that every child had a chance to go to school, not just the rich. Free education assures a high literacy rate and therefore a better more productive workforce. This has proven to be the case the world over AND is the best assurance of maintaining a democratic government.

- guru - Friday, 01/09/04 12:54:21 EST

Super Collider and Moon Base:
The Super Collider and other big science projects while not as exciting as going to Mars would probably return more of their cost in applicable science than space travel but it is hard to tell. What is important is MATERIALS science. Super conductors and better solar cells require materials research that is usualy part of a big challanging project. Tremondous advances were being made in magnetic material densities when the Super Collider project was dumped.

But it is hard to sell the public (or congressional representives) on pure science that they do not understand.

Bush on MOON BASE (QC), My first thought was that the Mars lander has discovered oil on Mars or the Moon. . . Bush thinks he can be JFK "opening new horizons" and get people to forget he has us in a war we may be in for decades and that his education initative was fraud. It is election year hype.

For years I have belived (and more so now) that politicians should be under penalty of death for making promises they could not deliver. AND that it should be illegal to promise to lower or remove taxes. Bush can't send us to Mars without raising SOMEONE"S taxes. .

It is illegal for me to offer to give you money to vote for my candidate. BUT the candidate can offer to reduce your taxes, in effect giving you money for your vote.

In Virginia and California (perhaps other states) republican governors got elected on the NO car tax issue. This is an easy way to get folks that would not otherwise vote to come out and vote (to give themselves money). What is different between this and me giving you money? Nothing and everything. Besides giving you money for your vote, it was not the candidates money, it was tax money. . .
- guru - Friday, 01/09/04 13:29:54 EST

Moon and Mars: Significant intel suggests that the Martians are developing the Illudium Pew-36 Explosive Space Modulator and that's one helova WMD!
Where's the Kaboom?
- Mike_M - Friday, 01/09/04 15:09:12 EST

Illudium: The problem is that we don't have enough Unobtanium 32 to combat the Illudium device. Research on the Unobtanium 32 required the Texas Super Collider. Reagan cancelled the TSC because the national science advisors kept trying to sell a God fearing creationist on the fact that the collider was supposed to answer questions about how the Universe began. If they had said it was so we could make better whizz-bang toys and have a global technical advantage over the Reds then by now we might have created enough Unobtanium 32 and super repulsor high density superconductor magnets to combat the Martians. . .

Fiction is not nearly as interesting as true history.
- guru - Friday, 01/09/04 15:29:07 EST

Fiction: Ah, but as a whole, we are so much more comfortable with fiction, we intervene in Oil rich county X because of National Security concerns, once there, it was all about the humanitarian problems. Besides, nothing like a war to take peoples minds off the fact that they don't have jobs. The answer to mounting national debt is to give everyone in the country a few hundred to spend at Wal-Mart.
We're mired in war, good jobs are hard to find, and the dollar is loosing value. I know! Lets go to the Moon and Mars!
We can’t afford it, we can’t even keep a fully manned station in earths orbit. That doesn't matter to most, what matters is the fiction that our President is doing SOMETHING.
I've been saying fiction. I should have been saying illusion.
Mike_M - Friday, 01/09/04 15:59:49 EST

Review: Over the recent holidays I have accumulated a fair number of smithing books and tapes. I now intend to grace you all with my opinions and post some reviews here in this forum. I tend to be very critical of written material and video presentations. I believe a review should report the good and the bad - so when I do knock something it doesn't mean I dont like it. I will start with Bill's tapes.

Bill Epps' Instructional Tapes:

I got all four of these tapes. Making Tongs, Animal heads, Leaves and Flowers, Bugs and Birds. Each costs about $25 and runs about 30 mins.

The photography on these tapes is the best I have seen on any smithing tape, homemade or commercial. Whoever shot the footage figured out how to photograph an incandescant piece of iron without saturating the camera. In most shots you can see every hammer mark on the hot work. Only in a few shots doest the hot steel become a white blur. In addition, the shots are well composed, the camera is usually looking in the right place with the right field of view. The audio too is good quality with no distracting background noises from blowers, compressors etc.

Bill is a tall Texan with a soft drawl. His manner is warm and friendly without a trace of pretension. He seems a bit uncomfortable talking to the camera and sometimes stumbles over his lines. His speech is colloquial; he says things like "cold shunt" , "indention" (indentation). All this only adds to the feeling that one is watching a real smith at work - not some effete actor.

I always assume, that in this kind of presentation, projects are repeated until they come out perfect. The small mistakes that are almost inevitable in hand work are hidden out of sight giving one the impression of a craftsman who always turns out perfect work. But in Bill's tapes you see the work as it would happen if he were doing it "for real". A leaf comes out a little crooked - it still looks nice and Bill makes no apologies. When showing how to make tongs with welded reins he uses the arcwelder and explains that with a gas forge, his forge welds stick only about in three times. I imagine a lot of other smiths would have done the weld three times until they shot a perfect take. In two other tong demos he uses the "pahr hamma" explaining that "it's paid for and dont cost no more to use it"

He also talks about the tools that he makes and on this topic he really should say more. In one tape he uses an eye punch without explaining what that is exactly, he talks about making fullers and chisels without discussing the heat treatment - I do know what an eye punch is and I can fill in the other missing details but not everyone can be expected to.

The work is a bit rough for my taste. I prefer a higher level of finish. Thinner leaves, more even tong reins etc. But this is a matter of style. It's clear that Bill could turn out any kind of finish he cared to. What he does do is to show you the hard part. If you want to spend more time on the finish work that's up to you.

I would rate the skill level for these projects as beginner to intermediate. Some of the projects are accessible to a complete beginner but most require at least a step or two beyond basic skills. All of the tapes are a lot of fun and full of interesting ideas. If you have browsed through the iForge demos, you will recognize many of the projects. Bill's manner is very hospitable and encouraging and leads one to say, "I can do that!" One really can't ask more of a good instructor
adam - Friday, 01/09/04 17:30:28 EST


May I suggest that you also copy these reviews to the Guru as email? He would, I'm sure, be happy to add them to the reviews page if you are willing for him to do so.

Multiple reviews from different people tend to round out the total picture for other folks, and are valuable for that reason.
Paw Paw - Friday, 01/09/04 18:28:53 EST

Shipboard forges - there was a scene or two using the forge on deck in Moby Dick. Ahab had the smith welding up razors, I believe, to make a harpoon. ;) Now is *that* an idea for the Sword From Chicken Salad FAQ? ;)

Steve A - Friday, 01/09/04 19:18:04 EST

Illusions: Jock,

Why should anyone be at all surprised that George W is trying to pull off a sleight-of-hand trick with the Mars mission? His Poppa managed to get us embroiled in a huge screw-up in South America, with all the wrong folks getting killed and the bad guys skating off scot-free and then when the news started to focus on Sr's screw-up, guess what? Suddenly some half-baked whacko in Texas burns a U.S. flag and suddenly his nibs is all over the media calling for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would prohibit flag-burning. In other words, toss out the First Amendment.

Don't get me wrong here. I do NOT think it is okay to burn our flag. But I feel even more strongly that the First Amendment is the very conrnerstone of Democracy and cannot be abridged, even if it means we have to let a few nitwits burn a flag from time to time. After all, the only proper method of destroying a damaged flag is by burning. So only the protest aspect would have been the factor that made it illegal, and that abridges the Frist Amendment. Not that Bush Sr's idjit notion ever became law. It just served as the red herring to distract attention to his blunders in South America.

Politicians are a disreputable lot at their very best. The higher they reach in power, the more disreputable they become. Teapot Dome, Bay of Pigs, Chappaquidick, Waco, the list goes on and on. We need to elect a good solid blacksmith to high office so we'd have our very own scoundrel in power. A forge in every garage and coal in every stocking!
vicopper - Friday, 01/09/04 21:01:46 EST

Been puterless for about a week. just catching up.
re the VI hammer in. Paw paw is not safe in a goonie bird, unless strapped down, and sedated, as he will be constantly shouting "everybody stand up" and then rushing the door.
As for traveling a goonie is possibly the finest method of travel ever developed by man(at least by Donald Douglas).

re the Abana hammer in, I'm going. Sounds like I need to try Quad state.

And by the way I have several hundred more take off in goonies,DC-3s/C-47s, and still love em.
ptree - Friday, 01/09/04 22:25:22 EST


I will NOT be shouting "Everybody Stand Up!"

Now I MIGHT be shouting:

"Stand UP!"
"Hook UP!"
"Check your equipment!"
"Sound off for equipment check!"
"Stand in the door!"

"GO! "GO!" "GO!" "GO!" "GO!"

And following the last man out the door!

Please make sure I am wearing a canopy in addition to my ruck sack and weapon! (wry grin)
Paw Paw - Friday, 01/09/04 22:35:57 EST

On Pitcairn island there is a valley called "Bang Iron Valley" where the anvil off the HMS Bounty was originally set up.

Forges on whalers must have been a lot of fun, not only all the pine tar all about but everything soaked in whale oil as well. IIRC the harpoon was forged from horsehoes---they believed that all the pounding refined the metal---and steeled with razors.

There is a great forging scene in a short story in "The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea" about trying to straighten the main shaft for a steam engine and other repairs using brute strength, bunker coal and on a diet of bananas.

Thomas P - Friday, 01/09/04 22:54:58 EST

Trebs and Quad:
Habu, I hope he is planning to add some side bracing from the top of the A's out to the side and just doesn't have it in there yet. Side bracing will be required. Even if theory says it's not necessary. An additional shear block where the legs come down to the base wouldn't be overkill either. Just trying to help.

Vic, Save the VI hammerin for next year and come up to Quad State '04? Stay with us for a while and we can truckpool down there. You're still talkin about anvil quenching with a treb? Grin! I like the flaming coconuts at the cruise ships better. Too bad my wife had designs on my time. We really shoulda done that. It really is nice down there folks. Not all built up and glitzy like many islands. A might hot to be forging when we were there. Cripes I was sweating profusely just hoisting my rum and cokes!
- Tony - Friday, 01/09/04 23:02:49 EST

One more treb thing...:

Habu, I might also mention that sometimes the projectile can go backward instead of forward. I'd be nervous if I owned the house he is facing in the picture. Again, just trying to help since I have made a couple of interesting, but unintended treb shots. Grin.
- Tony - Friday, 01/09/04 23:06:50 EST

Moby Dick (Maybe): Yes, I remember Ahab donating the razors (hey, why not, he had a beard). But then he commands that the harpoon(s?) not be quenched so that the fire may linger. I guess I'll have to reread the book to make sure it's not just Gregory Peck and John Houston that I'm remembering.

For more information on forges on whaling ships, you might want to contact New Bedford Whaling National Historic Site and talk to some of their staff. Nice folks, neat site, cool museum; I wish I could have spent more time there.
New Bedford Whaling NHS
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Friday, 01/09/04 23:10:55 EST

Tony Re: treb: What you see is far from finished and a long way from where we will shoot it and yes the neighbors nervous, but suportive. We shoot the three smaller(4', 6' ,8') trebs in the street in front of the house using water ballons at 200 ft with the neighbor kids as targets. We have a 18" tall treb/cat with a spring assembly that will shoot golf balls 350'.

side assemblies are allready built for the big treb, a 24'arm and a metal weight basket is built. 1600# of fish plate for the counter weight and shooting for 1200' with a 10# pumpkin.

The pulse jet is almost done... hoping to get it fired up this weekend. That should shake up the neighbors. grin. pics to follow.

A bit of Moby Dick trivia the screen play (Gregory Peck and John Houston) was writen by Ray Bradbury of science fiction fame.
habu - Saturday, 01/10/04 01:35:40 EST

Pawpaw, Don't you know that a ruck with an anvil and tool kit in addition to a personel weapon is going to drill you into the ground? Maybe I could, as you friendly neighborhood rigger/jumpmaster set you up with a cargo chute,(godd for the OLD knees) and then Jumpmaster you out the door. I think the look on the others faces as you exit and I Follow (a good jumpmaster always goes last)May be worth the effort!Since the carge chute would need to be 100' diameter for the ruck with anvil and tools, I could just land on top and ride down with you.By the way, for all you wuffo's out there, Pawpaw is not deviant when he calls to check equipment.He is referring to the jump gear he imagines that you will wear!(well on second thought...):)
ptree - Saturday, 01/10/04 08:02:50 EST


Anvil and Tool kit on a pallet. Kick it out just after I leave, loadmaster.
Paw Paw - Saturday, 01/10/04 09:54:02 EST

Moby Dick:
Ahab visited farriers at race tracks and asked them to collect the nails from the race horses shoes. Those he had his ships smith forge weld into HIS harpoon to kill the great white whale. He believed all the pounding of the hooves had strengthened the metal.

This is one of the grossest technical errors in literature since the Bible declared that PI = 3.
- guru - Saturday, 01/10/04 11:23:39 EST

ptree: Thought I would reply here. I think you were wise to build as you did. Did you calculate the pay back time? I'm sure the extra costs were looked after long ago. There is a guy in town ( Rob Dumont) who did a lot of research on homes for the NRC, when he built his home he had a hard time finding a small enough furnace. The furnace cuts in at -30ºc (from TV reports). The neat thing is his house is that it looks like any other on the block, since the front of his house faces north it has lots of windows on that side.
- Daryl - Saturday, 01/10/04 11:40:09 EST

Paw Paw: Jim is one of most quick-witted and intelligent people I know, we like to banter back and forth. Just about everything the guy says can be taken on two levels. I have found that if you slip up in your reply, distance increases your safety proportionately.

Hairstyle is a Brush cut, and yes I came up with the brazen swage award :).
- Daryl - Saturday, 01/10/04 11:59:00 EST

For Paw Paw: C-130 rolling down the strip
Airborne Daddy gonna take another trip
Stand up, Buckle up, Shuffle to the door
Jump right out and count to four
If my chute don't open wide
I got another one by my side
If that one should fail me too
Look out below I'm coming thru
Bob H - Saturday, 01/10/04 12:59:04 EST


Aw!!! You cut your hair! (grin)

I've been known to comment on two levels. My wife claims that I spend more time on the lower level than any other. (grin)

The three of us have to get together! And let the rest of the world beware!

Bob H.

Should be Hook Up, not Buckle Up. You buckle up on the ground. (grin)
Paw Paw - Saturday, 01/10/04 13:34:48 EST

Pawpaw, I didn't think you would trust me to actually kick out the anvil/tool pallet! Might just fly off.:)
Bob, the hook up is to hook up the static line to an overhead cable. This allows you to shuttle to the door, and as you exit the static line opens the parachute automaticlly.
I personally much prefer freefall. And remember, He who hesitates, inherits the earth!
ptree - Saturday, 01/10/04 14:02:05 EST

Were I to build today with todays knowledge, I would lean to more insulation and less to the passive solar. That said, the house works, and has allowed me to keep my wife at a temp. that keeps her moving. She suffers from a thyroid problem, and has to keep a bit warm. I have triple pane windows with selective emissivity film as the middle layer, and after 18 years, am starting to see a bit of fogging. I will have to start replacing the glazing in a few panes as time goes by. My house does not look like a solar house, it just has most of the glazing on the south, and an extra big overhang on the roof.
ptree - Saturday, 01/10/04 14:07:16 EST

Political Messages: No subject is off topic in this forum. But sometimes we need to balance our political feelings with the truth. The following is my submission:

The following is an email message sent to all First Marine Air Wing and Marine Wing Support Squadron 171 from LtCol Scot S. Seitz, Commanding Officer, on Monday, December 1, 2003. It's worth reading and sharing.

Marines and Sailors,

As we approach the end of the year, I think it is important to share a few thoughts about what you've accomplished directly, in some cases, and indirectly in many others. I am speaking about what the Bush Administration and each of you has contributed by wearing the uniform, because the fact that you wear the uniform contributes 100% to the capability of the nation to send a few onto the field to execute national policy. As you read about these achievements you are a part of, I would call your attention to two things:

1. This is good news that hasn't been fit to print or report on TV.
2. It is much easier to point out the errors a man makes when he makes the tough decisions, rarely is the positive as aggressively pursued.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1. . .
. . . the first battalion of the new Iraqi Army has graduated and is on active duty.
. . . over 60,000 Iraqis now provide security to their fellow citizens.
. . nearly all of Iraq's 400 courts are functioning.
. . the Iraqi judiciary is fully independent.
. . . on Monday, October 6, power generation hit 4,518 megawatts-exceeding the prewar average.
. . all 22 universities and 43 technical institutes and colleges are open, as are nearly all primary and secondary schools.
. . . by October 1, Coalition forces had rehab-ed over 1,500 schools-500 more than scheduled.
. . . teachers earn from 12 to 25 times their former salaries.
. . . all 240 hospitals and more than 1,200 clinics are open.
. . . doctors salaries are at least eight times what they were under Saddam.
. . . pharmaceutical distribution has gone from essentially nothing to 700 tons in May to a current total of 12,000 tons.
. . the Coalition has helped administer over 22 million vaccinations to Iraq's children.
. . . a Coalition program has cleared over 14,000 kilometers of Iraq's 27,000 kilometers of weed-choked canals which now irrigate tens of thousands of farms. This project has created jobs for more than 100,000 Iraqi men and women.
. . . we have restored over three-quarters of prewar telephone services and over two-thirds of the potable water production.
. . . there are 4,900 full-service telephone connections. We expect 50,000 by year-end.
. . . the wheels of commerce are turning. From bicycles to satellite dishes to cars and trucks, businesses are coming to life in all major cities and towns.
. . . 95 percent of all prewar bank customers have service and first-time customers are opening accounts daily.
. . . Iraqi banks are making loans to finance businesses.
. . . the central bank is fully independent.
. . . Iraq has one of the world's most growth-oriented investment and banking laws.
. . . Iraq has a single, unified currency for the first time in 15 years.
. . . satellite TV dishes are legal.
. . foreign journalists aren't on 10-day visas paying mandatory and extortionate fees to the Ministry of Information for "minders" and other government spies.
. . . there is no Ministry of Information.
. . . there are more than 170 newspapers.
. . . you can buy satellite dishes on what seems like every street corner.
. . . foreign journalists (and everyone else) are free to come and go.
. . . a nation that had not one single element-legislative, judicial or executive-of a representative government, now does.
. . . in Baghdad alone, residents have selected 88 advisory councils. Baghdad's first democratic transfer of power in 35 years happened when the city council elected its new chairman.
. . today in Iraq, chambers of commerce, business, school and professional organizations are electing their leaders all over the country.
. . . 25 ministers, selected by the most representative governing body in Iraq's history, run the day-to-day business of government.
. . . the Iraqi government regularly participates in international events. Since July, the Iraqi government has been represented in over two dozen international meetings, including those of the UN General Assembly, the Arab League, the World Bank and IMF and, today, the Islamic Conference Summit. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs today announced that it is reopening over 30 Iraqi embassies around the world.
. . . Shia religious festivals that were all but banned, aren't.
. . . for the first time in 35 years, in Karbala thousands of Shiites celebrate the pilgrimage of the 12th Imam.
. . . the Coalition has completed over 13,000 reconstruction projects, large and small, as part of a strategic plan for the reconstruction of Iraq.
. . . Uday and Qusay are dead-and no longer feeding innocent Iraqis to the zoo lions, raping the young daughters of local leaders to force cooperation, torturing Iraq's soccer players for losing games, or murdering critics.
. . . children aren't imprisoned or murdered when their parents disagree with the government.
. . . political opponents aren't imprisoned, tortured, executed, maimed, or are forced to watch their families die for disagreeing with Saddam.
. . . millions of longsuffering Iraqis no longer live in perpetual terror.
. . . Saudis will hold municipal elections.
. . . Qatar is reforming education to give more choices to parents.
. . . Jordan is accelerating market economic reforms.
. . . the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded for the first time to an Iranian-a Muslim woman who speaks out with courage for human rights, for democracy and for peace.
. . . Saddam is gone.
. . . Iraq is free.
. . . President Bush has not faltered or failed.
. . . Yet, little or none of this information has been published by the Press corps that prides itself on bringing you all the news that's important.

Iraq under US-led control has come further in six months than Germany did in seven years or Japan did in nine years following WWII. Military deaths from fanatic Nazi's and Japanese numbered in the thousands and continued for over three years after WWII victory was declared.

It took the US over four months to clear away the twin tower debris, let alone attempt to build something else in its place.

Now, take into account that almost every Democrat leader in the House and Senate has fought President Bush on every aspect of his handling of this country's war and the post-war reconstruction, and that they continue to claim on a daily basis on national TV that this conflict has been a failure.

Taking everything into consideration, event the unfortunate loss of our brothers and sisters in this conflict, do you think anyone else in the world could have accomplished as much as the United States and the Bush administration in so short a period of time?

These are things worth writing about. Get the word out. Write to someone you think may be able to influence our Congress or the press to tell the story.

Above all, be proud that you are a part of this historical precedent.

God bless you all. Have a great Holiday.

Semper Fidelis,

LtCol Scot S Seitz

Paw Paw - Saturday, 01/10/04 18:16:56 EST

Bantering: Daryl
Only on two levels?
Well I am planning on going to the anvilfire hammer-in at Jr's next year...........
JimG - Saturday, 01/10/04 18:42:29 EST

Jim G: As soon as I get a firm date, I'll schedule it. I want to go, too.
Paw Paw - Saturday, 01/10/04 18:46:15 EST


When ants start to look like people, you're in DEEP doo doo.
Paw Paw - Saturday, 01/10/04 19:23:04 EST

No matter how much good we do there the Iraqis will hate us until we get OUT of their country and not leave a remant behind. Even if we bring them to our standard of living and security they would still hate us. That is the nature of the Middle East. Anyone that does not understand that will fail or die there.

- guru - Saturday, 01/10/04 20:24:00 EST

Equipment Pallet:
Paw-Paw, You had better kick it out FIRST unless you want that anvil landing on your head. . . Make Wilie Coyote look look like the genious he claims to be. . .
- guru - Saturday, 01/10/04 20:25:34 EST

Trebs and Paw Paw: Habu, sorry, I didn't know you had experience. I've seen some really stupid treb stuff. Not most of it mine. Grin. I'm assembling stuff for a 100 foot arm, 20,000 pound counterweight treb. My 2 current ones are steel frame, 8 and 14 foot arms. The bigger can take well over 2000 pounds of counterweight. I've not loaded it up to what I think capacity is yet. Do any flaming stuff? Flaming is great at night. The WHOOSH from enhanced oxygenation at max accel is incredible. Might wanna watch the wood frame though. We had a teeny problem one day with liquid stupidity involved. And I was the sane one invloved.

Paw Paw, thanks for the Iraq post from Lt Seitz! I'll be distributing that around.
- Tony - Saturday, 01/10/04 20:39:17 EST

The best way to enjoy what goes on at the conferences is to stay with the other smiths. At the ABANA conferences this is in the dorms and at others it is camping where the good times roll all night. SOFA/Quadstate is one of the biggest all night parties running.

I quit camping years ago and camping AND dorms do not provide the space and computer connections required to keep business rolling here when I am on the road. My laptop goes everywhere and anytime I am going to be gone for more than a couple days I arrange a local dialup connection.

I'm planning a visit to Costa Rica in about a month and I will carry my lap top and have already arranged to make use of a connection there to keep things going. Anvilfire is almost a 24/7 job and in reality I work it no less than 12/7. A VI Hammerin would be great fun but would still be work. . .

I often have folks offer to give me a place to stay but the need for several hours or more on the web with MY computer each night makes it difficult. So there is always a motel and IPS cost to traveling. At least the ISP cost is only about $25/trip/location and I have found a service that has dialups almost everywhere in the country.
- guru - Saturday, 01/10/04 20:39:38 EST

Pawpaw, re the letter from LtCol Scot S Seitz, right on.I for one intend to send this to a columnist friend that has run down the efforts of the current adminstration and President.
Thank you for sharing this.
And GURU,It seems the rest of the world hates us. Whether we are there, or not. Whether we give them aid, or not. Whether we interfere in thier country, or not. Odd though that most countries have to build fences to keep the people in, and we have to build them to keep people OUT!
ptree - Saturday, 01/10/04 21:20:31 EST

I have a vision of the goonie showing up over Viccoppers, for a hammer-in, and as the anvils and tools start to drop, followed by several of the anvilfire airborne, the terror alert color changing rapidly. I think that world changing history may occur. Imagine if Habu and others bring treb's. This may escalate:)
ptree - Saturday, 01/10/04 21:26:07 EST

Another disturbing thought! how many Anvilfire airborne can we get on a goonie, considering the anvil/tool rucks required? Can we rig a treb. on a pallet smallenough to get it out the door? Coal from above! This may be fun:)
ptree - Saturday, 01/10/04 21:29:25 EST


Be advise that it Lt. COL., not Lt.

Ptree, I think there are only about 3 Airborne anvilfire regulars, the rest of them are legs. (grin)
Paw Paw - Saturday, 01/10/04 21:33:32 EST


I won't argue with you about whether or not the Iraqi's hate us, but I think you are wrong. I've dealt with the Byzantine mentality before. One of the few things they do respect is someone who has the intestinal fortitude to back up his rhetori with blood.

The Middle East is not as homogenous as people think. There are great differences between Iraq and Iran, for example.
Paw Paw - Saturday, 01/10/04 21:37:06 EST

Rhetori = Rhetoric:

Correction. PTP, Paw Paw, PTP!
Paw Paw - Saturday, 01/10/04 21:38:06 EST

Jumping: Well count me in on this jump and forge project. Considering I REALY³ don't like heights, two things I want to try is parachuting and hang gliding. And with Pawp intructing I think I could very easily step out of that plane.............
JimG - Saturday, 01/10/04 21:56:21 EST

Aid, Hatered etc: Personally since the world hates I say do like the character Mel Gibson played in Leathal Weapon said"Hate them back" but show it by complying with their stated desires. Leave every single country who asks us to. Stop sending aid ( both money and physical)

I imagine that in a fairly short time things will change.

BTW all those troops we pulled home from Germany, Japan, Korea can be put on OUR borders and patrol them. Keep the illegals out.
After all the Military's charter is to Protect and defend this country from all enemies DOMESTIC and FOREIGN. Which to me means that the US Military should be patroling our borders.
But then I have been told I have unpopular beliefs
Ralph - Saturday, 01/10/04 23:20:19 EST

trebs in flight....: ptree anything can be lifted.... :^)
Just have it disassembled ready to assemble.
Reason there are only 3 airborne fools here is the rest got smart and got into a different line... (grin)
Ralph - Saturday, 01/10/04 23:24:52 EST

NON- AIRBORNE: The thing I really enjoyed about being in a Howitzer outfit was, when the staff officers called a shot, we got to send it over their heads. (Impressive sound, an 8 incher overhead.)
3dogs - Sunday, 01/11/04 03:11:58 EST

Jumping, people hate, etc.:
Paw Paw, I really meant to type Col. next to Lt. Brain fart. I've printed it in it's entirety with the correct title. And it will be passed on that way.

I've only jumped once. Accelerated free fall from 13,800 with two jumpmasters making sure I pulled the handle and the chute opened. The lines were twisted (my wife's sister packed the chute.. Hmmmmm) so I had no control until I kicked out of it, but I did manage to land within 10 feet of the target rag and not fall over. Got the whole thing on video too. I'd do it again. Sign me up.

But NOT with a treb anywhere near me in the sky! grin. Trebs can be site built from just about anything if you are a smith with some carpentry skills. I do like to have good arm bearings however.

I've never been anywhere in the world where the people, average citizens, hate us. I'm not talking about war now. Some cultures think we are nuts, some think we are entertaining, some think we are wasteful, some (lazy sob's who live near the equator) think we work far too hard. But I can't say I've ever experienced culture to culture hate. Not saying it doesn't exist, but if the media tells me a different culture hates us, I take it with a grain of salt. I try, always, to look for the motivations. I have not been in the middle East that I remember.

Hate is something easy to conjure up from a distance. When you are face to face trying to get something done, Hate is a lot of extra work for both parties. Guarded optimism can be a good starting point.

Now certainly, the LEADERS of another country or culture may dislike us. Competition for money and power has spawned some really bad actions over time.
- Tony - Sunday, 01/11/04 08:52:37 EST

Airborne?: Aw heck, I'd jump out of a plane given half a chance. Always wanted to do that. And of course, with the old Sarge instructing, there'd be no worries.
As far as hate, I haven't seen that. Distrust I have. Met an old Okinawan, who said Are.. you.. Marine? No, Air force, says I. Then it was like, Oh, how do you do? See, the Marines get treated like crap it seems, they train to be tough, and when they drink? They are tough and out of control. From my perspective, it seems they caused most of the trouble on Okinawa. And that was the way the Okinawans percieved it also. Now, don't get me wrong, I greatly respect the Marines. And I can understand how they get rambunctious when drinking. But they sure did cause some trouble while I was there.
Bob H - Sunday, 01/11/04 10:22:40 EST

One of my tours was with the 2nd/138 Feild Arty. 8" self-propelled, and yes we were NUKE capable. There is little that impresses like the sound of 203mm(8"0) projo low overhead. Especially when its a fire mission from the whole battalion!
As for the anvilfire airborne, I think most of us may be airborne more by memory than current experience:)Remember that in the Anvilfire airborne Its that state of mind that counts!
Pawpaw, should I do a set of Anvilfire airborne wings?
As a rigger, I could do the treb's for pallet dropping:)
ptree - Sunday, 01/11/04 10:24:11 EST

Guru and Pawpaw,
I have a troubling vision of anvil shoots being actually outlawed. Wonder if a modified ejection seat from a F-4 would sastify the picky? Three pancake charges to get it up the the rail, 13 rocket tubes for height, and a nice parachute to gentle the fall. After venting this thought, you can see why troubling:) I'd better get the forge lit, and hammer myself back into reality!
ptree - Sunday, 01/11/04 10:31:08 EST

Cannoncockers: Ptree; 2/136, here. 8" towed. Loved that big ol' Ford 10 ton 6 by 6, too. My kind of ORV.
3dogs - Sunday, 01/11/04 11:07:34 EST


The Posse Comitas act gets in the way of having the military patrolling the borders and "manning" the check points in and out.

Tony, you're not the first one to have a brain phart, they happen to all of us on occasion.

I've never been anywhere where the common people actively hate us, although the Japanese didn't have much love for us in the early 50's. But given the situation, that's completely understandable. Otherwise, my experience is much the same as Tony's.

Bob, I've done some instructing in the past. Both military parachuting and sky diving, as well as mountain climbing and rapelling. Got a bunch of clippings around here someplace where I instructed a blind man. He was the third blind jumper, I think there have been a couple more since then. We built a radio into his helmet and jumped him with a static line. Guy on the ground talked him down once his parachute was open. Missed the DZ by a couple of hundred yards, because the jumpmaster got scared and put him out a bit too soon. I didn't jumpmaster him, was too nervous. The sense of responsibility was darn near overwhelming. Dave (the jumper) is dead now, when he was buried he was wearing my blood wings on his suit jacket. Preacher mentioned his jump during the sermon and told how I had arrived early, and gotten the funeral home people to open the casket so I could pin his wings on for him. Family gathered around me after church to thank me for doing that and for teaching Dave. Spent the rest of the day with the family exchanging "Dave" stories.

Want to be scared by another person's faith in you? Tell a blind man to "Jump!!" and watch him do it with absolutely no idea of what he is jumping into.

Bob, I've heard stories like yours about Marines before. I've got two Marine cousins, one now retired after 20, the other did, I think, 6 years. One of my grandsons just graduated from Boot camp and Ralph's son Nathan just graduated from boot camp. They're all good people, but don't get them riled.

Ptree, I remember the 8" Nuke shell. Same one that was used with the 155. Little 1 kiloton pony bomb.

Who's gonna out law anvil shoots? ABANA? They tried that. It didn't work and they got their noses bloodied. Local jurisdictions might try it, but they'd never get the whole country to go along with it.
Paw Paw - Sunday, 01/11/04 11:09:21 EST

Tony and trebs: 100' arm... that IS inpressive. Send pictures. Tony there is no need for sorry, I come here to learn things and so far it's working.

As to flaming flying fagots flung from afar, in eastern Colorado we get 13" of rain in a average year, and we are entering into a third year of drought. Matches are frowned apon , tobacco must be chewed and fire places require a burn permit. But we are looking in to an arangement with the forest service to lob explosives for avalanche abatement. (evil grin). I have found that most of my stupidity involved liquid.

Ptree, Paw-Paw: palletizing the treb is not a problem. Kicking me out the door would be a fight. But I will keep two things in mind, "It don't mean a thing if you don't pull the string." and "it is only the last foot of the fall that is the problem, the rest is preperation." (laughing hysterically all the way to the ground) Trouble is that I would most likely find it fun, and Margie says I don't need another hobby.
habu - Sunday, 01/11/04 11:10:48 EST


There is only one thing that is more fun that sky diving, and I assume that you and Margie already know about it. (grin)

I always wanted to find a little red head, female student, but Sheri always said that if she found a pair of FFF wings on my jump suit, she'd better have the other pair!
Paw Paw - Sunday, 01/11/04 11:42:47 EST

IRAQ and HATRED: I submit that the real hatred in the Middle East comes from the jihadists who hate all 'infidels', but place the various followers of Jehovah God at the top of their list. If they should ever conquer the Jews and the Christians, the secularists and the Eastern religions would, by default, next become their primary targets. The Iraqis, or any other national or ethnic group, likely simply follow human nature and distrust those different than themselves, just as we all do. But, eternity is infinitely more important than our petty disputes in this life anyway. Jesus saves.
Tom H - Sunday, 01/11/04 14:35:25 EST

Paw Paw: You're a Cry Baby... Grin
habu - Sunday, 01/11/04 20:10:09 EST


You hush! (grin)
Paw Paw - Sunday, 01/11/04 21:41:25 EST

Paw Paw: After you've gotten your FFF wings, how do you light a cigarette with all that wind rushing up at you? By the way, thanks for putting yet another disturbing image of you in my head!(painful grin)

eander4 - Sunday, 01/11/04 23:26:54 EST

Re: FFF wings : Question at what altitude do you have to jump from for a 30 minute free fall?
habu - Sunday, 01/11/04 23:34:24 EST

Habu: Paw Paw only needs a 30 second free fall, cigarette
included! (Evil grin!)
eander4 - Monday, 01/12/04 00:28:03 EST


I believe I'm just going to let this one ride! (grin)

And I've quit smoking.
Paw Paw - Monday, 01/12/04 01:34:05 EST

Etching: Hi I've just curious about how to etch on metal. I read in a book about for recipes to etch with all using acid or iodine. I can't find anywhere that sells these, On the Internet or anywhere. I was wondering if anyone could tell me where to buy acid at or what they use for etching.

Thank you.
- Ronnie Emory - Monday, 01/12/04 01:37:46 EST

RONNIE/ETCHANT: Ronnie, go to your friendly neighborhood Radio Shack, and ask for a bottle of printed circuit board etchant. Its chemical name is "Ferric Chloride", and it is a lot less nasty than some of the alternatives.
3dogs - Monday, 01/12/04 01:47:18 EST

Thank you. Would I use it just like the other chemicals? cover the metal in beeswax and etch what I want then then put the chemical on it? Thank you for answering my question.
Ronnie Emory - Monday, 01/12/04 01:52:40 EST

Occifers and Horseshoe Nails: Tony: "...Lt. Brain F@rt." I remember him, he commanded the OTHER platoon. ;-)

Horseshoes and horseshoe nails for blades:

This is a Renaissance “urban legend”, oft repeated at the time, and perpetuated over the centuries. Some swordsmiths bragged about using horseshoes and some went whole hog and wasted their time using just the nails, welding the little bits into billets and then into blades. How successful either method was, and how much it was actually used, is never revealed, of course. Sort of like “magic quenching formulas.” Everybody had one, but whether they actually did anything is an open question, depending on the trace elements and carbon content of the batch of steel and the local talent and skill of the smiths. On the whole, a waste of time in pursuit of the “ultimate*” blade.

*”Ultimate” is probably the most overused term in any of the knife magazines. Some things just haven’t changed. I trust Ahab appreciated his “ultimate” harpoon. He sure nailed that white whale; didn’t he?
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Monday, 01/12/04 10:11:36 EST

Ferric Chloride: I occasionally make my own printed circuit boards (PCB). The modern DIY method for PCBs is to print out a mirror image of the circuit on a laser printer and then iron the printout onto the surface of the copper so that the toner sticks to the metal. Washing the board with the stuck on paper under warm water will cause the paper to fall apart and wash away leaving only the toner. You need a clay surfaced paper for this to work well - many modern papers use plastics and resins which are not as good. Surprisingly fine details get transferred this way. Any defects in the etch resist, can be repaired with nail polish - I prefer a can of hobby oil paint and a very fine brush.

Etch for about 20 -40 mins. Agitation is important, my home made etching tank is made of lexan pieces glued together. For agitation I use a fish tank aerator and for temp control a fish tank heater. Some people just use a flat plastic basin and rock it back and forth. My attempts to raise tropical fish in the etching tank, between etches has not been as successful as I hoped - needs further research.

I do think the iron on toner has possibilities for general metal etching.

Ferric Chloride is messy stuff - it will stain most anything even your stainless steel kitchen sink
- adam - Monday, 01/12/04 10:50:33 EST

Pattern Transfer: Adam & Ronnie; There is a memory blip trying to make its way through the cobwebs of my brain regarding the use of kerosene in the transfer process. If I recall correctly, the Xerox copy was placed placed face down and secured to the surface to be etched, and the back of the paper would be wiped/blotted with a rag dampened with the kerosene. Obviously, if too much kerosene were used, one could end up with a smeary mess. I think some experimentation would be in order. Regarding the iron-on method, I have used that one on flat wood for carving, and it works quite well. If you don't like the direction your transferred picture is facing, you can reverse it. Go to Office Max and get a pack of copier transparency film. This stuff is used for copying things to be shown on overhead projectors. Put a sheet of the film in your paper tray, copy your original onto it, put the transparency copy up on the screen face up and copy it back to paper. the image will be reversed. Great for transferring lettering. They might even have the film for computer printers, but I'm not sure.
3dogs - Monday, 01/12/04 12:15:35 EST

Posse Comitas : PPW, then perhaps it is time to re-visit this act. Especially since it was enacted 70 years ago. Does not seem to me that it was exaclty looked at the same way before that. I feel that if we made at least one member in each military patrol on our own borders a US MArshal ( just like amny US PArk service folks or jus tlike some of the rent-a-cops at some federal areas Such as KSC then we can use the service to do its job, namely to protect me and mine from bad guys. Folks are always talking about how the sugglers etc are better armed than the police.... well lets see....?
Ralph - Monday, 01/12/04 12:47:43 EST

Posse Comitas: Ralph,

Your points are valid. But as long as the act is on the books, in it's current form, it gets in the way. Ask any cop, there are LOTS of times when we'd like to have military assistance, but it's not legal to use the military for police work, without certain specific steps being taken. And frankly I'd rather it stayed that way. I don't like the idea of the military policing the populace. That way lies slavery.
Paw Paw - Monday, 01/12/04 13:04:56 EST

HUZZAH!!: Well Lads I belive it is time for some less intense and certainly lighter matters of discourse. This past saturday My wife was officially declared to be expecting! We have decided to be surprised as to the gender of the wee bairn, but should it be a boy his name will be Nickolai Coryander Langfitt. However Should the lord see fit to bless us with a lovely lass, her name shall be Tatianna Marie Langfitt. I now get to wait until around the 10 of september to find out which.
- dragon-boy - Monday, 01/12/04 13:22:52 EST

for some reason it did not recognize my email. it is for those who may be interested
dragon-boy - Monday, 01/12/04 13:24:48 EST

rebar regrets: Making tongs, picked up a pc of 1/2" rebar and cut off 4 pcs each 12" long for two pairs of reins. First two pcs welded like a dream. Stuck together like dogs in heat. Third pc would not weld. Would not even get sticky in the forge. Fourth piece got to welding heat and crumbled like cottage cheese. All this from 4' of a single bar. I guess one end was made from a Chevy and the the other from a washing machine. I think I may be cured of my rebar habit
adam - Monday, 01/12/04 16:02:01 EST


Rebar is like that. I know several guys that have started playing with it when they got a bunch from a constructions site. Usually about the fourth piece that throw it away with much bad language. (grin)
Paw Paw - Monday, 01/12/04 16:45:23 EST

FFFwings, Fast Free Fall wings? VBG
ptree - Monday, 01/12/04 17:40:39 EST

Posse Comitas
Pawpaw I agree fully that the act has a place. I'm not sure that securing the borders in this time of war is police work however. I strongly do not want armed militery policing the citizens of this country.
- ptree - Monday, 01/12/04 17:44:22 EST

Most hearty congrats! Now you need to change that to dragon-daddy:)
- ptree - Monday, 01/12/04 17:46:35 EST


The problem is that if they are "policing" the borders, then they are in effect, policing civilians. I don't like that idea at all.
Paw Paw - Monday, 01/12/04 18:11:39 EST

Airborne/Arty: 3-Dogs and P-Tree: Looks like the Arty has caught up with the Airborne. I make three for Arty. C Bat. 2/12 Arty Republic of Viet Nam, '70-'71. 155 mm Split trails. Old, but airmobile. "Steel, on target, on time." Fire mission. out.
- Larry - Monday, 01/12/04 21:31:30 EST

Borders: PPW ,
OK if you are against the US Military from doing its job on our borders, how do you propose that we do so? AS currently our borders are not secure. Will thousands of illegals crossing over the borders ( Both North and South) every day. I see this as a huge problem.
If we continue to close our eyes and not act we will find ourselves out of a Country. And so far Every President since Reagan ( perhaps those before, but I do not know) have granted citizanship to all the illegals currently residing. Hence the flood of those looking for a hole to get thru so that they too can become a citizen , as they know it is only a matter of time before they too will be grandfathered in.
Ralph - Monday, 01/12/04 22:12:45 EST

Borders: There are few sights that I would less like to see than the US Military at our borders. Police states, tyrannies and dictatorships use their military to police their borders, not democracies.

No President has ever granted citizenship to all the illegal entrants to this country. Nor will any President ever do so. One, it isn't possible in practical terms, and secondly, the President doesn't grant citizenship, the Immigration and Naturalization Service does.

The job of the military is to fight wars and keep the peace. There are very different aspects to combat and police work, and mixing the two often leads to problems. Paw Paw has done plenty of military duty and done police work as well, and he is eminently qualified to discuss the differences if he wishes. I've really only done police work, so I will refrain from saying what the military should do, except to say that they shouldn't do police work that they are not specifically trained to do. Nor do I think they would want to.

The vast numbers of foreign nationals trying to cross our borders is a testimonial to the desireability of life in America. Let us keep it that way and not tread the edge of disaster by inviting our armed forces to police our borders or our towns. Just my two cents worth, your mileage may vary.
vicopper - Monday, 01/12/04 22:38:36 EST

Paw Paw: I wanted to thank you for posting that message from Lt. Col. Seitz. It is nice to read something positive about this situation. I hope that there continues to be positive coming from our presence there. I may not trust our leaders' motives much, but I DO support our troops and their efforts.
vicopper - Monday, 01/12/04 22:42:00 EST


I agree that it is a huge problem. However, I would vastly prefer to see the US Marshal program tripled or even quadrupled to do the border patrol, rather than the military doing so.
Paw Paw - Tuesday, 01/13/04 00:41:57 EST


Just an addendum to the previous. You wouldn't ask submariners to jump from airplanes. When you ask soldiers to be police officers, the gap is just as huge. The soldiers primary task is to kill the enemy. The police officers primary task is to protect and defend. There is a WORLD of difference between the two mindsets. They require the same type of mind, that is why so many soldiers become police officers. But training former soldiers to be police officers is as much a job of UNTRAINING them as it is a job of training them.

Been there, done that. Both on the line and in the panic palace.
Paw Paw - Tuesday, 01/13/04 00:45:57 EST


No problem. I just felt that the other side of the coin should be shown as opposed to the slanted, biased bull hocky put out by the "mainstream" media.
Paw Paw - Tuesday, 01/13/04 00:47:17 EST

Borders: I don't think any of us want a "Berlin Wall" on our side of the border, and as for involving the military in domestic police work, I think the horrifying pictures of our tanks at work in Waco under Janet Reno are a strong deterrent.

HOWEVER, we currently have millions, not thousands, crossing our border from the south, with the full aid and cooperation of the Mexican government and their military...which patrols their side of the border and has been known to venture on our side while they escort drug smugglers and the like into our country. It does seem me that some diplomatic pressure, properly applied south of the border, might ease the problem. I have no problem with folks who want to come to this country, legally, and be Americans of Mexican heritage, an honorable and worthy legacy. I do have a problem with Mexicans who want to come to this county, illegally, and remain Mexicans....unwilling to speak our language, unwilling to assimilate, and bosting they will "restore" the lands "stolen" from Mexico through their reproductive vigor. End of rant. Feel free to call me a "racist" if you like.
Ellen - Tuesday, 01/13/04 00:53:01 EST

Ellen: I suggest you peruse the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, the document that ceded the Southwest Territory to the United States. It specifically prohibits abridging the freedom of the indigenous peoples' religion, language or custom. I should note that that Treaty takes precedence over any other law, including so-called "English Only" laws such as the one that AZ tried fifteen years ago. Yes, English is the common language in the US, but it is not the only language, nor is it the "official" language.
vicopper - Tuesday, 01/13/04 01:14:19 EST

Vicopper, with all due respect I did not say they could not keep their language, customs, and heritage, but I do think as a matter of common courtesy they could and should learn our language. When I go to Mexico, I speak Spanish. And, I did not refer in any way to trying to change their religion, or colorful customs, many of which have enriched our culture immensely. After all, Dean Martin and Perry Como recorded some beautiful songs in Italian.....but they also learned to speak English, and very well. And, I would respectfully submit, that an ability to read road signs posted in English would improve the public safety. I learned to respect and heed the signs in Sonora which said "Vado", "Cuidado", and "Alto". Common courtesy can bridge many misunderstandins and make for harmonious relationships.
Ellen - Tuesday, 01/13/04 01:33:51 EST

Oops, I left out "peligro" and failed to give credit to Luciano Pavoratti for his beautiful Italian songs.
Ellen - Tuesday, 01/13/04 01:38:54 EST

citizenship: vicopper,
I think you are wrong on this Clinton and GW both have.
It started with Reagans blanket amnesty. My feeling is if you are here illegally you should be deported I do not care how much work you do you are here as a criminal and I am against that. I also think that we need to stop allowing children who are born here to illegal aliens to be considered citizens.

As for the job of the military I think you need to go and look at the constitution... The military is for the common defense against enemies DOMESTIC and FOREIGN AS for the military doing police work they already do. Every branch has a police segment. Who do you think settles the crimes on base?
Everyone freaks out about teh military patroling our borders.
I understand that it is a scary thing. BUt the act does allow for military participation under certain conditions. I think that the flood of illegals is a bad thing Especially since if I were bent on harming the US of A I would come across the border as it is rather porus.
But I can see that I am a minority of one here. So I keep the thought of this topic to myself and pray that y'all are right and I am wrong. (smile)
Ralph - Tuesday, 01/13/04 08:37:55 EST

Must be a politition as I have one more response: PPW I am not talking about solgiers policing every town. I am talking having them support the Border Patrol on the BORDERS.
As for the shooting aspect. I personally feel if a gun is being shot then it SHOULD be to kill. One reason I think that so many police officers get killed.
Ralph - Tuesday, 01/13/04 08:43:26 EST


I hate arguing from authority, but that appears to be my only option. I can try and locate the section of the US Code that includes the POSSE COMMITATUS (SP) if you like.

But the gist of the act is that it is illegal to use the military to enforce the law in the United States!

I don't give a flying flip of the mono-digital salute how big the US Marshall's office gets, but that is the ONLY legal national police force. Use them, NOT the US Military.

When Wesley Clark allowed troops to be used at the debacle at Waco, he was in direct violation of the law, and SHOULD have been prosecuted for doing so. Of course, the person that should have prosecuted him was Janet Reno, so he got off scott free.

It was wrong then, it is wrong now, and it will BE wrong as long as the law is on the books.
Paw Paw - Tuesday, 01/13/04 10:40:32 EST


Sec. 1385. Use of Army and Air Force as posse comitatus

Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly
authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

Paw Paw - Tuesday, 01/13/04 10:49:23 EST

PPW : I have read the code Jim.
ANd I am not proposing that we use the troops to police our cities and towns. I am saying use them under the guidence of the Marshalls and Border patrol to keep watch on that LONG HUGE blasted border that folks are walking across day oafter day. I am talking about the same border that the Mexican army routinly violates and also fires upon our own border patrol. I am talking about protecting me and mine form an invasion.
But now I am getting angry so I am going to stop this as I do not want to have to not visit here.
Ralph - Tuesday, 01/13/04 11:30:23 EST


My last post on this subject, for the same reasons as yours.

It's against the law to use the military to police civilians. It's that simple.
Paw Paw - Tuesday, 01/13/04 12:15:47 EST

Polishing Steel: My son, the recently started armour maker, has done a good job cutting the stuff (14 gauge sheet steel) out and pounding it in to shape. It looks real nice to me. Now he's in the market for a sander. I guess our belt sander is a little too flat for what he's trying to do. He was looking at a Craftsman sander called the 3-D sander. It looks about like a Norelco razor -- you know, floating heads. Does anyone have any experience with this sander, or recommendations for other sanders or methods of polishing steel? We're amateurs by the way -- cost will definitely be a factor.
John Wamsley - Tuesday, 01/13/04 12:33:27 EST

Antique bellows: I am looking for blacksmith bellows to use as a coffee table at our horse ranch. Not having any luck on the internet so far. The Small Farmers Journal auction in Sisters, OR might be worth a shot but it's not until April. Can anyone help?
- CKW - Tuesday, 01/13/04 13:02:34 EST

bellows for a table: Does it have to be a real antique? If not why not make a non-working bellows and use that?
Ralph - Tuesday, 01/13/04 13:08:15 EST

Bellows for a Table:

Ralph's suggestion is good. Make a non-functional bellows, complete with a MinWax finish. Distress it whith a chain and a shotgun loaded with bird shot. Then let it sit out in the sun and weather for a month. Bring it in the house and make the table. No one will ever know the difference unless you tell them.
Paw Paw - Tuesday, 01/13/04 13:28:16 EST

Anvil value: Hi, I have a chance to purchase a 500lb est. Fisher anvil, stamp 1906, in pretty good shape has reasonable wear for it age though, what would the value of these large anvils be? I know the smaller 100 to 250 usually sell for 1.00 to 2.00 per pound hhave been watch Ebay, only one on there was 485 for 3200 to me was a way to expensive.
mj - Tuesday, 01/13/04 15:28:00 EST


Considering that it's a Fisher, Cast iron with a tool steel face welded in the form as the cast is poured, I wouldn't pay over $3 a pound.
Paw Paw - Tuesday, 01/13/04 15:53:01 EST

anvil: Location is relevant. In the south and the east prices tend to be lower than the southwest where I live. Consider too that you can buy a brand new 500# anvil for $1100 + shipping
adam - Tuesday, 01/13/04 16:09:15 EST

Fisher anvil: Personally, I like Fisher anvils, because they are quiet. No ring. Takes some getting used to, I'll admit, but once you do, a quiet anvil is a joy. I'd give $1000 for a good Fisher of 500#, no hesitation. I would NEVER do it sight unseen though, as they can separate at the face and be totally worthless for forging and absolutely unrepairable.

If there is any doubt, and you want the anvil for real work and not for conversation, then I'd get one of the European anvils from either of the advertisers here on Anvilfire that sell them. If you do, be sure to mention to them that heard about them here.
vicopper - Tuesday, 01/13/04 19:21:37 EST

Fisher Anvils : Fisher Anvils- I have one that is almost three hundred pounds and its my major working anvil. They made a lot of heavy anvils so don't get sucked into too high a price because it's large. Mine has good rebound and though someone before me chipped a piece off one of the edges there is no sign at all of the top seperating anywhere even right at the chip. Vicopper has seen this thing and bounced a hammer off it too. I'd buy another one in a minute if I could find another localy.
SGensh - Tuesday, 01/13/04 20:10:06 EST

Immigration :
For me, it is this simple. ANYONE willing to work for a living is welcome to come to the Untied States of America.

They must also learn the common language within a year. I do not expect those wanting to reap the benefits to be able to have a conversation in public that I cannot understand.

Maintain your heritage in private. Or a privately paid for and funded facility.

Sponsorship by an accountable US citizen is a good idea.

They must also RESPECT this culture. Well, at least the good parts of it anyway. grin.

Those looking to come here for a better handout and not interested in earning their keep can be used as projectiles along with the liberal tax sucking weenies who want to champion the cause of those looking for a handout at my expense.

I'll give some handout to those wanting to work and needing some education. As long as they learn the language and use it first.
- Tony - Tuesday, 01/13/04 20:52:40 EST

Fisher Anvils, S. Gensh: Steve,

Find TWO. Then send me one. Anything over 300# will do. I loved that Fisher of yours, and John Larson's as well. Very solid under the hammer, excellent rebound but no ring. I'd heard they were quiet, but had no idea just how quiet until I heard yours go "Thock" when smacked. Loved it! You'd make more noise pounding a nail into wood than you would forging hot steel on that Fisher, I think.
vicopper - Tuesday, 01/13/04 20:57:22 EST

Pawpaw et al,
If the crowd is shooting anvils, and the hang around anvilfire, would they be described as the "anvilfire artillery"?
And when your shooting anvils, anybody with sense is a "leg" and hopefully a quick one:)
ptree - Tuesday, 01/13/04 22:27:06 EST


Anvilfire Artillery. I like that. We'll have to build a pack howitzer!
Paw Paw - Tuesday, 01/13/04 22:34:23 EST

ANVILCOCKERS?: NAAAAH. it just doesn't sound right. Whaddaya think, Ptree & Larry?
3dogs - Wednesday, 01/14/04 02:08:44 EST

Artillery.......?: Cool, but if we are going to be using artillery, I want at least one blackpower anvil cannon..... I love the smoke and flash and the feel of the sound...... My favorite cannon crew position is either teh wormer or the ram/sponger.... Cause you get to be in front.
My work computer currently has as my background a night shot of us shooting our 3lb at the Fort.....nice little 15 foot flame mebbe more... (VBG)
Ralph - Wednesday, 01/14/04 02:16:48 EST


I'd love to see that picture.
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 01/14/04 09:04:47 EST

PPW and cannon: Jim,
on its way
Ralph - Wednesday, 01/14/04 12:34:38 EST

cannon pic: Ralph, I'd love to see that photo as well if its no trouble
Ellen - Wednesday, 01/14/04 15:10:40 EST

Anvilfire Artillery: Pics of artillery for the anvil in space program
Anvilfire Artillery
habu - Wednesday, 01/14/04 16:32:11 EST

an pack howitzer for anvils? interesting thought. In the tradition of the pack 75, would this be a 75# anvil?
ptree - Wednesday, 01/14/04 16:52:44 EST

I agree that anvil cockers ain't gonna get it. First, whats to cock? To borrow from the tankers, maybe anvilheads?
Habu, How will the zoomies fit in this?
ptree - Wednesday, 01/14/04 16:55:53 EST


75# was what I was thinking, too. Can't be cast iron, though. Too brittle.
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 01/14/04 17:45:40 EST

I might be able to "find" something nice like inconel, or aluminum/stainless sanwichto forge a 75# anvil for the pack howitzer anvil. After all in the tradition of... oh well, the Anvilfire Arty has no tradition yet:)
ptree - Wednesday, 01/14/04 20:12:14 EST

ellen cannon: Ellen I will send it tomorrow from work.
Ralph - Thursday, 01/15/04 01:09:28 EST

traditions: ptree,
Shoot, the traditions are what we say they are. Who will argue?
We have the trebs tehn anvil cannon not to say that I imagine that gathered together will will make a scary looking bunch....
Ralph - Thursday, 01/15/04 01:12:05 EST

hand crank blower: this is my first post I'm a beginning smith and am in the process of building my set up. Has any built or seen a home built hand crank blower? I've been thinking about building one because of money concerns (read: broke and CHEAP!!!) Something along the lines of plywood sides, sheet metal vanes sealed with rubber from an inner tube and using part of a bicycle pedal system for the crank. Any input?
- hillbillynick - Thursday, 01/15/04 11:33:41 EST

Ralph, thx, pic came thru fine and Jim/PPW sent one also. Great fun! The big 10" naval cannons used in the civil war forts must have been quite the sight at night. I've been to Ft Jackson south of New Orleans, and Farragut must have had to pass REAL close to that fort, I've read that with his slow speed and the heavy water flow his ships took an hour to pass the fort(s).
Ellen - Thursday, 01/15/04 11:42:24 EST


Yes, that can be done. I've seen pictures of one someplace, but can't remember where. Maybe some one else will post the location.
Paw Paw - Thursday, 01/15/04 11:44:56 EST

homemade blowers:
Lindsay books has a good and cheap book by Gingery about building small blowers. Worth a look!
Alan-L - Thursday, 01/15/04 13:09:57 EST

Hillbillynick: I see there is discussion of home made blowers,one with wooden paddles and one from a hand crank grinder, at
Just use the Edit menu to search for "blower".

Do you really want hand crank? My son and I have a vacuum cleaner on a dimmer switch, since we were lucky enough to have a vacuum that my wife was discarding, and it is made so that you put the hose on one side for suction and on the other side for a blower. I like it because it frees your hands. I have also seen pictures of using a hair dryer as a blower. We tried a heat gun, but that gets too hot in the pipe. We also used the heat gun directly on the fire, but that tends to melt the pastic around the gun's barrel.
- John Wamsley - Thursday, 01/15/04 14:05:37 EST

blowers: thanks for the input everybody. To answer your question John, yes I want a hand crank blower for several reasons, quieter than some of the screaming electrical ones I've used (the worst being my oil-less compressor), It won't fail on me at a bad time (vacum Cleaner did this to me), and I can use it anywhere without having a very long ext. cord! What started this is we recently moved and I can't find the squirrel cage blower I was going to use. on an added note, I was speaking to a friend a few mins. ago and he suggested I attach a Harmonic Balancer form a car engine to the opp. side from the crank to act as a flywheel. I think i'll be building this as soon as it warms up a little (it's -20 here)
hillbillynick - Thursday, 01/15/04 15:18:32 EST

blowers: hillbillynick,
Hand crank is OK, but another option is to use a fan from a car heater. Then all you need is a battery. And perhaps a charger.
Ralph - Thursday, 01/15/04 18:59:28 EST

Cannon: Ellen,
Yes a 10" would be fun. I would love to be able to shoot a 36lber.... Ours is a 3lber and has about a 3 " bore.

Old sailors were gonzo nuts that is for sure. Farragut (sp?) and others like him were way more man than I am....
Ralph - Thursday, 01/15/04 19:01:09 EST

Blowers: Hillbillynick,

A servicable blower can easily be mad from plywood and sheet metal. Don't bother with the innertube rubber; you don't that tight a seal for the vanes to work. The important factor is the configuration of the volute so that there is sufficient pressure/volume. I briefly scanned the Gingery book on blowers andit appeared to be worthwhile.

If you want to have manual power, the bicycle gearing will do a reasonably good job, but you will need to scrounge enough extra parts to make a jack shaft to increase the gear ratio more than the normal bicycle gearing allows. Most of the hand crank blowers I've seen used final ratios of as high as 30:1. Personally, I prefer electric but I understand your desire to be independent from the electric grid.

One easy way to get a blower without making it yourself is to check with a heating/air conditioning place. They often have blowers that are scrapped out of HVAC units. One of these can be powered with the bicycle drive and work well, keepingin mind that you will ned to achieve a final total ratio of around 50:1 to effectively run a small squirrel cage blower. A larger blower might run at half that ratio. Check to see what the original motor speed and gearing was to calculate what ratio you need to end up with.

If you're going to use a bicycle drive train, why not build it so that you can have a kid pedal it? That way, the only effort you expend is a flick of the riding crop from time to time to keep the speed up. (grin)
vicopper - Thursday, 01/15/04 22:37:38 EST

Sailors: Ralph,

I'm currently reading a book about the voyages of Captain Cook, and I heartily echo your sentiment about their fortitude. The book is Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook has Gone Before, by Tony Horwitz (ISBN: 0312422601 ), and I highly recommend it for anyone interested in the human side of early exploration.
vicopper - Thursday, 01/15/04 22:45:00 EST


Every generation feels like the last generation was the Great Generation. In reality, every generation has a breed of people who will do what has to be done.

You're one of that breed, sailor.
Paw Paw - Friday, 01/16/04 00:57:52 EST

Generations....: PPW,
I undwerstand what you are saying, but just don't quite agree.... I will agree that I could perhaps have been that breed, but I will never know. I do not feel as if I ever had to undergo any extreme test. ( which is a good thing perhaps) So I will never know. I believe my son is going to be tested and tested severly by spring. But you know why and how. Anyhoo my imagination is just too vivid for me to contemplate life aboard a war vessel during the 15th-19th centuries. Shot and HUGE splinters.... poor doctoring when it was avalible..... Just not my cup of tea...(grin) But then again there is something magical about the sound a sailing ship makes as it goes before the wind.......
Unlike a submarine which has this annoying hi pitched noise... at least on the inside......
Ralph - Friday, 01/16/04 12:03:45 EST


You call climbing into a boat that is DESIGNED to sink, not a test? Perhaps travelling the length of the Marinaris Trench a 1,000 feet below the surface with NO hope of recover in the event of a power failure?

That's more test than *I* want to take!
Paw Paw - Friday, 01/16/04 13:53:30 EST

Sailing Ships: Ralph, at the risk of folks jumping all over for me mentioning a movie, have you seen "Master and Commander"? That sure had some hair-raising scenes of what solid shot must have been like hitting a wooden man of war. If you haven't seen it, I recommend it. All the O'Brian books are worth reading as well if you have the time...
Ellen - Friday, 01/16/04 15:31:38 EST

Why not a bellows? There are two types. The European leather covered bellows and the Oriental box bellows. The Great Double Chambered Bellows are a classic and a joy to use. However, they ARE a tad expensive to build. Folks will tell you that you can cover them with canvas rather than leather but the canvas leaks AND is not as flexible as leather. Canvas reduces the efficiency 20 to 30%.

The Oriental box bellows is a piston pump. They are made either square, rectangular or round. I prefer the square and have wood waiting to build one. There are two ways to do the valves. One is to attach a wooden "tube" on one side of the bellows and put check valves in the discharge at each end. The other is to build a laminated valve body that is part of the underside of the bellows. This makes the valving a hidden mystery (which I like since the first two I saw were built without the exterior duct). The piston is a board with felt seals pushed back and fourth with a broom handle sized dowel. These can be built from plywood but that presents a grain/friction problem. Regular shelving lumber works and fine hardwood is best but its YOUR budget.

The Oriental box bellows does not have the air storage of the Great Double Chambered Bellows but I think that is somewhat overrated and it costs all that leather. Both are almost absolutely silent.

Hand powered forges are great until you try to make a living with one OR make a product at a competitive price. Then you will find that an electric blower is an absolute necessity. A properly sized and maintained electric blower makes less noise than the roar of the fire. THEN there are naturaly asperated gas forges. . . No blower, just the gas and a venturi. You get the advantage of a full time blower without an electric source.

Blowers are a serious engineering project. If you insist on a hand powered one then find a commercial blower and add a hand crank and belt step up system. You are going to need that in either case.

AND as VIcopper pointed out in a rather sideways fashion, all these hand powered devices were from an era where labor was cheap (child labor commonly used) and before the common availability of electricity. Crack that whip!

- guru - Friday, 01/16/04 18:37:52 EST

testing: PPW, thing about boats, is that most of where we were if the boat sank it would have gone beyond crush depth. Which in mind was ok, as i would not want to be on a surface boat that if it sank I would be floating shark food...

Ellen, have not seen it yet... but will. The A & E shows 'HornBlower" are also good for that aspect. One reason i would not like to be a wooden sailing ship sailor was due to the Hornblower books......(grin)
Ralph - Friday, 01/16/04 19:20:40 EST


I'm just a touch claustrophobic. I've always been able to control it, but I've come pretty close to losing it a time or two.
Paw Paw - Friday, 01/16/04 20:19:30 EST

small spaces....: PPW, That I can understand. I HATE getting under a house..... and it is not because of bugs ect.... I just feel trapped. But a boat is actually fairly brightly lit and most of the time I would forget I was in a small tube instead of a shore facility.....
Ralph - Friday, 01/16/04 21:12:31 EST


I don't have any problems with brightly lighted areas, but dark tunnels bring back some bad memories.
Paw Paw - Friday, 01/16/04 21:41:38 EST

Ralph & PPW: Ralph; I have a sailboat, a 19' Interlake, and I think I know that sound of which you speak. There's a musical gurgling that comes off the bow when she's at speed that always makes me grin. I'll take that over the roar of ANY engine, and I do like engines that can make ungodly amounts of horsepower. As regards claustrophobia, I don't mind going into very small spaces ALONE, to do a job, be it welding or wrenchwork. As I told my supervisor one time, when he thought he'd come in with me, "You are about to be given 3 options, you will get the hell away from me, or you will become either a ladder or a door. He left, and the other lads told him how wise he was to have done so.
3dogs - Saturday, 01/17/04 01:57:38 EST

Small spaces?: I was once trapped in a cave, 70' below the surface, in Okinawa. Those darn lobsters were egging me on. I do admit to being a bit nervous the next day, when I came to other caves and crevices. I'd just stick my head in, and that was that. But it didn't bother me more than that. Soon was back to exporing those tempting places. But I was a tad more careful. When carrying your only air supply on your back, if you panic, it goes fast.
Bob H - Saturday, 01/17/04 08:03:30 EST

PPW: Yeah that is what I was betting....
Ralph - Saturday, 01/17/04 09:10:04 EST

Hand Crank Blower:
Hillbillynick, I understand you lost your squirrel cage. To add to what has been said, Heating shops are usually good about giving you old forced air furnace fans or letting you take them out like Vic said. These are VERY quiet and I run mine on the lowest speed with a ceiling fan speed control switch. Not all motors can be run with the speed switch. Capacitor motors or those with centrifugal switches for starting may not like it. The direct drive fans where the fan wheel is on the motor shaft seem to work very well. I think they are shaded pole motors, but someone will correct me. Electrons and I have a love/hate relationship.

Alternatively, run it at speed and control the air flow with a blast gate (valve). The best place for a air flow valve is on the INLET of the fan. A simple piece of sheet metal pivoting on a screw across the fan housing inlet opening can work well. Valves on the outlet side can work also.

To make a blower drive, three front bicycle cranksets with the pedals removed on the second two and small sprockets welded to where the pedal would go on the opposite side of the big sprocket, is good. The first crankset has one pedal(or two pedals if you have a laborer) and a chain running on the big sprocket. The second crankset (the jackshaft) has no pedals and is driven by the first to a small sprocket welded where one of the pedals goes. That sprocket drives the shaft and the other end of the shaft has the big sprocket. There will be a second chain from the big sprocket on the second shaft to another small sprocket welded on a third crankset. Then the big sprocket on the third crankset drives the blower shaft. Depending on fan size, you may not need the third crankset. The cranksets can be positioned by welding to the center tube if you do it carefully witout too much heat input. The jackshaft could be a rear hub with a large sprocket welded, but that requires a little more frame fab work to hold the hub. Depends where your skills lie.

Assuming speed is the same, use a bigger blower diameter to get more pressure and wider blower width to get more flow.

Another Cheap, easy and effective option is to use the rear bicycle tire to friction run against the fan shaft. Hand crank the front pedal, use the chain running to the rear wheel, position and anchor the fan shaft so the rubber tire rubs against and thus spins the fan shaft. This anchoring can be done around the seat post area. Don't use mountain bike tires though. The knobs make it rough and inefficient. Grin. Yes, I have done this and it works. Kinda big though. The two or three cranksets is more efficient and compact. But more work. The good thing about bicycle stuff is that it is meant to run outside so it can handle a little dirt and it is usually quite efficient. Assuming the chain is not rusty or dead dry, chain drives are efficient, but a little noisy. Belt drives are quiet, but waste much arm power compared to chain.

If you make a blower, a radial blade (paddle wheel) is better suited to a forge blower than a squirrel cage. But a squirrel cage certainly works. Squirrel cages are not easy to build by hand. Low fan speed is safer. High speed fan blades have hurt many people. Please use no wood in the blower if you make one. Pop rivet or weld the blades to metal side plates. God did not make trees to run at high speed.

If you are anywhere near Wisconsin, I will sell you cheap (or give it to you if you look like a nice human) the rear wheel driven blower I have. You can even ride it home as it's mounted to a complete bicycle. No brakes though and the front rim is bent. Nice speckle paint job however! If I do say so myself.....
- Tony - Saturday, 01/17/04 09:44:01 EST

I bought a 515# Fisher in mint condition for $350 in Columbus Ohio about 5 years ago. Given the option I'd buy another---shoot I'd even go to $1 a pound!

I've built bellows for just about nothing before and my double-lunged bellows will weld up billets while being pumped with one finger and it has canvas sides---heavily treated canvas used for wind shields on oil rigs---never noticed any problems with efficiency.

Got a copy of a news article on Paul Ailing, the former smith at the Ohio Historical Society's
- Thomas Powers - Saturday, 01/17/04 10:04:02 EST

Stuff: You folks have sure been busy this week. Have spent most of the week replacing foundations and posts in a horse barn. Temps ranging from 6-40 degrees. When I got in I was too cold to even read the board.
Anvifire Artillery! Sort of rolls off the tongue. Just like Wile E. Coyote...Genius... Yep. That will work.
Dont know nothin' about no boats. Flew across the Atlantic twice and the Pacific twice, but I have never seen an ocean.Biggest boat I was ever in was a 14 ft. jon boat.
Artillery does make an awsome sight at night. The sound of cannon fire and the smell of cordite brings back memories for me.
I think I know where you got your aversion to tight places, Paw Paw. I never had to do that, but I know some who did and I hold them in high regard. Charlie's welcome mat was usually lethal.
All this talk about anvils has me thinking. If any of you have too many I might be able to store them for you for a small monthly fee. Of course you would have to take out an insurance policy with me so none come up missing. Cash, check or money order. I ain't picky.
- Larry - Saturday, 01/17/04 14:47:19 EST

tools: Does anyone have the specs for the type of guillotine tool that Bill Epps uses in his videos?
Brian C - Saturday, 01/17/04 17:03:47 EST

Disregard last. Found it on the iforge page.
Brian C - Saturday, 01/17/04 18:05:03 EST

Brian C: If you want one of those guillotine tools (and everyone should, as Bill says, "they're handier'n pockets on a shirt") I would recommend this one on eBay:
I've made one of my own, and I bought one from Ken. His is much, much nicer than mine and was under $25 with shipping. I've been using it for nearly six months now, and it has held up wonderfully. He's a Tennessee smith and super nice guy who will put on whatever size hardy shank you need if you have an oddball sized hardy hole.

Alternately, if you really want to build your own, the pictures and his description of the construction will give you a lot to go on. If you need more details, email me and I'll take some specific measurements for you. For me, buying one just left me with more time playing at the forge and less slaving at the tool bench. That's the way I like it!

eander4 - Saturday, 01/17/04 18:09:19 EST

Thanks for the response. I saw that one. Still debating.

Brian C - Saturday, 01/17/04 18:20:05 EST


You convinced me. Leaves me more time to mash metal. :)
Brian C - Saturday, 01/17/04 19:44:56 EST

Anvil Shoot: Paw Paw,
I just had a thought about anvil shoot on boat.
Please use only ASO's or a long rope. As I think retrieval may be somewhat of a problem on a ship or boat.

I think I found a letter that you sent home when you frist joined the Army. here's the letter I found.

Dear Ma and Pa:
Am well. Hope you are. Tell Brother Walt and Brother Elmer the
Army beats working for Old Man Minch a mile. Tell them to join
up quick before maybe all the places are filled. I was restless
at first because you got to stay in bed till nearly 6 a.m.,
but am getting so I like to sleep late.

Tell Walt and Elmer all you do before breakfast is smooth your
cot and shine some things -- no hogs to slop, feed to pitch,
mash to mix, wood to split, fire to lay. Practically nothing.
You got to shave, but it is not bad in warm water.

Breakfast is strong on trimmings like fruit juice, cereal, eggs,
bacon, etc., but kind of weak on chops, potatoes, beef, ham
steak, fried eggplant, pie and regular food. But tell Walt and
Elmer you can always sit between two city boys that live on
coffee. Their food plus yours holds you till noon, when you
get fed.

It's no wonder these city boys can't walk much. We go on "route
marches," which, the Sgt. says, are long walks to harden us. If
he thinks so, it is not my place to tell him different. A "route
march" is about as far as to our mailbox at home. Then the
city guys all get sore feet and we ride back in trucks. The
country is nice, but awful flat. The Sgt. is like a
schoolteacher. He nags some. The Capt. is like the school
board. Cols. and Gens. just ride around and frown. They don't
bother you none.

This next will kill Walt and Elmer with laughing. I keep getting
medals for shooting. I don't know why. The bull's-eye is near
as big as a chipmunk and don't move. And it ain't shooting at
you, like the Higsett boys at home. All you got to do is lie
there all comfortable and hit it, you don't even load your own
cartridges. They come in boxes.

Be sure to tell Walt and Elmer to hurry and join before other
fellows get onto this setup and come stampeding in.

Your loving son, Jim

- DanD skabvenger - Saturday, 01/17/04 20:33:02 EST

Letter Home: Paw Paw, sorry I forgot to put 15 GRIN'S after that letter 8), 8), 8),8),8).
Please forgive me???
DanD skabvenger - Saturday, 01/17/04 20:39:52 EST


Where the he!! did you find that! I thought momma throwed it out a LONG time ago? (grin)

Where's my whet rock????
Paw Paw - Saturday, 01/17/04 22:33:29 EST

One serious response, though.

Never use an ASO for an anvil shoot. The cast iron is much too brittle and may very well shatter. The only "shooting" accident I have found any record of the object launched was a cast iron swage block, which did indeed shatter.

Not saying you would, it's just a subject that we should never leave any question about safety.
Paw Paw - Saturday, 01/17/04 22:52:13 EST

Hysterical Perspective: Ellen and Ralph:

The past is a nice place to visit, but living there was a whole different matter.

Let the other folks cross the ocean- small coastal raiders are plenty enough work for my friends and I. ;-) On the other claw, it's hard to get claustrophobic on a longship. Frozen, wet, hungry, seasick, fried, drunk, quarrelsome- sure; but claustrophobic? Not bloody likely! Just you and five to 23 really good friends.

Now, inside my rather cluttered forge; there some of the crew get claustrophobic...

Go viking!
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Sunday, 01/18/04 00:43:41 EST

Guillotine tools: For that kind of guillotine tool--in all seriousness--build it yourself. I built mine out of scrap, took me a grand total of maybe half an hour, counting the welding which my teacher kindly did for me. Worth your time, given that you will have it NOW (always a bonus to me :) and it will be practically free.

Thomas Powers, can you perchance recommend a source of that canvas or give a guess as to what it's treated with? We are unfortunately short on oil rigs out here in the middle of the Pacific, but I am getting that urge to use a solid-fuel forge again. Bellows appeal to me and come highly recommended from various books.

Very temperate in Kaneohe, Hawaii.
T. Gold - Sunday, 01/18/04 04:57:09 EST

Paul Ailing: Thomas, do you have a link for the article on Paul?
- Jymm Hoffman - Sunday, 01/18/04 09:49:19 EST

Unsafe ASO Use: PawPaw,
So,ASO's are Realy "Good For Nothing but Door Stop's ".
Just don't want you to lose a good anvil, unless you can lose it in my back yard 8),8),8).
One place I worked at kept me on the safty committee to write safty SOP's. They said that "no matter what" I could always find the most unsafe way to do something. But I always try to do every thing as safely as possable. (When I remember to use my safty equipment.
And keep that stone wet, I figure I don't need to learn to make Blade's if I get you to toss enough of them at me, and I get to keep all the ones that stick. grin,grin,.
If you are ever on the train to Quad State ,do a anvil shoot was you go thru Penn PA.,aim over the old red house across from the Bell View Pickle Factory. I'll keep it safe for you untill you come back to pick it up.
DanD skabvenger - Sunday, 01/18/04 12:09:00 EST


Well, they make a fairly decent boat anchor for your bass boat, too. (grin)

I can see it now, trying to launch an aimed anvil from a moving flatcar and hitting the bullseye. Yea!
Paw Paw - Sunday, 01/18/04 14:58:05 EST

O While,I tried. B) ,besides, I know you were "DI" so you can do it. O,Boy If I could Hammer half as good as I fling "BS"I might be Great at "BS-black smithing".
DanD skabvenger - Sunday, 01/18/04 15:37:24 EST

need an anvil: Does any one have a lightly used anvil that they dont need any more?
- jon - Sunday, 01/18/04 17:52:50 EST


If you are looking for free, forget it.
Paw Paw - Sunday, 01/18/04 18:06:47 EST

Paw Paw, don't be pulling their legs, *we* know that your original letter home got cut from the Iliad cause that Homer guy couldn't pronouce all the %&^%$##@%^&%$#$ in it...

Canvas; hmmm Id suggest searching on-line for a canvas place that does do oil field work and see what the describe their materials as. Do they still tarp any deck cargo during shipping?

Article on Paul; I'll ask for my friends to ship me a copy---my original post got truncated.

- Thomas Powers - Sunday, 01/18/04 20:19:35 EST

Paw Paw's Kilt: I can see it now (although it frightens me)..Paw Paw exiting the goony bird- his redheaded bride under his arm, Tarten flapping in the shrouds, all "twigs and berries" singing Ring "ding diddleiddle i de o
Ring di diddley i o....I seen ya won first prize"

The sleeping scotsman lyrics
habu - Sunday, 01/18/04 21:31:40 EST


It's an original Mike Cross. I've got his recording of it.
Paw Paw - Sunday, 01/18/04 21:46:37 EST

Paw Paw: I have it by Mike too, but it is older than he is and that's the clean version.... Grin
habu - Sunday, 01/18/04 22:06:37 EST


I didn't realize that, I thought it was original.
Paw Paw - Sunday, 01/18/04 23:45:00 EST

Canvas: Try a tent and awning place. A place that rents them out might have ones the canvas has been damaged and needs replacing. But then most of the tents ans awnings I've seen recently are plastic
JimG - Monday, 01/19/04 10:24:11 EST

Mad Cow :OT: Think some of you may get a kick out of this.
Ralph - Monday, 01/19/04 12:09:47 EST

Bob H, I second that feeling, had a similiar one in a Florida cave, 70 ft deep, 130 feet in, equipment failure, line entaglement, silted out, flooded mask. Time/distance starts acting contrary to physics and I had a real frank conversation with the Big Boss.
Tone - Monday, 01/19/04 12:59:41 EST

NEED an Anvil:
Yep, free is hard to get but it DOES happen. But you won't find any free anvils among THESE boys that know the value of things.

Free anvils come from neighbors and relatives that just want to get that rusty thing out of their basement or shed. Free anvils come from widows and divorcees that want to get rid of all that "junk". Once in a while they come from a relative that wants to see the thing USED.

To find these free anvils you have to knock on doors. You have to speak (nicely now) to relatives you haven't seen in half a lifetime or more and never sent a Christmas card. Good reason to keep up with the genealogy and just WHO are all your distant cousins.

I've had free anvils given to me or me and a friend TWICE. Not bad for one lifetime. . . It does happen. All the rest I've had cost more in time and effort tracking them down than what a nice new anvil costs. . .

ALWAYS offer at least $50 for that "free" anvil. Unless it is a real dog that is probably less than half what it is worth. Some folks will take the money and others will just say "Use it in good health". The point is to not cheat the innocent. The good deed may be repaid many times.
- guru - Monday, 01/19/04 13:17:20 EST

Last Saturday our state chapter (Az Artists/Blacksmiths) had a propane forge building workshop. Seven of us built propane forges, two burner, modified Reil design. It was a neat experience, much easier than I had anticipated, total cost of steel, plumbing, hose, regulator, kaowool came to $131. We used a Tweco .23 tip for the gas jet, apparently they are available from any welding supply shop, much easier than trying to drill a hole that small. It works great!
- Ellen - Monday, 01/19/04 15:14:30 EST

My Dads paragon sat in the back yard, since I was a toddler. I asked if I could have it, after I started blacksmithing. The answer was no, but he would loan it to me. He comes by to check on it now and then and seems impressed that I am trying to learn how to use it. Says I take after my grandfather. Odds are I will get to keep it.
- Tone - Monday, 01/19/04 20:42:10 EST

Longship etc: Bruce(Atli) did you say a while back that y'all were filmed for some documentary? If so which one( or at least the Channel)?
Ralph - Tuesday, 01/20/04 12:31:01 EST

U-Build Metalworking Tools Catalog: New web catalog of U-Build Machine & Metalworking Tools, Features: U-Build Metal Turning Lathes, Milling Attachments, Sheet Metal Brakes, Metal Former, Bender,Power Hack-Saw, Power Oilstone, Super File, ARC-Welding Gun, Metal Melting Furnaces, Hot-Dip Galvanizing, Etching & Electroplating, Much, More! All Guaranteed! All U-BUILD! Visit Catalog & SAVE!
- Poorman - Tuesday, 01/20/04 20:18:09 EST

Blower making: Ok, I've seen a lot of "Make this blower from plywood" plans on the 'net and I think I just came up with a better idea that I can make to fire a decent size forge. At the junkyard I found a 12" industrial squirrle cage blower. It just has a pulley on the outside for an electric motor to turn. Now this thing can make some massive draft if you hook it up to a motor. I was thinking that I could just mount a heavy crank or flywheel and crank on the ppulley and connect the output to my tuyre. I was also thinking that those little 4" furnace blowers that are pretty common could be modified similarly with a pair of pulleys to gear them up a little, and be made into an ultra cheap hand powered blower. This industrial monster I have I think should be able to blow enough air just directly cranked to fire my forge. If not I can mount it on a plate and make up a gear and chain or pulley and belt gearbox and crank for it and really go to town.
- TAJ - Tuesday, 01/20/04 21:57:42 EST

U BUILD: Jock, is that a paid advertisement ?
3dogs - Wednesday, 01/21/04 04:08:48 EST


No, that is not a paid advertisement. I won't say what I think it is, but I won'd be buying anything from him.
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 01/21/04 08:25:32 EST

Poorman, Advertise on anvilfire and I might take a look.
Tone - Wednesday, 01/21/04 09:27:07 EST

That would be a PAID advetisement. PTP
Tone - Wednesday, 01/21/04 09:28:52 EST

Freeloader: If my memory serves me, this is not this guy's first trip to the trough.
3dogs - Wednesday, 01/21/04 10:04:17 EST

By my count that's his second appearance here, after getting firmly told not to do it again. So he's not only a poor man, but a stupid one who is not going to get any richer by pi$$ing off his potential client base.
Alan-L - Wednesday, 01/21/04 10:36:26 EST

Freeloader: Well, in all fairness, he's not technically breaking the rules of the forum which include:

Permitted Uses: (Just about anything related to blacksmithing)
-Buying, selling, trading of metalworking tools and equipment. We would prefer dealers to purchase advertising space but we will not throw you out or censor your posts (let your conscious be your guide).

It does however reek of bad taste though, and as a loyal financial supporter of this site through CSI, I'm left feeling a little cheesed....and for those of you who haven't: Join CSI and support Anvilfire! If you don't, Paw Paw will have to get out the sharpening stones! (grin)

eander4 - Wednesday, 01/21/04 11:16:44 EST


Did you borrow my little diamond hone? I can't find it anywhere! (grin)
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 01/21/04 11:33:20 EST

Hone: PPW, you can borrow my razor strop, fresh charged with aluminum oxide.
Alan-L - Wednesday, 01/21/04 15:06:31 EST

Blower Making: TAJ,

One vital aspect of an air mover that is going to be used with a coal fire is pressure. With a charcoal/wood fire the pressure required is much less.

The width and diameter of a fan just represents what volume of air it can move. It is the height of the blade, such as from the shaft to the outer edge of the blade that determines what pressure it pushes the air at. The taller the blade the longer the air is being "held" and given momentum.

I recently did a little experiment with a fan from an oil furnace. The big air circulation fan not the small combustion air one. The blades are over a foot wide and the wheel diameter is also over a foot. However, the blades are only about 1 1/2" tall. I installed a three postion switch on it, high, off and low. With the fan running on high and the exit left open when I stood in front of it, it would try to push all 205# of me, rather exciting, a massive volume of air.

So, I decided to do an experiment and took the ducting from my hand cranked blower and hooked it up to the big fan. It couldn't push as much air into the firepot as the much smaller fan which is from a dryer that I riged up with a hand crank ratio of 1:32. The big fan first had to be reduced from a 13" X 8" opening(I made a 3' long box that tapered down to 4" and then made a box 13" x 13" x 36" with a 4" diameter hole in the end of it for the tube to connect to and tried both with no success) to a 4" diameter tube to the 2" x 2" square pipe that goes into the bottem of the fire pot. This was just WAY too much back pressure for the big fan, on high it would cavitate and start to shudder.

The lesson, just as I expected the larger fan just couldn't push the air with enough force, the smaller fan from the dryer has much taller fan blades(about 4" or 5") and doesn't have a problem at all.

There are many "junk" fans that can be used to feed air to a coal fire but just keep in mind that it is the pressure that you are looking for, not volume. Like I said ones from dryers work well and already have a motor and pully system. If you like hand cranked then just modify the pully system some and add a crank.

Enjoy all of your endeavors.

Caleb Ramsby
Caleb Ramsby - Wednesday, 01/21/04 15:10:08 EST

Dern it, I was gonna nail him last night, read the rules, and decided against it. But it seems that popular opinion goes my way for once! Poorman, your site looks almost worthwhile, if a little shoddy. Why don't you talk to Jock about advertising instead of posting on here? You'll get better exposure, I'm sure. Not to mention more goodwill from the people who post here regularly.

Rainy and cool in Honolulu, Hawaii.
- T. Gold - Wednesday, 01/21/04 17:05:25 EST

U-Bent It: While PawPaw's back was turned, I snuck a peek and found this pamphlet:

"The Secrets of GOOD Brazing"
"Stronger than solder, faster than welding
Brazing, unlike soft soldering, actually sticks one metal to another without bolts, rivets, or other fastenings"

I thought the only difference between brazing and soldering was the melting point of the filler metal?
- adam - Wednesday, 01/21/04 17:45:14 EST

solder/braze: Adam: Yup. Remember what I said about stupid?
- Alan L - Wednesday, 01/21/04 20:43:34 EST

Poortaste: I jumped on this guy the first time he showed up here, not because he was breaking any rules, but because he did it in such poor taste. I only did so after I looked at his offerings and saw what complete drek he was offering for fairly princely prices. I mean, c'mon! $8 for a "book" on brazing that doesn't cover anything more than the free pamphlet from the welding supply does. "Plans" to make your own dangerous at-home hot-dip galvanizing, an electrode holder fo rarc welding that supposedly lets you weld without a shield, etc. If I were Jock, I would pull his plug just because the products are potentially dangerous and overpriced. But then, I'm a bit more touchy about these things than some folks, I guess. (grin)
vicopper - Wednesday, 01/21/04 21:55:40 EST

help: i would like to post, but am not registered.
- maestro - Wednesday, 01/21/04 22:41:53 EST

Apology: sorry, I guess I am able to post. I'm just figuring this out. I'm new to the forum and would like to ask if anyone has possibly converted a gas grill into a forge?
- maestro - Wednesday, 01/21/04 22:43:53 EST

Vikings: There was a two hour documentary "Secrets of the Vikings" on the National Geographic channel this evening. Interesting, I did not get to watch it all but the sections on weapons, forging (with demo) and actually sailing a long ship were nicely done. I stuck a tape in for when it repeats later tonight, if anyone here wants to watch it contact me and I'll loan you my tape. Their shipbuilding skills were amazing, and their clothing for sailing actually tested warmer than modern synthetic materials. I did not know they constructed their ships from planks that were split from the logs, not sawn, which apparently made an extremely strong, lightweight, hull, capable of moving along at 8 to 9 knots in a good wind.....
Ellen - Wednesday, 01/21/04 22:47:25 EST


I think that the boat you saw was Bruce (Atli)Blackistone's. It was the Markland Vikings sailing it, and Bruce was the captain.
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 01/21/04 23:06:50 EST


Your question was answered on the guru's page.
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 01/21/04 23:07:54 EST

titanium and steel?: Is it possible to forge titanium and steel together for a blade?
Thomas - Thursday, 01/22/04 00:14:39 EST

Post Drill: I have been contemplating on getting a post drill for my shop but I was told that they were never really meant to drill iron or metal. I did read somewhere on anvilfire that someone was able to drill 3/4 wholes in mild steel with his post drill. I would really like to hear from anyone who actually has an operational post drill and tell me how it performs. Also any model/types recommended? Thanks....
Louis - Thursday, 01/22/04 00:35:12 EST

Viking boats....: I do believe that there were many 'wrong' things about this show... But then I am only repeating what a freind of mine said. Tho I do tend to believe him.
Said that longships had the ribs put in after the hull was made...(?) Also one thing I was curious about that he also said, was they claimed to only have a 3 inch draft... seems rather shallow... but then again I have no direct knowledge of this. Bruce? BTW Bruce was that your longship in the film?
Ralph - Thursday, 01/22/04 02:10:58 EST

Blacksmiths Masterpiece: I come from a long line of blacksmiths that can be traced back to the 1830's in this country then back to Germany. Unfortunately it was my generation that broke the line. However I am building a hobby shop in my garage to keep my heritage alive. So much for history now for my question. I have what I've always been told is my Great grandfathers Masterpiece. I've been told that it proves he's a master in his trade. Can anyone else provide any other information on this artifact?
Gary Wobig - Thursday, 01/22/04 09:17:52 EST


I have a post drill on my portable forge, and another in my shop. (the one in the shop is not mounted yet) I swear by them. If you replace the square chuck with a Morse taper and Jacobs chuck you've got one fine piece of equipment. If they weren't meant to drill metal, why are they sold with the blacksmiths tools in the old Sears and Roebuck catalogs?


We're going to need more information than that. So far we know that you have an iron or steel "something" that was made by your great grandfather. If you will take a picture or two, scan it and send it to me email, I'll try and identify it for you.

Paw Paw - Thursday, 01/22/04 09:54:51 EST

History Channel, National G, and Longships: Okay, time to sort this out.

The History Channel just broadcast a series on Barbarians, including a one hour segment on the Vikings. “Parts of it were very good…” but they also had some glaring inaccuracies in it. Not our ship; and I don’t know what crew they used for the reenactors. Yes, the did screw up the draft, which was around three FEET (with the steerboard up) not three INCHES. Further comments by me, and the folks at the Armour Archive, can be found at (linked below, too).

Meanwhile, National Geographic has also put out a program on the Vikings, relying on the folks from Regia Anglorum for reenactors and vessels. I haven’t seen this yet. Also, I’m not very happy with a certain member of RA due to a problem with plagiarism. (Certain parts of my swords article seem to have been incorporated in a book without my permission.)

Earlier this year, the Longship Company did do a filming for Partisan Productions as part of a History Channel project for a program about the historical and legendary King Arthur. For the “historical” segment, we re-rigged the ship into an “earlier” configuration for the 5th and 6th century Anglo-Saxon invaders and had our folks wading ashore with the women and household goods as settlers. For the “legendary” segment (set in the 12th century, when the legend was gaining popularity) we switched from the Anglo-Saxon horse head to the Viking dragon’s head and used our later style yellow and black sail to “sail into the sunset” (several times) with “Arthur” laid out on the gangplank and the traditional three women mourning him. (I would give us a C+ for the ship, a B for the reenactors’ clothing and a C- for the armor and wargear.) This segment is set to air in December, or possibly as early as July, in conjunction with the latest Disney live-action movie, depicting King Arthur as a late Roman general holding Britain against the invading Anglo-Saxons (us).

I hope this clears up the muddle.
Temp Armour Archive discussion site:
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Thursday, 01/22/04 10:04:56 EST

Hysterical Re-enactment: ATLI; Sounds more like a Chinese fire drill than a Viking depiction.
3dogs - Thursday, 01/22/04 10:39:25 EST

ANVIL: Can any of you tell me if carbon steel anvils are any good for blacksmithing? I'm new to the art and am trying to put togoether a shop. Thanks in advance.
- maestro - Thursday, 01/22/04 11:09:05 EST

RE: Blacksmiths Masterpiece: I can do that but it will take a few days since I don't have a digital camera. Its a very odd looking thing about 12 inches long and 5 inches high mostly made out of metal (obviously) with a wooden handle on one end and a shovel on the other. Decoratively crafted in between is a heart, an anvil, and horses foot.
Gary Wobig - Thursday, 01/22/04 11:48:02 EST


Almost all steel is carbon steel. The type of steel is governed by how MUCH carbon. Some alloys make good anvils, some do not.


When you have time.
Paw Paw - Thursday, 01/22/04 12:53:15 EST

Maestro's Anvil: Sounds like you're looking at a Harbor Freight ASO. If so, tell us. Some folks here have had some luck with the cast steel russian anvils from there, but the cast IRON, ductile or not, is worthless for smithing.

- Alan-L - Thursday, 01/22/04 17:10:56 EST

Blacksmiths Masterpiece:

These prove nothing. The "masterpiece" was a project that a journeyman smith (In Europe or possibly under a European Master in the US) produced as a test piece and presented to the Master's Guild. IF on the recommendation's of Masters the Journeyman had worked for AND on based on the quality of the smiths "masterpiece" and usualy a sponsor he was admitted into the Guild as a Master Smith and given papers (like a diploma) to that effect. In many countries such as Germany ONLY a master was allowed to teach a trade. If you did not have your papers you could not teach.

Without the papers OR a traceable record from a Guild or public office the existance of a "Masterpiece" means little.

I have seen a few masterpieces and they have varried in style but most have been very simple but highly sculptural. Rarely are they an actual finished device. I suspect that part of the rules was to leave some part unfinished so that it was possible to tell that it was forged from a bar and then carved and finished using simple tools. Tool marks are often evident so that they too told the story of how the piece was made without taking away from its beauty.

There is one Masterpiece that was a sculpture (a self portrait I believe) that was the work of one of the smiths that did much of the work at the Washington National Cathedral that was made into an interior door handle for one of the offices. You will not see it unless you arrange for a special tour.
- guru - Thursday, 01/22/04 19:15:48 EST

Blacksmiths masterpiece: Guru, Thanks for the information. If there were papers I'm sure they're long gone by now. My great great grandfather was a German Master and my great grandfather apprenticed under him most likely in the late 1870's early 80's. I found it in a high shelf in my father's shop and that's what he told me it was. By the way it's the same shop my great grandfather started. But this is all family history and not very interesting to others. Thanks again.
Gary Wobig - Friday, 01/23/04 09:58:59 EST

Providence: Gary, Knowing where these things came from IS an important part of your past and the providence of the item lends credance to its being an actual Masterpiece. Part of researching family history is tracking down these leads. Records are often destroyed in fires, wars and natural disasters but a surprising number still exist. There are places you can go in this country where original documents signed by famous people from the revolution and before are still stored right along with all the other records.

The existance of the papers you are looking for are like a long lost mariage certificate. IT may be missing but the mariage would have been recorded in either or both cival and church records. The same may be true of your great great grandfathers Masters papers.

Start with full (original) family names, names of spouses, religion and there supposed place of origin. Look for birth, baptismal and mariage records to close in on the place or region where they lived. Then look for other records. A will may have specificaly handed that masterpiece down from father to son. Land records and deeds often mention partners or others that were part owners, garantors and witnesses. Old news articles often survive that have surprising details. Ships passenger lists exist as do port of entry records.

In the past this was difficult and very time consuming but genealogy is big on the internet today. Alhtough there are few records to search on the web their EXISTANCE can be determined. It is also popular to reduce old records to the minimum that applies to folks finding their ancestors. These condensed records are often for sale at very reasonable prices. You can also hire people remotely to search through records at a long distance.

Persistance and attention to detail is required. I found 7-8 generations of my Great Great grandmother's family based on her middle initial, her stated age and that someone remembered that SHE said she was from Virginia. It took a year of digging and a trip to the Martinsburg WV (formerly VA) courthouse and reading hundreds of pages of poorly maintained hand written records to find the one short paragraph that tied Catherine S. Atwell to her Virgina family and a long line of old Virgina planters. I worked both ends to the middle, a practice not recommended in genealogy but it worked in this case.

Collect and organize what you know. Ask relatives and old family friends what they may know and go from there. Talking to living relatives NOW is the most important thing can you do. Write down what they say, ask for clarifications. This is a resource that once it is gone, it is gone forever.

- guru - Friday, 01/23/04 16:00:30 EST

Advertising: Guru -

The discussion of poorman's advertising here made me wonder if you had ever approached Lindsay's Technical Books about advertising here. Various books they have published, reprinted and/or distributed have received enough recommendations here on Anvilfire that I would think such an arrangement would be mutually beneficial.

I don't mean to tell you how to run your business, just a suggestion in case you hadn't already thought of it.
John Lowther - Friday, 01/23/04 16:02:11 EST

"Poorman's" & Lindsay: After a quick perusal of the Poorman's listings, I came to the conclusion that, based upon the artwork, a lot of the U-Buildit stuff was lifted out of books that Lindsay has reprinted, anyway. Whether or not it was lifted before or after Lindsay reprinted it is anybody's guess.
3dogs - Saturday, 01/24/04 02:42:43 EST


And looking through the archive there are about 20 ± entries for Lindsay's Books over the years.
Paw Paw - Saturday, 01/24/04 09:31:30 EST

Advertising: I contacted 'Poorman' and got a short appology but no offer to advertise.

I am afraid I have not been dilligent in contacting potential advertisers. A couple years ago I put together a large package of advertising literature and handed it out to venders at the ABANA conference and mailed out the rest. From the hundreds of hours of work that went into it I did not get ONE response. So. . Life goes on.

The advertisers we DO have know they profit from advertising here. In fact we generate as much as one half to one third of several advertisers total web traffic. The others cannot or do not know how to track it. You cannot use server logs because making sense of them is almost like palm reading.

The problem is that many people still do not believe in the web much less as an advertising medium. AND most non-web savy businesses do not have a way of tracking the source of their traffic. So when they advertise they do not know if it is benifiting them or not.

TRAFIC to a web site SHOULD be reflected in dollars by sales or interest in queries. But it often takes months for that traffic to convert to sales and some on-line businesses make it hard to contact them. . . It is AMAZING how many busineses do not have an address of phone number anywhere on their web-site. And many sites are not geared up properly to convert traffic to sales.

SO. . I just keep trying to make anvilfire better and better and potential advertisers DO find us and often approach US about advertising.

In the future I may have to drop the store or turn it over to someone else. It is taking an increasing amount of my time that could be more profitable elsewhere. But changing a business model is tricky and expensive. It may be a few years.
- guru - Saturday, 01/24/04 10:56:57 EST

ANVIL: Thank you very much for the information guys. This is a REALLY incredible site. I have just begun frequenting and trying to learn more about blacksmithing. It was a Harbor Freight anvil that I was asking about:-). I had a feeling it was an "ASO" as you so aptly described.

Is there any chance that anyone on this forum lives near Norman, OK, and has a blacksmithing shop? Just wondering. I'd love to visit with someone and ask some questions about their shop.

- Maestro - Saturday, 01/24/04 11:55:52 EST

Maestro: Give me a call at 401-9739. I'll be fired up this afternoon, I'm NE of 12th and Robinson.
Mills - Saturday, 01/24/04 13:06:38 EST

Ah. . Matchmaking:
- guru - Saturday, 01/24/04 16:01:49 EST


Not to give you a bad time, but membership in CSI is a major part of the financial support that keeps this 'REALLY incredibl site going'.
Paw Paw - Saturday, 01/24/04 16:44:13 EST

Blower: Caleb:
Careful with your conclusions about blower fans. Most (I would say all, but don't claim to have seen everything) motors for squirrel cage fans of the size applicable for forge requirements are 2 speed Ac split phase motors designed to run at the two speeds specified on the motor nameplate. If you increase the load on the motor, oh let's say by restricting the outlet size of the fan, you allow very high current yhrough the windings. I 'll bet that sucker got hot didn't it. Left to it's own devices it will destroy itself in no time. The "dryer" motor is from a hairdryer? That is a shaded pole motor, likewise designed to run at a rated speed and load. Shaded pole motors have low starting torque and are very inefficient, but as they are very small fractional HP motors which use very little power, they are ok for small, low volume blowers. Your best bet to reduce the speed of any reasonably priced electric constant speed motor is big pulley/little pulley. EXCEPT variable speed motor (type is known as "Universal" motor) used in a lot of hand tools, these have tons of starting torque and come with a gear reduction drive already built on the end of them. I have a 1/2" drill motor I'm not about to use for this that has a 500RPM low speed that would work good with the smallest pulley I can mount/weld a 1/2" three sided shaft to. A really big pulley from an evaporative (swamp) cooler would go on the other end. If you have too much air you might try venting the excess instead of trying to limit it. Hmmm... maybe a smith cooling tube directed at you? or in the case of hand cranked you could share it with your cranker.
Bob - Saturday, 01/24/04 19:59:18 EST

Oh and by the way: I have an old 165# anvil that has four different radiuses along the edges of the face. I don't know much about what to look for to ID the old thing, but am thinking of letting somebody deserving have it for reasonable to cheap, or maybe even trade. I don't use it and would like to see it go somewhere it will be appreciated and used.
Bob - Saturday, 01/24/04 20:13:21 EST

Blower control: The better way to vary the output from a blower such as a squirrel cage or forge blower is to restrict the INTAKE. When you restrict the output, you are forcing the blower to try to compress air, a task for which it is not designed. Also, when you restrict the output, the air increases in velocity trying to get all its molecules through the restricted opening in the same number of revolutions of the vanes. The high velocity is usually not a good thing for fire control.

If, on the other hand, you restrict the intake, you are simply starving it of the stuff it is working to move. Less air to move equals less energy expended. One of those things will run really, really easily on low power in a vacuum. (grin)

Put a moveable plate on the intake side of the blower to vary the output. You and the motor will be much happier.
vicopper - Saturday, 01/24/04 21:09:29 EST

Blowers/ controls: Remenber when your freinds where over, and your Wife said that you need a larger bathroom vent fan. Well,that old fan is, in a housing, ran by 110/115 volt, maybe a dimmer switch,also most of them are for a 2 inch pipe outlet. I wander what you could use that old fan . Don't forget She realy wants that new vent in soon. An you can always upgrade if you build another(forge)bathroom addition.
But then I'm Just Rambeling. ALso they make CHEAP leafblowers,DO NOT USE IN THE RAIN.
DanD skabvenger - Sunday, 01/25/04 03:27:01 EST

B/C: Should be-- old fan for

might fix tire rim forge or brake drum forge.
New vent fans start at $9.99 and go up.
DanD skabvenger - Sunday, 01/25/04 03:38:38 EST

On fans,
The two types of blowers are generally, pressure and squirell cage. The squirell cages are the most commonly found. A squirell cage is for moving large volumes of air quitely.The squirell cage will go static, ie not move air at quitlow pressures. Not the best choice for forge air. The pressure blower is intended to move air at higher pressures, but for the same size case takes much more hp, and makes much more noise. Witnes the howl of a leafblower, which is a pressure blower. All the old hand crank blowers for the forge were pressure blowers. The difference is quit obvious internally, as the pressure blower has a few vanes, say 5 to 8, were the squirel cage has many many small blades at the od of the wheel. Pressure blowers are available from many of the supply houses, new, at a fair cost. For a cheap pressure blower look at the HF dust collector. It has a decent pressure blower as part of the system, and is on sale for about $100 from time to time.
With all that said, I built my first forge with a squirel cage, and it worked. A source often overlooked for surplus blowers is old copy machines.
ptree - Sunday, 01/25/04 10:11:09 EST

Blower: Okay, Now I know more about what you require in the way of air flow. My trade is Electrician with a little instruction very young by my grandad who was a Smith, passed over when I was 9. I'm getting a bug again to play with fire and steel, that's what brought me here. You are right, fart fans could be a cheap solution, the shaded pole motors they use aren't really made to be variable speed but heck, it could happen. They do come in various CFM (cubic feet/minute) sizes and have a 3" or 4" round outlet.
Bob - Sunday, 01/25/04 10:24:08 EST

Blower: Bob ,,I don't know, there I said it,I am a PackRat with wings, a scavenger, an old buzzard. B). I made noisey leaf/dust blowers with them. The vents with heaters{much more cost,8)-} had 2",4",and 6" outlets.a All the fan ones I have seen had 2"outlet. Also old oil furnaces have small {4"/5"} squirel cage at the gun nozzle.For that one you would have to build a housing to hold it,the housing it is in is usualy lighty soaked with fuel oil over the years. I don't think I would want that setting under a firepot.
I'm like the little birdy, CHEAP,CHEAP.
Question, would 3/4" blower shafts be alright to make drifts and punchs with. the ones we used for replacement were from Grainger,cold roll mild steel,so I hope the replaced ones were the same thing. Will most likly be used very few times.
DanD skabvenger - Sunday, 01/25/04 12:16:13 EST

Fart fans are usually a fan, not a blower, and the cheap ones are about 50cfm free air. If it works let us know.
ptree - Sunday, 01/25/04 13:43:01 EST

Dan: Your'e speaking greek to me guy. I'm in Northern California and I've heard about people heating with oil but as far as ever seeing the equipment, There just aren't any of those oil heaters out here. Natural gas or Propane or (me) wood is what we have.I was thinking of the blower not being directly under the tuyere, but remotely connected with some cheap aluminum flex duct. If you can find a big truck wrecking yard sometimes they used a flexible piece (steel) in the exhaust pipe system. Also EMT is available as a factory bent 90 degree bend.
Bob - Sunday, 01/25/04 14:01:20 EST

Blower Control: Vic has it exactly right.

A blower/fan of the type we use for forge blowers, flings air molecules off the blade tips. The molecules are accelerated in a given direction off the blade tip. If you restrict the output, there is nothing stopping how many molecules can come in through the inlet, but you are stopping how many can leave. The result is a bunch of molecules banging around and getting in the way of each other, but still consuming energy and changing it to heat. That energy has to come from the motor. So the motor works harder doing no additional work.

Restricting the output is like having a party with an open IN door, but not letting people leave when they want after drinking all the free beer they choose. The result is people crowded and bouncing around, but with no purpose and some unhappy.

For a happy party, only let the right people in and don't crowd the room too much.

Bleeding air off the fan outlet to limit air to the forge will result in HIGHER motor amps because you are adding energy to more molecules of air. It's all about energy. To create pressure you must add energy to the air molecules. Pressure is nothing more than the air molecule hitting the sides of the enclosure or mass (coal) in the way. The impact of the air molecule with the container or coal is a transfer of force that we measure as pressure.

Taking an air molecule from the surrounding air and giving it energy to create pressure so you can use it to push through the coal in the firepot and supply oxygen for combustion in the forge requires energy which is given to the molecule by the fan blades. That transfer of energy from the fan blade results in torque on the motor shaft. The motor supplies the torque to the fan shaft.

If you bleed air off, the fan is still adding energy to the molecules of air that go through the fan but are bled back off to the atmosphere. And that means more motor amps required.

Generally, a fan or centrifugal pump use the MOST energy with open inlet and outlet. No restriction. Even though the least pressure is built. It's because you are moving (adding energy to) the most molecules.

I'm not saying bleed air won't work. It will work if the motor and fan are big enough. Running a forge from an air compressor works too. But it's the most energy inefficient use of an air compressor I have seen yet. But Shhhhh..... my first forge used compressed air for a while before I found a furnace blower.

Of course all this is rhetorical from the perspective of total energy use in forging. The coal use in the forge is Far higher a total energy use.

And thanks Vic!

Started this post at 8am. Then went outside to work and play in the snow.
- Tony - Sunday, 01/25/04 16:44:24 EST

Bob: I forgot that oil furnaces are not common everywhere. tried to find a picture of the nozzle gun and couldn't find one,only the whole burner assembly. I'll have to see my old Boss,and get one to replace my vac motor. the nozzle gun tube is four inchs/ will need reducer. won't need tranformer,pump,or brain. (Grin) O-Wow I don't use my brain anyway. "Who said that??"(grin)
I do remember seeing in the Archives that Guru ,or someone, said that oil furnace fire pot/box will not work for a forge.___ Later/ I'm going to go read some more Archives, DanD
DanD skabvenger - Sunday, 01/25/04 19:01:09 EST

Apprenticeship: Does anyone know how I can get started in Blacksmithing and metalwork. I am a college graduate with a metalsmithing minor in studio art. I would love to find an apprenticeship.
Thanks for your help,
Ben M. Jones
Ben M. Jones - Monday, 01/26/04 13:40:56 EST

Getting Started: Umm... Ben, have you looked around this site much? The answers to most of your questions are here somewhere. If you want to find a smith to work with, say where you are and also look on the list on this site; somebody will be close to you. Chances are nobody's gonna offer you an apprenticeship, but you most likely WILL be able to find a smithing group within a reasonable distance of you. These folks will be happy to teach you some stuff, and maybe learn from your art experience.
Alan-L - Monday, 01/26/04 13:53:48 EST


Alan gave you the straight goods, but he forgot to mention that you should go to the guru's page, and click on the GETTING STARTED IN BLACKSMITHING link at either the top or the bottom of the page.
Paw Paw - Monday, 01/26/04 14:18:18 EST

Some images of possible interest, and, if I got the link posted correctly, an excellent "suggestion box" for any shop
Ellen - Monday, 01/26/04 17:07:33 EST

image 4 is the "suggestion box"...
Ellen - Monday, 01/26/04 17:09:00 EST


You got the link posted correctly. Ouch!
Paw Paw - Monday, 01/26/04 18:00:24 EST

Neat stuff, Ellen! I like the geode mounts, but I really like the blue shirt that appears in two images showing an anvil falling on a stick figure. Does it say "Avoid Death"?
Alan-L - Tuesday, 01/27/04 11:23:19 EST

Alan, if it doesn't it sure ought to. I'll ask Gordon when next I see him, he is the model in those pix....
Ellen - Tuesday, 01/27/04 11:30:14 EST

Ellen: What is the anvil sitting on in in the left hand side of image 7
- dragon-boy - Tuesday, 01/27/04 11:43:42 EST

Dragon Boy,:

Looks like a piece of log, with a band around the top.
Paw Paw - Tuesday, 01/27/04 12:09:08 EST

stand: Aweful tall stand is why I was asking.
- dragon-boy - Tuesday, 01/27/04 13:00:58 EST


Looks like one anvil mounted high for close detail work and one anvil mounted at normal height for rough, heavy forging.
Paw Paw - Tuesday, 01/27/04 13:42:10 EST

Paw Paw has it right, Gordon is one who likes a tall anvil for close detail work and another at normal height--he has 8 or more good anvils and is ingenious at making specialized tools. He actually makes a good living by smithing, as well as teaching wonderful classes.
Ellen - Tuesday, 01/27/04 13:48:02 EST

forge & tools @ auction: They have a forge and some tools listed at this auction.
Public Auction

10am, Saturday, January 31, 2004
Cannonsburg, KY

Classic Motorcycles, Primatives, Antiques, Vehicles and Much Much More!

To see complete listing with pictures visit us at our website!
- tom - Tuesday, 01/27/04 14:35:27 EST

Auction Site: Tom:

Some of the pictures (especially of the tongs and other tools) aren't showing up.


Wish I were a little closer to KY, given some of what I saw.
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Wednesday, 01/28/04 09:00:44 EST

Auction site: Yes I wish Ilived closer too. It is five hours for me. The pictures of the tongs were shoing up when I checked it out. they have a lot of tongs.
tom - Wednesday, 01/28/04 10:31:12 EST

I am looking for an anvil for myself and one for my school, which has started a metalworking class for theatre. We are trying to learn to make decrative and functional projects in class but am using an old vise. Where is a good place that isn't really expensive?
And thanks for the Slack-Tub Pub for most of the projects I am trying.
- Wayne - Wednesday, 01/28/04 20:30:46 EST

wayne: Shipping is a significant part of an anvil's cost and this, in turn means that location is a big part of the anvil's price. Generally, the nearer the anvil the cheaper it will be. If you buy from reputable new anvil dealers such a you will get a good anvil for a reasonable price and the shipping will be discounted compared to what a private seller would have to charge. has a buy /sell page and I noticed a couple of anvils there for reasonable asking prices. But if you buy a used anvil you have to know something about them. Best is to buy from a working smith within driving distance. He wont steer you wrong and there will be no shipping - but he will know the value and so there is little chance of a "steal". Let us know where you are , mebbe we can help more
adam - Wednesday, 01/28/04 20:56:54 EST


Adam gave you a good answer.
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 01/28/04 21:04:23 EST

I am in Memphis Tn and I will look up the two dealers online. But if you know anyone in the area who has one for sale that would be great.
Thanks Alot
- Wayne - Thursday, 01/29/04 12:44:08 EST

Bending: Is there any way to bend 3/4 " swuare tubing to get a uniform curve. I bought a jack type bender with different bending radiuses but it produces a fairly primative looking bend.
- Mike - Thursday, 01/29/04 18:57:31 EST

Location: Wayne, Euroanvils is in Columbia, TN which I think is not too far from Memphis. Probably easy driving distance. Give Steve a call and make an appointment to meet with him. He will probably make a deal on an anvil he doesn't have the crate and haul to ship.

The smaller Euroanvils are competitive with used anvils and can save you a lot of grief.

Euroanvils is one of our advertisers that makes this page possible. You may also want to check with Pieh Tool and Centaur to see if they can beat Steve's prices. However, cutting out shipping makes it tough to compete.

The only good "cheap" anvils are old ones in good condition that you luck into. Otherwise looking for a cheap anvil is looking for trouble. There is a lot of junk out there and a lot of flim-flammers waiting for a "mark".
- guru - Thursday, 01/29/04 19:14:14 EST

Tube Bends:
Mike, The trick to bending tubing is to know the bending limits and to have good tight fitting dies.

Bending limits on tubing are based on the ratio of the size of the tubing and the wall thickness. The thinner the wall the larger the minimum bend. Charts of minimum bend radii are given in MACHINERY'S HANDBOOK and structural steel manuals such as the AISC Steel Construction Manual.

When pipe and tubing is bent the sides try to buckle outward. To prevent this the dies for pipe and tubing must be an exact fit. Due to differences in how tube and pipe are measured (one by the pipe nominal, the other by the OD and wall thickness) dies for pipe and tube are not interchangable. Dies for square tubing can have special features to make smooth tight bends. To use up the excess material along the inside surface these dies have a raised center that pushes the inside wall in rather than trying to shrink it. These often leave a wrinked edge but they DO reduce the minimum possible bend radii.

IF bends must be smooth and beyond the standard minimum radii then you can fill the tube with low temperature melting alloy from Cerro Metals called Cerrobend.

Cerro Metal Products Co., Alloy Dept.
P.O. Box 388
Bellefonte, PA 16823

FAX: 814-355-6227

The tube is filled, bent, then the fill is melted out. I would recommend annealing the tube prior to this type bending.
- guru - Thursday, 01/29/04 19:29:59 EST

Old stoves: Gonna scrap out my wifes old stove this weekend, as she is getting a new one. So any useable parts on the old one I may want to scavenge?
Bob H - Thursday, 01/29/04 20:18:39 EST


Take the whole stove out to the shop! The burners that work can be used for many things, including a coffee pot. The oven can be used for heatrreating tools. Save the whole darn thing!
Paw Paw - Thursday, 01/29/04 20:51:21 EST

Forged work in Costa Rica: Since Johan Cubillos of San José, Costa Rica, could not make it to my Santa Fe class, he paid my way to Costa Rica, where we whaled for 3 weeks. I've listed what we accomplished, especially for those who think, "Them as can't do, teach".
  • 2 bending wrenches
  • 2 bending forks
  • 1 set hammer S7
  • 1 hardie
  • 1 creased horseshoe
  • 1 creasing fuller
  • 1 pritchel
  • dressed 7 new hammer faces & peens
  • decorative shovel
  • decorative fire rake
  • decorative straight poker
  • reforged leg-vise U-shackle, wedge, and key...remounted vise
  • small hafted hot cut
  • cold chisel
  • 3 hot punches
  • heat-treated center punch
  • 1/4" rivet header S7
  • scratch awl
  • "friendly dragon" head
  • lily
  • rose with forge-welded rosebud branch and forge welded leaves
  • 8 styles of scroll centers
  • freehand scrolls
  • strap hinge w/drive pintle
  • spoon
  • scroll tool 6½" across
  • reforged wolfmaul tongs
  • 1 flat tongs
  • 1 bolt tongs
  • needle nose tongs 5160
  • leaf vein tool
  • sharpen twist drill freehand
  • angle clamp for vise filing
  • square nails
  • 1 sheet metal punch
  • forge welded ring to dimension
  • 5 varieties leaves
  • butted collar
  • lapped collar
  • vise jaw spacer for lapped collar bending
  • vise jaw caps
  • snipe hinges
  • helper stand
  • 3 top tool hafts made from branches
  • 4 twists: fullered, pineapple, chamfered, flattened "lemon" shape
  • weight for helper stand
  • slit chisel
  • drift for slit-chiseled hole
  • 1 weinie fork
  • drop-tongs lap weld
  • tenon
  • monkey tool
On weekends, I went riding on rental horses in the rain-forest mountains, went to a national horse parade in Palmares with 2,300 horses, and visited two good museums. And, as everyone does, I walked around downtown and spent money.
Frank Turley - Friday, 01/30/04 12:10:25 EST

Yikes....voodoo electrical and plumbing theory at a party with unhappy deadbeat drunks that can't leave. Air pressure is only increased by forcing more molecules into a confined area than present in the surrounding (ambient) atmosphere, airflow or WIND occurs when the molecules exit the confined area in an attempt to equalize pressure with the surrounding ambient (this ain't no disco either). Blowers MOVE air but do not increase pressure by much (calling a supercharger a blower is actually a misnomer) AC (synchronous) motors are current limiting by their design, decreasing the load from a particular motor's designed maximum limit (bleeding off exit air) will NEVER result in increased current in either the stator or rotor (two magnetic fields interacting to produce torque). I visit this site for information relative to metalsmithing actually,( really, have I ever lied to you?) but holy smokes, stick to what you know
- Bob - Friday, 01/30/04 12:42:26 EST

so we are "unhappy deadbeat drunks"......some, probably most of us, work our a**ses off and don't drink, and I don't think you are going to make any friends with your sarcastic, rude approach, Bob......
Ellen - Friday, 01/30/04 13:48:12 EST

I thinks the
- Tony Bivens - Friday, 01/30/04 14:16:28 EST

I thinks the reference to "unhappy deadbeat drunks" was the party analogy used by Tony, not a direct reference to our (well maybe mine;) daily habits. Bob, seems like you are only disagreeing with the current/amperage change by loading/unloading an AC motor. I'll go hook up the multi meter to a motor and see for myself.
Going to Swannanoa this weekend to vist George Dixon and see his tool collection, maybe a side trip to Kayne & Sons, Hoo YA.
Tone - Friday, 01/30/04 14:39:18 EST

Pressure difference AKA deltaP: Bob, without pressure head there is no movement in pumps and blowers. Coal forge blowers require higher head pressures than other forge blowers because of the resistance of the obstructions in the fire. Although hard to find on many blowers they ARE speced out by pressure head.

Compressors and blowers all do the same thing with different degrees of deltaP. Turbochargers use a turbine that LOOKS like a common centrifugal fan coupled to a blower that LOOKS very nearly the same yet produces significant pressure. Jet engine compressors are turbine fans no different that a window fan except with very short blades to withstand the high speeds. Both produce significant pressures and use the same airfoil designs to do their jobs.

Super chargers are a screw compressor and except for being a positive displacement device the pressure they produce by "blowing" air is no different than the centrifugal fan in a turbo charger.

The folks writing the commentary above about fans are engineers that know what they are talking about but have tried to use words that our average reader can understand.
- guru - Friday, 01/30/04 14:54:22 EST

Flypress!!!: Big big BIG smile!!! MY flypress arrived Wednesday! whay am I only telling you now? Well, it too my wife 48 hours to pry me away from that wonderful toy.

Seriously, folks, the Kayne and Son P4 is a GREAT toll and an entirely worthwhile purchase. It arrived nicely shrinkwrapped to a pallet with the flywheel removed. The press weighs ~370lb. total, so in two pieces I was able to unwrap and set it up on the floor myself. With 2 people to help, we'll lift it onto the stand next week [2 to lift, one to guide].

The press worked with NO ADJUSTMENTS, right off the pallet. the screw action is so well machined that [once you spin the wheel up] gravity pulls the wheel nd ram down powerfully... I just let go. The wheel is perfectly balanced, just one finger can spin it up. The force it generates in incredible! Gravity accelerated, when the ram drops and the wheel stops, the press JUMPED and turned 3/4 around. The guru's weren't kidding about bolting this down!

The base has plenty of slots and 2 removable brackets to attach a bottom tool. The ram has a 3/4 arbor hole with a set bolt to attach a top tool. With a pair of pliers, I can change tooling quicker than the work reheats. I immediately instaleld my flattening tools and set up a empty Coke can. Ever put pennies on a railroad track?

Next I sqared a 5/16 mild bar. While it was reheating, I had time to find my slitting punchand cutting saddle, install them, AND wait for the rod to get orange. Two "bumps" of the wheel slit a 1/2 eye in the bar. I changed to a round drift and opened the eye all without having to reheat. Tools change that fast. Just for the heck of it, I switched to hammer heads while reheating, gently closed the press so the hammers held the eye, and twisted the square stock into spirals. Hck, its an expensive vise, but gravity and friction hold it shut TIGHT!

By the way, I did all this in the garage, door open, at 10PM in a residential neighborhood... my manical laughter was the only sound. It really is dead silent.

I love this thing. Heck, even my wife loves this thing [the noise part].

It will never completely replace my hamemrs, not does it do the job of a powerhammer/rolling mill, but it does a lot more than either of those. Want to press flower petals, mint coins, squaer, round, draw, punch, cut, dish, raise, texture, or fuller stock? Want to make perfectly good tooling out of old chisles, trailer hitch balls, scraps of thick plate... all mild? Want to use all your existing hardies? This little flypress does all that.

The only real limitation is the press clearance: the P4 is the little one, and I can't fit some of my existing tools in there... will have to make shorter ones. The P5 is the same wheel in a bigger frame... more room for tools. The P6 is a bigger wheel and frame.

I highly recommend this press, and Kayne were great to work with.

- MikeM-OH - Friday, 01/30/04 15:00:51 EST

Mike, thanks for the report. I would love to see a fly press in operation, the iforge info on them is enough to make me salivate, and they are AFFORDABLE! Please keep us posted as you make new discoveries.
Ellen - Friday, 01/30/04 15:06:22 EST

Frank's List from Costa Rica:
I reformated it as columns. Very impressive! The fellow got more than his money's worth in tooling! I was hoping to be able to get down there and take pictures. . . Maybe I can hook up with Johan when I am down there.
- guru - Friday, 01/30/04 15:46:15 EST


Don't feed the trolls. (grin)
Paw Paw - Friday, 01/30/04 15:53:13 EST

P4 and P5 Flypresses:
Note that the Kaynes carry a special custom model they call a "Super 5" that has a proportionately heavier flywheel then the standard P5.
- guru - Friday, 01/30/04 16:03:14 EST

Flypress videos: MY digital camera will record 15 second QuickTime videos, so when I've got the press mounted, I'll record some of the actions so people can see how easy it is to use in full motion. I've been re-reading the iforge demo's and scrounging to make tooling... and I've got to get that stand built before anything else.
MikeM-OH - Friday, 01/30/04 17:34:35 EST

Thanks Mike....extremely interesting.
Paw Paw, you devil, you've tempted me enough with your constant input from Anvils in America, I just ordered my own copy from Jock, plus the Cannedy Otto Cd-Rom, soon I'll be a tad more educated on the really important things in life.
Ellen - Friday, 01/30/04 17:38:09 EST


Chuckle. That book has answered a LOT of questions the last few years.
Paw Paw - Friday, 01/30/04 18:29:03 EST

Fly Press: : MikeM-OH Coincidentally I just finished using mine (an old one) to do some splitting. I had set up a slitting chisel I made from S7 and split out the fingers for a forged hand. (test piece for a hook) Did all four cuts for the five fingers in one heat but the stock was only about 1/4" thick. I also split the end of a 1" bar into four pieces for about three inches- I took two heats for that.

Look into getting some polyurethane rod or pad and do some texture pressing into that as an experiment. The urethane is noncompressive so you can actually do hydraulic forming with it and your press. I've got a four inch diameter tube about four inches tall filled with polyurethane that I mount as a lower fixture in the press and form or punch into it with tools in the ram.

Keep on having fun with it but be sure to go in and and see your wife too- you may want her to get you more presents like this one!
SGensh - Friday, 01/30/04 19:43:55 EST

You can change gas pressures in a moving gas by simply changing the velocity. Witness a carberator choke tube. By flowing air through a convergent, or divergent tube both the velocity and pressure will vary. The blowers in a supercharger can raise pressures to 70" Hg, above the atmosphere, in engines like the RR Merlin. The later model Merlins had two stage blowers that raised the manifold pressure to 70" for take-off, and pulled as much as 650 Hp from the crankshaft at alitude.The racers in Reno get even more from their blowers.
In industry, where very large volumes of compressed air, at pressures of 30 psig or less, a centrifugual compresser is often specified. A squirel cage blower will "go static" at very low pressures, measured in inchs of water. A pressure blower, with straight blades will move air at much higher pressures, still in inches of water. The squirrel cage will draw more amps as the flow increases, but will drop in amp draw as stagnation is reached, as less work in done. The pressure blower will draw more amps as the pressure is increased, and as the flow increases.
For all, a great primer on fans and blowers is in the Graingers catalog, a great all around reference.
ptree - Friday, 01/30/04 20:17:05 EST

Mike's Flypress: Awright, Mike, now quit playing with yer new toy long enough to let your lovely, generous wifey know that you know you are indeed the lickiest man on the planet. }:<)
3dogs - Saturday, 01/31/04 02:41:35 EST

Catalogs as References:
Many supply catalogs are wonderful tutorials on how to use the products in them. Chromolox and Omega catalogs have more information and data tables about temperature measurement than in a stack of text books on the subject. I learned about applyiing stepper motors from a catalog.

Years ago Timken bearings had a WONDERFUL catalog and engineering reference (our of print) that included full and half scale drawings of every bearing, along with application parameters. Then there was a companion engineering reference. GREAT tools. Today you have to spend hours squinting at table of dimentions to determine bearing proportions and the company would rather engineer applications for you than let you do it yourself. Dumb i think. We never had a Timken installation that we engineered fail. . .

Many companies do not provide such detailed information (as Timken no longer does). Those who do I am sure make more sales. They have sold ME over and over.

In many fields old catalogs are great references as well as collector's items (historical references).

When I move I will have to thin my catalog collection WAY down. I will keep all the ones that have good engineering information in them no matter how old.
- guru - Saturday, 01/31/04 12:44:32 EST

Catalogs as References:
So I'm not the only one who does this! I have learned a phenomenal amount about industrial machinery, woodworking, firearms, clothing, machining, etc, etc, etc from catalogs. They are an inexpensive (often free) resource on any number of things. Guru, if you are getting rid of some of yours, let me be the first to offer the media mail shipping price (plus a bit for packaging and handling) to Hawaii for those unwanted catalogs. (Grin) They will have a good home here, rest assured.

Overcast and windy in Kaneohe, Hawaii.
T. Gold - Saturday, 01/31/04 17:19:55 EST

Amps and torques:
Bob, I won't thank you for forcing a correction. And in such a pleasant way. But you are right on one thing. When I said more motor amps required with bleed air as a method to control forge air, I should have more correctly said "more motor torque". But even that is not true with all air movement devices in all situations.

Bob, you said "Air pressure is only increased by forcing more molecules into a confined area than present in the surrounding (ambient) atmosphere, airflow or WIND occurs when the molecules exit the confined area in an attempt to equalize pressure with the surrounding ambient"

This is not correct. Air pressure can be increased in many ways.

Bob also said "Blowers MOVE air but do not increase pressure by much"

This is not universally correct and the terminology is vague.

Bob also said "decreasing the load from a particular motor's designed maximum limit (bleeding off exit air)"

Bleeding off exit air does not usually, and for most fans, never lowers motor torque required if you are also trying to do some work with the rest of the flow. This is the fact that Bob is missing. Fan laws have been around for a long time.

As an example, try pumping a bellows with a hole in the fabric. That hole lets "bleed air" occur. Let me know if it's easier to get the same work done with a bellows that has a hole in it.

Do the same with a hand crank blower. Punch a hole in the casing or the outlet pipe. Let me know if it's easier to run the forge that way.

Bleed air can work, but it's not the best way to go. If you think it is, have at it. Those who waste will find themselves short in the future. Unfortunately, those that waste also make less available for the rest of us.

It's good to have a long memory. Bob, be sure to introduce yourself to me some time when we can meet face to face.
- Tony - Saturday, 01/31/04 22:30:07 EST

Wife vs. Flypress: My wife is kind and thoughtful as well as generous... she got me the flypress just before having to travel for work. Since she's away, the press gets the attention. Tomorrow, however, my first love returns and then what flypress?

I need to make a S7 slitting chisel... I just realized the mild steel one that worked for punching the first two holes didn't exactly survive intact. When I tried anothe cut, teh chisel sort of flattened into a punch, having been annealed by the previous cut's heat, I assume.
MikeM-OH - Saturday, 01/31/04 23:50:51 EST


Don't feed the trolls. (grin)
Paw Paw - Sunday, 02/01/04 00:03:51 EST

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