Some tools to drool over.  Image (c) 1998 Jock Dempsey.  Click for enlargement. WELCOME to the anvilfire!
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January 2008 Archive

WHY THREE FORUMS? Well, this is YOUR blacksmithing forum to use for whatever you wish within the rules stated above. It is different than the Slack-Tub Pub because the messages are permanently posted and archived.
This page is NOT a chat - it is a "message board"

Our chat, the (Slack-Tub Pub), is immediate but the record of it is temporary. DO NOT post permanent messages there. We refresh the "log" every 24 hours now and your message will be lost.

The Guru's Den is where I and several others try to answer ALL your blacksmithing and metalworking questions to us.

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J. Dempsey  <webmaster> Rev. 7/98, 3/99, 5/2k, 6/2k, Friday, 04/06/01 16:43:25 GMT

Split fingertips: Years ago my boss told me that the best thing he had found was to completely coat your hands with vaseline before you go to bed, then put a pair of socks on over it. WORST NIGHT I EVER SPENT !!!

(But it worked)
- Loren T - Monday, 12/31/07 14:13:53 EST

Loren T-- Thanks! Some Hispanic country-folk neighbors told me about the sock-mitten & Vaseline therapy some years back but I have not tried it. Sounds good!
Miles Undercut - Monday, 12/31/07 21:43:58 EST

I prefer a lotion /vaseline with latex or nitrile gloves. You can still work then remove before bed.
- Mills - Tuesday, 01/01/08 09:51:01 EST

Neutrogena foot cream works better on my hands than anything else I've tried (not that I've tried a whole lot else).
Mike BR - Tuesday, 01/01/08 11:13:38 EST

vaseline & gloves: I have done this too and found it very effective. I am prone to bouts of severe dermatitis on my palms. I tried all kinds of unguents from the dermatologist and even a course of steroids but they didnt even control it let alone cure it. I used surgical gloves and bag balm (I dont think it really matters what you use) overnight for a few nights and it was gone. Since my palms were the problem I cut the fingers off the gloves. I have used superglue and it works but it doesnt hold long if you are out in the shop. I find now that regular application of Corona keeps the nasties away.

The only permanent solution to this problem is to move to Missouri or Hawaii where the humidity is 90%.

My dermatologis did tell me not to bother with lotions since they are not nearly as effective as stuff like petroleum jelly
adam - Tuesday, 01/01/08 11:52:59 EST

New Years Day Weather: 62F under cloudless skies in Cypress Texas today. This is why one lives on the Gulf Coast. Let's not think about summer yet.
quenchcrack - Tuesday, 01/01/08 15:12:27 EST

New Years Day Weather: In the foothills of Virginia and North Carolina it was in the 60's yesterday, 40's and windy today. Colder tonight and tomorrow.

However, it is balmy compared to what normal January weather was when I was a kid. We used to have this kind of weather up until mid-December but after Christmas and by January it rarely got above freezing, 20's (-7 C) and snow was the norm for all of January and well into February. We have not had serious snow here in over 20 years. A period of the kind of cold here that was normal for the first half of my life would be declared a national disaster today due to the fact that pipes would freeze due to poor construction practices of the last decades and fuel would run out due to planning based on recent history. "Normal" snow of the 60's and 70's would bankrupt the highway departments snow clearing budgets that now run out of salt on given ONE snow storm of a few inches. . .

The climate has changed here. Has it changed where you live?
- guru - Tuesday, 01/01/08 17:31:38 EST

Dermatitis & weather: When i lived in Colorado, I suffered every winter with terrible dermatitis on my legs where the socks rubbed, my lips and my hands. I tried all the remedies, both medical and folklore. Not one of them really offered complete relief. Same problem when I lived in Phoenix. Then I moved tothe Virgin Islands and all those issues became moot.

We have about 60% humidity most of the time, and the temperature rarely gets much below 70 and never above 100. Just about perfect weather, in my view. Today the temp was about 75 to 80, with the Christmas winds blowing a bit, as is normal for this time of year.

I couldn't say if the climate has changed where I live. The weather has, but that is a short-lived phenomenon, subject to swings. If I'm still around in another twenty thousand or so years, I'll let you know if the climate has changed. :-)
vicopper - Tuesday, 01/01/08 18:31:00 EST

Adam, I would take a bit of that 90% humidity at the moment here in central Missouri. Currently 47% humidity, 17 degrees with 24 mph wind gusts. Forecast is for 8 degrees tonight.
Bernard Tappel - Tuesday, 01/01/08 20:37:12 EST

Climate and Skin: My friends who live in Costa Rica part time tell me their skin feels wonderful after a couple weeks and sinus problems disappear. It is not just the humidity but the mild steady temperatures that require no heat or air-conditioning that dries the air. Perhaps we are tropical creatures. . .
- guru - Wednesday, 01/02/08 09:08:11 EST

Climate in Cypress: Hey quenchcrack, how's things in Cypress?! I lived in Rose Hill a couple years back, had my shop set up in back of a machininsts shop out on 2920. Can't remember the guy's name...
Peter Hirst - Wednesday, 01/02/08 20:19:39 EST

Weather & Climate: I can recall years with a lot of accumulated snowfall when I was a kid, and other years with little [south eastern Pa.]. I agree with vicopper on this one, but I must add the yers with lots of snow were memorable. In '78 a bunch of us late teen agers built a huge ramp as the starting point for a tobogan run going down a hill throuh a field. The ramp was built from old telephone poles with a landing at a slight incline to get loaded up on. The landing was equal in hight to the phone wires along the road. We built it early, before the ground froze so We could plant the poles. We got luckey that year and had plenty of snow. Nobody took any pictures of it. We didn't know that this, the grandest ramp We ever built, would be the last. The next year We found out how well snowmobiles ran on wet grass.
- Dave Boyer - Thursday, 01/03/08 22:40:38 EST

bandsaw: I am starting to shop for a decent bandsaw 7x12 or larger. Both Grizzly and Jet have a model for about $1K and from some dealers shipping is free. On ebay I regularly find used Kalamazoos, Dakes, Johnsons etc for considerably less but I would have to pay freight on about 300#. Where would I find a reasonable freight carrier? Whats an easy way to get the thing off the back of the truck being as I dont have any lifting equipment? Is the Jet worth buying?

Thank you.
adam - Friday, 01/04/08 08:13:31 EST

adam-- Unsolicited advice dept.: I would not buy a used anything off Ebay. Absolutely no recourse whatsobloodyever if it is a dog. Get it from MSC, no hassle on a return in my experience. Or from Enco. Let them worry about the shipping. There is no such thing as a reasonable freight carrier. Rates are higher coming from the East Coast than from the West for some reason. They will not pick up inside anywhere, so the shipper has to get it to the curb. If you find something local-- keep an eye on Craigslist Albuquerque and Santa Fe/Taos-- I have a 3,000-pound engine hoist and a half-ton crane on my truck, can help you with some notice.
Miles Undercut - Friday, 01/04/08 11:34:21 EST

bandsaws: Adan, further unsolicited advice. It has been my experience that the good saws such as a Johnson, do-all, kalamazoos etc are worth having. BUT, and this is a BIG BUT< most of these are surplused as they are totally worn out,shot done, fried. Yes they can be rebuilt, but I would sooner buy a new Kalamazoo or Jet. I find both to be good value for the $.
A Kalamazoo is more $ but more value.
And remember that no matter how good the saw, the blade makes/breaks the performance. Also remember that a worn out saw will eat blades that are expensive.
Kalamazoo and Jet are both available from many sources and are nice saws. I believe the Kalamzoo is still US made.
ptree - Friday, 01/04/08 18:19:11 EST

Bandsaw: Even more unsolicited advice, It is very hard to kill a Kalamazoo. Very expensive machine new. The one I presently use is over 5000 new. I paid 600. Some truckers offer lift-gate service.Starret power-band matrix II blades last me about a year.
John Christiansen - Friday, 01/04/08 19:28:01 EST

Bandsaws: Adam,

I recently bought a Grizzly 5x6 swivel-head bandsaw that has proven to be a decent value, so far. Well made and accurate, with the single exception of the automatic shut-oof switch, which is a joke and I will redesign so it works dependably. As delivered, that switch is as capricious as a teenager. The swivel head, which allows me to use it for miter cuts in my narrow cutting area, is a dream. A thoiusand times better than a swivel vise, in my opinion.

Now, if you want the top-end version, buy a Kama, but they're about five times the price of the Grizzly.
vicopper - Friday, 01/04/08 19:31:39 EST

bandsaw: I am thinking I will go with the Jet 7x12. Some vendors offer it for $950 including shipping. The equivalent Grizzly has bushings for the wheels while the Jet has BB. And freight on the Grizzly is $94 so its a wash. I dont really need a saw that big but I tend to be hard on tools and generally the larger tools are more robust and hold their accuracy better.

I think Miles and Ptree are right in that buying a used saw w/o being able to inspect it is a real gamble and $1000 is a lot to gamble. Sometimes I wish I lived in the Midwest or the East where the tool density is higher
adam - Friday, 01/04/08 20:32:02 EST

PS: Thanks for all the advice
adam - Friday, 01/04/08 20:32:32 EST

Adam-- I thought you meant a horizontal saw, but I gather now you are thinking of getting a vertical metal-cutting job. You can make a step-down arrangement for the pulleys that will allow you to cut metal with a wood-cutting bandsaw. I did it with my 12-inch Delta. One hazard I forgot to mention re: Ebay is the possibility of simple non-performance. Vendor just doesn't ship. Nobody gives a damn, not Ebay, not the Feds (interstate used of phone wires to defraud, use of the mails to defraud if you pay by money order), not the New Mexico AG's consumer fraud division, nobody. They may murmur tsk-tsks and other sympathetic noises, but that's about it.
Miles Undercut - Friday, 01/04/08 23:24:34 EST

final flux?: A good freind of mine recently asked me if I could build a japanese style blade using human ash as a flux!(I know this sounds wierd , but he is looking for something cool to do with dads ashes)I have never tried japanese welding, with ash flux, and am abit unsure where to start. I supose practice with straw ash would be in order. Is there any reason this shouldent work?????
- JASON - Saturday, 01/05/08 01:55:58 EST

bandsaw: Miles - I am shopping for a horizontal 7x12 bandsaw. Grizzly also makes a 6x9.5 which would be fine as far as the size but again the wheels run on bushings rather than BBs and I am guessing that this difference in quality of construction runs thru the whole machine.

I would love to have a swivel head like Rich bought but in my case I am better off investing is something basic and beefy. I definitely will invest in some good quality blades. My experience with a wood cutting bandsaw taught me that the blade accounts for at least half the performance of the saw
adam - Saturday, 01/05/08 08:54:29 EST

bandsaw blades: Adam, my personell preference is Lennox Diemaster II blades in a variable tooth. Next would be Starret then Simmonds.
I used a LOT of blades in a matched pair of Jet 4" x 6" horizontals in the lab. We cut everything from 1008 to 300 and 400SS. Often we were cutting up asselbled valves and cut two different metals in the same cut. I tried many brands and types and the Lennox worked out best.
Using Co-op engineering students for labor I quickly learned to teach them simple things like ensuring the parts being cut did not move in the vise, the correct feed pressure and that old standard, which way the teeth need to point:)
With care, the bi-metal blades outcut and outlast other blades.
Ptree - Saturday, 01/05/08 09:44:02 EST

blades: who is a good supplier for starret or lennox blades? I only find 1/2" or 100' coils for those brands. I believe I need 93" x 3/4"
adam - Saturday, 01/05/08 12:39:22 EST

Bandsaw blades: Adam, I get mine welded to lenght from my Mill supply house, Hagemeyer. I call it in and UPS brings them to me. A Diemaster II for my 4" x 6" runs right at $19.50. The bimetallic blades take a special welder so I buy mine ready to put on the saw.
Try Mike Morrison at Hagemeyer at 502-961-5930. He gives blacksmiths wholesale rates just like a big factory. Tell him you saw it here. I am trying to get them to buy an ad here.
ptree - Saturday, 01/05/08 13:05:40 EST

Final Flux: I do not know on this one. . . However, there can be things in human ash that you might not have thought of. Metals from implants, oxides of mercury and silver used in fillings. . . I think most of the mercury evaporates and rains down in the neighborhood of the crematorium. . .

Most of it is bone ash and would contain calcium compounds which are used in fluxes. . . In the worst case you could use it as an additive to your normal flux and see what happens.

For a commemorative piece I would think using items that belonged to the deceased might have more meaning but folks come up with all kinds of weird ideas.

I've helped with spreading ashes twice. Both times the wind blew them back in our face. . .
- guru - Sunday, 01/06/08 11:54:59 EST

Bandsaw Blades:
I concur that the absolute best are the Lennox diemaster. You normally want the coarsest you can get unless you are sawing light tubing.

A critical aspect of this blade material is the weld. You cannot do it yourself. The bimetal blades require a very special welder and a trained operator. When my local distributor started carrying this blade material they had to buy a $20,000 blade welder. . . I never had one of these blades break until maybe big chunks of blade were missing first.
- guru - Sunday, 01/06/08 11:59:42 EST

Ashes, ashes, we all fall down: My ex-uncle worked for an undertaker/ambulance service. I always felt that was a bit of a conflict of interest, but,... whatever...

Anyway my wife and I were writing some software for their ambulance service and went to their place to test it out. I went in the bathroom and saw a whole bunch of boxes with names on them on shelves. It turns out that most urns do not have enough space to hold all the ashes from a body. And the mortuaries are not allowed to throw them away, so they store them every place they can find. He said the cellar was already full.

The other piece of important information I learned was that only a small portion of a body actually turns to ash. The rest, bones, teeth, etc., is ground into a sand-like consistency and that's what's put in the urns and storage bags.
- Marc - Monday, 01/07/08 15:38:39 EST

Pontiac, IL flood: I heard this morning that Pontiac was experiencing some severe flooding today. Hope all our fellow smiths have their tools hi & dry!
- Mike Sa - Wednesday, 01/09/08 13:39:11 EST

Multiquip DC Welder for Sale: 270 amp DC Welder, 4 KW AC Generator, 100 foot leads, 2 5/16" ball hitch, and brand new electrical work on turn and brake lights.

Located at Five Points Blacksmith Shop in Charleston, Illinois


Please feel free to contact me if you would like photographs or if you have any questions!
Lorelei Sims - Thursday, 01/10/08 12:00:49 EST

Forge blower: I have an old Champion No.400 hand cranked blower. Would anyone know what grade of oil should go in the gearbox?
- Gareth - Thursday, 01/10/08 14:51:59 EST

Chain Driven post vice: anyone know about what a double screw post vice is worth. It has jaws that move parallel and are driven by a chain when the handle is turned.
- firebug - Thursday, 01/10/08 20:48:57 EST

Chain Driven Vice:
Those made by Fisher-Norris that look like a big leg vise are collectors items and sell for $500 and upwared rapidly. In 1998 I saw one sell for $350, resold for $500 and resold again for over $600 at the Asheville ABANA conference.
- guru - Friday, 01/11/08 10:14:23 EST

Champion 400 gear oil: Use whatever you want, just remember it will leak out as fast as you put it in. You oil it every time you use it, there is no oil sump in it. Thin oils in winter, thick oils in summer, ATF, 30-weight, chainsaw bar oil, etc.
- David Hughes - Friday, 01/11/08 11:37:35 EST

Chain Drive post vice.: Thank you Guru for the info. I have a chance to buy one and wanted to know what to offer.
- firebug - Friday, 01/11/08 13:20:19 EST

Anvil: I am looking at an anvil that I was told is a Peter Wright. The markings are under the horn on the base. They are 200 A 164154 I think that there is an A before the six numbers. Anyway, based on the info what do you believe the anvil is.
- firebug - Friday, 01/11/08 21:28:25 EST

Anvil: It might be a Trenton, circa 1918, judging by the serial number. These were good anvils manufactured by the Columbus Anvil and Forging Company in Columbus, Ohio. The 200 would indicate the weight in pounds. Some Trentons had a diamond shape on the side of the waist with "TRENTON" printed inside the diamond.
Frank Turley - Friday, 01/11/08 22:32:40 EST

Trenton Anvils are among the best of the old anvils in my opinion. I happen to have one:) Some have a diamond with what appears to be "Trexton" inside as well.
ptree - Saturday, 01/12/08 09:19:37 EST

Anvil: Firebug, Both these brands are marked on the side. However, it may be fairly faint marking but it SHOULD be there. Take a rubbing (thin paper and a pencil on its side or flat charcoal) to bring out the markings.
- guru - Monday, 01/14/08 14:01:33 EST

Looking For Good Anvil : I am in upstate South Carolina looking for a good quality used anvil. I'm afraid of getting burnt on ebay.
Cass - Monday, 01/14/08 15:51:11 EST

Looking for Good Anvil: I forgot to mention in the last post that I'm looking for about a 150 to 200 pound anvil. Thanks.
Cass - Monday, 01/14/08 15:57:06 EST

Yellin/Whitaker 1986 Gate Workshop: Randy McDaniel let me know about a six-part series on YouTube. There is some good information for those paying attention. In the url, the last two zeros ARE zeros, not the letter, capital O.

Frank Turley - Tuesday, 01/15/08 10:25:46 EST

Induction Heater Power Supply: Induction Heater Power source information is available from Scott Wilson at Darkwood Armory - The induction units are Chinese made and will probably be for sale at about $2000 - 4000, about 15 KVa power.

You can email me or Scott for info, I have no business association with Scott at all, just trying to whip up business for an interesting new tool.
Mike Barna - Tuesday, 01/15/08 23:36:59 EST

Off to My Annual Art Show:
I've been working in the forge the last couple of weekends and every night this week getting pieces ready for the art show at MarsCon in Williamsburg, VA. We'll see how they like this years offerings! I'm hoping for lots of teenagers and young adults with many zlotys in their pockets and romantic notions in their heads who long for a skull hair clasp or 1" square wrought iron dice!

I'll report when I get back; the objective is to cover expenses and make some money for my BGOP dues. On a good year I could cover ABANA dues, but I don't expect that will be a question this go-round.

If you're in the area, and you like Science Fiction or gaming, look us up; very laid-back and cheap and a lot of fun.

MarsCon, Williamsburg, VA
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Thursday, 01/17/08 15:11:04 EST

Atli; made mini skull punches for skull pipped dice?

Thomas P - Friday, 01/18/08 14:35:10 EST

MarsCon: The good news is that I covered expenses and a touch more. (Not enough for ABANA dues, however.) The bad news is that all six items were purchased by the same person.

Anyway; I got to hang out with good friends and we all had a good time. I even escorted the author guest of honor, Katherine Kurz, to the NPS sites at Jamestown and Yorktown.

Skull punches for the dice? What an excellent idea. People loved them as "damage dice" so that would certainly enhance the image. Also, since I actually picked up some pin money, the wif wants me to see if I can take some of my eldest daughter's work with me next year.
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Monday, 01/21/08 18:24:08 EST

knife blades: ive been making a few knives for personal use but cant make them hold a edge. if any of you have tips or even plans that would be a great help
- Jesse Vanderbie - Monday, 01/21/08 19:47:02 EST

Jesse, Thats like asking, "I've been painting portraits and they don't look like the subjects, what am I doing wrong?".

What steel are you using?
What method of manufacture? If forged what kind of temperature range and handling? Overheating and holding at too high a temperature can result in burnt or steel with large crystals.
What style of blade?
What kind of heat treating and control (temperature measurement)?
Hardness testing?
What kind of grind?
Method of sharpening?

Alloy, heat treatment and grind determine the life of an edge. The grind is often part of the design and there is a lot of argument about hollow, flat or convex grind as each has its pros and cons.

Too thick an edge is hard to sharpen. Too thin chips easily and can burn (get overheated while grinding).
- guru - Monday, 01/21/08 21:32:17 EST

knife blades: Knife blades must have high enough carbon content to have a servicable blade -- at least 0.3% as in 1030 steel. Most files are 1095, that would work. Also, the steel need to be tempered afdter you're finished shaping the blade. Heat to non-magnetic, and quench quickly to harden the steel. Then heat to yellow hot to temper. This is a very brief descriction, you need to read a lot more than this to avoid all problems.
- JohnW - Monday, 01/21/08 21:34:37 EST

Atli a nice early medieval representation---no jaw on the skull, would be easiest. medieval folk *knew* that the jaw would be loose from the skull after decomposition.

Thomas P - Tuesday, 01/22/08 13:24:35 EST

Jesse, Even 'poor' steel can be made to hold a decent edge with correct HT, Good steel badly heat treated is a worse blade that low grade steel correctly done.

Bronze age knives held a good edge throuh correct 'treatment' of the metal.

Its a huge subject area, that involves quite a high degree of amature metalurgy. More info would help with more specific advice.
- John N - Tuesday, 01/22/08 18:23:20 EST

DO NOT temper to yellow hot!!!!!! 2 - 300 degrees will do it, you can temper in a toaster / domestic oven etc.

yellow heat will take you back to where you started (or worse through carbon loss ! :)
- John N - Tuesday, 01/22/08 18:26:22 EST

BIG difference: John W & John N: There sure is a big difference in yelow temper color and glowing yellow.
- Dave Boyer - Tuesday, 01/22/08 22:41:59 EST

yup, about 1200 degrees :) - I would refer to that temper colour as straw, for me, yellow is a smidge below a good welding heat.

When I was starting out (not so long ago) I would have assumed yellow meant HOT - the temper colours change pretty quick and its easy to miss them.

Forums like this do leave room for confusion. There are some good dvd's on knifemaking about with HT info. A picture can speak a thousand works, a DVD quite a few more than that ! :)
- John N - Wednesday, 01/23/08 18:41:39 EST

temper color: Yellow (straw) temper color is 446ºF.
Frank Turley - Wednesday, 01/23/08 19:24:54 EST

temper color: Frank, what's the as in 446ºF?
- JohnW - Thursday, 01/24/08 07:05:26 EST

John W: Your question parted my hair.
Frank Turley - Thursday, 01/24/08 08:43:08 EST

The A with a hat is caused by Jock's system. It doesn't recognize some ASCII codes, and gives you little nuggets of funkiness from time to time if you use 'em.

F is alt0176F.
Alan-L - Thursday, 01/24/08 11:19:58 EST

ASCII: I should add that's on a windows system in IE6+, running XPpro. Your system may be totally different!
Alan-L - Thursday, 01/24/08 11:21:04 EST

Alan-L: A bigger part, now with braids.
Frank Turley - Thursday, 01/24/08 11:51:54 EST

Using Mozilla Firefol on linux I don't see the hatted A; just the degF symbol.

Thomas P - Thursday, 01/24/08 12:18:36 EST

Heck, I should have know. Let me see what my pc will produce, alt+0176 =
- JohnW - Thursday, 01/24/08 12:35:35 EST

More code: Dang, Frank, didn't mean to make your ears whistle! Just some computer-ese stuff. What keystrokes do you use to get the degree symbol? That may be why the (I can't make it uppercase) shows up. The alt stuff just means hold down the "alt" key and type the four-digit number, after which the symbol will appear.

If you don't see the hatted A, it may be more of a viewing thing than a typing thing. I have now exhausted my computer abilities, and can feel my own hair starting to part.
Alan-L - Thursday, 01/24/08 14:22:22 EST

aha!: My system may have a name, but I don't know what it might be. I use three digits on the number pad while the Alt key is depressed. The degree symbol is 167.
Frank Turley - Thursday, 01/24/08 14:47:43 EST

Ramco Saw: Anybody have any idea what a big Ramco horizontal band saw is worth. It has a oiler and is very good condition.
- Firebug - Thursday, 01/24/08 20:56:35 EST

Dry hands: Another thing to try is a lotion I ran across a few years back. Have had these problems for years and tried everything from aardvark spit to Rhino sweat and nothing helped till I tried the lotions with 12% ammonium lactate,(lactic acid). They sometimes go by trade names of laclotion and the sort. Ask at your pharmacy. They usually do not have it on the shelf but you can get it without a script.
- Mark H. - Thursday, 01/24/08 20:59:40 EST

Dry Hands, Skin:
Years ago when I was an auto mechanic we used the beet juice extract hand cleaners (Go-Jo) repeatedly during the day or occasionally solvents like kerosene and would have terrible dry cracked skin especially in dry winter weather.

Then I found a product called Lan-Lin. It was the same base hand cleaner product except it had lanolin in it. Cleaned and oiled the skin at the same time. Great stuff. I don't know if it is still made.

An off-label use was cleaning paint brushes that had been used with enamel. After cleaning with solvent the hand cleaner would be used and wiped out, not rinsed. The lanolin did the same for the paint brush fibers and prevented them from drying curved or getting frizzy. Using the hand cleaner with lanolin cleaned and replaced skin oil at the same time as cleaning the brush.

The important thing is use SOMETHING. I've had cracked skin that was painful and took months to completely heal after doing too much hand painting and cleaning tools and hands with lacquer thinner. . . The Lan-lin sure would have been helpful then.

For blacksmithing clean up I've almost always used lava soap. The fine grit goes after the stubborn dirt and the soap is not too strong as some are.

The lactic acid stuff sounds interesting for folks with severe skin problems.
- guru - Friday, 01/25/08 09:46:45 EST

Big is a relative term.
A 7x12 inch bandsaw is Big to some people, while one that will cut 24" round is medium sized to others.

Ramco is not a big name these days, but if it is in the 7" to 9" round cutting range (that is, it will cut a round bar that big) its probably worth between $500 and $2000, depending on condition, hp, 3ph or single phase, and so on.

Nowadays, you can buy a used Do-All, that sells for $10,000 or so new, for $2000 to $3500, so an smaller, off brand machine is not worth a fortune.
- ries - Friday, 01/25/08 13:17:48 EST

Big is a relative term.
A 7x12 inch bandsaw is Big to some people, while one that will cut 24" round is medium sized to others.

Ramco is not a big name these days, but if it is in the 7" to 9" round cutting range (that is, it will cut a round bar that big) its probably worth between $500 and $2000, depending on condition, hp, 3ph or single phase, and so on.

Nowadays, you can buy a used Do-All, that sells for $10,000 or so new, for $2000 to $3500, so an smaller, off brand machine is not worth a fortune.
- ries - Friday, 01/25/08 13:17:48 EST

Ramco Saw: I called the number on the saw and found that it was not a working number. It has " made in the USA". Does anyone know when these saws were made or stopped being made. Thanks for the information.
- Firebug - Friday, 01/25/08 14:38:48 EST

Actually, Ramco, as a company, has been bought by Tannewitz.
They are still supporting the Ramco Wide Belt Sanders, which was always Ramco's main product. I am not sure if the Ramco bandsaws were actually made by the same Ramco or not. But you could check with and see if they know anything about your saw.

- ries - Friday, 01/25/08 19:43:23 EST

Unrelated right field question: My address is in a big main frame or something of the sort, and two letters have been left out of my street name. The street name is Chicoma Vista, and all my mail with a printed address says, "Chicoma

I went to the UPS, which main office has keyboards that you use for the addresses, etc. No paper form except what comes out of the printer. I typed "Vista", and by Gar, the man changed it to "Vis." He said his computer told him it had to be that way.

I've been known to send money to a Christian Indian school in Montana. As a gift, they sent us a bunch of return address stickers. All the addresses had "vis" on them. I wrote them and said if they changed the addresses to "vista", I would "get 'em to the pay window." They complied. They sent the corrected stickers, and furthermore, my letter was sent to Chicoma Vista...thus proving, it can be corrected. I too complied, and sent them a monetary gift.

What the hey?
Frank Turley - Friday, 01/25/08 23:20:53 EST

Frank, All USPS computerized street addresses are forced to abbreviate in their system. You do not have to use their abbreviations. However, folks like UPS check addresses against the PO and use their system. The UPS account holder can force the use of the unabbreviated address BUT they are risking being charged a fee for sending a package to a non-conforming address. . .

Canada is worse. You cannot even search for a postal code unless you use one of the accepted street types and correct abbreviation (as well as using the RIGHT one). St, Blvd, Ave. . . I think there are only six or eight.

- guru - Friday, 01/25/08 23:52:45 EST

Frank-- Santa Fe county UPS been in a mess since before Christmas. They instituted a new computerized scanning system that cannot, will not, recognize anything except your official county 911 address. Before, a sorter could hand a package to a driver famliar with all the houses in his area and get it delivered no matter what shortcomings the address had. No more. (Longer version of this to you via Email just bounced.)
Miles Undercut - Saturday, 01/26/08 00:13:32 EST

addresses: All I gotta' say is, "In Spanish, vista is a view, and in French, vis is a screw."
Frank Turley - Saturday, 01/26/08 08:02:49 EST

I thought mirador was view in Spanish. . .

Mixing abbreviations with foreign words is a steep and slippery path. . .
- guru - Sunday, 01/27/08 13:48:54 EST

NEW Bladesmithing Video:
BigBLU Productions has just released its newest video, "A Damascus Blade from A to Z" featuring the renowned laminated steel maker Mike Norris. It shows some interesting steel lamination techniques and few useful tricks I had not seen before.

This is one of the best produced blacksmithing videos I have seen to date. It is well filmed and doesn't miss or hide anything. Check it out.
Book and Video Reviews
- guru - Sunday, 01/27/08 20:02:42 EST

Addresses : The beauty part, as they say in the Bronx, is you must have you geophysical zip code in your UPS address. Not your postal zip, if it is different from your geophysical zip as is the case with my P.O. box. UPS delivered stuff addressed here with the postal zip for 34 years, no problem. But when the new pooterized system came in, even though my county road number and my gate number had not changed, they suddenly had no idea where to bring my parcels. So good luck to you in your valiant struggle for vista. At least UPS depot is within an easy drive of your house so you can go fetch a package, assuming they can find it.
Miles Undercut - Sunday, 01/27/08 22:58:44 EST

This may start causing me problems too as our postal address and zip is for a different town than we live in.

We live in Lemitar (if Lemitar can be considered to have an "in"---not even a blinking light in "downtown Lemitar!); but our address that gets letters to the box at the end of the street is Socorro.

I like it; used to be that some of the internet mappers didn't recognize my address either; whey make it easy for folks to find you...

Thomas P - Monday, 01/28/08 12:47:37 EST

Thomas-- you'll like it until that crucial item you need to finish the project is scheduled for delivery on Friday, the UPS tracking system that morning says it's out for delivery... but the sun sets and no package, UPS's 800-number clerk doesn't know why, or where it is... the lonnng weekend looms. And the local depot phone number doesn't answer.
Miles Undercut - Tuesday, 01/29/08 00:31:31 EST

My only time valued stuff is insulin and recently they sent it by way of Souix Falls SD and Louisville KY and then had to send a new batch as the old one got cooked in transit. I don't want to guess what a 3 month supply of insulin ran them; but better them than me!

Thomas P - Tuesday, 01/29/08 11:56:11 EST

need beaudry parts: Hello all-
My 100 lb Beaudry Champion had a major scary failure last week. One of the spring arms broke, which the broke the connecting rod.

Bruce Wallace does not have the part. So I'm hunting for A)a parts hammer or B) an outfit capable of making this spring or C) a good deal on a 100 # Beaudry.

The spring is 19 7/8" long, forged from 1 1/2 x 3 stock. (for those of you not familiar with these thins, this is not just a leaf spring, but is a serious forging).

Any leads would be appreciated...

Thanks-- Lee

- Lee Sauder - Tuesday, 01/29/08 19:09:04 EST

For some reason I didn't get the link to work- if you want to write me directly in response to the above post, you can write me at

Lee Sauder - Tuesday, 01/29/08 19:13:46 EST

Beaudry Arms: Lee, email coming your way.

Rich Waugh
vicopper - Tuesday, 01/29/08 21:01:12 EST

Beaudry Arms -- there must be a pub by that name somewhere . . .
Mike BR - Tuesday, 01/29/08 23:15:03 EST

Pub: I think there was one called the Akimbo Arms...maybe. (grin)
vicopper - Tuesday, 01/29/08 23:40:17 EST

Beaudry Arms: Steve Parker has some pics of forging a new Beaudry arm. Dont know if he would make another or what it would cost etc. May be worth gettin in touch with him.

- Matt Lamey - Wednesday, 01/30/08 13:52:22 EST

Beaudry: Lee has already been directed to the team that made the Beaudry arms. It was a joint effort of Steve Parker, Ralph Sproul and Jim Fecteau, and the results were awesome. Lots of machining and hydraulic press work involved after the initial forging, then heat treating for toughness. That's a highly-stressed part that runs right in your face, so to speak, so you take no chances on shoddy work.

The Beaudry is the Cadillac of mechanical hammers, with phenomenal control because of their arm arrangement. Too fine a hammer not to repair, for sure!
vicopper - Wednesday, 01/30/08 16:41:46 EST

dies: need dies for a shahindla sm40 hammer asap
can you help i am in perth west australia
- geoff - Wednesday, 01/30/08 17:28:22 EST

Beaudry Arms: vicopper- good, glad he was pointed in the right direction, all I knew was from the photos the group had posted. Would have love to seen a step by step on the making of the arm. I dont own a Beaudry, have always wanted one. Have a 65lb. Champion and a 100 LG, eyes always open for a Beaudry, but generally too late!
Matt Lamey - Wednesday, 01/30/08 20:29:25 EST

Beaudry: Thanks everyone- I've gotten lots of good ideas and contacts. She will rise again!
Lee Sauder - Wednesday, 01/30/08 20:58:33 EST

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