Some tools to drool over.  Image (c) 1998 Jock Dempsey.  Click for enlargement. WELCOME to the anvilfire!
Virtual Hammer-In!

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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.

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

Laminating Bellows Parts: If glueing one piece of wood on top of the other is a problem then you had better forget it.

Its the easiest way to create a large block of wood that won't split. You also need the air passage to the pipe to connect to the top chamber only in a double chambered bellows. Cutting and fitting 3/4" boards is infinitely easier than trying to carve a passage in a solid block and fit a pipe into it.

On ALL double chambered bellows the nose block is laminated. At LEAST two blocks are glued to either side of the center board. Single action bellows have the thick nose block attached (laminated to) to the top board.

The end blocks on my bellows are three layers of 3/4" (19mm) pine shelving on either side of the center board. 2-1/4" each for a total of 5-1/4" (133mm). At the back next to the hinge they are 11-1/4" wide. That is a BIG block of wood if one piece and hard (expensive) to obtain in a good grade.

I was looking at the detailed drawings in De Re Metalica (1556). They showed common iron hinges that looked like modern hardware store door or gate hinges on their big bellows. The thick pine boards are edged with glued on linden wood to accept the nails. The "bows" are made of linden boards jointed to make the turn in three segments (like half an octagon) instead of the pretty curve used on later bellows. The leather is two full hides joined at the back. The nails are special two piece affairs with long eliptical heads. On the whole this is a sophisticated contruction even though it is a single action bellows.

In Diderot there are dozens of bellows but almost all are drawn symbolicly and there are no details of construction.

The intresting difference is that in 1550 the belows had a sliding door on the top to regulate the pressure and act as a safety device. But in the 1700's the double chambred bellows almost universaly are shown with a counter weight attached to the top board to regulate the pressure.

The other interesting thing in Diderot is that even though many of the bellows are drawn symbolicaly they are almost all differnt in style.

Building a bellows is simple on one hand, but it is also a big project. There is a lot of materials required and some thought needs to go into their construction. Built well they will last a lifetime. Put some extra effort into them, you are going to be looking at them for a long time.
- guru - Friday, 02/01/02 06:22:01 GMT

Kerrihard part?: Hi gang,

I know it's a looooong shot, but I've got a 30# Kerrihard power hammer, and I'm looking for a spare part. Specifically, the plate that bolts onto the front of the chassis, and guides the ram up and down.

Mine is broken, but at some point in the ancient past it was repaired to a reasonably functional state. An original version would be even better though.

Does anyone have a spare, or can anyone direct me somewhere that can fabricate a copy??

Many thanks,
Patrick - Saturday, 02/02/02 16:39:15 GMT

fab: you could have the best luck taking it to a local machine shop but if you cant find one my father is the head machinist at a fab and welding company and i have had him make us new wear plates for our power hammer so i would take a look at the local machine shops
- rich m - Sunday, 02/03/02 02:34:21 GMT

SEEKING EMPLOYMENT: My name is Stefan Dürst, I am 32 years old and live in Munich, Germany right now. I am immigrating to Canada, probably eastern / southern Ontario in June this year with my canadian wife (I already got my visa as a legal immigrant and so my working permit!). I am looking for work in the metalfield like: blacksmithing/ general metalwork/ industrial forges/ metal factorys/ cast shops. I did a three years apprenticeship and in 2000 a 1 year school where I achieved my master trade certificate as a blacksmith/ metalworker. I work hard and I am willing to learn new skills!! If you are interested or have any informations where I can get work please contact me.
for my blacksmithing go to
Thanks, Stefan
Stefan Dürst - Monday, 02/04/02 14:38:12 GMT

VIRUS CHECKER: Guru and friends: I have seen several posts here regarding computer viruses and emails. My brother, a computer guru for one of the big outfits, suggested a program called AVG. He told me it is the best out there, and it's FREE! (Big selling point for me). I downloaded it from the site at Grisoft, the parent company. I use Microsloth's IE and this program checks all the email in quarantine or something, before it opens. So far, its found a couple of hidden virii and saved me a lot of grief. You might want to check it out.

Thanks to all of you here for the great advise, guidance, and humor, too! For those who haven't yet, I suggest that you join CSI to help support Jock's efforts. OBTW: I receive no compenstation from either Grisoft or Jock for these shameless plugs! Best wishes from the Virgin Islands.
AVG Anti-virus
Rich Waugh - Monday, 02/04/02 18:48:43 GMT

Viruses: The important thing to remember is than NO virus checker works on new viruses and there are new ones almost every day. YOU are your only defense against viruses, especialy if you use Microsoft mail routines.

Virus checkers work by looking for charteristic pieces of code called a pattern or signiture. At the current rate of increase of new viruses spread primarily by MS Outlook, Outlook Express and IE, in a few years the pattern files for virus checkers will be too unweildy to use.

If you do not update your virus checker pattern files daily then you don't have the most up to date protection. If the service you use doesn't have new pattern files several times a week then they are not on the ball.

Stop using Microsoft mail programs and 99% of virus problems go away and 99.999% of the spread of viruses stops.
- guru - Monday, 02/04/02 20:00:03 GMT

WANTED: HI, I want a anvil 50-100 pounds, and a hand crank blower for no more than 50 dollars. I am new to blacksmithing and anything will be great!

- Joel - Thursday, 02/07/02 23:54:44 GMT

Joel: Hi Joel, Not to be discourging, but if you find a place that sells 50 to 100 lb. anvils and a blower for $50 or less please let me know.
- Stiffy - Friday, 02/08/02 11:21:13 GMT

Joel: There are some brgains to be had BUT you have to love to shop. The Guru and others will tell you up front to not get hung up on what an anvil looks like. There is a lot heavy iron laying around that will suffice as you shop. Thomas Powers, who posts here, seemingly always picks up a blower or anvil etc for good prices. He is always out there shopping ready to spend if the price is right.
Best place to look is at the nearest gathering of like minded individuals in your area somebody will surely assist you.
Mills - Friday, 02/08/02 14:39:25 GMT

Joel:: It used to be (and sometimes still is), that farm sales were the best places to find these things for relatively cheap. However, there are a lot more dealers looking for stuff (people coming from Kansas to attend a farm sale in Brookings SD, and paying $3+ a lb for a really beat-up anvil), you've got to talk to people and be ready to move quickly if you see something you like. You'd be amazed at what people have stored in their attics.
Escher - Friday, 02/08/02 18:29:24 GMT

Banners: Ok, I've been a Anvilfire hat wearing, Cyber smith member for about six months and seldom go through the sign-in. To tell you the truth, I like the banners, and miss them when I sign in the proper way.

The V page certainly has been quiet lately.

For sale: Home made at twice the price. Why anyone would ever want to.....oh never mind.

Anvil height. I've got a 1300 lb., 5 foot long piece of I beam that's 5 foot long and 36" high. Lovely heighth for straightening out the curves that my cock-eyed home made air hammer puts in bar stock. Great rebound!!! so much for the idea that bounce comes from the hardness of the anvil. I have never understood how hitting a peice of soft, hot steel could transmit the rebound of the anvil under it. In my opion it has more to do with the squareness of the blow and the solidness of the
anvil-anvil stand-ground connection. I have one old not very flat anvil that is very hard but my hammer seems to twange off it just because of the fact that I never took the time to really mount it well. It is from Queen's Crossing, Dudley England but it is not a Peter Wright. Must have come from across the street. I sprayed in with instant drying Lacquere (my wife's at home and so I can't ask her how to spell "lacker") and set it outside the door to my shop. Testing the spray to see how it holds off the weather. So far no rust and besides I like the finish.

By the way, flow varies with the 4th power of the radius...not the area (square) of the cross section of a tube, hose, pipe, whatever. Which brings me to a question.
I have a six inch diameter triple wall stainless steel section of pipe going through my shop roof. I want to enlarge my smoke pipe but don't want to have to buy another section of that very expensive pipe. What are some other safe ways of getting through the roof with stove pipe?
Weather has been great here in Virginia, very comfortable in the shop.

L.Sundstrom - Saturday, 02/09/02 21:11:29 GMT

Cone Anvil: I got an old small cone at an auction today. It's only 29 inches tall. No point on top, but is open & about 1 1/2 in dia. and 7 1/2 dia. on bottom. Wall thickness is about an inch (cast construction). I had only saw tall ones prior to today. Are these things like other items in that there was all different sizes made?
- Mike S - Sunday, 02/10/02 04:05:26 GMT

Cone Anvil:

Yes, there were several different sizes made. It sounds to me like you have the bottom half of a two piece cone. Some were made so that the top piece, which was pointed, could be lifted off and used separately.
Paw Paw Wilson - Sunday, 02/10/02 14:26:16 GMT

stovepipe through the roof: Larry S: Unless your building codes call for it, I'd not bother with the triple-wall stuff. Having said that, now it occurs to me that I don't know what kind of roof you're putting the pipe through. If it's a metal roof ala barn-style, I'd just cut a hole a little bigger than my pipe, and run it through one of those sheet metal flanges made for that purpose, sealing the joints well with roofing mastic. (called "black mammy" in the vernacular in these parts...) If it's not a metal roof, you can still isolate single-wall pipe by cutting a much bigger hole than you need and making a small metal section to play with, for example cut a 24" square hole in a wooden roof and insert a galvanized "tin roof" panel through which you stick your 12" pipe and proceed as above... If it's high enough above the forge, it won't get really really hot, and I don't think (there has been some debate about this in the past) that a coal fire will cause creosote chimney fires like an airtight woodstove will. I guess it all depends on what kind of building you're in and how much redundancy you want in your safety factors.
Alan-L - Sunday, 02/10/02 17:23:27 GMT

Cone Anvil: Paw Paw, I'm not sure if this is part of a 2 piece cone or not. The top is only 1 1/2 inches in diameter. The bottom is 7 1/2 inches, but is not quite "square" (meaning the bottom is uneven) I would have thought if it was a 2 piece cone, they would have ground the bottom edge till is was smooth with the mating part. My guess is this was sold as a single piece.
Mike S - Monday, 02/11/02 04:30:07 GMT

Hot pipe through roof:
Larry, As Alan, said, make the hole through the roof, bigger than it needs to be. Raise a curb above the roof line to deflect water around the stack. Then rivet ( or otherwise fasten) a water tight metal collar on your stack pipe that will go out and down over the edge of the curb. You could forget about the curb and just let the collar go down to and seal at the roof line if you want. Depends on your roof. Keep combustibles (stuff that burns) less than 200 degrees. Let air flow around the stack on the inside, to keep heat from building up. I have a 8 inch single wall pipe from a very hot fireplace going through a wood roof that is 16 inches deep. I made the clearance between the pipe and hole though the roof about 8 inches and lined the hole with fire code drywall. Lining the roof hole with metal is OK, but not if the metal gets hot and heats the combustibles behind it.

This may not be per your local building code and you are on your own with code. Codes are to protect the unknowing. And their banks and insurance companies.

Triple wall pipe is unnecessary if you keep the combustibles far enough away that they don’t get hot. Including in the event of a chimney fire. If you want less heat gain in the room, then insulated pipe will help. My 8 inch pipe plays a big role in heating my house. So I want it hot.

Painting the pipe white or making it shiny (not black) where it goes through the roof will make it radiate less heat to the hole also.

Don’t forget to put that low loss stack cap on if it’s a forge stack. 6" forge stack? Grin.

Tony - Monday, 02/11/02 14:06:41 GMT

Hot pipe through roof: Insurance companies can be awfully twitchy about solid fuel flues. Sometimes even if it does meet your building code, if it doesn't meet the INSURANCE COMPANY's specifications, they'll cancel your policy, or at least exclude that building.

Some companies won't insure a building with ANY solid fuel heating provisions, be it a fireplace, antique pot belly stove, latest catalytic UL approved stove, or (probably) forge.
John Lowther - Tuesday, 02/12/02 21:11:28 GMT

Cone Mandrels: Mike, See the Hammer-In for December 2001. I posted a photo of a collection of cones. They come in all sizes and shapes and this collection doesn't come close to all the types I've seen.

Most of these were rough or as-cast and the bottom would have never been machined.
- guru - Tuesday, 02/12/02 23:28:53 GMT

need job: If anyone knows of a introductery level welder needed in western new york area please let me know. Referances upon request. thank you.
- amort - Wednesday, 02/13/02 16:30:25 GMT

Thanks: Thanks to all for the huge amount of information I get from this site. Got the cast off my leg today(6 weeks). Got me in a splint now, maybe I can get into the shop and actually do something.
Brian C - Wednesday, 02/13/02 16:42:37 GMT

Antique Lathe 4 Sale: 1920's vintage: 16" swing, 32" between centers, Lodge & Shiply, with tools. Needs Good Home $500. I need the space.
Email: slagcity at

Also for sale:
* Lisle Drill Grinder
* Wilton Cold Saw 12" blade mod 3037 1 1/2HP 3 phase
Email: slagcity at
Dirty Dan - Thursday, 02/14/02 01:50:46 GMT

getting better: hi i have been shoe ing horses for twenty some years and now its time to slow down some wanted to do more blacksmithing than shoeing. over the years i draw clips out of the shoesshape and sometimes i make my own shoes. wuold like to know if there are ohter exercises i should be working on. thanks dave
- dave - Saturday, 02/16/02 16:09:58 GMT

Dave, have a look at the iForge section on this web site. There are many different things to do. This section is basically a step by step written(with drawings or pictures) demo on how to do different items.
  Ralph - Saturday, 02/16/02 16:43:22 GMT

getting better: Dave,
I think drawing clips involves as much hammer control as anything a blacksmith does. It always frustrated me so I became a pretty good nailer. Still, there were times when I had to do it but I rarely achieved the coveted half moon clip. Tapering to a point and putting a very tiny scroll on the end of it with perfect curves is a good skill developer, flat or pointed. forge welding, making tennons,
fullering are useful skills. Mostly thinking of something you want to do and doing it ten or twenty times is the way to go. That way you also develope an inventory. I do mostly one of a kinds, don't have any inventory and don't do any thing very well, make mistakes, reinvent the wheel and occassional enjoy what I do. Most of the time my wife tells me its beautiful and that makes it all worthwhile.

Thanks John and Tony for stove pipe advice. My insurance guy said he only knew of one insurance carrier in this state who would insure a house if wood was the primary source of heat.

L.Sundstrom - Sunday, 02/17/02 15:42:08 GMT

Dave. Peter Ross of Williamsburg, VA, who is very good with a hand hammer, is reputed to have said,
  Frank Turley - Monday, 02/18/02 14:36:40 GMT

"Make 50; throw 45 away".
- Frank Turley - Monday, 02/18/02 14:38:18 GMT

re: Ross: Throw 'em my way.
L.Sundstrom - Monday, 02/18/02 18:28:04 GMT

I'm trying to find out if there are ANY blacksmiths/swordsmiths in the kokomo,In area.
If someone knows anyone in that area do you also know if they would take an apprenticeship pleas let me know at the above E-Mail address thanks a lot.
Nightwalker, Kokomo,In.
  D. B. Nightwalker - Tuesday, 02/19/02 01:47:16 GMT

MP (swordmatt) has donated a pair of beautiful hand made wood carving chisels to anvilfire to be sold as a fund raiser. Check them out!
anvilfire auction
- guru - Tuesday, 02/19/02 15:10:41 GMT

Gate Safety Regs UK: I am taking a Blacksmithing course at my local college and we have to make a gate. My question is regarding safety regulations/guide lines that we need to follow in the design of the gate (for the UK). I have heard something about the 100mm rule where a 100mm diametre sphere should not pass through any gap between uprights, scrolls etc is this correct? And are there any other considerations ie no sharp edges spikes etc? Your help would be appreciated. Thanks Tony Price
- Tony Price - Tuesday, 02/19/02 22:21:06 GMT

I'd be very hesitant to give any advice on the subject.
There are many similarities between British law and American law, but there are just as many differences. So this is an area that I'd suggest you contact your local authorities and find out what they have to say.

Your instructor should also be able to give you some guidance.
Paw Paw Wilson - Wednesday, 02/20/02 00:41:49 GMT

IBA: DB, check with Fred Odem of Rochester area, there is a group that meets in the Fultan Co. historical soc. building. There is also a group that meets in Columbia City. The IBA can tell you where the nearst sattalite group is to you. Hope this helps//Stiffy>
Stiffy - Wednesday, 02/20/02 08:23:55 GMT

I Humbly Beg...: I apologise for this newbie post (this is proberly a long shot)but I was wondering if anybody knew of a swordsmith/bladesmith in the melbourne, victoria area who would be willing to teach a "know nothing" about this artform. Thankyou for your time.
Leon - Wednesday, 02/20/02 13:28:43 GMT

Gate Regs: Paw-Paw is right. You need to check the building codes and BABA (the British Artist Blacksmith Association) as they may know of specific rules and how they are interpreted which is often more important than what is literaly written. .
- guru - Wednesday, 02/20/02 22:45:34 GMT

PawPaw is basically correct when he stated that such regulations differ in each jurisdiction, and country.
Those regulations might be found in the local building code or less, likely, in British consumer protection law.
There is a way to winkle out such information, in at least Canada, where I practice law. And it may work in your jurisdiction.
It goes like this. In all the common law jurisdictions, ignorance of the law will not get a person off the hook. In other words, "I didn't know there was such a law", will not succeed as a good defence when you are charged with breaching that law. (in legalese "ignorance of the law is no defence").
Sooo, the public is presumed to know the law. Because of this onerous onus, the Local Attorney General's office staff (who are lawyers, in Canada) are under an obligation to answer legal questions concerning statutes and regulations.
If that is the case in Great Britain, a telephone call may tell you where to find the answer to your question.
Please note, the staff will NOT give legal advice nor legal opinions (on a given set of facts). They will ONLY tell you the statue that concerns your question and also tha statute number or regulation number. But that is a good place to start.
If that wheeze does not work, try contacting the nearest school of architecture or association of architects in your area, and ask them.
Make sure you tell them that you are a poor, student and, also, tell them why you need the information, as soon as possible, before asking any questions.
If neither strategy works, ask them where you might find the information.
Good luck,
Solicitor (Ontario),
Attorney At Law (New York State).
Patent & licencing law. (I.P. & I.T.).

slag - Thursday, 02/21/02 06:11:17 GMT

M Joe Singleton - Thursday, 02/21/02 14:58:49 GMT

anvils: Hi I am looking for an anvil 80 pound range........It also needs to be close to Ohio or in Ohio.
- Joel - Saturday, 02/23/02 14:21:40 GMT

Hay Budden Anvil:

I was hoping you all would be able to help me figure out the age of an anvil I just bought.

It is a Hay Budden 152 pound anvil with serial number 205805 and has the number 017 stamped on the side opposite the Hay Budden markings.

Thanks for your help.
- laredo7mm - Monday, 02/25/02 00:43:06 GMT

North Carolina JYH: Paw-Paw: Your North Carolina JYH seems to be a practical and easy build. Do you or Steve Barringer have the measurements for the Little Giant toggle parts. Also the spring rate or where I can aquire the same...Are you still running 40# to 50# on the hammer end and what would be the range of blows per minute that would be practical? G.Dahms N.E. Ind. What pretty day!!!!
Greg Dahms - Monday, 02/25/02 16:06:41 GMT

Ohio Anvil: Joel; I'm tracking an anvil that's about 125# here in Columbus Ohio; is that too large?

If you are near Columbus the Mid Ohio Blacksmiths are a good group to work with, e-mail me for meeting info at the address listed.

If you are near Dayton the SOFA meetings are *very* good---I drive 2 hours to get to them! 1st Saturday of each month (*this* saturday) at the Miami County Fairgrounds, Troy Oh (north of dayton on I75, the SOFA building is the north easternmost building in the fairgrounds, enter in the south end and wend your way back.

I'll be the one with the beard wearing bluejeans...

Thomas Powers
Thomas Powers - Monday, 02/25/02 18:36:44 GMT

Thomas P.:
>I'll be the one with the beard wearing bluejeans...

And you'll be the ONLY one with a beard, wearing bluejeans, right?

When you wear your bluejeans on your beard, doesn't your tail get cold? (grin)
Paw Paw Wilson - Monday, 02/25/02 21:16:56 GMT

Springs just around the corner: Snowing,blowing,temps in the 20s and to think it was almost 60degrees Sunday. Boy I love Indiana weather.
- Stiffy - Wednesday, 02/27/02 08:38:22 GMT

Spring?: hey, you're in the 20's? I think we are going to hit 15 today. And I was in a T-shirt last Saturday. The Midwest is a wonderful place to be.
Escher - Wednesday, 02/27/02 15:06:06 GMT

PPW: Paw Paw; naw I got it docked when they did my ears and now it don't get cold or catch on fire when I turn my back to the forge and see a PYT in the front row at a smithing demo.

Thomas the disreputable red hat has wandered off and it will be another 7 years to get the replacement in proper? shape...
Thomas Powers - Wednesday, 02/27/02 16:23:28 GMT

Thomas Powers:
Tom, You sure that was your tail they docked? (grin)
Paw Paw Wilson - Wednesday, 02/27/02 16:42:58 GMT

- MURRAY - Thursday, 02/28/02 04:21:53 GMT

Murray, Docking: Murray, your keyboard should have a caps lock key on it, shouting doesn't get any more attention on a board like this. Also if shipping is going to be a problem---could you tell us what continent it's on? Saves the folks from Africa, Europe, Australia, North America from wasting time figuring out that it's out of reach; some folks will even narrow down the area to 100 miles or so just to be nice.

PPW, I think you're confusing it for what I have to watch out for when hammering at the anvil---least ways when I turn my back to the forge *it* is not wagging in the weren'y you going to explain how you found out a way to smith that never messes up your clothes?

Thomas Going to SOFA Saturday TGLWandTCDR
Thomas Powers - Thursday, 02/28/02 20:58:54 GMT

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