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February 2004 Archive


Let me explain why I am landing so hard on this.

In face to face conversation, we can see expression, we can hear tone of voice. So we can discuss controversial subject without getting into a brawl. (usually)

On the computer screen, we have NONE of those clues. You can't tell right now whether I'm smiling and joking, or seious as he!!. (one small clue, I'm NOT smiling.)

Your freedom of speech stops just before it gets to my goat, and my freedom of speech stops the same distance from your nose.

I am rapidly getting to the point where I don't give a good rat's butt WHO gets the last word, but I do want the polical/religious debate to come to a screechin' halt!
Paw Paw - Tuesday, 02/10/04 21:03:17 EST

Is there any part of the above that needs further explanation??
Paw Paw - Tuesday, 02/10/04 21:07:11 EST

explain please....?: PPw yes please do.... ( ducking and covering)
Ralph - Tuesday, 02/10/04 21:35:41 EST

How long has it been since you had your butt chewed? Do you think I've forgotten how?
Paw Paw - Tuesday, 02/10/04 21:54:52 EST

Anvil shooting, etc.:
Daryl.... your wife said "Why would anyone shoot a poor innocent anvil"?

Tell her it's much more humane to shoot an anvil than to have people beat on it with a big hammer for a few hundred years.

I'm gonna go have a beer and watch the fire and wonder why that popped into my head.

Paw Paw, good choice.

The point, stated, was that people should make their own lists. Twas an example.
- Tony. Stumping the 4B platform. - Tuesday, 02/10/04 22:57:53 EST

Talk: Please accept my apology for my part in escilating the political discussions. I hope I've learned my leason.
- JohnW - Wednesday, 02/11/04 09:05:52 EST

Shifting Gears:; ahem... uh, how about the Redskins gettin' Joe Goibbs back to coach them?

It has been observed that the good thing about spectator sports is that it's one subject that people can be passionate abaout that doesn't effect life, liberty, or property. My wif is the big sports fan in our household; as for me, life is too short for spectator sports. I don't mind playing, but when she puts a game on the TV, I go down to the forge or work on the ships.

Bruce, the former High School football manager. (Figures!)
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Wednesday, 02/11/04 09:50:05 EST

John, W.:

Thank you.
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 02/11/04 09:55:12 EST

Rail Cutting: JohnW: On numerous occasions I have seen RR rail cut with a cold cut which looks kinda like a log splitting maul. The rail would be marked all around with , say, soapstone, and then scored all the way around with the cold cut. Then the rail would be blocked up with the block under the "heavy side" next to the score, and then smacked a real good lick with a sledge hammer. It would usually break right on the score. If you're breaking used rail, bear in mind that the crown of the rail will have been work hardened, and will probably be harder than the cold cut. In that case, I would recommend scoring the crown with a thin cutoff wheel. 3dogs
3dogs - Wednesday, 02/11/04 10:38:26 EST

Rail Cutting: The section crew here uses a gas powered handheld cut off saw. Looks like the illegitmate child of a chainsaw and chopsaw. One of the most important contacts you can have as a smith is someone on the section crew.
JimG - Wednesday, 02/11/04 11:27:34 EST

I've cut several chunks of RR rail on the horizontal cutoff bandsaw. I use a lennox blade, real light feed, and walk away for twenty minutes. I was scared of the workhardened top surface the first time i cut one, but have never stripped any teeth so far.
mike-hr - Wednesday, 02/11/04 12:03:53 EST

Sorry, I should not have said a thing. I think that my late post may have erupted Mount Wilson. Again, I am sorry, I should have taken heed of the severity of the tone.

Cabin fever is reaching it's max. I think it is time for another below freezing plus 15 mph wind stunt kite experience.grin

Caleb Ramsby
Caleb Ramsby - Wednesday, 02/11/04 13:41:19 EST


It wasn't what anybody did or said. It was what I could see was about to happen that I popped the cork. I don't blame anybody, except possibly myself for letting it almost get out of hand.
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 02/11/04 13:49:10 EST

I've cut trolly rail with my 3' hacksaw (metal cutting bandsaw blade in a "sandvik" bow saw frame...

- Thomas Powers - Wednesday, 02/11/04 14:00:38 EST

Peace: The best peace keeper is a good warrior.grin They can see the battle developing and try to stop it before it starts.

Caleb Ramsby
Caleb Ramsby - Wednesday, 02/11/04 14:05:19 EST

Spectator Sports: Tell the guy whos car was rolled over and set on fire by celebrating "spectators", whos insurance company will not pay because it was the result of a riot, that spectator sports are a safe discussion topic. . .
- guru - Wednesday, 02/11/04 14:08:21 EST

Sawing Rail:
One of my metalworking books has a great photo of a guy with a 24" frame hack saw cutting full size 130 pound plus rail by HAND. Tough work.

I have considered making another HD hacksaw frame like my first one that will use reciprocating saw blades. You can still get these in the "All Hard Tungsten" like the standard blades I USED to use. . . They don't make the little 1/2" x 12" all hard blades anymore. They were WONDERFUL. Would fly through steel as long as you had a heavy frame and didn't twist the blade. . "all hard" meant brittle as glass. Once in a while I would snap one but they were so good that is was worth it.

Someone was asking about a reciprocating saw. One advantage it they can use heavy VERY hard blades that bandsaws cannot.
- guru - Wednesday, 02/11/04 14:15:33 EST

Butt chewing....: PPW go ahead...... I am not afraid. I am after all married. (VBG)

Ralph - Wednesday, 02/11/04 14:16:20 EST

Peace and quiet, thanks guys, I'm real afraid of that darned knife the old warrior keeps handy.....
Ellen - Wednesday, 02/11/04 14:50:40 EST

Off and On Topic: Dang, Jock, I guess we'll have to get back to blacksmithing! To quote UAVTBoW: "Some people need the excuse of an omelet to break some eggs!" ...or roll and set fire to your car.

So, with the jump in energy prices, has anybody noticed a significant increase on propane? I'm about to refill one and swap-out another, (keeping the third in reserve). I need to know if I'll have to stuff a few more zlotys in my pockets when I go.
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Wednesday, 02/11/04 14:57:17 EST

Good, I don’t see any bloody noses or tanned hides, looks like everyone is still in one piece. In the hills I am from we would’ve broke out the willow branches and whittling knives by now. Glad to see you all came threw relatively intact. I have been waiting to see if another battle breaks out. I pity the fool who crosses the line.

Anyone talking blacksmithing?
- Rick - Wednesday, 02/11/04 15:00:03 EST

Propane: Bruce, around here (Phoenix, AZ) when I take my tank in to have it filled it's about $2.00 a gallon. For some reason the feed stores on the west side of town are about $1.70/gal. I just had some delivered to my cabin (20 miles down a dirt road) in a remote area of New Mexico and it was $1.47/gal. Go figure! I think it's what the traffic will bear!

Makes me glad my propane forge is atmospheric, not blown, I can get 8+ hours out of a five gallon tank.....
Ellen - Wednesday, 02/11/04 15:37:55 EST

Ahem, Guru: Personal Auto Policies cover: " ... Comprehensive Coverage... Including, but not limited to, any of the following: ... #4 malicious mischief or vandalism; #6 riot or civil commotion;..."
Tone - Wednesday, 02/11/04 16:10:00 EST


Not all policies are written that way, though.
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 02/11/04 16:19:09 EST

Sorry Paw Paw, "Comprehensive" includes the coverage that I indicated. There are exceptions on Commercial Auto but not Personal Auto. I have argued on behalf of Clients when the Adjuster is wrong (this does happen) ie: T-tops blew out of the corvette cause they were not latched. Or Fire Damage to equipment under a similiar "open perils" form of coverage. The adjuster could not read and understand the policy exclusions.
Tone - Wednesday, 02/11/04 17:29:58 EST

Bruce, a hundred# bottle of propane is about$36.00 at my welders supply.
ptree - Wednesday, 02/11/04 17:57:32 EST

Bruce, By the way, that is in S. Indiana.
ptree - Wednesday, 02/11/04 17:58:58 EST

She’d have to be to put up with / keep up with him. There is still the problem of a ‘small‘pond, and clearing some debts after several years unemployment.

Paw paw
“My favourite male authors” sexism (as with a lot of biases and prejudices) is insidious, read the first 3 books of the main Pern series then check the original publication dates! I didn’t notice it the first 4 -5 times I read them.
I’ve never read Lamour, not a cowboy book type (98% SF as in speculative fiction in my fiction collection). Have you come across C.J.Cherryh her (had that wrong for 5 years – sexist of me) Moraine and Alliance /Union series are buy on sight for me.

Thomas Powers
Thanks, I think that was the quote I was looking for.
36 inch hacksaw – saw one and bought it. It sits idle a lot as it’s a last choice (4 ½ inch disk, gas or chisel are quicker) but I’ve been very happy with it. Best thing for medium size middle of nowhere cuts with no power.

Anyone in SW England looking for rail, in lengths down to 4ft. email me, and I’ll give you details of a scrap yard that had some last Saturday.
- Nigel - Wednesday, 02/11/04 18:02:55 EST

Rick, ready willing and desiring to talk blacksmithing. Gotto go to Detroit tomorrow to look over an induction heat treater being built for my company. What fun!
Hope to start building my second power hammer soon. Have the anvil, a slightly oops'ed 450# axle forging, with a nice 22" flange to sit on the foundation. Made from 4140.
We have these in the scrap box from time to time:)
ptree - Wednesday, 02/11/04 18:03:22 EST

line should read

C.J.Cherryh. Her (had that wrong for 5 years – sexist of me) Morgaine and Alliance /Union series are buy on sight for me.

d@*/ spell checker (thats my story and i'm sticking to it)
Nigel - Wednesday, 02/11/04 18:09:09 EST

Somebody tell Jock to look at the Gurus page, got another idiot posting
Tone - Wednesday, 02/11/04 18:26:18 EST

Nigel, I keep the uber-hacksaw behind the seat of my pickup for use at scrapyards and the day to day road finds---like 10' of trolly rail---Weygers has a section on making custom triphammer dies from trolly rail and I've always wanted to try it...

- Thomas Powers - Wednesday, 02/11/04 18:39:02 EST

Mine’s in the back of my car with wood blade. I’ve killed 2 metal blades both on things that were harder than I thought. I’ve finally found some band saw blade with fine enough teeth to work by hand, that’s work in progress. First choise is still a cold sett and a 4Lb. :)

Nigel - Wednesday, 02/11/04 18:53:30 EST

Tone,: Jock's out of the office, I've got a call in for him.
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 02/11/04 18:55:54 EST


I won't argue about about, but law and insurance regulations vary from state to state.
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 02/11/04 18:56:59 EST

You are correct, I am certain of GA; only 99% sure as applies to other states. Read the policy and don't accept a denial of coverage without research or an expert opinion.
Tone - Wednesday, 02/11/04 19:04:32 EST

Whats wrong Paw Paw?
- Lone Blacksmith - Wednesday, 02/11/04 19:27:42 EST

Did Nigel use profanity or did he or she censor thereself?
- Lone Blacksmith - Wednesday, 02/11/04 19:35:32 EST

Lone Blacksmith:
Nigel? Not sure who you mean.
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 02/11/04 19:40:16 EST

OK, Lone Blacksmith, I see what you were referring to. No, Nigel hasn't done anything wrong. He used the &*^%$#* himself. That is an acceptable way to indicate displeasure.

What we were talking about was a mental midget who had posted a bunch of serious profane, vulgar, and obscene comments in a message on the Guru's page. It's gone now, Jock took care of it.
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 02/11/04 19:46:58 EST


I always have. And I agree with your 99% number, but there are a couple of states where the regulations are REALLY wierd. NC has got a few wierd ones on the books.
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 02/11/04 19:48:30 EST

Who did that?
- Lone Blacksmith - Wednesday, 02/11/04 19:48:49 EST


Sorry about the confusion about your name, it was unintentional. I was still thinking about the jerk on the guru's page.

My mother started the collection of Louis Lamour, I finished it and have been adding the volumes that the estate puts out since he died. I've got quite about of Anne McAffree's work, most of the Pern Series, most of the Ship Series, and most of the Pegasis Series. Don't think I've read anything by Cherryh, I'll keep my eyes open for some.
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 02/11/04 19:53:40 EST


I don't remember the name. Not important, I doubt he'll be back.
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 02/11/04 19:54:49 EST

Doesn't matter, ill probably meet them one day. You sound like you hated them any way so i' leave that subject.
- Lone Blacksmith - Wednesday, 02/11/04 19:57:26 EST

My Mistake: Yeah, Riots are covered, its acts of god and war that are not. But these days EVERYTHING is being classified as coming under the patriot act and riot might be considered terrorism and therefore an act of war. . .

PROPANE COSTS: Last month our propane prices were as low as I ever remember them. Cost me less than $20 US to fill two 30 pound cylinders.
- guru - Wednesday, 02/11/04 20:01:29 EST

Patriot act II: Have you heard of it? Its a new law that Pres. Bush passed I think December 13. Read on it, it's very annoying.
- Lone Blacksmith - Wednesday, 02/11/04 20:12:25 EST

What are you using propane for guru?
- Lone Blacksmith - Wednesday, 02/11/04 21:13:59 EST

Question for Paw Paw: Do you or Guru know what CFM minimum and maximum is needed for forge air? I have an idea.

Did this place get flamed off or something?
Bob - Wednesday, 02/11/04 21:21:36 EST

- Lone Blacksmith - Wednesday, 02/11/04 21:31:04 EST

Very Quiet
Bob - Wednesday, 02/11/04 22:08:28 EST

Im going off now, gotta work tomorrow. Nice metting yall.
- Lone Blacksmith - Wednesday, 02/11/04 22:13:26 EST

SF/Fantasy: PawPaw - I've been reading SF and fantasy since the 60's - got turned on to Tolkein by a great social studies teacher in the 7th grade. I concur with Nigel that C.J. Cherryh is a good read. I'd rate her higher than Ann McCaffrey and the Pern series. If you like historical SF, Eric Flint recently started a series with a novel 1632 - Working basis for the novel is that an alien anomaly transfers a section of West Virginia (including the local UMW chapter) back to Germany in 1632, during the 30 years war. Intersection of cultures and technology is done quite well and it's an interesting read. 2nd novel in the series is also out, and it's titled 1633.
- Gavainh - Wednesday, 02/11/04 22:23:57 EST


I've read a fair amount of what I call "Alternative History". Most of it based on the idea of "What if.... I've got most of the stuff by the author of GUNS OF THE SOUTH, but am too lazy to go look at the name on the books. (grin)
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 02/11/04 22:48:29 EST

Alternative History: I thought that was the news.... (grin)

Actually PPW I belive you are talking Harry Turtledove... good books.

My current favorite authors are on my doghouse list as neither are producing ... Robert Jordan and Katherine Kurtz.... sigh
Ralph - Wednesday, 02/11/04 23:06:49 EST


Depends on which network you are listening to. (grin)

Harry Turledove is correct.
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 02/11/04 23:36:42 EST

Forge CFM:
Once hot a coal forge can stay hot at 20 to 50 CFM. But the min for a small forge is about 150 CFM. Big ones can go to 500 CFM but that is a BIG anvil heating forge. 300 CFM is typical for a large smithing forge.
- guru - Thursday, 02/12/04 01:55:44 EST

"H" hinge query: When making a hinge of any type is there a certain amount of material I need to add to the hinge jointing to meet a specified measurement. (ie I am making an H hinge that needs to be 2inches tall by 1.5 inches wide. The space between the legs needs to be .5 inches wide. Do I need to add some length to this before I roll the joint so it meets my measurements?
dragon-boy - Thursday, 02/12/04 08:44:19 EST

Hinge barrels: Dragon-boy,

For hinge barrels, you need pi times the i.d. of the barrel plus one and a half times the thickness of the stock to roll the barrel itself. So, if you need a 1/2" spacing between the flanges of the hinge and you're working with 16 ga. stock (.050"), you would have a 1/4" leg on each hinge, not counting the barrel. If you are using a 1/8" hinge pin, then for the barrel, you would need 3.14 times the .125" plus .075" additional stock.

The total length for the leg becomes .71" more or less. You need to remember to bevel the edge before you roll the barrel to get a good clean cylinder.
vicopper - Thursday, 02/12/04 09:18:25 EST

D-Boy, ifn you are just starting out making them I'd leave the other end a tad long and trim it to meet the specs *after* you have messed with the barrel as placement can vary a bit, Though in general the exact size is not too important unless you are mortoising it on the edge of a door.

I'll look up 1632, I sure hope Agricola is mentioned! (author of De Re Metallica and a bigshot on renaissance mining and refining---shoot he even had a rock group named after his most important work!)

I've liked quite a bit of Bujold and Hambly (and disliked some too) Read a pastiche sequal to a Norton book I liked and found it very purile, veterans of a nasty galactic war interacting with a spoiled brat...

- Thomas Powers - Thursday, 02/12/04 10:55:50 EST

Bending allowances : Whenever you bend stock, you will use 1/2 the thickness of the stock in 180deg of bend. Thus for a 360 bend, you will need to add 1x the stock thickness, just to make up for what was lost. This is important to remember for making collars or even whenever you bend stock and you want a bend in an exact location. For example if you are bending 1/2" stock 180deg to make a hook for instance and you mark out where you want the apex of the bend, start your bend 1/4 the thickness of the stock (1/8") (or 1/2 of the 1/2thickness) sooner than your layout line and the apex will be right where you want it. Is this as clear as mudddd? GOOD!

I am assuming that vicopper is adding the extra 1/2 stock thickness for clearance of the pin. Good planning!
Wayne P - Thursday, 02/12/04 11:03:25 EST

books : I just finshed reading Willam Gibson/Bruce Sterlings The Difference Engine good read, also Neal Stephensons is allways a good read, Cryptonomicon is one of his best .. The math can be a little over welming, but then that is half the fun. Quicksilver is a lot of fun but my that is a big book!
MP - Thursday, 02/12/04 11:59:00 EST

books: Thomas,
I too have like much of Ms Hambys work. Can not remember Bujold and that is odd as I know I have read the work, odder still is that I usually remember something about what I read..... So will you be ready for visitors soon?(grin) don't you just love those folks who invite themselves?
Ralph - Thursday, 02/12/04 12:54:49 EST

books: A book series that I'm into right now is the live ship traders series by Robin Hobb. If you like the combination of magic and pirates then you should look into it. My favorite part so far has to be the sentient ship figureheads! Atli, could you imagine a figure head that would warn you of dangers in the murky depths? Or for that matter tell you where the fastest currents were?
dragon-boy - Thursday, 02/12/04 13:14:13 EST

Although...: I am quickly begining to like the comics from full tilt.
dragon-boy - Thursday, 02/12/04 15:20:42 EST

Books: I have been a fan of Captain James Cook for some time and would like to thank VICopper for the recommendation on Blue Latitudes. A good read, especially the last chapter on Cooks death. The bibliography is a treasure trove for Cook fans. My wife is from Guam and having spent some time there the book is especially poignant. Thanks Rich.
Tone - Thursday, 02/12/04 16:00:32 EST

Sorry, I can't resist. Insurance is probably the only area that I can contribute expertise to the forum (sure don't know much about BS'n): Acts of God/Nature are covered in Comp. Terrorism is now covered by the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002 as long as the loss is caused by a "certified acts of terror" (if you chose the coverage, companies have to offer)Acts of war are definately excluded. When President Bush announced the Twin Trades were an act of War, the insurance companies had a technically correct denial of coverage. However they decided to pay as a measure of good faith and public relations (or the lack of certain bad plubicity and outrage). Pretty generous considering the 38 billion it cost.
Tone - Thursday, 02/12/04 16:14:54 EST

fulttilt: Dragon-boy,
I hope so. I am hoping that it takes off like crazy, as it will allow me to retire ..... BTW are you a subscriber? I ask as my wife ( who owns fulttilt) was wondering who the new person was. And in typical male fashion I said I had no clue.
Ralph - Thursday, 02/12/04 18:45:38 EST

I worry about insurance, especially bein out here in the country. But atleast I dont believe I have to worry about gun shot wounds here in winston-Salem.
- Lone Blacksmith - Thursday, 02/12/04 21:33:30 EST

correction: I had a "senior moment" when I gave bending allowances.
You loose 1 thickness of stock for every 180 deg NOT what I said before which was 1 thickness in 360 deg.

So the same example if you are bending 1/2" stock 180deg to make a hook for instance and you mark out where you want the apex of the bend, start your bend 1/2 the thickness of the stock (1/4") sooner than your layout line and the apex will be right where you want it. I am sorry for any confusion for my mis-typing.
Wayne P - Thursday, 02/12/04 21:33:46 EST

I understood.
- Lone Blacksmith - Thursday, 02/12/04 21:35:45 EST

Anybody like Robert Ruark? He wrote several wonderful books on life based in Africa. Not easy to find many tales of Africa in fine prose. I recommend "Something of Value" and "Uhuru", be ready for a long read though, they are big books.
Bob - Thursday, 02/12/04 22:00:30 EST

If someone knows of another fine author of this caliber and type of subject matter I would appreciate a recommendation. I think the type would be historical novels, real events and fiction together. Been so busy earning a living I haven't been gobbling books like I used to. Try Orson Scott Card also, as a matter of fact one of his series(Tales of Alvin Maker) is about a blacksmith? Been a long time but I think he has won a Hugo.
Bob - Thursday, 02/12/04 22:16:53 EST


If you haven't tried any of Harry Turtledove, I'd suggest GUNS OF THE SOUTH for a first look.
Paw Paw - Thursday, 02/12/04 22:29:56 EST

Books: Thomas - no mention of Agricola, but much of Gustavas Adolphus. Dragon-boy - had trouble getting into the live-ship series by Robin Hobb, but tremendously enjoyed the series that preceded it. For sheer wickedness of puns and English humor at its best I highly recommend Terry Pratchett and any of his novels about Disc World - a flat disc going through the universe on the top o four elephants, who are perched on top of a giant turtle! On a more medieval level, I've enjoyed Gordon Dickson and his Dragon Knight series, as well as most other things he's written. On a more blacksmithing basis, I'm slowly working my way through the 2 volumes of Steelmaking Before Bessemer by Kenneth Brannaugh - had to go to the Metallurgiacal Society in London to get them. They were recommended by the gentleman doing the knife making demonstration at SOFA last Sept. And at work, I'm reading/studying the latest automotive quality standard - TS 16949, at times as crptic as any medieval treatise.
- Gavainh - Thursday, 02/12/04 22:36:11 EST

Bob: Robert Ruark was a fine author. Given the condition of his beloved Kenya under its current leaders, "Something of Value" and "Uhuru" were an extremely accurate prediction of events to come.
Ellen - Thursday, 02/12/04 23:35:54 EST

Go-Figure Heads: Dragon-Boy

Ours seems to be in eternal quest of Chessie, the Chesapeake Bay equivalent of the Loch Ness whateveritis. We blame it for all the fluky winds and odd currents in it's lovelorn pursuit.

Nice to hang out with such a literate and tasteful group. My daughter has me reading the Terry Pratchett Discworld series- lovely stuff, funny and also thoughtful.

Lots of familiar authors listed, some of whom I've squeezed in between non-fiction tomes. I'm currently reading Castles of Steel, about the First World War dreadnoughts, and another book on the Hunley, the Confederate submarine (a degree of ingenuity that makes "Guns of the South" even more feasible). (Plus another study of anb Anglo-Saxon migration age cemetary- more spear points, hurrah!)
Ejvan, our Dragon's Head
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Thursday, 02/12/04 23:39:03 EST

Blade Blanks: Can anybody help me out as to where I may be able to purchase unhilted, full tang sword blades, on which I can install my own hilts?
- Jason - Friday, 02/13/04 00:00:29 EST


I can't find the URL at the moment, but Texas Knife Makers Supply would probably have something you could use. They do sell blanks.
Paw Paw - Friday, 02/13/04 00:28:06 EST

Blade Blanks: I have a source that makes finished Damascus blades. They are pricey (or inexpensive depending on your point of view) at $500 to $1000 depending on length and must be prepaid. Takes about 2 weeks for delivery. All you have to do is fit furniture. Let me know if you are serious.
- guru - Friday, 02/13/04 01:36:40 EST

Blade Blanks: There is definately some products on the knife making page that interest me as far as hilt materials go, however, I am looking for sword blades not knife blades, thanks tho, still a usefull page.

As far as the Damascus blades go, that is a lot rich for my blood at this point in time. My whole reasoning behind this is to find a happy medium between time and labor of making my own sword for my collection and spending hundreds of dollars on a mass produced sword that everybody and their dog already has.

Thanks, but still looking
Jason - Friday, 02/13/04 03:07:26 EST

Rail in the UK: More FAO Nigel than anything else, sorry - our mailserver says you don't exist, but I'd love to know where to find a lump of rail!

As for sword blades, I was recently pointed towards - I was after some rayskin for handles, but I note they also do bare blades (Japanese style).
Peter - Friday, 02/13/04 10:24:33 EST

Gavalnh, I heard about those books from Ric Furrer too and first nthing when I got home from Quad-State I fired up the PC and found the only used copies listed in the world, (still wearing my coat)...knew there would be a rush on them. Funny thing the book dealer had bought them in the same city I lived in...

- Thomas Powers - Friday, 02/13/04 10:58:18 EST

sword blades: Jason
check out this link. I buy foil and rapier blades from them (way to much trouble to make..) but they do sell other blades, they may need to be polished as I had one or two come up finshed (dependant on design)
anouther option is have a blade smith make you a blade. it could be taken to any degree of finsh IE hardened and tempered but not reground, or reground but not polished, or polished and ready for grips, hilt etc.
if you want a custom blade feel free to email me and I can help you (or if I can't I can send you to some one that can.)

American Fencers Supply
MP - Friday, 02/13/04 11:06:22 EST

If you are interested in good handmade blades I'd check over at swordforum, they would know who whould ship a bare blade.

- Thomas Powers - Friday, 02/13/04 18:25:08 EST

Hi.I'm still going to high school in australia and for a few years blacksmithying has been a great intertest of mine.I've tried searching for classes that will help me ,but to no avail.Have you heard of any classes in australia (particularly in New South Wales)?
nathan fisher - Saturday, 02/14/04 00:52:28 EST

Smithin' In OZ: NATHAN: Have you contacted Don Gathercole, Secretary of the Australian Blacksmiths Association ? He's in Victoria, but I'm quite sure he can give you the information you need. His E-mail address is:, and his telephone number is (03) 9722 1415. Good luck, and welcome aboard.
3dogs - Saturday, 02/14/04 04:01:19 EST

Mornin' gang. I was wondering if anyone could recommend a good, all around welding book. A reference that covers the usual processes, tig, mig, stick, gas? I don't use these processes very often so something I could go back to when needed would be great. Or should I get one book on each process?
Gronk - Saturday, 02/14/04 09:58:57 EST

GRONK/BOOKS: .Try a Lincoln Welder dealership. For years, they have sold good, hard cover books on welding at a very reasonable price. You could go to their website,, too, and see what's available. I still refer to my old copy of "The Procedure Handbook of Arc Welding Design and Practice", which I bought in 1966.
3dogs - Saturday, 02/14/04 10:22:58 EST

Gronk: I couldn't weld my way out of a card board box, but it did barrow what appears to be a very complete welding book from the library, Welding Skills, 2nd Edition, by R.T Miller.
- JohnW - Saturday, 02/14/04 15:00:45 EST

SF/Fantasy: I don't think there are any welding books at this site.
I do think you will like the other books.
Check out the "Free Libray"
Jim Baen thinks you will buy more books if he lets you read one or two out of a set for free first. That way you will buy the set.

PawPaw, thank you for catching the ""p"" that I dropped last week. B),B), I guest I missed the pot.8),8)..Grin,Grin
My computer is restarting by Itself. Sometimes faster then I can keep up. New AOL auto-restart kicks in when my computer wants to stop.
Free Sci-Fic
- DanD skabvenger - Saturday, 02/14/04 15:23:25 EST

end mill bits: High speed end mill bits, two lipped,left handed spiral cut, sz. 5/8, 3/4, 1 1/4, Most are Pratt Whitney.never used made in 1950's. some still in wrappers. $5.00 ea. Have several hundred.
- TONY RIEKER - Saturday, 02/14/04 15:25:16 EST

wrong word spelled right: guest=guess//
DanD skabvenger - Saturday, 02/14/04 15:31:08 EST


No problem.

That site looks intriguing as the dickens.
Paw Paw - Saturday, 02/14/04 16:37:18 EST

Tony Rieker, click on my name and send me an e-mail. i'm interested in some
mike-hr - Saturday, 02/14/04 20:31:43 EST

Thanks for the tip Paw Paw, by the way I was weaned on SF, My dad had every issue of Analog back through Volume 1 of Astounding Stories, ca. 1928. I read every single one of them till I moved out on my own. He passed over Dec. 29, The collection donated to University library.
- Bob - Saturday, 02/14/04 22:48:54 EST


I'm sorry to hear about your dad. It always hurts to lose family. I've lost all of my family, I'm the oldest one left.

It's a bit lonely feeling at times.

I can understand the donation to the University Library. That's a good way to remember someone.

The local Red Cross chapter has a collection of RC uniforms.

They didn't have a "Gray Lady" uniform. I found that out when Mom passed away.

Now they have one, and when they display them, people know that Avis R. Wilson was proud to be a Gray Lady and that her family is proud of her.
Paw Paw - Sunday, 02/15/04 00:57:38 EST

SF Fantasy: The Robert Jordan, Wheel of Time series, One of the main characters is a blacksmith, not much time at the forge though. I haven't heard mention of Larry Niven's "Ringworld" series, in which he makes the connection that in an artificial world of synthetics and high tech alloys, once civilization fell, it cannot restart again, due to the inability to resmith the metal found there. Paw-paw, losing family quickly here now, am glad to use my fathers forge, and cousins anvil. John-in-Nebraska
- John in Nebraska - Sunday, 02/15/04 12:24:38 EST


My language is usually better here than in person!! I'm not a fast typist and the other b^££#$* takes too long to find.

Paw paw

Yes good series. I’m surprised at the percentage of SF amongst the books / authors quoted, and more surprised at the percentage I’ve read!!


I’ll try to email you from work. My home PC won’t pick up yours!! Did you try different posts, one of them posted without up the address?

PS if it is'nt co uk, try com, i cant remember
Nigel - Sunday, 02/15/04 15:49:16 EST


dont bother, the above address is fouled. try this one.
Nigel - Sunday, 02/15/04 15:55:05 EST

problem time,their both fouled.
Nigel - Sunday, 02/15/04 16:02:24 EST


When I first realized the percentages of blacksmith that read, are reading, or have read LOTS of Science Fiction, I also was a bit surprised. But thinking about it, I think I may have worked out why.

Science Fiction and Blacksmithing, BOTH require a healthy does of imagination and the ability to visualize from the written or spoken word.

Hence the popularity of the genre.
Paw Paw - Sunday, 02/15/04 16:59:16 EST


> PawPaw, thank you for catching the ""p"" that I dropped last week. B),B), I guest I missed the pot.8),8)..Grin,Grin
> My computer is restarting by Itself. Sometimes faster then I can keep up. New AOL auto-restart kicks in when my
> computer wants to stop.

No problem, I understand how hard it is for you to hit the pot without your stool to stand on! (BIG grin)
Paw Paw - Sunday, 02/15/04 17:03:25 EST

Proof THEN post!:

Healthy dose of imagination, NOT healthy does of imagination.
Paw Paw - Sunday, 02/15/04 17:05:33 EST

reading: When you're bent over the anvil, and the iron is getting colder by the second, its always taken a lot of imagination to keep that 3D visualization in the forefront of the mind, in order to do what we do. But I've noticed, in the other forum here, and in another site, where most of the mature types, let's say over 40, seldom watch television anymore, I sure can't, either nothing there to stimulate the imagination, or its just plain boring these days.
John in Nebraska - Sunday, 02/15/04 18:26:20 EST


I've got more interesting things to do that sit in front of the babble box. I don't even watch the news and weather, I get them both on line, focused to my areas of interest.
Paw Paw - Sunday, 02/15/04 18:31:57 EST

o/a torch: Can anyone tell me where I can get plans for a foot operated switch for a o/a torch. I have built a stand for the torch to free up my hands and would now like to rig up an instant on gizmo to conserve the gas.
- Rhoof - Sunday, 02/15/04 20:51:34 EST

Rhoof: Talk to your welding supplier. What you are looking for is called a gas saver valve. They are not cheap, but they pay for them selves pretty quickly. And I don't think this is a place for an amateur to make a mistake. I'm not being derogatory when I say that, unless you are a gas professional, that's a bad place to make a mistake. Explosions and fires are not cool. (wry grin)
Paw Paw - Sunday, 02/15/04 21:13:24 EST

o / a torch ;: Rhoof, i think if you check with a welding supplier, they can get you a valve set up that shuts off the torch when you hang it on a lever.
- irnsrgn - Sunday, 02/15/04 21:13:45 EST

S/F: An author not mentioned above, is Ray Bradbury, The man who pointed to mars and said "you not only can go there, you will go there." It was his "The Martian Chronicles"
As a bored 8 year old my grand mother handed "the Martian Chronicles" to me and told me "get out of my kitchen". Then "R is for Rocket" "S is for Space" "the Illustrated Man" and "Dandy lion Wine" " Green Shadows, White Whale "

My six year old daughter took "the Illustrated man" in paper back to a read-in in school and the teacher took it away from her (she had been reading it at home and was half finished) because the cover was "not appropriate". The family had a staff meeting with the school the next day. What she reads today is not a problem. Grin

Bradbury wants to have his ashes burried on mars in a tomato soup can. I hope my grandson can take them.
bradbury in the news
habu - Sunday, 02/15/04 23:05:54 EST

Coincidences: PawPaw,

I agree about the seeming prevalence of sci-fi readers among smiths. Partly the creative imagination thing, partly the anachronistic nature of smithing and the fact that sci-fi is common fare for Mensa types, and we all know that smiths are highly intelligent. (grin)

Back when I was married to the previous wife, her son screwed up and got his TV/video game priveleges revoked for a month. I got in my collection of books and pulled out some early Heinlein, Andre Norton and Gordon Dickson and left them on every horizontal surface in the house. In about a week, I noticed that they were being moved around. Three weeks later, the kid who never read and had problems with reading and language skills in school came to me and asked for more books. The next semester, his English grade went from a D to a B+. His TV watching dropped by more than half after his priveleges were re-instated, too. I'm pretty damn sure I wasn't much as stepfathers go in general, but that was one little success that I found gratifying. He's now career MI with the Army and doing real well.

I noticed when I started building the new shop in what was formerly a chicken coop, that a surprising number of othr smiths said their shops were also former chicken coops. Maybe as a group we favor chicken droppings?

Today I took sally to the Ag Fair, our version of a county fair. Good fun. Came home and finished up the chop saw conversion. It works just great. Now I have a chop saw that swivels to cut miters, instead of swiveling the fence. I have a 26' continuous cutting bench with the saw built in, so I can whack pieces off a full stick without having to wrestle a huge piece into the saw. Of course, the stock rack is above the saw bench, so all I have to do is pull a piece down and cut it. What a treat!

I also spent an hour or two tuning up the drill press so it drills perfectly perpendicular to the table and runs like it should. Much better now. I still have a few more months of the same sort of thing until all the tools are back in shape after being stored in a damp basement for three years or so. Some of them are RadioFreeTaiwan tools and need some tuning/refining when first bought just to get up to par.

Tomorrow I'm going to actually take the holiday off for the first time in fifteen years. Pays good to work it, but I'm ready for an extra day off and it's our wedding anniversary. That's about all the excuse I need to take a day off. (grin)
vicopper - Monday, 02/16/04 00:03:29 EST


I'm not rich by a long shot, but I can find a few bucks to contribute to the fund to do just that. Heck, the next Rover should deposit the sealed can in Bradbury Crater!
Paw Paw - Monday, 02/16/04 00:15:22 EST

Vic: Happy Anniversary!! Kick back, throw down some rum and spend some quality time with the lady!

Since we're on the subject of books....
Another one of my smithing books has mysteriously walked off. This time it was "The Art of Blacksmithing" by Alex Bealer. I was pleasantly suprised to find I could replace it through Amazon for under $10 with shipping. Adding to that, last week I picked up a copy of "Machinery's Handbook" (17th edition) for $6 off eBay. Now I'm feelin' all thrifty, and I'm ready to chastize anyone who says they can't find smithing books they can afford. Ya just gotta look!

eander4 - Monday, 02/16/04 00:20:55 EST

Rich, :

I'll second Eric's suggestion! Spend the day with Sally, she deserves a little extra for putting up with you all these years. (grin)

As for the chicken "litter" we're just used to it from all the idiots who say, "You can't be a blacksmith if you don't shoe horses!" To which I normally have an obscene response.
Paw Paw - Monday, 02/16/04 00:27:03 EST

Rich, Happy Anniversary! Sounds like great progress in the shop too. Enjoy your break.
SGensh - Monday, 02/16/04 09:02:32 EST

shop: When I found it was time to separate my smithing from my regular shop, and found the old chicken house was ideal for this, people would ask if I moved the chickens out first! Glad I'm not the only one using a building with that particular smell. Make do with what you got.
John in Nebraska - Monday, 02/16/04 10:50:43 EST

Chickenshop: I used the old 9' x 17' chickenhouse as my shop for the previous three years because that's the only building the landlord would let me use! I did like the dirt floor, but NOT the smell that arose if I dropped a hot cutoff. Ah, l'eau de merde ancienne d'poulet! Pardon my french...

I now have a 22 x 20 cinderblock garage. If I could convince the wife to let me put a dirt floor in it, it'd be perfect. Well, it'd be perfect if were 60' x 110' with a dirt floor and three-phase power.
Alan-L - Monday, 02/16/04 12:53:43 EST

PawPaw stories: Anybody have a Paw Paw story? There is currently an effort to capture the essence of him in song and verse. At least one verse will have to deal with razor sharp instruments but I don't quite know how to put it yet.

Post here or email me - mills_fam2 at netzerodotnet --all submissions are confidential... unless he catches me... then I will sing like a birdy...oh wait I already am.. like a turkey buzzard.
Mills - Monday, 02/16/04 13:01:53 EST

Chicken Coops: Dad kept all his scrap metal in Grandma's chicken coop.
Kinda like a spare parts pile "Out Of Sight".
He always said it was there for "Chicken $$h!+ projects",.
"FogHorn-LegHorn that's a joke Son"
DanD skabvenger - Monday, 02/16/04 14:23:22 EST


Where's my razor strop???
Paw Paw - Monday, 02/16/04 14:43:29 EST

Well it don't make any diffrence how big the shop is, there is never enough room.I have a 20X40 witha 10X15 inside room,for storage,reloding,etc..It just ain't big enough.Now that I got my forge,coal bin,anvil,and stock,Thank GOD-no chickens.If any of ya'll are from West Texas get a hold of me,'Lets burn some coal and tell some lies...J
- jimmy seale - Monday, 02/16/04 15:06:30 EST

Thanks for the welding book input gents. Vic, want to share any details on what you did to the saw to make it swivel. Most excellent idea of setting it into the bench. I'm jealous you have 26' of bench in the first place. :-)
Happy anniversary man.
Gronk - Monday, 02/16/04 15:10:42 EST

JYH: I do believe the time has come to start a junkyard hammer. I have several possibilities and time now. I will go with a style that uses leaf springs rather than toggle arms. I am thinking along the lines of trailer springs opposing each other but have never seen an example of that. I have seen a design that used one spring arced in a half circle with a toggle linkage to attach the head. I will be using RR track as the hammer and can make any practical size. I have pieces up to 150 lbs of the switch yard stuff. There is some shafting over at the scrap yard I believe, for the anvil.
Drive will be like the NCABANA hammer (Pawpaws) just rotate the motor into a drive wheel.

Any comments on gotchas?
Mills - Monday, 02/16/04 15:59:22 EST

Rick: Please check out this site,
left side, peterfels-art,clik on. words, clik on.
The Treadle Hammer As Kitchen Aid and Revenge of the Abalone.

Ok now, Did you like that? (Big Grin on my face)
Purty Please?, Tell me that there is a Story Behind ""JellyRoll Hammers"". Big Grin, PLEASE?

Thank You Peter Fels

Thank You PawPawW

Ok Rick, I know it is for making "Damascus Steel",but I can hope there is a funny Story.
Revenge of the Abalone
DanD skabvenger - Monday, 02/16/04 17:26:05 EST

They tore down the building I used to fantasize about as my perfect shop. It was a railway car maintenence shop complex, three buildings about 1/4 mile long each, three tracks (maybe 100 ft wide)each, maybe 50 or 60 ft to the rafters. There just MIGHT have been room for all the junk I hope to collect in those.
Alan-L - Monday, 02/16/04 17:31:24 EST

My then 14 year old heathen genius was reading "the making of the bomb", about the atom bomb project in WWII at school, over his lunch break. Teacher went silly and yanked the book and my son into the school principles office, re terrorism, etc. Called me, at work, going to expell etc. I asked them one question. Where did he get the book? Their answer, somewhat lamely,after examining the book? Our school library. Needless to say, I then went into my best SGT mode and read them the riot act. Never did get him an apology from the hysteric. The book actually was mostly about the politics and people of the project. All four of mine are heavy readers and I have encouraged this from day one. We are blessed with a couple of very nice librarys locally, and we finially got the school administration to decide to let my son read anything he checked out of the school library.:)
ptree - Monday, 02/16/04 17:48:37 EST

Great minds think alike! I have a 25" run out table, leading to a horz./vertical cutoff bandsaw. The bandsaw has been remounted about 3 months ago, to swivel to allow either way miters. I also have a steel rack just above the table. One extra, is that this table is in a 5'wide x 30' long enclosed "alley" next to the shop, and has a floor to ceiling rack on the side opposite the table as well. Very,very handy. I also have a shear that will cut up to 5/16" bar set to use the same table, next to the saw.
ptree - Monday, 02/16/04 17:53:49 EST

I used to work in my ideal shops. First building on site 1889, about a million square feet under roof, city block long forge shop with hammers from 1500# to 25000#, and every machine you can imagine and 25 you can't. Got to roam and play there for 17 years.Got to raid the scrap bins. Gone now. can you see the tears?
ptree - Monday, 02/16/04 17:58:02 EST

Yep, I can.
Alan-L - Monday, 02/16/04 18:01:55 EST

Shops: Well, I'll be moving in about two months. I'll have a 36 X 60 pole barn. It already has a smaller room on one end, which is about 22 X 16. That will be my blacksmith shop. The other end is walled off into a room about 22 X 36, that is gonna be the wood shop and knapping area. I've got two 10' overhead doors in the center, and a fuel oil forced air furnace. I think it will work out just fine! I'm as happy as a pig in mud. I wake up at nite thinking of how I will arrange my shop. And I smile alot lately. Can't wait till move in day. And there is a second pole barn on the property, a mere 28 X 36!
Bob H - Monday, 02/16/04 18:23:06 EST

trade: Anyone interested in an anvil swap? I have a 147 lb. PW(fair condition) and a 200 lb. Vulcan (good condition). I would trade both of them for a 150 lb. or better, good condition Hay Budden. I am located in south central Ohio.
Brian C - Monday, 02/16/04 19:15:29 EST

Gronk: Rich,

I started with a Porter-Cable 14" abrasive chop saw. I removed the motor assembly from the base and made a new base. The new base is basically a turntable made from 3/8" steel plate with a slot cut to allow the blade to drop down, just like the stock base. I drilled a 1/2" hole in the center for the pivot.

The turntable rests on a sub-base of 3/8" plate with a pin for the turntable to pivot on and an arc of plate, about 2" wide comprising about 120 degrees of arc. That arc sits at the front to give a place to index the turntable and mount the holding clamp. The whole assembly is made to slide fore and aft about 4" so that the blade center/back fence relationship can be optimized when cutting miters. (Since the blade is located 3" to the right of the center pivot, the relationship changes when the saw is pivoted.)

Gravity is sufficient to hold the turntable to the sub-base, and also to hold the whole assembly to the rails it slides back and forth on. This way, if I need the saw portable, I can just lift it out and carry it. It did gain about twenty pounds from all the 3/8" plate, but that just makes it more stable, right? (grin)

If I ever get around to fixing my desktop computer, I'll post or email you a pic or two of the thing. I can't do iton this cheezy laptop, unfortunately. I can say that the new saw arrangement works really well. Very stable and consistent, and much handier. Also, I noticed that the saw always used to cut a degree or two off of plumb. When I replaced the base, I shimmed the mounting feet to get the saw so it is truly perpendicular to the base. Makes fabricating stuff much easier when the joints are true.

One other benefit of the new setup is that I can also drop my miter saw in place of the chop saw and get really nice wood joints. That great long backfence makes all the difference in the world.
vicopper - Monday, 02/16/04 21:01:14 EST

Bob H,
Braggert! :)
Wanna trade for my dirt floored, built from salavage, L shaped shop?
ptree - Monday, 02/16/04 21:14:33 EST


If you have a half hour to spare, take a look at the following URL. Every American should watch this once a month.
Paw Paw - Monday, 02/16/04 23:32:41 EST

mills : There allready is a song About Paw Paw in his younger years.
The lusty young smith
habu - Tuesday, 02/17/04 00:03:27 EST


Did you have to tell ALL my secrets? (grin)
Paw Paw - Tuesday, 02/17/04 00:22:45 EST

Heros: Thanks Jim.
That is one I had not seen. Going to send it to all I know.
Ralph - Tuesday, 02/17/04 01:36:37 EST

Heros:: I hope someone plays that as a commercial on tv just before the elections.
habu - Tuesday, 02/17/04 01:47:17 EST

Blood of Hero's:

Did you think to click on the little tiny word "info" at the bottom of the screen? If not, go back and do so to see what the creator of the page has to say.
Paw Paw - Tuesday, 02/17/04 02:26:54 EST

pawpaw's song: If any of you had ever seen pawpaw, I think you would say with me that that was a bad image!)
- dragon-boy - Tuesday, 02/17/04 08:15:48 EST

HABU!: I will ..err.. take it under advisement. Blush

Mills - Tuesday, 02/17/04 08:26:43 EST

Thanks Vic. The 4" fore/aft adjustment makes it clearer. Does the top table just slide on the base? Any lube needed between the two? Yup, I'd love a pic or two when you get the chance.

Gronk - Tuesday, 02/17/04 09:06:44 EST

books: now I am jealous I had thought I had gotten a good deal on a copy of Machinery's handbook (7th to go with my 21st) $15 now I hear about one for $6 I think I got riped off!;)

chicken shop
my grandfathers shop was in a old chicken coop he took it over from my great grandfather who built the chicken coop in the 20's and turned it into a shop in the late 40's ... we emptyed it about 5 years ago and parts of it still stunk! that and the LOW ceilings made that show much fun to work in (I am 5' 11" my grand father was 5'3" and G grand father was only 5'2" so I guess the 6' ceiling didn't bother them as much)
MP - Tuesday, 02/17/04 11:25:23 EST

Gronk: The Turntable pivots on the baseplate and the baseplate slides on the support base. If the turntable pivot was directly below the center of the blade's long axis, then the sliding table thing wouldn't be necessary. I didn't think of that unti after I had done it the way I did, but I still probably wouldn't have changed it since it would require some complex jiggery-pokery to put the pivot there and still have the blade cut down through the turntable. As it was, the baseplate has to have some relief cut in it for the blade to cvome through. The resulting cutout looks kind of like a banana to allow blade clearance through 180º of rotation. I'm afraid that all this is about as clear as mud, but I explain much better with a pencil than I do with a keyboard. I'll try to get some photos for you.

Machinery's: My younger brother just offered me a free copy, 19th edition. He even offered to pay the postage to send it here from his place in Oregon. I told him that, to be sure the pages stayed flat, he should clamp it in the jaws of this big old 6" Parker chipping vise he has and ship them BOTH to me. For some reason, he backed out of the deal, the weasel. (grin)
vicopper - Tuesday, 02/17/04 12:52:51 EST

chimney stack: Any Ideas on how to get my 10" stovepipe to draw any better?
It actually smokes badly. 5 mins is all it takes to fill the 15' by 30' romm all the way to the 10' ceiling. the pipe sits 10" above the forge. Other then a $2,000 chimney fan that the fire place shop tried to get me to buy, or short of cutting a window and putting a fan in it; do ya'll have a poor man's solution for this phenomenom. And the pipe does pull quite a bit of smoke as is, just not enough to suck it all out.
dragon-boy - Tuesday, 02/17/04 13:13:00 EST

Chimney stack: dragon-boy: how high is the stack off the roof? They tend to draw alot better if they at least 3-5 feet off the roof. When I raised the pipe on my old shop from 2' to 4' the difference in draw was amazing.
shack - Tuesday, 02/17/04 13:32:52 EST


Generally speaking the top of the chimney pipe needs to be four feet above the closest point of the roof within 10 feet of the pep. Normally this puts the top a couple of feet above the ridgeline, minimum.
Paw Paw - Tuesday, 02/17/04 13:36:41 EST

Alan L: Also, you didn't say if there was a hood involved. No hood = little to no draw. I had decent luck using a 14" to 10" bell reducer to sit about 10" above the pot of a little rivet forge.
Alan-L - Tuesday, 02/17/04 14:20:21 EST

Books and vises: vicopper,
You know if you want I cna go and get the book and vise from your brother and give them a good home until you can coome and get them..... If I remeber correctly he is not too far from me......(grin)
Ralph - Tuesday, 02/17/04 15:00:13 EST

stack: I'll try raising the stack right no it probllysits 3.5 feet above the roof,but there is another section even hight than the top of the ridgeline.My shop is in an addition to a garage that was used for an auto shop at one time. Alan, right now there is a huge hood over the forge. It is a home made job. Take a rectangle 3' by 2.5' annd tape it to a 18" peakwith flat top. In the center of the "roof" is the ten inch pipe. It is probly not the best design, but that is what I get for letting my partner make the hood without supervision. (grin)
dragon-boy - Tuesday, 02/17/04 15:17:39 EST

typoes: shoul be .....right now it probly sits......
sorry my fingers got ahead of my brain.
dragon-boy - Tuesday, 02/17/04 15:19:32 EST

dragon-boy: stop building such smoky fires...
mike-hr - Tuesday, 02/17/04 15:50:38 EST

hoods: I had a hood almost identical to that once. Never again! It was far worse than just the bell reducer, as it pulled shop air in and let smoke out. Try tearing the hood off, and extending the ten inch pipe right down onto the table beside the firepot, and cut a 8 inch wide x 10inch tall hole in the pipe right at fire level. Use the cutout piece to form a little hoodlet at the top of the hole. I have yet to see a side draft "hood" that didn't suck the fire into the chimney.

Also, listen to mike-hr!
Alan-L - Tuesday, 02/17/04 16:05:10 EST

realizations: Setting here and calculating costs, with the amount of time, energy, and money I have spent on this p.o.s. combined I could have BOUGHT a big gas forge. If I hadn't already spent too much with it I'd scrap it and buy a gas forge, even though I'd miss the nice aroma of the coal.
dragon-boy - Tuesday, 02/17/04 16:18:52 EST

hood: Once I lowered the pipe to a "proper" level inside the hood actually sits on the table top, and not much Shop air is comming in, but if length extentions don't fix the problem I will try the side draft idea.
dragon-boy - Tuesday, 02/17/04 16:25:48 EST

Dragon-Boy, if you look at pictures of old steamships at the turn of the century which were almost all coal burning, they had extremely tall smokestacks compared to the height after oil burning furnaces came into use...

Also, my local chapter had a forge building workshop in January, 7 of us built 7 gas forges in one day, these are two burner forges, all of the plumbing parts are off the shelf, cost was $75 each, including the kaowool, but not the hose, regulator and tank. I was amazed at how easy they are to build and convenient to use as well.....
Ellen - Tuesday, 02/17/04 16:33:59 EST

I had a hood, and it smoked bad. Put a side draft right down on the back of the forge, and so much better that i will never consider a hood again.
ptree - Tuesday, 02/17/04 17:03:34 EST

Dragon Boy,
As Ellen noted, a homebuilt gas forge can be quite cheap. I built a blown gasser, from the Abana plans(by Hans Peot I think). I scrounged well and did have to buy the Kaowool and the regulator. Maybe $40.00. I have gas and coal, and find advantages and disadvantages to both. I use both. I would build both again.
ptree - Tuesday, 02/17/04 17:07:15 EST

two lipped end mills: would like to sell left hand spiral cut end mill bits. Sz 3/4,5/8. and 1 1/4.Mfg. by Pratt Whittney in 50's, new some still in wax wrapping. About 200 available, asking $5.00 ea.
- T Rieker - Tuesday, 02/17/04 18:57:05 EST

Brian C, have you talked with the Mid Ohio Blacksmiths who have their meetings near orient?

Thomas P - Tuesday, 02/17/04 19:28:06 EST

Hood Problems: Dragon Boy, I agree with the guys who say ditch the hood. I made the same mistake and had a nice big rectangular hood I made up which covered the whole hearth area of my coal forge. Looked really nice with forged fittings at the corners and nice crisp sheet metal but it was totaly useless as a forge hood. Once you got any draft at all in the stack the big hood would pull a layer of ambient shop air in over the smoke from the fire. Shop heat went out the roof and the smoke replaced it in the shop. I gave it away and built a simple side draft hood that sits next to the fiepot on the steel hearth of my forge and it works great.
SGensh - Tuesday, 02/17/04 19:54:17 EST

Smoky Dragon: Dragon boy, One thing in addition to what has been said.... And this should always be said first.

There has to be enough air coming into a closed room to allow any smoke to go up even the best stack design. If the room is leaky and drafty there should be no problem. But if it's relatively tight, no air IN means no air OUT. Try opening a door to the outside first. If this makes a difference in better stack draw, you may still need to do a sidedraft, but you will know if you have negative pressure in the room. Ask if you need more.
- Tony - Tuesday, 02/17/04 20:17:03 EST

Thomas P,

No I havent, but I will. Thanks
Brian C - Tuesday, 02/17/04 20:44:00 EST

The Blood of Heroes: Paw Paw,

Thank you for posting that URL. We need to keep our military men and women in our prayers. We also need to pray for our civilian peace keepers here at home. My "man in blue" has been on duty for 27 years now. Every morning, as he goes out the door, I pray he will come home to me that night.

Leah - Tuesday, 02/17/04 20:53:32 EST

Good catch on the negative pressure, vs smokey stack. I had huge free air incoming and still smoked. I just assumed that Dragon Boy had similar free air for make up.

Dragon Boy,
I have a 5' square louver, that is across the shop from the forge. As the side draft draws, the make up air comes from behind me, and helps to further insure that the smoke does not get in my face.
All that said, I will still never go back to a hood.
ptree - Tuesday, 02/17/04 20:59:11 EST

Ralph's vise-sitting service: Gee, you're just too good to me!
vicopper - Tuesday, 02/17/04 21:18:20 EST


I read your message to Sheri, she just nodded and said, "I know what she means."
Paw Paw - Tuesday, 02/17/04 21:38:50 EST

T Rieker: I asked you to e-mail me about your end mills a couple days ago, no reply. i clicked on your link, got a bad page. I hope the price is going to drop accordingly with the difficulty in contacting you. never mind, i'll just get my dull end mills sharpened.
mike-hr - Tuesday, 02/17/04 23:10:28 EST

Anvil: Hi, This is probably only my second post in several years, but I just thought I would pass along some information about an anvil for sale near Asheboro, NC for any who may be interested. I came across A 102 lbs Kohlswa anvil in my travels this past weekend. The guy selling it wants $200 for it. It looks to be in pretty good condition, though I did not do a bounce test on it. also it is painted but it does not appear to have been repaired. it does have a small chip on one edge of the anvil. Its located on hwy 49 west out of Asheboro about 8 miles. Its a used machinery parts place. If any is interested just email me, and I will get you the guys name and number.
Brian Nalley - Wednesday, 02/18/04 11:01:22 EST

tony & ptree: So in other words I should:
1)extend the pipe
2) cut and install window
3) remove hood and try side draft
and 4) if'n all else fails throw a stick of tnt in the forge, run away, and build a gasser.
dragon-boy - Wednesday, 02/18/04 11:50:23 EST

1. yes
2. yes
3. yes
4. no. TNT comes in blocks, and is dificult to toss. Dynamite, however does come in stick handy for tossing.:)

- ptree - Wednesday, 02/18/04 13:00:28 EST

ptree: did you miss something in your text, and I meant dynamite just couldna remember the spelling.
dragon-boy - Wednesday, 02/18/04 13:12:51 EST

ANVIL INFO.: Can anyone give give me any info. on an anvil I recently puchased for 75.00. I weighs in at 165lbs. cast raised numbers on the waist under the hardy hole reads "1950" on the foot, same side reads "L11 1" and on the foot under the bic reads "Fisher". It is painted green so if there are any other markings, they may be covered.
Rhoof - Wednesday, 02/18/04 14:46:44 EST

ANVIL INFO.: I typeod..Should have said "It weighs in at 165lbs". 'cause I weighs more than 165lbs. LOL I failed to mention that when I tested it with a hammer for ring, it din't. Definate thud. I bought it anyway, price was right. When I got it home, I turned it over and took a chisle to the bottom and it appears to be cast iron. I tested the face edge with a good file. There was no removal of steel. There is an obviuos hardened steel face material laminated to the anvil approx. 1 1/4" thick.
Rhoof - Wednesday, 02/18/04 15:00:23 EST

Rhoof: Fischer Anvils are good anvils. Some like them some do not. Seems to be an either or thing. Ring is not a good indicator.
How was the rebound? that is where the proof is. I have had opportunity to use anvils that rang like a bell but for some reason had little rebound, so it would just wear you out.
Ralph - Wednesday, 02/18/04 15:30:40 EST

ANVIL INFO.: Thanks Ralph for your reply. The rebound is excellent. Is this indeed a cast iron body with a steel face? Is the "1950" the year mfg.? Any details would be greatly appreciated.
Rhoof - Wednesday, 02/18/04 15:36:26 EST

stacks: Okay now that I have this monster of a stack, It extends 10 feet in the air, How in hades do I keep it from blowing away in a storm? Could cables anchor this bad mamajama down or am I just screwed?
dragon-boy - Wednesday, 02/18/04 16:44:42 EST

ANVIL INFO.: I found a good web site regarding the Fisher anvil for those that may have one. This guy has a 400# purchased for 50.00 from a woman selling all her husbands stuff while he was away. You gotta read this one.
It answered all my questions. My ex did the same thing to me. But my loss was a 50# little giant, all my steel stock, all my power tools. Lucky I had my anvil, hammers, tongs at a demo I was doing at the time.
Rhoof - Wednesday, 02/18/04 16:49:34 EST

Fischer: Yes it is a cast iron anvil with a steel face. It was Fischer's own method of doing it. As long as the plate is firmly and solidly attached it is good. But once it starts to seperate it is next to worthless.
Not sure about the 1950. PawPaw or any of you Postman book owners?
Ralph - Wednesday, 02/18/04 17:48:40 EST

Wives: If my wife sold all my tools behind my back, she wouldn't be my EX-wife, she would be my LATE wife. (grin)
vicopper - Wednesday, 02/18/04 18:10:39 EST

Stacks and fishers: I used black iron binding wire and turnbuckles on my tall stack, it held up just fine until it rusted out at the roof!

I would like a Fisher to play with, I have really enjoyed the ones I've used. I think they're a fine anvil. As for the sold off tolls, OWCH!
Alan-L - Wednesday, 02/18/04 18:16:26 EST


1950 is the date of manufacture.
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 02/18/04 18:51:14 EST

My 'ol anvil is closer to me than the 'ol lady!!! I would LOVE to have one as hard as her head!! Can't live with them/or with out them!!BUT,you gotta LOVE 'EM!!!Just got a Russian anvil-1st,used UNCLES before/30 years ago!

- jimmy seale - Wednesday, 02/18/04 19:02:31 EST

Tall Stack: Dragon Boy, my wood burning stovepipe on my cabin is up in the air aways and I just wrapped some steel wire around it and ran it down to some eybolts I put in the roof, and turnbuckled the wires tight, I used three anchor points for stability and it has stayed up in 60+ mph winds (so far).
Ellen - Wednesday, 02/18/04 19:20:42 EST

First I have no idea why the space and o at the end of the post. As for tnt vs. dynamite, I figured a certain gnome with stripes tattoed on both arms would point out the error of your ways, and thought to gently beat him to the punch.(big grin). Do I hear a stropping sound?
A tall thin stack is usually anchored with guy wires, and did you put some form of rain cap on it to keep rain from running down the stack and rusting the forge? Guy wires usually are just some galvanized wire, and are only somewhat tight to allow for change in lenght from heating and cooling.
ptree - Wednesday, 02/18/04 20:14:06 EST


I prefer C-4 myself. It's easier to shape it into a ball for throwing purposes.
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 02/18/04 20:26:56 EST

Stacks and Stacks: Dragon Boy:

I have a 9" stove mount leading to a 11" X 11" X 9' masonry chimney- not real efficient. I added two 3' sections of 12" stainless steel double walled stack that Brad Silberburg was generously getting rid of (when the BGoP stopped by one night on a shop tour) with a mushroom cap. Still not great, but quite an improvement, especially after I sealed the gap from masonry to metal with fibreglass stove gasket roping.

To hold the whole thing up I constructed a cage out of 1" angle iron that slid over the existing chimney. Also not perfect but it hasn't fallen down yet! Everything is bolted together for ease of fabrication and maintenance.

(Now, let's see if the link works...)
Smoke Stack on Top of Chimney
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Wednesday, 02/18/04 23:26:38 EST

Ptree is absolutely correct in his description; when I said tighten with a turnbuckle, that was tensioning to take the slack out of the wire, you do not want them to be so tight they can't expand and contract or they will break...thanks for the clarification.

Paw Paw and Ptree, I know dynamite, tnt, C-4 and nitro are better explosives, but there is just something so nice about a burning trail of black powder leading up to a wooden keg of the same powder....I mean it is so historically perfect....and the joy of seeing the smoke cloud....
Ellen - Wednesday, 02/18/04 23:31:23 EST

historically correct and all that.....: Well in that case having the offending stack being launched by a treb would seem to be the ticket......
Or for those who can not get enought blackpowder... why not small cannon. say a 3lber.... would take several shots to do the job......
Ralph - Thursday, 02/19/04 02:10:35 EST

Smokey in virginia: Alright now that the buggar draws. I found out that I another problem. I have used a BIG drum from a semi for my forge pot. I found out the the big wholes the lugs go through allow smoke from the bottom of the coal to fill up the rest of the shop, is it advisible to use plaster of paris to fill the bottom of the drum, thus closing the bloody holes? if not please sugest something else.
dragon-boy - Thursday, 02/19/04 08:19:15 EST

eyesore: Also the local dg(Not mine, she'd know better.) has declared the massive errection atop her garage to be a shining eyesore. What can I do to camoflage this thing!(Her words I swear!)
dragon-boy - Thursday, 02/19/04 08:22:24 EST

Camouflage: Dragon Boy:

Camouflage is largely a matter of background, outline and contrast. Depending on the background, you can break up the outline. If the stack is shiny, and calls attention to itself, then some dull paint might help (black is traditional, but may make things worse in an open background). Misdirection, such as putting up a fifty foot flagpole and a “Car Dealer” size version of Old Glory, would certainly distract anybody from complaining about the stack. (…and let’s see them complain about The Flag, huh? ;-)

In my situation (see picture, above) I could make the entire forge disappear against the hedgerow behind it- a little judicious use of the four-color camouflage patterns for woodlands would do the trick. a few cans of black, brown, tan, dark green and light green paint would do for the stack.

If the stack is silhouetted against the sky, then you would want to go with lighter colors: flat white, sky blue, very light (cloud) grey, in a somewhat random but pleasing pattern…

You could build a cage around it and hang various screening materials to reduce it, ummm, "maleness"...

…or just tell her “A smoke stack is a smoke stack; you’ll get used to it.”

I tend to lose track; where in Virginia do you reside?
Bruce Blackistone - Thursday, 02/19/04 08:59:47 EST

DB, Steel?
SGensh - Thursday, 02/19/04 09:03:06 EST

Bruce: Well that would be sw virginia. Sadly, I live in VT country. A Little place outside of Blacksburg, known as Newport. As far as colors go the whole garage is choclate brown, and a fairly open sky line once you get in the driveway. From the road it really doesn't look that tall, and has trees for a background.
Her comment was,"It makes it look like a redneck house."
My comment was,"Have you looked at where you live? And while your looking, Checkout the rest of your Neighbors!"
dragon-boy - Thursday, 02/19/04 09:58:22 EST

SGensh: plate? rod? Bolts? What,and what size?
dragon-boy - Thursday, 02/19/04 09:59:38 EST

Dragon-Boy, do you ever come to the monthly meetings of Bristol Forge? Seems we have a couple of folks from the Blacksburg area who make the trip second Sunday each month. We meet at Rocky Mount historic site on US 11-E south of Bristol in Tennessee.
Alan-L - Thursday, 02/19/04 10:32:46 EST

D.B. stack and fire pot: DB, if you are using a large brake drum, you are probably too deep also. You should have no more than 6" from your twere to the top of the firepot. If you have more than this, you start to angle the work down into the firepot and then the problems begin. Your work should always be horizontal. This helps to keep an even heat in the work, keeps the project out of the excess O2 at the bottom of the fire thus reducing the scale, and if you think about it, the bottom of the fire, where the air enters, is COOLER than higher up in the fire. All in all, you want to work at about 6” above the twere. If your drum is larger than this, I would install a false bottom made from plate of some sort. You can just put a little mud (wet dirt) under the plate to seal it to the bottom of the drum. Cut a new twere in the plate attach the draft pipe to the plate; add a grill of some sort to keep the coal in and you should be good to go.

As to keeping the stack from blowing off the roof, I have a 15 foot tall 12” dia stack. It draws well and has been up there for about 5 years. I have a modified “hood/side draft” setup. The stack is attached to the building with 2 guy wires. They start at the building, go to the top of the stack and then return to the same side of the building they started from. Thus there are 4 visible wires, each with a turnbuckle. There is a little slack in the cables and the stack has withstood 30 mph winds. As to hiding the stack, your conditions will vary and you need to just do the best you can. Mine is in the open and NOTHING will hide it! GRIN!!
Wayne P - Thursday, 02/19/04 10:33:09 EST

wayne: As a matter of fact I have been trying to shorten the gap with a fasle bottom and that was also what I had meant to ask when I asked about the plaster. I just had not thought my question out very well, nor did I phrase it quite right. Thankyou for understanding it all the same. So I can use plain old garden veriety dirt to fill in the extra 6 or so inches in depth and "plant" the plate in that, with a bit of pipe to carry the air the rest of the way through to my fire? Also if I use dirt would I have to continue wetting it Inorder to keep the seal?
dragon-boy - Thursday, 02/19/04 11:50:42 EST

Alan: Could you give me a way of contacting those b-burg folk in hopes of hitchin' a ride?
dragon-boy - Thursday, 02/19/04 11:52:20 EST

Forge Bottom: DB, Sorry for the smart ass reply. I would use what was at hand to plug the holes. If you have some old bolts or rod about the right size just drop them in the holes (head the rod first) and then add whatever filler you want. If no round stock on hand just cut a couple pieces of sheet or plate and leave the center open for your blast.
SGensh - Thursday, 02/19/04 14:03:40 EST

DB, Yep, just extend the pipe up to the new level, plug the lug holes with something.... anything, fill it in with plain ol dirt, or fire clay or sand or, or, or etc nothing special just fill in the space, put your new "bottom" in place add a grate and you are done. No you don't need to take care of the dirt.
Wayne P - Thursday, 02/19/04 15:40:28 EST

DON'T TALK LIKE THAT! My wife is about 1600 miles away with all my tools but 1 gasforge and my runt anvil---and all my "friends" offering to help her clean up the place to sell...

Bought the house down here yesterday, while at the closing I noticed that the courtyard had a bunch of stumps in it, sure enough they let me have one---a scrounger is never off duty!---so now I can forge in a more upright position Saturday.

Thomas---I'll have nightmares un til my harem of anvils is re-united in my seraligo---I mean shop!
Thomas P - Thursday, 02/19/04 16:18:32 EST

D-boy: I'll send a heads-up to the group, but after looking at what little info I have available, you might have to drive to Castlewood to catch 'em! If anybody answers, I'll email you direct.
Alan-L - Thursday, 02/19/04 17:15:59 EST

Gas Forge Book: The Michael Porter "Gas Burners for Forges and Furnaces" is now available for $19.95 plus $4.00 shipping. I ordered one today and will report back after I receive it. It is available through
Ellen - Friday, 02/20/04 00:00:43 EST

Correct url for book: Sorry, didn't get the right link posted, this should be the right one:
Ellen - Friday, 02/20/04 00:11:07 EST

It Works!: Yes, that is the correct URL.....
Ellen - Friday, 02/20/04 00:12:24 EST

This is the book our good Guru said would probably be the gas forge plan book of the century on Feb. 9th in The Guru's Den......
Ellen - Friday, 02/20/04 00:41:44 EST

forge: Well folks I filled the space with wet sand, dropped in a false plate bottom, and lite it up. Wow all I can say is wow. That cured all the bad habits. As soon as I can,I'll post some pictures of the forge, aptly named Brutis.
- dragon-boy - Friday, 02/20/04 08:21:50 EST

book: thank you for the url Ellen, have orded and now sit tapping my foot waiting for deliverery :) can you tell I'm not the waiting type
Mark P - Friday, 02/20/04 08:27:08 EST

DB forge: Glad to hear you have "Brutis" under control! May all your forging problems be solved so well!
Wayne P - Friday, 02/20/04 08:39:12 EST

USS Cole: If you ever wondered how the Cole got home to be repaired.....
Ralph - Friday, 02/20/04 10:59:07 EST


Bristol, Tennessee!!! I lived there from when I was 5 years old to 13 years old. If we were late we would always use the excuse that we had to go to Virginia, just down the road and across the street.grin

Caleb Ramsby
Caleb Ramsby - Friday, 02/20/04 11:35:04 EST

BRISTOL: DB; Yeah, but when you go from TN to VA, yer still in Bristol ! }:<)
3dogs - Friday, 02/20/04 12:33:52 EST

Bristol: 3Dogs, exactly I used to live at 108 Pine St., a few blocks away was the street that was had the plates in it, can't remember it's name. In the middle of the street there were plates that said Virginia on one side and Tennessee on the other, where else would you have to go into another state just to pass a car.grin

Caleb Ramsby
Caleb Ramsby - Friday, 02/20/04 14:22:09 EST

Bluefield, VA or WV whichever you prefer.
- dragon-boy - Friday, 02/20/04 15:40:20 EST

Bristol, TN/VA: That would be State Street, where the state line runs down the middle of the road, and a VA cop will not ticket the TN side and vice-versa. Until TN got a lottery this year, you could buy tickets on the north side of the street and be in illegal posession of the same 15 feet away...

My wife is from Bristol! Caleb, din't you say you were homeschooled? When/where did you first get stuck in Public school and when, if I may be so bold? If you don't want to answer, that's fine, just curious.

I live on the other side of Johnson City from Bristol, but Bristol Forge meets at a historic site in Piney Flats, about halfway between the two. We have folks from TN, VA, and NC as members.

DB, are you really in Bluefield? That would be an hour 1/2 to 1.75 hours, but we have a couple of guys who come from Morristown, TN, about the same distance.

Second Sunday of the month, around 1 pm. Except for April, when we're hosting a regional meeting with lots of demos later in the month on sat. and sun.

Anybody welcome!
Alan-L - Friday, 02/20/04 16:12:19 EST

alan: no, it's 45 mins from my house to bluefield
- dragon-boy - Friday, 02/20/04 16:33:53 EST

So the spot on my map that says "Here there be Dragons" should really by closer to I-81?
Alan-L - Friday, 02/20/04 16:42:43 EST

State Line BBQ near El Paso TX, where which state you are in depends on which exit of the parking lot you chose.

Thomas P - Friday, 02/20/04 19:49:26 EST

Louise's Rock House Resturant:

Where which county you are in depends on which side of the resturant you sit in.
Paw Paw - Friday, 02/20/04 20:01:47 EST

USS Cole :: The USS Cole was refurbished in Pascagoula Mississippi at the shipyard here. (old Ingials shipyard) we went down to the point to watch it come in on the big ship carrier. amazing that they did get it on that big ship. it looked like a toy on the deck. It took several years to get it back in service.Talked to several workers that helped repair her. they said there was more dammage inside than appeared from the outside. she was warped and bowed from the keel to the bridge. took a lot of work and manpower to get her back in shape.But it showes that the american workers can do amazing things when movatited in the right way!
Garey Ford - Friday, 02/20/04 20:58:23 EST

Smithin': Went to our local one nite a month open forge last nite. Fella I work with showed up and I showed him how to make some hooks I make. He did pretty darn good. Also helped a young feller get a good start on making a small knife. We got the blade pretty much forged out and started setting down the tang and drawing that out for a hidden tang. His dad did most of the tong work for him. I'd guess the boy was about 12. Poor fella just about wore out his arm. Wished I had had a hammer more his size. Most of the hammers there are too big for even me to use for long. So I bring my own. I think this kid will be back next month to work on it some more. His dad was real supportive and also appreciates the history and uniqueness of blacksmithing. I'd bet his dad will buy the kid some tools and support his interest. I hope so. And I enjoyed showing others how to do this fun stuff. And I view it as kind of payback for my getting to play in that shop free of charge. Made some nice friends friends there and learned a lot along the way.
Bob H - Friday, 02/20/04 21:56:31 EST

U.S.S. Cole: Some of my Navy friends tell me that only truly heroic efforts on the part of the crew kept that unfortunate ship off the bottom. Too bad the "armed" guard had unloaded rifles when that boatload of explosives ran in on them, but that was when we had "leaders" who thought it was more politically correct to be weak than to be strong.
Ellen - Friday, 02/20/04 23:49:45 EST

Border towns: I always liked the Opera house and Library in Derby Line, Vermont and Rock Island, Quebec, I believe this is the place with a line on the floor showing the border.
Haskell Free Library& Opera House
- Daryl - Saturday, 02/21/04 00:43:22 EST

armed guards.....: Curious.....
Now I will admit it was not that long ago, but back when I was in the Navy ( I got out in Oct 1990) When we had Topside watches on the boat the guards were armed ( only with .45's) but they had clips. They had orders too. Halt! And Identify!
Halt! Or I will Shoot!

Then the next sound if it was not a gun shot was going to be a Captain's Mast if not an Article 32. So yes they had clips, and yes the clips were in the guns.
When we would go and load those weapons that I can neither confirm nor deny the Marines had much more firepower and the rule was if we see a head who is not authourized, topside before they said it was clear was going to be shot full of holes.... no more warning than the pre-load breifing....
Now that is the way it ought to be......
Ralph - Saturday, 02/21/04 02:18:47 EST

Guns: When I was a Security Policeman in the Air Force, we had the magazine,[ not clip] inserted in the mag well. We just would need to rack a round in a go to it. The Marines on the nearby bases however had an empty weapon with lodaed mags in the carrying pouch. Unfortunately, they also had a wire tab sealing the pouch. Hopefully they have moved past that foolishness. It is like sending someone to fight with one arm tied behind their back.
Bob H - Saturday, 02/21/04 11:12:20 EST

When i guarded the Army missle repair depot where I worked in Germany in the mid 70's we often had a loaded mag in the pouch, but nothing in the weapon. Then the Red Brigades went berserk, and boy were we loaded for bear. Reason? We had many shoulder launch missiles like Redeye, Dragon and the wonderful Tow. Very tempting to the terrorists.
ptree - Saturday, 02/21/04 19:39:36 EST

Estate Auction.: This estate auction for a member of the Rocky Mtn. Smiths, Jerry Jamison. It looks like some nice stuff. Anvils Thru Power Hammers. This posting was pre-approved by Paw Paw. Take a look and help if you can.
habu - Sunday, 02/22/04 01:14:02 EST

Check out the plans on this site.
- Dan - Sunday, 02/22/04 02:01:59 EST

Dan's Plans: Dan, if you introduce yourself first and let us know you care about smithing instead of just posting your commercial project without so much as a how-d'ye-do, you might get favorable comment.

If you've read back in the listings, you'd realize this bunch can be a bit protective/rejective if you just throw a commercial site at us without proper preparation. Come in and chat a while, in other words, don't just hang your shingle and act like it's not yours.
Alan-L - Sunday, 02/22/04 10:10:44 EST

Dans Plans: It is also VERY inconsiderate to post commercial links that are in direct competition with this site AND not provide a reciprocal link. Although we do not make much much from On-line Metals it DOES help keep this site alive.
- guru - Sunday, 02/22/04 17:18:33 EST

Costa Rica:
Well, I just got back from visiting my friends in Costa Rica. BEAUTIFUL country! In the hills near the mountains where we were the temperature is 70F all year long! We joked that when it was a degree cooler we complained that it was cold and when a degree or two warmer that it was too hot! Talk about SPOILED!

They have two seasons, wet and dry. The dry season (our winter) still sees a lot of rain. About the time the rain forest starts to look a little dry it will rain for a day or so. The rainy season is VERY rainy. In a country where the average rain is 120" we were in a place that gets over 200".

The food there is wonderful. Better than anything I have eaten at so called "gourmet" restaurants. A typical lunch at a small road side stand costs about $4 and consists of, beans and rice, a small portion of meat and or egg, steamed papaya and fried plantain and some other fruits that I cannot remember. All prepaired simply and to perfection it was about all you could eat. They specialize in fruit drinks that contain some fruit like mango with some milk and water blended together. Wonderful AND healthy.

The fruit business is huge in Costa Rica and fresh fruit of every kind is readily available year round. It is also grown in yards and small farm plots.

Prices are notably higher in the cities.

More later.
- guru - Sunday, 02/22/04 18:02:01 EST

Jock: Welcome back! Glad you had a good time and got a chance to relax.

As for Dan's Plans, if Iwere you , I would delete the post. The post is inconsiderate, it competes with Anvilfire's store, and the "plans" he sells are a testament to the veracity of H.L. Mencken's comment about nobody going broke underestimating the inteligence of the American public...or in this case, maybe Canadian. His plans are for junior high stuff, but priced for people with plenty of disposable income. On top of that I don't appreciate the attempt to make it look like an innocent third party posted it.
vicopper - Sunday, 02/22/04 18:48:29 EST

Welcome back Jock indeed! So when are you moving down there permanently? (big ol' grin!)

I started to slam ol' Dan hard, but I thought I'd be nice for a change and see what happened. Glad others felt the same. Of course, since he put pictures, who needs plans?
Alan-L - Sunday, 02/22/04 21:32:29 EST


> Peace and quiet, thanks guys, I'm real afraid of that darned knife the old warrior keeps handy.....

I just noticed something!

Old? OLD? Watch it, young lady! (grin)
Paw Paw - Sunday, 02/22/04 22:01:38 EST

Paw Paw, the term "old" was used respectfully only to pay tribute to your skill and knowledge, having absolutely nothing to do with chronology.
Ellen - Monday, 02/23/04 01:33:43 EST


Chuckle, you get an A for creativity, anyway!
Paw Paw - Monday, 02/23/04 07:54:29 EST

Alan's map: Aye, that'd be correct Lad. By the way what's with the Elminster impression?
- dragon-boy - Monday, 02/23/04 08:16:14 EST

Impression? I always talk like that...
Alan-L - Monday, 02/23/04 08:47:24 EST

That's odd none of my posts attaching my e-mail address?
dragon-boy - Monday, 02/23/04 08:54:07 EST


The last post did. Weird!
Paw Paw - Monday, 02/23/04 08:56:27 EST

H.L. Menchen: Rich, I always thought that quote was from P.T. Barnum, but you were right. I had not read any of Menchen's material but after a quick Google. I will read more, this guy is good:

"The theory behind representative government is that superior men--or at all events, men not inferior to the average in ability and integrity--are chosen to manage the public business, and that they carry on this work with reasonable intelligence and honesty. There is little support for that theory in the known facts..."
habu - Monday, 02/23/04 09:08:01 EST

Costa Rica: Seriously thinking about moving down there. Much lower cost of living, great climate and generally wonderful friendly people. An Internet business can be run from almost anywhere.

Even though it is a small country the mountains break up the terrain so that it seems much larger.

My friends there say they were VERY LUCKY in the place they found to live. The nearby small town has almost everything you would expect to find in a much larger US city or town. They have several hardware stores that sell mostly English sized fasteners and a construction supply that is also an importer of steel. Many of the same brands of tools are there as here. There are many small fruit and vegatable stands but there is also a general grocery that has much of what you would find in a small town American grocery store or a Krogers of 40 years ago. Small stores sort of like our convienience stores are sprinkled around so that it is easy to walk to many. It is a lot like small town life in America 50 years ago.
- guru - Monday, 02/23/04 10:04:35 EST

Costa Rica: One question for you Jock. What is the medical profession like down there? If you are thinking of moving, that would be a good thing to know about beforehand.
Bob H - Monday, 02/23/04 11:24:03 EST

Now I know it comes up a lot, but I've forgotten the answer. Can propane be run thru acetylene equipment or is it the other way? I've got an extra acetylene regulator in the garage, and I am planning on building a propane forge one of these days. Already picked up most of the plumbing supplies, but would need a regulator and hose. I'm gonna use fire brick to start, not making anything permanent till I figure out what I want.
- Bob H - Monday, 02/23/04 14:44:53 EST


Lots of guys have rune propane through an acetylene regulator with nor problems. What I *WOULD* advise you to do is to talk to you gas supplier, because there are differences between the HOSE that is acceptable for propane, and the one that is acceptable for acetylene.
Paw Paw - Monday, 02/23/04 15:09:23 EST

Propane/Acetylene: Bob,

There may an increased deterioration of the seals and diaphragm in an acetylene regulator if used with propane, similar to what happens if you run propane through a type R (acetylene only) hose instead of a type T (either gas) hose. I've been doing it for several years with no problems other than one O-ring that gave up the ghost. Mind you, I didn't like that because it made the regulator run over pressure.

Unfortunately, here in Paradise there aren't any good regulator repair people. One guy told me that there were no parts available for Smith's regulators...for an O-ring! I went home and rooted around through my O-ring supply and found one that fit, solving the problem nicely. Personally, I know that the propane had nothing to do with that O-ring failure, because the regulator had never been used before. It was a new regulator that I've had for thirty years just sitting in a tool box. I was only surprised that the one O-ring was the only thing that went bad over that much time.

vicopper - Monday, 02/23/04 17:49:52 EST

Hey folks-Do any of ya'll know about
- jimmy seale - Monday, 02/23/04 18:51:11 EST

Jimmy S, heck yes! Paw Paw has forgotton more about than most of us will ever know! I'm still arguing with Atli about whether the vikings knew about and if they used wrought iron for it...and some folks here will just BS about till you have to call a manure technician in hip waders.

Thomas P - Monday, 02/23/04 19:06:48 EST

Folks I posted my quertion on the other advice coloum-the puter is starting to *iss me off,thanks...J
jimmy - Monday, 02/23/04 19:28:51 EST


I can't tell whether that's intended as a compliment or not. (grin)
Paw Paw - Monday, 02/23/04 21:50:52 EST

Other Treadle Hammers: I'm in the process of revising my webpage on treadle hammers other than the Grasshopper. If you haven't viewed this recently, please do.

I also want to get through to Paul Morneault or Ralph Sproul about a photo Ralph posted of Paul's treadle hammer (which I don't fully understand from the one photo). If anyone has contact info for either of these fellows, please let me know, off-line.

I would be interested in knowing of other treadle hammers than the ones listed. I will add to the page (1) completely different designs or (2) designs which are manufactured for sale or (3) designs which are available as plans. Photos or drawings essential. Contact me off-line if you have any such info, or know where I can find it.

In particular, I ran across a photo SOMEWHERE that I cannot now find. IIRC, it was of a fellow standing in front of a yellow treadle hammer. If that rings a bell, and you know where I can find the photo, please let me know, off-line.
Other Treadle Hammers
Bruce Freeman - Monday, 02/23/04 21:55:13 EST

Thomas P; If I'm not mistaken, I believe ol' PawPaw earned his doctorate in
3dogs - Tuesday, 02/24/04 02:00:52 EST

3dogs, I wanted to attend his dissertation defense; but when I arrived I found out that everyone was wearing chest waders and I only had on hip waders so I knew I was outclassed and slunk off home...

Paw Paw are you Doubting Thomas? Happy Fat Tuesday! I once gave up telling tall tales for Lent; but got tired of everybody asking folks if I was a mute....

Gonna look for a pancake supper out here tonight!

Thomas who forged a flapjack flipper with a basket handle for my camp cooking set. Used a "seasoned" finnish for it.
Thomas P - Tuesday, 02/24/04 13:52:59 EST


> Paw Paw are you Doubting Thomas?


Hip Waders, indeed! (snort!)
Paw Paw - Tuesday, 02/24/04 16:39:09 EST

HIP waders?: How 'bout a dry suit and snorkel? Or maybe even scuba...
Alan-L - Tuesday, 02/24/04 17:15:21 EST

Re: OLD warrior comment. Ellen and all others should be well aware. An old warrior is the kind that survived, therefore the ones to be most feared. I suspect that while we often speak of stropping of a knife, i suspect that pawpaw believes in"peace through fire superiority"
But in the end he's still old.
ptree - Tuesday, 02/24/04 17:19:54 EST

While today I am not old, I feel old. Had to do a 100 yard combat dash thru the woods last night ending up in the extremly firm contact of my diving punch into the 100# dog dragging the very small, screaming daughter of my neighbor off into the woods. End result, little girl hysterical, and badly bruised, but otherwise unhurt, me while proud to be able to do the 100 yard thru the forrest in maybe 12 flat, so sore I can barely walk, and dog went to puppy jail.
Amazing what you can do when a baby squalls. Haven't run like that since I destroyed me knee at 23!
ptree - Tuesday, 02/24/04 17:27:53 EST

Alan and PTree: Alan, Wet suit and snorkel? Shame on you! (grin)

PTree, "Peace through superior Firepower". Seems I've heard that a time or two. But for up close and personal, it's hard to beat an FS Fighting knife. I've owned a couple over the years. Still have one on my desk for that matter.

Re: 100 yard dash. Isn't adreneline awesome? (grin) Well Done!
Paw Paw - Tuesday, 02/24/04 18:21:08 EST

Ptree: I already made a diplomatic reply to the fierce, young at heart, warrior, don't drag me back in again! Grin. He sent me a picture of that darned knife!
Ellen - Tuesday, 02/24/04 19:22:32 EST

Hey: Why is everyone picking on Paw Paw? Everybody knows he is the salt of the earth, the creme de la creme,the ultimate fighting machine, the dispenser of all great knowledge.

Actually, I'm not sure if FS refers to a Fairborn Sykes Commando knife or he just spelled Special Forces backward. I don't want to find out. Both weapons are rather fearsome.
- Larry - Tuesday, 02/24/04 19:45:35 EST

air cleaners: Does anyone have any experience with these air filters that hang in your shop. I saw some made by Jet and Delta among others. Would they pick up dust from angle grinders, chop saw, etc.?
Brian C - Tuesday, 02/24/04 20:05:09 EST


> FS refers to a Fairborn Sykes Commando knife

Fairborne Sykes FIGHTING knife. Commando knife is an American nickname given to the knife by the men and women of the OSS because the knife was first issued to the British Commando's of WWII.

It's one of the finest expressions of the bladesmith's art that I have ever worked with.
Paw Paw - Tuesday, 02/24/04 20:18:02 EST

knife: Pawpaw Put me down for a ka-bar.
- ritch - Tuesday, 02/24/04 21:30:50 EST


Ka-Bar is a good knife, with a good reputation. But knives are like women, everybody prefers his own piece. (double grin)
Paw Paw - Tuesday, 02/24/04 21:41:30 EST

Ka Bar: I seem to recall Ka-Bar made the knives used by the USMC and others in WWII, and still makes the same knife today. Probably a more useful knife for mutli-purpose than an FS, but probably not as good, as Paw Paw, said for "up close and personal". I'm glad I didn't have to make the comparison test......Randall makes a good knife, still forged, using a 25# Little Giant, the skinning knife I made from a truck leaf spring is shamelesly patterned after their drop point design. No Little Giant to speed the process, but it works well, stays sharp (with minor tune up) while skinning an elk, and those are **big** critters!
Ellen - Tuesday, 02/24/04 23:59:12 EST


The Ka-Bar is the official "fighting knife" of the USMC. It's a good blade, and does what they are trained to do with it.
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 02/25/04 01:03:23 EST


> Hey: Why is everyone picking on Paw Paw? Everybody knows he is the salt of the earth, the creme de la creme,the > ultimate fighting machine, the dispenser of all great knowledge.

Re-reading that, I realized that you must have brown eyes. (grin)
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 02/25/04 01:05:28 EST

fighting.....: The object to fighting is to do so far far away..... one reason
submarines are so nice.... load a tommahawk in teh torpedo tube and launch.... no need for knives...... Hate to say it but in war folks die and often times it is those who need not. But I would rather our boys and girls were not in a hand to hand situ
in order to prevent that.... but since I have one of those boys in service right now I could be considered biased, but then again when I was in the service I felt the same....
I admit I was not the most popular guy in school ,especially while we were in Europe '69-74. Odd how so many military brats in a school on base could be so rabidly anti war.... But I almost always won my arguement and never by violence but by reason..... even the teachers could not argue....
Ralph - Wednesday, 02/25/04 01:35:44 EST

Comment/book: First the comment - "There's nothing like a good blade when your blaster's empty" (s.i.c.) That was on the business cards of a fellow from Minnesota who went by the nick-name 'Iron Monger Jim.' He used to go to the Sci-Fi Con's in the region. He was an active SCA member as well.

Now as for an interesting book to read, I suggest "ONE GOOD TURN - A Natural History of the Screwdriver and the Screw' by Witold Rybczynski. I heard a review of this book on CBC Radio and that got my curiosity going. The editors of The New York Times asked the authour for an essay identifying "the best tool of the millennium." This book is the interesting result. I found a copy at my local library and finished reading it in less then 3 hours. (Obviously not that hard a read at 143 pgs.)

Don - Wednesday, 02/25/04 08:25:01 EST

Fighting: The objective of fighting, like the objective of smithing, is to make the subject give way they way you desire. In other words, to win. The situation at hand will usually, though not always, determine the most appropriate means of achieving your objective.

At one time/place I favored a medium-large bore rifle fitted with some impressive optics for certain results. Later, a large bore handgun. At all times I carried and still carry, some form of edged weapon, varying somewhat in style depending on the situation. However, the single mosst universally useful tool in anyone's arsenal is still that lumpy, gray blob inside the cranium. Matters not whether it is smithing or fighting, that "tool" is the universally necessary one.

In domestic life, appropriate use of the brain will often avoid the necessity of resorting to physical means of combat. Those situations are called "successes." When I have to resort to physical violence, I usually consider it either an emergency or a failure. The older I get, the fewer "failures" I have, oddly enough. (grin) Too soon we grow old, too late we grow wise.
vicopper - Wednesday, 02/25/04 08:28:34 EST

"Too soon we grow old, too late we grow wise."

Well if you think about it, those who don't grow wise usualy aren't around to grow old, at least in an era that was less concerned with making everything fool proof. And then there is that inbetween time when your growing old faster than your growing wise, Which is where I am right now. Ten years ago when I did that it didn't hurt.........
JimG - Wednesday, 02/25/04 10:46:12 EST

"One Good Turn": My wife gave my "One Good Turn" as a present, I read it and was not so impressed. I found several errors in it and it's definitely *not* my area of research. IIRC they had the first documented date of the crank late by several centuries from what was *shown* in "Cathedral Forge and Waterwheel" an overview book on medieval technology that was published about 6 years earier than "OGT". You run into a few things like that and you start to suspect anything they mention.

I did enjoy "Nuts and Bolts of the Past" a book that looks at the burst of "inventiveness" that characterized the United States in the early 1800's and attributes it to a critical mass of skilled and *mobile* workers that percolated through the many new industries spreading new ideas and work methods as they travelled as compared to restrictive "guild" systems in England and the Continent during that same time.

Thomas P - Wednesday, 02/25/04 11:39:10 EST

As VI noted the most important tool is your brain. This is followed by experiance and physical training. I don't care what kind of knife you give ME, someone with a little hand to hand combat training would either take it from me OR kill me first. . then take it. The skill behind the weapon is what is important. That is, however, unless you take Ralph's point of view and vaporize a whole city from a thousand miles away. Then everyone loses.

In Iraq we are paying tripple. We paid for multi million dollar weapons to level facilities that cost much less. We are now paying to replace those facilities. And we are paying in blood as the conflict goes on and on. To the people who's houses and farms we destroyed or relatives we killed no amount of retibution will be enough. Too few will appreciate our removal of Saddam. The war in Iraq was about oil and money. If it had been about human rights and suffering we would be in Central Africa and Nepal. We would also not be friends with the house of Saud.

- guru - Wednesday, 02/25/04 13:05:03 EST

Tech Errors in Books:
Books vary greatly in their depth of research. One Good Turn is one of those light and not necessarily scholarly books. But even the scholarly books have a lot of problems. The three biggest are:

1) Forign language research not widely disseminated.
2) New data making old "facts" irrevelent.
3) Circular references.

Today circular references are a huge problem in technical data publication. For example, the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics has thousands of references that in turn refer back to CRC. . . The Paris based International Society of the Periodic Table is now replaced by the Royal Society of the Periodic Table. . . which shares the same office address as CRC who refers to the Royal Society. . . If you want an original source of a piece of data you must really DIG and use old references that do not refer to CRC.

The history of technology is constantly being revised. Currently most popular books on the subject are very nationalistic in content. English books refer to James Watt, Maudslay and Naysmyth and American books to Eli Whitney and Ford. Russian and Chinese books have a completely different view and I'm SURE the French will remind you that programmable machines were invented by French weaving machine inventors.
- guru - Wednesday, 02/25/04 13:22:12 EST

everyone lossing....: guru that is just the point..... Not that I want or like war, but I figure if it is to be done it should at least be done the same way a good craftsman does it. Done right the first time. If done right then there will be no next time.
War is a lossing event for all even the winner in the long run.

One book sorta described my feeling well. "Enders Game" The section near the start where the main kid decides the only way to prevent a bully form tormenting him is to fight back... and boy did he ever... but that is how to do it. Quick decisive and final.... no chance for retaliation.

Back to the smithing content.... seems I may have a new smith to help locally. Will be nice to get a new cadre of smiths close by.
Ralph - Wednesday, 02/25/04 13:41:12 EST

A feel a looming refference to Jacquard by Napier's bones!

My point was that if the info was available in a "common" non-technical reference published early enough that it was readily available, I would have thought that it would have been caught by *someone* in the chain from idea to print.

Technical books get a whole lot harder for the very reason's you mentioned! Just what issue of the Journal of Abtruse Research of the Ukranian Society for the Whichness of What was that datum published in? And was it accurate or motivated by political pressure? A lot of research on folkways was done in the 30's in NE that have very slanted bias "built in"; unfortunately a lot of the original items it was based on have been destroyed during the war and so we are left with a known slanted source as the *only* source for some things.

Thomas P - Wednesday, 02/25/04 13:46:47 EST

Utility vs. Weaponry: I sometimes carry my old USMC KaBar (actually manufactured by Camillus) in the field at some of the parks. (I later heard about "this guy from Washington with this big machete..." Yep, it was me. ;-) It's useful for chores and good for hacking though the briars, but as a weapon, it would not be my first choice unless I didn't have a good blunt-heavy-object at hand.

As a friend of mine said about the outcome of most knife fights, due to the very nature of the close-in combat: "Two losers."

Still, as blacksmiths, we all make the best knives we can, 'cause nothing is more depressing than a tool or weapon that fails when needed.

"The great tragedy of war is that, even if you do everything right, good people die- on both sides." (Uncle Atli's Very Thin Book of Wisdom)
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Wednesday, 02/25/04 15:55:16 EST

The tragedy of Iraq is that we were there once with overwhelming force and stopped a couple of days short of removing Saddam. Bad mistake, I think it emboldened him....and a few others.

If you let someone skilled in hand to hand get very close to you, even with a pistol you stand a fair chance of losing it. I have taken several classes in this area, and you quickly learn a great deal of respect for what a skilled and determined opponent can do to you in a short period of time.
It's been demonstrated--in real life as well is in class-- that approximately 7 yards of proximity is a potentially lethal situation.

The fly press discussion in the Guru's Den has been extremely informative for me. Sounds like a good tool!
Ellen - Wednesday, 02/25/04 17:02:25 EST

Brian C.
Re; duct collectors. The ones that I have seen are for woodworking. Wood dust is very light compared to iron dust. The wood dust hangs in the air, and you can clean the air by sucking it thru a filter. The better kind of wood working dust collectors are the ducted type, and often have a cyclone trap followed by a bag filter. These work quite well for wood.
None of the above are suitable for steel grinding. The type that just hang up will let most of the dust end up on the floor, and the ducted type have bags and filters that will catch on fire from the sparks. Been there, seen it happen.
The correct type for steel grinding dust will be specifically listed as being for use on metal grinding. You will find these systems much higher than those for wood, as plastic and other burnable materials can not be used. Also the velocity and suction pressure will be higher as the steel dust is more dense.
Also beware that if you are looking at used industrial collectors, that several traps for the unwary are common. First, there will be dust remaining in used units and it may be toxic. Also there are machines for the collection of mist that look very much like a dust collector. They will not function for the same reasons as the wood types.The mist types can usually be identified by the liquid drain, versus a dust dump for the dust collectors.
Good luck
ptree - Wednesday, 02/25/04 17:26:32 EST


The very first thing my first hand to hand combat instructor told us was: "If he's got a knife and you've got a gun, shoot him! If you don't have a gun,and you're smart, you'll run! If you are stupid and stay, EXPECT TO GET CUT! Because it WILL happen, and if you are surprised, you'll @#$%^& die!"

Some folks are afraid of knives. There's even a fancy psychological name for the fear. Me, I always figured I could do unto him before he did unto me. So far I've been right, but I've got scars.

> The great tragedy of war is that, even if you do everything right, good people die- on both sides." (Uncle Atli's Very Thin
> Book of Wisdom)

That book is getting thicker. And that's a good phrase, too.
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 02/25/04 17:57:51 EST

dust collectors: ptree:

Thanks for your response. Appreciate the advice.
Brian C - Wednesday, 02/25/04 18:21:19 EST

Weapons: The worst aspect of every weapon, be it a club or an ICBM, is the overconfidence it engenders in it's possessor. Far too many folks, politicians especially, think that mere possession of a weapon will win the day. Usually, the opposite is true. In the end, it all comes down to men and their mettle.

The first thing I was taught about serious fighting is that you MUST expect to be hurt, to some degree. You have to choose how severe that degree will be. I fyou do not expect it, it will undo you psychologically and you will lose everything. You simply have to learn that you can carry on with a few injuries.

Knife fights are for those who were foolish enough not to bring a gun. A knife is for dispatching an enemy quickly and quietly, hopefully before he ever learns you're there. Knife fights make good drama, but lousy survival odds. Face it, if you can get in close enough to do any damage to HIM, he is therefore automatically close enough to do unto you. And usually will.

I carry a reasonably sized automatic knife (read, switchblade) given to me by a friend. I DON'T carry it for fighting. I carry a pistol for that, because it is so much more efficient and I don't care these days who I wake up. In fact, I want to wake up lots of people if I'm in that situation, so I can have lots of company really soon. (grin) No, I carry the knife for cutting things, not people. Myself excepted, of course. And don't even bother asking how I cut myself.
vicopper - Wednesday, 02/25/04 19:34:07 EST

"A well armed society is a very polite society" Robert A. Heinlien
ptree - Wednesday, 02/25/04 21:46:45 EST

I try to live like this.......:
Questions, not statements.

Asking, not demanding.

And when all else fails, Embarrassment, not violence.

Violence is failure. But at times, human nature(self preservation) drives it.

Or is it all a test?
- One who tries, but does not always succeed. - Wednesday, 02/25/04 22:28:10 EST

Politeness and Fly Presses: ptree:

I think that part of our problem these days is that we have a very well armed, but impolite, society. (Present company excepted, of course.)

On to more civil subjects- like fly presses. Some of my friends mint coins. The lovely thing about a fly press is that it will do the job smoothly, quietly and consistantly. Otherwise, it takes a roundhouse blow with a 9# sledge. Authentic, but difficult, noisy and chancy- everything a fly press isn't.
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Wednesday, 02/25/04 23:17:51 EST

Australian Ironfest : Aussie viewers may be interested to learn that the 5th Australian Ironfest is on again, the last weekend in April.

Ironfest takes the form of a Fair but usually has significant blacksmithing and metal-art content. It is held in Lithgow NSW "The Birthplace of the Australian Iron and Steel Industry".

The site is once more the old State Mine Colliery, now a "Heritage Park".
- Phil H - Thursday, 02/26/04 03:01:41 EST

Weapons: To paraphrase a somewhat famous quote: "Cross an Englishman and he'll fret himself to death. Cross a Frenchman and he'll drink himself to death. Cross an American and he'll shoot you."
- Gerald - Thursday, 02/26/04 09:27:48 EST

There's an old movie in which John Candy plays an idiot N.Y. cop. He tells a Canadian "I'm your worst nightmare. I'm a citizen with a constitutional right to bear arms." I don't remember the movie, but I always liked that line.
Gronk - Thursday, 02/26/04 10:15:59 EST

Bruce, experience has prooven that RAH was an optimist. I read an interesting article once that contrasted two heavily armed societies: Switzerland and Somalia, both had similiar "weapons ownership" rates. One was polite with a very low crime rate. The other was a wide open chaos with massive death rate. Which was which is left as an exercise for the student...

RAH did address the overconfidence issue very well though, something to the effect of "if carrying a gun makes you feel 9'tall and covered in hair, perhaps you should carry a knife instead". I think having to make the choice to be within harms way to use a weapon is a good thing---now if we could just figure out how to keep folks from bringing a gun to a knife fight...(course I prefer the spear myself...)

Thomas P - Thursday, 02/26/04 10:23:10 EST

Thomas: You know me; I prefer an axe. (Still have to get started on another "bigger" one for my Eldest Daughter, or "Number 3" in her saga.)

Good luck in Germany; I'll try to hold down the fort against the medieval ingénues while you're away. Take lots of notes.
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Thursday, 02/26/04 12:21:05 EST

Re: GRONK - Movie: Gronk - I believe the movie was "CANADIAN BACON." I can be very wrong about the title. However it was set in Niagara Falls (both sides.) And the best part of the movie (for me) was watching the cameo appearances.

In regards to the replies on 'ONE GOOD TURN.' Gents/ladies thanks for comments. In reflection I have to agree it isn't a scholarly work, but it's (IMHO) a decent recreational/general interest read.

Nice and sunny at -5 Cel. north of the lake.

Don - Friday, 02/27/04 07:56:31 EST

Don, Canadian Bacon. Yup that's the one. I liked the line cuz it can be taken a couple different ways.
Gronk - Friday, 02/27/04 09:19:03 EST

For this group:

Butch Cassidy: No, no, not yet. Not until me and Harvey get the rules straightened out.
Harvey Logan: Rules in a knife fight? No rules.
Butch Cassidy and the Sun Dance kid.
- habu - Friday, 02/27/04 10:04:31 EST

Re: Movie Quotes: Gronk - in a similar vein is a button I saw at a Sci-Fi Con.

"Of Course We Canadians are Polite. You Americans Have Guns And We Aren't Stupid."

Habu - I remember the scene. The conversation ended with a well placed kick.

- Don - Friday, 02/27/04 11:51:43 EST

American Blacksmithing: Dose anyone know where I might find a copy of the book American Blacksmithing by Holstrom & Holford ? My local library has a copy but I would like to purchase a copy for my own library.
Steven Johnson - Friday, 02/27/04 20:19:46 EST

Steven J.:

Steve, Try searching on :
Paw Paw - Friday, 02/27/04 20:48:35 EST

More VI coppers: Rich; I see in USA Today recently that they are looking to hire some help for you down there. Mebbe you'll get some smithin' done now.
3dogs - Saturday, 02/28/04 01:39:37 EST

"American Blacksmithing": I have a copy of that book, a reprint, which I picked up on a remainder table about 20 years ago. If I'm not mistaken, I think the "Holstrom" is a misprint, and the actual spelling is "Holmstrom". shows one in their inventory, used, with a 1920 copyright date, for $50. One of my favorites. Regards, 3dogs
3dogs - Saturday, 02/28/04 01:54:47 EST

Vi Cops: 3dogs,

I've been suggesting to them for fifteen years that they need to try hiring off-island, but they've been reluctant to do it. Damned if I know why. They could get some good people who aren't married/related to all the local politicians/crroks/thieves/dealers here that way...come to think of it, that must be why they haven't wanted to do it.

We have a new Commissioner of Police now who is a straight shooter and really wants to change things for the better, so I'm planning on hanging in for another five years or until he goes. we'll see what happens. I'm glad that our hiring needs are in USA Today. That's a start.
vicopper - Saturday, 02/28/04 19:45:18 EST

VI COPS/USA Today: Rich; Every day, the paper has a page with a little news bit from each of the 50 states, and one of the territories. VI happened to be the territory du jour.
3dogs - Sunday, 02/29/04 04:25:33 EST

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