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Virtual Hammer-In!

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March 16 - 31, 2005 Archive

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

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

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

Please note that this forum uses an e-mail encryption system that prevents spam harvesters from collecting your e-mail address.

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

ebay anvils: I agree with both sides of the ebay selling anvil concerns. I asked everyone to take it to this forum instead of the guru's dean as i think it is better suited for non-tech comments. I don't care either way if people give non-blacksmith sellers info to boost sales. I really do see both sides. All I can say : is ebay was sure good to me selling old anvils when I was down on my luck with empty pockets.
burntforge - Wednesday, 03/16/05 00:26:07 EST

new anvils: I am still not having any luck getting these small anvil suppliers to be able to ship an anvil to the city I live in. I nicely expressed my needs of having an anvil delivered to my city instead of driving four hours round trip after paying freight charges. I even explained to many suppliers how easy it is to deliver to Conway down the road from me. One anvil supply has a Conway three miles from them and I explained all they would have to do and gave them all the terminal info. Think I can get a reply. Nope!! I don't want to mention poor service suppliers names since some advertize here. The only organization that can truely handle all my supply needs and shipping needs is Centaur Forge. They bend over backwards for their customers and have truely earned my business. It looks like my new anvil will be one they sell. They sent an item to me freight once and the driver called me and meet me at Kmart to pick it up. How is that for service? I don't think many of the little blacksmith suppliers will last long as they have poor communication skills. You can't do business if you can't reach them by phone. Some seem to pick and choose what emails they answer. One supplier is selling grey cast swage blocks that they get from a foundry that stole the design from the supplier and person who designed them. His were ductile. They made an exact copy of his pattern with the name removed. You can see a blank name logo area on the stolen block design. One of the other swage blocks was also stolen design from a foundry that made them from ductile. The copycat identical ones are also grey iron. I don't blame the supplier as they are getting them from a foundry that actually stole the designs. They have been confronted at shows by the actual real producers, though.
burntforge - Wednesday, 03/16/05 00:43:13 EST

ebay anvils: burntforge, You stopped selling anvils when you paid your debt off? Just think of the money you could be putting in the bank now that you are debt free.
Robert IW - Wednesday, 03/16/05 00:43:27 EST

ebay anvils: Hi Robert
I only have two old anvils and maybe three left to sell on ebay if I am able to get the new one I desire shipped to me. I only paid off the medical debt selling old anvils. i am still in hock with other debt from being sick for 10 years. I will confess some anvils sold a few dollars above what I paid for them and some sold for around 5 dollars a lbs back then. I was one of only a couple of people selling balcksmith tools at the time and people were paying crazy mad money for them. Ebay sure was good to me.
burntforge - Wednesday, 03/16/05 00:49:10 EST

new anvils: BTW...I mean no harm in my comments about trying to get a new anvil shipped to me in my above post. I am sure alot of the small suppliers are good people. Just not able to meet my needs personally. I just felt like I needed to state this as I don't want anyone TO'D at me. As afr as foundries copycating other peoples items that is between them and the Guy upstares. I know I only produced my own cast designs and not anyone elses. I had one of mine stolen and copied also. I know how if feels. That is why I feel strongly about it.
burntforge - Wednesday, 03/16/05 01:06:13 EST

Swage Block: BTW...Cenatur Forge now carries the small portable miniature swage block I designed. They own the rights and produce them. They came out in the 2005 catalogue. Check them out. They are handy to travel to those weekend hammer-ins. I make no monies from passing on the word. Just a nice tool to have and use.
burntforge - Wednesday, 03/16/05 01:13:38 EST

Many years ago I got my first welder, a Lincoln tombstone style. One of the amperages had a circle around it. I didn't know what that was for. Then one year we went up to Alpine, Arizona, elevation 8400 feet. It was winter and we were going to my sister's cabin. The pipes were froze, so my brother in law took the stinger and attached it to one end of the pipe, and the ground to the other. Then he set the amperage to the circled one, and turned it on. In a very short time it was thawed and without burning down the house by using a torch.
- Loren T - Wednesday, 03/16/05 03:36:10 EST

Pipe thawing with welder:
That's amazing, Loren - never heard of that being done. Is that the intended use of that setting, or is it just like a "preheat" setting?
T. Gold - Wednesday, 03/16/05 06:43:50 EST

Pipe Thawing: When I was a kid growing up in Boulder, Colorado, we had a plumber in town who spent much of the winter doing just that. Took his buzzbox around to folks houses, zapped the frozen pipes and went on his way, five bucks wealthier. It was a very common practice.

I have no idea at all if that circled setting was the "pipe thawing" setting or the highest setting you could use at 100% duty cycle. My bet would be on the latter, though.
vicopper - Wednesday, 03/16/05 09:39:37 EST

T. Gold: Why do I not find it surprising that a islander, even a haole, would not know about thawing pipe? (GRIN)
vicopper - Wednesday, 03/16/05 09:40:53 EST

ANVIL ADVICE: Does is seem a little strange to be against free blacksmithing advice/information here at the ultimate mother lode of free blacksmithing advice/information?
- Tom H - Wednesday, 03/16/05 10:41:35 EST

ebay: if the advice to sellers was limited to pieces that the advice giver had no intention on bidding, would that bother you as an interested bidder? the flip side; no comments on a piece that the "individual" was interested in bidding/winning?
rugg - Wednesday, 03/16/05 11:16:49 EST

More hand soap: Blaine Industrial Supply in Hobbs, NM, phone 505-397-1114, sells a hand cleaner powder that I like. It's called Thervo, and it is touted as a cold water hand cleaner. When you wet your hands, you apply a little bit and for a few seconds, it generates heat. The label says that it leaves the hands soft, smooth, well groomed, and that it will not irritate the skin. I've never had troubles with it bothering my skin, but I don't have the kind of skin that embrittles and cracks, either. It is only sold in bulk, double bagged in plastic. I just bought 5 pounds of it the other day @ $1.60 per pound. Shipping to Santa Fe was $5.80 UPS Goound.
- Frank Turley - Wednesday, 03/16/05 11:44:47 EST

Hand cleaner: After studying some green hand cleaner we had at the place where I work, I determined that it smelled and felt like a mixture of two fairly common materials. I mixed some generic-brand green dish soap and some 20 Mule Team Borax (the stuff we use for flux)together until I got the consistency I liked. Worked good fer me. I make no claims about the hazards, or the lack thereof, resulting from the use of this mixture. My hands did not bleed, burn, crack or decompose. You're on your own; your mileage may vary. How's that for a weasel clause?
3dogs - Wednesday, 03/16/05 12:05:13 EST

Frank's Hand Cleaner: Hey, Frank; Your stuff sounds like mine!!
3dogs - Wednesday, 03/16/05 12:09:06 EST

Silversmiths' Rifflers: I have a set of Silversmiths' Rifflers ending on ebay today. If anyone is interested, please see the link.
Silversmiths' Rifflers Assorted No 2 - 12 in box
- Harold - Wednesday, 03/16/05 13:28:08 EST

one last ebay: notice that sellers will post questions and answers in the ad at their descretion. the reason is for maximum bidding, and it works. nothing wrong with that. but what about legit questions that may or may not be answered and are not posted in the ad because it may discourage bidding?? they are not obligated to post anything additional. they may choose to revise the description. i have asked questions such as "that hardy hole looks pretty square for an anvil this age and the heel is fairly thick. has the face been replaced? any grind marks?" response " i "think" the face "may" have been replaced, cant be sure though, i am not an expert". this did not get posted, but the mystery maker was revealed by a generous soul and posted. seller's quote, (i love this), "ebay is a great way to be educated".

dead issue, no more posts....
rugg - Wednesday, 03/16/05 13:44:57 EST

rugg: frank, if you are from omaha, you might grin; i went to creighton.
rugg - Wednesday, 03/16/05 13:47:15 EST

Clean nails: If you get in the habbit of lightly scratching a bar of soap before you start your work it makes cleaning your nails a breeze afterward. You get used to it in no time. Keep a bar in the shop.
Gronk - Wednesday, 03/16/05 13:57:28 EST

Vicopper, Soap:
What can I say, our house in Olathe, Kansas where I lived for 8 years had good insulation. (Grin)

I notice no one has mentioned wearing latex gloves for half an hour or an hour before leaving the shop... makes your hands sweat out all the dirt. Works pretty good for me.
T. Gold - Wednesday, 03/16/05 15:28:54 EST

Anvil from Laurel Machine and Foundry Co?: Anyone have any experience with the anvils the are offered by Laurel Machine and Foundry Company?
- PredatorGuy - Wednesday, 03/16/05 15:40:34 EST

Omaha: I moved from Omaha just before finishing North High. We used to go to dirt track stock car races in Council Bluffs. We listened to KMA, Shenendoah, Iowa, for country music. I wonder if it's still going.

Laurel Machine, I don't know about their anvils, but the firepots are one inch thick. I have four of them.
Frank Turley - Wednesday, 03/16/05 16:05:07 EST

Laurel Machine: There anvils are beautiful probably one of the top ones made. Richard Postman who wrote anvils in america feels they are the best anvil made today. They are wondeful to deal with. The anvils cost big $$$. Worth every penny.
burntforge - Wednesday, 03/16/05 17:06:34 EST

Laurel Machine: Wow! I just looked at their website and got a real shock. Those anvils look good, they say they're 8630 steel treated to 50Rc, and they cost LESS THAN $2/lb. That is a really GOOD price, in this market. If they work at all, that's a way better deal than the Russkies, the used ones and about anything else I've seen lately.
vicopper - Wednesday, 03/16/05 18:17:40 EST

Matt H.: Any kind of square headed bolt would work and look right. If you can't find a square headed bolt, forge the head of a regular hex bolt to a square shape.
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 03/16/05 18:55:15 EST

Matt H: I'm not familiar with the particular model forge you have, but most of those old things used leather belts. Some flat, some round, depending on the type of pulley. Someone here will know a good source for the leather belting, I'm sure. If not, do a Google search for leather belting suppliers.
vicopper - Wednesday, 03/16/05 19:05:08 EST

Matt's forge: Matt,
I am willing to bet that there is a leather place near you. Get a enough to make a belt. at the ends you need to scarf the ends so that when overlapped they are flush ( a longer scarf) then glue it. Or find some canvas strips and glue them together to make a belt. GO to goodwill and buy a few used leather belts ( solid leather not a laminate)

Shoot I bet rope would work in a pinch. Be
Ralph - Wednesday, 03/16/05 19:42:10 EST

Tombstone/hand cleaner: IIRC, the circled amperage (75?) on the Lincon tombstone is the *only* setting with 100% duty cycle. Somehow the taps are set up so even the lower settings can't be used at 100%.

I've found that baby wipes clean suprisingly well and leave my hands smooth as a baby's . . . well maybe not quite. I've never actually bought them, but expect they might be too expensive to use if you have running water available.
Mike B - Wednesday, 03/16/05 19:42:31 EST

Hand cleaner: We've used go-jo with and without pumice and with and without citrus. Have washed with sand and river water when playing in the mud after a greasy fix. Still have some Lava soap and grew up with that. Have used all of the various industrial concoctions we get at work. Now, we just drop a couple drips of hand dish washing soap and it seems to work as well or better than any of them. Ajax, or Dawn or whatever brand was on sale. They all seem to work. And less expensive than the rest. The hard stuck stuff in the fingerprints and nails comes out when I use my hands to wash my hair and beard.

But being the curious sort, I may call Blains in the next state over. Grin.
- Tony - Wednesday, 03/16/05 20:48:12 EST

Clean hands: I've found that latherering up with dishwashing liquid then pouring some sugar into my palms for grit will clean as well as almost anything else in a pinch

lazarus - Wednesday, 03/16/05 21:22:42 EST

Laurel Machine Anvils: I thought they *looked* good too, but I'm no expert, and looks are only skin deep. The price is right, though. On sale, they're on par with EuroAnvils and OldWorldAnvils...
- PredatorGuy - Wednesday, 03/16/05 21:35:17 EST

Laurel anvil: Ray Robinson is presently the comptroller at Laurel. I met him a few years back, and I think he was instrumental in adding smithing gear to the Machine and Foundry line. The company is large, and Robinson had a personal interest in blacksmithing, and sort of pushed it through and got it incorporated into the business. I think that sometimes there are backorders to contend with, but it's probably worth the wait. They hollow-cast 4 foot mandrels, with or without the vertical slot, and they have small, rectangular swage blocks.
Frank Turley - Wednesday, 03/16/05 23:13:36 EST

Thawing pipes with a "Forney" buzbox:The book for this machine says to use 120 to 140 amps for 1/2 & 3/4" pipes up to 100' and 160 to170 amps if over 100' BUT to ALWAYS use the LOW ground tap regardless of amperage setting. If You have one of these machines You will know what they mean.
Dave Boyer - Thursday, 03/17/05 00:02:25 EST

LMFco anvils: I've been recommending these for years but nobody seems to listen. John C. Campbell Folk School has a few, or did in 1999, the last time I was there. GREAT anvil. The only thing I would do to one would be to chamfer the hardy hole, otherwise they're pretty much perfect from the factory. Good rebound, good face hardness (i.e. doesn't show hammermarks from missed blows), and even a nice ring that isn't quite as piercing as a Kohlswa. They're also London pattern anvils with the hardy and pritchel holes in the heel, which semms to be getting harder to find these days.

LMF also makes the best cast firepot on the market, but it's expensive too.

Note: I have no connection to the company, I just like their stuff. Hmmm.... maybe they'll send me an anvil for the free advertising! That'd be nice...
Alan-L - Thursday, 03/17/05 12:09:20 EST

- PETE - Thursday, 03/17/05 12:34:37 EST

Laureal Machine Foundry Co: I just spoke with Ray Robinson this morning and purchased a 175 lb anvil. All the tools on the web site with reduced prices have been discontinued. The only thing they still have available are some 175 lb anvils. They are continuing to carry and make their forges, tuyeres, fire boxes and blowers.
burntforge - Thursday, 03/17/05 13:24:40 EST

LMF: Thanks for the heads-up, Pete. I just looked, and all the smihting equipment is half price. A 400 lb anvil for $795 is a steal, too bad I can't afford it. Same with the four-foot floor cone mandrel at $295. This is a bad time to be broke!
Alan-L - Thursday, 03/17/05 13:39:39 EST

LMF: All the 400 lbs anvils and Floor mandrals are gone. Only 175 lb anvil available.
burntforge - Thursday, 03/17/05 13:51:31 EST

LMF Co:: Well, I pulled the trigger on a 175lb anvil from Laurel Machine this afternoon. I can't believe that I'm buying a NEW anvil as a beginner. I'm a bit relieved, though. I've been searching the used market for a couple of months and not found anything worth having around me.
- PredatorGuy - Thursday, 03/17/05 15:07:27 EST

Upcoming Events: If you are in range of North Western North Carolina this weekend is the NC-ABANA meet at BigBLUhammer Mfg. Co. this Saturday March 19. There will be numerous vendors including BlacksmithSupply/Euroanvils, Klingspor and others. The NEW BigBLU QC-155 will be demonstrated by Dean Kurfman. Lunch will be served and there will be an auction and loads of blacksmith type fun.

Friday night there will be a pre-meet party and impromptu hammer demos. Come watch the guru make mashed iron as he makes a fool of himself!

This is the second year for this event (see our NEWS). It was a good event last year and promisses to be even better as a yearly event. See the page details and directions.
- guru - Thursday, 03/17/05 15:28:45 EST

Someone asked why I did not list their anvils in the top ten list the other day. It was because I had been told that they were not sure they were going to keep up the blacksmith tool business (several years ago) and didn't want anymore business. Well, it has finaly come to pass. But you never know they may come back.

But I DO get tired of folks telling me they "dont want anymore business" as an excuse not to advertise. Be sure they know their "fire sale" was found via .

- guru - Thursday, 03/17/05 15:37:27 EST

Guru- Re: LMF: I told 'em this afternoon that thier increased anvil business this morning was likely due to this forum...
- PredatorGuy - Thursday, 03/17/05 15:41:11 EST

Anvils: Since I just bought a new LMF anvil my prized Hay Budden is going up on the auction block at ebay within a week. I will also be selling two small unusual anvils too. Only old anvil I am keeping is from the family shop.
burntforge - Thursday, 03/17/05 15:42:08 EST

Lava Soap Historical Note: I remember when the bars were gray colored and grittier. Somewhere along the line, they changed to a light green color and became "smoother".

LM&F, All those threads about "made in USA", and now with Laurel, we're a day late and a dollar short.
Frank Turley - Thursday, 03/17/05 15:53:07 EST

Lava Soap:
I've used Lava all my life. My grandfather was a tool and die maker, and he swore that Lava was the only soap that would take off the grease and grime that he sometimes got covered with. (grin) I use it for everything, including showering, which drives my kids crazy.

And like Frank, I remember when it was gray and grittier. Then they added clorophyl (so we smelled better) and took out some of the pumice. It still works better than anything else I've tried.
Paw Paw - Thursday, 03/17/05 15:59:16 EST

Clean Hands : For really clean hands, hand wash the day's dishes, it will give your hands a long gentle soak, light scouring, and just might put a smile on your face. BOG.
P.S. When Momma's happy everybody is happy.
- habu - Thursday, 03/17/05 18:52:12 EST

Smoother Soap:
Frank, I must have missed the "old" Lava soap. However, one of my favorite cleaners "Comet" reduced the grit size or removed it for use on plastic (synthetic stone) sinks. Comet was a GREAT pre-paint prep for removing chalking paint as well a oily finger prints on old cars. I never had a paint job fail that had the old paint cleaned with the original Comet.

Them there was "octagon" soap and and industrial version. . The industrial stuff was STRONG smelling and an old box of it in my shop kept the air fresh for years until the box got soaked in a flood.

Seems like many of the older products did a better job.

Chicken fat seems to remove the nastiest grease, tar and paint. . .
- guru - Thursday, 03/17/05 19:05:33 EST

Matt H: Sure Matt, You can come over and do some forging on it any time you want. Burntforge :)
burntforge - Thursday, 03/17/05 21:15:50 EST

Old Soap: Back when I was still painting signs, we used Bon Ami for cleaning glass prior to painting or gilding. That was the old cake Bon Ami, NOT the stuff in the can. It got glass absolutely, totally chemically clean with NO residue at all, something necessary when applying gold leaf with nothing more than light gelatin sizing. Unfortunately, the folks at Faultless/Bon Ami weren't sellling enough of it, and it became impossible to get. I did manage to order a case of it from the factory, which lasted me and some friends several years. I still have one bar left. It may be the last one in captivity, for all I know.

We used the old Bon Ami for prepping cars for lettering, too. Got the paint totally clean, but not scratched. Back in those days, we used Easy-Off oven cleaner to remove old lettering from truck doors, too. Now that they've "gentrified" oven cleaners, that probably won't work anymore, though.
vicopper - Thursday, 03/17/05 21:23:52 EST

GLORIFIED PUMICE: PAW-PAW --YUP--You are a hard a**. I have not tried any LAVA soap for a lot of years. If you have gone to showering with it. It is a lot milder than it was when my MOMA used it to clean up my mouth. I did not even say durn, for pert-neer three days.BOG

- sandpile - Thursday, 03/17/05 22:45:48 EST

guru aids: Howdy all. Where can i find the info about all the guru's aids on this site. I started to read it at one time and now I can't find it. I wanted to know and see who all the guru aids are and find out more about their individual shops. Just curious. What to know who these people really are and what makes them tick on this site.
burntforge - Thursday, 03/17/05 23:14:34 EST

Burntforge: Go to Guru's Den, and go to "Top Post". Click on "The-Gurus".
Frank Turley - Thursday, 03/17/05 23:22:01 EST

Sandpile: Lava is all I have used since I was a kid.

Bugs my wife when I take my teeth out and brush them with it. Of course, I have to rinse them REAL good before I put them back in my mouth! (grin)
Paw Paw - Friday, 03/18/05 00:00:48 EST

Lava: When I was a young man working in my father's orthpaedic shop we used Lava (yes, the gray, gritty kind) on our hands , and Tide rubbed into a wet rag to clean our face.

The dirt & grime generated by a 5 horse bufffer running an 18 inch wheel is considerable.
Brian C - Friday, 03/18/05 09:03:56 EST

"orthopaedic" - proof then post!
Brian C - Friday, 03/18/05 09:06:24 EST

Hand cleaner, soap, Lava, etc::
There's some pretty good stuff out now that's grittier than the current Lava soap, called FastOrange. There's a shop-goo form and a bar form. Smells good, too!
- PredatorGuy - Friday, 03/18/05 10:04:52 EST

Soap: I use a tub of Gojo in the shop. That works very well, cleaning pretty much all greasy-grimy dirt, but smells like the petroleum distillate that is #1 on the contents. When it runs out I think I'll try that Orange stuff.

Regarding liquid soaps; I had a plumber clear out my drains last year. They were pretty plugged up and it wasn't pretty at all. For once I didn't mind handing him my life savings for a 2-hour job. He said that the rise in use of liquid soaps was causing more and more drain pipes to plug up.
- Marc - Friday, 03/18/05 11:52:25 EST

The old grey Lava hurt my skin when I was a little kid but that's what I got scrubbed with when I was filthy. Now, I use Di-limonene to remove oil and Gojo for what's left. Fine sand and diesel also works good on greasy grime.
HWooldridg - Friday, 03/18/05 13:05:01 EST

Soap: Yep. I remember the old gray Lava too. Worked good. Another method I have not heard mentioned here is bacon grease. Save a little bit and rub it into your hands before washing. Cuts the grease and oil loose. We used to keep narrow strips old salt cured bacon, usually a year or two old and strong, in the stripping rooms. Tobacco is covered with a sticky tar that builds up on your hands when pulling the leaves from the stalk. We're talking about air cured burley here folks. Couldn't stop and wash your hands every five minutes, so we would hang bacon on a wire from the rafters. When the gum built up, you would just reach up, grab the strip and let it slide through your hands. Cleaned them up real quick.
- Larry - Friday, 03/18/05 14:34:03 EST

wouldnt lard like, say Crisco work the same
adam - Friday, 03/18/05 16:52:50 EST

Soap: This has been a very useful thread for me. Once one develops skin problems on the palms of the hands, hammer work is no fun at all. Thank you (almost) every one for their comments
adam - Friday, 03/18/05 16:59:07 EST

Bacon soap: Now there's a scent that hasn't been tried yet! And the shop version can be called Porko.
- Marc - Friday, 03/18/05 17:18:39 EST

We have a discussion going in the members forum about keeping this site alive and getting better. All ideas are welcome.
Ellen - Friday, 03/18/05 18:41:04 EST

lard and Crisco are not the same. I would expect lard would work as it is generally rendered pork fat, but Crisco is a vegetable based thing. Was developed as lard tends to go rancid etc.
Ralph - Friday, 03/18/05 19:12:17 EST

Ralph is right, but many hand cleaners are coconut oil based, so lard might work, even though it is vegetable based.
Paw Paw - Friday, 03/18/05 19:42:52 EST

Matt H: Nope, not retired...yet. I'm still working as a cop in the VI, but in administration these days. A couple or three years left to go before they give me the boot.
vicopper - Friday, 03/18/05 20:19:42 EST

Hand cleaners-Bon Ami: Back in 1978 we were doing a remodel job on the cell block 2 at Arizona State Prison in Florence, Az. You can see it in the movie "Stir Crazy". As part of the job, we removed approximately 18 steel bars about 1 inch in diameter and about 12 inches long at the back of each cell. Then we welded stainless perforated plate over the openings. I kept one of the bars as a souvenir. There is no mistaking what they are, as security bars are not just round, but have a rib on each side of them. One day some time later, a house mover called Smilin' Ed came in my office. When he spotted that, he said,"Oh I recognize that! I can cut that in half in a week with a sock."
"How on earth can you do that?"
"Well, you take one string out of a wool sock and put it in the palm of your hand with a little spit and some Bon Ami. Stir it around, and then wrap the string around a bar and pull it back and forth until it is clean. Repeat this until the string wears out, and then use a new one. It takes just about a week and a whole sock to get through 1 bar."
- Loren T - Friday, 03/18/05 21:48:05 EST

hey guru, I just saw where you were in the soap box derby. Down here in Lancaster, we have what we believe is the only permanent museum of derby racers in the states. We are only two hours southeast of quad state. I raced as a kid and the 1987 world champ is from here. If you ever get down this way and you want to see the museum, let me know
- Jeff G - Friday, 03/18/05 23:34:43 EST

Jeff G,

There is a blacksmith tool supplier in Lancaster that sells on ebay. Do you know if they have a retail shop there? I am in Waverly.
- Brian C. - Saturday, 03/19/05 09:59:52 EST

Blacksmith tools: Brian C
Dennis Beckley & Meagan Smith 8641 Mt. Union Ct. Lancaster Ohio 43130 (614)833-6924 Brian C they took over Norm Windles business,in Lancaster
- old moose - Saturday, 03/19/05 12:10:27 EST

blacksmith tools: Thanks Fred!
- Brian C. - Saturday, 03/19/05 12:46:22 EST

Crisco: We have a large container of butter flavored Crisco left over from Thanksgiving when someone baked a pie and used one teaspoonful. Seems to work very well as a hand cleanser. Washes off with soap - leaves the skin thoroughly moisturized and smelling of butter.

I like Marc's idea. Anvilfire could make and sell bacon soap as a fundraiser. I suggest "Oink" as brand name. Here are some marketing ideas.

"Looking for a gift for the man in your life? Buy him Oink and let him know how much you care"

"Looking for a fragrance that doesnt compromise your masculinity? Try Oink and you will hear comments like:"

"Honey, you smell nicer than a pig's bee-hind!"

"Whoo hee! Honey that bacon smell makes me HOT - lets get some breakfast!
adam - Saturday, 03/19/05 14:38:25 EST

Brian C.: Dennis doesn't have a shop but he will ship stuff out. He is using a different foundry than Norm and the stuff I have seen is really good quality. Dennis is talking about trying to add new tools to the line so if any of you guys are thinking about something you would like to see, make sure you see him at quad state. Also Brian, if you are down this way ever, stop and see us. Norm and a bunch of us get together a couple of times a week to play in the fire
- Jeff G - Saturday, 03/19/05 14:40:38 EST

Adam : You need to do a pat. search. It's been done:
Bacon Soap
habu - Saturday, 03/19/05 15:13:17 EST

Jeff G.: Thanks for the info. would like to stop in sometime. email me an address sometime.
Brian C - Saturday, 03/19/05 16:11:33 EST

Matt, boy are you in luck! Quad-State has camping right next to the dog pound, your hands will be finger licking good! Don't take it amiss ifn I don't shake...

Adam, there is a known cure for hairy palms...

No wonder Paw Paw is so good with that strop, after showering with lava he probably just swats off the water with the strop while listening to a tape of folks yelling SIR YES SIR! (of course we can speculate on his using cosmoline as a hand lotion as well...)

Thomas P - Saturday, 03/19/05 21:06:58 EST

A favorite hand cleaner around here is Worx. Wet your hands in the slack tub, use a pea sized amount on your hands, rub, and they are clean. Another smith told me the guy's original sales pitch was to stop into a shop drop off a couple containers and say
- Daryl - Sunday, 03/20/05 09:54:36 EST

Hand Cleaner: OOPS! I'm not sure what happened there
A favorite hand cleaner around here is Worx. Wet your hands in the slack tub, use a pea sized amount on your hands, rub, and they are clean. Another smith told me the guy's original sales pitch was to stop into a shop drop off a couple containers and say "when you are out call this number to order more" and leave. I tried it once and was sold. It is also get for cleaning the bath tub. I'm not sure if it is sold in the States but you can get it through Lee Valley Tools
Lee Valley (worx)
- Daryl - Sunday, 03/20/05 09:59:26 EST

thermit: A young person meet up with me to look at my boat for sale. He works in the rail road yard. He was telling me they still fuse the tracks and other things with thermit. He is one of the people that does the thermit welding. I found it very interesting.
burntforge - Sunday, 03/20/05 13:08:12 EST

bacon soap: Habu, nah its all in the branding. That stuff promises to get you hygienically clean but Oink will get you cleaner'n a pig's bee-hind and your scent will drive women crazy for their breakfast.
adam - Sunday, 03/20/05 15:18:42 EST

Anyone know a good way to get grease out of a swage block? I inadvertly set it underneath where I hang my grease gun and it dripped down on it. I tried to burn it off with a Mapp torch but that did not work. I hesitate to use heavy duty cleaners since the grease ran down inside the bowl and spoon shaping depressions. It's as if it "soaked" into the iron. I don't know if the grease would be toxic or not. BTW Thomas P, thanks for the reply about the Arm & Hammer anvil. I'll need to take another look to determine if it is a Vulcan or Fischer.
- Robert Dean - Sunday, 03/20/05 22:37:15 EST

Robert Dean: I don't know for sure if this will work, but you might try some easy off oven cleaner. I read an article once about a gunsmith who used it to pull oil out of gun stocks. He said that it worked like a charm
- Jeff G - Sunday, 03/20/05 23:07:22 EST

grease removal: Personally if it were me I would not worry. It will eventually go away as the block is used. Or it will not. Either way no problems. YMMV
Ralph - Sunday, 03/20/05 23:31:34 EST

Greasy Block--If You have oil dry or cat litter, mash it up fine,sprinkle it on, wipe it off a day later & repeat untill it doesn't soak out any more. Corn starch will work the same way & You don't have to grind it up.This allso works to get grease stanes out of teak boat decks.
- Dave Boyer - Monday, 03/21/05 00:25:16 EST

Robert Dean-- I would drag it out in the driveway, slather some GUNK, the engine de-greaser, on it, and hose it off. If there was grease still left, I'd repeat until there was not. Bring the swage block inside at night and lock it up. Muy scarce.
Miles Undercut - Monday, 03/21/05 01:21:08 EST

Swage block: Sadly, your once lovely swage block is now destroyed beyond redemption, Robert. Wrap it in canvas, place it in a pine box and ship it to me, where it can live out its remaining pitiful life far from prying eyes.

Seriously, don't worry about it. Smear out the grease that is there and call it rust-proofing. It ain't gonna hurt anyone a bit.
vicopper - Monday, 03/21/05 02:56:22 EST

Robert that would be Vulcan or Arm&Hammer: cast so that it projects == Vulcan, Punched in so it's recessed Arm&Hammer with Arm&Hammer being a much better anvil than Vulcan IMNSHO.

I've never kept any of the vulcan's I've bought but still have the Arm&Hammer I got 22 years ago...
Thomas P - Monday, 03/21/05 11:42:40 EST

Greasy Block:
Wipe it off with any handy solvent (WD-40) and forget it. A little grease will keep it from rusting. If you do hot work on the block then you might get a little smoke.

The more serious question is just HOW ROUGH is this block? Grease and oil should wipe of easily from a finished surface. If these bowl shapes are unfinished and the grease is trapped in the the rough as-cast surface then you have a different problem. Besides cleaning you also need to grind the surface smooth. THEN oil to keep from rusting.

In the old days commercial swage blocks were cast using finishing sand and had very smooth surfaces. Modern blocks are sand cast, the gates and risers trimed and flash dressed then shipped. When you get one home it needs a day's work with an angle grinder, belt sander and die grinder plus an assortment of different size wheels. Flap type wheels do the best job but you still need various sizes especialy for small spoon impressions.

The last time I dressed swage block castings I had to invest in $100 (1984 price) of abrasives. That included 1" x 6" dia. flap wheels down to the 1" dia. drum type. I used a full size angle grinder, a small 4" angle grinder and a 1/4" shank die grinder. Flat surfaces and some of the V's were dressed with a standard fiberglass resinoid wheel. The big bowls were dressed with the big flap wheel and when is wore down it was used in small places. I always keep a couple worn standard wheels on hand to fit into tight places.

The only surfaces on a swage block that should be rough are the non-working flats and inside holes where you cannot get to. However, those "non-working" surfaces are the easiest to get to and are often partialy dressed from the manufacturer. . .

- guru - Monday, 03/21/05 12:57:24 EST

Soap Box Racers:
Jeff, sounds like fun. Sadly mine got shipped off to a farm where they were run up and down gravel roads. . . Having three tied up a LOT of space in the garage and weighing 180 pounds were a pain to shuffle around.

My recliner was THE first and stretched the interpertations of the rules but did meet them. Two weeks before the check in a friend and from school and his dad came by to visit, saw my car, went home and scraped the one they had been working on for 6 months and built a recliner. It looked like heck, pissed me off and almost beat me. . . with my basic design. But his was also one of those things that did not stretch the intreptation of the rules it clearly broke several (cockpit less than minimum dimensions, stearing not the minimum distance above the floor board (by HALF)) and should have been rejected. So much for original ideas and it was an early lesson about rules that I have seen repeated over and over and over. . . Some folks can break all the rules and get away with it. . I never have.
- guru - Monday, 03/21/05 13:08:32 EST

Soap Box: Guru, You'll definately have to stop some time and visit our museum if your car was the first layback. We have some that look almost like VW bugs in shape clear up to todays cars. Derby has had a resurgence here, I think we had over 50 racers last year, up from about 20 a few years ago. We also believe we are the only local that owns our own land. We have 15 or 20 acres of woods and sandstone cliffs with camping areas. We had a motorized return cart to send the cars and drivers back up to the top and it ran on a mono rail. It started out as a modified golf cart but eventually it had a 4 speed vw bus engine put on it. By that time I was driving it and that thing would scoot. We had some really fantastic dads that set that place up in the sixties( i wasn't around yet) alot of those guys are gone now but we have a great facility because of their hard work. Would love to give you a tour some day.
- Jeff G - Monday, 03/21/05 13:46:13 EST

sorber collection: recently read the the sorber collection is going up for auction. have also read that the metal museum in memphis is interested. would be ideal if it did not end up in private hands, and worst, good lord, show up on ebay.
rugg - Monday, 03/21/05 16:33:43 EST

Sorber Collection- As I understand it, the Sorber estate is hoping to get really big bucks for the collection at auction- hundreds of thousands. The metal museum is trying to raise a little money thru donations, but more in the range of 5 grand or more- so I really doubt they will be able to get more than a few pieces.
- ries - Monday, 03/21/05 20:56:32 EST

hundreds of thousands?? i dont think that the intent is on maximum dollars, ie a big expensive auction marketing plan for these pieces. for people like jim wallace, who would like to keep the collection for public benefit, among other
- rugg - Monday, 03/21/05 23:25:56 EST

collection: hundreds of thousands?? i dont think that the intent is on maximum dollars, ie a big expensive auction marketing plan for these pieces. for people like jim wallace, who would like to keep the collection for public benefit, among other "big names" with similar feelings, i really doubt they can only raise a "little money". the metal museum has obtained sizable grants from business and governent, and i expect he and others to work hard and contact past contributors for big, not little, money. if wallace believes it is important, and i would guess he does, dont be surprised if the majority of the collection one day is on exhibit at the metal museum.....time will tell
- rugg - Monday, 03/21/05 23:28:03 EST

collection: my guess is that you are way off. the metal museum, under jim wallace, of carbondale fame ( so. illinois), has had, and continues, to obtain sizable contributions from business and government. if it is important to wallace, and other big names, my guess is that the majority of the collection will one day be on exhibit at the metal museum. i am not close to the situation, but from what i understand, mr sorber is the owner and is mentally still very sharp. he is, however, getting up in age and physically not able to manage the collection to his satisfaction. you may know something that i dont. a reasonable option would be for him to donate the collection to a museum, where it could kept intact. his airs may have input. will be interesting to see what unfolds. a "little money" is the opposite of what i predict will happen. an auction that will generate "hundreds of thousands of dollars" requires an extensive auction marketing effort. i cant picture that happening. if you are at liberty to divulge more details, please do. this collection, as you know, is an important example of the craft and the people and culture of the time. it might be the most complete. if the collection does bring in that kind of money, i would be happy if it did not end up in private hands
- rugg - Monday, 03/21/05 23:48:39 EST

collection: safari does not work on this forum. will respond tomarrow to the collection issue....
- rugg - Monday, 03/21/05 23:50:37 EST

Scandinavians and Vikings: Remember; Viking is a job description, not a racial or national designation. You go viking. It's sort of like someone who rides motorcycles could be called a bikier. All it really tells you is that they ride motorcycles.

I stand 6'1" (6'2" on the ship and on days of battle ;-) and my family name is an Anglo-Norse hybrid from the Danelaw. I joke that my norse heritage came about when there was an unexpected knock on the door in County Durham. My mother's side includes lage sections of Northern Europe and the British Isles; my wif's side is English, Irish, Swedish, and some folks who came to North America on the land bridge.

So, it's nice to know where your ancestors came from (and all families have wonderful and interesting stories, if you can pry them out from the mists of time); but more important is what you do with what you've got. The best way to honor our families is to do well, and to do good, while we have the time.
Go viking!
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Tuesday, 03/22/05 00:01:16 EST

Sorber Collection: It would certainly be wonderful for this collection to be purchased by the metal museum. It would then be wonderful to put out a catalogue of the front and back of each piece for duplication or forging ideas.
burntforge - Tuesday, 03/22/05 00:04:35 EST

Sorber: The Metal Museum home page sent me to where the museum is soliciting donations for the purchase of a few items from the collection. It was not explained why only a few were sought.

I had the privelege of visiting the Sorber collection at his the residence just prior to Plummer's book publication. It would be a great addition, if the Metal Museum could purchase the entire group of objects.
Frank Turley - Tuesday, 03/22/05 01:22:14 EST

Thank You All: Just a short note to say THANK YOU ALL the outpouring of care and concern from all of you was simply wonderful. Thanks to CSI for the lovely potted Begonia, I will keep it in the house till the weather warms up, then it will go out on the patio deck which was one of Candy's favorite places. I will never forget your care, concern and kindness.

Woody - Tuesday, 03/22/05 09:44:03 EST

Roots: Interesting, too, how more and more, the medical folk are tracking the predisposition to certain diseases back to one's ethnic and geographic origins. The Afromericans have sickle cell anemia, Eastern European Jews have their Tay-Sachs, and my own niece was recently diagnosed with MS, which a geneticist said was traceable to the Nordic end of the gene pool. THANKS A LOT, UNCLE LARS !!!! (grin)
3dogs - Tuesday, 03/22/05 09:50:30 EST

Viking: Cap'n Atli; We gotta whip up a T-shirt that says VIKE NAKED!!!! (Wait a minute..... if ya did that, then ya couldn't wear yer t-shirt.) Never mind.
3dogs - Tuesday, 03/22/05 09:59:57 EST

baresarkers: 3dogs, that's why you have it tattoo'd across your chest!
Alan-L - Tuesday, 03/22/05 11:03:30 EST

3Dogs: Sorry to hear the hard news about your niece.
adam - Tuesday, 03/22/05 11:19:52 EST

AlanL: Hey! No fair peekin'!
3dogs - Tuesday, 03/22/05 12:19:08 EST

welding tool steel: hiya folks------- ive been making several different styles of stake tools---- and are having to make the shank and stake body in two different pieces and i'm looking for tips and or advice on joining the 2 pieces------- i have an old school 1954 lincon tombstone stlye ac welder 30 ta 300 amps----- any advice on the tpye of rods---- preheating as well as heat treating the parts after welding would be really helpful--------- both shank and stake body is 1080----------- thanks so much............. oh and i still have bunches of that 1080 for sale-- 2 and a 1/4 round in lengths ranging from 3 ta 5 inches on average--- some larger interested parties please email ........ happy hammering
- pete - Tuesday, 03/22/05 12:20:35 EST

Adam : Thanks, Adam. She's handling it very well. It has been found that, in women, pregnancy seems to hold MS at bay, and so far she's had 2 more babies since she was diagnosed.
3dogs - Tuesday, 03/22/05 12:26:31 EST

I have had good luck welding high carbon steel with AC rated 7018 rod on my Lincoln AC buzz box. I dont usually bother with pre & post heats. Also, SS rod seems to work well but its spendy.
adam - Tuesday, 03/22/05 12:36:15 EST

MS is a slow moving autoimmune disease. A young person with this affliction has cause to be optomistic that a cure or an effective therapy will be developed soon enough.

We have a son with an autoimmune disease and we live in this hope. :)
adam - Tuesday, 03/22/05 12:38:56 EST

Pete/Welding: Pete, you have a good old, copper wound Tombstone, there. It should be up to the task. I would recommend, if you're doing a butt weld, bevelling both parts to a chisel point, or if a tee weld, just the end of the branch. Preheat both pieces, weld with stringers ONLY, do NOT weave. Go back and forth, do one side of the joint, and then flip it over and to the other. Keep it hot, and don't quit welding until you're done. Then, bury it in Vermiculite, (get that at a nursery)and let it cool down on its own, dont quench it. I used to have pretty good luck with a 11018 Low Hydrogen rod on such applications.
3dogs - Tuesday, 03/22/05 12:46:11 EST

Pete: That's one stringer at a time, back and forth, back and forth.
3dogs - Tuesday, 03/22/05 12:57:21 EST

Stringers: why no weaving?
adam - Tuesday, 03/22/05 13:04:02 EST

MS: 3dogs sorry to hear this.
I lost a very very close buddy to MS just a year ago. Unfortuately Grizzly had a very agressive and fast acting form. He was gone after only 6 years.
But I know several others who have MS and they are living a fairly normal life.
So I am betting that a few prayers will only help your niece. So She is added to my prayer list.
Ralph - Tuesday, 03/22/05 14:13:02 EST

Copper Inlay: Hi everyone,
Rite i'm just coming to the end of a one year course in blacksmithing and have a final project to do. I've decided to do a chess board and want to make the board from one piece of steel with copper inlaid into it to divide the squares up. I've no idea if this is possible and can't find much info on the net on inlaying copper! Does anyone know much about it? Can ya's give me some tips if ya's do? The only thing i can think of at the minute is to chisel the required grooves into the plate then braze copper wire into the grooves. I not sure if this will work though i think the copper might come out again. Thank for reading!!
- Steven Murphy - Tuesday, 03/22/05 14:26:34 EST

Copper Inlay: Hi everyone,
Rite i'm just coming to the end of a one year course in blacksmithing and have a final project to do. I've decided to do a chess board and want to make the board from one piece of steel with copper inlaid into it to divide the squares up. I've no idea if this is possible and can't find much info on the net on inlaying copper! Does anyone know much about it? Can ya's give me some tips if ya's do? The only thing i can think of at the minute is to chisel the required grooves into the plate then braze copper wire into the grooves. I not sure if this will work though i think the copper might come out again. Thank for reading!!
- Steven Murphy - Tuesday, 03/22/05 14:28:43 EST

Steve: A chess board!! :) You are thinking of copper inlay to define the squares? What are you doing to get alternating dark and light sqs?

I've never done any copper inlay but I have read a bit in Oppi Untracht's marvellous book "Metal Techniques for Craftsmen". Can be found used for about $35. Rich Waugh kept recommending this book so I finally broke down and bought it. He was right, as usual.

I have thought about doing something similar but instead of inlay, to just braze the copper or brass into the groove and then grind the surface back to reveal the pattern
adam - Tuesday, 03/22/05 14:36:26 EST

Copper Inlay: A friend and excellent blacksmith showed off a grate element (I think) that had a copper design inlayed. He said he formed the copper-to-be shape in the steel, then undercut the edges with a chisel. The copper was then hammered into place. The hammering forced the copper under the edges and it held in place very nicely.
- Marc - Tuesday, 03/22/05 14:38:27 EST

Atli; I have always found I'm about an inch *shorter* in *height* after wearing a maille shirt all day....My ancestors were really into that "Hybrid vigour" thing. My wife had one set of grandparents that were pure Welsh and Polish, I'd hate to think what loud arguments degenerating into their native languages would sound like.

Thomas P - Tuesday, 03/22/05 15:03:36 EST

52100 Heat treating: I have experienced several different electrical (resistance) characteristics after 52100 was returned from an outside heat treater. At first we heated to 1800F and oil quenched. Next we tried to vacuum heat to 1550F and quench with Nitrogen gas. In both cases, of the returned parts 50% have the electrical properties required(low resistance/ high conductance). The other 50% fail miserably. Any ideas on how to get "good" parts after heat treat?
- Palzkill - Tuesday, 03/22/05 15:20:27 EST

52100 Heat treating: I have experienced several different electrical (resistance) characteristics after 52100 was returned from an outside heat treater. At first we heated to 1800F and oil quenched. Next we tried to vacuum heat to 1550F and quench with Nitrogen gas. In both cases, of the returned parts 50% have the electrical properties required(low resistance/ high conductance). The other 50% fail miserably. Any ideas on how to get "good" parts after heat treat?
- Palzkill - Tuesday, 03/22/05 15:23:31 EST

copper wire inlay: Traditional wire inlay is done as Marc said, cut a square groove, undercut the sides like a dovetail, and hammer the copper wire into it. I've done this with silver and brass and had no trouble at all with it coming loose.

Cutting the grooves and filling with braze works too, but there's considerably more cleanup involved plus the added danger of warping your steel plate.
Alan-L - Tuesday, 03/22/05 17:08:53 EST

Inlay: It is possible to inlay a sheet into steel without soldering, but it surely helps to have a Gravermeister, an expensive instrument which allows the graver to oscillate rapidly, thereby making the cutting go easier. If, say, you're inlaying a chessboard square, after scribing your layout lines, you use a small cold chisel (a graver) to cut away the entire ground on the steel. It's cut to the depth of the inlay metal thickness. The edges are dovetail undercut and the resulting burr lifted up slightly all round the border. The inlay piece will have all edges file-beveled. The inlay piece is often bossed up a little so when it is hammer tapped in place, it will flatten out to the proper shape. The burred edges are tapped down to hold the square in place. Sand, polish, and coat as desired.

If no gravermeister is available, the work can be done with hand held gravers and a light hammer like a chaser's hammer or a small ball peen. Moisten the graver cutting edges with oil from a waste rag occasionally, and learn to hold the graver at the right angle. It take practice.
Frank Turley - Tuesday, 03/22/05 21:47:57 EST

Copper Inlay: Yep, those guys are right on the money. Make yourself a small cape chisel and chase your lines with it. Then take that same chisel and re-grind it so it cuts and undercut on one side. Now go back into your grooves and undercut each side. You wan to end up with the cross-section of the groove being a truncated pyramid shape, with the width about 1.5 times the depth. If you make it too deep, then you can't easily fill it using wire.

Once the chases are all cut, just take round copper wire that is annealed dead soft and set it in the groove and burnish it in with a blunt set-down tool. With a bit of practice you can burnish in the wire at a pretty good clip.
Once it is all burnished in, use a sen or die sinker's scraper to level the surface.

Notes: 1. Make a few test runs on scrap stock to determine the proper ratio of width to depth for the chase and the wire size required. You'll be thankful when burnishing thirty or fifty feet of wire. And when you're scraping off the excess.
2. You don't need more than a couple of thousandths of an inch taper on the sides of the chases. Any more than that is just wasted work, and is actually more difficult to fill with the wire, leaving voids that may hold moisture and cause rust later.
vicopper - Tuesday, 03/22/05 21:48:03 EST

Steven-- Why inlay? Just silver (sweat) solder the copper squares onto the steel. Or, if you insist on maintaining the same plane on the game board surface, how about just engraving some cross-hatched lines on the squares that are to be darker?
Miles Undercut - Wednesday, 03/23/05 01:12:54 EST

Pete-- remember to tack the joint on one side before doing the other and then do the other pronto or it will tilt- and tilt rapidly- as the bead shrinks and pulls the shank over. Why should a pre-heat be necessary on a stake tool? 6011 is not pretty but it should do it. 7018 would surely do it.
Miles Undercut - Wednesday, 03/23/05 01:23:54 EST

Pete 2" round: I tried to zap your name to email you, and the cursor just stayed there. Nada.
Frank Turley - Wednesday, 03/23/05 09:30:08 EST

There is also the metod for inlaying metals that was used in earlier times (I know the vikings used it for hilt ornamentation) and through modern times in Spain. It consits of graving a set of crosshatches leaving the burrs pround and then hammeing in very soft metals to engage in the burrs and get closed with them holding the piece on.

It's in Oppi's book...

Thomas P - Wednesday, 03/23/05 11:21:20 EST

Adam/Why No Weave: Adam; A weave weld contracts laterally when it cools, and the greater mass of a wide bead can cause the weld to either crack up the middle, or under the edges. A really good book is available quite reasonably through Lincoln Welders, titled "The Procedure Handbook of Arc Welding Design and Practice". I strongly recommend this book to anyone, from hobbyist to heavy industry. It is updated regularly. I don't remember which edition I have, but I bought it in 1966, I think, and it is still a very valuable resource. I covers every question on the subject of arc welding that has ever come up on this website, and I am quite sure it will continue to do so. Even if you just find one at a garage sale, and no matter how old it is, grab it, it is a goldmine.
3dogs - Wednesday, 03/23/05 11:51:06 EST

RALPH: Thank you very much, I'm sure she will appreciate that.
3dogs - Wednesday, 03/23/05 12:01:37 EST

mig wire: can anyone give me the skinny on 116 outershield..91k2-h? i have the chance ta weld these stake tools on a sweet 3phase hoss of a welder...... and would like ta know if the wire would be up to the job...... frank drop you an email..... thanks everyone.....
- pete - Wednesday, 03/23/05 12:23:31 EST

Weaving: Thanks! I will look for that book
adam - Wednesday, 03/23/05 12:25:07 EST

The Procedure Handbook of Arc Welding : Found and bought a 1973 copy for $10. :)
adam - Wednesday, 03/23/05 12:41:09 EST

Paw Paw,
I am deep in an excellent read, Rabble in Arms by Kenneth Roberts. I thought of your excellent book and wondered if you have read Rabble in Arms?
Tone - Wednesday, 03/23/05 13:56:23 EST

The Procedure Handbook of Arc Welding: Can be had for $25 new from the Lincoln Foundation. The Foundation is a treasure trove of cheap well writen by the experts book.
Lincoln Foundation Books
- AZmiik - Wednesday, 03/23/05 13:59:32 EST

My 1973 hard bound copyin "very good" condition was $8 including shipping.
Thomas P - Wednesday, 03/23/05 14:19:40 EST

Cable: Went to the landfill saw about 30" of 2" dia steel cable. Darn thing followed me home. Now what do I do with it?

Also, is there a technique to torch cutting this stuff? The preheat transfers poorly from bundle to bundle.

adam - Wednesday, 03/23/05 15:27:22 EST

Adam, first thing do a test on the carbon content.

Is it rusty or greasy?

What do you *want* to do with it?

Thomas P - Wednesday, 03/23/05 15:42:34 EST

Tony: Rabble in Arms is a great book, and so is Arundel, by the same author. Don't miss out on Northwest Passage, also by Kenneth Roberts. All are available on Abebooks.
Ellen - Wednesday, 03/23/05 16:02:21 EST

Cable:: Carbon content: Good idea - *very* sparkly on the grinder. This is definitely hi carbon. Rusty yes. Doesnt LOOK greasy but after torching it burned quite happily for several mins so there must be some impregnation.

Well I picked it up because it looks cool and it was a shame to let take the final ride to El Paso and be turned into rebar or fenceposts. I was thinking I might bend 9' of it into a 3' circle and make a frame for a large piece. As for the rest of it, do you think blade makers might want some? I could torch off 3' sections for Iron in the Hat at the next SWABA meet.
adam - Wednesday, 03/23/05 16:03:58 EST

Cable: Adam, get a big honking burning tip, jack the gas up and melt the cable. You want to melt it not burn it, this keeps the strands from unravelling.
smitty7 - Wednesday, 03/23/05 16:27:43 EST

Adam, if it's not too rusty the cable knife folk would like it. I'll try to be at the next SWABA meeting!

Thomas P - Wednesday, 03/23/05 17:42:02 EST

Were Vikings Tall?: Actually, they might not have been. Recent research indicates that height is not genetic at all- it is a result of good childhood nutrition, and lack of childhood diseases. Average heights of europeans has varied dramatically over the years, and at the time of the spanish conquistadors, the average north american plains indian was a full foot taller than the average spanish soldier. Better food, more of it, and uncrowded environment. European heights were shorter after cities became popular, and disease caused by overcrowding hit kids in their growing years.
So Vikings can come in all kinds of sizes- I know that my Scandanavian relatives were pretty short before WW2, when they were hardworking manual laborers who lived in poor neighborhoods and on hardscrabble Northwest Minnesota farms, but that same genetic stock got a lot taller in the fat and sassy 1950's.
The average teenager in Japan is a foot taller than his grandparents, and I noticed this in Mexico as well when I was there recently.
ries - Wednesday, 03/23/05 17:56:39 EST

Sorber Auction: I have no inside information- I am only going by what I have read in blacksmithing websites- but it is a definite that the Sorber Collection is being auctioned, by a pretty tony high end auctioneer.
And although Jim Wallace is good at fundraising and getting grants, his main focus is all the stuff he already has on his plate- the metals museum is a big project.
I am sure he would love the whole Sorber Collection, but as I understand it, it is going to auction, and whoever is the high bidder gets the iron.
ries - Wednesday, 03/23/05 17:59:09 EST

Funny, the book I mentioned speaks to your topic. The passage(s) describes western indians that are "giants" much larger than "scrawny Englishmen fed only carrots as young boys"
Ellen, I find it harder and harder to find fiction that I can read in almost one sitting. This book is one. Is Arundel the first book based during revolutionary war?
Tone - Wednesday, 03/23/05 18:14:10 EST

Cable: Smitty, thanks
adam - Wednesday, 03/23/05 19:58:54 EST

CABLE: ADAM> One of these days I am going to be in your neck of the woods. Save me about three foot of the 2" cable. It will be good for a hamburger and a cup of coffee. I have been thinking about a hachete and tommy hawk out of cable.Grin
sandpile - Wednesday, 03/23/05 21:38:47 EST

Cable: Sandpile you are always welcome. Will save you a piece. I could send it with Thomas if I see him at a meet and if thats more convenient for you .
adam - Wednesday, 03/23/05 21:51:58 EST

The Lincoln Foundation Books link didn't work for me.

Tony, I haven't read Rabble in Arms or Arundel either one, but I just ordered them from ABE Books. (grin)
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 03/23/05 22:57:04 EST

Lincoln: This should work better. Follow link to Lincoln Electric home page and use the quick links drop down menu to go to books and logo items. Then select Lincoln Resources, and books under JF Lincoln Foundation.

Lincoln Electric
AZmiik - Wednesday, 03/23/05 23:04:42 EST

CABLE: ADAM> I will be over there to see you all. I want to cast a peeper on you and Frank and the others over there. I am just simply having a hard time digesting the price of this gas-o-line. CHOKE. I still have some friends over there. I would like to see some of them, before we start cashing in our chips. I need to find another outlet for my knives in SANTA FE or TAOS. I have sold down and need to build up for enough to show.Grin It will be a while before I come over.

sandpile - Thursday, 03/24/05 00:06:46 EST

pete-- I never used it, but here is what the book says:AWS class E91T1-K2 High strength, good notch toughness, 90-110 ksi tensile strength [that is quite strong] It is a Lincoln product.
- Dave Boyer - Thursday, 03/24/05 00:17:22 EST

welding: I have annother problem with forge welding, and I am not shure that this has annything to do with anything as I am not verry experianced. But I can forge weld cable OK {as in I havent failed a weld sence the first time I tried}and I can weld bandsaw blade and packing strap stacks togeather just as well but when it comes to welding annything to leaf spring like folding over for axes,or welding to other leaf spring or mild steel I have no luck what so ever.but it seems to me that the more individual strips of metal in the weld the more sucess I seem to have,is there something to that or is it just a product of my mind and limited experiance. I am using a gas forge with T Rex burners. anny advice would be great, and I would also like to thank you all for all the help so far.
- Treavor - Thursday, 03/24/05 01:08:26 EST

You have to remember that the different alloys weld at different temperatures. Sometimes that requires putting one alloy in the fire, and waiting to put the second in the fire, so that both pieces reach welding temp at the same time. It's not an easy skill to learn, but it can be learned and once learned it seems very simple.
Paw Paw - Thursday, 03/24/05 08:25:33 EST

Treavor: Could be a number of different things causing you problems. Could be that the smaller pieces aren't holding the heat long enough to get the weld stuck. A small piece loses its heat to the anvil really quickly. Try holding them up just off the surface of the anvil until you hit the first blow.

Could be that your burners are running a bit lean and creating scale on single pieces. Try using a bit more flux, and make sure the pieces are ground clean before you heat them up. Then be sure to sling the excess flux off before you try to stick the pieces.

Mild steel takes a bit more heat than the higher carbon stuff, in order to get to a welding heat. You may need to fiddle with your burners to get the forge to get hot enough for mild steel.

You could also try a bit more aggressive flux, one with a bit of fluorspar in it, or EZ-Weld or something like that. Sometimes that makes just the difference you need.

If you join CSI and help support this site, your welds never fail and your hair never turns gray, either. :-)
vicopper - Thursday, 03/24/05 08:28:08 EST

Hand weirdage...: Hey, there, everyone. This is Travis Parker, a new blacksmith-hopeful. I finally finished my forge and got myself a set-up with which to beat some hot metal around. But now I have a problem. Well, it's not so much a problem, because I can work it out, but when I use my hammer for, say, two or three hours at a time, when I go to sleep and wake up the next morning, I have about two positions my fingers will remain in.

Is this normal to building strength in the hammer hand or is it damage to my hand's tendons? It feels like a clicking or locking and unlocking of my fingers when I try to open them or close them. I can work it out, so it might just be stressed tendons that are tightening up overnight. Kinda like a sore muscle, but it doesn't really hurt. Also, it's kinda difficult to type like this.

Anyway, does anyone have any idea what it could be? I haven't ever hammered for any long period of time before and I'm using a 2lb cross pein hammer. Suggestions?
CyraLynx21 - Thursday, 03/24/05 09:33:39 EST

welding, hand cramps: Treavor, I can forge weld most anything that isn't stainless, but leaf spring gives me fits too. I can weld it to other steels, but it's very hard to get it to stick to itself for me. A more aggressive flux helps, as does making sure it's clean before you start to weld. By clean I mean grind off the outer oxide layer to bright steel before you put it in the fire. Leaf spring is the only steel I have had to do that with. I suspect it's chromium oxides, but who knows?

Travis, sounds like you're gripping the hammer too hard. Don't choke it, just let it ride in your hand. As time goes by it'll feel better, but if you keep a death grip on the handle you will hurt yourself.
Alan-L - Thursday, 03/24/05 10:06:01 EST

Travis. No its not right. It sounds like you have developed a knot or bump on a finger tendon which is catching as it slips thru a sheath. Not serious if treated. But ignoring it will lead to problems. See a doctor. Hands are important and easily damaged
adam - Thursday, 03/24/05 10:08:08 EST

Thankee: Appreciate the suggestions, will do on all.
- CyraLynx21 - Thursday, 03/24/05 10:20:31 EST

Cutting Cable: adam - for cutting cable may I suggest two different (non-oxy-act.) methods.

1) border either side of where you wish to cut with a strong tape and (plumbers type) compression clamps, then cut with a hacksaw using a very fine toothed blade, 24 tpi or more.

2) clamp blocks, a pair of mating blocks which have a tight fitting hole to secure the cable in a vise (or in situ with C clamps.) In the block(s) is a cutting notch (90 degrees to the cable run) for the saw blade (again 24 tpi or more.) These blocks are similar to, but larger then guides for cutting rivets to length.

tpi = teeth per inch.

Method 2 is the recommended one for cutting heavy (4 AWG or larger built up from multiple strands of 34 to 22 AWG wire) aircraft electrical cables. Both methods are very effective at preventing fraying of the cable.

Sunny and just above freezing North of the Lake (Ontario.)


Don - Thursday, 03/24/05 10:34:22 EST

Hand problems: I too, have had what the doctor described as trigger finger, one corrected with surgery the other 3 treated with exercise. Mornings were when it was biggest problem. cortisone treatments are also used and hurt more than the surgery. Exercise consisted of squeezing a hand ball and wrapping a rubber band around the fingers and thumb to strengthen the back of the hand. I also used Capzasin HP an Analgesic Cream made from chile peppers that I now use for all muscle pain. It works well to increase circulation. Warning: donít rub your eyes and as Arlo Guthrie said "they left no parts untouched" . Simple washing does little other than spread it around. Itís a Manly medication. Grin
habu - Thursday, 03/24/05 10:47:20 EST

Trigger Finger Link: Here is a source:
Trigger Finger Link
habu - Thursday, 03/24/05 11:04:10 EST

Habu; in these parts we apply the chile peppers internally!

And the tales of folks working in processing the peppers who *didn't* beware of what they later touched are many and humourous---in a sympathy pain sort of way...

Adam I should be at the April SWABA meeting and could haul a chunk to Sandpile when he has his anvil babtism (full immersion or just a sprinkle?) My little truck is a bit cheaper when it comes to a fill up and setting the cruise control on 75 and then getting out and pushing it up these NM hills is supposed to be good for me...

Thomas P - Thursday, 03/24/05 11:38:50 EST

LMF Anvil: I received my LMF Anvil today. I am very impressed with Ray's design and quality of this anvil. I have seen many new anvils and I feel the quality of this one is beyond most. I was also surprised to see a serial number on it. I know what number my anvils is...that was really cool. The finish is very impressive also. I have owned many old and new anvils. I think this one is the nicest I have ever owned and will be the forever center piece in my blacksmith shop.
burntforge - Thursday, 03/24/05 12:18:08 EST

Hair never turns gray? I'm not getting my money's worth! Or should I have joined sooner?
SGensh - Thursday, 03/24/05 13:38:35 EST

Tendon problems: Now, this is totaly anecdotal, but someone put forward the theory that the reason we have the carpel tunnel problems etc because alot of childeren born after the 2nd world war weren't as physicaly active when they were growing up and didn't develop the tendons etc. when they were young.
Look at the way you work, posture etc. Maybe get some time with a physiotherapist to help you figure out a way to work that's not harmful. Read the demo on hammer control in the iforge section that is brought to you courtesty of CyberSmiths International.
It's easier to avoid problems than fix them.
JimG - Thursday, 03/24/05 14:00:40 EST

Hand problems: Travis, are you wearing a glove on your hammer hand...? I used to have problems because I was wearing a right-hand glove, although not what you're describing. If you are, dump it and see if that helps. Just my $0.02.
T. Gold - Thursday, 03/24/05 15:52:25 EST

LMF Anvil: I received my LMF Anvil yesterday! What a beautiful piece! Radiused the edges and chamfered the hardy hole. Primered it in black to protect it and it's ready to go. Literally rings like a bell!
- PredatorGuy - Thursday, 03/24/05 16:06:29 EST

CyraLynx21-- Try easing off the intensive hammering for a while and then ease back into ituntil your arm gets used to it. I ran into this phenomenon you describe in 1952 or thereabous, pounding case-hardened cut nails into cinderblock walls to affix firring strips-- and I was no stranger to a hammer, either. Nonetheless, my hand just was clenched up like Dr. Strangelove's by the end of each day for a few weeks. Can be quite painful, too, if you let it cramp all the way up. Quinine water and potassium (bananas) are said to be good for cramping muscles. (We used to use salt tablets on construction jobs, kept them right next to the water jug. But modern medicine says blood pressure hikes mean no no no extra salt.)
Miles Undercut - Thursday, 03/24/05 16:19:03 EST

Cable: Don: thanks!
adam - Thursday, 03/24/05 16:21:28 EST

Bodywork-- Gotta take care with those muscles and tendons: tendonitis, bursitis, and worse lie in wait for the unwary. Stretch, get loose and limber before starting work just the way athletes do, don't overdo it and watch for chills and those sudden, peculiar stresses that can cause damaging strain. Little League elbow is a very real affliction that happens when a young pitcher throws a fastball and snaps off that little protuberance of bone that anchors a key tendon in the arm. Tennis elbow is similar. I severed-- literally snapped in two-- the long head of my right bicep, the larger one of the two tendons that anchor the bicep to the shoulder just by swatting a bug with a sharp twisted odd-angled blow(makes for a Popeye-like muscle when it bunches up like the busted rubber band that it is)and it cannot be fixed, alas. Bursitis happens with repetitive motion, like hammering, especially after you are tired. Watch out especially for hammering in an odd position-- such as beating on something fastened high up in the leg vise-- stresses the brachioradialis muscle something awful, can hurt like hell for months. Most important: don't get old.
Miles Undercut - Thursday, 03/24/05 16:37:32 EST

Spark Testing:
Note that I have found spark testing worthless without a couple known samples to test with the same grinding wheel. Different wheels produce different spark patterns AND you can always have contamination as well.

Coarse wheels that throw long sparks make it easier to see the nodes and branches. But a fine wheel will make fine sparks and make you believe wrought iron is tool steel. Pressure and angle also make a difference.

SO, obtain some samples of known peddigree, MARK them, then do a comparison any time you want to do a spark test.

ALSO be sure the metal is clean. Torch cut or burnt ends will spark differently than the base metal.
- guru - Thursday, 03/24/05 16:57:37 EST

CRAMPS: NOT age related.BOG. Several years ago, I had to start back cutting the bulls that we bought to turn out on pasture. My son had been doing this for us. He was in college and the cutting was up to me. We had several loads of fresh cattle on hand and had to cut them before we could turn them out. I started cutting and some where between 250 and 300 hundred head I played out. I told the girls that was enough, lets go home. It was thirty-six mile from that ranch to the house. We had gone maybe ten miles when the two middle fingers on both hands started pulling down against my palms. It was not pain-ful unless you let them pull all the way down and set there for a little while. It was kind of comical to the girls. They thought it was funny to watch. The cramping lasted about two hrs.. The next day they cut their share of the bulls. I thought that was kind of comical.Grin.
sandpile - Thursday, 03/24/05 20:18:51 EST

Chuck-- you're right, course. Cramps can bite overtaxed muscles at any age. I just meant: don't let yourself get out of shape. In smithing as in other endeavors, the weekend warrior is just begging for trouble.
Miles Undercut - Thursday, 03/24/05 22:19:29 EST

HORSE-SHOE STUFF: TANNER, my nine year-old Grandson and I stopped off at the barn on the way back from doing the chores. He wanted to make something out of a shoe. We made a hoof-pick and a small knife in about thirty five minutes. He had to have help drawing a point out on the knife, and help with the grinding. He has not been hanging around as much as you usually does. It was real nice to have him wanting to make something. We will have to sharpen the knife tomorrow.

sandpile - Thursday, 03/24/05 23:13:48 EST

Cramps: I spend far too much of my time riding the pine and not doing anything more physical than poking at a keyboard, and I loathe gratuitous exercise, so I am a good candidate for those cramps. I used to have them very regularly, but I learned of a prevention method that works.

One little-known but highly effective preventative for cramps from over-activity is simple aspirin. Take two aspirin BEFORE you do any activity that uses heavy or prolonged exertion. Aspirin inhibits the production of excess lactic acid that builds up in the muscles causing cramps. This, combined with drinking PLENTY of water and making sure you're getting adequate potassium will work wonders.

This bit of advice comes from my wife, a licensed nurse, and has been personally tested by me many, many times. Those who are aspirin allergic or aspirin-sensitive shouldn't try this, of course. The other NSAIDS, such as Tylenolô, ibuprofen, naproxen, etc won't work as lactic acid inhibitors. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, check with your health care professional before adding ANY medication to your regimen.

As Miles advises, try to warm up first, do some stretching, and make it a routine to some work on a regular basis to stay in shape. The aspirin routine isn't going to keep you from getting stiff and sore when you do something really ridiculous, either. It will help, but it is not going to completely counteract foolishness. (grin)

vicopper - Thursday, 03/24/05 23:54:11 EST

Well, the hand feels better today...: I still did some forge work yesterday, loosening my grip as per your advice, and when I woke up this morning, my hand wasn't nearly as bad. It's still doing that thing a little bit, but it feels so much better. Oddly enough, my left hand has done the same thing but to a far lesser extent, from just running my blower. Took some vitamins, been working my hand all day to keep it loosened up. Going to continue drinking plenty of water. Yeah, becomming a blacksmith has really become a fight to improve my physical health.

Anyway, thanks again guys and I look forward to remaining a part of this most fantastic community.

Today I go on to attempt to make a dragonfly. Let's hope he looks more like a dragonfly than a lump of coal.

Have a good one, fellas.
CyraLynx21 - Friday, 03/25/05 10:51:14 EST

vic': aspirin does not inhibit lactate (lactic acid) generation under any conditions. all NSAIDS inhibit an enzyme that makes prostaglandins, an inflamitory chemical. tylenol is not in this class. excess lactate is a product of anaerobic metabolism. the pain associtated with lactate accumulation in skeletal muscle can be relieved with aspirin, which is a pain relieving property. :)
rugg - Friday, 03/25/05 16:39:26 EST

hot scale: My gasser sits atop a craftsman tool cart full of firebrick. I set the anvil of course next to the forge.

Today when hammering on a RR spike I smelled something burning between heats, on the bottom shelf of the cart was an old leather glove with a cloth back fully ablaze where a piece of scale fell onto it.

My point is, be aware of whats laying around your work area. If that glove had been laying somewhere else it could have gotten exciting.
Brian C - Friday, 03/25/05 17:31:50 EST

anvil stands: After seeing the anvil stands at Steve's B2Design I went home and built three. I used 2" plate for the base, 2"x4"x 3/8" tubing for the three legs, 1/2"x2 1/2"x4" for the feet and a tube of silcone for glue. Let me tell ya, there is a serious improvement in proformance and huge reduction in decibels. I wish I would have known about this 35 years ago; I might hear a little better when my wife is calling. I have three wooden anvil stands for sale cheap.
brian robertson - Saturday, 03/26/05 12:26:11 EST

email communication: I asked a question on Guru, and John Larson answered and said I should contact him via the email system. How do I do that?
bowieduncan - Saturday, 03/26/05 17:56:12 EST

re:email communication: Bowieduncan, just click on John's name and your computer should activate your email program with his address in the "To" box.
Koomori - Saturday, 03/26/05 18:06:22 EST

John Larson: bowie, its
John Larson - Saturday, 03/26/05 18:31:26 EST

Champion blower repair manual: I purchased a small steel Champion rivet forge and blower. This was without knowledge about either piece. Upon disassembaly I found that one blade was broken off the fan and the bearings (bushings) were in sad shape. Lesson learned was look before you leap. The question is, is there a repair manual for these blowers? I see a listing for a catalog on this site but is it a repair manual as well. I also see that this is unavailable at this time. Any help would be appreciated. Last ? Is there a prefered shape or thickness if you put clay in the pan of this forge?
Thanks J Cook
Jody - Saturday, 03/26/05 23:02:16 EST

old equipment and repairs: Jody, no not really.
Often times the old blowers were different from each other despite the same manufactor etc.
Ralph - Saturday, 03/26/05 23:07:46 EST

Same subject as last: There is a small hole in the cover of the gearbox of this blower. It does no appear to have ever had a cap or threads. What is the purpose and should it hsve a cover?
Thanks again.
Jody - Saturday, 03/26/05 23:09:17 EST

hole on top?
If so it is where oil goes in. My Champion 400 has a spring loaded oil port there. It is of brass and you pull it up and then you have an opening that you can add oil thru. Old time oilers work well. They have a long nozzle.....
Ralph - Sunday, 03/27/05 00:39:36 EST

Oil Hole:
Jody, there is a type of oiler that is a spring loaded ball. You can push down on it and there will be a small hole you can drip oil into. Small nozzle oil cans worked with this type of oiler. Be sure to wipe off dirt before pushing down the ball. I do not know if this is what you have, but it may be. For oilers and lube equipment, see ( Most of the stuff is available from Grainger, McMaster Carr and MSC. End of shameless plug for place that pays me to design stuff. grin.
- Tony - Sunday, 03/27/05 08:53:20 EST

Oilers: I use a sewing machine oiler that has a slender spout. They now have "zoom spouts" which telescope; I think Dritz makes one. Pretty handy.
- Frank Turley - Sunday, 03/27/05 09:29:27 EST

Old Equipment Repairs:
Old machinery manuals were very thin on info (as they are today) much less having the foresite to consider repairs. There is so much old machinery with so much varity that writing a manual for ONE tool would be worthless.

There ARE manuals on repairing old machinery, they are called machinists manuals, in this case the older the better. Old catalogs help as well. To repair old machinery you start with a backgound in modern machinery and then study all the old machinery you can find. Folks that restore old machines including everything from steam engines and aeroplanes to machine tools and clocks have a wide background in everything mechanical.

IF you are going to operate a shop using old antique machinery you need to study and have a lot of these skills. It also helps to maintain a small machine shop to make parts unless you have a significant budget to pay someone else.
- guru - Sunday, 03/27/05 11:17:52 EST

Oilers and Oil holes:
Commercial oilers are installed two different ways. Some machines have threaded holes and others have a tapered or press fit hole. The press fit hole is very common in old machines. Generaly if it is where an oiler should go, is large enough and the hole is smooth it is for a press fit or tapered oiler. IF tapered it is very close to a pipe taper and it is not unusual for repair folk to tap the hole to a 1/16-27 or 1/8-27 pipe thread. If you are a RESTORER you would never make such a modification.

Do not mistake a broken off threaded oiler as an unthreaded hole.

There are sources for replacemsnt oilers if you dig. Look for "cup oilers" McMaster-Carr carries about a dozen. Check with Thomas Register if you are looking for odd ball oilers. A surprising number of the old style are still manufactured.

Many OLD machines like Little Giant Power hammers, sewing machines and a few machine tools had small 3/32 or 1/8" oil holes without covers. These often become clogged with dirt or are mistakenly greased OR painted over. If clogged they need to be opened up, cleaned (pipe cleaners work well) and rinsed out with solvent like kerosene or WD-40. After the solvent evaporates then the device can be lubricated. Cleaning of oil oils is often associated with disassembly of the machine but can be done insutu.

On old style Little Giants there are several deep oil holes drilled in the ram. Most I have seen were filled with grease and or painted over. It is not unusual to have to use a long small gun drill to clean them out. These machines also had oil holes at the ends of the arms and on the toggle block. But there was often an oiler or grease cup on the top of the crank.
- guru - Sunday, 03/27/05 11:41:28 EST

1080: listing this again because jock mentioned that there may have been a misunderstanding on how i wrote out the measurements.......1080 round stock-----2.25 inches round---in a few varying lengths 3 ta 5 inches..........9lbs per 8 inches.....tough stuff-----$1 perlb..... and a flat rate of 7.70 for a max of 60lbs(the most the boxes will handle) interested parties drop me an email... in-case the link is down....... ................../........happy hammering
pete - Sunday, 03/27/05 11:53:00 EST

Another brand of oilers is GITZ.
ptree - Sunday, 03/27/05 12:00:19 EST

Oil Cans and Old Machines:
Before a recent flood carried away my collection of oil cans I had four big old fashioned pump type oil cans. Two always had plain lubricating oil, SAE 20w20 non-detergent when I had it or SAE 10w40 when I couldn't find the non-detergent.

One contained my home brew cutting oil, a 50/50 mix of kerosene and lubricating oil. This was used for drilling on the big drill press and was clearly marked "cutting oil".

The fourth contained a home brew assembly oil. This was a 50/50 mix of STP and SAE 10w50 motor oil. It was used for engine assemble or things like air compressors.

If you are going to operate OLD machinery, all of it was designed to be manually lubricated before use and as needed during use. Often the instructions simply said "daily" but the machinist knew to lubricate more often such as when the sound of the machine changed. This was part of one's skill as a machine operator, knowing when to lubricate. Modern machinery has sealed shafts and enclosed gear boxes that rarely need servicing so modern workers are rarely versed in the art of lubrication.

Idealy you would an oil can and a grease gun (if needed) for each machine that needs lubrication. I also keep cutting oil or WD-40 next to each machine. The WD-40 is sprayed on before and after use to protect the bare metal surfaces.

My old Brown & Sharp #2 automatic surface grinder has DOZENS of oil cups that all get a squirt of oil every day the machine is used. The table ports feed to wells with wheels that apply a thin coat of oil to the ways as they slide by. The spindle has a captured air oil cup that requires a special spindle oil. Two of the idlers on the back of the machine have zerk greas fittings and one has an old fashioned open oil slot in the casting. The coolant tank requires water soluable cutting oil in the water. Warming up and lubricating this machine is a minimum of a half hour job each day. The ritual starts with removing the WD-40 from the magnetic vise so that it does not interfer with the vise or contaminate the coolant. Then all the lubrication points are oiled, the machine is warmed up and the bed oil replentished. Work can then commence. The ritual ends with cleaning the vice and replacing the WD-40 on the vise and handwheels.

Most machines are not as lubrication intensive as that old surface grinder but all require some before and after use attention.
- guru - Sunday, 03/27/05 12:08:17 EST

Idealy you would (have) an oil can or grease gun for each machine. . .
- guru - Sunday, 03/27/05 12:33:19 EST

Life rule number 3: Oil is cheaper than parts
JimG - Sunday, 03/27/05 17:35:29 EST

While I know we have about beaten handcleaners to death, I have to say that the post about using borax as a handcleaner was a real help. My hands were very fouled with gear oil and residue from a lathe I am rebuilding, and the wife was expecting to go out to dinner. No handcleaner. Plain soap bounced off. Looked at the 20 mule team, remember the post, and made a paste of borax and soft soap. Worked great. Now have a plastic tub of borax/soap paste by the wash tub. Thanks to the poster!
Thanks to CSI.
ptree - Sunday, 03/27/05 17:58:51 EST

Borax: Now you know one of the several hundred uses for borax in days of old.
I use it as soap just plain.
Ralph - Sunday, 03/27/05 18:59:46 EST

Borax: Ptree,

Have you read the MSDS on borax? Very hazardous if inhaled, slightly hazardous for skin contact, etc. Makes me wonder.
vicopper - Sunday, 03/27/05 19:19:56 EST

Alas, Vicopper, I have the borax at home. No Msds, but I of course know the hazards of inhaling any dust.

Have I been ranting too much?
ptree - Sunday, 03/27/05 19:59:51 EST

Just reviewed the MSDS for borax.
"Not irritating to intact skin"
Hmis rating of all Zeros except for health at 1.
not a carcinogen.
keep out of the eyes and do not inhale or injest.
Pretty benign.
Considering that borax has been a handsoap ingredient for hundreds of years, I think I may continue.
ptree - Sunday, 03/27/05 20:08:39 EST

Borax: My bro-in-law was a geophysicist at the U of Washington Seattle, years ago, and he ran some tests on mined, unprocessed borax and found teensy traces of arsenic in it.

Never bothered me, bothered me, bothered me.
Frank Turley - Sunday, 03/27/05 23:24:23 EST

Ptree: "Have I been ranting too much?"

Paw Paw - Monday, 03/28/05 00:00:59 EST

Borax: Ptree,

NOpe, not ranting too much. Hard to do that when safety is an issue and when the audience undoubtedly encompasses folks who don't know, won't know and refuse to do adequate research to educate themselves.

Interesting though, the results you got on the MSDS. The two that I looked up on a Google search showed either "very slight hazard" or "slight hazard" for skin contact, and both showed "serious hazard" for inhalation and ingestion. So now I'm wondering if I can truly rely on MSDS's for accurate information. Curiouser and curiouser, as Alice would say.

Me? I use borax for lots of things, from brazing to beating the flux out of roaches. Hand cleaner? Sure, works great. Laundry, likewise. Condiment? No. (grin)
vicopper - Monday, 03/28/05 00:30:41 EST

Alas Dear Matt there could have been yet another blacksmith in those parts but you wouldn't stay. tsk, where has the pioneer gone?
Mills - Monday, 03/28/05 01:01:38 EST

It appears that fellow smith and CSI'er Keith Barker is auctioning off some of his tools and such on eBay to help rebuild his home after the fire. This includes a really nice looking forge. Check it out, and if you see something you like, make a bid.

Keith's eBay link
eander4 - Monday, 03/28/05 02:09:01 EST

wanted anvils of Europe: Wanted European anvils such as French pattern anvils and different German style anvils. Looking also for American maker exports like Fisher Insonora or Columbian export.Looking for someone to help find a European contact to purchase blacksmith equipment. contact Nick
- Nick - Monday, 03/28/05 02:22:43 EST

Forgot on the wanted add above contact Nick or Shirley at
Nick - Monday, 03/28/05 02:26:29 EST

CSI's Keith Barker's forge: I had an identical one and used it for 10 years. We got a shipment of coke in at Peter Sevin's shop for AABA. I got a couple of bags and really had a good clean hot fire. Then, I noticed that it was so hot that it had burned up about half of the hollow ring around the air hole. I replaced it with 2 rings cut out of 5/16 stainless welded together to make it 5/8 in. thick. I never burned that one out, but I also used the coke up adding it a little bit at a time to a coal fire. Apparently others in the association also had problems, as we never got another shipment in.
- Loren T - Monday, 03/28/05 02:38:56 EST

Organizations: Anyone know of any any Groups in South Florida Miami/Homestead Area ?
Fabian Rodriguez - Monday, 03/28/05 03:27:26 EST

Hand Cleaners: I too got a lot of benefit from that discussion. Since then I've been "washing" with Crisco. The last of my dermatitis has vanished and all the nasty little running cracks on my fingers have closed up. I used to try and glue them together with superglue :) It may sound silly but hands are important and sore hands really suck. Big improvement in the quality of my life. Thank you!
adam - Monday, 03/28/05 12:04:29 EST

Rabbel in Arms: Great Paw Paw! Let us know what you think. For me, this site/forum is a great source for book recomendations, both technical and fiction; keep'em coming.
Tone - Monday, 03/28/05 14:08:18 EST

borax: Vicopper.
The 1 rating on the hMIS scale is a slight hazard.
The ingestion hazard is as you noted. The inhallation hazard is also as you noted, but virtually every dust is so rated, as the risk of any dust causing pnuemonia(sp?)

on another note, how would you describe a chemical that is a clear colorless liquid, with an immediatly dangerous to life and health concentration of 3300ppm. The lower explosion limit is 3.3% and the uel is 19%. The flash point is 55F. This liquid irriates the eyes, and skin when inhaled, and attacks the reproduction system, the CNS the liver ETC? The Hmis rating for health is probably a 3, and the fire rating is a 3.
wonder what it is?
ptree - Monday, 03/28/05 16:12:58 EST

Those of us who enjoy a wee dram injest the above listed liquid in some % as the above is the facts on a hazardous material called ethanol. Demom rum. Fire water.
I still enjoy that wee dram from time to time.Still want some Maker's Mark at Quad state?

The above come from a handy book that can be found at the NIOSH web site. It is the "Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards". It is all facts. The problem with MSDS and the HMIS ratings system is that there is a fair amount of wiggle room. The facts are in plain english in this book.

The listing for borax shows no IDLH, the standard dust limit from NIOSH of 1 Mg/M3, and no OSHA limit.The personal protection reccomended is a daily wash of the skin, and a daily change of clothes. Pretty mild stuff.
ptree - Monday, 03/28/05 16:22:25 EST

Matt, I started smithing with *no* help from other smiths and am still at it 25 years later. You are wise to avoid the craft; but you seem to think that we should be sorry that you plan to---why?

Thomas P - Monday, 03/28/05 16:42:02 EST

Rabble: Did I see something on here about "Arundel" and "Rabble in Arms"? Kenneth Roberts, the author, is a good one, really did his homework regarding Revolutionary times. He wrote "Oliver Wiswell" from the loyalists' point of view. It came out I believe, in 1940, amidst crappy reviews, because he didn't take the American rebs point of view. Freedom of speech? Roberts was accused of being a commie at one point in his life, because he could empathize and write well (?). He also wrote a book titled, "I Wanted to Write", an autobiography about himself, a man PASSIONATE about writing.
- Frank Turley - Monday, 03/28/05 16:54:59 EST

COME AND GO: Now that we have a little more bandspace. The thing that has always been the most haz. to my health is work.Grin Truck tires blowing rings off, horses stepping in holes. Some idiot deceiding to use a torch to cut out a barrel top.
Now, the finer things in life or for the most part free. A kind word after a hard days work and couple of fingers from a likely tasteing liquid refresh-ment. In the shade, out of the wind and all of this in company of my liking. Now that is what this old life is about.BOG

sandpile - Monday, 03/28/05 18:48:27 EST

ptree: Thanks for the reference to the NIOSH book. That is exactly the srot of information I like. Facts, without hype. So often, numbers used can be highly misleading. My father spent a long career as a pharmaceutical chemist, and he used to demonstrate the fallacy of "statistics"with a simple example:

Oxygen is one of the most incredibly toxic substances on this earth, if you look at the numbers. Why, less than one part per TRILLION in the air that you breathe is absolutely fatal within mere minutes!

Of course, at those minute concentrations, you would simply suffocate. Fatal, nonetheless. Bust it sure do sound dangerous, doesn't it? (grin)

"There are liars, there are damned liars, and then there are statisticians." Attributed to Benjamin Disraeli.

The other thing that Pop used to drill into our young heads was, "The facts are always friendly." Meaning that it is far better to have the facts than to be without them, no matter what they may be. As long as they are facts.
vicopper - Monday, 03/28/05 18:58:44 EST

Vicopper, I had heard that quote attributed to mark Twain, and as I use that one alot, I will now need to try to find out who said it!
The whole right to know law was a good intention, but the actual MSDS are poorly regulated. I see about 5 new ones a week, and they vary from the whole thing on the inside of the spray can label (CRC products) to 25 page documents that take a professor to get thru.
I tend to compare to the NIOSH book, and sometimes find variences. I then call and ask, and often get a revised MSDS. Seems that many companies have a computer program that generates the things, and the quality varies.
I bought my first NIOSH book in 83, and it is MUCH bigger now. I think you can order off the website, but you can use the data base on the site for free.
ptree - Monday, 03/28/05 19:43:59 EST


If I were you, I'd stay out of Chinese restaurants. At least, one time when I took my wife (who's from Taiwan) to an Asian grocery, I saw a small (maybe 200g) packet of white powder for around $2.00. The only word on it in English was a big label saying
- Mike B - Monday, 03/28/05 20:10:57 EST

My last post got cut off. The packet said "borax" in English, and when my wife read the Chinese she said it was used for meat tederizer!
- Mike B - Monday, 03/28/05 20:14:48 EST

Frank, Thats interesting, while reading RIA I had wild swings in emotion, his criticism of congress, militia and officers really struck me. His defense of Benedict Arnolds' hope to save us from France; trading one for the other.
Tone - Monday, 03/28/05 21:54:26 EST

Matt H.: I hate to give you any attention, but I want to say this. With your attitude, you probably wouldn't have made a very good student anyway. If we all quit something every time we got disapointed, none of us would be on this website. None of us would be smithing for a living. Most of us would not be married. I could go on and on. The fact is life hands us some disapointments. Deal with it and move on. Maybe this other guy had an emergency and couldn't call you. Maybe your attitude came thru on the phone and he had second thoughts. Call him and find out. But if you really love something, don't just chuck it because of a (really minor) disapointment
- Jeff G. - Monday, 03/28/05 22:45:45 EST

To Matt: Iam 22 Years old and Ive maybe been playing around with Hot Metal all my Life. My Grandfather owned a Machineshop, My punishment for bad grades or being a Pain is grab the Cutting Torch and start cutting down the Scraps to size to throw away. I have Burneds all over my body from that bloddy thing. Now a days Iam in Information Technology Maintaining Webservers and E-mail servers for a Local ISP, And I still want to work with Metal, I believe this is the best thing Ive ever done. I Might not ever see a Dime out of it but it something I love and Respect. Hell, i even have Cousins in Cuba that Have to do this cause there aint no running to Home Depot to pick up a Hammer :) All in All I learned everything I know in IT and Computers through Reading and Trial and error. Yesterday I Finally bent a Rebar by heating it with Charcaol and cinder blocks. I was Happier than a 10 year old with a GI Joe :) . I know it sounds stupid but like the saying It aint worth doing if you hate it. If you Really Want to learn the Trade ( ANY TRADE ) it you must really Dedicate yourself in learning it and Practicing it , Today I spent all day Banging playdo to learn how to Hammer so I dont mess my self up and pick up some technique, And I havent touched a book yet all my sources and Information have gained from either this website and Various others out there. the key is to have Fun :)
Fabian Rodriguez - Tuesday, 03/29/05 00:52:57 EST

Fabian: Well said.
eander4 - Tuesday, 03/29/05 02:37:52 EST

Stick around, son. We'll help you all we can.
Paw Paw - Tuesday, 03/29/05 08:11:10 EST

giving up: Matt H

What? Do what you think best but...

Years ago when I was learning to shoe horses my teacher showed me a little bit about making horse shoes. I say a little bit because he said "do it like this" and the rest was learning by doing and further instruction amounted to telling me when my work sucked.

I made a couple of snakes out of rasps and he balled me out for wasting fuel. I knew a couple of other farriers who used to make a few things but I quickly got too busy shoeing horses to care. I did flounder through making a couple of bits and a branding iron when folks came to me to buy Christmas presents.

Recently I decided to go back to horse shoeing and thought I might be able to supplement my income a little selling things from the forge...only I hadn't ever really made much. I set up another coal forge (built just about everything) and baught another gas forge and started making some of the iforge projects and gave away some nice stuff for Christmas presents this year.

Throw some steel in the forge and beat on it with a hammer. If you mess it up too bad to fix, toss that piece in a pile (you might be able to use it later) and heat up another one.

Get a book or two and get with ABANA if you can but you don't need any one to hold your hand and you don't need any ones permission to stand in front of a forge and play blacksmith.

I'm still too slow and use too many heats to make any money (any one know where I could sell $1000 fire place sets LOL)but I've made a bunch of cool stuff anyway.
- Mike Ferrara - Tuesday, 03/29/05 09:15:16 EST

Fabian: I'm sure by now that you have looked at what the pulldown menu has to offer, especially "Getting Started".

Matt H, I've e-mailed you about my opinion on trailering down here and I've offered to send you a lodging guide. I gave you some contact numbers. I have offered to send you my brochure. To my knowledge, I never got a response.
Frank Turley - Tuesday, 03/29/05 11:13:23 EST

He didnt call you back so now you are giving up smithing? You say you've lost interest but you are still here? Gimme a break!
adam - Tuesday, 03/29/05 11:27:28 EST

Matt H: Matt
We all get frustrated from time to time and want to give it up. I did recently too. I also have a concentration problem. I have ADHD all my life. Years ago they did not call it that. I wanted to go to college and worked twice as hard as everyone else. I almost quit several times. I had to go to a library all the time just to read and do my homework, so i wouldn't get distracted. Six years later working full time and running a business part time I finally graduated. I am so proud of myself for my accomplishment. I don't even have a fancy or very useful degree. I just did it for myself. Most people said i couldn't do it. I have very serious health problems now and can't even walk anymore. I still love blacksmithing. Even though my entire family were blacksmiths I still tought myself by trial and error. Then later took instruction in blacksmithing when the oppertunity arose. Maybe something came up with that Blacksmith and he got busy and forgot to call. Some smiths aren't nice, but other are. It sounds like you are still young yet. You really need to humble yourself and be open minded to learn from others. It sounds like you are not there yet. You should just start by trial and error untill you can humble yourself to be able to learn from someone else. "A truely wise man knows that he knows nothing." Matt stick with it. You may become the next Samuell Yellin. Nothing worthwhile comes easy. You need to look in the mirror and tell yourself you are a worthwhile person and work on your self esteem.
burntforge - Tuesday, 03/29/05 11:30:32 EST

anvil insult: i was watching a uri hofi DVD last night. he forged a 3" ball with a power hammer. one of his "helpers" placed the orange hot ball over the hardy hole of the anvil and left it there to cool. i might be overreacting, but, if someone did that to one of my anvils i would come unglued! this was a demo. i doubt hofi would allow this if it was his anvil....
rugg - Tuesday, 03/29/05 11:59:49 EST

Learning: This site is a wonderful resource for those wanting to learn smithing. There are thousands of man/years of knowledge and experience gathered together here and willing to help out with answers. On several occasions one or another of the more experienced folks here have offered to let some beginner come to their shops to spend a few hours or a day learning. No where else will you find this much knowledge so freely shared by people who really DO know what they're talking about. And who truly WANT to see new people learn and grow. But those folks can't inject that knowledge into anyone who isn't willing to do what is required to progress.

There are literally dozens of books available on the subject of smithing, many with reviews available here on Anvilfire. Those who really want to learn will obtain those books one way or another and study them. Simply jamming a book under your pillow and sleeping on it won't gain yo a thing; you have to actively study the material and then try to apply it.

There is nothing magic about blacksmithing. People the world over have been doing it for thousands of years, often with no knowledge of chemistry, physics, metallurgy or other sciences, and with the most primitive of "equipment." Hole in the ground for a forge, rock for an anvil and another rock for a hammer. It CAN be done, if you really are determined to proceed no matter what your circumstances. But it does take determination. This is an activity that is hot, dirty, smelly, heavy and sometimes dangerous. But boy, is it fun! If it wasn't fun, many of us would give it up immediately.

If heat, filth and noise isn't fun, or if you don't have the determination to learn every day, or if a little adversity derails your train completely, then smithing probably isn't going to be your cup of tea. There's nothing wrong with that; different strokes for different folks. So move on, don't look back, and go forth to find an activity that truly fascinates you to the extent that you are determined to learn it no matter what. That will be your reward for living. Enjoy!
vicopper - Tuesday, 03/29/05 12:07:38 EST

In reference to what burntforge says about himself, I have to admit something similar of myself. At one time I could lie in my room, on my bed, listening to loud music to drown out the sounds of my house so I could focus on ignoring one continual sound source. The reason being my house was so noisy.

Well, I have come to realize, lately, that I still enjoy music, but it is a distraction from my work, more often than not. Well, I also find that working at a forge is near-infinitely easier to concentrate on than sitting down and doing college book work, even though I love drafting, planning, budgeting, writing, reading. I don't know why, but I become one-track minded when working at a forge, but doing school work, my mind wanders so much as to make it near impossible to complete anything. I guess, even though I enjoy reading, I dislike school work so much that I can hardly force myself to do it at all.

I haven't been diagnosed ADD or ADHD or anything like that, but at times I've been told, well, by everyone, that I should. I can be talking to someone and simply think of something totally unrelated like a piston decides to fire finally after days of never firing at all. My girlfriend, most of all, hates that. It makes it seem like I'm paying no attention to our conversation. It's not that at all, it's that my mind simply goes,
- CyraLynx21 - Tuesday, 03/29/05 12:15:28 EST

Stupid computer at coffee shop on campus...: Continued from last post weirdage: ... it's that my mind simply goes, "Whoa! That's a great idea! Why didn't you think of that three days ago!?"

Anyway, what I'm saying is, keep at it if you really want to get into it. There are tons of guys that are a great help to getting into this work, hobby or otherwise. Drop on by the Slack Tub Pub every now and then, they show up in abundance there.

*Joining CSI as soon as I get money to put into my checking account and if going to the Hammer-In this April 8,9,&10th doesn't break me again*

Have a good one, fellas.
CyraLynx21 - Tuesday, 03/29/05 12:21:22 EST

I think we've spent enough time on Matt

I've tried to help a lot of people start smithing and so I've run into a couple of "types": there is the person who *wants* to smith but can't---it's too expensive; so I show them how to get started for under US$25; but they can't cause they can't find the stuff, so I tell them where it is; but they can't cause they don't have transportation; so I offer to let them ride along next time I go; but they can't because...

I've learned to drop these folks as fast as possible cause they are just a waste of my limited time.

Then there are the folks that are like burning tumbleweeds, just touch a match to them and jump back! They flare up like gasoline. One fellow in particular was in college; no money, transportation, place to work or store stuff---shoot that didn't stop him a minute; he built forges, made anvils, had scrap steel under his bed in the dorm, and now graduated and working has a bigger triphammer than I do...

These people are the ones I like to work with.

I do teach a lot of young folk knowing that they will likely drop the craft and move on to something else. That is well and proper and hopefully the skills will be usefull in their life and *sometimes* they will find their way back to the craft years later.

I tell new students that it's OK if they decide smithing is not for them; I won't think less of them; but tell me when you want to quit so we both don't waste our time going on.

I've taught several ADHD kids; a couple did very well and surprised their parents when I told them they were welcome back at the forge. A couple were a danger to themselves and others and I had to ask that they not continue. So far out of the hundreds of people I have had at my forge less than 5 have been told they were not welcome bact to work---this did not include the great grandmother, the exotic dancer, the legally blind fellow, the fellow in the wheelchair, etc---all of them have their "S" hook---the typical first project.

gotta go herd some bits
Thomas P - Tuesday, 03/29/05 13:26:11 EST

When I made my first *working* propane forge, based on designs from Ron Reil's site, I sent him email to thank him and also to point out that I encountered a number of difficulties in construction with my very limited tools (at that time no welder, torch, chopsaw etc... just basic "garage tools") and wouldnt he please be a bit more specific in his plans so that newbies could do the job?

His reply was "No!" :) He was quite adamant that to be a smith you had to be resourceful and determined. In his opinion, if you couldn't find your own way past these small obstacles then you weren't going to be much of a smith.
adam - Tuesday, 03/29/05 14:00:37 EST

rugg: Probably feel the same way if it were my HB he did that too but Hofi uses an anvil cast of S7 which is air hardening.
adam - Tuesday, 03/29/05 14:14:02 EST

Adam; If I recall correctly, Mr. Reil is a school teacher, and in reading his response to your request, I'd say he was a damned good one. Things attained without effort are transitional, those attained through honest effort are permanent.
- 3dogs - Tuesday, 03/29/05 14:16:26 EST

Dammit 3 Dogs, If you keep dropping pearls of wisdom like that one you're going to ruin your reputation as a smart ass!
SGensh - Tuesday, 03/29/05 14:39:14 EST

Ron Reil.
Ron is a great fellow, but he was burned a few times by idiots and so now he is rather adamant about specifics.
Ron retired a bit over a year ago. Looks like I am going to have to invite myself back to his place soon. He moved and now has a GREAT place to work. You may want to re-visit his web site as he has pics of the new shop and house.
Ralph - Tuesday, 03/29/05 14:53:53 EST

If you think you need a teacher to become a decent blacksmith thats not true. Im proof of this along with many other smiths. Ive attended 2 hammer ins, show up at historical sites where they have a real blacksmith and talk to him. But the best learning I have had was sticking an air compressed blower into an old wood burning range and using a peice of 25 lbs round bar for an anvil and you quickly learn that that work. ha. But ask most of these smiths how they started, sure a few have had actual teachers but i know that a good few are self taught. If your not determined enough to try to get started by yourself then your probally not going to be determined enough to start with help. Who knows you could get hooked and end up as the best smith in the world who knows. Also your attidude came off as very rude towards Jeff. Im not trying to start a flame war or anything, I would welcome you into my shop anyday. Im just not on board with your attitude. Sorry if ive been rambling on for awhile, im at school right now and dont have anything to do.
- Dan Crabtree - Tuesday, 03/29/05 15:13:24 EST

Ithink that you cam learn smithing with out having some one else to show you, but I do not think that generally speaking you can become a great smith with out it.
If you work by yourself and never see another smith at work you will eventually learn. But if you can work with another smith you will learn all those little time saving tips and how to's as well as having someone else watching will tend to make you try harder.
Ralph - Tuesday, 03/29/05 15:41:02 EST

DESIRE: BURNTFORGE-- AND EVERYBODY ELSE>> I strongly admire any and everyone that has to overcome a personal problem --be it mind-wise, body-wise or money-wise. The ones with DESIRE to do something will fiqure out how to get it done. In this country we have a saying for that type of person. We say " He or she cowboyed up" meaning they bowed their necks and got the job done. I have all the patience in the world for these folks. They have hurdles to jump that average people do not even see.BOG. Keep it up>>>

sandpile - Tuesday, 03/29/05 16:51:56 EST

Lessee: One of the most esteemed names in blacksmithing, Frank Turley, contacted you offered some help but you couldnt be bothered to reply. As it happens, I emailed you and offered you a couple pair of shop made tongs to get you started. Didnt get so much as a "no thanks". Now some fulltime working smith forgets to call you (was this going to be a favor or were you going to pay him?) and he's an "######" - your word. Meantime, despite your busy life, you seem to have plenty of time to sulk and pout on the Hammerin.

Going to heck suits me fine - I'll take my hammer and some scrap steel. Been a while since I played in a coal fire
adam - Tuesday, 03/29/05 17:34:34 EST

to lighten the mood: aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa lets see..........anyone need a cast layout table??? 42inches by 10ft---- 3inches thick??? that light enough?????? hell???? i heard they have one heck of forging furnace...... been wanting to go check it out........
pete - Tuesday, 03/29/05 18:03:05 EST

adam: the anvil was american, and probably was a HB. i just thought the act was stupid. i dont think that hofi even noticed....
rugg - Tuesday, 03/29/05 18:25:29 EST

email: Matt: I got your email from a post of your dated 03/18/05. Perhaps thats not your email, perhaps some other glitch. No matter, it happens. Nothing to get excited about. But when somebody *else* drops the ball on *you* with a phone call you have a snit and publicly abuse him? Doesnt add up.
adam - Tuesday, 03/29/05 18:47:26 EST

All: This discussion needs to be dropped NOW! This is a family forum, and not the appropriate place for profanity or sniping.

Let's get back to the business of blacksmithing.

eander4 - Tuesday, 03/29/05 18:56:11 EST

Language / Profanity:
FOLKS, This is a family forum. It is free to the public but when you abuse it your posts will be removed and you will be asked to leave permanently. THE END.

If you want to use foul language, insults or make threats on a web forum go somewhere else or create your own.

Last word, no replies wanted.

NOTE: Our forums record your numerical DNS with a time and date stamp. We can trace your ISP and local address if necessary. Using aliases does not hide who you are or where you live.
- guru - Tuesday, 03/29/05 19:25:21 EST

Ok Guru, Fine you got me but I just want to let you and everyone else know that I just asked a simple question and everyone else took that as me being pouty and a jerk and etc. etc. I don't tolerate people being smart with me and neither do you! I cursed, yes, but that doesn't mean that Adam or anybody else should be smart with me, or do you not agree? I do apologize for cursing at Adam and everyone else who saw what I posted but I still am a human being too! That's all I have to say
- Matt - Tuesday, 03/29/05 19:34:00 EST

400 Champion: ot an old 400 champion with bearing trouble. I have the measurments for the outer diameter and the shaft. as soon as I can find the part no. I am going to post it. I know it will be a BCA sealed bearing unit. Well I'll holler at ya'll later Jason
- 15yearsmith - Tuesday, 03/29/05 21:09:35 EST

Howdy....what's up?
Oakspring - Tuesday, 03/29/05 23:44:08 EST

Sheet Steel: I have about thirty pieces of sheet steel in my garage. The thickness of each piece of steel is about 1/8 to 1/2 an inch. The length of each piece is about 30" by 15" and they are from a steel shop here in town. Although the pieces are not entirely full, they are more like cookie cutter sections from their plasma cutter, if you know what I mean. I've heard that I can make hinges and possibly ladles out of them. Are their any other objects I could make out of the thin sheets? Thank you
- Matt - Wednesday, 03/30/05 00:20:56 EST

400 Champion:
15 yearold, I'm afraid Champion made their own bearings. The best you can do is replace the balls which were standard fractional sizes. To replace the races you would have to machine your own and harden them. Champion used custom made ball thrust bearings and the shafts have backlash adjustments on them. Over tightening will wear out the bearings and leaving them too loose will wear the gears.

I have not heard from anyone that has sucessfully replaced bearings in these units with modern ones. Even in hardware as recent as a 1970's Mercruser outdrive substituting bearings for those availaable required boring the housing to fit outer races and bushing the shafts in others. It took a month in a fully equiped machine shop.

I may be wrong. . .

Also note that some 75% of the bearings and seals listed in catalogs do not exist. They were either made in a large quantity for a major manufacturer at one time OR the specs just fill in a "step" in the sizes. Since the 1980's many of the "standards" have been taken out of production as not profitable. This is all part of our endemic loss of manufacturing clout and the misbelief that an empty wharehouse is success. It is short term thinking that cripples our ability to build special and prototype machines which are necessary to advance industry. It also prevents the maintenance of old machinery which is in fact part a nations wealth. Like that old Champion. . .
- guru - Wednesday, 03/30/05 01:22:52 EST

400 Champion: I am going to use a bearing unit that appears to be perfect. I may be wrong, but the apperance of the peer bearing part no. 6903 has the same measurements as the old champion parts. It will fit, I hope it will work, but if it doesn't. I will let you know.

Also. My handle is not my age. My age is 24. I have used this handle for 2 years. At that time I had been smithing for 15 years. I did my first smithing projects at age 7. I now have almost 17 years behind me, and am in the process of getting my machine tool technology degree from piedmont technical college in Greenwood S.C.

Part number for peer bearing 6903 is a bearing in common use. I used to work in a supply store, and the number was interchanged on a weekly basis.inside diameter of the bearing is .669, and the outside diameter is 1.811 both are sae measurements. I may be beating a dead horse here, but It would do no harm to try it. The worst thing that can happen is that the blower gets knocked out of service again. If it works it works, and if it doesn't oh well better luck next time.

15yearsmith - Wednesday, 03/30/05 04:13:14 EST

Steve Gensh: Thank you, Steve. Recognition is always gratefully accepted, especially from one's peers. One doesn't arrive at this level of smartassery overnight. It must be cultivated, nurtured and honed to perfection.
- 3dogs - Wednesday, 03/30/05 05:34:29 EST

all hail: the chieftens of smart a#%#edness........ i tremble in the presence of such lords of sharp wit------- i'm not worthy..... but maybe someday i'll join the ranks........ lol this site has me rolling with laughter--- thanks fellas........ reading these posts make me understand how far ive come......... and how far i still have to go.......
pete - Wednesday, 03/30/05 08:08:11 EST

Matt: Steel sheet of 1/8" thickness is okay for ladles and such, but you may find it a bit of a nuisance. It is just slightly too thick to be used for the bowl without some thinning, but is too thin to allow you to use it as is for the shank or handle. Nonetheless, is is bound to be useful for something, so grab it up. Likewise for the heavier pieces up to the 1/2". I use a piece of 1/2" for a load pad for my post vise leg, I use them for bench plates for straightening small pieces and truing bowl rims, etc. Steel is good, cheap steel is better, free steel is best.
vicopper - Wednesday, 03/30/05 08:32:12 EST

400 champion: I knew a fella that put new bearings in his champion blower and they worked fine. I think you are right 17yearsmith. I think they were a common standard size bearing. If I would have not seen this done I would have thought exactly what the guru said.
burntforge - Wednesday, 03/30/05 08:56:19 EST

Adam, don't plan on doing any bladesmithing---the sulfur messes up the steel something aweful!

Light steel: I rolled up a fence for a brakedrum forge from a piece of light guage steel. It fits right inside the edge and makes the forge twise as deep for billet welding. Made it a bit short so there is a slot to put billets in through and cut a "mousehole" opposite to be able to stick long stff through the fire.

Thomas P - Wednesday, 03/30/05 11:32:27 EST

Matt, 1/8" sheet steel is nice for flowers.
adam - Wednesday, 03/30/05 12:36:26 EST

chainsaw chains: Is there anything that old chainsaw chains can be used for?
tomg - Wednesday, 03/30/05 13:46:23 EST

Nurturing: 3Dogs, Those many years of practice have paid off. I myself lack the accumulated experience to truly be considered a peer but one can always aspire.
SGensh - Wednesday, 03/30/05 14:04:51 EST

rugg: burnt', i may be one of your multiple buyers. what i wanted to point out is there are several auctions that have 30 or so bids from bidders that have no or little feedback. they rarely win. if item is a nice piece, the serious bidders will show up at the end. how serious is a bidder when they bid continuously, often within seconds , early in the auction? the seller benefits, and that is good. after all, it is an auction. if it is possible for a non seller to know the number of "peekers", then it is also possible the seller is aware also. this is my concern. sellers are there to get the maximum, and if the system allows the opportunity to use unethical means, at minimum, buyers should be informed. total disclosure should be documented pertaining to what information is possible and what is allowed.....just my $0.02

and the original question: how does a non seller know how many "hits" an ad gets??????? as a buyer, i want to know!!
rugg - Wednesday, 03/30/05 14:37:59 EST

burnt': one more..i dont know what is legit or BS. i dont think ebay knows. where did you come up with "1%" dishonest?? not trying to aggitate you. is that your guess?? i do think that most sellers are good sellers. for a fee, you can attend a course on ebay selling, where they teach unethical practices, which ebay allows. do the buyers know the limits??
rugg - Wednesday, 03/30/05 14:47:29 EST

Rugg: I understand Rugg. I always put a a calculator on my auctions so everyone can see how many peekers there are. I had to up my bandwidth to 10 gigs because of all the peekers. My 1% was just a guess as an average from my experience approx. 11 years of ebay. You are fine and are not aggitating me. You have a right to be concerned. I am not defending ebay. They really try to eliminate unethical practices. It is just the burden of proof. They have to be absolutel before nailing someone. I had people cutting and pasting my entire auctions and they would cancel the other peoples coping me. There just is not absolute security because of the billions of users and some will rip people off. On the other hand the seller does deserve a fair price for quality goods as the buyer deserves fair prices and actual shipping rates with a small percent to cover packaging materials. I have total empathy with you and understand.
burntforge - Wednesday, 03/30/05 16:31:27 EST

Ebay ads and Fraud:
Rugg, When you setup an ebay ad you can put almost any kind of HTML (web code) in the page that you want or are capable of doing. You can link to counters they provide or that others provide. About the only thing that ebay doesn't like is links to your own website. They don't want you pointing customers to where they don't get a bite of the sale.

Being HTML and e-bay page could have detail images in pop-up windows, Javascript menus, animations. I've built ebay pages for others and served all the images off the anvilfire server. However, the rules may have changed on this.

As to how much fraud there is on ebay I suspect it is a much higher percentage than anyone knows. I've seen stolen and misrepresented goods in dozens of categories. Virtualy all the software is pirated, and like the market for junk anvils there are suppliers world wide that have geared up to make fake antiques and "collectables" to sell on ebay. I have at least one Pakistani, Chinese or Indian manufacture contact me a month about providing "aged" reproductions or old items. I don't go looking for them, they come to ME.

Last year guys were selling faked "old" locks on ebay. They would by $3 old stle locks from India and age them and stamp them with the name of some famous jail or institution and then sell them on ebay for 50 to 100 times what they paid. A couple weeks ago I got a letter from an Indian supplier selling the predistressed locks for 50 cents more than the shiney new ones with the offer to mark them any way I'd like either individualy or in quantity.

When there are production shops world wide producing bogus goods just for sale on ebay then you KNOW the fraud must be HUGE! In the past it was one crook making one or two fakes and selling them where he could without getting caught. Now it is factories that can reach a global market.
I've bought a lot of stuff on ebay all from reputable dealers. But then I am not buying "collectables" or "antiques" or falling for anvil descriptions riped off pages *I* wrote. . . .
- guru - Wednesday, 03/30/05 17:23:54 EST

I have an old hand powered Buffalo Forge, it mounts on a box that is app. 24x20xmaybe 6"deep. It mounts on legs and I have one pair of old tongs. Is anyone inerested in purchasing same. Also would like someones help on the approximate value. Please E-mail me. Thanks, Frank.
- Frank Ellis - Wednesday, 03/30/05 19:32:20 EST


Hard to email you without an email address, even harder to figure out whether we are interested when we don't know whether the forge is located in Antarctica or Nome, Alaska.
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 03/30/05 19:41:31 EST

PAW-PAW, you are so right, I've never visited your site before and thought when I put my adderess on the form it would automatically show up with the message. fdellis, Reno, NV. BesidesI'm 71 years old so you should cut me a little slack.
- Frank Ellis - Wednesday, 03/30/05 19:46:56 EST

chainsaw chain: tomg you ought forge some damascus blades outta those chains- ive done several looks good
pete - Wednesday, 03/30/05 19:56:32 EST

solicited: guru, recieved an e-mail from someone asking me to check out a forge on ebay. this was not my general e-mail address, and not the one that ebay has. few sources have this address, AF is one. because it was pertaining to "'smithin", me thinks the address came from AF...
rugg - Wednesday, 03/30/05 20:47:45 EST

guru: You were talking about your stress and lack of time in previous posts. I think it is time for you to do yourself a favor and let the Russian and ASO anvil thing go other than warning people about payning to much or using an aso. I have had all the same things happen to me and even with things I produced copied, my writings copied and pictures stolen and used on ebay and the web. You have let that get you way too upset. I don't like it either, but this stuff has gone on for centuries even before computers. You just come off like you feel ebay is evil. It has been a life saver to many of us. Yes there is fraud, but many of us just won't go that route. I don't mean to upset you if I did. My eyes are hurting from the negative ebay stuff. Ebay saved my family for a few years from really living on the street. See I have been sick and went for a few years with zero income after the standard short run of insurance runs out. Ebay saved us for real. It is like everything else...the best and the worst of human nature. It is really helping kdbarker at his time in need just as you guys did. I am just getting touchy about negative ebay vib.
burntforge - Wednesday, 03/30/05 21:03:05 EST


You're only 6 years older than I am. (grin) Email on the way.
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 03/30/05 22:13:14 EST

rugg: I received that same solicitation, I think. Sorry I deleted it now. Unlike 90% of the spam I get, it came to the address I really use and have posted here. It is possible someone just hit on Anvilfire and clicked a few names to try it out, or some jerk may have figured a way to crack Jock's anti-harvester encryption. I think the former is much more likely, though. I seriously debated about sending a reply to the person, jus tto tell them not to use this site as a source of victims for their spam, but I was afraid that if I replied it would only let them know that their method worked. I would far rather that they thoght their efforts were in vain and gave up on the idea.

Of course, there is the possibility that it was a sincere queston from someone who doesn't understand the etiquette. I doubt it though, or she would have posted her question here.
vicopper - Wednesday, 03/30/05 22:22:33 EST

burntforge. I'm just pointing out there is a lot more fraud on ebay than anyone, especialy ebay will admit. Ebay itself is a large part of the problem as they have set in place systems that do nothing but thwart legitimate complaints while protecting outright theives. When ebay admits they have a serious problem and DO something about it I will keep harping on ebay.

The problem is that is ebay continues to do nothing then the problems will get worse and worse and high profile users like Jay Leno and Ophra will turn into detractors and in a rush of bad publicity ebay could suddenly fail. OR if the fraud continues there will end up being Fedral investigations and laws passed that make it more difficult to sell on-line or through systems like ebay. Eventualy SOMEONE rotes out den's of theives.

If you are an ebay seller and enjoy ebay then you should be more concerned than I am and pressure ebay to clean up their act. Otherwise the current trends will end what we all admit is a good thing when used honestly.
- guru - Thursday, 03/31/05 10:00:46 EST

Rugg, our email encryption system is not perfect. It prevents automated SPAM harvestors from sweepiing out forums and collecting e-mail addresses. However, it does not stop the slow one by one collection by a determined spammer OR the ocassional sales contact, one at a time. We are protected from big commercial spammers but still have the ability to contact each other with ease.

In the future this system will be modified so that addresses are never exposed and a contact form is used. It will be less convieninet but more secure. A typical security trade off.

SPAMMER's are currently the most proliffic producers of viruses. They are used to infect PC's and send all email addresses found on that PC to the spammer AND to use the PC as SPAM server. It is all VERY illegal and if the FBI would spend a couple days on it the major SPAMMERS would be shut down and jailed. There would be less spam AND less viruses.

Since I have changed my e-mail addresses I setup a seperate one for use on our forums. It has not yet been SPAMMED. however, my personal primary address is already being spammed. SOMEONE I have contacted had one of those collector viruses. . .

Viruses do not only use e-mail address books but sweep all the cached HTML on the infected computer. This made our original style of forum with open email addresses a serious problem as not only could spammers harvest addresses but viruses spread themselves to every address from every page a user had visited over a period of months.

The fact is that IF you have an e-mail address eventually spammers will get it from someone you sent mail to or contacted you via that address via hacking through the use of a virus.

Sadly spammers and the virues they are now using have cost the computer world and people that depend on computer comunication far more than any terrorist organizations have cost the world including 9-11. The best money major countries could spend is efforts to stop the folks doing this. The vast majority of SPAM is currently sent by and controlled by a very few. Stopping them is easy. 1) follow the money, 2) prosecute under current hacking and fraud laws. THEY consider SPAM as free speach, but the hacking is NOT. The phishing is NOT. The selling of bogus drugs is NOT. Start putting the big guys away and work down and the problem will be greatly reduced.
- guru - Thursday, 03/31/05 10:26:59 EST

Spam revenge: There is a volunteer group actively doing something about spamming. They seem to have worked out a way to identify the spammers and thus allow us to block the known ones. It's a bit over my pinty little head, but you might be able to do something with it, Jock. And anyone else with a website, for that matter.
vicopper - Thursday, 03/31/05 11:23:02 EST

solicited: guru, 'vic; are the addresses accessable to members only, or the general public? would it be difficult for member only access if it is not already?
rugg - Thursday, 03/31/05 11:25:34 EST

E Bay. How many sales are reported as income and tax paid? How much sales tax revenue is the local govmints missing? How long before they notice and try to do something about it? Now I'll evade I mean avoid taxes quicker than anyone, but watch and see.
Tone - Thursday, 03/31/05 11:57:50 EST

Champion 40 Handle: I have an old Champion 40 forge blower that is in perfect shape except that it is mising its handle. Anyone know where I can get one or what would make a good substitute?
Seth - Thursday, 03/31/05 11:59:26 EST

Soon as I read Frank's post I was thinking that Paw Paw might want to take a look at that forge.

Cracking down on spam would probably just drive them overseas. I know a fellow who always kept a copy of the FBI, FTC, etc e-mail addresses in his address book so that all virii he picked up would always get forwared to folks who ought to be doing something about it.

I actually ran into someone who had *never* received the nigerian spam---almost felt sorry for them, it was a bit of a rite of passage in the internet world.

Now if they would just crack down on copyrighted material theft the deficit would go *down* fast with all the fines to be paid...

Thomas P - Thursday, 03/31/05 12:05:34 EST

rugg: The addresses are accessible to all, I think. At least when I visit without signing in, I can still see the address when I click on a name and open my e-mail editor.
vicopper - Thursday, 03/31/05 13:00:49 EST

spam: I didnt see that solicitation in my email. Just one datum but it suggests its not machine harvested from this forum. But I get a LOT of junk mail and sometime I toss out the babies with the bath water. (the whole world seems to think that my "equipment" is inadequate and wants to help)
adam - Thursday, 03/31/05 13:18:22 EST

SETH/ blower handle: Seth; I had an old Buffalo riveter's forge with the handle missing, and was able to drill out the length of a large wooden file handle.(The kind with the metal ferrule.) I think the original bolt was 5/16", but I'm not positive. If the original bolt is shot, find a carriage bolt with a long bare shank and file the square shoulder down to round. Flatten the big end of the file handle to match the OD of the bolt head to smooth that transition. When boring the handle, start with a drill bit the same size as the hole already in the file handle, and carefully bore through, staying on center. This will help subsequent, gradually increasing drill sizes to track through on center. Of course, if one has a lathe, this whole procedure is simplified considerably. Don't forget to grease the bolt when assembling.
3dogs - Thursday, 03/31/05 14:20:52 EST

Tone/ E-Taxes: Tone, you can rest assured that your gummint is closing in on that very issue, even as we speak.
3dogs - Thursday, 03/31/05 14:26:03 EST

Who was it that said giving govenment money was like giving teenage boys beer and the keys to the car?

Thomas P - Thursday, 03/31/05 18:03:14 EST

Sask. Blacksmithing Sale: Saskatchewan smiths, there is a good blacksmithing sale coming up soon. For those of you that know them it is Larry and Colleen Olm. The blacksmithing tools aren't really listed that well, but save to say he has ton's of tools. Something like this doesn't come up very often so I thought I should post it.
Sale link
- Daryl - Thursday, 03/31/05 19:30:04 EST

Tone/Ebay: Hi Tone A very large portion of people do collect the sales tax for their in state ebay sales and claim income quarterly and at tax time. It is an obligation if people study their state tax laws and federal tax laws. About two years ago approx. a 28.00 year standard tax was added on to your taxes each year to make up for lost revenue from credit card internet purchases like ebay auctions. Then 10% from the top/gross should go to your tithe at your place of worship according to God's tax in the good book. I added the last sentence for fun realizing religion is your choice and determined by your culture.
burntforge - Thursday, 03/31/05 21:48:42 EST

beer and cars....: Thomas it looks as if you are......
At least I have not heard this before. ( smile)
Ralph - Thursday, 03/31/05 22:37:18 EST

Taxes and Cultures: Paying my taxes in Sacraficial Virgins has grown increasingly difficult. Makes me miss the good old days!


Taxes are the price we pay for civilization; a much undervalued commodity, until you have to live without it. Even Mountain Men had to sell their pelts to somebody. How the money gets spent is largely up to the folks we elect, so just chose wisely; and how come those other voters don't see things my way?

Still a little punchy... G'night all.
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Friday, 04/01/05 00:36:00 EST

Thomas P.: What? Teenage boys drink beer? but thats illegal. Being a teenage boy I know this isnt ture :) lol
- Dan Crabtree - Friday, 04/01/05 02:48:12 EST

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