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March 2006 Archive

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

Moving a LG 25: Hello all, I am wondering if anyone has any input into moving a LG 25 lb hammer? I want to use a lowboy u-haul but am not sure the hammer will handle the ramp angle as it is pretty top heavy. If anyone has any ideas or experiance, Please let me know.
Thanks, Pete
pete - Tuesday, 02/28/06 22:25:55 EST

Moving equipment: Use a loader, a backhoe or a wrecker boom to lift it onto the lowboy, don't try to move it up the ramp. One slip and somebody gets hurt.

The center of gravity on those things is high enough that I would want to sling it from the main shaft bearing head area and swing it on, likewise to remove. For transport, use a minimum of three,preferrably four load binders to secure it to the trailer; again, from the topmost anchor points down to the trailer rails. Block the base so it cannot slide, too.
vicopper - Tuesday, 02/28/06 23:01:47 EST

Moving LG: I once moved a 25 LG with a shortbed Datsun pickup. Removed the tail gate, backed up to the hammer, tilted it into the bed and slid it in. Sure made that Datsun squat.
- Bernard Tappel - Tuesday, 02/28/06 23:54:12 EST

Moving an LG or other power hammer:
A 25 pound Little Giant only weighs about 900 pounds depending on if it has the original motor or not.

I have hauled 50 and 100 pound LG's verticaly on a HD 3/4 ton pickup truck (not a so called 3/4 ton 4WD that is overloaded at 1/2 ton put a REAL HD Dodge PU). To haul these hammers verticaly you need VERY GOOD rigging and lots of it. Most small trucks and trailers do not have sufficiently sturdy tie down points to haul equipment this way. Trailers designed to haul automobiles are generaly too light. I suspect the U-haul is this category.

The safe way is lying on its side. However, to prevent damage to the hammer you want to remove the treadle and loose linkage. Set the hammer with the motor UP and be sure to block up the hammer so it is not resting on the arms.

Having sufficient dunnage (wood blocking) is important when hauling machinery. To prevent hauling damage to the machine it is as important as the tie down rigging.

Although nylon straps will work they MUST be heavy enough for the load. I prefer chain and toggle tensioners for moving machinery that may tip over.

Preventing the machine from sliding is also important. If the machine is not held down tight enough not to slide then it can shift under the tie downs and become loose. When there is ANY question or the machine is on a metal deck I rig it at the bottom so it cannot slide in ANY direction and then tie it down so it cannot tip or shift.

Most heavy trucks have wooden decks because things do not slide as easily on wood as on metal. You can also nail blocks to the deck temporarily to prevent things from moving and to support items as necessary. When rigging on metal it is much more difficult. I often put a sheet of plywood under loads in a sheet metal PU body to add friction and to protect the machine and pickup.

The vast majority of damage to machinery is moving damage. Fork lifts are the biggest culprit. Most lift operators think they can move anything and very often drop or tip over top heavy machinery.

The proper way to lift an LG is using a soft sling wrapped around the top shaft. The CG is located at the front bearing. You often need to get sling between the crankwheel and the bearing block to make a perfectly straight lift.

To tip a hammer on its side OR to right it is best done with two hooks. With the first you lift it off the ground. With the second you hook to the base and lift slightly OR if the second hook is stationary lower against it with the first. Then you lower the machine to horizontal with the first hook. This is more critical on large hammer and is very smooth and SAFE. Tipping and righting top heavy or tall machinery can be VERY scary when done with one hook. They reach the point where the center of gravity shifts over the corner resting on the ground and then rock over. This can release the rigging and happens very fast. The last thing you want when moving machinery is for anything to happen fast OR to come loose.

The backyard mechanic method of moving a 25 pound LG is to put a load of ties in the back of the PU then tip the hammer over on the tires by hand. . . Then to unload, snag it under a tree with a come-along and drive out from under it. . . Can be very exciting. . . don't want to be the helper in any more of these moves! But that is how I brought home my first 20" drill press that is more top heavy and weighs about the same as a 25 pound LG. One reason for the popularity of 25# LG's is you can haul them in the trunk of a big old car OR in a small Japanese pickup. A couple of strong fellows can right one by hand as well.

I have skidded 50 and 100 pound LG's up and down a concrete ramp with about a 20 degree slope (both on the same days). To do so required rigging just below the top of the anvil or at the base of the sow block. This is just below the vertical center of gravity and probably right at the angular CG. Then I used an anchor on the ground (a shaper bolted to the floor) and a chain type come-along to lower the hammers down the ramp (and later to pull them UP the ramp). The hammer was on rollers so the bottom could not dig in. This move went very slow as I was shifting the rollers and operating the come-along myself. It was a smooth move but I would never try to move an LG up a steeper incline while standing vertical. I also do not recommed it to someone without rigging experiance and an eye for centers of gravity. Trailer ramps are usualy much too steep and worse, the trailer moves as the load does up the ramp.

The best (safest) way is to lay on its side and load with a heavy machine or hoist.
- guru - Wednesday, 03/01/06 09:50:00 EST

Bad moves:
We had a fellow in our shop get impatient (could not wait 15 minutes) and had a new Bridgeport clone milling machine loaded into his Toyota pickup truck. He did not tie it down and had a helper riding in the back to steady the load. . .

As soon as he pulled out of the driveway onto the slightly banked curve the overloaded truck tiped, the NEW machine went over center the truck tipped off one wheel then the milling machine flipped out of the truck head first onto the pavement. . . Luckily the helper was on the the other side and HE scrambled off the high side of the truck and was out of the way before it hit the ground!

The head of the mill was broken in two. There was no insurance coverage because it was not in OUR driveway and it was out of the shippers truck AND the fellow who dumped it did not have hauling insurance.

The broken machine was loaded into my HD pickup when I arrived on the scene five minutes later. It rode just fine verticaly in the heavier truck (17" 8 lug wheels, ton springs, custom tie downs).

There are trucks and trailers and there are TRUCKS and TRAILERS. I hauled that little Bridgeport just fine but I would not think about hauling the next size up milling machine or a power hammer over 150# cap. You have to know your equipment's limitations.
- guru - Wednesday, 03/01/06 10:06:56 EST

Clifton Ralph Tapes: I recently purchased the set of five tapes directly from Clifton himself. The price is two hundred dollars shipping included and they are well worth it. You will need to watch them several times and take notes. There is a LOT of information there. I'll have to look up the address and phone number at home tonight unless somebody else can post it.
SGensh - Wednesday, 03/01/06 11:06:27 EST

Clifton Ralph Tapes: Ellen: The price from Rocky Mountain Smiths is $10 each or 3 for $25. They have 3 tapes from a conference in 1994. I am not sure if these are the same as the tapes SGensh is talking about. I suspect not.
SGensh I would love the address to be able to communicate with Clifton himself and get the full set.
blackbart - Wednesday, 03/01/06 13:11:11 EST

Bad moves: Jock, your milling machine story reminds me of a piano moving incident I was involved in. My sister was given an old upright piano by a friend. She enlisted me and my son to go help her husband load it at the friend’s house. We rolled the piano into her husband’s pick up and closed the tail gate. He took off down the (very crooked) road with the piano in the back without tying it down. My son and I were following in another vehicle. On the first curve the piano, in what seemed like slow motion started to slowly lean to the right. It hit the side of the pickup bed and bounced over the side onto its top, shattering in hundreds of pieces on the asphalt road. We tossed the pieces back into his truck and headed to the sister’s house. Her first comment when she came out to see the piano was “Were you supposed to take it apart like that?” We all had a good laugh at her expense.
Since then, I’ve never been asked to help move a piano though . . . .
- Bernard Tappel - Wednesday, 03/01/06 13:22:58 EST

Moving LG Power Hammer: A friend and I just moved a #100 LG to my shop. He has a Ford F250 and I rented a #6000 equipment trailer from Hertz.
The trailer had a tilt bed and ramps, and a winch on the front. We tipped the LG to the side and put it on 3/4" water pipe rollers to get it close to the trailer. Then hooked the trailers cable winch up to the LG and pulled it up on the trailer. The cable was wrapped low around
the bottom of the LG. When the LG got to the point where there was wood and not metal we placed 1/4" steel plate under it so the LG would slide easy and not dig up the trailer. We also had a snatch block to help direct the cables line of pull. The trailer itself had multiple tie down points that were for heavy equipment. We had 3/8" #80 chain, hooks, load binders, and fasteners to hold it in place. We also tied the LG both low around the base and high over the shaft. Unloading was the reverse. The only time it got scary was when we went too fast on the freeway and the trailer started driving the truck...we slowed down and all was better.
Move slowly and think things through, you don't want to rush. The hole thing, including returning the trailer took about 4 hours.
Good Luck
blackbart - Wednesday, 03/01/06 13:32:37 EST

Bart: There are 5 or 6 tapes in the Clifton Ralph powerhammer lessons, for a total of about 12 hours of watching. You can rent them from ABANA if you are a memberdf ($45/yr) and rental fee is $25. You can keep them six days. Quality is not very good, but enough for you to follow things. They are excellent, especially on maintaining and fixing mechanical hammers. Might be an option to let you know if you want to spend the $$$ for your own set or not. I would rather have them on DVD if possible, but oh well.....

Moving heavy items: when I brought my flypress (about 500#) home, and the stump for it (about #700) I tried to whistle up Scotty to beam things up, but oh well, so I used my tractor with a 3/8" lifting chain, padding, and moved the flypress from the back of my truck and set it on the stump when I had allready moved and set in postition with my front end loader.

For transporting those two heavy items the 140 miles of twisty mountain roads from Camp Verde to Apache Junction I used chain and binders. My truck has a small track I built, just enough to stick up by the back window and secure things upright to, and heavy angle iron rails that run along the top of the bed. To this I have welded tie downs so I can secure things, and the whole think is bolted in several places to the pickup bed. I wouldn't trust it for a really heavy load as the sheet metal of the bed, even though backed up with some iron where the bolts go, is kind of thin......

Had a friend to guide the flypress into place and let me know when things were right....tractors are handy.
Ellen - Wednesday, 03/01/06 13:52:52 EST

Ellen:Clifton Tapes: I am a member of the ABANA and did see the rentals there, thanks. DVD would be nice. I figure that I would like to study them and take notes, so with working for a living, a 6 day rental might not allow me to get through 1 tape. California Blacksmiths Association (I am a member $35/year) has the tapes for $4 plus $50 deposit, for a 15 day rental.
Will keep you posted as to what else I find.
Thanks again
blackbart - Wednesday, 03/01/06 15:17:50 EST

When I moved my 75lb power hammer about 800 miles I built a pallet that just fit between the wheel wells. We bolted the hammer to it, then it was loaded witha forklinft. Then I used wood brasing around the hammer to make sure it would not move at all during transport. To top it all off I used ratchet tie downs. Made the whole trip with no incidents at all. Check out my power hammer page to see the actual set up. The front board near the tool bax was cut and bolted in place before we left. The rear one was cut, but not drilled until we got there. I brought along lumber, 3 inch drywall screws, metal tee and corner straps, as well as a cordless drill and circular saw to build the contraption in place.
- FredlyFX - Wednesday, 03/01/06 15:31:13 EST

oops, forgot to put in the url. Doh.
Power Hammer Page
FredlyFX - Wednesday, 03/01/06 15:37:54 EST

FredlyFX: Marvelous documentaion of an interesting project. I really enjoyed reading it, the pictures made it understandable for me. Thanks for sharing!
Ellen - Wednesday, 03/01/06 17:53:42 EST

Glad it helped Ellen. That's why I do it that way. I know I needed a lot of pics sometimes to understand the various process. Eventually I am going to have to cut down a little on them. I have nearly maxed out my storage.
FredlyFX - Wednesday, 03/01/06 18:15:57 EST

Technical Video: For numerious technical videos checkout
technical video rental several good ones on welding
Steve Mills - Wednesday, 03/01/06 18:15:58 EST

Steve: Thanks for the link. Many good rental titles in there, DVD's available too, which makes it easier to see the fine details.
Ellen - Wednesday, 03/01/06 20:46:31 EST

Bart: Sounds like a much better rental deal, price and timewise. Thanks for sharing.
Ellen - Wednesday, 03/01/06 20:57:00 EST

Videos: Sweet! I've been wanting to see some oxy/act welding and arc welding videos. I've also been interested in anything
Hershel House. But if I bought all those, I'd be out some serious beans. Looks like I'm gonna be a video junkie.
Bob H - Wednesday, 03/01/06 21:13:41 EST

Tech video: I've been dealing with this Co. for about 6 Mo.
very good service, email note when shipped and when
receiving the return. hope you enjoy them like I do.
Steve Mills - Thursday, 03/02/06 01:27:09 EST

Aprenticeship or Similar: Hi guys,
Not sure the Guru's page was the right place to post this question so I'll try here before I bother them over there :)

One of the students Blacksmith I met in Sweden has been in touch with me recently asking me if I knew of anyone in the States who would be willing to take on an apprentice for a year or so.
The Smith in question is called Malin, she speaks excellent English and writes it pretty well too. She is due to finish her studies in Sweden in July and is looking for a placement beggining in August. If memory serves she will be qualified to the Swedish equivalent of our English Journeyman papers, so it's not as if I'm asking someone to take on a complete newbie. This young girls got real talent, much more than my own and she's very keen to build on the skills she already has.
I've asked her to put together a resume of her work to send to anybody who may be interested. She has told me that she is more than happy to work for just food and lodging, her main goal is to continue building on what she has already learned from her current teacher: Master Smith Berth Johansson.
If anyone knows of a smith who needs the extra help or is willing to take on a student please send me an email and I'll pass it along. I think she has a lot to offer.
- Ian - Thursday, 03/02/06 07:54:54 EST

Apprentice: You might have her check with Tom Ryan of Koenig Metals in New York. Tom did his learning by going to Europe, and has a busy shop, so he both understands the apprentice system and would have the work to keep someone busy. I'm at work and don't have his number handy, but you could probably Google it. He's an exceptionally nice guy, too.
vicopper - Thursday, 03/02/06 08:38:51 EST

Apprentice: Hey Sarge!
Nice to hear from you :) I tried running both Koenig Metals and Tom Ryan through Google without any concrete results I could pass on. If you can rummage out his email, or phone number that would be fantastic.
If anyone else out there can wade in with suggestions too I'm all ears.
Ian Lowe - Thursday, 03/02/06 18:28:05 EST

candle cups: We are searching for a supplier for candle cups to weld to
chandeliers and candle holders that we are making now. We
need taper size to pillar sizes with and without the spikes.
If no one knows a supplier, how about an easy way to make
them with only a torch?
- Dana Strong - Thursday, 03/02/06 19:31:55 EST

Candle cups: Try-

Most of the old line stamping shops have gone the way of the buffalo, as the low end metal industry has moved to China. Many of the shops that used to stamp leaves, candle cups, and the like were located in lower manhattan- so you can imagine how long its been since some of them were in business.
Still, these three have a decent selection of what is availble in small quantities- that is less than a 40 foot container load at a time.
ries - Thursday, 03/02/06 20:00:35 EST

Candle Cups:
You will find that there is no standard on these (and no standard candle). You will need to come up with your own specs before buying.

BlacksmithsDepot (see our drop down menu) has a line of cups and pans.

Making with a torch is probably the most expensive route you can go as you will also need to grind and file every one. Been there, spent a full day making a handfull.

If you want round or odd shaped blanks the best route is to go to any steel service center and have them plasma, laser or waterjet cut. Minimal quantities are not a problem with these processes.

Shaping the pans is pretty easy depending on how smooth you want them. I made moderately hammered looking pans from 16ga steel on a wood stump using a large ball pien hammer. Did a few hundred in one afternoon and have not had to make any since. If you need smooth then a set of dies can be made of wood or metal and used in a Vise, arbor press, fly press or hydraulic press. Hand pressed production rates are in the hundreds up to a thousand per day.

The cup sizing and cups are the biggest problem. I used 3/4" EMT but it was a little loose on most candles. I also used 1/2" copper pipe but it is a tad small. . . The best route is to roll your own, weld and flare.

When I last made candle cups I setup a die set and punched out hundreds of blanks in steel and brass in one afternoon. I sawed, deburred and flared hundreds of cups the next few days. Then I brazed the steel cups and silver soldered the brass cups the next couple days. I spent a day polishing the brass cups and a day cleaning the brazed steel cups. In about 6 days I had 300 candle cups. So that is about 50 per day. You figure your hourly rate but at that time I figured $20/hour (a long time ago) so those finished and ready to attach cups cost about $4 each including materials. Today it would need to be considerably more. But these were heavy custom cups and pans to my specifications. Make a candleabra with 5 pans and you are at $100 and all you have is the pans. . .

As a punch and die man I would do it the same today. But a dieset is an investment that most folks do not want to make especially if someone else has to make it.
- guru - Thursday, 03/02/06 21:08:07 EST

Tom Ryan: His shop phone is (718)433-0900. His sales phone is (212) 924-4334. I would use the shop phone number and leave a detailed message. Tom is a busy fellow and may take a couple or three days to respond.
vicopper - Thursday, 03/02/06 21:13:45 EST

I always tried not to lift hammers by the shaft but around the top of the C frame---never sure how well the bolts were for the shaft bearings...

We generally laid down hammers for travel---including a 250# LG.

I've moved a 50#LG in my old phone company van once.

Thomas P - Thursday, 03/02/06 22:30:25 EST

Just finished up a knife of a different sort. Didn't need any heat treating, and it is not one of my flint knives either. Confused? Welcome to my world! Actually, for some strange reason, probably because I am a primitiveman, I made a knife outa copper. I did forge it at a red heat, worked real nice. Then when I had it mostly formed, other than some grinding work, I work hardened the blade edge. Then cleaned all that up and pinned on some osage orange scales. Kinda different, like me. BUT. Now that my wife has seen it, she wants one! So, I'm gonna order some green scales from Jantz supply for hers. That should set it off nicely. So next knappin I go to in April, I'm gonna have to show off my knife. Flint, copper, bronze, iron. Hmm. Maybe I should find some bronze. Ain't done one of those yet.
Bob H - Friday, 03/03/06 10:20:00 EST

Bob H: Sounds nice. Can you post a picture over at Sparky's, please? I'd like to see it.

A cautionary note: if you keep this up, chipping stone, working copper, than bronze, in your next incarnation you may be "assisting" one of the Pharoahs in various public works projects, or even a nice pyramid. Grin! As long as its not a public works project for one of the Caesars, followed by participation in public entertainment, featuring lions or somesuch.

One reason I cut way back on backpacking. I had a vision, packing 40# upwards in the Grand Canyon awhile back, of incarnation in the next life as a pack mule for the Fred Harvey Co. I discussed it with the lead wrangler of the upwards bound mule train on the North Kaibab Trail, and he thought it very possible, as many of the mules were highly intelligent and personable. He assured me the mules were well treated, rested every hour for 5 minutes on the trek up, and it would be a good life. Somedays it actually sounds like an improvement! Oh well, sigh, back to reality.
Ellen - Friday, 03/03/06 10:38:15 EST

A previous post on anvils.: Steve, on 2/10/06 you posted the following: Anvils: If you are looking for anvils check out Mike's Blacksmith Shop on ebay, he is located in Lawrence Ks. I just picked up a #300 Peter Wright from him and he has about 25 anvils in stock, a little on the expecsive side but he has them also blowers shears and so on, he will ship or pickup.

Can you provide any additional information? I live about forty miles from Lawrence and looking for an anvil.
- Don H. - Friday, 03/03/06 12:12:21 EST

Actually, there is a standard size for candles.
Not to say that there arent plenty of nonstandard candles made, but the standard, everyday taper candle takes a 7/8" id cup.
A standard kosher menorah candle takes a 3/8" diameter cup.
Then, big pillar candles are usually made in inch increments- 2", 3" and so on.
The commercially made candle cups for tapers are, well, tapered. This helps them fit a variety of candles, including homemade ones. But the average inside diameter is 7/8"
I used to make quite a few candlesticks, so many that I couldnt even guess the number.
I used the storebought cups for some- they usually average around 30 to 50 cents each, when you buy a hundred at a time. They are stamped from 22 or 24 ga, so they are not real heavy, and that makes them tricky to attach as well- we used to tig braze them with a silicon bronze rod.
For others, we made our own cups- I would buy a 1" od, 1/16" wall mechanical tubing, and it fit commercial taper candles just right.
For menorahs, which I have made many many of- a dozen at a time, usually, and untold dozens of em are out there in the world- we used a thin wall 5/8" od mechanical tubing, 3/8" id- it would slip fit over 3/8" round, making a nice clean cup that just needed a quick roll around tig braze.
Bigger ones are usually best shopmade- the commercial bobeches are a good start- 16 gage stamped dishes, available from the suppliers I listed above.
ries - Friday, 03/03/06 13:16:52 EST

GURU: I am going to the advanced power hammer class taught by Hofi March 14-17 at B2Design. He is going to concentrate on tools for use with the power hammer. I have seen you there before, wondering if you were coming back.
- Firebug - Friday, 03/03/06 21:54:19 EST

Apprentice: Thanks Rich )
I've jotted down his number and will email it over to Malin in Sweden asap. If everyone could keep their ears open about any other opportunities for an apprentice or help needed please let me know, hate to see talent sitting idle :)
Ian Lowe - Saturday, 03/04/06 06:52:22 EST

Hello again, I want to thank everyone for there input on moving a LG25 hammer. I got alot of ideas and great common sense help and now feel much more prepared to move it. If anyone else has something to add, I am all ears and still have a few weeks before I make the move. Once again I Thanks you all and -----
- pete - Saturday, 03/04/06 10:48:17 EST

Hofi Class and NOMMA: I will be seeing Uri at the NOMMA convention next week where I will be there to cover the NEWS. I have been asked to write some articles for the Fabricator and will get to be the only outside news reporter at the convention. . We will have a big NOMMA report in the anvilfire NEWS in June after the Fabricator comes out.

I will also be at the Big BLU Hammer-In on the 18th. I don't think I will be able to take off inbetween. You should plan on being at the Hammer-In after the Hofi class. More demos, more food, trades and good times.
MetalFAB 2006
- guru - Saturday, 03/04/06 11:42:03 EST

Apprenticeships: Ian- In the last couple of years, several Nomma members have been sponsoring apprentices from the French Companions- I dont think Nomma itself has been sponsoring it, but they have written about it in their magazine. Unlike individual hobby blacksmiths, members of Nomma are ornamental iron businesses, most with employees. There are more and more of them adding real blacksmithing to their mix, so the nomma magazine would be a great place to put an ad in the classifieds- apprentice postion wanted
I would also encourage her to come to the abana conference in Seattle. Many professional blacksmiths will be there- at the last one, in Richmond, time after time I would end up talking to guys running shops with employees- lots of them come out of the woodwork for the abana conference, and its a great place to network. If she came over and volunteered to help a demonstrator, she would get to know a couple of hundred pro blacksmiths in a week, and if she is good, they would all take notice of her.
ries - Saturday, 03/04/06 12:31:35 EST

Well I just shipped off 33+ pounds of RR spikes to a young fellow in AZ who wants to try pounding on them but didn't have a source, the tracks are 2 places over from mine and the Dr likes me to walk and bend and touch the ground---OK OK "squat" and touch the ground... I've been tossing the unwanted scrap in "piles" just in case I figure out something to do with it.

The PO told me there was no weight limit till I mentioned that their box looks like it would hold about 150# if steel---then they admitted to a 70# limit. I built an entire custom box to fit inside theirs and strapped that up throughly. $8.80 to send it priority mail and it would be about $23 to send it parcel post...

I did find what looks like a brake arm---a heavy arm with what looks like a carbide faced flat piece on the end, still out there till something goes "idjit that would be perfect for...)

Thomas P - Saturday, 03/04/06 15:45:08 EST

Aprentice: Many thanks for that info Ries, I've sent that and the numbers Rich gave on. Hopefully Malin can make somthing out of them, but please carry on keeping your ears and eyes open folks, this is an on going quest.
Ian Lowe - Saturday, 03/04/06 20:00:53 EST

Anvils Lawrence Kansas: This info is from his business card,
Mike Moddrell
home: 785-842-6319 cell 785-691-6349
lawrence kansas
buy sell trade
Search ebay stores for Mike's Blacksmith Store
hope this helps, when I was there he had about 25 anvils
150#-500# and 8 forges also blowers tongs hammers and hardies
- Steve Mills - Saturday, 03/04/06 23:24:14 EST

really missed you guys ..... glad ya'll are still here ...........
- pete - Sunday, 03/05/06 11:55:41 EST

USPS Flat Rate Boxes:
A few folks including postal employees have mistakenly said these USPS boxes have no weight limit. It is more confusing because printed right on the box is "One price regardless of weight" For practical purposes they do not but by regulation it IS 70 pounds. The reason many folks say no-limit is that is is difficult to put 70 pounds into one of these boxes that measure 10 x 8 x 5 inside.

EXAMPLES: A block of aluminium this size weighs 39 pounds. A block of concrete weighs 31 pounds. A solid block of oak only weighs 11 pounds. But here is were the trouble lies. . a block of steel 10 x 8 x 5 weighs 113 pounds, a block of copper weighs 129 pounds and a block of gold comes in at an astounding 229 pounds. . .

I think Pete found it was easy to put 70 pounds of 2.5" dia rounds in one of these boxes but the box will not support it. Nore are these particularly heavy duty boxes being made of standard 2 ply cardboard. If you want to load them to the max you need to make your own box to fit inside the USPS box.
- guru - Sunday, 03/05/06 13:11:03 EST

Site Issue?: Is there something wrong with the drop down menu on the upper right? I notice it is appearing as only a small square and nothing is listed inside the menu. I have noticed this now for a few days. I am viewing through IE.
- Burnt Forge - Sunday, 03/05/06 17:22:49 EST

A philisophical question: I often wonder if every wannabe sword maker MUST make a perfect, 100% accurate, authentic sword, or none at all.
I kinda think that many of them would be happy with a middle ground- that is, going thru the motions of making a sword, with mild steel. 99 out of 100 of them would be perfectly happy with a wall hanger that wont really hold an edge, for their first, or 5th,or 10th effort.
The last one, number 100 out of 100, is gonna spend the time learning to do it absolutely right, spend years practicing, studying, and accumlating tools.
I dont see a big problem with this.
I know working with real tool steels requires different forging techniques, but I dont see it as ruining you for life to learn to make a sword shaped object first, then, if your interest is there, learning the added difficulties of working with the proper high carbon steels and heat treating.
The vast majority of these kids are never gonna use these swords for anything but chopping down the occasional blackberry bush, anyway.

Getting sidetracked by the exotic details of alloys and heat treating is for a few years down the road, in my opinion- I have gotten a few kids actually banging on hot metal, and if they make something pointy, it keeps their interest going.

Same basic thing about armour making wannabes- most of them are not going to be waging war in the SCA- they want to make a cool looking object, learn from it, and possibley that will stimulate their interest enough to get them to learn more about doing it right.

Which is why I was advising simple starting points for the armour question in the Guru's den. I know Thomas is right about making REAL armour, but the average kid cant start out making real armour- but if they have some small measure of success raising metal and making an armour-like object, it may encourage them to keep learning. Whereas if they are told, its a 5 year apprenticeship or nothing, many of them wander off.

Part of my perspective, I am sure, comes from being an artist, who is more concerned with how things look than with historical accuracy, and also because when I make pointy things, I do it for fun, not because I am actually gonna stick somebody with them. So my pile of swords and knives is not going to win in a real swordfight, although they are plenty sharp enough to let the red stuff out in a fight.
ries - Sunday, 03/05/06 17:44:48 EST

Burnt Forge, my IE is navigating the pull down menu just fine. There was a problem accessing the pull down menu from the member's forum but that has been fixed for awhile now.

Ries--you have a good point. No pun intended. When you get right down to it many of the classic swords had no carbon, let alone high carbon in them at all. Copper and bronze come to mind. Early iron swords were not high carbon but would cut copper and bronze swords apart with ease. I don't recall the Roman Gladius being made from 5160 or O-1.....yet it was surely effective in use. Part of the effectiveness of the Roman spear was that the point usually bent if it hit the ground after throwing thus rendering it useless to the opposing force. Most of the swords of antiquity were rather short compared to later styles as well.

Lots can be done besides making a William Wallace Claymore six feet long for cutting opponents in half with one swing or legs off of horses. Effective though it may have been 800 years ago.

I really do think technology passed the sword up as a weapon shortly after the introduction of gunpowder and nothing has changed since. I doubt much folks will jet across a galaxy to have a sword fight.

So, if they'll take some direction and hammer out something reasonable for a beginner and not drive the rest of us crazy with mindless chatter about how they'd like to do things rather than telling us they tried this and it worked sort of but this problem has to be a two way street.
Ellen - Sunday, 03/05/06 19:20:06 EST

Real vs. Art:
Ries, I agree with you and our sword makeing article offers a bunch of optional ways to make wall hangers that are also a learning progression. But the question usualy asked is "how do I make a (real or enter historical mythical title here) sword" Not "I'd like to learn to forge for fun and make art to hang on the wall". Its almost always, "I want to make an indestructable sword", or "I want to make a blade that never dulls and can cut through concrete", or "I want to make an 8 foot long foot wide sword (a popular anime' blade that is physicaly imposible). Then there those that have watched all the martial arts movies and play the games and want to make (enter exotic name here) blades. . .

AND we REALLY did have several folks actually state that they have "NEVER made anything with their hands" and they wanted to make a sword.

Learning to use a hammer would be a great first step. YOU know these guys. They always seem to hire them for the movies to act as carpenters or blacksmiths and you can tell someone had to tell them which end of the hammer to hold. . .

When I was helping Atli with the Boy Scout blacksmithing merit badge I was surprised at how many had never used a hammer. They had never built a dog house, a tree house or soap box racer. They lived in homes where there were no tools and there was no opourtunity to build a fort, make a kite or even use a pair of scissors. I am talking about 14 year old boys that had never held a hammer.

But they all want to make a REAL sword.

Look close at my Sword making article. Its starts with wood and gives good reasons to start there. It progresses to aluminium cold worked then mid steel or stainless hot or cold worked. THEN it offers up the real thing.

I have intended to go through all those projects and make them to produce step by step photos and drawings as needed. However my current situation is that my shop and tools are 3 hours away. AND the books recommended do cover most of these processes.

We have had a lot of feed back on that article. The truely ignorant or insulted and go away (fine by me). Those with some common sense say it has helped them avoid starting wrong and getting in over their head. One fellow said he had not previously thought of making wood models as a design tool and that he had made several and learned a lot. Learned that even in wood it is a lot of work!

IF you reduce the technical part of the process too much you end up with an article like the one where the fellow describes making a sword by cold working a truck spring with a sledge hammer. . .

Ellen, those that I REALLY hate are the little twerps that CLAIM they have made this that and the other but you can tell from their questions and tone that they are of the many that have never picked up a hammer. On one hand I feel sorry for their having a deprived childhood but on the other I have no respect for their lies and deciet.

Everyone that has done nothing thinks the things other people do are easy.

- guru - Sunday, 03/05/06 20:58:44 EST

I would add-
Everyone that has done nothing thinks the things other people do are easy, and should be CHEAP too.

ries - Sunday, 03/05/06 22:36:02 EST

Drop-down Menu: Burntforge: I have two computers. My new one is protected with Symantec/norton, and only shows the little square, and NO Drop-Down Menu. The old one I run "barefoot," since I use it only for surfing the web and store NOTHING of value on it. When it gets messed up I just reformat and reload.
The old computer shows the drop-down perfectly. I assume The symantec/norton is the problem.
- John Odom - Sunday, 03/05/06 22:41:45 EST

Ries, I only have one problem with your post. Cutting down blackberry bushes! Why, those tasty little morsels deserve to live! Preferably here on my property.

I have to agree a lot with Jock. Of the people I have helped give lessons to, those that can already use a hammer have a great head start. Seems I'm always telling people that it is a good idea to hit where they are aiming! Much harder to do for those unused to using a hammer. I usually then nickname them Lightning. Because they never hit the same spot twice!

Actually, I recently made a wood model of a knife, as a test fit model for a knife I wanted to make my wife. Good tool.

Sorry it took so long to type this! Been watching the Ultimate Fighting Championships on TV. Kinda distracting!
Bob H - Sunday, 03/05/06 22:44:07 EST

John Odom: Nope, I've got Symantec/Norton myself. Works fine for me, and I am not a computer literate person.
Bob H - Sunday, 03/05/06 22:45:57 EST

menu: Guru
Thanks. I got the menu to work. I have an eraser that erases all possible cache and every place it hides. I tried that first as you suggested. I then disabled my Norton firewall and then then menu came right back. Thank You guru and ellen
- Burnt Forge - Sunday, 03/05/06 23:01:32 EST

throatless shear: Got a chance to visit the Harbor Freight store in our area today & picked up one of the fake beverly shears (on sale for 80 bucks). You can see where the bottom of the base was finished by hand with a file or was so uneven I had to shim it even after taking it to the belt sander for some tweaking.

It does seem to cut mild steel, aluminum & 16ga stainless without complaint (the stainless was the thickest I tried tonight).

I should have got one of these a long time ago. Lots easier than hand snips or dulling the bandsaw blades!
Mike Sa
Mike Sa - Sunday, 03/05/06 23:44:07 EST

Just sent off an email, and my spell check didn't recognize farrier! What is the world coming to?
Bob H - Monday, 03/06/06 09:48:13 EST

BOB H: They probably thought it was some kind of politically incorrect homophobic slur, or something like that. BOG
3dogs - Monday, 03/06/06 09:56:55 EST

Reis, almost *NONE* of the armour being made on that forum I pointed to would qualify as authentic and they have a long history of helping folks start out with easy stuff---do a search on "coulter" to see how many time it is referenced as a "first project".

It includes simple patterns too, as patterning is probably the hardest part of starting out. There are folks from across the world offering to let people stop by and learn the basics in their shops. Sliding Rivits, Points, Gambesons, Padding, rolling edges, improvised tooling---shoot there is even a fellow there who sells "beginners kits" of tools to get started with.

All in all I consider a site dedicated to what they want to do a better resource than one focused on a different area---I sure wouldn't point folks wanting to do body work at an armour site! (well actuall I would if they were interested in doing something outre for their vehicles...Ugo's seraphim breastplate---a copy of the Negroli one would be very nice on a custom sports car---spooky but *nice*)

Now for swords there is a major safety issue---if people learn on mild they tend to internalize it's working conditions---if you then work with high carbon steels and use the same habits you could result in someone badly hurt or dead from a "blade" with cracks, brittleness, etc in it.
This is especially true with people just wanting to make a few and not to spend time learning the basics.

I'd rather overtrain them than undertrain them.

Thomas P - Monday, 03/06/06 13:41:26 EST

Well my wife is up in Albuquerque taking my daughter's old friend to the Plane back home (and there was great rejoicing!)

So being footloose and fancy free I went out to the shop and did the hardening of that little pattern welded blade, (3 normalizations and the rough grind done already). Being as the billet was a bit of an experiment anyway I decided to use hot brine for the quenchant.

I heated it in the preheated gas forge dialed nicely reducing and watched the shadows disappear---for fun when it had almost changed I held it on the magnet and *felt* the transition finish off!

Then back for a tad more heat and into the hot brine. When it stopped bubbling it went into the fresh water and then into the house for a stress relieve in the wife's oven---why I wanted an
- Thomas Powers - Monday, 03/06/06 21:47:30 EST

hey mike is that shear a b1 ? b2 ? or b3 size ?
- peter - Tuesday, 03/07/06 11:15:03 EST

Thomas: How did the hot brine quench for you work? Did it reduce clean up time?
Ellen - Tuesday, 03/07/06 11:23:22 EST

beverly shear: Peter, I'll assume it's the B1 size. The blades are about 4 inches in length. I'm not too versed in the actual beverly sizes
Mike Sa - Tuesday, 03/07/06 14:03:06 EST

beverly shear: Peter, I'm not well versed in beverly sizes, but I'll guess this is equivalent to the b1. The blades are 4 inches long. the whole thing (minus handle) is about 12 inches tall.
Mike Sa
Mike Sa - Tuesday, 03/07/06 14:14:39 EST

B1 anb B2:
These take the same blade size or so close you cannot tell. There is a big difference in capacity. Handle on B2 is about 20" overall height about 30". I would not rate a Chinese clone the same as a Beverly. Beverly's are high quality cast steel. High alloy blades are also rated for stainless. Common blades will cut it but wear rapidly. . . Even the Beverly's are over rated and spring pretty bad at rated capacity. . about 1/2 of rating is right.

- guru - Tuesday, 03/07/06 14:44:14 EST

NOMMA Trade Show in Savannah:
I am off to Savannah, GA for a few days. Getting a late start. . . Hold down the fort.
- guru - Tuesday, 03/07/06 14:45:18 EST

Well now that the Guru's away I just wanted to say "If Hollywood can make wood and plaster look like metal---Why can't they make actors look like blacksmiths?"

Thomas P - Tuesday, 03/07/06 19:23:21 EST

Hollywood: Thomas,

Should be easier than making blacksmiths look like actors, anyway (grin).
Mike B - Tuesday, 03/07/06 20:15:24 EST

Tripping: Next week I am going to be in Portland, Oregon for a few days. Most of my time will be taken up with family duties and a bit of shopping, but I will have some free time to go a-wandering; if anyone knows of any shops or great ironwork I should check out, let me know. I'll be there from Thursday through Monday.
vicopper - Wednesday, 03/08/06 08:40:27 EST

Tripping: I'll be in Chickasha, Oklahoma next week for the antique car swap meet. If there's any blacksmith related people or things to see in the area, let me know.
Mike Sa - Wednesday, 03/08/06 14:14:40 EST

Chickasha / Sulphur: I don't know a great deal about Chickasha, except that it is a center for horse trailer manufacture.

Southeast of Chickasha about 75 miles is Lee Liles Horseshoeing Museum, located in Sulphur. If you call ahead, you can get a conducted tour. Google for more info.
Frank Turley - Thursday, 03/09/06 10:35:13 EST

I thought this was interesting.:
Olive oil fueled copper smelting furnaces found in Cypress dating back to about 2000BC. Reuters
shack - Thursday, 03/09/06 10:47:10 EST

See reply in Guru's Den.

Thomas P - Friday, 03/10/06 12:42:43 EST

Wootz Steel: Well I have to admit that kid made my day, I don't think I laughed so much in donkeys years!
I met a chap called Willem Jonkers III, a Master Smith from Deveter in Holland, check out his website Imhotep or Nazgul or whatever your name is. He HAS made genuine Wootz steel, he even has a picture of the billet. It only took him and a chemical anaylsist MANY years to get it right.
What you've come up with is simple, a fairy story to match your obvious Troll heritage. Go away, and tie a steak to your forehead so the dog will play with you.
- Tinker - Friday, 03/10/06 14:48:35 EST

Trolling: You'd think these kids would realize that if you're planning to try to impress folks with arcane knowledge, it *really* helps not to do it on a forum where there's a good chance someone can call your bluff.

Ah, youth! To live free in your parents' basement playing video games and reading fantasy while Anime blares from the TV...

Good reply, Thomas. I didn't bother with the technicalities as it was so obvious the kid was lying.
Alan-L - Friday, 03/10/06 15:51:37 EST

Yup; but you don't want others mislead and wasting their time thinking the poster knew what they were talking about.

Ahh for the good old days when you would take kids like that and hitch them to the south end of a mule till the back 40 was plowed and then hope they still had enough energy left to lift a fork at dinner...

Thomas P - Friday, 03/10/06 16:57:58 EST

weird thing though. If it is trolling, it is more lucid than the run of the mill. and, by definition, trolling is for the causing of chaos, arguments and so on. Seems more like someone trying to show off half-information. Perhaps trying to avoid a "newbie" label.

I dunno, I just don't.

Escher - Friday, 03/10/06 16:59:44 EST

Trolling Trolls: Trolls
In the name of JESUS leave!!
- Burnt Forge - Friday, 03/10/06 17:26:35 EST

Trolling: Sometimes you have to chase the evil troll spirits out of the Blacksmith den. That one was more than your typical troll as Escher mentions.

- Burnt Forge - Friday, 03/10/06 17:30:42 EST

- ALLEN - Friday, 03/10/06 17:31:38 EST

Back To Blacksmithing: I was able to put my hands on one of those new 157 lb Emerson Blacksmith Anvils today. They are 4142C tool steel. The entire surface is heat treated and not flame hardened. What a beauty. The ring will pop the ears and what a rebound. No dings from wacking it with a hammer either. The very nice folks at Centaur Forge carry them. They are the best folks to purchase one from. As old Ma Emerson is quite the old meany and insultive if you ask her a few basic questions. I would recommend not dealing with Emerson directly. She thinks if you ask her a few basic questions about the anvil you will be trouble and someone she would not sell too. She doesn't know anything about the product anyway. You know how some folks get contankerous and from age. Anyway the folks at CF will take care of you and advertise here.
- Burnt Forge - Friday, 03/10/06 17:45:36 EST

The semi-lucidity of the troll seemed to me to be to be due to having read about the process in either a book or on the net. Obviously he was never present during a smelt or crucible steel run.

That's a pretty sad way to try to avoid newbness, though, ref. my earlier post.
Alan-L - Friday, 03/10/06 17:48:01 EST

dies's size?: hello guys !
I have bought a 160lbs mechanical hammer, have you best size's ideas for it ???? if they are too big, metal move slowly???
thanks for your help.....
- F. - Friday, 03/10/06 18:49:48 EST

Allen's LG: Allen? if you type your email addy into the box where it say E-mail the hammer-in's encryption program will make it as safe as anything can be online and can give anyone wanting to get ahold of you can.
JimG - Friday, 03/10/06 19:33:35 EST

Can read but can't spell for peanuts.....
Tinker - Friday, 03/10/06 19:48:20 EST

The only Nazhuret in 20 or 30 pages of google is "a dwarfish orphan warrior philospher" from a swoord and sooorcery book.
I kinda doubt unless his grandfather was said dwarf, that its really a family name.
But I, for one, am proud to be called a "low grade welder and honorles trades men". Although I think he might have meant hornless tradesman- I am without horns.

I have had a really good Korean dish that was made the way he described, with all the ingredients put in a clay pot with a lid, then put in the fire- its a great way to cook.

- Ries - Friday, 03/10/06 20:02:24 EST

Little Giant: FOR SALE 100# little giant extra dies tongs forge and related stuff hope fully email works this time located central CA.Have friend in trucking possible help on shipping.
ALLEN - Friday, 03/10/06 20:10:16 EST

Nazhuret, I just reread your postings on this forum. You said you asked for advice yet the only question I see is: "whens the last piece of iron you saw with a flowing Damaskus like pattern?"

That would be the day before yesaterday---most old wrought iron has "flowing like damascus patterns" and pretty much all of the bloomery iron does.

Iron does flex, cast iron is not noted for it but wrought iron is.

I did not make fun of your name---I had grandfathers named Moultie Ampster and Hersel Eldon and so was very happy to get "Thomas" myself.

I did answer your question about sharpening.

Note I only weigh 250 pounds but can support myself from a mildsteel 1/4" hook driven into the wall.

I haven't seen anything here that would turn a hair on my great grandfather who was the smith in Cedarville AR; but *your* behavior would have resulted in a pithy statement that the Guru would be forced to delete.

Perhaps you should ask on another smithing forum; more suited to your style; of course I'm moderator on a couple others as well.


Thomas P - Friday, 03/10/06 20:10:16 EST

Nazhuret; I forgot to mention that perhaps the forum on metallurgy or their bladesmith cafe would be a resource for you---several wootz makers on them.

Thomas P - Friday, 03/10/06 20:14:02 EST

Thomas: I gather then, that someone on the Swordforum has annoyed you lately, else why would you send such an annoying person their way?
vicopper - Friday, 03/10/06 20:49:18 EST

Don't B.S.the's: You know I've been visiting this place for well over a year now, I've become completely captivated by the whole Smithing world, it's characters and it's magic. I've travelled across Europe, met more Smiths than a lot of folks are likely to, heck, I'm going to Australia within a few short days to meet some more and you know what?
I'm proud of the fact, it means I've got a lot to learn, and I relish that. The great thing is in that year and a bit of visiting here NOT ONE person has mocked me over my Newbie status, not ONE.
I've had help and encouragement, cameraderie, sound advise and access to a knowledge pool deep enough even for an information junkie like me to drown in.
The one thing I learned early doors was this:

Don't try and B******t the B*********ers

There is NO shame in not knowing somthing and if you come with the right attitude the folks here will bend over backwards to help, try and kid the kidders and you'll get burnt faster than an unwatched piece of steel in the forge.
Ian Lowe - Saturday, 03/11/06 09:58:18 EST

Does anyone out there know where I can get 600 or 800 grit 1
- Steve Stransky - Saturday, 03/11/06 14:52:54 EST

Ignore the trolls!: Ignore the trolls!
- John Odom - Saturday, 03/11/06 17:48:20 EST

Is Guru Back?: Jock are you back from your trip? If so can you expose the troll and display all his personal information. We would love to send it to the Federal Prison System pen-pale program. That would likely be a better use of the trolls time. BOG!!
- Burnt Forge - Saturday, 03/11/06 18:31:24 EST

Hmmmm. Club Fed. Difference between o and O. One is is after. Grin!
Ellen - Saturday, 03/11/06 19:41:07 EST

Ignore: I know I should, but I can't resist. Flahtulett=Flatulence.
Frank Turley - Saturday, 03/11/06 19:59:22 EST

Ignore: Sounds like a gamer from the World of Warcraft who is attempting to become a master blacksmith (in the game). Too bad...making magic swords in a role playing game won't butter his bread in real life. These kids are spending 15 to 20 hours a week sitting in front of a computer playing this stuff. That would make anyone think crooked. Heaven forbid that they actually get out and do something productive.
- Matt B - Saturday, 03/11/06 22:40:37 EST

Sweet day: Well, I had a sweet day today. Yesterday, I asked my neighbor if she had any Maple trees I could tap. She said go ahead if I found any. So, I've got 12 taps on her land plus what ever I have on mine. But her trees are better. And the sap really flowed today. I ran out of spiles, and had to make my own. Took some half inch pipe, beveled one end, and welded some 1/8" rod on the other, which I bent into hooks. And I ran out of jugs, so I scrounged up some coffee cans to hang on the spiles. Now, I just do this for a hobby, but it is a sweet hobby. I boiled down about 25 gallons of sap to an almost finished state. I'll finish the last bit on a Coleman stove. I only hope to do about 80 to 100 gallons of sap this year, which would be twice what I did last year. Last year was my first. But it sure is sweet fun. But I kinda keep taste testing so much, I wonder how much more I would have if I didn't.
Bob H - Saturday, 03/11/06 22:54:16 EST

"I refuse to engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed man"
3dogs - Sunday, 03/12/06 02:58:58 EST

You should have been a writer for Sienfeld.
Comedy gold boys and girls?
Ian Lowe - Sunday, 03/12/06 08:32:51 EST

Actually, he's now ripping lines from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Specifically the French knights taunting the English.

I recommend using the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch...
Alan-L - Sunday, 03/12/06 09:16:12 EST

Parody: I have a feeling lines may not be the only thing "Flahtulett" is ripping from the Holy Grail . . . .
- Mike B - Sunday, 03/12/06 10:10:03 EST

Trolling: Lets all ignore this troll from this post forward. Let it be known flahtullence is a writer, but not for Seinfield. He is the evil writer Vulatere. Yes I know who you are and you are weak. Leave this forum and never return.
- Burnt Forge - Sunday, 03/12/06 10:58:47 EST

Four magazine items of interest: Miles Undercut has apprised me of the following in the latest, April, 2006, "Knives Illustrated" magazine.

First, on page 3, there is a full page color ad of Japanese bladesmiths at work, and the head-heavy sledge is clearly shown. The hand hammers are not quite so head-heavy, just slightly so.

In the same magazine, an article titled "Holy Grail of Knife Steel", pages 22-25, discusses a number of different knife steels in the light of contemporary metallurgy and what a few of the companies use. There is a really nice chart showing 46 different steels and their typical analyses.

In a section called "Knifemaking Questions", there is an unscientific discussion of hardening and tempering, but it might be worth reading to experienced smiths as well as newbies; pages 71-72.

BRANDING IRONS AND BIG BROTHER. I found on my own, an article, "Ain't Science Grand?" in "Range Magazine", Spring, 2006, page 63. Branding irons may be on their way out. The Department of Agriculture wants to implant a chip in the skin of all livestock. This is supposed to help in the detection of diseases, like avian flu. The animals could be geo-located. This brings up ethical issues, especially when the gummint may be suspect of trying to implement a program to geo-locate human beings, as well.

Frank Turley - Sunday, 03/12/06 15:06:33 EST

Gummint Schemes: Heck Frank, the gummint is already doing just that. Those spiffy new driver's licenses that they're pushing nowadays have an RFID chip in them. Supposedly to make them harder to counterfeit, but... If that's the case, why are there companies working day and night to develop RFID "readers" that can be mounted on a light pole and "read" the passing drivers' licenses? Shades of Aldous Huxley; your Homeland Security tax dollars at work, my friends!
vicopper - Sunday, 03/12/06 16:20:23 EST

Gummint Schemes: The Dept of agriculture is now registering All sites where livestock is kept. They plan to prohibit anyone from raising livestock for private slaughter or for food if not registered. No exceptions for the guy who raises a couple of head per year. The Dept. Of Ag's own website on it is frightening. It wouldn't directly affect me beacuse I'm a vegetarian, but what is next? Registering vege gardens? or worse, tracking people.
- John Odom - Sunday, 03/12/06 18:33:12 EST

Apparently my post yesterday did not come across completely. I'll try again. Does anyone know where I can order 600 or 800 grit 1" x 42" sanding belts. I can't seem to find anything finer than 320 grit. Thanks.
- Steve Stransky - Sunday, 03/12/06 18:51:34 EST

Klingspor will make up belts in just about any size, with silicon carbide in grits up to 800 grit. for the wholesale site, or, in smaller quantities, try
The woodworking shop site doesnt list the finer grits, but if you call or email, they should be able to get them- its just oriented towards woodworkers, while the wholesale site shows the whole line.
ries - Sunday, 03/12/06 19:20:20 EST

Frog mold: Looking for a swage mold that makes a small frog,about 1.5" in length, someone told me that a fellow by the name of Allan Cress in Alabama makes and sells them. Anyone know how I can get in touch with him or another place to get one? Thanks for any help.
Ben - Sunday, 03/12/06 21:17:06 EST

Steve-- try A Cut Above, (800) 444-2999 and/or Texas Knifemaker's Supply for belts, wheels, disks and other abrasives and goodies.
Miles Undercut - Sunday, 03/12/06 22:43:27 EST

Frog swage: Why not make one? Make a froggy (forge, chisel, file to suit) on the end of a piece of round bar, stick it between two pieces of very hot 4140 or 5160 and smack em with a big hammer. Instant froggy swage.
vicopper - Sunday, 03/12/06 22:44:14 EST

Mechanical Properties of UnObtanium:: Yeild point 837Ksi Tensil strength 998Ksi Elongigation 20% at 180RC hardness Melting temp 2700F. Flahulet & Nazhuret will be smelting a batch right after they take the garbage out.
The gruff billygoat - Sunday, 03/12/06 23:09:07 EST

Chain Saws: ...and now for something completely different.

I'm looking into purchasing a major chain saw to clean up the brush and trees arond the barn and where I plan to put the new forge, as soon as my 20+ acres is split from the rest of the farm. (The wif gets a new house, single story, due to her bad knees.)

Anyway, I have a love-hate relationship with chainsaws. They're powerful, efficient, noisy, obnoxious and dangerous. Two man manual saws are nice, but the kids just aren't around enough for major or long-term projects. ;-)

I've mostly puttered about with small models, suitable for yard cleanup and fire wood, but the hurricane and several windstorms have made quite a mess in some of the edgelands, and there are some serious trees that need cutting before I can put a footbridge across the stream between the house lot and the forge site.

I've been looking at 18", 20" and 24" bars. Given that I weigh about 155 pounds stretched over 6'1", I don't want to get too much saw to handle.

So, given your collective experience, what would y'all recommend?
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Sunday, 03/12/06 23:40:46 EST

Chainsaw: A while back a friend of mine had a Stihl "Farm Boss" I think was the model. He was hard on equiptment, but that saw was tuff enough. More bar length = more teeth, I wouldn't get a bar too short to go all the way through a tree. Our saws were old Remmington's 50cc,65cc&82cc, the 82cc shit the bed when the rod cap came off. They were the loudest saws I ever heard. My dad still used the 50 &65cc saws when He was over 70 and down to 135#, and had shrunk to about 5'4", but He was still in pretty good shape.
Dave Boyer - Monday, 03/13/06 00:42:31 EST

Chainsaws: Bruce,
Bark beetles took out 11 of my trees at my NM place (17 acres) and I bought a chain saw to get them down and dragged out into the open away from the other trees. Some of these trees were over 16" in diameter, and needed to be cut up once they were down so they would be moveable.

I bought a Stihl, with a 20" bar, not sure of engine size will check that tomorrow, but think it's about 80cc as it has loads of power. I'm 5'8" and not heavy. You have to think ahead with a chain saw and always think safety. If you get tired, quit. Keep a fire extinguisher handy. Have several chains so when one gets dull you can put a sharp one on. Get some extra nuts for holding the bar to the body of the saw, you will lose one from time to time and it's an aggravation to stop and go get them. Keep a first aid kit handy. Have some Maxi Pads and Duct Tape in your kit, just in case. Lots of Stihl dealers around so parts are easy. I've used that saw a lot and it still runs fine. I've had it four or five years. Cost was over $300, can't remember exact amount. This included extra chains and aforementioned nuts.
Ellen - Monday, 03/13/06 01:26:39 EST

Hay steve, try snyder abrasives.
1.330.416.9944 or
email ta
Good quailty and reasonable.
- peto - Monday, 03/13/06 10:05:24 EST

How to fix a great forum: I know I should keep it shut but--------
I asked a question on moving a hammer the other day and was amazed at the help and information returned,ie A GREAT FORUM. Now to Flahtulett,, the best way to make the little fart go away is for all to ignore him. He will soon become bored and go back to playing dungeons and dragons.
Cheers, Peto
peto - Monday, 03/13/06 10:24:32 EST

We lost more than 100 (one hundred!!) beeyootiful pinons, D. +/- 12 inches, just around our house (lots more farther away on the property) to the damned beetles here north of Santa Fe. Felled them, limbed them, cut the limbs into firewood with a 10-year-old Stihl that had already cut beaucoup cords of much larger diameter pine firewood. Stihl makes great equipment. Get some Kevlar chaps and earmuffs. Great prices and service from Bailey's, which says it is the world's largest mail order woodsman supplies company. 800-322-4539
Miles Undercut - Monday, 03/13/06 10:58:14 EST

Bruce: Stihl or Husqvarna, 20" bar, lot's of cc's. The more cc's, the easier it will go thru wood, and give you the option of putting on a bigger bar if necessary. I'm 6'1", 190, and use my Stihl Farm Boss 029 with a 20" bar. Works great, and will work for almost all the trees I have on my property. Got about 2, that when they fall, my bar will not make the center on the base. I'll deal with that when it comes. Hey, Honey, I need a new chainsaw! DO NOT GO CHEAP! Cheap ain't gonna have the power or longetivity as a quality saw. And buy which ever one is available locally, so service and parts are easier to get. Check into warranties, too. And get a Chainsaw helmet, which will have a face screen, ear muffs attached, and the hardhat. I have one from Stihl. Can't tell you how many times dead branches have fallen, almost hitting my head. And read up on tree cutting. I thought I was pretty good, but there have been times the tree went thisaway, instead of thataway. RUN! Oh, that reminds me, always make sure you do have a clear path to run, to get clear of kick back, or anything else.
Bob H - Monday, 03/13/06 11:10:34 EST

Chainsaws: I'll echo what others have said. When I wanted to buy a chainsaw to have for hurricane cleanup, I bought a Stihl. It sits around for months on end with no use, then I haul it out and it fires right up. Note that I always put Sta-Bil™in it before storing it, to keep the carb free of gums. I'd recommend the 24" bar and a big enough motor to run it.

I heartily recommend that for operating the saw, you get a pair of those gloves that have the little friction dots on the palms. Chainsaws are mostly dangerous when you lose control of them, and a good grip really helps on the control.
vicopper - Monday, 03/13/06 11:19:41 EST

2cents on saws: i live in an area that is logged heavily.....and i asked the local loggers what they used themselves...... about 1/3 use stihl but the rest use huskys-------- which is what i bought.......... great machine worth every cent i payed for it....... just my 2 cents
- pete - Monday, 03/13/06 13:02:07 EST

Chainsaws: Bruce - This advice comes from 25 yrs of cutting 7 to 10 cords of firewood per year and having a logger for a good friend.

Brands - Stihl or Husky.. Myself and most pro's prefer Stihl.

Size - Like trucks, bigger is better, but you want one you can lift and handle comfortably for at least a couple hours at a time. If you use the saw properly the power is conveyed to the wood in the cut and what you are really doing is just guiding and balancing the saw. If you're fighting the saw, you're using it wrong (guess that applies to all tools).

Bar & Chain length - get the longest bar (and chain to fit) that your saw will drive. Lots of the fatigue, back and body ache (which leads to accidents) from running a chainsaw comes from doing it bent over or stooping. Ideally, you'd like to be able to buck and cut standing up. I'm 5'10" and have an Stihl .039 w/ a 36" (or so) bar and can cut a most things w/o stooping much, I have long arms. At 6'1" something like a 40" bar might be good but get a fit that's comfortable in your anticipated cutting position. It's analogous to anvil height I guess. And make the auto oiler gets set to oil however much bar and chain you end up with. Way better (and cheaper) to over oil than under oil (especially when learning about a new saw).

Safety - What everybody else sez, especially the gloves and hardhat w/ muffs and face guard and steel toed boots if you got 'em, regular boots otherwise. Chaps are nice but Absolutely No Shorts and Tennis shoes! And of course the first aid kit (Ellen's add-ons seem like a great idea). Most fire districts and all National Forests I visit require a fire extinguisher now and steel bucket and shovel.

Nice to haves - Wedges, you can't have too many. My logger friend sez you cut the tree w/ the saw, you drop (fell) it with the wedge(s). Pee-Vee, you can make one from scrap pipe and round bar if need be. A nice long handle makes moving them tree's a lot easier. And spare saw chains and parts and if it's really cold, a spray can of starter fluid but use it very sparingly.
Bert - Monday, 03/13/06 13:16:05 EST

chainsaws and sanding belts: Last things first: For ALL your abrasive needs, is the place to go. Period.

Saws: Husqvarna. Stihls are excellent too, but they're heavier and don't have as good a vibration damping system.

I have a Husky 350 with 18" bar, the smallest I'd recommend. It weighs 17 lbs, while the comparable Stihl (the 026) weighs 22.

Whichever you choose, get it from a store that services them, as chainsaws are the most cantankerous tools out there and you WILL need someone to work on 'em. My local power equipment store will not work on one they didn't sell.
Figure on dropping $400 minimum, more if you go pro. Odd-numbered Stihls are the pro models, Husky XPs are their pro series. Touch up the blade every time you use it to keep it cutting well.
Alan-L - Monday, 03/13/06 13:30:51 EST

Bruce, may we call you "Bruce"? (coworker just brought in the entire Monty Python series on DVD's so I can show outr vicar the "It's the bishop sketch)

As another viewpoint: big is better but most of the time you won't need the 6' bar two engine saw...tiredness is a killer with chainsaws, think about getting one that will do most of your stuff easily and is still easily handled and rent the larger saw the one or two times a year you need a *big* saw.

(why I drive a small truck---only need a big one a couple of times a year)

Thomas P - Monday, 03/13/06 13:40:36 EST

RFI---does the term "Faraday cage" ring any bells?...

Thomas P - Monday, 03/13/06 13:59:05 EST

Stihl Chainsaw: My Stihl is a 290 (56CC) with a 20" bar. Good size for me. At my cabin there is only one place within a short (25 miles distant each way) place that sells and services and he carries only Stihl's. That's where I bought mine. $345 including three extra chains and a few extra nuts. Next closest dealer 80 miles each way.
Ellen - Monday, 03/13/06 14:12:55 EST

P.S.-- Owner of my chainsaw boutique, a Stihl dealer, is an absolute flaming fanatic on the subject of gasoline and the possible gunking-up of the high precision Stihl engine. Only the best high test, he says, and no more than one month of having it sitting around in the can or God forbid in the saw. Drain the tank and then run it dry if you are going to let it sit for any length of time. He insists Stihl oil is best. I have an ancient Briggs & Stratton 5 h.p. four-cycle I use to power a utility saw for the slash that will use just about anything of any vintage for fuel and lube but the Stihl gets only the best.
Miles Undercut - Monday, 03/13/06 16:14:37 EST

Chain saws: Stihl makes excellent chainsaws, and there are dealers darn near everywhere: I've been told that you can't get over 50 miles from a Stihl dealer here in Kansas, and in western Kansas there are places where you may be that far from the nearest public school.

I've seen several nearly new saws up for sale with 24"+ bars: They turned out to be just too big for their owners to use. Sometimes I wish my saw had a bigger bar, but honestly, the 20" is big enough for most stuff and I poop out quick enough using that. . .

Oh - If I had a PTO generator for the tractor, I'd be tempted to get an electric. The Wright's Tree Service guys cleaning up after Sunday's windstorm surprised me by using electrics powered off their bucket truck.
John Lowther - Monday, 03/13/06 18:14:16 EST

chainsaws: stihl, husky, are both grand saws you can't go wrong with either one till a tree falls on them. Bought a poulan from wal-mart used it for one month and the repair bills were more than the cost of the saw. Proffesional sawers sharpen their chains after every second tank of fuel. Take care of your tools and they'll take care of you
- rockingwj - Monday, 03/13/06 21:48:21 EST

Saw Selection: Thomas makes an excellent point... Get the size you need to meet your needs 90% of the time without wearing you out stooped over. My comments were based on how/where I use mine for my cutting firewood. Like Ellen, when I'm in the woods it's often 40-60 miles to a gallon of gas, let alone a rental shop or parts, so I tend to try and prepare for any eventually when cutting. Now-a-days, you can't cut ANYTHING, standing or down, larger than 24" a foot up from the ground on public land so my saw works very well. When I started, 36-40" trees weren't uncommon and I needed more bar/chain length. I also have a little 14"er I use to prune the Prune trees in my orchard.

If you are going to be working closer to civilization then a saw that you can lift and handle and will cut through the biggest tree you want to tackle is just fine as long as you don't do it bent over all the time.

Interesting note about oils. I have a Harley riding friend who used to buy $9 dollar a quart "special" Harley oil at the dealer because he'd been told it was what the bikes were built to use. That particular bike motor was rebuilt three times in less than 30K miles. On the 4th rebuild, and under great duress from myself and a couple of his other friends, he switched to Mobil 1 and the motor has/is running fine at 40K+ miles... Food for thought..
Bert - Monday, 03/13/06 21:51:33 EST

chainsaws: I bought my Stihl 028 woodboss about 21 years ago. Cleared about 2.5 acres of heavy S. Indiana forest for the house etc. Cut about a hundred cords since. I have worn out a couple of bars and several chains. I have replaced one air filter and two of those pesky adjustment lock nuts.
I did have to have all the rubber in the induction system replaced a couple of years agp. The older rubber compound did not like gasohol. The alky dried out the rubber and craked it letting in too much air for the saw to run.

My thought is to buy a nice medium size saw, with a 20" bar, with a couple of spare chains and also a short bar, saw 16" with a couple of spare chains. I use the short bar when limbing as it lets me control the tip. Keeping the tip of the bar out of unknow stuff is the secret to stopping kickback. I do have a chain brake. The short bar also helps to keep the chain out of the dirt. Keeping the chain out of the dirt is one of the secrets to long chain life and time between sharping. Also use good bar oil.
Good luck
ptree - Monday, 03/13/06 21:55:08 EST

oils.: After the first 2500 miles all my Harley has had was Mobil 1.
Ralph - Monday, 03/13/06 22:21:18 EST

Oil: I've run two Honda's thousands of miles on Mobil 1, 10W-50W, engines purred after thousands of miles.
Ellen - Monday, 03/13/06 22:56:15 EST

Chain Saw: Atli
Do you have enough votes yet. Yeah, I say Stihl or Husqvare. While your looking at the Stihl Farm Boss 290, consider the 310. The 310 has the same size frame, but a little more engine. I think the Husqvare saws are just as nice, maybe a little plainer,but I think they're just a little easier to start, if that makes any differences.

Actually the dealer is an important consideration. Buy your saw from somebody that you like and respect, and who will give you good service.

Be sure to get you one one those platic wedges and take your sledge hammer to keep the cut open, or else those logs will grab your bar.
JohnW - Monday, 03/13/06 23:30:40 EST

Saws: Gosh...I feel like an outcast here. I don't use a saw very much (had to cut up a couple of small trees that the wind broke over the other day), so when my old saw got to where it didn't want to start & stay running, I picked up a new "reconditioned" 20 in. homelite from one of the traveling tool sales guys (the ones who sell out of the semi trailers for a day or two & then move on). It's going on 2 years now & it still runs starts & runs great. Only 130 bucks. You guys who cut a lot of wood are justified in spending more for the good saws, but this cheap one is filling the bill for me.
- Mike Sa - Monday, 03/13/06 23:41:53 EST

smithin magician: The IVBA has an open forge the 2nd saturday of each month (Mt. Vernon, IL). The other day the guys taught me how to make dogwood flowers from square tubing. I used a home made magician one of the guys had brought, which reminded me I had bought one of those smithin magician kits a couple of years ago & never put it together.

Got it together tonight & it seems like a nice kit. Like the other guy, I welded some round stock to the punches to make them into fullers, rather than grinding them to shape.
Mike Sa.
Mike Sa - Monday, 03/13/06 23:48:33 EST

Chainsaw Responses: My thanks to the good folks here for the excellent information! Much to consider, but I think I see a trend.

Any further opinions and enlightenment are welcome. (I don't want to cut anybody short.)

(Sorry 'bout that. ;-)
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Monday, 03/13/06 23:56:44 EST

Chainsaws: If you want a chainsaw with real power, and you have the powersource, you just can't beat a hydraulic drive chainsaw. I used one that the power company guys had after the last hurricane and that thing simply could not be stopped. We were cutting everything from big mahoganys to old utility poles and it never even slowed down. Quiet too, except for the noise of the pto pump on the bucket truck. At probably around $1000 it would be pretty pricey, but the utility guys told me that they never break.
vicopper - Tuesday, 03/14/06 00:25:14 EST

Chain Saws: I've had a handful of gasoline powered saws. No more. Too many engine failures from sitting a few weeks or getting rained on. Too many that service folks couldn't make work right no matter how =many parts they replaced. Scraped 3 in 5 years and do not have one now. Next one will be electric. Not as powerful, not quite as portable but it WILL turn and cut until it is completely worn out. . .
- guru - Tuesday, 03/14/06 00:34:32 EST

Chain saw safety: Don't know if you guys have them in the sates but a friend of mine works for the forestry commision here in England and they get issued with special trousers to wear when felling. They look slightly padded and are actually filled with a fibre that when cut into snags up the blade of the chainsaw and stops it dead in it's tracks. Sure it means you have to untangle the chainsaw after but it stops it cutting off anything you want to keep attatched. I can't remember the brand name but maybe a google search would find it. Showed me how it works and I was impressed.
- Ian - Tuesday, 03/14/06 01:52:16 EST

Electric chain saws: We had one since the late '60s, fron Sears.They are slow but quiet. I guess it would still cut, but since Dad left the garden tractor coast over it and break the handle off it hasn't been used since '01. Our Remington PL5's are from the '60s and still run, somebody repaired the handle on one of those. I found another electric like the broken one and one of the PL5's in a store like a pawn shop. they are lightly used,but really old. I think I gave $15 each for them. Somebody followed the directions and used 16:1 mix of gas and motor oil in the PL5, no wonder the plug was fouled when I got it. I cleaned the plug and promtly filled the yard with smoke. 10X worse than lighting a coal forge.
Dave Boyer - Tuesday, 03/14/06 04:51:01 EST

Anvils: Downstate collector steels himself for more anvils:
Corky Helms has been amassing anvils, more than 700 of them, for a few decades now. (Most of his anvils were aquired out west, found along side of the body of a flattened coyote.)

anvil link
habu68 - Tuesday, 03/14/06 08:11:04 EST

which one to buy? : hello,

My Girlfriends father is a blacksmith located in the philippines and has requested an american made 4 lb double faced engineers hammer/sledge.
He only has poor quality ones available from china right now, they are broken in about two days time. I did not know a hammer could be flattened lol.
So my request is, has anyone have suggestions on what brand I should get? one that would last.

Thank you in advanced
- Josiah - Tuesday, 03/14/06 09:26:12 EST

700 of 'em: I guess that's all well and good. "Paid in full for value received" and all that, but I keep thinking of the kids and grownups who contact our forums and are struggling to find a chunk of junk to work on.

I wonder if Ken Scharabok isn't gassing up his vehicle as we speak, to go take a look at them. BOL
- Frank Turley - Tuesday, 03/14/06 09:41:36 EST

Habu: If the anvil collector is following the "true path" then all of the anvils found adjacent to the squished coyote should say "Acme Anvils" on the side.....grin! Those were some good cartoons.
Ellen - Tuesday, 03/14/06 10:36:20 EST

Josiah: Warwood Tool Co. makes good American-made hammers at reasonable prices. Easy to deal with, too.
Warwood Tools
vicopper - Tuesday, 03/14/06 10:49:45 EST

Well as I said on a different forum---wait for the estate sale.

Personally I put as limit on how much stuff I can own and then when I hit it I only buy to upgrade my stash---have to sell off one of the ones I already own. For postvises it was 10 and over the years they have gradually gotten heavier---except for the travel one that I want light!

As for anvils, I haven't reached that point yet, still want a mousehole and a nice doublehorned sweedish pattern. But most anvils I have bought recently went to folks starting out that couldn't find one at a reasonable mark-up.

Save for spares of favorite tools I don't want to own stuff I'm not using!
Thomas P - Tuesday, 03/14/06 12:53:12 EST

Hammers: Warwood - May be a good company but their web page is the worst I've seen in several years.

Our advertisers, Blacksmiths Supply, BlacksmithsDepot (Kayne and Son), Centaur Forge, Piehtool Company and Big BLU Manufacturing all sell hammers. Some are European imports and some are US made.

Big BLU manufactures hammer in-house and is currently the only authorized maker of the Hofi Hammer other than Hofi himself.

See our drop down menu for our advertisers.
- guru - Tuesday, 03/14/06 12:57:39 EST

Hofi Hammer: That's a great hammer. Well worth the price.
Ellen - Tuesday, 03/14/06 13:14:43 EST

Now dont get me wrong- I love anvils- I have two of em.
But I gotta wonder about a guy who has 700 anvils, and lays awake at night worrying about anvil thieves.

Just a wee bit over the top, if you ask me.

Never have been a big fan of "collectors". They drive prices up, hoard things, and then dont even use em.
I have a few things that could be called collections, but by and large I use em.
After all, 3 of anything is a collection.

Most collections get broken up, and often thrown away, after the original collector dies. Sort of sad that something that was considered to be so valuable it was priceless, can then be considered junk by the kids. So to me, it makes much more sense to do what Thomas says- pass it on to the needy.
Of course, on the other hand I do take a certain glee in saddling my kids with 10 or 20 tons of metal in various forms....
It was 78,000lbs when I moved here, but that was over 10 years ago, and there are a lot more big hunks of metal in the shop now.
ries - Tuesday, 03/14/06 13:19:49 EST

Speaking of Hofi:
This coming Saturday the 18th Uri Hofi will be at the Big BLU NC-ABANA Hammer-in in Morganton, NC. Hofi will demo as will others.

Everyone is invited. This is a free event but donations for iron-in-the-hat are appreciated. Lunch will be served for a small fee.

2006 Hammer-In
- guru - Tuesday, 03/14/06 14:31:53 EST

coffee pot: made a coffee pot, but it came out bigger then I expected. Its 1'2" tall, & 1/2" wide. what use could one posable have for such a large coffee pot. I found a giant frying pan at a antique mall. Its 5' wide & made o' cast iron. Any clue what its for?
- packrat - Tuesday, 03/14/06 15:00:49 EST

correction.: ... Thats 6" wide.
- packrat - Tuesday, 03/14/06 15:03:04 EST

packrat: A frying pan that big, esp. if it has a tapered fitting to accept a wooden handle could be a chuckwagon frying pan used to feed hungry punches on drives and roundups. Just a guess on my part.
Ellen - Tuesday, 03/14/06 15:19:11 EST

Ian-- the chaps are padded with Kevlar fiber. I got mine from Bailey's.
Miles Undercut - Tuesday, 03/14/06 16:36:45 EST

Hammers: Warwood may have a less than ideal website, but they DO caryy engineers' sledge hammers, which is what the man said he wanted and which Kayne, Peih, and John DON'T list. I normally send people to Anviolfire advertisers, but when they don't have what the person wants, what is the point in sending there?
vicopper - Tuesday, 03/14/06 17:03:48 EST

correction: punches = punchers.

Rich, yes, they Kayne et al are into lighter hammers. I just had one custom made, a diagonal peen, a tad heavier than normal and it is nice. Not cheap, but useful. Pretty, too. RR stuff does tend to be heavy duty!

Sorry they don't carry the larger punches, round and square, like they used to.
Ellen - Tuesday, 03/14/06 17:25:22 EST

Beeyootiful hammer dept.: check out for some really pretty ones. Any good? Haven't a clue, but the man looks muy serious. Many other goodies, too, smiting tools galore. And, how about a DVD showing five blokes making a full-size maritime anchor?
Miles Undercut - Tuesday, 03/14/06 19:39:34 EST

Hammers: Miles,

Bruce Wilcock hangs out across the street sometimes (in fact he posted there today).
Mike B - Tuesday, 03/14/06 21:19:10 EST

Mike B-- if you see him, tell him I admire his website! And the look of his work.
Miles Undercut - Tuesday, 03/14/06 21:34:09 EST

Knife Magazines: I just tried to get a copy of Knives Illustrated, that Frank Turley recommended. A Major book store in Calgary (Chapters) said they don't sell knife magazines. Too dangerous...I wonder if they have thought about the hazards of paper cuts! I will have to start supporting other book shops.
DonS - Tuesday, 03/14/06 22:01:42 EST

DonS: I got my magazine at 'Hastings', a large book-video-DVD-magazine store.
- Frank Turley - Wednesday, 03/15/06 01:28:41 EST

Shipping eBay purchased leg vises: I just received a small leg vise, Pennsylvania to New Mexico, FedEx. The shipper did a neat job. The bottom of the leg was wrapped with many layers of newspaper and duct taped, looking like an oversized light bulb shape. The leg was exposed up to the pivot beam, which was similarly wrapped, giving a squarish shape. Finally the jaw, most of the handle, and the splayed mount were thickly wrapped, surrounded by cardboard, and taped. The delivery man handled it as though carrying a baby.

Another small vise was sent a few months ago by FedEx, and it was surrounded by a homemade cardboard enclosure with a little bit of wadded cardboard inside, supposedly to keep the vise from moving. The vise arrived intact but the "box" had two holes in it, one from the leg foot going through, and one from the vise mount projecting. No damage, so on that one I lucked out like Perry Mason.

I got a beauty of a 6 7/8" Peter Wright vise shipped from New York state. This one was without spring and mount, but quite heavy. The shipper made a coffin-like box of ½" plywood and haywired the vise to the wood inside. The box was fabricated with wood screws. Really a nice job!

One time, I ordered on eBay a nice straight peen sledge hammer. What arrived was a cardboard box with a hole in one end; no hammer. Fortunately, the seller had another, believed my story, and made good on the deal.

You never know about eBay. So far, so good, on this kind of thing. And in terms of money spent, I have more invested in the little, first mentioned vise than the big Peter Wright.
Frank Turley - Wednesday, 03/15/06 10:20:45 EST

Knife Magazines: There are two stores in downtown D.C. that reliably carry them. I DO NOT come across them at airport magazine and book stores, even before 9/11, and I don't generally find them in most bookstores around the country. Usually, you come across them in places devoted to magazines and out-of-town newspapers or little knife shops in Tucson. (I miss Tucson and my friends there; sigh...)

My rule of thumb is that the magazine has to have at least two good technical or historical articles with some useful information before I purchase it, so Frank's post certainly benefited Knives Illustrated.

My problems with most knife magazines lie in three areas:

Gaudy covers and over-the-top hyperbole and sensationalism-

“ULTIMATE steel!” “SENSATIONAL New Knife!” “INCREDIBLE Performance” “World’s GREATEST Knifemakers!” …month after month. There’s some beautiful work by talented and wonderful people (and some sort of crusty and grouchy folks) presented in these magazines. Knives Illustrated used to avoid this sort of thing, but has come to look more like Blade of late, so that I don’t think it a good idea to leave either of them laying around in my office area at work. (And this is the Park Service, where we have a lot of folks who like and use knives.) At any rate, this may be just my low-key attitude talking, but the constant drumbeat of hyperbole possibly drives away more folks than it attracts.

A deeply conflicted attitude towards weapons and their legal implications-

I find it rather ingenuous for folks to declare “knives are tools” while at the same time giving over full page garishly colored ads for “The Death-Dealer 3000” or fantasy swords with so many pointy bits that they’re more dangerous to the wielder than the foeman. It varies from month to month, and we know advertising is what pays the bills, but still some restraint may be a good idea. These days what you read could be used as evidence in (God forefend) a self-defense legal proceeding.

Very uneven writing talent-

Some of their regular writers are quite good, some are competent, and some of the guest writers have an agenda or are merely kicking around their latest idea of what history “should” have been. Keep salt handy and apply to taste. Quality and scholarship can be very uneven.

I enjoy them, I use them, I find them an occasional good source of information, techniques and tools; but I find their eye-rolling potential too high to subscribe to them on a regular basis.

Sorry to lay this love-hate relationship on you, but I’d be interested in your views.
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Wednesday, 03/15/06 10:31:13 EST

knife magazines: I have to agree with Bruce on this. I simply don't buy 'em anymore. It's way too easy to hang out with actual makers and learn stuff than to try and glean information from the sea of advertising and hype that passes for a magazine these days.
Alan-L - Wednesday, 03/15/06 10:46:30 EST

knife & gun magazines: Both are addicted to the latest fads in their respective areas. Some years back it was the latest "wondernine" 9mm pistol. Nowadays the great buzzword is "tactical", used to describe everything from flashlights to skivvies. Anything that they can paint or dye black is fair game to become a tactical item.

Just my opinion, YMMV.
Brian C - Wednesday, 03/15/06 11:46:38 EST

anvils: Recently Will Lent,Shelby, Michigan purchased Mr. Postman's anvil collection. It might not be the largest collection but I consider it to be the best representive collection. Will is having an Open House at his shop April 1st. Call for info 231 861 5033. Please remember folks ,drool is corrosive so bring your own towel.
- brian robertson - Wednesday, 03/15/06 11:48:21 EST

Flash Art and Hype:
I like the flashy pretty pictures but as Bruce noted many of the designs are far from practical. What they are is the high art of fantasy. Which is fine, but don't tell me that thsese are superior tools. Of course this kind of dribble is also what we are constantly trying to undo with facts and common sense.

So maybe they need to launch a magazine called "Fantasy Blade - myths for the 21st Century". . .

- guru - Wednesday, 03/15/06 12:43:09 EST

Postman Collection:
Richard sold Will Lent all his big anvils (what Will wanted) but kept representitive samples of all the Mouseholes and all the small craft and miniature anvils. . . So there is still a Postman collection. . . And it is a safe bet it will grow!
- guru - Wednesday, 03/15/06 12:48:19 EST

Frank, my large, 100lb leg vice was shipped UPS ground from New York to CA with no wrapping at all. He just tightened the jaw shut then wired the handle to the leg so it would not turn. He used a tag with a wire at one end tied to the other end of the handle with my address on it. The poor driver looked like he would have a stroke as he tried to carry it to my door. (about 5'7" 150lb) I recieved an anvil UPS ground where the shipped had just taped the shipping label right on the face and there was no packaging at all. It is easier to cary that way actually.
FredlyFX - Wednesday, 03/15/06 13:14:40 EST

Knife & Gun Magazines: Atli - I have to agree that most are so over the top that they've ceased to interest me. I get Muzzleloader which has occasional nice pictures of historic knives, belt axes , and black powder weapons both originals and reproductions. I also get 1 modern gun magazine devoted strictly to comparison test of different types of firearms. Good magazine - don't remember the name off the top of my head. To keep it honest, they accept no advertising.
- Gavainh - Wednesday, 03/15/06 13:30:22 EST

Collections in general:
There are collections, then there are collections. Yes there is a limit to how many anvils you can use in one shop but how about dies, tongs and hammers? Many tools are like wrenches, a different size for every bolt and often many shapes. I have duplicate wrenches for places where you need the exact same wrench on each end of a bolt and nut. I have not run into a situation that I can remember where you needed three identical wrenches but if the tool chest is used by more than one person then it is common to need duplicates of many tools. There are English, metric, Whitworth and various specials like Torx, Allen and Prince Reed.

Sometimes what looks like a collection is mearly a complete set of tools. . .
- guru - Wednesday, 03/15/06 13:36:09 EST

I have more tools than most collectors. I have 2 tig welders, 3 mig welders, and 2 and 3 of lots more big heavy expensive things. I wasnt kidding when I said my tools, not scrap iron, weigh in at well over 100,000lbs.

I have come across plenty of situations where you need more than two of the same size wrench- often, on installations, I have a 2-4 man crew working, so commons sizes of wrenches, hammers, crowbars, and other small hand tools, we have lots of.

But 700 anvils is a bit different. And in the article linked to, there was no indication the guy even uses one of them.

I read an article recently about all the collectors of oddball stuff that no one collects anymore- the national association of toothpick collectors, the matchbook collectors society, the dial phone collectors- many of these are dying off, and kids today arent interested- most comic book and baseball card collectors are over 50. Interest in stamps, coins, and other classics is dropping off rapidly.

Kids will collect new, and different things- one big collectible these days is running shoes- many collectors have as many as 500 pairs.
People tend to collect the stuff they wanted, but couldnt afford, when they were in their teens. So the age of collectibles moves up every year.
Sure, Faberge eggs will always be collectible. But interest in Model T's has dropped off lately, while Muscle cars from the 60's are booming.
I can see the day coming when 80's Hondas will be collectible.

I just wish the damn Japanese hadnt cornered the market on Nudie's suits- $20,000 is a bit rich for my blood, and I like to wear em.

ries - Wednesday, 03/15/06 14:15:22 EST

knife magazines: Hello

I agree with everyone and Bruce Blackistone (Atli)concerning knife magazines.

I fell blessed to live in the US magic circle of knife cutleries and have been employeed in this field. Everywhere you go here knife magazines are readily available and out out on display in the magazine tables in many places of business and services etc. I never realized what an ethical issue it is in other areas of this country. It has been eye opening for me. Just as knife magazines and knife books are everywhere, so are gun magazines. Most folks hunt around here or have arms for protection against those druggers, dealers, crazies and city folks.

I live in the appalachian region of the new york and pa border. This part of the nation is very industrial and country. It was instrumental in the cutlery business of this nation and the discovery of oil and refining of it. We also are rich in natural gas, iron ore and coal. I am sure many folks have heard of Case Cutlery. I am 12 miles from it. You will see Zippo Lighter stuff everywhere also as I am 12 miles from there as well.

It is part of opur local culture and industry. We look upon it as normal for everyone to have knives and guns and magazines everywhere. I just never thought it could be related to thoughts of terrorism or seen as weapons. To all of us they are normal tools like an anvil. Just an interesting perspective. Scarey to me as I could not go on without my knives and magazines. Since I have worked in cutlery I know what materials things are made from and can read between the sensationalism used in advertising. The knife makers have always been crusty and rough around the edges all they way through the cutlery history in the US. The idustry, custom makers, advertising and collectors for the most part have been and are very cut throat. It is hard long dirty tedious work. Most old cutlers got the cutlers lung consumption from brathing all the grinding and polishing dust. These are metals and all types of oils and compounds. The little metal slivers get in your lungs.

I just thought this would be interesting.
- Burnt Forge - Wednesday, 03/15/06 14:27:44 EST

Knives: Adjunct:
We also have three cutleries here that produce most of the worlds quality shears and sissors. I also made scissors for years.

blacksmith Gene Champman makes some really neat folding knives. There is a 6.00 dollar book Little uglies and a 6.00 dollar colonial penny knife book. He shows very simple ways to make these knives. The books are large phamphlets 10 through 20 pages. Also his Hot Shop (small potatoes) Blacksmith Book for 8.95 has some easy to make folders. This book runs 8.95. I thought some of the knife enthusiasts here would enjoy these.

Also Rich Waugh/vicopper makes the most beautiful sheath knives including damascus. He is very talented and a good source for how to make knives. He is just truely gifted not having former training in knife making. He impresses me. I will admit: I get jealous at his knives because they are better than mine.
- Burnt Forge - Wednesday, 03/15/06 14:46:45 EST

gas forge: I was curious on larry zoeller's atmosphereic gas forge, what is the 1 1/4 hole in the tee that is on the upper part of the buner tube for? also if it is for air, how far must the 1/4" gas line protrude into the tee? I am just getting started so any input or criticizm is greatly appreciated.
nathan maki - Wednesday, 03/15/06 15:34:11 EST

Magazines: I only like magazines that have some factual content with intelligent writing. They are becoming scarcer. Often you are better off to get a book on the subject written and illustrated by someone who does top notch work.

Gavainh: I subscribed to that magazine you are talking about, can't remember the name, but it was good. Cost me too much money to keep reading it. Grin!

Now, The American Rifleman, Backwoods Home, Naval History, and blacksmith mags: Anvil's Horn, and the two ABANA mags are the only magazines I subscribe to. Should add Muzzle Blasts to the list, but procrastination, sigh.......

Rich does make beautiful knives, but I would also keep Bob H at the head of the list. His steel knives are wonderful, but his flint knives are jaw dropping in their beauty, and his copper knives are great too. Sandpile makes some nice ones too.
Ellen - Wednesday, 03/15/06 15:56:46 EST

Basic equation in journalism is and always has been send and spend, world without end, amen. If the publisher won't do that, then he/she has to get by with "advertorial," copy and pictures provided by advertisers and perhaps fill in around the edges by sifting through what comes in over the transom from freelunch journalists, few of whom could afford to work for the peanuts they pay. You get what you pay for in the magazine business as in any other. Well-written, well-researched, disinterested hard-nosed technically hip reporting with professional-quality pictures would cut (haha that's a pun!) deeply into the shiv mag profit margin.
Miles Undercut - Wednesday, 03/15/06 15:59:36 EST

Ries: I am not sure where they ban knife magazines, but I live in one of the most left wing, pierced, tattoed, punk rock, hippie, volvo driving parts of the country, full of food co-ops, dreadlocked white kids doing organic farming, and two, count em two woman senators, a woman governor, and openly gay state representatives.
And at my local Newstand in Bellingham Washington, right there next to the english techno music magazines and the lesbian dating newspapers, there must be 50 gun and knife magazines for sale, along with Soldier of Fortune, and even some biker magazines featuring naked girls on Harleys posing with automatic weapons.
We may be loony, but we believe in free speech up here.
ries - Wednesday, 03/15/06 15:59:58 EST

Free Speech: I'm not much on censorship of any kind. Publish it and if folks don't like it enough to buy it then it will be gone. Most of those folks who would tell you how to run your elected officials......haven't done all that well with their own. Except financially.

This is indeeed a great country. And it is diversity, being a "melting pot" that has done that for us. Preaching to the choir here as blacksmiths are about the most rugged individuals it has been my privilege to associate with. That attitude is a huge draw to me in choosing my hobby. And an inspiration.
Ellen - Wednesday, 03/15/06 17:00:30 EST

Traveling: Off to Oregon first thing in the morning to attend Pop's 90th birthday party. I managed to get his present finished up today, just barely. An hour ago, my brother and I were cutting the glass and fitting the photos so I could box it up. I took a few pics of it without the photos in it, and I posted a couple across the street, for those who have been asking. Anyway, it is done, and tomorrow I'll be in Portland. Back home Tuesday, God and TSA willing. Y'all be nice while I'm gone.
vicopper - Wednesday, 03/15/06 21:46:08 EST

Honda Speculators: If anybody out there wants to speculate on a '81 Honda civic with 2 aditional motors&transmissions an extra set of wheels and some Honda body parts and misc. scrap sheetmetal I have an offer for YOU - FREE to the first taker before I call the scrap guy. Condition - POOR to WORSE.
Dave Boyer - Wednesday, 03/15/06 22:56:35 EST

Nathan M: The general concensus is that You make it ajustable and tune it to work. If using the MIG tip, the tip should probably need to be movable from from the center of the cross hole to 1/2" away from the 3/4 tapped hole in the small end of the "t" fitting. That is what I gather from the plans.The side hole is the air intake and should be fitted with a pivoted cover to controll the mixture. I am building a version the type shown on this site. The first one has a fixed orfice position, placing the end of the tip at the largest diameter of the bell reducer just inside the threads, and it workes pretty good. I am presently building an ajustable one to verify the optimum location. Having examined the orfice on several high capacity plumbers torches I strongly advise to turn, file or grind a 40 to 60 degree included angle point on the MIG tip alowing a thin[less than the hole diameter]land of material around the hole. If You can weld, the version using the bell reducer as shown on this site is pretty easy to build. If You havn't already read the Ron Riel pages read them BEFORE You begin.
Dave Boyer - Wednesday, 03/15/06 23:31:28 EST

700 Anvils: I wonder if satellites do a little dip when they fly over his collection due to a gravitational anomaly. The earth’s crust may be a little more compressed there, too. ;-)


Can't wait to try out my "tactical" anvils! AMybe I should paint them "camo." :-)

If anybody is near Jamestown Settlement this weekend, we'll be at Military Through the Ages. I won't be doing the Y1K forge, but there's plenty of ironwork, arms and armor in the various camps to amuse most blacksmiths.
J'Town MTA
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Thursday, 03/16/06 00:27:36 EST

"tactical": Bruce- my point exactly. Reminds me of when I ran into one of our SWAT team members walking around HQ with ALL his weapons strapped on. Including a big knife in his boot- he seemed very offended when I asked him "just who around here are you afraid of?) (LOL)
Brian C - Thursday, 03/16/06 09:39:38 EST

vicopper Timberline: There is some nice ironwork at Timberline Lodge, Mt. Hood, Oregon.
Frank Turley - Thursday, 03/16/06 10:01:31 EST

History show: The Kalamazoo Living History show is this weekend. I believe the web address

Lot's of vendors, lot's of stuff to look at, lot's of books to buy or people to ask questions of. Basically it represents American History from the time of the Pilgrims to the 1880's. Lot's of folks in costume. Fun stuff.
Bob H - Thursday, 03/16/06 10:18:15 EST

Knife mags vs. Bill Moran: I don't recall much response on our forums when Bill Moran, the "re-creator of pattern welded blades", passed away on February 12, of this year. But I got one heck of a response by mentioning "Knives Illustrated". Go figger.

Frank Turley - Thursday, 03/16/06 11:05:13 EST

Frank: More discussion about Bill's passing "across the street" at Forgemagic than here, including full obituary and comments from folks who knew or had taken classes from him, or owned one of his knives. Maybe more knifemakers there.
Ellen - Thursday, 03/16/06 11:22:50 EST

Bill Moran: What Ellen said.

I was going to post something, since his somewhat flawed obituary was in the Washington Post (me: "Bill Moran died!" wif: "Who?" me: "...[long story]..." wif: "Oh." ).

I never met him, but I've been reading newspaper articles about him since the '60s (him being a fellow Marylander and all) plus mentions in books and of course the magazines; and one of my friends "studied" under him for a while.

After seeing how things went across the street, I though I'd wait for someone more qualified to post, and everyone else appeared to have waited too. Sometimes, bad news travels slowly
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Thursday, 03/16/06 12:40:54 EST

Bill Moran: I didn't say anything, as I also frequent a couple of knifemakers' forums and we really went into it there.
Alan-L - Thursday, 03/16/06 13:57:05 EST

Gun and knife mags: Never read knife magazines too much bu tused to have boxes and boxes of old "Shooting Times" and "Guns and Ammo" from the days when guys like Bill Jordan, Elmer Kieth and Skeeter Skelten we all still writing. Once in a while I skim a new one and maybe it's me but it seems to be the same articles over and over with different titles.
- Mike Ferrara - Thursday, 03/16/06 19:29:35 EST

Bill Moran: Ellen
I couldn't find any info about his passing and obituary accross the street. Do you have a url with his info in it. I did not realize he passed away. He was definetly was one of the greats. I can't believe I missed all news last month. :(

He had a beautiful large anvil to die for.
- Burnt Forge - Thursday, 03/16/06 21:55:58 EST

I saw a couple of sanpile's knives across the road. Nice!! I did not know Bob H makes some dandys as well. Can't wait to see a couple. Actually I would rather fondle a few of the knives vicopper, sandpile and Bob H make. BOG
- Burnt Forge - Thursday, 03/16/06 21:59:43 EST

Burnt Forge/Bill Moran: Go back to Forgemagic's archives to the post by Bill W on Thurs Feb 16, 2006 12:47:21. He quotes the article from
3dogs - Friday, 03/17/06 09:36:14 EST

On the road again:
Going to the NC-ABANA BigBLU Hammer-In pre event party and demo this afternoon. . . Tomarrow's event is one NOT to miss if you are in the North West NC region.
- guru - Friday, 03/17/06 12:57:35 EST

Thank You 3dogs
- Burnt Forge - Friday, 03/17/06 19:12:29 EST

Cool Website: I met this guy at an Ocmulgee Blacksmith Guild meeting. Check out the 19000# hammer w/ 750# ram 24" stroke.
- Tyler Murch - Friday, 03/17/06 20:31:30 EST

Chainsaws: Most of it has been said. Bert said most of it. Some Homelite's, non homeowner Stihl's, and Dolmar. I've seen too many Husqvarna's sieze up, but they are popular. Echo is also an OK saw. Stihl prices are inflated around here because they protect their dealers teritories. If you have a tendency to avoid maintenance, it's most important to find a good dealer and stick with them and buy what they sell. If you buy a good professional saw that can be maintained, and take care of your saw, you will only need the dealer for saw chain. I really like the power to weight ratio, ergonomics and design of my Dolmar. Have two Stihls and a coupe of Homelite's. Have used many others. Many Homelite's are junk, but there are some light strong and powerful ones out there. I also have an electric. Need it to do inside timber framing work, but otherwise it never gets used. Sure, it cuts, but it's disgustingly slow. Maybe there are good electric's out there.

Get two sizes, 14 to 16 inch bar for up to 4 inch wood and 36 inch bar for everything else. Yes, I said 36" bar. Bert said it too. Longer if you are taller. That way, you only bend over once to cut the tree down and stand up for the rest of the work. Stand up, lay the long bar out on the wood and let the saw do the work. Far easier on the back and knees. My Dolmar saw head that the 36" bar is on, is fairly light, but laying it out there at the right angle with the chain properly sharpened, there is little weight to hold. If you are forcing or muscling the saw, there is something wrong with your technique or the saw. Usually a dull or improperly sharpened chain. Balancing, like Bert said.

Using the big bar to limb up a tree is work though. Swinging that big bar around at the angles necessary to limb is a workout. So a smaller saw is good for that. We burn everything down to 1-1/2 inch or so.

I believe a longer bar is a safer bar also. Less chance for the bar tip to come up and bite. Light little saws can get thrown around at soft fleshy parts easier.

Only use sprocket tip bars and keep the bar oil flowing. Learn how to sharpen the chain with a file and do it as soon as you notice slower cutting. Every two tanks is about right, but varies. Chainsaw use is work (or chain expensive) until you know how to sharpen the chain yourself. Kinda like smithing before you have some semblance of hammer control. grin.

Tighten the chain properly! Much saw, bar and chain damage comes from chains jumping off the bar from being loose.

If the saw isn't running right and the oil mix is correct, clean the air filter before adjusting the carb. People futz around with carbs when they shouldn't. Use premium gas and good oil only.

When we go in the woods we always take two saws (one can get bound up), gas, bar oil, splitting maul, cant hook/timber jack, and the chainsaw box. The chainsaw box is a 50 caliber ammo box. Has files, spark plugs, chain adjustment tools, plastic wedges, bar tip grease gun, carb screwdrivers, earplugs etc. Whatever we have had to run back to the house for over the years. Cut plastic tubing to slip fit over the files so they don't get nicked up.

Some of my saws were given to me free because the previous owner couldn't make them work. Some I bought used, and the Dolmar I bought refurbished after the previous owner ran it tight with no oil. $500 of well spent money that saved me that much in time the first year I had it. If you are handy, there is no need to buy new as there are lots of people who buy a good saw and don't use it much or goof it up and want to get rid of it. But don't buy a saw that a pro logger has used and traded in. They do use them up.

Liquid laundry detergent bottles with built in spouts work good for that sticky drippy stringy bar oil. 2 liter plastic soda bottles also work well as they are VERY tough.

I didn't have anyone to teach me this stuff. Had to learn from my mistakes. No doubt, there is more to learn. I suppose I've cut a few thousand trees for saw logs and firewood and timber framing.

No matter how much experience you think you have, the wood will surprise you. Never take your eyes off the bar while cutting, and the tree until it is on the ground and not moving. Been there, done that, been dead to prove it.

Bruce, for what you describe, this may sound like overkill. If you will be cutting more wood over the years, it's not. Renting or borrowing a good saw is an option if this is a one time or once every few years thing. Another option is to buy one saw head and different bars. but changing bars takes time. Time and money is what it boils down to.
- Tony - Saturday, 03/18/06 08:52:33 EST

Duct tape: One other thing... we do take water and a first aid kit that has the usual, but also has a prepackaged, pre strung sterile suture kit in case there is a big oops. Hard to drive yourself out while holding pressure on a big bleeder. Those little curved needles make it real easy. Docs can always open it back up to clean it out well. But if you don't make it there, they can't fix it. Docs do seem to not like it when you sew yourself up however. Tell 'em your wife or kid did it.

Blood is a solvent for duct tape adhesive. Stretchy horse bandage wrap is good and cheap and can be tied off over a bandage. Comes in those nifty colors also.
- Tony - Saturday, 03/18/06 09:15:52 EST

anvils: Does any one have contact info for R. Postman (Anvils in America) I recently bought his book and have a couple of questions regarding Peter Wright anvils. Thanks in advance.
- Bob Cook - Saturday, 03/18/06 18:04:44 EST

R. Postman: Bob,

Ken Sharabok usually posts on the Guru's page. He is in contact with mr. Postman sometimes & should have the info you need. Click on Ken's name at one of his postings and an email box will appear.
Brian C - Saturday, 03/18/06 18:54:37 EST

Postman: As of August, '02, the address was: Richard A. Postman, 320 Fisher Court, Berrien Springs, Michigan 49103
Frank Turley - Saturday, 03/18/06 19:02:43 EST

I am looking for a HOFI anvil. If anyone knows where there is one for sale please respond.
- firebug - Saturday, 03/18/06 21:22:31 EST

Bob Cook: Mr. Postman's phone no is in the front of the book. I think the area code may be 269 now though.
- Jeff G. - Saturday, 03/18/06 21:49:07 EST

HOFI anvil: Here you go.
- Tyler Murch - Sunday, 03/19/06 12:34:40 EST

biblical lore: does anyone know of any stories concerning the smith who made the nails for Jesus's crucifixion
daniel piotte - Monday, 03/20/06 15:25:35 EST

MIelstones: Yesterday at about 2:00pm we passed the 8,000,000 total visitor mark. This was 20 days sooner than we had projected when we passed the 7,000,000 mark in October last year.
- guru - Tuesday, 03/21/06 09:40:51 EST

Shop Noise:
At the recent BigBLU/Hofi demo at the NOMMA trade fair there was one very noticable thing. No compressor noise. Big BLU is selling Ingersol Rand screw compressors and has replaced the piston type in their demo trailer and shop with them. The difference is amazing. You have to stick your head in the demo trailer to hear the compressor run and even then it is a gentle humm. At their shop it was like anywhere else, you KNEW the compressor was running. No more. It makes a huge difference in overall shop noise.

Most people do not notice when some bothersome thing is missing. You notice the bother but not the lack. However, I noticed the lack of noise. It was wonderful.

For those that complain that having an air hammer in the shop is a noise problem this is the solution.
- guru - Tuesday, 03/21/06 12:15:13 EST

Business Opportunity: Sauder Village, Ohio's largest living history village, is offering an independent business opportunity for an artist blacksmith to establish a studio/business in a world-class shop. Designed by a professional blacksmith, this attractive facility includes a work area, gallery, and office space. Nearly 100,000 guests visit the Village annually, and they have come to expect and appreciate fine craftsmanship. Join the craftsmen at Sauder Village who form a community of talented artisans in contemporary and historical trades. Visit for details about Sauder Village. For more information on this unique opportunity, call 419-446-2541.
- guru - Tuesday, 03/21/06 13:32:42 EST

chambersburg hammer: For anyone interested, I have a friend who has a hardly used 200 lbs chambersburg up on ebay. For someone that could use it, it's never really been used (not worn out).
- Mike Sa - Tuesday, 03/21/06 14:21:28 EST

Chainsaw Help & Pilings:
Tony, et al:

Thanks for all of the good advice. My wif is really impressed with how knowledgeable (and how nice and helpful) you folks are.

Now, the next puzzle:

Our new neighbor has pulled up my late father's pier to put in a bigger one, and asked if I wanted the pilings, which are in relatively good shape. My original thought was to bridge the stream with them, since they are from 15' to 17' (4.6 - 5 M) long, and three of them would work really well for a 6' (1.8 M) wide deck. Well the wif and I went down to the crossing point, where both banks are the same height, and to keep things on firm ground we need at least 21' (6.4 M) and preferably 27' (8.2 M) to do it right. She pointed out that some of the trees that have to be cut anyway should be long enough; but that now leaves me with a clutch of old style creosoted pilings. I'm open to any slick way to bridge the gap with said pilings, or other uses, or even to give them away if any of you have a need for them. Barnacles come free. ;-)

Doing my part not to let ANYTHING go to waste in Southern Maryland, between the swamp and the river. :-)

Very light snow skittering about on the banks ofthe Potomac. Happy Spring!

Visit your National Parks:
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Tuesday, 03/21/06 14:40:37 EST

Smithin' Magician: Any user reviews or comments on the Smithin' Magician available? Thanks. Jim
Jim Warren - Tuesday, 03/21/06 16:23:31 EST

Mike Sa WHERE?

Thomas P - Tuesday, 03/21/06 16:27:12 EST

Anvil subsitute: I am looking to buy a big hunk of steel to use as an anvil, for the time being. I was looking at a big piece of hot rolled 1045, but I am afraid it may be too soft in the center. Is this ok or is there another type of steel that would be better?

- Brian - Tuesday, 03/21/06 16:49:25 EST

Bridge: Atli
You know there is a way to make the bridge from the piling. Check out the Boy Scout Pioneering merit badge book for bridges with support beams above the deck.

A 21' bridge sounds like a heck of a thing to build, but I guess it aint nothing comared to a ship.
JohnW - Tuesday, 03/21/06 18:00:39 EST

SAE 1045 Steel: Brian, That is roughly what most anvils are made of. It will be relatively soft unless flame hardened (not a small task).

Mass is what is important then shape then hardness and strength. Rolled 1045 will outperform most cheap cast anvils by a long shot.
- guru - Tuesday, 03/21/06 18:05:46 EST

Bridge Span: Unless the ground is very secure I would plan on building good abutments for that bridge. This might shorten the span which in turn makes is MUCH stronger. If you have enough pilings you could build the abutments from stacked pilings and fill (preferably heavy gravel or stone but dirt will do).

In my recent travels in Costa Rica I have seen many log span bridges. Most are made of incredibly large strong rot resistant logs. Some span 50 or 60 feet and large trucks cross them. The only failures I have seen is washed out sills or abutments. One left a bridge precariously hanging at at 45 degree list on one end and other the bridge is just plain GONE. . . poor farmer living on the other side is carrying food, fuel, water and everything else on his back about 1/2 mile from the missing bridge.

Will your DIY bridge have an adjacent ford for the concrete trucks?????

One plan to build a bridge was to use a flat bed trailer. . . Or the steel out of two regular trailers.
- guru - Tuesday, 03/21/06 18:16:32 EST

bridges: Another very nice ready made bridge is flatbed rail cars. These are often nicely painted and can be 60' long.
The piggyback cars work nicley.
ptree - Tuesday, 03/21/06 20:48:58 EST

Hofi Advanced Class: Just returned from the latest Hofi advanced air hammer class including tool making. As usual it was great and I recommend it to anyone that wants to learn how to use a airhammer effectively and efficiently. My next class will be his two week hand hammer class.
- firebug - Tuesday, 03/21/06 21:01:13 EST

screw compressors: I had screw compressors at the old valve shop, and we have them at my current shop. They are indeed nice. Not as quiet as the steam driven recip at the old forge shop though. The best thing about screw compressors is the reliability and low maintenance.
One thing to be aware of is that the screws tend to be much more expensive than the recips, and every couple of thousand hours you need to change the air oil seperators. These seperators are pretty expensive, so plan ahead.
Many of the screws can not start when very cold. They simply won't start as the oil is too thick.
If I could afford a new, nice compressor, and was feeding a hungrey machine like an air hammer and or sandblast unit I would first look at a screw compressor.
I tend to favor Sullair. Their old slogan, VERY popular on T shirts was "Sullair, the best screw in town"
ptree - Tuesday, 03/21/06 21:26:04 EST

chambersburg: Thomas, the hammer is in southern Illinois. About 2 hours east of St.Louis, or 75 miles west of Evansville indiana, if that helps you (near a town called Flora). Bob has had this hammer several years, but never got around to hooking it up. He's now reached that point in life to start lightening the load. He has tons & tons of blacksmith stuff, but rarely sells any of it. I bought an old 25lb little giant from him a while back.
Mike Sa
- Mike Sa - Tuesday, 03/21/06 22:20:15 EST

smithin magician: Jim, I used a homemade one the other week, and have now used my "real" one once. Pretty handy. The biggest improvement you can make to it is to add an adjustable stop rod, so you work the same spot as you rotate your material. I left one of the middle rivets out, then used a long 3/8 bolt with a long tab welded to the head. I drilled & tapped into the side bar (in line with the rivet hole) & use a knob to tighten up on the rod. The adjustable stop idea came from our local smithin guru, Ed Karcher.
- Mike Sa - Tuesday, 03/21/06 22:27:10 EST

Bridges and things: Bruce, you are certainly welcome. As far as the bridge goes......

Think Golden Gate. Pilings for superstructure and cable suspended deck. That would be very cool. Grin. For a 20 foot span, we used 10 inch channel as the form to make concrete beams with welded rebar trusses cast into the concrete. The concrete, in section, was only 2 inches by 9 inches and the rebar dropped another 6 inches below that. No problem holding 1000 pound vehicles at mid span. log sections for deck.

Screw compressors are indeed nice. Keep the coolant clean, the inlet air filtered well, don't overheat them, and good ones will run forever. Small ones have a tendency to get fogotten since they are so quiet. Synthetic coolant is a good idea. Oil analysis can be used to tell you when to change it. Since the synthetics can be pricey.
- Tony - Tuesday, 03/21/06 23:59:08 EST

Aircompressors: I recently purchased an Eaton Aircompressor and have been very happy with it. It is VERY quiet. You can stand right next to it and hold a conversation at normal voice levels and not be disturbed by the noise. I know that sounds hard to believe but I have done it. Mine is a 7.5 horsepower 230 volt single phase with a 120 gallon tank. It has a V-4 2 stage compressor that is rated for a 10 horse motor. It only turns 640 rpms, it is truning very slow that it one reason for the quietness. This also adds years to the compressor life, slow turning speed. It came with the automatic electric drain valve and the swithch to allow the electric motor to continue to run without the compressor turning. This cuts down on the start ups which save the magnetic switch and power bills. The compressor has rings and bearings much like an automobile engine so it is rebuildable. I had it delivered to my door for about 2,150.00 and it has easily kept up with my Phoenix Airhammer. You can look them up on the web at Eaton Compressors.
- firebug - Wednesday, 03/22/06 08:18:58 EST

Bridge Considerations: I can't mess with the stream bed any, so that rules out pilings. Same with footings- stuffing things into running water tends to be counter-productive in my neck of the swamp. Meandering and undercutting can be messy and we can get both tidal flooding (from storm surge) and stream flooding from heavy rainfall. The swamp can only hold so much!

The idea was to be cheap, simple, strong, and it would just lay there. We figure the max load would be foot traffic and occasional riding mowers and bicycles.

The present crossing is left over from our previous tenant farmer, who laid in two culverts, laid in gravel to bring the two banks level, and then filled in the gap with more gravel and dirt. It lasted one season, and then washed-out in the spring. The two sections of culvert look very lonely in the stream bed. However, this does leave us with two even banks just about where we need them.

I do like Tony’s idea of using the pilings to anchor a suspension bridge. They could be sunk in the ground in two pairs well back from the banks. I’ll have to run that one by the wif.

Given that structural steel comes in 20’ (6 M) lengths, how about bolted-together channel iron with staggered joints? At least I could transport it on one of the boat trailers.

Bent's Old Fort Blacksmith's Shop, Colorado
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Wednesday, 03/22/06 10:25:11 EST

LMF anvils?: Can anyone confirm that Laurel Machine and Foundry Co. have stopped producing anvils? I sent them an e-mail some time ago, but no reply.
- Dan P. - Wednesday, 03/22/06 10:39:21 EST

SGensh: Bruce, When I was a kid some family friends had a crude suspension bridge over a stream on their property. I remember short poles holding up two steel cables with wooden boards crossing them for the deck. There was a stairway at each end to the height of the poles. No handrails of course and it swayed like anything but great fun for kids. I suspect your's will be a little more sophisticated.

Given the changing water levels and flow have you considered making a floating bridge? Maybe a sectional deck over plastic drums (like a floating dock) anchored with cables. You could extend the last sections back a little from the nominal stream bed for approach ramps.

By the way I was using one of those stumps I got from you a couple of years ago to do some dishing just the other day.
SGensh - Wednesday, 03/22/06 11:13:38 EST

LMF Anvils: Dan,

It was announced about this time last year that LMF was closing down its blacksmith line and they sold out all the remaining stock at half price or less.
March 2005 log
- guru - Wednesday, 03/22/06 11:28:17 EST

Anvils: Seems like the newer ones are getting scarcer. Peddinghaus, Mankel, LMF, all gone.

I sent an email a couple of weeks ago to John Elliot at Euroanvils to get a quote on a 500# with shipping to AZ, no reply. Will call when I get time, but a pain compared to email. May be a few weeks before I make the call.
Ellen - Wednesday, 03/22/06 12:47:22 EST

Bruce's Bridge: Well, in my opinion, given your zeal for history, the bridge should be a drawbridge, flanked by stone bastions, tower, and portcullis. Just my opinion. Grin!
Ellen - Wednesday, 03/22/06 12:55:40 EST

Ellen: I just inquired yesterday about the 335lb and 500lb Euroanvils. The 335 is about 880.00 plus shipping to Montgomery Al. which was about 150.00 and the 500lb was about 1240.00 plus about 180.00 shipping. Those numbers are real close as I do not have them in front of me, I am working from memory. I cannot decide whether to go with the 335 or the 500. He has no 335's in stock but he does have the 500 in stock. He is expecting the 335's within 30 days. I have a VERY nice 220 pound Peter Wright that I may be interested in selling if I purchase the Euroanvil. I plan on putting mine on the metal stand because you can get 'in there' and work on the steel. It allows your feet to get under the stand as opposed to a stump that holds you off of the anvil. He also has precut metal bases shaped for the Euroanvils that are about 1 1/2 thick. Hope this helps.
firebug - Wednesday, 03/22/06 14:00:03 EST

New Anvil Recommendation: For anyone looking for a quality new London Pattern Anvil. The new Emerson London Pattern Blacksmith Anvil listed at 150 Traditional, but really weighs 157 lbs. They are made from 4142c tool steel. They are heat treated in an oven for hours covering the entire surface with through penetration. It is designed in shape after the early Kolhswa anvils with a nice horn. They are not only chip resistant, but hard and tough resisting dings and dents. I endorse Centaur Forge an advertiser here on Anvilfire as the best source to purchase one from. I can't say enough good things about this anvil. I have used or laid hand on about every brand anvil. They just out perform others. The 157 lb is heavy enough to really do anything. I have been disappointed with many other anvil makers with how soft the faces are. You would not feel that way about an Emerson. Plus if you live in the US you are supporting and American Anvil Maker. Just my 2 cents.
- Burnt Forge - Wednesday, 03/22/06 14:35:53 EST

Firebug: Thanks for anvil information. I received a response from John on my 2nd email(of this AM), he says he responded to first, could be, things get lost....I get a lot of spam and maybe I screwed up.

Anyway with shipping to AZ 500# anvil is about $1650. Several folks here seem to have them and like them, surface is a bit softer than some of the other anvils.....I am told.

I already have a 200# Hay Budden, but a bigger anvil does seem to move the metal better.....or is it anvil lust? Grin!
Ellen - Wednesday, 03/22/06 15:02:51 EST

Ellen: Sounds like a nice anvil. I agree with you it may be anvil lust as I have the same problem.

Francis Whitaker only used two 150 lb blacksmith anvils all his life. He took great care of them. They are in near new condition today. He stated: " A lot of young people have a tendency to over-equip themselves. Older smiths too. Someone will say, " Oh boy, I've found a 500 lb. anvil!" And I'll say, Is that twice as good as my 250 lb.? Can you do better work on it?" Keep in mind his anvils were only 150 lb.

I myself have owned up to 600 lb anvils. I did not find them convient to reach across the face or reach the length of all surfaces withour moving arounf alot.

I know some folks here like Tom P have several huge anvils and like them and have them set up for different purposes. That is o.k. too.

I just don't see a need for a monster anvil. Your 200 lb anvil will do anything you ever desire Ellen. I would not spend the money on the 500 lb monster. Some folks do like the pyramidical horns and find them handy. I am too use to a london pattern and know way to get the same work accomplished as a double horn anvil. It is really personal preference. After banginf on a Hay-Budden you probably would not like the softer face of a Euro Anvil, though they are really nice good anvils.
- Burnt Forge - Wednesday, 03/22/06 15:23:53 EST

Burnt Forge: Well the more I look at the total the less anvil lust I have. Sigh! That's half way there to a decent power hammer. Which is going to move a lot more metal than I ever will with a hammer regardless of anvil size.

Old Francis did some pretty neat work. Amy Pieh has a poster on the wall of him as a young man hammering on his anvil; he had that hammer way up in the air for a heavy blow, and the anvil did look smaller than my Hay Buddy.

I like the quote she has up from Samuel Yellin as well, "I am taking my hammer with me and if I arrive at heaven and the gate is locked I will forge my own key."
Ellen - Wednesday, 03/22/06 19:06:20 EST

The JHM 160 # anvil for $745 is a nice anvil also, looked at them at Pieh Tool Co. last weekend. They have a nicely hard face and excellent polish too.
Ellen - Wednesday, 03/22/06 19:12:45 EST

Large vs. Small anvil pros and cons:
First, you CAN feel the difference with a larger anvil. Even the difference between a 350 and a 450 is noticable. But you can also feel the difference in the heavy waisted old English anvils that have bases wider than the face as apposed to a heavier American pattern with a narrow waist.

Second, if striking is going to be done then a large anvil is a must. The majority of severe chipping on old anvils is most likely from miss blows on anvils that were too light and had too narrow of a face for heavy work.

Heavy anvils have the advantage that they act as a heavy bench and bending forks and such work well in them while they do not in small anvils. If I was using a 500 pound anvil I would consider a hardy shank mount leg vise as an "attachment".

All the above can make a difference for a full time professional. Easier working, stouter, less likely to move.

But there are disadvantages. Some folks do not like the distance they must travel around a large anvil. If you are short on space this can be a great dissadvantage. A large anvil is a much more permanent fixture in your shop and difficult to move when needed. Many small pickup trucks are maxed out at 500 pounds!

Portability is a serious concern. Several years ago I sold off all my small anvils and kept the 200 and 300 pound anvils. I wasn't thinking clearly and soon found myself without a portable anvil. I had a perfect 128 pound M&H Armitage mousehole and let it go. . . I have since remidied that situation and find the smaller anvil much handier even though I still prefer to work on a larger anvil.

In old anvils the larger ones tend to be soft because they are hard to quench. Smaller ones are generally much harder.

Currently the prices on the large Euroanvils is very good and I would look for them to go up considerably in the near future thus making the current prices attractive as well as a good investment.

Would I trade two 200 to 250 pound anvils for one 500 pound anvil? Probably not. I find diversity and more work stations more useful. But would I trade down if I had one? I do not know.

As to the functionality of the double horned anvil, I have recently watched a number of people including Uri Hofi working on them and making great use of the narrow portions and the clip horn as well. . . I think they beat the heck out of the square heeled London pattern.

- guru - Wednesday, 03/22/06 19:14:38 EST

Anvil Repair: Howdy, guys – I’m a newbie on this site; I was looking for the “Keenjunk” board that I occasionally posted on several years ago, but can’t seem to locate it. I’m an engineer who does hobby smithing when he has the time. Our 89-year-old mentor passed on recently, and left us his antique forge tools, so we’re expanding our outdoor shop and enclosing it. One of the things I’ve put off for a few years is an edge repair on my anvil. I have an old 250(est.) pound Vulcan that has some damage to one edge. The Keenjunk site had a link to repair instructions for combination anvils (cast base/forged top). Can anyone direct me towards posted repair instructions? Thanks! Ralph
- Mojave - Wednesday, 03/22/06 22:41:37 EST

Ralph: Keenjunk is no more; Neil Winikoff took it offline last year....turned out he was 85! The archives are accessible thru the replacement site, Folks here may be able to help, I'm just pointing you to the archives and explaining what happened to Keenjunk. Turned out the Junkyard Dog I got such a kick out of on the website had passed on several years ago....oh well. Lots of folks cried when Neil announced his retirement.
Ellen - Wednesday, 03/22/06 22:45:12 EST

Ellen: Just my 2 cents worth. If you already have a sizeable 200 lb anvil, I think you should just save your money for that power hammer. What could you do on a larger anvil that you can't do now? As we get older, a power hammer makes more sense than trying to use bigger hand hammers on a bigger anvil. I am really liking my 200 lb Fisher, and yes, it does move metal better than the 150 lb Hay Budden. But I can see a power hammer being easier yet. So, unless there are some design differences in the Euroanvil that you just have to have, why bother? I wanted the Euro myself, but found the Fisher, and now realise the Fisher should be all I need as a hobby smith. And I am on tape 4 of the Clifton Ralph power hammer tapes. Sure would like to have a power hammer to try some of that out on! Nice thing, Ken Mankel loaned me the tapes. I loaned him the dvd I had of the Canadian guy who's name I don't remember, on power hammer tooling and techniques. I also am going to give him some liquid gold, in the form of Coyote Bob's homemade maple syrup!
Bob H - Wednesday, 03/22/06 23:41:02 EST

BobH: I can pick up a 33# self contained Anyang at Pieh Tool Co. for less than $4,, no shipping. I am told it hits harder than a 50# Little Giant. After I get through my busy season I will go up and spend a few hours on one and see if I like it. Can't really justify a power hammer at the moment, but I like to educate myself on available tools and techniques.

Are you going to tell your friend about your technique for making homemade maple syrup, with autopsy tables, marble from urinals, etc, etc......grin!

Hope the stomach miseries are better now!
Ellen - Thursday, 03/23/06 00:51:58 EST

Anvil Envy: Twice now I have deliberated too long about 400# anvils, and when I finally decided to buy, they were sold a few days before I got back to buy them. The question I have, is how much difference does it really make when using a 2 to 3 # hammer? My present setup is a 158# HARD Swedish cast streel anvil thet sits on a 2" thk. 145# 3 legged base, fitted so it bears well[NO WOBBLE]. Now I know I don't have the same effect as a 300# anvil, but there probably is some "coupple" from the heavy base. Portability is a concern at present, I keep all the smithing stuff in a trailor in a building and drag it out on the ocasional days when the weather is nice and My health allows some play. Would I actually notice much improvement with a heavy anvil if I am only using one handed hammers of 2-3# ?
Dave Boyer - Thursday, 03/23/06 01:18:19 EST

Anvil Envy - Mine is bigger than yours:
Dave, You can feel the difference but it won't make much difference to a hobbiest. To a professional that works long hours at the anvil a very small difference makes a big difference at the end of the day. A friend of mine claims that if you are using proper hammer technique to start (loose grip, proper stance. . ) that he actually feels refreshed at the end of the day using a 450# anvil. However, he has several power hammers to do the heavy work and he is in very good shape to start.

If portability is an issue I would go no bigger than 200 pounds (90 kg). I frequently "walk" a 200 pound anvil around the shop on its stand but the 300 seems to be too much. Then again if you have a good hand truck, smooth surfaces and the anvil is on a truckable stand then its no problem. But if you have to lift an anvil to move it. . . then something in the 100 to 130 pound range is best.

Although folks swear by the Uri Hofi 3 legged stand I prefer a stand that I can scoot or move even on loose surfaces. Maybe if I had a permanent spot for an anvil. . . each to his own. . .
- guru - Thursday, 03/23/06 09:02:14 EST

Peter Wright Anvil?: I ran across a what I am told is a Peter Wright (and the shape looks correct) anvil, but it doesn't have any markings except for the weight 1 1 8, which I understand is the penny weight system. It looks like it as barely seen any use, if any. Did Peter Wright ever make anvils without there name on it?
- Brian - Thursday, 03/23/06 09:30:54 EST

More Anvil Envy: One disadvantage of the larger anvils, in colder climates anyway, is their tendency to suck heat out of the work. Thomas Powers has pointed out a number of ways of preheating them, including small buckets of coals hung under the horn. (Myself, I prefer my late mom’s old steam iron that she was going to throw out years ago. :-)

Anyway, the quotes from Francis Whitaker has made me feel a lot better about my pre-Harbor Freight 100K Russian. However, another factor is: how well the anvil is mounted? The classic elm stump sunk three feet into the soil and resting on a bed of basalt extending into the earth’s crust would make a much more efficient interface than four random scrap 4 X 4s screwed into a plywood base sitting on sand or loose dirt. A smaller anvil on a firm mount may well out-perform a larger anvil on a less steady mount.

Now, having the longest longship (not to mention the only longship) docked on Vanity Row in Annapolis on a fine summer’s evening; that’s when size is important! :-)

Grant-Kohrs Ranch Blacksmith Shop
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Thursday, 03/23/06 10:16:51 EST

Ellen:: Thanks for the reply, and the info - I didn't realize Neil was that old either - Though I guess his age is somewhat less of a shock to me, since my friend "Ghost Town Bill" worked at the anvil right up until he passed on, 3 weeks shy of 90. Re: portability of the bigger anvils: My Vulcan is only around 250#, and it's a bear to move around! When I need to work somewhere else, I use a piece of "Highball Steel", or my little precision anvil to work on.
Mojave - Thursday, 03/23/06 11:18:05 EST

Anvils: Thanks for the information, and experiences passed along here. Very helpful. I ask a lot of questions, simply because I am curious and came to metal working later in life from another background, so my knowledge base in this field is much smaller than those who have worked at it, or have long years of experience as a serious part time smith.

I really can't see any justifical for a larger anvil now I have this fund of knowledge to draw on. I would be better off to make my anvil stand heavier to reduce any possible flex (it is angle iron welded together). A 200# Hey Buddy should be more than adequate for all of my large anvil needs, and I would be better off to put any surplus funds (one always hopes, grin!) into a treadle hammer or small power hammer.

Now that I have a grunch of flypress tooling and the knowledge to make lots more, I suspect it will do a lot of the heavy work for me, except for drawing operations where it is not so efficient. I did make a bottom swage and a top fuller and bent a horsehoe rasp into a nice U longtudinally in 2 heats. One heat would have done it had I a longer gas forge....grin! Once into a U shape it rolls up easily at the anvil, or one could use flat dies in the flypress and bump it at a good speed. The flypress is a wonderful tool. And the 3 day class at Pieh Tool Co. on flypress tooling was immensely helpful, and not just for making flypress tooling.
Ellen - Thursday, 03/23/06 11:56:27 EST

Mohave: You're welcome for the info. Unsolved mysteries aren't much fun.
Ellen - Thursday, 03/23/06 11:59:07 EST

Flypress tooling: Ellen, what tooling have you found to be most useful so far on your flypress? I've only had my press set up a few weeks & am just now starting to make tools for it (fullers & punches....easy stuff to turn on the lathe).

It's easy to see that you could make a career of making tooling for one of these things.
- Mike Sa - Thursday, 03/23/06 14:09:12 EST

Power Hammer and dies:
There is guite a science to power hammer dies and those designed by Uri Hofi and made by BigBLU are the most efficient I have ever seen. At a recent Hofi demo on the BigBLU, a professional that have been doing large architectural metal on large and small hammers for several decades commented he had never moved metal like that (fast and efficiently).

The Hofi combo dies are a far departure from common combo dies, even those with similar features. Where they are different is they apply flat die technology to drawing. I have seen this published only once and I cannot find the reference. There was a chart of eliptical edge dressings for various sized flat dies. It is NOT in the ASM references (1939, 1948, 1970), Forging Industry Open Die Forging Manual, or Marks or the ASTE Tool Engineers Handbook. . . nor Machine Forging by JK Miller. Perhaps it is in Lillico which is missing from my shelf. . .

The point, that reference had a table of eliptical edge dressings for hammer dies that closely match what Uri Hofi and BigBLU is doing. Nobody else has quantified it. What usualy happens is that dies are radiused but not elliptical then the edges wear to that eliptical shape or something approaching Hofi's low slope with a radius. At this point they have a "sweet spot" where the wear is in the center and they forge very well. The user does not stop and think why. However, with the proper dress the dies should forge well from the beginning and not just in one spot but along the entire edge. Knowing the RIGHT dress is what makes the difference.

When you test a power hammer look for controlability. The ability to tap gently in a controlled manner is required to draw short points and even tapers. The actual performance of the hammer will depend a lot on the dies. Common flat dies are like the face of your anvil, they are a work surface and flat hammer face and generally too large and sharp edged for direct working on the dies. They are designed for upsetting, punching, cutting and supporting dies. Properly ground they can do smooth dwawing. The common combination dies on the market are pretty bad. Look closely at the others and then at BigBLU's.
- guru - Thursday, 03/23/06 14:54:18 EST

Flypress Tooling:
Mike, Handy tooling is holders for standard punches and dies such as the ones that fit ironworkers or hand punches.

Next to that is a holder for your touch mark or for letter stamps. Most of these will fit in a round bore with a set screw to hold them aligned and in place.

You can also drive a center punch cleanly and accurately with a fly press.

On my hydraulic press I found that universal bending tools were very handy and it should be the same on a flypress. A V-block or two rounds welded to a plate. Then a pusher or two with different radiuses.

You can only do so much with universal tooling. When you start thinking outside that box for quick and dirty special tools that make odd jobs go faster and easier THAT is when tool making pays off. Keeping a stock of blank shanks and base plates would pay off when these jobs come along.

- guru - Thursday, 03/23/06 15:22:20 EST

Mike: If I had to pick just one tool for my flypress that gets used a lot it would be the bolster plate I made to hold my hardy tools or anything I care to weld a 1" shank on.

Followed closely by my veiners (chisels if you like), and top fullers to fit the bottom swages I just drop in.

I have posted some pictures in the gallery at Forgemagic and will post more when I get caught up to photograph the tools I made last weekend, there were over 20 of them.

I bought a #5 flypress from Amy at Pieh Tool Co, one of our advertisers here, and I love it. The quality is superb, and it will be a long time before I run out of uses for it.

It gets more done in a heat than working at the anvil because things happen quicker and there isn't such a huge metal mass to suck the heat out of the work.

Ellen - Thursday, 03/23/06 15:47:19 EST

Dies: I have to agree with the Guru. Hofi has a really good set of combo dies. After watching Hofi at ABANA for three days straight, I asked, and he freely told all what the configeration of the "flat top" I went home and ground my JYH dies as close as I could to what he described. WHAT a difference. I may have the sketch somewhere, but I suspect that Hofi will share his knowledge as that is the way he is.
ptree - Thursday, 03/23/06 19:42:34 EST

Hofi: The man is a genius and truly generous with his knowledge. We are fortunate to have giants like him sharing with the rest of us.
Ellen - Thursday, 03/23/06 19:59:08 EST

Brian / Peter Wright: Does the anvil have a narrow "ledge" or "step" running across the base on the horn and anvils sides? If so, it is probably a Peter Wright.
Frank Turley - Thursday, 03/23/06 21:07:24 EST

Hofi Dies: I have had the priviledge to take 3 Hofi power hammer classes, two of which where taught by Hofi. I now feel I have all of the knoweledge needed for power hammer work with his die system. I just returned from the advanced power hammer class which emphisized tools and advanced elements. I have a Phoenix Power Hammer which I am currently adapting the dove tail Hofi Dies to. Guru is right, the Hofi Dies move steel like no others. If you have any type of power hammer you could most probably adapt the dove tail die holders to it. Then you just slide the dies in and out to change them. I want to attend Hofi's hand hammer class next. Has anyone on this forum attended it? If so what did you think. I feel that Hofi has a unique way of doing things as it pertains to blacksmithing. Sometimes he rubs traditional blacksmiths the wrong way. After watching him and taking his classes I truly feel that often he has a better way of doing things.
firebug - Thursday, 03/23/06 21:22:33 EST

Bruce - Vanity Row: I assune You are talking about Ego Alley, that strip of harbor that runs up to the town dingy dock?
Dave Boyer - Thursday, 03/23/06 22:50:02 EST

Hofi: Are we talking the Hofi combo dies,or the Hofi crown dies? I looked at the Big Blu site, and there are several dies available. So, some clarification please?

I just finished watching the Clifton Ralph power hammer tapes. Very neat. Lot's of possibilities. I've never really used a power hammer, but now I understand a lot more about them. And of course, I want one! Someday, I hope.
Bob H - Friday, 03/24/06 09:05:28 EST

Hofi Dies: They are all great and have their purposes. If I were to purchase the dies and could only buy 2 I would get the Combo Dies and the Crown Dies. The way you can move the metal with those two dies are almost limitless. The Combo Dies are great for drawing tapers, putting balls on the ends of bars, texturing etc. The Crown Dies are good for moving metal in any direction. It just depends on the position of the metal in relation to the crowns. They are good for leaves, texturing, making bowls etc. As you get better with the dies you will discover new ways to move metal and make different shapes. The secret to the dies are the tapers, or, the way they are dressed. The tapers are such that it allows maximum movement of the metal without spitting it out of the die. If the tapers are too great then the metal will not stay under the dies.
- Firebug - Friday, 03/24/06 09:54:25 EST

Ego Alley:

Dave; I stand corrected. Ego Alley 'tis- Arrrrrr Mate!
Particularly amusing to the deck watch when the drunks stagger out in the early a.m.... "What the $%!+ is THAT?!"

Back to blacksmithing... :-)
Fort Larned NHS Kansas, Blacksmith Shop
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Friday, 03/24/06 09:54:33 EST

Burner Size: On this web page:

There are pipe sizes give for a burner. I'm sort of confused as to that sizes when reading the parts list. Help. Thanks, I'm very new at this.
Greg - Friday, 03/24/06 14:28:45 EST

Hammer Dies:
Bob, I was speaking of the the Hofi combo dies and general flat drawing dies. The crown dies are another trick altogether and just as sophisticated. Where the combo dress is correct for ALL flat dies the crown dies are very speicialized for doing sculptural work as if you are working the steel directly with your fingers.
- guru - Friday, 03/24/06 15:06:58 EST

Greg, All the sizes listed are PIPE sizes. They have nothing to do with actual pipe dimensions. Pipe OD and thread sizes are based on a nominal ID in schedual 40/80 pipe. The higher the schedule the thicker the wall but the OD stays the same for the nominal size.

If you take the list to any plumbing supply they will understand the sizes. If you need to measure the pipe to tell what size you have then you will need a reference chart such as from Machinery's Handbook. Most of us know from experiance what pipe sizes look like. Over 1" is confusing if you do not deal with it regularly.
- guru - Friday, 03/24/06 15:17:45 EST

In other words you go by the taper pipe thread sizes. Lengths are in real inches.
- guru - Friday, 03/24/06 16:20:30 EST

ring benders: does anyone know of a site that has a posting of plans for building a ring roller ??? thanks
blacklionforge - Friday, 03/24/06 20:03:29 EST

Chambersburg hammer: My friends 200lbs chambersburg sold on ebay. $3725 & appears to be going to a used machine dealer.
- Mike Sa - Sunday, 03/26/06 21:54:18 EST

Chambersburg Price: Mike, that is a good price for that hammer. I never did find it on ebay and I searched several times. In recent years old utility hammers have been selling in the $500 to $1500 range. But then they are getting rarer as many go to scrap.

They are great hammers but require a LOT of air, more than double a modern small air hammer for their size.
- guru - Monday, 03/27/06 09:19:14 EST

Chambersburg Price:

I had a good look on ebay (as a power hammer obsesive!), but couldnt find it either. (a few L.G's, but no CECO)

Makes you wonder the price if it had been a bit easier for folks to find ?? (what was the item number for it Mike?)
John N - Monday, 03/27/06 13:33:47 EST

chambersburg: That's funny that you had trouble finding it. He came by my office when he posted it & had me check out his ad. All I typed in was Chambersburg (along with sort by we're only a few miles apart). His ad had several cross reference titles to help people find it. Ebay can be a screwy place to find stuff sometimes.

Yes, the price was right. I (like my friend the seller) just don't need something that big these days. If we were still young, full of p*ss & vinegar, it'd be different story.
- Mike Sa - Monday, 03/27/06 14:24:14 EST

Ralph Douglas:
Ralph is in the hospital. He has blood clots in both lungs. We were in the emergency room from Monday noon till just a bit ago (9pm). They are admitting him now. I ran home to grab some stuff and let everyone know. Your prayers would be appreciated, Dawn Douglas
Conner - Tuesday, 03/28/06 02:17:00 EST

Ralph: Hang in there Ralph, We are all pulling for You.
Dave Boyer - Tuesday, 03/28/06 03:45:47 EST

I couldn't find that hammer either and I typed in everything I could think of to list it under. I thiught maybe I was just dumb.
- Jeff G. - Tuesday, 03/28/06 11:32:53 EST

Sooooooo..... what was the item number of the Chamersburg.... I want to see it now!!
John N - Tuesday, 03/28/06 14:45:56 EST

Is anybody else getting text on here that looks like a foreign language? I'm getting stuff that looks like it is from the Tower of Babel.
- Jeff G. - Tuesday, 03/28/06 18:34:20 EST

Jeff, As the old robot joke goes, You have an error, error, error, error. . .
- guru - Tuesday, 03/28/06 20:33:16 EST

Jock - Grist Mill: Do You have any idea about the horse power of the water wheel? My Dad's uncle had a home that had a waterwheel powered DC/battery 110 volt electrical system that lit the home and 3 bungalows across the street. That system is about a hundred years old and unused since the powerlines were put in'30s? My Dad said when He was a kid there were some outdoor lights that still ran from it, but without the batteries so the voltage had to be controlled by ajusting the wier at the wheel. When I was a kid the belting was all shot, but Dad opened up the wier so we could see the wheel turn. It was a 10 horse power wheel, but Dad said the streem didn't flow enough to operate at that level much of the year. In '72 huricane Agnes washed out the millrace, I guess the whole works is junk today.Dad's cousin still lives there, but couldn't give a hoot about the water wheel.
Dave Boyer - Wednesday, 03/29/06 00:04:22 EST

Water Wheels: Our site was marginaly engineered. OR it was engineered according to what the engineer was told which was incomplete or wrong. . This is surprising since the Fitz water wheels were replacements put in at about the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th replacing wooden wheels that had operated for 100 years.

Our dam is 15 feet and the wheels 12. This allows just barely 3 feet above the wheels. However, during high water the tailrace backs up greatly reducing the head and interfering with the wheels.

There was two wheels, one was 3.5 feet wide and rated at 5HP (best as I can remember). All it ran was the corn stones and one elevator. The other was 5 feet wide and rated 7.5 HP. It powered the wheat stones, rolls and the mile of elevators and other sorting and sifting machinery. Average speed for a wheel this size is 10 RPM. LOTS of torque.

The unusual thing about this mill is that it had and "over and under" flume that fed both wheels which turned in the same direction. When the mill ran during milling season it draind the pond daily.

I met the blacksmith, Walter Garbee of Lynchburg, VA, that installed the smaller wheel about 1915. Fitz wheels were delivered as a pile of parts and were riveted together in place on-site. Walter said he set up a little forge down next to the water and worked right there. Took a couple weeks to assemble.

I also met the old black fellow that had replaced the wood teeth in the great bull gear some time in the 1940's. He was the son of a slave and 98 when I met him. He died a few years later. The teeth are oak and about a foot long. The running surface has an involute curve and a tapered shank to fit the gear wheel. Each tooth was shimed and wedged into place. I counted the teeth many years ago and forget how many there were. Sawing to an invloute curve would have been an improvement over the oringinal teeth.

The old fellow was pretty sharp. He had a wood working shop full of machinery most of which he had made or salvaged and repaired. Those teeth were all cut out on a wood frame band saw made using the blue and red pinstripped wood spoked wheels off a 1927 Chevrolet. It was a primitive but fantastic machine, the kind of thing that belonged in a museum. He also had a tennon machine that was built of wood and used to make thousands of stair rail pickett tennons. His pride and joy however was an ancient metal turning lathe that he used to make all kinds of parts for other machinery. About a year after I saw his shop it burned and was a 100% loss. I had wanted to go back and take pictures of the machinery but never did. . .
- guru - Wednesday, 03/29/06 08:53:37 EST

chambersburg: John, the ebay # for the hammer is 7598918043
Sure looked like a nice one!
- peto - Wednesday, 03/29/06 08:56:20 EST

Mercer Museum books an Millwright's Guide: I'm moving to this forum from the other. I wanted to laud Henry Chapman Mercer again. There are two "Mercer books" which I recommend to those with an historical bent. One is authored by Mercer, "Ancient Carpenter's Tools", illustrated with photos of tools from his collection. It is available in paper from the Bucks County Historical Society bookstore:

We don't hear much about Mercer's underwriting of an expedition begun in 1921. He outfitted and financed an exploration of Chinese tools, in which Rudolf P. Hommel was in charge. Unfortunately, Mercer died before the completion of the resulting book, "China at Work". Hommel spent some years in China gathering photos and documentation. Hommel maintains that the Chinese people at that time had an aversion to getting photographed, and that they did not even want their artifacts to be photographed. Nevertheless, the book was completed in 1937 and printed for the Bucks County Historical Society, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, by the John Day Company, New York. It is a beautiful book, roughly divided into: "Tools to Make Tools [blacksmithing]; Food; Clothing; Shelter; Transport.

Some of you may know that there was a standard text written in 1860 by Oliver Evans, "Young Mill Wright and Miller's Guide". We were talking on the other forum about water wheels, races, etc. This book is still considered THE reference for anyone setting up a water powered grist or sawmill. It was reprinted as a trade paper, ISBN # 1894572904.
Frank Turley - Wednesday, 03/29/06 10:25:33 EST

Oliver Evans:
This work revolutionized the Milling industry in the Americas. Our mill was built before this revolution and was upgraded in the mid 1800's and then again in the late 1800's. . . An elevator system was the big change brought to milling by Evans. Pre Evans mills relied on manual labor to carry grain in sacks up to the third floor of most mills. Here it went into a hopper and passed through several machines to be dehulled and cleaned. Then it was carried back up to the third or fourth floor to be put into a hopper to be cleaned and then milled, and then it was carried back up AGAIN to be cleaned and sifted. . .

This system relied on slavery (either real or economic) in the North and South.

The change that put most of these old mills out of business was the pure food and drug act. This required that all those wooden bins, hoppers, elevators and chutes be replaced or lined with steel to keep out insects and rats. Most mills shut their doors. The few that continued to operate did so milling feed that was not for human consumption. The law and the closing of thousands of what HAD been valuable businesses resulted in decades of insurance fires and the loss of many picturesque mills.
- guru - Wednesday, 03/29/06 12:50:24 EST

flypress or treadle hammer?: hi guys!
I want to make small things, hammers, tongs, ironwork.....
what is the best for punching an hammer head, flypress or treadle ?
if you choose the flypress, what size do you recommand?
- kevin - Wednesday, 03/29/06 16:55:32 EST

Flypress or Treadle:
Kevin, These are two distinctly different machines used for different purposes.

FIRST, Neither is a replacement for a power hammer. If you power the thing yourself there is a limit to the amount of work you can do PERIOD. No machine increases the total work capacity that you can do. For gross changing of cross sections, drawing out and making long tapers a power hammer (or several helpers) is required.

Flypresses and treadle hammers have the same limitation, YOU are the power supply. The difference is how the power is transmitted and controlled.

A treadle hammer is a leg operated sledge hammer. It can strike both light and heavy blows in a slow steady manner acording to your leg strength. Two hands are used to hold the work and guide the tooling. Tooling can be rapidly realigned, angled and changed. Treadle hammer guru Jere Kirkpatrick uses a three way tool to quickly change from one shape to another in an instant. IF you can stand on one foot and hold the workpiece in one hand and the tooling in another a treadle hammer is very advantageous. It is not for everyone.

A flypress holds the tool for you in a guided ram. For punching and other alignment critical jobs this is an advantage over the treadle hammer. In this tool you hold the work with one hand and operate the wheel with the other. No balancing on one foot. The force of the fly press is easy to control but it is not a fast machine. You cannot cycle it rapidly like a treadle. Its power is also limited by how fast your arm can accelerate the wheel. On a treadle hammer if you need a REAL HARD blow you can lean into it with all your might.

Both machines are capable of small runs as well as production jobs. The flypress is probably better for production jobs because the skill is in the tooling and anyone that can but a piece in the dies and pull a lever can use it. In a treadle hammer much more skill is required to do EVERYTHING.

You can build your own treadle hammer with a hand saw, drill and a buzz box. A flypress requires a well equiped machine shop and serious skills. It is better to buy one than to build.

Me, I am a tool builder, I like a fly press. However, there are many jobs that take three hands that a treadle hammer can make possible. . . I also like POWER and neither of these machines have power.

Decisions, decisions. . .
- guru - Wednesday, 03/29/06 18:34:07 EST

Flypress or Treadle Hammer: I suppose that for punching holes in hammer haeds, I'd opt for the flypress, as it will stay perfectly aligned as long as you keep the workpiece in the same spot. With the treadle hammer, you are responsible for both the workpiece and the tooling.

For all-around use, I might choose the treadle hammer, as your regular anvil tooling will all pretty much work with it. With the flypress, you'd have to make new tooling.

Personally, I like my powerhammer, and I want both a flypress and treadle hammer, too. Also a rolling mill, a hydraulic press, a lathe, a mill, a TIG welder, etc, etc, etc. I admit it, I'm a tool junkie.
vicopper - Wednesday, 03/29/06 19:34:59 EST

Interesting Blacksmith Statue: I found an interesting statue on ebay of a 7ft tall blacksmith. It is pretty interesting looking.

item # 9303009308

FredlyFX - Wednesday, 03/29/06 19:46:05 EST

Blacksmith Statue: The Blacksmith Statue is really neat. I think I will put in a bid on it. BOG...LOLOL.
- Burnt Forge - Wednesday, 03/29/06 20:50:28 EST

Moving a LG25: Hello All, Without gettin sappy, I just want to thank everyone on this board for all your help. I listened to the stories and advise, formed a plan and went to work. Everything went very smooth and I think the hardest part was putting to rest the concerns I had.
I figure its only fair that I give a quick description of what I did for anyone doing the same job. So here it goes.
First I removed the 3 ram guide bolts and the guides. Next a removed the bolt and washer to the accentric pin and removed the ram,arms,spring and crosshead in one piece. Next I pulled the 6 bolts holding the crankshaft journal caps and removed them, the flywheel,crankshaft,pully and clutch ass. in one piece. Then I pulled the clutch fork off just because it seemed fragile and thought it best. I also removed the motor and bracket for a total of 2 more bolts. This took all of 15 min amd made a huge difference in reducing its tendancy to be top-heavy. As for the frame I decided to spend a little more (about 60 bucks) and rent a truck with a lift gate. I used a crowbar and got the frame up on 2" iron pipes and rolled it to the gates edge. Then I used a come-along and pulled it onto the liftgate. I made several wedges from 2x4s and wedged it so It could not roll and up it went. Then I used the come-along again to pull it to the center if the truck.
I cut 2x4s to box in the foot and screwed them into the wood
deck of the truck. Then I chained the *%$# out of it with load binders and away I went. Could not have gone smoother.
Anyway thats my story and Im stickin to it. Thanks again, Really,
peto - Wednesday, 03/29/06 22:13:53 EST

flypress: I've had my denbieh 5 ton flypress set up for a few weeks now & am slowly building tools & tool holders for it. I made 3 punches & another punch holder.

You can get more strokes per minute on a treadle hammer, but you have to stand on one foot. The flypress requires you to have everything set up so you can work one handed. A treadle is usually cheaper to come by too.

Where I've had the best experience so far is in working copper. Don't have to be in a hurry & you can really control the amount of squish you want.

I don't have a treadle & think I've made the better choice for me. But everyone has different needs & interests (Vicopper, I am fortunate enough to have a mill, lathe, press, welder, & if I can just make myself stick with it long enough to make them pay for themselves)
- Mike Sa - Wednesday, 03/29/06 23:36:04 EST

Chambesburg hammer, looks very nice little hammer, someone got a bargin!
Blacksmith statue, hideous in my opinion (and his anvil looks a bit on the high side :)
John N - Thursday, 03/30/06 05:22:23 EST

Mike Sa: If it is of any interest to you I posted a bunch of pictures in the Gallery "across the street" in Look under "contributors" and find "Ellen" and there they are.
Ellen - Thursday, 03/30/06 10:40:37 EST

flypress: Ellen, Yes I checked out your site. Very nice stuff. I did steal a couple of ideas from your photo's of tooling (with a bit of a twist....that's what I like about this craft, you can take an idea & segway it into a whole different direction if you want).
- Mike Sa - Thursday, 03/30/06 14:08:54 EST

flypress or treadle!: thanks for yours comment and help, I'll make a treadle.... and I'll search a flypress!
best regards.......
kevin - Thursday, 03/30/06 14:33:10 EST

A great day: Started off in the Dr.'s office where I was informed that my prostate biopsies were NEGATIVE!! :)

Then traveled to The Forge at Cedar Hill where I met Jeff G. and he kindly showed me his operation-thank you Jeff. Then finished the afternoon at "Her majesties Ironworks", locatd outside of Lancaster, OH where I met Jim Walls and purchased one of the fine 3 burner gassers that he builds.

A fine day for me, can't stop grinning.
Brian C - Thursday, 03/30/06 17:45:17 EST

Mike: Would love to see some photos of your flypress tooling.....grin....that IS what is great about this craft. That and my trip to Apache Steel this AM where I bought S-7, A-2, D-2 and 4140 by the pound since it was odds and ends and some odd shapes as from machine shop scrap. $2.50 a # for S7 is nice! As I told Jerry (mgr there) not the right shape? I'll get it hot and make it the right shape.
Ellen - Thursday, 03/30/06 17:57:02 EST

Brian: After all the C news lately that is great news indeed!
Ellen - Thursday, 03/30/06 17:57:52 EST

Brian C: You are more than welcome. Let us know how that forge works, some of the guys in our group might want to get one.
- Jeff G. - Thursday, 03/30/06 21:36:05 EST

Biopsies: Good on ya, Bro.Brian!!! Terrific news!! How'd ya like that biopsy gizmo ? 'Bout like being goosed with a cattle prod, isn't it ? BOG (Actually, it's not all that bad, guys, especially when compared to finding out too late to do anything about it.)
3dogs - Friday, 03/31/06 03:17:21 EST

Biopsies: It wasnt bad at all, as you say Brother Paul. The ultrasound unit is a little uncomfortable, but the biopsies themselves were painless. This young Dr. that I saw is relly up-to-date, and uses numbing meds.

It is a heckuva relief to get that news.
Brian C - Friday, 03/31/06 10:16:08 EST

Books: There seems to be a further surge in blacksmithing books, it seems Lorelei Simms has one coming out this summer. Just when I thought I had them all . . .
Escher - Friday, 03/31/06 11:16:15 EST

Hey all: I wanted to introduce myself here as I used to be on all the time, but kind of lost track of everyone.

I'm not a blacksmith but certainly enjoy the discussions. I went to a hammer-in with my oldest boy a few years ago, around Loveland, CO, and wanted to see if there might be another happening soon. I now have two boys to bring to it :)


- PyroRob - Friday, 03/31/06 13:01:34 EST

PyroBob: Most of the old keenjunk crew hangs out at forgemagic dot com nowadays.
- John Odom - Friday, 03/31/06 13:37:44 EST

wood planes: A fellow in our model shop here at work has a facination with wood planes. Does anyone know of a good book on old planes, especially oriented to the construction of them. He'd like to make some, but wants to follow the old world way of making them (I am talking about wood working here, not airplanes :) ).
- Mike Sa - Friday, 03/31/06 14:12:12 EST

flypress tooling: Ellen, if the wife & I can ever master sending pictures, I'll post some. We're kornpletely kornfused with these kornputer gadgets.
- Mike Sa - Friday, 03/31/06 14:14:57 EST

Mike Sa: Just for starters, The Handplane Book by Garrett Hack is a tremendous book for plane collectors. Also, Making and Mastering Woodplanes by Fink and Krenov. I have not read the second book, but a good friend of mine studied under Krenov at the College of the Redwoods. Krenov teaches his students to make thier own planes , and the ones that my friend has made are superior to any plane I have ever purchased. I have about 180 in my cabinets. Working with antique woodworking tools is what led me into the world of blacksmithing. Those two books would be a good start I think.
- Jeff G. - Friday, 03/31/06 15:12:31 EST

Hand made planes:
Garrett Wade used to sell beautifully made wooden planes. Some of the features such as the tongue and groove sole were beyond making by hand. The articles in the link below indicate this is bad design. . sure looks nice.

Garret Wade still carries Ulmia benches. Works of art. . . looking for a Christmas gift?

The articles at the following site are TOO much for me. . and I used to think wood working was something to do to relax from metal working.
- guru - Friday, 03/31/06 17:11:33 EST

PyroRob: Rocky Mountain Smiths put on the spring hammer-in, if you join their Yahoo group(free)you will recieve weekly emails about what is going on in the front range. See you there.
Rocky Mtn Smiths
habu - Friday, 03/31/06 22:49:16 EST

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