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

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

Make vs Buy: The nice thing about being a hobbiest is that I never have to think in terms of how much money will the tool earn me. When someone asks how much my time is worth, the dollar value is pretty much 0. The fun value is close to infinite. So if it's snowing out, I have to choose between paying someone to plow, leaving me free to play in the shop, or spending a couple hours shoveling by myself. Since fun value is infinite, the $35 plowing fee pales in comparison.

I'm looking forward to making the hammer, just for the experience. And the $100 I don't use to buy the hammer will pay for hours in the shop next winter.

But I have no doubt the hammer is worth every one of those 10,000 pennies. My mentor, Ken, was a farrier. When I first started learning, I saw a Champion rounding hammer on eBay going for $90. I was scoffing at the ridiculous price, but Ken just looked at me and said, "Yeah, that's what they go for."
- Marc - Friday, 04/15/05 08:26:24 EDT

Thank You: I would like to Thank Uri & Jock for taking the time to write to me. I will be purchasing the Uri hammer and DVD on hammer tech. I am looking forward to all the help theses techniques will give me with my health issues. If it was not for anvilfire web site I would have never known of Uri Hofi. The anvertising does work here for the blacksmith supply advertisers. When I get some extra money I would like to join CSI as I can see a lot of hard work and and generous time is given to everyone who has questions and a desire to improve or gain more knowledge in blacksmithing. I would like to thank all the other CSI members who contribute to this site as well. Special Thanks to Uri Hofi and Jock Demsey for the time they took to email me with helpful information. I think we are very lucky to have such skilled smiths who give time freely to help those of us who could use there expertise. Uri unstood my situation and that gives me the fuel to never give up and try new techniques and approaches to make blacksmithing still a reality for me today. Thank You all again. :)
burntforge - Friday, 04/15/05 10:07:46 EDT

The great thing about smithing is that you *can* make all your tools---but you don't have to!

The fellow who is currently coming over to forge on Sundays was surprised when he wanted to make a set of tongs to find out I had only done 1 pair---and that in Ti---till I explained that I could make a pattern welded knife in about the same time it took me to make a set of tongs and I could find the tongs for about $5 fleamarketing and sell the knife for over $100...well the real reason is I enjoy the knifemaking...

Hmm starting to get an idea of how to use the screwpress to make tongs faster...

Thomas P - Friday, 04/15/05 11:36:43 EDT

$100 for Hammer: A $15 hardware store hammer, after dressing and some work on the handle, will work fine. A $25 sq faced hammer from a BS supplier, after dressing and some work on the handle, will work fine too. You can do most of the Hofi technique with such a hammer. I generally dont blow extra $$ to buy a pretty tool when a serviceable one is available for less. I try to make my own whenever I think I can. But to a smith, the hammer is special. You spend a lot of time with it and a lot of time thinking about it. The hammer becomes part of your hand, part of your brain. Even more so when you dont have power forging equipment and must do all your forging by hand, on your own. So in my book, $100 for a perfectly designed hammer, beautifully forged by a master smith seemed a like a very sweet deal. I liked the first one so much that I got two more as gifts. But if people hadn't got the hint, I would have gotten them anyway just would have taken longer.

Hofi video. Uri was kind enough to send me an email. Ahem, my ears are burning a bit. :) Also he included a lik for the Hofi DVD WWW.SIMONSEZPRODUCTION.COM
- adam - Friday, 04/15/05 13:33:59 EDT

Cost of things: A long time ago, an old used car salesman told me that ""need" is only how people justify getting what it is they "want." Find out what they want then you tell them why they need it, and you've made the sale" It has made life's choices much easier for me ever since.
Habu - Friday, 04/15/05 15:44:33 EDT

Wagon Mound (NM) Ranch Supply lists Sharp/Carter rounding hammers, 2, 2 1/4, 2 1/5 pounders, on its website for $245. Twenty dollars extra for a 3-pounder. That's for a manual, self-actuating hammer, mind you, no auxiliary power.
Miles Undercut - Friday, 04/15/05 19:41:29 EDT

That is what I expected the $90 hammers of the early 1980's to be selling for by now. . and they DO sell.
- guru - Friday, 04/15/05 21:12:20 EDT


Sales are actually fairly simple. Let me give a couple of examples.

Person A makes a product. Nobody buys it. Person A stops making the product.

Person B makes a product. People buy it. Person B continues making the product.

None of the reasons WHY people do or do not buy a product are really part of that process. Those reasons are side issues.

But if a product remains on the market, somebody is buying it. If the product did not satisfy some need, want, or longing, people would not buy it.

It's that simple.

Paw Paw - Friday, 04/15/05 22:37:22 EDT

Uncle-Where are you?..J
- jimmy seale - Friday, 04/15/05 23:04:44 EDT

Matthew -- I am a Tool&Die maker, and coming from the manufacturing industries that nearly replaced blacksmithing, I have a slightly different point of view: When communication and transportation developed to the point that someone could sell a product by the thousand or million, methods to produce that quantity of goods in a timely fashion had to be devised. a bunch of smiths each making one part at a time wasn't going to cut it. Mass production of common consumer goods lowered cost which increased demand. Closed die forging, metal stamping, automated machining,die casting, plastic molding & better fabrication methods made this posible. This left art/sculpture, repair, & custom work to the blacksmith, who in turn uses modern equiptment to reduce labor content and save time in order to controll the cost of thier survaces. The art/sculpture,& hobby aspect may come and go as people's tastes and interests change, and industrial smithing will folow trends in industry in general. There will alwaysbe some work for some people.
Dave Boyer - Friday, 04/15/05 23:56:14 EDT

bradley rubbers: does anyone out there have a line on them???/ or the leather strapping ????? thanks!!!!!! happy hammering
- pete - Saturday, 04/16/05 06:20:59 EDT

ebay anvil: Anyone have an opinion on this:
Damn nice if genuine.
Be interested to hear what you experts have to say.
Paul Ujj - Saturday, 04/16/05 10:03:20 EDT

Paul Uii:

I have a bidders watch on that anvil. I like it enough that I'm going to bid on it.
Paw Paw - Saturday, 04/16/05 12:13:35 EDT

That is one OLD beat up anvil. . .

Would you believe that "wheelwrights" anvil that we all agreed was some kind of industrial bracket or standoff is up to $350. . . There's one born every day.
- guru - Saturday, 04/16/05 12:55:24 EDT

Things that sell:
One example of how the market works it the US patent office. It has thousands (maybe millions) of inventions that were never produced and are not on the market. Why? Well, they may have been unique but they were not particularly GOOD ideas or MARKETABLE ideas or even MANUFACTURABLE. .

The inventors but a LOT of work and money into those inventions. But they may not have studied the market or asked IF such an invention was needed or wanted. Often obtaining the patent is driven by ego without other considerations.

- guru - Saturday, 04/16/05 13:06:38 EDT

old anvil: First thing I thought of when I seen it was "where did they find Will's anvil!"
JimG - Saturday, 04/16/05 14:15:49 EDT

MOYMMD Contest: Ok, lets have a contest to see what MOYMMD in Pawp's posting 04/15/05 22:37:22 EDT means.
I think it means Most Of Your Mind Might Depart
JimG - Saturday, 04/16/05 17:32:37 EDT

Hofi Anvil & Hammer and more:


Now that the sea is calmed I like to add some water of mine.
The more you can do with a tool the better tool it is. It aplies to "all" tools and to the anvil too.and I agree with the guru. The anvil and the fire the air hammer the swadgeblock and the vice must be arranged in a way that you do not move a lot waste time heat and energy, and the anvil is the center of our work,.and again I want to emphasize the more you can forge bend, scroll, upset punch straight split cut use all the hardy tool and bolsters easy without moving from the anvil "a better anvil it is" !!!!

This are the guide line of the design of my anvil (Mr. Phil Cox and Mr. T C had nothing to do with the design!! the only thing that Mr Phil Cox did is to transfer the metric units into inch English units and all the rest is stories).

The anvil is not standing in the air and it need to be supported. There are many ways and materials and forms to support an anvil. I found that the three legs with the 1.5" steel plate when the legs are of 2x4" hollow bar welded in 22 degrees to the plate gives the best support and makes it easy to forge near the anvil. What does it means "best support"

1. It is comfortable to stand and forge near the anvil ,you can move easy around and stand straight up and forge.
2. By glueing the anvil to the steel base with silicon rubber or pu-sika-flex 11cf will make them one unit and bring the anvil to "life" means : when the anvil and the base are one unit and the legs are welded in 22 degrees.
The anvil is not dead it is reacting to the hammer blow like a spring and not absorbing the impact, it is easier to rais the hammer and you forge more and faster.

The base is designed that you can go with the steel all around to the floor with "all" the prlchel holes too!!

The round cone of the anvil is not round and not oval it hes thre different radiuses to alow to forge any form you want .may be not all is clear to you all but this is the the problem with the Internet the "Hofi hammer" is an ergonomic balanced hammer that you can forge easy move a lot of steel maintain the heat create heat and form fast long time without damaging your body!!!

There are two versions of the hammer: Forged and Cast
The forged is from SAE 1045 steel the cast from SAE 8650 steel. Today because of the lost wax castings the cast hammer is superior to the forged one

1. because you can design it more balanced
2. because of the ceramic mould the air is leaving the mould from all sides and the field of grain is even! This is what we are trying to get by forging.

Every hammer is X-rayed and have 56-58 Rc .

As to the price, I do not want to go into the dispute I want just to put it back in the right proportion. I forge with my first balance hammer now 15 years means $6 a year. If you put a quarter or 25 cents a day in one and a half year you have a life time hammer. Less then a ciggaret a day. Every one that wants to try and forge the hammer it is OK with me if you have questions ask.

I do not like the phrase "there are many ways to skin a cat'
It covers every thing the good and the bad the wrong and the right (not from the moral point of view. There are very little right ways that we have to choose between them. The selection is not easy and you have to be as a teacher very carful. There is tradition, belief, stories, my grandfather did it that way. Today in the modern era with our knowledge in science we have to penetrate through al this and to try and find the right way. gossip brings to perception , perceptions brings to lies ,lies bring to hatred. Hatred brings to war we have to be very carful with what we say and how we say it. I do not understand why it disturbing some one that I am opinionated or I have an ego? Yes if I would speak and do I vaine, but whatever I say or do or teach I can stand fore it and prove and verify.

As to Dan P I accepted your apology un conditionaly as you said try in the feuture to think before you write.

We have in the Hebrew language a phrase
"Life and death in the hand of the language"
Thank you for your time.
- URI HOFI - Saturday, 04/16/05 17:43:16 EDT


I was thinking "My Opinions Yield Mucho Mental Diarrhea".
eander4 - Saturday, 04/16/05 17:48:06 EDT

old anvil: Good luck Paw Paw - If I didn't live in Oz I'd be bidding too ....
Paul Ujj - Saturday, 04/16/05 17:49:12 EDT

Today's Demo: Went to a Michigan Artist Blacksmith demo today. Saw CSI buddy Brian Robertson there. This fella there, had FIVE power hammers in his shop! And he used 4 of them today! I've got power hammer envy. Am I gonna die? He told me that at one time, he had 17 power hammers there! Geez, some people! Anyway, he did a real nice demo. He really knows how to use those hammers. The Erie he showed us, man, that thing runs like a machine gun when he puts the petal to the metal. Never saw anything like that. Pretty cool. The other hammers he used were Nazels. A 3, a 2, and a 1. Pretty darn impressive. It got up to 75 degrees today, a beautiful day to drive to the demo. I'm glad I went.
Bob H - Saturday, 04/16/05 21:22:56 EDT

Jim G.: My

Paw Paw - Saturday, 04/16/05 21:55:17 EDT

Contest: No fair Pawp!
I should hope you knew what it meant!!!!!!!!
JimG - Saturday, 04/16/05 22:01:00 EDT

Uri Hofi:

Many thanks for your explanatory message. And for your gracious acceptance of Dan's apology.

As for the price of your hammer, I think it is most reasonable. I paid $80 for a hand made, diagonal peen hammer that was custom made for me several years ago. It's been worth every penny, and more.

As for opinions and ego? Heck we ALL have both. As we should.
Paw Paw - Saturday, 04/16/05 22:01:26 EDT

Opinions & ego: As a fellow once told Me: "You gotta blow Yer own horn, 'cause aint nobody gona blow it for ya" If You don't belive in your own methods, why should anybody else?
- Dave Boyer - Sunday, 04/17/05 00:41:31 EDT

It looks like a pony brace I saw on a boiler tank 15 years ago.
But I'm not a will writer??,,wheelwhiter??,,,.Whatever.
!) Grinin away
DanDskavenger - Sunday, 04/17/05 08:53:09 EDT

HAMMERS: There has been a lot of converstion about hammers. Most people have not used enough different hammers to understand hammers. There is a real difference in balance, handleing and ability to move the metal the way you want it to go, with less fatique on the elbow and shoulder.
I have not seen a URI Hammer, much less tried one. My bet is that I would find something good about it. Yesterday I was at JIM KEITH'S shop all day. I used several of his hammers and found them to be nice, easy using hammers. I left my pet hammer at home on purpose. I wanted to try JIM'S hammers and glad I did. He had one on his big anvil, I could have taken home and used in place of my pet hammer.GRIN It was the nicest, easyiest to use hammer I have ever tried.. It was lighter than my hammer and moved metal, just a little better. My sore elbow was not bothered by using it.GRIN.. That was the clincher. Had to be the shape of the handle. SO,, I will rehandle my pet.BOG.MORAL OF STORY--- Do not condemn something until you try it.

- sandpile - Sunday, 04/17/05 13:31:58 EDT

Very old ebay anvil: I just have one wish: that it goes to a good home that appreciates it for it's history. What a tragedy it would be if someone attempts to 'restore' it!
Paul Ujj - Sunday, 04/17/05 17:52:13 EDT

Multiple Power hammers: Bob, You quickly find out what efficiency is when you see someone using more than one power hammer to do a job, applying each machine to its best advantage.

When doing closed die work my friend Josh gives each billet a gentle nudge in the right direction on a big hammer with open dies to break the scale. Then he moves to the closed dies to forge the piece. By knocking off the scale as a seperate step he gets cleaner work and the dies last longer. There is also less scale deposited in the die depression to clean out between parts.

When using the new BigBLU's with the Hofi die system it is most efficient to have combination forging dies in one hammer and crown dies in another. Working between the two types of dies you can do amazingly fast efficient free hand forging without extra hand tools.

Efficiency is the name of the game in this business. We are in a global economy like it or not.
- guru - Sunday, 04/17/05 18:08:41 EDT

Paul Uii:

Trust me, I have NO intention of "restoring" it. I may not even use it.

But I want it and if at all possible, I *WILL* have it!
Paw Paw - Sunday, 04/17/05 19:34:38 EDT

Sales: This discussion reminds me of the rival 19th century shoe salesman who land from the same ship in a newly opened African port. The first wires back to his company: "No market. No one wears shoes." The second wires: "Excellent market. Everyone needs shoes."

You can't sell a product if there's no demand, but sometimes you have to generate the demand.
Mike B - Sunday, 04/17/05 19:57:42 EDT

Opinions:: I have been told that I am very opinionated. My answer is that I would rather have opinions than not.

Forgot to mention about Saturdays demo. Saw one of Uri Hofi's old style hammers. Ron Bishop had some guy work in his shop, just after that guy left from training with Uri. Yeah, I don't remember his name, I am over 40 after all. Anyways, it was in 1988, cause that is what he stamped on the hammer that the two of them made together. It is not as squat as the hammers now, but Ron really likes his.
Bob H - Sunday, 04/17/05 21:52:48 EDT

Forging on:: I felt pretty good today, and after doing some necessary chores around here, I snuck out to the forge and fired it up. Finished up my Calla Lillies for my wife, but still need to make some sort of base. They are her Valentines gift, although a bit late. And then I forged up a little scroll to go on the new mail box post I planted today. The paint is drying on that, and I should install it tomorrow. Sure is fun to get out there and play.
Bob H - Sunday, 04/17/05 21:56:15 EDT

test test
- crosspean - Tuesday, 04/19/05 06:15:56 EDT

Looks like monday evaporated . . .

Well, just a quick note of thanks for the review of the NC whisper Momma. I did not trust my abilities to play with gas to make a forge myself, so saved up to buy a good one. The Momma is as advertised, took me about a half-hour to get connected and take care of small leaks in the system. Then fired it and had the first half-inch stock forging in under 5 minutes. I was jawing with a neighbor a little while later and ended up sparking the piece as well. Quite hot.

Absolutely fabulous. Of course, now I have to clean out my shop (read falling down garage) and put in more tools . . .

Join CSI, it is certainly worth the price.

( proud member since . . . well, awhile now anyway ;-)} )

Escher - Tuesday, 04/19/05 10:48:32 EDT

CBA spring conf: Hi. Is anyone going to the California Blacksmiths Association Spring Conference at the end of this week? Hope to run into you.

EricC - Tuesday, 04/19/05 12:39:17 EDT

CBA: Eric, much too far for me but the Kaynes (BlacksmithsDepot) are on the way!
- guru - Tuesday, 04/19/05 14:53:55 EDT

CBA conf: Taxes did us in this year so even though we are in So.Cal, SF is just too far to go this year. Have fun!
- Wayne Parris - Tuesday, 04/19/05 15:04:48 EDT

Conferences : Well I am not going to be at the CBA event either. But I AM going to Hawaii to welcome our son back from Iraq.....

Does this count? (smile)
Ralph - Tuesday, 04/19/05 17:03:05 EDT

CBA: I'll be there. Volunteered to help out. Don't know what i'll be doing yet...
mike-hr - Tuesday, 04/19/05 17:54:25 EDT

CBA-EVENT-COST: WAYNE--Don't give up!! The price of gas just went down, TEN cents per gallon. We have been setting on $2.29. My daughter goes to college on the other side of AMARILLO, at the small town of CANYON TX. and she bought gas last night for $1.90, thats is the cheapest around here and in a college town, too.
- sandpile - Tuesday, 04/19/05 18:40:08 EDT

OLD-OBSOLETE-ANVIL: P-P What about the old anvil, did you get or not??Grin.
The oldest anvil I ever saw was an anvil that was in our family. We had possession of the little booger from, in the early 1800's to 1969 or 70. Some one stole it out of my pick-up. I don't remember anything(material) that has ever had such a bad impact on me.
- sandpile - Tuesday, 04/19/05 18:49:39 EDT


Haven't bid on it yet, there's still two days + on the auction. I don't want to start a bidding war, so I'm going to snipe this one.
Paw Paw - Tuesday, 04/19/05 20:48:44 EDT

CSI: How long does it usually take for csi membership to be activated. used paypal for it.
Jason - Wednesday, 04/20/05 06:29:45 EDT

Events: Thank you Jock for the site and event listings. I just posted the date for Touchstone Center for Crafts/Pittsburgh Area Artist Blacksmith Association conference in May, with a link to the PAABA web page for a lot more detailed information. Doug Wilson is the feature demonstrator.
Jymm Hofman - Wednesday, 04/20/05 08:23:28 EDT

CSI: Jason, You are the first to use our NEW paypal account! These are setup manualy and it will get done today.
- guru - Wednesday, 04/20/05 10:41:04 EDT

Calendar Page:
Jymm, thank you for using our Calendar page. I really helps folks that plan to go to multiple events OR are looking for events they might have missed. Wish I could attend more of them myself. .
- guru - Wednesday, 04/20/05 10:44:14 EDT

gas and CBA: Sandpile, the cost of the gas is not the only factor but here in So.Cal, we have been hovering at the $2.65 mark for weeks. I buy my gas at Costco for $2.49 so that helps a little. I bought gas last night,no price drop here, yet.
- Wayne Parris - Wednesday, 04/20/05 12:17:25 EDT

Petrol: Brace yerself, Wayne. The barrel price just went back up to $53.
3dogs - Wednesday, 04/20/05 13:22:08 EDT

I'm in a state of shock! Got a package from Garland Mfg. Company. From UPS. Opened the package to find two rawhide mallets in different weights and a split head hammer with rawhide, nylon and copper insert faces.

I hadn't ordered any hammers! Then I found a letter from Dan Garland, saying that he had read a review of my work on anvilfire and that I had supplied a link for a rawhide hammer. These were complimentary hammers!

I immediately heated a piece of 1/2" square stock, twisted it, and deliberately bent it. Then I straightened it with the copper inserts in the split head hammer. Worked perfectly, and has both a nice weight and good balance.

I can't reccomend them highly enough!
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 04/20/05 13:25:43 EDT

Over a Barrel:
Gasoline prices here in VA have been nuts. From one day to the next prices change 30-40 cents and vary that much from place to place. Although retailers still only have a 10 cent markup and cannot create that kind of change, the oil distributors and oil suppliers DO have that power and are apparently making a mint.

Most of the increase in gasoline prices is going to Saudia Arabia and other countries where the terroists that want to destroy us come from. . . We are sending them more money.

It was also recently noted that the biggest holders of T-bills is China, Japan and Korea.

So we owe huge sums to China, Japan and Korea and we are sending huge sums to Saudia Arabia, Quatar, Iran. . . Our losses in the economic war are going to fund the other side in the oil and terrorism war. . . Isn't there something wrong with this picture???
- guru - Wednesday, 04/20/05 14:06:08 EDT

Price of Gas:: If this keeps up gasoline will soon cost more than bottled water. :-))
habu - Wednesday, 04/20/05 14:21:37 EDT

OIL and the ARABS: The high crude price kind of takes the wind out of the "It's all about oil" mantra concerning the Iraq war. Is Bush trying to get oil cheaper? or more expensive? or are we trying to buy less? or more? ????? Maybe the 'connection' is not as clear as some thought.
- Tom H - Wednesday, 04/20/05 16:02:28 EDT

Paw Paw old anvil: Hey Paw Paw
I was thinking of buying that very old anvil and welding a tool steel piece on it and heat treating it to make it flat and a good user anvil. I am going to torch in a hardie hole and drill a pritchel hole. I will likely cut the fifth foot off from it too. I may knock the horn off and use it for dressing drill bits for the sputter rig with a fifty pound sledge. What do you think?? Big Grin...I am just teasing. It is really a neat old anvil and I hope you can purchase it. I really wouldn't want to see anyone rebuild it either. It is a museum piece. :)
burntforge - Wednesday, 04/20/05 16:59:50 EDT

horse and buggy guys: I think we should go back to horse and buggies. Cheapier to feed the beast and shovel the poop than put fuel in your auto and repair it these days. I am just feeling spunky tonight. Thought I would add some entertainment. LOLOLOLOL.
burntforge - Wednesday, 04/20/05 17:05:02 EDT

Question: What would be the proper azimuth-deflection and elevation for a 30-06 round from North Carolina to wherever burntforge lives? We might find out before long.
- Larry - Wednesday, 04/20/05 23:16:00 EDT

Larry: I think He is out of range
Dave Boyer - Wednesday, 04/20/05 23:52:10 EDT

horse and buggy days?: So it is easier to get rid of the horse droppings? Why then did New York City ban horses from the City except for Police/Firemen and cabs? Mind you this was done around 1840 or so. It was due to the waste produced.

Of course I am fairly sure you are just joshing, but......
Ralph - Thursday, 04/21/05 01:09:21 EDT

Dave: Don't bet on it. Them old Green Berets are sneaky.
- Larry - Thursday, 04/21/05 08:02:33 EDT

Horse/Buggy: I know, LOL. However, compared with cars, I was thinking you still have wheel-tire-grease problems. As for the poor ol' nag: colic, navicular, spavins, ringbone, sidebone, curby hocks, founder, etc., etc., adinfinitum.
Frank Turley - Thursday, 04/21/05 09:54:48 EDT

Horse & Buggies: Hi Ralph
The NYC horse droppings thing is interesting. It makes sense with the population even back then. Sometimes I think a simple life like that would be less stressful. I enjoy a great deal watching the Amish farming with horses. I like watching them collecting the loose hay and the kids standing way up on the mound in the wagon. We have large Amish communities around here. On the other hand the family blacksmith shop was working untill 1995 and repairing wagons and shoeing a great deal of horses at this time. Still many wagons sitting around the shop. These were not done for the Amish, but regular poor farmers. I am sure they all had old tractors they used too. The way gas is going it sounds entertaining to think of those days anyway.
burntforge - Thursday, 04/21/05 10:09:02 EDT

Good Perspective: Good Morning Frank
I forgot all about those type of horse problems...darn I guess we will have to stick with autos. Maybe vet bills are as much as mech. repairs these days. LOLOL
burntforge - Thursday, 04/21/05 10:13:12 EDT

Interesting Larry: Larry??? People wonder why they want to ban guns??? I was teasing with Paw Paw since he is a great guy and likes that neat old anvil that is whistfully yearning from days past. You know right up his era of interest. I am going to guess you are joshing. I would recommend never typing such a death threat in the future as it may be taken very seriously by someone.
burntforge - Thursday, 04/21/05 10:22:00 EDT

Nothing wrong with that old anvil that heating it up and truing it under a good sized press wouldn't cure...

Frank, one advantage of the horse---sure tastes better on the BBQ than a car does when they've "thrown a rod"...

Thomas P - Thursday, 04/21/05 11:01:57 EDT

Gas Prices: I have a 4th cousin in Norway who is about the same age as me (59). He made a trip to this country in the early 70's and was amazed at the low prices of gas here. He bought an old Plymouth wagon and toured for 4 or 5 months and then sold it to return home. He said that at that time gas was almost $3 per gallon (american)in Norway. We have been spoiled by low priced gas for years and I don't think it is ever going to return to the prices we have seen in the past.

If you watched the Tour De France last year, there were literally thousands of vehicle along the tour routes, including many RV's. There wasn't a Winnebago or Foretravel, or Airstream among them. They are all smaller more gas efficient. Detroit started making some around the time of Iacocca because of the gas crunch, but got back to big block engines and vehicles as soon as things smoothed out. In a market driven economy, only the items that people are willing to buy will be manufactured.

One last word. I just finished a 3600 mile trip from Washington to San Diego to Phoenix (to see a new grandson) back to Seattle. Unleaded ran $2.55 to $2.69 most places. The most I paid was $2.89 in El Centro,California. I should have waited for Yuma, where it was 56 cents cheaper. It was over $3 per gallon in Needles, but I didn't have to fill up.
- Loren T - Thursday, 04/21/05 12:05:38 EDT

Old style farming: burntforge,
I spent 5 years in Europe ( Dad was Air Force) The last three years we lived in the country.( dairy farms) ANd as a curious lad ( was 12 at the time) I would to see what was what. Now the 3 siblings who owned the farm spoke no English and I spoke very little Dutch at the time, but Hans put me to work. Chopping wood, helping with the hay and silage. Milking, fence repair etc. You know all them things that have to be done. Point is that except for cutting and baling hay it was all done by hand. I learned how to use a scythe ( tho I am not sure I still know) Build fences etc..... I would say that it is something would love to do except that it is virtually impossible to get much more than a subsistance living now days.

Were some of the best years I have had.
Ralph - Thursday, 04/21/05 15:26:26 EDT

Old style farming part 2: After we left Holland my folks told me that Han and his two sisters wanted me to stay and help out and then when they passed on the farm would be mine.
Glad I did not have to know til after we left.... would have been a tough choice ( smile) Of course I suspect my folks said nothing as they would have been concerned about my desicion.....
Ralph - Thursday, 04/21/05 15:28:21 EDT

Nimba Anvils: About a week ago, Trapper asked about Nimba anvils. I have been in Japan, eating sushi, and I just got back, or I would have answered sooner.
As recent discussion here proves, trying to tell somebody else what kind of anvil they should buy is like trying to tell them which woman they should fall in love with (or man, as the case may be).
This is a very PERSONAL subject.
For instance, he asked about ring, and rebound. I have had mine for a year and a half now, and I use it a fair amount, and I couldnt tell you about either. I have never dropped a ball bearing on it. When I forge on it, the hammer seems to bounce back plenty good enough for me. But in absolute terms, I have no idea. As far as ring goes- I usually have the stereo cranked up so loud, playing loud electronic dance music, or punk, or free jazz, that I cant even hear a phone ring, much less an anvil.
My opinion of the Nimba is:
very well made, cast steel anvil. Clean and neat european design, made by a blacksmith with a very artistic eye. Cool names, cast into the body of the anvil in a macho typestyle- this is the kind of detail put into it by someone who is making them for love, not money.
I love the mass of it, and the solidity of the horn and the triangular horn as well. I love the way it looks. I think it will appreciate in value, as the high quality low production made in America item it is. It is my experience that the cast steel is not as hard as some anvils- I had a helper who dinged the surface with his over-enthusiastic blows, missing the work and hitting the anvil, and I have had to sand that out. It is pricier than a comperable euro anvil, but personally I prefer made in the USA, and I like supporting Russel Jaque, the maker.
Russel has been diagnosed with a particularly fast acting form of ALS, (lou gehrigs disease) and even though he is doing well on a chinese medical regime, he probably wont be with us all that much longer. I have no idea if the Nimba will be available after he leaves us, or not. So if you really are interested, nows the time to get one, and of course it wouldnt hurt Russel any if you bought one, as he is not doing any blacksmithing for money anymore.
If you are really interested, call up or email Russell and Wilene, and they can tell you who near you has bought one, and you can go over and see one in person- I think that is the best way to evaluate something like this.
Russell and Wilene are two of the sweetest people I know, and I have no doubt they will help you however they can.
ries - Thursday, 04/21/05 19:45:16 EDT

Joshing??: Uhh. Burnt. I wasn't joshing or making any sort of threats. I just know how these old warriors' minds work. Paw Paw is a good feller, but he is wound tight and the catch is a little worn. Comes from eatin' all them damn snakes and cockroaches out in the boonies. Just tread lightly where that anvil is concerned. Hope to see you at Quad State.
Thoms P. You know there's a big wide road that runs plumb out to where you live. You don't want to see Paw Paw's big box van come rollin' up out there, do you?
- Larry - Thursday, 04/21/05 20:40:37 EDT

If Pawpaw is on the warpath, ThomasP will NOT see the big box van. Pawpaw learned better than that. You always have to remember that while older than dirt, Pawpaw is a warrior, and they don't get old letting them see them coming!
ptree - Thursday, 04/21/05 21:15:14 EDT

Pawpaw, That was a conpliment, honest!:)
- ptree - Thursday, 04/21/05 21:16:13 EDT

Larry No Harm: Hi Larry
No Problem...I hope he is able to win that nice old anvil. I like it very much also. I have not bid on it since Paw Paw has his heart set on it...otherwise I would probably own it. I really hope he is able to purchase it. At least I hope he puts in a bid on it since I decided not to bid only because of his interest. I just wanted to tease him a little about it before he buys it. Grin :)
burntforge - Thursday, 04/21/05 22:17:52 EDT

Gas prices are high in other countries largely because those countries tax it more heavily. It would be nice if we could get those economical cars & trucks in the states, but they don't meet US specification in so many areas that conversion is impractcal.
Dave Boyer - Thursday, 04/21/05 23:09:19 EDT

My Mom grew up on one of those old fashoned farms & hated it.In 1940 Grandpop used the money Grandmom had saved up to get electricity to purchase His first[and only] tractor. They finally got electricity & telephone in 1950.The house did not have a toilet untill after someone else purchased the farm when Grandpop died in 1973.
Dave Boyer - Thursday, 04/21/05 23:18:27 EDT


Hmmn Bush Jr.... Texas....Oil mogul....Arabs....gas prices...Taxes... Bush and taxes...Hmmn,, yep I see a pattern
- thomas CarterIII - Friday, 04/22/05 04:28:13 EDT


I've got an auction snipe set on it, with my maximum bid. I can't afford a long bidding war, but I'll be in there at the last minute.
Paw Paw - Friday, 04/22/05 06:31:10 EDT

Paw Paw: I hope you win the anvil. It is right in your era of interest and goes along with the book you wrote. I know you will give it a good home. I bet it would be fun to do a re-enactment with that anvil. As they say: "if it could talk". It is so neat to image the history of that anvil and the people who used it. I hope it is in your price range. It is just too special for you not to own it. I can't wait to see a photo posted of you using it in period dress.
burntforge - Friday, 04/22/05 07:59:24 EDT

Paw Paw, you really need to build the wagon smithing set up from your book and haul it around to hammer-ins selling copies; just watch out for Atli---if he writes a book he'll be hauling the boat around and forging in a hole in the ground...

If I see the van, I know Paw Paw's here for a visit. If I see a chute *then* I'm worried---I'm all out of grits and rattlesnake for a welcome meal...

Thomas P - Friday, 04/22/05 11:14:11 EDT

won't see the chute....: Thomas, you would most likely never see the chute. It will be a night drop with a dark chute, most likely 10 or more miles away.
BUT I repeat BUT, if you DO see a chute call me. I will get down your way toot sweet and rent a big truck. After encountering PPW in that type of situation you will not need all that carefully hoarded iron stuff and tools. (VBG)
Ralph - Friday, 04/22/05 11:31:03 EDT

Paw Paw anvil: I just went on ebay and saw the last 30 secounds on that anvil you were bidding on. sorry you didn't win it. Do anvils like that usualy go for that much?
- Bjorn - Friday, 04/22/05 12:25:54 EDT

Paw Paw: I just checked on that anvil...sorry it went for more than you could go. That was alot of money for that anvil, though I think it is a priceless piece. I probably would have not gone anymore myself if I would have bid. I just wish you got it because that anvil is you.
burntforge - Friday, 04/22/05 13:15:26 EDT

Bjorn: Lot of money for that anvil. It because of what it is and age. Some special smitties here desired it for its whistful yearnings of centuries past. General anvils in that condition would not sell for a third of that price.
burntforge - Friday, 04/22/05 13:19:48 EDT

Antique Anvils:
Bjorn, Antique anvils, particularly those without pritchel holes and WITH a fifth foot are often classed as "Colonial" anvils (in the US) and are collector's items. Some small ones like this have sold for as much as $800 in recent years if in good condition. Blame Richard Postman on the collection craze. . .

I suspect that these prices may be a bit too high. However, good first class collections MAY sell for $1000 per unit as a collection. But don't hold your breath.
- guru - Friday, 04/22/05 13:20:59 EDT

Ralph, Since all good SF types generally plan an extraction, I am sure that Pawpaw will contact another former wearer of green cotton(starched) for the extraction. Especially as he has seen my large, heavyduty trailer!
Remember, warriors get grey, but no less sneaky!
ptree - Friday, 04/22/05 17:15:34 EDT

Pawpaw, sorry that you did not win that anvil. Shame you did not keep a couple of them when you helped make them.
ptree - Friday, 04/22/05 17:17:06 EDT

Ptree for shame! Paw Paw just wanted to upgrade to a newer model...

Thomas P - Friday, 04/22/05 17:46:49 EDT

GURU-How come my name is back in black?My check bounce??grin

- sandpile - Friday, 04/22/05 20:23:38 EDT


You won't see a chute at night. I prefer night drops. (grin)


No, the dog beat me out by $5 dam dollars! I hope I don'e see it at a tailgate, I'll be mad as he!!.


You aren't any sorrier than I am. I wish I had talked Sheri into a couple hundred more. At least then, I'd have made the winner pay enough to be respectful of what he had bought.

Paw Paw - Friday, 04/22/05 20:33:24 EDT

HeHe, Pawpaw missed the jib about haveing been there to help make that old anvil!
ptree - Friday, 04/22/05 20:47:13 EDT


I didn't miss it, I just considered the source and ignored it!
Paw Paw - Saturday, 04/23/05 00:18:20 EDT

Horses and Boot Scrapers: All of those original boot scrapers you see in the old parts of Alexandria, Annapolis and Philiadelphia (illustrated in Sonn) weren't for the mud. The streets in those areas were freqently cobblestone. Nope, they were for all the horse droppings that were liberally deposited in all of the streets, every day, all year round. You tried not to track it on the rug!
Bruce Blackistone - Saturday, 04/23/05 00:34:50 EDT

Catching up: To all,
Just a long over due ďTHANK YOU ALL!!!Ē for all the regards and support for my family and I during our time of need. Please excuse me for not sending this out sooner. We had quite a scare here. A few weeks ago we had sever flooding in my part of upstate NY. The flooding was as bad if not worse then I have ever seen it in my little valley. Several counties declared a state of emergency. I stood guard over my shop for about 48 hours strait, ready to evacuate any tools and equipment that I could if the flood level reached that point. My shop is located about ĺ to 1 mile from the Unadilla River and I had flood waters right to the back door of the shop. After a tense stand off (between me and the water) at the back door of my shop that lasted a few hours, it receded back towards the river taking pieces of the road with it, but spared the shop. I guess it figured I had enough doom and destruction for a while.
Things are looking up now. Temps are getting warmer and the days are getting longer. Yes sir, it looks like spring is here. Weíre moving forward at a slow but steady pace. I had my first demo of the year last Saturday at a regional folk and rural art showcase. I could not have ordered a nicer day! Weather was perfect, people were the bestÖit almost seemed a bit surreal.
Paw Paw,
My condolences on the anvil issue, but I think it was meant to be. You see I have an anvil that is VERY similar to the one you bid on. I found it years ago on the edge of a farmerís field, chained down onto a mostly decayed, old plow frame as weight. Right away I knew it was unique and I never could place it...until I saw the drawing of Willís anvil...its so close itís scary. I canít think of anyone I would rather have adopt this anvil than you. If you are interested I will try to email you a few photos this weekend.
I have sold off much of my shop down to the bear necessities, and for some reason I just havenít had the heart to part with this anvil...until now. Weíll have to find a way to get it to you, it weighs about 160 pounds, but if you want it...itís your anvil.
Thanks again to all.
Keith Barker
- Keith Barker - Saturday, 04/23/05 02:18:20 EDT

Keith Barker,:

I'm not often at a loss for words, but I am at the moment. Your generous offer stunned and surprised me. Yes, I am definitely interested in that anvil.

Thank you.
Paw Paw - Saturday, 04/23/05 07:53:33 EDT

keith: for the record....... what keith did for paw paw is one of the reason i love our community of smiths so much------ yeah there are plenty of arse holios but for every one of those there are 10 more like keith....... your posting put a smile on my face thanks keith............
- pete - Saturday, 04/23/05 08:05:11 EDT

steel plate: 4' by 9' by an 1 inch-------- with 4 inch wide strips of 1 inch plate welded to the bottom as if a pallet....... these where used to support pattern molds in a foundry..... approx weight 2000lbs asking price of 250$ can load onsite........ location near lynchburg va......will break the price if you buy 2 or more...... thanks everyone. happy hammering......
pete - Saturday, 04/23/05 08:11:11 EDT

Pete, if those are flat, what a great welding table!
ptree - Saturday, 04/23/05 08:49:52 EDT

Well, KEITH: You just proved my feelings about most folks. If they are treated fairly and with a good neigbor attitude, they will respond in the same way.
Paw-Paw has helped lots of folks and been re-payed with respect and goodwill. But this one will have the old phfart struggling with some thoughts of his own.
LIFE IS GOOD and I am glad wrinkles don't hurt.

- sandpile - Saturday, 04/23/05 12:01:43 EDT

Sandpile:: The real reason PawPaw is treated with respect is because we are afraid he'll use that damn knife on us!
Bob H - Saturday, 04/23/05 12:41:06 EDT


It wasn't my thoughts that I was struggling with.
Paw Paw - Saturday, 04/23/05 12:42:58 EDT

Will's Anvil: Paw Paw,
I just posted photos of the anvil on our photos page.
- Keith Barker - Saturday, 04/23/05 12:50:33 EDT

Will's Anvil: I guess I had better let you know where I put the photos.
You can find them in the folder named "Keith at..."
Keith Barker - Saturday, 04/23/05 13:04:03 EDT

Dang it. . : out of tissues in the office and cannot see for tears. . .
- guru - Saturday, 04/23/05 13:06:56 EDT

off topic: sorry this is off topic, but about how much would it cost to buy a used but working medium small post vice at a hammer in?
- Bjorn - Saturday, 04/23/05 13:16:58 EDT


That's not off topic, it's perfectly acceptable.

The answer to your question is partially dependent on your location. Here on the east coast, they range from $75 - $150, depending on size and condition. On the west coast they are considerably more than that.
Paw Paw - Saturday, 04/23/05 13:19:45 EDT

post vice : I live in the middle of the US, Kansas and i'm going to the Blacsmiths asotiation of Misourie's anual conferance next week. I don't have a good vice yet, so I figured it would be a good place to get one.
- Bjorn - Saturday, 04/23/05 13:36:25 EDT

THOUGHTS: Paw-Paw: The funnyiest thing, you can line your thoughts up like little ducks all in a row. It is the emotions, that overflow the tank, huh?? I knew Keith flipped your overflow.GRIN Yo tambein...

- sandpile - Saturday, 04/23/05 14:27:43 EDT

Vise Prices:
Bjorn, Like all used tools the prices varies greatly by condition. Leg vises are often 150 years old and can be worn plum OUT.

Prices in the mid west are lower than elsewhere and you will find complete vices for $50. However, the usual price is around $125 to $150 US and well worth it. Check NEW vice prices. Also note that the Chinese import vises with wide jaws are VERY light compared to the old vices. Leg vices over 100 pounds go for more and the price increases considerably as it approaches the 200 pound point as large leg vices are rare.

1) See our vices FAQ that shows parts and sizes.

2) Note that these were sold by the POUND not inches as everyone tries to size them by. A 150 pound 5" vise is worth more than a 90 pound 5" vise by another manufacturer.

3) Bench brackets are often missing and even though they are not hard to replace with a U-bolt the original brackets were better and nicer looking. Knock off $25 if missing.

4) Springs are easier to replace than the original style bench bracket but are often missing when the bracket is missing. Subtract another $25.

5) Check the screw for wear. An evenly worn screw is probably OK but if the wear is in a narrow area then try to clamp a piece of stock about 1/2" thick in the vice. I have seen threads worn to the striping point at that distance while they were in good shape otherwise.

A missing screw handle is easier to make than an OEM style bench bracket. Bent vices are often cheap but are easy to straighten out. Leg vises as light as 30 pounds are still a VERY durable and useful tool.
- guru - Saturday, 04/23/05 15:01:57 EDT

The BLUE only works on the guru's page.
- guru - Saturday, 04/23/05 15:07:54 EDT

COLOR: Yep, that was the one I was talking about.GRIN

- sandpile - Saturday, 04/23/05 15:24:22 EDT

Paw Paw's Anvil: Anybody who knows me knows I'm weird. But this whole affair with the anvil just goes to prove something I have been observing for years. "What goes around comes around." Paw Paw is not respected out of fear. He is respected because he respects other people. I frequently help people and never charge them for it, because I know somewhere down the road someone will help me when I need it. Besides, you people all deserve respect.
- Larry - Saturday, 04/23/05 17:09:33 EDT

Wills Anvil: Just saw the anvil down the road,Wow!!Suppose you could send it to RobertIW for some tweaking,or maybe.... Hey I'm Just Kidding!!What a grand display of fellowship,and what a nice piece of iron,you folk have me smiling tonight.
crosspean - Saturday, 04/23/05 18:22:51 EDT

Now to get that anvil drop shipped to Paw Paw's shop, don't bother with a chute It will manage to land on it's own...

I may respect Paw Paw; but that doesn't mean I won't hold my hand over my stein when he saw "Suffering Succotash"

Sandpile, I have too many house jacks as it is; comes from when we needed a couple and I asked my wife to get a price on renting them---and she done rented them without checking back with me; cost per weekend was about 3-5 times the cost of buying them at the fleamarket...Now I have a gracious plenty and a house that doesn't need them...

Thomas P - Saturday, 04/23/05 22:11:34 EDT

SHORT-TAILED-ANVIL: KEITH: Thanks, I don't think I have ever seen an anvil quite like that one.
My GREAT-four times removed-GRANDFATHERS anvil had a short tail, but had a hardie hole in it. It a little longer through the body and a tad longer heel.
This one has been used on its side quite a bit. Congrats to you and Jim.
Tell your boys and Debbie hello for us. We were proud of Debbie for all the help she gave y'all and your son for saying you could build back, cause all of you were still there to do it.BOG.

- sandpile - Saturday, 04/23/05 23:32:59 EDT

Sandpile: Sure will!
Keith Barker - Sunday, 04/24/05 09:12:33 EDT

Keith: Hi Keith
I read your post to paw paw. It brought a tear to my eye. Thank You for your generosity to him. I think that is wonderful. I am glad to hear the flood did not get you after the fire. Someday I hope to bump into you at a blacksmith event as we don't live to far apart. I don't know if I ever meet you at any NYSDB events or not.
burntforge - Sunday, 04/24/05 12:02:42 EDT

Burntforge: I hope I can get out to some of the NYSDB events this year. So far, I havent cought any of these.
We will have to plan on metting up.
Keith Barker - Sunday, 04/24/05 13:57:31 EDT

Burntforge: ...or meet up...rather than "met up".
Keith Barker - Sunday, 04/24/05 14:11:38 EDT

OK, no cracks! (grin)

My mind has gone blank. Who is the smith ironing gun carriages? I think I'm going to be doing the iron for a 12 lb. cannon shortly, probably this winter.
Paw Paw - Sunday, 04/24/05 16:48:54 EDT

Paw Paw- Jymm Hoffman is the cannon carriage expert.
- Ries - Sunday, 04/24/05 17:14:04 EDT


Thank you!
Paw Paw - Sunday, 04/24/05 20:51:10 EDT

anvil: hello there!
speaking of old anvil
what will be the prise of a franch anvil with a shape of
humane face with a hat, eye brows and nose.
dated 1723--- N M (Npolion Mmonarchy).
that I have in my galery. can send a foto
aprox. 150 pound ?????????
Thnk you for the information.
uri hofi
- uri hofi - Monday, 04/25/05 06:33:44 EDT

1080: just posting it again to keep it fresh in everyones mind.............. 2.25 inch round...... in lengths ranging from 3 to 6 inches---- 8inches =9 lbs........ can ship about 40lbs at a time via usps for flat rate of 7.70............ happy hammering
blacklionforge - Monday, 04/25/05 07:53:14 EDT

French Anvil Value:

That is a wonderful classic style that is shown in many old paintings.

In the US that would be much more of a collector's item than in Europe. Here it would sell for $1000 to $2000 US or more, but I personaly think it is worth much more as a museum piece. I do not have a clue in Europe.

JŲel Becker is a Frenchman with a collection of antique anvils and a web site with photos of many of them (Link below). Click on "Enclumes". He has an e-mail address listed. He would probably know the value of your anvil the best and possibly know a buyer.

I would love to have photos of your French anvil to use in an anvil article I am working on.
- guru - Monday, 04/25/05 10:57:05 EDT

re anvil: jock
my anvil is more beutyfull then the anvils on the franch web site and very unique in dsigen. my camera is on repair
when back I'll send you a foto.
The history of the anvil is also interesting,came to the former israel (Palestine) on 1793 with the Npolion army when
he tryed to conquer JaffA and ACKER and lost the battle
went back to france to gaine his monarchy.
The anvil was left behined THE ANVUIL WAS PRODUCED 70 YEARS BEFORE. He was fund and came to me the last moment before recicling.
the anvil is NOT fore sale!!!!!!!
I think that the velue is much higher.
I intend to ask the franch man about.
by the way I saw my anvil there linked to anvilfire.

uri hofi - Monday, 04/25/05 12:24:30 EDT

wills anvil: By all means send me "wills" anvil for a good grinding and welding repair job, after I`m done sandblasting and polishing the anvil won`t look old at all!
- Robert IW - Monday, 04/25/05 19:32:11 EDT

Robert IW:

Robert! You keep your cotton picking contaminated hands OFF of my anvil, or make sure you keep your insurance premiums paid! Especailly your long term care policy! (grin)
Paw Paw - Monday, 04/25/05 19:49:30 EDT

Wills Anvil: Pawp, We want pictures, and lots of them when you get that anvil! Make sure some one is there to take pictures of your face (not often someone askes for that!)when you first see it.
JimG - Monday, 04/25/05 20:45:58 EDT

Timex: here is a funny a work buddy told me:

you might be a blacksmith if:

1. you wash your hands BEFORE you go to the bath room.
2. you think all problems can be solved with some heat and a hammer.
3. if you make a tool to make a tool
4. while camping you find a way to fish a hot nail out of the fire so you can hit it with a rock.
5. the burn clinic gives you frequent flier miles.
- Timex - Monday, 04/25/05 21:27:19 EDT

Free Punch Press: And worth every cent...I have an old small 5 ton punch press, that needs a good home in the Denver front range area. It is currently set up with a 115 volt 1/2 hp motor and the roller clutch has a dangerous case of the hit and miss blues. I've played around with the trip spring and it seems to be repairable. I have neither the time or the space to put it to use. If you will haul it away I'll help load. pic's can be made available. Total weight is about 500 lb and I can get shipping quotes if someone is interested outside the local area, but I would question the investment. Contact me below:
- habu - Monday, 04/25/05 22:32:07 EDT

Paws anvil: Paw Paw, I also would like to see at least 6 pics from different angles of the anvil.

It kinda looks like the one I sliced up in the big bandsaw last week to get some good wrought stock for other projects. I had to really hit the face hard with a 16lb sledge to knock the plate off it.

Recycle the old anvils if their just sitting around.
- Robert IW - Monday, 04/25/05 22:36:35 EDT

Punch press: The first post did not like my e-mail
- habu - Monday, 04/25/05 23:07:30 EDT

Third time is the charm:
- habu - Monday, 04/25/05 23:08:41 EDT

12:00 in Kansas: I hate staying up late.
- Bjorn - Tuesday, 04/26/05 00:54:30 EDT

Robert IW:

I hope the next time you try to knock a face plate off, the anvil falls over on your foot! (grin)
Paw Paw - Tuesday, 04/26/05 07:56:36 EDT

hammer habits: i have been using both hands while forging for awhile. when i start to lose control with one, i will use the other on the next heat. does anyone else do this? it is still my habit to have the horn to my right. this practice allows fatigue recovery without taking breaks. i also made my first pinch bar for a scrolling jig and used it this past w/e. really helped the efficiency; less tweaking, less heats, improved consistancy demension wise. the forged ends retain the hand forged look. finally hooked up an electric blower for the coke forge; i will never crank again! thinking outloud here...
rugg - Tuesday, 04/26/05 10:32:36 EDT

You might be a blacksmith if:: Timex - You can see the other 170+ ways to tell if "you might be a blacksmith" at
- Ntech - Tuesday, 04/26/05 11:02:31 EDT

Well I hope I haven't abused an anvil; but I have given an ASO a makeover; I bought an HF 55# ASO and the MOB drilled it and cross drilled it and cross drilled it to make a gas camp stove from it---though it would work at the church potluck...but I left it with the MOB though. Should be at Quad-State; first year we had it there Clifton Ralph's wife drug him over to see it...most traps are baited with food; but the MOB baits their's with anvils...

It was dead soft to drill and kicked out so much graphite I was wondering if there was any iron in it!

Thomas P - Tuesday, 04/26/05 12:03:35 EDT

fire pot: could any one tell me if there using a Laurel Machine & Foundry fire pot or have you herd anything about them. any input would be apreciated thanks Mat
- mathew - Tuesday, 04/26/05 13:43:10 EDT

testing: Paw Paw, I`m just stiring the pot a little.

Bjorn, What City in Kansas do you live? I`m near Topeka.

No anvils were hurt during the production of this post.
- Robert IW - Tuesday, 04/26/05 14:03:39 EDT

LMFco firepots: Mathew: They use them at the John C. Campbell Folk School. The ones from Centaur kept burning out on them in a year or two's time from the constant hard use by students. The LMFs are much heavier castings.
Alan-L - Tuesday, 04/26/05 14:16:27 EDT

one heat leaf !: hi Guys !
I 've bought hofi'dvd and one heat forging point is very interesting !
I've read somewhere there's a similar technique for making a leaf , could you said me more about it ????
- Fab - Tuesday, 04/26/05 14:28:29 EDT

Hofi School Israel Trip:
A date of April 1 - 8, 2006 has been set for the trip organized by Dean Curfman of BigBLU hammers.

For this and other possible International events you should get your passport NOW rather than later. US citizens will soon need a passport when returning from ANYWHERE including Canada and Mexico. See our travel FAQ.
Hofi School Trip
- guru - Tuesday, 04/26/05 15:15:49 EDT

ok Guru!: but I must do 10 months stage soon.
when I'll be a better blacksmith I hope I could go to Hofi'school.......
I have meet Alfred Habermann in France, it was a very interesting week !!!!!
Fab - Tuesday, 04/26/05 15:32:47 EDT

1080 from Blacklionforge: I got my 40lbs fo 1080 short drops in the mail yesterday, thanks Peter!!
- MikeM-OH - Tuesday, 04/26/05 15:35:54 EDT

YOUNG-BLADESMITH: BILL EPPS: If your are lurking?? A nice young man JEFF DAVIDSON may contact you about lessons. He seems to be one of those that would be a pleasure to teach. He lives in the FT. WORTH area.
I tried your email contact and it bounced.

- sandpile - Tuesday, 04/26/05 16:11:23 EDT

happy hammering: hoping your shoulder is up for all the hammering or that you have a power hammer mike........... good luck----------- would love ta see any pics of the tools or tooling you make from the 1080-- thanks for your business...........
blacklionforge - Tuesday, 04/26/05 17:09:18 EDT

Hofi DVD: The link to Simon Sex productions provided by Adam didn't work for me. I did find the place eventually through web searching. I have provided the correct link below. I think Iwill be picking up this video next pay day myself.

Link to Hofi Video
FredlyFX - Tuesday, 04/26/05 19:02:29 EDT

Robert : I live is the vast mase of the suburban brawl of Kansas City known spasificaly as "the western side of Shawnee. I'm 15 and have been forging for about a year. Are there any other smiths in the area.
- Bjorn - Tuesday, 04/26/05 19:23:10 EDT

Bjorn: Is there still a large anvil collection/display at the Ag Hall of Fame in Bonner Springs? There was about 10 years ago, very interesting.
- Tom H - Tuesday, 04/26/05 21:16:23 EDT


The Laurel Machine & Foundry firepots are great. I have used on in my shop forge for years and have just gotten another one to use in a portable forge.
- Leah - Tuesday, 04/26/05 21:23:55 EDT

firepots: The LMF firepots are class 60 ductile iron. Ductile iron can withstand a great deal of heat as appossed to gray iron. They also have 6% flex and resist breakage more than other materials. Heat resistant iron is the best, but no one make fireboxes from it anymore. The machinablilty is very difficult compared to ductile iron.
burntforge - Tuesday, 04/26/05 23:59:30 EDT

fireboxes: I use a gray iron Centaur Forge firebox that was patterned from the original buffalo forge firebox with a couple slight alterations. They will hold up for years of normal use. They are a class 30 gray iron the same material as the ones made a hundred years ago. Any firebox will burn out or crack from heat over time. I think it comes down to what you can afford. A centaur box is around 150.00 and a Laurel is around 350.00. They are both top notch organizations and probably the two very best blacksmith supplier to deal with. I highly recommend them both. The finishes on both fireboxes are impressive. I like the styling of the Centaur box better. This is my personal preference though. I have a grey iron Champion whirly wind firebox that was used since 1901 untill 1995 six days a week with all day use. It just started to get a 2" long crack on the top rim. You guessed it my family used it as I was not around in 1901...LOLOL. This is just my two copper pennies. Most people don't use a gray iron box enough to burn one out unless they are a school or a professional working everyday with a very hot fire from an electric blower. I use a champion 400 hand crank blower, so my fire is not as hot.
burntforge - Wednesday, 04/27/05 00:10:30 EDT

Laurel Machine & Foundry's website tonight shows their 46-pound cast iron firepot with clinker breaker at $135.
Nelson Magruder - Wednesday, 04/27/05 00:21:07 EDT

Hi from Brisbane...: I've just made a Air Hammer from scrap..(including the water pipe ram), and am like a kid with a new toy. I would like some advice on the controls for making the hammer reciprocate. I tested it with a couple of tapers on some 1" reo. I wished I had made this a couple of years ago.
You blokes with neat machines with bought bits must be wrapped with them!
Mick's Backyard Bodgie Forge
Mike - Wednesday, 04/27/05 03:34:36 EDT

wow: bodgie forge has a really cool site............ you guys oughta check it out......
pete - Wednesday, 04/27/05 08:32:18 EDT


Looks like it should do the job for you, OK. You do some nice work!

The charcoal story made me laugh, I've heard other guys comment on the sound when the gas off lights up. (grin)
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 04/27/05 08:47:10 EDT

Bonner Springs : I've never actualy deen to the Agricultural Hall of fame in Bonner but i've been told they often have smiths demonstrate their. So its probably still their
- Bjorn - Wednesday, 04/27/05 09:43:55 EDT

Nelson firebox correct pricing: That price for the LMF fire pot does not include the tuyere tube and dumping ashgate. It is only the top half of the pot and the rod with clinker breaker because that fit up under the top of the teo piece firebox. The tuyere assembly is and additional 105.00 & airgate assembly is and aaditional 25.00. If you desire an 135 cfm variable speed blower it is an additional 90.00 A complete fire box is 255.00 + 25.00 airgate = 280.00 with blower 345.00
burntforge - Wednesday, 04/27/05 09:54:03 EDT

Hi from Brisbane..: Thankyou and...yeah sorry about the pop ups ....only rich enough to afford a free server at the moment.
the mechanical version of this was going to be the air conditioning compressor with steam, which ended up just running a small dc generator.... and is now corroding out the back somewhere.
Mike - Wednesday, 04/27/05 10:15:45 EDT

firepots, again: I didn't mean to imply the Centaur pots are no good, I use one myself with a hand-crank blower and have had no problems at all. The Folk School was having problems because they run those forges up to 12 hours a day, seven days a week, darn near every day of the year. Add to that student who don't know how to manage a fire, a good power blower system, and lots of water, and you have a recipe for severe firepot abuse.

I expect my Centaur pot to last my lifetime, but I still think the LMFco pot is of higher quality, needed or not.
Alan-L - Wednesday, 04/27/05 12:06:03 EDT

firepot Alna-L: Hi Alan-L
I now that is what you meant. I hope I didn't come off making it sound like I was saying you felt they were no good. If i did i am sorry. You hit the nail on the head. It is how they are treated at the school. I just like the style of the centaur ones and the fact I can own a backup one also for the price of one LMF one.
burntforge - Wednesday, 04/27/05 12:28:14 EDT

burntforge-- that's shocking! And some assembly required, too, no doubt. Batteries not included.
Nelson Magruder - Wednesday, 04/27/05 16:24:56 EDT

Light off: PPW you talking the light off from the volitles burning off?

Have I told you about our experience wth that and what happens to a great bellows?
Ralph - Wednesday, 04/27/05 16:53:07 EDT

New Toy!:
I received my new swage block in the mail today! I must say, it was an all around pleasant experience dealing with Blacksmith Supply. When I first contacted John Elliot about purchasing one, they were out of stock due to foundry problems. He remembered me, and when they received a new supply, he contacted me directly and had one saved back and waiting! All-in-all, an impressive example of good customer relations, and a very nice casting to boot!

It makes me glad they're one of our advertisers, and yes, I told him I saw it here!

eander4 - Wednesday, 04/27/05 17:17:04 EDT


Not about the experience with charcoal, but I've heard several stories about great bellows exploding due to coal smoke building up in them. (not from you, from various sources)
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 04/27/05 17:45:52 EDT

LMF Firepot: I have four LMF firepots in use at my school. The first on I bought several years ago, because I want to try it. I ordered the pot and clinker breaker w/handle only, because I knew I could fab the rest. I made the "ash barrel" from 4" pipe, and welded the standard 3" air intake pipe to its side. I made up a hinged kicking ash dump, and the kicker is an old tie-rod end. The nice thing about the LMF is that the pot thickness is about one inch.
Frank Turley - Wednesday, 04/27/05 21:04:59 EDT

LMAO! thanks for the link Ntech
- thomas carter - Thursday, 04/28/05 03:09:14 EDT

boom: We had to replace one of our bellows. Had a center board made from 1 inch planks. The biggest piece was no mare than a chopstick. The explosion was heard at the visitor center about 1/2 mile away. Mind you the shop is made from trees that were squared up. So each timber is about 12 inch square. Screws that held the thing to gether were found completely embedded into the wall 25 feet away.
Fortunately none of the 7 visistors were hurt. Might have needed new shorts.......
Ralph - Thursday, 04/28/05 04:43:55 EDT

The Village: So, I watched "The Village" the other night, (decent movie, don't pay attention to the adverts), and I watched some of the behind the scenes bits. In an effort to make the actors get more of a feel for the periodness of the piece, they were taken to a living history (kinda like williamsburg) and everyone was taught some activities. Carpentry, animal raising, etc. Well, what caught my eye was the demonstration of Sigourney Weaver hammering some hot iron on an anvil. Only for 30-40 sec, but still quite an image.

Just warmed my heart.
Escher - Thursday, 04/28/05 11:09:47 EDT

She's welcome at my forge; I'm sure the wife wouldn't mind...

Thomas P - Thursday, 04/28/05 11:51:54 EDT

Happy hammering: Pete, actually, I was going to slice some of the bars into 3/4 thick "coins" and use them to make a bunch of 2 part dies for my flypress. So instead of hammering, I'll be spending a LOT of time with the abrasive saw and die grinder. One will be cut lengthwise to make a set of open dies for the press. I know a flypress isn't idea for all purpose forging, but it works nicely for blanking out decorative parts on tsome of the rapier hilts I make for the SCA.

The first slices I cut last night worked very well. Now I'll spend most of tonight cutting the pattern into them.
MikeM-OH - Thursday, 04/28/05 13:39:37 EDT

fun fun: mmmmmmmmm abrasive saw love how that grit tastes!!!!!! sounds like you have some great ideas......... let me know how it works out as die material for you .......
pete - Thursday, 04/28/05 17:16:31 EDT

The Village: A really good traditional blacksmith, with his forge in Delaware City, DE, did all the forging for the sets in
"The Village". He mentioned Sigorney Weaver, but never mentioned teaching her how to hammer. Kerry is written up in Nancy Zastrow's book.
- John Larson - Thursday, 04/28/05 18:18:08 EDT

Pete: I hope you were joking about the taste of abrasive blade spooge. That stuff is ruinous for the lungs, quite possibly worse than silica or asbestos. If you just can't live without the smell, burn an old phenolic circuit board on the woodstove to get that down-home chop saw aroma. (grin)
vicopper - Thursday, 04/28/05 20:36:21 EDT

Ahhh, so much more comfy over here. Hey, Ralph, I was only joshing. I actually think they all, the so-called "journalists" AND the "talking heads" should be sent to Gitmo, and given a taste of the knout, teach them a little respect for our leaders, the best darn government money can buy!
- Nelson Magruder - Thursday, 04/28/05 20:42:21 EDT

Nelson Magruder: "...our leaders, the best darn government money can buy!"

I suppose thy may be the "best", if you believe that the more you pay, the more they're worth. Personally, I'd prefer some who were a mite cheaper, a lot more honest and a damn sight more honorable than the crew currently holding the country in thrall.

The First Amendment? They're working on that. Should have it pretty well abolished in the name of Homeland Security in another few months. After that, who knows where they'll look next? Maybe they just plan to take them in order, d'ya suppose?
vicopper - Thursday, 04/28/05 21:18:26 EDT

Vicopper: I always took that "Best Govt. money can buy" to mean BUY in the literal sense. Lots of money buys the Govt's favor.
Dave Boyer - Thursday, 04/28/05 21:41:56 EDT

das bush: gotta love a for real ole boys club..........its an american legend......... heres to truth justice and the american way......... well watered with the blood of our low and middle class heil bush
pete - Thursday, 04/28/05 22:27:05 EDT

ooopps: i'm sorry i misspoke------ i see nothingggggggggggg i know nothinggggggg........ whatta say we head to the ranch for a country fried steak and lonestar???
pete - Thursday, 04/28/05 22:29:18 EDT

Well I am sorry to say I was NOT amused. My son and his squad were endangered by this idiot. As for you stupid comment about best the money can buy, why don't you move to some of the other counties. Then tell me how terrible out system is.
Yes we have corruption and it is our fault as we refuse to change who we vote for. But all in all this is the best place to live.

vicopper, have you ever looked at what FDR did? All in the name of national security. But we survived that. Personally many parts f the Pat act I agree with.
Ralph - Thursday, 04/28/05 22:42:17 EDT

Ralph : I would have asked that reporter to look up in his "Westmorland Dictionary of Military Slang" the meaning of the verb "frag" and I would not be smiling.
- Habu - Thursday, 04/28/05 23:39:32 EDT


My response would probably have been even shorter and more to the point.
Paw Paw - Thursday, 04/28/05 23:42:21 EDT

Nathan's CO had the fellow removed...... Before an 'incident' occured.
Let me tell you I absolutely HATE sending Nathan and the oter youngsters out. I would much rather go myself......
Ralph - Friday, 04/29/05 02:16:45 EDT

sending out: Tis more often than not that the mistakes of leaders are paid for by the blood of their followers
Timex - Friday, 04/29/05 03:30:25 EDT

TIMEX: Are you referring to the victims of WTC93, USS Cole, and the African embassies?
Tom H - Friday, 04/29/05 06:33:58 EDT

brass vs bronze: Anyone have information or where I can get good info on how well brass will weather versus bronze? Some of you may remember me asking for a source for making a bronze casting of a shotgun for my brother's grave. The closest I found was an "art" foundry which wanted 2500 bucks to do the project if I made the pattern.

Well I did make the pattern myself (a true match plate using an old daisey pop gun as the master) and found a small foundry just south of St.Louis to pour it for 300 bucks.

Now I'm working on the fishing pole to go with the gun. I'm making the reel & handle from bronze on the lathe. But some of the small parts for the reel I have considered making from small brass rods. Can anyone tell me if the brass will stand up to the weather for eternity?
Mike Sa
- Mike Sa - Friday, 04/29/05 07:53:42 EDT

my uncle: career navy 3 tours in the nam with the seals--- 1 silver star 2 bronze 3 purple hearts(turned down several more to stay in country)........thinks the system is as screwed up as most of us do ....he also said that spilling blood doesntmake you a man (he said that while hold a necklace of ears) he also seems to think that goverment is as screwed up as most of us do......... and ralph this is for you .. move to another country nope------ as an american i have right to voice my ideas and thoughts about our goverment/oleboys club as much as i would like---- its what our boys fight and die for.......or is that cheap oil???? i forget........
pete - Friday, 04/29/05 08:33:12 EDT

CHEAP OIL: Would someone please explain the Bush/Iraq/"it's all about oil" thing? I hear it but, considering the last tank of gas I bought, I am just not getting it. Exactly what are the oil related objectives of the Iraq war?
- Tom H - Friday, 04/29/05 08:39:43 EDT

cheap oil: No one said he was successful . . . ;-)}

All kidding aside, the relationship is that Saddam/Iraq was a destabilizing influence in an already moderately unstable area. The theory was/is, if he is gone and a stable gov't is in its place, then the whole of the oil producers in the area will be more stable, so the price of oil will only move on based on global pressures for a stabilized price. Instead of moving on fear of disruption of production. This has been a basic policy since the they became the oil producing cartel.

Now, we have gone one step further in the scenario, as if a viable stable socialist-democratic gov't can be set up in Iraq, there is the potential of it being a catalyst to move other countries along the same lines. Unfortunately, it may also strengthen the resolve of religous fundamentalists to push back against this sort of thing even harder. Iran has been flowing back and forth since Khomeni died.

Personally, an easier solution would have been continuing our focus after the end of WWII on replacing oil with something else. If we can rely on something other than oil that is non-damaging and renewable, then export it to all other nations, the mid-east will become something less of a problem. Or at least the focus will change.

Escher - Friday, 04/29/05 09:44:09 EDT

To the Lurkers (readers that donít post ) and Regulars, Just an observation, This site is a literal gold mine of information from yacht repair to the secret life of flux to dealing with dragon droppings. I have yet to see a question that someone here either didnít have experience with or have an idea to deal with the problem. What makes it so wonderful, is that people from around the world and all walks of life can commune together without prejudice or fear of being chastised for asking a question. And all this is free for the asking. It really isnít free we have a little group called CSI ( in comparison with the amount visitors it is little ) that support this site through membership dues.

It is my sincere hope that if you have benefited from the vast combine knowledge of this site, that you would consider joining CSI and contribute back just a little. Go to the store and look for the CSI listing.
Thanks for lending me your ear or eyes in this case.

Jock maybe you could expand on the amount of visitors and countries they are from.
daveb - Friday, 04/29/05 10:32:54 EDT

CHEAP OIL: Thanks ESCHER. Refreshing to get information on the subject instead of mindless cliches'.
While hydrogen seems like the "elegant solution" someday, we have immediate needs. From your observations, seems like our oil related objectives are pretty reasonable. Hard to imagine a better short-term and mid-term alternative for the Mid-East. Unfortunately, the religous fanatics in that area don't seem to be motivated as much by money as the West is so the situation will likely continue. The world may be caught up in circumstances that have few really good choices. Mankind is inherently evil. We are fortunate that most of those who choose to serve publicly in America are less evil than those in leadership in most of the rest of the world. And we have to deal with the rest of them as they come. Glad the struggle has been taken to them since 9/11 instead of continuing here. Glad we are just passing through this world. Are you all ready for eternity?
- Tom H - Friday, 04/29/05 10:46:10 EDT

Mike Sa: You did good on the gun, it sounds like. The rod/reel sounds like it is coming along well, too. As for the brass/bronze question, just look up the alloys on one of the sites for bronze suppliers. You'll see that the old distinctions between brass (copper/zinc) and bronze (copper/tin) are no longer clear at all. Nowadays, they're all called "copper alloys." The list of alloying elements is quite long, as well. The lifespan of the particular alloys will be different, I'm sure, but plenty long enough no matter what. But NOT eternity...nothing will last forever.

As for using brass rod (brazing rod?), why not use the same bronze that you're using for the rst of it? That would help to ensure that you don't get any electrolytic corrosion happening between metals with different potentials.

You can make smalll bronze rod any size you need with the aid of a drawplate, available from a jewelery supply such as Rio Grande, or on eBay through With a drawplate, you can draw annealed bronze rod from 1/4" down to whatever you need, as small as 28 gauge.
vicopper - Friday, 04/29/05 10:51:53 EDT

Abrasive saw B'con Bits: Ha, after the first time using a chop saw and then having to blow my nose carefully for a week [not to mention that you can't burn bacon this badly taste], I set up a dust collector host on the saw, a fan blowing from behind my head, clear face shield, and a frequently used dustpan/brush.

That stuff is BAD for you, but worse, it TASTES AWFUL!

I swear I'd rather be 8 years old and stuck with a big bowl of Great Aunt Angie's 7 bean soup [she only had one ladle... a 1 QUART ladle!] and biscuits so dry we could win boy scout firestarting contects with them. In face, I'd hardly have to char those biscuits at all to use them in the forge... pure white carbon, I tell you. Three decades later my stomache still binds up at the though of that soup, but I'd rather eat that than abrasive saw dust.

Now if only I had the discipline to actually CLEAN the shop every week, I won'y have to worry about the sanding belt dust, the metal dust, the wood dust, the grinding wheel cakes, more metal dust, and those increasingly harry tribble sized speaker magnets on the floor that are approaching critical mass.

Did I mention the 40-80 year old paint flakes from my step daughter's furniture refinishing? Sure, that's in the corner on the other side of the room with a clean swept DMZ between us, but the little snowflakes of yellow and green scattered over the cement make me wonder what'll happen when some gigglign child shakes the snowglobe in which I live?
MikeM OH - Friday, 04/29/05 10:56:16 EDT

Manipulative "reporters": Reporters such as those Nathan described are not only unworthy of the name, they are unworthy of continued breathing. Our soldiers are in harm's way due to their commitment to their country, and any maggot who attempts to use them to further a personal agenda should be considered a criminal and dealt with swiftly and severely.

While I may not agree with the administration on the necessity of this war, I would cheerfully be the one to lock the cell door on anyone who tries to manipulate the situation to personal gain, particularly by increasing the risk to our soldiers and support personnel. It oversteps all the bounds of decency and borders on treason.
vicopper - Friday, 04/29/05 10:59:22 EDT

Vicopper---and I'll weld over the door seams...

IIRC silicon bronze is weathers well as does the old navel bronzes.

Snuck out to the forge last night---after having to go back in town and pick up a large wagon my wife bought to haul stuff around the yard. Asked her where it was to be stored and she thought it ought to go in my shop...I said it should go in her studio---but you can't get it in the door of her studio till she moves stuff around...I'm already finishing bookcases in my shop...

Anyway I got to thinking of the discussion on tooling up for production so I thought I would check out using the screw press to slit the holes in the dishing hammers I'm making. Just fooling around showed me that making a cradle for the piece and some H13 slitters to go in a spring arm above it would be well worth the effort even in production runs of under 10 pieces! Fairly gave me delusions of moving the gas forge over by the press and spending a Saturday morning slitting & drifting 25 hammers.

Ran across a fellow selling handles at the fleamarket but at $3 a handle I'll wait till I run out of my $1 handles---shoot by then I will probably make a run to AR and pick up more of the cheap ones.


Thomas P - Friday, 04/29/05 11:20:34 EDT

Vicopper: Those are the types I, in my inimitable diplomatic fashion, was talking about. Stake 'em out on the range for a little Trainfire excercise. (See, there I go again !)
3dogs - Friday, 04/29/05 11:33:01 EDT

Flypress Slitting Hammer Eyes: Thomas,

I made two little slitting punches from S7 and hot slit a hammer head [2x2" face, 4" long tapering slightly to a straight peen] on my little flypress in about 15 strokes. Worked great, absolutely worth the effort.

MikeM OH - Friday, 04/29/05 12:08:36 EDT

destablized??? who????: yes saddam was a de -stablizing force in gulf region....... thanks to our sharing of chemical and bio agents with him ....oops didnt castro take cuba with m-1's garands and thompsons???? or the 1st free elected president elected in the congo was assassinated by an american cia sniper....... look endangering troops IS treason....and in NO way should it be tolerated.... in that same vein most of our nations conflict's in the last 50 years have not warrented the spilling of american blood....... the worlds affairs are not ours to attend to...........we as a nation bully countries and peoples(including our own...natives ect...ect)with covert as well as overt force... both with miltary and with money... aid and so forth.....we allow our elected officals ta do these things in our names........i guess as hard is it is to face we ALL share our nations warriors blood on our hands.... for its our votes or lack of that put the king in office...... praise the lord and pass the ammo the heathens are coming........... why arnt we going after the elected officials that make dumb or self serving descions that take american lives??? warriors or otherwise?? why is it easier to shoot a reporter than elected offical??????......... or they just easier to catch????
blacklionforge - Friday, 04/29/05 12:14:34 EDT

Vic, Thomas, and 3Dogs,

You guys have the right idea, but you don't go far enough. With your methods, we'd have to feed them forever. All my method requires is mowing the grass occasionally. It should grow well over them, defecation does make good fertilizer.
Paw Paw - Friday, 04/29/05 12:15:38 EDT

Frank Turley:

After reading the description of your wife's dance costume, I have GOT to see a picture of her. And it's ok if you are in the picture as well. (grin)
Paw Paw - Friday, 04/29/05 12:34:09 EDT

OK gang. The weather guy tells me it's t-shirt season. Anyone have a line on some nifty blacksmith related t-shirts? Valley Forge has a couple good ones. Who else? Personally, I'd love to get one with Dawn's cartoon of the face-pierced kid over the anvil. Hint hint...
Gronk - Friday, 04/29/05 12:50:57 EDT

My view of reporters doing that kind of SH#T ranks right up there with Politicians that go over, and then use the press exposure for political motives and tell the boys that they're getting shot at for nothing. If your allegid reason for going there is rasing Moral, you just blew it big time.

A friend has expressed the opinion that the problem lies with a basic mindset of jealousy. If you're in the gutter, and looking at a man in a lexus, there's three basic mindsets.. "Hey, you have extra, help me out." "Gee, I want that how do I go about getting that for myself?" and "Darn you, how can you possibly *deserve* to have more than me???" The latter seems to be how the religious extremists act. Instead of working to strive to better ones situation, they firebomb the lexus, to drag the prosperous into the gutter with them.

Perhaps it's becausePiety and poverty are often linked, even in popular western literature (Priest's vow of poverty, as opposed to the reality of the wealth many churches here enjoy). They reverse that to "If you have wealth, and luxury, then you have no piety, and you must be a sinner." And, dispite our issues, we are a prosperous, wealthy nation, so the entire nation gets painted with the same brush.
Monica - Friday, 04/29/05 12:51:53 EDT

Blacklion: They're just easier to spot 'cause they're such snappy dressers, but they're harder to take out with a head shot because of all the hairspray. Lord, I jes' love all this meaningful dialogue, don't y'all?
3dogs - Friday, 04/29/05 12:57:32 EDT

right on : 3dogs........ the only elected offical dropped like that with a head shot........ was trying to pull troops out of southeast asia...... o well ........ happy hunt fellas i just think if your going hunting you oughta be going after the real prey......... but then i again i'm not a hunter just an ironworker
blacklionforge - Friday, 04/29/05 13:25:22 EDT

BLACKLIONFORGE: We have voted our president in TWICE. Most apparently think he was the better choice. We have also voted in a working majority of his party. D-E-M-O-C-R-A-C-Y. I hope all you anti-Bush folks will get off the "happy-hunting/head-shot" solution. I repeat, D-E-M-O-C-R-A-C-Y. There will be another congressional election next year. Change is really quite simple. D-E-M-O-C-R-A-C-Y.
- Tom H - Friday, 04/29/05 13:44:01 EDT

Tom H: I, too believe that inept public officials should be taken out with a high powered, large caliber ballot. Now, with regard to some of the media twits out there.......lemme think on that for a while.
3dogs - Friday, 04/29/05 13:56:31 EDT

First- Politics- You are all wrong, and I am right!! So there.

Now that we have finished that discussion, I was just cruising the catalog from the upcoming Sorber Iron Collection Auction, and all I can say is WHEW!

If you look at the estimated values of that stuff, and add it up, we are talking several hundred thousand dollars. Now they may not get that much, but they sure are hoping high.
I know the Metals Musuem has raised a little money to buy a few pieces, but at those prices, they aint gonna get much. And auction fever can often run stuff up well above the predicted values.
Do people really pay those kind of prices for that old stuff? If so, maybe I should start making some. $1000 for a boot scraper?
I can make stuff look old just as good as them old guys did.

I cant imagine how that Sorber guy found a wife. He must have had hundreds of door handles alone. How many colonial toasters does one kitchen need? SWMBO would not put up with even 1 of them things in her house, especially if it cost "$300 to $500".
ries - Friday, 04/29/05 14:12:29 EDT

hydrogen cars are a cool concept, but the cost of producing haydrogen and storing it in such large amounts will be a lot more than most folks realize. Not saying we should not try. But I rather doubt we will have low cost fuel again.
Ralph - Friday, 04/29/05 15:27:11 EDT

other things to do: Hate to say it but I think I am going to skip anvilfire for a bit. Too much of the old tired cliches and sour grapes going on.

Will check in time to time. And will instead spend time with my MARINE who risked it all so we can piss and moan.
- Ralph - Friday, 04/29/05 15:29:54 EDT

mike: what size flypress are you using for slitting your hammers ?????
blacklionforge - Friday, 04/29/05 16:31:33 EDT

Tom H, et al: In the end, this particular problem has been of some factor since Churchill doodled the borders on a napkin so many years ago. It really is quite irrevelant who is president and which bureaucracy is operating. No one has come up with a viable solution.

That said, we should curb the whole "I don't like the current president", "I like the current president" deal as it really doesn't affect the situation. There are political forums just for that purpose. To nearly the same useful effect.

As for potential energy futures, I believe Asimov's vision is going to the be the correct one. Small egg-sized fusion reactors that last for 50 yrs and then go inert.

Impossible? currently. Implausible? Nope, the fundamental theories bear it out, just a question of technologies. Very complex technologies, but comprehensible nonetheless.

So, back to Blacksmithing. I have been having a blast with my Whisper Momma forge. No pun intended.
Escher - Friday, 04/29/05 16:37:04 EDT

Ralph, On second thought, When welcoming your MARINE, would you please extend the thanks from this very grateful, somewhat crippled up over the hill Doggie? Then please buy him a beer on me, and I will return the favor when we meet.
ptree - Friday, 04/29/05 17:17:30 EDT

On politicians.
We have had them since day one of the USA. Some good, some bad. We have survived every single one of them. If you do not feel the current group are doing a good job, VOTE. If you vote for someone, and they do a good job, VOTE. If they do a bad job, VOTE.
Enough from me.
- ptree - Friday, 04/29/05 17:21:16 EDT

Politicians: For all you guys who know the real history of this country(or would like to) I'm recomending two great books by Dr. William Grady. What Hath God Wrought is the first. His most recent is How Satan turned America Against God. I've had the great pleasure of hearing this guy in person a few times. He used to sit on Hoffa's knee in church when he was kid. No he dosen't know where Hoffa is. These books are blunt and to the point and possibly a real eye opener for all who believe what the media feeds us and the gont for that matter
- Jeff G. - Friday, 04/29/05 17:46:41 EDT

The Village: Last night I didn't get things quite complete. I left out the smith's last name. He is Kerry Rhodes.
- John Larson - Friday, 04/29/05 18:08:03 EDT

All and all, I've lived out of country. I also know quite a few immigrants, and first generation Americans. We may gripe, and we may bicker, but there's nowhere else I'd like to live.

That being said, Ralphs right. We all have something else to do.

Now, for Pook and Pook, how about the "blacksmithing tools, including swage blocks forming bla bla bla..." NO PICTURE WILL BE PUBLISHED. Ok so I'm bidding on what exactly??? Two swage blocks, twenty? little block with spoons only, or big honking heafty swage blocks... In what condition????
Monica - Friday, 04/29/05 18:32:05 EDT

Flammability: I always thought that the best welding clothes were of cotton. Today I was MIG welding some little stuff in my unheated shop (50 degrees or so). All at once I noticed that my left arm seemed to be heating up. The forges were all out. When I lifted the helmet there was a skim of flame all over my arm. I was wearing a heavy flannel shirt that had little "pills" all over it, pure cotton so the label said. Luckily a quick swipe of the welding glove put the flames out. So apparently flannel is out and clothes should be hard cotton or flame retardant. I am not bragging but want to pass this warning along. I do not know if the flames would have taken hold in the shirt but I do not need that experience to learn to wear the right clothes.
Jim Curtis - Friday, 04/29/05 19:19:30 EDT

Jim Curtis,
While cotton does not melt on you like many of the man made fibers, and is tiny bit more flame resistant, to get flame retardant properties it must be treated. The big difference is that a man made fiber would have probably smeared sticky burning plastic on your arm and glove.
Many welders wear leather, but now many wear treated cotton.
My electricians at work now wear a treated cotton. It is intended for arc flash from electrical panels blowing up. The cotton is altered to char with little or no flame prior to the charring. With the move to char the fabric does not support flame, stays pretty much intact, and protects the worker. One brand is INDURA-SOFT. I do not know if it is good for welding, but as it is very pricey, I would tend to the treated cotton welders duds that one can obtain at any welders supply. By the way, in the forge shop, we have about 175 people n all cotton uniforms. Some burnt spots from time to time, but almost every burn to skin is just that, bare skin.
ptree - Friday, 04/29/05 20:57:23 EDT

Flypress Slitting Hammers: Well, it was only one hammer, and I had it at a yellow heat, then reheated to flip it over. I use a P4 from Blacksmith's Depot. The slitting tools were made from a 3/4 bar of S7. One tapers along 1 inch to a chisle point, the other is rounded to a 3/4 diameter half circle. Probably not the best too for "drifting" the slit, but it worked for a first try.

MikeM OH - Friday, 04/29/05 23:17:34 EDT

Gronk, T-shirts:
Hmm, too bad you weren't at Ironfest, they have some good t-shirts... picked one up for $20 AUD to go with my Anvilfire! cap. I'd point you towards Lorelei Simms' site, . Or talk to your local Kinkos folks and make your own... then sell 'em to me. :)
Lorelei's Site
T. Gold - Saturday, 04/30/05 00:23:31 EDT

Brass Vs. Bronze -- The culprit in the brass is the zink. When exposed to an electrolite [acid rain, salt air/spray, etc.] a galvanic cell is formed within the alloy. This consumes the zink leaving the part soft& crumbly. This is called "dezinkafication" by at least one author, intergranular corosion more tecnically. It will take a long time to happen in air, but happens much faster if imersed in an electrolite.
Dave Boyer - Saturday, 04/30/05 01:10:09 EDT

Ralph: Isn't haydrogen what horses run on ? There it is folks, a tried and true fuel source. (That was terrible, 3dogs. I know, and I'm so ashamed.)
3dogs - Saturday, 04/30/05 01:25:33 EDT

Hydrogen fuel? That is what You are burning when You use coal, oil, or gass.It just happens to be linked to carbon [and a few other elements]. The hydrogen in water has already been "burned" and has no energy, so it doesn't help any. Egg sized fusion reactor? ANY fusion reactor would be a major step forward.
Dave Boyer - Saturday, 04/30/05 01:32:45 EDT

Monica: Simply put, you are expected to buy; Pig, one each, pink, with poke, burlap.
3dogs - Saturday, 04/30/05 01:46:27 EDT

fuel n stuff: WHAT! and all this time I thought that EVERYTHING ran on Nuclear fusion. Ho well I guess it all runs on smoke and darkions.
Timex - Saturday, 04/30/05 04:35:17 EDT

OFF TO FORGE: my son and i are off cville to spend the day in my buddies shop------- a day full of making powerhammer tooling..... oughta be fun............ralph ... have a great time with your devil dog.........
blacklionforge - Saturday, 04/30/05 06:38:28 EDT

Will's Anvil: Paw Paw,
Just a quick update.
I'll be crating up that lil'beaut this weekend, and hope to ship it off to you early next week.
I'll give you a call or an email when it's all set.
Keith Barker
- Keith Barker - Saturday, 04/30/05 08:17:33 EDT

Will`s Anvil: Keith Barker, Paw Paw wants it shipped to me first for some restoration work that it needs. grin

- Robert IW - Saturday, 04/30/05 09:21:30 EDT


Robert IW needs to go to the bathroom, his eyes are turning brown.

Please call me, or email me your phone number so I can call you. Among other things, I need to know your boys names.
Paw Paw - Saturday, 04/30/05 10:15:13 EDT

Thanks T. Gold. Yup, a couple good ones there. I suppose I could make my own. Just not sure I could wear them in public.
Gronk - Saturday, 04/30/05 12:07:43 EDT

apprenticeship: i live in tampa fl there are no bladesmiths or sword smiths here so im stuck between a rock and a hard place
- john higgins - Saturday, 04/30/05 12:29:35 EDT

John Higgins,: Go to the link below, find the contact information, and go to the nearest meeting. You may be surprised at the variety of work, including bladesmithing, that the members do.
Paw Paw - Saturday, 04/30/05 15:32:45 EDT

champion forge and blower company : he guys i need some help - i have recently run in to a good deal and want to know what a no 2 campion blower and forge is worth - it is in excelent condiontion and blower and ash dump and blower all work great
- mike - Saturday, 04/30/05 15:50:10 EDT

The last issue I have of the Knives 'XX annual lists 8 blademakers in the Tampa St Petersburg area (probably more from the burbs I don't recognize as being part of that metroplex). 106 professional knifemakers in FL that they *know* of...first one listed states that they forge when I cross checked the name under makers

Course I'm 2000 miles away and found that out in under 5 minutes *not* using the net...

I'd say thur rock & a hard place is self imposed.

You have more than 4 times the number of makers than is listed for my state...
Thomas P - Saturday, 04/30/05 16:47:21 EDT

HAMMER: THOMAS are you stll here?? I need to know about heat-treating a hammer I made from a pitman bolt from a combine. It will air-harden a little.
- sandpile - Saturday, 04/30/05 18:15:16 EDT

hammer: Thanks-- I am going to go ahead and heat-treat, by the guess and by-golly method.BOG.

- sandpile - Saturday, 04/30/05 18:30:53 EDT

Stuff: Well, today I got to run the forge a bit. Wife needed some extra stability to her plant hanger. So I fired up the forge and made what I needed, and welded it[arc] on to the stand. Nice to be able to do that.

Who was it said: If there are no dogs in heaven, then I don't want to go? My dog has cancer, and probably only has a few months to live. So I built a box to bury him in, and then fired up the forge again and made some handles for it.

Glad to read the stuff on the Guru's page about refractory. I'll be pouring some of that soon. Been working on a propane bottle gas forge, to replace my loose fire brick gas forge. Still have to do some more welding on it, but should be able to get that done soon.
Bob H - Saturday, 04/30/05 21:10:40 EDT

Anvil: I have posted some pictures of an old anvil in the user gallery (djhammerd). Please take a look and see if you can identify the manufacturer and age range. It is apparent that this anvil has been pieced together (closeup pictures). I did not find any text on it other than the "1 1 0", which apparently identifies the weight.
djhammerd - Saturday, 04/30/05 22:23:43 EDT

DOGS-IN -HEAVEN: BOB H.: Do not believe for a minute there will not be dogs or horses or any kind of aninmals, you can think of, in heaven. We will meet up with all of our old, worn out, used up and buried amigos.
The coon-dogs will bawl and the bird-dogs will point and the horses will not pitch. Do not be worried about the animals. Just let us take care and make sure we conduct our selfs in such a manner that we might have a chance to join up with the pets and friends from the past.grin

- sandpile - Saturday, 04/30/05 22:46:34 EDT


I sincerely hope (and believe) that you are right. I've got a lot of good dogs waiting for me if you are. And a few other "critters" as well.
Paw Paw - Saturday, 04/30/05 23:15:45 EDT

Dogs: Well..........
I was with my old patch dog when she died. The strangest thing, just before she died she gave 2 greeting howls......

I think the world would be a much better place if we were as faithful and loyal to our Master, as our dogs are to us.
JimG - Saturday, 04/30/05 23:31:13 EDT

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