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April 2008 Archive

WHY THREE FORUMS? Well, this is YOUR blacksmithing forum to use for whatever you wish within the rules stated above. It is different than the Slack-Tub Pub because the messages are permanently posted and archived.
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J. Dempsey  <webmaster> Rev. 7/98, 3/99, 5/2k, 6/2k, Friday, 04/06/01 16:43:25 GMT

Rarity of Cone Mandrels: Interesting that they are so rare; I would expect that every wagon shop would have one, and I’ve used mine quite a bit for anchor rings, ring handles, harness pieces and such. (My daughter has walked off with my smaller tanged one; but who can deny a metalworking daughter?)

So, given that an experienced smith can work something into round over the non-circular horn by trial and eye; the mandrel is just a convenience to speed things up and keep things uniform. At least that’s my theory; reality may vary.
Go viking!
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Tuesday, 04/01/08 08:37:30 EST

Cone Rarity: Every wagon shop and "genera; smithy" may have had one but not every farm shop wench many of the anvils and forges originate. They are large, expensive and a low use tool (depending on your type of work).
- guru - Tuesday, 04/01/08 09:03:20 EST

Mandrel diameter and dimensions: Abstracting from my 1894 Manning, Maxwell, and Moore Catalog.

Fig. 7018 [four shown with grooves]
The groove, running the whole length of the cone, gives room for grasping work with the tongs. When a ring with an eye-bolt is being made, the eye and bolt lie in the groove while the ring is being rounded up. The tips are made so that they may be taken off, and, having shanks, can be conveniently used in the vise for rounding small bands.

No. 2. 10 in. base, point 2 in. diameter, 47 in. high....$8.00
No. 3. 14 in. base, point 2 3/4" ,diameter, 58 in. high....$14.25
No. 4. Not shown in cut, 20 in. base, 30 in. high, 14 in. diameter at top, open top, no loose tip....$15.00

My large mandrel has about a 16" diameter base. Many buggy, carriage, and wagon tires were larger than that, which is why this same catalog lists five different tire benders. Prior to tire benders, it was by gosh and by golly.
Frank Turley - Tuesday, 04/01/08 14:41:48 EST


I've never understood cone manderels. The ring won't "fit" until it's already round anyway (grin). Well, I don't have one, so maybe that's just sour grapes.

But I *do* have a Euroanvil with a conical horn, and miss my old "oval" one. With the old one, I could find a section (chord, I guess) with the right radius, rotate my ring around that, and hit wherever I saw air. This worked especially well with a closed ring -- once the curve was no longer too tight anywhere, it couldn't be too loose anywhere either.

With the round horn, I have to kind of sneak up on round, or try to tighten the curve by supporting the "low" spot and hitting where the horn isn't. This just isn't as efficient.
Mike BR - Tuesday, 04/01/08 21:07:33 EST

Mike BR - cone: I have a Mengle & Green cone hardy, and have used it to round up a ring, just hammer any place it doesn't touch. This works prety well for small stuff anyway.
- Dave Boyer - Tuesday, 04/01/08 21:47:42 EST

Mandrel use: I tell my people that the expression, "Beat the daylights out of it." came from using the mandrel, and some of them believe me!

A few pointers. To keep the ring round, an attempt is made to keep it parallel to the base of the mandrel. If the ring is of round stock and there is no slot, you can hold the ring with link tongs.

If rounding a band made of flat stock, you aim your blows at the bottom edge of the band. Otherwise, you get distortion. If there is no slot, you use wagon tire (hoop tongs). These tongs have both flat jaws bent 90º the easy way, allowing more length for the top jaw, because it overrides the lower one. However, you may need to thin and shorten the end of the top jaw a little to give clearance between it and the mandrel body.

If rounding square stock and there is no mandrel slot, use short jawed tongs. Again, hit the bottom edge of the square.

The slot is often called a tong slot, but it is more than that. If you've welded a ring on the end of a chain, the chain link fits into the recess while you're rounding up the ring.
Frank Turley - Wednesday, 04/02/08 07:07:11 EST

Hammer-In Progress:
I will be scarce for a while. I have about 2 weeks to finish setting up machinery and build two power hammers. Going to be putting in some long hours. . .

You all know how it is. The materials are all on the shop floor and now its time to work!
- guru - Wednesday, 04/02/08 08:38:36 EST

Fly press: In case anyone is interested, I was able to punch .25 and.375 mild steel with my litle fly press. I made an oval punch (.1875x.5) and a drift from grade 8 bolts ground to shape and kept hard. The .375 needed two heats for punching, so the machine is a bit too small, but is usable. Drifting out the oval holes to .5 gave a nice bulge in .25 x1. Used never seize and punches are holding up well so far. No striker needed!
John Chistiansen - Thursday, 04/03/08 19:54:22 EST

I was able to slit 1" high carbon steel square stock with my flypress, lovely job it did too. (Making a hawk)

Thomas P - Thursday, 04/03/08 20:04:36 EST

Glad the flypress punching worked for you, John.
Mike BR - Thursday, 04/03/08 21:36:46 EST

Fly press Punching: At first I tried to punch over a hole, then I put a piece of tool steel plate under the punch, proceeded as if using an anvil, then removed the plate and pushed the already sheared slug through the hole. same process as punching on the anvil. Punching over the hole with a fly press produced either buttons or flash for me.
John Chistiansen - Saturday, 04/05/08 15:24:27 EST

These are handy tools for many jobs but rating them is difficult. John, it would be nice to know what size "small" press you used.
- guru - Monday, 04/07/08 14:51:54 EDT

Little Fly Press: Near as I can tell, based on the chart it is a #1, although it may be a heavier #0. It was made in Rhode Island in 1873, and there was once a very large jewelry industry in Rhode Island. I am pretty sure I need (want) a larger one.
- John Christiansen - Tuesday, 04/08/08 21:18:05 EDT

Fly press tooling : I made a hot cutter and a square drift for the flypress from .75 grade 8 bolts. The hot cutter I forged to shape, hardened in water and tempered. It is still sharp and hard after half a day of use. I can get 3 feet of .75 A2 for $21.00, which may be cheaper than using alloy bolts for tool stock.
John Christiansen - Tuesday, 04/08/08 21:29:03 EDT

torque specs for metric bolts: Anyone know of an on-line reference for torque specs of metric SS bolts? I had some 7mm's to deal with. I'm wondering how closely we guessed the proper torque.
- Bruce - Wednesday, 04/09/08 14:23:27 EDT

TORQUE CHARTS: Bruce,I found this look under charts, You will need to know the grade of the bolts
daveb - Wednesday, 04/09/08 17:26:54 EDT

Bruce - SS bolts: These varry quite a bit, I suggest You get a few extras and test them with the same lube and nuts to see how much torque it takes to wring them off. Small SS bolts part with less torque than You might expect.
- Dave Boyer - Wednesday, 04/09/08 21:43:07 EDT

Csi Hammer-in: Guru,
What is the schedule for the hammer-in? I don't want to miss Josh's demo.
- mike - Thursday, 04/10/08 08:48:50 EDT

Hammer-In Progress: MIke, Josh will be practicing and doing unscheduled demos on Friday, then a couple scheduled demos on Saturday Morning. Demos will be on the BigBLU. hand forging and on our mechanical hammers (hopefully. . . I am still making parts).

Making a map now to post. . .
- guru - Thursday, 04/10/08 09:38:02 EDT

MAP to CSI anvilfire Hammer-In:
Sorry about the delay posting a map. It is also linked on the CSI Hammer-In page.

See y'all next week!
MAP to Hammer-In
- guru - Thursday, 04/10/08 12:08:50 EDT

MAP error:
Updated the map. I had called Jonesville, Jonestown (like in South Africa). . . Its Jonesville.
- guru - Friday, 04/11/08 09:09:02 EDT

Are you serving kool-aide?
like jonestown south america?
Thomas P - Friday, 04/11/08 12:29:41 EDT

Hammer-In: I'll be bringing my laptop and LCD digital projector with me on this trip, so if any of y'all want to have a show and tell session one evening, just bring your photos. Bring photos of your shop, your work, or even your favorite dog on CD, DVD, or on a USB drive. I did this last year at QuadState and we all had a ball.

Don't forget to bring something for Iron-in-the-Hat.

See you there!

Rich Waugh
vicopper - Saturday, 04/12/08 08:40:30 EDT

Kabiri Forge in Venezuela: A friend and fellow smith, Steven Nickeson, has moved to Venezuela and has set up his exiguously equipped smithy during this past year. He now has an interesting website replete with purple prose, which I enjoyed.
- Frank Turley - Saturday, 04/12/08 10:55:13 EDT

Thanks for the site Frank. I KNEW what purple prose was, but had to look of the definition of exiguously. :-)
Bernard Tappel - Saturday, 04/12/08 22:54:14 EDT

Fisher Anvil(250 lb) 4-sale: I have a 250lb Fisher Anvil 4-sale. My scale puts it at 265lb. Go to EBay and check it out.
- Ron Rawhoof - Tuesday, 04/15/08 21:24:45 EDT

Fisher Anvil(250lb) 4-sale: Clarification: according to Fisher specs, weights are in 25 lb increments under 300lbs. I weighed it in at 265lbs. It's on Ebay.
Ron Rawhoof - Tuesday, 04/15/08 21:27:45 EDT

Item number?

Thomas P - Wednesday, 04/16/08 12:07:59 EDT

Fisher Anvil: Thomas,

It would appear to be item #320240551913, and at $2/lb, a pretty good value if you live close enough to pick it up. As I may have remarked before, (okay, often), I love my 250# Fisher.
vicopper - Wednesday, 04/16/08 15:58:59 EDT

Rich, he re-weighed it and came out with *165* so the buy it now is US$3.03 per pound + shipping.

I think I will stay with my 500+# Fisher that was in mint condition and only cost me us$0.68 per pound.

It's about a 2 days drive away too.

Thomas P - Wednesday, 04/16/08 20:02:05 EDT

Yeah, I only paid about a $1.50/lb for my 250, and that included shipping it here to the VI. It, too, was in near mint condition. Still is, in fact.

Heck, I only paid around $2.25/lb for my 450# Nimba. I'm not as cheap (okay, fortunate) as ou when it comes to anvils, but pretty near.
vicopper - Thursday, 04/17/08 02:13:13 EDT

Nope: He weighed it at 265. see the clarification.
- Mills - Thursday, 04/17/08 09:25:59 EDT

Mills re-read it *carefully* I have copied over what he has on the listing *right* *now*.

"I apologize to those that looked at this auction the other day. I woke up this morning and thought I should re-weigh the anvil because I picked it up too easily for 265lbs. I misread my scale, its actually 165lbs. So I revised the weight and price."

Thomas P - Thursday, 04/17/08 11:11:32 EDT

Anvil: I'm trying to find info on what appears to be an antique anvil or metal fabrication device. It’s a block of steel 4” by 18” square. Graduated round and square holes throughout. Graduated arcs around the edges for metal forming. Approx 1-200 pounds. Any info please email
ric stephens - Thursday, 04/17/08 14:21:11 EDT

Ric it's a swageblock; look up that term. In general they were not dated or marked by a manufacturer so trying to figure out how old it is or who made it is an exercise in futility

As for e-mailing you: if it's not worth your time to check back; it's not worth my time to e-mail!

Thomas P - Thursday, 04/17/08 16:05:06 EDT

Ohh: I didn't look at the link, only at the posts here. I make a better lurker than poster.
- Mills - Friday, 04/18/08 09:15:27 EDT

Fisher Anvil: I apologize for making the mistake of looking at my scale with my glasses off. I should have know that I couldn't have picked up 265lbs. Perhaps my ego was reading the scale. How long ago did you guys buy your anvils for .60 through 1.50 a pound? I remember buying my first anvil 12 years ago at .75 a pound. I can't find 'em that cheap anymore. Good anvils seems to have dried up on Ebay too.
Ron Rawhoof - Saturday, 04/19/08 09:58:52 EDT

I lived in central Ohio till about 2004 amd I averaged finding a name brand anvil in good to excellent shape for under US$1 per pound every year the last 8 years or so I lived there.

I'm anviled up fairly well so I haven't been looking much out here in NM; but the two I have found so far were free; though one, a bridge anvil, was in pretty poor shape.

I never thought e-bay a good resource as I could generally find them locally cheaper than the shipping off e-bay not even thinking about the price!

On the other hand, Jock calls me a "finder" and I spend a lot of time "on the hunt" so to speak. I budget that time and expense as entertainment and do not count it against the price of the stuff I find.

My biggest helps in getting anvils inexpensively are: Talk with everyone about your search---my best deals have come from folks you would never think about anvils in conjunction with; and be able to pay cash! I tell folks my "allowance" is US$20 a week +- $1000; by sticking to my allowance we always have enough saved away that I can do a cash deal if my CFO/wife agrees. I've seen many a great deal go by the wayside because folks haven't had cash on hand to close it!

Thomas P - Monday, 04/21/08 13:37:54 EDT

Cheap Anvils. . :
Normally if a smith or smithing resource has it you are going to pay a high price because they know the value of good old tools.

Many individuals and occasionally antique dealers sell anvils cheap because they don't want to deal with the weight OR do not know the actual value.

On the other hand. I bought a nice little 125# Mousehole anvil at SOFA for $125 a few years ago. The guy selling it was doing so for a friend who set the price. Everyone said is was worth more but the guy selling said his friend said sell it. Good deal for me. I needed a more portable anvil than the 200 and 300 pounders. . .

Folks still occasionally sell an anvil for $50 just to get rid of it. But those days are getting rarer and rarer.
- guru - Monday, 04/21/08 16:21:08 EDT

I had a great time at the Anvilfire hammer-in. The demos were very good. I learned a lot and left feeling inspired. I would like to thank everyone that helped put this event together.
Jason Mecum - Monday, 04/21/08 21:21:02 EDT

Celtic Festival of Southern Maryland, April 26, 2008: I'll be demonstrating our Viking Age forge (as well as participating in our Viking Camp and displaying our faering boat) in Calvert County, Maryland, this Saturday. If you are in the area (or just dig Celtic music or clans or tartans or whatever) please feel free to come on by. We had hoped to have the ship there, but we hadn't counted on February being three months long this year! 8-0 Well, maybe next year...

C'mon by anyway, it's fun! Hundreds of bagpipes, and lots o' redheads!

Celtic Festival of Southern Maryland
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Monday, 04/21/08 23:19:13 EDT

Conflicts, conflicts. . . I have promises that weekend and the weekend of the BAM conference my daughter is having her wedding celebration. . .
- guru - Wednesday, 04/23/08 16:48:57 EDT

BAM: I'll be at BAM as just one o' the guys; not demonstrating. If you approach me as a long ago student, tell me your name. I will pretend that I remember you even though you've aged and I really have no clue.
- Frank Turley - Wednesday, 04/23/08 21:39:39 EDT

: But Frank, I look exactly the same as I did 25 years ago. :-)

Good to hear you are coming. See you there.
Bernard Tappel - Wednesday, 04/23/08 22:27:14 EDT

BAM: Looking forward to seeing our friends at BAM!

Steve and David Kayne
- Steve Kayne - Tuesday, 04/29/08 09:21:58 EDT

Pictures: I would like to try to upload some pictures or sned them to Jock. What is the procedure/ adress, or is there a sister website?
- John Christiansen - Wednesday, 04/30/08 11:28:09 EDT

John, Email them to me at Note that this is a temporary address that may cease working in a few months.

- guru - Wednesday, 04/30/08 11:38:14 EDT

We would like photos and stories from the BAM conference. As noted above I could not go due to a conflict.
- guru - Wednesday, 04/30/08 13:25:12 EDT

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