Some tools to drool over.  Image (c) 1998 Jock Dempsey.  Click for enlargement. WELCOME to the anvilfire!
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May 2003 Archive

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks: Thanks to the people who sent in the info on hardening a ball pien. I used Mr. Turley's method and had good results with some practice. Thanks again.
- David Manen - Thursday, 05/01/03 03:47:09 GMT

Yes, we do have anvils in Aussie! All you need is patience. I looked at a few at auctions, got blown out by the opening bid at one. A pretty good Peter Wright, close on 300 pounds, went for just under $A1000. Another unknown of the same size, complete with gas axe nicks, not much less.

I ended up with a 112 lb BK Australia made, which I think will be OK. Tendered just over $3 a pound for it. Since then I have seen $450 asked for the same anvil in the Weekend Shopper.

The trick is to not to need to buy, but to want to buy.

Sunny Queensland, good one day, paradise the next!
- Big A - Thursday, 05/01/03 10:39:23 GMT

Touchstone Center for Crafts is having a HAMMER-IN MAY 3-4 at 9:00
AM 1-800-721-0177 ,724-329-1370, E-MAIL,

there are 4 demonstrators: Tal Harris,trad work, Marty Reisig,colonial
work, Kim Thomas, damasucs, Dan
Easley, shop tips, at the Hart Moore Studio

pre-REG. $25.00 on site $30.00 at 8:00 AM; food and lodging available.
call for INFO. about lodging & food
there will be a auction, iron-in-the hat, scholarship tuition give a way ,
tailgating, evening demo on Sat night,also entertainment
A small exhibit will be set up in the museum for people who want to bring

this is a great place, nice forging studio ..
new cabins this year...

Touchstone is located the PA Laurel Highlands in Farmington, PA. off US
route 40, 1049 Wharton Furnace Rd. ten miles east from Uniontown , 3
hours from Wash. DC.

  TCC - Thursday, 05/01/03 12:35:22 GMT

linament: I've reached an age where liniment is in order. A few years back, I used an old fashioned one that had about 35% extract of terpentine. It hurt so good!! I haven't been able to find it. the tradename "Sloan's" comes to mind. It is not Volcanic made by McLean's. Volcanic doesn't sting enough. I miss that turpentine feeling. Is it on the market, or is there one comparable?
Frank Turley - Thursday, 05/01/03 23:16:55 GMT


Let me see if I can find the recepi for the linament that my grandfather used to make. I've got it somewhere, but darned if I remember where. It had Amoco white gas, kerosene, oil of eucalyptus, and something els, mustard I think. But I don't remember the proportions. EPA would never allow it to be sold today, but it sure did work. Good for chiggers, too. A little drop was all it took.
Paw Paw - Thursday, 05/01/03 23:19:49 GMT

Paw Paw and others interested in black powder.....I had a chance to try the new Hogdon Triple Seven yesterday in a .45 Sharps 3 1/4 inch cartridge, and I LIKE it! It has a lot more ooomph than Pyrodex, and the clean up is EASIER than smokeless powders in newer rifles. Accuracy is better than Pyrodex, too.
Ellen - Friday, 05/02/03 17:56:13 GMT

Hogden Triple Seven:


Interesting, thanks for the report. Guess I'll have to give it a try.
Paw Paw - Friday, 05/02/03 18:19:59 GMT

Hey Paw Paw, I was rumaging through I-forge and came across a reference to you using super quench. What exactly is super quench, and how does that differ from water, oil, or suspended oil in water? Correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem to imply that it hardens items better than other methods. (You'd mentioned quenching a mild carbon anvil tool in it in one of the demo's)
  Monica - Friday, 05/02/03 22:12:52 GMT

Monica: There is an FAQ on Super Quench, under the Heat Treating link on the FAQ page.

That said, a quick overview is that Super Quench is a heavy brine solution with a couple of extra ingredients, all designed to make a more severe quench that plain water. SQ won't turn mild steel into tool steel, BUT for those situations where you wish mild steel was just a bit harder, SQ is one answer.

Guru doesn't particularly like SQ, he thinks it's over "hyped". Jock says (and he is probably right) that you can accomplish the same thing with very cold ice water.

I do like SQ, it works well for me. I don't have enough ice cubes sometimes to make the water as cold as it would have to be. And I'll be dammed if I'll waste alcohol puting it into a quenchant! (grin)
Paw Paw - Friday, 05/02/03 22:58:02 GMT

Traveling: Monday morning I have to jump on a plane for Seattle, to attend a conference put on by the Feds. Nasty long plane ride, three long days of listening to stuff I should know more about than I do. Then a quick drive down to Portland for a couple days visit with my Dad and brothers, followed by another miserable long plane ride home. I may or may not get a chance to get online while I'm away, so if I don't show up here for several days, you know why. I'm really looking forward to the TSA prostate check or whatever it is they do for security these post 9-11 days. (grin)
- vicopper - Sunday, 05/04/03 03:32:15 GMT

traveling: vicopper,
Man I wish I had known you was coming over. I only live about 18 miles from Portland! If you do see this and you might want to meet up and tell lies in person let me know.
Ralph - Monday, 05/05/03 16:41:06 GMT

I would like to do a stepping stone of mosaic glass
or stained glass of a blacksmith's anvil for my boy
friend who is a blacksmith artist, does anyone know
of a pattern which could be used or some art work of
an anvil that could be used to design my own?
  sharon - Monday, 05/05/03 20:23:58 GMT

Sharon: I can email you some anvil graphics, if you'd like.
Paw Paw - Monday, 05/05/03 21:39:02 GMT

Frank: Ihave been using a product called BIOFREEZE on my shoulder and it seems to work real well. I found out about this product at my physical therapist I bought it at my local drug store for about $12.00
- Mike - Monday, 05/05/03 22:58:32 GMT

biofreeze: Thanks Mike, I'll check it out.
- Frank Turley - Tuesday, 05/06/03 00:12:02 GMT

Job Loss in the USA:
Comments responding to and agreeing with what Jock and some others posted on the Guru page. Just cuz I'm in a mood tonight. Grin.

The public is and has been dumb enough to believe the tripe they are sold by the politicians and "think tank" parasites who line their pockets with business lobby money. The public deserves what they are getting. Less jobs and lower paying jobs. And to further the ignorance, the public that does still have good paying jobs would rather spend tax money on something like a sports complex or their own money on a new boat or foreign car than superior education for their kids.

Political greed is enabled by the lack of concern of the public. Politicians want to keep their jobs. If enough people really cared about maintaining the standard of living in the USA and voted and communicated to their representatives, we wouldn't have NAFTA. Course, we wouldn't be buying as many foreign owned products either.

The REAL future problem for the hard working is that each of the idiots who votes their jobs away is still a voter with the power to suck money from the hard working folk as taxes. They will need our tax dollars to support them in the manner to which they feel they have become entitled.

It is indeed the Chinese (and Asians) that we need to be very concerned about. They are hard working and very hungry. As soon as they get educated and experienced, they will kick butt on the average American factory worker I've seen. Assuming of course that the Communists free them up enough. From a jobs standpoint, we'd better hope communism lasts a long time in China.

- Tony - Tuesday, 05/06/03 03:32:34 GMT


Some folks might want to accuse you of bringing up the old "yellow peril" bugaboo, but I happen to agree with you completely.
Paw Paw - Tuesday, 05/06/03 03:57:04 GMT

Super Quench: I remember now that I did read someting about it in the FAQ's, but misremembered the amount of detail it gave.

Coming into Summer in Florida... The quench tank is starting to resemble a nice hot tub, BEFORE the first piece of hot iron hits it. I guess if I dump all of the water out, and replace it with ice, I could have an ice bath for about 15 minutes. ;P

Ahhh the joys of scrap. I have some pieces that look like they'd be perfect for some light duty (or light amounts of heavy work) pieces for the anvil. Problem is I think they're mild steel. If I keep my work piece good and hot, and stop when I should, the tools should do ok. I just want to give them as much of an edge as possible.
Monica - Tuesday, 05/06/03 15:40:26 GMT

Monica: Working with mild, to preserve mild steel dies and such, never forge below flourescent. If the color is almost gone, put it back in the fire.
Paw Paw - Tuesday, 05/06/03 15:48:08 GMT

Power Hammer For Sale: I ran accross an add in the classified section of our local (NE Ohio) paper. It said "Industrial hammer made in Mankato MN-$1000." I am not currently in a possition to buy the hammer, but I called the seller anyway and asked permission to post the ad here. It appears that it is being sold by the widow of the man who owned it. She told me it is about 5 ft tall, but she was not able to give me any more info. At that size it is almost certainly a 25 or possibly a 50 lb unit, and being made in MN makes it a Little Giant. The phone # is 740-922-1565. For those of you familiar with Ohio geography, the hammer is located about 30 mi soulth of New Philadelphia. I hope it goes to a good home.
- Patrick Nowak - Tuesday, 05/06/03 19:49:55 GMT

Sloan's Liniment: Frank, it's still available, but maybe not at your local pharmacy.

Apparently Pfizer makes it and from the ingredients it should be pretty good. Methyl Salicylate, camphor, hot pepper oil, turpentine.

The link is to the patient information sheet.

I expect you'll find several sources on the net for the stuff if you googlize "Sloan's Liniment".

As for me, every time I get sore I try another local pharmacist trying to figure out who wound up with the formula for Phog Allen's liniment. . . Had some years ago and it worked better than anything I've tried since. . . the stuff had a strong wintergreen smell. . . Of course, I'm a lot older than I was back then too.

Sloan's liniment Patient Info
John Lowther. - Tuesday, 05/06/03 22:28:45 GMT

John Lowther:

> Of course, I'm a lot older than I was back then too.

Aren't we all? (wry grin)
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 05/07/03 01:36:41 GMT

liniment: Lowther, That's it! I shoulda' googled it myself, but the name Sloan's popped into my head at the last minute, and I didn't trust it.
Frank Turley - Wednesday, 05/07/03 03:01:34 GMT

Mo' Linament: Howdy, Frank; How about the good ol' equestrian strength Absorbine Linament? That stuff will sho'nuff get yer attention. (Great visit, glad to hear everybody's feeling better, especially the little one. A little smoke was sent up for her.) Best regards, 3dogs. (My E-mail's busted)
- 3dogs - Wednesday, 05/07/03 18:06:49 GMT

Wire tools: PawPaw, did anything come of your search for TL29s and the pliers? 3dogs
- 3dogs - Wednesday, 05/07/03 18:10:37 GMT


No, wasn't able to find the pliers.
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 05/07/03 18:16:09 GMT

Bruise Juice: I'm in the SCA, which aside from it's more refined arts/sci, includes folk getting dressed up in armor, and bashing the snot out of one another for fun. There's a local linament used called bruise juice that they make out of pepermint schnaps, with seeped herbs (nothing you can't buy at the local homeopathic health/fitness store). They swear that it solves both bruises, and sore/strained muscles.
Monica - Wednesday, 05/07/03 21:22:51 GMT


Mind trying to get the recipe?
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 05/07/03 21:32:20 GMT

Monica, this peppermint schnaps mix, are you sure it is an EXTERNAL treatment for aches and pains
Ellen - Wednesday, 05/07/03 21:53:58 GMT


With the rest of the stuff in it, it probably wouldn't be very good to drink. But you probably need to empty about half of the bottle to have room to put the rest of the stuff in.

I like ApfelSchnapps better, though.
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 05/07/03 22:34:58 GMT


Jock has a virus, it may be a couple of days before he can get back on line.

Guru's keep an eye on things, answer as many questions as y can, and I will do the same.
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 05/07/03 23:45:01 GMT

Folks,: He got back on line a lot quicker than he and I thought he would. Good Show!
Paw Paw - Thursday, 05/08/03 07:11:04 GMT

I'll try to get the recipe, Paw Paw. I'll let you know if I succeed.

Ellen, they've found much more interesting methods for internal treatment for pain. Brewing, meadmaking and vinting are considered under the heading of "Arts and Sciences" and thoroughly covered. (grin) One of these day's I'll get the carboys back out and see if I can revive a favorite I used to do... Lemon wine is suprisingly light, but potent (p.s. if you're using your grandfather's books that assume yeast dies at 7%, and use good modern yeast, 18% by volume is, ummm, suprisingly easy to get when you're aiming for a sweet wine).
Monica - Thursday, 05/08/03 16:03:16 GMT

Linament: I was thinking of the absorbine horse linament too, not the Jr. stuff,
Like my Dad would say "if it's good enough for the horse its good enough for you"
- JimG - Thursday, 05/08/03 16:50:29 GMT

Little Giant Dies on ebay: Hello guys,

I have a a couple lots on ebay that haven't gotten a bid yet -- so I figurend I better get busy and make sure someone knows about them:

I've never posted here -- so I'm not sure how well these ebay links will work.


Terry Cowan
392hemi - Thursday, 05/08/03 18:00:46 GMT

Terry,: They worked fine as cut and paste. Wish I could use the dies, that's a darn good price.
Paw Paw - Thursday, 05/08/03 23:22:50 GMT

All liniment Responders: I appreciate all the liniment advice. I bought some Absorbine horse liniment at the feed store and tried it. It didn't ring my bell. But Sloan's! Now, that'll blow your hair back!
Frank Turley - Saturday, 05/10/03 00:29:58 GMT

Auction Sites: I am making more stuff than I can sell. I have posted some tables on the Auction page (Click on the "Navigate Anvilfire" button on the top right of your screen.)

I would like to know if there is anybody out there with experience on selling via auction sites. Does it work? Any advice on reserve prices etc? Which auction site is best for forged products?

Should I make tools and sell these rather than fittings and furniture? (I can make things for much cheaper than the USA guys because of the exchange rate but the shipping will equilize any price difference.)
Tiaan - Saturday, 05/10/03 20:27:17 GMT

SCA:: Monica, what part of the country are you in? I've been in the SCA for more years than I care to recall (or am able to recall ;) )

What sort of smithing do you do? I haven't gotten into armor, the market is too crowded, and most fighters want stainless now.
Tim - Sunday, 05/11/03 04:44:05 GMT

SCA: Tim, Monica; I've been in the sca for 25 years myself, generally bring a forge to events I attend but am not a merchant---just enjoy forging and teaching and researching.

With the job situation I may not be at Pennsic; but ask me closer and if I and y'all can go please stop by and visit sometime. I camp with the folks who smelt iron every year in camp!

SKA wilelm the smith
- Thomas Powers - Sunday, 05/11/03 05:02:36 GMT

liniment: Nobody mentioned Tiger Balm so here I am mentioning it. It's comes in a tiny jar, available at just about any Asian grocery store. Camphor, Eucalyptus and god knows what else.. It's Ben Gay with an attitude :)
- chris smith - Monday, 05/12/03 00:23:00 GMT

Chris: My Gawd, I forgot all about Tiger Balm! Thank you for mentioning it!
Paw Paw - Monday, 05/12/03 01:13:30 GMT

Liniment??: What with all this talk about liniment you folks surely haven't seen the ads on TV for the Q-Ray bracelet. Guaranteed to relieve any pains and make the lame run. Just three easy payments of $49.95. Flexible, adjustable and stylish enough to wear anywhere. Quaranteed to work or your money back.

I ain't got the money, but maybe one of you people might care to try and give us a report. Sounds like it might be right down Paw Paw's alley. Product review. Might even try for a senior discount there, Paw Paw.
- Larry - Monday, 05/12/03 02:14:22 GMT

Picked up a Buffalo forge blower this weekend, at, of all places, a gun shop. I was looking for an M1 Carbine, but got the blower and a poor man's cone mandrel instead. Also known as a flat belt pulley. It has several flats, of different diameters. Looks like one donut on a bigger one on a bigger one, etc. But now I need to figure out how to make a stand for the Buffalo. It is different than my Champion blowers. Looks like it will mount on a horizontal pipe, but it doesn't seem to have any set screws to keep it from slipping. But I also need to figure out the rest of the stand. Any suggestions?
- Bob H. - Monday, 05/12/03 02:25:02 GMT

Bob H.: Send me a picture, I think I know what the blower you are talking about looks like, and if I am right, I can take a picture of a stand for you.
Paw Paw - Monday, 05/12/03 03:34:13 GMT

Blower Stand: Sounds to me like the one *with* the tubular fitting on the base. I have one like that myself, it fits into a "clamshell" like clamp that fits around the outside of the tube and there is a bolt that tightens the clamshell to grab the tube tightly.

- Thomas Powers - Monday, 05/12/03 12:28:28 GMT

That what I think it is, too. I've got one for the big Buffalo forge that I use for a permanent forge here at the house.
Paw Paw - Monday, 05/12/03 13:17:21 GMT

SCA : I'm in Trimaris / Florida. And I'm working towards decorative achitectural, but still a newbie on the forge.

Been in the SCA for about 13 years.
Monica - Monday, 05/12/03 15:32:07 GMT

Thomas, SCA: Thomas,

I've heard of you, but don't think we've ever met. I'm from NE PA (AEthelmearc, Endless Hills). I won't be going to Pennsic this year, as my wife and I are buying a house this summer. By any chance will you be at War Practice at Cooper's Lake this weekend? I'd like to meet you and talk smithing.


SKA Tigranes of Bezabde
Tim - Monday, 05/12/03 21:31:47 GMT

Some Call him "Tim": With the job loss, I've cut off most of my travel plans so I won't be able to attend war practice---saving the cash for some job interview trips.

What ever you have heard of me is *lies*, *all* *lies* I have the woodcuts to prove I was somewhere else at the time!

Thomas SKA wilelm the smith
- Thomas Powers - Tuesday, 05/13/03 12:43:13 GMT



You remind me of the old Irish politician. Laying on his death bed, when the priest came to give him the last rites, he told the priest:

"Father, I want you to know that half of the lies they tell about me are NOT true!"

Paw Paw - Tuesday, 05/13/03 14:38:15 GMT

Apprenticeship: Hi, i am despertly looking for a somewhat apprenticeship deal in blacksmithing.(most perferibly weapon smithing). I am a very fast learner and hard worker. If you know anyone in central florida would you please e-mail me, Thanks

Daniel - Wednesday, 05/14/03 01:13:16 GMT

lies: Well I'd figure they were *all* off; well some of them are spot on but folks just don't believe them---like me charging "celtic warrior style" down the stairs with a spear when someone tried to break into our house; a few over state the case; but some are off through understating the case....if they only *knew*

So Paw-Paw, is Condor gamier than Eagle and both gamier than spoted owl?

- Thomas Powers - Wednesday, 05/14/03 01:14:02 GMT


Beats me, that's three that I haven't tried. But I would GUESS that Condor would tast Rancid, Eagle would taste fishy, and Spotted out would taste a bit like rat! (grin)
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 05/14/03 01:30:48 GMT

Paw Paw : now that is takeing the hole you are what you eat thing a bit far..
MP - Wednesday, 05/14/03 05:09:12 GMT

You calling me a rat?? (grin)
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 05/14/03 12:59:27 GMT

Daniel - aprenticeship: Daniel, you should look into the Florida Artists Blacksmith Association, which is a chapter of ABANA. Their website is The NE chapter is going to be meeting at Barberville the first weekend of next month, directions on the website.

Most folks will be willing to help mentor you, if that's whay you mean by aprenticeship. However, while you may get to blades, it is not where to start.
Monica - Wednesday, 05/14/03 15:46:27 GMT

Apprenticeship: Don't we have the apprenticeship thing in a faq somewhere?

Here is the shortened version---i've got to work on my resume!

Most professional (and amateur) blademakers run 1 person shops, there is not room or equipment for another person on a regular basis---safety you know. They also don't have a lot of un-skilled labour jobs. Even some of them get done by the maker to preserve the "single authorship" which is what folks are often paying for.

What you are asking is for someone to take time out of keeping their family fed to teach you in barter for what?

So what skills do you have that a blademaker may be short on? Jewelry making, leather working and machining comes to mind and all of those can be learned *before* you apprentice---look for classes on them at local community colleges.

The fastest way to get a leg up would be to take classes at the ABS school in Texarkana AR (American Bladesmiths Society). They are not that expensive---shoot one could mow lawns on the side and make the tuition.

The other method would be to look for folks who do this for fun and arrange to work with them on a regular basis. I would ask the local SCA group if they have regular armouring nights or join the local ABANA group and see if anyone is willing to coach you.

I teach the basics for free at meetings of the MOB and I *had* a 1 year true apprenticeship that I'm still feeling guilty over how much I slowed down the blademaker who taught me so much.

Flypress: got a friend with a half dozen; but he uses his for coin striking...I picked up a nice sized one cheap but it's waiting the "one true shop" to have enough room to try it out in billet welding---drawing will be done with a triphammer.

- Thomas Powers - Wednesday, 05/14/03 17:46:02 GMT

Need Information: What do you give a pitbull that has ingested gun oil?
- Bobbie - Wednesday, 05/14/03 19:40:20 GMT

Potential Blacksmith Job on Historic House in Maryland: His Lordship's Kindness (ca. 1787 in Poplar Hill, MD, near Rt. 4 and Rt. 301 in Prince George's County) is in need of a simple iron stair rail that will blend in with the rest of the house. Please contact me off-board for further details. (It would sure look good on the resume'.)
Poplar Hill
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Wednesday, 05/14/03 19:59:59 GMT

Pit bull: Usually what I hear is milk, however, a local vet or perhaps the poison hotline might be better choices for information. (though Poison control may not like being bothered for a dog) Was it regular oil, or coper disolving solvent-type stuff. If it was the solvent, definately call experts.
Monica - Wednesday, 05/14/03 21:14:12 GMT


That's a pretty vague question. I suppose it would depend on what "kind" of oil it was. If it were organic based like mineral or vegetable, I wouldn't worry. If it is petrolem based it could be dangerous -- not to mention if it contains silicon or teflon.

I just read the mice-type on the back of a can of RemOil Gun Oil. It reads like pure toxic waste, and says to call poison control and visit your doctor if ingested.

I'd call a vet, with the type of gun oil handy so you can read them off the ingredients.
Zero - Wednesday, 05/14/03 21:27:00 GMT

Daniel/Apprenticeship: Apprenticeship - just starting on blademaking myself - for interest, not as a day job. Having just attended my first blade symposium a few weeks ago, I'd have to say that the ABS school sounds great. I'd also suggest getting to something like the Batson symposiom at Tannehill, AL, and spending the time in the beginners' classes. Good stuff, and you'll pick up information and ideas and materials to keep you busy, easily till the next symposium. I could also suggest some good books. I've read one and a half of Wayne Goddard's books, about half of Terzuola's, and some of David Boye's. All of these and others that look really good are in stock at Amazon or Barnes and Noble. The "Best of the Bits" books from the Alabama Forge Council have some good knife articles, too. Finally, get in with your local blacksmith group. There's a lot of value in knowing basic blacksmithing even if you think all you want is knifemaking. I got into this just to make chisels, and have gotten all caught up in all the other blacksmithing stuff. And most gatherings of blacksmiths seem to have at least one or two with a special interest in blades, and more than that have at least made a couple. So for a beginner, lots of guys at a forge meeting would have useful information. I don't think you need continuous instruction so much as occasional guidance interspersed with LOTS of practice.

Steve A - Thursday, 05/15/03 18:03:48 GMT

Steve A.:
That's good advice! I'll add that the books by Jim Hrisoulas are excellent sources of information, too.
Paw Paw - Thursday, 05/15/03 18:35:32 GMT

apprenticeship: I would tend to say the a bladesmith needs a bit more in the way of constant looking over than a general smith. It is easier to learn both types of smithing with a mentor but knife making is a much more unforgiving process and so having a mentor watching you is faster way to learn with out getting bad habits. But that is my two cents worth. Also one of the many reasons why I am less interested in bladesmithing. Less forging and more grinding and furniture work... (grin) I like mushing metal.....

BTW Daniel, did you say where generally you are? It would help to see if there were active bladesmiths in the area. I know that Wayne offers classes( he is in Oregon) and as mentioned there are several good bladesmithing schools around
Ralph - Thursday, 05/15/03 19:01:09 GMT

apprenticeship: Daniel is in my neck of the woods, or swamp, as the case may be. I hope he does get in with FABA. It's a great group of guys (and gals). There are several smiths that specialize in blades, and all of them are willing to share info.

Heck, I DON'T intend to be a bladesmith, but one gentleman persists in educating me (nicely, not pushy) on the distinctions between blade work and general work. Since all information is useful, I pay attention.
Monica - Thursday, 05/15/03 21:14:40 GMT

apprenticeship: Monica,
Exactly. I try to learn as much as I can given my time. Knowledge is a good thing. And, I do on accation make a knfe or two. Usually for my dear wife......errr that is kitchen knives....(grin)
Ralph - Thursday, 05/15/03 21:58:53 GMT


Guru does have a connection while he's out of town, but won't be able to check as often. I'm leaving tomorrow for a
demo at King's Mountain National Military Park, and will be out of touch until sunday evening. Y'all keep an eye on
the place while we're gone, please.
Paw Paw - Friday, 05/16/03 04:04:51 GMT

Grinder saftey: This is a post that I copied for Paw Paw from I gave them a link to the saftey demos here. The first guy was chosen to do the monthly saftey talk and it was on grinders, for a wood working buisness.

"Gents, Again thanks for all your input.Always good to hear other sides. Seems we get to lax sometimes and thats when it happens. Seeing Paw-Paw really brings home the need for a safty meeting on bench grinders! I feel that no one at my work has any idea of the potental hazard that could result from improper use that I see most every day. I never understood the severity of it all. To answer you directly Spence,The safty meetings are thought up by us to be used by us and to also maintain a good repore with the local OSHA that has come around often. Last year we were inspected by them and got a 750$ fine which when we arbitrated, even that was wiped out. We were all very proud about the final report. EVERY person at work is self motivated about safty and we have an open policy about it but no one feels its to anal. I think our system is working, we just need to keep at it. This safty meeting next Monday will really open their eyes. Thanks all, Dave"

"Thanks for the link and the great pictures! I'll use these in my classes when we cover grinders. Your efforts may well save some teeth, eyes and faces!!

These are two seperate people who are going to use the pictures and information from the IForge saftey demos to teach employees and students.

Caleb Ramsby
Caleb Ramsby - Saturday, 05/17/03 16:38:36 GMT

New Folk: I was at the fleamarket this morning---cold and damp and nobody (buyers or sellers) were there so of course I meet two other mob members looting the corpse---nothing to loot unfortunately.

However back in the buyers parking lot I felt a disturbance in the geomagnetic continuium---hiding between two box trucks was a PU pulling a trailer with 2 postvises and 4 anvils on it under a pile of old plows and other impedimentia.

Tracking down the owner(s) I found out that they were on their way *back* from a steamshow? in Portland IN and the two box trucks contained the remains of what they took to sell (another postvise, an old bic anvil and some large pexto pieces was what they showed us in the one truck).

Anyway while we didn't make any deals I invited them to Quad-State in September and to this website. So if y'all get here and read this say Howdy!
- Thomas Powers - Sunday, 05/18/03 21:29:55 GMT

That's the kind of response I've been seeing. As I said before, if it keeps one person from getting hurt.......

Thanks for the feedback, I do appreciate it.
Paw Paw - Monday, 05/19/03 10:39:24 GMT

Power Hammers: To All,
We are rebuilding Little Giant hammers in my shop. As of today we have three hammers complete. Two 25lb. and one 50lb. They are completely restored to better-than-new condition. They have new motors and your choice of new drawing or flat dies.
- Mike George - Monday, 05/19/03 15:54:21 GMT

Power Hammers: I forgot to say where we are rebuilding hammers. My shop is in Alva, OK. Alva is in the northwest corner of the main body of Oklahoma.
Mike George - Monday, 05/19/03 16:06:07 GMT


I'm glad you caught that! (grin)

Wish I was closer.
Paw Paw - Monday, 05/19/03 18:25:20 GMT

I have a .020 stainless steel bowl spot welded to a chrome plated mild steel pedestal. The welds are breaking and causing the bowl to leak. Without a tig, how can I stop the leak?
  Glenn Funderburk - Monday, 05/19/03 21:22:46 GMT


This is a non-tradtional answer, but Bondo, or JB Weld should work.
Paw Paw - Monday, 05/19/03 22:58:19 GMT

Paw Paw: What's non-traditional about Bondo? Isn't that just the modern improved version of bubble gum?
SGensh - Tuesday, 05/20/03 00:12:24 GMT


Well, might be at that! (grin)
Paw Paw - Tuesday, 05/20/03 00:15:25 GMT

Glenn's Bowl: Glenn,

I'm guessing, from the light guage of the stainless and the chrome plated stand, that this is some sort of food service item. That Being the case, JB Weld will work, but eventually breaks down in commercial dishwashers. The Bondo won't last at all.

The better solution is to use a low-temperature silver-bearing lead-free solder, suitable for food service use. McMaster-Carr sells the stuff. Be sure you get the right flux for it, too. I prefer Johnson's liquid flux myself, but others are good, too. A household propane torch, used carefully, will do the job just fine.
vicopper - Tuesday, 05/20/03 01:53:56 GMT

Punctuation: I just re-read that last post. Boy, do I love those commas and hyphens! I need an editor, I guess. (grin)
vicopper - Tuesday, 05/20/03 01:55:44 GMT

Vic's answer is better than mine. I never thought of low temp silver solder.
Paw Paw - Tuesday, 05/20/03 02:31:11 GMT

Silver solder: Any silver brazing alloy used to repair food service equipment must also be cadmium free. Low temp silver solder will flow out at around 430 F. I've had pretty good luck with the new lead free solder that is being used for copper water pipes. Best regards, 3dogs
- 3dogs - Tuesday, 05/20/03 05:58:46 GMT

Punctuation: Vic; I know what you mean; being rather fond of the semicolon, myself. 3dogs
- 3dogs - Tuesday, 05/20/03 06:04:19 GMT

Sometime ago, someone asked me a question about Beche Hammers. I just recieved the following from a friend:

I just picked up Douglas feund's new book, A Blacksmith's & Hammerman's Emporium (2001). He has a chapter about Nazel c. 1914. Nazel made and sold Beche hammers in the USA. Subsequent Nazel hammers were knockoffs of the Beche. Therefore, your inquirer should be able to learn about his hammer's missing pieces by finding a Nazel to examine. Beche sold thousands of machines in Europe before entering the USA market. He should be able to ask European smiths for advice.
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 05/21/03 00:22:40 GMT

Good Picture Book.: I just received via an octavo sized paperback titled, "Fixtures and Fittings in Dated Houses 1567-1763". The brief text is by N.W. Alcock and the line drawings are by Linda Hall. viii.+75 pages, reprinted 2002.

There are 17 pages showing English iron door and window hardware. The drawings are done to scale and reduced for reproduction purposes. Most pages have an inch/centimeter scale, so you can get an idea of size. The book also includes such features as wooden balusters, newel posts, molding profiles, spice cupboards, and finials. The book was first published in 1994 by the Council for British Archeology, Bowes Morrell House, 111 Walmgate, York Y01 9WA, U.K. ISBN 1 872414 52 4. My kinda' book!

Frank Turley - Wednesday, 05/21/03 00:34:37 GMT


Sounds like a pretty! I'll take a look for it.
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 05/21/03 01:03:51 GMT


0 Matches found, durnit!
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 05/21/03 01:07:37 GMT

re.stainless bowl: this is used in food service, actually a champagne fountain, any suggestions on how to keep is from buckling under the heat while soldering? have been using mapp because it's hotter than propane, should I go back to propane? Glenn aka Rentaratchet
- Glenn Funderburk - Wednesday, 05/21/03 01:42:18 GMT


I'd go back to Propane, if it will get hot enough to melt the solder, and it should. I've used the new lead free plumbing solder with propane and it worked fine.
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 05/21/03 01:57:21 GMT

Book: PPW I found my copy at the annual medieval conference at Kalamazoo MI, I'll see if any of the catalogs I brought home list it.

- Thomas Powers - Wednesday, 05/21/03 14:30:03 GMT


I'd much appreciate it.
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 05/21/03 15:12:28 GMT

Thomas : Hey Thomas, if you find the book listed, please let me know as well as Paw Paw, if you don't post it here. I am very interested in it as well.
Monica - Wednesday, 05/21/03 15:41:28 GMT

Smithin' Magician:

Rich, et al: I'm getting ready to build myself a Smithin' Magician. Being a one man shop, this seems easier than to continue to build traditional top and bottom fullers, swages, cutters, etc...

I'll build it with interchangeable top and bottom dies, say 1/2" x 2" x 2" for the bottom, top the same but maybe 5-6" long for stability. Set it at 45 degrees to the hardy for ease of use (got THAT tip from!), and have a semi-Cee frame to clear a full 2" stock width -- with a "button" on top of the upper die to strike against (similar to Rich's).

Since I've only seen pictures, and never used one, any remarks such as: "when I built mine I wish I'd..." or "when I built mine I wish I hadn't..." would be most appreciated.

If it works well, I'll post pix and plans on yahoo.
Zero - Wednesday, 05/21/03 19:15:51 GMT

Magician: Jim,

I li8ke mine just fine the way it is, but if I was doining again and could locate the right stuff, I'd probably build everything except the C frame out of something with about 40 points of carbon. Mine is just A-36 and seems to be holding up fine, but I think a bit more carbon would not only be tougher, but also make it a bit easier to get smooth action with close tolerances. With the A-36 I had to be a bit more "sloppy" than I would have liked, but it really doesn't seem to matter in use. The dies on mine are turned 45 to the frame for clearance, which I find to work well. Turning the whole thing in the hardy hole is also good, but a bit more limiting in terms of how you move stock through the frame, I think. The striking point should be over the center of the navil, if possible, with the hardy tang at the frame end to avoid cracking the anvil heel. Sorry I don't have any plans, but you saw the pics and have the stock right, so go ahead and have fun making it!
- vicopper - Thursday, 05/22/03 01:58:53 GMT

Pennsic & others: If any SCA types, or other smiths for that matter, happen to be in my neighborhood and would like to visit my shop, contact me for an appointment (just to make certain I am there since I am a one man shop.) My shop is about 45 minutes from Cooper's, Ambridge, Pa. I rent space in what was once a steel mill. I do mostly museum work, but use propane in the shop, as well as a Sayha SSM 50. I also have a period set up, reproduction of an 18th. century traveling forge that I use charcoal as the fuel, posted on keenjunk's sketchbook, 5/18/02. I am in the middle of a major on going project for Ft. Ligonier at this time, finishing up hardware for 2nd. ammunition wagon, then on to more artillery hardware, wagons, etc. We have completed about 1/2 of the seige train so far.
Jymm Hoffman - Thursday, 05/22/03 03:21:10 GMT

Iforgeiron: Iforgeiron has been quietly supporting Anvilfire and the Slack-Tub-Pub by posting photos of projects talked about in the pub, in real time - while the conversation is still running. Those images are kept on the site for 24 hours so anyone reading the pub log, can also see the photos and keep up.

Iforgeiron has grown, thanks to the many contributors to the site, to include tools and tricks of the trade, an archive of project photos, and blueprint pages showing tools, jigs, and other information. If you have not been there, it is worth a look.
- Ntech - Thursday, 05/22/03 03:35:29 GMT

Magician/Guillotine: Zero, A friend and I just built a group of six guillotine tools this spring. (I know nobody needs six but amazingly we we have some blacksmithing friends.) Ours also use 1/2 thick tools but I designed it with 3" wide tools to give a full 2 1/2" working width. There is a bottom plate connecting two C frame sides with a milled slot in each side to guide the top and hold the bottom tools. One side frame is tapped to allow a stop to be set. The C frame and open back allow stock to be passed through the tool as well as worked across it. Rich achieved the same thing by using the 45" frame offset. Ours are all bolted construction using 3/4" by 5" CF Bar for the sides. Want me to send you the cad files for the parts?
SGensh - Thursday, 05/22/03 13:53:16 GMT

I love to take a look at your cad drawings! Use AutoCad 14 here.
Zero - Thursday, 05/22/03 14:23:08 GMT

Jymm: Ok, now you're making me regret the fact that I'm not making it to Pennsic this year. POUT. Go on, rub it in.
- Monica - Thursday, 05/22/03 15:52:55 GMT Ntech,

That is a great site you have there, it reminds me of what a blacksmithing encyclopedia would be like. I might have some stuff to add to the masses in a while.

Caleb Ramsby
Caleb Ramsby - Thursday, 05/22/03 15:58:09 GMT

Book Source: Paw-Paw, et al; I did a search on the publisher: The Council for British Archeology, and found that they sell them directly; if you have a credit card it will automatically take care of the exchange process.

I posted the link (I think)

- Thomas Powers - Thursday, 05/22/03 16:25:38 GMT

Iforgeiron: Caleb
Thank you. New material is what makes the site bigger and better. The big additions are announced, but small ones just quietly take their place at the top of the proper pages. Always something new on the site.
- Ntech - Thursday, 05/22/03 17:20:24 GMT


You're NOT going to Pensic????? Darn, I was hoping to see you there! Now I won't go either! (grin)

Thomas, Thanks for the link!
Paw Paw - Thursday, 05/22/03 23:21:58 GMT


The link works, but darned if I can find the book on the site!
Paw Paw - Thursday, 05/22/03 23:27:09 GMT

Finding the book: 1: go to the link'd page

2: just to the left of the big CBA square is a scroll bar, scroll down until you see the purchase CBA publications link to the left of the scroll bar and click on it.

3: at the bottom of the next page click on practical handbooks---it's the 5th one down on that page

It's not a large book in size or thickness; but it's printed on glossy paper and packs a surprising number of examples in a small space.

I wouldn't say it's a must have; but for folks who are into the details it's another source.

- Thomas Powers - Friday, 05/23/03 00:57:54 GMT


I found it! How much did it cost in real money? (grin) I couldn't get it to tell me that until I gave them my card number and I wouldn't give them my card number until I knew how much it was going to cost in dollars.
Paw Paw - Friday, 05/23/03 01:15:03 GMT

Money for book: Paw Paw, if you have web access there are a number of sites that do conversion, one linked below, but basically 1 GBpound = appx US$1.63.

I have never had any problem ordering books from the UK except for the wait...I'm cheap and so use the cheap mailing rate---I have enough stacked up to read while they are building the ship to carry it over...


currency converter
- Thomas Powers - Friday, 05/23/03 15:46:17 GMT

The Revolutionary Blacksmith:


Seems during a software upgrade, Paw Paw has lost all the emails sent to him praising TRB -- This is not a software bug, Microsoft considers this a "feature" ;-)

Aclaim and praise for Paw Paw's story not only helps his head fit into that oversize Stetson he has,(Grin!) but it can also be extremely helpful in securing a publisher. Thereby turning his tale from a serial novel to a full fledged book.

So... If any of you have in the past sent an email praising TRB, please look in your outbox and if you can find it please resend it to Paw Paw -- new praise wouldn't hurt either! I know he'll appreciate it.
Zero - Friday, 05/23/03 17:15:40 GMT

Book: I just ordered my copy of the book. It comes to about $12.00 US. They add 10% to cover shipping to the US.
- Monica - Friday, 05/23/03 21:43:11 GMT

I ordered one too. (grin)
Paw Paw - Friday, 05/23/03 21:52:13 GMT

Le Grand Chapeau: Zero; Ya mean we've found the owner of an actual fer real 10 gallon hat, right here in our midst? An' he ain't even a Texican! Well, my sakes! Mucho kudos, PawPaw. (Tarheels need love, too.)
- 3dogs - Saturday, 05/24/03 07:03:02 GMT

artillery hardware: For those that are interested, I had mentioned being busy with a lot of museum work. Well, the carpenters I have been working with are putting up a web site of photos of some of the things we have been doing the last couple of years. Unfortunately, the 8" Howitzer is not on line yet, but the web page should give you some ideas. Hope I posted this correctly.
Jymm Hoffman - Saturday, 05/24/03 12:03:49 GMT

Wagons: Those are some really nice looking wagons and carts. Where is this museum at?
Mills - Saturday, 05/24/03 13:03:13 GMT

Actually, Tarheels need love more often according to my wife. (grin)
Paw Paw - Saturday, 05/24/03 13:26:16 GMT


I'd like to know where those are too, that looks like a vacation spot to me!
Paw Paw - Saturday, 05/24/03 13:29:54 GMT

Jymm, awesome work! Would love to see those "in the flesh".
Ellen - Sunday, 05/25/03 05:10:28 GMT

As Jymm will probably answer soon, Ft. Ligonier is in SW Pennsylvania. i was there last summer, and really liked it. Only disappointment was that the forge was not operating the day I was there.

Other sites of interest in the general area of Ligonier is Old Bedford Village in Bedford, PA. And the Compass Inn museum in Laughlintown (?) PA (between Ligonier and Bedford. Both have pretty nice blacksmith shops. Beford is a recreated village of circa 1750's, and Compass Inn is a restored stagecoach stop circa 1830's. The three of them made for a nice weekend trip for my family and me.

  Tim Button - Monday, 05/26/03 03:34:42 GMT

Safety Question: I know not to use oil around acetylene fittings. Does that also apply to propane? The valve on my 100 pound bottle is pretty stiff. I'm thinking of taking it apart and cleaning the threads / seat & lubricating the lot with some sort of anti-sieze compound. Is this a safe practice?
- Jim C. - Monday, 05/26/03 12:54:16 GMT

Jim C.:

The danger is from using any petroleum based product near the oxygen fittings. An oxygen leak will lower the ignition temperature of the product till it wil spontaneously combust. In other words, it's going to start a fire.
Paw Paw - Monday, 05/26/03 13:17:51 GMT

Thanks: Paw-Paw: Right; oxygen fittings. I should have looked in my Oxy-Acet Welder's Handbook. Jim C.
Jim C. - Monday, 05/26/03 14:37:51 GMT

We used to use Graphite suspended in Molymdium (sp?) as a lube near O2 systems(at least I think we did). Not sure where to get it. As I was in the US Navy at the time
Ralph - Monday, 05/26/03 16:10:57 GMT

Ft. Ligonier: Sorry for the delay, the web site for Ft. Ligonier is Thanks Tim for the initial response. Ligonier is about 30 miles east of Pittsburgh, Pa. The director has done an amazing job fund raising. However, do not expect them to have a fully operational shop any time soon. If I can remember, I will post it when I will be demonstrating there. But, I normally just do touristy type of demos, hooks and nails, when doing the general public demo.
- Jymm Hoffman - Tuesday, 05/27/03 02:44:16 GMT

anvils: hey guys looking for a scorce to buy anvils new or used just getting started in hoby blacksmithing and my peice of rr track may loose it's usefullness fast.thanks in advance lyndon
- lyndonraaum - Wednesday, 05/28/03 18:54:15 GMT

Centaur Forge, Kayne and Son, Pieh Tool Company are all advertisers here on Anvilfire, all three sell new anvils.
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 05/28/03 20:39:33 GMT

Cantaur: Um, PawPaw, I think part of that response was force of habit. Cantaur is nolonger an advertisor, unless things have changed in the last few days.

Many complaints from my neck of the woods on their new not-catalog.
Monica - Wednesday, 05/28/03 21:28:27 GMT


Actually, it's been a couple of weeks, but they did come back and are advertising here on anvilfire again.
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 05/28/03 21:51:39 GMT

Lyndonraaum: Euroanvils is also one of our advertisers who sells new anvils, and they have some nice designs, at a decent price for new steel.

Wallace Metal Works (another advertiser) has a used tools section on their site, but I'm not sure if anything has been added to it in a while. Still, it's a place to look.

Also, it never hurts to run a want ad in the local newspaper. You never know who might have a great anvil they'd like to part with cheaply.

All aforementioned advertisers can be accessed using the pulldown in the upper right-hand section of this screen. (Hey, we gotta give 'em props when we can!)

Good luck in your anvil quest!
eander4 - Thursday, 05/29/03 02:34:11 GMT

Peoria, Illinois Hammer-In: Anyone looking for something to do this weekend? Come to Peoria, Illinois for a two-day blacksmithing event Saturday, May 31, and Sunday, June 1 at the Peoria Park District's recreated 19th century blacksmith shop. Sommer Park will host Blacksmith Doug Merkel of Bear Mountain Forge in Vilas, North Carolina who will demonstrate traditional blacksmithing both days on our bellows operated
stone forge.

Other activities include tailgating, auction, and iron-in-the-hat.

Saturday registration fee includes evening meal following the day's demonstrations. On site tent camping and lunches available at additional cost. For more information contact Michael Brown at (309) 691-6295 or email

Cost: $15/day or $25/both days
Michael Brown - Thursday, 05/29/03 02:43:50 GMT

catching up: Lyndonraaum - email me please. Mebbe we can work something out.

Miss Monica - month or so ago we had the discussion about Shepherd's Repast and you had asked what Scadian kingdom I hailed from. Sorry I never answered you, that was the beginning of "turbo-lurk" mode. Many apologies. If I were in the SCA I would be in the Midrealm, Barony of White Waters. Sadly, I am not currently a member of that august body of stalwarts. I just have a lot of friends who are. And I love filk music. However, I believe that I will be going to the Barony's Swine and Roses hog roast later this month. Anybody else?
* New thing I'm trying - now playing as I peck on my keyboard - Christy Moore, Delerium Tremens (live)
Two Swords - Monday, 06/02/03 05:33:24 GMT
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