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June 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

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 folk 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

chemical grafting coating for steel: I need information on any company using a coating process for steel and other metals known as chemical grafting. The main manufacturer of such is Polymer Research Corp. of America. I really need to speak to some users of this coating process. I can be reached at or at 352-343-1500 X 214

James Sullivan - Monday, 06/02/03 14:55:05 GMT

James Sullivan:
Are you talking about Powder coating?
Paw Paw - Tuesday, 06/03/03 02:44:19 GMT

"Thought of the day": " No matter what your level of ability, you have more potential than you can ever develop in a lifetime "
Barney - Tuesday, 06/03/03 14:37:58 GMT

Barney: Truer words were never spoken.
vicopper - Tuesday, 06/03/03 22:24:43 GMT

Paw Paw: Hey Paw Paw, a few weeks ago I asked about how to mount a buffalo forge blower, and you said send a picture. Well, I just got a digital camera and I will be sending a picture. Sorry it will take a while to load. I've probably got too many bits in the picture. Oh, and I just picked up a 4 1/2 leg vice for $45. Seems lately I've been finding some nice deals. Decided I'd keep my cast iron forge that I found. Too nice to paart with, even if I don't know where I will store it.
Bob H - Wednesday, 06/04/03 01:39:09 GMT

Bob,: Message and Picture just came in. I'll get a picture of my mounting tomorrow to send to you. My blower is up at the guru's shop to have some work done on the bearings, but I can get pictures of the place where it mounts. Yours is almost exactly like mine, but not quite as old. Am I right that your fan housing is made of sheet metal, rather than cast iron?

Nice deal on the vice, too! You've hit a lucky stretch, it happens sometimes.
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 06/04/03 01:52:14 GMT

Blower.: Yup, the housing is sheet metal. And once lubed up, that blower works pretty darn nice. I over filled it, letting things splash real well. It has a drain hole, so I'm thinking of draining and refilling it one of these days. For now, it is still overfilled, and I usually give it a few turns when I can. Seems to be getting better as it soaks.
Bob H - Wednesday, 06/04/03 12:17:57 GMT

I didn't manage to get the pictures today, we had thunderstorms off and on all day long. Will try to get them tomorrow.
Paw Paw - Thursday, 06/05/03 02:47:52 GMT

Hi Gang: I'm Still alive and kicking, just in the middle of my busy season and don't have much time to post. Hope everyone is well and healthy. I picked up a Badger shear and hole punch the other day for my trailer, but have decided its too heavy and bulky. Any body interested? It needs to be picked up at my house in Indiana because shipping too expensive. Have a safe and profitable month, Stiffy/PPBS
- Stiffy - Friday, 06/06/03 08:39:56 GMT

Need Help: My Dad has been a collector of Blacksmithing tools and equipment for almost 20 years. He is very sick and is going to have to be put into a hospice home, so I am begining to liquidate his collection. Anyone interested in Tongs, hammers, forges, anvils (all different sizes), I know that is like all of you probably, ha ha. Anyway, I just wanted to see what interest I could get sparked. I will be conducting an inventory within the week, and will know more then. Write if you are interested in any purchases.
Bill Geddings - Saturday, 06/07/03 17:07:40 GMT

Bill: Where are you located?
- Bob H - Sunday, 06/08/03 00:02:40 GMT

Bob H and others : Thanks for the already cool response to the last posting. We are located in Upstate SC. About 2 hours from Atlanta, GA. After seeing the response I will be picking up my pace on the inventory. I can tell you also that there is a minature advertising anvil collection also, and yes, there are some nice post vises for whomever it was that asked in the email. I am going through Dad's books trying to identify what is what. If there is a "spert" as Dad said or expert who I could send some pictures to to help me in that it would be mostly with the tools, tongs and stuff. I know there are also a couple of blowers, just lots of ya'lls kind of stuff. Dad used to go to the Southeaster Blacksmiths Show in Ga and had a really nice forge set up at the old house. I think that he would want this stuff to go more to other guys (and gals) that would use it, but with the expense of a Hospice House where Dad is going, I can not afford to give it away either. I know you all understand that, this community is like a family, and those thoughts are appreciated at a time like this. Again, thanks for the response so far.
Bill Geddings - Sunday, 06/08/03 04:10:11 GMT

numb arms: I having been able to start forging a lot more. This invariably brings with it my arms going numb at night. any heavy work day will do it not just hammering. Any one else share in this malady? Any remedies ? On or off the wall, as I am quite ready to do some real research now. Google has turned up a few sites but I am at a cold start. If anyone has already covered this ground I'd like to know.

Mills - Monday, 06/09/03 05:45:28 GMT


No ideas at all, I've never had a problem. almost sounds like a form of carpal tunnel syndrom. Have you read the hammer control demonstration on iForge? It's number 6.
Paw Paw - Monday, 06/09/03 12:37:09 GMT

Mills: Do you have any old injuries, like back injury or nerve damage? Are they numb and tingly or just numb? From the shoulder down or at some point below the shoulder, and identical degrees of numbness in both arms? A wisecracker might be tempted to say that numbness (not necessarily arm) is caused by your grip being too tight. Grin, just playing with you, but that could do it. I think that's what PPW is getting at as well.

No doctor (but I play one on TV - grin). My therapist wife has been able to help a lot of people though, me included.

np: Clancy Brothers, Fare thee Well Enniskillen
Two Swords - Monday, 06/09/03 13:01:54 GMT

Mills' Malady: In my experience, that sort of thing is usually caused by nerves being traumatized somehow. It could be a neck/spine issue, or it could be a shoulder issue. Since it is both arms, and different stimuli, I'd think it was a neck issue. It's possible that something you are doing or may have done in the past, is causing the muscles in your back and neck to spasm. When that happens, the vertebrae can become compressed, causing one or more discs to bulge. When the discs bulge, they create pressure on the spinal cord, causing pain, numbness or tingling. The symptoms are your body's way of letting you know there is a problem. I suggest you visit a good physician, preferably one who specializes in either neck/back problems or sports medicine. Osteopathic physicians are often quite good at these situations, and can design therapy to overcome the problem. Other times, the only viable solution is surgery. I've been in both situations, and both turned out incredibly well, due to skilled physicians and modern medicine.
vicopper - Monday, 06/09/03 22:20:03 GMT

Cone Mandrel : I had a great weekend! I got head-butted and broke my nose..... Then I fell down a hill and now my right hip seems to be trying to get me to confess to something....and I procured a cone mandrel. I hope next weekend is more of the same. It is 8" X 36" and very thick cast iron. The fella said he pulled it out of a load of scrap brought to his family's salvage business when he was a kid. I also scored two leg vices and a massive pedal operated vice with swages for forging bolts built into the front of it, and a tub full of swages, hardies, fullers, etc. all saved from scrap by him. Has anyone ever seen a foot operated vice such as this? And has anyone got any good ideas for mounting a cone mandrel? It is a little narrow at the base to be stable in use and I would like to get it out of the gravel. And lastly, what would a cone mandrel of the above dimensions be worth? I have not been able to find any on the net for sale to compare prices.
Layne Hendrickson - Monday, 06/09/03 23:19:19 GMT

Head butted? Do we want to know how that happened? (grin)

Foot operated vise. Usually called a caulking vise, and hand as the devil.

Cone. Hard to price, depends on the buyer, seller, condition, lots of other things.

Mounting a cone mandril. Usually pretty stable, just as they are, but if it's hollow, a piece of plate with a circle welded to the that the cone would fit over should work.
Paw Paw - Tuesday, 06/10/03 02:41:39 GMT

Judging by the response here and across the street, time I go see the Doc. It is a good place to start. Hopefully end as well.
I'll let you know if this is what it is. Thanks.
Mills - Tuesday, 06/10/03 03:55:07 GMT

Mills: I get that reaction in my arm, or more specifically, I loose half of my hand depending on what I'm doing. The reason for my problems is a torn rotator cuff. Repetative or high stress the wrong range of motion sets it off to this day. Luckilly, I can hammer forever (with elbow tucked in). However, sweeping the floor is a killer (or any motion that rotates my elbow up and away from the body).

Do go to the doctors, and let us know how it goes. You may be able to continue with a minor variation in stance, lighter hammer, (or treadle/power)
Monica - Tuesday, 06/10/03 15:28:47 GMT

Mills, joints. . .:
Years ago I had an artist friend that was in her mid 60's. She had various arthritis and joint problems. She had gotten to the point where she could not raise her arms high enough to paint mid way on a painting at normal height. She had been to the doctors several times and had had shots in the joints to ease the pain. But it was always a temporary fix and after a few months the pain and stiffness came back and she could not work.

She finally cured herself with excersize. Yoga streatching exercises to be exact. Each day she would force her arms to go as far as they would go and hold them there as long as possible. In a matter of a few months she had full flexibility and no pain. The last time I saw her she was in her 80's and still painting. Do not take my word for exactly what she did. She had picked up some books and figured out an excersize regemine for herself. But it worked.

I think that for many joint related problems that this is probably THE cure. The Yoga range of motion excersizes are very similar to what is used in physical therapy for rehabilitation as well as preventing atrophy. Gently pushing the joints through their full range would appear to keep the parts in good working order. I think joint clearances tighten up in some people when there is insufficient motion and that this may pinch nerves resulting in either pain or numbness. Tighness also means stiffness in man or machine.

It is something to think about. And unlike many other kinds of excersize where there can be impact trama and accelerated joint wear this would seem to be a very safe do-it-yourself cure.

I suggest talking to your general practicioner and ask if a consultation with a physical therapist would be a good idea. Many folks swear by chiropractors for this type of thing but I personaly do not.
- guru - Tuesday, 06/10/03 16:21:07 GMT

Cone Mandrel:
Pawpaw is right about the mandrel. I have one that is over 4 feet and less than a foot diameter at the base (about the same proportions as yours but bigger). Although it looks tall enough to be unstable you do not do heavy pounding on one, just light tapping to true up a ring. See the photo posted in the guru page June 1-7 archive of a collection of cones.

If you really feel it needs a base I would use a heavy circle of steel plate or something like a heavy brake drum. Some cones have an inside rim that you can clamp to. Being circular makes it easier to move around the shop by rolling.

Prices are hard to set on cones. They are rarer than anvils so they go high. See the prices on the NEW ones available from Kayne and Son.

The vise is a Caulking-Heading vise. Very handy tool if you have all the parts. I had one with only one set of dies that was also missing the bucking block (block that fits on the teeth inside the frame for upsetting). Some are combination machines with built in caulk anvil/die. Others are for heading only and do not have the built in caulk anvil.
- guru - Tuesday, 06/10/03 16:35:05 GMT

Caulking-Heading vise: Thanks for the info y'all! My vice seems to have all the parts you described Guru. Could you elaborate any on its intended usages? I'm a greenhorn and not completely sure what caulking and heading are. I was led to believe it was used to make bolt heads (heading?). Was it used primarily in blacksmith shops or factory settings? The front jaw looks to be purposefully beveled on top for about half its width...any ideas as to why? I bought it originally because it looked like a quick way to get hot iron in a vice while it was still hot for twists and the like. (Now you know why I got head-butted...I ask too many questions. LOL)
Layne Hendrickson - Wednesday, 06/11/03 02:42:17 GMT

arms..Mills: Mills;
Vic Copper and the Guru have it about right.
I have a similar condition that is exacerbated by being nearsighted and thrusting my head forward to see. Within about 1/2 an hour of unrelieved sticking my face out, my back starts to cramp and it works it's way down the muscle group that run your arms. That nerve cluster radiates out from the neck vertibrae. The strong muscles from the shoulders to the head and the like put a lot of compression on the neck bones. When I add my habitual smith's hunch to the posture, I'm in pain by noon. The numbness can be part of the syndrome.
Used to have a leather apron that I had a nice big pocket made for that went across the waist and hung from a neck strap. I kept adding necessary or handy tools and supplies to the pocket over a few years and eventually all the slag and scale in there with 5 kinds of welding rod, 2 kinds of pliers, a small wrench, chipping hammer, soap stones , sparker and so on added up to a lot of weight...all hanging from my out thrust neck....didn't turn out well.
Eventually, my arm cramped out completely, hand went numb, back spasmed and I couldn't do diddle for a month. It reduced the muscle mass in my right arm by a good 40% before I was back to work.
It's hard to put in a causal context because of the delay time of the reaction.
I didn't like it much.
- Pete F - Wednesday, 06/11/03 07:26:19 GMT

Sticking your neck out: I, too tend to lead with my head, though taking a few months of Alexander technique lessons have helped a lot.

Long ago I gave up using regular camera neck straps for that reason: A few hours with a camera around my neck (Especially my motor drive 2 1/4" square camera) and I was ready to call the chiropractor. Now I use straps, which attach to a criss-cross arrangement kind of like the back of a shoulder holster.

I also have developed a strong preference for aprons with criss-cross straps rather than a neck loop. . .
John Lowther - Wednesday, 06/11/03 18:41:10 GMT

"Muscle Pains": I go to a Massage for my back and arms, also a Chropractor. Once a week. They together work wonders. But its all paid for through different plans. But that is the way I go and have no problems. ALso rest alot, sit down and have a 5 minute break and do the odd stretch works wonders.
Barney - Wednesday, 06/11/03 18:44:26 GMT

samurai : I was wondering if someone could direct me to a sword making site. I need to know the technique's to do this.
Mike Emrick - Wednesday, 06/11/03 23:20:01 GMT


Your question could be better answered at:
Paw Paw - Thursday, 06/12/03 00:25:37 GMT

Old Forge: Hey Paw Paw, that old Champion forge I was asking about last nite in the pub looks like the miners forge shown on the advertisement for the CD at the Anvilfire store. So, where there any other forge designs on that type of stand from Champion? Oh, I ordered that swage block I asked you about. Should get that this week.
Bob H - Thursday, 06/12/03 12:49:29 GMT

Bob H.,:

Yes, there are a couple of other similar designs.
Paw Paw - Thursday, 06/12/03 14:47:16 GMT

Old Forge: Hey Paw Paw, any chance you could send me some picture of the other options? Or maybe just what you might consider to be the best alternative? I would imagine that one forge design might be better than another, and you know I would value your opinion! There, that's my brown nosing for today! :] Just kidding, I do value your opinion. I mean, geez, anyone who likes Garands has to be a great guy!
Bob H - Thursday, 06/12/03 19:28:25 GMT

forges andstyles of same: Bob,
If the forge is the one I think it is, ( lever operated blower?) you might consider swaping out the lever action blower with a hand crank or electric. I have an old ranch forge ( round pan like a giant gold panning pan, with a lever operated blower.) and you work yourself to death with it. Blower works fine but is just does not move enough air. At least mine does not
Ralph - Thursday, 06/12/03 22:14:40 GMT

Bob H.,:

Can't do much until I see what you've got. Pictures would help.
Paw Paw - Friday, 06/13/03 00:46:53 GMT

TAG - Saturday, 06/14/03 11:28:20 GMT

TAG - Saturday, 06/14/03 12:09:43 GMT

Old lathe for sale: Lathe is in NW Wi.Lodge and Shiply.Needs chuck.Single phase motor.16X60?(itis about 10 feetlong.)
- Dirty Dan - Saturday, 06/14/03 13:27:21 GMT


All capitol letters is cosidered to be shouting and is only used when the writer wants the importance of what he is saying to be considered as very urgent.
Paw Paw - Saturday, 06/14/03 22:41:56 GMT

Paw Paw, Thanks much,I hate being rude...I just didnt know any better! This whole Computer thing is new to me. Im still used to pen and paper. I had to hook up a phone at the cabin too....well, I recon' ill get all
  TAG - Sunday, 06/15/03 16:01:05 GMT

OOPS!! as i was saying, I recon' ill get all
  Tag - Sunday, 06/15/03 16:06:58 GMT

Well, now Yall' got me stutterin'
- tag - Sunday, 06/15/03 16:09:05 GMT

I recon' ill change my "handle" to Mr. Fancy-Pants now that i have electricity!!!
- Tag - Sunday, 06/15/03 16:12:34 GMT


No sweat, and I knew what had happened. How did I know what had happened? The same thing happened to me, many years ago.
Paw Paw - Sunday, 06/15/03 16:29:33 GMT

I just returned from "plans". Looked up Hoods, The side draft set-up is very interesting. think ill try that one!(im just finishing up my new shop building)
- Tag - Sunday, 06/15/03 16:39:38 GMT

gents: The forest is quiet,and a soft rain has passed. My hammers are fresh out of the oil,a fresh load of crushed limestone on the floor. My 500 pounder is on a new stump and ive got the itch...I think ill go make her sing.
Tag - Sunday, 06/15/03 17:19:17 GMT

Caulking-Heading vise::
Layne, A small blacksmith shop IS a "factory". One man with a few machines can turn out TONS of tools and hardware every month. A forge, anvil, shear or saw and a power hammer and you are ready for production in the thousands. Add a drill press an arc welder and a little imagination and knowledge about jigs you can produce an amazing amount of "stuff".

The "caulking" part of the vise is specialized for farriers. But in the time when some shops made their own shoes and used thousands a month one smith may have done nothing but produce shoes while the others did the shoeing.

The bolt heading feature is for making bolts in relatively low quantities (hundreds). Many times special lenght bolts were needed and instead of buying a keg from a factory you got the local smith to make what you needed. In a production situation the heading is done in a specialized machine. Either an upsetter or special heading machine is used. Today most high production bolts are COLD headed!
- guru - Sunday, 06/15/03 18:29:28 GMT

Mill's arms: Been off line for about a month and am just now catching up. Sorry to hear about the arm problem Mills. I have been having the same problem with my legs. Thought it might be the heavy nail pouch I wear placing pressure on my hips and back. Then I thought it might be poor circulation, but the doc said no. He says my problem is from neuropathy and is a side effect from the diabetes.
Any of you old iron pounders out there who were exposed to Agent Orange should keep a close watch on the blood sugar. The VA has finally acknowledged a link between them and are giving an automatic 20% disability for diabetics who were over there. But they are playing it close to the vest and not advertising it. If you know anybody who fits the criteria clue them in.
- Larry - Sunday, 06/15/03 21:31:01 GMT

Slack Tub Pub: HELP.....Im stupid,and I can't get in......
- Tag - Sunday, 06/15/03 21:45:33 GMT


You're not stupid, your membership has to be approved by the guru before you can get into the Pub. Drop an email to Jock, ( asking him to register you.
Paw Paw - Sunday, 06/15/03 21:53:21 GMT

Swage Block: I've just acuired a swage block. It is rusty and needs a little clean up on the rust and the casting lines. After I do that, is there anything I can/should do to protect it further? Spray it with WD40?
Bob H - Sunday, 06/15/03 22:32:51 GMT

Swage Block: Ashes to ashes,and Dust to dust....If you dont take it out and use it..well...its going to rust!!!!
- Tag - Sunday, 06/15/03 23:13:25 GMT

Spray it with WD-40 will work. That's what I use on the dies on the power hammer.


Ashes to Ashes.....

I can't believe you said that! (big grin)
Paw Paw - Monday, 06/16/03 00:17:55 GMT

Welcome Tag:

Welcome to the forum, Tag! Sounds like you've got quite the tale to tell (Just getting power, phone, computer, etc). Please feel free to share stories, tall tales and, of course, Blacksmithing projects/content... ;-)

If you've saved a few pennies, joining the AnvilFire group, CSI (Cyber Smiths International), is well worth the money.

Hope to see some of your work on the Yahoo site soon as well!

Zero - Monday, 06/16/03 00:31:15 GMT

Gents: Oh, nothing so grand as a tall tale.. ill' take it to a thousand words as soon as I figure out how to send a picture!! See, ive got all this stuff, im supposed to "need" this scanner thing.printy thing.modem thing...oh gitten skeeerd agin....
- Tag - Monday, 06/16/03 03:30:45 GMT

HEY!!: Now I have an "incorrect-port" thing....if I whack this thing with a hammer, can i get some results??? Im gettin' one of those urges' ....this is gonna' get expensive. Hey, Paw Paw,I think the proverbial defication is about to collide with the rotating this acceptable behavior?
- Tag - Monday, 06/16/03 03:59:58 GMT

Yep! I say it a bit differently, but it means the same thing. Anvilfire has a LOT of visitors including some yountsters, so we do try to keep profanity, obsenity, and social un-acceptability to a very small minimum, but saying things the way you did has always been acceptable.
Paw Paw - Monday, 06/16/03 04:19:37 GMT

Darn it! Youngsters and Obscenity.
  Paw Paw - Monday, 06/16/03 04:20:56 GMT

Darn it, peeples that dont needs no dictionareees.. O.K. For those of you "north of the ohio river"...Look out Paw Paw .. Here it comes..."WE-UNS":this would define;Paw-Paw and Tag,if used as my descriptive. "YOU-UNS":This would describe Paw Paw and all readers of said descriptive.My personal favorite...YALL':That means"all yall',we-uns you-uns,me-uns,paw-pawuns,ALL-YALL'....Yall' gittin'this here yet? Cause im fixin'ta do some serious tellin....
- Tag - Monday, 06/16/03 04:49:32 GMT

Iffin'a feller was ta'git tha' black dirt lit,till tha' yaller was plum burt outta't , then just flat pour tha' coal ta-it ,than jus flat wakkertillshesangs...wood-you-uns be reconin'if yer steel was any count?
- Tag - Monday, 06/16/03 05:03:06 GMT

you-uns best let we-uns git you-uns gonna git plum tarred sleepy of this here pile-a-droppins type suthun'dis-reespect....okay...kentucky boy havin' fun,get over it!!!!
- Tag - Monday, 06/16/03 05:17:36 GMT

We are currently downsizing (to save my sanity-what little is left)and need to find some small shops that would be willing to produce some of our products that we sell nationally. Items include hardware-knobs and pulls and switchplates. I would provide necessary jigs and blanks as well as packaging materials.

This would be a great opportunity for part time forge work in your own shop.

Skills needed: basic heating, hammering and texturing.

Tools needed are: small forge, hammer, anvil or plate block, drill press, wire brush, linseed oil.

I need someone who can turn items around within 2 weeks of purchase order being faxed to you.

You can pick up/deliver to SF or we can UPS stuff. The best set up would be for you to drop ship finished, packaged product from your shop to the customer.

If you are interested, I will send a finished product sample with some unfinished blanks for you to try out. We will then work it out over the phone to get it right.

If interested reply to and describe your situation/facility, skills, experience and leave a phone number.
  Jefferson Mack - Monday, 06/16/03 13:50:43 GMT

Oh-no! not more work!!
- Tag - Monday, 06/16/03 16:05:07 GMT

Tag's Locale: Where in Kentucky are you? I'm in the central section. Paris/Cynthiana area.
- Larry - Monday, 06/16/03 23:42:36 GMT

Larry: I suppose the closest "town"is owingsville.(hwy 64) but I live in the woods in a log cabin.(B.F.E.)Im in Lexington quite a bit,im a member of there artists guild,I only "do"art shows KY.Horse Park etc.But its been a few years since ive been able to catch up with the invitations.(construction)
- Tag - Tuesday, 06/17/03 11:13:24 GMT

Larry: Drop me a line,Maybe well'get "LIT"....ER,"Hammered",er,sumthin!
TAG - Tuesday, 06/17/03 14:31:16 GMT

Swage Block Finish:
Bob, When new swage blocks are often as-cast and not very smooth. If the block HAD been dressed smooth the rust may have made it about like as-cast. I take a grinder, flap wheel, die grinder and files to my blocks. . I'll work on one until I can't take it any more (a couple days).

When you are done the block is prone to rusting unless it is regularly oiled and used. Now I paint mine with barbeque black paint after finishing them. When used the paint scraps or burns off and doesn't hurt anything. Meanwhile the block is not rusted. I'll oil over the paint with WD-40 or CRC SPS-300 until it needs a good cleaning and painting.

Swage blocks and cones do not get used very often and painting them is the best thing you can do. I use my swage blocks off and on but then only use one or two of the shapes. So most of the block goes unused. Paint will keep it fresh until you need it.
- guru - Tuesday, 06/17/03 21:01:47 GMT

More on blocks:
Old blocks were much better castings than the current crop. They were cast in the days when foundries could be asked to produce fine surfaces on special castings and they DID. It takes a little time and skill to apply fine facing sand but that time and skill is a thing of the past. Today everything gets run the same and finished as-cast surfaces are practicaly un-heard of in iron foundries today.

So when you buy an old block it often started life with a fairly good finish and THEN the smith that bought it worked on it with chisel, file and scraper.

Most today's new blocks are terrible as-cast things without care for a fine finish. They need every surface ground and it is easy to spend $100 on abrasives to clean up a new block. The new flap wheels for the little 4-1/2" grinders do a great job but save them for the bowls and hard to get to places. I've also used 6" x 1" flap wheels in my big angle grinder as well as the regular angle grinder wheels where they would fit.

This makes good used blocks and second hand finished blocks worth a great deal more than a new rough casting.
- guru - Tuesday, 06/17/03 21:25:55 GMT

Mo trouble...this dang @#$%@^& weather. so much rain and humidity..its a time to get the stack to draw....but it wont,smoke just lays on the ground. Reminds me of last was so cold, well, the flame in my forge froze.. yep, I had to bust it up with a ice pick...then I brought it in the house, wrapped a blanket around it..I thought it was dead. nope. it woke up at about 1:00 in the mornin' burt tha' joint down....shoot fellers yall' aint never seen the likes of it.REALLY!
TAG - Tuesday, 06/17/03 23:24:50 GMT

any body got any 120lbs plus forge hounds for sale? The hound of ulster is tired.hes sleepin' on tha' job!and dont be sendin' any bad company our way...or he'll be hammered into a bright shiney new person....mind yer' manners yahoo. this is not a place for problems. we can go to neutral ground. Ill not tolerate it down here.. nor will they.
TAG - Wednesday, 06/18/03 00:14:11 GMT

TAG - Wednesday, 06/18/03 03:55:34 GMT

Gas forge: Iam in process of building a gas forge. Useing a 24" piece of 18" s/20 pipe. With a sliding rear wall and rex type burners.Built in my shop but quailty gear.Setting up the burners at 10:30 and 1:30 two on each side 1" and 3/4" burners. See any problems have any advice.
Thanks Dave
davettlsed - Wednesday, 06/18/03 23:19:01 GMT

for PPW: Paw Paw, I think I found this following a handful of links on the Armoury page here, but I wasn't sure you'd had a chance to see it yet. And knowing your fondness for the photographic subject matter, well....
- Two Swords - Wednesday, 06/18/03 23:37:18 GMT

Hey dave,I would "GURU"that one! Im strictly a coal kinda' guy!
- tag - Wednesday, 06/18/03 23:37:57 GMT

Two Swords:
Yep, I like that model! (grin)
Paw Paw - Thursday, 06/19/03 00:38:33 GMT

A GIFT: Anvil ring,Hammer sing your sacred secret song;sing your tune, The ancient Rune,Days hard and long.
Earth; The soul that feeds,iron bleeds,A river to the sand.
Fire;spirit of need,consumes with greed,a meal of the land.
Wind;the bellows blast,the breath of Centuries past.
Water; she cools the dancing tools,and hardens steel to last.
Beware the one,who masters the four,He makes the tools of peace and war.
He is black and white,dark and light,not one taken to fear and flight.
He forges his will,a mistake can kill,A knowledge lost to the knight.
So learn your lessons, and learn them well,disrespect the four.. and you burn in hell.
- Tag - Thursday, 06/19/03 01:53:24 GMT

Paw Paw - Friday, 06/20/03 01:25:26 GMT

Thanks Paw Paw: I know alot of you already know what a great guy Paw Paw is but I am going to give him a great big thanks here in public so everyone knows. I posted a generic post a week and a half ago or so about my Dad being sick and needing help finding new homes for his Blacksmithing stuff. Paw Paw and I talked over that time by email and phone and then he actually drove 3 1/2 hours down here yesterday morning to come and help me identify, grade and inventory all of this stuff. I did not really even think much of Dad's Blacksmithing books but I had them laid out just to show them to Jim. That is when I found out that I had a small fortune in books. Paw Paw I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciated the help and the help that I will hopefully get from all of you fine folks in the future as I start to liquidate some of this equipment.
- Bill Geddings - Friday, 06/20/03 20:43:10 GMT

Bill G.:
What can I say besides THANK YOU?

Someday Sheri will probably need help doing the same thing with my stuff. Bread on the Waters.
Paw Paw - Friday, 06/20/03 20:54:14 GMT

boudeeka: Paw Paw - I figured that'd be up your alley. And named after a Celtic queen, and herself wearing armor to boot. Gotta love those musicians. Big Grin.

Have a good weekend, all!
- Two Swords - Friday, 06/20/03 22:51:04 GMT

the four: Nice turn of phrase, Tag. Write much?
- Two Swords - Friday, 06/20/03 22:53:18 GMT

"Mounts Post Vise": I mount mine on rear brake rotors from a bus. Them have 1/2 holes in them around the outside. I place these on the bottem and weld a pipe in the middle. Then I use muffler clamps to secure the vise the the pipe. At the top I weld a flat plate to attach the mounting plate on the vise. I make it big enough to act as a small bench. The hole in the brake rotor, I drive four large pegs into the ground to secure it. Works weel for me. The vise lives in the backyard all summer. Sometime I take it with me for demo use. I have one that fits on the bumper of the old truck.
Barney - Saturday, 06/21/03 10:41:37 GMT

new to me anvil: I have recently purchased an anvil which is stamped "Wilkinson and Co". on one side and has " I I I0 " on the other. It has a single horn, is 10 inches high, weighs 147 lbs, the upper face is 4 inches wide by 14 and one half inches long. Its overall length is 23 and one half inches. It came with a "cut off" chisel which fits into a square whole. Can anyone tell me its history or age or how to tell more about it ?
Please contact me at
- Tim Van Horlick - Saturday, 06/21/03 17:37:03 GMT

Tim: Your anvil was manufactured in Dudley, England. It's a wrought iron anvil with a tool steel plate forge welded to the body. It weighs 150 pounds according to the English Hundred Weight system marked on the side (1 1 10). It was manufactured sometime between the middle 1700's and the late 1920's. Those dates are approximate, we don't have good solid dates for them.
Paw Paw - Saturday, 06/21/03 18:00:30 GMT

Two swords: Thanks...nope.
- Tag - Saturday, 06/21/03 22:33:47 GMT

New to me anvil: Thanks Paw Paw.
In the mystical land of "Good, better, best" how does it rate ( out of 10 ) and what is its value in USD ? It is has not been used heavily or abused.
Tim Van Horlick - Sunday, 06/22/03 02:04:03 GMT

It's one of the better made anvils, there are quite a few of them around. Part of the problem is that there were three different manufacturers using the same name, and it's hard to tell one from the other. On a scale of ten, with ten being the absolute perfect anvil, I'd put it at 7.5 or 8. Price varies, depending on several factors, buyer, seller, location, condition. But good used anvils range from one to three dollars per pound, based on condition. Without a picture of the anvils face, I can't get any more specific than that.
Paw Paw - Sunday, 06/22/03 02:20:33 GMT

Demo Safety: For a number of years, as a member of the Saltfork Craftsmen, I have been doing public demonstrations of smithing at the local museums, town heritage celebrations, etc. These have all been outdoor demos with plenty of fresh air and the normal Oklahoma summer breeze. At many of these events there are Cowboy cooking events, folks making signs with branding irons, steam engines, etc. All involve fire and ash or cinders.

Recently, during a demo, a lady got a small piece of ash from the blacksmith's forge in one of her eyes. She was a good 10 to 15 feet away from the forge that is powered by a very gently turned, small, hand cranked blower. In fact she was in about the 3rd row of spectators back from the barricade / rope. With the help of natural tears, her husband was able to quickly remove the spec of ash, and things turned out fine.

However, I quickly found that I did not have an eye wash product in my First Aid kit. It seems I mostly packed the kit for burns.

Consider putting an un-opened container of Visine or other eye wash product in the kit you take with you. Possibly you will never need it; maybe the Dutch Oven cooking crew or the steam engine fireman will.
- Jim C. - Sunday, 06/22/03 14:22:13 GMT

"Eye Wash": Very Very good idea Jim C. I have just come back in from my local Drugstore with such a thing plus a few extras. First demo this year is July 1st At one of our Local Muesums.
Barney - Sunday, 06/22/03 15:25:00 GMT

Jim C. & Barney,:
There are several different products for emergency eye wash. One is called "Natural Tears". Most drug stores have their own brand. Most of them come in "single use" tabs, minature squeeze bottles that have enough in them for one use. Lots of contact wearers use them to combat dry eye problems. They are saver to use than a multi use container that might get contaminated between uses. I keep a dozen in my kit at all times.
Paw Paw - Sunday, 06/22/03 17:36:07 GMT

More first aid.:
Another thing that I keep with my demonstration kit is a small Aloe Vera plant. I've not found ANYTHING that works as well for burns, let alone anything that works better. I go no where with out one.
Paw Paw - Sunday, 06/22/03 17:37:29 GMT

General Announcement:

I'm not free to give all the details yet, but if you are not already registered for the anvifire auction, I *STRONGLY* advise everyone to do so.
Paw Paw - Sunday, 06/22/03 19:36:49 GMT

Many thanks to Jim (Paw Paw), Jock & Walt for chapter 2, book 3 of The Revolutionary Blacksmith. I sure enjoy reading it!
Ellen - Sunday, 06/22/03 21:19:31 GMT

Thank you.
Paw Paw - Sunday, 06/22/03 21:46:46 GMT

More First Aid:
A small magnifying glass is handy to locate small burrs of whatever material may be imbeded in skin or eyes. Tweezers to remove same from skin. It is best to have an ER physician remove impailed or imbeded objects from the eye. Loose objects can be flushed from the eye with the above mentioned fluids. 0.9%NaCl is an isotonic solution carried by several pharmacies and can be used with a 10cc syringe with light pressure to flush stubborn foreign bodies from around the eye.
R Guess - Sunday, 06/22/03 22:26:24 GMT

My scribe has a magnet on the opposite end. My daughter (LPN & head of the Eye clinic at the county health department) has used it twice to pull small splinters from my eye.
Paw Paw - Monday, 06/23/03 00:08:30 GMT

Eye Magnet:

In my machine shop first aid kit I have an actual Eye Magnet. Its got a polished magnet on one end and a mono-filament loop on the other end, with caps to cover both.

I got it from Life & Safety First Aid Supply many years ago, and it has been a lifesaver with ferrous objects in the eye (and non-ferrous with the loop).

If you take someone to the ER with an eye injury, remember to cover BOTH eyes. As one eye will automatically track the other (even if it's covered).

Again, I'm not a Doctor (I just play one in the boudoir)... ;-)
Zero - Monday, 06/23/03 14:22:19 GMT

Zero: Good tool and good advice both!
Paw Paw - Monday, 06/23/03 15:21:40 GMT

Eye Safety: I would caution anyone from removing an iron sliver from the eye by themselves. This is a potentially dangerous situation that could result in the loss of vision. Flushing, covering and a speedy visit to the ER is much safer for everyone. They can access the damage and provide proper care and medication even better than a blacksmith!
- Quenchcrack - Monday, 06/23/03 17:12:01 GMT

Here I'm going to dis-agree with you a bit. Especially if the foreign object is ferrous. A Ferrous object starts to form a "rust ring" as soon as it stabalizes in place. The longer it is in the eye, the larger the rust ring becomes. Rust rings CAN cause blindness. If they get a good start they have to be ground out with a tool similar to a Dremel. I've had it done twice and it is NOT fun. So if the FO will come out easily and quickly, the sooner it is out the better.

Of course, if there is any difficulty in removing it, then your advice is right on the money.
Paw Paw - Tuesday, 06/24/03 00:07:07 GMT

Trivia Note: I'm told by a machinist friend the diamond shaped glass mirror in the Gerstner machinists tool chest was to facilitate removal of foreign shop matter from the eye, and that a small magnet was usually part of the "tool" collection. At any rate, the wooden Gerstner chests are beautiful in their workmanship. I wouldn't part with mine!
Ellen - Tuesday, 06/24/03 00:55:25 GMT


I've heard the same thing, in both cases. I've got a wooden tool chest, not a Gerstner, but a Taiwan knock off that She Who Must Be Obeyed got me for Christmas one year. It's still beautifully done, even though it's not an original.
Paw Paw - Tuesday, 06/24/03 01:13:59 GMT

Vise: Well, while I didn't fire up the forge today, I did do a little cleaning out there. Some rearanging and some shelves built. Then I decided to work on my last vise I bought for $45. The "C" shaped wedge was twisted and and the tapered drift was missing. And there was some side to side play. All I had to do for that was to tighten the nut on the short leg. Straighted out the "C" and already had a drift. While dinking with all that, I find out it is a Columbian vise. Other than all the grime on it, it is looking pretty good now.
Bob H - Tuesday, 06/24/03 01:21:00 GMT

Tool Chests: Word of caution. The 10 drawer Gerstner I worked for half a summer as a high school kid to earn, I later kept my signpainting stuff in. It was set on a shelf here and not used for a couple of years. When I went to get it to do a simple little truck lettering job for a neighbor, the damn termites had destroyed it completely. About the only thing they didn't eat was the mirror and the drawer bottoms. Broke my heart. If you live where termites do, remember that the little b*st*rds simply love oak.
vicopper - Tuesday, 06/24/03 13:35:43 GMT


I've got a 42 and an 82 with a seven drawer riser. They have served me well for 20+ years. But... Do you know WHY wood tool boxes are favored for storing precision tools?

Not only was the mirror in the lid used for self-doctoring, but also to comb hair and check your tie. It is a bygone era, but Machinists and Diemakers were required to wear a white shirt and tie to work -- and usually only given several rags a day to boot!

It was, no doubt, a challenge to stay clean... ;-)

Quench: I agree on the sliver, if it's penatrated the eye deeply. I ALWAYS wear safety glasses, so steel chips that get into my eyes usually ricochet off a cheek or forehead and the inside of the glasses to wind up in my eye. The magnet removes them quickly with less scratching than an eyewash.
Zero - Tuesday, 06/24/03 15:17:35 GMT

shirt and tie: that would be a rough one to deal with, Zero. First time that tie got anywhere near a mill/drill spindle or a lathe chuck, I'd be thinking about a new dress code. I don't think I could make it on only a handful of rags a day, either. Well, here's to the old school....
Two Swords - Tuesday, 06/24/03 15:33:57 GMT

Shirt and Tie, Gerstners: The tie was not a problem if properly worn. Machinists and machine operators tucked their tie into their shirt at the second and third button. Lab coats were often worn to protect the "street clothes".

Long hair is as dangerous in the shop as a tie or loose clothing.

The little mirror is indeed there to remove debris from one's eye. However, I would NOT recommend removing anything embedded in your eye yourself.

Use that magnet to remove splinters from your fingers. Leave your eyes up to the Docs.

The deep middle drawer is designed to hold your Machinery's Handbook and even some mechanics chests follow that design.

Wood boxes are better for storing precision tools because they do not sweat or attract condensation like a metal chest AND the wood is softer and less damaging to precision surfaces. . .

The last time I looked at Gerstner chests they were around $500. I was informed that it was much too nice for tools and would make a very nice Jewlery Box. One of our local antique stores has one in oak for about $411. . . It is labeled "very old". . . I laughed!

- guru - Tuesday, 06/24/03 16:47:52 GMT

Ties and Termites: The ties were under a coat or apron or tucked into the front of the shirt while working. At least that's how Dad wore his, and taught me to wear mine. Of course, working where ties aren't in fashion for what I do, I don't have the problem. Most guys I know who do wear ties in a lab or shop tuck them in the shirt. My objection is that dress shirts and ties are stain magnets, and I don't feel my compensation includes a line item to cover disposable ties and shirts.

I'm about half surprised by the termites and the tool chest. I seem to recall that the old chests were white oak, though red is more common for the chests that are featured in modern woodworking project magazines. Red oak is indeed very susceptible to every bug and wood malady out there, but white oak is typically quite resistant - to the point that old timers liked it for fence posts and sill logs. Was the chest eaten while in paradise, Vic? I'm thinking maybe something other than the continental North American termite species? On a mission trip in Tanzania I was introduced to varieties that have queens the size of softballs. Good reason to build with lots of concrete. I was also introduced to a lovely deep dark wood called muninga. When I asked why that was the wood that was used for absolutely everything, from concrete forms to fine furniture, they told me it was the only wood the termites wouldn't eat.

Steve A - Tuesday, 06/24/03 17:41:06 GMT


Jock's right (why doesn't that surprise me). The wood acts as a natural desicant. Tools kept in my Craftsman or Kennedy (metal) boxes rust quite quickly, where tools in the Gerstners do not. Used to be that all good micrometers, indicators and other precision tools came in a nice wooden box, now plastic is the material of choice (sigh!).

Clip-on ties were invented for the machine tool trades. Those are all my father would ever wear, no matter what. Not much of a fashion statement, but safe...

The best way to deal with an eye injury, is NOT to get a foreign object in your eye in the first place! I learned this lesson the hard way:

About twenty years ago, I managed a pretty large metalstamping facility, where we had some Vietnamese press operators -- who didn't speak very good english. One day while walking through the press room (50 presses) I noticed a misaligned die being installed.

I asked the operator (who spoke poor english) to stop. I looked at the die (sans safety glasses), and he hit the jog buttons (as a joke). I yelled "NO!", he thought I'd said "GO!"... A year later, the vision returned fully in my right eye.

The scariest part of losing vision in one eye, is knowing you only have one left!

They used to laugh at me (even more than normal!). Because after the accident, I would put on my safety glasses when I left the office to go to the bathroom!

It's now a habit, and a good one to boot.

If this story saves someone an eye, it was worth boring ya'll with... ;-)
Zero - Tuesday, 06/24/03 18:12:18 GMT

Termites: Steve,
Yeah, that chest got eaten after I moved down here. Right after, in fact. That was in the priod when I was still learning about the local critters. I Had a lot of tools and equipment that came down here with me and only a tiny two-room shack to live in, so I put up a lean-to tarp against one side of the house and stored the tools and stuff beneath it. I wnted the stuff to be up off the ground, so I scragged a handful of shipping pallets to act as decking. Thinking like a Yankee, I selected the sturdiest pallets I could find, with a preference for oak. Less than 6 weeks later, the pallets were reduced to sawdust and termite excrement. Little by little, I began to learn, but not in time to save my cherished Gerstner chest.

We have both flying and subterranean termites here. And since we're subject to all the EPA/FDA/USDA regulations, we can't get any DDT to deal with them. Or anything else that is truly effective for treating building sites. So we build everything with pressure-treated wood and concrete. I'm sure the fish and the bees are much happier to see all of us get cupric arsenate poisoning and silicosis (not to mention Dengue Fever), than to see us use something that might cause a bird that doesn't live here to maybe lay a thin-shelled egg. Score another victory for the zealots.

We have a local variety of Mahogany that is very resistant to the local termites, but not immune. Beautiful wood, but very limited supply and very expensive. Only available after a hurricane has blown down a few magnificent old trees, sadly. Too high a price to pay for me, I'd rather have the shade and the vision.
vicopper - Tuesday, 06/24/03 18:25:53 GMT

power hammer suggestions: Can anyone tell me what type, make, size, etc., of power hammer I should look at for an ornamental custom fabrication shop...forged scroll work on gates, fences, etc. Thank you. In Houston area
martin - Tuesday, 06/24/03 19:37:31 GMT

Do you want a new hammer, or an old hammer that might have to be restored?
Paw Paw - Tuesday, 06/24/03 19:54:02 GMT

I would prefer a new or slightly used 50 to 100 lb hammer.
martin - Tuesday, 06/24/03 19:59:09 GMT

Martin: One major advantage to the Big Blu hammer manufactured and sold by Kayne and Son (advertisors here on anvilfire) is the fact that they are an american manufacturing firm and they stand behind their product. I've never bought a hammer from them, I have a junk yard hammer, but I've dealt with them for years and will continue to do so because they are good, honest business people.
Paw Paw - Tuesday, 06/24/03 20:05:02 GMT

CSI Members:

Paw Paw - Wednesday, 06/25/03 02:14:35 GMT

Darn! Mike sure read the CSI forum in a hurry! Contest is over folks!
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 06/25/03 02:25:55 GMT

Tie vs. long hair: heheheh. No chance of my hair being a hazard to anyone, guru. Ain't nothing there but a little fuzz.
vic - I join in mourning for the lost Gerstner. I do envy you one thing - at least you have owned one, while I may never.
Two Swords - Wednesday, 06/25/03 06:50:31 GMT

vicopper- a real yankee has ingenuity and would not have put his prized chest on wooden pallets in termite county. you were being just plain old cheap!!!
  Fred - Wednesday, 06/25/03 13:44:15 GMT

Objects in the eye.: Ok, maybe you folks that work in the machine shop everyday have a different perspective than I do. In our plant, any object in the eye requires a visit to the nurse. Any slivers mean a trip to the ER. However, this may be due more to preventing law suits than preventing blindness. I get a bit touchy about putting metal objects like magnets in my own eye. I'd probably pull out 3 fillings before I got the job done!
- Quenchcrack - Wednesday, 06/25/03 17:00:32 GMT

WANTED: Light Screen Equipment Guard, Used: Wanted: To Purchase :
Need a light screen equipment guard consisting of:
1) A transmitter, Scientific Technologies Inc. Model P4118BX series PT4100 Series Opto Safe transmitter or equivalent.
2) A receiver, Scientific Technologies Inc., Model P4118BR series Pt4100 Series Opto Safe receiver or equivalent.
3) The control box designed to work with the PT4100 Series Opto Safe light screen equipment guard or equivalent.
- James Sullivan - Wednesday, 06/25/03 19:55:56 GMT

Auction?: PPW, am I to assume the auction was open only to CSI members? And it's over?
- Quenchcrack - Wednesday, 06/25/03 20:56:04 GMT

interviews?: Looking for blacksmiths who practiced it prior to or since before the 1950's, to interview for a book on blacksmithing. The book will include profiles/life stories of the blacksmiths, in each case followed by a section of practical techniques, tricks of the trade, and projects. If you or someone you know is interested in this please email to set up a phone call, which could lead to an in-person interview. Interviews will be conducted by a knowledgeable modern-day welder/artist-blacksmith. Thanks.
Doug Thompson - Wednesday, 06/25/03 21:53:19 GMT

No, the auction will be open to all, and it hasn't started.
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 06/25/03 22:35:24 GMT

Quenchcrack: Fear not! Paw Paw wasn't talking about the auction. He was running a spur of the moment contest regarding the Revolutionary Blacksmith stories. Myke pulled out a win before most of us could even finish reading the forum notice. Maybe us slow guys'll get another chance later (subtle hint for Paw Paw).

eander4 - Wednesday, 06/25/03 22:38:40 GMT

Still too slow!:
Crud!! Paw Paw beat me to the answer! I've got to get faster on this computer thing!
eander4 - Wednesday, 06/25/03 22:41:15 GMT

Auction: Whew! Thought I missed it. Just got another consulting job and it will pay for the rest of my anvil. Bring on the bidding!
- Quenchcrack - Wednesday, 06/25/03 23:14:46 GMT

All: I will probably be talking to Bill either this weekend, or early next week. I think, (but am not certain yet) that his dad passed away yesterday some time.

Bear with him, it's a very difficult time at the moment. When he's able to start back I will help him.

And for those who might be curious, I will not be bidding on anything in the auction. I don't want even the possibility of an appearance of conflict of interest.
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 06/25/03 23:27:29 GMT

Conflict of interest:
Paw Paw,
I've already established that I'm a little slow, but I don't see how your bidding on items in an open auction could be perceived as any sort of act of impropriety. If Bill sets minimums on all of the items (which he should), we all have the same opportunity to bid. Your efforts are simply to insure he gets a fair price. Since this is ultimately geared toward helping him out during a rough time, I think you should be able to bid just like the rest of us.

My prayers are with Bill and his family.
eander4 - Thursday, 06/26/03 00:10:35 GMT

Conflict: What conflict? I second eander4 in his post. Bid away Paw Paw! Like he said, with an auction like that, you aren't treated any different then the rest of us. And sorry to hear about his dad.
Bob H - Thursday, 06/26/03 00:16:28 GMT

I've already told him to set a reserve on every item, and I'll probably help him decide what the reserve should be. As I said in the message in the CSI foruum, you're not going to get this stuff for pennies on the dollar. They can't afford to let that happen.

As for bidding myself, I'll think about it. My initial reaction is to stay out of it, but I may be being too conservative.
Paw Paw - Thursday, 06/26/03 01:50:23 GMT

Paw Paw, I "Third" eander4's post and second Bob H's. If a reserve is set, there CAN'T be a conflict of interest, all your bid will do is to see Bill gets a higher price to help defray medical bills. From what I read, there would not be an auction, at least not on Anvilfire, without your generous efforts. My heart goes out to Bill and his family;
I've seen two people go with pancreatic cancer (one in his early forties), and it tends to go thru the victim very fast, sometimes within days of diagnosis.......
Ellen - Thursday, 06/26/03 02:21:37 GMT

here's a fourth....: I see no impropriety if PPW bids in this (for what it's worth).

Sincere condolences to Bill, also. I've lost friends and family both to various cancers. It's always rough, no matter how you prepare. Money is often a dirty word, something you know you should deal with, but don't want to for fear of cheapening the memories everyone holds of the departed. A community like this might be a good thing to have around in such a time.
Two Swords - Thursday, 06/26/03 06:36:03 GMT

PawPaw's Bid: You got an Amen from this corner, too, Jim. Your money's just as good as the next guy's (unless you're still trying to pass that Confederate stuff). When you use the late Brother's tools, ring the anvil for him and dedicate the job to his memory. Besides, like I told you last week, ain't nothin wrong with bein' Conservative (Grin). Trois Chiens
- 3dogs - Thursday, 06/26/03 07:59:43 GMT

Nothing wrong with Confedrate money! The south will rise again! (I said that to my wife and she just grinned!)
Paw Paw - Thursday, 06/26/03 15:25:17 GMT

Bill Geddings:

My sincerest condolences.
Zero - Thursday, 06/26/03 15:29:15 GMT

New Blacksmithing Book: Finally a book that will actually help the beginner to build a forge, get a fire lit, and make his or her own tools. Available only online at
Download your copy today for only $5.99
Becoming a Blacksmith in the 21st Century
Milleniummike200 - Thursday, 06/26/03 15:41:29 GMT

Auction: Like I said before, I would trust Paw-Paw with my checkbook and car keys. I add my voice to those who would encourage PPW to get in on the bidding. Just don't go bidding on stuff I bid on, ok? Bill Geddings, we pray for God's Peace upon you and your family.
- Quenchcrack - Thursday, 06/26/03 17:16:03 GMT

BS Book: WOW! Now I too can learn to smite iron! I've been waiting for just such a publication that I could buy that has all that Anvilfire has for free.

Yes that was saracastic but geez!
Mills - Thursday, 06/26/03 17:37:51 GMT


For a fair and balanced review of your work, I suggest you post your sales pitch at the link below. Those folks will be much more kind than the rude bunch here.... ;-)

Good luck on your sales. I, myself, am still holding out for a Whitaker book.
Post a message.
Zero - Thursday, 06/26/03 18:52:58 GMT

Forge time: Well, the weather finally broke and it is cooler today with some rain. So I fired up my forge. Finished up one candle holder and made 4 identical parts for another. Too bad I don't know the next step! Saw a nice candle chandilier type at a fella's shop and wanted to make one. It's one of those things where I don't remember all the details. Yeah, that happens to me all the time. But hey! The four scrolled hooks all look the same! But somehow they go together forming a square, with a center post, and all is wrapped together with a small rod in two wraps, one top and one at the bottom. But I get a lesson from the smith that made it in about two weeks. Have to take all my parts there and see if I can finish it up. Got my drip pans and cups already. I figure to make a tenon on the end of my rods, run that into the drip pan and peen over for a rivet. Then it looks like I will have to braze on the candle cups. Other than making some char cloth for my flint and steel kits, that's about all I did today.
Bob H - Thursday, 06/26/03 19:38:15 GMT

Oh Yeah, and PPW what they said. You will not take an unfair advantage no matter what. You have a double portion of integrity I do believe. Your rep is far and wide.
Mills - Thursday, 06/26/03 21:07:40 GMT

Bob H.:
Make the tenon for the rivet a little longer and set a tenon fitting washer in the bottom of the candle cup. Then run the tenon throught the candle pan, through the candle cup and finally through the washer, THEN peen it over. The washer will make up the difference in size between the tenon and the bottom hole of the candle cup.
Paw Paw - Thursday, 06/26/03 21:08:47 GMT

PawPaw, I said something like that about the South rising again a while back here... One of the guys gave me an odd look and said, "What do you mean, AGAIN? This thing ain't over yet!" ;)

Steve A - Thursday, 06/26/03 22:05:35 GMT

Paw Paw and I have been communicating about an anvil I have for sale. I have sent him the photos and if anyone else would like to comment on the value I can email them to you as well. my email is
  Tim - Thursday, 06/26/03 22:22:58 GMT

PPW and his rep: Mills, are you sure that you are not talking about is hind assets and not his rep? (gonna hide now)
Ralph - Thursday, 06/26/03 22:30:28 GMT

It is true that Paw Paw has multitudinous ASSets, that was not that which I was referring to. I do admire your keen eye and steely nerve Ralph. Perhaps we shall have chance to meet some day after a suitable convalescence, to discuss the width and breadth of ALL of Paw Paw's assets.
Mills - Friday, 06/27/03 02:52:06 GMT

Both of you!:

Are cruising for a bruising! (grin)
Paw Paw - Friday, 06/27/03 03:01:19 GMT

If PPW actually gets around to doing them dirt, then we'll have reason to suspect conflict of interest...barring that, he's beyond reproach....nearly........................
Pete F - Friday, 06/27/03 08:25:24 GMT

Needing Info: Probaby a stoopid question, but here goes. Does anybody have any information or expierence with making hooks for hanging meat?
- T. Snyder - Friday, 06/27/03 10:59:34 GMT

meat hook: I never made a meathook, but it brings to mind my Missouri background. The hog butchers hang the hog by its hock hamstrings from a "gamblin' stick". I think the dictionary calls it a "gambrel". From memory, it's a wooden dowel tapered towared either end and about 1'long...has a half arrowhead barb carved on each end.
- Frank Turley - Friday, 06/27/03 12:29:02 GMT

Meat Hooks: Meat hooks should be forged from stainless steel to avoid probles with rust. The industry standard seems to be #304 stainless. All the meathooks I've seen have been made from 3/8" or 1/2" round bar, with a point that is either a short square taper or an offset round taper. I believe all the ones with the round point were ground to a point rather than forged. The upper hook is a parallel bight with blunt end, intended to fit a piece of flat bar on edge. For hanging sides of beef, you should figure on using 1/2" round for the hook and 1/2" x 2" for the hanger rails. For smaller critters, you can drop down to 3/8" stock.

It is important that the upper hook fits the rail fairly closely so that it doesn't twist or turn too much. I prefer them forged down from 1/2" round to about a 5/16" x 3/4" rectangular cross-section and then fit to the hanging rail with about 1/16" slop. That works well for home operations where you need the hook to sit still while you hoist a hunk of dead critter up onto it. For a meat packing operation, the upper hook should be left round and open enough to slide on the hanging rail easily.

If you convert to vegetarianism, you don't need to worry about all this, just make little S hooks to hang shocks of wheat or clumps of spinach or something. (grin)
vicopper - Friday, 06/27/03 13:15:43 GMT

PPW: y'all be nice now; or Paw Paw will let you wirebrush stuff!

- Thomas Powers - Friday, 06/27/03 13:45:38 GMT

PPW's ASSets.....: Mills,
That would be a pleasure. Only we will have to meet in a undisclosed place as I would hate to tempt PPW too much...(grin)

Thomas, now you are scaring me.... Oh wait I can never look like PPW...... I am after all MUCH younger....(VBG)

Ralph - Friday, 06/27/03 14:43:15 GMT


You're uglier, too! (grin)
Paw Paw - Friday, 06/27/03 15:47:07 GMT

Thanks for the help guys.
T. Snyder - Friday, 06/27/03 16:27:14 GMT

PPW, that is true.....
But it is something I can live with.....
Ralph - Friday, 06/27/03 17:38:50 GMT

That's fine for you, it's Dawn I feel sorry for. (grin)
Paw Paw - Friday, 06/27/03 18:21:06 GMT

Ah, yes, well Dawn is a saint... you should know that as you have actually met us both... Wonderfull woman.....
- Ralph - Friday, 06/27/03 20:17:09 GMT

Books: Hot diggity. 3 Count em 3 books on the way. I looked over on the Bookshelf saw the RDC stuff and couldn't stand it no more. They were in my price range. From all I've heard these should be very helpful for a beginner like me. Next purchase will be a camera. Cause some of what I do I don't mind showing now.
Anybody know of a good curriculum for teaching? the Saltfork Craftsmen are putting together a mobile classroom. I am doing some of the basic lesson plans but would like to find something ready to go, from someone more skilled than I.
Mills - Friday, 06/27/03 23:00:17 GMT

T. Snyder: Hey T. Although I have personally never seen a rusty meat hook, I suppose its possible if it wasnt used regularly.The amount of body fats will stop rust,Although current Industrystandards for commercial meat cutting is stainless steel,this goes for knives as well,and handles are not allowed to be made of wood either. This was a great disappointment to many old timers,as most have never seen a stainless knife that was worth sharpening!...oh boy, im gonna hear it now....l.o.l.
- TAG - Sunday, 06/29/03 02:37:29 GMT

curriculum: Mills, I'll the Saltfork demonstrator at King's Southwest Iron Works in Guthrie, Oklahoma, October 11-12. Maybe we can talk curriculum? The RDC books will help.
- Frank Turley - Sunday, 06/29/03 13:04:06 GMT

Thank you, I look forward to that.
Mills - Sunday, 06/29/03 17:39:30 GMT

Thank you, I look forward to that.
Mills - Sunday, 06/29/03 17:40:08 GMT

Thank you, I look forward to that.
Mills - Sunday, 06/29/03 17:42:03 GMT

Crud, Hit post three times before I figgered that I would need to do a manual refresh. Sorry guys.
Mills - Sunday, 06/29/03 17:43:54 GMT

Mills: thank you sir, may I have another!
Thank You, Sir...May I Have Another!
THANK YOU SIR...(high squeaky voice)

Just playin.
Two Swords - Monday, 06/30/03 18:02:32 GMT

Man that brings back some memories. Try this on for size.

A man approached a boy sitting on the farm house porch and asked gruffly if the father was at home.
"No sir, Him an Maw gone to town." the young man replied. "What of your brother Joe?" The man asked.
"He went with em." was the reply. Seeing the mans distress the young fellow offered "If you need to borrow something I know where every thing is kept, and most anything else I can answer too."
The man looked at the boy and said "I want to talk about your brother Joe gittin my daughter pregnant!"
"Well sir,.. I know pa gets $50 for the bull and $25 for the boar, but I can't rightly say what Joe would go for"

Best one I've heard in a while.
Mills - Tuesday, 07/01/03 03:45:31 GMT

Eyes: Zero, not boring at all! But I got something else out of the story. Communication. If we don't communicate clearly, at the least we tic each other off. At the worst, people get hurt or killed.

I'm not necessarily anti immigration. But I am VERY much against those who come here looking for a job and do not make speaking english a very high priority. By all means, maintain your heritage at home. But speak the local language on the job and in public!

I had a hole in my right eye once. Kept leaking, so I went to the local clinic after a few hours. First doc said he saw something and was picking around on my eyeball. Said "I can see it" about 10 times, but couldn't get it. I told him to get a real eye doctor who proceeded to pick around like the first one and then leaned back and said he got the rust fleck out which was inside the crack in the eyeball which was made by the broken washer piece I was prying off and flew up into my eyeball.

Then he proceeded to tell me he would put the stitches in the next morning.

I opted for trying to let it heal on its own. 4 days laying still in the hospital. It worked. And I got some great back massages from a nice looking young nurse.

I didn't know they did eyeball stitches. I found that kind of creepy.
- Tony - Tuesday, 07/01/03 12:27:43 GMT

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