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

This page is open to ALL for the purpose of advancing blacksmithing.
Please read the RULES before posting a message. NOTE: This IS NOT the Guru page!

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.

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

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

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Monday, 07/27/98 & 03/01/99

Hey, I ran across a problem today I need to know how to hand forge lag bolts and screws. Is there any advice for me?

George I. Pare' from NFHP -- heritage at - Thursday, 07/01/99 01:53:01 GMT


I'd hand twist the threads for a lag screw, and then seat the head in a special header. For bolts, make the shank, set the head in a header, and then thread the shank.

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Thursday, 07/01/99 03:24:37 GMT


Forgot to mention that after twisting the threads for a lag screw, you'd want to go over them with a thread file to clean them up.

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Thursday, 07/01/99 03:26:19 GMT

Paw-Paw didn't mention the shape to forge the shank for twisting. Square works, but triangle section is better. Twist it till it looks about right, then use a torch to heat the spot (very short heat) where the point should be and continue twisting. The bar will neck down and twist off giving a pretty good point. The twist at the point will be tighter, but the wood don't seem to care!

grant -- nakedanvil at - Thursday, 07/01/99 14:18:54 GMT


Didn't think of that, but you're right. One for you! (grin)

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Thursday, 07/01/99 15:35:01 GMT

Paw Paw,

I take it the first thing I do is convert the shank of the bolt to a sharp cornered rectangular shape and then twist it evenly for the threads. For the tip I had the Idea of flattening it and then twisting. Would this work? I wan't to do it right the first time as the rest of the peice attached to the lag section involved allot of work, and I'd hate to ruen it.

George I. Pare' -- heritage at - Friday, 07/02/99 01:54:14 GMT

Almost forgot to mention: twist COUNTER-CLOCKWISE if you want a right hand thread, seems backward I know, try it!

grant -- nakedanvil at - Friday, 07/02/99 02:39:12 GMT

not me. I do what any right-thinking American blacksmith ought to do, which is go down to the hardware store, buy me a swatch of Korea's finest, grind the fake letters off the heads, cook the finish off the little buggers, and fry 'em in motor oil.

john neary -- jneary at - Friday, 07/02/99 04:16:21 GMT


Me too.

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Friday, 07/02/99 08:41:28 GMT

George I. Pare',

Sorry for the delay, somehow I missed your post.

Not a rectangular shape, as Grant suggested shape it to a triangular cross section for a lag screw. For a bolt, you'd want to start with round stock the same size as the shank of the bolt, then upset one end, shape the head with a header, then thread with a regular threading die.

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Friday, 07/02/99 17:31:46 GMT

Hint for finding anvils: Put an ANVIL WANTED ad in the miscellaneous FOR SALE section of your local newspaper's classified section. I did this a couple of years ago, and got over twenty calls. I bought two (125 and 265 pounds) for reasonable prices. Of course I had to sift through the ones that had been through fires or were just worn out, but all-in-all it was a good way to go.

Mark Layton -- layton at - Friday, 07/02/99 19:53:36 GMT

Paw Paw,

Thanks alloth for the bolt advice. Succsess has been acheived!

George I. Pare' -- heritage at - Friday, 07/02/99 20:22:26 GMT


Good show!

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Friday, 07/02/99 21:31:02 GMT

Hello! My beautiful hip-flask died a horrible death last year; after a night of enthusiastic use, it threw itself beneath the front wheel of a Jeep, and is now more suitable for use as a bookmark than for holding anything useful. Still, it has sentimental value and I'd like to get it fixed. I've talked to a few jewelers, and they say it's out of their range. Any hints on where I might look for somebody in Wisconsin to perform surgery on the thing? Thanks a lot!

Matthew Stratton

Matthew Stratton -- mgsimpso at - Saturday, 07/10/99 23:09:38 GMT

New at this. Would like info on 25 to 150 lb. powerhammers.

Donald Walter -- donbev at - Sunday, 07/11/99 17:50:39 GMT


Welcome to Anvilfire!

I'm not exactly sure what info you are looking for, but let me suggest that you check the Power Hammer Page here at Anvilvire. If you still have questions, they can be posted on the guru's page.

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Sunday, 07/11/99 19:01:47 GMT

Somewhere on the net I saw a link to a picture of an anvil someone had restored. If anyone knows about it or can send me in the right direction, I'd appreciate it. I just got a 156# Peter Wright, and I need to do some minor dressing out on the face, but I'd like to give it some thought and solicit more advice before I go to it. What I need to think about primarily is the radiusing (i.e. rounding) of the edge(s), how much and where. Any advice is also appreciated. Gotten some advice already, but more is always appreciated. Hopefully in a couple of weeks I'll have raised my experience level to almost qualify as a Newbie. Looking forward to it. Then I'll have some REAL questions. Thanks.

Bob Rackers -- rackersr at - Tuesday, 07/13/99 18:10:46 GMT

Bob. Everyone has an opinion on this one. Some folks like sharp edges and will do anything to keep them that way. The conventional wisdom is to radius the edges where heavy work is to be done (the middle and up to the step. In the past they used to recommend a heavy chamfer on the first half (towards the horn) and slightly radiused edges on the rest. However, this type of grind is seldom seen. Since I DO NOT recommend anvil repair (welding) unless it is absolutely necessary (the anvil being useless prior to repair) I do recommend radiusing as necessary to clean up uneven wear or chipped edges.

As in many things in life, good judgment and common sense are required before making any changes in an anvil. It is NOT just a lump of iron. It is a deceptively sophisticated tool often made of several materials and heattreated at a great deal of effort and expense.

Jock Dempsey -- webmaster at - Thursday, 07/15/99 23:58:37 GMT

There is a floor cone and swedge block on ebay, but as all good equiptment, will go for a high price. Good luck.

Toby -- kiamichi at - Friday, 07/16/99 08:24:56 GMT

wtb Hossfeld No.2, w tooling, esp. for flat stock the hard way, reasonable, w/in 1/2 day of ABQ. don't you molest that poor defenseless anvil!

john neary -- jneary at - Friday, 07/16/99 22:05:48 GMT

two 4x4x2ft high crates of spring swages[19] heading tools,lg tongs[50pr] drifts[30-50,round/hex/sq.]These are tradesmans tools from a closed shop, spring swages[up to 2"] vertical band sawwith 24+throat/motor2201ph650.00/lgChampion Drillpress/conepulley/belts#3morse,650.00non motorized tools to be soldas a lot,best offer,location is northern Calif. Jock, thanks for the ability to post on this great site.
Draw saw/

David Schiff -- dschiff at - Monday, 07/19/99 00:32:17 GMT

Blacksmith and horse shoer

kirk -- renovatenc at - Wednesday, 07/21/99 04:23:09 GMT

evening all

jocannon - Thursday, 07/22/99 04:43:38 GMT

looking for a used power hammer/25-100 lbs. not sure if i am
on the right page to ask for this...ontario, canada.any info will help
d. waugh anvil at

d. waugh -- anvil at - Saturday, 07/24/99 12:53:28 GMT

D. Waugh,

This was the right place to ask. I can't help, but contact Bruce Wallace (he has a link on the guru's page) of Wallace Ironworkds. You can trust Bruce and he frequently has used power hammers for sale.

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Saturday, 07/24/99 16:33:05 GMT

Well I've had it! I'm gettin sick and tired of spending a lot of time and energy making nice things (relative) and having them rust or turn white or crack(paint). Do any of you guys have any suggestions to putting a clear finish on your work? Ive tried paste wax, clear acrylic, laquer and nothing seems to work.
Fit to be tied in sweltering CT

R. Blessey -- rustboo at - Monday, 07/26/99 02:19:17 GMT

Emil, forge101 at is looking for a firepot. He is located in NY (see for his OK Forge website.

Jock D. -- webmaster at - Tuesday, 07/27/99 12:06:56 GMT

W A R N I N G ! ! ! ! !

Some time within the last couple of days someone sent me a message with a file attached. The attachment was named HAPPY99.

That file is a TROJAN/VIRUS. It will infect your system, and in turn will infect OTHER systems as you send out e-mail.

I inadvertently infected:

Andrew Hooper

Bob Rackers

Glenn Conners

Jock Dempsy

My most sincere apologies to all four of you!

It would probably not be a good idea for me to find out who infected my system. I am NOT a happy camper, and I do have a somewhat violent temper which I have been known to lose on occasion.

Jim (Paw Paw) Wilson

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Thursday, 07/29/99 12:35:35 GMT

RE: Virus/Trojan.

If anyone has received by email a file called happy99 and run the file they will get a little fireworks display on their screen.

If this has happend to you then your system will be infected and needs to be cleaned, email me and i can send you a copy of an application that will clean this virus/trojan.


Andrew Hooper -- andrew at - Thursday, 07/29/99 21:14:41 GMT


OBTW The Happy99 Trojan did NOT come from the blacksmithing community. Someone sent it to Sheri yesterday. She remembers getting it, won't tell me who from. (probably a wise decision on her part) But since we both use the same computer for Internet access, it still passed on.

She's not happy either, so I expect someone is going to get an earful! Her hair is more gray than red, but the temper still matches! (grin)

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Thursday, 07/29/99 22:56:25 GMT

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