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.
This page is NOT a chat - it is a "message board"

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 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.

Jock Dempsey -- webmaster at 07/27/98, 03/01/99, 05/20/2000, 06/16/2000

So this is where you guys have been hiding after Guru's page ended! (temp closed)

Tim Cisneros -- blacksmith at starsticker,com - Thursday, 06/01/00 03:25:43 GMT

Tim, did you get your oiler/hammer problem worked out? How's she hit?!

mark krause -- kbmk13 at - Thursday, 06/01/00 04:36:50 GMT

Tim, did you get your oiler/hammer problem worked out? How's she hit?!

mark krause -- kbmk13 at - Thursday, 06/01/00 04:37:40 GMT

Scott; Perhaps you might consider the smith's approach to the problem, seeing as this is a smithing site....That is to say..for thousands of years folks have been pounding out vessels with hammers and it still works. It requires a minimum of equiptment and will produce a much stronger and easier to finish product. Look up raising and metal forming.

Pete F - Thursday, 06/01/00 07:24:39 GMT

Mark, I finally contacted a pneumatic engineer and he walked me through the entire system. When we got to the limit switch ( we were on the phone) he asked me to describe how the switch was configured. When I told him that there were two little yellow plugs on the bottom of the switch he said " take those out , try it again, and call me back to let me know how it's working". When I took them out and stepped on the pedal, the hammer started going like a bat out of hell. It was my own fault because I was the one who put those two stupid plugs in there. They were in the box, so I figured they belonged somewhere! The hammer is hitting at approximately 180-200 BPM. It has total control for either soft hits or hard. It's really a thing of beauty. What a relief. TC

Tim Cisneros -- blacksmith at - Thursday, 06/01/00 13:28:25 GMT


1. Pressure relief ports?

2. Pictures?

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Thursday, 06/01/00 17:01:58 GMT

Looking for a Type N punch,die and guide bar for a Number 20 Whitney punch. Type N 1/8 x 1/4. Thanks dlee

Dublin Lee -- dlee at - Thursday, 06/01/00 21:54:45 GMT


The guru's page is back!

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Friday, 06/02/00 00:39:29 GMT

Paw Paw, Pressure relief ports, thats them! I've sent pictures to the Guru. They should be posted soon. I figured since the Gurus page was down he might have time to get it done but now that it's back...might take a while. TC

Tim Cisneros -- blacksmith at - Friday, 06/02/00 05:00:46 GMT

Tim, congrats...can't wait to see it.

Mark K -- kbmk13 at - Friday, 06/02/00 05:44:09 GMT


Ahah! Not so dumb as I look! (grin) Glad you got it working!

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Friday, 06/02/00 06:36:10 GMT

Hi Scott

Look at some of the metal-casting home foundry sites. One good one is art goto the 'bramble link at the very bottom of the opening page. This is a great place but it is for forging, not casting.

See my page at: and Go to school art project.

Thin castings are tricky and arn't a good beginner project.
Each aluminum alloy has special characteristics that requires changes in technique for best results. Check local Voc. Ed. schools for a metals class that includes foundry.

John Odom, in Ooltewah, TN

John Odom -- jodom at - Friday, 06/02/00 13:07:57 GMT

I heard you have a new self contained hammer you've been working on with Toby Hickman. Jim Austin of Metal Alchemy in San Francisco told me it is quite a machine. Any pictures? TC

Tim Cisneros -- blacksmith at - Friday, 06/02/00 14:14:12 GMT

Finishing ideas

Keith Reece -- reeceforge at - Saturday, 06/03/00 04:16:04 GMT

I see two people on but yakin

Ed -- janrae5 - Sunday, 06/04/00 00:38:00 GMT

I'm trying to get square tubing pressed pickets for a friend, can anyone give me a tip? will be trully appreciate it.

Juan -- juanjovill at aol - Sunday, 06/04/00 05:21:20 GMT

I haven't taken any pics of my hammer yet. I just finished it the day before CBA spring conference and took it. Quite a few people took pics of it there including some digitals, however I have not seen any. I got a few in the mail from Rob Edwards two days ago, so maybe we'll se it in anvil magazine. I've done quite a bit of improving to it since then. Today I forged a taper from 1 1/2" square down to about 3/4 octagon over about a foot in a couple of heats, but that was really maxing it out, it's only a 20#'er.

Mark Krause -- kbmk13 at - Sunday, 06/04/00 05:59:54 GMT

ENGLISH WHEELS -- Go to the bramblebush at and there are a couple of good articles with photos.

Lewis -- fciron at - Monday, 06/05/00 02:49:23 GMT

Mark, Since I just finished building my hammer and am in the process of setting up a new shop I am interested in seeing your hammer and shop (in Petaluma?). Give me your address and I'll try to stop by. I have a possible large commission of a spiral staircase that I am researching and wanted to talk with you and Toby anyway. TC

Tim Cisneros -- blacksmith at - Monday, 06/05/00 04:20:25 GMT

Paw Paw. if anyone was as dumb as they looked some would not be alive. To remedie that i have my girlfriend cover all mirors before I enter a room;-).
btw does anyone know where I could get a set of plans for a simple steamturbine? I have looked everywhere but...nothing.


OErjan -- pokerbackenm at - Monday, 06/05/00 11:33:26 GMT

a low rev steam turbine say5000 or so. im trying to figure it out myself but all i get is near nothing as far as power goes.
guess i must get a better bladeprofile than the ones i have tried so far.

OE -- same - Monday, 06/05/00 11:38:13 GMT

Just checking out the new layout Jock says he is working on. The New Look looks good

Dave Manzer -- Dave at - Tuesday, 06/06/00 06:24:15 GMT

I have CANDLE PANS for sale. 3-1/2 in., 16 ga.: 10-$7.50, 25-$15, 50-$25. I have votive cup pans also. See these and more at

Mike -- hotiron at - Thursday, 06/08/00 04:37:34 GMT

Stram Turbine: OErjan, I'm no expert, but I did run across alot of info on steam turbines in my eighth edition of "Mark's Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers" Generally, I think you are better off to let the turbine run fast and reduce the speed with a gearbox. I know from water turbines that a slower speed turbine generally has larger buckets or blades. Have fun!

Tony -- tca_bnospam at - Thursday, 06/08/00 19:05:20 GMT

thanks i know about the speed/power ting the problem is that i dont need very much power and have only low preassure steam (~4bar).
but i know that it should be able to give me the power i want (1/8th hp). the problem is that i have no means to presision balance the turbine i tested one to destructoin and about at 6500rpm it started to get severe vibration problems and at 8000 it broke. axle got bentand after that it kind of flew apart....glad i had it in a sandbaged shelter as it blew with tremendous force. i got it spinning that fast buy using external powersource (a elctric motor geared to give 5.1 times the speedreadout on the dial) so its not 100%acurate but close enough for me.
thanks again.

OErjan -- pokerbacke at - Thursday, 06/08/00 19:39:16 GMT

I have for sale 1 french double horn anvil 60 lb, great shape,and 1 338 lb trenton single horn anvil in great shape, and other anvils email for prices.

joe favro -- jfsmithy at - Friday, 06/09/00 08:19:53 GMT

I have for sale 1 french double horn anvil 60 lb, great shape,and 1 338 lb trenton single horn anvil in great shape, and other anvils email for prices.

joe favro -- jfsmithy at - Friday, 06/09/00 08:20:39 GMT

OErjan, I've never designed/built turbo machinery but I've worked with LOTS of folks that have.

Vibration: Every rotating machine goes through "critical speeds" where balance has no effect. Most high speed devices go through several critical speed nodes that tend to be multiples of each other. Anyone that has observed a bench grinder coasting down has observed the criticals. The machine vibrates for a moment then slows down (past critical) and then does it again at the next critical and so one util it gets below the first critical speed. On acceleration most motors and turbo-machinery accelerate through the criticals too fast to be of a problem. The REAL problem is that you don't want the device operating AT critical speed for any length of time. Doing so will destroy any machine.

Critical speed can be calculated but requires the accurate centers of gravities or the components and a variety of prerequisite values to be calculated. All high speed rotating machinery need to have critical speed calculations done. MACHINERY'S HANDBOOK and MARKS' has the method.

Modern steam turbines use multiple stages with reversing blades between the stages. Each stage is sized differently as the slower the steam the larger the diameter the stage.

OBTW-I have a program I wrote in BASIC that generates turbine center line profiles given the intake angle and the zero lift line. It creates perfect hydro/aero dynamic curves without hand lofting. The output was to a ProDesignII CAD file that could be printed. The geometry in nothing standard. No one formulae can generate these curves.

So what does this have to do with blacksmithing? :)

Jock D. -- webmaster at - Friday, 06/09/00 15:16:02 GMT

Camp Fenby, 2000

Once again, a laid-back weekend of medieval arts and crafts in Southern Maryland. This year Camp Fenby is scheduled for June 16-18 (Fri.-Sun.) at Oakley Farm in St. Mary's County, Maryland. There is camping in and out of the barns on-site, and some motels sare accessable off-site. Medieval clothing IS NOT required. Practical and seasonal outdoor clothing is encouraged.

$10 a person and $25 a family ($12 and $26 if you don't belong to the Markland Confederation) pays for the porta-potties.

We will have several basic blacksmithing sessions and open forges, as well as knot tying, and rune reading under my direction. There will definitely be a leatherworking class, a shoe pattern class, a shoe making class (Norse hide shoes), rope making, and lots of other classes. Materials fees may be charged by the instructors.

There will be a crab feast Saturday night at the point. Bring your own beer, guitar and songs. We'll all pitch in to buy the crabs.

For the latest details (we're running a little late this year) contact Thyri at: thyri at

(Well, it's a lot closer for some of us than Flagstaff…)

Bruce Blackistone (Atli) -- asylum at - Friday, 06/09/00 18:04:28 GMT

Hallo from Steamboat Springs Colorado,
I have been 34 jears in machine shop and so many others and try to
build a blacksmith shop.Shop is in good quite location,with 3200sq/ft.
Have welders,punchpress,mill,coldsaw,bandsaws,forklift,drills,sanders,
shear.Woodmachinery Delta tabelsaw,plainer-jointer,dewalt radial and so on.
Since I have past the age of a spring rooster- - my wife and me look for a junger person who has some of there on equipment and very good talent to go with us in blacksmithing.So if anyone of you would like to live up here and work with us,please write me on E-Mail.
Have snoped on your page a few times.Think you have a great site and cameradery-please keep it up!!!!We are called workaholics .My wife is a writer in celtic history and a accountant. Im a machinist
with a mechanical engineerings degree.Have worked last 22 jears in die+tool and operate now with my wife for 10 jears a motel and machineshop
We got to slow down and hope to find some one who has the intellegenz and willpower to go for it.
Thank you for your time and good luck to all of you
Kathi and Peter

Kathi&Peter -- Western-Lodge at - Saturday, 06/10/00 05:03:20 GMT

to be precise it was the unbalance NOT the critical speed that killed the turbine. it vibrated all the time from start.
all I had to balance the wheel was two planer-blades parallel and level (yes I checked them for straightness first in several ways). I put the turbine between them and the section that roled down was heavy... I calculated critical speed (as in it would not hold together anymore) to 10 000rpm when calculating I used deliberate low values as far as joints, material...went, so that was not the problem either. I think it was when the axle bent the turbine eeeh exploded as it hit the casing...
As to what it has to do with smithing, the turbine is to drive a fan for my forge.
I figured that as a forge lets 95%+ of the heat escape I thought I should use it to boil water...I made a low pressure tank and a two cylinder steam-engine but that was too slow to give enough air. I could have geared it but then it would have gotten too weak....
I thought of building a larger steam engine but I wanted to try something new to me.
guess I might as well start making the larger steam-engine as my shop is not equipped to make a good enough turbine.
Thank's for your time Guru.

OErjan -- pokerbacken at - Sunday, 06/11/00 11:01:55 GMT

Well, I KNEW you were going to run blacksmithing equipment! The point is that almost EVERYTHING mechanical has something to do with blacksmithing OR was derived from it at one time.

Shafts need to be stiff enough to take considerable imbalance. The machine should be able to take debris and broken blades.

Static balance works in the hundreds of RPM but not well in the thousands. Dynamic balancing can be done by trial and error if you have a logical mind. When I was in the service station business years ago I balanced all types of wheels/tires and driveshafts by trial and error. Later I balanced machine components between centers in a lathe. In both methods the weight was added and subtracted by temporary means. Taped to ledges on wheels clamped via hose clamps.

Rev it up, if it shakes add a weight. If it gets better move the weight and test again. Do this until you find the right spot. Then add and subtract weight until it runs smooth. IF it gets worse the first time, then move the weight. If it gets worse after adding weight and moving it around then take some off.

With the trial and error system you don't rev it up to full speed. You rev it up until it shakes then add weight. With many devices you can see the dynamic imbalance as a wobble, not just UP and down. Balance in one plane then split the weight and do again to reduce wobble.

It works. And when done with logic it is fast and inexpensive.

Jock D. -- guru at - Sunday, 06/11/00 17:52:42 GMT

can't understand wy I didn't think of it before. I have done it (dynamic balancing) to large homemade flycutters.
btw another thing is do you have a image showing a fan blade? i think i have some designing to do there as well.

OE -- same - Sunday, 06/11/00 20:21:47 GMT

TURBINE BLADE: OErjan, Turbine blades have an air foil cross section.

The parameters are determined by many factors.

The velocity of the 'fluid' passing the blade is reduced as it passes the blade. In hydrodynamics it is 50%. Then there is the inlet angle. The blade's leading edges are perpendicular to the inlet angle of reaction blades. The trailing edge is what's known as the "zero lift line" a point where there is no 'lift' on the blade.

The hydrodynamic/aerodynamic balance point where the blade curves the furthest from the pitch angle line is 1/3 the length from the leading edge of the blade.

The theoretical reaction line is a center line curve that an equal amount of material is added to each side. The actual surfaces are irrevelant when fluid is passing both sides.

These curves are laid out as if it is a wing or a straight blade. Then the curve is translated onto a radius. Because the blade moves at a relatively faster velocity at the outside it is longer and has a lower angle than at the hub. This means the curves must be determined at different radi across the blade. We build hydro turbine blades by cutting each curve in a piece of steel plate then rolling the template to the correct radius. The set of templates is then welded to a plate that has matching grooves turned in it. This assembly is then used to bend the blade to the correct curve. This works well for low speed low head hydro turbine blades and fans but would not work well long slender hi speed turbine blades.

THEN there is the trick of producing the blade that is thicker at the hub and near the center tapering in all directions. There is a photo of one of these on the GREENWOOD IRONWORKS page (see our links).

DID I mention I wrote a program to calculate these curves that output a CAD file? However, it requires input that takes a lot of work to determine. But once done you don't have to layout and hand loft the curves by trial an error. . . Ah, the small blade on Josh's page had forged blades that were bent on the type of jig described above.

Jock D. -- guru at - Monday, 06/12/00 03:23:44 GMT

In most apps an odd number of blades has less hydrodynamic balance problems than one with an even number. Yeah. . . there's mechanical balance and then there is the reaction force on the blades. This being imbalanced due to blades not being the same can produce a great deal more imbalance than mechanical. . .

So what does this have to do with blacksmithing? AH, we are FORGING, BENDING, STRETCHING and WELDING the blades. . :)

Jock D. -- guru at - Monday, 06/12/00 03:32:16 GMT

Jock and All-

That turbine wheel in the GREENWOOD site is awsome. I would like to have watched him forge that!

I have cast and then hand finished (with file, die-grinder and abrasive cloth) impellers for turbine pumps that looked similar but were much smaller, about 1 lb of bronze after gates and risers were cut away. I wouldn't know how to start forging that shape.

Johm Odom, in Chattanooga, TN

John Odom -- jodom at - Tuesday, 06/13/00 21:10:09 GMT

Jock and All-

That turbine wheel in the GREENWOOD site is awsome. I would like to have watched him forge that!

I have cast and then hand finished (with file, die-grinder and abrasive cloth) impellers for turbine pumps that looked similar but were much smaller, about 1 lb of bronze after gates and risers were cut away. I wouldn't know how to start forging that shape.

Johm Odom, in Chattanooga, TN

John Odom -- jodom at - Tuesday, 06/13/00 21:10:39 GMT

I can tell you from experience that it is a pleasure to watch Josh Greenwood forge anything, not just turbine blades. Jock (guru) and I spent that better part of a day last year forging on Josh's power hammers (Nazels, Bradleys, Fairbanks). Josh said he hadn't done any real forging for a long time then proceeded to produce some amazing ornamental work.

Paul Parenica -- not available - Friday, 06/16/00 19:51:07 GMT

I want to echo Paul's comment, and add another. I watched Josh forge Acanthus leaves on the East Coast Junk Yard Hammer at the 98 ABANA conference in Asheville.

Once you watch a master smith use a hammer, you'll never be satisfied with anything less than your best.

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Friday, 06/16/00 20:13:56 GMT

What was the demo on Wed 14 June..We had lighting storm and thunder so the computer was resting while the storm passed...

Thanks Barney N Bay ON

Barney -- barney at - Friday, 06/16/00 22:16:25 GMT

Barney, Bill did a fancy cross. Had a name for it but I can't remember it.

Jock D. -- webmaster at - Saturday, 06/17/00 04:03:03 GMT

Sometimes you just gotta laugh at yourself.

For six months now, I've been looking all over this town and a couple of others trying to find a couple of the cast iron drain covers for four inch pipe. Wanted to use them as ash grates in the two coal forges. Couldn't find them anywhere.

Today Sheri had a yard sale. I've had an old 76 Ford E250 sitting in the front yard for a year. Has a cracked cam shaft in the old striaght six. And it needs some other work too. I told her if she could get a hundred bucks for it, all I wanted out of it was what few tools were left inside and the ladder rack off the top.

She sold the darn thing, so I had to clean it out. Guess what I found inside?

FOUR of the cast iron drain covers! The reason I haven't been able to find any of them is that I already bought the blessed things!

The CRS is getting worse, guys!

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Saturday, 06/17/00 21:35:45 GMT

Any one ever use a tire shrinker, to upset steel, wondering how well it would work

Steve -- abond at - Sunday, 06/18/00 02:21:56 GMT

Whoops! All the posts are back now. I accidently copied the blank template file to the server instead of the running log when I archived. All fixed now. I've removed the comments about the missing posts because they would seem stupid now. . .

Jock D. -- webmaster at - Sunday, 06/18/00 06:27:48 GMT

hi all

Max - Sunday, 06/18/00 21:52:52 GMT

TIRE SHRINKER: Steve, These are very specialized machines designed to upset a section of a curved flat bar. If that's what you need to do they will do it. They are only designed for minor upsetting that is necessary to reduce a tire in size. Most are relatively heavy tools and have no other use.

Jock D. -- webmaster at - Monday, 06/19/00 03:39:26 GMT

Am interested in buying a really great shape 6" Blacksmith Vise, if anyone has one, or knows where one can be purchased, please let me know. many thanks.

John Earhart -- jearhart at - Monday, 06/19/00 11:37:03 GMT

I have a Star tire and axel tire shrinker, a monster 1000# machine, if I made a ball die, 2 piece, think I could heat a 1" round stock , clamp the ball die around the heated area and upset a ball onto the round stock, your thoughts

steve -- abond at - Tuesday, 06/20/00 13:42:20 GMT

I have a Star tire and axel tire shrinker, a monster 1000# machine, if I made a ball die, 2 piece, think I could heat a 1" round stock , clamp the ball die around the heated area and upset a ball onto the round stock, your thoughts

steve -- abond at - Tuesday, 06/20/00 13:42:52 GMT

Looking for forgeworkers to work in San Francisco at a large production/custom blacksmith shop. We do high end architectural forging and also have a home accessory line. Applicants must have a minimum of one year experience forging with power hammer. He/she should have good personal habits-brush teeth, bathe regularly, no spitting on floor. email or fax resume to 415-285-3365.

jefferson mack -- mackmtl at - Wednesday, 06/21/00 13:47:33 GMT

Looking for forgeworkers to work in San Francisco at a large production/custom blacksmith shop. We do high end architectural forging and also have a home accessory line. Applicants must have a minimum of one year experience forging with power hammer. He/she should have good personal habits-brush teeth, bathe regularly, no spitting on floor. email or fax resume to 415-285-3365.

jefferson mack -- mackmtl at - Wednesday, 06/21/00 13:47:55 GMT

I am looking for a presshear #30 or #10. It is an ironworker and it was made by Lehman Mfg. and it is now being made by Rojers Mfg.. Thanks.You can call or e-mail 618-867-2323

Andrew Macdonald -- forge at - Thursday, 06/22/00 05:36:29 GMT

My name is Eric. I am 14 years old and I want to learn to be a blacksmith. I live in Bennington Vermont. Are there any blacksmiths in the area that you could tell me about that I could visit? I REALLY would like to hear from ANYBODY about who I could visit. Thank you very much.

Eric -- fxsculpt at - Thursday, 06/22/00 10:39:26 GMT

Need 2 sets of weight bearing matching brackets. One set measuring about 14" on the horizontal to hold a corian counter. And one set measuring 7" on the horizonta to hold a shelf. Color can either be black or gold or brass. We like a banana leaf design if you have.

Please email design and price.

Dr. Pelofsky

Dr. Arnold H. Pelofsky -- aerenter at - Friday, 06/23/00 14:25:36 GMT

Just found this site and it looks interesting.

Old Hammer Hand -- imf-flyer at - Sunday, 06/25/00 00:32:55 GMT


Take some time and explore Anvilfire carefully. You'll find a LOT of information and friendships here.

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Sunday, 06/25/00 02:53:17 GMT

Hey . I'm brand new at blacksmithing. In fact, I haven't even bought my anvil, nor forge. I read a page where one guy bought his anvil for 32 dollars. Can you get a decent 100 lbs. anvil (unused or used) under 50 bucks? Also, how much would your run-of-the-mill forge cost? you gotta help me!!!

Andrew -- wellis at - Monday, 06/26/00 06:31:10 GMT


Common ordinary run-of-the-mill forge should be free. Check the plans page for plans for a couple built out of scrounged materials.

100 lb anvil un-used or used under $50? Not likely.

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Monday, 06/26/00 12:09:59 GMT

"Richmond N(ational) B(attlfields) (VA) - Special Event
The park held the grand opening of its new visitor center at the Tredegar Iron Works, a National Historic Landmark, on June 17th. Director Stanton was the keynote speaker; about 500 people attended the ceremony. The focus of the 12,000-square-foot visitor center is on Richmond's battlefields, the participants, Richmond's home front, and the context of the Civil War. The Tredegar Iron Works were the South's largest major antebellum iron works capable of producing cannon and railroad rails. It supplied the Confederate army with more than 1,100 cannon. The project was undertaken in conjunction with the Richmond Historic Riverfront Foundation."

Sounds like a neat site, I just need to find the time to visit. For further information check out:

Bruce Blackistone (Atli) -- asylum at - Monday, 06/26/00 13:57:33 GMT

Andrew, That was probably my article titled "My First Anvil" on our 21st Century page. That $32 anvil was purchased in 1970, 30 years ago! Even then it was an amazing price.

However, in 1985 in Northern CA I purchased a nice 150 pound anvil for $50 from a junk dealer. I have also been given TWO anvils. Both happened to be Peter Wrights. On the other hand, interest in blacksmithing is at an all time high and prices are considerably higher. Two to three dollars a pound is still typical in the US. That's still less than half of new for a tool that is usualy as good as new.

The search for a good cheap anvil is the holy grail of newbies. Those deals are still out there but are rarer every day. People are still given anvils and occasionaly they are sold by individuals that have no clue of the current market value.

Free anvils most often come from friends, relatives or neighbors. Have you told ALL your relatives (no matter how distant) that you are intrested in learning blacksmithing? Have you asked them about great grandpa's farm anvil? Tell EVERYONE you know. Ask questions. Follow leads.

Cheap anvils are found in barns, garages and basements in the country AND in cities. Cheap today is $100 US for most any size anvil. I have several friends that can find anvils anywhere. I once said they could fall in a pile of manure and come out with several anvils stuck to them! Their technique is simple but not one that everyone has the character for. They ask questions everywhere, listen, ask more questions, have good memories or take notes then follow ALL the leads given. They are persistant and do not let obstacles like time or distance deter them. When they can't find the person they were told might have what they are looking for they ask the person they DO find.

We have information on the 21st Century page and iForge about cheap anvil alternatives. And if you are really intrested in blacksmithing, find and join your local ABANA chapter. You will find that this can be your best source for information about tools and materials. Almost every chapter has one of those guys that are "finders".

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Tuesday, 06/27/00 13:44:57 GMT

While not necessarily falling under the category of a "good anvil," my "anvil shaped object" was purchased on sale at Harbor Freight for $25. They are currently on sale for about $30. While they are a little soft, and don't ring well at all, they do allow you to move hot metal around between this and a hammer!

Bryan -- BBlack at - Tuesday, 06/27/00 18:01:50 GMT


Thanks, I forgot about those! Let's note that those are cast iron anvils, frequently called door stops. The top IS soft, and will ding easily. But a few minutes with a belt sander will take most of the dings out and make it workable. I used one for years, and sitll have one sitting somewhere in the shop.

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Tuesday, 06/27/00 19:16:15 GMT

im interested in metal finishing in peticular when mild steel is ground and varnished whats the best type of varnish to use thanks

joedoyle -- doyle1 at - Friday, 06/30/00 10:43:54 GMT

im interested in metal finishing in peticular when mild steel is ground and varnished whats the best type of varnish to use thanks

joedoyle -- doyle1 at - Friday, 06/30/00 10:44:55 GMT

Have extra seats in car going from Phoenix to Flagstaff for the ABANA conference on Wednesday July 12. Please reply to email ASAP!

Bill Banker -- abanker at - Friday, 06/30/00 16:56:47 GMT

Hero Props in Los Angeles is looking for a select umber of blacksmiths with portable forges or shops based in the L.A. area to create very basic primitive weapons (spears, halbards, berdicche, arrow heads, blades, ect.) Items are for a major upcoming feature film based loosely in the dark to middle ages. Please E-Mail PHOTOS and resume to Heroprops at as soon as possible, or call our offices at 213-534-3659 to schedule an appointment. This is an incredible opportunity to showcase your work and establish an industry relationship.

Hero Props -- heroprops at - Friday, 06/30/00 22:42:17 GMT

Hero Props in Los Angeles is looking for a select umber of blacksmiths with portable forges or shops based in the L.A. area to create very basic primitive weapons (spears, halbards, berdicche, arrow heads, blades, ect.) Items are for a major upcoming feature film based loosely in the dark to middle ages. Please E-Mail PHOTOS and resume to Heroprops at as soon as possible, or call our offices at 213-534-3659 to schedule an appointment. This is an incredible opportunity to showcase your work and establish an industry relationship.

Hero Props -- heroprops at - Friday, 06/30/00 22:43:13 GMT

Has anyone ever heard of a old cast iron pipe threader that looks like a lathe. and sometimes people usse it for twisting railing pickets.
If so I was wondering what might be worth? It is about 40" tall and 48" long,it has what looks like a three jaw chuck on one end and a large head that holds the pipe thread dies. If anyone could tell me what it might be worth I would be grateful.

Conrad -- isa4412 at - Saturday, 07/01/00 01:40:54 GMT

Conrad, It depends on how old and the condition. Are all the parts there? Anything broken? Look close, does it run? Any gears broken or have chipped teeth. OLD machines with almost anything broken or missing often sell for scrap. Parts may not be available and having them made may cost more than a new machine. If a machine dealer has it he will try to sell it for half what a new machine sells for. Is it three phase or single phase? Machines for use in small shops that have three phase motors and wiring sell for scrap too.

Generaly OLD machinery sells very cheap at sales or from junk dealers. If a machinery dealer has it he probably wants too much. If an indivdual has it let them set the price. Most individuals that want to sell something will ask less than you may offer. If you offer too little and they take it you will feel guilty. . . $100 dollars may be a fair price. . but it may be worth much more. You "size" description has nothing to do with capacity. What size pipe is it designed to thread?

NOW, On the other hand. If you are intrested in production blacksmithing work this is a great machine. Be sure not to overload it. One piece of work too big and the machine may be instant junk. How do you know what's too big? You don't. These machines do a great job as twisters but that is NOT what they were designed to do.

Jock D. -- guru at - Saturday, 07/01/00 02:20:50 GMT

Hello fellow anvil ringers!!!
Am desperately seeking clipart of anvils and all other assorted blacksmithing tools....its kinda hard to advertise my blacksmithing without having the anvil clipart as the centerpiece of my business cards...please feel free to email any such clipart to me or even just leave a link where i may find such....Thank you and Good Hammering..

Keithh999 -- keithhicksusa at - Saturday, 07/01/00 16:09:18 GMT

could anyone find me a copy of an old poem called the smithyman and send it to me? thanks

linda reid -- linda.reid at - Sunday, 07/02/00 19:50:50 GMT


Hope this stays in format! And I hope you appreciate it as much as I did!

Freedom's Pledge

We the people,
In God we trust,
Pledge our allegiance,
Our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor,
To provide for the common defense
Of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,
In order to form a more perfect union,
One nation under God.


(C) 2000 Kevin D. Knoebel.

May be reproduced freely in any
medium with this notice included.

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Monday, 07/03/00 02:18:24 GMT

To all who are going to Flagstaff, I will be in the tailgate area sometime Wed. That is if my truck makes it from Indiana to Az. Will be in a dark green and silver 97 dodge with a white alum top. Would like to meet som of the people who post here and elsware. I hope things sell as good as they say they do in the west or I'm wasting precious gass hauling it out there. This will be my third ABABA conference, I'm looking forward to it, can't beat it for knowledge and intertainment. see ya there.

KID -- n/a - Monday, 07/03/00 23:28:17 GMT

can't spell :)

kid -- xx - Tuesday, 07/04/00 03:42:18 GMT

I'm just getting started and I need tongs, hardies, hammers etc. I have a spare post vise. Lets trade. E-mail me. Thanks.

Tommy -- tommy at - Tuesday, 07/04/00 14:59:07 GMT

KID. . We will be there! Flag us down! Its hard to pick out folks you are looking for when surrounded by all those beautiful. . .
***** TOOLS!!!!!! ******

Jock D. -- guru at - Tuesday, 07/04/00 17:08:43 GMT


If you don't spot us, (un-likely, Jock is hard to miss! grin) we'll be at the Junk Yard Hammer Contest on Friday night. (I think that's when it's scheduled, check the schedule.)

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Tuesday, 07/04/00 18:33:50 GMT

I need some leads on trucking companys. I might have to ship a 50 lb hammer out to washington state. That is if the cost dosen't shoot the deal down. I tried Roadway. Way too much. Any ideas guys? Pete

Pete -- Ravnstudio at - Wednesday, 07/05/00 00:55:50 GMT

Pete...Try Old Dominion trucking. I have used them a few times and they seem a little less expensive.I shipped a 25# LG from Midland, Tx to Jacksonville , Fl. for a little over $300. That's around 1300 miles. Ask for a discount and the nearest terminal.

R. Guess -- rdguess at - Wednesday, 07/05/00 02:24:46 GMT

This is for all those industrial types who use big upsetters and drop hammers. I have located a 3" upsetter that is free for anyone who wants to remove it. OSHA regulations have made it nearly impossible for the owner to continue to use it. This is an 80,000 lb. machine. They also have a 3000 lb. Chambersburg board drop hammer for sale. The price of the drop hammer is around $15,000. If you are interested in either machine give me a call and I can put you in contact with the owner. Call me at (405) 954-5243.

Paul Parenica -- withheld - Wednesday, 07/05/00 14:21:45 GMT

You'r right it's hard to miss Jock, although I do remember him from the last JY hammer contest in Ashville, it's the rest of you I don't know. See ya there, I'll deffinately be there Fri night for the contest.

KID - Thursday, 07/06/00 00:49:52 GMT


I was there in Asheville, too.

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Thursday, 07/06/00 12:36:05 GMT

Howdy Guys,
Had to poke my nose in to see what's up. Looks like it's show season. Man, where's the time fly. I finished up my wheat harvest, so now I can get back to the forge. *Bragging time* (My wheat made 73+ bu/A) I've got a back log and a half of work to do, and the radio says 95-100 today, with 90% humidity. Just the weather to fire up the coal forge. Shucks, 5:00 already, time go milk the cows.

Mike -- wcfarm at - Friday, 07/07/00 10:04:52 GMT

Hey PawPaw, got any input on stick welding with acdc 7018 rod on a slow leak on a fuel tank for a Ford F350? I have heard that you can drain the tank and fill it with carbonmonoxide and it won't explode! Thanks Your Humble friend Stiffy

Stiffy -- mklbjean at - Friday, 07/07/00 14:03:32 GMT


You're about to tackle what can be one of the most dangerous jobs ever. I'll tell you how *I* would do it, but the decision has to be yours.

1. Remove the tank from the vehicle.

2. Drain it completely.

3. Fill it with water.

4. Silver solder it, using the oxyacetylene torch.

5. Drain the water.

6. Remount in the vehicle.

7. Pour in 1 gallon of gasoline.

8. "rock" the car back and forth.

9. Let it sit for a day.

10. Drain out the gallon of gas.

11. Fill with gas and drive away.

At all stages, and at all times while working keep at LEAST on CO2 fire extinguisher within reach.

BE CAREFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm going to ask the guru to check this answer. I would use this technique because I'm not a very good stick welder. I trus myself to get a good seal with silver solder, though.

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Friday, 07/07/00 17:09:45 GMT

Stiffy, wouldn't attempt to weld any gas tank. It would be a lot safer just to buy a new tank and cheaper in the long run. Hidden pockets of rust could ruin your day. Very dangerous business welding gas tanks.

Bruce R. Wallace -- Walmetalwk at - Friday, 07/07/00 17:10:22 GMT

WELDING TANKS (any type): Over the years there have been many methods suggested. Welders that should know better get killed every year doing something as simple as cutting the head off a 55 gal drum.

FIRST: Combustion engine exhaust is NOT CO2! It is many things AND can contain a lot of vaporized raw fuel. The closest thing to this method that works is an active inert gas (argon) purge. The purge must be venting gas while welding to be sure that welding gases are flushed out.

SECOND: It doesn't matter what the tank contained IF you use oxy-fuel to cut or weld. Unburnt fuel can fill the the tank and in the case of a cutting torch it is mixed with pure oxygen. The fuel concentration for an explosion is MUCH lower with pure oxygen than with air. People have been killed cutting tanks that contained water or non-flamables.

LAST: Epoxy or fiber glass and epoxy make a patch that will outlast the rest of the tank and can be applied safely with the tank in the vehical and partialy filled with fuel. Wirebrush off a spot, mix per instructions and plaster on. Bondo works too if you want a REAL red-neck repair.

Jock D. -- guru at - Friday, 07/07/00 17:46:37 GMT


Both Bruce and Jock make valid points. Thinking about the problem, I like Jock's method better than mine. Would be less work, too.

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Friday, 07/07/00 18:03:03 GMT


I'm probably gonna get killed at Flagstaff over this, but I just can't resist it!

Three lions escaped from the Dallas zoo. They discussed their
plans and one said he was going to go back east and see the
Atlantic Ocean; one said he was going to go West and attend the ABANA 2K conference (see, it's not off topic!); the third decided
he would hang around Texas. They would all rendezvous in a
year. After the year went by and they met up again, it was
obvious to the others that the lion that stayed in Texas was near
starvation. He said he couldn't understand what the problem was.
"I've eaten a Texan every day for the last year, and I'm still
losing weight. What could be wrong?" After discussing it, the
others agreed to observe his hunting and eating techniques and see if
they could figure it out. So, they hid behind a bush while the
skinny lion climbed a tree to await for some prey. Pretty soon
a Texan sauntered by, the lion roared, jumped out of the tree
onto the Texan, and ate him up. His two friends came out of
hiding and said, "We've figured out your problem. First you
roared so loud you scared the poop out of him. Then you jumped on
him and knocked all the hot air out of him. After that,
there's nothing left of a Texan except boots and blue jeans!"

I'm leaving! (grin)

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Friday, 07/07/00 23:10:14 GMT

Hey guys I saw the post above on welding a gas tank.... Its a dangerous job any way you do it .., even if you fill it with water
it can still blow up . you must make sure there is no air anywhere
in the tank.. just running water in it doesn't dilute the gas's
potential to go boom!!! Run the water a long time.. Better yet take it to some one who does it for a living,because you could end up dead....

Carl -- isa4412 at - Saturday, 07/08/00 02:45:41 GMT

The epoxy patches ( gas tank repair ) seem to work pretty well if you prep properly.

Ten Hammers -- lforge at - Saturday, 07/08/00 20:39:17 GMT

Paw Paw, suggest you carry a spare clip or 2 with you to A2k, just in case...

Ten Hammers -- lforge at - Saturday, 07/08/00 20:43:24 GMT

on the safe welding of gas tanks there is only one way do do it and that is with a purge and a "sniffer" that is a meter that mesures the explosive potential of an enclosed area until the meter says it is safe it AIN'T !!!!!!!!! no meter, J-B weld is a wonderful thing nd you won't launch yourself into orbit or have to dodge schrapnel

Bob Keyes -- Robert.Keyes at - Saturday, 07/08/00 21:26:42 GMT

Ok, I have an idea for a simple air hammer. If anyone has any advice I would appreciate it.
Recently I picked up a dental device called a gold foil condenser, it consists of a small motor connected to a 3/4 inch diameter piston with about 1/2 stroke. This cylinder is connected with a hose to a handpiece that has a 3/16 diameter piston that is free to move back and forth about 3". On the working end is a spring loaded collet that holds the tool bit. As the large driver piston moves back and forth it alternately pushes and pulls on the small piston. When the tool is pushed in it allows the small piston to smack into the back of the tool holder and transfers the impact to the tool. I believe this is the same principle used in the gravermax engraving tools.
I guess they used to hammer the gold into the cavities in the old days. It's about 70 years old.
My idea is to use a large air cylinder ( about 8" dia.) hooked up to a a cam on a 1 hp motor to do the same thing with a 3" air cylinder and use it to make a light power hammer. Any thoughts?

Also, has anyone tried using one of the air over hydraulic bottle jacks as the basis of a hydraulic forging press? I have seen them advertised for about $150 for a twenty ton jack.
It seems like it would be a lot simpler than putting together a whole hydraulic pump/valves/cylinder/motor package. How much tonnage would be needed to make a small press? Again, any thoughts?

Thanks, Jim

moldy -- njordan at - Saturday, 07/08/00 22:55:38 GMT


I'm going to pass this question off to Jock, these are areas where I know next to nothing.

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Saturday, 07/08/00 23:10:37 GMT


What you are refering to is the basis of a self contained air like the Nazel. One air cylinder (motor cylinder) drives another air cylinder (ram cylinder). To the bast of my knowledge their is only one homemade version of this type of hammer. It will be at ABANA. It was made by Mark Kraus and I saw it at the California Blacksnmith's convention a couple of months ago. The trick is the valving. It required a fair amount of machining to get it to work like the nazel. Mark has compiled a book about Nazel hammer theory and has include a chapter on his homemade one. I spoke to him recently and he has a new idea for the valve that is simpler to build. He will have copies of the book with him at ABANA, I highly recomend it.

T. J. Marrone

T. J. Marrone -- tjmarrone at - Sunday, 07/09/00 00:09:24 GMT

Jim (Moldy) I'll cover your questions in reverse order. A 20T Jack can do a LOT of bending and makes a handy press. However. . . Speed is critical in hot work. Unless you have some horespower to back up that force then forget it. Powered hydraulic presses make excelent forging machines for certain classes of work.

Your hammer idea isn't new. Nazel, Beche' Chambersburg and Kuhn are all made (or make) what are known as "self contained" pneumatic hammers. These were invented shortly after the invention of the electric motor. Electric motors freed machines from steam piping or line shafting and made this new class of machine possible.

These machines have a double acting compressor piston piped through valving to a double acting ram/piston or "tup". The hammer die is attached directly to the tup. Now. . . , where things get tricky is the control valving that changes holding the ram in a raised "hover" position to striking the work repeatedly (with control). Part of the equasion in commercial hammers is the large volume differential between the top and bottom of the cylinders.

One very important consideration is that these machines cannot opperate as a closed system. You must intake and exhaust fresh air or the air will rapidly heat up causing the machine to overheat (lubricants and seals fail). The flow of air also takes care of loss or gain of air. A closed system would lose air until the ram will barely move.

Mark Krause has built a self contained hammer using cylinders similar to what you described and will be showing it at the ABANA conference next week in Flagstaff, AZ. We will have photos and mark has a pamplet available.

Jock D. -- guru at - Sunday, 07/09/00 00:40:35 GMT

Moldy, I know a young Amish fella that has an air over hyd. press that he runs on a 1500 # Lp tank for supply of air, but only has a 1/4" hose to the tool, so is slow to work. He uses it to cold bend stuff for buggy makin' and other stuff. Works great.

Ten Hammers -- lforge at - Sunday, 07/09/00 03:03:06 GMT

Thanks guys, I don't know much about the air hammers but this idea kind of piqued my curiosity. I suppose it's true that there isn't anything new under the sun.
As for the air over oil hydralic press, I don't know how fast the jacks work but they run off an air compressor so I imagine they would be faster than pumping the handle up and down. Does anyone that you know of use these for hot work?

moldy -- njordan at - Sunday, 07/09/00 03:24:38 GMT

This young man was brought up in the trade, and can forge weld wagon tire, but uses a lot of prefab stuff now. Still does a lot of stuff the old way though. Restoration work mostly for the "English", but is a good tradesman. The press is a really slick tool, and if was on a bigger supply line, would be able to do more than he does with it. He's satisfied.

Ten Hammers -- lforge at - Sunday, 07/09/00 03:33:15 GMT

Help! I am looking for someone to make one (just one!) custom cookie cutter for use in my pottery. I am a potter, not a metalworker, but I've cut out so many of these little things around a posterboard pattern over the years and I know life would be much easier with a cutter. The design is a simple one and I'll send it to anyone who would be interested in giving it a try. Please consider it.....or if you know of someone who would, or another place I can post this notice that might get the desired result, please contact me. Thank you!
Acebeserka at

Becki Mancusi -- Acebeserka at - Tuesday, 07/11/00 12:36:50 GMT


C. L . WILLIAMS -- XELMA at AOL - Wednesday, 07/12/00 02:33:43 GMT

hi group,iam new here so i hope everybody will bare with me.i have a old buffalo forge iam trying to sell,it is a model 660 dim.40"x27" with cast iron hood that is 25"above the table this forge is in excelent shape.iam asking $1295.00 or best offer(541-564-0423)

don hall -- dhall at - Wednesday, 07/12/00 21:05:34 GMT

Anyone blacksmithing near Roanoke VA,in need of coal check out
F.L. Hatcher & Son on Shenandoah Ave. I buy nut coal in 45# bag for
around $4.00 a bag works great for me. Hope this might help someone.

Sammy Abbott -- torbot at - Friday, 07/14/00 02:37:46 GMT

Lets get the story told.

The video problems were NOT Jocks fault, they were MY fault.

I'd been assured that all three batteries for camera number 1 were in good shape.

Wrong! Bad shape, not good. Wouldn't even take a charge.

Not enough power cords, so we were limited in how far away we could move from the power outlets. THAT meant that we frequently had bad lighting situations.

The Batteries for Camera Two (a borrowed unit) worked. The camera didn't! I should have checked everything before I left, I didn't.

Bah! Humbug!

Add to all of the above that both of my camras and the borrowed camera are over 10 years old, and the videographer ain't as young as he used to be, and you can see why I'm pi**ed off.

Torin saved my butt!

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Tuesday, 07/18/00 20:05:28 GMT


DAVE -- NEWMANDAE at AOL.COM - Wednesday, 07/19/00 02:03:32 GMT


Welcome to Anvilfire. Small hint, all caps is considered to be shouting.

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Thursday, 07/20/00 14:18:17 GMT

All -- the next ABANA conference will be in early June 2002 (want to say the 5th through 9th, but don't quote me), held at the University of Wisconsin, in Lacrosse, Wisconsin

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Friday, 07/21/00 00:06:01 GMT


The message about ABANA 2002 is copied from a message b y Jerry Venenziano. If there's any mistake in the message, it's my fault.

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Friday, 07/21/00 00:59:48 GMT

I think that one of the high points of ABANA2K was when a videographer (who shall remain un-named) asked one of the ladies behind the registration desk if he could put his camera equipment behind the desk until after lunch.

She looked under the table and said "Sure, just lift up the skirt and stuff it in!" To his eternal credit, the videographer in question didn't say a word. But a passing blacksmith, turned and exclaimed "Say WHAT?"

The lady involved started to laugh and said, "You'd think that by 70, I'd have stopped saying things like that!" And the videographer responded "And you'd think by 60 that I'd have stopped responding, too!"

For the rest of the convention, all the videographer had to do was LOOK at the lady involved, and she'd turn red and start to laugh!

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Friday, 07/21/00 02:16:46 GMT

Paw Paw,
did i finally get a chance to meet you and miss it or not register 'cause i was so busy answering questions and trying to sell booklets? shame on me!

mark s. krause -- kbmk13 at - Friday, 07/21/00 02:56:08 GMT


I was there at the JYH contest, but just never got a chance to say hello. I was the guy that gave Dorothy Stiegler her Buffalo Gal T-shirt.

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Friday, 07/21/00 04:08:18 GMT

Hello! My fiancee is an american sword bladesmithing enthusiast that is looking for apprenticeship abroad. I don't know much about it and am having trouble finding places to enquire. If anyone can help, please e-mail me. Thank you

Selene -- SeleneAnna at - Friday, 07/21/00 23:44:41 GMT

Jock, Paw=paw,
I decided since you made a point to let me know that you knew for sure I never visited any of the other sites w/in the Site, other than Pub, that I would see what all this other stuff is about. Ok, I did it, so now are you happy???

Sharon Epps -- S-Epps at - Saturday, 07/22/00 05:36:05 GMT

Miz Shardegay,

I guess so. Typical red head.... Naw, better not go there! (grin)

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Saturday, 07/22/00 14:24:04 GMT

Miz Sharon. . . I DON'T believe it! Just cause you posted here doesn't mean youv'e seen ALL of anvilfire ;). There hundreds of pages of news with at least a thousand photos. Dozens of articles on the 21st Century page, Three years of arhives of the guru page and hammer-in. . . . Then there is the Power hammer Page, Links and more. . . . There is even another (better) picture of me with my old 1950 Chevy truck!

Jock D. -- webmaster at - Sunday, 07/23/00 18:00:18 GMT


BETTER????? Well, clearer maybe! (chuckle)

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Sunday, 07/23/00 21:16:00 GMT

I am a foundryman in Spain interested also in forge and I have find your site very fine.

Yours faithfully

Enrique Barredo -- ebarredo at - Monday, 07/24/00 10:37:49 GMT


Gracias, Senor!

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Monday, 07/24/00 11:41:18 GMT


Does anybody have an email address for Bill Hickman? I'm trying to answer a question for him, and my message keeps bouncing. Evidently I've got a mistake in the address.

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Monday, 07/24/00 22:18:17 GMT

I'm back from ABANA 2000, sorry I missed everyone but it wasen't a fun trip. Left Ind. Sun morning, started getting a sore back on the other side of St Louis. The next day I could barely move- wife did all the driving... Same thing tursday only worse. Arrived at Flagstaff aprox. 10:00 am Wed. Walked up hill to register, then went to dorm, darned near didn't make it. Wife then took me to dispensery on campus, saw Dr. he said every thing in left side of back was tied up in knots. Gave me muscle relaqxers and pain pills with codine. Thank god for chemicals. Spent the next day & 1/2 flat on my back on the floor in the dorm. Wife had to carry food to me. Got out Fri evening and saw part of the forging titanium demo. only one I made it to. Did get to see most of the galery and saw the chain making film. Frinds of mine did the tailgating for me. I'm looking forward to 2002, it's got to be more fun than 2000.

KID - Tuesday, 07/25/00 00:53:24 GMT


Sorry to hear that! If we had known, we could have helped with the tailgating, at least.

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Tuesday, 07/25/00 02:17:27 GMT

thanks for the offer, between 4 guys and my wife things worked out better than could have been expected,

kid - Tuesday, 07/25/00 02:56:24 GMT


Glad to hear that things worked out, just sorry to hear that you were down with your back. I have a similar problem on occasion so I can sympathize.

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Tuesday, 07/25/00 12:51:07 GMT

Looking for a 110v squirrel cage in the Houston area if you have one please leave a message at 713-522-2055 for Hal or Squatch

Squatch -- squatch33 at - Wednesday, 07/26/00 15:04:53 GMT

gotcha, sorry we couldn't chat,

mark s krause -- kbmk13 at - Thursday, 07/27/00 02:23:39 GMT


Me too, but we were both busy with multiple things to do. Ant the fact that we were all having to work around the "gong show" didn't make life any easier.

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Thursday, 07/27/00 22:55:03 GMT

KID, Sorry you had a bad trip to Flagstaff. I've heard of folks being almost cripled by back problems from driving. . Trucks are especialy problematic. If our plane ride had been any longer they would have had to carry ME out of the plane. . .

Paw-Paw and I had it almost as bad. Paw-Paw didn't adjust well to the high altitude. I never recouped from the 21-22 hour first day with jet lag. . . I suspect the high alt and more long days didn't help. Of course I know better than to travel long distance and work the same day. . I usualy plan an extra day on each end. Just couldn't afford it on this trip.

Its funny how your personal pain can be reflected in your surrounding. . Flagstaff was a wonderful conference. The weather was perfect, I met dozens of folks and long distance friends that I wouldn't have otherwise. Learned a lot too. . . But the whole trip is a fog stuffed between two long torturous plane trips in seats with less than no leg room. . . Guess I'm getting old.

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Friday, 07/28/00 02:23:52 GMT

Star Metal is a highly competitive, custom architectural metal firm located in Greenpoint,
Brooklyn. We are seeking a highly skilled individual with 10+ years in the trade, to fill the
position as lead fabricator. We require the individual be capable of managing projects and a
master of the following skills: >
- Reading an interpreting Blueprints >
- Custom fabrication of all types >
- MIG, STICK and TIG welding >
- Field surveying and installation >
This position offers an attractive salary, commensurate with experience and includes health
benefits. For further specific information about this position please address inquiries to: >
David Maurice at Star Metal Inc. 74 Bayard Street Brooklyn, NY 11222> Phone: (718) 384-
2766 Fax: 718-384-5180 Email:meteore at

guru for David maurice -- meteore at - Friday, 07/28/00 02:26:57 GMT

It was my first time flying to Flagstaff. Have no desire to ever get on a plane again. The whole trip was torturous for me. Couldn't wait to get back to the shop and work to get some much needed rest. The near 24 hour first travel day was the killer. Still haven't fully recovered from it all.

Bruce R. Wallace -- sales at - Sunday, 07/30/00 14:00:00 GMT


bob -- bobforge at - Monday, 07/31/00 00:11:50 GMT

Where can I get a supply of solid steel/copper rivits in the UK.
Supplier/manufacturer details appreciated.
Thanks, Carlos.

Carlos -- carlos.foy at - Tuesday, 08/01/00 07:10:54 GMT

Hey Bruce...sorry to hear the trip was bad. I've been lucky and when I flew out to PA last year it wasn't too bad. However due to a screw-up, I was nearly 3 hours at the rental car counter in what can laughingly be called the Youngstown Airport. 2 gates and that was it. Anyway, I should be available to head over from New Castle after the 11th and before the 15th. Whenever works for you.

Todd Rich -- torin at - Tuesday, 08/01/00 07:56:48 GMT

I`m trying to find someone who can still make TUCKPOINTING IRONS, used to form a lime putty bead over flush pointed brickwork.Based in the UK can anyone help?

Sean -- smbuk at - Wednesday, 08/02/00 20:33:59 GMT


Rod -- chase3 at - Thursday, 08/03/00 01:06:44 GMT

I have an old buffalo co. rivet forge. It belonged to my grandfather. I've modified it by putting an auto wheel over the flat disk, for a pit. But my uncle says the wheel should be lined with firebrick or the wheel won't last that long. I say who cares? I'll just get another wheel. Here's my question. Is there any advantage whatsoever to the firebricks?

jeff fogel -- onehorse at - Thursday, 08/03/00 01:17:59 GMT

Hi! I hope I finally found the right site to ask my question. I just brought a 50 pound Moloch it needs alot of TLC. I spoke to Sid S. about it he was very helpful. I am looking for others who have experience with this kind of hammer and perhaps offer advice on rebuilding these.
Thanks Rachel

Rachel -- firechick_87557 at - Thursday, 08/03/00 05:40:07 GMT

what is the shortest length of stock you can safely grasp with your bare hand when heating? Average.

jeff fogel -- onehorse at - Saturday, 08/05/00 00:54:20 GMT

what is the shortest length of stock you can safely grasp with your bare hand when heating? Average.

jeff fogel -- onehorse at - Saturday, 08/05/00 00:54:36 GMT

If I understand you correctly you are using a wheelrim as a firepot on top of a rivet forge. I think you should be OK, I don't know how you would line it with firebrick . You could line it with clay or refractory if you really wanted to. But I would would just fire it up and see how it goes. I think you should line the rivet forge with clay though, I know someone who cracked hers and it was not lined.

As to your second question, just use a piece long enough that you don't burn your hand.

Seriously though there are too many variables to answer that question start with a couple of feet and you will learn with experience. Mild steel is cheap so if you waste a little it does'nt matter. You can also cool the end you are holding with water.

J Newman -- newmanj at - Saturday, 08/05/00 02:29:07 GMT

looking for a used manual bench punch to do 3/16 flat bar. 1/4 holes are all i need to do. any sitting under a bench someware? Please help if you can. Thanks.

bob kelly -- celticcartart at - Saturday, 08/05/00 04:19:41 GMT

Sean, I made a tuckpointer a few years ago. You know local smiths there in UK ? Get an old hay rake tooth, or perhaps a subsoiler tooth or other agriculturally inclined piece of scrap that is spring steel by nature. Then the smith should be able to forge you a pointer with minimal work. You can't buy a commercial tuckpointer in a store there I assume?

Steve O'Grady -- lforge at - Saturday, 08/05/00 05:27:33 GMT

Nazel 2B
Nazel 3B
Beaudry 200#
Fairbanks 150#
Steam Hammer 600#
I am looking for fair market price for these hammers singly or as a group. Please contact me for more information.

John -- jcc609 at - Sunday, 08/06/00 02:30:53 GMT

Where can I buy a large anvil online?

Adam -- ice_wolf77 - Sunday, 08/06/00 17:00:29 GMT

Adam, i have a Fischer Myers 203# for sale. It is as new condition. Write If I can help.

Stiffy -- mklbjean at - Monday, 08/07/00 03:44:15 GMT

Well, for those that care...I will be in Western Pennsylvania until the 20th of this month. Have a nice one everybody.

Torin -- torin at - Monday, 08/07/00 17:40:04 GMT

We currently have a 25lb Little Giant Power Hammer for sale, It is in good shape in north Texas. For info and photos contact Ron or David at DFFfab at

Dave -- DFFfab at - Tuesday, 08/08/00 23:31:34 GMT


Have a great trip!

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Wednesday, 08/09/00 00:48:23 GMT

I am looking to start blacksmithing and wanted to know what I will need to begin as far as armour building would be. LIke the materials and the cost and maybe an idea of the time it would take and also some ideas on where to gain experiance.. I live in Fresno, CA and looking through the phone book I could not find any blacksmiths or armours.. thank you

James Munoz -- jamesmun0z at - Thursday, 08/10/00 00:55:54 GMT


Go to the Guru's page here at anvilfire. At the top of the page, click on the "Getting Started" article.

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Thursday, 08/10/00 14:48:14 GMT

To all my friends in the slacktub pub, the company has put me on 6pm to 5am shift. So it will be catch as catch can. Look foward to talking to y'all again soon. Stiffy

Stiffy -- mklbjean at - Thursday, 08/10/00 20:23:53 GMT


Sorry to hear that, try to stay in touch!

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Thursday, 08/10/00 22:17:16 GMT

Stiffy, sorry to hear that, I wanted to let you know that I will be in Ind. on Oct 15th and the 16th I hope I will be able to meet with you then Have a good day everyone :)

Steve C -- coolcrabster at - Friday, 08/11/00 16:20:59 GMT

Stiffy, sorry to hear that, I wanted to let you know that I will be in Ind. on Oct 15th and the 16th I hope I will be able to meet with you then Have a good day everyone :)

Steve C -- coolcrabster at - Friday, 08/11/00 16:21:53 GMT

I bought an old Peter Wright anvil that came out of Missouri, Does anyone know any thing about it or the company? Thanks

michael warren -- mwwarren at - Saturday, 08/12/00 01:47:26 GMT


Peter Wright was one of the better anvils. Find the markings on the sides, and possibly on the front foot, under the horn, and I'll see what else I can dig up for you.

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Saturday, 08/12/00 03:55:59 GMT

It has Peter Wright Patent Solid Wrought and a very faint G Britain stamped in it, If it is measured in stone weight It has a 1 - 0 - 20 staped in it also which would covert to 132 lb. But I can find no date on it.

michael warren -- mwwarren at - Saturday, 08/12/00 14:43:26 GMT

It has Peter Wright Patent Solid Wrought and a very faint G Britain stamped in it, If it is measured in stone weight It has a 1 - 0 - 20 staped in it also which would covert to 132 lb. But I can find no date on it.

michael warren -- mwwarren at - Saturday, 08/12/00 14:44:48 GMT


Look and see if there is a weld line at the waist of the anvil. or if there is a weld line where the feet and horn were forge welded to the body.

You figured the weight correctly it is marked in stone weight.

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Saturday, 08/12/00 15:44:05 GMT

I have a 50# trip hammer mfg. by Handt Tractor Co 1890 made in Waterloo Iowa. Does anyone have any info or books on this hammer? Symptoms are very similar to the Little Giant where it hits hard for a few times and then light taps. Help.

Bob Rosenfeld -- bob-rosenfeld at - Saturday, 08/12/00 18:04:08 GMT

Ihave a 535 lb. horned anvil for sale contact me at XELMA at AOL

Adam -- ice wolf77 - Tuesday, 08/15/00 01:29:15 GMT

Have Peter Wright Anvil in Good Condition wt. 105 LBS Location is in the Augusta Ga area. We are just across the river in the edge of South Carolina. If intrested inquire by E-Mail leaving your Phone # And time to call. Thanks

richard -- richburch at - Tuesday, 08/15/00 15:27:56 GMT

I am going ot have to look at my PW again, as I do not remember seeing weld lines...
I do know ir is welded but I do not remember seeing the weld line....

Ralph -- ralphd at - Wednesday, 08/16/00 19:05:10 GMT


Peter Wright applied for and received a patent for a two piece anvil (welded at the waist) in 1852. It's likely that he was experimenting with the process for as much as 10 years before applying for the pattent.

Postman makes the comment that Peter Wright did the best job of finishing his anvils of any of the anvil makers. Weld lines are sometimes VERY difficult to find. But if the anvil has a waist weld, it was made no earlier than 1842, probably not before 1852.
Prior to that, all of PW's anvils were wrought anvils, with the feet and horn forge welded to the body.

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Wednesday, 08/16/00 22:29:41 GMT

Blacksmith (ME) is looking for a used french horn for school kid, for band, Im am sure a lot of blacksmiths out there have one sitting around the shop just getting dirty and would like to find a good home for it before an anvil or something heavy should accidently drop on it. Any help would be appreciated, E mail me or call Daphne at 1-800-789-3522 also wanted any large blacksmith equipment.

steve -- abond at - Friday, 08/18/00 15:47:22 GMT

I would like to thank the creators of this site for all the great
information for all of us beginner blacksmiths out here. I've been
playing around at it for about a year now on weekends and evenings,
finally got around to trying to make a pair of tongs. Thanks Bill Epps
for your demonstration, I made my tongs using your instructions using
5/8 rod and they turned out real good,(or they suited me anyway), I
don't know how long it would take an experienced smith to make them
but it took me about 3 hours! Thanks again, Sammy Abbott
New Castle, Virginia

sammy abbott -- torbot at - Tuesday, 08/22/00 00:49:50 GMT

Just getting into blacksmithing. Looking for reasonably priced anvil in the 120 to 200 lb. range.

David Davidson Jr. -- DAVSHAR4 at - Tuesday, 08/22/00 02:46:57 GMT

Just getting into blacksmithing. Looking for reasonably priced anvil in the 120 to 200 lb. range.

David Davidson Jr. -- DAVSHAR4 at - Tuesday, 08/22/00 02:47:30 GMT

I just recieved Mark Krause's booklet on Nazel hammers and his user built hammer. I read it through, parts of it several times and I think I now understand the basic principles behind these hammers. This book seems to be an excellent resource.
I have a few questions that I hoped Mark could answer and I thought I would ask them here so others won't bug him with the same questions. Is the sizeing of the cylinders based on the small prototype or did you plan on re-using the cylinders and valves on the 110# hammer? Do you think that the rotary valves you used would be any more sensitive than the linear (spool) valve? Is there a reason you used a hydraulic cylinder for the piston rather than a large air cylinder? And finally in pictures of your valve I have seen there is an extra linkage did you add the clamping feature to the hammer? I hope I have'nt asked too many questions.
BTW I am hoping to build a hammer with about a 40# ram I think this will be heavy enough for the work I do.

Thanks John

J Newman -- newmanj at - Tuesday, 08/22/00 03:40:00 GMT

Following information posted by me for the guru. Please note.


In the NEW prototype iForge classroom!

iForge Room 101

Currently the Slack-Tub Pub chat is the "Bull Pen" for the classroom. There will be a separate one in the future. The demo goes on in the top frame and the bull pen in the bottom.

There is a box for you to ask questions seperate from the Bull Pen chater which does not go in the demo. Same rules apply to questions. Please wait until the demo is over.

Tonight the system is at about 50%. In the future there will be a help file and more sucinct instructions. The reason we are going ahead with the incomplete system is that when the demo is over it will be ready to post and review immediately!

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Thursday, 08/24/00 00:27:09 GMT

I need to buy a gas forge for my metal art and ornimental iron work projects. Anyone have a suggestion as to which kind and type I should buy?

Laura -- PalominoIrons at - Thursday, 08/24/00 16:38:36 GMT


Go to the main page here at then click on the 21st Century on the menu bar. Down near the bottome of the page there are two product reviews that I did on two of the NC Tool Gas forges. I have no hesitation at all in reccommending any of their forges. I will advise you to buy the largest forge you can afford.

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Thursday, 08/24/00 17:40:03 GMT

I was just on e-bay,punched in blacksmith tools,there was a 50# vulcan
anvil with 8 tools listed. I clicked on it and 7 of the 8 tools are assorted hardies but other is a hinged tool of some sort and I have
never seen one before, I'm not interested in buying, just curious as to what it is. If you get a chance to check it out please let me know what this tool is...Curosity killed the cat and it's working on me!
Thanks alot for your help. Sammy Abbott

Sammy Abbott -- torbot at - Friday, 08/25/00 01:07:49 GMT


Whew! Thought I was never going to find it! (grin) Next time, cut and paste the item number into the message, makes it a lot easier to find the item.

With the picture taken from that angle, I can't say for sure, but it LOOKS like a rivet setting tool of some kind. I wouldn't swear to it, though.

The item number is 416845756 if anyone else would like to take a look. I'd like to have a definite identification, too.

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Friday, 08/25/00 01:52:36 GMT

Wanted a clean anvil without going on ebay for junk. Have looked for two months about to buy a new one. Looking for under 100 Lbs. West Coast for shipping.

larry -- labooth1 at - Friday, 08/25/00 02:26:56 GMT

Ridgid tools carries a line of Peddinghaus anvils, a 110 # is about 650, I think. You might be able to order it through Home Depot... they are distributors for Ridgid Tools. Good luck- BG

Brian -- hammerguy at - Friday, 08/25/00 02:37:46 GMT

PPW haven't you seen a left handed double widget before :). Part above the hole doesn't have any mushrooming or I might have thought some sort of punch? Larry look at this item on ebay anvil looks nice.

J Newman -- newmanj at - Friday, 08/25/00 02:43:47 GMT

PPW haven't you seen a left handed double widget before :). Part above the hole doesn't have any mushrooming or I might have thought some sort of punch? Larry look at this item on ebay anvil looks nice.

J Newman -- newmanj at - Friday, 08/25/00 02:44:14 GMT


Might be a LHDW, but the hinge looks wrong for that. May be a RHWWI, though. :<)

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Friday, 08/25/00 02:52:59 GMT

the cylinders i wrote about at the end of the book are the ones i used in the 20# hammer. i have a 3 1/2" dia X 12" stroke that i'm going to use for the front on the 110#. i plan to have 10" between dies at idle (which allows 1" top and bottom crash prevention!) the hammer frame i'm using has a crank with 4" of stroke, with it i'll drive a 7" or 8" dia X 5" piston (1/2" clear space at each end).
i think the spool valve would be just as sensitive as the rotary, if the linkage was just right. both valves are closing and opening holes of the same diameter, so the rotary isn't moving much more than the linear. if the lever arm that connected the spool to the treadle linkage were long enough it could be very sensitive.
i used a hydraulic cylinder because it was laying around and i didn't have to go buy it.
my hammer does not clamp. the clamp feature adds a lot of complication to the valving in a nazel type system, besides the fact that i have a vise in my forging area that will squeeze harder than a 20# hammer would. i'm not sure what linkage you are talking about, my hammer, like the nazel has one linkage connecting the two valve cylinders together and one connecting the lower to the treadle.
BTW i don't think you'd have to go much larger on cylinder sizes than the 20# to run a 40#. make sure to run it fast and i recommend crowned dies for all forging where you are not using top tooling (on a hammer that light). i've found with the 20# that the ammount of material dies with a slight crown can move is so much higher, i don't even put in my flat dies unless im using top tooling or forging offsets. also, the hammer has such good control that i'm able to smooth out almost all of the scalloping that the crown creates.
good luck and i hope i wasn't too wordy,

mark s. krause -- kbmk13 at - Friday, 08/25/00 06:42:22 GMT

PawPaw, i'm glad you survived your saftey lesson, don't beat yourself up over this{no pun intended} no matter how safe we try to be we all get bit sooner or later. Saw your pics on Iforge, how bad did you look before the accident?????? All picking aside,get better soon and thank God you'll be ok. Catch you when I get off these awfull nightshifts. Stiffy

Stiffy -- mklbjean at - Friday, 08/25/00 08:47:05 GMT


I'm not being too hard on myself. I was doing the right things, stuff just happens.

Well, I didn't used to scare kids or make the dogs bark, baybe I'll get back to that level. (wry grin)

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Friday, 08/25/00 12:28:45 GMT

Thanks Mark, now just finding the time and money to build it.

J Newman -- newmanj at - Friday, 08/25/00 14:15:35 GMT

Paw Paw Wilson,

I have not talked to you until now, but have read a lot of you messages on anvilfire, you seem to know a lot about Blacksmithing than anyone I know, I have a 32lb anvil with an oval stamp on it with an arm & hammer inside of it and vulcan stamped on the top part of the circle with brand on the bottom in side. I can not find a date. I would appreicate all the information you can give me . Thanks

Xelma -- Xelma at - Sunday, 08/27/00 16:02:00 GMT


Well, I try.

Sounds like you've got a Vulcan anvil! (grin)

They were made by the Illinois Iron and Bolt Company, located in Carpentersville, Illinois.

They made anvils from about 1875 to about 1969. Considering the weight, it was probably a #3 anvil. The deal price in 1966 was $2795.

You might look on top of the foot, either front or rear and see if it has the initials I.I.&B.Co. there. If it does, it's one of the earlier anvils.

If you can take a picture and email it to me, I might be able to find a little more information for you.

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Sunday, 08/27/00 16:14:16 GMT

That's supposed to be dealER price and $27.95 in the previous message.

Paw Paw Wilson -- Duh! - Sunday, 08/27/00 16:16:10 GMT

Paw Paw
I sure appreciate that news the anvil has been in my family 70 years that I know about. I have a anvil weighs 535 lbs has [ 2 1887 ] on one side [028 ] on the other side and # 5 onthe foot can not find a name this has been in the family fof over 70 years .It looks like a weld
around the base and top . what do you think ?

xelma -- xelma at aol. com - Sunday, 08/27/00 17:29:29 GMT


The 2 1887 probably means Feb 1887, which is probably the forging date. The other number don't click for me. Your description of the welds sound like it's a forged anvil. Wrought iron body and tool steel plate. If it is, there is probably a similar weld around the base of the horn.

Are there any square holes (other than a hardy hole)? There could be one under the horn, one under the heel, possibly one in the bottom. Is there a cavity (OTHER than a hole) under the base, and if so what shape is it. Rub the sides gently with a Scotch Brite pad, you may find other markins as well. And look on the front of the foot under the horn to see if there is a number there. Again, if you can take a picture and email it to me, I may be able to figure out more for you.


The nurse mis-counted. There WERE only 16 stitches. All gone now, thanks to my baby daughter.

Paw Paw Wilson -- pawpaw at - Sunday, 08/27/00 19:51:29 GMT

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