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

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WHY THREE FORUMS? Well, this is YOUR blacksmithing forum to use for whatever you wish within the rules stated above. It is different than the Slack-Tub Pub because the messages are permanently posted and archived.
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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.

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

Sales event: Anyone going to the blacksmith tail gate sale north of Dayton,Ohio, the end of September? That would be the 28th, I believe. I plan on being there, driving down from Grand Rapids, Michigan. What will I be looking for? Heck, I don't know. I won't know till I find it!
- Bob Harasim - Friday, 08/02/02 20:35:50 GMT

Poor, Poor, Cracked. Now I know. Thanks for the info, I'll look for him in the next Elvis clip I see.
Bond, James Bond - Friday, 08/02/02 22:58:14 GMT

Cracked doesn't need our sympathy, he has gone to a much better time. . . Back when gasoline was only 20 cents a gallon and big American Iron ruled the road! Rock and Roll was new, Jazz clubs dark and smokey, and the world in general was innocent.
- guru - Saturday, 08/03/02 17:45:16 GMT

Ah, the good old days, huh? In the early and middle fifties, maybe. The late fifties weren't so hot, though.
Paw Paw Wilson - Sunday, 08/04/02 00:53:27 GMT

It depends on where you were. . .
- guru - Sunday, 08/04/02 01:03:48 GMT

if you can remember the 60s, you weren't there....
miles undercut - Sunday, 08/04/02 04:33:29 GMT

Jock knows where I was. (wry grin)
Paw Paw Wilson - Sunday, 08/04/02 05:15:44 GMT

i need plans for a coal forge.: Hi, I need plans for a coal forge, i am in a medievil swrd fighting group called the Steel Ravens and we want to build a forge, I am the only one with metal working experience(I am a welder) and i have been put in charge. Help findingplaces with schematics or sending me your plans would be greatly appreciated.
- Russ - Sunday, 08/04/02 23:07:36 GMT

Forge plans:: Simple, take a piece of plate steel, 1/8 in thick or thicker, from 24 in wide to say, 32 in, by 30 to 36 inches long. Then take some 3 in by 3/16 stock and weld it around the perimiter, forming your pan. Then weld 4 pipe flanges on the bottom. Make a small 3x3 in foot for the bottom of each piece of black pipe leg, and weld them on. Then flip it over, cut out a hole for your cast iron firepot, and then scallop the sides opposite the fire pot for your stock to lay a bit flatter. I just did this, for under $200. The fire pot cost $165. And the Heat resistant paint cost about $20. The steel is CHEAP. It works great, is portable, and I MADE THIS!
- Bob Harasim - Monday, 08/05/02 01:33:31 GMT

Viruses!: Watch out folks. SIRCAM is back. . . Don't fall for

"Hi! How are you?

I send you this file in order to have your advice

See you later. Thanks"

Its a nasty virus. . . I had stopped getting copies but it is back.
- guru - Monday, 08/05/02 22:42:31 GMT

I'll be at Quad State camping at the sign of the flaming anvil AKA MOB

$385 is CHEAP????? my portable forge cost me $3 + consumables (hand full of welding rod and a couple of bolts)

The table was made from a horizontal borer door with pipe welded on the corners to hold the legs. The fire pot is from a '37 banjo rear end---the axle covering flanges---bought 2 of them that had been made into jackstands for $3, been using the first one for the last 15+ years.

I use either a great bellows (double lunged) or a hand crank blower---you can build a bellows for almost nothing if you don't use leather for the
  Thomas Powers - Tuesday, 08/06/02 21:12:28 GMT

Why I was making Charcoal: I explained here earlier (7/24/2) how I came up with an easy way to make a bunch of charcoal. Some additional points to consider are: Noise is more dependent on the blower than from combustion... but at night it'll really light up the sky for a short; Smoke is wood smoke, a lot of wood smoke, like neighbors calling the fire dept. during daylight; Smells like a lot of woodstoves except - for the smell of finish baking off the barrels - in my case scorched paint and grease; Weathering is a real problem if you plan to use more than few times - the barrels get hot enough to blister the steel... so don't use it and leave it out in the rain.
As for why I was making charcoal - I wanted to melt some metal for casting. First time to try such a thing but reading about it didn't make it sound so hard and I had a large supply of Al. from engine parts - pistons, VW cases, and misc. parts. After making the charcoal , I made a pair of tongs - long and wimpy - to handle the hot stuff with (My first blacksmith project). Next I melted some of the metal in a cast iron frying pan. While getting it good and hot for pouring into a mold I'd made, I then discovered that VW alloyed Mg. with it's Al. and I watched as my pan of hot metal went "up in flames". I then discovered the difficulty of trying to stop burning Mg. - I couldn't... the Mg. burnt off and ruined the frying pan by alloying the resulting slag and dross to the iron pan. Never did do that casting I had planned - but I learned that a big 'hot' fire was handy to make metal plastic enough to push around and cheaper than using a gas welding torch.
Robert Llewellyn - Wednesday, 08/07/02 00:43:36 GMT

Cheap forge: No, I guess ya might have misunderstood me. The TOTAL price was about $200. The most expensive part was the fire pot at $165, and the rest probably added up to the 200. Compared to about $6oo from Centaur Forge, I'm pretty happy with it. And having a fire pot sure gives me more heat than the flat pan I was using.
- Bob Harasim - Wednesday, 08/07/02 01:02:11 GMT

cheap forge : the last one I made I made the fire pot from 1/8" plate (all I had on hand) I used 2 peices cut on at 45 deg (2" along the short side) and welded them to a 2"/3" plate at around 30deg or so then I welded 2 more plates along the sides and boxed the top with 1"/1/8" angle I cut and drilled the botom to recive a pipe flange made a quick grate and made the rest of the assembley like the brake drum forgecost me nothing but the scrap I had around and took me around hour to make. I thought it would burn out in a few weeks, but needed it finshed quick and didn't have the time to go buy 1/4" plate. this is my portable set up. as is it has lasted a year and seems fine still.

on the old portable set up I had I used a brake drum as the fire pot set into a 18 gage sheet pan. took to much coal to get a high enough fire and the larger fire needed more air than the bellows wanted to give, so I lined it with 2" or so of scacrete(SP) ie cheap cement. worked fine other than the forge needed to heat up (after 10 min or so the cement would heat up and stop robing the forge of heat) and the fact that the clinker stuck to the liner and when I broke it up I would take some of it with the clinker. that one lasted 3 years and still would be working if not for my very bad carpentry skills.
MP - Wednesday, 08/07/02 07:42:17 GMT

Bellows & Cheap forges: Thomas powers:
What material did you use instead of leather? Did you have to treat it with anything?

Did you clay the 1/8" sheet with anything?
- Dave - Wednesday, 08/07/02 16:52:45 GMT

Tom killed a bunch of Nagus, if I remember correctly. (grin)
Paw Paw Wilson - Wednesday, 08/07/02 18:10:24 GMT

Bellows: My great bellows uses heavily treated canvas as was used for oil drilling rig wind tarps in the Oklahoma oil fields (real canvas not plastic stuff) that one was made about 20 years ago.

The Y1K forge has two single action bellows, one uses an old awning that looks a lot like nauga, the other is an oil tanned leather it's only been a couple of years on them; but I will say that hot items will hole the nauga!

Thomas only 1 month behind getting ready for our Pennsic trip Saturday
- Thomas Powers - Wednesday, 08/07/02 20:20:14 GMT

cheap forge: Well I forge weld in mine fairly frequently doing pattern welded blades---how much more heat do you need? (and using the great bellows for air!)

I'll agree that moving to a firepot from a pan makes for a much nicer time---but you can use a firepot that costs less.

- Thomas Powers - Wednesday, 08/07/02 20:25:59 GMT

Hammer In:: It was small but big in picture. Five Blksmiths showed during the weekend. We were a hit all around. Newspaper, local radio and CBC radio. We did demos of ax making, forged a few cut off hardies, hammer punches. Also custom made items for people while they watched and waited. The custom orders I do not think the person/s breathed or blinked during the whole thing. Have the clippings from the paper will sent themto PPW and Guru. Next year we are planning the same thing but start planning earlier. So all mark it on their to do list. Long weekend in Augest "Hammer In" in Ontario North Bay Canada.
Chow for now ...... Barney
Barney - Wednesday, 08/07/02 23:34:09 GMT

the pan on that forge is 22gage sheet I lined that with a Hitemp cement (good for 3000 deg) other than that nope didn't bother. that forge don't see much use only use it for demos. as most on my demos are small stock (nothing biger the 3/8) works it works fine, if I was to use it as my shop forge I would most likely burn out the pan in a week or so. one big advantage is it is LIGHT the whole setup (forge W/small bench and vice, along with the bellows) only weights in at 200 LB or so (the vice is 85Lb of that) end of the day I just pick up one side slip the wheels on and roll it on to the trailer.
MP - Thursday, 08/08/02 07:56:57 GMT

bellows : I used the thick vinal pleather on my bellows hot Iron realy puts a whole in it quick but depending were you set them up it isn't to much of a problem.
check out the photos on this link. the forge at the top of the page is the old one (with the brake drum) on the bottom is the new one, with the Fab pot.
photos of my demo set up
MP - Thursday, 08/08/02 08:03:19 GMT

MP: Nice set-up; are you working on replacing that 1840's style anvil?

BTW Do you have a single of double chambered bellows? how hard is it to pump your bellows? I noticed that the lever arm ratio was in the bellows favor...I can pump my double chambered bellows with my pinkie and the LAR is set up so that the bellows just opens when you let go of the handle.

I have a friend who has about a 50:50 ratio and running his forge is too much like work! I'd hate to forge weld with it...

- Thomas Powers - Thursday, 08/08/02 16:57:54 GMT

Off to Pennsic: I'm off to Pennsic; packing tomorrow and then heading out Saturday morning.
Iron smelting using Y1K technology, forging (our camp averages 2-3 forges); probably teach a simple penannular brooch class, take the kids down to the crick to play---a week of camping out with 10,000 of our electricity, no internet, no phone, no tv, live entertainment and *sore* feet!

Thomas y'all play nice while I'm gone!
- Thomas Powers - Thursday, 08/08/02 20:38:57 GMT

insurance-- for some reason known only to Bill Gates, I no longer have a message form on the Guru's Den page. Whilst (love them Brit words, love 'em!) our shapely tech staff here work on that, I post here re the tragic fire loss and related insurance problem reported by Suze. Homeowner's, I understand-- this is important, pay attention!-- does not and will not cover professional equipment. Also, unless you bought the full-value reimbursement coverage, you get only a smidgeon of what you lost. Soooo, methinks the prudent blacksmith is either an amateur when making a claim, or ponies up going in.
miles undercut - Friday, 08/09/02 18:02:22 GMT

I guess my insurance post was in the wrong forum (apologies guru). But you sure hit it with a hammer (on the nail). The part about blacksmiths being amateur Insurance Agents. I hope they have a amateur blacksmith and professional insurance agent with a certified insurance counseler designation ;). About Hartford: similiar situations in industry niches have caused homogenous groups of professionals to secure a group underwritten program or a risk retention group (self insured) with a reinsurance treaty for the big stuff (helps the self insured fund to stay solvent). This may have been Hartfords arrangement (I don't know).
Tone - Friday, 08/09/02 18:39:09 GMT

Apparently at least one spammer has taken note of my war on SPAM. I recieved a letter from a spammer that was a repeated page of nothing but obscenities repeated over and over. Just goes to show you what the mind set is of spammers. . .

I reported the incident to AOL from whom the mail apparently originated but have had no response.

I found an interesting anti-spam site yesterday called SpamHaus. These guys are fighting the BIG fight, the folks that allow SPAM on the networks (the backbones) and the hosting services. It was not surprising the WorldCom was at the top of the list with Chinese networks running second. But then many of the other big corps are there too including AT&T, Sprint QWEST. .

SpamHaus also has various news articles about "SPAM Gangs" that market illegal spam software.

I am also now getting SPAMMED by Office Depot, MasterCard and VISA. Corporate America seems to have embraced SPAMMING even though the software to do it is illegal in many states and SPAM is hated by all. . . It can also get your access to the Internet closed. But it IS an intresting fact that those caught commiting financial fraud and likely to got to jail (WorldCom execs) are the same people that are also the biggest supporters of SPAM.
- guru - Saturday, 08/10/02 01:13:38 GMT

Tone, we are all but innocent babes in the woods when dealing with insurance companies, alas. People I happen to know who lost property in a big forest fire out West did a WHOLE lot better dealing with insurance companies by retaining a special adjustor to do their haggling for them. In one case, the payment went from a first offer of around $25,000 to an eventual settlement wayyy over $100 K. Nonetheless, I stand by my original statement. As Jesse Owen and Knute Rockne showed us, keep your amateur status intact.
miles undercut - Saturday, 08/10/02 01:21:02 GMT

bellows handle: Whilst (love them Brit words, just love 'em!) the rest of the world used plain old ends on their bellows operating poles, the Brits fixed (another Brit usage) a cow horn to the end for a handle. Webber, "The Village Blacksmith".
Frank Turley - Saturday, 08/10/02 14:55:19 GMT

That's no doubt so's they'd have appropriately horny palms, right?
miles undercut - Sunday, 08/11/02 05:31:06 GMT

Nigerian SPAM: The Nigerian con-men have upped the level of their deceit. Nigerian SPAM from the same people that have been working this con for YEARS now points to a website that supposedly legitimizes their claims. The website then points to legitimate news stories.

These guys are STILL crooks and have no access to the money in question. They are out to empty your bank account and you will have NO RECOURSE to get your money back. The US government recognizes the problem but like most of us have little sympathy for those that think they they are taking part in a honest business deal.

The BIG problem is that these are SPAMMERS. Not only do they fill your mail box they hide behind forged mailing addresses and are THEIVES. The fact that corporate America (DISCOVER CARD, VISA, MASTERCARD, OFFICE DEPOT) is embracing this form of business is a national embarassment.

KEYWORDS = Côte d'Ivoire, BARRISTER DAN OGAGA, Lagos, Nigeria, Sani Abacha, marcosbillions
Jock Dempsey - Sunday, 08/11/02 17:56:37 GMT

Nigerian Spam/Scam:
Take a look at:
Paw Paw Wilson - Sunday, 08/11/02 21:41:03 GMT

bellows: they are double chambered, and it isn't to much work to pull the pivet in the arm isn't in the middle, as it apears in the photos, I would say it is about 3/4 of the way from the handle. the big isue on this set up it that the bellows are not really big enough for the forge and that requires pumping more and adding weight to the top board.

Anvil, I would replace it, only the majority if the patrons at faires wouldn't know the differance, and in point of fact wouldn't know what it was if it wasn't "shaped like a anvil" and allas I must play to my audience. in point of fact the "anvil" is a A.S.O. that I hard faced (still sucks) I would be better off with a good hunk of real steel in place of the.. ductal cast iron

I recived 7 on the nigerian spams in my mail box today, I have recived more and more in the last 3 or 4 months.
I have used yahoo free email for the last 5 years and in the last year the amount of spam I receved went form 1 on 2 a month to 20 or 30 a day!!! and yahoo states that they block the spams. (in fact they just added new anti spam softwere to there mail system) on the other hand my girlfriend had hotmail and was reciveign upto 100 spams a day and ended up abandoning her account in favor of yahoo.

- MP - Monday, 08/12/02 22:52:39 GMT

Nigerian Scam: Here is an "Official" site that gives the REAL poop on the subject including who to complian to.

I commented to Paw-paw that the article he linked above didn't have much meat and that it sounded like the "party line". Yeah they make arrests. . The government officials involved in the scam are most likely having their competition arrested.

The Nigerian scam is estimated to be the third to fifth largest industry in Nigeria.

Most of the Nigerian scammers are using free accounts on Yahoo, Hotmail etc. . Forwarding a copy with all headers to abuse@"mailservice" usualy gets that mail box shut down.

My feeling is that these services should refuse free accounts to anyone from Nigeria. . .

Nigerian Scam Details
- guru - Tuesday, 08/13/02 07:47:40 GMT

A totally uncalled-for comment: dangerous knowledge: a fascinating subject, is dangerous knowledge. The guruissimo, being as he is the sole proprietor of this venue, apparently feels that dispensing fly-press plans to the brethren is a bad idea. Muy peligroso. As he does with how-to make a zip gun out of your car antenna, a .22 bullet, a rubber band and an 8d nail, or switchblades or sword canes and all like that there, he chooses to eschew how-to on fly presses and to dispense caution re same. Just one of those quirky idiosyncrasies blacksmiths are notorious for. So: hard cheese. But it's a damn fine site just the same.
miles undercut - Wednesday, 08/14/02 03:26:48 GMT

Fly Press Plans: I most heartily concur with the Guru's choice to eschew that one, miles! No engineer would touch that question, because the results could (nay, would) be catastrophic. I can't count the number of times that I've seen someone given a set of exact plans, only to have them substitute materials, alter processes, and shortcut safety factors. Most of the time, fortunately, the project simply doesn't work, or breaks without hazard. A few times though, I've seen someone seriously injured as a result of their "adjustments" to a plan. Usually, the engineer winds up getting on the wrong end of a lawsuit. It's a shame, but most of the folks who think they can out-engineer the pros are the ones who run bawling to the courts seeking huge damages for their own foolhardiness. Sadly, the juries all too often award them outlandish damages. Because of that, most engineers will not give out any advice or suggestions without doing a thorough design and collecting an appropriate fee so that their insurors will defend them. I can't blame them one bit.
vicopper - Wednesday, 08/14/02 04:44:52 GMT

Memory: The following cross posted from another site, with permission from the original poster.

Reb Yossel Kovel

Translations donated by Harriet Brown

Yosef Inventash, or Yossel Kovel, as he was known, was the only person, one can say, who was the most admirable and excellent blacksmith of all others in the town. His outstanding blacksmith skills brought him widespread fame and prestige among Jewish wagon drivers (coachmen), the town’s farmers, and even among the greatest and richest landowners from the
surrounding area.

Jews from Pultusk, his hometown, used to relate that Reb Yossel was truly an artist in his trade. He would design and create iron doors for the houses of landowners and palaces. It was, therefore, natural that the association of Christian blacksmiths took him in as a member of their organization. And this was at a time in which there was almost official sanction of anti-Semitism in Poland.

Aside from his efficiency and skill in his craft, he had a warm Jewish heart. He enjoyed doing favors and he had much respect for a Jewish scholar, a kind-hearted person.

When the Hitler forces took over the town, they tricked and deceived the Jews, and they used Yossel and his skills—until he was murdered in a bestial way. A short time after, the Jews were driven from the town.

An honest and proud Jew was Yossel.

Let us remember him in blessed memory.

Written by Eliahu Bullman
Paw Paw Wilson - Wednesday, 08/14/02 21:25:20 GMT

vicopper-- as a rule, I eschew the recondite, myself. But I'll defend to the death your right, or Jock's right, or anybody else's right, to eschew anything he or she damn pleases, etc., etc., yakkity blah blah blah. And so forth. Come on, you guys! Let's snap it up a bit, okay? Zzzzzz.
miles undercut - Thursday, 08/15/02 02:54:01 GMT

All right you two! Stop showing off your vocabularies! (grin)
Paw Paw Wilson - Thursday, 08/15/02 15:43:11 GMT

Sorry about that. The devil made me do it. And it'll never, ever, ever, happen again, cross my heart and hope to... well, hardly ever. Promise.
miles undercut - Thursday, 08/15/02 20:38:50 GMT

tools-cost: I'm curious about how much to pay for a used pexto step shear model # 137-L. It's used but in excellent condition.
Any advice would be appreciated.
Leslie - Thursday, 08/15/02 21:39:29 GMT

Pedanticism and obfuscation: I'm sorry too. Miles made me do it! And I ain't makin' any promises, either. :-)
vicopper - Thursday, 08/15/02 22:06:29 GMT

  Paw Paw Wilson - Thursday, 08/15/02 23:43:32 GMT

Yea, Right! (VBG)
Paw Paw Wilson - Thursday, 08/15/02 23:43:59 GMT

Leslie, got a picture? Hard to guesstimate without seeing what it looks like.
Paw Paw Wilson - Thursday, 08/15/02 23:45:30 GMT

Pexto Shear: If the thing is in good condition with a knife that hasn't been nicked or ground badly, and has the back guages, it's a very serviceable small shop shear for up to about 16 guage material. Should be worth about $400-500, depending on the local supply and demand, of course.

If I was going to have one again, and use it much, I'd fit it with a pneumatic cylinder to replace my tired leg, though. I've seen it done on treadle hammers, so I think it ought to work on a jump shear.
vicopper - Friday, 08/16/02 00:28:09 GMT

PawPaw: That wasn't too pedantic now, was it? (grin) I don't know how long I can keep this up, though. (VBG)
vicopper - Friday, 08/16/02 00:29:56 GMT

Better. But you could have used air instead of pneumatic, which would have been even more salubrious. (chuckle)
Paw Paw Wilson - Friday, 08/16/02 01:21:22 GMT

You haul it! It weighs 10,000 pounds. Located near Oklahoma City, OK. A DEAL for the money, Drop me a line if you are seriously interested.
Bradley Power Hammer For SALE!
- guru - Friday, 08/16/02 01:49:38 GMT

Shear Price: Leslie, Since Pexto has been out of business for quite some time and catlogs are far and few between the model number doesn't do much good.

Many of these tools are rated for very thin material. Do not plan on trying to cut more. You will bend or break it. read the ID tag very closely. Sometimes the rating is in a different material than you may want to cut. If you plan on cutting stainless then this old machine may not last long.

VI is much like Miles and myself. . we are all caught in a 1960's price time warp. I suspect it is worth double what VI quoted IF its in good condition and is rated for 16 ga. But width also make a big difference. A 48" shear is built about twice as heavy as a 36".

Pexto equipment is also much sought after. Even though they are out of business their equipment is better than most of the new stuff. I sold my Pexto bar fold (edge break) and circle cutter just before starting anvilfire. . . Have regretted it ever since.
- guru - Friday, 08/16/02 02:00:06 GMT

Pexto Shear: Jock is probably right about my being out of date on values. Pextos are good shears and hold their value. I used to own a 137-L, it was rated for 16 ga. mild steel or 20 ga. SS. I cut 20 ga. stainless on it all day long for several years without trouble. My 137-L was a 37" wide. It is my belief that the model number indicates that, which is supported by some online research I did. That research also indicated that Jock is, as usual, correct. One seller was asking $800 for one missing the back guage. I bought mine new for $460 (no, I am not going to admit how long ago that was):-)

Jock, I sympathize about your regret over the bar fold. I miss my finger break that way. Not that I have much real use for it, but I miss it anyway. And there are a few things that a finger break will do that are a royal pain to do any other way. Down here, no one has anything but pan breaks, and all of the owners of them are so uptight they don't want me to cut any kerfs in their top platens. Narrow-minded and and foolishly conservative, I say! (grin)
vicopper - Friday, 08/16/02 02:46:08 GMT

Bar Fold: Mine was a fairly rare 36" Bar Fold in very good condition. I used it occasionaly but not often enough to justify the space. Recently my Dad and a younger brother started to build a ultralight airplane that is all aluminium. . . MILES of little pieces of bent channel, angle and Z-bars. . . All designed to be bent on that Bar-Fold! They ended up building a brake that Dad specialy for the airplane work.

I have sold very few tools in my life and I miss all of them except the power hammers which I did not have running. I DO miss the one that I had running. . . And regret selling or trading the others.

Yeah. I know I have acquisititus.
- guru - Friday, 08/16/02 05:54:47 GMT

knife steels: after some instruction on hardrning knife steels , the ones used by meat workers to sharpen there knives. tryed heating with an oxy torch but when quenched in water (thought it would be more hygeneic , seeing as it's used with food rather than my oil tank ?and was told by the meat worker , the harder the better?)bent into a curve . is this a oxy problem ,, heat not soaking in enough? causing it to curve or a technique problem, steel was heated slowly to light red, then med red ,2 sepparate quenches , first quench was done horizontal second was done vertical point first into water , neither torched anything but water.
havnt tried them on the forge yet,
any info would help
- wayne - Friday, 08/16/02 22:45:17 GMT

Tools sold, alas: Boy, do I know that song, Jock! The only tool I can think of that I sold without real regret was my spot welder. I just didn't want to have any reason to ever have to do pan-channel letters again! (I made a bunch of money making them, but hated every minute of it).

When I decided to leave AZ and move to the V.I., I drove my S-10 P/U pulling a tandem-axle U-Haul 16' trailer. Other than a couple of boxes of clothes and several of books, the remaining load was tools. The guy at the U-Haul dealer said when I rented the thing that I would be incapable of overloading it. I made him put that in writing. By the time I reached MS, all eight trailer wheel bearings were shot. Took a lot of talking to convince the dealer there to jack up the box and swap the undercarriage out for a new one, but I did it. Later that day I ran it across a public scale and it came in at just over 18,000 I've never regretted having brought all those tools, either.

Surprisingly, the S-10, which had over 100,000 miles on it before I started out, is still running! Still routinely hauling 2 ton overloads of rocks and such, too. More rust than steel, but still getting around. (Actually, that describes me, as well) :-)
vicopper - Friday, 08/16/02 22:58:35 GMT

Warped Steel: wayne-

When quenching something long and thin like that knife steel, it is very likely to warp if quenched horizontally. After heating, I plunge them in the quench vertically, then move them in circles. I don't have a warping problem when quenching this way. I doubt that slack-tub water is nearly as germ-free as oil, though. You can always wash it off afterwards. (grin)
vicopper - Friday, 08/16/02 23:05:56 GMT

Knife Steel:
Wayne, The quenchant is determined by the type of steel not its end use. If you quench an oil hardening steel in water it may crack in many pieces. . .

As to what you did wrong. . everything by your description. See our heat treating FAQ.

Uneven heating is always a problem. . .
- guru - Saturday, 08/17/02 00:52:33 GMT

St. Louis: We will be traveling to St. Louis for labor day. Any body have any recommendations? Will have one day, Sat. is all.

Oh I will be going to the sign me up page to get some color back in my name. I've had to make this hobby pay for it self and now, well, it is!
Mills - Saturday, 08/17/02 01:38:18 GMT

agitating in guenchant: After years of thinking I knew something about smithing, I was able to visit the Bethlehem Steel plant in Pennsylvania, when it was still up and going. Some ol' timers were our "tour guides" and when they found out I was a smith, they asked if I did tool work. I said, "yeah." One ol' boy asked, "Do you figure-8 'em in the oil?" So I sez, "Well, gulp, er, uh, no." The several men all nodded their heads in unison; "Yeah son, you gotta' figure-8 'em!" So from then on, I have been doing the figure-8 in any liquid quenchant that I happen to be using (when hardening).
Frank Turley - Saturday, 08/17/02 02:08:39 GMT

Mills, thanks for re-upping. .

That figure 8 exposes all surfaces to fresh cool quenchant and at the same time doesn't cause the quenchant to rotate with the piece in the tank.
- guru - Saturday, 08/17/02 04:35:34 GMT

St. Louis: Mills, It depends on what you want to see. Forgemaster is now in Troy, MO., a little ways from St. Louis. For tourists, there is Forest Park with its zoo, art museum, and The Jewel Box, the latter being a large greenhouse with exotics. The old Union Station for trains has become a shopping mall, but the architecture is something else. The Cahokia Mounds are a ways east of East St. Louis, in Illinois; Indian mounds with a small museum. Lou Mueller of Fenton, MO, is a good resource for smithing stuff. AAA tour books are pretty good.
Frank Turley - Saturday, 08/17/02 14:11:12 GMT

St. Louis: Don't forget Ft. Leonard Wood, just a little south.....I know I won't...
They have some pretty good museums there, along with all the basic training stuff.
Bond, James Bond - Saturday, 08/17/02 20:04:41 GMT

Ah yes, Ft. Lost in the Woods! Memories.
Paw Paw Wilson - Saturday, 08/17/02 20:53:05 GMT

Mills: St. Louis was my home town 'till I was 14, but I was also at Ft. Leonard Wood when I was 18. No comparison!
- Frank Turley - Saturday, 08/17/02 22:50:22 GMT

You take basic at Leonard Wood? I was over on the left coast at Ft. Ord in early 58.
Paw Paw Wilson - Sunday, 08/18/02 00:01:02 GMT

Probably stayed in the same barracks I did too.
Bond, James Bond - Sunday, 08/18/02 00:29:48 GMT

barracks: I was at Leonard Wood for the first eight, the winter of 1954. The barracks were pretty old, even at that time. It was a cold winter, and we had coal fired furnaces for heat. If you did something displeasing to the cadre, you could wind up in the corner of the parade ground yelling at the top of your voice, "I am a mo-mo" over and over again.
Frank Turley - Sunday, 08/18/02 00:52:36 GMT

"Temporary" Barracks:
Probably WWII "temporary barracks". They were still using those things in the late 70's at Ft. Bragg. Coal furnaces and all. Ft. Jackson, SC, too.
Paw Paw Wilson - Sunday, 08/18/02 01:26:29 GMT

Lost in the woods: I was there briefly on several occasions usually as one of the cadre. Did my basic at the home of Iron Mike, Ft. Benning. I remeber going to the Infantry musuem there during basic and saw the Peterson device on the Garand and serial #14 M-14 on diplay. Went back later and the racks and racks of historic shoulder arms had been replaced with ...stuff. None of it memorable tho I am sure that racks of rifles just blend together to most people.

One of my more memorable moments as a Drill Sgt was at that museum. I lost two privates. I let the platoon guide tell me the accountability and I didn't double check. MMmmyyYY was I in deep kimichi. A little more than having to do some push ups for penance cause we missed transportation. :0

Thanks for the tourist tips Frank.

- Mills - Sunday, 08/18/02 01:30:52 GMT

Smithing Demo Op.: The Smithing Community has been invited by the Cherokee Strip Museum here in Perry, OK to be part of the Museum Open House on Sunday afternoon Sept. 15.
Set up time will be between noon and 1:00 PM; things usually wind down around 4:30 or so.
Come join me and other members of the Saltfork Craftsmen ABA for a great afternoon of smithing under the shady trees on the Museum grounds. Bring your portable forge and tools, or just show up and use what we'll have on hand. Tailgate tools and your hand made items for sale are welcome.
The Cherokee Strip Museum is on the West side of Perry about 1/2 mile East of I-35 on Fir Ave.; just across the road from Braum's -- a good place to gather up for a burger for lunch. Jim C.
- Jim Carothers - Sunday, 08/18/02 02:08:34 GMT

Pray tell, what is a mo-mo? Never did hear that one.
They just stopped(about a month ago) using the WWII temp. baracks here at Ft. Bragg for the 19th Repl. Det.
Bond,JamesBond - Sunday, 08/18/02 02:32:18 GMT

mo-mo: A mo-mo is someone that did something to tick off the drill sergeant. Some of the guys got hoarse or lost their voices.

I forgot to mention the Gateway Arch on the Mississippi Levee. I guess you can go to the top in an elevator. There is a history museum at the lower level. There seemed to be some dissention about what city was properly the "gateway to the West", St. Louis, Kansas City, or Omaha. The powers that be in St. Louis said, "We'll show 'em". So they built a big, shiny gateway. There is also in St. Louis The Jefferson Memorial (also containing a museum), which may at first blush seem odd. However, when you consider the Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark, and Thomas Jefferson as "one ball o' wax", then it makes more sense.
Frank Turley - Sunday, 08/18/02 03:53:09 GMT

St. Louis, MO: I think one of the better places to visit in St. Louis is Shaw's Gardens, arguably the finest botanical gardens on that side of the big river. Their orchid and bromeliad collection is second to none.

There are a few small enclaves of big bucks homes off the Kingshighway that have some very nice ironwork, too. One of my shirttail relatives has a home on Portland Place that has some truly great work in the gardens and "coach house", and I recall that the entire area was replete with good to better than good work.
vicopper - Sunday, 08/18/02 07:03:57 GMT

knife steel : Thanks, I'll give it a go
- wayne - Sunday, 08/18/02 12:49:06 GMT

bellows: When I built my first bellows, I took the advice of another blacksmith. The top section should have more leather on it than the bottom, as much as a 2/3 to 1/3 ratio. I have successfully made smaller bellows work better and easier than large ones with this method.
James A. Hoffman - Sunday, 08/18/02 16:31:02 GMT

bellows: I did the same on my set seting the center board 1/3 from the bottem the result was that I needed to pump them twice to fill the chamber and keep pumping to keep it full. so I reset the center board at a little less than half way. seems to work better, for me.
MP - Monday, 08/19/02 00:11:04 GMT

Changing Cookie: .
Paw Paw - Monday, 08/19/02 14:42:10 GMT

bellows: I've spent many years at the bellows. It was all I used when I was a full time smith. My large bellows with equal sides took about two slow pumps to fill the top but only one brisk pump to fill the top NEARLY full (since air was being used AS it was filling). You have to pump very briskly (double time) to completely fill the top and pressurize it.

The vast majority of old bellows I've seen were on this half and half pattern and I think that hundreds of years of development is a hint that this is right.

The only time that a much larger top section is useful is if the forge is using very little air and has a good air gate (valve) to control the air (such as for very small work or controling a forge welding heat). I never used an air gate on a bellows prefering the the more intimate control of a direct connection. The traditional method of control is with a counter balance on the top of the bellows. I had planned on this but found it just as easy to set a weight (hammer) on top of the bellows when I occasionaly needed more air and simply back off when I needed less.

A good bellows of any size is easy to pull if correctly setup. I've used mine all day doing production work without getting sore or tired. After a 15 year hiatus from using it I've done several all day demos with Paw-Paw and still do not get sore even though it is using unused muscles. . .

On the other hand I have used bellows that were setup poorly that were very difficult and tiring to use. Short strokes are tiring. Badly located handles and pull cord handles are tiring. Stiff bellows, due to overly heavy or dried leather, boards that are too heavy, OR bad leverage, are very tiring.

A bellows is a very dynamic device that is coupled to the human body which makes things infinitely complicated. Any bellows (even a "perfect" one) that is setup where it is uncomfortable to use makes the man-machine very inefficient. But when correctly setup a good bellows is as easy as breathing and almost as effortless.
- guru - Monday, 08/19/02 16:21:20 GMT

What happened to the pub log?
- Clinker - Tuesday, 08/20/02 18:33:10 GMT

Pub Log and Updates:
Clinker, The log and the bottom control panel are now IN the Pub in the password protected space rather than outside.
The control panel being outside was a problem because we had visitors posting to the iForge classroom that were not registered. Besides posting to the classroom they were asking questions as if it were one of our forum pages.

These are security and privacy fixes. They are also part of the process of setting up another private iForge classroom (ROOM 102). Bill Epps and others have offered to do NEW demos for CSI members only. In order to set this up we had to start by bringing the log and control panel into the pub (where it should have been in the first place). We have also updated the pub somewhat, cleaning up some unused extras and making the input box larger.

The new entry page also lets CSI members enter without logging in a second time.

Both changes are very technical work-arounds to what were old low-tech HTML workarounds, attempting to keep our old chat software viable. The next changes SHOULD also let users swap back and forth form the classroom to the pub without exiting and logging in again. More fancy programming. . . that like magic, should be invisible.
- guru - Tuesday, 08/20/02 19:02:23 GMT

Trade or barter ???: I have need of a tire roller/bender have a 36" sliproller and/or a post drill to trade will travel to facilitate the trade

Mark P - Thursday, 08/22/02 20:53:36 GMT

Location Location Location: Mark, what continent are you on? Shipping this sort of thing can cost more than the item so knowing appx where you are at will be a help.

- Thomas Powers - Thursday, 08/22/02 21:35:51 GMT

location?: opps ....Kingston Canada but as I said will travel
Mark P - Friday, 08/23/02 00:09:11 GMT

On the way to Texas, Y'all behave yourselves till I get back.
Paw Paw - Friday, 08/23/02 12:31:50 GMT

Little Giant hammer installation: I am looking for ideas on installing my 50 lb little giant hammer in my shop. I am about to pour the floor, does anyone have advice on the best way to do this.any suggestions on how far away from the walls and the forge.
- Chris - Sunday, 08/25/02 02:43:48 GMT

Little Giant factory specs called for a full cubic yard of concrete under a 50 pounder. And some rubber in between. Have you made a template for positioning the bolts? You can get by with less mass in the foundation, but too much less and the hammer will rock, and the force of the blow will be dissipated. Raising the hammer might be something to consider: the sow blocks is low and you will find yourself leaning wayyyyy over a lot if you set it at grade.
miles undercut - Sunday, 08/25/02 05:24:06 GMT

Li'l Giant. I put a 3/4" plate of plywood between the concrete and the hammer base about 25 years ago. It's still holding up. My hammer is mounted near a door so that long pieces can be run outside, if need be.
- Frank Turley - Sunday, 08/25/02 13:40:41 GMT

Seek and Ye shall Find: Well I picked up another anvil yesterday; saw a hardy burried in some pipe threading stuff at the fleamarket and asked the guy if he had the anvil to go with it; yup but he didn't bring it cause it was heavy. Wiping the drool off my face with an stylish gesture I arranged to go see it that afternoon. It was a 100# Vulcan in near mint shape---the edges were so sharp they could hurt you! He wanted $50 so I had to buy it to keep my "decent anvil/year for under US$1/#" streak going. Course as I don't particularly like Vulcans I will probably be dragging it to Quad-State and offering it for a mere 3x what I paid for it...(the hardy was US$2 for a champion with 5/8" shaft, again in unused state)

The stuff is out there but you need to *hunt* for it---buying from other smiths---they know what it's worth. You need to find the fellow that's just barked his shin on that old anvil in the garage for the *last* time and is happy to get rid of it.

- Thomas Powers - Monday, 08/26/02 17:03:56 GMT

We be back! Tired, but back.
Paw Paw - Tuesday, 08/27/02 19:35:30 GMT

Champion forge blower parts for sale/trade: I have parts for a Champion Forge Blower #40 for sale or trade. Includes all parts (blower fan, gears, gear housing, handle with wooden handhold, handle mount) except the fan housing, shaft the fan mounts to, and maybe some parts for mounting the fan shaft. Everything is in good shape and the gears turn freely. Willing to trade for blacksmith or woodworking tools, or sell for a reasonable price. Buyer pays actual shipping cost from zipcode 40328.
- Cam Williams - Tuesday, 08/27/02 20:16:53 GMT

Champion forge blower parts: Oops! I forgot to include my link to e-mail me. Here it is.
Cam Williams - Tuesday, 08/27/02 20:30:39 GMT

Three students from different working backgrounds were working on getting a degree. They were all in the same psychology class and the topic was emotional extremes.

"Just to establish some parameters, " said the professor to the student who worked as a computer operator, "What is the
opposite of joy?"

"Sadness," said the student.

"And the opposite of depression?" he asked of the young lady who worked as a teacher's aide.

"Elation," she said.

"And you sir," he said to the young man who worked as a farrier, "How about the opposite of woe?"

The farrier replied, "Sir, I believe that would be giddy up."
Paw Paw - Wednesday, 08/28/02 01:18:03 GMT

Celtic Stone Crosses: Hey Miles, If you're in touch with Cracked Anvil of Dundalk, Ireland (are you?), tell him that he's only about 25 klicks north of Monasterboice, where there are some beautiful high crosses. These are the big stone ones from the 10th century. We were fortunate enough to see these a couple of years ago. Good inspiration for ironwork.
Frank Turley - Saturday, 08/31/02 15:42:43 GMT

Wotta memory! But... no. Cracked is currently hanging out (in the 1950s, by virtue of his time machine) in a namesake town, Dundalk, Merlin, which is really just a suburb of Balmer, hon. It was named wayyyy back by one Timothy McShane, who built an ironworks there that was later taken over by an outfit name of Bethlehem Steel. McShane hailed from Dundalk, Ireland. But thanks. Those old Celts did some snazzy work. Open me one of them Guinnesses, would you?
miles undercut - Sunday, 09/01/02 02:31:15 GMT

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