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August 2005 Archive

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

Yumi Nagatia: Mr. Timex is broken arm again, bad vein in shoulder. He has at me loud voice to take shop and pay papers. If you have papers with Mr Timex send them to his shop and I give to him. He is of good wind and strong tree doctor say.
Yumi ' sparks ' Nagatia
- Yumi - Monday, 08/01/05 02:22:36 EDT

dream anvil: nolan, take a close look at the big nimba. if you can afford a peddinghaus, consider the nimba. i have a 125Kg peddinghaus and have not dedicated the time to finnish the bick; it is rough. the nimba has an outstanding finnish and a very cool design..
- anvil junkie - Monday, 08/01/05 09:55:31 EDT

Timex: Best wishes for a speedy recovery. They gonna do another roto-rooter on the shoulder?
vicopper - Monday, 08/01/05 10:09:53 EDT

Dream Anvil: My dream anvil would be one I designed and had cast from 8340 steel. Modified European two-horned design with side-face, conical round horn, modified church window base with upsetting blocks, side shelf, hardy hole at the front, and two pritchel holes. Weight around 450#, give or take a bit. Mounted on a special cast base with hydraulic lift, adjustable for a final face height of between 26" and 42". It should have a hardy hole in one side of the anvil, as a place to horizontally mount various special stakes.
vicopper - Monday, 08/01/05 10:35:56 EDT

Yumi baby; no need to bother Mr Big about this; but we were about to close a deal to import a large number of drop forged anvils that the late Nigerian Dictator Nb!dud!r had custom made for himself paid for from his private swiss account. If you could just empty the petty cash account into a plain brown envelope and throw it over the wall at the coal depot at midnight tonight we can get this deal done and be a big surprise for Mr Big when he gets back.

Regnad Kcin
- Regnad Kcin - Monday, 08/01/05 10:37:52 EDT

Ralph is now in a regular room, after going from ICU to Progressive Care yesterday. He had a tough night, because his pain wasn't being properly managed and he hurt a great deal all night. I think the doctors have finally gotten their act together there. He should rest much better tonight.

I'll report tomorrow how the biopsies come out. Cross your fingers! Thank you for your concern and support. Best wishes, Dawn
- Ntech - Monday, 08/01/05 13:26:54 EDT

Yumi: Sorry to hear about timex, I thought he was too old to be falling out of tree's :)
Get well soon
Tinker - Monday, 08/01/05 14:01:22 EDT

Waiting for my whisper baby. I'm about to go crazy.
Tyler Murch - Monday, 08/01/05 15:27:03 EDT

I am home from the hospital - Ralph
Ntech - Monday, 08/01/05 16:47:34 EDT

Nimba Anvils: Im not sure I like the design of the Nimbas. and I cant afford a peddinghaus, its just a nice anvil I would like to have. But the Nimba's have an excellent finish, I wont deny that. But I like the design of the Peddinghaus, and I would have plenty of time to finish the horn.
- Nolan - Monday, 08/01/05 18:01:34 EDT

Good news! Heal fast Buddy.
ptree - Monday, 08/01/05 18:35:50 EDT

Ralph update: I just brought Ralph home. Unfortunately, the pathology report came back positive for melanoma in his brain. :-(

We'll be seeing all kinds of doctors and getting another CAT scan this week. Guess we'll learn what the heck the next step is.Thank you again for your prayers and support Dawn
- Ntech - Monday, 08/01/05 21:08:43 EDT

Nimba Anvils: the Peddinghaus is also cheaper.
- Nolan - Monday, 08/01/05 21:41:01 EDT

Current Ralph status......: I like the Nimba anvils a lot.
Ralph - Monday, 08/01/05 22:04:47 EDT

DAMN; what an emotional roller coaster you have been on.

Tell Ralph that we are praying for *both* of you.

Thomas P - Monday, 08/01/05 22:10:04 EDT

RALPH: OLD PARD, hang in there. We are with you the whole way.


sandpile - Monday, 08/01/05 22:27:40 EDT

Hang in there, Ralph & Dawn. We are all pulling for You
Dave Boyer - Monday, 08/01/05 22:42:27 EDT

vic's dream anvil: aaaaaah rich that anvil sounds like a sweetie i'll take 2 one for me and one for my son.......... oh and would like one of those spiffy stands you spoke of as well............
blacklionforge - Tuesday, 08/02/05 08:15:06 EDT

Ralph; Anvils: Ralph:

Our thoughts and prayers are with you; please pull a Lance Armstrong for us!

Dream Anvils:

What VICopper said; but without the fancy stand. I'll take an elm trunk buried to the proper height (whatever I determine that to be for my 6'1" frame).

FAILING THAT, about a 60 pound (27 kg) stump anvil, somewhere between the ones shown in Frank Turley's book on Southwestern Colonial Ironwork and the one depicted on the stave church depicting Sigurd's Saga. My 11 pounder (5 kg)is nice for demonstrations, but this would be really impressive to show the marks, er, rubes..., er, public. ;-)

Not half bad for August on the banks of the Potomac.

Visit your National Parks:

Go viking:
Sae Hrafn in Solomons
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Tuesday, 08/02/05 09:22:01 EDT

Bad Link: Sorry; here's the...
whole Longship Company page anyway
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Tuesday, 08/02/05 09:24:13 EDT

Dream Anvils; hmm what about that double horned french? armourer's anvil with the figures sculptured around it's waist? about 500#'s IIRC.

Thomas P - Tuesday, 08/02/05 11:17:22 EDT

Dream Anvil: My dream anvils are already in my shop- an old, slightly beat up 125lb Arm and Hammer, and a custom pinstriped 260Lb Nimba Centurion. Between the two of them, they do most everything I need. The only addition I could see to the family would be about a 1000lb Bridge Anvil, like one of those sitting in the blacksmith shop at Cambria Ironworks.
But I find 250lbs or so is a good size, because you can still move one around easily enough, but it has enough mass to really take a whomping. And I am constantly moving anvils around, for the best approach for a particular job, or most efficiency- see, when I am texturing a bunch of 20 foot pieces of 2" pipe, I need a lot of room in one direction, with the big anvil lined up so I just have to move that pipe a tiny bit over, drop it on the anvil, and can straighten it out with a few blows. But when I am making something else, it might be a whole different forge/anvil/power hammer/ hosssfeld arrangement. My forge is on wheels, and my anvils scoot around a lot too.

As far as Nimba's go, if'n you want one, I would recommend buying one soon. Russel Jaque, the owner and designer, is not well. I am not sure what will happen to the company, but he could use the money now, I am sure, as he cannot work in the forge. A shame, too, as he just about got the 600lb chambersburg running...
I personally do not feel my Nimba was "too expensive". It is a very beautifully thought out, finely made, and finely finished tool, of heirloom quality, made in america. And it will outlast me, I am sure.
- Ries - Tuesday, 08/02/05 12:32:15 EDT

Dream anvil: Maybe the Nimba's arent too expensive for what you get, but they are too expensive for me.
- Nolan - Tuesday, 08/02/05 16:43:19 EDT

NO WAY! A custom pinstriped anvil! What colors?
Tyler Murch - Tuesday, 08/02/05 19:01:54 EDT

My Dream Anvil.....: An old HB, PW, or Trenton about 200#'s w/ good slightly rounded corners and little or no rust to clean off. Old anvils like these are great qaulity and GREAT VALUE compared to new anvils.
Tyler Murch - Tuesday, 08/02/05 19:06:52 EDT

Dream anvil: Nimba anvils are everything Ries said, I have delt Russel and mainly his wife, you couldn't find two nicer people. Their anvils were made by a blacksmith for blacksmiths and it shows.

That said, I have a Peter Wright that is an old friend and we never seem to argue. We will stick it out 'til I quit hammering.
- Daryl - Tuesday, 08/02/05 20:20:43 EDT

Bummer: I may be going up to Port Townsend, WA(where Nimba is located) and I wanted a tour. but I got a response to my email that says their office is closed until the 6th of september.
- Nolan - Tuesday, 08/02/05 23:20:51 EDT

Pinstriped Anvil: Yeah, can you get us a pic of that?
- Nolan - Tuesday, 08/02/05 23:26:59 EDT

Dream Anvil....: I want Vicopper's big Fisher.
Monica - Wednesday, 08/03/05 15:27:06 EDT

Big Fisher: I love my big Fisher! When I'm done with it, you can probably get it cheap, but not 'til I'm done. (grin)

That big Fisher, which isn't nearly as big as Thomas' big Fisher, is wonderful to work on. Quiet, solid, responsive and did I mention quiet? Boy, do I love the quiet.
vicopper - Wednesday, 08/03/05 15:32:47 EDT

Big Fisher : Hmmm, a cop or a metalurgest with cannons. Neither sound like a viable place to... extract an anvil from. I guess I'll have to wait 'til I can find one of my own. There's got to be more floating around. Ok, well, probably not floating.
Monica - Wednesday, 08/03/05 15:45:40 EDT

My pinstriping is just a subtle gold. Nothing too fancy. I did pick out the "Centurion" lettering as well, easy because it is cast into the anvil, not stamped on later, so its deep enough to easily fill the letters out with paint.
- Ries - Wednesday, 08/03/05 15:59:30 EDT

I don't have a *big* Fisher---it's only 515# with two 1.5" sq hardies, it's quiet and big enough to serve tea and scones on the face---and the cannon is in the shop facing the "loading door" right now...current drill is: open loading door; load cannon; run out cannon; fire cannon---recoils back inside; close loading door; act innocent...

Thomas P - Wednesday, 08/03/05 16:42:22 EDT

Thomas... Thomas, haven't I told you the PC police read here? Now how are going to explain the noise and smoke and ETC?
ptree - Wednesday, 08/03/05 16:49:56 EDT

By the way ThomasP,
I saw an interesting Tee shirt the other day. Referring to the Infantry's favorite saying "The Infantry is the queen of battle", The shirt displayed the artillery branch symbol and said" Artillery, we put our balls where the Queen wants them"
ptree - Wednesday, 08/03/05 16:53:01 EDT

ptree; EMRTC of course! At lunch today I saw some NYPD folk down for training and I heard several "booms" from the test pads...

Just as long as the Queen doesn't want beehives involved...
Thomas P - Wednesday, 08/03/05 19:04:14 EDT

In my old Arty unit we had 203MM howitzers on open self propelled carriages. No Beehives available for that gun,.... so our two alternatives were to ram several bags of diesel soaked propellent follewed with dry, depress and fire. And boy do I mean fire!!! The other was to use a time fuse set to minimum time, and get the crew in fighting holes. The round would burst at arming distance, and spray shell splinters back on the gun! These guns are now out of service, replaced by the nice, Pallidin system with the 155mm. Aww the old days, may they never return.
ptree - Wednesday, 08/03/05 21:09:34 EDT

MONICA: If any body is interested??? The Mad Hatter may not be in his shop, Saturday afternoon..BUUTT he has trained rats or some other type rodents trained to fire his cannon in his absence.

sandpile - Wednesday, 08/03/05 22:40:41 EDT

Big Fisher: Im glad to hear people like their fishers. I am about to buy one, and I think the quiet is a plus for my ears.
- Nolan - Wednesday, 08/03/05 23:14:33 EDT

ptree: A 203mm? Is that the same as an 8inch? We had three types during the unpleasntness in Asia. 105 was light arty, 155 was medium and 175 and 8 inch were heavy. I was with a 155 towed unit along the Cambode border. The short timed fuse you referred to was called "Killer Jr." Very effective during a ground attack.
Ah. The old days. I can taste the dust in the C-Rats now. Fire mission, out.
- Larry - Thursday, 08/04/05 00:09:31 EDT

Dream Anvil: My dream anvil is the 325 lb Peter Wright sitting in my garage. Waiting for me to finish setting up the smithy and be put back to work

A warmer then usual day here on the East coast of Vancouver Island - light/very high overcast and 21 Cel. this evening.

- Don Shears - Thursday, 08/04/05 01:11:40 EDT

Dream Anvil: I'm waiting for the 400# Arm and Hammer I used to work on in the first shop I was employed in. The guy that owns it only paid ten dollars for it. Thats right, ten. I offered to double his money. He just smiled. I do have first crack at it though some day.
- Jeff G - Thursday, 08/04/05 07:59:17 EDT

Sandpile; I'm gonna tell your wife what you have been *really* up to---and not tell her I was just joking till she wears out the first spoon skinning you alive with a dull Al spoon dipped in kerosene...

Course I tell folks coming into the shop to be careful cause if they injure themselves my insurance specifies that I have to drag them out and bury them in a shallow grave in the arroyo....

Is that "Arm and Hammer" an Arm and Hammer or a Vulcan? Both use the Arm & Hammer logo; but the Vulcan has it cast so it projects and the Arm & Hammer has it stamped in the side. Vulcans are a steel faced cast iron anvil---though not up to the quality of a Fisher IMNSHO; the A&H (made in Columbus OH!) were a steel faced wrought iron anvil---my travel anvil is a 90# A&H the ring brings in the crowds---or at least other smiths...

Note to self: offer rodents increased bounty on anvil thieves

Thomas P - Thursday, 08/04/05 11:18:23 EDT

My Arm and Hammer is an Arm and Hammer- made in Columbus.
Cute, with those classic lines, wrought iron with a steel face.

Got it at the gone, but not forgotten, best flea market in the world- Maxwell Street, in Chicago, for $40 in 1989.
At 8 on a sunday morning, with 75 year old black guys playing the blues in vacant lots at the end of 100 foot extension cords running from tenements, and old mexican ladies selling the best zuccini flower quesadilla's I ever tasted for 50 cents each.
And every cute hipster chicago punk rock girl in town stumbling around hungover buying flouncy skirts and trying on wigs...

Now, its a soccer field for the University.
That just aint right.
- Ries - Thursday, 08/04/05 12:28:36 EDT

Metallurgists & Cannons: Monica, actually Thomas isn't the only metallurgist with a cannon who posts/checks here. I do admit I haven't fabricated the mounts for the 18th century swivel gun I own - a project for the fall, but I do own it, and at least according to my BS degree in Metallurgy in 1974, I am one, even though I'm currently doing ISO 9001 stuff rather than strict metallurgy. Regretfully, I do not own a disreptuable hat of the same caliber (of disreptableness (is that a word?)that Thomas does :) On the other hand, considering my reenactment hobby and some time spent as a Morris dancer (a great excuse to get together, exercise, ask a crowd for money, & then spend it on good beer) I do own some rather non-standard clothing.
- Gavain H - Thursday, 08/04/05 12:29:43 EDT

And I'm not an official metallurgist; my degrees are in Geology/geophysics and Computer Science; historical ferrous metals is rather a hobby of mine and I took a bunch of MatSci classes as electives and buy the ASM books---poser first class!

hmmm mounts to turn the falconette into a swivel gun---I wonder if the tailgate would support....
Thomas P - Thursday, 08/04/05 13:01:01 EDT

probaly not, but if you made up a post to mount in the hitch receiver........
JimG - Thursday, 08/04/05 15:26:00 EDT

Larry, yep, thats a 8", M-110. It was a SP unit of the KyArng. Traced its linage back to pre-civil war times. Fought for the Fed's until my great, great great uncle John Hunt Morgan gave them a "firey oration" and the slipped off to Bowling Green ky and went grey. They are one of only two units in the US that carry battle streamers from both sides in the civil war.
All my arty stuff is primarily second hand as my primary job was to leap from Hueys into air shows and county fairs as a recruiter. Drove the CO in summer camp. Ohh the days!
ptree - Thursday, 08/04/05 17:46:44 EDT

By the way, found a unique door stop at work today, a forged but unfilled 105MM cannon projectile. Seems they extruded millions of them stopping in the 80's. May have to swipe it to match my 90MM from WWII that found its way home from my previous employer.Also unfilled.
ptree - Thursday, 08/04/05 17:49:07 EDT

The wandering smith from Washington: I'm bringing the family out to Vashon Island, or the San Juan's this weekend to hang out for a day or two. Are there any smiths out that way? I thought it'd be fun to visit another smithy, and chew the fat for a bit.

I'm holed up in Baring, up near Steven's pass. If anyone is coming by that way, let me know, and I'll stick an extra beer in the back of the fridge, where it gets real cold :)
- Tom T - Thursday, 08/04/05 19:51:49 EDT

tom T. COalforge , Wayne Lewis

Lives in Whidbey Island, Wa. Full time blacksmith
repairs farm equipment and drives a truck
everyonce in a while for the farmers.
Ralph - Thursday, 08/04/05 22:51:19 EDT

Artillerist Blacksmiths: Count me in with a falconet and a prettty little coehorn mortar.

Nothing like dropping an onion over the castle wall to awaken the garrison! Indirect fire is fun!
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Thursday, 08/04/05 22:56:10 EDT

ptree: BobH said you were a wild man and we would get along well. Now I see why. I, too, have a disabled artillery shell on my front porch. It is WWII vintage and was brought back by an older brother of one of our neighbors. Haven't measured it, but it looks very close to a 155 mm. Been aiming to clean it up and give it a coat of OD and stencil on my old unit designation. C 2/12 Arty. Maybe our battalion motto too. "Sunday Punch"
- Larry - Thursday, 08/04/05 23:03:18 EDT

Arm and Hammer: Yes that 400#er is an arm and hammer. When the owner got it, it was buried with just the tip of the horn sticking out of the ground. Couldn't have been buried long cause it is in great shape. By the way, did any of you guys see that 800 #er at Quad State last year? Can't remember what brand it was
- Jeff G - Thursday, 08/04/05 23:21:35 EDT

Wayne "Coal Forge" Lewis: TOM T.; You can try E-mailing Wayne at
3dogs - Friday, 08/05/05 02:55:38 EDT

Dream Anvil and other stuff:

Well, for me, I think my dream anvil would be the 450# German here:

That, or a custom sawyer's anvil made special for me, to sit on a ground-level concrete block... a 34" tall anvil. Yep. With a rectangular hole through the body, and sockets in the narrow ends for mandrels. And forklift slots.

My heart goes out to Ralph and Dawn at this time, more than ever. I hope all goes well and he is OK and as Bruce suggested, pulls a "Lance Armstrong"!

Spent five days at the Microscopy and Microanalysis convention, and now I'd like to hear from the metallurgists: How would you recommend I prepare steel samples to look at their grain structure under an SEM or TEM? I know this will sound arcane to most of ya, but please bear with me :) I'd like to get some micrographs of forge welds and other stuff. Thanks!
- T. Gold - Friday, 08/05/05 06:02:42 EDT

big steel: after all this talk of dream anvil's and such i thought i would mention again the fact i have several die blanks(read big rectangles of die steel) i have one @ 600lbs 2 @700lbs and 2 @ 750 lbs all for sale interested parties feel frre ta drop me an email....... thanks
blacklionforge - Friday, 08/05/05 07:28:44 EDT

JimG, there is a biblical quote that comes to mind for suggestions like that: "Satan get thee behind me" No one is allowed in front of the cannon when it's loaded anyway...

Any "hobby" lobbers have experience with non-combustable wadding? It's too dry out here most of the time for my usual newspaper dry wad, then wet wad well rammed home.

Thomas P - Friday, 08/05/05 11:56:14 EDT

That big 800 # anvil at quad state last year was a Hay-budden. I hope the owners bring it again this year because I want to get pictures and measurements.

Patrick-metallurgist w/o a cannon.
- Patrick Nowak - Friday, 08/05/05 12:40:15 EDT

Biblical quote?: Oops. I fear I've too often applied it, "Satan get thee behind me - now PUSH!"

Given that background, with the remarks above, maybe I should devote myself a better study of the Scriptural Canon...
Tim S. - Friday, 08/05/05 14:02:54 EDT

Thomas. I do the local Renfaires and the guys in the cannon group use the green foam that florists use. They say it completely disintigrates when they fire em. I've seen them fire at many faires and have never seen them start a fire.

FredlyFX - Friday, 08/05/05 14:44:08 EDT

Tim S.: You mean that not what that means? (grin!)
Alan-L - Friday, 08/05/05 16:18:08 EDT

Trained Rat: Sanpile, I have a 9' Retic' that would love to get her teeth on some nice rats. Of course, she would probably miss the rats, bite herself, and then try to constrict.... Which is why she's not fed live food anymore. If she were in nature, she would have been a cull.
Monica - Friday, 08/05/05 16:23:42 EDT

Fredly, are they getting enough compression to give a good boom without using too much powder? The harder the wet wadding is rammed the more noise for the less powder you get.

Thomas P - Friday, 08/05/05 16:34:42 EDT

While I have been called many things, I am not sure wild man has been one of them. Just cause I used to jump out of airplanes, race off road, fly airplanes,and was Ordnance in the army,is no reason for wild! I think of myself as quite calm.
I have been called an Anvil head, and if you are at Quad state, look for my with that thought in mind(insert evil grin). I have been called a safety nazi. That one makes me somewhat proud. I have also been called a techno-freak and techno-historian-freak. Likewise proud. I'll have to think about wild man:)
ptree - Friday, 08/05/05 17:26:18 EDT

Scriptural Conon.... What bore does it have and how much powder do we need?
We need to get an anvilfire blackpowder cannon crew and do a few contests
Ralph - Friday, 08/05/05 21:19:03 EDT

Cannon Wadding: We always favored green leaves, the bigger the better! Good seal, moderate mass, and pretty much fire proof.

Of course, here in the East, there's an abundence of green stuff for cannon wadding.
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Friday, 08/05/05 22:51:35 EDT

T.Gold: I don't know the particulars, but what I remember is You grind to a good finish on a surface grinder, then lap to remove the layer that grinding smeared around and etch with an acid, but I don't know which one. But I am sure somebody will.
- Dave Boyer - Friday, 08/05/05 23:35:42 EDT

cannon: Just fire the damn thing, OK???
- jimmy - Saturday, 08/06/05 04:17:52 EDT

Blacksmith on Studio 360: Tipped off by one of my crew; they’re having a blacksmithing segment on Public Radio on Studio 360:

“Thousands of years ago people learned that if they melted a soft red dirt with limestone to draw out its impurities, the cooled metal would be extremely strong. Formed into weapons for millennia, iron became a medium for decorative artists -- a craft known as artsmithing. Chicago artsmith Richard Pozniak demonstrated the craft for Peter Clowney.” Okay, ignore the usual press inaccuracies and listen anyway. ;-)
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Saturday, 08/06/05 10:08:06 EDT

suppliers: Howdy all, I am having the hardest time finding suppliers for simple things. I have been looking for mild steel balls ranging from 1/2" to 2", and candle ferrules, and bobesche's. Anyone else have any suggestions or have dealt with this type of dilema?
- M.Hanson - Saturday, 08/06/05 11:53:48 EDT

M.Hanson-- King Supply has mild steel balls all sizes, has various stamped steel rosettes out of which one could mae a bobeche, has steel hemispheres in various sizes, and may even have plain disks or know where to find them. Copper pipe caps make excellent candle ferrules.
Miles Undercut - Saturday, 08/06/05 13:45:31 EDT

Richard Pozniak: Obvious the guy loves iron, interesting interview Bruce, thanks for sharing the link
Ian Lowe - Saturday, 08/06/05 14:00:45 EDT

Artillary: Hehehe My little cannon's small enough to pick up and put in my pocket. It is proofed, 45 cal rifled bore... all, what, 5-6 inches of it.

My dad's the one with the big stuff. My sister and I are looking at them dubiously and talking about inheritances. She says I get them...
Monica - Saturday, 08/06/05 19:54:52 EDT

Atli; ever try skunk cabbage leaves... (do *NOT* try hard boiled eggs as projectiles)

Monica---just don't try to hurry the process...

- Thomas Powers - Saturday, 08/06/05 22:51:55 EDT

Premade Supplies: King actually buys all their stuff from others, so if you are buying a reasonable quantity, its always cheaper to go to the source.

JGBraun, which is a division of Wagner, sells a lot of this stuff.
Then frank morrow in Rhode Island stamps a lot of the sheet metal parts-especially leaves, but I think they do some candle cups, and I know they do a lot of bobeches.

And the W.F. Norman company is still stamping the same products since the 1890's- mostly bigger stuff, including finials for roofs, tin ceilings, and urns-

a couple of other ornamental suppliers like king are

Unfortunately two of the best old time stamping companies of cool decorative sheet metal and candle cups have gone out of business- Ludwig Industries and AllState Metal Stamping. one was originally in Manhattan, the other in Brooklyn. I am not sure if anybody picked up their tooling or not- I kinda doubt it. I used to buy from both of them in the 80's, and they were both run by crusty old New Yawk types, who sneered at little orders, but both had been in business for over 100 years, and had tooling going back forever- toolrooms full of dies to make elephants and hinges, ballerinas and candlecups, bobeches, leaves and crown bandings. Incredible stuff that we probably will never see again.
- Ries - Saturday, 08/06/05 23:02:21 EDT

Wanted: I'm looking for a source of a j-section 10-groove 2.5" diameter sheave to build my belt grinder. This will allow me to mate my salvaged variable speed treadmill motor to a jackshaft to power the thing, since the motor has a multi-rib sheave/flywheel pressed on the shaft.

McMaster-Carr has one, but they want about fifty bucks by the time I buy the sheave and the bushing. Plus, they ONLY ship by UPS, so that adds another thirty bucks or more to the cost. Ouch!

Anybody got any good sources?
vicopper - Sunday, 08/07/05 01:05:22 EDT

I'm honestly not sure how much powder they are using Thomas, but they sure do make a nice bang.

FredlyFX - Sunday, 08/07/05 02:27:21 EDT

Say what?: That bobeches thing, ain't in my dictionary. And the above website wouldn't load any images on that page. So what, exactly, is it?
- Bob H. - Sunday, 08/07/05 16:10:19 EDT

Bobeche is a fancy 12 cylinder word for drip pan,
But since I know some Eche's I thought Bob was a long lost member of that clan........
JimG - Sunday, 08/07/05 16:34:37 EDT

Had a nice lunch and a good (short) vist with the Santa Fe folks. Five from the Santa Fe area and one from LEMITAR.. Had A swap deal with THOMAS P.--I may have come out better on this trade(he won the last).BOG.

MONICA-- The rats in Lemitar NM. can not whip a cat --one on one--. BUUTT they can and will tag-team a old cat then they run him off. Don't know how a constricter would get along with them.

Miles and Frank and the rest of them were super nice to a guy that showed up late(could not find the place).BOG.

Hope to go back over for an SWBA meet. Thanks folks..

- sandpile - Sunday, 08/07/05 19:35:30 EDT

Sandpile-- My pleasure! Y'all come back and see us now, you hear?
Miles Undercut - Sunday, 08/07/05 19:48:34 EDT

First Anvil: Bought my first anvil today, a 150# Peter Wright. Can't wait to start work on it. Rings like a bell, decent edges, no chips/dings.
Matt Tuttle - Sunday, 08/07/05 20:00:14 EDT

Sandpile & NM lónche folks,: That was a good get-together. It was so good, I suggest that we form a small, renegade group and secede from SWABA...and dispense with Roberts Rules of Order!
Kidding. Kidding.
Frank Turley - Sunday, 08/07/05 20:23:20 EDT

First Anvil: Wow! I bought my first anvil today as well. 80# Fisher-Norris. Doesn't ring, but that is due to its cast iron body. The edges are nice, and I just finished sanding and polishing it up. Cheers
- Nolan - Sunday, 08/07/05 21:34:19 EDT

Hey, write on, bro! And we get a secret handshake, and gang colors, and we do hand signals with lots of splayed finger movement at other cars when we are stopped at lights, and jackets, and a special tattoo on a certain area of our bodies that only gang members know about, see, and we meet in the woods under a full moon and we have really wicked initiation rituals and we go out tagging, and we have an auxiliary that makes terrific tamales, plus we have other stuff, too secret to mention here. Woof! Yowsuh!
Miles Undercut - Sunday, 08/07/05 22:04:37 EDT

Miles: Sounds like you are really getting into this thing. But I would be careful. Some of these east coast gangs might get jealous and trash your crib. They dont call them MOB for nothin'.I seem to remember one of them used to wear a big red hat and walked around with an attitude. But I heard he got runoff. Wound up somewhere west of the Big Muddy Crick.(BOG)
- Larry - Sunday, 08/07/05 22:36:48 EDT

Sandpile-- Thanks, too, for bringing your handsome blades and for the interesting knife symposium!
Larry-- Fear not-- I think I have the one with the red hat diverted with shiny objects.
Miles Undercut - Monday, 08/08/05 00:25:08 EDT

new anvils: congrat's nolan and matt............ i used a piece of railroad rail the 1st year i smithed..... changed how i felt about smithing once i got my 1st anvil..... hammer on !!!!!!!!!!
blacklionforge - Monday, 08/08/05 07:35:19 EDT

First Anvil, first stab: LOL, it must be the weather or the time of year. I got hold of a peice of RR track the other day and did my first ever bit of blacksmithing on it too. I made a little S hook. I posted the find and my 'first' effort over the road on Iforgeiron. In the gallery under Tinker.
I ended up using thin threaded rod (because its all I had :) And I used the sharp edge of the rail to hot cut the rod, thanks who ever posted that tip. It helped taper the ends a bit doing it that way too.
Shame is, I'm gonna have to throw the RR track back over the fence (all 40lbs of it) when I leave.
Still, I'm hooked, it was a lot easier to try thanks to what I picked up here!
Tinker - Monday, 08/08/05 10:19:56 EDT

Miles you stop sniffing that flux now! As for gang colours I thought we were all supposed to wear our Bandanas over our faces so we couldn't be recognized when we snuck into other meetings.

Miles tried to get my new (1990) pickup to be a low rider but even after 4 sections of RR rail (2 6' and 2 4') and that old O2 tank and some conduit it was still riding proud...

Thomas P - Monday, 08/08/05 11:07:50 EDT

Thomas, your new truck hood would be a great place for a painting of Sts. Eligius and Dunstan, A'la the Virgen de Guadaloupe rolling artwork one sometimes sees on southwestern U.S. lowriders!
Alan-L - Monday, 08/08/05 12:22:31 EDT

SECRET GROUP: Imagine this---A group of B.S. trying to be un-noticed. Here is Miles tall-big, Sandpile--short, big hat and Texas accent, Frank with a quiet demeanor, graying pony-tail, The Red Hatter(horns and all)silver anvils hanging from his beard braids.He heh-- We could not hide in Greenwich Village.LOL

Come to think of it---We did not turn any heads in The City Different.BOG.

sandpile - Monday, 08/08/05 13:29:58 EDT

I woke up my wife special just to get my beard braided for that get together....

Alan; great idea except I'm too cheap and I'm afraid the painter would work me and my hat into the pics of the saints as in "St Dunstan as the story goes
once grabbed the devil by the nose
with red hot tongs
that made him roar
that could be heard 5 miles or more"

Thomas P - Monday, 08/08/05 14:24:18 EDT

ThomasP, I have a spare dragon with wings spread hood ornament. Just waiting for a long haired Barbie to ride. Be the second truck driver in the world with one.
ptree - Monday, 08/08/05 16:46:08 EDT

Traveling: Looks like Dawn and I will be in Huston in about 2 weeks time. Going to go to a Cancer center for consultation etc. Not sure how long we will be there. If anyone would like to visit let me know
Ralph - Monday, 08/08/05 20:20:16 EDT

Prep for SEM: T. Gold - sorry I have no info on prepping microscopy samples for SEM. When I was actively doing metallography we were still using light microscopy - they wouldn't let undergrads anywhere near the fancy/expensive equipment. I would take a WAG that it is similar to preparing samples for light microscopy - take down through various grits of paper, then polish with diamond slurry - coarse, than fine polish. Etching - depends on what you want to see and the base metal - stainless, alloy, carbon. Two common ethces are nital and picral. I'll see if I can't find the std. practice for prep of stainless samples from my last lab - should give the progression of papers and diamond grits, but it probably won't be before Friday - I'm trying to finish up projects for the SCA Pennsic War.
- Gavainh - Monday, 08/08/05 22:21:17 EDT

I have used a SEM befor, but it was on wafers in a cpu fab....... No prep needed. Just load in wafer and find landmarks and measure etc
Ralph - Monday, 08/08/05 23:02:56 EDT

welding rod: I just got through using a bare rod, that I thought was brass but I don't think so now. It has 860 stamped in a flat spot near the end. What do you think it is???

It looks like steel now and it welded(braized) like steel.

Had to get the spurs away too hot to make the stuff drop.

sandpile - Monday, 08/08/05 23:13:43 EDT

RALPH'S TRIP: RALPH/DAWN-- Y'all take care and motor easy. We still have you on the list.

Good Luck and GOD BLESS

sandpile - Monday, 08/08/05 23:16:43 EDT

fixing miror !: Hi guys !
I want to make miror, but I don't know how to fix it on iron.
I want to make an L profil all around but I don't know if it's better to stick it or screw it.......
thanks for your help !
(this week , I make the concrete floor for my 160lbs hercules power hammer, thanks for all !)
- Fabien - Tuesday, 08/09/05 06:15:55 EDT

Fabien: This has worked for me in the past. I have built the frame of the mirror and then welded u edging on the sides and bottom which will then allow the mirror to slide in from the top. Makes it very easy to replace glass if needed. has three sizes. one fits 1/4 inch glass real well
- Jeff G. - Tuesday, 08/09/05 08:52:09 EDT

Sandpile & NM: I am sorry I missed that! I had been looking forward to it but I spent my weekend in PC hell - nine hours on the phone with tech supp. I wasnt able to read my emails or reply. Chuck, perhaps next time?
adam - Tuesday, 08/09/05 12:05:59 EDT

mirror: glass and metal expand & contract at different rates (usually). The bigger the mirror the bigger the problem. Be sure to leave a gap for this and if you do use adhesives, choose something that stays flexible. I would make four small retaining tabs to screw on the back and hold the glass in place. Fabien's idea is cool too.
adam - Tuesday, 08/09/05 12:12:02 EDT

errata... : erm... meant to say "Jeff's idea is cool too" - sorry bout that
adam - Tuesday, 08/09/05 12:13:11 EDT

SEM PREP: TGold-I didn't see what type of sample you are trying to examine using an SEM but in general, if the sample is metallic and not mounted in anything, it should be thourghly cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner to remove grease, oil etc. If it is mounted, as is the case with many metallic samples, the mounting compound should be electrically conductive, or special tape can be used to provide an electrical path between the sample and the sample holder. You should probably consult with an expeinced SEM tech to find out what is required for your specific situation.

Patrick Nowak - Tuesday, 08/09/05 12:47:09 EDT

Dragon hood ornament: Tim S.
You had asked for pictures of the infamous Barbie on the dragon. it is posted as the last couple of photos in the "Possum's Hammer-in 2005" on
Have a peek.
ThomasP, eat you heart out. I may not have a truly disreputable hat, but boy is the truck disreputable!
At Possum's hammer-in a gagle of teenage girls stopped and posed for pictures with the dragon, one even got her picture taken kissing the dragon!
ptree - Tuesday, 08/09/05 17:30:01 EDT

Ralph: Certainly Anderson in Houston is one of the world's best. They awe installing a proton beam treatment facility there now. At Loma Linda Medical center in California they have had amazing success treating various brain cancers with the proton beam. Check with them. Google protons Loma Linda. I saw some amazing results while I was there for prostate treatment. Anderson just hired my Doc from Loma Linda.
John Odom - Tuesday, 08/09/05 18:45:03 EDT

dragons: ptree so how does one apply for dragon duty? ( grin)
Ralph - Tuesday, 08/09/05 19:42:34 EDT

N.M. SMITHS: ADAM--I will be back over there one of these days. Don't when, but will gover sometime.--Sorry I did not get to meet you..

We stayed at the City of Gold. That should be pretty close to you.Grin.---Mucho Caudo!!!!

sandpile - Tuesday, 08/09/05 21:05:05 EDT

RANT alert: adam-- PC hell-- I, too, have recently had a brush or two with this condition, and I think what's going on is the Megacorp has at last set up a system where we cannot reach them with our pesky trivial complaints and all they have to do is cash our checks. My brolinlaw got on my computer to bid on a boat on Ebay, wiping out my registration and now Ebay is convinced I am he and no amount of pleading will convince them ro restore me to being I. The remdedy, sez Ebay, is, if I am really I, then I should clear my cache, whatever that is, and do a whole new registration. Fie, say I, then I will have to re-register at lebenty-dozen other sites where I have forgotten my username and passwords. No, I tell Ebay, your vaunted security stinks (elsewise how could he have gotten me so bollixed up, hmmmm?) and I will do my scrounging heneceforth at garage sales. Meanwhile, my server won't answer the phone, all the while assuring me that I am caller number one and the average waiting time is one minute, keeping me on hold for nearly half an hour... world without end Amen. How'd those cats ever do it with just quill pens and inkwells, I wonder? Email, the Net, faxes, voicemail, cell phones, answering machines-- communication? Hah, more like the great electronic DO Not Disturb.
Miles Undercut - Tuesday, 08/09/05 23:16:39 EDT

thanks.....: thanks for yours answers, Jeff and Adam.....
Fabien - Wednesday, 08/10/05 06:31:29 EDT

Fabien: You are welcome.

Miles, I have a similar problem with ebay and have never resolved it. I now have a neighbor bid for me when I need something.
- Jeff G. - Wednesday, 08/10/05 07:56:02 EDT

Miles Rant: I commiserate. That seems a strange ID theft (or maybe not so, nowadays). Juanita calls a telephone hold a "molasses hold".
Frank Turley - Wednesday, 08/10/05 09:54:19 EDT

Frank-- Not exactly a theft, more of an overstrike, I guess. He just used my computer and Ebay put him on the roster as coming from here instead of me, is all. Ebay insists it cannot do a thing about it on account of passwords, it avers, are all locked away in a deep, impenetrable vault. Uh huh. Jeff-- I have thought about that, but I think given the total indifference I've run into with Ebay that I won't risk any larger stakes with them. No recourse whatever in case of trouble. Nor do the Feds care re: wire and postal fraud violations involving Ebay's usually nickel & dime-scale transactions. Maybe I will just eschew long-distance commerce and do face to face barter.
Miles Undercut - Wednesday, 08/10/05 10:48:59 EDT

Fabien: When we use to fabricate mirrors we used a small offset clip, It was screwed to the frame in several places after the mirror was installed. We also use a backer board ( thin presswood )to protect the mirrors silverbacking, one scratch and it’s warranty time. But since so many people got in to the business, we have since dropped that line. oh yeah we are a furniture MFG, , "come on down" check us out on the Price is Right. They use some of our product on their show. Shamless plug
daveb - Wednesday, 08/10/05 13:39:05 EDT

Ralph, ever since my 16 year old son saw the teen girls go nuts over the dragon, he has been pulling guard duty without prompting:) I have a second dragon made for my daughters first car, and am considering mounting it on the old Lincoln engine driven welder I have. That way, when towing it down the road I will have a matched set. I do have to figure who to have riding the second dragon though.
ptree - Wednesday, 08/10/05 16:44:49 EDT

sand', sounds like a tig rod...
- rugg - Thursday, 08/11/05 00:46:37 EDT

rod: RUGG--Thanks I know you have to get it too hot to work on spur rowells.BOG.. Some one brought in about twenty five or thirty of them. I don't know what I am going to do them. Trade them for something I guess.Grin.
sandpile - Thursday, 08/11/05 12:16:38 EDT

Miles password: It is entirely possible that E-Bay can not recover your password.

Any computer system designed with security in mind (darn near anything but Microsoft) will run the password through a one-way hashing algorithm.

In this way, by hashing the password you (or your computer) enter, it can confirm that you have entered the correct password, but there is no possibility of anyone stealing your password from the server.

If you have no idea as to what your password is, it might maybe be possible to convince them to reset your password. However, I don't remember E-Bay asking for information for identity confirmation when I registered (it was a LONG time ago.)

I have always believed that allowing the browser to retain ANY information from session to session is a bad idea. This especially includes usernames and passwords. Even if you are usually the only one who uses the computer. Because there will surely be an exception which will surely foul things up.
John Lowther - Thursday, 08/11/05 15:36:19 EDT

John Lowther-- Loyalty is always touching, nay, moving to behold. I find it especially so when the fealty is to a crocque like Ebay. Many thanks for sharing, and for your input. My broinlaw went through Ebay's vaunted security system like Sherman through Georgia, is all. They are flooding me with enough crapola, thank you.
Miles Undercut - Thursday, 08/11/05 16:45:27 EDT

how to stop a coke forge choking itself with ash: hi my name is jon rowland.and i work a blacksmith forge making heavy gate furniture.we recently had a biforcated fan fitted to the stack to take away the fumes and dust.
but its created a new problem.
now the forge is choking on the heavyier ash particles,and causing the tweer to burn away.
should the brickwork around the heart of the fire have holes in for the ash to fall thru and be caught in some kind of tray.
i should say that this forge has been built more or less as a diy job,not proffessionally.and we are not sure what the full specs of a coke forge should be
thanx jon
- john rowland - Thursday, 08/11/05 17:33:58 EDT

Coke fire: Are you familiar with cast iron firepots or "fire bowls". The ones for coke only, are a little shallower than the ones for green coal. The firepot has a rotating tuyere valve or "clinker breaker" and an ash barrel below to catch ash. Check Centaur and others using the NAVIGATE menu on the right of this page. Scroll to the advertisers' section.
Frank Turley - Thursday, 08/11/05 17:57:39 EDT

rugg: i have a very good condition #10 edwards shear. the shears are in excellent condition. it is way heavy. i have not used it like i thought i would. if anyone is interested, let me know.
rugg - Thursday, 08/11/05 18:32:16 EDT

John Lowther-- Which is not to suggest in any way that I consider your thoughtful and expert contributions equivalent to Ebay's disingenuousnesses. (Is that a word? I hope so.) I just simply find the notion that Ebay cannot with a few keystrokes set things back the way they were preposterous. They just don't want to bother. Too expensive. Much cheaper-- for them-- to flood me with automated Emails and for me to re-register, etc. Enough about this. I say fie on Ebay and the horse it rode in on.
Miles Undercut - Thursday, 08/11/05 18:48:02 EDT

ebay fun from the 'den: i doubt that i lost a bid because of advise given by ken or anyone else. i noticed that the word "friends" were used as a response. playing devils advocate,now. you attend an auction with a "friend" and saw a piece that you were going to make a serious run at. the friend approaches a group of people looking at the item with the owner (or auctioneer) present. friend then informs the group that the piece is actually not what it appears to be, it is more desirable. at auction, the auctioneer anounces that they have recently learned that the item is worth more than originally thought and the bidders should keep that in mind. you bid as necessary, not exceeding your limit, but you cant help but think that you may have won it with a lot less out of pocket. are you going to go to another auction with friend again?? what if friend commented that the item was worthless? how would the owner and auctioneer feel then? if someone comes this site and askes for an opinion on an item, i dont see anything wrong with that. i may not necessarily agree with the poster that sparked the controversy, but i can understand why someone would feel that way. and when it comes to ebay on heavy stuff, any break is a good one. my $0.02
rugg - Thursday, 08/11/05 19:35:48 EDT

Another $0.02: I don't think anybody has a problem with giving advice to someone who asks, and this thing with Ken was hashed out last winter.There really are 2 sides to the unsolicited advice issue, with respect to what it may ultimatly do to influence prices. If You already HAVE all the gear You are likley to buy, it would be reasuring to know that it will be selling for more than You paid for it if You need to sell to cover expenses when You are no longer able to use it. Of course those who are still building up would like prices to stay the same,at least untill they have all the stuff they need. As for bashing on anybody misrepresenting JUNK, that isn't going to hurt My feelings one bit.
Dave Boyer - Thursday, 08/11/05 23:35:32 EDT

Yumi: Mr Carter is sleeping in his house , no more with doctors. Soon he is better. But now is of little voice.
Needs praying much.

- Yumi - Friday, 08/12/05 02:42:58 EDT

SEM Prep:
Patrick, Thanks... already familiar with most of that as I've done a bit of SEM work in the past. Mostly looking for the polishing info.

Gavain, thanks loads :) The polish is about what I figured... thought someone on here would know. I'm consulting the folks I know locally as well.
- T. Gold - Friday, 08/12/05 03:56:07 EDT

Googling around for some info on colloidal silica the other day, I found references to it being used as a chemical/mechanical polish for SEM sample prep.
- Peter - Friday, 08/12/05 04:26:46 EDT

tahnks......: for your answer Daveb !
Fabien - Friday, 08/12/05 06:03:41 EDT

SEM PREP: T. Gold- You might want to get ahold of ASM handbook Volume 9 which covers Metallography and Microstructures. I would guess that it has a section on SEM work and I know if covers polishing techniques for a large variety of metals.
You could also contact Buehler. They make polishing equipment and have lots of experience polishing just about everything.

- Patrick Nowak - Friday, 08/12/05 08:06:09 EDT

Yumi Nagatia: Please give our good wishes to Mr. Carter (Timex). We are hoping he has a fast recovery and will pray for him. Please keep telling us how he is doing. Thank you.
vicopper - Friday, 08/12/05 08:22:32 EDT

one last ebay: some people go there that have never heard of anvil fire. negative questions or comments to the seller are not posted in the ad, only the ones that make the item more attractive are included. not arguing with that. a lot of stuff on ebay is junk, and as the alpha has said, some of it is manufactured with the intent on selling there and flea markets (no waruntee ((sp)). sellers that dont know what they are selling will learn the hard way, maybe, to learn and investigate; better presentation, bigger sale. i have no problem lying low and comming in at the last second. if you think that there is no such thing as shills on ebay, you are wrong. it is unusual that only one buyer knows what is going on. i am always looking for a steal; the shipping costs are a primary reason. topic getting redundant. i am surprised that people have been this sensitive. getting bent by text/visual input only??
rugg - Friday, 08/12/05 10:17:07 EDT

SEM Prep: Patrick - good idea about checking with Buehler. Two othe companies that sell a lot of sample prep equipment for metallography are Struers and Leco. They both have good lab support.
- Gavainh - Friday, 08/12/05 12:12:58 EDT

SEM Prep:
Thanks, guys! I'll look for the relevant ASM volume at the library, and check out the relevant companies online.
T. Gold - Friday, 08/12/05 16:03:16 EDT

Miles: I'm not defending E-bay. Maybe providing an Information Systems perspective on it, but. . .

The reason for your problem with E-Bay is that you let your browser manage your passwords and don't know what they are. E-Bay is exacerbating that by not providing a mechanism for recovering or resetting your password. If you knew your user name and password, you could manually log into E-Bay.

I don't get much mail from E-bay, but I do remember having to configure that a while back. IIRC it was a pain that required going through about fortyleven screens.

Please forgive me, I've been programming since the 70s, and security has been a consideration for every program I have written since my student days. I am always perplexed when people don't exercise the most obvious precautions.

IIRC Internet Exploder started the nonsense of the browser managing passwords and now all the major browsers have this very, VERY bad, very insecure feature. At least on Firefox it's easy to turn off. (tools, options, privacy, saved passwords, uncheck the remember passwords box.)

A few basic notes on computer security:


Password construction:

A simple way to create a password which is very hard to guess and easy to remember is to select a phrase you won't forget, for example: "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want." and use the initials for your password. In this case the password would be "TLims,Isnw." I include the punctuation marks and capitalization to make it more secure. If that doesn't seem secure enough add a series of digits from a constant you won't forget: Pi, square root of two, the density of iron, your birth date, etc., etc., ad nauseum.

Another way people like to make passwords is to select a pattern of keys on the keyboard and increment the pattern as they are required to change their password. Example: "1qaz-PLgk"
John Lowther - Friday, 08/12/05 16:37:28 EDT

OOPS: The HTML filter deleted everything between the less than sign in my first password example to the greater than sign in my second. Lets try that example where I don't hit the filter: On my keyboard "1qaz(IJNey" would be an easy to remember pattern which would be succeeded by "2wsx)OKMru"

The HTML filter is a security feature which has doubtlessly saved the great guru a vast amount of time fixing this page.
John Lowther - Friday, 08/12/05 16:55:38 EDT

John Lowther-- I appreciate your thoughtful efforts to ease my suffering. However, I did not forget my username. Or my password. My broinlaw used this computer to log in using his user name, then entered his own password to view his recent dealings. He poked around on Ebay, chatted a bit with some vendors, and the net result is that Ebay's computer now thinks this is his computer, that I am he, and refuses to accept my password as valid. In the ensuing hiatus, punctuated by automated Emails from Ebay imploring me to clear my cache and re-register, I have had a long cogitation on the matter and have decided what this is is, a message from That Great Vendor in the Sky, who is trying to tell me that in Her opinion, Ebay is a lot of bilge, nothing more than a three-card monte game or, more accurately in the argot of con games, a Big Store, disguised as a reputable business, with a few honest games for window dressing to pull the marks in. One has obviously no security dealing with or through them, and absolutely no recourse when stung. The feds-- with their many laws re: postal and wire fraud, could care less. Sooooo, not being one to argue with The Great Vendor.... Thanks again, however, for your analysis. Let's talk about Jock setting up a used tools page in his spare time.
Miles Undercut - Friday, 08/12/05 17:17:10 EDT

Let's move on. This seemingly endless colloquy re: my mishap with Ebay and somebody's gripe re: somebody's sniping on Ebay is wearing me down. And betcha dime I am not alone. Look: I have a friend who has bought two extremely valuable cars, a couple of ditto motorcycles, an antique edition of the Encyclopedia Brittanica, an ancient fire extinguisher stamped with the name of the univresity we both attended centuries ago, all with no problems, loves it. Me, I got nicked on a buck and a quarter Chew Red Man belt buckle and would never go back. This is what makes horse racing. Who cares? This site is about smiting. Onward!
Miles Undercut - Saturday, 08/13/05 00:33:32 EDT

Smiting...: I did very little tonight. My wif convinced me it would be a bad idea to fire-up the forge, since this is just about the most miserable day we've had this summer. Restricted myself to cold work; drilling, countersinking, sawing and other operations where I could stand in front of the window fan at the vise or at the drill press in the well-ventilated tobacco barn (in front of another fan).

I did waltze up our road through the swamp to check the lumbering operations for the farm this morning, though. Only a mile walk, but even by 10:00 it was heavy going.

Well, when you live between the swamp and the river in the Southern Maryland tidewater without air conditioning (except the kid's play room and the bed rooms) you get used to it. Being a tall, skinney sort doesn't hurt either. :-)

A hot and humid night on the banks of the lower Potomac.

Nice article on our new longship:
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Saturday, 08/13/05 22:18:54 EDT

ATLI--The high here today was in the low sixtys.. We have had four inches of rain in the last two days.--WONDERFULL..

Been doing some forging and bladesmithing. Sure felt good to be able to fire up the forge without melting down.grin.

I had a hard time getting the stainless to go the right direction. Had to put it in the vise and torch heat, to get it to go where I wanted. Finally got it, but then had a bunch of filing to do, to cover up the tracks.grin.

Miles I have need for someone to do some buying on the internet for me.BOG. he heh.

You think about as much of the EBAY deal as I do.--Not much.grin.

- sandpile - Saturday, 08/13/05 22:41:50 EDT

Sandpile-- Let me know what you are after and I will watch for it-- in the classifieds!
Miles Undercut - Sunday, 08/14/05 00:02:36 EDT

MILES: I really hope 8/27 is doable for you. I fully understand your request. No problemo, mi hermano.
3dogs - Sunday, 08/14/05 01:57:21 EDT

Yesterday was in the high 90's in Louisville,(both temp/humidity) and boy was it a lousy day to work in a city block sized tin shed with 30 or so tons of steel either being heated to forge or cooling back down. Mandatory OT for all:(
This morning, somewhat cooler after heavy weather last night, so off to smile as I heat tiny amounts of steel by comparison to forge in my tiny little shop:)
ptree - Sunday, 08/14/05 09:08:23 EDT

3dogs-- I must have missed something... sorry!!... what's 8/27?
Miles Undercut - Sunday, 08/14/05 10:50:05 EDT

8/27 another Santa Fe gettogether: 3-dogs comes to Albuturkey occasionally, as he has relatives there to visit. He desires to have a smitely meeting similar to the one we had when Sandpile came to town. August 27 is a Saturday that will work. Again, I will try to be the liaison. Stay tuned.
Frank Turley - Sunday, 08/14/05 11:52:23 EDT

flipper: TANNER just finsihed another flipper--Pa Pa helped some but less each time. He is still having a little trouble with hammer control. He has to stop, take out his dings and start again.BOG.

I am surprised each time he makes something. Pleasant surprise-GRIN- he is nine years old.

I have a hard time staying back out of his way.LOL. BUUTT he has to do it his self, in order to learn. He will not stay interested if I help him to much.

Ain't life a peach. Just love watching this little guy learn and grow.

sandpile - Sunday, 08/14/05 17:56:15 EDT

I know what you mean. Mine are my children, no grandkids yet, but the same fun watching them learn. Took my two youngest to Possum's hammerin in Salem In. The youngest, a tiny, petite 13 asked possum to show her how to make a heart skewer. She was doing well, but I stepped out to prevent my "helping". She did just fine, and with a bit of practice she has a demo seller.
Makes life a lot sweeter, don't it!
ptree - Sunday, 08/14/05 21:28:17 EDT

3dogs-- I will be there 8/27, I hope. Now, tell me what my request is that you understand? Something got dropped here, I suspect, or I was absent that day, or something. Fret not, though-- we'll get it worked out.
Miles Undercut - Monday, 08/15/05 00:20:22 EDT

Used tools page:
I have one sort of built. . . Needs rules written, some final formating and will be based on the honor system. Those without honor may find out how tight the blacksmith community is. . .

Beeen trying to launch since spring. . --it happens.
- guru - Monday, 08/15/05 11:37:49 EDT

This past Sat. I was able to break free from the honey do list long enough to attend a wonderful hammerin in the Bedford/Leesville area of Va. Got to see some Great folks, the Guru included there, and a AWESOME demo with lots of forge welding involved. I had to leave early, but when I got to go home and try it out my first weld stuck! Then I went to perform the 2nd weld I noticed I had used the last of my borax:( More flux on the way, and will get the job finished for a nice anniversery present. All in all, it was Great fun!
- dragonboy - Monday, 08/15/05 13:19:49 EDT

used tool page............: how do we get there jock............... didnt see it on the menu ......
blacklionforge - Monday, 08/15/05 16:34:05 EDT

used tool page is not up. At least that is how I read Jocks post.
Ralph - Monday, 08/15/05 21:47:18 EDT

Does there really need to be a separate page for sale items? Couldn't we just post here stuff for sale, with a percentage to the estimable Guruissimo to cover renting the room, demurrage, etc.? This would entail some hunting through the page, but so what?
Miles Undercut - Tuesday, 08/16/05 21:07:42 EDT

Miles, a seperate page is more work, but I am betting that a one location page will draw more users
Ralph - Tuesday, 08/16/05 22:49:52 EDT

Ralph-- You are doubtless correct. Still, seems to me, until the Guruissimo whomps up a SALE page, sellers could put the words "For Sale" into the subject box of their postings. Lustful seekers after bargain goodies hip to using the "Find on this page" feature in the Edit drop-down box would thus readily turn up the items.
Miles Undercut - Wednesday, 08/17/05 09:09:41 EDT

True enough Miles.
I know that at least one or two other smithing web sites have done a page such as Guru is talking. But I do not know what kind of traffic they get.
All things in time.

Ralph - Wednesday, 08/17/05 12:59:16 EDT

Timex: Well after a LLOONNGG stay in the hospice I'm back. You would think that doctors would talk or at least look at the drugs that they or other doctors have you on. My thoasic and my cardio doctors mis mached my meds and darn near killed me. " One pill makes you makes your bigger, one pill makes you small" kinda stuff. But now that I'm at home again I can recoup and get my shop strait again.
Thank for the well wishes and prayers guys. Me and a young lady are greatfull.

TIMEX and SPARKS aka Yumi
- Timex - Thursday, 08/18/05 01:06:59 EDT

Timex: Really good to hear you're back home again, brother! Take good care of yourself, will you? And thanks to Yumi for keeping us updated.
vicopper - Thursday, 08/18/05 08:29:13 EDT

Timex:: Yes, very glad to hear you are mending despite the doctor's best efforts.
adam - Thursday, 08/18/05 09:51:17 EDT

Good to see you on the mend.
ptree - Thursday, 08/18/05 17:41:30 EDT

forks from forklift: Hello, I have a bunch of forks that are getting scraped. Just would like to know if the metal is good for you all
- ken kristiansen - Thursday, 08/18/05 18:35:16 EDT

forks: some are 1 7/8" x 4" x 40" long. can cut to size
ken kristiansen - Thursday, 08/18/05 18:37:31 EDT

Where are the forks located?
- John Odom - Thursday, 08/18/05 19:54:21 EDT

ken kristiansen - Thursday, 08/18/05 20:32:00 EDT

Yes forge are good for improvised anvils, tooling, hammer dies being often 4140 or other tough heat treatable steel.

Due to their large size it usually takes a pretty well tooled shop to actually forge them into other things though.

Thomas P - Thursday, 08/18/05 22:57:01 EDT

Tool alert-- Garrett Wade, the L.L. Bean of the gentlemen's cabinetmaking tool world (I always feel as if I ought to be wearing a thatchy grousehunting jacket with leathern elbow patches and smoking my best Charatan whilst-- love them Brit words, love 'em!-- browsing their site) has a deal on farriery hammers that is almost too good to be true and maybe it is. A rounding hammer and a claw, each for under $20!!! The catch: Chinese. Caveat emptor. But who knows. They also have some nifty shivs scattered about the site, including a utility knife with a laminated (not quite Damascus, but pretty anyway) Japanese blade. I get no commission. This is a public service announcement.
Miles Undercut - Friday, 08/19/05 01:12:33 EDT

Miles: Not exactly how I had pictured you. I envisioned you in a Deerstalker, getting buzzed with a calabash full of Latakia. (Wicked stuff, that.)Quite looking forward to lunch and chat next Saturday.
3dogs - Friday, 08/19/05 02:36:19 EDT

latakia ?????: isnt that stuff cured by being smoked over camel dung ??????
blacklionforge - Friday, 08/19/05 06:33:32 EDT

Latakia: Nope, urban (or rural) myth. It is smoked like a ham, or lapsang souchong tea, or good Scotch. GOOD stuff when used as less than 50% of a blend, a bit harsh if overdone.

Hmmm... This evening I may have to break out the giant meerschaum and fill it with a nice balkan blend, but it's too hot to wear the nifty satin smoking jacket and fez...
Alan-L - Friday, 08/19/05 09:59:10 EDT

Those hammers are calling to me. I double-checked and the rounding hammer is $17-something, the claw under $11! You can do wonders in setting loss leaders when you are working with slave labor, I guess. Isn't Balkan Sobranie Latakia? Great stuff. How can anything that smells that good be bad for you, I wondered last night when a guy at my table fired up the first Lucky Strike I have seen in years. Ditto on the lunch!
Miles Undercut - Friday, 08/19/05 10:02:26 EDT

You're probably right, and why take a chance? I've had a half-ton jib crane on the back of my truck for close to 10 years held down with two 1/2-inch allthread U=bolts to the frame, no mishaps-- yet. But not quite the same.
Miles Undercut - Friday, 08/19/05 10:05:53 EDT

The first person who strolls into my forge wearing a satin smoking jacket and a fez and introduces himself as Rocky Roccoco will be banned for life as a safety hazard!

BTW I meant "forks" not forges up a post or two.

Thomas P - Friday, 08/19/05 11:01:03 EDT

Divorce sale: Divorce of friend forces sale of shop. 100# central machine works power hammer from closed GM plant. Also 50# little giant hammer. Both are in use now. $3500 for the CMW and $2500 for the little giant. 765-397-3887 after 6pm
- Stiffy - Friday, 08/19/05 11:15:02 EDT

Tom TSafety glasses warning!!!: My old pair of safety glasses broke, so I grabbed another pair of safety glasses at the outdoor/sports store near my house. They were wraparound shooting glasses, and rated for impact resistance, so I figured they would work fine. However, the problem wasn't with the impace resistance, but with the shape of the lense.

The rounded shape of the lense magnified the glow of the forge, much as a magnifying glass magnifies the sun to start a piece of paper on fire.

In this case, it was a weak effect, but enough to to cause some flash burn style injury. It looks like I have to small blisters on each eye, in about the same location from the glasses. I only hope that I don't have some permanent damage. Thankfully my wife was there to notice the problem. Keep an eye on those eyes.
- Tom T - Friday, 08/19/05 14:52:30 EDT

Stiffy amd just where is the 765 area? A bit expensive to ship a long distance...And is that 6pm UTC? Pacific?

Thomas P - Friday, 08/19/05 15:08:41 EDT

Lapsang Souchong Tea: What, there's somebody else out there with a weakness for "the tea that smells like a forge"?

I've cut back a bit since the doc "Roto-Routered" my lower plumbing and removed some not-quite-but-soon-to-be-dangerous stuff, but I still hit it once or twice a week at work. Helps put things into perspective!
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Friday, 08/19/05 15:26:06 EDT

Rocky Roccoco: I would have thought you were a bit too young to even know of the Firesign Theater, Thomas. Or Rocky Roccoco or Betty Jo Bialowski, or any of the rest of them.
vicopper - Friday, 08/19/05 15:58:34 EDT

AC 765: Thomas, I Googled the number and got 2 references, one was a private residence, and the other was a website for Fair and Festival entertainers. If you scroll down a ways you get the picture of the future unwed Brother.
3dogs - Friday, 08/19/05 16:32:23 EDT

OOPS: I should have mentioned, 765 is in Indiana.
3dogs - Friday, 08/19/05 16:34:36 EDT

vicopper; I'll be 50 next year and much preferred Firesign to Cheech and Chong---you're lucky you still have your brown paper sack! May I take your hat and goat?

Thomas P - Friday, 08/19/05 16:48:16 EDT

HABERDASHERY: 3DOGS--Concerning MILE'S choice of Clothing. He seems more suited to wool and buckskins than silk and finery. In large,,long sizes.BOG

A pipe would not surprise anyone.GRIN

sandpile - Friday, 08/19/05 18:38:11 EDT

BLADES: MILES/FRANK--Anyone in SANTA FE, have a forge, sanders or grinders capable working a blade down after forging??

Miles, You seemed interested in making a knife.. If we can make it back up there, the week-end of the 27th. We might get a blade ready for a handle. Would not have time to handle it.

If anyone is interested??

Just a thought.

sandpile - Friday, 08/19/05 19:14:15 EDT

Santa Cruz: Any Blacksmiths in the Santa Cruz, CA area? I'm going down there for a week tomorrow, and I would like to visit any smiths down there.
- Nolan Chase - Friday, 08/19/05 20:53:17 EDT

Forks: ken kristiansen ... Where in New Jersey (are the forks)?
- Dave Hammer - Friday, 08/19/05 21:47:03 EDT

Thomas P.: I liked the flip side the best, actually. I always wanted to go shopping at Ralph Spoilsport Motors.

Somewhere, I have three of their albums on CD. I'm afraid my ex-wife has the vinyls. Along with my gen-u-wine transparent yellow Fuggs album and a few other treasures I neglected to grab on my way out the door. Ain't love grand? (grin)
vicopper - Friday, 08/19/05 21:48:34 EDT

Sandpile-- many thanks! The full resources of Entropy Research are at your disposal if nothing better to work in turns up. What I have here is a gas forge (woods too dry to risk a coal fire), a Square Wheel 72-inch belt grinder, 4-inch angle grinder, 9-inch Wildcat ditto. HOWEVER, and this is a BIG however, the shop is so jammed with stuff that it is basically a tool shed and work happens out of doors. Too tight for a good demo, in other words.
Miles Undercut - Saturday, 08/20/05 00:08:37 EDT

I forgot the 50-pound Mayer Bros., oxy-acetylene, stick and MIG.
Miles Undercut - Saturday, 08/20/05 00:13:48 EDT

Would suggest brown-bagging lunch if a shivaree is going to happen. Or going into extra innings and doing the bladesmiting Sunday. I am long way from La Choza. Going there from here and back would blow a huge hole in the day.
Miles Undercut - Saturday, 08/20/05 00:19:02 EDT


My forge is open after the meal, but I don't have wonderful belts for finishing. A little vertical Kalamazoo, a 4
- Frank Turley - Saturday, 08/20/05 06:39:40 EDT

Message got cropped: ...4" flat belt w/optional vertical disc, Makita 21" hand held belt sander w/platen, Scotchbrite wheel. No contact wheels. We shouldn't hope for a mirror finish.

And then there is draw filing.

Forges abound.
Frank Turley - Saturday, 08/20/05 06:44:01 EDT

Clay Spencer?: Does anyone have any recent contact info for Clay Spencer? I tried a couple email addresses, and, and both bounced.
- Marc - Saturday, 08/20/05 07:48:05 EDT

Santa Cruz Smiths: If you mean Sta Cruz California, look up Tony Majors in Los Gatos. He is a smith, founder and fabricator.
- John Odom - Saturday, 08/20/05 08:36:53 EDT

Clay Spencer:

This page has a phone listing for him which appears to be current. Don't know for sure.
- Jeff G. - Saturday, 08/20/05 12:12:07 EDT

BLADES: FRANK/MILES-- I just threw that in. If there was/is enough interest in the methods I use. If not, no harm. I would be just as interested in some thing y'all wanted to make or demo.Grin.. I am interested in any thing made from scratch, wood/metal, silver/stone, leather/beads. I just flat like quality craftsmanship in any form or fashion.

sandpile - Saturday, 08/20/05 14:03:28 EDT

Clay Spencer: Thanks, Jeff. That number worked.
- Marc - Saturday, 08/20/05 15:19:59 EDT

Lapsang: Atli: Yup! I'm not allowed to make it in the house, and so I haven't had it in years, but it used to be a favorite. I loved it when folks said "What in the HECK are you drinking?"
Alan-L - Saturday, 08/20/05 16:38:34 EDT

North Country Canada: Hi all from the north. Summer been good to me. Lots of shows. Same shows next year. Will post them in the early spring. Mattawa Ontario Canada is the best one. Camping extra. One coming in Spet long weekend Farm show in Powasson. Free to all smiths. Think camping and have a ball.

Cheers........... Barney from Ontario Canada
Barney - Saturday, 08/20/05 17:05:24 EDT

Barney-- a friend who recently went back to visit his-- and my wife's-- native land says he saw a sign for a blacksmith's shop for sale in Davidson, Saskatchewan.
Miles Undercut - Saturday, 08/20/05 18:59:11 EDT

Sandpile-- FYI-- two Emails to you re: Saturday via the Email address that comes up here.
Miles Undercut - Saturday, 08/20/05 20:25:20 EDT

Rivets: A friend and I may bid part of a job restoring an old wrought iron truss bridge. The part they want us to do is put in about 3000 rivets. Probably 7/16 dia. We don't want to head those the way we do in the shop. I know there is probably a tool we could use in the field. What am I looking for and where would I find it? We will be at quad state if any of you have something that would work and you are coming. Yes this is one of those jobs that nobody wants so we are going to bid high if we bid
- Jeff G. - Saturday, 08/20/05 22:10:05 EDT

riviets: Didn't the building workers use a 3 man operaation ( mebbe 4) the heater who tossed the hot rivet to the catcher then he or someone else placed it and the last fellow used a bucking tool and body weight to hold in place while a sledge was used. Later on I think I read that they used something like a pneumatic header. Like a needle gun used to chip paint.
But then again I am going on memory here and I am liable to be incorrect
Ralph - Saturday, 08/20/05 22:45:12 EDT

Rivets: As Ralph said, 1 person bucking and another with an air hammer [larger than the ones usually found in garages] was the way the rivets have been headed for 100+ years. If You can, You could use a hydraulic driven rivet yoke, but there will be many places that it would take a REALLY BIG ONE to reach.
Dave Boyer - Saturday, 08/20/05 23:43:25 EDT

Rivet heading. A large pnuematic chipping hammer, with a special tool for heading was often used. It is applied with a motion the would have the gun to describe a cone, with the rivet head the apex. If there is a boiler repair shop around, they can maybe show you their tube heading air gun. this would be the same gun, different tool. Getting a tool that will stand up to the heat and impact at the head, yet stand up to the gun impact at the other end is the hardest challenge from what the boiler guys tell me.
ptree - Sunday, 08/21/05 08:32:48 EDT

rivet gun: i have a large railroad style airhammer/rivet header..... if interested please drop me an email...........
blacklionforge - Sunday, 08/21/05 09:19:37 EDT

Rivets: Thank you guys for your input. We will probably drive up to look at the bridge this week. It has been in storage for a number of years and is about two hours from here. Blacklion, I will contact you about that after we look at the project.
Jeff G. - Monday, 08/22/05 07:33:07 EDT

bellows: Hi, can anyone out there direct me to information on cylindrical bellows. I am alright for information concerning all and every other form of bellows. It is just the cylindrical bellows made of leather and wood with the cast iron frames that I am curious about. They appear to have at least three chambers, and I cannot figure out how they work!
- Dan P. - Monday, 08/22/05 14:26:25 EDT

Dan P. Bellows: I can't envision exactly what you have in mind, especially the cast iron frame portion. Marc Simmons and I talked about an early Spanish Colonial style dating from the 1600s, in our book "Southwestern Colonial Ironwork". We called it the "concertina bellows". There were two cylinders of rawhide with wooden hoops spaced inside. There was a leather flap valve for each cylinder on the operator's side.
Frank Turley - Monday, 08/22/05 20:05:58 EDT

Cylindrical Bellows:
There was also the little round foot operated type made around the turn of the 20th century. Always looked MUCH too small to me to be of practical use.

THEN there is the Japanese style bellows. Although all the pictures I have seen in blacksmithing literature show a rectangular box I have a video of one that is a long cylinder. These have no reservoir but the double action assures a fairly constant air supply.

I have also seen Italian style bellows which had a rectangular air reservoir above a standard tear drop shaped or rectangular bellows. These often sat on a table like frame with the reservoir on top. The air reservoir had beautifuly pleated corners and sides in the accordian like folded leather.

There were MANY odd factory made bellows designs and even more one offs. Someone recently wanted to know how a cylindrical water bellows worked. . . Just like a common bellows except the water acted as a piston seal the same as a large floating natural gas reservoir.
- guru - Monday, 08/22/05 21:39:52 EDT

Sorry about incomplete infi on power hammers.: The power hammers are located in Kingman Indiana. 40 miles south of Laffeytte and 40 miles north of TerreHaute. Its hard to catch me by phone. My email address is I will possibly have forge,anvil, leather stitching machine, Reising surface grinder. and johnson 4 burner lp gas forge with blower and regulator. That is me on the web site 3 dogs, handsome devil Yes? I can make a little better deal if some one wants it all and will come and get it.
Stiffy - Monday, 08/22/05 22:25:37 EDT

cylindrical bellows: I have a suspicion that cylindrical bellows never made it to the americas. They are rather victorian in appearance, usually made in birmingham, UK, and are an "improved" version of the teardrop bellows. I have used them, they work very well, but at the time it did not occur to me to really try and figure out how they work. I have a picture of one. Let me see if I can post it somewhere.
Dan P. - Tuesday, 08/23/05 07:51:34 EDT

Forge welding?!: I need some tips for forge welding HC steel.
- packrat_red - Tuesday, 08/23/05 08:05:09 EDT

Packrat_red: I use mostly coal forges. High carbon should not be heated above a sweating heat into a sparking heat. It will crumble and/or crack at a sparking heat. A sweating heat is the proper welding heat to use in an ordinary shop situation. The surface will have molten scale on it (or molten scale/flux), so that it looks wet. The color is a bright "yellow-white". If you're welding HC to mild steel or wrought iron, you still weld all at a sweating heat.
Frank Turley - Tuesday, 08/23/05 08:56:37 EDT

NB; if the high carbon is also a high alloy steel---you didn't say---you may need a more aggreessive flux as well to deal with Cr or Ni oxides, the addition of small ammounts of fluourspar is used but be warned the fumes are more toxic than "normal" forge welding.

Thomas P - Tuesday, 08/23/05 09:53:31 EDT

Forge welding?!: I'm going to try forge welding HC to mild for a camp hatchet. I'm going to work at westville in a couple of months so I mine as well learn forge welding...
- packrat_red - Tuesday, 08/23/05 11:00:41 EDT

historic blacksmith shops in Oregon: Hi! I am an architect working for Collier Memorial State Park in Southern Oregon. I am designing an historic replica of a blacksmith shop that would have existed in a logging camp between the years of 1860-1880. I am having trouble figuring out what type of forge would have been used. This would have been a semi-permanent structure (light-framed) so it could be moved when the logging camp disbanded so I do not necessarily think that they would have used a masonry forge. Also, I am not sure as to the best placement of the forge within the shop. Any input would be greatly appreciated!
Kristin - Tuesday, 08/23/05 13:10:55 EDT

Probable Forge:

At this time bellows (about 3 feet by 5 feet) were most common. The fuel of the time/place would have been charcoal. A temporary forge would have been constructed in several ways.

1) Earth and rock piled up with a clay lined "fire pot" the blast from the bellows entering from the side. Over time this would have been improved with a dry mason or wood covering.

2) A heavy wood framed affair like a table filled with earth (for insulation) and a site made clay fire pot as above.

3) A heavy wood framed affair with a sheet steel bottom and steel protcting the wood. Soil, fuel and ash from fires would have provided some insulation to protect the wood.

4) A commercial cast iron and steel forge. These would have been available during the last part of your time period. These had a wind breaker hood and would use common stove pipe. Instead of a bellows they had a hand crank blower. They broke down and moved fairly easily. These are no longer manufactured so you would have to find and old one for your museum.

The important thing about charcoal forges is that the smoke is very clean and all you need is good ventilation in the eves of the structure or large shuttered windows for ventilation. You cannot do this with mineral coal. To burn coal you must have a stack. When a "rude" stack was needed it would have been a "mud an wattle" type (wood logs and sticks held together by knotching and sealed and lined with clay.

This was a period of great change and it is probable that forges were abandonded when it was time to move. The only thing taken would have been the bellows. Between #3 and #4 above it is possible that they would have used a cast iron fire pot designed for cast iron forges but in an earthen forge. When the cast iron and steel forges were used they would have been moved with the rest of the equipment.
- guru - Tuesday, 08/23/05 14:14:32 EDT

Actually I doubt charcoal was the fuel used in the 1860-1880 time frame. I know that the Hudson Bay company attemped many times with different 'experts' to find a good charcoal wood in the COulumbia District of the CO. Which was from the Artic Circle to Northern California. ALl the charcoal produced was WAY inferior and so as a result coal was brought in.
Of course perhaps they used what was there. But other contemporary shops in the basic same area and time used coal.
Ralph - Tuesday, 08/23/05 17:03:55 EDT

forks: the forks are in Paterson New Jersey
- ken kristiansen - Tuesday, 08/23/05 18:20:48 EDT

Dan P :Cylindrical Bellows -- Without seeing the remains of one I will speculate. If A round cilinder is mounted with the axis verticle, smaller cilinders could be fitted in from the top and bottom and sealed with a "Roll Sock". This would be a tubular leather seal that is atached to the large and small cilinders. The function is as if You pull a sock down Your leg from the top and rather than letting it slide down and bunch up at Your ancle it just turns inside out and comes down around the outside. Flap valves like any bellows, with a valve chamber in the center of the large tube, would allow the top section to maintain flow as on a great bellows. Purely a guess. I think it would work better than a piston and pump leathers working in a cilinder. The roll sock is/was used in air suspension & airshocks.
Dave Boyer - Tuesday, 08/23/05 23:11:54 EDT

Collier Park: Kristin, Where do you live? I've demo'ed at collier before, but have a problem with the bureaucratic blankety-blank Jim that runs the place. Greg Hartell has demo'ed there for over ten years and knows more about local history than the local historians.... He's in the phone book, call him!
mike-hr - Wednesday, 08/24/05 00:45:25 EDT

Frank T : Hey guys and gals, I haven't been here for a while so forgive me if I sound odd. I am looking for info about Frank T's blacksmithing school in Arizona! Any help would be nice, thanks!
Matt - Wednesday, 08/24/05 04:45:36 EDT

Here's a link that'll take you to the site for Frank's school. By the way, define "odd" around this crowd. (grin)

Turley Forge Blacksmithing School
eander4 - Wednesday, 08/24/05 04:57:52 EDT

Sheet Steel: Back in March or so of this year I was talking about all the uses of sheet steel for blacksmithing. Some of you gave me some good answers. However, I have a question. If steel is hard to come by or you just don't have the money to go out and buy it, (such as steel bars) can you take a *sheet of steel, or a scrap *sheet of steel and heat it and bend it and then roll into a bar? Or would I be wasting my time and should I just go buy a bar of steel instead? I hope that wasn't too confusing! ;) thanks
Matt - Wednesday, 08/24/05 05:13:51 EDT

Turley Forge and Sheet Metal: If you lose Frank's web address it is listed on the guru page under "the gurus". He is also listed on our advertisers page and on the Blacksmiths Ring as well as google.

Matt, Converting sheet into bar is an expensive high material loss process. The amount spent on fuel would cancel out any gains and the quality of the material would be marginal. Besides, a LOT of work (time energy) went into turning billets of steel into sheet in the first place.

The point being that steel IS relatively easy to come by in our modern world. The planet is littered with scrap vehicals, machinery and other junk that can be recycled. However, if you had money for fuel to compact sheet into bar you have more than enough to buy good quality bar to start with. It is MUCH easier starting with the proper bar size.
- guru - Wednesday, 08/24/05 10:27:11 EDT

Turley's school is in NM btw; very talented and nice guy and a great teacher by all reports. I hope to see him Saturday when I trek up to Santa Fe to help prove in the universal conservation of scrap piles law. (helping a smith clean up his place by hauling it down to my place...)

Rolling up sheet and welding it into a bar used to be the traditionaly way of making hammer heads when wrought iron was the material of choice. They would have the faces steeled as well. It is not worth the time, energy or fuel.

Steel is really pretty cheap---I was surprised at how cheap 20' of 1/4" stock was storeboughten new and 1/4" sq stock is about the easiest stuff to learn on taking a small forge, low ammounts of fuel and a light hammer to work. I use to get all the drops from a wrought iron fab shop that I wanted and so would pick up several hundred pounds of steel *free* every month only to give it all away when I moved. I'd ask around at places that use steel about their scraps...

Thomas P - Wednesday, 08/24/05 10:34:28 EDT

Turley School: Frank's school is in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Classes are 3 weeks (Frank had plans to run some shorter courses. I dont know if they are available) and there are 5 workstations.

I attended one of his classes a few years back. If I could, I would take it every year.
adam - Wednesday, 08/24/05 10:35:27 EDT

Portable Forge, Demonstration Forge: Kristen, I stand corrected. Ralph lives in the area and works in historical reinactment. Coal it is. . . Also remember that these guys moved logs weighing MANY tons every day and "portability" is a relative term. Our company used to make portable equipment that weighed from 10 to 50 tons. . .

Another point to consider when designing a forge for a park. There is a HUGE difference between an authentic shop (usualy small dark and cramped) and what makes a good DEMONSTRATION shop. IF the shop building in question is to be used for public demonstrations you need to consider the following.

1) There needs to be a distance of 8 to 10 feet between the anvil and the audiance. This is the distance that white hot sparks often fly. This is anvil level which also happens to be eye level for small children.

2) A barrier should keep the audiance at bay and a solid barrier (low wall about 28 to 30") adds a degree of safety when sparks fly.

3) The audiance will often be school groups of up to 30. There should be good viewing space for this size group and the view not impeded.

4) The audiance area needs to be shaded and keep off rain. A simple overhang or shed roof can do the trick and not take away from the building's authenticity.

5) The smith needs room to work. This seems obvious but I have seen numerous demonstration shops that crowded the smith by trying to make room for an audiance in a space designed for one worker and maybe one helper. . . It gets HOT in a blacksmith shop and the smith often needs to get away from the forge while working.

Historicaly most blacksmith shops did not meet the above criteria except for some large farrier shops.
- guru - Wednesday, 08/24/05 10:47:54 EDT

new photo: Hi, I'm back after spending too much spare (and non-spare) time reading SciFi and other books. ;)
I just posted a new picture in the gallery of a BBQ fork I made from a railroad spike this weekend. No power hammer involved, just a couple hours or so of pounding (sharing a demonstration forge, trying to stay out of his way).
Now if I could just get busy (need more "round tuits") and assemble my own forge...
Elliott Olson - Wednesday, 08/24/05 15:04:00 EDT

Demo shops etc.: Guru is very correct on the shop requirments for demos.
At Fort vancouver we are fortunate to have had a LARGE shop to re-construct. The shop is about 25 X 35 feet.BTW this was not a 'shop' but an industrial strength factory. Has several Man doors and on wagon type door. We have 4 forges ( 2 pair sharing a brick hearth and chimney) Forges against the walls North and shouth sides. We hace a rather large area in the center chained off for the guests. and they are about 8-10 feet form the anvils. ( too close actually) so when I demo at the shop I insist that no-one do welding with guests present. Also our shop has 2 windows on the forge walls and 2 windows on the ither walls. Some light, but not enough so we designed and built tin 'lanterns' that look like the candle lanterns they had, but are in fact electric lights. ( a little movie lens film that was 'sooted' with paint and no one knows. The lights are also on a variable switch so we can vary the light level.

If your shop is to be a 'portable' one Then what ever you build just use materials that would look normal for the time. NOthing galvanized ( both for looks and also safety) nothing out of stainless. Brick would work, as would a wood and clay hearth with a cast iron firepot etc.

Also I think a lot of demo shops in parks etc if they are not replicas of what was originally there, forget about bench locations and post vise locations. Also bellows location space and slack tubs.
Basically the 'Living history' directors usually know nothing about what is required to make a working shop. So remember to plan on the other parts of equipment a smith would have required. Just make sure it looks sorta period.
As it ismost folks will not know. For instance we hace a rather nice Post drill. Hand crank. Unfortunately is was not avalible until about 20 years or more past our time frame ( 1845). But it is a great timesaver and I only know of one person calling us on it. He happent to be a mueseum curator historian type. We sxplained why and since it was in a hard to see corner most folks never know. ( smile)
Ralph - Wednesday, 08/24/05 15:21:23 EDT

I know one LH site where they suddenly decided to put a smithy in a small building that had been a coach house. It was never a good fit and worst of all the positioning of the bellows was such that the ratio on the pumping pole was not favorable.

I knew the smith there and he ended up with shoulder problems from having to *HAUL* down on the handle to pump the bellows. The one I built I could pump with my pinkie and put out more air I believe.

Thomas P - Wednesday, 08/24/05 16:28:55 EDT

A blacksmith's passing: My teacher, mentor, and friend, Ken DeRoche, passed away yesterday. He got me started in blacksmithing five years ago and we continued to hammer together. He was also a farrier for over 20 years, earning numerous awards. Most recently he was awarded a lifetime achievement award from the Southern New England Farriers Assoc.

Ken had numerous health problems, but he never let them get him down. Every setback always seemed to turn into an opportunity. When his health prevented him from shoeing, he took that as an opportunity to pass his knowledge on and started teaching both shoeing and blacksmithing.

He was at dialysis when he got chest pains and died later at the hospital of a massive coronary. And he was just scheduled for heart surgery in a couple weeks. I guess when it's your time, it's your time.

He will be missed.
- Marc - Wednesday, 08/24/05 21:13:00 EDT

Tin Shed Torture: Most movie experts and historical site staff liken a blacksmith shop to the tiny "tin" torture chamber that Alec Guinness, as Colonel Nicholson, had to enter in the movie, "The Bridge on the River Kwai".

I jest, but I'm not too far off the mark.
Frank Turley - Wednesday, 08/24/05 22:58:47 EDT

marc: sorry to hear about the loss of your friend........ egyptian's had a saying gone gone beyond the beyond all hail the traveller........ may your friend travel well..........
blacklionforge - Thursday, 08/25/05 07:45:40 EDT

primative smtihing: While we are on the subject, I do a smithing demo for a church group every year... How would I go about constructing a EXTREMELY PRIMATIVE forge, one that might have been used during the bronze-age???
- packrat_red - Thursday, 08/25/05 07:54:55 EDT

Primitive Forge: A hole in the ground, with the air supplied by a few healthy young assistants blowing through reed tubes. Or a "wineskin" type bag bellows. A pair of them, trod upon in sequence, will supply a steady enough blast.
vicopper - Thursday, 08/25/05 08:21:57 EDT

Primitive Forge: Simplier than a winskin is a simple hide covering an air pit next to the forge pit. The edges are burried with dirt to make a seal except in one place. A small tunnel connects the shallow air pit to the fire pit.

In operation the unburried corner of the hide (or wool blanket) is lifted to let in air and the middle of the hide raised to take in air (by pinching or the use of a cord attached to the center of the hide. Then the intake corner is held down and the hide slowly pressed downward to create a blast in the forge. The action is repeated over and over as needed. The smith or a helped did the "pumping". It is not difficult but is back breaking work hunched over the hide lifting and pressing for hours.

Probably there was a "shield stone", a flat rock turned on edge to shield the worker from the heat and sparks of the forge fire. Note that in Viking forges the shield stone has a hole in it for the air to blow through. In a pit forge the stone is just set on edge.

This "forge" was the ultimate in portable forges and simplicity. The only piece you would take with you is the hide and possibly a digging utensile. The forge and the rocks necessary to line the tuyeer (air passage between air pit and fire pit) likely came from the same hole depending on the soil conditions. Fuel would be deadwood unless the settlement was permanent enough to be making charcoal or if fuel was carried with the "forge" and tools.

I've seen photographs of this type forge in use by Mexican copper smiths to increase the heat of the annealing fire and by African metalworkers.

TOOLS to go with this style forge are equaly simple. A pair of pickup type tongs, a small stump anvil in a small stump that would probably be burried to set the anvil low for use sitting and an equaly small hammer.
- guru - Thursday, 08/25/05 09:47:05 EDT

Mica sheet for lamp shade: Any idea on where to find decently priced mica sheet for making lamp shades? I'm having trouble finding a supplier, even with google!
- Tom T - Thursday, 08/25/05 09:53:31 EDT

mica...: Try searching Organ for mica. I've found some around Lakeview. I use to be a total rock-hound. Scocia Bluffs in California has a good selection of aggets from all over, they sell maps to the locations of specific rocks & minerals. North Carolina has tons of rock shops. you've just got to find them.
- packrat_red - Thursday, 08/25/05 10:34:50 EDT

Primative forge: Thanks for the info. The demo this year will be alot more historicly accerate. Agin thanks alot...
- packrat_red - Thursday, 08/25/05 10:45:36 EDT

"Egyptian Metalworking and Tools" (ISBN:0747800014)
Scheel, Bernd; has lots of good info on doing it the "old way" and in the correct general area for "Biblical" stuff too!

Thomas P - Thursday, 08/25/05 11:06:54 EDT

I must admit that if either of my kids had been a boy I was going to make a strong play to have "Tubal" as one of their middle names...

Thomas P - Thursday, 08/25/05 11:08:05 EDT

Mica, cont.: The type of mica I am looking for is built up mica plate/sheet, typically used for lamp shades in which a soft amber glow is desired. There is also a 'silver' variety, which is less colored. They seem to come in sheets in the 1 ft^2 range.
- Tom T - Thursday, 08/25/05 11:35:34 EDT

Mica: Wait a few more days and then post that question again, Tom. I know that SGensh, the CSI Secretary, has a source for mica sheet. He gave me the source, but I don't have the information at hand, unfortunately. Steve is vacationing right now, but he should be back online in a few days.
vicopper - Thursday, 08/25/05 11:42:24 EDT

More Mica: Woodworker's Supply carries mica sheet.
vicopper - Thursday, 08/25/05 11:49:42 EDT

Mica: If you can find a source, I might also be interested. I have an OLD Coleman 2-mantle lantern that has a mica globe rather than glass that could use repair/replacement.
Elliott Olson - Thursday, 08/25/05 11:54:12 EDT

The mica at that site doesn't look as clear as what's in my Coleman.
Elliott Olson - Thursday, 08/25/05 11:57:58 EDT

Flying to Chicago this afternoon, #1 son graduates from Great Lakes Navy boot camp tomorrow morning.

Anyone have any plans made for the Jim Wilson Memorial toast we were talking about having at Quad State?
Brian C - Thursday, 08/25/05 12:03:46 EDT

Mica: I found Woodworker's supply last night, but their price seemed high, and their selection very slim. I see lights with mica shades all over the place, which leads me to think there would be a high volume retail outlet for that kind of stuff where you could get a variety of sizes and shapes.
- Tom T - Thursday, 08/25/05 12:36:23 EDT

hey, yesterday I clicked on a webmaster mailto: link (after registering for Slacktub Pub) to ask a question and I got a
- Elliott Olson - Thursday, 08/25/05 12:58:59 EDT

ok, let's try this again, most of the post was lost...

yesterday I clicked on a webmaster mailto: link (after registering for Slacktub Pub) to ask a question and I got a "user unknown mail bounce. I have no idea whether my regisration even went in (lack of information when clicking). How long on average do registrations take? I tried over a year ago but never got a response.
Elliott Olson - Thursday, 08/25/05 13:01:34 EDT

mica: Elliot:
Do a search for mica here. They still don't have much, but they have the "old style isinglass", which is the produce which I think you are referring to. It's a more clear variety, and commonly used for stoves.

- Tom T - Thursday, 08/25/05 15:37:34 EDT

Art and crafts fair: I'm heading over to an arts and crafts fair this weekend, which features all locally hand made items. There's also a car show this weekend at the same location. It was short notice, and I'm short on actual stock to sell. I have a few items, but not enough. So far I've got some leaf key fobs, a few bottle openers, some small plant hangars, and a couple of other odds and ends.

Does anyone have experience with what sells well at these things? I'm looking to make sales at the low end, <$15, but am having trouble coming up with items I like that I can reasonably sell in that price range. Any ideas?
- Tom T - Thursday, 08/25/05 16:12:11 EDT

Small items: Tom, have you taken a look at the iForge demos? There's a bunch of items there that could be made easily.

I make quick candle holders, letter openers and steel feathers that seem to do pretty well.

The candle holders are made from 3/8" round bar, flared and rolled into a candle cup at one end and tapered to the other end where I make a quick leaf. Coil the leaf end to make a base and you're done.

The letter openers are also made form 3/8" round bar. Draw out and taper about 10", then a short taper on the other end, which gets flattened into a blade. Bend the long taper into a skeleton handle and you're done.

The steel feathers are made form 1/2" square bar. Set down about 3/4" from two sides at one end, then taper and round to make the quill. The "blade" is made by forging a short taper on the other end, then flattening on the diamond to develop the shape. When it is almost flattened and spread enough, I do the last heat or two flattening it on a plate with a deep groove ground in it with the angle grinder. This leaves a "spine" on one side of the feather. Notch the edge in a few places, cold chisel in some lines to indicate the spicules and you're done.
vicopper - Thursday, 08/25/05 16:32:24 EDT

Mica: North Carolina is the big producer of mica in the U.S. Tom Joyce got his "processed plate mica" for lighting from some outlet in North Carolina. It is about 1/16" thick and varys in color, orangish, yellowish, browns. Keep agooglin'.
Frank Turley - Thursday, 08/25/05 19:22:31 EDT

bellows: I have posted two pictures of the bellows I mentioned earlier in the yahoo gallery. They appear at the bottom of the list, as photos rather than as an album. To repeat the question of my last post; can anyone provide me with any technical information concerning these bellows? I would be very grateful, as they seem to have gone largely unrecorded in blacksmithing literature, perhaps because they lack the romance of the "great bellows"?
Dan P. - Thursday, 08/25/05 19:34:45 EDT

mica: Here is a link to several places. Took about 10 seconds of time to leave this page google and return to this page
Ralph - Thursday, 08/25/05 20:35:19 EDT

Mica II: Drats seems to have dropped part of the previous link.
So I will try again
Ralph - Thursday, 08/25/05 20:37:19 EDT

Bellows: Dan,

I've never seen one like that as far as I can remember, anyway. It does look like it is a two chambered bellows, much like a great bellows is. It isn't easy to see detail in the small photo, but I don't see any valve on the top board, and the pleating of the fabric/leather gives it that two-chambered appearance.

The linkage from the handle to the sides of the bottom chamber also make me think it is a two-chamber bellows. The rod from the top board through the top yoke appears as though it is the driving weight for the exhaust. I would guess that it might be threaded at the top where the weight is, to allow the weight to act as a stop, limiting the travel of the exhaust stroke, so to speak.

The design seems pretty much the same as a great bellows, only somewhat complicated by the fact that the straight-line motion necessitates the complicated frame and yoke arrangement in order to keep things aligned and operating. The great bellows, using simple hinges, is a simpler design, though probably not much different in its ability to deliver air. While the great bellows looks like it would have a much greater volume than the cylindrical one, the swept volume of the area tapering to the hinges is much lower than the area comprised of the cylindrical portion at the rear. This is due to the lower amount of movement, of course, and the cylindrical bellows enjoys all of its movement being effective. All in all, I would imagine the performance of the two types to be pretty much equal, given that the diameter of the cylindrical portion of the great bellows is roughly equal to the diameter of the cylindrical in-line bellows. For the most part, volume is volume, regardless of the shape.

Great bellows has the advantage of being simpler to build, while the cylindrical bellows has the advantage of being somewhat more compact. I think if I was to try building a bellows, I would probably try the cylindrical type, as it offers more possibilities for decorative iron work. :-)
vicopper - Thursday, 08/25/05 21:17:31 EDT

Brian C/Toast: Brian; I will be providing some of the necessary fluid, and others will be bringing some, of Tropical origin, as well. This must be done with discretion, due to fairground policy.
3dogs - Thursday, 08/25/05 22:57:06 EDT

Tom T-- Got any worn-out files? Some flint? Make some fire-starters--strike-a-lights, or chispas as they are known hereabouts.
Miles Undercut - Thursday, 08/25/05 23:49:20 EDT

webmaster: Can someone check on the webmaster mail account? I tried sending a question and the mail bounced as "user unknown". If you're wondering where I found a webmaster mailto: link, it was after filling out the Slack-Tub Pub registration.
Elliott Olson - Thursday, 08/25/05 23:59:44 EDT

Mungo's Grand Adventure: Hi guys, been very busy here (and still am) but figured I should update you folks on how things are coming along.
A 12 month working holiday visa for Australia has been procured to begin in march of next year. A ferry ticket from Hull to Rotterdam has also been procured, departure date set for the 26th of September THIS year. All I have to do now is figure out how to drive on the wrong side of the road, remember what 'car camping' was all about and cram all of europe and asia into the next 6 months.
Piece of cake! :)
When the trip begins you can follow my progress over the road on Glenns site, I'll be looking for the sights and the Smiths that make up Europe and will go from there. Its a big old world, might just be I'll see you in it!
Tinker - Friday, 08/26/05 00:00:44 EDT

Mica: Frank, thanks for the North Carolina tip. I'll add that into my search strings. I ran across a number of various links to indian exporters of mica. I want a few sheets to make some lamps. I'd rather not buy 100 tons of mica flakes to start an import/export business.

Craft shows
I'll have to try vicopper's candle holder. It sounds interesting, and I have 3/8" round cutoffs that should be about the right length. My 'problem' is that I don't do this for a living, so I usually just dink around, have fun, and sell a few things on the side by chance. I always end up adding detail and features until I have so much time into it that I end up with a $300 candle holder. It's hard to keep things simple when you make 10+ of the same thing.
- Tom T - Friday, 08/26/05 00:51:57 EDT

Well we are leaving for Houston on Monday. Hope we get some usable info from MD ANderson. In any case will be nice to get some good food again other than what we make ourselves.
Ralph - Friday, 08/26/05 02:56:51 EDT

tom t: 15 dollar items----- rasp asps........ very simple to make... round tuit's also easy........ rebar snakes ...ditto.......copper letter openers -using hvy copper pipe cut open down the length then cut on a shear....... hope that helps... good luck .......
blacklionforge - Friday, 08/26/05 07:03:03 EDT

bellows: I have found some more pictures of cylindrical bellows; >
Do you see the pipe at the back? As I suspected, there are indeed three chambers, and as (what would normally be) the lower chamber descends, it forces air from the bottom chamber into the upper chamber. Its really so horribly complicated, I wonder if the extra bit of air you get is worth it?
Anyway, at £30, I'll see what the shipping is (to London, where i live, not the US, don't worry!), as it would be way more in time and effort to fabricate one of these suckers myself.
Dan P. - Friday, 08/26/05 08:02:24 EDT

The Pub...: I've also been waiting for some sign that I'm registered.
My password Isn't working...
- packrat_red - Friday, 08/26/05 09:50:51 EDT

oh dear: am I not allowed to put ebay limks up here? the pictures mentioned in my last post are on uk ebay (, under "blacksmith bellows" or "forge bellows".
Definitely interesting to me, at any rate. a perfect example of Victorian (over)engineering!
Dan P. - Friday, 08/26/05 11:21:37 EDT

Dan P.: You can put links here, but you can't use HTML coding to do so. Just type them into the box below, marked Link URL. Really long links, or HTML can break the page code, so for eBay links it is best to just use the item number and folks can go to eBay and search for that.
vicopper - Friday, 08/26/05 14:09:55 EDT

Santa Fe Lunch: HEY- I hope y'all have a good lunch and a Great visit at La Chozas. Sorry I could not make it. Maybe next time.

sandpile - Friday, 08/26/05 14:29:04 EDT

Sandpile we'll look down on you for that---of course at 3000' higher in elevation we have no other choice---unless you mess up and leave the propane valve on after you shut down your forge and then much later remember and come back and flick in the light switch---then you'd be looking down on us...

Thomas P - Friday, 08/26/05 15:58:46 EDT

Travel Plans, CanIron, SOFA Quadstate: I am sorry to say I will not be able to make CanIron this year. Would have been a wonderful trip but the money is not there . . . again. Someone please send photos and we will run in the NEWS. Unedited jpgs are best.

SOFA QuadState! Will be there. Will be traveling with Sheri Wilson (Mrs. Paw-Paw) who will be selling Paw-Paw's book. Will also have the same shelter tent and it would be nice for someone to save a space for us (the same one as last year?). Will be arriving on the evening of the 23rd. Will not be staying on-site.

Thomas mentioned badges with guru's den colors. If you are going to be there let me know and I will see about printing some up for CSI members with color borders. Will come up with something for non-members as well.

- guru - Friday, 08/26/05 16:23:57 EDT

belllows: Got it, Vicopper. Thanks for the heads up. It doesn't seem very many people are interested. As you seem to be, you should check it out. Now I feel compelled to try out both two chambered "traditional" bellows, and these three chambered ones. Perhaps the thrid chamber cuts out a little work? As I remember, they work at a pretty leisurely one "pull" per two seconds, with pretty short pulls, at about a foot through 30 degree.s
Dan P. - Friday, 08/26/05 16:24:34 EDT

Best Sellers:
You never know what will sell at a crafts fair. However, for years my best seller was a small triangle. These must be made ahead of time as they are mostly torch work. You can make the strikers while at the show and they are a simple demo.

My "best ringer ever" was the result of much research. Start with a 30" length of 1/2" round hot roll A36. Mark at the center and 5" from each end with chalk. Clamp one leg between marks in vise. Heat corner of short leg with cutting torch or SMALL rosebud, and bend. Heat middle corner and bend, then last corner and bend. Ends of bars should align and have a 1/4" gap more or less. While still in vise tap around to align ends and lower arms in plane. I used my 1/2" bolt tongs that I used for the bending as a "hammer" to save time. Quench.

Painting takes more time than bending. When I do a large batch I chamfer the ends in a lathe, strikers too. A belt sander with 45 degree guide would be faster.

The quench seems to be critical so you need to move fast (thus using my tongs for a hammer). But heat no more length than necessary, about 1". This style triangle is somewhat like a tuning fork and rings much louder for its size than others. Should sell for $25 with a forged striker. Wall brackets are more (as much as the triangle AT LEAST). 30 years ago I sold these tringles for $8.00 US. . .
- guru - Friday, 08/26/05 16:39:39 EDT

I intend to be at Quad State.
ptree - Friday, 08/26/05 16:57:33 EDT

Quad States: I will be there unless we're dead smack in the middle of a hurricane. I already have my tickets, hotel reservations, rental car, etc. I just have to go out and pick up a half dozen jugs of Cruzan Estate Diamond and I'm good to go. I even broke down and ordered a new camera, which I hope gets here in time. I have promised myself that this year I will take LOTS of pictures.

I'm scheduled to fly up on the 21st, (arriving, of course, late at night), and fly back on the 26th. Should make for a nice leisurely trip with no rushing around and some time to shop while I'm in the "land of the practically free." :-)

I'm looking forward to seeing a lot of familiar faces again this year, plus some new (to me) ones.
vicopper - Friday, 08/26/05 20:35:58 EDT

round bellows: Dan P
I have two sets of the cylindrical bellows which I bought to refurbish.
As I stripped them down I took photo's and made sketches of what went where.
If you are interested I can let you have some copies of the notes, theyy are a little rough but may help.
- Wayne - Saturday, 08/27/05 05:25:31 EDT

That would be great, Wayne, thanks. If you click on my name at the bottom of this post, my e-mail will appear.
- Dan P. - Saturday, 08/27/05 05:37:08 EDT

SOFA Correction: Will be there on the evening of the 23RD (Thursday). . Need to keep a calendar in front of me.
- guru - Saturday, 08/27/05 08:57:34 EDT

dang. . : Still got it wrong. . Thursday the 22ND !!!
- guru - Saturday, 08/27/05 08:58:47 EDT

Webmaster Links: The webmaster account was closed along with my GURU at ANVILFIRE . COM due to SPAMing by the tens of thousands per week. I have removed many of the links but there were thousands of them. NO, a simple find and replace does not work as they are in many forms (different text). Then there is the problem of uploading the thousands of pages to the right locations. Things that work for small sites do not work here. .
- guru - Saturday, 08/27/05 09:03:28 EDT

Guru & Webmaster: Since I bail about 100 spam a day to sort for the Longship Company, family, etc.; you have my sympathy AND appreciation.

Just wanted you to know that all of your hard work is certainly a great service to the blacksmithing community.

Let's hear it for Jock!
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Saturday, 08/27/05 12:17:11 EDT

Posted July and August Archives (8) of the guru's den and Hammer-In. These use a new system that will reduce archiving work in the future. It will still be done by hand for the time being but several steps have been saved by some "smart" dynamic coding. Hope to make it smarter in the future. . .

- guru - Saturday, 08/27/05 15:17:11 EDT

Bellows... and anvils: To Wayne, my e-mail is shown by clicking on my name where it appears in red letters, as per my penultimate posting.
Also, to everybody; JHM anvils- what's the score? They look quite nice, and a london pattern at a reasonable price, too. Does anybody know these anvils.
Dan P. - Saturday, 08/27/05 17:57:01 EDT

BTW: I posted a question some long while ago about Cliff Carroll hammers, asking whether anybody could recommend them. Well, I got one last Christmas, and eight months on, I can whole-heartedly endorse these fine machines. They take a little dressing, but a lot less than other "quality" production hammers out there, and, as I have been advised by farriers, I use the rounded face for striking tools, and the flat face I keep tidy for forging.
Dan P. - Saturday, 08/27/05 18:03:24 EDT

PPS: Re; Mr Blackistone's post- I agree. Thank you, Guru. You provide a top-hole service to the blacksmithing community, and for too little thanks.
Dan P. - Saturday, 08/27/05 18:07:16 EDT

Saving space: Guru, i saved the space for Paw Paw last year, and will do the same this year if you want. it is no problem Fred McDaniel ( Old Moose )
- old moose - Saturday, 08/27/05 19:48:51 EDT

JOCK'S EFFORTS: I submit a hearty AMEN to the Rev. Atli.
3dogs - Saturday, 08/27/05 21:15:20 EDT

Quad State: I'm still an uncertainty for attendance at Quad State. Gas has got so high it is putting a crimp into my work schedule. Four barns to repair, two of which require changing out some main center posts. Try standing an 8x8 pine post twenty feet long straight up and moving it into position inside a tobacco barn with block and tackle and six foot levers.

Old Moose! Great to hear from you. I was the ugly guy with the beard, that out to make me stand out in this crowd, who hung around Paw Paw's little tent last year. Glad to hear you survived another cold winter and long hot summer.
- Larry - Saturday, 08/27/05 21:25:10 EDT

art and craft fair: I went today, and had what I thought was a successful day. Boy, it's amazing the junk some people try to pass off...

The iron was a huge hit with the other people in the art fair. I took a couple high dollar 'winged dragon' hooks that were priced too high for the fair, but did bring people buy.

The 2 bottle cap openers I managed to make sold out before I got setup. The next to sell out was the railroad spike steak turner and fork. The drive hooks also sold well(thanks iforge). I sold a few plant hangers, but they went slow in general, and a towel bar, plus a few other odds and ends. I was surprised that none of my $3 leaf key fobs sold. I figured that I needed something cheap people could impulse buy, but it didn't work. I also had a lot of people interested in custom work. It's a good thing I had my business cards on hand.

What I learned: make a variety in all price ranges, hang around the booth so you can talk to people as they come buy(people feel better when they buy fro a real artist), bring water, have lots of business cards.

I'm looking forward to the next one in September...
- Tom T - Saturday, 08/27/05 22:20:09 EDT

JHM anvils: I've seen and played with one several years ago, about a 150 lb'er if I recall. Not bad for a farrier's anvil, and I liked the turning cams on the heel. As with all farrier's anvils, it seems designed for aerodynamics at mach 3 rather than as something to beat on, and rings sharply enough to hurt if not bolted down.
Alan-L - Sunday, 08/28/05 08:54:41 EDT

farriers anvils: I carry a 70 lbs NC in the truck. It was my first anvil that I baught when I first started shoeing. They don't make a very good forging anvil and on the road they're never mounted well (I use a folding NC stand). The problem is the set up must often be carried around. Most guys I see are moving from the 100lbs and heavier anvils to the lighter ones. These days, depending on the work I'm doing, I even leave the anvil in the truck and rely on a little stall jack that I carry in the barn and have sitting right next to the horse with me. It saves me a lot of walking back and forth and I can sometimes trim the foot, tweak the shoe and nail it on without ever setting the foot down.

In the shop I have a 170...something beat up PW that I got pretty cheap. The PW has a beat up blunted horn so I often haul the little NC into the shop and use both.
- Mike Ferrara - Sunday, 08/28/05 10:42:33 EDT

Anvils: The JHM 260lb "competitor" anvil looks quite attractive. I am attracted to the fact that it is a London pattern, and is made in the US, by professionals, for professionals. My main worry is that the waist is quite slender, as is the heel, as I am used to working on quite bulky vaughn's anvils. However, looking at some of the "classic" anvils on ebay, I see that a lot of the nice ones do follow a more slender pattern suitable to blacksmiths and farriers both. It seems, however, that many blacksmiths show no interest in using farriers' tools, which is a shame, as there are many which can be used by both professions.
Dan P. - Sunday, 08/28/05 12:19:55 EDT

Trenton 359# Anvil: Anybody have any information about a Trenton anvil. 359#s, serial number A173848. Also, I have a Royal Western Chief "H" blower. Any ideas or information about when they were made?
Matt Nickson - Sunday, 08/28/05 18:02:05 EDT

Hurricane: I hope that all of you who are in the potential path of Hurricane Katrina have gotten either out of harm's way or well battened-down. That's the worst-looking storm I've ever seen. My thoughts will be with you.
vicopper - Sunday, 08/28/05 19:17:55 EDT

Trenton Anvil: Postman's book says the anvil was made by the Columbus Forge and Iron Company, Columbus, Ohio, in 1919 plus or minus one or two years.

I don't have any information on the Royal Western Chief.
Frank Turley - Sunday, 08/28/05 22:24:25 EDT

hard steel bits: Today I got to try one of the hard flat 1" (or so) drill bits from Canadian National Rail (dull in scrap bin) in a forge. I was attempting to taper the end for a chisel but even at a bright orange heat it was tending to crack rather than take shape (anything less than that, it's too hard). What does this tell you about this steel? Can I use it for anything other than by grinding material away?
Elliott Olson - Monday, 08/29/05 02:13:53 EDT

drill bits..........: ......... if the steel your drill bits are made from is even forgable.... they will still crack if not annealed...... not to say the steel is even forgable.....i'm sure some more knowledgable folks will have more input...... good luck!!!!!
blacklionforge - Monday, 08/29/05 07:05:06 EDT

Reenacting season: Does any one have any idea who will be demonstrating at Andersonville? I've had no word from Trent. I'll be up there, but if someone else is planning to do a demo. . .
- peckrat_red - Monday, 08/29/05 08:16:15 EDT

iForge: I'm makeing a demo for iForge, but there haven't been any entries on iForge in a long time. Is there a reason for this???
MY ENTRY ABOVE SHOULD SAY packrat_red, NOT peckrat_red!
- packrat_red - Monday, 08/29/05 08:23:32 EDT

iForge & Time Budgets: After a great run, everybody's time budgets seeme to crash. I think that maybe it should be revived on a quarterly basis, instead of every week, so that we have a chance to get our acts together.

In the end, it's really up to Jock, since he does most of the "ditch digging" work.
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Monday, 08/29/05 08:37:18 EDT

Royal Western Chief.: This was made by the Cannady Otto Company. See our book review. We also sell a CD of one of their catalogs.
- guru - Monday, 08/29/05 10:32:35 EDT

iForge: I've got two demos just about ready, & some alternative methods for some projects on iForge. Is there someone I should contact before I send off my demos?
- packrat_red - Monday, 08/29/05 10:50:43 EDT

I plan to attend Quad-State; I don't think the tickets have been purchased yet but I hope to fly into Columbus on Thursday and go out to Troy Friday morning---give me time to see my grand-daughter a bit---I'll be camping if I can borrow a tent and if not I'll be camping anyway...Hope it's a dry one!

I'll be the one with the beard wearing bluejeans---well if the weather is OK Friday I hope to wear my lederhosen and an aloha shirt---an inside joke from a RAH book (Glory Road) that Paw Paw got.

Thomas P - Monday, 08/29/05 11:06:53 EDT

JHM again: I have no problem with many farriers' tools, if I'm doing something that requires them. A good rounding hammer is a joy to use, and fire tongs are handy. What other tools do we both use?

My problem with farriers' anvils is that skinny waist and long heel. As the Guru has often pointed out, all that does is reduce the available mass for backing up the hammer blows while at the same time making a giant tuning fork. I dislike the larger Hay-Buddens and to a much lesser extent Trentons for just that reason. Also, these older anvils have wrought and/or forged bodies rather than cast, which may explain why they aren't broken yet. English anvils have much more mass under the face where you need it, rather than spread out into a long narrow face on a thin heel.

You can never have too many anvils, and any anvil is better than none. If the JHM is comparable in price to the same weight Euroanvil, I'd be tempted to go for it. I do like the london pattern better than the continental double horn, too.
Alan-L - Monday, 08/29/05 11:17:39 EDT

WAIT!!!: Theres a big event going on this weekend near Columbus?!?
- packrat_red - Monday, 08/29/05 11:26:05 EDT

JHM: Well I have a big ole HayBudden which I do like a lot. But I have to agree, it would be a better anvil if the waist was thicker. My next anvil (if ever there is one) will definitely be European style with a double horn. I have a removeable wedge shaped block for my hardy that I use frequently in place of a sq horn. The only thing that I really like about the London pattern is the step at the base of the horn.
- adam - Monday, 08/29/05 11:28:05 EDT

QuadStates and iForge: Packrat Red,

Quad states is the annual blacksmithing meet hosted by the Southern Ohio Forge and Anvil group. It will be the third weekend in September at the Troy Fairgrounds in Troy, Ohio. For details and registration, click on the link below.

Any prospective IForge demos should be sent to the Guru, Jock Dempsey. Click on his name on any of his posts for an email window. There hasn't been any time to to them for a couple of years now, but I sure hope we can revive them.
vicopper - Monday, 08/29/05 12:00:15 EDT

iForge: I sent an email to jock, I hope he gets it... Theres no way I'll be able to go to Quad-states this year, may be next year, if gas goes down in price...
- packrat_red - Monday, 08/29/05 12:39:50 EDT

iForge: I am getting caught up on quite a few things except the Pub registrations and that is next. . . I am just finishing filing taxes for last year. . . have to do state today. I also have a day or more writing to do for the CSI IRS filing. . .

I have two iForge demos lined up to build. Uri Hofi's candle cup tooling and a reproduction colonial wall bracket. As always processing the images is the big task. Each figure needs a 150x150 and a 480x480 image. Good images are the key. I found that it is faster for me to do drawings, scan them and process them than to accept most other folks images. I spend 90% of my production time on EVERYTHING on the web fixing bad images or sizing them correctly. I am not too picky but I won't post trash either. We have enough old images that need replacing. . Images for iForge need to be square and recognizable at 150x150 pixels. Also need the

I need to rehash the iForge system to use the same php pop-ups I am now using other places. These require one dynamic file rather than one for each figure. . . saves a lot of time but the coding is a little more complicated.

Time=Money is the same old problem. I tried to cut back on the store while I was moving my office. It makes meager profits (my gross was double this year but income only up 10%) but they ARE profits and I've had a cash flow crisis. . . the price of gas while moving has not helped.

Time yesterday. . . spent about 6 hours editing and testing a page to extract clean CSI member data for the upcoming election and mailings. Little details like logic to keep from adding extra commas where they should not be took a couple hours. . .
- guru - Monday, 08/29/05 13:08:27 EDT

iForge: Don't worry about the quality of my drawings, they'er good...If I knew how to work a scanner, I might be able to help in some way...As far as gas goes, have you checked the stock market recently?
- packrat_red - Monday, 08/29/05 13:28:09 EDT

Thomas's Tent & Quad State: Thomas - keep me notified regarding tent needs - if need be current plans put me & a friend at Quad State late Thurs. nite, and I can throw an extra wedge tent in whichever truck we take. We will need to leave around noon or slightly before on Sunday to get back to western PA & jobs. Home email is kmhaffeyatearthlinkdotnet
Wouldn't want a fellow SCA member getting too wet :)
- Gavainh - Monday, 08/29/05 22:20:46 EDT

Trenton Anvil and Cannady-Otto Blower (Royal Western Chief): Just a quick f/u re: Royal Western Chief:

made by Cannady-Otto apparently built like a tank to machine shop standards designed to last a lifetime. Mounted with the blower tilted downward, the oil should be filled to the "petcock" located on the r-hand side according to instructions printed on the front of the blower.

Apparently the company is no longer in business as the "drove themselves out of business" building blowers of high quality.

Thanks for info re: Trenton anvil. Is it possible that the serial number is 73848 instead of A1 73848? What year would that place the anvil in?


Matt Nickson - Tuesday, 08/30/05 00:12:31 EDT

iForge: If you need help with drawings, I'm very competative. My brother & I constantly try to out draw each other.
I'll send some drawings with the demos...if you'd like...
- packrat_red - Tuesday, 08/30/05 07:33:49 EDT

Quad State: I plan on arriving at the fairgrounds Friday morning. Staying on site - primitive camp area.
Last year I brought down some local (to me) microbrewry lager and wheat beer. I plan on doing the same again this year.

Overcast and comfortable (22 Cel) North of the Lake (Ontario.)

Don - Tuesday, 08/30/05 12:10:19 EDT

what happened to caleb?: anyone know why caleb ramsby doesnt visit here anymore?? a very interesting guy..
- rugg - Tuesday, 08/30/05 14:24:11 EDT

I plan on arriving midday to late afternoon Friday. Can bring a tent. Just advise.
ptree - Tuesday, 08/30/05 17:45:35 EDT

Ptree; Gavainh has volunteered a tent for me; but if his plans change I'll give a yelp! Thanks for the offer.

Thomas P - Tuesday, 08/30/05 18:21:05 EDT

guru (or anyone else), I was wondering if there are more pictures than the couple I saw in the Paw Paw article from May, that show his shop trailer in more detail? I know I'll never make anything like that but I'm curious about how it folds up.
Elliott Olson - Wednesday, 08/31/05 01:02:24 EDT

Emergency check in point: IForgeIron has set up a new section on to try to locate the blacksmiths that may have been impacted by Katrina. If you hear from a blacksmith from that area, please let us know so we can add that name to the list.
- IForgeIron - Wednesday, 08/31/05 03:05:36 EDT

Forge Trailer:
Elliot see our 21st Century page, Ultimate Forge Trailer article. The trick is the roof is hinged diagonaly. One of the most unusual ideas I have come up with and it took making a paper model to believe it would work. . .
- guru - Wednesday, 08/31/05 08:47:57 EDT

iForge Drawings:
We have forms for doing this. However they were for the old format without enlargements. Drawing in the 2" boxes forces you to make clear images that will work. Otherwise larger drawings end up very faint and hard to see. For the new format I would use 3.5 or 4" boxes keeping in mind that they will be reduced and lines become thin and faint.

In special cases I setup larger images but I try to keep down the number.
- guru - Wednesday, 08/31/05 08:53:01 EDT

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