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August 2006 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

I was watching an old rerun of American Chopper the other night. One to the boys (Ralph) was working on a seat spring. He was using a torch to heat and shape it. a simple bend. Then it shows him sitting and bouncing on it. Guess what? it broke. Now a show of hands on who knows why? For them to be building something that your life depends on while riding and not know the effects of torching spring steel is a very big problem. Talk about libel. Just think, you are riding down the road and your seat drops out from under you. What I am getting at, is a lot of younger impressionable people watch that show religiously and try to imitate what they see being done. So to all those that want to build anything that supports, moves or protects people, study , study and then study some more before building. Just because you see it on TV does not make it right. Now I don’t want to appear that I am singling out the America Chopper show and "dissing" them. I respect and admire their work. I just think a little education would not hurt their reputation. Now thanks to Anvilfire, I am constantly eyeballing my surroundings for errors in engineering or judgment in metalworking. I have a background mechanical engineering, but work as a cost accountant, funny how your plans change isn’t it.

Support Anvilfire by joining CSI, you’ll look good in blue.
daveb - Tuesday, 08/01/06 10:24:00 EDT

Well I sure dont respect and admire their work- I have had employees for the last 20 years, and the only guy on that whole show who has enough skill for me to even consider hiring him, and taking the time to train him how to actually do stuff right is Vinnie, the guy who does the sheet metal pounding.
Thre rest of those guys are ignorant, and seem totally uninterested in learning how to do anything right.
Plus their "design" sense sucks.
Them guys couldnt draw their way out of a paper bag.
much less weld their way out.
ries - Tuesday, 08/01/06 14:19:23 EDT

This show if full of excrement!

Even the history channel's shows are full of errors ntoo.
- John Odom - Tuesday, 08/01/06 17:13:31 EDT

TV is a very bad deal IMO. In exchange for a little bit of information mixed with a lot of bull&%^* it wastes a big chunk of one's life. I gave it up about 4 years ago and I feel a lot smarter for it. I sure have more time to do fun things.
adam - Tuesday, 08/01/06 19:31:20 EDT

adam-- Come, now lad, tut tut. The problem with giving up the tube is, that way you miss a whole lot of culturally enriching, mind-expanding goodies. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Beastmaster, Adventure Inc., It Takes a Thief, etc. are no more, except perhaps on DVD or my cassettes over in the corner, but Las Vegas, Grey's Anatomy, Boston Legal, Desperate Housewives, CSI, the various PBS mysteries-- the list is lengthy, and absolutely essential to surviving the ongoing insanity of what currently passes for reality.
Miles Undercut - Tuesday, 08/01/06 20:34:18 EDT

TV: I watch very little TV. A little news and History Channel.
Most of the programing is trash.
- John Odom - Tuesday, 08/01/06 20:52:43 EDT

Mama sez: As for accuracy in the media, my mom used to say, "It's just à la Hollywood".
- Frank Turleyf - Tuesday, 08/01/06 21:13:48 EDT

TV: I'll heartily echo what Ries said about those buffoons on the American Chopper debacle. Little or noe of what I've seen form them impresses me at all. And I truly love choppers, but not their gimmicky crap and shoddy workmanship.

Television has gone so far downhill that I hardly bother watching it all these days. Even the Weather Channel disappoints; we have a hefty tropical stoorom coming at us and all they can sya is that it poses no threat to the US. Flash...we are part of the US. Parochial fools.

"Reality" shows, stupid "celebrity" card shows, dorky interviews with puerile Hollywood names I couldn't possibly care less about; all crap. Every time I turn the damn thing on I'm tempted to drop the cable and just watch the Spanish-language shows out of PR. At least that might improve my street Spanglish.
vicopper - Tuesday, 08/01/06 21:16:00 EDT

Gen-U-Wine Blacksmithing: Tnis weekend I pretty much finished up the brackets for the new kitchen shelf that Sally has been not-too-patiently waiting five years for. Still have to do the clean up and finish coat is all.

These are pretty hefty, 'cuz they have to support a fifty pound slab of local mahogany and all the books it will hold. The wall standards are about 28" of 3/16"x1-1/2" flat bar with a leaf and tendril motif for the diagonal support. All done by old-timey traditional techniques: forging, fullering, splitting, drawing, riveting, forge-welding and tenoning. I'll post a picture of the completed deal on Forgemagic when I get them installed, if the storm that isn't threatening the US doesn't blow me away first. (grin)
vicopper - Tuesday, 08/01/06 21:21:30 EDT

TV Bike & Hotrod Shows: One of My pet peeves is the "close Your eyes & tack" mig welding. OK most everybody has done it once, but to give the impression that that is how it should be done all the time just ain't right. It might be different elsewhare, but most of those goofs couldn't hold an industrial job in the rustbelt, particularly Boyd Codington's staff.
Dave Boyer - Tuesday, 08/01/06 21:42:37 EDT

Harsh! Youse is a harsh bunch of bluenoses! All work and no ploy makes Jack a dull boy, I say. A little wiggle and jiggle to take the frowns off after a hard day at the slake tub, now what's wrong with that, you bloody Puritans? And what's this no accuracy in the media noise? Yeah, all that stuff is made up by the vast cartel that controls the keyboards of all the reporters and writers in America. You betchum, Red Ryder.
Miles Undercut - Tuesday, 08/01/06 21:54:07 EDT

Impatient wives: Only five years since she asked for them? That's a rush job by blacksmithing standards. Looking forward to seeing pics! Your work is always a treat.

Well I have been looking in my books to review OA welding stuff and no one even suggests the idea of stretching a tip much beyond its rated capacity. I am getting rather skeptical about this "wisdom" I hear from time to time that someone who really knows how to weld only needs a couple of tip sizes. Always reported second hand - never by someone willing to demonstrate. All the experienced welders I have spoken to say to use the right sized tip if you can and at the most you can stretch a tip one step in either direction. I am sure an experienced welder can get by with just one or two but should he if he has the choice? Heck I could weld 1" plate with my little .035 wire 115v mig welder if I was trying to win a drinking bet but it certainly isnt a good practice.

I have Finch's "Welder's Handbook" after Frank recommended it. I do like it. I would rather it covered just a few processes in more depth but the info is mostly useful and to the point. He is a bit fuzzy on the difference between brazing and braze welding. Lots of really good ideas for jigging - he shows a lot of tube welding setups.

I am wondering if I can gas weld copper with a copper wire for filler? Will the metal be sound? Will I poison myself with copper fumes or is it really not much different from melting brazing rod?
adam - Tuesday, 08/01/06 21:54:53 EDT

TV Miles it isnt out of snootiness that I avoid TV - I just feel badly treated. Not only are the shows 50% commercials but even the programming itself is so light weight and dilute, in addition to being slipshod, wrong or slanted. I think the last program I tried to watch was the Junkyard Wars. I thought it would be great to see skilled resourceful metalworkers and engineers solving problems but there's about 1 min of that and the rest of the time is spent in the company of a couple of jabbering idiots who dont understand whats going on and act proud of it. And they were so !#$*ing condescending as if I were a brain damaged 5 yr old incapable of understanding anything technical or slightly complicated - I felt like punching them out. I sure cant stand to have those people in my living room. nuff ranting
adam - Tuesday, 08/01/06 22:06:37 EDT

That’s what I was saying. They present the show to be what "real working people do" with no opposing voice. I didn’t say I would buy one or ride it. I just like to see people build something from the ground up and have it do what it is supposed to do, well as close as possible anyway.
daveb - Tuesday, 08/01/06 22:06:43 EDT

Lordy, Lordy! I bet you didn't like the Paris Hilton commercial, either. Non de gustibus disputandum est, I say.
Miles Undercut - Tuesday, 08/01/06 22:24:08 EDT

Adam: In My understanding, braze welding involves laying a bead of filler, like in gas welding, where brazing generally suggests a sweating operation, more like soldering pipe. I never tried the gas welding copper with copper filler, but I think the high conductivity and the same melting temps will make it trickey. I don't think there is a problem with it being toxic, as You could "braze" steel with a copper wire, the Henrob demos do it.
Dave Boyer - Tuesday, 08/01/06 22:41:15 EDT

Copper - Copper: This is rarely done with a torch and is most often done with TIG. When done with a torch you need a lower temperature melting alloy. Brazing rod is used a lot and silver solders.
- guru - Wednesday, 08/02/06 09:03:39 EDT

Where I was most dissapointed with Junk Yard Wars is that everything is scripted right down to who wins. . . It takes a while to realize this (and it has been reported by contestants). You can look past the seeded junk yard but when you realize that there is a plan for the winners and the losers and how they should build. . . Takes the fun out of it. There is no reality.

There are good points and bad points to the new high tech TV detective CSI type shows. First, the police and their lab people are never that smart or good. Second, there are very few labs that have all that high tech equipment and folks that know all the tricks to making it work. The good point of all this is that it SHOULD scare more people into NOT commiting crimes. The bad point is the general public thinks that this is the reality of their police departments. It is NOT.

My dissapointment in TV is that the national broadcast networks (ABC, NBC, CBS), those that many of us that do not have and cannot get cable (or cannot afford cable) are all we recieve, have given up on any kind of educational or quality TV. There are no more educational childrens' shows, no National Geographic Specials, documentaries and not even movies, old, new, good or bad unless they have run out of infomercials. They have abandonded ALL that to the cable stations which are not available to everyone. In place of those things that used to be the 10% redeeming content they run infomercials (because they make money) and the so called "reality" shows and entertainment news. . . and the regular news has taken up the entertainment banner and spends more time on Michael Jackson's nose and his sister's breasts than serious issues around the world or in our local communities.

I suspect that there are still folks out there making high quality documentary films but average folks rarely get to see them. Instead we get the cheaply produced History Channel productions that rarely get very deep into a subject and as noted are often inaccurate. Of course many history books are full of inaccuracies as well.

Everything changes. . .
- guru - Wednesday, 08/02/06 10:05:28 EDT


Much to my surprise I have found that I actually enjoy some of the TV shows---when they are collected on DVD! My wife has bought several collections mainly as she like decent subtitling as she has a hearing problem and I have watched several with her. Amazing how "short" a 1 hour show really is...

One of the most unreal parts of CSI is the speed of the lab work. On the case I was just a juror on ISTR that the DNA analysis came back about 2 years after it was sent off---would make for some "reality TV"---"This episode continued the year after next---maybe..."

Thomas P - Wednesday, 08/02/06 10:18:32 EDT

Guys! It's all make-believe. It's a shuck. It's for fun. You do remember fun? You want facts and figures and solid how-to? Then get yourself a John Wiley catalog and order Calculus Made Easy or some such and settle in for the evening. You want a giggle? Turn on the TV. And don't forget those VHF channels. Make a wire loop antenna and Bob's your uncle: you now have channels 14 on up. Univision has great news shows. Covers the hemisphere first rate. Perks up your Spanish, too. And all the wonderful religious channels. Those bouffant hairdos! Those big white pianos! That glittery joolry! Those monogrammed suits that Benny Hinn wears! Ya gotta love it!
Miles Undercut - Wednesday, 08/02/06 10:30:02 EDT

Terminology/taxonomy: I borrowed the above heading from Miles Undercut. It just so happens he and I have been writing each other about braze-welding and other confusing welding and brazing terms. It started when he sent me a link to an early Schwinn bicycle method of "fillet brazing" the frames. I could not find fillet brazing in my Linde OA Handbook, even though it is a legit technique. I did find braze welding, and the OA authors claim that it has to do with joint design and laying in a bead as Boyer mentioned earlier...but is it really "welding"? Then, Finch's* Glossary says that in general, a braze is "non-fusion weld". Is it? Does brazing always come under the broad umbrella of welding? For me, that's hard to swallow. You're either melting base metal or you're not (forge welding may be excepted).

Is "hard soldering" the same as brazing, say above 900ºF? My fat Webster's dictionary says that brazing is soldering. Can silver soldering be termed brazing? The local Santa Fe silversmiths often say that they are brazing their silverwork. Hobart* distinguishes between brazing and hard soldering. He says that the term "brazing" involves the use of brass for the join, and that a silver alloy is used in "hard soldering".

The so-called "penny weld" is a braze. I've been teaching that one can braze steel to steel using as the hard solder: copper; brass; or silver solder. Perhaps I should separate silver soldering as "hard soldering", as Hobart does.

Miles pointed out that some books say "welder" and some say "weldor". My Spell Checker would not approve of weldor, but Spell Checkers aren't always that accurate.

I also find that when marketing, the terms get fuzzy, as in "Jeweler's Bronze". I googled freeze branding livestock, and depending on which website I perused, the stamp was made of "copper, copper alloy, or copper/zinc alloy". I finally came to a site that said, yes, the stamps are made of brass.

I feel like a wee, lone voice in the wilderness, but it seems that we persons of metal need to revamp our terminology, so that we all can deal with each other with greater understanding.

* "Welder's Handbook" by Richard Finch
* "Soldering and Brazing" by James F. Hobart

Frank Turley - Wednesday, 08/02/06 10:49:23 EDT

CSI hammerin: Why no mention of the CSI hammerin in the latest Anvilfire news? Does anyone have any photos?

Bob G - Wednesday, 08/02/06 11:17:38 EDT

NEWS: Bob, I've been deliquent on the NEWS. Already have another issue in progress for after the current ABANA edition. It will cover International events including Brent Bailey's trip to South Africa, the spring bladesmithing get together in Bristol where they made steel by the Japanese method, and several other small events (including CSI).
- guru - Wednesday, 08/02/06 11:43:54 EDT

Frank-- Next week: is it a ballpene hammer? Or is it a ballpein? Or is it, perhaps, a ballpeen? Onward, into the murky depths! (Me, I think a lot of the problem, especially with the brazing/silver brazing/hard soldering miasma, stems from the fact that there is writing about something, knowing ABOUT it, and then there is doing it, knowing it. Telling time by reading the face of the clock vs. making the clock. A lot of the time, (blush!) writers don't REALLY know what they are saying. And there are vernacular problems, too. One otherwise fine writer, for example, talks about a gate having been soldered, when what she really means is it was welded.
Miles Undercut - Wednesday, 08/02/06 12:07:42 EDT

SOMETIMES it helps to translate a term to another language and see how it comes out. To the best of my knowledge:

Weldor is the PERSON that welds (always).

Welder is the tool, device or machine but the term is replacing "weldor" in English.

My WordIMperfect dictionary does not list "weldor" but the synonyms listed do not cover the proper noun. Google and list the alternate "also wel·dor (-dər) A person who welds, especially as a profession."

I have come to look at brazing and silver soldering the way Atli says archeologists look at brass and bronze. They have a triangular graph with the corners being copper, tin and zinc. Somewhere in that graph that can include one two or all three alloys falls historical "bronze". Technicaly Cu/Sn is bronze, Cu/Zn is brass but most alloys have both tin and zinc. And for some reason we call alloys that have all three bronze no matter how small the tin content. And of course most of these alloys include other metals such as antimony, lead and bismuth. When you have a lot of recycling the lines blur and all becomes bronze.

The grades of "silver solder" I have bought were mostly copper and had some tin or zinc PLUS silver. The temperature and process was very close to brazing, just slightly lower and more fluid. With "silver solder" also including nearly pure silver (usually used with jewelery grade silver alloys) you have the same situation as with the bronze triangle above. In fact when there is more copper than silver I would think we are discussing a "silver bronze". . .

Brazing alloys also include a significant variety of alloys including some with silver.

LEAD used to be the primary ingriediant in solder but now we have lead free plumbing solders that include mostly tin and ocassionaly a little silver. I find it hard to call this solder as I grew up with lead in solder. Things change. . .

Obviously brazing is a form of "hard soldering" at high temperature and lead/tin soldering is "soft soldering" at low temperature. But inbetween modern alloys now provide us an infinite range of hardnesses and metling temperatures with no specific demarcation between hard and soft. So the problem is evolving technology. When you only had the three primary alloys (brass, silver solder, lead solder) used in limited ranges there was no question. But now there is no easy answer and the terminology will probably never catch up. The only thing you can do is be more specific about the alloy you are using and ignore those that want to argue that it is or is not brazing, hard or soft soldering.

It is like talking about steel alloys and not being specific about the designation. Is that an SAE, AISI, ASTM or UNS number? Sure it is all steel, just like it is all bronze if its base is copper. To be clear, be specific. Don't forget that qualifying designation. And if you do not know, then admit it is junkyard metal and junkyard rules apply.
- guru - Wednesday, 08/02/06 12:34:21 EDT

Puzzler to me is the process involved should be the determining actor. Brazing (in conjoining pieces of steel, anyhow) exists primarily 'cause we don't want to overheat the parent metals, don't want any more HAZ than absolutely necessary. So if we braze-weld-- which seems to be implying there is actual deep fusion of the filler rod to the parent metal through the joint-- as compared to plain vanilla brazing, in which we are just getting the parent metal hot enough to make the rod flow, (and obtain a thin and surfacy molecular bond) howcum we don't just weld them together to begin with and get the strength of the steel filler rod? Hmmm? I suspect what is actually going on here is that whoever wrote the piece about "braze welding" thought he or she was talking about what we call brazing. Or wanted the customer to think they were getting a super-duper join.
Miles Undercut - Wednesday, 08/02/06 12:51:02 EDT

Gotta admit I do watch the old Idiot Box- but we live out in the country, so there is NO choice of getting ABC, CBS, NBC, or PBS- none of em come in.
Instead, I have a newfangled satelite dish, so I can talk to UFO's.
As a side benefit, I have become addicted to Deadwood- now thats entertainment.
English as a foreign language, jokes you dont understand till they percolate down, sometimes a minute or two later, great acting, and story twists that continually make me shake my head in amazement- they let them do THAT on TV?
Plus, Ian McShane is just one amazing actor to watch- not that the rest of the cast is shabby.

Mostly I stick to old movies, though.
And Project Runway- of all the Reality Shows, its the only one where they have actual skilled craftspeople and artists who really have to make things.
Silly deadlines, ridiculous rules, an overemphasis on psycodrama, and yet, these guys and gals actually take real materials, work on them with tools, and produce an end result.
ries - Wednesday, 08/02/06 13:41:28 EDT

Terminology: My understanding is this:

"Brazing" is hard-soldering using a copper alloy; the alloy being a filler, but not becoming a part of the parent metal by fusion or diffusion.

"Braze Welding" is brazing where the temps are raised to the point that the filler alloy undergoes fusion bonding with the parent metal. (In the case of some steels, this can be less strong than just brazing due to the copper in the alloy weakening with the grain boundaries of the steel.)

"Silver brazing" or "Silver soldering" is hard, high-temp silver soldering, using alloys that are primarily silver with other elements added to reduce melting point and/or adjust other characteristics.

"Silver-bearing solder" is a low-temp soldering alloy that is primarily a low-melting metal with silver added for strength or other desirable properties.

"Soft soldering" is any soldering done with low-temp alloys (<650°F) wherein the solder is only a filler, whether "sweated" into a capillary joint or globbed-on as a fillet.

Those are *my* understandings and/or definitions, and they make sense to me, (other possibly wiser authorities notwithstanding). Your mileage may vary considerably. I'm happy to entertain well-reasoned adjustments to my lexicon, though. :-)
vicopper - Wednesday, 08/02/06 14:11:50 EDT

Brazen bull!: Turns out the Americans did NOT invent barbecue

Could they really have heated it to red without sagging? Or is this more bulls.... ?

I never saw the point in drawing an arbitrary line at 900F to distinguish soldering from brazing since there is a continuum of alloys with melting points from lead all the way to copper.

Braze welding is not really welding. It's used when the joint doesnt fit well enough for capillary action or there isnt enough surface area to make a strong braze. It was popular for bicycles upto about 15 years ago when it got replaced by TIG. At that time nice bike frames were made from cro moly tubing whose wall thickness varied from the ends to the center. A bike maker would buy the the tubing set ready heat treated, bend and notch the tubes and then braze weld the joints - brazing being preferred because it would do less damage to the heat treatment. Nowadays high end bikes are special aluminium alloy, carbon fiber or some other kind of bizarrium.
- adam - Wednesday, 08/02/06 15:09:33 EDT

vicopper-- that's my take on it, too. Except that the theory is that an actual-- slight but nonetheless significant molecular bond or fusion of filler material with parent metal does occur in silver brazing/silver soldering, and I would guess in brazing, too. My short form: if it's soldered ANY fashion, it is basically a glue job. If it's welded, it's fused.
Miles Undercut - Wednesday, 08/02/06 15:26:29 EDT

Terminology: one aspect is that manufacturers would come up with their own terms to make their stuff seem *special*; some of these terms will seep into the common vernacular---and may get misapplied doing so.

Look at all the custom names for simple steel alloys to make them seem *better* than the plain old ASTM designations.

TV---in general I find the real world doesn't need to be messed with to provide interesting situations; but of course I find commercials perplexing---how does any of that BS have anything to do with the product? Is their product so bad that it can't be sold on it's own merits but has to have makebelieve slathered all over it? But then things like rebates make me feel that they have overpriced the product to begin with.

Thomas P - Wednesday, 08/02/06 15:36:30 EDT

Thomas P-- on the other hand, as Virginia Woolf observed, we have quite enough real life in real life, thank you. FYI-- lotta bandsaws for sale hereabouts!
Miles Undercut - Wednesday, 08/02/06 16:12:22 EDT

Ries I like Project Runway also. I am interested in the art/craft process and being under the 'Gunn' hehe snicker snort. It would be better with out the artificial stressers they put in. Sure raised eyebrows around the water cooler when I mentioned that Austin was my pick to win ;)last year. What would a smithing show in that format look like? Start of the season you have hammer and anvil and by the end you must have enough tools to complete some larger project like a gate or something? along the line you create elements that will go to the whole? Maybe no eliminations, just final judging?
- Mills - Wednesday, 08/02/06 17:01:51 EDT

TV: I haven't had a TV in over 20 years. I haven't missed it.

TV was described as a vast wasteland forty-odd years ago.

Twenty years ago most alleged humor on TV was merely being stupid, and most of what I've seen of it since is even worse!

John Lowther - Wednesday, 08/02/06 18:26:37 EDT


Could not be said any better. TV will just make one reprobate. BOG!!
- BibleThumping Blacksmith - Wednesday, 08/02/06 19:03:21 EDT

Brass and Brazing: "Fillet brazing" is still a common term in bicycle building. I think it's exactly the same thing as braze welding, and is applied to frames joined with brass fillets between the tubes, as opposed to lugged frames just plain "brazed" by capillary action. For some reason, bike builders also "miter" tubing, when the rest of us would say "notch," "fishmouth," or even "cope." For examples, check out the "framebuilders archive" over at

One note on archaeological bronze: According to my OED, "brass" originally covered all copper alloys; the term "bronze" was introduced in the 18th century to specifically describe copper/tin alloys.
Mike B - Wednesday, 08/02/06 19:11:59 EDT

Terminology: The authoritative sources don't agree. the following is my understanding, and how I use the terms. different specialties have different ussages.

In ordinary terms, welder is either a man or a machine. The AWS says weldor is the man, and welder is the machine.

Braze welding is not welding. It is brazing with an external build-up of filler metal, usually a fillet.

I think that AWS does not use "hard Solder" or "Silver solder." They are both brazing. Silver brazing if the filler contains silver.

The difference between soldering and brazing is blurring as there are filler alloys that fill the whole temperature spectrum.

When I choose a term I keep in mind the intended audience and try to unobtrusively explain what I mean if in doubt of how it will be interpreted.
- John Odom - Wednesday, 08/02/06 19:48:59 EDT

Brass / Bronze: In the marine worold, if a copper alloy contains more than a trace of zink it is brass. This distinction comes into play due to intergranular corosion or "DeZinkification" when imersed in seawater. That galvanic scale will get You every time.
- Dave Boyer - Wednesday, 08/02/06 22:17:59 EDT

stropping paste recipe: Hey guys, was looking for a recipe for traditional stropping/ cutting compounds with different grades! Do you all have any idea where i can find some info on this topic!
Thanks guys.
- Ben - Wednesday, 08/02/06 23:33:17 EDT

sparky: Last weekend I made little caddy for my Smith Little Torch and the two small tanks. It came out nice. I still have to add a toolbox before I paint it. Since then I have been running tiny beads for practice in scraps of 22 ga sheet metal using 0.035 mig wire for filler and even some 24 ga soft iron tie wire. I can make a sound bead now, pretty is still a ways off. But to get a penetrating puddle, I always get some sparks off the surface which indicates that the surface is too hot - how fastidious should I be? No sparks at all? A few? Makes no never mind?

It is fun to be able to sit at my desk and do OA welding on a piece of firebrick.
adam - Wednesday, 08/02/06 23:37:13 EDT

Adam: If you're getting sparks, you've probably got the flame too far away form the puddle. The tip of the inner cone shold be right at the surface of the puddle, or it will pull in extra air form outside the flame, making the molten steel oxidize and spark. If you can't get the inner cone down there without blowing though, you need to turn down the torch a mite. Also, be sure you are adjusted to a neutral flame, as near as you can.
vicopper - Wednesday, 08/02/06 23:50:42 EDT

Brazing /Braze Welding: "Brazing is distinguished from soldering in that soldering employs a filler metal having a liquidus below 450 C [840 F]" "Brazing is a group of welding processes which produces coalescence of materials by heating to a suitable temperature and by using a filler metal having a liquidus above 450 C [840 F] and below the solidus of the base metals.The filler is distributed between the closely fitted surfaces of the joint by capillary attraction." "Brazing does not include the process known as braze welding. Braze welding is a method of welding which uses a brazing filler metal. However, the filler metal used in braze welding is melted and deposited in grooves and fillets exactly at the points where it is to be used. Capillairy action is not a factor in the distribution of the brazing filler metal" This comes from AWS Welding Handbook Vol.2 Seventh Edition. If You have problems with Your brazed joints being weak, it is probably due to poor joint design. Brazing fillers have a tensile strength close to that of mild steel, whatever type of "sticksion" makes it adhere, if done properly it does make a sound joint.
Dave Boyer - Thursday, 08/03/06 01:15:54 EDT

Exam question, please discuss, for 30 points-- So, if the welder (aka weldor) has to get the steel hot enough to begin to melt so it can fuse with the filler rod in the braze welding process, why does the weldor (aka welder) not use his welder and weld it instead of braze welding it? Decisions, decisions! Next week: The saga of swages vs. swedges. Be sure to bring your notebooks and a pencil to class.
Miles Undercut - Thursday, 08/03/06 08:32:15 EDT

Brazing and the Sleeping Dog: I like John Odom's succinct response to the whole deal. I realize that nobody is going to give braze welding any other name. It may as well be engraved on granite. A good thing that came out of this thread is that you have melting temperatures that run the gamut, high to low.

I found some fairly good information on brazing and braze welding at

I'm going to back off and let the sleeping dog lie.
Frank Turley - Thursday, 08/03/06 09:48:15 EDT

Adam, what filler rod are you using to weld firebrick with?

Thomas---is it Friday yet?
Thomas P - Thursday, 08/03/06 10:39:28 EDT

The Spanish word for
- 3dogs - Thursday, 08/03/06 10:40:54 EDT

Y'all forgot "Sweating---what a blacksmith does during hot humid summers" in the Weldoring brazoring Soldoring discussion...

Thomas P - Thursday, 08/03/06 10:41:09 EDT

To further confuse the issue....: The Spanish word for "welder" is "soldador". Also, if I recall correctly, "weldor" is/was a term promoted by the Lincoln Welder folks to make the distinction between a person and a machine.
- 3dogs - Thursday, 08/03/06 10:42:03 EDT

puddle muddle: Thanks Rich. I definitely did not have the cone close enough. It's back to running puddles for a while. There is a pic in Bowditch's book on OxyFuel welding (actually its all Oxy Acetylene) shows the weldOr running a bead and there are sparks! While browsing welding book titles on Amazon I noticed that when the title used "weldor" Amazon inserted a [sic] after it. Well now who's the iggarunt?

Thomas if you just want to run a puddle in the firebrick you dont need any filler rod. I never got to try welding the firebrick since I was distracted by a pile of unpaid bills on my desk that suddenly ignited - another unanticipated benefit of micro welding.

Miles was right. I am growing to love this torch.
adam - Thursday, 08/03/06 11:22:16 EDT

So, 3dogs is solidly soldering soldadores to soldiers? Soitenly!

This heat must be gettin' to me....
Alan-L - Thursday, 08/03/06 13:32:06 EDT

ok getting dialed in with this torch - weld beads look half decent. Keep the cone close to the surface, keep the filler rod in the gas shadow so it's yellow and step along smartly doing the little rod torch dance. I still get a few sparks. Speed is important allows a hotter torch and smaller puddle.

Soldier, solder are both from the latin solidus. Alan whats your melting point? I am thinking again of emigrating to Canada - to escape the encroaching heat and also the idiots in Father Land Security.
adam - Thursday, 08/03/06 13:56:13 EDT

adam-- Gracias!
Miles Undercut - Thursday, 08/03/06 14:33:25 EDT

Confused by Spanish?: I was at one time working on the International Glossary, and "templar" in Spanish DOES NOT mean to temper. It means "to quench to harden". I think I worried over that one for at least three weeks, going through dictionaries and websites. To temper is "revenir". And yes, to weld, solder, or braze is "soldar". But then, "caldear" in Mexico, means to forge weld. Below the border, you gotta speak in context.
Frank Turley - Thursday, 08/03/06 19:03:25 EDT

Spanish: ain't necessarily Spanish, depending on where ya learn it and where ya use it, I found. When I first moved to St. Croix, I was dead broke and living mostly on air and hope. I ankled down to the nearest food purveyor, in search of some peanut butter and jelly to keep body and soul together economically.

The nearest place was a nice little neighborhood grocery owned by a fellow from the Dominican Republic and his family. I spotted the bread right off, but couldn't, for the life of me, find any peanut butter. The daughter running the shop that day spoke little or no English, I discovered when I asked for the stuff. "No sé," says she, in response to my request for peanut buter.

Well, heck, I've spent a fair amount of time in Chihuahua, Sinaloa and other areas of Mexico, picking up a smattering of Spanish, so I gave it my best shot. "¿Dispense me senorita, dondé esta la crema de cacahuaté?" That got me no further, believe me. I tried again, still no luck. Finally, she asked me, "¿Qué esta es cacahuaté?" I had no real reply for that, since I knew no other Spanish name for peanut. After I went through a lot of nonsensical gesticulating and pantomiming smearing imaginary pb on bread, she caught on and her face lit right up. "Aha, comprendé! Sí...Mantequilla de Mani!"

When I thought about it, it made sense. "Cream of peanut" versus "butter of peanut"; I nust never knew that Mexicna peanuts were cacahuate and Caribbean peanuts were Mani. If she hadn't been so patient and helpful, I'd have starved to death. (grin)

I've since learned some of the "friendly" insults I picked up in Mexico will get your throat cut in Puerto Rico, and vice versa. Language is a funny thing. It definitely pays to learn the local dialect.
vicopper - Thursday, 08/03/06 21:33:36 EDT

Ai, Chihuahua!
Miles Undercut - Thursday, 08/03/06 22:23:18 EDT

Spanish redux: I should have stuck in a disclaimer on the above post: my Spanish is execrable and what I posted is undoubtedly full of spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors. Definitely do not try to learn any Spanish from me!
vicopper - Thursday, 08/03/06 23:11:18 EDT

LATHE, WELDER, GENSET, for sale in Oregon: howdy guys,

The home page is kinda hard to read on a laptop screen , but it looked like it said this was the place to post buy/sell notices, so....

LATHE, 13x40", bad threading-gears, rest is good.

Sunmax 13x40" gap-bed lathe for sale in southwest Oregon (Medford); only 25 minutes off I-5. Similar to "heavy duty" Jet model. 1500-2000 lbs.

The gearbox that drives the threading motion is trashed; but the bed/ways and spindle look good. Excellent for CNC conversion; or you can still use it manually by using the cross-slide for feed.

The stand is real nice, and probably worth a few hundred by itself. Take the whole thing for $500 cash, or make best offer. I need it outta here....getting ready to move.

WELDER: Engine-driven Hobart, 300+ amps, Chrysler Industrial 6-cyl. It's one of the smoothest stick-welders I've ever owned. Tow it home today for $490 obo, cash only please; no checks.

CAT Generator; 20kw, 220v, 3ph, towable (truck wheels) D3400 engine. This is a desirable low-RPM unit. Very long life; and potentially quieter too, with proper mufflers. Only 3,600 hours on the clock (these engines are -great- old iron, and can live for 20,000 hours with proper care).

Tow it home for only $2,900 obo....will take partial trade.

To see pictures and details on the lathe and welder, click this link:

To see pics/details on the gensets, click this link:

Will trade for plasma-cutter; large propane fridge that chills well; flatbed trailer; small scrapyard-magnet for crane, 5th wheel; diesel genset, pump, or engines; heavy-equipment stuff...??

Contact me by email at: metal at fullwave dooooot com

...or call me after 1pm PST at: 541-944-9746


For Sale: 160ac off-grid Oregon, super-private mountain valley
- Richard - Friday, 08/04/06 03:00:56 EDT

crabby afternoon: Was browsing some pretty blades online and gritted my teeth when I read that they were "very unique" "unique" means "one of a kind" or "without equal" - you either is or you aint. Another one of these that irritates me is "Army of One" - "army" means a "multitude". I want a bumper sticker that reads "Oxymoron of One"! Everynow and then I hear some pompous twit refer to his "diversity" when he means that he is from a particular ethnic group. "I am very proud of my diversity." And I expect he is unanimous about it too!
adam - Friday, 08/04/06 15:58:18 EDT

adam-- Migawd, next you will be having us start grousing about announcers and reporters who declare the accused PLED guilty. And people who say none WERE found guilty. And who say the conditions inside the restaurant are UNsanitary. We are on the slippery slope, bro, on the pell-mell journey to perdition, is all. Enjoy the trip. Or put your helmet down and watch the pretty sparks!
Miles Undercut - Friday, 08/04/06 17:37:27 EDT

can you tell me "where he is at"?
- cordell - Friday, 08/04/06 17:48:14 EDT

He's busy "loaning" his tools out. Who was the first insensate linguistic slob to make "loan" a verb? I'd like to express my annoyance personally.
vicopper - Friday, 08/04/06 20:23:09 EDT

adam-- come to think of it, the person who wrote "very unique" is not the one who is out of step here. Look, we have an Illiterate-in-Chief setting the national tone whose money got him through Yale and Harvard B-school and who insists the word is "nucular." This sort of affected jes' plainfolksiness, he apparently believes, marks him as a man of the people, a hearty, hardy, shirtsleeves kind of regular guy. A man's man. It seems to be working just fine,too, hon. You hear?
Miles Undercut - Friday, 08/04/06 20:27:30 EDT

Anvil: Hi all I just picked up an anvil I can't place in Mr. Postman's book mabye someone out there can help. Logo on side Says AMERICAN but not in the diamond shape,then a horse shoe with "trade mark" stamped inside and WROUGHT below the shoe then below that 153. Also on front left foot 429. Thank you for any help.
Otisthedogking - Friday, 08/04/06 21:44:47 EDT

Anvil: Otisthedogking

Sounds like you have an American Wrought that was produced in Brooklyn NY. They are farely rare and hard to come by. All around a nice anvil.
- Burnt Forge - Saturday, 08/05/06 06:57:42 EDT

richard: that 160 acres of yours sounds incedible..... if i had that kinda cash i would be already therebuilding a cabin and getting ready for hunting season....... good luck in selling it..
- pete - Saturday, 08/05/06 09:34:48 EDT

Army of One:
Besides being an oxymoron like "military intelligence" from wence is came an "Army of One" indicates there is no chain of command, the ONE doing "his own thing" . . very anti-military. A VERY STRANGE recruitment slogan.

Then there is "ax a question" a seemingly ethnic speach impediment that has reached the top ranks of our government. The "Illiterate-in-Chief" probably thinks it is cute. He has also used the "word" snafu which comes from the acronymn S.N.A.F.U. in several national addresses. He probably doesn't know what it really means . . . but then the word is now in dictionaries with the cleaned up PC definition "A chaotic or confused situation" which loses most of its impact and misses the meaning.

Then there is the misspelling of words to make trade marks out of them. . . AND the new "texting" abreviations. . . which will soon be hitting the dictionaries. And like other languages the context will have to be understood. Where POS means "Parent Over Shoulder" among teen texters it means something else here when applied to things like ASO's.

An "Army of One" is an army FUBAR. . .
- guru - Saturday, 08/05/06 09:51:05 EDT

Guru, FUBAR is the Squid's (NAVY) version of SNAFU. Have to keep them straight :) Are you aware that there is a company that is named FUBAR Engineering?
ptree - Saturday, 08/05/06 19:56:41 EDT

acronyms: I'd always been told that FUBAR was simply a more intense SNAFU. This came from a Jarhead (Marine), though, for what that's worth. (grin!)
Alan-L - Sunday, 08/06/06 09:31:19 EDT

For those that are not up exactly on military acronyms,
SNAFU= Situation Normal, All Fouled Up.
FUBAR= Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition.
In some cases, the fouled may have been replaced with a stronger word. BOG. I believe that both were popular in WWII.

A handy saying from the ARMY;
When you are up to your a** in aligators, it is difficult to remember that the initial objective was to drain the swamp.
ptree - Sunday, 08/06/06 10:00:30 EDT

Hmpf. When I used snafu not long ago in this hallowed venue, I was sent to the principal's office (for having corrupted the delicate and sensitive morals of whatever youth (yeeth?) might have been listening), and told to go wash my mouth out with soap, and to use that yellow laundry soap to do it with, too, not that nice-tasting perfumey Camay. So much for justice.
Miles Undercut - Sunday, 08/06/06 10:09:11 EDT

yeeth: Miles, that was then, this is now. Since then the last young'un has been successfully corrupted and there are no more innocent yeeth.
- adam - Sunday, 08/06/06 11:54:16 EDT

Unofficial Acronyms:
These are both WWII acronyms and both use the forbidden F word. One generally applies to a situation the other to a thing. There are others that are less popular. See the Wikapedia article.

In recent years the the PC police and dictionarists have tried to clean them up. Probably since people in high places like Pres. "W" have used them in public speach. But changing the definition of something to meet a political agenda is Orwelian. Like the fact that the civil war in Iraq is not a civil war. . . it is something else, so that the US is not in the middle of someone else's civil war. Is IS, and we ARE no matter who's dictionary you use.
- guru - Sunday, 08/06/06 15:08:50 EDT

damascus: lately i have been hearing more and more about this material. all i can get off most blacksmithing webpages is that it is a form of forge welding. that doesnt help much. now i dont want to make the stuff(i dont believe im that skilled yet, i still got years of practice to go...) but i would like to know what goes into making damascus steel. is it simple forge welding or is it a process that ocurs durring smelting? thanks for any information you give guys!
- Isaac - Sunday, 08/06/06 15:39:06 EDT

tools: What tools do you need to start smelting or/and smithing?
- Josh - Sunday, 08/06/06 19:17:01 EDT

in your backyard?
- Josh - Sunday, 08/06/06 19:20:33 EDT

tools/ update on damascus: josh, what you need is a basic forge wich could be made out of all sorts of materials like a forge(there is a diagram for a starter forge somewhere on this site), you need tongs, gloves, a vice, some sort of anvil(they arent that hard to get ahold of), chisels, a hammer, eye protection, a good heavy duty apron i use leather, and a bucket of water and or oil. look around, there is ALOT of information on starting blacksmithing.

anyway update on damascus, i got exited and searched around more, i found a fantastic webpage that walks you through the damascus process, heres the adress :D. i hope someone here enjoys the information there :D.
Isaac - Sunday, 08/06/06 19:31:51 EDT

would i need a gas mask too, because i heard heating metal causes certain harmful gasses to be formed.
- Josh - Sunday, 08/06/06 19:37:38 EDT

josh smelting involves melting metals - it can be done in your back yard but its a very dangerous process unless you know what you are doing. A splash or an uncontrolled spill of liquid metal can cause horrible injuries.

At this site most people are involved in forging, in fact forging steel, in which the steel is heated to its plastic range - between orange hot and white hot - well below melting temps. The hot metal is then shaped by hammering it on an anvil. For this you need a forge, an anvil and a hammer. But first you need to do a lot of reading. Start with the Getting started FAQ (navigate bar upper right). Forging, done sensibly is not very dangerous and AFIK noone wears a mask.
adam - Sunday, 08/06/06 20:30:14 EDT

thank you for the information
- Josh - Sunday, 08/06/06 20:55:44 EDT

Smelting: Actually, Smelt are a small, and very tasty fish, and Smelting is done with a nine hooked lure called a Smelt Jig.
After you catch em, I prefer to fry em up, with a bit of breading.
I dont usually use a gas mask for this, although I suppose you could if you wanted to.
La Conner Washington has an annual Smelt Derby, in which prizes are awarded for the most fish, biggest fish, and most interesting non fish item caught- previous winners in this category have included an old boot.
- Ries - Sunday, 08/06/06 21:00:09 EDT

Smelting vs. Smithing:
Josh, These are very different things. So you need to look them up, determine your goals and then ask what you need. See our Getting Started article (home page, gurusden) or Swordmaking article (FAQ's page) for general or specific smithing info.

"Backyard" must also be defined. Most of my life I have had anywhere from an acre to five for a backyard and some kind of garage or shop structure to work in. But a "backyard" on a farm can be the back 40 and in apartment complex about 10 x 10 feet. You can smith in any of them depending on your neighbors and legal restrictions but it really helps to be specific when asking advice.

Then when you ask about tools, do you have ANY? Have you any experiance using them? For some folks "common" tools are sufficient to remove the transmission from their truck and to re-plum their home. . . While for others it may consist of a screw driver and a poor quality hammer. Both my 20 something apartment dwelling children have more than the former. . . so where are you starting?
- guru - Sunday, 08/06/06 21:27:12 EDT

Funny Ries, Backyard could be defined as the size of five porto-potties, that is all my mom lets me use, and i have never
done this before but it seems fun
- Josh - Sunday, 08/06/06 22:19:17 EDT

smoked smelt: Very very tasty. I agree! Love fish.
- packrat - Sunday, 08/06/06 23:29:45 EDT

hmmm - are those metric portapotties or "English" portapotties. You didn't say. And in what part of society do they use the Porta Potty as a unit of area? There may be more obstacles to overcome than I had imagined. I think you may have more serious deficiencies than just a few tools

adam - Sunday, 08/06/06 23:29:54 EDT

Everyone can picture how big a porta-potty is.
- Josh - Monday, 08/07/06 00:32:26 EDT

anyone who has seen a construction site has prably glanced at one of their blue ones
- Josh - Monday, 08/07/06 00:35:11 EDT

tools and space: josh, if you use scrap metal you need to be carefull. i almost bought a mask because i use scrap metal. the iminant dangers on scrap metal is paint or galvanised metal, basically zinc plated metal. both release toxic gases, though niether is lethal in small doses. i had a 4 hour dose before i asked about it here, it made me feel like crap with light headedness and headaches, it was gone within a day though.

my total work area is less than 12 feet by 6 feet. realy, its how you manage your space. when you possition your forge, bucket anvil and vice on block just right you can work in a very small area safely. just remember that you should do "practice runs" making sure that you have NO risk of tripping while moving around in such a tight area. i shudder to think of what could happen if you trip and fall on something...

josh, here you'll defiantely get ALOT of help(i did), you just need to do some research yourself also. look up some books in the library, there are also many online books that ive found over the months....
Isaac - Monday, 08/07/06 02:18:49 EDT

Small work space: If Guru could provide a layout of the work area in His old demo trailer it may help show how proper arangement can work in a small space.
- Dave Boyer - Monday, 08/07/06 02:27:59 EDT

Small Space Shop:
Well. . my work area was small but it was open on three sides with infinite breathing space and elbow room. Facing the forge it was on the right and the vise five feet from the center of the forge to the left and two feet forward. The anvil sat in front of the forge about 5 feet out. The bellows handle was overhead between vise and anvil so that you could pull the bellows with one hand and manipulate the work in the forge or maintain the fire with the other.

My work circle was no more than one step in any direction. The vise jaws were lined up so that work of any length could be clamped in them without obstruction and you could work on all sides of the jaws except directly in back. The traingular vise bench served as tool rack and had a tongs rack on the side. There was also a stock rack on the front of the forge that tongs and fore tools could be hung on. Having everything you need within arms length is very important to perfoming hot work on small pieces.

Josh's 5 PP's = ~ 4 x 20 feet. A long narrow space? Real dimensions (even in paces) would be helpful. How you use it depends on if it is walled in, against a wall on one side or an arbitrary space marked on the ground.

One problem in shops is moving and working with long pieces of stock. In a long narrow space you obviously cannot do a pirouette with a long bar of steel. So you want the vise roughly centered in your work space with the jaws aligned along the long axis of the space. Hopefully one end of a long space is the entrance so that long work can hang out the door, gate or window.

Another problem in small spaces is getting away from the forge fire. The heat can be unbearable if you must stand directly in front of the forge while working. In this respect everything depends on what encloses the space. If there are walls heat will build up and you will need to be farther from the forge than if you are working in open space. In a long narrow space I would put the forge at one end, the anvil about five feet from it and the vise a step farther.

This is not the most convienent arrangement. But without real dimensions and a clear dsecription of the space I will not keep guessing.

Small open air shops with a roof of 10 x 10 or 12 x 12 feet (about 3 x 3 meters) are common. However, having open sides provides for ventilation and room for access and movement.

Smiths doing small specialized work often use much smaller spaces down to 8 x 8 feet (~2.5 x 2.5 meters). However, these are usualy primitive shops where a ground pit forge is used and the smith works on the floor/ground. So it CAN be done. It depends on how driven (or desperate) you are.
- guru - Monday, 08/07/06 09:43:11 EDT

Adam, don't forget the direct method of Wrought Iron production that does not involve molten metal.

"Damascus Steel" is a *BAD* term to use as it refers to two very different materials: wootz steel and pattern welded steel. These are made in *VERY* different ways and can't be confused when seen by a knowledgable eye.

Thomas P - Monday, 08/07/06 10:46:28 EDT

Portapotty Unit of Measure: I like it.....Josh, you've come up with great way to visualize floor space.
- Mike S - Monday, 08/07/06 13:01:35 EDT

Wait a minute here: You guys have obviously not sen the newest line of porta-pottis out there. These things are a full 50% larger than the old standbys. They have little hand basins, a mirror and everything, even solar lighting. I'd guess they run more like 5' by 6-1/2', and come in an environmentaly correct shade of green. Positively posh, I tell you.

Still, I like the notion of a pp as a unit of measure. pp for smaller, old-style ones and PP for the bigger, better, more upscale ones. 3pp=2PP 1 furlong²=13,403PP²
vicopper - Monday, 08/07/06 13:53:40 EDT

getting started: Josh - its a little soon to be worrying about exactly where and with what tools you will be smithing. You should do a lot of reading - this site is a goldmine and there are other good sites too if you poke around. Ask questions - you are doing that and thats good. We here are happy to answer your questions but we expect to see that you have done your own research too - otherwise people will lose patience. You are doing fine so far, just that we get a lot of kids who just fire off any question that comes into their heads without making any effort to find out for themselves and that gets old quickly. The best thing you can do for yourself is to find your local smithing group - they will be listed at under affiliates. These groups hold regular meetings in real blacksmith shops where they demonstrate techniques usually anyone can attend for free or at most for the cost of membership dues. Drag your mom along. She will have a lot more fun than she expects and will develop some respect for your interest. Its crucial to get her on your side. Those guys will be a big help to you. You will progress much much faster than by just tinkering around on your own. Also, if they like your attitude (serious and respectful is important) they will probably give you some help with the tools and the setup. Do that - it will give you a big leg up.
adam - Monday, 08/07/06 13:53:51 EDT

bead work: Still working on my OA welding. I've been laying down beads where the puddle is about 1/8" dia ( thats 7 micro pp - 7upp or 2.3 uPP). It finally dawned on me that to get a nice stack of dimes bead, what has to happen is pretty much the same as with arc welding - dont concentrate on the rod and flame at the hot edge of the puddle, watch the freezing shoreline and when that forms the right shape, move on. But this is a lot more tricky than the stick since you have to do the rod torch dance and avoid burning through. I can do it for short sections, cant yet keep it up dependably (Josh tell your mom you didnt hear that - OK?)
adam - Monday, 08/07/06 14:07:50 EDT

shop size: My last shop was a 9'x17' chickenhouse with log sills that reduced the actual floorspace to more like 7x15, or approximately 3.24PP, ~4.5pp. Coal forge and all! The current shop is a 25' square garage, much more room. The forging side is still about the size of the chickenhouse, though. Guess I was comfy with the dimensions! I don't make big things, though. A driveway gate couldn't be built in there the way it's set up now, for instance, but smaller things go fine.
Alan-L - Monday, 08/07/06 14:28:03 EDT

Abana Site - correction: I wuz rong! its

adam - Monday, 08/07/06 15:00:21 EDT

Thanks for the help, ill try that
- Josh - Monday, 08/07/06 17:20:23 EDT

I have a rather strangely shaped shop. It is a lean to on a lean to on a lean to on a 24' by 32' pole barn. The blacksmith shop is dirt floor, and 22.5' by about 28', with a 5' wide alley off the low end for bar storage and a run out table. That gives me a nice long bar space for cutting. I have a door on the far end of the bar alley, and that is by the drive so loading in new stock is pretty easy as long as one remembers to duck a bit under the 4" boiler pipe rafters at 5'-11". I am 6' tall. I in fact hit one of those pipes Sunday with my head. No worries, all I had to do was reprime and repaint the pipe!
This shop is built with almost entirely salvaged materials. The roof metal was already cut at 22.5' hence that lenght. Seemed a shame to cut 1.5' off each of those lovely 4" x .185 wall Cr-Mo tubes to fit the roof metal.
ptree - Monday, 08/07/06 19:43:10 EDT

Burnt Forge: Thank you for taking the time to answer my question about the anvil. Otis the dog.
Otisthedogking - Monday, 08/07/06 19:55:28 EDT

First Fire: Well, I started to gather tools in Feb. and put down
my first fire in the forge on Sat Aug 5th
I have a 300# peter wright anvil and a forge made from
some old machine base and a centar forge fire box
I have a leg vice but haven't figured a good way to install it. right now the shop is outside, I'm thinking about pouring a slab and puttin up a slant roof off of another building, as it's kind of touchy having the forge going over all the DRY GRASS, kind of scary as I managed to set off a fire down a fence row in MAR. with sparks from the muffler of a welder, 30ft wide 200 ft long before the fir dept got it put out...woopsi
- Steve Mills - Monday, 08/07/06 22:19:49 EDT

Smelting/forging: Josh, by any chance do you play an internet game called, "World of Warcraft"? For the benefit of the adults in this forum, I'll explain: it's a game where among other things to do, your character can "learn" mining (& smelting), blacksmithing, tailoring, etc. The character makes weapons, armor, and other items by first smelting metal ore. Using the metal bars he has produced, he forges an item at the smithy located in every town in the game. The player then uses or sells the items. It's all fancy make-believe, but has exposed quite a few people to our craft. I've had two people come by my smithy to try it out, just because they thought it was pretty cool to blacksmith in that game. How many will stick with it is anyone's guess, but at least they're aware that blacksmithing exists.
Koomori - Monday, 08/07/06 23:34:46 EDT

new project and on "damascus": thx guru for the terminology. im still new to alot of this stuff.... could you supply me with any books or suggestions of places to look on how to produce wootz steel? i looked it up and by today's standards its considered a highly advanced material despite showing up in india around 200ad....

i had an idea for a new project in the far fetched future when my hands are skilled enough to actually pull it off, tell me what you guys think from the description.

in the ancient world probally the BEST suit of armor overall designed was the standard roman cuirass...
according to the history channel this armor was even so tough that it could handle a balista bolt at close ranges, basically a pound of sharpened iron flying at 200mph. they showed in slow motion how the flexible armor absorbed the inpact and sprung back making the bolt quite literally bounce off without even leaving a dent in the armor.

i keep reading all these things about how good wootz steel is(recent research on the matter has shown me thats the legendary damascus ive been learning about recently) and i decided to when i get good enough(5 maybe ten years down the line...) to get good materials together and make a roman cuirass out of wootz. from what i understand of how wootz is made that cuirass would probally be the only suit of armor that i could make out of it(i think large plates of wootz would be hard to make but i need to do yet more research... sooooo much to learn).

basically what this would yield is an incredibly beautifull suit of armor of legendary quality. the modern age has little need for such things but i cant pass up a chance to make such a work of art... also the engineer in me wants to ask, how much could such a suit of armor actually take? though i wouldnt dare ruin such a suit with tests, lol.

anyway you guys think thats a cool idea for a project? i know its WAY beyond my skill level at this point but its definately something to work for and shoot for....
Isaac - Tuesday, 08/08/06 05:32:24 EDT

Isaac, The key words here are ledendary as in myths and legends.

Wootz is a picky and difficult material to work with. However, there are a number of bladesmiths currently making it and will sell the Wootz cakes. I have no clue as to price. Al Pendray, Rick Furrer and others make it on a regular basis

Wootz is not particularly superior than modern steels. In fact it can be and most likely was most often a quite poor material depending on the batch and handling. So far the only consistant superiority they have found to it is in cutting ablility. But this is such subjective testing that it is difficult to come to a scientific conclusion.

There is testing and there is testing. The History Channel is not known for its scientific approach and tends to sensationalize things much as all TV does today (even the so-called journalistic news). There is a huge difference between testing something floating in air and something with the appropriate mass behind it and THEN in the case with a living thing you can kill it via shock without doing external physical damage. . .

Try making armor from mild steel plate first. This is relatively inexpensive, easy to work and is superior to most of the material historicaly used for plate and scale armor.
- guru - Tuesday, 08/08/06 09:10:49 EDT

wootz steel armor: i remember at one time there was one show that was demonstrating midevial style armor (not sure if it is the same show or not isaac) can't quite remember if it was the history channel or mythbuster or what , but it seems like they put one of those balistic jelly dummies behind the armor and ended up showing that the shock from being hit with an arrow out of a long bow, even if it didn't penetrate the armor , might be enough to kill a person'll have to go look that show up...

also i thought it was still up in the air as to whether whats being produced today as wootz steel is the same as what was traditionally produced as wootz steel? or have tests been done to prove its the same thing? maybe i got some bad info somewhere
- thesandycreekforge - Tuesday, 08/08/06 09:59:01 EDT

Al Pendray set out to make true Wootz and from microscopic examination compared to old samples it is the same. The problem is there are very few original samples that you can cut pieces off and study. Then there is the problem of chemistry, not having the exact sample ores and not knowing EXACTLY what was used. Many of the ingrediants reportedly used by the ancients have been tested and proved to be of no consequence. But when something you do not understand works you do EVERYTHING the same from then on. . In fact the heating and cooling cycle appears to be the critical aspect. The Wootz being made today appears in every aspect to be the same as that made one thousand years ago. Everything from the appearance of the raw cake to the finished steel blades. Do not compare this to laminated "Damascus" steel, they are totaly different.

So you have a number of comparison problems, starting with little to compare to then using modern temperature control techniques which probably result in a slightly better product, or at least success more often.

Since Al Pendray's work Rick Furrer and others have experimented with Wootz making larger cakes and making other changes to see what happens. One interesting aspect they have found is that it does not matter what direction you cut the cake, you get the same pattern. But if you want historicaly accurate Wootz they can make it for you. You can also do it yourself since the process is now fairly well known.
- guru - Tuesday, 08/08/06 10:34:48 EDT

Chambersburg: #300 General Utility Steam Hammer, Perfect condition with bluing on the ways.
$10,000.00 or best offer
Atlanta, GA
- Andrew Crawford - Tuesday, 08/08/06 11:08:36 EDT

Armour Effectivness:
The effectivness of armor is dependant on many things. Body armor may increase your chances of survival but a smart enemy is going to aim where your armor is not OR increase firepower. For archers and gunmen this means head shots, groin or leg shots. Places that can be just as fatal but are slightly harder to hit. Full coverage armor slows you down and with increased firepower you need speed for avoidance more than armor that doesn't work. . .
- guru - Tuesday, 08/08/06 11:16:20 EDT

Wootz steel: Hello Guru,
Do you have a website for the gentlement you mentioned above in the post on wootz steel. All I could turn up on yahoo and google was mentions of them doing demonstrations, but no website for them personally,
Aaron @ The SCF
- thesandycreekforge - Tuesday, 08/08/06 11:45:20 EDT

Working Wootz: I was amused a number of years back reading a magazine article from when Al Pendray was first experimenting with wootz, and he complained about how hard it was to work, and how it would not bear working too hot. "Bingo!" thought I, since these are caharacteristics of wootz that were mentioned in contemporary accounts.

A weapon made of wootz steel was doubly valuable, since the first cost was the relatively complex and arcane method that went into creating the steel in the first place, and the second factor was the extent of labor needed to forge it into anything useful Sort of like whanging on a large 52100 ball bearing with a light hand hammer, trying to get it to do something.

I actually have a wootz steel knife from North Afica. Some idiot took a power grinder or some other nasty thing to it in an effort to resharpen; so there would be another labor cost; if it's hard, it doesn't sharpen-up easily.
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Tuesday, 08/08/06 12:14:31 EDT

Aaron, Ric Furrer can be found at Door County Forgeworks.

Ric's website
Alan-L - Tuesday, 08/08/06 12:30:31 EDT

fancy armor: Capturing a suit of armor would be a huge windfall for a common soldier. If you show up for battle with a really expensive suit of armor you'd likely be the target of choice for everyone on the other side.
adam - Tuesday, 08/08/06 13:57:01 EDT

The History Channel is so a-historical that folks in Living History wince when you mention it.

I'd bet you your weight in wrought iron that they did not make the Roman armour out of wrought iron for their test! My bet is that they used a material that didn't come around commercially till after the American Civil War.

Thomas P - Tuesday, 08/08/06 14:00:24 EDT

further on the wootz armor: thanks for all the responses to my idea! :D.

anyway im an "amatour historian", meaning i dont have a phd but i still have ALOT of knowledge on history, along with that i live in a family of engineers. its like family tradition to look at the physics of how something works, even something as simple as the roman cuirass.

fuedal armor built in the style of plates often offered FANTASTIC shock protection. the good ones had curved plates to encourage glancing blows with swords AND arrows, the wearer also ALLWAYS had a surcoat on with the possible chain shirt(depending on how far he wanted to go and how deep his pockets were). a wearer of good plate and mail normally would expect to feel very little of the strikes on his armor(save with his arms and legs), that doesnt mean he cant feel anything and it doesnt mean it doesnt hurt it means that the suit offers so much protection against weapons that actually dont penetrate that the wearer wont experience anything like broken ribs easaly(it is VERY possible though).

the roman cuirass is a marvel because its like the ancient version of kevlar. both work in very the same manner, they dont try to be so strong that nothing can pierce them, they try to slowly absorb the force of the inpact before holding solid against it. by the time either protection holds fast the majority of the energy from the blow is lost and the blow cant summon enough force to pierce through.

the roman cuirass also had an aditional feature that also makes certian styles of scale armor fantastic suits. the bands of metal plate over each other, at those points the armor is twice as thick and offers even better protection. with that the addition of loose plates that allows the wearer freer movement. the problem is that it can experience trouble that any flexible armor like chain, scale or whatever experiences, often the armor saves the wearer's life but doesnt fully protect him. "soft suits" can essentially turn a sword into a bat, a good suit defends against the bashing damage to a degree.

as for the roman cuirass metal quality in the demonstration im not sure about what era the roman cuirass acheaved its height in protection. early in rome they worked with rought iron and they originally developed those massive shields because it was a VERY stupid idea to parry with thier iron weapons(a proper parry uses a sword like a spring, defending with the flat of the blade. a death sentance for an early gladius...), in truth rome was only useing iron at the time because it was ALOT cheeper and more comman than the materials needed to make bronze. however there is ALOT of evedence that at the same time roman soldiers fresh into the army bought either leather or cheep bronze or iron plates to protect themselves(changes from the traditional uniform roman image huh?). realy i need to do more research on the roman cuirass before i make a claim that it was a later roman invention and that it used material good enough to do a job similar to that shown on the history channel. currently the arguement that it wasnt capible of such defense in roman times holds weight. the matter stands that with good materials the design itself is FANTASTIC.

the one thing i thought about wootz is that the way i understand it, the overall quality realy is aided by the quality of the materials going in, if i put good high quality MODERN materials in i might get a higher quality piece of wootz out, who knows? realy wootz looked good, its beautifull and has very much a spring action and in no way is brittle while keeping a good deal of strength(wich is why its so good for blades) wich i theorise is perfect for the way a roman cuirass defends its wearer. realy i wonder what i would name such a suit of armor.... a work of art like that deserves a name...
Isaac - Tuesday, 08/08/06 15:29:29 EDT

Isaac, you've never been whacked in the ribs with a rattan stick while wearing a quilted surcaot under plain maille, I take it? Broken ribs are pretty common, even in the SCA today.

Wootz isn't brittle, as the super-hard carbides that give it such good cutting performance are distributed through a much softer matrix of iron. Good for blades, and would make good abrasion-resistant armor, but would dent like wrought.

When you're done, will you volunteer to take a ballista bolt as proof? (big grin)
Alan-L - Tuesday, 08/08/06 15:59:39 EDT

Body Armor mythology: And what I have seen posted above is just that - myth. NOt fact, not science, and not even from anyone who has ever taken a hit while wearing soft body armor (SBA). Allow me to introduce a bit of reality here, if you will.

Soft body armor, typically made of Kevlar™ (Aramid fiber) these days, is designed to diffuse the energy of a projectile hit through displacement; they do not slowly absorb the impact. The impact is going to happen at the velocity of the projectile, typically around the speed of sound and up (1100fps+). My current SBA uses panels that are roughly 5/16" thick, so a projectile traveling at Mach 1 is going to shed its energy into the vest in a split second, spreading that energy over a larger area than the nose of the projectile, hopefully. If we talk about a 10mm pistol round with a velocity of 1300fps and a bullet weight of 135 grains, we're getting around 500 foot-pounds of energy. That means that when the vest stops the round, it is dumping 500 foot-pounds of energy into the wearer right quickly. (That's somewhere around 625 joules for the physics types who understand those units.)

The energy of stopping that projectile is *NOT* "lost"; rather, it is transmitted to the poor sod wearing the vest, often with the result of broken ribs, ruptured internal organs, a cessation of heartbeat, etc. To say nothing of the fact that it hurts like hell. You can trust me on this; you don't need to try it yourself. If, however, you insist on determining empirically if I know whereof I speak, find a bad guy with a .40 and have him shoot you. From personal experience, I don't recommend it.

Now, that same amount of energy arriving in the form of an ice pick or pointy knife is going to slice through that vest like you wouldn't believe, rendering the wearer a statistic if the point of impact is over a fragile little organ like the heart. The old "ballistic nylon" was actually quite a bit better at stopping sharp and/or pointy things.

When it comes to body armor, there is absolutely nothing made now or at anytime in history that will stop anything that is thrown at it and still allow the wearer to move. If you think otherwise, don your favorite suit and try to catch an AP round from a .50 cal, or a heavy, steel-tipped dart from an atlatl or crossbow. There is always *something* that will get the job done, believe me. In the final analysis, its a matter of weighing the odds and hoping for the best while planning for much less than the best.

Be very wary of believing much of what you read or hear about things historical that have captured the popular imagination. As you have said, they are often FANTASTIC; rooted in complete fantasy, myth and hyperbole. The reality is, a lot of people have been killed proving that weapons always best armor in the end, and that progress means bigger, better, faster ways of annihilating ourselves and others. Far better to learn diplomacy and tact, a couple of attributes I unfortunately don't have.
vicopper - Tuesday, 08/08/06 19:40:46 EDT

body armor: when I was about 10yrs old, my mother despairing of the way I trashed clothes bought me a pair of lederhosen. Naturally I bragged about them no end. Well one of the kids, I guess a bit older than the rest of us had a new air pistol and said he bet they would stand a hit from his pistol. Well I had bragged myself into a corner (not the first or the last time my mouth has gotten me into a tight spot) so I did the William Tell thing but offering a buttock instead of an apple. Luckily he was a good shot and hit sq dead center. The pain was shocking and I had huge black bruise on my tender little ass that hurt like the devil for over a week. That was prolly 0.1 gm at about 10m/s mebbe not even that.
adam - Tuesday, 08/08/06 20:21:53 EDT

Since Adam has already done they experiment with lederhosen there is no need to repeat it with anyone else at Quad-State!

Further warning: The only reason I turn the other "cheek" it to get more wind up on what is about to hit you *hard* and I never use a hand when an implement will do!

Thomas P - Tuesday, 08/08/06 20:33:55 EDT

Body armor in military use in the recent past. First disclaimer, I unlike Vicopper, was NOT armored at the point of impact of my gunshot wound, and it hurt!
In the military, we used to have two flavors of body armor. One was balistic nylon and the other was made of steel plates in a cloth cover. the steel "chicken vest" was an armor crewman model and weighed about 32#. The nylon was for walking types and was in the 8# range as I remember. Both were NOT for bullet impacts but were for the most prolific killer of humans in warfare, shell splinters. Shell splinters is the correct term for what many call, incorrectly, shrapnel. Neither of these vests would stop shrapnel, which is a canister round that is filled with balls, often as big as a 1" in the old days. Shell splinters run from microscopeic to several pound fragments that will cut a truck in half.
The steel, and later kevlar helments are for shell splinters as well.

Firearms and especially the king of battle, artillery, ended body armor as a viable defense from all but incidential impacts long ago.
ptree - Tuesday, 08/08/06 20:59:59 EDT

ThomasP, But have any experiments been made as to the impact resistance of that red hat?
ptree - Tuesday, 08/08/06 21:01:52 EDT

Armor: VICopper, I'm glad you posted that. I'm always amazed at people's lack of understanding in the area. I remember reading a newspaper article beating up on the military because it's bulky PASGT vests wouldn't stop assault rifle rounds, when every police officer in America had a lightweight bulletproof vest that would. I don't think the military vests had quite the latest and greatest, but for the most part Kevlar is Kevlar.

I guess I'll be picky and point out that while a vest can't absorb a bullet's momentum, just transferring that momentum to a greater mass (a section of the vest) does reduce the energy significantly. Similarly (but more dramatically), firing a bullet imparts the same momentum on the bullet and the gun; the bullet, being lighter, ends up with much more energy. I won't say more than that -- there are probably people walking around who've been hit by more bullets than I've fired in my life.
Mike B - Tuesday, 08/08/06 21:17:07 EDT

Bullets: Had more than just a couple come my way, but only two ever made contact. The one in the vest, and one that just barely singed the hair and hide off my arm. Both annoyed me...severely. (grin)

Mike B:

I'm surely no physicist, so I can't talk knowledgeably about joules, ergs and the like, but I do know that a bullet in the vest feels like a sledgehammer hit. You nap for a few days afterward, and breathe really, really shallowly. And it still hurts.

A full-on ceramic/Kevlar flack vest might stop a rifle round, butyou'd probably stil be dead from the traumatic shock. Big improvement, huh? I do wish that the myth about lightweight vests stopping assault rifle rounds was true. I'd really like to be the guy holding the patent rights for that material. I could give up bein' a gunslinger for the Territory and be a gentleman blacksmith.
vicopper - Tuesday, 08/08/06 21:48:52 EDT

body armor: believe it or not ive allready done a great deal of research on modern body armor. a good place to look up information on it(and buy some) is

kevlar itself is a soft body armor, it comes in four levels, I, II-A, II, and III-A. the latter being the toughest. despite being able to handle pistol rounds they are soft and it turns the piercing damage that the round would have done into crushing and bashing. a shot from a 9mm very likely will crack the ribs of a person wearing 9mm alone, repeded shots will take him out if the armor is pierced or not. however kevlar itself isnt powerfull enough to handle high velocity rounds such as rifle rounds.

thats when an additional piece comes in, the rifle plate. also known as a trauma plate this beefs the vest up to the point where it can not only withstand a rifle round but the wearer can handle the blunt trauma. the rigid steel, plastic or ceramic plate disperses the inpact over the person's whole chest making it much easier for him to handle the blow. that doesnt mean that the round doesnt crack ribs when he is wearing a plate. when someone is hit by a rifle and the body armor holds generally the force can cause severe damage anyway.

however lets look at this realisticly. "for every action there is an equal and opisate reaction". meaning all the force that gets directed in the bullet gets directed back in the recoil. in other words, if the person has a vest on with a rifle plate the force he should experience is similar to the recoil of your gun with some fall off over distance. ive heard of people breaking thier shoulders by loosing grip of their rifle when they shot(stupid people)but it isnt this EXTREEME thing that holywood makes people thing. literally blowing someone away is inpossible with small arms fire, it doesnt happen, not enough energy.

finally, a new material called "dragonskin", a flexible body armor similar to kevlar that defeats rifle rounds.

i dont want to be wearing that because it will basically be the equivilant of wearing a jacket while someone beats you with a bat, not just someone but someone like "the incredible hulk's younger brother". the solid rifle plate makes it physically possible for soldiers to withstand the trauma, the same goes for solid ancient armor.

in ancient armor a good solid plate was the best defense, the better it was designed the less energy was transfered to you or the more dispersed the energy would be. the suits nicknamed "full plate" by paper and pencil rpgs was worn by jousting knights for a reason. the design was such that the armor would protect the wearer from severe blunt trauma. despite the fact that a lance is designed to break, it normally doesnt break too often on inpact, it breaks after it "sticks" and the lance turns. this means that basically the lance delivers a incredible blow to someone WITHOUT breaking first, in tournaments this basically ment that the receaving knight was getting hit by unbelieveable forces. imagine the combined weight of the rider, his armor, his horse, his horse's armor, and the lance going at you around 30mph? imagine that force focused at one point(aka the lance tip)? despite the GOOD design of many of those suits the wearer still often experienced broken jaws, ribs and arms, but considering the stresses involved the suits do an incredible job at defense against blunt objects.
Isaac - Tuesday, 08/08/06 22:35:59 EDT

knife through kevlar: i forgot to add about this. knives and ap rounds go through kevlar because they are hard and sharp. unlike a fmj round that deforms on inpact and doesnt realy focus its energy a knife can cut through kevlar pretty well, same with ap. its point realy just works its way betwean the fibers and challenges the vest a couple fibers at a time unlike a fmj that splats on it and takes on a large area of the vest at once. the piercing key to sucess in kevlar is the same with every suit of armor. most often with any suit of armor in history your best bet in pounding through it was a thrust, thats one of the many reasons why the roman gladius and spears were so sucessfull in history, armor just had a hard time putting up with all that energy focused at a very TINY point.
Isaac - Tuesday, 08/08/06 22:49:29 EDT

I am just old enough, at 29 now, to recall a time when somebody, perhaps ol' Cracked Anvil, brought up the general subject of switchblades and spears and such and there was much pious cluck-clucking about how this venue was not appropriate for such nastiness. My goodness gracious, how the times have changed!I go with my old lacrosse coach, the best defense is a good offense.
Miles Undercut - Tuesday, 08/08/06 22:59:36 EDT

heh, speaking of "the best defense is a good offense" im taking kendo right now and i bring the "patton aproch" to it. patton in his lifetime was a world class fencer(yes i know kendo isnt fencing), he was good enough that he re-wrote the us army's saber manual, in it he didnt put in a parry manouver on purpose. his all for nothing pure offense style won him 9th place in the olympics, pretty good actually...

kendo is a two handed sword style, we used to use pure wood swords but we switched to bamboo ones because there were too many injuries with the solid swords even with the good armor we have. anyway, i train with the patton aproch trying to keep my stamina up so i can keep striking untill the round up, the goal is to give my oponent no opertunity to take offense, by doing that i controll the fight and if i can keep it up i will almost asuradly win(there are great defensive styles that some people have developed that do work pretty well though), keep in mind that is if i can keep it up :P.
Isaac - Wednesday, 08/09/06 01:21:48 EDT

i hate not being able to edit posts...: the title says it all...

anyway i mentioned patton got 9th in the "olympics", just know that isnt the olympics we think of.... i need to dig up where i found that information on patton...
Isaac - Wednesday, 08/09/06 01:24:04 EDT

Bulletproof ?: I know from first hand experience that a .308 Winchester [150 gr bullet @ 2400FPS]soft point round will PUNCH right through 3/8" hot rolled steel. It punches out a slug looking like 1/2 of a sphere about 5/8" in diameter. A 7.62x57 NATO round as fired by M14 and a few others is the same , but with a pointy full jacketed bullet. As rifle bullets go these are only about "medium" power. I think I would need to see the rifle plate work to believe it, and wouldn't want to get in a situation where I was counting on the plate being where the bullets would go.
Dave Boyer - Wednesday, 08/09/06 01:28:20 EDT

equal reaction: This applies only to the MOMENTUM not to the kinetec energy. Mike B pointed this out earlier. The reason a gun recoil is tolerable is that the gun being heavier takes up a lot less kinetec energy than the bullet. If you take Rich's data - 500 ft lbs is enough to lift a 150# man over 3ft into the air. If that is delivered in any kind of a jolt it will be very destructive. Lets suppose the armor stops the bullet in 2" of padding. At 1300fps initial velocity coming to rest in 2" thats about .3 millisecs. 600Joules over .3millisecs is over 2 MEGAwatts of power for the duration of the impact! Thats quite a jolt even if its distributed over the whole body. More likely it enters the body over something like a 6" dia area - thats 87kW per sq in. I am pretty impressed that it only took a few days of napping for Rich to recover from that.
adam - Wednesday, 08/09/06 01:48:30 EDT

sledge hammer equivalent: Another way to view the impact that Rich described: its the equivalent of stopping a 10# sledge hammer moving at 40mph (a damn fast swing). I am beginning to see advantages of tact and diplomacy over lederhosen

If we move on to rifle bullets at twice the speed of sound, the impact energy goes up by about a factor of four.

The only way to mitigate the impact that I can see is to increase the time over which its delivered and thus reduce the power. This means the bullet has to be stopped over a longer distance and that means padding over 6" thick. Mebbe one of those "energy fields" they have on Star Trek - but you just can have an energy field since energy is not a vector quantity its a scalar.....

ok sleep now - check my math - 'slate and I am rambling...
adam - Wednesday, 08/09/06 02:15:15 EDT

bulleproof?: dont believe rifle plates work? copy and paste this link and see for your own eyes...

also on the equal reaction, that is a rule for EVERY motion you do. much of our technology is based apon "reactors" or systems that use the principle of reaction to produce power. hell the principle of reaction is the whole reason why a rocket in space can manouver by burning fuel.

the reason why the recoil on the rifle is controllable is that the rifle weighs more than the bullet. its that simple. through years of having fun with firearms ive learned that with the same grainage and caliber a heavier rifle will have less recoil, and it makes sense physically. the explosion has the force to push a couple gram object at 1700fps, but it doesnt have the energy to push a 10 pound object the same, furthermore if you have a good hold on the rifle you absorb the energy exerted. if your hip shooting its absorbing the "recoil" in a spring like action with your arms, if your in shoulder fire you essentially add your weight to the rifles weight in wich the charge inside the bullet has to move. the bullet can move a 4 gram bullet, but not 180 lbs of weight very well.

bullets are frighteningly effective because its alot of energy focused at a very fine point. the bullet quite literally has to cut and bash through less because of its size. im not trying to say that a rifle plate will completely shield you from the shot. most people who survive getting hit by a rifle with one of those on finds he cant breathe and his chest bruises all over, in close ranges often he will find that he has damaged ribs, some people have gone into shock despite the round being stoped by the armor. in the end the armor did its job, saved the wearer's life.
Isaac - Wednesday, 08/09/06 02:15:16 EDT

that photo does not show what would happen to the man wearing one of those plates on his chest. The plate stops the bullet but what happens to the kinetic energy.

Isaac, I think you dont understand the difference between momentum and energy. This is high school physics.
adam - Wednesday, 08/09/06 02:20:33 EDT

momentum and energy: lol i was about to pull the same line of "this is high school physics". i know very well that momentum will make it hit "harder". this is because the law that states an object wishes to stay in its current state of motion, in other words it would tkae more energy to stop the bullet than to keep it going. in order to deflect the bullet your body, or the vest or whatever would have to exert more "normal" force(i believe thats what its called, the same physical force that ocurs betwean a book and the table is resting on, essentially the table pushes back at the book in that case) than the total energy that the bullet currently has. its pretty scary when you think about it, when you built something to stop something you need it to be able to exert more "normal force"(in other words withstand so much energy before breaking) than the object you defending against actually has!

also the photo doesnt show what would happen to someone wearing the vest but ive allready described realy what would happen, ive done it in the post before last too you just ignored it :P.

[quote=Isaac]most people who survive getting hit by a rifle with one of those on finds he cant breathe and his chest bruises all over, in close ranges often he will find that he has damaged ribs, some people have gone into shock despite the round being stoped by the armor. in the end the armor did its job, saved the wearer's life.[/quote](thats classic forum code, i know it doesnt work here but it still works as a visual aid)

heh, im the kind of guy whos been obsessed with militaria since i could read, ive read countless books on all sorts of subjects but i dont limit myself to that. i hang out with marines and other military personel too. lol, just a couple weeks back i almost joined the marines, i decided that i have just a few things in my life that i want sorted first.

anyway, many of my marine friends have seen combat in their 8 year contracts(4 active, 4 in reserve or active if you wish) and theyll tell you too, a bullet does NOT exert the kind of force some of you are talking about. a 10 lb sledgehammer at 40mph would be well more than enough to kill the man instantly, knock him off his feet and possibly cause him to roll many feet after he hits the ground(hell the knocking and rolling part isnt hard, ive seen it plenty of times in tae kwon do tournaments without the guy being hit receaving a broken rib). in other words, it doesnt happen.

what does happen is a soldier gets shot, his vest protects him but the trauma is so great that he collapses from shock and is out of the fight. if someone aids him soon he'll likely fight another day. that or a soldier gets bruised and or broken ribs from the shot. another thing that happens is that a soldier gets shot, his vest doesnt hold out and the bullet penetrates but the energy of the bullet is so depleted that it doesnt do much, though i bet more than anything that the shot man is taken out of the fight once again.

modern body armor isnt there to make you like a terminator, its to make sure that you live through the experience, you may be injured in the process but you live. i honestly dont think ive read an article about a guy who died even after his vest held out against shots, ive seen plenty of people who needed medical aid after being shot and thier vest holding though.

anyway, this all is gonna go on forever at this rate :(. just look up some information will ya? had somewhere in thier rifle plate section and warning stating that people can still get severely injured even with the product...
Isaac - Wednesday, 08/09/06 04:14:13 EDT

additional thought: god i hate not being able to edit my posts....

anyway, years back two guys robbed a bank in la with ak47's drum mags and body armor covering every body part exept thier feet. the police officers could only bring pistol amunition to bear on the robbers and they seemed to be like something out of an action movie. despite the police officers being sure they hit the gunmen several times with thier pistols the gunmen were completely unphased. they continued on thier rampage for quit some time, i believe one commited suicide with a pistol, i dont remember what happened to the other.

i just wanted to present that to show that you guys are over exagerating the sheer force that bullets have. i bet those robbers were in pain but when the police shot them they just turned and unloaded rounds on whoever shot them. they likely had good body armor with a thick piece of material underneath, i dont know though...

in the end rifle rounds are the ones that cause the real trauma when stopped, heck pistol rounds in a rifle barrel can be devestating too. however the force still isnt this "10lb sledgehammer at 40mph".
Isaac - Wednesday, 08/09/06 04:26:54 EDT

thinking: hate triple posting...

anyway, i did some thinking and this realy is developing into this huge arguement, in arguements online people will often go to rediculas lengths to win even when they actually are more sensible than that.

ill say that everything you guys said is right if we can just quit this nonesense about modern kevlar and all taht and get back to good ol blacksmithing, thats why i came here and thats why i still hang out here :D.
Isaac - Wednesday, 08/09/06 05:11:35 EDT

Force, Energy Momentum: These all have precise meanings in engineering and physics. I said the *impact* of the round was the equivalent of a 10# sledge hammer at 40mph. I did not pull that number out of my rear end. I calculated it. If you like I will post the details but instead something else might be more useful

Momentum is mass times velocity. Kinetic energy is 1/2 mass times the velocity squared. Now a 150 grain bullet @ the speed of sound, in metric units a 10gm bullet @ about 300 m/s has a momentum of 3 kgm/s. The law of equal and opposite reactions says the gun must have the same momentum - lets say the gun is 1.5 kg - then to get a momentum of 3 it must recoil at 2m/s. But the kinetic energies depend on the squares of the velocities. The KE of the bullet is 0.01 x 300^2 /2 = 450 while the KE of the gun is 1.5 x 2^2 /2 = 3! The bullet has 150x the energy of the gun.
adam - Wednesday, 08/09/06 08:30:32 EDT

Facts: I'm not even going to bother reading the rest of Isaac's posts on body armor, as he quite obvously knows noting about it at all. SUffice it to say the Dave Boyer is correct; the plate added to soft body armor is a "Trauma Plate" and is *NOT* intended to stop rifle rounds. It is to distribute any impact force directly over the most vital organ, the heart, over a broader area to lessen the chance of blunt force trauma to the heart. It won't even stop a wimpy blunt-nosed rifle round, much less a 7.62fmj NATO round.

Isaac, I wear this stuff all the time, have worn it since the very first SBA was developed in the seventies. My first best was a Second Chance vest with a two-digit serial number, if that tells you how long I've been doing this. I also do the research and testing for our department as far as buying vests for our personnel. Better you prattle on about something where you're not selling horseapples to a horseman.
vicopper - Wednesday, 08/09/06 09:46:16 EDT

At the risk of restarting this whole thing, let me first say that he who does not listen to a police officer who has been shot while wearing body armor about the effects of said shooting could use a refresher in many things...

One story, then I'll shut up. A few years back, a policeman in the town I used to live in confronted a guy carrying an 8lb sledgehammer down the street in the wee hours of the morning, on the perfectly good theory that this is not a normal activity in a bad neighborhood. The hammerman didn't slow down, he simply spun around and landed a solid hit with his sledge squarely on the police officer's trauma plate, breaking sevreal ribs and causing cardiac arrest. The officer survived, but is now permanently disabled.

Now, let's talk about the abilities of katana to sever three humans at a stroke after dicing machine-gun barrels. (evil grin, don't even think about it!)
Alan-L - Wednesday, 08/09/06 10:22:26 EDT

Not seen:
What is not seen in those static images of kevlar armour is what shape it was at peak energy absorption and how far it moved. It was not flat. It was a parabaloid inches deep, where the wearers ribs WERE a millisecond before.

Most people cannot imagine the dynamics of impact energy displacement. Even anvils bend when struck and both anvil and hammer surfaces temporarily displace material for an instant. There is simple physics and then there is real life. In real life steel is flexible like rubber and is deflected by the slightest force and that movement easily measured with common tools. In our machine shop I would tell the guys that steel is like rubber except when apposed to flesh. . . so DON'T lean on the machine!

In this kind of physics people think things stop instantly. "Instant" is impossible as it results in infinite force. So there is always a ratio of movement. The small fast thing makes the large stationary thing move at a proportionately slower speed. When a hammer hits an anvil the anvil always moves. The anvil deflects, the stand and the ground below it also deflect and then they all spring back. What is not seen prevents infinite forces.
- guru - Wednesday, 08/09/06 10:30:55 EDT

Infinite force: Suppose the plate stops the rifle bullet in, say, 1/4". Seems reasonable if the round doesnt penetrate. Now energy = force x distance. So a pistol round carrying 500 ftlbs of KE will apply 24000lbs of force while stopping against the plate. The plate may be 12" sq but, as Guru explained, it will flex so lets say that this force is distributed over a 6" radius (a very generous estimate) that means the ave pressure is about 890 psi (the peak pressure at the center is much higher) or more than 60 atmospheres. Those numbers are for a pistol round - for a rifle bullet at twice the speed of sound they would be 4x as large.
- adam - Wednesday, 08/09/06 11:36:30 EDT

High School Physics: I have on my desk a 1960's copy of Sears & Zemansky. A standard undergrad physics text. In there they do the same calculation that I posted above for a Springfield rifle weighing 9.69lbs, a 150grain bullet and a muzzle velocity of 2700fps. They calculate the KE of the round as 2440 ft lbs and the KE of recoiling rifle as 5.25 ftlbs.

It is primarily this uneven distribution of the kinetic energies that makes the weapon recoil tolerable and the impact of the round lethal - its true that the concentration of the rounds energy into a very small area also helps but its not the main effect.
adam - Wednesday, 08/09/06 11:53:05 EDT

KE & Momentum: Note that for A given KE, a heavy bullet moving slowly will have much greater effect at impact, because of the greater momentum. I have seen the difference in live combat situations. The momentum of a big slow bullet can knock a man down, while the same energy in a small fast bullet will not. That is one reason the "catching a moving sledgehammer head" analogy is not appropriate.
- John Odom - Wednesday, 08/09/06 12:33:38 EDT

Analogy: While I agree with John Odom in theory, my own empirical testing indicates that it is extremely difficult to tell the difference between the bullet and the sledgehammer. Both put you on the ground and scramble your guts something fierce. I have not, however, ever taken a small, really high-velocity round, so I can't personally attest to their effect. I'll bet it ain't exactly salubrious, though. (grin)
vicopper - Wednesday, 08/09/06 16:04:32 EDT

a rebuttle: honestly, i dont speak about these things in pure numbers and physics because all of this math will allways fail to take in how an actual person will react under those effects.

vicopper helped me out earlier by talking about his experience in a vest. his heart didnt stop, he wasnt knocked several feet back, the bullet still didnt kill him through the vest, it was a pretty nasty injury none the less from what he described.

i cant realy refute the mathmatical evedence because the mathmatics you did were correct, however the effects of a 9mm fmj on the human body when stopped by a vest are VASTLY different than say the sledgehammer. alan helped me out on that one, he told a story of what happened to a police officer when he got hit in the chest with a sledge hammer, very much like i thought. his heart stopped and was cripped, he proballly was knocked to the ground or was thrown a short distance too.

though the kinetic energy of a 9mm round may be similar to the sledgehammer may be similar the effects are not. a sledgehammer to the chest is most asuradly going to cripple you and stop your heart, its a miricle if you live through it. however, people the world over have been shot by 9mm in the chest with thier vest on and not experienced results like the sledgehammer. i bet it hurt like hell but the results were different. some cases the victim was so beaten up that he could not continue the fight, in others like the case of the la bank robbers the victim took the shots in stride and continued fighting.

want to see some men take pistol ammunition in stride on video? here you go, the famious bank robbers

in the video an officer says it all "they are wearing heavy body armor so uh.... it doesnt knock them down at all".

the police handguns were so outclassed that the police raided gunstores to get any sort of a rifle they could get their hands on, the pistols they had couldnt do SQUAT to the robbers because the robbers had level III-a kevlar covering almost every part of thier body.

i wont pull the math stuff, it doesnt tell the whole story, just check out what ACTUALLY happened in real life. heavy body armor is so effective that in los angeles if you have a felony on your record you cannot purchase body armor. this is because la gang members would fight police with body armor from time to time and the police found that thier pistols wouldnt do anything to the target just as with the 1997 bank robery.

:(, at this rate this silly arguement is never gonna end....
Isaac - Wednesday, 08/09/06 16:07:46 EDT

any body have an answer for the guy about stropping paste?
metal work & blacksmithing anyone?
- cordell - Wednesday, 08/09/06 17:46:10 EDT

rebuttle [sic]: Isaac didnt you tell us that you are from a family of engineers? And that it's a tradition in your family to look at the physics? Yet when I try to discuss the physics with you, throw up your hands - whoa! big math! This was NOT math, it was barely even arithmetic. This was basic, very basic high school physics. Anyone who has had this education would at least recognize the formulas. You presume lecture us about reaction and momentum, yet it's obvious from the way careless way you use these and other words such as force and energy that you do not know what they mean. If you really were to spend time in the company of engineers you would quickly, and sharply be corrected. You say my math is correct? Really? Have you checked it? I believe you couldnt tell the difference if I had written complete nonsense. On this site there are people with deep expertise in a surprisingly wide range of subjects. This is a place where if you bull**** you get called on it. It's one of the great strengths of this forum IMO - that you will be corrected. It happens to me on a regular basis. Now while I do have and engineering degree I am no expert on mechanical engineering or physicis. But I know enough about the basics to know that you are trying to bluster your way out of ignorance. No one with any kind of education in this field would try to dismiss the numbers. Numbers rule in math and physics.

Now my knowledge of armor vs firearms is limited to my early experiment with the lederhosen. But when you pit a veteran police officer who's life, and the lives of his fellow officers depends on his knowledge against an 18yo who has spent a lot of time plinking and almost joined the marines two weeks ago (whoa! awesome dude) its not even a match. Add to that the fact that Rich has long reputation here for being careful and reliable with the information he posts while you on the otherhand dont hesitate to bulls*** and bluster - as demonstrated by your lecture on the physics of recoil. You are not impressing anyone here but yourself. You are making a complete ass of yourself. Cut it out!
adam - Wednesday, 08/09/06 18:21:40 EDT

Stropping paste?: What was the question? I'm old fashioned but for my leather working tools, I use jeweler's rouge compound on thick sole leather. The leather is mounted on a lengthy, homemade, wooden "paddle". The leather is about 2.5" x 12". I think some woodworking supply houses also sell a chromium oxide for stropping. Some old timers do a final stropping on the palm of their hand. That will shurenuff tell you which way to go when you're stropping.
Frank Turley - Wednesday, 08/09/06 18:26:57 EDT

Frank: Ben( on 8/2/06) asked about the paste I hadn't seen an answer, I read this forum daily
- cordell - Wednesday, 08/09/06 18:40:10 EDT

the EXACT reason why i wanted to end the arguement earlier even with me admiting that you guys were completely right is that i did NOT want to make an ass of myself. i much rather loose a pathetic arguement than get you guys all pissed off at me.

the "checking" on math i did actually was with an online calculator, it doesnt mean i am good at all that, it means that i checked that a 10lb sledgehammer is in the same ballpark of kinetic energy as the bullet we were discussing(i didnt check the bullet, i assumed that the bullet would be 600j as stated).

let me clear something up, i HATE arguements like these because they generally make everyone upset and one of the people in the arguement is labled an "ass" because he strongly holds another standpoint. the reason why i said that all taht big math isnt the big picture because though you can look at the numbers and compare it to all sorts of stuff you DONT know actually what it means in terms of interaction with the human body. currently the best path to that is set up an actual experiment, its one thing to see something on a blackboard, its quite another to see it in real life. in the end ALL science in this area will look at things on a blackboard then actually test it, because conclusions from the blackboard can be different as with thise case.

i look at it from a physical standpoint of "how much can the human body handle?" and "what is the difference betwean a sledgehammer and a 10g bullet?". these both pose some problems, like i learned from martial arts that the human hand when possitoned right can withstand energy far greater than 800j, it seems unbelievable but true(how else could you pound through bricks?). anyway, earlier in my life i drew the same conclusions as you guys, even with a kevlar vest the person is pretty much dead, however REAL WORLD evedence keeps pileing up showing the otherwise, hell i showed you guys 2 bank robbers who got shot repededly with pistol amunition and kept going. it was only when the police got rifles did the robbers go down. real evedence that realy happened, none of you can realy refute it, it happened, the only way to counteract that is try to explain to me how that situation was different than the ones your thinking about.

in the end i much wrather say "you guys were right" and end this here, i dont like being an ass, i tried ending the arguement earlier(to no luck) just to avoid this. YOU WERE RIGHT. im so glad thats over, you guys can be right all you want if it means an end to all this stupid argueing.

your information on why the recoil of the weapon has so much less kinetic energy than the bullet was definately right, in my recent arguements i never tried to refute it. i actually found that bit of information helpfull, however lableing me an "ass" because i strongly took an oposing viewpoint realy isnt acceptable, especially considering that i tried to keep the debate respectull and polite.
Isaac - Wednesday, 08/09/06 18:52:47 EDT

body armor: just to add a little flame to the fire, you also have to add the "human element" in when considering the effeciveness of body armor... i remember reading some stuff about a battle in afganistan where the rangers were talking about how after the battle they realized that they had MANY rifle hits on thier body armor and didnt even know that they were hit
adrenaline, drugs, constitution, can all effect how some one reacts to getting shot (with or without ba)
just my 2 cents,
mike.kruzan - Wednesday, 08/09/06 22:37:53 EDT

Cookietime, guys. Let's give it a rest, okay?
Miles Undercut - Wednesday, 08/09/06 23:45:10 EDT

adam: the isaac is entitled to his opinon..... if vic felt his honor/knowledge was being "dissed" he would said something.....its arguements like this that have cause alot folks to leave this forum... soooooooooooo if you cant say something nice .... say nothing...
pete - Thursday, 08/10/06 08:39:53 EDT

say something nice: Pete: I tried nice - it didnt work. IMO a smack upside the head was way overdue. I dont do this often - but I will do it again when I feel it's needed.

Anyways lets make peace now? I think I will have a cookie and I hope Isaac will have some too!
adam - Thursday, 08/10/06 09:57:22 EDT

Name for Forge:

Now for something completely different:

I am thinking of renaming my forge. Once the wif's house is built, I will probably be moving the forge from the old 11' X 17' stripping shed on my siblings land (which they're planning to sell) and building a structure somewhere around 24' X 26' on what is now my 20 acre portion of the farm. Well, one change opens up possibilities of others...

So, right now I operate it on a part-time basis as Oakley Forge, named after the farm and dot on the map (my great grandfather ran the Post Office here after the WBtS) that marks our, um, community. However, most people identify "Oakley" these days with sunglasses. I don't need to use "Blackistone Forge" since there already is a "Blackstone Forge up in Pennsylvania.

Historically, this area was known as "Bedlam Neck", obstensively for the boisterousness of my ancestors and their neighbors. (As a matter of fact, the Washington Post has called us "St. Mary's County's Barbary Coast" and the kids at the local college are warned about hanging out here!)

So, just to get some input, and with no hurry, I submit "Oakley Forge" and "Bedlam Neck Blacksmith Works".

Your opinions, and suggestions, will be much welcomed.

Scattered showers on the banks of the lower Potomac.
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Thursday, 08/10/06 10:05:34 EDT

Atli's Bedlam Forge or Attila's Bedlam Forge:
Hows that?
- guru - Thursday, 08/10/06 10:17:48 EDT

Barbary Forge has a nice ring or "Stripper's Forge" for "historical" reasons... Your T shirts could have that picture of naked forgers on it...

Last night I was cogitating on how many of the folks on this forum I have actually met in person; Frank Turley, Adam, Miles, Rich, Jock, PTree, Gavinah(sp?), Patrick, Sandpile, ... and how long I have known them and so know about their backgrounds, life histories, foibles and hot buttons.

It can be hard for new people without this background to sift the wheat from the chaff; especially on topics where opinions are often the only data folks have. (BTW I will state that anytime someone refers me to a picture on the web as "proof" of anything my general thought is "give me half an hour and photoshop and I'll post a picture of me lifting the washington monument and of Fidel Castro and Oprah confessing that the poster is actually their love child...)

We tend to deal poorly with the brashness of youth, all enthusiasm and with little in the way of life experience to filter other people's claims through. Perhaps a more Socratic approach might help.

Thomas smithing for over 25 years, BS geology, BS CIS, 3 years oilfield Geologist, 15 years Bell Labs, 1 year swordmaker's apprentice, 2.5 years NRAO, several years Whirlpool Assembly line, 28 years SCA, iron smelter, "Johnny Smithy-Seed", Father, Expresident Irish Living History Society, smithing consultant to vestrus vikings boat #1, ex Regia member, .....
Thomas P - Thursday, 08/10/06 10:46:37 EDT

Forge Names:
The Hun's Bedlam Forge

Bed Lamb Forge (makes a nice image 'eh?)

Capt'n Bedlam's Smithy

Drum Beat Smithy (It might take a while . . .)

Atli's Armoury
- guru - Thursday, 08/10/06 11:32:14 EDT

Force, Energy:
One thing missing in the "recoil" analysis is that the bullet does not instantly achieve its energy. It is close from a human stand point but not instant. It gains energy from acceleration over a period of time in the barrel as the gases from the sudden combustion of the powder push it along. At the other side of this gas spring is the mass of the weapon which also moves in the oposite direction. It moves proportionately much slower and for a shorter distance. In space without gravity both the bullet and the gun would move almost forever at their respective velocities proportionate to their masses.

TIME is always a crucial aspect of these calculations. Time is the difference between infinite force and non-end-of-the-world forces. Time equates to distance traveled when impact energy is absorbed. There is always time and distance OR there is infinite force (an imposibility).

Now. . what happens with really high velocity impacts is that due to inertia of rest of the item struck there is near infinite force for just enough time that materials fail and the round passes through. When a high velocity round passes through something it makes a hole and continues moving without having transfered much of its energy to the thing it passed through. Enough to do lots of damage, but not all its energy. Consider the high energy neutron that passes through a body leaving nothing larger than holes in a series of individual cells and various cromosomes with missing bits blasted away. . . Lots of microscopic damage, a pass through bullet moving at over 99% velocity and no noticable movement of the body it passed through. There are bullets and there are bullets.
- guru - Thursday, 08/10/06 11:43:30 EDT

Names: Some thoughts on names, instigated by the recent armor discussion. Stainless steel comes to mind - the name implies it doesn't stain or rust. Except what do you mean by stainless - the 400 series which is typically ferritic or martensitic (440 C, 410, 409, 410cb, etc) the 300 series (304, 304L, 316, 316L, 330) which is typically austenitic and is usually more corrosion resistant especially in agressive environments than the 400 series, maybe precipitation hardening grades such as 17-4 or 15-5, and if memory serves, there are 200 and 500 series (lower chrome levels) as well. One thing to note even though we call it stainless, that doesn't mean it won't corrode/rust in the corect environment. Matched to the environment and use, it will last longer than carbon and alloy steels, assuming that it is provided in the proper condition. You'll also pay more up front due to the alloy content.

Just trying to point out that just because the common name for something implies a meaning, that meaning may not necessarily be totally true on close examination.

Gavain, BS Metalury & Materials Science, 1974 30 + years in the metals industry, primarily steel usually as a metallurgist. SCA - 30+ years, F & I reenactor - 18+ years, hands-on blacksmithing - 5+ years
- Gavainh - Thursday, 08/10/06 12:23:55 EDT

Bedlam is a corruption/bastardization (in theliterary sense) of the word Bethlehem. The infamous hellhole in London for deranged people was Bethlehem Hospital. (I am fairly haha certain.) I have long called my operation here Bedlam Steel, complete with the end view of a wide-flange.
Miles Undercut - Thursday, 08/10/06 12:52:39 EDT

Pedigrees: Good idea, Thomas.

Unfortunately, my own is a bit sparse compared to yours and a lot of the other august personages the inhabit this domain.

Rich Waugh: BFA, Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design,1971; goldsmith/silversmith, signpainter, blacksmith, weldor; Police Officer, 1971-present, currently Sgt. and Special Projects Coordinator, Office of the Commissioner, Virgin Islands Police Department; Chairman, CyberSmiths International (CSI); Co-Chair, Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Council (DV/SAC) of the Virgin Islands; aspiring retiree.
vicopper - Thursday, 08/10/06 13:34:03 EDT

tales of misspent youth: I am all over the map in more ways than one

Adam Whiteson. b 1950 S. Africa. Boyhood spent in London/ UK. Jerusalem/Israel 1970-1980 yeshiva student for 7yrs also cabinet maker and professional window cleaner. Got married, 3 boys now grown. Moved to Tucson/AZ 1980 taught Hebrew 2 yrs (the worst job I ever had - made an atheist of me!). Msc Systems Engineering UAz 1985. Senior Engineer at NsTec in Los Alamos NM - been here since 85. Phd student UNM math dept since 95 (ABD might finish one day - might not). Part time smith since 1994. Grad of Turley School of Blacksmithing. Hoping to do it full time in a 2/3 yrs.
adam - Thursday, 08/10/06 14:29:53 EDT

What I've been doin' : Sort of a "One Thing Leads to Another" progression" Ocean Marine cargo surveyor and claims adjustor, Steel Fitter, Metal antique restoration, Welding and machine repair contractor, Journeyman Millwright, Associates Degree in Industrial Technology, Beating hot iron into submission since 1979.
3dogs - Thursday, 08/10/06 14:36:02 EDT

OOPS: (Left out 5 years as a Shipfitter for American Shipbuilding Co.)
3dogs - Thursday, 08/10/06 14:40:29 EDT

Adam:: C'mon, now Mate, admit it, at least you are a devout atheist. (ye grynne)
3dogs - Thursday, 08/10/06 14:52:50 EDT

c.v.: graduated Dundalk High School, Dundalk, Md. 1955, A.B. English literature Harvard College magna cum laude 1959; intro to oxy-acetylene, arc, MIG, TIG welding University of New Mexico, Los Alamos, 1986; ditto Northern New Mexico Community College 1991; Turley Forge, 1991 (after auditing the course several times for magazine articles), welder, blacksmith, metal sculptor, early 1970s-present; reporter, old Washington (D.C.) Star, 1959-1961; reporter, writer, LIFE Magazine 1961-1971; freelance writer with wife Joan (a photographer) 1971- for LIFE, People, Smithsonian, other national magazines.
Miles Undercut - Thursday, 08/10/06 17:23:17 EDT

Of course, as Thomas notes, anyone who can fog a mirror can post on the Internet. Miles Undercut is a wholly fictitious character and any resemblance to any person is purely accidental.
Miles Undercut - Thursday, 08/10/06 17:28:29 EDT

degrees dont mean nothing cept on a thermometer....

Well, I got kicked out of nursery school for sassing back the teacher, suspended from 6th grade, got in a fight with the administration a week before graduation and dropped out of high school. Got a GED, though.
30 years later, I was asked to speak about my work at my old high school, and I was introduced as a graduate, class of 72. I corrected them, telling them I never graduated, and a couple of weeks later, I got this nice Diploma in the mail- so I am a 2002 graduate of the class of 1972.
Went to college a couple of times, but it didnt take either time- Evergreen College, original hippie school that spawned Matt Groening and Lynda Barry -too regimented for me. I was a superhero, for a while, at that time- went by the name of the Midnight Sponge, and I would clean up messes for you, for a percentage. Usually only worked the late night shift, in the college dorms, but hey, that was 1972.
Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, in Halifax, in 74- but I couldnt take the liquor laws up there- bring your wheelbarrow on alternate weds afternoons, and you could buy all you want, unless you were wearing a hat, in which case they threw you out- well, I have a whole college semester credit in making hats- so that disqualified me right off the bat.
Spent a couple of years in Night School in Machining at LA Trade Tech in the mid 80's.
Taught workshops and lectured classes, elementary school, high school, and college, all along the way.

But through it all, I have been buying tools, and learning how to use em- been full time self employed working with metal since 1978, part time before that.
I've driven every kind of rig thats ever been made.
(not really, but I always wanted to say that)

Been there, Got in Trouble for that.

Made literally thousands of objects out of metal over the years, and pushed em all out of the nest- there wouldnt be any room to walk around in here if I had a kept em- something like 2000 chairs, a few hundred tables, and 20,000 or so candlesticks, paper towel holders, lamps, soap dishes, coat racks, and miscellaneous knickknacks- if you see something made out of metal that is stamped "Manmade" at the swap meet, I made it.
Another lifetime was spent making big scale public pieces- over 20 large projects since 1978, all over the country. Fabricated another dozen or so for my wife, a totally independant person from me, who has her own ideas, believe me- but she thinks big, and we have run a couple of dozen tons of stuff through the shop for her, as well.
I can also cook a mean lasagna or indian curry or thai noodle dish, sew, embroider, knit and crotchet, change a diaper in the dark while drunk on the hood of a rental car (its like falling off a bike-once you learn, you never forget) and never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

If that doesnt give me the right to spout off, I dont know what would.
- Ries - Thursday, 08/10/06 17:52:08 EDT

down range: Somebody's usually got some really serious firearm there, whenever I go to the shooting range. Just the sound hits like a brick. It's hard to imagine men who have the guts to stand up and fire back in the face of that kind of weaponary, heck, even if the rounds were not hitting close by.
JohnW - Thursday, 08/10/06 18:30:20 EDT

background: A little about me. Graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, A.A.-Business & Industrial Security, B.S.-Police Administration, 1977. Worked in restaurants, HVAC shop, VA Hospital, & Dad's orthopaedic brace shop all through high school & college. Served several months as a Deputy Jailer in Kentucky, 5 years (full time & auxillary) as a Deputy Sheriff in ohio, have spent the last 27.5 as a Security Police Officer in the nuclear industry. 14 years service as a volunteer firefighter, 6 years as volunteer EMT. Been a hobby smith for the last 6 years.
Brian C - Thursday, 08/10/06 20:07:26 EDT

c.v. Born 1956, KY. Went to small country schools and was not ready to go to college upon graduating HS. So joined ARMY 3 days later, and was promptly offered apointment to the ARMY prep acadamy, and if passed that the ARMY Acadamy. Again not ready for college, so I went to electronics school. 4 months of 8 hour class days with several hours of "homework" each evening. Best laid plans and all that. served 3 years, most in Germany. Learned goldsmithing from a German Master goldsmith on my off time, as well as learning to leap from airplanes for fun. Ended up jumping on the ARMY jump team in Germany. Honorably discharged, and started engineering school at U of K. Quickly found that a dyslexic fella like me was not set up for that path. Changed to Mechanical Engineering Technology. Got the AAP in 1981. Started working in R & D labs, and did that for the next 17 years or so as well as machine design, industrial engineering and plant engineering. Also did safety and environmental. Ran the powerhouse with 4 850 Hp boilers and 4 200 Hp air compressors as well as a steam 1700Hp compressor and had the pipe fitters for a 42 acre campus of manufacturing. Got a BS, in general studies, with a emphasis in science and math, and a minor in engineering in 1998. ( took a lot of night classes!) Certified "Lead risk assesor & Inspector" "Asbestos abatement supervisor", Confined space entrant, attendant, supervisor, and rescuer. Osha 40 hour Hazardous Materials Technician. Licensed Private pilot, and Licensed Senior rigger for back and chest reserves. held USPA certification as a jumpmaster and instructor. Held FAI A, B , and C level license as parachute jumper.
Was in my first blacksmith shop as a preschooler, grew up in extrusion shops, welding shops, and at the airport.
Been active blacksmith for about 15 years.
ptree - Thursday, 08/10/06 20:17:19 EDT

JohnW: It often isn't so much a case of having "...the guts to stand up and fire back..." as it is having an abiding unwillingness to turn your back on someone with a gun and a desire to do you harm. (grin)
vicopper - Thursday, 08/10/06 20:50:47 EDT

My CV: I was born in Spain, grew up in the Philippines, and graduated from college with a BS in chemistry at 18. At 21 I had a wreck that messed up my brains and I've had to relearn a lot and study a lot harder since then. My coordination suffered too. I've taken graduate work in both chemistry and physics and got an MA in chemistry. I've worked in industry as a chemist and/or physicist and have taught both on both the college and high school level. I've been working metal since I was a kid. My college then required for graduation both a "head skill" and a "practical skill." I did chemistry for head and machine shop for a practical skill. In chemistry, I've done a lot of building and modifying of instruments. In industry, I've done a lot of trouble shooting and special inspection type projects as well as safety and environmental work. I'm officially retired, but I still do forensic microscopy to supplement my social security. I am a Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator.
- John Odom - Thursday, 08/10/06 20:52:04 EDT

Lack of Taste: isn't a crime, but perhaps it should be. That was totally out of line and way beyond acceptable. Nor was it in any way humorous.
vicopper - Thursday, 08/10/06 21:19:48 EDT

CV: I learned everything I needed to know in Kindergarten. Everything else is just politics.
- ANON - Thursday, 08/10/06 21:30:42 EDT

Bio: B.A. Sociology & Anthropology; Masters work ethnology (not completed); Oregon State Horseshoeing School certificate; farrier 5 years fulltime, 5 years part-time (show Morgans); museum conservator/curator 4 years part-time; founder & proprietor Turley Forge Blacksmithing School 36 years; maker of tools, hardware, and branding irons; blacksmith & farrier workshop demonstrator 33 years; tai chi form practitioner 25 years; Indian dance powwow participant 56 years; co-author with Marc Simmons, "Southwestern Colonial Ironwork" 1980; Alex W. Bealer Award, first recipient, 1982.
Frank Turley - Thursday, 08/10/06 21:41:29 EDT

Isaac: I don't think You are an ass, I looked at the website you gave, and there is rifle armor listed for up to 30-06, but as I suspected the 30 cal. and larger magnums [150+Gr @ 4,000FPS] would probably penetrate this stuff. One part of the survivability that is being overlooked by Your critics is the mass of the rifle plate, the thicker steel ones will be pretty heavy, the energy absorbed to move this plate is likely a big part of the survivability factor. As VIcopper noted, the stuff cops wear regularly is not rated for rifle bullets, and is to help spread the energy over a larger portion of the body.
Dave Boyer - Thursday, 08/10/06 23:37:26 EDT

Backround: Born in '59, did first paid welding repair in '69 graduated from VoTech in '77, machine shop major. Finished tool&die apprenticeship in '81. Burned out on overtime in '91 quit job and went sailing. Self Unemployed most of the time from '91-'03 doing machining, mechanical, electrical, HVAC, plumbing, construction, metal fabrication & marine engineering as needed. Took a conctruction & repair job in '04 and shortly after found I had cancer. Working some and dealing with cancer a lot since. Getting into smithing, have built gas & coal forge, and gotten the tools together. WHOOPIE!!!!! just got on a chemo break a month ago, encouraging CT & MRI results this week. Things are looking up, at least in the short term.
Dave Boyer - Friday, 08/11/06 00:25:44 EDT

background and a thanks: thanks for that comment dave, it feels like your the only one who actually looked at that VERY helpfull webpage... also the police just wear kevlar, generally level II because its lighter and concealable. though units like swat would wear III-a as they worry more about incoming fire than reducing bulk and weight.

anyway, everyone is giving a bit of a background so i thought i'd give myne... as i commented i live in a family of engineers, my father is all round engineer, his facination with a LARGE area of things was the final push that launched me into blacksmithing. my brother is a "computer engineer", he understands how cards and drivers work more than i could ever at this point, well at least he makes it seem like that :P. i personally have taken on ALOT of projects for one so young.

i have worked in video game development. no i never worked for one of the big boys, i worked for a volunteer team, most of these teams are dubbed "modders". they take an existing platform, aka a current game atain permission and modify the game, the most popular mods are total conversions making a completely new game out of the old. one of the worlds most popular games(its in the top 3 games, its a video game that if you get good you can make a GOOD living off contests...) named counter-strike originally was a "mod" for the original halflife developed by volunteers in thier spare time. generally my work in video games has been limited to computer graphics, usually i do the job of making playing fields though i have done EVERYTHING involved including programming.

i am by far the most "unique" person in my family. my neighbors think im insane for numerious reasons. i look at a pile of junk and think of what to make out of it. out of just plain junk ive made all sorts of things. the most famious amongst the neighbors is my balista. its not made out of historicly acurate materials but its pretty cool. i have made ALOT of things out of scrap without the proper tools, sometimes i had to inprovise for my tools. ever try to drill a hole in mild steel with a bow and a nail? its possible, but extreeeeeeemly frustrating....

my sheer love for making things and my love for history got me into blacksmithing. right now i have less than a couple months experience. i am reading all the books i can get ahold of in the craft but i have a couple issues.... i dont have enough money for lessons, and i cant think of any projects to do to practice.

on a side note could anyone suggest basic projects for someone to do to practice the basics of blacksmithing. ive read so many books now that realy what i need to do now to inprove my skill is just plain practice. its sad realy, my whole life i see a pile of junk and i can imagine a hundred things for it to be but i have had a creative block recently with blacksmithing....
Isaac - Friday, 08/11/06 01:47:23 EDT

Bio: Education: Social Science Degree = well rounded in Psychology, Sociology & Philosophy-graduated Highest Honors. Also Educated and certified in Reproductive Health, Public Health and HIV/AIDs/STIs. Also worked in the field teaching all venues and age groups. Did outreach,worked in jails,schools,colleges,homeless and worked with infected folks. Biggest opposition was just plain fear from the general public of such taboo topics due to lack of general knowledge and education.

Trainings including past employment. Fourth Generation Blacksmith. Apprenticed in Blacksmithing and Machining. Also worked in both-Including using these skills to be self employeed at one time doing some design, production and marketing. Also was involved doing demos at a historical museum along with teaching blacksmithing to folks. Trained at a college in automotive for a short time....worked as a mechanic...did not care for it. Trained and worked as a cutler for many years. Also worked in industrial hardware...found it to be very educational.

I may be forgetting many things. Not as interesting as many of the other folks here.
- Burnt Forge - Friday, 08/11/06 08:15:47 EDT

Adjunct: Dabbled with foundry and patterns.
- Burnt Forge - Friday, 08/11/06 08:23:15 EDT

Isaac: Go to the drop-down menu and check out the iForge™ Demo pages. There are a couple hundred demos there that range from the dead simple to medium difficult. You probably won't find a better set of learning exercises anywhere.
vicopper - Friday, 08/11/06 08:40:39 EDT

Hippie education: I had a hippified student in the early 70s who used to say, "Whadda wino? I was a wino. I went to Whattsa Matta U."

He further stated that he was going to "drop out, get a piece of dirt man, and plug into the nearest currant bush."

Oh boy, them were the days. I can't tell you how many latter-day hippies went through my school. Lotsa fun.
Frank Turley - Friday, 08/11/06 09:39:55 EDT

Isaac, Candle stick holders , or 'tea light' (UK - the little stumpy candles in a foil tray) holders - Just practice changing the section of the material a bit, flatten the ends etc, and bend it so it stands up, no matter how bad it turns out you can call it rustic / contemporary or whatever! Bit of black boot polish to finish - dead simple, and you feel like your acheived something if you can put a 'label' to it,
- John N - Friday, 08/11/06 09:50:15 EDT

A fellow I met when doing craft fairs in the 70's was living the full tilt "Hippie" life. He, his wife and daughter lived in a converted school bus camper and traveled all over the US. He was Canadian American and in the US with his French Canadian wife under questionable circumstances. They made their craft items from material they harvested free in most cases and were at a major fair almost every weekend of the year. $15 at a time they ammased enough cash to buy a 200 acre farm in the Virginia mountains. They got involved with an alternative school and the next thing you know my friend was on the local school board. . .

The "good old days" when "Mother Earth News" was located on a North Carolina farm rather than a Manhattan office building. . .

Others in the rural crafts movement of the time varied from professionals to subsistance farmers (yes we still have those in the US) to middle class and even government workers as well as some starving artists. Blacksmithing today is very much the same. You have folks that run large shops with many employees to backyard hobbiests that sell at the local markets. Some are starving artists, others businessmen and every other concievable type inbetween.

- guru - Friday, 08/11/06 11:35:17 EDT

Mother Earth News: Now has its editorial offices in Topeka, Kansas. While they have never returned to the glory days of when they were based in N.C., they are a lot better than they were for a while.

The Editor lives next door to one of my friends in Lawrence.
John Lowther - Friday, 08/11/06 12:13:57 EDT

plate mass: Daves's point about plate mass. The plate takes up the KE of the bullet and moves a lot slower - this is true. But the plate is then stopped by the body of the wearer - so all the energy from the moving plate is transferred to the chest at high speed. I did address this issue when I calculated that if the plate stops in 2" the wearer will experience something like 900 psi over a 3" radius. Suppose the plate weighs about 10lbs? and stops a rifle bullet with 2400ftlbs of KE ( this for a 150 grain bullet @ 2700fps) dont know the details of 30 - 06) then the ave velocity of the plate will be about 85mph! In fact the center of the plate moves furthest and fastest - like a rubber membrane being poked in its center. Thats a terrible blow!

One factor that did get overlooked is the energy dissapated by flattening the bullet and gouging a divot in the armor plate. This energy does not get transferred to the wearer. I dont know how to estimate that. I am just a little dog in this game - perhaps one of the heavyweights knows how to estimate it? Also some energy is released into the air as an acoustic wave. And finally at any range the bullet will no longer be at its muzzle velocity and I dont know the deceleration but I would guess that inside of 50yds you in big trouble!

Another point in the survivability of armor that seems to be overlooked: It's not good enough to collect anectodes where people took hits to their body armor and survived. They may just be the lucky ones - unless you have good statistics and can compare the numbers of the survivors against the number who die or are gravely injured, you dont know whats going on. People get away with dangerous behavior all the time and those that survive go on to brag about it - you generally will not hear from those that dont. So what do you tell your soldiers and policemen? "Wear this and you can stand up in the line of fire"? "Wear this stuff I - it will make you a lot safer"? or "Hey this might help if you're lucky - but if you dont plan on being lucky keep your head down and stay in the ditch"? There's a big difference especially for a professional who might be routinely exposed to this kind of danger.

adam - Friday, 08/11/06 13:25:38 EDT

just a humble input: any reloading manuel ie: speers, nosler, will give information including bullet design, coefficients, velocety & drop and "delivered" energy at a given distance for a given load.
- cordell - Friday, 08/11/06 13:47:55 EDT

Soft Metal flattening and gouged divot:
The flattening of the bullet goes into heat and time but the only "lost" energy is the heat. The heat is tricky to calc. The bend in the armour also heats up a bit but is just part of the absorbed KE. These are small things compared to the amount of energy transfered.

The biggest variable is angle of attack. 90 degrees is worst case. At 45 degrees only half the energy goes into impact and the rest in the bouncing round. Jousting helms often had a narrow ridge with sloping sides so that the blow was deflected.

Scale armour has always had the advantage of being flexible and the dissadvantage of having the gaps between scales at low angles. Gaps are gaps. . .

Achilles had devine/magic armour at all but at his heal where he was held to immerse him. . . Moral, even devine armour may not be perfect.
- guru - Friday, 08/11/06 14:55:36 EDT

also...: on the other side of the ledger: The calculations above are only for the KE in the bullet's velocity, but the bullet is also spinning and this energy too is delivered to the plate. What is the pitch of the rifling in the barrel?
adam - Friday, 08/11/06 15:53:10 EDT

Sounds like some of you old Hippies can relive the glory days and fly naked to the quad state hammer-in since the new carry on rules after yesterdays incident.
- Burnt Forge - Friday, 08/11/06 16:32:24 EDT

Momentum: Adam, I may be missing something, but IIRC, only momentum is conserved in a collision (except for a perfectly elastic collision). I suspect that when a rifle bullet hits a ceramic plate, a lot of energy goes into fragmenting the bullet, cratering the plate, making a hellatious noise, and heating everything up.

Anyway, I ran the numbers on a conservation of momentum basis. (I can't keep pounds and slugs straight, so I used metric units -- bear with me). I got a momentum for the bullet of just under 8 KG M/S. The same momentum applied to a 4 KG (about 9#) plate gives a velocity of 2 M/S, or about something over 1 MPH. Of course, I suspect 9# may be on the heavy side, and, as you point out, the plate will flex.

Anyway, if the plate accelerates to 85 MPH, it's going to have a heck of a lot more momentum than the bullet did. Where does the momentum come from?
Mike B - Friday, 08/11/06 16:59:32 EDT

More Physics: I was wrong -- 2 meters per second equals about 4.5 MPH.

Also before the physics police come after me, I should point out that I assumed a completely inelastic collision (the bullet lodges in the plate). In reality some fragments might rebound.

If the whole bullet bounced off at its original velocity (an approximation of what would happen in a perfectly elastic collision), the plate would end with twice the original momentum of the bullet. This would translate to around 9 MPH.

Of course you'd also have to factor in any ceramic bits that flew off. But the velocites of any fragments would probably be quite low compared to the bullet's original velocity, and the masses couldn't be that great either. So I think 9 MPH is a conservative outer limit, and the reality would probably be closer to 4.5 than to 9.
Mike B - Friday, 08/11/06 17:59:52 EDT

momentum /inelastic collision: Mike: Thats a sharp point. When two colliding bodies couple and move as one after the collision this is an inelastic collision. Since momentum is conserved and plate is much more massive than the bullet, the final velocity of the plate must be much less than 85mph and KE is NOT conserved! However the total energy IS conserved and the KE that does not end up in the plate's final motion is dissapated in elastic waves. In this case the elastic wave will take the form of the center of the plate bulging into the wearer's chest, springing back and bulging in the opposite direction and ringing in this fashion until it has dissapated its energy. Most of the dissapation will occur by transferring it to the fluid in the torso (basically a big bag of water). Thus the energy is transferred as a series of pulses as the plate deflects back and forth against the chest. Now while its true the whole plate doesnt move at 85 mph, it was my guess, based on conservation of energy, that the center of the plate moves at this speed or quite a bit faster. But like I said, I am only a little dog in this game - yip yip yap!

adam - Friday, 08/11/06 18:08:24 EDT

A couple of things about steel plates struck by high velocity rounds. There are several possible outcomes. Through penetration. Hard on the wearer. Impact that deforms the plate. Armour plate is hard, on purpose. The result of impact in the case of hard armour plate is often that the projectile does not penetrate, but a "slug" spalls off the back side. The second in the case of certain type bullets at the right velocity is a pyrophoric ignition and the round burns through the armour, blowing very high energy molten spray on the far side.

In armour defeating rounds used in my old trade, enabling the killing of tanks,the choices were; very high kenetic energy rounds, inertial rounds,shaped charges, and the depleted uranium rounds. The kenetic rounds are VERY high velocity rounds that are fin guided, sabot discarding, and will fly right thru 6 to 8" of hard armour. They spray high velocity fragments as they pass thru the armour. The inertial rounds are dense, and have a blunt shape under the streamlined plastic nose. They strike, and bounce off, leaving a burnt outer paint. On the inside, a manhole sized slug, cherry red , bounces around at near sonic velocity. The shaped charges make an explosive plasma the burns a tiny little hole thru the armour and sprays the molten metal around. The spent uranium perform much the same.
The Russians spent Billons developing reactive armour and installing it, and we just added random lenght dowels to the ends of our missles to defeat it. In every case the armour is defeated. This is often 6 to 8" thick, and on the front slope, slanted to yeild on the order of 14" thickness to a horizontal round. And in every case the armour is defeated.
For EVERY armour there is a counter weapon that WILL defeat it. For every new secret weapon, there is quickly developed a countermeasure. Look at history.
Heck, a cheap, 7.62mm x 29mm chinese round with the standard steel core penetrator round will easliy punch thru plain 3/8" plate at 100 meters. A .50 cal from a Browning M-2 with an ap round will penetrate thru a 2" hard armour at 1000Meters!
Body armour for cops is to stop handguns at reasonable ranges,and give the poor cop a chance at living. He will be sore, ask Vicopper.

I think we may have pretty well beat the stink out of this thread, anyone got any good blacksmithing stuff to argue?
ptree - Friday, 08/11/06 18:53:11 EDT

OA welding: I have two books on OA welding. Welders Handbook/Finch say to use a 75 deg wokr angle and to back off the torch to avoid burning thru. Modern Welding/Bowditch says to keep the inner cone about 1/16" above the puddle and to lay the torch over to a shallower angle, as little as 30 deg to avoid burn through. I am trying to develop a good technique. What do people think?

Also I just got Silversmithing / FineGold & Seitz. This is a *wonderful* book. I bought it because I am getting interested in hollow ware as a result of fooling around with pipe forging. This book explains techniques in great detail including exactly how to use the hammer, how to dress the hammer etc. All pix are B&W only about $35. I am thinking of making myself some stake tools and welding up a stake holder out of heavy plate. Since stake tools are usually tapered, does it follow that the socket in the holder should be tapered too? And is the taper critical? Bear in mind that I am going to be raising big manly sized stuff.

adam - Friday, 08/11/06 22:40:43 EDT

PS: I hope to see some of you reprobates at the SWABA meet tomorrow
adam - Friday, 08/11/06 22:45:08 EDT

All this reminds me of the WWII GI who was asked by a reporter if it was true that MG 42 rounds would penetrate the half track he was riding in. Supposedly he replied, "That's not true at all. They only come through one side and bounce around a little."
Mike B - Friday, 08/11/06 22:48:08 EDT

Raising holloware: Now you've hit me right where I live, Adam. That was my specialty as a silversmith, and I'll be delighted to pontificate on the subject a mite. Not that I wouldn't pontificate on other subjects, mind you, but that is one I actually know something about. (grin)

First, on the O/A torch. I go with Bowditch, with the caveat that you want to use a tip that will let you keep the inher cone as close to the puddle as is possible without burnthrough, regardless of angle. When you pull back the cone, you begin to entrain some atmosphere along with the supplied gases, getting a more oxidizing heat. That's bad for the weld, of course. The less you can entrain air, the better your weld will test out.

By all means make your own stakes, if you've got some good pictures to work from. Raising stakes need to be held very securely in the stakeholder so they don't wiggle about when you're working. Even a millimeter or two of mis-angle or mis-positioning of the blow can screw up your raising after a while, so you want it steady. My Dixon and Gesswein stakes all have a very slight taper to the shank, no more than maybe 1/8" per foot, if that. Just enough to let them set tightly in the stake holder, and waaaay less taper than you see on tinsmiths stakes. They can, therefore, be a bit of a pain to get back out after several thousand blows, even light ones, so when you build the stake holder, make a removal slot in it, much like on a vertical mill quill. Two opposite sides of the socket should have a vertical slot starting near the bottom and going up high enough to include the bottom end of all your stake shanks.

When a shank gets stuck, you just stick a tapered bar in the slot and whack it to lift the stake shank up enough to loosen it. My standard Dixon stake holders don't have this feature, and they should. I confess that my homemade holders don't have it either, as I only thought of it later. Naturally.

Of course, since you're going to be doing macho, testosterone-fueled raising of tank heads, baptismal fonts and hot tubs, you'll want a big hammer and big stakes. I made some stakes from old mine cart rail, medium rail, and odds and ends of mild steel shafting. You'll probably want to start with 6" diameter high-manganese alloy for that macho stuff. First, buy a Nazel 3B...GRIN

Serously, for working silver, copper and brass, take a look in your book for info on starting out with a fluting stake. It can really speed up the process of raising fairly deep vessels when you're using pretty malleable stuff. Never tried it on mild steel. Mighty work on sero-carbon transformer core plate, though.
vicopper - Friday, 08/11/06 23:04:47 EDT

Reprobates: I am *not* a repro-bate. I am an original bate.
vicopper - Friday, 08/11/06 23:05:52 EDT

Adam -AO torch & tapers: I am surprised that VIcopper didn't tell You that You should practice untill You have burned 1,000 CuFt of gas. Wouldn't that be sort of like the 100# of rod for arc welding? The stakes will get REALLY tight at 1/8" per foot taper. Morse Tapers are 5/8"/foot, Brown & Sharpe 3/4"foot and Jarno .600"/foot. Taper pins are 1/4" per foot. This is total taper, not per side. If You get a good fit the 5/8 to 3/4"/foot tapers will lock in securely, I think at 1/8"/foot You will be able to drive them 'till they bottom out on something, and if they gaul You may have a real problem getting them out. Just My opinion.
Dave Boyer - Saturday, 08/12/06 01:18:29 EDT

1000 cu ft! lol Thats a LOT of welding - specially on on my Little Torch which uses a 10 cu ft bottle. Still there is a lot to learn just on OA welding.

Tapers: Dave you raise a good point. I have a nice Jacobs chuck wedged on a morse taper shank that I have not been able to free up for several yrs. But the stakes will not be machined, just forged, ground and filed. OTH these are sq shanks and dont have to resist any twisting like a machinist taper might - the main thing is that they dont wobble. So I dunno - best take a look at some actual stakes I guess.
adam - Saturday, 08/12/06 08:55:03 EDT

ADAM: C'mon, Adam, do the MANLY thing. Make yerself an English Wheel from stuff in the junk pile, a planisher from a $9 Haba Flate air chisel, then make gas tanks for choppers.
3dogs - Saturday, 08/12/06 10:10:08 EDT

Tapers and Wobble: Adam, Hot fitting can help. Along with this if you relieve the middle of a taper then you have less surface that must be a perfect fit. Many machine tool tapers are tapered for that reason. When hand fitting it is easy to find the high spots when the middle is relieved.

The other route to go is with some kind of screw clamping or set screw anchoring. Lots of folks use their stakes in a vise. A special holder would be better. A modified leg vise would work very well (shortened leg, V jaws). There are many possibilities.

THEN. . you can also permenently mount your stakes in stumps. This is a very common approach among those doing large work where the same stake is used for 90% of what they do. One method of bedding in stakes permanently is to use epoxy in the hole. . .

I have a rather random collection of stakes (purchased as can) and they ALL have different tapers and different size shanks. Even the ones that LOOK close to the same are different enough that they do not fit the couple holders I have interchangably. One old stake that has an identical taper to a new holder is just 1/16" smaller which means it drops an inch and a quarter farther than it should. It fits but the top of the taper is below the top of the socket. . . A possible sticking problem under heavy use.

One method I have thought of using is to make a bunch of tapered wooden "adaptor" plugs and a reciever/holder for them. Then fit each stake in a plug. The plugs could have end plates and reinforcing screws as necessary.

The other route is your original plan of making your own shanks. I would setup to make a BUNCH of them. Figure out your design and make a couple dozen. Then just weld on heads as necessary. Some bent stakes are best made of one piece but even most of the commercial stakes are welded. Old stakes were forge welded and modern ones are arc welded. Those that appear to be all one piece are usualy cast steel unless quite small.

I'm not sure what the tapers are on my stakes but I think most are just beyond a sticking taper (over 15 degrees). I may be wrong.
- guru - Saturday, 08/12/06 10:16:16 EDT

"Many machine tool tapers are RELIEVED for that reason."
- guru - Saturday, 08/12/06 10:18:04 EDT

Beware-- many if not all commercially available tinsmithing/raising stakes are cast iron, thus cannot withstand heavy blows.
Miles Undercut - Saturday, 08/12/06 11:08:56 EDT

CV: I am 41 years old and am a 21 year veteran of the Montgomery Al. Fire Dept. I am currently serving as a Fire Investigator Lieutenant. I am a State Fire College Ceritfied Fire Fighter I&II, Fire Officer I,II & III, Building Inspector, Fire Instructor I&II, Hazardous Materials Tech and Harzardous Materials Incident Commander, Apparatus Operator Ladder Truck, Apparatus Operator Pumper Truck, Fire Investigator. I attended the National Fire Academy for Fire and Arson Investigation. I am certified by the National Association of Fire Investigators(NAFI)as a Fire and Explosion Investigator as well as a Certified Vehicle Fire Investigator. I am also a Law Enforcement Officer as I have attended the Montgomery Police Academy. I have arrest powers and tote a weapon like my brother in arms Vicopper. My weapon of choice is a Glock Model 35 in a .40 cal. I attended the FBI Firearms Instructor School and I am also a Glock Armouror. I have been to so many classes I am sure I forgot some but this will suffice to give ya'll an idea about me. I have been in the ornamental iron business since I was 12 with my grandparents. That was the best thing that could have happened to me. I learned at a young age to work hard. I also learned a trade that allows me to make GOOD money to support my habbits like hanggliding, scuba, ultralights, metal detecting and building a new home. I am married to a wonderful woman and have a 20 year old daughter and a miniature pincher named MIMI.
FireBug - Saturday, 08/12/06 13:39:02 EDT

Stakes.: 3dogs, I was going to raise my own scuba tanks from sheet that I made by forgewelding baling wire.

Rich thanks for the tips - Somehow I dont see myself doing baptismal fonts! My ancestors are still choking on the fact that I recently bought a chainsaw. This would be more than my ghosts could swallow. Not sure I understand how your knock out slot works. Does it run at rt angles to the shank and admit a tapered pin which is hammered to lift out the stake? Cant I just whack the stake from underneath?

Jock. Relieving the center is a great idea. So is making up a bunch of blanks. I am definitely going to arc weld - forging them out of solid stock would be insane. The dedicated vise is an attractive idea. I could definitely make something like that. I have lots of scrap and heavy thread that would be suitable. I also have a 500# steel work table to bolt it to. The taper would be a lot less critical. But do you think it would be sturdy enough? I plan on forging stuff thats about 1/8" thick at red & orange heats - pipe and plate of similar thickness

Went to the SWABA demo this morning. Nice to schmooze with folks. Thomas was delinquent so I latched on to all the rusty old iron. Got a bunch of top swages. A cheese fuller. Several cutters hot & cold including a hammer whose pein had been reworked into a chisel. A strange hammer that I dont understand, long flat and double headed, both heads have a groove - mebbe 3/16" radius. I would have said top swage save theres no striking side. Praps somekind of stone mason hammer? A couple of hand made haevy tongs, nicely formed and forge welded - one of the reins broke below the weld - close inspection shows faint thread lines as if it were forged from a bolt which had not been properly cleaned up. I also got the wreckage of a 3" vise - unbelievably bad shape - twisted and cracked in many places. But as a hunk of wrought it has some value. All the top tools are very rusty but ready to use after handling and a little dressing. So a satisfying haul.
adam - Saturday, 08/12/06 19:18:57 EDT

Stakes: Adam,

As I noted in my previous post, I was referring to stakes that are primarily used for non-ferrous work. I do use mine for steel up to about 11 gauge from time to time, without problems. I am pretty careful about how I do it, of course. These stakes are the Dixon "semi-steel", bascially a malleable cast iron, I think.

After reading Dave Boyer's post, I did go check the actual tapers of the shanks, and discovered that my memory was *wrong*. They taper about 1/8" in four inches, or a bit over a 1/4" per foot. Very little variance from one to another; they'll all fit the holders just fine.

Yeah, I didn't think you'd be doing any baptismal fonts. Maybe a Torah crown, but even that I wouldn't bet on, though it wouldn't set the ghosts to spinning, at least. (grin)

I like Jock's idea of a dedicated angle jaw vise for a stake holder; I may try to make one for myself. If I was going to make any more stakes, I'd probably do them somewhat like a hardy shank, with a stop collar. In a dedicated vise, that would keep them from moving down wihtout having to reef down on the vise so hard.

Good deal on the rusty iron. I got a windfall like that last weekend, when I helped a friend start rebuilding the forge at the Botanical Gardens. Every bit of odd iron the workeers find around the place, they drop off at the smithy, and there just isn't room for all of it. So Jack made me leave with a couple of 3" square forged wrought iron wagon axles about six feet long and a couple pieces of scrap plate about 2" by 6" by 24" that somebody had dragged in. Now I'm thinking about making a steeled wrought iron anvil for a treadle hammer; I just haven't figured out yet how I'll heat those 3" square pieces to weld them together. I'd have to use the big forge and gang a couple of 100# gas cylinders to get heats for that size welding. (grin)
vicopper - Saturday, 08/12/06 21:30:50 EDT

Lots of charcoal would probably work better.. . Maybe preheat with gas then go for the hot stuff. Remember the wrought can be hotter than the plate and the gas forge will get the plate hot enough. . AND you have the advantage that big pieces weld easier than small since they do not cool so fast.

I have a guy that wants to sell 10 tons of wrought iron that I need to call back. . .
- guru - Saturday, 08/12/06 23:58:26 EDT

Blacksmithing item pricing: Hello, my name is Doug, from Hillsboro OR. My blacksmithing mentor/master, Ralph Douglass recently passed away from some health complications. Its been a tough time but now I am trying to get some help. His wife is trying to get the house cleaned up and we're trying to price his smithy. I am going to purchase most of it but I need to find accurate prices. If anyone can help me determine the general price range for these things that would be awesome.

Forge table, home made - 2.5'x3.5', center fire pot at about 3' tall.

Forge blower - Champion Forge crank Blower from Lancaster USA, double gear box with perpendicular fan axis and wooden handle.

Propane forge - two torch in an old propane can with top and bottom removed. Rammable fire clay with fire brick inner platform and firebrick doors. Regulator/pressure valve included.

Table vice, 6" jaw.

Fire bricks - about 40 wave/ridge locking stackable bricks.

Oxy-Propane torch (I didn't write down the canaster size but the tanks are both about 3ft and 2 ft tall each. so I'd guess somewhere around 10gal and 15gal?) includes torch and 3 heads.

Assorted tools
-6 files
-2 tongs
-ball pien hammer
-about 10 punches
-scoop shovel
-anvil stake, about 2 or 3.

Post vice w 6"jaw

Electric blower - buffalo Forge Co, NY (says No.25 on the side?)

Thank you for any help you can give. I'd be doing the research myself but I tried and seam to be having trouble determining exactly how much this is all going to cost so I am looking for help while I do this. If photos would help I can go over and get some. THanks again!
Doug - Sunday, 08/13/06 00:12:04 EDT

Random stake collection: Adam, I have a fair assortment of stakes which you're welcome to look at for ideas, when you're in the neighborhood. A few are old European ones from the Kenneth Lynch collection.
Frank Turley - Sunday, 08/13/06 09:56:10 EDT


I was ready your post concerning heating up and forging 3" square wrought iron. I know you don't have coal or a coal forge on the island. Do you have wood charcoal at your grocery store? If, so may be make a quick makeshift forge.

Wrought iron does not take as much heat to forge weld as A36 or 1018 you are custom too. You don't need them sparking to stick together. We still have losts of old wrought where I live and we have played with it a great deal. What if you made a horizontal C shape forge with just a fire brick back ,top and bottom in a steel frame. The ends and front are completely open. Use regular gas nipples fittings and two zerk fitting for your ends. Cut two square holes in the top of your firebrick. Take the guts out of the fittings and O/A the ends up and if memory serves use approx. a .047 hole. A 30 gallon propane tank will be more than enough to heat it up in a few minutes. Don't run it down around the standard 6-10 lbs. Run it at 40 lbs or more. You will be able to get them hot and stick them togethor. I left all the science and math out of this one. You may need to play with the orfice size a little to get it to flow out proper and not bounce up to the ceiling.

I may get a big tongue lashing from the engineering folks from the above gas forge design. The goofy simple forge works slicker than snot on a doorknob. If you need photos I can try to get some taken this week and email them to you, so you can see the venture set up.
- Burnt Forge - Sunday, 08/13/06 18:43:02 EDT

stakes: Thank you Frank. Been wanting to swing by your place anyways. I will bring my camera.

The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of a specialty vise. The jaws would be cut to take the shank on the diamond and not be able to close against each other. There would be no need for a hinge since the range would be restricted to tight and loose - so the bottom anchor for the moving jaw could be a piece of heavy threaded rod - this way the jaws could be adjusted to take a 1" shank or larger. Could even add some kind of overcentering lock with a foot pedal if I wanted to make a simple idea complicated. A stop collar eliminates the need for a taper and means I can use a piece of hot rolled bar. A vise like this could also grip hardy tools. And with some false jaws could be used to upset the end of a round or sq bar. I think I will do something like that. Right after I have tested out my handmande scuba tanks.

Dont care what they say in church - a man can never have too many vices!
adam - Sunday, 08/13/06 19:20:13 EDT

OA welding: My beads are improving. Keeping the cone snug to the puddle and varying the work angle works well. I seem to get the best results when the torch is hot enough to burn through if I pause or dawdle. I can run a cute little 1/8" bead using mig .035 wire or 19ga annealed tie wire from the hardware store. I wonder what the quality of that stuff is? probably like rebar and coat hanger. I should stick with the mig wire.
adam - Sunday, 08/13/06 19:33:01 EDT

Adam I was sorry to miss the meeting but I was camping in Ruidoso with my forge at an SCA event. Took a BSB&strapping billet to 184 layers and had a lot of fun and had the truck fully packed when they had a massive storm and I got out just before they started closing roads!

Will you be demonstrating at the Fair? I still need to choose a time to go help. I also want to go to Joe's shop sell out.

Thomas---in haste
Thomas P - Sunday, 08/13/06 21:37:57 EDT

CV:: I spent most of my jr high & high school days either in shop class of some type or another, or in the library reading history books. I ended up dropping out of HS because all my units were from shop classes, and nothing of what I was supposed to have been taking. I joined the Marines at 17 and spent 3 years there. When I got out I got a job as a machinery mechanic at an orange packing house. I spent many years bouncing aound to numerous jobs, including 10 years as a self employeed handyman. At age 31 my ex gave me custody of my daughter so she could get married. I decided it was time to get it together, so I went to college. I earned an AA in Liberal Arts, and am mostly done with a BS in Public Administration. While going to school I got into computers, and now work at a community college where I train disabled students how to use adaptive Hardware & software. It is very rewarding, and the steady hours give me plenty of time to do my blacksmithing. I have been activly involved in medieval re-creation and doing renaissance faires for the last 15 or so years. This ended up leading me to blacksmithing, which I have been doing as a hobby for about 7 years.

I'm 42 yearso old now. I got married 5 years ago to a wonderful lady I met at a ren faire. My daughter is now 24 and has two beautiful little girls. I also have a great 18 year old step son who gave me a 10th of the crap growing up my daighter did. :)

FredlyFX - Sunday, 08/13/06 22:05:12 EDT

SWABA: Thomas: I still have that chunk of cable for you :) I would like to demo at the fair but I cant commit to any schedule yet since I dont have control of my life right now. Hoping to sort that out by sept. Definitely want to attend Joe's auction. See you there!
adam - Sunday, 08/13/06 22:20:18 EDT

Adam - MIG wire: The MIG wire will have some [or more] de oxidisers in it depending on the type. These shouldn't be needed, but I don't think they will hurt anything. You can't be sure of much these days, but the tie wire SHOULD be consistantly soft so they can draw it reliably.
- Dave Boyer - Sunday, 08/13/06 23:59:51 EDT

Mig wire and tie wire:
Both are relatively low carbon the tie wire often being very low like SAE 1008 but the MIG wire approaching mild steel with a maximum of .12% Carbon. According to Lincoln Electric

"carbon steel electrode is a triple deoxidized
product. It contains high silicon and manganese levels, but also contains deoxidizers such as aluminum, titanium and zirconium."

This is one of several wires but the carbon is the same in most at about .10% the other ingrediants effecting deposited strength.

For gas welding the results will not be much different using either wire.
- guru - Monday, 08/14/06 09:24:59 EDT

Wanted Fixer upper: Looking for a used mechanical hammer that's in need of repair or rebuild. Starting blacksmithing bizz and need a
cheap project to get started with. Please let me know if you have some thing that might do. I'm open to almost anything.
Hope someone can help me out, I live close to upper state New York on the other side of the boarder @ Messena NY.
Thanks for any help you might give.
- Stephen Sokoloski - Monday, 08/14/06 14:29:32 EDT

Sorry for the mistake on the e-mail address folks it's
Stephen Sokoloski - Monday, 08/14/06 14:33:09 EDT

the mig wire seems to throw more sparks which is consistent with a higher C content. I must say OA welding is a much more relaxed and pleasant operation compared to electric arc welding. You can see all the time. No nasty arc sounds or worrying about the kids across the street peeking at the blue light. Very little fumes. No spatter of metal globules. No tangle of heavy cables. No slag. But it does requires more dexterity and coordination. Anyway I am enjoying it a whole lot.
adam - Monday, 08/14/06 14:36:32 EDT

sleeping dogs: I read something about sleeping dogs in a recent post and that reminded me of a true story that Bill Calloway told a few years back. When he and his partner Bob had just started, they picked up a good sized job, one too big for their shop. Peter Sevin told them he was going on a2 or 3 week vacation and they were welcome to use his shop while he was gone.
He had a big furry dog that liked to lay by the anvil. One day Bill was forging away when Bob shouted, "THE DOGS ON FIRE ! THE DOGS ON FIRE !" Sure enough, he was smoking and headed straight for the canal. After dousing it, he came back and lay down right where he had been before.
MORAL: If you're smoking, you better be on fire !!!
- Loren T. - Monday, 08/14/06 17:43:21 EDT

Sleeping Dog: I had a little dog named Rocky Racoon who was snoozing about half way under a chair in my shop. A student took a forge weld, the molten soup hit Rocky, he jumped up, tipped over the chair, and ran out of the shop quicker than a snake striking. He NEVER came back in the shop.
Frank Turley - Monday, 08/14/06 20:20:17 EDT

STUMP ANVIL: eBay 160018084883
- Tom H - Monday, 08/14/06 21:11:32 EDT

Shop dogs: Speaking of shop dogs... Does anybody else have a dog that seems terribly intent on chewing up the clinkers out of the ash pile, or does my dog just have issues? Seems like everytime I turn my back on him his face is burried muzzle deep in the ash pile, chomping on a clinker. Lucky he hasn't found a hot one yet:)
- thesandycreekforge - Tuesday, 08/15/06 09:27:04 EDT

stake steel: adam i have a stash of 1080 tool steel thats 2and a1/4 inch round.... in varying lengths ive had much success in making some great stakes from it.......i can even forge it down ta size for you if needed....the last stake i made from it flew off the table at the last boone hammer-in.... also ive gotten a few bits if 3inch square bar that i plan to use for shankbodies for a few stakes i'm making for myself.......if anyone one is interested in some 1080 drop me a line------- rich has gotten a bit of it from me , and can attest to the quailty...... thanks.....
blacklionforge - Tuesday, 08/15/06 10:35:11 EDT

shopdog: my 125lb lab doesnt eat clinkers.... but for some reason thinks my welding gloves are his personal chew toys..... go figure....
blacklionforge - Tuesday, 08/15/06 10:37:19 EDT

dogs: thesandycreekforge
It is possible your dog has a dietary deficiency. Try feeding him iams and see if he stops eating clinkers.
- Burnt Forge - Tuesday, 08/15/06 13:06:50 EDT

stakes: BlackLion: that is mighty kind of you to offer and thank you very much. However, I am well set up with heavy stock, so much as I drool over the thought of a mongo section of 1080 it would make no sense to ship it to me.

I realized that I am in some danger of becoming an armouror. While I have not a trace of nostalgia for the feudal era, making plate armor is similar to what I have in mind. I visited Eric Thing's Raising a Helm Tutorial. Very interesting and very useful to see the stakes and hammers that he uses. Although, after looking in my silversmithing books, it seems he might be able to speed things up if he used crimping to start the raising.

The more I read Silversmithing / FineGold & Seitz the more I like it. He has a very detailed section on crimping showing exactly how to sequence the hammer blows so as to trap the bulge and work it down. This book now has the place of honor next to the throne - where I keep my current reading pile.
adam - Tuesday, 08/15/06 14:18:10 EDT

Williamsburg, VA, Silversmith: Adam & All,

An old video of the Wmsburg silversmith shows him raising a silver coffee pot with spout, lid, and fixtures for the wooden handle. I have a hunch they imported the guy from Italy. I do not know if the video is still available, but the silversmith is VERY handy. Beautifully done.
Frank Turley - Tuesday, 08/15/06 19:45:01 EDT

Adam, Check our NEWS articles covering the Armour-In. It is amazing how far you can go with a wood stump and a heavy ball end hammer. In good quality modern steel plate you do almost all the work by sinking so there is no raising involved. Except for edging and finish planishing you need few tools and the finish planishing can all be done on a couple simple stakes with a light hammer. The most difficult work is just blanking the plate (well. . after getting patterns). A good Beverly shear sure comes in handy.

After the first Armour-In we went on a steel ball collecting jag. In a year of not trying very hard and spending less than $100 I had balls or stakes in the following sizes, 1", 1.5", 2", 3", 4", 6" and 8". The 2" and 8" were ball mill balls. Finding good sheet metal working hammers is more difficult and expensive. In that time I also came up with two nice heavy Whitney punches, a very old Beverly Shear and several stakes.

Now. . I DO travel in smithy circles but many of the pieces were found in regular flea markets. The main point on collecting this kind of tooling is patience and purpose. I was looking for THESE type things and made the best of opportunities. If I had said I need ALL these by X date then I would have had to spent a lot of money. Besides, as noted you can a LOT with nothing but wood blocks and simple hammers. Good stuff to practice using while waiting for those purchasing opportunities.
- guru - Wednesday, 08/16/06 00:58:41 EDT

Shop Dogs:
We had an OES (Old English Sheepdog) for a couple years. He would insist on sleeping at the foot of my anvil. Scale didn't bother him but the stink of burning hair bothered ME! He also had a bad habbit of backing up against hot wood stoves. . . peeeeew. . .

Don't let anyone tell you an OES can see through that hair or that they will go blind if you cut it. They are blind with it in their face and they love running fast enough that the wind blows the hair out of their eyes.

They are also a dog for high latitudes only. . It was common to find our OES sleeping in the shade in the snow when it was only 20 degrees F (-7 C).
- guru - Wednesday, 08/16/06 01:06:16 EDT

A man with balls: I have a 4" mill bill that was welded on to a 1" shank but cracked away. A Friend of mine did the weld for me in the early days when I didnt have much metalworking equipment. He's a good smith but an indifferent weldor. I am thinking of brazing on a stem in my forge. He also welded a stem on a tapered bearing for an anvil cone and that cracked too. I am going to redo that with 7018, post & preheat.

I am not going to make armor. Nosir. Well who knows where things might lead. This is the reason I avoid jewelry. I might find out I like it. :) And I am not going after highly finished and polished forms. I wouldnt go any further than bouging. Nosir! Right now I want to explore tall swollen forms like vases. Mainly what I need is a good T stake. I have found with forging pipe that owing to the thicker and stiffer nature of the steel I can do a lot of hot raising "in the air" - this is essentially what the guillotine tool does when it necks down pipe - but w/o a stake there's less control and there's no backing out a depression that's too deep. (true on many levels) Anyways the armorors are doing the kind of techniques that I am interested in so I need to look over their shoulders some.

Shop dog. I am hoping to have a dog in the future. I never have owened one
adam - Wednesday, 08/16/06 08:50:16 EDT

PS: Last night while practicing my OA beads I realized the acet. regulator that I bought with the Little Torch is not holding pressure. This explains some of the persistent uneveness in my beads. So the good news is I get to blame the equipment for once. The bad news is its a trip to SF to go and argue with the joolery supply store. I expect they will be reasonable about it.
adam - Wednesday, 08/16/06 09:13:32 EDT

OA Welding:
Low cost regulators are usualy single stage. For consistant pressure you must have two stage regulators. The first stage drops the pressure to close to the maximum usable pressure assuming low pressure in the bottle, the second stage operates off this and is much more consistant due to the more consistant input. Not perfect, but MUCH better.

The other thing that happens is line drop. You should have your regulator adjusted close to what you need the output at the torch so that the torch valve is not regulating the flow too much. When the valve is regulating the flow then you have pressure build up in the line that falls off over a few minutes. The longer the line the worse this problem. With short lines it is not too noticable.
- guru - Wednesday, 08/16/06 09:42:47 EDT

Welding Balls:
Both the weld to the ball mill ball and the bearing are not recommended welds, especially by arc welding. Both are very high carbon steel and need to be annealed before welding, kept hot during welding and annealed after welding. . . OR something close. The rapid heating and cooling of the arc weld makes a VERY brittle coarsely crystaline zone near the weld.

Ball mill balls are made of a very hard highly abrasion resistant material that is very brittle and hard to weld. It CAN be done but takes much care.

The best support I have seen for large balls is a ring of pipe about 1/2 to 2/3 the diameter of the ball that is just tall enough to keep it from rolling. Very secure and avoids welding.

Also note that on large items folks often put too small a shank on them and expect it to hold up. Large heavy use stakes need shanks that are proportionate. There is a reason that OLD anvils had hardy holes up to nearly 2". On modern anvils with 1" hardy holes you need to limit the size and especialy the length of shanked tools.
- guru - Wednesday, 08/16/06 09:54:25 EDT

More Stakes:
The Mexican copper smiths at the Flagstaff conference had just a few primitive tools. Their primary raising stake was a piece of old auto or truck axel about 1-1/8" diameter bend in an "L" and mounted in a stump. The end was roughly finished and you could still see torch marks. They had another straight mushroom stake that was similar. I am not sure of the end because I never saw the work removed.

The point. . these guys did fantastic work and were not limited by the primitiveness of their tools.
- guru - Wednesday, 08/16/06 10:00:30 EDT

hmmm I hadnt considered the latency in the hose - I guess its much like line capacitance in a circuit. There definitely is some of that in my setup - it takes a while to bleed the line with the tip I am using. I opent he acet. valve on the torch 1/2 turn then set the regulator to my working press just like my mama taught me. I find that I can control pressure in the regulator just by playing with the valve on the torch. As I close the valve, the pressure rises. In fact if I turn it off sharply the reg. jumps from 4# to 15# ! surely this isnt good?
adam - Wednesday, 08/16/06 10:37:13 EDT

Adam, It sounds like you are running on an empty tank OR with a gummy regulator OR gauge.

You also may be running over the regulator capacity. But I would bet on too little fuel in the cylinder. You are not supposed to run acetylene to zero.
- guru - Wednesday, 08/16/06 11:31:49 EDT

The tank is full. Still at about 200#. Its a 10cuft tank but the torch is tiny so I cant have used much. But I will try opening the tank valve wider. I usually go just 1/2 turn so I can shut it off quick. Mebbe I have been strangling the regulator.
adam - Wednesday, 08/16/06 13:31:25 EDT

Adam, I had exactly the symptoms you described with my gas forge. Turned out I wasn't opening the valve on the propane tank far enough. So your guess may be a good one.
Mike B - Wednesday, 08/16/06 18:24:55 EDT

Ball Materials: Be aware that when you start looking at the larger size balls, say 1" and above, a good source is check valves. I have a 8" ball form a check valve. Weighs about 10#, as it is hollow monel. I used to have great fun carrying it into the lab as if it were solid and tossing it to my new co-op's. In check valves for chemical/steam service the favorite material is 440C, followed by 316L, followed by Monel, followed by solution annealed 316L, followed by...
Motto of the story is that with the exception of the 316L materials, these are very difficult to weld. We made lapping tools by either welding or brazing on handles, but they were not impact tools, and they often cracked/broke.
I also have some very large ball valve balls that are fabricated,and hollow. I also have some that are chrome over brass.
I brought these home long ago and they just sit there. I may take some to Quad State to sell.
ptree - Wednesday, 08/16/06 20:12:07 EDT

student looking for an unpaid blacksmith internship in NYC: I am searching for a metal artist who would be open to having a beginner in their shop this fall. I have an extensive knowledge of ceramics including the technical aspects and some experience with metal work (chainmaile, welding) so I understand to a certain extent the safety precautions that need to be taken in a blacksmith's studio. Where can I look to find artists in the area who would be willing to trade 20 hours of my time each week for an introduction to the craft.
Rachel - Wednesday, 08/16/06 20:22:44 EDT

Adam's torch: If you opened the acetylene tank valve a half turn after the needle lifted off the pin, you're just right. Any more is unnecessary, especially with a Little Torch. My guess is that you have an issue with the regulator. The only way it can jump up when you shut it off is if it is allowing flow past the diaphragm. It could be just a bit of caca in the needle seat, or it could be under the diaphragm lip. I'd bet on the latter, myself. While I tear down my own regulators, I *don't* recommend that others do that. Take it to the dealer and snivel about it. It's new enough that they should make good on it.

You can buy 2-stage regulators for that torch, but you won't like the price. Good *little* 2-stage regulators are pricey little devils. Each one will cost just about the cost of the torch itself, around 90-100 bucks. I seriously doubt you need that, unless you're capable of holding a steady bead for about half an hour or more non-stop. No way can you drop even a small cylinder enough in less time than that to necessitate changing a regulator setting, using that Little Torch.
vicopper - Wednesday, 08/16/06 21:26:00 EDT

Rachel: Talk to Tom Ryan at Koenig Metal Works. He learned as an apprentice, so he might be willing to take one on. He's a very good smith and demonstrator. He does primarily architectural smithing.
vicopper - Wednesday, 08/16/06 21:28:53 EDT

you might want to go on to the abana website and put your name under available workers in the classifeds. Quite a few smiths/shops look under there for workers experienced or not.
- Kim - Wednesday, 08/16/06 22:41:42 EDT

Adam: Not to argue with Your Momma, but a book I read when I was starting out said to set the pressure with the torch valves open 1 full turn.[this asumed a regular size torch] Either way, at least they are open enough that they should not be overly sensitive.
Dave Boyer - Wednesday, 08/16/06 22:52:33 EDT

Mill Bill: There is such a tool for dressing mill stones, also called a mill pick. I wondered what Adam was doing with one, when I realized he probably meant mill ball.
Frank Turley - Wednesday, 08/16/06 23:06:52 EDT

Well opening the tank valve all the way stops the pressure from drooping and the torch runs much better but on shutting off the torch valve the press. climbs to 15#. So I think like Rich says , its the regulator. The tip eats 1.5 cuft/hr which is over 6hrs on that tank. I doubt I have 3hrs of continous use and the high side of the regulator is over 200# so I think the tank has plenty of gas. I'm going to take it back to the store and do some agressive sniveling. Thanks for all the help.
adam - Thursday, 08/17/06 10:14:58 EDT

Doesn't everyone have a specialized hammer for dressing mill stones in the rack?---never know when you will need one! (and yes I do, along with the top swage for dressing star chisels and a couple that even I don't know what they were for! I like my collection of broad arrow tools too: Ballpein, Boilermakers; 1 ea...)
Thomas P - Thursday, 08/17/06 10:34:42 EDT

Mill stones: If I could get the darn thing off from around my neck, I'd worry about dressing it. I'd just like to dress without it. (grin)
vicopper - Thursday, 08/17/06 12:11:52 EDT

Rachel- I would also talk to the people at Peters Valley in New Jersey- Not sure who is teaching blacksmithing there, now that Meaghan has moved to Colorado, but whoever it is probably knows a lot about the blacksmithing community in the NYC area.
Not a lot of blacksmiths right in the city- its expensive. But James Garvey is there- you might contact him and ask him if he knows of any opportunities-
- ries - Thursday, 08/17/06 13:52:50 EDT

Shop Dogs: My dog doesn't eat clinkers because I mostly use propane, but he almost exclusivly drinks from my slack tub, even though we have clean water next to his food, he just ignores it. He is very good about getting out of the shop when I fire up the torch or the grinders.

FredlyFX - Thursday, 08/17/06 19:56:53 EDT

Adam -- This isn't what you said is happening (and you probably know it already), but if you close the *tank* valve and bleed the hose, the low pressure side of a single stage regulator will spike up as the inlet pressure drops. I only mention this because it seems a little odd that the pressure would climb on closing the torch valve if it didn't droop when you opened it. But I'm sure regulators have failed in stranger ways.
Mike B - Thursday, 08/17/06 20:15:05 EDT

Adam: I don't know if you have one but a stopped up spark arestor
at the tank will cause the same thing. If you don't have one you really should for safety. Our company requires them even if we have them at the torche.
TravisC - Thursday, 08/17/06 20:27:29 EDT

Adam's Regulator: My guess is that the valve in the regulator is leaking a little gas untill the pressure is up to 15 psig at which point there is enough force on the valve to make it seal in spite of whatever damage or dirt is causing the leakby. When the torch is in use tha small leakage past the valve is not noticable, but there is definatly a broblem. The detonation pressure is about 30 PSIG, so there is a definate safety issue.
- Dave Boyer - Friday, 08/18/06 00:17:22 EDT

Adam's Regulator: That regulator is almost new if my memory is correct. Take it back to the dealer and tell them it has safety issues. They should fix it.
- John Odom - Friday, 08/18/06 20:05:45 EDT

Well I took it back to the store and they exchanged it for another which works much better. I tried running some beads when I came home and I have a much easier time keeping a uniform bead width. I brought in my little OA rig so I could show him the problem and, of course, it behaved much better than at home. But when we compared it to another new one, it was noticeably more erratic. So, being a seasoned sniveler, I came home with the new one. Actually they were very pleasant about the whole thing. Santa Fe Jewelers Suppliers - always friendly and patient.

So, doing good with my welds now and thanks for all the help!
adam - Friday, 08/18/06 23:05:13 EDT

Bad When New:
Adam, I've had bad welding regs/gauges when new. Both times it was a bit of teflon tape that had gotten where it should not. I felt dumb when the dealer showed me but both times it was factory installations so a warantee was involved and it MAY not have been so simple.

This is something to think about when our own gas forges or other assemblies act odd.
- guru - Saturday, 08/19/06 10:12:57 EDT

adam-- Saturday the 12th you posted re: finding at a sale "A strange hammer that I dont understand, long flat and double headed, both heads have a groove - mebbe 3/16" radius. I would have said top swage save theres no striking side. Praps somekind of stone mason hammer?" I found just now what look as if they might be precisely such hammer as yours, in a Brit tool catalog, called scutch hammers, some double-ended, with slots for holding combs with which to dress, surface, cut bricks, stone.
Miles Undercut - Saturday, 08/19/06 21:27:57 EDT

Iron bar stock, not steel: IRON available. NOT STEEL. IRON. Hey, maybe if this business does well they will start making wrought iron again. Maybe?
- Tyler Murch - Saturday, 08/19/06 21:35:04 EDT

scutch hammer: I found some pix of modern scutch hammers online - they do look sorta like lightweight versions of mine - but on mine the grooves are very shallow - they look almost like a top tool for a 3/16 round and the upper lip is longer than the lower. mebbe there was some method of retaining a cutting piece in the slot. A springy wire? Anyway I am thinking of regrinding it for a heavy raising hammer
adam - Saturday, 08/19/06 21:37:59 EDT

adam-- I will defend to the death your right to do whatever you please with that priceless antique....
Miles Undercut - Saturday, 08/19/06 22:05:29 EDT

Hammer: Maybe a hammer for setting hoops on barrels? Admittedly, all the ones I've ever seen had a striking poll on one end, but maybe there was some guy good enough to set hoops with a swing of a hammer.
vicopper - Saturday, 08/19/06 22:49:56 EDT

Pure iron: Yes, I got a letter just yesterday from Wagner, saying they might someday send the sample I requested, and offering the information that they would soon be selling barstock for $4.65/lb. Frankly, that's a rip, in my opinion.
vicopper - Saturday, 08/19/06 22:51:48 EDT

More pure iron: Very unlikely that they would lmake wrought again, as it is what it is due to the siliceous inclusions fro the refining process. They can't be just stirred into the melt when you make it at the foundry. The labor costs, plus the fuel to heat it would be prohibitive.
vicopper - Saturday, 08/19/06 22:54:12 EDT

Wrought Iron: Cost prohibitive? You'd think they could make it for $4.65/#. But I doubt there's much of a market at that price, even for real wrought. At least not while there's still enough scrap around to supply those who *have* to have wrought.

Mike B - Sunday, 08/20/06 09:40:09 EDT

$4.65/lb is silly. Even tool steel sells for less than half that. If I remember correctly, Pure Iron was selling their stock at about$1.50 and they had trouble moving stuff.

I dont see any reasong to mfr wrought except for historical projects. Pure iron has all the advantages and none of the drawbacks of wrought.

Meantime I make do with transformer plate and heavy tie wire.
adam - Sunday, 08/20/06 12:10:30 EDT

Mike, just how much WI would they have to sell at US$4.65/# to pay for millions of dollars of infrastructure to make the stuff---+ slalries, health care, pensions, *training*, raw materials, pollution control,...

Even using the Byers' Process you would have to start from scratch on building the equipment---none of it would be stock

Recycling is a lot simplier and cheaper and I would commend to your attention the Real Wrought Iron Co, Ltd that does just that in England.

- Thomas P - Sunday, 08/20/06 16:18:08 EDT

Prices aint what they used to be: Personally, the type of work I do doesnt require pure iron. But if it did, I dont think 4.65/lb is that unreasonable-
I just unloaded a truck friday morning with about a ton, thats 2000lbs, of stainless, and the majority of it cost 2.84 a pound. Except for some of the less common sizes, which were 3.25 a pound. Now obviously, when you buy a ton at a time, they give you a better price per pound.
And then there is bronze- depending on alloy, and shape, $8 to $10 a pound is not uncommon.

Mild steel, in some profiles, is running me 80 cents a pound right now.

If the product saves time, or does something no other metal will do, then you just build the material cost into your final price.

When I bid a job, if material is running more than 10% of my final price, something is wrong- especially if there is much forging involved. So the difference between 1000lbs at .80 a lb and 1000lbs at 4.65 a lb, which is 4 grand or so, should be easy to build into a 40,000 job, especially if the ease of forging saves you significant time.

No, they wont be selling many sticks of this to weekend smiths who normally pickup their stock from the side of the road. But I dont think that is a significant market for any steel or metal supplier.

They want to be selling this stuff to the guys who are doing those $40,000 railing jobs, and believe me, there are a lot of em out there- I am sure they will sell a lot more pure iron at the NOMMA convention than at Quad States.
- ries - Sunday, 08/20/06 18:05:39 EDT

WI: Thomas, I really should have put a (grin) after the first sentence of my post -- just thought it was ironic that $4.65 for pure iron wouldn't be what most folks would consider cost effective either. But I have no idea what the actual costs of producing WI would be. And I guess the real test of cost effective is whether you can sell at a profit -- if Ries is right, 4.65 (or more accurately whatever Wagner's production costs are) could prove cost effective for them.

All that's a longwinded way of saying I agree with you. As long as old WI is available, I can't see anyone making new (except as an exercise/experiment). And even if the old supply dried up, who knows if new production would be an economic proposition (my entirely uneducated guess says it wouldn't).

That does suggest an entirely hypothetical question, though. I'd assume that without crossing from the entirely unrealistic to the utterly fanciful (assuming I haven't already), any modern wrought would be made from modern scrap, and have the same tramp elements. Would it matter?
Mike B - Sunday, 08/20/06 18:47:41 EDT

Wrought iron hasnt been made commercially since the 1970's, as far as I know. And even then, the last hanger on was a Swedish pipe factory that was making it for some chemical plants.
Nowadays, all that chemical usage is switched over to Stainless of various sorts, and even newer superalloys.

So what possible market would there be for real wrought iron in industry?

I cant imagine that the production blacksmith shops, or the big architectural shops like Mike Bondi or Steve Lopes, would really want to do big projects in real wrought- it would be more expensive, especially in labor time- and while I have no experience in this, my guess is the silica inclusions would play holy heck with modern tools like cold saws, ironworkers, bi-metal bandsaw blades, and milling machines- all of which the modern blacksmith has adopted for most large scale work.

So if industry doesnt need it, and the few large scale ornamental shops cant afford to use it, that leaves small, one of a kind art and historical pieces, which can probably be supplied by the scrap that is available for some time.

The pure iron is a slightly different beast- first, because it doesnt present any problems to modern punches, shears, and saws, and second, because it is in some ways better for forging complicated work than real wrought iron.
If you have ever seen the stuff that Angelo Bertolucci, the italian smith, has done with pure iron, you can see the advantages of it for heavily forged work- it just goes and goes.
So it does have definite advantages that will make some people pay more for it, who probably would not consider using old scrap wrought iron for the same jobs. There is something to be said for a reliable supply of predictable sizes of material, especially in todays world, when you often have to bid a job a year out. You cant bid a big job on the hope that you might find some appropriate sized old wrought- but you can bid a job with a price from Wagner, with a bit more assurance.

If someone made modern wrought, they would not make it from modern scrap- modern scrap is steel, which has all kinds of ingredients you wouldnt want in wrought. You would have to start with iron ore, probably.

One of the big problems right now is both the recycled wrought iron made in england, and the pure iron, is coming from europe- so middlemen and shipping are a big part of that 4.65. Evidently the economics of small scale production in europe still allow them to make the pure iron there. I know a lot of french, italian, and german smiths like it, for reproduction work, and in europe, there is a lot of historic reproduction required, both by law and by taste.
It will be interesting to see if the current round of steel company consolidations, with Mittal ending up owning almost everything, affects the pure iron production.
- ries - Sunday, 08/20/06 20:59:14 EDT

Ries - silica inclusions: The company where I served My apprenticeship specialized in stamping laminations for electric motors. The silica steel was EXTREMELY abrasive. We used carbide dies to stamp it in quantity, and it "crunched" when cut with tin snips. I think You are on track about the problems with sawing, punching and shearing, milling could porobably be done with carbide, but there might be enough dust to wreck the machinery.
Dave Boyer - Sunday, 08/20/06 23:22:00 EDT

Any of You Work with Fiberglass (GRP) boats?:
I've done a lot of sailing on them over the years, but most of the maintenance work I have done has been on wooden vessels. (If the Vikings had had fiberglass... :) )

The Longship Company has just received a little 14 foot fiberglass skiff to use as an auxiliary tender and (with her outboard) as a push boat for the Sæ Hrafn for longer trips to meet modern schedule on the Chesapeake Bay. (The Vikings didn’t have to show up on schedule; as a matter of fact, they preferred to show up unexpectedly!)

It’s a nice boat, but had been stored under minimal cover for a number of years. The rain has penetrated the screw holes on top of the compartments holding the flotation, and (as we dragged her to her trailer) it felt (and sloshily sounded) as though the flotation material was thoroughly saturated.

We have her canted, bow up, on the trailer; and my inclination is to just drill some 1/4” weep holes though the transom, and plug them (either permanently or with some fittings) once she dried out.

At least that’s what I would do if she were my boat, but since we’re a non-profit organization, all such actions need to be made in consultation, so it never hurts to get some additional advice and experience. Anything I should watch for? Any good or bad experiences on your parts? Anybody been in this boat before?

My thanks for any sage advice.
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Monday, 08/21/06 09:18:08 EDT

Ries you can judge better than most of us here. It's probably true they wont notice when I dont order any. But the previous PI venture failed to move their stuff at $1.50/lb so it's hard to see how there will be support for the same material at $4.85 /lb. I expect one can buy cold rolled 1008 for a lot less and that stuff is very forgeable too.
adam - Monday, 08/21/06 09:20:49 EDT

silica inclusions in wrought: Oh, yes indeedy, it'll tear the teeth right off a cheap bandsaw blade, and those nice Lennox bi-metals only last a hair longer. Their teeth mostly wear down instead of pinging off your safety glasses, though...

There's at least one modern bladesmith who makes his own wrought from ore, just because he can. I still use old scrap when it absolutely, positively, has to be wrought.

I have used some of the Pure Iron too, and can tell you it has none of the advantages or characteristics of wrought. It's more like fine silver, as it just stays soft and bendy no matter what. 1008 is actually a better material in my arrogant opinion.
Alan-L - Monday, 08/21/06 11:11:07 EDT

I am just spouting off, as I dont actually do hardly any of my production work in anything but stainless.
So I have no idea if there is a market for Pure Iron or not.
If it fills a market niche that can make money, and if it has advantages over mild steel, then the price alone is not going to be the big roadblock. I was trying to point out that many people are paying 2 to 10 bucks a pound for various metals now, and making money at it.

But if it is no better than cold rolled 1008 for most common production forging situations, then, no, Wagner will not sell a lot of it.
That is a question I dont know the answer to.
I have seen some very nice hand forging done with it, but is there enough of a market for that?
Beats me.

- ries - Monday, 08/21/06 14:39:09 EDT

Pure Iron composition: Before Wagner, the Pure Iron came into the U.S. about 2000AD. I have their old hard-copy catalog, and the iron used to be available from Art & Metal in Massachusetts.

According to the January, 2000, catalog, Pure Iron has these trace elements:
C 0.002%; Mn 0.080%; P 0.004%; S 0.004%; Cu 0.006%; N 0.003%; Sn 0.000%; Al 0.003%; Cr 0.007%; Mo 0.001%; Si 0.002%.

I haven't used it, but I can't imagine it behaving much differently than 1008, as ries has pointed out.
Frank Turley - Monday, 08/21/06 19:25:49 EDT

For what its worth, at my new job we roll form steel for window and door parts on cars. This steel is very low carbon, I think about .02%. Has some trace Cr and Ni from the scrap its made from. I brought some home to play with. Talk about butter soft! Made some ash shovels from it and at about 18 gage, it may be too soft to keep shape.
Seems like an armourer delight.
Ptree - Monday, 08/21/06 20:35:37 EDT

Fiberglass Boat: Bruce: If there is waterlogged foam in the compartment it will never drain out. For many years open cell foams, or at least semi permiable ones were [and still are] used for flotation , but it is a bad choice. I suggest cutting an acess hole and removing the foam. A plastic screw in deck plate can be installed to close the acess hole, and a drain plug can be installed down low as well. If the compartment is pretty nearly watertight it will act as a flotation cavity in the event that You take on water or capsize.
Dave Boyer - Monday, 08/21/06 21:48:38 EDT

WI, Pure Iron and 00Fe: Despite what the folks at the Real Wrought Iron Co. claim, they do not make iron, they recycle it. Collect, forge into billet and roll. . . some is beter than other and I suspect some steel may slip into the scrap. But it is nice clean fresh rolled bar.

Then there is the large amounts of scrap WI which are dissapearing pretty fast to make more Toyotas to put Ford completely out of business.

Pure Iron is made in France the same way as Roger Duncan's US made 00Fe and may be the same thing. Double ought iron was modern furnace smelted and decarbonized steel down to 0.005% carbon. It is used as the precursor for making high quality alloy steels and has very tight control of impurities. It had a small amount of silicon for metalurgical reasons.

Roger found out about 00Fe and bought the MINIMUM he could, 20,000 pounds or one billet. He had it rolled into 1/4" plate as he was given only one choice in thickness, and had THAT sheared up into various squares, reclangles and strips. He peddled it for a couple months before he died and left the mountain of twisted scrap to his family. It is probably still out there somewhere.

If someone here wants to market PI here then they should find Roger Duncan's source and start there. I suspect that with some research you could find a mini-mill that would roll a variety of sizes.

The folks that originaly imported pure iron had very sluggish sales and ended up selling off much of it at cost. There are a number of smiths with significant inventories. However, the pure iron folks were stuck with 20,000 pounds of 1/4" round. . . Don't ask me why ANYONE would inventory 112,000 feet of 1/4" rod. . . The fellow holding it thought it was worth a whole lot and asked me about helping move it. If obtained cheap enough (almost free) it could be consolidated into larger bar. .

SO, there is 20 tons of pure iron out there waiting to be found and bought at scrap price. But all of it is in nearly useless sizes. Wagner has the same problem. They are stocking ONE size, 3/4" square I think. . .

For an architectural smith to sell a high end job based on the advantages of Pure Iron (which has erroneously been likened to wrought), the smith will need squares starting at 1.25" if not 1.5" down to 1/4" and rounds from 1.25" down to at least 1/2" in at least 1/8" increments. Otherwise the job will be made of a mix of A-36, SAE 1020, Pure Iron and maybe even some genuine wrought iron.

So Wagner may be doomed to defeat especially at their current prices.
- guru - Monday, 08/21/06 23:28:48 EDT

Fiberglass boats: Since it's only 14ft long, you should be able to just take it apart (top from the bottom. With some helpers, you just lift it's heavy thou). We've done this a couple of times on 16ft runabouts that had set out long enough the transsom & floors were bad. You just slide out the rubber strip from the metal that covers the joint and take out all those screws.
Mike Sa
- Mike Sa - Tuesday, 08/22/06 13:45:48 EDT

Flat Belt Pulley: I am setting up some jack shafts to act as speed reducers for a couple AC motors. I am going to run a couple of Little Giant power hammers with them. My problem is that I need to find two flat belt pulleys. They need to be about 6" in diameter and they need to have something close to 1 1/2" center hole. Anybody got some laying around that they would be willing to sell?
- Paul - Tuesday, 08/22/06 15:26:34 EDT

Failed Foam:
If the foam in the boat has failed and absorbed water then it must be replaced. The foam is a requirement of the Coast Guard certification of the particular boat. However, the foam often was rough cut to the space and water could get in. This does not mean the foam has failed, just that there is water in the surrounding space. (MAY mean the foam is doing its job).

Dissasembly of the boat as Mike suggested sounds like the best bet. Then if the foam is saturated, replace it. If not, add some more when you reassemble. I would work on making the flotation compartments more air tight. However, there must be venting somewhere to alow for expansion and contraction of air.

Most fibreglass is easily patched. They use two types of resin, polyester and epoxy. I am not sure if you can use one with the other. We did on soap box racers and it did not seem to be a problem. AH. . . first google result see below.

Use epoxy for your repairs unless they are large then see the Boatus Resin Tip.

If you have added (non-factory) holes holding something on that penetrates the fibreglass AND you have access to the back I would recomend attaching plastic blocks for the screws to engage into on the back side of the fibreglass. Nylon works great for SS screws and can be glued with epoxy. I would glue on the block and then add a strip of fibreglass and epoxy around the block. It will look like a mess, as does most glass work but it will assure the block stays put.

If the boat does not dissasemble as Mike SA mentioned I would go with your plan. Drill vents and install plug OR patch. Fibreglass is easy to modify, patch and repair. Its the surface finish that is a pain. Any place the resin is thick enough you can actually drill and tap it. Note however that transoms often have wood laminated in for strength, not solid glass and resin.

Boatus Resins Tip
- guru - Tuesday, 08/22/06 17:29:06 EDT

Flat Belt Pulley:
Paul, I cannot help you but they still make these, however they are not cheap. You will also have a better chance of finding larger flat belt pullies and should run your jack shaft slower (about 500 to 800 RPM was normal).

Folks also run V belts on the LG clutch pulley. It works. . Dual belts give better service. However the LG clutch bearings must be in good condition or no amount of alignment will keep the belts on. The only catch is that you must unbolt the LG bearing caps and lift the shaft to get the belts on. You may have to do something similar on the jack shaft.

They make special ganged V belts (single back) for this purpose but they are hard to get.
- guru - Tuesday, 08/22/06 17:38:03 EDT

The Byers process started with molten bessemer steel and then they added the slag and mechanically worked it to get "wrought iron" I'd bet that a "new" producer would do it similiarly but with modern scrap produced melts and so get all the lovely tramp elements as has been suggested.

The costs of using a clean melt as a starting point would add significantly to the cost IMNSHO.

Ptree, you don't want armour to dent if it's using stuff---why some armourers do crazy things to get it to workharden more (exp; dish a cop then dish it backwards and then forwards again!)

- Thomas P - Tuesday, 08/22/06 17:48:23 EDT

rolling mill: been looking at Hugh McDonald's rolling mill - must get the DVD

Kayne made a version for a while

using a bottle jack for roller pressure - the note says "not recommended" why not , seems like a good idea?
adam - Tuesday, 08/22/06 19:24:46 EDT

I mis-stated the carbon content on my last post. I looked today and it is 0.002%. This stuff does work harden nicely, but forms very nicely. Might be nice for reposse? I will try to snag a few pieces for Quad state to let you play with.
Ptree - Tuesday, 08/22/06 21:12:00 EDT

Bruce - foam: IF You decide to replace foam, use the blue insulating foam. It is EXTRUDED POLLYSTYRENE and absorbs the least water. The expanded pollystyrene [white "bead board"] and tan colored pollyurethane or pollyisosiurate sp? all soak up water over time and don't EVER drain out. This makes for a heavy boat that is hard to handle, is exceeding it's load & structural capacity when empty, and in the event it gets swamped will not provide the bouyancy it is supposed to. From the manufacturer's point of view it is cheaper to put in foam than to provide a watertight compartment, but it only works untill the foam gets saturated. Down island I know of a lot of saturated 15' Boston Whailers used by commercial spear fishermen. Their solution is to use an 85HP outboard to overcome the aditional weight. USCG horsepower limits mean nothing down there.
Dave Boyer - Tuesday, 08/22/06 21:55:43 EDT

mystery hammer: I am pretty sure I found this hammer - it fits the description of a stone hammer for soft rock in Holmstrom & Holford Toolsmithing p 146. Apparently a hollow faced hammer much like mine was sometimes used for stuff like limestone and sandstone. That book is a hoot! Those guys knew everything and no one else has any idea how to do it right but dont fret they arent shy to set you straight!

Anyways looking at it more closely, its hand made with a flatter from 2" x 1" bar and the body is very soft but the ends are steeled about 3/8" or more deep. The eye is slightly off center and slightl twisted. The weld is invisible. So a nice old handmade tool, done the oldfashioned way by steeling soft iron, neatly but plainly done, nothing sentimental just meant to do work. Having second thoughts about regrinding the faces to make a raising hammer out of it.
adam - Tuesday, 08/22/06 22:05:50 EDT

Flat Belt Pulleys: Guru,
I have priced the pulleys from McMaster-Carr and they are available but very pricey. If I break down and pay their price I will lose my standing as a scrounger and that is just sinful. So I thought I would see what was gathering dust in someone elses shop.

I am running the jack shaft around 700-800 rpms which is slightly slower than the 900 that the original motor from Little Giant ran.

I already run many LG's with v-belts but this situation is different. I always put on extra belts whenever I change one so I have spares and I don't have to remove the crankshaft next time the belts goes bad. Changing belts on the jack shaft will be a snap compared to removing the crank which always knocks the shims on the floor. But in this case I have a 500 lb. LG that was an original factory AC machine. So it has the rear clutch and the clutch wheel is huge. The v-belts would be about 20 feet in length (circumference) and I don't have much confidence that they would stay on very well or be able to handle the starting power of the 15 Hp motor.

I guess I could always make them out of wood.
- Paul - Tuesday, 08/22/06 22:14:56 EDT

Flat Belts: Speaking of flat belts, i was gonna make a flat belt pulley to replace the one that was lost on a large old forge blower. I'm gonna turn it out of 2.5" axle, and i read somewhere that the pulley should have a very slight radius to help keep the belt on the pulley. Is this a convex or concave radius? The only pulleys I've ever seen were flat so does it even need this radius? Or would i be better off just turning it down so that there is a lip on the outside edged to keep the belt on?
- thesandycreekforge - Wednesday, 08/23/06 11:45:50 EDT

Flat Belt Pulleys: Turn the pulley with a crown to the center. On a 2" pulley, the center should be perhaps 2.1" if the ends are 2.0"
vicopper - Wednesday, 08/23/06 12:34:43 EDT

The crown allows the belt to handle slight misalignment. If the pulleys are flat and slightly misaligned the belt will alway trying to be walking off and if there is a lip to stop it, all the gripping and wear is on that edge of the belt. If the pulley is crowned, the belt will walk over a bit and find a new alignment. Being somewhat flexible the belt will tend to wrap around the crown of the pulley and seat itself nicely.
adam - Wednesday, 08/23/06 13:57:39 EDT

Crowns: I never could figure out why convex pulleys or rollers keep belts tracking properly. Then I thought about a Dixie cup rolling on a table. It always curves around toward the narrow end (the bottom of the cup).

Now lay a piece of belt on the table, and set Dixie cup on it so the big end is near the edge of the belt. Roll the cup, and pretty soon the big end will be centered on the belt.

Glue two Dixie cups together top to top and you have a convex roller. When the belt moves off to one side, the cup it's on wants to curve around, so its big end moves toward the center of the belt again. My theory, at least, is that because the roller can't move to the outside, it pulls the belt back to the inside.

Mike B - Wednesday, 08/23/06 17:11:29 EDT

while y'all were busy ignoring my question about the bottle jack in the rolling mill, I figured out that it's undesirable because you give up the sensitive feed of a foot lever.
adam - Wednesday, 08/23/06 18:15:08 EDT

I looked in my 13th edition Machinery's, under "The crowning of the face of pulleys" Pg 872 in my edition. They say that there are different ideas on crowning, that one faction says "1/20 the of the width for cotton belting and 1/150 of the width for leather". Another 1/16" to 1/8" per foot of width for high speeds and 1/4" for low speeds. They also note that crowning only keeps the belt on for misalignment not slipping. They say a slipping belt will slip off a crowned pulley faster than a flat pulley.
I once had a job at the old plant to make a low speed drive pully for a urethane conveyor, that was constantly having to be adjusted as heavy valves fell on it stretching little areas. We went with the 1/4" figure, from this very book, and never had a moments more problem.
Ptree - Wednesday, 08/23/06 19:39:19 EDT

I think the lastest Anvil's Ring that just was sent out shows a photo of a fella using a nice rolling mill he made. May be worth a look, though no expertise on my end for a rolling mill.

I would just be careful making comments like: "while ya'll were busy ignoring my question." Some of these folks probably don't feel your in the click tight enough to say things like that and may put you in a label with me and ignore you even if you can help them.
- Burnt Forge - Wednesday, 08/23/06 19:52:11 EDT

Ring roller: I have two home-made ones. Both from the scrap yard, I didn't designor make either one. Both are made to mount in a BIG vise. They work up to 1/4" X 2" flat stock, not heavier. The frames are not rigid enough, and the bolt-based tension adjust is not strong enough.

When I make one, I'm going to use a Portapower (actually a china knock off) ram. A bottle jack could be used nicely. I have a big, 24" cast iron valve wheel for roller power.
One problem with the ones I have is that the rollers are too smooth and they slip, rather than drive the ring. I think I will try a sandblasted surface on the next model.

Adam I was not ignoring you, I do have other things to do.
- John Odom - Wednesday, 08/23/06 20:42:01 EDT

Paul - pulleys: Wood pulleys work fine, but for 15HP I think You will need a metal hub, and it will need to be fastened to the wood extremely well. I think I would use plywood disks and epoxy. If You dont have a lathe You could true them up on the shaft they will be running on with a turning tool made from an old file or with a sander.
- Dave Boyer - Wednesday, 08/23/06 22:02:23 EDT

Naw, I've had lunch with Adam, Miles, Frank, Sandpile, etc and I know he was just bumping up his question a bit.

Thomas P - Wednesday, 08/23/06 23:02:50 EDT

Paul, check out this item on ebay: 300019336091 There are several others available as well, but most are for tractors. Just keep searching, and they do come up. Also, I used to belong to a group that was all about line shafts. I think it was through yahoo groups, but I can't seem to find it now. They always had stuff being listed on the group list. Many of the guys had fully functional wood shops & machine shops all running off line shafts. It was very cool.

FredlyFX - Thursday, 08/24/06 00:19:14 EDT

ignorance is bliss: I was just hamming. Anyway you probably should ignore most of what I say thats what I do and it works well for me!

Burnt I dont get the Anvils Ring but I will buy the DVD then all will be revealed to me (in an Australian accent)

John, I was daydreaming about making a big set of shears from some of that pile grader blade I have and of using a bottle jack w spring to close the jaws
adam - Thursday, 08/24/06 00:42:38 EDT

¡Whoa Dude! Mini-anvil auction: In a couple of hours from this writing, a funky, mini-anvil, 6¼" long, will be sold on eBay for big bucks. Right now, there are 13 bidders and it is up to $149.99. The anvil is marked G M Co, LI City, NY. This company made hammers, metal planes, and wrenches in the early 1900s.
Frank Turley - Thursday, 08/24/06 09:32:46 EDT

Turely Anvil:

ebay #120021718151
- Turkey Feathers - Thursday, 08/24/06 15:37:28 EDT

Ken, Mac over at Primal Fires gave a great report on your poor boy forge, said he could have sold a dozen of them at Pennsic when all the smiths saw it when they stopped by his booth.

Thomas P - Friday, 08/25/06 11:02:43 EDT

Redesigning The McDonald Mill:
Adam, almost every Blue Crusher made had a different variation in the design but none followed the original. It was thought that the over-center crank pin on the foot control was too picky to make. . . The jack was also cheaper than fabricating the screw and tube assembly. There are a variety of reasons the product was not succesful but I think is was design mods, especialy the use of the bottle jack.

To do the things Hugh McDonald does which he demonstrated in his film you need TWO things. Fast adjustment and the overcentering crank to create high pressure from the foot or hand lever (The original name of the machine was the "Big Stomp"). This allows multiple passes in a single heat and tapering if wanted. The bottle jack did not have that functionality was slow to operate and difficult to reposition. Rather than reaching down and giving a wheel a spin you practically have to get on your knees and use both hands to adjust the bottle jack.

The other problem with the Blue Crusher was that folks wanted it to perform like an industrial mill and would choke it or try to feed flux covered billets into it. Huge showed that it was easy to deflux prior to feeding into the mill. Running flux in the mill is a operator/training problem. The choking problem was agrevated by the fact that the unit had a direct coupled worm gear drive. When choked and stalled the single phase motor will cycle wildly until the load is removed or the motor turned off. When a belt drive system is used you can adjust the belts to slip rather than stall the motor. The direct coupling was the cheapest easiest way to go but no stall protection.

Choking (taking too big a bite) is also an operator error. But you should be able to quickly and easily recover and keep going. Stalling a high torque worm gear drive that is nearly non-reversable is a problem.

I've worked on a commercialized design or the McDonald Mill like the Blue Crusher except that it has all the original function plus. One of the things Hugh did not do was use a ratchet device on the feed lever because he thought it was beyond the average DIY capability. In a production machine the ratchet wheel can easily be cut by water jet or laser and welded to a shaft. When I last worked on this project the commercial parts and new materials were going run around $2,000 so I have had to let it go. The reason for new, not scrounged parts was you cannot build a commercial product on scrounged parts. I wanted to test a commercialized version and debug it.

I've got several gear boxes and all the necessary steel that will make a jim-dandy McDonald Mill and I will probably build one for myself one day. But this is different than using parts that would be used in a commercial version. One of the beautiful gear boxes I have cost nearly $3,000 new. . it is NOT something I would design this product around for resale.

Changing someone elses design that has been proven to work is a dangerous thing unless you really study the way the device works and what can go wrong.

Some relatively small rolling mills can do some impressive work. But they use 20 and 30 HP for SMALL mills. The McDonald mill does steel using 1 HP in what is normaly a jeweler's size mill.

Note the RED notice at the top of this page. If you want my attention ask your questions on the guru's page. I ocassionaly go weeks without looking here when I am busy.

- guru - Friday, 08/25/06 12:24:42 EDT

Ring Rollers:
The friction problem on good ring rollers is taken care of simply, they drive TWO rollers. Old rolls also had cast iron sleaves cast onto steel shafts. The porus nature of the cast iron increases its friction. But slipping is also a "bite" problem. Just make multiple passes instead of trying to do it in one.

My old champion tire bender uses two 1"-8 screws for the feed adjustment and with 3" cast iron tires would roll 3/4" square into a 16" ring fairly easily. No excessive force was need on the screws. The only thing that was a bother was adjusting the two seperate screws rather than one wheel. Other more expensive rolls had single centered handwheels.

One way to get easy to adjust high bending force in a set of rolls is to use an over center device that adjusts like a set of vise-grips. For single pass bending this will release and return to the exact position for repeat bends.
- guru - Friday, 08/25/06 12:39:24 EDT

rolling mill: thanks for those comments, Guru. I had considered the jamming problem since I have a couple three worm drives lying around. I would definitely go for a belt between the motor and the worm, just for the slip. Anyways its all many projects down the road. Currently I am working on my forge burner design. This has taken up a lot more time than it should have but its been fun and its starting to bear fruit. I am trying to make a burner that does a complete hot burn before the gas exhausts.
adam - Friday, 08/25/06 13:35:23 EDT

More on Ring Rolls: Actually, the professionally made ring rolls usually power all three rolls- the good ones use a separate hydraulic motor for each roll, along with hydraulic cylinders to move the center roll, and sometimes all three up and down.
Its true that the more rolls that are powered, the less slippage.
Many of the cheaper models power both lower rolls only, and tie them togther with a heavy duty chain and sprocket, so you can motorise or crank one, and they both turn.
Most commercial ring rolls are shipped with knurled rolls, which helps to avoid slippage as well. Not sure if sandblasting would do much- maybe shot blasting would. The knurls are usually straight knurls, and they do leave marks on the material.
I use both knurled and smooth rolls, depending on finish required, time and budget. Sometimes smooth rolls take more fussing with to get to work- with a powered roll, you can use both hands to help the material get started, on a smooth roll.
For fancy applications, like nylon rolls for anodised aluminum or polished stainless tubing, 3 rolls powered is essential.
Most of the modern powered rolls sold are made in Italy, and the reason why is that the italians have so many medieval and older houses, with curved windows, which they like to upgrade with double insulated glass- so they have a whole industry, and tooling, set up to make very sophisticated curved aluminum window and door frames, which are all custom, as no two 14th century villas are the same. So in almost every small town in Italy, you will find a shop with a really cool power ring roller, with nylon rolls in a variety of wacky profiles, along with nifty little routers and milling machines for notching and setting hinges and locksets, and Pedrazolli mitering tabletop bandsaws.

Newer power rolls, like my Italian made Curvatricci, come with LED readouts with 3 digits- so you can move back to the same setting with accuracy.
Virtually every tight radius requires multiple passes, so it really helps to know that if you are rolling, say, 2" square tubing to a 4 foot radius, the final setting is 34.5 - you roll several passes on the first piece, then back it out to a milder radius, and advance back to that same setting.
When I was in Italy last year, I visited the factory, and several other fab shops, and saw 2 different manufacturers CNC ring rolls- you roll your sample material thru at two different radiuses, and the machine "learns" its resistance- then you can just program in the radius, and it rolls it, every time.
Also they featured 3d capacity- a movable roll in the Y axis, also controlled by the computer, would allow you to roll accurate repeatable spirals of any dimension. In the factory, they were doing samples for a guy who wanted to roll 1" tubing into a christmas tree shape, about 6 feet tall. He had previously had laser cut holes put in the tubing, and once rolled, he fed in a string of LED lights- making a 3D christmas tree that he hung from the ceiling, all one piece.
These machines would be amazing for spiral stair rails- you would have a program for each size of stair, diameter and rise, and you just punch it in and get your rails, with no test fits, no back and forth, no tweaking.
About 50 grand.
Same price as a medium sized CNC mill, which sell by the thousands every year in america.
- Ries - Friday, 08/25/06 13:46:22 EDT

A big attraction of the mill is that I could run it in my garage w/o annoying my neighbors. Even though several houses around me seem to be doing non stop projects involving noisy machinery, if a county inspector came by and saw my garage he would likely say it's an industrial operation in a residential neighborhood.
adam - Friday, 08/25/06 16:20:55 EDT

- TEXX - Saturday, 08/26/06 01:31:26 EDT

Bandsaw DRO...: Hey guys, I am looking into trying to set up a linear scale with a Digital Read Out for my bandsaw. I figure this would save me some time from constantly whipping out my tape measure when I go to cut something. Does anyone have an idea where to look for this sort of thing? I know they exist, a plant I used to work in had this very sort of setup. Any help is greatly appreciated.
Lee Lanford - Saturday, 08/26/06 02:12:27 EDT

I was cruisin' some government liquidation thing and came across this hammer coming up for auction in alabama. Just thought I would pass it on. Can anyone tell the size?Looks like a big one and in great shape. Pretty far from Montana. Anyway, heres the link -
- jamie - Saturday, 08/26/06 13:43:45 EDT

hotmetalworks: Lee, some very handsome designs at your site. I am curious about that huge gate in a mansion hallway. Were those people raising cattle indoors? I have visited Austin but I am not familiar with all the local customs
adam - Saturday, 08/26/06 14:43:31 EDT


That is a late model 100 pound Little Giant. Looks to have been in excellent shape until the LAST move. Notice the shape of the crate and the guards show the same damage. I would suspect bent clutch linkage at the least. Fork lift operators are the death of more machinery than wear and tear.
- guru - Saturday, 08/26/06 15:52:54 EDT

Bandsaw DRO:
Lee, I don't know about a retrofit. Due to long lengths the standard systems will not work. Although they do make some pretty long glass scales. I have also seen systems that came from the factory as part of the saw AND systems that measured by the power rollers in the vise.

One of the last industrial jobs I bid on was to put a digital measuring system on a big saw. It was for the plant that originally supplied most of the steel for the World Trade Towers. Had to measure 30 feet I think. After a bit of research I found that I would have to design and build from the ground up. Bid about 10k for the job but it was a long time ago. It would be a 30k job today.

I was going to use a rack and pinion with counter. The measuring head would run on a track and be motorized to hold itself against the work. Had to be able to take ROUGH service in a bridge plant. Same motor could be used to manualy move if needed. Sensor arm would engage and disengage the motor as needed. Keeping the reading head on and ahead of the work automaticaly was more complicated than doing the measuring.

If needed, calibration would be by data points and extrapolated (readout vs. scale or tape at various increments). The system would have been accurate to within +/- .010" or better disregarding temperature variations and things bashing into the measuring rail.

The plant manager was more interested in how big the LED readout would be than the accuracy of the system. I didn't get the job. I suspect it was not done. The plant went out of business a few years later. . .
- guru - Saturday, 08/26/06 16:29:05 EDT

There is a company that makes a commercial system for an auto length stop for saws- its called TigerStop, and here is their website.
It differs from a DRO- a DRO is just a measuring device- and for the accuracy required of bandsaw cutting, you just dont need a DRO. A DRO measures to thousandths of an inch, or finer, for machining, and a good one will run 1500 dollars. For bandsaw cut to length, 1/16" s would be adequate.

A tiger stop actually moves to preprogrammed settings, and can be hooked up with an automatic bandsaw.
Scotchman has started to offer TigerStops with their ironworkers.
I think they run about 5 grand.

A quick and easy solution to this is a Biesemeyer saw stop- I have a stock Biesemeyer on my woodcutting miter box, and it works great- you manually set the length, but you have a sticky back tape measure stuck to your stop rail, so its easy to set repeatable lengths.
I made a similar one for my cold saw, but tougher than the Biesemeyer, which is designed for a wimpy old wood shop.
Here is the Biesemeyer website for cutoff saw style stops- this is the cheapest, best solution, in my opinion.
- Ries - Saturday, 08/26/06 20:15:28 EDT

Whoops-: Sorry about that last post- I am not sure how that youtube got in there, but it wasnt what I wanted- the tigerstop web address is-/
- Ries - Saturday, 08/26/06 20:16:47 EDT

By the way, all the standard length measurement systems. and there are lots of them out there, use non contact methods of measurement- I am afraid a rack and pinon is pretty old school these days. Nowadays, a digital measurement only system, in a big length, would run a lot less than 30k, in fact, a lot less than 10k- the tigerstop actually moves around all by itself, to a preprogrammed setting, for 5k- not just measures. 2000 measurements of parts in its memory, stock up to 24' long. 30 feet would be a small upgrade, I am sure.
Technology moves in giant leaps these days, and what was state of the art only a few years ago is childs play today.
- Ries - Saturday, 08/26/06 20:21:40 EDT

"Most Heroic Tool: Tinkering in his blacksmith shop Ed Pulaski created a tool that's half axe half mattock and ideal for digging firebreaks" March 2001 edition of Sunset Magazine---I'm a bit behind in my reading (actually we snagged it off the Library's "free" stack)
Thomas Powers - Saturday, 08/26/06 22:59:39 EDT

Rack and Pinions for measuring:
Old school? Maybe but they are VERY dependable and still used for the majority of dial calipers and dial indicators. Yeah. . they've got those resistance types but they are very prone to catastrophic failure and digital weirdness. You also do not want to use them in strong magnetic fields such as on big motors and generators in operation. . seen a few cooked.

Yep technology has changed a lot. But some has not. We've had a shop full of DRO's that were all bad at one time or the other. The worst problem was electrical surges and the equipment becoming out dated and orphaned. You think PC's are bad. . . But we also had mechanical problems with glass scales such as getting dirt on them.

HAHAHAH. . . Quote from Tigerstop "The HD's repeatable accuracy of +/-0.008" means precise cuts time after time. The rack and pinion drive in this unit. . . "

The measurment system in the Tigerstop is no different than what I was going to do. Resolver counters and rack and pinion. The light duty models without a rack and pinion probably use a Rolemite mechanism (cable or tape zero backlash system). . . patent has probably run out.

Its been over ten years since I worked on that one.
- guru - Sunday, 08/27/06 01:19:45 EDT

while you guys werent looking: I snagged a B2 Beverly Shear for $300 Item=330022199577 needs a handle. Not a steal but a good deal if it is as advertised.
adam - Sunday, 08/27/06 13:15:49 EDT

Cattle Gate / DRO : Adam. I appreciate the compliments. No, that is not a cattle gate, but rather a Dog gate. I swear I am happy to take people's money but the things they spend it on are rather ridiculous at times. Everyone else, thanks for the suggestions, I will look into things further and report on what I come up with.
- Lee Lanford - Sunday, 08/27/06 16:14:07 EDT

adam-- Good for you! Even if it is not as advertised, it is probably still a good deal. The people at Beverly Shear, from the woman who answers the phone to the one who puts orders together, to the son of the founder are all courteous and helpful, send stuff out pronto, wrapped as if to survive a bomb attack. Note: they do not have computers, do not take plastic, need the check in hand before the order is shipped. I bought a Beverly Jr. some years ago, found it needed new blades and a new top blade holder (they were down to the last one), and they obliged in a jiffy.
Miles Undercut - Sunday, 08/27/06 17:59:33 EDT

Anvil ID Help: I just bought a new anvil yesterday, and I'm not sure if I got a deal or I hosed myself again. I was hoping some of you could take a look at it and tell me what you think. If you can identify it that would be great. I put up a page on my site with some pics and dimensions. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

FredlyFX - Sunday, 08/27/06 21:48:48 EDT

Fredly - anvil: The deasign looks similar to My 158# Swedish no name anvil, maybee a Paragon?
Dave Boyer - Sunday, 08/27/06 22:57:41 EDT

Fredly's anvil: After a second look Yours doesn't have the square handling hole under the horn that Mine does.
Dave Boyer - Sunday, 08/27/06 23:03:26 EDT

The style is that of American anvils HB or Trenton - the PWs were much blockier. I believe I see the seam around the waist where the tool steel top was welded onto a soft iron base - which is the way later models were made. That would mean no plate - the whole top is steel. But what do I know? Just jawing
adam - Sunday, 08/27/06 23:05:33 EDT

If you look at the close up pics of the face there is a lot of pitting in it. I have never seen any kind of tool steel look like that adam. I think it is all cast. The big question for me now is will it be hard anough to work with after I spend the time & money to get it smooth & flat? Any comments on my conjecture that it is a factory reject?

FredlyFX - Monday, 08/28/06 02:20:27 EDT

anvil ID: It looks like there is a small "step" or "ledge" on the base, fore and aft. The Peter Wrights have this. I have seen ONE large Kohlswa that had this feature, and I believe that the Kohlswas were cast steel.
Frank Turley - Monday, 08/28/06 08:58:42 EDT

ANVIL ID, this looks like a modern knock off of an older anvil. We get them at the local auction on a regular basis. probably from Mexico. I was surprised by the ring of the last one I checked so they might be a decent steel though I don't know about heat treat. It does not look like it has much of an age to it which narrows things way down.

I don't believe that sweden would let one out of the country with the mold line still pronounced!

Please let us know how it works for you.

Thomas P - Monday, 08/28/06 10:32:08 EDT

pitting: I was wondering about that too. If its texture from the casting then it looks like you need to go down about 1/16". I wouldnt try to get it all out since the deeper you go the softer the steel will be and you dont need anything smoother than #100 grit. That horn needs work though. Looks like the anvil is trying to say "quack" :)
adam - Monday, 08/28/06 10:54:15 EDT

RE: while you guys werent looking: Argh! so you're the one who bought that? I saw it go up, and by the time I decided I wanted it, it was gone!(I've been looking for a b2 or b3, but havent decided on which of the 2 yet, I like the tighter curves you can do with the b2, but I like the strength and versitility of what you can cut with the b3) At least I know now it didnt go to some person who's going to let it sit in their garage for 10 years unused because they 'planned' to make a custom motorcycle or something.
jmercier - Monday, 08/28/06 10:57:42 EDT

steel. If the top is sound steel then you are good. IMO hardness is not that important in an anvil. Even unquenched tool steel will serve well. The fact that its welded at the waist would suggest the top is decent steel otherwise why not cast the whole thing as a solid piece. It does look like something that escaped from the factory unfinished. Whats the rebound like? What does a file do?. Can you bruise the surface with a ball pein?
adam - Monday, 08/28/06 11:15:37 EDT

Anvil ID:
Thomas has nailed it.

First there is a parting line all around including down the face of the anvil. So this is a casting. It has not been machined or factory finished.

Second, there is an indication of a waist weld and possibly the PW ledge that Frank noted. The pattern is probably that of a late PW, OR Hay-Budden or other American pattern anvil that was welded at the waist. All the cast Swedish anvils are of beautiful artfully made patterns - this is not one.

So, you have a recent (NEW) cast anvil from a foundry or maker that did not make their own pattern and did not put their name on it. Neither did they finish it. This is a cheap cast it, dump it on the market anvil.

When parted on the bottom like this you are going to have an 1/8" or more parting hump in the middle of the base. Check it with a staight edge. When cast this way anvils are machined, bottom first then top, then ground.

As to if it is worth finishing the question is in the unknown metalurgy. Most of the really cheap "steel" anvils are not heat treated. They are also not a grade of steel suitable for an anvil or heat treatment.

Test the hardness.

- guru - Monday, 08/28/06 11:46:48 EDT

While we get hits and business from all over the world we get very little from Mexico. Mexico has a large hand craft industry including blacksmithing. However, they are not buying tools from U.S. sources or looking to the North for information. So they must have a fairly large internal market.

Did you know that Mexico City is rapidly becoming the world's largest city? Not just the Western Hemisphere's or North America's, but the WORLD's largest city.

I do not know if they are like Central America but I suspect they are the same, where every house has security grates on every window and a few a fairly artful while cheep, but others are quite sophisticated and any place with a yard and driveway has a gate at the least and often a fence in front. Larger places have some very nice ironwork.

Mexico has been producing a lot of ironwork for export as well and many of the component manufacturers have their goods made South of the border. So in total, there is a LOT of ironwork being done it Mexico and Central America. So you would think they would be buying tools here. . . but they are not. They either make them there or import them from elsewhere.

- guru - Monday, 08/28/06 12:03:18 EDT

Stolen Anvils: Some of you may know that I have been in the developing stages of having Colonial pattern anvils made. Two anvils that were cast last week for me were stolen over the weekend from the foundry in Struthers, Ohio, near Youngstown. They were just broken out of the mold and still had the risers stuck to the side of the anvils that add about about 30 pounds to the weight. The finish weight of the anvils will be around 100 pounds. If you would like pictures from one of the first run anvils that was scrapped out by us, contact me at and I will send them to you. The face is a full 5" wide, @ 91/2" long, the horn is @ 41/2" long and has since been rounded more. The Hardy hole is @3/4". These are cast in S7. We hope to have 2 new ones completed for me to use this up coming weekend.

- Jymm Hoffman - Monday, 08/28/06 12:49:52 EDT

B2 Shear: I've been looking for one of those at a reasonable price for some time now. There's been quite a few B2s on ebay recently and perhaps this will help keep prices more reasonable for a while. One day I will go for a B3... I have HF copy of a #1 and after a bit of work its a good tool. In fact, if I were to spring for real Beverly blades and spend a few hours filing and lapping the guide surfaces, it would be close to the real thing.
adam - Monday, 08/28/06 12:58:51 EDT

stolen! Jymm sorry to hear that. Being ripped off is always a bad feeling
adam - Monday, 08/28/06 14:53:43 EDT

Jymm, Hopefully the theives are dumb enough to put them on ebay. But it is very odd that they were stolen from the foundry. . .
- guru - Monday, 08/28/06 16:06:14 EDT

Stolen Anvils: What a shame. Sounds like some employees helped themselves. Same thing happened to LMF with swage blocks. Turned out to be a foundry employee at the foundry they subcontracted with. Heard he rapidly became unemployeed.
- felloffahorse - Monday, 08/28/06 17:42:04 EDT

incongruous?: come to think of it, that is a bit wierd, casting a Colonial pattern anvil in S7. whats the thinking behind that>
adam - Monday, 08/28/06 17:55:20 EDT

Stolen Anvils: I wanted to alert as many in our "field" as possible. There were other casting sitting outside that were not touched. So maybe eBay, or a local flee market, or even the scrap yard. Who knows about the employee, it is owner and one employee.

Reason behind casting in S7, costs. Forge one in iron and forge weld a steel plate on it to be 100% authentic, or get the correct pattern cast in the most cost effective durable steel. I chose S7. I started this project for my own use, but have had others mention interest in them. I did not plan to expose myself until I had two in hand and run tests on them. However, theives messed things up.
Jymm Hoffman - Monday, 08/28/06 18:42:28 EDT

S7 anvil: Sounds like an excelent material choice to Me. Why jack around with fire pumps and horse troughs when You can just slide it into an air box and forget about it?
- Dave Boyer - Monday, 08/28/06 21:47:03 EDT

Colonial Anvil: Jymm

You're anvil is a thing of beauty!! Great Choice on material!! The foundry finish is very nice. Just awesome!

It is truely a shame those two were stolen.

The Hofi and Ozark anvils are S7. It really is the best most durable material you can use. You don't have to worry about the heat from hot large parts parts forged on the anvil for hours will not affect the temper.
- Burnt Forge - Monday, 08/28/06 21:58:48 EDT

Nebraska saying: If your anvil aint too hot to sit on by lunch time, you haven't been workin'.
- Frank Turley - Tuesday, 08/29/06 00:01:51 EDT

Frank is right on!

I can't tell you how many times I have burned myself just touching the anvil.

Frank's anvil glows orange before he has broken a sweat for the day.
- Burnt Forge - Tuesday, 08/29/06 00:30:48 EDT

Air Hardens: But since my anvil is S7, it air hardens again. No problema.
- Frank Turley - Tuesday, 08/29/06 09:21:54 EDT

Colonial Anvil: I do realize the advantages of s7 for an anvil - it just seemed strange to make a colonial pattern which is oldfashion out of s7 which is newfangled. But as Jymm points out, either you go for strict period manufacturing or you go for the most practical

My heart lusts for one of those Hofi/Ozark anvils. When I get around to making mine, it will have a plate of S7 AND it will be 1# heavier than burntforge's
adam - Tuesday, 08/29/06 10:16:09 EDT

Hi Adam

I do need to finish the anvil I started. I will have to see if I can find some S7 instead of 4140 for the faceplate. I will have to let you know the weight when done.
- Burnt Forge - Tuesday, 08/29/06 11:52:07 EDT

Measuring versus Moving: When somebody says DRO, all that really means is Digital Read Out- which, in the 70's, when these were first introduced, was a big deal. But it has become shorthand for any type of measuring system for metalworking machines.
Measuring is totally different from Moving, in most industrial applications.
For measuring only, noncontact devices, usually either rotary or linear encoders, are used almost exclusively in industry.
The last contact measurement system that was very common was the Trav-a-dial, which is a rotary contact wheel used for the Y axis only on manual lathes, and although it is still made, it has been almost completely superseded by noncontact systems in any industrial machine I know of.
As the Heisenberg Uncertainty principle states, it is impossible to observe something without changing it, and this is even more true if you are touching it. So noncontact systems are used on literally millions of mills, lathes, and other metalworking machines around the world. If a rack and pinon system had any benefits for measuring, somebody would make one- and, to my knowledge, nobody does.

Now moving things around, as in moving a saw stop up and down a table, is a completely different process than merely measuring- and in the old days, rack and pinons were indeed used to move things.
However, there are several problems with them- mostly to do with ease of jamming by any foreign object, and accuracy. If simple and cheap are your main considerations, rack and pinon setups are still used- especially if repeatability and accuracy are not essential, such as in a vertical position raising and lowering drill press tables.
But when you need to move something precisely, virtually no modern machine uses one. Instead, we have moved to things like ball screws- sealed, much easier to motorise and control precisely. Virtually every CNC lathe or milling machine made today uses these, rather than a rack and pinon. These can be preloaded to be accurate to a ten thousandth, or even a hundredthousandth of an inch.
A noncontact rotary or linear encoder will then be used to tell the controller where the ballscrew actually is.

The tigerstop system, priced at around 5 grand, seems expensive to those of us who buy hammers at swap meets for 2 bucks- but in industry, its a pretty cheap, crude, and low resolution system, and so they use a rack and pinon for a cheap solution.
No decent CNC machining center would consider such a system, for either moving, or measuring- when you spend 300 grand or so on a Mazak, or DMG machining center, you get ballscrews for motion, and noncontact encoders for measuring. A few grand, plus or minus, is not a big deal on most CNC machines, so they go for the best available.
There are a wide variety of auto feed bandsaws on the market- and none of them that I know of use a rack and pinon to advance the material either- usually hydrualic shuttle feeds instead.
Rack and pinons have their place- for instance, my plasma cutting table uses 4' x 8' rack and pinon drives for the x and y axis- because plasma is relatively imprecise anyway, and accuracy of a 1/32 or so is perfectly adequate, and since plasma is non contact, there are no loads on the rack and pinon system beyond the weight of the torch head assembly. However, the higher resolution cutting systems, like waterjet and laser, usually use a higher accuracy movement system.
Any system where chips and coolant and grit are flying around are not great places for rack and pinon.

All of this, or course, is way overkill for a simple measuring system for a cutoff saw- here, I still say a sticky back tape measure from biesemeyer, and a simple hand clamped stop, will be the most cost efficient, easy to use, and more than accurate enough.
I use a DRO on my milling machine, where thousandths of an inch are relevant- but on my saws and shears, a 1/16" or at most 1/32" is more than good enough.
ries - Tuesday, 08/29/06 14:25:29 EDT

burner question: i was wondering if you could use a hand-held propane torch as an atmophiric burner? not the little ones with the tank atached but the one with a handel then a long stem and a flare at the end that aaches to a tank with a hose.
- starting blacksmith - Tuesday, 08/29/06 15:16:16 EDT

Measuring on a saw:
I use a carpenters square preset to the necessary length. This is fast and accuarate up to about the 10" you can do this with on 12" scale. And it does not require making a special gage bar as some do. I've cut 100's of pieces to within +/-.002 of each other this way. Of course the saw must be square perfectly and also be repeatable.

Over that I use a tape measure. Although all kinds of cut-off tools such as saws and lathes come with stops I never use them. They tend to creep with every contact and end up way off in a short time.
- guru - Tuesday, 08/29/06 16:23:05 EDT

Colonial Anvils: As I had mentioned earlier, I had not planned on going public with the anvils until I had tested them. I am still in the development and hopefully test phase soon. Several people have asked me about prices. I do not have concrete prices from the foundry and heat treat facility heat. We are now going to try H13 that comes highly recommended by a friend that used to make dies for large forging presses and hammers. He has been trying to talk me out of S7 and the foundry just had a problem getting it, but has H13 in stock. So once I get things nailed down, I will let you know. This pattern is also designed to be cast without a horn as well. This whole process has taken longer than I had hoped. I do not know how H13 will work until I put it under the hammer. I was supposed to have these in June, but had to scrap those out. Then again in July, but we changed the pattern, then the foundry was backed up, just one thing after another. I never thought I would go into dealing blacksmith tools, but will keep you posted and will discuss with Jock advertising rates. I just wanted to improve the historical look of my period set up and maybe have something to offer others interested in the same.
Jymm Hoffman - Tuesday, 08/29/06 16:41:59 EDT

Jymm, thought of making some old styles instead of the ones common in the relatively recent colonial period?

Starting; yes you can use a "weed burner" as a burner and even with just a stack of firebrick for a forge; However they are usually not set up to allow you to adjust them for a neutral or reducing atmosphere so in the end they don't do as good a job as a simple home built aspirated burner.

Thomas P - Tuesday, 08/29/06 17:57:52 EDT

Racks: And to think I paid extra for a car with rack and pinion steering. Should have kept my old one with the ball screw (grin).
Mike B - Tuesday, 08/29/06 18:05:59 EDT

Colonies: Relatively recent colonial period -- early 20th Century Africa? Sorry guys, I guess I'm in a contrary mood tonight.
Mike B - Tuesday, 08/29/06 21:22:30 EDT

a man's blender!!!:

I am almost sick that I blew my money on that B2 when I couldahad a kitchen appliance with handlebars and a throttle! This would pulverize some serious borax!
adam - Tuesday, 08/29/06 21:52:04 EDT

adam-- nothing like a soupcon of SAE 10W30 to perk up the margaritas.
Miles Undercut - Tuesday, 08/29/06 22:08:44 EDT

Mike B-- anything much past 1600 is recent to Thomas.
Miles Undercut - Tuesday, 08/29/06 22:10:58 EDT

TravAdials, stops etc.: Before DRO's were common the TravAdial was common on milling machines for X&Y axis measuring, in there day they were prety good, that means better than nothing. Proper carriage stops on a lathe stay put with proper use, but on a saw usually only work out if the stock is small. Heavy bars banging against the stop will move it for sure. The local sheetmetal shop had a new shear and pressbrake each with programable DRO backgages, they were slicker than a snoty doorknob. The previous owner built a rather crude stop for the shear on My ironworker, it worked really well for cutting lengths of 5/32" stainless rod for a grill, 3 rods per stroke.
- Dave Boyer - Tuesday, 08/29/06 22:13:48 EDT

What it is?: That blender is truly indicative of what is wrong with the U.S.
Frank Turley - Tuesday, 08/29/06 22:47:12 EDT

Horizontal bandsaw: Anyone have any thoughts about keeping teeth on the blades of a horizontal bandsaw? I have an old one that I bought a year or so ago and it keeps dulling the teeth, sometimes before the first cut is made. The last blade I put on it was from Harbor Freight and only cost $8 or so but I have used more expensive blades and it's always the same. This old saw doesn't have coolant running on the blade. Maybe it's just getting too hot. I know that it's getting expensive and I haven't really gotten many cuts from this machine. I'm thinking that it may look good out by the road with a "for sale" sign on it. Be glad to hear what everyone's thoughts are about it.
- Doug - Wednesday, 08/30/06 07:38:54 EDT

I am with you on the blender.

I am with Dave on the Lathe stops. A proper one stays put and is very handy. I had accurate standards I would use with the adjustable lathe stop for fast locating as well. They can be very slick for repetition. More accurate in many cases than the readout.
- Burnt Forge - Wednesday, 08/30/06 08:11:03 EDT

Saw problems: Doug, There can be saw problems, and there can be operator problems.

1) Saw teeth should always be fine enough that at least 3 teeth are on the material. Otherwise teeth are stripped. This is a common problem cutting sheet metal and thin wall tubing such as EMT.

2) On horizontal band saws with the twisted blade the blade MUST be deep enough that the teeth extend beyond the chamfer on the wheels. Normaly the chamfer starts just beyond the set of the teeth. On worn wheels the teeth may be running on the flat of the wheel taking out the set. OR you may be running a 1/2" blade on a saw that requires a 3/4" blade. Only ONE SIZE blade fits this type saw.

3) I HAVE seen folks put blades on band saws backwards. . .
takes the teeth right off and does cut worth a darn!

4) Misalignment of the roller guides. When properly aligned the blade will be absolutely perpendicular to the bed of the saw. A square is used to check the alignment AND the head travel. You should be able to raise and lower the saw while maintaining the same clearance to the blade of the square. If this is incorrect the saw frame is bent or the pivots are misaligned. The blade twist should be checked at the top and bottom guide with the top guide up as far as it will go. The back support rollers should also positioned so that the teeth do not run on the side rollers. This will flatten or break off teeth.

When this type of saw is completely out of alignment it can be an all day job to get it right. Many of the small cheap saws do not have sufficient range of adjustment OR the necessary adjustments to properly align them (defective design).

If you must start from scratch the guides should be backed off so that the blade is not twisted. USUALY When you are done the cutting edge should not be disturbed, making a straight line from wheel to wheel, all the twist in the back of the blade. The back guide should just contact the blade preventing the teeth from getting between the guide wheels.

The blade should travel both verticaly and horizontaly square to the bed and vise jaw. Normally the stationary vise jaw is adjusted to the blade not the other way around.

5) The saw COULD be running too fast. You did not say what size machine. Many old machine tools had expensive custom low speed motors. Run a saw too fast and the teeth overheat instantly. 240 feet per minute is fast, 100-120 is normal and if you have a choice of speeds the slowest is usualy 80 feet per minute. Put a chalk mark on one wheel, time 10 revolutions and figure the linear speed.

5b) Using top grade HSS bimetal blades you can saw almost anything including stainless at full speed on many saws. Using plain carbon steel blades you need to slow down to the slowest speed (80-90 FPM). The high speed on saws is for cutting plastic, aluminium and brass.

6) Setting the saw to the work too hard. Letting the saw bounce while cutting, starting a cut on the corner of angle (it can be done if done so gently.

As mentioned, setting up a band saw can be an all day job. getting the blade to track perfectly in the kerf so that the sides of the blade do not rub is very important. Note that once a blade has cut crooked (a curved kerf) you cannot use the blade for testing the saw as the teeth will have worn unevenly and will not cut straight again.

I have two bandsaws and have adjusted saws for others. The absolute worst to adjust are the little 4x6 cutoff saws. The larger industrial cut off saws are much easier to adjust if in good condition. Ocassionaly those with rubbing block guides must have the guide faces remachined or ground true before adjusting. Plain vertical band saws are much easier to adjust but many such as my old Delta let you adjust everything including the parallelness of the upper guide slide, table level (squareness) in all directions and upper wheel positioning (not just tracking). When bringing an new or used saw into the shop I find it worthwhile to check EVERYTHING. Once a saw is setup correctly it may not need a major adjustment for years. But it is common for people that do not understand a bandsaw to try to adjust them and make a total mess. It is also easy to bend the steel frame saws when handling thus requiring a complete check.

Good Luck!
- guru - Wednesday, 08/30/06 10:49:21 EDT

And if you think that Miles' margaritas go down slick as a whistle you should see hom pour the coffee down his throat! Must use 3 in 1 for it...

But yes anthing after the indirect method of making wrought iron is just like *yesterday* in my book. Why I even know folks who use a modern ignition process on their smoke poles---flintlocks! I'll stick to the match for the falconette and the pyrites for the wheellock...

Thomas P - Wednesday, 08/30/06 10:53:06 EDT

Language: So why is getting angery referred to as losing your temper? Steel that's lost its temper would be softer, wouldn't it? An angry man would tend to be harder, wouldn't he?
JohnW - Wednesday, 08/30/06 12:24:17 EDT

Temper: "Temper" represents the desirable qualities of a piece of metal which one has worked to attain. If it is lost, you once again have something undesireable, and you must strive to regain it. Or, you may also choose to remain a shmuck. What say you, Sir Miles?
3dogs - Wednesday, 08/30/06 12:43:36 EDT

When speaking of the colonial era, civil war, revolutionary war etc. we should keep in mind that folks from other parts of the world have had their own versions of the same with different results and the dates are much different than ours. And they still go on. . .

Viva la revolution!
- guru - Wednesday, 08/30/06 13:19:32 EDT

Temper: A couple of things: Firstly "temper" didn't always mean exactly what it means today. Secondly, this is a popular expression used by and probably coined by native English speakers who were not up on the fine points of metalurgy. But I agree with 3dogs - it's a close cousin to "losing one's composure"
adam - Wednesday, 08/30/06 14:05:22 EDT

now that I have checked at Webster's I find that the archaic meaning of "temper" was govern, restrain, cause to be well disposed. So likely steel and anger each derived their own uses of this word from a common meaning.
adam - Wednesday, 08/30/06 14:10:08 EDT

Temper: Thanks for your well tempered thoughts, 3d, adam. So I guess if you have a temper, that's a good thing.
JohnW - Wednesday, 08/30/06 17:37:34 EDT

JohnW-- I go with 3dogs, and Adam. Think of the well-tempered clavichord, for example. Losing one's temper can be fatal. Skilled street fighters use that knowledge to sucker the unsuspecting into putting their faith in muscle, not savvy. It is losing one's poise, one's cool, one's ability to go with the flow, to roll with the punches, one's resilience in the face of life's often ugly little surprises, one's sense of humor. There were a slew of humours in the olden days, and having a sense of them meant one was in control of one's very own self. Adam and 3dogs nailed it. Angry doesn't necessarily mean hard but it often does mean blindly furious.
Miles Undercut - Wednesday, 08/30/06 18:24:46 EDT

Concerning Temper
The Bible states: "Be Angry, but sin not"
Source 1611 King James
- Burnt Forge - Wednesday, 08/30/06 19:26:49 EDT

Hey, hold your temper: I try to explain to my students that we live in the temperate zone, neither to hot nor too cold. A tempered tool is neither too hard for its end use, nor too soft. A temperate man is neither agitated nor comatose. He's trying to stay in the "golden mean".

If we ask a person to "temper his or her feelings", we're asking for the person to control them, to get toward the middle of the continuum.
Frank Turley - Wednesday, 08/30/06 19:36:33 EDT

I love to study the origin of words. Many words today mean the opposite of what they originaly meant.
- John Odom - Wednesday, 08/30/06 20:37:27 EDT

Horizontal bandsaw: Guru. OK. Thanks. Wow, that's a lot of set up. I had no idea. Looks like a good job for this winter when I have the shop shut down for a while. I did put one blade on backwards. It was from Harbor Freight, just a cheap blade. Cleaned the teeth right off. I was so mad I was about to call them when I realized it's not too hard to turn the blade "right side out". I think that falls in the "operator error" catagory. This saw is old and I don't think there is even a manufacturer's name on it any more. And it has a 64 1/2" blade so there is a lot of strain or twist on the blade as it goes thru the guide rollers. I'm going to set it up as best I can and if that don't do it, out to the road with a for sale sign she goes. Thanks again.
- Doug Thayer - Wednesday, 08/30/06 21:32:53 EDT

Horizontal Saw:
I cannot rember if my Ridgid has any other identification that it is a Ridgid other than on the plastic belt guard which is getting very old and a sticker on the gear box. . . But it MAY be cast into the frame. . My saw is 130 miles from where I am at this point.

In any case, for guides the better ones have large sealed ball bearings about 1-1/4" diameter running on an excentric for adjustment. There are three at the top and bottom. They are a bastard bearing and I could only get them from Ridgid. Sears also sold the same saw and MIGHT have the bearings. The same bearings are used in the gear box and wheels. . . I had to buy all new guide bearings for mine when I got it as it had been heavily used. Since replacing the bearings and doing a full going over the saw has cut tons of steel (and stainless, wood, plastic. . .).

Some of the really cheap clone saws used cam roller bearings for the guide bearings. These are roller bearings built onto a stud. Many were undersized and had plastic retainers that acted as seals. These would often fall apart. That is why Paw-Paw junked his cheapo saw. He couldn't keep it together.

If the saw is in fairly decent condition it may be worth putting some investment into. But it may not. When I bought mine used for twice what clones were going for the former owner had put new gears in the drive but it still needed new guide bearings. I spent $70 in 1979 for the guide bearings after paying $600 for the saw and $25 for gasoline to haul the thing home (gasoline was cheap then). I also had to repair the gear box because the previous job was done poorly. I was lucky in that the investment was worth it. Many of the cheap imports are not worth rebuilding. Most larger saws are better quality and almost always worth investing in repairs as they sell quite high.

I also found that cheap blades were not worth the effort it takes to install them.
- guru - Thursday, 08/31/06 09:08:28 EDT

this is an interesting design for an adjustable wrench

ebay item # 270022317907

could make one at the anvil
adam - Thursday, 08/31/06 14:18:57 EDT

Needed: 2" sq.: I need a very small qty. of 2" square mild steel. I need one piece 6" long, and one piece 2" long (2 inch cube) Please email me if you have any (and something to cut it with).
- Tyler Murch - Thursday, 08/31/06 16:12:59 EDT

email didn't show up on first post
- Tyler Murch - Thursday, 08/31/06 16:13:27 EDT

or second
Tyler Murch - Thursday, 08/31/06 16:13:50 EDT

words: like John, I think words are special. Words are among the oldest things we own. I think of them as bag of well worn tools that we inherited from previous generations of speakers. Some of our words are very ancient.
adam - Thursday, 08/31/06 20:38:37 EDT

Horizontal saw again: I was at my local farm repair shop today and asked if they had any ideas about keeping the teeth on the blade. He said if I was cutting tubing, which I cut a lot of, to keep the welded seam to the side and not on the bottom or top. The welds can rip the teeth off. Hadn't thought of that. Cheap blades are probably the biggest problem here. But I have bought blades at Tractor Supply for 15 or 16 dollars and they seem to fail just about as fast. What should a good blade cost? Who makes the best blade? The guide bearings are on eccentrics but are only 3/4" diameter or so. This saw is old and heavy and appears to have been a well made saw. There adjustments for the non driven wheel to keep the blade running true. So it may be worth the effort. But. I'm not sure that I really need this saw. There are times when it would be handy to use but most of my cutting is done with an abrasive cut off saw.
- Doug Thayer - Thursday, 08/31/06 21:25:34 EDT

2" square: Tyler. Where are you? I may have some 2' square bar. I'll look tomorrow.
- Doug Thayer - Thursday, 08/31/06 21:27:24 EDT

Doug T: The Lenox Diemaster 2 blades are really good, with shipping I think I payed about $100 for 5. Ken Sharabok has a cheaper suplier for a similar blade mentioned a week or 2 ago on this site or on the Guru's Den. However, even the farm store blades will work, so there must be some other issues to deal with before You wreck the expensive blades. There should be at least 3 teeth in the material at all times, if You are cutting thin tube, You need a really fine tooth blade. You need to start into the cut gently. Excessive feed pressure can cause a tooth to imbed itself in the cut, break out of the blade, and strip off all the rest of the teeth. Bed frames, rebar etc. AND ESPECIALLY SPRINGS are best cut with the abrasive saw. The good Bi Metal blades will cut stainless for a while, the carbon steel blades will dull on it quickly, again a good time to use the abrasive saw. Blade speed and guide problems have been covered well before. Check out everything on the saw, and try again.
Dave Boyer - Thursday, 08/31/06 22:49:50 EDT

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