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

This page is open to ALL for the purpose of advancing blacksmithing.

September 2005 Archive

WHY THREE FORUMS? Well, this is YOUR blacksmithing forum to use for whatever you wish within the rules stated above. It is different than the Slack-Tub Pub because the messages are permanently posted and archived.
This page is NOT a chat - it is a "message board"

Our chat, the (Slack-Tub Pub), is immediate but the record of it is temporary. DO NOT post permanent messages there. We refresh the "log" every 24 hours now and your message will be lost.

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

Please note that this forum uses an e-mail encryption system that prevents spam harvesters from collecting your e-mail address.

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

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

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

Flint strikers: One of the last things I made last weekend was a striker. I used a piece of coil spring from a cultivator. I had accidentally burned it off while straightening the coil in the forge and a single coil turn just happened to be the perfect length for this, just straightened it out to work it. Now a question. Since I haven't found any flint yet and can't try it out, is spring steel too hard or tough for this project or just right?

This weekend I might be able to find some flintlock flints for $15 at Cabelas... if they're in stock. I don't know yet if they're big enough to use by hand.
Elliott Olson - Thursday, 09/01/05 00:24:05 EDT

iForge Drawings: Will the old format work?
I've been useing the old format found on iForge.
I have a floppy disk full of drawings of things that I've seen. I used the paint program to make them. Do you think you could use them?
- packrat_red - Thursday, 09/01/05 07:51:27 EDT

flint: elliott google up the magizine "smoke and fire" their flints are MUCH cheaper...... also a copy of the mag muzzleloader may help.......... and in a pinch you can use quartz... ive use it before in my smoothbore when i lost my last piece of flint....... it works ok give it a try if you have any laying around
blacklionforge - Thursday, 09/01/05 08:09:03 EDT

Geologically speaking flint *is* a microcrystalline form of quartz. Keep your eyes open for chert---dirty flint, amathest---purple quartz, citrine---yellow quartz; USW.

Back in boyscouts in IN we preferred to use plain quartz geodes for strikers, of course there are areas in IN where every rock in the creek is a geode...

Thomas P - Thursday, 09/01/05 10:22:31 EDT

chert...: Yes, I have tons of chert! My brother use to collect artifacts & got tons of useless chunks of chert. We didn't know what to do with it. The dump wouldn't take it. So we buried it in the back yard. I know exactly where its buried, I hit it with the lawn mower lots fo times...
- packrat_red - Thursday, 09/01/05 10:52:37 EDT

chert...: Chert is commonly found along the flint river in a chalky stone that is usally full of fossols of shellfish & seabisquets... Good luck on your rock hunt...
- packrat_red - Thursday, 09/01/05 10:56:32 EDT

That's fine for you guys that live near flint deposits. All I have here is granite ledge rock (AKA Canadian shield). A solid mass reaching for miles along the border and (sonar tested) 13 miles thick (deep). The quarry next door ships the crushed stone out by the trainload.
Elliott Olson - Thursday, 09/01/05 13:04:59 EDT

chert: Ha! I just looked for chert on ebay and I think everything that came up was already shaped into arrowheads and such.
Elliott Olson - Thursday, 09/01/05 13:15:00 EDT

Eliot, have you tried for low grade slabbed agate? Perhaps brazillian?

Thomas P - Thursday, 09/01/05 15:11:32 EDT

And he laughs: In this time of Crisis I went home frustrated yesterday at the stupidity of Mankind, and taped to the front door was a omnious piece of white plastic. Upon further investigation I discovered that it was indeed a preggy test... With two stripes in the indicator. When I revealed my ignorance of such omens to the DG she laughed and stated,"Well silly, it means I'm Pregnant!" Oh what power That statement has. I was completely pole axed....Now I know GOD has definately got a sense of humor! BTW my first born turns 1 yr old the 5th of this month;)
Ya'll becareful out there now. Also be careful of how much good smelly stuff you apply after cleaning up, It Always Leads to Trouble!
- Dragonboy - Thursday, 09/01/05 16:14:04 EDT

Dragonboy, my *youngest* turned 16 this year; we figured out was was causing them and had it fixed---*much* cheaper...


Thomas P - Thursday, 09/01/05 16:35:47 EDT

I have four, 13,16,18,19! lots of earned grey hair, and yes a quick fixing is much cheaper, says the fellow with two in college!
ptree - Thursday, 09/01/05 16:40:01 EDT

Rocks for sparks: Elliot,
take your firesteel, an old hammer, a pair of saftey glasses, and a dog or kid (optional) and go for a walk in a field where there are rock piles, along a creek, or a road or lane that is graveled. Look for glassy sort of looking rocks. If there isn't a sharp edge on these rocks give'm a good crack with the hammer. Now strike the sharp edge with the steel and see if you have sparks. Chances are you will have stones in your area that will throw a spark, it's just to beable to learn to recognize them.
Good luck.
JimG - Thursday, 09/01/05 16:48:34 EDT

Rocks for sparks: Most farmers here have rock piles in some of their fields left by their rock pickers. Maybe I'll check some out soon. But like I said before, all I've seen so far in this area is granite (whether ledge rock or field stones).
Elliott Olson - Thursday, 09/01/05 22:21:27 EDT

let me revise that, I have seen some white rocks too that are easily breakable, but no smooth glassy look to the breaks like I'd expect from a flint, more granular looking.
Elliott Olson - Thursday, 09/01/05 22:32:58 EDT

Dragonboy: Congatulations. It's good to have them close together, they can entertain each other. And just think, you'll have two extra pair of hands in the shop in a few years. My oldest boy is almost 4 and he is starting to be interested in my shop.
- Jeff G. - Thursday, 09/01/05 23:14:00 EDT

Fire stone...: JimG is correct, there are lots of rocks that make sparks... WAIT!!!... If you would go as far as the internet auctions for flint, wouldn't it be easier to just ask one of us that lives near a flint deposit to send you some?!
- packrat_red - Friday, 09/02/05 07:24:29 EDT

Packer-rat; I was assuming that he was hoping somone would offer...If I was still in OH near Flint Ridge I would...

Thomas P - Friday, 09/02/05 11:22:15 EDT

Rocks: My (ok one of them) Favourite quotes from Charley Farqueson,
"You can't take all rock for granite, some of it is schist"
JimG - Friday, 09/02/05 12:24:10 EDT

Rocks...: I've been taught not to help unless asked.
I'll send him an email, but I'm not sending anything until he askes...
- packrat_red - Friday, 09/02/05 12:53:19 EDT

Rocks...: Ok, I sent it.
I'll be back on Tuesday, around 7:30am or 8:30am.
I'm bushed...see y'all round...
- packrat_red - Friday, 09/02/05 13:19:00 EDT

Packrat, I was thinking about asking, you just beat me to mentioning the idea. Got your mail.
Elliott Olson - Friday, 09/02/05 14:41:55 EDT

Drawings and Rocks: The best thing to do is email me a sample drawing.

Yep there is rock and there is rock. . every area has different kinds and some areas are completly devoid of what you need at the moment. You also have to remember that sand is often the same as the local minerals so sand can be different from place to place. Flourspar sand makes great flux but mica containing silica sands make lousy flux. Clays are also broken down minerals and there are many types. Those that are high in alumina require very hot fires to vitrify but make good crucibles, fire brick and furnace parts. Again, they are where you find them. Some cover large areas and others are concentrated. . . thus you have pits and mines where the best stuff is found.

Knowing how to identify rocks. minerals, mineral sands and clays is a bit of an art and a whole different area of study. . .
- guru - Friday, 09/02/05 16:18:36 EDT

Fuel and weekend: Any of your traveling in NC and VA. Fuel prices at most rural stations are about $3.09 for regular in most places (or were early this AM). However there are many placs charging 30 to 50 cents more and a few places much more. Just don't wait until the last minute to buy fuel and pass these folks by. Yesterday there was 5,000 official gouging complaints made in North Carolina alone. . .

We are staying home until the panic subsides. . .

- guru - Friday, 09/02/05 16:36:00 EDT

speaking of Brazilian...: Then there's the story about the guy reading a newspaper article to his girlfriend,"At last count there had been 12 Brazilian policemen killed."

She says,"How many is a Brazilian ?"
- Loren T - Friday, 09/02/05 19:16:47 EDT

gas: fuel here is 4.00 gallon for regular.
- burntforge - Friday, 09/02/05 19:34:11 EDT

Gas Price: Gas here is $2.29/gal average, and the refinery, Hovensa, has said it plans to keep the price stable at least for a while. We have some really tough price gouging laws here in the Territory.
vicopper - Friday, 09/02/05 21:11:43 EDT

They use brass and bronze for tools on boats so as not to cause explosions by striking a spark when a wrench slips or a hammer blow slides awry. Rocks, flint, etc., are old-timey but not, when you get right down to it, absolutely essential for starting something burning. In a flintlock yes.
Miles Undercut - Friday, 09/02/05 22:03:27 EDT

rocks: I checked one farmer's rock pile near me and all I found was granite (from 4" to 8', yes, 8 feet!) in gray, pink, orange and maybe even greenish and those white rocks (is that maybe a sandstone? they appear sedimentary). Nothing I saw yet was usable.
Oh yeah, that pile was in that particular place because of some ledge rock poking up 4' high.
Elliott Olson - Friday, 09/02/05 22:35:20 EDT

Gas in S. indianaLouisville Ky running $2.89 to $3.34
ptree - Saturday, 09/03/05 07:56:47 EDT

Gas Prices: Here in Renfro Valley KY on I-75: Gas $2.99 - $3.29
Truck stops having trouble getting diesel.
- Tom H - Saturday, 09/03/05 08:54:36 EDT

AFC Tannehill Conference Rescheduled:
In the interest of safety for all concerned and the price and availability of fuel, the Alabama Forge Council Conference scheduled for the weekend of September 9, 10, and 11 has been cancelled. We are tentatively rescheduling to the first weekend in December (2nd, 3rd, and 4th). You will be kept informed.

Please take this opportunity to inform your membership and friends of this cancellation and of our rescheduling plans. Those who have submitted their Pre-Registration fees are requested to contact one of us with refund instructions


For further information call:
Garland Johnston at 256-520-7777 or 256-536-0489
Bill Richardson at 256-233-6189 or cell 256-777-0420
Judd Clem at 256-232-2645."

I do regret that we have to take this action, but many, and I mean 'many', of our long-time supporters are either directly affected by the Katrina damage or they are involved in restoring services to those most affected. We will have it at a time when we can again have fellowship with our most faithful supporters present.

Thank you for your support,

Garland D. Johnston, AFC Pres.
- guru - Saturday, 09/03/05 09:45:02 EDT

FLINT!!!!: I can ship any amount ( 1lbs, 5lbs, 10, 20, 50, etc.) of flint. The area were I live is rich in hard black New England flint.
Send email if interested.
- kdbarker - Saturday, 09/03/05 13:51:10 EDT

shipping flint: keith- the Postal "flat rate envelope" 9" x 12" has no weight limit seems to have no thickness restriction either
I ship stuff 2" thick or more- anywhere in US for $3.85
- ptpiddler - Saturday, 09/03/05 14:54:42 EDT

Flat Rate Mail: The Priority flat rate envelope is limited by how much it will safely support and is sometimes limited to 2 pounds (rules change).

For heavy items the new Priority Flat Rate boxes are a bargain. They are limited to 70 pounds for $7.70 US. However, they cannot support 70 pounds of steel parts without reinforcing the box even though the box will hold that much steel (ask Pete AKA blacklion forge). Flint gravel or lumps might do the same if the box was filled.

Even though they fall apart at the maximum rating they are a great bargain at lower weight. 4 pounds shipped regular priority often costs $8.00 so 10 or 12 pounds. The biggest limitation is the size/shape of the boxes.
- guru - Saturday, 09/03/05 17:33:08 EDT

Flint: Oh boy, I've got the shakes. I am a member of Flint Knappers Anonymous, and I am addicted. Now, I've got that tempting pile in the barn, but the draw is great to try some new stuff. I will be strong, I will be strong!
Bob H - Saturday, 09/03/05 19:20:35 EDT

flat rate shipping: I really like those flat rate boxes. They say no weight limit right on the box, but put a 100 lb saw makers anvil in one and try to ship it and see what happens:-) The lady behind the counter couldn't even budge the box to put it on the scale. I tried to make the argument that the box says no weight limit, but I was still laughed out of the post office. Now they fight over who isn't going to wait on me when I walk through the door. Its amazing how many hammer heads and hardies will fit in one of those boxes:-)
- welder_jim - Saturday, 09/03/05 21:02:19 EDT

Flint: I was thinking of those flat rate box when I posted. They really are a great deal for small heavy items. Most of the items I make and market are small decorative items. These boxes let me offer some great shipping deals to my customers for bulk orders.
- kdbarker - Saturday, 09/03/05 23:00:58 EDT

flat rate: but rocks aren't flat. ;)
Elliott Olson - Sunday, 09/04/05 01:14:18 EDT

fuel prices: NW Minnesota/NE North Dakota prices this weekend are $2.99-3.29
Elliott Olson - Sunday, 09/04/05 01:15:47 EDT

FLINT!!!!: kdbarker, it's kinda hard to e-mail without a mailto link or posted address. That said, I'm waiting for packrat to get home and reply to my last e-mail. If you e-mail ME (link from my name, below), we can talk more about potential shipments. However, I doubt I'll need much, not even 2lbs, for now.
Elliott Olson - Sunday, 09/04/05 01:25:28 EDT

Timex: Some thing that I've learned.

What is, is. What is not, is not. A sparrow can not be a Hawk, no matter how hard it tries. A sparrow is just that a Sparrow.
- Timex - Sunday, 09/04/05 02:47:00 EDT

Whatever. Thank you Confucius.
Elliott Olson - Sunday, 09/04/05 02:55:12 EDT

Fuel Prices: Hah! ULP in Rockhampton (Qld, Aust) today was 117.9 cents per litre. At 3.7843 litres per US gallon and currency conversion of $AU1 being 76.53045 American cents, that is $3.41 of your dollars for one of your gallons (I think?). We have been paying about a dollar a litre for some time. Welcome to our prices!

Big A - Sunday, 09/04/05 06:31:45 EDT

Gas Prices: What Big A says is quite true; almost everywhere else in the world, the cost of gas has been around 3 to 4 dollars a gallon for a long time. Only in the US have we enjoyed low gas prices, and it has led to voracious consumption. You simply don't see gas-guzzling SUVs clotting the roadways aywhere but in the US. The artificially low gas prices in the US have been a driving factor in our unconscionable consumption of these non-renewable resources for decades. It is high time that gas prices in this country achieved parity with the rest of the world. Perhaps now people will start to conserve.
vicopper - Sunday, 09/04/05 06:59:39 EDT

Gas: I don't know vicopper...I need a truck to work and, in fact I need a BIGGER truck than I have. I use an aveo for running around town and I never drive just for the sake of driving. One account I have to service this week will take me a whole tank of gas just to get there and back. the only way I could conserve is to skip work and go on welfare. LOL Shoot I just went back to shoeing horses after having yet another job move to Mexico and now I can't afford to put gas in the truck. In some parts of the world they don't have anything to eat either but I have no desire to do things the way they do. I do agree that the folks that use an SUV to go back and forth to the office might be overdoing it a little. On the other hand, people around her need to travel the county roads and they don't get plowed until they no longer need it. Most years we don't get all that much snow but when we do you aren't going anyplace unless you have a vehicle that can handle it. gas is good.
- Mike Ferrara - Sunday, 09/04/05 07:21:40 EDT

Gas Prices:
It is not that they are high here today. It is that they were much lower (literaly) yesterday. Price increases of 20 and 30% overnight cause hazock in an economy. What we have had going on is a reverse price war and colusion (I'll raise my prices if yopu raise yours) the IF the President were to announce a national crisis (as he should of several days ago) would be illegal price gouging.

A number of pundits have suggested when the price was $2 that it should be $3 with the difference going to projects to reduce our forign energy dependance. Now, with the help of our oil president (or should I say oily president) we have huge price increases during a percieved oil crisis. A percieved crisis is no different than a real one. IF for some irrational reason there is a run on banks then it IS a crisis even though the crisis is simply a percieved crisis. Our leaders are responsible for queling these storms or irrational behaviour and NOTHING has been done.

During the 1970's "oil crisis" I operated a service station. The oil company cut me back to 1/10 of my usual sales of gasoline. Meanwhile ALL the oil companies were saying it would take months to get the fuel moving again. The reality was that overnight the fuel was there and the oil company demanding I sell MORE than previously in order to make up the losses. . . In the meantime I had started working on small cars (which take less gas) and I had lost my commercial clients when a competing oil company dug up their parking lots and put in FULL tanks while shorting their dealers. . . The crooks were in charge. . .

Back then Jimmy Carter stupidly stated two things. ONE, drive LESS. Well, for the majority of US citizens that have moved to the suburbs and have jobs in industrial parks built as far away from the burbs as possible and shop at the malls that are as far away from the other two (home and work) as possible it is IMPOSSIBLE to drive less. Driving less requires a huge change in Urban Planning (A REAL OXYMORON) and a huge investment in public transportation. We have had time to make these changes since the 1970's but have only created MORE Urban sprall.

The other thing Carter said that was stupid is that we should reduce our standard of living to that of the Europeans. Perahps someone thinks we need to lower our standard to that of India or China. Perhaps we should go back to dirt roads and mud huts. . .

Until Bush's announcement that we should return to investing in Nuclear our government's world oil supply estimates were basied on the Saudi's statement that they had "an infinite supply of oil". Maybe the Arabs invented the concept of zero and numerical powers but someone needs to explain the concept of infinity to the Saudis and OUR bean counters. There is NOTHING in our environment that is infinite, everything it FINITE, meaning that there IS an end.

The more complex the world gets, the larger the population, the less open land there it, the longer it takes to make major changes and to plan and build major projects. We had a wakeup call in the 1970's and then fell back to sleep. 30 years later it is MUCH more difficult and expensive to make the changes we need to make. If we wait another 30 it will be that much more difficult again. The crisis will be that much greater.
- guru - Sunday, 09/04/05 08:29:18 EDT

Everyone keeps saying that the oil is a finete resource, that none is being formed. Not quite true, more oil and coal is being formed/cooked in the earth as we wait. Takes several hundred million years, but never fear more is on the way.
ptree - Sunday, 09/04/05 08:41:10 EDT

Flint: Elliot, Here you go
I didn’t realize the email link wasn’t working. I just kept typing it in when I posted.
Hope this helps.
kdbarker - Sunday, 09/04/05 09:17:58 EDT

Other Countries and US:
In recent years I have visited Central America a couple times. I am seriously looking into moving to Costa Rica. It is much different than here.

The majority of rural Costa Ricans (Ticos) do not commute or drive to work or the store or to church. They WALK. This means that they need to live reasonably close to work, school, church and stores. Village life is the typical rural arrangement. People even walk to town from the new US style housing developments.

The car and truck are not yet universal possesions in Costa Rica and even less so in poorer neighboring countries. Horse carts are not unusual and even less unusual is a farmer pulling his own cart loaded with mounds of cane, bannanas, pinapples. . .

The majority of city dwellers do the same. There ARE a lot of cars and trucks in the city but the majority use public transportation and walk considerable distances every day. Like other city dwellers they often do not own a car or know how to drive. Public transportation is the rule.

There are other differences in many of these southern or semi tropical countries where our jobs are going. In many the people's home have neither heat or air-conditioning. They have little insulation. A ramshackle squatter's shack is no more uncomfortable than the finest home. This is also true in the Mediterranean and a few other places in the world. They are not highly dependent on fossil fuels to make their shelters comfortable or to survive.

In the US the climate varies from VERY cold to VERY hot and in much of the country you see both. However, in the North you cannot survive the winters without considerable fuel and in the South air conditioning is a necessity in many places.

Combine the need for fuel for living and transportation and WE live in a very fuel dependent environment. Some of it is of our own making. Southern homes and buildings used to have high ceilings and good ventilation to combat the the heat and in the North homes were small, tight and efficient. Now we build the same energy dependent homes North and South.

In Central Costa Rica the climate is such that you do not need heat or AC. This is a cost savings of $3000 to $5000 annualy compared to the US. In pretax dollars that is $5000 to $8000. Someone living there with that much less income than you lives just as well or better.

We MAY be able to lower some parts of our standard of living to that of other countries but to lower our fuel dependence will take decades of concerted effort. For those in frugal countries using less fuel is also an imposibility but they are already doing more with less and changes in fuel costs will effect them less.

People in most countries other than the US walk or ride bicycles to the store, to church, and even to work. When was the last time you walked to the corner store for a carton of eggs? Take a bus? Due to distances it is impractical for many of us to walk. To use less fuel we need to rearrange how we live. It is not easy, it is not simple, and it takes a long term commitment.
- guru - Sunday, 09/04/05 09:19:08 EDT

Living with less: Well said, Jock. I have no issue with htose who NEED and USE big vehicles. Those who simply drive to work in an otherwise empty 4,000 lb vehicle powered by a 400+ cubic inch V-8 are just wasting gas to demonstrate how wealthy they are, at the expense of the rest of the world. The rest of us have to breathe their emissions while we try to explain to the rest of the world why our 10% of the population uses 90% of the world's resources.

In the US we have long taken it for granted that is is some sort of birthright to be able to live fifty miles from the workplace in heated/air conditioned comfort and haul ourselves back and forth using a couple of tons of machinery to convey just ONE 200# person. When are we going to develop a conscience as a nation, and stop this egregious waste?

We CAN enjoy a high standard of living and still be responsible stewards of the Earth's resources. It takes some planning and investment, and some minor sacrifices. But only minor ones. Just look, for instance, at the enormous tonnage of petroleum, in the form of fertilizer, herbicides and insecticides that agri-business uses annualy, just so we can have supermarkets filled with produce free of any visible imperfections and eat enough meat to clog our collective arteries. The rest of the world doesn't live that way, why must we? It is a matter of reasonableness.

This contry disposes of vast, unthinkable amounts of plastic goods every day, rather than learning to cook or to eat from reuseable plates or replace a razor blade. Is this responsible? Before we start congratulating ourselves on our wonderful standard of living, perhaps we should look at the costs involved. The costs to the planet, my friends. We don't have to live in mud huts and eat grubs, but we CAN make some adjustments to curtail our ravenous appetites for resources and living space.

End of rant.

vicopper - Sunday, 09/04/05 11:43:25 EDT

Actual blacksmithing: When not pontificating on man's foibles, I've been forging a bunch the last couple of days. Did some fine tuning on the powerhammer, fixed a machinist's vise I've been neglecting, cleaned up, and then made a hat rack for my brother for his birthday. Sure is nice to have the PH when I want a 1-1/2" diameter disk 5/16" thick and don't feel like sawing one out. Just chop off 2" of 5/8" round bar, heat it up and smack it down with the PH. Instant disk. Ya gotta love it.

My borther stopped by for a few minutes yesterday, just in time to help me twist a length of 1-1/2" heavy wall square tube. Worked like a dream and looks pretty nice after I tapered one end. Now I need to make three more for table legs. Fun!
vicopper - Sunday, 09/04/05 11:51:15 EDT

kdbarker, this time your mail is linked in your posting name (as well as being put in the post).
Elliott Olson - Sunday, 09/04/05 13:04:22 EDT

VIc, glad you are getting time to play in the shop. I would have planned to if I'd had a clue things here would be SOOOO slow this weekend. You never know.

Having the power to forge things the way is WAS done with a helper and MORE is wonderful. It allows a creativity and flexibility that you do not have without.
- guru - Sunday, 09/04/05 13:18:14 EDT

Walking to the store: We dfon't walk to the store because the closest is about 6 miles away. But...the last time we were snowed in my wife and I threw a blanket on the horse and rode into town. LOL Made the front page of our very small, very local paper too. I guess it had been a while since they saw any one using a horse for real transportation.

Economics and trade offs...

I live in the country not close to much of anything but when I bought the place I worked 4 miled away. That plant has since moved to Mexico but I stayed and took a job 55 miles away which has also since moved to Mexico. I could move but, the money I would save on fuel and lots more would be spent on housing. I have a house, garage and barn on 4 achres. The house is 120 years old and the barn is...well as old and rickety as they come but it all works. I paid nickles and dimes for the place but to have the functional equivilant closer to real work would be orders of magnitude out of my reach (like millions). When fuel is high we just stay home except for traveling to work but at least we live in a place that we can tolorate being. I've done it before but sometimes I think I'd rather die than have to live in town again. It all depends what you want I guess. Maybe it's age but, I'm just as happy at home and if I didn't have to work or go to the store I would be unlikely to go anyplace, ever. I've been all over and there isn't anything there I need. LOL
Mike Ferrara - Sunday, 09/04/05 14:43:48 EDT

Frankly, bicycles are the answer, pure and simple. I do not drive. I almost never feel this to be a lack. I own five bikes right now -- two which I don't ride, a mountain bike set up for cargo transport, another one on which I'm doing an e-bike experiment, and a Bridgestone racer which is my daily transport. I pay $40 a month for passage on a bus which I use mainly to get over the deadly Pali highway - for everything else I use my bicycles. Yes, sometimes this entails riding for a great distance or enduring a slight discomfort as I am rained on or beaten by sun. A little careful planning can fix this, or it can be endured, either way. If I lived where Mike lives, chances are I would be happy to bike to the store - 6 miles is about twenty minutes for me, depending on how many lights there are. New rims, tires and inner tubes cost about $800 all told - last time that was true of a motor vehicle it was probably 1940 (Grin). I can crawl up slopes that stymie your average four-cylinder, and I can pick my vehicle up on my shoulder and carry it up three flights of stairs without a qualm. Easy to repair in the field, too. I notice more and more bikes on the road over here as gas prices go up, and it's hillier than... well, something that's really hilly. Y'all who live in flat areas don't have much of an excuse.

Anyway, that's enough out of me! I tend to run on at the mouth when talking about bicycles. Sorry about that (Grin).

Overcast in Kaneohe, Hawaii.
- T-Gold - Sunday, 09/04/05 17:06:58 EDT

Transportation: I have read a couple of just stupid posts from people concerning fuel prices and alternative means of transportaion. Please note while preaching. Many of us live 30 or 40 miles from any stores or civilization. We have to drive a great distance to work in all types of weather including very bad snow storms. I myself can not walk, so riding a bike is not an option. I am a little irritated with people with different living enviornments and life circumstances tell us all what we should or should not do for transportation. Public transportation also is not an option in many areas. Say move closer. Well everywhere you move is a distance. The wages around here are barely over minimum for a skilled labor job. Those that think we should all drive a go cart with a briggs engine or ride our bike it is not an option for many. Most of us can't buy a 200,000 home in a city suburb on a gross income of 12,000 for a skilled job that required a college education. What works for some does not work for everyone.
- irritatedbystupidity - Sunday, 09/04/05 19:50:45 EDT

LIFESTYLE: While the rest of the world does not live like we do here in the U.S.A, THEY SURE WISH THEY DID!

Before we beat ourselves up, (don't you get tired of everything being the fault of America?), we need to consider the self serving 'SIN' nature that we are all born with. Most of us live like we do because we can.

Only two factors will change our lifestyle. One is simple economics. When gas gets high enough, don't worry, we won't use as much. We will live like the rest of the world IF WE HAVE TO.

The other is a changed heart. (Jeremiah 17:9) What does it take to change a heart? What is infinitely more important than politics or the environment?
- Tom H - Sunday, 09/04/05 21:17:09 EDT

Irritated: I didn't see anyone tell you that YOU should or shouldn't do anything. You choose to live where you do, and to work where you do, and you deal with it the best you can. BUT. If you drive some gas-guzzling ego-wagon instead of one of the more thrifty smaller 4WDs, then you have to live with that choice, too. There are things that ALL of us can do to be less wasteful of non-renewable resources. I do the best I can within my means, and I encourage other people to do the same. That is NOT stupidity, that is responsibility.
vicopper - Sunday, 09/04/05 21:29:53 EDT

irritated: I hear where you are coming from but some times it pays to rethink things. Before I go much further our economic situation might not be any better than yours. We had a number of small disasters this summer. Our car was wrecked the washing machine died the Furnace need replacing. The Car was 18 years old after a lot of looking we bought a 2 year old Toyota with low miles and great fuel economy, we spent twice the price on the washer but got one that uses 1/5 the energy. We refinanced our debt, by changing our mortgage. In the end we now pay $20.00 more a month and will have the mortgage for six months longer, but will have everything paid for. We still need a new furnace but have arranged cheeper financing, we have a choice of buying an 80% or 95% efficient furnace. It is a little hard to justify the added cost of the 95% efficient furnace but I’m beginning to think that morally that is what we should do. I never meant to become some left wing environmentalist but we had to replace things and when you do the math it isn’t hard. We were also lucky to have some equity in our home. What was kind of neat was filling up the car on Friday with record gas prices and still paying 25% less than before. Like you we have to drive, our choice may not work for everyone but we are happy, still would like lower fuel prices but can handle them, with the other car we would really have had to rethink things.
Trent - Sunday, 09/04/05 21:54:21 EDT

vicopper: I don't drive an ego wagon. I am all for being less wasteful and have made appropriate changes in my lifestyle. When people tell every a bike is the absolute answer when they live on and island like yourself it is telling people to live like me when I live in a different enviornment with greater distances. Vicopper does bulldung smell? It is sure stinking in your direction.
- irritatedbystupidity - Sunday, 09/04/05 21:57:59 EDT

Trent: You are a great thinker and conservationist. I applaued all of your well thought out efforts in conserving and finding ways to survive with all the current economic circumstances. Keep up the great work. I myself have been doing the best I can in the same manner.
- irritatedbystupidity - Sunday, 09/04/05 22:03:54 EDT

Calm Down, Folks!:
The more all of us conserve, the more there is to go around at lower prices for those with more limited choices.

Insults and snideness will do nothing to help this situation; so everybody take a deep breath, count to ten, and post the next day in a considered and polite style, like the ladies and gentlemen we purport to be.
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Sunday, 09/04/05 23:01:42 EDT

More on gas: Artificially Low Gas Prices ? What are You talking about? The costs are artificially HIGH in the rest of the world because they tax it so much more heavily than in the US. About 5 years ago when we had cheap gas at $1.00 / gallon a really large part of the cost was tax. Other countries were paying the same for crude, using similar refineries, and it was being sold at $3.00 or more per gallon. What did the fuel actually cost Pre tax?
Dave Boyer - Sunday, 09/04/05 23:10:48 EDT

Irritatedbystupidity: How you choose to live 'within' your enviroment is YOUR OWN choice. The consequences of your choices define the impact you have on 'your' enviroment. That may not always be detrimental to you but it may be for those who follow you, just the effects of our forefathers choices are affecting us NOW.
As individuals we have the right to 'choose' what we will and will not do, and the right to offer ideas and solutions. They may not be ideas 'you' can benefit from, or solutions that are practical for 'you'. It does not however lessen thier worth or take away from the positive effects they have for that individual.
I applaud T for his views and actions, he is capable of them and for him it is practical, I applaud you for doing what you are capable of but don't think your justified in your attack, for those capable (and lets be honest there are lot more that 'could' than 'do')its a reasonable suggestion to make.
Tinker - Sunday, 09/04/05 23:54:03 EDT

Hot dayyum! I turn around to watch a movie and come back to find a roiling brawl! Rambunctious lot, you smiths! Try hauling a ton-- that's 2,000 pounds-- of coal or some 20-foot sticks of 1-inch round stock, or an 800-pound sundial on your mountain bike or you Toyota RAV and tell me how you did it. The whole problem is, we got suckered into abandoning the village. We triumphed over the bugs-- so far, anyway-- because we are a communal species. Before this is over, betcha we are back in the village. Get me Paolo Soleri, at home.
Miles Undercut - Monday, 09/05/05 00:35:15 EDT

Sorry: I am very sorry for my strong comments. I conserve as we all do. We all have different circumstances because of where we live. I just don't like people telling me I need to do things a certain way because that is ideal for the area they live. I can't physically walk and distances here are many miles just to go to the store, therefore a bike as TGold was trying to persuade us all to use is just not practicle for me or anyone in the area of the world I live. We have weather here also. If a bike is just an idea for people...then great!!! Don't tell me to use a bike when I have no way to peddle it and can't ride it 40 miles in the snow up the mountains to the store. I don't drive an ego-wagon such as vicopper eluded too. In my neck of the woods many people do though. They just can't afford anything newer than a 25+ year old 100 dollar vehicle. If he wants to buy a mileage low emissions vehicle for everyone around here we would gladly accept them. I will take a 1.0 liter geo metro with an automatic. I really would like a hybrid too. His ideas of getting away from the gas guzzlers would be great!! I agree. Tell the big three to stop making them. Why are we making H2 Hummers that weigh 6,000 + lbs and get 9 miles to a gallon?? BTW-Vicopper I worked for the Department of Enviornmental Conservation many years ago. I have always done my part. Lets get off the darn gas thing and get to some dang iron banging. This is the end of my gosh dang RANT
- irritatedbystupidity - Monday, 09/05/05 00:50:49 EDT

One of my favorite quotes is "No raindrop ever thinks it is part of the flood". A single person can do just about what every they want and the planet would be none the worse for wear. Multiply one person's impact by millions/billions of people and all the little things we do add to major impacts. Too many people seem to take pride in how much they can use, waste and throw away. The longer we as a society take to lessen our impact on the planet the greater it is going to hurt later on. We don't have to go without, we do need to care.
dief - Monday, 09/05/05 01:22:31 EDT

irritatedbystupidity: i looked carefully at the above posting----NO ONE directed any of that at you ..... yet you reacted as if that was the case....... dad always sez the guilty dog barks the loudest....... you feeling guilty that you could be doing more ???? or you just looking to pick a fight ???? oh wipe your chin you still have a wee bit of that rabid foam on your chin
blacklionforge - Monday, 09/05/05 08:29:54 EDT

Hauling a ton of coal, a half ton of steel, or a quarter ton of sundial...:
Miles, my solution right now is to ask my dad for help. Later on, it will be to rent a U-Haul truck. Personally I find that I need to carry more than I can comfortably handle on my bike about once a month. YMMV. If I was a production smith my system would be different -- I would most likely own a pickup truck which I would use regularly (once or twice a week), but it would be kept at the shop and I would go from home to shop on the bike. Moderation, not abstinence (BoG).

I don't advocate 'bikes for everyone' although I think it's a good concept. Irritatedbystupidity (IBS from here on in), a bicycle is clearly not an answer in your situation! But living 30mi from where your food, gas, etc. come from is not a situation that I would put myself in -- mainly because it mandates the ownership of a motor vehicle and also mandates its use whenever anything needs to be done. This is sort of a facet of our culture at this point; urban sprawl caused by the reduced emphasis on the expense of transportation makes heavy car usage unavoidable. I hope to see a considerable reduction in urban sprawl in the next decade or so -- densification to reasonable levels is what's needed, so vital services can be reached without having to burn old dead dinosaurs! IBS, maybe you are unable to walk or maybe you have health problems that mean that you aren't able to walk very far. If you lived in a temperate area, near (within 3mi of) vital services, my suggestion would be to get an electric trike. There are production versions for sale now that are very efficient, quiet, and powerful. An intemperate area would be more difficult -- a small motor vehicle for the winter months might be called for.

What you have to understand about my outlook is that I neither say "No more cars!" nor "Cars for all!" I believe in a stepped approach based on what is needed in the situation. I do not use a ton of steel and glass to get to my classes at the university; nor do I transport a ton of steel and glass on the back of my bike! Each of these tasks calls for a response tailored to it, not an automatic call for a motor vehicle or a bicycle.

I'm sorry if I've rambled on a bit; again, as I said, I tend to run off at the mouth where things like this are concerned. Also, I'm a bit tired at the moment, so I may not have been as coherent as I usually am; if anything is unclear, please post about it!

Still overcast in Kaneohe, Hawaii.
T. Gold - Monday, 09/05/05 09:15:12 EDT

Bikes are a wonderful machine to use in an urban environment. They work only somewhat in a rural environment. They are ok to visit the people on the farm next door, but not so good to bring in the groceries etc. Not everyone places themselves in situation that requires a motor vehicle due to urban sprawl. We have a large portion of this country that feeds the rest of the country and part of the rest of the world. Many of the households are miles apart by nature of the reality of farming.
Me, I live in a suburb, drive to work. Of course I have to cross an Ohio river bridge, and it is not easy to ride a bike across an interstate bridge. I do drive a small 4 cylinder commuter. Yes I do own a honking big pick-up. Tuned with-in an inch of its 33 year old life it gets 14 miles to the gallon. And it is driven about 1000 miles a year. It is normally driven at capacity, that is full by weight or volume. Unless it is empty on the way to reach capacity. I lived for 28 months in Germany, and there the gas was very high, mostly taxes, used to support the public transportation system. Worked like a charm. Also one must consider that the population density is very high there and that their system will not work very well in the less populated parts of the world.
All of us who drive can do the world and our own pocketbooks a favor by some simple gas saving things. Check those tire for inflation. Check that air filter, change if dirty. New cars can run on old spark plugs for almost forever, but they run better on GOOD plugs. As drag from air is basicly the square of speed, drive at the limit instead of ten over. Do this and look at gallons used after a couple of months and you may be surprised.
ptree - Monday, 09/05/05 09:35:43 EDT

Energy and such: Hmmmm... what about a guy who drives a big heavy truck to work when he can't ride a fuel efficient motorcycle due to weather. But work is designing and making very energy efficient lighting products which lower electricity use and could eliminate the need for many fossil fuel power plants IF people changed their light fixtures.

That big heavy truck is paid for and there is no economic justification for getting a smaller vehicle. PLUS, that big heavy truck is much safer in light of the rampant disrespect, inattentiveness, and stupidity of other drivers.

Guess I'll just save that oil and coal with lights and use it in the truck. Can't win.

That same guy just spent the last two days cutting and splitting firewood to heat his VERY well insulated, high thermal mass, well ventilated, no AC, house with. And we'll be doing the same today until it gets too hot from the global warming which is fueled by burning fossil fuels and wood and smithing coal. Oops, there is that "can't win" thing again.

Soooo... all you people still burning extra electricity in HID lights (mercury vapor, high pressure sodium) and incandescent lights also..... you are bad. Very bad. Grin.

Buy fluorescent lights. Much less polluting than HID's when discarded also.

Strong words with no smithing follow.....

The environuts are their worst enemies in some cases. Clean burning gas is burned off at wells all over the world because the environuts don't want caribou and such to have to walk under a pipeline or look at an access road. In one case, that new gas pipe would be right alongside another existing pipe for most of it's path. So we burn more coal and gas, which pollute far more, along with the pollution of the burned off gas. Hypocrisy!

Bikes are good where they can be used. Oil based pesticides and fertilizers are bad. Throw away packaging is VERY bad in most cases. Simple living is great and we are getting closer to it all the time. But as the population grows, it gets both more expensive and harder to do.

Human nature dictates that the oil and coal and gas will be used. Increasing cost will be the only thing that will reduce the oil use. Increasing the cost with tax to be like the rest of the world is just another way for our money to be stolen from us with taxes and used for politicians projects which are for the benefit of their business buddies who keep them in office because the average person won't use their head or morals over their wallet when they vote.

How many acts that we take, do not "harm" the environment? Name a few please.

Most effective way to help the environment?

Stop having so many babies!

Absolute rant on flooding follows.....

And then we have the people who think it's OK to build their house or factory or office BELOW SEA LEVEL! And when water runs down hill, as it has done since this planet has been a ball, and floods their house, they want us all to chip in and help justify their actions. IDIOCY!

I want every developer that has ever sold property in a flood plain or below water level to give back all of their money, get sterilized so as not to reproduce more vermin like them and then be gone. The planners and politicians who allow it, probably because they get paid off by the developers? They must go to jail until dead and make stuff in jail for the public good. The contractors who take contracts to make money building in a flood plain, they just need to give all of the money back. The people stupid enough, not ignorant, stupid enough, to live in a flood plain or below water level? They should just live with their decisions, clean up their mess and then go away.

But yes, we did contribute a bunch of stuff that went down on a truck last Friday to help them out. Gotta do that. Feel sorry for them at the same time that I want to smack them upside the head for blatant stupidity. Man never wins over mother nature in the long run.
- Tony - Monday, 09/05/05 09:58:47 EDT

Tony: Well said, and entertaining to boot, as usual!

I've spent literally days picking bodies out of flood areas; bodies that should have never become bodies, bu tdid because people wanted to live with a beautiful stream right in the back yard. I certainly ldon't blame them for wanting that, of course. I would love to live with a nice trout stream right off my back porch. But when th eflood inevitably comes, you pay for your pleasures. You pay. Not the rest of us. Back to that old "responsibility" thing again. We all have to live with, or die by, our own choices. If we choose to live in a high-risk situation, we have to be willing to accept the potential consequences.

I live in an area that is beset by hurricanes from time to time. I build accordingly, plan for them, and hope they don't happen. When they do happen anyway, I pick up as best I can and carry on. If I get dead from it, so be it. I could buy insurance for the material things, (if I could afford it), but there just ain't any insurance against getting dead. I can insure that my widow will still have an income after I get dead, but I can't insure that I won't get dead. Except by not being any more stupid than I already am, I suppose.

I guess I could move to where there aren't any potential natural disasters to get me, except I can't think of any such place. There's always something out there, just waiting to get you.

Yep, I drive to work. The knee won't permit walking or bicycling that distance, as short as it is. I drive the bike when I can, but that's mostly for fun more than economy. I *have* replaced all my light bulbs with CF's though. And, I have never had any babies. None. Never caused anyone else to have any, either. Pretty green of me, right? (grin)

On balance, I think it is good that we have environmental activists. We need somebody to counter the nonsense propagated by big business and it's toady, big government. If everyone was as sensible, reasonable and responsible as you and me, we wouldn't need government, business, or environmentalists. Sadly though, there's only a few of us *that* reasonable and responsible. (GRIN)
vicopper - Monday, 09/05/05 10:31:18 EDT

More energy: Aside from my work truck I do have a compact that I use when I can. But I'll tell you, I've been driving for 30 years and the highway gets worse and worse. It's hairy in a big truck but downright terrifying in a roller skate!

Using a bike for local running is great in some places for those in good enough shape but I remember being a kid riding along the road and having cars run me off seemingly on purpose. Some of our country roads would make a fine ride although many are gravel (mud when the gravel washes away and pile up with snow pretty good. The main roads are definately not made for or safe to ride a bike on. Most are narrow with no shoulder and steep drops into deep ditches often starting right at the white line. Auto drivers are often even killed when I tire slips over.

Someday we may all be back in the city where we can walk or take public transportation but I hope I'm long gone by then.

Personally I want you all to get a horse...or a bunch of them. I can always use more good paying work but you can buy a BUNCH of gas for what I charge to shoe a horse. In fact I've baught many of my cars for less than I get to shoe a horse. LOL and...I would much prefer you all to bring your horses to me because this on the road stuff stinks!

Well I think I'll wonder on out to the shop to burn some fosil fuel.
Mike Ferrara - Monday, 09/05/05 11:01:23 EDT

ABANA Relief Fund:
ABANA has launched a Katrina relief fund to help those in need. See link below:
- guru - Monday, 09/05/05 11:29:09 EDT

FIVE Bikes????: For shame, T-Gold....FIVE bikes. Surely one bike would suffice for someone as resource concious as yourself. Perhap four of the FIVE bikes could be exported to some developing country for their use. Grin, grin.
- gerald - Monday, 09/05/05 12:00:25 EDT

I like most of us have lived way out in the country where it is cheaper to live as a choice. However, that choice means higher transportation costs.

Where the problem lies (and stupidity) is lack of long term planning for when it becomes TOO expensive for the majority to commute long distances to jobs. Instead of using some common sense and looking at the age old village principal and enlarging on it we are building gigantic bedroom communities on one side of a city, industrial parks on the other and malls on the far side of the triangle then linking them together with roads designed for expensive private transportation.

NOW. . I LOVE my freedom and independence to drive my personal transportation anywhere I want. But it is an irresponsible government that assumes that everyone wants this convienience at the expense of everything else. MANY people choose to live in apartments, work in factories or windowless offices and shop in malls. I DO NOT. You apparently do not, but many DO. For these folks every large urban structure should be a "village". Homes, schools, offices, stores and EVEN FACTORIES can coexist in the same structures or closely arranged structures where it is only a short walk (or ride on a people mover) between all of lifes needs.

For those that live distances from cities we need good efficient commuter trains. At one time in our country you could travel from the center of virtualy every town (even quite small ones) by rail and then take a local trolley within that town. Cheap oil and the automobile killed that type of public transportation. However, we ARE going to need it again in the future and with large populations the size of these systems will be huge. With 30 and 50 year expected construction times we need to start NOW.

At one time in my life I blythly commuted every day in a 11MPG pickup truck. But I finally made a concious decision not to commute to a job or work place. This reduced my income a considerable amount but I feel I am better off for it. For one thing you live longer. If you spend enough time on the highway at 60 and 70MPH you WILL meet another vehical going the opposite direction at the same speed. I still travel a lot for work but I no longer put 30,000 miles a year on a vehical. I also drive a 24MPG van that while not as efficient as it can get it is much better than 11MPG.

In other countries you will see a LOT of smaller vehicals including much more efficient trucks than we have. They are built and sold especialy for those markets. Many do not meet US safety standards but in turn are much cheaper to be affordable in those economies that need them. However, almost all meet or exceed US emmisions standards.

When I was last in Costa Rica I rented a little Daihatsu Terios, a car sold all over the world but not in the US (I think). It is a high ground clearance 4 passenger 4WD that gets over 31MPG. Was great for Costa Rica and cleared some monster boulders while we had it overloaded with 5 adults on what we would call a "jeep road" here . . . just a normal country road in CR.

There ARE other ways and we need to look at them closely. i don't believe everyone should change but we DO need long range planning.
Daihatsu Terios
- guru - Monday, 09/05/05 13:10:06 EDT

New topic: If you are enjoying your holiday today, then thank a union worker.

I grew up in a decidedly non-unio atmosphere, Dad being self-employed shop owner, but after 27 years working in the nuclear industry I am glad I have been able to have been a member. Warts and all.

Security, Police, Fire professionals of America, Local 66
Brian C - Monday, 09/05/05 14:49:55 EDT

Hmmm, Brian that is where we disagree. I have been screwed over by two different unions. Lost my job both times ( job went to a non-union person in one case but one who was part of the good-ole-boy network for 20 years. While I a paid in full member was tossed out of my job and told by the union that Bob was more 'senior'

I think we should thank ALL those who work as a productive member of our society.

Now I will get off the soap box and leave this topic behind.
Ralph - Monday, 09/05/05 15:57:23 EDT

fuel,etc.: Far be it for me to say/ gripe, there are small things we all can do to help. I work on the exploration end of the petrolium industry(been on the retail also). I have to pay for it full price too. While working around "home" 60-80 miles 1 way, I went through a lot of gas hauling the crew around. Now I do the same thing but in Colo. (I live almost smack dab in the center of Texas) But I only work 2 weeks out of the month,as compared to 7 days a week. So this works for me. I still need to chip the truck,etc. To improve MPG. But can live with it.By the way, any of ya'll recomend a chip for a 3/4 ton Chevy,CC with a 6.0 engine?? Wish all well,Be safe and God Bless...jimmy
- jimmy - Monday, 09/05/05 16:06:41 EDT


Not a problem. Notice I said "warts and all". Lots of times I disagree with how some labor unions conduct their business. But after seeing how salaried employees are often treated, it's nice to have a "little" protection.
Brian C - Monday, 09/05/05 16:10:30 EDT

Interesting reading of late. Now, a question. Anyone hear of any other countries offering aid/assistance to our latest hurricane disaster? I haven't caught anything. But I remember the last Tsunami, when many other countries complained that the U.S. hadn't sent enough aid fast enough.

Just finished up a knife for my wife made from a car coil spring yesterday. That is the blacksmith way of recyling, ya'll! Put some Osage Orange scales on it. Pretty darn nice if you ask me, and she even likes it. Gotta get them atta boys when ya can. I do want that power hammer, ya know.
Bob H - Monday, 09/05/05 16:28:04 EDT

Bob H,
I believe that I heard on the news that the following had sent or offered help;
England, France, germany, Russia, and Sri Lanka. That was a few days ago, probably many more by now.

ptree - Monday, 09/05/05 16:41:18 EDT

Sometimes great minds think alike,
Spent yesterday and today hauling, splitting wood to heat my passive solar, super insulated house. In my region, one can gain usefull sunlight about 30% of the time, so the remainder comes from wood. Most is dunnage wood from the steel shipped into the plant. used to go to the landfill! we are talking 4 x 4 -16" long oak. I also get the broken, no longer usefull 4 x 4 -4' stack seperators. Dirty shame that I have to work so hard picking them up off the ground and hauling them the 9 miles to the house. I do use that gas hog truck, but it has 2000#+ one way, and i often drive to work and just stay late to pick up the stuff. I can get about half my wood this way. The splitting is the remains of wood from the tornados in Georgetown In. last year.

By the way, we are replacing a witches brew of lights at work. Replacing 200W incadesents, 400W sodiums etc. Using new high effeciency 1000W high bays. What brand pays your bills?

And last but not least, I agree fully about the flood plain tirade. Should be voted into law! I thought that a flood damaged home could not be rebuilt? I believe that to get Federal flood insurance in an area, there are requirements to have zoning laws that prohibit rebuilding?
ptree - Monday, 09/05/05 16:50:36 EDT

Just a question: Hey... Um why is it that the gas/oil companies can charge more( 6$us) for gas during a major emergency. But I can't sell bottled H2O for the same amount? Is it not the same? Or better yet, how about I release 10,000 hungery tigers in the Astro dome, and charge 100$ us for a sharp stick. Kinda makes you go hmmm..
How is it these people can get away with this? I'll tell you right now. Its' my fault and everone else for allowing the big companies to control OUR government. I say we have a million smith march to the white house and ring our anvils nonstop untill OUR leaders relent and fix this mess.!

all done
- Timex - Monday, 09/05/05 17:32:38 EDT

Ptree: Before I started working as a smith, I worked in the city engineer's office here. You are partially correct. To participate in the Flood ins program, you do need zoning. But it is to restrict new developement in the flood way and flood fringe areas. You are allowed to rebuild but you cannot increase the footprint of the stucture. The one thing I never could understand is this. Floodway is the area that conveys moving water during the flood, fringe is the area of standing water during the flood. You are allowed to do quite a bit of developement in the fringe area, but seems to me if you take up storage area for water, it has to be made up somewhere. Either by growing the fringe area, or by deepening the floodway. By allowing any developement in these areas you are asking for damage increases. I do know of some instances where feds have made people jack up their homes after repeated floding. One place in California, some homes were put up on piling 25 feet. We had pics in our office. There is alot of stupidity in gov regs, main reason I quit working there. Over regulate some areas and stick their heads you know where other times
- Jeff G. - Monday, 09/05/05 18:12:09 EDT

Forgot to add this; Flood maps are based on very short time span for data. What used to be considered a 50 year storm may only be a 10 or 25 year storm. That is the probability of a storm of that magnitude happening in that time span. I was told that flood maps would probably have to be seriously revised some day to account for this. I wouldn't expect that to happen quickly though.
- Jeff G. - Monday, 09/05/05 18:19:25 EDT

Timex-- re: million smith march... Even if they heard the anvils over the din of their plush Washington offices, restaurants and clubs, have you seen any evidence that our leaders are smart enough to fix this mess? I haven't and I have been looking for the past half-century or so.
Miles Undercut - Monday, 09/05/05 18:45:20 EDT

Hurricane help.
The Canadian D.A.R.T. is on their way, They should be in N.O. today or tommorrow
JimG - Monday, 09/05/05 19:10:15 EDT

Bob H : Yes any country that could, has, including Cuba who offered 100 Doctors if I got the number right.
My daughter got back from Victoria British Columbia Canada yesterday, she said the airport there was plugged with military rescue crews heading for the area. She talked to a few and they said they were ready to go the day after Katrina but didn't get permission, from the US government until then.

When there is a disaster in any country, most people and countries are more that willing to help, Google had a list of over 60 willing/wanting to help. There was a good program on BBC World News on different countries efforts to help.
Trent - Monday, 09/05/05 19:12:36 EDT

Tony, I thought I heard once that those HID lights were about as efficient as fluorescent (lumens/watt), ok, maybe not the latest fluorescents.

I have a motorcycle that I ride when I can (not just for economy. One of my cousins who works in a body shop (for another cousin) just started driving a little moped/scooter 5 miles to work because of these high gas prices. My brother also commutes by motorcycle instead of his suburban when the weather is suitable.

I'd ride a bicycle part of the time if I was an urban or suburban resident.
Elliott Olson - Monday, 09/05/05 20:06:22 EDT

Jeff G.
I think I got the idea about the rebuilding restriction from several small towns along the Ohio. They require that the houses be raised above flood stage, or be mobile and removed when threatened by flood. I think the local code requires a tear down or raise on if damaged beyond 50%. This may be a local thing. They have from time to time required the trailers to be moved to prove they can. Much complaining from the affected residents. I have sympathy for the children. I have sympathy for those who get nailed by a storm, who have no choice or control. Tornados happen about everywhere. Floods are a different matter.
ptree - Monday, 09/05/05 20:28:21 EDT

Green VIC, etc. : Rich, green is OK. As long as you don't go to chartreuse, I'm OK with ya. Grin! You are greener than me cuz we did have one kid.

Yeah, there's a natural disaster just about everywhere. A tornado can hit here tomorrow. There won't be billions of damage for taxpayers to clean up and thousands dead from it though. You know, that I know, that you know how to build for the hurricanes and hurricanes can be survived if you are high enough up and tied down so as not to blow away. I'd be thinking underground. Pretty hard to survive what happened in New Orleans and thereabouts unless you evacuate. There is a big difference in building below sea level in a hurricane spot than building above sea level in a hurricane spot.

I do feel for those who were caught in it. One has to wonder why the evacuation planning left those people unaware or unable to get out. If they stay of their own accord after warning, they get to become Darwin's examples. But gosh darn it. IT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN! Not maybe. FOR SURE! And a bunch of people made money off of making it worse. Some of them, the paid representatives of those people who are dead. And we all have to help pay while the developers have NO PAIN and no cost. Heck, I'll bet some of the developers will buy the wrecked homes and property for a song and then raze and build to sell again. I'll give 10 to 1 odds that will occur.

Flood plain records go a long ways back around here. And we also have developers who lobby planners to allow them to build by changing the rules to suit. A recent heavy loss has people a little more on their toes, but they will forget. I'm not sure how, but they will. History dictates.

How do we get people as reasonable as us? Education. Lesson 1..... water flows down hill. So does sewage. And you don't want to swim in it. Lesson 2, jump into that springtime flooded river. And swim against the current. Getting tired cuz it's cold and the current is strong? Maybe you want to think twice about living someplace the cold ocean will evict you from. This used to be called "Common sense". Now we have more important things to teach our kids. Like how to play video games.

Yeah, this one peeves me a lot. Murdering the victims you sucked money from first, always peeves me. Greed and power once again.

Ptree, good on you. We set up for passive solar also. Few windows on the North, lots on the South with significant overhang so summer sun does not come in. A Cupola with big fan to run the cool night air through the house and let the thermal mass carry it through the warm summer days. Works most of the time. And active solar will happen. I have been acquiring parts and have the heat storage area almost ready. The backup is high efficiency, propane fired, in floor hot water heat.

Orion lighting is the new job. If you are putting in 1000 watt high bays, it's probably still metal halide. If so, we can save you some big bucks in energy cost. We specialize in replacing high bay HID's with high bay fluorescents. We also do low bay and I will be fleshing out the product line as one of my duties. Have someone e-mail me at ( We sell direct to businesses in many cases. I'll have the sales folks give whoever you suggest a call. We have regional people who cover most of the country pretty well. Maybe I can swing a donation to Jock/CSI for any sales that come from this blatant plug. Grin!

It's amazing what you can haul with a bicycle. When we lived in the city, we walked to work and I made a lightweight aluminum trailer to use behind the bike. I could haul 8 cases of beer in that little trailer. Still have it too. Doesn't get used much. The Chinese are the winners in bike hauling tho. We saw a refrigerator, two people, various bags, and a pig on ONE motorcycle. Now that's conservation.
- Tony - Monday, 09/05/05 20:33:49 EDT

Well ain't y'all a bunch of cross-firing folks.BOG..

MIKE bully for you and your horsebacking to town. Now if you would build you a stock and some shade for your customers to wait under, while you shoe their ponys. You could lower your prices and still make more money. This how I did my shoeing, the last few years that I shod for the public. I also rode a horse between places(4 1/2 miles) to conserve on gas and to make better horses for the customers that were kind enough to pay me to ride their horses. This was in the late 60s and 70s. Gas was 30+ cents and I could not afford that on $100.00 calves.GRIN

VIC- All you need is a horse and a cart. You already have the grass, of course you would need long shafts on the cart to keep the horse from splattering you on all that green grass. Might have a problem with parking

TONY I bet you will end up with the fuel saving house--Some day--. The younger ones in this forum will to --sooner or later--BOG.

ALL-- The finger pointing should stop and every one look in the mirror.. CONSERVATION starts at home.

Me too. I have even quit going in every day for coffee. I can catch up on the gossip every three or four days .LOL

- sandpile - Monday, 09/05/05 21:24:44 EDT

Actual forging...and some pain: Spent a few hours today forging and sweating a lot. Among other chores, I had to make a honking big twisting wrench for 1-1/2" square, so I forged one out of some heavy flat bar I had lying around. Came out nice, and very satisfying. That was a chore that would have taken me forever without the new power hammer. Still sweaty work though, with a forge pumping out a quarter million or so Btu's every hour into a shop that is already a bit warmer than most folks would consider optimum. (grin)

After forging, I showered off and decided to take the big bike out to stir up its oil for a while, since it's been several weeks since last I rode it. The bike fired right up happily enough, so I grabbed my helmet, checked it for errant spiders, jammed it on my head and headed down the road to town. I only got a couple hundred yards when I felt someting sting the back of my head. I figured, Drat! A hornet must have somehow gotten in there with me. I shook my head a couple times to get it to fly back out, but all that got me was another bite.

I pulled off the road and snatched off the skid lid to let the little beggar out, and what do I see? A 5" centipede lurking there, looking smugly evil. For over fifteen years I've lived in the tropics and never been bitten by one, until today. Hurts like a sonofagun, too. Kinda ruined my enthusiasm for a ride, after that. Guess I'll ride the bike to work tomorrow, instead; that way if I get bitten again, it will be covered by Workman's Comp. (grin)
vicopper - Monday, 09/05/05 21:32:41 EDT

Copper & braze finish: I'm making some copper flower & have brazed the leaves onto the stems. Exposed to the weather, how will the braze look compared to the copper? I assume the copper will "green" up, but I don't want the braze to stand out. Should I have them plated to hide the joint?
Mike Sa
- Mike Sa - Monday, 09/05/05 22:48:58 EDT

Copper finish: Given sufficient time, both metals will end up looking pretty much alike, Mike. But the copper will oxidize first, and more dramatically than the brass, which will then stand out. I can think of two ways to beat this:

One, you force the patination with chemicals. This will allow you to develop a patina that will hide the differing metals. The link below will give you a starting point for the patination formulae.

Two, if the piece is not too huge, it is relatively simple and easy to electroplate copper onto the brass. You only need a thin plate to change the color and the oxidation potential to match the rest of the piece. Some plating solutions are pretty toxic, and some can deteriorate and become somewhat explosive, so you need to get the right stuff. Check out the web for info on copper plating to find out more.
vicopper - Tuesday, 09/06/05 00:10:51 EDT

flood plains and such: Oftentimes folks will not actively participate in life, and are in a constant state of reaction. National Geographic had a lengthy article on the mess down in Louisiana last year. The article mentioned that it would be a catastrophe of major proportion should a hurricane make a direct hit on New Orleans. The protective marshes and wetlands that protected the coast up until now have been destroyed over the last few decades of development. Destruction of the environment has a monetary downside not often factored into the equation, mostly due to the short term mentality of American business and citizenship.

The choice to live in New Orleans should have been a choice based on a calculated risk/reward analysis. I'm sure that it wasn't for the vast majority. Use the calamity as a wake up call to check yourself. I myself live in a 100 year flood plain. I chose the property for it's natural beauty. To me, the choice was clear, but I start to get jittery after a couple weeks of rain. Thankfully, I have transportation to bail out if the river grows angry.

I'm not sure if this post has any point. I'm just tossing it out.
- Tom T - Tuesday, 09/06/05 00:18:23 EDT

Daihatsu Terios: That doesn't have the "Third World" look that I was expecting, I have seen a lot of practical smaller cars, trucks & vans in the Bahamas that would definatly not meet the US standards, lighting, safety, I don't know about emessions, some are disel. Others look good enough that an American might buy them, but don't come in a US model.
Dave Boyer - Tuesday, 09/06/05 00:49:17 EDT

Costa Rica: Guru, I've been thinking about travelling to Central America for about a year (Costa Rica would be one of my stops). I'm a novice traveller, and am anxious about leaving the cozy confines of our country. Do you have any sage advice for travellers to Costa Rica? I don't want to get broken in the hard way :)
- Tom T - Tuesday, 09/06/05 01:23:49 EDT

Cast Iron/Steel: Ok, I was wondering how it is possible for cast iron to be heated up to liquidation, but not have the metal burn, as when steel is heated up to welding heat. When I get it too hot (regular steel), which is frequently, because I don't heat it up slow enough, I have pits from where there was burning.

So for cast steel, do they just heat it up really slow, or does it have something to do with the increased carbon percentage?
- mouko_yamamoto - Tuesday, 09/06/05 07:29:37 EDT

Mike Sa: If I could add my two cents to Vicopper, You could also use copper phos brazing rod. I'll have to look at the tube to give you the product name. I use it for copper water fountains and it will turn color along with the copper. I also dont have to use any flux with it like I have with brass.
- Jeff G. - Tuesday, 09/06/05 07:34:24 EDT

Flint... & other stuff: Just got back, don't know much about shipping. I just put every thing in a box, put ducktaoe all over it, bring it to the post office, & pay.

I'm not often able to get to a post office because they close before I get off work, & the're not open sundays.

As far as pictures go, could I just send my computer disk & drawings to the addres on iforge?

Sorry about my bad spelling, I'm not functing correctly this morning...
- packrat_red - Tuesday, 09/06/05 07:51:10 EDT

spear shafts: a great day forging yesterday------ 2.. count'em two socketed spear heads......looking good before even the grinding/filing/ polishing.......... my question is does anyone know where i can find some good hafting material for this things----- i was thinging ash or hickory........ but open to other ideas...... thanks!!!!!
blacklionforge - Tuesday, 09/06/05 08:26:59 EDT

My house also is the "lots of windows on the south, 42" overhang, lots of concrete thermal mass and night fan" system. Works well, except I can't cool it down when the night temps don't get below 85F. The heat part works well along with the outside heater, and as my wife has a thyroid issue she is cold alot!
Can't do much with the lighting contact as I was laid off this very morning.:( I along with many friends are looking for work.
ptree - Tuesday, 09/06/05 09:33:16 EDT

Blacklion/Hafts: Home Depot and others of their ilk sell longer pieces of dowelling for closet rods. Commercial grade pushbroom handles might feed your needs, too. Try Tractor Supply for those.
3dogs - Tuesday, 09/06/05 10:11:36 EDT

ptree: Sorry to hear about the layoff, Jeff. Does this look to be a long term thing, or temporary?
vicopper - Tuesday, 09/06/05 10:15:42 EDT

BUMMER!: Sorry to hear about your layoff, ptree. You and your family and your co-workers will be in our thoughts. Seems like everybody's butt is up for grabs these days, though.
3dogs - Tuesday, 09/06/05 10:18:35 EDT

Costa Rica: Tom T.

Alpha Guru can comment further.

I was in the capital, San José, for three weeks and had an apartment offered me next to the University campus, because I was teaching smithing. They have sloths in the trees on campus; that blew my hair back. On the main thoroughfares, there are usually two or three public buses in every block at all times. The buses they keep in repair, even though many of the buses appear to be from ancient periods of history. On one major street near our blacksmith shop, there was a large shopping center including a super market, and across the street, a KFC, and a McDonalds. The local Tico food, however, is super, so no need to depend on U.S. franchises. One of the big occupations in San José is that of security guard, so all street-front businesses seem to be well guarded.
Almost all homes and apartment buildings in town have tall iron enclosures, mostly made of tubular steel verticals sharpened at the top; not too good looking, but fairly secure.

If you get into trouble with the language, many of the black people speak English, because they moved to Costa Rica from English speaking islands. One black man in a store told me, "Some people think we speak a patois, but my English is very good, don't you think?", and I had to agree.

I was able to go horseback riding through the rainforest about 25 miles south of the city. That was paradisical.

I also attended a "Tope", a national horse parade in Palmares. The Ticos love their horses. No bands and no floats; just 2,400 horses, a few of the riders in period costumes and with period tack.

The National Museum near downtown San José is worth a visit.

Finally, I was told that of all Latin American countries, Costa Rica is probably the most "U.S. Friendly", whereas by contrast, Venezuela is not.
Frank Turley - Tuesday, 09/06/05 10:33:46 EDT

Ptree: Sorry about the layoff. You'll be in our prayers. Were you expecting it?
- John odom - Tuesday, 09/06/05 10:52:49 EDT

Capt'n Atli; has the price of rowers gone up? Do you sigh over the days when you could just chain them to the thwarts and tell them if they get you to work on time they can have an extra bowl of gruel, cold of course cause it's a cold gruel world out there!

I plan to move to biking into work; not so much for the money---though I'm going to see if my CFO will add half the savings to my weekly "allowance" for smithing stuff; but more for reasons of health. I live about 6 miles from work an out here you can *bike* on the shoulder of the interstate! (as long as it's *not* motorized). This scares me speechless as we also have a long tradition of single car accidents on the interstates. Me; I plan to ride the irrigation canal dirt roads till I get to the explosives bypass---a nice wide road with lovely paved shoulders and very low traffic; perhaps all the signs saying "Explosive laden vehicle route" scares them off.

Ptree are you hanging tight or are you willing to re-locate? (and if so what you looking for?) If things are tight, I'm willing to chip in on your Quad-State registration.

Thomas P - Tuesday, 09/06/05 11:49:22 EDT

I have a question...: I've been makeing alot of eye punches, & chissels.
My punches & chissels some how become magnitized. How does this happen, & is it a problem?
- packrat_red - Tuesday, 09/06/05 12:20:29 EDT

Marc: Magnetic tools:

I remember a Mr. Wizard episode where he magnetized a steel bar by poimnting it north/south and hitting it with a hammer. Pointing it east/west and hitting demagnetized it.

I notice some of my tools start to pick up filings after a while and find it more of an annoyance than anything. So I bought a "vintage" magnetizer/demagnetizer off of eBay a couple years ago for a few bucks and that does a great job cleaning the tools.
- Marc - Tuesday, 09/06/05 13:09:31 EDT

Oops: I put my name in the subject line up there. I'm not really talking to myself. I save that for when I'm in the shop.
- Marc - Tuesday, 09/06/05 13:11:07 EDT

Tony, if you could send me a pic of that trailer, I'd really appreciate it :) Been thinking about building one for ages now. More convenient than my pannier rack.
T. Gold - Tuesday, 09/06/05 13:44:45 EDT

Spear Hafts: The poets are alwaus going on about ash, and hickory, although New World, might even be superior. The truth is, when they analyze the actual wood found in the sockets, it could be almiost anything. I've seen willow, hazel, and poplar in my literature. Remember that one of the effects of coppicing was to provide long, straight pieces of branch, so it's quick to swap-out broken shafts. This would be especially true for javelins, which you hope are making a one-way trip.

You'll have to post some pictures of the spearheads once you get them done.


It's this wartime help; most of the good oarsfolk are busy elsewhere on more important business, either overseas or Down South (...and parts of the South are a little too "down" right now; about 12 feet down! 8-( )
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Tuesday, 09/06/05 14:04:34 EDT

Simple living: I now have so many pills to take that I have resorted to one of those SMTWTFS pill dispensers. Yep its the first step down the long slide to assisted living. Apparently I am in worse shape than I thought since even with this "senior aid" , I still managed to screw it up when one morning a few days back I swallowed my wife's pills by mistake. Man I felt wretched, and until I figured out what I had done, I was downright scared! Looking for some sympathy I told my wife what I had done. When her laughter subsided to the point that she had control of her breathing, she told me I was lucky it wasnt her evening pills that include her estrogen! (visions of a frantic rush to the hospital for an emergency double mastectomy)

Whining aside, I am grateful to have all those pills. Without them, I'd be sick or dead in a few months. It certainly puts a damper on any adolescent survivalist fantasies that still live in my head.
- adam - Tuesday, 09/06/05 16:06:40 EDT

ThomasP,et al.
Lay off was somewhat expected as the auto makers and their vendors are drying up. Hope to hang tight. Have many resumes out, and more to go. I already sent in the Quad state check a couple of weeks ago. I think I can pay the gas out of sales of stuff.
First time being unemployed in 27 years is a bit scarry, but i am not on the ropes yet. May have to put the wife back to work!
ptree - Tuesday, 09/06/05 16:51:12 EDT

Unemployment: Ptree - my sincerest sympathy on your job loss - RIF's suck big time (to revert to a more juvenile mind set). Been there fairly often but luckily, not since 1992, when I was a young person of 40. I've been in job hunt mode for awhile and have run across some decent recruiters - if you'd like any recommendations, either post here, send me an email at kmhaffey at earthlink dot net, or we can discuss at Quad State while toasting pawpaw and moaning about employers.

It's survivable just sure isn't any fun at all.
- Gavainh - Tuesday, 09/06/05 20:22:39 EDT

Quad State: Anyone know if Kayne and Son, or rather Blacksmith Depo, is gonna be there this year? There were absent last year. I'd like to see them there, and paw thru their stuff.

Finished up another hawk today, and gave it to my wife. I just made her a knife from coil spring, and now the hawk from a rasp. Wonder what I should make next?
Bob H - Tuesday, 09/06/05 20:48:01 EDT

Thanks, I will probably bring a note book with me to get leads. Have several I am working. I will no doubt moan plenty! Especially if we toast Pawpaw too much.
ptree - Tuesday, 09/06/05 22:10:54 EDT

Trailers and safetry and hafts and stuff: Ptree, sorry to hear of the layoff. Hope it turns out on a positive note. I have the same issue if it doesn't cool down at night and very oddly, my wife is hypothyroid from hypopituitary. No functoning pituitary.

Sandpile, I built the house in '92, 93,94, etc. Just don't have the solar yet.

VIC, see, that's what safety will get you. Grin! Just kidding. Not wanting to tempt fate, etc.

TGold, no digital camera, so no pics of the trailer. But it should be easy to describe. The frame is 1/2" EMT electrical conduit. Looking down, it is a square with rounded corners with two more bars front to back inside the outer edges. Those added two bars are the bottom part of the side frames, also of conduit and bent so as to make a rounded rectangle viewed from the side. Extensions of those side frames go up to the attachment point on the seat post. Front 27" rims mount between the sides and the second bars in. The sides and bottom are aluminum flashing sheet. Thin and reinforced with wood slats to the conduit frame. The conduit is all welded together and the aluminum skin is riveted onto the conduit frame. It will carry a lot as long as the load is well centered over the trailer wheels. Actually first made it to haul the baby around in his car seat. Couldn't bear to buy what was available and they were far heavier than what I built. I used 1" thick UHMWPE for the part that clamped onto the seat post and had a hole for an attachment pin to the trailer tongue. The two conduit tongue tubes are allowed to flex to account for pitch change between the bike and trailer. Make sense I hope? If not, send an email with snail address to my address above and I will make you a sketch and send it off. It's not pretty, but it works very well. I should use it to go to town more often instead of the truck or motorbike. But that would take more time and keep me from making more stuff. Impatient, you know.

Blacklion, I just used an ash for a socket spear haft recently finished. Nice young straight one growing in the swamp. I do have more if you are close to East Central WI. Atli, I was thinking of your helve this weekend. I cut down a nice straight ash about 14" at the base. No branches for maybe 25 feet. That one will go on the useful wood pile, not get burned.
- Tony - Tuesday, 09/06/05 22:33:26 EDT

Employment: PTree:

You can always check out to see if there's anything in your area of expertise or your area of the country.

We can always use good folks.
Federal Jobs Link
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Tuesday, 09/06/05 23:09:00 EDT

Anybody out there still daring enough to be using an acetylene generator? Just curious.
Miles Undercut - Tuesday, 09/06/05 23:42:43 EDT

Thomas-- I strongly urge you to eschew bike riding on the (shoulders of) public thoroughfares in Land of Enchantment. ¡MUY PELIGROSO! Long-established tradition here of hassling, brushing back cyclists with pickup truck mirrors. And misjudging. No kidding, cases of motorists so enraged by mere sight of cyclist they swerved off road to get 'em. And they did. Managing director here and I ride ONLY on dirt roads, canal paths, etc., and I carry a loaded .44 spl. in the handlebar bag when doing so.
Ptree-- it might be a message from on high. Unemployed since 1971, and it ain't easy, but it's okay.
Adam-- the first 300, maybe 400, years are the hardest.
Miles Undercut - Wednesday, 09/07/05 00:02:48 EDT

copper finish: Vic, Jeff, thanks for the advise on the copper color. I think I'll go for the plating approach. I wish I'd known about the copper brazing rod. I had practiced with just raw copper drawn out to small diameter, but it seems I had to get the parts way hot in order to get a good flow of filler. I was afraid of the mess I might make, so went with the regular brazing rod.

I think getting them copper plated is the best bet. The stems are only about 1/4 dia. & a foot long. The flower petals & a copper "ribbon" I've made that will be wrapped around them will be gold plated.
Mike Sa
Mike Sa - Wednesday, 09/07/05 00:12:01 EDT

acetylene generator: Is carbide still readily available for these (and miners' carbide lamps)?
Elliott Olson - Wednesday, 09/07/05 02:21:53 EDT

plating: Is there a cheap and simple method for nickel plating?
Elliott Olson - Wednesday, 09/07/05 02:23:34 EDT

Acetylene and Bike Trailers:
Thanks for the explanation. I haven't seen anyone use that method before -- took me several read throughs before I figured it out. All the trailers I have seen before either only supported the axle on one side (majority) or used recycled bicycle forks to hold the outer end of the axle up... frankly, I like your way the best. Might borrow it.

Last Petzl (I think it was Petzl) catalog I got, they were still selling good acetylene caving lamps and generators to go with. Dunno if they are big enough to push a torch. You can get carbide from chemical supply places -- not sure where else, the guys who sell the headlamps would know.
T. Gold - Wednesday, 09/07/05 06:15:14 EDT

Carbide: Uhhhh....maybe try Union Carbide?
vicopper - Wednesday, 09/07/05 07:45:07 EDT

Calcium Carbide:

And yes I have used a carbide generator as do many spelunkers. They are small acetylene generators that fit on top of the bill of the hat (helmet). Miners used to use them in days gone by but now have switched over to batteries for safety.
- Conner - Wednesday, 09/07/05 08:24:57 EDT

ash/tony: tony any idea how much it would cost ta shop 3 or 4 lengths of that ash???? i'm not wanting 15 -20 ft more like 6 ta 10ft each.... thanks
blacklionforge - Wednesday, 09/07/05 08:26:45 EDT

NOMMA Sends Out "Climbable Guard" Action Alert :
The NOMMA office has mailed an "Action Alert" to the membership, which requests participation in an upcoming meeting of the International Code Council (ICC).

As most of you may know, earlier this year the ICC announced that it was revisiting the "climbable guard" issue. Since that time, the ICC's Code Technology Committee has been holding a series of meetings and work sessions to study "climbable guards," as well as a few other nonrelated issues.

For our industry, the situation is a serious concern, since restrictions aimed to prevent alleged climbing by children could greatly impact design freedom and even some of our member's livelihoods. For instance, when the "ladder effect" rule got into the 2000 International Residential Code, we saw situations where inspectors were red tagging any job where a child could conceivably obtain a "toe hold" in a railing panel.

The Technical Affairs team is asking concerned members to join them at the Sept. 22-23 meeting in Detroit, and the final public hearing Dec. 1-2 in Las Vegas. Members who have had experience with "ladder effect" incidents are especially encouraged to participate.

So far, nine NOMMA members have committed to attend the Detroit meeting. This delegation include NOMMA president Doug Bracken, Technical Committee Chair Steve Engebregtsen, past president Chris Maitner, and past Technical Chair Tony Leto. In addition, NOMMA's Technical Consultant Tim Moss will serve as NOMMA's spokesperson and coordinator for the meeting.

If you are interested in attending, please contact Todd Daniel (, 888-516-8585, ext. 102). Please respond as soon as possible. Thanks.


NOTE: These rules have been repeatedly beat down by NOMMA and need more support from the blacksmithing community. I am looking for ways that CSI can help in this effort.

Basicaly the rules that some zealots want and repeatedly submited is that there be no toe holds of any kind on railings so that they cannot be climbed. The result is that except for maybe twists and texture that railings could have NO decoration what so ever. There could be no horizontal members, no scrolls, no fluer-de-les, no basket twists. . .
This is a serious assult on OUR business by rulemakers that are on a misguided mission.

The claim is that children can climb over stair rails and fall injuring themselves. There has been no evidence of occurances of this happening and the rules do not prevent children from climbing on the outside of a rail starting at the bottom UP. However, if they pass the no toe holds rule there is a chance that they will come back with a no support rule thus requiring "rails" to be solid extensions walls and no railing of any type being allowable.
- guru - Wednesday, 09/07/05 09:36:03 EDT

Ptree: Sorry to hear the news. On the bright side we have had a bunch of our guys that work in the forging industry get laid off or have jobs exported and all found better jobs in a short while. Folks that REALLY know stuff are still in demand.
- guru - Wednesday, 09/07/05 09:38:05 EDT

Carbide generators: I had my truck butchered in a cheap muffler shop that not only still had an acetylene generator with a non-functioning pressure gauge right beside the big garage doors, they had it manifolded to about eight outlets along the bays! I asked if that wasn't a wee bit hazardous, but the kid who was trying to weld my stainless exhaust system with coathanger wire (unsuccessfully, I might add...) was unaware of any safety hazard connected with large amounts of carbide stored near an outside door. The pile of cigarette butts at the base of the generator spoke volumes as well. This was in Bowling Green, KY in 2000. If there's a big crater there now, you know what happened. This was the place the dealer recommended I go for a cheaper catalytic converter than they could provide, BTW. It was so cheap it clogged up in only a year, vs. 6 years with the original one.
Alan-L - Wednesday, 09/07/05 10:27:46 EDT

Costa Rica:
It is a wonderful country. After their last (minor) revolution they disbanded the army and passed laws forbidding a standing army. This among other things resulted in the country being an island of peace in an unstable part of the world. They have even warded off US medling. At least up until the new CAFTA treaty which sounds like another NAFTA for the US but in fact is bad for the Central AMerican countries that rely on import taxes as does Costa Rica.

The official language there is Spanish but you can get by with English in almost all commercial transactions. However, if you want to MEET the people and enjoy the country you need some Spanish, or more properly Castellano (European, true Spanish as spoken in Central and South America). Like all languages there is some variation and many folks think Mexican Spanish IS Spanish but it is somewhat different.

The food is different but not hot/spicy as one would think. However, if you ask an the answer is "not much" (no mucho) then look out! The typical meals "comida typica" are all good and usualy served with several sides of fruit, fried plantain, cooked avacado. The fruit drinks made with diluted milk are very good. Called "refresco con leche" the mango drink is very filling.

Their money is very devalued and drops against the dollar constantly. When I first visited there two years ago the Colon was 430 per USD and now it is 483 per USD. The common note is the 1000 Colon which is now $2.07 US ($20.70 per 10,000C/ note). If you work out the exchange rate per 1000 Colons and keep it in mind you will have a good idea what you are paying. Most places of business will take US dollars and give you a fair exchange rate but it is good to know how work it out so you know you are not being cheated. Aftr this week the 18,123C price for a tank of gas won't seem unusual when you visit Costa Rica.

I highly recommend the Lonely Planet travel guides. The one on Costa Rica is very good. National Geographic also has a Traveler guide for Costa Rica which covers festivals and events a little better but doed not have the common details as does Lonely Planet
Lonely Planet Costa Rica Worldguide
- guru - Wednesday, 09/07/05 11:18:17 EDT

So PTREE, have you talked to Patrick about jobs up where he is? I think they no longer require people to have their own large powerhammer to be considered...

I found the Lonely Planet Guide for Indonesia to be great when I did an emergency business trip there back in '95. Really helped me be prepared for day to day life there...

Thomas P - Wednesday, 09/07/05 12:20:31 EDT

Bike trailer: T-Gold I was just at the local Thrift Store- they had one of the 3 wheel baby vehicles thay you see women pushing -sometimes running behind- this one had bicycle wheels and a solid rear axle- that would make an excellent bike trailer-probably could use some of the existing frame to build a trailer-just a thought
- ptpiddler - Wednesday, 09/07/05 13:03:04 EDT

MIca: Asheville Schoomaker Mica Co. Newport News VA 23607, Tarheel Mica Co. Plumtree, NC 28664 704-765-4535, Paramount Corporation 325 w38st. Suite 503 NY NY 10018 212-868-7207 Processed sheets are also called Micanite.
SGensh - Wednesday, 09/07/05 13:14:46 EDT

Mica: See? I knew Steve would have a source.
vicopper - Wednesday, 09/07/05 13:48:14 EDT

Acetylene generators-- we're having a bit of a vagueness problem here, sorry. By generator, I meant the kind mentioned in Alan L's vivid posting about the slovenly garage that messed up his truck. I.e., a big tank into which one poured water and calcium carbide and out of which one, if one was lucky that day, got acetylene. If one was unlucky, why, my goodness: KABOOM! Yes, calcium carbide is available, from eency tubes of it for your Big Bang cannon to 2-pound cans of the stuff, six for c. $70 plus shipping here and there. I am told miners no longer use it, however. P.S. I was only joking about the.44 spl. What I actually do use for protection when biking here in The Land of Enchantment is my trusty Buck Rogers cosmic disintegrator disguised as a headlight.
Miles Undercut - Wednesday, 09/07/05 15:14:15 EDT

Miles, the back route into tech is usually *empty*; it was built to get the explosives trucks to EMRTC without them going through town and includes a security gate they lock at night and weekends. Typically when I drive it I average seeing 1 other car and it's wide and with a wide berm---lots of techies bike or run on it for exercise.

Now on the interstate---no way it scares me to see the driving; though I do like the flashing signs put up near easter "Merge left, Pilgrimage ahead"

Thomas P - Wednesday, 09/07/05 17:33:06 EDT

Trailers and ashes: TGold, use away with blessing. Yes, it is a stronger method of supporting the axles of the wheels. Easy and lighter than a sold axle all the way across too.

VIC, I had no idea the centipede was venomous. I forgot where you live for a moment. Please excuse my earlier sarcasm.

So.. is the venom halucinogenic like the frogsickles?

Blacklion, ship? I don't know. You take care of the shipping. I can go cut you two. FOB my house, they will cost you 1 beer each. 3 beers each if you want them peeled roughly. How big a diameter do you want on the small end?
- Tony - Wednesday, 09/07/05 19:00:41 EDT

Trailers, bugs, car bide: Miles, After the Oklahoma bombing, the feds tightened up on carbide shipping a lot, I'm told. Hard to get much more than a few pounds at a time now. When I was in college, admittedly a while ago, I worked a bit part-time in a welding shop that still used an acetylene generator. Scared the poo outta me, actually. The old boy who owned the shop had it manifolded to four or five welding stations, and when three guys had torches running at once, the pressure would drop off. When that happened, he would just up the feed rate and put a weight on the safety pop-off valve. First time I saw hiim do that I didn't think much of it, until I thought about it later. The next time he did it, I mosied on down the block for a smoke break. Several years later, I recall having seen acetylene generators in use in welding shops in Mexico. Never even saw a pressure gauge on one.

Tony, that's the way I built the little trailer I drag around with the lawn tractor. I've put some pretty ridiculous loads of logs and such in that thing with no problems. My frame is 1x2 thinwall tube, but the same general design for wheel support. Works great.

No problem about the sarcasm, my brother just laughed when I told him. He knows how much I hate wearing a helmet. Unfortunately, we have a helmet law so I'm not allowed to choose. The state has decided that they would rather I was a quadraplegic rutabaga than dead, I guess. Bet they won't take care of me, though. The EMT's do think that helmets make a pretty good handle for dragging your dead body around by, so I guess there is a bright side. (grin)

Now before alla you get twitter-pated over my comments on helmets, let me say that I've pretty much always worn one, even when not required by law. I just don't like laws that are passed "for my own good."
vicopper - Wednesday, 09/07/05 19:51:30 EDT

Carbide & Acetylene Generator: Keep in mind that "Acetylene can decompose explosively if piped atpressures above 15 psig and exposed to mechanical shock or ignition source. Acetylene forms explosive compounds with copper, silver and mercury. copper alloys if used must contain less than 65% copper" Flamibility range in air of 2.5% to 81% and it's shoch sensitivety means You need to give it a lot of respect. I think if I was starting over again I would look into MAPP gas, it performs nearly as well & is a lot safer. I would not use an acetylene generator if I had one, but they look cool.
Dave Boyer - Wednesday, 09/07/05 23:10:05 EDT

Blacksmith Tools: Blacksmith Tools

About a month back I asked Jock for permission to advertise some blacksmith tools on the hammerin forum.
Due to health problems and strained finances I am cleaning out hundreds of the blacksmith tools I have accumulated over the years that I do not use. This may be a 1-2 year process as there are many and I don't even really know what all I have. I will be listing them from the top of the piles as I grab them on ebay under seller 108budden.

Most of the larger tools such as anvils and forges have already been liquidated. I do have some large wheel wright tools and leg vises kicking around. As I find them under the piles of tools I will also be listing them on ebay. If you don't find the tool you are looking for at quad state you may check my listings from time to time to see if there is something you would like to add to your tools on my listings under 108budden

Thank You and happy forging!! :)
burntforge - Wednesday, 09/07/05 23:45:29 EDT

Thomas-- your Email address is not working.
In other business: Once again, a vagueness problem threatens to cloud the air. I don't WANT an acetylene generator. I don't want to USE an acetylene generator. I am just CURIOUS, is all, as to whether anybody out there is still using one, is all. Period. I know acetylene is dangerous. I fear acetylene. I respect it. Etc. etc. Now answer the question, if you can.
Miles Undercut - Thursday, 09/08/05 00:03:44 EDT

bugs: How big are those centipedes? up here on the MN.canada border, I've only seen up to 1" long.
Elliott Olson - Thursday, 09/08/05 02:28:32 EDT

just 3 beers ????: heck bro that sounds like a deal to me.......... where are you located ???
blacklionforge - Thursday, 09/08/05 06:27:19 EDT

I use acetylene: It is all that I have to work with.
- packrat_red - Thursday, 09/08/05 07:31:15 EDT

Kayne and Son at SOFA:
Yep they will be there. So will we.

PLEASE NOTE the cancellation and rescheduling of the AFC Tannehill Meet this weekend. They hope to hold it in December.

ALSO see the note above about the ABANA relief fund.
ABANA Kitrina relief fund
- guru - Thursday, 09/08/05 10:15:14 EDT

Acetylene Generators:
These things have been around a long time and are pretty much antiques although a few are still in use. My grandfather had one in the 1930's. It had a pendulum clock movement that dropped carbide into the water. Once in a while it would stop and they would give the unit a kick to start it again.

Grant Sarver had some experiance with them and said you have to regularly clean out and dispose of the copious quantities of the remaining sludge. . . probably hazardous waste now days.

- guru - Thursday, 09/08/05 10:23:31 EDT

Miles, I'm trying to get the form to store my correct address---just for you

- Thomas Powers - Thursday, 09/08/05 11:27:42 EDT

Bicycles: I like to commute by bike. Miles is not too far off the mark. A friend of mine was run down from behind by a PU truck (fataly). Myself I have had three collisions with vehicles, one time being swept up by a truck wing mirror and tossed into the dirt. All these incidents were accidental not malicious - small comfort to my friend who died. I switched to a mountain bike so that I could stay out of traffic, ride shoulders and dirt roads etc.
adam - Thursday, 09/08/05 11:51:33 EDT

Bicycles: The problem with riding a mountian bike next to a busy road is that sharp objects will often puncture your tires. Carry a bike pump. I use to carry a can of some kind of repair gel that I would spray into my tires when I got a flat...It refilled my tires with air at the same time that it repaired it...BUT...It also filed my tires with a heavy gel that I couldn't get rid of & slowed me down......
- packrat_red - Thursday, 09/08/05 12:55:19 EDT

costa rica: I don't think I can sell the wife on buying property down there. The blurb about "oppressive" heat along the coast had her putting her head in the refrigerator just thinking about it. We'd like to get some property along Oregon's west coast. Unfortunately, so would everyone else, and the price for property is high to say the least.
- Tom T - Thursday, 09/08/05 13:22:32 EDT

Costa Rica:
Coastal areas are hot, the beach front wonderful but expensive. However, most of the population lives in the central valley or in the mountains where it is VERY moderate. Check the weather link at the site below. The links page also has other CR sites or interest.

The temperatures listed can be cut 10 degrees F on average by moving UP in altitude about 500 feet. Due to the narrowness of the country the air is always fresh sea air and at altitude that means cool. The humidity is never as high as posted or does not feel that high. What I have found opperssive is when the humidity is that high HERE in the Mid-Atlantic. The point being that you can almost pick your climate. Go high enough and the night time temperatures require a jacket or a fire.

I suspect the average values for humidity have to do with the fact that is rains some every day. More in the wet season than the dry and there are weeks when it doesn't rain. But between the rain is fresh relatively dry air. Its nice.

The two times I have gone down was in Feburary. Both times we changed planes in Miami. It was SWELTERING in Miami on a February morning but wonderful in San Jose, CR later that afternoon.
- guru - Thursday, 09/08/05 15:45:34 EDT

AshBeer: Blacklion, I am in East Central Wisconsin. Deal, yes, but God put them there and it's fun to work with wood. And it grows back. I should have two out there that are straight enough.
- Tony - Thursday, 09/08/05 19:57:05 EDT

Centipedes: Elliot Olsen,

The larges that I have personally stomped to death was a bit over nine (9) inches long. I'm told they get bigger than that, but I've never seen one. If I ever do, I'll probably just pull down on it and blow the sucker into teeny weeny little pieces. They creep me out!
vicopper - Thursday, 09/08/05 20:48:39 EDT

Miles: The last one I saw was in the back of a welding truck, with an Oxygen bottle aside of it. I don't know if it was in working condition or just being transported, but it was within the last 15 years.
- Dave Boyer - Thursday, 09/08/05 22:07:34 EDT

Acetylene generator
At the boiler shops I used to work at, they had acetylene piped through the plant. Old fashioned water traps for flash back that my pipefitters had to refill from time to time. As we had about 600 outlets this was a big chore. All that piping led back to the acetylene room. We had about 100 or so bottles gang manifolded. There had been a big generator there, but it had exploded some time prior to my starting in 1981. My pipefitters hated that thing with a passion!
ptree - Thursday, 09/08/05 22:35:01 EDT

Thanks, gents. Much obliged. They sound wonderful. They look even better. Guts blacksmithing. I heard about one (that used to be) in a fantastic junkyard that I hope OSHA never hears about. Old Guy there tells being a kid and of watching the needle ooch its way upwards on sunny August days here in The Land of Enchantment.
Thomas-- Many thanks to you, too!
Miles Undercut - Thursday, 09/08/05 23:36:32 EDT

For sale: I have 2 powerhammers for sale along with a large gas forge and large coke forge. Also have surface grinder and leather stiching mach. Can see the power hammers run. located 40 miles north of TerreHaute and 40 miles south of Laffayette and 50 miles west of indianapolis. 765-397-3887 or cell at 765-918-5668
- Stiffy - Friday, 09/09/05 07:18:43 EDT

bikes: nice to see that i am not the only steel masher that rides, and when i retire, those activities will be all that i hope to be doing. for "urban" endevors, a mountain "style" bike is ideal because you can ride anywhere; not on the roadway. if you are going to get whacked by a car, they will need to jump a curb or go off the road. i dont ride my mountain bike on the road, but my road bike does see the street. where i am, i dont encounter anything that would puncture tires, thank goodness...
- rugg - Friday, 09/09/05 10:16:01 EDT

Bike Tires: out here in NM the goatheads are so bad this year I think I'm going to have to rent a baler for them. Tire liners and slimed tubes just keep the flats down to a couple a week---wonder if they ever did a bike version of the lunar rover tires?

Dave, I read your post thinking "centipede" rather than acetylene generator and was a tad hornswoggled for a moment.

Stiffy, what type and what size powerhammers? Are you going to have pictures of them at Quad-State?

Thomas P - Friday, 09/09/05 11:23:53 EDT

Bikes: A machetie is a useful tool to have with you when cycling.
There are countless snakes in the world. If the brush is to thick, I hack a new path threw. Snakes often inhabit thick brush...
Watch your step...
- packrat_red - Friday, 09/09/05 12:15:48 EDT

Thomas P, What are goatheads?

A few years after I got one of my bikes I decided that those 1" wide tires aren't so good when you don't live in the city. If you have to go through some gravel, they try to dig (cut) in more than the wider mountain bike style tires. Kinda like the difference between a chisel and a fuller. ;)
Elliott Olson - Friday, 09/09/05 12:59:43 EDT

packrat_red, almost no snakes around here (Canadian border Minnesota). In the 15+ years I've lived here, I've only seen about 5 garter snakes and none over a foot long.
Elliott Olson - Friday, 09/09/05 13:25:45 EDT


Have you tried kevlar belted tires? There's a couple here:
- Mike B - Friday, 09/09/05 14:21:24 EDT

Tires Link: (link box didn't work for some reason).
Mike B - Friday, 09/09/05 14:22:27 EDT

BIKES: I also was glad to see the number of metal benders that ride bicycles, keep rolling.
Cars are a problem, they just don't see you, thus I ride with a slow moving vehicle triangle on my back.
Thomas, have you tried Their tubeless system has had good reviews in stopping flats.
blackbart - Friday, 09/09/05 15:01:36 EDT

Goatheads are a type of thorns growing profusely on a low spreading weed out here they have sort of a rounded body with two *sharp) protruding thorns that are murder on feet, bike tires, pup-dogs, etc. Unless you grub them up as soon as they sprout just about anything you do to them just makes them more aggressive.

Last year we hardly had any; this year they are all over the place---all that rain; why we'll probably have at least a foot or rain this year! (vs 9.4" in a "normal year")

I'll check out the sites; a fellow could go broke fixing bike tires out here and making maille covers is a pain...

Thomas P - Friday, 09/09/05 15:45:28 EDT

During WWII, in Europe, rubber for bike tires became so scarce that several alternatives were used. One of them should be goathead proof. They strung steel washers that would fit into the rim on a heavy wire, making a steel wheel on the pre-existing rim! Goathead proof! Must have been awfull hard on the kidneys, slick on cobbles, and noisey to boot. Not to mention HEAVY! But goathead proof!
ptree - Friday, 09/09/05 17:38:14 EDT

Thomas-- Bike shops here in the boonies sell "thornproof" innertubes for bike tires. I got lots of flats after I moved here before I put them on my 10-speed. None since.
Miles Undercut - Friday, 09/09/05 19:05:52 EDT

Been making a few throwing hawks from rasps lately. Had an idea last nite and went out to the forge tonight to put it together. Mostly it is just to get the guys riled up at ronnvoo. I've been kicking butt with my fire starting, and one guy says I must use lighter fluid to get it started that fast. So, when he see my new hawk, I just know he's gonna yell CHEATER! I posted a picture across the street.
Bob H - Friday, 09/09/05 23:05:10 EDT

Goatheads: I guess that they're just nature's caltrops.

I take it that they're indeginous to the Southwest; I've never seen any elsewhere. Back here, we get "waitaminute" vines. ;-)

Ship's due to be launched Monday, and I won't be there- another crunch at work, totally unrelated to the hurricane. :-P
Longship Company Link
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Saturday, 09/10/05 07:54:38 EDT

Caltrops! Precisely! Ittle, itsy-bitsy, wicked sharp caltrops.
Miles Undercut - Saturday, 09/10/05 15:09:54 EDT

"Wait a Minute" wasn't that also called "cat's claw" and "Blaspheme" weed? Spent most of my first 18 years on the east coast...last time I visited the rural area I remember from my youth is now DC lite---though the BBQ place was still there 30 years later! (3 little pigs, McLean VA)

Shipped 32+ pounds of wrought iron by priority mail---it was *much* cheaper than parcel post...with luck it's going to morph into a helm.

On forging outside: I got so tired of hauling stuff up and down the basement stairs that I duplicated my basic set up in "no great loss" or hernia city tools so it could stay outside in my inner city neighborhood---anvil with great face but broken off heel, cheap postvise mounted to the $5 welding table and the bolts welded over; home built forge, etc. They stayed in place even while lawnmowers and bicycles of *much* lower worth disappeared.

Thomas P - Saturday, 09/10/05 15:47:57 EDT

What I recall about the East coast, Merlin and Virginny, is poison ivy, poison oak, great oozing, maddeningly itchy, welts that lasted all summer, despite the gallons of calamine lotion. scratching them with the flat edge of a hunting knife until the pain masked the itching. And mosquitoes the size of small, nasty birds.
Miles Undercut - Saturday, 09/10/05 17:42:42 EDT

Miles, I live in S. Indiana, and have only small mosiquitoes, they are only humming bird size, and the posion plants are not closer than 4' to each other. Wanna come visit?
Got my 150# striker fired up today, he just had to try the 20# sledge I brought home. He was actually able to use the thing for a couple of heats! He did admit that a 16# is much more his size.
ptree - Saturday, 09/10/05 20:09:26 EDT

ptree-- Nope, all I have to do is look at the stuff and I am in trouble. Worst time of year is when folks burn their weeds and those little microglobules of venomous sap go wafting through the air....
Miles Undercut - Saturday, 09/10/05 20:31:03 EDT

CHAMPION 400 BLOWER FOR SALE: No rust on gears, no sandy sounds when you crank it, and only a tight coat of rust on the outside. All of the fan blades are completely intact. The words on it are bold. I used it with my charcoal forge before I switched to propane and it is a good working machine. Originally it had a wooden handle and that is gone, after all, it's an old machine, but it does have the piece of metal that the wooden handle went over. It is in good working order and wants to go back to work.
- Tyler Murch - Saturday, 09/10/05 21:08:24 EDT

Price: $100 + shipping
Tyler Murch - Saturday, 09/10/05 21:10:11 EDT

Miles: Next time you have that stuff really bad, ask your family doctor to give you some prednisone. I used to work on a survey crew and I would even have it in the winter. Couple times it was really bad and the prednisone had it cleared up in 2 or 3 days.
- Jeff G. - Saturday, 09/10/05 21:39:35 EDT

Miles: If you walk downwind of a heavy infestation of poison ivy on a hot summers day, the plant puts enough microglobules of venomous sap into the air naturally that you think you rolled in the stuff, no fire needed. Been there, got it.

As the song "Poison Ivy" by J. Lieber/ M. Stollerit suggests:
Your gonna need an ocean (gonna need an ocean)
Of calamine lotion (oh, your gonna need it)
You'll be scratching like a hound (boy, you'll be itching)
The minute you start to mess around with Poison Ivy.

Facts about Poison Ivy:
Urushiol oil -- the sticky, resinlike substance that causes the rash. Urushiol oil stays active on any surface, including dead plants, for up to 5 years. Only 1 nanogram (billionth of a gram) needed to cause rash.

Mosquitoes the size of small, nasty birds? You did not stick around for the big mosquitoes to arrive did you?

Miles, you can stop scratchin' now.

- Conner - Saturday, 09/10/05 21:46:45 EDT

Prednisone: Be very wary of prednisone. It is a steroid, with all of the attendant problems of other steroids. If you really, truly need it, and a short course will do the job, it can work some miracles, but extended use (over a few days) can lead to other problems.
vicopper - Saturday, 09/10/05 21:47:10 EDT

Ivy cures: Went to a pow wow today, and bought a book on edible and medicinal plants of the great lakes area. Said book says the leaves and berries of the staghorn sumac can be used in a poltice and applied to poison ivy. Can't vouch for it's effectiveness, yet, tho I will probably be able to give it a try. We have had a terrific growing season for poison ivy in my woods this year. Dunno why, but it is everywhere. And I've got the sumac out back too, so maybe I should just gather and dry what I may need.
Bob H - Saturday, 09/10/05 22:05:55 EDT

Poison Ivy: I had a horrible, lasting rash just like poison ivy about a year ago. Took weeks to clear up, and itched like fury the whole time. I was more than a bit confused, because poison ivy doesn't grow here. To make a long story short, I found out that the mango is related to poison ivy in some way and produces copius amounts of urushiol. Just what do you suppose is the primary crop of the farm on which I live? Yep, you got it.

I did find a barrier cream substance that seems to work well. If I smear it on an hour or so before I go out to do the mowing around the mango trees, the errant drops of sap don't bother me. The stuff is called IvyBlock, and is supposed to be the thing for poison ivy prevention.
vicopper - Saturday, 09/10/05 23:30:19 EDT

Pver the counter stuff I used to use back in the 1950s was called IvyDry or some such. I think it was basically just peroxide. Came with a spatula like a tongue depressor you used after the welts bubbled up. The lotion stung pretty good, took your tortured mind off the itch. You could then crackle the spatula across the blisters with a really soul-satisfying pop-pop-pop-pop. It worked pretty well, so I am fairly sure the feds took it off the market long ago, just as they did with creosote. Come to think of it, I bet creosote might work on poison ivy and sumac, too.
Miles Undercut - Saturday, 09/10/05 23:37:27 EDT

Bob H: Staghorn sumac makes a pretty good drink also.Bruise the berries in cold water, let soak for awile and then strain all the particles out. It is similar to pink lemonade.

Vicopper, I was going to mention that stuff, but I figured one of you guys would hit it.
- Jeff G. - Saturday, 09/10/05 23:43:04 EDT

Drummond American makes a product called Fresh Start that potects against poison ivy and lots of harsh chemicals. The listing does not say poison ivy, but I have used it for that. It is very effective when you are working concrete, keeps your hands from getting dried out.
- Jeff G. - Saturday, 09/10/05 23:51:11 EDT

A local company makes a product, Ivy Block I believe, that if applied ahead of time does work. The utillity crews are the biggest customer. My mother is extremely sensitive to posion ivy. As a 13 year old in the mountains of eastern KY, she walked through the smoke from a burning brush pile. You guessed it. She was in severe trouble from the welts etc, that covered her, and in the depression the Frontier Nurses were their only medical care. When the Frountier Nurse rode in on muleback, the school teacher sent my mother over to the nurse. She stripped my mother, and scrubber her down with household bleach. My mother said it was like standing in fire, but it dried up the ivy. I do not reccomend this as a course of treatment. I have brothers and sisters that have tried bleach on smaller ivey rashs and reported little to no success. I am blessed to be immune:) In fact, I used to ga around the home place and remove the vines so that my mother and siblings were not exposed. Buried the stuff deep!
Oddly, the only thing that I am affected by is sassafrass sap. And then only if the sap is on a tender spot and sits for a while. Like when chain sawing, and the chips get in the neckline of my shirt.
ptree - Sunday, 09/11/05 08:50:17 EDT

Bicycles again, and Urushiol as well:
Blackbart, good idea on the SMV triangle, I may get one of those. Anything to improve visibility.

Ptree, I think they used washers cut out of old rubber tires for that too. I found some info online regarding it. Would probably work quite nice with today's shock-absorber-equipped bikes.

Fun fact for you all -- the famous Japanese lacquer that makes those beautiful lacquerware bowls? Urushiol lacquer! In olden days (pre-Cap'n Perry) Japanese babies and small children were washed in bathwater containing a small bit of urushiol lacquer to give them a tolerance for it, lest they break out in horrible itchiness when using lacquerware.
- T. Gold - Sunday, 09/11/05 16:06:35 EDT

Urushiol: Anyone know of any other plants that might cause poison ivy-type rashes? My wife is extremely sensitive and caught a case of it while tending around some rhodendron plants. The problem is, I can't find any poison ivy, or any of its well-known cousins. She's deathly afraid to go outside in the yard, and she loves to do that.

So any ideas would be most welcome.

- Marc - Sunday, 09/11/05 16:28:02 EDT

Urushiol addendum: Forgot to mention my locale - Southern New Hampshire. I have tried UNH's gardening center, but no answer from them. And the only things I found on the net are exotic plants.
- Marc - Sunday, 09/11/05 16:29:47 EDT

Urushiol:: Properly cured Japanese laquerware has no free urishirol left in it and is non-toxic. I visited a laquerware museum in Morioka, Japan. The principal artist there made all his own materials from localy grown laquer trees. Most of what is used in Japan is imported from China. I think that museum had as many beautiful things per square foot as any place I have been. I got a personal tour by the artist and his wife, who spoke English.

When a Captain in a rural Calif. Fire Department, I got two gun-ho recruits. They were good and learned fast. The first brush fire put them in the ICU with Poison Oak in the lungs, even though I had had them loading fire planes on a concrete runway, no where near the burning brush. The smoke from miles away was enough. They both moved back East when they got out of the hospital.

Allergists now can desensitize people by using shots.
- John Odom - Sunday, 09/11/05 17:26:19 EDT

Visibility-- My choice is a fluorescent red or greenish-yellow road-worker's vest-- light enough to be okay for biking in summer weather, baggy enough to fit easily over winter sweaters, extremely high visibility, and best of all-- don't tell REI-- dirt cheap.
Miles Undercut - Sunday, 09/11/05 19:13:16 EDT

Poison Ivy: It's been years since I've been afflicted by poison ivy. It is prevalent in the woods around here though, as is a treatment, (also good on Stinging Nettle burn).
The variety we have here is the Pale Jewelweed which is more yellow than the picture on that site.
- Elliott Olson - Sunday, 09/11/05 20:54:10 EDT

I've known a couple of folks who've developed a poison ivy-like rash from handling Mangos. The skin produces a sap when bruised (oleoresin, if I recall correctly) that induces a delayed hypersensitivity response. It apparently affects you more readily if you are pre-disposed to react to poison ivy. Interestingly, neither person is allergic to the Mango meat, just the skin.

eander4 - Sunday, 09/11/05 22:24:52 EDT

Mangos: That's just what I posted about earlier, Eric. The rash lasted for three or four weeks of sheer misery. I can eat mangos just fine, it is only the sap that is produced by the fruit's skin. I have handled a lot of cut trees with no problems, chainsawed limbs off of several trees with no problem, etc. But bumping into a couple of fruit when on the riding mower resulted in being splashed with the sap from the stem end of the fruit, and produced the horrible rash about 12 hours later.

The IvyBlock DOES WORK. Good stuff, but I had a hard time finding it. Finally had to mail order some.

We also have a tree here called the Manchineel, which is even worse. The sap from a manchineel can blind you if it gets in your eye, and blisters the skin. Eating the fruit can be fatal. The Carib indians used the sap to tip poison arrows. I have no idea if the IvyBlock works on Manchineel sap, and I am NOT going to test it, either!
vicopper - Sunday, 09/11/05 23:43:40 EDT

And I thought the moskitos and posion ivy was bad in S. Indiana! At least I haven't found fruit the blinds! We do have Persimmons, which will try to turn your mouth inside out if eaten even a little unripe. But nothing quite like your tropical fruits.
ptree - Monday, 09/12/05 07:03:08 EDT

Poison ivy: I run really hot water over the rash. In theory, the hot water causes what ever it is that makes your skin itch to difuse through your skin cells, & wash away. The problem is that the water sometimes moves around the oils...

It will keep the itching away for awile.
- packrat_red - Monday, 09/12/05 07:32:18 EDT

Ivy: We have it all over the property and it's almost not possible to stay out of it when working in the yard. Not that this is anything new but what I found that really helps is washing up good after being exposed. I've had the weed-eater spray me in the face with the stuff but getting cleaned up right away avoided any reaction.

The worst has been when it was wet out and the stuff soaked into my clothes. Being unaware that it happened, I stayed in the clothes. I actually had to miss some work that time because I just couldn't walk around in public scratching where I was itching. LOL Anyway, if you know you got into it and wash as good as you can as soon as you can it makes a HUGE difference.
- Mike Ferrara - Monday, 09/12/05 07:33:30 EDT

Leather working...: I KNOW SOME OF Y'ALL MAKE KNIVES...
I've got black spots apearing when I apply oil to my almost complete leather scabord. Can these be prevented, or removed???
- packrat_red - Monday, 09/12/05 07:36:56 EDT

Mangos: I'm pretty sure we're not in mango territory up here, but now I wonder if it has relatives. Something to check out.
- Marc - Monday, 09/12/05 09:53:21 EDT

Reflective vests: I also use a contruction-type vest I got from eBay for biking. Orange mesh vest with yellow reflective strips. And it has super-bright blinking LEDs in the strips. Probably looks silly on the road, but as long as it looks like something people won't want to hit, then that's fine and dandy with me.
- Marc - Monday, 09/12/05 09:58:52 EDT

Packrat Red: The black spots are the tannin in the leather reacting to contact with iron while the leather was wet. Most of the books on the wet-forming of leather will warn of that somewhere in theit text. They will also mention bleaching it out with oxalic acid. I don't recall if it will work after the leather has been oiled. You might want to contact Tandy Leather or The Leather Factory. Be careful, the stuff is poisonous.
3dogs - Monday, 09/12/05 10:40:09 EDT

Thanks...: I was wondering...
Iron, huh? Like rust spots...Yes, I'll try that.
- packrat_red - Monday, 09/12/05 11:55:55 EDT

Tyler, suggest you post the *LOCATION* of an item for sale---at least what continent it's on...
Thomas P - Monday, 09/12/05 12:28:24 EDT

Poison Ivy: Beware, those of you who are immune to the ivy. Try not to split your skull. I used to be immune to the ivy and never had any asthma or allergies. After getting smacked on the head, I shortly thereafter developed exercise induced asthma and some allergies to cats and some outside stuff. Including now being susceptible to poison ivy. Like Mike said, wash up with strong soap (I use dishwashing soap) after maybe coming in contact with it and that takes care of it most of the time. Isopropyl alcohol will dry the skin, but seems to spread the oil if it's still there. I don't like chemicals, but I will use extra strength Roundup on poison ivy. Spent a very miserable trip in Mexico with oozing. By the time I got back, it had spread so much that I had to use prednisone. That was the first time since the head smack and I was in denial. Now, the leaves of three get Roundup.
- Tony - Monday, 09/12/05 13:31:11 EDT

Wow! I sure started something here mentioning poison ivy as a reason not to go back East, didn't i? This talk of washing thoroughly reminds me: that yellow laundry soap, Fels Naptha-- do they still sell it?-- that came in big yellow bars (the stuff Mom used to make you wash your mouth out with after certain words were uttered) was said to be an effective post-contact treament for poison whatever. Never did anything much for me, though.
Miles Undercut - Monday, 09/12/05 16:18:14 EDT

PI: Tony, I too only use Roundup on poison ivy. I figure if it's gonna use chemical warfare, I can too. I only use bug spray on yellowjacket nests for the same reason. I leave ordinary wasps and hornets alone, but those little @#$@$s are deliberately and spitefully mean.

Miles, I think you can still get it. Feeling nostalgic for a mouth-scrubbing?

Alan-L - Monday, 09/12/05 16:23:56 EDT

For the smug folk: Poison Ivy is one of the few things that your resistance goes *down* with exposure; some folk who "never get it" will.

Thomas P - Monday, 09/12/05 16:35:11 EDT

I grew up in the midwest and got poison ivy every summer, then i moved out west and now i get poison oak. One time I had a patch that lasted almost six months, when it went away I didn't get poison oak for about 5 years, and now when I do get it its very mild...go figure.
blackbart - Monday, 09/12/05 17:18:00 EDT

Actually, I managed to desensitize myself to PI after a summer slogging through the tree-sized variety that passes for groundcover at Ft. Polk, Louisana. The second week out I forgot protocol and took my socks off before I removed my pants. The result was a two-month rash from ankles to knees. After that, I didn't get it nearly as bad as I did before. In fact, 14 years later I rarely get it at all, and when I do it isn't too bad. I still follow procedure and use cold water and dish soap, since cold water closes pores allowing the dish soap to remove oils like it's supposed to. Technu oak-n-ivy wash can help established patches. Never used the Technu pre-exposure armor, how would you know it worked? (grin!)
Alan-L - Monday, 09/12/05 18:08:08 EDT

Nahhh-- Ma didn't go for those subtle disciplinary measures. She had a wooden mixing spoon the size of a fungo bat. And a wicked right arm. And a remarkable left for a woman her size.
Miles Undercut - Monday, 09/12/05 21:03:06 EDT

Miles, I know what you mean! My mother however is 5'-10, and is a mountain lady born on the lead mine creek in eastern KY. At 9 years old, I watched my 220#, 18 year old brother back talk my mother. Watched him slide across the kitchen floor. What a backhand! Boy was I polite for the remainder of my time home!
ptree - Monday, 09/12/05 21:34:05 EDT

Black Spots:
packrat Red, I don't know about leather but if you get grinding swarf embedded in wood, particularly OAK the iron oxide when it gets wet or from oil or humidity makes awful black places. Its the mixture of iron and tannic acid. . yeah the stuff they tan leather with. Might be the problem. . .
- guru - Monday, 09/12/05 22:13:38 EDT

hoffi hammer: I just got a new hoffi hammer, I have been told a little about how you use them differently but i'm wondering morer spasificly how what hamering technique is used?
- Bjorn - Monday, 09/12/05 22:19:38 EDT

Poison Ivy: I'll chime in on this one - thought I was immune while growing up - never courted it or pushed my luck, avoiding it when possible or washing up afterwards. Ended up working on the township road crew the summer between high school and college (helps having worked bailing hay for the father of one of the supervisors and being in the 4-H group of another :) - besides they knew I'd work.) Got to spend about a month clearing brush/poison ivy off the edges of dirt roads with a scythe about 3 weeks into it, came down with a very mild case. Of course I'd been working in a short sleeve shirt, it was August in PA. Switched to a long sleeve one and paid a little more attention. Haven't had it since, which works out to 35 years.
- Gavainh - Monday, 09/12/05 23:10:00 EDT

Poison ivy: "I believe that those of us that were born with an imunity to poison ivy, oak, and/or sumack, lose our imunity when we come in contact with a different plant.
The poison ivy in the northwest is different from the poison ivy in the south. If we were born in the northwest, we inherated our imunity from one of our elders. When we travle to the south, we encounter that which we are imune to, but in a different form.
The southern plant has slightly different properties then the nothwestern, so it breaks down the old imunity, & builds a new one to replace the old one over time..."

(Brian R. Butler)
- packrat_red - Tuesday, 09/13/05 07:45:33 EDT

Poison Ivy: I'm luckier than my wife and am not sensitive to it. I used to get small bumps when I was a kid, but not much of anything anymore.

My son was clearing brush with his Scout troop and got a horrible case of it. His fingers swelled up so much that he couldn't close his fingers together. They say not to burst the blister (for infection reasons - PI doesn't spread that way), but we had to. And one of his eyes shut completely. That was a doctor's job to bust that one.

My wife is almost as bad. The blisters aren't as big, but they spread like wildfire. The last time she gardened she washed down completely and still got it head to toe. Maybe I'll get her some of those disposable Tyvek Hazmat suits. Do they come in designer colors?

But I second Roundup for poison ivy removal. It'll probably take me a few years, but I'm steadily beating back that stuff. Brush-be-gone is working, too.

I don't get mosquito bumps, either, except on my feet. Gotta be some relation there.
- Marc - Tuesday, 09/13/05 08:02:07 EDT

Hazmat Suit colors: Marc, They come in white and bright yellow. . . :)
- guru - Tuesday, 09/13/05 08:09:25 EDT

Hofi and Square faced hammers:
Bjorn, These are used the same as a regular hammer except that you must learn to use the edges and the face is directional. The edges may be used to fuller or texture. For directional drawing they are better than a round faced hammer. The gentle "rocker" grind will also fuller directionaly but smoothly. Bladesmiths like this shape hammer because they can thin edges with less widening and thus curving of the blade. A round faced hammer spreads the metal in all directions and is thus not as controlable as the square rocker grind. The pien on the Hofi hammer is also more of a fuller shape than cross pien hammers which are nearer to being a hardy or "hack" than a fuller. In fact many smiths use the pien of a standard hammer for cutting.

The correct spelling is HOFI. If you bought the hammer from Big BLU Manufacturing you bought one of the very few (maybe only) that pays the licensing fee for the use of Hofi's name and design. Big BLU Manufacturing sells hammers made by Hofi as well as makes them under his instruction.

- guru - Tuesday, 09/13/05 08:30:42 EDT

Poison ivy: Poison ivy is a parasitic plant.
It grows in an root, one root will burrow through the mulch, or under the bark of a tree, & from it will spring a net of these irratating plants. They are a weed. If you cut off the vine, It will grow back next year.

I dig up herbs. My hands use to swell & itch, But now, they just itch for a few hours.

Heres something to think about:
There are some trees that poison ivy doesn't grow on
Poison ivy will grow around these trees, & on their naboring trees, but not on the trees them selves.
Has anyone seen such a tree, let alone identify it?
- packrat_red - Tuesday, 09/13/05 11:09:31 EDT

Bjorn Hofi hammer tech: This ebay seller (shappensny1) is the producer of the Uri Hofi Hammer Tech DVD. He does this for Uri Hofi. I purchased my DVD from him. I am pleased and found it most helpful for the hammer techniques. I hope this helps.
burntforge - Tuesday, 09/13/05 11:16:06 EDT

Most of my older crosspeins have wider less "sharp" peins including at least one that is a shallower curve than my commercially made fullers!

It seems like the new ones ar the sharp enough to cut ones---guess they forgot how they were supposed to be used...

and then they're are the ones someone has butchered on a grinder grinding them sharp---I always let them go by unless the grinding looks new---then I'll tell the seller that I would have bought it but that someone had ruined it. (never accuse them of doing it; but if they get the idea that they are losing money messing with them they will *STOP*)

Thomas P - Tuesday, 09/13/05 12:11:15 EDT

ptree-- Astonishing as my mother could be with her foudroyant(love that word, love it!) backhand, and she only 5'4" on a tall day, the best I ever saw was a Polish nun at Sacred Heart of Mary elementary school in Dundalk, Md. Sister Vitalina with one but offhand clout sent Bones Lanham flying backwards across several rows of desks. Poison Ivy roots-- worst case I EVER got was digging a pipe trench and brushing my bare back against some of the roots that had been severed by the shovel and were oozing toxic sap.
Miles Undercut - Tuesday, 09/13/05 13:20:27 EDT

Hofi Hammer: My wife just bought me a 4# Hofi hammer (from Tom Clarke) for my bday. Looking foward to terrorizing some hot steel with it tonight. I now have this hammer in 2.5# 3# & 4#. I say "Hofi" hammer but it's modified in that the back face is a rounding face in place of a pein.

If you are serious about hand hammering it's well worth hearing what Uri Hofi has to say. Even if you dont adopt his style you are bound to learn a lot.

Of course there's no magic hammer that will make a craftsman out of a klutz and wonderful iron work gets made with a wide variety of hammers. I think the main thing is to adopt one style and learn to use it really well.
adam - Tuesday, 09/13/05 15:16:32 EDT

adam: i also have a forged hammer that tom clarke made. i spoke to him when i ordered it. he didnt use the hofi name when describing it; he said it was a "habermann design". it is only a puny 2#. i have been using it and like it.
- rugg - Tuesday, 09/13/05 18:00:30 EDT

Packrat: Are you a member of the Ocmulgee Blacksmith Guild?
- Tyler Murch - Tuesday, 09/13/05 19:27:41 EDT

hofi hammer: well I love them - thats obvious. I find that I have so much control with the sq face that I dont need a pein for drawing leaves and spoon blanks etc. Plus with the scissoring technique that I learned from Uri I can knock down a heavy bar PDQ. Of course there is occasional call for a pein when hammering in tight spaces and for that - well I happen to have a couple of hofi style hammers with cross peins too :)

I think the Hofi hammer is really a Czech style hammer that is used by Haberman & Hofi, both from that school (yes?). Hofi promotes the hammer as part of his hammering method.
adam - Tuesday, 09/13/05 19:59:07 EDT

ADAM...........: ....and we all wish you a Happy Birthday, as well!!!! Of course we probably won't be sending you any tools, but, Mazel Tov, anyway!!
3dogs - Wednesday, 09/14/05 01:36:12 EDT

SURGERY: Just got home after five by-pass surgery. Are my futile attempts at blacksmithing over for good? Any of you guys have any experience?
- Tom H - Wednesday, 09/14/05 06:07:11 EDT

Poison Ivy removal: Roundupis good, but use "RoundUp Ultra" from a farm supply, rather that the garden store variety. It is a better and more effective formulation of the same active ingredient. it comes as a very concentrated concentrate. Bad news is the smallest jug, 2 1/2 gal. is expensive a little over $100. It does not spoil and keeps till you need it. It works out cheaper than the garden store formulations in the long haul. Still the initial investment is shocking.
I use it on Poison Ivy and Kudzu.
- John Odom - Wednesday, 09/14/05 08:09:58 EDT

Bypass and work:
Tom, Give Richard Postman a call (number in Chain book review). He had bypass surgery last year and is doing well. Constantly moving anvils, firewood etc. . . He walks a LOT and has paid a lot of attention to getting back in good condition.

There are a lot of variables in these cases. Some folks bounce back and are as good as new while others do well but not 100%. I think a lot is up to the individual. But I am sure your doctors have told you all of that. Good luck, don't overdo!

Give Richard a call, he loves to talk to smiths about almost anything.

- guru - Wednesday, 09/14/05 09:23:30 EDT

Bypass: Tom good luck with your recovery
adam - Wednesday, 09/14/05 09:41:31 EDT

Hammers: I too have my favorites that I can do *everything* with; but what I have noticed sharing my shop with students is that a student will stand there letting the stock cool while searching for *their* hammer where I will generally grab the hammer that's nearest "and get er done"

I once was doing some "punch/chisel" work and noticed that they were all staring at me and realized I had just spent the entire work time driving the tool with the pein of the hammer---never noticed, never missed hitting it straight on...

Though I do hope to pick up another of my favorite hammers only a bit lighter for times when I'm out of shape...

Thomas P - Wednesday, 09/14/05 11:10:45 EDT

My mother had a double a couple of years ago. Followed the doctors orders to the exact T. ate the exact diet ETC. She has a restriction to not be out gardening in the mid day sun, and to not be gardening in very cold temps. other than that I suspect that that 80 year old Lady could outwork any 5 of us. She gardens because that is her first desire. Since the bypass, I think she is down to only 30 hours a week, year round average in her gardens. Keeps her active and young. I suspect that blacksmithing will do the same for you.
Good luck with your recovery.
ptree - Wednesday, 09/14/05 12:26:54 EDT

Timex: God's will.

Well its pretty much done for this old boy. My doctors have told me either give the trade or give up the life. Fer me its pretty much the same. I'm gonna close the shop up and will be posting what I'm willing to get rid of. After that I may retire. Maby move to Tyland.
For thoes who are in the same boat or facing somthing of this sort:

" God gives you the tools and gives you a plan, how you do it does not matter. Just do it."
- timex - Thursday, 09/15/05 02:05:59 EDT

SURGERY: Thanks for all the encouragement. I might hang on to the collection of junk until I recover and see what happens.
- Tom H - Thursday, 09/15/05 02:55:01 EDT

TIMEX: A less physically stressful 'occupation' could be searching for the 'truth'. What does the Bible say about Jesus?
- Tom H - Thursday, 09/15/05 02:57:25 EDT

Mick...(hoarder): Never! throw away
- Mick's Backyard Bodgie Forge - Thursday, 09/15/05 06:21:12 EDT

Ocmulgee guild: No, I'm not yet a member.
Y'all have probably seen me at last months meeting.
I'm the guy with long hair that won the majority of the trinkets, don't worry, I've been hording treasures since then for the Iron-in-a-hat drawing.
The only problem is that I can't afford to go to the meetings because of gas prices...
- packrat_red - Thursday, 09/15/05 07:52:49 EDT

Basic Physics: I remember from my highschool physics class that F=ma Force equals mass times acceleration. My question is there an easy way ( and relatively accurate way)of comparing the force delivered by a 2 lb hand hammer and a 100 lb air hammer?
David Robertson - Thursday, 09/15/05 09:01:01 EDT

Wow timex, I'm sorry to hear that. Just remember to check back in every o often to anser my questions!
- mouko - Thursday, 09/15/05 09:01:45 EDT

Timex: Bad break! Really sorry to hear that. I can imagine how you must feel - at least I know how I would feel. Perhaps you could move to a similar but less physically demanding craft like working with copper or silver which doesnt require heavy hammer work. Just a thought.
adam - Thursday, 09/15/05 09:46:44 EDT

F+MA: That depends on the resistance of the struck object and a lot of other things. I simple direct comparison is not useful.
- John Odom - Thursday, 09/15/05 09:52:05 EDT

Hammer: Assuming a very massive anvil in both cases then, what really counts is the kinetic energy in the hammer E = 1/2 M V^2 (kinetic energy = half the mass times the square of the velocity). From this you can figure that a 2# hammer must move 5x as fast as a 50#'er if it is to have the same energy on impact. Which is interesting but doesnt really answer your question. To go further you would have to estimate how fast the hammers are actually moving at the time of impact or at least their relative velocities - I cant think of an easy way to do that.
adam - Thursday, 09/15/05 10:00:34 EDT

E=1/2MV^2: Thank you Adam this is exactly what I was looking for. The velocity I can easily determine or at least estimate within reason. 2 lb hammer moves roughly 2 feet per second, 100 lb hammer moves roughly 3 feet per second (although striking 3 times in that 1 second)
David Robertson - Thursday, 09/15/05 10:25:41 EDT

Hammer velocity: David, my rough feel is that your velocities are slow. I took a look at the Big Blu hammer page, and their 110-lb hammer specs say it will do 240 strokes / minute at 7.5" stroke. So that's 4 strokes/sec X 15" (down and up) = 60"/sec, or 5ft/sec minimum to just keep up. I would expect that at the point of impact, it's even more than that, because the change of direction eats up some time to decelerate and accelerate.

Same with the hand hammer. Even if I only did one stroke per second, I think my hammer head moves about 2-ft, so that's at least 4fps, and I take much longer, relatively speaking, to reverse the hammer's direction.

I wonder if we could use low(ish)-tech to figure this out. Maybe a digital movie of hammering. If we know the frames per second the camera records, a simple compare of the last two frames as the hammer hits the metal, might get a pretty close guess.

If trying to figure out how effective the hammer blows are, another thing that might need to be taken into account is inertia. The hot steel is not totally inelastic. So, assuming our dream infinitie-mass anvil, some energy is reflected back to the hammer, bouncing it away. A hammer with more mass would tend not to bounce as much and impart more energy into the work. How much effect this has depends on the mass of the steel being hit. Maybe it doesn't matter enough to be noticeable in the range of steel we normally work in. I'm pretty sure 1/4" steel won't bounce a 2-lb hammer, just as I'm sure 2" steel will. But does it make a difference with 1/2"??? I'm only an amateur physicist. Real amateur. Real, real amateur.
- Marc - Thursday, 09/15/05 11:42:22 EDT

Timex, sorry to hear it, bro. Don't ever give up hope, without that we are nothing.
Alan-L - Thursday, 09/15/05 12:06:15 EDT

velocities: The numbers really do sound low. 1 mph roughly = 1.5 fps so... 3 fps is about 2mph. Even I hit faster than that.

You cant just divide the stroke length by the duty cycle (or half the duty cycle if you try to account for return time). The hammer behaves more like a drag racer than a rifle bullet. By which I mean that the hammer velocity is not constant. Its under continual acceleration and the acceleration itself is not constant. The hammer spends most of its down stroke accelerating at low speeds but what counts is the terminal speed at impact.

I cant think of a low tech way to estimate terminal hammer velocity. I think the most useful way to compare "forging effectiveness" would be to do the same forging job, ten times say to get good stats, with each and compare times.

Like Marc, my physics is stricly amateur hour.
adam - Thursday, 09/15/05 12:43:04 EDT

Velocities: Yeah, I kind of alluded to acceleration. My point was that was a minimum velocity just to keep up with the hammer rate. But I agree that it would be more telling, and much more fun, just to keep hammering.

I volunteer to do the power hammer studies. Anybody willing to donate one in the name of science?
- Marc - Thursday, 09/15/05 13:21:57 EDT

You guys really should be performing these tests in a vacuum, too. Wind resistance would vary from shop to shop, depending on ambient atmosphere, moisture content, particulate matter creating frictional drag. Also, factor in phase of the moon because of the gravity assist on the lift during full moon, reverse effect, too. Shape of hammer would enter into it, as well, not just weight, on account of drafting with cross-pein vs. straight. Sounds like a full gummint grant is needed, with lots of allowance for demurrage.
Miles Undercut - Thursday, 09/15/05 13:48:14 EDT

Pub Registrations:
I have a volunteer Pub-master catching up on all the much delayed registrations. Some of these go back to the beginning of the year I'm afraid.

Note that we have had MANY with bad email addresses. At least two were registered 3 times and sent me notes and ALL the return addresses bounced. We cannot communicate with you about it if you give a bad address.

If you do not hear from us in a couple days then your mail bounced.
- guru - Thursday, 09/15/05 14:51:59 EDT

Phase of the moon: Miles? Do I detect a note of sarcasm in your post? Well I wont dispute that my shop needs a gummint grant but otherwise you are barking up the wrong pants leg.

The point of this little discussion was to think about the problem a bit and see if one can identify just one or two factors that really count. Perhaps the simplified problem can be analyzed. The math is not just to show off. It really does help to clarify one's thinking and strip away irrelevant factors such as the phase of the moon.

On another note: Did you know that RR track is now valued at $150 per foot? Well check this out:

if that doesnt work its and item #15.245

A very generous fellow smith just gave me 10' of that stuff for FREE! Imagine that :)
adam - Thursday, 09/15/05 15:25:08 EDT

Yup, and I've seen RR spikes going for $7 during the height of the fiesta madness at the flea, too. Hey, if you think the gravitational pull of the moon is irrelevant to us earthlings, take a peek at the tides sometime. I forgot suggesting the influence of solar flares be considered vis a vis the instrumentation. And don't overlook the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. Them photons wll getcha, every time.
Miles Undercut - Thursday, 09/15/05 16:05:27 EDT

ISTR that large steam hammers were tested by comparing "squash" samples. You take a standard sample and hit it a standard number of times and then measure the change in height to get a comparable value.

Miles was of course joking as he did not include altitude variation of gravity---something anyone who has ever done a gravitational survey would pick right up! Any isostocy variations up where the air is thin Miles?

I just used 20' of RR rail in my firewood racks, now to get them added in on the house insurance policy!

Thomas P - Thursday, 09/15/05 16:37:27 EDT

My list was not meant to be exhaustive, merely to note that the brethren may be onto investigating something worth trying to get some money for. Before I tuned in just now, I was looking to see what good old Lancelot Hogben had to say about that altitude variation, Thomas. The mountain itself does some lateral pulling, it seems. That might explain some of the dings in Santa Fe anvils, maybe.
Miles Undercut - Thursday, 09/15/05 18:27:38 EDT

Adam-- I guess That kind of dough for hunks of scrap track was sort of what I had in mind when I drug all that cattle guard home years ago. But then I saw a guy at the flea with a flatbed loaded with mini-anvils chopped from track sections he was trying to sell. At day's end, the trailer was still full. Reminds me of a catalog for the Smith & Hawken gardeners' boutique touting a digging implement made, the writer croons, from "Hitachi rail steel."
Miles Undercut - Thursday, 09/15/05 18:38:29 EDT

RR Steel: I've got a few connections where I can get it. I know a court clerk in Carnesville, GA that gets rail from somewhere and my step dad (I'm 16 years old) used to work for General Steel in Macon, GA and he said I could go up there every once in a while and get some scrap for free. Just outside of my nieghboorhood there is a GA Power plant with RR tracks going everywhere and I saw a pile of spikes and those clamp things about 4 feet high!
- Tyler Murch - Thursday, 09/15/05 19:22:20 EDT

Cross Cut Saw For Sale: Four foot long one man cross cut saw. No handle. Great condition,a little bit of light rust, no broken teeth, not bent. $45+shipping.
- Tyler Murch - Thursday, 09/15/05 19:52:25 EDT

so my email will show up
Tyler Murch - Thursday, 09/15/05 19:53:01 EDT

Velocities: I, for one, had a heck of a time placing my anvil, it seems my shop is located over one of those Ley Lines. They run under famous Druid, Religious, and other power sites throuhgout the world. Ley Lines can cause havoc with hammer control, speed, and placement of parts (now where is that piece). The other issue I had was slowing down my hammer blows so as not to exceed the speed of sound at the end of the stroke, like a whip, to keep the sonic boom from bugging the neighbors.
blackbart - Thursday, 09/15/05 20:15:47 EDT

Gravity Variations:
The US Navy uses highly accurate gravity maps for submarine navigation. They can't use GPS underwater and they don't like gyroscopes due to possible motor or bearing noise.

Gravity varies a known amount with altitude and latitude. When doing very precise measurements both need to be considered.
- guru - Thursday, 09/15/05 20:51:42 EDT

Anvil ID: bought an anvil with the words 'A. Mouse Hole' on it. Has no pritchell hole and an odd sized hardy hole. the face is worn and there are no square corners left. anyone able to date it with this little info?
- fubarfred - Thursday, 09/15/05 21:11:16 EDT

Fubarfred, The lack of a pritichel hole puts it pre 1840. More can be told about the anvil from its style. The heavier the body proportions and the less distinct the feet the older the anvil in general. Mail me a photo and I may be able to help.
- guru - Thursday, 09/15/05 21:45:44 EDT

More on Gravity: Gravity readings taken from known altitudes can be used to find underground[or under sea] mineral deposits.Helicopters used to be used to fly a grid pattern with a gravity meter hanging below, presently fixed wing aircraft are being used due to lower operating expenses.
Dave Boyer - Thursday, 09/15/05 22:21:01 EDT

Mo' gravity: Gravity falls within the definition of HAZMAT, but the gummint can't figure out where to put the warning label. Over the years, thousands, yea, even millions have suffered from its effects through injuries and death!! I would hazard to guess that gravity even surpasses the dreaded Hydrogen Dioxide's mortality rate. It is my considered opinion that objects such as airliners and playground equipment should bear warning labels such as are affixed to cigarettes and other tobacco products, and be taxed accordingly. I now give the floor to the gentleman from Tesuque. Run with it, Miles!!!!
3dogs - Friday, 09/16/05 01:58:12 EDT


That's dihydrogen monoxide. Google it and you'll find all kinds of fun sites.
- Mike B - Friday, 09/16/05 06:05:38 EDT

Oh man, that dihydrogen monoxide is nasty stuff. Hundeds die in this country alone each year due to being swallowed in its depths. And did you know that they distribute this stuff through underground tunnels? I think the government should outlaw the stuff, but they are unwilling to do so.
- mouko - Friday, 09/16/05 07:29:05 EDT

F=MA: The problem with all that has been said above is that the target is not rigid, but plastic (deformable) and the effect ov a given kinetic energy depends on both the deformability and the KE and the momentum of the hammer.

Note how differently a given amount of energy affects a target when delivered with a .22 or a .45 bullet!
- John Odom - Friday, 09/16/05 07:36:24 EDT

Elliot, are you still there?: I'm going down to get the flint next weakend. I'm located in south Georgia. Could you send me your address?
- packrat_red - Friday, 09/16/05 07:50:21 EDT

Gummint grants: Laugh while you can monkey-boy. I'll be laughing last when the gummint pays me to research if power hammers make blacksmithing easier. Check out the following Ig Nobel Awards from 2004. Not all gummint money, but I bet a lot of it paid. The Ig Nobel Awards are given out every year for dubious research.

Steven Stack of Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA and James Gundlach of Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, USA, for their published report "The Effect of Country Music on Suicide."

Ramesh Balasubramaniam of the University of Ottawa, and Michael Turvey of the University of Connecticut and Haskins Laboratory, for exploring and explaining the dynamics of hula-hooping.

Jillian Clarke of the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, and then Howard University, for investigating the scientific validity of the Five-Second Rule about whether it's safe to eat food that's been dropped on the floor.

The Coca-Cola Company of Great Britain, for using advanced technology to convert ordinary tap water into Dasani, a transparent form of water, which for precautionary reasons has been made unavailable to consumers.

Daniel Simons of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Christopher Chabris of Harvard University, for demonstrating that when people pay close attention to something, it's all too easy to overlook anything else -- even a woman in a gorilla suit.
- Marc - Friday, 09/16/05 08:10:15 EDT

3dogs-- the feds have already done beat you to it. Viz. The Product Safety Commission's many-many-many-page regs on playground equipment. Sand is not acceptable, for example. The macadam playground at ol' Sacred Heart of Mary Elementary would have been red-tagged.
Miles Undercut - Friday, 09/16/05 08:43:52 EDT

Correction-- Reviewing the regs, I see I have unfairly libeled the government. Playground equipment regs are a mere 47 pages in length, and while the apparatchiks do have their doubts about sand-- it can get in a child's eyes-- it's okay as long as it's kept 12 inches deep (for adequate impact attenuation, don't you see) and somebody sifts out the cat whammies on a regular basis. It's grass that's a no-no.
Miles Undercut - Friday, 09/16/05 09:42:21 EDT

More OSHA on Gravity and government spending: Lets see. . there are safety harnesses and lanyards. . which if you are at the TOP (highest point in a job) require the infamous sky hook attachment to be of use.

Then there is the OSHA Cowboy (Horse with roll bar and safety cage towing a porta pot - the later ARE required to have on round ups). The roll bar and safety cage in the cartoon were left over from actual 1950's government research on making a mechanical horse. When the several ton hydraulic monster fell over it would seriously injure the rider so they added the huge safety cage which killed all advantages of the device (real horses were more economical and dependable). You can see this device at Fort Eustis Transportation Museum in Virgina along with the mini-copter that the pilot rode standing in the center over the whirling blades. . . They never worked out the solution to the Cuisinart effect if the soldier slipped off OR landed on someone else. . . A test pilot flew it ONCE and said he would never get near the device again. . . The military had a GREAT poster of a unit of soldiers flying into battle standing atop their own personal 10 foot diameter whirlygigs. Truth is stranger than science fiction.

The OSHA anvil. . . would put us all out of business since it would require a spherical flash shield to prevent scale and flash from doing any possible damage and to prevent IT from following the law of gravity if it were tipped over. .

Famous quote from Bush's New Orleans speach last night, "Cities below sea level HAVE BEEN protected from flooding"
- guru - Friday, 09/16/05 09:45:12 EDT

Dihydrogen Monoxide: THAT'S it!! I stand corrected. Thank you. Chemistry never was my long suit.
3dogs - Friday, 09/16/05 09:56:11 EDT

Helicopter: That story reminds of a film that was described to me (unfortunately I never got to see it) of an open-framed the helicopter the Italians were testing during WWII. It was a tethered test, and went fine until the tether stopped the helicopter, but not the pilot. Apparently the film showed the pilot's body being slung off the rotor blades in one direction and something the size of a canteloupe going the other. It then cut to show him walking back swearing, with his leather football helmet under one arm.
Mike B - Friday, 09/16/05 10:32:47 EDT

The pull of the mountains does much to explain the dingbats in Santa Fe, my good Miles; aren't you glad you live outside of the what were you saying about anvils?

I've been thinking about what parts of "The Art of Travel" I can use at Quad-State---whether camping in hostile country or travelling with goats...

Thomas P - Friday, 09/16/05 11:28:44 EDT

Gravity: Gentlemen gravity is not a subject for levity! haw haw haw! (slaps thigh) har har har!

Helicopter yes I did see that clip on a History Channel show on helicopters. The test pilot had REFUSED to wear the safety harness. What saved his stupid life was a. the rotor wasnt spinning very fast and b. he slid up against the drive shaft and only caught the blade right next to the hub. They didnt show the part where he retrieved his helmet :)
adam - Friday, 09/16/05 12:22:03 EDT

Note that the "Leaves for Paw-Paw" are to be turned in at SOFA or shipped to NTECH by the same date.
- guru - Friday, 09/16/05 14:50:38 EDT

Thomas-- Sirrah! I'll have you know Entropy Research is set on a gently sloping shoulder of the tailbone of the Rocky Mountains, situated right smack at 7,000 feet above sea level. The land runs right on a few miles, and up another 5,000 or so feet, directly to the summits of Lake Peak, Santa Fe Baldy and Truchas, off to the east. If them ain't mountains, I'd like to know what are a mountain. Re: Art of Travel, I like the part about the salutary qualities of dirt and the value of eschewing bathing, myself.
Miles Undercut - Friday, 09/16/05 14:51:01 EDT

But Miles---it's a *natural* high!

Thomas P - Friday, 09/16/05 17:02:01 EDT

Have you ever been to the Netherlands? A GOOD portion of their country is below sealevel and has been for a LONG time. The polders are simply land reclaimed from the sea. SO it can be done. I suspect Pres Bush was refereing to that. It is rather erie to drive across a polder. Then you have to drive up a slope to get back to the regular land..... Driving along one of the dikes looking out over the North Sea is also interesting when you notive the water level is much higher than the land on the other side.
Ralph - Friday, 09/16/05 17:15:20 EDT

Thomas-- Ommmm sweet ommmmm....
Miles Undercut - Friday, 09/16/05 17:46:30 EDT

I am sorry. That was totally uncalled for and herewith my deepest apologies. It's called witzlsucht (sp?), and I understand it is treatable. As soon as I sell some of this $150/ft. RR track I promise I will go see somebody.
Miles Undercut - Friday, 09/16/05 18:35:32 EDT

Low Countries: Ralph,

Funny you should mention that. There was an article about the Netherlands in the paper here next week. Apparently they had a bad flood in the 1950s and built up all the dikes to survive a 1250 year storm. Now they're afraid they may get one that bad much sooner. Doing anything about it is controversial; they've decided that the water needs somewhere to go, and are talking about converting some fields back to flood plains.
Mike B - Friday, 09/16/05 18:39:31 EDT

Netherlands vs New Orleans:
I've seen numerous films on how they construct these and how they "reclaim" land from the sea there. It is light years ahead of how we build dikes and levees in this country (basicaly just push the sandy soil into a pile - often under emergency conditions). The Netherlands also has series of dikes that are backups to each other, not just one thin line. But flooding still occurs and probably will continue as long as nature has its say.

New Orleans relies on a dynamic system, pumps that run continously (as does the Netherlands). However, when the power failed so did the pumps. This can be expected regionaly anywhere in hurricane country and systems of this scale robust enough to withstand hurricane conditions do not

Now. . . I have some experiance with the backup generators used at nuclear power plants that run similar pumps. They have a high fail to start tendancy under ideal test conditions. . . and they are the best we have. So the plants are designed to take a sudden shut down without external OR backup power. Backup is MUCH better but it is not absolutely necessary. Are we ready to commit to a higher standard of technology to protect New Orleans than we do to protect nuclear power plants? That is what it will take to prevent flooding in New Orleans.

To prevent another disaster at New Orleans from some future storm is impossible. This time the Mississippi was not flooding. It often floods during huricane season. If it had been flooding the city would probably still be under water.

I do not doubt that New Orleans could be made a safe place to live. But we are already in too much of a rush to get people back into their homes and businesses. To do the RIGHT thing will require an overall engineering plan and a commitment to do it right for a region, not just a city or even the state of Louisiana. It is a monumental task that will be muddled by politicians, congress, acountants and courts making decisions that should be made only by engineers. --------------------------

Here's an irony. The city of Richmond Virgina spent a fortune building flood walls along the James River to protect it from the recuring flooding of old downtown which had become more common in recent decades. Then last year they had one of those unusual rain storms that dumped a foot of rain on the city in minutes. It was a small storm that only rained on a few blocks of the city. However streets became fast running rivers that rolled cars and trucks. Some streets were torn up and became gorges as their pavement was added to the flood waters. The flood walls did their job, they held back the water, on the INSIDE and downtown Richmond was flooded worse than it ever had been from the James River. Whoops. . .

Combating the laws of physics is tough, combating the forces of nature. . . You want to pick the time, place and the battle. Some cannot be beat.

- guru - Friday, 09/16/05 20:27:42 EDT

Adam, and Mike B,
I too have seen the helicopter footage. I had a tape of aircraft incidents that had some very interesting footage, with perhaps the best a catapult shot of a Grumman S-2 Tracker. This particular airplane is a twin engined anti-sub bird, with two large radial piston engines. Just as the aiplane is about to leave the end of the deck, a massive wave appears, taller than the airplane. The airplane disappears into the wave. A few moments later you see the airplane staggering for alitude, with both engines running, but the cowls blown off. Airplane few around and landed!. The poor thing was ONE solid dent. I do not understand how the wings made any lift with flat leading edges, or how the engine kept running after the slug of water that must have entered the intakes, not to mention severe overheat from no cowlings. The Navy used to call Grumman
- ptree - Friday, 09/16/05 21:10:46 EDT

Flooding: Actually I am not a proponent of re-building NO in the same place. If it was flooded I think it should not be rebuilt at my tax exspense. Same goes for homes in area prone to wildfire such as the hills around Oakland Ca. Folks need to face up to facts and build were there are fewer risks. below sea level or in a natural chimney area are not good in my mind.
But it looks as if the same local bureaucrats will be controling it all. Contracts to the same crooked contractors etc that seems to be the hallmark of a lot of LA. Sad but true. Meaning that the same mistakes will be brought forward.
- Ralph - Friday, 09/16/05 21:30:18 EDT

Risky business: I have no problem with anyone who wants to build, or rebuild, in a disaster-prone location. Hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, fires, floods, you name it. Any adult who wants to live in such a place should be entitled to do so. With a couple of minor provisions:

1: You don't use ANY of my tax dollars to build it.
2. You are an adult, and no children will be residing there. (Kids can't waive liability.)
3. You self-insure. I don't want your risk affecting my rates.
4. When the inevitable happens, you opt out of any and all disaster relief.
5. You may not rent out space, have visitors or operate a business at that location.

If you want to build where it is risky, go ahead. Just as long as it affects NO ONE ELSE. Life is full of risks and some of them are ven fun. But risk-taking is a solo sport.

I spent many years fishing the Big Thompson River, and three grisly days in 1976 collecting the remains of 139 folks who died for the privelege of living with a trout stream running through their backyards. Nature is both relentless and remorseless. Never forget it.
vicopper - Friday, 09/16/05 23:19:54 EDT

Purley in jest...: New Orleans is below sea level, Pensylvania has man made mountains [landfills]. Why not just dig out the landfills and deposit them in NO untill it is 100' above sea level? Everybody in PA would like to be rid of the landfills, everybody in NO would like to be out of the flood plane. sounds like a WIN / WIN situation.
Dave Boyer - Friday, 09/16/05 23:25:05 EDT

risks: Rich I agree. It is one of the things Dawn and I discuss when we talk about where we will want to move to next. There are always riskes, some are just more probable than others.
Admittedly Mt Hood could blow like St Helens. And as soon as the mountain starts acting like Helens did I will be looking at leaving. (smile) After all the house is just a thing. Dawn is not replaceable.

- Ralph - Saturday, 09/17/05 00:53:39 EDT

Vacation Report: I've been officially on vacation for five days now. My first real vacation in about five years. How is it, you might ask? Wonderful! Makes me want to retire so I can do this all the time. Only problem is, I also like to eat fresh food and live in a house. My pension will about cover my health insurance and Little Friskies enjoyed under a bridge. :-(

I've spent most of my time fussin' and putterin' in the shop, fixing up neglected stuff, doing some forging and a bit of welding. Oh...and spending money like a drunken sailor. A couple trips to the steel supplier set me back a half yard, I bought a new digital camera to take to Quad States and a few new tools followed me home here and there. To preserve harmony on the distaff side, I bought a massage table so my wife can give me longer massages without getting so tired-out that she has no energy left to cook and clean. Downright thoughtful of me, wasn't that? (grin)

I've been forging a few things (besides checks), too. Sally wanted a salt spoon to match the rest of our stainless tableware, so I forged her one out of some 304 scrap I had on hand. Came out pretty nice, for such a dinky little thing. I almost felt like I was back making jewelry, except that you really have to whale the snot out of that stainless to move it much. While I was playing with the stainless, I made a couple of shoehorns for me and my brother Riley. Long-handled ones, since both of us are too busted-up to reach our feet very easily.

I've made a goodly number of tools this week as well. A few tongs, a couple of specialty punches, a hammer head, and a table that is a "work in progress." Got the legs made, they're twisted and tapered 1-1/2" square 1/4" wall tubing. Of course, I had to make the twisting wrench for stuff that big, too. That stuff is just about *all* I can manage to twist solo; it take both hands, one foot and something to brace myself against. And a day to recover. I need an apprentice for this stuff. I asked my wife to help, but she refused. After I got her that nifty massage table, too. What an ingrate!

The new powerhammer is a truly wonderful tool, but already I see little things I would like to do differently on it. I'm going to spend some time at QS seriously picking a few people's brains for information. Before I give them any rum. I need really *clear* thinking on this, and I'm too ignorant to be able to tell the difference between experience/education talking and rum talking. And if I drink any rum, I get truly stupid remarkably quickly, only I think I'm getting smarter. (grin)

Hopefully, I'll manage to make something small enough and nice enough to bring with me to toss on the CSI sales table. I will definitely bring a leaf or three for the Paw Paw memorial. I think I look forward to Quad States more than I do any other special day or event. There's probably some convoluted medical syndrome thing happening there, but I'm not gonna worry about it.

Counting the days 'til QS.
- vicopper - Saturday, 09/17/05 01:06:07 EDT

alcohol!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1: i brew my own fuel-------have you ever thought of that?with corn prices around 1.50 a bushel,brew your own alcohol and wood pellet stoves(also burns corn) sure makes not that everyone would want to,the small farmer might be able to make a living,and the source is totally renewable,new crop ever year,by product of this can be fed back to the animals to produce more,unhealthy meat to eat,waste product could be put back on the feild to promote more crops------hey------wake up,america-----im not hammering us but the answers are here,you just have to a country person,lived here my whole life,went to work everyday on a job,came home worked some more here on the farm,the heart problems,no more job,im not riding a bike nor am i going to kill myself,walking to town or going without ac,im just going to do it myway-----alcohol fuel and renewable source energy.......that said ill shut up.
- vernon - Saturday, 09/17/05 08:45:31 EDT

Flooding: Rich, you have it exactly right. People can do what they want with the property they pay for the right to use (not abuse, such as in pollution). As long as it doesn't hurt the neighbors and is respectful. Just don't ask me to be involved in, or pay for the stupidity and don't hurt anyone else. Especially kids.

Building below water or in a flood plain is just plain stupid. I don't care if it's the Netherlands or the gulf coast. No matter what you do, nature WILL make your efforts a folly. It's just a matter of time. Smart people have been involved in it and it's still stupid. Criminal in many cases.

There is no way to justify rebuilding the parts of New Orleans below sea level. Just because it has been done in the past, or elsewhere, does not make it right. We are supposed to get smarter as we go along. Not follow the same rise and fall of our predecessors.

The amount of our tax money that is, and will go toward rebuilding New Orleans disgusts me. I couldn't continue watching the President the other night when I heard him say we would rebuild. It is sinful and I am ashamed to be part of it.
- Tony - Saturday, 09/17/05 08:47:08 EDT

Tony, Vicopper et al,
Re: N. O. AMEN.
ptree - Saturday, 09/17/05 12:11:17 EDT

Re brain picking prior to rum. I'm not sure my brain is very clear either before or after rum, but I would like to share a JYH session. I built a mechanical, and have several things I would do differently as well.( I've never built anything I couldn't do better right after I get done!)
I'll look forward to it.
ptree - Saturday, 09/17/05 12:14:32 EDT

vernon & alcohol: Right on V! I use my Brooks Plums/Prunes. Only thing w/ a higher convertable sugar content is Jerusalem Artichokes (a native NW tuber which I haven't tried). Oregon State Univ. says you get 800 gals/acre. What is your yeild per bushel/ton of corn? And how much do you use a year? I use about 1K gals..

RULE #1 is don't tell anybody your doing it though.. don't need them 'revinoors sneekin round'.. So everybody who reads this is swarn to silence..

this is a way off base subject for here so you can email me if you want..
Bert - Saturday, 09/17/05 13:36:52 EDT

ARTICHOKE ALERT: Friends of mine got enthusiastic about Jerusalem artichokes a while back. You know, sort of like people who plant a lot of zucchinis and wind up with vastly more than they can devour themselves. Result: we were gifted with a bushel or so of them. Never again. Those little devils produce more methane-- and life-threatening gas pains-- per cubic inch than any other fuel cell known to man.
Miles Undercut - Saturday, 09/17/05 20:17:09 EDT

Fuel alcohol still: A guy I worked with built one in the late'70's, He tinkered with it a lot and had a real hard time getting high enough proof for use in an engine. You would probably be further ahead making moonshine and swapping it for gas & disel. The still was scrapped in '91 when He moved
- Dave Boyer - Saturday, 09/17/05 21:46:18 EDT

Went to reenactment today, and of course I went in costume. Because I could. Wore my buckskin shirt, hat, cotton pants, and tall moccasins. Sure got some funny looks when we stopped for lunch on the way home! At the camp, there were some traders there, so I picked up 12 more tomahawk handles. I've made 6 hawks in about a week now, and was out of handles. Think I'm gonna need a few more rasps. Counting down to Quad State.
Bob H - Saturday, 09/17/05 22:17:07 EDT

Camp Fenby Autumn Sessions, Nov. 5 & 6 and Nov. 11, 12 & 13: Camp Fenby is the Longship Company’s (and Markland’s) long-running medieval arts and crafts campout and workshop, held at Oakley Farm in Avenue (that’s a town, not a street) Maryland (St. Mary’s County), about 1 ½ hours south of downtown D.C. Due to some health problems the late June session was cancelled, so we’re experimenting with a double-session in the autumn. Come to one, come to both, have a good time no matter how you chose.

Camp Fenby has available a working forge, barn space, camp space, shoreside launching area (Wade’s Landing), and over a hide of land for maximum-impact campcraft. Since we just logged off over 20 acres, there’s plenty of hardwood about that didn’t make it to the sawmill.

Come learn, come teach, come have a good time. :)

Camp Fenby Preliminary Schedule

(Additional sessions as interest and volunteer instructors dictate)

Friday, November 4, evening: Camping available for early arrivals at
Oakley. Signs posted for parking, camping, etc.

Saturday, November 5, 10:00 – Noon: Clear out barns, set up for Great
Medieval Barn Sale and Camp Fenby. Great Medieval Barn Sale will
continue (in a no-doubt desultory manner) through both weekends.
There is also a storytelling festival at All Saints' Church Hall for
spouses and children and occasional breaks.

Noon to 1:00: Lunch Break

1:00 – 3:00: Brass Casting- lost wax and styrofoam masters and
plaster molds. (More experienced folks at home may wish to start
their molds too, to allow sufficient time to dry.)

3:00 – 5:00: Simple wood turning and lathe work and setting up
woodworking projects for the following week.

6:00: Evening meal, guitars, and Guy Fawkes Day bonfire (try not to
burn down the barns).

Sunday, November 6:

A.M. great Medieval Barn Sale continues

Noon – 2:00

Forge: Hinges and hardware for chests.

Barn: Open lathe for experienced hands; Woodworking as desired

2:00 tuck away and set up as necessary for the next weekend.


(Sessions will probably include beginning blacksmithing, hinges and
hardware for chests, brass and bronze casting, knots and rigging for
longships, and possibly a Gyrfalcon voyage and a visit to the Sæ
Hrafn; plus other courses in wood, metal, and fiber as instructors
volunteers and interest warrant)

Thursday, November 10, evening: Camping available for early arrivals
at Oakley.

Friday, November 11 (Armistice Day):

Venues- West Barn, Forge and Tents in Center Field

8:00-10:00 Setup for Camp Fenby and revive GMBS

10:00-12:00 First Session

Noon – 1:00 Lunch

1:00 – 3:00 Second Session

3:00 – 5:00 Third Session

6:00 Dinner- restaurant raids recommended if you're not cooking in camp.

Evening- Open forge and hanging out.

Saturday, November 12:

10:00-12:00 First Session

Noon – 1:00 Lunch

1:00 – 3:00 Second Session

3:00 – 5:00 Third Session

6:00 Crab feast, music and a more modest bonfire as appropriate. Open
forge for diehards.

Sunday, November 13:

10:00-12:00 First Session

Noon – 1:00 Lunch

1:00 – 3:00 Second Session

3:00 – 5:00 Wrap up, clean up, go home; do it again in June.
Further information is available at:
Bruce Blackistone - Saturday, 09/17/05 23:44:27 EDT

Travelling man: Howdy folks,
just got back from London with a fistfull of snaps to beat into some kind of report or other. Not bad considering I've already got three or four to do! Thanks for the reminder about the Netherlands y'all. I'll be landing there in just over a week, so it's a good job I won't be staying for a long time :)
Long enough to track some metal mashers down and skidaddle on over to Germany and up to Denmark, which I reckon is above sea level. I have to agree that rebuilding somewhere thats already been nailed as hard as New Orleans has makes no sense to me AT ALL. York is built on a flood plain and has been sunk a few times over the years, to the point that some areas have the highest insurance premiums you'd ever want to choke over. Do the sensible thing and rebuild it on higher ground! Pride always cometh before a fall, and if Mr Bush wants to be arrogant then all he will do is drown another bunch of folks not smart enough to see the risks themselves.
For all those who came through our thoughts are with you, good luck and godspeed.
Ian Lowe - Sunday, 09/18/05 18:00:37 EDT

Higher ground: Here in N. New Mexico we are at 7000'. Summer cometh before fall. Bring sunscreen! (turn signals are optional)
adam - Sunday, 09/18/05 18:30:46 EDT

Alternative Fuels: I just started reading the Sept. issue of Advanced Materials and Processes, the monthly magazine from ASM, the American Society for Metals. In it they have a short summary of an interesting study from the University of California-Berkely and Cornell University comparing the efficiency of turning biomass into fuels. The report is published in "Natural Resources Research" (Vol. 14:1, 65-76)

For ethanol production, corn requires 29 % more fossil energy than the fuel produced; Switchgrass requires 45% more fossil energy than the fuel produced; and Wood biomass requires 57% more fossil energy than the fuel produced.

For biodiesel production, soybean plants require 27 % more fossil energy than the fuel produced; Sunflower plants require 118 % more fossil energy than the fuel produced.

The web site listed in the article is

Or as Robert Heinlein might say "TANSTAAFL"

Another comment - in 1988 I was working for an industrial gas company (oxygen, nitrogen, argon, etc.) with adding oxy-fuel burners using waste oils to industrial processes to boost production. The economics weren't too bad as long as the waste oil was almost free. You typically had to mix and heat it to ensure relatively consistent flow to the burners and heat input to the processes. What we consistently saw happen was that as soon as the market/process was established the price for the waste oils increased. Eventually, they would become non-economic and their use would stop.
- Gavainh - Sunday, 09/18/05 21:23:44 EDT

Bio diesel: Funny you guys are talking about this, we have an article in todays paper about a guy who is wanting to build a biodiesel plant to put out 6 million gals a year right here in our county (Fairfield Co, Ohio). I personally don't believe he'll get it built as nobody here EVER wants anything built near them, be it a job producing factory or a single family home. "We got ours, you go somewhere else." My father in law farmed property that had been in the family for three generations and the imports(city folk moving to the country) didn't like the associated smells. He decided to develope the land and the imports didn't like that either because they wanted to keep the country atmosphere.

On another note, it looks like I'll be giving a short demo at Quad State this year. I am excited and nervous about that. But looking forward to meeting those of you that are coming over, even if you don't watch my demo. See you all there.
- Jeff G. - Sunday, 09/18/05 21:47:11 EDT

Jeff G.: Jeff, just what sorta demo are you doing? Hope to see you there.
Bob H - Sunday, 09/18/05 22:09:25 EDT

I'll be making bamboo out of schedule 40 pipe. I have made some furniture this way and it is very realistic looking. I may bring a coffee table for the gallery.
- Jeff G. - Sunday, 09/18/05 22:27:47 EDT

bio diesel: There's been someone hitting all the small counties here in southern Illinois, trying to drum up investment money for a bio diesel plant. We figure it's a scam, but who knows...
Mike Sa
- Mike Sa - Sunday, 09/18/05 22:33:42 EDT

I don't think this guy is scamming. He's got 5 investors and his partner is a chemical engineer. They have EPA approval and have already been testing their product. He is using fryer oil. I think he plans on using restaurant waste oil.
- Jeff G. - Sunday, 09/18/05 23:45:55 EDT

Fryer Oil Disel Fuel: Ever hear of the "Veggie Van" ? It is a La Sharo camper that traveled the country a few years back powered by used fryer oil. They towed a trailor containing the processsing equiptment and went to fast food joints for used oil. They claim the exaust smells like french fries. This makes sense as a recycling process, but as mentioned sooner or later the used oil will become a commodity, rather than a liability. I read that if all the soy beans in the US were processed to oil it would be equal to 10% of our disel/fuel oil usage.
Dave Boyer - Monday, 09/19/05 01:21:44 EDT

BIO DIESEL: Read somewhere in the last month, that IRS is already trying to tax biodiesel. Yes, even the home brewers. Seems they want a highway use tax, just like they're getrting on every drop of gasoline and diesel fuel.
3dogs - Monday, 09/19/05 03:18:38 EDT

Dave Boyer: I was thinking it is going to take a lot of restaurants to supply enough oil to make 6 million gallons a year. I did my time at Bob Evans as a teenager and the fryers didn't get changed every day. Even when they did, it was only about 6 gals at most. I figure this guy is going to have to get oil from a very large area to supply his needs. The cost to go out and get it looks like it would add up fast.
- Jeff G. - Monday, 09/19/05 07:52:57 EDT

Jeff G
There are companies already providing a service to restaurants to remove grease and oils that have reached end of usefull life. These now go to a waste disposal site. Going to biodiesel may make a lot of sense.
We had an artical in our local paper a few weeks ago about people here in the louisville area that had converted their cars to run bio. they had two fuel tanks, and the bio tank is heated. The car gets up to temp and the switch is made. most were processing the waste oil at home. They basicly let the oil sit to phase out the water, then strained the oil to remove particulate. I believe that there were several companies marketing conversion kits and the price ran from $2500 to $5000 as I recall. That would not be an economical conversion unless one drove a LOT of miles.
ptree - Monday, 09/19/05 08:42:42 EDT

Jeff G's Demo: Jeff - sounds like an interesting demo, look forward to seeing it.
- Gavainh - Monday, 09/19/05 12:22:42 EDT

Ries: Ian Lowe- when you go to the Netherlands, if you go to Amsterdam, check out the railings on the first ring of bridges over the canals around downtown.
They are some truly inspiring industrial scale blacksmithing- 2" square twists, huge sections of angle split and tapered and rewelded together- really beautiful art noveau era stuff.
Evidently turn of the last century, as they look like power hammers were used, as well as commercial sections like angles that were not available in the 18th century, but still many classical hand skills evident in their making.
Several of the bridges seem to have been done at the same time by the same shop.
There is also a blacksmith shop in Amsterdam that is downstairs from a brothel- kill 2 birds with one stone.
Amazingly enough, Blacksmithing is legal in Amsterdam.
Not sure if it is this one or not...
ries - Monday, 09/19/05 12:39:48 EDT

build a forge: I would like to build a small forge at the high school where I teach. I presume we would use natural gas. Anyone familiar with setting up an operation like this? I want us to be able to make simple objects like chisels, punches, tongs, etc.
- max503 - Monday, 09/19/05 14:32:28 EDT

Building a forge: Max,

One thing I recall very clearly form my junior high school days was the natural gas forge in the metal shop. It was a Johnson trough forge, about six burners, with a blower. I recall that it took almost the entire class period to get that thing up to heat using natural gas. There just isn't the heat available with natural gas that there is with propane, I'm afraid.

The school couldn't use propane because the building code people wouldn't allow propane on a property with natural gas. The problem was explained to me years later; appliances set up for natural gas depend on the gas being lighter than air for venting. Propane is heavier than air and can pool in low areas and be ignited by a pilot flame for some other appliance, resulting in a sudden devaluation of the property. Rather than incorporating some practical safety guidelines, they just took the easy way out and banned propane on any property with a natural gas feed.

If you want a natural gas forge, the Johnson folks still make them, I think. Google for them and you'll find a supplier. If yoiu want a good small gas forge, and can use propane, there are several places with general plans for a build it yourself forge. Check the Getting Started page on this site and look around.
vicopper - Monday, 09/19/05 17:11:23 EDT

Most of the schools I have been in used a Johnson heat treaters forge---I bought one from the Columbus Public Schools when they got out of teaching metalshop. If you are near central NM I'd let it go cheap! I don't have natural Gas and have been too lazy to change the orifices for propane.

Note: you will want to investigate any rules there may be about using gas forges in a school.

Thomas P - Monday, 09/19/05 17:12:04 EDT

Ries: LOL thanks for that tip mate. Although i'm not sure about killing two birds, more likely i'd pick up a slow killer from one and waste what I'd learned from the other as a result! ;)
I'd like to stop by in Amsterdam, its up the coast from where I'll land I think, and the bridges sound fascinating. As for the other pleasures that town has to offer thats between me and the big red motor car I'm travelling in!
Ian Lowe - Monday, 09/19/05 18:10:37 EDT

Building a Forge: If the forge is to be a permanent installation then it will need to meet local fire codes and plumbing standards. This usualy means having a UL sticker (no DIY). If it is to be a portable unit for outdoor use, then broken down at the end of the day then you may get away with a DIY forge.

Portable units are usualy fueled by propane. If the cylinder is stored outdoors and the device it is hooked to used outdoors away from points of ignition then you avoid a lot of regulations.

See our FAQ's page and the links from the Gas Forge page. After studying it all and checking on the local complexities come back and we will help you work it out.
- guru - Monday, 09/19/05 18:23:48 EDT

School forge,
To add to what the Guru stated, I suspect that any gas burning appliance will have to have a flame safty valve with a UL sticker, and meet ventilation codes as well.
ptree - Monday, 09/19/05 19:14:00 EDT

Gas Forges: Now, I gotta disagree with Vicopper on this one. :] I have used a Mankel Gas Forge nearly every month, at his monthly hammer-in! And boy, do those suckers get hot, on natural gas! And it doesn't take long. So, it would probably depend on the forge.

Now, today I made another hawk from a rasp. And finished up a knife I made from a coil spring. I do like the way blacksmiths recycle! Been getting my gear ready for Quad State. Hope to see a lot of you there.
Bob H - Monday, 09/19/05 20:26:08 EDT

NG Forges. I have one. a comercially built one. 4 burners a blower and it will get hot enough to burn mild steel to a crisp. And only takes about 10 mins to be a forging temp and mebbee 20 to welding temp. Can not remember brand off the top of my head. Was NOT a Johnson. Will have to go out and look in my shed tomorrow and get name off the plate. I do not go into the shed after dark...... (grin)

I do know that it had a 'redeye' sensor that will kill the gas if flame goes out. Plus a sensor to detect if the blower is running. These are needed in my opinion, especially in a classroom type setting. For your safety and also as an insurance against the law sharks out there.
Ralph - Monday, 09/19/05 21:33:06 EDT

max503-- try Ransome, in Fresno, Cal., 1-800-342-8265. If they have not been bought up by TransGlobal-Electro of Hokkaido and are now making pinball machines and day-planners, they should be able to advise on what you need and sell you same. They have a full line of venturis, torches, burners, etc.
Miles Undercut - Monday, 09/19/05 21:39:20 EDT

Hofi hammers follow up: I got a note from Hofi correcting one of my comments in this forum. His hammer is NOT the Czech hammer. It was developed by Haberman and then further improved by Hofi who developed his "system" around it. Also Uri Hofi and Tom Clark are no longer working together so the hammers that Clark makes cannot properly be called "Hofi" hammers any more. I believe Clark is calling them "Haberman Style" hammers.

I just got the forged 2.5# Hofi hammer from Big Blu. It's very nicely made and I am delighted to have something with Hofi's touchmark. I must add though that Clark's hammers are beautifully finished.

Also, I recently got the Hofi DVD on hammering for about $40. This covers just the basics of Hofi style hammering - how to hold the hammer and how to draw to a point using a hammer edge. The video is well done and if you are serious about hand hammering then this DVD is well worth it. Hofi is a talented instructor. Although frankly, for the amount of material it presents, the price is rather high. I compare it to Bill Epps excellent instructional tapes for $25 ea.

A much more comprehensive exposition of Hofi hammering can be had on the 3 DVD (or tape) set from UMBA where Hofi taught a 5 day class on his system. These are RD 32 RD 37 & RD 38. Cost about $5 ea. through UMBA @ and click on "LIBRARY". I must warn you that the quality is poor and the "production values" are strictly amateur hour home movie grade. Nevertheless I have found them well worth watching if frustrating at times. The UMBA library is a tremendous resource and makes its material available for very little cost. A big thanks to Roger Degner & UMBA
adam - Tuesday, 09/20/05 10:49:40 EDT

Johnson NG forges:
It's not that NG "doesn't have the heat of propane", it's that these forges are built out of about a half a ton of hard firebrick! That's a LOT of mass to bring up to working heat with a relatively small gas burner. Which is quite obnoxious really. I would love to rebuild one of these (on someone else's dime) with softbrick. I bet it would really crank. Of course, the one at the University will wear out only in another few decades... danged hardbrick.
- T. Gold - Tuesday, 09/20/05 14:39:50 EDT

T.G. Patrick once built a rectangular forge from soft firebrick---I remember it because at a MOB meeting he got to talking and his billet melted into an amusing puddle in the back of it...

Thomas P - Tuesday, 09/20/05 15:11:15 EDT

Thomas P.: Are you located in central Ohio?
- Jeff G. - Tuesday, 09/20/05 16:45:49 EDT

Jeff G---I was; lived in Columbus OH for 15 years then got laid off and now am in sunny *dry* NM in an unincorperated village, the *big* town in the county is about 10K people---when college is in session...

Thomas P - Tuesday, 09/20/05 19:30:16 EDT

Hofi DVD: ADAM: Glad to hear you have one of the new 'Hofi' hammers. I love mine. There is a new DVD of Hofi on the Power Hammer coming out soon and 'should' be available at SOFA. You can check it out at the BIG BLU tent. I don't know the cost, but, having been there during the filmimg, I'm sure that it will be a bargin at twice the price. See ya at SOFA. Regards,
Whitetrash - Tuesday, 09/20/05 20:06:16 EDT

Thomas P: I'm in Lancaster, born in Columbus. Just wondered. I've met some of the Mobbers at Quad but never been to one of their meetings. We have a pretty active group down here.
- Jeff G. - Tuesday, 09/20/05 20:55:38 EDT

Logan Village, Australia: I am returned from the six day workshop I presented not far from Brisbane. We did mostly toolsmithing, but there was time to make a traditional strap hinge and a little scrollwork. Blacksmithing appears to be alive and well in eastern Australia. Powder coating is often done on installed ironwork because of the saline environment, although rainfall is scant.

There is a surprising amount of old equipment and tools that shows up at the flea markets. Some of the smiths are serious collectors. Most of the stuff was imported from England early on, but occasionally you find some German and American material.

I got to say hello to some koalas and kangaroos at a sanctuary in Brisbane. I also saw some Kukkaburras in the wild who were giving out with their big laughs.
- Frank Turley - Wednesday, 09/21/05 13:29:40 EDT

Frank; met someone at the state fair who has been trying to get in touch with you. Was amusing to watch their face as I explained that you were in Australia...

Welcome back!

Thomas---off to Quad_State blight and surley tomorrow...
Thomas P - Wednesday, 09/21/05 13:44:14 EDT

LOL re: the billet, Thomas....
T. Gold - Wednesday, 09/21/05 14:38:22 EDT

First knife work: Well, I made a knife out of a railroad spike. its my first attempt at any bladesmithing, and I think it turned out pretty well.
- Nolan Chase - Friday, 09/23/05 10:39:31 EDT

Knife work: Nolan,

Be careful of that bladesmithing. It's addicting. Yesterday I heat treated and started polishing my first pattern welded blade. Well, not exactly my first. I made one blade from welded cable that I couldn't get to harden (guess I burned all the good stuff out of it)and I made one other small, low layer count billet which I cut into pieces to check my welds. This one is still only 99 layers but twisted. I got a look at the pattern when I heated it back up and it looks pretty cool. I thought my first blade came out pretty well but after looking around and doing some reading I'm not so satisfied with my blades. Now when I get into the shop I can't get myself to make anything but a blade. If this one turns out I'll be three for three. Three finished and three on the scrap heap chalked up to lessons learned. It's the heat treat that bothers me. It's easy to see what goes wrong in forging and grinding and I can fix that with practice but there's too much going on that I don't understand or maybe can't control in the heat treating. This time I cut a chunk off the billet and water quenched it and it got glass hard so I know I didn't burn all the carbon out. When I oil quenched the blade it didn't seem real hard so I reheated and quenched again. I think it was hard. I did a short draw at 350 and I'm not so sure anymore. I think maybe it's hard to tell on a blade that's 50% mild steel anyway. Since I could clearly see the pattern when I heated for the quench I'm thinking that my hight carbon steel must still be high carbon steel so I'm trusting that the process must have hardened it. One of you guys don't have a pattern welded blade that I can file on a bit to see what it's supposed to feel like do you? LOL I decided to finish it and use it. It'll either be a good knife or it won't. If not it will be one GREAT looking letter opener! The handle and guard are already done so over the next day or two I'll finish polishing, etch it and glue all the pieces together. I could have built a house in the time I have in this knife that might not actually even be a knife.

See what happens to you once you start this stuff? One person mentions forging a blade and I write a monster blurb! Maybe there's something like the Betty Ford center for people who stay up all night worried about whether or not their blade is going survive heat treating in the morning. I guess you could stay up and do it but then you wouldn't be able to rest until you got into the polishing to check everything out...or if it twisted, there's no way you could go to bet without fixing it. This is bad...very bad.

Mike Ferrara - Saturday, 09/24/05 07:46:47 EDT

Old Tiger? Blower: I acquired a used, grungy blower with a pear shaped fan case. The gear case is circular, and the raised letters say to fill the bottom portion with oil, the only one I've seen like that. Anyway, I cleaned it up today, and the upper cast clamp for the 4 curved, pipe legs has "890 TIGER" in raised letters on the casting. The fan case has serial numbers only. I'm going to call it a tiger. I had one other blower like it, but without the stand and without any numbers on the fan case. Cranked clockwise, I get a tiny vibration. Turned counter clockwise, it works smoothly. I intend to put it to work.

I just thought I'd mention this, because I doubt that many were made. FYI.
- Frank Turley - Saturday, 09/24/05 20:41:50 EDT

Mike Ferrara: I am not a bladesmith, not even a blacksmith, but I am a tool&die maker and have experience with tool steel & heat treatment. I don't think anybody is going to get really top notch mechanical properties layering carbon steel with mild steel. Make it pretty & call it art, but if You want something that will really perform, choose the apropriate alloy, forge it at the specified temperature, and heat treat it corectly.
Dave Boyer - Saturday, 09/24/05 23:06:31 EDT

One day and counting...: Greetings and salutations!
Well the gear has been bought, I've spent a night under canvas to ensure everything works as it should. Car has been serviced and stands by outside patiently waiting, blissfully unaware of its future. Now I have to sort out my clothes and get the packing finished. The tickets are waiting for me at the docks in Hull and my feet are getting itchy. Less than a day to go before it all begins :)
If there's anyone out there from Holland who wants to say hello now's the time, because by teuday morning I'll be there myself! Hopefully I'll be able to check in from time to time, but I'd like to say a big thankyou to the folks who have offered advice and a friendly ear over the past months.
See you on the road :)
'Tinker', aka 'Mungo', really known as 'Me'
Ian Lowe - Sunday, 09/25/05 08:45:50 EDT

Ian, thank you for taking us with you on this grand adventure. A modern-day journeyman beginning his journey. Personally, I can't wait to hear all the details of your expedition/odyssey. Should make for an exceptional case-study for the folks considering such an undertaking in modern times. Reality TV for blacksmiths.
Gronk - Sunday, 09/25/05 10:22:21 EDT

UGLY wall-paper...?: Does anyone have any idea how to remove UGLY wall-paper, without destroying the wall?
Just glancing at it makes me want to hurl!!!
- packrat_red - Sunday, 09/25/05 12:31:58 EDT

Rent a wallpaper steamer from the rental yard- not real expensive, and they really work.
- Ries - Sunday, 09/25/05 13:34:40 EDT

Ian: I missed the post where you mentioned who was in your travelling party?

Also, *very* disappointed that you wont be sampling all the delights of Amsterdam. Was so looking forward to the pix on your IforgeIron blog
adam - Sunday, 09/25/05 13:55:33 EDT

Quad State: Just back from Quad State. As usual it was a lot of fun, including yesterdays ankle deep mud. Saw all the regulars & met a few new folks.

SOFA did something different this year. In addition to the regular demo's, they had an area where different smith's put on 1 hour demo's . I really liked this as did many others I heard from.
Brian C - Sunday, 09/25/05 14:15:37 EDT

I too just returned from Quad State, and I also like the short demos. Anvilfire's own Jeff G demoed bamboo, did a first rate job and made it look easy. I will be trying same in the next day or so and will report if he made it look easy vs it really is easy:)
ptree - Sunday, 09/25/05 17:13:17 EDT

Amsterdarn: Why, Adam, you old perv,you. (or were you just talking about the tulips?)
3dogs - Sunday, 09/25/05 21:11:36 EDT

Quad State: Well, got back home about 4pm today. Had a lot of fun. Really enjoyed the knife cutting demo Friday nite. Dang it, but I may just have to make another knife! That was impressive. I thought the vendor turnout was a little bit low, but the turnout of visiters was quite high. Good demo's all around. Saw a big anvil go for cheap, and man, was I tempted. But I don't really need a big anvil, tho I do want one someday. Want that power hammer first! I did get to try the Big Blu, and I like the way it hits. My foot control was better than my hand control. There is a learning curve on power hammers, as evidenced by the piece of metal I smashed into some unrecognizable shape. :] Met John Larson, 3dogs, and some other new faces. Talked with a lot of people from here, some I have met before. Good times. Jock gave me some good info on polishing my knife blades. That should help me out a bit. Talked to him and Sheri a fair bit. I did drag some of my crap down for show and tell, of course. Me likes show and tell! Oh, and I did another flint knapping demo. Seems as tho several people from last year wanted to see me do it again. I should have taken some finished points down tho. Probably could have sold some of those, if I had wanted to. Could have charged for flint knapping lessons, too, but I give that info away for free. Just like I got it and most of my blacksmithing knowledge. Pass it on!
Bob H - Sunday, 09/25/05 21:53:35 EDT

Quad State: Ptree, thanks for the compliment and the punching lubricant. Will be trying it out within a week or so. Glad to meet those of you I did and sorry I missed some of you. Doug and I came in third in the forging competition, I'm happy with that for my first time participating. The SOFA guys ( and gals) do a good job putting on that show. The new showers were a nice addition too.
- Jeff G - Sunday, 09/25/05 22:38:07 EDT

Adam: Less than twelve hours to go, it's just me and the batmobile Adam, if you want i'll take some snaps of Amsterdam that won't be posted on my blog, but they'll cost you! lol :)
First port (literally) of call is Rotterdam, then I'm going to Arnhem. Will be skipping across the top of Germany and into Denmark over the next few weeks. Keep watching the site and you'll see. I like the sound of reality T.V. for blacksmiths except this will be mainly photo's till we get mpegs sorted.
Wish me luck, the next post will be from Holland.
Ian Lowe - Monday, 09/26/05 06:53:34 EDT

Quad-State Monsoon: As usual, QS was fan-freakin'-tastic. I even got to watch the 5:30 AM deluge and lightning show from the safety and comfort of a plastic porta-loo. Even better than havin' a big-screen TV in yer John.
3dogs - Monday, 09/26/05 09:04:40 EDT

Quad State Monsoon:
I was sleeping in the big ol Ford van, at Quad State, and boy was I glad i was not in a tent! That was one very impressive light show.
ptree - Tuesday, 09/27/05 08:11:28 EDT

Quad State: I finally made it back last night about 10. Damn long day of airports, but not as bad as some I've survived. Interesting, if inedible, food on Continental. (grin)

QS, as usual, was absolutely great! Got to meet up again with Jock and Sheri, 3dogs, Thomas Powers, ptree, Brian Cornish, John Larson, Bob Harasim, Steve Gensheimer, and a bunch of others whose names won't come to mind right now (brain cramp). Spent an evening with the guys from BigBLu and one of the demonstrators, Tom Ryan from New York. Spent a couple evenings with the crew from across the street and here, cooking out and swapping lies late into the nights. Great food and tall tales.

This year, I got to meet Ken Scharabok face-to-face. Heck of a nice guy, and you'd have to look pretty hard to find a more generous person. I was impressed with a couple of the items he makes to sell, he had a couple clever ways of doing things that worked really well. The forge that he makes from culvert pipe and sells for 175 bucks looked like about the perfect forge for a hobbyist or beginner, and the price couldn't be beat. In a field where there are hundreds of sellers trying to outdo each other with the latest and greatest in sophisticated tools, Ken provides a real service by making and selling things for the beginner on a budget.

I went a couple days early this year, so I was there for the early arrivals on Thursday, watching buyers run down every arriving vendor like buzzards on roadkill. A number of times, guys were hopping on the backs of trucks or trailers even before they got stopped. Not me, I'm too slow to catch a moving car. (grin) Not as many tailgaters this year as last, but still a bunch of great stuff for sale. Naturally, I spent a few bucks and sent myself a couple of heavy Flat Rate boxes so I didn't have to schlep them on the plane. That stuff went out on Saturday morning, so I still had to carry stuff that I collected on Saturday pm and Sunday. As always, the TSA folks were intrigued by my luggage, but let me travel anyway. (grin)

The organizers did a new 1-hour demo section this year, which was a big hit. They plan to do it next year since the response was so positive. Jeff G. did a great job, as did Bob Cook with his industrial forging demo. I caught one other one, but don't remember the guys' names, unfortunately. Hopefully, my photos will have the names. I did take a lot more pictures this year than last, but still less than I should have.

Tom Ryan did a very informative demo on architectural forging, and turned out to be a heck of a nice interesting guy to spend time with. We wound up spending Sunday evening talking until late and then traveling to the airport together yesterday morning, as our flights left at the same time. Tom has been pretty active in ABANA for some time, but this was his first Quad State, and he was impressed enough that he said he"ll be returning next year, either as a demonstrator or as a visitor.

John Larson had one of his air hammers there, and I spent a bit of time playing with it. He makes one of the most controllable hammers around, and it is a joy to work with. Bob Cook and Steve Parker, both professional industrial smiths, did impromptu demos with John's hammer on Saturday, showing how to make tongs and heavy lifting hooks.

Mother nature treated us to a good sampling of weather variables. The Saturday morning thunderstorm was pretty impressive. I was staying in a motel a few miles down the road and it woke me up, so I knew the guys camping out were having a real encounter. Apparently, 3dogs enjoyed the show from the throne. (grin) It made for a goodly amount of mud, but nothing that I couldn't live with. Glad that I wore boots, though!

All in all, Quad State was about as much fun as anyone should be allowed to have. I always wish that I could clone myself so I could attend all the demos, see all the vendors, and spend enough time with friends, but what I do in reality is run around like mad trying to cram in as much as I can. It works for me. My apologies to anyone that I neglected to mention; I'm still trying to process all the information. My thanks to everyone for their generosity, camaraderie and assistance. You guys all made it another outstanding experience for me.
vicopper - Tuesday, 09/27/05 11:39:58 EDT

Good Greif! I do run on, don't I?
vicopper - Tuesday, 09/27/05 11:40:34 EDT

Ptree; I was sleeping in a tent and I was comfortable and dry watching the lights flash and happy I didn't have to get up and go out into it!

My thanks to my many friends who made my trip a success; GavainH for lending me a *good* tent; Adlai for the sleeping bag and camp chair and the ride to/from Troy; Don "Sparky" for the air mattress and ratty blanket; and the MOB in general keeping me fed and my wife for paying the bill to get rid of me for 5 days.

Thomas P - Tuesday, 09/27/05 11:45:40 EDT

Thomas P: It was great to have you back, Homeboy. I'm trying to figure out a way to hook up with you again on my next ABQ trip, probably in April sometime.
3dogs - Tuesday, 09/27/05 14:18:00 EDT

Vicopper: Rich, it was great to see you again, too. Thanks much for the "Dr. Waugh's Miracle Tonic" as well. I shan't share it with the unworthy.
3dogs - Tuesday, 09/27/05 14:21:22 EDT

Tres Perros: Happy to share the wealth with my friends, Paul. Enjoy it in good health. I really WILL get the hammer painted soon, and striped, of course. (grin)
vicopper - Tuesday, 09/27/05 18:50:36 EDT

Vicopper, the "mineral samples" made it back easier than the duffle full of weird metal objects...

Thomas P - Tuesday, 09/27/05 19:07:02 EDT

Tiger Blower: Frank: I've got a Tiger Blower. Sweet and quite. Got a screen over air inlet. I'll check for the numbers on mine and see if they match yours. I got a Royal blower also, and personaly compare them about the same.
- old trail - Tuesday, 09/27/05 23:29:03 EDT

Timex: today sept 27 2005 I smithed left, and a one handed, a wedding ring for a young lady that I intend to keep untill the old man up stairs calls for me.

Yumi, if you would have me . I would be forever yours.

" Paper Dragons and Jade tiger "
- Timex - Wednesday, 09/28/05 01:27:45 EDT

I landed okay: Hello from The Netherlands!
Managed to get here in one peice and sent my first report off to glenn. Amazing place and really friendly people, looking forward to seeing some more of it. Its taken a couple of days to find out who to speak to but progress is being made.
Be good all, see you on the road.
- Ian Lowe - Wednesday, 09/28/05 08:01:26 EDT

YUMI: Come on, already !!! 9,486 blacksmiths are waiting for your answer!!!!!!! (BOG)
3dogs - Wednesday, 09/28/05 13:25:55 EDT

Technojunk: Thomas: I didnt notice anything like that at Eds but I will ask. Come by anytime for a visit.

Here's an idea: Next time Paul gets to ABQ we could all (the Santa Fe crowd) get together in my town. Ed's place alone is worth the trip and if you have time for a scenic tour of the Valle Grande thats just stupendous. We could eat at my place. Thomas would finally collect that piece of 2" cable and I might even be able to unload enough heavy stuff onto Miles to even the score. Tis a bit further north than Santa Fe but not a whole lot - an extra 50 mins. Just a suggestion.
adam - Wednesday, 09/28/05 14:44:52 EDT

Adam; Works for me and the heavy load will be on the downhill run!

I'll be in ALB for SWABA's Oct 22 meeting in conjunction with "Annual Get Together" of antique tractors, engines and cars.

Thomas P - Wednesday, 09/28/05 17:11:03 EDT

I made a rose today, but it turned out to be a "learning experience." Ptree, (my dad) helped. We tried out the Czech hammer head we bought as a second at Quad State. I liked it, though it needs to be broken in. The handle has still got some uncomfertable angles near the flats. I liked Quad State and had a very good time, and enjoyed finally meeting the people Ptree was talking about.
juggler - Wednesday, 09/28/05 19:14:45 EDT

Adam-- Sounds groovy to me. Joan says haha. We shall see. Away on the 22nd, alas.
Miles Undercut - Wednesday, 09/28/05 20:51:39 EDT

Lp forge: I'm concidering buying a small propane forge. I was thinking a Forgemaster or a Whisper Momma,any opinions?

I herard that forgmasters aren't coated with ITC, can you use borax without it chewing up the lining?
- Bjorn - Wednesday, 09/28/05 22:56:53 EDT

juggler's rose: juggler - welcome to the roster - don't feel bad about the rose being a lerning experience - a lot of my attempts at smithing are best classed that way, if not as a way to recycle steel into scrap:)

Haven't had a chance to put a handle to any of the hammer heads bought at Quad State - too many projects on the home front.
- Gavainh - Wednesday, 09/28/05 23:29:33 EDT

wall paper: Timex easy removal recipe:

Wet with H2O.
Scribe surface with a putty knife. (!! Do not over penatrate into sheet rock, 1/8 th inch at most !!)

Wet and continue to wet untill edges of "scribed " paper beguins to curl then scrape , scrape , wet and scrape.

Rember this do not over do it on the H2O but keep it wet , very wet
- Timex - Thursday, 09/29/05 01:05:25 EDT

she said no: well Its bound to happen , I thought that she was caring ( she is ) . Ithought that she liked me( she does). Ithought that she loved me ..............

" You wanna hear God laugh?? Tell him your plans"
- Timex - Thursday, 09/29/05 01:09:23 EDT

Timex: Slow and steady wins the race. Give her time to realize that she does. BTW, your previous post reminded me of something I saw for removing wallpaper, it's called a "Paper Tiger". It is reminiscent of a round hairbrush, but it has a bunch of little bitty blades to score the paper and let the moisture in.
3dogs - Thursday, 09/29/05 02:08:19 EDT

Bjorn: I used to have the big Whisper Daddy & when it wore out I bought the smaller Whisper Momma. IMHO go with the biggest one you can afford, wish I had done so at the time.
Brian C - Thursday, 09/29/05 08:24:05 EDT

Quad State: Brother 3 Dogs, this makes 2 years in a row we have met up at the Big Blue tent. Whatever will people think? :)
Brian C - Thursday, 09/29/05 08:26:25 EDT

Paper tiger ETC,
Sold at most of the big box stores, is a line of wallpaper removal tools. They work. They also sell a sollution to help loosen the sizing. The tool for cutting the little holes does a great job and does not damage the underlying material.
ptree - Thursday, 09/29/05 08:29:32 EDT

Brian C:: They will assume that the followers of T. Cain are involved with the Illuminati in a conspiracy to seize control of Quad State, after which all the secrets of Blacksmithery will be sealed up in the Ark, and never again revealed to the uninitiated. (And they will be right; BUWAHAHAHAHAHA)
3dogs - Thursday, 09/29/05 09:38:27 EDT

Learning experience: This is when the lesson and the test are given at the same time.

I usually reckon on 5 tries at something new before I get a keeper. Sometimes more - sometimes a LOT more :).
adam - Thursday, 09/29/05 10:28:59 EDT

fnord doesn't 3dogs make a *fine* distraction from our *real* plans! dronf

Timex is the paper that is there a type you could paper over? Can you sell her on one of those "whole wall" pictures and cover over it one wall at a time? Arson is *NOT* suggested!

Miles, don't annoy the wife for as mine tells me "ya gotta sleep sometime!"

Thomas P - Thursday, 09/29/05 11:12:23 EDT

forge lining: Bjorn, get whichever meets your needs, but be aware that even ITC-100 atop ITC 213 atop kaowool/inswool is not fluxproof.
See the following website for a relatively new forge floor coating that does resist flux fairly well: Bubble Alumina. The supplier is a very nice fellow to do business with. Follow the menu on the side to the refractory pages.
Ellis Custom Knifeworks
Alan-L - Thursday, 09/29/05 11:22:19 EDT

Personally, I haven't used a Whisper brand forge, but I've used a Blacksmith model Forgemaster and LOVED it... I think it's probably the best small commercial forge design out there (there's still room for improvement, though). As far as flux goes, I would be likely to weld up a stainless tray that would sit inside it for forge welding. Just my two cents.
- T. Gold - Thursday, 09/29/05 13:47:52 EDT

On October 29, 2005 the Alex Bealer Blacksmith Association of Georgia and the Choo Choo Forge are hosting a special viewing of the 3-D I-Max movie The Last Buffalo at the I-Max Theater, Tennessee Aquarium, Chattanooga, Tennessee. This is an exciting and interesting movie related to blacksmithing. If you have not seen a 3-D I-Max movie before you are in for a real treat. This may be your only chance to see this movie. Anyone interested in this event is invited.

There will be a meeting at the Joe Humble Shop at 2:00 pm with a demonstration and open forge. At 6:00 we will go to a local restaurant for happy hour and about 7:00 dinner will be served. About 9:30 pm we will go to the I-Max Theater for the special showing. Cost for the movie is $10.00 per person. The cost for the happy hour and meal is $10.00 per person.

If you are bringing guests that are not interested in the meeting and demo there are many interesting activities available in Chattanooga such as the aquarium, I-Max
movies, River Walk, shops along Market Street and many more things of interest.

It is important that we know about how many persons to plan for so we are requesting that you let us know how many people you will have attending either the movie and/or
meal/happy hour. It would be nice if you would per-pay. You can notify Tony Bivens at 770-507-2900, email or mail payment to P.O. Box 250 Stockbridge GA. 30281-0250
or you can mail your payment to me with a notation of how that money is to be allocated.
Tone - Thursday, 09/29/05 15:33:44 EDT

Thpmas-- Jeez! Watch it. That's what John Wayne Bobbitt says when asked how it was he came to get the unkindest cut, isn't it?
Miles Undercut - Thursday, 09/29/05 16:09:03 EDT

Ooops, another typo again. I know, I know-- it is Thomas with an o, not Thpmas. Damn hairtrigger keyboard. Give me a klunky old Underwood any day! Sorry.
Miles Undercut - Thursday, 09/29/05 16:13:04 EDT

Well, Jock was right. Not that that would surprise anyone. I was doing some show and tell down to Quad State, and showed Jock my latest knife. But for some reason, I had several scratches in the blade. Last knife I did came out pretty clean. Not sure where I went wrong. But then Jock said I probably had some buffing compound harden on my wheel, and that was causing the scratches. He was right. So I did like he said, and took a rasp to my cloth wheel, like if I was trying to buff it. Cleaned it right up, and now it is as soft as ever. I will now know enough to watch for that in the future. Live and learn.
Bob H - Thursday, 09/29/05 19:05:00 EDT

Absent With Reason: I'm still tied up with the auditors at work, and when they're not making life miserable, I'm catching up on the rest of the mess, including trying to help our folks with the results of Katrina and Rita.

On the plus side, we did get the Sæ Hrafn christened last Saturday, and I finally got to take her out.

Camp Fenby is still on the schedule for the first two weekends of November.
Longship Company, Ltd.
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Thursday, 09/29/05 22:37:09 EDT

Bob H Knife: Hi Bob
Jock is likely correct about the buffing compound on the wheel. Get yourself a heavy cardboard tube like tallow comes in. Infact leave the tallow inside it for weight. Then wrap a very thick sandpaper around it that is very coarse grit like 20 - 40. Use the weight of the sandpaer and tube and run it back and forth accross the wheel while it is spinning and clean off the old compound and flatten out the buff or scott wheel yo are using. Then build a new head on your wheel with compound. You should do this each day your are going to do polishing. I worked in cultery for years making knives and this is how it has always been done. Jocks idea sounded very affective for cleaning your wheel. If you loose the rasp it might wind up sticking in your belly or worse. I hope this helps.
- burntforge - Friday, 09/30/05 08:39:33 EDT

Wallpaper: When you go to remove wallpaper, add some Downey fabric softener to the water you are using to wet it down. The stuff will help the water penetrate. An tablespoon or so per gallon.

Spritzing staticy carpet with the stuff also holds down on the mini lightening
John Lowther - Friday, 09/30/05 11:53:12 EDT

Kaowool Board: I need some Kaowool board, but don't want to pay $300 plus for way more than I need. Does anybody have some single pieces to sell?
LionGate Arms & Armour
- liongate - Friday, 09/30/05 14:13:28 EDT

One of the fellas I work with told me about this new satute at Predue. He went there.
I thought is was kinda cool and interesting.
and anybody ID that anvil?
daveb - Friday, 09/30/05 15:11:54 EDT

Hmm: american made, smooth under the heel my first guess would be a trenton followed by a hey-buden...

Thomas P - Friday, 09/30/05 16:11:11 EDT

It's an 18' bronze statue, the guy that made it supposely did research on Blacksmithing and Boilermaking, so how did he do? you can google "new statue at perdue" and read a article about it. I also have some pics, I took locally at a place called Stone Mountain NC, The hunchingson homestead blacksmith shop. I'll try to post them for you all the look at , I know you'll love them. The shop was made of 10x12x20' or 30' timbers. It was fun to point out to my brother, that the equipment was out of place to be used like they were. They had the anvil against a wall.
The school that set it up apparently never looked at a real shop. But I'll let the pics tell the tale.
daveb - Friday, 09/30/05 16:41:12 EDT

It looks better than the one at the west side of the Columbus OH statehouse (Ag and Industry, Industry getting the anvil)
Course it was done when smithies were a lot more common...

Thomas P - Friday, 09/30/05 18:38:43 EDT

It's not Kaowool but it works fine, although fragile to scuffing: the stuff I bought for lining the roof of my firebrick gas forge is called Duraboard, which sold a couple of years ago for $100 for two pieces 2 inches by 2 feet by 4 feet. Outfit I got it from is called American Supply, Inc., 301 Eubank SE, Albuquerque, 505-299-7655. Go to Yahoo Yellow Pages and download a map. Even when I was outside the building it was excruciatingly, maddeningly difficult to find the entrance to the fortress-like building. Helpful guy runs it, one Buddy Buzzard, sez he sells stuff to all the nucular labs. Their logo sez "High-tech insulations from the outer reaches of space to tjhe depths of the ocean. I believe it.
Miles Undercut - Friday, 09/30/05 20:02:03 EDT

Counter    Copyright © 2005 Jock Dempsey, Cummulative_Arc GSC