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September 2007 Archive

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

Robs scraped punches: Some of these might be useful as-is.
- guru - Friday, 08/31/07 22:01:46 EDT

More Scrap Punches
- guru - Friday, 08/31/07 22:03:00 EDT

Work Bench:
This is the "little" "weekend" bench project that grew to a week.
Woodworking Bench
- guru - Saturday, 09/01/07 08:37:11 EDT

Hackers attack farriers' forum: I received a letter from the webmaster yesterday, and hackers from Morroco or Saudi Arabia have targeted his Forums. Each time he restores the forums' database, he loses a few posts. He has increased his back-up frequencies and has upgraded his program to the most secure version available. He suggests that those whose posts are missing may re-post.

Needless to say, he is miffed (a euphemism).
Frank Turley - Saturday, 09/01/07 09:32:24 EDT

Hackers: Well Hecky Darn Anyway!! (Frankupemism).
- Burnt Forge - Saturday, 09/01/07 20:24:19 EDT

50lb trip hammer for sale: I have a 50 pound little giant trip hammer for sale on ebay right now if anyone is interested. Im in Sacramento, Ca.($2,025.00 unrestored)Sept 1, 2007
I would be happy to answer any questions.
Rusty - Saturday, 09/01/07 20:39:33 EDT

Phoenix Forging Hammers: Has anyone out there dealt with Phoenix Forging Hammers? I have heard good and bad things. The hammers have an amazing reputation for quality and design. I have, however, heard that they are horrible with custumer service. I thinking about contacting them so any advice, in preparation, would be appreciated. Thanks
Mike S - Monday, 09/03/07 21:03:44 EDT

Mike, see my response in on the guru's page.
- guru - Tuesday, 09/04/07 00:20:06 EDT

I spent a bunch of time researching wood today. We bought something Lowes calls clear "Pine" but is not anything like any other "pine" I have ever worked. The fresh lumber is much denser than common pines and much more uniform in hardness between the grain boundries. In hardness it is like very old aged heart pine. It is a light tan to light brown unlike pines which are more white and redish. This wood has distinctive small dark lines or gaps that sometimes look speckled.

It works well in most directions and takes a very fine finish at all angles of the grain which most pines do not.

My research indicates it MIGHT be Radiata Pine or New Zealand Pine, which is similar to Monterey Pine.

I looked all over the web for a simple photo clear enough to identify the wood and only came up with a few out of focus low res examples. Anyone have a clue what this wood is?
- guru - Tuesday, 09/04/07 20:42:54 EDT

Wood from Lowes: I have 2 sons who are both store managers for Lowes, one in Oklahoma, and one in Arkansas. They also worked for many years for American Hardwoods in Phoenix, Arizona. I will forward your question and see what I can find out.
- Loren T - Tuesday, 09/04/07 22:20:11 EDT

Wood: Are you familiar with yellow pine? If so, then never mind. Yellow pine tends to be light tan with some brown, and may be speckled, and it is tougher than white pine.
JohnW - Wednesday, 09/05/07 08:40:27 EDT

Yellow Pine:
Yep, I've worked all the Eastern pines, Fur and Cedar as well as oaks, hickory, poplar, dogwood, apple, cherry, local and hard rock maple, walnut and a handful of exotics (ebony, Brasilian rosewood). I've also sculpted laminated chipboard and masonite.

The yellow pine I've worked tends to have very hard dark wood and moderately soft light wood. Makes it hard to finish and the light wood tears out on end grain making it rough and porous. But this may have been Fur that I was sold as pine. . .

This stuff is very uniform in hardness between the light and dark wood. It is generally denser than other pines and seems much stronger. It finishes smooth VERY easily. The big thing is that is does not LOOK like pine. It seems to be an import.

The first time I saw this wood it was used in a crate for a dividing head from China.

From what I've read Lowes is likely to have any one of a half dozen woods in their bins labeled "pine". I know they buy wood from South America, Australia, New Zealand and perhaps China. Farm grown Radiata Pine is the most common import.

- guru - Wednesday, 09/05/07 12:14:23 EDT

wood: The wood you describe sounds like an exact match to the frame of a crate I just dismantled. We got a large machine in from our plant in Puebla Mexico & the crate was made of 2x2 & 2x4's & plywood. I took the wood home & kept the odd looking pieces, as I thought maybe they would turn well on a lathe. Very uniform in texture.
- Mike Sa - Wednesday, 09/05/07 13:22:16 EDT

Lodgepole pine: My Materials Handbook says that lodgepole pine has coloring from yellow to brown...says that it is moderately light weight and straight grained with resin ducts. The book further states that it is used for poles, ties, mine timbers, and rough construction. It grows in the western U.S. and Canada. We use it as tipi poles, but I never split any and inspected the interior of a pole.
Frank Turley - Wednesday, 09/05/07 13:28:35 EDT

Frank, I think I found a reference to Lodgepole pine that said it was related to Monterey Pine and Radiata Pine. . . but then all true pines are related. . .
- guru - Wednesday, 09/05/07 14:24:14 EDT

farrier article: Frank Turley-

Email coming your way. Interesting article.
Brian C - Wednesday, 09/05/07 19:28:20 EDT

Metal Lathe Needed: I need a metal lathe. Prefered size is 10 to 12 inch swing 30 inch centers. If I found a really nice 24 , or 36 c to c machine I would give it serious consideration.

I have already found a few machines that fit my needs at the big used equipment warehouse places but most of the machines are three phase and shipping and trans shipping costs will end up to be about 50% the valueof the machine. So I am looking to find one locally. That means Northern Virginia or D.C., or possibly as far north as Baltimore.

Any suggestions ?

Dan - Thursday, 09/06/07 08:26:15 EDT

Lathe: Dan,

Check Dempsey & Company Machinery in Richmond, Virginia. Dempsey's has all sorts of machinery, from what I've been told, and are supposed to be a fair place to do business with.

Don't forget that 3-phase shouldn't rule out a good machine. You can always buy/build a phase converter to produce your own 3-phase, as long as you have 220 volts available in your shop. Rotary phase converters can be built from a surplus 3-phase motor and a couple capacitors.

3-phase machines are much more common than single phase ones in industrial machinery, due to their greater efficiency. A lot of smaller 3-phase machinies go for pretty cheap because folks who want small machines (like a 12x36 lathe), don't have 3-phase available and don't know about making a converter.
vicopper - Thursday, 09/06/07 09:09:41 EDT

Lathe:: Vicopper,

Thanks for the tip.

No I have not given up on 3- phase. If I were to go that direction there are economically priced solid state phase converters available . What do you think about them ?

And - Where do I get wiring diagrams / plans to build a conventional Phase Converter ? That would be a neat project to add to my list of projects.
Dan - Thursday, 09/06/07 09:37:32 EDT

3-phase: Dan
This site has a pretty lengthy article on building a converter.
Also of you check through the forums, there are quite a few post related to running 3 phase motors.
Bernard Tappel - Thursday, 09/06/07 10:09:46 EDT

Dan, I have a diagram and article a fellow says I can post. There are also other more complicated articles elsewhere.

- guru - Thursday, 09/06/07 10:11:51 EDT

Phase converters: To add to what Bernie said, there are copious discussions and such on phase converters on Practical Machinist forum.

The solid-state phase converters work very well when they're used on a load that they are designed for. When you get outside that load, or vary the load, they don't perform as well, from what I've heard. I've never used one. The same holds true for static converters made from capacitor banks, by the way.

A rotary phase converter will be okay for pretty widely varying loads, and the third leg can be balanced by switching different capacitors in and out of the circuit. A rotary will handle more than one machine at a time, which static converters really don't much like.
vicopper - Thursday, 09/06/07 10:15:27 EDT

Lathes and machine tools in Northern VA: Dan, go to and look under every heading marked "tools" (there's about five of them.) Somebody in Virginia is selling off what lloks to be a vocational school toolroom. 8 or 10 lathes, 5 or 6 mills, a shaper, all kinds of grinders (surface, toolroom, centerless, etc. but no Blanchard) and more. All located in Richmond, all ending today through Friday. Sign up and start bidding! Oh, and if you are an employee of any state or commonwealth-related agency, check on the conflict-of-interest rules first. Here in TN a state trooper got fired because he bought a confiscated boat off Govdeals. The implication was that law enforcement should not bid on things they could have confiscated, as it can look fishy.
Alan-L - Thursday, 09/06/07 10:40:23 EDT

Alan, A similar thing happened to a friend here who was on the local county board. He did not think twice about going to an auction and buying some junk the county was getting rid of. . . He nearly went to jail and it made life miserable for him for several years. Needless to say he was removed from the board.

Here the implication is that he could have approved the scraping of perfectly good equipment the county had paid for and then purchased it at auction. I'm sure it has happened.
- guru - Thursday, 09/06/07 11:23:52 EDT

Rotary Phase Converters:
These are built several ways. One is simply a large 3 PH induction motor that you manually start with a pull cord. Induction in the motor causes one leg to lag and the connections through the windings provide a path for the current in other motors to follow. Alternately you can start a BIG 3 PH motor with a little single phase. These types are common in many places.

Then there are the capacitor types such as sold by Roto-Phase. In these there is a bank of capacitors between two legs. In one leg the phase is unchanged, in the next it lags due to induction, in the last it advances due to the capacitance. This gives a weak but truly generated third leg. You should be careful NOT to connect control wiring to this leg as it has the habit of dropping out when other motors start.

If you are going to operate more than one machine on a rotary converter you should use it to power a 3 PH breaker box and distribute from there. Be sure to mark those generated 3rd legs (they are not the same pole at every breaker).

My complaint about both types is noise. Be sure to locate the converter motor in a sound insulated shed outside your shop. A 10 HP Roto-Phase(tm) is deafening. If you ask them they will say make just a "little" noise but all the ones I have had experience with should come with a warning to wear ear protection if you are within 50 feet.
- guru - Thursday, 09/06/07 11:38:16 EDT

large machinery: Since the currect conversation is dealing with machinery, I've got a couple of questions some of you likely have some experience dealing with. I will be moving shortly into a house with a much larger workshop space and am looking to get some larger machinery (a larger lathe and a knee mill come to mind).

I often see larger lathes and milling machines that are in decent shape and include some tooling sell locally for attractive prices while the smaller "benchtop" type machines sell for a small fortune even if they are in questionable condition and are missing parts. I know the reason is because most people aren't willing to go through the trouble of moving the larger machines.

My question is, generally what procedure would someone follow in order to get one of these machines from the point of purchase into their home shop? I'm sure I could hire a flatbed to bring the machine to my house, but then I'd still be left with the problem of how to get that 2000lb bridgeport out of the driveway and into my garage/shop. I don't have access to a forklift so I would likely need to hire someone to move it, but I'm not sure where I would find a rigger that would do this kind of job. If anyone has done this before and could relate to me how they accomplished it I would appreciate it.

Steven Galonska - Thursday, 09/06/07 14:29:16 EDT

More on 3 phase: Depending on where you live and how accomodating your electrical supplier is another option is to check with the supplier. Here where I live in a rural area, our power is supplied by local electric coops. Most of these coops have engineering departments that are happy to supply info on 3 phase conversions as the nearest 3 phase supply may be miles away. They are used to working with farmers and small businesses that need to operate some piece of equipment that runs a 3 phase motor.
Bernard Tappel - Thursday, 09/06/07 14:41:27 EDT

Steve; when I needed a rigger I asked a local used machinery place and they had a list of ones that liked working with.

When I got out here we had a family friend with a 4wd forklift to lift everything off the flat bed semi.

Does your workshop have a pad in front of it so lareg/heavy things can be placed on it and then rolled into the shop proper using pipe rollers?

Thomas P - Thursday, 09/06/07 14:59:27 EDT

Heavy Stuff, Moving with Rollers: Steve, A little 2,000 pound machine is nothing. Its when you start looking at those nice Cincinnati shapers sell for less than half of scrap price that weigh 30,000 pounds. . .

At your end you can often hire a tow truck to lift a load and set it down. However, these guys know little about machinery and will rely on you for rigging decisions. If it gets broken they want it to be YOUR fault.

I prefer having my own sky hook. I have one good for 5 tons in my old shop. Its on a mono-rail that rus the length of the shop. Where I am now the building MIGHT support a 10 pound snow load and I wouldn't try lifting more than 500 pounds from the strongest point. . . very sad. I am looking at investing $4,000 in a used all terrain fork lift.

Inside your shop is a different matter. If you have a good concrete floor (smooth and level) you can move almost anything with a few rollers. Often the bottom of machinery is not flat or has notches and you need to put it on skids. Then get it OFF the skids. On some machinery I leave the skids on until I am sure of where I am going to put it. On wood floors I leave the skids as extra support.

Up to about a ton you can use wooden skids if you are using 3/4" (1.05" 27mm OD) pipe. Up to about 2 tons the skids need to be hardwood or the rollers larger. Over 5,000 pounds (2268kg) that the skids need to be faced with steel or steel. I like wood skids because I can nail or lag bolt the machine to the skids quickly.

If you do not have a pad or driveway apron in front of your shop then tracks made from 2x8 or 2x10 lumber can make do but are a pain.


5 or 6 rollers 30" to 36" long (760 to 910mm) made from schedule 40, 3/4" pipe. If the stuff you are moving is over 4 tons it should be schedule 80 or greater pipe. In some cases you may need some foot long rollers. I saw and chamfer my rollers.

Heavy Duty Pry or "Pinch Bar" (1-3/8" x 64").
Long wrecking bar (for starting lifts).
Wood and steel wedges (optional).
Spacers (wood and steel)

Skids as necessary. Ends of skids should be tapered to climb over rollers as necessary.

Pry up a corner of the machine, insert wedge or spacer. Pry from on a spacer, insert more. Block up the end and do the same at the other end. Insert skid and attach to machine. Let down onto 1/2" spacers. Do same on other side of machine. Then lift again with pry bar, space up and insert rollers.

IF you can get a hydraulic jack under the machine this is much faster.

Less rollers is better than more. On many machines you can move them alone with TWO rollers. Roll on two rollers until the machine is balanced on one roller, then tip BACK. Insert loose roller under front and tip back onto two rollers and continue. This works best with machines with high centers of gravity as they are easy to rock. I've moved numerous power hammers, drill presses and milling machines this way ALONE (when I was in better shape).

Using three rollers or more you keep the machine setting on two or more and keep swapping out the rollers. This is best on long machines with long skids OR machine prone to tipping over.

On smooth surfaces with good rollers you can push the machine by hand. On rough surfaces, inclines and with bad rollers (too small) you often need to use the pry bar to mave the load even if its on the rollers.

When you get where you are going pry and space up the skids and remove the rollers. Its your option to leave the skids on.

Be aware that you steer with the rollers. Two rollers at an angle will steer sharply toward the small side of the angle. Three or more rollers at varying angles can be like putting on the brakes and take a great effort to push. That is why less is better than more. Helpers need to know how to steer with the rollers.

- guru - Thursday, 09/06/07 17:30:57 EDT

Lifting Verticaly, Like the Egyptians, the Herodotus Machine:
This method of lifting in Egypt was first reported by the Greek Historian Herodotus. He did not invent it but it carries his name.

To get a heavy part or machine lifted UP so that you can put it on trailer, up a step or two, or on/off a loading dock. All that is needed is a lot of dunnage spacers. Two with semi rounded "rocker" faces. Hardwood is best.

Pry up and space the load until you can get a spacer under it near to the center of gravity but not under it. Rock the load over the rounded spacer shifting its center of gravity to the far side. Insert a spacer with a round faced spacer on top. Rock the load over this spacer. This lifts the load a fraction of an inch or more with each tip. Alternate back and forth as needed.

At the beginning and as needed as the load lifts, build stacks of spacers at the outer edges of the load to prevent it from tipping too far. Often skids are used to provide leverage for the tipping. Provide support under them as needed.

Once you have all the wood spacers and the load started you can move at surprisingly heavy load rather quickly alone or with a couple helpers. The important thing is to take small safe steps and to have enough dunnage (spacers or cribbing) to build up support under the load.

In his video The Forgotten Technology Wallace Wallington uses a heavy weight on top of the load to shift the center of gravity. This is rolled from one end to the other so that it is easy to move. For lifting heavy loads a considerable height he has two A frames on either side of the load to help hold the spacers in place.

It takes more time to prepare to use these methods (collecting and cutting dunnage) than to use them.

The Forgotten Technology
- guru - Thursday, 09/06/07 17:58:42 EDT

Moving Large and Heavy Things: I need to thank the guru & various other contributers for teaching me how to move Large And Heavy Things with a minimum of fuss.

The other day I moved a good size gun safe by myself with a pry bar, piano dolly, come along, implement jack, load binder, some plywood (to lay it down on) and cribbing. People were shocked. When asked, I admitted I did have some help from my old friend Archimedes. . . Saved upwards of $200. NOBODY wanted to move a safe out in the boonies.
John Lowther - Thursday, 09/06/07 18:14:57 EDT

Moving heavy things: I know that Jock knows this and simply forgot to mention this, but when moving large loads on rollers, if the floor is out of level, the load may runaway from you. The smoother the floor and so forth the more likely. Perhaps I am gunshy from moving 80,000# machines on rollers, but I have seen the runaway. We used a forklift as a brake. We chained to the machine and sometmes used two one pulling and one resisting a little. We had to use rollers as the floor loading in the 7 story machine shop was too light for an 80,000# machine and a forklift big enough to pick it up. In fact we kept the lift in a different cell to reduce floor load.

I moved a 5000# 14.4" by 54" lathe 32' into my shop, turned it 90 degrees, and lowered it by myself. I did have a forklift to get it off the trailer, but it was 3/4" too tall to get inside the shop. I used rollers, and a pinch bar to move, and my riding mower as the anchor to stop a runaway. I just let most all the air out of the tires:) Took 4 hours start to finish.
ptree - Thursday, 09/06/07 19:14:37 EDT

Heavy Safety:
Yep, I forgot all the warnings. I think heavy loads hurt more people than powered machinery. If not then they are at least more surprised when they get hurt.

SMALL heavy things like swage blocks, anvils, and other iron/steel things can maim and cripple just by falling off a bench. Handling heavy loads with your hands always puts them at risk. Be careful.

Just because you can move it with a pry bar doesn't mean it can't hurt you.

Never get UNDER the load. We often break that rule and should not.

Never lift higher than you absolutely need.

STOP and take time to study any lift. A good guess or estimation of the center of gravity of something can save a lot of grief.

Those small little Taiwan 2 ton hoists are actually good for about 10% of their rating. Chain hoists rely on friction brakes to hold the load and lower it controllably. A 2 ton hoist needs a big 10" brake disk (looks like a clutch disk) to handle the heat. Those little 4 and 5" hoists CANNOT safely handle heavy loads without overheating and slipping. They are dangerous, do not buy them.

The throat of a load hook is supposed to be parallel. If not then the hook has been overloaded and sprung. Everything else in the hoist is also suspect at that point.

As Ptree noted, slopes are tricky. I've moved power hammers up and down 20 degree ramps on rollers. It required a heavy come-a-long and a heavy machine tool bolted to the floor as an anchor. Properly rigging at the center of gravity is critical.

Downhill is relative. The heavier something is the lower the slope for it to run away.

Chains, slings and all rigging should be carefully inspected. In industry they have people to do it and they routinely reject a LOT of rigging. In your personal shop you should be just as critical.

There are more. An industrial safety course is required to cover them all.


I currently have two 1,000 pound plus pieces of shafting setting on 2x4's in the shop floor. They are an innocent but significant hazard if they roll off the 2x4's onto someone's foot. I will not be happy until they are rolled out of the way and properly blocked up. . . Gotta do some rearranging first. . .
- guru - Thursday, 09/06/07 20:11:43 EDT

Shafting safety: Jock,

The only right and proper thing to do with those pieces of shafting is to send them, freight pre-paid, to me. I will see to it they never present a potential hazard to you and yours. (grin)
vicopper - Thursday, 09/06/07 22:16:59 EDT

Guru, a core drill and a post hole auger would store those shafts out of the way...might be a bit hard to retrieve though...

Thomas P - Thursday, 09/06/07 22:26:46 EDT

Big Shaft: Soon they will be shortened into nice power hammer anvil lengths. The plan is for them to be parts of several new prototype power mechanical hammers by conference time. Actually have enough for four hammers. Transportation has been the primary problem. Borrowed equipment and limited schedules. . . lack of sky hooks here. . .

When Dave and I moved them they sorely reminded me of how out of shape I have gotten. . . We (Dave) really hated skidding them off the trailer knowing we will have to put them back on in a short time. Will use the Herodotus method.

- guru - Thursday, 09/06/07 23:23:33 EDT

Steven Galonska: If You can hire someone with a tilt bed or roll back truck or trailor to move the machines the problem of getting them down to the ground is solved, but try to find someone with machinery moving experience.
- Dave Boyer - Thursday, 09/06/07 23:26:21 EDT

If I remember correctly when MSC delivered a mill to us back in the 80's it came on a roll back truck and was gently winched off, then skidded into place by two men using hand trucks. . . Only took a few minutes. Can't beat experience.

It took us longer to mark bolt hole, move the machine, set anchors and put the machine back. . .

HOWEVER, The NEXT mill came in a closed truck from which we could not unload (we had a 10 ton overhead crane but that does no good when the truck doesn't fit in the door). It was unloaded at a nearby company with a fork lift. An idiot in our shop couldn't wait 20 minutes for me to get there with my truck and thought he could move it in his little Toyota pickup truck. When he pulled out into the highway onto the banked curve the truck almost turned over and the NEW mill landed on its head and almost killed my brother who was in the back of the truck steadying the load. The delivery company was not responsible, the company that unloaded it was not responsible, the idiot did not have moving insurance AND it was over 50 feet from our property where OUR insurance ended. We had just paid for a NEW mill with a shattered head. . . All because someone could not wait a couple minutes.

I've moved the same machines and similar (100# LG's upright) in a HD 3/4 ton full sized pickup truck. NO problem. But the first thing I did when I bought the truck was RE-BOLT the bed to the frame with extra large support washers and added eye-bolt tie downs using more extra large (4x4") support plates. THEN when you drive with such a load you do so VERY VERY carefully.

I think the last time we had a heavy load in a closed truck I put together a platform on the top sides of my PU bed and we skidded the load onto the pickup, then carefully pulled into the shop and unloaded with the crane.

Knowing your equipment and what you are doing makes a difference.
- guru - Friday, 09/07/07 00:57:15 EDT

Thanks for the advice everyone. My new workshop was originally built as an oversized 2-car garage, so unfortunately there is not a concrete pad outside of the entrance, on asphalt. There is also the further complication that the driveway at the entrance is on an incline of 5-10 degrees. These issues probably won't present much of a problem to an experience rigger though. Once inside the shop, the floor is smooth and level with no cracks so it should be fairly easy to move a machine into place once itis inside.

I'll follow Thomas's advice and get in thouch with the local used machinery dealer. Hopefully they'll be willing to give me some info on the local riggers that have experience moving machinery without forcing me to buy a machine from them.
Steven Galonska - Friday, 09/07/07 08:18:29 EDT

Lights Out: A long time friend of mine was killed earlier this year in Hondo NM when a large sculpture that he was making for the Denver Airport fell on him. The thing is that it is easy getting used to moving things like this and think - just this once.
Dan - Friday, 09/07/07 09:07:37 EDT

"my brother who was in the back of the truck steadying the load"

BAD TECHNIQUE! People and machines should NOT share space during moves; a shattered brother is much more expensive to fix than a mill!

I've known a number of cases when people cut safety short to save a bit of money only to find out that they could have replaced *everything* they owned cheaper than the hospital charges.

Be Safe---most of y'all are too far away for me to get to your estate sale anyway!

If the local used machinery guy was anything like the one I knew in Columbus OH there shouldn't be any problems; shoot the one I know gave me a post vise once as he did industrial shop sales and so didn't really want the "little stuff" cluttering up his buildings...

They make *good* friends to have!

Thomas P - Friday, 09/07/07 11:23:58 EDT

More Moving Heavy Stuff: My brother was lucky and went the opposite way of the mill but both landed in the highway. He got a LOT smarter that day.

When I move machinery it generally looks like a spider web of chains. Shifting can loosen hold downs as well as upset the vehicle so I have chains at the base. Tipping of anything where the CG is not at the bottom is also a problem so I usually have chains at the top. AND there is usually a place not at the top OR the bottom somewhere in the middle that is the best general attachment point and I have chains there as well.

Remember, most damage to machinery is MOVING damage, not wear and tear.

When I made these I used relatively small 5/16" chain. I put double hooks on some ends. A grab (open) hook AND a chain (closed slotted) hook. This has turned out to be very handy. I added grab hooks to my load binders as well so they cold hook into the eye bolts in the bed of my truck.

When I bought my last PU (a heavy duty Dodge 3/4T with 8 lug wheels) I not only equipped the the bed with tie down points I also purchased matching size load chain and load binders. It was the early 1980's and I think I spent over $100. It took some poking around to find the small size load binders to match the chain. Since everything in a PU is sheet metal (including the frame) there is no point going too heavy with the chain.

My point here is that the whole was a system and I was prepared in advance to move heavy stuff. It was not an immediate need but to me it was part of owning a truck. That hardware saw a LOT of use in the 10 years I used that truck in my blacksmithing and machine shop business.

Now I have a heavier (ton) truck and the hardware is a little light. However, for the loads that I carried in the PU it was right and is still a good set of hardware for those same loads in the heavier truck. However, I am looking at getting a fork lift the fall which will be moved in the heavy truck. THAT will take heavier rigging hardware (for the lift truck AND the loads it will move).

SO, you have a pickup truck, but do you have anchor points for moving heavy loads? Do you have the chain and load binders to anchor heavy loads? Most people do not, making the truck worthless in my opinion.
- guru - Friday, 09/07/07 13:25:01 EDT

More moving: ONeof the handiest things you can have when moving anything heavy in a pickup truck is lots and lots of dunnage of all sizes. The bases of heavy item can be stabilized laterally by blocking with dunnage nailed or screwed together, preventing shifting in any direction. In some cases this is better than tie down points. The important thing is to make sure the dunnage cannot shift out of position. I keep a dedicated battery-operated screw gun in the truck box, along with a variety of deck screws and lags for just that purpose, as I never know what I'll find at the dumpster.

When transporting big steel sign cabinets on my crane truck, I used to use 1" angle iron and simply weld tension bars from the cabinet to the bed of the truck. It only took a minute to cut them loose with an angle grinder, and they were very secure in tension. I've done the same thing on my pickup's stock rack more than once, as there's often no very good way to really secure heavy pieces of steel to the rack otherwise.

As far as anyone being in the bed of the truck with a load goes, it simiply ain't gonna happen. Ever. I won't let anyone ride in the back with or without a load. You ever see someone who got launched out of a truck bed in a collision? I have, and I'm cured. If they won't fit in the cab, they gotta walk. I might make an exception if it was someone who could be welded to the R2D2, maybe.(grin)
vicopper - Friday, 09/07/07 14:12:06 EDT

Pickup truck passengers:
The various states have tried to pass laws on this subject and have had them reversed or watered down to where they are worthless. Farmers and the construction industry both oppose it. Both are high employee injury businesses and the opposition is not in the best interests of the employees. AND sadly today this effects mostly the migrant labor pool who has no vote. Some have passed, some only apply to Interstate highways, some only apply to minor children. The laws are a typical patchwork that are different state by state.

Basically the laws that apply say if there are no seats and seat belts then its illegal to ride. There HAVE BEEN vehicles with open air rear seats (Suburu Brat) and I think they had seat belts. Otherwise only passengers in the CAB are legal. This is the way it should be universally.

I once saw a large group riding in the back of a pickup with many sitting on the edge of the bed including a young woman with an infant child. The driver took a hard turn as if there was nothing in the truck! I was surprised and the passengers were lucky that nobody fell out. I finally realized that these folks must of had experience riding this way with this driver! There was no excuse for it and it was perfectly legal at the time. The law is not much better in most states today.

Two years ago a teenager celebrating graduation was killed very close to where the above occurred. The vehicle following the truck ran over him when he fell out. Yes, alcohol and stupidity were involved. But Virginia had tried to pass a law 5 years prior that would have probably saved his life.

While I hate unnecessary and intrusive laws there are those that are needed to protect those that cannot protect themselves. In this case both children and migrant laborers who have no vote need our protection.
- guru - Friday, 09/07/07 14:53:22 EDT

Across the street?: Anybody have any news about Forgemagic?
When I go there, I get a page that says "this site has been suspended".
I can only assume the volume of porn spam got so big that Sparky decided to just pull the plug, I hope just temporarily.
- ries - Friday, 09/07/07 16:12:01 EDT

Across the street?: I get the same thing ries. I emailed several of the regulars for info, but no responses yet.
Brian C - Friday, 09/07/07 16:56:42 EDT

Across the street: I tried the front door approach (googled then clicked on that url)& there's a notice that the site has been suspended. My guess is that Sparky had had enough of the spam & is arranging something else ( I hope) Anyway, I emailed him & hopefully I'll hear back.
Let me take this opportunity to invite all you Anvilfire bunch to visit our campsite at Quadstates for bs-ing around the campfire. If you don't know where we set up, ask VIcopper or Jock or look for the canopy with the Virginia flag. My wife Louise & I will be pulling in late Thursday afternoon & we'll be set up around sundown. See you there!
- Tom C - Friday, 09/07/07 17:48:28 EDT

QUADE STATE: I too will be at Quad State, and will most likely be camped close to Tom C and company. The evening campfire that Tom C mentions is one of the highlights of QS.
ptree - Friday, 09/07/07 18:40:19 EDT

Machinery movers: If hiring a rigger, to move big stuff like a lathe, ask if they can level the lathe etc when set, and ask what kind of "master level" they use. If their eyes glaze find another crew. Any riggers worth the pay will have a Starret Master level and know how to use it. Leveling a lathe is pretty important, and those that know how and have the equipment can do in half an hour what will take the newbie a week. It is also a sign of competentance
ptree - Friday, 09/07/07 18:43:09 EDT

Web Management Problems: Suspended accounts are generally due to:

1) Failure to pay hosting charges.
2) Over bandwidth (server trips automatically).
3) Illegal activities (spam, hosting porn).

As to attacks by spammers we have been relatively lucky. However, all open forums that allow posting hot links and ESPECIALLY images (banners and such) with automatic registration systems are highly problematic and eventually become flooded with spam.

The only way to operate a public forum is constant vigilance. The bad guys go away pretty quick when their posts are cleaned up ASAP. And that means it is a full time job. That includes when I travel or go on vacation (no such thing). I always have to have a connection, my laptop and or software to maintain online systems no matter where I go even for a simple overnight trip. It is a FULL TIME 24-7 business.

The worst problem we have had is with links to sites that abandon or lose their URL's and others buy them for what ever use (porn, spam, link farms). It is one reason I have been adding less and less off-site links. It becomes a huge maintenance problem. The second biggest problem is adults acting like children. This is something which I no longer have any tolerance for. You start a flame war, get your feelings hurt, can't take the responses, TOUGH. I may be your friend but I'm not your big brother, babysitter or knight in shining armor. If I have to delete posts I no longer have time to carefully edit good and bad. Everyone's posts related to the problem goes. So don't add your 2cents worth to a flame argument. It just makes more work for me.

The only answer to some of this is close control of user registrations. Make everyone register using a real name and some proof of ID (credit card, public address) that can be checked. Then block abuser accounts. We MAY have to do this. Soon we WILL do it for certain kinds of posts and TRY to keep our forums free and open to the public. But times change and the Internet is not nearly as friendly a place as it once was.

As to SPAM as in e-mail, it is time to change my e-mail address(es) again. Viral spam engines got my new address weeks after I set it up. But the worst problem has been ONE person that continually CC's my address to a whole group of people.

If future mail to me bounces try our contact form.

- guru - Friday, 09/07/07 18:48:16 EDT

Precision Levels:
I have a .0005/ft Pratt and Whitney precision level. Is that good enough? :)

Yes, that is one half thousandth inch per foot or 24000:1 slope. It has plastic insulation handles to prevent heat from your hands warping the frame.

One of the millions of little jobs I need to do is make a good storage box for it. . .

The reason for leveling machinery is NOT to make it perfectly level. It is to make sure it is not warped in any way. You would be amazed at how bad you can warp a machine tool with a little 3/8" bolt.

- guru - Friday, 09/07/07 19:00:17 EDT

Forgemagic: I am also disappointed that forgemagic has been suspended. Hopefully the problem is temporary. See you all at Quadstate.
- Bob Cook - Friday, 09/07/07 19:27:20 EDT

Forgemagic and Quad States: I got the same thing on FM and I emailed Allan to see what's up and to offer my help if he wants it. We'll see what happens, I guess.

I'll be at QS, though not camped out. My back has gotten so bad that it's a good bed or a brace for me, no more sleeping on floors or ground. I'll be at Tom and Louise's campsite every night, though. This year I'll be bringing my laptop and probably my portable LCD projector, too. If you have photos or videos for show-n-tell, bring them along and we can show them for everyone. I'll undoubtedly bring some of Cruzan Distillery's fine offerings as well, assuming the airline weasels don't steal it again.

I'll be there on Wednesday so I can do some big-city shopping first and beat everyone else to the tailgate stuff as it arrives. (grin)

Only a couple weeks!
vicopper - Friday, 09/07/07 19:39:47 EDT

Forgemagic status report: Ries, Bob, et al:

I just got an email from Allan Turner, the webmaster of Forgemagic. He just changed jobs, and the company he used to be with is no more, and they were hosting the website. Allan is working on getting it set up to be independent of his former employer, but it may take a few days. I offered my assistance, either with work or donation, and I went so far as to tell him that I was sure others would be more than willing to chip in for hosting fees if needed. We'll see what he says, I guess. For now, just hang in there and check it periodically. If I hear anything further from Allan, I'll let you all know.
vicopper - Friday, 09/07/07 20:11:25 EDT

Quad: When is Quad State and how do your register for a camping spot? What is the sponser website?
- Henry - Friday, 09/07/07 20:25:08 EDT

Forgemagic: Hope no one minds. I'M allan t aka Sparky. Just to let people know forgemagic is not dead. The company that was sponsering is no longer. So I am sorting out a new deal. Should be back up by the 15'th at the latest.
- Allan Turner - Friday, 09/07/07 20:28:29 EDT

Guru, Once again I know that you know about precision leveling, but many don't. Often a couple of fellas with truck and a forklift call themselves riggers and machinery movers. Real riggers usually come and look, and bring a whole bunch more stuff than they plan to use just in case.
I was on good enough terms to borrow a precision level from the riggers at my previous job to level my lathe. Most don't have a precision level, or access to one. And yes, precision leveling makes a much more accurate machine, and the wear surfaces last longer as well on the ways. Most of us with home shops will never wear a way but in day to day in a production shop it makes a big difference.
And Browne and Sharpe is a very good brand. I even have a B&S 6" flexible scale that I bought BEFORE I started at the valve shop and was inducted into the fold of those who love the tools from Athol.
Odd though, I have never seen a single rigger around these parts with anything but a Starret.
ptree - Friday, 09/07/07 20:35:16 EDT

lathe leveling: An old salt friend of mine who served on the uss Vulcan (Navy repair ship) told me an interesting story about lathe warping. Seems that an officer wanted him to do a job on a lathe while they were under way. Bill told him he couldn't do it because it wouldn't be accurate. But it's bolted to 6" of plate steel", the brass said. Bill told him "look through the headstock hole & tell me what you see. So he did & could see the point of the center in the tailstock slowly moving back & forth with the ship's motion.
So Jock's right; it's important to have your lathe bed not be warped for accurate work.
- Tom C - Friday, 09/07/07 20:56:06 EDT

Pratt and Whitney Level:
This is a very nice probably post WWII tool. At one time P&W made a LOT of their own tools and tools for their subcontractors because they were not available during war time. This was back when American industry could do ANYTHING. Many like this level are probably quite rare.

I also have a General Electric surface texture sample set in a bog wood box. This dates from the earliest standard setting and is also a WWII shop item made for in-house and sub-contractor use.

Great tools, all auctioned off as the big North Eastern manufacturers were broken up in the 1980's. A friend spent several years going to auctions in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and other Eastern manufacturing states bringing back truckloads of precision tools. Many were shop made such as a micrometer master set made in the shape of a series of stacked cylinders. Complete with U.S. Gov. calibration papers.

I managed to trade for some duplicate items and buy a few small pieces. The two above were duplicates. I also have a old 40" Starrett vernier caliper and a bunch of other odd but useful pieces. My friend has a late chrome plate 60" Starrett vernier caliper. Talk about a thing of beauty. AND somewhere in his collection there is a 14 foot caliper. . .

Making big things is one thing. Being able to measure them is another! Of course non-contact electronic means are rapidly replacing those beautiful old tools.

- guru - Saturday, 09/08/07 08:50:56 EDT

Warped Machines:
When we were building machine tools we also tested and demonstrated them. One time we quit for the night before making a final cut. The next morning we set the machine for about a .004" (.10mm) cut and turned on the machine. It quietly made a half turn and then SQUALK! it dug in and took about triple that cut! In front of the customer no less!

We went around and around trying to figure out what had happened. . . Finally I leaned up against the machine and noticed one side was very warm. I looked up and a heating duct was blowing hot air directly on one side of the machine!

We closed off the duct, let the machine cool until after lunch and you could not feel any temperature difference then tried again. Just perfect, exactly as we had left it the previous day.

We ALL learned a lesson that day.
- guru - Saturday, 09/08/07 09:02:14 EDT

Henry: try
Sept 21-23; Troy Ohio---and I will not be there this year---I hope it rains!

Thomas Sour Grapes Powers
Thomas P - Saturday, 09/08/07 16:27:37 EDT

Quad States: It better not rain this year; it rained last year, remember? One rainy QS is enough for me. I'm used to *warm* rain, not that clammy, cold stuff they have up north. Too much like Seattle. Nope, this year should be hot and sweaty for all you northern types, so I can be comfy. (grin)
vicopper - Saturday, 09/08/07 20:22:12 EDT

Just back from the first day of the bluegrass and Bar-B-que festival. A little warm, but we forged outside all day on a 50% chance of rain day. And and the buffalo bar-B-que was real tasty as well. Hope for a good day tomorrow.

I hope for a nice warm, dry Quad State as well. Thomasp will just have to have his sour grapes to himself.
ptree - Saturday, 09/08/07 21:13:23 EDT

WOOD: Compare to sitka spruce
- Dan OHare - Sunday, 09/09/07 01:06:39 EDT

Dan, I have used Sitka spruce for musical instrument soundboards and ribs. The stringyness when cut or scraped and the way it cands is unmistakable. That is not it. Thanks.
- guru - Sunday, 09/09/07 10:34:19 EDT

The other day I found an anvil that I really wanted. To get the anvil I had to buy a large vice and a swage block.I was told that the block was a number zero. It weighs aprox 160 lb. Does anyone out their know what this block would be worth at a fair market value?
- Dwayne Kent - Sunday, 09/09/07 20:43:37 EDT

Precision level: I got a relatively inexpensive one from MSC in the mid '80s. It was made in Poland and works well in spite of itself, even came in a pretty nice wood box.
- Dave Boyer - Sunday, 09/09/07 22:10:01 EDT

Dwayne: Now, if you were to tell me you had a matched pair of hand-dressed Wally Yater swage blocks in mint condition, I could tell you what they're worth, but that's an exception.

The designation of "a number zero" has no meaning at all. There were hundreds, probably thousands of different swage block patterns cast over past couple of centuries, and most have no markings or just meaningless mold numbers. Also, the condition of the swage block is at least as important, or more so, than any name or number it may have. Of those thousands of swage block patterns, at least half are almost useless designs for one reason or another, and half of the other half have been abused and would take more time and effort than they're worth to make useable. The only way anyone can tell you what that swage block is worth is to see it, or pictures of it.

Without seeing it, all I can tell you is it is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it. Or ten cents a pound for scrap, in the right area.
vicopper - Sunday, 09/09/07 22:16:27 EDT

Swage Block No. 0:
A number of catalogs used the numbers 0, 1, 2, 3. . . and 0½, 1½ . . for swage blocks. The largest listing I have seen was from Illinois Iron and Bolt Co., Vulcan Brand Blocks sent to me by Frank Turley. It shows the model 0 as a block with a long rectangular hole in the middle. This is the same as the listing from Geo. B. Carpenter we have on SWAGEBLOCKS.COM. I have not yet posted the II&B catalog page.

The II&B catalog shows 6 industrial blocks 3 with bowl depressions. What we do not know is if these were all made by II&B or if the sold blocks mode by others OR if they cast them all. II&B made quite a number of tools and this IS a possibility.

Swage blocks, due to general rarity in the market, often sell for more than anvils. So they start at $2/pound and go up depending on condition. However, condition makes a difference in some cases. BUT some very old worn to nothing blocks or broken blocks with the breaks worn smooth have sold for more than perfectly good blocks. On the other hand there are some very poor NEW blocks that you couldn't give to me.

Before selling the block see all the uses on Geo. B. Carpenter page
- guru - Monday, 09/10/07 08:59:05 EDT

More block numbers:
After looking closely at the Geo. B. Carpenter page their numbers all agree with the II&B Vulcan page EXCEPT the largest, the #5. II&B shows it as a slightly different pattern. This was probably a space saving move by Carpenter. Carpenter also did not carry one style listed by II&B as 1½, 2½ and 3½ a line of very standard looking industrial blocks.

- guru - Monday, 09/10/07 09:23:29 EDT

Moving machinery. Ive shifted a fair few machines of all shapes & sizes, whilst very far from being an expert, from experience I would suggest considering the following few points..

1) Where possible pay someone competent & insured to do the full job. Leave clear instructions where to put it (paint an outline on the floor if necessary!) Go away for a couple of days whilst the move is being completed - this is the only stress free way!
(dozens of photos of the eqm before the move with the date set on the camera to prove any damage)

2) For eqm like milling M/c's ( and many power hammers) with a high C.O.G bolt them to somthing with a BIG footprint. For small machines (under a ton) a timber pallet will often do, (you can then move them with a borrowed 'pump truck'.)

For bigger machines consider bolting them to some heavy box section or RSJ. This makes moving them on rollers vastly easier, as well as preventing them tipping.

3) I never use pipe for rollers, any slight variation in floor level and they are bent beyond use and your stuck. they also dent badly, you always seem to get a point where the full weight of the machine is on 1/4" of the roller - even if its heavy duty pipe a small machine of a ton will damage it badly.

A single piece of c&*p under the roller of 1/8" dia can cause major grief - sweep before you start !

The cheap little chain blocks (block & tackle) are pretty useless for lifting equipment as mentioned by others, but make great (if slow) turfors (pullers)

Finally - take your time & dont get flustered with it if its not going to plan - walk away for 5 mins and gather your thoughts, A lot of accidents are caused by the 'Red Mist' when things arent going right.
- John N - Monday, 09/10/07 11:04:18 EDT

m o r e on moving stuff.....

Jock sorry I repeated what you said in your post about bolting to skids - I mis read what you posted.

One final piece of advise is the oldest, familiarity breeding contempt - an example..

About a month ago I moved a press into my factory and stood it up - it weighs 155,000 lbs, I hired a rigging crew with a hydraulic 4 post 'Mega Lift' (good for 500 tons) - safe as houses with no drama, our overhead crane is good for 40 tons, 2 weeks ago I unloaded and stood up 2 presses at 36 ton each - again safe as houses.

a few months ago I nearly crushed myself shifting a flypress bolted to a stand with the tool room 2 ton crane -

The point of this ramble is the tiny flypress was more dangerous at that moment than the 155,000 lb press ever was.
- John N - Monday, 09/10/07 11:32:04 EDT

PArt of safety is also keeping track of "what happens if something fails?".

Some of this is simple: keep out of the drop zone or tipped zone of something lifted. Never let something get too high off the cribbing---why 2" cribbing can be better than 4" cribbing sometimes.

But some is more involved like what happens if a chain/wire rope/rope breaks there can be a lot of energy stored up in something like that and it can be a lethal weapon when it breaks.

Some is personal positioning---if *you* slip/trip or fall will you or any parts of you end up in a danger zone?

and finally slow can be much safer than fast. If you have to transgress the unwritten and written laws making sure that there is not enough energy in the system to cause trouble---I once chained my large flypress mounted on it's stand and that mounted on 4x4 skids to the back of my pickup and pulled it over a gravel driveway to where we could get it onto a pad and roll it into the shop---don't think I made it much faster than creep, (rolling it was faster!) as I wanted to make sure that it never had enough energy to try to tip.)

Thomas P - Monday, 09/10/07 11:52:52 EDT

Heavy Stuff:
Tipping stuff UP or laying it DOWN. Particularly as the CG moves over the corner touching the floor and the piece flips up. . . It can be VERY scary.

This is often a tricky task but can be done VERY safely and easily IF you have two hooks (two hoists) on one crane or monorail. The second hook can even be a slow chain tugger or come-along as long as it is rated for the load.

If the item is laying down rig for lifting at the top and bottom (on upper side). Be sure both points can shift as the load rotates and that you are above the CG. THEN, lift the entire part off the floor a foot or so by both ends. Then stop raising the bottom and continue raising the top. As you lift the item it will gently rotate to vertical with out the surprise flip of the CG change. Then disconnect the bottom and set the machine.

Setting on the side is the same reversed. Lift vertical. Rig to the bottom on one side, tension and then let the top down gently.

I've done this both the right way and the wrong way. The time we did it the wrong way the shifting weight was huge and high. It threw the heavy gantry crane about 10 feet along the rails. LUCKILY no body was in the way. It could have been very bad.

John's point about familiarity is true. You start to think it is too easy and forget how dangerous even a relatively small load can be if it gets out of control. An 8 pound sledge can kill you. Swinging loads of any kind are very hazardous.

- guru - Monday, 09/10/07 12:03:18 EDT

Heavy and out of Control:
As Thomas mentioned you have to look at the what-ifs. Centers of Gravity (CG's) can get you into a lot of trouble if it becomes higher than your grip. On single point lifts or double as I mentioned above if there is more weight above a straight line between a hook and the other end (ground, hook. . ) then the part will want to flip over so the weight is below that line. This can happen very quickly and violently. One moment you think you have everything under control, the next moment you do not.

CG is also called the center of mass. It is easy to determine if the part is symmetrical. In that case it is the center in all directions. However, machinery is rarely symmetrical and large sections are often hollow. This combines to make it very tricky to determine CG's.
- guru - Monday, 09/10/07 12:27:24 EDT

Hi guys, just having a quick look. First time I've seen STP shortly after any posts. I had some fun a couple weeks ago at a local show a couple weeks ago and did some more grinding since the pic.
- Elliott Olson - Monday, 09/10/07 12:28:18 EDT

oh, I thought that was going into the STP when I typed it.
Elliott Olson - Monday, 09/10/07 12:29:09 EDT

Standing up and laying down machinery does take practice. Im not a big fan of 2 hook cranes though.

The trick to doing this with a single hook overhead is having to bottle to lift faster, and move the crab faster when the machine is at its fulcrum point to prevent any snatch. done well it looks easy, done badly the snatch can destroy the crane.

Just out of interest Jock does adwords constantly monitor the content of every post made and base the ads on the content of individual posts ?
- John N - Monday, 09/10/07 12:33:03 EDT

Ad words:
John, It looks at the entire page as it changes, most of the time but with about a 24hour delay. However, if there are no ads available then there are no matches. When there are no matches there are folks that buy large blocks of keywords cheap and their low relevance ads will appear (like the uranium stocks guys). Many are pretty random.

There are ways to manipulate this somewhat. If you you have a NOROBOTS tag for a file or directory then the ads will be based on site generalities or other pages on the site. If a page is dynamically generated the dynamic content can be filtered and the page title and descriptions are what google looks at.

Originally I had the forums setup with NOROBOTS and they were not doing well so I changed the setup. It has not made much difference.

Trying to out think the search engines will make you crazy. About the only control I have is I can block specific sites or URL's. I block a lot of advertising link lists because they take away from legitimate listings that may pay ME more.

While we ARE making a little money on adwords the forum ads do about the worst of any location so we may remove them. Ads on articles about specific subjects do the best. Then you get a lot of relevant ads and better turn over.

I'm working on a plan to put them on many more pages but I also need to be able to turn them OFF globaly or exchange them with local ads. Like everything else in this business there is a lot to study to get the best results.
- guru - Monday, 09/10/07 13:31:21 EDT

Speed: Years ago I worked at a marina, and would occasionally help move boats between docks. They told me: "If you can see it moving, it's going too fast."
Mike BR - Monday, 09/10/07 18:49:09 EDT

Proportions: The Guru's description of laying out a kithara reminds me of a rant one of my friends delivered about violins: He maintained that the problem with copies of the great seventeenth and eighteenth century violins is that they are measured.

He maintained that Stradivari and the other Cremona greats laid out their instruments with straight edge and dividers using geometric techniques. Stradivari being the greatest not merely because of his proportions, but because his joinery was as perfect as humanly possible. That and he made a honking LOT of
- John Lowther - Monday, 09/10/07 19:00:00 EDT

That Carpenter size O is the block I got 20 years ago from a retiring smith in Trinidad, Colorado who got it from his father. I have only seen one other like it-- until viewing the Carpenter catalog page just now-- and that was in the shop of a wainwright in Patagonia, AZ who had come there from Colorado. Maybe these were indigenous to railroad work, he surmised. Another guy suggested the long slit was for cutting.
Miles Undercut - Monday, 09/10/07 22:09:18 EDT

Violins and Proportions:
John, This is somewhat true. And if you look at modern violins they come in sizes down to where a 5 year old can play them. This is all done by fractional proportioning.

The method I described of using various radii to reproduce fine curves is used throughout the industry but is only an approximation of truly fine curves which are spirals and parabola joined by cubic splines. However, in some parts of the industry such as guitars the radius IS the defining curve.

There are a lot of myths about Stradivarius. The big one is "the secret is in the varnish". This has been around so long I suspect it was started by the maker who was sick and tired of people asking about his "secret" that did not really want a lecture on a life time of learning and perfection in craftsmanship.

Stradivarius was a wood merchant and collector in a location where woods from around the world were available. He knew his woods, stored them and aged them and tested them. Recent research indicates that his wood was preserved by soaking in borax and that this may have played a part in the difference in the local product.

Above all he was a perfectionist with an excellent ear for the instrument. Like top modern luthiers he would scrape or sand the soundboard and tap test it, taking fine shavings off until it was perfect to HIS ear. In the past I've seen charts of dimensions of Strads and thought the amount of work measuring was amazing. Today however I laugh at such charts. The units of measurement were often far too large and assume that every instrument was the same, not carefully adjusted in thousandths of an inch for variations in wood, shape and size.

To be a top luthier one must be really annal about super fine details. The joinery only gets so good and any apprentice can be taught to make fine joints. Its the microscopic details of wood thickness and how it effects the tone for THAT particular piece of wood. . .

I would never be a fine luthier. I just cannot get that obsessed with anything. I go for the nice shape and that is it. AND I do not have an ear for it. . :-)
- guru - Tuesday, 09/11/07 01:32:14 EDT

Music Makers: Okay, I know that a gent who makes guitars, mandolins and such is called a luthier, but what does one call the fellow who makes trombones, trumpets and the like? Or one who makes woodwinds? Inquiring, though perhaps feeble, minds want to know.
vicopper - Tuesday, 09/11/07 07:01:32 EDT

I had a friend once that worked for an electric organ manufacturer---he did the final tuning by *ear* and not with al;l the fancy equipment they had to hand.

When our church had it's pipe organ replaced/rebuilt they still sent out a tech who spent a lot of time tuning it exactly for the building. Did a nice job as people came from all over to play it---nice pipe organ in a very traditional german church architecture---in Columbus OH; Bach was *very good* in it.

I have the same laugh about people asking how tick was armour in the medieval and renaissance periods---they don't like the answer that it might vary everywhere as they forged out the pieces and so tapering in all dimensions was par for the course.

Thomas P - Tuesday, 09/11/07 10:32:36 EDT

Music Makers :
Well. . flute makers are Flute makers, hmmmmmmm, I think all the rest are makers or musical instrument makers. Flautist's and flutist's are flute players the former being a 19th century term preferred by some and the older English "flutist" prefered by many.

The low brass instruments are made by low brass instrument makers. . . Woodwind makers are Woodwind Makers. . .

Piano makers are piano makers. .

Many such a percussion instrument makers are also defined by their specialty or the entire group.

Surprisingly there is no "smith" suffix for this group other than "maker". From the Kithara we have guitar derived from the Spanish guitara and also the word catharsis from the use of poetry by the Greeks which was almost universally accompanied by the Kithara.

I suppose it was an oversight by the makers of words. . . which is often a mystery. The history of collective nouns goes back to 15th century parlor games in France and England. Their recording in The Book of St. Albans of 1486 gives us such terms as "murder of crows" and "gaggle of geese" and writers have been coining new ones ever since. But no terms for musical instrument makers. . .

So here are a few from the Dempsey Organographia.

Tubasmith or Lowbrasssmith (3 s's ???) perhaps Lowbronzesmith

Of course using another language like French or Spanish gives the names a more elegant appeal or exotic sound. . .
- guru - Tuesday, 09/11/07 10:32:38 EDT

CO Carpenter size O blocks:
Miles, OR it could be that the ONE local hardware supplier at the time carried this one block in stock.

Vulcan Blocks flier
- guru - Tuesday, 09/11/07 11:51:18 EDT

Forged Armour Theory:
Thomas, That reminds me of a theory of mine (maybe other's as well) that many pieces were not made from plate but from bar. Plate would be expensive to buy and wasteful to cut. But you can bend a bar into a curve and forge it flat producing a shape that would have been wasteful to cut from plate.

While great shears are shown in many old armoury illustrations anyone that has used primitive shears or cold chisels to cut plate knows that it is labor intensive and the results are often a jagged mess that require a lot of clean up. I suspect that these shears were used more for trimming and modifying than making armour from scratch other than in shops that had plate available in large sheets.

If you are paying for the labor to hand forge plate you might as well apply that labor more directly to a finished shape rather than raw material that will have a lot of waste in use and require even more labor to finish. The forged to shape piece would indeed vary greatly in thickness and not necessarily in a logical manner. But its edges would be relatively clean and there would be little or no waste. For many of the smaller parts of gauntlets and the like would be more economical than using plate where you often have 40% to 50% waste.

- guru - Tuesday, 09/11/07 12:57:06 EDT

# 0 swage block: Actually this block has been popping up fairly frequently on Ebay recently. I have seen 3 sell there, two within the last month or so. I have one also, and I know that Tom Clark carts one of them around to his demos. He drifts his hammer eyes over his. One of the ones on Ebay was a slight modification as it only had six square and six round holes in it rather that the usual seven.
- Bernard Tappel - Tuesday, 09/11/07 13:32:25 EDT

Interesting theory; there was definitely some premade sheet iron as there are expense accounts covering sending X ammout of iron to the batter mill---water powered!---to make sheet out of it. Mentioned in THE ROYAL ARMOURY AT GREENWICH 1515-1649: A HISTORY OF ITS TECHNOLOGY (ISBN: 094809222X) Williams, A. & Reuck, A.

OTOH if you could send it out to be made into sheep by powered or less skilled labour then you would save on time spent by the skilled folks.

One way of getting data would be to carefully measure thickness variations as a piece that is forged from bar would probably have a greater range than a piece that was shaped from sheet---more meat to work with.

I must dig out The Knight and the Blast Furnace and see what it says. Probably end up as a mixture of both...

Thomas P - Tuesday, 09/11/07 13:51:37 EDT

Sheet not sheep! Been in the wilds of NM too long evidently...
Thomas P - Tuesday, 09/11/07 13:52:22 EDT

Remember, you need iron sheep to get steel wool! (ducks and runs...)
Alan-L - Tuesday, 09/11/07 16:13:02 EDT

I smith and my wife spins; we're a steel-wool couple!
Thomas P - Tuesday, 09/11/07 17:25:11 EDT

Iron sheep: A good thing it doesn't rain much in New Mexico, or Thomas' sheep's steel wool would rust away before he got to shear it.

Hmmm. . . Maybe that's where shear steel comes from. 8-)
- Jester - Tuesday, 09/11/07 17:42:37 EDT

Forged feather: I have a need to make some feathers from SS. I have some nice thin 435SS. I am hoping someone from the board will be at Quad State who can help me with a procedure.
I need to make a SS Warrior's Staff, for a friend's deceased brother. The cementary removed the painted iron one the family had set in concrete. This one will be either set into the stone or tight to the stone. They would like the feathers to be light enough to move in the breeze as a real one would.
ptree - Tuesday, 09/11/07 17:58:39 EDT

Frank Turley book reprinted: Our book, "Southwestern Colonial Ironwork", co-authored with Marc Simmons, has been reprinted as a paperback. Please order from me, so that I can make a few paltry coppers. My USPS address is at the top of the Guru's Den page. I would probably send the book by media mail which, rounded off, would be $3.00. The book price is $39.95, making a total of $42.95. No charge for handling.

No tarjetas de crédito, por favor (no credit cards, please). The book is primarily a history, not a how-to book. We have found that historical archeologists, history buffs, blacksmiths, and collectors have found it useful.
Frank Turley - Tuesday, 09/11/07 19:45:16 EDT

Link to review and address:
Paw-Paw's review did not do this book justice. Besides historical tools and ironwork there is a section on 18th century locks and keys that is a good as any larger work. The book has many fine photographs and diagrams.
Southwestern Colonial Ironwork
- guru - Tuesday, 09/11/07 20:12:34 EDT

They make special oilers for iron sheep out this way...
Thomas P - Tuesday, 09/11/07 20:30:21 EDT

feathers: ptree, Dave Manzer demos how to make a feather in his last PH dvd. They are made from angle iron, and they'd move in the breezes we get here. Depends how strong the wind is there I guess.
JimG - Tuesday, 09/11/07 23:06:58 EDT

Dave Manzer Feathers: Depends on the weight of the angle as well. But he uses 1/8" or 3/16". Actually the balance and friction are as critical as the weight. Like a weather vane.

Dave flattens a piece of angle in order to get a ridge. Then he textures the feather with a narrow but round tipped fuller under the power hammer. When he is done (or maybe when the blank is ready) he cuts the tip hot under the Beverly Shear. I think he also creates the quill the same way. They are fast look pretty good.

Its been a while since I watched the video. We have them in stock to ship.
- guru - Tuesday, 09/11/07 23:49:43 EDT

Ptree: While we're at QS I'll show you how I make feathers from sheet stock. Some of that thin SS sheet should work just dandy for them, using the chisels you do your wizard heads with, and you won't need to register to see it, either. (grin)
vicopper - Tuesday, 09/11/07 23:59:24 EDT

Feathers: Nahum Hersom, repousse artist from Boise, Idaho, peens out small feathers from #7 or #8 horseshoe nails. He calls them "horse feathers".
Frank Turley - Wednesday, 09/12/07 09:18:37 EDT

Out this way we get winds that will move anvils...
Thomas P - Wednesday, 09/12/07 10:38:41 EDT

Steel Wool Sheep and Horse Feathers. . .
- guru - Wednesday, 09/12/07 13:59:06 EDT

Blacksmith Studios Available: Thanks for providing a forum to post our studio spaces.

Blacksmith Studios Available
Low-cost, Fully Equipped, Landfill Gas Included

·Terms: Monthly rent for blacksmith studios is $400/mo. Residencies may last a maximum of three (3) years, with annual review/renewal.

·Rent includes: Methane gas; on-site welding and machining equipment; marketing; merchandise space in the (future) retail gallery; Opportunity to work with Master Smith William Rogers

·Not included in rent: Electricity, supplies, telephone, lodging, meals.

·Location: JCGEP is located in Dillsboro, NC, 50 miles west of Asheville. Dillsboro is centered less than two hours from three of the premier craft schools in the nation, Penland School of Craft, J. C. Campbell Folk Art School, and Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts.

·Contact info: To apply for studio spaces or for more information, contact Carrie at

The Jackson County Green Energy Park is seeking applicants for three tenant studio spaces in its Blacksmith Village, located in Dillsboro, NC. As part of its business incubator efforts, JCGEP offers equipped studio spaces, free landfill gas for fuel, and professional development including business classes and workshops on tool-making and advanced smithing techniques.

The unique forges at JCGEP are the first in the U.S. to be fired with methane gas from a former landfill. The forges are three-burner natural gas forges, modified for use with landfill gas. Forge temperatures to date have reached 2300° F. With a heat zone over a foot long and the capacity to open on three sides, our forges offer access for long and odd-shaped pieces. The smithy includes three forges, plasma cutter, welders, torches, and more. Future plans for the Blacksmith Village include office spaces, retail gallery, and exhibit space.

Three blacksmith studio spaces will be offered on 6-month to 3-year terms. Tenant spaces will be awarded through a juried committee, with applications reviewed each month. Blacksmiths of all experience levels are encouraged to apply.

The JCGEP has already won several statewide and national awards, including the 2006 Project of the Year award from the Environmental Protection Agency. We anticipate that the growing reputation of the Park, along with its proximity to Dillsboro (a widely-known tourist destination for heritage arts), will help promote the artists and their work, and support their economic development. Consulting smith William Rogers was named Master Smith in Virginia and his native state of Tennessee. He is a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild.
Carrie - Wednesday, 09/12/07 14:44:37 EDT

Studio Space Questions: Acting as the devils advocate.

How many square feet per space? Door sizes? Ceiling height? Natural lighting?

Are spaces separate or connected to the "smithy" Size door?

Is the "smithy" equipment personal, public? Who maintains and repairs the equipment?

Power and wiring available? 3PH is commonly needed for some equipment. Drops already available or will all power need to be run?

Is there any overhead hoisting equipment (mono-rail, gantry, rectilinear?) and capacity? Loading dock? Local fork lift available?

Expected utilities for heat? This is high altitude country and it gets COLD. . . The on-site methane might be better used for heating. Forge fuel is a small part of a blacksmith's costs.


Photos available?

Juried selection? For what type of smith? Artist blacksmith? Commercial rails? Small Industrial (tool maker)?
- guru - Wednesday, 09/12/07 15:47:12 EDT

Cemeteries & the Warior's staff: Some cemeteries are quite strict and will remove ANYTHING which sticks up from the flat stone for convenience in mowing. If they don't allow standing stones, you are probably wasting your time.

These policies were adopted back before ZTR mowers and weed whackers, but some cemetery operators seem to prefer their places to be bland and boring.
John Lowther - Wednesday, 09/12/07 16:32:46 EDT

Cemeteries: John, Good Point. Yep, Those kind of things are common contractual clauses at many "memorial gardens".

The one where my brother-in-law was buried 30 years ago is still a barren open field that is easier to mow than the promised artists "concept" painting that they used to sell the place (shade trees, flower beds). The contract specifically states the size and style of the bronze plaques to be mounted on stones flush to the ground. The "perpetual care" apparently did not allow for the promised gardening or maintenance. But I suspect they meet the letter of their contract and expect you to do so as well.

If something was set in concrete and removed then there had to have been a good reason for it.

In Germany, maybe other parts of Europe, memorials are often forged steel or stainless as well as stone. It is another outlet for the artist blacksmith that we do not have here.

- guru - Wednesday, 09/12/07 17:51:16 EDT

cemetery rules: The Cementary removed the first staff as they had it well out from the upright stone. I have advised the fellow, a co-worker to check before investing a lot in another staff. I still want to learn a feather though. I looked at the Iforge Iron Blue print. That method will make a nice feather, but I need a lighter stock method. Viccopper has said he will show a technique at SOFA.
- ptree - Wednesday, 09/12/07 18:03:51 EDT

forge lube testing: I got the test punches back today. I have the rig built, and if things work out I will start testing tonight.
ptree - Wednesday, 09/12/07 18:04:47 EDT

I groan: The old metalworker asks, "Do you know where steel wool come from?"

"I dunno, where?"

"A hydraulic ram!".
- Frank Turley - Wednesday, 09/12/07 22:15:29 EDT

For everyone who has wanted to own a Nimba anvil- now you can own em ALL. Willlene is selling Nimba- the entire anvil making business, including the patterns, inventory, and name.
Become an american anvil company.

She is also selling both Russell's hammers- a Nazel 3B, and a 750lb Chambersburg.
- ries - Thursday, 09/13/07 10:24:16 EDT

Sounds like a good opportunity for you or Grant, Ries! Not too far to move stuff that way.

You always have secretly wanted to be a capitalist bourgouis anvil baron, haven't you? (grin!) That is too bad, a tough decision for Willene.
Alan-L - Thursday, 09/13/07 12:21:01 EDT

Nimba: Lets hope someone keeps the line alive.

However, Russel did a LOT of the work himself. Selling a hand dressed product means a lot of time spent holding on to a grinder and not getting so bored the quality suffers. This is the difference between a true craftsman and a common laborer.

Hmmm. . . both Nimba sites are off line. . . .
- guru - Thursday, 09/13/07 13:04:23 EDT

Test: Nimba: I wonder if they have much inventory, and if they will sell at a discount:)
Dave Leppo - Thursday, 09/13/07 14:51:18 EDT

I was surprised they were not using the web pages as a sales tool. But then it may have been time to pull the ply on some bills. . .
- guru - Thursday, 09/13/07 15:01:22 EDT

Looks like their site is still up:

Doesn't say anything about being for sale..
- Josh - Thursday, 09/13/07 16:18:25 EDT

Sheep: Frank,

My college Communications book had an anecdote about Iranian roughnecks putting together an imported oil rig. (No, the Shah wasn't around when I was in college; it was already an old story then.)

When they came to the instruction to uncrate the wet sheep, they were stymied. After getting through to Houston, they figured out that someone had translated "hydraulic ram" into the Persian for "wet sheep."
Mike BR - Thursday, 09/13/07 16:42:15 EDT

Hmmm, My link was to the I've updated it.

Folks don't realize that they don't have to host and maintain multiple websites but they sure DO need to maintain their old URLs. It costs $10/year to maintain a URL and most hosts will point it at your current URL for no extra cost. It prevents dead links and takes advantage of Internet inertia (all those old links that will never be changed).

Change is deadly on the Internet.
- guru - Thursday, 09/13/07 17:35:10 EDT

There is an ad in the back of either the Hot Iron News, (our local NWBA magazine) or the new Anvil's Ring. It said $35,000 plus inventory for the anvil biz, and $15,000 each for the two hammers. I hope Willene gets that much, she sure deserves it, but I dont know if she will.
- ries - Thursday, 09/13/07 18:38:55 EDT

Nimba has already sold from what I have been told.

Hmmm. . odd rhyme
- guru - Thursday, 09/13/07 19:56:48 EDT

best blacksmithing books, etc.?: Hello!

ok, so I got the small brick forge and the ron reil burner past the bookkeeper. The anvil is going to need to wait until I've been a VERY good boy for quite a while (and the bookkeeper is out of town). So, in the mean time I would like to educate myself with regard to some smithing basics i.e.; types of iron and their various properties, quenching (oils and water), tempering and anything else you nice people would like to offer up in the way of suggestions. I am a fifty year old man with four kids and a bookkeeper, I have some skills in welding and multiple trades and crafts, have worked with my hands for my living since forever, just so you have an idea of what I might be able to handle. Fire away. I am but putty in your hands!

- Terry Buchacher - Thursday, 09/13/07 23:07:29 EDT

Terry-- The single best smithing text is available free for the downloading at: Beyond that, for detailed instruction on how to do anything, get Schwarzkopf's Plain and Ornamental Forging. Finally, for attitude, mindset, the right practical, down-to-earth junk-scrounging, penyy-pinching approach to all this, and a ton of valuable how-to as well get Weygers' books, available in one volume, both of these authors available from Centaur or Lindsay Books. Everything else is gravy which you can and will spend the next 50 years and beyond assimilating.
- Miles Undercut - Thursday, 09/13/07 23:34:11 EDT

Books books:
Terry, There are lots of good blacksmithing books out there. Most do not get into the technical details as well as they should. Everyone keeps writing getting started books for the newby. ENOUGH ALREADY! (I scream to all the would be authors).

If you want to get into the multi-discipline books (which is what true blacksmithing is about), then see the following on our book review page.

Metal Techniques for Craftsmen, Oppi Intracht
Metal Working, Paul Hasluck

Then (all with reviews in progress). .

Metalwork Technology and Practice, Glencoe

The above is very basic but covering basic machine shop as well as sheet metal and fabrication. It is the text book used in most technical trade schools for metalwork.

Machine Tool Practices, Wiley (long list of contributors).

The modern blacksmith shop is more machine shop than smithy. We use drill presses, shears, punches and even lathes, milling machines and high tech welding equipment.

Modern Welding, Althouse etal.

Another text book. Another industry standard. Covers things like rod selection, safety, equipment types and setup as well as welding technique.

For general blacksmithing see:

The Artist Blacksmith By Peter Parkinson

We have a review of it. But personally I like

Werk und Werkzeug des Kunstschmieds By Otto Schmirler

ALL the above together will cost you what a good used anvil might cost (the text books are higher than they should be). However, you might be able to find older used copies of the text books for about 20 to 30% of new. HOWEVER, this is a darn cheap education. You can easily pay more for a couple days at one of the craft schools. IF you are a self learner then the above is most of what you need.

- guru - Thursday, 09/13/07 23:53:51 EDT

Astragal Press, Mendham, NJ: This press publishes many technical out-of-print books. One of my fave blacksmithing books is "Plain and Ornamental Forging" by Ernst Schwarzkopf, reprinted by this press in 2000.
Frank Turley - Friday, 09/14/07 08:02:57 EDT

OIL FORGE: Posted somewhere here lately was some info on an oil fired forge. I will be replacing my oil furnace with a more efficient heat system soon, and I was wondering if I can use the burner to build an oil fired forge. The furnace is from 1985, but still works good, and it and all the oil I now have (100 gal +) will have to go. The burner has a blower fan. My thought was to take the burner as-is and aim it into an insulated chamber.
Dave Leppo - Friday, 09/14/07 11:49:41 EDT

OIL FORGE: OK, I found where someone did this. It'l make a HUGE forge. See link. If and when I get around to it, I'll be sure to share.
See link:
Dave Leppo - Friday, 09/14/07 12:28:32 EDT

Dave, we had some of that type thing here somewhere.. . I had written about one and our friend Kiwi in New Zealand built one. His was horizontal rather than vertical. Yes they make a nice industrial sized forge.

Some pointers. The burner, a common domestic oil burner needs to be positioned so that its discharge is slightly down hill. This assures that the oil mist that collects and becomes liquid does not back up into the burner and set it on fire.

Between the burner and the forge body there should be one or two heat shields. These are pieces of sheet metal with about 1" air spaces between the hot surface and the burner. Think of them as making a shadow in the IR streaming off the forge body. When two shields are used they just about stop all radiant heat. the shields need to open at top and bottom to allow air to pass through the spaces removing heat.

The furnace burners are handy in that they come complete with pump, fan, high voltage ignition and controls. But there are other simpler oil burner systems that have been used on forges.

The simplest oil burner system is a refractory enclosure with a blown air source and an oil line providing a drip from the top of the enclosure. Once the forge is hot the drip vaporizes in the tube and ignites as soon as it mixes with air in the hot forge chamber.

The next simplest looks like our simple gas burner with a few changes. The oil is injected through a nozzle pointed down stream. This requires a pump or pressurized fuel tank. Often a hand pumped unit is used. In one commercial version the forge was mounted on top of the fuel tank which acted as a stand. The hand pump was built into the top of the tank as well.

Igniting these last types requires an oil soaked paper or rag to start the oil until the forge gets hot enough to maintain the combustion. These often blow out into the shop and must be chased down. . .

The advantage to an oil forge is they run hotter, richer and cheaper. On the other hand they absolutely require a good vent stack due to the fumes, just like coal.

A small unit could be built but the trick is a high pressure vaporization or misting system to break down the oil.
- guru - Friday, 09/14/07 15:10:52 EDT

Photo Kiwi's Diesel forge:

Kiwi's diesel forge
- guru - Friday, 09/14/07 15:17:29 EDT

Oil injector: I've often wondered if a fuel injection unit from a wrecked car couldn't be made to work for a forge burner. It should provide the nozzle jet, a pump and some sort of metering device. I was thinking of one of the throttle-body injector units, but I think those are only for gasoline vehicles, rather than diesel. Still, it might work and would certainly be cheap and plentiful. Not surprisingly, down here in the tropics oil furnaces are beyond rare. Fuel injected cars, on the other hand, are plentiful in wrecking yards.

A car with both fuel injection and a turbocharger would provide the injector hardware, plus a high-pressure blower. Now we're getting closer to having all we need for a forge, only lacking the refractory insulation. Offhand, I can't think of any vehicles other than the space shuttle that have refractory insulation. Anybody got a scrapped shuttle? (grin)
vicopper - Friday, 09/14/07 21:23:26 EDT

Lathe Ways: When the ways of a lathe bed have a faint frosty look - what does that indicate ?
Roller - Friday, 09/14/07 22:26:56 EDT

Lathe ways are hand scraped to be perfectly flat and to mate with the cross slide. This makes for a speckeled, frosty look. If the lathe still has this look, it means that its not worn out.
- ries - Friday, 09/14/07 22:50:53 EDT

Lathe Ways: ries - Thanks. Looks like I got a good one.
Roller - Friday, 09/14/07 23:24:41 EDT

I may be wrong, but I suspect that unless you want a micro forge the fule injector off a throttle body car would not move enough fuel. If you consider that a car may use1 gallon of fuel per say 30 miles, at 60 miles an hour, the system would move say 2 gallons of fuel and be combined with about 18,000 gallons of air. Also, the throttle body still uses a choke tube (venturi) to atomize the fuel. The pressures are nicely low in the fule delivery system for a throttle body.
Having worked at the valve shop where we had back up fuel oil for when the hatural gas was curtailed, the stick is pretty bad. Everything soon stinks. The axle shop had had back up fuel oil in the 70,s. Used for a week ONCE when a gas curtailment was in effect. 30 years later some of that shop still stank of fuel oil.
If you can live with the stink, a fuel oil burner can also be shop made. search for "waste oil burners" and you will find several, and most will run on french fry oil.
ptree - Saturday, 09/15/07 08:55:05 EDT

Fuel Injectors: Since the time there was a Mercedes supercharger in iron-in-the hat, I've been playing with the same idea. Two gallons of gasoline per hour should be the same as emptying a 20# propane cylinder 3 hours -- that's a decent size forge. Of course, it made more sense when gas was $1 a gallon. . .

Just for fun (since this would probably never make it out of my imagination anyway), I'd considered adding an 02 sensor to the exhaust and using an old PC to control the injector.
Mike BR - Saturday, 09/15/07 09:04:01 EDT

Turbo Chargers:
These will do no good on a forge. A turbo charger operates as a double chambered turbine where the exhaust turns a rotor on one side and the rotor on the other pressurizes the intake air. The point is to scavenge some lost energy from the hot high pressure exhaust.

Blowers on drag racers on other high performance cars run off a belt and do nothing for efficiency.

- guru - Saturday, 09/15/07 10:01:17 EDT

SUPER chargers: He did say supercharger, not turbo. They are belt or gear driven, and all they are is basically a lobe-type air compressor. Add efficiency? No. Horsepower? Oh, yeah...

Don't know what it'd do for a forge, but it'd sure look cool, especially if you painted flames down the sides. (grin!)
Alan-L - Saturday, 09/15/07 12:19:49 EDT

Turbos and superchcahargers.
I did see a "Junkyard wars" where a group used a turbo to build a jet engine to push a small dragester. The hooked a tube from the turbo exhaust to the turbine inlet that also had a combustion chamber. Used propane as I remember. They also added an afterburner. The after burner did not work well, but the jet put out enough thrust to win.
By the way, the Whittle WR-1 had the same set up of centrifugal compressor to a turbine and that lay out was used in many eary jet enginesand continues to be used in many turboprops.
I also suspect that sinc a turbo is optimized for something in the 10,000 to 30,000 rpm range probably not effective for a low speed blower.

There have been several styles of superchargers including the hotrodders favorite, the GMC belt driven. The lobe type however in not the only style, with roots, screw and centrifugal all haveing advantages.
In big aircraft engines, the centrifugal ruled. often two and even some three stage. In the WWII engines the goal of the turbo and the superchargers was to maintain high horsepower to high altitudes.
At 20,000' a normally aspirated engine will only produce about half its rated Hp. In the RR Merlin series 60 two stage, boost was huge. The blowers were huge and took 650Hp from the crank at rated alitude. But they made perhaps 1200Hp at 36,000'
A turbo has an interesting effect, in that as the altitude increases, and the air pressure decreases the turbo extracts more Hp from the exhaust since the delta P across the turbine increases. The turbine speeds up as the altitude increases, untill the limiting rpm is reached, and a govner takes control.

The ultimate use of the fuel in an engine? A Curtis Wright "Turbo Compound" this was a Wright Duplex Cyclone and thre turbines. The 18 cylinder engine had three turbines at the rear, feed the exhaust gas from 6 cylinders. The turbines turned a quill shaft to a bevel gear to a final gear reduction and then into the crankshaft via a hydraulic coupling. The 3350 cubic inch engine made 2700 Hp and with the Turbo Compound that was raised to 3500 Hp and 3700Hp with water injection for take off. The turbo Compound also reduced specific fuel consumption by 20%.
These were used on the later model connies, DC7B's and a few others. They made about 12,000 of these jewels. Maybe 50 or 60 are still in use.
ptree - Saturday, 09/15/07 13:11:36 EDT

Ultimate Forge:
The fact is we are very nearly at the ultimate forge today with the home-shop sized induction furnace sold by the Kaynes. No smoke, no fumes, no fuss no muss, invisible (magic) forces heat the metal without touching it. . . clean and efficient.

Now all we need to do is get folks to buy about 1,000,000 of them so that the price comes down to that of a common buzz-box so that it will be a tool in EVERY shop.

The only thing better would be the world envisioned by the physicists of the 1940's where everything would be powered by miniature nuclear devices. Automobiles powered for a lifetime by an egg sized power cell. These in turn are what made Isaac Asimov's fictional robots possible (the Hollywood version that plugs itself into a wall socket to recharge is a Politically Corrected device, NOT an Asmovian Robot. Huge amounts of power were available to operate the mechanics and that positronic brain. Asimov in good science fiction fashion convieniently overlooked the physics of the necessary heat losses which he full well understood.

But the point is that this led to all kinds of inventions by later people in the Asimov Universe who further reduced these power supplies to robin's egg size and smaller. These included pocket laser knives, personal force fields AND hand held nuclear powered cutters, punches and welders for all kinds of metal work. Dial a hole size, point it a piece of thick steel plate and POOF you had hole (apparently squared and properly positioned by some computer magic). These of course are some kind of futuristic LASER device backed by nuclear power. . .

Sounds pretty fantastic but when you plug in the Kayne's induction forge in many places of the country it is being powered by a nuclear power plant. . . Of course there is a better chance that it is being powered with coal which is quite appropriate for a blacksmiths tool. AND while few if any smiths have LASER cutting tables many certainly DO have LASER and water jet cutting outsourced. Both of which are guided by a computer in a robotic fashion. . .

21st Century blacksmithing has met the future of Isaac Asimov and there are still changes ahead. Micro magnetic non-contact forging hammers???

- guru - Saturday, 09/15/07 18:44:07 EDT

It never ends: origin: PPW´s Contact Form

comments: i am trying to learn what is wrong with; me and how to help me. i have done welding since 1986. 2weeks ago i was asked to weld galvanized on a bridge deck. the first day i wanted to vomit,the guys tolled me to drink a lot of milk .a quart or more a day .thursday i just feel like death .i go to er they think heart attack ,i tell them what i do doctor dont think important,after six hours doc tells me im fine ,just have unusal high cloting factor in blood. friday no welding today fells like the flue kind of... thank you for any info you can spare

What you have is either zinc-fume fever OR another form of heavy metal poisoning. It is caused by the metal vapors given off when welding galvanized metals. This is mostly zinc oxide but can also include lead and cadmium. Old galvanizing is often a mixture of metals so it is not jut a single problem. Breathing zinc oxide can do terrible things to your lungs and result in pneumonia. This is what killed the person that you wrote this letter to. If a doctor did not take you seriously then you had a bad doctor. Find another. OR ask the doctor to look up what happens when you inhale a large amount of zinc oxide.

Drinking milk is mostly an old wives' tale (superstition). It may remove a very little heavy metal from your body but it will NOT do what is necessary and it DOES NOT protect you from the poisoning.

If you live and work in the US or other country that has a government occupational safety system you need to do the following.

1) STOP welding galvanized. You should stop welding altogether until you are healthy again. Your lungs have been compromised and mild exposure to other things can cause serious problems until you are completely healthy again.

2) Immediately report the problem as an occupational injury to your employer. Use your report (even though they did nothing) from the ER as evidence that you sought help immediately. DO NOT TAKE NO for an answer.

If the employer does not take it seriously or does not give you workman's compensation forms you will need to take it to a government agency such as OSHA OR to your Union. This is a drastic step but may be necessary.

IF you are an undocumented worker then you still need to report the problem to OSHA. You are better off deported than dead.

3) Go to another doctor. Tell them this is an occupational injury. In the U.S. it SHOULD be covered by workman's compensation. You should have paperwork from step #2. Tell them you have been exposed to heavy metal fumes from welding and you do not know what kind. Some are lethal and the doctor SHOULD take it seriously. They need to test you for a range of heavy metals.

If you cannot go to a private doctor go to the ER again. Tell them this SHOULD be a workman's compensation claim. Use this letter if necessary. Take the names of the people that ignore your problem.

4) Before doing any more welding you need to learn about the hazards of welding and how to protect yourself from them. In most countries it is the DUTY of your employer to educate you in these things as well as provide the necessary protection. You should have had a special filter mask and the training to use it AND/OR special spot ventilation (a suction fan) removing the toxic fumes.

Act now. This happens to welders on a regular basis and is often ignored. Illness and death are often attributed to other things, influenza, pneumonia, heart/lung conditions when it was in fact metal poisoning. It IS a serious problem.

Jock Dempsey for Jim paw-Paw Wilson, deceased.

Paw-Paw's legacy
- guru - Saturday, 09/15/07 21:07:24 EDT

Supercharged forge: Yes, I did say a turbocharger, not supercharger. No, a turbocharger wouldn't work, as their is no exhaust velocity/pressure to drive it. What I was thinking of was an electric supercharger, a la the old Paxton units we played with when I was racing. While they certainly won't supply the boost that a GMC 6-76 blower would, they'd put out a lot of air at a good pressure, I think. A six or eight cylinder engine of some 3 to 5 liters displacement moves a bunch of air when cranking at 8 to 10,000 rpm. A supercharger for such an engine would surely supply sufficient air for a forge, wouldn't it? A simple blower would be best, but the object here is to make it form old car parts, not runout and buy stuff. I suppose a trip to the junkyard is in order to see what I can find to play with.

That project will have to wait until I make my tumbler, though. I do have all the stuff on hand to make that, including variable speed motor, drum, frame and rollers, so I don't have much of an excuse for not getting it done. I've done a few jobs lately that encompassed up to a hundred small pieces that would have lent themselves very well to finishing in a tumbler. After Quad States, I need to get on it and get it done.
vicopper - Sunday, 09/16/07 15:54:37 EDT

quad states: I am trying my best, but the fickle finger of fate is obstructing my progress. Quad States is my aim, but unless the truck is repaired pdq I may not be there. The fuel pump quit yesterday and that got scheduled for repair tomorrow, and as I was leaving the shop I saw a puddle of coolant. :-( A new Silverado or Sierra is probable, but not until later in the year.
- John Larson/Iron Kiss Hammers - Sunday, 09/16/07 16:44:57 EDT

VIc, The most important thing to tumblers is good media. There are many types and not very expensive. In your case the shipping will be greater or equal to the cost of the media.

After helping my Dad screw around with tumblers made from old tires I decided this may be an interesting way to go but is messy and not very productive.

Vibratory finishers are not much more complicated and are simpler to operate (less problem with foam, fallen out media and parts). They are basically just a big tank or container supported on springs or rubber hangers and a motor attached underneath with an out of balance wheel to shake the whole. The contents roil and parts surface every few seconds so you don't have to fish down into the media to get them out.

While they ARE noisy and need a good foundation (separate from your shop), the noise is not much worse than a tumbler.

Tumblers with angled axis polygonal drums work well as the parts and media do not fall out and you can reach in and remove parts any time you want.
- guru - Sunday, 09/16/07 17:50:27 EDT

SOFA Quad States:
I cannot make it either. I have a job running until the end of the year that is going to take more and more of my time. This combined with moving and setting up machinery for the hammer-in may kill me. . .

Big BLU will have some of our 2008 Hammer-In fliers on their table. CSI members are encouraged to pick up a FEW and distribute them to tailgaters.

John, check the link and schedule the trip if you can. Power hammers are going to RULE.

anvilfire 10th aniversary
- guru - Sunday, 09/16/07 17:58:23 EDT

I started prep for Quad State today. Changed the oil and windshield wipers on the big van, hooked up the forge trailer, loaded the trailer, and then washed the combo as they were both extremely dirty.
I got the billet for Nathan, the welder for Patrick and the Brazil Bros. style anvil in the trailer as well as lots of soft steel sheet and other goodies. It looks as if the forge lube tester will not make it as I am at gross weight:)
ptree - Sunday, 09/16/07 19:12:48 EDT

Quad State: The fickle finger has got me too. I have a conflict with a ww2 reenactment in Rockford IL going on the same weekend. I think we should just double the length of the month of September so we can have more weekends.
- Mike Sa - Sunday, 09/16/07 20:17:37 EDT

Frank; will you be at the SWABA meeting in ALB in October? I'd like to buy a copy of your book from you---if you will sign it!

Terry: you should be able to come up with a decent anvil much cheaper than the books---it won't look like a london pattern anvil; but *most* anvils in the world don't either! See if a forklift sales/rental/repair place has a large old damaged tine they'd let you have to use for an anvil and mount the heaviest section verticle in a bucket of concrete. An example of a variation of this is shown at the URL below

Fork Lift Tine to Anvil
Thomas P - Monday, 09/17/07 15:30:13 EDT

Thomas P,: I have obligations in Oklahoma that most often coincide with our SWABA meetings, so I will be in Ponca City, OK, in early October. Will wee you at a later time, I'm sure.
Frank Turley - Monday, 09/17/07 23:35:39 EDT

Digital 3- phase converter: Digital Three phase converter.

I hope this 3-phase subject is not over done, I have been useing this converter for a no. of years with no trouble,runing a 10HP air hammer and small drills, etc.

"Phase Perfect" solid state converter's is based on AMP load, not matched HP. The best part is has no moving parts only a cooling fan. You can operate all types of three-phase equipment. There site has a lot of tech stuff.
glenn - Tuesday, 09/18/07 09:53:11 EDT

shooting hard targets: I thought I would move it over to here to not clutter the Guru's Den.

I'd certainly hesitate to use the terms "never" or "always" in regards to bouncing projectiles but again, I'd reference silhoutte shooting...unpenatrable steel plate and perpendicular to the ground that is normal to the projectile path. But, as the Guru said low probability things might still happen.

Alen, good point about the gun used. I don't have any experience with one of those so I guuss I'll keep my money in my pocket.
Mike Ferrara - Tuesday, 09/18/07 11:36:35 EDT

bouncing balls: of lead, that is...

You also don't know how the guy loaded the cartridge. If he was using a low-velocity load there's no telling where that thumb-sized copper-jacketed spitzer would go after hitting a steel plate.

Some re-enactors I know found out about this the hard way at a rendezvouz. A bunch of guys with .32 flintlock squirrel guns were plinking at a stump using about five grains of powder, which in a .32 results in a small "pop" and the muzzle velocity of a good pellet rifle. The .32 ball at that speed would penetrate about a half-inch and stop. A fellow re-enactor armed with a .62 smoothbore thought this looked like fun, so he loaded up with ten grains of powder. Sectional densities and velocity being what they are, the .62 ball bounced right back and smacked the guy beside him in the ankle hard enough to nearly break it.

I've had enough odd things happen with projectiles of all sorts that I never say never about much except absolute range, and even that can be iffy.
Alan-L - Tuesday, 09/18/07 14:23:49 EDT

Bouncing bullets: I shot a 38 S&W [a low powered load] into a 2" thich chunk of Homasote, a high density structural cardboard, and had it bounce back. Stranger things have happened.
- Dave Boyer - Tuesday, 09/18/07 23:24:38 EDT

More Books: Robert Ruhloff of Ashfield, MA, has translated three books from the early 20th century, all written by an architect, Professor Max Metzger. In one book, Ruhloff translated some chapters from an early German book which he calls "The Artist-Blacksmiths Workshop," in German, "Die Kunstscholsserei." He titled his translation, "Classical Techniques of Hand-Forged Iron Work." This book has photos and drawings of leaf work done mostly hot of 1/8" to 3/16" thick stock. Metzger has drawings of tool use. There is also a discussion of sheet repousse work.

Another translation is titled, "Basics of Style for the Artist-Blacksmith." This book has photos and drawings from the periods, Egyptian through Barouque and Rococo. He talks about the Empire Period 1775-1820 and the "recovery of style in the 19th century." I would call this an idea book for metalworkers.

The third book Ruhloff titled, "Pattern Book for the Artist-Blacksmith." It is of leaf patterns, forms to be developed by the metalworker. There are also some cartouches and scroll/roll development (imitating paper or ribbon). These patterns were printed in the 10th anniversary issue of Anvil's Ring Magazine, but without the commentary. We now have the commentary in English. This book is oversized; 10" x 14".

In the first mentioned book, Ruhloff gives all due respect to the original author, Max Metzger. I found Max Metzger in my internet bookfinder research and also his book, "Die Kunstschlosserei." This literally translates as " The Art-Locksmith's Shop." This gave me a little pause, as I took German in college and I have my old Cassell's 1939 German-English Dictionary. However, even though a Scholss is a door or chest lock and a Schlosser is a locksmith, a schlosser can also be a "fitter." I further found that in 20th century use, a schlosser can be a fabricator or a "mechanic," this latter in the broad sense, a guy who can use his hands. I sent for a copy and got it out of Argentina for $50.00. My copy is dated 1922, and the photos and drawings are worth that. Of course, the book is in German. Metzger wrote the book for artsmiths, not locksmiths. It is, to a large degree, a how-to book, with drawings and photos of tools and methods. There are photos of finished work and there are also sections of arc and oxy welding and 20th century machinery which was entering the world of the smith at the time of writing. 504 pages on quality stock.

A friend living in New England, found the three spiral bound paperbacks for me at Hancock Shaker Village gift shop, P.O. Box 927, Pittsfield, MA, 01202. Ph 413-443-0188. The total for the three books was approximately $100.00.

I am happy with my purchases.
Frank Turley - Tuesday, 09/18/07 23:49:18 EDT

Muzzle Loaders: Anyone out there have any experience forging parts of muzzle loaders? I have a question about forging percussion bolsters.
- JD Rix - Tuesday, 09/18/07 23:54:50 EDT

Muzzle loader parts: I have made flintlock parts, but not percussion, sorry. The thing to remember with most ML gunsmithing is forge only if you have to, but files are your friend. And a jewelers' saw in combination with a set of die-sinker's chisels can work wonders.

Somewhere on my computer at home I have a muzzleloader forum bookmarked that may help you, I think it's or something like that.
Alan-L - Wednesday, 09/19/07 10:53:00 EDT

Muzzleloading forum: Hah! Found it. You will have to register to view the posts, but it's free and there's a lot of knowledge over there.
Alan-L - Wednesday, 09/19/07 14:33:12 EDT

Carving Parts: As Alan noted, making parts by sculpture is often better than forging as it is much more controlled and doesn't result in cold shuts and burnt metal.

With some imagination you can blank a lot of parts with a hack saw (hand or power). Fine detailed steel parts can be sawn with a jeweler's saw and some technique. Mixing techniques such as drilling holes for locating specific radii then sawing out the part can produce some very accurate parts without dies, molds or forging.

Following the drill and saw work with files and you can create a very richly decorated part with whitesmith chamfers, floral decorations and such. Using a little Dremmel and a steady hand to do things you can't do with a file and you can produce almost anything.
- guru - Wednesday, 09/19/07 15:37:41 EDT

Bouncing bullets: If you desperately want the exact "look" and pattern of a shotgun, I suggest you shoot a piece of paper and then use that as a pattern to place dings made w a punch.
- Rudy - Wednesday, 09/19/07 17:59:02 EDT

Google Earth Roads Missing:
Any other occassional GE'ers out there? I used to have road maps in almost all parts of the world but this week all the roads stop at the Mexican border. Nothing in Central America. Roads are missing from everywhere South and West of the Mediterranean as well.

Any hear or know anything? I've searched the problem but see nothing on it.
- guru - Wednesday, 09/19/07 20:27:27 EDT

Quad state/ Rob's Scrap punches: It looks like I will be going to Quad state friday and saturday. I will be bringing a bunch of the S-1 punches and dies with me to try and sell.
I hope to meet up with some of the people here and put faces with the names. I should be getting there late friday afternoon and leaving saturday night.
Rob Barnett - Thursday, 09/20/07 00:38:29 EDT

somehow I messed up the second link. Btw, Thanks for posting them Jock.
Rob Barnett - Thursday, 09/20/07 00:40:10 EDT

Quad States Travelogue, Part 1: Well kids, this is it. Day one of the great Quad States Roundup travel extravaganza and all-around odyssey. The captain has turned on the “fasten seat belts” sign and we’re underway, all signs and reports favorable for a grand adventure.

My day really began last night, with the customary pre-travel packing anxiety and general confusion. I always go through this, never quite sure what to bring and what to leave behind, always certain that the weather or other events beyond my control will conspire to thwart whatever carefully-laid plans I might execute. This year, the main item of consternation is the six bottles of St. Croix’s finest export, Cruzan Rum.

Back in February, I took a jaunt up to frigid New Hampshire to learn valuable things. Other than that I don’t like cold, which I already knew full well. Being the considerate fellow that I am, I took along six bottles of hooch for the party. The less-considerate bastards at American Airlines decided to liberate the libations, so I arrived empty-handed, a thing I absolutely hate to do. Unwilling to endure that embarrassment a second time, I went out and purchased a set of luggage for the express purpose of transporting the hooch incognito, as it were. On the return trip, the extra suitcase will be filled with plunder from the peasants, I hope.

Well, the hooch made it in good style. I was able to carry on my electronic goodies, camera, laptop, projector and all, so I could feel secure about their survival. I brought some cold-weather clothing that it appear will be superfluous, which suits me to a tee. In fact, I plan to wear a tee, if possible. My kind of weather!

I had to wrangle with the motel clerk over the room, and that isn’t finished yet. I reserved a room with two double beds, as I like the extra horizontal space for strewing my stuff about. The hotel advertised that they had free high-speed internet, so I figured I was all set. I arrived, checked in, verified the internet service, and went to my room. Half the lights weren’t working, and I need light. A phone call to the desk clerk remedied that. Then I sat down to check my email, and my laptop informed me that there were no available networks within range. Drat! I called the office and the same clerk who confirmed that they had internet service told me that it didn’t work but m ight be fixed in a day or two. Bullshit, says I. I asked and you told me you had it, and now you tell me you lied? I have to have it, so I’ll move to another hotel. Clerk informs me that all the hotels in the area are having the same problem. Before I can even reply to this bit of prevarication, the manager comes on the line and tells me that it is only the building I am in that is without service and they can move me to another room. Fine, I move. New room has only one bed and no refrigerator. Too late to start another session with the hotel ninnies, so I go do my shopping.

Shopping is shopping, mostly. Not fun, but necessary when you live where they don’t sell grey socks, tee shirts with pockets or decent bed sheets, among other things. WalMart is my friend, I am one with WalMart. I also took a jaunt to the Sprint store to get a new phone, since I am eligible for a whopping discount and I wanted one of the sexy new thin ones that come with lethal-sounding names.

While I was outfitting myself with a phone so small it practically disappears, I also picked up a wireless broadband card for my laptop. If this thing works back home, I will be able to have internet service in the shop and at home when the phone is down due to rain. A regular occurrence that the rocket scientists at the telco cannot seen to fix. Not only that, but I’ll be able to have internet at the Quad States campsite. Tomorrow I’ll find out if it works, as tonight it is busy programming itself while I do other things. I have no idea how these things work, so I just follow the directions the nice girl at Sprint gives me. Plug the thing in to the laptop and leave it on overnight so it can do its “provisioning”, a function I thought referred to getting food and water on your yacht. New technology, new language, I guess.

That’s it for Day 1 of the epic. Tomorrow, pictures of goodies, people and reports of all the doings. Stay tuned! More to come, if you all are interested.
vicopper - Thursday, 09/20/07 01:31:18 EDT

Rich - Quad State: Definitely keep us posted. Some of us poor slobs are still at work chained to our desks.
- Bernard Tappel - Thursday, 09/20/07 09:49:14 EDT

Post away Rich, it's the next best thing to being there. I have never been myself, conflict with work. And I enjoy learning that I am not the only one, who's Plans almost never go as planned.
daveb - Thursday, 09/20/07 10:03:25 EDT

Wrought iron tools for sale: Large forged wrought iron shackle.

Large forged wrought iron bolt header. Roughly 1" sq hole.

I also have a few other tools I want to sell that I don't have pictures of yet. They include a very unique casting ladle and an even larger schackle.
Ty Murch - Thursday, 09/20/07 19:17:58 EDT

edit: My buddy Alan L just informed me that the bolt header is in fact a wrench for the old square bolt heads, and it turns out that this wrench fits perfectly that weird vise I was trying to sell, so I'm keeping the bolt header. . . I mean wrench.
Ty Murch - Thursday, 09/20/07 19:25:56 EDT

Quad States Journal Day 2:
Wow! Day two of the Quad States odyssey has been pretty amazing and loads of fun. I got to the fairgrounds early, around 7:30 am and there were a few tailgaters already set up. I picked up a nice sheet metal vice in great shape for $65 and a few bits and pieces of H-13 and S-7 tool steel for making power hammer and fly press tooling.

As is usual and customary, the crew from SOFA has all their ducks in a row and everything is coming together perfectly. No problems, and everyone making it look effortless, which is the result of many long months of preparation and planning. If I was faced with the chore of running such an event, I’d have to seriously consider just sub-contracting the task to SOFA – they do it right. I chatted briefly with some of the SOFA guys I know from previous gatherings and they said that attendance is up this year, probably due at least in part to the fine weather. Last year, for those who might have missed it, was rainy, muddy and cold.

As the day progressed more and more tailgaters and attendees arrived, bringing new goodies, old faces, and new meetings. Much of the day was spent with Jeff Hafner from Ontario, a poster on the forums. He’s a really nice guy and he has picked up a few good deals for himself. He’ll be taking delivery of his new fly press here at Quad States, making this a special occasion for him, I’m sure. He noticed the Old World Anvils rig coming before it even made it to the parking area. (grin)

John Eliot of Blacksmith’s Supply is here with his usual solid stock of tools and supplies for smiths, and this year his wife was able to accompany him. He remarked that he recently got in a new shipment of Euroanvils, so he should be in a good position to fill folk’s needs.

This year, Kayne and Sons aren’t in evidence, and I seem to recall Shirley saying that they wouldn’t be able to make it. Too bad, as they’re always nice to talk with and good dealers.

Tom Clark is present and accounted for, “Honest Bob” Cruikshank is his usual eccentric and humorous self with his usual stash of interesting goods, and I’m lookin gforward to seeing Larry Zoeller and other arrive soon. There’s too many people to really mention more than a fraction of them, but suffice it to say that the gang’s all present and a good time is being had by all.

The weather is just about perfect, from my perspective anyway. Mid-eighties during the day and high sixties at night. Perfect for a tropical dude who shivers every time he opens the refrigerator door. Heck, I may even wear shorts tomorrow.

I spent the evening going to dinner with Steve Gensheimer, Tom and Louise Chenoweth, and Dave Boyer. At La Fiesta, we enjoyed a dandy Mexican dinner that left us all feeling very well-fed and satisfied. After supper, we all spent a couple of hours around the campfire swapping stories with John Fee and his lovely wife, John Larson, Roger Degner and Lance (damn, I can’t recall his last name). A fine end to a great day.

Tomorrow, the demos and fun really start! Great demonstrators this year, and I’ll have more on that in tomorrow’s episode. For now, it’s time to get a couple of pictures posted in the Forgemagic Gallery and get some sleep to prepare for tomorrow's fun.
vicopper - Friday, 09/21/07 01:16:25 EDT

Skunk & glue traps: White vinegar works pretty well for neutralizing skunk scent.

I won't use glue traps: The mice generally try to chew their way loose and die in a singularly nasty fashion.

I use snap traps baited with peanut butter in the house (usually a clean kill) and a wind-up repeating live trap in the barn. (Whose contents get bagged and drowned in the pond. My ex used to dump 'em in a 50 gallon crock and then added a cat.)
John Lowther - Friday, 09/21/07 19:11:29 EDT

Quad States Journal Day 3: Day Three of the Odyssey is finally over, except for this entry. Man, what a long and interesting day!

Had a pretty fine breakfast with Steve G, Dave Boyer and Jeff Hafner at a little restaurant next to the motel we’re all at, and headed into the fairgrounds. Throngs of tailgaters and gawkers arriving all the time, but the QS crew had everything under control.

Steve Gensheimer and I spent a while piddling around on John Larson’s outstanding utility hammer, making a small lifting hook, a hack for the power hammer and some various bits and pieces just to keep the onlookers amused. Answered a handful of questions about John’s hammer, and spent some time coaching Dale Poulliot through his first session running a power hammer. It sure didn’t take Dale long at all to catch on to the right moves and start really moving the metal. He’s hooked, I can tell. (grin)

I wandered around the grounds every little while, looking at new arrivals and sizing up the goods. I picked up a great deal on some stainless steel knotted wire wheels for the big angle grinders, so those will go in the box for mailing home. I’m up to three Flat Rate boxes so far, and a couple to go, probably.

This afternoon, I spent a while chatting and exchanging ideas with David Starr of Chile Forges. Dave is making and selling propane forges that look very nice and seem to work quite well. After talking with him for a while, I could see he truly passionate about building the best forge available, and we swapped some ideas about improvements that could be incorporated into his designs. One in particular is a departure from what has been done for years, and may very well prove to have significant merit for improving forge efficiency and ultimate heat. If it can be made to work, Dave will get it done and have a significantly better product than anyone else. Time and experimentation will tell the final tale, I suppose.

The campsite was full at supper time, with well over a dozen of us enjoying a hearty meal of John Fee’s renowned blacksmith stew. John cooked up a batch in a cauldron darn near big enough to boil a missionary in, but not much was left after the crew had finished. A most excellent meal, accompanied by much story-telling and swapping of anecdotes and news. Brownies and cookies for desert, washed down with judicious measures of Cruzan Blackstrap. I certainly felt well stuffed and content after that meal!

After dinner, most of us traipsed over to the main demonstration area to watch the featured demonstrators and the opening ceremonies. This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the Quad States Roundup, started by Emmert Studebaker, and the arena was packed for the occasion. The Punzo Angel family of Mexico put on a terrific demonstration of angle raising copper vessels, working from a roaring wood fire in a large mason’s mixing trough. The family members, ranging in age from about twelve to fifty, forged the copper into discs first, then raised the discs into the rough vessel forms that will be finished during the following day’s demos. More than a hundred examples of their work were on display outside the demo area, and participants were able to purchase pieces for unbelievably reasonable amounts. I picked up a magnificent piece to take home for my wife Sally, which will ensure that I am allowed to attend next year’s event. (grin)

After a couple more hours of conversation around the campfire, it was time for me to head back to the motel to pack the day’s plunder in to boxes for mailing home and get some much-needed sleep. Tomorrow, demos, demos, tailgating and more.

vicopper - Saturday, 09/22/07 08:03:35 EDT

RICOCHET: Several Years ago I worked for a steel company. We were approached by a local gun club that had set up an outdoor range with animal outlines over a winding course. They wanted to back the targets up with steel, and so we gave them a few samples to try out. The mild steel deformed badly in a short amount of time. The AR plate stood up better, but what they really liked about the T1 was that being hardened, it rang when you hit it, and so they knew they were on target. They then ordered a number of plates from us, and we set them up so they were suspended by chains at a 45 degree angle, so that the slug was directed down into sand.
- Loren T - Saturday, 09/22/07 11:17:51 EDT

We used to get the cutest little white footed deer mice who would jump down into the trash can the bird food was stored in and then couldn't get out---we'd carefully catch them and then take them down to the local nature center who were quite happy to have appropriate snake and hawk food---Mother grew up on a farm and had no compunction about terminating vermin...

ThomasP - Saturday, 09/22/07 23:39:24 EDT

Quad States Journal, Day 4: Once again, the journal entry for the day comes a day late as I stayed up too late again last night. Not much in the way of pictures either, as the previous day’s activities of schlepping a camera round my neck all day did something unpleasant and my left arm has been sore and numb ever since. Consequently, I just couldn’t bear to lug the camera around again yesterday.

I did pull out the camera to get a picture of Kim Saliba with an outstanding hat she found as a gift for Kevin Donohoe of Flying Pig Forge. The hat is a pink pig with wings that flap when you tug on a lanyard cord. Simply too perfect for words! Of course, I took another picture today when Kim put the thing on Kevin’s somewhat oversize head. It looks like Kevin will be sporting a new look at future hammer-ins. (grin)

Yesterday was the big day for all the demos, more tailgating and eating my way around the fairgrounds. I started the day with a light, don’t-slow-me-down breakfast, which was good when it came time for lunch. On the way in to the place in the morning, I spotted the same food vendor that had been here last year and knew immediately that would be my stop for lunch. They serve a breaded and fried pork tenderloin sandwich as big as your undershirt for less than five bucks. Who can beat that? One of those and a side of fries and I was good to go for the rest of the afternoon.

I wandered about the place picking up bits and pieces of things that I need but can’t get in the Virgin Island, like Ward reducing tees for making forge burners (courtesy of Larry Zoeller of Zoeller Forge), various chunks of tool steel for making power hammer and flypress tooling, and some wire wheels for the angle grinders, among other things. Needless to say, I could only covet, but not purchase, the myriad of leg vises, anvils, forges and such that I was confronted with.

In between stopping in at the demos of knife-making, traditional smithing and the Angel family coppersmiths, I kept returning to the display of the Angel’s copperware. I wanted to just take them all home with me.

The gallery display featured the usual assortment of nice to outstanding examples of blacksmithing by SOFA members and attendees. The special category this year was sign brackets, though I saw only relatively few of those. They were all nice though, and I regret to report that I did not get pictures due to the aforementioned shoulder/neck issue.
I guess you’ll just have to take my word for it that they were fine work. (I think I should maybe invest in a small pocket-sized camera for situations like this.)

Toward evening, we all gravitated to the Forgemagic campsite where Tom and Louise Chenoweth had cooked up a dandy meal of barbecued pork shoulders, salad and dessert. No one ever goes away hungry from the Saturday night supper, and this year was no exception. After supper, we sat around swapping stories and comparing the day’s tailgate scores until Steve Parker pulled out a Clifton Ralph DVD he’d just gotten from Roger Degner of UMBA. I set up the laptop and the LCD projector and, using a purloined motel bedsheet for a screen, we watched the videos and also some pictures of Venetian ironwork courtesy of Patrick Nowak of Scott Forge. Everyone seemed to enjoy the evening immensely, and Kim’s appearance in the flying pig hat was the perfect grand finale to another outstanding day. I dragged myself back to the motel and collapsed, looking forward to today. Sleep came immediately, believe me! (grin)

Today was a rather desultory day for me, what with the soreness and latent tiredness. I spent the morning chatting with people and helping break down the camp, and did go back one last time to admire the Angels’ copper vessels. I did purchase one more vessel to give to my brother Riley as a housewarming present for his new house in North Carolina. These things have the classic beauty and superb craftsmanship that makes them a very fitting gift for such an occasion. Maybe he won’t like it and I will get to keep it. Not. I just hope I can fit both of those pots in my luggage, as they’re too big to fit in flat rate boxes and get mailed.

Well, that pretty much wraps up the coverage of the actual event. I may put in one more report on the last of my activities on this trip tomorrow, but that will be tomorrow night, if at all. For now though, it feels like a good time for an afternoon siesta in honor of our Mexican smithing friends.
vicopper - Sunday, 09/23/07 21:19:37 EDT

Quad States: I regret that I didn't get a photo of Jeff "ptree" Reinhardt's hat this year. He made a functioning helve hammer to decorate his hard hat, and it was a work of art. Not only operable, but variable speed. Not just any old variable speed, either; nossir, it was a genuine Variable Frequency Drive AC motor with controller. No one but Jeff would/could have done that!

My picture taking this year was terrible, as carrying around the camera gear wsas causing numbness in my arm and soreness in my neck. I spent the afternoon in bed today, recovering somewhat from Saturday, but tomorrow I'm going to do some shopping for one of the new teeny-weeny little 5 or 7 megapixel cameras that will fit in my shirt pocket. I can't go through this again.

Sorry for the dearth of photos, but next year should be better, I hope.
vicopper - Sunday, 09/23/07 22:13:20 EDT

TOOLS FOR SALE: Here is a list of some tools i have for sale in Upstate New York near Cooperstown. Email me for photos or questions.

The Wells foot operated vise stands 34" tall without the wooden base and the jaw faces measure 5" x 1 1/2" retangular. It works good and there are no cracks, breaks, or repairs. It does not come with its optional upsetting block and bolt heading jaws. I never had them for this vise. $175.00

The William Foster Anvil also marked with a crown and the date 184? I think it is a 3 or 4...1843? It is also stamped JH and has the hundredweight mark of 1-0-13 and weighs 125 pounds. It is 18 1/2" long x tall. The side shoe rest is broken off and missing. The face is 12 1/2" x 3 3/4" and the horn is 6" long and the hardy hole is 7/8th inch square. The face is flat but does have chop marks in its top and heavy dings along its edges and also has some small edge chips behind the pritchel and hardy hole. This anvil has more than normal wear because of its age, but is still in good usable condition with no cracks or repairs. It is a very old looking style and has a loud pitch ring. $400.00

The early Wilkinson patent anvil and with the hundredweight mark of 1-1-19 stamped on its side and weighs 159 pounds. It looks just like a Peter Wright anvil. The face is 15 1/8" x 4 1/4" and the hardy hole is 1 1/8" square. The horn is 9 3/4"long. the anvil is 10 3/4 tall and 25" long. It has a medium to loud high pitched ring. It does have a few very small edge chips but is overall in very good usable condition. $400.00

The cast iron stump anvil is very old style also and is 13 1/2" tall without the stump mount x 21 3/4" long and has a 1 3/8" hardy hole. There is a deep cast defect in the one side of the anvil as seen in photo which does not seem to interfere with its use. It has a dull loud ring. $175.00

The Cole tool mfg. co.# 11 vise is missing its post and has a 1" diameter hole on its bottom side where the post slid in. It is pretty rusted and the anvil on the back side is ceased to the back jaw and cannot be spun into proper position for mounting. The screw and jaw pivot are free but could use some oil also. There is no tension spring on the screw to open the jaws. The vise measures14 1/4" tall and the jaw faces are 7/8" x 3 1/4" retangular and the anvil face is 2 3/4" x 5". needs cleaning,oil, and post. $30.00

The lighter post vise is in very good and very tight shape and is 41" tall. Good spring and solid mount plate. The jaw faces measure 7/8" x 4" retangular. It does not seem to be used much and is in very good usable condition. The jaws are square to each other and tight. $100.00

The heavier post vise is much older and stronger looking than the lighter one and has more use on it but is in very good usable condition. It is 38" tall and has a good heavy duty spring and mount plate. The original handle is missing and there is a long bolt and nut in its place which now is so old that it looks original. The jaw faces are 5/8 x 4 5/8" retangular. There is a small piece of dress metal broken off on the back of the vise right over the large nut that the screw threads into as seen in photo. The jaws are square to each other and tight. $125.00

The buffalo forge company #1 floor mounted chop shear is 16" tall and the blades are 5 1/2" long and the blades look clean with sharp edges. The handle hole has been welded at one time and i have no handle for this machine. I have never tried it but it seems to move and is nice and tight. Needs handle. $65.00

2 ton Triplex chain fall made by Yale & Towne dated 1898 $175.00

large tinsmith hand cranked beading machine with 9" throat and heavy duty stand $250.00

Heavy duty long railroad pry bar for pulling spikes marked DH&L RR $30.00

buffalo tire and axle shrinker $175.00

Wells brothers tire upsetter or shrinker $200.00

Watson & Stillman #3 1/2 heavy duty floor mounted punch press $150.00

4 Tall Bottle jacks $65.00 each

There will be more as i sort things out.

Len - Sunday, 09/23/07 23:10:50 EDT

ptrees hat: I posted a pic of ptrees hat across the street. It is a masterpiece.
Brian C - Monday, 09/24/07 13:25:58 EDT

Google Earth: I don't use Google Earth much since it is excruciatingly slow on a dial-up connection.

On Google Maps I've noticed a very odd phenomenon: I did a search for Tegucigalpa, the capitol of Honduras and got just an outline of the country and a point marker.

However, after searching for Casablanca and Rio de Janero (to see if the problem was just Honduras) I did a search for San Pedro Sulo (the main commercial center) and wonder of wonder, there were roads in Honduras, including ones to Tegucigalpa. I searched on Tegucigalpa again, and again no roads. Bizarre.

You can zoom out from there and there are roads (if not many) in Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Panama.

Why they disappear on many other searches I don't know. . .

I missed out on an opportunity to inquire when the chief developer of Google Earth was at KU the other day.
- John Lowther - Tuesday, 09/25/07 13:06:50 EDT

Frank Turley: I received the book today. Thanks! I've been wanting a copy of this for a long time.
- Bernard Tappel - Tuesday, 09/25/07 18:25:04 EDT

Gibford Anvil?: I am looking at an old anvil to buy. The fellow wants $150 for it. It is 105 lbs. The edges and face seem to be in reasonable condition, no obvious chips or anything like that, no dishing formed in the face, lots of little dents. He gave me the following information. The word "Gibford" is formed in raised letters on the side. Below that is a raised disk with now-illegible markings stamped into it. The face steel is of different character than the steel of the body, but has no dead spots. He used it for farrier work and says it was a good anvil.
Do the raised lettering and disk imply that the body of the anvil is cast?

Do the stamped markings imply that the body is steel?

Has anyone heard of Gibford?

Is this a reasonable price?

- Aaron King - Tuesday, 09/25/07 19:39:29 EDT

Mice: I have a problem with mice in the outbuildings too. I use conventional mouse traps, for bait I deill a small hole through kernels of field corn and wire 3 kernals to the bait lever with tag wire. This lasts for quite a few mice as long as You reset the traps regularly. The mice here are used to eating corn and it seems to work better than peanut butter or cheese.
- Dave Boyer - Tuesday, 09/25/07 21:48:48 EDT

Bernard Tappel: You're welcome!
Frank Turley - Tuesday, 09/25/07 23:36:39 EDT

Gibford, cast or forged: Aaron, I've never heard of this one but there are farriers anvils made all over the world. Where are you and the anvil?

If an anvil has raised lettering OR surface insignia it is a casting. Wrought anvils have shallow often hard to read markings. They are stamped in by hand.

However there are exceptions to look for.

Kohlswa anvils are cast steel but the name and "Sweden" are scratched in the side of the pattern quite shallow and looks ALMOST like a stamping. Drop forged anvils (there is only one, Peddinghaus) can have slightly raised lettering. But this is not common because it wears in the dies. Old wrought and open die forged anvils did not have raised lettering.

One giveaway to cast iron anvils is the obvious appearance of a top plate that sticks out all the way around. This is a phony affectation put on the pattern for fools and uninitiated . Old (it is no longer done) anvils with a top plate are made with it flush to the edges of the body and a seam may not show at all or just barely be visible if you look very close.
- guru - Wednesday, 09/26/07 09:45:39 EDT

Mice; went to check both traps out in the shop this morning and they had both disappeared; guess I'll be haunted by mice mummies now...

My wife has suggested I try a rat trap for the possible larger critters; but since our cat comes into the shop to check out the mice situation I don't want to run the risk of hurting him.

May have to put in a cat door and get a shop cat; but with skunks around I really don't want to get one of them in the shop eating the cat food and upset if "discovered".

Thomas P - Wednesday, 09/26/07 11:15:55 EDT

Missing Mouse Traps: Thomas,

Tie a piece of string or attach a small chain to the trap and the local wall or other immovable object.

juterbock - Wednesday, 09/26/07 12:57:14 EDT

Missing mousetraps: We used to have mousetraps that went missing on a regular basis. Then the neighbor brought back a bunch. . . Their cats had drug the pre-caught mice home as trophies of their hunting prowess. . .

Seems like there are high-tech kitty doors, which unlock when a cat with the appropriate RFID chip on her collar approaches. Lets the cat in and and out, while keeping other varmints out.
John Lowther - Wednesday, 09/26/07 13:54:28 EDT

Juterbock---you mean like a 500# anvil?

Thomas P - Wednesday, 09/26/07 14:23:34 EDT

Exactly, a 500# anvil would probably hold more then you would ever want to catch :)

juterbock - Wednesday, 09/26/07 14:59:10 EDT

Brenton Morton, Your e-mail bounced.
- guru - Wednesday, 09/26/07 17:28:55 EDT

Mouse Hunt:
I assume most of you have seen the movie 'Mouse Hunt'

Several years ago I had a sever mouse problem in the house. So I bought D-Con mouse bait (the little turquoise pellets) and put boxes of it under the sink and stove in the kitchen. . .

A few days later I started putting on my jacket and it felt a little heavy in the pockets. As I put it on D-Con pellets fell out of the sleeves. . . and the pockets were half full. Were the mice trying to get me or send me a message? All I could think of at the moment was the mouse in Mouse Hunt. . .

I suspect they were just looking for a warm place. . . but that is not how it felt at the moment!
- guru - Wednesday, 09/26/07 17:34:45 EDT

High Tech and NM environments don't seem to work well together, something about high heats, massive UV, extreme winds and lots of dust... I could probaly design a door where the cat had to climb a shaft to get to the entry way; never saw a skunk do much climbing.
Thomas P - Wednesday, 09/26/07 18:40:55 EDT

Punches/ Quad State: Thanks to everyone that told me about Quad State. Ya'll were right, its worth going if at all possible! I managed to sell enough of the punches to pay for the hotel, gas and other costs plus extra money to go into my blacksmithing tool fund.

the only bad thing was that I was too busy to get a chance to see everything! My wife and I brought a camera and only managed to take a couple pictures of friday nights coppersmithing demo.

Hopefully next year I'll have time to catch alot more of the demo's. we only caught bits as we wandered around whenever we could.

Rob Barnett - Thursday, 09/27/07 01:24:07 EDT

Attending QuadState: This is a toughy. It is not as big as an ABANA convention which had too many demos at one time but it has that vast field of old tools and EVERY piece must be examined, and then re-exaimed as new stuff comes in or is brought out. . . and THEN there are the old friends that you only see at QuadState.

In the past years I picked the wrong demos to sit through and ended up at those that were like watching grass grow. Just because someone is a great smith or artist doesn't mean they know how to demonstrate. Most DO NOT.

I've come to the conclusion you can either go for the tools OR the demos but not both. As a photo-collector of odd tools I go for the tools. . .
- guru - Thursday, 09/27/07 09:44:59 EDT

I started out at Q-S, front and center at the Knifemaking/Damascus demo each year and saw some great ones; but as you mention I sat through a lot of highly trained folk who did not know how to teach or work the crowd.

Then I went to cycling through things, 15 minutes or so and then move onto the next demo---unless one really caught my attention. The problem is that cycling you can't get a really good seat usually.

Lately I'm more likely to talk with folks and haunt the tailgate area---unless there is a demo I really wanted to see.

Some of my best Q-S were when I was a "helper" for the Knifemaking/Damascus demo for top level people letting me get the best view in the house and asking the odd question like "what temperature and howmany times do you thermal cycle your wootz cakes before forging?"...

Rob; great! It's always a good one when profit from your sales pays for the event. I hope you did it with a money can so you didn't have to sit with them while everything else was going on.

Thomas P - Thursday, 09/27/07 11:13:26 EDT

Money Box: Thomas, I started out with a money box. everytime I would walk back to check on it (I was a little nervous about leaving it there) there would be at least one or two people looking (sometimes a crowd). when I would stop the questions would start flying. (what are they from? what press will they fit? what are they made of?) after answering questions the sales would start....and I was stuck.

I opened a bag of chips and a soda to relax with my wife....managed to eat one chip before I had to get back to work. They really kept me busy!

I did get to wander around some and do the 15 minute cycle. as you mentioned it rarely leaves you with a good seat.

The really bad thing is not getting to meet different people. I managed to meet ViCopper saturday morning when we were leaving the hotel. He was in the room next to us.
Rob Barnett - Thursday, 09/27/07 11:53:33 EDT

Productive weekend: Hey all,
We had a VERY productive weekend at the Sandy Creek Forge while everyone was off to Quadstate! Hit a machinery auction on Saturday morning and walked away with a parts washer (the barrel mounted type), a new bench for the lathe (complete with 1/2 steel plate top and storage drawers) and an Ingersoll Rand T30 air compressor. Then to celebrate we went and saw a Willie Nelson concert on Saturday night!

What did we pay for such a compressor? Let's just say that even with a new motor, it will not cost 1/4th of what a new one would cost :) Also, at this auction, I watched a 16"x80" south bend lathe with immaculate ways and a whole set of extra chucks and tooling go for $750. A big Wilton bandsaw went for $400 dollars. Fortunately they both went to a gentleman who was starting his own maintenance shop at the sawmill he already owned, so they will have a good home.

Unfortunately a big Bliss punch press, a Scotchman cold saw, an assortment of smaller punch presses, a 40ton ironworker, and an assortment of other machine tools went to the scrapmen. I almost cried watching them dump all that machinery in the back of the semi trailer. :(

My question: The T30 is equipped with a 7.5hp three phase motor and 80 gallon tank. I checked online and saw that IR also sells a T30 with a 5hp single phase and 60 gallon tank. Am I correct in assuming that the T30's all use the same compressor, and that I should be able to run mine off of a heavy duty 5hp single phase?
Thanks everyone,
-Aaron @ the SCF

thesandycreekforge - Thursday, 09/27/07 13:28:23 EDT

Rob; Put the details on your piece of cardboard with the prices next time! Keep your eye out for a "refill" from the same place you got those too.

I used to check at lunch, after the demo's closed and when I shut things down at night. Generally nice folks; I had one fellow chase me down; cause he had bought something and there wasn't change in the can for his big bill, (always leave a few $$ so they can make change), and was worried that he wasn't going to get the money to me before I left the site.

BTW did the money for the ones you sent me arrive yet?

Thomas P - Thursday, 09/27/07 15:28:24 EDT

T-30: I can't swear to it, but I get the impression that the same T-30 pump is used with a variety of motor sizes, and the size of the pulleys change to match the pump to the motor. I haven't measured 'em, but I figure the drive pulley for a 5hp should be 2/3 the size of the one on the 7.5, resulting in 2/3 the output.

You might get away with the same size pulley as the 7.5, but you would be running the motor way into overload as the tank pressure switch was approaching it's shut off point.
John Lowther - Thursday, 09/27/07 15:46:23 EDT

I haven't posted on here for a good year and a half or so and I have one simple question and I probably know the answer(s).

I went out to the local landfill, brought home an old grill (the little round tops) and I am going to use this as a portable forge. I don't have coal, all I have is wood. To be more specific (cause I know how *some* of you are), all I can get is Pine or Cedar.

My question, how long will the wood burn before my little metal get's red hot? Thanks guys
- Matt H. - Thursday, 09/27/07 18:11:22 EDT

Matt H: You probably should make charcoal out of the wood first, then it will get hot right away. You need the charcoal to get forging heat, and while the volitals are being burned off the temperature will stay down.
- Dave Boyer - Thursday, 09/27/07 21:39:45 EDT

I-R T-30 Compressor: Aaron,

Yep, you can run the compressor with a HD 5hp motor, but be darn sure you have the correct motor to compressor drive ratio. My 5hp IR is a T30 head, but it has a smaller motor sheave than the 7.5hp model has. The compressor sheave/flywheel is the same for both, I believe.

You got a geat deal. With all that you sav ed, why no think about building a rotary phase convertor to get the full bang for the buck out of that T-30 head? If you drop to a 5hp motor, you'll be giving away a good bit of CFM.
vicopper - Thursday, 09/27/07 21:46:22 EDT

Matt H: Depends on whether or not you're using a blower. With a blower and real charcoal, I'd guess four or five minutes until the shell is red hot, and fifteen until it burns through. Might last a bit longer with green wood, as Dave notes, since the outgassing of volatiles will cool things down somewhat. Once that;s done and you're operating with charcoal though, it will get hot enough to burn it up.
vicopper - Thursday, 09/27/07 21:49:05 EDT

Thomas P: I did have a price list and info on what type of steel it was. Everyone still wanted to know what they would fit. Had a couple asking for specific punches for brand name punch presses. Usually when I started answering the questions the person asking wouldnt buy anything....but someone else would be watching and listening....then buy a bunch.

I did get the check, THANK YOU!!! have you tried any of them out yet?

this week the lady in charge of the tool room informed me another drum full should be ready by next week. I dont know if I'll take them....I figure I sold less than a quarter of what got the first time. if only I could melt them down and cast them into anvils.

they are changing how they "destroy" the punches and have to validate the process first. they bought a new machine that looks to be a mini blachard grinder that cleanly removes the face. no more burn marks and rough edges.... much better for what I want anyways!
Rob Barnett - Friday, 09/28/07 00:42:38 EDT

Re: Dave & Vicopper: wow, didn't think it took that quick before the grill burns up. Actually I meant the metal I put in the grill to get red hot not the actual grill itself hehe! Is there some way I can insulate the grill without having to spend too much green backs?

Matt H. - Friday, 09/28/07 03:44:47 EDT

Matt's Grill: You can line the firepot area of the grill with a refractory clay and it should last a very long time, Matt. Check with a place that sells stuff for building kilns or making pottery to get the right clay. You need something that will tolerate heat of about 2500 degrees Fahrenheit.

As for how long it will take to heat metal in your grill forge, that depends entirely onthe cross section of the metal. Small stuff, under 1/2" square, will heat to forging heat (bright yellow) in a few minutes. Bigger stock will take longer. Again, it all depends on the quality of the fuel and how efficiently you're burning it; with good fuel and plenty of air form a blower, you can incinerate a piece of 1/2" stock in a couple of minutes.
vicopper - Friday, 09/28/07 10:33:09 EDT

Rob if you have a steady supply you might make more money selling them cheaper and more of them.

The general rule in scrounging is to assume that the chance will *never* come again and so not pass up an opprotunity.

I haven't had the forge hot lately working 11-12 hour days at work and it's dark by the time I get home and Honey do's on the weekend: Dishwasher still not working, the swampcooler motor bit the dust and last night the windshield washer on my little truck stopped working on one side and tonight I drive 150 miles to wish my Father happy birthday and check to see if my parents have any fix-it jobs I can do for them. I do have a smithing class scheduled on Oct 14 where I can probably try forging one out into a slitter---if the students are not too helpless. (Why I schedule classes and demo's it's time I have to forge!)

Thomas P - Friday, 09/28/07 12:24:10 EDT

Forge-b-que: If you want to make a charcoal forge out of a grill, look up Tai Goo's forge-b-que. The liner is just wood ash and sand, the tuyere is a pipe full of holes, the shell is an old Weber kettle with a notch in the side, and the air source is a hair dryer. He's been using it for years now with no complaints.

Of course, he's the same guy who sold his Nazel 3B and his belt grinders because he thought they were starting to take charge of his creativity, but the forge does work very well. (grin!)
Alan-L - Friday, 09/28/07 12:32:00 EDT

Thanks for yer help guys, I'll get to work.
Matt H. - Friday, 09/28/07 13:53:28 EDT

Forges from odds and ends: One of the most useful forges from junk is the Alan Rogers wheel-barrow pan forge. The fact is the big box stores sell a really cheap steel pan wheel barrow for about $50. Since all you need is the pan you have some nifty parts left over.

While Tai-Goo and some others have promoted the holes in pipe tuyeer I absolutely despise them. They clog, burn out, rust out and are a pain to make. The bottom ash dump types we have on our brake drum forge page can be made for less than $20 with all new fittings and only require a couple small welds OR a drilled hole. Works for both coal and charcoal.

The only drawback to the wheelbarrow forge is the deep clay fill suggested. However, it is cheap if you can find it and you may scrounge a wheelbarrow for free or cheap as well.

The next best junk forge I have seen is made from two large disk harrow blades and a piece of pipe or tubing between the two. While this is not an optimal forge shape it sure is pretty.

Speaking of junk and wheels. . A lot of lawn tractor wheels have most if not all the offset in one direction. This makes them a VERY nice fire pot shape and they do not have all the lightening holes of an automobile wheel. The wheel off the wheelbarrow might also make a good light duty fire pot. .

Barbecue grills are probably the worst candidate for making a forge. They are designed to support a low temperature ash insulated fire with the least amount of material. They are too thin for a forge. However, many other things ARE.
- guru - Friday, 09/28/07 15:37:06 EDT

scrounged forge: I built a very usefull forge from 100% scrap. I do have a welder. The pan was a small boat trailer wheel. I cut the tire off, and welded up the bolt holes. I welded a short hunk of pipe to the center hole and teed another hunk into the side to feed air into. I welded a hinge point on the bottom and madea gravity dump for ashes. A cast iron grate made for the little rivet forges fit into the center of the wheel perfectly. I tacked the wheel to a piece of plate to hold more fuel. The trailer wheels are pretty thick steel, and I now have two demo seasons on it with the forge in great shape. Yhe almost wornout Buffalo Forge rivet forge blower is shot, but I picked up a Cannady Otto at Quad State so this winter the blower gets replaced.
Building a scrounged forge is an exercise in seeing the components in what you have available.
I built an entire forge, with hood, stack and mounted it on a trailer, and had only to buy a coupler and the lights. I used an old Datsun pickup for the trailer, and I am still peeved that the truck tail lights had rusted out on the inside and were unuasble. That added $14.00 to the total cost of about $54.00 spent. I did invest time. Lots of time, but then I AM a blacksmith, and enjoy this stuff. After a year I had to replace the springs, and buy a new blower, so the total will climb to almost $200.00 Of course if I was ThomasP, I suppose that someone would have paid me $220 to build it:)
- ptree - Friday, 09/28/07 18:43:02 EDT

Hand Writing Deterioration: Along with the apparent decline in English elocution, writing, and spelling, there has been a definite loss in legible penmanship. Some attribute this to the invention and widespread use of the typewriter. The ball point pens and sharp markers haven't helped much, either. No good feedback from the point. My 2¢.
Frank Turley - Friday, 09/28/07 20:43:39 EDT

Handwriting: I dunno, Frank. As much as I'd like to claim to be a victim of society, I think the reason my handwriting's lousy is simple: I have lousy handwriting. Maybe if I'd been born in an era when handwriting was more highly valued, I'd have been locked in an attic or something.

I don't mean that, of course, but I *might* have flunked out of school and would up illiterate.
Mike BR - Saturday, 09/29/07 07:31:09 EDT

My cursive is terrible, but I have several excuses. First, I was born left handed, but went to scholl in an era where leftys were still forced to change to right handed writing. I also am dyslexic. I taught myself to write left handed, and was pretty fair, but then broke that arm, and later that wrist, and about the time the cast came off the wrist I was hit by a stray bullet in the left hand causing some tendon and bone damage that causes somewhat poor fine motor control in that hand.
Conversly years of pen and ink drafting allows me to print very well when I take the time.
ptree - Saturday, 09/29/07 08:19:28 EDT

Penmanship: Frank, as you'll find when you get my check for your book in a couple of days (I sent it yesterday) my penmanship is between atrocious and horrendous. (grin!)

My father's is more on par with the old standards, and my grandfathers' was immaculate. It comes down to the fact that handwriting is no longer considered worthy of teaching to kids. It can't be tested via scantron fill-in-the-circle testing, and therefore is not applicable to modern educational standards. Subjective assignation of merit to lines produced by a hand holding a pencil is considered an art class nowadays, and as such has no place in public schools.

Hmm... Can you tell I come from a long line of teachers?
Alan-L - Saturday, 09/29/07 12:57:34 EDT

shop built forge: My shop forge is home built with a brake drum firepot. I built an ash dump/blower connection and use a 85 cfm bathroom vent fan for the blower. Can get about four years from one of those $18 blowers and I did have to put a damper in the line to control the air. My demo forge is also a brake drum, sitting on a tripod of 3/4" round bar with a home made ash dump and uses a little Buffalo blower. I do four or five demos a year and get lots of comments about the forge. There are lots of folks who think you have to buy all new equipment and spend lots of money to do this work and I want them to see just how little money can be spent and have a lot more fun and a LOT more satisfaction. Penmanship? Well I can tell you that if I were to write this long hand no one could read it, not even me.
- Doug - Saturday, 09/29/07 17:55:32 EDT

Penmanship: I have to admit my handwriting is usually ghastly, but when I really concentrate HARD on the motions of forming the letters, it gets clear up to decent in the Italic style I tried to learn about thirty years ago 'cause my Palmer cursive was really bad, and the Palmer hand at its best just didn't look good enough to be worth the trouble. Sometimes I wish I'd found a book on the old Spencerian hand as was common in the pre-typewriter era instead. . . Now THAT would have been cool!

Hmmm. . . I wonder if I might have just touched on something: The rounded forms of the Palmer hand just don't look all that good, even when very well done like my mother does. . . The swooping forms of the Spencerian hand of the previous generation have a much more elegant look, and might have inspired more effort. . .
- John Lowther - Saturday, 09/29/07 19:26:08 EDT

Spencerian Script: Ahh, now there is a truly beautiful and graceful script! When I was painting signs, it was one of the most difficult scripts to learn to render properly with a quill brush, but when done correctly was simply elegant. You simply cannot render a proper Spencerian script with a ball point pen, felt pen, gel pen or any of the other modern atrocities being fobbed off as writing instruments of distinction. Only a properly dressed fountain pen or, better still, a real cut quill, will render an elegant Spencerian. Until her eyesight gave out, my Grandmother unfailingly wrote all her missives in Spencerian hand, using a steel quill and India ink. I should have saved them all, as each was a work of art. She also favored an almost Victorian prose, which was entertaining and illuminating to read, unlike today's shallow writing.
vicopper - Saturday, 09/29/07 19:53:40 EDT

My wife writes everything in an modified old english blacktext and since she does write *everything* in it she is almost as fast as my unreadable scrawls.

Her checks have brought in many calligraphy jobs to her; though none of the people oohing and aahing over them have ever taken my suggestion that they don't cash them but mount them on the wall..

One of her luckiest jobs was when the clerk at the courthouse allowed her to fill out the marriage license for our marriage. It is really suitable for framing---save for the clerks scrawled signature.

On the other hand, once when my wife tried to sell some stock they sent back the papers saying that a rubber stamp signature was not acceptable. She sent it back with "This is how I sign my name" in the same hand right by he name.

ThomasP - Saturday, 09/29/07 22:51:21 EDT

Cursive: Here I will steal a line from Bart Simpson. When asked by the teaceher if He did know cursive, Bart replied "I know hell and damn" I too know hell & damn.
- Dave Boyer - Saturday, 09/29/07 23:23:44 EDT

Been testing forge lubes today. Once I have the photos of the setup and results typed. I will have it posted as a continuation of the forge lube blueprint at Iforgeiron.
I can offer that by the time I had finished the testing and was putting some stuff up I noticed some pretty severe rusting on the bunch body, I assume from the salt lube.
ptree - Sunday, 09/30/07 12:55:50 EDT

Penmanship (a very sexist word sice most women do it better), Handwriting:
It takes practice. When making drafting drawings the lettering is thoughtfully DRAWN, not written. It makes a big difference. The same technique can be applied to all hand writing.

In school I preferred printing in all CAPS (like on bluprints) which drove my teachers crazy. But they got used to it. At least my double spaced print was easier to read than many other students scratchings. I had an English teacher complain that capitalization was part of the course so I made my capitals about 30% bigger thus creating an all caps font.

I HAD learned script in the 3rd grade but had not used it afterwards. I started using it again in high school when I was writing love letters to my wife to be. I did this because it was smoother and faster. However, I had not written in script in so long that I had to think about each character, then practiced for a while. Over the years I had picked up some original characters that looked good and I added them to the standard. When I started using it again my script was much better than it had ever been before and was quite nice if I say so myself. But it took some practice.

When I stopped writing love letters it was back to printing for work making engineering drawings. While many will say my technical printing is very good it is in fact quite mediocre. But it is dense (dark), clean, neat and legible. Not nearly as good as my father's who's is excellent.

Since school I would use script only when writing checks and it was still fairly good. However, it has been over 20 years since I started doing most of my writing on the PC and 15 years since I did any hand drafting. When I write by hand now it is only notes for my self when on the phone or in the car and often I cannot read my own. . . So both my script and printing have gone down the drain. However, I do so little of either that I have no strongly ingrained poor writing habits. SO, if I was forced to I could probably train myself again and write poetry, that novel or future love letters by hand in a very clean script. But that is a very low probability.

Those who write a lot and in a hurry develop bad habits and get very sloppy if not just down right lazy. For some prime examples of this just look in old court record books and deed books where everything was permanently recorded by hand. Over time many clerks handwriting devolved into a big swoop identifiable as a capital and a lot of little mostly unidentifiable swoops. The surprising thing is that much of it can still be read (with effort).
- guru - Monday, 10/01/07 12:45:53 EDT

Frank Turley book reprinted:
Paw-Paw's review did not do this book justice. Besides historical tools and ironwork there is a section on 18th century locks and keys that is a good as any larger work. The book has many fine photographs and diagrams.
Southwestern Colonial Ironwork
- guru - Tuesday, 09/11/07 20:12:34 EDT

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