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

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

drill press: I have aquired a champion model 101 drill press, in almost mint condition, all parts including the wrench that bolts up the drill, Any idea its value? bbb
- Bob McDonald - Saturday, 12/01/01 02:11:11 GMT

Drill Press:
Bob, so much depends on who's buying and who's selling that it's very hard to say. I've seen post drills go for as little as $25 and as much as $250.
Paw Paw Wilson - Saturday, 12/01/01 03:49:06 GMT

Grinnel Trip Hammer,Info Needed!!!: I aquired a 1904 Grinnel Trip Hammer and was wondering if anyone in here has heard of them or better yet any information on them ,If so PLEASE e-mail me ,Thanks Guys
- Ghostdancer - Saturday, 12/01/01 04:18:31 GMT

Bob -- Centaur has a reprints you can get of the Champion catalog of 1909, which has the 101 drill press selling for $7 (seven), has a nice engraving showing the tool to be a handy devil, but on the small side as such drills go. With the right old tool nut, there's no telling what you could get for it, but you probably shouldn't let it go this side of $150 if it's really mint. They are not making any more, you know.
miles undercut - Saturday, 12/01/01 05:03:25 GMT

Deep Draw Steel? What is that?
Mills - Saturday, 12/01/01 13:39:34 GMT

Anvils :: I was wondering if any of you out there knew of any anvils for sale? 150-267+/- lbs. They do seem to be rare unless new, just trying to get some more info if possible. Thanks
- James H - Saturday, 12/01/01 18:24:58 GMT

Drawing steel: In sheet metal work, *drawing* means to form an object by stamping with dies. Cold drawing can also be done by pulling solid cold steel through a die to create a smaller diameter, as in wire making. When working with sheet cold and by hand, you can sink the piece into a sand bag, a hollow cavity, a pitch block, or a depression in wood, usually with hammers. This gives a "bossed" or bumped up appearance to the sheet. When doing so, you want a suitable low carbon iron or steel, so the chances of obtaining work-hardened cracks is reduced. Repeated drawing or sinking can create a fairly deep vessel, a wok for instance. Stamping with dies can be used to make, for example, cheap motel ashtrays, candle drip pans, or Radio Flyer wagon hubcaps. Even though you have picked an appropriate steel, you may still need to anneal occasionally.
Frank Turley - Sunday, 12/02/01 00:05:31 GMT

Pete F: It was your post that lead me to ask..thanks Mr Turley!
Just went to the AK steel site. Under enameling steels Univit takes one coat enamels ( direct on) but 2 others listed draw even better......For extreme drawing they say they make drawing steel. called DS..and DS B
The B stands for boron and helps drawing...mmmmmm, lick chops.
- Pete F - Sunday, 12/02/01 05:29:11 GMT

thank you for the explanation.
Mills - Sunday, 12/02/01 14:32:34 GMT

Cone Mandrels: I bought a small leg vise from a dealer once, the leg of the vise was stuck in a Fordson (1917-1930s) axle housing. It is a great combination. Even when they strip these old tractors for parts there is little call for the axle housings. Lots of old tractors have similar setups. It does come in handy if you ever need a cone mandrel. The thing that I find is that I prefer to use pipe or something with vertical edges for bending. Most of the cone mandrels that I know of end up as coat hooks, and don't get used that often.
Daryl - Sunday, 12/02/01 16:00:25 GMT

Deep Draw Steel: I think my friend for supplying me with pieces that must have been this type. I could fold it flat and reopen it without any problems. Long time ago I got some sheets at a scrap yard. They would crack with the first movement. Some day I will learn my lesson.
- Dave Wells - Monday, 12/03/01 01:15:29 GMT

The thing I like about having my cone mandrels-- and I have not one but three of them, ranging from what the SAE officially calls E-W (eency-weency) to what NASA specs define as AAA (humongous)-- is that when I wish to impart a conelike shape to a ring, or, can you imagine, a cone, all I have to do is walk over to the cone mandrel of choice and beat the living hell out of the piece until it assumes precisely that shape. Try making a reducer or a bell or a lampshade, out of 3/32 or 1/4 or thicker with your piece of straight pipe. Yes, you can do it on the horn-- and get a nice extra curve in it in the process. Yours in smiting, Elmo Thagart, President, Society for the Preservation of Cone Mandrels (Don't hang your coat on your mandrel-- it leaves a nasty Quasimodo-like bump in the back, just below the collar, that never goes away.)
- Elmo Thagart - Monday, 12/03/01 05:19:44 GMT

Dear Elmo;
My forging cone has developed a terrible hump in the back. What can I do?
  Pete F - Tuesday, 12/04/01 06:49:01 GMT

Cone Mandrels: I envy those that have a nice cone about shoulder height and with a tong groove up it. I'd use it. I have make shift cones from tail stocks, and other tools with tapers. Most have too much taper in to short of distance. One cone to replace 4 or 5 would be nice. I'd have more space for more junk. ( Poor People Have Poor Ways )
- Dave Wells - Tuesday, 12/04/01 07:19:03 GMT

l.sundstrom: Cone heads...exactly why I would love to find a full sized cone mandrel. In the mean time i use these 1-2 inch thick circles with various diameters that are forever popping up in scrap bins around here. They are the donut holes that are scrapped when the air conditioning manufactures cut donuts for the ends of the cooling coils. If I can accumulate enough of them in small enough graduations then I could weld them together, grind off the corner and have me a fine ol' coat rack.
Pete, let me see what I can do about the hump in your cone's back. Since I live on the east coast, it would sit in my shop 180 opposite how it sits in yours and over time we might be able to reverse the hump. (I'll pay the shipping)
- larry sundstrom - Tuesday, 12/04/01 13:59:56 GMT

Pete-- Chastity's in a huffy sulk now because Yummi and Swarf won't let her play with the pneumatic grease gun and Cracked's thinking there is more to life than trying to, um, cheer up a grouchy secretary, even one as talented as Chaz, and I figure he is about ready to turn his mind to more serious challenges now that he's got the riveting machine about blocked out. So I'll turn The Cone Conundrum over to him, unless Robert Ludlum gets to it first.
- Miles Undercut - Tuesday, 12/04/01 15:19:21 GMT

More Cones: Elmo. Yah, I found out about making a ring into a cone shape when I made my first froe years ago. I forge welded a loop for the eye and beat the heck out of it until the opening was larger on the botton that the top {which is the way it's supposed to be}.
Dave. I have a shoulder high mandrel without the slot. But I can live with that. I use short jawed link tongs.
Regarding, "you don't use it very much". I said that to one of my mentors, Victor Vera, and he said, "When you need it, you need it". In other words, "Get back to work".
And in Mexico, the cone mandrel is called a "pilon", which is really a small cone shaped sugar loaf that you can purchase at any grocery below the border. It is compacted, and you break it up when you get home. Did you ever hear of sugar tongs?
.. space removed . .
- Frank Turley - Wednesday, 12/05/01 01:46:51 GMT

I didn't say I didn't want a cone mandrel but with my limited budget, other tools rank higher on the list. I have many cone shapes in my shop so things like repairing my trip hammer or getting a Beverely Shear is where my money will go first.
- Daryl - Wednesday, 12/05/01 04:17:47 GMT

Cracked turned the problem over to the boffins, Pete, and so far what they've come up with for your protuberant cone mandrel is a line of medieval armor for girls. Get it out in time for Christmas. Catch the Harry Potter/ Timeline wave. Cracked wants to call the line Knights in Shining Amour. But they're still working on it. Yours in creative smiting, Miles Undercut, acting provost, Cracked Anvil Center for Analysis
Miles Undercut - Wednesday, 12/05/01 05:39:52 GMT

See! I told you! This is why we just cannot have this fool Cracked yapping off, taking up space with his idjit notions. Next he'll have you making fuselages for miniature radar recon planes with your confounded deformed mandrel. Or cups for hockey goalies or some other such fool idea. I say grind off the hump and let's talk about austenite and other neat stuff like swords and pikes and dirks.
Bubba - Wednesday, 12/05/01 05:46:35 GMT

Anvils-James: Hi James.....I have about 60 used anvils for sale.(928)442-3290 anyday before 8:00PM AZ.time.Cheers!
- Barry Denton - Wednesday, 12/05/01 13:27:14 GMT

Bubba, life isn't all sword's , pike's & dirk's .

Mile's ,is there any chance of getting Cracked to send me a catalogue. Sound's like it may be a winner for Christmas
chopper - Wednesday, 12/05/01 13:37:49 GMT

Oh? What else is there? (grin)
Paw Paw Wilson - Wednesday, 12/05/01 16:19:17 GMT

paw paw : he forgot Knifes, axes ... and lusty wenchs(grin)
MP - Wednesday, 12/05/01 16:43:12 GMT

Ah yes!

The last is every man's dream. (grin)
Paw Paw Wilson - Wednesday, 12/05/01 17:15:55 GMT

Was that supposed to be lusty wenchs, or rusty wrenchs? (chuckle)
Paw Paw Wilson - Wednesday, 12/05/01 17:52:53 GMT

Cone Mandrels and Weightless Hammer: I have two ideas for a homemade cone mandrel. Don't know whether either is practical. If you have a cone mandrel to start with, cut yourself a sheet of 3/16 steel in the right shape and roll it hot over the mandrel to form a hollow-shell cone mandrel. Or get or make a cone-shaped negative form and cast a cone mandrel, rebar reinforced, out of dense refractory. It's more expensive than concrete but will take the heat without spalling.

Now, would a 20# (mass) weightless hand-held hammer of interest to anyone?
- Bruce - Wednesday, 12/05/01 20:46:26 GMT

Weightless Hammer: Bruce,

Paw Paw Wilson - Wednesday, 12/05/01 21:45:50 GMT

Beginner: Hi, I'm student from Devon in England, I'm really into History, War History, Martial Arts (Western and Asian) etc. And I've really wanted to start Blacksmithing for some time, how can I get started? Does anyone know, or know how I can contact, someone in Devon who I could learn from? I just need to know how to get my foot in the door really, I'm only 16 though so I'm fairly limited financially as far as equipment and courses are concerned.

Any feedback would be appreciated.


- Paul - Wednesday, 12/05/01 21:56:18 GMT

A 3/16 plate cone mandrel ain't near heavy enough to stand the gaff: would just soon develop a declivity the reverse of the bump Pete's dealing with. Masonry will suffer pronto, too. Cast iron is the only way to go. Yeah, Chopper, you're right: beyond swords and pikes and dirks, there are poniards, rapiers, broadswords, stilletos, daggers, and all manner of other shivs, shanks and pigstickers vastly more interesting than ol' Cracked's loony maunderings. Like, why don't we hear more about the eutectic on this site, hmmm?
- Goods Inward - Thursday, 12/06/01 05:16:01 GMT

What is a eutectic, anyway? I don't believe there even IS a eutectic. If there is, why haven't we ever seen Britney Spears wearing one?
Randy Olson - Thursday, 12/06/01 05:34:23 GMT

paw paw : Both of course!!!!
MP - Thursday, 12/06/01 07:34:19 GMT

Eutectic: (1) An isothermal reversible reaction in which a liquid solution is converted into two or more intimately mixed solids on cooling, the number of solids formed being the same as the number of components in the system. (2) An Alloy having the composition indicated by the eutectic point on a phase diagram. (3) An alloy structure of intermixed solid constituents formed by a eutectic reaction often in the form of regular arrays of lamellae or rods.

Now, wasn't that illuminating? or solidifying?

I would propose that Britney Spears was BORN with a eutectic. A v-shaped spot where things solidify.
- Tony - Thursday, 12/06/01 12:54:41 GMT

At your age u should know by now ......... ( grin )
chopper - Thursday, 12/06/01 13:00:36 GMT

That blank space.: On my above post, there was a big ol' blank. I was looking up a word in my dictionary while resting my elbow on the keyboard. Sorry.
- Frank Turley - Thursday, 12/06/01 13:27:54 GMT

Paw Paw: Chopper,

Yes, but I forget! (gren)

Frank, no problem, we all need a little blank time now and then. (grin
Paw Paw Wilson - Thursday, 12/06/01 13:49:11 GMT

Hammer: All right already! What is this weightless 20# hammer? Didi one go up on the space shuttle?
- Stormcrow - Friday, 12/07/01 03:18:59 GMT

Pete F: Just hate to think about Chastity in a huffy sulk and that puffy pneumatic grease gun at her disposal. On the other hand Yummi and Swarf have it now...and it is hard to have a tool and not use it, as we all know.
- Pete F - Friday, 12/07/01 05:01:08 GMT

Weightless Hammer: Alright, Paw Paw. I was kinda hoping for more interest, but at least YOU seem to be interested.

In brief, I've invented a way to make a hammer (say, a 20#'er) effectively weightless. It'll still have 20# MASS of course, so can do the same work as any 20# hammer, EXCEPT that your arm will have to accelerate it, as you won't have gravity to help you.

This would be sort of the situation you'd be in if you did some forging in the space station. (The difference is that you WILL have gravity to keep your feet on the ground and to keep your work on the anvil.) Your arm would have to accelerate the 20# hammer down, then raise it back up (but that doesn't take much acceleration). I CAN probably rig this to have a negative acceleration (lift) at the bottom of the stroke as an aid in lifting it back up. That remains to be seen.

How does it work? Magic, of course. (Anything that you don't understand is "magic." Think about it!) I'm not ready to give out details before I build a prototype. But I've done the math and have confidence in the invention.

What I'm wondering about is whether anyone else would be interested in such a thing. So far, it looks like "no."

And I STILL think a ferro-refractory-cement floor cone would be a useful tool and cheap to make. Maybe I'll make one of those too.
- Bruce - Friday, 12/07/01 17:03:30 GMT

Yes, I'm still interested. (grin)
Paw Paw Wilson - Friday, 12/07/01 23:57:03 GMT

Well, Yummie hid in the back shelves of the shop and was able to find the reason for the hump below the collar on the forging cone. The young terrier pup had been sneaking into the shop while I was out and humping the cone nonstop for hours. He climbs most of the way up to the top and wraps his little bow legs around the cast iron and has at it. The cone must have developed a chronic irritation as a consequence. Now that we have fixed the door so he can't get in, the hump is beginning to go down.

Bruce; I've got a 90# weightless hammer and use it all the time. The real advantage is that it doesnt require the use of hands to swing it. It is , of course, a treadle hammer. The springs that suspend the hammer head are a little stronger than the force of gravity so I'm only dealing with the mass.
I once saw a video clip of an old guy swinging a hammer that looked to be about 40#. The hammer head was hung from a rope anchored high above him. He swung the hammer in a big horizontal circle, whirling around for each blow.
  Pete F - Saturday, 12/08/01 05:17:45 GMT

grinding wheel flanges: I need to hang 2 big ( 18 & 20") grinding wheels on a 1 1/2" arbor shaft. The wheels have center holes of 5" and 8" respectively.
Anyone know where to go to buy mounting flanges for these wheels? I'll make them/fake them if I have to, but...
Pete F - Saturday, 12/08/01 08:15:57 GMT

proper coal fire : a major part of blacksmithing is making the fire i have been working with a master blacksmith for a while and he tells me that i make a exellent fire about fist size and keep it clean enough to cook on but i am not always satisifyed with one persons opionon could you please go over a step by step process of forge fire making i would love to compare your advise with what i have been told
- Rich - Saturday, 12/08/01 16:46:05 GMT

Tony-- Bravo! Eschew the recondite, I say! I am going to whomp me up a couple eutectics for Christmas gifts. Pete-- encourage that terrier. Get a video into every pet shop manager and zoo director's hands. Just the thing for lonely pooches-- and hippos, rhinos, and elephants, too. For pups it's the Dirty Dog, for zoos, call it the Gee Spot. Yrs., Miles Undercut, acting provost, etc.
Miles Undercut - Saturday, 12/08/01 19:45:35 GMT

Proper Fire: Rich, That sounds right. Its sort of like the saying "more than a mouth full. . ." A big fire is a waste. A dirty fire is inefficient and hard to weld with. And you can't make a good fire with bad coal. Listen to your elders, I'm sure the fellow that told you to keep it small also told you how to build a fire.
- guru - Saturday, 12/08/01 23:01:34 GMT

CONES for Coneheads:
Cone Collection
Cone collection at Greenwood Ironworks

Something to drool over. The cone at the left (with the eye-bolt) is solid and weighs over a ton. The tall one has a groove with the company name at the bottom. Its not a slot as many have. The smaller cones have no slots or grooves. I have a catalog photo of a cone with a flat on one side that does the same thing as a groove in a simplier manner.

- guru - Saturday, 12/08/01 23:05:41 GMT

More: That is a big old tire bender in the foreground. In the back center is a very nice bickern or stump anvil and behind that two Fairbanks power hammers.

Yes the anvil in the back has a broken off horn, its one that was picked up cheap and does duty as a demonstration anvil. On the floor to the right is several more small anvils and the edge view of a Jock Dempsey rectangular swage block (one of two castings).
- guru - Saturday, 12/08/01 23:44:21 GMT

riviting tools: I am looking for tools or info on tools used with an air hammer to hot form rivet heads on 3/8 thru 5/8 dia. rivets I have a cp air hammer with a hex shank it weighs about 20 lbs
- norm - Sunday, 12/09/01 17:30:57 GMT

HISTORY OF FORGING: I am looking for basic information on the process of forging as carried out in the nineteenth century, plus any changes in it brough about by the Industrial Revolution. I am not a blacksmith, but an English Literature student at Cambridge, UK. Any information or recommendations would be fantastic.
Judith Evans - Monday, 12/10/01 11:30:04 GMT

Weightless Hammer: Paw Paw - A treadle hammer is a treadle hammer. One at least (mine) IS weightless, another (Jere Kirkpatrick's Valley Forge kit model) approximates it. You may have designed your own. Most, you have to fight the springs.

I know that clip you mean, and it's impressive. The old fellow -- looks to be in his seventies -- breaks up some piece of iron using a heavy hammer, swung horizontally. That truly was a weightless hammer, but he could only swing it roughly horizonatlly.

I propose a weightless hammer you can swing vertically. The actual weight of my prototype will be 16#, not 20#, because it turns out that as big a hammer as I happen to have. However, you don't want TOO big a hammer as speed is perhaps more important than mass, and a more massive massive hammer is harder harder to accelerate.

Now, could we get back to the original question-- Is anyone interested in having such a thing as a 16# or 20# weightless hammer, used by hand on a standard anvil?

- Bruce - Monday, 12/10/01 18:16:04 GMT

History of Forging: Judith,

No one will ever accuse you of taking on too small a subject! There's LOTS of information out there. Try a web search and see what you come up with. That might be enough for you.

In general, forging has been around for a long time. As I understand it, the major differences between working wrought iron (low carbon, very malleable, not to be confused with cast iron, which has high carbon content and isn't malleable) and steel (moderate carbon) and the earlier metal work with such metals as bronze was that iron and steel can be forge-welded (hammered together at high temperature) and steel (not iron) can be hardened and tempered to make exceptional tools. (Bronze had to be work-hardened.)

Very large tools (like a 500# trip hammer head) and some advanced processes, like rolling mils for working and slitting steel) already existed at the beginning of the nineteenth century. What changed during the nineteenth century was the discovery of major coal beds and iron ore deposits, and the correpsonding increase in the production of iron.

As the quantity of iron and steel increased and its price dropped accordingly, its use increased, driving the industrial revolution. Cast iron, which had always been important, became increasingly important, but steel retained some of its cost because there was still a lot of manual labor needed to turn cast iron into steel or wrought iron.
With the increase in iron production came efforts to produce wrought iron or steel directly from the cast iron, or pig iron. These culminated in the efforts of Kelly and Bessemer, the beginnings of modern steel production.

All through this time, the availability of cheap iron, as well as economic forces, drove people to invent machines to replace human efforts. Blacksmiths led this effort and, in effect, put themselves out of business. The nail-making machines were the first, and completely eliminated hand-nailmaking, except for ornimental purposes. Other hardware, that had largely been handmade (bolts, nuts, latches) also became more and more machine made.

In a sense, I'm telling you the opposite of what you want to know. What was happening with the forging process itself? Probably not much, really. Coal replaced charcoal. Rotary blowers replaced bellows. I'm not sure, but I suspect drop forging probably began in the nineteenth century -- again, the blacksmiths putting themselves out of business. The science of metallurgy probably got off the ground as well, but I think that had to await spectroscopy to really fly. (I know that both Kelly and Bessemer had problems due to the unknown composition of their metals.)

Hope this helps. No doubt others can point out important points I missed.
- Bruce - Monday, 12/10/01 18:37:31 GMT

HISTORY of: Judith, There are answers here and on the guru's den.
- guru - Monday, 12/10/01 19:57:00 GMT

weightless hammer: Bruce,
Since your question about a weightless hammer appears to be genuine. Yes it sounds like an interesting proposition.
So I would be interested in this as well

Ralph - Monday, 12/10/01 20:37:56 GMT

History: Judith, during the farming changes of the 30's-40's and 50's the tractor slowly replaced the horse. This in turn slowly did away with the Smith's duties on the farm scene. Plow mfgr's slowly came up with throw away lays ( which were formerly hand sharpened / upset by the smith ) and implement companies started selling wagons with pneumatic tires, and that took care of the Wainwright/Wheelwright/Blacksmith maintainence of the old wood wheels. Steel wheels often were on a steel axle, although some still were on wood axles, and req'd the smith to fix. I know your ? was on forging, but it all sorta combines itself. Look Guru's site over. Wonderful place to learn.

- Steve O'Grady - Monday, 12/10/01 20:39:26 GMT

Judith: Perhaps it would be best to restrict the scope and ambition of this paper in order to do the subject justice.
We would very much like to see the finished product!
Pete F - Tuesday, 12/11/01 02:00:29 GMT

Weightless Hammer : What I'm thinking is to render a hammer weightless throughout its stroke by means I'm not ready to disclose, mainly because I don't want to quibble over design. I envision a hammer that could be used within a significant portion of the shop (6' circle? Maybe more?), delivering downward, horizontal, or partially upward blows, with the face in any plane the blacksmith wanted. The mass of the hammer could be anything. My prototype will be 16# because that's the hammer I have to work with. (I was originally intending to use 20#, but just don't have such a hammer.)

I hasten to point out that this is speculative at this point. I have not built any such hammer. I have a mathematical analysis that confirms the feasibilty of the design. For the thing to perform as I've described above, I need yet to design two additional mechanisms, but these should be minor problems.

What I want to get out of this is an idea of the degree of interest. Interest is a great motivator. (Quibbling is a great turn-of!) As described above, which of you would want one in his shop?

This would be a simpler project (by far, I hope) than the Grasshopper Treadle Hammer. That's my initial motivation, as a matter of fact. I'm hoping there will be correspondingly more interest in the thing. I've been a little disappointed that I've only sold about a dozen Grasshopper plans, and know of only two in construction. I'd like to have better response than that before issuing plans for a new invention.
- Bruce - Tuesday, 12/11/01 19:36:25 GMT

Pete F: Ah, that Bruce;
I owe you something of an apology for not taking you more seriously.
The grasshopper design seemed to me to be a lot of extra mechanism ( and thus friction) and building time to achieve a small advantage in reduced arc of swing over a simple treadle hammer. For that much extra work one could build a simple air hammer or a guided ram Treadle first glance.
However, the conceptualization and presentation were hat off to you.
Of course, all our sore old arms yearn for a gravity free hammer....please!
Pete F - Wednesday, 12/12/01 07:32:34 GMT

hammer weld: im new to blacksmithing and am having trouble acheving a hammer weld if any one can help please e mail me thanks
- jason lowery - Wednesday, 12/12/01 10:26:56 GMT

Jason: It's not hopeless, but sometimes it's frustrating as the devil.
Paw Paw Wilson - Wednesday, 12/12/01 14:00:13 GMT

Can't email you if you don't enter an email address.
Paw Paw Wilson - Wednesday, 12/12/01 14:00:53 GMT

Pete F.: No apology necessary.
The Grasshopper is a little more complicated than other treadle hammers for two reasons: Vertical motion without sliders or rollers, and ALL adjustments (those that you'll want to make during use) from the front.
The Grasshopper does not have any unusual friction.
If you plan to build an air hammer do so. A treadle hammer is not a replacement for an air hammer. But neither does it need a compressor!
The good news is that, although I still haven't built anything, I'm making good progress on the design. I probably won't build anything before the new year, but when I do, I expect it'll work as I envision the very first time. (The Grasshopper did. Then I revised it. Twice at least.)

- Bruce - Wednesday, 12/12/01 16:08:14 GMT

Shopsmith : I have an old model Shopsmith. I use it mostly as a drill press. Unfortunately, it has been in my carport where the humidity has caused it to rust. I have cleaned as much as possible, but the head, which holds the drill mechanism will not move up or down. I don't mean it won't slide up or down, but when you try to move the drill down to drill something with the three pronged lever, it won't move. It is frozen. I have not been able to loosen it spraying lubricating oil in side. Any suggestions?
- Dave Clary - Wednesday, 12/12/01 22:33:55 GMT


Go to your nearest NAPA parts house and buy a can of B-Laster. It works better at breaking rust than anything I have ever used.
Paw Paw Wilson - Wednesday, 12/12/01 23:53:24 GMT

Dave , I have had excellant luck with a product called Kroil. we use it at work to loosen frozen parts. It creeps into rusty parts like nothing I have ever used. It comes in an orange spray can with a block cap. Hope it helps.
  Stiffy - Thursday, 12/13/01 03:13:14 GMT

Shopsmith: Dave, Do as Paw-Paw said. I think that you can get oil to the back side (inside) from the backside of the head. I believe it is open underneith (between the motor and head). If not, the "Shopsmith" name plate on the older models (my dad has one older than me) covers an access hole.

Once the thing is freed up be SURE to remove the b'laster, kroil or liquid wrench and reoil with WD-40 or thin non-detergent motor oil. The rust breakers often have compounds in them that make rust worse when the carrier (kerosene) evaporates. Detergent motor oil absorbs water from the air and metal rusts UNDER the oil. . .

Judicius tapping with a block of wood does not hurt. Any movement will help the pentrating oil penetrate.
- guru - Thursday, 12/13/01 18:09:56 GMT

Forge Weld: Jason, see our iForge page. The articles on welding cover problems and flux as well as fire color and joint design.
- guru - Thursday, 12/13/01 18:11:33 GMT

Anvil : Have a 306lbs anvil, wondering the value ?
- Rusty - Friday, 12/14/01 06:04:50 GMT

Rusty's Anvil: Rusty; I have a 1989 car please tell me it's value? Same sort of question---is it a chevette with 187,000 miles and rolled twice or a garaged corvette with 5 miles on it!

What we need to know is: maker, usually stamped (or cast) on the side of the anvil, a wire brush can help bring it out; condition: is the face and horn unmarred with crisp edges? are chunks of the face missing and the hardy hole cracked and the horn missing? Is it somewhere in between? Has it been repaired?---lowers the price quite a bit since a buyer must guess if it was done *right*. And finally location; areas with a good supply of anvils may have prices 1/2 that of areas with a dearth of anvils.

Here in central Ohio I have seen 100# anvils go from US$300 to US$40. Larger anvils go both higher and lower than "normal" depending on the conditions of the sale. Blacksmiths covet them but they are a pain to deal with for most folk and so go cheaper if there are no smiths around.

- Thomas Powers - Friday, 12/14/01 12:40:36 GMT

Weightlessness: Bruce,
Work = work. If you eliminate gravity on the up stroke you have to supply it on the down. My treadle hammer wore me out and I went back to hand swung hammers until I built
Air Horse One. The real function of a treadle hammer is that it gives you a third hand and increases control. We saw George Dixon demonstrate on one and he used it for delicate work. I had been triing to use mine for heavy
stuff and the net advantage was ZERO. If you want to see how it would feel to swing a weightless hammer, tie a string to a hammer and run it through a pulley with a weight. The down stroke will be twice as hard as unaided even though the up stroke is easier. I missing something?
- Lsundstrom - Saturday, 12/15/01 21:36:35 GMT

I think what you're missing is that work doesn't HAVE to be done by you. It can be done by springs, counter weights, etc.
Paw Paw Wilson - Sunday, 12/16/01 02:59:01 GMT

Weightlessness: Paw Paw,
If a spring or counterweight lifts something then it has to be overcome on the down stroke unless it releases the hammer. If it relaeses the hammer then it has to be recocked (work). Output equals input minus the loss due to friction. Now if this weightless hammer is going to be aided by electricity or air, tht's another story. Does anyone think hammering in outer space reqires less work than hammering in a gravity enviroment? It would take human energy to stop the rebound of the hammer on the upstroke which would equal the gain from the lack of weight. And then added effort to accelerate downwards. Well, anyway, hope this discussion adds interest in Bruce's project.
- Lsundstrom - Sunday, 12/16/01 14:01:34 GMT

NPR Blacksmithing Feature: I caught it last night, and it wasn't too bad. They re-broadcast tonight (in this neck) at 5:00. You can run it on your computer at: . Not too confused, for an NPR piece.

For some reason I thought that Cracked or Miles had some Baltimore connections. I stand corrected, but I consider it Maryland's loss that such fine folk do not inhabit this land of peasant, er, pleasant living.

Visit your National Parks: (Still not back, but we're working on it.)

Go viking: (WE'RE still up! But then, we don't run a Skraeling trust fund! ;)
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Sunday, 12/16/01 18:25:00 GMT

OOPS!: Left out the hot-link:
NPR Site
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Sunday, 12/16/01 18:26:25 GMT

Weightlessness: Paw-paw, you had better stay out of this argument. The physics are against you. Even in space where there is "zero gravity" objects have mass. Mass requires energy to move it. In order to clarify this distinction the metric system has no units for "weight", they are all mass units and formulas using metric units ignore gravity dealing strictly with mass. It is a more scientific approach but it is hard for us gravity bound Earth dwellers to comprehend.

The weightless hammer is a tounge-in-cheek argument akin to perpetual mothin machines. We all wish we had one but the laws of physics make it impossible.

In science fiction it is common to use some unexplained method to reduce mass of a space vehical to zero and thus be able to travel at faster than light speed. However, this breaks the sacrosanct Eienstien E=mc2 and the laws of our universe.
- guru - Sunday, 12/16/01 18:45:51 GMT

anvils: i am looking at a trenton anvil but i was concerned because the man told me that it had no ring. does any one know about these anvils and if they are a good brand

- rich - Sunday, 12/16/01 22:26:18 GMT

Trenton Anvil: Rich,
I'm looking FOR a Trenton Anvil that I loaned to a jack leg horseshoer about 27 years ago. I shod alot of horses with it before I got one of the good Centaurs. Nothing wrong with it but the round horn.
I think the ring in an anvil has alot to do with the base it is on. They seem to ring best in mid air. So if you can hold it with one hand, give it a little toss and hit it before it reaches the ground, you will know for sure if it rings. Seriously, I have an anvil of unknown origin that rang like a bell before I put it on its stand.
- Lsundstrom - Sunday, 12/16/01 22:48:20 GMT

Trenton Anvil: I recently bought a 150 lb. Trenton. About a 2 inch wide piece is missing from the cap. If I remember correctly from what I read in the anvil book, they are cast steel with a hard cap forge welded on. Even with the piece missing, mine rings rather well and has the same amount of "bounce" that my other solid anvil does.

If the one your looking at doesnt have any bounce (rebound from a hammer dropped from about 3 to 6 inches)or ring, it may be cracked, or otherwise bunged up. Look at it carefully would be my advise.

Gosh, it almost sounds like I know what I'm talking about!!
Mike S - Monday, 12/17/01 03:09:48 GMT

Bruce-- Cracked and I are both from Dundalk, hon. (For those of you not from around there, that's a suburb of Sparrows Point in Balmer County, where once upon a time Bethlehem workers like my ol' dad went home to rest up so they could go back and make some more steel and ships the next shift.) It was named after Dundalk, Ireland, from whence one Timothy McShane, emigrated. He started a foundry somewhere near St. Helena, I think. For more on this and the generous, public-spirited outfit that used raw sewage to cool its mills, see Sparrows Point, a marvelous book by Mark Reutter. Yrs. in well-smitten smiting, Miles Undercut, acting provost, Cracked Anvil Center for Analysis.
- Miles Undercut - Monday, 12/17/01 05:11:53 GMT

Anvil Testing: See our rebound test on the 21st Century page. The worst steel faced anvils have a 40% rebound. I haven't tested a Trenton so I can't say what it SHOULD be.

I have seen some brand name anvils that were dead soft. I suspect they had been in a fire. Nothing anneals better than a big wood fire and burrying the steel in the hot coals ans ashes.

As Larry pointed out the ring has a lot to do with how the anvil is supported (just like any chime or bell). I've found that a tap sideways on the horn will derive the loudest ring from most anvils. Clamping anvils down tight to a dampening base will reduce the ring tremondously. Balancing one on a narrow strip of wood will enhance the ring.

Where the ring test comes into play is with steel faced anvils. If there is any seperation in the weld taping that place on the face will make a readily identifiable "thwack" instead of a ring. This is more common than "cracks". . . but it could be considered the same.

Most smiths can take a small hammer and play it on the surface of an anvil and tell instantly by sound and feel if they are going to like it or not and if there are any problems. But this requires experiance that many do not have when buying their first anvil.
- guru - Monday, 12/17/01 05:42:42 GMT

Metric Units of Mass & Weight: Guru: You are correct in that the primary unit used when calculating in SI (the metric system) is the gram or kilogram, which is a unit of mass. (1 gram is the mass of 1 cubic centimeter of water: 1 kilogram is 1000 grams.) The primary unit used when calculating in English units is the pound, which is a unit of weight. (2.2 pounds at 1 g has a mass of approximately 1 kilogram. 1 g is an acceleration of 9.8m/s^2, which is the force of gravity on Earth at sea level.)

However, because I love obscure facts, I thought I'd mention that SI has a unit of weight: it's called the newton. 1 kilogram of mass at 1 g has a weight of approximately 9.8 newtons. Similarly, the English system has a unit of mass: it's called the slug. 1 slug of mass at 1 g weighs approximately 32.1 pounds. (The word probably originates in the study of ballistics - a "slug" is a hunk of metal thrown as a projectile.)

Mass and weight, in a certain sense, are interchangeable for most calculations, because on the surface of Earth, where we do most of our living, mass has a fixed weight. It's common for somebody to say, if they use SI, that they "weigh" so many kg. You don't weigh kg, you mass kg. You weigh newtons. And wouldn't you feel like a whale measuring your weight in newtons? I weigh 220lb, I mass 100kg - that makes me look lighter. But I mass 6.85 slugs, so I weigh 980 newtons! I think I'll start saying that I mass so-and-so slugs.

Sorry. I never use that physics degree and sometimes I feel like it was sort of a waste of time.

- Dreamer - Monday, 12/17/01 16:12:12 GMT

Weightless Hammer: Larry, You're right. The fact that the hammer is weightless will NOT reduce the work you have to do. But there's hard work and there's easy work, and that depends more upon the human body than on physics. For example, I can lift a heavy weight with a lever that I'd never be able to lift without one. A lever is a simple machine. The weightless hammer will also be a machine, helping you do work that would be hard to do without it.

Progress Report. (Those of you who may be following this will know I'm withholding construction information until I've got this thing designed.)
Well, I got my act in gear and assembled a first prototype of the weightless hammer. I used
what I thought would be the simplest design, and constructed the thing out of wood (for the
most part).

The good news is that the weightless part worked fairly well. I didn't build in any
convenient adjustments, so I had to finagle to get things more or less into adjustment.
When I did, the hammer would travel up and down with scarcely any weight felt.

The bad news it that there's a long way to go before this will be a practical machine for
the shop. Best estimate: Six months work to a prototype that gives satisfactory

The major problems, actually, were niggling little things, due to the fact that I didn't
build this prototype as "tight" as I should have. There were interferences that shouldn't
have been there, imperfections in components, and one component that proved inadequate and
will have to be changed out completely. These problems, which I can largely correct,
resulted in a hammer that could only be swung about three or four times before it jammed up.
This was frustrating when I was trying to test the thing.

However, three or four swings was enough to reveal a more significant problem that I hadn't
anticipated. The kinetics of the mechanism worked against me and reduced the rate at which
I could swing the hammer. I have already thought of three approaches for remedying this
problem, but the best approach may be a change to a different design. I'd avoided that
design in the first prototype because I was concerned it would be too difficult to
construct. I'll have to think about it some more.

Bottom line: It looks promising. I think there will be a weightless hammer prototype that
I'll be willing to show by mid summer. It was NOT the cinch I was hoping for, however.
- Bruce Freeman - Monday, 12/17/01 17:05:56 GMT

Treadle Hammers / Weightless Hammers: Larry,

I reread your post and see that you're coming from a perspective of working on one of those oversprung treadle hammers that are all the rage. Visit $$ (less the $$) to see a treadle hammer that encorporates the weightless hammer concept.

I think you and Jock missed Paw Paw's point. I believe he was pointing out that with a weightless hammer you don't have to perform work to overcome gravity. He is correct. I don't believe he intended to say that swinging the weightless hammer would take no effort. It DOES take effort. But overall it would be easier on the user than swinging a hammer of the same mass that was not weightless.

Suppose you hold a 10# hammer out straight. Takes some effort, right? It would be fair to say you're doing considerable physiological work. But if you don't move it, then you're doing no physical work. Work (= energy or energy change) is force times distance. No distance, no force. Heck of a lot of effort to accomplish no work, isn't it? It's real easy to confuse physiological "work" for physical work, but only the latter will forge steel. I'm trying to eliminate unnecessary physiological work, not violate any laws of physics.

The Grasshopper Treadle Hammer is quite fine for heavy work. There is some friction. Other than that, the work you do is almost entirely to accelerate the ram. That DOES take work, but it's a reasonable AMOUNT of work. A very small fraction of the work you do goes into the kick-back, that drives the ram back up for the next stroke. This is a small (adjustable) fraction of the total work because with a weightless ram, continuous acceleration is not necessary (to overcome the continuous acceleration of gravity). That's key. A small acceleration will lift the ram if the ram is weightless.

I don't say the Grasshopper rivals a power hammer. As you pointed out, the work has to come from somewhere, and in a treadle hammer it comes from your leg. In a power hammer it comes from a wall socket -- much easier on your leg.

Anyhow, the weightless concept is already proven. If you're near NJ, come visit and I'll show you. What I'm developing now is a hand-held hammer encorporating weightlessness. The problem turns out to be somewhat different than for the treadle hammer case, so more development work is needed.
- Bruce Freeman - Monday, 12/17/01 18:29:02 GMT

If it's really a trenton it should ring quite a bit; don't get it confused with the Fisher anvils that were made in Trenton IIRC but don't ring. The Trenton anvil was made in Columbus OH and depending on the year were WI with steel face or cast steel upper (Gotta re-read
  Thomas Powers - Monday, 12/17/01 18:53:28 GMT

Tretons: Just to clarify a bit about Trenton anvils. They were originally wrought iron with a steel face forge welded on. Later, the upper half of the anvil was forged from a solid piece of steel and the base was cast steel. These two parts were arc-welded together. Neither trenton nor arm and hammer (both made in colubus ohio) had a cast steel work surface, only the bases of the later models of these anvils were cast steel.
- Patrick - Monday, 12/17/01 22:51:55 GMT

well, first I took my old Swedish Paragon, which is a helluva hunk of cast steel, lemme tell you, and I dropped it maybe four feet or so onto the driveway. It just sank maybe 3 or 4 inches straight in, and after that, wouldn't hardly ring at all. Then I took my even older Peter Wright, came out west in a Conestoga, tried the same thing. Ditto results. Now, I have a piece of transcon RR track, welded onto a piece of maybe 8 x 31 wide flange, rings like a fire bell, only it's too heavy to try and bounce it. So, my question is, am I doing something wrong? Which should I use? (I want to make scimitars out of Chevrolet bumpers, and I want to do it just right.)
- Lance O'Dirque - Monday, 12/17/01 23:32:22 GMT

Weightless rings: Lance, ya gotta hit it in the air.

I admire your zeal. I wish I had the time to digest your post but I'm late for home and my wife's not feeling well.

And as for you mister Miles from the same town as Cracked, that town ain't big enough for the both of you.

- Larry Sundstrom - Tuesday, 12/18/01 01:01:14 GMT

Trenton Anvils: My Trenton has the words "solid wrought" in a circle on the side, just below the Trenton name (which is inside a diamond shape). But when you turn it over, the bottom is obviously been cast, as it is slightly hollowed out. It weighs 150 lbs.

As I mentioned, even with a large chunk of the cap missing, it rings well & a hammer has a nice rebound. I'm going to have my dad, who's a well seasoned welder with the iron workers union, weld it up with 7018 rods. We'll pre-heat it first. Any thoughts about how risky this might be?
Mike S - Tuesday, 12/18/01 01:28:46 GMT

Trenton Anvils: I just checked that evil place "ebay", and saw a Trenton anvil for sale there. My anvil looks just like that one, only slightly bigger. If you look a the picture of the bottom, you can see the hollowed out area I mentioned a minute ago.

Now, just don't mention to my wife that I was looking arouind ebay, ok?
Mike S - Tuesday, 12/18/01 01:48:58 GMT

Trenton Anvils: I was just checking that evil place "ebay" (don't tell my wife) & saw a Trenton on auction. This anvil looks just like mine, only mine's slightly bigger.

If you look at the picture of the bottom, you can see the hollowed out area I mentioned before.
Mike S - Tuesday, 12/18/01 01:51:27 GMT

Oops: I should have known that a double post was on it's way....the screen didn't want to update.
Mike S - Tuesday, 12/18/01 01:53:47 GMT

more trenton anvils: ive got a 154# trenton anvil that only says "black prince" on the side and has an all forged steel upper with a cast steel foot with a hollow under it. cost me $200 in '94 i think a pretty good deal.
1 also have an arm and hammer that weighs 124# and looks exactly like it, except it says solid wrought on the side. it still has a big electric weld around the base, but it has a tool steel plate forge welded to the top. i believe it was a very good deal at $100 (but the hollow in the foot only holds about 1/4# of black powder!)
- mark s. krause - Tuesday, 12/18/01 02:43:21 GMT

Larry-- 'swhy the bof' of us left, hon.
Miles Undercut - Tuesday, 12/18/01 04:07:05 GMT

pantinaing copper: Does anyone know the process, for putting agreen pantina on copper tubbing?
matt carroll - Tuesday, 12/18/01 05:02:40 GMT

anvils cont.: i forgot to mention that neither of these anvils ring in their stands, but the little one rings quite nicely flying through the air. doesn't rebound though, just sinks in the dirt.
- mark s. krause - Tuesday, 12/18/01 05:19:24 GMT

Bruce, “You don’t have to perform work to overcome gravity”

That is not a correct statement. You ALWAYS have to perform work to overcome (move a mass against) gravity. Always. It’s true that with counterbalancing, that work can be reduced. Any counterbalance will have some friction.

Any mechanism will have mass. Thus it will take force to accelerate and decelerate it. So you not only have to accelerate the hammer, but also the mechanism.

I am not intending to be a naysayer, so do not make that mistake of assumption. I am just stating fact.

Assuming you believe the same physics I do of course. Grin.
- Tony - Tuesday, 12/18/01 14:05:52 GMT

Work always has to be performed SOMEHOW.

But the HOW is open to negotiation.
Paw Paw Wilson - Tuesday, 12/18/01 14:10:48 GMT

Performing Work: Weightless/Paw Paw:
A prior poster stated this, but I thought I'd simplify it, just in case there's still disagreement as to what "work" is. (As opposed to disagreement for disagreement's sake, a fine pastime and one which I will not disparage. :) )

To a physicist or engineer, "work" is done when you move something. If nothing moves, no work is being, or can be, done. Holding a heavy weight at arm's length so that it will not fall is not work in the technical sense. You are exerting force - but force is not work.

One of the most profound things a physics professor ever told me is something they don't really address in the courses because the average person would just get confused. There is no conservation of force law. Force can "go away." Energy can't, but force can. I found this out when I solved a problem on a test in such a way that some force "went away." (I'll be honest and say I solved it this way because I didn't know how to do it the right way.) The TA who graded it flunked me, even though the answer was right. I took it to the professor, who first laughed at me for doing it the hard way, then gave me a B after telling both of us that there was no conservation of force law.

So to "overcome" gravity, you need not do any work, if you are simply holding up a weight that would otherwise fall. But if you want to *move* something in a direction opposite the pull of gravity, you *have* to do work. It depends on what you mean when you say "overcome."

Dreamer - Tuesday, 12/18/01 15:51:29 GMT

Weightless hammer,: Tony,
I don't mean to quibble, but what's going on here is that some folks are using the vernacular and some are using physics-speak. (I'm using both, which really makes things confusing.) For example, If you hold a ten pound hammer out straight and >>don't move it<< you're doing no (physical) work, but it sure takes a lot of "work."

You're correct that there's extra work in any mechanism due to gravity -- if only the extra friction it causes on shafts. But if we hypothesize a frictionless bearing, we can make a see-saw which can rock up and down in which the only work done is W=m*a*d; no W=m*g*d work is done because the see-saw is balanced. (W==work, m=mass, a=acceleration, d=distance, g=acceleration of gravity)

You're correct up to the last statement. "But if you want to *move* something in a direction opposite the pull of gravity, you *have* to do work." In fact, as you yourself said, you have to do work ANYtime you move something. When you move something under the influence of gravity, gravity is one of the acceleration vectors you need to consider, nothing more.
- Bruce Freeman - Tuesday, 12/18/01 16:33:03 GMT

Moving and Working:

Quite right. By putting in the qualification, I seemed to limit the definition, which of course would be incorrect. In fact, even if I move it in a horizontal plane, I would still be doing work. But whether I was also holding up the thing against gravity or it was sitting on a table and I pushed it around, I would still be doing the same amount of work (discounting friction.)

That's another way to look at work - am I altering inertia? If the thing was still, have I moved it? If the thing was moving, have I changed that motion? Or, more simply, has the force I have applied actually affected the object's momentum at some point? If I try to pick up a three hundred pound anvil, I can strain at it with all my might, but unless I tip it over, it won't move. I have done no work, although I've exerted all kinds of force. The force went away. (The energy didn't, it got turned into heat and compaction of surfaces and so forth.)

That see-saw was an excellent example of how you can get gravity out of the system without just disregarding it, by the way.

Dreamer - Tuesday, 12/18/01 17:26:18 GMT

Physics: Paw Paw, I agree that how the work gets done can take many directions. And those directions can be very creative. I’m always interested in creativity. I have an open mind. No one knows it all.

Dreamer, In large particle physics, and in my experience, force is either balanced by other forces, (as in holding a 10 pound hammer still in the air with your arm), or forces cause mass to accelerate/decelerate.

I’d be interested in an example of anything else. I DO like to learn!

Forces in equilibrium (balanced) will not cause iron to change shape.

A more technically correct term for holding a hammer in air would be “effort”. Not work. I don’t think we need to talk “down” to anyone here. I’ve found everyone to be very capable of understanding technical terms.

Bruce, I’ll say it again. I am interested. And I think you know I don’t agree with the lack of detailed discussion. Any design WILL be critiqued. Either before it’s built or after. There is no avoiding the critique. Discussion before the build generally results in a better design and/or less wasted effort. I have not yet met the engineer or designer who did not benefit from detailed discussion. One can avoid the discussion. But to avoid the discussion, one has to keep ones fingers off the keyboard.

I comment because of my interest.

Dreamer, what was going on at the soles of your shoes and the bottom of the anvil stump when you were exerting force on the anvil, but not moving it? Force free body diagrams are a good thing.
- Tony - Tuesday, 12/18/01 17:54:10 GMT

Oops, I forgot: Gravity (the attraction between two bodies of mass) cannot be "taken out of a system". The force is there. It must be balanced with other forces or it will cause mass to move.

Frictionless does not exist. Friction can be reduced, and it generally costs lots of money, but it never goes away if mass is moved.
- Tony - Tuesday, 12/18/01 17:59:19 GMT

Small challenge. Assume a mass in free fall. Move it from A to B.

Where is the friction? (grin)
Paw Paw Wilson - Tuesday, 12/18/01 18:41:26 GMT

Now, just a minute, guys! Ol' Cracked, he's a caution, and damn if he hasn't started to party already, out there in the forge with Chastity, Yummi and Swarf! Emerging for a moment to fetch more ice and tonic, he glimmed the above and noted that he, in fact, does know it all (due respect to Tony notwithstanding), and muttered as he rushed back into the wassail that, in the end, the Second Law, entropy, not justice, will prevail-- just as Newton observed long ago. There is no free lunch. Warmest seasonal greetings to y'all! Yrs. in well-smitten smiting, Miles Undercut, acting provost, Cracked Anvil Center for Analysis
Miles Undercut - Tuesday, 12/18/01 18:45:13 GMT

More Details: Tony:

You're right that to say the seesaw (frictionless counterweighting) "takes gravity out of the system" is oversimplifying. We can ignore it - that takes it out of our *calculations.* It's still there, we just don't have to pay any attention to it.

As far as the soles of my shoes, they're compacting, as are my joints, as is the surface I'm standing on, as is the anvil, and so forth, some of which compaction turns into heat, some of which turns into potential energy. The energy is conserved.

Paw Paw: Are we on earth? Air friction. But that was too easy. How about the moon? *smile*

Miles: The Three Laws restated for discussion with ice and tonic:
1) You can't win.
2) You can't break even.
3) You can't even quit the game.

Dreamer - Tuesday, 12/18/01 19:15:20 GMT

OK, I should have specified in space and weightless. (grin)

As a sky diver, I am familiar with air friction (or resistance) and in how we can use it to our benefit. On the moon, our mass would not be weightless, it would still weigh 1/6th of it's earth weight and be subject to the moons gravitational attraction.

Sheesh! Ya can't leave nuttin' out! (grin)

Paw Paw Wilson - Tuesday, 12/18/01 19:53:25 GMT

Weightless: Tony,
Here's an example of why I don't want to discuss the design. What follows is one LONG URL. (If you can't get this to work, go to and search on "sprocket bruce" and it will get you to this, among others.) Take a look at the responses I got and I defy you to find a single answer to my original question.

Posting on google

Anyway, I have LOTS of ideas how to proceed with this project, and have a pretty good idea where the liabilities and limitations are. So my purpose in these inquiries has been to assess interest. I percieve enough interest to make this project worthwhile, but not as much as I'd hoped for. We'll see.

I will be ready for public comment when I see that I have a design that's worth a damn. If you saw the construction I had in my garage right now, you'd laugh, and rightly so. It would have been real sweet had it worked as well as I'd hoped, but in retrospect I left out a few considerations I shouldn't have. So it was a successful feasibility test, nothing more. Maybe it will become a MORE successful feasibility test when I correct some mechanical problems, but I see that I started in the wrong direction and have to make a design change. At least now I know to calculate in some things I ignored before building this prototype.

If you want to critique a design, visit . There's a weightless hammer spelled out for you there. Have at it! (I KNOW that one works.)

I have no intention of talking down to anyone. The word "work" has more meanings than that of physics. I go to work every day and work hard, but I doubt I do much physical work in the process. It's hard work holding a hammer out at arms length, even if I do no physical work. The definitions of physics certainly have their place, but they shouldn't force us to restrict our speech. We just have to back up and clarify what we mean from time to time. Situation normal.
- Bruce Freeman - Tuesday, 12/18/01 20:20:43 GMT

in space there is some particals and theses would creat some friction.. now a true vacume ... in that any device use to hold/move the object would create friction (arms jounts etc.) even a magnetic joint has some friction (push and pull of the magnetic felds)
.... friction, entopy, death and taxs can't get rid of any of them(grin)
  MP - Tuesday, 12/18/01 21:35:56 GMT

fizzics: MP, yes! And just an electron movement has friction. But if Bruce can do something with just space particle friction or single electron friction, I will be the first to buy his stock! Grin.

Chrysler was playing with a gas turbine/flywheel setup where the whole composite 50,000 rpm flywheel was in a vacuum ball. Active magnetic bearings, etc. Very low friction. Very cool. Way too expensive to be practical with cheap dino juice available.

Bruce, clarification, fair enough. I do not WANT to critique your design. I DO want to DISCUSS it. A fine line, but an important one. In the end, it's your call to discuss or not. I may chime in with clarifications from time to time. Grin.

Dreamer, on the anvil lifting, I wasn't thinking in terms of energy conservation, but more in terms of force balance. The idea of force going away is disturbing. Forces either do work or are balanced.
- Tony - Tuesday, 12/18/01 22:41:17 GMT

Come on, you guys! Don't give up so easily! How about Nobel-winner Ilya Prigogine, who holds that entropy can reverse? Hmmm? Cracked thinks Ilya's a crocque, but claims he himself has nothing less than the world's first electric anvil just about nailed, by the way: step on the treadle and WHAMMO! the hammer gets sucked down by the irresistible attractive force of lebenty jillion joules and smacks the living crap out of whatever lies 'twixt it and the anvil. Then the Bendix activates the magnet up above, see, and lofts the hammer for yet another smite. Only problem is, it keeps pulling his best Ride to Live belt buckle, the one with the flaming skull wearing the Viking helmet, into the action and he's got some nasty bruises rescung it. Yrs. in well-smitten etc., Miles.
Miles Undercut - Tuesday, 12/18/01 23:13:25 GMT

fizzzzzzle... fizzz?: Cracked, Miles.... those kinds of conversations MUST be done over beer. I refuse to reduce the experience of entropy validity discussion by not being face to face and with beer in hand. Preferrably good homebrew. With enough beer, I can have a face to face discussion with myself on that topic.

Come up with something easy. Like.... well like...... hmmmmmm..... how about..... uhhhhh

I guess I don't know any easy topics. They all get around to being deep somehow. But, hey! Pick a topic other than entropy and pick a side. I'm game!

Or Gamey.
- Tony - Wednesday, 12/19/01 01:28:53 GMT

I vote for entropy...
Alan-L - Wednesday, 12/19/01 01:46:22 GMT

Nahhh, entropy's where it's at, man. And our shapely boffins here at CACA have demonstrated (paper now underoing peer review, soon to appear in the prestigious Journal of Boring Scientific Journals) that it can be reversed, only it's more complicated, and it costs more than it's worth, see. What makes you think that epistemology and teleology are games, hmm? This is Serious Stuff we're talking here! Wipe that smirk off your fizz!
Miles Undercut - Wednesday, 12/19/01 02:52:40 GMT

I have 7 post vices that I would like to sell or trade for a hydraulic press 40ton or better.
The vices are all complete and in good shape.
make me an offer.thanks
  stan cougill - Wednesday, 12/19/01 05:14:08 GMT

Chevy Scimitars: Lance, all the new bumpers just kind of melt and smoke in the forge, then squish flaming plastic glop when hammered. I assume this is an older bumper that your WunderSchimitar will be made from.
- Stormcrow - Wednesday, 12/19/01 06:08:47 GMT

I've been lurking as long as I can stand it and I just want to say I think there's more than a little shuck and jive, going on around here. And I just want to say, too, that I think Chevrolet makes wonderful cars and I would be proud to have a scimitar made out of the bumper off one. What is a scimitar, anyway?
Priscilla Weatherly - Wednesday, 12/19/01 06:47:02 GMT

video: have the how to video ready to go to any body that is intrested
Bill Epps - Wednesday, 12/19/01 07:35:08 GMT

scimitar : long curved sharp pointy thing, mostly seen in old b movies by large men saying HASON CHOP!! or some such thing.
now the real nice thing about makeing a big pointy out of a bumper is the crome makes the blade nice and shiney ... at least on one side ... but then the chipping can be worrysome... and then there is that hole metal fume posioning thing... never a happy thing... better to use a spring like the rest of us.
MP - Wednesday, 12/19/01 07:50:42 GMT

Stuff,: If you're that eager to discuss this design, feel free to contact me off-line: freemab at
- Bruce Freeman - Wednesday, 12/19/01 14:04:29 GMT

Entropy: I long ago threw in with entropy; *I'm* going to be on the *winning* side! Not one to hide my beliefs my house and shop clearly show my allegiance...

- Thomas Powers - Wednesday, 12/19/01 14:36:41 GMT

I Give!:
Entropy it is. Majority rules.

Shall we start with a definition? Entropy....A measure of the energy not available to do work. The energy that is wasted in a process. (sort of)

All processes and actions result in an increase in entropy, the energy not available. We make energy not available when we do anything. The heat from our body exertion while smithing outside for instance. truly conserve energy, we must do NOTHING! Alan, do you still have that hammock? Remember not to swing it.

But if we had true absolute zero, and we could send our waste heat from a process to it, we could do things without increasing entropy. As much. Sort of.

I knew it was a good thing to live where it’s colder. The colder your climate, the more of an environmentalist you are! Northerners are good, Southerners are wasteful louts?

Ok, that was one beers worth. Someone else must buy the next round. Big GRIN.
- Tony - Wednesday, 12/19/01 17:07:11 GMT

Links and NOSpam: Bruce, MP, Etal,

Please note that I spent a great deal of time (months) writing software upgrading this forum. Email addresses are encrypted (here and on the guru page) so that spam harvesters cannot get to them. It works.

Putting your e-mail address in the text with NOSPAM does not work. I have filtered thousands of e-mail addesses and taking "NOSPAM", "SPAM" and such out can be done automaticaly with software.

There is also a blank on the input form (you have to scroll down) for putting in URLs. Long URLs posted in the body screw up the page. You can paste in the long URL (below) and then give it a short discriptive name. It will be HOT. It will work. And it doesn't screw up the page.
- guru - Wednesday, 12/19/01 19:04:07 GMT

Shuck and Jive: Dearest Madam. Priscilla,

That is what this particular forum is for. Sometimes it is serious, other times it is nuts. It is pretty much a free-for-all. . . (as long as it is clean fun)

The guru page on the other hand is for Q&A and tries to be more serious although the crazyness sometimes spills over there. . . We once had a long thread on using lawyers to test swords. . .

Our chat the Slack-Tub Pub varies like crazy since is IS a chat and is not archived as are our other forums. However, we DO try to keep it civil as it is like all of our forums designed to be acceptable to every member of the family.

The Pub DOES have a daily log that that can be reviewed until it is refreshed. This was designed so that folks could try to catch up on the conversation before jumping in. It is another one of our custom features.

If you think a Chevy bumper scimitar is a weird idea there actualy (really) are folks that make knives and jewelry out of Harley-Davidson chains and Landcrusier bearings. We actualy have a FAQ on the 21st Century page on Roller-Chain Damascus.

Ah. . Those old 1940's and 1950's spring mounted bumpers were not only chrome plated they are spring steel. Had the one on my 1950 Chevy 3/4 ton truck shatter into many pieces when trying to pull something with it. . . replacement was a piece of rusted 8" I-beam. . . No tailgaters after that. :)
- guru - Wednesday, 12/19/01 19:29:41 GMT

Southerners are NOT wasteful louts, we just live in a state of heightened entropy! That's why you see all the trash in our yards, it accumulates faster than we can get rid of it. In any closed system, disorder will always increase with every action. The more heat added to the system, the faster the disorder increases. Our attitude is, why fight the inevitable? I'm going to have to build a gas forge so I can at least use the byproduct as a beer cooler. Note that this does not fight entropy, it just sidesteps the issue in favor of liquid refreshment so that I won't worry about it ;-)
Alan-L - Wednesday, 12/19/01 20:29:58 GMT

Eeeeee: Check out the link. Very verbose, but it should get you going on Entropy. If you like that kind of thing.

Oh, and Miles, isn't it ALL a game?

I TRY to treat it that way. grin

He who creates the most Entropy wins!

Stormcrow, oozing plastic. Good one!

Priscilla! I never shuck and jive. Maybe vibrate and bounce from excess caffeine though. But you weren't talking about me anyway, were you?
- Tony - Wednesday, 12/19/01 20:38:11 GMT

Bumpers: My point was that since nowadays bumpers are all plastic (on the cars at least), that it would melt and burn when you tried to put it in the forge. Then again, he didn't say that they were new bumpers or that they came from cars instead of pickups. I withdraw my comment.
- Stormcrow - Wednesday, 12/19/01 20:38:47 GMT

Regarding disorder, below is an excerpt from the link listed at the bottom. This link is less verbose and gets to the physical definition of Entropy quicker. It also talks about another definition of Entropy that is social.

"The rule that things never organize themselves is also upheld in our everyday experience. Without someone to fix it, a broken glass never mends. Without maintenance, a house deteriorates. Without management, a business fails. Without new software, a computer never acquires new capabilities. Never.

Charles Darwin understood this universal principle. It's common sense. That's why he cautioned biologists not to call later evolutionary stages "higher" (However, the word "higher" in this forbidden sense appears half a dozen times in the first edition of Darwin's Origin of Species)
Even today, if you assert that a human is more highly evolved than a flatworm or an amoeba, there are neo-Darwinists who'll want to fight about it. They take the position, apparently, that evolution has not necessarily shown a trend toward more highly organized forms of life, just different forms.
All extant species are equally evolved. —— Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan, 1995
There is no progress in evolution. —— Stephen Jay Gould, 1995
We all agree that there's no progress. —— Richard Dawkins, 1995
The fallacy of progress —— John Maynard Smith and Eöörs Szathmááry, 1995"
- Tony - Wednesday, 12/19/01 21:41:03 GMT

Weightless hammer: I'm interested, would love to swing a sledge onehanded.
OErjan - Wednesday, 12/19/01 22:52:32 GMT

Did I say scimitars? My goodness, no! I misspoke, alas! Silly me, I meant samovars. That's what I want to make, it's all coming back to me now: not scimitars, samovars, big shiny samovars. Out of old Chevy bumpers.
Lance O'Dirque - Wednesday, 12/19/01 23:54:36 GMT

Weightless Hammer Update: OErjan: Thanks for your interest.

Well, last night I worked on the weightless hammer prototype for the last time this year. (No time over the holidays for it.) I fixed a couple of the irksome problems on the prototype -- some of the ones that were due to my sloppy building technique. Then I spent some time adjusting the thing. Finally got is so the hammer was fairly easy to swing. (This is a 16# hammer -- swung one-handed -- mind you, so this was no mean feat.)

The problem with this prototype is that I can't swing the hammer fast enough to be worthwhile. The problem is in the design of the mechanism. (I need to try some other ideas I have, but I wanted to carry through on this one first.)

I hammered away for a while on a piece of soft iron before I decided I really was going to have to heat it up if I was going to do much forging. :^) My garage shop is too messy right now for me to take the chance of firing up the gas forge. I'd probably burn the place down. So I just lit a propane torch -- the kind with the air-gas swirler, for higher burn temperatures -- and took my time heating the end to a low red heat. Hammered for a while, on it, but was unimpressed with my progress. Tried a normal (2#?) hammer and probably made as much progress with that, if not more.

(It's the speed, you know. E=m*v^2, so twice the speed is four times the energy, or work. A 2# hammer need only be swung about 3x the speed of the 16# hammer to carry as much energy. Makes you wonder if you shouldn't just put a tiny hammer head on the end of a whip -- which goes supersonic when it "cracks" -- and do your forging that way. I'm sure there's a drawback to that idea somewhere, though.)

Quenched the end of the bar, heated the other end and tried again with the weightless 16-pounder. Started going good before the clamp holding the apparatus to the ceiling joist let loose (temporary mounting, you see -- I'd PLANNED to rig it up permanent-like once I'd got the bugs out...) and the whole thing came down on me.

Fortunately, aside from the hammer itself, the whole thing is light enough for me to put over my shoulder and carry a while. Awkward, but light. So I escaped with a couple skinned knuckles. (They're doing well. I'll live.) But I decided that I'd had enough for one evening. I can read omens too.

I really do have some better ideas to explore. This prototype has already been worthwhile. Maybe before I build the next one I'll calculate the dynamic behavior of the thing. If I can simulate the dynamic behavior of this prototype to any degree of accuracy I'll be satisfied that I'll be able to predict the behavior of the next prototype. Might save some time that way.

Wish me luck. Happy holidays.
- Bruce - Thursday, 12/20/01 00:10:53 GMT

antique forge?: I have an old buffalo coal forge that I am trying to sell. It needs a little work but could still be used. It has a hand pumped, belt driven blower, the cast iron pan is about 6" x 24" x 18", and is missing two original legs. if anyone is interested I can send them pictures. I live in Cleveland.
- Jeff - Thursday, 12/20/01 02:07:15 GMT

not what on god's green earth is a samovar????
  MP - Thursday, 12/20/01 06:07:41 GMT

Yes I am interested in the video.
Ralph - Thursday, 12/20/01 06:39:00 GMT

It's a Russian device used for making tea. Far more intricate than a tea pot.
Paw Paw Wilson - Thursday, 12/20/01 13:03:48 GMT

Antique Forge: Jeff, I'd be interested in the forge, possibly. I work in Cleveland & live in Lorain, so I'm close by. You didn't post your email address, so I couldn't contact you that way.
Is there any name on it?
Emerald Isle Forge
- Mike Roth - Thursday, 12/20/01 15:40:47 GMT

Glass gazing balls: The kind of thing people have in the yard.I need a supplier for these.????
- Dirty Dan - Thursday, 12/20/01 19:56:45 GMT

I don't have the vaguest idea. But you might check with a garden supply house, or you local DIY warehouse. At least you might be able to get a manufacture's name that way.
Paw Paw Wilson - Thursday, 12/20/01 21:44:03 GMT

champion forge blower: I picked up a champion forge blower & stand for $50.00. Bothi great shape. Anyone know how to tell the age on them? I can not find a patent date on this one anywhere. Any advise is appreciated.
Vance Moore, Meridian, Mississippi
- vance moore - Friday, 12/21/01 00:51:24 GMT

CHAMPION FORGE BLOWER: : Anyone know how to tell the age on an old champion forge blower? I picked it and a stand p for $50.00, it has no patent date that I can find. Thanks.
vance moore - Friday, 12/21/01 00:57:10 GMT

glass gazing balls-- I've seen them in garden supply catalogs. Also maybe an outfit called Wind & Weather, has lots of garden decor stuff.. Champion forge date-- try the Champion catalog reprint offered by Centaur.
Miles Undercut - Friday, 12/21/01 01:55:19 GMT

Video?: Been so sporadic keeping up with ya'll I must of mised something. What video, Bill?
Mills - Friday, 12/21/01 02:16:23 GMT

Big Damn vertical roller for sale: Three rollers, about 8 inches diameter, 3 phase motor forward/backward with clutch lever to ease on power. Cast body, weighs 1/2 ton probably. I have rolled 1 x 2 the hard way on it-I'm sure it will do more. In SF-we will load on your truck. $500
- Jefferson Mack - Friday, 12/21/01 03:43:42 GMT

phone number-415-850-4304
email-mackmtl at
Jefferson Mack - Friday, 12/21/01 03:47:25 GMT

Gazing Balls update-- this just in, as those blowdried newsreaders like to intone, gravely: just looked on, and they have scads of gazing ball sources listed. Yrs. in smiting well smitten, etc.
Miles Undercut - Friday, 12/21/01 05:05:10 GMT

Bill has done a video. If I remember correctly, it's a "how-to" video of three different animal heads.

Miles Undercut,

Nice find!

Supplier for Fireplace Screen

Dorsteiner Tech. 281-931-4949.

Paw Paw Wilson - Friday, 12/21/01 13:06:52 GMT

ABANA: Just out of curiosity,since ABANA seems to take great pleasure in booting out chapters,is anyone interested in starting a non politically correct blacksmith group that won't try to save you from the evil anvil shooters?
- Barry Denton - Friday, 12/21/01 14:03:00 GMT

On the guru's page, see the link for CSI. Cyber Smith's International is a group of blacksmiths from around the worl, many from the Rebel Seven, and also serves as a support group for Anvilfire.
Paw Paw Wilson - Friday, 12/21/01 14:57:25 GMT

By definition there is no such thing as a non political group. ALL groups have some form of Politics.
It just so happens that ABANA has a political view at this time a lot of folks do not like. But since I am in the minority here about that I will stop now.
Ralph - Friday, 12/21/01 15:42:49 GMT

Hot Topics: Boy, that Entropy thing sure was a hot topic that had universal appeal, huh?

You know, the Southerner thing WAS just a joke.
- Tony - Friday, 12/21/01 17:43:51 GMT

I knew, and I think all the rest of the un-re-constructed rebels did, too. (grin)
Paw Paw Wilson - Friday, 12/21/01 17:50:10 GMT

Antique Forge: Sorry about that folks, my "e-mail"is jephrey0 at
Jeff - Friday, 12/21/01 19:05:40 GMT

Entropy: Well. . . there IS one problem with it. The basic rule is that everything is cooling off, slowing down, rusting to dust. . . even suns burn out. However, the most recent observations of the Universe show it to be expanding at an accelerating rate (not slowing down). Entropy and the laws of thermodynamics dictate that the universe should cool, slow down and collapse.

On the other hand, this could explain where all that lost energy goes. . . between the stars pushing them farther and farther apart at an increasing rate.

But from a mortal frame of reference everything cools, slows and dies. And the older I get, the more winter reminds me of that, and the more I dislike cold weather. . . The older I get, the less energy I have, the faster the universe goes.

A friend of mine moved to the Costa Rica highlands to get away from cold cold and hot hot. . . I could very easily follow.
- guru - Friday, 12/21/01 21:24:47 GMT

Non-hidden agenda blacksmithing regional group: Barry Denton and all, In the small city of Taos (rhymes with house), New Mexico, there is a loosely confederated group called Batmen, aka Blacksmiths At Taos. They meet once a month at the funky shop in the museum, Martinez Hacienda. No Roberts Rules. No officers. Just "Howdy, who wants to get at the anvil?" Admittedly, it's easier done on a regional basis than a national.
Frank Turley - Friday, 12/21/01 21:40:45 GMT

Seems to me there are the hermit blacksmiths, guys who fear somebody's going to see how they figured out how to harden nail sets and go rush out and copy them, and then there are the proselytizing blacksmiths, and within that group you have your fundamentalist blacksmiths who want to do everything the way it was done back when iron anvils were considered avant garde and newfangled, and then you have your ultra-liberal blacksmiths who like to see it all swirly-curly with lots of stainless and maybe some glass worked in, too. The reclusive, sullen, curmudgeonly, scowly-growlies are a big fat bore and the groupies who want mainly to exclude everybody except themselves (hermits in disguise, you see) are even worse. And the basic dynamic of all groups is the powertropic incompetents float and seek to rule. In other words, everybody except me and thee is just... and I'm not too sure about thee, any more, either. Yr. obdt. svt., Miles Undercut, acting provost, Cracked Anvil Center for Analysis
Miles Undercut - Friday, 12/21/01 23:37:54 GMT

If it seems I am making smiting sound like a religion, I confess I believe it to be one, and hold myself a devoted acolyte among the lowest of the various sects, a mere ironbodger. My sermon today: our marvelous house has many mansions, so beware of those who profess to have the universe by the nostrils.
Miles Undercut - Saturday, 12/22/01 03:09:29 GMT

groups and ......:
And so, Miles. Well said.

But must it be that way? Or can one find a way to include the hermits (because they really do want people to see what they can and have done) and keep the "powertropic" ones from spoiling it?

I don't know *what* to do with ultra liberals. Grin

Traditionalists? I can learn a bunch from them, so I like to have them around as long as they don't tell me I HAVE to be a traditionalist too.

Or can it only work in small, selfless groups?

It is a challenge. Challenges are good. Challenges to human nature can be even better.

Unless they are allowed to make rules, the powertropic ones seem to be easy to keep in check with embarrassment. It's when the majority doesn't do the housekeeping with the stick that the ego's run rampant and take over.

A little more Entropy comment......

I hope I can go out in flames instead of the concentrated energy just slowly diffusing/disordering and the flame guttering out. Grin!

When my wife and I were visiting Jamaica for a little while, we had the same thoughts about getting away. But the tourists would have driven us batty. Costa Rica may be big enough to get away from that.

The universe and space are "the big energy sink". I don't have any deep knowledge in the big physics, but I think the expansion of the universe is consistent with the idea of entropy. Add energy to any mass (including sparse space) and it will try to expand? Well, except for that freezing water expansion thing.

There seems to always be exceptions to the rule. Maybe that's part of the plan.

When all of the energy in the universe is equalized, I'm sure something will happen. All the rocks will have fallen downhill. We'll have burned up all the fossil fuels. All of the radioactives will have emitted to death. Will it be the ultimate boredom? Or will there be some mechanism to start something new?

I'm just gonna go do something in the meantime. Grin

- Tony - Saturday, 12/22/01 03:35:03 GMT

Are you responding to something or just holding forth?
  Frank Turley - Saturday, 12/22/01 06:02:20 GMT

intended for Mr. Undercut
- Frank Turley - Saturday, 12/22/01 06:03:42 GMT

I would like to start tying my own brooms. Do any of you know where I can find a book on this?

  Leah - Saturday, 12/22/01 17:10:39 GMT

I don't have any idea about a book, but check with Sharon Epps. She ties brooms, and does some very nice ones.
Paw Paw Wilson - Saturday, 12/22/01 20:14:38 GMT

religion?: now Miles don't go around saying thins like that. in my mind organised religion is the one true evil. to that effect mabe you are right my problem with MOST groops (blacksmithing, or any other) is that politics tend to take over the groop and the vocal minority tends to lead.(or be lisened to by the leaders) when I find a groop I can relat to and that I agree with (for the most part) I tend to join and get "involved". (othere than anything to do with religion)
so please dont do that , don't compaire blacksmithing to religion, god can do just fine with out another church.
and if any one has issue with my beleaveing that orginised religion is evil. look at history religion has lead to wars injustise and hate all in gods name. no god I have ever read of wanted that (excect a few of the norse and mabe some in middle eastern)
MP - Saturday, 12/22/01 21:46:37 GMT

MP, since all books about God were written by men it is easy to see that the words themsleves are colored by Man's view point, which is usually more violent and militaristic than not.
So any words you read may not really be the words God really wanted to be used.
Now I can and do respect your stand on religions. I on the other hand am a practising Catholic. And yes many wars and outright atrocities were commited in the name of God and all that, but if we can not learn to forgive and learn form mistakes made earlier we will repeat them. Now thet is more than enough on religion. I apologize to any and all who found this post distastefull.
Ralph - Saturday, 12/22/01 21:58:51 GMT

Abana minutes: I was looking at the ABANA site and I read the minutes of the last meeting and I'm not sure how they are read.. they say that even the ousted groups can concider themselves back under the ABANA banner? Or am I missing the point of that paragraph?
Steve C - Saturday, 12/22/01 23:11:16 GMT

That's the way I read it too. Personally, it sounds like Dictator Doug knows that he screwed up big time, and isn't man enough to admit it.

I will not be re-joining ABANA, and I will urge NCABANA to also refrain from re- "affiliating".
Paw Paw Wilson - Sunday, 12/23/01 00:00:30 GMT

Another interesting point is that none of the "ousted" chapters are listed as affiliates, even though the minutes clearly state:

Article III -A Section 2:

"All former chapters shall have the right to declare themselves as affiliates of or affiliated with ABANA. Such affiliates shall have the right to promote or participate in ABANA programs."

"Section 3, ABANA shall maintain a list of those affiliates which it recognizes as official affiliates of ABANA. All former chapters of ABANA shall be automatically deemed to be affiliates of ABANA without the need for further vote. Any other organizations seeking affiliation status with ABANA shall require approval by a majority vote of the ABANA board."

As I said they want to have their cake and eat it too. Personally, I'm inclined to invite dictator doug to urinate in a vertical direction onto a length of twisted cotton fiber.
Paw Paw Wilson - Sunday, 12/23/01 00:25:25 GMT

An ABANA Christmas gift? I wonder if they asked the chapters? Many that were thrown out had significant numbers of members that didn't want back in.

Lets not get started on a religious argument. The world has enough problems.

Let us send our best wishes to those in far away lands that can not be home with their families.
- guru - Sunday, 12/23/01 00:59:06 GMT

Anyone here had experience with hardening 1018 in lye solution? Seems I read somewhere that 1018 would harden some if quenched in a lye/water solution, but I forget the proportions of the mix.
Thanks in advance for any help!
  Herb - Sunday, 12/23/01 01:04:27 GMT

The lye solution is what Robb Gunter was using when OSHA made them quit using it at Sandia for safety reasons. Robb then developed the Super Quench mixture which does help.

The formula and article that I keep on file reads:


4 1/2 gallons water
5 lb. salt
32 oz. Dawn dish soap (blue)
8 oz. Shaklee Basic I

Stir before each use

Now, what is it? Basically it's a heave brine solution, with a surficant and an anti-bubbler in it.

It will not turn mild steel into tool steel. But for those applications where we need mild steel to be just a little bit harder, it does a good job.

One test took a piece of 1" steel bar, (1018 if I remember correctly) heated one end to non-magnetic and quenched it in cold water. The other end was also heated to non-magnetic and quenched in Super Quench.

The cold water end tested at about 18 on the Rockwell C scale, and the Super Quench end tested at about 42 on the Rockwell C scale. That's an appreciable difference.

I use it on RR spike knives. The regular spikes won't really take or hold an edge. (although I've been told that the ones marked HC will, I've never had any of them) but when quenched in SQ, they do take an edge and hold it fairly well.

OH! BTW, Shaklee is a line of bio-degradable detergents. Basic I is the basic industrial strength formula. Shaklee distributors are listed in the yellow pages of the phone book.
Paw Paw Wilson - Sunday, 12/23/01 03:36:10 GMT

Frank-- I was responding to Barry's inquiry ("is anyone interested in starting a non politically correct blacksmith group...?") by suggesting that maybe there is something inherent in the very nature of blacksmithing (and thus of blacksmiths, too) that is inimical to any sort of group. I know we certainly have the very devil of a time keeping the boffins in line, wicked vixens that they are, here at Cracked Anvil Center for Analysis. Yr. obdt. svt., Miles Undercut, acting provost
Miles Undercut - Sunday, 12/23/01 04:00:22 GMT

Mr Rev. Undercut.
British royalty are alleged to hold that one should only deal with persons whose professions correlate with their names, on the premise that the profession has been in the family for untold generations and is
  Pete F - Sunday, 12/23/01 06:47:41 GMT

Dictator Doug...?!!!! Kinda Harsh isn't that Jim?
Do you even know Dave in person?

How can the ousted chapters be known now as an affiliate?
Since the 7 were no longer chapters at the time that this change to the By-Laws were done?
And since Section 3 states that they will maintain a list of affiliates that they recocognize.....
Ralph - Sunday, 12/23/01 07:52:07 GMT

A merry Christmas to all.
Dawn and I and the kids are going to be out of town for the next 3 days, and since I will not have access to a computer I thought I would wish all a Merry Christmas a little early.
- Ralph - Sunday, 12/23/01 07:53:48 GMT

"By their actions shall ye know them."

Read what I posted. See the word former?
Paw Paw Wilson - Sunday, 12/23/01 12:53:01 GMT

Jock's right. We need to remember the folks in a far off land, in harms way. May the Good Lord Bless the Soldier, Sailor, Marine and Airman. Active and reserve.

Merry Christmas

Steve O'Grady
- Steve O'Grady - Sunday, 12/23/01 14:10:02 GMT

Pete-- now you're getting close to what it is we are investigating here at Cracked Anvil Center for Analysis: the paradox of why it is that doctors, dentists, lawyers have professional associations that fix fees and restrict practitioners, that gasoline dealers can co-exist enough to set prices in a region, that welding boutique managers can fill oxygen bottles of whatever size for 11 cents (and still fully cover the cost of doing so, the rent, the medical insurance and vacation pay for employees at that cost) and then turn around and stay in business selling them to us for $20 a pop, etc., etc. Even the woodworkers have a collaborative showroom. But us fiercely independent smiths... band together for group medical insurance? Group liability insurance? Group rates on equipment and material? A group showroom? A group website displaying work? Hoohaw! Puzzling, until one looks at it as perhaps the behavior of a bunch of... idiosyncratically individualistic zealots, bless us all. Yrs. in smiting well smitten, Miles.
Miles Undercut - Sunday, 12/23/01 15:43:33 GMT

Total newbie: Hi guys, I have a situation. I really want to get involved in blacksmithing, but I do not know where to begin. I could spend a lot of time searching the internet, but I figured you would probably be the best source, since you have been doing it for a while. I live in the Washington DC area and I am wondering what I can do to get started. Thanks in advance for any comments!
- Ivaylo Kovatchev - Sunday, 12/23/01 20:57:08 GMT

Welcome to the world of Red Hot steel!

Go to the Guru's page here at anvilfire. (pull down menu at the top of this page, guru's Den - Advice) At the top of the page, there is a link to an article titled, "GETTING STARTED IN BLACKSMITHING". Read that first, then start asking questions. You can ask either on the guru's den, or here, but you'll get faster answers on the guru's den.
Paw Paw Wilson - Sunday, 12/23/01 21:37:48 GMT

Ivaylo-- get in your car and drive over to Ocean View, Delaware, just down the road from Rehoboth Beach and visit Bill Gichner at Iron Age Antiques. Bill's family started Gichner's ironworks out on East Capitol Street, used to be in Georgetown, made the gates for the White House, etc., and Bill has all the books and tools and know-how to get you going in any direction you want-- and can show you some Yellin door hardware that will knock your socks off. Yrs. in smiting well smitten, etc., Miles U.
Miles Undercut - Monday, 12/24/01 03:05:59 GMT

Just occurs to me: man sez he wants to start a new smithing group. Non PC, he says he wants it to be. All I say is good luck. ANY smiting group is going to be like herding cats. QED. Yrs. truly, Miles Undercut
Miles Undercut - Monday, 12/24/01 03:09:18 GMT

Made a flopover step-down pulley years ago for my ancient 12-inch (!) pre-war (II) Delta bandsaw, works great for heavy brass, copper, light sheet steel. Faced now with local welding boutique giving up blade-making. Anybody know of a good electrozapper? Within reason?
Miles Undercut - Monday, 12/24/01 03:14:15 GMT

Bandsaw blades splice with silver solder fairly easily. grind opposed tapers on the ends, clamp in a jig of angle iron( with a gap in the center on one leg) to align straight, solder with a little air-propane torch and file flat.
As I began to say above...Mr Rev. Undercut.
British royalty are alleged to hold that one should only deal with persons whose professions correlate with their names, on the premise that the profession has been in the family for untold generations and is therefore
  Pete F - Monday, 12/24/01 04:13:50 GMT

Bandsaw blades splice with silver solder fairly easily. grind opposed tapers on the ends, clamp in a jig of angle iron( with a gap in the center on one leg) to align straight, solder with a little air-propane torch and file flat.
As I began to say above...Mr Rev. Undercut.
British royalty are alleged to hold that one should only deal with persons whose professions correlate with their names, on the premise that the profession has been in the family for untold generations and is therefore
  Pete F - Monday, 12/24/01 04:16:57 GMT

part 2: "In the blood". Being a ROYAL pain in the ... I'm lead to ask...
How does one run a flat MIG bead across a vertical steel plate?
- Pete F - Monday, 12/24/01 04:24:11 GMT

part 3: without undercutting?
- Pete F - Monday, 12/24/01 04:44:08 GMT

right, many thanks, much obliged, I know about silver solder, I love silver solder, love brazing, love old copper soldering irons, love to use them, love sal ammoniac and all that, love James Hobart on soldering, blowpipes, Primus torches, foot bellows, the whole old timey trip, no kidding, I really, really do. Now, as I said, anybody know about a good, reasonable, electrozapper? And they don't call us Undercuts Undercut for nothing, pard. Yrs. truly, etc.
Miles Undercut - Monday, 12/24/01 04:55:12 GMT

funny you should ask about that MIG bead, though. I have over in a corner of my shop a humongous Miller 250 amp MIG welder that I have used maybe all of less than 10 minutes since I got it thinking it would be of enormous value and efficiency. Ha! I use oxy-acetylene and my trusty Dialarc for all my best undercuts, and the MIG just gathers dust. Anyhow, for directions on getting flat beads across vertical plates, it's the same as getting to Carnegie Hall from here: practice, man, practice! And, all kidding aside-- let's be frank and ernest here-- I'll be Frank and you be Ernest-- you gotta REALLY watch the puddle. That's the whole key, watching what's really happening in there behind all the smoke and sparks. And: can't you lay it down and do it in position? Yrs. in etc., Miles
Miles Undercut - Monday, 12/24/01 05:09:06 GMT

ENCO used to weld them to size for you. if you pre paid. and they ship allmost anywere.
or look for a blade welder new they are $500 or so I think.
also might try to call staret I like there blades and they will also weld to length.
  MP - Monday, 12/24/01 05:59:21 GMT

thanks-- MSC lists a jillion Starrett sizes as well. I'm just casting about for the best way to survive this massive failure of my local welding boutique. Yrs., etc.
Miles Undercut - Monday, 12/24/01 16:22:34 GMT

"Merry Christmas": Merry to all of you people.. From Us Canadian Smiths. Everyone have a Happy and Save New Year also.

Barney -- North Bay Ontario {Web page to be updated over the holidays}
Barney - Monday, 12/24/01 18:31:35 GMT

Merry Christmas to all of you. Thanks for the advice over the last year (especially Jock and Paw Paw)
Brian C - Monday, 12/24/01 19:32:55 GMT

Electrozapper AKA Bladewelder: Carbon steel blades are not much of a problem for vertical bandsaws with big wheels. However welding the high tech bimetal blades for cutoff saws that have small wheels and twist the blade is a WHOLE 'nother story. . . Place I used to get mine from had a $30,000 welder for those fancy blades and the place I go to now has a machine that LOOKS like it cost something in that neighborhood.

Sorry this is no help. . .

McMaster-Carr also sells many size blades as well as custom lengths. Overnight shipping at discount rates is automatic.
- guru - Tuesday, 12/25/01 00:06:41 GMT

Thanks, Jock. My c.15-year-old McMaster-Carr catalog shows an electric blade welder of some sort for around $70. I think. (Long day.) Whole problem is a royal pain in the asterisk. Yrs., Miles U.
Miles Undercut - Tuesday, 12/25/01 02:21:03 GMT

Merry Christmas: Jock and Paw Paw:

Thanks for the nice time, and the early Xmas gift. My wife is already contemplating the possibilities of such a tool.

I am honored to hang around with folks such as y'all. Then again, consider the folks that I usually hang out with! (Big grin.)

Pax vobiscum.
Go viking!
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Tuesday, 12/25/01 03:47:00 GMT

Paw Paw wins: Seems to me that ABANA did pretty much what you wanted Paw Paw...and if they weren't prompt or graceful about it...we ain't either. It seems like a fine solution at first glance. Where'd I put my black powder?
Sorry abt the multi post above....browser battles.
- Pete F, ,Ernest - Tuesday, 12/25/01 04:43:25 GMT


Et cum spiritu tuo!

We're bout do be an improvement over a bunch of Norsemen! (grin)

They still haven't apologized. And I think they should. The sense that I'm hearing from most of the NC guys is that we won't be back.
Paw Paw Wilson - Tuesday, 12/25/01 06:47:22 GMT

Be Happy:
Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New year to you all!

Especially Jock, thanks for all the work.

Have FUN! And make fun for others.
- Tony - Tuesday, 12/25/01 13:21:12 GMT

Merry Christmas: Merry Christmas one and all!

May you all have a Wonderful New Year!

- Daryl - Tuesday, 12/25/01 15:28:08 GMT

Merry Christmas: Health, happiness, peace and prosperity to all in the coming new year.
R. Guess - Tuesday, 12/25/01 17:37:51 GMT

ABANANA: Aww Paw Paw;
It was a classic CYA. You are expecting them to be gentelmen.....Modern Times, eh?
We are not natural joiners...all grace is not our strong point.The board isn't paid after all.
ABANA has become an institution, too bad, was bound to happen eventually.
- Pete F - Wednesday, 12/26/01 05:40:59 GMT

You're right, I expect them to act like ladies and gentlemen.

Not paid? Who audits the expense vouchers?
Paw Paw Wilson - Wednesday, 12/26/01 09:23:27 GMT

Just because they don't have lots of grace and humility doesn't infer they are not honerable.
I doubt it is a lust for power or prusuit of wealth that motivates a smith to put in all those long hours for ABANA.
By in large you have to be pretty idealistic to volunteer like that. I'm not worried about the expense account.
Thinking about the character of most professional blacksmiths, it is amazing the organization holds together at all...we are a bunch of fiercely independant snots. There ain't much malice there at all.
It is easy to imagine that they freaked out when they were advised that they were personally legally liable for whatever drunken disaster might occur amongst 5000 blacksmiths. Imagine Jim...they could take your tools if you were in that position ( that ought to get to his heart).
It was a basic arse-clench reaction..the old CYA.
We just had a similar thing happen in the CBA, where one of the guys who gives classes, a good guy, was expelled in a panic when he was seen in a pic demoing without safety glasses. Way overreacted it seems to me..sigh...modern times.
- Pete F - Thursday, 12/27/01 05:37:55 GMT

Pete F.:

> Just because they don't have lots of grace and humility doesn't infer they are not honerable.

That I can accept. But at least one person in the group is a known liar.

> I doubt it is a lust for power or prusuit of wealth that motivates a smith to put in all those long hours for

In MOST cases, I'd agree with you.

> By in large you have to be pretty idealistic to volunteer like that. I'm not worried about the expense
> account.

Again, I have to say that that is generally true. However it isn't always true. And I tend to agree that
worrying about the expense account is silly.

> Thinking about the character of most professional blacksmiths, it is amazing the organization holds
> together at all...we are a bunch of fiercely independant snots. There ain't much malice there at all.

That's true enough.

> It is easy to imagine that they freaked out when they were advised that they were personally legally liable > for whatever drunken disaster might occur amongst 5000 blacksmiths.

It's that type of panic reaction, without any research to validate the "situation" that worries me.

> Imagine Jim...they could take your tools if you were in that position ( that ought to get to his heart).

Not without a fight, they couldn't. It's a fight I'd surely lose, but they'd know that I was there.

> It was a basic arse-clench reaction..the old CYA.

And that's what I don't trust.

> We just had a similar thing happen in the CBA, where one of the guys who gives classes, a good guy,
> was expelled in a panic when he was seen in a pic demoing without safety glasses. Way overreacted it
> seems to me..sigh...modern times.

Way over reacted, but it's ALSO because people have panic attacks and don't stop to think what they are

All of the above said, I think we've about exhausted the subject.
Paw+Paw+Wilson - Saturday, 12/29/01 03:24:16 GMT

exhausted the subject: Lemmie grab'em and squeeze real good....BRRRAPP-phart
There, now it's really exhausted.

Blacksmith content.
Someone borrowed my froe ..long enogh ago that i weasn't sure I went out to the leaf spring heap and pulled out a truck spring.Heated it up and slapped a counter bend in it the hard way. As it was getting a taper beat into the blade, I was switching hammers between heats, just fooling around with a couple of diagonal peins i'd rudely cut with a chop saw from singlejacks.
The hammers were a little heavy for me so I was beginning to feel it.
About 2/3 of the way through I picked up a long headed 3# cross pein with pretty narrow faces. I'd made the handle neck really thin . I generally use this hammer for shaping hollow bodies cold on account of it's long head having a long reach . The skinny neck ( about 5/8" round) helps do the long periods of cold hammering without much hand slapping.
Anyway, I expected to see the head fly away about the 3rd blow and that pencil neck splinter.
No such thing. The steel moved quite nicely and my hand and arm felt less tired when I finished the forging the frigging froe than when I first picked up the pencil-necked hammer! It was pretty suprising .
- Pete F - Saturday, 12/29/01 04:16:59 GMT

With the thinner neck on the handle, the hammer head was "whipping" and helping to do the work.
Paw Paw Wilson - Saturday, 12/29/01 04:29:48 GMT

thin hammer handles: Pete F.
I purchased a old blacksmith hammer at a flea market that the handle was split just below the head. I've heard before about spliting the handle at this spot also. I read in the American Blacksmith Magazine dated 1903, a smith mentioned doing this. A thiner handle like you discovered or a split in the handle gives the extra action. Theres something about inserting leather in the split also?
Dave Wells - Saturday, 12/29/01 06:29:54 GMT

Safe holidays: Hope you all have a safe holiday and a safe and prosperous New Year. Santa(aka wife) decided to leave coal under the tree with a note for the boys! They were shocked to say the least! I told them to keep up the good work and I would never have to buy coal for the shop again.Santa(aka Dad) added to the bottom of the note that there were presants on their bunks for making good grades. So they had a happy but humbling Xmas. Is it any wonder Kids grow up so Warped?
- Stiffy - Saturday, 12/29/01 15:15:45 GMT

post vise: 6" post vise for sale. heavy frame as i've seen on 8" pivot is close to bottom of leg to make jaws more parallel when closed. also have 4" post vise. also have 2 station punch press ( old flat belt drive).offers?........
- rob - Saturday, 12/29/01 16:30:42 GMT

punch press: Rob, where are you located & how big is the punch press?
- Mike S - Saturday, 12/29/01 16:47:40 GMT

End of the line.: Frank Turley et all,
The local hardware store, family owned since the thirties, here in Stuarts Draft, Va has reached the end of the line and is selling every thing at 40% off which is really out of reach for this junk yard dog but I got bit this time by a bunch of Enders punches, pritchels, and drifts.
I figured I'd just grind the tip to whatever shape I needed and it would save me straightening out coil springs. I am into a little chase the chisel project and doing some cold, warm and hot work. Well, I understand why the pritchel was a little on the soft side having used Diamond shoes for quite a few years and working mostly cold.
Here's my question: This store always carried that horseshoers display and I was snobby enough to pretty much shun that line of tools because of their nippers. Once in a while I would buy a punch there and it held up as good as anything. So anyway, I assume they are made of good stuff but I don't know whether to harden them in air, oil, water or brine. I am hoping the various punch types I bought are made of the same kind of steel. Anyway, if anyone would know, I figured you would.
Thanks, Larry
P.S. George Dixon who takes chasing to the level of high art says he uses S-1 for all his tools, heats to yellow orange, and quenches in brine that's salty enough to float a potato.
He doesn't temper and he hardens the whole tool. (quoting a friend who saw that part of his demo in Richmond)

- Larry Sundstrom - Saturday, 12/29/01 17:05:11 GMT

Larrys question: When I have no clue what steel I have,(1) I bring it up to non magnetic and let it cool slowly, check it when cooled for hardness. if not (2) same thing again but quench in oil. check hardness if not hard (3) same thing again , quench in watter. Check again. Process of elimination from least severe to most. Thats what I do.
Dave Wells - Saturday, 12/29/01 18:41:46 GMT

War and God: Just a word about that big fat lie that religion has caused a huge proportion of the wars and deaths in this world. Stalin, in the name of atheism, starved more people to death that all the crusades in the history of the earth. Hitler was a Christ hating murderer. He killed Christians and Jews. Pol Pot killed how many millions and that pig Mao, killing teachers and throwing violinists in jail. Religion doesn't kill people anymore than guns do. People and man eating tigers kill people.

Now, what Miles said just proves my point that he and Cracked couldn't be from the same town.
- Larry Sundstrom - Saturday, 12/29/01 18:49:33 GMT

mystery metal: Thanks Dave,
What you're really saying is, "slow down, do it right". Sounds like a morning job to me. Which is more severe, water or brine?
Another mis concept that I'm triing to grow out of is that numerous heats is a bad thing. That some how heating cooling-heating cooling etc. does harm to the metal. Therefore if I don't get it right in the first heat, the second and third heat will harm the tool.
There's a Well of wisdom in what you say, Dave.
- Larry Sundstrom - Saturday, 12/29/01 19:22:24 GMT

Brine is more sever than water.

I don't see that multiple heats harm steel. They may have caused some problems with wrought iron, however.
Paw Paw Wilson - Saturday, 12/29/01 20:48:12 GMT

Grand Canyon Visit: My family and I will be in the "Grand Canyon" area this summer (for 2 weeks). I am looking for some shops, smiths, or museums in the area to visit. We are from Pa. Hope to hear from, and see some of you folks. Thanks in advance
- Bob Clark - Sunday, 12/30/01 02:30:24 GMT

Grand canyon: My e-mail did not post, I put in all the slots this time.
rechamer at
rechamer at
Bob Clark - Sunday, 12/30/01 02:45:05 GMT

Me, what'd I say? About what? McMaster-Carr? Bladezappers? Certainly nothing about religion! Heaven forfend! (However, one might recall a little blip on the old military history timeline called The Crusades, mightn't one? Said to have something to do with the current unpleasantness.) On another subject, this man LeGubrious (see Guru page)is really onto something, with these movie pitches of his. And while we're at it, Cracked is coming down the home stretch, the climax, so to speak, of his efforts with the riveting machine he and Chastity, Yummi and Swarf have been working on, hopes to have it done, he says, in time for a big fireworks unveiling New Year's Eve (think of that Kirk Douglas-Bella Darvi (or maybe it was Katy Jurado scene in The Racers), wants to know if you could all write to The Royal Swedish Academy and ask for a new Nobel Prize: for riveting. Guess who the first laureate would be? Respectfully submitted, yours in smiting well-smitten, Miles Undercut, acting provost, Cracked Anvil Center for Analysis.
Miles Undercut - Sunday, 12/30/01 04:37:20 GMT

Miles Apart: You said you and Cracked were from the same town which is an organization which the two of you could not exist, in let alone in the same shop, let alone in the same body.
- Larry Sundstrom - Sunday, 12/30/01 14:33:21 GMT

Enough about me, let's talk about you, or, rather, about hardening and tempering stuff. Repeated heating and re-heating causes some body loss from scaling alone. More occurs in decarburizing. Main thing about hardening is getting it hot enough, and into the quench FAST! You have one second to get from the fire to the quench. A good metallurgical text is Metallurgy, by Johnson and Weeks, American Technical Society. It covers all this voodoo re quenches, alloys, etc. in vast, clear detail. Yr. obdt. svt., Miles Undercut
Miles Undercut - Sunday, 12/30/01 15:40:58 GMT

Decarburization: Please Sir,
What is decarbonization? Is it a bad thing? Should it be avoided? Could I do it by accident? Do you advise heating to or beyond the non-magnetic point?
- Larry Sundstrom - Sunday, 12/30/01 18:38:25 GMT

re-war and god : I beleave it was I that started this war god thing, in responce to miles.
and any way I didn't say that it was god that started wars I said that organized religion HAS caused and will cause wars (atheism is a form of anti religion and as such can equal that same result)
I have no porblems with god (anyones god) my problem lies with the MEN who speek for him/her and presume to know his/her mind. these men fall to the classic law that power corrupts and in falling betray there gods along with bringing many to untimely and unnessasery deaths.
so that is why I say that ORGANIZED religion is evil (or at the least why I beleave it is)
oh and please don't think I am angered by this it is just that I beleave strongly in this point.
MP - Sunday, 12/30/01 22:14:09 GMT

Maybe some experimention is in order here. For example, take an old, worn-out file and forge a piece of it into what the old-timers on the Spanish frontier call a chispa, a fire-starter, of whatever shape strikes your fancy, oval, C-shaped, doesn't matter. Now harden it. Heat it to the transformation point, quench it. Try to strike a spark on a piece of flint. If no spark, try sanding or grinding just a bit of the surface-- the decarburized surface caused by the heat of the fire making the eency carbon molecules bail off-- away. Try sparking again. If it still won't spark, try heating it up some more, hotter this time. Get it into the quench PRONTO! Mess around. Explore. They made a lot of files. There is no shortage of old springs. Yrs. in smiting better smithereens, Miles Undercut.
Miles Undercut - Monday, 12/31/01 00:21:30 GMT

Johnson and Weeks (see above) note that all steels come from the mill with a decarburized skin that has to be dealt with-- removed-- before heat-treating to avoid problems. Also, they point out that doing your heating in a controlled atmosphere, like a lead bath or a muffle, an enclosed oven, will prevent further decarburization. They state that taking the piece up past the transformation point will result in a deeper hardening than quenching at that point. If you are interested in all this, you owe it to yourself to get hold of Metallurgy or some other good text. However, beware: reading about all this, and talking about it, are not the same as doing it-- cracking is always a hazard!-- and so, experiment! Yrs. in smiting, Miles Undercut.
Miles Undercut - Monday, 12/31/01 02:04:14 GMT

Miles of smiteing: thanks for the info, what does a thin layer of decarb hurt if the rest of the tool retains its hardness?
Yes the burden of knowlege is mine but I do appreciate your sage advice.
- Larry Sundstrom - Monday, 12/31/01 11:58:10 GMT

Larry-- picture yourself out in the wilderness, the temp already down around 10 or 15 and plummeting as the sun nears the western horizon, and you've gathered your brush for the shelter, skinned a couple of chipmunks for din-din, and now you want to light a fire to cook with-- and to keep from freezing to death. No matches. Aha, you remember, just as it starts to rain, that you have the chispa you forged just before leaving home. You take it out. It... doesn't... seem... to make... any sparks.... Yrs. in smiting well smote, Miles Undercut
Miles Undercut - Monday, 12/31/01 15:43:38 GMT

Johnson and Weeks have a more businesslike response to your question. Decarburization, they say, results in "a poor tool." With moly alloys, it can be, they say, "a very serious factor." I.e., a soft skin going down deeper than a hundredth of an inch. Cracked paused in his last-minute scramble with the riveting machine to add re decarburization: "Who needs another hassle? Grind it off and do it right!" Yr. obdt. svt., Miles Undercut
Miles Undercut - Monday, 12/31/01 16:24:05 GMT

re-decarburiztion: re-decarburiztion scale it makes a big diferance as to the tool IE if the depeth of hardining is unchanged (if I remember corectly it is) then post hardining grinding/finshing solves the isue as in a knife or any edgeed tool (chisels, hardies,etc) long time sence I was siting in a class on this but I seen to remember that so long as the part is qunched when the main body of the part is at the critical temp it will harden below the soft scale(not to be confused with hard scale)
anouther way to lessen the scale (any scale) is to not let O2 get to it stainless foil or a hardening box (if case hardining) are both ways of doing this in a forge the tipe of fire makes a big diferance as to the amount of scale.
a clean o2 eating fire is always better than a dirty and O2 filled fire
MP - Monday, 12/31/01 17:22:18 GMT

Under my skin: Miles and MP,
As I recall this is the page where one is permitted to beat a dead horse. And this question originally started out because I had bought a bunch of on-sale drifts, punches and pritchels made by the Enders company. I am currently doing some chisel chasing and I took a new pritchel and ground it into a nice butcher. It soon started to mush-out on me and I thought that made sense since a prithel is for changing the angle of a nail hole in a horseshoe and not all good horseshoers work hot. Therefore, inorder to keep the tool from fracturing it had to be tempered soft. Well, I thought... no problem. I heated it up in the gas forge to a pretty light orange and thrust it into some mollified peanut oil.
after regrinding it, I proceeded back to my butchering. Now, I was breaking off the tip which of course provided me with a look at the grain. yup, it was grainy alright. Now, any thinking reader would point out the fact that I had forgotten to temper that tool but, forget I did not. I intentionally did not temper it because a friend of mine told me that George Dixon uses S-7 and doesn't temper his tools which he uses under a treadle hammer.
So, I really started out wanting to know if Frank Turley knew what Enders used in their tools but he probably refused to answer me because I admitted to being a cold shoer when I was a farrier and most farriers think that a cold shoer's lower that dirt. And the shoe fits.
I am back to wondering how to best determine how to heat treat tool steel of unknown origin with the added burden of Cracks sage words about that dern o' decarbonized skin. I started wearing gloves in the shop thinking decarbonized skin would please my wife and that's where Cracked an' me got into trouble over there on the Guru's page before he up and got all obsessed with his rivet machine. He was saying something about building fence with scrap roofing and being married for 30 or 40 years....oh well, that has passed into the archieves, but if you get this far in this tortured post, I want to wish you a Happy New Year.
- Larry Sundstrom - Monday, 12/31/01 18:37:14 GMT

Heat Treating: Larry, It sounds like you overheated the steel. Heat a piece slowly and check it with a magnet. Proper hardening temperature is less orange and more red (depending on the ambient light). For most tool high carbon tool steels the non-magnetic point is right and for others (medium or very high carbon) a little hotter.

When you heat steel it starts out coarse grained and the crystals get smaller up to the hardening point. Above that they grow larger. The optimum hardening point for most steels is when the crystals are the smallest. When you quench the steel it freezes the crystal structure. If the temperature is wrong, so is the structure.

If you heat tool steel up to the forging point and hold it there a long time the crystal structures grow. The only way to break them down is to forge or roll the steel under controlled cooling.

Decarburization occurs on the surface in a lean or oxidizing fire. Short times do not hurt but long soaks do.

S-7 will air harden as do many steels and the end condition is often usable without tempering because it did not become fully hardened. Many smiths partialy quench tools and let the heat from the unquenched part temper the tool. If you don't look close or pay strict attention you will miss what is happening. It is NOT standard practice but smiths do it all the time and it works. Frank does a good demo on same.

Frank also says that "tool steel just laughs at you". Daring you to try and laughing when you screw up. .

Tempering steel that has been over heated and quenched does little or no good.

Happy new year!
- guru - Monday, 12/31/01 22:30:28 GMT

Did I say you were out there in the boonies, temp nose-diving toward zero, and it's starting to rain? Rain? At that temp? I meant that my hypothetical "you" was beginning to go hypothermic, and only imagining it was raining. Actually, what it was doing was, it was coming down freezing sleet, little eency ice needles. Pretty soon, it would start to feel all warm and comfy despite not having a fire on account of your chispa wouldn't spark, and even a bit too warm, and "you" would start to disrobe and then.... All because you allowed your fire steel to go into your tinder box decarburized. Tsk, tsk, a helluva way to start the new year! Yrs., etc., Miles
Miles Undercut - Monday, 12/31/01 23:37:17 GMT

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