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

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

Why three forums? Well, this is YOUR blacksmithing forum to use for whatever you wish within the rules stated above. It is different than the Slack-Tub Pub because the messages are permanently posted and archived. The chat (Slack-Tub Pub) is immediate but the record of it temporary. The Guru's Den is where I and several others answer ALL your questions to us.

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Monday, 07/27/98 16:00:00 GMT

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Friday, 01/01/99 00:00:00 GMT
Well, here's another year shot to bloody blue blazes. Let's see what we can do to the next one! Hoping my son gets back tomorrow in time for him to hold the 1.5" rebar while I smack it flat. I'm using it to form two legs for a portable post vice, which will thus form a tripod.

Getting ready for another "winter wonderland" on the banks of the lower Potomac.

Visit your National Parks:

Come have a row with us: (now featuring "25 Years Abaft the Mast").

Bruce Blackistone (Atli) -- asylum at - Friday, 01/01/99 04:31:50 GMT

hello all I am in dire need of bev shears #1or2 and ANY hammers

sca_guy -- sca_guy at - Saturday, 01/02/99 02:30:51 GMT

hello ,great page. I often come here but have never posted. anyway I just finished building an air power hammer and tried it out today and it worked great. I am still wondering which I like better (I also have a 25# mechanical hammer). The air hammer is based on the Bull design except I mounted the cylinder on top. I obtained the steel free from work and have about $1500 into it including the compressor($1100). just wanted to say thanks for the inspiration( all the talk and building of the jyh). Keep up the great posts and the hammers running.

tom -- knfesmth71 at - Saturday, 01/02/99 04:55:08 GMT

hello ,great page. I often come here but have never posted. anyway I just finished building an air power hammer and tried it out today and it worked great. I am still wondering which I like better (I also have a 25# mechanical hammer). The air hammer is based on the Bull design except I mounted the cylinder on top. I obtained the steel free from work and have about $1500 into it including the compressor($1100). just wanted to say thanks for the inspiration( all the talk and building of the jyh). Keep up the great posts and the hammers running.

tom -- knfesmth71 at - Saturday, 01/02/99 04:55:35 GMT

I am looking for a blacksmith in the Northern Region of Louisiana. I am a Venturing ScoutMaster. I would like to teach my boys the basics of blacksmithing.

Darin Perry -- perrydc at - Saturday, 01/02/99 11:52:53 GMT

Tom, I'd love to have a couple photographs of your hammer to put on the Power hammer Page. Right now it is kind of a mess but I plan on having a page of different home built hammers including drawings when available.

Darin, Contact LOUISIANA METALSMITHS ASSOCIATION, Bogalusa, LA e-mail: lama at

They have an on-line members list and I KNOW there is more than one that will be willing to help you. These guys are on our links list too!

Jock D. -- webmaster at - Saturday, 01/02/99 16:02:25 GMT

Jock I will be glad to send you some photos as soon as i get the bugs worked out I had a problem with the 5-way valve in the foot pedal for some unknown reason it got stuck and put all the air to one side.I tore it apart to find nothing put it together and it worked better than before. you got me? Well I will test it again tommorrow maybe it has a defect. However I did successfully forge weld 11 layers 1/8" thick under it with a light tap using flat dyes and took the billet to 200 layers welding with the hammer alone. I think it worked so well because the cylinder puts out 277 ft lbs so the hammer is more or less compressing it using a light tap knd of like a hydraulic press on the small side. or maybe I just got lucky. later

tom -- knfesmth71 at - Sunday, 01/03/99 06:29:21 GMT

Tom, you got me thinking I should do something on the Power hammer Page so I DID.

Big commercial hammers like the Chambersburgs and the Bements not only have a 15:1 anvil ratio but also a 15:1 cylinder force ratio. So a 100# hammer can squeeze at #1500 pounds. This is really not much force but it IS good for the initial stroke in forge welding. It also makes them very quick!

Your valve problem could be the smallest bit of dirt. New hoses tend to be a contributor from slivers of rubber created when making the ends. On his Big Blue and Old Blue hammers Steave Kayne will NOT warrent the machine unless it has an air filter mounted AT the machine! A filter on your compressor or the supply end of your lines does not keep swarf from the hoses and pipes out of the machine.

Sounds like you are having great fun with your machine! I can't wait till I get my Bement running! I've also got parts piling up for a junk yard air hammer project AND a mini air hammer.

Jock D. -- webmaster at - Sunday, 01/03/99 14:55:05 GMT

According to my Chambersburg literature they use about 5 to 1 ratio to raise the ram. My 300lb has a 5in bore. Factory air pressure is 90psig.

john -- jgnoth at - Sunday, 01/03/99 17:32:46 GMT

John: Are you talking about a "Chambersburg" self contained or steam utility hammer?

grandpa meier -- darylmeier at - Sunday, 01/03/99 17:44:16 GMT

General utility "steam" hammer.

john -- jgnoth at - Sunday, 01/03/99 18:44:33 GMT

Hmmm. . the only hammer I did the calcs for were the 100# Utility. It is 15 to 1. Lets see, well the first thing Chambersburg does is use the same frame and cylinder size for two or three machines. The 200, 250 and 300 use the same frame. 400 and 500 share a frame too. (Factory air is 90-100 so I can fudge some)

100# - 4.5" dia. = 15.9 sqin OR 15:1
200# - 5.0" dia. = 19.6 sqin OR 9:1
400# - 6.0" dia. = 28.3 sqin OR 7:1
1000# - 9" dia. = 63.6 sqin OR 6:1 (High frame hammer)
5000# - 15.5" = 165 sqin. OR 3.3:1 (High frame hammer)

You are RIGHT! Very intresting trend though. The bigger the hammer the lower the ratio. According to the (unplotted) curve a 50# air hammer should have about a 32:1 Ratio! I suspect that some of the increase is for overcoming friction (rings, packings) and valve weight. Very Interesting. . .

Jock D. -- webmaster at - Sunday, 01/03/99 21:13:21 GMT

Ahhhh as the ram weight goes up the ratio goes down so the same size cylinder works for several ram weights. . . I sure did like a 15:1 ratio for both the cylinder capacity AND the anvil!

Jock D. -- webmaster at - Sunday, 01/03/99 21:18:46 GMT

As I said they use about 5 to 1 to RAISE the ram, so you subtract the area of the rod. You're probably right about the friction.

john -- jgnoth at - Sunday, 01/03/99 21:37:11 GMT

Actually the 5000# at 15.5 is more like 189 sq. in. or almost 4 to 1.

john -- jgnoth at - Sunday, 01/03/99 22:22:21 GMT

hey good news the valve worked flawless today and I have decided to add a spring between the hammer and cylinder for hopefully speeding the hammer up. Also to cushion the hammer from hitting the stops so hard. I tried the spring out of my mech hammer and it worked. A little more trial and error and this thing will work like I want it. keep you posted but probably won't use it again till next weekend.

tom -- knfesmth71 at - Monday, 01/04/99 02:13:19 GMT

On the new editions to the power hammer page you mention that "shock absorber" linkages on the JYH tend to hit soft.Could this be helped out by using a shock absorber / spring combo like you see on the monoshock of a motorcycle?

Matt Matlock -- Matt_Matlock at - Monday, 01/04/99 18:03:49 GMT


Hmm... I think you just changed MY JYH plans! I need to change the shock I was going to use to a Harley shock.

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Monday, 01/04/99 21:45:49 GMT

Harley Shock: YES and NO. The spring would help it hit harder but it would aggrevate the problem of the hammer starting with closed dies and hitting a VERY hard first blow. It would also reduce the ability of the hammer to self adjust for various work height (which is its best feature).

The shock absorber hammer works and is easy to build but it has some operational problems that you would not want to build into a production machine.

A modification I want to try out is a horizontal flat spring between the shocks (they would be spread out and attached to the end of the spring). This complicates the design a little but the hammer would hit a LOT harder and still have that wide operating range. It would still start from a closed die position but should perform a lot better.

In the discussion above about the air hammer ram to cylinder ratio, the reason the small hammers use a proportionaly larger cylinder is for speed. The Strokes per Minute are a LOT higher in a small hammer.

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Monday, 01/04/99 23:02:30 GMT

I still consider myself a bit of a novice. I decided that I've grown out of the home made water heater forge I built and I am now in the process of building a larger forge. I'm using the plans from the Mcdaniel book that calls for the top of the forge table to be 24" X 60". The fire pot is 11" X 9". What is the rest of the length for? My present plans are to change the table dementions to 30" x 45" with the same size fire pot. Am I making a mistake by not sticking to the published plans?

Minnesota Jim -- jimn at - Monday, 01/04/99 23:23:19 GMT

Minnesota Jim,

The extra forge "table" area is a place to put coal in order to rake it around the fire to coke it off prior to bringing it on into the fire. And the extra area makes a handy place to lay your tongs while the stock is heating, etc. I think your 30" X 45" is a little small, but it's up to you. Most things of this nature are a comprimise between usable space and available space.

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Monday, 01/04/99 23:58:22 GMT

Do they really run faster (speed being velocity)? I think they all run at about the same piston speed. Twice the stroke length X 1/2 the strokes per minute = same speed (piston speed). Sounds right.

john -- jgnoth at - Tuesday, 01/05/99 01:03:43 GMT

On the subject of speed in a small air hammer such as the one I am working on I think that by adding a spring will only slightly help and more or less is just cushioning the up stroke. Without it I have seen my 2" dia cylinder jump the approx. 700lb hammer clean off the floor before I fastened it down, on the upstroke. I think the best way to get the speed is be able to dump the exhaust fast. So I am going to install QR valves which will install in the cylinder before the hose. they work off pressure as long as air is to the cylinderthe diaphragm is shut when it is released via the foot pedal the exhaust dumps right at the QR valve instead of having to go through the lines back to the foot valve. I will let you know how it turns out. anyway just another thought for the hammer fanatics

tom -- knfesmth71 at - Tuesday, 01/05/99 03:34:49 GMT

Hmmm, John, you don't work for CECO-Beche or Tripair do you? I must have slipped a digit on that 5000# hammer calc. Yep, it is 3.77 to 1.

Hammer "speed" in this case I specified speed in strokes per minute which are a LOT higher in small hammers. I don't have the time this morning to do the stroke v.s velocity calcs . . . Hmmm my C'burg spec sheets give stroke but not SPM. However, the stroke of the 100# hammer is 13" and the 500# hammer is 19". A range of 1.46 to 1. I'd guess that the SPM of the 100# hammer are 3 to 4 times that of the 500#. I'll come back and look at the self contained hammers for comparison. They vary from 200 to 80 SPM but also have a wider stroke range than the plain hammers. Of course this comparison is a little tweeky since you can't run the plain (non-self contained) hammers at full stroke and max SPM.

TOM, on your small hammer it should almost NEVER bounce off the top cushion! See the air circuit for these hammers on the Alabama Forge Council page. (we have a link)

Jock D. -- guru at - Tuesday, 01/05/99 13:40:46 GMT

You'll find they all run around 500 - 600 feet per minute if I remember right. This is design "normal". They're a lot like engines actually. 500lb steam hammer can run around 200 spm, a 100lb around 300.

j -- jgnoth at - Tuesday, 01/05/99 18:32:06 GMT

Strokes per minute is a misnomer. They actually make X number of CYCLES per minute. Two strokes make one cycle - one up stroke, one down stroke, as in four stroke cycle. So stroke (in feet) X 2 X cycle rate = ft. per min. Hammers (like all things) have a natural period of ocillation, trying to run at higher speed causes erratic opperation.

jg -- jgnoth at - Tuesday, 01/05/99 19:35:37 GMT

Jim Wilson,
Thanks for the advice. After carfully pondering your response I started to think about hind sight. What happens if I need the extra 15" and don't build it that way. If I build it larger and don't need the space I'll have somewhere to set my coffee cup. Yah! sure! You betcha!
Another question!
In one of my books there is a plan for using water heater tanks for a forge chimney with about 18" in diameter. Is there any disadvantage outside of weight for this type of chimney?

Minnesota Jim -- jimn at - Tuesday, 01/05/99 20:11:42 GMT

Minnesota Jim,

You could always compromise and add 7 - 10 inches to what you had planned. That'd still be smaller than what your book recommends, but not as much smaller. Might work out. None of this is cast in stone of course. It's mostly a matter of personal preference. I have two coal forges, one in use, one retired. Neither of them has enough work space, so I've had to build tables to fit next to them to get some working area.

Other than the weight, I can't think of any. I'd prefer for the portion of a chimney inside a building to be triple wall, and the part outside of the building to be double wall, though. But I was a volunteer fireman many years ago and have fought a couple of chimney fires, so I'm fire conscious.

Guru may dis-agree with me a little bit on this next part. We agree that an 8" chimney is too small, a 10" is acceptable, a 12" would be preferable. But I think an 18" would be TOO big. Maybe not.

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Tuesday, 01/05/99 23:17:54 GMT

No, I never worked for them. Spent my days in the RR. Great Northern, later B/N. Used to rebuild steam loky's till diesel took over. Had 80 smiths and helpers. Gotta have helpers to crawl in them boilers and chip the scale out all day. 11 steam hammers six upsetters and a leaky hydraulic press. Biggest hammer was a 5000 lb Morgan. Couple little C'burgs for tool dressing. No belt hammers.

john -- jgnoth at - Tuesday, 01/05/99 23:22:41 GMT

Jim, it's "chiseled in stone" or "cast in concrete"!

me -- here - Tuesday, 01/05/99 23:54:24 GMT



Jim -- Here Too - Wednesday, 01/06/99 03:04:45 GMT

POWER HAMMERS: For a long time Strokes Per Minute has been used by the various manufactures to define how many times a hammer strikes per minute. It IS a little confusing but then they were also comparing to mechanical hammers where RPM (of the crank) equals SPM. Many times the manufacturers dissagreed but today "working" strokes are the standard.

The natural period of a system is determined by stiffness (spring force, Modulus of Elasticity, air pressure). The "natural" period of an air hammer is determined by the inertia of the ram and the resistance provided by the air cylinder. Changing the mass/inertia/resistance ratios in the system change the natural period. The higher the resistance the shorter the period.

Trying to run a machine faster than it was designed for definitely can cause erratic behavior, however, machines can be designed to opperate at different speeds. Small hammers run a lot faster (in strokes per minute) than big hammers and are often designed to produce proportionately higher forces for the size of the machine. All this requires a stiffer system and therfore a higher ram/cyl force ratio.

In mechanical hammers Fairbanks rates their 25# hammer at an average of 500 Blows per Minute (a better term), Little Giant rates their 25# hammer at 437 RPM. Little Giants are notorious for doing the "Little Giant Hula" (ram moving up while crank goes down, then vise versa!) a natural frequency problem that occurs when the hammer is either too loose OR to tight but most often when run at full speed. The Fairbanks on the other hand has a much better geometry and I have yet to see one have natural frequency problems even though they can be run at much higher BPM than other hammers.

Jock D. -- guru at - Wednesday, 01/06/99 04:06:45 GMT

I have seen my old Little Giant do the Hula and it's wasn't a pretty sight. On the other hand I have yet to see my Bradley Compact do the hula and I run it harder and faster then I'd like to admit. I'm not much for all the techno stuff but I know a good mechanical hammer when I see one. Bradley, Fairbank and Beaudry are amoung the best.

Bruce R. Wallace -- Walmetalwk at - Wednesday, 01/06/99 05:26:58 GMT

I checked the specification sheet for a 30lb. Bradley Compact and there rated at 475 BPM. I also checked the specifications on a Beaudry Champion 50lber. and there rated a 300 BPM. I didn't realize Fairbank were such fast hammers.

By the way, if anyone knows of a 30lb. Bradley Compact for sale I'd be iterested in knowing about it.

Bruce R. Wallace -- Walmetalwk at - Wednesday, 01/06/99 05:56:17 GMT

i am looking for ananvile 150-200lbs please help

chad vetter -- 315-662-3052 - Wednesday, 01/06/99 17:51:15 GMT

Relax, did'nt mean for you to blow a gasket,I was just making sure we were talking about the same thing with regard to piston speed. However, I've never seen a hammer manufaturer refer to "strokes per minute" if they say anything at all it's "R.P.M." or "blows per minute". It's not even relavant to steam hammers. Doubt you can find one excemple from "various manufacturers". Many folks call a four stroke cycle a four cycle but if you call a pig a chicken, don't expect it to lay eggs.

j -- jgnoth at - Wednesday, 01/06/99 18:19:05 GMT

"If you call a pig a chicken, don't expect it to lay eggs."

I *LIKE* that! I'm tucking that one away for future use!

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Wednesday, 01/06/99 20:21:59 GMT

I have a number of friends, of various skill levels, dropping by Oakley to help out or work on their own projects for the ship, the Viking camps, and such. These rules are posted for their edification, and I'm posting them here for your amusement. (They just look a lot fancier when done in 18 point type [Albertus Medium] and printed, centered, on 11"x17" paper.)


We don't do horses.

This forge is dedicated to St. Dunstan. (St. Clement's got our island, but I'll not give him our forge.)

Shirts and shoes required, other safety equipment as needed.

Do not crowd the forge. Stand clear of hot work and active machinery.

Assume all work pieces are at "black heat". Do not pick them up, they will burn. Assume all cutting tools are razor sharp, if not, sharpen them. Assume all active machinery wants to slice, crush or entangle portions of your body as a reward for not paying attention.

Your safety is your responsibility; use common sense at all times.

If you don't know how a tool is used, ask. Do not use the wrong tool for the wrong job.

If you take something out, put it away.

If you break it, tell me.

If you borrow it, tell me.

If you want to use some scrap, ask me. (It may not be scrap!)

Fire out, lights out, lock up when finished.

Bruce Blackistone (Atli) -- asylum at - Wednesday, 01/06/99 20:24:56 GMT

Durring the war we ran our boilers at 120 psi. 1500 lb Bement would hit both ends of the stroke at the same time. These little belt hammers sound faster than a three-legged jackrabbit at a barbeque. How do you hold tools under them?

jg -- jgnoth at - Wednesday, 01/06/99 22:21:40 GMT

Jim wilson are you a hillbilly? Or just sound like one? Maybe N. Carolina? Knew a rich hillbilly once. You could tell he was well off - he TWO cars in his yard - up on blocks! No offence, just having fun. Sond like you know alittle somthing about the trade. You got one of them jackrabbit hammers too? Time for my enema, one of these days i'll tell that girl where she can put her enema. Even have to shit on a damn schedual around here!

jg -- jgnoth at - Wednesday, 01/06/99 23:05:48 GMT


12 Rules stolen, modified for Paw Paw's Forge! :) (Well hell, at least I told you!)


You got it in one. Born in West By Gawd Virginie, raised there and in the back hollows of Ohio till I was 7.

Now in Nawth Carolinaa, Camel City. By the vehicle Standard, I'm REALLY well off! Got three trucks up on blocks, one running, and Momma's car still runs! :)

Done mess wid da kid!

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Wednesday, 01/06/99 23:14:18 GMT

hey just installed the quick release valves and they worked great. I would say the hammer is about 15-20% faster and because the exhaust dumps at the cylinder it also hits harder. also I have a 25# fairbanks and your right about it being fast after I got it up and running I ended up slowing it down. so I had a little more time to see what was going on. anyway later

tom -- knfesmth71 at - Thursday, 01/07/99 01:57:19 GMT

what I was trying to say while juggling my 9 month girl was that I never seen or had any frequency problems or ill effects t the high speed the old timer I got it from had it set up at. However the hammer needs alot of work to get it in top runnig and safe condition mainly because it sat in his field for the last 20 yrs. one of these days I will get to it.

tom -- knfesmth71 at - Thursday, 01/07/99 02:20:30 GMT

Tom, That Fairbanks should run plenty slow as originaly setup. The slip belt clutch on it should let you run as slow as you want (20-30 RPM).

JG, Jackrabbit Hammers is right! The most common, the Little Giant, is very quirky and you have to be very careful what kind of tools you use with them. Most folks just use the combination dies to do drawing and avoid a lot of under die tooling typical of a regular forge shop. The top of the line hammers like the Fairbanks and the Bradleys are VERY controlable. Most of the high RPM work is done with the crank adjusted for a short stroke. With the ram set for the height of the tooling (say a chasing chisle) and a short stroke, its a lot like carving with an air chisle but more controlable. The problem is most of todays smiths are lousy mechanics and if you suggest they adjust their hammer for a specific job they will look at you like you are crazy. To make matters worse all the manufacturers of mechanical hammers are long out of business.

THIS has created a demand for the new small air hammers. They are very fast but generaly quite controlable. A wide range of tooling can be used under the die without making adjustments. As a new class of hammer there are going to be a LOT of improvements in the coming years. That's why there is a lot of discussion about hammer design going on here and elsewhere.

Jock D. -- guru at - Thursday, 01/07/99 03:41:43 GMT

jock you are right about the slip belt clutch. I tested the hammer agin with the new valves and it works great however the way I have the pedal set up I don't have as much control as I would like. I am going to rethink the valve system and may change it. but the hammer does work good for what I want right. best of all is that I built it and I can redesign it for future uses. I am already thinking of building a hydraulic press. This is almost as fun as blacksmithing.

tom -- knfesmth71 at - Friday, 01/08/99 02:51:06 GMT

I'm afraid that I'll have to admit that as much as I enjoy blacksmithing I've always enjoyed creating my own tools and machinery more!

Jock D. -- guru at - Friday, 01/08/99 03:19:55 GMT

Blacksmithing, Tool making, Jig making, I thought they were all the same. There's nothing better than when you make a "helper" and it works GOOOOOD. The best tongs I've got are the ones I made, just because.

Pete -- Ravnstudio at - Friday, 01/08/99 04:23:27 GMT


They're all related, but their not all the same. I agree with Jock, I have to make a lot of my own tools, and I enjoy that at least as much if not more as I do the "traditional" blacksmithing.

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at netunlimited.netPet - Friday, 01/08/99 04:57:04 GMT

Gotta admit that I have to join you all on this thread. At the bottom of it all, I enjoy problem solving -- whether it's figuring out the techniques, sequences, or assembly involved in blacksmithing, designing and building tools & jigs, or finding an old lump of machinery and getting it back into smooth working order. It's the process of analyzing the problem and getting creative to solve it. 'Production' blacksmithing tends to be a dirty, uncomfortable job. Production anything turns into an onerous chore. Making the first item is where I enjoy myself. Making the 100th is when I get hurt 'cause my mind is far, far away.

Morgan Hall -- morganh at - Friday, 01/08/99 14:57:31 GMT

Blatant commercial announcment. Grandpa now has a web site. Take a

Grandpa -- darylmeier at - Friday, 01/08/99 15:25:24 GMT

Ok, now that you have teased us with your new web site, are you going to tell us how you got the flag pattern in the steel?

Paul -- no email - Friday, 01/08/99 18:20:16 GMT

Paul: Yes, the site is not finished yet. Eventually it will have a FAQ page, and the flag knife will be explained there.

grandpa -- darylmeier at - Friday, 01/08/99 18:42:13 GMT

I and a friend are interested in Beaudry or Nazel hammers for sale preferably in the Lancaster, PA area.

Dale Morse -- hollandmorse at - Friday, 01/08/99 18:59:51 GMT


With step by step photo's? And maybe an enlargement picture of just one of the flags in the steel? So we can see the detail?

That knife is unquestionably a masterpiece! And I'm NOT trying to "curry any favors", that's just the way I feel about it. I hope to God you made a second one for yourself!

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Friday, 01/08/99 19:14:44 GMT

Jim- I did'nt mean for blacksmithing,toolmaking or jig making to be compared with one another. But that they can sometimes all be part of a very satisfying day. And lots of times you can't have one w/out the other,kinda like the chicken or the egg. (where did that first clucker come from anyway?)

Pete -- Ravnstudio at - Saturday, 01/09/99 00:45:33 GMT


Ah! OK, I see what you mean. I'd mis-understood.

As for the first clucker, why not ask the first cat? (grin)

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at netunlimited.nte - Saturday, 01/09/99 01:41:19 GMT


Ah! Now I see what you mean. Sorry, I had mis-understood.

As for the first clucker, why not ask the first cat? :)

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Saturday, 01/09/99 01:43:17 GMT

WOW!Truly amazing work.Now I understand why legendary and your name are used in the same breath.

dimag -- dimag at - Saturday, 01/09/99 01:52:13 GMT

WOW!Truly amazing work.Now I understand why legendary and your name are used in the same breath.

dimag -- dimag at - Saturday, 01/09/99 01:58:34 GMT

Not exactly step by step photos, but enough information and photos to explain completely. There is a single flag picture there now at

grandpa -- darylmeier at - Saturday, 01/09/99 02:20:15 GMT


Just went there, saw that.

Un-believeable! If someone had told me it was possible, I'd have said he was crazy! Only problem is, it's discouraging to me. Why bother with the rest when I've seen the best? (grin)

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Saturday, 01/09/99 04:54:34 GMT

Went there, saw that.

Un-believeable! If someone had told me it was possible, I'd have said he was crazy. Only problem is that it's discouraging! Why mess wiht the rest when you've seen the best? (grin)

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Saturday, 01/09/99 04:57:44 GMT

i'm looking for a special design for a staircase. (retro style)
Who can help me ?
Thanks !

Dokus -- ludovb at - Saturday, 01/09/99 05:15:26 GMT

john -- jgnoth at, I think you and I got off on the wrong foot. I'm sorry. I think a lot of the guys here would like to hear about some of the jobs you've done.

I've got a 350# Bement currently being rebuilt (as time allows). I've run a 500# Chambersburg on reduced air (long hose) and can't imagine running a 5,000# machine! The Bement will be fitted with a treadle for one man operation.

Jock D. -- webmaster at - Sunday, 01/10/99 22:16:38 GMT

I'm in need of a blower, hand crank type.

Larry Richardson -- lrichard at - Tuesday, 01/12/99 01:19:23 GMT

As to my posting on anhydrous borax in the pub.
I'll check the proper temp to make the stuff, it seems i tlocked at the wrong substance suorry.

OErjan -- pokerbacken at - Tuesday, 01/12/99 11:47:01 GMT

I am trying to find the exact temp where borax dehydrates, I have a nasty feeling that I gave the wrong one earlyer (have the books at home and a bad memory)

OErjan -- pokerbacken at - Tuesday, 01/12/99 13:23:35 GMT

Is there anyone who has some ideas how to make
easy things you could use for a necklace?

Monica -- lomicard at - Wednesday, 01/13/99 09:42:57 GMT

Monica, the easiest thing (and sometimes the most common) made in the blacsmith shop is points (round or square tapered points). These if slightly bent and cut off short would look like "claws" (bear claws, whatever. . .). Might make a kind of primitive looking necklace.

About 40 years ago my initial investigation into blacksmithing was to make iron/steel jewelery. The research got side tracked looking for the method of producing fancy temper blue like you see on some gun parts such as shotgun recievers. Somehow along the way I have made only 3 pieces of jewelery. . .

Jock D. -- webmaster at - Friday, 01/15/99 01:08:28 GMT

Hi,Could anyone tell me what tools I need to get started and any Ideas where i could pick them up at. I live near Las Veags if that helps any.

James -- jidatlah at - Friday, 01/15/99 02:28:21 GMT

Hi,Could anyone tell me what tools I need to get started and any Ideas where i could pick them up at. I live near Las Veags if that helps any. Sorry If this posts twice.

James -- jidatlah at - Friday, 01/15/99 02:30:25 GMT

Forge, anvil, hammer, vise. Then, welder and angle grinder followed by gas welding equipment. These two groups are the minimum. See the article "Getting Started" on the 21st Century page for details references.

If you can afford about $1000 for a "starter" kit of tools Centaur Forge can fix you up with new equipment (you should get their catalog anyway). Otherwise flea markets, farm and shop auctions, friends. . . If you tell EVERYBODY you know that you are intrested in blacksmithing you might be surprised at what is hidden in the corner of someone's garage looking for a home!

Jock D. -- webmaster at - Friday, 01/15/99 05:00:43 GMT

Cheers! Hope every one is doing well.

Doug -- dhall at - Saturday, 01/16/99 03:26:48 GMT

Hey guys any advice for a lady? I spent several years learning this trade. Can't work the iron, but do well with non ferrous. I'm looking for forming stakes for silver smithing. any help appreciated.

Aggie -- weessidr at - Sunday, 01/17/99 04:45:34 GMT


When a lady calls, a gentleman always answers. That leaves the rest of these clods out, so I'd better answer. :)

What particular formings stakes are you looking for. Got pictures of the ones you want? Several of us here could easily make them for your, or you might find some that would work for you in the Centaur Catalog. Check the links page for a link to Centaur. Give them a call, tell them that you found the link here on Anvilfire, and that you need a catalog. The $5 that it'll cost you is money WELL spent. The catalog is an education all by itself. And a very handy reference, as well.

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Sunday, 01/17/99 05:35:40 GMT


My name is Nikolai Semenov. Russia, St.Petersburg. I`m 27 y.o.
I`m artist dealing with the forged iron. I am working with architectural metal,
interior metal, decorative sculpture in metal, forged jewelry plastic.
I have participated in several exhebitions in Russia and Germany.
I and my collegues would like to have contacts, to cooperate , to share with information
with sculptors and artists in different countries and to participate in
programs and projects together with You.
If You are interested to some photo examples of my works, I could send
some of them to You.
I will greatly appreciate to recieve the feedback from You.

My E-mail adress: semenov.nikolai at

Sincerely Yours
Nikolai Semenov

Kolia SEMENOV -- semenov.nikolai at - Sunday, 01/17/99 14:05:27 GMT

Aggie, I just happened to see some very nice needle stakes yesterday made by Harold Longest. Harold has a shop near Richmond, VA.

Harold L. Longest
Turpin's Forge
10171 King William Road
Aylett, VA 23009
(804) 769-1291

Tell Harold I told you to call!

Nikolai, If you send me photos of your work and your shop I will post them in an anvilfire NEWS article.

Jock Dempsey -- webmaster at - Sunday, 01/17/99 16:54:45 GMT

I am looking for information and spair parts for Bradley Upright
Helve hammer 150#. I would hope someone has used one before and can give me some insight into it workings.

Stephen Sokoloski -- b-s at - Monday, 01/18/99 00:45:31 GMT

Stephen, I have photos of a variety of Bradley hammers. The upright Bradley was called a "compact" and was considerably different than the helve hammers. Rubber cushions are available but most of the other parts are special order.

There is a drawing of one type of Bradley helve hammer in the book review of Pounding out the Profits. There are others in some of the ads on the Source Book page.

Jock D. -- webmaster at - Monday, 01/18/99 03:29:54 GMT

Have a hand-crank blower, would sell or trade for other blacksmithing tools. No e-mail, leave message.

kevin -- none - Monday, 01/18/99 22:49:25 GMT

Bruce Wallace tells me there is a Bradley called an UPRIGHT HELVE. I guess I better go look it up. Maybe Bruce can tell me what's different about it. . .

Where are you located Kevin? A LOT of folks are looking for those old hand crank blowers!

Jock D. -- webmaster at - Monday, 01/18/99 23:07:49 GMT

Probably means "Guided helve" as opposed to the more traditional version. See I know sumpthin about belt hammers.

j -- jgnoth at - Tuesday, 01/19/99 00:28:28 GMT

Jock and Stephen

Bradley did make a hammer called an Upright Helve. In fact the Upright Helve was not a ture Helve hammer at all. Upright Helves did have a horizontal wood beam but the ram was guided much like a Bradley Upright Strap hammer. Upright Helves where made form 50lbs. to 500lbs. and Upright Strap hammers were made form 15lbs. to 200lbs. Compact hammers were made up to 300 Lbs. and Rubber Cushioned Helve (non-guided) were offered up to 200 Lbs.

Upright Helves were very nice machines and they were the larges hammers Bradley made, 500lbs. The hammer was recommend for work that was severe and continuous. Some tend not to want a Bradley because it's not a Little Giant. Anyone who owns or worked under a Bradley would tell you diffrent.

Bruce R. Wallace -- Walmetalwk at - Tuesday, 01/19/99 05:10:16 GMT

OK, SO what I'd been calling "guided ram" helve hammers were Upright Helves and Upright Strap hammers. . . We've got pics of both if you need. Not sure about details. . .

Jock D. -- webmaster at - Tuesday, 01/19/99 05:44:38 GMT

here you have a blacksmith story (translated from swedish to bad english)
hope noone takes ofence (in that case, sorry)

A blacksmith who had never, at least not since his grandmother died, gone to church, suddenly had become very religious.
He even stopped swearing and yelling at his staff, something he was famous for together with a very bad temper and a very violent nature.
one day he was cutting a bar with the help of an apprentice.
Unfortunately the apprentice slipped and lost the grip on the sledge resulting in him hitting the blacksmith on the hand.
The apprentice braces himself for the outburst expecting to get a thorough trashing.
The blacksmiths starts to yell but catches himself in the act and calmly (but loudly) says GOD BLESS YOU SON ,GROAN, And after a few seconds ads with acid in his voice BUT YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN!

OErjan -- pokerbacken at angelfire,com - Tuesday, 01/19/99 12:47:09 GMT


Bet the blacksmith heard a still small voice in HIS ear telling him the same thing! (grin)

Far from being offensive, it's funny!

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Tuesday, 01/19/99 13:47:05 GMT

Looking for a swage block. I live in Ontario Canada. I have my shop setup. Built my own forge, I use a hand crank blower and love the control you have. I setup at farm/fall fairs etc and show the general public on how it was done back then. They love it. I also sell my wares...

Barney -- barney at - Wednesday, 01/20/99 00:15:42 GMT

There seems to be a lot of knowledge about power hammers on this site.
Can anyone tell me anything about a #3 Hawkeye power hammer. It is marked Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A friend's grandfather has it for sale but I have to wait for some better weather to go lookk at it. Any information would be appreciated. Thanks, Wayne

Wayne Lewis -- waynele at - Thursday, 01/21/99 16:10:59 GMT

Hawkeye hammers were first made in Iowa. The company then moved to Cedar Rapids, MI. A #3 was the larges hammer Hawkeye made. I don't know what the ram weighed or falling weight is. I can tell you Hawkeye designed the #3 for heavier work then their #1 or# 2 hammers. The best I know, Hawkeye only made wood beam helve hammers.

Bruce R. Wallace -- Walmetalwk at - Thursday, 01/21/99 17:58:40 GMT

Is there another type of chat area that doesn't have this minut space? Now entering my second smester of blacksmithing. Great teacher, he makes all the hammers, hardies and punches .

EArth Carver -- Earthcarve at - Friday, 01/22/99 03:42:16 GMT


Try the Slack-Tub Pub.

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Friday, 01/22/99 05:22:35 GMT

hey everybody i have posted before but today i finished a template of my web page. i hope you stop to check it out. be warned it's terribly silly and i am more of a fabricator than a smithy at the moment. the web address is:

heather -- fluffymetal at - Sunday, 01/24/99 05:28:18 GMT

Heather, its good to see more women in metalcraft! Its a sad statistic that in our country something less than 2% of all engineers are women. I think blacksmithing is about the same but it is better for metal sculpture. Keep up the good work. Just remember that no matter what techniques you use there is no substitute for good craftsmanship.

Jock D. -- webmaster at - Sunday, 01/24/99 16:45:57 GMT

Sam Moss,FBS, of Memphis Tn asked me to post this hammer: 25# Little Giant #8803 for sale, asking $1500. (901)946-5441

Charlie McKinney -- mckinney at - Friday, 01/29/99 00:34:07 GMT

Hi, I was referred by someone on ebay to advertise here that I am selling an anvil. If you go to ebay, you can view it. The item number is 61317876 and the url is


Manny -- mrmenterprises at - Friday, 01/29/99 02:48:01 GMT

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