Image (c) 1998 Jock Dempsey WELCOME to the
Virtual Hammer-In!

Due to popular demand this page is now closed and its stated purpose may now be pursued on the Guru page.
New guidlines will be written for that page ASAP. This page may reopen at a later date with another purpose.

This is an archive of posts from May 1st to June 15th on the Guru's Den

Previous Hammer-In log

Congratulations, nice place you got here. I acquired an oval shapped forge set up for a lever action. The gear does not go straight up and down like some that I have seen, it is curved with a ball weight on the end. Would this be sutable for the Civil war period? I read on the forge that the hand crank was pattened in 1866. How does this affect the above mentioned design? All comments are welcome. Also what is the melting point of Aluminum, and can my neighbor melt Aluminum cans in a gas forge?

Bob Clark -- bclark at - Friday, 05/01/98 15:36:41 GMT

Welcome to anvilfire Bob!

I'm not strong on the historical stuff but a LOT of this type of manufactured equipment became available around the Civil War Period. Look at the James Nasmyth biography (The Bookshelf). Industry was really reving up in the 1830's

Aluminium melts at 1220 degrees F. The alloy used for cans has some zinc in it (I think) and will have a slightly lower melting point. And yes a gas forge can make a very nice melter.

The second gas "forge" I built was really a small foundry setup for zinc. It would melt 5 lbs of zinc in about 5-10 minutes. It was actually over kill as the zinc melts at 700 degrees and pours at 950 to 1100. It had a side inlet that let the flame make a spiral around a half of a brick that we set the steel crucible on. Bricks were stacked to make an enclosure and be more efficient. I've melted bronze (1840, pours at 1950) in the same setup.

WARNING: Aluminum and Zinc disolve steel crucibles quite quickly. This results in a mess AND the disolved iron weakens the alloy beening melted. . .

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Friday, 05/01/98 16:14:04 GMT

Jock,how's it going up there fr you ? Finally had time to check out your site and I'm impressed!We got lucky down here and didn't have to do any pump machining this time,all dim's. looked good.gotta go,tell your dad we said hello and to check out

skip turnbull -- sct7723 at - Friday, 05/01/98 22:41:01 GMT

Skip! I tried to return e-mail to you from your address at work. Must have some kind of filter in place and it bumped back to me!

Glad you folks didn't have to machine but WE can't make any money that way! Tell the crew thanks for all the help while I was down there. As you can see I've been busy here!

J.Dempsey -- guru at - Saturday, 05/02/98 00:04:42 GMT

Jock things look good ,Hope to be here often to read the post ,and
join in from time to time that is if you will let us TN. in BOWIE

BOWIE -- bowie at - Saturday, 05/02/98 00:22:34 GMT

I thought I'd stop by for the grand opening. Where is the beer and pretzels. Keep up the good work, things look great.

Bruce R. Wallace -- Walmetalwk at - Saturday, 05/02/98 00:58:46 GMT

Beer's in the shop fridge help yourself!

Jock -- guru at - Saturday, 05/02/98 02:17:27 GMT

Hi. Jock, Congrats on the Grand Opening. Well Done!!!! I got to see the Bull on Wed. Disappointed that I didn't get to hammer any iron, but impressed with hammer anyway. Called to order one, hope to get it near ABANA time. I have to sell a mill first. Later, Bill

Bill Koeppe -- Thrivers1 at AOL - Saturday, 05/02/98 09:01:33 GMT

Hello, Jock, Wonderful job on a very difficult project. The Anvilfire looks great. I wish it had been out in time to be put in my book. Thanks for the kind words in your review. It is so rewarding for me to hear back from so many who have used the book and how much they like it. Well, keep up the great work and
Keep the Sparks A'Flying!!

Randy McDaniel -- RAMS4G at MSN.COM - Saturday, 05/02/98 12:26:46 GMT

No posts on Sunday. Where did everyone go? Happy Hammerin' later, bill

Bill Koeppe -- Thrivers1 at AOL - Monday, 05/04/98 04:08:05 GMT

Either enjoying the spring weather, watching the races, or sending me e-mail! I am making progress on the East Coast JYH. The auto real axle is supposed to be delivered today (Olds 98, over-kill!). AND I have addressed some problems my demonstrator, Josh Greenwood, has raised. I've been playing devils advocate on his projects for years and now he's getting even. Had some valid points about pinch points and "clacking" the dies. I keep saying, "but, but, its just supposed to be a junk yard hammer".

OBTW - I'd love to sell this monster to one of you lucky souls at Asheville so that I don't have to drag it home. Will be taking the best offer.

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Monday, 05/04/98 11:39:28 GMT


Reference the incised twist.

I took a cheap ball peen hammer (taiwan junk from one of Harbor Freight's sale catalogs), used the horizontal grinder with a cut off wheel to carve the tool that you describe into the face. Then took the top off of the ball the same way. Used as a set hammer, works fine.

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Monday, 05/04/98 12:24:57 GMT

Modifying old tools for new purposes is one of the better knacks for a smith to pick up. When you start with a production tool, it is made of better steel than you can afford to purchase in small quantity and is properly heat treated. I've got a whole drawer full of modified screw drivers and wrenches from my mechanic days. Here are two nifty tips!

BICKERN: A bickern, beak iron or stake anvil can be made from an old pick axe! Find a piece of heavy shafting to arc weld into the eye (might need to be reduced in size.) Form (torch?)the stake end before welding.

RIFLERS: The stub end of old files see little wear. I torch off the excess and then heat just enough to bend into a curve. A half round file becomes a hemisperical "spoon" file, Small rounds and triangles become riflers. I oil quench and use as it for wood work. Re-tempering for metal work would take mor care.

Well, Now I need a "tip of the day" page. . .

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Monday, 05/04/98 13:09:14 GMT

Geoff Gifford (4/26):

When I was out in Tucson the other week I thought I saw a power hammer in the back lot of Kent's Tools on 133 E. Grant (624-8098). It being a little pricey to ship large, heavy objects back to Maryland I'm afraid I didn't look as closely as I wished to.

(It was enough fun just packing the hammers, mallet, rivet set and punches into my check-through luggage. For those of us who fly: DO NOT pack sharp or heavy blunt instruments in your carry-on baggage. SOME of the guards will give you the third degree. On the other claw, I'd rather they be a little fussy than I be unpleasently surprised at 30,000 feet.)

I visited the shop with our chief archaeologist, a tool collector by nature and profession ;-). Kent knows his used and new tools, so you won't find any fantastic bargains, but he has some good and fair prices. (Better than some of my sources on the East Coast, which explains the preceeding paragraph.) The inventory is in constant flux, so repeat visits are not just fun, but a good idea.

Good Luck.

Visit your National Parks:

Come have a row with us: (case sensitive)

Bruce Blackistone (Atli) -- bruce_blackistone at - Monday, 05/04/98 13:21:30 GMT

While you're puttin your hammer together we're fine tuning ours!! First set of springs were WAY too flexy. Inertial loads are hard to calculate. Second set of spring worked pretty well but were a little too stiff. Rather bracket it than creep up on it. Third set are just right. As goldie Locks would say. More fun than a pint of gasoline floatin in your friends slack tub! Suprise!!!


GRANT -- NAKEDANVIL at USA.NET - Tuesday, 05/05/98 01:09:13 GMT

I had a mild surprise today too. Something I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN. When you use half a differential, you get half the reduction (or the reduction -1, I haven't counted that many turns). Its IN the shop big and ugly the way American iron used to be!

Jock Dempsey -- guruof theeast at - Tuesday, 05/05/98 01:41:30 GMT

Yep, when it's driveing both wheels they turn at rated speed, but when you stop one the other will turn twice as fast.

besta luck, GRANT

grant -- NAKEDANVILFIRE at USA.NET - Tuesday, 05/05/98 07:28:46 GMT

great page jock every time I come by you have added something.and or improved something. youve put a lot of work in to site, keep up good work great site.

5-5-98 5:30am in stony creek va.

Walton Barnes -- wwbarnes at - Tuesday, 05/05/98 09:26:58 GMT

Hiya, Jock, how's life? Got a question for you, Guru. I finally got my forge set up, lit it yesterday. I used the modified Aussie atmospheric burner that Ron Reil described over at the Yard. I've got a pile of refractory brick like you recommended a while back. Even after going for 2 hours (low temp to dry the bricks, then slowly increased heat), I can't get any better than a low orange/high red heat, even on small stock. I went back and increased the flare a bit on the outlet, but haven't had a chance to fire up yet. 1. What is the best placement of the burner; i.e, bottom corner in middle of pile, tip flush with the wall? I moved it around a bit (tip further in, etc), didn't seem to make any difference. Thanks.
Doug on Whidbey, still daylight.

Doug Parrish -- ParrishD at - Wednesday, 05/06/98 01:02:32 GMT

Jock, I forgot to mention that the forge enclosure is approx. 6" x 6" x 14". I'm using a 0 - 35 psi regulator off a 100 lb propane tank.

Doug -- ParrishD at - Wednesday, 05/06/98 03:17:22 GMT

When its "still daylight" for some folks its past my bed time here!


If you are talking about an atomospheric type burner it may just be too small and you need two. The burner should be somewhere in the back where it doesn't blow directly on the work and creates a spiral or turbulent flow. When a forge is hot and running right I don't see any flare unless running at night. Too much gas can be as bad as too little.

On blower type burners the usual advice is:
Adjust your gas/air mixture until you get a loud roar. Some say this is when the mix is burning as a series of explosions. The reverberation can be deffening if adjusted perfect so most of us go a little rich rather than lean (oxidation is a big enough problem).

The thing is, atomospheric furnaces do not roar that I know of so the adjustment is a little more tricky. I've found most people try to use too much gas. Heat up rates are determined by forge mass. Firebricks are more dense than the Kaowool type refractories and take longer to heat up. Daryl Meier recently posted a piece of information giving heatup rates on his forge (measured with a pyrometer I think) and he was talking 2, 3, 4 hours. I'll find it and let you know.

My forge takes about 20 minutes to get up to a yellow heat. Not too much longer after that it reaches welding heat if I run it continously. The advantage of the higher mass of the firebrick is if you shut the forge off for lunch, when you come back it is still pretty darn hot!

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Wednesday, 05/06/98 12:20:48 GMT

Doug's post and a question about who answers where asked by "grandpa" Meier has brought up the subject of having TWO forums on anvilfire.
I don't mind Doug's question being in the Hammer-In, but it is a guru page type question (and was addresed as such). I've confused some people about posting answers and comments on the guru page. Thats fine as long as it has to do with the current question (and anyone can ask a NEW question) or topic.

MY QUESTION IS: Should I combine the forums into one BIG ONE?

I know other places have the same problem of sales items being posted on the Q&A page and questions posted on the sales page. Let me know what you think folks!

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Wednesday, 05/06/98 12:29:21 GMT

Hey Jock Site looks real good now. Question-what is the best welding rod to use if you want to hammer finish the actual weld. Example-weld reheat in the forge and then hammer to gain desired effect.
Thanks Rick over at the Fantasy Forge Raining all the time in Md.

Rick -- rickyc at - Wednesday, 05/06/98 14:56:03 GMT

Plain old E6013's work the best for me. They produce a clean smooth weld and the flux pops off nice and clean.

Be sure to power wire brush after welding to remove ALL the flux. The hard arc welding flux forges like the steel and leaves tell tail tracks when it weathers later. If you grind a good weld prep, clean the flux and do a proper forging job the joint will fool the experts!

You have our weather from the past few days, sunny and hot in VA.

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Wednesday, 05/06/98 19:15:48 GMT

Doug's gas forge problem: (continued)

I took a close look at the forge burner plans you spoke of. They appear a little small to me OR at least need to be used in pairs at least. If you look at Ron's forge he is using two (or more) and another fellow making LONG modular forges (great idea, makes me jealous it wasn't mine!) had two burners for about every foot of length.

The advantage of blower type forges is that I've seen 12 cubit foot furnaces fed with a single blower and gas line entering the furnace in a 2-1/2 or 3" (6cm) pipe!

I can see I'm going to have to build an atomospheric forge just for the experiance. My new neighbor, the young farrier, needs a forge for his van. . .

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Wednesday, 05/06/98 23:06:15 GMT

Jock, I don't see why the two areas couldn't be combined into one. That would make it easier for those of us who check by daily, too.

Then you could use the other area for a "Tip-o-The Week" area! (grin)

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Wednesday, 05/06/98 23:32:34 GMT

Thanks for the answer on the rods Jock. Hey jim how the heck are ya?
I agree with the combined thing, it is easyer to go to the single area. Makes it easyer for Jock to edit as well. And in a week or two he will be so busy he won't want to be jumping back and forth anyway.
And is "easyer" really a word? "grin" Nice day in Md.

Rick -- rickyc at - Thursday, 05/07/98 03:09:38 GMT

Thanks, Jock. I talked with Ron Reil some, too, and he gave me a couple of suggestions about placement. He also thinks I have the ends too tightly closed so I'm getting back pressure. I'll do some adjusting and will probably add the second one. Hmmm, that'll certainly increase my gas use. I went atmospheric so I could avoid running power lines to my shed. I'm renting here and the landlord doesn't like mods. Sorry if I screwed up your posting recipe. Rugrats are on the TV still, time to slide my rugrats into bed. Later, neighbors.

Doug -- ParrishD at - Thursday, 05/07/98 03:15:16 GMT

Doug: No problemo! The two pages, which I didn't even take the time to use differn't color schemes for, are a little TOO similar in use. I'll play around with some other ideas. Heyyyyy! Jimmmm! I'm getting tired of checking two places every hour or so toooo!

GAS FORGE DESIGN!! (Doug) It would help if you look at a commercial furnace (not forge) gas burner. They use long gentle (cast) tapers to get the proper venturi effect. They also use carefully callibrated bronze or stainless gas oriffices to create a high velocity jet that pulls along more air than needed! THEN, they put a control disk on the air inlet so that there is control over BOTH the gas and the air. The careful balance required is why I haven't built an atomospheric forge in the past - I KNOW how they work and why they don't work sometimes.

ALL gas burners are very sensitive to the volume of the forge or furnace they are feeding. Your burner may work PERFECTLY with one brick's more or less volume! I've built three gas forges for myself and numerous others for or with other people. All but two needed some kind of modifications to work right. Later. . .

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Thursday, 05/07/98 04:24:20 GMT

JYH PLANS: Several people have asked about JYH plans. There WILL be a booklet available in the near future. However, the JYH is a scrounger's project and every one built SHOULD be different. When I went looking for a rear axel I knew roughly what I wanted. I was willing to take whatever kind was available cheap. It seems the price is pretty consistant ($50 US). I took the one that was complete AND the fellow offered to deliver. A higher reduction rear-end would have been better but I took what was convienent at the time. I was lucky, it had brand new brakes AND two flanges suitable for bolting it down. I'll take advantage of both. I was given an old engine block, front pulley and belts! You can't beat FREE so I will design around these items. I was also offered a piece of RR-rail free today! If it were 100 miles closer I would be on the way there now. If I'd had more time to ask around and scroung like I did in the "old days" it might have been possible to build the whole thing without purchasing any materials! As it is I think it will be well within my $200 budget.

Well, I'm off to pick up the RR-rail! Then ALL the components will be in the shop!

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Thursday, 05/07/98 15:09:07 GMT

Minion available if needed to work on JYH for a cold drink! free Saturday afternoon (have to mow the lawn... I'm a minion serving more than one master! or maybe I'm just a cretin...)

Stu -- stu.smith at - Thursday, 05/07/98 17:16:33 GMT

Minions always needed!

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Thursday, 05/07/98 22:09:26 GMT

NEW ITEMS POSTED: (4) All under 21st Century

Chapter 13 of THE book, written 11 years ago, the only more or less complete chapter!

Portable Forge: My portable blacksmith shop from my "hippy craftsman" days. Had to post it to make a few people crazy. I'm still looking for some of my better photos to post!

Twister! NO not the game! A device for letting kids safely take part in you demonstration. Probably should have gone under plans. This is just a quick sketch a made last night for Jim "Paw Paw" Wilson. Later I will clean it up and show better details. I designed this device years ago and never built it. Jim will let us know how it works!

Latch, A photo and text about a 20+ year old latch I made of stainless steel. Demonstrates that you CAN make work that doesn't need painting.

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Friday, 05/08/98 00:31:56 GMT

i have to 1/4 inch bottom swages for trade [looking for fuller,flater ,hot chisel ,straight pien,scrolling jig or even body working tool[for armor work]these are army surplus never used some rust if interested email me .

Matt Eckart -- Queaos at - Monday, 05/11/98 03:09:14 GMT

does anyone out have any info on lakeside [printed in diamond shape]anvils with #79 below that [the weight] any info would be great .Jock the sight looks great .please email or post any info thanks Queaos

Matt Eckart -- Queaos at - Monday, 05/11/98 03:15:42 GMT

I am intrested in getting a discussion going on shop design. I knwo it has been talked about in some forums. But their never appears to be enough good ideas to go around. So what do folks have in their shops that work really well & what was the mistake they would like a chance to avoid. I am still working on my 16x30, getting ready to do the floor... Comments, widgits or plain good ideas....

Bob -- robert_miller at - Monday, 05/11/98 03:36:11 GMT

Previously I mentioned a heavy anchor in the floor at the back of the shop for dragging things in and as a "dead man" for hoists. Should be put in before pouring that concrete!

Running electrical conduit under the floor to where you KNOW you are going to have machines is good too! Good time to pour the hammer isolation block!

Depending on the type of forge you are going to use you need to consider ventilation and not creating cross drafts. Coal forges can be real smokey if the breeze is blowing across all the time.

I put a "sunken" area in my concrete floor in the forge area. This will be filled with pea gravel and dirt. Then I have the best of both worlds. Cushioning for my feet, concrete elsewhere for the machinery.

If you can manage it, some type of steel beam in the ceiling to hang a trolley and hoist.

JDD -- odempsey at - Monday, 05/11/98 13:54:21 GMT


Whatever you do, do NOT skimp on ventilation! I did, and I regret it.

My shop has all my wood working eq

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Monday, 05/11/98 15:04:22 GMT

Dunno what I did, hit a "wrong" key somehow.

My shop has all my wood working equipment in it. I put casters (lockable) on all the major saws so I can roll them back against the wall, or pull them out to the center to use. Also, when planning the electrical, put a retractable extension cord reel in the center of the ceiling. Handy as the dickens, and rolls up out of the way!

I know, Jock. I'll go test the twister right now! (grin)


Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Monday, 05/11/98 15:07:42 GMT


Twister works! Had to make a couple of changes to the original design, and have one more to make. Course ANY engineer can design something, takes a CRAFTSMAN to execute the design! (chuckle)
Actually, the changes are not due to design, they're due to execution.
The end of the bar opposite the crank needs to be held down, as Jock originally designed it. I tried to let it be free so it would be quicker to drop in. Doesn't work, the bar wants to climb up out of the bracket. Gotta fix that! And I made the whole thing too long. need to shorten it up by about a foot.

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Monday, 05/11/98 15:48:42 GMT

Jim: Well needing to seperate the woodworking & blacksmithing stuff from a rather burgeoning garage started all of this...Retractable cord..great idea.

Jock: The floor anchor is a definate. The underground electrical is a good idea but I think I am going to get grief from the electrical inspector on that one. I am currently only planning on using the gas forge. I would love to install an Ibeam but again untill the inspector comes through & leaves.....(Hope none of them are listning)

Anyone else....

Bob -- robert_miller at - Monday, 05/11/98 16:13:31 GMT

Bob Be sure that you have an area set up for your leg vice. Plenty of room to bend longer stock. It may require a post set in the concrete for attachment. I made the mistake of not putting the post in first. And had to knock a hole in my floor latter in the game. Much better to put the anchore post in before you pour the concrete. You can attach a leg vice to a table as well. But you will find it nice to have a post because you can bend in any direction. I also have a leg vice set up so I can use it as a hold down with my larger anvile. I set it at the correct height, and can now clamp anything over 8" in the vice and work on the anvil. Best hold down I have found to date very secure.
Will it ever stop raining in Maryland? I am starting to mold.
Hey Jock did Jim say he was a hippy once? He must be my age. I think I was at woodstock, I remember it rained a lot."grin twice"

Rick -- rickyc at fantasyforge - Monday, 05/11/98 16:18:20 GMT

re: Dempsey/Wilson Twister -- Final Report

Works like a champ. Took a medium red heat in a piece of 1/2" square, dropped it into the twister, put a twist and a half on it, took it out and it was still red!

I did put a clamp on the fixed end to keep the bar from riding up. That's the only thing that I did wrong when I first built it. Jock's design worked flawlessly.


No, JOCK is the one that claims to be an older hippie. I'm just older! (grin) While you were at Woodstock, I was taking a graduate course in staying alive. At the UofRVN. (grin)

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Monday, 05/11/98 19:39:14 GMT

Jim, I know what the women would say about not following the directions! Glad it worked! Which part was too long? My goal was to keep the kiddies far enough away not to get hurt. Legs should be short enough for LITTLE kids. 5 and up! Send me the final dimentions and I'll make a new drawing. You won't be able to got to a blacksmithing demo anywhere without a Dempsey Twister!

Don't run that under floor wiring. Just some plastic conduit! Future exansion capability is usually not inspected or can be done later. . .
(check local rules or ask the inspector).

I built some musical instruments last year. Wood working in the blacksmith shop doesn't mix very well even when the blacksmith shop isn't being used.

Putting a big ventilation fan in the ceiling or gable end of your shop can make a huge difference when doing smokey OR dusty work. I put in a 32" 2 speed and it makes a breeze in every opening in a large shop! Just remember the warning about forges and drafts.

I made the mistake of putting my garage door on the side of my building (it was the only way it fit on the lot). The problem is, when it snows, all the snow piles up in front of the door! Had to shovel 5 feet of wet packed snow one time! Of course with the global warming this will only be a one out of ten year problem. . .

Doors can never be big enough, ceilings high enough! (sounds like a song)

JDD -- odempsey at - Monday, 05/11/98 23:57:27 GMT


But women and engineers never allow for artistic creativity! (oohh! that one's gonna land me in the outhouse!)

Actually, you hadn't shown any dimensions on the original drawing, so I invented my own. Used a piece of pressure treated 2X6 as the base. Made the ends out of a piece of 3" channel. One piece cut to 5 1/2", drilled sides to 1/2"n mounted the crank across the channel. Two 1/4" holes in the web for 1/4X20 carriage bolts from under the base. Split another piece of channel for the fixed end, cut to 5 1/2", mounted same way.

Added a piece of 1/8X1X1" angle to each side. Inside of the angle to the top and side of the base plate. One on each side. 1/4" offset on each side angle allows a sliding piece of angle to provide an adjustable "twist stop" so the twist can be localized. I'll have to check the over all length, I started out at 36", cut it down approximately 12" which leaves a nominal 24". I haven't made the legs yet, just have it clamped to my layout table. Not sure about legs, am thinking of some way to make them fold up. And still be stable enough for the kids to twist on it.


Agree on the under floor wiring. But in a blacksmith shop, I'd suggest EMT, rather than plastic conduit.

Far as inspector goes, if it's your property, and you don't plan on selling it within the next 5 years, you can pretty much do what you want to. Just don't tell him anything he doesn't ask. (grin)

Doors and ceilings, full agreement

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Tuesday, 05/12/98 01:35:29 GMT

I know a lot of guys or gals are not willing to make this kind of investment, but if you are running all day, and over heating is a problem, there are controls that can be set up on most gas forges. Mine was designed by Art Jones, as was my forge, it uses a thermalcouple that goes to a control that opens a selinoid that opens and closes a butterfly-valve that chokes or opens air from my blower. This in turn puts pressher to the top of a zero ballance regulator. No pressure no gas. The temprature in the forge drops, the selinoid opens air to forge and the regulator, the temprature goes up. The fulucation in the forge +or minus 10 degrees. Ask Art at Ashville.

Toby Hickman -- waylan at - Tuesday, 05/12/98 02:46:48 GMT

Please dorgive the spelling above. I became a blacksmith so I wouldn't have to write!

Toby Hickman -- waylan at - Tuesday, 05/12/98 02:50:00 GMT

More than one person (including myself) have wanted a speell chker for these input boxes!

I design and build my own gas forge controls. I use a normally closed solenoid valve for the gas, an igniter from a kerosene jet heater and some relays and timers. There are three timers. One to turn on the gas AFTER the fan comes up to speed. The other two bounce back and fourth off each other for DWELL on and DWELL off. A selector switch determines full ON or AUTOMATIC mode. In automatic mode the dwell on/off routine keeps the forge hot within +/- 50 to 100 degrees F. This saves a lot of gas when you just want to keep the forge hot.

The only safety devices are what is inherent in the design. Dependable ignition and the gas shuts off if you lose power. This is a real lazy-mans forge. Click, vroom and its hot!

JDD -- odempsey at - Tuesday, 05/12/98 14:29:53 GMT

Hello, is any here.

Darrick -- Charlie_Rock at RocketMail - Tuesday, 05/12/98 14:57:18 GMT


Sure folks seem to come & go semi-regularly.

Bob -- robert_miller at - Tuesday, 05/12/98 16:26:33 GMT

Toby: You became a blacksmith for the same reason I did.

Bruce R. Wallace -- Walmetalwk at - Tuesday, 05/12/98 18:06:47 GMT

Toby Hickman:

This is the guy who accuses ME of over-building!!! I build my forges with two gozinta's and one cumzouda! You know! Air gozita here and gas gozita here and flame cumzouta there!! HI TOBY!

GRANT -- NAKEDANVIL at USA.NET - Tuesday, 05/12/98 21:36:15 GMT

For sale; 2 airhammers, one 200# Chambersburg general utility model and one Kuhn K-3 (176# ram) with 460 volt 60 Hz. 3-phase motor. I have one small (35#?) Keri-hard (Red Oak Iowa) mechanical hammer. I also have a large "C" frame 20/40 ton air over hydraulic press with tooling and appx 50 gal of hyd fluid included (Only if you pick it up)
Call Bill Pieh in Burlington Wisconsin at 414-763-9175
(Fax 763-8350) or E-mail wpieh at aol

Bill Pieh -- wpieh at - Wednesday, 05/13/98 00:45:45 GMT

Hey Jock!!!!,

WAIT!!!!!!! WHOA!!!!!!!!!!!! STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!

You're making a SERIOUS mistake on the JYH!!!

When you take it to Ashville, if you want it to be

it's GOTTA say FORD every where. Take that chevy rear end back to the junk yard where it belongs and get a GOOD rear end.

Although come to think of it the rear end is the right place for a shovy. Err.. Chevy, sorry about the spelling!

Much laughter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Wednesday, 05/13/98 01:52:25 GMT

From sunny Carolina.

Ford country! On a quiet night, you can hear Shovey's (Chevy's darn spell checker!) rust! Which is about all they're good for! (grin)

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Wednesday, 05/13/98 01:54:49 GMT

How do you think I got the one part I did get? It was all that was left!

Jock Dempsey -- odempsey at - Wednesday, 05/13/98 03:15:31 GMT

Hadn't thought about it before, it's Chevy ginst Ford too! Cool! East is East and West is Best!!

grant -- NAKEDANVIL at USA.NET - Wednesday, 05/13/98 03:30:31 GMT

Can't Beat THE BEAST from THE EAST!

Jock Dempsey -- odempsey at - Wednesday, 05/13/98 03:36:54 GMT

One thing to remember. The west is the left coast and the east is the RIGHT coast.

Bruce R. Wallace -- Walmetalwk at - Wednesday, 05/13/98 04:44:07 GMT


One typo there,

East is Best and West is Left would be correct!

Go Jock! (grin)

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Wednesday, 05/13/98 15:19:43 GMT

Oh Loup-Garou:

I've puttered with some stainless steel at times, converting tableware into bracelets, putting ergonomic/decorative twists into table knife handles and such. It moves a little more reluctantly than mild steel, but at a good orange, it does move right along. (If you're not making an "ultimate" {the most overused word in knife magazines, BTW} blade, you can be a little less worried about grain formation and other fussy little details.) I just sort of like the way it works and looks, especially for non-medieval or art projects.

THE QUESTION: Any good scrap sources for stainless? You've a fair chunk of metal in that latch. Even around the boatyards you don't usually come upon scrap that size. (Beside, at the boat yards they know us, and start hiding potential plunder when we're about.) So, what are your sources? Any suggestions from the rest of the crew? Shall we start a stainless steel Renaissance?

The sun finally shines on the banks of the Potomac!

Visit your National Parks:

Come have a row with us: (case sensitive)

Bruce Blackistone (Atli) -- bruce_blackistone at - Wednesday, 05/13/98 19:16:50 GMT

OOPS! That last post should have been in the Den. Please don't hit me with the BIG hammer again, Master!

Bruce Blackistone (Atli) -- bruce_blackistone at - Wednesday, 05/13/98 19:23:19 GMT

The latch was forged from a piece of 1" by 1/4" 304 SS. Purchased new.
I was near the height of my abilities to spread a bar at that time so the material went a long way.

I triped on about 1000# of some kind of SS in a local scrap yard just the other day. Big stuff though, 2 and 3 inch rounds. Typically goes for $1/pound at the SCRAP yard! Every town that has high tech industry or a military base has a yard that buys a lot of the more exotic stuff.

OBTW - Chrysler makes their Mini-Van exhausts from SS! Last forever!

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Wednesday, 05/13/98 20:05:54 GMT

I really LIKE making things out of stainless. Its a bitch to work (including machining), doesn't grind well and is expensive. But your work will last forever! You can leave it black OR you can polish it or both! Polish the highlights and leave the texture black.

If you can sell your customer on the higher initial price based on zero repaint maintence down the road DO IT! The customer will brag about the expensive "high-tech" work and you won't get those calls a year later about rust and flaking paint! You can also do more delicate work because you don't need to worry about thin sections evaporating in the weather!

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Wednesday, 05/13/98 20:22:46 GMT

Does anyone happen to know what color the Little Giant power hammers were painted when they came off the assembly line? (Barring US Military)

Bob -- robert_miller at - Thursday, 05/14/98 06:11:48 GMT

I just called a friend and asked and he thought it was dark green like I painted mine. After thinking about it I remember seeing dark green paint on my old Meyers-Bros when I scraped and painted it.

AND I had a piece of Little Giant letter head and I think the hammer was printed in green. I'm not positive and I can't find the letter now?


Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Thursday, 05/14/98 14:39:30 GMT


Every Little Giant I've ever seen was a dark green. Almost a Forest Green, but not quite that dark. They PROBABLY painted them all the same color as the milspec.

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Thursday, 05/14/98 14:43:50 GMT the smurf blue mine is painted....I think repainting is in order.

Bob -- robert_miller at - Thursday, 05/14/98 15:45:03 GMT

Hiya, gang.
Bruce the Viking raider, how's the longship doing? You looking for stainless for your fittings? I found good 340 and 440 SS at my local scrap yard. The military has changed how it re-sells some stuff, it's getting harder to get scrap metal at the DRMO's. Couple of scrap dealers around Seattle area resell boatyard fabrication stuff, makes a good source. Also, I've found a few places by doing an Internet search. The prices were better than new but not as good as unsorted scrap prices. I paid $1.50 for a couple hundred pounds worth of plate and round stock I got locally at the scrap yard. Just finished a simple bench and table project for a compadre on the Oregon coast who worries about corrosion. I'm dropping it off in a week, I'll be curious to see how it lasts.
Doug, watching the kids during another wet, grey Whidbey day

Doug Parrish -- ParrishD at - Thursday, 05/14/98 17:26:36 GMT

Hey you guys looking for SS in the rainy NW: Go to Boeing surplus located north of downtown Kent, WA. When I was there in the '80s, you could buy all kinds of SS for, I believe, $2-3/lb. It may be more now.

Boeing Surplus also has other kinds of steel, usually for $1/lb and exotics like Iconel and Titanium for $8/lb. Take a Boeing employee and get 20% off.

Also try the old Murray-Pacific place on 1st Ave South, 1/2 mile or so north of the railroad yard overpass. Lot's of good stuff at both places.

Al Dolney
Sunny and HOT Madison, AL

Al Dolney -- al.dolney at - Thursday, 05/14/98 18:12:26 GMT

I have seen more dark green Little Giants then any other color. Not sure what color they where from the factory but dark green would be my guess.

Bruce R. Wallace -- Walmetalwk at - Thursday, 05/14/98 19:44:28 GMT

ALL Agreed! Little Giants were Green! Ho, Ho, Ho, Green Giant!

I HAD to say it before one of's youz wis' guys said it!

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Friday, 05/15/98 04:05:44 GMT

Bruce R. Wallace:

Looking at the Nazel hammers in the Source Book. First one looks like a 4-B, second seems to be a 2-B with an interesting collection of anvils!

Jock: when I'm viewing these pictures how do I get back to Source Book? Clicking Back returns me to your home page.

still confused..............

GRANT -- NAKEDANVIL at USA.NET - Friday, 05/15/98 04:19:10 GMT

Click "back" ONCE! Works for me! Windoz BS! Double click here, single click there, every where a click click CLICK CLIKKKK

I was'nt sure on the models went I posted the ad. You are right as mostly!


Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Friday, 05/15/98 04:25:40 GMT

sCRAP SS. If you know of any old neuclear reactors being scrapped out in your area, be careful about scrap Stainless steel. Word has it that some of this stuff might be winding up in scrap yards and it might be radioactive. Just FYI.. Bill

Bill Pieh -- wpieh at - Friday, 05/15/98 04:34:19 GMT

Save on the light bills though!

Robert Bastow -- nil_carborundum at - Friday, 05/15/98 12:08:37 GMT


Some people have not read closely and are confused about the promise of the JYH. The current JYH challange between Grant Sarver and myself is an exercise in imagination and creativity. We are NOT designing a commercial product or producing plans that can be blindly followed step by step! These machines WILL POUND IRON! But, they are NOT substitutes for commercial machines with proven control and durability.

The REAL cost of these machines, like any scrounger's do it yourself project, is NOT the materials. It is the time you spend searching for parts, hageling with dealers, rejecting parts you paid CASH for, AND then designing building and RE-building the thing! I've found that I am going to have to resort to machining several small parts. You may get lucky and find a way around that OR you may end up paying a machine shop to do some of the work for you. Although the premis is that almost anyone could build these machines, Grant and I have resources well beyound the scope of most small shops.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again!

FOR THE MONEY, YOU CAN NOT BEAT THE BULL OR THE KA-## HAMMERS! These machines have a very low cost per pound ratio. They have better control than ANY Little Giant ever had and probably beat ALL the rest of the mechanicals too! I prefer the BULL over the KA for a variety of reasons. They are both good machines and you WILL NOT build one for less money.

PLANS: I was very specific in my description of "plans" and stated that they would be a GUIDE. No two JYH's will be alike. I will NOT be specific in recomending a given part other than some you need purchase NEW.

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Saturday, 05/16/98 15:30:52 GMT

Grant, I'M VERY SORRY! Edited something out and left the "add information here" tag out! Thanks for the note!

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Saturday, 05/16/98 21:42:33 GMT

You are so correct about the true cost of scrounger/CAD. The scrapyard can be a wonderful servant or a terrible master.

Robert Bastow -- Nil_carborundum at - Sunday, 05/17/98 00:01:21 GMT

Jock and I are on the same wavelength on this one. I'll be real disappointed a year from now if I see a bunch of clones of our hammers. What I hope to instill is the IDEA! Build a hammer from whatcha got. My little JYH would have been to kill for twenty-five years ago. If I had had this hammer when I was starting out I'd have been in blacksmith heaven. I'm glad Jock and I went two different directions with our designs. I think ten people should go ten different directions!

Jock: You've taken on quite a project, what with all the experimental ideas. Feel quite free to change any part of the original design in order to finish. Won't get any flak from this quarter.


GRANT -- NAKEDANVIL at USA.NET - Sunday, 05/17/98 00:57:14 GMT

Onward, onward into the darkening storm, the valiant JYH'er must stay the course!

I may get cheap and weld a few things I'd planed on bolting!

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Sunday, 05/17/98 01:25:27 GMT

JYH: Whatever works! How about a photo of progress? We're all pullin for ya!

What's Bruce talkin bout in GURU? Forging press? How many ways can you hope to get power and speed? In forging a fast 20T press will out perform a slow 40T press! Many tricks can be employed; Hi-Lo pump, multiple cylinders, air over oil intensifier, accumulators, one I would like to try is a kinetic accumulator. Otherwise known as a flywheel! What you really want is a press that will maintain speed when it meets the work. With a flywheel on the pump motor it can continue to turn the pump durring the hardest part of the stroke. Actual forging part of the stroke is very small. The rest of the time you want speed. Multiple cylinders are used by having one cylinder do the speedy part and then when line pressure goes up (equal to resistance met by the ram) the other cylinder kicks in. A checkvalve on the second cylinder allows it to suck it's own fluid when not pressurized.

GRANT -- NAKEDANVIL at USA.NET - Sunday, 05/17/98 17:24:51 GMT

A little more explaination may be in order. The reason a flywheel is a benefit is that it allows you to use a larger pump than you otherwise might on a given motor. Say, a pump that might require 10+ H.P. at peak pressure could be driven by a 7 1/2 H.P. motor.

GRANT -- NAKEDANVIL at USA.NET - Sunday, 05/17/98 17:58:39 GMT

Flywheels are wonderful devices but you must carefully design for them.

The problem with flywheels, and the reason they are getting away from them in presses (try to sell a OBI punch press today), is that they store an incredible amount of energy. If you try to stop one instantly (no such word in real physics) infinite force is produced! Machines designed to take power out of a flywheel only remove about 10-15% of the available energy per stroke spread of a certain (small) amount of time. The problem IS, if you put too big a piece of work in these machines you try to stop the flywheel. IT will not stop. Something has to give. Parts break. The poop hits the fan!

You would need a very carefully rated overload device on your hydraulic pump with the proper flow capacity to discharge the excess flow in the event of a stall. Otherwise the pump housing splits, or hoses blow off. . .

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Sunday, 05/17/98 19:04:11 GMT

Pressure limiting valve is pretty standard in any hydraulic circut, if only to protect the motor from overload. It's also there to protect all the hydrauliuc components from over pressure. Most pumps and many manual valves have these built in. Small acumulators called surge dampeners are used at critical points in a high pressure - high volume situation. These take surges without lowering system pressure when they act.

GRANT -- NAKEDANVIL at USA.NET - Monday, 05/18/98 01:01:41 GMT

YES: But the ol' Junky'ard components may not have these goodies! They are critical to safe operation and must be rated for higher flow rates equivalent to whatever the flywheel is capable of in a worse case situation. A pressure relief valve for 10 GPM will not operate properly when you try to force 100 GPM through it! The standard component for a given system is not the correct component when you increase the potential capacity of the system.


Just cut the stock for the EC-JYH Ram and guide (40# total)
Getting ready to drill a few holes.

EXPERIMENT: Attach a 20# weight to the selected shock absorber. Lift one foot as quickly as possible and return. Check expantion of pressurized shock.

RESULTS: Shock only extended about 1/4". Most of which would occur in the time frame without load (due to gas pressure). Machine will move 5 to 20 times faster than humanbeing. Two shocks are planed so test at half ram weight is correct!

Still don't know about the compensating dynamics but it'll definately pound steel!

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Monday, 05/18/98 01:25:21 GMT

ABANA1 Virginia license plates (pair). Only slightly wrinkled. What do you bid?

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Monday, 05/18/98 01:27:38 GMT

I agree the junkyard might not yeild the required components, didn't know we were talking JY! The fly wheel won't make it pump MORE fluid, just allow it to maintain output when it might otherwise overload the motor.

Sounds like you're havin fun! We got the ORIGINAL (as in very FIRST) Junkyard Hammer put back together today. had a lot of fun pounding out steel. Going to experiment with more ram weight, see what our little 1 H.P. motor can do. What's this about 1 1/2 H.P.? Ours works great with one horsepower!!

GRANT -- NAKEDANVIL at USA.NET - Monday, 05/18/98 01:58:05 GMT

I was shooting for 1 or 1-1/4HP using two motors. Spent my budgeted $30 on a JY motor.

I'd planed on using two 1/2 HP or a 1/2HP + 3/4HP ( 1 to 1-1/4 HP).

The 1/2 HP motor I bought at the junkyard turns but I didn't notice it was a brush type motor! They call them induction/reduction. Looked like it is turning too slow? Hard to tell. I was going to get REAL junk yardy and let IT start a motor that has a burnt out start winding. Fire one, fire two! Works fine (theoreticaly). But I'm not too sure of the motor I got. Brush motors are generally syncronous (exactly 1800 RPM). While standard motors run at 1800 and the 1750 or 1775 is the speed at rated horsepower. This is known as slip. The problem is you can't (shouldn't) mix the two type of motors. End up fighting each other!

Only other single phase motor I've got is one I bought new for my lathe (the 1-1/2HP). Don't get excited! Its been in a flood and is full of sand so its CLOSE to being JY!

All the rest of my small motor collection was stored on the floor or on low shelves and on top of being full of sand are also locked up! 2HP drill press motor got clobbered too. Water isn't too bad but our flooding creek left a foot of fine sand in my lower shop! And mud in all the boxes and drawers. Referbing motors has been a lot priority. . .

Back to looking for my fractional drill index. . . Drilling JYH holes.

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Monday, 05/18/98 02:49:29 GMT

Still haven't found my drill index (my old one with used drills) but I found a bunch of other stuff I've been looking for! Including a 3/4HP motor I forgot I had! Back to work. . . or bed . . .

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Monday, 05/18/98 03:43:49 GMT

Motor, schmotor! Get back to work! Ya know, I realized something today. I think maybe you and I are kinda the Siskel & Ebert of the virtual blacksmithing world! With little modesty I can say we are both knoledgable, yet we always seem to have divergent opinions! When I look at it that way, I think what could be better? Bantering back and forth and looking for the flaw in each others argument means we get right down to the nuts and bolts and it should be the best thing anyone could want!! Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis folks!

GRANT -- NAKEDANVIL at USA.NET - Monday, 05/18/98 04:06:28 GMT

Nothin' like a good argument or "what if" bull sesion! The only ones I HATE are the ones between ME and ME. Neither one of these guys will admit the other has a valid point!

The only knowledge I want this AM is where is my drill index! I had help reorganizing the shop last. . .

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Monday, 05/18/98 11:40:38 GMT


You had help organizing the shop? You won't find that drill index for at LEAST 5 years, by then they'll be too rusty to use. Go buy another index, it'll be cheaper than the time you'll spend looking for the old own!


I'll take issue with your "divergent opinions" comment. I think it's more that you and Jock approach problems from different starting points, (due to different backgrounds and personalities). But you head in the same direction (toward the problem) and eventually come up with a workable solution.

Truly divergent opinions would come up with different solutions, which you and Jock sometimes do. But you're heading TOWARD the problem, rather than AWAY from the problem. The difference is the meaning of the word divergent, as opposed to converging.

OK, semantics aside .................. (grin)

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Monday, 05/18/98 12:32:33 GMT

Well, I'm CONverging, but he's always DEveging! Let's see now, if pro is the opposite con, then is Congress the opposite of progress?

GRANT -- NAKEDANVIL at USA.NET - Tuesday, 05/19/98 03:25:29 GMT

Congress has ALWAYS been the opposite of progress. Even George Washington mentioned that, and we all know that he never told a lie!

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Tuesday, 05/19/98 04:25:51 GMT

Don't get me started on Congress! Besides, I digeress in degrees.

JYH: Will post EC-JYH drawings soon (today). Cut more stock, picked up hardware and retaped the rusted U-joint holes so I could mount the pulley yesterday. Drawings are major progress! Now I know what I am building and can DO IT!

Jim! I drilled the pulley on the hand crank drill mounted on the trailer!

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Tuesday, 05/19/98 14:00:19 GMT

JYH: Drawings are now posted. With some minor exceptions THIS is what the machine is going to look like. Not shown in the side view is the fact that it will have TWO shocks to start. If this is too stiff we can remove one (requires refitting of the one with a bronze bush).

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Tuesday, 05/19/98 18:00:23 GMT

So we know that the hand crank drill still works! (grin)

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Tuesday, 05/19/98 21:09:52 GMT


Why cut the I-Beam at all? Center the piece of shaft, tack it, use the rosebud to heat the flange, and wrap it around the shaft. Do the second side of the flange the same way. Now weld the two sides of the flange to the shaft full length, and all the way around the top. Might want to drill and counter drill the shaft before placing it on the I-Beam, for die mounting.

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Tuesday, 05/19/98 21:18:19 GMT

Jim! Good idea but then I lose the part for my shocks to mount to. Besides, its a done deal and I doub't I have enough gas to fire up the rose-bud. Gotta use whats left for cutting!

Wide flange(W6-25), not I-Beam which is now "S" by some dumb decision in the steel industry. . .

Now if I had some help I might put an "S" curve in a piece of beam to take care of that offset in the back of the frame. . . :)

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Tuesday, 05/19/98 21:36:35 GMT

WANTED... An anvil. despite what I have been hearing for the past five months, Anvils are harder than all heck to get a hold of. I am still using one made from a section of railroad track and it is not enough for many of my tasks and projects. I need at least a 150 lb anvil in good condition. PLEASE PLEASE HELP ME...

Chris Schnepp -- jjmclure at - Wednesday, 05/20/98 02:13:21 GMT

Chris: Sometimes it seems anvils exist only in myth but once you have one or more they DO pop up everywhere. There are two advertised for sale here in the Source Book at $2/lb. They may be a little larger than you are looking for. That's a good price if you have an immediate need. Post your geographic location and there may be someone nearby that will help you.

I describe a much better self made anvil under "21st Century, anvils low cost". Its not fancy but you can do some serious forging on it that you can't do on a 50# piece of RR-rail. As a 113# "block" it is the equivalent to a much bigger anvil. You can always have some pieces welded to it for more flexability (Horn and heal). I've sold all my spare anvils but if you keep looking and TELL everyone you are looking for one you may be surprised.

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Wednesday, 05/20/98 02:32:45 GMT

FOR SALE: Two slightly used shock absorbers. Best Offer. Willing to trade for two toggle arms and BIG spring! gns:}

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Wednesday, 05/20/98 04:18:30 GMT

Guru: Sure you want to trade for BIG springs...Thought Grant had to experiment for a week or so to get his right?

Bob -- robert_miller at - Wednesday, 05/20/98 04:26:02 GMT

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: Posting a "for sale" in my name isn't funny!

Computers leave all kinds of tracks, especially on the internet! = Numerical address of sender! 2 hours after I went to bed. How's the weather in ST.LOUIS? I can't get an AT&T dialup account here. Do I need to trace it further?

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Wednesday, 05/20/98 11:37:20 GMT

JYH: Progress. Drilled & counter bored (6) holes through 2" steel plate to mount engine block to base. Hard way turned out to be easy way! Making bolt up flanges for other parts today. Will do some HP calcs before setting final stroke. Will post photos when assembled.

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Wednesday, 05/20/98 13:07:14 GMT

Left my initials! I thought it was funny.
Perspective I guess. Sorry (a little maybe).

GRANT -- NAKEDANVIL at USA.NET - Wednesday, 05/20/98 14:49:35 GMT

I figured it was you but didn't want to blame the wrong person! Your 800 number account must go through St.Louis. Your regular account # is only a few digits different. . .

Just reverse engineered how Little Giant set horsepower for their machines. Dead simple once you figure it out!

OBTW- My eyes still hurt from that paint job!

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Wednesday, 05/20/98 15:40:48 GMT

Oh, Great and Powerful All-seeing Guru of the East(South?) Does that mean I can keep my royal purple? Oh, Thank you, Thank you!

Surplus paint! Even Cat yellow

GRANT -- NAKEDANVIL at USA.NET - Thursday, 05/21/98 02:19:46 GMT

Hey I like CAT yellow. Used a lot of it on NUC equipment. Good for treadles and moving parts! Of course you can keep your purple pimpernel pen.

Todays JYH progress, bought bolts (durn engine blocks use 7/16 for everything), torched flanges, redesigned back column for angle, drilled more holes and have some help coming for a while tomarrow so will do some welding where a helper can "hold this, and close your eyes". . . May have something worth photographing.

Got an intresting letter from a friend of Bertie's in South Africa. Thought he had this earth shaking plan for a rubber cushioned hammer! Had to explain how Bradley invented it in the 1800's. GREAT idea but not new! Just show's good ideas keep getting reinvented as long as they are worth while. Those guys are seriously building hammers and working in a vacuume. I'll bet in a couple years they'll be exporting them to the US! I can't imagine working where everything is so hard to come by.

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Thursday, 05/21/98 03:04:11 GMT

Looking for anvil.Prefer Hay B. or Peter Wright, must be in very good condition. anvil wt. 150 to 200 lbs. Thanks

Dennis Hurley -- hurweld at - Friday, 05/22/98 01:37:16 GMT

Scale drawings? We don got no scale drawing! We don't need no stinking scale drawings!

GRANT & JACK, The "just do it" banditos!

GRANT -- NAKEDANVIL at USA.NET - Friday, 05/22/98 03:44:56 GMT

You guys never did figure out what those little lines on what's known as a "ruler" meant did you?

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Friday, 05/22/98 04:18:07 GMT

EC-JYH Progress: Lots today! Jim "paw paw" Wilson brought me a motor yesterday. Between it the flakey ones I've got something will work! Ordered pulleys and bushings (long story). Finished all the heavy drilling and tapping in that heavy 2" thick base plate! Flanges are ready and columns are cut. Still doing some minor cutting and fitting tonight, will do the welding and fitup tomarrow! Lots of pics then!

I've run into the usual problem while working on this type of project. No matter HOW MUCH steel you've got laying around there is almost never the right piece! I've got miles of beam and plate, but I need a 15" long piece of 6" channel. . .

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Friday, 05/22/98 22:30:08 GMT

While you're making scale drawings, we're making scale! Been givin' the old JYH a good workout lately.

Want to hear what your two tests are! My second one is make a pair of tongs by what ever method you choose.

GRANT -- NAKEDANVIL at USA.NET - Saturday, 05/23/98 00:12:30 GMT

GOOD TEST! (Not like you don't make 100,000 pair a year!)

Josh wants to set our two tests after he runs the hammer! Hey, YOU GUYS knew what your's could do before you set YOUR challange!

We're thinking along the line of Icanthus leaves or. . .

Don't worry! you'll have at least two weeks to practice! You're not afraid your going to wear out that little machine? Hate to have it break down in Asheville!

Back to torch and grind! A rope drop is starting to look good about now!

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Saturday, 05/23/98 00:30:48 GMT

Grant I never saw what you proposed for a first test. The tong test, would be with regular stock & no dies?

Now if this spring loaded marvel of yours beats Jock's Shock absorber express...are you going to put it into production....say a kick ass 20? You could probably even charge extra for the custom paint job.

I hope someone takes film of this at Ashville....Not going to make it but would love to see the showdown.

Bob -- robert_miller at - Saturday, 05/23/98 00:38:54 GMT

1st test: A smooth squared taper at least 4" long on a 3/4" bar.
2nd test: Tongs by any method? (Yeah, I wondered too.)

3rd and 4th to be determined by the East Coast Team!

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Saturday, 05/23/98 02:15:01 GMT

What the hell is "REGULAR STOCK". Special dies aren't much good without power! There isn't much relationship between the tongs I manufacture and what I would do in this little toy. Just wanted to let you do it any way you want. I just plan to do it pretty much the standard open die way, no tricks. How do you figure two weeks to practice? we're shipping the hammer next week and you haven't got yours running yet. We gave you plenty of time to figure out how to do our test! Hell! We won't even have time to make scale drawings!

GRANT -- NAKEDANVILFIRE at USA.NET - Saturday, 05/23/98 05:03:22 GMT

Hey Grant, cool off! I KNEW that icanthus leaf crack would get you! Josh wasn't too crazy about it either! He says, "%*%$ Dempsey! I haven't had any more forging practice than you have in the past 5 years!"

He will have 1 day to play with the machine betweeen now and Asheville! I might have two. I couldn't have built this machine without a scale drawing because there are too many critical relationships and I knew it would take MORE time to redo things than to may the drawing. 2 hours to draw 2 months to think about it!

I've got welding to do and its raining AND thundering and lightening here in damp misty central Virginia the mother of presidents.

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Saturday, 05/23/98 13:33:39 GMT

Dosen't ANYONE out there wonder why the Guru is having someone else demonstrate his hammer? I think all competition demo's should be done by the hammer's builder! Any votes?

GRANT -- NAKEDANVILFIRE at USA.NET - Saturday, 05/23/98 19:22:49 GMT

Jock and Grant
All this talk of scale drawings made me remember a very funny incident in a toolroom, where a new apprentice was given a drawing of a part he had to make, and at the bottom it said " Not to scale"..The apprentice looked puzzled, and asked the foreman why anyone would want to steal the drawing!
( to" scale" something is a slang term for stealing)
Jock, I think you misunderstood Tom Nelsons idea, he wants to replace your shock absorber with a rubber link, quite unlike a Bradley, The only thing a Bradley and Toms idea have in common is that they both use rubber ,but in very different places. He is visiting me later today for a brainstorming session.Will keep you guys posted on the progress of our hammer.
On JYH tests: What, no eggsplat test? Im dissapointed!!!
We have a lady blacksmith at a tourist trap in Johannesburg, and if the kids pester her too much, she has a few small pistol primers lying around here and there ready to bang with a hammer when need be.....Gets attention big time!!!!
Bertie Rietveld

Bertie Rietveld -- batavia at - Saturday, 05/23/98 23:19:52 GMT


Pistol primers? hhmmm.... I kind like that idea. And I've usually got a box of .44's somewhere fairly close, too.

OTOH, a piece of sparkly white spraying sparks when hit gets their attention, too!

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Sunday, 05/24/98 03:08:50 GMT

Sounds like Mr. BIG hammers is getting nervous. . .

Just as good as primer caps. A flat bar about 2" wide, hit it once with the hammer while hot to make a slight concavaty. Wet the anvil down, hold the hot bar just off the surface concave side down and strike it! Sounds like a large bore rifle or small shotgun!

I looked at Tom's drawing. The mecanical envelope looks like my shock design but would not compensate for much material or tool height, and he admits the problem of putting the rubber in tension. The Bradly arrangement puts the rubber in compression at all times and has mecanical advantage so that a little compression produces a lot of movement of the ram toggles. The final Bradly design is the result of years and years of using rubber snubbers in various designs. The Bradly "Compact" or "upright" design was based on those years of experiance. They are are by far the smoothest most controllable mecanical hammer built. IF Tom could come up with a simpler arrangement that worked as well that would be GREAT!

Josh suggested coil springs in a tube (looking like the shock) doing a similar thing. This has the advantage of having a built in spring shield (which the prudent add to their Little Giants as the coil springs have a habbit of exploding once in a while).

I thought my shock idea was a quick and dirty way of getting around making a lot of parts. It may be but there are still a bunch of parts to make for this design. The current design is for two shocks with a single shock conversion requiring about a days work if two are too stiff. The single shock design would have certainly been easier but didn't leave any room for error. At least now I have a tuning option where I did not before.

Originally when I found out that gas filled shocks were the norm today (as opposed to my mechanic days some 30 years ago) I thought it was a good idea. It turns out that the built in air spring may be a problem and that I'll have to find an old-fashioned style shock in the same form factor. (I might even let the gas out if necessary).

JYH Progress: First batch of welding is done. Its funny we were talking about drying out welding rods last week. . . Had to flame the old fuzzy ones I had to make them work! Typical shop make do. The cutting tip is in the torch, USE IT! Will finish all the welding except the motor bracket and guide plate tomarrow. Todays progress photos will be posted late tonight (Sat/Sun).

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Sunday, 05/24/98 03:26:37 GMT

Today's (Saturday's! yawn!) progress posted in News.

Bertie! We all want to see pictures of that hammer you and Tom are building. Has there been any progress? You guys are building more of the kind of hammer I've always thought about building but really didn't need to. Its like making anvils. Its a LOT easier to buy them used but I keep on designing them too!

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Sunday, 05/24/98 04:12:10 GMT

Not nervous, just curious! Why AREN'T you demonstrating your own hammer?

Startin' to hedge a little on the shock absorber idea?

GRANT -- NAKEDANVIL at USA.NET - Sunday, 05/24/98 05:53:09 GMT

Most of my power hammer experiance except for a few minute jobs now and again was over fifteen years ago! I didn't think it fair to the machine to have the equivalent of a novice trying to demonstrate it and I know you are "in practice". AND I figured calling in a heavy hitter would bug the heck outa' YOU!

I've always had doubts about the shock absorber idea. I KNOW it will work, but like your spring experiments the dynamics of these machines are hard to predict. I didn't expect practically new ALL shocks to have built in 90 PSI air springs. . . That was a new twist that complicated things. Hopefully there is enough friction in the system to keep the stupid air springs from pushing the crank to the top of its stroke while the machine is at rest! Unexpected "I gotcha's"

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Sunday, 05/24/98 14:40:57 GMT

Excuses, excuses!

Learning a lot about springs! Starting to see the elegance of the Little Giant toggle spring arrangement. What makes it work so well is the wide range of force it can apply to the ram. In the mid stroke position the spring can apply very little force to the ram, yet as the ram swings to the extremes the applied force of the spring goes up exponentially because of the toggle. Hard to give that wide range of motion with direct acting springs. Most beam hammers are very stiff in their action and make good drawing hammers. After thinking on this awhile, I decided to make a longer spring shackle thus "unloading" the spring in the midposition rather than preloading it as I had been doing. Definitely on the right track. Hammer is now nice and floppy in the middle of the stroke yet stiffens up at the extremes. Now I can work a wide piece on flat or on edge. Before I had to reposition the stroke for every thickness of work.

GRANT -- NAKEDANVIL at USA.NET - Sunday, 05/24/98 16:10:27 GMT

The LG/Bradly toggle linkage does have some wonderful mechanical advantages. The fact that it compresses the spring in both modes of travel (UP and Down) are what make it intresting. Bradly got rid of the Little Giant hula problem by going to a stiffer system. The trade off is that they had to keep the stroke adjustment they developed for the helve hammers. If you could design something with the best of both you would HAVE something.

I'm sticking with the shock idea unless it it a complete failure. Given time to test different type of shocks with differnet bores I'm sure any problem of dynamics could be solved. All I can do at this point is build it as drawn and hope it works!

Time to weld the top flanges. . .

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Sunday, 05/24/98 17:33:09 GMT

ORIGINAL Junkyard Hammer required NO machining, other than drill press! Worked as originally designed. Experimenting with spring was a choice not a necessity. "V" belt clutch works amazingly well! Runs quiet and smooth. Action looks good. Guaranteed to out-draw a 25 LB Little Giant, no question. Much better hammer than I originally expected! I would LOVE to have had this when I was starting out.

GRANT -- NAKEDANVIL at USA.NET - Sunday, 05/24/98 18:40:58 GMT

Not nervous, just curious! Why AREN'T you demonstrating your own hammer?

Startin' to hedge a little on the shock absorber idea?

GRANT -- NAKEDANVIL at USA.NET - Sunday, 05/24/98 22:16:29 GMT

Already answered those questions today. Starting to repeat yourself?

Now my welding, I'm getting plenty of practice there. Would have been all done today if I hadn't run out of rods. Now I'll have to relearn with good dry ones! Had gotten pretty good with moldy ones. . .

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Monday, 05/25/98 04:02:17 GMT

That re-post is spooky! Sent a lot of things after the original, then it re-posted itself later, maybe your end?! Dunno.

GRANT -- NAKEDANVIL at USA.NET - Monday, 05/25/98 04:24:54 GMT

I've noticed that if you use the "back" button in Netscape you can return to posts you have already made and could accidentaly re-send them. I wondered if it were on my end but the times are different and chronologicaly correct. On the other hand I get e-mail instantly most of the time but with up to 3-4 hour delays sometimes (by the time on the file). . . I can imagine an Internet signal being cached and sent by both land line and satelite and getting somewhere at different times. . . Who knows . . .

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Monday, 05/25/98 12:01:12 GMT


Running the hell out of Junkyard Hammer. Forged a pair of tongs, did some swaging, forged down a piece of 1/2 x 1 1/2 on edge, a little punching, lotta drawing. Really sweet little hammer, extremely efective on 5/8 and 3/4 square bar, but still does reasonable damage to a 1 inch square. Should be enough to please anyone who dosen't have a self-contained air hammer. Make a pretty good knife makers hammer, just about the right punch for laminating and drawing knives. Unloaded springs working well, seems to be the ticket! Did all the above without making any adjustments to hammer e.g. stroke, open height, etc.

GRANT -- NAKEDANVILFIRE at USA.NET - Monday, 05/25/98 17:30:27 GMT

I looked at that stupid e-mail address three times today and didn't notice it! It took a visitor in my office to notice!

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Monday, 05/25/98 22:52:17 GMT

Grant: Pictures don't seem to show it much room do you have for tooling?

Bob -- robert_miller at - Tuesday, 05/26/98 01:05:19 GMT


Well, it's always nice to keep tools short under the hammer, because they work better and they are safer. This was never meant to a tool hammer, just a drawing hammer, but - - - - if it's possible then we do it anyway, right? About four inch would be a good maximum for work and tool. The hammer opens up and parks with about seven or eight inches opening. Good observation, I know what the hammer looks like so that's what I see in the picture. I'll try to get a picture with an uncluttered background.

GRANT -- NAKEDANVIL at USA.NET - Tuesday, 05/26/98 01:39:16 GMT

Blacksmith Bellows

John Thomas Garrard, or Jack as known to many, moved to Hamilton Montana from Ogden Utah with his parents in the late 1800’s. The family first purchased a farm which they later sold to the county for $30.00. Today the old Garrard farm is the Ravalli County Fair grounds.

Jack Garrard was a man with many talents. A gentleman who lived in the Bitterroot described Jack as, “He was tough and belonged to that rare breed of men who hacked out the crude passage of ways that eventually let in the wheels and wings, that allowed succeeding humans to arrive in comparative comfort.”

Jack worked in the Curlew Mine, he was an ax-man - par excellence, a blacksmith, a hunter, a camp cook, a cow poke, a packer, a trapper, he was adept in handling dynamite, and a forest service fire guard. He was a man of the mountains, a man who knew the mountains like the back of his hand. If you ever came upon Jack’s camp in the mountains he would always make a cup of coffee, if indeed one was not already made. The coffee was made in a can over an open fire. It is said that it was the best tasting coffee around.

Jack used the bellows throughout his life for multiple tasks, but mostly for shoeing and smithing, starting about 1886. Jack built his horseshoes from a straight piece of metal. He heated the metal red hot, then bent it into shape around a blacksmith’s anvil. It was then reheated and holes for the nails were punched through the shoes. Again the shoe was heated and the toe cork was added. This was accomplished by heating both pieces of metal to just the right temperature, then placing them together and pounding the pieces of metal with a large hammer. This heating and pounding welded the two pieces together. Then the shoe was once again heated and the heal corks were bent.

John Thomas (Jack) Garrard passed his tools on to his son, Tim Garrard. Tim Garrard in turn passed them on to his son Nathaniel Garrard.

Jack's forge and bellows are still alive and well today. The leather is in good condition, without holes. If some smithy out there may have a place of honor to display great grandfather's forge and bellows, we would like to hear from you. Asking $350.

Brenda (Garrard) Gillie -- Brenda at - Tuesday, 05/26/98 04:47:02 GMT

East Coast JYH: Didn't quite make it for a demo tomarrow (Saturday). Withing hours of being able to test but already see problems with new fangled gas filled shocks. Expect to have to replace if possible.

Spent the WHOLE day cutting and grinding and grinding and welding RR-rail cap for dies. Grant's method of using whole rail and reinforcing was much better! Mine is better from a design stand point but requires a HUGE amount of sweat equity. My personal opinion about the EC-JYH is that I could have built a very nice compact machine for the same amount effort going into this one if the budget were just a little higher. Or maybe for the SAME budget and forget about using the auto parts.

This machine will serve as a test bed for the shock absorber link idea which could make a very simple hammer if it works right. I'm told that non-gas shocks are still available but I haven't checked the price or available styles.

Will post pics in the NEWS Sunday evening.

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Saturday, 05/30/98 03:31:21 GMT

"Better from a design standpoint"? What's that mean? Easy to design, hard to make? Can't wait to see pictures. Good Luck!

May the forge be with you, GRANT

GRANT -- NAKEDANVIL at USA.NET - Saturday, 05/30/98 15:42:52 GMT

Sorry about that, I was speaking of the dies that I am still spending too much time on and even those may not be that great of a design after all. . . I will admit your little horizontal hammer was a stroke of genious. Lets hope we both don't find out how much of a beating it takes to crumble an engine block!

Today's temperature is in the 90's and humidity 99%. "Sweat" is the key word in "sweat equity" today. Got the lower die bolted on and finished the shock link assembly. Will hang a motor on the thing tomarrow and test it out.

Had a wonderful word of encouragement from Austraila. Something about a hammer using a rear axel going into self destruct mode and the operator taking off for safety!

I'm going to take a ride and cool off. . . Work some more after dark.

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Saturday, 05/30/98 22:06:13 GMT

East Coast JYH Preliminary test report! Yes, it runs, and only on 3/4 HP! Yes, it has minor problems, but nothing we can't fix or get around by the method of operation. Would you believe the shocks work too well? Made splinters! Brake/clutch works great! Has very gentle touch but engages positively when wanted.
Click on here or on image to goto NEWS and more details.

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Sunday, 05/31/98 19:20:00 GMT

Congratulations! I REALLY am glad to see you got it going. "shocks work too good"? Yeah! That's the problem we had too, our spring linkage worked TOO GOOD! Yeah! And first it worked too good one way and then it worked too good the other way and finally it worked just right. Kinda like when I got the uprights "better than plumb"? Anyway, KUDO's to the GURU.

GRANT -- NAKEDANVIL at USA.NET - Monday, 06/01/98 02:40:55 GMT

Thank you kind Sir!

Now if we are both lucky the Metropolitian Museum will think these are wonderful kinetic folk art sculptures and pay us David Smith prices. . .

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Monday, 06/01/98 03:36:59 GMT

CONGRATULATIONS! We East Coasters can hold our heads as high as ever.
Waiting with baited breath for the Junkyard DOG FIGHT in Ashville. I have no doubt that both you and Grant will emerge clear winners.
Can't wait to see what you two TITANS will clash over next.
Robert Bastow

Robert Bastow -- Tubal_cain at - Monday, 06/01/98 06:24:32 GMT


I've got the two of them started on the next project, but I could use a little help getting their enthusiasm up. (grin)

I challenged them to build a cheap, SMALL power hammer. Head weight under 12 lbs. No larger than a bench top drill press. Capable of handling 1/2" or 3/4" square stock.

They've both proved that they can build a cheap power hammer, now lets see if they can build a LITTLE one.

I'll even go so far as to say that if they can come up with what I consider a viable design, I'LL BUILD IT and test it for them. They had to carry the expense and the labor of building the JYH, I'll build the Anvilfire Mini Hammer (hereafter known as the AFMH)for them.

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Monday, 06/01/98 11:30:09 GMT

Let's modify that Acronym. Make it a little simpler.

AMH = Anvilfire Mini Hammer

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Monday, 06/01/98 12:07:35 GMT

John Neary says,
"Sounds like a British chainmaker's footpowered setup would do the trick nicely as it has for decades and decades. Excellent pix in Shire Publications Ltd.'s Album 69, Chains and Chainmaking, by Charles Fogg, ISBN 0 85263 561 3, address of pub: Cromwell House, Church Street, Prince Risborough, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP17 9AJ, UK."

Although this is a "foot powered" machine it might be modifyable.

As for designing (or building one) I could stanf to wait until the NEXT ABANA conference!

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Monday, 06/01/98 16:59:29 GMT

Anyone, I am very interested in a Nazel 2B-3B-4B. Preferably in operation and one piece, as close to california as possible.

Please send email letting me know about machines that you have
for sale.

lapela at

Ken -- lapela at - Monday, 06/01/98 17:20:50 GMT

Ken: You and everybody else! I have a 4-B complete but needing some repair; $6000.00. as is - where is. 2-B or 3-B figure $12 - $18 K.

GRANT -- NAKEDANVIL at USA.NET - Monday, 06/01/98 22:17:34 GMT

Ken, there are both a 2B and a 4B listed here in the Sourcebook. On these machines you had better take them where you find them and ship them as needed.

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Monday, 06/01/98 23:24:21 GMT

Grant/Jock: Can you fellows make any generalized comment on what size hammer is required vs what size die forging can be done with it. Nothing specific in mind...just wondering if anything with say a 50 lb mechanical/air hammer is practical or if you would have to go bigger.

Bob -- robert_miller at - Tuesday, 06/02/98 00:00:37 GMT

Bob: Just exactly what do you mean by "die forging"? This usually refers to closed impression dies. Once you contain the steel so it can't spread naturally the power required goes up exponentially!

GRANT -- NAKEDANVIL at USA.NET - Tuesday, 06/02/98 00:56:07 GMT

Grant: Well I started wondering about this as I was reading the Anvils Ring about Air hammers & in particular the KA-75 & how you had been creating a number of dies & Dave had demo'd the hammer with a leaf forging die. (Unfortunately for me after I had arrived) I started wondering if their might be some generalized limits on hammer sizes vs what kind of dies they could be used on.

Bob -- robert_miller at - Tuesday, 06/02/98 01:38:55 GMT

Sorry I meant to say Dave Brandon's demo At Caniron, last summer.

BOB -- robert_miller at - Tuesday, 06/02/98 01:41:15 GMT

Right on the button Jim. All this talk about megazillion pound Nazells is making my fillings ache. What the world needs, especially the majority of people actually reading this stuff, who I imagine are happy but ageing amateurs, is a power hammer big enough to replace the hand swung four to six pound hammer. Kinda like a powered "Oliver"
We have smaller projects, facilities and ambitions..but big hearts. However, while the spirit may be willing, the flesh weakens fast.
A lot of us have a problem when trying to fit a 25 pound Little Giant into the basement..never mind problems with structures, neighbors and SWSBO. However 30 strategically chosen minutes a week with a SMALL power hammer might be socially acceptable and could set us up with stuff we can "tap" on all week long.
Count me in for boosterism,critisism,and consumerism.
I would like to see the TITANS work as a team on this rather than in competition..though the outline design migh be best approached from a couple of different directions with advantage.
Personally I would like to see a good, solid,workable and ELEGANT design,(I don't mean pretty). Each "consumer" can then decide whether to build a Rolls Royce, a Ford or a JUNK YARD SPECIAL (Chevy? 8^)) version according to means, desires and abilities. This will make for a more complex design process as each design feature should be outlined not just as the "proper way" but should have some real junkyard scrounger experience thrown at it too..." know we could make that real easy outa a dozer skid plate too" Many of us know how to vise grip cad..reverse engineering if you will..FROM AN EXISTING WORKING DESIGN This is going to be the real challenge, to keep those fertile minds on track towards a "Commercially marketable design" and in elegant "junkyard alternative" without the two getting mixed up before they get there. I'm trying to think of how to illustrate what I mean. How about Anvil design. "proper engineered design"...36 3/4" x 6" dia Hot rolled Steel faced both ends. "Elegant JYSH alternative design"...3 pieces 70# rail x 36" long, welded in triangular bundle,bull heads in with 3/4" HRS capping plate. Hope you get the drift.
Robert Bastow
Don't force it...use a JYSH!

Robert Bastow -- Tubal_cain at - Tuesday, 06/02/98 04:51:39 GMT

I like the direction all this is taking. I want to thank Jim Wilson for the $100.00 challenge. At first Jock and I both wanted a budget more like $2000.00, or maybe squeak it out for $1000.00! $100.00 IS do-able with good scrounging, luck, and resourcefulness. Many who choose to follow us will spend $200.00 to $500.00.

Jim Wilson and Robert Bastow both point toward a yet smaller, simpler and cheaper machine. Worth persuing I think. Rather than define what it will be, let's define what will DO! If you can't define the problem, you can't find the answer! Bob and Jim both have some ideas, but let's try to spell out what it will do first.

Sorry Bob, I don't think Jock or I are committee types. Ever see a ship with two captains? Jack Slack and I have been collaboratng for many years and compliment each other well.

GRANT -- NAKEDANVIL at USA.NET - Tuesday, 06/02/98 06:48:09 GMT

Robert, (is Bob acceptable?)

You will know EXACTLY what I mean.

Somedays you get out of bed and wish you could go back. Happened
to me this morning. Got up, and my body was reminding me that 18
was 40 years ago, and it ain't coming back. Yesterday I forged the
end of a 6' bar of 1 1/2" hex to a chisel shape to use with the
post hole digger. Swinging a 10 lb hammer wears me out and leaves
me sore as hell the next day.

So I decided to take it easy and spend some time on the net. First
place I logged onto was Anvilfire. I saw Bob's and Grant's
messages, and suddenly I wasn't as tired/sore as I had been.

Thanks for the boost, fellows!

Bob, what does SWSBO mean? I know most of the acronyms, but that
one has me stumped.

Grant and Jock,

When Bob described the piece of 36 3/4" of 6" HR faced both ends,
that was the Rolls Royce of anvils for a hammer. The three pieces
of 70 lb RR 36" long, welded into a bundle, bull heads to the
center, with a 3/4" pice of HRS capping plate, that is a Chevrolet
of anvils.

For comparison purposes, the RR can be scrounged, the 34" plate is
a lot cheaper, or can even be scrounged but the 6" dia HRS would be
expensive. Yet EITHER would serve as an anvil for a power hammer.

What Bob and I are driving at is this.

I'm 58 years old. I've got Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
I'm semi retired. Which means limited income. Not drawing Social Security. Will start drawing that in 4 years. Will start drawing military retirement at the same time. (Not continuous service)

While I do own my home, still have to pay taxes. Run a small business, which is where my income comes from.

Save your sympathy for some one who needs it. I just told all that so you can see where I'm coming from.

I need a power hammer. No way in hell I can afford 2 or 3 thousand
bucks. Nor do I have the facilities to re-build one. I've got a couple of anvils, a bunch of hammers, a MIG, an oxy/acetylene rig.

I can PROBABLY build one, if I can find the right design.

It needs to be able to handle AT MOST 1" square stock. For drawing purposes. Would really be nice to be able to change dies for other stuff as well. Would be nice if it could run off of a 1/2 HP.
Slack belt drive would be easy to control. No larger than a bench
top drill press. No more than 150 lbs total weight

See where we're trying to go?

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Tuesday, 06/02/98 13:57:03 GMT

Design by committee: Grant fully understands this disaster! Just look at American cars. The first of any model is generally designed by a small team where everyone is responsible for their specialty. Then the next year the commitee gets hold of it. Gotta DO something even if the design were perfect to start! Add a piece of chrome! Make the dash fold out. . . . In a few generations (years) the design is unrecognizable as a "design" and the model is scrapped and the REAL design team is called in to provide a replacement. - I've always been the "captain" of my design team and probably would do poorly otherwise.

DIES: There are hammer dies, and then there are hammer dies. Most small hammers are designed for "open die" forging. Loose dies where near net shapes are finished with several blows. Closed dies may be "progressive" but the finished shape is made in one blow, the excess material flowing (or squishing) out as "flash" to be trimmed off.

Although you can "shape" larger work, the industrial standard of 50 pounds per square inch of cross section is a good approximate rule. However, this rule doesn't say how "long". For finishing this is probably a good plan view area too.

Most dies for producing custom crosssections are hand fed progressivly into a tapered opening that gradually changes the shape of the piece. Then, a little at a time you forge as much as can be heated (6-10") AND not cool off before it is forged. On small hammers the length of this type die should be about the same as the short width of the hammer's lower die.

See my addition of the industrial capacity rule on the Little Giant spec chart in 21st Century. And remember that this is a MAXIMUM capacity. Machines always do best at half or less of MAX!

Robert, (ultimate universal small hammer design): I understand exactly what you are talking about and that is what I intend my "Guide to building the JYH" to be. Design parameters, then some ideas of where those designs could go. The problem IS. I know YOU can take a vague idea and run with it, but a lot of people need exact plans (how long to cut, where to drill the holes). For me, this means the design needs to be built, debugged, built again. . . this is expensive and at this point anvilfire's R&D budget is spent! There are all kinds of tools I could design and not think twice about because I'd KNOW they would work. But power hammers have some real strange dynamics that need to be tested. Testing and R&D are big bucks games!

Its finally cool enough to work today so I had better get to it!

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Tuesday, 06/02/98 14:04:52 GMT

Jim the small hammer and acronym dreamer!

The problem with your 12lb hammer is that at reasonable speeds it would only forge 1/2" stock TOPS. Due to the velocities involved you can not compare a sledge hammer to a power hammer. To get more capacity you would need very fast cycling, like a jack hammer, which has a ram in the weight range you are talking about. They also suck up a lot of horespower AND weigh your 150# (without anvil).

There may be more elagant (made from new materials) designs but I really think the two JYH machines may be as close as you come. I can shrink the EC-JYH a LOT by getting rid of the auto axel, but then you need a 1-1/2" shaft, bearings, pully and crank. It could be made to fit in the space of a floor model drill press but a 30-50# ram and anvil cannot be made but so small. The WC-JYH is pretty darn compact as is AND almost fits your table top criteria.

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Tuesday, 06/02/98 14:23:13 GMT

Jim,to answer a couple of questions.
Yeh! theres increasingly more mornings when mY "get up and GO" has "got up and WENT" It's not that I can't do it anymore,it just takes too long to recover (said the Bishop to the actress)

Bob or Robert? Whats in a name? Three reasons I prefer Robert:
My Mum who is eighty gets REAL PISSED when anyone calls me Bob in her presence. However remote the possibility I wouldn't want that to happen to ANYONE. She will take fifty years off you in a flash and make you feel like a nine year old!
I was "Bob Bastow" for thirty years, he was a mean sonofabitch! you don't want to meet "Bob"
I kinda like the gentler,kinder "Robert" and I know when I'm being addressed, when someone addresses "Bob" I have to look around to see if there really is a Bob present before replying.
Lastly, SWSBO = She Who Shall Be Obeyed = My Wife

Robert Bastow

Robert Bastow -- tubal_cain at - Tuesday, 06/02/98 18:18:28 GMT


Said the Bishop to the actress. Laughing out loud, I choked out, "I like it!"

What's in a name? Everything. We ALL have the right to be called as we wish. It's the most basic form of respect. My mom would have been 75 this year, if she had lived. She could do the same thing, so I understand completely. And I'd MUCH prefer not to have it happen again. My kids say that I can do it with just a look.

Drill Sgt Wilson was not a nice guy either, so I can understand your second reason as well. Most career military have more than one job. I spent several years wearing a floppy green hat, several more wearing a Smokey The Bear hat. Several others, as well.

I have the same problem with Jim. There are just so damn many of us! Of course MOST of us are good at whatever we do~ (grin)

SWSBO AHAH! Another Anne McCaffrey reader. From THE SHIP WHO SANG.
Now I understand. (grin) (Have you read her latest?)

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Tuesday, 06/02/98 21:49:43 GMT

If you paid close enough attention to the lady from the Dragons Lair you would just focus on the internal structure of that piece of steel and change the shape without any noticable physical exertion. . .

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Tuesday, 06/02/98 23:25:23 GMT


It's awfully hard TO RIDE PEGASUS unless you can board a PEGASUS IN FLIGHT.

And PERN wouldn't be a Dragons Lair, it was a Dragons Weyr! (grin)

And I'd spend most of my time with either NERILKA or MENOLLY. (unless the MASTERHEALER or the MASTERHARPER caught me!)

Shall I continue???????

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Wednesday, 06/03/98 00:53:10 GMT

Jim, I don't know where SWSBO originated..I do know it was in common usage in England (which is where I hail from if you hadn't already guessed) well over thirty years ago and probably well before that. It was popularised by the main character in a BBC series "Rumpole of the Bailey". You may may have caught that when it was run hear on PBS. There was another memorable TV character, a Cockney shyster and his sidekick bodyguard called "Minder" He always refered to his wife as "'er indoors".

Enough of this tomfoolery..back to the drawing board..before SWSBO brings my hot milk and viagra and takes my glasses away so I have to log off! (Oh how are the Mighty fallen)

While I obviously have a strong interest in a LJYH I am also strongly attracted to the hydraulic forging press, simply for reasons of what Ford refer to as NVH (go figure Jim) and control. My applications are limited to small tools, knives and damascus, medieval arrowheads and (hopefully) the occasional "Steel Magnolia" or "Iron Rose" ( for my mother in law and my mother respectively) Designing and building the press per se are not a problem. The Hydraulics are. I don't like the idea of just throwing money and horsepower where they are not absolutely needed. Consider that the forging cycle may be 3 minutes. of which 30 seconds is forging and 2 1/2 minutes is reheat time we have only ten to twelve seconds when full press power is needed and the rest is approach. return and rest. This application just begs for an accumulator. My initial calcs show that a twelve ton press could be run with less than one hp and less than five gal/min at 2000 psi.
Only drawback is the cost of a new nitrogen bladder accumulator. I figure that a scrounged hydraulic cylinder could be adapted with a floating piston and pressurised with nitrogen from an industrial gas supplier. If I can get the bugs worked out of this we may have a three way pony race at the next ABANA...two JYLHs against the RBJYLHP (again..go figure Jim)

Robert Bastow

Robert Bastow -- tubal_cain at - Wednesday, 06/03/98 01:20:27 GMT

Before SWSBO arrives with the hot milk etc and I have to log don't want to see my typing after the Viagra kicks in!! Not a pretty sight. Also before a challenger to the RBJYHP sucks his feet out of the muck and throws down the gauntlet I also wish to "register" a couple more of my " flashes of scrounger inspiration" (FSI) First is that I intend to use the frame from a small OBI (go figure Jim) punch press that I picked up for $20. second I hope to use the power steering pump from a car or truck. If I have to go over Ihp single phase then I may jump to a five hp 3ph motor (scrounged) but run it through capacitors (scrounged) of course and accept that with only two windings energised I may only get half the rated HP.
'night all

Robert Bastow

Robert Bastow -- tubal-cain at - Wednesday, 06/03/98 01:37:28 GMT

While doing some research for Bruce Wallace I came across a value for hydraulic forging presses (upsetters). 25 Tons per square inch to be upset. For bending, dishing and light drawing small tonage works, however for real forging you need some serious tonnage.

The accumulator works but PLEASE DO NOT let someone get the idea that air can be used over oil! Special accumulators do this but NOT by direct contact between the air and oil. At the pressures we are talking about the air/oil combination becomes explosive!

Robert, I KNOW you said, "nitrogen", but some people might have missed that fine point!

I had a guy at the local junk yard try to sell me a trash compactor for this purpose. Tons of force! But a several minute cycle time! Had a little 1/3 or 1/4 HP motor.

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Wednesday, 06/03/98 16:11:43 GMT

Just wanted to comment on the Hydraulic Press....If you haven't looked at Jim Batson's book on making one you might want to. While you may be considering a differnt or even smaller design....the math/formula's are all their to do your own calculations & modifications. Wouldn't mind making one myself but have aquired too many projects & not enought time.

BOB -- Robert_miller at - Wednesday, 06/03/98 17:28:54 GMT


I'm fairly certasin SWSBO is a derivative of SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed) which is a direct quote from THE SHIP WHO SANG. But, who knows?

You're terrible! (grin) LJYH, NVH,JYLH, RBJYLHP. How can you do such mean things to sweet, innocent Jim????

And there's another in the running now. The AMH. Or maybe that should be JAMH, or better yet, JJAMH.

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Wednesday, 06/03/98 22:56:25 GMT

Robert Bstow Junk Yard Little Hydraulic Press?

Junk Yard Little Hydraulic?

Not Very Hydraulic?

Don't DO this to me!!!!!!!!!! :)

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Thursday, 06/04/98 02:44:49 GMT

Jock you are dead right! I should really have emphasised the fact that I was not nitrogen just 'cause I knew how to spell it. air over oil at those pressures..God forbid oxygen..would be DEADLY. I forget that what I address to yourself and Jim and Grant is potentially going to be read by thousands of less experienced people. Maybe I should shut up..I'm not sure I'm ready for that sort of responsibility. Maybe when I grow up! Huh?

Twenty five tons per sqinch Hmmm! thats a lot of squish power and may refer to upsetting in a closed die i.e. where full area contact is made and sustained. Fullering at forging temp and welding at welding temp may well get away with far less. I calculated the push that Don Fogg was getting and it came out to 15 tons. I suppose that with fuller dies a great deal mor than 25T/sqin is realised. I still need to do some fundamental research and that WILL include Batsons book.

Jim, TTFN TTYL 8^) OBTW; when was TSWS written?

Robert Bastow -- tubal_cain at - Thursday, 06/04/98 03:02:56 GMT

I can't let Jim go to bed withou an answer..he will be up all night!
JYLH = JunkYard Light Hammer or LJYH = Light JunkYard Hammer
RBJYLHP+ Robert Bastow's JunkYard Light Hydraulic Press
NVH = Noise Vibration Harshness = A Ford Q1 program buzzword
TTFN = TaTah For Now = 'Bye TTYL = Talk To You Later
OBTW = Oh By The Way TSWS = go figure!
'night all, SWSBO calls!

Robert Bastow -- tubal_cain at - Thursday, 06/04/98 03:36:02 GMT

For Sale: Antique "All Steel' Anvils. The largest selection in the Southwestern
United States. Prices range from $50.00 to $3,000.00, Give Ernest the "Anvil Man" a call and lets talk anvils.

Ernest the Anvil Man -- Wixomd at - Thursday, 06/04/98 04:55:43 GMT

$3,000.00 for an ANVIL??? Didn't know they could get gold that hard!!

Robert Bastow -- tubal-cain at - Thursday, 06/04/98 11:11:45 GMT


TTFN, TTYL8R, OBTW, I understood. Been running a PBBS since 87. TSWS copyright date is 1969. NVH is a new one for me.

So it's hammer instead of hydraulic. I've been calling it the Anvilfire Minimum Hammer. We named the first one after the Junkyard, seemed only fair to name the second one after Anvilfire.

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Thursday, 06/04/98 11:40:20 GMT

HELLO!! Is there anybody there?

Jeeze, I didn;t think my jokes were THAT bad!

Would it help to say "Sorry"?

Robert Bastow -- tubal_cain at - Saturday, 06/06/98 00:36:58 GMT

OK. . . I thought RBJYLHP+ was ammusing in a sort of macob way. I can understand 3K for an anvil. New they sell for $7/lb. That's only a 428 pound anvil. Huge but not too outrageous if you're looking to have the biggest tool in town!

"Light" Junkyard Hammer is right up there with Military Inteligence!

Speaking of hammers. I'm putting the finishing touches on the EC-JYH. Wiring a switch some paint and some polish. Gotta look good for the pics! Back to it. . .

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Saturday, 06/06/98 02:27:34 GMT

....I guess we are out here. Sigh, not everyone getting ready for the ABANA conf. I think the problem with a more expensive or new anvil is when you get used to scrounging you really hate to pay full price. Russell Jaqua sell's his new gladiator anvil (460 lb) for around $4 a lb.....going from memory here.....

Bob -- robert_miller at - Saturday, 06/06/98 04:58:55 GMT

I forgot that the bigger the anvils the lower the price per pound. Is that a forged or cast anvil you are speaking of? The thing is, I don't think ANYONE makes a wrought anvil with forge welded steel face anymore. Most people agree these were the BEST anvils made and the number available is finite. There were some really large ones made and I expect they are truely worth more than the new anvils being manufactured.

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Saturday, 06/06/98 05:28:30 GMT

Wrought anvils with forge welded steel faces. I know where there are at LEAST three. One of them a 450 pound job. I've been trying to talk the owner into a deal of SOME kind for 6 years now. Eventually, maybe I'll wear him down.

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Saturday, 06/06/98 13:52:48 GMT

Just don't let him see that $3000 price above!

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Saturday, 06/06/98 16:01:48 GMT

Far as I know, he's not online. And `he' owns a Museum, the
anvil is part of one of the exhibits. Which is why I haven't
been able to wheel a deal with him.

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Saturday, 06/06/98 17:35:45 GMT

Re the Gladiator Anvil's....all three of Russle's are cast in 8640. I had a chance to bang over one & they a nice anvil....just a bit differnt looking. Jim keep working away on him, you are bound to be successfull.

Bob -- robert_miller at - Sunday, 06/07/98 00:25:31 GMT

Don't need to spend three grand..I already GOT the biggest tool in town! (in my mind anyway) 8^)

Robert Bastow -- tubal_cain at - Sunday, 06/07/98 01:01:40 GMT

Hello guys Sounds like thing are still going on as usual .
Are we descussing the bigest tool ? eeer hammer which is it . I have a need to build a high temperture salt pot can you help me find some planes to build . thanks now back to the T.B.T.

BOWIE -- bowie at - Sunday, 06/07/98 01:22:49 GMT

Bowie try looking on Don Fogg's Web page...he has some information listed on how he built his.

BOB -- robert_miller at - Sunday, 06/07/98 05:13:13 GMT

BOB thanks Have been their and was very good and helpful
I would like to see some plans on how to build have gone back to planes
on this web site and others to find have not , Iwill ask the guru if he can help thanks BOWIE

Ron Claiborne -- bowie at - Sunday, 06/07/98 16:06:54 GMT

Salt Bath (Bowie): I don't know much about how they are made. Do know how they are used. I expect the pot or its liner must be resistant to the specific salt. Liquid salts are used for tempering, cynaide is used to case harden. Will look into it and see what I can find out.

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Monday, 06/08/98 13:27:34 GMT

Salt Bath (again): Just looked at the instructions on the Don Fogg site (there is a link on our links page). His instructions are fairly clear but may not be so to non-designer types. I could produce plans for a similar "pot" but would need to know what you are heat treating. Don's pot is a tall affair made for knives and is a pretty efficient design. He prefers blower burners as I do but this looks like a good application for an atomospheric burner. Round vertical crucible type furnaces produce their own draft once hot and become more self reliant than some atomospheric forges. Don is also using a temperature controller (no details) which is recomended if you are doing serious heat treating. The controler, solenoid valve and thermocouple will cost you more than the rest of the "pot". Don takes advantage of the fact that this part of his hardware is easy to disconnect and hook up to other furnaces and makes this expense go further by using the same controls on several furnaces (one at a time).

Let me know if you need plans. If anyone else knows of a source please chime in!

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Monday, 06/08/98 13:58:49 GMT

Jock Thanks. Some plans would be a help . and I have built some of the tools in my shop . and I like using them more than store bought tools So I will make my own when I can Im sure you and some on here know this is very satisfing .
I will use the High and Low Temperture salt pots to heat treat Knife Blades I have gotten some good advice from Howard Clark and Don Fogg and will be studing this advice as they use theirs for heat treating their Knives If you could find some pictures and post I sure I ,with a little more understanding can build them I want to thank you again for helping me in this matter . any thing you can do I will be greatful all information welcome Ron Claiborne BOWIE

Ron Claiborne -- bowie at - Monday, 06/08/98 23:01:04 GMT

Gee, things seem rather quiet in this neck of the woods, so I figured I'd cross post this from the Junkyard. Somehow, I doubt that the Guru will be in any shape to drop by after he and Grant finish the JYH challenge at Asheville, not to mention the Late Night Anectdote Challenge. I did make the Blacksmith's Guild of the Potomac's Spring Fling, and some of our Marklanders will be at Asheville, so I do know what I'm missing, but time, money and circumstancesbeing what they are...

As "Dirty Harry" Callahan said: "A man should know his limitations."

Won't be at Asheville, will be at Fenby:

Well, a couple of months ago I sat down to do the math. Let's see; 490 miles from Southern Maryland, 980 miles total at $0.31 for gas, oil (lots of oil in my old Ford truck) and wear and tear (hey, it's the government rate, so it's probably low) so that's $303.80. Camping, six days = $90. Food, seven days (figure at least two days travel time, given the verticality and unfamiliarity of that neck of the woods) = $105 (and I eat on the cheap, and pack stuff along). Registration (before 4/1/98) $200. So that comes to $698, without even contemplating the cost of T-shirts, auctions, iron in the hat, tailgate tools and beer! And I'm in the mid-Atlantic! Plus five days of leave. I could just feel my purse strings tightening, as well as other constrictures. So, much as I'll miss seeing some of you good folks in person, I'll be passing on this one. I'll just enjoy the photographs in Anvil's Ring.

On the other claw:

The following Friday through Sunday, June 26-28, I'm hosting a very laid back medieval arts and crafts workshop at our farm in St. Mary's County. We will have several open forge sessions, as well as fiber crafts, silver smithing and a crab feast. Further details can be found at . So if you're lurking in the MD/VA area and couldn't go to Asheville, or just back from the ABANA orgy of knowledge and want to breath some more coal smoke while your distaff side learns about hand spinning, drop by for a day or two. It's not ambitious, and I mostly teach the fresh fish not to burn themselves, but teaching or watching can be fun too. The only official excitement is that the Washington Post will be dropping by to photograph some of our Marklandic frat fighters stove in each others armor. (Not my fault, people sometimes piggy-back an event.)

Visit your National Parks (I've been working in Tucson, Santa Fe and Denver for the last three weeks, so you'd better enjoy them!)

Go viking

Bruce Blackistone (Atli) -- bruce_blackistone at - Thursday, 06/11/98 16:24:20 GMT

Things have been a little slow in the Hammer-In but things have been chugging right along on the Guru page. If you watch our counters we are doing a solid 100+ hits a day and then that is distributed throughout the page. All this on a site that isn't quite on the indexes yet and is only a few months old! AND I still have more plans for the site than I have time to work on them (full time). I keep hoping things will get back to normal after ABANA but I don't think there is such a thing anymore!

Your June Craft&Crab fest is the weekend of my birthday! Good excuse to cross the Potomac!

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Friday, 06/12/98 00:47:05 GMT

FOR SALE : 50 pound Little Giant hammer. New motor. Rehabed two years ago. Located near Denver CO. $4500 OBO. Phone 303-670-5641

Doug Sarbach -- dsbach at - Monday, 06/15/98 21:10:12 GMT

The point of the salt bath is reduced or no oxidation at high tempering tempering temperatures. Unless you are running an inert gas furnace the finished or near finished work can easily be ruined by oxidation without a controlled atomosphere. The salt bath is a relatively low tech method of getting high tech results.

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Monday, 06/15/98 22:35:25 GMT


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