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

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

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

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

I have a 300# Vulcan anvil for sale. This thing is in near new condition. I know it is a cast anvil, but it is big and clean. I would like $600.00 for it. (408) 395-5403

T. J. Marrone -- tjmarrone at - Wednesday, 07/29/98 04:09:40 GMT

Does anyone have references on use of charcoal for forging? This would be for something like small parts, perhaps die formed, and long thin stock which might be run through heat and into an open or two piece die or which would be wound and welded. Am interested in design of forge or small ovens as might be used for smaller scale items falling into the category of jewelry and similar small scale metalwork. I have the Centaur catalog and some of their booklets.

F.S. Piekarczyk -- fspic at - Thursday, 07/30/98 04:00:19 GMT

Charcoal (and some wood) was the only fuel used for bronzesmithing, blacksmithing and foundry work for thousands of years. Coal did not come into use until the mid 1700's in England and in America we held out for another 100 years (we had the timber to support the charcoal and iron industry).

Due to the lower density of the fuel charcoal forges need to be deeper than coal forges.

NOTE: Charcoal briquetts are processed charcoal and include sawdust, starch binder and bituminous coal (for flavor?). They are not suitable for forge work.

18th century jewlers and clock makers used little scaled down forges for small work. These were often built into the regular chimney flu of small shops and were used for small foundry work also.

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Thursday, 07/30/98 04:31:00 GMT

Jock, I am sorry, but I have to take exception with your blanket statement about briquettes. I have melted steel in a cast iron hibachi with a blowdrier air source using briquetttes.
Major drawbacks: fire must be at least six inches deep, it takes an hour to get to heat and a 20# bag is gone in about three hours, but it can be done.
I forged for 6 years at least before someone told me briquettes were not the charcoal spoken of in books.
Can it be done, yes! Would I do it again, probably not.

Chris -- kilpe4 at - Thursday, 07/30/98 11:14:32 GMT

In defence of Jock, I concur, charcoal briquetts CAN be used as a fuel for blacksmithing,but they are not suitable.

grandpa -- darylmeier at - Thursday, 07/30/98 13:42:08 GMT

When I first started blacksmithing, I never considered any fuel but coal. The grandfather and great grandfather that I watched as a toddler used coal. I didn't think there was anything else to use. (grin) After seeing a couple of other posts about charcoal briquetts, I decided to at least see how they burned. Grabbed a double handful out of the bag on the breezway, threw them in the forge on top of some paper, lit the paper, turned on the air, and jumped back. Sparks EVERYWHERE. That finally tamed down a LITTLE (never did quit completely, even with the air turned way down. Took a long time to get 1/4" steel to forging heat, though, and the charcoal didn't last very long at all.

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Thursday, 07/30/98 16:56:40 GMT

LITTLE GIANT POWER HAMMER FOR SALE: 100 pound Meyers Brothers, serial number 378. Wrap around guides and center clutch. The guides, dies, toggles and main bearings of this machine are perfect. The center clutch bearing has significant wear but did not alter the machines performance. Includes a NEW Boston helical gear Gear Motor - 3HP 3PH with 6" pulley. Drive is unmounted, cost over $750 in 1985.

This machine was used by Josh Greenwood to do all the forging on the Tobacco Co. elevator enclosure and many other jobs. See LITTLE GIANT Images for pictures of the hammer.

$3,300 OBO, FOB Gladys (Lynchburg), VA

Jock Dempsey -- webmaster at - Thursday, 07/30/98 18:23:21 GMT

CHARCOAL: Yep, I said briquettes are not "suitable", didn't say they wouldn't work.

I used charcoal briquettes only once. It was at a crafts fair at our local farmers market which is in town and surrounded by multi-story buildings. The people running the fair were concerened about smoke so I agreed to use charcoal. For demontration purposes it worked but not very well. The big joke was there was no smoke however, fine white ash rained down on the surrounding craft displays including, jewelry, mirrors and fabrics!

As Jim mentioned its hard to get a heat (in a normal forge) and if you compare the price per pound with coal its pretty expensive considering it has a high proportion of sawdust. And yes, it makes lots of little flaming red "fleas".

On the other hand I advocate using real charcoal. Its friendlier on the environment and can be produced from "waste" wood. A good source of charcoal is anyplace there has been a fire (house, forest, bon-fire). Just be sure to ask the property owners AND the proper officials before messing with a fire site. This is definitely NOT the best way to produce charcoal but it IS available and will otherwise be wasted.

Jock Dempsey -- webmaster at - Thursday, 07/30/98 19:50:48 GMT

I've never used any, but I like Jocks comments reference using "real" charcoal. Recently Andrew Hooper and I exchanged a series of messages about a charcoal retort. Used for making relatively small quantities of "real" charcoal.

The best charcoal would be from hard woods. Scrap hardwood, contrary to popular opinion, is NOT hard to find. Most pallets are made of oak!. Use a skil saw to cut them up into workables size pieces, make charcoal out of them and have at it. I've got the sketches that Andrew sent me (and Jock may have them as well). I'll be glad to foward them, if anyone is interested.

The retort that Andrew designed was used to make charcoal for someone there in NZ that needed it and it worked well. Our drum size is different, (55 gal instead of 44 gal) but that really shouldn't have any effect on quality.

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Thursday, 07/30/98 22:45:01 GMT

Yes, I've got Andrews drawings an I WILL post them on the plans page. . . In our area they cut lots of hardwood and the trimed ends are sold as firewood by the dump truck load.

Jock Dempsey -- webmaster at - Thursday, 07/30/98 22:53:37 GMT

Definately interested in the charcoal retort plans. Could you email me a copy? I think the drums are the same size, it's imperial gallons as opposed to US gallons that account for the differance I think.

Don Mersereau -- donfaye at - Friday, 07/31/98 05:25:30 GMT


I hadn't thought of that! You may very well be right. The drums would have the same physical dimension, but different gallon ratings.
Now I feel stupid~ (grin)

Jock is going to post the charcoal retort plans, under the plans section of Anvilfire. If you have trouble snagging them from there, let me know and I'll e-mail them to you.

Jock? (grin)

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Friday, 07/31/98 15:22:44 GMT


I just checked, and Jock has already posted the retort plans in the Plans section. Also has a nice burner arrangement posted.

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Friday, 07/31/98 15:29:27 GMT

Andrew's drawings are in a compressed format that I can't handle so I've asked for more. They will display and may print from your browser. I'll add his text and notes later (when I find them).

About 15 years ago there was a fellow in Idaho making wood fired charcoal burners. They were trailer mounted and had a stainless retort. Fumes and wood gas was recirculated to the fire box from the retort and burned. Don't look for him, he's no longer there and another fellow is in his shop with the same phone number! I'll make a drawing based on his discription and post it next week.

Jock Dempsey -- webmaster at - Friday, 07/31/98 16:14:21 GMT


Andrew's drawings display fine when I looked at them with Netscape 4.xx.

But a wood fired charcoal burner sounds kinda wasteful to me. Burning wood to burn wood?

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Friday, 07/31/98 18:58:21 GMT

Jim and Jock,

Picturers display fine in IE 4. Retort picture would not print, kept starting half way down page. Got it to print using utility called Printkey, no problem with burner plan, printed from browser just fine. Nice simple plans, I'll have to try making charcoal, off to work for 3 weeks monday, maybe have time when I get back. I'll let you know how it works out whenever.


Don Mersereau -- donfaye at - Friday, 07/31/98 20:25:50 GMT

I am from South Africa (Pretoria, Gauteng, interested in the art of blacksmithing. After reading a number of books on the topic I build a forge. What a disaster! Can somebody help with precise plans? Also, where can one learn more about blacksmithing in South Africa? There must be somebody willing to share ideas.

Please help


J.C. Lötter -- jclot at - Tuesday, 08/04/98 09:13:29 GMT

FORGES, BLACKSMITHS and SOUTH AFRICA: Johan, we have several smiths from South Africa check here from time to time. Hopefully they will contact you.

Your forge problem sounds like a good one for the Guru page.

Type and quality of fuel makes a big difference with forges. Good coal will work in almost any forge. Charcoal, hard coal (antharicite) and foundry coke require a deep forge. Anthacite and foundry coke require a continous air supply. Biggest mistake most people make is using too much air like from a vacuume cleaner and too shallow a fire bed. You need about 6 to 8" (15 to 20cm) for coal. There are also grades of coal that just don't have the right properties for a forge.

Gas and oil forges are also common and are not too hard to build but some people can manage while others can not.

Be more specific about your forge problems and we may work it out "long distance".

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Tuesday, 08/04/98 15:05:26 GMT

You might try
There is a list of blacksmiths and their adresses from all over
including several from South Africa.
Good Luck

David -- dwhite at - Tuesday, 08/04/98 17:42:31 GMT

Jim Wilson:
RE:Grizzly horizontal bandsaw. Did you purchase? Are you satisfied with the machine? I have a large, made in USA, saw in the shop. I need a saw small enough to haul in the back of my truck with the portable welder. What do you think? I don't like chop saws.

John Pepon -- pepon at - Wednesday, 08/05/98 13:27:35 GMT


No I didn't go with the Grizzly. I have a blacksmith friend who had a spare WELBUILT that he let me have for $50. The Grizzly would almost certainly be a good choice, I've bought several things from them over the years and never had a problem with anything I bought from them. For carrying in the back of the truck, I think I'd be more inclined to go with a Port-a-band. You can make a table and rack for it, or use it freehand. I've used a chop saw, but don't particularly care for them either.

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Wednesday, 08/05/98 15:22:38 GMT

Charcoal -- I've made several pounds of it. Not hard, but does take some time and attention.
My charcoaling rig: 55 gal steel barrel, open on one end, about 6"x6" square cut out of the other. A piece of steel large enough to cover
the 6x6 hole, and one a bit larger than the barrel.
1) Place the barrel with the open end up. Lay some scrap wood in the bottom (to cover 6x6 hole) and pack as tightly as possible with scrap wood. Keep the largest cross section of wood at 2" or less -- thicker wood takes a LOT longer to coal. Top it off with small wood, planer chips from a friend's wood shop, or other small kindling.
2)Put the sheet (I used about 20 ga. thick) over the open end and invert the whole thing. Be sure it's on bare ground (non-flammable stuff) 'cause it's gonna get hot.
3) Prop the barrel up about 1/4 to 1/2" above the (now bottom) sheet to leave an air gap around the whole thing. The bottom sheet isn't really necessary, but it makes collecting the charcoal when you're done a whole lot easier!
4) Take a propane torch, bunches of newspaper, wax soaked paper, or whatever your little heart desires (DON'T use gasoline or charcoal starter! Diesel fuel is ok) and start the whole thing burning on the bottom.
5) Let 'er burn! Let it burn until it quits smoking. You won't end up with a pile of ash, trust me. It can't get enough air. Wait until all the smoke quits. It'll probably take about 4-5 hours, and if the barrel has paint on it, it'll blister. If the paint on the barrel doesn't blister, you've choked off too much air.
6) cover the 6x6 hole with a plate and bank dirt around the base.
7) Let it cool for at least 24 hours.
8) Collect the charcoal. You'll be amazed at how little ash there is -- you won't have burned an appreciable amount of your wood. You'll also be amazed at how wood shrinks during coaling. Measure a 2x4 as wood and as charcoal. (Yes, it'll be charcoal through and through).
If you get some pieces that aren't coaled through, you didn't let enough air in to get enough heat to coal them. I have the most difficulty in not choking the fire too much, out of fear of using up all my charcoal. It hasn't happened yet! (but I have several bits of nice brown wood...)
Lump (real wood) charcoal is available here at $18 for a 40 lb bag. You have to decide whether the time and aggrivation is worth it to you. It's a smoky dirty mess, but not difficult.
Hope this helps, and have fun!

Morgan Hall -- morganh at - Monday, 08/10/98 14:57:26 GMT

Grandpa has a bridge of wrought iron {erected in 1896}. No bar stock available, but sections of I beam (fabricated by riveting angle to plate} can be had for $1.00/lb. Faggoted and or rerolled stock is available at $3-5.00/lb.,with limitations on width and length.

grandpa -- darylmeier at - Tuesday, 08/11/98 18:02:19 GMT

Looking for... 2 - stage air compressor with 80 gallon tank, 5hp, single phase motor with magnetic starter. It must be rated for 20 CFM at 100 PSI or higher. Located in Central Pennsylvania.

Ron -- swisher.ron at - Wednesday, 08/12/98 13:27:44 GMT

This isnt really a blacksmithing question but has anyone built or seen any decent plans for homemade stoves that burn used engine oil? Ive tried several low tech approaches that work fair such as running the oil from an overhead tank thru a gate valve in a copper line that drips on a steel plate near the stoves air intake. This works fair but requires a lot of dicking around trying to get it regulated. My friend is into drag racing bigtime and Ive got a glut of dirty oil. Man you can tell Im sick of summer talking stoves in August An ideas appreciated bruce

bruce lowery -- brucelowery at - Thursday, 08/13/98 21:45:41 GMT


Many years ago, I was stationed in Alaska. We used a device called an Arctic Stove to heat tents in the winter time. Basically it was a square steel box, with a door in front and a stove pipe nipple in back. The steel box had about an inch of sand in the bottom. If I remember correctly, the stove would have been about 12 inches square by 18 inches long. The door on the front had a "damper" installed in it. (Basically a twist valve with 4 pie shaped openings.) There was a copper tubing arrangement which dripped the fuel into the sands. We used to burn used engine oil, army gasoline, even JP4 Jet fuel in the durn things. Turn the fuel valve on, let it drip for a minute or two and throw a piece of lighted paper in. Set the drip rate just high enough to sustain a good flame, control the air with the turn damper in the door. They worked pretty good, you could make coffee on them, and they'd keep a tent HOT when the outside temperature was -75 degrees Farenheit. You could probably find plans on the web someplace.

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Thursday, 08/13/98 23:50:52 GMT

To Jim Wilson and John Pepon:

I saw your posts where you stated that you did not care for chop saws. Why? I use mine constantly, even though its a $99 "Chinese Special".
Is there something I'm missing??


Al Dolney

Al Dolney -- al.dolney at - Friday, 08/14/98 12:41:15 GMT


Probably not. Different strokes for different folks. I have a power miter box that I sometimes put a metal cutting blade in and use as a chop saw. And I have used a "real" chop saw frequently. But I don't really care for the "flash" that's left on the cut. While a band saw does leave a similar "flash" from the cut, it's much smaller and easier to clean up.

But mostly it's just different strokes, I suspect.

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Friday, 08/14/98 14:55:47 GMT

Al Dolney:
Chop saws. Well, I guess it is like women or automobiles, we all have our preference. I find chop saws to be SLOW, SLOW, SLOW, noisy, and messy. I own two chop saws, but I won't use them inside the shop. That grit gets into everything! Certain death for electric motors, drill press tables, dial calipers etc. I prefer horizontal band saws. They have a proper vise, you can use coolant and, it is possible to speak to a customer while it is running. However, the compelling argument in favor of the bandsaw is that you don't have to stand there and run it! You set up your cut, turn on the saw, and go do something else while the saw does its work. Chop saws are useful tools. If your chop saw is doing a good job for you, then that is really all that matters, right?



John Pepon -- pepon at - Friday, 08/14/98 14:55:49 GMT


Funny! We were both answering Al at the same time, and we both hit similar points. Great minds, huh? :)

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Friday, 08/14/98 14:57:50 GMT

John&Jim: What type of blade do you all use in your bandsaws to cut hardened or semi-hardened tool steel? Maby I could get one so that I wouldn't have to use my chop saw for that type of cutting.

grandpa -- darylmeier at - Friday, 08/14/98 16:40:51 GMT

Jim Wilson:
Great minds? Hah! Speak for yourself.

Grandpa: Was that a rhetorical question? Okay, I'll bite. How hard is that tool steel? Most major blade manufacturers offer blades with teeth up to 69RC. Would that do it?

Chop sawsII: I once had to saw a piece of three inch round, with a chop saw. On a bad night I still dream of making that cut. Shudder! I bought a band saw the very next day. I guess chop saws are like broccoli...we really ought to, but we don't have to like!

John Pepon -- pepon at - Friday, 08/14/98 18:20:05 GMT


Great minds? I did! :)

Grandpa: I rarely cut tool steel of any kind Occasionally I do have a small piece to cut, I usually anneal it first. But John is correct about blade hardness. I usually specify the hardest available at my local supplier. I asked him once what the Rockwell was and he said it was RW68. Course, he may have been BSing me, but I don't think so. This particular blade is almost a year old.

John: 3" round with a chop saw???? Nightmare!!!!!!!!

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Friday, 08/14/98 18:37:45 GMT

John&Jim: Yes it was a rhetorical question. The point is that each tool has advantages for different uses. Chop saw will cut ANY small section of steel, hard or soft. Band saws will cut nicer, quieter,bigger section size, but will not cut hardened steel. ( granted, a 68 or 69Rc blade may start to cut 60 or 62 Rc steel, but it won't cut long.)

grandpa -- darylmeier at - Friday, 08/14/98 22:11:24 GMT


Good point, well made.

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Friday, 08/14/98 22:26:27 GMT

chop saws. If you smelled it, you breathed it and it wont go away easy, Chop saws are as unhealthy as anything else in the shop,, not as dangerous regarding accidents, but in a closed shop bad for the respiration and the ears, not to mention the grit as previously noted and the noise level is at damaging levels. I have some masks and ear protection on the handle and use them both. best wishes, David Schiff

david schiff -- dschiff at - Saturday, 08/15/98 06:56:07 GMT

PABA Hammer-In, will be held August 22 at Fischer Forge in Hamburg, PA.

Bruce R. Wallace -- Walmetalwk at - Saturday, 08/15/98 15:44:24 GMT

Guess there are chopsaws and then there are CHOPSAWS. Mine will zip through a 3" alloy round in probably five seconds. Most people seem to like the thick blades with lotsa reinforcing. I like the center reinforced 3/32 thick blades. A blade that wears down fast is constantly exposing fresh grit so it cuts fast and cool. My chopsaw is one I built 'bout twenty odd years ago. Frame was an old commercial pants presser! 7 1/2HP 3600RPM TEFC motor, spindle runs about 4200RPM. MORE POWER, IGOR!

Sometimes you're not sure if a piece is hard or not, and blades for my horizontal bandsaw cost about $60.00 each (M-2 HSS 1 1/4 X 160).

GRANT -- NAKEDANVIL at USA.NET - Sunday, 08/16/98 05:03:44 GMT

I would like to purchase a foot bellows. The larger the better and if not in perfect condition I'd be glad to repair. I need it for a silver soldering and annealing torch. Any help would be appreciated.

Keith Howe -- dafox at - Sunday, 08/16/98 05:08:13 GMT

I don't know about differences among chop saws (as marketed by B&D Makita, Milwaukee ect.) HOWEVER, I do know the difference between a CHOP SAW (sells for about $200, easily portable, 12-14" blade, plug it into a standard 110 residential outlet)and a floor mounted, 3PH, industrial CUT-OFF SAW! However, some who read our discussion may not know the difference. Imagine the disappointment, that awaits, when the proud new owner of that CHOP SAW discovers (to his/her sorrow) that they may not have accumulated enough vacation time, to saw through that 3" alloy round. I call FOUL! on that one Grant. That isn't a CHOP SAW.

There is another reason why I prefer my band saw. As a new purchase, it is deductable. So, my band saw will even cut my taxes! And BTW, I generally hold that if you can't file it, you probably should not try to saw it. Having said my piece, I leave you in peace.

John Pepon -- pepon at - Sunday, 08/16/98 16:51:27 GMT


Motor oil is full of heavy metal additives, many of which are known carcinogens! It also picks up heavy metals and gasoline from use. Burning motor oil (new or used is not good for you or anyone down wind of your stack! Its bad enough that industry uses your domestic heating oil to dump waste solvents!

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Sunday, 08/16/98 17:54:16 GMT

John: A chop saw is a tool that is considered as an expense and can be deducted 100% the same year as bought.

grandpa -- darylmeier at - Sunday, 08/16/98 17:55:03 GMT

CHOP SAWS, FRICTION CUTTING: I don't like chop "saws" either but they ARE the most economical way of accurately cutting hard materials. But there ARE other options. Norton makes their grit edge blade for use in band saws. I've never tried one but I expect they work. There are also friction cutting blades for specially equiped band saws. These wavy blades run at extream high speed and will cut nearly anything.

One CAVEAT however. I've used friction cutting wheels in wood working equipment and the grit has always jambed up the tool or damaged it in one way or another (setting deposits of wood dust on fire). Metal cutting saws are generaly too slow so the best thing to do is stick to the dreaded chop saw.

CUTTING TOO SLOW? Chop saws are like any other grinding device, the harder the material the softer the wheel (friable bond). Fast cutting grinding and chop saw wheels are soft and are quickly consumed. If the cutting is going too slow, you are probably using the wrong wheel.

OBTW - Hard ferrous materials up to 45Rc can be efficiently sawed using high speed steel variable pitched band saw blades running at a blade speed of 60-80 Feet Per Minute. Coolant and positive feed pressure are required as in all proper metal sawing operations.

Jock Dempsey -- odempsey at - Sunday, 08/16/98 18:13:49 GMT

PABA meet next weekend! Anvilfire will be there! May take a few days to get the "NEWS" up but there WILL be photos and more!

August 22 at Fischer Forge in Hamburg, PA.

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Sunday, 08/16/98 18:24:55 GMT

THE BIG DATA GAP (8/16 to 9/6)!

Sorry about the gap folks. But s__t happens in cyberspace! My ISP had an overload and temoprarily moved my files. When someone attempted to post to the page my script wrote an empty file (because there was none to write to). I will attempt to get some error handling setup but meanwhile I will keep better backups of the logs!

If you have a more recent copy of the Hammer-In file (VHAMDATA.HTM), please e-mail me a copy and I will restore the gap.

The Slack-Tub Pub is temporaily out of service until I can get it setup on another server. It has been more popular than I expected so we will try hard to do something about it.

Thank you for your patience.

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Monday, 09/14/98 19:24:46 GMT

Cool! We get to re-hash all the old stuff! Chop-saws: Just for a test I cut a bar of 3" dia bar (4340 annealed was all I had) in my custom built "abrasive cut-off saw" (I didn't say chop saw). took seven seconds! Take me longer than that to get it clamped in my bandsaw.

GRANT -- NAKEDANVIL at USA.NET - Tuesday, 09/15/98 00:24:16 GMT

OOW! Just remembered I used to cut steel that was still red hot in my chop saw (as in Makita!). Try that in your band saw!

GRANT -- NAKEDANVIL at USA.NET - Tuesday, 09/15/98 00:32:47 GMT

Yep! A Makita hardie! Another trick, if you need to torch off a bar thats too big for your cutting torch: heat it red hot in the forge first, same goes for cutting alloy bar that won't cut nice with a torch.

GRANT -- NECKEDANVIL at UES.NET - Tuesday, 09/15/98 00:44:02 GMT

NAZEL 3B FOR SALE: $9,000 OBO. Setup and running. Can be seen in Petersburg, VA. Will post pics in the AM (Grant, you've ALREADY seen this one!). Call, Josh Greenwood at 804-861-1230 betw 8:00-9:00 AM or PM (Eastern).

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Tuesday, 09/15/98 04:57:47 GMT

If somebody doesn't snap this Nazel up this week then I don't want to hear any more crying about "can't find a air hammer" or "they cost too much. This a wonderful size of hammer at a fair price. This partiular machine is very quiet besides.

GRANT -- NAKED-YOU-KNOW-WHAT at USA.NET - Tuesday, 09/15/98 05:07:14 GMT

ZOWIE! The "C" word. Thank you for your friable comments. Dictionaries at twenty paces.

John Pepon -- pepon at - Tuesday, 09/15/98 13:09:02 GMT

FLAT dies for 100 pound air hammer width 2-3/8² X 5² by 3-5/16 height
7 degrees dove tail with 3/16 radius corners,
used very little, asking $300.00
will be at SOFA in ohio

Glenn -- ridgart at - Tuesday, 09/15/98 13:32:02 GMT

There was a post in the junk yard for a restro. job on a suit of armer. I followed up on it, but it turned out to be not enough to drag me out to California. Still, it sounds like good money for the work. Anybody near the San Francisco area who is interested, please contact Jefferson Mack at mackmtl at or myself.
Jock,hope you had fun, sorry about locking up your mail.

Guy Sabrie -- sabrie at - Tuesday, 09/15/98 16:48:58 GMT

Guy, no problem "locking" up the mail but those graphic files are kind of long to be down loading as text. . .

Image and ad for the Nazel hammer above are posted on page 10 of the news.

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Wednesday, 09/16/98 02:51:05 GMT

I was just curious, did anyone win the summer contest? And if so, will there be a new contest? If there was a winner, what was the correct answer. Thanks.

Rob Fertner -- raje at - Thursday, 09/17/98 00:17:28 GMT

In this little to and fro disCUSSion on chop saws vs bandsaws you all misses a truly wonderful cut-off machine the "cold saw" works like a chop saw but much faster (about 2 min for 2"mild sq) uses a carbide blade water cooled and when I get the grand for it it will be the main saw in my shop, OBTW I have already paid for one in used up blades

Bob Keyes -- keyes46 at - Thursday, 09/17/98 01:14:43 GMT

Rob Fertner,

Yes, there was a winner in the Anvilfire Hot summer contest. The winners name is posted in the news letter, along with the correct answer.

Bob Keyes,

I've never seen a "cold saw" so I'm having to guess at what you are talking about. Does it use a regular "circular saw" blade with a water stream to keep it cool? Sounds like an interesting machine.

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Thursday, 09/17/98 01:20:14 GMT

Jim Wilson:

A cold saw looks sorta like a heavy-duty chop saw. The blade turns about 60 r.p.m., usually high speed steel blade around 10"dia. X 1/8" thick maybe 180 tooth. Cut like a milling machine, almost no burr. Never seen carbide used except on aluminum. Still can't cut hard steel though. Bob: you'll still be buying blades.

GRANT -- NAKEDANVIL at USA.NET - Thursday, 09/17/98 05:25:25 GMT


Thanks. What I was visualizing wasn't too far off, then.

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Thursday, 09/17/98 11:05:26 GMT

Bill Clinton: "Monica Lewinski has the nicest, whitest teeth I've ever come across"!

GRANT -- NAKEDANVIL at USA.NET - Thursday, 09/17/98 18:46:56 GMT

CONTEST WINNER IS "Bub" Guimeti (See NEWS Vol. 5)

Cold saws are best for blanking stock for the machine shop where you need square accurate smooth blanks. A horizontal band saw is a better cut off machine for general use (in any size). Like all tools good ones are expensive. However, the advantage to the band saw is the 8 to 12 FEET of blade as apposed to the less than 3 feet of blade for a 10" dia cold saw blade. The cold saw blade will also cost a LOT more than the band saw blade.

Blade life is mostly a factor of how far each tooth is drug across so much material. A band saw blade with 4 times the running length will last 4 times as long as the small circular blade. Good cut off saws run recirculated coolant just like the cold saw. This is also a blade life factor.

Add it all up and a cold saw is really a lot more expensive to operate.

Grant, your Big Boy Flypresses are posted on the Power hammer Page. Tell me what I said wrong or send appropriate text.

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Thursday, 09/17/98 19:15:41 GMT


Anyone out there need to press flys? You got the description pretty good. 'Cept they ARE wonderful open die forging machines too. The opperator has infinite control over the power, speed and stroke. All of the traditional steam hammer opperations like butchering, punching, cutting, sidesetting, etc. are done with decieving ease. Not the machine for drawing though, nothing quite lika hammer for that. They ARE, as Jock Man states great coining and die forging machines.

GRANT -- NAKEDANVIL at USA.NET - Thursday, 09/17/98 21:34:50 GMT

Cold saws:

Like Jock is saying, heat is the enemy. The teeth in a cold saw hold up pretty long because they are thick and don't heat as easy. The machines and blades have come down in price in the last few year, but taken all together it's an expensive way to cut unless you must have near pefect ends. Some money can be saved having the blades resharpened, IF you have someone local who can do it.

GRANT -- NAKEDANVIL at USA.NET - Thursday, 09/17/98 21:41:43 GMT

Almost forgot to mention one of the more compelling reason people like a fly press: they are QUIET! Also the size that will outperform a 300 Nazel (in the opperations it's suited to) runs on a 3 hp motor!!

GRANT -- NAKEDANVIL at USA.NET - Thursday, 09/17/98 21:46:39 GMT

gents, I was wondering if any one knew of a place to by leather drive belt strap in Mi.? Is there a national chain that might carry them? My last one broke yesterday after only 15 years of use, they just don't make them like they use to!

Guy -- sabrie at - Friday, 09/18/98 01:13:46 GMT

My local (Lynchburg, VA) hardware distributor and one industrial supplier still stocks leather belting and clipper belt lacing! McMaster Carr lists both as well as a wide range of belting. A good power transsmision supplier should also be able to help.

WOW! I just noticed that the current equivalent of my floor stand lacer that I was given now sells for almost $2,000!

One box of "laces" will last a lifetime in a small shop but leather belts occasionaly need to be tightened by cutting the lace off one end and relacing. This makes a belt lacer almost a necessity in shops running flat belt drive equipment.

One old drill press I bought had rubber faced cloth belting. Belt has been in use over 25 years and has needed no maintenence. I've found that on step or cone drives that it helps to slip leather belts off when not in use so that they do not stretch.

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Friday, 09/18/98 14:46:54 GMT

Peat Belting and Supply, Seattle Washington, 206.623.5130. These folks only do belting. They can make up a belt and ship it anywhere in the world. They make endless belts (BIG cows!) and also have nylon core leather belts (geneticly engineered cows?) that are stronger and don't streach, but still have leather's sterling qualities. For a slack belt clutch, there is nothing quite like leather. Great folks!

grant -- NAKEDANVIL at USA.NET - Friday, 09/18/98 16:10:19 GMT

Lacing belts:

You can ues the metal "lacing" to join a belt with only hand tools. Or you can do real lacing just like lacing a shoe! Just need an awl to punch holes and leather or nylon lacing.

GRANT -- NAKEDANVIL at USA.NET - Friday, 09/18/98 17:00:13 GMT

Hmmm, I was going to refer folks to MACHINERY'S HANDBOOK for instructions but even my OLD 5th Edition has the same article as the new edition. They cover glued joints and give hole sizes but not the lacing pattern. Wasn't in Marks' either. I know there are specific recomended methods but I can't recall where I've seen them - hole patterns and lacing order. Most likely an old catalog. . . Nope.
Oh well. . .

Aligator Steel Belt lacing can be intalled with nothing more than a hammer and a flat surface. Clipper wire lacing requires one of their machines. Clipper laces have a double staggered grip that does very little damage to the belt. Formerly the pins recomended were hard oil empregnated leather that didn't wear the lacing. The new ones are plastic covered metal.

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Saturday, 09/19/98 04:31:59 GMT

RE: belt lacing. ELEMENTS of MACHINE WORK (Robert H. Smith) available from Lindsay Publications, has an excellent chapter on power transmission. Chapter XI, pages 159-163 depict how to lace leather belting.

John Pepon -- pepon at - Saturday, 09/19/98 14:09:06 GMT

thought I'd tell you what happened to me yesterday. I dessided to go get a serpintine belt to get me through till the ordered one came in. So I went to the only auto parts store in town. Drove them and my self nuts trying to find the right size. got one, drove home, little small, drove back, got another one. finnaly, I got the right one, after running around all morning. As I was walking out of the store, I happened to glance over at a truck that just pulled up. It had an old weat chaffer sitting in the bed along with a lot of other machines. I couldn't resist, so I went over for a better look. And lo and behold, right smack dab in the middle, was a 55 gal. drum full of leather drive belts. The man let me have a 10 footer that I cane cut down, on the condition that I come out to a festival were he is showing. Sometimes you get lucky.
Thanks for the numbers though, I'm sure I'll need them.

Guy -- sabrie at - Saturday, 09/19/98 14:33:49 GMT

I would like to know if anybody knows where I can buy a coal forge on a stand with a manually operated blower.

Jason Prothro -- jprothro at - Monday, 09/21/98 21:50:21 GMT

blacksmith auction on fri oct 2 at kingman, ks. enough stuff for four+ shops and many many misc hand tools. contact me an i'll send you more information.

Mark Kenyon -- mrkenyon at - Wednesday, 09/23/98 14:17:27 GMT

About that leather belt. Ask Your local used machinery dealer about a synthetic belt, They work well. However I purchased a south bend lathe a few years back and had no belt for it, so I used an automotive serpentine belt instead, I spliced it together with TIG wire and it has worked well for years. You didn't mention wether the belt was for large machine or small so I thought I'd throw that in.

Ron West -- Waffensmed at - Wednesday, 09/23/98 22:39:30 GMT

One comment on leather belts. If you check Machinery's handbook for the max. HP transmitted by a belt you can determine the required HP for a machine. If the belt can't transmit any more then its pointless to use a bigger motor than you need.

About that forge you are looking for. Try Bruce Wallace. His e-mail and phone number are on the Peddinghaus ad page.

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Wednesday, 09/23/98 23:01:53 GMT

After stumping for REAL leather belts so much, I want to make it clear that in most cases my comments were addressed to situations where the belt is also being used as a clutch. For that purpose I have found nothing to perform near as well as leather.

GRANT -- NAKEDANVIL at USA.NET - Thursday, 09/24/98 06:13:40 GMT

does anyone know where i can find a supplier of blacksmithing tools and supplies? i am interested in getting into the feild as a hobby and don't know anything about it. any advise would be greatly welcome!

plummer -- plummer at - Saturday, 09/26/98 13:54:26 GMT


Go the the link page of this site, click on the Centaur Forge link.

Order their catalog. It has almost every tool you could possibly need for both farrier work AND blacksmithing. They also list several books that would be most helpful to someone just starting out. I'd suggest THE NEW EDGE OF THE ANVIL and THE ART OF BLACKSMITHING as the first two books to buy.

Last but most definitely NOT least, go to the link for ABANA (Artist Blacksmiths Association of North America). Get an application from them, and join. While at their site, go the the member site for your state association. Get in contact with them and join that group. ABANA and the different state associations all publish regular news letters. ABANA also publishes THE ANVIL'S RING, a magazine about blacksmithing that always has a lot of valuable information in it.

Welcome to the crowd!

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Saturday, 09/26/98 17:22:02 GMT


Question on anvils
The anvil I have is about 175# It has had a hard life the face is in pretty good shape. The far edge has large chips out of it. The step, there is none the face has been ground down so much there is no step. I have talked with several people one said that I should weld a Simi leaf spring to the face by plug welding through holes in the spring and welding the edge solid. The other opinion is to build the face up with hard surface rod and grind smooth. Also if I choose to live without a step could I fill in the edges without having to re harden the whole anvil

Lon -- lhumphrey at - Sunday, 09/27/98 03:27:28 GMT

First thing to be sure of is that the anvil had a step in the first place. If the edge has chips in it the face is either still intact or you have a cast iron anvil. If its cast iron you are wasting your time trying to fix it. European style double horned anvils do not have a step at the horns and a few US manufacturers made anvils that were a cross between the London pattern and the European. They also commonly made special anvils.

If the face HAS been ground down level with the step AND is still hard enough for corners to chip AND is not cast iron, THEN you probably have a cast steel anvil. In this case it is still in good working condition and likely shpuld not be repaired. See my anvil series, particularly the hardness test using a steel ball. A thin steel face will not perform very well while a cast steel anvil will still rate at over 50% rebound.

Investigate your anvil some more before doing anything drastic. If you MUST reface the anvil hard facing rods are the only way to go.

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Monday, 09/28/98 04:41:07 GMT

I just[5:20pm pdt]tried to go to Guru's Den and my browser kept saying "document done"but no graphics or text.I can access the Den from here though.This has happened several times before at different times that I did not document unfortunatly.Is this a problem on my end or your's?

dimag -- dimag at - Tuesday, 09/29/98 00:29:37 GMT


I've had similar problems. Usually a refresh command will clear it up, sometimes I've had to dump the cache.

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Tuesday, 09/29/98 04:31:49 GMT

Thanks Jim,refresh worked.[these darned infernal machines get me everytime]
Anvilfire is #1 under blacksmiths on the search engine,
-4C this morning under clear skies in northern B.C.

dimag -- dimag at - Tuesday, 09/29/98 13:10:16 GMT


Heck, they get all of us from time to time. And I've had a home computer for over 20 years now. Our first was a TRS-80, Model ONE.
I fix the durn things! And they STILL confuse me from time to time.
I'm just glad that worked for you.

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Tuesday, 09/29/98 16:41:37 GMT

On my anvil the only markings are #ent 1-2-23 the the letter in question could be a "T" it is a forged anvil

Any info will be helpful

Lon -- lhumphrey at - Wednesday, 09/30/98 21:30:25 GMT


What did you say the weight of the anvil was? Unless I'm missing something, it should weigh right at 191 pounds. The 1-2-23 LOOKS like the old english hundred weight markings. If so, the 1 stands for 1 hundred weight or 112 pounds, the 2 stands for two quarters of a hundred weight or 56 pounds, and the 23 is an actual poundage weight.

Thus, 112 plus 56 plus 23 equals 191 pounds.

One possibility for clarifying any markings is to use some NAVAL JELLY on the anvil. It's a mild acid used for removing rust. Follow the directions carefully. It should remove any rust from the areas where you use it, and will very slightly deepen any existing markings, making them a LITTLE easier to read.

Also, look on the vertical surface of the feet under the horn. Most anvils that have serial numbers (most do not, but some do) have them in that location.

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Thursday, 10/01/98 00:41:53 GMT

The thing I am most tted about is the name of the anvil, where it was made, is it a good name in anvils the first letter is the one that giving me fits it could be a T or a K in witch case it could be TENT or KENT

Lon -- lhumphrey at - Thursday, 10/01/98 01:36:02 GMT


MOST (not all by any means early anvils came to America from England. That being the case, Kent sounds possible. My English geography is lousy, but isn't Kent somewhere in the Sheffield region? If so, that is where the Mouse Hole Foundry was located. If I've got Kent in the wrong area, then I'm totally lost.

I'd still suggest the Naval Jelly as a means of clearing up some of the confusion.

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Thursday, 10/01/98 02:09:06 GMT

Sorry I have not responded to questions here. This is supposed to be YOUR forum though I have been answering questions here. Probably should not have started. While "on the road" all I have time for is the Guru page and my e-mail.

Access problems may be the HTML banner rotation. JAVA script will be reinstated on all banners this weekend. For most of you this will mean a smoother page but for those of you using certain versions of Microsoft IE (or that do not have it setup right) it may mean some error messages which you should ignore. Otherwise complain to Bill Gates at Microsoft! billg at ???

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Thursday, 10/01/98 12:06:31 GMT

Dimag's problem may be the file size. Tomarrow is the end of the month and I will be archiving (prop this weekend) and that should clear it up.

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Thursday, 10/01/98 12:08:27 GMT

RE; anvil repairs; Weld repairs on anvils should not be done unless you are a very good weldor and understand the metals you are working with. On a typical cast steel or on a face-plated anvil the anvil should be preheated to around 600-700 deg. F. and be kept there until done welding. Sorry Jock, I do not suggest hardrod on anvils. It is too hard and brittle. I like to use a McKay #886 or #86 ³buildup² rod applied with DC-reverse polarity. Peen (stress relieve) between passes. Oh, yes, unless you know exactly what you are doing, never quench a hot anvil. Let it air-cool. Better too soft than too hard.
LOL. Bill Pieh

Bill Pieh -- wpieh at - Thursday, 10/01/98 20:36:08 GMT

Looking to get back into forge work, anyone in the CT area have a 150lb or larger anvil and or a coal forge for sale? Or can anyone suggest where online I might look?

Dave -- RDOGSRBIG at aol - Friday, 10/02/98 15:35:19 GMT


Check the Centaur Forge link on this page. Also the Peddinghaus anvil Link.

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Saturday, 10/03/98 11:48:52 GMT

I am looking for a metal wall chart for my shop. A color chart for forging and hardening and a color chart for tempering.

Rob -- cseidel at - Saturday, 10/03/98 21:11:12 GMT

I'm a flegling metalsmith and I am looking for a place where I would be able to buy a small amount of zinc for some brass making projects I'm working on if anyone can help E-mail me at Reynhout at Thanx.

Benjamin -- Reynhout at - Sunday, 10/04/98 02:25:59 GMT

Tempil Division of Big Three industries, Inc
Hamilton Blvd.
South Plainfield, NJ 07080

Makes a wall chart in several sizes called the "Basic Guide to Ferrous Metalurgy" which has the temperature colors, forging and heat treating ranges and a bunch of other critical information. ABANA has a copy of it on their web site if you want to see a sample. Tempil makes temperature crayons or "Tempil Sticks". Sometimes they give away the charts but most of the time you have to buy them. They are very well made and considered the industry standard. The address above may be dated.

For tempering the only charts I've seen were poorly reproduced and are in books. NEW Edge of the Anvil has one.

ZINC: How small a quantity? Did you know pennys are now copper clad zinc? A copper penny was really worth a penny then became worth a little more than a penny in copper (actually bronze) so now they are 99% zinc (since 1983)!

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Sunday, 10/04/98 02:40:51 GMT

I am just starting out in the art and am looking for some supplies ( i.e. anvil, hardie hole atachments ect.)

Brandon Sines -- Spikeboo at - Sunday, 10/04/98 15:51:10 GMT

Jim, thanks for the leads. I have requested a catalog from Centaur. I think I may build a brake-drum forge to get started again but will need to buy an anvil.

Dave -- RDOGSRBIG - Monday, 10/05/98 01:21:11 GMT

I was wondering about plans to build a trettle hammer if anyone knows anywhere that i can find these plans or a picture of one on the net please email me. Thank you.

jake -- lilcourtie at - Monday, 10/05/98 01:28:12 GMT


Centaur Forge Link.


No problem, glad to help. The Centaur catalog is an education in itself. Even if you never order anything from them, just the pictures of different tools will be a help! I've made several of the tools that you see in the catalog, just from looking at them. Far as the brake drum forge, if you do that, scrounge a truck brake drum from the junk yard. Automobile drums are too small. At least in my opinion. For an anvil, keep your eyes open, you'll find one. I went for 5 years, using a 50# cast iron "door stop". Then stumbled onto a 117# Griffiths. I was in hog heaven! Then two of our foster kids stumbled onto a 105# Mousehole. Paid $25 buck for it! I'm getting ready for a show in TN, and I loaded three anvils into the truck!

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Monday, 10/05/98 12:39:49 GMT

For those of you in the Mid-Atlantic area, you may wish to drop by our 29th annual reenactment of the Battle of Hastings (and Medieval Fair) on October 10 and 11. I'll be a little busy with the Anglo-Saxon camp, but Badger usually sets up his portable forge. Drop by anyway for a little history, a little fun, and a little inspiration for your blacksmithing work. If you check out the first page of Anvilfire! News, Volume 3, Camp Fenby, you'll see some of our cheery band from a previous Hastings. If you stop by, make yourself known. We'll chat a bit, if I'm not dodging Norman arrows.

Marietta Mansion is located at 5626 Bell Station Road, Glenn Dale, Maryland, 20769. It is just off of 193 (Glenn Dale Boulevard/Greenbelt Road/University Boulevard) just north of Route 450 (Annapolis Road). There is usually a $3 or $5 dollar fee per car, which helps support the historic early 19th century mansion.

DIRECTIONS: From the Capitol (Washington) Beltway (I95-I495), take exit 20-A (Route 50 East) towards Lanham. At the fork, proceed on Route 450 (Annapolis Road) for four miles. Turn left on Route 193 West (Glenn Dale Boulevard). Take the first left onto Bell Station Road. Marietta is the first driveway on the left.

From North of Baltimore to Route 301 and then in on 197 (a right from the North, a left from the South - the light is at Rip's Restaurant and Inn) to 450 (Left, just before the office building and McDonald's) to 193. Right at the Garden Center (usually has a large inflatable pumpkin this time of year that makes it really easy to spot) to Bell Station Road as above. (You can also take 450 all the way from 301 to 193, but you have to pass through a whole lot more of Bowie than you really want to.)

Visit your National Parks:

Come have a row with us:

More information on medieval reenactment:

Bruce Blackistone (Atli) -- bruce_blackistone at - Monday, 10/05/98 21:48:46 GMT

If my travel budget wasn't so depleted I'd GO to this one! Still pondering the prospect. Should be a lot of fun!

OBTW - I manually made Bruce's links "hot". This does not happen automaticaly on this page!

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Wednesday, 10/07/98 01:49:03 GMT

New Peddinghaus and all brands of used anvils for sale. We currently have 12 used anvils for sale none priced more then $2.00 per pound. Also blacksmith tools, equipment and coal for sale at reasonable prices (no bidding war crap, just set prices). Our coal is high quality Pennsylviania Bituminous that sells for $18.00 per 100Lbs. plus shipping or picked up. Our coal is shipped in 50Lb. heavy black plastic bags, by the bag or skid.

Bruce R. Wallace -- Walmetalwk at - Wednesday, 10/07/98 19:49:08 GMT

To any one with any info on wootz steel:

I am looking for info on the process in making wootz steel. About 10 years ago I saw Al Pendray give a demo on the stuff. Now that I have set up shop again Im going to try and Pick up where I left off

BTW Checked on coal in Wadsworth OH at 90$ a ton


Lon -- lhumphrey at - Wednesday, 10/07/98 23:56:23 GMT

I am looking for plans for an 1850-1870 traveling forge. If anyone has a sketch or knows where I can find one, please respond.

Greg -- ByoDoc at - Thursday, 10/08/98 02:43:36 GMT

Can anyone tell me when the hand crank blowers were first patented? I have a portable forge with a hand crank blower and need to document how early these were used. Anyone wioth info or anyone who knows a resource or web link t contains a patent date, please respond.

Greg -- ByoDoc at - Thursday, 10/08/98 02:47:07 GMT

I received a cc:mail note from Joshua Adams via "Shredman99 at" about medieval blacksmithing on 9/23. My reply, sent today, (it sometimes takes me a while) bounced as " <<< 550 MAILBOX NOT FOUND 550 Shredman99 at… User unknown ".

Joshua: If you're out there, please let me know! I have some sources and sites for you.

Bruce Blackistone (Atli) -- bruce_blackistone at - Thursday, 10/08/98 18:08:15 GMT

In the guru page a question regarding what ballbearings are made of
was answered by jock and he seems to have made a small mistake.
The guru said Tuesday, 10/06/98 23:38:45 GMT that roller bearings races are case hardened. I must say that I disagree and that at least the SKF bearing races and balls are
1% C, 1.5% CR, P max 0.03%, Si max0.03% the rest Fe
According to a spec sheet from them (I got it from a friend who was working there).
by the way thanks guru for a great site packt with information.

Örjan Sandström -- pokerbacken at - Friday, 10/09/98 09:23:08 GMT

I should have quallified that statement. MANY roller bearing races (especialy tapered roller) are case hardened. That's the problem with using scrap materials. Every manufacturer makes their own materials and and process choices. Low profile needle bearing (a type of roller bearing) outer races are often made of stainless steel and run on whatever shafting material the machine designer makes the shaft. I have manufactured low speed heavy load turntable roller bearings out of mild steel!

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Saturday, 10/10/98 01:58:41 GMT

new to chatlines and computers

jackpine -- jacksonl at - Monday, 10/12/98 20:21:48 GMT

hello is any one here?

TROLL -- dark_19 at - Tuesday, 10/13/98 10:27:45 GMT

hi i live in tasmania australia and am thinking of going
into blacksmithing and wonder if it is legal to construct
a small troph forge in my backyard

TROLL -- dark_19 at - Tuesday, 10/13/98 10:30:16 GMT

My dad is a knifemaker and we are just looking at info that will help us with forgeing. If you have info on salt potand you would send it to :
Phillips Knives
671 california Rd.
Gouverneur NY 13642

Jacob Phillips -- N/A - Tuesday, 10/13/98 13:26:18 GMT

Greg; For a complete 200 page catalog of blacksmiths' supplies, tools, anvils, forges and equipment, you might contact Centaur Forge ltd. PO box 340, Burlington, Wisconsin, 53105-0340, USA
If you do not already have one, their catalogue at U.S. $5.00, ($10.00 foreign airmail) has an extensive line of books and videotapes also. The phone number is 414-763-9175. Fax is 763-8350 and E-mail cf340 at They take Visa and Mastercard.
The Champion #400 hand crank blower, (of the modern gearbox type) was patented in 1901. Centaur has a reprinted Champion catalog (BK 473 at $6.50 plus shipping). There are several older style forges and blowers (lever and crank type) shown also. Hope this helps

Bill -- wpieh at - Tuesday, 10/13/98 17:11:24 GMT

Would like info. on a forge in the southeast georgia area

Joseph Gnann -- 2jv at - Friday, 10/16/98 16:33:12 GMT

I have a question about anvils:
If only one company, Pendighus is currently making anvils by forging, why hasn’t some one else made there own forged anvil?..
I mean we forge most of our own tools. We are “Blacksmiths”. Its just another tool, A big massive tool. If you had A big enough forge, big enough friends to swing the hammers, And big enough steel, couldn’t an anvil be forged? My idea is to take 6” solid square and stack about three chunks of steel together. forge weld them, weld on a leaf spring or what ever for the face and throw the thing in the garden pond(dont tell mama what’s up before hand) I don’t know maybe I’m crazy but it should work
Tell me what you think , or if I’m just crazy let me know.
Nice and sunny in OH

Lon -- lhumphrey at - Sunday, 10/18/98 01:01:15 GMT

Lon: Forging an anvil is easier said than done. Forging an anvils is very labor intesive. Peddinghaus forges their anvils with modern automated techniques that lesson the labor intensity. Peddinghaus is a well diversified company that makes other tools other than anvils. Their tooled up to produce anvils and they have put out the major expense to doing so.

Your idea of forging an anvil could work but I wouldn't count on making a living at doing it.

Bruce R. Wallace -- Walmetalwh at - Sunday, 10/18/98 14:06:58 GMT

Hi I'm New to the site. Just checking out what you have to offer. I have a coke forge and a gas forge.

Eric -- eelandsv at - Sunday, 10/18/98 15:51:52 GMT

Hi I'm New to the site. Just checking out what you have to offer. I have a coke forge and a gas forge.

Eric -- eelandsv at - Sunday, 10/18/98 15:52:10 GMT

Greetins all.
Just a quick note to say hi. I am a fledgling smith with access to a historical forge in Calidonia Michigan, where I teach a few others what little I know. I mostly make things that are usefull around a medieval campsite, as I am a member ofthe Socioty for Creative Anachronism, a Medieval Re-Creation group. If there is anyone in the local area willing to teach a few of us some more advanced techniques, like forge welding, we would be glad to have you come, or we could possiably come to you.
Thanks. Love the site, lots of good info just looking around here.

Rick Geoffrion -- viking at - Tuesday, 10/20/98 03:12:24 GMT

I need some info on blacksmithing in Colonial Boston,Mass.--any leads?

Todd -- TBTB222 at - Tuesday, 10/20/98 06:23:26 GMT


Check the Rochester Historical Society. I don't know what all they will have, but they do own the John Moses anvil. That's known to have come into the country in 1632 when John Moses arrived in Plymout, Mass. via ship. Should be in the time frame you're interested in! (grin)

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Tuesday, 10/20/98 12:16:24 GMT


Anvils are where you find them, and you never know what you'll find.

A couple of years ago, the director of Historic Bethabara Park was at the Hillsville, VA. flea market. Monday, he was getting ready to leave when he noticed that one of the vendors had three anvils for sale. One looked older than the other two and was priced at $65. He offered $40 for it, and the vendor sold it at that price. It's set ever since then in the calf barn at Bethabara. A month or so ago he brought it to my shop to see if I could get out whatever was broken off in the hardie hole. He thought we might be able to use it with the ultimate forge trailer. I got the broken piece out, and started looking at the anvil. Very blocky body, four small feet, no pritchel hole. not cutting table, small short horn. I described it to the guru, he sent me a picture of the oldest confrimed dateable anvil, the John Moses anvil. Looked IDENTICAL except for the missing 5th foot! A friend here has the Postman book, loaned it too me. Further research revealed that this anvil was PROBABLY cast between the late 1500's and 1780! At the mouse hole forge in Sheffield, UK! The Smithsonian Institute has a very similar anvil, (with a broken horn!) in their "Colonial tools" collection.

I took the anvil back to the Park, and showed the director everything I had found. He made copies of all the relevant book pages, etc.

When I left the Museum, he was sitting on the floor in the hallway of the visitors center with his arms wrapped around the anvil, saying "Don't hit my anvil!" (grin)

And he paid forty bucks for it!

You never know!

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Thursday, 10/22/98 12:30:17 GMT

On the OTHER hand!

You never know when you're going to LOSE an anvil! Think that sounds unlikely?

At a craft show in TN a couple of weeks ago. I had my Griffiths 115lb anvil, my Mouse Hole 105 lb anvil and a 50 lb cast iron "door stop" with me. Took the door stop up as a mount for the ring bender so if I needed my wife to bend some horse shoe nail rings for me, she'd have a way to do it.

First day of the show was Wensday. About 1500 hrs, Sheri calls me and asks "Do you want to sell this anvil?" I hadn't planned on that, I'd only paid $50 for it about six years ago. But what the hey, I told her "$75." The guy she was talking to hauled out a $100 bill and paid her! Bought it as a gift for a friend of his.

I went up with three anvils, came back with two!

You never know!

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Thursday, 10/22/98 15:11:25 GMT

One final anvil story,

I mentioned in the last message that I had my 105 lb Mouse Hole with me.

Two of our foster kids found it in an estate warehouse sale in New Orleans about six months ago. Joe rang it, sounded pretty good, so he asked the guy what he wanted for it. The guy told him a price, which Joe GLADLY paid. They shipped it to me. It's an M & H Armitage anvil cast at the Mouse Hole Forge in Sheffield, UK. Other markings include WARRENTED, PATENT, and the serial number 1194 (on the foot, under the horn) Probably cast sometime around 1850 - 1875.

Oh! The price?


You never know!

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Thursday, 10/22/98 23:37:52 GMT

Ok, you want to hear an anvil story. I do demonstrations from time to time, and occasionally someone offers to give me an item that they have inherited or bought because they would like to see it used instead of sitting around in the barn. Usually the item is a pair of tongs or a ball peen hammer. Actually the item turns out to be hot air most of the time. They will tell this great story about some really neat stuff that they want to give me and that's the last I ever see of them. Therefore, I don't get too excited when someone tells me they will bring me something.
So here I am at one of our annual antique tractor shows and this guy says he has a big anvil (most people think big is 100 lbs.) that he got when his father died. He has no use for it and wants to know if I would like to have it to use in my demonstrations. He says he would like to see someone use it. I tell him that sounds great and that's the last I see of him. I get a call about 4 months later from the tractor club president and they said someone showed up with an anvil for me and wanted to know what to do with it. At the time I vaguely remembered the conversation about the free anvil so I had them put it in the club's storage building. I didn't think much about because I assumed it was one of those "huge" 70 lb. anvils without one clean edge. That's what free anvils look like. I didn't get around to seeing the anvil for 6 months. I walk in and see this huge, extremely clean anvil, and my jaw just hangs open. Turns out to be a 520 lb. Peter Wright that has the cleanest edges you have ever seen. We have the show again and I expect this guy to reappear and talk about the anvil. He never did. I can't even remember what he looked like. To this day I've never heard from him. How's that for an anvil story.

Paul Parenica -- no email - Friday, 10/23/98 14:26:47 GMT


I could learn to dis-like you (BIG grin) Not only do you top my anvil stories, you get a free 520 lb anvil! (nother big grin)

You never know!

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Friday, 10/23/98 20:22:38 GMT

Well, Paul, you know the blacksmith's tradition don't you? If you get an anvil for free, you have to give it to another smith. No, really! I swear! Scout's honor! Would I lie to you?

Chris -- kilpe4 at - Saturday, 10/24/98 16:11:30 GMT

Chris and Paul,

Since I was the first person to respond to Paul's story, that means he has to give the anvil to me, doesn't it? (grin)

El Guru keeps fussing at me (and rightfully so) for mixing up the terminology. The Betabara colonial anvil and both of my anvils were FORGED at the Mouse Hole Forge in England, not CAST at that location.

Jim Wilson -- pawpaw at - Saturday, 10/24/98 21:00:28 GMT

Whooa there! Paul told ME the story first so I should get first dibs!

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Sunday, 10/25/98 00:14:29 GMT

Blacksmithing in Colonial Boston


Try out the National Park Service website for Saugus Iron Works: . The museum link is down, but their book list (for sale by Eastern National Parks and Monuments) is full of goodies. Also look at Jock's pages here under the "Blacksmith of 1776". For general data, Colonial Williamsburg published a short pamphlet (30 pages) on "The Blacksmith in Eighteenth-Century Williamsburg {An Account of his Life & Times and of his Craft}". Same sort of work, we just sweat a lot more here in the Tidewater. You might also check out our site for Hopewell Furnace in PA. Pull up the NPS main page, go to "Visit Your Parks" and pull it up by state or name.

Another good source (if you can find it, I came accross a copy in the "children's section" of the library) is "Colonial Craftsmen {And the Beginnings of American Industry}" by Edwin Tunis (1965, Thomas Y. Crowell co., New York, ISBN 0-690-01062-1; LC 75-29612). Tunis differentiates the varieties of smiths (black, white, copper, tin) and their areas of practice and impact (country vs. city vs. shipyard).

Clear and cool on the banks of the lower Potomac.

Visit your National Parks:

Bruce Blackistone (Atli) -- bruce_blackistone at - Sunday, 10/25/98 03:44:10 GMT

Doesn't that old blacksmith actually say that you got to give the gift anvil to a poor apprentice/beginner?
Holy cow,that would make me eligible,wouldn't it?
It's been another gorgeous day in the north.

dimag -- dimag at - Monday, 10/26/98 01:45:15 GMT

Anvil story; Some years ago, back when we were still selling Kohlswa anvils(Before the quality went down the tubes-along with the warranty) I got a phone call from a Horseshoer in Minnesota. The somewhat distraught voice asked if I had a 125# Centaur pattern anvil in stock? I said yes, we have. He said I should meet him at the Burlington airport with the anvil in 1 hour. He was flying down to get it and had the money to pay for it and would explain.
I did, he did and he did. While his pilot was using the washroom, he explained. That morning, he was on the way to a shoeing customer and got a flat tire. This happened on a hill, so he took his anvil out and used it as a wheel chock on the other side, while he changed the tire (wheel). It was not until he arrived at his next stop, about 8 miles down the road, that he noticed that his anvil was not in the truck, wereby he drove back to find that the anvil was not still sitting alongside the road anymore (no surprise?) either.
If any of you cyber types from Minnesota ever found a Centaur 125# Horseshoer's anvil sitting on the shoulder of the road; this is ³the rest of the story!². Now you know why!

Bill Pieh -- cf340 at - Monday, 10/26/98 21:21:23 GMT

I'm a young guy who's intrested in the blacksmith craft. If any of you knew of a class or are interested in teaching please contact me at this address. It is a friends computer so it may take a day or so for me to get back to you.I live in the ottawa IL area.

N S -- PIERDAS at AOL.COM - Tuesday, 10/27/98 17:47:19 GMT

Just starting . Looking for an anvil and help in the Beaumont, Texas area. Lamar University had a blacksmith class at one time. Whatever happened to it?

gfarrow -- cfarrow at - Tuesday, 10/27/98 20:23:54 GMT

I have been hunting around for a few plans for a hammer forge, if anyone has one or knows of one online could you let me know..

F.Martin -- mental at - Thursday, 10/29/98 14:35:16 GMT

I have been hunting around for a few plans for a hammer forge, either a treddle hammer or a simple air hammer, if anyone has one or knows of one online could you let me know..

F.Martin -- mental at - Thursday, 10/29/98 14:35:53 GMT

I don't think there are any complete plans for these items on the net. The most popular plans are published and sold by ABANA. I'm working on a number of plans for do-it-yourself hammers but it will be a few months before they are on-line. I highly recomend building a small air hammer rather than a treadle. On the Alabama Forge Council's web page there are modification plans for the controls of the Ron Kinyon plans which ABANA sells (See our links page).

The hardest item to find is a BIG hunk of steel for the anvil. Start looking now! The rest is relatively small or structural steel or plate. Cylinders can be picked up used but most of the control valves should be purchased new.

Jock Dempsey -- guru at - Friday, 10/30/98 02:49:59 GMT

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