WELCOME to the anvilfire Guru's Den - V. 3.3

THIS is a forum for questions and answers about blacksmithing and general metalworking. Ask the Guru any reasonable question and he or one of his helpers will answer your question, find someone that can, OR research the question for you.

This is an archive of posts from March 24 - 31, 2012 on the Guru's Den
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Woody : What kind of myths? You mean, like Apollo appearing before Vulcan to inform him that his wife is froggin' around with Mars? Or how about the horseshoe hanging heels down "so the luck continues to pour forth upon the forge." * Or how about some British shoes have four nails on the lateral side and three on the medial side? Lucky seven? One knowledgable smith says that the very surface of the hot scarfs is molten, and that is what makes the forge weld. I say horse pucky to that. How about the marks we sometimes see filed, especially on entrance hardware, typically a square having an "X" within and a dot in each of the four quadrants. I think it's a hex sign. Is it? Or is Dr. West more interested in dendritic structures, grain size, quenchants, and space lattices?

*"The Village Blacksmith" by Webber
   Frank Turley - Saturday, 03/24/12 00:46:18 EDT

New to me Anvil : I just picked up an anvil. It is 97lbs. Half inch thick top plate. Great rebound. Very similar in size to my 100lbs Vulcan. The only marking is a cast 6 on the bottom and a stamped 8. Any clues?
   Randall - Saturday, 03/24/12 00:49:30 EDT

New to me Anvil : I just picked up an anvil. It is 97lbs. Half inch thick top plate. Great rebound. Very similar in size to my 100lbs Vulcan. The only marking is a cast 6 on the bottom and a stamped 8. Any clues?
   Randall - Saturday, 03/24/12 00:51:45 EDT

I picked up a nice sledge at a junk shop in Las Cruces---straight peen, about 6-8 pounds marked with a 1940's date and the broad arrow. Reasonable price. Looks like I'm slowly building up a British military surplus set of tools as this is about my 4th different piece.

Just one thing more I won't have to bring back from my trip to the UK!
   ThomasP - Saturday, 03/24/12 00:52:09 EDT

Blacksmith Myths : He is interested in the science side of the art, like edge packing and things like that.
   Woody - Saturday, 03/24/12 00:59:16 EDT

Blacksmith Myths :
1) Edge packing (mentioned - works only if you do not heat treat).

2) Crystallization of steel in service leading to failure (old often published myth).

3) Exotic quenchants adding to the strength of the steel. Blood, urine, bodies. . .

4) Making tools from mild steel using surface hardening compounds (modern myth).

5) Copper (penny) in the forge preventing forge welding.

6) Corrosion superiority of wrought iron over properly finished mild steel.

7) Superiority of ancient steels. Japaneses swords cutting off gun barrels. . . (Post WWII myth).

8) Sole Authorship (in many areas).

. . . .
   - guru - Saturday, 03/24/12 10:19:15 EDT

mortise and tenon : Dear Guru,
My name is Greg Tucker, and I live in Tifton Ga. I have been smithing for about nine years now. I was wondering if you could tell me how smiths used to set the tenons on horse bits (holding the mouth to the cheeks). I have only had luck setting them cold, but then have a lot of deformation in the mouth from the hard blows on the cold tenon. I use my vise to hold the mouthpiece. When I have set them hot, I always get a "bump" in the joint when it cools. I have been filing both my mortise and tenons. I have a pile of unsuccessful bits large enough to build a buick station wagon. Thank you so much!
   Greg Tucker - Saturday, 03/24/12 10:38:33 EDT

Blacksmith Myths and Mythical Blacksmiths : I have to admit I am much taken with the story of Venus and Vulcan (or Aphrodite and Hephaestus) in the classical cannon; the goddess of love and beauty and the down in the coals, somewhat grubby, technical nuts and bolts guy.

There are some nice depictions if you do a search in the Web Gallery of Art; some familiar, and some less-so: http://www.wga.hu/index1.html
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Saturday, 03/24/12 10:56:13 EDT

"Bump" in joint :
Greg if you mean an unwanted swell or "frog eye" then you are doing something wrong. If you want a flush rivet head that does not show then you need to counter sink the hole. This provides a place for a secure head that does not show when finished. Normally you want this type head to be proud or stick out a bit so it can be filed flush.

For picky joints controlling the heat is critical. It can be done in the forge, is easier with a fire tube (4 to 6" diameter pipe about 6" tall) setting in the fire filled with coke or charcoal to give a clean intense heat. LOcalized quenching is also used. A modern smith would just use a torch and heat just the area to be headed.
   - guru - Saturday, 03/24/12 12:05:00 EDT

mortise tenon : My apologies, I meant to convey that there is some play that can be felt when testing the piece following its completion. The play can be felt as ever so slight movement causing you to feel it bump or move a little. The mouth moves a bit in relation to the cheek. The joint is not tight enough. so sorry for my poor description.
   Greg Tucker - Saturday, 03/24/12 12:26:11 EDT

bridle bits : The tenons are going to be square or rectangular which requires careful filing and fitting. The end of the tenon can be file-chamfered all around to help prevent a valve head appearance when peened. It also helps to prevent cracks when cold riveting. When cold riveting, the tenons should be normalized or annealed. The cannon (mouthpiece bar) can be wrapped in sole leather when clamped in the vise. The finished head can stand proud, perhaps being dressed to a low pyramidal shape with careful filing. Some bitsmiths do countersink the cheek hole, so that the finished peening is nearly flush and can be filed and/or sanded to finish.

If the sole leather is not working out for you, you can make thick vise jaw caps of angle iron and make vertical half-round swages to hold the cannons.

Reference: "How to Make Bits and Spurs" by Robert Hall
   Frank Turley - Saturday, 03/24/12 15:39:11 EDT

Tenons : I do a fair number of tenoned joints in my restoration hardware work. To get a really tight fit on a tenon, I find it works best to first make sure you have a perfect shoulder fit first off - the shoulder of the tenon on the cannon must fit flush to the surface of the cheekpiece or you'll never get a truly tight joint. You can tolerate a bit of slop in the tenon/mortise fit, as the tenon should upset somewhat to fill that with the first blow or two when setting.

I usually prefer to heat the tenon with a torch until it is a good high orange, then slip the mortise piece over the tenon and give it one good blow to swell the tenon into the mortise. then I may, if it seems advisable, put a "monkey tool" over the protruding tenon end and drive mortise piece down fully tight to the tenon shoulder. Following that, I'll again heat the tenon with the torch and do the finishing blows to form the head of the tenon (if it is a protruding button end) or swell it into the chamfer. Finish up by filing flush. The last little bit of tightness in the joint is helped by the shrinkage of the tenon as it cools, but you don't want to depend on that since it is only a matter of a few microns usually.
   Rich Waugh - Sunday, 03/25/12 09:39:58 EDT

Blacksmith Myths : Guru, don't forget the ever popular "Face north when you quench a blade" pearl of wisdom.
   quenchcrack - Sunday, 03/25/12 10:49:25 EDT

The movie myth I like is the comparing the blade to the sunrise for sunrise red then quenching in soft snow. . .
   - guru - Sunday, 03/25/12 13:22:06 EDT

Myth : My favourite is that many people think "Heat Rises".
In all fairness to them, Its more a matter of not their understanding the entire scenario of the way heat travels...

But I always cringe when I hear somebody make that statement with an air of all knowing-ness.
   - Sven - Sunday, 03/25/12 23:08:03 EDT

Hot air? : Sven, I think I understand what you are implying: when people say "heat rises" they should be saying "hot air rises". Heat flows from hot to cold irregardless of orientation, right? It may be more an issue of incomplete thinking before speaking.
   quenchcrack - Monday, 03/26/12 09:05:58 EDT

Hot air rises, cold air sinks..... easy peasy, don't know how it could be misunderstood. I always have to explain to the wife every change of season "In the summer, full open all the upstairs vents, in Winter full open the donwstairs vents". My new furnace and AC unit put out 98% efficiency, proper venting controls make it even more so.
   - Nippulini - Monday, 03/26/12 09:24:22 EDT

Myth : Yes its hot air rises. Or more correctly, in our environment hot air moves away from the gravity source(the earth) If there were atmosphere but no gravity, heated air would only otherwise expand but not move.
Heat travels by radiance or conduction, does not rise or fall
yet I hear the phrase "heat rises" from people who should know better constantly, and they seem puzzled if I try to point out the error.
   - Sven - Monday, 03/26/12 10:04:01 EDT

Heat rises? : Nah, entropy always wins!
   Rich Waugh - Monday, 03/26/12 10:44:44 EDT

"Heat Flows". . . well in very cold situations is seems "cold flows". To be accurate "energies equalize" similar to liquids flowing to the lowest level (relative to gravity) and disregarding surface tension which can make certain liquids flow "up hill".
   - guru - Monday, 03/26/12 11:01:12 EDT

Thermodynamics Made Simple : From C. P. Snow, British physicist:

First Law:
You cannot win (that is, you cannot get something for nothing, because matter and energy are conserved).

Second Law:
You cannot break even (you cannot return to the same energy state, because there is always an increase in disorder; entropy always increases).

Third Law:
You cannot get out of the game (because absolute zero is unattainable).
   Rich Waugh - Monday, 03/26/12 13:52:52 EDT

Nothing in our reality is infinite.

While space (the universe) MAY be infinite we only think that because we cannot see the end. . . But everything else is finite. That means there is so much, no more.

There is a LOT of water in the oceans but neither it or the fishes in that water are infinite. There is a lot of oil in the Middle East but it is NOT infinite (as the Saudi oil ministers have insisted for decades and US government officials have accepted). Tax's squeezed from U.S. citizens are NOT infinite as many congressmen believe. . .
   - guru - Monday, 03/26/12 15:42:32 EDT

entropy : The perfect example of entropy? A 3 year old in an organized room of toys. :)
   ptree - Monday, 03/26/12 16:06:37 EDT

OR an apprentice in an organized shop. . .
   - guru - Monday, 03/26/12 17:53:16 EDT

Organized Shop : Uhhh...what exactly is that? Not to be found in my neighborhood, I can assure you! (grin)
   Rich Waugh - Monday, 03/26/12 20:28:10 EDT

Rich is correct, entrop alwa wi
   Judson Yaggy - Monday, 03/26/12 21:32:59 EDT

Cracked Anvil : aka John Neary used to tell me, "Frank, come on over to my place and watch entropy happen."
   Frank Turley - Tuesday, 03/27/12 00:45:50 EDT

Cracked Anvil :
I once made an "Entropy Research" logo for John. We never used it but he got a kick out of it. . . now I know why.
   - guru - Tuesday, 03/27/12 03:28:40 EDT

holes and strength : A friend is putting together a 3 wheeled pedal bike. He is using standard 1 1/2 " steel tubing 1/8 wall thickness. He is doing the cutting and fitting and I've been dragooned for the welding. He is using this tubing rather than a thinner wall because he felt the welds are stronger and the tubing is easier to obtain. However to reduce weight he wants drill holes 3/4" at 1" centres on all sides of the tubing. I think that besides being somewhat impractical there is a risk of seriously reducing strength . He points to webframes in aircraft and boats which are perforated for weight reduction. Were both just "gutting it". What do you think? Are there tables that apply to this some where?
   we@nb - Tuesday, 03/27/12 09:01:53 EDT

Holes in Tubing : My gut says this is a bad idea. Holes represent stress risers in the tube and the removal of so much material might leave the frame very fragile, especially if the holes are near high stress areas such as joints. I would vote for using lighter tubing and leave the holes out.
   quenchcrack - Tuesday, 03/27/12 09:19:33 EDT

Trike frame : we@nb,

I'm like QC, my gut tells me this isn't the way to go about it. Yes, they lighten airframes that way, but not in tubing - they do that in flat panels where most of the strength comes from the chord of the member, in line with design stresses. Your tubing frame will be subje3ct to stress from essentially all directions and will probably collapse with so much material removed.

I've known a few designers of racing bike frames back in the days before carbon fiber frames and they pretty much all used 4140 steel tubing with TIG welded joints properly stress relieved and/or gusseted at extreme stress joints. These were highly stressed racing and mountain bikes and they worked very well.

Easy enough to test this empirically by doing it in smaller tube and observing the failure mode. Pay particular attention to failure to resist twisting stress as a trike frame will, by its design, develop twisting loads.
   Rich Waugh - Tuesday, 03/27/12 10:17:56 EDT

organised shop : Your shop might look unorganized to the untrained eye Rich, but I bet when working you can put your hand on whatever hammer or tongs you need with barely having to look.
   - JimG - Tuesday, 03/27/12 10:26:18 EDT

In airframes, weight reduction holes are usually normal to the load, normally in flat sheet, and have a formed corrugation around the hole for stiffness and in a tube that is near impossible. Tube airframes are usually made from Cr-Moly tubing in VERY thin wall and small diameters. Typical for a small 2 seater would be longerons in 3/4" od 0.032" wall and the cross braces and so forth will be 1/2 or 5/8" od by 0.032" wall. They tend to have all of the joints together, with coped tube ends that then spread the load in the welded joint. These are trusses at the limit of minimum material, maximum strenght. Also typical these days is to drill every joint so that the entire truss is a tank, and after sloshing the insode with a preservative and draining, a nitrogen change of something like 5-15 psi is applied thru a Schreader valve and a gage indicates the charge. The gage is in the cockpit, and if the gage shows pressure loss you DON"T fly until you find the crack that leaked the nitrogen.
I have never ever seen holes for weight reduction in an airframe.
Typical airframe truss for a small 2 seater like a J-3 Cub, less everything but the truss is probably less than 100#.
   ptree - Tuesday, 03/27/12 11:17:27 EDT

(dis)Organized Shop : Well, that's very true Jim. It looks like a disaster but I actually can locate almost anything I want in an instant. The only things I have trouble locating seem to be the ones that I have, for reasons beyond comprehension, "filed" in some location that must have made sense at the time but are lost to me now. I know they're there, but I'm damned if I can recall just where "there" is! (grin)
   Rich Waugh - Tuesday, 03/27/12 13:10:24 EDT

Please could you tell me what a bob hammer is and what it is used for
regards Kevin
   - kevin - Tuesday, 03/27/12 13:27:20 EDT

Please could you tell me what a bob hammer is and what it is used for regards Kevin
   - kevin - Tuesday, 03/27/12 13:28:49 EDT

Smaller Diameter, Thicker Wall :
Wayne, While the stress in such tubing is less it will bend much easier than larger thinner walled tubing of the same weight.

Please note that there is a great difference in terms applied to PIPE verses tubing.

I'm guessing you meant 1/2 PIPE, not 1/2" tubing. "Standard" Schedule 40 1/2" pipe is .84" in diameter and .622 ID (.109 wall). 1/2" tubing is 1/2" OD. Neither could have 3/4" holes drilled in them.

Some deflection examples (From Mass2 2.0b). Loaded at center such as a motor. 24" long 100 pound load.

1/2" SCHD 40 pipe (.84 OD, .109 wall) 0.059" Deflection 14,867 PSI stress

3/4" SCHD 10 pipe (1.05 OD, .083 wall) 0.034" Deflection 10,792 PSI stress

1" SCHD 5 pipe (1.315 OD, .065 wall) .0201" Deflection 7,963 PSI stress

All three examples above weigh the SAME (1.7 pounds). But deflection goes down AND stress goes down. That stress would include the stress on the welds (different numbers but similar results). On space frames the load is generally applied to reinforced junctions in the frame but the same values apply.

If you are going to use low strength wrought pipe this is a no-brainer. However, 1" SCHD 5 pipe may be difficult to source. That is why folks use structural tubing which is bought in actual dimensions rather than plumbing nominals. Same rules apply - if you want higher strength and less weight use larger thinner wall tubing.

Also note that the general rule of thumb for mild steel structures is a maximum of 10,000 PSI (9,000 on keys) design stress. Design stresses are based on what you know plus a safety factor. ANY device carrying humans has an increased safety factor. However, on vehicles what you THINK you know can never express what happens at speed crossing a ditch or curb. . . much less a crash. Even a simple cushioned bounce increases that 100 pound load in my examples to double or triple. . .

Lightening holes are a complex engineering decision. All the holes in the airframe of my Dad's ultralight had pressed or rolled rims on them to reduce buckling. . . Generally lightening holes are used in the tall web of a structure where the known stress is very low. They are never used across more than one load axiis as Rich noted.

Another reason NOT to put a bunch of holes in such a frame is dirt, rust, insects. . .
   - guru - Tuesday, 03/27/12 14:24:31 EDT

I am pretty sure he is talking about inch and a half Square tubing. which does have sides.
   - ries - Tuesday, 03/27/12 14:42:58 EDT

Bob Hammer :
I do not have a clue. "Bob" is a type of slang term used in many industries and means different things like "spud" and "hickey". In blacksmithing a "Set" is any one of a dozen tools . . .
   - guru - Tuesday, 03/27/12 14:46:33 EDT

Tubing size. . . : I missed the "1" in 1-1/2 due to wrap on the screen. It always helps to say round, square, rectangular. . . Same general effect in larger thinner wall tubing compared to smaller thicker wall tubing of the same weight.

While I often go my own way on design it is always best to follow the current conventions when building highly stressed structures. . .
   - guru - Tuesday, 03/27/12 15:08:05 EDT

Bob Hammer : Isn't really a hammer, it's a top tool. Similar in appearance to a ball pein hammer, but often with the "ball" end more nearly a true cone. They're used to hot chamfer (countersink) round holes in forged work. I have one I made that is square for square holes - I suppose it would also be called a bob hammer, or maybe a "Ramses" hammer, after the pyramid guy? :-)
   Rich Waugh - Tuesday, 03/27/12 15:50:35 EDT

1-1/2" Square Tubing : If your friend is using the square tubing as Ries suspects, he could use lightening holes, but NOT on the centers you mentioned. 3/4" holes on 1" centers would leave only 1/4" web between them, which I don't think is sufficient. I'd want a minimum of 5X material thickness for web dimension, but that's just a WAG and NOT based on any engineering.

Personally, I'd stick with cold drawn 1" x .051" wall 4140 Cr-Moly aircraft tubing and use carefully coped, TIG welded joints. Joints subject to extreme stress can be gusseted with plate. The weight savings over 1-1/2x1/8 square tube would be considerable, and even lighter than the square tube with lightening holes, at a greater strength.

Here's a really nifty little computer app for laying out coped joints at any angle in round tubing: http://www.ozhpv.org.au/shed/tubemiter.htm It works a treat and has saved me a lot of time and headache over the years.
   Rich Waugh - Tuesday, 03/27/12 16:15:53 EDT

Bob Punch : I have a handled top tool known as a "bob punch" used for counteresinking the nail holes in the groove of horse shoes. Like Rich's, mine is square. I found it here at Oakley in the old meat house; but with no other farrier or blacksmith tools in association with it.

Like many top tools, turn it around and it looks like a hammer. (At least those with wooden handles do; mine has a wire shaft and wooden grips.) My favorite "artistic mistake" is a mural of a blacksmith at the Department of Labor, showing him at his frontier forge, whaling away at a long iron bar (held by tongs despite there being plenty of unheated length to it) with the back end of a hot set!

If you go to Google Images there are a number of pictures of bob punches.
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Tuesday, 03/27/12 16:22:38 EDT

Rich I don't recall Ramses being associated with pyramids, Cheops/Khufu perhaps? Ramses is more associated in my mind with a form of PPE...
   Thomas P - Tuesday, 03/27/12 17:33:19 EDT

Ramses : Hmmm...might be where I got that name. It just popped into my head, y'know? I'm pretty fuzzy on both Egyptology and that particular variety of PPE, so anything could happen. I just know Ramses is associated with building a lot of Egyptian stuff and all Egyptian stuff is pyramids, right? (grin)
   Rich Waugh - Tuesday, 03/27/12 18:32:10 EDT

aircraftspruce.com is a source for cro-moly tubing, if you're looking for it. They only seem to have 4130, which I think is pretty much the standard.
   Mike BR - Tuesday, 03/27/12 21:15:13 EDT

One other thought. It doesn't sound like a good idea to drill holes in *all* sides of a square tube. A tube must act a a little like an I-beam; if one's supporting a vertical load, most of the stress would be carried by horizontal top and bottom sections, and the vertical sides would mostly hold them apart. So holes in the sides might be okay, but holes in the top and bottom would probably *decrease* the strength-to-weight ratio.

And as Rich pointed out, at least some bicycle tubes are stressed in more than one plane. Drilling holes on those probably wouldn't be a good idea. Of course, the tube might still be strong *enough* afterward. But that would only show you should have used lighter tubing . . .
   Mike BR - Tuesday, 03/27/12 21:48:31 EDT

Bob punch : The bob punch can have a ball end or a conical shape, the latter most often being slightly more obtuse than 90 degrees. If conical, the working end is blunted, not sharp. It can be used as a hot countersink, though it distorts the hole size a bit, and that is taken into consideration. It is sometimes called a counterpunch, especially if having a pyramidal business end. I never heard it called a bob hammer. For horseshoeing, a ball, conical, or radiused oval bob punch is often used to start the thin clip at the edge of the horseshoe. For fire-welded teewelds, the bob punch is used by some smiths to draw the side scarf. It pulls out a semi-circular scarf which receives the scarfed end of the other bar. It is a tool of indirect percussion.
   Frank Turley - Wednesday, 03/28/12 00:27:25 EDT

Beams. . : Rich, You got Ramses from the Pharaoh in the movie "The Ten Commandments", played by Yul Brenner. Different era than the pyramid builders.

Tubes and beams strength come from the vertical section or the section in the direction of the load axis. The flanges of a beam or top and bottom of a tube keep the loaded web from buckling and act as a support for loads. Old I beams (S section) had a very tall thin web and stiff tapered flanges. But modern H sections have a thin web and two wide heavy flanges. These 2 wide flanges can be loaded much more heavily in the "off axis" than those of an S section (I-beam) which was designed to take load in one direction only. H beams also make better columns due to being high strength in multiple axiis.

An interesting crane rail is made from two pieces of beam cut in a zig-zag pattern, then offset and welded back together to make a taller beam leaving a series of hexagonal holes. This is often done with two different beam sections, the bottom one with a heavy flange to support the trolley wheels, the top a lighter section for stiffness.
The hexagonal zig zag also increases the total height of the finished beam by about 30% increasing the stiffness with less steel. The two different sections doing what they do most effectively and "lightening holes" without waste.

SO, if you have 10 feet of heavy wide flange you can make 20 feet out of it with 10 feet of a lighter section the total of the two stronger than either one alone.
   - guru - Wednesday, 03/28/12 00:32:39 EDT

Crane Rail : Jock,

Can you give us a quick sketch of what you're talking about? For some reason, I simply cannot get my head around the verbal description.
   Rich Waugh - Wednesday, 03/28/12 09:17:11 EDT

Dual Section Beam :
Dual section structural beam with hex holes

The stiffness of a beam is determined more by the height of the section than the mass of the material. In open span steel buildings those long tapered beams are fabricated with the web being very thin (about 3/16") and the flanges 5/8" or more to prevent the web from buckling.

In the beam above a standard section can be increased in height by cutting as in the top, offsetting to one side and reassembling. But for crane beams where the trolley wheels create high local loads and wear the bottom part is made from heavy flange beam and the top a lighter less expensive beam.

Programmable track cutting torches are used to create the zig-zag cut but it could be done by hand after careful layout.
   - guru - Wednesday, 03/28/12 10:38:28 EDT

AHA! : Thanks, Jock - now that I see it, it seems obvious. Duh...
   Rich Waugh - Wednesday, 03/28/12 14:51:47 EDT

Bob punches : Bob Cook showed me a different type of bob punch. This type has a radial cove in it. This forms a radius on a hole rather than just a chamfer. Usually they are used in pairs, one on the bottom one on top. The top tool is just held in place with a pair of tongs. They are used on things like a hook to radius the corners of the chain hole so they don't cut into the chain.
   - JNewman - Wednesday, 03/28/12 16:13:37 EDT

Bob punches : I have made some of these Bob punches by carefully fullering a groove around a bar so the smaller diameter is the diameter of the hole. Then I just hacksawed the bar into two punches and heat treated them.
   - JNewman - Wednesday, 03/28/12 16:17:40 EDT

25lb LG trip hammer ram guide : Hello,
I am trying to rebuild a 25 lb transition style hammer. It has the cast iron ram guide. The one I got is all busted up. I called Sid in Neb but he doesn't have one. I was wondering if someone on here might have one or could point me in the right direction. Thanks Blue
   Blue - Thursday, 03/29/12 13:27:43 EDT

Blue, These heavy duty versions of the Little Giant are generally sought after and unless you are VERY lucky and find someone that has one with a broken frame you are out of luck. I had a 250 that had this frame design and its generally superior to the other LG's. My feeling is it was a redesign that they found too expensive and changed the design again. Nothing "transitional" about it. . .

Generally replacements for these major parts must be made by a machine shop. You start with a slab of flame cut plate or continuous cast iron (better lubricity) and start whittling. Some parts are made from weldments. IF you provide accurate detail drawings of what you need it will be less expansive than taking the broken parts to the shop and asking them to "make one of these". Then you pay for reverse engineering time.

I would start by measuring the fits on the machine. Then making the part drawing to fit based on the remaining pieces.

I suspect Sid would make one for you but the cost is probably a significant percentage of the hammer value.
   - guru - Thursday, 03/29/12 14:26:53 EDT

forge welding : I have tried five or six times to forge weld and have not yet succeeded. At this point I would just like to sucessfully forge weld something and then build from there. Can you make some suggestions for a relatively easy forge weld that would be likely to succeed? Let me tell you what equipment I have and what I have tried. I have both a propane gas forge and charcoal forge. I don't think that my 3/4" pipe burner propane forge has enough insulation for forge welding as it is a brick pile forge from insulating fire bricks. I tried two or three times with it and only made a big mess with the borax. I don't want to try and forge weld in it again because it really messes up the insulating fire bricks. I then made a charcoal forge thinking that it may work better for forge welding. I made a bee hive mound a couple of times but was unable to sucessfully forge weld. Each time so far I have made a billet of two 1/2" plates that I ground clean and then tack welded together. I also attached a piece of rebar as a handle. Several of the tries were with spring steel sized about 1 1/2" x 8". Two more tries were with a stack of (4) 1/4" mild steel plates sized about 1 1/2" x 1 1/2". I suspect that excess oxygen has been some of what I am fighting. I also think I may have ended up not having a clean coal fire by the time I finally got a bee hive formed. There could have been clinkers at the bottom. I have been using a hair dryer with a gate in front of it to run the coal forge. Once I got the bee hive white hot and then turned off the air and stuck in a small stack of plates. However, the fire started cooling off and the plates did not come up to white hot and so I finally turned the air back on. My coal forge fire pot is 5" deep and about 9" x 11" long at the top. The sides slope down to about a 5" x 5" bottom. The flux I have used is plain borax that I cooked in an oven to drive off moisture.

So any suggestions for an easy success that I could build on?
   Andrew WILLIS - Thursday, 03/29/12 22:49:27 EDT

The Liverpool Giant : So a few weeks ago I asked for info about a five foot long behemoth anvil that said Liverpool Shipyard in New Mexico. Well the guy gave it to his father who is turning it into a shrine for his wife (long story). If any of you folks know a blacksmith, anvil addict or collector in Kansas would you please try to get us all a few photos of this beast? I tried to get some but buy the time the very flaky owner told me (kinda near) where he lived it had been moved. He claimed it was about 5ft long, 3ft tall and about 18in wide.
   Randall - Thursday, 03/29/12 23:40:57 EDT

Forge Welding Trials :
Andrew, What type of charcoal are you using? Briquettes are more sawdust and dirt than fuel. They tend to scale the work worse than any other fuel. You need to be sure to use real lump charcoal. It also helps to break it up into pieces about 1/2 as big as a briquette.

Some welds work in a gas forge and others are more difficult. Small odd welds work better in a solid fuel forge than in a gas forge. Gas forges are great for billet welding. However, using flux in a lightweight refractory forge makes it a consumable. After so many fires you reline the forge.

Beehive fires are used with coal, breeze and wetted coke breeze but generally do not work well with charcoal because it does not stick together. For charcoal a deep open fire should be best for forge welding. You want the work above, not in the hot core of the fire. The hot core is using up oxygen and the space above is still hot but has a good atmosphere. Do this right and you can easily forge weld without flux. However, I think more people weld WITH flux than without.

White sparkly heat is too hot unless you are welding wrought. A lemon yellow is best. Under the right conditions welding can be done at an orange heat.

The easiest practice weld is a simple fold in a piece of bar. Fold about 2 or 3" of bar back on itself, bring it to a welding heat and close the weld. Then fold it again. The second weld has a large mass on the smaller bar so you have to watch the heat and not burn the bar.

If you are using flux apply it as soon as the steel is hot enough to melt it (a black heat). Descale the steel if it has been forged before applying flux. See our iForge welding demo for adding flux in the fire.

The weld I find the easiest is to take a piece of 1/2" bar and wrap another piece around the end and cut it off to make a square ring. The tighten up on the bar, flux and weld. You should be able to forge it to a ball or flatten to a disk if you got a good weld.

Welding flat plates requires flat clean steel. It is generally wired or tack welded together (often with a handle) which helps keep out the oxygen. These generally weld well in a gas forge with flux OR without flux wrapped in stainless foil.

Find a weld you are successful with and practice.
   - guru - Friday, 03/30/12 00:10:16 EDT

Forge Welding : Adding to Gurus comments,
From your description I think you are not getting the workpiece hot enough.
A quick and dirty test is find if you can burn a piece of scrap steel the same size as what you are trying to weld. If you can burn it, Your set-up can get hot enough.

Your description of charcoal burning is immediately faulty as the fire NEEDS to be blown anytime you are trying to get up to welding heat.
Real charcoal works fine and is nice to weld with, But as Guru states, It takes a big & deep fire.

Alot of home-brew gassers cant get hot enough.
What is not entirely a bad thing for general forging as you cant burn your work if you get distracted too long while taking a heat. You may end up with alot of scale on it but you did not burn it...

Good luck to you.
   - Sven - Friday, 03/30/12 04:00:34 EDT

welding : forge welding is a solid state weld, for a solid state weld to take three thing must be present, 1 a totally clean joint(free of scale oxides flux slag etc) 2 a totally inert atmosphere (NO O2 at the joint) and 3 100% contact with he two sides of the joint.
in a forge weld this is all done with flux, the flux will strip off the oxides in the joint (thing 1)and seal it off from air(thing 2) when the weld is hammered the flux it carried out of the joint and the two sides are pressed together into contact(thing 3)
when I teach this in my classes I have the students 1st prep the weld (scarf, fold over what have you) then clean out the fire. next reheat the joint to an orange heat,and wire brush the joint then flux.(why make the flux work so hard?) take the joint up to a bright orange heat and wire bush off the flux and then re flux the joint.(this remove the spent flux with scale in it this step can be skipped if the joint was ground clean) reheat to a welding heat in the middle of the fire this is above the hottest part of the fire but still in the burning coal.(very bright orange to yellow heat should not be sparking) quickly set the weld with firm blows. (don't just tap it as this will trap flux and don't hammer super hard as this will shear the weld as it forms) wire brush /reflux the joint and then take another welding heat. again with firm blows re set the weld and then wire brush, once the weld is set forge this area hot as even good welds can be sheared easily until worked enough. you can tell if the weld has taken as it cools both side of the joint should be the same color, if not and there is a hard line between them then the weld has not taken in this case open the joint slightly and start the steps over.
   Matthew Parkinson - Friday, 03/30/12 07:42:30 EDT

(More) Forge Welding : To add to the above- one technique that I've used is to have a long piece of mild steel wire handy (a great use for salvaged flare props made of wire, frequently found rusting alongside the road). Bend a handle at one end and bend about 1" (25mm) down at a right angle. When you start to get the object near welding heat, reach in with the wire and let it heat, too. When the tip of the wire starts to stick to the object, you should be at welding heat. (If the wire burns away in a shower of sparks, you're probably running too hot! ;-)

In my coal forge, the color of the metal ready to weld can best be described as "melted honey." Also, remember that the metal cannot get any hotter than the fire; if the fire is red you can only take a red heat, so make sure you work the fire up through orange and yellow up to near-white heat. With a stack of pieces, you also have to give the heat time to soak into the core; so allow some time for soaking in the heat.

When welding with chunk charcoal (not briquettes) you need a deeper, higher fire; and you will consume fuel at a prodigious rate! One trick used with charcoal is to put a piece of sheet metal or light plate on top as a ceiling to both hold-in and consolidate the fuel and (most importantly) to reflect the heat back into the fire.

I hope this is of use; fire welding (at least for me) is more an art than a science. Ask 12 blacksmiths, get 18 answers and six opinions!

It's a cool, sunny day on the banks of the lower Potomac; good blacksmithing weather!

Visit your National Parks: www.nps.gov

Go viking: www.longshipco.org
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Friday, 03/30/12 08:05:55 EDT

Metal Stamp for Jewelry : Hello! I am completely new to metal working and I am trying to make a design stamp for stamping stainless steel blanks (they will be 1/2" flat rounds, 22g). I am doing all of this at my home. I purchased a set of cheap letter/number stamps to use as a reference for how my stamps should mark the tag blanks. Through a lot of reading, trial and error, and shopping I have using a 5/16" square rod of O1 tool steel (cut into 3" lengths) for the stamp. For carving my design, I am using a rotary tool (which is working well). To harden the steel, I am using a MAPP torch (which, as far as I can tell, is working well) to heat the end with the design and quenching it in motor oil (I had this handy but BOY! the smell... I will switch to peanut oil once I get to the store). I used my kitchen oven to temper the stamp (it seems there are varying opinions of how long at what heat so I am still testing this). I have a 4"x4" rubber block with a steel block on top of it and am using a 2lb ball peen hammer. My problem is that I still can't get a good, deep impression on the stainless steel from my stamp. If someone can help me figure out the flaw in my process, I would really appreciate it.
   Steph - Friday, 03/30/12 09:31:05 EDT

Stamping SS : Steph,

How much surface area of stamp do you have impacting the stainless steel? SS is hard to stamp, compared to other materials and it work hardens very quickly. A 1/4" letter stamp only has a few thousandths of a square inch of contact surface, but even s small decorative stamp can have ten times that much are, thus needing ten times the stamping force.

Another factor is the angle of attack of the stamp form. The "draft", or angle of the sides of the stamping surface, must be fairly steep for hard materials, but then it is subject to deformation because it is so thin. Catch-22. If you made your stamp with about the same angles as the commercial letter stamps, then I suspect you just need to hit it with a much bigger hammer (or press) on a bigger block of steel. The rubber block is unnecessary and will only absorb energy you really need to go into the work.

Have you annealed the stainless steel? As I said, it work hardens quickly. To anneal it, treat it as you would copper or silver - heat to orange and quench in water.
   Rich Waugh - Friday, 03/30/12 10:09:05 EDT

Stamping SS : I haven't measured the size of the design, but I would guess about 1/4". The design is a stylized "M" (zodiac symbol for Scorpio). The "tester" letter/number set is only 1/8".

The stamp sits on the stainless steel blank, then is struck by the hammer. I'm not sure if there is a draft? The stamp shaft is left square at the full 5/16" but I did angle it in on the design end (as much as I could with out compromising the design) and I just angled in the striking end this morning, so I haven't tested it yet.

I thought about annealing the stainless to get my stamp to impress better, but the "tester" set works fine on it without it being annealed so I wasn't sure if that would really fix my problem.
   Steph - Friday, 03/30/12 10:34:58 EDT

Stamping and Stainless : Steph, IF your stamp is capable of it, or even not, you SHOULD be able to stamp deep enough that the "background" of the stamp shows in the work. What are you doing wrong? I suspect you need more anvil and a bigger hammer. Your kitchen table and rubber pad may be part of the problem. Stainless is very tough and does not like being stamped. With good sharp commercial stamps I use a 4 pound hammer on a 1/4" character punch over a 100 pound and UP anvil (you probably need 20 pounds or more of concentrated mass at a MINIMUM). It takes a scary hard blow (wear a face mask) to get a full impression. A missed blow sends the punch flying like a bullet and its possible to have one shatter.

Doing this job by hand, striking with a heavy hammer is often not very repeatable. When it is important to get a clear mark a machine or guide system is used to hold the punch. Machines or various presses are also used to make the impression when a lot are being done.

Punch design is important. Did you test those "cheap" punches? I recently gave away a set purchased at a popular discount tool chain because they would not create a clear visible mark on mild steel. The reason was cheap punch design. The letters were very low (maybe .015" on a 1/4" punch) and the faces slightly flat. If you copied these designs then you are making a bad punch.

IF your punch as wide areas (not sharp edges) such as in a logo then it will only work in soft metal or hot metal OR with a very powerful (usually from a machine) blow. These flat areas will not make a mark in the very thin material you are working.

Good commercial punches have sharp 60° edges made up to .030" deep (or more depending on the size of the characters) and hand made punches have the "background" cut away including spaces between characters. This is done with a thin cutoff wheel under a magnifier. Heating the punch with an open flame can burn off the sharp edge rendering the punch useless. If hardening with a torch the flame must be carburizing, not neutral or oxidizing and the piece not over heated even for an instant. Even then the character lines may need to be sharpened after hardening. Normally the heating is done in a salt bath or using some other surface protection such as a special atmosphere in a heat treating furnace, a protective coating or sealing in stainless foil.

These types of punches are usually very hard. The minimum O1 tempering temperature is about 200°F but I would go at least 350 to 400. This will result in 60 to 62 HRc. Due to how hard this must be struck the entire punch is usually hardened and tempered.

While O1 is a good tool steel those making hand made punches often use S7 as it is much tougher and nearly an air quench steel. But each craftsperson learns to deal with a favorite tool steel and gets the best out of it they can.

Stainless is tough to work. There is good reason that a metal that costs 1/10 that of silver results in jewelery that must sell for much more (3-4 times) that of silver. It is hard on tools and requires more labor.
   - guru - Friday, 03/30/12 10:55:13 EDT

Brooks Anvil : I rescued a forged double bick Brooks anvil from under a mango tree in a small town in Zimbabwe and transported it 1000 miles to it's new home. It is in very good condition, a lucky find indeed. It is stamped 6 3 5 and is 48 inches long which makes it the biggest anvil I have ever seen or worked on. What I would like to know if this is the biggest anvil Brooks made?

I have been saving Blacksmithing tools and equipment from being scrapped for many years. Due to the large numbers of farmers who are selling their farms and leaving the continent before the government steal them, mountains of "scrap" are being carted into towns and sold to dealers. I have been digging around in scrap metal yards since I was a teenager and when anything comes in I get a call from the owners. I am currently working in Zambia but plan to build a Smithy on my 53 acre property in South Africa in the next two years or so.
   Louis Powell - Friday, 03/30/12 10:59:31 EDT

More about hand nmade punches :
This is VERY critical. If the face of your punch is not perfectly true (all on one plane) it will not mark consistently across the design. Test your punch on soft copper or lead with very gentle pressure or a light tap to see if you get a complete line or a partial imprint. If not you may need to stone the punch flat, then coat with some coloring such as machinists blue and then grind the wide edges to a fine uniform line.

I think the "draft" Rich is talking about is the angle of the character edge. This is usually 60° on sharp commercial punches but needs to be a little steeper if the imprint edges are flat.
   - guru - Friday, 03/30/12 11:10:31 EDT

Brooks Anvil :
They mark their anvils in Hundred weight and Kilograms (one or both sometime using fractional characters). This sounds like hundredweight. That would be 761 pounds or 345 kg.

While this is an unusually large anvil, many makers made anvils in the 600 to 750 pound range for industrial operations, mines, railroads and so on. They were almost never found in blacksmith shops but more are finding there way into small shops as industry gets rid of their blacksmith shops.

Brooks is still in business, you might want to ask them.
   - guru - Friday, 03/30/12 11:18:22 EDT

Stamping SS : I have actually been down on the floor with my little "anvil" set up (trying not to make a huge amount of noise and was concerned for my table, ha ha). Also, I've been letting my boyfriend do most of the hammering (he does body work for a living so he's more skilled pounding metal than I am). I've "seen" people using these smaller steel blocks for jewelry work and it seems to be working (as in, watched videos on the internet) for them and I have been testing the cheap stamp set for impression comparison. They make just the kind of impression that I want, using the same set up that I am trying with my stamp that does not work.

Most of the stamp is thin edges with one triangle-ish shape.

When I tempered the stamp, I put it in the oven for about 2 hours at 450-500. When I took it out this morning, there was a bluish tint on the steel so I am worried that it was in there too long (it never glowed at all... I sat staring at my oven in the dark for the second hour).

As for the S7 steel, I was worried about the air quenching (as in: I have no clue how to do that vs. I know I can dunk a rod into a can of oil).
   Steph - Friday, 03/30/12 11:26:37 EDT

The S7 is an oil quench steel that in thin sections will air harden. A2 is an air hardening steel that is great for certain types of die work. You just heat it, then let it cool. It helps to support it on a screen so the air can surround the part.

Temper colors start in the 300's F and start hitting blue in the 500's F. Tempered at 550 O1 is still 57-60 HRc (very hard).

You can get away with a lot smaller anvil working copper, silver and gold than is needed for steels. Stamping SS takes 5 to 10 times more force than silver.

How much force is necessary for a given stamp depends on the size of the character in edge length. An "I" has 1/3 less length than an "O" and M's and W's have 4 times the length. Serifs and decorative scroll endings add to the length. This assumes sharp edges. Increase the edge width from a miniscule .001" to a visible flat of .005" (.13 mm) and you need 5 times the force to get the same depth of impression. Between a long character and a dull edge it can take 20 times more force than a short sharp character. Stamping stainless steel rather than silver and that multiple can become 100x times the force!

If your punch is not dulling then it is not flat, not sharp or its not being hit hard enough. I would guess all three.
   - guru - Friday, 03/30/12 13:26:51 EDT

Air Quench, Tempering : Heat the part, hold for the recommended time for thickness, remove from furnace, let air cool on a screen - use a fan for large pieces, then temper before the part reaches room temperature (if possible).

An immediate temper is recommended to prevent possible quench cracking or failure to temper (oh, I'll do that tomorrow. . ).

Parts that are going to be spot tempered (example, a softer struck surface) are best given an all over furnace temper then spot tempered.

Double tempering helps make sure all the part is tempered and cleans up some of the retained hardness (undesirable crystal structure). Cryogenic treatment has a similar effect on SOME steels.
   - guru - Friday, 03/30/12 13:38:00 EDT

Pole Vise : How does a Pole Vise work and what do you use it for??
   kezeli - Friday, 03/30/12 16:07:55 EDT

Stamping SS : So would it be better for my use to get S7 steel? Would I still be able to oil quench it or is the air quench better?

How long do you suggest leaving the piece in the oven? Or was two hours ok?

Thank you for the explanation of air quenching. Is a forge required for this?

When double tempering, do you copy the same as the first temper? Or is there another method for the second?
   Steph - Friday, 03/30/12 16:51:09 EDT

Steph, I was just mentioning S7 a slightly better steel for this application. A "forge" can mean many things. See Micro Forge

An air quench steel will have hardened by the time you get it to the oil quench in many cases. S7 is an oil quench steel but almost all tool steels will air quench in thin (knife edge) sections.

Hardening and tempering times vary. Many people just get them to temperature without a "soak" time. Some soak time is better. Generally the size of the piece makes the biggest difference. These are small pieces. . . two hours was probably more than sufficient.

When you double temper you just repeat at the same temperature.

I think the sharpness of your punch may be the issue but a bigger anvil would not hurt. . .
   - guru - Friday, 03/30/12 17:11:49 EDT

Pole Vise :
Kezell, The correct term is "post" vise, and to be absolutely correct they are a "blacksmiths leg vise".

These have a leg that rests on the ground supporting the vise. The rest of the vise attaches to a bench or post. See

Blacksmith Leg Vises

Blacksmiths often attach their leg vise to a post set in the ground near the forge so that it is convenient and has access from all directions. Thus "post" vise.

Blacksmiths and other metalworkers use them for thousands of tasks including, hammering and chiseling hot steel, sawing, filing, supporting special tools such as benders and forms. . .

Being made of forged wrought iron of steel makes them practically unbreakable and the leg allows them to be used for hammering tasks that would otherwise wreck a wooden work bench they were attached to.
   - guru - Friday, 03/30/12 17:23:26 EDT

Stamping SS : Sorry... I have lots of questions, but I mean well.

Thank you for the link to the micro forges. Can the insulating brick really be carved by a spoon?

For the stamp sharpness, would you suggest a different tool(s) for carving? I am currently using a rotary Dremel. My stamp has pretty steep (more than 60° I think) angle from the flat part of the line. I was making them straight down but I thought a slight angle would be better, so I've been angling it a little.
   Steph - Friday, 03/30/12 17:30:14 EDT

Steph, A Dremmel is fine. The hard part is if you have to work the hardened die. Finding small enough grinding wheels may be a problem but I have not looked for Dremmel tooling for about a decade. . . When I was given my first Dremmel (about 1962) my Dad found some dentists burrs to go with it. I still have them.

60° is pretty standard on commercial character punches and some custom punches. I would try to stick pretty close to that. A narrower edge may break and wider (a flatter angle) will not make as good of an impression.
   - guru - Friday, 03/30/12 17:49:25 EDT

Steph- You should try and find your local blacksmithing organization, if there is one in your area. A weekend among smiths will both answer specific questions and broaden your horizons. It sounds like you have a basic understanding and you are getting good answers here, but there is nothing like live interaction. If you are willing post your general area and we could probably recommend some contacts.
   Judson Yaggy - Friday, 03/30/12 19:34:31 EDT

Steph, how hot are you heating the steel before you quench it? O1 will harden 'a bit' from heats way below the optimum. Make sure you get it hot enough that a magnet will not stick to it. Canola oil is a good quench oil.
   - John N - Saturday, 03/31/12 03:19:22 EDT


I didn't get online yesterday and just read through the thread quickly, but it looks like you didn't mention the stamp distorting when you tried to use it. If it isn't distorting, the heat treat you're doing is good enough -- concentrate on making the stamp area smaller or hitting it harder.

Of course, you might find that the stamp distorts when you hit it harder. If that happens, you'll need to go back to troubleshooting the heat treat.
   Mike BR - Saturday, 03/31/12 08:11:27 EDT

Stamping SS : Judson - I am in Illinois, Northwest suburbs of Chicago. I had thought about looking for something like that but wasn't sure if my jewelry stamp would fit in. But I've learned the most from reading posts and such from people making knives (I'm guessing because the metal type and width are similar).

John - I am heating the tip (design end) with a MAPP torch I picked up at my local home improvement store. I heard about the magnet trick but, in the excitement, forgot to poke it with the magnet before I quenched it. I was wondering it I could heat it again or would that ruin it? I read that it will lose carbon each time it gets that hot from a torch since its exposed to oxygen.

Mike - So far, my O1 stamp has not distorted while testing (wailing on it with a hammer against my tester steel). Might be worth mentioning, I am not testing on stainless but on sheet metal the same gauge as the stainless I want to use (22g). My first few stamps went completely flat but I was using the wrong steel (rod stock from home improvement store that I later learned was no where near are hard as what I needed). Last night I practiced on some leftover cold-rolled steel rod to see if I could get better angles... didn't look nice but I'll be giving it a go on the O1 this morning once everyone is up and I can break out my dremel again.

Thanks for being so helpful everyone! I'm getting the feeling no one in the jewelry world is making their own stamps like this (or dosn't want to share the secret ha ha) so its been hard finding people to ask questions. I really appreciate it!
   Steph - Saturday, 03/31/12 10:15:50 EDT

Re-Heat Treating :
Yes, You can re-heat treat.

If you are only hardening the working end then the struck end should show some pretty good distortion from striking it.

Most craftfolk have stamps made for them. But quite a few make their own. See our article on Matrix Punches and Touchmarks and our Touchmark Registry.

In the coin hub (die) making business they make small matrix punches and press or hammer them into annealed tool steel blanks COLD. This is combined with hand carving the die with small chisels and some die grinder work. This process varies from tremendous forces and very light. . .
   - guru - Saturday, 03/31/12 10:54:03 EDT

And, Here are photos of a large rail road blacksmith shop stamp
   - guru - Saturday, 03/31/12 10:58:24 EDT

Stamping SS : I read this at the beginning of my research! I didn't understand any of it at the time and forgot about it. It makes a lot more sense now :-) Thank you
   Steph - Saturday, 03/31/12 12:32:17 EDT

Stamping :
Steph, A lot of jewelers use a small hydraulic press to emboss metal. Look at the small press on this page.

DIY Hydraulic Presses

This may be beyond your capacity as a metal worker but a number of places sell these table top presses. The controlled force is much easier to do a good job with and there are many tasks they can be used for. Among the tasks are pressing in touchmarks but you can do all kinds of bending and shaping with simple tools. With more sophisticated tools you can do cutting and blanking.
   - guru - Saturday, 03/31/12 17:14:18 EDT

Trenton 272lbs : I have the opportunity to get a big Trenton. Can someone tell me what the numbers mean on the front foot? 272 is the weight on the left of the foot. On the right it reads from what I can tell 201.3/2 I think it's just a dated serial number. Can someone let me know please? Thanks!
   Randall - Saturday, 03/31/12 20:03:59 EDT

Trenton : I have the opportunity to get a big Trenton and need help to identify it.
It has a 272 for weight on the left of the front foot. On the right it says from what I can tell 201.3/2 Does that number come up as a good serial number with a date? Thanks!
   Randall - Saturday, 03/31/12 20:08:14 EDT

Trenton 272lbs : I have the opportunity to get a big Trenton and need help to identify it.
It has a 272 for weight on the left of the front foot. On the right it says from what I can tell 201.3/2 Does that number come up as a good serial number with a date? Thanks!
   Randall - Saturday, 03/31/12 20:09:37 EDT

Trenton : If found out it says 201432
   Randall - Saturday, 03/31/12 21:18:02 EDT

Its a serial number, but you knew that. Made in 1938. But what's the difference? Its the condition of the anvil that is important, not when it was made or various indecipherable markings. All but the earliest Trentons are wrought anvils. So it was a good anvil when new.
   - guru - Saturday, 03/31/12 22:08:39 EDT

Trenton : Thank you very much! I knew that the later ones were better. It has a few pits and one dead spot. I think the farmer used it as a welding table a few times. Most of it has great bounce.
   Randall - Saturday, 03/31/12 22:32:39 EDT

Scott Wadsworth : I am interested in what type of forging you are doing with a 200 lb Chambersburg Utility hammer. How much air does your compressor provide and how large is your receiver tank. Also, what size air lines are you using (and how long). Also, is your setup a single operator/forger environment, or does it require a second person to run the hammer? How much control do you feel you have with the hammer?
   Dave Hammer - Saturday, 03/31/12 23:50:07 EDT

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