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 May 8 - 15, 2011 on the Guru's Den
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Does anyone have a link to a picture of the magnificent exquisitely decorated leg vise of Jacobo de Ferrari of 1588?
I have seen pictures before but I have lost the link.
   - Tom H - Sunday, 05/08/11 23:33:46 EDT

Tom, I've got a Museum catalog with a 17th Century Italian vise that is decorated all over (from the Metropolitan Museum NY) but nothing legal to post. There is also one in the Higgins Armoury Museum catalog which I've got SOMEWHERE. . . Similar thing. Fanciful face on the end of the screw (the "nut" is on the back side), decoration all down the sides and on the wrench. Seems there was more than one like this.
   - guru - Monday, 05/09/11 00:22:18 EDT

Decorative Vises : I know I have it in one of my books, but which book? 8-0

Meanwhile; another example (with a leonine face) from the Samuel Yellin collection is on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art: http://www.philamuseum.org/collections/permanent/44387.html?mulR=32095|1

Recovering slowly on the banks of the lower Potomac; more tests this week.

Visit your National Parks: www.nps.gov

Go viking: www.longshipco.org
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Monday, 05/09/11 09:40:11 EDT

Exquisite vise, Franch : And you gotta love the 18th century "Locksmith's bench vise" plate 379, in "Decorative Antique Ironwork" by D'Allemagne...and an exploded view of same in color, showing the engraving and fleur-de-lis mounting plate: "Le Livre de L'outil" pp. 272-273; by Velter & Lamothe, Ph├ębus, Paris, France; 2003.
   Frank Turley - Monday, 05/09/11 11:10:19 EDT

Fancy Post Vise : Thanks to all for the great leads.
The one I had seen had a fully 3-D figure support and a ton of other fancy features.

Maybe if we can get the various links together, it would make a nice sub-folder in the "VISE" section.

Thanks Jock for all you do.
   - Tom H - Monday, 05/09/11 19:25:58 EDT

Got my AIA... : Guru,
My very own copy of AIA has arrived and is getting a good work out. Please pass to Mr. Postman my sincere thanks for the work he put into this book. So much to look at and learn.

   Rustyanchor - Tuesday, 05/10/11 00:01:08 EDT

Atten: Nippolini (The Great) : I just watched a show on the History Channel showcasing your unique talent, and all I can say is, "WOW". Not only to your abilities, but also to the fact that you showed a deep respect for our blacksmithing heritage by drilling a hole in a Chinese ASO instead of a small Peter Wright, to insert the eye bolt for the demo. Hat's off to you, and from the bottom of my heart may I say.......OUCH!!! LOL (Excellent performace my friend).
   Thumper - Tuesday, 05/10/11 00:34:51 EDT

AIA, Links :
Rusty, You'll find its quite an education. I hope you have a Machinery's Handbook to put next to it. ;)

Vise Links: I've backed off compiling lists of links. Too many things change too fast on the Internet and you end up with lists with more dead ends than useful information.
   - guru - Tuesday, 05/10/11 01:48:46 EDT

Thumper, it was the ASO's that got me HERE at the Guru's Den. Years ago I was Googling my name and this forum popped up talking about a pic of me lifting an ASO. I was all like "what's an ASO?", people here informed me and I was off to getting a real one. I would NEVER even think about dreaming (nightmare) of drilling a hole in a PW, or any other real anvil. Thanks for watching!
   - Nippulini - Tuesday, 05/10/11 09:00:58 EDT

Parlett Auction Contemplation : One of the items I remember from the Parlett Collection (NOT in the blacksmithing section, but in the machinery building across from the Hardware & General Store displays) was a lineshaft drive Little Giant style power hammer. The problem with it was that the part that held the hammer guide had been broken and brazed (not welded) back together. Hard to judge without seeing it, or at least pictures of it; but somehow brazing does not seem to be a long-term solution. It's one thing to have an example of a tool on display, and quite another to have a useable tool. If I come across a picture, I'll send it along.
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Tuesday, 05/10/11 12:26:07 EDT

LG repairs :
There are two types of LG wrap around guides. The bent steel plate which would be easily welded but are very unlikely to break, and the heavy cast box style which would not weld and most likely have been brazed.

The second (box guide) is the so-called "transitional" type which was actually an improvement that was the best of the LG's but was abandoned, probably due to manufacturing costs. For a brief time the 25 pound and 250 pound hammers were made that way. I had a 250 like that.

I've seen a lot of old machinery with braze repairs that were used for many years after. They are usually ugly repairs because the build up material on the surface is often doing most of the work. The alternative on a big cast part is complete replacement.
   - guru - Tuesday, 05/10/11 12:44:53 EDT

repairing castings : Brazing, or bronze welding as it is often known, (though technically it is not) is an excellent repair for castings and is often the only way to repair malleable castings without destroying the characteristics of the malleable iron. I have been using the technique for many years. According to the textbook that I read, it is only necessary to grind a vee to a third of the thickness of the casting and braze/Bronzeweld to achieve the original strength of the casting.It results in a very neat and very strong repair.
   - Chris E - Tuesday, 05/10/11 13:24:16 EDT

Brazing cast iron : At the 118 year old valve shop, we had lots of very old, very rode hard and put up wet equipment. Often with braze repairs. There is a lot of technique to repairs of this sort. I have seen some rather large frames brazed back together that had produced 3 shift production for decades.
   ptree - Tuesday, 05/10/11 14:39:27 EDT

Brazing & Braze Welding : These are both proper terminology, but they are different operations.

Brazing is the term used to describe a joint configuration where the filler metal is drawn into the joint by capilary action.

Braze welding is the proper term when the crack is veed out and filled with filler metal or a fillet is built up at the joint, like a Schwinn bike frame.

There is a great misconception among many people about the strength of a brazed or braze welded joint. Brazing filler metals come in many alloys with tensil strengths ranging from about 30 KSI to over 80 KSI.

When properly applied, the filler alloys with the parent metal at the joint, and seperation at this junction is unlikely. Considering that the yield strength of mild steel is only about 36 KSI, even common brazing rod often gives a joint that is as strong as the yield point of the base metal.

Those who consider a brazed or braze welded joint a "glue job" are misinformed.
   - Dave Boyer - Tuesday, 05/10/11 22:53:56 EDT

Brazing and Glue Jobs :
I've seen some braze repairs that amounted to glue jobs. These typically occur on parts that the cast iron has become oil impregnated or infused with auto exhaust gas. The problem with oil is obvious but the gas issue only occurs in some very old auto exhaust manifolds. I do not know what it is in exhaust gas but there is something that gasses off (perhaps lead compounds from the leaded fuel days) that prevents the brass or bronze from sticking and makes it very porous.

I've done a lot of brazing and the only failures were exhaust manifolds. I've seen dirt/oil failures but never had any myself.

I've made numerous braze repairs to machine parts and other cast items. I've also welded brass such as antique brass andirons. The last machine repair was modifying the frame on a hand crank drill press. I fitted a piece of steel into the place where the column socket had been to make the frame look like it had never had a socket.

When our local foundry was shut down for its annual maintenance the local welding supplier sold hundreds of pounds of brazing rod to the various maintenance contractors involved. Occasionally they would have 3/8" diameter rod in stock! Toward the end of the first week of July if you needed anything in the way of oxy-acetylene welding supplies you might have a hard time finding them. . . Sadly this is no longer true. All three of the local foundries are no more. Lost to offshore suppliers. .
   - guru - Tuesday, 05/10/11 23:32:38 EDT

brazing horseshoe calks : Small calks, sometimes called grabs or "jar calks" were brazed onto the ground surface of horseshoes for traction. The commonly used hard solder was copper, a snippet of wire or a penny cut in half (when pennies were of copper). Small, triangular cross-sectioned calks of high carbon steel could be fit into the swage of light, racing horseshoes, most often used on the harness tracks. The brazing was most often done in the coal forge using borax for flux. When the copper melted, the shoe was withdrawn and momentary steady pressure was applied with the hammer face (not a blow). This enhanced the capillary attraction. A one second water quench would freeze the copper and pop a good deal of cuprous oxide to the surface of the shoe. The oxides could be easily wire brushed off, giving a clean appearance to the braze. The shoes was then allowed to air cool in order to prevent hardening of the high carbon calk.

A riding horse probably averages 1,000 pounds in weight, and the horse will walk, trot, and gallop on those calks. Pretty tough.
   Frank Turley - Wednesday, 05/11/11 00:32:35 EDT

Frank, Modern Farriers ;) use a gas forge for forge brazing. Makes a mess of the forge but it works.

Another high stress braze joint is carbide cutter inserts on lathe cutters and circular saw blades.
   - guru - Wednesday, 05/11/11 09:45:20 EDT

Modern welders use a Tig welder to do brazing. Especially for cast iron, it works much better than old oxy-acetylene brazing. Seldom is preheat or post heat needed. I have brazed a LOT of cast iron with the tig machine, usually using silicon bronze filler rod. In fact, one year I was at the Repair Days at the Metals Museum in Memphis, and ended up doing tig brazing all day every day- a lot of broken cast iron stuff came in, and I could quickly grind it clean and groove as needed, and tig braze it right back up.
If a stronger repair is needed, tig welding with a nickel filler rod is the ticket. Again, in most alloys of cast, no preheat or post heat, minimal HAZ, and a very strong, machinable weld repair.
At Memphis, we were actually pounding the flux off nickel stick welding electrodes, as that was what was on hand, which will work, but real tig filler rod is readily available. Its muy expensive, but worth every penny.

Carbide inserts are usually vacuum brazed, with premeasured and cut brazing material clamped in between the insert and the tool, and the whole thing brought to heat in a vacuum oven.
You cant tig or oxy-fuel braze carbide. It crumbles and oxidizes and ruins the carbide.
   - Ries - Wednesday, 05/11/11 14:57:08 EDT

I've had lots of success with arc welding cast iron with cast iron elecrtodes. They can be a little pricey, but in certain cases there is no need for pre or post heat.

Hey Ries, is that a special TIG machine? I have a cheap HF scratch start TIG I've had lots of success with stainless welding. I don't think it would work.
   - Nippulini - Wednesday, 05/11/11 18:54:42 EDT

TIG Brazing : Nip,

I TIG braze from time to time using my inexpensive Chinese inverter TIG. It does have HF start, but even without it it would be no problem. Just think of the TIG torch as a high-tech flame source to replace the O/A torch and you'll be in the groove. Like Ries, I favor the silicon bronze rod, mostly because I keep it in stock because I work with Si bronze fairly regularly and almost never work with brass.
   - Rich - Wednesday, 05/11/11 19:16:54 EDT

Brazing and welding cast iron ETC : I would argue, from 21 years of watching it done that one can indeed oxy/fuel braze carbides on. We made thousands and thousands of custom form tools years at VOGT, and every single one was oxy/fuel brazed.
We induction brazed on inserts in open air at the axle shop in a cute little 1950s Tocco.

On the cast repairs, the welder was the usually handed the broken parts, and he would spark test and decide from there. Usually some grinding, some preheat to burn out the oils, and then often a root pass of ni-rod, followed by a pass of E-7018, then repeat until the vee was filled. Usually then some postweld, and some peening inbetween passes as well. Our welder that specialized in these repairs had at the end of the company 44 years or so of experience at this.
   ptree - Wednesday, 05/11/11 19:20:24 EDT


I've always thought that welding rods were rated based on ultimate tensile strength, while steels are rated at yield strength. So 36 KSI steel is actually in the same strength range as 60KSI filler rod. If I'm right about that, I'm guessing that the same holds true for brazing rods. So the braze could still be stronger than the base metal, but it's not quite as likely.

Now a piece of trivia: Bike builders indeed do a lot of braze welding, but they call it fillet brazing. I kind of like that term -- it seems more descriptive.
   Mike BR - Wednesday, 05/11/11 20:13:20 EDT

Okay, I stand corrected about the carbide. I havent had much success with it, but after the first time I figured it wouldnt work.

Stick welding will definitely work, as will oxy-fuel. But Tig is faster and easier, in my book.
Unlike the guy at Ptree's shop, who was fixing parts that weighed hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds, I am often called to fix things as thin as 1/8" of an inch- wood stoves, engine parts, bed frames, home hardware, frying pan handles, and so on. They generally dont call for multiple passes of 7018, but instead, tiny near invisible welds. 1/16" or 3/32" nickel or silicon bronze filler rods are just the ticket for jobs like that.
   - Ries - Wednesday, 05/11/11 20:30:04 EDT

I've found that a lot of what folks THINK is cast iron, is actually ductile iron and quite weldable. When I was taking welding we were given a bunch of castings to practice on. I was going great guns until we decided we should break the castings and then repair them. . . couldn't break them with a 10 pound sledge hammer. . They were ductile iron automotive castings from the local foundry. On the oter hand I had a piano frame made of grey cast iron to dispose of. A swipe with the sledge went through it like a hot knife through butter and I nearly hurt myself as the sledge met no resistance. The rest was broken up with a little carpenter's hammer. There is cast and there is cast. I can assure you this frame was one of those things that would electric not weld.

I've repaired my share of cast iron pump casings that when you weld one side, the opposite side breaks no matter how you pre-heat. On the last broken pump casing I gave up and just patched it with fiberglass cloth and epoxy. Took less time, did less damage, held up until other parts failed many years later.
   - guru - Wednesday, 05/11/11 20:56:25 EDT

Mike BR : In My post I said:

"even common brazing rod often gives a joint that is as strong as the yield point of the base metal"

Once the parent metal is yielding, the part is usually pretty well shot, so I don't see much reason to use extremely high strength brazing alloys for most work.

If You are doing a job that can actually use the extra strength, then spend the money for the nickel-silver 85 KSI tensil strength brazing rods.

   - Dave Boyer - Thursday, 05/12/11 03:00:20 EDT

braze repair frying pan : My neighbour dropped her cast iron fry pan and broke of the handle.She brought it to me to get fixed.(People get very fond of their well seasoned cast iron). I heated it up good , put the pieces right back together,and o/a brazed it. Not wanting to chance a nasty kitchen accident I tested it with a rap on the wooden workbench.Snapped of again. I then repaired with steel and rivets and brazed again. What went wrong the first time?
   wayne@nb - Thursday, 05/12/11 08:07:14 EDT

Don't know. . experience? In China the pot repairman was once a popular itinerant tradesman. They traveled from village to village repairing cast iron pots (which were often the ONLY pot a family had) by forge brazing a patch on the pots. The patches were often steel shaped to fit but sometimes were the pieces of the pot.
   - guru - Thursday, 05/12/11 09:02:12 EDT

Cast Iron : I once tried to break up a cast iron bathtub with a large sledge. Couldn't do it, it just rang like a bell and the porcelain on the inside popped off
   Carver Jake - Thursday, 05/12/11 13:59:09 EDT

Welding cast iron : Weld preparation is an mportant factor in braze repair of cast iron. After grinding the broken edges, the surface should be chipped with a sharp chisel as the grinder smears the graphite particles over the surface. Fusion welding of cast iron with an oxy torch is practical but pre heating the whole part and controlled cooling is important.
In my youth we used old tractor piston rings for filler rod as the propper rods were too expensive.
   Hugh McDonald - Thursday, 05/12/11 22:13:17 EDT

cast pan braze : I did NOT grind the joint because it was shiny clean and I thought the joint would be stronger with less brass in it similar to silver solder. Should I have ground the joint?
   wayne@nb - Friday, 05/13/11 07:43:44 EDT

Quick Change Hammer Dies : Hello All,
I've written before about a quick change die system that I have been using on my air hammer for a few years now, and have been surprised that no one has expressed too much interest (at least you liked my gate!). I finally got around to putting together a video of a public art project I am working on, and the footage includes changing the dies on my hammer, mid-heat. Look at about the 2:00 mark, if you are so inclined.

   Charlie Spademan - Friday, 05/13/11 09:22:57 EDT

Vacuum Die Holder :
Charlie, I think its pretty slick but has a number of draw backs. One, an active system that requires power to hold parts in place. If you lose vacuum (pump or a hose breaks) the top die can fall out while in operation. The other is the size of the machined parts. While I have found that the Big BLU die model is a little small for some of the things I want to do it is great for saving expensive tool steel and reducing the necessary volume of chips needed to be made to make dies. This was so much of an issue on Fairbanks hammers that they had those expensive cross shape dies made by casting the shape. On the other hand, turned parts are always much simpler than milled.

I also question the longevity of the sealing surfaces in this application. Scale getting into the vacuum system could also be an issue.

But it certainly is fast and easy. On the other hand I've seen folks change the "dreaded" wedged type dies on Kuhn's just as fast. If the wedges are a good fit and not too tight it takes a light tap with a mallet.

The single clamp system used by many people for clapper dies is also fast. For some specialty cylindrical dies I am putting a 1" hole in the ram on my hammer for standard 1" diam. 2" long shank tools. One set screw to tighten and hold in place same as on many OBI punch presses. This DOES require removing the dovetail die holder first but that only takes a minute or two. As long as you are sticking to the round shank dies changing them only takes seconds. The angled set screw flat prevents these from suddenly falling out. If the screw works loose you would notice some movement or noise prior to the die falling out.

Probably the most useful thing we did was put extra taped holes in the anvil cap. Large lower dies can be bolted on when needed. The extra holes are filled with socket head set screws so they don't fill full of debris or get rusted too bad. I've also made the anvil cap a removable part that gives 2" extra work height (not including the 4" of the dies and holder). Future tooling space. . .

Indeed anything you do to increase the flexibility of the machine is valuable. In a small shop every machine needs to be able to do more than just ONE thing.
   - guru - Friday, 05/13/11 13:37:02 EDT

Parts holder? : I tore my knuckles up pretty good earlier while wire-wheeling a post vice spacer. Is there another better way to hold a small part without thrashing the part?
   Hayden - Saturday, 05/14/11 00:13:18 EDT

Small parts finishing :
I use a fine stainless (0.010"-0.012" wire) 6" diameter wheel on an 1800 RPM motor. The combination is soft enough that if you inadvertently brush knuckles or fingertips against it you don't lose skin. You COULD hurt yourself on it but it is much safer than most.

I also have Paw-Paws old wheel setup that he hurt himself with in the iForge article. It has a much stiffer (probably 0.020 wire) heavy wire wheel that is worn short running at 2400 to 3000 RPM. The combination of which makes it something you do not want to brush against. I have done so without damage but I generally avoid using it. I plan on converting it to other use in the future.

Even the soft wheel that I use would be much more aggressive and dangerous on a 3600 RPM bench grinder. I've seen heavier wheels on grinders and they scare the heck out of me. . .

They make plastic strand safety wheels for deburring non-ferrous parts like brass keys.

I've wire brushed various small parts. Some have been held with Vise-Grips, others attached to a threaded rod. But most have been carefully held with my fingers.

Another route to go is to clamp the part in a vise and use a portable power tool with a small wire brush.

Parts that are tool small or difficult to hold or shapes that are dangerous and tend to get snagged by the wheel should be finished some other method. Files, sand paper, tumbler or vibratory finisher. They make little bench top vibratory tubs that sell for around $50 that will easily (albeit noisily) finish irregular parts.
   - guru - Saturday, 05/14/11 08:08:32 EDT

Holding small parts : Provided that there is a suitably flat surface on the ferrous piece, a medium-sized Neodymium magnet will often hold sufficiently well to do grinding, wheeling and buffing. If using tit to hold for grinding, put the magnet in a plastic sandwich bag first so it is easy to get the grinding swarf off of it when you're done.

Another method I've used many times is a dopping stick. This is just a conveniently-sized piece of wood with a gob of chaser's pitch on one end. Warm up the pitch and the workpiece and stick it on - now you have a handle that will come off with a bit of heat. Getting the last traces of pitch off the work will probably require a bit of heat and some volatile solvent like xylene. This is how jewelers and engravers sometimes hold small parts.
   - Rich - Saturday, 05/14/11 09:25:53 EDT

Rich; reference your typo, the only person that I can imagine capable of such a feat is Nippolini. (Perhaps he could do us a demonstration video!)
   - Chris E - Saturday, 05/14/11 12:14:36 EDT

amusing typo : Rich;Reference typo.The only person that I can imagine capable of such a feat is Nippolini. (Perhaps he can do us a demonstration video!)
   - Chris E - Saturday, 05/14/11 12:20:03 EDT

Typo : Yeah, I saw that as soon as it posted, but there's just no do-overs on this forum, unlike others I participate in. I really miss that "edit" button! Of course, there's no way that could be correct - it's either a typo or a mis-spelling. We'll call it a typo. (grin)
   - Rich - Saturday, 05/14/11 12:38:07 EDT

facebook blacksmith group : We have started a blacksmith facebook group. It is called "North Carolina artist blacksmiths and friends" It is an open group and anybody can join. First you have to join facebook. It is free and easy to join, you may have to get your wife to help you as I did. After joining look up "North Carolina Artists blacksmiths and Friends and request to join, We have 6 administrators who will log you in. it was started a couple of days ago and we have about 50 members- smiths from all over the world. thanks
   Ray Clontz - Saturday, 05/14/11 13:19:20 EDT

Funny how typos seen to jump out as soon as you hit "post." My theory is that it has something to do with the reformatting. I keep meaning to change the margins on documents I write at work before my final proofing, but haven't remembered to do it often enough to have a sense whether it helps.

Of course, it could just be Murphy's Law.
   Mike BR - Saturday, 05/14/11 16:34:40 EDT

How do I tell what this anvil is worth, it came with the farm I bought... See http://saskatoon.kijiji.ca add number 281996972

Appreciate it
   - Don N - Saturday, 05/14/11 19:27:54 EDT

How can I tell the value of a anvil? A picture can be seen on http://saskatoon.kijiji.ca Ad number 281996972
   - Don N - Saturday, 05/14/11 19:31:46 EDT

Typos. . . : I fix a lot of them. The problem is that once folks make comments on them you are in a situation of deciding to remove the following posts. . .

I've posted on forums where you could edit and had a typo comment before I could get the edit posted a minute later. . .
   - guru - Saturday, 05/14/11 19:50:25 EDT

Anvil : Don N
It is a non-ring cast iron body with thin steel face plate Vulcan anvil and they are of a lower quality. I guess it is 85 to 100 lbs. it would be ok for a beginner or for something to just beat on in a shop that someone wouldn't care about doing damage to it. In my opinion only 100.00 to 150.00 at least in the neck of the woods i come from.

Hope this helps.
   - Anver - Saturday, 05/14/11 21:38:00 EDT

   - Don - Saturday, 05/14/11 23:32:18 EDT

Acme Anvil : A 75lb Acme anvil (at auction) went for $425. It was in really rough shape, rounded ages, angled plate, demolished horn. I thought it was on a huge cedar stump, it in fact wasn't it was oak and weighed close to 400lbs. Can the base an anvil sits on effect the price?
   Hayden - Sunday, 05/15/11 11:26:19 EDT

Anvil Stands and Auction Prices :
First, auction prices often have nothing to do with actual values. They are often a reflection of how big an ego the top bidders have and who is the most foolish. A combination of "mine is bigger than yours" and "Hey Vern WATCH THIS!".

Any time you go to an auction you need to be armed with current values. Egos often cause prices to go way over the current value. However, occasionally the auction MAY set the current values.

Small anvils often go for considerably more per pound than large anvils. Even new, they cost more per pound because labor is nearly equal as well as transportation and other things that effect delivered price. Used ones are just handy little anvils that are very portable. So they go for more.

BUT, In this case I think the price is dues to auction fever and egos.

Wooden stands add a little value. Often old ones are worn, burnt and otherwise distressed giving them character that would also give them a higher value.
   - guru - Sunday, 05/15/11 13:24:27 EDT

Weight of Oak Stump :
To weigh 400 pounds an Oak stump the normal height for an anvil (about 14" for a small anvil) would need to be over 36" in diameter. . . A much overheight stand of 20" would need to be nearly 31" in diameter.
   - guru - Sunday, 05/15/11 17:17:25 EDT

At what percent of moisture content? Grin
   - Anver - Sunday, 05/15/11 17:57:18 EDT

Then again, he did say
   - grant - nakedanvil - Sunday, 05/15/11 20:23:13 EDT

A really big stump does no good as the anvil ends up pushed way to one side to reach it and the rest of the area becomes filled with clutter. A good anvil stand lets you work close to the anvil from all sides.
   - guru - Sunday, 05/15/11 20:46:20 EDT

forge lighting : help! I am trying to get back into blacksmithing. (took a course some years ago). I have an ALCOSA forge with hand blower and coke supply. I cannot get heat into the coke. I used the forge with charcoal a few times with success, ie. hot iron and forged a few bits. Now with coke I cannot get coke to stick together or to hold enough heat to heat iron! I am trying to heat 3/8ths ish round bar but no joy. i have tried a few different fire lighters, newspaper, dry pine and even dry oak twigs and none have worked. I have tried working blower gently then building up, I have tried working it furiously. I have reduced the size of forge with bricks inserted to hold heat in but all to no avail. HELP!
   Toby - Monday, 05/16/11 07:32:11 EDT

forge lighting : coke needs a whole lot of air.....coal will light easier, A hand crank blower won't do it for the coke, where are you located ?
   smithy - Monday, 05/16/11 09:03:39 EDT

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