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This is an archive of posts from June 16 - 21, 2010 on the Guru's Den
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I have a question about the saftey of my shop...My shop is 20'x20' wth 12' ceilings of T&G pine..I have a powered vent in the roof..one of those mushroom shaped units like they use in resturant kitchens..plus big doors & windows
I was forging today ,about 100F. in the shop and I suddenly thought about the ceiling....I got up there with a thermometor and it was 160F.
Am I Looking for trouble?? I've been there for several years...Thank-you.
   - Arthur - Tuesday, 06/15/10 22:36:04 EDT

Too Hot? Arthur, The char point (just before wood catches fire) is 325°F. So you are well below that and probably quite safe.

You might want to do your measurement on a similar hot summer day when you are not forging to see how much of that heat is contributed by the forge. In hot weather the conditions that increase heat as you approach the ceiling and roof are significant. You also might want to check at a foot or so above the floor to give a general comparison.

In a blacksmith shop the powered vent should vent the shop, not the attic. Attic venting does help cool the building but not exhaust smoke and fumes well. I would want that big powered vent in the wall over the forge if its a gas forge.

The 12 foot ceilings are much better than lesser heights. For good ventilation in a forging and welding shop you cannot have high enough ceilings.

Something to think about is that building codes call for most walls to be covered in plaster or sheet rock for its fire resistance. This is particularly true if you have walls covered with paper backed insulation. Exposed insulation is common in unfinished areas of older buildings and garages. It should be covered to prevent the paper (even the foil covered stuff) from catching fire.

Sheetrock, even unpainted is light in color and brightens a shop as well as increasing fire resistance. I also like bright tin roofs for reducing shop temperature.

I think your shop is OK but might benefit from more ventilation (for you and the shop). Also note that many smiths that use gas forges indoors also have carbon monoxide detectors. This should be about head height as air tends to stagnate in layers even in fairly open buildings.
   - guru - Wednesday, 06/16/10 07:22:03 EDT

Guru, I would offer that since Carbon Monoxide is slightly more dense than air, one should follow the instructions on the device for placement. I believe you will find that the device instructions call for placement at about 18 to 24" above the floor.

I went to a fire safety training seminar years ago and one of the items mentioned was that natural wood undergoes a change, I beleive it is called pryolisis(SP?) when exposed to temp's that are elevated but below the kindle temp. This can then reduce the autoignition temp significatly. This was reported to often occur around chimney flues where the wood was too close, yet below the autoignition temp. I think that I remeber 200F and above was the trigger temp.
140 to 160F is actually pretty common in attics with bad ventalation.
   ptree - Wednesday, 06/16/10 07:54:38 EDT

Blacksmith Shop Ceilings

Historically, most blacksmiths shops did not burn down from roof fires, despite the fact that until the industrial revolution almost all of them had some form of combustible roof. (This could be because there are so many other easy ways to burn them down! ;-)

That said, careful planning and good ventilation are excellent ideas and not to be discouraged. In my old shop, with a wood and gypsum board or sheetrock ceiling, I added an extra layer of gypsum board directly over the forge, with aluminum foil as a reflective layer over that. Lack of deterioration of the foil did indicate that either it was doing the intended job, or that it wasn’t really needed; but it made me feel better and safer. In over 15 years I managed NPT to burn down that one, despite the attempts of rodent-arsonists who build their highly ignitable nests in crannies where hot clinkers and coals tended to fall.

Ptree; CO: Is this a solution to my current (minor) rodent problems? I just suffocate the little beggars with the carbon monoxide from my gas forge? Seriously, I do have a CO detector, but I seldom get any reading above zero unless I position it in very close proximity to the forge; I’ll have to try it in various lower locations and see what the reading are. On the other claw, the new forge building has LOTS of ventilation all the time, plus windows and hatches as necessary, so I may not be getting much of a buildup anywhere.

Cloudy and expecting heavy thunderstorms on the banks of the Potomac.

Visit your National Parks: www.nps.gov

Go viking: www.longshipco.org
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Wednesday, 06/16/10 09:32:06 EDT

Air Stratification and gas density: I've observed smoke in blacksmith shops with high ceilings to collect in a layer either at head height OR just above it. When the conditions put it above you it is not too bad, but when it is a few feet lower that's not so good. In a friends shop with 30 foot ceilings and fair ventilation the smoke likes head height. . .

While CO at room temperature may collect near the floor I know hot forge gasses hang much higher. I know that in my old shop with 16 foot ceilings and a large 3 foot exhaust fan that forge fumes still liked to collect near the ceiling and in my upstairs office. . .

If smoke, which was heavy with water vapor, particulates and CO2 hung where its normalized temperature says it should it would always hug the ground. But it does not.

Looking for CO in your living room from the furnace or fireplace. . . yep, near the floor or sleeping height may be right. But hot forge gases? They will float a hot air balloon, not hang at the floor. I would check at the level I work and breath in the shop.
   - guru - Wednesday, 06/16/10 10:04:56 EDT

Bruce, CO production from any fuel burning appliance is a function of the how well the combustion equation is balanced. In a perfect case the methane or propane would completely be converted to water vapor and Carbon Di-oxide. Seldom do we manage a true stochimetric combustion, and we get unburned hydrocarbons and Carbon Monoxide and Carbon Di-oxide. A well tuned forge burner, will produce some CO, but how much is a function of the unknows in that burner, at that moment.
I have an use a CO dector at work that reads in Part per million. We check the factory daily for CO, 4 places per aisle since we run propane fork trucks. With the trucks well tuned, and getting about 10 to 20% outside make up air from the HVAC, I see 3 to 5 PPM. One badly tuned forklift and I see 17+PPM in the area the truck is running. (We have 25' ceilings.) Oddly as the tanks get almost empty, I often see elevated CO reading from that truck and they stink from the accumulated residues in the tank. I have one of these Handheld CO meters that is out of date, and tried it at home and saw 5 to 15 ppm CO when running my gasser, and nothing from the coal forge with side draft. BUT!, I have a 24" turbine vent above my gasser, and a 8' x 8' door 18" from the gasser, that is open when I run it.
These handheld meter are not the best instrument, but at $258 they work for the factory.
Hot CO rises, and then as it cools sinks to the floor and searches for the low spot. This is one of the killers in Permit Required Confined Space entries. Have a below the floor pit of space, and any CO tends to accumulate there. Only 2 of the confined spaces I tested in thousands of entries, One was a pit and had deadly CO level. Gas engine welder running in the next bay of that factory, unseen. The other was above the floor and had zero oxygen due to the Nitrogen controlled atmosphere feed being on in a HT furnace. Saved 3 lives minumum, by strictly following the OSHA rules pre-entry.
   ptree - Wednesday, 06/16/10 10:14:52 EDT

Thanks to yopu and all the others who offered sugestions...My roof vent goes directly thru the ceiling to the outdoors..Granger helped me figure out the size..If I forget to turn on the vent my co2/carbon monxide alarm goes off...when I turn on the vent the levels drop down to zero so the vent works..I will add sheetrock over the forge...Thanks again..
   - Arthur - Wednesday, 06/16/10 10:16:47 EDT

Smily -

I must have my thumbs taped down today because i cant find the link for the "how to makeyour own smithin magician" on the abana site. Can you link me?

Guru/ptree thanks for the CO2 reminder i need to install an updated detector. We run a coal and a gas forge at the same time and often have one of the welders going too.

Thank you
   Kevin - Wednesday, 06/16/10 11:25:52 EDT

Hi, guys.

Got my H13 and Puncheize, so I should be good to go soon.

In the meantime, I have someone asking about making some custom sheet metal forming stakes. He has one that he wants made a little bigger. It's one of these Potter units:
He wants a bit different design, but much the same.

One of his problems with the Potter is that it is picking up dents from his hammer. According to Potter's website, their stakes are made from cold rolled 1018. This surprized me. I was thinking more along the lines of 1045 or 4140, drawn relatively soft after heat treatment.

I haven't messed with sheet metal forming much, and certainly not with good stakes. What are y'alls thoughts on this?
   - Stormcrow - Wednesday, 06/16/10 12:46:20 EDT

Stakes: Bending and rolling stakes are often soft but those used for planishing and hammer work should be tougher. I would think your 1045 or 4140 Hardened and tempered would make a first class tool. Many older stakes of this type were cast steel and fairly hard. But many are also cast of ductile iron and not heat treated whichmakes them similar to mild steel.

A lot depends on the metal to be worked. Most non-ferrous can be worked on soft stakes but steel plate for armor needs tougher harder stakes. Top quality stakes should be suitable for both.

The Potter ball end stake referred to is also not very well shaped. When cast or forged the ball end is quite spherical and the shank leading to it well rounded. It is also raised upward. The middle has a flat at the middle over the stake and then the strait "tail" is crowned with rounded corners. These machined stakes are made trying to fit them into a square bar and do not have have the gracefulness of the earlier makes. There are also a lot of "standards" such as saddle type stakes missing from his line due to his manufacturing process.

I'm sure you could make a better tool and price it accordingly.
   - guru - Wednesday, 06/16/10 13:56:47 EDT

More about Stakes: I've studied the manufacturing of these for some time. I once had a good old blow horn stake that was obviously made from two pieces and forge welded together. The shank and slender taper were one piece and bent, the larger horn made from bent 3/8" thick material forge welded to a scarf at the bend.

Many old stakes were fabricated by forge welding and many later stakes by arc welding. Many have also been made as one piece castings from steel OR ductile iron. All these methods work and I have all types in my small collection.

A big part of the job of making good sculptural stakes is the hand grinding and finishing. The ball end on the above mentioned stake can be forged close to round but will require a lot of careful hand finishing to be right. This is one of the few places where a deep ball shape swage block depression would be helpful.

Needle case, candle mold, blow horn taper and others of similar shape need to be lathe turned or ground after forging. Wire rolling grooves are milled and hatchet stake edges machined OR ground on a large grinder. These fine detail stakes need to be hardened steel as well.
   - guru - Wednesday, 06/16/10 14:25:21 EDT

Even More Stakes. . . Smiths are in a unique position to produce a more varied line of stakes than shops without forges. Some artist types like snake curved tapered stakes which can not be made without heating and bending. The saddle stake I mentioned above has raised ends that would require a LOT of material removal to make by machining. The armourer stake with the ball end is another that one end is usually raised to fit better into a hemi-spherical shape. Blow horn stakes have the large funnel cone end that is best made by hot forming. But the long taper, which can be forged is best finished round by either turning OR grinding while rotating in a lathe. Machine rotating while using a hand held grinder or sander gives a nice smooth even finish without nearly as much work.

Another advantage the smith has is forging the tapered shank fast and efficiently compared to other methods.
   - guru - Wednesday, 06/16/10 15:34:12 EDT


Are you sure about the CO density? If I'm not mistaken, the molecular weight of carbon is 12, and oxygen is 16. So CO should be 28. That's the same as N2 (14+14=28) and less than O2 (16+16=32), so CO should be just slightly *less* dense than air.
   Mike BR - Wednesday, 06/16/10 19:59:39 EDT

Mike BR, the MW is 28, and the specific gravity is indeed 0.97. But that is for a pure CO. CO from a fuel burning appliance is in practical life a mixture. Not pure. The unburned hydrocarbons, water vapor etc make the exhaust fro fuel burners usually as heavy or of greater specific gravity than air. In my practical working experience, carbon monoxide from fuel burners will stay at floor level unless you have good agitation. Many well designed warehouses and factories have intakes at the roof or near and exhaust at floor level if heavy propane or fuel burning trucks are used to take care of this.
0.97 is so little difference that the lowered density from heating will cause more effect.
   ptree - Wednesday, 06/16/10 21:17:53 EDT

ptree --

That makes sense. Even a little CO2 would do the job, and there's always CO2. (But H2O (1+1+16) on the other hand . . . (grin)).
   Mike BR - Wednesday, 06/16/10 22:00:10 EDT

That's quite helpful, guru. Do you happen to have a picture available of the ball end stake shape that would be better? According to Google, the Interwebz only have a single mention of a "bal end stake". ;-)

Forging the tapered shaft for mounting would be a lot quicker if my power hammer was finished...
   - Stormcrow - Wednesday, 06/16/10 23:12:54 EDT

My question is-What steel should i use for a hot working chisel?
   Robert - Wednesday, 06/16/10 23:20:00 EDT

Hot Work Steels: Robert, I order best to OK, H13 or H27 is best, S7 is often used, then any high carbon tool steel. The hot work alloy steels hold their working edge up to a low red. The S7 has a very high temper temperature so also holds up well. The high carbon tool steels are still quite tough when hot but nearly so much as the high alloy tool steels.

Plain carbon steels were used for hot work tools for thousands of years but had to be treated carefully and cooled repeatedly. They often had to be reshaped but they did work. A punch lube (discussed last week - look UP) helps all hot work tools do their work faster and stay cooler.
   - guru - Thursday, 06/17/10 07:54:33 EDT

Stormcrow, Let me look. I know there are photos in TOMAR and I have a pictures of an anvil pattern with the same design IF I can find them. . .
   - guru - Thursday, 06/17/10 07:56:04 EDT

Round Nosed and Armourer's Stake Anvils:

armours general purpose round nose stake
General purpose round nose stake from TOMAR

Due to being featured in Techniques of Medieval Armour Reproduction (AKA TOMAR) this has become a very popular stake in armouring circles even though it is fairly rare today. Notice the straight end becoming rounder toward the end. I believe this is a cast stake. Width about 1-3/4".

armourers special anvil pattern
Pattern for armourer's anvil
Photo taken at the 2003 Armour-In

Ted Banning and his friend Jeff McCrady made this pattern for the top of an armourer's anvil (base not shown). It is a larger and slightly more exaggerated version of the general purpose stake from TOMAR. Width about 3". I do not think this pattern was ever cast, nor has this photo been published previously.

Also see Working In Metals page 10 for a drawing of a similar stake titled a "round stake anvil". This stake is also shown in numerous books.

A Peck Stow and Wilcox (Pextow) catalog from 1905 describes some stakes as wrought iron with steel faces and cast iron with polished faces. They did not include this stake.

Peddinghaus Hand Tools who makes a wide range of high quality stakes does not make this one.
   - guru - Thursday, 06/17/10 11:14:58 EDT

EVEN More about stake anvils: IF the stake is large enough that it is going to be mounted in a stump or its own stand the shank can be straight at the bottom. A square shank can be bedded into epoxy in a large drilled or burned hole. It can also be wedged or bedded into a hole formed by laminating up the stand from structural lumber. A taper does not hurt in either case as they are self tightening. If bedding in a taper using epoxy a foam extension should be used so that there is room for movement into the taper.

Among the tapered shank stakes I have collected there is no standard size shank or taper. One day I will measure them all and publish a chart.

   - guru - Thursday, 06/17/10 11:41:57 EDT

Armourer's stakes are very dependent on the armourer and how they like to work, (dishing vs raising for instance).

I would suggest looking over at armourarchive.org a site dedicated to armouring. Lots of threads on making stakes; folks selling stakes, etc

One popular style is ballbearings or mill balls mounted on shafts ranging from small to "oh my gosh!" (my largest just fits in a milk crate and was a headache ball from a crane...Ted has ones that make it look puny...). Then the same with an off set near the ball is handy. Then there are cresting stakes, specialized knuckle stakes, a world of stakes with very special uses.

General rules like hard on soft or soft on hard---use a steel hammer on a softer material form or a softer hammer on a steel form. Using properly dressed hammer faces can make a world of difference in the ammount of work to clean up the rough shaped piece.

Several advantages of being a smith are: you can work *hot* much easier on the joints, ears, can work heavier material easier, do much tighter curves, less problems with failure due to work hardening, can heat treat if you used the proper alloys, etc And you can make your own stakes and forms---heat a piece of 2" rod and use your swageblock to form an anti-clastic stake; preheat high carbon steels for welding; make your own dishing forms, etc!

   Thomas P - Thursday, 06/17/10 13:46:51 EDT

When I was collecting balls for sheet metal work I ended up with balls and stakes ranging from 6" diameter down to 2" in 1" increments and then some smaller. Took less than a year of traveling to various events to find them all plus several lever type hole punches, a Beverly shear and other sheet metal stakes and tools. Surprisingly it is more difficult to find good raising and dishing hammers. In most cases they were priced out of my range (for hobby work). Today BigBLU makes a very nice set of repousse' hammers for the purpose.

Popular stake arrangements early in the century were bar irons that held small work surfaces. For armouring Eric Thing made a heavy T stake that accepted small curved sections of various radii in a hardy type socket. This is much more efficient than having balls over 6". You need just a few square inches of work surface with the correct curve for raising or planishing. To make these curves it helps to make radius gauges. I've made large radius gauge sets from plywood as accuracy is not too critical on these things. But sheet metal ones would be classier.
   - guru - Thursday, 06/17/10 15:50:29 EDT

If only I had known:) At the valve shop we made ball check valves. Those balls ran from 5/8" to 6". I saw several hundred a month get scrapped for years. Most were 440C, some 316L, some Monel. I could have had all for $0.32/#.
I did take home many, but if I had bought a half ton or so, what a tailgate bonanza:)
   ptree - Thursday, 06/17/10 20:02:38 EDT

Those would have stayed nice and shiny as well!

I think Ted's largest "ball" was a 16" diameter stainless ball valve part. However, it is not a solid ball but a light skeletonized hemisphere to reduce material.

I'd forgotten how big my largest ball was. It is 8" (75 pounds). A ball mill ball I got from Ted. The next down is a 6" ball on a 3" shank that I picked up at Quadstate. Its a heavy equipment ball joint forging. The next two down are hemispherical stakes made of cast ductile iron that I bought at the Southeast Conference (I think). Below those I have several ball bearing balls. I thought they were 1" increments but the larger are in 2" increments. It is still a wide range of spherical surfaces to work on.

As Thomas and I both noted, as blacksmiths we have a great advantage in the stake game. Many can be made from scrap pieces of shaft and bar either straight or bent. Many smaller stakes are easily forged and T stakes welded.

Stake Types and Names:

Every trade has its own specialty stakes for getting into tight places or specific shapes. Some are named for their original use such as the "blow horn" stake used by brass musical instrument makers, "candle mould" stakes used to make candle molds by tin smiths and the "tea kettle" stake, one of many used by silversmiths.

Other stakes are named for their shapes such as the "round head" stakes,"hatchet" (sharp edged) stake "flat" stake and mandrel (cylindrical) stakes. Others are named for their purpose such as seaming and creasing stakes. Seaming and conductor (not sure where this comes from) are straight cylindrical bar stakes.

Many stakes are shaped like the specialized blacksmiths hardy tools used for decorative work. While both tools are designed to fit a holder they are often used more in a vise due to its height and tight grip.

In the CoSIRA book Decorative Ironwork there is an interesting "multi purpose" decorative ironworkers' stake used in a vise. It has one square arm, one round arm with a tapered end and an arm with a tapered and gently curled end. There is a detailed drawing of the stake in the book.

Besides the infinite variety in shape, all these stakes could be made in several sizes.
   - guru - Friday, 06/18/10 07:20:27 EDT

Naming tools is an interesting task. I've named most of the new hand hammers and written the use descriptions for many of the tools sold by BigBLU (including naming the "Blu Max"). As relatively generic tools the names have to reflect function but not be too specific. OR such as the "Blu Max" have a cachet suitable for a memorable trade name but not infringe on someone else's trademark. It may sound easy but the manufacturer could not do it. They paid me to do the job.

When I set about writing about swage blocks for swageblocks.com I came up with a variety of swage block types and definitions. No one else had looked that deeply into the subject and there was no block categorization until I defined and named them. That is often the privilege (and responsibility) of being the first in a field. Someone has to do it.

Back when I was designing tools and machines for the Nuclear industry the tool names were very specific. If you were working on a 93A pump the impeller bolt lifting tool was a "93A Impeller Bolt Lifting Tool". Many of our tools operated through a lead glass tooling window and most of those tools were prefixed or included with "tooling window" such as "Long Shank Tooling Window Wrench Extension". Then there were tools named with acronyms which I won't even get into. . . The trick with many of these names was being specific but keeping the names brief enough to use without confusion. Part numbers were given in the instructions as well as names but how many folks can remember part numbers?

While naming things can be a job it was once a game. In Victorian England it was a parlour game to name groups of animals and remember those names. The most interesting names stuck. So we have a "gaggle" of geese and a "murder" of crows. Once part of a nonsensical game, they have long been an accepted part of the English language.

Naming things is sometimes done by committee such as the names of the newer elements in the periodic table or terms in the metric system. Naming by committee is often a contentious business and sometimes takes decades to settle. Terms such as centigrade that was later decided to be named for the originator Celsius because it was decided to be possibly confused for terms for angles. However, temperature and angles are still stated in "degrees" in both the metric and English system. In the English system Fahrenheit connected geometry to temperature by having his two "opposites", boiling and freezing or water 180 degrees apart (opposite directions in geometry). So we still use the degree sign in both systems and confusion still rains supreme among the general public. Committees rarely get it right. . .

Names and terms often do not translate into other languages well. I had been having a long discussion with a European friend about making a small stake anvil and it turned out that his understanding of "stake" was the shape of the top and had nothing to do with the shank and taper. In English, any "stake" is a tool with a shank that is usually designed with a taper to fit into a block of wood or a metal holder.

In German the names of modern technical tools is fairly easy but a little unwieldy to others. A "pump bolt extraction tool" would become a single run-on word such as Pumpboltextractiondevice (but in German) .

Many tools have multiple names, each trade calling the same tool by a different name. Thus there is often a lot of confusion about the names of tools.

Its the name game. . .
   - guru - Friday, 06/18/10 08:53:32 EDT

Now would be a good time to show people the comic I drew about names around the shop...
   - Nippulini - Friday, 06/18/10 09:24:40 EDT

I saw a very large rock breaker bar at the fleamarket today that looked like it would make a great large stake. It was $25 and I already had a pexto stake like it would make...

Naming: old fellow was calling a set of letter stamps "stencils". I didn't argue because in his shop they might have been called stencils.

Naming II: some of my hammers have been named based on their shape so "frenchie" is the french crosspein (named by a student who covets it dearly...)

Had hopes of a nice little Atlas lathe as the inheritor of it was about 2000 miles away and had sold off an old Packard Car for about 1/10 the value. Nope; when I called him he wanted about 3 times what I thought was proper for this area.

   Thomas P - Friday, 06/18/10 11:27:18 EDT

Tools with names, Chuck, Jack, Jimmy, Phillip, Allen, Bill. . . By TGN and JDD
Tools with names . . . By TGN colored by JDD

   - guru - Friday, 06/18/10 11:30:34 EDT

The DIY-anvil section here at Anvilfire has a good write-up on a "homemade" swage block. Also in this write-up shows the swage block on its side and in a stand to bring the swage block up to a working height, but what really "stuck out" is how it's used as a Stake-Plate working surface with various stake tools that fit into the prepared stake holes.
This sparked an interest with me back when anvil hardy- hole sizes & hardy tools to fit them was being talked about.
The newbie-idea was to take railroad track plates that's between the track & cross-tie, have various squares cut out in the center of the plate to fit various hardy-tool shank sizes as well as using the outer spike holes to anchor the plate to the top end of a section of log/ stump.
"OR" build-up a DIY-swage block & stand using stacked plates welded up with a stake-plate work area on one of the sides........very much like the DIY-block in the article.
This DIY swage block / stake-plate combo using RR-track plates would not make a huge working tool, but still give flexibility to the user.......or that's the "thought" anyways.

would you care to give your thoughts on this, Guru?

   Danial - Friday, 06/18/10 12:18:21 EDT

Danial, The "build up" method of making a swage block is a good way to create tapered holes to fit any stakes you may have on hand as well as holes for hardies. It helps a lot to have a good saw to cut the parts straight and clean. This plan was designed to need only a saw, welder and grinder. If you have a heavy drill press or access to machine tools then more can be done.

A top plate with drilled and saw cut holes as you suggest, welded over supports building up the block would be stronger than just welding up the box sections and may fit straight shanks better. Essentially you are making a bolster plate and adding mass behind it. Square holes can be made using the methods shown in our iForge article Stake Plates and Bolsters, making square holes.

I have a large old industrial block that has what looks like every imaginable square hole but only a few of my square shanked tools fit it. However, at a couple hundred pounds it makes a very sturdy receiver for such tools. If I were to make a bunch of armour or sheet metal stakes I would find a bar size that fits one of the holes OR make a bushing that fit the block and stakes well.

While many folks like putting a swage block in a steel stand, I prefer a heavy wood block stand. Steel stands are real finger choppers especially with relatively light blocks in the 40 to 60 pound range that one would handle by hand. On a heavy wood block stand you can roll a block on edge between supports without lifting the block and lowering it into a frame. I was given plans for an angle iron stand to fit small blocks many years ago which I refused to publish due to its inherent dangers.

I have stands that came with my big industrial block but it is much too heavy to lift by hand thus requiring a hoist. When there is no possibility of handling by hand then the stand can be any type you want.

Like many DIY projects this one may not be very cost effective unless you have a lot of scrap steel and discount the value of your time. But it is good practice fitting and arc welding and you do not need to make it all in one weekend. The learning experience is the real value of many DIY projects and the resulting tool just a perk.
   - guru - Friday, 06/18/10 13:50:51 EDT

Will valve grinding compound polish a blade ? Maybe using coarse, then going to fine ? Using it on a buffing wheel ?
   Mike T. - Saturday, 06/19/10 01:56:06 EDT

Mike, Compounds for buffing are formulated to stick to the wheel where valve grinding compound is not. Buffing compounds have a wax base that adheres to the wheel where valve compound is in oil.

Buffing wheels can be used to cut, polish and color metals. Rough cutting is done with a rough wheel and relatively coarse compound at high speed. Cutting can also be done with grit impregnated rubber wheels. Polishing is done on a variety of sewn cotton wheels and coloring is done with soft wheels.

The problem with using these wheels for cutting on any product is that you get rounded or blurred features. Lines that should be straight, clean and crisp get rounded and misshapened. You see this on cheap import blades.

High quality blades are hand finished on belt sanders and by hand on flat surfaces or with tools that are properly shaped. Once a fine flat finish is achieved buffing is the last step and should not need a coarse compound. However, hard emery compounds may be needed for polishing hardened and alloy steels and then tripoli for the coloring step (the finest finish).

See our FAQs page under Buffing and Wheels for more information.
   - guru - Saturday, 06/19/10 08:35:08 EDT

A little off subject about names. One time, I was talking with students about wrought iron, and one of our books mentioned 'silica slag.' Without a pause, one student said, "Oh yeah, Silica Slag was that ugly fifth grader that I went to school with."
   Frank Turley - Saturday, 06/19/10 09:22:06 EDT

dear guru i bought a german style anvil today on the side is a parsial round marking the folowing leters are readable vergis____nicht.h& i am looking for some info on this anvil
   henning - Saturday, 06/19/10 13:08:52 EDT

Henning, There have been far too many manufacturers both large and small in Europe to keep up with them much less have detailed information. Once in a while, IF you have a complete name a search may bring up a current or historical company.

Richard Postman found over 200 manufacturers in England alone while researching his new book. At this point no one has researched a book like Anvils in America covering European anvil makers. It would be a wide open field for someone fluent in multiple languages that lived in Europe and had time to do the research.

Richard was very lucky in his research to find the Tool Museum library collection in Tennessee (which may no longer exist) and a collection of Blacksmith and Farrier magazines (which I now own) while doing his research. But he also traveled to meet people who had been part of anvil manufacturing companies, as well as various libraries and wrote hundreds of letters in his research. To do the same in Europe would be a much more complicated task. But maybe someone will pick up the gauntlet.
   - guru - Saturday, 06/19/10 13:43:00 EDT

Band saw blades: I just bought a couple bi-metal blades from a place called Cut Technology, in Washington state. $14.50 for a 64-1/2" bi-metal 10-14 TPI. They make them themselves, in America, and sell direct. They're called Cougar XX M42. It may take me a while to report on longevity, as I'm just a weekend hacker, but so far they seem to cut well. The weld is ground nice and smooth. And I read a couple good reports on them. They definitely don't seem like cheap imports.

The sales people are easy to reach by email, but they only do phone orders. And I had a small problem with the shipping charges, which they fixed right away.
   - Marc - Saturday, 06/19/10 14:54:44 EDT

Wheel bearing removal:
I'm trying to remove the wheel bearings from a golf bag cart, but just don't know how. I don't want to bash away, as I might bash the wheel itself. But all online wheel bearing info is either cars, bikes, or skateboard. None of these are the same.

So any insight on how to replace these?

   - Marc - Saturday, 06/19/10 14:56:47 EDT

Bearing Removal: Marc, Some things are made to press on and have no provision for easy disassembly. These are "lifetime" items. . when they fail, that it the lifetime of the whole.

In many cases bashing away is the only way. It helps to use something soft (brass or aluminium) to prevent swelling the shaft. When replacing bearings you can afford to hammer the old ones off but you need to be more gentle putting the new ones on. Always try to push on the part of the bearing that is the fit you are separating (IE the inner race to get off a shaft, the outer race to get out of a hole).

Many bearings are removed with screw pullers. These come in sizes from huge machinery types down to little instrument types. Pullers are often designed for certain purposes but can be used or adopted for others. I have a little puller made for battery terminal connectors that also works on small items and a steering wheel puller set that was fairly inexpensive that I have added numerous bolts and blocks of steel to the set to fit other things.

Press fits are also disassembled using sets of U shaped wedges, single or a pair used by taping them in from the sides to push the part off the shaft. They make these to remove pressed on Jacobs chucks and I have used them for other purposes.

Pressing using an arbor press or vise is generally the safest and gentlest way to remove and install bearings. In both cases a U shaped support is used for the shaft to pass through and support the bearing. Pieces of tubing are also used to support the part or press against a hub.

Slide hammers with puller ends are also used to get press fits apart. I have a large mechanics set and I've adapted a body work slide hammer for pulling small things apart.

Finding the right tools to support parts for pressing is often the most difficult task. I often use socket wrenches as they come in many diameters like having a set of graduated tubes. Sometimes I saw off a piece of pipe or tubing and occasionally I have had to machine a special tool in the lathe. U-slot support plates are made by torching, machining or drilling and sawing depending on the size and accuracy needed.

Occasionally when fits are too tight or in a tight location heat or cold is used. Cold is usually safest but requires dry ice and access to the fit. Heat can soften (temper) shafts, burn out lubricants and do other damage. But combinations of heat and cold are often used on large fits.

Without being more specific or actually seeing the assembly I can do no better than the general information above. Maybe it will give you an idea where to start.
   - guru - Saturday, 06/19/10 15:36:31 EDT

Mr. G.
I live in the Charoltte NC area, want to have a replica tag out of tin 2.75 x 2.75 diamond 1/4" thick with four inscriptions stamped on the face and hole for a leather neck strap. How much would this cost, where could I get a few samples made close to me, and at $100/hour how many of these could be made. Very similar to a military dog tag, the look is everything.
   Davvie Mims - Saturday, 06/19/10 17:22:13 EDT

Thanks, Jock - You've given me plenty to work with. I would expect these to be one of those lifetime deals, considering what it is. But I'll start pressing things and see where it goes.
   - Marc - Saturday, 06/19/10 18:36:40 EDT

Dog Tags. . These are made with a little machine where you turn a character wheel, pull the lever, the tag is stamped and advances, then you set the next letter. Someone with the machine could probably make one proof read tag every 2 to 5 minutes, thus 12 to 30 an hour. My time estimate is based on using a similar machine to cut paper address stencils. So cost at $100/hr (a little high for this work) would be 3.33 to 8.33 each. Half at a reasonable rate. The machines cost a couple thousand dollars new so it would take an order of 400 to 500 to pay for the machine with no labor and 1000 with labor. But used machines can be found for much less.

Many businesses used to have these machines for making tool and machinery tags, tool room chits and such. However, I personally do not know of anyone with one of these machines. However, I suspect folks in the WWII and similar reenactor groups have them.

Stamping with hand stamps (from the front with V edged punches) looks different and is a slow process that is difficult to hold a straight line. I've done a lot of these for personal use and it could take 10 to 15 minutes to do a three line tag that is obviously not machine made due to the spacing and alignment. There would also be losses due to scraped parts so production rates would probably only be 3 to 4 an hour. This is picky high concentration work and the pressure not to screw up makes it one of those $100/hr jobs. Stamp sets only cost $20 to $40 and the first 10 tags would pay for the stamps and make a profit (labor) if you had to purchase the stamps. But costs would be $20 to $30 per tag. This is something many folks could do. You can also get reverse round front stamps that make a raised letter like the machines BUT they are even more picky to use by hand.

If you want to try some hand made ones contact me with more details. I am up near Mt. Airy, only about 90 minutes from you. If you want the clean neat machine made ones you will need to keep asking around.
   - guru - Saturday, 06/19/10 20:02:27 EDT


Race removal.For removing races on a car or truck, I would get a long thin chisel, go to the other side of the wheel ( opposite from the side that the race was on ) put the end of the chisel on the outer edge of the race and hit the chisel with a hammer, then keep working around the race until it was out.
   Mike T. - Saturday, 06/19/10 20:28:39 EDT

Dog tags. The hand stamp machines work. The newer version is electric and has a typewriter like keyboard. The step up from that uses a computer. Great for ascending serial numbers and the like.
   ptree - Saturday, 06/19/10 21:18:53 EDT

Tool Names. Had a very annoying left hand adjustable wrench which we had to call FRED after my mother complained about the language.
   Hugh McDonald - Saturday, 06/19/10 22:46:46 EDT

Davvie Mims: at 1/4" thickness You might consider having them engraved, but You did mention tin... In aluminum or brass, the people who engrave plastic lanimate tags or trophy placks might be able to do the engraving, if You provided the blank. If You want thin sheet stocked stamped to provide a tag of 1/4" thickness, that is a horse of a different color, and requires a stamping die, not just the letter & number embossing the others are talking about.
   - Dave Boyer - Saturday, 06/19/10 23:29:12 EDT

I was wondering if that 1/4" thickness was a mistake since he said "tin" and wanted them to look like dog tags. . . Hand stamps work on thick materials but as I noted are difficult to get straight lines and even spacing.
   - guru - Sunday, 06/20/10 07:44:50 EDT

Hello. I would like to send pictures of an unusual stump anvil for you to add to the anvil gallery. Please supply an email address. As i cannot find one anywhere other than this one! thank you, Adam.
   Adam Marshall - Sunday, 06/20/10 12:13:25 EDT

In response to Henning's question,

"I bought a german style anvil today on the side is a parsial round marking the folowing leters are readable vergis____nicht.h& i am looking for some info on this anvil"

From Daniel Vogel of Switzerland we get:

".. the letters on your anvil reminded me of a flower in German named 'vergissmeinnicht' what means in English is: forget-me-not"
   - guru - Sunday, 06/20/10 15:51:05 EDT

Adam, Email coming your way.
   - guru - Sunday, 06/20/10 15:51:25 EDT

There are at least a half dozen companies making custom dog tags, and most will make custom shapes as well.
Any of them is going to be a LOT cheaper than somebody starting from scratch, and trying to make one, without the proper equipment.
Just google "custom dog tags" and a whole page of companies come up.
In the standard shape, they are usually around six bucks a pair, for any text you want.
Even in a diamond shape, with text on all four sides, I bet they would be pretty reasonable.
   - Ries - Sunday, 06/20/10 19:25:58 EDT

I got a gift cert. to a well known book seller today. Whats the best book for a beginner to buy ?
   wayne - Sunday, 06/20/10 19:32:05 EDT

Wayne, It depends on your focus and experience. If you have no metalworking experience and expect to get deeply involved the beginning book is "Metalwork Technology and Practice". It is a text book that has been used for 50 years and has been constantly updated by a series of publisher and authors.

If you are looking for a general blacksmithing book with lots of depth, The Artist Blacksmith by By Peter Parkinson is one of the better new books. I would complement it with Alex Bealer's The Art of Blacksmithing.

If you need the most basic step by step instruction then The Backyard Blacksmith By Lorelei Sims is very good and very clearly illustrated.

Artisan Ideas also sells a beautifully illustrated book that is more coffee table book than how to but covers all the basics plus in beautiful large photographs. The title is, Secrets of the Forge by Antonello Rizzo.

Every book on the subject has a slightly different focus and every book has some little trick or technique the others do not have. Each trick is usually worth the cost of the book if you use them.

Also note that with the exception of Metalwork Technology and Practice these books are all the equivalent of text books at a MUCH lower cost. This makes them a GREAT educational value. Metalwork Technology and Practice IS a text book and sells for text book prices. However, it is available used for much less than new and older copies are more suited to blacksmithing than the newest editions which have been edited to cover modern shop technology.
   - guru - Sunday, 06/20/10 21:52:22 EDT

Idea for making Mokume. Get a steel pipe, short enough to fit in the forge, screw a cap on one end, get another pipe that will slide tight in the first pipe, weld caps on both ends of it.....then put the brass, silver, borax etc. in the first pipe, slide the second pipe down fully in the first one, then heat to temperature in the forge, then remove the pipes, striking the end of pipe number two with a hammer until the weld is made, remove the end cap on pipe number one, strike pipe number two again in order to remove the mokume. May have to heat it some in order to knock it out. What do you think ?
   Mike T. - Sunday, 06/20/10 23:26:56 EDT

Mokume Gane is usually made without flux.

The layers are cleaned and stacked, then clamped together so no air can get in. The stack and clamp assembly is heated until the the lower temperature melting metal reaches a slight softening temperature (not quite slushy). It is removed then the clamp plate struck to complete the weld. No flux is used but the metals must be cleaned immediately prior to making the joint.

Keeping all air out of the joint is critical. Using a heavy clamping plate makes sure the applied force and the welding pressure is as evenly distributed as possible.

I don't think your method provides the flat surfaces or keeps enough air out, but I may not be fully understanding what you are doing.
   - guru - Sunday, 06/20/10 23:52:13 EDT

I checked the plans for a gas burner with blower. But, I couldn't find plans for a two burner gas forge with one blower. Can you direct me or refer me where I can find some basic plans for the above.
   David - Monday, 06/21/10 01:12:41 EDT

David, These simply use large diameter pipe and a T to split the flow. Gas is mixed in early (just after the fan) so that it is equally distributed and well mixed. The pipe size should not be too large as the flow velocity can drop below the flame front velocity and cause back firing into the burner. I use a reducer nozzle at the burner ends to accelerate the gases just before entering the forge to prevent backfiring. After the reduction the opening in the refractory can taper outward. The more symmetrical the plumbing arrangement the better. This means a T half way between the burner nozzles. It helps if there is some pipe between the T and blower so the fuel and air mix well. This also gets the blower away from the hot forge. It helps to put a heat shield between the forge and blower. This is simply a piece of sheet metal about 1" away from the side of the forge that air can circulate around.
   - guru - Monday, 06/21/10 01:47:13 EDT

Bearing removal - the Bash Brothers way.
Bashing was the answer. I tried the arbor press, but no luck with that. So I used the Guru's method of backing with sockets and was able to bash the bearing centers out with my treadle hammer and a piece of 1/2" round mild steel. The races came out with a small screwdriver and the same method that Mike T. said.

If I was getting paid for my time, a couple of wheels from Tractor Supply would have been cheaper then this free-on-the-road thing. But an hour or so playing in the shop trying to figure out how to get something done can be therapeutic.
   - Marc - Monday, 06/21/10 08:07:16 EDT

Its a learning curve. But its also why many shops do not take on small jobs. Its the nuisance factor.

On British cars the Spicer U-joints are installed with no way to remove the bearing caps and both axiis are put together the same. They are not like the American types with U-bolts on one half. The factory method was to tap on the joint with a hammer and have inertia raise the bearing cup out of its hole. . . Well, this MIGHT have worked on perfectly new clean parts but after a few years of rust and dirt the inertia of the little cap was far from sufficient. You could beat the joint to a mushroomed mess without the cap moving. I used many methods over the years doing various amounts of damage to the parts almost every time.

Then a fellow asked if I had a cutting torch. . . Sure, I replyed. He said, torch the cross into four pieces. . . then he demonstrated. While the grease made an exciting fire with the oxygen the parts torched easily then the bearings gently tapped out of the yokes doing no damage to the parts. In fact, the heat burned off all the excess grease, paint and undercoating making installation of the new parts much easier. While it seemed like a violent method, it was MUCH better in the long run.

We also used to have to replace wheel bearings on Triumph TR-6's. The were a heavy press fit that required a press of sufficient tonnage and lots of heat. When they came apart it was always with a "POW" and parts flying around the shop. I later discovered that the noise and flying parts were due to the springyness of the typical auto shop hydraulic press. Using a good heavy duty press the parts do not fly.

The old 50's and early 60's Dodges had a keyed and tapered fit rear hub and brake drum. Removal required a special puller with a large fine thread screw and a hammer struck nut with arms on it to strike. We would often pound on this tool for an hour before the hub would pull off and I had one that would NOT come off. We did not have a torch at the time and another shop got the job done. . .

For certain gear or hub pulling jobs I have a heavy duty Snap-On slide hammer with a two arm and three arm pulling attachment. You can buy dozens of attachments for these things. The hammer is about 8 pounds on a 3/4" diameter tool steel bar about 3 feet long. It has been years since I used it but when you need it, you need it.

Besides having the right tools for the job I've had to install or remove a lot of bearings with a BIG hammer. You try to avoid it but sometimes it is all you can do.
   - guru - Monday, 06/21/10 10:49:59 EDT

I have a 2 lb cross peen hammer that is soft from being overheated in its previous life. The stamping label says cast steel and a spark test implies sufficient carbon to respond to heat treatment. Jack Andrews "New Edge of the Anvil" has a very brief description on making a small hammer. The heat-treatment is to bring the hammer to critical slowly and then quench the face and peen by dipping in water to about 1" deep. Quickly polish the face and peen and draw the temper to a light purple. Maintain that temper but allow the eye to cool slowly.

I understand the treatment but am not sure I can get the polish fast enough to catch the right temper. Also a temperary steel bar handle seems like a practical way of handling the hammer for this process.

I would appreciate your comments and any helpful suggestions from your expertise. Thanks.
   Gil - Monday, 06/21/10 11:09:19 EDT

Gil, This is the residual heat method. The "quick polish" is usually just rubbing on some coarse sandpaper or touching the part on a belt sander. It just needs to be clean and bright, not polished to a mirror finish. When heating to critical check with a magnet. Non magnetic is usually about right. At this heat you do not get a lot of scale so cleaning it off is not like cleaning a piece heated to forging temperature.

A steel bar (threaded rod) or tongs that fit, either one works. Just remember that you will need to be able to rotate the bar to quench the ends. It is also recommended to use a stirring motion when quenching. Be sure your water is warmed a bit to prevent shocking the steel.
   - guru - Monday, 06/21/10 11:53:25 EDT

Well, a neighbor of mine had a devastating fire in his garage/machine shop a week ago. He had a lot of nice older machines in there, and I am wondering if any are worth trying to salvage. There were a couple of small lathes, a small bridgport mill, etc, etc. The fire got very hot, to the point of melting aluminum castings and melting the vinyl siding off the house from 60 feet away. Does anyone have any experience with restoring machines that have been exposed to high heat?
   Dave - Monday, 06/21/10 12:02:05 EDT


The Chinese - they melt them down and make new machines.
   - Buford Heliotrope - Monday, 06/21/10 12:42:46 EDT

In heavy industry, hydraulic pullers are common for pulling bearings. On the big forge machines where the roller bearing races can oftem be 24 to 32" diameter, the normal method of removal to to run a large, hot heavy stringer bear from an arc welder about 25% of the way around the id. The races can be slide out almost effortlessly then. They cool the races in dry ice to shrink them to get the new ones in.
   ptree - Monday, 06/21/10 13:46:44 EDT

Burned Machines: Dave, It MIGHT be worth it but its hard to tell. It would also have to be a real work of love. Older machines with no plastic parts and few if no zinc alloy parts would be the best candidates.

Problems. . . Any hardened and tempered parts may be softened OR even over hardened if the fire was hot enough and the parts were quenched by the fire department. They are more likely too soft. This includes critical parts such as spindles and bearing surfaces.

Small brass, bronze and zinc parts may be melted and their location and shape hard to identify. Some machines have zinc gears that if not melted may have gotten hot enough to sag or warp and be out of round. Gears are very expensive to replace.

Fine finishes may be rough or scaled and need refinishing. IF these are also parts with close fits they MAY end up too loose.

Obviously any motors, wiring or plastic parts would need to be replaced. Paint will also have burned off and many machines had significant layers of filler to make the castings clean and smooth.

Parts such as special wrenches, accessories and tooling may have been lost in the fire. On some items like chucks, losing one jaw from an interchange set ruins the chuck or makes it difficult to use. I have had several 3 jaw chucks that use two sets of jaws, one with the longer parts IN and the other with the longer parts OUT. One out of six jaws being missing make the chucks difficult to use and the parts are not replaceable on most old and many small chucks.

If you do not know about all the small parts and pieces and collect them carefully from the mess it can be a costly mistake and may make the restoration impossible or very expensive.

All this said, I would try. But it is a big task even on a small machine. I've had a number of machines that rust was the primary issue and even that can be a LOT of work. AND speaking of rust, those burned machines are going to start rusting VERY rapidly adding more damage. If they are going to be saved they must be moved, all the parts collected and at least well oiled to start.
   - guru - Monday, 06/21/10 15:42:27 EDT

We have a hydraulic porta-pak with electrical knockout punches. Same setup is occasionally used as a bearing puller. Due to needing to drill and use a manual knockout for the initial hole I was never a great fan or the porta-pak knockout system. Unless you are doing a lot of repetetive holes the work of setting it up is more trouble than using a manual (screw type) knockout. More tools. . .
   - guru - Monday, 06/21/10 16:22:54 EDT

Dog Tags -
at the local walmart they now have an engraving machine that will make dog tags. Literally they are tags for dogs but come in many shapes and colors including the classic military dog tags. I believe it makes tags for about $7.50

I don't believe walmart manages the machines in their foyer but if you have a wally world by you its worth keeping your eyes open for.
   Kevin - Monday, 06/21/10 16:43:15 EDT

I was close to taking the sawzall and cutting torch to my bandsaw today. After ruining a perfect blade (got pinched in a roller and curled the teeth) I decided to completely take everything off and put it back (one at a time mind you) until everything was kosher. Getting beautiful cuts every time now. Just wanted to give you guys an update, thanks for all the help.
   - Nippulini - Monday, 06/21/10 19:24:33 EDT

Adjusting and getting everything lined up on bandsaws is a real chore and can make one crazy. . But when right it really does make a difference. It helps to have a saw with at least the minamal adjustments. Many do not. . . :( That is why I am loathe to recommend most of the small cheap saws.
   - guru - Monday, 06/21/10 19:44:24 EDT

Dog Tags for Davvie Mims

At 1/4" thick he might mean a tag similar in style to a brass machine name tag. There are outfits that reproduce such items using acid etch to recess the background and leave the lettering raised. Usually polish the whole first then the acid finish background looks pretty good with the polished lettering. I expect the stencils are computer generated so an investment in setup could produce whatever look is required.

Might find a source by nosying (sp??) around the old engine groups that restore steam and gas engines, tractors, etc.,.

Also, some mold shops, (like ours), have laser engraving equipment that essentially accomplish the same thing. Takes a couple of hours to get going with the computer generated artwork, and up to $100/ hr run time. Depth of burn is run time. .005 deep might be 3 minutes, .030 deep might be 15 minutes, all depends.

He said looks are everything so a little more specific info would be good.
   - Tom H - Monday, 06/21/10 20:25:07 EDT

Guru Naming Tools

"93A Impeller Bolt Lifting Tool" might actually be:

"Lifting Tool, 93A Impeller Bolt"

General use first then specific application.
   - Tom H - Monday, 06/21/10 20:31:43 EDT

Of course Uncle Sam might name it:

"Tool, Lifting, Impeller Bolt, 93A"

   - Tom H - Monday, 06/21/10 20:33:16 EDT

Or Uncle Sam, with his infinite logic, could name that very item:

"Grape Jelly"

and who could argue with that wisdom!
   - Tom H - Monday, 06/21/10 20:34:49 EDT

Your "old iron" through the fire.
Most any old machine tool would be worth trying to fix/re-build after a fire.
As the Guru has pointed out there will be issues with parts that have lost their temper or have gotten hard or warped from the heating and quenching but, if the castings are good and have been properly seasoned when they were made they should be OK.
As was said, this will be a labor of love for your friend and may not be worth the time and effort unless the machines are common enough to make replacement parts available or if the machines are rare enough that they are indeed worth the effort.
Either way they need OIL RIGHT NOW!!
I would get something like Marvel Mystery OIL in there but probably not take anything apart just yet unless restoration is going to begin right away. A big box of parts that no one remembers what they blong to will kill the restoration project quick.
There are a lot of surplus machines out there that could be used for donor parts and maybe the burnt machines could be used as a donor to fix one of them up as an alternitive...
Good Luck to your freind!
   - merl - Monday, 06/21/10 23:11:05 EDT

Burn't machines. If I were to plan to restore, and these had any water from fire fighting applied, I would search out a few gallons of a water displacing oil. Made for use after phosphate coating. Birchwood Casey and others make these oils. They float the film of water and make a nice soft waxy long lasting film of preserveitive oil. If these machines got heavy water applied when hot look hard for cracks and decide early if fixable. If possible, drain all gear boxes and tanks and refill with good clean oil since the water and oil mix will make acid over time.
   ptree - Tuesday, 06/22/10 07:05:51 EDT

Places that are really critical - if plain bearings made of bronze or babbitt have not been destroyed they rapidly corrode due to bimetallic corrosion. Get oil on these ASAP and rotate the shafts IF possible. Lathes and Mills often have bronze nuts on handwheel screws. Check these early.
   - guru - Tuesday, 06/22/10 07:17:46 EDT

for Davvie Mims

Another possible outlet, a friend of mine gets a lot of one shot pieces made through a websight called http://www.100kgarages.com/
Its a websight with literally thousands of people who do small to large runs of very specific items. Because many of these guys are small shops sometimes you can negotiate a pretty good rate. Ive found a couple people ive used for a couple single pieces that would have cost me more time than to have them make the part and ship it to me.
   - Kevin - Tuesday, 06/22/10 14:29:38 EDT

Old Machines and Spares:

I have two c.1950 6" Craftsman lathes. One is my small working lathe and the other is a spare. I got a good deal on it and it came with attachments and extra chucks. But I do not need two 6" lathes setup.

Years ago our family shop had a 6" Atlas very similar to the Craftsman. I bought one that was in so-so condition for $100 and parts from it were used on my Craftsman and the family Atlas. Years later my Dad resurrected the remains of the Atlas when he needs a small "sit-down" lathe.

I've had a number of 20 to 24" so called "camel back" drill presses. Many of the parts are interchangeable. When I recently setup the 24" Champion it needed a spindle thrust bearing. I used the spindle bearing out of my otherwise worn out 20" Joseph T Ryerson. Other parts of the Ryerson went to a lathe drive and the remains of the machine will be used as a vise stand. I'll keep the gears and shafts in storage.

Parts of the Ryerson went to the old 14" Porter lathe I am setting up. If I could find a scrap Porter I would love to have it for parts. Mine has an abused tailstock and broken gears in the carriage. I can fix both but spares from a scraped machine would be a lot easier. . . and probably cheaper.

Old metal turning lathes that are near to scrap can make fine wood turning lathes and are considerably heavier than most wood lathes. Machine tables off old milling machines, shapers, planers and drill presses make great fixturing surfaces or tables for DIY devices such as a weld positioner. I'm going to cut off the top half of my old Ryerson drill press and use the base for a vise stand. It has the rotating table that locks much better than a rotating vise base and the table raises and lowers via a hand crank. I think it will be pretty handy.

Think about it before scraping old machine tools.
   - guru - Tuesday, 06/22/10 15:07:10 EDT

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