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 July 16 - 21, 2010 on the Guru's Den
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Steve, according to "Anvils in America," your H-B was most likely made in 1893. IF Mr. Postman's theory on dates and serial numbers is correct, that is. The table shows H-B making over 3000 anvils in their first year of incorporation (1892) and over 5,000 the next year. I don't doubt it, but that's a LOT of anvils!
   Alan-L - Friday, 07/16/10 16:03:03 EDT

I think me question was missed or ther aren't any answers for me. I 'll try posting this one more time-

What books are out there (in or out of print) that discuss different setups for forge welding large ornamental iron such as gates? More of book that shows a variety of pits, raised brick etc... for those that can't have an indoor forge. Tips on forge welding would be nice as well. I can do leaves, scrolls and I have plenty of "idea" books on design.
Thanks for your patience with my questions-
   - deloid - Saturday, 07/17/10 11:24:46 EDT

There are not enough specifics in you question. First, are you a beginner? If so, we could write an encyclopedic report on forge welding, and there would be still room for more. And you still might not have the "dance" or movements, without having tried to weld.

I have welded 1¼" square high carbon onto a 1" round M.S. shaft for a digging bar in a regular bottom blast American forge. I had a helper. I upset the round and cut a bird's mouth (cleft). Each tip of the cleft was "sharpened"; ie. tapered. A helper hammered his high carbon, taper-ended bit into the mild steel WHILE THEY WERE IN THE FIRE AT A WELDING HEAT, hearth high. The piece was then brought to the anvil for cropping and hammering. If you're handling some steel bigger than that, it becomes a materials handling problem, perhaps requiring gantries, chain falls, power hammers, etc. Then, you must ask yourself, "Do I really want to forge weld these large pieces?"

The London, England, book "Wrought Ironwork," shows a gate being made. It has sequential photos. The forge welding is done mostly on the scrollwork within the frame. Traditionally, the frame is tenoned together. Connecting bars are often tenoned and peened up. Other connections are perhaps collars and rivets. The same London rural bureau also published, "The Blacksmith's Craft" with a good section on forge welding.

A friend dug a fire pit in the ground and ran a 3" stove pipe under ground leading into the pit horizontally. He built a wood fire to harden an anvil face, and got a really good heat. I suppose you could do tha same with wood or coal, but there is still material handling. Getting the pieces out of the fire and hammering on them would take more effort than heating them.
   Frank Turley - Saturday, 07/17/10 11:59:27 EDT

Thanks Frank. I'm not a beginner but you did give me what I was hoping for. The "Wrought Ironwork" book sound like it's what I need for now.
   - deloid - Saturday, 07/17/10 12:29:16 EDT

Oh Oh Frank. I already have "The Blacksmiths Craft" but there are so many books out there with titles similar to Wrought Ironwork from London. Can you point out which one you liked?
   - deloid - Saturday, 07/17/10 12:35:26 EDT


The books Frank Turley are referring to are the COSIRA publications. They can be downloaded free at:


Note that this is a new link as of August 2009 - the old links are no longer functional.
   - Buford Heliotrope - Saturday, 07/17/10 13:36:01 EDT

Hello all,I have just bought a C.O Royal Western Chief hand cranked blower that is stuck and was wondering if anyone had photots of the inner workings to share so i know what i am getting into when i start to take it apart. I have found plenty of images on Champion blower rebuilds but nothing on Canedy Otto blowers. Any help wold be great.
   J.Naylor - Saturday, 07/17/10 15:26:12 EDT

   J.Naylor - Saturday, 07/17/10 15:28:15 EDT

J. Naylor, I don't know about the guts of a Cannedy-Otto specifically, but they're all pretty similar. A series of gears on at two or three shafts, no seals, maybe some bearings, and that's about it. Can you get the top off the gearbox? If so, I'd just hose everything down with some PB B'laster every day for a few days, paying special attention to the shaft seats/bearings and see if it breaks free. My Champion Lancaster #1 was locked up tight from sitting outside for 20 years, and it came free in two days with this method.

If nothing moves after a week, maybe a gentle application of heat and a couple taps with a small hammer. This is all assuming it's not a solid mass of rust, which is unlikely. The culprit is usually old solidified grease.
   Alan-L - Saturday, 07/17/10 15:55:40 EDT

J. Naylor. I have 3 Western Chiefs. @ were stuck. These blowers have a case that bolts side to side so not real top or cover, when you pull this apart all the saft bearings on in the case sides.
My way to free up, has worked well twice.
1. Use a flashlight and inspect the fan for mud dubber nests etc. These will easily hang up a blower. Gently fish them out.
2. Remove the drain cock and see if anything dribbles out.
3. Flush the gearcase with kerosene until mostly clear.
4. Replace the drain cock and fill the case to the point the drain drips then close the drain and rest for a day or three.
5.drain the now dirty kerosene and flush again. Don't be surprised at the amount of gunk. You may have to use a wire to clear the drain several times.
Repeat untill all the gunk is gone.
6. fill the case as before to the drain drip with 50:50 ATF and kerosene. GENTLY try to turn the charnk. should free up and then turn slowly and gently for a couple of minutes and drain. If pretty clear refill with ATF and you are good to go. Change oil yearly. These blowers unlike the Champions do not leak all the oil from the case. They will usually hold the fill for a year at least. Hence all the old oil gunk.
If the crank won't turn try turning the blower from the cast hub gently while also turning the crank. Note also that most of these old blowers are happier turning one direction from wear. The Otto's have a symetrical case and can be run either way, but once used for a couple of years they get worn in and like that direction.
Good luck.
   ptree - Saturday, 07/17/10 16:23:16 EDT

Rusted Things: Persistence is usually the key to getting rusted things apart along with oil and patience. Sometimes significant but judicial use of force is required.

Often there is no choice and bolts are going to have to be broken and then drilled out. To use broken bolt extractors (Easy Outs) you drill just below the thread root size (one size below a tap drill). If the Easy Out does not work then drill at the tap drill size. Often the pieces of thread that are left will come out at that point.

When I was a kid we were given five junked lawn mowers by the neighborhood tinkerer. He had taken them apart in various stages and could not get them to work. One was one of the better old engines with an iron sleeve in the cylinder. The cylinder was rusted and the piston stuck. It took a block of wood and a lot of hammering to get that piston out. It was the most difficult of the four to disassemble and one of two that we got running. The other was a small 2 cycle engine that we put an over size carburetor on and then promptly blew up on a test stand. The broken rod was accordioned to half its length!

I was given a beautiful old Prentice vise that was rusted up but before it was rusted someone had used the extension of the front jaw as an anvil, mushroomed it, then it wedged in the vise body and would not move - the rust came after it had been abandoned as junk. . . When I got the screw turning I close the vise, then filed the mushrooming and rust off the arm, THEN worked the vise apart. If I had not repaired the root cause of the lock up first the vise may have been irreparably damaged. 45 minutes of work including paint and it is one of my BEST tools now.

I've used routine with cleaning things out with kerosene on working automobile engines! Occasionally a very abused automobile would come into the service station and be almost out of oil on top of everything else. We would put about half a gallon of kerosene in the engine, run it for 15 to 20 minutes then drain the oil and do it again with 50/50 motor oil and kerosene. Afterward we would change the oil and filter using the best oil we had. One of these was a little car I had bought for $50. After the treatment I changed the oil every thousand miles for a couple months. Eventually it was the smoothest running and the most quiet automobile we had.

If I could remember them all I have dozens of these stories. . .
   - guru - Saturday, 07/17/10 19:13:07 EDT

Thank you for the insight,if i do wind up having to take it apart would you like to have the pictures for refrence. As i said before there are plenty of pics of Champions but none of Canedy Otto.
   J.Naylor - Saturday, 07/17/10 19:52:21 EDT

J. Naylor, I would be surprised if it had to come apart. I have seen many many otto blowers, and none were badly stuck. They were the Rolls Royce of blowers and with the good oiling they enjoyed, most survived in very good smooth condition. The proper way to orient them is to have the fill hole at top and the drain cock is at about a 45 degree angle. If you close the cock and overfill, they will leak from the shaft seal into the blower wheel case. Otherwise them seem to hold the oil very well.
   ptree - Saturday, 07/17/10 20:11:53 EDT

Rusty-red Things.

We picked up two more anvils over vacation during the Holiday-week.
One's a very nice 105-lb PARAGON all-steel anvil and I believe Soderfors made these.
The other anvil was found and saved from a scrap-metal pile beside an old barn & garden.
It was beat-up a little and had an ugly coat of barn-red paint that covered the whole anvil, but it still rang nice.
The owner wanted a price that I couldn't pass up.
It's a 102-lb Mouse-Hole anvil that I mistaken for being a Peter-Wright when I first checked it over.
All edges are worn round, and the horn-tip is smashed flat to the size of a nickel. The cutting plate has been used alot and it's got a touch of sway to it just over the main body. Hardy-hole & all are in good shape.

My thought is to use this one as a "starter-anvil" to learn hammer-control, striking and the basics without abusing other anvils just starting off.....
PLUS it's small enough to be taken around to other blacksmith shops while learning from them.
Either because they don't have another anvil to be used OR don't want their own being beat on by an newbie...and I can understand that.

The real truth is that I've developed an anvil-addiction and can't stop searching for them where-ever we go.
   Danial - Saturday, 07/17/10 22:11:22 EDT

Danial, The little Mouse Hole sounds like the perfect small anvil. Rounded corners are good to prevent bad forge practice and the little sway perfect for straightening things. The tip of the horn is typical and can be dressed a little (you don't want a point smaller than 3/8 to 1/2").

After that first anvil they will just keep coming. . .
   - guru - Saturday, 07/17/10 23:03:51 EDT

Awesome Danial
   - knucklehead - Sunday, 07/18/10 01:25:02 EDT

Anybody else have trouble getting through on the link Buford posted? I got nothing but "can not connect" over 5 tries. Actually first try got me onto the page but when I clicked on one of the titles all I got was the "can not connect" everytime after.
   Amos - Sunday, 07/18/10 01:33:22 EDT


Just checked it again and it works fine for me. I justt cut/pasted the link from the previous post.
   - buford heliotrope - Sunday, 07/18/10 08:05:29 EDT

Yep. . leading and tailing spaces that are difficult to see in MicroSnot land due to a space being 1/3 the width of most characters can screw up even a simple cut and paste operation.
   - guru - Sunday, 07/18/10 14:53:42 EDT


The smunched horn tip can be reforged hot using a rosebud or large welding tip. I have tipped anvils up where they are sitting on the heel and applied heat. Hammer the bottom and sides first getting the bottom curve to shape. Then finally come aroung to the tip which will probably more nearly horizontal. Have a slight radius on the tip; they are not needle sharp. Air cool.
   Frank Turley - Sunday, 07/18/10 23:00:32 EDT

Hi, I just picked up a small anvil of approximately 60 lbs. It was located under a building with some junk that has been enclosed and unaccessable since the late 60's so I know its at least 40 years old. The thing that is confusing me is that it has the look of a cheap chinese ASO but it rings nicely and has what I would guess to be 75% rebound. The casting lines are very prominent and the grinding marks where the casting lines were cleaned up are very rough. There are no marks on the anvil at all. I am not sure of the material it is made of other than knowing it was cast. My question is, did they have cheap chinese anvils kicking around 40+ years ago and if they did, would they have decent rebound ring? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Glenn
   Glenn - Monday, 07/19/10 00:12:10 EDT

It worked this time - thanks
   Amos - Monday, 07/19/10 02:14:27 EDT

Thank-you Mr. Turley & Guru.

I was just going to ask what's the best way to dress it back besides grinding it down. :-)
I actually feel comfortable enough with this anvil to forge it back, at least where the horn-tip isn't mushroomed like it is now. I don't know why folks did this to the tips of anvil horns, but I've seen a few done this way now.
I gotta double-check Anvilfire's color-chart to make sure I don't over-heat it when I go to do this.....newbies!

There's some really old ASO's out there.
And some years back there was some Chinese cast-steel anvils with face-plates on them. The one I looked at came from a CO-OP/farm & feed store well over 40 years ago.
Drag it out & clean it up, see if any markings or #'s surface on the main-body or the front/ back foot of the anvil base. It may not be such a cheap-made anvil after all.
   Danial - Monday, 07/19/10 03:16:31 EDT

Cast anvils, There have been foundries and individuals having anvils cast from old anvils as patterns as well as their own anvils for a very long time. However, I do not know of any specific examples of rough cast anvils from that era. However, there were a LOT of foundries back then where folks could slip in some government work AND good hand grinders were expensive and fairly rare. SO it is possible that someone had it cast but did not finish it. . .

Lots of mysteries out there.
   - guru - Monday, 07/19/10 07:02:15 EDT

Jock, when you say you put kerosene in the engine, you mean the crankcase right? I wouldn't think you ran 50/50 kero/oil through the fuel lines. Wouldn't the kerosene swell up into the filter though? Would I be able to use this method on my 72 Pinto?
   - Nippulini - Monday, 07/19/10 08:07:00 EDT

Hi what size hydraulic press would be required to efficiently manipulate a one inch ball swage?
   malcolm - Monday, 07/19/10 08:12:06 EDT

Nip, Yep, in the crankcase. . . But a lot of gasoline additives are just kerosene and some oil. . . ;) I don't really recommend it. Note that Pintos had serious cam wear problems due to lubrication failure. The 72 occasionally had the problem but the later models with 2.4 liter engine were TERRIBLE about it. .


Not sure but both speed AND pressure are needed. Too slow a press and the work cools before it is formed even if you have tons of pressure. So the question is how much horsepower (or KW) is needed. I would guess at least 5HP.
   - guru - Monday, 07/19/10 09:21:11 EDT

I live in N.W. pa and im pumped about getting started blacksmithing, are any of you in my area interested in selling any tools . . . i have nothing, also i know nothing so is there a good book you guru's would recomend? I have "back to basics" and "foxfire 5"!
   - Wind & Fire - Monday, 07/19/10 09:39:09 EDT

Wind & Fire, See our book review page and our eBooks page. There are a lot of books on blacksmithing.

There are two blacksmithing groups in PA. See ABANA-Chapter.com for links. If you want to meet other smiths this is the easy way. There are often folks selling tools at meetings. Then in September there is the Quad State conference in Troy, OH. LOTS of tools and often a lot of good deals. See our calendar page for many more.
   - guru - Monday, 07/19/10 09:52:16 EDT

Speaking of kerosene in the crank case, I have a car that blew an intake manifold gasket and ended up with all the antifreeze in the crank case.
I have since fixed everything but, someone suggested adding a quart of kerosene to the first oil fill after the repair to wash out any remaining antifreeze sludge in the engine.
Is that going to work? I used quite a bit of CRC Breakleen to wash out the areas I could get to and then changed the oil. I was planning on running it for a week and then changing again.
Any thoughts?
   - merl - Monday, 07/19/10 12:45:18 EDT

Merl, I would just go with a top grade multi-viscosity oil and a new filter, then change it AND the filter after less than 1000 miles (a week sounds good). Note that water, being heavier than oil will collect in the oil filter. Small amounts are OK but large amounts will clog the filter OR suddenly go through the engine in a big slug. This is not good.

A few frequent oil changes are like cleaning anything. They can have significant benefits if there is dirt, contaminated oil, burned oil or other undesirable content in the engine. An engine that has been in a flood and may have ingested water born silt can be saved if dried out before corrosion sets in (within hours) and is flushed repeatedly with fresh oil. The problem is that modern engines that are heavy on electronics and electrical parts may take too long to get operational or the expense may not be worth the effort.
   - guru - Monday, 07/19/10 13:17:37 EDT

Merl, that was the cause of death of my late lamented 1996 Dodge 1500 PU. It inhaled its own intake gasket during an overly-enthusiastic attempt to get it unstuck from some mud. At 200,000 miles it was just a baby...

It had far too many electronics and emission controls added to the venerable 318 V8 to make the fix cost-effective. I ended up using the $3000 repair estimate as a downpayment on a new one, as the transmission was fried too.

My '77 Scout was much better in that regard, you could put anything in the engine and it'd still run fine. Zero electronics except for the #$@%@ Delco optical distributor sensor that I replaced five or six times. It had to go to a new home after my wife refused to ride in it anymore due to the imminent danger of the seats falling through the floor.

Metalworking content: she was not impressed by the patch panels I fabricated and riveted in over the holes in the floor.
   Alan-L - Monday, 07/19/10 14:01:44 EDT

"she was not impressed..."
Really? I hope you have worked hard to improve her trust in your metal working skills since then (grin)
Why is it our significant others rarely share the trust we have in our own engineering and execution?
This engine is a GM3100V6 with 182,000ml on it. The rest of the car is in great condition and for the $200. in parts and my own labor I couldn't afford not to fix it. Stripping the engine down was not as difficult as you would think. All the electronic spaghetti had each to their own plugs and the spark plug wires are marked on both ends.
It went well but, will have to come apart some what again to replace the O rings in the fuel rail that now leak (big surprise).
On another note I am posting a phone number in the Hammer In for a H-B anvil for sale in my part of Wisconsin.
I don't know anything about it I just saw the add in the Wisconsin State Farmer and thought I would pass it on seeing as how I'm skint at the moment and can't have it for myself.

Alan, I fixed the "dog sized" holes in the floor boards of my first truck ('71 F250) with the grates from an old hammer mill used for grinding feed.
Come to think of it that must have also been my first real endeavor in blacksmithing too, as far as I had to torch cut, heat ,re-shape and install the grates myself. It was fun to run around with the floor mats off and watch the road go by...UNDER YOUR FEET! Handy for chewin' tobacco too.
   - merl - Monday, 07/19/10 14:54:07 EDT


I strongly recommend you go ahead with the kerosene flush on that engine. In fact, I'd recommend you add a double or triple shot of diesel "water eliminator" to the kerosene (diesel is about the same and cheaper). When the antifreeze mixes with the oil it makes a really nasty sludge that sticks to everything, as you no doubt have already discovered. Any that got into the combustion chambers will have turned to the consistency of paving compound. A slug of Rislone engine flush down the carb while the engine is running will get rid of most of it, as well as clearing the nearby acreage of mosquitoes. :-)

I had the same thing happen on a Chevy S-10 and got another 110,000 miles after the new gasket and sludge removal.
   - Buford Heliotrope - Monday, 07/19/10 16:50:08 EDT

To add to the above posts, you can use cheap dollar store oil to run and flush the engine, then get the higher priced synthetic oil for regular use. If you use synthetic oil you will get way more milage out of your vehicle.
   Mike T. - Monday, 07/19/10 17:32:51 EDT

Here is a temporary fix in case the heater goes out in your vehicle. Put a roll of toilet paper in a coffee can. Pour rubbing alcohol over the paper and in the can. Glue a plate on the bottom end of the can ( keeps it from turning over). Light the paper, if the windshield is iced over, just go back in the house, drink some coffee, when you go back out, the windows will be defrosted and the interior will be nice and warm. Necessity is the mother of all inventions. Another tip...if the radio arial gets broken off your vehicle, get a potato and job it down over the stub sticking up, you will then get good reception ( until the potato dries up, then stick another one on. :)
   Mike T. - Monday, 07/19/10 18:10:54 EDT

Merl, I have used Rislone to great advantage to free up the lifters on my interesting 1968 IH Scout. Had a factory half a V-8. Not a regular 4 cylinder, but a honking great truck V-8 with one bank lopped off the pattern before they cast the block. Had a V-8 crank with only 4 rods attached, a half intake on top and side exhaust. Heck the distrubutor had 8 lobes but only 4 towers on that Delco window point distributor. It would get the "Sticky lifter" clatter every couple of years.( Hydraulic lifters) I would add the Rislone, and then change the oil & filter in a week, and then change the filter in another week, and top the oil. Run great for many years.

I got a Contintenal F-163 powered Lincohn welder for hauling it off. Had not run in years. Cleaned the fuel tank, changed the oil and filter, new wires and plugs and rotor and cap, and it started in about 3 revolutions:) Smoked like a skeeter fogger. I added Rislone to the oil, added Marvel mystery oil to the gas and in about 20 gallons of gas used and 5 oil changes over a 5 year period and it no longer smokes. Had to free the stuck rings. (Note: I only used the Marvel Mystery Oil because this beast has a premitive Marvel Schlieber up draft carb with a cast iron bowl and brass float. The Marvel Mystery Oil is hell on any elastomer seals)

Synthetic oil in cars.
Some years back Consumers Reports did an exhaustive report on oils, additives, filters and so forth. They ran the tests on 3 shift taxis to get the data, and in a nutshell, Buy your regular oil by head stamp and price. Buy Fram filters, and ALL of the "magic" teflon additives were useless, as the wear and milage did not change vs regular oil. If you are running normal driving patterns, 5000 mile oil change with a filter change every time is the reccomended. I buy 55 gallons at a crack as I am changeing oil in my kids cars as well as my vehicles and that adds up to 4 cars, 2 minivans, 1 little pick-up, 1 fullsize van, and the 72 chevy 1ton in sheeps clothes. I use Chevron 10W30 and have in my little chevy 4 banger that now has 213,000 miles with no engine issues, and changed every 5000 miles.

In the lab, modern engine oils are checked to the API head stamp. If for instance your engine calls for "API SJ", as long as the oil is major brand, and the container is marked SJ, you can mix, you can even test and not tell the difference in the lab. Once upon a time, before blending was at the current state, regions had Napathlenic and parafinic stocks, and these were different. In the old days petroleum was split by distilling pretty much like whiskey. Now they split the molecule with temp/pressure/cataylist and reform it into the desired hydrocarbon product.
Group 2 is the current state of the art for petroleum oils, and is dewaxed and has almost no sulfur. This leads to much extended life, since the sulfur present in the older group 1 oils lead to early oxidation. In engine oils the blowby, and condensation negate the need for the group 2 oils long life. Same problem for synthetic. The oil molecule is unhurt, but the contaminate level goes out to harmful and damages the engine.

I will stick with the straight hydrocarbon oils just like nature intended, since dinosaurs were not made from Poly-alpha-olefins:)
   ptree - Monday, 07/19/10 18:41:33 EDT

I respectively disagree, The president of AAA was being interviewed and he was asked the question: What can consumers do to make their cars last longer ? In his reply he said if consumers would use synthetic oil, it would make their cars last longer. I have a friend ( certified maechanic ) that will only use synthetic oil when giving oil changes. He said he only wanted to use oil that would make the engines last longer. Technology is a wonderful thing if folks will use it. You are right about the older oils, mechanics would recommend the parafin based oil over the sulphur based oil.
   Mike T. - Monday, 07/19/10 19:37:46 EDT

Mike T. Oil is not sulfur based. Petroleum is devided into two basic groups as it comes from the ground. One is more like Naptha and one has a higher parafin content. But all petroleum has sulfur to some extent, and parafin to some extent. In fact many oils as they come from the well are very high in Hydrogen Sulfide. These are known as sour. In reality every well has a slightly different makeup.
That is the neat thing of the moodern refineries, they break up that magnificant hydrocarbon molecule and reassemble it into the form they wish. Gives us much more gasoline from a barrel than before, and much better lubricating oil as well.
I am NOT anti-synthetic oil. Quite the opposite. BUT, you need the right application. In a screw compressor, hydrocarbon "Turbine oil" lasts about 1000 hours, the PAO's about 3000 hours, the polyglycols about 6000 the phosphate esters about 3000 and silicone oil nearly infinete.
In an internal combustion engine, while the synthetics can maintain the viscosity for longer, they still get contaminated. They get blow-by products like water, gasoline and wear particles as well as the dirt in the air they breath in on every stroke. The PCV systems have reduced the dirt ingression from breathing some, but no matter how good the oil, the dirt is there as well as chemical contaminates from combustion. what good is a perfectly good viscosity, non-sheared oil when it is full of contaminates? The contaminats do the damage far faster than oxidized or shear reduced viscosity. You can work at reducing the dirt by filtration, but chemical contamination can not readily be done in the engine.
Why pay for performance you can't realize since you need to drain to remove the contaminats?
   ptree - Monday, 07/19/10 20:59:40 EDT

Dollar Store Oil:
I used Unilab oil from Dollar General for about the last 100,000 miles on My '85 Dodge mini van [2.2 engine]. The van had about 285K on it when it rolled down a hill and hit a tree less than 2 years ago. I used to change the oil & filter about every 10K miles, but it leaked oil bad enough that the oil wasn't exceptionally dirty.
   - Dave Boyer - Monday, 07/19/10 21:11:28 EDT

Oil Technology:
One would think that oil keeps getting better & better as the new ratings come out, but they are not rated on lubricating quality alone, there are restrictions on what additives can be used to meet emission regulations as well.

The current SM rated oils DO NOT protect against scuffing type wear as well as some previous grades. This has proven to be an issue on cam & lifters in some older engines.

I am sure I WOULD NOT use SM oil in a Pinto.

Back in the day, Arco had a graphite containing oil, that diodn't work well in Pintos either [premature cam & lifter wear].
   - Dave Boyer - Monday, 07/19/10 21:25:01 EDT

Back when I had a service station I changed the oil in all our cars every 1,000 miles because I got the best 10W40 oil at wholesale. It was also very easy to just roll the car in when things were slow, change the oil, squirt some grease, check this and that. . I changed the oil in my parents cars any time I got hold of them.

But these days something is usually broken before the car goes to the garage and the oil change is done just because its there. . My last two cars lasted up into the 300,000 miles like that and were discarded due to other multiple problems, NOT engine bearings or cams. Usually it was when multiple things were wrong all at once.

Those early Pintos that had so much engine trouble were sold by Ford under the premise that they could go twice as long without an oil change. But warranties at the time were only 12,000 miles or 12 months and most engines would make it that long then fail shortly after. . . My brother-in-law had one fail at 12,200 miles in my front yard. They drove it 25 miles to visit and the car ran perfectly and was very quiet. Within a couple revolutions upon starting the engine the cam seized up. . . Engine was full of nice clean new oil. . and out of warranty by 200 miles! That was about the time that Americans started buying Japanese cars because they were more economical AND more dependable.
   - guru - Monday, 07/19/10 21:53:00 EDT

Thanks Buford and all for the advise. I'll have to try to find some of that stuff as I wouldn't doubt some got past the valves.
   - merl - Monday, 07/19/10 23:44:44 EDT

Oil, I wanted to add that changing your oil too frequently does damage your engine...since no one mentioned it. We all know that contaminated oil does the same. It is important today to use the recommended oil for your engine as well. Many things have changed in the engine besides the oil today. The old rule of thumbs we all came to know no longer apply.
   - Reb - Tuesday, 07/20/10 00:22:01 EDT

I am looking for someone in New Mexico who either makes buggy wheels does repair work on wheels or has some for sale
Thank You
   Terry Lee - Tuesday, 07/20/10 01:25:13 EDT

Terry, Click on "The gurus" link at the top of this log. Then see Turley Forge. Frank may be able to help you OR put you in contact with someone that can.
   - guru - Tuesday, 07/20/10 07:31:58 EDT

Terry, You might try getting in touch with http://www.cowboysymposium.org. They sponsor an annual chuck wagon cookoff in Lincoln, NM and the chuck wagons have traditional wheels.

The only thing I wonder about; would a real cowboy want to come to a symposium? He might be better off at a "sympossum."
   Frank Turley - Tuesday, 07/20/10 10:13:39 EDT

One of my first Pinto's hit a parking barrier, with such a low front end I scraped a tiny hole in the oil pan. Every day the car got fresh oil before driving. I had to put an oil bucket under the car every night before going to bed, then cycle the oil back into the car. I was 19 and cheap, eventually I got a new pan. THAT Pinto had more parts from the local junkyard than original. When it was on its' last leg I drove it to the same yard and sold it for $50. I probably spent over $500 in used parts from this yard. I went back there a few months ago... the roars of laughter didn't die down after they heard the word "Pinto". Never went back there again.
   - Nippulini - Tuesday, 07/20/10 11:00:06 EDT

Synpossum---sounds like some nasty tofu based thing. Who would want synthetic possum when the real thing is so easy to find along the roadside in certain parts of the USA!

Thomas channeling his Arkansas hill roots...
   Thomas P - Tuesday, 07/20/10 13:06:39 EDT

I'm getting a Little giant 25 in two days. it is on a low trailer. I;'m thinking of renting a forklift to get it off the trailer and close to my garage. I can use my bar clamps (without the clamps) to help roll it in the garage then i don'y know how to get it onto the plywood platform. i guess I stilll have to think about that.
What's the best way to use a fork lift on the LG? Heavy duty webbing (towing nylon)under the main frame?
   - deloid - Tuesday, 07/20/10 16:35:50 EDT

Deloid: how high is the plywood? Could you use pipe that was big enough to roll right to the platform and level with the top and then work it off the pipe onto the platform?

   Thomas P - Tuesday, 07/20/10 19:39:38 EDT

Hi, I have been blacksmithing for a few years, mostly in historical reenactment settings, and I would kinda like to learn about and do a little traditional gunsmithing from somewhere around the 1840s through 1870. Is there any literature you could recommend?

Thanks much

   Aaron - Tuesday, 07/20/10 20:16:07 EDT

I was going to try a platform like Don Hanson's 5" build up of 1/2" ply bolted to the concrete.
   - deloid - Tuesday, 07/20/10 20:38:38 EDT

Hey Thomas, I got some "slimpossum" slow cookin' on the blacktop about a 1/4 mile down the road from here. Should be ready by lunch time tomorrow (if the turkey vultures don't get him first)
   - merl - Tuesday, 07/20/10 22:00:04 EDT

Traditional Gunsmithing: If You are interested, and gan get there go to Dixon's Muzzleloading Shop Inc.‎ in Kempton, Pa. for the Gunmakers Fair this weekend.

I have never been there yet, but I understand they will be building a Pensylvania Long Rifle from scratch, forge welding the barrel, boring, rifling, etc.

   - Dave Boyer - Tuesday, 07/20/10 22:11:26 EDT


A 25 LG isn't that heavy. You can just roll it up to the platform and lift one side about an inch with a crowbar and block it up. Go to the other side and do the same, then repeat until you're even with the platform. Then just use the crowbar to gently and slowly walk the LG onto the platform. If you're nervous about this, tie a rope from the crankshaft of the LG to a rafter as a safety line.

You can take the LG off the trailer the same way, only in reverse. Or you can rent a "cherry picker" engine hoist and use that - probably cheaper than a forklift and plenty stout enough to handle a little thing like a 25# LG.
   - buford heliotrope - Tuesday, 07/20/10 22:37:53 EDT

If you have a hefty 2-wheel hand truck, you can tilt the 25# Little Giant onto it and wheel it around. I have done this with a Kerrihard (they weigh about the same).
   - Dave Hammer - Tuesday, 07/20/10 23:28:37 EDT

I'm not saying I doubt you Dave but the 25 weighs 1000 pounds (as I understand). I'm 54 and not a strong farmer like I used to be.

I hope it's as easy as you suggest cause I'm pretty nervous about getting this off the trailer on thursday.
   - deloid - Wednesday, 07/21/10 00:17:19 EDT

In 1974 my parents bought a new Ford Pinto poop brown for $3,800. Lotta Change back when wages were 1.50 hr.
   - Kizz - Wednesday, 07/21/10 00:18:14 EDT

Kizz, I bought a used 72 Pinto in 74 for $1,000 and drove it for over 200,000 miles. . . Bought a 72 Porsche 914 for $1,800 the same year. Barely got 10,000 miles out of it with horrendous repairs before I sold it. . Unskilled guys that worked for me then earned $1.50 but I charged $10/hour for MY time as a sports car mechanic. I also remember a 1967 Jaguar XKE selling NEW for $3,400. . . A LOT of inflation going on in those years.
   - guru - Wednesday, 07/21/10 01:04:09 EDT

Moving an LG. . . A 25 pound LG without motor weighs about 850 pounds and less than 1,000 with the motor. They are compact enough, but tall enough (leverage) to tip, skid, walk and move around without help. With help they are not difficult to move.

I moved two LG's (a 50 and a 100) alone, up a ramp using a come-a-long, loaded onto a pickup using a hand hoist and unloaded and moved them alone at the other end. Sky hooks are very helpful but I walked the 50# all over with nothing but a pry bar. However, getting them out of the truck can be dicey without a hoist.
   - guru - Wednesday, 07/21/10 01:16:33 EDT

Gunsmithing: Start with Dixie Gun Works. Search for their old catalogs as well (many were as good as manuals of gunsmithing). They sell books and plans.

Note that the era you are interested in was a period of great mechanical advancement. Lathes of various types were common in shops large and small.

Long rifle barrels were too long to bore on most small lathes so gunsmiths built their own boring and rifling machines. These were primarily wood but had some metal parts.

   - guru - Wednesday, 07/21/10 02:03:12 EDT


Book 5 of the Foxfire book series has an interesting section on traditional gunsmithing. It details the boring/rifling of the barrels by hand pretty well, though it is not an exhaustive reference. Whole book is a good read, IMHO.
   aaron c. - Wednesday, 07/21/10 09:43:21 EDT

Aaron, Check out http://www.jacobsburg.org
   Frank Turley - Wednesday, 07/21/10 09:54:38 EDT

Any information on an artist blacksmith, John French, working in the early to mid-70? I have a small iron sculpture 10'' tall of a civil war smith signed, John French 1976 @
   Page A. Thomas - Wednesday, 07/21/10 10:34:14 EDT

Deliod, I don't know what the bottom of your LG looks like but, if it's flat with no hollows for a fork lift tine or something like that, you should be able to tilt the front edge up enough to slide some 3/4" black pipe under it to act as rollers. You will need at least three pieces of pipe and they should be about 6"-12" wider than the base of the machine.
Once it is up on the rollers you will find it much easier to move with just a few nudges from a long pry bar.
If the machine seems top heavy either reduce the top side weight by removing the motor or get a safety rope around it. (you should do this any way)
HOYEVER, before you move it by any kind of rolling device, make sure your floor is somewhat level so the whole works doesn't take you for a ride.
I would definitely NOT try to move something that was that heavy by hand truck.
It would be one thing if the center of balance was all below your knees but, if you tip it back too far and you're behind it trying to keep it from going over, you will get flattened and severely hurt or worse.
One of the keys to moving heavy equipment is, STAY OUT FROM UNDER IT!
I have moved a lot of machinery either by my self or with a team of trained people. The first rule is "Never lift the load higher than you need to" and "If it's going to fall, don't be where it will land!"
The rental of a forklift would be well worth it for your peace of mind.
I'll give you one little hint about using a forklift in low over head situations.
If you can't get under the load but, you can sling it from the top, SOMETIMES you can turn your forklift tines up side down on the rack to gain extra height.

Don't under estimate the ability of your load to injure or kill you. If you can get help, get it!
   - merl - Wednesday, 07/21/10 10:56:38 EDT

While down-home & taken up hey in the fields, I was reading Foxfire-#5 on blacksmithing & gun making.
I really love the older stories of the way things once were and some still ring-true today.
I NEVER knew about copper in a forge-fire prevents forge-welds from taking hold.

I've still got a bunch of parts all together that I've collected from gunsmiths to someday put together another black-powder rifle, only this time I think I'd like to do a flint-lock rifle. Keep it "Old School."

Would make a great "Winter-time Project" to do while its cold outside.
   Danial - Wednesday, 07/21/10 11:09:41 EDT

Flat Belt Suppliers:

Guys- I am looking for a supplier of wide, flat belts for my Bradley. Specifically I need a 5-ply, rubber/canvas composite type belt 8 inches wide with a thickness of about 7/32". I orignally purchased a belt like this from Mcmaster Carr, but I don't see this width listed in their on-line catalog anymore. Does anyone else have a source for belts like this? Thanks.

   Patrick Nowak - Wednesday, 07/21/10 11:29:06 EDT

Flat Belt Suppliers--The old engine and tractor restorers use flat belts to transmit power to applications. One of the suppliers of the trade is Hit and Miss Enterprises in Ohio (www.hitnmiss.com). Per their on-line catalogue, they can supply any width of flat belt, as well as installing clipping and so on.

I have no business connections with these folks, but like to support the nitch market suppliers so they don't go away

David Hughes
   - David Hughes - Wednesday, 07/21/10 11:59:37 EDT

Patrick, I do not know about local to you but there are transmission supply companies all over that specialize in belts and stock a LOT of material types.

Yep, the variety of belting at McMaster-Carr has been reduced and the quality of plain leather belting is now so bad I can no longer recommend it. The last "premium" belting I got from McMaster-Carr was under thickness, and spliced from many short pieces of only a foot or so.
   - guru - Wednesday, 07/21/10 13:04:19 EDT

Copper in the Forge: Danial, That is an old wives tale with no basis in fact. In fact smiths used to regularly do "penny welds", a type of braze joint using copper wire or pieces of copper penny in the forge.
   - guru - Wednesday, 07/21/10 13:06:41 EDT

Patrick, the width wouldn't be right but any farm supply store that carries replacement belt stock for round balers might have what you need on a bulk roll. You would need to measure out what you need and have it cut and then have the ends put on.
I know these belts are thick and may actualy be too thick for what you want but it might be worth a look.
As far as the width I don't know if you could get away with a narrower belt (they are typicaly 4-6" wide)or maybe use two side by side?
Good Luck!

Thanks for the contact David Hughes, I'll be checking that one out myself.
   - merl - Wednesday, 07/21/10 13:17:11 EDT

I have a 25# LG...best way to move it..A Harbor Freight folding portable shop crane!!! They cost about $150..fold up small and you can eaisly move a 25LG by your self.I have moved single handed my hammer,press,surface grinder,etc..If there's not one near you ,google them!
   - Arthur - Wednesday, 07/21/10 13:21:05 EDT

Terry Lee..
I would ask the folks at Wagon Mound ranch supply...Their on the web
   - Arthur - Wednesday, 07/21/10 13:27:47 EDT

Moving heavy items with rollers. Having been on the crews that moved machines up to 82,000# with tube rollers may I make a few suggestions to first time rollers?
1. three rollers is not the minimum. More like 5. With three it is too easy to have the machine tilt over on two rollers that get too close together.
2. Never ever reach for the loose roller with your hand until you first kick it away from the frame a couple of inches. Easy to get those fingers pulled into a roller that is almost out from under.
3. Remember that while a very heavy load can be easily moved with a pinch bar and rollers, the inertia makes the load hard to stop. So while Merl is completly correct that the first rule of machinery moving is don't get under the load or where it will fall, the second rule is don't get between the load and anything that is more solid than YOU!.
4. Rollers have a bad habit of finding tiny little bits of things and twisting under the load, another reason for 4 roller minimum under the load. Keep a bar that will fit inside the roller to allow twisting back to place, and also to steer the load by twisting the rollers.
5. Often a rigger that charges you $500 minimum to come set a quick load will save you the cost of the machine if you wreck it or yourself.
Good luck. Go Slow. Think everything through, planning for every thing that can go wrong because it will.
   ptree - Wednesday, 07/21/10 13:38:14 EDT

I'm really interested in getting started in blacksmithing, but I have no idea how? I have found 2 schools in NC (my home state) and they are: John C. Campbell Folk School and Penland School of Arts and Crafts. I've seen their websites, I want to know which of those schools is better as far as traditional blacksmithing is concerned, and I want to know if that's my best option, or if I should just enroll in metallurgy classes at my local community college. Any help getting me started would be greatly appreciated, I have NO IDEA where to begin.
   Christopher Drew - Wednesday, 07/21/10 14:16:29 EDT

Christopher- where are you located in North Carolina- we have ABANA meeting at many locations in NC and you are welcome to attend and meet local blacksmiths,and learn from them get their opinions on schools as most of them have attended classes at the schools you mentioned.
   - Ray Clontz - Wednesday, 07/21/10 14:37:25 EDT

Christopher, I'm also in Northern NC. Let us know where you are. There are lots of smiths in NC.

Both John C. Campbell and Penland are good schools and the same instructors often teach at both, especially visiting instructors. Both will get you started. I think Penland is a little more artsy.

The chapter meetings often have an open forge when you can mess around OR green coal classes. There are also schools in Southern Virginia that may be as close to you as some in NC.
   - guru - Wednesday, 07/21/10 14:50:36 EDT

Rollers and moving (relatively) small machinery. I disagree with Ptree on this one.

Depending on the machine I often find less rollers is much better than more. I commonly use only TWO rollers and have moved numerous Little Giants this way. When using two rollers you are actually on only one roller most of the time. This method requires a helper but you should always have a helper when doing these things.

The machine is rolled to the balance point on one roller then tipped back slightly and a second roller slipped under the front edge (moving direction). Then the machine is rolled to the balance point on the second roller, tipped forward slightly, the back roller removed (unless the load has rolled off that roller), the machine tipped back slightly and the roller just removed put into the front. The advantage to this system is that it is MUCH easier to steer the load, there is less friction, if you get stuck on a bit of debris it is easy to tip the load and sweep from both sides. The load is also less likely to get away from you because it runs off the rollers quickly and stops. If you have a third roller you can run off one and onto the next with less bother. But keep only two rollers under the machine.

The person shifting the rollers MUST know what they are doing and NEVER touch rollers under a moving load and NEVER wrap their fingers around the roller.

When moving LG's on two one inch diameter rollers (3/4" pipe) keep the rollers perpendicular to the long axis of the machine. It is not hard to tip on the rollers but not so top heavy it can tip over on the long axis. It could get scary on the short (sideways) axis).

I've moved machinery where we had a dozen rollers under the load because of the high load (7 tons with a base only 24" in diameter. . .) Our schedule 80 rollers came out with spiral cuts and flattened to an oval. The problem is that even with a lot of rollers the floor is never as flat as it looks and a high spot will pinch those heavily loaded rollers.

While I have moved a lot of machinery alone I do not recommend it. Its too easy to get hurt.

A lot of folks recommend getting someone with a tow truck to lift loads and move machinery. This is a bad idea and machines often get broken that way.
   - guru - Wednesday, 07/21/10 15:19:20 EDT


You'll be glad to know I just saw what I'm pretty sure was a Pinto wagon with a jacked-up rear and big tires drive by. Not all that unusual, perhaps -- except I'm in Ostersund, Sweden. Actually, I seem to see more classic American cars here than I do at home. Only one Pinto so far, though.

I melted copper in my gas forge once, and it tended to plate steel stock that contacted it on the forge floor. When that happened, I started having trouble with hot cracking at welding heat. The welds themselves took fine, though (or at least no worse than usual (grin)).

Deloid, If you have clearance under your shop door, maybe you could bolt the hammer to a pair of 4X4 skids. Once you get the toes of the skids butted against the platform, you could replace the pipe rollers with 2X4s, and then unbolt the hammer and slide it over. If you're as wimpy as I am, you could consider leaving the skids long and bolting 4X4 cross members on top at the front and back. Then if you had any trouble getting the 2X4s under, you could lift one end at a time with a little scissors jack under the cross member. You could even use the same jack horizontally against the rear cross member to push the hammer onto the platform. (You'd have to temporarily secure the skids to the platform and [of course] remove the front cross member.)
   Mike BR - Wednesday, 07/21/10 15:23:24 EDT

Mike BR,

Your from Sweden ! I was watching How Its Made on television the other day, and the program was about the Volvo truck company. They had two segments, making of the trucks, and the teams who break down the old trucks, sorting out parts for recycling. One thing that was interesting was the fact that clients call in and order old frames etc and specify how they want them cut. The client then uses the old frames and other parts to modify and revamp their trucks for specific purposes. One thing that I couldn't figure out was the fact that only new steel is used to make the frames ( any ideas ?)It is still amazing to me how molten steel can be poured into sand molds and when extracted, have a perfect engine block,
of course they still need smoothing and polishing. I watched another show the other day about the Ferrari plant in Italy. Their engines are made from aluminum. With Ferrari's being sports cars, aluminum saves on weight. However, I owned a 77 Chevy 4 cylinder with a cast aluminum block. One day the thermostat went out and the temperature light came on. I pulled over on the side of the road and got out. I heard something boiling like a fish cooker, then realized it was the oil boiling in the engine. Not a good thing !! :(
   Mike T. - Wednesday, 07/21/10 15:56:50 EDT

Mike T,

I'm from Washington, D.C. -- just on vacation in Sweden. There *is* a *lot* of iron-related stuff to see here, though.
   Mike BR - Wednesday, 07/21/10 16:37:47 EDT

Less tramp elements in "new" steel than in recycled stuff.

Lost foam works a treat for sand casting of engine blocks.

Two roller moving---I would not try that with anything other than fairly small rollers, the tilt back on a 6" diameter roller might be a bit much to handle.

At a recent conference Pep Gomez moved in his 50# LG using a small cherry picker with a piece of channel bolted on to engage the top of the open space in the C. Had a pneumatic cylinder on it and a *small* compressor that lifted it up so we could dance it in place---Pep had broken his dominant hand the week before his demo and amazed us all by doing the demo with "one hand tied behind his back"!

   Thomas P - Wednesday, 07/21/10 16:51:13 EDT

Note that in general Metallurgy classes will teach you *squat* about actually forging stuff. You will learn alloys and temps but not what it looks like in the forge and how to hit a piece to get the deformation you want.

I have MatSci students come through my "Intro to Smithing" mini-course on a regular basis. Generally they talk a good game; but folks who have done construction can actually hit the same place twice in a row! (Now when you get someone who's in Mat Sci *and* is willing to work on their skills towards bladesmithing great things can happen; most drop it when they find out how much work is involved)

   Thomas P - Wednesday, 07/21/10 16:56:58 EDT

Thanks very much for the information.

   Aaron - Wednesday, 07/21/10 19:51:29 EDT

Also try Jacksonville School of Arts in Floyd VA, also close to NC. They have forging classes.
   Greg S - Wednesday, 07/21/10 21:57:12 EDT

Guru, I have never moved a LG. I have moved hundreds of machines and usually on wood block floors that were pretty rough. The rollers we used were made from Timken heavy wall screw machine stock, so they did not flex. They were usually 4" to 8" od to carry the load of a 41 ton machine. We usually moved the little 1000# stuff with a forklift as it would not overload the floors in that 7 story machine shop.( We never had a forklift fall all the way through the floor) With wood block, you HAVE to have lots of rollers or you just sink the rollers. Same on clay floors like mine in the blocksmith shop. I moved my JYH on rollers on that clay. We moved a 1000# antique Cinc. Mill a few months ago, used concrete stakes and we used 4 under the machine. Moved it 32', turned it 90 degrees and had it placed in about 20 minutes witha 3 man crew.

With the big machines, a couple of small rollers will just spall the concrete if you have nice floors. That is one of the problems of those nice crawler track skate wheel systems for moving machines. Too much stress on those little 3/4" rollers.
   ptree - Wednesday, 07/21/10 22:08:40 EDT

The crawler roller people tell you to run them on steel track in most cases. I've seen large ones used on smooth hard concrete but with only moderate loads of a few tons. They move ships in dry dock on them with a piece of channel for track.

We always used the 3/4" pipe rollers for everything. I have a couple dozen of them 3 foot long, most hiding under machines that are still sitting on them. Also some shorter ones for tight places. On wood, dirt and gravel I've always laid tracks.

We had a power plant that wanted an easy way to move a heavy load so they bought a fancy air flotation pad. . Put a couple ton machine on it, inflated it and then had to chase it across the turbine deck they THOUGHT was level. The thing almost out ran the crew chasing it. The only way I could figure that it took off that fast was the air was propelling it as well as going down hill. Since then I have always preferred some friction when moving things.
   - guru - Wednesday, 07/21/10 22:45:44 EDT

I've said this before, but it bears repeating. A horseshoer friend was rolling his 50# Little Giant across his shop floor. The floor had about a 2" step/drop from one wall to the other. Friend misjudged the step, and the hammer landed on top of him. He was by himself and concious and he hollered for this wife who was in the house about 60 yards away. She finally heard him and got help. He recovered but could not shoe horses after that incident.
   Frank Turley - Thursday, 07/22/10 10:30:29 EDT

I had a feller from the city stop by my shop where I used to live. He arrived while I was loading my champion hammer into my pickup and could not understand that I could not leave it jacked up in the air on cribs and go off and talk to him about why my front porch was a safety hazard as it had been restored to it's original configuration --- single rail with a gap underneath.

This was an ongoing issue as they told me that the drop was high enough that there had to be infill under the bar; *but* could never tell me what the allowable drop without infill was.

As I needed to regrade the front yard anyway I would have just graded it so that it could meet code as the porch originally was built 100 years ago.

This went on for several years with me asking them to cite the specifics and the enforcement folks not being able to give them to me.

Finally I moved and the next owner tore out the restoration and went to vinyl everywhere, sigh.

I just found it funny that the guy wanted to create a severe active hazard to discuss a possible passive hazard.

Also that he could not look at a heavy weight up on cribs and recognize it as something that could not be abandoned!

   Thomas P - Thursday, 07/22/10 12:45:09 EDT

Moving Heavy Machinery:

This is something that should not be done by everyone. Doing so safely is a combination of art, science, skill and experience. Is the lift point strong enough, is it above the center of gravity (can you "see" or guess at the CG), what does the item weigh? Every situation is different. Every job is different in that the tools to make the move may be more than sufficient or NOT and the location conditions may vary (door and cieling heights, floor types).

For a couple decades we built heavy machinery (up to 25 tons) and had to move it in our small shop with good but limited tools. We also had to move it in the field. It did not matter where we were, what we were moving, who's equipment we were moving or what crew it seemed like I always ended up in charge with the moves. This included on local union crews with numerous folks having crane operator certs and so on. Why? Because I was the guy that could look at something and guess its weight within 10% most of the time and say where the CG was no matter how odd the shape of the equipment.

My point is that in dozens of crews, even with local experts and folks with lots of experience moving heavy items they preferred to defer to someone else that was comfortable moving heavy things, even if they were not a company employee or had a union card.

If moving something heavy scares you or makes you nervous then you might want to defer to someone with more experience. If you can't figure out a good safe way to move something then you probably need to get help.

Having just a few of the right tools make a big difference when moving heavy stuff. Some of the simple items you should have (in order of importance) include:

One or more wrecking bars (long and short).
Rollers (3/4" pipe 30-36" long).
A heavy duty pinch bar (5 to 5.5 foot)
Cable type come-a-long.

Load chains with chain and grab hooks (5,000 lb.)
Shackles (1/2" through 1")
Load Binders to fit chain and truck

Chain come-a-long, or quality chain hoist (not one of the over rated import minis). Note that the small mini hoists with capacities up to 2 tons are quite dangerous. Their undersized clutches overheat and will release the load rapidly. Avoid them.

Woven nylon load slings. These are gentler on the equipment and easy to handle compared to chain and cable. They are also much stronger for their weight.

Safety equipment, gloves, steel toed shoes and hard hats.
   - guru - Thursday, 07/22/10 14:58:51 EDT

Another aspect of moving heavy stuff is *slowness*; if the system can never have enough energy in it to go haywire then if something wrong happens all you generally need to do is to stop and back off.

Being in a hurry gets people killed and machines damaged!

   Thomas P - Thursday, 07/22/10 16:50:39 EDT

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