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 August 1 - 7, 2010 on the Guru's Den
[ THE - GURUS | ABOUT THIS PAGE | Getting Started in Blacksmithing ]

I am in the process of building my first JYH. Can someone direct me to a source or sources to purchase bolt-on dies? Thank you. J. Owens Smith 706-202-0014
   J. Owens Smith - Saturday, 07/31/10 22:28:41 EDT

I just forged a rivet header out of a bar of high carbon steel, and I was wondering how I should heat treat the area with the hole for pounding out the rivet head?
   James Hannegan - Sunday, 08/01/10 10:40:05 EDT

I'm researching a fellow by the name of George Duncan who was listed as an Employee of the Silgo Iron works as a Hammerman in 1839. Silgo was located in the Birmingham section, just south & across the river from Pittsburgh, but was not incorporated into Pittsburgh until much later.

From what I've found, it indicated that a Hammerman was associated with the Blacksmiths trade, but I'm unable to find out any specifics about the position or function.

Can you describe for me what a Hammerman might have done in 1839, the hours worked and what wages he may have earned??

George Duncan became very famous some 35 years later when he formed the George Duncan & Sons Glass Company which then evolved into the famed Duncan Millier Glass Co. of Washington, PA & in all produced glass for 90 years.

Anything at all would be greatly appreciated. Jim Schmidt
   Jim Schmidt - Sunday, 08/01/10 14:26:42 EDT

Jim, On the large forging hammers such as drop hammers and steam hammers, the hammerman controlled the raising and lowering of the the tup which hit the hot iron or steel. Check out www.youtube.com and type in steam hammers.

James. Quench in oil, agitating at a cherry red. When it's cool enough to touch, wipe the excess oil off with a rag. Abrade the face to virgin metal and place it on a red hot plate of steel, 1/4" thick or so. The plate should conduct enough heat to give tempering colors. Take it to a full blue which is about 560ºF. Quench to hold the temper. You can quench in just about any liquid at this point; you're just preventing any more color change.
   Frank Turley - Sunday, 08/01/10 20:18:04 EDT

Thanks Frank. I really appreciate the advice.
   James Hannegan - Sunday, 08/01/10 21:44:10 EDT

Good news Guru,

The COSIRA books can once again be downloaded for free online. I guess the old Cosira archive was done away with.(your links to Cosira etc. are broken)

They are now hosted by Keith Roberts at Herefordshire College of Technology who has provided the following direct link to the COSIRA books now hosted by the college.

   Lorne Gray - Sunday, 08/01/10 22:58:17 EDT

I was brain storming about a way of fullering, cutting and spliceing. Here's my idea. Why wouldn't a press be made useing a 20 ton bottle jack built around a frame with different dies to do different jobs work? Any ideas?
   Smurf - Monday, 08/02/10 03:55:40 EDT

Good morning

I am Fanie Agenbach and I stay in South Africa.

I am a Skills Development Facilitator for private companies and one of them uses blacksmiths to do certain work for them in the mining industry. This company has two qualified blacksmiths but, due to their age and other factors, they cannot provide proof of their qualification so that we can utilise them to qualify others..

I want to apply to our qualification system to assess and qualify employees that was trained by the mentioned people but, seeing that this type of work is not done as in the past any more due to newer techniques, we cannot locate the requirements such a blacksmith is to adhere to.

Can you maybe provide for me something explaining what a blacksmith must be able to do in detail so that we can try to recognise prior learning knowledge or these people?

We will appreciate your inputs/assistance.

Kind Regards

Fanie Agenbach
   Fanie - Monday, 08/02/10 06:11:58 EDT

Still on the road. . . can't respond at the moment. Be bacl tonight
   guru - Monday, 08/02/10 08:54:19 EDT

Getting lazy and doing work in the mornings with just my shorts a t-shirt and flip flops. After having a spatterball of weld pop under the footstrap of the flip flop, and a subsequent shrapnel stuck thru the soft foam rubber sole I decided to be a little more on the safety side of things.... so I ditched the flip flops for a pair of dirty sneakers. Now I am all safe (so I thought).... I had to kneel down to cut some sheet. Unknowingly I happened to put my full weight on my right knee right into a little curled pointy piece of sheet metal scrap. I could go on and on telling you guys how much I simply LOVE pulling shards of metal lodged in my flesh.

For my next act I will attempt stick arc welding completely naked.
   - Nippulini - Monday, 08/02/10 10:19:01 EDT

Fanie Agenbach, the short answer to your question would be the following link to the ABANA Journeyman Blacksmith Qualifications page: http//www.abana.org/resources/education/journeyman/index.shtml#skills
This should take you to a list of skills that a recognized journeyman blacksmith should have, at least in the U.S.
In other countries, there may be other requirements as well as these.
Typically a practicing blacksmith and even most hobby blacksmiths will also have a wide variety of other skills, that can be applied to the craft, that go well beyond those found on the ABANA listing.
The ABANA list represents a basic skill set that can be used to make an attempt at standardizing the qualifications of a blacksmith.
I'm sure the Guru and maybe some others may have more to say on the matter.
My question of you is this. If you have two people that claim to be qualified blacksmiths and, you can not prove other wise, why don't you just take their word for it and let them train the other people you need?
If these two are already doing the job you need them to do then they are already trained and qualified.
Let them set the standard to train the new people to.
If that standard does not get the job done to the companies satisfaction then you need to look else where for additional skills to add to theirs.
Your companies "Qualification Assessment System" may not be able to successfully identify these two as "qualified blacksmiths" but if they can still do their jobs and train others to do the same, are they not still "qualified" ?
I would hate to think of people loosing their jobs because they did not meet some generally accepted but,arbitrary set of qualifications.

I do not speak for anvilfire.com the above is only my opinion.
   - merl - Monday, 08/02/10 12:14:49 EDT

Hey Nip, you're done haveing kids right??...
   - merl - Monday, 08/02/10 12:16:21 EDT

About Blacksmith qualifications. They have books around that have the old trade exams. I saw one on amazon a year or two ago about blacksmiths
   Lorne Gray - Monday, 08/02/10 12:32:56 EDT

( I can't help but laugh!)
You're all up-to-date with your Tetanus-shots/booster....right????
   - Danial - Monday, 08/02/10 12:33:36 EDT

Smurf, it's been done. Electricians use them as conduit benders all the time. You can do cold work on small pieces that way, or hot work on large pieces, but not hot work on small or medium pieces or cold work on large.


1.) not fast enough. A forging press must be fast enough to apply the squish before the dies cool the work.

2.) not strong enough. The few commercially available forging presses are powered hydraulic units using cylinders rated anywhere from 40 to 120 tons or more.

If all you want to do is bend stuff and/or cut stuff, go for it. If you want to do actual forging with it, several people have made a sort of hybrid press out of 20-ton air over hydraulic bottle jacks. It requires shop air, and it can't compare to an actual forging press in any way, but it's faster than hand-pumping.

A treadle hammer will be much faster at fullering, will cost about the same to build as your bottle jack press, and you won't be flapping your arm fast enough to achieve liftoff in order to get the dies in touch with the steel.

What do you mean by splicing? I'm not familiar with that term in blacksmithing.
   Alan-L - Monday, 08/02/10 13:49:40 EDT

Sorry I wrote this at 3 in the morning. splicing = sliceing.Can you give me the low down on ". . . hybrid press out of 20-ton air over hydraulic bottle jacks.''
What is it and what do you need to make one.
   Smurf - Monday, 08/02/10 15:39:16 EDT

Fanie Agenbach,

If we're concentrating on mining tools made by blacksmiths, this has been largely replaced by proprietary, ready made tools and tooling. See www.globalsources.com. I have a 1912 toolsmithing book* which suggest in those early days that the blacksmith forged and tempered hand drills and cross-machine drills. A blacksmith might also be called upon to forge spud bars (digging bars) and to reforge and sharpen dirt picks.

Nowadays in the U.S., it would be unusual to find such tools in use for mining and to have a blacksmith hired to make and dress such tools.

* "The 20th Century Toolsmith and Steelworker" by H. Holford, Frederick J. Drake publisher, Chicago.
   Frank Turley - Monday, 08/02/10 16:54:08 EDT

It's whole different world down there Frank. I was in one mine outside of Johannesburg that was nearly a mile deep! Almost nothing comes back up once it goes down. A lot of maintenance is carried out down in the mine, otherwise it goes into a blind hole. They use thousands of pieces of drill steel that are around 10 feet long. They often break at one of the ends and need to be upset and re-threaded. Lots of points and chisels used too. All need to be re-forged and heat-treated. Short lengths are made into all sorts of tools.

Mine I was in used a lot of water driven hydraulic hammers and drills. No pumps! They just pour the water into a pipe at the top and they have all the pressure they need at the bottom!
   - grant - Monday, 08/02/10 18:09:02 EDT



For what it's worth, I still have my ca. 1982 smurf-squashers' license...(big ol' grin!) "The bearer of this card is authorised to seek out and squash smurf on land, sea, air, and outer space." I'd imagine this press could do a good job of that as well, so be careful!
   Alan-L - Monday, 08/02/10 18:36:52 EDT

   Smurf - Monday, 08/02/10 18:43:07 EDT

Smurf: Someone does make an "Ironworker" tool for use in a typical shop press, I may have seen it in the Northern Tool catalog a while back. If You can't find that, just look at the tooling for a Metal Pro Ironworker [ shearing & press brake attachments] and build something like it.

Hand pumping will be really slow, but check out the motorised jack press Ray built


Just click on the smaller pictures at the bottom of the page, and they will be enlarged and on the top of the page.
   - Dave Boyer - Monday, 08/02/10 21:15:51 EDT

Hydraulic hand Press

The press in the article above is surprisingly fast when you need it to be. The trick is the large knob I put on the valve so it is easy to control and to NOT let the cylinder return all the way. Keep it close to the working position.

However, to do hot work would take two people. One to manipulate the work and the other to quickly operate the press. It might be good for some small embossing or other single stroke work but that would be all.

I have a photo of another press or two and will add to the article.

As noted, presses for hot work need to be pretty fast and thus powerful. But power is strictly related to the size of the work.
   - guru - Monday, 08/02/10 22:05:30 EDT

Bolt on Power Hammer Dies: J.O. Smith, these are going to be pricey. Big BLU will custom make you a set of their old style dies but the cost will probably be more than their current dies.

It would be cheaper to order flanges cut by ANY shop that does precision flame, LASER or water jet cutting, order lengths of 4040 or 4150, weld them on and grind to shape. You could probably make 3 sets for for what one would cost from Big BLU. I tell you this because they would probably consider it a nuisance job and rather you or someone else do it.
   - guru - Monday, 08/02/10 22:19:15 EDT

Nipp, Make sure you strike an arc with the right rod if you do weld naked...grin
   - Roasted Weiner - Monday, 08/02/10 22:31:19 EDT

   - Nippulini - Tuesday, 08/03/10 18:45:30 EDT

Ohhh... the sunburn... ouch.
   Judson Yaggy - Tuesday, 08/03/10 20:40:08 EDT


Was the mine self draining? Otherwise they had a pump alright -- just on the downstream side of those hammers and drills.

If it wouldn't be misunderstood, I could make a comment on the characteristics of E6011 electrodes (all position, deep penetration, etc.)
   Mike BR - Tuesday, 08/03/10 20:53:10 EDT

Mike: Yeah, there's no free lunch is there? They have huge pumps running all the time to pump water out. Some mines pump an ice slurry down for cooling. The ice slurry is water by the time it gets to the bottom. Most of the water that goes down also drives turbines in the mine too. Takes more energy to pump it back up but it does help recover some energy.
   - grant - Tuesday, 08/03/10 21:56:55 EDT

A "A treadle hammer will be much faster at fullering, will cost about the same to build as your bottle jack press, and you won't be flapping your arm fast enough to achieve liftoff in order to get the dies in touch with the steel." Are plans avaiable on the web for a treadle hammer or are there any in production?
   Bob Johnson - Wednesday, 08/04/10 01:05:13 EDT

If you can build a treadle hammer, a junkyard power hammer is little different to build, costs but very little more, and is THE machine to fuller, draw, and generally work metal.
   - ptree - Wednesday, 08/04/10 06:12:50 EDT

Forging and Power: Manual hydraulic presses are simple and great for some things but not for forging. They are great for bending and punching (if you have the tooling). They are much safer than punch presses and can produce quantities of parts in the hundreds easily.

For forging you need power (not just leverage). The problem with manual presses, treadle hammers and many other human powered machines is the small amount of horse power a human can produce. For moments someone in peak athletic condition can produce a little over 1 HP but continuously only about 1/10 HP. The typical small machine motor such as in a washing machine or a small bench grinder is 1/3 HP. Three times what a human can produce! A small power mechanical hammer (25 to 50 pounds) only needs 3/4 to 1 HP. While these are small electric motors they are still 8 to 10 times what a human can produce and they do so tirelessly all day. A 100 pound power hammer needs 2HP (20 times what a human can produce) or 5HP if an air hammer (50 times that of a human).

The thing that is rarely discussed in blacksmithing books is how common team striking was in many shops. hand forging was NOT a one man job. When you have a team of strikers working on one piece that team of 4 or 5 might be "sptinting" for brief periods and thus putting 2 to 5 horsepower into the work. But if they are to be striking all day they would only be putting about 1/2 to 1 HP into the work.

NOW, consider this. A 1/2HP motor only costs about 5 cents per hour to operate. So how much be hour are you worth? How about that team of strikers? You can't even come out if all they wanted was a few beers for their day's work. . .
Electra is my slave, she is always at the ready, works all day and never tires or complains.


   - guru - Wednesday, 08/04/10 12:17:14 EDT

The comments on shop flooring were opportune. Construction on the new shop has started. I am getting 8m x 4m so that should be over 300 square feet which will be nice. I think I shall have to acquire a storeroom somewhere to keep some of the less frequently used stuff.
   philip in china - Wednesday, 08/04/10 14:25:25 EDT

R/T the post 7/30/10 @ 19:00:11.

I will try upsetting the piece to get better results. I was using my hand sledge to the best of my ability and unfortunately I don't have access to a striker, esp. in the GA summer heat. My goal is to make a large bearded axe or broad axe.

Also, for shaping the eye, what are some ideas for making an axe-sized drift?
   Ben Whitaker - Wednesday, 08/04/10 14:34:28 EDT

Ben Whitaker, if you want to see a good video of what it takes to drift a large eye for an axe, try this video link:
The audio is all in German but, you will get the idea.
   - merl - Wednesday, 08/04/10 15:46:08 EDT

The Guru is absolutely right about the value and the versatility of a power hammer of most any size, to the blacksmith.
Everybody needs to learn hammer control but, when it comes to getting work done weather you are a pro or a hobby smith, a power hammer of some kind is a must.
I think if we will all be a little patient, the Guru may soon come forth with a revolutionary yet, simple design for a small power hammer most anyone would benefit from.
   - merl - Wednesday, 08/04/10 15:56:52 EDT

Ben; are you planning to make a number of simpler axes before working on your goal?

   Thomas P - Wednesday, 08/04/10 16:15:58 EDT

GREAT site !!!! millwright by trade, blacksmith by hobby. It's what keeps me sane. Is it o.k. for me to print for MYSELF plan,s,tips,help points that I refer to regular in my "shop"?
   keith - Wednesday, 08/04/10 18:18:42 EDT

Keith, that is what the web is all about. Its printing collections and distributing them that is illegal.

   - guru - Wednesday, 08/04/10 20:01:50 EDT

Storage: Phillip, Shipping containers make great storage. They can be used stand alone or as part of a building.
   - guru - Wednesday, 08/04/10 20:03:51 EDT

Keith, you sound like me.
Tool and die maker by trade that dreams all day of becoming a blacksmith.
It must be the pullin' .0000 tolerances out of my (back pocket?) all day for an employer and customers that don't understand what I mean when I say "Cheap, Fast and Accurate, pick any TWO...", that drives a guy to commit "blacksmithery"
Come on in, the water's fine. Keep in mind that once you're in and comfortable your opinion and perspective as a millwright will be a welcome addition to the general throng.
   - merl - Thursday, 08/05/10 02:02:14 EDT

Guru, I just want to let you know that my antique power club annual show is this weekend and, I'll be trying to fill up at least one of the thumb drives and send it on your way (did you forget I had them?)
Should have some neat post drill footage and, hopefully some more of the Novelty Iron Works hammer doing some actual work.
   - merl - Thursday, 08/05/10 02:09:55 EDT

We have more videos coming as well. Nothing brand NEW. However, I found Paw-Paw's collection of videos taken over a couple years of our traveling together. A bunch was taken at the 2000 ABANA conference as well as at the SouthEast conference and AFC annual meets. I don't know how good it will be. Dave Baker is converting it to digital then we need to figure out what to toss and what to publish. Will be at least 4 hours of video.

   - guru - Thursday, 08/05/10 08:41:40 EDT

Merl, overhere in quality/metallurgy land, we usually say "Cheap/Fast/High Quality" - pick 2. Same basic concept, and all too many people don't understand that the 3 together are mutually exclusive.

The blacksmith problems are usually more interesing and readily solvable than the quality ones. Of course the biggest one is trying to find time to smith, and that hasn't been too solvable recently.
   - Gavainh - Thursday, 08/05/10 13:12:17 EDT


Ok, I know I'm "still" all new & all.

But "I believe" that what Guru is trying to tell me is that if I'm wanting to do any real forge-work, I need a POWER-HAMMER!!!
Don't know how/why I didn't think of it, but it doesn't matter now and the Guru is RIGHT!!!!
No matter how big-or-strong (or old) I am now, I'll never be able to do the work myself as I could do with just a little help from a Little-Giant Power-Hammer.

I can't wait to tell the wife that Mr.GURU "said" that our next tool to start hunting-down is a good-running POWER-HAMMER!

" Aahhmmm, HONEY!!!! Guru told me back at AnvilFire that we *NEED* to get a power-hammer if you want me to make those curtain-rod ends you want......."

Excuse-me while I go practice my lines before she gets home today..........

   Danial - Thursday, 08/05/10 13:18:24 EDT

Danial, when practicing those lines do it in front of a mirror. This helps to get the right downtrodden face. Also practice NOT drooling when thinking of the powerhammer. The drooling is a dead give away :)
   ptree - Thursday, 08/05/10 14:07:08 EDT

Hey guy, There is a reason I'm divorced. Don't blame me. Blame the laws of physics and the frailty of humanity.
   - guru - Thursday, 08/05/10 14:09:21 EDT

Wish List / Shop needs:

Folks often ask what I want for birthdays, Christmas. . . and I usually want to reply
"you can't afford what I want or need",
but on reflection think this would sound rude. I've also had the women in my life go into debt trying to make me happy and the debt does the EXACT opposite. . . So I usually don't reply or mumble "nothing. . .".

I've found that buying both large and small tools is easy. Also easy to receive as gifts. There is a need, you buy the tool, the end (you THINK). But small tools accumulate and THEN they need a place to be stored. Tool chests are the thing I always need more of. And not just ANY tool chests. I have a set of large 27" wide Kennedy boxes that need to be on a base chest (about $800). I have a flat bed truck with a typical cramped cab that needs the largest under body tool chest that will fit (about $700). I have several machines that need base chests as tool caddies (about $500 ea.). Easily $2500 worth of storage for existing tools. No glamor and in a few days you would not notice the money was spent. . .

The tool chests I already have will fill up a full size pickup truck and probably overload it . . but I need more.

Then there are shelves. A couple years ago I bought Gorilla shelving from Walmart. Three 2 foot deep by 6 foot wide units plus another unit for the shelves to make 4 shelves per unit. That is 144 sq.ft. of shelving space. It was filled as soon as we set it up and I could use at least as much more of the same. The big problem is that they WILL NOT support the rated loads on the cheap chip board shelves which sag under load. The old units need new (real wood) shelves or reinforced shelves and so would future units. A big expense PLUS time. But if one or more of these units showed up on my door step or under the Christmas tree I would not turn them down :)

My blacksmith tool rack is overloaded and I need at least another. Probably one for the anvil and one for the power hammer. This is a tool that must be shop built and the steel is not cheap.

AND then there is the stock rack we all desperately need. I'd like mine to be such that it can be moved with a fork lift while loaded. Another build-it in-house.

Then there are the book shelves. . .

The above are just the obvious. And they still don't help answer the question "what to want" (under $200).
   - guru - Thursday, 08/05/10 14:46:45 EDT

I reply "your patience and understanding when I buy what I want or need". Has worked well for almost 30 years.
   ptree - Thursday, 08/05/10 15:24:44 EDT

That's a good one. . .
   - guru - Thursday, 08/05/10 15:45:08 EDT

Santa Guru, I got my TIG welder from you a few x-mases ago. This year I would like to have a small 110 single phase plasma cutter with built in compressor.

X-mas happens in August sometimes, doesn't it?
   - Nippulini - Friday, 08/06/10 09:13:53 EDT

Hey is there a school for blacksmiths in New Jersey that you know of?
   Dan - Friday, 08/06/10 12:32:04 EDT

Peters Valley, in New Jersey, has blacksmithing classes taught by some of the best smiths in the country.

   - ries - Friday, 08/06/10 13:34:26 EDT

I find that providing my family a copy of my "books to buy" list or a tool catalogue with a range of tools that I could use works well.

They can choose the item that fit's their budget and it's *ALL* stuff I can use and want! (and one year it was "The Knight and the Blastfurnace!!!!)

They can also go together to buy a more expensive item.

Shelving: for some reason all my best shelving units are painted in faded DoD green...

   Thomas P - Friday, 08/06/10 14:14:50 EDT

What I like about books that demonstrate how to do different things, forging, knife making etc. is the fact that you are not just ordering a book, you are receiving instruction that took the author time, blood, sweat and tears to learn. For 20-30-40 dollars or more, you get many years of experience, if the author is good at explaining and showing pictures and diagrams. In other words, when you get a book, you are getting another mans experiences. Yes, I love books as a gift !!!!
   Mike T. - Friday, 08/06/10 18:15:34 EDT

ThomasP, all my best shelves are Vogt grey or Vogt Blue:)
When you have a boiler shop, really good shelves are easy to whip up in house. And since we had overhead cranes moving them was usually easy:) But not as easy at my place
   ptree - Friday, 08/06/10 19:04:14 EDT


I was looking at some pictures of the Little Giant power hammers, and then compared them to your EC junk yard hammer and the only difference I can see is that instead of the double shock absorbers, the LG has two pivoting arms that move in an arc with the spring connected between them, It looks like this set up would be better on the JYH,
I also read that coil springs are more efficient than the leaf type springs.
   Mike T. - Friday, 08/06/10 19:41:39 EDT

Bung: A lot of the well-equipped smiths already put their time in as machinists, engineers, etc and have reached a point where they have the means to do so. If they want a small forest of trip hammers in their shop then more power to them. ;)

Mike T: A lot of people question the mental stability of people who enjoy running around a hot smithy with chunks of glowing steel, but here we are :)

To each their own and have a good Caturday.
   James Bequette - Saturday, 08/07/10 17:32:08 EDT

I'll get the icosahedron rolling.

I'm in the process of installing a coal forge in the shop. I know that it's always best to go straight up and through the roof, but the way my shop was constructed (Many layers over 20 years) I don't think I'm going to be able to keep the roof from leaking.

Would a Super Sucker/side draft hood work with two 45 degree bends? I'm planning on using 12" round duct or larger if need be.

   James Bequette - Saturday, 08/07/10 20:33:44 EDT

Hammer linkage types: The EC-JYH is a long way from a Little Giant. All mechanical hammers have either a crank or cam and a connecting means between that and the ram. There are lots of variations. Besides springs there are the proportions of the links, adjustments, guide system, clutch type. . .

The EC-JYH used shock absorber linkage which while very simple is very inefficient and cannot be run very fast. I do not recommend it.

Little Giants have two adjustments. Work height and spring tension. Bradley and Fairbanks (better commercial hammers) have stroke, height and spring tension. The stoke adjustment lets you run very fast making lighter blows OR slower with devastating blows.

The height adjustment on most hammers is critical and many DIY or JYH hammers do not have it. For spring linkage hammers to operate best the ram should hang at about the height of the work when not moving. Then on the down stroke the spring compresses just a little and work is done. To forge large work on a these hammers the ram is raised by the height adjustment to about the height of the work and when the work is forged down so much it is readjusted (if the amount of forging warrants it. For wide range work you look for a middle adjustment and take your lumps on forging efficiency.

On an LG if this adjustment is not made for tall work then the toggle links are forced UP over compressing the spring and loading the hammer doing little work while stalling the machine OR if set too high the spring is compressed too much the force reduced and its possible to bend and damage the link arms. I've seen "how-to" videos where the user tried to forge 4" work with their LG set for 1/2" work and nearly wrecked the hammer. . . they did not have a CLUE.

While a stroke adjustment is not necessary it allows one to tune the hammer to the type of work or your personal forging style. On the hammers we are currently building we used drilled and taped holes for the stroke adjustment. While it is not an infinite position adjustment it allows a lot of adjustment and is simple to do.

Leaf spring vs. Coil springs? I guess it depends on what you mean by efficiency. The biggest advantage to coil springs is that they are available commercially in almost infinite variety. You can get more stroke in less space but then there is the shut height problem and directionality. There are places for both depending on the machine design.
   - guru - Saturday, 08/07/10 21:20:53 EDT

Hoods and Draft: 12" is perfect for the typical large one man forge. Two 45's should not hurt the draft much. Note that the total height of the stack and the location relative to the roof line, trees and other buildings can have more to do with the draft than a couple turns.

See the Low Loss Stack Cap as well for efficiency.
   - guru - Saturday, 08/07/10 21:27:52 EDT

Yeah I saw the the low loss stack cap a while back and planned on using one.

No problems clearing the roof line and don't have any other buildings close, but I do have a large Elm tree on the western side of the shop and the stack is going to be on the eastern wall.

The distance between stack to tree should be around 30' or so. We'll see how it goes.

Another gentleman I talk to swears by those roof turbines, but I have limited experience with them.


   James Bequette - Saturday, 08/07/10 21:49:48 EDT

Other Subjects - Vegetarianism: I've been writing a series of articles on my health issues and actions to solve them and I've been surprised at the lack of discussion about Vegetarianism (or more notably Nutritarianism).

The folks I'm following claim that almost all the major modern diseases of aging (which are now becoming the diseases of adulthood and even youth) are caused by high quantities of animal protein, salt, processed grains and sugar in the "Standard American Diet" (acronym SAD). This includes cancer, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and inflammatory diseases - (and obesity which I do not label a disease).

Dr. Joel Fuhrman has proven (not just claims, but proven in practice) that most of these diseases can be CURED by diet and all prevented or their likelihood reduced to very low levels by a Nutritarian diet.

I have found the change in diet to not be such a big ordeal as some claim. It takes commitment but that is all. The hard part is eating out or eating on the road. While Vegetarian fare is available most of it is high in sodium, fat and wheat. In fact, almost EVERY so called "healthy" selection in processed foods have significantly higher sodium levels that the "normal" selections. . .

Dietary sodium (mostly from salt but also from MSG and baking powder) is the single most important factor in high blood pressure and resulting heart attack and stroke. Yet there as some meals in popular restaurants that have a week to 10 days worth of sodium in ONE meal. Sodium as salt is added to almost all foods including things that you would never dream had salt added to them.

According to the results Dr. Fuhrman and others get with diet we could solve our public health crisis with education. The most significant diseases that will have to be paid for by Medicaid (coming out of Social Security and the non-existent trust fund) could be prevented or cured with diet.

Of course this would put a lot of heart surgeons, endocrinologists, hospitals, drug companies, cattle farmers and dairyfolk out of business OR at least make it less profitable for them. But it would also open up opportunities in other areas.
   - guru - Saturday, 08/07/10 22:05:14 EDT

Very good point, guru.

It's appalling how many chemicals are found in processed foods. Combined with America's relatively sedentary lifestyle and you have a recipe for disaster.

A few weeks ago I made rice with fresh steamed vegetables for dinner and my guests asked if I needed money for food, heh.
   James Bequette - Saturday, 08/07/10 22:32:24 EDT

Do you have any info on a "Milne" anvil?
I found one in Texas and that is imprinted on the side.
Seller did not know much else other that it was a "London style"?
I am getting dimensions so I might can calculate weight.
I did a search in the Archives and it linked to a couple of lengthy posts and I could not find the exact info.
It comes with a light angle iron stand and they are asking $650 cash. Seems a little pricey unless I can find more about it.
Thanks for any info or links, you have a great website with lots of info for "Starters"
   Don Kirksey - Saturday, 08/07/10 23:56:58 EDT

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