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This is an archive of posts from August 16 - 21, 2011 on the Guru's Den
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Yup I once ran into a real deal on silver---an emergency sale where I had money on hand on a Sunday and picked up quite a lot. I ended up selling most of it to a close friend who's a silversmith for what I had in it. If I had just kept it to now I'd be in a *much* nicer truck. OTOH I helped out a good friend and didn't lose anything from it.

   Thomas P - Monday, 08/15/11 19:51:38 EDT

Deals :
Back in the 70's HUD paid to have several blocks of old buildings in downtown Lynchburg VA including a number of businesses leveled to be replaced with low income housing. The demolition contractor pushed all the structural steel up in a big pile. Apparently it was not part of their contract to dispose of the steel and at the time it cost more to move scrap than it was worth. . . There was several tons of heavy angle lintel from brick buildings, over 100 feet of I beam from 12" to 20". . all in a big tangled pile.

The steel sat there for a long time and I finally asked a friend that had property in the area what was up with it. Turns out it was given away twice and didn't get moved. . . The next weekend we moved it ALL. I had to give about half of it to a friend who helped us load. We each took about 4 loads.

I am still using pieces of that steel. But like Thomas had to do a few years ago I've been moving. . . Its hard to move a good collection of scrap. . .
   - guru - Tuesday, 08/16/11 08:18:10 EDT

I tend to be quite free with my general scrap as I seem to be able to find it faster than I can use it. However the "special scrap" you have to prove to me that it is going to get used and for a project I approve of.

Moving the wrought iron scrap to NM was easy---just expensive---pallets of mangled pieces don't stack nicely. I built a couple of boxes atop of pallets and set pieces up on edge so I could get a reasonable amount per pallet and than had a couple of long pallets for the larger pieces.
   Thomas P - Tuesday, 08/16/11 13:23:29 EDT

Scrap and Scrap : The value of scrap and what actual "scrap" is varies greatly. Wrought iron, a material no long commercially made, is selling for $1 to $2/lb a good bit more than new mild steel. The structurals I've collected over the years can cost hundreds of dollars each or more depending on the local suppliers which may or may not be cooperative when you need them.

Other scrap, tool steels, non ferrous such as alloy alluminium and bearing bronze in cylinders and tubes are all found in machine shop "scrap" where small quantities might cost you a significant amount when you NEED them, the minimum purchases being unaffordable. Scraps may cost pennies per pound and minimums hundreds for a short length.

Collecting such scrap is an opportunistic process. I used to frequent a dealer that specialized in non-ferrous scrap. The bulk of his scrap was electrical wire, copper pipe and brass fittings, and aluminum turnings. I would buy most of the relatively clean machine shop bar stock scrap. Six inch long stubs of 3/4" brass bar, blocks of aluminium and various cut offs. During this period I was also attending a lot of auctions. At machine shop auctions there are often boxes of various scrap including plastics as well as metal. The last such scrap I was brought to me by machinists who had been given odd scraps to get them out of the way. . .
   - guru - Tuesday, 08/16/11 17:33:43 EDT

does anyone know if 316 mig wire is better than 309 stick for corrosion resistance on a structure made from 309 stainless ? ( the UniSphere in NY ) I have to go up in a crane to a job I've never seen...... 140' up ( with a $17,000 a day price tag for the crane,.. two day max) . its going to rain thursday so I'm thinking tomorrow is my only shot. any advise ?
   - smithy - Tuesday, 08/16/11 20:19:36 EDT

stainless welding : I don't know if the other post went through, tomorrow I have to do a repair job on the UniSphere from the 64-65 worlds fair its 120' up and a$17,000 a day price tag for the crane, I have never seen the job and I need to know if 316 stainless mig wire would be better than 309 stick for corrosion resistance. The UniSphere is made of 309 SS. SRI Lanka fell off,...held on by some cable puzzle that I have to see and figure out on the spot,...hanging from a crane no less,....sounds like a new youtube video to me!!! 14 hours til lift off ! !
   Larry - Tuesday, 08/16/11 20:31:54 EDT

Usually the rule of thumb with stainless is the filler rod should be a higher number than the base alloy. But thats kinda seat of the pants. But you certainly dont want to use a lower number filler rod than the base alloy.

I have done some high stainless repair- and me, I prefer to tig it. I have run a tig torch in piddling little 90 foot manlifts, working on the face of glass curtain wall buildings, where spatter from mig or stick could ruin a $5000 mirrored glass facade panel that might cost another ten grand in labor to replace, so I use tig. A maxstar will weld up to 1/4" no problem, on 110, thicker on 220, and it fits right in a bucket with you.
Anyway, most welding manuals recommend 309 rod for welding 309.
   - Ries - Tuesday, 08/16/11 21:06:14 EDT

Stainless welding : A structure made of 309 would be unusual, to say the least. 309 is commonly found as a filler metal, but bars & structural shapes are commonly 304 or 316. 309 rod is used to join stainless to carbon steel. 308 is the proper rod to match 304, and 316 is the proper match for 316. 316L should be welded with 316L filler. Stainless can be welded with the wire feed process, what wire do You have available, solid or dual shield? Corosion resistance is a matter of proper shielding gas and back purge, or as a second best, protection with Solar Flux.

Did You want to use short circuit or spray transfer MIG? Spray doesn't work out of position, unless You have a good pulse or other hi tec machine. You use radically different shielding gasses depending on the process. Dual shield will work out of position, use the gas the wire manufacturer says.

316 offers better corosion resistance than 304 in most situations, but little if anything is gained by overmatching the weld filler.

MIG processes don't tolerate wind well, this is probably Your greatest factor.

You want to earn about stainless MIG? Read this website: http://www.weldreality.com/

I think You would be better off staying with stick or TIG if it isn't windy. You can TIG with any DC power source if You scratch start. Pipeliners and boiler makers do it all the time. Use Argon if You use TIG.

   - Dave Boyer - Tuesday, 08/16/11 21:57:49 EDT

Edit: : You want to LEARN about...
   - Dave Boyer - Tuesday, 08/16/11 21:59:42 EDT

I'd match the filler rod if possible. The point of wind is an issue anytime you MIG outdoors. Even a slight breeze can can result in a mess. A stiff breeze and its all over. Can be a problem with TIG as well. . .

I'd carry some rods for stick welding as a backup. And a small power wire brush (with stainless brush) for clean up.

The cable "puzzle" is likely to be there for some kind of flexibility. Sounds to me like you need a bunch of odd scrap pieces and a good way to cut it. . .
   - guru - Tuesday, 08/16/11 22:41:09 EDT

power hamers : want to get a power hamer, was just woundering about setting the dies when drawing out stock? do you set die so they all most touch or for thickness of mat. you want to end up with
   bill c - Wednesday, 08/17/11 10:04:05 EDT

Reading about scrap. Any way to get 9/11 steel?
   - Nippulini - Wednesday, 08/17/11 10:22:53 EDT

Power Hammer Adjustments :
Bill, It depends on the type of hammer. Air hammers have no such adjustments. Most mechanical hammers have ram height adjustments but many DIY hammers do not. Hammers with Dupont type linkage (Little Giant, Bradley and Fairbanks type) should have a ram height adjustment.

On these hammers the correct ram height (creating die clearance) at rest is about the height of the starting material. But this is a general rule.

IF you are starting with very tall stock such as drawing on edge where there is going to be a large reduction in thickness for the size of the hammer, the ram may want to be set a little low (say about 1/2" on 25 and 50 pound hammers). This is so that as the stock becomes thinner the hammer still hits efficiently. With the hammer set low the blows will not be as hard starting out but will increase in force when the stock become thinner.

Setting the ram height is especially important on tall work or when using tooling. If you put tall work in the hammer when it is set for short work you can choke the hammer causing the toggles to be forced upwards compressing the spring when it strikes the work and possibly bending the toggle arms.

One group made a how-to video using a 25 or 50 pound Little Giant to forge a large piece. They had the hammer set for 1/2" or less work and put a 3" tall piece in the hammer. . . You could see the toggles being bent at the hammer struggled past the bottom point in the stroke. . . All it takes is a minute to make this adjustment. Needless to say I could not recommend the video.

One must also be careful when changing dies. All hammers have a correct work height where going past this point can damage the machine. This is true of both air hammers and mechanical hammers. On air hammers the piston can strike the bottom of the cylinder and on mechanical hammers the toggles can run into the guides or the spring reach shut height.

NEVER, Run a power hammer of any type without either die, sow block or anvil removed. It only takes one stroke going too far to wreck a power hammer. 1/2" too far is all it takes. Hammers with seperate anvils have a critical height which they must not be set lower than OR be allowed to settle beyond. If you do not know, ask.
   - guru - Wednesday, 08/17/11 11:24:10 EDT

Power Hammer Adjustments (more) :
Little Giants only have a height adjustment. Others such as Bradley and Fairbanks have both a height and a stroke adjustment.

The stroke adjustment determines how hard the hammer hits and how fast it can be operated controllably. A short stroke hits gently but can be run full speed. A long stroke hits the hardest but is difficult to control at full speed or on delicate work.

The stroke adjustment changes the ram height so that the height must be adjusted any time the stroke is changed.

The two popular DIY Mechanical Hammers do not have a work height adjustment in their mechanisms. The only way to adjust the work height is to mount the bottom die low and have a set of spacers to go under it. This is not a fast convenient adjustment but it can be used to change from using tooling to not using tooling.

The problem I have seen on a number of these hammers is that they were setup to use tooling and there were no spacers. The result is that when using the hammer without tooling it must be run fairly fast in order to strike the work at all thus reducing the controllability of the hammer. All hard blows, no light ones.
   - guru - Wednesday, 08/17/11 12:15:14 EDT

My DIY Powell patent style (Rusty) has a turnbuckle height adjustment on the pittman as doe most of this very popular design and takes maybe 2 minutes tops to adjust. And when in adjustment oh waht a difference.
   ptree - Wednesday, 08/17/11 13:49:02 EDT

Cymbal : I have a brass cymbal which I want to dish into a bowl shape. How should I do this? Hot or cold? On a sand bag, tree stump?? Hammer or mallet? I have never done anything like this before but need to get it right.
   Philip in China - Friday, 08/19/11 06:46:15 EDT

Cymbal : Philip:

Anneal it by heating to a very low, dull red as seen in a very dark room and quench in either water or 10% sulfuric acid pickle solution (or Sparex #2) and then dish with a wooden mallet into a sand or shot bag for starters. If you want a deep form you'll need to consider raising instead of sinking, as the stretching of sinking will thin the metal considerably on a deeper form.

Once you have the shape roughly where you want it, flip it over and bouge it with a rawhide mallet on a mushroom stake or dome stake and then planish with a polished hammer having a very slight crown.
   Rich - Friday, 08/19/11 09:12:05 EDT

Dishing and or Raising : Phillip, Good cymbals are work hardened by the spinning process and hammering. You should probably anneal the metal prior to working it (heat below a red and quench).

How you proceed depends on the shape of the bowl. If it is hemispherical or less you can probably dish it working form the inside against a form (wood works fine). This stretched the metal making it thinner in the center.

If it is to be more than hemispherical or have vertical sides you may need to raise it. This is a more technical process where you actually upset the material to reduce the circumference as needed. See our Armoury page and the raising articles. The only difference with brass is you heat and cool before working where Eric often works steel hot.

I think a stump with a shallow depressing works better than a sand bag. Note that dishing depressions only need to be a small fraction of the depth of the item being made. 1/5 the diameter maximum. 1/8 is usually more than sufficient.

Often work must be annealed more than once due to work hardening. Knowing when is an art generally learning by going to long and cracking the work. . . If the material stiffens or feels harder when working you should probably anneal.
   - guru - Friday, 08/19/11 09:12:39 EDT

Cymbal : Be very careful not to overheat wit when annealing, Philip. Cymbal brass has a some strange alloying elements and can be squirrelly.
   - Rich - Friday, 08/19/11 09:13:11 EDT

So no help with 9/11 steel? i would imagine there to be proper channels to go through, and/or adjudication process.
   - Nippulini - Friday, 08/19/11 11:18:17 EDT

Nip, I seem to remember that a bunch of people wanted some and it was picked through and the interesting pieces distributed. But I believe the rest went to scrap. It was a LOT of scrap. . . But I may be wrong. Call the NYC mayor's office.
   - guru - Friday, 08/19/11 12:23:43 EDT

WTC Steel : Nip:

Well, some of it went into the bow of the USS New York. As I recall, most of it was quickly recycled after they separated and searched through the massive amount of scrap in New Jersey. Some "souvenirs" may have been salted away, but due to the sensitivity of the situation, the bulk of it would have been segregated and handled as expediently as possible "in an appropriate manner."



At least in the Park Service, there is a high sensitivity towards "inappropriate use," so I suspect that the governmental entities involved kept a pretty tight rein on things. I'm not saying it's not out there, but you might have to go "through channels" and work with them to get access to any of it, and show your good intentions.
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Friday, 08/19/11 13:30:41 EDT

WTC Steel :
Can you imagine what a pro al-Qaeda group would use it for? The kind of monument they would build? Thus the sensitivity about such things.
   - guru - Friday, 08/19/11 15:15:32 EDT

Uni Sphere : As it turns out the '64-'65 worlds fair UniSphere is made of 304 stainless, and pretty dirty. It was a pretty unique experience, reattached Sri Lanka on tuesday, also replaced some of the cable that holds the rings,... those rings are held on buy 3/16 cable,...(i couldn't believe it!!). yesterday, against my wishes...we had to reinforce Viet Nam , i was thinking just leave it fall off and adjust the planet to resemble the Uni Sphere,...good Idea huh ?
Nip...e-mail larry@nyblacksmith.com.....No steel but ........
   Larry - Friday, 08/19/11 18:03:43 EDT


But if you hadn't reinforced Vietnam, the rest would have fallen like dominoes. (grin.)
   Mike BR - Saturday, 08/20/11 10:08:11 EDT

wtc steel : I don't know why I'm thinking this, but it looks like the Chamber of Commerce in NYC could give you information on how to obtain some of the steel.
   Mike T. - Sunday, 08/21/11 01:56:52 EDT

Uni-Sphere :
There are some interesting facts about the sphere and other sculptures in the park here.

Forgotten NY - Worlds Fair

I remember seeing a glimpse of the Sphere when I visited the Kaynes on Long Island in the early 80's. The other more impressive view was heading into the sunset toward the City. There is a large cemetery on a hill that when facing NY the tall building look like an extension of the tombstones and monuments. . .
   - guru - Sunday, 08/21/11 11:25:12 EDT

NY Worls Fair : I remember a TV promotion for it when I was a kid. A guy wearing a jet pack would holler "SEE YOU AT THE NEW YORK WORLS FAIR" then fly away with the jet pack. the next door neighbors WENT to it.
   - Dave Boyer - Monday, 08/22/11 00:16:48 EDT

I remember the ads and some news footage. I was 13 at the time. Yep, every kid's dream to have a jet pack! I knew people that went and remembered it well for a lifetime.

Apparently there was a lot of monetary mismanagement and quite a scandal. That following the conficts with the international governing body that resulted in most major countries not taking part. I don't remember any of that. But maybe it was not reported heavily in the national news at the time. An article I just read said that was when Disney's display was the unveiling of their new animatronics system and that annoying "Its a Small World" song became the unofficial theme of the fair. A lot of firsts there.

They are now doing a lot to try to preserve the art and some remaining structures after years of neglect. The problem with these kinds of international events is that they usually lose money and don't bring the returns to the locality that the promoters project. Too many specialized venues and low cost structures that there is no use for afterward. How many cities can utilize a complete set of Olympic venues enough to afford their upkeep? Visit some of those cities years later and its sad to see the crumbling facilities.

   - guru - Monday, 08/22/11 00:55:59 EDT

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