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 November 8 - 15, 2010 on the Guru's Den
[ THE - GURUS | ABOUT THIS PAGE | Getting Started in Blacksmithing ]

Dimensions: Steve, if you are going into a technical field (blacksmithing IS technical, in fact multi-disciplinary; math, chemistry, physics, mechanics, art.. . .) you need to be more concise about descriptions, especially dimensions. 2 by 3 defines an area, not a volume. 2 by 3 what? 2 x 3x 1? 2 x 3 x 8? 2 x 3 x infinity?

It is time to start thinking more analytical and technically correct.

Shop math does not need to be too sophisticated. However, it helps to be able to use PI to calculate circumference and area, the Pythagorean therom to calculate diagonals, and simple multiplication to calculate volumes and weights. You would be surprised at how many people cannot determine the weight of a bar of steel.
   - guru - Monday, 11/08/10 01:11:06 EST

I have recently acquired 2 tons of coke. Unfortunately much of it is 3 to 5 inchs across and needs to be broken up. I can do this with a cross pien and a table I made so that I don't have to crawl around on the floor except it is sort of time comsuming. Does anyone have a quick and easy method to break it into a usable size (say 1 inch). I thought about a tumbler but am afraid that that will just take off the corners and make a lot of fines. Help.

   tinker - Monday, 11/08/10 10:17:27 EST

Tinker. I have a concrete pad about 4' x 4' with 1/4" x 12" plate sides and back walls. We use a homemade steel tamper to break up chunks.
   Frank Turley - Monday, 11/08/10 10:35:32 EST

Tinker I have seem people use steel grids to size fuel---throw a shovel on stuff on it and hammer it through the grid. The ones made from rectangular steel stock set on their edges. This method does waste some as fines though.

   Thomas P - Monday, 11/08/10 16:05:57 EST

"A smoking pipe (about 1" (25 mm) across) burning tobacco blown through gently will create a yellow heat that you could weld a paper clip with."

Is that on the draw? Would one want to inhale fumes from a paper clip? How about a cigar? I love me a good cigar!
   - Nippulini - Monday, 11/08/10 16:40:23 EST

All to easy to do it Jock, then be left with the guilt of neglected priorities. Discipline, im learning it slowly....
   - John N - Monday, 11/08/10 17:57:00 EST

Nip, I suspect the little zinc from the paper clip is no worse for the smoker than the tobacco. . :). But it would be safer to blow since the temperatures and MBTU (micro BTU) is much higher than normal smoking. Could be bad for a good pipe as well.

John, You would not BELIEVE my list of current projects. . . and there is always a never ending stream of pages to archive, images (anvils, swages, cartoons) to process. If all new work stopped coming in I could probably stay busy until the end of my days. However, my top priorities currently include 1) Getting healthy 2) Getting financially healthy. Number one has taken less effort than number two. . Number two has added to the list of projects.
   - guru - Monday, 11/08/10 18:18:21 EST

Breaking up fuel: No matter how you do it fines are created. I've heard it suggested to drive a truck back and forth over coke on a hard surface but I've done it and many pieces would not break. Many smiths that use charcoal start the day breaking up a pile at the side of the forge.

IF I had a large supply of coke to breakup I would build a grinding machine. A drum 4 to 6" in diameter with a dog sticking or two out of it that would pass through a slot in a heavy plate. The drum mounted on a shaft in pillow block bearings of some sort. The drum powered by a gear box or large diameter pulley. Probably slowed down to about 100 to 180 RPM. Build a hopper around the chopping plate and shovel the chunks in and crushed pieces out from under. . A good junkyard parts project.
   - guru - Monday, 11/08/10 18:49:53 EST

Also look at geological sample crushers: a stable plate and a hinged plate mounted so the gab at the bottom is the size wanted. The Hinged plate is driven back and forth to gradually squish the rocks as they drop down.

(But yes these are usually quite stoutly made and driven by powerful motors)

   Thomas P - Monday, 11/08/10 19:00:20 EST

I like the grinder idea and as several of us bought 20 tons we probably have the junk yard talent to build it. Does the drum slope so that the pieces are forced to one end? does the coke go in the drum and if so is the slot all around for the dogs to turn? I'm trying to sketch this and probably have the parts as soon as my little brain gets the whole thing together. Even if it doesn't work it will be a good project.
   tinker - Monday, 11/08/10 19:11:51 EST

Sketch on the way.
   - guru - Monday, 11/08/10 19:38:39 EST

hammer Mill

The drum could be pipe or solid shafting. If hollow then it would be good to have a flywheel for a drive pulley (auto tire with friction drive like a tire hammer). This needs both torque and inertia. Being a DIY machine I suggestd the slow speed for safety. If it stalls speed it up. But don't run at high speed. A failed weld on a blade could become a missle.

A hopper much deeper than what I show provides two kinds of safety. One, keeps your hands out of the works, also reduces the range of kick back debris. The trough might not want to be so open and flat at the bottom. I'd make the grate or cutting screen out of 1/2" or thicker plate. Don't choke it full of coke. Just toss a few pieces in at a time.

Lots of other designs would work. Could use a car axel. . .

There is a giant one of these on YouTube being used to split wood. Scariest machine I ever saw. Hand fed on a table where the wood was split. . .
   - guru - Monday, 11/08/10 20:19:55 EST

Steve, I am new in blacksmithing too, and to make things worse, I am francophone. When I found Anvilfire, I first read the glossary, then the FAQs and getting started in blacksmithing. I learned a lot. The forum is very intersting of course, but you can learn lots of things if you dig the site. Dig, dig,dig! Happy reading
   donald - Monday, 11/08/10 20:46:38 EST

If I w3as going to build a crusher, I might be tempted to look at ore crushers. They have a ecentric bulb center body inside a mantle and the center body just oscilates on a cam. As the ore is fed from the top the crushed material falls down a gentley decreasing annual gap. No kickback, no flying debris, and no edges to wear.
   ptree - Monday, 11/08/10 20:55:28 EST

Hi Guru, I have a Sahinler SM60 air hammer and need to know the energy produced by each stroke. The ram weighs 60kgs / 132 lbs, length of stroke is 230mm / 9", with maximum strokes per minute 220. Can you advise what energy is produced per stroke. Thanks.
   mal - Monday, 11/08/10 21:31:38 EST

When I had to break up coke I used an old cast iron radiator. The sharpish edges of the fins are good as an anvil. I then just hit the coke with a sledgehammer. The slots between the fins served to grade the broken coke.
   philip in china - Monday, 11/08/10 22:15:48 EST

Mal, it can't actually be calculated from that information. You need to know the velocity at impact which depends on the acceleration and the dwell time at each end of the stroke. You can't use the average based on the speed and length of stroke. If you manage to arrive at the available energy you would then need to factor the efficiency of the anvil ( rarely more than 50%).
   - Grant - Monday, 11/08/10 23:15:15 EST

Hammer Ratings: Mal, The problem with calculated power hammer energy is that the real velocity at impact must be measured. The speed is sinusoidal AND unequal (due to gravity). The acceleration is not simply gravity plus the force of the air you have to subtract the port restrictions and the advance return valve opening. SO, get your self a high speed video camera, film the full throttle operation against a background with with a scale, take the last frame and distance traveled and calculate the velocity then use the good old E=mc2. The steam engine folks have been measuring and graphing this motion since the late 1700's. James Watt invented the strip recorder WAY BACK THEN to study steam engine efficiency.

Due to the complexity of making these measurements AND the fact that manufacturers LIE about ram weights (in the old days they were heavier than the stated weight so they APPEARED to hit harder and today they may weigh less to save on iron), they devised a test using a standard lead plug then struck it one time, measured the expansion and gave a calculated rating based on the test. However, hammer drivers have tricks to making a hammer hit harder than just "dropping the hammer". So the human factor is still involved. . .

THEN for practical purposes the hammer normally does not do work at the closed die height, it is always something above that. How much? 1" or 5"? Makes a big difference in velocity. The ram is moving a LOT slower on large work than small (backwards from what you want). SO. . do you have a standard work height to take your velocity measurement at?

THEN there is anvil and foundation efficiency. When measuring ANY force resulting in stopping a mass that force is expended over a DISTANCE. A flypress may produce the effect of a 10 ton press going through .015" material but only 5 tons piercing .030" material. . . IF the object struck does not move any, then an infinite force has resulted. But infinite or near infinite forces are only in the realm of creation and nuclear explosions. We are talking end of the Universe. So, when two objects collide there is always motion. This is where anvil efficiency comes into play. A hammer with 7:1 anvil to ram ratio is 20% efficient (According to Chambersburg Engineering). But a hammer with a 10:1 ratio is 40% efficient. At the commonly recommended 15:1 a hammer is 58% efficient and at 20:! they are 70% efficient. SO, what is your anvil to ram ratio? Lots of hammer makers do not like to talk about this today.

On very large hammers it turns out that you want time for the metal to flow in dies so an anvil that moves on a soft cushion actually forges better than one with little movement. But on a small hammer you want peak efficiency.

Foundation? Modern smiths have found they can run 100 pound hammers on a good garage concrete floor. But the old manufacturers recommended a significantly sized foundation unter even little 25 and 50 pound Little Giants (which, by the way, had 15:1 anvil to ram ratios).

For a practical test one would need to do a comparison test using standard (identical) dies with an installed hammer. Heat a bar of known steel to a specific temperature then run it through the hammer so that each blow strikes a different place. Then measure the impressions and take an average. This filters out most of the human factor.

SO, to avoid all this most folks just go with the hammer's ram weight as its "rating". Any manufacture that says their hammers produce X energy and don't have a 10 page report that have been peer reviewed and publicly available on how they made that determination are blowing smoke. I want to see the measured velocity graphs at various work heights and a description of the method used to measure it.

While most of us like a hard hitting hammer the purpose of these small hammers is to do artistic work. This takes control. A controllable hammer is what most experianced smiths want. There have been a lot of hard hitting hammers built but many are more controllable than others. Control is not just about how gently you can make the hammer hit but how consistently you can make it hit. Little Giants in a bad state of tune are notorious for really bizarre behavior. Years ago I ran a number of them that wouldn't stop doing the Hula at ANY speed. . . The make you feel VERY inadequate. I've run some of the "workshop" tire hammers that have no work height adjustment and the ONLY way they will hit is hard and fast because the ram is too high off the work and the hammer must be run fast in order to compress the spring and contact the work at all. These hammers feather (slow down) very easily but if you have to run them near full speed to strike the work then they are very difficult to control. I've seen air hammers (both utility and self contained) that had terrible control.

You want efficient power with control. Joules don't forge a leaf or taper.
   - guru - Tuesday, 11/09/10 00:16:22 EST

Speaking of efficient power............

What size Jacobs chuck would work best in ye-ole Champion post-drills?
Time to get this one one the wall and working for me now.

Wow!!! time flys when your finally beating yellow-hot metal.
   danial - Tuesday, 11/09/10 01:30:48 EST

Now I get it. Thanks Guru
   tinker - Tuesday, 11/09/10 07:45:16 EST


I'd suggest a 1/2" chuck since you can get S&D bits up to 1" with cut-down shanks to fit that chuck and anything over a 1" bit is going to wear you out before you drill much.
   - Rich - Tuesday, 11/09/10 10:02:25 EST

Hand Crank Drill Press: Danial, You don't need anything larger than a 1/2" chuck. Generally you do not want to try to hand crank a larger bit and if you do need one then you can get a reduced shank bit. You also want one that goes down to 0. However, they have stopped rating Jacobs chucks at 0 so all but the smallest start at 0.040" (1 mm). Unless you are dealing with used chucks you want a taper mount, not threaded. The taper is in the chuck and you can get both taper and straight shanks to fit.

The Jacobs chuck that fits all these parameters and uses the most common key (K3) is the model 34-33. That is a model 34 with a 33 taper. The 33 taper is a later development in the Jacobs line for a better chuck taper in the most common size range. McMaster Carr sells this chuck for $85. You will need a 1/2" to 33 arbor. McMC has those as well for $15. You may find these cheaper elsewhere.

The alternative is to make a set of "blacksmiths bits" using sleeves or bushings from 1/2" round bar to fit a set of drill bits. This is a good job for a small lathe. Use each drill to make its own bushing. Use a common size set screw for the smaller bits and make the bushings for the larger ones a permanent fit with the judicius use of a hammer and some Lock-Tite.

When I put a chuck on my small hand crank drill press I extended the column to make up for the lost 3-1/2". The columns are just a piece of cold drawn steel and nice and rust free works better. I also added a support between the column and mounting board just above the highest usable table position (about 1-1/2" below the chuck's highest position). This takes spring out of the extended column and actually makes it stiffer than the original.

Back in the 1980's when I setup that drill the chuck and arbor cost me $135 and it was money well spent. I had paid $25 for the complete drill press and the piece for the column was something I had laying around. While this sounds like a lot of money when you can buy a Chinese bench drill for $70 at HFlate the old hand crank is a better machine for drilling metal. The little bench drill will not go slow enough to drill holes over 1/4" in mild steel. It also will be springier than the mounted hand crank and the cheap Jacobs clone chuck smaller and poor working. Even though the hand crank spindle may have some play and the gears rattle it will drill very well. I often use these machines for tricky little jobs that are hard to do without breaking a drill bit (wear safety glasses).

And now you can amaze your friends by drilling holes efficiently in steel with a hand powered tool!

Note that when you mount these things they were designed to be mounted on a wood column which created knuckle clearance. The boards they came on were not sufficient for this. Give yourself lots of clearance.
   - guru - Tuesday, 11/09/10 10:09:19 EST

E=MC^2 ?!

Ahh didn't you mean the kinetic energy equation---1/2MV^2

   Thomas P - Tuesday, 11/09/10 15:47:15 EST

Thanks Grant and Guru
   mal - Tuesday, 11/09/10 17:10:51 EST

Thomas, You are right. .. that is what I get for posting when I am WAY too tired. . . In either case, there are too many unknowns in the normal hammer information to calculate the true force.
   - guru - Tuesday, 11/09/10 19:55:02 EST

The "C" in "E=MC squared" is velocity, when You get right down to it.
   - Dave Boyer - Tuesday, 11/09/10 21:36:28 EST

Jacobs Chucks.

New 1/2" chuck with a taper mount is what I'm going with, and McMaster Carr is still running a good race with prices for what I've seen so far.

DID-NOT-THINK about knuckle-clearance.......but I'll fix that and double-check it before the final mounting.

   danial - Tuesday, 11/09/10 21:59:07 EST

This is NOT a homework question, as I've not been in school for nearly 20 years...

I'm thinking ahead about building a Leonardo DaVinci style drop hammer for minting coins. I'm in the earliest stage of guestimating capacity based on the hammer weight. My question, being weak in math and physics, is this:

Given a weight [100lbs] in free fall for a distance [10 feet], with a round contact surface [2" dia or 3.14 sq. in.], how do I calculate the impact force?

I've heard about drop hammers measures in tons, psi, and other ways. What's a meaningful way to calculate this?

Based on the equation, I can tinker the weight or distance to account for scrounged materials and still have some idea if what I'm building will work.
   MikeM-OH - Tuesday, 11/09/10 23:58:08 EST

OK, I should have looked harder before asking.... First I see that I'm missing some details. The "distance to stop" or "time estimate" is based on making a coin with a given detail depth [0.020"], given diameter [1" dia or .79 sq in] in a material with a given yield strength [Brass 260, 65000 psi].

The rough estimate equation I found says:
((distance of drop / distance to stop) * weight) / sq in


((12000 hundredths" / 20 hundredths") * 100) /.785 = 76433psi

76K psi being higher than 65K psi, I should be able to coin 1" dia brass to a depth of 0.020

Does that sound right?

If I want a deeper design, I need to increase the weight or drop, or decrease the diameter of the coin. Or warm the coin blank? I assume that brass yield strength changes with heat?
   MikeM-OH - Wednesday, 11/10/10 00:21:19 EST

Mike, I am going to guess and say that sounds like a plan. 10 feet is a long distance and will create a LOT of force. One thing about this type of hammer is that if you have too much force you simply don't raise the ram so far.

The easy way to raise such a weight is with a capstan. It also gives you the capability to just let go. . . or tie off the rope.

I've seen such hammers made with two pieces of angle iron as the guides.

Don't forget that your anvil in such a device needs to be 15 to 20 times heavier than the hammer. That is 1500 to 2000 pounds.

Yes, hot brass can be very soft. Maybe too soft to coin nicely. However, I WOULD be sure it is annealed.
   - guru - Wednesday, 11/10/10 01:11:36 EST

I have some ITC 100 HT in a jar that I let get dried out and now have added some water. It doesn't seem to be dissolving after 24hrs.
Any help?
   Carver Jake - Wednesday, 11/10/10 01:17:20 EST

Jake, ITC products have a water set ceramic binder. Once dry it cannot be reconstituted. Sorry for the bad news.
   - guru - Wednesday, 11/10/10 01:34:26 EST

Drop Hammer:

Thanks Jock.... hmm... Anvil... hadn't thought of that part. Well, now that the math is confirmed, I can start scrounging....

   MikeM-OH - Wednesday, 11/10/10 01:39:54 EST

Hello, I am trying to make a 1/2" C clip from spring steel for a 22 rifle extractor. I can get the size and shape I need , but im using a hacksaw blade as my hardened material. after shaping the piece it looses its spring. how do I re temper the material to maintain the spring steel effect. it is critical for the operation. Thanks for any advice, Rob
   Rob - Wednesday, 11/10/10 05:38:43 EST

Once again, I'm in error due to my lack of understanding which terms apply....

In coining, I'm forcing metal to move via a die. Am I concerned with YIELD strength or ULTIMATE TENSILE strength?

Above I quoted Brass 260 as a yeild of ~65K psi, but that's actually tht Ultimate Tensile Strength. Yeild is ~51K psi.

Which measurement should I be targeting?
   MikeM-OH - Wednesday, 11/10/10 10:45:10 EST

MikeM-OH: Have you asked Tom Maringer? He's got several coining presses and hammers, and makes a lot of interesting things. I'm still bummed I didn't buy one of his Vulcan coins struck from pure tantalum. www.shirepost.com is the site.

Rob: That is indeed a critical part, which means you don't make it out of an old hacksaw blade. Nobody but the maker of the blade knows what the steel is, so nobody can tell you for sure how to do the heat treatment.

For that application I'd try to find some flat clockspring steel, which is 1095 carbon steel. If you can find it in the right size out of an old clock or other spring-driven device it can be worked cold into the shape you want. If you absolutely have to heat-treat it, a quench in warm water or thin oil from a medium orange heat will harden it. Carefully polish it up and slowly heat it on a spatula held over a propane torch until the whole spring turns a uniform dark blue.

Incidentally, Dixie Gun Works sells short lengths of clock spring, pre-tempered, for just such applications.
   Alan-L - Wednesday, 11/10/10 10:46:04 EST

Circlip Heat Treat: Bob, These are some of the most difficult of spring parts to make. In order to do their job and not be too weak and bend, or too strong and break their dimensions must be within thousandths of an inch (+/-.03 mm) and their tempering optimal. Variations (straightness, smoothness) can produce weak spots or stiff spots that put more stress on the metal than planned.

Your first problem may be design but we will ignore that. That makes the second problem the material. You do not know what you have, its scrap or Junkyard Steel Your hacksaw blade could be anything from plain carbon steel to L6 alloy steel to M4 HSS or even a bi-metal blade. The heat treatments are similar but also different. To find out by trial and error means bending or breaking a lot of samples.

IN GENERAL (most steels):

Anneal to condition the steel. Heat to just above the magnetic point and cool as slow as possible. To do this with small parts I recommend heating them on or between a larger heat sink(s) and burying them together in wood ash, vermiculite, lime or wrapping in kaowool.

Harden by heating to the same point as above then quenching in the proper warmed quenchant (brine, water, oil, or air). Oil is often used for springs.

Immediately temper to reduce the brittleness and make the part tougher. You always want a part with the LEAST necessary hardness and the most toughness. Temper is temperature critical. The range is from a minimum of 350-400°F to as high as 1300°F. Most spring steels are tempered in the range of 560 to 600°F.

See our Temper Color Chart with Hardness Ranges

Note that the above chart is for plain carbon steels only. The colors act differently on alloy steels and the tempering temperature for your mystery metal may be much higher than those shown. The heat treating of some alloy steels is very critical to get good performance out of them and may not be the same steps as above. A method of accurately measuring temperatures is often required.

The point of most alloy tool steels is to resistant softening (or tempering) at elevated temperatures). While saw blades only seem to get marginally hot in use that heat come from the tips of the teeth which can easily reach a red heat even when used by hand. To stay sharp they must maintain their hardness. . . That is what alloy steels are about.

Unless you have absolutely identified the steel you are working with you are much better off to purchase NEW steel of a known composition and heat treatment. There are even pre=hardened stainless springs steels that you just bent to shape and use.

Note that this is pretty much the same advice we give everyone making critical parts. Making any kind of small spring is a critical task.

An Example: The last time I made a similar part (a small circular spring with arms, I cut it out of annealed .032" O1 tool steel using a jewelers saw. The ID and arm fillets were machined by clamping the steel between two sacrificial slabs of aluminium and drilling the large central hole (about 1.13") and the two fillets (about 3/8"). Then the part was coated with layout dye and the shape was carefully drawn. I then hand sawed it with the jewelers saw, filed and sanded before hardening and tempering (using a propane torch and following the package instructions). My $500 spring worked fairly well but needed some design changes (R&D project). Others in the shop used the same methods and failed miserably. Thousands of dollars lost. . . Poor line control (+/-.0015")in layout and sawing was most of the problem. My eyes were MUCH better then and I doubt I could do the same today even with good glasses.

In your case I would search for a stock part OR a stock part that could be modified to fit.
   - guru - Wednesday, 11/10/10 11:22:50 EST

Spring Steel- Inside old measuring tapes there is yards of flat spring steel. Also good for animal tails on metal sculptures.
   Carver Jake - Wednesday, 11/10/10 11:30:24 EST

I am trying to locate a blacksmith/ferrier in the Milford, Illinois area. I think his name is Vance Sternberg, but I can't find him when I google. Can anybody help me?

Thanks, Vicki
   Vicki T - Wednesday, 11/10/10 11:52:25 EST

Speaking as a coin collector and researcher, several comments on the coining question

1. Coin blanks (planchets) are annealed before striking. Planchets can crack under the die, another reason for annealing. Striking appears to "work harden" the coin
2. A free weight drop (or loose tooling) can result in "die bounce" or "machine doubling", where the die rebounds and strikes a second impression. Again, with the free weight or loose tooling, this second impression may not be aligned with the first impression, making it look like a double strike. This is not a double die, this is mechanical doubling.
3. High relief on a coin may require multiple strikes to bring up the design. The pattern US high relief St. Gaudens $20 gold took (if I remember right) 26 strikes to bring up the high relief. Exact alignment is called for (see #2, above). The coin needs to be clamped such that it doesn't move between strikings of an aligned die. Trying to bring up high relief in a single strike often cracks the planchet--see, for example, the ancient Greek coins in high relief, hand-struck, where cracked planchets are so common as to merit no mention.
4. Design needs to be balanced--that is, high spots on one side must correspond with low spots on the other, otherwise the high relief will not be struck up. For example, consider the 1823 2 real "Hookneck" coin of Mexico, where the eagle breast corresponds with the liberty cap on the other side. There is not a single 2 real Hookneck known with the eagle breast struck up. And this is in silver, a softer metal than brass.
5. Overall die design affects the final coin (is the die surface slightly concave or convex?). Dished coins are the result of die design.

Hope this helps

David Hughes
   - David Hughes - Wednesday, 11/10/10 13:01:59 EST

Good morning!
I was researching a borium/drilltech like product for one of my farriers that has a reddish flux "built into" the carbide. Can you point me in the direction I might find this?

Thank you for your time and consideration.
   Elizabeth Kozak - Wednesday, 11/10/10 13:09:44 EST

Thanks Alan-L - I'll be reading up on his site.

Thanks David Hughes - I've got an design in mind for keeping the dies aligned, although that won't keep the planchet from moving. I've also been balancing the front/rear design ideas to make sure theres enough metal to move.

After readign up a bit more on the material properties, testing with soft copper will be the first step. I'm starting with 0.5" dia dies because I have that punch size conveniently available for my Roper-Whitney #10. IF I can manage to engrave one set of dies and coin at that size with a small drop hammer, then I'll scale up the hammer and coin size.

Given the parts I have readily available, I can build a hammer with these properties:
Hammer Weight 18
Hammer Drop (ft) 5
Coin Dia (in) 0.5
Coining Depth (100/in) 20
Press Energy est. (psi) 27,502

Which gets me easily above the published yeild for annealed copper 102 [10K psi] on a press that [a] requires no new purchases and [b] can be hand operated for this limited scope.

As this is just a [possibly] passing interest, I tent to think big/end-state first, work out the match to see if its feasable, then scale down to a test with what I have laying around.

I appreciate everyone's advice.
   MikeM-OH - Wednesday, 11/10/10 13:40:32 EST

Is there anyone making custom touchmarks? I have some old magazines with advertisements for this service but not seeing them now (present day).
   Willy Cunningham - Wednesday, 11/10/10 14:11:47 EST

Willy, Almost all the stamp makers make them. Google "Steel Stamp"
   - guru - Wednesday, 11/10/10 16:34:44 EST

Thanks! I was searching "touchmark" no joy, just did "steel stamp" and there ya go.
   Willy Cunningham - Wednesday, 11/10/10 16:46:57 EST

Theoretical Full Power Hammer Cycle - Velocity and Power

The graph above displays some of the power hammer variables and theoretically how they would plot. This one assumes full power (not throttled). The top of the curve is fairly sinusoidal while the bottom follows a pushed acceleration of gravity curve until it strikes the work. Then there is the work time as the die moves metal and the dwell before the ram is picked up. All this would have to be carefully measured and the data plotted.

After the velocity curves are plotted then the work height can be added. The energy is then calculated using the ram velocity at work contact, ram weight and anvil efficiency factor. This is then plotted as shown. I suspect energy will be logarithmic as shown. The work height and energy numbers are for example only.

This graph would apply to utility air hammers, self contained air hammers and mechanical hammers all at full power. Board drops are pure gravity machines and can be plotted 100% theoretically. Hammers where the work height is adjustable by throttling or other means will plot differently in that mode than the curve above and each other.

Mechanical hammers that are throttled back run slower and have longer cycle times. The velocity is much lower and thus the force of the blows. Mechanical hammers have the advantage of adjusting their work height and having the same force at a high height as at a low height. Some have stroke adjustments that when combined with throttling can make the force of the blows very gentle if need be.

If you want the real energy delivered by your power hammer that is what it will take. If a manufacturer claims a given power than they should be able to provide the data used or similar graphs as above to prove their claims.

I've seen theoretical data calculated by Nazel engineers that was never published. They used it in-house for engineering purposes but probably knew it would not stand up to scrutiny for comparative hammer rating purposes.
   - guru - Wednesday, 11/10/10 17:12:43 EST

I have an antique drill press that I am trying to get rid of as I do not need it and need the space it takes up. I was told this is a tool Blacksmit's would be interested in. I was wondering if you could tell me if this is something you would use in your trade.It is a W.F. & J Barnes Drill Press maufactured somewhere between 1915 and 1930. I appreciate any help you can give me. Have a great day! Thanks!
   Heather - Wednesday, 11/10/10 18:09:39 EST

Try the menu at www2.horseshoes.com

I have only used tube Borium where the small tungsten carbide bits are dispersed in a soft steel tube for oxy acetylene application. With oxy, no flux is needed. A reddish flux is carried by Valley Farrier Supply but has nothing to do with Borium, just forge welding.

Et al., A question about the semi circular fuller marks on the four corners of some hammers and top tools. I have a good collection of smithing tools. The indentations appear on some cross peen sledges; on one European 2.5 kilogram splitting maul; on about one fourth of my top swages; on one small flatter; on one Atha set hammer, and that's about it. One person maintained that if a handle broke, a smith could wrap a wire around the marks and twist a temporary handle. This was to get the work done when a wooden haft was not readily available. It doesn't look like that would work on a sledge hammer because of the fuller mark placement. And I really wonder...

I have a couple of British hot punches with a 3/8" round rod wrapped around and extending to become a haft. In this instance, the fuller marks go entirely around the waist of the tool. This is a British permanent haft, not something for emergency use.

The marks appear on both hand forged and manufactured tools. They appear on a sledge hammer in a wonderful 1826-7 Philadelphia painting, "Pat Lyon at the Forge." By the way, there is a wonderful story about Lyon who made the locks for a bank. When the bank was broken into by robbers, Lyon was accused and imprisoned. Later, the real culprits were found and the newly freed Lyon sued successfully.
   Frank Turley - Wednesday, 11/10/10 19:19:14 EST

Heather, More info will help. Is that dril in Nome Alaska? or perhaps Alabama? This is a world wide audiance. Also look at the nameplate on the machine, there should be a size and capacity. If close to me, and the right size and price I am interested. I am in Indiana. Location of the drill will have a huge impact on price and ability to sell. Condition will also have a huge impact. While these old Barnes were the gold standard of their day, they are not usually anywhere near in complaince to modern safety standards and require constant oiling, so the industrial market for these machines is nearly non-existant.
   ptree - Wednesday, 11/10/10 19:32:21 EST

Besides location, the size of the machine makes a big difference. Barnes made wall mounted hand crank drill presses that could be easily shipped in a box by UPS up to monsters that would take a ton truck to move in pieces.

I have a 25" Champion from this era that easily drills 1-1/2" holes. I woundn't mind having a larger machine.
   - guru - Wednesday, 11/10/10 20:04:13 EST

I have a wire rope tag line of a barge that I have been using for cable damascus for years, there is a large chain attached to it,kinda more like D rings than chain.Do you have any idea what kind of steel it might be? its about 3/4 in diameter 5 inw 7t.Going to do a quench test,,but was still wondering what steel it might be.Thanks
   kevin - Wednesday, 11/10/10 20:11:58 EST

I passed up a deal (free) on 7-1/2 hp Barnes drill press since I couldn't possibly afford the overland freight to get it to my forwarder. Hated to do it as that machine would probably easily drill 3" holes all day long, but it weighed around a ton, I'm pretty sure. Since then I had a job where I really could have used it, of course. That's life!
   - Rich - Wednesday, 11/10/10 20:48:27 EST

Aluminum TV Antenna: One of our folks at Camp Fenby is wondering if there would be any craft use for an old TV antenna, and if she should try to dismantle it and bring it down this Friday. I can't think of any, directly, but given the wide experience, talent and imagination here, I figured that y'all might have some ideas if anyone did.

It doesn't need to be medieval (being as it's aluminum) but crafty and fun is good. :-)

Clear and cool on the banks of the lower Potomac; it looks like a glorious weekend in the tidewater!

Visit your National Parks: www.nps.gov

Go viking: www.longshipco.oeg
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Wednesday, 11/10/10 21:20:50 EST

I am currently teaching a basic blacksmithing class in Hamilton, Victoria Australia (Yes, Downunder). I work for South West Institute of TAFE (Technical and Further Education) who are a non-profit training institution (used be be government run but now privatised)and as such this is a non commercial request. I have seen a lot of worthwhile information on your site, and will steer students (aged 11 to 60+) to your site, but as some of them aren't computer literate. I was wondering if it would be OK to cut and paste some of your info into a booklet that I could offer them (no charge) to supplement the rest of their training? I have a lot of resources, but to condense it into a small and relevant collection of "bits" would suit their purposes. Would this be OK with you? If you like I could email the finished collection to you for approval prior to printing it and giving it to them.
Thanks for your consideration
Philip Jewell, Teacher (Engineering)
   Philip Jewell - Wednesday, 11/10/10 22:54:28 EST

Mike M-OH: about 15 years ago some friends of Mine decided to "mint" the "official coin" of the Conch Republick {Key West, Fla.} One of the guys engraved some dies, the idea was to make a primiative coin that looked similar to those Mel Fisher recovered from the Atosha. They melted the detail off of a 1 oz silver certificate with a torch, then "struck" them using a hydraulic press and the dies. They needed about 50 tons to get a pretty shallow coin, but they were forming quite a bit greater area than You are describing. They made and sold a bunch of them, but they were surprised by how much pressure it took.
   - Dave Boyer - Wednesday, 11/10/10 23:00:54 EST

what kind of anvil has a round knob where the table should be? it rises up slightly higher than the face. is this some style of upsetting block? it appears to have been forged this way and not welded.
   brad - Wednesday, 11/10/10 23:24:07 EST

Brad, I've never seen anything like that. Photos would help. Send them to me and I'll see if I can ID it.
   - guru - Thursday, 11/11/10 00:24:04 EST

G'day Guru,
do you still have copies of the Hugh McDonalds Roller mill plans for sale? You state that they are US$25 on the review page but they are not in your store. If you no longer sell them do you know where I might get a copy?
Troy Honeman
Brisbane, Australia
   Troy Honeman - Thursday, 11/11/10 00:46:13 EST

Phillip, Will send you a response by mail in the AM.
   - guru - Thursday, 11/11/10 01:08:43 EST

Looking for advise: I have the (golden??) opportunity to buy a 250# Beaudry upright-cushioned strap hammer (circa 1897)... a "basketcase", complete and in very good shape (one that was cautiously stored for about a decade). The only hick is that i'm having a real hard time to find anyone else that has such a gem !! Basically i'd like to know if it's such a good buy afterall, BEFORE laying my hard-earned cash.... Pics are availlable..... Anyone out there that has any experience with strap hammers????
   Pierre - Thursday, 11/11/10 07:26:06 EST

Talking about tobacco a few days ago. A while back I was smoking a cigar and laid the moist chewed butt in the fork of a rusty flower sculpture I had made. A few days later I eventually threw it away (nagging wife). Was surprised to notice that the rust was gone and there was a temper-like rainbow coloration to the metal.
   - Nippulini - Thursday, 11/11/10 09:35:38 EST

Lest we forget
   JimG - Thursday, 11/11/10 11:51:01 EST

Pierre, Are you sure that is not a "Bradley". I don't think Beaudry made a strap hammer but then he was an inventor and every time you look around there is an odd-ball Beaudry.

The big Bradleys are still in use in industry forging all kinds of things every day. They were the heaviest duty power hammer ever made and thus many 90 and 100 year old machines are still in operation. While they are no longer made or well supported the current owners of the remains of the company have drawings of the parts and can provide fabricated or machined from solid versions of them. Contact Bruce Wallace via United.ForgingHammers.com about parts and service.

To me "basket case" and "very good shape" are opposites. Generally if a machine is all taken apart and has not been put back together there are missing parts, worn parts, broken parts. . . Does it have motor stand, motor and pulley? "Simple" pulleys on such machines are not so simple and can be costly to replace. These machines came with low speed motors which are no longer stocked and thus are special order and very expensive. It is cheaper to use a standard 1800/1200 RPM motor and use a back shaft and pulleys to slow it down. But this is also an expense.

These are great old machines but you really need to have a need for such a machine to make it worthwhile.
   - guru - Thursday, 11/11/10 13:06:24 EST

Rolling Mill Video: We are getting them produced but do not have them in stock. We also have them available via electronic download (but not yet on the cart due to technical issues). The new version includes the video, the reviews and extra photos.
   - guru - Thursday, 11/11/10 13:09:36 EST

Whoops, I meant "Rolling Mill Plans". It includes the plans, drawings, video, photos. . .
   - guru - Thursday, 11/11/10 13:19:27 EST

The Beaudry strap hammer is documented in "Pounding Out the Profits". Pictures are posted on IForgeIron site the last few days. Is that you too Pierre?
   - grant - Thursday, 11/11/10 17:37:15 EST

what is the stamping on my peter wright anvil mean on the front at the bottom? it looks like a flower.

   - mike - Thursday, 11/11/10 18:25:12 EST

what is the stamping on my peter wright anvil mean on the front at the bottom? it looks like a flower.

   - mike - Thursday, 11/11/10 18:25:35 EST

Well, I stand corrected but the hammer is called the Upright Cushioned Hammer. Bradleys hammer of similar design is called the "strap" hammer as apposed to many others with straps.

Beaudry hammers were also made very well as were the Bradleys. Both are ancient orphaned machines that one is pretty much on their own when it comes to repairs and proper maintenance and operation.
   - guru - Thursday, 11/11/10 18:32:31 EST

Mike, that is a forging crew hall-mark. Often the team of smiths that made anvils had their own mark. There is no known record of these marks or the men that used them.
   - guru - Thursday, 11/11/10 18:41:03 EST

Well, I happen to put an article in my local small town newspaper for a forge and andvill and I got two calls. Need advise on the first one - A FORGE - Champion - made by the Blower and Forge Co. in Landcaster, Pa. #No. 27 -Fair condition - What is it worth??
The second item is maybe for Guru. Reading that you are interested in old machinrey and equipment - the gent has a wall mounted - hand powered drill press with a ratchet mechanisim on top to lower the drill. adjustable drill bottom.the only ID on it is Advance, # 12. The other item he wants to get rid of is an old back and forth shaper (looks like for metal working) made by The Rhodes MFG Co. Hartford, Conn
   Stan C - Thursday, 11/11/10 20:54:45 EST

Roller Mill plans

Great thanks Guru, how do I order them if they are not in the cart and I'll organise the payment? Oh what would the approximate size of the electronic version be?

   Troy Honeman - Thursday, 11/11/10 23:44:11 EST

Champion #24 Stan, the only model 24 I could find is a "Champion Standard Blacksmiths Power Forge" with loose and tight pulleys. This means it was powered from a line shaft and clutched in and out byt the tight and loose pulleys.

Valuse of these things vary a lot but average is $150 to $200 US depending on condition.

I'm not familiar with the Advance drill press but these things were all similar, some simpler and some more complicated. They varied in size from little ones 16" tall to big 400 pound monsters that were both hand crank and line shaft powered. . . I prefer the medium sized hand crank models.

The old drill presses have been selling for $75 to $150 for a while. Occasionally someone wants more for a big one. To me this is collector value only, not tool value. See the discussion a few days ago about costs of adding a chuck and so on.

Shapers also vary a lot in price. There are antiques around that date from the 1850's and units with hydraulic tracers from the 1960's. Some are worth no more than scrap and others worth upwards of $1000. I had an old Gould and Eberhart with open gearing that ran great when I got it. The open gearing got concrete dust or grinding grit in it and with an hour's use the irreplaceable primary gearing was worn out and caused noise and rippling in the cut. . . . I eventually scrapped the shaper.

Shapers are a very useful machine tool but are dangerous and scary to run. They do not have nearly the flexibility of a vertical mill. Thus they are out of favor and almost not manufactured any more. The single point tooling like a lathe make them an easy machine to purchase and maintain tooling for. A few plain HSS lathe type cutter bits that can be easily ground and reshaped and you are in business. I like them but very few machinists know how to use one today and most sit unused.
   - guru - Friday, 11/12/10 01:00:07 EST

Troy, Its a 54.5 Mb. Zip file. Mail coming your way.
   - guru - Friday, 11/12/10 01:07:09 EST

Yes Grant... that was my post on IForgeIron. The hammer belongs to a distant cousin of mine, and he's the one who removed it from it original location. He's a perfectionist... so it's all there (minus the "A-frame" for the jackshaft). Hell.. i just might have the motor rewired for 240 3 down in mexico, where it's cheap!!
It was working and in production when he got it. It's complete, but in a basket (actually: on three pallets!! ;-) )
I'd like to talk/meet someone else that has a similar designed hammer.....
   Pierre - Friday, 11/12/10 07:40:25 EST

Pierre, There are a number of folks that have similar Bradleys but I never specifically knew anyone with a Beaudry like this. I know a fellow that had a Jenkins hammer. It had a very strange adjustment at the helve pivot that did not make a lot of sense.

One thing to watch for on all the slip belt clutch hammers is the direction of rotation. While it makes no difference to the hammer mechanism it does to the clutch. You want the clutch tensioner on the slack side of the belt. Otherwise the load on the belt will fight the operator and cause erratic operation.
   - guru - Friday, 11/12/10 09:05:10 EST

Just received an e-mail from a "news" corporation who wants to do a documentary on blacksmiths who make stuff and sell to people. Seems suspect, anyone else get this?
   - Nippulini - Friday, 11/12/10 09:14:34 EST

Nip, I got a phone call from an outfit about a similar thing. Since my shop is only semi-functional and not very smithy like, I offered the opportunity to Josh Greenwood. They started talking about "a day in the life of a blacksmith" but then segued into wanting to see a sword forged. . . Yeah, more " I wanna' make a sword" folks. Josh said no thanks, I would have said the same.

The young woman I spoke to was very gung-ho and ready to fly in a film crew from the West Coast TOMORROW. . .

It was all for a iPhone brodcast type thing (pod cast?). A lot of work for very little value.

   - guru - Friday, 11/12/10 10:37:13 EST

I am looking at an older (80yr?) anvil and am trying to figure out the make, etc. It is 1 1/2 hrs. away form the house so before I take a trip I want to figure if it's worth while. all that is visible on the waist is a round "stamp" with a "bent arm" making a fist. it is ~180#. can anyone shed some light on what mfr this might be and any good/bad info.

Thanks, Todd
   Todd D - Friday, 11/12/10 12:52:22 EST

If it's actually stamped *into* the surface of the side of the anvil it is an Arm and Hammer anvil made in Columbus OH and is a very nice brand indeed!

If it's cast proud of the surface it is a Vulcan anvil and probably one of the lowest quality of the "real" anvils.

Since you mention a round stamp; it's most likely a vulcan as it's trademark was in a raised round area. Do not pay top brand prices for a vulcan anvil!

Note that anvils don't get "old" till they are more than 180 years old---I have an 1828 anvil that still gets used and I know folks using anvils made in the 1700's.

   Thomas P - Friday, 11/12/10 13:49:20 EST

judging by the photos in the "donated" section, it appears to be a Vulcan as you predicted. I'm not in desperate need of one yet as I'm just starting to collect the items to set up a small home hoby forge, but I figured it was worth the time to investigate. I have been pouring over this site for months now, learning all I can and truely appreciate the help. the seller is asking $400 or best and I'll include a link which shows a pic. what would the "right" price be for a vulcan in good shape and should I even bother ?


   Todd D - Friday, 11/12/10 14:19:50 EST

Hey Jock, I cant remember if a couple of years back I sent you the sample velocity graphs from Massey testing the blow energy of the open die pneumatic hammers?

Every single hammer was tested, every one had to pass. The only 'cheating' was making sure the hammer was hot at time of test, and ive heard rumors that occasionally the half a cup of parafin was injected into the ram bore to thin the oil a bit :)

Im building a 30 cwt open die hammer at the moment ive got to prove the blow on, so am currently remaking the test equipment (will be completed early next year) I am a little undecided whether to use a linear transducer & accelerometer mounted to ram, or high speed video - I will probably use all 3. When the 'kit' is up and running I will try it on the 'kinion' style hammers to prove once and for all that they are decellerating at the point of impact, and ill give it a twirl on a spring hammer (if I can find a local one, that has good enough ram guiding)

Drop me an email to discuss this further if you want (I cant find your address (and ill scan the actual trace readings and calcs from an old hammer file for you)

I think when I get this equipment operational it will be a valuable diagnostic tool for my company.
   John N - Friday, 11/12/10 14:56:21 EST

Please note that the blow energy produced by a hammer is not related in any way to the anvil mass. Of course the amount of that blow transmitted to the forging is related to anvil mass, but the 2 are not the same thing ;)
   John N - Friday, 11/12/10 14:59:55 EST

Hammer Performance: John, I think you offered to send the tests or sent them to someone else.

ENERGY and ANVIL MASS. . . True, the actual energy is there but you cannot use it with an anvil and the greater the ratio the more energy that goes into the work.

DECELERATING prior to IMPACT. . . All hammers do this except pure gravity drops any time they are not at full power. Any time you throttle back to avoid hitting the work then give is a little more to give a soft blow the ram is decelerating a lot before the blow.

Mechanical hammers with the DuPont geometry normally decelerate an imperceptible amount before striking the work. This is because the ram is adjusted to just above work height with the toggles in a line with between 6 and 10 degrees of sag. When the ram is thrust downward by the crank and spring the toggles pass through a straight line where the leverage produces force against the spring is that is infinite. The spring has no effect at this point. As the ram passes the straight line point the leverage increases to the point where the springs supported the rams weigh at rest. But this is imperceptable due to the huge amount of energy imparted by the velocity of the moving mass.

However, a DuPont linkage power hammer can be adjusted to contact the dies or work at the straight line point and hit that little bit harder. But as a convenience to the operator AND due to timing issues on some hammers the hammer is rarely adjusted this way. But you can adjust some hammers this way and further greatly increasing the dwell time on the work. This can have advantages but generally not in very small hammers.

The mechanical hammer can also be adjusted higher than the work and have the spring slow the ram a considerable amount thus producing light taps at full speed instead of hard blows. This is generally not recommended due to being hard on the machine and causing more timing issues. The better mechanical hammer has a stroke adjustment so that lighter blows are produced without wasting energy and creating timing issues.

Spring hammers (spring helves), despite all the arguments do not have the same velocity curve of a DuPont linkage hammer and decelerate more before striking the work than a DuPont linkage machine.

Kinon style utility hammers and perhaps all utility hammers in general introduce return air or steam before striking the work in order to be able to quickly pick up the ram. I suspect that self contained hammers must also do the same.

All these machines can be improperly designed, built or adjusted.

TIMING a HAMMER: I might consider one or more proximity switches connected to a data acquisition board. set one to trigger about 1" above the anvil and another 1/2" above the anvil then measure the time each one triggering on and each one triggering off. Miniature proximity switches only have a range of 1.5mm so their angular sensing is not very far off horizontal. Their switching frequency is as high as 2000 Hz which would give you a timing accuracy of +/-.0005 seconds or .001 seconds resolution. I'd have to do some calculating to determine if this is accurate enough to time the interval of 1" total travel at power hammer velocities.

These units cost about $100 each. The most convienient DAQ device is $1100 from Omega. The pricey part is the Windirt programming environment. The DAQ's come with software drivers. While the software will run under Vista, we had a lot of trouble with data lag buildup until all the frills were removed from a stock Vista system. It ran flawlessly under Win200 and XP.

I've put together a number of these packages. See next.
   - guru - Friday, 11/12/10 18:20:13 EST

Measuring and Data Acquisition:

MEC seal Tester

The device above is a seal tester for nuclear reactor primary coolant pump seals. These are the ones you DO NOT want to go bad. They are what is known as a controlled bypass seal. A little water (1 to 3 GPM max) flows past the ceramic seal faces preventing them from failing due to touching each other during operation. . . The tester produces flows of up to 5GPM and pressures up to 2500 PSI.

MEC Seal Tester Screen

Above is the tester display screen. As the test is run data points are saved and plotted on the graph in real time. The numbers at the top display pressure, temperature and flow. When the test is complete it is saved with a snapshot of the graph and the whole as a file that can be printed or retrieved later.

The tricky part of this device is that like virtually all measurement systems there is a narrow range in which measurement devices work accurately. Almost universally this range is ten. .1 to 1, 1 to 10, 10 to 100. . . In this case we needed high accuracy in two meter ranges (from .2 to 5). The problem is that measurement systems are most inaccurate at their extremes. Here we were at the top limit of one device trying to match another at its bottom limit. If you do not make some corrections there will be a jog in your data every time. So I took a range of overlap and using a trigonometrically weighted formula blended the two together seamlessly. As flow increased the display read meter A, then meters A and B, then B only.

I did all the meterology design, electronics and programming including the data display. Only a decade had past between the time I proposed this system and when we built it. . .

All that for only $200,000. . . including a new laptop loaded with the software. The tester has the USB data acquisition device I mentioned in the post above.

With the USB DAQ board, a bracket and a few proximity switches I think it you could do a pretty go job of measuring velocity by non-contact methods.
   - guru - Friday, 11/12/10 19:09:46 EST

Well. Went out on my first look at an anvil - it was a VULCAN - looked like 100# two 125# - the only two other legible markings on the base of the anvil were "10" on one side and "44" on the other. When I did a ball bearing test, the bearing only bounced half the height it was dropped from. I tried the same test on the other anvil (not for sale) and the bearing went 3/4 up from drop point with a nice "Ding" - What is it worth. The gent wants $300 for it. He was very surprised at the bearing test.
Please - needd advise??
   Stan C - Friday, 11/12/10 21:01:59 EST

Measuring Hammer Performance: Wouldn't it be simpler and more usefull to use flat dies and run full power for a measured unit of time on an annealed copper cube of known dimension, then measure the highth afterwards?

Perhaps a 2" annealed copper cube for 15 seconds, or something relavant to the hammer size in question?

I think it would make sense to use a cube of such a size that You might reduce the hight to roughly 1/2 of original on the {middle} hammer being compaired.

Such a measurement would automaticly include the effectivness of the anvil.

This way You would be able to measure work done over time, and make a comparison of similar size hammers.

Someone good with math might be able to convert this to some unit of energy.

   - Dave Boyer - Friday, 11/12/10 21:42:56 EST

Stan: From the "10" I would think it is a 100# anvil, but Your bathroom scale will tell You for sure.

I wouldn't give over $100 for it unless it was PERFECT, then maybe $125.

I live in Pensylvania, where better made anvils in usable condition can be found for less than or about $2.00 per pound if You are patient, Your location makes a difference.
   - Dave Boyer - Friday, 11/12/10 21:49:52 EST

Dave Boyer, In as far as a beginner working on a Vulcan anvil, what can I expect?? if purchased at the price that you recommend, can I go wrong as a beginner blacksmith?? Will the forged work come out different then being pounded on a good hard surfaced anvil??
PS Thank you for your time in answering my questions.
   Stan C - Friday, 11/12/10 22:26:42 EST

Stan, they are really thick at the heal, which might be an inconvinence at some point. The top plates tend to be a little thin and not always as permanantly attached as better made ones, with no way to repair.

The ball drop is a good test, but the surface needs to be clean & smooth for maximum rebound.

Another test You MUST do is lightly tap all over the face to try to locate any loose areas, they will sound different.

As far as Your forging results, a harder face might beslightly more efficient, but a heavier anvil [150#-175#] or larger will make a more noticeable difference. Your work will look the same from any of them.

I think the biggest concern with a Vulcan is that it may not hold up to heavy use, I surely would not use a sledgehammer on a 100# Vulcan.
   - Dave Boyer - Friday, 11/12/10 22:37:48 EST

Some of the cheaper steel faced cast iron anvils I've seen appeared to have almost no use but the faces were broken and cracked often with big pieces missing. As far as quality of work goes you are much better off with a big soft piece of mild steel that does break up. Its easy enough to dress when it becomes worn.
   - guru - Friday, 11/12/10 23:16:21 EST

Testing Hammers by Performance: The old industry method was to strike a lead cylinder one time and then measure the changes. I think the size was 1" dia 1" tall. But the size varied with the size of the hammer in ranges.

Time and multiple blows can get tricky. Timing such events always introduces the human factor At 300 blows per minute or 5 per second being off one second out of 15 is not unusual. Do you start with the hammer running full speed (die to die) and slip the work in and out or do you count from when the treadle is pressed. . .

It is not as simple as it seems.
   - guru - Friday, 11/12/10 23:33:59 EST

Testing Hammers: I think starting the clock when the treadle goes down and pulling the sample out when the time is up would be closest to real life, maybe 15 seconds is too short for accurate timing. Perhaps 30 seconds would give greater repeatability.
   - Dave Boyer - Saturday, 11/13/10 01:30:30 EST

Hi Guru

I am a student doing research on Oil Palm Harvesting Knife.

I got confused the terms like AISI,SAE, ASTM.

for example: AISI 5160, SAE 5160,ASTM 5160, ASM 5160. how does these term differentiate from each other?

Thanks for reading

   fatbamboo - Saturday, 11/13/10 07:39:23 EST

fatbamboo, AISI = American Iron and Steel Institute, SAE = Society of Automotive Engineers, ASTM = American Society for Testing and Materials. ASM = American Society for Metals and Materials (Look again and see if you really meant AMS = Aerospace Material Specification). AISI, ASTM, AMS and SAE issue specificaitons for carbon steels and alloy steels. ASM does not. Generally, a numerical designation refers to the same alloy composition if it is the same number in any system. Now get on your Google and figure out what 5160 means!
   quenchcrack - Saturday, 11/13/10 09:36:18 EST


AISI American Iron and Steel Institute
Industry organization that puublishes structural steel information required by engineers. Their steel specs are basically the same as SAE

SAE Society of Automotive Engineers
One of the first engineering organizations to produce a logical system of steel designations. Steels are grouped by alloy (the first two digits) and carbon content (the next two or three digits). Example, SAE 1018 is plain carbon steel with 0.18% carbon

ASTM American Standards and Testing Materials
These folks set and publish standard testing methods. They do not specify what goes into most steels, they set the method of testing their performance. The number you give is not an ASTM testing number. Goverenment and various organizations point to their materials. If you need to know what they are you must purechase them from ASTM. Those standards in turn always refer to others such as their standard definitions and specific laboratory methods. No one metals testing standard stands alone. I personally think it is wrong for government specifications to point to ASTM who profits from their publications.

ASM American Society for Metals International
These folks do not set standards there is NO ASM steels. They publish compiled engineering references with information about metals and metal processing. Their engineering materials references and metals refence books are industry standards. They go into more detail than Marks' and Machinery's Handbook but not as much detail as single subject references.

Today if you need to specify a steel it is often in the UNS (Unified Numbering System) a group association merging of number systems with cross references and published by ASM International.

I highly recommend Machinery's Handbook for basic SAE nomenclature and heat treating information. For more in depth information I suggest the ASM Metals Reference Book. If you need exacting heat treatment information on many steels then you need the AMS Heat Treater's Guide, Standard Practices and Procedures for Steel.
   - guru - Saturday, 11/13/10 09:54:21 EST

thanks for the detail explanation. now i got everything clear.

allow me to ask another question.

the workshop that i have visited, uses junkyard leaf spring steel as raw material for oil palm harvesting knife.

how can i know the specification for the steel.
i believed it is AISI5160,as it is common for leaf spring, but still, if you check http://www.matweb.com/ for AISI 5160, there are many kind of it........

not knowing the material that i am testing is a big problem for my project. Any solution please?

   fatbamboo - Saturday, 11/13/10 10:25:31 EST

Fatbamboo and Guru, you forgot one. SIW
[Sinks In Water].
   Carver Jake - Saturday, 11/13/10 12:08:22 EST

Fatbamboo, Scrap parts are whatever the manufacture used. The myth (it IS a myth) that most automobile springs are SAE 5160 came from people looking up spring steel in Machinery's Handbook's SAE recommended steels list and ignoring the dozen other steels that are used. Spring shops whom make replacement springs often use SAE 5160 but that is NOT an absolute, SAE 1095 and many other steels are also commonly used.

Junk steel is unknown steel unless you send it to a metallurgical lab for testing. OR you identify the exact make and model vehicle, its serial number, then ask the manufacturer (good luck finding the right person). Since they consider this proprietary information, none of your business, and an aggravation, they will probably not tell you.

If you want to know what is in a specific type of steel purchase new steel OR pay the fees to have is analyzed then cross referenced. Note that the metallurgical lab will usually tell you the constituants of the steel but YOU will have to do the cross referencing in one of more of the references I have listed.

SEE Junkyard Steels
   - guru - Saturday, 11/13/10 16:09:35 EST

Is an Armstrong anvil as good as a peter wright?
   Harold - Saturday, 11/13/10 20:17:45 EST

Harold, I do not know of an Armstong anvil. There are two brands with an arm and hammer logo. One is Vulcan, a cast iron steel faced anvil of low quality. The other is Arm and Hammer an American made forged anvil of very good quality. Then there is Armstrong Tools who used the same logo. They made mechanics and industrial tools as well as lathe tooling. They never sold anvils that I know of. So the first thing you need to do is identify the anvil properly.

As to how good a particular old anvil is compared to another has a lot to do with the condition. Has the anvil been repaired? Modified? Worn out. . .?
   - guru - Saturday, 11/13/10 20:43:46 EST

Thank you, the one I was looking at has an arm holding onto a hammer.
   Harold - Saturday, 11/13/10 22:39:23 EST


according to some blacksmiths in Malaysia who produces oil palm harvesting knife. Under the same production method, the knife made of new metal sheet of AISI5160 is far inferior than junk leaf spring(considering it as AISI5160).

do you think that the coldworking(correct me if i am wrong) done on the leaf spring during the life in a vehicle, somehow changes the microstructure of the steel?

   fatbamboo - Saturday, 11/13/10 22:51:56 EST

In use springs can develop micro cracks before failure. But any changes from use are lost when heated to forging temperature.

The problem the smiths are having is what I've been trying to explain above. They did not know what steel they HAD, nor do you or they know what they are working NOW. Assuming anything about junk yard steel other than you do not know what you are working is a big mistake.
   - guru - Saturday, 11/13/10 23:04:09 EST


If the logo on that anvil is raised above the surface, then it is a Vulcan and nowhere near the quality of a Peter Wright. If, on the other hand, the logo is stamped "into" the anvil, it is an Arm And Hammer anvil, one of the best American made anvils, and equal in quality (possibly better) than a PW.
   - Rich - Sunday, 11/14/10 01:50:02 EST


If the smiths in Malaysia were making their palm harvesting knives of *new* AISI 5160 steel and were properly heat-treating them, they should be equal to or better than ones made from used springs. The steel in a leaf spring is NOT improved by being pounded over the roadways. In fact, those leaf springs can develop stress fractures that may result in the knife failing in use. I suspect that if they were not as pleased with knives made form new stock it is because they were not properly heat-treated. Most steel sheet is delivered in either an annealed or an "as rolled" condition, neither of which is as hard as heat-treated steel. Comparing even "as rolled" steel to a tempered spring leaf is comparing apples to oranges.
   - Rich - Sunday, 11/14/10 01:56:38 EST

thanks for making one fact clear
   - fatbamboo - Sunday, 11/14/10 02:15:30 EST

thanks for making one fact clear
"the quality of leaf spring doesnt change during their life time in road"

the workshop that i mentioned is in fact my dad's workshop. he has been blacksmith for many years. and i am a final year mechanical student having my final year project to investigate the knife making process.

the fast IS, using the same knife making method ( the hammering process and heat treatment), new AISI 5160 steel is far inferior than junk leaf spring.

this points toward, WHAT is the real new AISI5160 is. because from matweb, we can see that, there are a few types of AISI5160, whether it is annealed, or normalized and also the pre-heat treatment and also the variation of temperature.

so it all goes back to the first question. What is the quality of leaf spring steel, AISI5160 in what condition.

i doubt that i can find any affordable metallurgical testing.... in fact, i dont know where can i find a lab to do so.... ha ha ha....
   fatbamboo - Sunday, 11/14/10 02:16:59 EST

I finally got my new power hammer wired! This is its first run. It was built by the same cousin who built the hydraulic forging press. It's a modified Appalachian "Rusty" helve hammer utilitizing a spare tire clutch. Very little new material went into making it. It has an 80 pound ram and is running dies made from railroad track caps. More dies and a different die holding system in the future.

The test piece of steel is about 5/8" automobile coil spring.

The Hausmann Millworks mentioned in the video is the creative community where my shop is located, just north of downtown San Antonio, Texas.

   - Stormcrow - Sunday, 11/14/10 03:33:40 EST

Stormcrow, I think you may have something there. I see the safety hood over the spring, something I always suggest for these style hammers. Mine is 45# and has the anvil made from 2 hunks of square like yours. I did scab on another couple of hundred pounds later.
   ptree - Sunday, 11/14/10 09:45:44 EST

Fatbamboo, what it actually points to is that the old leaf springs must not be 5160. What is the heat-treating procedure used, and how does the old steel outperform the new?
   Alan-L - Sunday, 11/14/10 11:37:31 EST

My "Forging Industry Handbook" 1966; 1970 has a steel chart with typical applications. The following are suggested as spring steels: 1050; 4161; 5155; 5160; 6150; 9254; 9255; 9260; 51-B-60. Thus proving, it is a crap shoot. Not to forget, this information was current in 1970!!
   Frank Turley - Sunday, 11/14/10 12:38:11 EST

Stormcrow, congratulations! Interesting looking design. I would worry about the long slender ram flexing and moving. When forging short tapers or points if the ram and upper die shifts it will spit the work out toward you. This makes it very hard to forge steep tapers. I've noticed the same problem in Bull hammers with the long ram. You can see the ram shaking back and forth in the videos.

Tight guides and a stiff ram have a lot to do with having precision control for forging shoulders as well as steep tapers and is also necessary for safe use of hand held tooling. Sloppy guide systems are an issue in many DIY hammers. If all you want to do is heavy drawing it does not matter much. And of course, ANY power hammer is better than no power hammer.

This hammer also has a problem similar to your press. The large platens on the press and the large end of the ram on your hammer make it difficult to see the dies and work clearly. To do freehand artistic forging you want as great a visibility as possible. Being able to stand close to the hammer and see the edges of the dies where they contact the work similar to standing over the anvil and looking down, makes a big difference in the quality of the work you can produce. Having good control of the hammer means nothing if you cannot accurately apply it.

The common steam utility hammer has the best visibility there is. The dies are flush with the front of the ram and the that is fully exposed so that you have perfect visibility.

Of course bolt on dies have a huge advantage as well and take some space to attach. Finding the best compromise is the hard part of design. AND I understand your machines have been junk yard projects thus many things are beyond your control and out of ones economic range.
   - guru - Sunday, 11/14/10 14:00:26 EST

Fatbamboo, The condition of steel as it arrives to the blacksmith shop means NOTHING! Once it has gone into the forge all previous heat treating means nothing. Everything the SMITH does from that point means everything.

And ONE LAST TIME: Neither you nor your father ever knew what steel was being used in the first place. EVER!

Even when new steel is purchased IT may be questionable unless the supplier is very careful. Certs (papers certifying the type of material) cost extra and if the application is critical I've know suppliers who could not certify any of the steel in their warehouse. They had to order new steel from another warehouse that could certify the grade of steel.

THEN, To make things even more difficult there are proprietary grades of steels that are either within standards with tighter control of key elements OR do not meet industry standards at all.

Steels that meet ASTM testing requirements for one purpose (springs) may perform as well as other steels but not be good for other purposes (blades) as those other steels may be. Automobile manufacturers only care about two things, cost and performance. First, the steel must perform as expected, then the cost and availability. Manufacturers often change steels due to availability or cost. They may be using one alloy one day and a completely different one the next, as long as the perform the same in the specific application. One day they may be using a cheaper lower grade material and the next a higher grade material because of supply problems.
   - guru - Sunday, 11/14/10 14:20:12 EST


let me go into detail.

if one workshop uses old leaf spring as raw material, the production time will be greatly reduce, as it need to cut leaf spring into bar shape, heated it, and use pneumatic hammer to hammer it into knife shape.

while using new sheet of AISI5160, the procedure of cutting leaf and and hammering it into knife shape is omitted. As sheet metal is more or less already in knife shape, comparing to bar leaf spring. hence, it increases to production.

in terms of quality. junk leaf spring are better in 2 ways. first, junk leaf spring knife remain sharp after many round of cutting, while new sheet of AISI5160 loses edge quickly and and tend to crack.

the heat treatment, is... to heat the steel to austenizing temperature (yellow glowing) then quench it into oil bath, temper it around brown color temperature(can remember the temperature).

i believed that the junk yard leaf spring IS AISI 5160, while the reason for difference of quality, i really dont understand. one could be the difference of quality or raw material(even though both are 5160). the other one could me the 'shaping' process of junk leaf spring into knife shape somehow changes the microstructure of steel.

i will contact the steel supplier soon, and i will see whether i can use spectrometer from another universiti (my universiti dont have one) to test on both material.

finding out the exact raw material is the first step of my project and i have wasted a lot lots of time on it....

   fatbamboo - Sunday, 11/14/10 14:23:32 EST

1. the fact is, the quality of knife made of leaf spring steel is always, consistently good. while using new sheet 5160, the user can straight away tells that this is a lousy knife, even if both knife are made under the same method.

2. guru, you have pointed something rather confusing, as automobile industry may alter the steel they use, how do we explain the consistency of high quality knife made of old leaf spring?

3 if the pre-heated condition of steel doesnt matter, then i suspect that the alloying material in leaf spring steel and new AISI5160. one big chance is that, leaf spring steel in malaysia, IS not 5160

anyway, i will contact the steel supplier who provide new sheet 5160 and i will try to access a spectrometer to find what raw material that is really in use. and keep you up to date

i just wish to get some pros opinion here, that might have came across this kind of situation...

   fatbamboo - Sunday, 11/14/10 14:37:43 EST

Fatbamboo, how many knives have you made? You speak as though your experience goes back decades and after all that time, you can confidently pronounce that old leaf spring steel is demonstrably better than new 5160. Different companies use different steel alloys based upon design loads. Different alloys will perform differently when used for an un-intended purpose. The skill of the craftsman, especially when heat treating an unknown alloy, probably accounts for much of the variability.
   quenchcrack - Sunday, 11/14/10 15:50:47 EST

Fatbamboo, tempering colours are a very inaccurate way of heat treating a blade. oven with a pyrometer is the only way to go. (type 'k' and a reader from ebay will only set you back $50)

Have a looksy here ... http://www.britishblades.com/forums/showthread.php?8919-Brass-Rod-Test ... a good old fashioned way of checking the edge of a blade.

It is possible that the smiths working on the old springs are working the steel on a 'reducing heat' with the final forging operations, which could have the same effect as multiple normalising cycles, which would bring the grain size in the steel right down, which could effect cutting performance.

You also need to measure your austentising temperature accuratly. Get it to hot (glowing yellow sounds way to hot) and you will grow the grain size in many steels very fast, again, this can lead to poor performance.

The devil is in the details heat treating knives!

By the way, most scrap yards now have a hand held spectrometer that they zap a piece of metal with and it gives a full composition on the back of the unit in about 2 seconds, no fancy labs needed.
   - John N - Sunday, 11/14/10 16:14:05 EST

quenchcrack: i can make such facts as my dad is a black smith with 20 years of experience, producing around 30 knives per day. small scale business. since i study engineering, so i wish to know more about material science and proposed such thesis title. it is true about what you said, working on unknown are really a trouble. and the consistency of good quality knife using leaf spring despite the fact the automobile company may alter their steel material,is one big mystery. i still have a 2 weeks holiday now, and when i return to university, i will try to find a spectrometer to find out what IS the material the clear the mystery.

John: very true john, i think i need to purchase something to measure the temperature correctly, as for my dad, his experience is enough for knife making, but to document it down as proof, i need some device. any suggestion? and for hand held spectrometer, i was quite excited to know something like this existed, but after checking in ebay........ it cost $28,000. ha ha ha.... junk yard in malaysia will not have such thing.....

   fatbamboo - Sunday, 11/14/10 16:31:05 EST

Experience is not allways enough... We were working with a silicon manganese spring steel that did not austentise fully untill 900c (ish,.... en45) some very experienced bladesmiths thought it would not harden and we had bad steel, we were just not hot enough. We were closely monitoring the temperature in the forge with thermocouples prior to quenching, but did not check with a magnet.... very easy to miss somthing, sometimes the basics.

The scrap yards in malaysia will have the spectrometers. A ton of steel, or bronze, or copper is worth virtually the same in any country .
Any yard on the earth doing a reasonable tonnage will have one, I am reasonably sure!
It was quite an eye opener to me when I weighed in some bs1400 pb1 bronze scrap tunrings, and was told it was aluminium bronze mix, and thus worth less. Only a few days later did I remember machining some Al bronze a year or two before that was inadvertantly mixed with the pb1!

Any cheap thermocouple reader, with a type 'k' thermocouple will give you accuracy to within +/- 2 degrees c. I got mine from ebay, about $50 all in, including postage from china.
   - John N - Sunday, 11/14/10 17:41:50 EST

"Sheet 5160" I've never heard of this alloy being available in sheet stock. Perhaps you are not getting what you think. What is "leaf spring steel"? I've covered that over and over.

The "consistancy" of the springs in use may be due to the available supply coming from a similar type vehical from the same or related manufacturers over and over. Every auto scrap yard I've been to had one vehical type that they had many more of than others. One may have Fords, another Jeeps, another GM products and another military vehicals. You would never notice unless you get out in the yard and are really observant.

You want "pros", Quenchcrack is a professional metallurgist and has told you the same thing I have OVER and OVER.

How professional blacksmiths do things and how the book says do it are often very different things. How someone observing the smith THINKS something is being done is often much much different than what is actually happening. How a smith judges temperature by color is impossible to translate to writing because every shop has different ambient lighting and every human sees things slightly different and the trained eye sees things MUCH different than the untrained.

To study materials "science" you must first learn to establish facts. So far you don't know the material other than a wild guess, or details of the process (which are difficult to record by simple observation).

BOOKS: You need to refer to many of the books I have pointed out OR their equivalent. They are somewhat rare and expensive books other than the Machinery's Handbook. Used copies of Machinery's are common because every machine shop student (and at one time engineering student) in the U.S are required to take a course on using the reference which means they must purchase a copy. Then like many other text books they promptly discard the book. So there are thousands of copies of the $125 book available for $15 to $25. The ASM books and similar references are a different story. A FEW professionals have significant collections of these references. Most are found in engineering school and corporate libraries. They are rarely found used and then sell at a high proportion of their new cost. I have only seen ONE complete set of the ASM Metals Handbook (an encyclopedic reference set) for sale and it was from the 1930's. I have pieces of current volumes but not an entire set. Each volume cost me nearly $200 and they are more than that now.

While many do without, I have never known an engineer worth his salt that did not have a significant engineering library. It is as much an investment in your career as the education required to make good use of that library. These references are the tools of the trade. You need to start collecting them or spend a lot of time in the right libraries.
   - guru - Sunday, 11/14/10 18:16:57 EST

thanks for pointing out the possible reason and also my problems. i will do whatever i can first and might share will you my findings later on....
   fatbamboo - Sunday, 11/14/10 18:26:20 EST

Fatbamboo, so I guess what you are saying is that all the experience you claim is really your dad's? I am guessing your dad knows exactly what to do with what he has to work with. You don't.
   quenchcrack - Sunday, 11/14/10 18:50:21 EST

he knows the method to produce high quality knife, but not knowing the technical and theory behind it. so i want to learn from his experience and applying theory to it. i have already got a direction of should i be going... thanks to this forum...
   fatbamboo - Sunday, 11/14/10 19:07:42 EST

A few more details of the mechanism of the hammer.

   - Stormcrow - Sunday, 11/14/10 20:48:02 EST

Had a chance to buy a Hay Budden in very good condition, approx 140 lb @ $350.

One little problem - maybe: There was a groove around the root of the horn. It was not a crack, it was either left over from manufacturing or rebuilding.

It look exactly like someone had take a hacksaw w a thin blade and cut a groove about 1/50 (?) of an inch deep about 1/5 of the way around the horn root on the top side. It had nice square edges and was very straight.

Whatever it was, it was mostly on the top where I thought it might have caused stress risers when using the horn. Anyone know what it was and if it was a disaster waiting to happen or nothing of consequence?
   Rudy - Sunday, 11/14/10 21:49:20 EST

Fatbamboo: While there have been many good knives made from 5160, it is a spring steel by design, and not intended for edge holding. It is NEVER used in the tool and die industry for cutting tools, only for springs.

Study a little deeper, and check out the AISI tool steels and ther suggested uses, then compair the analysis of Your supposed new 5160 [once You find out what You actually have] to these, and see the difference.
   - Dave Boyer - Sunday, 11/14/10 22:50:46 EST

Rudy, On later Hay-Buddens the horn is one piece of steel with the body and face. On earlier the body and horn one piece. In neither case is there a reason for that notch. It sounds to me like someone was trying to saw the horn off. . .

You might want to grind the groove out before welding. If the anvil is a late type (a spark test on the horn will tell) then it should be preheated before welding.
   - guru - Sunday, 11/14/10 23:26:26 EST


I didn't buy it. But I remember you could see the line defining the surface plate, so I suspect on of the earlier. Don't remember the markings, but I do remember they looked like they had been cut into the metal rather than cast. Very sharp lines. I also remember (this could be very wrong) a couple of numbers a 6 and a 9 down below the markings on the side. I didn't see any other marks on the feet, etc.

The anvil had a not too loud, but potentially unpleasant ring no matter where you struck it - face, heel, horn.
   Rudy - Monday, 11/15/10 02:35:00 EST

Rudy, There have also bee mechanical repairs made to anvils. Machining dovetails, slots, machining shanks to fit into drilled holes, drilling and taping parts. . . The lines you saw might be a relic of something like that.

The ring is indicative of an all steel anvil. If the weight was 69 pounds then its a small anvil and probably much harder than a large anvil. The harder the anvil the higher pitched the ring - in general.

More about comparative steels. . . If you are working with one steel for a long time and then you change to another you will probably need to change procedures to get the same OR better results. In the hand made and blacksmith shop heat treating business superior tools often come from superior care and attention to detail. If the procedures are based on years of experience and the material changes then the quality will probably suffer until adjustments are made for the new steel. Not knowing what you have (especially junk yard steel) makes this even more frustrating.
   - guru - Monday, 11/15/10 13:01:45 EST

Fatbamboo; I'm glad you are trying to use your education to help improve things for your Dad!

One thing that comes to mind was the fact that the sheet was not forged and the heat treat did not mention multiple normalizings before hardening. This makes me wonder if the sheet was relatively large grained and so prone to cracking in use.

I don't know how much of it you have bought; but most of us smiths have run into being sold stuff that was NOT what we were told it was---very frustrating until we find out that the reason it's not working the way it's supposed to is that it's not what it's supposed to be!

So getting a piece of the sheet tested would be my first suggestion, (Got any Friends in the Materials Science department at school?). The second would be to try to modify the heat treat to refine the grain.

And PLEASE report back on how things are going. I'm interested!

   Thomas P - Monday, 11/15/10 19:04:01 EST

Forgive me if I do this all wrong. This is my first note to the Guru. I live in Tyler, Texas and I am looking for a good source of coal for Blacksmithing. Can you give me a name of a business that will ship me some coal?

I have looked over your site and I am impressed.


   Stan - Monday, 11/15/10 22:04:27 EST

Please forgive me if I do this all wrong, I have never asked a real Gurua question before. I live in Tyler, Texas and I am looking for a business that I can buy coal from. Do you have a name of a good supplier that will ship coal to Texas? I have looked over your site and I am impressed.
Regards, Stan
   - Stan - Monday, 11/15/10 22:13:34 EST

Stan, Check with http://www.taba.abana-chapter.org or Houston Area haba. I think there is also a North Texas Blacksmiths Association. These are Texas blacksmith assoications. Use your search engines. Centaur Forge carries coal, but they are far from you in New Braunfels.
   Frank Turley - Tuesday, 11/16/10 08:48:37 EST

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