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

Brain out of gear. . . Guess I'll have to wait until the tire wears down. . .
   - guru - Thursday, 12/02/10 00:07:56 EST

Guru -Having it be quick-change is actually only a secondary effect. I considered two ways of holding dies down, and one was bolts. We tried the bolts, but, in part because we began with junkyard pieces that didn't have a square reference edge to begin with, the holes are not particularly square to each other. So now I'm going this other way. May not work like I want, but we'll see.
   - Stormcrow - Thursday, 12/02/10 00:36:29 EST

guru, could not send pictures yet... but on closer inspection after purchase it has and says the following: an anvil clip horn, and reads along the base across the foot of it, this. 150 A 14 30 25. It also has two pritchel holes instead of one, and the letter U stamped under the heel. Do you have any idea info on this anvil? thanks for your help
   brad - Thursday, 12/02/10 01:22:34 EST

Tom Great photo. Classic anvil.
   - guru - Thursday, 12/02/10 11:37:49 EST

Brad, not a clue. However, the clip horn and double pritchel holes make it a farrier's anvil. A raised (not stamped) U has been reported on anvils from all over but the manufacturer has not been identified.
   - guru - Thursday, 12/02/10 12:02:40 EST

The weight on the foot and the serial number starting with A Is quite distinctive as to maker---but I don't have AinA at work to give the maker's name for sure. (As I recall it was one of the following Trenton or Arm and Hammer (not vulcan!))

   Thomas P - Thursday, 12/02/10 13:39:17 EST

Heh, heh... yea school has changed a bit! I used to take the families Civil war stuff to history class which included a .52 caliber Sharps carbine and the sabre that went with it. After a trip to Ft.Ticonderoga as a kid I didn't want a knife first I wanted a cannon! Fortunately my shop teacher would let me come in after school and let me turn a to scale .50 caliber cannon barrel on the lathe. Still got it and a few more...next one is going to be a 1 1/2" bore. The second childhood is more fun then the first.
   S K Smith - Thursday, 12/02/10 18:21:53 EST

hello, i have been blacksmithing for the last 12 years and something has been happening that i have never felt before.
i am running a gas forge on natural gas. i have a carbon monoxide dectetor (the shop never gets above 35ppm), but the for the last 3 weeks i have not been feeling well after being at the shop.
what do you all think? are there other gases i could be getting?
   John Logan - Thursday, 12/02/10 18:58:35 EST

John did you test your meter against another one?

   Thomas P - Thursday, 12/02/10 20:08:58 EST

John Logan, ThomasP has it. These gas detectors all use an electro-chemical reaction in the sensor and th older the sensor, and more the exposure to the gas to be detected the less accurate the semsor(meter). In indusrty we use 4 gas meters to check confined spaces before entry, and carbon monoxide is one of the 4 gases. We have to at least "Bump test" against a cal gas before use because these things drift. The high quality industrial sensors cost from $100 to $200 each for just the replacable sensor, not the meter itself. The $50 dollar home dectors are not a last forever thing. Your local fire department most likely has a good accurate calibrated meter and would probably be happy to compare yours to theirs.
   ptree - Thursday, 12/02/10 20:32:48 EST


You should also be sure the CO detector is measuring the same air you're breathing. I guess you'd want it roughly at head level, though I may be corrected on that. And if there's a prevailing airflow, you don't want it upwind of the forge if you're standing downwind . . .

If you were breathing natural gas I doubt it would be good for you, but presumably you'd smell that. Oxygen depletion or high carbon dioxide levels might make you feel bad too, though it seems likely that those would come with high CO levels.
   Mike BR - Thursday, 12/02/10 20:36:37 EST

Unfortunatly Carbon Monoxide has no smell, taste or color. You can't see it taste it, and it is an insidious killer.
Something to consider, if one smokes, you inhale small doses of carbon monoxide with every puff. Since the hemoglobin in our blood has a higher affinity for Carbon Monoxide than for oxygen, the CO accumulates in our blood. Every puff leaves a little CO in the blood. Than you get exposed to a level that is less than the alarm set point of a meter and bingo your blood level of CO is in the range where you feel the effects.

I would still look to the meter. Mike BR has good advice on meter location except for the put the meter at your breathing level. These meters need to be mounted per instructions, which is generally low to the floor. CO is slightly more dense than air and settles. The meter should be calibrated to alarm when the level of CO low to the floor would be seen when the level at breathing zone is excessive.

   ptree - Thursday, 12/02/10 21:53:00 EST


You amaze me again. I didn't know Carbon Monoxide should be measured at ground level. Every one I've seen mounted in homes are on the ceilings. Guess I'll have to look at some instuctions and see if they impart your knowledge.
   - Dave Hammer - Thursday, 12/02/10 22:01:40 EST

John Logan, you haven't been working with any thing that is galvanized or cadmium plated have you ??
Zinc too. Bad, bad stuff. See the articals on the Safety Page about zinc fever
No matter how cold it gets around here (N.E. Wisconsin)I ALWAYS have the sliding door to my shop open at least three or fore inches for fresh air make up and, I have a 12"turbine ventilator in the roof peak.
If it's really cold I fire up the "salamander" and open the door another couple of inches. Beyond that,I just go in the house.
Down in the 'teens today with the windchill
   - merl - Thursday, 12/02/10 22:49:47 EST

Hi Guru,
UPS ground packaged shipped to you today. If you need tracking number let me know. Enjoy
   - BF - Thursday, 12/02/10 23:10:35 EST

CO and fume location: Despite recomendations the very hot exhaust from a forge often stratifies near head level in low ceilings. You might want more than one detector at more than one height.

Most CO problems are with relatively cool gas or equal to the surrounding air. But conditions around a forge are different and hot CO rises as does hot CO2. Otherwise hot air balloons would not work.

While CO2 does not have the toxicity of CO it too can kill you. As others mentioned you can have oxygen depletion in the shop air and not necessarily have high concentrations of CO.
   - guru - Friday, 12/03/10 00:00:23 EST

There was a famous tennis player named Vito Geralitis sp. he was laying down and was later found dead. The cause was his Lennox heating unit. It was giving off high levels of carbon monoxide, and the authorities said a $3.00 part would have fixed the problem. In my area, some guys were out duck hunting, one got in the station wagon, and lit a charcoal heater, the CO killed his brain cells. He lived through it, but had the mentality of a child. Carbon monoxide is very nasty stuff.
   Mike T. - Friday, 12/03/10 02:20:28 EST

Jock..... You said " The only time you don't swap ANY two is when there is a higher voltage 3rd wire OR a generated 3rd phase on a phase converter."

Would you explain this a little more?

   - Dave Hammer - Friday, 12/03/10 05:53:43 EST

The NFPA, and several other fire safety groups will tell you very specifically to install the CO meter at the height reccommended by the maker. CO is only slightly more dense the air, and yes,with heat rises. It also cools and falls, and accumulates at lower levels. I have, in my own personal experience found a sub-floor pit, about 100' distant, in an annex away from the source,a CO level above the IDLH level. IDLH is Immediatly Dangerous to Life and Health. The poorly tuned gas engine welder was in a seperate area of the factory, and that hot exhaust, rose, mingled and fell to the floor and traveled over 100' to settle in a pit that my guys needed to enter. When I dropped in the meter, the oxygen alarm went first because it reacts faster, then the CO. O2 was less then 5%, and the CO was off scale high.
That was in a city block sized factory, with 18' ceilings and more fans running than Carter had little liver pills.
My guys did the right thing, got me out of bed to come do the confined space entry permit and test on 3rd shift. They also lived to go home and tell their families how close they came that evening.

Carbon Monoxide is a very dangerous thing. It does not behave like you expect in many cases. And you can't see it, taste it or smell it. I currently work in a tight air conditioned factory, and we run propane forklifts. I test 4 places on every aisle every day for CO. I test behind every truck every day for CO. Again, real experience, if the CO level gets to about 15 to 20 PPM, my folks with asthma, C.O.P.D andother breathing issues start to have trouble. OSHA action level is 25PPM, the permissible exposure limit for an 8 hour day is 50PPM and most sources will tell you that 100PPM is the danger level. Real life experience of testing every single working day for over 5 years tells me that if you smoke or have any breathing issues anythng over 15 ppm will give sick feeling, and headaches.
Did I mention this space has 28' eaves, and good over 10% makeup air, and many personal fans so the air is stirred and the forklift have hot exhaust the rises. I test the air at waist level with my handheld meter, and the building meters that turn on extra exhaust fans are at about head height in a 28' eave. But that is the makers recomendation.

My personal shop at home has enough air movement to push a China Clipper to 20 knots at least:)
   Ptree - Friday, 12/03/10 08:04:27 EST

3PH wiring, Odd third legs: Generally with 3PH you have contactors (motor starters) and often control transformers. Neither of these should be on higher voltage or generated third legs. Mike was talking about changing legs at the plug. If correctly wired the above cases should be changed at the motor or contactor output.

The higher voltage 3rd leg is not common but does exist and wiring for it is fairly technical. I will not discuss this one. To detect this situation you test each leg to ground. They will all be the same in most cases but if not that high leg needs to be addressed.

Generated third legs are common in small shops with 3PH converters. In some applications you will not notice a difference but when using rotary converters and larger motors the third leg voltage often drops very low when starting a larger motor. Control relays and starter coils will drop out and the machine stop running, not start at all or cycle in and out rapidly while you hold the start button. This last case can rapidly burn up the starter contacts, damage the motor or trigger the overloads. The tripping out due to a heavy load starting can apply to other motors on the same system being engaged.

I've only run across the tripping out issue once because I was aware of the issue and always made sure not to put my control circuits on the third leg. In this case everything was wired correctly to start and we were testing the automatic phase rotation protection (my design). One of the shop hands volunteered to change the leads in the plug for the test. I thought nothing of it because the system was supposed to compensate for phase rotation. I forgot about the generated leg issue. The machine in question worked fine but as soon as someone started another 3PH machine in the shop the controls dropped out and the machine stopped. It took a while to figure out what happened because I was not there at the time and all the guys in the shop knew was the machine just stopped running "randomly". Shortly after this incident we got real 3PH power in the shop and the generated third leg issue went away.

   - guru - Friday, 12/03/10 09:03:41 EST

Goof Proofing (formerly "Insert Utility Company here" Proofing): The automatic phase rotation correction was a system I came up with because of several incidents we had experianced in the field where trained electricians could not get the rotation right OR changed it after testing with our people present. This was in nuclear power plants of all places. In one case a machine was damaged and two members of my family were put in grave danger because some idiot needed some wire and reconnected our machine incorrectly . .

In most cases such as elevators and cranes a sensor just plain prevent the device from starting and a technician must be called to fix it. The reason is if the device goes the wrong direction the up and down controls and limit switches are logically wrong, the device will go the wrong direction and not stop when it should. Other machines have their rotation direction issues. Once a piece of equipment is wired this should not happen but occasionally the primaries coming into a building get swapped AND the utilities have been known to accidentally change rotation at a substation. . . Portable 3PH machinery with a plug is rare but it exists and often every outlet is not wired the same. NEVER count on it.

How it works: There were two systems. Both used a little device known as a phase voltage relay (the sensor). If the incoming lines were CW (to its view) a control circuit closed. If the incoming lines were CCW (anti-clockwise) the control circuit remained open.

I ran another relay with the phase voltage relay and swapped all the control circuits. So right or CW was always right, up was always up and down always down. On our semi-automatic machine that normally ran in two modes where in and out were swapped this was more complicated and the rotation swap was done in software. But in both cases we no longer had to trial and error the machine hook up. We always did a test to be sure the system worked but we did not have to rely on the utility electrician being around. The original plug and play. Peace of mind all around.
   - guru - Friday, 12/03/10 09:53:22 EST

One of the things about CO that is so dangerous is the perception that we will feel short of breath or that feeling we have when we hold our breath too long. This is wrong. The body reacts to the buildup of CO2 in the blood, not the decrease of oxygen. CO2 is also colorless and odorless, but we have a mechanism to detect it in our bodies. Not so with CO. We just inhale it without any way of feeling or knowing.

The same goes for inert gasses that are used for various industrial purposes, including welding. We won't detect the absence of oxygen, and will just continue to breathe normally until collapsing of hypoxia.
   - Bajajoaquin - Friday, 12/03/10 11:27:08 EST

I second the Guru on folks rewireing stuff in the field and ruining equipment. At the valve shop we made motor operated valves, most with Limitorgue operators from Lynchburg Va. Great system. Had limit and torque switches to allow perfect operation. Until some idiot phases them wrong. Then the limits and torque do nothing, and I have seen many a wrecked valve. Had one plant, in Mexico, that had a German controls engineer, that insisted on rewireing the controls from how we at the factory had set them up. He wired around the limits and torques. He promptly wrecked several hundred thousand dollars worth of valves. I went to Mexico, took one look at the wrecks, told them what the inside would look like, and why. Sure enough, the American, Mexician and British engineering staff all agreed. Valves came off, shipped back and we rebuilt. The generating utility staid down and missed the start up by several weeks. we shipped back, sent one of our guys and he started the valves up verified operation and the engineering staff was happy and signed off. He almost made the flight out before the German re-wired and wrecked all the valves on one unit! We had a long conference call, and they started up the second unit after our guy went thru and put all that units valve operators back as they should be. It ran for a week, and the same darn guy re-wired and wrecked every single valve "Proving his system was better"
We told them to send us all the valves for overhaul they wanted, and to send dollars along with to pay for the repairs:)
I have seen perhaps 10 different cases where this happened.
By the way, the German guy was finally escorted off the powerplant grounds:)
   Ptree - Friday, 12/03/10 13:44:31 EST

The last time I had an electrical question about our equipment it was some idiot trying to rewire the motors on one of our machines from 220 to 440. Yep, sure the MOTOR could be rewired but the controls were 220 including the phase relay (which works on voltage). The job looked easy since I had everything in the NEMA starter enclosure. . . I said SURE it can be done, you have to add a control transformer and replace the phase relay. They grumbled something about not fitting in the box. I said that was their problem. I never heard back but I THINK they put everything back the way it was and got a big transformer to run the machine.

When we built all this machinery we asked, "What voltage do you want it?". The reply was 240 3PH. Sure, no problem. But out in the field in the power plants MOST panel boxes were 880 or 440 and what little lower voltage there was for lights and hand tools ran off small transformers. There was almost no heavy 240 circuits.

As an outside consultant we were not allowed to do anything electrical in the filed. But after several mishaps I bought a little mini shirt pocket electric meter that would pass as a pocket calculator. Any time our machinery was to be setup I would check the local outlets (those big huge 4" diameter aluminium twist lock things). It was not unusual to find identical outlets wired 240, 480, 880. . .

The last big job we did, the plant (customer) did the right thing. They built two portable distribution panels with a multi-tap transformer and put them on skids. These provided the correct power for the machines plus multiple 120 outlets for peripherals. Since our machines were phase proofed all they had to do was hook them up at the right voltage.

Back when we were wiring our shop we had to hire an electrician since it included a new service panel. The first machine tool he hooked up he managed to dead short the controls. . . As the cloud of smoke cleared I asked if he would mind if I wired the machines. Please do! he replied. I did everything except the lights and low voltage outlets.
   - guru - Friday, 12/03/10 16:36:48 EST

Neighbor had an "electrician" wire his shop with a 3 phase panel and hook up a few machines. Well, the compressor was turning backward and he had no idea what to do! He might have a license, but to me he was just a "wire-puller"!
   - Grant - Friday, 12/03/10 17:16:10 EST

I've checked the OEM web site, they don't list it. I already called the OEM and left messages via their "contact us" web page, but have gotten no answer in over a week. I have Googled this for hours to no end. I've checked craigslist and ebay to no end.

Does anyone know where I can find replacement parts for Roper Whitney punches?

I have a #10 portable punch, the rotary one, and need a new "retaining nut" for the punch tool bit. The piece looks like a short section of 3/4 flanged bolt with a 0.505" hole bored through. I THINK its standard 3/4-16 thread, but there's only 4 threads, so I'm not sure on that measurement. I woudn't be surprised to find its something special.

Worse case, I CAN make the replacement part on my lathe, but that's 20 hours* I don't need to spend if the part can be bought.

*I'm not too quick on a lathe. :(
   - MikeM-OH - Friday, 12/03/10 19:27:47 EST

Mike, I've got an old Whitney-Jensen catalog that lists the #10. Its rated 7 tons. The part you need is called the punch coupler. There are three types/sizes. Up to 1/2", then two "specials" 33/64 and 17/32, another for 25/64 and 9/16. Since your part is a 1/2" bore it is the standard coupler.

If RW does not give you satisfaction I would try Cleveland Punch and Die, or the American Punch and Die Co. Both sell punches and dies. The punch couplers or nuts are a common replacement part on ironworkers and punch presses.

Whitney-Jensen came before Roper-Whitney who also bought Pexto. But there is also W.A. Whitney who makes a similar line of tools in the same town. . Maybe a family connection. The tools are VERY similar but also slightly different. Some parts are interchangeable. W.A. Whitney tools are sold by McMaster-Carr and they sell an equivalent of your punch. They might be able to get parts.
   - guru - Friday, 12/03/10 21:42:07 EST

Ah, thanks, that sounds like the part.

Roper sold me a 9/16 punch/die set for my #10, but I didn't realize until I tried to assemble it that my punch coupler was only 1/2 inner dia.

Looking at the part, if I have to, I can bore it out a bit [0.505 now, needs to be 0.570] and then just use a little bronze sleeve on the smaller punches.

I'll keep bugging them for the part and ask WA Whitney and Mcmaster too.

   - MikeM-OH - Friday, 12/03/10 23:23:37 EST

Snowing in Virginia and North Carolina. . .
   - guru - Saturday, 12/04/10 13:39:19 EST

Snowed early, then a little freezing drizzle, now just very cold drizzle.
   ptree - Saturday, 12/04/10 14:01:59 EST

Another one of those family splits if Welsaw and W.F. Wells. Almost next door to each other in MI. Wonder how/what/when that came about.
   - grant - nakedanvil - Saturday, 12/04/10 15:35:04 EST

Impatience leads to poor tolerance[s]....

I put that punch coupler nut in the forge to anneal, then on the lathe, thinking it would be a small matter to bore it out enough to fit the 9/16" punch. I had my handy digital caliper right there, as well as the actual piece to test fit. Three times I bored out and test fit, still too small. I was using the dial measurements on my little Taig thinkng I'd get close then digital check the last little bit.

Now, this is a 0.505 hole into which I need to fit a 0.562 punch, so I'm taking .030 off the inside of the hole, right?

Taig dial starts at 040, so I cut back to 020 and check it with the caliper. Should be 0.545? Now its .580! WTH? Punch is a little lose. CRAP. I cleaned the edges and assembled it... the punch wiggles too much and isn't aligned! Try a few wraps of foil, now its solid, but is it centered? Seems to punch ok [now making 9/16" slugs from a 1/4" copper bus bar for coin blanks]...

So, I'm now less confident in the dial measurements on my Taig, and even more certain that I should have waited until the places Guru suggested above called me back before I irreparably modified an irreplaceable original part. :(

I can still bore out a little 0.505 - 0.580 sleeve from a bronze bearing so I can keep using my original 0.500 punch bodies... but I'm going to test fit every thousandth of an inch this time!
   MikeM-OH - Saturday, 12/04/10 18:22:19 EST

Mike, I wrote the following (below line) before rereading your post. Your machine did exactly as it should. You moved the cutter .020 and removed .040 less spring in the tool.

Making it so you can bush the other tools is a good idea. I'd find some shim stock to put around the one punch.

On thick material where punch and dies have relatively high clearances they tend to self center of there is play to do so. If the holder is tight and accurate then the punch needs to be well aligned.

Machineing accurately: These problems can be inaccuracy in the lathe but usually are not. Most often it is a matter of technique. Boring accurately is much more difficult than turning due to the spring in the relatively long cutting tool. Spring can both over cut AND undercut. It can also let the tool gradually climb creating a tapered bore.

When taking a touch on a surface with any machine you need to be sure it is in the feed direction. Otherwise backlash becomes an issue. If you back off to take a touch then you will be off by the backlash. Any time you back off you need to back off several turns then sneak up on the touch in the correct direction.

When checking sizes for the amount of cut you always take one proportionate cut (depends on the amount to be machined) and then take a measurement, then go by the dials.

You almost NEVER make one cut on small light duty machines. In this case (removing .020") you should have taken a .010 cut (.005 on the dial), checked the diameter, taken another .010 cut IF the first cut was as expected, then another to take about 2/3's of what was left, checked the actual amount taken then taken a final cut based on the dimension and the how the cutter was performing at light cuts.

That seems like a lot of work for such a small hole but that is life using a small machine.

The easy way? Use a 9/16" drill then hone to fit using sandpaper on a stick.
   - guru - Saturday, 12/04/10 18:57:54 EST

CO detectors of the "cheaper" variety last for a year in the accurate catagory. We always installed 2 for our customers that asked. one was at 6 ft. the other at mid-shin. the reasons explained earlier. this info comes from 18 yrs. in the L.P.Gas industry.
   - bam-bam - Saturday, 12/04/10 19:02:48 EST

Hi Guru,

I am a new gunsmith working on a hundred-year-old shotgun. The gun needs a small, flat spring to hold the safety in place. Small means about 1 inch long by 1/8-inch wide and about as thick as two sheets of paper. I can buy annealed spring-steel stock, but once I've cut and ground to size/shape, I'm at a loss as to how to heat treat it. Any advice? Or, a link to relevant info? Thanks.
   Phil Richard - Saturday, 12/04/10 19:46:43 EST

Were you using a small boring bar? I like to set my boring bar a little high of center. That way if it springs down a little it takes less. If you set the boring bar right on center it can spring down and take more. Also, don't measure until you've taken a deflection cut. That's another cut without changing anything. Some times when boring you need to take two deflection cuts.
   - grant - nakedanvil - Saturday, 12/04/10 19:56:48 EST

Wait a second, you say you bored it three times and tested it. After that you assume it's only .505? Hmm.
   - grant - nakedanvil - Saturday, 12/04/10 20:01:58 EST

No, he was going for .568 and ended up at .580 after the first pass.
   - guru - Saturday, 12/04/10 22:10:17 EST

But you are right about spring back passes. When sneeking up on critical dimensions it helps to take one or more no feed passes. If they make the finest chips you take another.
   - guru - Saturday, 12/04/10 22:47:14 EST

Hmmm... good advice all around. I'm going to clarify a bit, as now that I read my post, it's not exactly clear what I did
1. digital caliper measured inside .505
2. chucked up, set up boring bar, found the touch point, hand dial says 040
3. backed off a bit, started lathe, made contact at abo0t 040
4. cut one pass, about 030 on dial, [too deep, I know now]
5. test fit punch, long way to go, [SHOULD have used digi-caliper, but didn't]
6. cut another pass, maybe 025 on hand dial, test fit
7. cut another pass to 020 on hand dial, test fit and its LOOSE!!!
8. digi-caliper reading says .580

In my initial post, steps 4 through 7 sound like one step. Sadly, there were multiple screw-ups with only one measurement.

Now, I'd PLANNED on step 7 being too small and step 8 reading .545 or thereabouts based on the hand dial and hastily guessed math.

U understand that at least these were my mistakes. You may feel free to add more:
a. I was lazy and did NOT digi-caliper between each cut.
b. I did not take into account the spring deflection in the cutter
c. I took too big of cuts on such a small lathe
d. I didn't take deflection cuts to have a solid understanding of where to begin measuring accurately

So, now that I'm less angry, thinking more clearly, and not so eager to blame a machine for my mistakes, I want to make sure I understand how what I thought was a total of 020 in three cuts ended up almost twice that. Its just spring deflection? I can picture the bar being forced down and making the cut deeper. The boring bar is a 1/4" stock, the cheap stuff, and its cut down quite a bit to fit into the hole, so I'm sure its bending. I was reaching 1" into the hole, so there was plenty of bar to bend.

Next time, I'll be awfully more careful and measure more often.

Thanks guys!
   MikeM-OH - Saturday, 12/04/10 23:15:42 EST

Proof then post....

*I* understand, not "U"
   MikeM-OH - Saturday, 12/04/10 23:16:22 EST

The double depth cut is probably because the dial on the lathe reads actual movement (test it). Turn the hand wheel .010 on the dial, you take off .020 (.010 from both sides). Common mistake.
   - guru - Sunday, 12/05/10 08:12:49 EST

You will get the hang of it if you hang in there.
Guru and Dave and Merl and I and a few others and now young Tyler are smiling.
Smiling, not laughing mind you. We have been there done that.

Philosophically keep this in mind. (did I spell that right?)
A lathe or other machine tool is not much different than a hammer and an anvil in this respect. It is only a tool. YOU have to make the best use of the tool that you can. Some of us have seen some remarkable work come from some pretty sorry machines. I suspect that if you tried again you would get what you wanted from that same lathe.

I started in the shop in the early 60's and an old timer told me something I always remembered.

   - Tom H - Sunday, 12/05/10 11:53:46 EST

You will get the hang of it if you hang in there.
Guru and Dave and Merl and I and a few others and now young Tyler are smiling.
Smiling, not laughing mind you. We have been there done that.

Philosophically keep this in mind. (did I spell that right?)
A lathe or other machine tool is not much different than a hammer and an anvil in this respect. It is only a tool. YOU have to make the best use of the tool that you can. Some of us have seen some remarkable work come from some pretty sorry machines. I suspect that if you tried again you would get what you wanted from that same lathe.

I started in the shop in the early 60's and an old timer told me something I always remembered.

"Tis a poor mechanic who blames his tools"

   - Tom H - Sunday, 12/05/10 11:54:20 EST

Well now I am going to blame my computer for the double post.
   - Tom H - Sunday, 12/05/10 11:55:00 EST

A Machine Shop Story: This is one of those that every machinist said it happened to him or that his father or grandfather that ran a shop was the boss. . There are slightly different versions.

A machinist applying for a job is asked by the Boss, "How tight a tolerance can you hold?". The machinist replies, "Plus or minus one thousandths, sir." He doesn't get the job.

A second machinist applying for a job is asked by the Boss, "How tight a tolerance can you hold?". The machinist replies, "As good as your machines will hold". He doesn't get the job.

A third machinist applies for the job. The Boss asks again, "How tight a tolerance can you hold?". The applicant responds, "For fast work, as good as your machinery, for good work as best as any measuring tool in the shop, for picky work a little better than the measuring tools but you will have to trust me." He got the job.

Shop Information and Rules Some things I tell every shop hand and emphasize that had never forget, 1) Every machine tool has the capacity to destroy itself. 2) Steel is like rubber except when apposed to flesh. 3) A part is not finished until it is cleaned and deburred.

If you hand me a part to inspect that is not deburred or covered in oil and chips I will tell you the part is WRONG and for YOU to figure it out. I am also unhappy when a pile of oily stock is put on my welding bench for welding.

The business about the part being wrong may sound a little harsh but I have had guys that I had to remind more than once in the same week not to hand me burred dirty parts to inspect. . After the third time they will not be working for me.

Culture: There was a time when a craftsman was judged by the status of his tools. It was assumed if they had the tools they knew how to use them. But this grew out of an era when the majority of those tools were made by the craftsman. But this is no longer so. But I would still like to look over an applicant's tools.

My Father observed that almost every machinist came to work with an empty tool chest and usually left with a full one at the expense of the company. I thought this was rather pessimistic and did not think much about until recently. I went looking for some rather expensive cutters in our old shop. They were not in the rack, not in the "to be sharpened" box, not with other similar tools. . . or anywhere else that I could find. They may have walked off with the last guys that worked in the shop. But you never know. . .
   - guru - Sunday, 12/05/10 14:51:12 EST

PTREE, I have just read a book you will love, if you haven't read it already. Right up your alley so to speak, & I'll send it to you.
Email me at jakes@theunion.net
   Carver Jake - Sunday, 12/05/10 15:19:18 EST

I've been looking, but haven't found any info./plans on converting a treadle hammer to use with an electric motor. Any help?
   Carver Jake - Sunday, 12/05/10 15:22:15 EST

Jake, This is not a simple conversion. The linkage must have some method of compensating for varying thickness of the work as well as stop the hammer on its now faster return.

Grant Sarver had an ingenious spring return sledge hammer mechanism that might do. A piece of belt is attached to the arm (helve or lever) of the hammer, through a spring I think. An idler or roller tightened the belt into a pulley on a motor. Keep the pulley small as this pulls QUICK.

There was no automatic release, you taped the treadle, it jerked the hammer down and you let off as quick as you could. Upward return was by the normal springs. You could probably make a simple lever arrangement that disengaged the belt as the hammer approached the work.

Grant used a V-belt which grabbed hard and quick. A flat belt could probably be "throttled" to give controlled blows.

Due to the lack of reduction other than the small pulley the attachment should be out toward the hammer rather than back near the pivot.

Note that 1HP = 32 inch pounds of torque. So a 2" pulley on a 1 HP motor has 32 pounds of "pull" plus the inertia of the rotor. On a 4" pulley it would be 16 pounds. You can scale these numbers up and down by simple multiplication.

I MIGHT have some video of this device from the 1998 conference. . .
   - guru - Sunday, 12/05/10 18:36:40 EST

Carver Jake: Your easiest conversion would be to make a spring helve out of it. Keep in mind that you need substantial anvil mass, many treadle hammers are pretty light in this respect.
   - Dave Boyer - Sunday, 12/05/10 18:51:12 EST

Guru, Sent email...see if it works ok.
   - BF - Sunday, 12/05/10 18:52:22 EST

Not quite the same as electro/mechanical, but The Hammer's Blow had an article on converting a treadle hammer to air actuated hammer about 10 years ago or so. Set of a bit of debate on the safety/wisdom of the idea, but it'll be your (or your friend's) body in the line of fire so...
I also recall that someone was selling a commercially produced version of same for a while.
   Judson Yaggy - Sunday, 12/05/10 19:01:13 EST

Regarding Stormcrow's post of a few days ago mentioning quick change die systems; I have been using a vacuum retaining system on my hammer for the past 3 years, with great success. I have a post on my blog written shortly after putting it into service. Since that time, I have made several improvements to my hammer, but the die system has remained unchanged, save for the addition of a number of additional die sets. There are occasions when I am aware of a small amount of movement of the dies, and probably some loss of energy, but for the class of work I am doing the ability to swap dies mid-heat more than makes up for it. Pictures and description here:
   Charlie Sp[ademan - Sunday, 12/05/10 19:33:16 EST

The one we built used had almost nothing for an anvil and was made (start to finish) in an afternoon. The first attempt with the belt attached to the middle of the helve resulted in immediately stalling the (1hp) motor. We ended up with a "toggle" by stretching bungee cord like a bow-string connected near each end of the helve with the belt connected to the middle. Gotta love vectors!

Picture here: http://blacksmith.org/forums/threads/710-THE-50-OLIVER-OR-50-VER-BY-GRANT-SARVER-amp-JACK-SLACK
   - Grant - Sunday, 12/05/10 19:36:26 EST

Missing Tools: My friends are very neat, and they hang up my tools. They are also very creative, so they may hang up my tools in new and original places. I found my dedicated 32 tpi hacksay after about a month after the last event. I'm still finding stuff from the old forge that was moved to the barn (temporarily) and lost in the clutter, and the short time frame, of the move. Lots of willing hands, and most appreciated, but with initiative and imagination. :-D

Last month I finally found the handle to the drill press one year after forging a new one, and just shy of two years after the move. Other stuff pops out of boxes in obscure corners.

Since I sometimes handle moves for the government, I frequently inform our folks of the equation from a friend at the FCC: 2 Moves = 1 Fire! I guess I'm in the 1 Fire mode. ;-)
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Sunday, 12/05/10 20:19:23 EST


I can't get the numbers to come out exactly right, but it looks like the 32 inch pound figure is for a 1725 RPM motor?
   Mike BR - Sunday, 12/05/10 20:28:42 EST

Yes, Its close enough to scale up and down. If you use a low speed motor (very rare today) the torque goes up. Gear it down or use a 900 RPM motor and you've got 64 pounds, at 600 96 pounds at 1" radius. SO with a 6:1 jackshaft a 1/2 HP motor can lift continuously nearly 100 pounds 942 inches per minute (15.7 inches per second). OR 50 pounds twice as fast.

I'll let you work out the numbers. Its all simple levers and multiplication and division.
   - guru - Monday, 12/06/10 01:39:26 EST

Cobalt Drill Bits - can cobalt drill bits be resharpened?

If so I may have a source of smaller ones (under ½ inch) available to me.

Windy, with snow flurries North of the Lake (Ontario.)

   - Don Shears - Monday, 12/06/10 10:25:51 EST

Co, Cobalt Alloy Bits and SHarpening: Don, Yes, cobalt drills and cutters are sharpened just the same as normal HSS tools.

The problem with many modern drill bits with a split point grind is that they do not narrow the web at the tip of the drill. Correctly made bits designed to be resharpened have the web thinned from about 1/4 to 1/3 of the bit to the point. This is a taper in the "gullet" that reduces the dead center (the straight chisel point) to about half of what it would be. When hand sharpening these bits the result is an oversize dead center that takes an excessive amount of feed pressure. His can be narrowed by hand but it is a tricky task.

Split point bits do not have a perceptible center. This greatly reduces the pressure required to drill with them and increases life by reducing heat and generally cutting better.

Split point bits are so good that the first sharpening is often to clean up the outer edges leaving the point. This changes the angle of the bit but that is better than loosing the split point. Unless you are very good at resharpening drill bits anything from 3/8 or 5/16" down should be scraped instead of resharpened.

Years ago Paw-Paw bought a popular drill sharpening kit. You may have remembered him bragging about it. The result was a shop full of bits that drilled poorly, dulled quickly and often snagged and broke. They are mine now and I've had to set them all aside to evaluate at a later date. I've resharpened a few by hand and had no problem. Beware of the popular low cost drill sharpening systems.

I've also sharpened bits using the little bench mount sharpeners that go next to your bench grinder. These do OK and get a good even point but the geometry is still not quite correct. I find I do a better job by hand and would only use one of these little fixtures for small bits that are hard to see.
   - guru - Monday, 12/06/10 11:11:42 EST

Jock - first, thanks for the quick response.

A few years ago I bought a Drill Doctor, a 750X (IIRC.) I have used it intermittently on batches of bits once their quantity built up enough to justify an hour or two of work. I've personally had no issues with the bits resharpened with that machine. The Drill Doctor has the capability to regrind the split point (nice feature when you've snapped off the end of a bit after store hours and no spares available at home.


   - Don Shears - Monday, 12/06/10 12:57:29 EST

Jock - first, thanks for the quick response.

A few years ago I bought a Drill Doctor, a 750X (IIRC.) I have used it intermittently on batches of bits once their quantity built up enough to justify an hour or two of work. I've personally had no issues with the bits resharpened with that machine. The Drill Doctor has the capability to regrind the split point (nice feature when you've snapped off the end of a bit after store hours and no spares available at home.


   - Don Shears - Monday, 12/06/10 12:58:26 EST

I have one of the Drill Doctor 750X machines myself and it works just fine. Took me an hour or two to learn how to do it correctly, but once I did it does just dandy. For bits under 1/8" or so I still do them by hand and likewise for my bigger S&D bits from 9/16" to 1". I an see the big ones and feel the little ones, but all the standard 1/8 to 1/2 bits the Drill Doctor works great and produces a good split point grind.

If you don't watch the video they supply and study it carefully you'll get horrible results with the Drill Doctor - it is NOT intuitive at all. The cheaper versions are not worth owning, either.

All that said, if I lived where I had access to a professional sharpening service, I'd use them. I had that when I was in Phoenix and it was impossible to beat. Those guys could do any grind you wanted and produce a phenomenal finish on the bit. They could make special under-size bits if I wanted, too. It did require that I had three full sets of bits to make it work, but it was well worth it.
   - Rich - Monday, 12/06/10 13:36:08 EST

Mark Krause arrested for domestic terrorism!

Details here: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/home.php?sk=group_171700769527234

Mark was arrested in Seattle: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2013602406_aparchurchbombarrest1stldwritethru.html

Mark is known for his work (and book) on self-contained hammers and for building a back-yard version.

   - grant - nakedanvil - Monday, 12/06/10 14:36:25 EST

I also can recommend the drill doctor drill sharpener. Even though I am very competent at sharpening drills by hand I find a drill doctor useful. I have tried and discarded virtually every other device on the market. This is the only one that I would recommend. Do not be tempted spend your money on any lesser device you will only pay for the same lesson as me. Although as I said I'm very expert at drill sharpening by hand at a grindstone, the drill doctor device is very light and portable and can be used at the top of a ladder or up scaffolding. It is quick and easy to learn which makes it possible to teach employees or assistants (which can eliminate the irritation of watching them trying to push squeaking and smoking drill bits). I have never been able to teach the knack of drill sharpening and point thinning to any one else even though I have successfully taught many other skills to the same workers.

My drill doctor is the half inch version but if you don't have my hand sharpening skills I would recommend you to get the 3/4" version. That capacity would cover virtually most of your requirements.

One of my tests of a properly sharpened drill is to drill a half inch hole through 3/8" inch steel without a pilot hole using a hand-held drill in 29 seconds. (at chest height.Could probably do it faster with the steel on the floor and more body weight behind it)

I am just in the process of reroofing a firedamaged factory and we are drilling the existing steel girder portal frames to take 5/8" bolts to hold the new roof purlins at different centres. Using a 17 mm blacksmith's drill in an ordinarily half inch electric drill I just have drilled over 250 holes without re-sharpening. Again no pilot hole. The bit was one that I hand sharpened.
   - Chris E - Monday, 12/06/10 15:04:59 EST

Fly Press
How can I determine what size fly press will work best for light to moderate ornamental work. I seldom forge heavier stock than 1 inch round or square but thats because I tend to get beat-up by the heavy stock. I have searched for a chart without finding one, also rented and watched a video, no answer there. I have never seen a Fly Press but have convinced myself that I want one.
Anyone want to talk me out of it;)
   Willy Cunningham - Monday, 12/06/10 17:03:16 EST

yesterday evening I was drilling some 1/2" holes by hand using a cole drill with a bit so dull I thought I was drifting them!

Then when I was putting away the tools because it would be too dark to do the other side; I ran across a 1/2 *sharp* bit that would fit in my 3/8" electric drill and *zip* the second hole was done and I got to mount to a utility pole that supports my shop roof the 6" legvise I picked up at Q-S.

   Thomas P - Monday, 12/06/10 17:09:36 EST

I have some small experience with twist drills. At the valve shop when I started in 1981, we had a 38 man crew sharping cutting tools, with 3 on each shift just sharping twist drills. We have Landis and other brands of high end drill grinders most using a cam feed. Did a great job. BUT< as the guru notes that bugaboo of thick web meant that the big bits had to be thinned and we also lipped the drills at the same timew. Had a guy full time on first than thinned and lipped drills for 8-10 hours a day, by hand, and had been for many years. Those were some cutting drills. We lipped everything over a 1/2" drill, and thinned most above 1/2" and all above1".
For refewrence we were buying about $100,000 in new drills a month at that time.

I have some of those lipped and thinned drills in my collection and boy are they nice in a heavy drill press that turns at the right speed.

I own a Drill doctor and like it. I hand grind mt 3/8" and up.
   ptree - Monday, 12/06/10 20:19:14 EST

I have one of those die cast drill grinding fixtures that mounts to the side of the wheel [made by General Tools]. It is set up on a board with an old washing machine motor turning a 6" 60-H tool & cutter grinding wheel. It works really well ONLY IF you take the time to set it up properly for each diameter of drill bit.

Not having any machine to grind a split point, I grind to nearly a split point on a 100 grit bench grinder that only gets used for drill bits & lathe tool bits. A sharp corner on the wheel is essential, and the grinder that gets the usual abuse never has the sharp corner & a true dress to the face.

This brings up the next point, to get the wheel properly dressed, You need a diamond dresser. The best I ever used has a bit about 3/8"x 1" made of small diamond chips in a nickel matrix. It has a handel attched to the back of it. I have no idea what one of these costs, it was My Grandpop's. The Drill Doctor is probably cheaper, but it won't sharpen Your lathe tools.
   - Dave Boyer - Monday, 12/06/10 22:27:36 EST

Diamond Wheel Dressers: Those with nicely mounted single diamonds are surprisingly inexpensive. Depending on size they start at $28. Large mounted 2 Caret diaomnds sell for 142. These are very durable and last a lifetime in a small shop. I have several.

Diamond dressers are best for light dressing to remove glazing and restore corners. They are used on surface grinders.

Star Wheel or spur wheel dressers are best for dressing and truing roughly used wheels of wheels where the corners are rounded and a lot of material needs to be taken off.

Carbide matrix tipped wheel dressers have limited use and will take glazing off but are not so good for reshaping wheels.

I've got all three types. I use the diamond the most on my surface grinder and tool dressing grinder. I use the star wheel on my 8" bench grinder most of the time but the diamond as well.

Machinery: IF you have any type of machinery that use drill bits or cutters of any type you need shaperning equipment. This usually consists of a bench grinder with fine and coarse wheels. If you use a bench grinder then you also need one of the above dressing devices. But a good belt grinder can also be used for sharpening many of these tools.
   - guru - Monday, 12/06/10 23:20:26 EST

Fly Press Capacity: Willy, This is difficult to determine as every job is different.

The force produced by the small presses in tons is the number size of the press. A #3 is a 3 Ton, A #8 an 8 ton and so on. However, this is a generality and the numbering system is only a custom, not a standard. For details see my capacity chart on FlyPress.com

The trick IS that on these devices the maximum rated tonnage is consumed in approximately 1/64" (.015" or 0.4mm). If the work done is in twice that distance then divide the tonnage in half, if four time divided by 4. So a job needing 1 ton for 1/8" displacement needs a 4 ton press.

Like other forging machines a flypress can make multiple passes on one job in a single heat. So if you need 1/2" displacement and the press gives you 1/8" then bump it 4 times. . . OR get a 4 times bigger press. However, in many operations the work area increases with each pass and successive passes do less and less work.

If you want to drag out a forging manual and do all the engineering calculations for all the jobs you MIGHT want to do then go at it. But we have a bunch of iForge demos showing what can be done using a 4 ton flypress. Look at the jobs, if they are the kind of thing you want to do then the machine has at least that capacity.

Like all machinery, you will probably push the work limits and want bigger at some point.

   - guru - Tuesday, 12/07/10 00:48:30 EST

Drill sharpening:
Well, I guess Dave Boyer gets my vote on best drill sharpener set up.
I sharpen all my drills by hand and my test for a CORRECTLY sharpened drill is one that WILL NOT fall through a hole that was just drilled with the same drill.
Why? Because you can't fit "size on size". If you have a drill that is drilling correctly, it will produce a hole that is the exact size as the drill. Nothing theoretical about it.
You can not fit a what ever size object into the same size hole. If you can then, they are not the same size.
Having said all that, I have the same set up as Dave describes with the same drill jig made by General Tool Co.
It does take some knowledge to get it set up right to use but it is a faithful copy of a machine made by Dake that works the same way and are used in many shops.
They do produce the correct geometry when set up right and can be used to thin the web as well.
As I said I sharpen all my drills by hand at the bench grinder for anything from 1/8 to 1" diameter. I use the belt grinder for anything bigger than an inch.
Anything smaller than an 1/8" I usually throw away and get a new one or, sometimes I'll make a single flute drill out of them. ( don't ask, I can't explain how to make them without pictures)
As for "Drill Doctors" I guess they are ment for those who don't know how to sharpen drills OR for someone that is getting "the shakes" as they get older.
I worked in a shop that had one of the 3/4" models and we all tried to make that thing work but found it just did not stand up to industrial use. The cams are all plastic and when they got worn they would no longer sharpen the drills correctly and after a while, not at all.
The shop I work in now had one of the more expensive versions of the drill doctor but, it had aluminum cams that got worn out after just a couple years of industrial service.
Now we have gone back to the big Dake swing grinder that I refer to above and we get the best results every time.
Yes we had to teach the guy that runs the tool crib how to use it but, nobody is born knowing this stuff...

Setting tools in a lathe:
NEVER set your tools above or below center!
If you're concerned about tool deflection then take a lighter cut. If you are trying to get the job done faster then get a bigger machine!
Mike, you should not have had any deflection in 1" on a bronze bushing. IF your tools are set correctly, giving you the correct rake angel and clearance and all the other things you need to get right to make the machine work the way you expect it to, it will give the desired result.
Some dials read direct (what you dial on is what you take off the work) Some dials read "per side" ( .01 depth on the dial gives you .02 removed on the diameter)
You should know your machine well enough before you start a job (especially on an "irreplaceable part" ) to know what will happen when you take a cut.
Everyone makes mistakes but, you should never be surprised of the result when you take a turn on the dial.
Setting tools high or low of center can contribute to not knowing what the machine will do next. A tool that is not on center will not cut what the dial says it will and, it gets worse as you get closer to the center of the part.
If you're having deflection problems then your setup is weak and, you need to make the tool more rigid somehow.
Not knowing what you have I don't know just what to suggest but, things like, making sure your gibs are snug, making sure you don't have excessive slack in your feed/lead screws, make sure you take up the slack in the correct direction according to the cutting direction, don't have any more tool hanging out of the holder than is needed to do the job. The list goes on and on as you get deeper into the problem of getting the greatest accuracy from the machines you have.
I am doing a job on my 1943 Altas lathe right now and am holding .0005 tolerances, for a rather particular customer, with little effort but, several critical conditions must be met before I can even attempt the job.
It aint easy doing precision machine work but, guys with 20 and 30+ years at it some times make it look easy...
Keep at it !
   - merl - Tuesday, 12/07/10 03:55:26 EST

I have seen the Rockwell Blade Runner advertised and demo video of it. Suppose to replace all of your other saws, interchangeable blades for different materials. Looks like it will cut thick steel with the metal cutting blade. Wall mounted and can be detached for off site use. Do any of you own one ? If so please give feed back .
   Mike T. - Tuesday, 12/07/10 10:23:44 EST

Mike, This is nothing but a glorified stationary mount for a reciprocating (Saber®) saw which you can purchase for less than a quarter the price. These and have blades available for many materials and the new ones have the easy blade changing feature. The Blade Runner has very limited metalworking capacity. Its biggest advantage is the use of guides to help make straight cuts and having both hands on the work.

As to the "dangerous" hand held saw, I've been using these since I was 11 years old. The actor in the video was acting the klutz or someone that had no business using ANY mechanical device. He would cut his own throat using a safety razor and should not be allowed to operate a motor vehicle with that lack of manual skills.

In metal a 1/4" thick aluminum plate is about the max and is VERY noisy. In steel 16ga would be OK, 1/8" a stretch.

Tools like this DO NOT replace the others. A little 4x6 band saw will do most of these jobs and with its five foot long blade that will outlast the little three inch blade by the ratio in lengths (20:1). The 4x6 saw will cut heavy bar and tubing which the Blade Runner will not. It will also do this hands off so you can work on something else while the saw is running.

For long rip cuts they have cheated on the speed sawing very soft material and only showing part of the cut (careful film editing). Believe me, I've made hundreds of feet or rip cuts in construction grade lumber with a reciprocal saw and it goes excruciatingly slow.

Its a nice little tool with some advantages but it is not nearly the tool the advertising hype leads you to believe.
   - guru - Tuesday, 12/07/10 11:17:19 EST

"Blade Runner":
Cute name. Is that intended to invoke memories of the excellent Harrison Ford movie of the same name and somehow imply that this tool is that good? I always steer away from tools or machines that have cute or cleaver names. If the tool can't sell its self on its own merits then how will a misplaced brand name improve it?
Before I got my 9X12 horizontal band saw I used my Milwaukee Sawzall for everything.
They make blades for doing anything you need to do for those saws, including a 14" tree trimming blade (I use mine all the time)
I would get the biggest Sawzall you can afford and put it to good use. I think you will be very disappointed trying to make alot of metal parts with that other thing.
If you're going to get a Milwaukee or Porter Cable or a De Walt, go to a rental store or someplace that carries the FULL line so you can see all models of a particular tool and make an informed choice.
Don't expect to run a business or do quality work with the junk they sell at the big box stores.
   - merl - Tuesday, 12/07/10 12:54:00 EST

Yeah, I wondered about the "blade Runner" name. I'm sure they will sell a lot with the marketing hype.

Back when I was spending a lot of money on tools I bought a Milwaukee reciprocating saw. The thing was a clumsy design with a poorly designed paddle trigger and bad blade guide system. The first time I used it for a heavy job the gear box seized up. Luckily I had bought it from a local dealer where I did a lot of business. They returned the saw to the factory for me under warantee even though it was long past. The saw was replaced by a new design. It was still too heavy and clumsy but had a newer gear box. I have not hardly used it since.

The last saw of this type that I purchased was a Black and Decker. I needed something for teenage girls to use. The all Lexan housing is strong and light weight, it has a spare blade holder on the side and a quick change blade holding system that holds the blades better than the old screw types. I like it a lot. It replaced a similar cheaper version that I think I gave to one of my children.

While these saws are not as powerful or heavy duty as a Sawzall I find them much more friendly and convenient to use. They have multiple uses and are inexpensive enough that ANYONE can afford one.
   - guru - Tuesday, 12/07/10 13:35:05 EST

Yes, I will admit the Sawzall is a big, heavy tool but, I'm always glad I have it when I need it.
Of course I carried an M203 for 12 years in the service and served as the M60 and later, the M2 gunner for my platoon.
Some of us just never learn...
   - merl - Tuesday, 12/07/10 14:43:15 EST

Hmm; let's try to sell an upside-down saber saw by naming it after a dystopian science fiction movie of a miserable near-future.

Do androids dream of electric sheep?

One of my normal routes takes me by a corner in DC's Chinatown with oversize animated electronic billboards that look like something out of the movie. I'm still waiting for the flying cars, though!

It's all sizzle and no steak, boys and girls! "I warned people about the 21st century, but nobody would listen to me!" (UAVTBoW)

(Atli steps off his soap box; returns to the work of the republic and tools for his kids for Christmas plans.)
   Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Tuesday, 12/07/10 14:57:00 EST

Guru and others,
Thank you for your input, I believe it saved me money and disappointment, I did get all hyped up over the blade runner, but have returned to reality.
   Mike T. - Tuesday, 12/07/10 15:34:13 EST

While I'm at it, what do you think about the Dremel Trio ? Combined saw, router and sander ?
   Mike T. - Tuesday, 12/07/10 15:37:53 EST

You know Bruce, the book was almost nothing like the movie and I have bothe versions of the movie (although the original and best version is in Beta II. I should probably get that copied over to some other format...)
   - merl - Tuesday, 12/07/10 17:10:13 EST

Dremel Trio:
Interesting consept. There can't be much of a motor in a housing that small so I wonder how much routing work it would do.
I have one of the large size Roto-Zip tools with a right angle attachment. It's a good tool as a small router but the right angle attachment was only good as a "hook" to get you to buy the whole set.
Buyer beware on that stuff.
   - merl - Tuesday, 12/07/10 17:23:29 EST

Merl, The 203 and Pig are not heavy, they are my Brother:)
I too carted the 203 and pig, and still like my tools to have a heft. Heavy enough to not beat you to pieces when in use.
   ptree - Tuesday, 12/07/10 19:15:59 EST

Wisdom beyond your years, ptree...
   - merl - Tuesday, 12/07/10 19:42:47 EST

Hi Guru. I went to upset some tool steel, O1 and D2..both times, I ended up with splitting and cracking at the corners of the upset. Was I working the steel too hot, or too cold? Or perhaps with too much force? After getting it really hot, I just drove it against the anvil (its about 3' long). Thanks for your expertise!
   - ironguy - Tuesday, 12/07/10 20:37:04 EST

Ironguy: The D2 should only be forged in the range from 2000f down to 1700f. I don't have specs for O1, but it is pretty darn close to O2 which I have specs for. Heat it to 1950f and stop forging when it gets hard to move.

How really hot did You get it?
   - Dave Boyer - Tuesday, 12/07/10 21:49:28 EST

Holy Hammers Guru-man!!!

"The trick IS that on these devices the maximum rated tonnage is consumed in approximately 1/64" (.015" or 0.4mm). "

THAT is a detail I never knew, and the root of my discontent with the #4 flypress I bought then sold years ago. For some reason, I was expecting it to "do" more when working on thicker materials. Now it makes sense...
   MikeM-OH - Tuesday, 12/07/10 22:18:29 EST


What Dave said...plus O1 has a forging range of 1850/1950ºF (bright orange) to 1500ºF (bright cherry red). Stop at 1500. Also, with hand forging most steels, it helps to blunt-taper the end to be upset. This is the opposite of upsetting. For example on square stock, you hammer-chamfer the four edges, so you wind up with a short, truncated pyramid. If it's round stock, you S-O-R until you get a blunt, truncated cone. If you neglect this step, you sometimes get the thin edges coming out right away and chilling. For instance, on round stock, it begins right away to take the form of a valve head or golf tee; Not a good upset. The blunt taper will allow the upset to be pushed back a little farther to where you need it.
   Frank Turley - Tuesday, 12/07/10 22:36:32 EST

Dremel: I've had one since I was 10. My first one was worn out by a friend, not me. . . :( It was used very little for years due to chuck issues that came home from being loaned out (dumb kid thing). The second one has been a great tool for wood working. Luthiers (stringed instrument makers) love them and have all kinds of special after market attachments for them. They are great for routing slots for bridges, routing corners for binding, inleting electric pickup pockets. They are great for carving. I "whittled" a tortoise bridge in ebony for a Kithara (See A< HREF="/21centbs/bios/jockd/hobbies.htm">the guru's hobbies). I used it prior to route the slot for the bone bridge insert and the legs that raised it off the soundboard before doing the artistic work. I also used it for the binding on the guitar and kithara. I don't know about the saw setup but I suspect it is a waste except for miniature work such as model making.

In metal work I only use the Dremel for the lightest deburing and delicate die work. They are the kind of tool that held steadily enough would work well for making coining dies or touch marks. I also made a holder to use one on my small lathe as a tool post grinder. It was really great for small precision grinding. I also dressed a bunch of old worn lathe centers with it restoring them to as good as new.

The manual and advertisements for the Dremel are all the ways to destroy the tool. They are not up to most of the tasks shown. They are too small, too underpowered and would rapidly be worn out.

Properly used they are a great tool. For Christmas one year I gave both my kids the deluxe Dremel set in the storage box with all the extra cutters, wheels and arbors. This was a couple years after giving them both Milwaukee 1/4" low RPM "Hole Shooters" with the 1/2" Jacobs chucks (a life time electric drill). The years between I gave them both B&D reciprocal saws, then files and rasps plus a Nicholson file card. And people wonder why my Daughter asked for a large 12 drawer Kennedy tool chest for graduation. . .
   - guru - Tuesday, 12/07/10 23:24:40 EST

Frank, Dave,

Thanks for the ideas (less heat, blunt-taper the end first). I'm sure I had it too hot. I'll let you know how it goes my next try. Thanks.
   - ironguy - Tuesday, 12/07/10 23:41:04 EST

Upsetting metal. In a production upsetter, the first hit tools make a very shallow taper, small end about 2/3 start diameter, a bit of belly out at 1/3 of the bottom. The second makes a shorter taper with more belly at about the last third of the taper, where the upset metal should end up. The third hit makes a thick pancake, about 2-3 times as thick of the needed upset, but much less diameter. Then the forth hit gives the finish size.
Franks description of the blunt taper first is pretty close to what we did with big tonnage in upsetter machines.
   ptree - Wednesday, 12/08/10 07:40:49 EST

Thanks for the upsetting advise Frank. That is an answer to a problem I have had but, didn't know there was a fix for it. I just figured that was the way it is and, live with it.
   - merl - Wednesday, 12/08/10 12:21:16 EST

[ CSI - anvilfire MEMBERS Group | Getting Started in Blacksmithing ]
Counter    Copyright © 2010 Jock Dempsey, www.anvilfire.com Cummulative_Arc GSC

Get anvilfire.com GEAR.

International Ceramics Products