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This is an archive of posts from December 1 - 7, 2011 on the Guru's Den
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Leaky barrel : How about waterproof coating the exterior of the barrel? That way the staves won't dry out.
   - Nippulini - Thursday, 12/01/11 09:54:29 EST

tyres : It seems a side benefit too of the axle stub drooping downward is to help keep the wheel on the axel by reducing the force against its retainer be it a nut or just a cotterpin. Also I think an axel stub is slightly canted forward.
   - Sven - Thursday, 12/01/11 11:58:48 EST

Leaky barrel : I fixed a couple stubborn leakers by melting beeswax into the offending joints. I think eventually the wood swelled to where it would have sealed anyway, But did not want to have a leaker for days on end.
I think beeswax is soft enough so the further swelling is not disturbed much, the wax is just squeezed out.
   - Sven - Thursday, 12/01/11 13:07:14 EST

Sven, when set up right, the wheels toe in slightly so that the forward force makes them run straight. Under normal conditions waggon and buggy wheels run at a very low rpm so can compensate for a lot of different forces. Now a chuck waggon wheel for racing is another creation all together...
Something I find interesting is how waggon and buggy tyres wear. They will look perfect on the outside, but the centre of the underside will wear hollow. Oooo and then there are the cold set tyres... I've had wheels with 2 spokes worth of felloe has rotted away yet the tyre is still tight and needed to be cut off the wheel,
   JimG - Thursday, 12/01/11 18:05:14 EST

Thanks for the replies. I decided to order the foil from McMaster-Carr.
   - Brandon - Thursday, 12/01/11 20:16:47 EST

Tire bender traction : I believe the tire bender picture is a picture of my bender. That bender does have a coating of rust on the rollers. Since I sometimes tend to over oil my equipment, they also are oil soaked which kind of negates the gripping action of the rust. What I have found is that if you sprinkle a bit of fine sand on the top of the metal as you begin feeding it into the roller the sand will stick to the roller and grip the metal tightly. I recently rolled a 1/2 inch by 2 inch by 24 inch diameter hoop with it in one pass. Without the sand the roller would just slip.

Apparently this is an old trick as one of my other tire benders had an accumulation of sand in the base when I got it. Just have to be careful to not get sand in the bearing surfaces.
   - Bernard Tappel - Friday, 12/02/11 10:52:01 EST

   - w. gathercole - Friday, 12/02/11 11:20:19 EST

Books : Anyone know of a source for Bill Epps, "Project Books"?
   - Brian C. - Friday, 12/02/11 11:44:19 EST

Any chance with that anvil being a William Foster. Does it have a date stamp below the name?

Value---you tell me how much my truck is worth and I can tell you how much that anvil is worth---pretty hard without knowing any details isn't it. In general an anvil is worth somewhere between the scrap worth of the metal and perhaps US$5 per pound here in the United States with the upper number being quite rare indeed!
   Thomas P - Friday, 12/02/11 12:19:00 EST

Blacksmith Depot? : Anyone else getting a warning about "Invalid security certificate" when trying to connect to Blacksmith Depot? I'm just curious if it's something up with my connection or a problem with their site. Just wondering.
   - NEK_Tinker - Friday, 12/02/11 17:39:39 EST

Blacksmith's Depot : The site is fine and dandy, Tinker. Their security certificate just expired and hasn't yet been renewed by the webmaster or site admin yet. No big deal, just your web browser doing its job of trying to keep you safe.
   Rich Waugh - Friday, 12/02/11 18:04:39 EST

Anvil Project : Thank you Quenchcrack for the advice. I am looking into other materials for the body of the anvil, and I will normalize, not anneal.

Philip In China, I just want to do it if the material costs aren't prohibitive. I have access to a machine shop and I can purchase flame-cut materials at fairly reasonable prices. I will machine the horn from round bar. The body and base will be flame-cut. I'm waiting on quotes now. FYI, the anvil will be in the 250-275 lb. class.
   Marty B. - Friday, 12/02/11 18:50:11 EST

Secure Certs - The Big Scam : NEK, Their Secure Cert has expired. No expiration notice was sent out. . . A new one will be installed ASAP.

The good news is that even an "expired" cert still works. As long as you get an HTTPS connection and or the little padlock symbol on your browser its working.

The new Firefox (and perhaps other browsers) does not just let you click "ignore" and keep going. It forces you to save an exception. A dumb pointless thing. . .

Secure Certs are a political bunch of BS. A short life Secure Certificate (the KEY and Cert) can be created by any server (at no cost). When installed all communications with the server are secure with all data being 128 bit encrypted. The ONLY reason these certs are short lived is politics and money. Originally "certs" were a monopoly like web registrations. The monopoly was held by Thawte, a South African company. . . A VERY curious arrangement since at the time 99% of the web and all secure transactions were in the U.S. Later Thawte was purchased by Network Solutions, the original URL registration monopoly.

A 1 year Thawte cert cost $200 or more (I had one back when they were a monopoly) and required a credit check and a stack of documentation. At the end of 2 years you had to go through the same BS. . . It was a GOLD MINE for Thwate.

Supposedly the process was to insure some sort of "safety". However, I have seen scam and physhing sites with genuine Thwate certs. Any crook with good credit (or good phony ID) could get one. I reported one such site to Thawte several times and the ID check on the cert was never revoked. . . So what was the point???

Then other companies were allowed to generate certs. Some come with "identifier" links, badges that say "secure today" ot "tested today" with Today's date and the pricey ones the banks buy put their name in the colored block in the address line. . . All these bells and whistles simply add a LOT of cost to the cert but make the connection no more or no less secure. . . The 128 bit encryption method is no different on an expired $30 cert as it is on your bank's or credit card company web site with a $1000 cert.

The problem with the "new" cert companies was the cert issuer recognition was built into your web browsers. IF the cert company did not have a DEAL with Microsoft and Netscape the browser would declare the cert issuer as "untrusted". For a long time we had an Equifax cert. Equifax is one of the biggest credit reporting and personal data companies in the world. . . But browsers of the time flashed a warning that said "untrusted certificate issuer". . . So I wrote the following About our Secure Cert. Its a bit dated, we now have yet another cert. . .

Since then browsers have been designed to accept all certs but there are still "deals" to get those little perks. Today a no frills Secure cert without "site ID" or a complicated credit check cost as little as $30/year. But it is STILL BS. The Cert Request and Key are generated on the server the Cert is going to run on. The Cert itself CAN be generated on the server as well. But they are time and ID limited for political reasons. Those $30 certs cost the issuing company NOTHING but about 30 seconds (if that) to generate and email. And they are issued by the millions every year. . . Its all part of the "growing economic sector" that does nothing but TAKE out of the economy while producing absolutely nothing of real value.
   - guru - Friday, 12/02/11 18:51:40 EST

NOTE, I said 128 bit encrypted but all new certs are now 256 bit encrypted. . .
   - guru - Friday, 12/02/11 19:00:12 EST

Blacksmith's Depot : Thanks Rich and Guru- I thought it was something like that but wasn't really sure. I tend to get little nervous when things don't look quite right to me... I know a little about computers but it's mostly enough to get me into trouble and not to answer any real questions!

   - NEK_Tinker - Friday, 12/02/11 22:14:58 EST

Springs : I'm re-building a desert-find Civil War era pistol, (a Savage Navy). The previous owner butchered parts of it, but nothing beyond repair. He sandblasted it (removing most of it's value along with the patina), and I got an assortment of parts to work on. Here's the question, there are 5 springs in the pistol and all are almost dead soft. Could laying in the desert or sandblasting have softened these springs? I'm going to attempt to re-harden & temper them and don't see any real problem.
   Thumper - Saturday, 12/03/11 14:21:56 EST

Thumper, if the pistol was so rusted that the previous owner thought it needed sandblasting then it MAY have been in a fire and all the parts annealed.

All steel has the same springiness, the only difference being hard gives steel is the ability to be sprung further and still return to its original shape (increases the yield point). Springs that are TOO hard can break. So it is always best to err on the soft side when tempering. A good deep blue is recommended for most springs but if they are small for the job and must be highly stressed then a little harder is often needed.

Old gun parts were often case hardened to provide surface wear resistance. The case hardening would not be very deep and corrosion plus sand blasting may have removed most of it.

Alan Longmier would be the guy to help you with this project.
   - guru - Saturday, 12/03/11 14:44:11 EST

I thought about a possible fire, but couldn't find any traces for the obvious reason mentioned, could you connect me with Al or should I just google him up?
   Thumper - Saturday, 12/03/11 17:43:53 EST

Chile forge : Does anyone have any feedback on these forges? How do they compare to NC? Sure look interesting.
   Peter - Sunday, 12/04/11 14:53:58 EST

Anvils : I had a question for those of you who own either of these anvils,
One is a 64 kg (140lb) 1 1/4 CWT Brooks, anvil in very good condition, it has no repairs and also has no date marked on the KG side, it only has the 64kg the seller wants 400 for it and is steadfast on the price, which i am alright with being that it isn't always easy for me to find anvils and im okay spending a little more for the convenience,it is from the pictures i was sent, almost exactly the same quality as the brooks shown in the anvil gallery, or it will be after i give it a quick sand and radius the edges to my preferance, it does look like the edges were never radiused and there are some slight chips nothing more than a sixteenth and once it is radiused nicely they would all be taken care of. (i started having seizures when i was 20 so im not driving for the next few months and both anvils are close so arangements can be made for delivery)

the other anvil that i have the chance to get is a hundred or so pound peddinghaus with little to no use, the seller wants 500 for it i just purchased a portable coal forge from this seller for 200 bucks and it came with a heavy cast square 13 or so inch across firepot from centaur forge, an electric blower , 3 big bags of good coal and a spare unused centaur forge extra heavy duty round coke firepot with dumping ash grate, i have a 250 pound rathole (fontanini) anvil at home and was looking for something on the smaller side to toss in the back of the truck for when im out and about so im almost pushing towards the 100 pound peddinghaus just because i do want a smaller more easily portable anvil,

which would you recomend for price and everything, i've read the forging vs casting thing and i know that the rathole is forged, but i highly doubt that i will ever have problems with it, but for a smaller anvil, which of the two brands is better , or higher recomended,

also, any pro's /cons of square vs circular firepot, and can a round coke firepot be used for coal/ or charcoal, i had assumed that it was just heavy duty to protect from more intense heat ffrom coke fires,

i have coke at home but have never used it because i never had an electric blower before , so im thinking of switching out the square firepot(which has seen better days) for the new round one

Thanks very much all for your recomendations
   Cameron - Sunday, 12/04/11 15:01:31 EST

edit : i know that the rathole and brooks are Cast, not forged and that the peddinghaus is forged**
   Cameron - Sunday, 12/04/11 15:04:43 EST

"I know that the rathole is forged". You sure about that?
   - grant - Sunday, 12/04/11 15:05:59 EST

Anvils and Firepots :
The only shop sized forged anvils made today are the Rigid Peddinghaus. There are also small "studio" sized Peddinghaus Tool Co. anvils that are forged and NEITHER should be confused with the Czech made (cast) Peddinghaus "style" anvil.

I am not a fan of the thick (ugly) heel on the Brooks anvils. Folks that prefer a square heel over a square horn usually prefer a thinner heel so that work wraps around it. On the other hand many folks are not fans of the conical horn on the Peddinghaus. . But I have found it is all in what you are used to.

Something to keep in mind is that forged anvils will probably be a thing of the past, sooner than later. Rigid already tried to dump the forged anvil line once and I suspect that the next time they need to re-tool that will be the end. It may be a decade from now, or it may be next year. You just don't know. But its going to happen.

I made the mistake of divesting myself of all my "portable" anvils once. . . Then realized what I had done. Now I have a couple small 130 English pound anvils and the 300 pound Kohlswa (a cast anvil). Twice I've had NEW Peddinghaus anvils in my shop and both times had to sell them.

I've never used a circular firepot but I doubt it makes much difference from a square one. For years my primary firepot was rectangular and made a longish fire. I liked it but it was what I was used to. . .

Most firepots work with any solid fuel. The difference is how deep you need to stack the fuel above the pot. This is limited by the size of the forge as you cannot pile coal up but so deep for a given width and maintain the fire.
   - guru - Sunday, 12/04/11 15:40:03 EST

So if it was you, which would you go with , a 140lb brooks in great shape for 400 or a hundred or so pound rigid peddinghaus for 500 with a stand accesorised for hammers and such? were talking Canadian dollars by the way
   Cameron - Sunday, 12/04/11 15:47:00 EST

Sorry Cameron, your edit didn't show up until after I posted.
   - grant - Sunday, 12/04/11 17:53:08 EST

No worries grant, i probably made it while you were typing your response :) i admit, i make mistakes sometimes
   - Cameron - Sunday, 12/04/11 18:08:12 EST

Brooks : I have a Brooks which I bought new a few years back. It is exactly twice the size of that one and I love it. I prefer the horn over a conical one. For example when I am flaring pipe it works much easier on the Brooks horn. The heel is a bit thick but that has never been a problem yet.
   philip in china - Sunday, 12/04/11 20:19:58 EST

Cast steel 8640 : I am thinking of buying a Nimba anvil that is made of 8640 cast steel with a rockwell hardness of 50 to 52. How does this material compare to the steel used in anvils of the early 1900's for anvil purposes.
   Fred Knoll - Monday, 12/05/11 16:28:18 EST

Fred, Properly cast and heat treated it is a much better steel. Alloy steels are deep hardening where the old steels were shallow hardening. Old anvils were a bit harder because they needed the depth of hardening and did not usually temper other than from residual heat. Thus many old anvils had corned that were too hard and chipped. This was more of a problem on small anvils that hardened more than larger anvils (most of the time).

In a modern cast anvil you can do no better than a Nimba.
   - guru - Monday, 12/05/11 17:04:27 EST

Thanks for the quick shipping on the Kaowool, Guru.
   Mike BR - Monday, 12/05/11 19:13:16 EST

Taper for handles : What is a good taper and length for the eye on a tool with a single taper? I figure too steep and it will not hold well, and too shallow it could pull through. These are for an adze that is 4 inch wide and about 3 pounds. I have tried looking on the web and as of yet have not found any recommendations. I plan to make the eye from a piece of 2" square x 1/8" wall square tubing, cut the corners to make the taper and weld them back together.
   Brent - Monday, 12/05/11 19:17:50 EST

Handle Tapers :
The standard tapers (U.S. Government Forged Tool Standard) is 3° per side when viewed from the front (side to side) and 4#176; per side when viewed from the side (front to back). This is common on virtually every type of handle.

The 1/8" wall is probably too thin. Such eyes taper to about that but start out three times that thickness.
   - guru - Monday, 12/05/11 19:53:30 EST

Hmmm. . . Adz Eyes may have more taper (they are not listed in the referred to standard). But the difference may be adz eyes taper all in one direction where hammers taper from both sides.
   - guru - Monday, 12/05/11 20:43:48 EST

Thumper's springs : I really can't add anything to what the Guru said. Since it's a basket case anyway I wouldn't worry about rehardening the springs causing any damage. The only important issue is going to be that they are not anything like modern 5160. They're probably a crucible steel similar to 1070-1095, so overheating will cause grain growth and weakness. If there's even a chance they went through a fire I'd refine the grain via thermal cycling/normalizing.

Get 'em shaped with the proper bend, carefully bring to an even heat of right around 1425 degrees F (nonmagnetic, medium red in a dark room) and allow to air cool in still air. I sit them on the forge table or a soft firebrick so they don't auto-quench. Once they've cooled to below 400 degrees F or so, repeat. Then do that one more time for good measure. What this does is break up any large grain from overheating/annealing. Small grain equals better toughness for a given hardness, a very good thing in gun springs! On the final hardening step, quench in warm (130 degrees or thereabouts) thin light oil to minimize chances of cracking. If they won't harden in oil, use hot brine, but ONLY if they won't harden in oil. Carefully polish and oven-temper to a good full blue, around 500 to 550 degrees F.

I like to use 1070 for the ones I make. It's a lot more forgiving than 1095 since it doesn't get as hard to begin with.

The rest of the gun is probably fine if annealed. Black powder barrels and cylinders were deliberately left dead soft so they would deform instead of rupture in the event of overpressure. The frame may well have been case hardened, but if you aren't going to use it hard you can fake it with liquid gun blue dabbed on with the frame wet.
   Alan-L - Tuesday, 12/06/11 12:13:14 EST

Chile forge vs NC forge : No personal experience with the Chile, but a friend of mine has one and regularly forge welds in it. I do have personal experience with NC forges and I don't care for them for anything I don't want exposed to an overly oxidizing atmosphere...
   Alan-L - Tuesday, 12/06/11 12:18:12 EST

Alan, thanks for posting, I didn't realize that the grain structure would benefit from repeating the normalization process. If that doesn't work, I'll either make springs out of music wire I bought at a hobby shop (no idea what the grade is), or convert a couple of Remington or Colt reproduction springs for the purpose. About bluing, nah, I'm going for plumb brown, looks more "period correct". The pistol is a Savage Navy if you've ever worked on one you'd know the complications involved. I sent guru a pic of my functioning one, maybe he'll post it if you're curious.
   Thumper - Tuesday, 12/06/11 12:48:07 EST

I'm a boy from the Netherlands, Europe and searching for
   - koen vinke - Tuesday, 12/06/11 13:05:06 EST

Shrink Factor 377 Brass : Can you tell me what the shrink factor for 377 brass is?
   Michael - Tuesday, 12/06/11 13:19:48 EST

Farrier's Forge : Howdy! Long time lurker, first time poster. I have a small portable forge, I think it's a farrier's forge (like a webber grill but with a blower). It's just bare steel on the bottom. I've gathered from some discussions with folks in my area that I should line this with something - they recommended fire cement, but the only stuff I can find is pretty expensive and I'm concerned it would crack when I transport the forge. Any suggestions?
   Chris C. - Tuesday, 12/06/11 13:21:45 EST

Chris see our FAQ Claying Forges
   - guru - Tuesday, 12/06/11 15:51:02 EST

Thumper's Savage Navy : They aren't the prettiest things in the world, but they do have a high niftiness factor.

The mainsprings look easy enough, but are there little split-leaf trigger springs inside the frame as well? Those can be tricky. The coil is the one I'd just try to replace with a factory made one if possible.

Music wire is pretty much 1095, you may want to temper a bit on the hotter side if you go that route. I make gravers out of it, and it takes a lot to make it springy.
   Alan-L - Tuesday, 12/06/11 17:45:10 EST

Fisher chain Vise : We have a Fisher Norris Vise we would like to sell and are wondering why it doesn't have a date under the jaws. In gathering information about it, I was wondering if the older vises were the ones without dates on them. This one has no date like I have seen in pictures of others. It seems to be in excellent condition, so I don't think the date was worn away by anything. Thanks!
   Don - Tuesday, 12/06/11 19:22:09 EST

Savage Springs : There's a stop spring under the cylinder, is that the leaf you're talking about, or are you thinking of the combo bolt, trigger spring in Colt's and Remie's? If so the SN doesn't have one. The coil spring I'm going to try and re-temper. If it doesn't work then I'll make something up, (thought about normaslizing a screen door spring, flattening it and re-coil then re-temper) the revolver will never be a shooter again but I want it to function properly. I've only found one site that has any parts and they're just the 2 main springs and a couple of other things I don't need. Again, thanks.
   Thumper - Wednesday, 12/07/11 02:40:13 EST

Spring : Thumper here is a link for you to go to in order to get a spring or anything else you need related to firearms. Numrich Arms is the leader when it comes to providing out dated gun parts.
You can also give them a call. For a real hard to find part, I think you can send them pictures of firearms and parts for their experts to look at. Also provide them with any numbers and markings on the parts. www.gunpartscorp.com
   Mike T. - Wednesday, 12/07/11 03:54:44 EST

Spring, again : I was thinking of the combo spring like in Colts. I wouldn't worry much about the stop spring as long as it still engages, since you aren't trying to make it a shooter.
   Alan-L - Wednesday, 12/07/11 10:58:17 EST

electric forge blower : Hey all, i had mentioned earlier in the week about a great deal i got on some tools and upon a bit of closer inspection i had some questions, i can send Jock a couple pictures if he would like to post them, as i had said before i got a coal forge that was welded up by the original owner and had a cut out to fit a rectangular firepot, i', going to be switching it out for the 13 or so inch round heavier duty coke firepot because i'm used to using round firepots, i started with a rivet forge with a doughnut made of refractory cement about 2 or 3 inches deep and it has rusted out around the small grate/tuyere so i'm going to be cutting it out in a square to fit the square firepot, it's small enough that it will work well, and will work well with my canadian forge and blower hand crank forge, that has a stand, the other forge i have is a larger rectangular cast iron pan forge with a fairly shallow round firepot, and it came with a much larger hand crank blower also a canadian, when i bought this set of tools recently it came with an adjustable forge blower and i had thought that someone had just taken a hand crank blower and attached it to run on the spindle of a small electric motor, but i was looking at the plate stamped on the motor and it says it's a 110 v canadian forge and blower motor and the adjustment rheostat says its a "buffalo motor regulator type 2e- 2en? made by cutler-hammer inc for buffalo forge co buffalo NY no 3291 H101

so it seems that they took the motor regulator and rigged it up to the canadian forge and blower motor, i was just wondering if anyone had seen or heard of anything like this before, it really shocked me because it's essentially the same blower and casing for the small canadian stand up hand crank blower i have at home in calgary but it seems to have come attached to the motor and i've not been able to find any info about it anywhere
again , i can send pictures if you would like, as they say a picture is worth a thousand words and this is all fairly hard to describe, any help would be greatly appreciated,
thank you
   Cameron - Wednesday, 12/07/11 20:47:57 EST

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