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February 2009 Archive

WHY THREE FORUMS? Well, this is YOUR blacksmithing forum to use for whatever you wish within the rules stated above. It is different than the Slack-Tub Pub because the messages are permanently posted and archived.
This page is NOT a chat - it is a "message board"

Our chat, the (Slack-Tub Pub), is immediate but the record of it is temporary. DO NOT post permanent messages there. We refresh the "log" every 24 hours now and your message will be lost.

The Guru's Den is where I and several others try to answer ALL your blacksmithing and metalworking questions to us.

Please note that this forum uses an e-mail encryption system that prevents spam harvesters from collecting your e-mail address.

J. Dempsey  <webmaster> Rev. 7/98, 3/99, 5/2k, 6/2k, Friday, 04/06/01 16:43:25 GMT

Bells: Peter, I'm sorry, I don't use patterns. . . I just draw them directly on the plate and saw them out. This one was made from a piece of 16ga steel plate I had for making shovel pans, 6" x 8". The method was as described in the text above. I don't think I used the entire width but did use most or all the length.

The original instructions called for forge brazing or a "penny weld". Make the joints tight, flux, heat to melt flux, sprinkle with the spelter (powdered brass or bronze (pre 1983 copper penny alloy)) and heat until the brazing flows or flashes on the surface. Add spelter as needed.

Tons of sheet metal bells are still made by forge brazing all over the world. Shops that carry crafts from the world often have Indian of Chinese bells or gongs made in primitive charcoal forges using scrap steel (auto body sheet metal) and the local coinage.
- guru - Saturday, 01/31/09 23:14:41 EST

Repent: Not giving away my age, just the fact that I'm a sucker for a querky title, I thought "Repent ..." was great.
Anybody here like Joe Haldeman? I like "Forever War" the best and "All My Sins Rememberd" is a close second along with every thing elese he has writen.
- merl - Saturday, 01/31/09 23:35:57 EST

Nice Bell:
When I was a little kid, my Dad had 2 large cow bell
shaped like that. But were made from heavy brass.
His were riveted on the side instead of welded. He told me his Dad made them. I dont know what ever happened to them. He had them on our cows and
on a good day you could hear them from a 1/4 mile.

I think Ill try the squished pipe end first. My neighbors out here got a wind chime made from
pipes and I can hear that sometimes, they are a 1/2 mile away too!

- Tmac - Sunday, 02/01/09 01:06:17 EST

Robert Cutting: Jumble sale::
I worked in the mid-east for years, there were a lot of British that worked with me. They kept talking about the deals they got off "Boot Sales" I finally, had to ask how selling boots had anything to do with there good deals. Took me a while to catch they meant from the trunk of a car! ;)) So I take it that a "jumble sale" sale is like a yard sale here right? ;))
- Tmac - Sunday, 02/01/09 01:22:05 EST

Farriers' Convention: Currently, I have no desire to crawl under a horse, although I've done my share of such. However, I thought our readership might be interested in a youtube promo looksee at the American Farriers Association, late February convention, to be held in Chattanooga, TN. Perhaps something like this could be a selling point for our ABANA get-togethers.
Frank Turley - Sunday, 02/01/09 10:06:31 EST

Science Fiction/Fantasy: For Fantasy, Pratchett is probably my current favorite. I also like Glen Cook's Garret novels, and enjoy both Drake and Weber I also enjoy Eric Flint's work, especially the 1632 universe. Another series I'd recommend is Jim Butcher's Dresden files. I also enjoy Neil Gaiman's work. I've enjoyed Charles de Lint in the past, but he doesn't seem as prolific these days.
- Gavainh - Sunday, 02/01/09 21:19:02 EST

Problems: I'm having problems with this site. When I type, the display of the characters is delayed several seconds. When I scroll, movement of the page is delayed. Only this site....
- djhammerd - Monday, 02/02/09 06:09:38 EST

Tmac- That's right jumble sale and boot sales are what they do here since they don't have front yards in many areas. Of course they don't call it a yard, here its called the garden. A flea market is still a flea market though. Still trying to figure out all the terminology myself and of course just like in the states alot of things are regional so they have multiple names of their own.
- Robert Cutting - Monday, 02/02/09 07:02:24 EST

Australian word: "TJ's Boots 'n' Clobber" is a family run outfit in Queensland, and when I was demonstrating there, I was presented with an oilskin coat, work boots, and a brimmed kangaroo leather hat, furnished by them. The hat came without the croc teeth. I thanked my hosts profusely, but told them that I wasn't going to wear the gear on the plane home, as everyone would know I was an American, BOL. I was told that "clobber" meant clothing.

Another word used there is "ute" meaning a utility vehicle. These were usually small pickups or various rigs that were tricked out for specific jobs. The Australians were quite proud of their utes, and would have large ute musters where they would get together, party, and show them off.
Frank Turley - Monday, 02/02/09 08:46:40 EST

Slowness: djhammerd, If typing in a window is slow then the problem is possibly on your end as it has nothing to do with the site. However, I have let this log get too long and it needs to be archived and a short copy restarted. So it could be a memory problem.

We just spent several weeks of manhours debugging the new cart system. . . (Credit card gateway provided software was bad). So I've been a bit distracted. Its all part of the move to a new server. Our friend Kiwi in New Zealand has used a month of weekends helping sort it out.
- guru - Monday, 02/02/09 09:27:06 EST

Down Under: Kiwi has of all things a Jeep Cheokee in New Zealand that he takes camping and four wheeling ("far wool'in" as they say in North Carolina). He swamped it an oversize mud hole a while back and has been restoring and customizing it since. Imagine getting Jeep parts in New Zealand!
- guru - Monday, 02/02/09 09:28:14 EST

I hadn't realized that I must be older than Frank as I grew up liking Cordwainer Smith and Jules Vern.

Nowdays my tastes are a lot like Gavainh's.

Though I have read and enjoyed "Forever War" and "All my sins remembered"

I have also liked a lot of L.M. Bujold's books as her characters seem to have a lot more depth to them and many of the books have great situational humour in them.

I have an odd liking of comparing "post apocalypse" books and so try to read a bunch of different versions: On the Beach, Level 7, Alas Babalon, for some oldies and things like The Postman, Dies the fire, 1632, Island in the Sea of Time for recent ones. (the last two aren't really post apocalypse; but deal with a modern technological society thrown back to pre-industrial times so I count them in...)

Thomas P - Monday, 02/02/09 12:43:22 EST

sci fi: david weber, drake, elizabeth moon ,anne McCaffery all good, and I enjoyed "forever war" a while back.
- dale csi sec. - Monday, 02/02/09 15:37:04 EST

Hi Guru,
I also have been having viewing issues with this page. After the page loads, I hit last post, then generally scroll upwards to find where I left off from my last visit. After about 15 seconds, all of the type in the main frame resizes, as though I had used the mousewheel/ctrl command, though I have not used the wheel to scroll. This is the only page on Anvilfire (or any other site) that this seems to occur. BTW, I'm often hesitant to post on this public forum about problems with it, lest my comments be construed as criticism of any kind; I assure you they are not. As always, Thanks So Much for everything you put into Anvilfire!
- Charlie Spademan - Monday, 02/02/09 16:39:54 EST

Update; Hitting post for my previous message has made all text on the page nearly microscopic!
Charlie Spademan - Monday, 02/02/09 16:41:52 EST

Hammer Handle Holiday: I'm happy to report that the first annuale "Hammer Handle Holiday" has been observed at my smithy today.
Fore handles were "adjusted" to proper and comfortable fit and, two faces were re-ground to take the nicks out.
I also made a special large radious straight peen from an off the shelf, 2# engineers hammer.
All in all a good productive evening.
High temps of 5F expected tomorrow with wind chills of -15-20F, I'll be sending some more riff-raff your way Thomas...
- merl - Monday, 02/02/09 22:24:06 EST

Thomas, if you like post-apocalyptic have you tried Battle Circle by Piers Anthony? An early work of his, and at times pretty corny, but in the end quite epic. One I loved when I was twelve. And for you fans of the old masters, what about The Moon is a Harsh Mistress? Now there was a master of plausibility. (Heinlein).
- Vorpal - Tuesday, 02/03/09 03:06:18 EST

Well not really. I found a 1lb hammer head locally so made young Etna (Sean's son) his first sledgehammer today. I hope it will further his interest as well as teaching him control and coordination.

BTW re cordwainer one of my ancestors was a cordwainer but it is a long family story with which I disdain to bore the rest of you.
- philip in china - Tuesday, 02/03/09 10:27:46 EST

Henry Wright Anvil: Just got it: So what is??:
What is the connection, if any at all, between Henry Wright and Peter Wright? This anvil has a very similar appearance to the Peter Wright anvils.
I just acquired a good little 100 Lb Henry Wright. The anvil is in decent shape as to face and nose condition. Is a good ringer and decent rebounds. A little smaller than I would have liked to have found, but was within driving distance and price range to get.;))

- Tmac - Tuesday, 02/03/09 11:38:59 EST

"The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" was on the suggested reading list in "Steal this Book" if you were thinking of starting a revolution...

How's that for 40 year old trivia?

Thomas P - Tuesday, 02/03/09 12:09:48 EST

Posting Weirdness:
OK, I've archived the log, reducing its size. Also fixed a couple extraneous lines. Hopefully that will fix the errors.

Long logs tend to build up odd errors or overload your PC memory. Folks that cut and paste from MSWord or some MAC word processors embed characters that are not HTML compatible and do not filter out for some reason. My numerous edits to reuse the log (for a decade) tends to let errors creep in that effect other things.

The Google ads also introduce another level of browser technology with iFrames, style sheets and sophisticated Javascript. Maybe its fixed. . .
- guru - Tuesday, 02/03/09 14:43:38 EST

Henry Wright:
All Richard Postman could do on this originally was speculate as there were Peter Wright ads that hinted of others riding on the PW reputation. But the anvils were made in the same local region by people that learned to make anvils by working in hundreds of small shops that were all part of the same local industry.

Its a good old English anvil. What more do you want?
- guru - Tuesday, 02/03/09 14:48:59 EST

Hammer Handle Holiday:
I posted a photo from this year's handle day. I'm still finding tools we missed. . . This year is was mostly paint and varnish as my collection of hammers had been stored on a damp floor and needed rust protection as much as anything.

We will add some how-to as time goes by. I should have taken a bunch of photos the year we replaced nearly a dozen handles. . .

Hammer Handle Day
- guru - Tuesday, 02/03/09 15:08:27 EST

Henry Wright:Just curious::
I really only wanted a decent anvil, I didnt care what the name is on the side if any at all. Just was curious as to that name "Henry Wright". You sure will never have to search on the anvil for this name, it is steel stamped deep enough that it wont wear off! While a slightly larger one would have been my choice, there are NO complaints here. What little I plan on using any forging techniques, it wont matter a bit. I really did need something that had a good horn. This one even came with the stump stand, that appears to be as old as the anvil itself. Unless another great, larger one should expose itself, I will more than likely die with this one! ;) Hopefully much later than sooner! ;))
Since I really didnt know much about anvils before I started asking questions here, I wouldnt have been able to make as good as choice. To me they were kind of a chunk of metal with a pointed end and a square hole for a tool. Of course I had used one and only one enough before, to know what I didnt want!! ;))

- Tmac - Tuesday, 02/03/09 16:18:15 EST

I can't find the original question, but...........

Don't expect to run an atmospheric forge on normal NG. Usually requires a blower. Otherwise it works great!
- grant - Tuesday, 02/03/09 17:08:35 EST

Henry Wright: Most of the work I turned out when I was working full time at the anvil was done on a 100 pound Kohlswa and a 128 pound M&H Armitage (mousehole). You can do a LOT of forging on that size anvil. Bigger anvils are great if you can afford them. They hold still, have more work surface and more of your effort goes into the work. But small good quality anvils are FINE.

There has been a lot of speculation that Henry was a relative or son of Peter. But there is no evidence and what there is tends to indicate that they wee not immediately related an more than any two "smiths" in a city. But they made equally good anvils of a similar style.
- guru - Tuesday, 02/03/09 17:54:31 EST

Henry Wright:A strange observation What is in a name??: :
A strange observation on my part. What is in a name??

More than likely they were related, just not closely. Or even close enough to be traced. Over the years, I have noticed that people that have the same family names have a tendency to be involved with the exactly same or nearly the same occupations or interests. I know for a fact that there were mostly "Blacksmiths" and other smiths in my Dads family. All of which were in similar trades. I have even run into others with my same last name, no relation known, with my last name, which is rare in the USA, except in Penn, where it seems to be quite common. More than likely related distantly as my Dads family came from where the name is common in Penn. Its like me and my brother, he went to work in a truck factory I went to work in an airplane factory, basically doing the same job. Where I had my machine shop there were 3 shops that the owners, I knew all of them, they all had the same last name. All of them claimed not to be related to the others. In the same area there were several welding shop owners I knew, or welding related tradesman, that had the same last name and were distant cousins. When I worked at Boeing, I knew 2 guys I knew, both about the same age had EXACTLY the same job on the same flightline with the same last name that claimed no relation at all. Their last name was spelled exactly the same. One pronounced his name with a silent "K" the other with a hard "K". My brother married a girl that became a tool and die maker. Her family name was also shared with several other machine shop owners that I knew who also claimed not to be related. So my question is this just coincidence or do like interests run in the gene pool? Go Figure? You tell me! But in all my days I have NEVER run into a blacksmith named "GURU" ;)) so you are one of a kind!!

So my plan is just hammer old "Henry Wright" right on his face;)) Mainly after the foot of icepack outside melts!!

- Tmac - Tuesday, 02/03/09 23:15:40 EST

bujold: glad some mentioned him....amazing writer..
- pete - Wednesday, 02/04/09 06:54:22 EST

Lois McMasters Bujold; *her*; my wife knew her when she lived in Ohio...

Tmac; I have not noticed that with my surname; but as appx 40% of County Waterford had it or the most common varient of it I guess we had to branch out.

Thomas Powers
Thomas P - Wednesday, 02/04/09 12:08:10 EST

Sci Fi: A real favorite of mine is Iain Banks, a Scottish author who CAN write an ending. Probably the best IMHO is Consider Phlebas and Against a Dark Background. I love an SciFi author who will introduce a concept and use it for half a chapter before explaining it to the reader. Glad to see the HammerIn back up, I was getting sick of looking at the lost power hammer post from December.
- Michael - Wednesday, 02/04/09 13:19:04 EST

T Powers:What is your occupation? :
So what is your occupation? I have known a few Powers, all totally unrelated, all in sales.
- Tmac - Wednesday, 02/04/09 13:22:19 EST

I think your observations are just coincidental. While some folks may lean toward an occupation related to their surname directly or indirectly I do not think it is a large number. Otherwise we would be flooded with "smiths". While Dempsey is not a common name in general there are as many or more Dempseys as Smiths in the Northern, Kentucky phone directory and Cincinnati has a small public park named "Dempsey Park".

In my family there have been clusters in the same occupation but it has changed from one generation to the next. Since Dempsey in the old Irish roughly translates into "King of all" I will have to wait for just the right opportunity ;).

Currently I have three brothers in the computer related business. One is a web geek, another a programmer for the "military industrial complex" (as we used to say in the 70's) and the younger is the art director for a television station, an occupation that is now computer graphic intensive. But the trend in the family is as artists. My brother the programmer has a Masters in oil painting, my brother the web geek is also a graphic artist and has designed many things you see in daily life (a number of Coor's product containers and labels). I was destined for a career in art at one time and you see my illustrations all over anvilfire. I have a sister that teaches art and another that is a fair children's book illustrator if she would would just DO IT. My father "the engineer" had an art degree. . .

There are also a few other unrelated Dempsey's that were relatively well known artists. But I do not think it is a trend. The most famous Dempseys of the age were Jack Dempsey the fighter and NY restauranteur, John Dempsey the Playboy magazine artist and Patrick Dempsey the actor.

My Father's sisters had little artistic talent and all worked as retail or office help. My Grandfather was also from a large family. His father was a non-practicing doctor from a family of Ironmasters who took up farming. Grandpa was an auto mechanic and hustler of sorts. His brothers went into various fields but most died young of accidents, disease and war so it is hard to tell

My Great Grandmother O'Malley insisted that our line was of the "literari" (those well educated and destined to lead) and noted the priests (cousins) in the family and the Ironmaster background of my grandfather from the opposite side of the family. I think she leaned toward the "Kings" role for the family. But its such a bloody occupation when there is more than one. . .
- guru - Wednesday, 02/04/09 13:30:03 EST

Dempsey I knew::
Well maybe the apple dont fall from the tree;
There was a Governor of Conn. named John Dempsey.
I knew a Tom Dempsey that was a airplane mech, who painted well, as a hobby.
- Tmac - Wednesday, 02/04/09 13:58:23 EST

Well lets see; First I was a Geologist, then apprenticed to a swordmaker; then worked at a custom wood shop, then worked assembly line, then was a hardware engineer and then a Computer and Information Science guy---what I generally call a bit herder. Right now I'm in integration and test for an astrophysics research group.

My father started off as a printer's assistant and then went into electrical engineering and Management.

His father had a service station and an farm implement dealership and did a bit of farming on the side.

Great uncle was a bank president (handy when I had an out of state check to cash at his bank)

Cousin had a lawn care business

Brother has a master's in library science

Sister was/is a chemist, then management

No golden thread I can see and my surname derrives from "poor"---well at least it's steady work...
"anvils for the poor, anvils for the poor, have pity on a poor man, anvils for the poor...

Thomas P - Wednesday, 02/04/09 16:19:37 EST

Latest Pictures of Oakley Forge: Please see the link, below.

Gotta run, more comments later...
Armour Archive Thread on Oakley Forge
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Wednesday, 02/04/09 16:35:49 EST

In my family, there is some continuty of metal working back about as far as we can tell.
Dad working in Aluminum extrusion and fabrication all his life.
His Dad was a Msater Molder in a foundrey.
His Dad was a Pattern Maker/Molder
His family were tinkers in Europe.

Mom's side:
Her Dad was a School teacher and carpenter( and "Shine maker)
His Dad a farmer and Farmers on back.
Her mothers Dad was a sheriff, and that trade went way back.
Fine artist
911 Dispatcher, and of course the blacksheep of the family Me:)
ptree - Wednesday, 02/04/09 19:27:15 EST

My last name is pretty uncommon. Look in a big city phone book and you may find three of four of us. (I try not to post it for just that reason, but you can work it out from my email address if you're that interested). One day my wife and I went to pick some tickets we'd reserved. I gave my last name. The woman behind the fingered through the envelopes and said "first name?" I looked at her with a blank stare -- that had never happened before. But sure enough, another couple with the same last name had reserved tickets. And they were standing directly behind us in line!
Mike BR - Wednesday, 02/04/09 20:23:49 EST

Backgrounds and coincidences: Dunno about the name connection. I know of no other smiths named Waugh, nor were there any other smiths in the family lineage, at least as far as I know. Pop was a chemist of some little renown and a rather good artist for fun, Mom was an accountant, and all three grandfathers were farmers. (Two of them wre from Arkansas, and Thos. P can attest that sortof thing is not uncommon there. grin.) Most of my family, immediate and extended, have entered a profession and stuck it out for decades. Not so in my own case, however.

I got my undergraduate degree in Fine Arts - Metalsmithing and then went into police work for some years. Got out of that and took up sign painting for a decdade or so, then back to the cop shop, then back to metalsmithing, with forays into a handful of diverse minor occupations along the way. Everything from shoeshine boy to TV repairman. It's been dan interesting and somewhat informative, but certainly NOT lucrative. I did manage to stay with the last cop job long enough to retire (early) as a Lieutenant. At least I get health insurance that way, something I would otherwise not be able to afford on my attenuated pension.

There have been a number of Waughs that gained some recognition in the arts and literature, but I are not one of them. Nor am I a cricket player, should you ask.

The only relation I know that had any connection with any of the so-called arcane crafts was a second cousin (whence I get my middle name) who had some connection with smithing through his making and use of a "running iron" in his horse trading endeavors, which also wound up with him becoming acquainted with a very finite length of the cordwainer's art. I never picked up that trade, somehow. (grin)
vicopper - Wednesday, 02/04/09 20:29:09 EST

surnames and occupations: There my be more to that than you think.
My grandfather was a geniologist and told me that surnames were mostly derived from what that person did.
So to put it simply if you were a blacksmith you were called "Smith" if you made barrels you were called "Cooper" ect... depending on whare you were from and all that.
My family name is not Smith but, it does mean one who is a farrier or blacksmith and tends to mules and horses in the traditional Cornish language.
All the men on my fathers side of the family are white coller professionals but, are also mechanicly inclined. I am the only one that has actualy chosen to make a living as a machinist and a manual laborer but, it does run in the family.
This pattern has been shown to be more common than alot of people relize.
Names change quickly with marriages and may no longer reflect ones heritage of name but, that may not change ones genetic "hardwireing" to be interested in mechanics or be a mechanic or sales man or doctor ect...
Obviously not all names are related to ones past or familys occupational history but, as Guru has shown with his own name meaning "king of all" (maybe loosly translated to "jack of all trades") and the wide range of occupations or better said as the ability to do anything, such as a "jack of all trades"
My surname is closely related to what I do and what I'm interested in so I guess it fits me.
My two sons also show the same interest and natural apptitude that runs in the family.
I also have a step-brother and a half-bother.
My step-bother and I have almost nothing in common except that my father and his mother are married.
My half brother and I are very much alike both in interests and skills. He is the son of my father and his wife.
I think there is more to the typical surname than most relize.
- merl - Wednesday, 02/04/09 20:34:13 EST

Relatives: None of mine have had squat related to my interests or vocation, whether named Turley or not.
Frank Turley - Wednesday, 02/04/09 20:40:20 EST

Improbable things happen all the time. Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous.
Peter Hirst - Thursday, 02/05/09 00:28:58 EST

Rich; I think you labour under a misconception: "A cordwainer (or cordovan) is somebody who makes shoes and other articles from fine soft leather"

Another major source of surnames is *location* as back before people had surnames you would often be described as where you were from and of course nobility were often given the location they *owned* as a surname.

Only 3 Grandfathers? Shoot not uncommon at all back in the hills why I used to have a friend who was his own uncle!

One other thing to note is that locations often developed a prefferential occupation and so you would not be surprised to find that a lot of people around Sheffield or Solingen would be knifemakers or certain areas might specialize in cheese or leather.

Thomas P - Thursday, 02/05/09 11:10:34 EST

Genealogy, Genetics and Surnames:
I've probably got the best researched genealogy of anyone here and my children's is even better due to the depth of research on my ex's side. If genealogy proved anything most of us would be farmers because that is what 90% pf the population was at one point.

My children easily meet the "Rule of 16" where they can identify all 16 of their Great Great grandparents and come very close to being able to identify all 32 of the previous generation (30). The rule of 16 was applied to Royalty at one time and very difficult to meet. It still is for the vast majority.

In a general sort of way you MIGHT discern a trend in one branch or more as children tend to be as well or better educated than their parents and a few follow in their parents tracks. Those with good educations tend to go into technical or managerial fields while those that have poor educations do not.

Both of my parents had college degrees, my father going beyond his and my mother teaching after raising a family of eight. . . Two of my grandparents had a college education and neither applied them directly to an occupation. My grandfather Benedict had a teaching degree but was a brick/stone mason. My grandmother Dempsey had a college degree but never had a job other than raising her children and a long "retirement". In fact, she died in 1983 without a Social Security number! Several of my great grandparents had college educations. The problem for most people is that you quickly reach a point where all women that had children stayed home and cared for them. They were also discriminated against in education.

In genealogies you also quickly reach a point where you know very little other than the name of the people listed and where they lived. You have half (the female side) that you know nothing about and the other that you know little about. You are more likely to know what church they belonged to than their education , IQ or medical history. A couple generations ago when people died, they died either of natural or unnatural causes with little other detail. Details given rarely pointed to a specific disease.

While many of us MIGHT know what our direct namesake lineage did most do not have a clue about the rest. The genetic material doubles with each generation and at 10 generation your children have 2048 ancestors and at 25 generations (about 1000AD +/-300 years) your children have 67,108,864 grandparents assuming no close relatives. .

SO. . either you are related to everyone on the planet or you will find a lot of "close" marriages as well as generation hopping (incest). Its a mathematical fact that both cases are true for everyone if you could track every branch of the "tree". The Bible pretty much sums it all up with the brides of Kane and Abel that just appeared from no-where. Thousands of years of record keeping bear this out where the man's lineage is clear (the son of, the grandson of. . .) but wives were simply listed as "Mary" or "Jane" with no last name unless they were royalty and there parentage made a difference.

So in the end it is probably only the couple generations we knew in life that make a difference in who we are. The era, location and economics probably have as much with what we do.
- guru - Thursday, 02/05/09 11:23:03 EST

Henry Wright Anvil: Unloaded:
So it has been real cold and wet here, so Just unloaded old Henry yesterday. This one does not say Dudley on the side, Just "England" so may be of a newer vintage of the last made?

Now I have a stand question. Its on the stump a very old stump too. I would like to keep that original stump.
But this stump has a couple of problems that eventually will give problems.

One is there is dry rot on the bottom, a cut of 5" or so would clean this up. But it is at exactly the right height now. I have a steel disc that is nearly that same thickness and nearly the same dia as the stump. My question would there be any advantage or disadvantages to placing this disc under the anvil?
Second the stump has age cracks, mostly one large one that may affect the integrity of the stand at some time. I would like to put a couple of steel hoops or rings around the stump to contain it. But getting the hoops tight is my question. I was thinking of using the method that was used to tighten wagon wheel tires. But I have no know knowledge of how to do this.
If it cant be done, I could just put several steel pallet bands on it. Kind of cheesy though. So if anyone knows how to shrink a wagon tire or to tighten a band I would greatly appreciate the how to.

- Tmac - Thursday, 02/05/09 13:12:58 EST

Shrinking Bands: The way it is done for wheels, measure the diameter of the wood with a traveler. (just the wood, skip over the cracks) make a hoop that on the inside measures the same less the thickness of the band. Heat band evenly to a high black heat/low red. Drop on, cool before it burns too much.
JimG - Thursday, 02/05/09 14:03:40 EST

The important thing about shrinking a tire is that most people get it way too hot! You want it around 450-500 degF and *NOT* glowing like you see folks trying all the time.

Glowing will char the wood under it and so make it loosen up again. The old test was when a piece of pine would feel slippery when rubbed on the metal

IIRC one of the Foxfire books has a good description of tyring a wheel.

Of it were me I'd put the steel piece on top and have another surface to work off of!

Thomas P - Thursday, 02/05/09 14:05:17 EST

Check Cracks and Bands:
Tmac, Normally check cracks in a stump do not hurt its integrity. I would not put the space under the anvil, I'd put it under the stump.

Shrinking hoops is an art. On small items like a stump it is not only going to need to fit RIGHT but it will also need to be the same shape. On small banded items the band seat is turned or carefully carved to as round as possible. It also helps to have a chamfer on the leading edge. The heat is normally just at the char point of a pine stick so that it should not burn the part much as it cools.

The other way is to make a band with a gap tighten with a rope wrap and twisting handle, running the rope over a couple spacers at the joint. Tighten then arc weld the gap. If the band is tight the weld will tighten it further.

I've got a band on a stump that shrank an inch after banding. . . I'm just going to saw out a section, make is snug as above and arc weld it. The band is mostly decorative but it would be nice to be tight.
- guru - Thursday, 02/05/09 16:28:23 EST

Over heating the band and letting it char a bit can give you an indication of what to carve just below that point to match when you seat the band for good at a lower temp
Thomas P - Thursday, 02/05/09 17:30:41 EST

Banding Ideas??:
I have a couple of of other Ideas too:
One would be to hand trim a long slim taper to each end, make the band to a snug fit to start, then drive on hot or cold, as time went by and it loosened just drive on a bit more.

Two make the band to fit as tight as possible then make tapered wedges to drive under the band. Ugly though.

Or to make 2 bands for each band both tapered one to fit under the other then just drive one under the other. Lots of work though! ;((

Or to make the "Guru" butt weld type using my pallet banding tool to tighten it first before the welding.

The other idea is a variation of the butt weld,
instead of the butt weld is to lap the 2 ends an inch or 2. Tighten with banding tool, then just enough weld to hold. That way when it loosened just grind the weld off install banding tool, tighten again reweld!

While I understand that checks wouldnt bother this stand it has one crack that is an inch wide. I brought this from an area that has a higher humidity area and I am sure it will open more. Here it is so dry in the summer that I never split fire wood nothing more than a couple of months before burning. If I do, it dries out so much that it burns like paper.

All this as if I already dont have enough to do! ;((
Thats the problem having a WAY to active mind and to OLD to slow of body! right!! ;(

- Tmac - Thursday, 02/05/09 18:31:11 EST

How big do they make heat shrink tubing (grin)?
Mike BR - Thursday, 02/05/09 22:05:06 EST

Very Interesting. . : So why is "off shore" being pushed so hard?
Oil in Montana and the Dakotas
- guru - Friday, 02/06/09 09:49:46 EST

Re the string on GD about vises I had a Record machinsts vice. It was left in a house I bought in Birmingham. Just as the jaws tightened the quick release would come on. I fixed it in the easiest way I knew how. Took it to my unit, gave it to the RQMS and asked him if he could fix it. Certainly Sir, came the reply and he did a 1 for 1 swop giving me a new paramo equivalent. Best machinists vice I ever had but I lost it in the divorce.
- philip in china - Friday, 02/06/09 10:06:02 EST

Oil. . . ah. . I'm told its because this particular oil is very hard to extract . .
- guru - Friday, 02/06/09 10:37:54 EST

Vices and Vises: These are one of my favorite tools. You could say I have a vise vice.

When I was four my dad gave me a small desk with a little 2.5" bench vise. It was an old and primitive vise then. I used it for many years and now my son has it on a small bench I built for him when he was quite young. He is the the third or fourth owner in 75 years. . .

In our home shop Dad had what I thought was the largest vise in the world (about 30 pounds) that swiveled in all directions. While fairly heavy the actual jaws and screw were quite small. It got used for everything. Many years later I found a heavy commercial cast iron ironing board stand and now that vice is mounted on that. The stand is quite a bit heavier than the vise. Maybe 10x!

When I had an auto shop a friend of mine gave me a heavy bench vise that been abused by workers in his family machine shop. The arm had been used for an anvil and become mushroomed and it became wedged in the body of the vise. Then the bench it was on was left out in the weather and the jambed up vice rusted to make matters worse. It only take me about 10 minutes with a file and some WD-40 to free up the arm and another 10 to have everything working smoothly. At about 100 pounds and 5" wide jaws it is a very beautiful Prentiss chipping vice. It opens to over 14" and is heavy enough to use for pressing bearings and such. It is still in my old shop mounted to a bench that is anchored to the wall PLUS a heavy bracket under the bench that attaches the vise to the wall via a heavy steel flange. It will probably be the last thing to go from the Old Mill as you just HAVE to have a vise!

When I started blacksmithing you could buy good leg vises for $25 and I picked up several. The best one ended up on the Portable Shop Trailer. I found that you cannot beat a vise anchored to a 5,000 pound immovable object!

Over a decade after I got that Prentiss vice the shop that it came from was auctioned off. They had another that was twice as big! 8" jaws and about 200 pounds. . . I now have that one as well.

I've got a couple other bench vices (EVERY bench should have a vise) and two years ago I built a wood working bench with two woodworking vices. . .

At one auction I bought a big old 6" Columbian combination bench and pipe vice. It was mounted on a heavy steel stand made from a piece of 30" I beam plus some diagonals. Later my Dad mounted the vice and and stand on a four foot diameter 1.5" thick steel plate. . . A great setup and portable IF you have the equipment.

Many of my vices still need mounting but this is the year for it. My extra heavy Prentiss is going onto a weld platen using expanding blocks to anchor it. This will allow the vise to be removed and easily reinstalled as needed. One of the others will go on a narrow section of weld platen that Paw-Paw got from Ptree (I think). It will make a heck of a small bench.
- guru - Friday, 02/06/09 12:16:29 EST

Mike: heat shrink tubing::
While I havent ever seen the stuff large enough to do this job. I did have a roll that I got in a "Lot" I bought from the gov surplus that was big enough top fit a hammer handle. When heated it got real small and thick made a good armor near the head! ;))

- Tmac - Friday, 02/06/09 13:08:43 EST

Vices; I was offered *free* an old shaper vise once---jaws over a foot wide; I let a friend have it; sigh. They loaded it with a forklift...Stout!

Good point about getting a small one for the kids; perhaps the wilton I picked up recently..

Thomas P - Friday, 02/06/09 16:08:01 EST

Shaper and Milling Vises: I've got both, used both. I don't see a lot of utility in them for hand work. For starters the screw and handle are at the end of the vise bed. For most vise work you would need to clamp the work from one side then move to the other to do the job. Both also use a wrench or loose handle to turn the screw.

They will work on a drill press if you have a large drill. They would also make a good bar twister vise.

On most shaper vises the movable jaw also pivots for holding odd shape work. This was because they were used a lot for heavy roughing on castings which are often tapered. The vise off my older G&E was part of the table and useless when removed.

I was at an auction where they had two 36" Cincinnati Shapers for sale (a 15 to 20,000 pound machine). These have about a 24" wide vise. . . They were getting no bids so the auctioneer said he would sell the vises separately. . all of a sudden he got bids. Still went cheap but a 36" shaper is a HUGE machine.

I've got two Bridgeport Mill vises with broken bases. . . Might be a good tail clamp for my twister I am collecting parts for. The first part I've collected is a huge Russian gear reducer with a 4.5" output shaft and about 30:1 reduction. I think with the pulley the reduction is about 150:1 or a little over 10 RPM from an 1800 RPM motor. Its a start.
- guru - Friday, 02/06/09 17:53:58 EST

I have a smaller shaper vise that saw a gosh awful crash and had pounds of Ni rod applied. It works as a drillpress vise for heavy stuff as it's only about 30 pounds. Cost me $5 at the "Ghost Machine Shop" auction.

(Shop closed as usual one Friday and then over the weekend one of the partners died and it was in litigation for *years*. 20+ years later they sold off what was left. The roof had failed and all that high dollar state of the art (at that time) machine equipment had been rained on for a decade or two, standing water in the shop. Interesting in a very horrifying way; still had leftovers in the shop fridge; tools on the machines, etc.)

Thomas P - Friday, 02/06/09 18:26:42 EST

Sci-Fi, Surnames, and Vises: One interesting thing on the science fiction thread is not just how many of us enjoy it, but also how similar our tastes are over what is probably at least a 20 year range of ages. Is there a cultural demographic for mechanically inclined males with artistic appreciations? ;-)

Several people have said that with a name like Blackistone, I must have a lot of blacksmiths in the ancestry. I explained that there were some tin smiths known on my mother's side but on my father's side they were more likely to hire, or even buy, a blacksmith for the plantation than to hang out in a forge. Hurrah for hybrid vigor! Must be Mom's Scots-Irish/Pennsylvania Dutch vs. all those kissin'cousins keeping the land "in the family." :-D

And yet, I do see certain traits from grandparents and great grandparents showing up in my children; some good, some not quite so good.

So here's to our ancestors; where would we be without them?

I'm still keeping a lookout for a leg vise for my eldest daughter, but in the meantime I came across a ~3-4" legless bench vise in the old style for about $35. Looks like the one on the wagon tongue of the WBtS-era artillery forge. I'm thinking of picking it up for either display or use. It's missing some parts, but nothing I can't handle. So, should I snap it up, or just not worry about it.
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Friday, 02/06/09 18:40:37 EST

Wagon Vise: Bruce, Good modern ones (US Army scrap/surplus) ones with all the parts are selling for $150. Antique ones go for just under $200. They could easily convert to a leg vise with a leg welded on. . .

My pleasure reading list is a little different and mostly opportunistic. I've read most of Asimov's Robot and Empire stuff more than twice. I've read a lot of Arthur C. Clark. Enjoyed Anne McCaffrey's Dragonrider series until it got back to Earth and VERY weird. Who wrote the RAMA series? Read most of those. I haven't had time to read for pleasure for a very long time. Most of what I have time to read is non-fiction and for reviews.
- guru - Saturday, 02/07/09 01:28:19 EST

Immovable: So 5,000 pounds constitutes immovable. Guru you disappoint me. A couple of tons is nothing. I remember when............... the rest of this post has been deleted,
philip in china - Saturday, 02/07/09 08:22:33 EST

5000# immovable? depends on what is trying to move it:) One Guru against 5000# bare handed, yep inmovable. 5,000,000 one Guru with a button to push that causes the crane to start, priceless:)
ptree - Saturday, 02/07/09 09:20:31 EST

Considering that the Guru was describing a "portable shop trailer," I don't think you can take the "immovable" too literally (grin).
Mike BR - Saturday, 02/07/09 09:50:06 EST

For the purpose of blacksmithing within the load capacity of a 30 pound wrought iron vise the trailer was immovable. While on wheels it did move quite well but when the four small feet (and the vise leg) were sunk into the earth it was pretty darn near immovable.

The machine and maintenance tools we built for the Nuclear industry were considered "portable" even though they weighed in at 12,000 to 75,000 pounds.

The HD mag base drill press I have is supposedly "portable" at 100 pounds but can be a bear to setup on a vertical surface. . Takes at least two people and maybe a third to hit the switch on the magnet.

It's all in one's perspective and shop capability. We've got a 20 ton hoist in our family shop and I've got a 5,000 pound capacity fork lift in my local shop. My old blacksmith shop has a monorail with two 2 ton hoists and a strong back to use them together to lift 8,000 pounds. These all open up all kinds of possibilities. But I still find myself moving a lot of things the hard way. . .
- guru - Saturday, 02/07/09 14:29:38 EST

I have a species of vise I use to cut up 20' sticks at the steel center. When I park my Honda Civic on the base, it's immovable by me. But only if it's under a *front* wheel.
Mike BR - Saturday, 02/07/09 18:38:52 EST

I once built a "Portable" 1000 ton straightening press. It was moved alog big heavy 24" Wflange rails 70'+ long to straighten them. Weighed probably 20 tons. Since it was in a boiler shop, where the smallest bridge crane was 50 tons capacity easily portable:)
ptree - Saturday, 02/07/09 18:39:58 EST

Leg Vise Freak?: Let's see. I have four of those old composite vises made in England. One is marked Sheffield. Most jaws on those are in the neighborhood of 4", and I do not use them. I have four Peter Wrights, my personal one, a 6 7/8" jaw. In the student shop, I have two Iron Cities, one with a 7 1/8" jaw. I have one large vise that I can't ID, and two Columbians.

One of the Peter Wrights is what I consider an early/late combo. It has the solid box but also the tenoned mounting plate with slot and wedge holding the spring. I hadn't seen that before. I consider it a transition piece in the Peter Wright manufacturing evolution.
- Frank Turley - Saturday, 02/07/09 18:41:38 EST

Frank; back when I lived in the happy hunting ground of smithing ewuipment and I was buying vises from $5-50 (and had to take apart the $50 vise to load it!) I finally decided to draw the line at 10 vises; didn't stop buying them but would pass on an old one if I got a new one I liked better.

Course I wasn't collecting them to make a historical set of them.

Sure glad I moved most of them vises when I got out to NM and saw the prices out here!

Thomas Powers - Saturday, 02/07/09 21:36:40 EST

cutting rr rail: im a beginner and trying to learn the best way to cut pieces of rail road track to use. any thoughts? thanks. e oswald
- eric - Sunday, 02/08/09 12:20:09 EST

RR-Rail: Eric, The easiest way is with a torch. It can also be hacksawed but requires a very large frame hand saw and a lot of elbow grease. It CAN be nicked with a chisel then a load applied breaking it. But if the nicks are not right or the load not applied properly the rail will either not break OR it will break in a long spiral fracture.
- guru - Sunday, 02/08/09 16:44:07 EST

Cutting rail: Torch is quickest and easiest, probably, but an abrasive blade in a circular saw or 9" grinder will do the job more neatly. Less heat affected zone, too.

If speed is the critical factor, det cord can't be beat. (grin)
vicopper - Sunday, 02/08/09 19:12:53 EST

rail cutting: I'd vote for a portable bandsaw, cut the bottom and web first then if the blade won't cut the hard portion snap it off. On the slower settings with a high quality blade I've cut some amazing stuff with mine, shear blades and sledge hammer heads, etc.
Judson Yaggy - Sunday, 02/08/09 19:48:53 EST

PortaBands: I'll go along with that recommendation heartily. I tend to forget that I actually own a PortaBand sometimes. It's a terrific tool for cutting all manner of things if you use a quality blade in it. I keep mine loaded with a Lenox Diemaster 2 10/14 vari-pitch blade most of the time and keep a 14/18 in the case for thinner stuff. I've never tried ot cut rail with it, but I'm sure it would do it just fine. I did ruin one blade almost instantly when I neglectfully ran into the HAZ from a torch cut on some heavy 1045 bar stock, though. No excuse for that one.
vicopper - Sunday, 02/08/09 20:25:51 EST

Portabands: I've never actually owned one so I do not think of them. Paw-Paw had a cheap knock off that was used a couple times and immediately needed repairs. It went away at the auction.

The rail road folks use big abrasive saws that are hydraulic powered and hang off a small jib crane. . .

Good new rail is not bad to saw cut but some old rail can be highly work hardened and have surface cold shuts.
- guru - Monday, 02/09/09 01:53:32 EST

RR Saw: The low buck RR laying company that did work on our railyard at work used a Stihl gas powered saw with an abrasive wheel that they had set up to clamp onto the man running the saw one pouring water out of a bucket.
Robert Cutting - Monday, 02/09/09 05:11:45 EST

RR maintenance:
The crews I've watched were working on one of the few truly profitable lines in the country, the return line for coal cars exporting the best West Virginia coal going to Europe and Japan.

Full cars take the easy route across the New River Valley Gorge and down the James River to the coal dock at Norfolk, VA and empty cars take a different route back (through my town). The two way traffic is almost continuous. We are selling our industrial life's blood like a third world country.

- guru - Monday, 02/09/09 09:29:15 EST

Genealogy, Genetics and Surnames:: Late to this topic.... while the various family names are unrelated to this hobby, I DID actually have a grandfather [maternal] who worked as a blacksmith most of his life. Unfortunately, I had no interest in smithing at the time; when he deid, I was 17 and knew everything, so had no use for all that old stuff in his garage. [gag...] A neighbor offered to haul it all away for $20... Now I have nightmares where I remember in detail what I saw in that garage... no I can recognise what those things were. I have deep sorrow when I think about all he could have taught me if I'd listened.

All of that side of the family are engineers and car mechanics; the paternal side were butchers [grandpa and great uncles], engineers and desk jockeys [Dad and uncles]. I let the desk pay the bills and the anvil pay homage.
Marco/Mike - Monday, 02/09/09 23:09:32 EST

The smith in my recent lineage was surnamed Cason and was my maternal great grandfather. I never knew about this till I was talking with one of the cousins about hunting a swage block and when I described it they said "we had one of those in the barn for *years*---didn't you know that great grandfater Cason was the smith in this town?" Nope; nothing left of his tools then or what he made save for a crude coal shovel and poker for the forge and a boot scraper by the back door of his house.

Thomas P - Tuesday, 02/10/09 12:19:20 EST

The leavings:
In that generation the "blacksmith" was most often a shoer and wagon repair man. While they did a LOT of work there is often nothing to find. Horseshoes wear out and get tossed, wagons the same. . They often did a lot of farm equipment repair and that wears out and goes to scrap quickly as well. While on one hand they were indispensable to a town or village the mark they left behind was only in the area's continuing prosperity and maybe a stone in the graveyard. A smith may have hung every church bell in a county or installed most of the mill wheels but rarely are they remembered.

I was lucky to meet the smith (Walter Garbee) that installed one of our Fitz waterwheels in 1920 when he was a young man. He said it all came in parts. He setup his portable (rivet) forge on the creek bank next to where he was installing the wheel. It was riveted together in place, the sides and the buckets fitted by hand after the spokes were bolted to the hubs. I suspect the big part of the job was getting the 6" diameter 20' long shaft into place.

I also met the old woodworker that had made replacement gear teeth for the bull gear. These men's work is all over the county but few know their work much less know who they were.
- guru - Tuesday, 02/10/09 15:01:21 EST

What's Left Behind: Mr. A.T. Wible's gravestone is right outside our church door. He marked all sort of his work, sometimes in more than one place, and I still have some fire tools (probably made for the old coal furnace at Oakley) that I use.

I'll be giving a shovel that he made and marked (now that I've finally made a replacement) to his gray-haired grandson in the next couple of months. You can still read the "Cover the Earth" from the old metal Sherwin Williams sign it was made out of. I made sure that mine was made from scrap, too. :-)
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Tuesday, 02/10/09 16:34:50 EST

Business: Various threads are running on GD. I think they address the smae question: Are you doing this as a hobby or as a business?

Wrought Iron. I don't believe that this can ever be done as a profitable business unless either there is a big demand or customers are willing to pay a huge price. Neither is likely. Any metal production is not readily done as a cottage industry! Now if you want to play at doing it as a hobby and cost your time in at zero that is a different matter.

ASOs being hard faced or plated with a piece of tool steel are much the same. I had a few ASOs cos they are made here. They are useless although I shall be making one into part of a display for my forthcoming exhibition. If, however, you want to practice your hard facing technique or try drilling, tapping etc. then that would vbe a suitable project to choose. Again your hobby time is relaxation so do it the slowest most painstaking way you can and enjoy doing it.

Other hobbies: as a business proposition clay pigeon shooting is easy. Get a box of 1,000 clays, load up with BB shot and shoot the box. You get a very high rate of kills but it isn't sport. Probably better still shoot the guy driving the truck with 1,000,000 clays in it causing him to wreck the truck. Your average is even better then. (Don't try this at home).

Re tennons on bar ends you are ALL wrong. The way is to do a CAD diagram and email it to me. I will send you a 40' container full of them.

BTW boys thank you for all the scrap you send us, all the used plastic to be recycled into cheap plastic products which we then export back to you. Thanks most of all for all those jobs you have exported because you won't do them yourselves. And thank you, Mr. President, for helping out all the Wall Street crooks who caused the problems. Manufacturing can go to the dogs but finance must not. We in China, after all, need somewhere to invest the trillions of dollars we have made.

Jock, by all means delete this one. I feel better and hope most readers will appreciate my humour.
- philip in china - Tuesday, 02/10/09 20:33:37 EST

big hammerman, St. Louis area: A sculptor friend is desirous of having his design forged in weathering steel with a stainless base (3l6?), the base to be submerged in water upon installation. The piece is contemporary and curvilinear. The weathering steel's largest dimension would be 2"x14", some of which is forged with tapers. The finished piece would be about 12' tall. A maquette to scale can be furnished. The sculptor is seeking someone in the St. Louis area who has the capability of doing the work. Please email me with any leads. Thanks.
Frank Turley - Wednesday, 02/11/09 10:10:32 EST

St. Louis: St. Louis is only about an hour and a half away from Carbondale, and as a result, the area is lousy with blacksmiths. (Carbondale has had undergraduate and graduate degrees in blacksmithing at SIU since the 70's)
I would start by emailing or calling Duff- that would be John Medwedeff at and also Rick Smith, who runs the blacksmithing department at the University. They know everybody around there for hundreds of miles.
Another good lead would be the Metals Museum- they might be interested in building this in their shop, as they take in commercial jobs, and, as the crow flies, Memphis to St. Louis aint that far.

- Ries - Wednesday, 02/11/09 19:44:14 EST

Videos on new website?: Jock, someone I know who has a passing interest in blacksmithing mentioned Anvilfire as one of the sites he's visited. His comment was, "I went to a few blacksmithing sites, like Anvilfire, and none of them were really good. They need video."

Now I know this guy, so don't take his "none are good" comment any further than the text on this post. But his last comment about video interested me.

There are a lot of pretty decent smithing videos on Youtube, and video is a great medium to show how things are done. So how about adding some kind of video library to the up and coming new website?

I know that hosting videos is an expensive task. Video takes lots of resources, both in disk space and bandwidth. But how about an index of Youtube videos? People could create their own videos, post them on Youtube, and submit the link here. Or maybe someone who found an interesting video could submit the link.

Some vetting would have to be done to prevent garbage or even copyrighted stuff from getting linked. But maybe even that could be done by the viewers, similar to Craigslist. And maybe categorize them a little, such as How-To's, Intersting Industrial, ...

Anyway, just a thought. Remember when a picture was worth a thousand words? I wonder how much a video is worth? As great as some of the text and drawing articles are here, sometimes it doesn't get through completely. A start-to-finish video removes most questions.
- Marc - Thursday, 02/12/09 09:01:24 EST

Marc Etal, That is part of our current very painful and slow server move. . . (I'm paying for an extra dedicated server during the move of a hundred sites). Our old server (the one we are still on today) was OK 5 years ago but is now showing its age and the HD is about 75% full. Over 50% and things get wiggy.

The new server has 10x the drive space, 4x the memory and a 2 or 3 times faster CPU. This all ads up to much faster. We will not be able to host long length videos but there will be plenty of power for short clips as long as traffic is modest. We are already hosting similar content on the BigBLU site as clips and the Phoenix Hammer sites (yes we host both as well a other commercial blacksmithing sites).

The same extra space will be used for public gallery space.

THE PROBLEM with putting content on other servers (like YouTube ot MetaCafe) is that you are GIVING them your content. Essentially giving away your copyright. You still have the right to it but so do they.

The other problem is that when you link to a group of YouTube videos any one will run and then swap you off to the YouTube site and their advertisements. There are ways to make money from this but it takes MEGA traffic and you entire business model must be geared toward YouTube.

AND THEN. . You are also mixed with Russian teenagers melting brass in a stainless drinking cup and casting it in an open face mold while standing over it breathing the flaring zinc, the redneck "blacksmithing" videos that are so full of misinformation and non-information it hurts, and the folks that do not understand thermal dynamics and that using electrolysis to make hydrogen then burning it DOES NOT make "free fuel". The same crackpots were in the perpetual motion machine business a couple generations ago. AND the REAL money on those sites is still the sex videos and stupid dangerous jokes.

Yes, there are some good videos out there and if it got to the point where we had the traffic we would hire yet ANOTHER faster spiffier server that can handle big time video.

In the meanwhile, we will be producing short process and how-to clips (30 seconds to a minute - some longer after testing). We will also host volunteer videos that meet our editing requirements as well as editorial standards.

But it will be a slow process. In the first year of anvilfire (before there was a YouTube) I tried to experiment with editing video. I spent a couple thousand dollars on PC based editing and video equipment (no camera, just the VCR's and edting equipment). None of it worked. A few years later I tried again. We played with frame capture web cams. It worked a LITTLE but the results were miserable. So I gave up. Since then I and anvilfire have not earned enough to waste money on experiments in this area. But this is the year we try again money or no. . . (Hey VERN, watch me go bankrupt!)
- guru - Thursday, 02/12/09 12:23:02 EST

Frank Turley-
Brian Anderson, formerly of NM, said to say hi. He lives the next town over from me and stops by my shop occasionally to tell tales of the good old days. And I think to make sure I'm doing it the right way.
- Judson Yaggy - Thursday, 02/12/09 13:46:22 EST

Short Videos: Hey, Jock.
I am still up for the video work. After three seasons of football and highlights for three teams. I think I am getting the hang of it :). It will cost nothing but time. Didn't someone say time is money?
Anyway I have the software and equipment.
daveb - Thursday, 02/12/09 15:00:26 EST

Judson,: Lived there all your life?..............Not yet.

Tell Brian hoddy. Brian hides his light under a bushel, but he is one of the best gunsmiths and blacksmiths on two hind legs. I'm glad to hear he's settled in.
- Frank Turley - Thursday, 02/12/09 19:12:15 EST

How to videos: I could do how to cut your hand whilst doing the simpleset tasks imaginable. Also how to burn yourself even without lighting the forge.
philip in china - Thursday, 02/12/09 19:18:57 EST

Videos: What about a mechanism for posting links to YouTube (and like sites) videos with comments on the link. People looking for good vids could use this site as the jump point. The comments from here would give information regarding the validity, safety, etc before viewing.

Just a though...
Rob Dobbs - Friday, 02/13/09 05:30:46 EST

Videos: Jock, thanks for all the work on this site , and on Anvilfire 2.0. I'm glad that videos are going to be a part of it. Your plan to start small and spiff up if the demand is there sounds good, too.

So are we there yet? Huh? Are we there yet? How much longer? :-)
- Marc - Friday, 02/13/09 08:50:16 EST

Frank-: Yup.
Judson Yaggy - Friday, 02/13/09 14:37:50 EST

Edward Martin passes away: Edward Martin was in failing health and passed to the other side on the night of February 13, 2009. Edward was well known to farriers worldwide, and had been to the U.S. on numerous occasions as a demonstrator and as a judge of competitions. It was less known that he was a talented ornamental blacksmith who kept his shop in Closeburn, Scotland.

I venture to say that during the second half of the twentieth century, Edward Martin has hand turned more Clydesdale horseshoes than anyone. He has nailed them on, as well. His ornamental work is to be found in the churches in the vicinity of Closeburn. He also did a small amout of work for the residence of Robert Burns, a museum, which is near to Martin's home, witness "Closeburn."

I first met Mr. Martin in 1987 where he had come to Albuquerque as a clinician for the American Farriers Association conference. He wanted to see Turley Forge, so he drove up to Santa Fe. We had a brunch and coffee, and he visited my forge, taking everything in.

When I was a demonstrator at the 8th annual Laminitis Symposium in Louisville, KY, Edward Martin was a clinician and was at the forge making draft horse shoes. He had an interesting way of explaining his hammering technique, especially when drawing out the material. He said that there was what seemed to be a draw-back as the hammer made contact with the hot iron. He said that it was more apparent than real, probably resulting from the arc of the swing.

The third time I saw Mr. Martin was on a trip to Scotland with a farrier-blacksmith-trucker friend Tom Smith and his lady friend, Karen. To visit Mr. Martin was a little bit of an afterthought, because we were traveling to the northern part, including Edinburgh, Loch Ness, the Highlands, and the Isle of Skye. Mr. Martin was living in the Southern Highlands, very beautiful but not quite as high in altitude as up north. When we telephoned, we received an invitation and a wonderful welcome. Mr. Martin had recently returned from the hospital where he had knee surgery, but as a result, he got a septic condition which weakened his constitution. No matter. As part of our trip, we loaded into his little Ford auto, and were able to visit his shop, now ghost like, because it was not in use. A relative of his ran a restaurant in town, so we were treated to a scrumptious meal. Later, he found out that we were paying a fee to visit castles in the north. He said that he would take us to a castle where the entrance was free. Again, into the Ford, and we headed cross country on paved and unpaved single lane roads. Mr. Martin had to open and close a few fence gates. We eventually arrived at an abandoned castle in a bucoloc setting. This was primarily rolling hill, sheep country, a beautiful area. We were also able to visit Robert Burns' residence/museum with Mr. Martin.

That evening, when we were visiting in Martin's living room, he brought out a gold medal, maybe 3" in diameter. He said that in the year 2000, he was called to London by the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths, the UK guild. When there, they presented him with this medal which, as I recall, said, "Presented to Edward Martin, Supreme Master Blacksmith." Note that it said "Supreme!" I believe he told us that it was the fourth such medal presented in the last 100 years!

Edward Martin has touched hundreds, if not thousands, of persons in the fields of farriery and blacksmithing, with his friendliness, openess and his teachings.
Frank Turley - Sunday, 02/15/09 18:14:33 EST

How many rings from the anvil and when, Frank?
- merl - Sunday, 02/15/09 23:14:55 EST

anvil rings: I've heard of the anvil ring thing, but I don't know much about it, so I guess you're on your own.
Frank Turley - Monday, 02/16/09 08:47:23 EST

Funeral: Edward Martin's funeral will be on Monday, Feb 23rd.
Frank Turley - Monday, 02/16/09 12:15:41 EST

Ringing the anvil: Frank, its based on the party's age.
- guru - Monday, 02/16/09 15:05:07 EST

Martin was 83 years old: I found out that Parkinson's disease was a contributing cause.
Frank Turley - Monday, 02/16/09 16:58:27 EST

Elbow Trouble: Not the usual "tennis elbow" but it feels more like I have a thorn or needle stuck in my clothing* and sticking, from time-to-time in the very tip of the elbow.

Anybody else experience this? I've been away from hammering for several weeks due to illness, but I was doing some light forge work last weekend.

* No thorn or needle found in various garments, although maybe my wif is needling me.
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Wednesday, 02/18/09 20:51:44 EST


When I experience those symptoms, I usually find a steel splinter that's just barely penetrated my skin. But no one could have been around metal as long as you have and not know what the feels like.
Mike BR - Wednesday, 02/18/09 21:01:47 EST

aboutforging Hammer
- morteza - Wednesday, 02/18/09 21:55:11 EST

Atli: I've had the same experience as Mike - a teeny little metal splinter that is just barely in my hide enough to catch and then get driven just deep enough to hit a nerve. They are, naturally, never where I can see to pick them out and my wife is always conveniently absent at the same time. I've found that a small, but powerful, neodymium magnet will snatch the little rascals out most of the time, even working blind.
vicopper - Wednesday, 02/18/09 23:32:12 EST

I've used a disk drive magnet to get a metal shaving that was riding on my eyeball *before* it embedded and forced an ER visit. Very handy, I've kept one out in the shop in a large pillbottle after that.

Thomas P - Thursday, 02/19/09 11:57:17 EST

The trick with "medical" magnets as Thomas noted is keeping them clean. Most good magnets in a metalworking shop collect all the absolutely worst of the sharp splintery razor edged steel chips. Keeping one in a sealed container is a good idea.
- guru - Thursday, 02/19/09 13:33:14 EST

metal slivers: In a shop I worked in one of the guys showed me a sharp bump on his arm when he flexed a certain way, turned out to be a wire that had spun off a wire wheel. He never felt it go in but as it had healed over a scalpel was needed to get it out
- dale - Thursday, 02/19/09 14:27:13 EST

When I worked at the valve shop we had a real problem with those little slivers. The steel ones were fairly easy as they would darken up in a day or so and made them findable with a magnefying glass. The SS and Monel would have to fester out:(
ptree - Thursday, 02/19/09 16:50:10 EST

Can we call you Uncle Fester?

One of the things you don't run short of as a diabetic is pill bottles...

Thomas P - Thursday, 02/19/09 21:31:54 EST

ThomasP, only as long as you call me for dinner.:)
ptree - Friday, 02/20/09 08:42:00 EST

Sure I'll call you---but don't expect us to wait till you get here!

When my Father was being introduced to my Mother's family at a big family dinner he was on his best behavior waiting politely for folks to pass food, etc. One of the Uncles leaned over and told him "son, you will starve to death in this family if you wait for folks to pass you stuff---just grab it as it goes by!"

Unfortunately I seem to have a talent for that...

Thomas P - Friday, 02/20/09 12:53:53 EST

ThomasP, I have NEVER looked underfed:) My family was large and poor, so one learned to eat fast and often in self defense. My older brother was a concentration camp thin kid all his life. He hit 5'-6" in the 3 or 4th grade, but looked to be starving. They tested him for all sorts of parasites and illness like luekemia. He also could out any 3 day starved Okie. Maybe 3 3day starved Okies:)
Mom would come around and wisper "Dinner" to each, and we would sneak in and get a plate of food. When he noticed and moved in on the food it was like a tornado of food inhalation:)

I saw him at 16 eat three wopper hamburgers, three large fries, three milkshakes and stop at the vending machine for a bag of chips on the way back to the flight line to pump gas! We got thrown out of several all you can eat places as they just knew he was hiding food to take out as he could not possibly eat that much.
He swallowed sveral pounds of bananas to make weight to get in the ARMY, then ran and hurled.
His wife thought he needed to gain weight, so she, the gourmet candy cook started on a program and he had a little gut in just 6 months. Turned out when the counted that she was putting 7000 calories a day in his mouth,BETEEW MEALS! And feeding him a nice 5500 calorie meal diet:)
And I bet you did not see any forkmarks on my hands:)
ptree - Friday, 02/20/09 13:40:54 EST

Skinny People:
Nobody would believe it but when I was a kid the Doctor worried about me and said I needed to put on weight. I was 70 pounds at age 15. When I got married I still wore 30x30 superslim Levies. When my kids were born and I was blacksmithing I had crept up to 140 and wore 32's. A desk job and fast food for another couple decades and I crept up to 250.

anvilfire is an even more intense desk job with no commute. Now I would like to lose 200 pounds or more . . .
- guru - Friday, 02/20/09 15:34:11 EST

Looking for an old home study school:
I'm trying to find out what happened to Locksmithing Institute part of Technical Home Study Schools? AKA

1500 Cardinal Dr.
Little Falls, NJ

The ONLY place I find them listed is on student loan sites of dubious reputation. No web address, no phone. Just the address from the 1970's or earlier.

Then there was.

Locksmithing Institute of America 226 Fairfield Rd.,Fairfield,NJ

Listed as defunct as long ago as 2001.
- guru - Saturday, 02/21/09 02:03:00 EST

Book Possibility: In my eBay store I carry 101 Metal Projects for the Beginner Blacksmith and 101 Things to Build from Horseshoes. I am interested in working with someone for possibly a follow-on to the horeseshoe book (e.g., 101 More Horseshoe Projects) and something like 101 Things to Make From Railroad Spikes. You create it, I publish and sell it on eBay. It would have to come to me capable of being dropped to a DVD and sent to the instant printing service. Obviously there will be negotations to be done on copyright and royalties.
Ken Scharabok - Saturday, 02/21/09 09:09:34 EST

Railroad Spike Projects: Well, over the years I've made them into a "Knight's Spur" door knocker; small medieval jewelers anvils; small armoring stakes; and (my favorite) an inside hanger for some door hooks I forged for St. John's Episcopal Church in Olney, Maryland, which I engraved with the eagle symbol of St. John. That makes about five projects I can contribute to the book should the endeavor proceed.

Come to thing of it, I've even made a few "letter openers" out of them. ;-)

So, do you need photographs, drawings, descriptive text, step-by-step instructions? Given my copious free time (snort/cough/choke) I need some lead time; how much depending upon the complexity. However, a good sketch and simple description may be within my more immediate capabilities.
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Saturday, 02/21/09 20:46:32 EST

250 lb. little giant for sale: Anyone looking for a nice 250 lb. Mayer Bros. hammer can e-mail me anytime. Price is 4000.00 picked up here in Dover Tn.
Dwayne Kent - Sunday, 02/22/09 20:39:04 EST

blacksmith tools WA: I fell off my roof 1 1/2 years ago and really messed my self up. selling most of my stuff. Blacksmith, welding woodworking you name it I probably have it. My shop puts tim the tool man to shame.
- Michael Rudolph - Sunday, 02/22/09 22:47:31 EST

Michael: Truly sorry for your troubles. Hope the sale will help at least. Where are you located?
- Peter Hirst - Monday, 02/23/09 00:02:36 EST

Yep, need real contact info.
- guru - Monday, 02/23/09 01:15:16 EST

No post for over 48 hrs? Hard to believe . . .
Peter Hirst - Wednesday, 02/25/09 20:18:17 EST

ptree - Wednesday, 02/25/09 20:33:24 EST

Benches & Vices: Well I got #1 moved. Took 4 of us to lift it. That one has 3 small working shop vices on it. Two others had had the jaws broken. I don't intend to try to fix them. They have yielded a screw and a nut each which will be useful for something in the future. I suppose I could always try to forge a leg vice! I am open to suggestions as to what I can make from the turntables from the base of them. I have also salvaged the jaws out of them although I suspect that the castings on the others will break in the same place long before the jaws wear out!

So the next task is to move bench #2. That has five very large shop vices on it. I think I might remove those before we try to lift. That might depend how many bodies I can recruit to help.
- philip in china - Wednesday, 02/25/09 22:04:09 EST

Moving Benches making Vises:
Moving damage is the most common damage to much shop equipment. Handles and frames get broken, screws bent. . . I would unbolt the vises and move them separately IF they will come off without great effort. If they weigh 50 pounds each that is 250 pounds. Even if less that is a lot and if more it is a WHOLE lot more. . .

Just don't let them "walk off".

The swivel bases of cheaper vises are not very well made as parts go. Not sure what good they would be. I prefer vises WITHOUT the swivel. I've never seen any that locked well enough not to slip under high but reasonable load.

Making a leg vise is a serious project. Those most recently made in England had parts that were flame cut then forged. Both jaw/arm parts identical then the extra leg and side plates arc welded on the back jaw and the pivot tab to the front. The bench bracket was a rather ugly U-bolt and angle bracket arrangement that has been used in the past. The screw and box appeared to be fairly traditional. It helps to have a decent lathe to make these.
- guru - Thursday, 02/26/09 02:25:18 EST

Phillip; how about a swivelling knife filing set up?

Thomas P - Thursday, 02/26/09 11:54:26 EST

little giant : well I have never posted before but read for years .
i just got a 25pound little giant todayand would like to know the year it was made h7074 I also have a 50pound little giant and need to date it thanks
- Chris Rider - Friday, 02/27/09 20:37:47 EST

Chris Rider: According to the book "The Little Giant Powerhammer" by Richard Kern, your 25 lb Little Giant was manufacured in 1946.
- djhammerd - Saturday, 02/28/09 05:44:15 EST

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