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March 2009 Archive

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

I'm not 100% sure if this is the right forum to post in so apologies if it's the wrong one.

I'm a novice blacksmith from Belgium who just moved to the states and I'd like to get a degree in metallurgy somewhere near Daly city California. Anyone know if there's any kind of phd requisite or something? I didn't know the school system would be so drastically diffrent from Belgium. Also, is there any place in Ca. where there's a regular blacksmith gathering? Smithy pub perhaps?

Geert - Sunday, 03/01/09 17:54:53 EST

Schooling: Geert, The california Blacksmiths Association has meetings and sub groups all over the state. Check with them.

A Metallurgy degree would be issued by an engineering school. You need to start there.

In the US, to get into a 4 year college you must have a high school diploma or equivalent. This is normally obtained after 12 years at age 17 to 18.

"College" is a four year higher education after high school where you obtain a "batchelors" degree in a given field or area. It can be as broad as art or science. Some schools issue a two year "certificate" which simply means you attended for two years. Some occupations or employers require a certificate in the field. In technical fields you can continue for two years after your bachelors to earn a "Masters" and another two years to obtain a "Doctorate".

So, you have,

High School Diploma
Bachelors of the Art
Masters in a specialty
Doctarate (Phd) in a specialty

In engineering fields you may have a Bachelors through a Doctorate then be licensed to become a "Professional Engineer" (PE). This is needed to do work in the public that requires "signing" or certifying that something is safe.

When transferring to an American school they will look at your educational record to see if it meets the entrance requirements. There is usually some sort of equivalency.

When working in a degree or higher program read the school's requirements CLOSELY. They will often let you take classes but may not issue a diploma if you do not meet all the requirements. A friend of mine was accepted into a Masters program based on previous education and life experience. But when it came to the end she was awarded nothing because she did not have the prerequisite 4 year degree. She was quite upset. Personally I would have gone to war. . .
- guru - Sunday, 03/01/09 18:35:34 EST

Geert,: Often, schools don't offer metallurgy by itself, but have classes in "Materials Science". Check out and
The latter is the site for California Blacksmiths. Click on events. They are meeting in Petaluma, California, in April.
Frank Turley - Sunday, 03/01/09 18:42:29 EST

Well My school history is kind of jumbled. In belgium you have to choose a profession at the age of 11 or 12 unless you choose pre-university ASM classes where they teach a more open program for more choices. And since it's kind of hard to figure out what you want to be at 11 I have an education of at least 2 years of each of these at my current age of 23.
Advanced biology.
Beginning mechanical engineering
Machining specializing in lathing and milling.
And last but not least silversmithing.

When I got to the US I took my GED and got 94 % but it was insanely easy and don't really see it as much of a piece of paper describing my education but I needed one to find work.

I'll check out calsmith and the petaluma meeting.

Oh also does anyone have any advice of shipping your blacksmith shop to a different country? I welded two chains to my small anvil to carry as a backback and apparently it's classifierd as a deadly weapon and can't be used as carryon...
Geert - Sunday, 03/01/09 19:07:11 EST

Metallurgy: Geert - a fairly rare specialty within the US college system, even back when steel was a lot bigger in the US than today. Many programs are now listed as Materials Science -heck, even my degree from 1974 is Metallurgy and Materials Science, though it was about 95% metallurgy and 5% non-metals. I'm most familiar with schools in the eastern part of the country - here in PA, Carnegie-Mellon University, the University of Pittsburh, and Pennsylvania State University all offer degrees in metallurgy. Penn State is a powerhouse fro powder metallurgy. Colorado had I believe the Colorado School of Mines offering a metallurgy degree. (If I got the name wrong, I'm sure Quenchcrack will correct me.) I also believe Case-Western near Cleveland and Bucknell in eastern PA offered metallurgy. Any more, state universities are probably a better deal than private universities. With Room, Board, and books Carnegie-Mellon will be over $50,000 a year next fall. It was about $4250 a year for the same when I graduated. Of course, we didn't have PC's - calculators like the HP-35 were just starting to show up in the class rooms, and computers usually meant something like the IBM-360 main frame, programmed using punch cards.
- Gavainh - Monday, 03/02/09 00:54:16 EST

Shipping BS items:
Even hammers were looked on suspiciously in carry on before 9-11.

On imported tools there are import duties. On antiques there is not or it is very much less. If you have OLD tools you might want to classify them as antiques. WE know that blacksmith tools are not really antiques until they are well over 100 years old but customs does not. 50 years is ancient for many items.

Shipping depends on how much weight. Even if you pay for extra weight luggage it is cheaper and easier than shipping by freight. Customs generally considers these things as personal items and doesn't look that close. But if you must ship by freight then use a "freight consolidator" and crate everything well AND so that it can be inspected. Port fess the world over are high and they gouge you on storage. So someone MUST be there to get you things out of the port. The freight consolidator MAY do this for you but you will need to give them enough money for any applicable duties and fees.

Things that you MIGHT not want to carry as extra luggage and are too small to go by fright can be sent by mail. Ask someone here close to where you are going to receive them for you.
- guru - Monday, 03/02/09 01:10:17 EST

School Prerequisites: Geert, I suspect that U.S. schools are not going to accept any of your European technical training as prerequisite for a higher degree (Masters of Doctorate). They MAY count some individual courses as filling needed requirements for a 4 year degree prior to the higher degrees.

Most U.S. colleges and universities are what is known as "liberal arts" schools. You are required to take a liberal amount of courses that have nothing to do with your major. Typically you will have language, history, mathematics and general sciences plus electives including sports, arts, public speaking, and various miscellaneous "personal betterment" or all around knowledge classes. These fill the first years and gradually fade until MOST of your courses are in your major in your last year OR in Masters and Doctorate courses. IF you do not complete what we often consider BS (a derogatory term) classes you do not complete school.

Remember, IF you do not have that 4 year prerequisite degree, they MAY let you take the higher courses and then not award your degree.

My experience with this type thing is that if you do not see the rules explicitly in writing somewhere and you make some kind of deal on accepting previous education, get the deal or exception in writing.

If you do not care about the degree (the papers) then many schools will gladly take your money even if you do not meet their prerequisites.

To get credit for the education you have you are going to need to convince administrators (beaurocrates) that what you studied was enough the same as what THEY teach. You are going to need to SELL IT with course descriptions and outlines. As in dealing with bureaucrats all over the world they will not want to be helpful since your requests will require them to make a decision. So try to be friendly and non confrontational.
- guru - Monday, 03/02/09 01:34:22 EST


Just to give you a frame of reference for American education equivalent, By "High School" here we mean roughly the equivalent of "e'cole secondaire". One receives a "diploma", usually at age 18, roughly the equivalent of the "baccalaureate" of most European countries. Our "Batchelors (Baccalaureate)Degree" is earned at "college" or "university", usually a four year course of study, roughly the equivalent of "haute e'cole" or "universite' ". In engineering, it would be a "batchelor of science", or B.S., not a batchelor of arts. This, plus some work experience, is normally what is required to become a licensed Professional Engineer. While the more advanced degrees of Master or Doctor are highly valuable, they are not normally required for basic licensing. I would contact San Francisco State University, which has an engineering department and courses in metallurgy. I am sure someone there could go over your current credentials and advise you.

As for movng your shop over: I can't imagine that shipping by an individual would be cheaper than buying here, especially with the guidance you can find by the guys here who really know what they are talking about.

PS, if you would like to keep in touch, email me. I plan to be in the Bay Area (Palo ALto, about 1/2 hour south of Daly City) next month.
Peter Hirst - Monday, 03/02/09 01:52:52 EST

Sweet! Thanks all you guys for the advice. I'm going to set up a meeting with a counselor for SF state. A friend of mine is taking classes there so I have someone on the inside. ;)

As far as the tools and shop goes, I'll see about the shipping and or mail. My anvil is actually an heirloom from my great great grandfather who was a copper smith. Most of my other tools are just mediocre.

By the way is there any other kind of forum for the website more topic based, and not a continuous list of posts like the mac forums maybe?
Geert - Monday, 03/02/09 06:02:16 EST

PS: is there something going on in palo alto?
Geert - Monday, 03/02/09 06:03:14 EST

My many vices: Those following my adventures moving the benches will be thrilled to hear that I got the really big one into my shop. I had hoped to cannibalise some vices to make a few good ones but now I have them in the light of day I see they are almost all different models and so I can't interchange many parts. So I shall have to fix them up as well as I can. The point is that I have so many now it really doesn't matter too much.

So the next stage will be to get the bench legs rubbed down and repainted and probably a sheet of plywood as a bench top to cover the fairly knocked about boards.

Altogether a most satisfying haul when you consider none of it cost anything!
- philip in china - Monday, 03/02/09 06:56:29 EST

Geert: You may wish to look into CLEP tests.(College Level Examination Program) Some colleges accept these instead of forcing you to take the class. These are not free, but are much quicker than retaking the classes. If your english is good, as it appears it is, borrow the text book from the library, study the glossary to ensure than you have the correct American english vocabulary for that subject and take the test. These are not as easy as the GED, but not a killer hard test either.
Heck I earned about 70 college credit hours this way.
ptree - Monday, 03/02/09 07:51:43 EST

Topic Based:
We have compiled FAQ's and articles on our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page. We are also working on setting up new threaded forums but have been hampered by a server move that is taking forever.
- guru - Monday, 03/02/09 10:30:07 EST

Equador locksmithing from Helmut Hillenkamp: Helmut recently informed me of these excellent shop pictures from his time spent in Equador, some in slide-show form and some moving. The photos offer us a sense of what it was like to work in a shop one, two centuries ago and more.
- Frank Turley - Monday, 03/02/09 11:47:03 EST

Wyoming auction price, anvil: I went to farm auction this weekend, had my eye on a 100# anvil. It turned out to be nothing special other than it came out of the roundhouse at Bonneville, WY.

Any hoo, it went for $450.00... thats how starved for anvils this part of the country is, also says something for cabin fever and the first spring auction.

I did get a good buy on a cress peen and sledge hammer as well as some random round stock. One chunk of 4"x 14" round should make a nice little knife anvil, so I guess I did get an anvil.
- Willy Cunningham - Monday, 03/02/09 17:38:15 EST

- Willy Cunningham - Monday, 03/02/09 17:42:57 EST

Beverly shear jaw clearance: I've been trying to find clearance adjustment standards on the Beverly B3 to correspond to different metal gauge/thickness as well as it would apply to say tougher alloy's as stainless, does anyone have any resourse info for this?
hammerhands - Monday, 03/02/09 21:34:48 EST

US Education: I learned this from My cousin while He was working on His PHD.

BS = Bull S*it
MS = More S*it
PHD = Piled Higher & Deeper
- Dave Boyer - Monday, 03/02/09 22:59:06 EST

Shear blade clearance: Most shears have minimal clearance, just enough for the blades to pass each other. I guess that would work on a Beverly too.
- Dave Boyer - Monday, 03/02/09 23:19:26 EST

Beverly Shear Clearances:
Beverly specifies a specific clearance with no variation for thickness (maybe for the shear). Its either .002" or .005" according to the blade installation instructions. (I have the instructions in my tool chest I think but I'm not going to slip and slid out to the shop this frigid morning - maybe later). But I think they are looking for minimum positive clearance. Instructions show using a feeler gauge.

I bought replacement blades for a very old Beverly and they did not quite fit. I had to grind the backs down to fit. First install did not quite have clearence and chipped the NEW blades. . .

Like many devices of this type I take the capacity ratings with a grain of salt and never use them at full capacity. Usually 75% of maximum is best.

You can feel a LOT of spring in a little No.5 Junior hand punch which is rated at 1 ton and is supposed to punch a 3/16" hole in 16ga mild steel. The #2 Beverly works great in 16ga. but starts to feel highly loaded above that.

IF you are working thin material all the time then the closer the blades the less burr there will be on the cut edges.
- guru - Tuesday, 03/03/09 09:27:55 EST

I Just Fixed a Computer with a Hammer and Anvil!:
I’m in charge of our nation-wide leasing program for the NPS, which is mostly a paperwork, policy and negotiation function; but I’m also sort of the unofficial "keeper of the tools" in the office, including a few of my own. I end up fixing various buckles, shoes, office hardware, picking locks, etc.

This morning one of our staff dropped by my cubicle ("Incredible cosmic powers; itty-bitty living space!") with a thumb-drive that had been accidentally yanked out of her computer and the "mouth" bent so it wouldn’t fit back in. I tried various lines of attack with pliers, but (telling her "Don’t panic!") I ended up pulling out my riveting hammer and the small anvil I keep at work. A few well-placed taps and it fit, and worked!

I told her she could now tell folks that: "Bruce fixed my computer with a hammer."

Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Tuesday, 03/03/09 10:33:29 EST

Beverly Shears: I can cross-check the slightly mouse-eaten instructions tonight IF the locks on the forge unfreeze, and if I have some power on over on that side of the farm. (Fireplace cranes are really useful in a heavy snowstorm when the power goes out! :-)

As I recall, however, they recommend that the blades be set at 1/10th of the thickness of the stock to be cut. I keep a set of feeler gauges in the tool chest just for this purpose.
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Tuesday, 03/03/09 10:39:50 EST is a good place to ask beverly shear questions as a lot of folks over there make their living using them.

Bruce, I did sort of the opposite at my last place---had a computer that had been dented with a forklift so that the cards wouldn't fit, (*not* a PC; $30K box and several months lead time to get another!). They asked me if I could hammer it back into shape doing unknown damage to the back plane, slots etc.

Instead I got a board or two off a pallet and used a C clamp to pull the dent up and then flatten it against the oak board---no percussion and it worked fine all the rest of the time I was there.

I did use to make shelf brackets out of bed frames to hold computers in a nonstandard cabinent though. Don't know how much time and money I saved them before they layed me off...the only fellow they retained (1 of 5) told me that he really missed us later...said we were the lucky ones...

Thomas P - Tuesday, 03/03/09 11:23:47 EST

Beverly Shear Blade Clearance: From the instructions: "In general, for cutting 3/16" to 14 ga.; clearance between the upper and lower blade should be .012. In general, clean, burr-free cuts can be made on the Beverly by setting the blades to 1/10th the thickness of the metal to be cut. When ragged cuts are encountered, check blade clearance and condition of blade sharpness."

I hope this helps.
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Tuesday, 03/03/09 22:11:13 EST

For metal stamping dies We used from 5% to 15% of metal thickness for punch to die clearance [per side] depending on the thickness of the material. 5% was the standard where I learned My trade, but We only stamped from .004" to about .030" material. At the auto frame plant We used 10% for material .080" thick [the thinnest We stamped there] and a sliding scale up to 15% for .390" thick, the thickest We stamped.

Part of the cut shears, the rest breaks. The percentage of each depends to a great degree on the ammount of punch to die clearance. Where I learned My trade We were shooting for about 50% shear. At the auto frame plant We were happy with anywhere from 1/3 to 1/2 shear.

Harder materials will show less shear and clearance can be increased somewhat without creating a burr.
- Dave Boyer - Wednesday, 03/04/09 23:40:11 EST

BigBLU Hammers has recently released three new videos on large scale hand and power repousse' techniques. They have a lot going on that we rarely see demonstrated. If you are interested in the more artistic side of blacksmithing and metalworking these may come in handy.

I am posting this link here because I had the wrong link to their new videos page for a long while.
Power Repousse
- guru - Thursday, 03/05/09 09:08:42 EST

I have been doing a lot of work recently with a local farmer producing charcoal in pretty decent quantities. We have reached proof of concept with two designs incorporating the same basic technology. One produces about 25 lbs at a burn in a retort the size of a 55 gallon drum, and the larger produces 80 to 100 lbs in a container that holds two 55 gallon drums. With efficiancey gains, we expect the larger unit to produse perhaps 125 lbs at a burn.

We are working on capturing and using the process heat, which is considerable. Both models are capable of reaching a dull cherry, but generally sustain external temperatures of about 750 f for two and a half to four hours. God only knows how many more therms are going up the flue. Exhaust gases are invisible except for small amounts of white smoke during first and last 15 minutes of combustion. Feedstock is any wood - hard or soft - of average 2-3 inches thickness. Mostly we use stuff that folks around here pay to leave at the brush dump. Technology is all lying-around-the-scrapyard-stuff: main vessel and retorts are essentially free. only cost for basic design is cutting and welding consumables and flue pipe. No pipes (other than the flue) no burners, no valves, no moving parts. Feed it, light it and come back tomorrow for your charcoal. Or keep warm next to it in the meantime. At my present rate, burning once a week will keep me supplied, with fuel left over to sell.

I am drawing up plans. If there is interest, I would be glad to make them available when we ae satisfied with the final basic design.
Peter Hirst - Thursday, 03/05/09 17:40:17 EST

Charcoal retort: Peter,

I'd be very interested in getting a set of the plans for the final product. Thanks!
vicopper - Thursday, 03/05/09 19:46:12 EST

Charcoal Retort:
Peter, I'd like to see what you have as well. I have a little coal left and when that is gone I'll be using charcoal for everything that I do not use propane for.
- guru - Friday, 03/06/09 00:21:54 EST

peter: you guys making any effort to capture the placer gass that burn is producing???.....
- pete - Friday, 03/06/09 07:41:49 EST

Charcoal retort: Peter, I, too, would be very interested in your retort design. I really like the idea of producing my own forge fuel!
firefarm - Friday, 03/06/09 10:16:35 EST

Charcoal Retort: Peter add me to the list - the way the economy is going home made fuel sounds good.
- Gavainh - Friday, 03/06/09 12:44:26 EST

fuel: has anyone REALLY looked into fuel oil burner?.....i mean the real ones....not the back yard stuff....
pete - Friday, 03/06/09 12:49:02 EST

details: peter h.....can you tell me more about the fuel your coking??? kiln dried???,,,,, all brush drops ??saw mill drops??... what size are you working it down to before coking?/...
pete - Friday, 03/06/09 12:52:52 EST

Charcoal Retort: Me too! One of the biggest hardwood mills in the state is my next door neighbor. I heat my house and shop with maple slabs that they just about give away.
- Judson Yaggy - Friday, 03/06/09 14:06:18 EST

Charcoal: OK, I'm starting a list of all interested. Please do me a favor and shoot me an email, blank if you want, so I don't have to type everyone's info into my register.
Pete: yes we are using the wood gas to sustain the pyrolization reaction, and developing taps to draw off excess gas, heat exchangers for capturing radiant and flue gas convection heat. Its charcoal, not coke. Size is 3" maximum thickness. Smalls and fines go in the soil, chunks go to the forge. Most is whole branches, some split. mallest pieces are used for starter fuel. All air dried/seasoned. The drier the better. Kiln drying fuelwood is like charging your electric car with a gasoline fueled generator. Fuel oil burner for what puprose?
Judson: Slabs sound perfect if maybe 1" or 2" thick. Dry em out good for charcoal, leave em green for wood gas heat.

Peter Hirst - Saturday, 03/07/09 00:03:48 EST

Fuel oil burner: For an oil-fired forge. While the prie of oil isn't a real bargain, oil-fired forges used in industry have a nice ability to vary the atmosphere form very carburizing to quite oxidizing and there are a lot of Btu's in a gallon of fuel oil. Propane isn't cheap, either, so fuel oil seems to me like a good bet for a vblacksmith's forge, provided dthat a satisfactory burner can be designed.

There are a few homemade oil bulrners out there but they all require a bunch of fiddling aobut to make them run. What is needed is a simple, controllable burner the right size for a forge.
vicopper - Saturday, 03/07/09 18:09:18 EST

Oil burner forge: Rich, I have been around oil burner forges. They are tunable, but when running rich/carburizing they stink big time. The smell seems to NEVER leave the shop. I worked in the axle shop starting about 20 years after the last oil burner and it still had the odor to some extent.

That said, The cable well driller that lived across the street had an oil burner forge to allow hammer sharpening the spud drills. It was a 55 gallon drum cut to hold about 30 gallons. He cut a 18" or so hole in the side for the drill to stick in, and set up a fuel oil furnace gun to feed from the side. He then filled the thing with castable. He would start the burner and go in for breakfast. When he came back out it was ready for those big spud drills. They would heat about 10 or 12" of the drill end and use a chain fall on an overhead rail to bring it out. They sat it with the end to be sharped on a hunk of rr rail, the hammerman stood on the other end, and swung a standard lenght sledge. when he had hammered for a while the drill was flipped and hammered again. They went for about a 90 degree included angle. I remember them using a magnet on a wire to test for the Currie point. I think they did a heat treat by skuirting a garden hose on the end.

This was when I was 9 years old so I was hold my hands up and guessing on the hole size:)
ptree - Saturday, 03/07/09 19:39:26 EST

GEERT:: My wife had to get an equivalency done so she could teach in North Carolina. There is a company that for a fee will do one of these for you by comparing your education to U.S. standards. Many schools and companies will accept these so I"ll see if she can remember the name of the company. It's amazing how thick some people in the colleges and government offices can be when you try to explain that other countries use a different system than they use in the U.S. It took us hours and lots of letters to get everything straightened out.For people that have their little piece of paper saying they are educated they aren't very intelligent.
Robert Cutting - Sunday, 03/08/09 04:35:20 EST

Fuel Oil Forges: These vary from as simple as a drip system in the blown air to a complete domestic furnace oil furnace burner assembly with pump, fan, nozzle and ignitor. Many primitive systems rely on the forge being preheated or just waiting until it is hot enough for proper ignition. For waste oil, heavy oil or cold conditions there is often an oil pre-heating system.

The advantage to diesel or fuel oil forges used to be they were cheap to operate and could be tuned to any atmosphere. I think everyone has noticed that diesel and fuel oil prices stayed up proportionately higher than gasoline did when it fell. All are on the slow upswing again to "market" (All we can squeeze from a rock) prices again. I'm not crazy about relying on fuels you have to check the daily price on before you fire up. . .
- guru - Sunday, 03/08/09 17:46:43 EST

I moved into my new apartment with my GF and I picked up making miniatures again and now I want to make it a bit more accurate by hardening and tempering the steel. I've been forging them from cut off tangs from my files. (I just can't file if there's a handle on it...) and I was wondering what kind of oil one would use for that. I've never hardened anything other than some airhardening stainless for a lego part spring.

The current project is a little knife with a 1-1/4 inch blade on it and a hidden tang 1/16 inch thick. Any suggestions?
- Geert - Sunday, 03/08/09 20:20:03 EST

Geert: That's a pretty small blade with a very thin tang and good file steel is generally equivalent to 1095 or so. You'd want to quench in something like automatic transmission fluid that is pre-heated to about 140 degrees F. After hardening, draw the temper back to about a straw oxide color for a keen edge and draw the tang back to blue so it isn't too brittle. The tang could even be just left normalized and only harden the blade if you have a good way to control the heat.
vicopper - Sunday, 03/08/09 20:32:25 EST

Mini=blade: Remember that decarburization can be a significant amount of the thickness of such a shin blade. Leave some to grind off.
- guru - Sunday, 03/08/09 21:40:21 EST

charcaol cooker: I think it was two years ago that I said a freind of mine had plans for a cooker just like this that he uses. He has two of them and makes around 100# each at a time.
I kept hounding him to get the plans to me to post here for everyones consideration and, he just kept saying "Ya, I'll get to it"
You snooze, you loose...
One thing he does different is to let the exsaust gas from the cooker just burn off without trying to use them for cooking.
He has an old electric water heater cut in half so the top half fits over the bottom half and the two are then fastend tightly together.
The 3/4 pipe inlet is pluged and the other 3/4 pipe outlet has a 12" long peice of straight pipe in it to act as a chimny.
Makes some very nice charcoal.
merl - Monday, 03/09/09 10:23:19 EST

Merl: A cooker just like what?
Peter Hirst - Monday, 03/09/09 19:16:40 EST

Peter Hirst, a charcoal cooker like the one you describe above.
An enclosed drum filled with hardwood scraps and haveing a vent for the exsaust gases to escape. This goes into a larger barrel and has a fire built around it. The "cooking " fire is kept burning as long as the exsaust flame and "jet engine roar" is coming from the vent. when the flame goes out the charcaol is done and you leave it to cool on its own.
I was mistaken though, he makes up to 100# per day/session not per cooker.
He provides charcaol to the blacksmith club for anyone who wants it during our annual show and for himself.
He kept telling me he would give me the prosses and design to post on anvilfire but, two years have gone by and still no plans.
Charge ahead Peter, I hope you do well.
I've got an 11 ton pile of good coal I can buy at 12 cents /pound (last time I checked) so I'm going to stick with that for now untill I turn over to either gas/torch or induction (probably bothe)
- merl - Monday, 03/09/09 22:10:11 EST

Mini knife:: It worked! All I had for heat was the kitchen stove and it worked! I tempered it and finished the grind and the handle. I used brass for the guard and endcap and a wood called brasilica or brasilia for the hilt. it looks amazing and now all i need to do is finish sharpening. I'll post a picture when it's completely done sheath and all.
Geert - Wednesday, 03/11/09 02:43:54 EST

Mini-mini forgings:
I was once asked to make a set of Early American style andirons for a log cabin doll house. I started with a little short (about 2") piece of 1/4" square. I tapered and upset a faceted ball end, then split and scrolled the legs. Finally I punched the hole for the leg. I thought I had made the smallest possible cute little andirons. Then I checked the height. . . Almost TWICE as tall as I needed!! So I started with a 1.25" long piece of 3/16" square and ended up within the tolerence for the size needed. I also made a set of tools to match. Forged 1/16
welding rod square and made a shovel and poker about 2.5" tall.

Sometimes small is REALLY small. A big old Bowey knife for this doll house would have about a 5/8" long blade.
- guru - Wednesday, 03/11/09 15:43:31 EST

is this info going ta get posted ??????
- pete - Thursday, 03/12/09 06:01:47 EST

mini mini: Don Fogg has on his site a mini pattern welded sword duplicating a traditional merovingian pattern in the steel. it looks to be about 5-6 inch blade.
- Ty Murch - Friday, 03/13/09 01:58:58 EST

Matt's Forge Pics???: For Guru (Mr. Dempsey)

Is it possible for me to paste a picture(s) of my forge that I'm trying to sell on Anvilfire for you guys to give me an estimate on how much it is worth? I'm not sure if I can because of the rules of

I'm trying to sell it by tomorrow or by monday to get it out of here.


Matt Hunter, Cody Wy
Matt Hunter - Saturday, 03/14/09 21:28:55 EST

Matt,s forge: Matt, I'm in Lander and may be interested in your forge once you have determined a fair price.

I tried to email you from this site and it failed twice, check your address for a flaw.


- willy cunningham - Sunday, 03/15/09 08:09:33 EST

Matts forge: or email me for my phone number..
- willy cunningham - Sunday, 03/15/09 18:47:48 EST

finishes: Howdy, Have fashioned a steel grate for Heatolator exhaust vent over the fire box. Basic stock materials with some carving / hammering. I want a durable finish that will withstand some heat and I don't want to ue paint. Any where to look here for a fomula? Cabinetmaker by trade, but any material can spark my interests! Thanks... JeffinPA
- jeff - Sunday, 03/15/09 22:10:10 EST

belting: anyone have any 6'' wide belt that they can get rid of at a fair price ???
- peter - Monday, 03/16/09 04:50:57 EST

Jeff; what about stove blacking?

There is an upkeep component to almost any finish. If you are not willing to do so---or suspect the end user won't; I'd do it out of stainless steel.

Of course you have to think about this *before* you do the project.

Thomas P - Monday, 03/16/09 11:36:41 EST

Blacksmith Wanted: I'm looking for a blacksmith in or near Salt Lake City, UT, to make me some fairly simple had-wrought items, such as S-hooks, chain, etc.
mike bertelsen - Monday, 03/16/09 14:09:50 EST

No Paint:
Anything you apply is a form of "paint". Paint is nothing more than oils, waxes, pigment, solvent and drier. Amateur finishes start with beeswax, then beeswax and graphite, then beeswax, oil and graphite, then some beeswax, oil, graphite and drier. . . and guess what? You have just progressed to full component amateur formulated PAINT.

Early paints were face and body paints made from various non-drying animal fats and a pigment (limestone, ocher, charcoal). The earliest building paints were mineral pigments and lime plaster. Artists oil colors are linseed oil and pigment, occasionally some solvent. Its ALL paint. Paints without pigment are varnishes or clear coats.

Modern paints are tested for UV resistance, compatibility with other pigments, shelf life, working life and dozens of other tests. They are formulated by professionals chemistry degrees, testing facilities and substances that individuals cannot buy other than in the finished product.

Its not the paint, its how it is selected and applied. It is an art. If you are going to manufacture a product it should be an art you understand.
- guru - Monday, 03/16/09 21:06:57 EST

Matt's Forge 4 Sale: Hey Willy,

I still have it and I'm not sure what it's worth. I don't think it's worth that much given that it has no names or markings that I can tell, it's pretty rusty, very heavy and not as "pristine" as other antique forges that I have seen on the web. However, it is still for sale and I have to get rid of it because I'm not using it.

I don't see an email on your name and I can't click on your name but my email is ""

I want to sell my forge fair to somebody that wants it but I also don't want to get gipped either.

Matt Hunter, Cody Wy
- Matt Hunter - Tuesday, 03/17/09 19:25:27 EST

Matt forges are not antiques or collectables for the most part. Instead they are "using" tools and so age doesn't make much difference but condition and configuration does. Some of my smithing tools are over 150 years old but they get racked right next to the new ones and are used as needed.

Thomas P - Wednesday, 03/18/09 10:34:56 EST

PEXTO clamp for sale: picture 1- screw:

2- make:

3- logo:

4- overall:

this is a pexto / peck stow and wilcox clamp. the screw is in very good condition, making it a fine tool. a quick cleanup and a few shots of oil and this would be a beautiful tool. price is $20. plus shipping from zip 31211
Tyler Murch - Wednesday, 03/18/09 14:23:54 EST

Tyler I'd bet if you posted that over at on the design and construction page and the classifieds page it would be gone before you could close your connection to the website.

Thomas P - Wednesday, 03/18/09 15:21:54 EST

thanks Thomas. i posted it over there a few min ago. we'll see how fast it goes.
Tyler Murch - Wednesday, 03/18/09 16:21:54 EST

Vise Screw + Nut: fizinally finished.

1" major dia 5 thread per inch acme thread

check it out >>>

replacement post vise screw and nut for 4" vise.
Tyler Murch - Wednesday, 03/18/09 16:25:43 EST

Great Job. No spherical end? ;)
- guru - Wednesday, 03/18/09 16:29:59 EST

email sent
- Willy Cunningham - Wednesday, 03/18/09 17:53:56 EST

Very nice Tyler ('cept the jaw marks on the nut. "We all know how the job was done, you don't need to show the evidence" An old boss used to say that to me. Alot...) You're hired!
- merl - Wednesday, 03/18/09 18:55:16 EST

Tyler: Looks good.
- Dave Boyer - Wednesday, 03/18/09 20:15:12 EST


merl, what'd you use? brass sheet?
Tyler Murch - Wednesday, 03/18/09 21:45:17 EST

So how much do you charge for another?

My student won a post vise in IITH that doesn't have the screw...

Thomas P - Thursday, 03/19/09 10:08:47 EST

helllooooo anyone home

- fat pete - Thursday, 03/19/09 12:41:03 EST

how big is the vise Thomas ?
Tyler Murch - Thursday, 03/19/09 13:26:16 EST

Yes Tyler, I recomend .02 shim stock. Just cut some for jaw caps and reuse them. You will have to teach yourself what is "tight enough" Even with jaw caps you can still leave marks. Also be aware that if you crush your brass shim caps you may have problems with holding concentricity or getting your parts to run true(in a three jaw chuck)
As you do more precise work, you may find you are squashing the part out of round and, that will show up when you take the part out of the chuck and find what was round in the chuck is now triangular...
Really Tyler, your work shows much promiss( I assume it all fits well) If you can walk into a shop and do that in a timely manor, your in. Keep up the good work.
- merl - Thursday, 03/19/09 13:26:34 EST

I can measure it tonight (he left it in my shop) but it's nothing special WRT size.

Thomas P - Thursday, 03/19/09 14:53:27 EST

Anvils for sale-Missouri: I have two anvils for sale, one is a Peter Wright - it's a beauty with "1 1 4" on side 495.00, the other is a Hay Budden and it has had some repair done on it and really needs to be repaired correctly. I bought it from a man in Colorado who neglected to tell me about the repairs. It has a great classic shape and is repairable by someone with the know how. $150.00. Both are in Eureka Missouri and I can e mail pictures to anyone interested. I also have two DIY coal forge kits for sale - 24"x30"x6" deep ( 1/4" steel plate for bottom and sides.) with Centaur Forge cast iron firepots w/dumping ash gate , electric blowers. Make a great coal forge easily. Both for 250.00 or 125.00 each. The firepots go for 168.00 each . Great deal.Call Russ at 314-277-8744. Thanks
Russell Roberts - Thursday, 03/19/09 22:30:44 EST

Anvils for sale-Missouri: I have two anvils for sale, one is a Peter Wright - it's a beauty with "1 1 4" on side 495.00, the other is a Hay Budden and it has had some repair done on it and really needs to be repaired correctly. I bought it from a man in Colorado who neglected to tell me about the repairs. It has a great classic shape and is repairable by someone with the know how. $150.00. Both are in Eureka Missouri and I can e mail pictures to anyone interested. I also have two DIY coal forge kits for sale - 24"x30"x6" deep ( 1/4" steel plate for bottom and sides.) with Centaur Forge cast iron firepots w/dumping ash gate , electric blowers. Make a great coal forge easily. Both for 250.00 or 125.00 each. The firepots go for 168.00 each . Great deal.Call Russ at 314-277-8744. Thanks
Russell Roberts - Thursday, 03/19/09 22:32:54 EST

NC-ABANA Big BLU Hammer-In:
The Big Blu Crew welcomes all to their facility for the 5th Annual Big Blu Hammer-in; Saturday, March 21, 2009.

If you are in the North Carolina area this is one of the best one day events around and worth the trip. You get to see where the Big BLU is manufactured and the Oak Hill Ironworks shop and gallery. Lunch on-site for only $5.

2009 Big BLU Hammer-In
- guru - Friday, 03/20/09 11:58:29 EST

I may be in the market for some coal/coke/charcoal, have a couple of other guys looking as well. Our local Wyoming coal is not very good for Smithing, lots of smoke and clinkers.I'm willing to travel as far south as New Mexico, north to Montana, East to South Dakota and west to Utah. I would settle for a 50 lb bag for now but we may want 1 or 2 tons here soon. Know of any...?
- Willy Cunningham - Friday, 03/20/09 14:37:26 EST

Willy; Rob Gunter sells coal at his blacksmithing school in Moriarty NM. I don't like it as well as Sewal Seam Poco but I've used it to weld billets. It's quite fine and does best kept wet before using.

I'd suggest using "blacksmith mail" to get a sack and try it.

Supposedly you could get a "super sack" (2500#) of Poco delivered to CO; but I haven,t managed to get that nailed down yet.

Thomas P - Friday, 03/20/09 14:52:20 EST

ThomasP, Want I should talk to the fellows at Cumberland Elkhorn re: supersack?
ptree - Friday, 03/20/09 14:58:13 EST

That must be one BIG bag ;)
Judson Yaggy - Friday, 03/20/09 16:35:33 EST

Thanks for the offer PTree; but with 4 grandkids being born in the space of a year's time most of my disposable cash has been earmarked by their Grandmother for travelling; especially for the birth of the twins.

I did have a local recently tell me where there is a goodly ammount of coal from a once local mine that's supposed to be decent to smith with...

Judson, isn't that about 6 55 gallon barrels worth? Weight goes up fast with rock or steel...

Thomas P - Friday, 03/20/09 18:00:58 EST

Tyler Murch
We're proud of you buddy. Keep it up.
You will be greatly rewarded personally by being able to function well in both the machine shop and the smithy and you will be a leg up on most others.
Very cool.
- Tom H - Friday, 03/20/09 19:10:41 EST

tyler: no kidding man....great work on the screw.....
- peter - Friday, 03/20/09 19:17:06 EST

Tyler my student's vise has 4.5" jaws and is a 50 pound'r. Currently we are looking for scaffold leveling feet to make a screw for it.

- Thomas P - Saturday, 03/21/09 19:11:24 EST

50 pound vise:
I can measure the parts on mine if you want dimensions. Its a late vise, the one on our vise page on the red metal stand.
- guru - Sunday, 03/22/09 15:32:35 EST

Willy: Forge: I'm sure glad I posted my forge for sale on here because the 4 or so calls I got in my home town, none of em came to look at it. I sent Willy pictures and he sounds like he wants it. Thanks Anvilfire :)

A little about myself, I first found out about Anvilfire 5 yrs ago when I lived in Bakersfield, CA. I found a blacksmith "Mark Aspery" in Srpingville, CA and watched him make some wizard hooks for an hour before he sent me packing hehe. I found this website while doing as much blacksmithing research 24/7 as I could. After several pop ups here and there when I'm interested in b-smithing I'm still no where where I need to be but hey, I aint complainin.

As for now, I'm into building with cob.

And I know this doesn't have anything to do with blacksmithing but does anybody smoke pipes? My father in law (dad) smokes cigars and occasionally pipes and I thought I'd get into it but I'm afraid of getting cancer so I haven't started yet.
- Matt Hunter - Monday, 03/23/09 02:12:42 EST

living: sure you can get cancer from pipes and cigars....but you also can from the water you drink and the processed foods you eat....too much sun... you live only once....
- peter - Monday, 03/23/09 06:58:44 EST

Willy Cunningham: your people aren't by any chance from the York, PA area? There was a blacksmith in West York: Al Cunningahm. He was in business when my dad was a boy.
Dave Leppo - Monday, 03/23/09 09:25:34 EST

Pipe Smoking: Smoking a pipe supposedly is not as bad for you as cigarettes but the tobacco companies still put lots of added goodies into tobacco that doesn't come from the plant.

Both my father and his sisters died terrible tobacco related deaths. Dad's lung cancer spread throughout his body and the tumor growths crushed his organs inside his rib cage. From the time it was discovered until he died was only a few painful weeks. My aunt had tongue cancer and they remover her tongue and part of her cheek. She lived in pain and without being able to speak for about a year before she died.

I know very few blacksmiths that smoke. I suspect it is because they get enough bad air in their shops and appreciate clean air when they are not working.

Over the years I KNOW I've been exposed to some very nasty chemicals working in the shop (solvents you can no longer buy, plastic hardeners, metal fumes, metallic buffing dusts, lead, uranium, asbestos (from blowing out auto brakes), every nasty automobile part cleaner you can imagine and many more things I cannot remember. If I've been affected by any of these smoking would just aggregate the problem. Adding insult to injury.

I am not one of those ninnies that panics with every little bit of dust, oil spill or fume. But I do not go out of my way to jump into the sludge pond. If you've ever inhaled too much camp fire, bonfire or other smoke then you may have come close to irrepairable damage or death. You KNOW your lungs do not like smoke. Smoking tobacco is the same, just slower with the nicotine enticing you ignore the slow death.

- guru - Monday, 03/23/09 09:33:14 EST

Pipes: I not only smoke 'em, I make 'em, too.

The trick is to a: don't inhale and b: don't smoke that cheap wet crap in the pouches you get at drug stores and pipe shops. Only smoke a high quality tinned tobacco that isn't highly flavored. The cheap stuff stays moist because it's soaked in propylene glycol, which probably isn't something you want to smoke. Still about a thousand times better for you than the crap in cigarette papers.

I'd say about a third of the smiths I know smoke, either recreationally (pipes or cigars) or habitually (cigarettes). That may just be due to my location, dunno.
Alan-L - Monday, 03/23/09 10:49:12 EST

pipes: I have an Indian peace pipe that I smoke occasionally. I make my own non-tobacco by gathering the tiny bear berry leaves and drying them. I then crush them by hand, all the while rubbing suet into them.
Frank Turley - Monday, 03/23/09 11:14:05 EST

Pipes: I personally don't like cigars or cigarettes. I don't like em because you have to inhale and that's why I thought I'd try pipes. I don't plan on smoking every day, only about once a week or when I'm in the mood, which will be when I'm reading a book or want some alone time away from my wife.

I also don't care for the smell of smoke (baby) but I thought I'd man up and try it. I do believe we only live once but I also respect some of your opinions on cancer. I eat a lot of processed food because I can't eat the fresh raw stuff cause it gives me horrible acid reflux.

Anyways, back to blacksmithing, don't want to start a thread about nothing.
Matt Hunter - Monday, 03/23/09 16:52:25 EST

Smoking: I smoke. I've smoked pipes, cigars and cigarettes for decades now. I am solidly and probably irrevocably addicted to nicotine. I have tried ever method of quitting known to man or medical science and all the hocus-pocus ones, too. I am certainly going to die from smoking-related disease or one sort or another. Which brings me to my main point/question, Matt:

vicopper - Monday, 03/23/09 19:17:58 EST

Matt, depending on your genetics smoking can be about as addictive as heroin. (according to a top notch Psch guy in the addiction area who my wife worked with in a psych hospital).

My mother in law died of lung cancer. She had *12* kids and they and their spouses, grandchildren, etc all attended her death. (Hospital had a cow when they said "everyone not immediate family must leave" and nobody budged because they all were immediate family...)

Anyway it was not a pleasant death; in fact it was *rough* being there for her last minutes on earth. When she died and the Dr came in and pronounced her *HALF* of her children went out for a smoke---they very thing that killed their Mother horribly just a couple of minutes before!

At that moment I emotionally realized that some folks cannot control such an addiction. It would be a hard thing to learn you were one of them *after* you have started. Much easier not to start!

Frank; once I was visiting my friend the swordmaker and his buddy, a contract archeologist, and the Archeologist had made up some Kinnikinnick mixing bear berry and a bunch of other stuff so we decided to try it---sitting in front of a county courthouse in rural Arkansas handing a hand rolled cigarette back and forth. Not bad; I guess he was known around those parts as we weren't hassled...

Thomas P - Monday, 03/23/09 19:31:11 EST

pexto: turns out the pexto clamp above is actually a sheetmetal beadrolling jenny holder. the clamp is for attaching to a table, and the socket w/ setscrew recieves the beadrolling jenny which is essentially a handcranked sheetmetal roller/crimper........who knew
- Tyler Murch - Tuesday, 03/24/09 00:03:16 EST

Matt: Let me get this straight. You don't like cigarettes. You don;t like the smell of either pipie tobacco or cigar smoke. Five minutes on line can get you all you need to know about the lip, mouth and tongue cancer that not inhaling can get you, and you are asking whether its a good idea to start smoking because you think it would man you up and get you time away from your wife?
I think you should discuss this with your wife, in exactly these terms. I think it'll get you plenty of time away from her.
Peter Hirst - Tuesday, 03/24/09 08:24:37 EST

That wouldn't work with my wife---after she finished breaking my arms for just *suggesting* I might take up smoking she would sit by my side to make sure I didn't backslide and need the arm breaks "freshened". (She was part of the other half who didn't smoke...)

Throw the money at something fun---like blacksmithing most smokers I know could buy a nice new high quality anvil for what they spend in a year of smoking. *And* they should be around to teach their grandkids and perhaps great grand kids how to use that anvil...

Thomas P - Tuesday, 03/24/09 11:15:21 EST

Tyler, I knew that, but the clamp looked useful for other things like a heavy duty bench or machine light support, tool caddy support. . . Loose parts out of context are a bit confusing though.
- guru - Tuesday, 03/24/09 12:04:56 EST

Smoking and trade:
Besides the actual cost, health and life insurance companies often charge more for smokers than non-smokers and even my auto insurance once had a discount for non-smokers because they were less distracted while driving.

North Carolina, the heart of the US tobacco producing states recently passed a full $1/pack tax on cigarettes. For a pack a day smoker it costs $45/month or $540/year. For heavier smokers that can easily be $1000/year. That means that in 18 months you could save enough to buy a very nice top of the line NEW anvil.

The modern tobacco business is one of the world's great evils. In the 80's they dumped cigarettes on Southeast Asia at pennies a pack in order to hook more users using the LOW LOW price. This is the SAME routine illegal drug dealers use to hook users. Give them a little bit free, then at low cost, then when they are hooked the full price.

Cambodia tried to stop the American Tobacco companies from dumping as a national health issue and were thwarted by the U.S. Government who said if they but an embargo on cigarettes then the U.S. would stop trading with Cambodia and stop any aid going to that country. An evil product, sold by evil methods, backed by OUR government making them part of the evil.

In the 1990's we hosted some chain smoking Koreans on a business junket. They were amazed at how cheap cigarettes were here. After the dumping, then they were hit with those higher prices. . .

Remember this when most of our manufacturing has been killed by cheap imports and the prices start to go up and we are at the mercy of foreign manufacturers. It will be our turn to be the captive "hooked" market.
- guru - Tuesday, 03/24/09 12:48:30 EST

Pipes & Smoke: ...(didn't George Burns smoke until he was 100?)

I know I know, he was the exception to the rule....

Ok, I get what you are all saying, Maybe I should just throw away my Sir Walter Raleigh mellow and the corn cob pipe (not cob building) too!

I can do that! :)
Matt Hunter - Tuesday, 03/24/09 16:05:02 EST

rocky mountain coal: I'm in need of some quality forge coal, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, South Dakota, Montana area. I would be happy with 50 - 100 pounds, eventual group purchase of 2 ton. Any leads?
Willy Cunningham - Tuesday, 03/24/09 16:57:51 EST

Cunninghams/Matts forge: All my side of the clan are in Alabama by way of Georgia

Matt, you may have noted that Im on the hunt for coal, yup, to feed to the forge you are selling me, If the freakin' snow will ever stop.
Willy Cunningham - Tuesday, 03/24/09 17:07:21 EST


And I was just reading a book about the Opium Wars and feeling all superior (to the British, that is). Not anymore.
Mike BR - Tuesday, 03/24/09 20:00:53 EST

On Saturday it was nice and sunny but the rest of the week has been cold here too. Not a lot of snow. I wouldn't mind making a cob forge one of these days. I hear you can make just about anything with cob. BTW before I forget, I do have some scrap steel sheets if you want em. I have no use for them other than looking at them. I can get free scrap metal if I want whenever I want, I guess I'm lucky.
- Matt Hunter - Tuesday, 03/24/09 21:10:51 EST

Tobacco at Oakley Farm: Hey, we only grew it for 350+ years. We didn't use it, just sold it to the Swiss and French. I miss the money, and I miss the culture, and I miss the smell of the tobacco curing in our barns, but I certainly don't miss the moral dilemma. Lost my mother-in-law to it; my wif's best friend, and she could throw one heck of a party!

So, if you don't smoke, don't start. If you do smoke, at least switch to a pipe; but it's best to quit altogether if you can.

I wonder how some muscatel grapes would do on our land? ;-)
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Tuesday, 03/24/09 21:41:46 EST

tobacco: leave it to the white man to take a holy plant..and turn it into a cancer causing stated earlier...the tinned styled pipe tobaccos should be the safest... a good ole cob pipe sounds good bout now..... do you have those pipes for sale???? if so i 'm interested in buying one........btw forged the 1st hot metal under my new scranton......1st thing made in my new shop??? inch and half wide...5 ft long pinch bar..... to day i had to set forge up outside......still much ta do to hammer and shop.....but damn it felt good to hear the thud......
peter - Wednesday, 03/25/09 07:05:04 EST

Happy 375th Birthday, MARYLAND!:
...and most of my family is mostly sorry that we later overthrew the government and moved the capitol to Annapolis (but it really did work out better than St. Mary's City). ;-)

So, if anyone wants to come to Camp Fenby (6/26-28)they can use the link to scout out the lay of the land in St. Mary's County.
Maryland 375 "We're small but troublesome."
Bruce Blackistone - Wednesday, 03/25/09 07:57:22 EST

Quite a trade: An Indian guy told me that the white man gave the Indians alcohol and the Indians gave the white man tobacco.
Frank Turley - Wednesday, 03/25/09 10:53:50 EST

That's interesting Frank.
I'm sure the natives gave with the best of intentions knowing full well the value of natural tobacco.
I wonder what the white man was thinking when he gave alcohol(not wine but, strong drink) to the natives, knowing what a train wreck it can turn a person into.
- merl - Wednesday, 03/25/09 11:41:03 EST

Old World - New World:
The European conquest of the New World is probably one of the saddest periods of world history.

The indigenous populations of the New World gave many things to Europeans. European diseases killed millions of the Indians and the Indians gave Europeans syphilis.

Potatos, corn, pumpkins, tomatoes and chocolate are the most well known gifts of the New World that changed the old. But the millions of square miles of "free" land influenced history more than anything.
- guru - Wednesday, 03/25/09 12:32:46 EST

muscat grapes: Bruce, muscat (Muscadine) grapes most likely would do very well on land that was suitable for tobacco. In Kentucky, small wineries are popping up all over as a result of the tobacco settlement money. Essentially people were paid to grow crops other that tobacco, and many are doing quite well. So.....cheers! :)
Dave Francis - Wednesday, 03/25/09 13:31:35 EST

Lots of wineries and vineyards showing up in Virginia and the Carolina's too. I would think a reenactor who's characters are from Vineland would know that. . ;)

- guru - Wednesday, 03/25/09 17:41:18 EST

Bruce, Southern Indiana is becoming well equipped with wineries and grape growing. Here in the Knobs we have poor soil, and hilly and just a little longer season the much of the European grape areas. Perfect for grapes:)
- ptree - Wednesday, 03/25/09 19:37:57 EST

Muscadines actually do very well in tobacco country. Don't know how far norht they will thrive, but I remember them growing wild in my ex's neighborhood and all her families' in Clemson SC and Monroe County NC.
Peter Hirst - Wednesday, 03/25/09 19:42:04 EST

I'm convinced best quality solid forge fuel there is is charcoal. Nothing wrong with softwood charcoal at all BTW. SO even in Wyoming, grab a baotload of Ponderosa pine, pinion, juniper, cottonwood, aspen, spruce, first, whatever. 100 lbs of char is not that much. Residue of a decent brush pile burn.

For those who expressed an interest: R&D on the backyard retort continues. We have a conference May 9 and won't be revealing details of retorts (read: won't be completely proven till then) but on that date we'll have at least three sizes: 30, 55 and 110 gallon retorts, with a couple of variations for using process heat. Drawings will follow. Stay tuned.
Peter Hirst - Wednesday, 03/25/09 20:13:12 EST

retorts: I had to look up "retort" in my Funk & Wagnalls.

When I was in Australia, Alan Ball made Eucalyptus charcoal in a 4'x3'x3' bin with a hinged lid. Memory fails, but it might have been fabbed of 1/8" plate. The description of the technique is on the 10th paragraph down:

The method seems fairly straightforward. There were no portholes to deal with. Just close the lid once the heavier logs are loaded onto the coals of a hot, 2 hour old fire.
Frank Turley - Wednesday, 03/25/09 22:41:01 EST

Yep, that's a variant of the traditional coaling method. Crude but effective. Produces lts of smoke and waste heat but gets the job done. Can be done in any closed container: 55 gallon drum etc. The retort method we are working on produces almost no smoke, instead a lot of clean burning gas and up to 90 percent excess heat for other processes. In abut 3 hours total.
Peter Hirst - Thursday, 03/26/09 08:18:55 EST

Sounds like you are using the of gas products from the distillation of the wood to burn and produce heat to keep the project going.

Charlotte - Thursday, 03/26/09 11:43:09 EST

Potential Coaling Retort: I ended up with a spare 200 gallon (+?) fuel oil tank from the old house in my barn; virtually unused. I have often contemplated it for use as a practically "walk-in" charcoal retort; but it's probably #49 on my "50 things to do next" list. It, like the old government surplus drawing board could go to a good home if anybody wants to pick it up. On the other claw, it can sit pretty happy in the barn, too. My potential stumbling block would be luting the hatch that I would have to cut in the end to make it air-tight.

However, the fireproofing and smoke stack for the coal forge comes well before that...
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Thursday, 03/26/09 13:48:24 EST

Softwood Charcoal:
For smithing this does very well. The trick IS, and I have yet to see any compiled data on this, IS that many woods create little explosions that send hot fleas all over the smith. It may be the wood OR it could be how is is coaled. I do not know. Maybe with an increase in charcoal use we will get some data on this.

I do know that some of the very resinous tropical hardwoods do it pretty bad and I know walnut does. But I've heard of softwoods that do it too.

There are a few woods that do not coal. I'm not sure but it may be Tree of Paradise that doesn't. I know that if we burnt (whatever it was) in the wood stove we did not get coals but we got a huge browninsh lump of ash the same shape as the wood.

Hardwood charcoal is a little denser than softwood but not by much. If you are using scrap or local wood you don't have much choice, especially if its free. The best deal we ever had on firewood was cutting up the laps (leftovers) from some huge oaks and hickories that had been cut less than a mile from home. About half was small enough it didn't need to be split.
- guru - Thursday, 03/26/09 13:58:22 EST

The only time I experimented with charcoal as fuel I didn't think my fire coal firepot was deep enough.
I've been under the impression, appearently mistaken, that side drafts were better for charcoal.
Charlotte - Thursday, 03/26/09 16:16:41 EST

I think side blown works better with charcoal than coal due to the lack of clinker build up but charcoal works fine with a bottom blast forge.

The depth of the fire needed is partially dependent on the size of the lumps of fuel. Charcoal is often in large lumps that must be broken up. Lumps between 3/4" and 1-1/2" work best in a forge (the smaller the lumps the shallower and smaller the fire). The experimental iron smelting guys found that the size is critical enough that they all breakup and screen all their charcoal. The difference between the lumps as delivered in the bag and the broken up and screened charcoal can be four or five (or more) to one in productivity during a day's smelt.

Breaking up the day's charcoal supply is the first morning task after cleaning out the forge.
- guru - Thursday, 03/26/09 18:07:31 EST

My new old mill: Did some quick peeking up inside the inards. The table is equipped for feed side to side and for and aft. Does not appear to have up/down feed. The side to side feed does not seem to be engaging the half nut from feel. The fore/aft feed is working. Me thinks the table will have to come off.
I found the serial number and it is a 4 digit number, 1785 with a B under that. That most recent patent date cast into the door is 1896
I have seen pictures of the 1923 version, and this is older, as the 1923 has enclosed gears. Everything on mine is in the breeze:) May have to nickname her the "naked Lady" :)
May have to await The Juggle guys return to get some help with lifting the table. He will return at the end of the sesmester.
I have counted 14 Zerks so far. All greased:( I think this should have been a pressure oil zerked machine. Since I have a buddy in the trade I am going to see if he can come up with a one shot oiler and the goodies to make oiling the naked lady up easy. If not a few minutes with the pressure oil gun will have her ready to go.
ptree - Thursday, 03/26/09 18:29:36 EST

Mr. Guru: First I'd like to say, I don't know how you find time to post and smith at the same time? You must have 4 arms? :)

I've been trying to find a picture of you Mr. Dempsey on the internet but *almost* to no avail. I found a side pic of you on, "Poor Boy Blacksmith" June 13, 2006. You remind me of my dad back in the day.

I don't know about you guys but if you see a person who somewhat resembles a family memeber who past away do you feel good inside? Just thought I'd share my thoughts.
Matt Hunter - Thursday, 03/26/09 18:55:18 EST

fire fleas from charcoal: As I understand it the fleas are a resault of traped moisture from the charing prosess. I am told that the stuff you usualy get from the store, by what ever name brand, has been cooked and then sprayed with water to shorten the prosess time.
I use store baught charcoal to start my coal fire.
I notice that as the charcoal gets hot and incandeces it stops spitting fire fleas.
I occationaly get some home made charcoal from a freind of mine and while it doesn't have near the fleas that the store baught, it's not kept in an air tight barrel so I suppose it will absorbe some moisture befor it is used.
ptree, start pressure oiling the "naked lady" with something like WD40 or Liquid Wrench or ,diesel fuel to drive that grease out of there (if there is any...)
You can find one shot oilers in the MSC catalog
- merl - Thursday, 03/26/09 20:42:39 EST

Ptree: A one shot is a great idea, but if You are thinking about the small unit I am thinking about, You might need more than one of them. One will easily handle all the ways. Every shaft, idler, or other moving part needs to be manually oiled, and all the continuously running parts need more frequent lube than the ways. Merl's suggestion of diesel fuel is a good idea, especially if the machine sat for a long while as old oil/grease gets really gummy. Paint it liberally on all the moving parts and force it through the zerks. There shouldn't be any half nuts. on My old machines the feeds engage with dog clutches. We used a cherry picker to remove the tables on the #3's, but when We worked on the Bridgeport We were able to remove/replace the 9x42 table by hand with blocking & shims. Put on Your millwright hat...
- Dave Boyer - Thursday, 03/26/09 23:05:01 EST

Jumping Fire Fleas: On the walnut I'm sure it it not moisture. We burned a bunch of scraps one year in desperation.

I say desperation because to me there is almost no such thing as walnut "scrap" until it is so small you cannot think of anything to make of it.
- guru - Thursday, 03/26/09 23:26:04 EST

Removing Machine tables: As Dave says but on your Millwright hat. But also be sure to use methods with good feed back. I've seen a lot of good old machinery wrecked by someone trying to remove a part with a crane of forklift. Things hang, get bent, gouged, broken. Old machines with SOME value can rapidly turn into a pile of scrap with NO value.
- guru - Thursday, 03/26/09 23:29:02 EST

The Naked Lady Mill: I already have that Millwright hat on:) First I spent a couple of hours with a flashlight peering into every crevice nook and cranny looking and studying. I plan to lift the smallish table by hand as that gives the best feedback. I loosened the table rotation bolts and I can lift one side without straining, and so I will go from there.
Dave, when you removed the #3 table, did you lift the table by removing the two locking bolts and pull table and sadle together? I think mine looks to come apart that way. This old lady has a working back gear even. All the gears I see are intact and don't even have a chipped tooth. The table has a few light surface dings that I can stone out. The gibs are all still adjustable and have life remaining. I suspect that this old lady spent much time sitting out of use, or was lovingly cared for. It is in far better condition than any machine tool of similar age I have worked with.
Ptree - Friday, 03/27/09 06:55:01 EST

Black Walnut Scrap: "You gonna burn that? I could make grips for my derringer outa that!" ;-)

Yep, I know the feeling. I still have scraps from my "Great Medieval Bed" from 35 years ago (now passed over to my eldest son) that are still being used on various projects.
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Friday, 03/27/09 07:43:44 EST

Charlotte: We are using a proceess that will allow us to use about ten to 20 percent of the process heat to maintian the reaction, the rest to go to running engines, making salt, heating the house, kiln drying feedstock etc. that's one of the many beauties of the closed retort process. Heat, gas and a number of useful by-products may be tapped at a number of stages in the apparatus for different purposes.

Atli: Save that tank. Probably 275 gallons. Measures about 27x42x60? Cut and pasted, makes a Good outer vessel for two 55 gal retorts. And let me remove that stumbling block: no it does not have to be airtight. In fact, it is anything but. Just have to get the flows in the right directions. Plans will explain all soon. As for your 50 item list, consider that you can do the whole project in an afternoon, faster with a plasma cutter. So collect your two 55gal drums, 8-16 feet of 8" stove pipe, a bunch of good dry feedstock, a small pile of starter fuel (dry wood chips are perfect. That's it. No pipe, no hinges, no valves, no moving parts.

Guru: Nothing wrong with the fleas. They are Logfellow's "sparks that fly / like chaff from a threshing floor". They can be reduced by tending the fire much like a coal fire: move the fuel progressively toward the fire, and much of this moisture will be driven off, very similar to coking your coal. And I often don't bother breaking it down until it gets on the hearth: just a couple taps from the fire tool sizes it just right for the current need in the firepot. One advantage to breaking it down in advance, however, is that it makes it easier to collect the fines to use as bio-char in the garden. There is some clinker, but its not nearly as much as with mineral coal, so yes, it works fine with side or bottom blast. The wooden forge at Plimoth Plantation is the prime example of a side-blast forge fueled exclusively with char.
Peter Hirst - Friday, 03/27/09 07:52:40 EST

Internet Exposure:
I recently was looking for an old friend I'd lost track of using google on the Internet. Sadly the first thing I found was foreclosure and realestate auction notices for their last address. Next I found them on a "school mates" site which led to a job hunting site and then a online political petition and several social networking sites. Since I did not want to register on the school or networking sites I never did make contact. But I found out a lot about my old friend that I did not know. Schooling, education, employment, finances, history, politics. . .

Today I was looking up the address of a business contact that had changed addresses. When I put in the company name I found a YouTube video about the company's mining operations AND there for a moment with his name was my contact. I punched in the addresses we had been shipping to and both were residential addresses that had recently been on the market. Both had realestate sites running with exterior and interior photos and location details. Both also could be found on Google Earth with enough detail to see an SUV and a pickup in the driveway, the pool out back and good details of the neighborhood.

All this was found on one search engine with just a little persistence (going down a couple pages). Its something to think about. I know how much exposure I have on the web because I put most of it out "here". But do you know how much you have?
- guru - Friday, 03/27/09 12:37:29 EST

Internet: Guru, you are absolutely right. This internet stuff is definitly a "two-edged sword". (How was that for a Blacksmithing segue). Kind of scary in a Big Brotherish kind of way.
Dave Francis - Friday, 03/27/09 13:05:35 EST

Guru Picture: Matt H

I just typed "Jock Dempsey" into a Google IMAGE search. You can see Himself in the eleventh pic listed
Dave Leppo - Friday, 03/27/09 13:20:37 EST

Dave L: Haha yeah and the pic is the size of my thumb!

I sold my forge today but I feel weird about it. Hope it was worth the effort.
Matt Hunter - Friday, 03/27/09 14:15:32 EST

Google Earth: Around here wether due to population density or cloud cover (the sun? never heard of it) Google Earth uses satellite images that are at least 15 years old. That's how long it's been since my place was a dairy farm, but in the photos you can see the cows standing in my fields.
Judson Yaggy - Friday, 03/27/09 19:37:35 EST

Ptree: My #3 machines are not universal mills, they don't have the bolts You mention, or come apart there. We removed the feed screw & gib [and any other stuff that needed to be removed] and slid the table out lengthwise, supporting the weight with the cherry picker. The saddle was removed from one of the machines pretty much the same way. The Bridgeport differed only in that the parts are not so heavy and can be worked off onto blocking.
- Dave Boyer - Friday, 03/27/09 22:35:58 EST

Ptree continued: The power feed drive might prevent You from removing the table and the top of the saddle the way You planned, so take it easy on it if You go that rout. By removing only the table You expose whatever is in there, so You can better see what has to come apart. The individual parts are lighter too. It is a figure it out as You go project, think everything through thoroughly and You won't wreck anything.
- Dave Boyer - Friday, 03/27/09 22:41:44 EST

Google Earth Pictures: They are not all that old, I have seen several from different areas that I can date to less than 5 years.
- Dave Boyer - Friday, 03/27/09 22:50:33 EST

Google Photos: I check on a variety of places now and then. Yep, some photos are the originals on file from who knows when. . but both my home in Virgina and where I am in NC have been updated in the past year with better images. Where things were once hazy shadows they are clearly delineated. I would bet they are better in a year or two.

The folks that create the database of a world image are constantly culling through new photos. No matter how good the satellite or how recent the photo there is a large matter of chance. If you study the images the VERY best are early mornings with low sunlight. This time of day there is less haze and the low light makes sharper shadows. In those taken at those times on an exceptionally clear day you can see remarkable details down to people's hair color and what they are wearing, makes of automobile. . .

So it is very random. The weather must be good, and the time of day right. Often one side of a road or street is one season and the opposite another. If there is a hole in the clouds and they get a good shot, then that area under the hole in the clouds will be updated. Then there are areas that more recent updates have been been paid for. Realestate taxes and tax maps drive a lot of updates.

In some places dozens of photos have been used to create the sharpest cleanest view of a small area. And the work goes on. The final picture of the Earth will not be all one time frame, but it will be remarkably clear.
- guru - Saturday, 03/28/09 00:19:08 EST

Dave, Thanks for the info. I have come to the conclusion that the way to proceed is exactly how you describe. I spent a hour or so on my back under, hand turning the gearing I can see. I am begining to think that the feed in that axis had a crash. The bevel gear that slides along the input shaft should have a key to engage but it turns free. If I engage the table feed and turn the input gear just mentioned the table feeds a bit then pops out of engagement. Looks like a slide the table off first. That appears to geve access to most everything I need to see. The table is small enough to be a two man lift. Mine is a smallish #1 1/2.
I found an engraving of the first Horizontal mill that Cincinati made and I posted same over at Farwestforge. Looks exactly like mine with the exception mine has the feed that was developed about 1900.
ptree - Saturday, 03/28/09 07:07:21 EST

Ptree, you may be lucky. Many machines have keys and pins designed to shear rather than let the gears strip. Often they have hard lead or aluminum alloy "shear pins" or a "shear plate". In any case, it sounds like you found your culprit.

Have you asked Cincinnati if they have documentation of your machine? While their name has changed several times they are still in the same location they have been in for many years.

- guru - Saturday, 03/28/09 08:38:55 EST

I have e-mailed several organizations that provide old machine documents but not Cincinati yet. Still searching for the correct e-mail addy for them. They have been bought and are part of a bigger organization now. I am hoping for a shear pin etc. The first bevel gear I found that spins and should not runs on a slotted shaft. So it should have a key. May have been cast in, May have been riveted in. I will have to get the table off and have better access. This is a pretty old lady. I want to put it back in really first class condition.
ptree - Saturday, 03/28/09 16:41:02 EST

ANVIL FOR SALE OR TRADE: : I have a 500 lb. Euroanvil for sale or trade.
This anvil has been used very little and shows no signs of use at all. I have another 500 euro and a large Rat Hole anvil in the shop and don't really need this one.
This anvil does not have a side shelf and I have removed the black paint. I am asking only what
I paid for it several years ago which was $1,350.
I would also consider trading for other tools.
I am located in the Bristol VA/TN. area.
Greg S. - Saturday, 03/28/09 20:18:03 EST

Testing Anvils: If you could do anything to rest an anvil what would you do?
Beverley Shears - Sunday, 03/29/09 08:34:25 EST

Testing: Sorry test not rest. Poof then prost.
Beverley Shears - Sunday, 03/29/09 08:35:15 EST

Beverley: When I want to test my anvil, I line up work for two days in a row that requires forging only on the vise, swage block or stake. Sometimes I'll even take a scroll form or bending fork that usually sits in the hardy hole and mount it in the vise instead. Or start toward the anvil with a piece of hot iron then at the last second quench it or hit in on the power hammer. That one drives it crazy. I hates the power hammer. Or maybe I'll just ignore it and do nothing but shop maintenance or non-ferrous work. ALways makes me feel better to abuse a good tool.

Come to think of it, that's how I rest it, too.
Peter Hirst - Sunday, 03/29/09 08:50:04 EST

It* hats the power hammer, not I.
Peter Hirst - Sunday, 03/29/09 08:51:14 EST

Beverly; why I'd go to the top right corner of this page and look for Navigate anvilfire menu and go to 21 century and read the anvil pages including testing rebound.

If I had an unknown anvil to examine; I'd check it's ring if it was the sort that rings---tells if there is face delamination problems and do the rebound test; tells if it's been through a fire or is just a cast iron ASO. Fishers are excellent anvils that don't ring but will pass the rebound test with flying colours.

Thomas P - Sunday, 03/29/09 14:56:37 EST

PullMax: Is there any interest in a PullMax F7? It is in North Carolina and in pretty good shape.
- george - Monday, 03/30/09 10:40:46 EST

ptree, I'm sure I am way behind on the advise for removing the table from your mill(s)but,hey I gotta' work sometime.
Before you try and lift the table you will need to remove the gib(long tapperd piece in the dove tail to take up slack) and, don't forget to remove the feed screws or un-bolt the yolk from the table.
If the table has power feed then I would only turn the table screw out untill it is free from the table drive yolk. If you screw it all the way out of the machine parts may fall off inside and you won't know how they go back on (personal experience).
Some machines have a bolt on drive yolk that can be unfastend from the top of the table were the bolt heads are accsessable thru the T-slots.
You might also try for more information.
- merl - Monday, 03/30/09 15:40:25 EST

Merl, my machine has a bo;t on yoke at one end of the table and a screwed in from the end on the gear drive end. My thought was to pull the gib, unfasten the lead screw from the table and slide gently off. My machine isvery simple as it has the first design for a gear driven feed Cincinati came up with.
I called Cincinati MAG, the new organization and the fellow that answered sorta got quiet when I told him the serial#. He said the older gent who could maybe dig info from the archive would be back next week. He did say that they have an eclectic selection of parts on hand and can make from original drawings many more. I am sure that will be a cheap option. But it may save a treasure.
This old lady looks to have been VERY lightly used, and pretty well cared for. The vertical slides are in very fine condition The table shows light wear only. No broken castings so far. I suspect the feed issue is from a later owner crash.
Thanks for the info. I did measure and it looks to have #10 Brown & Sharpe arbors.
- ptree - Monday, 03/30/09 18:48:48 EST

Ah,OK, now I get the visual on that. Sounds like a good plan for disassembly. Your table probably doesn't weigh it but, be set up for 1000lbs and you'll have a good margin of safety.
I have an old table from a Kerrny&Trecker horizontal mill that's about 12"x50" and goes for 850lbs.
Be safe!
- merl - Monday, 03/30/09 21:32:53 EST

polishing hand forge tools: Hello Everyone,

Long time reader,first time poster.I have shod horses for forty three years, but began putsing around smithing for the last 2 years.Although I have shod most hot during that time I have never polish any steel to a mirror finish and now I have a project of making a scout axe for my nephew and I would to get a nice finish on it so I would like to know how to proceed, grit wise.Thanks ahead of time for any information .Sincerely John
- John Corkery - Monday, 03/30/09 22:22:02 EST

Polishing: John, it works the same for steel as for any metal. First file the surface to get it level and true, then begin sanding with 120 or 180 grit silicon carbide paper, whichever seems appropriate. Once you have removed the file marks with the paper, switch to 240 grit and remove the 180 marks. Then progress to 320 grit to remove the 240 marks, then on to 400, 600, 1200 grits. Never switch grits unless ALL the previous sanding marks have neen removed completely.

After the piece is sanded to a 1200 grit finis, you can then buff it with emery compound on a stiff muslin or sisal wheel. When the 1200 marks have been polished out, you can then go to White Diamond compound and finally, red rouge.

It is a long tedious process to hand finish steel to a mirror polish. That is why many of us use 2x72 belt grinders, flap wheels, DynaBrade tools, etc. When time is money, electricity is your friend!
vicopper - Monday, 03/30/09 23:30:52 EST

John, This is a matter of stages. Coarse to fine in increments. At every stage you want to make the surface flatter and edges crisper if they are supposed to. Round where necessary but do not over do as the steps can make rounds rounder and rounder.

Initial clean up can be using an angle grinder and the coarsest flap (flat face type) wheel you can get (I think they make a 60). Or you can use a file or other grinder carefully to avoid divots. From there you go to about a 120 or 160 grit. Be sure there is NO remaining marks from the previous grit and NO divits. Then you go to hand sanding with 180 Wet or Dry (3M Auto Body and Technical paper). When you no longer see ANY marks from the previous you should have a very very smooth flat grey surface.

At this point you can continue with finer paper but a 6" hard sewn buffing wheel turning 1800 RPM charged with black (medium Emery) buffing compound will quickly take that flat finish to a high polish.

OR To continue by hand use 240 or 320 Wet-or-Dry paper then 500 or 600. ALWAYS be sure all the marks from the previous grit are gone. Some folks will brag about going finer (+2000 grit) but it is absolutely pointless. After either of these you can go to hand polishing. Note that the papers cut better dry but last longer wetted with water. Try both ways the results will vary with the harness of the steel. You will probably need 2 or 3 sheets for each stage.

Once you have a 500 to 600 grit even finish you can use Dupont Orange buffing compound. It will be sold at the same automotive paint suppliers that sell the Wet-or-Dry sandpaper.

Take a smallish (foot square) fine rag (old diapers OR old T-shirt material is best) and daub in the compound then start polishing. Wet compound cuts the best. One good dap will probably do but I know my dabs (about a half dollar size). As it drys on the rag it breaks down into finer grit that polishes a little finer and when you take a clean rag to get the last compound of the part IT will pickup just enough very fine compound to continue polishing. So I try to work all over the part and check the finish as the compound loses moisture. If the polish doesn't look near done with wet compound take another dab. One can of this stuff lasts a lifetime of polishing. . .

Hand polishing an axe after the 500 grit should take about 30 minutes to an hour. Less with experience.

At this point we are talking mirror finish all over. It will RUST easily. If you want it to stay nice then do what the manufacturers do and put a thin coat of clear lacquer on it. Better yet, give it a classic paint job with just the working surfaces bright. OR you can have it chrome plated . . .

Bladesmiths use belt grinders and can take larger steps as they tend to leave finer finishes. Often after a 240 grind they do a 500 hand sand and then go to the buffer. However, you can have coarse buff that will finish from the rough. . . but you get shiny looking rough work. . make the best use of what tools you have on hand. It can be done 100% by hand (I've done it many times).

See also my 21 Century page article titled Wheels (I think). It may say the same as above or some alternative.
- guru - Monday, 03/30/09 23:31:44 EST

polishing: While Vicopper and the Guru are describing true polishing techniques, consider also the alternitive methode of useing a 3M deburing wheel on a typical 6" bench/pedestal grinder. There are three or four grades of wheel that range in grit aggressivness and freability(how easily they break down while in use)
They are used all thime when a part or surface needs to be deburred or have the "appearance" of being polished.
They can make things look shinny but will offten smear any fine detail so, be carefull of that.
If you would go on line and look at MSC's catalog under 3M "scotchbright" wheels or deburring wheels you should see what I'm refering to. The 3M grey wheel is the most commonly used for light deburring and polishing.
Understand though, this is just a quick alternitive to the fine finishes as described above. A choice you'll have to make.
- merl - Tuesday, 03/31/09 08:47:46 EST

Weekend Reenactment Event 4/4/09: If you're not going to the PABA event, and you're in the Havre de Grace area, you may want to stop by the following event. I'm not doing the forge demo this time, but there will be lots of arms, armor, and camping gear for the general purview of the visitors.


Battle of Clontarf event in Havre de Grace, Maryland on Saturday, April 4th, starting about 10:00 for participants, 11:00 for the public. 1014 A.D. The Irish and their Viking allies vs. the Vikings and their Irish allies. Some activities will continue Sunday.

The Longship Company will be there with our faering boat. If the weather is favorable we might even get in some sailing (or at least some rowing). We will also be having our Annual Meeting there at 4:00 Sat.

The museum site is:

Directions may be found at:

A directional hint from one of the participants last year:

"Pretty easy to get too. Just remember to stay left until you have to turn at the bottom of the big hill."

Lockhouse Museum
Bruce Blackistone - Tuesday, 03/31/09 10:32:42 EST

For a using axe you really only need the lower grits and then the black emery buff. No need to get excessive on such a "in the field" tool.

Thomas P - Tuesday, 03/31/09 10:59:40 EST

Old mill: I found a "Treatise on Milling Machines dated 1919, by the Cincinnati Milling Machine co online today. I went to the section on setup etc and found a section on oiling and it was specific that these machines need a "good Grade of mineral oil" added to all the "Oil holes" So it looks as if the grease zerks were added later. Now to push some oil thru the zerks and then decidse to either remove the zerks and use an oil can or add a lever pump with meter blocks. There was a mention of oil holes on the table and three lines to align and oil at. I have to find the lines as I saw the holes front and rear in the table.
I also saw a shot of a table off that showed the feed to be laid out just as I envisioned.

Merl Et AL the table was slide off leaveing the lead screw in place.
My table is basically 6" x 32" so I suspect it will be well less than 800# I would guess about 200 to 250#. It will be a slide it off on a table I think, once the Son gets home.

Got another too old for us to have any info:) and a thanks for the photos as they had not seen one like mine:)
ptree - Tuesday, 03/31/09 18:09:53 EST

When someone says "polish" I assume they really mean polished no matter what the item is. Sanded to a bright finish is not not what I'd call polished but you never know. . .

My collection of "common" Snap-On wrenches are chrome plated with a fine smooth finish and polished.

About 1980 when I called South Bend about parts for my 1915 model they told me they had just recently disposed of all the old flat belt machine drawings. Twenty years later they were collecting copies of drawings trying to support the many people that were interested in the old machines. . .

When I called Brown and Sharpe about my #2 grinder made in the early 30's they had a manual and a few parts for it.

Companies disposing of archival drawings and manuals is rather short sighted. Eventually they become valuable to collectors and industrial historians.
- guru - Tuesday, 03/31/09 20:35:09 EST

mill disassembly: Drive On ptree! keep us apprised

Bruce, I'm jelouse you're already sailing when we don't even have the ice out yet!
- merl - Tuesday, 03/31/09 21:06:45 EST

Ptree: Thinking back on it, I didn't remove the the lead screw to remove the table so much as I needed to shed weight so We could lift the machine with the fork lift We had. The lead screw was removed more for it's own safety after the table was off.
- Dave Boyer - Tuesday, 03/31/09 21:51:05 EST

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