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January 2011 Archive

WANTED Tips of the Day:
I'm sure most of you have seen our Tips of the Day. There are currently 6 categories, General, Safety, Buyer, Newbie, Anvil and Welding with some overlap between the categories. We may add a Machinery tips in the future. The tips are spread around on various pages and will be added to more.

Currently we have nearly 6 months of tips in the "General" category and will be closing that one out other than swapping better tips for lesser tips. The goal for the other lists is 73 tips (1/5 year) or more. Some categories currently have less than a month's worth.

We are looking for new tips to add particularly in Safety and Welding but are open to tips in any category.

We can add tips any time but it changes the display order resulting in tips repeating so we would like to add new tips at the first of the year. If you are interested in sending in some tips let me know. I can help with duplication problems.
- guru


I have always wanted to one of two things with the Pinto Wagon. Either Pinchero it, or mini-hearse it. The main issue with the Pinchero conversion is the unibody! You NEED to weld re-enforcement C-channel from front to back PRIOR to cutting the roof. Failure to do so will result in a sag in the middle of the chassis. I've also been told to do similar re-enforcements when doing a v-8 conversion to prevent chassis twist and buckle.

Mike BR, nice tip. I've read that Sharpies have detrimantal effects on stainless when TIG welded on the mark.
- Nippulini - Tuesday, 05/01/12 08:48:05 EDT

Small Car V-8 conversions. . . . .:
I've worked on a bunch of these and they are giant, dangerous pieces of excrement. . . The frame is the least of the problems. Springs, brakes and steering are not meant to take the extra weight. The grills are not big enough for the proper radiator and nothing else is designed to take the torque. . . Then there are simple things like access. . .

Need more power? Hop up the engine. Formula Fords based on the Pinto 2L engine were the fastest cars on any road racing track and had to be severely limited by a restriction plate for safety. Dual carbs and an unrestriced exhaust will add a lot of pep without internal changes. .

Did you know that the Triumph TR3 and TR4 4cyl engines were the same as Massey Fergusson tractor engines? Lots of interchangeable parts, notably pistons and cylinders. The 1500cc MGA engine was a hopped up version of a delivery van (bread truck) engine and the Nash Metropolitan. I modified a Metro engine to MGA specs and we put an 1800cc MGB engine in an Austin delivery van. The van sounded just like an MGB coming down the road. . It was a surprise to look up and see the white bread van.

The custom car I wanted to build (still would like to if I had the time/money) was to convert an old big 6 Chevy PU to a Chitty-chitty-bang-bang type roadster.
The long sixes make a good fit and the truck frame and running gear are the right character. A fun vehicle for sunny weekends.
- guru - Tuesday, 05/01/12 10:40:53 EDT

Bad Day at Information Central:
Had a power glitch last night and my main PC is dead again. . . My backup PC died a few weeks ago so now I am down to the laptop. I'll be sporatically on and off line until I get a new MB for the big PC and install it. I also have to change my data storage to portable HD's. . . and duplicate them at least weekly. . . TOO much data!

- guru - Tuesday, 05/01/12 10:47:03 EDT

Neatest Chitty Chitty Bang Bang conversion I have seen was a 1905 American LaFrance firetruck to a roadster. They took all the fire stuff off, shortened the frame about 8' and used one of the 100 gallon brass water tanks as a gas tank. Had a huge, about 800 cubic inch 4 banger and chain drive. The fellow had it in my home town when I was teen.
ptree - Tuesday, 05/01/12 13:56:46 EDT

Information Central. . .: Well, the PS2 Keyboard and Mouse ports are what is dead. I got a USB mouse working so I am moving all the data. . . Been looking for a replacement motherboard to accept the processor I bought a couple years ago along with a new motherboard. . . Too many specs to compare. . . .
- guru - Tuesday, 05/01/12 15:04:52 EDT

cars: I was never very good at auto mechanics, other than my dad's 1924 Model T touring car, those things are truly simple. (grin!)

I did help a friend do some interesting things to a 1981 Toyota pickup, though. He dropped a GM 3.8 liter V6 in it, a Ford 9" rear end with about a 2.33 ratio, and a six-speed manual transmission. He kept the body fairly stock, other than using a barberchair lift to make a (crappy) dump bed. With that low-ratio rear end he really had to watch it on the interstate. It wasn't much off the line, but it would do 110 at 1100 RPM in 6th gear...

Those early 60s American compacts are neat. I always wanted a '62 or '63 Dodge Lancer or the Plymouth equivalent. Funky, yet funky, with a little bit of funk thrown in for good measure. Plus one could at one time find Offenhouser intake manifolds to put a huge 4bbl carb on that little slant six!

Then a few weeks ago I saw something I'd like near Baltimore: a 1959 Morris Minor woody station wagon...
Alan-L - Tuesday, 05/01/12 16:09:18 EDT

Iron Betty: Any of y'all ever make an Iron Betty Lamp? I'd like to have a couple of them... but not too keen on spending $90.00 or more for each one. Thought I'd make them instead. Wondered if any youins' had any tips, photos, or prints?
- Pablo - Tuesday, 05/01/12 23:58:01 EDT

Betty Lamp: Larry Long 432 Lakeview Dr. Lititz, Pa. 17543 is an expert on Betty Lamps. He has made many, and made them well. After they have been around a while, they can not be told from originals without looking at His touchmark and date. I have no pictures, if You wright Him He may help You, but He has had health issues the last few years and may not be able.
- Dave Boyer - Wednesday, 05/02/12 01:17:12 EDT

Iron Betty: Thanks Dave, I appreciate the info. I think I'll write him a letter.
- Pablo - Wednesday, 05/02/12 04:05:40 EDT

I love the name of that town. Lititz... heheh... we (PA) also have Intercourse and the Hershey Highway.... ok, my immature humor is done.
- Nippulini - Wednesday, 05/02/12 08:41:46 EDT

Ha,ha... that's alright. Here in GA we have a town called Cumming in North GA, and a town called Climax in South GA. Ok-ok, sorry just had to share.
Pablo - Wednesday, 05/02/12 20:57:13 EDT

Iron Betty?: For the ignorant out here, what is an Iron Betty lamp?

- David Hughes - Thursday, 05/03/12 12:33:59 EDT

Betty Lamp: A small hanging or spike-mounted oil lamp of the open reservoir type.
- Rich Waugh - Thursday, 05/03/12 16:34:39 EDT

Betty Lamp Example:
Here's one in action (detail):

http://www.wga.hu/art/l/lotto/2/04young1.jpg

Note that the hook was used both to hang it vertically, or could be driven into a beam horizontally.
Portrait of a Young Man with an Oil Lamp by Lorenzo Lotto; ca. 1510
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Thursday, 05/03/12 16:47:24 EDT

More Images of Betty Lamps: Google is our (sometimes) friend.
(Hope this works out...)
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Thursday, 05/03/12 16:50:49 EDT

Betty Lamps:: Early lighting has been a fascination of mine for years. Although the term "betty lamp" has come to be the generic for a iron, tin, or brass lamp of any configuaration, a true betty is one that has a cover over the reservoir. Open pan lamps are called "crusies" and one that has two pans that nest in one another is called a "phoebe."
Tim Button - Sunday, 05/06/12 23:01:57 EDT

Betty Lamps: I have forged crusies, and I burn Crisco or bacon grease in them. These type of lamps most often used grease rather than liquid oils. This made them a valueable light source back in the day. If the wick is kept trimmed and a proper height, these grease lamps burn cleanly without much smoke, and put out pretty decent light.
Tim Button - Sunday, 05/06/12 23:07:49 EDT

More on Lamps: When I was working with bowl lamps, inspired by the one from Sutton Hoo in the late 6th or early 7th century, we noted that a simple lamp with beeswax could be very versatile. We used dried moss wicks, and by adding or removing the wicks you could increase and decrease the amount of light and the rate of "fuel usage" in the lamps.

A couple of other notes: These two lamps are usually shown without scale. They look like they should be "chalice sized," but they are closer to six and eight inches across. The Broomfield lamp, which is described as a "tripod" lamp, actually has four legs, and (when I finally saw it at the British Museum) the somewhat puzzling (to me) joint for the three legs of the Sutton Hoo lamp was a simple collar.

Which just goes to show that one needs to be careful when interpreting pictures, and that the official descriptions are not always accurate.

Bowl Lamps
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Monday, 05/07/12 09:11:12 EDT

Any tips on restoring a cast iron hand lever action well pump? I have the original pump from the house and am setting it up on the rain collection barrel, as the well hasn't been used in decades. There's some flapper valve thingy, a decayed rotted seal, I broke some parts but repaired them with CI weld rod. Any help pointing me in the right direction would be appreciated!
- Nippulini - Wednesday, 05/09/12 15:51:46 EDT

Leather Pump Valve; Nip: They're still carried in hardware stores in rural areas, the Amish use them. Any Pennsylvania Dutch in your area? They could probably provide guidance. I just remember priming the pumps at the old tennant house here, and at a fishing cottage when I was a kid, to get them to work. It didn't make any sense to me to put water DOWN the well when you were trying to get water UP out of the well.

I have a pitcher pump that I hope to use for a surface well by the forge, so anything you learn, I can use. :-)
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Wednesday, 05/09/12 20:09:53 EDT

leather pump seals: Nip - Lehmans carry the seals.
http://www.lehmans.com
- Bernard Tappel - Thursday, 05/10/12 10:01:39 EDT

Atli; I thought you could put in a well with a dibble where you are at!
Thomas P - Thursday, 05/10/12 11:17:25 EDT

Good to know they're leather, I was going to try to find some rubber seal that would fit. I'm guessing rubber might not be a good choice, friction and all. I use the rain barrel for watering plants anyway. I'll keep ya'll posted, thanks!
- Nippulini - Friday, 05/11/12 09:22:50 EDT

pump seals: when i was a child my father replaced the seals in the yard pump[hand operated pitcher] with a piece he cut from an old inner tube using the damaged seal as a guide. he also replaced our bicycle tires with 1and1/4 inch hose that he wired together.
- tjstrobe - Friday, 05/11/12 13:34:41 EDT

Dibbles and Dowsing Rods: Right now the water is standing in the wheel ruts from a dump truck that was stuck a couple of weeks ago, delivering bank-run gravel for our farm road. But you can't count on it all the time; one year it was so dry that the swamp caught fire!

We could always tell when we were in an official drought in the old house- the basement was dry.
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Friday, 05/11/12 20:51:04 EDT

Drought: This year has been far from a drought year on the East Coast. . . very regular rainfall, an early spring and mostly cool weather has resulted in record weed growth. Mowing is going to be a significant expense this year.
- guru - Saturday, 05/12/12 09:05:21 EDT

Hydraulic Cylinders:
We have a small lot of rebuilt hydraulic cylinders for sale. I think several of them would make a nice hydraulic forging press.

Rebuilt Hydraulic Cylinders
- guru - Sunday, 05/13/12 17:33:11 EDT

Water Tower: I'm somewhat torn. Personally, the yield for this would be way out of my skills and capabilities. I still have several plates of water tower that Fred from the Longship Company shared with Thomas Powers all those years back. (Fred's primary stash, on a trailer, was stolen and sold for scrap, so I'm probably just "the keeper of the stuff.") It's just that I hate to see a vanishing resource sold for scrap prices. I know I don't have enough candles for this game, but maybe somebody else will see an opportunity.

The State Historic Preservation Data (...hmph! A fat lot of good that did!) can be found at: http://www.msa.md.gov/megafile/msa/stagsere/se1/se5/026000/026800/026898/pdf/msa_se5_26898.pdf

Latest News
Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Thursday, 05/17/12 09:20:59 EDT

Well I originally was going to take the entire WI part of the water tower I got; but the demolition company I was buying it from kept mangling it more and more and then demanding *more* *money* for material that was less useful without complete re-working at welding heat.

So I only got a couple of tons and am down to less than 1 ton right now.
Thomas P - Friday, 05/18/12 17:34:53 EDT

At the mention of theft: Neighbor lost an old schoolbus you would barely see from the road and a set of disk cultuvators which were overgrown with brairs. Guy (19-years-old) simple took them to the nearest scrapyard.

Schoolbus was eventually be converned into a hunting camp, but that project didn't even get started. Having set there for at least 12 years I'm amazed thief got it out of there and it was roadworthy to go about 30 mailes.

Hand has healed nicely. Go back next week for a bit of follow-on surgery.

Saw x-ray of plate they installed. Heck, looked like something I could have done in the shop.
Ken Scharabok - Saturday, 05/19/12 11:19:35 EDT

Thefts for Scrap:
I had a friend that had two huge rolling mill frames that were solid iron, over 5,000 lbs each. Sections were 8 and 10 inch solid. ONE guy with an old truck broke them up and hauled them away. . . On the same lot he had several old riveted industrial building trusses. . . same guy cut them up into pieces. . .

Sadly when such things are found they are too broken up to be of value and the thieves have nothing to take in exchange.

I've got an old Sulair air compressor on wheels. It has set for about 10 years and the tires were old then. I'm sure it will need new tires and the wheel bearings cleaned and packed if not replaced in their entirety. The running gear is actually going under a second compressor but needs to be moved to make the two into one. I wouldn't try to move it a mile without new tires. . .

Glad your hand is healing. Yeah. . I've seen surgeons implant metal work and it can be pretty primitive. . . Seems they would have a specialist with metalworking skills for such work.
- guru - Saturday, 05/19/12 16:20:17 EDT

Thievery: Jock said: "...and the thieves have nothing to take in exchange." You might be surprised, Jock. I'm sure there will always be room in hand collection for one or two more. (grin)

Surgical implants: I graciously offered to assist my doc when he put the steel plate in my knee, but he declined. Something to do with union regulations, I don't doubt. Nonetheless, he seems to have done a fine job on his own - the thing has been there for almost 20 years and still works fine.
- Rich Waugh - Saturday, 05/19/12 18:54:49 EDT

I had an Italian Greyhound that got a compound fracture on a front leg. The doc did a "cruciate" repair with a steel plate. I offered to make the plate (less expense) and was rejected. A buddy of mine had his leg amputated after a bad motorcycle accident. 3 times already he has had hardware removed and new installed. I told him to DEMAND his implants from the docs, you can do it! They keep ALL stuff removed from bodies in the Pathology department. Legally anything in and part of your body is YOUR property, it may be difficult, but you are allowed to keep your amputated toe and do whatever you want with it. Regardless.... we have a nice collection of stainless pins, bolts, washers and some titanium screws, plates and rods. I TIGged a cross for his mom from two stainless screws.
- Nippulini - Monday, 05/21/12 09:14:52 EDT

When my ex had an accident many years ago the doctor made little oval stainless or aluminum plates to put on either side of her nose. They were wired on THROUGH the bridge of her nose. . . The plates were roughly oval, the edges fairly well smoothed but the wire holes were rough with chatter marked edges. There were also errant burr marks where the rotary shaping tool ran amuck in several places. They were pretty ugly. They were temporary and did their job, but ugly is ugly. . . They were not what I expected of a medical appliance.
- guru - Tuesday, 05/22/12 23:12:13 EDT

teclock indicators.. oldie but goodie. seem a little jumpy though.. not real smooth
- Ty Murch - Thursday, 05/24/12 21:01:04 EDT

Teclock Indicators: These were the cheap indicators in the '80s. You could get a 1" travel indicator for $10-15 from MSC or Enco.
- Dave Boyer - Friday, 05/25/12 01:28:36 EDT

Teclock and Peacock Dial Indicators: The cheap Chinese Teclock indicators should not be confused with the Japanese made Peacock indicators.

I do not know about the new Peacock indicators but the one we have that was made in the 1960's is a very fine instrument. It has a light touch but it is a .01 mm (.0004") increment indicator. I suspect the reason we have it is because someone accidentally purchased a metric indicator.

If the new Peacocks are as good as the old ones then there are a lot of bargains on ebay. On the other hand, it does not take much to damage a dial indicator.

My personal preference is Starrett indicators. They have the easiest to read faces and come in great variety. From our shop experience they seem to be the most durable.

The thing about indicators is that you also need holders for them (clamps, magnetic bases, arms, pivots, snugs...) and they are not interchangeable among brands. Once you are vested in one brand you tend to stick with them due the the interchangeability.

Another part of indicators that is occasionally changed is the back plate. These are made plain and with different types of mounting. For some jobs you may want to turn the lug 90 degrees. In other cases you may want to replace the lug back with a screw or a post back. Having one brand of indicators can provide various backs that are interchangeable.

If you have machine tools in your shop you generally need an indicator or two. For common jobs I true things on the lathe with a wire pointer but on the vertical milling machine you need an indicator to true the head, the vise and work if its picky.
- guru - Friday, 05/25/12 10:56:53 EDT

At Vogt we used Starrett and Brown and Sharpe, and a few Federals. The Starretts were the best in my experience
ptree - Friday, 05/25/12 20:02:11 EDT

INDICATORS: For travel dial indicators, Federal seems to be the most practical, (price/quality considerations.)
Of course it depends on application.
We have used a ton of (well, not REALLY a TON), of cheap $10 1.000 indicators for cheap traveldials on lathes, grinders, etc.,. All depends on application.
(You really don't feel so bad when you overtravel something an tear up that Habbah Flate indicator. I recommend keeping a few on hand with the lug back for misc applications not requiring tenths accuracy.)

Test indicators seem to be most practical if Brown Sharpe Swiss made or other Swiss made brands.
Some like the Interapid "cadillac", but many find the 'wrong way around' movement distracting.

Nothing wrong at all with Starrett dial indicators or test indicators. Just a little more pricey for not more accuracy.

Did you see the Starret's being made a couple of years ago on "How Its Made" on History channel?

Just my opinion. This is my 48th and last year in the tooling trades. Never without a job since 1 February, 1964.
- Tom H - Friday, 05/25/12 20:29:52 EDT

Hi all.. I didn't even know teclock was still around. I THOUGHT they used to be the good ones. I have a nice collection of em but don't use my best ones much.. a job shop can be a messy, chaotic place.

- Ty Murch - Saturday, 05/26/12 01:05:49 EDT

Anvil: I recently acquired a Hay Budden anvil, serial number 172798. It has a crack running nearly all the way around the waist (front, back, and under the shoulder - still connected under the body). It is a london anvil with Hardie and Pritchel holes. Under the logo is stamped 120. Is that in lbs, or hundredweight? The face has a chip on one side, two little defects (from a cutter?) and the edge at the table side has a little overhang. Can I/Should I repair the crack, the chip the defects on the face and/or the overhang? I don't know what the 57 stamped on one side of the body (opposite logo) means. It also has a 5 stamped on the front foot of the base (opposite from serial number). There is also a hole (hardie?) under the shoulder in the waist, and another hole in the bottom of the base. Could you explain to me what these thing mean/are? Also any other insight or wisdom about this anvil will be appreciated. Also, I can send pictures of the anvil, if that would help.
Trent - Wednesday, 05/30/12 13:59:21 EDT

Trent, see response on Guru's den.
- guru - Wednesday, 05/30/12 17:19:43 EDT

gluing rubber to steel: A bit off the topic of blacksmithing, but with the collective knowledge in this group I can't think of anyone better to ask. I have to get a new tranny mount put in my truck, and my mechanic and I were looking at the new one wondering how they bonded the rubber to the steel. I figured magic...
- JimG - Thursday, 05/31/12 13:38:34 EDT

Collective knowledge?: Does this mean you take two half-wits to make a whole one?

David Hughes
- David Hughes - Thursday, 05/31/12 16:47:43 EDT

Collective Knowledge: Two halves make a nit.
- Tom H - Thursday, 05/31/12 19:38:45 EDT

Motor, Trans and Vibration Mounts:
I do not know the exact process but I think the rubber is molded onto clean and prepped metal. The bond is very strong but many of these devices have mechanical anchors in them that the rubber is molded around.


I've always been amazed at their strength.
- guru - Thursday, 05/31/12 20:27:32 EDT

molded rubber?: I have somehow acquired what appears to be a two headed, small sledge hammer. Each head terminates in a centrally placed, upside down, truncated cone integral with the forging. The greater diameter of the cone is maybe half the diameter of the head below it; ie., immediately either side of the eye. The only thing we could figure is this was a rubber mallet that lost its rubber.
- Frank Turley - Friday, 06/01/12 20:05:14 EDT

Motor Mounts: I believe they are vulcanised to the steel, that is the uncured rubber is bonded to the steel when it cures under heat and pressure. I don't know if there is any special preparation to get it to bond.

Some, like My 1965 Falcon 6 cylinder were just plates with the rubber between them. On some others the steel parts interlock so they stay together if the bond fails.
- Dave Boyer - Saturday, 06/02/12 00:15:24 EDT

Just for the heck of it, I looked for patents on bonding rubber to steel. They're a lot of them; they seem to focus on the use of various adhesives, usually before vulcanization. Patent No. 4211824 has a reasonable description of some of the processes.

(There are a lot of ways to find patents online. I like the Google patent search. If you click on "more," then "even more," the link's toward the bottom of the left-hand column.)
Mike BR - Saturday, 06/02/12 19:28:23 EDT

Rubber bonding to steel:
The patents focus on different methods of adhesion but the basics are plating, either with copper or any one of dozens of copper antimony alloys. Then there is an intermediate binder which covers the plating (the surface preparation I mentioned), then the rubber is molded and vulcanized - binding the whole.

All the variations in patents are looking for either a better or cheaper bond. OR as is often the case in the patent hunt, to try to cover every possible method, good or bad to keep competition out of the market. In chemistry this is much more complicated than in mechanics. There are often more possibilities that are very close to producing near identical results.
- guru - Sunday, 06/03/12 13:23:30 EDT

Lord corporation was one of the early leaders in the rubber motor mounts, needed badly to stop vibration in aircraft engines from shaking lightly built aircraft structures to failure, Hence the "Lord Mount" still popular today. And they are leaders in bonding rubbers and plastic to steel still.
That black molding that is around the door frame of cars or that covers the roof to side wall join on Honda's? Plastic bonded very well to stainless steel, a real trick
ptree - Sunday, 06/03/12 17:34:00 EDT

Thanks Guys!
- JimG - Monday, 06/04/12 10:37:36 EDT

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