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WANTED Tips of the Day: UPDATE
I'm sure most of you have seen our Tips of the Day. There are currently 9 categories, General, Safety, Buyer, Newbie, Anvil, Machinery, Welding, PLUS Shop Sayings and Metalworking Word of the Day. There is some some overlap between the categories with some tips duplicated. The tips are spread around on various pages and will be added to more over time. Metalworking Word of the Day is new and being written.

Currently we have 6 months of tips in the "General" category and have closed that one out other than swapping better tips for lesser tips or reducing duplication. The goal for the other lists is 73 tips (1/5 year) or more. The exeption will be Word of the Day which will have a full years worth of words in random order. A couple categories have less than a month's worth but but we are adding tips as they come in or I think of them.

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. . If you are interested in sending in some tips let me know. I can help with duplication problems.
- guru

If you really want to see bright skys try cruising at say 10,000 feet in a small airplane at night. Grew up doing that and boy were they bright. Cruising above the haze and dense oxygen layer also makes for intensely brilliant sunrises and sunsets. If cruising towards the sunset, it lasts longer as well. Want brilliant, almost arc welder bright sunlight, fly between cloud layers and the sun rises and reflects off both layers. One of the reasons those very dark aviator sunglasses were developed. I had shade 4 sunglasses and they sometimes needed to be shade 6 at least.
ptree - Thursday, 06/01/17 12:33:22 UTC

Well at the ALMA high site you can stand on the ground at 16000 feet and skip using a plane....Of course they are looking at the stars with a Radio Telescope.

Ptree did all that cruising cause your subsequent urges to throw yourself out of perfectly good airplanes in later years?
ThomasP - Saturday, 06/03/17 02:41:47 UTC

Indeed Thomas it may have contributed to that urge. I loved flying my body into formations in free fall, and doing diamond track demos had me doing 250mph on a 45 degree angle covering about 2 horizontal miles as well as 2 vertical miles in around 20 seconds or so. Nothing has ever been as exhilarating as that. face blowing back due to wind pressure, they fighter plane turns by a slight movement of the hand, great fun. And I often flew the jump planes when I was not jumping.
- ptree - Sunday, 06/04/17 23:21:16 UTC

Formal Blacksmith Training: is there anyone in South Africa that can provide a formal blacksmith apprenticeships?
- Janes le roux - Tuesday, 06/06/17 08:40:06 UTC

ZA Smithing:
There has been a lot of blacksmithing activity in ZA and attempts to organize but I do not think it has held up. There WAS a bladesmithing group and there have been shops setup for training in the townships trying to launch new businesses.

Look for local blacksmith shops and ask them. Note that blacksmiths are often listed as ironworks, steel erectors, under fencing and railings or sculpture studio. Local terminology applies.

- guru - Tuesday, 06/06/17 13:55:28 UTC

Paramotor Flying:
What a way to fly! I've been watching a few paramotor flying videos and boy is that COOL! Flying across fields at foot dragging level, then just clearing tree lines or climbing to several thousand feet all while open to the surrounding air. The closest thing to flying like a bird.

See Tucker Gott on Youtube.

A few years ago I had a couple weeks of dreams about flying an ultralight (a lawnchair with a wing). Nothing as interesting as the paramotor videos.

- guru - Thursday, 06/08/17 09:22:20 UTC

Hot New Thing:
There have been a lot of developments in small hydrofoils. Large and small sailboats that fly above the water are gaining in popularity.

Now comes the eFoil by Lift. This has to be the slickest new toy there is. Its a small "surfboard" with a hydrofoil AND an electric motor on the foil. Once it has a little speed it lifts the board and rider above the water. It is silent and almost wakeless.

The paramotor is much better, just don't land in the water. . .

- guru - Friday, 06/09/17 17:24:36 UTC

Paramotor Flying:
I just watched two reels of paramotor fails. Most were failed take offs and landings. With only a few exceptions the most sever injuries were a few scratches and bruises. The takeoff issues mostly appeared to be lack of experience and panic. The bad landings were mostly due to lack of situational awareness and bad selection of landing sites.

Watching tucker Gott he is always practicing touch and goes and cold start take offs as well as different types of landings. When flying cross country he is always looking for landing sites. Cleared fields are OF but those with crops NOT. Roadways are OK in an emergency if their are no wires. Farm roads are OK. Open grass looks good but can be deep enough to snag you into a hard landing and if you can't run through it you can't take off. . Mowed lawns, parks, airfields are all best.

Many of the fails were people trying to take off and then fight the wind. . . or were trying to avoid too much brush and trees.
- guru - Saturday, 06/10/17 00:52:25 UTC

New Transparent Solar Panels:
Solar panels that can replace glass such as on large buildings has been developed.

The cells covert the unwanted UV and IR by redirecting the rays to the edge of the glass due to its special crystal structure. The solar to electric conversion goes on at the edge of the glass thus only requiring very narrow strips of solar cell.

Besides large buildings any place that uses glass could be converted to solar cells. This includes any window, greenhouses, auto glass and so on. Instead of an electronic display needing a separate solar arry to power it, a clear solar panel can cover the entire display.

While the efficiency is less than dedicated solar cells you are still getting the advantage of daylight passing through or having visibility.

Company Ubiquitous Energy.
- guru - Saturday, 06/10/17 09:27:18 UTC

Seen in a boatyard:
On a bronze plaque:

"If God had intended us to build fiberglass boats he would have grown fiberglass trees."

For all other craftsfolk

If God had intended us to use fiberglass handles he would have grown fiberglass trees.
- guru - Saturday, 06/10/17 12:48:35 UTC

Solar Tech:
New Trump proposal suggests making the "wall" covered or capped with solar panels. This would make the wall the world's largest solar utility. It would also be in the right place where there are more cloudless days than anywhere in the US. Claims are that it would offset costs but this is doubtful in a government project.

Meanwhile, in an article about bad cost estimates for the wall an MIT article gave installed prices for concrete (3 x small lot delivered redimix) then added the labor back on top AGAIN.

You cannot get an honest estimate when both sides have a political agenda.
- guru - Tuesday, 06/13/17 10:35:00 UTC

tod test: testing server reset
- guru - Saturday, 06/17/17 03:06:29 EDT

Two things: Re trees are wonderful: did you know that trees are naturally pre-stressed just like a pre-stressed reinforced concrete beam, dam, or other structure. Trees being strong in tension and weak in compression grow the outside of the tree in tension and the inside in compression so that the wind can blow it and bend twice as far than if it were not. Source: "structures, or why things dont fall down " by Gordon.

Second thing: somewhat comical the trump admin would consider capping the wall with solar panels. Against the grain of the typical mindset. For instance when Jimmy Carter put solar panels on the roof of the white house and then Reagan came in and took them down because having mindfulness about conservation was against his good values.
- Tyler - Monday, 06/19/17 22:25:52 EDT

Trees are Wonderful:
I was watching one of those Greenie literal tree huger movies this evening (kids, mountain spirit vs. evil logging company) and thinking how I really support their position of not clear cutting every stand of larger trees . . . If you love the forest ALL logging is extremely destructive. But on the other hand I love working big beautiful knot free boards. . .and prefer real wood construction.

I suspect many wood workers feel the same.
- guru - Tuesday, 06/20/17 04:03:30 EDT

Trump and the Environment:
Trump is generally pro environment but not when its at the expense of jobs or the economy in general.

Dropping out of the Paris accords was a good thing. They highly penalized our economy while letting the next largest CO2 producers get away with murder for decades. . .

The fact is if you look into what scientists without a political predisposition to the "company line" of global warming have to say then the "facts" are not so clear. In the past 20 years or more if you did not declare that you believed in CO2 causing global warming you could not get hired by NASA, NOAH or any other government supported institution that researched climate or weather AND you could not get published for the same reasons. It is so bad that no scientist without a predisposition to human caused global warming will use ANY climate data processed by NASA or supplied by the US government. A sad state of affairs.

The honest scientists say that YES the climate is changing but NO you cannot prove man is at fault. Historically the climate has changed much much more NATURALLY than anything man could do. We are still in a period of ice ages.

Example, A study of silt layers in the Great Lakes indicates a long period with 250 year peaks where the ice advanced and retreated across the lakes many times. This would mean an area from North of Ottowa to South of Chicago would go from open ground to glacial cover in 250 years. That means almost every Canadian and almost everyone in the US that lives within 200 miles of Canada would be displaced and forced to move South in that time. Huge changes and disruptions would be seen in a single lifetime. And these huge changes would not just be going on in the US and Canada but throughout all of the Northern Hemisphere. And these were small changes compared to the results of axis shift.

What humanity needs to do is learn to deal with each other peacefully so that WHEN these large changes occur we can deal with the displacements and economic changes logically and with compassion.
- guru - Tuesday, 06/20/17 08:32:17 EDT

anvil ID help: i have acquired and anvil . with what looks like makers mark GRRISEZ with a large script N in middle of word the ENGLAND under it and weight of 0 3 12
understand it was in goldfiel blacksmith shop around 1920s here in Qld
- rob watt - Wednesday, 06/21/17 02:48:50 EDT

Old English Anvil:
Here in the US we have many types of English anvil. However, only a couple major dealers out of some 250 English anvil makers actively exported to the US (Mousehole, Peter Wright. . ). The others exported to the English colonies and possesions as well as Europe.

Only a dozen or so of those 250 are known at all and yours is not one we have heard of.

All I can tell you about it is the hundreds weight markings equal (3x28)+ 12 = 96 pounds. A typical small anvil in the "portability range".
- guru - Wednesday, 06/21/17 10:01:37 EDT

Look up Norrisez for info on that anvil
- ThomasP - Wednesday, 06/28/17 16:54:13 EDT

Coronado and habanero apricot jam: An e-acquaintance, Nugent Brasher, and I have been corresponding about iron artifacts found at suspected Coronado sites. Coronado's expedition into the now Southwest occurred in the 1540's. Nugent and others are attempting to find his route of travel by looking for ease of travel, sources of water, campsites, etc.
Recently, Nugent sent me a jar of habanero apricot jam. A note with the jam says, "We use this for everything, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, with eggs, toast, enchiladas, tacos, whatever!" The jam has a little "bite" to it from the habanero chile. Pretty good.
Frank Turley - Wednesday, 07/05/17 12:39:00 EDT

Food with a little heat: A couple years ago Frank sent me some local food stuffs, Bueno Foods Premium Chili Powder, some blue cornmeal and some local corn. We made corn muffins from the blue cornmeal and the Chili Powder. I may have misread the amounts and put in a LOT of chili powder. They came out soft red and had just enough zing. Made GREAT muffins to go with beans.

Blue Chili Corn muffins might be a bit too zingy with habanero apricot jam. . . But you never know.

It took me a while to find the ingredients again. Bueno Foods finally put their chili powder on their on-line cart and I found blue cormeal at "Bob's Red Mill". I had also lost the recipe. . . It took a while to find an unsweetened Southern corn bread recipe. .

The Bueno Foods chili powder is a lot different than common "American" chili powder. The common stuff is a mixture of chilli powder, oregano and other spices. The Bueno Foods Premium Chili powder is pure ground dark red select chili.

When buying spices avoid the "patent name" stuff like "lemon pepper". Lemon Pepper is 95% salt with flavoring added. . . Same for many others.
- guru - Wednesday, 07/05/17 13:59:11 EDT

Artificial Intelligence :
AI Was the topic of discussion on NPR this AM. It was not a very intellegent discussion. Their guest expert kept saying that self aware AI was maybe 100 years away and that there was nothing to worry about. . On the other hand Elon Musk believes we need to take proactive action on controlling AI. In 2006 the South Koreans held that Asimov's three laws were too simplistic and should be expanded or rewritten to fit what we know about AI today.

The current state of AI is more accurately described as Expert Systems. Large data analysis, facial recognition, weather prediction and most of things called AI today are actually Expert Systems.

True AI will ask questions as well as answer them. The questions will not be picked from a list, they will be formulated by the AI. If the AI can go out and research its questions and answer them, that is where the trouble will start.

The AI that everyone is scared of is the "self aware" or sentient AI. Most experts think this is a hugely complicated problem but consider this, a fly or gnat is self aware. They have self preservation. They can find their way in the world finding food and mates. Similarly ants and bees can communicate with each other. All this in a microscopic brain.

While this is VERY low level sentience it is still more than the most sophisticated computer program today. But the day when an a computed asks "Who am I? Where am I? What am I? is coming soon. But even as simple as we think these questions are they are too complex of concepts for most living things. So sentience is less than what we think but still more than machines are currently capable of. Or should I say enabled of. They may already be capable.

There are two kinds of computer program. Hardwired or burned into the chips, and programs that live in memory only. The first are safe and immutable while the second are dangerous and open to change or corruption. The first type is what Issac Asimov envisioned in his robots with hard wired rules. The second type is what has been envisioned in movies like Terminator where the AIs go to war against mankind. The second type is also what primarily exists today. The dangerous type that can self program and makeup its own rules.

I personally believe that computer self awareness or sentience will be a relatively simple algorithm or set of rules. In the statement "I think therefore I am", Rene' Descartes summed up the general simplicity of the concept. In the 10 Commandments virtually all the necessary laws of human existence are summarized. So it is possible to reduce vastly complicated ideas into very basic statements.

The simple rules of a sentient machine will come about in one of several ways. 1) Hard work by humans 2) shear accident 3) created by an idiot savant or self taught programmer. I believe the last is most likely and its probability becomes greater and greater as computers proliferate world wide and populations increase.

The first problem is, all the three methods above are the unsafe mode, in memory where the sentient program can change itself, ask and answer its own questions.

The second problem is that IF the program is connected to the Internet AND it has a degree of curiosity it will find the many available expert systems and may make them part of itself. This combined with some self programming would be the uncontrolled situation foreseen in modern science fiction.

Who would have thought we would have self driving cars? This is one step toward a free roving robot. Walking machines now exist that can go almost anywhere - they are just short of a sufficient power supply. Hybrid wheeled/walking machines will be more efficient, faster, and go almost anywhere. Remember the single wheeled robots in "The Jetsons", they exist today, at least as a mobile platform. Mini-drones can do acrobatics only because of advanced software.

While many "experts" think we are a long way from having an AI revolution I think they underestimate the rapidity of change in the computer world.
- guru - Wednesday, 07/19/17 16:30:33 EDT

Gnats and ants are self aware. If computers are, then so what. No one can automatically say it will be disastrous. Humans are animals, but we are also different from animals. There are many layers a human is composed of that other animals don't have, and that a computer won't have. Intelligence is just one tiny slice of the pie.
- Tyler - Monday, 07/31/17 21:35:49 EDT

LIght Bulb Math:
I'm looking at a medium screw base LED bulb. It says in bold lettering on four sides of the box 18 YEAR LIFE! Then in smaller print on one side it says 20,000 hours.

A little simple math says this is 2.3 years continuous. 18 years is 7.8 times that. A little more math says that 3 hours a day comes to 18 years . . .

So, who only uses a bulb 3 hours a day? We have some that are on 24 hours a day, some that are 10 to 12 hours. Even the porch light is on about 4 hours. The only lights that are on for less are a couple closet lights that might see an hour a month. . .

Even if we average the lot it comes to more than double than 3 hours.

At other times in life and in other situations I've used a lot less lights but those I've used were for longer times (12 hours in an office) and no porch light (I do not mind walking in the dark having lived in the country many years. . .). So there are fewer short use bulbs and the average hours are higher.

A light bulb with a true life of 5 or 6 years is a fantastic thing. But lying about its life just gives the manufacturers a bad reputation.

Incandescent bulbs are the worse. Manufacturers adjusted their life to determine their sales and profits. It only takes a bulb with a fraction of a cent's more element to last 10 times as long. . .
- guru - Tuesday, 08/08/17 14:48:30 EDT

lightbulbs: While a fraction of a cent will get you way more life in an incandescent it will also draw more juice. Bigger filiment to reach incandescent heat means more resistance, so more amps at same voltage.

ptree - Tuesday, 08/08/17 17:41:44 EDT

I think the long-life bulbs (including the 130V ones) actually have longer filaments. Absent anything else, that means more resistance (which in turn means *fewer* amps at the same voltage). The greater resistance means the filament operates at lower heat, and the tungsten sublimes more slowly. But the lower heat also means comparatively more IR and less visible light, so the bulb is less efficient.

I've seen one 130V bulb that was rated for performance at both 130 and 120. It used 100W at 130V, and something like 85 at 120. But the lumens at 120V were about equivalent to an ordinary 70W bulb. If that were enough light, you could use a 75W bulb, and save 10W. 10W over a 750 hour life is 7.5 KWH, which might cost $0.75 to $1.00 -- probably more than the cost of the bulb.

Of course, if you have to rent a manlift to change the bulb, it's a different story entirely . . .
Mike BR - Tuesday, 08/08/17 19:58:09 EDT

lightbulbs: If you have to rent a manlift, or even if you don't, use LED bulbs. They're vastly more efficient, and last effectively forever. I've got some in the shop that I got used, and they've been running 24/7 for more than ten years.
- Jan - Wednesday, 08/09/17 10:18:50 EDT

Funny -- just as I was reading Jan's post, my wife called out to tell me that the LED on our basement stairs had turned into a strobe. That's the only failure I've had, though, apart from one that was DOA.
Mike BR - Wednesday, 08/09/17 18:55:42 EDT

Can't really call them "bulbs" anymore. The only advantage to my shop taking so long to finish is that LED strips are coming down in price. Hopefully this is not reflected in quality. . .

The problem with LEDs is the DC power supply. The LEDs last just about forever but the transformer/high frequency switching supply goes bad just like many other electronic devices.

Manlift. . . The house I lived in as a teenager had 12-1/2 foot ceilings. Some of the lights were chandeliers that hung down and were easy to maintain. But a number were on the ceiling and had heavy glass diffusers that were hard to handle much less from the top of a ladder. The big old house was built in the late 1800's when dual gas/electric fixtures were popular.

Originally the only electric in the house was the lighting which was distributed from a second floor panel. Over the years various outlets and appliance hookups were added. When we bought the place there was a section of wall in the basement covered with small fuse boxes and a tangle of wires - all put in by amateurs. When we bought the house we had electricians replace the mess with a nice big SquareD breaker panel. In the process they put 240 VAC on the lighting circuit. It flambe'd a small TV and many lights. We had JUST put new bulbs throughout the house and Dad insisted the electricians replace the ones they blew out. The contractor commented about how petty he was being THEN he counted the 100 bulbs he had to replace including those that took a man a half hour atop a ladder. . .

The electrician was not very good. . . A few years later we had a cord short out in a vacuum cleaner and it left a burn across several feet of floor and a large carpet before the cord burned in two. I investigated and found that all the first floor outlets had been taped into the 50A 240V feeder for the upstairs panel. I cut it loose and extended it to the main panel and hooked it to a new circuit breaker. Thus started my career rewiring and extending much of the power in the house. Since then I've done most of my own electrical work.
- guru - Wednesday, 08/09/17 19:34:57 EDT

Advise or comments on power hammer project: Nearly complete tire power hammer test run. I have not used a power hammer before and built this just off pictures of variations to the spencer, clontz, and X1 designs based on available materials. 62lbs ram weight, 800lbs anvil weight, 1200lbs total. at max motor rpm should run over 300 BPM but appears slower due to friction loss and motor size. Needs tuning and adjustments but those will have to wait until a proper safety shield is in place. Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated expecially as to tuning. It appears to me that I may have too much spring tension but I need to break in the ram guides (Lexan) to reduce some friction before I make that kind of adjustment.
Link to test run of hammer
- Cat Sailor - Friday, 08/18/17 14:02:47 EDT

Cat Sailor, You are getting fair motion from your springs and toggles but not enough. The springs seem to be too heavy. On this machine I would make the toggles about an inch longer and put some spacer under the springs. You also seem to have a LOT of friction. I suspect it is in the ram guides but it might be the brake.

My springs are .282" thick with a 110 pound ram. They are a little light for the ram. Your springs look heavier.
- guru - Friday, 08/18/17 23:00:35 EDT

More JYH tuning:
You need to try the "bounce test" as suggested by Dave Manzer. If the ram will not bounce on the springs then there is too much friction in the ram. On our original EC-JYH the back of the ram ran against a flat plate. If the oil/grease were cold and thick the ram would hardly move due to the large sticky surface area. This is why most non precision hammers use narrow wear strips on the ram corners.

Your video makes it hard to determine the open die space (distance between dies at rest). This should be about the same as the thickness of steel to be forged (1/2" to 1").

Your dies are much too large. If you reduce the area by half then the force per square unit doubles. On combo dies the drawing side is about half the flat forging side. For the hammer size that would be a little less than 1/4 your current depth.

Die edges should be well radiused, actually oval.
- guru - Saturday, 08/19/17 00:24:00 EDT

Thanks guru: There is a significant amount of friction in the guides. It has loosened up in the short run time it has had testing and can be adjusted. My primary concerns during the build were spring tension and toggle length which it appears I have missed the sweet spot in design.
Scott Loesch - Saturday, 08/19/17 00:25:48 EDT

AND One more thing:
The amount of stroke at the ram makes a huge difference in performance. Too much and the hammer is hard to control, too little and there is not enough power. That is why we built ours with adjustable stroke (2.5, 3.2, 3.8, 4.5"). However, for controlability a very short stroke can be beneficial.

Note "stroke" is double the offset from center (radius}.
- guru - Saturday, 08/19/17 00:47:51 EDT

Power Hammer Dies:
I just updated the dies section on our X1 hammer article. I've added elliptical edge dressing drawings and information.

Years ago (maybe 30) I ran across an article on die edges for commercial forging hammers. It started at about 6" deep dies and went up. It was based on an industry study and extrapolation. Sadly I've not seen it since.

Many folks think these are worn edges but it is not. Its forging science. Dress dies correctly and they work much better.
X1-X2 Power hammer Dies
- guru - Saturday, 08/19/17 02:58:06 EDT

Scotts powerhammer: May I commend Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene, with a non-drying Teflon spray lube instead of the lexan. I use the UHMWPE with the Teflon spray and it works just as Clay Spencer says it will. Been using mine for years.
ptree - Sunday, 08/20/17 20:13:36 EDT

Guide Material:
We used oil filled nylon. Not particularly happy with it. When adjusted to minimal play the friction is too high. Replacements will be pricey machined bronze.

An interesting thing. . . we machined a small 3/16" relief in the corner of the guides. A small mud dauber loves the size. . . I will be so happy to get my shop closed in so these pests stop loading my equipment with mud and grit. . .
- guru - Sunday, 08/20/17 22:05:13 EDT

Guide Material: Jock we found that Nylatron, a moly-di filled nylon, was supposed to be self lubricating. It did indeed not gall up, BUT, dry, it generated too much heat which tightened things up. Ended up using it WITH lubrication, (mostly for cooling), and it worked out pretty well.
Lubrication NOT for lubricating but for cooling.
(Tie bar bushings used on injection molding machines.)

Just a thought.
- Tom H - Thursday, 08/31/17 21:09:03 EDT

Tom, We have been oiling it since the beginning.

I think part of the problem is that even though we have a lot of adjustment screws the (.40 thick) nylon needs metal backing plates to avoid local compression. I figure that by the time the guides are modified I can make bronze plates instead at the same cost. Well. . . same time.
- guru - Friday, 09/01/17 17:27:37 EDT

Guide Material: Didn't think to mention that we always used back-up steel plates.
If you can redesign, maybe in the future, you might try again at your 3/8-5/8 thickness WITH 1/4-3/8 back plate.
If the bearing surface is profiled in some way, the back plates make adjustments somewhat more convenient.
- Tom H - Monday, 09/04/17 16:50:24 EDT

Well. . . I was trying to keep things simple.
- guru - Tuesday, 09/05/17 21:49:50 EDT

hammer guides: The tire hammer as drawn by Clay Spencer shows a simple, easy to fabricate guide system. I used that design thought on my latest iteration of my hammer. I used the square tube within a square tube as the ram/guide. The inner tube has an added bottom heavy plate for die attachment, and the space between the inner tube and outer guide tube has Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene. I do have thin sheet metal on a couple of sides as spacer shims. Unlike the Spencer drawings, Mine has 1/4" thick UHMWPE and I ran countersunk flat head screws though from the inside of the guide, and have nylon inserted nuts to secure those. As noted by Spencer the guide work far better, with less wear when lubed with a non-drying Teflon spray. I use a generic from Sprayon, as it is half the cost of the name brands and works every bit as well. My hammer was been running for several years now with no guide changes and is a 70# ram.
ptree - Saturday, 09/09/17 07:29:50 EDT

Tip Shop Note Book: ".....for future reference to save time on repeat or similar jobs."

And to record changes, corrections, errors, etc.
Nothing like ordering the incorrect items TWICE!
- Tom H - Saturday, 09/09/17 10:23:24 EDT

Been there, done that. . . But mostly on things like clothes or shoes which you can no longer read the size and it has been years since the last order. . .
- guru - Saturday, 09/09/17 13:53:14 EDT

The move I've made a few times is being sure I have something but looking everywhere I can think of and not finding it. Finally giving up and ordering a new one. Then going to put the new one away and finding the old one right there . . .
Mike BR - Sunday, 09/10/17 15:30:48 EDT

Tom, I added you addition to the tips list.

Mike, I would have that trouble in the shop if I was that organized. . . The place I KNOW I've double ordered is I've got multiple copies of 4 rare lock / locksmithing books. I should probably sell them as a set. . .
- guru - Sunday, 09/10/17 23:07:00 EDT

Austrailia Day Lamb Ads: Can you imagine an Australia Day Lamb style ad for 4th of July Burgers {or Hot Dogs}? People would go crazy . . . Has America has lost its sense of humor? Perhaps in Trump's second term he can address "Making America Funny Again"? You heard it here first. (2017 Not PC)

- guru - Monday, 09/11/17 18:33:14 EDT

Trying to fix google link but FTP is acting weird.

Couldn't fix simple google link so removed. . .
- guru - Monday, 09/11/17 19:43:00 EDT

Politicians: are throwing money that they do not have at a problem that does not exist in order to finance solutions that make no difference.

-- Michael Hart on global warming
- guru - Monday, 09/18/17 16:28:30 EDT

Two is one and one is none:
A favorite saying of Pastor Joe Fox (youtube). As a prepper one of something may break, get lost, or used up so you have NONE. Two gives you a backup so you always have at least ONE.

Something to think about when something is important or critical and not immediately replaceable.
- guru - Friday, 09/22/17 10:32:35 EDT

Climate Change: I was listening to a Joe Rogan podcast with Randall Carlson (#501, it is on youtube). He had an interesting take on climate change. In a nutshell: Are humans causing climate change? 1. Yes, but it's not to the extent the mainstream believes. 2. There are myriad factors that contribute to the complexity of the Earth's climate.. 3. Research is focused on anthropogenic means and carbon dioxide.
- Big T - Sunday, 09/24/17 02:15:24 EDT

Global Warming Lies:
When science becomes politicized then it can no longer be trusted. A current statement used in both the global warming scam and the Russian influencing scam is "a consensus of scientists (or agencies) believe. . . ".

A consensus does not make a fact. A consensus is not truth. Neither needs evidence, only belief OR politics.

For the past couple decades or more the only money available for weather and climate research was if it supported global warming and/or CO2 being the cause.

Anyone that spoke against global warming was called labeled a "climate denier" by all the "believers" and the mainstream press. This is the equivalent of being called a heretic in religion. It holds as much water as Antifa calling everyone that is against them "White Supremacists and Racists". It is no more than schoolyard name calling.

Since Trump pulled out of the Paris accords a pole of over 35,000 scientists all agreed that their was no evidence to prove man has influenced global warming. While this is a type of consensus, it needs no facts to prove a scientific point. It is merely a statement that there is no evidence.

The untainted climatologists will tell you that water vapor has a much greater "greenhouse" affect than CO2 and atmospheric water vapor is controlled by ocean temperatures which are controlled by the Sun. So in the end it is the sun, far beyond our control that determines global temperatures.

One of the worst things to come of this was the corruption of our beloved NASA scientists. To fit their new global warming religion NASA "adjusted" the accepted temperature data from the 20th Century downward to make new data higher in comparison. This was just plain fraudulent data manipulation. That is what happens when science becomes a religion.

As blacksmiths were should be incensed by this perversion of science. Improvements in the science of metallurgy drive improvements in bladesmithing, tool smithing and the knowledge of the history of our craft. Yes, history, by the application modern science by Archeometallurgists. Imagine if our knowledge of metallurgy was frozen as a religion in the 1800's. Imagine if alloying was considered blasphemy? We would have no High Speed Steels, no heat resistant steels, no high strength steels at all and no stainless steel . . . Imagine if gross crystallization in steel was still believed to be due to vibration, not improper heat treating?

This is what happens when science becomes a religion OR a religion takes over science. It becomes codified and stagnant. There is no progress.

Lets hope the scientific community corrects itself and rededicates itself to finding the truth.
- guru - Tuesday, 09/26/17 18:14:00 EDT

Climate Change: My father-in-law was a meteorologist from the 30's through the 60's. He told us that we had enjoyed 50 or 60 years of the mildest weather ever. So mild, that with more disposable income, people were building on ocean fronts, lakefronts, in forests, etc. He said that soon weather would be returning to NORMAL. More floods, fires, hurricanes, blizzards, etc. He said to check tree rings and they will tell the story. Centuries ago man didn't have communications like we do now, so we are seeing the results in real time as opposed to stories relayed by word of mouth years later. I am sorry he didn't live long enough to see it happening.
- Loren T - Wednesday, 09/27/17 12:31:42 EDT

Climate Change:
Where I grew up we had snow every winter. Enough snow that for months our favorite activity was sled riding and a sled was often on the top of one's Christmas list. Temperatures often hovered around -10 to -20F for weeks. In the late 70's and early 80's we started having less and less snow until the point that snow was a rare thing and giving a kid a sled for Christmas would be a cruel joke. Temperatures have been generally warmer. . .

Today I live in a "modular" home as do millions in our area. IF the weather returned to that of the 50's and 60's this POS house would be impossible to heat. The pipes would freeze and the place become unlivable. This would apply to MILLIONS.

So what IS normal? Our weather? Our grandparent's weather? In this time can we detect a trend? Not on a geohistorical scale.

Beach front construction is another thing. Construction from the Florida Keys to the beaches in Maryland is supported by government subsidized flood insurance. This is a political problem. The fact is, if you want a house ON the beach where it is guaranteed to be destroyed by the next big hurricane then you should be able to afford to replace it out of pocket OR build like Trump did in the Caribbean OR my grandparents in Miami. You CAN build hurricane proof but it is VERY expensive. Its a game for the rich.

Cities have always been built on coasts and on rivers. This is for convenience for commerce and trade but it has disadvantages. Flooding is obvious. Besides floods from rain there is flooding from Tsunami and storm surge. While it is improbable for all three to happen at once combined floods DO happen and the more time that goes by the higher the probability.

Tornadoes in "tornado alley" have always been common. But 75 years ago they ravaged distant farm fields and only made the local farm news if at all. Today thousands of acres that were fields are now housing tracts and trailer parks where a tornado cannot miss peoples homes. Now it is big news without climate change.

And THIS is my point. As human populations increase the devastation by storms will be greater. Not because the storms are worse but because with higher population density more people are affected.

- guru - Wednesday, 09/27/17 17:07:49 EDT

Bump Fire Stocks:
Like many folks I had never paid much attention to Bump Fire or Slide Fire Stocks until after the Las Vegas massacre. These devices are so dead simple it is unbelievable and they work fairly well. However, they make the weapon a little clumsy to handle safely.

Then I looked up DIY Bump Stock. The cat is definitely out of the bag and making them illegal will only stop the commercial availability. Hand made ones have been made using nothing more than stock parts, a connector bar made of hardware store aluminium or steel, a hack saw and some JB weld. Better ones include a few screws and some folks have fabricated the entire slide stock from wood. And from what what I see there are probably digital files out there for 3D printers, which can also be home built using other 3D printers. At one time there was talk of licensing and controlling 3D printers. . . another cat out of the bag.

I also looked into what the commercial versions cost. Seems $150 to $180 is the norm and something over #200 when supplied with an improved high speed trigger assembly. However, there is NO STOCK anywhere since the Las Vegas shooting. Sold out instantly.

Restrictive gun laws will not stop mass murder events. The Paris truck attack killed and injured almost as many as in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas shooter had a personal aircraft. He could have loaded it up with fuel and flown it into the same crowd and had similar results. There have been mass murders by knife wielders in England that have been lightly reported because they were Islamic and its become politically incorrect to report that terrorists are of certain religions even when their acts are done in the name of that religion. . .

The fact is that if a mad man who doesn't care about his own life wants to they can do terrible things. Especially if they are smart and have the means. We can't ban trucks, kitchen knives or baseball bats. And there is no telling what devious methods mad men will come up with in the future.

Don't let knee jerk reactions to today's news take away our 2nd amendment rights.
- guru - Friday, 10/06/17 17:44:54 EDT

Some Things Dont Change: "The hammer marks on early iron are often eagerly looked for. But in the finest work those marks were often carefully avoided, so that they prove nothing except that a piece is hand wrought. They do not testify to age. Of late the market has been flooded with a great quantity of crude, spurious iron work."

Wallace Nutting
"Furniture of the Pilgrim Century; 1620-1720"
- Bruce Blackistone - Sunday, 10/08/17 17:52:55 EDT

Some Things Dont Change:
This is why I have little respect fro a couple of popular smiths. They bought power hammers solely for the purpose of putting hammer marks on their work. Not carefully controlled texture, just well spaced hammer marks. Only one step better than the old three ball peen divots from the 1950's.

The last job I was asked to quote on was a reproduction lintle bar for a museum in Virginia. In brick and stone fireplaces the old bars tapered to nearly nothing so that they fit into the masonry joints. Thus they were forged.

The problem was the museum curator wanted the lintel bar hammer textured all over. Originals were made from rolled bar to the closest needed dimension. The only forged parts were the ends.

In a good dry fireplace the bars held up fairly well. In a damp fireplace the bars developed heavy pitted corrosion. To the neophyte this MIGHT look like a heavy hammer texture but to any with experience in the field it is obvious corrosion (the sharp edged cratered type).

After a heated argument I told the curator he was an ignorant fool and I would never work for him. . .
- guru - Sunday, 10/08/17 21:21:02 EDT

True old work:
I have recently been consulting on some 15th and 16th century Chest locks. Most slide a long bar that hooks into 3 or 4 hasps on the lid that extend into the top front of the chest. While some of the forging is a bit primitive there are NO obvious hammer marks on the 5 to 6 foot foot long bolt. Lock plates also show no hammer marks and all rivets are flush and invisible.

I chalk up some of the primitive look to trial and error fitting, needing to reforge sections to adjust length to fit. There is also the matter of the bolt zig-zagging a bit so that all the locking tabs make a straight line.

When I have a chance I will draw up the lock(s).
- guru - Sunday, 10/08/17 21:29:37 EDT

Unattributed Quote:
When the Government lies the truth becomes a traitor.
- guru - Thursday, 10/12/17 13:06:29 EDT

Interesting tools: I once saw a short Phillips screw driver attached to a sewing thimble shape and sized driver with a little bearing in it. GREAT tool! Never saw another like it. Sometimes I covet others tools. . . . Should be a commandment about it. . . But then, we blacksmiths don't have "manhood" envy, we have anvil envy (mine is bigger than yours).

- guru - Monday, 10/16/17 20:05:04 EDT

I think that's covered in the "Thou shalt not covet anything of your neighbors..."

What I found interesting in the "case law" was that if someone pledges their tools you have to let them use them; otherwise they could not pay off their debt!
ThomasP - Tuesday, 10/17/17 22:48:26 EDT

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